Saturday, May 30, 2015

Pray Without Ceasing {Bible Art Journaling}

(Click image to enlarge.)

Being in an ongoing and constant state of prayer is a goal I aspire to achieve. I believe that blessings would abound if I could "get there." It's kind of like the "be holy, as I am holy" goal that God has for me. I may not ever achieve the goal, but being aware of the goal, and that I should be working on it, has its blessings as well!
"Pray without ceasing."
- 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Friday, May 29, 2015

Age is Just a Number {Art Journal}

The current challenge at Fabulous and Free Art Journaling Challenges is “numbers.” Having just celebrated a birthday and scrapbooked the pictures of the day, this is the quote that came to mind for this journaling prompt. I searched for the source of this quote but only found "unknown.”

Age is just a number.
Mine is unlisted.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Number Our Days {Bible Art Journaling}

This verse in Psalm 90:12 reminds us to "number our days." I've always wondered what that means. The rest of the verse, "so that we may apply our hearts to wisdom" helps explain it, for me. I haven't studied commentaries on this, but for me, it is a reminder that I should be aware of the passing of time, and I should use the passing of time to increase my wisdom.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

If-then Promise {Bible Art Journaling}

I love this verse (well, okay, I love all of them), especially because it contains an if-then promise that seems like a win-win for me! If I confess my sins, God is faithful and just to forgive my sins and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Wow. That’s powerful right there.

I sketched this and then colored with Inktense watercolor pencils, as they become permanent when dry, and they remain transparent so that the words of the text remain readable.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Heart Take Courage {Art Journal}

DLP and DF May 23 Courage

This week’s Documented Life Project art challenge was to incorporate cheesecloth into an art journal spread. I was not at all happy with my results, and if this had been in a spiral-bound journal, I would have ripped it out and started over. But for the DLP I use the Dylusions (large) hard-bound journal, so I was stuck with it.

I first colored the cheesecloth with Distress Stains (wish I had left it white). I layered a lot of patterned scrapbook paper and used a lot of Distress Stain, letting it drip by spraying with water. I do like the old dictionary page with the definition  of “courage”and “courageous.”

Since I complete 2-3 art journal challenges a week, I have to expect that sometimes I will love my creations, and sometimes not so much.

The COURAGE theme is part of the Documented Faith project for this month. This is one of my favorite Bible verses about courage:

“Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the LORD.”
Psalm 31:24 NASB

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day {Art Journal}

Challenge Memorial Day

Today, one of my art journal challenges was to use a BRUSH, but not a paint brush. From the kitchen, I pulled out a vegetable brush. I dipped it in acrylic paint and used it to make the suggestion of flowers, or bunting, or whatever, in a layout about Memorial Day.  I incorporated a stencil (with archival ink) of poppies, the traditional flower for remembering veterans.


I’ve always been a bit confused about this holiday. Growing up, I was familiar with Decoration Day as the day to put flowers on family graves. I didn’t have a clear understanding about “Memorial Day,” as it relates to Decoration Day and veterans. So I looked it up on Google.

According to Wikipedia, “Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country's armed forces. The holiday, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans — established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service.”

“Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day; Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans.”

Originally celebrated on the 30th of May, it is now observed in almost every state on the last Monday in May with Congressional passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363).

The Junior Dictionary I use for collage papers is a bit “vintage,” as it still defines Memorial Day as a May 30 holiday.

As an American, I appreciate a special day that encourages me to take a moment to be grateful to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for my freedom.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Fruits of the Spirit {Bible Art Journaling}

Bible Art Journaling Gal 5-22

I love the listing of the fruits of the Spirit, found in Galatians 5. It’s a great short-list of life goals, a description of the person I would like to be.

This art journaling in my Bible was inspired by my Mother’s Day gift from son’s family. What a fun package that was to open!

Mothers Day Gift

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Challenge Prompt: Movies {Art Journal}

Challenge Movies - Do You Believe

One of my Art Journal Challenges this year has two prompts per week, for 15 weeks. Keeps me hopping, along with all my other 2015 projects!

This particular challenge prompt is “Movies.”

Love this song by Newsboys. It really is a sort of “creed.”

Yes, I believe!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Let the Glory of the Lord Rise Among Us {Art Journal}

Today was a dreaded day for me—a wisdom tooth extraction. I’m back home and hoping the pain doesn’t get much worse, as the feeling is coming back. I am counting on the ibuprofen/acetaminophen regimen to do its thing. While it works, I am photographing and uploading an art journal project that I finished last evening.

DLP May 16 Let it Rise

This week’s Documented Life Project presents the technique challenge of using molding (or modeling) paste, and the prompt is “Rising to the Occasion.”

I used Golden Molding Paste, with acrylic ink mixed in, applied through stencils, for the flowers. I’m not crazy about using this medium. It gives wonderful dimensional texture, but the dimension is not visible in photographs. So, while it looks more interesting in person, I like “extra effort” (and using molding paste IS extra effort for me) to show up in the pictures of the finished project!

I have enjoyed challenging myself to think of faith art ideas for every prompt I am given, and I find it’s actually very easy, because the first thing that comes to my mind, anyway, is a Scripture passage or praise song lyrics. As I’ve said before, that’s a natural result of being in church for my entire LONG life!

In this case, the reference to “rising” called to mind one of the first verses I memorized as a little girl. At my church, the organization for girls was called “Girls Auxiliary” (later Girls in Action), or GA’s. The watchword for GA’s was the first part of Isaiah 60:1. Reading that verse again reminded me that the Big Daddy Weave song “Let it Rise” must have been inspired by that verse.

DLP May 16 Let it Rise

DLP May 16 Let it Rise

Friday, May 15, 2015

He Reigns {Art Journal}

He Reigns Art Journal

Responding to an art journal challenge again, this one specifies using a crown. The words that came to mind immediately included “Jesus, King of Kings,” “Crown of Thorns,” “He is My King,” “Here Comes the King,” and other older songs on that theme.

But the image that came to mind, along with a crown, was the earth. That reminded me of  a Newsboys song that I always have loved, because it’s the only praise song I know well that refers to the people in Africa and Asia and all over the world singing, “Hallelujah, HE REIGNS!”

And, if I may stick my neck out a bit (and I may because it is, after all, my blog), I love that it does not imply that everyone, everywhere is “all God’s children.” Note that the song references “redeemed,” “believers” and “the forgiven.” I do believe that, while we are all God’s creations, we only become God’s children when we accept His offer of forgiveness through His Son, Jesus. THEN we truly sing “Hallelujah, He Reigns!”

So, using my brand new Dyan Reaveley paints, I put down a black coat of paint and simply painted the images and used some of the lyrics.

He Reigns Art Journal

Thursday, May 14, 2015

No Other Name {Art Journal}

Name of Jesus Art Journal

I just completed an art journal challenge with this prompt:

Feature a name in your art journal spread.

Immediately some Scripture verses and a praise song came to mind. I used two of the verses in the art journal spread. Only one phrase from the song kept playing over and over in my mind. I couldn’t come up with the name of the song. So, I “phoned a friend.” Actually, I texted my grandson, worship leader par excellence. He immediately responded, “Forever Reign!”

Here is the chorus to "Forever Reign" (Kristian Stanfill).

Oh I’m running to Your arms
I’m running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign
You are more You are more
Than my words will ever say
You are Lord You are Lord
All creation will proclaim
You are here You are here
In Your presence I’m made whole
You are God You are God
Of all else I’m letting go

My heart will sing
No other Name

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Sharing from “To Show Them Jesus”

A couple of days ago, I read a post by Christina Fox, whose blog I follow. Christina is trained and licensed as a mental health counselor. A Christian, her blog, “To Show Them Jesus: Making Much of Jesus, Magnifying Gospel Grace” is inspirational and practical. Her post on May 11 was of interest to me, maybe (selfishly) because she is making the same points that I have been “preaching” for some time. But, hey, she has the credentials!

Her post can be found here, and I am reprinting it in its entirety here.

Begin Quote:


It’s like a distant memory, shrouded in mist and legend. When people speak of it, we almost don’t understand what they are saying. But believe it or not, there was a time when our lives did not revolve around technology. We used to write notes with pen and paper. We had wall calendars and daily planners. We kept our contact information in a physical address book. And we went to the store to leave our film to be developed, waiting a week before we could pick it up, never knowing how the images would turn out until we opened the envelope.

Do you remember those days?

Technology is our everyday reality now. It governs our time and controls our information. We trust it to keep our phone numbers and addresses. Our most precious memories are stored somewhere in a place called “The Cloud.” Newspapers are almost relegated to a place in history, along with cassette tapes and stationary. Most of us prefer to read our books and news on a device rather than flip an actual page. Highlighters have been replaced with the swipe of a finger. Relationships are made and ended with the click of key.

I enjoy the benefits of technology as much as everyone else. I’ve come to rely on the calendar on my phone and the digital scrapbooks I make each year for my children are a treasure we all enjoy. But like all good things, it’s easy for us to twist and distort technology into something that is not good. It’s important that we are aware of what is happening in our mind and heart when we use technology. In fact, we need to be aware that sometimes we believe things that just are not true about technology.

Are you familiar with any of these lies?

1. It will satisfy your what’s missing in your life: Anything good can quickly become of utmost importance to us. As John Calvin noted, our hearts are idol making factories. Even something as innate as technology can be shaped into an idol that we worship and place as more important in our affections above God. When we are struggling in our lives we can think that technology can fill the void and ease the pain of living in this sin-stained world. We can try to dull the ache in our heart by pinning things we think will make our lives better. We can take meaningless surveys, read one status update after another, play countless games or watch one season after another of our favorite show and never have to see one commercial–all in the hopes that it will satisfy what’s missing in our lives.

But it’s all a lie. Technology cannot satisfy nor fill any void in our life. Nothing can meet our deepest longings but the One who made us. Only God can fill that hole in our heart. As Augustine wrote, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

2. You are missing something when you are not there: Another fallacy we can believe about technology is that when we are not online, we are missing something. We’ve become accustomed to receiving and responding to messages right away. If we don’t regularly check our phones for an email or a text message or a social media notification, we think we are missing out on something important. That’s because we get a rush when we hear the ping of an incoming message. Just like a gambling addict, we keep coming back for more. The truth is, being away from our computer or phone for a few minutes or even longer will not hurt us. Our world will not come crashing down if we don’t read and respond to a message the moment it arrives.

3. What happens in social media is the same as reality: Here’s a big lie that’s easy to fall prey to. We think that the interactions we have with people online is the same as relationships we have in real life. The truth is, most of the people we talk with online we will never meet in person. They are not the ones who will come over to our house with a pot of soup when we are sick. They are not the ones who will watch our kids when we have to go to the doctor. They are not the ones who will invest their lives in ours. Instead, online relationships are more likely to interfere with real life relationships. Such relationships keep our eyes fixed on the phone in our hand rather than the people seated across from us at the dinner table. Flesh and blood is real; an avatar on a screen is not. While there are connections made in the virtual world with people across the world that is good and beneficial, such relationships should never be a replacement for those IRL (in real life).

4. Every minute must be filled: Because we have access to immediate entertainment, we don’t know how to be bored. We don’t know how to just stare off into space and think. For every minute of our day, we can fill it by looking at social media updates, playing a game, or scrolling through pins. Here’s the truth: not every minute has to be filled. It’s okay to sit at a traffic light and just wait for it to change colors without glancing to see if you’ve received a text. It’s okay to wait for an appointment without responding to emails. It’s okay to have time to just simply be.

5. You can learn all you need to know from a screen: There is a big difference between studying about something and experiencing something. Technology often makes it easier to access information quickly. That’s helpful. But it also means that we think we can learn all we need to know from technology. But experience is important too. Entering the real world and breathing fresh air and smelling a real flower and engaging a real person and experiencing life up close and personal teaches lessons we could never learn from Google.

Technology is here to stay and will most likely continue to change the way we live. Even as we embrace and utilize technology, may we also be on guard to not believe any of it’s [sic] lies.

End Quote

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Cheerful Heart {Art Journaling}

DLP May 9 Cheerful Heart Good Medicine

This week’s challenge in The Documented Life Project Art Journal 2015 is:

May Theme - Touchy Feely (Texture)
May 9 Art Challenge:  Stitching
Journal Prompt:  "All that I'm after is life full of laughter."

While I honestly believe that the quote that is presented for this week's prompt is a false philosophy, I realize it may be true for the original quote-er, so I'll take it only as a "prompt" (as it is intended to be) about laughter or happiness in general, and go with a favorite Bible passage about laughter and happiness, cheerfulness and joy. "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine" (KJV) or "A cheerful heart is good medicine" (NIV). Proverbs 17:22a.

For the stitching challenge, I used my sewing machine to apply stitching on each of four tags, onto which I stamped Graphic 45 “olde curiosity shoppe” stamps to illustrate medicine bottles.

Not only do I disagree with the quote in this week’s prompt, but I see it is a statement of a very empty and meaningless life philosophy. Seriously, that’s “all” you are “after?”

The source of my joy and happiness (and laughter) is the One who created me.

DLP May 9 Cheerful Heart Good Medicine

Monday, May 11, 2015

Those Who Bring Good News {Bible Art Journaling}

Bible Journaling Is 52-7

I opted to do some art in my journaling Bible on this same passage used in the previous post of an art journal piece.

Friday, May 8, 2015

How Beautiful are the Feet {Art Journaling}

How beautiful are the feet

I am participating in an art journal challenge that has this prompt for this week: FEET. For me, most any “prompt” will bring to mind a Scripture passage or a relevant quote (happens when you have lived a lot of years). When I saw today’s prompt, right away I thought of the lovely passage in Isaiah 52:7 that says, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news…”

This verse is a favorite of our granddaughter Tory, who just finished her junior year in college, preparing for service on the international mission field. As I thought of her, I remembered that I had seen a couple of her Instagram pictures of her feet/shoes, during the last year or so. So, I snagged those pictures and printed them to go along with the verse from Isaiah.

If I were a real artist, I would paint a picture of beautiful feet on a mountain. But, since I’m not, and I play in mixed media, I’ll illustrate the sweet concept of these beautiful feet in my own way, in my messy art journal!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Most Encouraging Verse {Bible Art Journaling}

Bible Art She Can Do All Things Phil 4-13

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  (Philippians 4:13)

If there were a label for “most encouraging verse in the Bible,” it might be applied to this one. A favorite of many people, for good reason, this verse in Paul’s letter to the Philippians, tells us that Paul believed he could do anything through the strength given to him by Christ Jesus. We have available to us the power of the Son of God. And yet we do not avail ourselves of that power. At least I know I do not.

In another verse, Paul speaks of praying for God to remove his “thorn in the flesh.” Paul says, “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:8-10, NIV).

Bible Art She Can Do All Things Phil 4-13

God’s power not only strengthens me, it can make the impossible possible, and—even better--His strength is perfect in my weakness. That’s a win-win for me.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Faith Defined {Bible Art Journaling}

Bible Art Journaling Heb 11-1

“Faith” is clearly defined in Hebrews 11:1. We would all love to have more faith, and it seems to me that the way to increase faith is to exercise the faith we already have. My journaling Bible is KJV; as a child, I memorized that translation of the verse.

Bible Art Journaling Heb 11-1

I also like the NIV translation.

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1, NIV)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

One of My Life Verses {Bible Art Journaling}

Bible Art Journaling Prov 3-5&6

Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

This passage is very special in its message. As I interpret it, for me, it contains a command and a promise. The command has three parts, all related and each flowing from the other.

The Command:

  1. Trust in the Lord. Specifically, trust Him with all your heart. With all of you.
  2. Do not rely on your own understanding. (If you’re obeying #1, this one is a result.) For me, if I am trusting God for everything, this #2 is a “Whew!” What a relief NOT to have to rely on my own understanding!
  3. Acknowledge God in everything. Everything. If you’re following commands #1 and #2, this one will follow naturally.

The Promise:

If you follow commands #1, 2 and 3, HE will guide your steps, make your path straight, give you direction. Wow, what a promise! Isn’t that something we all want/need?—direction from our Creator…guidance for each step…assurance of His Providence?

I love to read different translations, and here are some for these verses, although the meaning is clear, no matter the translation. I use Bible Gateway almost daily, for passage look-up.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (HCSB)

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding;
6 think about Him in all your ways,
and He will guide you on the right paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NASB)

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.


Monday, May 4, 2015

My Creator: the Fabric of My Life {Art Journaling}

DLP May 2 - Fabric of Life

Documented Life Project: May 2
May Theme - Touchy Feely (Texture)
Art Challenge:  Fabric
Journal Prompt:  The Fabric of Your Life

For the prompt, I was inspired by the concept of my Creator as the fabric of my life, using the verse about how He KNIT me together in my mother's womb (Ps 139:13). I used four fabrics: lace and fiber twine (on the tag), canvas (the strip of fabric across the bottom), and Sticky-Back Canvas (gelli printed on it and then cut circles). I decided to incorporate one of my baby pictures and a current photo, to illustrate the idea of how God has been the fabric of my entire (long!) life. I finished with some background stencils and stamps, specifically some stamps related to sewing.

There are many wonderful directions I could have gone with the prompt (the fabric of my life)—love, family, friends, God’s Word. But I was overwhelmed with the realization of how my Creator formed me in my mother’s womb and had/has a plan for me from the beginning to the end.

DLP May 2 - Fabric of Life

DLP May 2 - Fabric of Life

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
– Psalm 139:14a

Friday, May 1, 2015

Prospering Like a Tree Planted By the Rivers of Water {Bible Art Journaling}

Bible Art Journaling Ps 1-3

I love the spring in Missouri. We have a creek on our property, and I love the bright green grass and fully-leaved trees down by our creek right now. So, I love the imagery of this verse in Psalms. Even more, I love the promise of blessing that is given here, to those who delight in, and meditate on, the law of the Lord.

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 
– Psalm 1: 1-3 (KJV)

Bible Art Journaling Ps 1-3