Sunday, February 28, 2010

Step Five - The walk of death: Berith (covenant series)


Painting by Gwen Meharg: The Exchange

This step of making an ancient covenant could be very disturbing to our modern sensibilities; yet this particular step highlights the solemn nature of what a covenant truly is...and in grasping the depth and seriousness of covenant, we can embrace anew the incredible, indescribable gift that has been given to us through Jesus coming to earth in "the form of man" (Philippians 2:7).

Now, on to the graphic details...
The covenant is “cut” by taking an animal and splitting it right down the middle. Each half is laid to the side and the covenant partners stand between the two bloody halves of flesh, with their backs to one another. Then they walk right through the bloody halves, making a figure eight, and come back to stop, facing each other.

Their walk through the sacrificed animal is saying two things:

First, that they are dying to themselves, giving up the rights to their own life and beginning a new walk with the covenant partner unto death. (Each half of the dead animal represents the covenant partners).

Second, as the covenant partners walk, they point to each half of the animal, in effect saying “God do so to me and more if I ever try to break this covenant.”

As we think about this step of covenant, fear and anxiety might overcome us as the overwhelming truth strikes to the center of our being; the truth that we each are a covenant breaker! We are under the penalty of death for having broken the covenant! This gives an even deeper understanding to my heart of why Romans 6:23 declares "the wages of sin is death"! BUT, the verse goes on to remind us that the covenant is restored through Jesus. In fact, Jesus is both covenant partners...He is God, making the Berith journey, and He is man, making the Berith journey. Being man, and a sinless man - was always His plan in restoring our covenant standing before God! Are you grasping this? It is so powerful! So full of incredible truth! And when we really comprehend this reality, we never need to be ashamed of our failures in our Christian walk again...He knew we would fail, but He had a plan to cover this terrible paradox of being a spirit being that still can cave in to the flesh nature! A foreshadowing of Christ fulfilling both sides of this covenant is found in Genesis 15, where God makes a covenant with Abram and his descendents, and takes two separate forms to walk through the sacrificed animals.

As a sinless man, Jesus walked the covenant journey in our place and as a covenant partner with God, He paid the penalty of death of our covenant breaking in His own body. Now, when we receive Him as Lord and Savior, we are entering into covenant with both parties of a covenant already cut...we are joining with Christ in proclaiming that we are entering into a death and are journeying into a new life. He and we are declaring that we each are dying to living for our self-interests alone and passing through death to a new relationship of union with the other each other!


May this truth deeply penetrate your hearts and spirit this Passover and First Fruits season!


Thursday, February 25, 2010





FOR TODAY
February 24, 2010...
(sorry, didn't get this published on the 24th!)

Outside my window...sunshine yet cold.

I am thinking...about new projects to create!

I am thankful for...technology!

From the learning rooms...she isn't feeling well, so we will do make-up work tomorrow!

From the kitchen...Seven-up and soda crackers!

I am wearing...workout clothes (haven't worked out yet)

I am creating...an entry for ClothPaperScissors' 2011 calendar contest - theme is "Make it Pretty"...and still working on the mixed media nest.

I am going...to the post office later.

I am reading...Brer Rabbit stories to my little girl as part of Black History Month.

I am hoping...to finish another project by the weekend - either the painting or a small quilt project.

I am hearing...my little girl's voice as she does her "pretend play".

Around the house...I am doing good at keeping the kitchen neat.

One of my favorite things...the warm feeling from cuddling with my little girl under a fleece blanket.

A few plans for the rest of the week: catching up on school work.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...the entry into Cloth Paper Scissors 2011 Calendar Contest


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

More on the name....

In the days of antiquity, soon after the foundation of the earth was laid, 12 Tribes of people - all descendants of one man who had received a tremendous promise - emerged from all of humankind as one nation through which all of world history can be viewed.

12 Tribes is a celebration of the legacy this ancient people left for those of us who live today!

These 12 Tribes originated from the sons of Jacob, the Biblical patriarch....12 in number from different mothers. Their story is far from being dry or boring...the human drama excels the best plot-lines of even modern dramas, action-adventures, and romance!

For this post, I am simply sharing their names...and the idea that each of their names hints at a wonderful legacy for us to inherit.

You see, in Biblical times, great care was taken in giving a child their name. Frequently, inquiry was made to God on what name a child should be given. The name of someone was believed to represent 3 ideas: the very person; all that is known about the person, and the very presence of the person...you can see how incredible this concept is when considering that Christians asked to pray "in Jesus' name"! To find the meaning of someone's name was to know quite a bit about the person and the destiny of that person.

So, relating this to the 12 sons of Jacob, first we investigate the meaning of their names. The Tribes (in order of birth) and the meaning of their names are as follows:

Reuben - viewing (or behold) the son
Simeon - hearing and obeying
Levi - joining or cleaving to
Judah - confession or praise of God
Zebulon - home or dwelling place
Issachar - reward or what is given by way of reward
Dan - judging
Gad - a company
Asher - happy or blessed (blessings). This word is always in the plural form.
Naphtali - a wrestler or striving with
Joseph - added, an addition
Benjamin - son of the right hand


After some prayer and a leading to reduce the meanings of the names to one word which would convey the same idea in more modern terms for our use here, I developed the following list:

Reuben - Adore/Worship
Simeon - Wisdom
Levi - Embrace
Judah - Praise/Declare
Zebulon - Abide
Issachar - Reward/Treasure
Dan - Discern
Gad - Fellowship
Asher -Blessings
Naphtali - Conqueror or victory
Joseph - Increase
Benjamin - Honor

Thursday, February 18, 2010





FOR TODAY
February 18, 2010...

Outside my window...the sun is bright early this morning - melting the final snow from the storm last Thursday.

I am thinking...how today will be so relaxing - no place to go, no errands to run!

I am thankful for...the home my husband provides for his family

From the learning rooms...today we will be learning how to carry a number in addition.

From the kitchen...hmmmm - apple cinnamon muffins for breakfast.

I am wearing...jeans, white tank, red cardigan over.

I am creating...a mixed media piece featuring a nest - the theme is inspired by Pslm 84:3. I will post pictures of my progress soon!

I am going...downstairs soon.

I am reading...bits of many things - a paper on trauma therapy; a novel inspired by the hit series "Monk"; and a small book on teaching your children healthy sexuality. Of course, there is the daily quiet time - this week I am just really enjoying a deeper level of Psalm 139!

I am hoping...to get more art time in later today.

I am hearing...the washing machine in the other room.

Around the house...I will be putting the final lace curtain up in the living room.

One of my favorite things...the idea and feeling of sanctuary.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Scrubbing the kitchen floor, dusting, preparing soil in the garden.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...the steps from the lower driveway after the storm!



Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Red Thread Animation and Just What is Zakka?

I found this cool video at a blog I like - Zakka life....very cool! Any sewer out there will be amazed at the animation!



Now, do you wonder what the "Zakka" phenomenon is? I looked up the definition and here is what Wikipedia said:

Zakka (from the Japanese 'zak-ka'(雑貨)or 'many things') is a fashion and design phenomenon that has spread from Japan throughout Asia. The term refers to everything and anything that improves your home, life and outlook. It is often based on household items from the West that are regarded as kitsch in their countries of origin. But can also be Japanese goods, mainly from the fifties, sixties and seventies. In Japan there are also so-called Asian zakka stores; that usually refers to Southeast Asia. The interest in Nordic design or Scandinavian design, both contemporary and past, is also part of this zakka movement. Zakka can also be contemporary handicraft.

I have seen a lot of things labeled "zakka", and the idea of "contemporary and past handiwork" really sums up what I have found - tea cozies, cute little hand made slippers, funky magnets for the refrigerator, handmade apparel, quilts, etc....everything I grew up making, and still love to dabble in...everything CRAFTY! "Zakka" sounds so much more exotic than "crafts"! LOL.

That's it for now!

PS - More "linear animation" can be found here, and following the related videos!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VWcqILJam4&feature=PlayList&p=DF18408AEE7DFB43&index=1

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook





FOR TODAY
February 24, 2010...

Outside my window...sunshine yet cold.

I am thinking...about new projects to create!

I am thankful for...

From the learning rooms...she isn't feeling well, so we will do make-up work tomorrow!

From the kitchen...Seven-up and soda crackers!

I am wearing...workout clothes (haven't worked out yet)

I am creating...still working on the mixed media nest - got sidetracked by other UFOs! But I did put the backing and hanging tabs on a cross stitched bell pull I had been working on for a couple of years!

I am going...to the post office later.

I am reading...Brer Rabbit stories to my little girl as part of Black History Month.

I am hoping...to finish another project by the weekend - either the painting or a small quilt project.

I am hearing...my little girl's voice as she does her "pretend play".

Around the house...I am doing good at keeping the kitchen neat.

One of my favorite things...the warm feeling from cuddling with my little girl under a fleece blanket.

A few plans for the rest of the week: catching up on school work.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...the bell pull

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Altered Row Houses and Gothic Arches

Been browsing through mixed media you-tube videos and found these by sugarlumpstudios - I am thinking about trying some of these soon...



Here is an example of a book made with Gothic Arches by Sugarlumpstudios.etsy.com:



And finally, the Gothic Arches tutorial:

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sketchbook Project (My Life in a Yellow Submarine) - 6


This is just a closeup of the face for the last page of my sketchbook project...


The words in this submarine interior read:

Our spirit longs to be one with the Creator – the source of all life and love, so that life and love can flow in us and through us...





I have found Him by whom all things were created; both things in heaven and things on earth; visible and invisible things. All things have been created through Him and for Him. And since I have received Him, He has given me power...

He has poured love into my heart , so that I can love and receive love...


I really like the look of expectant joy in her face - I am looking forward to re-creating her on canvas!

And this is the end of my sketchbook submission! Hope it was enjoyable for you - it was great to experiment and document my thoughts on a spiritual journey!