Saturday, February 27, 2021

A Tribute to Christine

Chris as a Navy nurse on a hospital ship in Vietnam.

My faith community 
lost a dear sister this week.
It was the earthly journey's end
 to a valiant fight with pancreatic cancer.
 We step back and sing muted 
Alleluias in this Lenten season,
and celebrate her eternity dance in heaven.
Somehow, I had missed the communication 
that she had moved into hospice
 at the beginning of 2021.
When I found out, there was a strong 
Spirit nudge to touch base with the Hohenstein family.
  I set up a visit bringing husband, John, with me.
I had created a prayer card 
 for Chris, husband, Hoppy, and son Ray.
When we arrived they were all there
 and her mother, Bobbi, also.
I struggled with choosing a verse.
  Then, I remembered my dad
saying that in the end the only thing
 is knowing that Jesus Loves Me.
Chris and Hoppy

When I served as the Director of Women's Ministry 
at our home church- Prince of Peace,
 I began a Soul-Tending book group that became
Faith Shapers. 
When I left that position, 
Chris took on the leadership (with others).
In our visit last week she mentioned
 that a meeting was coming up on Monday
 and she hadn't read the book yet.
 And... someone else would have to lead.
She always shared with me the importance
 of that life-changing pivot of what she read.
There was a deeper richness
 in her spiritual journey and it brought her joy.
Here is the list of many
 of the books Chris read since 2006.
Chris with son Ray and grandson.

Chris was animated in our conversation
 and shared that she was afraid of her last days ahead. 
John read a part of Psalm 139. 
Chris said she couldn't remember all of that... 
John told her the story of when 
he was young and afraid of the dark. 
 His parents would come in and give him
 the image of Jesus holding a lamb and he was that lamb.
Chris said she could cling to that image.
We prayed, did our best masked smile, 
and wished we could hug.
Chris and her dear granddaughter.

Chris joined in the events 
at my home called Creative Haven.
We experimented with story-telling, 
keep the faith projects.
Documenting the God Moments
 of our lives and His Faithfulness.
When Chris faced this latest health challenge,
 she had a strong desire to finish
 telling her story of Walking with the Lord.
In brief conversations I know that this
 became a real struggle.
  Her days were soon filled with 
just the things that needed to be,
 with little energy left for anything else.
When we last spoke of taking the time
 to write our faith story Chris said-
"tell others to do it NOW."
 I don't know how far she got in her quest, 
but I share the document she was using.
(It is great if you just fill out the form
 in this project and put this in your Bible.)
Chris was so dearly loved by all those
 in her circle of family and friends.
My treasured remembrance
 is a sister in faith with a teachable spirit, 
ready to help and encourage always.
The favorite stories we shared
 in these later months were the ones 
of the absolute delight of grandparenting,
 and covering them all with prayer.
When I got home from that visit
 I needed some time in His Word.
The image of Living Transformed 
so reminded me of Chris's journey. 
Chris remembered a conversation we had
 after my mother died in 2004.
My mom had shared that the greatest gift
 a parent gives their children is to:
 Be Faithful, Live Well and Die Well.
Yes, dear friend Chris ran the race with endurance-
 with a faith that could not be shaken.
May we be blessed to do likewise.
Praise be to our Heavenly Father.

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom 
that cannot be shaken, 
and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, 
with reverence and awe.
Hebrews 12:28

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Worship into the Week- Remain Steadfast


Worship into the Week
James 1:12-18
Testing of your Faith

James is bringing encouragement
 to the believers.
Steadfast is the word of the day.
firmly fixed in place
not subject to change
firm in belief, determination, adherence

There will be trials.
This past year of 2020 has been a trial. 
The sobering reality of 500,000 deaths
 in the United States this week has been a trial.
May the Lord grant us the strength
 and courage to be steadfast.
God has promised a crown of life 
for those who remain steadfast.
And God keeps His promises.

Visual Faith Ministry Printable
Worship into the Week packet
Magazine cutouts 
Victorian Die-cut


Friday, February 19, 2021

Worship into the Week- Rend your Hearts


Ash Wednesday

Gospel Reading Matthew 6:1-16- The Lord's Prayer

Old Testament Reading- Joel 2:12-19

Return to the Lord, Rend our Hearts.

God is abounding in steadfast love.

And we reflect on this beginning of Lent,

may we begin with a recommitment to:

 Pray Then Like This

as we pray the Lord's Prayer.


Visual Church Year Printable


Magazine Cutouts

Alpha Stickers 

Colored Pencils

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Worship into the Week--Light of the Knowledge


2 Corithinans 4:1-6

part of the Epistle Reading

 for Transfiguration Sunday.

The Light of the Gospel.

Do not lose heart in ministry.

So many things don't make sense,

 truths are veiled from the unbelievers.

Yet the followers of Jesus regimen a light.

 v. 6 For God, who said, 

"Let light shine out of darkness," 

has shone in our hearts to give the light 

of the knowledge of the glory of God

 in the face of Jesus Christ."

And THAT brings us HOPE!

Visual Faith Ministry Printable


 Magazine Cutouts

Colored Pencils

Canceled Stamps

Worship into the Week printables 

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Valentine's Day

 I do like Valentine's Day.
Heart Day.
The day after my birthday day.
Heart gatherings.
Vintage Valentines.
A collage for pieces and bits. 
A Valentine tree that still
 brings light to the dark days.
A tag project.

Some Valentine spoolies.
 Valentines from my grade school friends.

Vintage Valentines in a an old seed packet display.
A very favorite corner in our home.
This sweet family stopped by
 for a Valentine dinner 
and a bit of birthday cake from yesterday.
A blessed day to celebrate
turning 66, hearts, love and all things wonderful.
 What a gift.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Worship into the Week- To Share Blessings


1 Corinthians 9

Paul Surrenders His Rights


In today's world we hear so much about personal rights,

 loss of rights and personal choice.

There is the need to secure 

and defend individuality.

In this section of Scripture it is so evident that 

Paul would set aside his own agenda,

 needs and plans

 if that opened doors for him

 to share the Good News.

v.22 " To the weak I became weak,

 that I might win the weak.

 I have become all things to all people,

 that by all means I might save some. 

I do it all for the sake of the gospel, 

that I may share with them in its blessings."

Lord, let me look for and seek those

not LIKE ME, 

that I may share the Gospel. Amen


Visual Church Year


Washi Tape

Magazine Cutouts

Colored pencils

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Levi is Five

Levi is Five.

We had a ROAR of a party.

Most of the time he is a lion.

Levi was a master at opening gifts.

Isaiah was on the ready if any help was needed.

Youngest brother Jonah had the best time

with some paper crunchies.

A Roar Movie Ticket from 
Papa and Gigi.
Levi also has some cut out wood pieces
 in a kit to make a bird house.
A Lego City was a birthday gift
 and Levi was right on it.
This little guy has directions figured out
 and whips out creations with speed.
Many many blessings to this fine young man.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Spirit Nudges


I made a sweet friend in ministry days. 

She came to a Bible Journaling Retreat in November 2015.

She contacted me a few weeks later asking

 if we could set up a time to talk. We began a few calls,

she came to my house for a one day retreat. 

I went up to the church where she served in ministry.

I learned of her battle with cancer

 and was an encourager from afar.

This past November I woke up

 with a very strong "Spirit nudge" 

to pray specifically for her.

 I made her this prayer card and sent it.

I keep a copy of prayers 

to be able to continue the prayer.

Today we were working on some things 
with the Friends of Visual Faith Ministry on our website.
 Jessica and her Bible Girl Podcasts
 have been listed on our website.
As I clicked through on Jessica's site
 I came across her obituary.
I sat stunned and in disbelief.
I hadn't know her last days were so numbered.
I have thought about all the conversations
 I had hoped to have,
 the books we were to talk about yet.
I saw that a favorite author of mine
 had become hers- Ruth Haley Barton.
She had read the books I had suggested.

This sweet friend is dancing in heaven.
A woman of faith who loved Jesus
 and loved others.
  Once again, I am reminded 
that when I feel a
 "Spirit Nudge" for prayer, 
I MUST pay attention. 
Listen carefully....

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Worship into the Week- Known By God

Worship into the Week-

Food Offered to Idols

I Corinthians 8

It is hard to see where this verse fits 

into the whole chapter when you see it out of context.

Paul is addressing a number of things as he begins here -

 "Now Concerning..." like he did for 

  Chapter 7:1 and Chapter 7:25.

There were a number of issues in the early Corinthian church. 

Instead of talking first about food, 

he talks about Heart- the principles of knowledge and love. 

This is about Christian behavior and how we arrange our lives. 

Is our life founded on love or knowledge?

 Sometimes within the body of believers we get it mixed up.

Paul agrees here that idols don't really exist 

and only God is real. 

The challenge is that some of the "new-believers" are not convinced of that fact. 

They feel it is a violation to eat in the "restaurants" of the temple. Then they violate their conscience to eat "idol-food", 

and those who lead others become guilty as well. 

Paul continues to balance liberty and care

 in these letters to the believers.

How might this apply to us 

to not lead others astray today?

Let us make sure we lead 

with love rather than knowledge.

Because Love always builds up.


Visual Faith Printable


Colored Pencils

Worship into the Week resources

Magazine cutouts

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Scripture Doodles- January 2021


Scripture Doodles- January 2021
Devotions- Habits of the Heart
"Take-aways" and notations
 from a daily devotional reading.
Prayer notes and gatherings of the month.
Four colored pencils and fine-point Sharpie.
Moving into the new year 
with a simple plan for devotional journaling.
Calendar from Concordia Publishing House.
Oh, Give thanks to the Lord 
for His great mercy to each of us.