Monday, October 31, 2016

Here I stand - in Pumpkin Center

A bit fitting that we visited Pumpkin Center
 near Lincolnton, North Carolina
 over the weekend.
It was actually St. Luke's Lutheran Church
 that we visited on Sunday.
This congregation was celebrating
 its 240th Anniversary.
 Two years ago they made a challenging
 Here I stand decision.
They were an ELCA- 
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America congregation.
They took a Sola Scriptura stand
 and became a LCMS-
 Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod

Lay Minister Glenn Roseman- Left
Husband John -right
Interim pastor- Rev. Craig Schultz 
was serving another neighboring congregation
 on Reformation Sunday.
 Pastor Schultz is working to help the congregation
 piece together their LONG history.
Some of the time line here.
They are looking for artifacts of photos
 and printed materials to add to the story. 
We love exploring the grounds a bit on a visit.
It was beautiful day for a stroll in the cemetery.

Years of military dedication
 in this gathering of saints.
and maybe a sense of humor.....
A Here I stand congregation- 
on Reformation Day,
 that is almost half as old as the Reformation.
And giving thanks for all the Saints
 that have gone before.

A bit more of their history here-
St. Luke's History

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Bible Journaling - in the Missionary Age

 Bible Journaling Series- #188
This week I was able to attend a 
Professional Church Worker's conference
 and loved  listening to our presenter-
Rev. Robert Newton.
I ended up putting the notes 
right into my Bible-
so I wouldn't lose them.
The story of Daniel- 
what does it mean for us in our own
"Babylon" today?

Missionary Posture in Today's World-
1. Maintain our Core Identity
2. No other gods
3. From Ritual to Personal Faith
4. Discipleship
5. Knowing the Story
6. Living the Story

This becomes our "Acts" story today.
Often we are feeling unsettled 
and just out of sorts in our world.
 Nothing seems right.
Maybe we feel like we don't belong.
It is EXILE living.
The key is remembering God's faithfulness
 in the diaspora.
God uses exile for blessing.
Exile is always where God 
forms or reforms His people.
So--- How do you think Bible Journaling
 helps you to Know your story?
Can you see the ways that 
you can Share your story?
What does LIVING your STORY look like?
 I believe that the Lord is giving us 
these Bible Journaling resources-
to comfort and encourage His people
 in our Exiled living.
We live in the third largest 
Missionary field today- the United States.
Perhaps a look at the choices of Daniel 
make a great map for us today.

Stamp and ink
Colored pencils
Fine-point Sharpie marker
Scrapbook paper

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Here and About- October 2016

Ebenezer Lutheran Church 
Greensboro, North Carolina

Sometimes a week is just very full
 of all sorts of experiences.
This post gathers some of the comings and goings
 of this past week.
We worshiped at Ebenezer this past Sunday.
Amazing art- Visual Faith.
Everything from Illuminated Bibles 
to art from the studio of Lucas Cranach.
Original printwork of artist Adam Moser.
Monday and Tuesday were 
Professional Church Workers Conferences- 
at Resurrection Lutheran Church, Cary, North Carolina 
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Herndon, Virginia.
We were blessed to Rev. Dr. Robert Newton- 
District President from California, Nevada and Hawaii 
join us to direct our thinking about the Missionary Age.
We took off to spend some time downtown DC
 and headed to one of our favorite spots- 
the National Cathedral.
On the last Tuesday of the month
 the inside of the cathedral
 is set up with multiple labyrinths. 
We wandered around quietly listening
 to beautiful music 
and visiting the chapels in the lower level.
A stroll through the cathedral gardens, 
supper at  Old Ebb's Grill
A DC tradition since 1856,
and a late night stroll past the White House.
Wednesday evening was the Gala for  
LIRS - Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services. 
We were at Capitol View at 400
 with night time views
 of the Capitol and Union Station.
Former refugee Joseph Lewis 
was the Master of Ceremonies,
and Omar Al-muqdad was the Keynote Speaker.
A Walk of Courage award 
was presented to  Rev. Mark Hanson- 
former Bishop of the ELCA.
 Madeleine Albright, the first female Secretary of State,
 and the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government was also presented a Walk of Courage Award.
At one time she too, was a refugee to the United States,
 and fled Europe during World War 2.
Linda Hardke serves as President and CEO of LIRS.

I pray that the Lord would open the hearts 
of more Americans to see refugees 
as human beings marginalized and needing 
our welcome- as our neighbors.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Bible Marginalia- Christ Strengthens Me

Bible Marginalia Series- #187

Philippians 4:13
Learned in whatever situation...
to be content....
know how to abound....
learned the secret of facing hard things...
my God will supply every need...
BECAUSE I can do all things through
Christ who strengthens me.
Hope and promise.
A Withness in this passage.
A prayer for now,
and all the days to come in the future.
Lord, help me to remember.

Washi tape
Colored pencils
Fine-point Sharpie marker
Bible verse stamp and ink

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Bible Marginalia- Psalm 121

 Bible Marginalia series- #186
 Psalm 121

I had stamped this page about 2 years ago.
It was a favorite psalm of my mom's. 
 Sometimes that keeps me from coming back
 because I fear that what ever I engage here
 on this page won't be special enough.
But, as I was "drawn" to this psalm 
in a  lectionary reading-
 a door opened.
I know the first verse well.

And as usual in my time for margin work,
 new things sprang forward.
The Lord KEEPS me.
The Lord KEEPS me from evil .
The Lord KEEPS me and never sleeps.
The Lord KEEPS my life.

1. have or retain possession of
2. continue in a specific condition or course
3. provide for sustenance of someone
4. honor or fulfill a commitment or undertaking

Honor, guard, protect, value, hold dear

Certainly on this page I can lay my prayer
 before the Lord to Keep those I love dearly.
Thank you, Lord.

Bible verse stamp
 Circle image stamp
colored pencils
Fine-point Sharpie non-bleeding

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Bible Marginalia-Walking in the Truth

 Bible Marginalia Series #185

Sometimes I am too anxious
 to even breathe these words:
my children are walking in the truth.
Fear comes in and challenges me with:
what if's and the tenuous fate 
that future holds in our lives.
And then I come back and remember the promise
 given to them in their Baptism,
 and to their spouses, and now to our grandchildren.
And I rest in that strong hold of our Heavenly Father, 
who cannot lie, 
and tells us that He will never leave us.
because it is His nature
 and He CANNOT break a promise.
than to hear, know, believe, and see
this journey of faith for my own children.
And I pray over these words:
Walking in the Truth.
In a world that does not believe 
in ABSOLUTE Truth,
and how our walk is sometimes a shuffle, 
and other days it feels like we are running ragged.
And I give thanks for the breath relief 
of being a part of God's family, 
the church, the KINGDOM of GOD.
May I live a life that points to Him 
as creator, sustainer, and provider.
May my own journey be blessed -
as I KNOW that my own parents
 prayed these verses over ME.

Colored pencils
 Fine point Sharpie marker
Washi tape

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Illuminated Seating

 Once in awhile you just see the spot -
when the sunshine comes around the corner 
and dances light in a way 
that captures your glance.
 In a quick run for the camera-
holding breath that it will be there on return.
An Illuminated seat-
calling my name.
Come and just sit a bit.
Take a breath.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Bible Marginalia- The Lord's Patience with ME

Bible Marginalia Series- #184
2 Peter 3: 8-18.

The Day of the Lord will Come
Ever wonder where that saying is from-
One day is like a thousand years?
Well, it is right here.
Talking about how the Lord does time, 
and the mystery of it, 
and how "waiting" just doesn't fit 
into the same time frame 
that God looks at these things.
The Lord is patient with me, 
will "slow down time"- 
because he doesn't wish that any should perish, 
but that all should reach repentance. (v.9)
Sometimes when I am "waiting on God"-
 the reality is that He may be "waiting on me."
The Lord breathes patience.
We should count His patience
 as our salvation gift-
that all may be gathered to Him on the last day.
This section talks about the heavens
 that pass away with a roar.
  The heavenly bodies will be burned up
 and dissolve. 
The earth and the works 
that are done on it will be exposed.
But, DO NIOT OVERLOOK this one fact, 
that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, 
and a thousand years as one day.
Do not say that you need more days or more time-
He may already have given you thousands of years.
Oh, what a gift that the Lord 
is so patient with me!
Let me give that grace to all others
 that I encounter, Lord!

I decided not to journal in the blank space
 as that might impact what I would do for 1 John- 
on the flip side of this page.
 The tangled tip-in with watercolor 
worked for a space for journaling 

 Heidi Swapp Stencil- American Crafts
Michael's-pearlescent watercolors
Tattered Angels- Tangle pack- 
(found at Tuesday Morning)
colored pencils
fine-point Sharpie non bleeding
Washi tape

Sunday, October 16, 2016

When Hope anchors the Soul

Watching the wind blow 
the grasses this time of year.
 Hope sometimes feels
 as elusive as the wind.
It comes and goes.  
 Sometimes it bends deep to the ground.
But... even on those days of wondering-
 my hope is built on nothing less.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
In Him, my righteousness, alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
 Edward Mote- 1797-1874

Friday, October 14, 2016

Martin Luther's Morning and Evening Prayers

Always looking for resources 
for Family Faith Life Living.
Recently Concordia Publishing House 
offered these Free printables on their blog for 
Martin Luther's Morning and Evening Prayers.  

 I did not grow up saying these in my family together 
and learned them later when I got married.
Now I am looking for ways to bring them 
into the homes of the next generation.
Certainly these Visual Faith tools 
are a welcome addition 
for a family teaching faith life living.
Printables are HERE:
Luther's prayers
I printed them on regular
 8 1/2 by 11 copy paper.
I used acrylic paint to brush on paint 
on the edges of a flat canvas- (Michael's)
Then I tore the edges on the side
 and brushed on Distress Ink.
Used Mod Podge to adhere 
underneath the whole sheet 
and then on the outer edges of the paper.
(if you have a brayer then I suggest 
covering the whole sheet with Mod Podge)

Inexpensive Visual Faith Tools-
to lean on a window sill or on a bookshelf.
Can also make this project 
with a prayer on either side of one flat canvas.
A great project for a Families in Faith
 craft project for gathering families 
to make together.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

What is Visual Faith?

So just what is Visual Faith?
This is an attempt to gather 
some of the processes,
 and reminders of faith 
that tell part of the story 
for followers of Jesus.
We are made in the image
 of a creative God,
and visual faith tools honor 
His creative sanctification 
of believers on a daily basis.
It is the basic process of bringing together
 our great gifts of prayer and His Word- 
and adding visual, kinesthetic, 
and tactile adaptations that make meaning
 for us in our daily life.
It is the answer to the question-
What does this mean for me?
Visual Faith

Bringing together images of everyday life
with words- typography, 
that communicate a Biblical truth.
Visual faith photo booklet
with faith language affirmation.

Graphic displays and text 
cement words of hope
in beautiful transformative ways.
Manila Tag booklet 
for specific liturgical seasons.
(with age-appropriate language)

Theology- the study of God,
lived out in our own 
lives and experiences.
The language of faith- discipling words
that become part of faith-life living.
 Small tactile remembrances 
of God's dramatic intersection in our lives.

 Daughter Jessica's -Baptism story.
Faith milestone.
Faith foldable- "Faithable" to
Gather the story of faith milestones.

And Confirmation story.
A tool to witness to family, 
friends, neighbors,
and the world- 
of God's gracious faithfulness to us.

Prayers for my Children-
Scripture Flipbook 

Visual faith is the intentional process 
of using reminders of faith 
in our prayer life.
God's Word to pray over our children.
Prayer cubes for Meal time, 
Bedtime, Anytime.

Visual faith includes 
teaching methods to instill 
words of prayer
 in the lives of our families.
Visual theology 
allows the connections
 to be personal,
and a part of the story-telling
of God’s faithfulness.
 It is seeing and understanding
 the truth about God.
Scripture Printable (from Pinterest)
and added to a flat canvas.

Visual Faith is the intentional placement
of God's Word in front of us in our homes 
so that we may 
See and Remember.
These tools deal with the diagnosis 
we all have of spiritual amnesia
 and forgetting God's faithfulness to us.
Faith Foldable- Accordion Booklet

It is the gathering of the STORY 
of our faith journey-
along the way- 
and documents our spiritual formation.
Faith Family Rolodex-
an ongoing project that collects 
words of meaning and milestone events,
 and the rhythm of the liturgical seasons.

Visual faith is the response
 to conversations with families 
about what is helpful
 in the teaching of "faith culture".
Meeting families right where they are.
Baseball card holder with 
prayer cards for individuals.

Visual Faith is a way to lift up 
people to the Lord in prayer.
And remember who we are praying
 for in our daily walk.
Prayer card made for a friend

Visual faith is a way to bless others
 in our lives with the images that 
bring prayer to the center of our lives.
Visual faith can be in the margins
 of our Bibles
where God's Word 
meets the world of our lives.
Gratitude journals and cards

Visual Faith is an intentional plan
 to pay attention to our daily gifts,
to create hearts of gratitude.
Visual faith can be the journaling of prayers,
 Bible Study, and sermon notes. 

Visual faith is connecting 
our response to God's text message to us.
The centering of the growing relationship
 we are blessed to experience in prayer
 and time in His Word.
Visual faith is our ongoing spiritual formation,
worked out by the Holy Spirit
 in an Individual Education Plan. 
It is the journey of our Heavenly Father
turing the broken into the beautiful,
and our witness of this process
 that is covered in Grace.

What can YOU add to the conversation
of how the Lord is working out 
His plan for your life?
And how you Tell the Story....