Today, January 6th, is the day the church celebrates Epiphany. The day the wisemen experienced the epiphany that the Messiah, the Savior had been born. They followed His star to find were He lay in a manger. They were "Star struck"! Amazed that the prophecies of old about the star that would be the sign of His coming and then again amazed when their long journey following that star brought them into the presence of the Holy One. After worshipping Him there they then shared their epiphany with others on their return journey, and the rest is His-story.
This Christmas I was amazed and star struck by being the recipient of one of five hand-made stars. Each unique in that they were created with various collected pieces of jewelry from mother, grandmothers, sisters, and aunts, but each the same in that they were created by the same loving hand with the same spirit of family community and bond, and of worshipping the same Lord and King that inspired their creation. What a special gift to share on this 2018 Epiphany Day!
"...Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him." Matthew 2:2
The fondest memory I will save from this 2017 Christmas was made at Walmart of all places, with an adorable 2nd grader who attends The Bethlehem Community Center in Alton Park. She had earned the equivalent of $85 over the past months by having good attendance, good behavior and good homework ethics at the Center’s after school enrichment program. The anticipation had been building for that exciting day when “The Beth Bus” would chauffeur she and her 30+ friends to their long awaited Christmas shopping outing at Walmart. Each child was greeted by an adult volunteer whose job for the morning was to help them spend their “pay check” on their heart’s desire this Christmas. My 2nd grader, thrilled to be allowed to push the cart, wanted to head straight for “Toy Land”, so off we zoomed. She filled her cart with dolls, accessories, stuffed pets, & art sets. We headed to the clothes and shoes and she found a purse, hair barrettes, boots, & an outfit. I asked her if she might be interested in getting any snacks for the bus ride back to The Beth, and her eyes lit-up even brighter than before and we were in pursuit of the snack aisle immediately. Silly enough to think she needed help making a choice on what she might enjoy munching on for fun, chips, candy, snack cakes, cheese crackers and the like were pointed out. But she knew exactly what she wanted as if it was all she came for that day. Marshmallows. Two bags of miniature marshmallows. It came time to take inventory of her selections and do some math to see how much the items in her cart added up to(which is no small feat for this art major!). It was obvious that we had gone over her limit, so it was time to make decisions on what to keep and what to put back on the shelf. She struggled letting go of a couple of items, but she was able to make up her mind on what she wanted the most after 7 or 8 calculations. The marshmallows were never included in the “iffy” category. They were going home with her if nothing else did. She really didn’t mind leaving any of the dolls, toys or personal items behind that she had been so excited to find when this adventure began. But those marshmallows were her prize. As we headed to the check-out lane, she let me push her cart as she skipped happily in front leading the way, with a bag of miniature marshmallows in each arm.
“And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3
Whether walking new roads or old dusty roads of the beaten path, be open to seeing with new eyes what the Great Adventurer might have in store along the journey. He will enlighten your world with a spectrum of colors.
"Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emma's...Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him,..." Luke 24:13-33
Daily Glory Glimpes
Another passage we discussed at last month's bible journaling session at Wesley Memorial UMC using the same visual as my last post(earth or world), but positioned differently, was for Acts 17:6 "...These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also,...". God's Kingdom is upside down to this world's. Thank goodness!
Acts 17:6 "...These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also,...".
You are invited to join us every 2nd Tuesday of each month to worship in a creative way! 6:30-8pm at Wesley Memorial UMC.
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We do bible journaling together every 2nd Tuesday of each month at 6:30pm at Wesley Memorial UMC. In September we used the same visual of the "world" or earth in different ways for different scripture passages. One of those verses came from John 15:19, "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." Remember those words the next time you are not feeling loved, and also remember that its cool to God to be "out of this world"!
"If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." John 15:19
Next time, same world visual, different verse...
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I had the privilege to work with a group of precious children last night at Christ United Methodist Church's LEAD program. Our art project for the evening was making prints of leaves using brayers, block printing ink and ziplock bags. To begin the project I posed the question, "Do you know who my favorite artist of ALL time is? He has impeccable natural Design skills, is the Master of color usage, and creates the most breathtaking scenes of artistry." God. As we enter into what is my favorite season, Autumn, look around and experience the artistry of THE Original Artist. Bet you'll catch a glimpse of His Glory! And He will take your breath away.
"In the beginning, God created..." Genesis 1:1
Daily Glory Glimpses Blog; www.janefnewman.com
I see glimpses of His Glory every Sunday morning listening to the message delivered in worship through my pastor, Reverend Clair Sauer. She has the gift for sharing the Good News in a way that keeps our congregation not only interested, but also involved by commissioning us to leave our sanctuary with a mission for the days and weeks ahead. That mission usually requires shoes made for walking The Walk. "As it is written...", her feet are beautiful.
"And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!' " Romans 10:15
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An apple is probably the most drawn object in art classes. For beginners it is the perfect object for learning sketching, contouring, massing, and value. After these initial lessons have been practiced I often let the students eat the apple leaving the core for our final drawing for the day. The core is for me the most interesting exercise because all of a sudden what was a smooth, shiny, "perfect" object now has a character all its own with interesting shape, texture, contour, value and sometimes even deep within the "heart" of it you can see the seed exposed. You can finally see what the object is made of. There is an allegory in this somewhere...the discovery of what lies beneath the surface can reveal a Glimpse of His Glory:)
"...Did not he who made the outside make the inside also?"Luke 11:40
"Established artists are always seeking beginner minds." This quote from Leonardo DaVinci is one my favorites. I share it with beginning drawing students to congratulate them for pursuing something new and for being willing to expand they minds into another realm of Creation. We should never be too "advanced" to learn something new and if we are always seeking with the mind of a beginner there will always be something new to discover. Drawing classes introduce artists to simple, basic forms to practice drawing skills. No matter your skill level, these "pure" shapes are not only valuable practice, but there is always something that can be learned anew if we are open to learning it. Just like the lessons we can learn from rereading a biblical verse or passage over time. They hold a new meaning depending on where we are on our journey or what situation we find ourselves in. A Glimpse of His Glory peaks through each word revealing the pure & simple that we are longing for.
"Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk,..." 1 Peter 2:2
Its easy for me to see a Glimpse of His Glory when the rising sun peaks through the windows and bathes any object in its path with its golden Light. My soul wishes to drop everything and and grab a paint brush to attempt capturing the moment. Every painting inspiration comes from the Light kissing objects and defining their form. Maybe that is true for us as well? When the Light envelopes us, our true nature is revealed.
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. Isaiah 60:1