Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Enjoy the Journey! - by Jane Butcher

Dear friends, I’m trusting this finds you all well. I’m sure some of you are full of

joy at this time, relishing the mountain tops, others are close to despair trapped

in the valley, and probably the majority of you are, like me, somewhere in the


On those difficult days when we seem to be walking through treacle it often

seems to trigger the “negativity” response.  We become self deprecating and

hyper critical, losing sight of anything about ourselves that is good; but, for

every single negative thing we can say about ourselves God has a positive

answer. The following is a list I came across of God’s responses to our


You say: It’s impossible.
God says: All things are possible.  (Luke 18:27)
You say: I’m too tired.
God says: I will give you rest.  (Matthew 11:28-30)
You say: I can’t go on.
God says: My grace is sufficient.  (2 Corinthians 12:9; Psalm 91:15)

There is a verse specific to our every need in the Bible. Sometimes we just need

a little help to locate it. There is nothing we can feel, fear or experience that

God does not know about, or care about.

You say: I can’t figure things out.
God says: I will direct your steps.  (Proverbs 3:5-6)
You say: I can’t manage.
God says: I will supply all your needs. (Philippians 4:19)
You say: I’m afraid.
God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear.  (2 Timothy 1:7)

As Bible Journalers we have a ready resource to turn to when we need a little

nudge or reminder of God’s love and plans and purposes for our lives. As we

focus on a verse, or verses that touch our hearts and draw, trace, paint or write

our response we are drawn closer into the presence of God, we are lifted out of

the darkness towards the Light.

You say: I am always worried and frustrated.
God says: Cast all your cares on me.  (1 Peter:5-7)
You say: I don’t have enough faith.
God says: I’ve given everyone a measure of faith. (Romans 12:3)
You say: I feel all alone.
God says: I will never leave you or forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)

For me Bible Journaling helps me push through mere words to the heart of

things, it simplifies the message and reveals and reminds me of God’s

omnipotence. I don’t need to have a deep theological understanding of every

nuance, I need to be able to turn to my Heavenly Father with every ounce of my

simple, childlike faith, knowing that He created me, He knows me, He loves me

and He has my life in His hands.

Proverbs 3:6 says “Seek His will in all you do and He will direct your paths.”

George Muller said “It is comforting to know that not only the steps but also

the stops of a good person are ordered by the Lord.” Our route master guides

our paths in the light of eternity, He knows our every step and He’s always

there, leading, guiding, redirecting, picking us up and dusting us off when

required. Let’s enjoy the journey!

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

step by step to an art journaled page in my bible - by Sarah Anderson

The Message version of Jeremiah 31:36 shows God telling the people of Israel that He's "never quit loving them" and to "expect love, love and more love".  I wanted to reflect this on the page with lots of hearts and splashes of pink.  Splashes like this though soak through to the other side of an unprepped page!

I always work on a pile of cheap copier paper when I am journaling and end up with lots of scrap paper full of patches of colour.  This is thin enough to add to the margin of your bible with a Pritt stick, and covers up bleed through.

I used a cosmetic sponge to add more colour to the page from my inkpads..

 ..and then added more through a stencil.  I have a good collection of Ranger Adirondack ink pads which I used for this but they are being discontinued now.  Other dye inkpads, or Ranger Distress inkpads would have worked just as well.

This page in Jeremiah is full of promises of hope and restoration and is a call for Israel to trust in God.

I was thrilled to bits when I found these stamps by Clarity at a stamp show but Hope has gone missing (I use it a lot!) - it's ok, all hope is not lost...

..I got out my trusty Big Shot and created a new stamp with sticky backed funky foam and my Tim Holtz alphabetical die.

Apply the letters to a piece of corrugated cardboard and you can make any words you like into stamps!

Stamping once for the main effect, then stamping in other places on the page without re-inking gives a layered effect to your work.

I highlighted some of the key verses using my watercolour palette and added some splashes of paint.

I love the effect that using a regular biro has on thin paper - adding a lot of texture!  So I used my trusty fine Bic pen to write out the verses

.... and added some doodling with coloured pencils, and painted in some flowers.

By choosing to work on the back of a page I'd already journaled I found a new passage to read and meditate on!

Sarah :)

Sunday, 11 October 2015

So you have a Journaling Bible...! - by Deborah Gregg

Hi everyone, it's Deborah here again this week. Now that Journaling Bibles are finally back in stock in the UK (Hooray!) I thought it might be helpful if I shared a few pointers and signposts for some of you who may be just starting on this wonderful creative journey with God's Word.

Tip #1 Enjoy
The Word of God is precious, but if I can say this in the nicest possible way - don't be too 'precious' about your Journaling Bible. I know you spent money on it, and probably had to wait a while for it to arrive, but it's yours to USE! Make a conscious, prayerful decision not to allow perfectionism to get in the way of your freedom to explore the creativity God has given you. Give yourself permission to write, underline, draw, highlight, paint, collage, washi tape, and decorate as you create in this Bible and express what God is revealing to you through His Word. 
If it helps, write a prayer in the front of your Bible, offering it ALL as an act of worship, including any smudges, crinkles, bleed-throughs, accidental rips, wonky writing and spelling mistakes! Ask God to speak to you through His Word and to unlock your creativity. Here's my opening prayer...

Tip #2 Test
Create a test page in the preface or in the back of your Bible, as somewhere to try out your pens, pencils and art supplies. Do try out the supplies you already have before you go and buy any new ones! You may be surprised at just how well your children's Crayola Twistables work in a Bible! Here's one of my test pages....

Tip #3 Research
It is worth doing a *little* research for ideas, tips and inspiration online, in places such as Facebook or Pinterest and YouTube. (Set a timer!!!) However for a beginner it can become overwhelming looking at other peoples wonderful artwork so keep a level head and just look out for simple ideas to begin with, things you can copy or perhaps trace. Rebekah R Jones has some excellent You Tube tutorials you might like to check some of these out http://www.rebekahrjones.com/bible-art-journaling-challenge/ and you can also look at Illustrated Faith's website http://www.illustratedfaith.com/

Tip #4 Edges
If you want to decorate the edges of the Bible, it's a good idea to do that early on, before you have really got going with your journal pages. This means that the pages are still smooth and close together which makes if so much easier. Again, Rebekah R Jones has a tutorial on this if you want some ideas. http://www.rebekahrjones.com/bible-art-on-the-edge-bible-art-journaling-challenge-week-40/
Here's one I prepared earlier :-)

Tip #5 Preparation
I do recommend that you invest in some decent clear gesso to prepare your pages, especially if you are planning to use paints, stamps or pens that may bleed through to the other side. It will make your page stronger and will give a much better finish and end result. In my experience it's always worth preparing the surface first. Gesso varies a great deal in texture and finish. I started by using the White Gesso from The Works which is cheap and cheerful, however more than 1 coat will begin to obscure the print, and it does leave the surface a bit chalky, and you'd have to be careful not to ruin your pens. But it's better than nothing, if you are careful or just want to use it on the margins.
I totally agree with Rebekah R Jones' recommendation that the 'Art Basics Clear Gesso' is absolutely perfect to use in Journaling Bibles and is well worth the investment, if you can. I've only recently got hold of some and it really makes a difference. Rebekah has tried and tested a number of different Gessos and other art supplies, and you can see her reviews here: http://www.rebekahrjones.com/bible-art-supplies/

*Update: Rebekah R Jones has a new all-time favourite gesso, made by Dina Wakely - see this post:

Tip #6 Tracing Paper.
My BFF. Say no more.

Tip #7 Dry
Ideally use a craft heat gun if you have one, or a hairdryer to fully dry the gesso and pages as you go along. I also recommend leaving your pages open overnight, firstly to let them dry completely and secondly, it's lovely to see your Bible lying there open showing your fresh artwork, first thing in the morning! :-D
Then if you close your Bible carefully, and keep it under a pile of books, it will help to keep the pages smoothed out.

Tip #8 Enjoy!
Yes I know we have already had this, but again I say rejoice! Enjoy this lovely new way of creatively expressing what God shows you in his Word. I pray that you will find a new passion for seeking God through His Word and that your faith will grow stronger and deeper as you do this.

I'm sure that there will be more tips to follow but I hope this will help some of you to start you off! Let me know if any of this is helpful to you. And please feel free to ask any questions in our Bible Art Journaling UK Facebook group! And don't forget to post some photos too! I can't wait to see some of your creations, I find it personally very encouraging and uplifting when others share their work, and I can't tell you how many times God has spoken to me through someone else's Bible artwork. Be brave and courageous, and may your faith from deeper and stronger in Him.

Love in Christ,

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Allow me to introduce myself!!!! - by Sharon King

Hi my name is Sharon King,

and I am a Salvation Army Officer working in Waltham Abbey, Essex. I have been a Church Minister in the Salvation Army for 32 years and have lived in many different places including, Guernsey, Ramsgate, Dublin, Burnley, Blackpool, Hemsworth in Yorkshire, Shaw in Lancashire, Tring in Hertfordshire, Stanford le Hope in Essex and now since July this year in Waltham Abbey.

have enjoyed many different hobbies over the years including  Cross Stitch, Tapestry, Patchwork, Quilting and Knitting. In more recent years I have been a keep paper crafter and have enjoyed card making and scrapbooking. 

Over the last 2 years I have been dipping my toe into Christian Meditation through art. My interest in this started after I read a book by Sybil McBeth called Praying in Color. I found this to be a helpful tool in my personal prayer time, and so continued to develop this way of praying.

As I investigated this further I came across Mary Fleeson's colouring books from Lindisfarne Scriptorium. (This was long before the colouring craze began!!!!) Once again I found these to be helpful in my time of payer as the colouring became a meditative process allowing me to focus more.

Earlier this year I could not contain my excitement when I discover the Bible Art Journalling Facebook Group, I joined the group and was really inspired by all the really God blessed art works. I purchased a Journalling Bible but have to admit I struggled to overcome the thought of desecrating God's Word by doing my art in it, I also had to learn that although I can't draw and think my art work is basic, the most important thing was to worship God through this new art form.

And so I stepped out in faith and my Bible Art journalling began in my Bible and also in a Journal.

I also joined the Bible Art Journaling UK group, and had the privilege of attending one of Deborah Gregg's  workshops. She introduced me to some mixed media ideas including using watercolours and acrylics.

I am now a member of this blog team and who knows where God is going to take me next, but I am ready to fasten my seat belt and enjoy the ride!!! How about you?!!!!!!!