Waves over me #BibleJournaling

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With the recent rains and cooler temperatures it feels like summer is over. But what a summer it’s been! In our little corner of earth it’s been unusually hot and dry with hundreds of wildfires burning in the hinterland of the province. Thousands have had to leave their fire-endangered homes to take refuge in temporary shelters till the threat passed.

In other places hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes have been the threats—threats that are ongoing for some.

Psalm 42 seems like an appropriate expression for so many people:

“My tears have been my food day and night,
While they continually say to me,
‘Where is your God?’” – Psalm 42:3.

and

“Deep calls unto deep at the noise of your waterfalls
All your waves and billows have gone over me” – Psalm 42:7.

Rebekah R. Jones tackled this psalm in her Original Bible Art Journal Challenge series, Week 20 blog post and video. Her interpretation was a double-page spread of stylized waves, rendered in brilliant Faber-Castell Pitt Artist pens. So pretty!

I decided to go realistic instead and, using pencil and pencil crayon, journaled a wave with a person standing just below it, about to be swamped by its breaking force. I’m sure that’s how many people have felt as they’ve faced this summer’s natural (and other) disasters.

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Bible Art Journal entry for Psalm 42:7,8  (V. Nesdoly)

But God is still in the house, despite what it looks or feels like. With the Sons of Korah we can say:

“The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime,
And in the night, His song shall be with me—
A prayer to the God of my life” – Psalm 42:8.

 

(Note the sun rays peeking out behind the cloud and spray.)

May your “prayers to the God of my life” lead to “songs in the night,” whatever life is throwing at you.

We’re all works in progress #BibleJournaling

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If you love the Bible, I’m sure you have some favourite verses. I know I do. One of mine is Jeremiah 29:11.

Rebekah R. Jones’ Bible Art Journal project for this verse is HERE and gorgeous (as usual).

Limited by my supplies (also as usual), I cast about for some way to picture in my own way God working His thoughts and plans into life.

A page done by Karla Dornacher in the The Complete Guide to Bible Journaling gave me an idea. (It’s p. 61 in The Complete Guide, or you can view the graphic as a bookmark in Dornacher’s etsy shop HERE—second from the left.)

Here’s what I came up with:

 

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Bible Art Journal entry for Jeremiah 29:11-13  – V. Nesdoly

I combined the wording from two different Bible versions of Jeremiah 29:11. The NKJV speaks of God’s “thoughts” toward us, the NIV of God’s “plans.” I wanted both.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.'”- Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” – Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

God is not finished with me yet. That’s a comforting thought to me as I contemplate so much in my life that still needs work.

 

Promises for new beginnings #BibleJournaling

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The day after Labour Day (that would be today) always feels like an end and a beginning: summer vacation has officially ended, the new school year begins.

New brings excitement and anticipation. But it can also hold dread, worry, and anxiety, especially for students and their parents.

Two passages that have meant a lot to me when I face the future, worrisome or not, are from Isaiah 41 and Matthew 6.

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Bible art journal for Isaiah 41:10 (© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly)

“Fear not for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10.

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Bible art journal for Matthew 6:25-30 – (© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly)

“‘Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body what you will put on…

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them …

Consider the lilies of the field how they grow: they neither toil nor spin ….

Now if God so clothes the grass of the field… will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith’” – Jesus in Matthew 6:25-30.

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“teach me” poem tip-in (© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly)

And the tip-in poem:

teach me

the sweet leisureliness
of being a lily
the implicit trust
of my child-hand
in Yours
the unlikely joy
that sings sparrow-songs
even when I’m on the ground

VN – 2007

The lettering and doodles were done with pen, coloured with pencil crayons. I printed the tip-in poem on tracing paper and stuck in place with Washi tape.

Wishing all students and their parents a “God-with-you” first day of school!!

***********

Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

Shades of HOPE #BibleJournaling

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For a Bible journaling newbie like me, how-to courses and videos are a big temptation. So perhaps it’s no surprise that a few weeks ago I signed up for Rebekah R. Jones’ “Word Study for Bible Journaling” course.

The word Rebekah chose as a focus for these video lessons was HOPE. I’ve posted the two Bible journal entries that I made after watching her presentations and doing a little more study of my own (using methods she explained). I didn’t use the graphic downloads she gave us, though, but came up with my own ideas.

The first Hope verse we journaled was in Proverbs 24:14. Here’s how it reads in my NKJV Journal the Word Bible:

“So shall the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul;
If you have found it, there is a prospect,
And your hope will not be cut off.”

The word “prospect” intrigued me. So I looked up Prov. 24:14 in different Bible versions to see if any of them said it more clearly and found this for Proverbs 24:13,14 in the TLB:

“My son, honey whets the appetite and so does wisdom! When you enjoy becoming wise, there is hope for you! A bright future lies ahead!”

That made the idea of wisdom affecting one’s prospect (anticipation, expectation, future) a little easier to understand. I adapted the TLB wording to “Wisdom brightens the future with HOPE.” (The clover and bee take us back to verse 13, which mentions that wisdom and knowledge are sweet, like honey.)

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Bible Art Journal entry for Proverbs 24:14 (Photo © 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

The next Bible art journal entry was based on Romans 15:13. Here it is in the NKJV:

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of he Holy Spirit.”

Again I went to a different Bible version from my NKJV to get more shades of meaning, especially of the word “abound.” The Amplified had this:

“That by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope.”

My imagination was captured by that idea of filled up to overflowing. Casting about for an image to show such overflow, I thought of a cup running over and a waterfall, but decided finally to draw my own little vi-Pad. My real-life device needs to be recharged regularly—a good metaphor, I think, for how we need to be regularly charged up with Holy Spirit power in order for those apps of Love, Hope, Peace, Joy etc. to function.

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Bible Art Journal entry for Romans 15:13 (Photo © 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

Though I’ve completed the course, I don’t think I’m done with Hope. Don’t be surprised if you find more journal entries about Hope here in the future!

This course is still available for signups, and I’d say it’s well worth the very nominal price Rebekah charges for it. Check it out HERE.

Inscribers—FellowScript wants your poems!

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VividVerses

I’m pleased to announce that I recently accepted the position of Poetry Editor for FellowScript, the quarterly publication of Inscribe Christian Writers Fellowship.

Inscribe members*—we’d love to publish your poems!

Please submit your poems (traditional or free verse; 4-20 lines; maximum three poems; attached as a .doc, .docx, or .rtf file) to the poetry editor (fspoetryeditor@gmail.com) with the subject line: Poetry Submission + Your Name.

If we publish your poem you will receive $10.00 for the first NA serial rights, or $5.00 for reprint rights. If you are submitting a previously published poem, please include name of original publisher and publication date. At this time we are only considering submissions from current Inscribe members.

Upcoming themes and deadlines:

  • November 2017 issue – Deadline October 1, 2017 (Theme: “Writing in Obedience”).
  • February 2018 issue – Deadline January 1, 2018 (Theme: “Adapting to Your Audience”).
  • May 2018 issue – Deadline April 1, 2018 (Theme: “Finding the Right Editor / Agent / Publisher”).

We also welcome poems about writing in general and poems about seasonal subjects (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter etc.).

I hope to hear from many Inscribe poets soon. I’m looking forward to reading your work!

 

* Interested in becoming a member of ICWF? Information HERE.

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Hospitality #BibleJournaling

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Are you the kind of person who likes surprises thrown into your day? Or are you a scheduler who prefers to have your day outlined in your planner and then proceed according to plan?

I’m definitely the latter. So, a few weeks ago when I read, in Matthew 14, about Jesus’ botched up day plans, I took notice.

His relative John, who had baptized Him, had recently been arrested and imprisoned by Herod. Then, through the trickery of Herod’s partner Herodias, John was beheaded. His disciples disposed of his body then went to tell Jesus.

On hearing of John’s death, Jesus’ plan was to get away to a “deserted place by Himself,” no doubt to process this sad news and to grieve.

When He got to that deserted place, however, it wasn’t deserted at all. Instead, throngs were waiting for Him there with their sick.

Did Jesus express disappointment or frustration at having His plans changed? Did he dismiss the crowds or get His disciples to do it with “Sorry! The healer isn’t seeing people today”?

No. Instead, He was moved with compassion over their conditions, spent all day healing, and at day’s end, when the disciples wanted to send the crowds home, challenged them to feed everyone before they set off.

You have to be hospitable to the core to react toward the crowds like Jesus did in the face of grief, disappointment, and wrecked plans. For hospitality is first an attitude before it comes out in action. Jesus’ hospitality was the focus of my art journal entry for Matthew 14.

To make the illustration I transferred an online image of cupped hands onto tracing paper, then drew, cut out, and pasted the loaves and fishes into them. I attached the hands to my Bible page with Washi tape as a tip-out. They symbolize Jesus’ heart of hospitality.

I hope the image of loaded hands stays with me next time someone’s needs come between me and what’s written in my planner!

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“But Jesus said to them, ‘They do not need t go away. You give them something to eat'” – Matthew 14:16 (© 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

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When you don’t have a clue … #BibleJournaling

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Do you believe in prayer? Or a better question might be, do you believe that God acts in response to our prayers?

Prayer was the sermon topic at church on August 6th. Jason, one of our talented young pastors, began his talk by reading the story of Peter encountering the lame beggar on his way into church. The beggar asked for money. Peter replied, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you” – Acts 3:6. Then he brought the man healing in Jesus’ name.

Jason suggested this, I think profound, paradigm for Christ-followers: “When we’re out of our resources, we’re not at the end of our service.”

So true! We may not have a clue about what to do and may not have anything to give. But we can invite Someone into the situation who has more than a clue and can make every difference!

Jason’s talk was a challenge to bring Jesus into situations through prayer, not only during formal prayer times but for each other in unlikely places, during and about the ups and downs of life. Through prayer, we can invite God’s limitless resources and power into difficult, even impossible circumstances. (You can hear/watch all of Jason’s sermon “Intro to Prayer Ministry” HERE.)

I journaled Jason’s statement in my Bible so I wouldn’t forget.

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Bible Art Journaling – Acts 3:6-8 (Photo © 2017 by V. Nesdoly)