Several months ago my church, Bridgeway Christian Church, was working their way through the book of Judges, and as I sat listening and studying Deborah from this book, I couldn’t get the image of a woman dancing and an urgency to portray The Song of Deborah (Read Judges 5). However, at the time, I was focused on another project for another sermon, so I put the image aside because it just didn’t fit with the timing.
Now, fast forward to about two months ago, the artist ministry group for which I belong to, passed out an updated schedule of Live Painting opportunities and I choose one in the rotation. (Live Painting is a phrase we’ve coined, and it just means that an artist- usually a painter- is painting on stage during worship and sermon before a live audience. I “paint” with fabric.) As the time approached, the theme of the sermon shifted to worship, and it struck me that this was where “my dancer” would come to fruition. Our Pastor focused on a phenomenal lesson on the different ways we worship, how important worship is and how we all connect to God in a variety of ways.
It was an incredible weekend. I had so many people come and speak to me regarding my dancer and how it spoke to them and amazing emotional connections. There was even a moment while I was on stage, pinning away, I got teary eyed because I could feel the percussion climb up through my feet into my chest from the music and I could sense the movement of dancers behind me. Words can not portray adequately how this moment was pure and heartfelt throughout the room.
And you might be asking, what does painting have to do with worship? For me, it’s an outward visual expression. Most of the artists in my group would pretty much agree that we see ourselves as a visual tool and often try to represent or visually respond to Scripture. When I read the bible, I often see pictures, colors, images flash across my brain. What better way to depict worship than a free spirited woman dancing in praise? She’s in motion with God. Her dress is light with encouraging words from Ecclesiastes 3 wrapped around her. Her hand stretched outward to the heavens. That is the rhythm of God.
“Rhythm with God”, September 2017, Raw edge fusible applique stretched on canvas, 48″ x 36″
It’s now officially summer, and that means a few weeks to slow down and spend time with my family. I’ve had a very busy year and haven’t been able to focus much on my art. However, next year, my youngest is finally entering Kindergarten, and that means, Mama finally will have some time to herself! And I didn’t hesitate for long…
I started Bible Journaling about a week ago and posted photos of my pages on my Instagram and Facebook page. I’ve had a couple of people ask me about it. “Bible Journaling? What is it?” Bible Journaling is something that is becoming a hot trend right now, but in actuality, it’s been around for a long time. People have been doodling in the margins or empty spaces in their bibles forever. Some very quietly, some very elaborate. Many people scoff at it, and many love it. It’s a personal preference. However, today, there are dedicated bibles and coloring books made just for this purpose. I have two- a My Creative Bible (KJV) (Amazon) hardcover and an Inspire (NLT) paperback (Amazon). For me, it was a complete and natural act; I had no hesitation other than gathering supplies. And once I started, OFF I WENT. I have found that this has been the BEST method for me to stay on a reading plan, reflect and contemplate what is the message, what is this teaching me, and then respond visually to Scripture.
I also joined a Facebook group dedicated to Bible Journaling (there’s a beginners group too) which posts daily reading plans or verses or monthly schedules. I choose to go with the first one that popped up at the time, and the theme is “Wholeness through
Brokenness.” There are several monthly reading plans, even weekly plans, out there. I just happened to pick this one, and am sticking with it through the end. There is even a Women of the Bible theme, and I may attempt that one next- we’ll see what pops up for July. Currently, I see fellow “journal’ers” posting of their work to a Hope theme, but I haven’t figured out where they have gotten the schedule at yet. lol.
So, for the next month, watch my Instagram or Facebook pages, because they are my most active accounts and I’ll post something each day. 😉
Day 1: Psalm 51
Day 2: Mathew 26:69-75
Day 3: 1 Kings 21:17-29
Day 4: John 4:1-30
Day 5: Luke 8:43-48
Day 6: John 8:2-11
Day 7: 2 Samuel 12:1-15