Soil, Roots, Fruit

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In my Tuesday morning bible study, we are working through Conversation Peace by Mary A. Kassian. It is a study about the power of speech… what we say… how we say it. It is hitting kind of close to home.

This week’s lesson began with:

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That is clear. Ugly heart, ugly words. Sweet heart, sweet words.

She offers a great analogy for how our insides can contaminate what we show on the outside. When a plant has root rot and the leaves turn ick, it is not the leaves that cause it, but it is rotting roots that cause the leaves to turn brown and ugly. I did not know that when your plant gets root rot, you have to also replace the soil. The disease remains in the soil, will infect the roots of the new plant, and then the leaves or fruit.

The three parts in this equation are:

  • the soil: our deepest beliefs and values…which affects…
  • the roots: our attitudes and thoughts…which affect
  • the fruit: our words and behavior

This is one reason I study God’s word. There is always someone being led by the Holy Spirit, who might offer me a fresh viewpoint.

I know that I cannot keep my soil clean or my roots disease free.

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But, we belong to a loving God who will take care of our soil and our roots if we turn to Him with our whole hearts. He will plant us and not pluck us up. Our fruit can be good as He builds us up, and we know Him more.

Here we are (you and I), in my journaling bible, growing our fruit in clean soil with healthy roots.

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Guard your heart… (Proverbs 4:23)

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Thrive?

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The first week of 2015, I started using this journal drawing to sign off my blog posts. “Thrive” was my word of the year.

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I also added this to my bible, at the same verses: Jeremiah 17: 7-8.

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The first week of 2015, God gave me Jeremiah 17: 7-8. That scripture told me “blessed is the man that trusts in the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water that will not be anxious in a year of drought.” For me, not having a job almost all year, was a seriously potential drought situation. I drew trees all year in my journal to keep that promise locked in my mind. Turns out, He was faithful to those words in many many ways.

I thought God gave me the word because in January 2015, I was barely surviving the job I had. Turns out, I lost that job in the spring and have been without one the rest of the year. God gave me that word to teach me to thrive in a situation that normally would have been hard to merely survive.

In 2015, I did more than survive, I was able to thrive.

Now, to keep what I have learned throughout 2015 as I head into 2016 and a new word on which to focus. Stay tuned….

Are you reflecting on a 2015 word? I would love to hear about it!

Trust in Him when you are afraid, Psalm 56:3.

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The Light of the World

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In this season, we are celebrating the birth of the Light of the World. This morning, Pastor Dave spoke to us about what it means to be in the Light and remain in the Light. If you look it up, there are many verses about Light, the Light of the World, the Light of Life, the Children of Light…. It would be a great topic on which to do a study, or to make it your word of the year.

But for today, Light in this verse means “the illuminator of men”. Jesus. The Light of the World.

In this section of James 8, Jesus is speaking to the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem, during the Festival of Shelters. During this festival, huge lamps were placed in the courtyard in the Temple. They were lit to remind the people of the pillars of fire that led them out of the wilderness. In James 8:12, Jesus is declaring Himself to be God.

As the Light (God), Jesus shows us the truth, gives us understanding of Him and His word, helps us to see His will and shows us how to follow it. But, there is one big thing about being able to see light. You must have eyes to see it. There is no light if a person cannot or will not see it.

So, together this Christmas season, let’s practice seeing the Light….looking toward Him, reading His word, following His teaching, asking for His will to be revealed. Let’s try not to get caught up in  the craziness of parking space rage, overspending and overeating, making there perfect cookies and all of the stuff that creeps into Christmas, but let’s see Him. If we can do it this week, we can do it any week!

Follow Him (John 8:12),

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Be the One!

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This scripture was part of this morning’s message at church. And what perfect timing! I think we all have giving thanks on the mind during the month of November, especially the week of Thanksgiving celebrations. But, how important is it to give thanks to God always?

I journaled this in my bible during the service so I would not forget. It is finished with watercolor pencils and my water pen.

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This is a great story. Read it a couple times and make note of what you learn. Feel free to trace my drawing for your own, or use the idea to draw your own.

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This is what I learned from these verses in Luke. Please share your insights!

  • The ten men in the village had no reservations about asking Jesus for help. They even had to yell from a distance to accomplish that, because they were not allowed to be near other people.
  • Jesus sent them to the priests. Normally, He spoke words over a sick person, or touched him. But in this instance, He was asking for the lepers to go to the priests, requiring some faith on their parts.
  • Only one of the ten returned to Jesus to thank Him for healing him of leprosy. This one was a Samaritan, who would not normally dare to go see the Jewish priests. He believed Jesus would heal him in whatever way He chose.
  • Jesus noticed the rest had not returned to thank Him. He did not demand thanks, but He noticed when it was not given. His own chosen people, who knew the prophesy that told them He was the Son of God who had come to save them, did not understand what had really happened.
  • Jesus wanted the Samaritan who gave Him the glory, to know that he was not only healed in body, but in his soul, because he believed.

It makes me think about how many times I ask Him for things. And how many times I forget to thank Him for answering my prayers. I am His chosen child, I have faith that He will answer my prayers, but I never want to forget or take for granted the biggest gift He has given me. His grace has saved my soul. He notices when I am not thankful.

Bless His name, Psalm 100: 4

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Praying Colossians 1

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Currently, I am doing a bible study on Acts. Before each lesson, we are encouraged to pray through Colossians 1: 9-12. So far, the study has been about the Holy Spirit. This comes at a time in my life when there is every possibility of great change, and I am relying on the Holy Spirit for many things. This scripture makes a meaningful prayer to me each time I sit to study God’s word, as well as each time I face a decision about my changing life.

This has been journaled in my Bible, and I turned it into a coloring page for you. It is narrow enough to slip into your bible as a bookmark, to add it to your own journaling bible. You can tack it to your bulletin board, or wherever. Let me know if you have a creative purpose for it.

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Print this on cardstock or watercolor paper any size you desire, and color it in. Enjoy! I pray you will find great use and meaning in it, as I am.

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Ephesians 6:18

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I.O.U.

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Have you ever heard this? ” You don’t owe him a thing.” Or, “I don’t owe you anything, you can just forget it!”

Maybe, like me, you have even said that once or twice. After reading these verses, I will think before I open my mouth to say it again.

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That woman who drove right into the last parking place even though she could see you were turning in, on the day you were really in a hurry? Do you owe her a piece of your mind, or do you owe her a smile and a hello?

That guy at work that talks bad about you to everyone, asks you to help him on a task. You don’t owe him anything. Or, do you owe him some time and some grace?

Definitely a reason not to react to someone who bugs you, but to stop for a beat, and then respond with the love you owe her.

I did this page in my bible with a black micron pen.

Be kind and compassionate to one another…. (Ephesians 4:32),

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Bible Journaling: Walking with God

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I worked on this page in my bible last night while watching a video in my bible study class. We were talking about walking with the Lord.

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I did a word study on “walk” to find out in the original Hebrew it has a much broader meaning than putting one foot in front of the other. Halak (hawlak) means to go…continually….be conversant…follow…grow.

Walking with God is a constant process, not something we do only when life is sunny. We should walk with our Lord when we are mad, sad, glad, and everything in between.When you are hurting, frustrated, exhausted…don’t stop walking with God. He will be there with you.

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This is done with plain old colored pencils and a micron pen. It is located at Psalm 116:9.

Put on your cute rain boots, grab an umbrella, and take a walk with the Lord.

Give all your worries and cares to God, (1 Peter 5:7 NLT)  

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