Thursday, December 31, 2015

Paper Collage Periscope Tutorial- Part 1

Mini Bible Journaling Periscope Giveaway!

Mini Bible Journaling Grab Bag Giveaway!

Thanks for welcoming me on periscope!  I thought it would be fun to give away a couple little grab bags with some scrappy bits, a bookmark, AND a mini bottle of Silly Bee's Polish!

Enter to win!

Giveaway ends Friday night.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Get set!

As promised, this is the materials list for next week's periscope tutorials.  I encourage you to shop your stash first- you will likely have most of the items already. You may want to make a trip to the craft store to grab some scrapbook paper.

  • Scrapbook paper-
    • 2-3 sheets of a floral print
    • 2-3 sheets of coordinating paper of a light color (pale yellow, light blue, pastel pink, etc.)
  • Notebook paper or graph paper- just a few pages, you can tear them right out of your spiral :)
  • White acrylic paint- any craft acrylic will do
  • Watercolor pencils
  • A few different coordinating washi tapes- I used black and white stripes, a gold stripe, and black glitter.'
  • Black pen (I use Sakura Micron and Prismacolor Premier Pens, both you can purchase in sets or individually.
  • Fine paintbrush 
Extra stuff:
  • Paper towels or facial cotton pads 
  • A little dish of water
  • Scissors
  • A sheet of plastic to place between pages
  • Glue- preferably Aleen's Tacky Glue
  • Your fingers- this is a little messy!
See you next week!  Can't wait!

Here are some examples of floral prints just perfect for this project:

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Get Ready!

Hello, creatives!

I'm planning on broadcasting the tutorials for this layout next week on periscope while I'm on Christmas vacation- date and time tbd. I'll be recreating this design style on the back inside cover end papers, but don't feel that you need to have a journaling Bible to participate. You can work in a hymnal, a blank journal, or even on a separate piece of card stock to hang on your gallery wall!

The tutorials will be in two parts. One for the background and one for the embellishments and both will be uploaded to my blog afterward.  The materials list will be posted in a few days if you'd like to follow along and create with me!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

But God!- Bible Journaling

After I made my super cute tassel of many colors, I thought, Right.  I can’t exactly just tuck it in my Bible and say, “Yay, me!”  So, I went back to Genesis to see what I can learn as an adult from the “children’s story” of the coat of many colors.  What I gleaned was this:

Genesis 50:20 NIV
20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

It immediately made me think of the Bible.  The Bible can be twisted around to try to do evil, but God intended it for good and his plan reigns.  People may think we are silly for journaling and “coloring” in our Bibles, but the Word was intended for good and no one can take away our dedication to it.  Everyone has a different way of expressing themselves as they study (remember creativity!) and we should all appreciate what others bravely, joyfully and kindly share with us here even if it’s not quite how ourselves would do it.

God intended the Word for good!  Don’t let anyone take that away from you.  

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

This is my Bible

Wow!  I created this scripture art for my journaling Bible and didn't think anyone would really notice it when I uploaded it to the Facebook group, Journaling Bible Community.  Then, I saw another Bible journaler share her own version in the group about a week later!  In her post, she explained that she saw it on Pinterest but wasn't sure of the source.  I told her that it was shared in the same group.  Crazy, right?

Because Pinterest tends to send people on wild goose chases for sources, I thought I would make it easy for others to find the original artwork. So, here it is! Feel free to incorporate it into your own Bible journaling.

I am so thrilled that This is my Bible has inspired so many fellow journalers and I'm honored that it has found homes in their Bibles.  It's such a joy to see all the various interpretations!  I would absolutely love if you would share your own versions of This is my Bible by uploading a picture to my Facebook page, The Nest - Silly Bee's Chickadees.

Please do not download the original artwork and post it on social media. Instead, link a thumbnail of the image to this post. Thank you!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Rooted and Grounded- Bible Journaling

Some plants have very shallow roots and they grow horizontally just underneath the soil. Others go deep down into the soil and create a strong support system. The shallow roots can be easily pulled out of the soil, but the deeper roots are supported by the soil even more and are difficult to remove. The soil provides vital food for the plants and the stronger they grow, the more fruit they bear and for some, the greater the shade they provide for others. 

Like plants, we can use the soil to grow deep roots into God's love. When we are grounded in faith, God is able to use us as vessels to bless others more and more. 

I have absolutely no green thumb, so alone, I am weak! Praise God for his grace-filled soil!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Plain and Simple- Bible journaling

It's all about the process, right? This one took 4 hours. Seriously, 4 hours. I worked on it all afternoon at work-- it was a slowwww day. The journaling started in my brain with a magnificently beautiful combination of fonts and swooshes, embellishments and leaves. I sketched the whole thing out in pencil and transferred it to my bible where I outlined it with a 005 Micron like I usually do. When I was finished, I just stared at it and well, it just didn't work. Perfect. Now I have to figure out how to cover it up.

I pulled out a couple pieces of scrapbooking paper and wrote the scripture on them-- changing the fonts and swirls ever so slightly. I tucked it into my Bible and waited for something magical to happen. But, it didn't. It just didn't work.

I decided it would be so clever of me to make a little seed pocket out of a brown paper bag. I trimmed and folded and even scalloped the top edge to make it look like a real seed packet. I placed it over the yucky lettering and it just stared back at me. It just didn't work. So, I tried to keep the seed packet idea by creating a fold-over card out of a vintage seed packet graphic. I thought I would write the verse in the inside of the card and glue it over the yucky lettering. Before I glued it in, I looked at it again and yeah, it didn't work.

At that point, I was minutes away from cutting the margin right off the page. Then, I shut my Bible and stopped. I decided to deal with it when I got home. Around this time, God spoke to me. It was if he was saying, "You are totally missing the point." You only need faith the size of a mustard seed. Nothing fancy, nothing extraordinary, nothing impressive. Just the tiniest of seeds. That's all you need. So, this is where I ended up. I carefully trimmed one of the blank pages from the back of the Bible, folded it in half and glued it together, then glued it over the original design.

Better. Simple, plain and modest. I like it!

Star Gazing- Bible journaling

Sunday, October 4, 2015

You are Mine- Bible journaling

What I love about this verse is that it's something you hear a loving parent say. First, they may tell you not to do something, then they explain why so you will learn, then they tell you why it's important so you will understand. It's all in love. 

"Don't jump on the bed. You could hurt yourself. If you did, I would be very sad because I love you very much." 

Of course, that's an over-simplification, but it just shows us how precious we are to God.

Most importantly, He says, "You are mine." That's it. "Fear not. You are mine."

Friday, September 25, 2015

I can do all things- Bible journaling

Hello! I want to share my first Bible journaling entry. I'm dipping my toes into journaling right now and sticking to the margins. I may venture out, but I think I will always want to keep the scripture legible.
It's pretty much my battle cry. Whenever I think I'm physically spent, I chant Philippians 4:13. It started when I was a senior in high school and went on the Wilderness trip with Young Life. It was an arduous trek, but I just said the verse over and over in my mind as I quietly hiked in the middle of the group. I was about 95 lbs. of pure determination. I was not going to be the one to slow the group down and I refused to complain because everyone was on the same trail. I was like the Little Engine that Could.

Last year I foolishly thought I could hike up a volcano side in Costa Rica (I was in no shape to do so), but I huffed and puffed the whole way, taking breaks when I needed to, and lived to see God's gorgeous rainforest and waterfalls beneath.

The drawing looks just like my hiking boots, which just happened to fall apart in Peru and I had to toss them there.

So, in Christ I am strong and victorious, but without Him, I probably would have concentrated on the pain and been paralyzed with fear. Praise God!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Living Tableau- Discernment

Proverbs 3:1-26
1 My child, never forget the things I have taught you.
Store my commands in your heart.
2 If you do this, you will live many years,
and your life will be satisfying.
3 Never let loyalty and kindness leave you!
Tie them around your neck as a reminder.
Write them deep within your heart.
4 Then you will find favor with both God and people,
and you will earn a good reputation.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
6 Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.
7 Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.
Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
8 Then you will have healing for your body
and strength for your bones.
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth
and with the best part of everything you produce.
10 Then he will fill your barns with grain,
and your vats will overflow with good wine.
11 My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline,
and don’t be upset when he corrects you.
12 For the Lord corrects those he loves,
just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.
13 Joyful is the person who finds wisdom,
the one who gains understanding.
14 For wisdom is more profitable than silver,
and her wages are better than gold.
15 Wisdom is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 She offers you long life in her right hand,
and riches and honor in her left.
17 She will guide you down delightful paths;
all her ways are satisfying.
18 Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her;
happy are those who hold her tightly.
19 By wisdom the Lord founded the earth;
by understanding he created the heavens.
20 By his knowledge the deep fountains of the earth burst forth,
and the dew settles beneath the night sky.
21 My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment.
Hang on to them,
22 for they will refresh your soul.
They are like jewels on a necklace.
23 They keep you safe on your way,
and your feet will not stumble.
24 You can go to bed without fear;
you will lie down and sleep soundly.
25 You need not be afraid of sudden disaster
or the destruction that comes upon the wicked,
26 for the Lord is your security.
He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.

Pastor’s Notes

Discernment gives us the ability to recognize and rejoice in the voice of the Lord. It opens us up to listen to and recognize the voice and patterns of God’s direction in our lives.

Biblical discernment involves more than good judgment, open doors and decision-making skills. Right discernment arises out of a relationship with God in prayer. It is founded on the reality of the Holy Spirit’s presence within us. Jesus makes it clear that the Holy Spirit is our counselor and guide into God’s will and ways.

The Holy Spirit can be counted on to: 1) assure us of God’s love, 2) convict us of sin, 3) lead us into truth, 4) bring glory to God, and 5) nurture the fruit of the Spirit.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Bible Journaling with Melly

I have a new love- Bible journaling! I was bouncing around on Pinterest and kept seeing these beautifully illustrated pages in people's Bibles and I knew it was for me! It has really changed the way I read the Bible. I am more invested in making connections with the Word creatively and more personally. It has really brought the scriptures to life for me!

If you are interested in getting deep in the Word and want to express your faith in art or just love to take notes in your Bible, you must try Bible journaling!  There are a bunch of resources out there from free designs you can trace right into your Bible and color, to videos of different journaling techniques. I would definitely start with a great blog called Illustrated Faith. Shanna Noelle and her team have tons of ideas on incorporating art into your Bible study.

Another great online resource is Stephanie Ackerman's Documented Faith.  I just love her style and bright use of colors. She also has lists of her favorite tools and you'll find lots of great ideas in her "doodles" section.

Right now, I'm just using a couple really old sets of watercolor pencils-- a Kimberly 12-pencil set and a 24-pencil Derwent set--  and my favorite pens- Micron pens by Sakura. My watercolor pencils are like twenty years old. I'm excited to get use out of them!

I have both the double-column and the single-column versions of the ESV Journaling Bible by Crossway which you can easily find on their website, Barnes & Noble and Aside from the cream-colored pages, they are just perfect for journaling. The only thing you have to be aware of is the amount of water you use with watercolors and the kind of pens/markers you use. The pages are a bit thicker than your old trusty Bible, but not by a lot.

I think the best way to start is to pick a favorite verse that has a strong visual you can sink your colors into. Once you are comfortable coloring or lettering in your Bible, you may want to follow along with a Bible study or with your sermon notes. Some people stay in the margins and incorporate stickers in their notes. Other people use acrylics and stencils and all sorts of mediums and cover entire pages. There is no right way to journal in your Bible, just do what you feel led to do. Keep your heart fixed on God and your eyes fixed on the Word and you will be blessed!

Happy journaling!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Living Tableau- Repentance

Jeremiah 6:16
16 This is what the Lord says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls. But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want!’

Pastor’s Notes

You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free. We need to stand free and know what true freedom is. Life is full of many choices and there is a sure path we can take. We all have to make decisions in various areas of life on a daily basis. Unfortunately, there are those things in this life that appear as one thing when they are actually something totally different. The truth about something can determine whether we make the right choices in life. Truth is not something that is relative to one situation and then changes to fit another situation. It is constant and unchanging. Having a working knowledge of Truth will help you make the right decisions in your life.

When we make the wrong decisions, repent and ask for forgiveness. God is faithful and just to forgive us of all of our sins and all unrighteousness.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Living Tableau- Examen

Philippians 1:9-10

9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ

Pastor’s Notes

Finding direction for our lives can be accomplished through the practice of examen (also known as the “examination of consciousness”). The examen provides a way of noticing where God shows up in our day. It is a practice that attends to what we might otherwise miss in the press of duties and busyness.

The questions of the examen open our attention to how God’s internal movement is present in our external comings and goings. They lead us to listen deeply to the data of our lives. These questions help us pay attention to our mental state, our body responses and our emotional baggage. Our insomnia, nervous stomach, difficult interaction and headache can all take their place as a possible way of more deeply leaning into God. The examen helps us recognize the things that bring us death and life. Once these things are known, they become part of our ongoing interaction with God in prayer.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Living Tableau- Faith, Hope & Love

Matthew 22:37-39 
37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself."

Pastor’s Notes

Jesus said that if we truly love God and our neighbors, we will naturally keep the commandments. This is looking at God’s laws positively, rather than worrying about all we should not do. We should concentrate on what we can do to show our love to God and humankind.

Faith is believing that God’s Word is true. Hope is the evidence of things not seen; therefore, we trust that God’s Word will come alive in each of our lives to lead, guide and direct us as we place our trust in Him. Love is the greatest of all. We practice loving others and treat others the way we want to be treated. Love sees the best in everyone and does not judge. God’s way is the only perfect way.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Living Tableau- Hope

Hebrews 6: 9 – 12 (NKJV)

9 But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. 10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of [a] love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Pastor’s Notes

It is easy to get discouraged, thinking God has forgotten us. God never forgets or overlooks our hard work that we put forth for Him. Presently, you may not be receiving rewards and acclaim, but God knows our efforts of love and ministry. Let God’s love for us and His intimate knowledge of our service with Him bolster us as we face disappointment and rejection here on earth.

Hope keeps the Christian from becoming lazy or feeling bored. If we follow the example of an athlete, we will train hard and run well, remembering the reward that lies ahead.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Living Tableau- Forgiveness

Psalm 32
1 Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! 2 Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! 3 When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. 4 Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Interlude
5 Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Interlude
6 Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment. 7 For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. Interlude
8 The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. 9 Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”
10 Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord. 11 So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!

Pastor’s Notes

Confession of sins is an important measure that grants forgiveness from God for the sins we have committed. Confession to others for wrong that may have been done to them is seeking forgiveness. When one has wronged another, one should ask for forgiveness from the person that has been wronged.

David expresses the joy of forgiveness. God had forgiven him of many, many sins. Repentance became imperative to David and should be for us, as well. God wants to forgive sinners. Forgiveness has always been a part of God’s loving nature.

Paul shares in Roman 4: 7, 8 that we can have this joyous experience of forgiveness through faith in Christ. God longs to guide us with love and wisdom rather than punishment. He offers to teach us the best way. We are challenged to accept the advice written in God’s Word and not let stubbornness keep us from obeying Him.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Living Tableau- Service

Romans 12: 7-13
7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

Luke 22: 27 (NLT)
27 Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.

Pastor’s Notes

As a means of being a servant, one must identify one’s spiritual gifts and put them to work. No one set of gifts can do the work of the church. It takes the gifts of many dedicated Christians to work together towards a common cause. One’s strengths should balance one’s weaknesses and welcome the work of others that can fill in the areas where one may not be strong. Together in service means that thew tasks will be done and done well if everyone works together for the good of God’s Kingdom here on earth and the church.

God tells us love the Lord our God with all of our hearts, minds, souls and strength and to love our neighbors as ourselves. This requires us to love others so much that we share our strengths to help them become better people and we open ourselves to receive help from them so that our weak areas will be strengthened, therefor yielding outstanding team work. There is no place for competition in doing God’s work. It is important that Christians work together for the good of humanity. Service is working for the Lord in a manner that benefits others and the church.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Living Tableau- Worship

Matthew 4: 10 (NKJV)
10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.

Pastor’s Notes

Worship is a means of experiencing reality, which is to touch life.

Adele Calhoun explains in Spiritual Disciplines Handbook that worship is when we seek to know and love God in our own unique way. Each one of us loves and glorifies God in a particular way that no one else can, therefore we should expect differing worship styles and tastes: traditional, contemporary, liturgical, folk, emerging, etc. One style of worship is not better than another. The quality of worship emerges from the heart and its focus.

Worship happens when we put God first in our lives. When what God says takes precedence over what others say, we worship God. When loving God matters more than being loved, we worship God. Discipline, willpower, giftedness and going to church can be actions that stimulate our worship, however it does not transform us. Transformation comes through valuing God above all else.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Living Tableau- Giving

Exodus 36:6-7 (NKJV)
6 So Moses gave a commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, “Let neither man nor woman do any more work for the offering of the sanctuary.” And the people were restrained from bringing, 7 for the material they had was sufficient for all the work to be done—indeed too much.

Pastor’s Notes

Giving to the glory and honor of God means that we understand that everything that we have is from God and God is expecting us to be good stewards of everything that He has provided. Sharing is a grace of God and God expects us to tithe and share with others. As Christians, sharing should be a normal response to our faith and obedience.

God so graciously entrusts all that we have and own to us and only asks that we return a minimum of 10% back to service and care of others. Giving a minimum of 10% to ministry for the well-being of humankind is a special gift and recognizes that we are representing Christ as we give.

Giving is a means of worship! Let’s be ever mindful that God expects us to give in proportion to what is entrusted to us. Let us give freely so we can also receive freely. God blesses us to bless others. God will advise us when we have given enough as Moses advised the people in Exodus 36. Wouldn’t that be a great problem to have?

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Living Tableau- Loving

1 Corinthians 13 (NLT)
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
8 Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! 9 Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10 But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.
11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

Pastor’s Notes

Love began with God. God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that we may have everlasting life. God sacrificed His Son and only ask us to be obedient to His principles and the fullness of life will be ours for the asking. Isn’t that powerful love?

Every person needs love. Love shows that we care. Love is patient, kind, holds no grudges, keeps no record of wrongs, is not puffed up, to name a few characteristics. Christ asks that we love Him with all of our heart, mind, soul and very being and love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Let’s practice loving and loving unconditionally and watch the evil of this world subside. The word of God, obedience and unconditional love can conquer the challenges that we face in life. Let’s love, love and love more.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Living Tableau- Fasting

Matthew 6: 16 – 18 (NKJV)
16 “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

Pastor’s Notes

Fasting is an opportunity to free ourselves from the distractions that keep us from focusing on our Savior Jesus Christ. Fasting clears us out and opens frees us to seek God’s will in a manner that exceeds our normal habits of worship and prayer. Fasting offers another dimension because we choose to give up something that distracts us from hearing from God. A common fast is that of food. We may elect to skip several meals and when the hunger pangs start, we pray during those times and let God fill us up. It is amazing how we no longer hunger when we are in God’s presence.

There are other means of fasting as well. We may choose to fast spending, drinking, dating, shopping, television, computer games, happy hours, or anything that distracts us from giving our undivided attention to God, the author and finisher of our faith.

What do you love as much as you love God? Fast it over a period of time and see how God moves in our lives and spirit. God wants all of us, not what’s left after we spend precious time with other things, including people. Let’s keep Christ first in our lives by fasting as often as possible for a closer walk with the Lord? Practice fasting regularly.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Living Tableau- Holy Spirit

Acts 2:2-21 (NIV)
2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spiritand began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.
5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”
14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17 "In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Pastor's Notes

Pentecost is the time to celebrate all of the promises of who Jesus Christ is and the lives He will transform because of His surrender of His will to that of the Father. Because Christ gave up His life, we are able to receive unending forgiveness of our sins and we are extended an opportunity to receive everlasting life.

Jesus promised to not leave the disciples and other believers comfortless. He breathed life upon them, which opened the door for us, Gentiles, to be saved as well. Thank be to God for sharing His only begotten Son with us. Thanks be to God for forgiveness that we have not earned, but has been given to us freely because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

Thanks for leaving the Holy Spirit with us to lead and guide our lives, as we surrender our wills to the wills of our Father in heaven.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Living Tableau- Prayer

1 Kings 3:5 (NIV)
5 At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”

Pastor’s Notes

is the best way to win a battle. Take all our cares and burdens to the Lord and leave them there. God can handle anything that we must face. God does not, however, remove us from the consequences that are necessary for us to face to help us learn and not repeat any adverse situations. It is imperative that we learn our lesson the first time around or we will repeat the situation over and over until we surrender to God.

Prayer is our means of communicating with God. Prayer is effective when we talk, listen and meditate on the scriptures related to our subject matter. As we meditate on scriptures, or be still, quiet and take some deep breaths, we are inclined to hear from God. God wants to fight our battles, however we must have faith, trust, patience and obedience. God is waiting on each of us to depend on Him by using prayer as our first resource and not our last resort.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Living Tableau- Meditation

Joshua 1:8 (NIV)
8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Pastor's Notes

Meditation is being quiet and giving one’s undivided attention to the things of God. It requires slowing down and removing the barriers that may distract us. It may incorporate a long look at God and/or God’s creation. Adele A. Calhoun expresses that Christian meditation opens us to the mind of God and to His world and to His presence in the world. We must let go of all distractions so that we can focus on God, be in God’s presence. Meditation is a method by which we train our minds to concentrate on something and shut everything else out. Meditation is simply putting our body, mind and spirit in the same place at the same time and treasure the results. Let’s strive to keep our minds stayed on Christ and the things of Christ.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Living Tableau- Believe

2 Peter 1:1-8 (NIV)
1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: 2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Pastor's Notes

Believe means to have faith and trust in God the Father, Jesus the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Believing that the Scriptures are the inspired word of God and that all of God’s promises are true. God’s promises can be applied to our daily lives as we walk in obedience.

Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).

Faith becomes active as we read and study God’s word. God will speak to us through His word and will give us opportunities to put our faith into action. We must decide if we are devoting our lives to Christ or staying in a state of inquisitiveness. To live a life for Christ requires getting to know Him; to have faith, and then put our faith into action.

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Living Tableau

Exciting new stuff going on at the Nest! I was recently asked to be the Worship Chair at our church, Ashford United Methodist Church. The worship chair oversees Altar Guild and Worship Arts (which is me). It is such an honor to be entrusted with the sanctuary’s sacred space and the atmosphere of our worship environment. As the Worship Arts person, I will be decorating the altar, the chancel area, the prayer station and the welcome table. I’ll also be helping our pastor present visual interactive pieces to illustrate special sermons as she sees fit.

My first project has been to illustrate a sermon series entitled, “Living a Life of Worth".  The series covers a different spiritual discipline each week for 3 months. That’s a lot of topics—they’re all different but interrelated, so instead of trying to design something for each one, I decided to create one collage to incorporate them all. It's a sort of visual crib sheet to keep each topic alive week after week and to build a visual representation of all the Christian practices we need to grow in faith. I’m calling it The Living Tableau.

This is my canvas. I draped the altar in green silks (for Ordinary Time) and placed the gold silk as if light is emanating from the Word. The candle is one of the two that our acolytes light. When I add a new item to the altarscape, I also turn the Bible to one of the scripture readings for that Sunday.

I've been having a lot of fun with my new ministry and it's really helped me soak up each sermon.  I think it's pretty neat, so I thought I’d share the Living Tableau with you as it unfolds.  Here's the sermon outline so you can follow along: