Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2 Corinthians 5:17


Another simple verse done without any planning....I just did it!
I have done this verse twice before but I keep going back to it.
I love butterflies and I love that they transform so completely and beautifully!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[a] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Genesis 22:2


So this one didn't turn out like I had it in my head.
I am posting anyway.
I made the mistake of using a charcoal pencil to draw out my picture.
It got muddy and icky when I colored it.
So why post it?
Well, because it is real. Not all of my creations are pin-worthy. LOL
I had this image in my head and I really had it great in my head. 

Not long ago I heard someone talk about the principle of first mention. Our speaker asked us if we knew the first question in the Bible. I knew that one because I love the first part of the verses..

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool3 of the day, and the man and his wife bhid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”

I love the thought of God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, but missed the all important first question in the Bible!

Where are you?

God wants to know where you are. Not in the sense that He is unaware of your location but He wants to draw you to Him!

Where are you?

So that was the first thing she talked about and then she asked us if we knew when the first mention of the word Love was?

Genesis 22:2

He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

The first use of the word LOVE comes when God asks for the sacrifice of an only son -the same manner in which sacrifice is made for sin atonement.

My picture may not be very good but I don't care. The message is powerful enough to make up for my lack of skills :-)



Wednesday, December 16, 2015

1 John 5:18 I am Born of God and the Evil One Cannot Touch Me



 My identity in Christ says,
I am born of God, and the evil one cannot touch me.

I really like the way that one sounds!

This one is a bit messy. I don't remember what was going on but it was a bit chaotic in my house. I used Artsy Faith Banners & Pennants stamps (you can see HERE) and hand lettered the rest.
The messy coloring was with my crayola colored pencils.

It is a great message about who we are in Christ no matter how you color it!

Be blessed today and may you be a blessing to others! 


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Artsy Faith Banners & Pennants (The Alison) Stamp Set



So this is what I have been up to these last couple of months. I know there are other suppliers of things for Bible Art Journaling, and they are doing amazing things, but I am a one woman outfit and I am a wife and mom first. 
I love doing this. I love creating things that will help others enjoy the process of Bible Art Journaling!

This set, like our other set, is $12+tax and shipping.

You can see BOTH sets HERE

Thank you all for your kind words and support!

Wishing you a very blessed and Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 3, 2015

What Have I Been Doing?


I have still been creating verses, but not in my journaling Bible. 
I have been creating digital slides.
Some of them have been for church...



Others were just for me...


The one below I created this morning after my quiet time


This is one of the first ones I did after one of our deacons shared a story about a sign in the locker room. He said something to the effect of: you have tried drinking, chasing women, drugs, you have tried everything else and still feel empty why not try God? 
I changed it to Jesus. 


and this one I did for my friend, Nan, I thought I would give her a print:


I think until the holidays are over my "artwork" will be digital.
I do have a pinterest board with digital Bible verse art:
https://www.pinterest.com/ArtsyFaith5/digital-artsy-faith/

I have a little blog that I use to keep them all in one place:
http://visualfaith.blogspot.com/

OH and I wanted to share with you something I found the other day. For those of you who like the idea of Bible art journaling but struggle with the art part of it:

http://www.amazon.com/Inspire-Bible-NLT-Creative-Journaling/dp/1496413741/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449155684&sr=8-1&keywords=inspire+bible


It looks so cool and right now it is priced well below retail during the pre-order time. It won't be released until Feb 2016









Sunday, November 22, 2015

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 I Belong to God


Hey there! Long time no posting. So yesterday was my birthday and it was wonderful. Today was a fabulous day at church and I am so thankful for both that I thought I would post on a Sunday even though I don't typically do so.
I love a good Bible Study. I am usually involved in a formal study with a ladies group. We usually have something going in our Life Group (aka Sunday School). Pastor has a series of lessons each week in church. AND I usually feel led to explore a theme or book on my own. So for the foreseeable future I will be sharing verses from one of those areas of study.
Today's verse comes from my personal study of our identity in Christ.
I had a conversation with a good friend and she was talking about what the Bible says about who we are in Christ. As I thought about this I remember thinking do I really know what the Bible says about my identity in Christ? hmmmm
Then my friend said, "And if we know what the Bible says about our identity in Christ, do we believe it?"
WOW - knowing vs. believing. There is a difference. I heard a sermon by Matt Chandler and he said you can know something without it being followed by action but if you believe something it shows in your actions.
Hmmmmm do I believe what the Bible says about who I am in Christ?
And then my friend said, "Do your behaviors line up with that belief in who the Bible says we are in Christ?"
Wowser!
Or do we allow habits and emotional baggage to conceal who we are in Christ?

So, I looked up what the Bible had to say about my identity. I used my friend's three questions as a guide starting with What does the Bible say about our identity in Christ.
I prayed about and read a lot of verses and statements. I ended up with 21 related to this first question with this first verse being the bedrock.
I Belong to God
You are not your own for you were bought with a price. 

I started thinking about slavery and how people were purchased in exchange for money and without a say in where they were going or what they were going to do. Only their master knew.
I made a choice to accept the price Jesus paid for me that allows me to belong to God. 
Now am I willing to live like I belong to Him? Am I willing to go where He wants me to go? Am I willing to do what He wants me to do?
He paid the price.


Monday, November 16, 2015


Okay, y'all, I had big plans to post this month and it just hasn't happened. Truth is, I am a wife, mother, and daughter before anything else and this month those roles have demanded more time than normal. There have been oral surgeries, visits to the doctors to see if fingers are broken, husband traveling, and helping parents get to doctor appointments and whatever else was needed. I have also been finishing up a new stamp set that should be ready within a week or two.
I am thankful that I have a sweet husband, wonderful children, and supporting loving parents.
My birthday is coming up in a few days, and I really want to have a verse done for my birthday!
Here's hoping
While I haven't been able to do what I had hoped this month, I have still spent each day thinking about what I am thankful for.
I think Gratitude falls into three areas: Spiritual, Big Life Things, and all the little things.
God
God's love for us
God's Word
Family
The Church
My church family
Our Home
Our health
All the things we have that make life comfortable
Friends
smell of a clean house
gentle rain on a spring day
coffee in the morning
children laughing
a good night sleep
lazy morning
a good movie
a great book
books
hugs
a good meal with good friends

Life isn't easy, but it is sweet.

Thanks for understanding.




Wednesday, November 4, 2015

1 John 1:4



“We delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed.”   -C.S. Lewis

"...the delight is incomplete till it is expressed."

I read this quote months ago and was struck at how impactful that last bit is.

When I came upon this verse (1 John 1:4) I felt certain that it must have been the source of inspiration for the C.S. Lewis quote. Now, I don't know that to be true but it certainly is in the same vein. It also hit me how very true this is for me! I simply cannot be contented to hold good news close. The things that bring me great joy, I have to share. This verse is why I started this blog. Bible Art Journaling has brought me such joy, but it felt incomplete without sharing it with EVERYONE I come in contact with! So, I am writing these things so that my JOY may be complete!

I am thankful for expressed Joy.

I created this page using painters tape run through my big shot with an alphabet die. I adhered the letters to the page and used watercolor pencils around the letters. I added water and it got a bit muddy where the colors met. Once it dried, I went over the whole thing with regular colored pencils. By adding the colored pencils I was able to brighten the colors and help the blending. I added some shading to the painter's tape letters. 

I didn't do anything fancy with the rest of the lettering -just my own handwriting. I love doing interesting lettering in the margin, but there is a time and place for a more relaxed way of creating my favorite verses.

Wishing you a blessed and joy-filled day!

Monday, November 2, 2015

1 Peter 3:15



but gin your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, halways being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and irespect,

I love this verse. It came as a bit of a shock the first time it registered with me. It is loaded and heavy. I don't mean that in a bad way but I think of it like a lawyer preparing for a trail. A good lawyer has to prepare an argument. They have to think of the arguments the other lawyer may make and prepare to answer them. That is a responsibility we each have-that is the heavy part. But smack dab in the middle of that responsibility is HOPE. Be prepared to explain why you have such HOPE in you. 
Share with others why and how you carry such HOPE within you.
Isn't it beautiful?
I LOVE this verse and the duty it charges us with. 
I am grateful for the HOPE I have because of Jesus. 

I created this page very simply because I was trying out something and I wasn't sure how it would turn out. I used painters tape and cut out the letters for HOPE using my big shot and an alphabet die. I adhered them to the page and colored my sunset. I removed the painters tape and added some shadows to the letters. 

What are you thankful for today? 
What are some of your favorite verses that express your thankfulness?




Sunday, November 1, 2015

ThanksLiving


Many years ago,(2008) on another blog I had (http://notes-about-nothing.blogspot.com/2008/11/month-long-gratitude-challenge.html), I posted everyday in November something I was thankful for. I printed off the pages and made a little book of the posts. It is one of my favorite things. 
I think it is time to do it again with fresh eyes. A lot has changed in 7 years -and a lot has remained the same. It will be strange to repeat this exercise.
I won't be posting everyday because I can't create verse/pages that quickly, but this falls in line with a series of sermons Pastor Josh will be giving and I borrowed his idea. Since it is what I will be immersed in this month, I thought it would be a good idea to reflect that here. I think it is great preparation for the Christmas season.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Genesis 46:3



Verse 10



Life threw me a curve ball or two this week. Which is why my last posts have been delayed. My husband injured himself (he is fine now, thank God!) but it required several days of doctor visits and me driving him. In other words, my time was no longer my own. In addition, my son had a film project which required filming in the evening so the "actors" were here for some time before dark. Long story short, my house has been filled with chaos. I think the enemy likes to use chaos to distract us.
I did this page a week ago. I wrote the above several days ago. Every time I have sat down to write this entry something has come up. It is funny that this lesson is about integrity. I get frustrated with myself when I set a goal and I miss it. I am not sure I can complete my remaining three entries by tomorrow evening. Which feels like a failure to me. I am reminding myself that my priorities have to be God, family, church, everything else... 
So I will post this without the lesson on the portion. I hope to get some time this weekend. We shall see. Thanks for understanding! 


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Genesis 45:5


Verse/Lesson 9
Genesis 44:1-45:15

Today’s portion of Joseph’s story is about a final test for his brothers and the big reunion. The first time I really studied Joseph’s story was a little over two years ago. I remember when we got to this part of the study feeling a little put off by what Joseph does in this part of scripture. Why plant the cup and falsely accuse them –especially in light of the fact that Joseph knows what it is like to be falsely accused!
In case you didn’t have an opportunity to read the portion yet, Joseph has seen Benjamin, released Simeon, fed the brothers and filled their sacks with food and allowing them to return to their home. He instructed his steward to fill their sacks with as much food as they could. In addition to each man’s money returned to them, he ordered his own silver cup to be placed in Benjamin’s sack. He ordered his steward to follow them and overtake them with the accusation of the stolen cup. The steward was to ask them, “How could you repay kindness with evil?”

The steward did as he was instructed. When the steward accused the brothers of stealing the silver cup they reacted with disbelief and basically refute the accusation and add that if they did find the cup that brother would be a slave to Joseph!

They were not considering the option of the set-up, were they? Nope.

Of course the cup is found in Benjamin’s bag and they all load up and return to the city to have a chat with Joseph.
The Bible says their reaction was….
“…they tore their clothes.”
That is a level of frustration and sorrow I have never known. But in that moment they knew that past sins were coming back upon them. Look at verse 16

 And Judah said, “What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak? Or how can we clear ourselves? God has found out the guilt of your servants; behold, we are my lord’s servants, both we and he also in whose hand the cup has been found.” ESV

Judah answered, "Oh, my lord, what can we say to you? How can we explain this? How can we prove our innocence? God is punishing us for our sins. My lord, we have all returned to be your slaves--all of us, not just our brother who had your cup in his sack." NLT

"What can we say to my lord?" Judah replied. "What can we say? How can we prove our innocence? God has uncovered your servants' guilt. We are now my lord's slaves--we ourselves and the one who was found to have the cup." NIV

(Emphasis is mine) but look at the underlined portion of that verse. I didn’t catch it the first time but I think this line is a guilty conscience. Not for stealing the silver cup, but for what had been done to Joseph. I think, Judah had been living with the results of his hatred and jealousy of Joseph by having to see what his actions did to their father. He knew Jacob would not survive the loss of Benjamin too. All of the years of what they had done, Judah is now feeling the full weight of it. And this time Judah doesn’t think of himself but of his father and his brother.
I guess that is what Joseph wanted to see all along. Are they changed? Would they make a different choice given similar circumstances? Joseph needed to know.
The last part of chapter 44 reads like a re-cap on a tv show. Previously on ….
Judah recaps the events to try to show they wouldn’t do what they were accused of but then explains that he cannot hurt his father, Jacob, by leaving without Benjamin and pleads to be able to take his place for the sake of Jacob.
Upon hearing this, Joseph can’t keep his identity hidden any longer!
How I wish the Bible gave us a detailed description of what each brother’s face looked like upon hearing the news AND what thoughts were running through their heads! I also wonder over the twenty years since they last saw Joseph if they ever thought about him or thought they saw him out and about?

Not long after my dad died, maybe 9 months or so, I remember being in a bank parking lot and seeing a man that looked exactly like my dad. I was 16 and hadn’t spent a lot of time with my dad before he died but it stopped me in my tracks. The hair on my neck stood on end and I remember crying. I knew it wasn’t him but for a few moments it was him.

I wonder if they ever had moments like that.

My verse for today comes from the portion of scripture where Joseph is assuring his brothers that he is not angry with his brothers for he knows it was God at work, divinely placing him in a position to help many during the famine.

And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. Genesis 45:5 ESV



Can you hear the grace and mercy and forgiveness in Joseph's words?
I know I have said this before, but I think it bears repeating because it is repeated so often through Joseph's story. We are called to have a good attitude. Really our good attitude should be a natural outpouring of our faith in Jesus. We have to remember circumstances change, but Christ's love and the gift of the Holy Spirit never change. Because of that we should be able to find God's hand in our circumstances and be able to forgive, and extend grace and mercy.

Many years ago I worked in a position where I helped supervise a large group of customer service representatives. It was in a call center and one of my duties was to take over calls that were problematic or if they were requesting to speak to a supervisor. There was this one young woman in the group that didn't like me. The first time I took a call for her I remember she complained to my boss that I touched her keyboard. Which was funny because I have to plug into her system and computer in order to take the call. Anyway, I remember feeling really frustrated with the situation and not liking her very much for being so unreasonable! I was sharing with my mom about it and my mom suggested I try to lightly touch her when the opportunity presented itself. I did. And over the course of several months two things began to happen. She softened towards me....AND I softened towards her. I began to understand her a bit better and see how her circumstances made her react a certain way. I also learned that by extending her grace and kindness she was able to do the same. By the time I was leaving that job, that young lady had invited me to her wedding and help throw a going away party for me. She also gave me a very thoughtful gift that I had for the longest time. I kept it to serve as a reminder that MY attitude can make all the difference in other's attitudes.

Chuck Swindall says this about Joseph, "He was great because of his faith in God, which manifested itself in a magnanimous attitude toward others and his magnificent attitude toward difficulties. A strong faith leads to a good attitude. When those two essentials are in place, troubles become challenges to face not reasons to quit."

How great is that???? I rambled on and on, and Chuck said it perfectly!

The remainder of the portion is Joseph saying come and live with me... I will set you up ...famine is going for another 5 years....bring father...
I imagine there was a lot of excited energy in the air. The reunion with the brothers, helping them in the difficulty of the famine, the anticipation of being reunited with Jacob...exciting times!

The next portion of Joseph's story will be Genesis 45:16 -46:29

Sorry this post was late. It is a busy week in our household. My baby had a birthday and I am celebrating my anniversary with my hubby this week. He is home on vacation.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Genesis 43:23


Verse/Lesson 8
Genesis 43:15-34

We have a short passage of scripture for today just 20 verses. We left off with Jacob wringing his hands for fear of losing Benjamin if the brother’s took him to Egypt with him. So in verse 15 it says they took double the silver (to make up for what was returned to them last time) plus gifts…and Benjamin and made their way to Egypt.
When they arrived and Joseph saw Benjamin he had them brought to his house and had a grand meal prepared. Joseph’s brothers were scared at this point and began explaining what exactly had happened… it reminded me of the long-winded explanation one of my kids gives me when they think they are in trouble. As I read it I found myself chuckling a little bit because it was just like they were little boys in trouble instead of grown men. And then the steward said to them … (in my head I heard him say it in a calm-yourself-everything-is-okay sort-of way…
He replied, “Peace to you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has put treasure in your sacks for you. I received your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.  Genesis 43:23 ESV



 I really wanted a peaceful image with this verse so I attempted to do a Bokeh technique to create a soft and peaceful feeling on the page.

So the steward tells them …calm down it is okay nobody thinks you stole the money. (the phrasing is mine J)
What is coming next is when Joseph gets to take a good look at all of his brothers. I was struggling for what to say about this emotion filled passage and then I read something Chuck Swindall wrote. He was talking about Vietnam POWs returning from captivity and described the emotion like this:
“As life went on while they were separated, not a day passed without their hearts returning to one another.  And then, there they were together again –struggling to put those years of separation into words. As songwriter, Fanny Crosby once put it, “Chords that are broken…vibrate once more.”
A scene not dissimilar from those I have just described is about to occur in our story of Joseph. Again, the emotions that surround it are difficult to put into words as all the brothers of a family, separated for more than two decades, will soon be united.”

That really prepares the reader for the powerful emotional scene that is about to play out in scripture. I had a hard time deciding on the verse I selected today. I debated for weeks between the one you see and the next bit of scripture.


Deeply moved at the sight of his brother, Joseph hurried out and looked for a place to weep. He went into his private room and wept there. Genesis 43:30 NIV

Then Joseph hurried from the room because he was overcome with emotion for his brother. He went into his private room, where he broke down and wept. Genesis 43:30 NLT

Then Joseph hurried out, for his compassion grew warm for his brother, and he sought a place to weep. And he entered his chamber and wept there. Genesis 43:30 ESV

There is such sweet tenderness in this verse. I love all three versions of it too.
Deeply moved, overcome with emotion, compassion grew warm… isn’t it beautiful?

Grace and love.

The portion of our scripture for today finishes up with them sitting down to have a meal. It is a little funny that the brothers ate together, Joseph ate alone, and the Egyptians ate alone. I did read something that was interesting on this last bit. I didn’t pick up on it at first but it is interesting to think about.
Author and scholar, Henry Morris, explains the brother’s astonishment.

“After they were assigned to seats at their table, the eleven brothers noted a remarkable thing. They had been seated in order of age, from the eldest through the youngest. If this were a mere coincidence, it was indeed marvelous. One can easily show…that there are no less than 39,917,000 different orders in which eleven individuals could have been seated!...Evidently, this man knew a great deal more about their family than they had realized; or else he had some kind of supernatural power. They had no answer, and could only wonder about it.”

Joseph’s love for his brothers far outweighed any hurt left behind. His heart was full of love and forgiveness. Just like the grace extended to Joseph’s brothers, God has extended forgiveness and grace to each of us through Jesus.

Isn’t it such a sweet and tender part of the story? I do love this story!

For next time, read Genesis 44:1-45:15

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Genesis 43:14



Verse/Lesson 7

We are picking up today in Genesis 42:36-43:15.
Jacob, Jacob, Jacob…I feel ya. This part of the story is so very human. Jacob is in a panic. Clearly, he is not trusting in God here but very much reacting from his circumstance. When I read this passage it is easy to imagine myself in a rant with my own children. Granted, the circumstances are different but the behavior is the same.
Some of it is even cringe-worthy…read verse 38

But he said, “My son shall not go down with you, for his brother is dead, and he is the only one left. If harm should happen to him on the journey that you are to make, you would bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to Sheol.” ESV

Reuben must have been thinking, “um, hello, I am his brother and your son too…”
Jacob is acting as though he only has 2 children. Jacob is also really fretting and forgetting to trust in the Lord.
The rest of the portion of reading for today is the brothers trying to convince Jacob to let them return to Egypt with Benjamin so they can get Simeon and get more food because the famine still has a stronghold on the land.
On a side note, it mentions in 43:10 that had they acting in a timely manner that could have come and gone twice by now. Which led me to think about poor Simeon left behind in prison and seemingly forgotten by his brothers and Joseph. Knowing that they could have made the trip there and back twice in that span of time leaves Simeon wondering what on earth has happened and will he ever get out. The Bible doesn’t tell us anything about him during that time but I wonder.
In the end, Jacob agrees –reluctantly, and the brothers are going with Benjamin to see Joseph and hopefully retrieve Simeon as well. But before they go, Jacob has a list of how they should do it…

Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: take some of the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry a present down to the man, a little balm and a little honey, gum, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds. Take double the money with you. Carry back with you the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks. Perhaps it was an oversight. Take also your brother, and arise, go again to the man.       Genesis 43:11-13 ESV

Again, I could hear myself telling my children exactly how to do something. In my defense, my kids are 9, 13, & 15 and Jacob is probably a great grandfather at this point (maybe even a great-great grandfather) making his sons mature men who are grandfathers or great grandfathers themselves. They are not young children is the point. J And that brings us to my verse. 


Genesis 43:14
May God Almighty grant you mercy before the man, and may he send back your other brother and Benjamin. And as for me, if I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.”   ESV

Just in case they didn’t fully understand how Jacob was feeling in the matter, this verse is Jacob’s send off for the sons as they travel. What a heavy heart we can have when we fail to trust God and press into Him in difficult times. I feel Jacob’s sadness and desperation in this verse. It makes me sad. The good news is I know we don’t have to be in that place. I also know how this story ends so I don’t have to feel sad for Jacob for long.

If you are reading along, read Genesis 43:15-34 for next time.

Have a great weekend!