You Need/I Need/We All Need

A post I wrote a couple of years ago

Came up in the memories of my Facebook page

A flood of emotion rose inside of me

It was a post about one elderly gentleman and his need for

New underwear!

He was standing in the aisle searching for the appropriately sized

T-shirts and boxers

He needed help

I was there

His matter of fact statement will be in my memory forever

                                                           “My wife always did this for me” he says

“I don’t have her no more.”

————

I don’t have her no more

I don’t have her no more…

Six little words that rocked his world

Six little words that made me think about mine

My parents are both gone

My siblings are both gone

Pastor Bill stepped in and was like a father to me

But he’s gone, too

I don’t have them no more

————

The fact of the matter is

We will all lose loved ones and friends

————

I’ve heard it said so many times

I don’t need to attend church

I can find God in nature

I hear good preaching on television

I read my Bible and pray at home

And that’s just fine

Good for you!

But what if we connected with a body of believers?

What if we remained connected in relationships?

What if we belonged to an even larger family?

We would never be alone

We would always have someone to share our burdens and our joys

We would always have someone to step in with fatherly advice

Someone to help us maneuver the scary places

The unfamiliar waters

Not only would we have relationship

We would have family

————

Maybe you really don’t NEED that connection right now

…you will one day

One day

Six words will rock your world

“I don’t have her no more”

Or

“the cancer is in my liver”

Or

“it’s just a matter of time”

————

Maybe YOU don’t need someone

But I promise

At this very moment

SOMEONE NEEDS YOU!

************

My challenge for you is this:

Find a group of believers

Connect with them

On Sunday

On Tuesday

In small groups

In your home

Whenever

Wherever

Connect

Someone needs you

You need someone

We need each other!

 

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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!

Life Is A Flash Mob!

I’m not sure why it is

But every time I watch a video of a flash mob

I cry!

They can be dancing to Do Re Mi

or

Our God Is An Awesome God

or

Hallelujah Chorus

or

 Christmas carols even

Makes no difference

The waterworks will soon begin

Could it be I cry because I see

Seemingly unrelated, unconnected people

Working together for a common goal?

Or because I see the potential for an unconnected, unrelated person to

Jump right in?

I think it’s because it reminds me of this life we are living right now

Seemingly unrelated, unconnected followers of Jesus

Working together

Expanding the Kingdom

Sharing the Good News

Helping one another to walk

Another day

Sometimes side by side

 Other times from a distance

A constant ebb and flow

Encouragement and accountability

Laughter and tears

Hope and Friendship

Love

I’ve always wanted to be part of a flash mob

I guess I am!

Somebody’s Prayin’

After my brother’s memorial service

My sister-in-law asked me if there was anything of his I wanted

I couldn’t think of anything except maybe some pictures from long ago

If she didn’t want them

I came away from her house with boxes of wooden items my daddy had turned on his lathe

He got that after he retired

He thought it would be interesting to learn

He made candle sticks and trinket boxes

Some coasters

So now I have those

Enough to share with my children

Even tho Bryan is the only one who knew Daddy

Barbara gave me a box of pictures

But I haven’t gone thru them yet

Not ready

She also gave me a magazine side table that my Grandma had by her bed

It looks handmade

Maybe by my Grandpa

I sure hope so

Adds to the character

🙂

Another treasure she gave to me was Grandma’s Bible

Large print

King James Version

It has a couple of bookmarks in it

And a few passages underlined

But what makes it even more special

Is the strip of cardstock that is covered in names

Family members and friends

Lovingly added to as time went on

Marriages and births

Children and grandchildren

Some names marked out

I’m sure because they had passed on

Somehow

It was very reassuring to see my name on that list

Knowing my Grandma lifted my name in prayer

She then added my husband and my first child

I remember Grandma sitting in her recliner every morning and every evening

Reading her Bible

Singing hymns

And praying

For us

How I loved that woman of God

How I miss her

How thankful I am for the legacy she left behind

Who knows where we’d be

If Grandma hadn’t prayed

Della

VBS

Seeing those initials makes my heart leap

I loved VBS

Back in my day

(groan)

VBS consisted of flannel board stories and pretty sorry looking crafts

I remember one year, Mrs. Frakes was my teacher

This woman was a hundred if she was a day

For craft that week we made a Bible out of half a sponge and some construction paper

The really fun part, writing on the cover with glue so glitter would stick to the words

was left to the expert

Not just your average pig-tailed 7 year old

Mrs. Frakes was the expert

Only thing is

Instead of writing

HOLY BIBLE

with the Elmer’s glue

she wrote

HOLEY BIBLE

So much for the expert

I can still see my little white construction paper and sponge Bible

I used gold glitter on the words

I was quite proud!

Nowadays, there is a different craft for each day and it always goes along with the Bible point of the day

Smart idea!

Snack time is something else I remember well

Red koolaid and sugar cookies

or

Red koolaid and oatmeal cookies

or

Red koolaid and hardasrocks lemon cookies

These were the choices

Take ’em or leave ’em

Didn’t matter

What didn’t get consumed one day would be put out for the masses the next

I think they even recycled the red koolaid

Which by the way, was watered down so much that it hardly resembled red sugar water at all

VBS snacks today are a craft themselves

Each day is a different concoction of food stuffs ready to assemble into an edible Bible story

Gone are the days of sugar cookies

They’ve been replaced with cupcakes with blue frosting and topped with red hots

to illustrate Elijah and the altar soaked with water where he called down fire from God

Sure helps that Bible story come alive

Even the games are used to reiterate the Bible story of the day

No longer do they send you outside to just work off the wiggles

Every day the game ties into the story

Smart thinking!

So much learning disguised as fun

Why don’t they run our education system like that?!

I think I would return to school

I already return to VBS every year

I love VBS