Tuesday, March 31, 2020

I hope YOU know...

Been cleaning out stuff in these days-
 organizing folders,
 shredded old tax papers,
and also just MOVED some piles.
Maybe where I can't SEE the piles.
But, in the bottom of a stash was this post card.
I had to LAUGH out loud-
 well, not at the Bible passage.
But, the beginning-
I Hope you Know....
I was taken back to a household of 3 young girls.
  Probably almost 30 years ago 
and remember hearing many statements
 from the ladies begin with.... 
It was usually stated as a sort of alarm-
 with emphasis, and maybe a bit of attitude.
Whatever they said AFTER THAT
So I sat and paid attention to this card-
I hope you know there is
SHELTER from this storm.
Shelter under the shadow of the Almighty.
Psalm 91:1
Clasping this card in hand, 
I simply sat and prayed.
For Shelter
For Family
For Protection
For Leaders
For the Sick
For Wisdom
For an unknown Future
with a Known God.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Lenten Journaling in Community- #8

 When from Death I'm Free- 
Lenten Hymn Journal- #8
The Dignity of the Cross 
Reflection time with the hymn words
 Mixed media reflection page-
Hard to see dignity in this image-
 but that he gave up all dignity for ME.
 There is a DEBT your love has paid-
 Mixed media reflection page
 Seeing how the section of Phil. 4:4-9
wraps around what he endured on the cross.
Think of these these things-
 Whatever you have learned or received 
or seen in me- put it into practice.-
because He sits on the throne of God.
(Katie Helmreich image for Visual Faith Ministry)
 Scripture Study-
 The treasure and the pearl-
Then - what we see when we look to Jesus
 as the founder and perfecter of our faith.

 Hymn reflection- 
pulling the words and phrases out of the hymn.

Visual Faith experiment- 
a glimpse  of the Father's heart for me-
a moving experience when you see
 just a small portion of it all laid out together.

The resource we are using this COVID 19 Lent is:

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Lenten Journaling in Community- #9

 This is sort of my introduction page to this section-
#9 Stricken Smitten and Afflicted
(thanks to the Lutheran Witness magazine)
                                      Hymn page study-
 Mixed Media Reflection page
 Image reflection page-
 Design by Valerie Matyas
                                             Mixed Media Reflection page
 for 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
 Cover image for Scripture page
 Time to read and pray this Scripture-
 What does this mean for me- a new Creation? 
Word Study for the Hymn Stanzas
 realizing that I may not have EVER
 used this word in a  sentence in my life.
But, I have often been mixed up and confused.
Visual Faith Experiment-
Mapping out the Great Exchange.
From this- to THIS.
Loving seeing where each of these pages
 takes me in my  
very special time to DIG IN- 
in this COVID19 Season of life.

This Lenten journey is using this Resource-

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Worship into the Week--- Now I See

Worship into the Week-
 Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind.
John 9:1-41

The understanding that often prevailed
 in the time of Jesus was that 
some illnesses were perhaps 
brought on by sins of the parents. 
As Jesus encounters a man blind since birth,
he makes mud and places
 this on the blind man's eyes.
Then he tells him to go 
and wash in the Pool of Siloam.
Then he came back with his sight restored.
All the neighbors knew this man had been blind.
Jesus also realized he was stirring up trouble
 by performing this miracle on the Sabbath.
The healed man gets drilled
 by the leaders of the Jews.
All he can attest to,
"Whether he (Jesus) is a sinner I do not know.
One thing I do know,
 that though I was blind, now I see."
The leaders cast him out 
and Jesus finds the man.
In the conversation Jesus reveals 
himself as the Son of Man.
The man's vision has been restored and
his life of faith begins as he states,
"Lord, I believe."

May we have our poor vision restored, 
cataracts removed,
so that nothing gets in the way
 for seeing Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Visual Church Year Printable
Junk Mail
Watercolor pencils
Magazine cutouts


Friday, March 27, 2020

Lenten Journaling in Community- #4

As I share these journal pages I must tell you that
 we are doing them in the order that the leaders
 in our group have designated them for our time together.
This may not necessarily be in numerical order. 
(in case you thought you missed #3- that is still coming)
  The numbers corresponds to the Hymn section in the book.
The Hymn for this section is: 
#4 -The King is Calling by Kip Fox
Mixed media - Reflection page
Theme journaling page- Watercolor
 Image by Katie Helmreich
Mixed Media page
Acrylic and magazine tear out
Scripture Meditation page
2 page layout with stickers 
Acrylic paint and 
printable from Concordia Publishing
Lyric meditation page
Lyric meditation page 2
Visual Faith Experiment-
Prayer page 

In this journal I am demonstrating
  that it isn't necessary
 to be able to "draw images"
 to participate in a Visual Faith experience.
 I am most comfortable in mixed media processes
 and putting things together collage style.
I look for ways to cement ideas together 
and create the place for learnings and gleanings -
adding the depth of the music,
 image and kinesthetic all together.
Maybe that makes sense to you too?

This is the book we are using:

Music can be found Here-

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Lenten Journaling in Community- #2

 Hymn Reflection for #2 
is On That Morning by Kip Fox.
 Mixed Media Journal page
 Coloring Reflection page-
 Image by Pat Maier
 Mixed Media Scripture Reflection- 
Genesis 3:12-15
Sally Beck Graphic from her library
 at Visual Faith Ministry-
 Scripture Reflection page
 Devotion by Justin Rossow
 Hymn stanza Reflection and prayer time
Mixed media- magazine cutouts
 Continuation of Hymn study
Visual Faith Experiment-
(image by Pat Maier).
 We were asked to write our failures
 that burden us on the cross part.
We could then color over them- 
confident that Jesus is alive
 and these failures are not permanent.
I used the journaling technique 
of layered journaling for this part.
Thankful for this refrain humming in my head- 
I was Saved.
This Lent journal study is found here:
Music to add to this can be found Here: #2

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Lenten Journaling in Community- #1

I have debated whether 
to share the journey of Lent 2020.
Seems like so much has been 
shifted in our world right now.
But, I am learning that in these very fragile days, 
it is precisely what these practices
 have offered in community-
 that have become reassurance and "saving grace."
So I will go ahead and share the Visual Journey
 of processing with the book-When From Death I'm Free. 
This was the joint effort of author Justin Rossow
 and Visual Faith Coach Valerie Matyas.
She rounded up talented artists
 to add to the visual resources
 that tie together hymn studies
 of both traditional hymns 
and contemporary hymns by Kip Fox.
The book incorporates Visual Faith prayer practices
 that we have developed 
and teach in our learning communities.
It is a 12 week study and I will share the journey
 in the order that we are doing them in community, 
using the order of the pages in the book.

#1 What Wondrous Love is This
Introduction and Permission page
Time with the Words of the Hymn
Mixed media response page
Reflection page- image by Valerie Matyas
Mixed media and journaling page
Scripture Study
Devotion by Justin Rossow
Song and Prayer Time
Visual Faith Experiment Response

Mixed media response page

There is a POP-UP community on Facebook
 where currently 641 people 
are sharing this journey together.
Here is the link:
When From Death I'm Free Pop-Up Group

This Lenten journal study 
was a #1 New Release on Amazon.
you can find it here:

Here is the link to podcasts
 that go with the Lenten studies.

Praying that your Lenten journey 
has places of encouragement and hope
 in these days of quarantine.

Monday, March 23, 2020

COVID 19 Prayers

It is certainly settling in these days-
long term and wide-sweeping.
We are beginning to understand that 
the future is not ever going to be quite the same.
We don't know exactly what that means just yet-
perhaps we are afraid to picture that now.
In all of this I have faltered in how to respond,
set my days,
and bring encourage to my family and friends.
When it sorts out at the end of the day- 
there is one thing I know.
Under stress-
 people resort to what they know best.
And it is stressful days right now-
 and the only thing that makes sense to me-
 is the tried and true.
My "go-to" rises to the top
 and as I reflect and look back
 at that last few days, I see a pattern.
The patter is prayer.
Day out and week in-
 that is just what makes sense to me.
The above prayer page is one 
that my friend Pat Maier
 created for Visual Faith Ministry.
It is where I am sitting 
and writing and noting
 and resting in these days.
 I share it with you right here:
Print and share.
Share and Share.
There are certainly plenty of us
 in need of places to gather in prayer
 in these very challenging COVID19 days.
Trust, rest, and live in His grace.
Be blessed!

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Worship into the Week- Living Water

Worship into the Week-
John 4: 1-26
Living Water

Jesus stops by Jacob's well in Sychar in Samaria.
A number of things get shifted culturally in this story.
Jesus talks to a woman.
Jesus talks to a woman in a rather private conversation.
Jesus treats this woman with the same regard
 he would one of the women 
who followed him and his ministry.
Jesus is all about turning protocol upside down.

We hear a bit more of her story 
and Jesus unveils a new direction for her life.
Things are changing in priority for her,
as truth is set before her as Living Water.
Then, she goes back home and tells-
The people convince Jesus
 to stay with them for 2 days-
Many believed as the result of her story sharing.
She was the light that brought the LIGHT to many.

Oh, that the Lord would find us 
sharing the Good News to those around us,
especially in these days of disquiet and unknown.
In you, O Lord, we place our trust,
and rest in your great love for us. Amen

Visual Church Year
Watercolor pencils
Junk mail
Magazine  cutouts
Fine-point Sharpie pen

Thursday, March 19, 2020

When you don't see the road ahead...

I have shared this prayer a number of times
 over the years and yet somehow - today....
it is so relevant.
I taped a paper copy to an inside cupboard
 in the kitchen perhaps 20 years ago.

I have read it a 1000 times.

Now this lovely version
 from my friend, Diane, rests on a window sill
 in the kitchen by the table 
where I spend a lot of time.
Gazing into the back yard
watching Spring explode,
time in prayer, 
and doing stuff on my computer.
Today as my eye settled on here once again-
 I breathed this prayer-
read every line.
Then shut my eyes and rested.
"I will not fear, 
for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me
 to face my perils alone."

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

St Patrick's Day and Covid 19

  St. Patrick's Day has somehow been overshadowed 
in all realms of the world today by Covid-19.
Somehow rivers dyed green and
Guinness festivities have melted
 into the backstory of the day. 
We are centered on schools closed, 
rising death tolls, and the calamity of
a rocky economy.
Western Christianity often addresses the zones
 of human concern in three levels.
The bottom level deals with factors
 in life that our senses can apprehend.
Here we follow recipes, prepare our taxes, 
mow the lawn, and a 1000 other things.
The top level deals with the ultimate issues
 in life that are beyond what our senses can perceive.
That might include our origins, purpose and destiny.
What melts into the middle level 
are the questions of uncertainty of the near future,
the crisis of present life, and the unknown of the past.
We live with known things 
but much of life is "unpredictable."
So, here we find ourselves today
 dealing with life in the middle level
 and all of the unknown. 
Yet, as Christians, we have the framework that 
transcends the ordinary
 and allows us to live in the extraordinary.
In melding the reality of where we are today,
 I offer the following prayer.
This is a part of the prayer of the community
 that supported the evangelism of St. Patrick
 in Ireland in mid 400 AD.
May this prayer bring a sense
 of comfort in days of unknown.
 Our Heavenly Father is KNOWN,
 and we are KNOWN by HIM.

I arise today through
God's strength to pilot me, God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me, God's eye to see before me,
God's ear to hear me, God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me, God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me, God's host to secure me – 
against snares of devils,
against temptations and vices,
against inclinations of nature,
against everyone who shall wish me
ill, afar and anear,
alone and in a crowd...

Christ, be with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left, 
Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit,
Christ where I arise, Christ in the heart
 of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me, 
Christ in every ear that hears me.
Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of the Christ.
May your salvation, O Lord, be ever with us.

(Thanks to LCMS District President Rev. Tony Steinbronn 
for some of the thought focus for today's blog post.)

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Worship into the Week- Everlasting

Worship into the Week--
John 3: 16-21
For God so Loved the World

Jesus is very specific:
the Light has come into the world,
and the people loved the darkness 
rather than the light-
"because their works were evil."
"But whoever does what is true 
come to the light so that it may be 
clearly seen that his works 
have been carried out in God."

God has a design of LOVE for the world-
it is Jesus- the light bringer.
The reward is everlasting life 
for those who walk in the light.

Visual Church Year Printable
Colored Pencils
Junk mail
Washi tape
Fine-point Sharpie pen

Friday, March 13, 2020

Isaiah is TWO

Mr. Isaiah is Two.
He had fun figuring out the gift opening thing.
 He got a bit distracted with a toy- here and there.
There was a big brother helper 
when needed.
Fun party decorations.
Mom made yummy cupcakes
 and pizza for all.
Looks like those cupcakes were pretty good.
Fun to rewatch the video of singing 
the Happy Birthday song.
We love you Mr. Isaiah-
your fun smile and happy heart.
May the Lord bless your new year!