Saturday, April 29, 2017

Sharing Visual Faith

Once I discovered Visual Faith, which includes Bible Journaling and Praying in Color, I was very excited to share it with others. Visual Faith made such a difference in my personal devotion life. I was able to concentrate better and looked forward to practicing it daily. It did take me a bit of time and searching Pinterest, observing others, and trying different techniques before I found my own style. But even during that time, I couldn't stop telling others people about Visual Faith.

What is Visual Faith? It is the practice of writing, doodling, or coloring as you pray or read scripture. This can be done in a journal, sketchbook, Journaling Bible or coloring book.

If you are new to bible journaling, I would suggest checking out www.illustratedfaith.com

If you've never heard of praying in color, check out www.prayingincolor.com

In order to teach others about Visual Faith, I created some hand outs. There is an explanation sheet for both Bible Journaling and Praying in Color. I also developed some worksheets for the teaching process. The best way to start is to jump in and get some hands on experience. I have now taught 6 different classes and events using these materials and they have worked well.

The explanation sheets are quick overviews that include the process, materials and resources.

 


The worksheets have space available to walk through process of the Visual Faith technique.

 


You can find them free to download under the Visual Faith Resources Tab above. There are quick explanations for using them. I have extra Visual Faith resources including Sermon Notes under the Faith Book and Sermon Notes Tab above.

A lot of people respond very well to this faith practice. It is an engaging process that can be done by all ages and genders. It offers interaction for better retention and an opportunity to respond to what God is teaching you. It is all about the process you experience as you are learning and praying. It is not about a finished work of art. You do not need to be an artist or creative to practice Visual Faith.

Visual Faith has woken up my devotional and prayer life. It has drawn me closer to God! I pray that it does for you and I encourage you to share your Visual Faith experience with others.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Praying the Psalms

At St. John's we are just starting a sermon series on the Psalms. We won't be able to cover all of them but are using the scheduled readings from series A. Even if you are not working through the same readings or series, the free print out can still enrich your devotion time by giving you easy to use steps and space to pray, reflect, or dwell on the Psalms. The book of Psalms is considered the Prayer Book of the Bible. It is a great place to go if you feel stuck getting started with prayer. It is full of praises, adoration, requests, and even frustrations. The print out has a Psalm listed for each week during the Easter season. Take time to dwell throughout the week in that Psalm. Use the blank boxes on the second print out,the inside, to write what you have experienced (or learned) with that Psalm. There is also a praying in color grid from Sybil Macbeth's site prayingincolor.com for you to write, color, or doodle prayers for yourself or others. Many blessings as you explore, pray, and dwell in the Psalms. All pages are formatted to print on legal size paper, 8.5x14.




What the prayer grid on the back cover looks like. Find it in the cover download.



Friday, March 24, 2017

Daily Affirmations Booklet

The Daily Affirmations coloring and reflecting booklet is a result of my husband asking me to come up with a place where people could ponder the promises of God. I had made the cover sheet awhile back to add to my faith book.



Each quote is referenced with a bible verse. It is either a direct quote or a paraphrase. I encourage you to look up each reference, read it through a couple of times, write your thoughts in the lined box and then color the picture as you think about how God cares for you through that verse. Each picture is simple in composition so that you can focus more on God's words than the picture itself. To avoid getting hung up on your coloring technique, I suggest picking out only 3 different colored pencils to use on each page. Then, you'll spend less time thinking about what color you want to use and spend more time reflecting on God's promise to you.


Each document has two different coloring pages on one legal size sheet of paper. To make a booklet you can print another page on the back or keep it blank and fold all the sheets together. The cover has all the promises listed together and an affirmation to color for the back of the booklet. Feel free to color in this page, too. There are an odd number of pages, so I printed the last one front and back and then cut it in half for the center of the booklet. Or, you can just have extra blank space for thoughts or doodles.


Each page is free to download and print. I pray that the practice of coloring and reflecting helps to draw you closer to God and become more aware of His presence in your life. Hold fast to His promises and rest securely in His affirming love for you. Click on each page below for the file.


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Lent thus far...



Today is day 4 of the 40 days of Lent, which do not count Sundays, up until Easter. This year I happened upon a reflective scripture, prayer and a fasting of sorts written by Ann Voskamp. I knew I was already going to do my Lenten Prayer Path for my prayer time and look at the study inside, but I was interested in doing more. Something that would challenge me, grow me, stretch me to go deeper. I was very excited when I saw Ann's post on her Facebook page show up just a couple days before Ash Wednesday. Here is the link: A Lent to Repent and Refresh 

There are these wonderful free downloads to print that look like a bookmark or can be folded into an ornament for each day. There is a verse to look up and walk through a lectio divinia reflection type process. There is also a prayer in the middle with what you will be fasting from for that day, like perfectionism, judgmentalism and even social media. And then there is a beautiful classic piece of artwork that depicts the life of Christ. They are made in color but I choose to print them in black and white for a more somber feel.


I have really enjoyed reflecting in the margins of my journaling bible and in my faith book. Here are some photos of what I have done. I realized on the 3rd day that I could tape the bookmarks into my bible with washi tape. There will be multiple entries on only a few of the same pages. The bookmarks are just the right size for me to write notes on the back of them and then overlap them as they are added. I also noticed that I have developed a cross as a part of each entry. I would like to continue this throughout Lent.







Sunday, February 26, 2017

Re-LENT

This season of Lent is a season of simplifying in our household. We are paring down with The Minimalists challenge #minsgame and hoping to find some rest through clarity. There is so much noise around us that sometimes it's hard to even tell what messages are being thrown at us. Let alone, hear our Lord speaking to our souls. Then, we tend to get confused and scared and forget that Jesus has promised us that we are not alone and that he is there. Lent is a six week season of reflection that includes prayer, fasting and alms giving (money for the poor). It is a preparation for observing Holy Week which includes Jesus' last days, death and then resurrection on Easter.



For a Visual Faith devotion, I created a prayer page reminiscent of a prayer labyrinth. The opportunity to step into God's presence every day and remember his promises. You may color in or doodle each circle as you move through the 40 days of Lent. I counted the 40 days starting Thursday after Ash Wednesday, resting on Sunday and then ending with Easter in the middle. Find page 1 HERE




The second page of the devotion includes a verse to reflect on and truly digest throughout the six week journey. It is from Matthew chapter 11 of The Message. Here I hope you find relief and renewal as Jesus invites you to recover your life with him. There are questions to help guide you through your time in God's presence, they are meant to lead to a realigning of our thoughts with God's desire for us to live confidently knowing we are safe in him. Find page 2 HERE


I pray that as you re-lent and let go of the crazy clutter of this world, you are able to feel secure in God's promises and live free. And remember that God relented our separation from him by sending Jesus as our salvation. May you experience the unforced rhythms grace this Lenten season.

If you like keeping with a theme of simplicity, I also created a coloring page with the words 'keep it simple'. Find it HERE




Friday, February 24, 2017

My Visual Faith Story

Exactly 2 years ago today, I learned about this cool way to interact with your bible and prayers. Immediately my family and I went to a discount warehouse store, bought inexpensive bibles, journals and colored pencils. We were hooked! I can't say that all my Visual Faith practices happened overnight but something awesome happened that day. An amazing journey began that would heal me, grow me, stretch me, lead me and most of all become more aware of God's presence in my life. Thank you Connie for introducing me to Bible Journaling and Praying In Color that day. You may of had no idea what God was doing but it was big. These faith practices have been used by God to transform my life. And point my family in a direction of grace and freedom. As Christians we can walk through this life with blinders on or with spiritual amnesia, how much sweeter is life when we are aware of God's presence, hold steadfast to His promises, feel safe and secure in Him and then share that with the rest of the world!?



Here is a link to my Visual Faith Story published just yesterday on www.journalingthebible.com
Sally is an amazing child of God and has a great number of resources for Bible Journaling and interacting with your faith on her site. For more of my journey visit my guest appearances to the left of here. I also have a list of other fantastic sites to learn more about Visual Faith it is to the right of here under Reference. Vintage Grace is Connie's blog. Her story, her faith, the projects are all inspiring. My first one was the Prayers for My Children. Click on her Visual Faith tab and scroll down to find it. It blows my mind to think I didn't have a committed prayer time for my kids before. What an awesome difference God has made in our lives through Visual Faith.