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According to Us

One Husband, One Wife, Five Children and Everything in Between

It’s official! Thanksgiving has come and gone; December has begun. It’s the Christmas season full of parties, delicious food, wonderful decorations, extreme hyper-busyness (as if life wasn’t already in hyperdrive), shopping, and giving to others. And that is just to name a few.

Last year I posted everyday about the Jesse Tree. The Jesse Tree is an advent activity that we began a couple of years ago. You can read more about it here, but to summarize we have a Christmas ornament and scripture passage that we open and read. The passages start in the Old Testament and follows the lineage and story of the coming Messiah as it can be traced all the way through scripture.

I have included here what I wrote last year about day one if you are interested in reading more. This year I’ve decided that I will be using my journaling Bible and will be illustrating my faith following the Jesse Tree. Some of them will be super easy, but I know that other illustrations will be a challenge. Although I enjoy art and challenging myself to play with creativity, by no means am I Michelangelo. But that’s okay. There are no rules to illustrating my faith except that it is art worship to me.

For today’s illustration, I used this pin from Pinterest for inspiration. I wanted to capture the darkness and light being separated in creation.

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When I showed my family the illustration every single one of them commented with “but you painted over the words and can’t read (the Bible).” imageI love that! I love it because it means that the Word is important to them. When I use my Journaling Bible it is important for me personally not to cover up the words because I want to illustrate what is being said, but the words themselves are more important than the pictures and illustrations that are made. Perhaps there will be a season in my life that I don’t feel so strongly about it. All that to say, rest assured. I only painted over the introduction material and nothing else.image

If you haven’t read my previous post about today’s Jesse tree, it links creation found in Genesis 1 with the pre-existence of Christ and creation found in John 1. I also love how in Revelation, when it describes the new heaven and new earth, it says there is no need of the sun because the Lamb is the source of our light. I had all these things in mind as I was painting as if it could truly be captured. Oh, the magnitude!

 

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This weekend a small carnival came to town, so I used the opportunity to play with my camera. I took far more shots than what I was happy with, but it was great to play with some settings on my camera and challenge myself with an uncontrolled subject (although really, kids are very uncontrolled subjects!)

 

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3 weeks before Easter I decided that I would read through the Gospel of John leading up to Easter. It is one of my favorites and is so full of deep theology and rich emotion. It was truly a wonderful thing. Not only was I reading it, but I also decided that I would use a journaling Bible that Alan got me for Christmas.

Recently I have discovered an amazing group in the cyber world who are involved in the illustrated faith movement. I call it a movement, although some may not consider it so.

Illustrated Faith is a group of people (which is primarily women, but not completely) who illustrate verses, songs, art, etc in the margins and pages of their Bibles. It is a form of art worship. Some are great at lettering, others at drawing. Some us stamps, stickers and scrapbooking skills. Really there is no right or wrong way. Some cover the words up with illustrations so they can’t be read, but others purposely avoid that. If you have a chance, check out this site.

So I thought I would share my pages I journaled from the Gospel of John.

For the first chapter, there are so many great verses I wanted to highlight that I choose 3. The word, Jesus is the light of life, and the lamb that takes away the sin of the world.

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The second chapter I wanted to highlight the central theme of belief and journal some thoughts about that. What I hope is to pass this Bible down to one of my kids and it be a treasure of my faith.

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Chapter 3 I again highlighted “belief”. Jesus repeats this phrase over and over in the gospel. Belief in Him is what brings about eternal life.

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Chapter 4 is the woman at the well, so I choose to draw a coffee cup. Also highlighted a verse from Matthew about harvest.

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In chapter 6, I wanted to journal a little about the significance of Jesus’ “I Am” statement, but didn’t have much room. I used a “tip in” which is adding a photo or paper that can be folded back.

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{from a journal entry after reading the book of Ecclesiastes}

:the final conclusion to this “meaningless” adventure (of life) is this: FEAR GOD & OBEY HIS COMMANDS. Everything else means nothing. Work for pleasure (not to gain things or for status); live in the moment. Success is not measured in what you have because in the end you will lose it all….and who would know any better than Solomon?

{God} has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. Ecc. 3:11

 

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Did you know that Olive trees are some of the longest living trees? There have been Olive Groves that date to over 4,000 years old. (source) When we were visiting Turkey this past summer, there were groves of olive trees everywhere (being in the Mediterranean region, this was no surprise). The day that we visited Ephesus, our guide was pointed out the tree pictured below to me. It sits at the entrance to the stadium that Paul was mostly likely taken to in Acts 19 during a riot. I wish now that I could remember who old he told me the tree was (it was in the hundreds). He explained to me that they are resurrection trees. The trees die- the bark and branches, but the roots continue to grow and live. In a sense, they can come back to life from the dead. Knowing how long they live and survive makes the following verse all that more meaningful.

 

Olive Tree, from Ephesus: Turkey

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