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!