Sunday, June 30, 2019

Enduring Word Bible- To Completion

Enduring Word Bible- #48
Philippians   1:3-11

Thanksgiving and Prayer
Paul's prayer for the people in Philippi.
He speaks of joy in remembrance,
and is filled with the hope 
of all the good things the Lord
 has already done
 and will continue to do 
in the lives of the faithful.
 Today this was a part of a farewell service
 for a pastor and his wife 
who teamed in ministry
 in a congregation for  23 years.
What a blessing-
 this partnership in the Gospel.
May this be the prayer 
for all who serve in ministry,
 and indeed for all of the 
Lord's church here on earth.
That the Lord may bring it to completion-
what He has begun.

Colored pencils
Washi tape
 Illustrated Faith Vellum Die Cuts

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Making Memories- #Dengrandloves

 Levi had a "sleepover" last week.
First - there was fun at the pool.
He loves to harvest his lettuce
 in his dinoland garden to eat for supper. 
 This part of his garden is getting a bit bigger.
 On a cooler evening it is out to the garden 
and the picnic table for banana bars 
and building Lego structures with Papa.
This is a great spot
 that is protected from the late day sun.
Night night routine is reading books
 and picking out a favorite Bible Story.
and singing from this Song book.
Levi loves sleeping in his "boat bed."
When there are "new things"
at home some times it is a 
good thing for "one-on-one" time.
It is hard work to be the BIG Brother- all the time.
Loving and learning what it means
 to be a "band of brothers."
It is always good to have 
a respite time at Papa and Gigi's.
(think they like that too)

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Worship into the Week- Declare

Worship into the Week-
Luke 8:26-39

Jesus Heals a Man with a Demon
On the other side of the Sea of Galilee
 from Capernaum
is the country of the Gerasenes.
A man met Jesus as he stepped out on the land.
He knew Jesus.
Jesus had commanded the demons to come out.
Then Legion confronts Jesus 
and begs him to enter the pigs
 rather than be sent to the abyss.
It is rugged on this part of the shore
 with a high spot and steep drop off.
It would have been a pretty spectacular 
spectacle of the racing pigs
 for the edge of the ridge.
The herdsmen went in the city
 and country to tell the pig story.
Then others came to see what had happened.
They find the "possessed" man- clothed,
 in his right mind, 
and sitting at the feet of Jesus.
This scared them.
Those who had seen the event told them all about it.
Afraid- they ask Jesus to leave.
The healed man begs to go with Jesus.
Jesus sends him away,
telling him-
"Return to your home,
and declare how much God 
has done for you." 

That man had a BIG STORY.
Sometimes we may feel like
 we don't such a dramatic storyline.
Nothing worthy of sharing.
But, in the small scheme of things,
where there has been a God-intersection 
in our life- that is a BIG STORY.
Wherever home is-
wherever there is family and friends,
that's where we are SENT.
Sent to share the story of just 
what it means to be invited by Jesus
 to sit at His feet.
Because we all have been restored.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

By My Spirit

Zechariah 4:6
Then he said to me, 
“This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: 
Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,"
 says the Lord of hosts.
Everytime I hear this phrase I think of this song by
Ron Kenoly
And that is pretty much 
what I have for this section.
But... So who was Zerubbabel?

Zerubbabel displays a plan of Jerusalem to Cyrus the Great
According to the  Biblical narrative, Zerubbabel was a governor of the Achaemenid Empire's province  Yehudi Medinata and the grandson of Jeconiah, penultimate king of Judah. Zerubbabel led the first group of Jews, numbering 42,360, who returned from the  Babylonian captivity in the first year of Cyrus the Great, the king of the Achaemenid Empire. The date is generally thought to have been between 538 and 520 BC.Zerubbabel also laid the foundation of the Second Temple in Jerusalem soon after In all of the accounts in the Hebrew Bible that mention Zerubbabel, he is always associated with the high priest who returned with him, Joshua (Jeshua) son of Jozadak (Jehozadak). Together, these two men led the first wave of Jewish returnees from exile and began to rebuild the Temple. Old Testament theologian John Kessler describes the region of Judah as a small province that contained land extending 25 km from Jerusalem and was independently ruled prior to the Persian rule. Zerubbabel was the governor of this province. King Darius 1 of Persia appointed Zerubbabel governor of the Province. It was after this appointment that Zerubbabel began to rebuild the Temple. Elias Bickerman speculates that one of the reasons that Zerubbabel was able to rebuild the Temple was because of "the widespread revolts at the beginning of the reign of Darius I in 522 BC, which preoccupied him to such a degree that Zerubbabel felt he could initiate the rebuilding of the temple without repercussions". (Wikipedia)

By the Lord's Spirit things move in the sphere
 where we live, not by power or might.
Good reminder when we think 
we have something to do with much of anything.

Colored pencils
Fine-point Sharpie pen
Washi tape
Distress ink 

Thursday, June 20, 2019


In the garden- an update.
4 inches of rain so far this month.
Makes me think of the verse:
"He is like a tree
    planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
    and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers."
Psalm 1:3
Seems like some days we do 
have a stream of water in the back yard.
The growing things are prospering.

But the balloon flowers love it.

The Filipendula- Queen of the Prairie love it.
The Hydrangea adore the moisture.
This Stella D'Oro daylily is ready to open.
You can see why this loosestrife
 is called- Gooseneck.
The flowers in a pot nuzzled 
against the hydrangea.
Brilliant Bee balm-
it does attract the bees.
Coneflowers brighten 
this corner right now.

The rampant loosestrife.

Lady Godiva - Yellow
English Marigold
Trying something new- 
I don't have very good luck 
with traditional marigolds.
Some gatherings on the deck cart-
highlighting a begonia from a friend.
So the daily rains continue-
sort of like living in the tropics.

Instagram- #dengardens

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Worship into the Week- Trinity

Worship into the Week-
John 8 :39-59

Only part of this section was the Lectionary reading
 for this past Sunday, 
but I think it helps to have the larger portion
 to read to get a better context.
It helps to read the previous section
 to understand why the Jewish leaders
 were so upset with Jesus that they 
picked up stones to throw at him.
Jesus had told them they were 
children of the devil because 
they did not "hear" His words.
That was maddening enough.
Then He tells them that His Father is God.
Last straw.
This section helps to "flesh out" 
other readings for Trinity Sunday.
I love to think about Jesus 
and this Three in One mystery.
Complicated even for the most learned Bible scholar.
"Before Abraham was, I am."
He would be the Light for all Nations.
He was not shackled with earthly realms.
 He was without boundaries.
Most of all- He was not alone.
All of His earthly journey 
was with the presence of the Spirit and His Father.
What comforting HOPE for me today-
that even though I cannot comprehend this gift to me,
I journey HERE-
not alone.

Visual Faith Ministry-Visual Church Year
Colored pencils
Gold gel pen,
Fine-point Sharpie pen
Junk mail ephemera

Sunday, June 16, 2019

99 Years of Blessings

Florene Alma Marie Denninger
June 16, 2019
99 years old today.
A day to celebrate
because such days are worthy of just that-
This was taken in 2013 at Sara's wedding.
 Grandma Florene lives in Vinton, Iowa 
these days to be near her daughter, Lois.
We were able to stop by 
for a visit the end of April.
This Father's Day it is somehow fitting
 to share the mother and son together photos.
Things are a bit harder these days
 for our storyteller matriarch.
But, there is also great license to stitch together
past days into "new stories."
Sometimes they are woven together
 in such ways that we are brought
 to tears in laughter.
So, on a day of great blessing-
 of knowing a Savior's great love
 for 99 bountiful years,
it is also ok, if you only
 want to eat cookies.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Grandson #7

 Welcome to the World-
Jonah Dalton Wilson
Born June 13, 2019
2:26 pm
7 lb 8 oz    21 3/4 in
to Sara and Joshua Wilson
a tiny little bundle
of joy
A dad blessed with a third son-
who has been heard to say a few times
 the past couple of days-
"I have so many children."
Oldest brother Levi comes
 to meet his littlest brother.
A bit of awe and wonder.
Doesn't get old- 
this grandchild love.
Blessed beyond imagination.

Reunited at home with Big Brother 1-
 and Big Brother 2!

Just trying to figure out this family life stuff-
may just take Jonah a few tries.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Be Joyful Always

Be Joyful Always.
1 Thessalonians 5:16

On a small easel,
sitting on a book 
in the corner.
A simple verse reminder.
Just a bit of colored image 
that becomes a breath prayer
in a moment of the day.
Perhaps to whisper a moment
 of encouragement from hundreds of years ago-
right into the streaming of my days.
Thank you, Lord.

Joanne Fink mini canvas and easel
(Michael's-purchased 3 years ago)

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

You Got This- Momma

 This youngest daughter heads
 to the hospital on Thursday to have son #3.
We had a last minute Target run this evening.
 Earlier this week we had talked about 
how the "baby preggo" shots are a bit different
 by the time you get to the third one. 

So to document the end of this third pregnancy
 we hit the back aisles of Target.
 Snapped a few shots of this beautiful little momma.
Wondering how life changes 
forever with this third son.
Yup- some pretty poppies. 
and a prayer for this little family-
Dear Heavenly Father,
we ask your care and tending
 for the health and delivery of this little baby. 
Guard and protect this little momma.
Be with the caregivers, nurses and doctors and 
give them a good measure of expertise.
Take away the anxiety of becoming 
a family of five for this mom and dad. 
Bring grace and  resilience
 to the two older brothers.
Bring the bountiful good to this family,
in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Pentecost 2019

Pentecost 2019
Worship into the Week
John 14:15-31
Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

The Helper- the Holy Spirit is sent to us.
This comes to us at our Baptism.
Power beyond what we have
 as humans here on earth.
Supernatural gifting sent by the Father
in the name of Jesus.
The gifts of the Spirit to His people.
Today I was blessed to worship
 at my home congregation.
  Six Christian communities worship
 in the building each week. 
They sing in their own heart language.
We heard their praise and worship.
I give thanks for seeing a bit of 
heavenly worship today - this Pentecost.
I give thanks for this Paraclete gift
 to His church here on earth.

Magazine cutouts
Junk mail
Bulletin cover
Colored pencils
Fine-point Sharpie pen

Saturday, June 8, 2019

In the Garden

You keep him in perfect peace whose                                
                                  mind is stayed on you, 
                                   because he trusts in you.  
                                 Isaiah 26:3

An evening walk in the garden
 is so peaceful.
Daylight is fleeing 
and the work of the day is ending.
Colors are more brilliant and not as
 washed out with the sun's caress.
There are multiple images 
repeated over and over 
of flowerhead and petal.
I am reminded in my "willy-nilly" garden-
that even the small details in God's world
 are planned by the Master Gardener-
the Creator himself.

#dengardens on Instagram

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Worship into the Week-Before the World

Worship into the Week-
The High Priestly Prayer
 John 17

A conversation between Jesus and His Father.
One that the disciples were overhearing.
A bit of praise,
review, foretelling.
Jesus recounting that His Father has loved him
 before the foundation of the world.
And so He has loved me.
I get caught in my realm 
of tangible now and present tense.
Forgetting that the realm of time moves
 in dimensions that I cannot fathom.
 I have to forget that my reality in time 
and space gets readjusted
 when it comes to God and His plan of time.
Everything about that and how Jesus fits
 into the scheme of things defies
 all of my expectations.
All of my finite measurements
 just don't fit His scale.  
Jesus lived his life to bring 
His father glory and to make HIM known.
In ways beyond my understanding -
 before the foundation of the world.
Something to learn here.
A prayer that moves across known time
 to bring to me the blessing 
of the fullness of the goodness of God.
Reaching right into eternity 
with an expansive inclusiveness
 that does include me-
even now.

Visual Church Year
Colored pencils
Junk mail
Sharpie pen

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Pressed Down

So I don't know if this is true for anyone else.
 The pansies start to droop in the
 heat of summer here in Virginia.
Time to replant pots. 
But, I cannot throw in the trash 
the last few remaining blooms.
 They looked a bit ragged when I finally
 got to snipping them off.
 I pulled down the remaining phone book
 that I keep just for pressing flowers.
Flipping through to find a good spot -
 I found the pansies pressed from last year.
I added this year's petals.  
One week later here they are together. 
I am not really sure what 
happens with them next.
They will end up on something
 in a collage of sorts.
But whenever I do this pressing of flowers-
 it always makes me think 
of this section of Scripture.
Luke 6:36-38
36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not,
 and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;
 38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down,
 shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap.
 For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

Oh, Lord, may these petals that are flattened 
at the end of their life be a reminder to give freely. 
Even at the end- they still give.
The blessings are far more than I can imagine.
 Your rich grace, mercy and love are simply available to me-
poured right into my lap.
How great is this goodness to me. Amen.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Scripture Doodles-May

Scripture Doodles- May
Using the devotions of Portals of Prayer
 from Concordia Publishing House.
This months devotions were written by
Sarah Baughman of Cypress, Texas.

Using the calendar from
 Concordia Publishing House.
Dividing it into thirds
 to fit a travelers journal.
Still find this devotional practice 
grace-filled and workable.