Friday, November 13, 2015

What a Friend...Bible Journaling

"No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you..." John 15:15-16

I read a devotion about friendship recently (see it here). It talked in part how friendships can sometimes fall apart and how painful that can be. This just tugged at my heart as I have recently gone through the demise of a friendship I treasured so much. Yes, opening up yourself and loving people who are human, messy, and mortal, can hurt when they (and/or we) fail, sin, mess up, leave, die. It hurts - a lot. It's confusing, painful, sad. We can easily become fearful of loving and opening ourselves up to those kind of relationships where we make ourselves so vulnerable.  As I was reading and lamenting my own broken frienship (as well as loved ones I've lost through death), I found the words I needed. The words I needed were the ones found in my bible spoken by the ultimate and true friend - Jesus.
Jesus is faithful. Jesus is true. Jesus is love. Jesus calls me his friend. And when our earthly relationships don't work out as we had hoped, we just have to go hold Jesus' hand and walk with him for a bit. He is our friend. He is the friend that willingly laid down his life to give us eternal life. His love is so true and deep and strengthening that spending just a little bit of time with him fills up our tanks enough to step out again, let go of that fear, and love like he does (or at least keep trying).

As I look at these open pages in my Bible I am so grateful for how God has been pulling me in close. There are several entries on these two pages (many of you ask how you can do this). Using 1/2 pages or smaller areas to respond to the Word is one way. I love how the pulled out passages work so well together. Do you see it? Adding the acetate (clear plastic) insert (this one alread had the "together" printed on it and is from Simple Stories) just adds another dimension and reminder of God's close presence to us.

After journaling this message in my bible and looking through my camera to take a picture I saw peeking through my clear insert another message from my friend, Jesus. "Your sorrow will Turn to Joy" is the heading before John 16:16. Jesus takes any pain we feel - rejection, loss, grief - and turns it into joy. He's that big! He's that kind of friend!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Little Red Cup Doesn't Speak For Me - I Confess "Jesus Saves!"

There has been much dialogue lately over a red cup. My pastor published a short devotion and I journaled this page in response.
Romans 10:8-10 states: "The word is near you, in your mouth and in yoiur heart" (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if yoiu confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
It's not up to a secular business and a little red cup to declare Christ to the nations - it's US who confess with our mouths the faith held in our hearts. It is WE who are called to speak of Jesus and his saving grace!

(These are my pastor's words as he published on our church facebook page.)
“Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Romans 10:9-10). “I am outraged as a Christian I tell ya! Outraged!” It seems that for the last few days the word of choice has been – “outraged”. About what you ask? Coffee cups. Yep, plain ol’ coffee cups that are red. Can you feel the rage welling up inside? Are you seething yet? Starbucks cups are red because of the approaching season and that’s ok. Why get all bent out of shape about what is (or is not) printed on a cup. Their purpose is to serve customers regardless of the type of holiday they will celebrate in December. It is their business to sell you coffee and how they package their product has nothing to do with Jesus. They are a secular company, selling a product that is enjoyed by a variety of different people who may or may not share your religious views. When did it become the job of a secular company to share Jesus? Really, when did it become the responsibility of a coffee company to go out into the world and bring the light of Christ? This really got me to thinking about responsibility and confessing faith. As Christians it is our responsibility to share the hope, joy, promise, love, mercy and forgiveness of Jesus – not Starbucks. Paul points out to us that there is a connection between an expression of faith and what our hearts possess. The heart of Starbucks – profit. Your heart – faith in Christ. The mouth of Starbucks – enticement to buy more coffee. Your mouth – a confession of faith in Christ. To place the responsibility of the Gospel on a company with a heart for profit is not at all beneficial or acceptable. From their heart comes a confession of their faith – profit and market share. But from your heart and mouth comes a confession of faith in Jesus Christ and the salvation He won for you on the cross. The coming Christmas season will have all kinds of different messages ringing in our ears. Why add unnecessary noise about cup colors that will simply blot out a more important message? If you want to add to the conversation why not boldly and unashamedly confess Christ who humbled Himself to the point of death on a cross? Why not confess His resurrection from the dead and His ascension into heaven? Leave the secular corporations to their thing and the silly outrage to others while you confess what you believe in your heart….that Jesus saves!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Aw, Man...I Journaled That Page Already!

"You are surrounded! Come out with your hands up!" This was the sermon message from our pastor this weekend. It was based on Psalm 8 and I could hardly wait to journal in my bible with this Psalm and theme. When I opened my bible, I saw that the page was already completed by me - but that's no stopping how God wanted to get this message out, into my heart, and onto the pages of my bible. Even when a page has been "completed" this doesn't mean that you can't revisit your page, add to it, change it up, add a tip in or continue the lesson on another page.
This Psalm emphasizes how majestic our Lord is and how tiny we are in comparison to His great works. "...what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?" verse 4 asks. When we look at the majesty of God's creation, we can easily feel small. I had previously journaled this page after a visit to the mountains where I did feel tiny compared to the majesty of God's creation in which I found myself. Funny, but we just enjoyed another trip to the mountains on Saturday and then woke up Sunday to this Psalm and sermon. As I looked at my watercolor mountains in my Bible while I listened to the sermon, I immediately thought to put a little tiny figure on the side of the mountain with hands raised in praise. How can we look at the wonderous works around us and not come out with our hands up?
Even though we may feel small, we are assured throughout scripture that we are part of God's creation - a super special part! Later at home I decided to continue the mountain scene onto the next page of my bible and add the ideas and lessons from the sermon to that page. Not only are we surrounded by this great visual beauty, but our pastor talked about being completely surrounded by God's love and presence.  He walks with us through all of life's ups and downs. There is nowhere we can go to escape His love. WE ARE SURROUNDED! And how wondrous the thought!
To praise Him. To give thanks. To surrender yourself to Him. 
To receive the blessings He wants to shower you with.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Choose This Day! Bible Journaling

This past weekend my family was out and about and we attended a new (to us) LCMS church. It was warm and inviting and a wonderful worship experience. The pastor preached on Joshua 24 when Joshua pressed the Israelites to make an open declaration, with clear hearts and minds, about whom they serve. He challenged them, as the pastor did to us, to make a heart examination and get rid of any idols that may threaten to take God's place in our hearts. Journaling that text this morning, I emphasized verse 15 "choose this day" and found a perfect little stamp from Heidi Swapp "has my heart" to which I added the "who" and turned it into a question.  I love this page as it reminds me to daily examine my heart and daily place our God as priority #1 in my heart.  It's a daily, ongoing struggle, but God promises to give us grace for each day and strength for each battle.
So, who (or what) has your heart today?

He(art) Notes: I did prep my page a bit with matte gel medium, then added the watercolor background. My verse is hand-lettered with my micron pens. Heidi Swapp "has my heart" stamp and arrow stamp from Illustrated Faith, outlined in gold sharpie.

Here are some additional pages that I completed last week:

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Week of Bible Journaling - Wrap-Up!

I journaled a lot this week! Praising God for being an ever-present source of wisdom, comfort, inspiration, reflection!!!

Monday John 6 - acrylic paint, gold paint pen, stickers
Tuesday Galatians 5:16-25 - acrylic paint, colored pencil, micron pen, stickers, stamps
Wednesday Exodus 16 - colored pencil, micron pen, traced a Cricut die cut, alpha stickers
Thursday - Ephesians 1:7-8 - distress ink, micron pen, alpha stickers, washi tape
Friday 1 Corinthians 55:58 - acrylic paint, micron pen, white Signo pen, colored pencils

Saturday Luke 22 - tip-in card, stickers, washi tape

Monday, August 3, 2015

Bible Journaling Wrap Up

Here is some of my Bible art from the last couple of weeks. I love paging through my Bible to look at all the art, but find myself stopping to read the words, too. I also find that I am able to bring forth the verses I've worked on much easier in my mind. This Bible Journaling has helped sink God's Word into my heart and I am excited and grateful for that. 
Acts 17:28 watercolor, stickers, white pen

This is one of my favorites! Psalm 42 Watercolors, micron pen, stamp

2 Corinthians 5:17 Acrylic paints, stickers, micron pen

Mark 6:50-51 Boat Tip In/Page Flap - micron pen, water colors

inside of tip in - poem by Martin Luther

A little challenge for myself to draw this whale across the two pages of Jonah. Micron pen, watercolor pencils, white pen

Amos 5 acrylic paint and washi background; altered stamps, micron pen, gold sharpie

Sunday Sermon Bible Journaling - The Bread of Life

Sunday's gospel reading was from the book of John, Chapter 6.  
"Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life..." 6:27

"Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven,
but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven." 6:32

Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger,
and whoever believes in me shall never thirst." 6:35

Journaling supplies - acrylic paint, gold paint pen, tab and stars from Simple Stories "I Am" collection, letter stickers, micron pen.