Friday, August 30, 2019

Worship into the Week- The Narrow Door

Worship into the Week
Luke 13:22-30
The Narrow Door

Jesus is teaching His way through
 Galilee in the town and villages 
on his way up toward Jerusalem.
A simple question asks about the
quantity of those saved.
Jesus replies, 
"Strive to enter through the narrow door."
Not many times the word STRIVE is used in the 
ESV translation.
A couple of others:

"I appeal to you, brothers, 
by our Lord Jesus Christ
 and by the love of the Spirit,
to strive together with me 
in your prayers to God on my behalf...
          Romans 15:30

"So with yourselves, 
since you are eager for manifestations
 of the Spirit, strive to excel 
in building up the church."
1 Corinthians 14:12

"Strive for peace with everyone, 
and for the holiness 
without which no one will see the Lord."
Hebrew 12:14

This gives us:

Strive to enter
Strive together in prayer 
Strive to excel 
  Strive for peace.

I think I had given the word STRIVE
 a bad rap thinking it was lumped
 with works and my own doing.
"A works righteousness" kind of thing.
Strive has some new layers right now.
Enduring Word Bible- #55
First and Last

Because Jesus kind of turns

 things upside-down anyway.

It is up to each of us to Discover 
The Right Way through the Door.


Visual Church Year Resource
Colored pencils 
Washi Tape
Fine Point Sharpie pen
Distress ink
Magazine Cutouts

Special thanks to daughter Jessica Meier
 for the Worship resources for this past Sunday.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Butterfly Parade-Set Free

Youngest daughter and husband were gifted
 with Sting tickets at Wolf Trap
 by Joshua's generous boss.
Yes, Gigi will provide child care for 
three sweet little boys.
Snuggles and book reading
and hugs- yup.
I notice this faith canvas every 
time I am at her house.
A gift I gave Sara quite a few years ago.
Created by Faith Artist- Diane Marra.
It is such a poignant reminder
 of the importance of 
Visual Faith encouragement.

"in my anguish I cried to the Lord.
and he answered me,
by setting me free."   Psalm 118:5

Right there in the butterfly parade-
is this amazing promise 
and hope in the darkest of days.
I give thanks for both renewal 
and restoration for Sara.
I give thanks for friends who value the truth of 
 "just how" these visual images 
provide space for acknowledging
"just who" our great God is.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Even if.....

 Imagine  my surprise when I saw 
this very familiar quote
 in my latest issue of Country Home magazine.
 For some reason I have always
 read my magazines from back to front.
This was a fun start to pursuing 
this new magazine.
This evening as I think about the
 oldest grandchild headed to 
Kindergarten in the morning....
I hope he learns to live in this world as an 
Even IF young man.
With hope that makes no sense-
 because of the source of his hope-
That day in and day out--
the mantra is to live each day
 with boundless hope.
Thanks for the reminder- Martin Luther-
from 500 years ago,
 and County Home magazine- today. 

Friday, August 23, 2019

Worship into the Week- Speak Truth

Worship into the Week-
Speak Truth
Luke 12:49-53
Challenging section of Scripture-
Not Peace, but Division.
The ministry of Jesus 
while on earth brought new life.
But, there was also a harder, 
tougher side to what this meant.
It would also mean judgment.
This image of fire can portray division, 
or purification, or judgment.
Jesus was framing all of these conversations
 around the sightline of Jerusalem.
He knew where He was headed-
 that it meant His own death.
The division that Jesus spoke of began
 to outline the cost of following Jesus.
There would be relationships altered or lost 
when Jesus became the number one in lives.
Following Jesus would bring these challenges
 right onto families.
Loyalties became realigned.

In this fire image we desire to 
speak the truth - even when it is hard.
It represents the power of God to bring change- 
the fire of of God's active presence in this world.
Jesus has a very strong desire to 
form a lasting impact in the lives of people.
God isn't waiting to bring fire and brimstone.
Though consuming fire lights up that image.
We might try to gloss over this passage
 and get to something less harsh.
But, in the middle of all His heart's passion
 for His people is the desire
 for the world's well-being.
He wants those suffering, the marginalized,
the down-trodden, and the powerless gathered into 
His Kingdom.
Your world opens up-
when it is time to stand up for Jesus.
Then His followers THRIVE.
Enduring Word Bible - #54
Sometimes I like to also add the margins
 from the Visual Church Year project into
my Enduring Word Bible.
This gives me more time to spend 
 reflecting and reading this section.

Visual Faith Resource
Washi tape
Colored pencils
Magazine cut-outs

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Hadley Grace

It's a GIRL!
She arrived August 15, 2019
at 2:13 pm.
9 pounds and 22 inches.

The new family of five.

A visit to the hospital to meet Miss Hadley.
Big brothers checking things out.
 Time for snuggles and hugs.
Simply in awe.
 This was a surprise. 
 We didn't know it was a girl.
 We are scrambling now to add some changes to 
welcome this sweet little girl.
We humbly give thanks and praise for a 
healthy baby and safe delivery for mom. 
This granddaughter is a blessing to add
 to the troop of seven grandsons.

"I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Psalm 139:14

Monday, August 19, 2019

Enduring Word Bible-Stand, Look, Ask

Enduring Word Bible- #53
Jeremiah 6:16

 The sixth Chapter of Jeremiah-
The Impending Disaster of Jerusalem.
Not a very uplifting section
 if you are under this banner of judgment.
The Lord clearly gives direction
 to His people here.
"Stand by the roads, and look, 
and ask for the ancient paths, 
where the good way is; and walk in it,
 and find rest for your souls."
I had never come across this verse
 until I started Bible Journaling-
reading His Word -with intention.
The reply of the people 
is like a four year old tantrum-
"We will not walk in it."
The Lord says to pay attention.
They reply-
"We will not pay attention."
And so it goes on....

Simple wisdom here-
the past will show you where to go.
"Ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way is,
and walk in it
and find rest for your souls."
Truth- plainly stated.
The challenge?
To obey.
It is a good thing to revisit this verse.

Colored pencils
 Green fine-point Sharpie pen
Washi tape
Baker's twine

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Little Old Hymnals

SO- When I find a tiny old hymnal
 in an antique store...
and it is $1,
with a leather cover...
it comes home with me.

A Sunday School Hymn book.
Categories for Hymns might 
be a bit different than today-
-For Persons Convinced of Backsliding.
-For Backsliders Recovered.
Wesley Hymns-
with words of John Wesley from 1779.
There is no copyright in the book.
Simply- "Entered at Stationer's Hall, 
According to Act of Parliament."
John Wesley states- "to be used in all 
our congregations throughout 
Great Britain and Ireland."
to carry with you.
No music notes- just the words-
"to be a crown that fadeth not away."
The places this little book would
have been would be a great story.
The lives it would have known-
Do you like little books?

Wal-Mart carries a new one-
for $30. But, without the cool cover 
and the years of handling.
That's priceless.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Worship into the Week-Fear NOT

Worship into the Week-
Fear NOT
Luke 12: 22-34
Do Not be Anxious

There is ALOT in this section of Scripture
 that draws my attention.
 I have been reading and rereading 
it this week upon hearing the news
 of a horrible car accident within our friend community
 and the father was killed 
and the mom is in serious condition.
The children survived.
It makes me anxious for car travels
 for our family and children and their families.
Though this section talks about food and clothing,
 the meaning here extends to our whole well-being.
LISTEN:  You have everything you need.
Who can add an hour to life by being anxious?
Jesus draws the line at worry.
It does not add value to our lives.
It takes AWAY....
I need a reminder-
Fear not, little flock,
you have been given the KINGDOM.
And though things here on earth
 may challenge us, distress us, mystify us, or 
absolutely CRUSH us...
we have a TREASURE in heaven.
A Legendary Journey Awaits.
NOTHING can take that from us...
Enduring Word Bible- #52 Supplies:
Visual Church Year printable
Old Hymn page
Washi Tape
Magazine Cutouts
Junk Mail
Colored Pencils
Fine-point Sharpie pen

Monday, August 12, 2019

3000 Days

August 11, 2019 was the 3000th day
 of Counting Gifts.
That is about 8 years, 2 months 
and some odd days ago.
I have to admit that when I started this practice -
I really never had any idea
 of the future longevity of it all.
Perhaps I had started so many things
 that just fell by the wayside,
 I couldn't picture keeping up with something.
But, the weeks just kept rolling along,
into months.
Time to update 
and add new pages for the new year.
And another new year.
Till yesterday.
There is no special prize for the 3000th day.
Just an amazing blessing to look back
 and see the counting of the gifts, 
days after day, week after week, 
month after month, year after year.
Because HE is faithful.

Psalm 36:5
Your steadfast love, O Lord,
extends to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Worship into the Week-Set Your Minds

Worship into the Week-
Lectionary C- Epistle Lesson
Colossians 3: 1-17
Put on the New Self
"Set your minds on things above,
not on earthly things."
"If then you have been raised with Christ,
Seek the things that are above where Christ is."

This new self-
 the power of the Word and the Holy Spirit
 working within me.
To bring good things.
To put off the old self with its practices.
To put on the new self, 
which is being renewed in knowledge
 after the image of its creator.

Enough here in these verses
 to live out on a daily basis.
Partnering with the Holy Spirit
 in His recreative work.

Enduring Word Bible
Wish Tape
 Magazine cutouts
Junk Mail
Fine-point Sharpie pen

Friday, August 9, 2019

Anniversary Blessings

These beautiful flowers arrived on the steps
 of the house in Ypsilanti, Michigan yesterday.
Anniversary flowers.
Thirty-seven years.

I am on baby watch with one daughter
and also helping another daughter
 set up a first grade classroom.

We celebrate even when apart.
We are gifted to share life together.
We have been blessed.
We give thanks to God for His rich
goodness to both of us.
Praise Him !

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Enduring Word Bible-Faithfulness

 Enduring Word Bible #51
Joshua 24:15
"But as for me and my house, 
we will serve the Lord."
This verse might be familiar as a herald
 of a household set apart in this world. 
A rally cry after a covenant renewal.
I really like to add the earlier verse with this-
"Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him
 in sincerity and in faithfulness." v. 13
Because God has been faithful.
I saw this Scripture verse sitting on the windowsill
 when I arrived at a daughter's house yesterday.
This caused me to go back and ready this story.
And when you see the art teacher daughter 
has cut celery ready for printing--
tried Distress Ink-
 Festive Berries
Worn Lipstick
and then colored in with 
pink colored pencil.
Also used a stamp from His Kingdom Come.

The story ends with the people of Israel
 marking the spot where they
 have witnessed to each other their 
"faithfulness to the Lord" promise.
 I guess that is what these words signify
 set in our houses for all to see.
Part accountability and 
Part reminder.
May we all pledge with sincerity
to serve the Lord.

Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Colored pencils
Washi tape
Kingart Watercolors
His Kingdom Come stamp-
(no longer available)

celery stalk stamp
(dated this entry a day later- 
not sure why-
 but I am ahead a whole day in my mind)

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Worship into the Week- Ask, Seek, Knock

Worship into the Week
Luke 11:1-13
The Lord's Prayer

Teach us to pray, Lord.
To use the way you spoke to your own Father.
That in all of the petitions of this prayer-
 we ask, seek and knock.
That your name would be hallowed,
that provisions are made, 
and that your
KINGDOM would come.
Come, Holy Spirit, 
in this inspired WORD,
 that I may trust God's leading,
 and the miracle of 
Spirit and Word.
Today and tomorrow-
because You have promised.

Kingart Watercolors
Colored pencils
Magazine cutouts
Junk mail

Friday, August 2, 2019


This page from an old book has been 
on my refrigerator for probably ten years. 
Think that is because I am  
still trying to "live into this sentence."
I was stopped in my tracks 
when I came across this gathering 
of words on a page.

There are so many phrases
 right here that get me thinking.
Soul craft
Creating and sustaining safe havens
Set apart from the world
Seek and Savor
Small authentic joys
Recurring theme
The work of women
Time to wonder into the August summer garden.
Mulling over these rich, dynamic phrases.
Because I believe in the power of the work
 of the Holy Spirit in my life,
this soul craft is about my daily life living.
Some days I think about it more than others.
And when I do, I give thanks,
for a master designer that knows the plan.