Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Scripture Doodles- October

 Finished up the October 2018
 Scripture Doodles 
for the Portals of Prayer devotions.
A visual record of the journey.
A short phrase a day.
4 colored pencils chosen for the month-
that make a tapestry story.
I am using the calendars offered from
 Concordia Publishing House
and cutting them to fit
 my traveler's journal.
What I like in this practice-
 is SEEING what the month
 looks like as it unfolds.
Looking for word or thought patterns.
Seeing a theme.
The greatest blessing?
I have found something that
works for me
in my devotional time.

The devotions for this month 
were written by Michelle McGill - Vargas
 of Gary, Indiana.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Enduring Word Bible- The Truth will set you Free

Enduring Word Bible- #33

Reformation Sunday-

Worship into the Week
John 8: 31-38
We read in the previous sentence, (v.30) 
that what Jesus said caused many to believe in him.
Then Jesus talked to the Jews who believed in him.
"If you abide in my word, 
you are truly my disciples,
and you will know the truth,
 and the truth will set you free."

We like to think a lot about our freedom.
We have a challenging history 
in coming to terms with slavery.
On either side of the dilemma.
And even today,
 we still have many sorts of slavery,
or things that enslave us.
Schedules, demands, expectations-
as well as "our stuff" and it's maintenance-
it all enslaves us.
Because it takes us away from 
the center of what Jesus demands of us-
 to abide in Him and His Word.
Somehow, that just seems almost too easy.
We like bigger obstacles than that...
But, Jesus never meant to
 make faith unobtainable.
 Jesus did the hard work, 
the heavy price paid of His own life,
for me. 
That is the Gospel truth, 
and the Reformation-
Good News. 

Printable margin- Visual Faith mInistry
Visual Church Year Worship Resources 
Colored pencils
Washi Tape

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Favorite App- Insta Toon-2

 Grandson- #1
Still playing with my new app- Insta Toon.
Here are the 6 Grandloves.
Grandson #2

Grandson #3

 Grandson #4

 Grandson #5

Grandson #6

Some Apps do funny things with eyes
 and so this is fun to still get photos
with lots of expressions 
that don't look "haunted" somehow.
And I'll throw in one
of the Michigan girls.
And Sara - I need one of you!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Favorite App- Insta Toon

 My friend Joanne Fink told me about an App 
that she thought I would like for my phone.
 I now have hundreds of new photos 
of old photos - just done with this fun new feature.
 There is something about the color
 in the Super toon that I just love.
Doesn't Fall look great this way?
There is a different depth somehow.
Individual leaves stand out.
Pumpkins look like ART. 
 Gourds are framable.
 The last of the mandevilla-
 glistening in the sunlight.
 Details show up.
 The free APP has this logo on it.
Just edited it out on the other photos.
 Nall's Produce looks ready to welcome.
 Another feature is to choose
 this option to paint - Oil Painting.
Grasses look majestic.
Just gonna have more fun.
The App has a Sketch choice- (Left) 
and a Comic Choice- Right.
Here is the Oil Painting-(Left) 
and the Super Toon on the Right.
There is a $4.99 upgrade to the Pro level
 that also takes off the watermark.
For now, having plenty of fun for free.
Won't you join me?
(App I have is for iPhone)

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Enduring Word Bible- Call to Me

 Enduring Word Bible- #32

Jeremiah 33:3
"Call to me and I will answer you, 
and I will tell you great and hidden things
 that you have not known."
Somehow this verse- 
with the added in second part-
 is a hopeful thread in the week.
O have always remembered it as the first part,
but greatly appreciate the second half of the verse.

When the storms come,
when illness hovers 
and derails our days and weeks,
or disappointments mount up in piles,
the Lord promises peace.
He hears, he answers.
v. 11-
"Give thanks to the Lord of hosts,
for the Lord is good, 
for his steadfast love endures forever."

For Jeremiah in this time of unrest and challenge,
in the hands of the Babylonians,
 he is assured that a time of peace shall return.
And may we also know that this faithful God,
will deliver us here too, and into eternity.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Enduring Word Bible-Possibilities

 Enduring Word Bible - #31
Mark 10:27

So how do we measure 
the challenges we face
with an unlimited God with unlimited means?
This section of Scripture ties together
  the story of the rich young man, 
the cost of discipleship, 
the weight of wealth and 
and a God who does not 
measure scope like we do.

Where we have given up, 
dealt a situation as a "done deal", 
or decided that the effort isn't worth the risk, 
God has the set of options we can't even fathom.
Perhaps, I won't "risk" because I just
 can't imagine seeing a worthwhile
 outcome in my own prescribed time line.
What if it was never meant to be 
something that I see the end goal?
What if my "yes" or movement 
"for such a time as this" will be blessed, 
but not in my life time?

Dear Lord, 
move my heart to action- 
even when I can't even imagine the possibilities.
 "For all things are possible with God."
Let me rest assured, 
that my salvation has been worked out
 in the divine sacrifice of Jesus.
This possibility God gives a gift to me,
and for every other human being, 
even when that just doesn't seem possible
 in my own way of thinking.
May others see this Possible God, 
through His works in me,
and the story I tell of His goodness.

There was a full margin on this page,
 so I made this margin into a "tip-in."
Added a piece of yardstick
 and added it in with wash tape.
Printed margin- Visual Church Year-
October 2018 - Lectionary B Margins
Colored pencils

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Enduring Word Bible- Treasure in Heaven

Enduring Word Bible-#30

Mark 10: 17-31
The Rich Young Man

In this story it does not pass me by
 that Jesus talks to his disciples
 twice about wealth and the Kingdom of Heaven.
The young, rich man was indeed earnest
 about his question and gaining eternal life.
He did not like the answer he got from Jesus.
And neither do we.
Plain language here-
 with a graphic image of a camel,
 trying to squeeze through the eye of a needle.
And that is going to be easier
 than for a rich person
 to enter the kingdom of God.
And with the two statements from Jesus- 
we have the disciples amazed 
and exceedingly astonished.
This section has two often quoted 
out of context statements of Jesus.
When the disciples asked, 
"Then who can be saved?"
Jesus states, 
"With man it is impossible, 
but not with God. 
For all things are possible with God."
Then Peter comments that they too
 have left everything and followed him.
Jesus states that there will be a repayment
 of 100 times here and in the age to come- eternal life.
"But many who are first will be last, 
and the last first."
In all of this, 
my heart stirs for this young man, 
and verse 21 has Jesus looking at the young man, 
and he loved him.
We don't know if the young man
 came to terms with his wealth and possessions,
 but we do know that he left his encounter 
 with Jesus with the gift of grace.
And Yes, followers of Jesus- 
the cost of discipleship?
Not an earthly reward, 
but treasures in heaven.   

Printed margin- Visual Faith Ministry
Colored pencils
 Washi tape

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Enduring Word Bible-Let the Children Come

Enduring Word Bible- #29

Mark 10:13-16
Let the Little Children Come to Me

There are so many great things 
on each page of God's Word.
Each section has "billboard-style"
noteworthy words.
I have always loved this story
 in particular, because Jesus 
was always inviting presence and "withness"
 to all those in the marginalized spaces
 of the Jewish world.
Children would have been in that category.
We surely hear that a child-like faith
 is key to entry to the kingdom of God. 
Simple, honest faith is worth
 more than a stack of theological degrees.
We often get side-tracked 
with what is really important.
I pray that the disciples remembered 
this example of inclusion and made it
 their practice to extend welcome 
to all the little children that certainly
 must have surrounded Jesus wherever He went.
And a reminder to us-
just how much Jesus valued all little ones.

This margin was printed from the
Worship Resources
on the 
 Visual Faith Ministry website.
Oct 2018 Worship Resources
Lectionary B
I like that the margin space
 is a bit longer and fits well 
on the Enduring Word Bible
 margin space.
Thanks to the Visual Church Year 
artist team for this wonderful resource!

Printable margin
Prismacolor colored pencils
Washi tape 

Friday, October 12, 2018

When God Connects the Dots

It was on a wim this week.
A text message from a friend wondering
 if I wanted to make a trip
 to Richmond this week.
I was coming back from one trip
 and the "to-do list"
was hollering loud.

I knew the name- Parker Palmer.
I had read a couple of his books.
I loved his insightful thoughts.
Writings on education, vocation
and spirituality.
I was not familiar with 
Carrie Newcomer.
           She is an American singer, 
songwriter and author.
She has produced 16 solo CDs 
and has received numerous awards for her music
 and related charitable activities.
 She has done numerous collaborations
 with authors,
 academics, philosophers and musicians.

The evening was enjoyable, 
the time with a sweet friend- a blessing.
This next week was spent 
just moving bits and pieces of what I had heard-
 around in my mind-
 while doing the dishes,
 folding laundry, or driving around to run errands.
How does this all fit with what I already know?
How does it all come together?
Most of the time-
I just don't have any answers.
Just waiting, waiting.

Today I had lunch with a dear friend.
She has unofficially served 
as my spiritual director for close to 30 years.
All that right in the middle of living life.
 I told her what to pray for in my life right now- 
just where I was needing spiritual discernment.
As we were finishing up our
 so valuable time together she said-
 "I have this book for you."
And she passed it right across the table.
It was the book I had looked up
 on Amazon when we got back from Richmond.
The Parker Palmer book 
on my list to read next.
About discernment.
And she never knew the first part of the story.
Or what I was going to ask her to pray for...
Oh, sometimes I just take a deep, deep breath
 and feel that Holy Wind across my cheek.
So close, it moved the depth of my heart.
And it was just one of the times,
 I saw how God connects the dots.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

When Marring Becomes Patina

 This stool sits outside the kitchen door
 and holds a container that gathers things
 for the recycling bin.
It needed a bit of sponging off today.
As I sponged things off I noted 
the amazing collection of spatters and splotches
 that make up this "painted" stool.
It is a great little stool that is also a step ladder 
and the extension folds up 
so that it takes up less room. 
It was from my husband, John's, growing up home.
A friend commented that it is a great little stool
 and wondered what color I was going to paint it.
I quietly stated that I loved it just the way it was-
spattered, multi-colored and messy.
'You just can't get a patina like that if you tried."
I know she thought I was a bit off with my answer.
But, you see, that is exactly what fits 
into my life as a wonderful reminder.
The tattered, worn layers show the STORY.
There is marring on all of us.
The hurts, failings, short-comings,
and disappointments of life.
It is a wonderful thing
 to see authentic layers
 in a journey. 
When we share the learnings along the way.
This little stool is just the reminder 
I need as I walk in and out of our home.
 Be real and celebrate the dents and dings-
because they really do bring the joy of a 
rich Patina- that you just can't fake.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Bible Marginalia- None Like You

Bible Marginalia-#298

1 Chronicles 17
 David's Prayer

David is having a heart to heart
 with the Lord.
He sees his smallness 
and the monumental size of God's actions.
And the math just not compute-
 a large task is still a small thing in the Lord's eyes.
David's adoration praises the Lord-
v.20- "There is none like you, O Lord, 
and there is no God besides you,
 according to all that we 
have heard with our ears."
David begins to see the good things
 promised by God. 
The Lord blesses and continues to bless.
And next?
David goes out and defeats the Philistines
 and subdued them and he took Gath 
and its villages out of the hand of the Philistines, 
and then he defeated Moab and the Moabites
 and on and on and on.
And the Lord gave victory to David
 wherever he went.
Yes, none like YOU, O Lord.

A way to deal with bleed through or "ghosting"
Paint with a thin coat of acrylic paint-
using a plastic hotel key
Add an envelope wrap (Available on Amazon)
Add a bit of Washi tape
Use Alpha letters for message

Friday, October 5, 2018

Enduring Word Bible- He has Triumphed Gloriously

Enduring Word Bible #28
Exodus 14-15

One of the readings in worship 
this week was the story 
of the Crossing of the Red Sea.
The amazing way that the Lord 
shifted deliverance in favor of the Israelites.
And how things took a dim turn 
for the chasing army of the Egyptians.
Well, we know how this story ends.. 
but I often run like there are 
600 chariots plus plus chasing me.
Moses tells his people-
"The Lord will fight for you
 and you have only to be silent."
Words to calm my spirit 
when I feel like I have to fight a battle.
The Lord triumphs gloriously.
My course is to sing His praise.
"The Lord is my strength and my song, 
and he has become my salvation, 
this is my God, and I will praise him." 
Exodus 15:2
This is the margin just with 
color pencil and a Micron pen.
To show you before 
adding Gelatos and washi tape.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

When Your Soul Needs Respite

 It sneaks up on me. 
The desperate gasping of my soul
 for breath and nourishment.
I often plow right along. 
There is the "to-do" list. 
Places to go. Tasks with a deadline.
Yet, it is exactly in this busiest of seasons 
that I need to STOP 
and just take those few minutes 
to breathe slowly and deeply.
Time to admire the veining 
in the coleus that will soon wilt with frost.
Time to trace the glorious pink 
mandevilla that has climbed the pole on the deck.
To see the contrast behind of blue sky and clouds.
This is tilling soul time.
In Joyce Rupp's book 
May I Have This Dance?  she shares that 
"the human spirit is much like a spring garden. 
If growth is to happen, it too must be made ready.
 The human spirit must be opened up
 if God's goodness is to grow there. 
Open minds and hearts are ready to receive 
the abundant life God constantly offers."
So I take time to open up.....till....
Time to work up the soil with His Word in hand.
Time to offer up those in my heart in prayer.
Time to seek God's will in my life.
Time to look for where He is currently working.

In his book- A Praying Life- 
Connecting with God in a Distracting World,  
Paul E. Miller reminds us-

"It's okay to have a busy life.
It's crazy to have a busy soul."

Take a soul breath.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Scripture Doodles in a Traveler's Journal

 The month of September
 in tiny Scripture doodles
 to go along with my 
Portals of Prayer devotions.
 Four colored pencils
and a non-bleeding Sharpie pen.
I divided the calendar 
to fit in three pages 
in my Traveler's notebook.
What am I SEEING in this practice?
I am drawn to my devotion time.
I can catch up if I get behind a day or two.
The word or phrase runs across 
my conscience thoughts during the day.
I love the whole picture 
of the month of devotions.
This practice would work 
with any devotion 
you may be using for the month.

Here is the link for calendars 
if you would like to try this out and join us!