Future & Hope

The early morning quiet

My favorite time of day

No lights but the Christmas tree

Peace

I sat at the table to read and illustrate a devotion

Today’s was about HOPE

How the Father has plans for us

Plans to give us a Future and a Hope

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord

They are plans for good and not for disaster,

To give you a future and a hope. NLT

How often I have heard this

How often I have quoted it

Today, I read around it

And I found this

Jeremiah 29:7

And work for the peace and prosperity of the city

Where I sent you into exile. NLT

Jeremiah sent this letter to all the people that Nebuchadnezzar had taken

Into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon

Today, I believe, Christians are in exile

Hebrews 11:13-16

13 All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. 14 Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. 15 If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. 16 But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

This world is not our home

We are only passing through

For just a short stay

But while we are here we are to occupy

Build houses and live in them

Plant gardens and eat their produce

Take wives and become fathers of sons and daughters

Seek the welfare of the city (country) where I have sent you into exile

Pray to the Lord on its behalf

This is NOT a political post

I’m just sharing what I read and how it really caused me to pause and think

So often I hear people talking about how they just wish Jesus

Would return and get us out of this mess we’re in

Don’t get me wrong!

Come quickly, Lord Jesus!!

But

We are IN this world

We are not OF it

We are to occupy ’til HE comes

And PRAY

Pray for the welfare of our world

Pray for the welfare of our country

Pray for the welfare of our state

Pray for the welfare of our city

Pray for the welfare of our household

As it goes

So will we

images

Created to Create

How many of you doodle while listening, whether it is while the pastor is preaching, talking with a friend on the phone or sitting in a business meeting? I know I do! I’m getting to be quite a pro at making 3D boxes or heart shapes or even a dead tree every once in a while. My husband, Mark, draws goofy looking faces and geometric shapes all around his note taking and we seldom go out to eat that there is not something doodled on a napkin or two!
How about scrapbooking? Who all has tried their hand at that? Had a diary? With lock and key of course! Written out your prayers? Or, tried your hand at an online blog? What about Pinterest night at the library or your church? Crafted with a friend? Bought and colored in a coloring book? Some, if not most people have tried one or more of each of these!
I believe that’s because we were created to create! After all, we are made in the CREATOR’s image, aren’t we?
Genesis 1:27 So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
We were created by the Creator, in His image so that makes us creators! We are all ARTISTS!
If we were to ask a young child if they think they are an artist, I’m pretty sure every single one of them would answer with a resounding, YES! Then they would sit down and proceed to draw…scribbles, circles, stick figures, etc. to prove to us that they indeed are artists and then show us the masterpiece to prove it!

PicMonkey Collage Created to Create
The picture on the left was drawn by our son, Bryan, at age 3.
The picture on the right was drawn by our granddaughter, Hannah, at age 2.
Both drawings are masterpieces!

Somewhere along in life, we decided or were told that perhaps we should try something else, that we weren’t artists! For me it happened in the 3rd grade ART class when my teacher told me my people looked horrible! From then on, I felt I wasn’t an artist. My guess is, that teacher, Mrs Crowder, had never seen a Picasso! They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I think ART is in the eye of the ARTIST!

But this blog is not just about ART or pushing a product, it is about worshiping God and Lingering Longer in His Word! It’s about Bible journaling and how do I do it?
Bible journaling has become a tremendously popular new way to connect with Scripture in a creative way by combining faith and art! How to do it is up to you…write, draw, paint your thoughts and reflections in your Bible or journal. The possibilities are quite literally endless. There are stickers, washi tape, printed paper or card stock or stamps and ink that you can use or if you are bold, you can use paint, or markers or colored pencils or pens. You can even use a meaningful picture that you literally trace into your Bible or journal, there are lots of those on Pinterest or even coloring books! You can try your hand at lettering ( there are Youtube videos to watch) and write out your prayers or thoughts in beautiful script. Some people paint or color over the words. Some people can’t! You can tape pages into your Bible or even use clear pages. There isn’t a right or wrong way! And remember, you don’t need a lot of supplies to get started; a Bible or journal, some colored pencils, a prayerful heart and a listening ear…
Whatever method you prefer, the Heart should remain the same; connecting with God’s Word in a fresh new way!
While watching a video from DaySpring about a new product we would be selling, Illustrated Faith, I heard the phrase LINGER LONGER and it EXPLODED in my spirit! Linger Longer. If journaling or drawing or coloring or taping pictures into my Bible causes me to meditate upon HIS Word, how can that be wrong?! When I am creating a page in my Bible, I think about that Scripture and what God is saying to me, a LOT!

Joshua 1:8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

 7 Steps to Illustrating Your Faith

1. Spend time with GOD!
Read a devotion
Listen to worship music
2. Pray about it!
Ask God to guide you
Pray.Create.Repeat
3. Write it down!
What is GOD telling YOU?
4. Draw it!
Bring that big idea into the margins of your Bible
5. Date it!
It’s so important to date your entries since you are going to go back to these verses over and over.
6. Tab it!
Use tabs to see what themes you’re on
Make great conversation starters, too!
7. FORGET THE RULES!
Just connect with GOD in the way that’s most natural to you!

 Shanna Noel is the founder of Illustrated Faith. A wife and mother of two, Shanna is a lifelong scrapbooker who started using her passion and a journaling Bible to begin illustrating and documenting her faith… right in her Bible! Her first Instagram post ignited a wildfire that just keeps growing, helping women and men connect with God’s Word in amazing new ways. Shanna’s blog regularly features ideas from the Illustrated Faith team for Bible and art journaling. Look for Illustrated Faith-branded products – including lovely faith-filled supplies from Bella Blvd – on DaySpring.com’s Illustrated Faith page!

Fearless

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FEARLESS

This picture of our granddaughter

Hannah and her daddy

Says more than my words can convey

FEARLESS TRUST

Trust that her daddy will hold her

Trust that her daddy will NEVER hurt her

Trust that her daddy will keep her safe

She has Learned this trust and

Her daddy has Earned this trust

How much more ought we to trust

Our Heavenly Father

We can trust Him to hold us

We can trust Him to NEVER hurt us

We can trust Him to keep us safe

We can Learn this trust

HE has Earned this trust

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Hannah & her Daddy

Change Me? I’m Okay

I’m okay

That’s what all the books tell me

Jesus loves me just the way I am

Right?

I want to be all that I can be…

Seriously?

Do I really want to CHANGE?

No

Not really

I’m pretty comfortable

Feeling mighty righteous and holy

Looking pretty good to all those looking AT me

But the One who looks INTO me

Knows

He knows the peel looks good on the outside

But the fruit inside is, well,

DRY

Tasteless

Lifeless

Matthew 5:6 NLT

God blesses those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.

Yes!

I want to be hungry!

Not for physical food

But righteousness!

No more dry fruit

No more looking good on the outside but shriveled on the inside

Fill me up, Lord

Let the Spirit renew my thoughts and attitudes

I will put on my new nature

Created to be like God–

Truly righteous and holy

Bucket List (Just the Beginning)

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I may be a day late and a dollar short

But I’m jumping on the band wagon

Bucket List

Maybe it’s because we are empty nesters

Or I don’t have a full time job

Or I realize I have less of life in front than in behind

(in more ways than one)

But I have decided there are things I want to do before Jesus calls me home

Some are frivolous

Some are serious

Some may spark something in you, dear reader

Something besides laughter or fear!

I want to record a CD

I want to travel around ministering to women

I want to run a 5K

I want to open a coffee and cookie shop

I want a sunroom or screened in porch

I’d like to take a train trip

I want to go to Hawaii

I want to go to the Grand Canyon

I want to have beautiful teeth

I want all my grandchildren to think I am awesome

I want to be known as a prayer warrior

I want to have the type of body that could pull off wearing a bikini
(I wouldn’t wear one, I just want the body)

I want to paint a beautiful watercolor

I want to learn to love to cook

I want to take a conceal/carry class

 I want to own a red pickup truck

I want to be generous with my love, time, money and resources

I want everyone to see Jesus in me

His Name Is Pastor

Never

Not once in 25 years

Did I ever entertain the idea

That one day

I would have to say

Good bye, Pastor

We were all gonna go together

Hand in hand

To meet Jesus in the air

That was the deal

His name is Bill Lay

Given by his mother, Miss Georgia

But we called him

Pastor

Given by his church family, Cornerstone

We have many pastors

But only one Pastor

The word pastor means

to shepherd or literally

to feed

The name Pastor means

One who worships God

And loves people!

And LOVE he did!

Each of us have stories we could tell

Of words fitly spoken in our time of need

Of wisdom given freely

Of hugs so heartfelt

Of a servant’s heart so big

Who taught us to hold on

And encouraged us to let go

Who dreamed dreams bigger than any of us could fathom

And worked right along side of us to make them come true

How he never expected more out of us than he expected out of himself

He beamed with pride when we caught the vision too

He fathered us all

And was Pastor Papa to our children

His door was always open

A listening ear always available

A true giver of grace and mercy

True leadership

True friendship

Pastor loved pasta

And soup

And peanuts

And peanut butter and crackers

And Excel spreadsheets

And reports

And order

And football

And us

And we love him!

He retired once

But said he flunked it and came back

I shared this poem with him at the retirement party

I have never called you Dad
And likely never will
But every time I say your name
The meaning is the same
It means I love you very much
And how proud I am to be
The daughter of the man
Who means so much to me

Pastor

We will continue on with the work of the ministry

For you have taught us well

There is work to be done

And people to love

And we too

Will spend our lives

Mending broken people

His hat says it all

HERE TO SERVE

Pastor

I just wanted to post this again

Not to cause pain

But to honor you again

We love you Pastor

And we miss you!

We are working in a different body now

But we are still following your vision for this area…

To worship God and love people!

I can’t believe it has been 4 years

Sometimes, the memories are so fresh that it seems like yesterday that

You hugged my neck and called me “Dear”

“C” you soon!!