What to Journal - Bulletin Graffiti and Worship Experience

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I always scribble notes on my bulletin - not just sermon notes, but thoughts about what I see, word art doodles, or  just drawing a line around significant words from the liturgy or a hymn. The bulletin usually gets tucked into my Bible if the rest of the day is busy. I have to be honest -- these "bulletin bites" often get tossed in the trash when too many pages stuffed-in-and-sticking-out signal that a cleaning out is needed! But when I’m moved by words or an experience that I don’t want to forget, returning to reflect and re-organize my notes & “take-always” creates an enjoyable devotion time and marks a step in my faith journey.

 Zion Lutheran Church, Kalamazoo, Michigan -- 150 years old!

Zion Lutheran Church, Kalamazoo, Michigan -- 150 years old!

I recently attended a church that was celebrating their 150th anniversary - the planned celebration and service was a visual delight, starting with the magnificent sunrise. Members had thoughtfully created a special "booklet bulletin" for worship that day, with lots of story and explanation about what and why they were celebrating.

 The "story" they offered for ALL worshipers drew me in and included me in the excitement of this day -- the detail was witness to the love of these people for their church.

The "story" they offered for ALL worshipers drew me in and included me in the excitement of this day -- the detail was witness to the love of these people for their church.

 Behind the order of service, were pages that showed me that their theme was personal -- not just words, but a reminder of what they were DOING.

Behind the order of service, were pages that showed me that their theme was personal -- not just words, but a reminder of what they were DOING.

 Words expressing the heart of early church planners were included and connected me to their faith and forethought as I came to worship:  architectural lines designed to sweep thoughts of worshipers upward as they view the stained glass window, with rich symbolism of the Old & New Covenants - the Lamb of God centered as the center of their faith. Certainly something to remember!

Words expressing the heart of early church planners were included and connected me to their faith and forethought as I came to worship:  architectural lines designed to sweep thoughts of worshipers upward as they view the stained glass window, with rich symbolism of the Old & New Covenants - the Lamb of God centered as the center of their faith. Certainly something to remember!

This visual inclusion made me want to capture this worship experience, learn from their looking back, and be able to share this with others - so I held onto the booklet. It sat on my kitchen counter until I found time to journal. A journaling Bible can be the place for these memories of faith and worship, to mark a tiny space in time where God encourages you in your walk with Him.

 I was "caught doodling" by my new friend Phil, who was taking pictures after the service (possibly to tell the story for the next 150 years?!)

I was "caught doodling" by my new friend Phil, who was taking pictures after the service (possibly to tell the story for the next 150 years?!)

I traced the doodle from my bulletin right onto my Bible page and copied a photo of the beautiful window from the booklet to add as well (didn't want to forget that!) To finish the page, I added personal words of thanks to God for the beauty of the worship space, and a "take-away" at the top which was inspired by the theme words. These "R words" - remember, reflect, reconfirm, renew, rejoice - really caught my attention as they mirror some of the same ideas behind the visual faith theme words of read, reflect, respond - to reach out. I included the date and a note about my husband's uncle, Dr. Paul Maier, who had been called to this church to begin a student ministry at nearby Western Michigan University. It's important to pass down details about the legacy of faith in your family.

 Thought-provoking words circled during a prayer within the liturgy were joined with God's Word from the theme verse in Hebrews 12:22 to create a prayer in the margin.

Thought-provoking words circled during a prayer within the liturgy were joined with God's Word from the theme verse in Hebrews 12:22 to create a prayer in the margin.

You can see that the margin might be a place to record the visual blessings of a worship place, the sharing of fellowship within a church family, and words of liturgy and song, as well as God's Word. And as you move through multiple steps of journaling - from "bulletin graffiti", to reflecting on the worship experience, to penciling in the page, to re-writing with pen, and then finally tracing over with colored pencil - you are creating a space of time for the Word to soak into your heart.....so that you remember. And most importantly, so that you can share.                                        -- Pat Maier

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Candice Schwark- Organization Tips

 

Many people ask me, “How do I begin?” when asking about Visual Faith.......I have to ask myself, “When will I stop?” We are talking about two separate things that actually end up with similar answers.

My “stopping” is with all the little bags I have to organize my artsy tools....how did I end up with so many? I tried to put pencils in one, markers in another, scissors and tools in another. That worked for awhile but I tend to mix up the contents (similar to my worktable!) My dilemma and solution may be familiar to your work habits. So, let me explain what I’m doing now.

I still have my little bags with tools in them but I had to develop something that I could “grab and go” and artist Jane Davenport from Australia solved that problem for me, and she doesn’t even know it! Jane designed the coolest little pocket that has a stretchy strap attached to the back. The strap wraps around my notebook or Bible. A few of my tools are stored inside. When I head out the door to a Bible Study or a doctor appointment, I don’t have to look for anything. Everything is together for me to grab and go. What a timesaver that’s become! By the way, Jane calls the pocket a girdle - mine is shown in the image below. She also has them in a shiny gold. (at Michaels)
(Side note - I used to be a flight attendant way, way back......a girdle was part of our uniform - it’s not one of my favorite words, as you can imagine!!!)

So, where to begin. Take your Bible and/or a notebook, fill the girdle with what you use the most for visual prayer or Bible journaling, zip it up, attach it to your book and off you go.

I have 2 of these handy little pockets, one for my Bible and one for a favorite notebook. One usually has an automatic pencil, eraser pencil, fine point permanent black pen, white pen, small ruler. water brush, and a pen or pencil that holds colored lead or inks. By the way, for longer trips, I usually take colored pencils and/or watercolor pencils.

I may change out the things in the other pocket, adding GelatosTM, scissors, water brush, a tiny watercolor kit, and designate it for my notebook.

One of my very favorite notebooks is the one in the third photo below. This was purchased at Staples, and I love to work up ideas in it. The notebook has 3 sections with 480 different pagers - lined, grid, and plain. It’s called “Markings “by C.B. Gibson There are other cover designs than the CREATE one that I buy.

My new organization method really has helped me stop adding little bags to my collection. Make it easy on yourself and begin your journey in Visual Faith, or at least continue it with fewer decisions to make as you spend time with our Lord.

Blessings on your journey! Candice

p.s. I have no affiliation with any projects mentioned in this article.

 

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 The Enduring Word Bible with tool pouch.

The Enduring Word Bible with tool pouch.

Visual Faith Assembly

 We gathered in Springfield, Virginia for a Visual Faith Assembly on August 3, 2018 to bring resources and encouragement to Visual Faith practitioners. 

We gathered in Springfield, Virginia for a Visual Faith Assembly on August 3, 2018 to bring resources and encouragement to Visual Faith practitioners. 

 We welcomed Lutheran Social Serves- National Capital Area to the event to offer prayers and  encouragement for the Immigrant Families and especially for the children in the United States detention centers. Chief Executive Officer- Christine Connell came to meet folks and head the prayer project. We are hoping to use this event as a prototype to add Visual Prayer to events and gatherings.We used prayer cards found in Resources on the Visual Faith Ministry website and then added Bible verses to pray over the families and children.

We welcomed Lutheran Social Serves- National Capital Area to the event to offer prayers and  encouragement for the Immigrant Families and especially for the children in the United States detention centers. Chief Executive Officer- Christine Connell came to meet folks and head the prayer project. We are hoping to use this event as a prototype to add Visual Prayer to events and gatherings.We used prayer cards found in Resources on the Visual Faith Ministry website and then added Bible verses to pray over the families and children.

 Anyone can pray for these families and share their prayers using this hashtag- #WelcomeInColor.

Anyone can pray for these families and share their prayers using this hashtag- #WelcomeInColor.

 Welcome comes in many languages.

Welcome comes in many languages.

 We printed off the Bible verses and then they could simple be added to the prayer cards. Prayer time finished them with watercolor and colored pencil. May these families be blessed.

We printed off the Bible verses and then they could simple be added to the prayer cards. Prayer time finished them with watercolor and colored pencil. May these families be blessed.

 We also tried our hands at Polaroid Praise - watercolor and Sharpie pens on watercolor paper.

We also tried our hands at Polaroid Praise - watercolor and Sharpie pens on watercolor paper.

 Visual Faith Coach Erika Radke also helped with some string painting- In and out of our Bibles.

Visual Faith Coach Erika Radke also helped with some string painting- In and out of our Bibles.

 Time to check in, encourage creativity, and see all the ways that the Lord is writing the stories in our lives.

Time to check in, encourage creativity, and see all the ways that the Lord is writing the stories in our lives.

 A young Bible Journaler plans out her very first Bible entry..  Photo credit to Genevieve Cooper

A young Bible Journaler plans out her very first Bible entry..  Photo credit to Genevieve Cooper

A Conference Devotional Art Room

 Thanks to Visual Faith Coach- Belinda Bost from Conover, North Carolina   for her Devotional Art workshop tracksat the 2018 Reaching for Others Conference   in Roanoke, Virginia this past weekend.

Thanks to Visual Faith Coach- Belinda Bost from Conover, North Carolina 

for her Devotional Art workshop tracksat the 2018 Reaching for Others Conference

 in Roanoke, Virginia this past weekend.

 Sessions had full rooms and everyone loved the hands on time to try things out.

Sessions had full rooms and everyone loved the hands on time to try things out.

 Visual Faith Coach- Erika Radke knows her materials and processes and helps everyone "just try."

Visual Faith Coach- Erika Radke knows her materials and processes and helps everyone "just try."

 Conversations were sparked about hosting a Visual Faith 101 event at home churches,   a neighborhood gathering,or gathering friends around the dining room table.

Conversations were sparked about hosting a Visual Faith 101 event at home churches,

 a neighborhood gathering,or gathering friends around the dining room table.

  Grandparents bought copies of the new CPH Enduring Word Bible for grandchildren as gifts-  with plans to sit and journal and pray Scripture  with THEM.  We sold a case of the Bibles.

 Grandparents bought copies of the new CPH Enduring Word Bible for grandchildren as gifts-

with plans to sit and journal and pray Scripture with THEM.We sold a case of the Bibles.

 It is never too late to start the journey. And there is no wrong way to begin! Look for a Visual Faith event near you or plan to host one!

It is never too late to start the journey. And there is no wrong way to begin! Look for a Visual Faith event near you or plan to host one!

Welcome in Color- Refugees and Immigrants

It was late on a Wednesday evening and the woman’s voice on the other end of the phone sounded forlorn. She was anxious with questions and despairing when I was unable to provide the answers she was hoping to hear. Over the previous few days, my colleagues and I had become accustomed to these calls. The effects of the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy had hit every major news outlet.  We all had witnessed young children being pulled from their mother’s hands and the desperate voices pleading officers to call a phone number that they had previously memorized and practiced.  

“What can I do?” The woman asked, “How can I help? I have a room in my house for a child at the border. They should not be in those cages, lying on the cold floor.” 

I gave her the contact information for a few partner organizations near the border. “We do have an Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program,” I told her. “But the children at the border have families and the first priority is to reunify them with loved ones. At this time, we are not receiving any cases from the border,” I told her. 

After a dozen of these calls, it was obvious that our community members were feeling helpless. They needed an outlet, and these children needed to know that they were cared for and loved by so many in our country. Our staff brainstormed and researched and found that it was impossible to physically reach these children or parents waiting in detentions and processing centers. Nothing would be allowed in, no greeting cards, no games, no blankets or comfort of any kind. 

But there is one thing that cannot be censored or stopped: our prayers. 

 

LSS/NCA is participating in the Visual Faith Workshop on August 3 in Springfield, Virginia. Our staff will be hosting a table where participants can learn more about refugee resettlement efforts and foster care for refugee children as we pray and meditate on Bible verses that remind us the value of demonstrating love to our neighbors and welcoming the stranger. 

During the event, prayer cards will be available for children and adults to color and send messages to the families on our Southern border. Although we are unable to physically send the cards to holding centers, we can still spread our prayers and compassion through your help.

Here’s how you can participate: 

Download a free prayer card: Do your kids need a summer craft project? Prayer cards are a great way to teach them about current events through the power of compassion and kindness. Ask them to color a prayer card for a refugee or immigrant welcoming them to our communities.

Encouragement Cards (English)

Encouragement Cards (Spanish)

Prayer Cards

 

Display your prayer cards: Ask your congregation or faith leader permission to hang your cards in a Sunday school classroom, a display board, or meeting place. There may be someone in your own church community that would benefit from your message of welcome. 

 

Share on social media: Tweet, post or pin using #WelcomeInColor. Share your prayer cards or Bible journaling margins, and encourage others to lift up their voices for those in need of friendship. By using #WelcomeInColor, LSS/NCA and Visual Faith boards will be able to share and repost your image. Together, we can ignite compassion and welcome those who seeking refuge.

Autumn Orme, LSS/NCA Communications Director

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Polaroid Praise

A simple way to bring focus to a Bible verse.  Using painter's tape - tape card to table top- placing tape to have a margin on the top, sides and a larger margin on the bottom. Using Watercolor Cards (Michael's or Hobby Lobby) simply add watercolor.

Then with a Sharpie pen add silhouette images to the card. You may use a regular or fine-point Sharpie pen.  Image ideas can be found by Googling Silhouettes.  Remove tape and add Bible verse in the bottom space. Polaroid Praise is ready to display or bless someone else!  

We thank  Visual Faith coach- Michele Bowden for demonstrating this great and simple idea at a recent Creative Haven event.  She will be at the Visual Faith Assembly on August 3, 2018 at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Springfield, Virginia to share this idea with others

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Visual Faith Creative Assembly

Maybe it is time for some inspiration? Perhaps you have seen some things about Bible Journaling and Praying in Color. You've thought about exploring something to bring to your congregation or share with your neighbors.

Where do you start? How do you make it inviting to all- even non-artists? What if you don't feel qualified to lead ?  Help ! 

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We have heard you and invite you to join us for a Creative Faith Assembly in Northern Virginia. We will have an evening of hands-on introduction to techniques. There will be help with supplies and how to use, as well as time to try things out.

We will show you what "Worship into the Week" could look like in your home, school or congregation. With YOU leading! Maybe your church gives out Portals of Prayer and a mini- calendar project makes a wonderful addition and all of a sudden you have "community" around a spiritual discipline practice.

There are also some basic Visual Faith project how-tos for creating Counting gift journals  and Prayers for my Children flip calendars.

So find a friend to bring- that always makes it more fun. Two with a vision make things happen.

Don't sit back and watch and wish you had made the trek to Prince of Peace in Springfield, Virginia.  Join us!  

Flyers are right here in the FILES section the Visual Faith - DC Metro group-https://www.facebook.com/groups/1021481294570736/files/

 

Visual Faith - Pinterest

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We would love for you to check out the new Visual Faith Ministry boards on Pinterest. You can find them here:

https://www.pinterest.com/visualfaithministry/boards/  

It is another way to see the collection of tools, inspiration, events, and coaches that make up the ministry of Visual Faith.

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 First there are boards that show resources from the website, blog posts, and the coaches and encouragers.  Each coach has their own board to see a bit more about their work.

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Then there are boards of helpful categories like: Tags, Tutorials, and Napkin Techniques.

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Next, are boards of those we like to follow and appreeicate their work. Lastly is the beginning of a section that will collect Bible Journaling by Books of the Bible.

Stop by and Give Us a Follow.!

May this be a blessing to you as you continue to explore all things Visual Faith.

A Visual Faith Coach Story- Gentle Persistence

Peg Peters came to a Workshop near her home in Indiana in the Fall of 2016. She went back very excited to share what she had learned about Visual prayer, Bible Journaling and all sorts of  hands on projects for Faith Keeping. She had been watching things online for awhile and learning and trying out new practices. She couldn't wait to bring them to her church community. But, the doors didn't open quickly for that sharing. Sometimes it is about patient waiting.

And then it was time.....On May 14, 2018, Peg Peters was able to bring the Prayers for My Children Project to her church- Driftwood Christian Church in Vallonia, Indiana. It was an intergenerational event. There were many ways they worked on it. And some were finished when they got home. A blessing to be shared. A blessing beyond the event. People of prayer. United by this common thread of love. Here is a bit about the event from Peg:

This event was part of our Mother-Daughter salad supper that we have every year on the Monday after Mother's Day. We call it the Ladies Salad Supper now since not everyone has a daughter.The ladies of our church were invited to attend and bring as many guests as they wanted to.We often have 3 generations.  This year we even had 4 generations in one family. We presented each lady with a ziplock bag that contained a glue stick, the 31 prayer verses roughly cut up and the 35 page booklet already hooked together with the 2 rings. The pages were made by a small print company(the owner goes to our church) The ladies got a good start on their books that evening and I encouraged them to take home any embellishments, etc. that they needed to complete their prayer books.  (Probably working on their own at the church for about an hour)Jodi, my daughter who is the Women's Ministry leader at Southeast Christian Church in Jeffersonville IN, presented the introductory part of the program. She is also an elementary teacher so she was able to share some insight as to how people learn in different ways.  Using the items we were that night was one example of learning. 

We announced at church and in the bulletin for ladies that had scrapbooking materials that were not being used to bring them along. I also had a huge pile of stickers, papers, all sorts of embellishments that people were free to use in their books. It was a little like the fish and the loaves of bread.  When it was over I gathered up more than I had brought it felt like!

We give thanks for Peg's faithfulness to find the just right event at the just right time.We pray there will be anymore gatherings. So may you be filled with patience- all coaches and encouragers as you seek to bring Visual Faith practices to others. Our Lord has the plan.Just be ready to share with humbleness when He says- NOW! Thank you Peg for your gently persistence and listening heart.

 

 

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Multi- generation event

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Peg Peters-(center ) and daughter Jodi and her daughter-Maggie.

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What to Journal: A Devotion That Connects

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I follow a blog called ilovemyshepherd.com by my friend, Heidi Goehmann. She writes spiritual thoughts about everyday situations - things that are wonderful, hard, and so-very-ordinary. Her honest writing often mirrors the words that run in a stream through my mind like a scrolling digital billboard as I make decisions throughout the day - words that I think to myself,  rarely share out loud, and often come and go too quickly for me to reflect and act upon.

So when I read Heidi's blog, there's often a slap-in-my-face recognition of some of my thought words. When this happens, it's a great time to get out my Bible, reflect on what God has to say, and respond in the margin so that I can remember and then reflect God's heart in my thoughts, words, and actions.

Maybe you will also relate to Heidi's words about "curds, milk, and cake" from her guest blog on meal planning at graftedheart.com (another great blog from Christian author Sarah Baughmann). I truly do love to cook, and meals together were a precious priority for our family of six - but my focus was often on the "why am I doing all this work?" rather than "why I'm doing all this work." Heidi made me laugh out loud with her words, "My husband occasional comes home and says, 'Quick! Knead it! Make cakes!'" We often shared our meal table - sometimes at the last moment - with guests, and that is often the case with the spontaneous schedules of our grown children today. Since I value cooking from scratch (which takes more prep & cooking time), meals sandwiched within busy schedules or last minute guest additions would often result in a stressed, grouchy, bad-attitude me.

To journal and connect my reality with Heidi's devotional thoughts,

  • I re-read Genesis 18:1-21 in my Bible, underlining words and phrases that stood out.
  • My biggest "a-ha" was the suggestion that feeding people is a spiritual practice, so I began with that at the top of my page along with some examples Heidi shared of when Jesus fed people.
  • Next is a prayer penned on the page, asking God to bring to mind "curds, milk, and cake" as a reminder of what I am serving.....
  • And the list of spiritual blessings to "serve" at my table

Making the word LORD larger and in a fun font draws my eyes to the prayer, and doing the same with the word SERVE reminds me that meals are a way I can serve God by serving up these spiritual opportunities - as well as good food! And because color and drawing brings me joy, I added a bit of color and ended with a simple drawing of trees around a campsite to conclude with my final take-away: to help me remember the joy of welcoming others to our family table.

 

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God bless you as you serve up curds, milk, and cakes and so much more to the dear hearts gathered around your family table!

-- Pat Maier

Visual Faith Collage Style

Creative Memories opened the door for Belinda Bost to learn the importance of documenting the story of our lives. The importance of writing about the Who, What, When, Where and Why in our own handwriting prepared her for processing with Visual Faith. It can be as simple as layering an image over the text in your Bible. A computer can enlarge or decrease an image to fit the page. Tracing paper allows the image to be added.

 

 

 

 

 Here is an altered Dollar Tree Word Search Book that became a Lenten Word Book using the church worship folder and basic art supplies. 

Here is an altered Dollar Tree Word Search Book that became a Lenten Word Book using the church worship folder and basic art supplies. 

 Belinda seeks spaces in her Concordia Study Bible to add full page entries.  The space between the Old and New Testament became a visual reminder of what the weeks to come would bring at the start of Lent. She used watercolor, printed paper, clip art, washi tape, embellishments and stamps.

Belinda seeks spaces in her Concordia Study Bible to add full page entries.  The space between the Old and New Testament became a visual reminder of what the weeks to come would bring at the start of Lent. She used watercolor, printed paper, clip art, washi tape, embellishments and stamps.

 Check out Belinda's online Bible Study called- "Bloom, Praying the Stitches" which will combine the concept of Praying in Color, Scrapbooking and Collage Faith Art.  There will be a fabric book cover that will be constructed during the discussion time and reflection. No sewing machine needed. You can follow the Bible study and watch the weekly video on the Do You F.R.O.G blog--   blog  -  www  .  beebeeost  .  blogspot  .  com   and on the Visual Faith Ministry Facebook page.

Check out Belinda's online Bible Study called- "Bloom, Praying the Stitches" which will combine the concept of Praying in Color, Scrapbooking and Collage Faith Art.  There will be a fabric book cover that will be constructed during the discussion time and reflection. No sewing machine needed. You can follow the Bible study and watch the weekly video on the Do You F.R.O.G blog-- blog-www.beebeeost.blogspot.com and on the Visual Faith Ministry Facebook page.

A First Communion Paper Bag Journal

I had some time with my granddaughter- Ellery Jane White (almost 8 years old) about three weeks ago and introduced her to Bible Journaling. She absolutely loved it. My friend Bev shared with me how to make the booklets out of paper bags. Well, Ellery just decided she was going to write her own story. She had taken her first communion in the PCA Church they attend the week before. Well, she sat down and wrote her thoughts. I was a proud Grammy for sure. 
It was wonderful to discuss the Sacrament of Holy Communion with her. Thanks be to God. I had such a blessed time with her.  

Thanks to Visual Faith Coach Jean White with this simple reminder that telling the story of significant faith milestones is both legacy and a blessing to the next generation. It also enhances the story we tell of God's faithfulness to THIS generation.

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The Enduring Word Bible

We are very excited about the new Enduring Word Bible coming out the first week of June from Concordia Publishing House.  It is an ESV version Bible and there are 350 margins for coloring as well as the title page for each book of the Bible. That leaves many pages for your own additions, notes, journaling and images.

Here is a bit about the illustrators: (first published by Concordia Publishing House on Goodreads)

About the Illustrators

Andrea Kilpatrick is a painter and illustrator living in Houston, Texas. She attended Concordia University Chicago, where she earned degrees in studio art and art education and received her Lutheran Teacher Certificate. She currently teaches elementary and middle school art. In her spare time, she sells custom illustrations and enjoys reading, Bible journaling, and traveling.

Jamie Truwe is a small-business owner, part-time art teacher, and full-time mom to 5 children. She attended Concordia University Wisconsin and has a theology degree with minors in youth ministry and art. In her spare time, she sells custom paintings and hand-lettered Scripture art, and she enjoys coloring in her Bible, reading, and traipsing around the states with her family.

Pat Maier is a pastor’s wife and former Lutheran educator who lives with her husband in Brighton, Michigan. Pat enjoys writing, drawing, and imagining to inspire others in their walk with Jesus. She is currently involved in planning and presenting at retreats and women’s events in the Michigan District, as well as teaching about visual faith. She finds great joy in nature, gardening, and spending time with family.

Jeff Carnehl has taught art at Walther Lutheran High School for 17 years. His illustration work with CPH has included other books and My Devotions. Prior to teaching, he worked as a graphic designer and art director for two Christian publishers. A graduate of Concordia University Chicago and the American Academy of Art, he is married to a Lutheran elementary teacher and the father of three grown sons. Besides illustrating, Jeff loves spending time with his growing family and gardening.

Watch for updates as we begin to explore this new Visual Faith Bible.

Bible Journaling with Kids

By Amanda Schenkenberger

As a Bible journaling teacher, one would assume I am swimming with Bible journaling ideas. You would think that you could give me a verse and I would come up with all sorts of brilliant DIY entries. While I have a few good standbys in my back pocket, I am often stumped by what to journal, and especially when I am trying to Bible journal with my kids.

Hi: my name is Amanda, and I'm a recovering perfectist. My kids, on the other hand,  are messy and have their own ideas about what to journal. Not surprisingly, when you try to put rigid Amanda into a loosey goosey kid mold, it doesn't go over well.

Even though it's a stretch for me, as a homeschool mom who loves to Bible journal, I desperately wanted to involve my kiddos in Bible journaling as part of our school curriculum. I wanted to have deep spiritual conversations about Jesus and how we can apply the Word to our lives but I couldn't figure out how to do it.

That was, until I discovered "Bible Journaling with Kids" by Chelsea Wojcik. You know those answers to prayers you never prayed: this book was totally one of them. In this book, Chelsea gives you the basics of what you need to journal with your kids, PLUS 7 focused topical units with Bible journaling prompts for an entire year (examples: love, joy, hope, etc...).

Once I got my hands on this book, I was so excited because the ideas wouldn't stop coming after that. At my finger tips, I had all the verses I needed and easy questions to ask my 5 year old. It gave me the freedom I needed to let go and be okay with my son doing his own artistic thing.

The biggest factor that changed things for me was Chelsea's suggestion of getting your kid their own journaling Bible. I felt like smacking my head against a wall. OF COURSE! Why did I think of that?!

So, as per Chelsea's suggestion, I immediately went to the thrift store and found a children's Bible for my 5 year old and got ready to Bible journal the first verse in the unit about love. And you know what my 5 year old said, "Mommy, this Bible doesn't look like your journaling Bible."

I sighed as the joy of my clever thriftiness vanished. I tried to show him the space he could use to journal but he was a little hurt by that. After all, I send journaling Bibles to women all over the U.S., why couldn't I give him one?

After thinking about it for like, half a second, I let him pick out one. Of course, it was the same cover as my main journaling Bible. My 5 year old is such a sweetie.

Anyway, we ended up having a wonderful conversation about love and who to love and how we could do it that day and what makes him feel most loved. It was the glorious time in the Word I had been wanting to have with my son that, before, had felt unattainable.

I started thinking about this whole predicament I had been in and how well Chelsea's book, "Bible Journaling with Kids" helped me overcome it and I thought, "If I have struggled with Bible journaling alongside my kiddos and I'm a Bible journaling teacher, how many other moms are struggling with it!?"

And that is why I am sharing this book with you because, mom-to-mom, sometimes we just need a little help in order to be able to enjoy our children. Our to-do lists are long and it is easy to get overwhelmed by #allthethings we must do to keep them alive, let alone invest in them spiritually

Then there are times when I don't want to come up with yet another crafting idea to keep his mind occupied. Or I simply have no idea how to engage a 5 year old in a spiritual conversation and I just need someone to say "Do this", and Chelsea has detailed that in her book.

I am so thankful that the Lord had our paths cross through the magic of Instagram because Chelsea has been such an encouragement to me through her book. If you find yourself in the "How do I Bible journal with my kids?" boat as well, there's nothing I can recommend more highly than Chelsea's new book, "Bible Journaling with Kids." Get it! You'll be so thankful you did.

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 Amanda Schenkenberger-- thank you for this post about Visual Faith Coach- Chelsea Wojcik

Amanda Schenkenberger-- thank you for this post about Visual Faith Coach- Chelsea Wojcik

Bible Marginalia- Be My Witnesses

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 Bible Marginalia Series- #292

Acts 1

The promise of the Spirit

and the Ascension of Jesus.

 

This reminds me of early years of parenting 

when you always offered something good

 as something was removed,

or even taken away.

Sort of the same thing when Jesus 

tells the disciples a very good thing

  would be theirs soon.

Right before he goes away.

Can't imagine the sense of BIGNESS-

as Jesus highlights the extent of their job.

"Tell people about me everywhere-

in Jerusalem, 

throughout Judea, in Samaria,

and to the ends of the earth."

YOU will be my witnesses.

Then as Jesus was taken up into a cloud,

they strained to see him and

two white-robed men stood among them.

Maybe the disciples 

were use to seeing angels.

But, I imagine they listened

 carefully anyway.

"Jesus has been taken from you into heaven,

but someday he will return from heaven

 in the same way you saw him go!"

Gift promised to come soon.

They had their marching orders-

be my witnesses.

Same instructions for us-

as we wait-

filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.

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