Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Be Still and Know His Purpose {100 Days of Bible Promises, Faith Art}

(Note: All of these 2-day spreads in this devotional book require a “click to enlarge” in order to see the pages.)

In the Illustrated Faith devotional book, 100 Days of Bible Promises, Days 4 and 5 are actually linked in my mind. Day 4 is “Be Still” and Day 5 is “Your Desires, God’s Purpose.”

Day 4 Before My Additions

100 Days Original Day 4

Day 4 With My Art Journaling

100 Days My Day 4

I have always thought this admonition from Scripture, to “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps 46:10), was directed to me. Well, of course it is. The entire Word of God is directed to me. But, some parts of it seem more targeted….like this passage.

I am too busy, rarely slow down, and REALLY need the reminder to “be still.” Sometimes I think I may miss seeing greatness in the moment because I’m so intent on moving forward.

This verse from 1 Samuel 12:16 is also appropriate:

100 Days My Day 4

One of the results of being still is that I might even be able to more clearly see God’s purpose for me.

Day 5 Before My Additions

100 Days Original Day 5

Day 5 With My Art Journaling

100 Days My Day 5

My favorite passage from Day 5:

“He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

I agree with the prayer at the end of Day 5:

100 Days My Day 5

#100DaysofBiblePromises #IllustratedFaith #BeStillandKnow #HisPurpose #mixedmedia #artjournaling #FaithArt

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

God’s Colorful Creation {Around Peaceful Acres}

We have so enjoyed watching the birds come to our feeders. Who knew? We should’ve put feeders out a long time ago!

The most colorful birds are the goldfinch, cardinals, male grosbeak, and several varieties of woodpeckers. But just last weekend, we were visited by indigo buntings and Baltimore orioles. They have become regular visitors the last few days, so it looks like they are going to stay.

We read that they sometimes the Baltimore orioles only pass through, but may be enticed to nest if oranges are out for them to eat. They are stunning.

“Male and female created He them.”

We also have a young raccoon who has visited a couple of times. He hasn’t learned yet that he is not supposed to come out during the day. The seeds that have fallen to the ground are just too tempting.

I hope to soon capture some good photos of the remarkable indigo bunting and the beautiful male grosbeak.

#PeacefulAcres #BeautifulBirds #ColorfulCreation #MOWildlife

Monday, May 7, 2018

First Camping This Season {RV’ing}

This year it seemed that spring was never going to get here. The calendar date “First Day of Spring” really doesn’t have meaning for me. Spring is here when it is warm enough to un-winterize the RV and go camping (without freezing to death—cold and fun are mutually exclusive for me).

04-30 thru 05-02-2018 Camping at CR (1)

04-30 thru 05-02-2018 Camping at CR (2)

We often like to camp nearby. When we want to take a “road trip” in the RV, that’s a different story. But camping is fun for us if we don’t have to drive forever to reach the destination. Besides, a beautiful state park is only a 30-minute drive from us: Cuivre River State Park.

Since we are retired, we can go during the week and have most of the place to ourselves, this time of year.

04-30 thru 05-02-2018 Camping at CR (4)

04-30 thru 05-02-2018 Camping at CR (3)

04-30 thru 05-02-2018 Camping at CR (5)

04-30 thru 05-02-2018 Camping at CR (6)

04-30 thru 05-02-2018 Camping at CR (11)

04-30 thru 05-02-2018 Camping at CR (12)

Since I enjoy “rock painting” myself, it was kind of fun to find a painted stone “hidden” by the restroom close to our camper.

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I found the group on Facebook (#islastones), joined the group and posted my pictures (they ask that you post a picture of yourself with the rock).

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It was interesting to learn that the group is an international group, originating in the UK, and is in honor of a little girl (Isla) who has a terminal disease. Apparently it makes her happy to see rocks with her hashtag, all over the world actually.

After I posted, the owner/creator of this particular rock responded (local gal). I re-hid the rock in the park.

It was absolutely beautiful weather until the third night, during which we had a severe thunderstorm. No harm done, but it did make “breaking camp” the next morning a bit less fun (who likes putting away wet stuff?).

We did a lot of walking and a lot of relaxing and a lot of cooking and eating.

04-30 thru 05-02-2018 Camping at CR (9)

#RVing #CuivreRiverStatePark #ThorCompass #CookingandEating

Friday, April 27, 2018

Not too Hard for God {100 Days of Bible Promises, Faith Art}

Eventually I will not devote an entire blog post to each day of work in my 100 Days of Bible Promises Devotional Journal.

But for now…although it only takes a very few minutes of my time, this is a huge positive in each of my days, so “it’s kind of a big deal” (to me)…

and since it’s MY blog… (LOL)…

Day 3 Before the Art

100 Days Original Day 3

And My Day 3

100 Days My Day 3

I love what Shanna Noel says in the introductory paragraph here:

“Rest in His care, trust in His provision, and look with anticipation at how He will come through for you—because He will.”

My favorite of the focal verses in this layout is this one:

“Jesus looked at [the disciples] and said, ‘With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.’” Mark 10:27 ESV

100 Days My Day 3

The closing prayer reflects my desire:

“I surrender my cares to you now.”

#100DaysofBiblePromises #Illustrated Faith #FaithArt #mixedmedia #devotionalartjournal #nothingisimpossiblewithGod

Thursday, April 26, 2018

No Fear {100 Days of Bible Promises, Faith Art}

This is the 2-page spread for Day 2 in the Devotional book 100 Days of Bible Promises. by Shanna Noel.

100 Days Original Day 2

This is how I developed the page:

100 Days My Day 2

I can tell that I am going to enjoy these 100 days of devotional studies. They are based on promises in the Bible, and they are not new to me. Because they are familiar promises, I tend to take them for granted.

So this will be a good exercise for me, doing mixed media on the two pages where the Bible passages and prayer prompt remind me of what has been promised to me as God’s child.

For me, I don’t often think of myself as “afraid.” But one study I completed recently used the word “fear” interchangeably with the word “worry” or the word “anxiety.” NOW, that’s a reminder I need, on a daily basis.

Of the four passages presented on these two pages, my favorite is Isaiah 41:10 (NIV): “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

100 Days My Day 2

#100DaysofBiblePromises #IllustratedFaith #mixedmedia #FaithArt #DoNotBeAfraid #NoFear

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

100 Days of Bible Promises {100 Days of Bible Promises, Faith Art}

So, I’m still in the middle of studying Whispers of Rest by Bonnie Gray. That involves reading a devotional for the day and journaling about it.

I also continue with my Bible Art Journaling as I am motivated to illustrate a passage.

I am caught up with my 2018 Scrapbook and ready to start the Baby Scrapbook Album that I am doing with pictures of our new great-grandson (using Creative Memories new blue scrapbook for baby boy).

Great time to add another project: I’m excited about the 100 Days of Bible Promises devotional book by Shanna Noel, the lady who, to my knowledge, started the craze of Bible Art Journaling.

It is her Facebook group, Bible Journaling Community/Illustrated Faith, that I helped to moderate for a time. She now has a full line of products (Illustrated Faith), available through Dayspring and several other retail stores.

This latest book is right down my alley, as it encourages the use of mixed media to illustrate each two-page spread of the 100 Days of devotionals.

These are some of the products I will be using (most from Dayspring):

100 Days of Bible Promises Ready to Go

Be it known (as my mother would say), I already own TONS of supplies for mixed media art, which is one reason I’m excited about this project.

I have skimmed through the book, and I can see that it is jam-packed with great topical devotional thoughts, with Bible verses and prayers on each two-page spread.

Here is Day 1 before I added to it:

100 Days Original Day 1

And here is Day 1 with my additions:

100 Days My Day 1

You get the idea. Takes very little time (especially since I have all my supplies now organized in an Ikea cart).

So, this is my latest way to combine my hobby-art with studying the Word. Win-win for me. Love it.

#God’sGrace #IllustratedFaith #FaithArt #mixedmedia #100DaysofBiblePromises

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

He Never Changes {Bible Art Journaling, HeartStrings}

Bible Art - Ps 117

Today’s Proverbs 31 Devotional, as is often the case, was for me.

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Tracie Miles shared this:

I’ve always heard that the only thing guaranteed in life is change, and we all know that to be true. But that doesn’t make dealing with unwanted or difficult changes or new seasons of life any less trying.

But instead of surrendering to pouting, I intentionally dedicated myself to praying and positive thinking, reminding myself daily that although life changes, God’s faithfulness never does.

Psalm 37:3 reminds us of this when the writer says, “Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.”

When we dwell on God’s faithfulness and let it nourish our hearts, our faith and trust in Him grows. When we focus on doing good things, our thoughts won’t stay parked on the changes we don’t like.

Instead of allowing our minds to wish things were like they used to be or feeling discouraged or upset over a hard season of life, we can place our trust in Him and live with peace and joy, not stress and distress.

Psalm 37:4 then says, “Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.”

Being delighted with God means our hearts find peace and fulfillment in Him, regardless of our season of life or the changes we’re facing. When we look back to see how He has been faithful and trustworthy in the past, which delights us, we can better trust He will be faithful now and in the future, too.

God has divinely allowed every season of our life with His sovereign wisdom, and those seasons may include some type of hard change.

We can fight change, or we can trust God has a plan and purpose for it and allow our trust in His faithfulness to be the foundation for joyful living.

If you change the way you think about change, the way you’re looking at that change just might change.

Lord, change is hard. I don’t always ask for it, much less like it. Please help me focus on Your past faithfulness so I can strengthen my trust in You for future faithfulness and embrace whatever lies ahead — changes and all. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (NLT)

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Bible Art - Ps 117

Psalm 117:2, “The truth of the Lord endures forever.” Hallelujah!

#BibleArtJournaling #IllustratedFaith #GodNeverChanges #HisFaithfulnessEnduresForever #WatercolorinmyBible

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Loving Like Jesus {GraceNotes}

Ann Voskamp is one of my favorite writers. She writes with a style that is totally opposite my own. Her unique style gets my attention every time. I am always inspired when I read her works.

Today Ann’s blog welcomes a guest author, Lisa Bevere, and what Lisa shares is transformative, so I am sharing it here.

This is what Ann has to say about Lisa:

“This woman is undeniably anointed and the power of God ignites her words.

“Lisa Bevere is the New York Times bestselling author of Without Rival, an internationally known speaker, and the cofounder of Messenger International. The story she shares here with our little community is from her newest book Adamant: Finding Truth in a Universe of Opinions.

“She writes with both personal candor and biblical clarity, showing us how we can love like Jesus in a world of confusion and compromise.”

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Here is today’s post from Lisa, shared on Ann’s blog. It is very touching and contains lessons I hope to be able to put into practice.

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To say that my mother and I had relational challenges is an understatement of grand proportions.

As far back as I can remember, there was an undercurrent of tension between us.

Over the last ten years, whenever I called her, the conversation would quickly escalate to a misunderstanding of some sort. Perhaps you can relate. And yet even now I am hard-pressed to even remember the harsh words that passed between us.

What I remember most are the words I didn’t say.

I wish I’d been more intentional to show and tell her I loved her when I had the chance.

When it came to expressing love, my mother and I spoke languages as different as Italian and English. Sadly, I refused to become bilingual until much too late.

Yes, near the end, in the last month of her life, I said all the things I wished I had said all along. I told her I loved her. I asked her to forgive me for any and every grievance, large or small.

As I held onto her frail frame, tethered to the hospital bed by tubes and wires, she leaned into my ear and graciously whispered my reprieve.

That’s when the levee broke. We both cried, overwhelmed by the knowledge we had so little time to live this love out this side of eternity.

Less than a month later she was gone.

I’m glad I have the promise of eternity—it softened the blow of this reality.

But even so, regret can be a hard taskmaster.

I’ve often responded to its accusations and remorse by either making excuses or casting blame.

But over the years I’ve learned to handle it with a different approach: owning my mistakes. Though at first, it proves the more painful option, I can promise you it saves so much unnecessary hurt in the long run.

The truth is I should have loved my mother better sooner. I was in the stronger position to love her well, and I didn’t.

While I can’t change the past, I am left with clear choices going forward. I can feel bad and the sadness will stay with me, or I can flip my mistakes into lessons for others.

You see, once you own a mistake, it no longer owns you.

God is a redeemer, and His redemptive nature extends into the deep caverns of our regrets and failures. When we bring our failures and regrets into the light, we find God’s redemptive love brings something beautiful out of the ashes.

Please allow my mistakes to be your instructor and love well while you can.

Be kind while it is in your power.

Be generous in word and deed.

Look beyond the actions and search for God’s heart in the matter.

Have the hard talks. Extend olive branches. Reconcile. Own your part even if they refuse to own theirs.

You will never regret kind words, warmth, or acts of generosity—but you will regret the love you never gave.

Love well, and you will live well—for love is our agent of transformation. Our heavenly Father, who is adamant in His love for us, is likewise adamant that we love one another.

As followers of Christ, we do not have the option of not loving them. Loving one another is not merely a biblical suggestion. Jesus tells us, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12).

The last five words are the challenge for me: “…as I have loved you.”

Jesus is our pattern.

How different it all would have been if I had loved as Jesus loves me.

Love how Jesus loves you. This may seem a bit abstract at times. It is hard to find specific Bible examples for our daily journey. Here is what I have learned: We won’t go too far wrong if we love others the way we wish we’d been loved.

We are not limited to how well our parents loved us, or anyone else, for that matter.

This is good news. At the end of the day, others are not our example of how to love. Jesus is. And His example is available for all to follow.

Beloved, we are those who have received God’s adamant, unwavering, steadfast love.

Aren’t you so glad He didn’t wait until we deserved it, but rather, freely lavished His affection on us?

Now, dear one, with the same hands that have freely received this love, may we follow the pattern of Jesus and freely extend it to a world in need.

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I have ordered the book. I think it will be good for me to read it.

#LoveLikeJesus #GraceNotes #AnnVoskamp #LisaBevere #NoRegrets #TimePasses

Monday, April 16, 2018

Mightier than the Waves {Bible Art Journaling}

Bible Art-Ps 93-4-Mightier than the Waves

Sometimes I need to be reminded. Even though I’m so small, even though I’m so weak, I have within me, through the presence of the Holy Spirit, the availability of the power of my Almighty God.

Psalm 93 (KJV)

The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved.

2 Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.

3 The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves.

4 The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.

5 Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, for ever.

Bible Art-Ps 93-4-Mightier than the Waves

I should not feel small and insignificant.

God has created me for a purpose, and in my weakness, His strength is made perfect.

What a mighty God we serve!

#BibleArtJournaling #FaithArt #ScriptureArt #MightyGod #WaterColorinMyBible #StrengthofGod #HisStrengthisPerfect

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

“Whispers of Rest” {Bible Study}

A couple of days ago I started a new Bible Study called Whispers of Rest, based on a book by Bonnie Gray.

I had previously read her book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace, and loved it, so when I learned about her new book, whose subtitle is “40 Days of God’s Love to Revitalize Your Soul,” I was ready to buy the book and delve in!

Whispers of Rest

So far I am loving the study. As I’ve written about before, I adore the word “rest.” At this particular point in my life--a season of being exhausted emotionally, spiritually, physically, and mentally--I’m especially drawn to the thought of rest.

For those interested in more than just the book, there are videos, a Facebook group (book club) and other bonus materials.

For me, I’m not on Facebook now (whew) and am totally enjoying just the book, my journal, and me (and coffee!).

New study Whispers of Rest

In the introduction, Bonnie says, “You will find your voice, rediscover your dreams, and find your spark of joy again…You know, that glow inside you when you feel utterly safe, special, and known—that makes you feel alive, that all is right in the world—that you are right in the world?”

Yeah, that’s for me.

The introduction calls attention to one of my favorite verses:

draw near

Today, here in my corner of Missouri, we had the first warm, sunny day in a long time. My husband and I took a walk—outdoors! Yay!

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It felt peaceful and rejuvenating to be outside without a coat, and to soak up the sunshine, therapeutic in itself!

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I am looking forward to this study. Looking at the title of Part One, “Embrace Your True Identity as God’s Beloved”—even the title sounds inviting. I need the reminder.

Loving the idea of hearing from God, some Whispers of Rest for my soul.

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#BibleStudy #BonnieGray #WhispersofRest

Monday, April 9, 2018

Freedom from Social Media {Heartstrings}

I run in the path

To each her own.

Lately I have been burdened and convicted about the role of social media in my life. I was on Twitter mainly to follow a couple of people. On Facebook, I mainly followed a few family members, and I was in several “groups” (Bible Art Journaling, Planner Groups, etc.).

But Facebook became more and more “demanding” (it was my call of course, but it “felt” demanding).

Then I read articles on how Facebook actually programs people to become addicted to it. People are programmed to crave/live for the positive affirmation that is a result of posting.

The addictive power was intentional, in the developers.

But there is more to it than that, in my conclusions about the negative effect of Facebook. There are actually several issues, not all of which I mention here.

Fresh on my mind is the fact that I watched first-hand as Facebook algorithms (their functionality) literally caused a ministry leader to appear to change personality and go off the rails, negatively affecting her ministry organization. (Of course, it’s a personal choice as to how much importance to attach to Facebook numbers, but it’s not good when it appears that Facebook numbers are more important than people.)

Those observations, as well as other factors, all added up to make me realize that the downside, for me, of using Facebook FAR outweighs the upside.

So, last night, I deactivated my Facebook account, Facebook Messenger, and my Twitter account. I will continue to use Pinterest and Instagram, because to this point, those are inspirational to me (I’m careful about who I follow).

Result, for me: Freedom.

Today I feel so free. No constantly checking my phone to look at Facebook. And why did I do that anyway? I was rarely posting, so I wasn’t looking for feedback. I follow very few people, and most of them do not post constantly. It was a habit. I needed to pick up my phone. And when I picked it up, I needed something to look at.

Then, after being on Facebook, I would notice that my mood would be affected by what I had seen as I scrolled through Facebook.

I have never liked being manipulated.

I’m in charge of me. I’m in control of what I allow to influence my daily mood and my thought processes.

where the spirit of the Lord is

“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Cor 3:17)

FOR ME, the Spirit of the Lord is NOT on Facebook or Twitter.

My decision is mine. I make no judgment about the millions who disagree with me!

But I’m feeling pretty great today (frankly)!

#deleteFacebook #deleteTwitter #freedominChrist #mychoice #noteveryoneisnegativelyaffected