Receptive Soil #BibleJournaling

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Jesus’ parables are full of artsy drawables. Yet, when I contemplated journaling the Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:11-15), illustrations of the old fashioned process of sowing grain and it falling into the literal destinations named in the parable seemed like avoiding the issue somehow. And so I asked myself, what would examples of unfruitful and fruitful soil be in my life?

That’s what I tried to portray on this page. The gold oval-shaped image in the middle is a grain of wheat. Where will it find receptive soil? Social media; preoccupation with news; involvement in sports; focus on money; interaction with friends; attending church; the whirlwind of mental stress, worry, fear and anxiety; clothes and all they imply of absorption with personal appearance and image; Bible study?

Simplistic, I know, but the passage and trying to illustrate it made me think again of my day to day life and how much of it may be unreceptive soil.

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I prepared this page with gesso before doing the art work, then used brush markers and pencil crayons to do the coloring. The grain of wheat is colored with an acrylic marker (gold). The gesso worked great—there was no bleed through with the brush markers that usually seriously mark the back side of paper much thicker than Bible pages.

The Ick Factor – #BibleJournaling

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I haven’t put up an art journal post for a couple of weeks, but I’m still drawing (and coloring and painting) in my Bible!

Today I’ll share a quote with you. It relates to a subject that’s been on my mind a lot since the internet has made it possible for anyone to blow their own horn about their own work and excellence and popularity and success.

As a member of several writing groups, I see such horn-blowing all the time and know how real is the temptation to broadcast every success, contest win, sale of a manuscript etc. I know too, how yucky I feel after I’ve done it.

Therefore, when I read the below quote in the workbook of the Beth Moore study I’m currently doing, I knew I wanted to save that quote in my Bible. I paired it with a verse from Proverbs that I’m trying my best to live by:

“Let another man praise you and not your own mouth;
A stranger, and not your own lips.” Proverbs 27:2.

 

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Bible art journal entry for Proverbs 27:2 (Photo © 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

The quote (in case you can’t read it from the image):

“I ask God on a regular basis to give me swift and powerful conviction of sin when I’m crossing a line … The Ick Factor works effectively for me: when I’m self-promoting and self-serving, I want my insides to respond with a nauseated ‘Ick’” – Beth Moore, Entrusted Workbook, p. 85.

 

(The green colored glob is meant to represent slime. I used pencil crayon and black Pigma Micron pens for this.)

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!!

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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.

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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