Thursday, September 18, 2014

GROW -- Mark 7:24-9:1

Greet the Lord
Read Mark 7:24-9:1

Continuing the narrative: Jesus retreats to Tyre, attempting to lay low, but he "could not be hidden." He heals a Gentile's daughter of demon possession and a deaf man in Sidon. A great crowd gathers with little food. Jesus has compassion on them, concerned that they eat before traveling home. He blesses 7 loaves and a few fish and it feeds 4,000 with 7 baskets of leftovers. Jesus shows emotional disappointment/frustration (he "sighed from deep within himself") when the Pharisees demand a sign. Then the disciples become worried when they have no bread. Jesus questions them and reminds them of the miracle He has just performed. Peter confesses Jesus as the Messiah, and Jesus teaches them plaining what is coming in the days ahead. He teaches the gathering crowd the value of the eternal and the futility of living for the here and now. He warns that anyone who would follow Him must deny himself and take up his cross.

1. News of Jesus traveled fast. Even though He kept telling people to "tell no one" when he healed them, they didn't listen. They couldn't help but share the amazing things that He had done.
2. Jesus came to offer the Kingdom to the Jews, but He didn't reject when Gentiles came to Him looking for help or hope.
3. Jesus experienced human emotions when He was pressured by the Pharisees and forgotten by the disciples.
4. Following Jesus isn't a "fun" activity. There is a tension in giving your life to Christ. It involves self denial and cross bearing. But ultimately it is the only way to "find life" because living for the world is futile.


GROW -- Mark 7:1-23

Greet the Lord
Read Mark 7:1-23

This passage is part of a narrative. Jesus has been healing the sick and challenging some of the traditional "laws" regarding the Sabbath. The Pharisees observe the disciples eating without ceremonial washing and confront Jesus about it. Jesus refers back to Isaiah, noting how the people "honor" with lip service, but the HEART is far from Him. He attacks the idea that calling "Corban" negates the principle of honoring, taking care of, and providing for one's parents. Jesus explains its not the externals that defile someone. (Here Mark notes that Jesus has declared all food clean at this point.) It is what is in the heart that defiles, for that is where evil comes from.

Principles Observed from the passage:
1. Traditions are not part of the gospel.
2. Lip service is not good enough for God.
3. The heart is most important.
4. Motives matter.
5. Follow the spirit of the law, not just the letter, looking for loopholes.
6. Defilement comes from within, not from externals. Thus, circumstances do not give evil men an excuse. Their evil comes from evil hearts.

Other observations:
List of evil:
evil thoughts
sexual immorality


*When the heart is not involved, my worship is vain, empty, hypocritical and adding to the Word of God.

Mark 7:6--"This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me..."

Art Worship

I recently discovered this amazing Facebook group called "Bible Journaling Community." There I have found a sisterhood of artsy ladies who praise God and worship Him through art, by journaling Scripture and songs and thoughts they think while reading God's Word. I decided to join in. And it's awesome.

I set up a little "Art Worship station" by the couch where I read so I have my box and notebook handy. I follow the acronym "GROW" (Greet the Lord, Read a passage, Observe things about it, Write/doodle/draw) as I meet with God and the drawing part has been refreshing on several levels. First off, it feeds my creativity which I love. It also provides an amount of time that I am focused and meditating on a specific verse or principle from the Word.

I tend to sketch out a picture/text with pencil, then go over it with my favorite pen (Micron Pigma) then add color with watercolor pencils, then paint it.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Bedroom Decor

I just whipped up these adorable little printables today. I saw each quote separately but there were next to each other on the computer screen and it made me laugh out loud. So I thought I'd make some printables to go together. :) tee hee hee

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Shiro Daguerreotype

How to make a photograph appear like a Shiro Daguerreotype
1.       Open photo in
2.       Convert to black and white
a.       “Adjustment” à “Hue and Saturation”
b.      Turn “Saturation” all the way to zero
3.       Adjust curves
a.       “Adjustment” à”Curves”
b.      Click the middle of the line and move upward. The point you are moving should end up around the intersection of the top horizontal line through the middle vertical line.  (A little left/below the intersection is fine too.)
4.       Add a layer on top of the photo and fill with brown
5.       Change brown layer opacity to approximately 50% (or a little more)
6.       Change layer style to multiply
7.       Merge layers
8.       Adjust levels
a.       “Adjustment” à “Levels”
b.      Dial the middle section of the input levels to the left to approx. 0.75
9.       Adjust brightness/contrast
a.       “Adjustment”à “Brightness and Contrast”
b.      Dial “Brightness” to approx. 10
c.       Dial “Contrast” to  approx. 25
10.   Adjust Saturation
a.       “Adjustment”à “Hue and Saturation”
b.      Dial Saturation to the left almost half way

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Acts 1

The first few verses of Acts are a review of the last few verses of Luke. The disciples were instructed to stay in Jerusalem until "the promise" of the Father came. This promise is found in John 14:15-31--the Holy Spirit had not yet been given. Now when a person believes in Christ, the Holy Spirit is given immediately and we have the privilege of the blessings of the Spirit from the moment of conversion (Eph. 1:13-14); but the believers at the time of Christ's life/death did not have that. They had to wait for Pentecost when the Spirit was given to the Jews assembled. Throughout the book of Acts we see the Spirit "given" to others--Saul (Acts 9:17-19) and the Gentiles (Acts 10:44-48) on or around the time of their conversions. I'm so thankful I didn't have to wait for someone to come and bestow the Spirit on me when I believed! What a blessing to have the immediate working of the Spirit in my life!

So from the time Jesus came until He was crucified His "agenda" was to bring to pass the kingdom of God. Had the Jews listened to His message instead of rejecting Him (and ultimately putting Him to death), history might have been much different! The disciples knew the old agenda and were eager for Jesus to take His rightful place as King, to defeat Rome's tyranny against the Jews (v. 6). In the next two verses Jesus revealed a new "agenda"--to be witnesses and tell others about Christ's suffering and death, His resurrection and the forgiveness of sins (Luke 24:46-49). The scope of their witness encompasses the whole world--Jesus instructed them to begin at Jerusalem (their immediate community/city), then go into all Judea (the surrounding area), then into Samaria (farther away socially and proximately), and finally to the end of the earth (everywhere). They couldn't be fulfilling God's new plan by just staying where they were--they had to radiate outward and tell everyone! Similarly we are to be involved in ministry not just in the immediate area we live in, but also our surrounding community and in the world at large. What a privilege to be involved in God's plan for the nations!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Our Little Miracle

Today marks 3 weeks since our little miracle was born. We call her that for more than just because life in and of itself is a miracle. Here is the story...

Three months before Mr. Galaxy and I got married, I was told by a renowned OB-GYN that he thought I would have a very hard time getting pregnant without medical intervention based on my period history and some blood tests. He wanted me to come back after our honeymoon for further tests to see about endometriosis and the potential infertility he suspected so strongly. My fiance and I grieved deeply over this news because one of our greatest wishes was to be parents. In fact, infertility was probably my very biggest fear ever since I was a teenager, because I love children and I have always wanted to be a mother. As we walked through the months between receiving the news and our wedding day, we came to accept that God was in control and if He wanted us to have children, He could easily prove doctors wrong, and that we needed to live "open-handedly" no matter what happened.

We got married in May, went on a fabulous 2-week honeymoon to Mexico, and immediately moved out of state for my new husband to take a new job. We never did follow-up with that doctor, but figured whenever we decided we wanted to try for children, we would go to a doctor and get advice on it then. And in the meantime, we didn't need to worry about birth control, right? :o)

I got sick at the end of June with a massive kidney infection and was admitted to the hospital for five days. It took three days for my white blood cell count to start going down (normal levels are between 5,000-10,000 and mine was over 35,000). I wasn't really better at the end of the five days but my WBC count had receded to about 7,000, so it was safe enough for me to go home and just finish up my antibiotics there. During my hospital stay and following I had extreme nausea and had a hard time eating enough to stay hydrated. After I went home, I continued struggling with nausea, but it would come and go, based on how much medication I was taking. I went to my doctor for a follow-up visit three weeks later and my urine-analysis showed the infection was still present, so he gave me another round of antibiotics. I finished those, went back for a follow-up again, and they found my urine was still infected! So I got a different antibiotic and was instructed to take it and come back for a follow-up after that. Well, the nausea was not getting any better--in fact it was getting worse. I couldn't work, I couldn't do any housework, I could barely get out of bed most days, and even laying still was miserable. Everyone at church was convinced I was pregnant, but I knew there was no way--I was still recovering from the kidney infection, my husband and I hadn't even been trying, and besides we were supposedly infertile! Well, I finally broke down and bought a home pregnancy test, took it, and I didn't even have to wait the usual two minutes for the result. As soon as I dipped it, the plus sign appeared!

We went to the doctor the next day to have it confirmed and yes, we were indeed pregnant! We confirmed my antibiotics were safe for pregnancy and my doctor referred me to an OB at the hospital. My first visit to her was cut short because I was so nauseated that I carried a barf bag with me everywhere I went--she sent me right over to the ER to get rehydrated through an IV. That was only the beginning of my ER visits during that first trimester. I went back two more times because I could not eat or drink anything and keep it down. The OB then referred me to a high risk prenatal clinic because of the kidney infection (which STILL hadn't gone away!), and because my sister had a stroke a month after she had given birth, and my OB just wanted to be on the safe side and make sure I would be okay. After our initial visit at the high risk clinic they did a huge round of blood work which revealed I have a protein deficiency that could indeed cause a stroke, so they transferred my primary care to the high risk clinic. After my second ultrasound, they found that our baby had a 2 vessel umbilical cord. Most babies have 2 arteries and 1 vein in the UC, making it a 3 vessel cord. Our baby only had one artery and one vein. The doctors assured us this could mean nothing, but they wanted to keep an eye on it because it could indicate a low birth weight and often was a factor in babies with heart defects. My kidney infection gave me the "privilege" of carrying Group B Strep which can be transferred to baby during delivery (yikes!).

So many things against us in this pregnancy! Suspected infertility, kidney infection on the outset, 2 vessel cord, protein deficiency, and throughout the pregnancy the kidney infection never did clear up--it was a constant problem and I was going on high dose antibiotics (sometimes 2 at a time) every month or so. So many people prayed for me, for my health, for our child, for her health. We are so grateful for good insurance! The doctors at the high risk clinic were so wonderful and so concerned about making sure to cover every base to ensure the best pregnancy outcome possible.

Rylea Krystal was born May 6, 2012, completely healthy. Her heart is fully formed. She weighed in at 6 lbs and 14 oz and was six days early. She has had no withdrawal symptoms from me being on antibiotics the entire pregnancy, and while I am <still> battling the pesky kidney infection, we rejoice that Rylea is healthy. And I didn't even pray for her to be a healthy baby--I prayed for her to love Jesus and grow up to serve Him. I am overwhelmed every day when I look at her, knowing all that was against a positive outcome and seeing God's hand so evident in her life and even in her conception.