Thursday, January 31, 2019

Worship into the Week-Fulfilled

 Worship into the Week-
 Luke 4:21
Lectionary C

"Today the Scripture has been 
fulfilled in your hearing."
Jesus in the synagogue teaching as he usually did. 
Reading the verses from Isaiah 61:1-2.

Good News for the Oppressed

"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
for the Lord has anointed me

    to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
    and to proclaim that captives will be released
    and prisoners will be freed.
He has sent me to tell those who mourn
that the time of the Lord's favor has come, 
and with it,
the day of God's anger against their enemies."
And they marveled at what he said to them. 
They KNEW the Old Testament. 
It was clear that the implication of the fulfillment
was standing right in front of them.
Then they swung viciously from marvel to anger
 as they understood who he was condemning.
For no prophet is accepted in his own hometown.
This was right at the beginning of the ministry of Jesus. 
He had finished his temptation by Satan.
He taught regularly in the synagogues. 
and word spread quickly about him.
 He was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.
Then he returned to his boyhood home. 
Sometimes we just don't want
 to see the truth right before us.

Lord, give me eyes that see you
 no matter what obscures my vision.

Visual Church Year Printables
sermon-notes-like 421-12719
magazine cutouts
washi tape

Monday, January 28, 2019

Doors into Prayer - Paper Bag Journal

 Back in September I led a retreat and met Sherry.
She is a friend of my friend, Pat.
So now we are friends.
Sherry is on a cancer journey right now.
Back in December, Pat and I made 
this Prayer Journal for Sherry
 that gathered the offerings from the retreat
 in a way to revisit them.
Right in a paper bag journal.
So I will share the layouts here- 
in a photo heavy post 
so that you can see them all.
I am not sure just how many paper bags
 we have here since we gave the project to Sherry.
 So this may not have all the 
fundamental documentation for precise instructions-
but hope these photos will help you to get the idea.
 We used a hymn page from a "crafting Hymnal".
Recycled Greeting cards are the basic material
 used with the print out from the retreat.
 Brads secure parts of the paper bag 
to make tuck-in spots.
 Scripture verses create
 "landing spots" for prayer.
 Embellished tags work for adding 
verses and prayer thoughts.
Washi tape is fun to use also.

 You can see here there were at least
 2 regular size lunch bags
 and 2 medium and one small.
These are secured in the center 
with ribbon through punched holes.


 Always good to have 
an Eugene Peterson prayer quote. 
 A small envelope works to tuck in 
with washi tape for private journaling.
A place for Sherry's own journaling.
Yes, we just don't know what doors 
we will have to walk through in our earthly journey 
and I pray for healing and recovery for Sherry.
But, most importantly- 
we know she walks with the Lord-
 every step of the way.

I wish I had the time to make one 
of these for each and every one of my friends
 on a cancer journey.
Who might you bless with such a treasured booklet?

Friday, January 25, 2019

When the End is a New Beginning

 I came to the end of a journal
 at the end of 2018. 
Full- no pages left.
2,770 days of counting gifts.
Started in August 2011.
That was to be the one year experiment.
Imagine my surprise-
when something is so far off your horizon,
you can't even picture what 2, 4, 7 years of 
a spiritual discipline practice might look like.

 Another journal has been the gathering of 
Prayers by the Month.
Actually that began in Feb 2011
 and has included a couple of different journals.
So I sat them on the shelf-
these old friends.
I have made another journal
 to start 2019 and combine 
both practices in one journal.
This was the solution that a team of
 Millennials came up with for a retreat awhile back.
Sounds good to me.
Think I would have started out
 that way but hadn't designed the 
Prayers by the Month as a practice
 that worked for ME yet.
 I will keep these old journals close by--
 for within the pages of Living Eucharisteo
are the highs and lows and blessings
 right in the middle of messy life living.
Since I have a diagnosis of Spiritual Amnesia 
and forget the gifts from the Father- 
one week or one month ago,
pretty sure I can't remember 5 years ago.
But, the testimony will be there.
So time with those journals has ended,
but I look forward to the new beginning.
Even though I might need
 to revisit them once in awhile.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Worship into the Week-WHATEVER!

Worship Into the Week
Lectionary C
The Wedding at Cana

Gospel Reading of John 2:1-12
Jesus Begins His Ministry

Pretty declarative instructions
 from the mother of Jesus.
"Do WHATEVER he tells you."
Then, doubt there was a side-long glance
 to His disciples with a "Watch This!"
This first miracle becomes a life-long 
demonstration of scarcity to abundance.
Jesus is this- he embodies this.
Running head-on into  
True God True Man illustrated.
Think I have to be a bit more aware
 of the WHATEVER part
 in listening to Jesus.

Old Testament- Isaiah 62:3
A new day of being renewed and refreshed.
"You shall be a crown of beauty
 in the hand of the Lord.
That brings a bit of clarity
 to the start of a week.

Visual Church Year Project
John 2:5
Colored pencils
Alpha letters
Junk mail cut outs

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Scripture Writing Plan

 Doing a mid-month check-in with 
the Scripture Writing Plan 
that I started the first of this month.
Good news?   
I am still on the plan.  
That's always a good thing for me as all things
 start as an experiment to see if "this works for me"
 and "if this works for me- this way."

I downloaded the plan from
Sweet Blessings. 

I decided that it was working for me in the
 Traveler's notebook format 
and I would use this set up
 since it travels with me easily.
 I have not done a Scripture Writing Plan 
before with a theme like this- 
a look at the I WILL statements in the book of Psalms.
I think it is meant to be the 
study of Our response to God
rather than the I WILL statements of God. 
 There might be a couple on the list 
that would lean more to God's actions rather than ours.
But, overall I am happy with the focus
 this is arranging for me.
I have had to use multiple translations
 to format the I WILL phrases but Bible Gateway
 has been helpful with that part of the process.
I decided in the beginning 
to use one color of colored pencil
 for the date, one for the Psalm reference 
and then another for the I WILL statements. 
 This has helped me to keep my place.
Then I felt for "my best learning plan"
 I also needed something 
to help all of these statements- stand out a bit.
So a small piece of scrapbook cardstock 
with the I WILL statement
 written out keeps the impact focus for me.
Always good to evaluate 
how a time of connection 
is working in my spiritual journey.
Mid-month thought?
 I need to pay attention to these- 
I WILL-responses. 
There are many and varied responses
 to all that the Lord has done for me.
He always initiates.
We respond.
And even that has to be 
with the power of the Holy Spirit.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Worship Into the Week- Beloved!

Worship into the Week---
Lectionary C

The Baptism of Our Lord

Seeing Jesus as the BELOVED of the Father.
At the beginning of his formal ministry start.
Though he had been living it out
 already in his daily life.
 His Father was pleased with his being.
Before there was the track record of his doing.
Time for me to remember 
that I am the Father's beloved.
Time for me to remember my own baptism.
Do you know your Baptism Date?
Maybe search that out if you don't...
It is the start for this amazing relationship.
The Lord LIVES in ME.
Oh, I give thanks for this.
I want to be like a tree 
that is planted by the rivers of water-
to be fed and grow.
Bless this journey.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Clean Slate

 The most snowfall in two years 
fell softly here in Northern Virginia.
Grinding expectations 
and stuffed calendars slid off the immediate pile.
You can hear the hush.
Less traffic out on the Parkway.
Less of everything in the 
moreness of the snow.
 Branches burdened by the weight-
settle closer to the earth.
Didn't go out to measure 
but the tabletop gives perspective.
Delighted that we still had the Christmas lights
 up to turn on and they dazzled in the glistening dark.

And on these white, white days I am reminded:

“Come now, let us settle the matter,”
 says the Lord
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
 they shall be as white as snow;
 though they are red as crimson,
 they shall be like wool.
Isaiah 1:8

May Snow Days always be
 such a reminder.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Worship into the Week-Behold!

Matthew 2:10
The Gospel reading for Epiphany.
Reflecting on the Journey,
the Finding and the Knowing.
The trip home- 
 how could their lives not have changed?
What would you tell your family?
How could you explain what you saw?
 What about that young babe you brought gifts to?
May that wonder move
 right into this new year-
that I may cling to the King
 who gave up all for me.

 Visual Church Year Printable
Colored pencils
Junk Mail
Epiphany Blessing Printable

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

New Year- Clean Spaces

 It started simple enough last weekend.
 Hubby was home, house was quiet.
"Can we tackle the pile of paper
 on your desk in the office?"
 That morphed to the next pile and the next stack.
And the next dusty shelf.
So edited the bookshelves.
Donating 78 books to the public library.
 Though we have still way too many books,
it helps to delete that many each time.
It ended up being 28 hours of people time efforts.
But, the space breathes 
and welcomes once again.
The closet got it too.
It now smiles back when I open it.
(well, I think I saw a smile)
Then I saw there was a Marie Kondo
 series on Netflix.
I watched all 8 as I was sorting things
 and ironing
 in the family room.
Kondoizing began in the rest of the house......
 So the kitchen was next. I only have 4 drawers
 in the whole room and they have to work hard.
I cringed every time I opened them over Christmas-
 as I threw something else in. 
I would never have posted a
  photo of my junk drawer before clean out.
 Some things are a bit challenging
 for me about her method-
(I don't believe that inanimate things Spark Joy).
I do believe that our living spaces
 create welcome or not, cause frustration or not,
 and can suck time as we hunt for things.
Her method for folding things is brilliant
 and I have been a proponent of standing things
 in drawers- like forever.
But, never thought about it for socks.
This isn't her method for storing socks, 
but hubby NEEDS his like this to find them.
But, she does fold them and stand them up- 
in Containers.
So- even though it bothers my symmetrical system
 when all the containers are not the same- 
this is so helpful.
 It keeps like things together for the long run.
Been doing that for awhile also.
I even had empty spaces in drawers.
So I will continue this as can- 
one drawer and closet at a time.
 This season of "cleaning out" goes rather well
 with the Epiphany New Year's blessing.

Bless this home.
Bless this space.
Lord, make the systems here
 in our homes meet our needs,
 so that we have more time to serve you.
Let us get rid of excess,
 so that we have more time for YOU.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Epiphany Blessings!

 Today- the Wise Men have arrived. 
Epiphany Blessings to all. 
Sometimes Pinterest is a way to 
find things you didn't know about.
I found the practice of chalking the door for Epiphany.
There is a whole liturgy for that available.
Above our front door is brick-
 so that doesn't work really well. 
I decided to use the chalkboard
 in our "carport" as the place to mark the spot.
 This notecard explains
 a bit more about the practice.
(link to printable is below)

Here is a liturgy to use 
for this special day of "chalking the door".
I believe that these resources 
allow a bit more of a reflective time for
ending the Christmas celebration.
A fitting way to end the year
 and begin the new one. 
One that marks a very VISUAL way to say-
May Christ Bless this home.
Here are links to some resources:

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Soul-Tending Reading 2019

The 2019 Soul-Tending Book Stack.
I thought for awhile today about not sharing
 what the stack looks like for this year-2019.
Then the accountability factor
 goes WAYYYY down.
That can be a very good thing.
It is true that every year I have to move
 books from the stack 
that was to be- right to the next year's.
But, then, this ambitious 
grouping of titles makes it easy
 to always find the next book to read.
They aren't stacked in order 
and I really do depend 
on the nudges of the Holy Spirit
 for the next read.
I average about 30 books a year- 
so this doesn't count in my penchant
 for good ole' mysteries.
 I request them from the public library
 and I must be reading 
what everyone else loves in Fairfax County.
 Sometimes I have to wait 4-6 months
 to get a book that I have placed on HOLD.
That paces them out just about right for the year.
I have read Hinds' Feet On High Places
in a number of other versions 
and this is a lovely new 
Visual Story telling of this classic.
See some that you have read? 
Want to join me for a read to two?
 The lists for previous years can be found Here:
(as well as a couple years of 
really bad photos before I got a new iPhone.)

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

A New Year's Blessing

New Year's Blessing
Numbers 6:24-26
The Priestly Blessing


 The Lord bless you and keep you;
 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
 the Lord lift up his countenance[a] upon you and give you peace.
Thinking about a new year, new start,
 and what we all need.
We need a place to call home-
 a place that calls to our heart and mission.
The blessing of the Lord over all and in all.
Resolutions ready-
a wellness focus for 2019.
And Jesus over all.

Resource from theVisual Church Year Project
Junk mail and magazine cut outs