Monday, May 7, 2018

Bible Journal - Matthew 5:16

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father.
Matthew 5:16

I really enjoyed my study of this verse.  In my study, I saw many references to the moon and sun.  The moon, especially, because the moon lights up the night sky.

We know that the moon itself, however, does not shine.  The moon gets it's light from the sun, hence it actually reflects the sun's light. As I reflected (no pun intended) on this, I had an aha! moment.  I cannot shine and show God's love to others on my own.  God gives me His light, and I must let it shine through my attitudes, words, and deeds.  Hence, when I do that, I am reflecting Jesus's love, compassion, and forgiveness.  

When I share His love with others, and let His spirit shine through me, God is glorified.  

I am a glorifier!

Lord, You are my light.  Help me to be a beacon of love, truth, hope for you by letting my light shine in a sometimes dark world.

For my Bible Journal page, I used Gansai Tambi watercolors for the picture.  For the actual journaling, I used a Micron .01 pen.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Psalm 51:10 Bible Journal

"Create in me a pure heart,
O God, and renew a steadfast
spirit within me."
 Psalm 51:10
I'm finally getting back to my 'Seeing The Scriptures' class.  Here is my page for Lesson four.....
I used Polychromos colored pencils on my page, with a Micron .01 pen for my lettering.

This is another of those Psalms which has been put to music, and which we sing in church!  I love when I come across one of those in my Bible.

In this Psalm of David, he describes forgiveness as a cleansing and purifying.  He seeks God's purging and purifying grace.  He realizes that the weight of his sins has kept him from living in the joy of the Lord.  

I drew the old, beaten-down, torn, bandaged, sin-laden heart in my page, with the sparkling clean and shiny new heart to remind me that God is always ready to renew my spirit and cleanse my heart.  I only need to ask, and to acknowledge that I have sinned, repent, and ask for forgiveness.  I cannot cleanse my own heart by doing good deeds, or by sacrifices or almsgiving.  It is God Himself, and only God, who creates a pure heart. 

By His grace, I can walk in the joy of the Lord, and let His light shine from within my being.  

When my heart is right, everything else will fall into place. 


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Bible Journal Psalm 23

Psalm 23 is a familiar and favorite scripture passage for many.   We sing verses from it in our hymns and songs at church.  We have heard sermons and homilies on it.  There are posters and mugs and plaques with the familiar poetic words everywhere.

Each time I read the words, I find a new insight.  Isn't that the exquisite beauty of reading the Bible?  Having it be new over and over again!  No wonder it's still the world's best selling book!
This time, the reading really spoke to me about how well God knows me.  He loves me in spite of myself!  He cares about me.  

....He calls me by my name!  The Lord is my shepherd. 

....He is aware of, and provides for, my needs.  I shall not want. 
....He provides rest when I am tired and stressed.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters.

....He soothes me when I am wearyHe restores my soul.
....He gently calls me back when I wander.  How patient He is with me!  He guides me along the right paths for His name's sake.

....When I am afraid, He calms me.  Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

....He gives me hope and abundance.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

....He promises to be with me always.  Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

I was contemplating how I wanted to journal this section in my Bible.  As I was leaving a meeting at church this week, I stopped by our secretary's office to say hello.  As we talked, I saw my answer.  There on a couch in her office were several little stuffed animal lambs and sheep.  Around each was a little tag with their names on the tag.  She had given each one of them a name based on the the 23rd Psalm!  I knew immediately that was what I would do for my page.  

I love that God is in the details! 



Monday, March 26, 2018

Many Seeds

"Very truly I tell you, 
unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground 
and dies, it remains a single seed. 
But if it dies, it produces many seeds." 
                                                      John 12:24
In my Bible journaling page today, I drew the wheat with the cross behind it, and the little sprouting wheat seed at the foot of the cross.  My intention was to create a visual reminder of the supreme sacrifice Jesus made for me; for us.  Jesus is the seed, the cross represents His death (the seed dies).  The sprouting seed at the foot of the cross represents the fruit resulting from the fallen seed's death, reaching deep into the ground, and opening to new life (resurrection) to produce many new seeds.  The stalk of wheat contains the many seeds (us).

In my study, I learned some interesting facts about wheat.  Two bushels of wheat seeds produce 40 to 50 bushels of yield!  One grain of wheat yields eight or more heads, with over 40 seeds per head.  That's 320 new seeds from just one seed!  Impressive. 

Jesus wants us, you and me, to die daily to our sinful nature, which will cause new life to spring up in us.  But, often, we want to cling to our old life, don't we?  That old life needs to be threshed and buried.  We cannot get life, and we cannot give life, without a little bit of dying.  Jesus gave up His very life in obedience to the Father.  But the last word, the Easter message, is not the suffering, but the resurrection!

When arrogance and pride dies, humility arises.
When selfishness dies, generosity of spirit arises.
When a judgemental and critical spirit dies, love and acceptance arise.

I want to bring honor and glory to God.  With God's grace, and the Holy Spirit's help, I can do that by my obedience to Him.  By dying to my way, daily, and going the way He leads. 

God bless!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

This Path I Walk

"But He knows the way that I take;
when He has tested me,
I will come forth as gold."
                  Job 23:10 

This verse really opened up for me as I studied it for my Art Classes Bible journaling homework this week

There are countless nuggets of wisdom in this chapter, and even in this verse.  I have taken two pages of notes and a brainstorming page map from it.  

Here, I would like to share just one of the lessons I took away from this verse.  

God tests those whom He loves.  He knows every little detail of the path of our lives.  He is aware of our past, where we are now, and where our future path will lead us.  He knows the trials we have endured, and have yet to endure.  He uses those trials to strengthen and guide us; to purify us.   Just as gold is heated in fire to make it pure, we shall come out purified when our trial is over.
Job did not walk away from God.  He walked toward God, with an attitude of trust.

I pray, as I walk the path life has for me, that I never lose sight of God.  When the way is difficult, may I know that He is there, walking with me.  And when the trial is over, may my life bring glory and honor to God.  May I be changed profoundly, to be better equipped to be a witness to His grace and mercy.

The Bible journaling page resulting from my study...

Be blessed!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Be Still, God's Got This!

"The Lord will fight for you;
you need only to be still."
   Exodus 14:14

This verse appears around the middle of Exodus 14.  The Israelites were terrified at the approaching Egyptians, and crying out to the Lord.  They were complaining to Moses, who was leading them out of Egypt.  They would rather have stayed in bondage and service to the Egyptians than risk dying in the desert trying to escape.

But Moses told them not to be afraid, that the Lord would deliver them.  He told them that the Egyptians they see today they will never see again.  "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."

You know the rest, the parting of the sea so the Israelites could pass through, then the closing of the path through the sea so the advancing Egyptians were engulfed, and the Israelites were saved.  The Israelites did not have to fight.  They just needed to be still, to trust in the Lord to fight for them.

As I dug deeper into this story, I began to think about my personal 'Egyptians.'  What am I a slave to?  The areas in my life where I cry out to God and complain.  The fears, doubts, issues, and times when I am afraid to take the steps God is asking me to take, and so remain hopelessly in bondage.   

'Be still,' God says.  Still: unruffled, calm, not moving, deep silence, fixed, stable, at rest, untroubled, tranquil. 

He will fight for me, he says.  Fight:  battle, go to war, deliverance, put to right what is unjust.  

And my favorite promise from this study; "The Egyptians you see today you will never see again."  That tells me that when God fights for us, he breaks the chains that hold us bound, and leads us through our fears.  We need only to be still.

I purpose today to give God my battles and let him fight for me.  I will rest in his grace and take comfort in his love for me.  

I have created a Bible journaling page for this verse....
Thank you for your kind comments and encouragement.  I always enjoy hearing from you.  

Be blessed,


Thursday, December 28, 2017

St. Francis of Assissi Prayer

 today is the feast day of St. Francis of Assissi

On my way to a staff meeting at church today, I was listening to a David Haas CD that I had recently purchased.   The St. Francis of Assissi prayer was just finishing up as I pulled into my parking spot, and I felt that glorious peace just filling me up.  Then Fr. John chose that prayer as the opening prayer today, and finally we finished with St. Francis' prayer yet one more time.  thinks God was trying to tell me something!

I call these times 'God-incidences.'

The line "to be understood as to understand" particularly resonates with me today.  I have been thinking about a particular person, and was feeling hurt that she doesn't understand, or seem to care to understand, how I feel about a certain situation.   I realize that I have not taken the time, or effort, to truly listen and understand how she feels, and her own particular set of circumstances, either.   I think I've got it now, God!  You don't have to hit me over the head...well, yes, I guess you do.  Thank you.

It reminds me of a blog post I had posted earlier last week.  I posted a picture of a card I had made, and the verse on the card said "God knows, and will comfort you."  Someone commented on my post, saying, "When I first read the verse on your lovely card, I thought it said 'God knows, and will confront you.' We got a chuckle out of that!   While God may not have literally hit me over the head, he sure got my attention this morning when he 'confronted' me.

What a loving, involved, and truly compassionate God we serve.  My choice to listen to that CD this morning, and Fr. John's choice to use St. Francis's prayers today....coincidence?  No, not at all....God is in the details!  

I invite you to read that prayer again today, perhaps before retiring tonight.  Really listen as God comforts and/or confronts you.

You Tube of Ryan Cayabyab singing Prayer of St. Francis