January 15, 2015

Craftin' Bliss

Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. . . Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other. . . That is why is it was called Babel -- because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth." ~ Genesis 11: 1, 7, 9

Can you imagine waking up the next morning and not being able to understand your neighbor? No wonder they stopped building the tower of Babel. It's hard enough sometimes to understand others who speak my own native language, so I'm so grateful that the Lord was wise enough not to strike our ancestors stone-deaf and mute then.

I was watching a You Tube video last night about someone who has begun faith art journaling. She showed photos of people who have taken Bibles, outlined a verse and illustrated it, right there on the page of their Bible. I thought it was a little disrespectful until, duh, I remembered that I had done the very same thing. Generally, I'm an underliner in my study Bible. When I'm reading the Bible and want to remember something, I underline it. I have a few illustrations in my Bible, below is a sample of one of them that I drew at the end of a book in the white space left over on the bottom of the page.
Art is said to be a window to the soul. Can you communicate only by body language and hand signs or pictograph writing? People play games based on those concepts like charades or pictionary, which I'm not good at, either one. I'm a slow thinker, so fast games like these muddle my mind.
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is found in Exodus 35:30-36:1-2. "Then Moses said to the Israelites, "See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts, to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic craftmanship. And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as craftsmen and designers. So Bezalel, Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the Lord has commanded. Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work."

I told you I had signed up for Documenting Faith 2015 and am itchin' to get out to my playroom one day a week (click here to see it), but things keep cropping up to prevent me from going out there, however, I am putting my time to good use and PRAISE THE LORD, he is granting me some of the desires of my prayers. I am researching my third great-grandfather, Elder Martin White and a genealogy friend sent me a link to a church archivist's website. My grandpappy was a Primitive Baptist minister and we are discovering some of the missing links in the my grandmother's genealogical records right and left. She researched her family for about 28 years, finally publishing it in 1983 BTI (before the internet).

I crave information about Martin's spiritual life as a Christian and minister of God. Since I grew up in the church, I know how closely knit spiritual families can be. I wondered if he prayed for his family -- his children, grandchildren and the generations beyond that. I wondered what his favorite Bible verse was and what he sermonized about. Who did he lead to the Lord, baptize, marry, and whose funerals did he conduct? What was my grandmother's favorite Bible verse? She must have been a mighty patient woman, crippled in body sometime after the birth of her last child, to be tenderly cared for by her daughter and to put up with not only her husband's ministerial duties, but also his time away from home during his legislative duties.

I thought it was interesting to note, that our Bible, our love letter from God, was inspired by him even after he confused the Babylonians' language -- "All Scripture is God-breathed. . ." ~ 2 Timothy 3:16. And in it, he gives us his standard of holiness, his law -- "through the law we become conscious of sin" ~ Romans 3:20. Then he gives us examples of righteous living and wickedness through the stories told of the Heroes of the Faith. Hey, people, those heroes weren't perfect by any means. Did you know that Abram lied, Moses murdered somebody and King David was an adulterer? But all of them had faith in God. "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." ~~ Hebrews 11:1. That's why it's important for us to read the word and digest it down deep. "his sheep follow him because they know his voice." ~ John 10:4.

January 02, 2015

Upside Down

You've heard that saying, turn your frown upside down?
Well, I've been thinking this week of the many tragedies, heartbreak and sadness people sometimes experience in their lives. Nobody is excluded from bad things happening, however, it's how we react to those kind of things that defines our character. It's not easy nor fun getting character trained either, but. . .
Sometime during our grief process, we stand at a crossroad. God has given mankind free will and we can choose how we go on from there. We can choose to remain sad, angry, resentful, unforgiving, ungrateful, and depressed which eventually will poison us and our relationships with other people.
We can choose to forgive and love once more.
As I've been working on a new post this week for our genealogy blog, I ran across this video at Youtube. Patti Page and Jo Stafford sing this message so well . . .
Music by Harold Arlen and words by Johnny Mercer, @ 1944.

Jo: "Something I've noticed,
everyone seems so gloomy,"

Patti: "It's the weather, Jo.
You know the sun hasn't come out here
since it saw the deserted bleachers at
Ebbets field. (ie. Brooklyn, New York)"

Jo: "Well, that's the wrong attitude.
Look at it this way,
you haven't lost a ballteam,
you've gained a parking lot!
See the similarity there?"

 Patti: I sure do!
Shall we pass it onto the people?

Everybody, gather round me,
while I preach some
Feel a sermon coming on
The topic will be sin
And that's what I'm again.'

If you wanna hear my story,
Then settle back and just sit tight
While I start reviewin'
The attitude of doing right.
You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative

Latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between.

You've got to spread joy up to the maximum

Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium is

Liable to walk upon the scene. 

 "To illustrate my last remark
Jonah in the whale, Noah in the ark
What did they do,
Just when everything looked so dark?

"Man," they said, " we better
Accentuate the positive,
Eliminate the negative,
Latch on to the affirmative,
Don't mess with Mister In-Between."

repeat: "To illustrate my last remark,"

 No, No, No, Don'
t mess with Mister In-Between."