"Holy Spirit, think through me till your ideas are my ideas." ~Amy Carmichael

" Holy Spirit, think through me till your ideas are my ideas.”

~ Amy Carmichael

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

When the Spirit Comes - Bible Art Journaling

It is a challenge to think of how to bring concepts in the Spirit realm out in visible form. On this page, the visual shape of swirls and whirlwind represent wind and the work of the Spirit. We cannot see the wind, just the effect it has on what it touches. That is the feeling I was trying to achieve here. I've been experimenting with deli paper and paint, and colored pencils lately. Also used a white pen to accent the large words and a bit of collage.

Jesus is talking:
"When the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth,
for he will not speak on his own authority, 
but whatever he hears he will speak,
and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 
He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 
All that the Father has is mine, 
therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you."

John 16:13-15 ESV

These Bible pages are the last verses in the book of John and the beginning of Acts of the Apostles. When I was in John 15, there was so much on those two pages, I didn't have enough room to highlight some verses that are meaningful to me, John 15:13-15. Even though the verses are a few chapters back in the book, it seemed like a good transition, both talking about receiving the Spirit. For me, the art on the left page also are similar to clouds, reflecting some of the mystery of the promise of the Holy Spirit and Ascension of Jesus In Acts 1:8-9. These verses challenge me, are mysterious, leave me wanting more, more of the awareness of the Holy Spirit's presence and power in my life, to experience more of God. 

"you will receive power 
when the Holy Spirit has come upon you,
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem 
and in all Judea and Samaria, 
and to the end of the earth. 
And when he had said these things,
as they were looking on, he was lifted up, 
and a cloud took him out of their sight."

Acts 1:8 ESV

In 2010 I had an awakening to the Holy Spirit that I had not realized before. It changed my life and intimacy with God. I am so grateful. Now when I read the Bible, it is more alive, new, personal. 

There is a short chorus hymn that echoes the longing of my heart
 by Daniel Iverson, 1926:

"Spirit of the Living God,
Fall afresh on me.
Spirit of the Living God,
Fall afresh on me.
Melt me, mold me,
fill me, use me,
Spirit of the Living God,
Fall afresh on me."

The chorus was inspired by Acts 10, where Peter was visiting Cornelius and his household:

"While Peter was still saying these things, 
the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word."

As I turn the page in Acts and read of the coming of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, I am in awe, humbled, and asking, what does this look like for me now? 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

An Artful Life: Art and Life Together...

It is said, "Art Reflects Life." I agree with that statement. In my experience, the more art I make and the more life I live, the more integrated my living and art-making become. Now, I cannot separate the two. Maybe that is what makes an "Artful Life."

Here are a few things that are a part of my current artful life:

I have a dear friend who has a relapse of leukemia for the third time. She has walked a hard road the past 8 years. As we talked the past week, she shared the miracles that have happened, the faithfulness of God. Amazingly, she clearly had the peace and hope only God can bring. Walking with someone through a time like this, I have felt at times overwhelmed by sadness, at a loss, hopeful, seeking, aching, praying for healing and peace. I am struck again that we can only live in the present and that is where God lives with us. He is meeting me where I am at. He is with my friend, always loving, always present. As I prayed, I doodled and wrote this card for my friend:

In the past month I worked on a commissioned prophetic painting for a family, friends in our community. I haven't done many commissioned prophetic paintings. It is one of those things I see myself as an assistant with, not the main person doing the work. I must rely on the Holy Spirit. With nothing in mind for the painting, I come to God and ask for His heart for the person/people I am painting for. It is a prayerful painting. Often the words come first as in this case. I took a day to listen, then to write down what I sensed was the answer. I looked up verses that came to mind in Scripture. The images for the painting grew out of that. For the painting part, I made a small painted sketch of the idea to scale for the larger piece. Then I met with the couple commissioning the painting. I also gave them a copy of what was written, which was the heart meaning of the painting. Here is the lovely couple and their new painting.

For me, there is nothing like the personal interaction of people making art together. This year is a growing year for me (taking new classes, reading, writing, teaching new things...) and I already see it is one of deeper integration of Art and Life. For a number of years, I have taught art classes in my studio in Hillsboro, Oregon (just outside Portland Oregon.) One of the joys for me is teaching the Art Journaling 2-day Workshop. It is fun and fast-paced. The group is small, limited to 12, so there is the positive personal interaction I value in learning and developing creativity. I'm consistently amazed by the creative energy and spirit that flows during our time together. There are a few spots left. For more information, click on this link to my website page: Art Journaling 2-day Workshop.

May you be blessed this day with abundant creativity in your Art and in your Life!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Celtic Knots and Council in the Night...

Sometimes, when starting a new art journaling page or Bible journaling,  I don't have a specific plan in mind, but just feel drawn to a word, theme, passage of Scripture, or a picture. Sometimes I just feel like doodling. I've been pretty focused and serious these days, so it's probably good for me to play and go with the flow, even in Bible Art Journaling. These pages were fun for me as I doodled, painted and colored.

The deep meaning in these verses did not come to me until over a week after they were made. Then these verses became very personal to my situation:

"I bless the LORD who gives me council; 
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the LORD always before me;
because he is at my right hand, 
I shall not be shaken."

- Psalm 16:7-8 ESV

I had a dream and it disturbed me. Usually, when I dream, they don't seem important, but once in awhile I have one that seems very clear and stays on my mind. At first I had no idea what the dream might mean. I told my husband about it. He responded with one sentence that made me consider what the dream might be referring to. Then pieces started to fall into place in my mind like a puzzle. I looked some things up, and was amazed at the confirmation. I called two friends, whom I respect and asked them what they thought. They confirmed. It was a warning, a "heads up." As I read these verses in Psalm 16 now, I am so grateful to God for giving me council, instructing my heart in the night. He is at my right hand, so I will not be shaken. As I read the next verse written by the hand, Psalm 16:11, I see God is making known to me the path I should take, or not take. He is always with me and in His presence there is fullness of joy, and peace. 

"You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

~ Psalm 16:11

The Celtic knot reminds me of the path of life, interwoven, continuous. The circle in the middle is compass-like, representing direction for my path. 

The Bible Art Journaling Process:
I drew a sketch of the Celtic knot on graph paper while chatting with friends. Then I traced the outline onto deli paper and filled the bands with patterns. Later, at home, I put a coat of matte medium over the top, and painted it with fluid acrylics, cut it out, and glued it onto the Bible page. Then I traced around my hand on another piece of deli paper, doodled and painting it similar to the Celtic knot. After the hand and knot were glued onto the pages, I wrote the verses to the left of the hand and outlined Psalm 16 with a swirly line using a micron pen, then I added patterns, and colored in the loops and inside the line with Prismacolor colored pencils. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Resurrection Day! Bible Art Journaling

He is Risen Indeed!

This week I am focusing on Christ living, resurrected, alive today, in us and through us in the world. Living Hope!

The page was a bit messed up from the other side of the crucifixion story. Seems fitting in a way. In the left margin, I adapted an image similar to the worship painting I did last year in church for Easter service. I imagine myself in the place of Mary, seeking Jesus in the tomb, and am pondering the interaction.

Death defeated! An almost incomprehensible story of hope. The few verses in John 20:19-22 stand out to me as hope-filled peace for us:

"Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”  Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit."
- New Living Translation

Below I've posted my favorite music song video of the Easter story: "Forever" by Kari Jobe.

Happy Resurrection Day!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Bible Art Journaling - The Way of the Cross

Up until now I haven't actually painted directly in my Journaling Bible. Once again, Art is reflecting Life in the process I went through for these two pages. It begins with the process of risking, of letting go of the way I think life should look, and how I think my art should look.

Notice the green mark on the left. Accidental paint splotch or the beginning of some enhancing border? We will see.... that is for a later time.

If you've read any of my other Bible Art Journaling posts, you know word studies are meaningful to me. This time I got caught up in the story. I've read about Jesus' journey to the cross many times in the four gospels. This time, in John 18, I found myself focusing on the words and meaning like I normally do, taking in the identity of Jesus that was the cause of the accusations. I made the Celtic knot border with spaces for the words of Jesus' identity that was being argued.

Then came Chapter 19. Then the questions relating to my own life circumstances and relationships....

At first, I found myself relating to Pilate in the story. I felt compassion for Pilate's "no-win" situation, the pressure of the political climate he was in with Rome and the religious leaders, how he questioned, "What is truth?" and how he was torn to have a man crucified that he found guiltless. Also, I imagine the distress in his soul as he stood face to face, eye to eye with Jesus.

My thoughts then went back to the previous chapter where Peter denies Jesus, and the disciples were scattering. Fear, disappointment, questioning. Clearly, this is not how they saw things playing out in their life or the life of their Messiah. I consider their presuppositions about Jesus. I wonder about my own. I have had presuppositions about what God is doing, and have been disappointed and confused. I have been comfortable with the knowing Jesus is King, the Truth, Son of God, but not really embracing the suffering, and death. In reading the crucifixion story, I must remind myself that for the disciples, and for Jesus, it is pre-resurrection and ascension. It is a point of desolation.

It coincides with my own desolation. One of doubting if I heard God correctly in a situation, one of doubting God, of dealing with loss. Times like that I am tempted to numb the pain by watching an extraordinary amount of British television while drinking red wine and eating dark chocolate, doodling like crazy, and hope I eventually learn to accept the unacceptable. This time is different. I am intentionally pressing in to God, facing the pain, making time to enter His quiet presence, a place of not knowing, risking finding nothingness. It is during that time, I decide to paint in my Bible. Up until now, I have hesitated to paint in it or cover any words. Now it was an act of courage, faith in the process of not knowing the outcome, and trusting God that I couldn't mess it up. Instinctively I sensed it was part of my healing process.

After I had done the Celtic knot and lettering in the middle, I brushed a thin coat of matte medium on both pages and let them thoroughly dry. Then I cut two strips of brown painted paper and glued them on with matte medium. I wrote the words in the margin in pencil and then went over them with Pitt a black pen. Then I spattered Quinacridone Crimson fluid acrylic paint on the page, and spritzed it in a few spots with a mister filled with water.

It was a point of no return, and of freedom for me. It reflects the pressing into God, taking time to ask God the hard questions, get angry, grieve, wait. I asked God, "What do you want from me? I waited. I chose to worship, singing like a bird in the dark. Awhile later, I sensed God speaking to my heart, " Be with Me, in Me, to such a degree that no matter what happens, I am enough. And because I am enough, and I am in you, you are enough." Nothing is impossible with God.

Jesus asks me to take up my cross and follow Him. To me that means death to self. Death to presupposing upon Jesus, while still hoping and clinging to Him, not turning away, but trusting that all things really do work together for good to those who love God. Following and trusting that life follows death, and that resurrection is just around the corner.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Board Book Blessing Number 3

Our third grandchild turned two. It's exciting - so much growth and wonder to celebrate. I feel blessed to be able to spend time with him each week.

As part of the celebration of each of our grandchildren's life, I make a Board Book Blessing. On one hand, it is a simple alphabet board book. On the other hand, it is personalized with their individual name, including their middle name, and a bit of heritage about their last names. Also, I like to put the meaning of their name and at the end I write a life blessing I ask God for, specifically for each one.

Happy Birthday Caleb! I Love You!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Continuing to be Present with my Word for 2015

I began to wonder if the word for 2015 wasn't quite the right one for me, AIM. I felt myself floundering a bit, not sure what to aim at. Being led to John 15 in the Bible, the word "abide" kept jumping out over and over as Jesus tells his disciples, "abide in me." 

When I looked up the meaning of "abide" in the verse on the online Bible reference www.blueletterbible.org and the definition in Google, I found that Abide means: to continue to be present, to be held, kept continually, to live, to remain as one. The text, imagery of the vine, and the meaning of the word abide inspired the artwork and lettering in the left margin of the Bible page.

I read a number of versions of the text on biblegateway.com and wrote the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of John 15:4-5 in the margin below the artwork, where the word Abide is used five times. 

"Jesus said, "Abide in me as I abide in you. 
Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself 
unless it abides in the vine, 
neither can you unless you abide in me. 
I am the vine, you are the branches. 
Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, 
because apart from me you can do nothing."

When I reread the verse now with the deeper meaning of the word, I personalized the text and put the meaning in place of the word to gain more insight into what the text means for me. Here is the example:

Jesus says to me,
"Continue to be present in me as I live in you.
Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself 
unless it is kept continually in the vine, 
neither can you unless you are continually held by me.
I am the vine, you are the branches. 
Those who remain as one in me and I in them, 
bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing."

-adapted from John 15:4-5

Then it hit me, one of those "Aha!" moments. AIM is also an acronym: Abide In Me. No more doubting about my word for this year! I am to aim at abiding in Jesus continually this year. In asking God for further insight, I asked, "Why not the word Abide?" Then I realized why. It is harder for me to have courage and take steps of faith than it is to be still. Aim is an action word. One cannot hold the aim for long without shaking, losing focus, or strength waning. It requires intentional focus, then the action of pulling back and releasing. I am more grateful for my word this year that challenges me to abide continually with God, take aim, and release. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Everything has Become New - Bible Art Journaling

"So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: 
everything old has passed away; 
see, everything has become new!"

- 2 Corinthians 5:17 NRSV

I love that! It is possible to become new, a new creation, have a new beginning, a resurrection of life! It is so hopeful... and then I find myself asking, "How?" 

Immediately following "the new has come," 2 Corinthians 5:18 says, "All this is from God..." I think this is the key. A miracle really, of transformation. Verse 19 goes onto say, 

"in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, 
not counting their trespasses against them, 
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation." 

Yes, I believe "Jesus paid it all." He made it so I could come forgiven and reconciled to God. It's nothing I have done. Jesus saved me. 

"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, 
so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
- 2 Corinthians 5:21 NRSV

Reading in the following three verses I find the word "reconciliation," or a version of the word, used five times. It must be important and relevant to becoming a new creation. So I Googled the definition using www.merriam-webster.com  and looked up the verses and word reconciliation in the online Bible reference:  https://www.blueletterbible.org/

It is rich with meaning. The root for "reconciliation" means: exchange or adjustment.  Through Christ my sinfulness was exchanged for His righteousness.

Reconciliation means restoration. I am restored to who God made me to be. A butterfly perhaps :)

Reconciliation means divine favor. That makes sense to me. "All this is from God...."

Reconciliation is  atonement, at--one-ment, being one with, reconciled to God.

Jesus died and was resurrected so I might live and be one with him. This is good news!

Out of gratitude, my mind goes to, how could this apply to my relationship with others? What does it mean to reconcile or be reconciled with another person?

I looked up reconciled and reconciling. The root word  means: "to change mutually." (Strong's G2644)

To me this points out the difference between reconciling and forgiving. Forgiving can be done individually, but reconciliation takes two to "change mutually." It takes an agreement to come together to restore friendly relations and bring together again. It is harmony, which takes two to "sing." One of the most interesting definitions I found was that reconciliation is "the process of finding a way to make two different ideas, facts, etc., exist or be true at the same time." This requires holding of paradox, such as: even though I mess up God still loves me and delights in me as His chosen child. As His child, I have the choice to embrace His love; to change mutually.

Recently, I over-reacted in a conversation to a topic that came up. Later, I wondered why. I asked God, "What was that about? What is really going on with me? Why did I over-react? I waited. Then it came. It wasn't about that situation at all. It was about something that happened about 15 years ago, and the present situation triggered a strong negative emotion inside of me. When that happens, I know there is some inner work I need to do. I hadn't even thought about it in years, but there it was. I needed to forgive someone for the betrayal from years ago. This is where I know even forgiving someone is a gift from God, not something I can do on my own. God is so good, and wants me to be free, so we worked through, prayed through, shared with a helpful friend, forgave, let go, and now I am free. Does that mean I will reconcile with the person? It might in this case. I am willing. Because reconciling means to change mutually, it is not always possible. Being reconciled to God through Christ is always possible, and for me it is the place to start reconciling with others. The old passes away, making way for a new relationship!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Loving Out the Fear ... Making Me Brave

I've never thought of myself as brave, even though that is what my name means, valor. In the last post, fear being loved out was the theme. Abiding in God's love is what I am to AIM for, the cure for fear. AIM is my word for this year. In this journal page, I continue to express my word of the year and my spiritual journey through art. I love music that makes me see pictures, and also have a song for this year: "You Make Me Brave" by Amanda Cook. When I first heard it, I could see it and knew it was the song for this season.

If I were to pick an album for this year, it would be You Make Me Brave by Bethel Music. We bought the CD and DVD version. It it one of those where seeing it enhances the hearing of it. I highly recommend it! Here is Amanda Cook singing You Make Me Brave in the YouTube video below.

Abiding in God's loving presence is the key for me in life's journey.
It's sinking in deeper, that I am a child of God, and can be free from fear because God loves me. 

Below is a new song by Jonathan and Melissa Helser from the new Bethel Music, We Will Not Be Shaken. It is a powerful statement of being a child of God, no longer a slave to fear. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Love that Throws Fear Out ... Bible Art Journaling

What if I experienced God's love so fully that that there wasn't any room for fear? I wonder what that would be like?

Fear cannot just be thrown out, ignored, let go. I've tried, and know I cannot do away with fear on my own. I've tried to trust God, work hard, but so many times I have acted or reacted out of fear and self-preservation. The verse, found in 1 John 4:17, states,

"There is no fear in love, 
but perfect love casts out fear..."

For a number of weeks now, I have been contemplating the thought of perfect love casting out fear. Recently, the idea came to me in a new way through a sermon by Rob Davey in the series, the Father Heart of God: https://sites.google.com/site/jubileesolihull/home/podcasts. In his sermon, Rob Davey makes a point that helped me see the verse in a way that hit me profoundly:

Fear cannot just be cast out. Fear has to be loved out.

It is perfect love that throws fear out. It is only God's love that can give me the ability to truly let go of fear. This has led me to dig deeper into 1 John 4:15-19, longing for more love, more of God, no fear.

I am using the online Blue Letter Bible and Bible Gateway as my reference libraries for these verses.

In 1 John 4, the word "love" appears 27 times, 3 times in verse 18. Here, love is defined as "affection, good will, love, benevolence, brotherly love." I looked up perfect. It refers to "wanting nothing necessary to completeness, mature." These definitions of "perfect love" tell me God's love for me is full of affection and feeling, lacking in nothing, complete.

Next I looked up "fear." It means, dread, terror, that which strikes terror."  Fear is the opposite of love.

The new revelation for me came when I looked up the meaning for "casts out,"  (G906 in Strong's concordance). It means to throw, to pour out, or "let go of a thing without caring where it falls; to give over to one's care, uncertain about the result." WOW! So does this actually mean that experiencing this perfect love would enable me to face the thing that strikes terror within, and entrust the fear of it to God to the extent that I no longer care or need to know the result, because I experience God's love for me so deeply, so completely? How is this possible?

I look further into the context of the passage. In verses 13-16 the word "abide" appears 6 times, referring to abiding in God and His love. It means "to remain, to continue to be present, to be held, kept continually, to remain as one, to wait for." I am literally taking that to mean:

I am to remain in the love of the Holy Trinity,
I am to continue to be present in God's love,
I am to be held in God's love,
I am kept continually in God's love,
I am to remain as one with God in His love,
I am to wait in God's love.

That is how: God's love for me, in me, abiding in me. Please may it be so God! This kind of love is experiential. 1 John 4:16  (NRSV) says,

"So we have known 
and believe the love 
that God has for us. 
God is love, 
and those who abide in love abide in God 
and God abides in them." 

The word "known" (or know in other versions) in the verse above means: to learn to know, feel, to become known, to understand, to become acquainted with, and to know intimately as a husband and wife. The word "believe" is an intellectual faith, to think to be true, to commit to, to place confidence in, to trust God is able. I have "believed" for many years, and now in recent years, I am beginning to "know." I want to know God more, to love more...

"We love because he first loved us."

-1 John 4:19

Bernice Hopper is leading a 5-session study based on the sermon series above that includes art journaling the Father Heart of God

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Bible Art Journaling Deeper in Love

The past week I've been asking questions about the familiar passage of the greatest commandment:

"Love the Lord your God
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your mind,
and with all your strength."

- Mark 12:30 HCSB

What does it mean to Love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength? To be honest, to me it has always seemed unattainable, something to aim for, but knowing I would never hit the mark. Then I realized I probably needed a new perspective, so I set out to find out more and be open to change my thinking about the greatest commandment Jesus talks about in this verse, a cross reference to Matthew 22:37, the theme verse for last week's His Kingdom Come Community

I came across a free online Bible reference library that is a great tool for in-depth Bible study: blueletterbible.org. When I put the verse in the search box, and then clicked on the dropdown menu, the Strong's Concordance information is accessible, along with other resources and reference aids such as Vine's Dictionary etc. I am now adding this site to my bookmark bar alongside Bible Gateway.

First I looked up the word "Love," fitting for Valentine's Day week, "Agapao" in the Greek. Thayer's Greek Lexicon says when the word is used of the love of God, "it involves the idea of affectionate reverence, prompt obedience, grateful recognition of benefits received." That makes sense to me. 

The surprise for me came in the Bible usage section! I got an instant picture in my mind as I read about agapeo love: "to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly." There is a progression, like going into the home of someone's heart and life.  

1. "to welcome" - to invite someone to cross the threshold and to enter in
2. "to entertain" - to be prepared for a guest, to get to know her/him better such as over a meal or planned time together.
3. "to be fond of" - to hang out together, beyond the planned structure of entertaining in the front rooms, now extending into the kitchen, family room, garden etc.  The relationship has grown into friendship, wanting to be with the other, communicating often. 
4. "to love dearly" - to be intimate with one another, trust is established, nothing hidden, nothing held back. In essence, becoming a lover, one, which also includes all of the above. 

This is a great comfort to me. No matter where I am in receiving God's love and learning to love God, He is always there, inviting me into more of Him. He actually wants me to invite Him deeper into me too! I can love God because He loved me first, and I can learn to love Him better, inviting God into the depths of myself. It In doing that, I can love myself, and in turn, love my neighbor. 

Then I looked up heart, soul, mind, and strength. There was quite a bit of overlap, which reminds me not to compartmentalize myself too much. I am a whole person. The heart, soul, mind and strength include: 

"the center of all my physical and spiritual life, all my passions, desires, thoughts, affections, appetites purposes, endeavors, understanding, intelligence, will, character, breath, life, vital force, feelings, way of thinking, imagination, abilities, power, essence and spirit."

So basically, with everything I am,
I am to love God.


The pages in this post were sketched and written lightly in pencil, then Copic pens. Next, I carefully erased the pencil lines with a white pen eraser. Then colored with Prismacolor colored pencils.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Bible Art Journaling Going Deeper into Transformation

Recently I ordered an ESV Journaling Bible (scroll a ways down sidebar for link.) I was excited to get it, but once it came, the pristine pages were intimidating. It sat for a few days. During that time, I was much encouraged by Rebekah R Jones and her Bible Art Journaling challenges and videos. Then I decided to join Rebekah's Bible Art Journaling Challenge Facebook group and the Journaling Bible Community Facebook group.

Being a "toe in the water first" kind of person, I approached art journaling in an actual Bible with the least risk possible, lightly with pencil to begin before I used pen etc. Since I've been spending time in 2 Corinthians 3, I decided to include two of the word studies for the text in the Bible margin, so it could be a reference for future use. Those word studies, I first wrote down in my everyday journal, are featured in the January 28, 2015 blog post. In the His Kingdom Come community, the theme for January was Transformation, also in a key verse, so I included the metamorphosis of a butterfly. I joined their Facebook group too.

The black pen/s used in this post are Copic fine nib inking pens. The color of the text (which I colored with Prismacolor colored pencils) coordinates with the imagery used. When I got to the end of chapter 3, I read on through the rest of the page.  The words are powerful and encouraging and I had space, so I knew I had to include some more imagery in the right margin.

For the God who said, 
"Let light shine out of darkness,"
has shone in our hearts
to give the light of knowledge
of the glory of God 
in the face of Jesus Christ.

- 2 Corinthians 4:6 ESV

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay, 
to show that the surpassing power 
belongs to God and not to us."

- 2 Corinthians 4:7 ESV

Just starting Bible Art Journaling, I am loving it! It seems so right for me to integrate the love of studying God's Word, my faith journey, and art journaling. I'm soooo excited!

Friday, February 6, 2015

What am I AIMing at?

I've been asking that question in light of the new year, my word for the year (AIM) and in light of my life. It is a working out, wrestling through, a process of seeking... finding... and being grateful for the journey. 

No matter what I aim at, or set out to do, Christ needs to be the center of my focus. That is what the big circle with the gold center is about. 

The most recent journal page is the one with the loose and doodled concentric circles, the same shape as a target. Concentric circles have become my shape of the year. They are simply circles that share the same center. 

I envision us, like stones of God being dropped into the center of His purpose. Each stone that drops, makes concentric rings, with the potential of radiating the Kingdom of God into the world. It is God who does the work, if I am willing to be dropped into his purpose. 

"There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind 
that the God who started this great work in you 
would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish 
on the very day Christ Jesus appears."

- Philippians 1:6 The Message Bible

This year, concentric circles illustrate how I relate to God, self and others. God is at the center, His bulls-eye, as Psalm 25:12 in the Message Bible says,

"...What are God-worshipers like?
... Arrows aimed at God's bulls-eye."

That it my desire: to be a "God-worshiper." To illustrate that, I put gold circles at the center of each "target." I know I can only do this if I take the time to listen, seek, step out in faith.... risk... giving myself grace to make mistakes... 

The concentric circles page has more layers of paint than any of the others in the journal so far. One would think it would be the easiest page, but for me, it wasn't. Layers upon layers of trying to get it right. The process of art journaling was once again reflecting life. I was unsure of myself, but just kept going until the circles seemed to fit in with the rest of the pages. It is a message for me in life as in art: Come back to Center. Trust God. Don't give up.

"My aim is to raise hopes by pointing the way to life without end. 
This is the life God promised long ago—
and he doesn’t break promises!" 

- from Titus 1:1-4 The Message Bible