Monday, July 27, 2015

A Twist on Gratitude Journaling!

I am a gratitude journaling junkie, confession is good for the soul, right? In Psalm 118, Scripture says that His STEADFAST LOVE endures forever. In looking up this word, I found that hidden within the meaning "Chesed" we find the very character and nature of God - His kindness and faithfulness which serves as the foundations for His character and actions.  His KINDNESS is His foundation!!  As I continued to dig into this word and its meaning, I found that it means "Acts of Kindness".  Lets just sit there a spell and think on this mystery: It is IN HIS NATURE to Perform ACTS OF KINDNESS for you and I!!!!!  Whaaaaat????  
I was recently on Facebook and I saw a post from a mom who busted her tail to make an awesome dinner for her family. Fried chicken and fresh, homemade mashed potatoes, grilled tomato and zucchini - there may have even been a pie thrown in for good measure.  She was so disappointed that her family didn't enjoy it, they picked through what they liked and left the rest.  She was heartbroken at the lack of GRATITUDE.
Imagine our God- looking for ways to bless us with ACTS OF KINDNESS.....and we miss them and shrug them off and miss the heavenly kiss that was intended.  I don't think God gets His feelings hurt - I think that would be putting too much earthly emotion on an omniscient God....but, what do WE MISS, when we MISS THE ACTS OF KINDNESS???  I think we miss a whole lot.  I think we miss those precious moments where you feel so alive and joyful, because YOU MATTER TO AN ETERNAL GOD.  I think we miss the "bigger picture" of how He knits us together and hears the cries of our hearts.  I think we miss relationship.  It's never about God - He isn't the one on the trial seat - maybe it is about us, and making the time to find Him in our everyday, our every moment and appreciating His acts of kindness?  
If we seek Him with ALL OF OUR HEARTS - He will be found by us- Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Scripture Doodles

Doodling through the scriptures.....What if you wrote your scriptures down and, simply, doodled around these words with different, defined patterns? 
I have included a few examples of these doodles to get you started.  Let's remember that there is no "wrong" way of doing any of this - and I release you from the power of "It has to look nice".  While I am working through a scripture , in this way, I am engaging my heart and mind, soul and body - in a complete dance with the Lord.  Every sense is firing and concentrating on His presence and what He is saying to me through this scripture----write it all down- all over the page that you are working through!  Who cares what it looks like?????  You are interacting with God- and THAT is the blessing, the visual representation is a testimony to this interaction - NOT the purpose of the dance, but the beauty foretold of the dance. 

I release you from that Critical spirit that stops you from trying.  I release you from that critical spirit that tells you its not good enough.  In the Old Testament, they would pile rocks  in places that they had an interaction with a Lord - to serve as a visual representation.  Do you think, and I wonder, did the prophets of old look at their rock formations and think, "That doesn't look good enough." ? Our enemy will always try to get us to NOT draw attention to a physical representation of a heavenly manifestation....after all, it focuses on God....... Focuses. on . God.

Let your artwork and your dance focus on God - not on what you can, or can not do. Point towards God with all that you do, and be released from the need to "get it right"----you GOT IT RIGHT - You engaged in a heavenly manifestation of God, through the scriptures and through the salt of creativity ---You got it right.   That's the thing that you got right - the artwork is nothing more than a pile of rocks to give Him glory - I release the artist within you to create with Joy and no longer to be a slave to creating for others approval. 

Be blessed, create in joy and rise up, Oh Creative Army- take your stand against the darkness!!!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Psalm 23 Revisited!

Psalm 23 is a well loved, classic scripture that we all seen to be familiar with, regardless of our spiritual walk. It seems that ithas become embedded into our hearts, and our society.  What a beautiful scripture to find such widespread acceptance in the world.  This is the scripture that I am referring to:
1The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
----when the Lord is our Shepherd - we can have faith, trust and hope in our tomorrow.  Hope is the expectation of good.  Through Jesus- we get HOPE for tomorrow

2He makes me lie down in green pastures,  ----We are called to seasons of rest- in His will, He provides green, fertile places to rest our head

he leads me beside quiet waters, - --bubbling brooks scare sheep, He leads us to quiet waters.  He knows our fears and our anxieties - when we follow Him, He leads us away from these things.

3he refreshes my soul.  ----There is peace in having a good shepherd

He guides me along the right paths ----He guides us in truth and love and out of the situations and circumstances we get ourselves into.

for his name’s sake. ----To always be more like Him, to glorify His name

4Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death  -----A shadow is cast,only when there is light.  He is with us through the valleys that we walk through - the valleys that want to kill us, destroy us, hold us hostage...His light is with us, when we ask  Him to be the lord of our lives, giving our will and our hearts over to Him.  In this place,w ith Him as our Shepherd, the darkness is merely a shadow.  A shadow can not hurt us or harm us.  His light negates the powers of darkness.

I will fear no evil,  -----Every knee will bow to Jesus Christ - with Him leading- there is nothing to fear.  Your greatest fears,addictions, bondages -are negated to mere shadows in His presence.

for you are with me;
-----He is always with us - before we even know His name He pursues us. HE dies for us before we took our first breath.  He loved us while we were sinning.  He loves you now - and wants to be your good Shepherd

your rod and your staff,
they comfort me. -----The rod is meant to protect you from the predators that circle you, taunt you and mock you and the staff is meant to redirect you and guide you - what a comfort these re - that we dont have to defend ourselves anymore - He will do that - and He will always be with us, through the Holy Spirit, guiding us and gently correcting us.

5You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.  ------In the presence of your enemies- He sets a table for you.  the enemy has kept you on your knees, begging for scraps.  That is no position for a child of God---He sets a table for you - a banquet - and sits you down in the presence of your enemies to eat with Him.  The shadows cant hurt you anymore.  You can dine, at peace, with predators all around.

You anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows. ------Annointing oil was saved to designate kings- to designate God's chosen one.  Before there was time - you were chosen by God as His child.  There is no need to beg for scraps anymore - you are a child of the King - declare your inheritance and your birth right!!

6Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life, ------Yes, through the Good Shepherd there is goodness and love.  You are never too bad, too far gone, too much of a sinenr - goodness and love are your birthright

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.   ------We will all spend eternity somewhere.  Jesus brings us heavenly access - to dwell with Him forever.

Want to know more about becoming a Christian and declaring your birthright? Drop me an email - I would love to pray through that with you!!!  

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A Journal Bible and a few supplies = Worship!!!!

I have gotten an ESV journaling Bible- it has large margins that allow me to draw in it.  I was having a "problem" with this form as worship - as I didn't want to cover over any of His living Word - to highlight the "Spirit Speed Bumps" that I was getting. You know, when the Spirit slows you down and deposits a great revelation through His Word?  These are Rhema moments that I want to remember always.  But - WHAT if??  What if- once I cover that page over with mediums and pictures - He chooses to give me another Rhema word in that very passage???  I was paralyzed - for. months- over this dilemma and the Bible sat and waited to be loved.

Enter ......<GRACE>

This week I realized, that this Bible is for THIS Season - if I were to fill all of its lovely pages with verse, picture and the outpouring of my love for our Savior - well now, isnt that a GOOD thing??  Couldn't I get another journaling Bible for a new season?  Wouldn't this be a beautiful legacy and heritage of faith for my children and my children's children?

So, my little Bible came off its shelf and it has gotten loved up on this week...and i have enjoyed the process!!!  These are not materpieces - these are "Cha-Cha's" with the Lord.  I will leave the canvas for His masterpieces, for His slow waltz.  This is a quick sketch of the pictures that cement HIs Word squarely in my heart.

Thank God for Grace and Wisdom.  Thank God for this new fun way of interacting with the Scriptures!!!!   This is the journaling bible I like --
Jeremiah 33:3  Ask me and I will tell of remarkable secrets, you do not know, of things to come.

Psalm 23: He is THIS generous, so I must be THIS generous as a response to His loving me.

Friday, July 10, 2015

I AM: 365 Names of God

Journaling the Bible: Meditating on the Names of God

There are a lot of places to search out all of the names of God. For me, each of these names holds a promise that we can hold onto.  This is a powerful excercise that needs to be repeated often, for me, to remind myself of all of His character traits and attributes.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Bible Journaling: Journaling the Scriptures!

I often hear that folks dont like the way their handwriting translates into their journals.  Might I offer a different perspective?  What a treasure and a sentiment to leave behind.  My dad recently passed away, and grief is a funny animal. It comes at you in waves, and you never know what is going to trigger the wave. I had to call my mom recently, and her voicemail picked up.  It was the androgynous voice of the robot that lives within the confines of my moms answering machine. I thought, "Oh Dad, I wish you had recorded your voice on that machine...what I'd give to hear your voice one more time."  And there it is - the wave that makes my eyes leak and my heart sad. Strange things hit out of the blue.  As we are going through my mom's house moving her and getting the house ready for sale, I came across one of my dad's old rulers.  There is this little piece that slides out - and there I found the best prize of all....he had written his name. With those simple letters came a flood of memories - too quick to process, to special to share - because they felt like "home".  His name- written brought comfort.  Write- just write- we will all pass on one day and leave treasures behind for our loved ones.  Your writing is something that is familiar and known to your loved ones.  What a blessing it has been for me.
Ok - let's say I didnt convince you?  In a Word document - you can play with text boxes and scripts and compose a page of scriptures to add into your journals.  You can print off pictures.  You can print off words and tape them into the journals.  The computer and the printer can do a lot of work for you, if you dont want to try your  hand at it yourself.
In the pics above, I worked in word and assembled a host of scriptures that dealt with the word, "HOPE". This became the opening cover of my journal - with my handwritten scripture on the other side.
But - I will end this post with - write, somewhere, somehow, it will be a blessing one day!
Love you Dad

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Collage in Your Daily Bible Journaling!

Maybe you have this fantastic picture in your mind as you are reading scripture - and you just can get it out with pencil, pen, crayon or marker...that's ok!!  We have an internet that has so many free public images.  Do a photo search of what is in your head and find a picture that speaks to you ---print it out and paste it int your journal!!!
Not sure how to fix it in your journal?  I did a short video on Matte medium vs, school glue here , to help you out!

If you can search on the internet, look through magazines and newspapers---you can journal the images that He downloads to your heart!!!

Friday, July 3, 2015

You Will Rememer The Work of Your Hands

My crown slips...often
My hair is often..... unkempt
My elbows are often....dirty
My dress is perpetually .....stained
My shoes...scuffed
Perfect, I am not
Princess, I am
Because you remember your handiwork. Job 14:15

Bible Journal: Doodling the Scriptures

Sometimes, I simply take the scriptures and begin doodling them, verse by verse. I add in colored pencil to add color and markers to define spaces and doodle different shapes.  In this process I find that I am intention and quiet through the scriptures, paying attention to the thoughts and concepts- in the space of the doodle and the coloring, the Lord downloads thoughts, images, pictures and revelations.   For me, it is all about simply slowing down to be found by him!!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Different Ways to Journal the Bible!

I journal the Bible - and I have to admit that I am not an elitist in any way - it is ALL good to me!  I draw in my Bible, I draw in journals, I doodle, and I paint----all in acts of worship, all to meet Him more fully.
I often hear, "I wish I could do that, I am not creative at all."  Oh yes you are, I promise!!  What do you say if we start looking at a few different ways to Journal out the scriptures, in a creative way?
This one is so easy - but SO fun!!!  I start by putting a light wash of color on a bunch of papers, you can check out here how to make cheap alcohol inks:

Spray some spritzes of color - let dry and you are ready!!!  I go through the scriptures slowly and wait for the speed bumps.  When I hit a speed bump, i listen and pray.  Biblehub.com
 is a great resource for reading through commentaries and has a full concordance.  I let the Lord lead me on His trail of treasure hunting - as I seek through the Scriptures for His treasures- and i write them down.  I use different pens and markers because it makes me happy to see color.

Easy right?  A regular ballpoint pen works great with this!!!  I love Bic Cristal pens you can find them here  - They come in fabulous colors, are bold and write over everything!!

have fun digging into God's Living Word today -----He is waiting to talk to you!!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Audio Files: Journey of Blessings

We have heard from a woman, that has quickly been endeared to my heart.  Her eyes are failing.  She started having eye pain, a few months back, this quickly escalated to them finding cancer and her being subjected to intense chemotherapy.  Bless her sweet soul, she has just been overcome with a desire to do the JOB journey.  Lord, how I love her and how I am humbled by her courage and her fight.  In an effort to help her, I have strted speaking the Job lessons - so that she can sit back and listen to them.  I upload three a day -in an audio format - with no visuals.  I dont want to do anythign that would stress her eyes or cause her discomfort.
I pray that this is an encouragement to others as well.  Please keep this dear friend close in your prayers.  She just started her chemo rounds this past Monday and is having a time with it.

Lord, we pray for healing at a molecular level - we pray for strength and we pray for stamina.  We pray for ministering angels to be by her side 24/7...comforting and speaking life into her heart.  We pray for a Branabas to come into her life that will be a close by friend and a close by encouragement.  Oh Lord, hold her close!!!

Monica: Romania

Monica: Romania
Beauty Pierces the Darkness

Join us at Encouragement Cafe!

On Earth As It Is In Heaven

On Earth As It Is In Heaven

God Will Fix This

God Will Fix This
A prayer for San Bernadino

Art in the Mission Field

Art in the Mission Field
How much would you pay for a smile like that?

God of the Impossible

God of the Impossible
Dreams made Flesh

The Majesty of God

The Majesty of God
His Threadbare Sandals


You taught My Feet To Dance on Disappointment

Creativity Unleashed!

Creativity Unleashed!