Tuesday, 26 July 2016

#30 Days of Bible Lettering - by Deborah Gregg

Hi all, just a very quick blog from me today as I've set myself another 5 minute challenge!

I'd found that due to busy life things going on, I simply wasn't having or finding much time for Bible Art Journaling, and I was missing it!

So when I heard about the 30 days of Bible Lettering challenge that's been running through July, I decided to go for it!

I set myself an additional challenge that (most) artwork should be done in 5 minutes. Therefore I should increase the chances of actually seeing it through! 

I have to say it's been fabulous way to get back into it all. I've enjoyed dwelling on the verses given for the day, and having to make a quick decision about how best to get that in my journal was quite liberating, to stop the messing around and get on with it! And to keep it simple.

I'd recommend this challenge to anyone interested, and don't think 'I haven't the time' - I'm sure you can find 5 minutes with your Bible, journal and a pen!

The prompts can be found on http://30daysofbiblelettering.com/ and though July is nearing the end (yes, already!) you could use it any month you like (give or take a day or two!).

Go for it, be blessed, and please share in the group!
Love Deborah

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Alternative Small Groups - Bible Art Journaling

We have just finished our second time of running a 6 week block of 'alternative small groups' at church.  The aim of the groups was to build relationships, getting to know people better, and that's certainly been true for me.  There has been a range of options including evening walks, bread making, songwriting, outdoor games, crafts, hot topics - debates, exercise and this time I was asked to lead a bible art journaling group.

Huge thanks to Janine who took some photos, and what a delight her tiny daughter is!  At only 19 months old she wanted to do everything we were doing but we decided she wasn't quite ready for ink pads ;)

We took quite a fluid approach to the focus for each week, deciding on the go what we'd like to do.  I've been rubber stamping for hundreds of years so have a great collection.  One evening we focused on looking for trees in the bible and stamped them on relevant pages, with our particular favourites being Psalm 1 and Isaiah 55:12.  Another evening we hunted for flowers,

Going on a treasure hunt like this brought us to verses we'd not heard before and gave us the opportunity to discuss the meaning of others that we saw in a new light.  There was also a lot of 'ooh I like that' and giving the idea a go in our own bibles.  Working together was very inspiring.

Rubber stamps were a huge relief to those people who felt they couldn't draw and bibles were soon being filled with flowers, butterflies, trees...

Not everyone used a bible.  We had paper available for larger pieces, and tags for small pieces.

This beautiful hydrangea stamp formed a central focus for some favourite verses

We also played with other resources including gelli plates and paint on deli paper, which is great for adding to pages in your bible as it's so thin and light

and Brusho, which was great fun (apologies for the lack of photos!).  Playing with new resources together was another great way of getting to know each other, as well as being tremendous fun!  We can all highly recommend alternative small groups!

Monday, 11 July 2016

Colouring in a Spiritual and Meaningful Way

From a young age I have always enjoyed colouring. Every Christmas my Aunt would buy me a Platignum Colouring Set, and I really enjoyed spending time on Christmas Afternoon colouring in the pictures in the set.

About four years ago I started exploring using colouring as a spiritual tool in my quiet time. I often find it difficult to focus when I am praying, my mind seem to go off in so many different directions and tangents. The first colouring book I purchased was from Lindisfarne Scriptorium. I then read Sybil McBeth's book Praying in Colour. And so my journey in Colouriing as a Meditation and Spiritual tool began.

Sometimes I would doodle my prayers, other times I would take time to colour a picture. My prayer life changed for the better, I became more focused, I started to pray specifically for people on my mind, and because I was focused there have been many times when God has prompted me to do a certain thing or pray for a particular person.

I find it usually takes me about a week to colour one picture, and during this time I focus on my prayers and I have realised that this has been helpful and effective.

The book I have been using for about the last three months is this one:

There is a picture on one side of the page and on the other there is a thought or hymn to help me focus. The paper is very good quality which allows me to experiment with the materials I use.

Here are a few of the pictures I have coloured in.

Some of the pictures are quite simple to colour in, this gives me opportunity not to focus so much on the picture, but more on the person I am praying for.

Sometimes when I am colouring, God quite clearly shows me who I should be praying for. A few months a a young girl called Amy from the Salvation Army had a bad cycling accident whilst she was on holiday in Australia. A Facebook page was set up so that people could join together and pray for Amy and her family.

As I was colouring this page above, I thought about all the people that were praying for Amy throughout the world. God gave me a picture of a patchwork quilt and how all our prayers were being made into a spiritual patchwork quilt, which would be like a comfort blanket that would surround the family in God's love. 

I shared this completed coloured picture on the Facebook page to encourage everyone to keep praying. Amy didn't make it and she is now in her heavenly home that God has prepared for her. As people continue to pray for her family I pray that we all might be enveloped in God's love and care.

I have been a crafter for many years, and like every other crafter buy equipment that I use for a while and then it gets left alone. About 6 years ago I bought some Sakura Gelly Roll Pens, it has given me great joy to rediscover them for my Bible Journalling and Colouring, the picture above and below have been coloured using these pens.

There are still plenty of colouring pages in this book, and I know that God will use this book to bless me and the many others I will pray for as I colour. The last picture I would like to share is this one:

This is still a work in progress, and that is true for each one of us as individuals, in God's eyes we are all still a work in progress. We each need to allow God to work in us every day as He completes the the big picture.

We are all part of that big picture and we all need to be ready to use the God colours God has given each of us to colour in that picture.

As Matthew 5:14-16 in the Message Bible states: 

Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

May God help us to blend the spiritual colours He has given to each of us so we can present to Him a beautiful picture of living together in harmony,