Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Illustrating Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes has been a favorite of mine for a long while. Maybe it is because so many in my generation see the vanity in the American Dream, or that we've seen people spend their lives "chasing after the wind" only to be monetarily wealthy but spiritually bankrupt. We've seen friends and neighbors crippled by credit card debt from trying to accumulate things as Dave Ramsey says to impress people we don't care for. 

What we are craving is authenticity.  We admire people who speak the truth when they say that they've tried it all like the author of Ecclesiastes, wealth, pleasure and knowledge, and without God it didn't satisfy. 

Maybe the microhouse movement should take up this verse! I definitely see the beauty in simple living. 

I love the visual of in the day of prosperity be joyful being and outward expression of an inward fullness; in the day of adversity consider being and inward reflection of outward circumstances.

I pulled this girl from a W magazine at a salon because I knew she could go with this verse. I changed the pronouns to feminine but it is truth for both genders. Have you ever known someone that literally their face shines? There is a lady named Patsy that I've known all my life that is so joy filled that even when you see her driving her bus route her face shines with the brightest smile. And if you happen to run into her in Walmart you will leave blessed having just been around her because her love for God pours out of every fiber of her being.

A woman's wisdom makes her face shine.

Ecclesiastes is as applicable to this present time as it was when it was written thousands of years ago. Everything will pass. Don't gossip. Evil is real. Enjoy your labor. Eat, drink & be merry. Live simply. Fear God. Keep his commands.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Illustrating Deuteronomy

I attend a local Bible Study Fellowship on Wednesday mornings with my little boys. If you are looking for a bible study with depth, look no further. We studied the life of Moses last year and covered and uncovered so much in Exodus through Deuteronomy. Time after time I saw myself in the stubborn, ungrateful Israelites wandering in the desert because of a stupid choice THEY made. 
Deuteromony, though not action packed with its regurgitation of the law, is not without morsels of goodness. Even Jesus quoted it more than any other book. So hey if it's good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for us to learn from as well! 

You are today numerous as the stars of heaven. Deuteronomy 1:10

Living with and caring for full time a 3 1/2 year old and 20 month old, they are bound to leave their marks in my bible. Instead of fretting about it. I slap their name on it and know one day it will be a treasured piece to come across, knowing that they saw from an early age that the bible was open in their home, it was something mommy set aside time for, it was a priority and I pray a priority in their life as they grow.
"Let me pass through your land. I will go only by the road; I will turn aside neither to the right nor to the left. You shall sell me food for money, that I may eat, and give me water for money, that I may drink. Only let me pass through on foot," Deuteronomy 2:27-28


This verse couldn't help but conjure up images in my mind of lynchings in the South during and after slavery when countless innocent black men were hanged without a trial and left all night. 21:22-23 reads that "If someone is guilty of a sin worthy of death, he must be put to death and his body displayed on a tree. But don’t leave his body hanging on the tree overnight; be sure to bury him that same day, because anyone whose body is displayed on a tree is cursed by God. You must not ruin the land the Lord your God is giving you as your own." Which made me 

Could you imagine if families actually did this? You shall not charge interest on loans to your brother. 23:

I thought this verse was rather sweet that the Lord allotted a "honeymoon" period for a newlyweds. 
When a man is newly married, he shall not go out with the army, he shall be free at home one year to be happy with his wife. Deuteronomy 24:5

This was an acrylic vs. water color study. 

And a realization that when you put brown, yellow and green down in an abstract way....you get camoflauge lol no worries though, each page just as each day is a learning experience.

The last two pages of Deuteronomy are Moses blessing all the tribes and passing the torch onto Joshua. I can't imagine leading the nation of Israel for 40 years, only to get a glimpse of the promised land. But maybe after 40 years of putting up with such stubbornness he was more than happy to just get a glimpse before he was taken up to glory land!
My last page I posed the question to myself: 
Am I carrying a torch that is worth passing on? 

Is my torch burning for the glory of God or the glory of myself? 

Is it shining a light in dark places or being comfortable around other torchbearers? 

Is it leading others to the promised land or destruction?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Illustrating Colossians

A shortie but a goodie. Lots of wisdom in Colossians.

And so from the day we heard, we have not ceased praying for you, asking that you may be filled with knowledge of this will and all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that as you walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in knowledge of the Lord. Colossians 1:9-10

Put on then as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. And above all these put on love which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:12-14

This next verse in particular struck me. I've always heard people say that they'll pray that God will open a door or that when he doesn't open a door he'll open a window ect., and I guess I never realized that it was actually a biblical reference. But the thing that really spoke to my heart was that Paul (like many of this other letters) was in prison when he wrote this. 

So from a literal standpoint he may have been praying that the prison doors open or for the believers outside declaring the good news to have opportunities to share it, that Paul couldn't do where he was. 

Metaphorically, maybe he was saying that people's hearts and minds are in prisons that haven't heard the good news or have shut themselves off from it refusing to hear anymore.

Which got me to meditating on the fact that he was in a physical prison but spiritually he was golden. Many then as well as today from the outside look like they have it going on but spirtually they are trapped in a prison. 

At the same time pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word to declare the mystery of Christ on account of which I am in prison. Colossians 4:3

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Illustrating Amos

Oh, Amos. I can honestly say in 30 years of church going I've never heard a sermon on you. I can see why.

Case in point: Amos 1:13
Thus says the Lord, "For three transgressions of the Ammonites and for four, I will not revoke the punishment; because they have ripped open pregnant women in Gilead, that they might enlarge their border."

Case #2: Amos 3:6 
Does disaster come to a city unless the Lord has done it.

Case #3: Amos 2:9 
Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars and who was as strong as the oaks; I destroyed his fruits above and his roots beneath.  

All jokes aside Amos definitely isn't your warm and snuggley God of comfort and hope book. It's a: quit oppressing the poor, withholding justice, living in idolatry, hypocrisy and corruption or distruction will come. 

Which we can apply to ourselves today. When we live for ourselves, making decisions out of selfish ambition the byproducts of that are hypocrisy, decite and oppressing those weaker than you.

So after page after page of destruction, you have page after page of promises and reminders of His love. 

He who made Pleiades and Orion and turns deep darkness into morning and darkens the day to night. The Lord is his name. Amos 5:8

But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like and ever flowing stream. Amos 5:24

I love this verse so much. When I read it I knew that I chose wisely with Amos. This is my battle cry for my family, that we aren't blind followers of the masses.
But the Lord took me from following the flock. Amos 7:15

A long one but a good one. 
11 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord God“when I will send a famine on the land—not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LordThey shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the Lordbut they shall not find it. 

This imagery came from a Scott Erickson painting that I love and immediately thought of when I read this verse. 
I will plant them on their land and they shall never again be uprooted. Amos 9:15

From being cut off and uprooted earlier in the chapter to later the promise of never being uprooted can be confusing but I think it boils down to that weeds in your life must be pulled out before anything good can grow. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Illustrating Jude

Seven pages shy of finishing Psalms I needed a break, so I chose the teensy book Jude. When I read it in the past, I always took away from it the condemning of the church at the time for sins like: rejecting authority, immorality, grumbling, showing favoritism, ect

But that view of Jude was shattered when I came to this gem of a verse:

"Have mercy on those who doubt." 

Mercy- compassion, love, kindness & space to figure out what they believe.

Not what doubters usually face- judgement, frustration & condemnation from Christians.

As one who has gone through seasons of doubt this verse really spoke to me because I can remember being bitter towards religion & anyone who tried to press it on me only made me dig my heels in the sand further. 

Mercy was what I needed. 

Prayer was what I needed & there were people praying for me. 

Space was what I needed & got. I eventually came back to a God with open arms and a church family with open arms without smug looks.

After doing this entry in my bible & photographing it, I wrote with a pencil around the illustration the people I know who are going through seasons on doubt. They will be in my prayers that they not only receive mercy from Christians they encounter but that they find their way back to God.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Illustrating Psalms

Being that Psalms is 77 pages and I am posting the majority of them, I'm grouping these by materials used, and will type verses above as my boys allow. Not going into great detail about each one since this is a big momma jamma post and I'm a let the word speak for itself kinda gal.

Here goes:

Black gesso & Signo white gel pen. My one true love. 

Inspired by a Lisa Orth tattoo. 

The 3 1/2 year old poured black gesso on it when I wasn't looking and after a moments freak out I realized my verse went along perfect with the millions of unborn children being blotted out of society so I jotted down facts and quotes about abortion around the verse. 

Crayola Twistable Colored Pencils 

My sweet tea runneth over. SGV southern girl version

Water colors & pens

Imagery inspired by an Elizabeth St Hilaire Nelson piece. 

Random materials such as: stencils, stamps, sprays, inks, acrylic paint, washi tape, paint pens, gelatos and anything else my hands gravitate towards during sweet moments of uninterrupted creative bliss.

Gel pens only.