Samstag, 16. Dezember 2017

Advent 16

The Lion of Judah



16. The Lion of Judah

“The King of Beasts.” That is the title of the lion. This is an acknowledgement of his strength, his awesomeness (not of the teenager kind, but really), his power, and his rule of the life-giving waterholes. A lion is nothing to fool with. A lion cannot be ignored. A lion is not approached casually or helter-skelter. A lion demands respect. So too our Saviour. He is not tame. He is not cuddly. He may not be treated like a pet, at our whims. But note: this is the lion of Judah, of the tribe from whom the promised Savior would come; so this lion uses his strength for his family, for his own, to protect and provide. So we can be happy He is for us, not against us.

Revelation 5: 5


And...
More Christmas color


See yesterday's post for the CONTEST. TOMORROW is the last day.

Freitag, 15. Dezember 2017

Advent 15 and CONTEST

The Way



15. The Way

To get from here to there, wherever, needs a way. Certain someones this summer did a motorcycle trip along what some of us would call the worst kinds of ways: dangerous, tiny mountain roads, often washed out, not even close to smooth, sometimes running under waterfalls, sometimes looking more like rivers than roads, ever picturesque and lots of adventure, but not very good roads. Those were hard Ways. Other ways might be blocked for more than the three hours those motorcyclists had to wait while the machines rebuilt the passage. Some ways are too steep, too rough, too crowded, too hard to find, or too-something-else to be good for getting from here to there. When Jesus says He is The Way, He is not talking about being an inaccessible way, or a bad-for-us way, or not-really-the-way. His way can be difficult for our comfort, and can sometimes be dangerous in a hostile world, but He is the true way nonetheless and is the only way to get our best goals - heaven and salvation.

Genesis 3: 24; 18: 19
Exodus 23: 20
Judges 2: 22
Isaiah 30: 21; 35: 8; 48: 17
John 14: 4, 6

Acts 2: 28; 16: 17


Advent Busy-ness

'Tis the season to get out Christmas letters - a tad late, but one does what one can.

A quick card for somebody

And more decorations


And the rains came down and tried to float us away; but now a freeze is coming, so things might get interesting.

CONTEST

Just because....
Craftsy is having a sale on its craft classes. I know everyone is overwhelmingly busy and maybe has no time for an online class, but if you are interested in winning one, here is what you do:

1. Take some pictures of your Christmas decorations and send them to me or post them yourself,

2. Look at the Craftsy site and pick a class you would like (anything from soups to sewing to sculpture) and would take the time to do,

3. Tell me or write in your post why the class would be good for you.

You have today and tomorrow and Monday to do this.

Donnerstag, 14. Dezember 2017

Advent 14 and Cookies

Water


14. Living Water

Water, like bread, is very basic in life and for life. It is not exotic and hard to find or make or tricky to partake of, say like absinth. It is abundantly available in vast quantities. It is readily usable. It requires no preparation if it is pure. And we can't live without it. It is easy to see why Jesus is also equated with the water that keeps us alive. One can only live a few days without water, then the body goes rapidly into shut-down and shock. One could presumably stay alive for some time on Coke or processed orange juice, but descending into diabetes and heart trouble is not the best way to live well. Pure water doesn't give anyone diabetes or heart trouble. Contaminated, fluoridated, chemical-laden water is just as bad as the non-water liquids in being imposters for purity. Neither quick or slow decline is good for life. Jesus says He is Living Water, the pure kind that does not make us sick.


John 4: 10, 14


Cookies

Each culture has its own cookies. One son went to his Oma's to bake Swiss cookies with her. These are Mailänderli (lemony sugar cookies in shapes), Chräbeli (anise cookies), Züriläckerli (hmm, indescribable - you have to try them; each region of Switzerland has its own variety), and (not on the picture) Zimtsterne (cinnamon stars).


I would love to see your cookies.



Merry days to all.

Mittwoch, 13. Dezember 2017

Advent 13 and Projects

Bread


13. Bread of Life

In the Bible, the term bread refers both to the baked good of flour and water and also to other items used for food, so it means “sustenance.” These are the things that keep body and soul together, so people can stay alive, and, one would hope (if the “bread” is not of the Twinky variety), to stay healthy and robust. So Jesus equates Himself with the best of sustenance, the kind that contributes to and is essential for healthy living. He is definitely not a Twinky, nor is He the overbred wheat that makes people gluten intolerant. He is the necessary substance that brings us life, on earth, and spiritual re-birth and eternal life. He re-iterates this as a metaphor in physical reality in the institution of the Lord's Supper, of which He commanded His people to partake often to re-nourish themselves for life and growth. As difficult and as complex as the concept is of partaking of our Lord's body and Blood, yet, as in all the hard-but-easy concepts God has given to His people ( two intersecting lines make the sign of all of our redemption; plain water is used to make us children of God; words bring people to faith; one very basic concepts gains us eternal life in heaven: “Jesus is my Savior”), the main idea is very simple: eat and drink to be renewed. We can study it forever, but anyone can get the gist in the three words.


John 6: 35


Projects

Some of the Creon family have been busy being creative. Katrina helped the little ones make angels. They are made from raffia and feathers with lots of Christmas cheer.

Gavin's

Loveta's

Talya's

Abigail was busy making another pretty girl. This one has turned seams, a new method, and her own designs.  I love those prints, Abigail.

This is a boy-sized sled made by Bradon. It looks fast. Now for snow.....

Thank you to all for sharing your projects, and to Katrina for helping. (This munched on big cookie is a Lebkuchen  from some nice people. It doesn't exist any more.)


Dienstag, 12. Dezember 2017

Pieces of Progress


I almost completely forgot to post this week.

Here's a bit of progress on my Portrait class project:


And some super sketchy thumbnails in Illustration:



(The tiny one in the bottom left corner was by my teacher.)

Really scatter-brained with all the end-of-the-year stuff to wrap up, and the holidays, and new people at my day job,... Got to remember to breathe and enjoy the season with it's reflections on Christ's coming!

Advent 12

Door


12. The Door

Jesus said “I am the Door.” This was in the context of the sheep going in and out from pasture to pen. The sheep needed to go into the wide, often-dangerous world to get their sustenance, and they needed to come into the sheep fold for rest and security. We are like those sheep, needing to go out into the wide world for our work, and coming to the sheep-fold of church for refreshment and safety. But Jesus makes the point that there is only one way in and out, one safe way, one effective way –and that is through the designated door. He is that door. He specifies which door is the right door: He says “I AM.” With those words He names Himself as God. So anyone wanting to go through that door needs to confess that Jesus is Lord, true God. Then he will be able to go through to find green pastures and still waters.

John 10: 7, 9
Luke 12: 8
Romans 10: 9
Philippians 2: 11
I John 4: 15
II John 1: 7



Montag, 11. Dezember 2017

Our Decorations

Yes, we have our tree.
My boys and I went up in the mountains last week to select a wild tree. We cannot do that every year because if there is any snow at all the roads are impassable. It has been very cold here but dry, so no snow (unlike last year at this time when our snowpocolypse was beginning!) We took Miss Leah with us to choose a tree. She has never had a natural Christmas tree and was excited to participate in the process.


 I also collected an assortment of mountain greens, intending to make a wreath and porch arrangements.


I made a total of five arrangements, adding in flocked pine cones and shiny ornaments. I used all the gathered greens before I made a wreath, so for that I used a small grape vine wreath and made just a simple adornment for the door.



We decorated our tree that evening so Leah could help. I love the natural trees and how the ornaments can hang freely in the spaces. I think this is the nicest one we have ever brought down from the mountain.
This is a new ornament this year. It is from Bronner's in Frankenmuth, MI. I have a couple more that I am giving as gifts.



My angel collection is on the piano this year and I decided not to set up the village since there will be a sad absence of small children here this year.

 I got a small start to the wrapping.



I quickly put up more decorations before the family Christmas party I hosted here Saturday night for my siblings and their families.



This week I will be concentrating on baking cookies for Christmas cookie gift boxes.

Now for just a little frozen precipitation and the ambiance will be complete.

Advent 11

Branch



11. Branch of the Root of Jesse

In the Bible, God places great emphasis on families. A man's name may be given to generations following him, whether for good or evil; for as the tree, so is the fruit of it. Israel called David their greatest king. He was specifically called to rule by God and blessed by him. But David was the most warring of kings, so he was not allowed to build the temple. That was left to his son in a time of peace. God promised that a descendent of David would be the Savior of the world. While that special offspring was sometimes called The Son of David, He was also noted as the offspring of Jesse, David's father, the good father who raised capable and godly sons. Jesse was the root from which grew many branches, one of which grew into the line that gave birth to and raised Jesus, both on His mother's and on His father's sides. And it is this Shoot of the root of Jesse, this Son, that would build the temple of Peace. This is not a shallow temporal peace, but eternal, deep, and profound peace between God and His creation, no longer wayward offspring rebelling against a Father's justice. That is the Peace that came to earth with the glad tidings of the angels.

Isaiah 11: 1– 10
Jeremiah 23: 5
Matthew 1: 6
Luke 3: 32
Acts 13: 22


And

We got our Christmas tree tonight. Now to decorate. Anybody else have yours done?

Sonntag, 10. Dezember 2017

Advent 10

King


10. King, Most High

By definition God is above all else. In comparison to a monarchy, in which the king is at the head of his people, so our Lord is our king. No one is above Him in rank or power or glory. All submit to Him. Enemies must deal with Him primarily. He has a right to the dues He requires of His people. He is known for the exactness of His justice, so no one can expect to get way with any wrong-doing. Anyone who tries is considered very foolish. This King Most High rules, defends, judges, and rewards those who do good for the kingdom and His honor. Thus His people are glad to be part of His kingdom. They can count on His rewards for following Him, and can expect defeat of His enemies for peace in the Kingdom, and are happy to give Him praise for His leadership. “Thou, Lord, Most High, hast made me glad through Thy work.”

Psalms 9: 2; 47; 57: 1, 2, 5, 11; 83: 18; 91: 1, 9; 92: 1– 9
Daniel 4: 17, 34

Luke 8: 26– 29

Samstag, 9. Dezember 2017

Advent 9

Refuge


9. Refuge, Tower, Fortress

Towers and fortresses are made to be refuges from dangers, usually of the living sort, maybe big wild creatures, but more so attacking enemies, and also from the storms of the elements. In many places in the Bible our Lord is called a Refuge or Tower or Fortress, because He does protect us from attacking enemies – the devil, the world and our sinful flesh – and also from the depredations of the cares and wears of life itself. When we don't have enough of our own strength, as in most of the time, He surrounds us with His strength so our puny bit need not be all we rely on.

Psalm 46
Psalm 61: 1– 4
Psalm 91


Snow Caps

This weekend we are getting our first real snow that stays. It is not too much where we are, but Maria has 120cm up in the mountains. If it stays for two weeks, we will finally have a white Christmas again.






One of these days I hope to find time to post more art photos from Amsterdam.
For now, Advent is in full progress.

Freitag, 8. Dezember 2017

Advent 8

Rock



8. The Rock

A rock is solid. It is strong, impervious to attacks, unmoving, unchanging. You can depend on it being where you found it, in the same form and substance. A rock is good protection from oncoming threats if you are on one side and the rock is between you and the danger. Think of yourself on one side of a big rock and big nosey bear on the other. That rock is your safety. Rocks also make sturdy building material and fences and pathways, and stepping stones across waters, all of which are more ways to keep bears at bay. Our Savior is called our Rock. He is a dependable barrier to protect us from dangers and attacks if we stay near Him and don't wander off or try to get in front of Him rather than behind Him.

Deuteronomy 32: 3, 4, 18, 30, 31
I Samuel 2: 2
II Samuel 22: 2, 3, 32, 47; 23: 3
Psalm 18: 46; 28: 1; 31: 2, 3; 62; 95
Matthew 7: 24, 25
I Corinthians 10: 4


Abigail's Project

I was sent word and pictures of this creative construction by Abigail (10?), with the note, "She did it all by herself without help." Note the very creative hair. I love the colors, too. Now I hear she is working on more figures with other methods. Abigail, compliments, and I look forward to the next.






Donnerstag, 7. Dezember 2017

Advent 7

Sun Light


7. Light, Sun, Star

We know that light is necessary for life to exist and much light for life to flourish. And not any kind will do. Some light is unhealthy (e.g. fluorescent and some LED) because it lacks the particular combination of waves and color balance for which organic organisms were design to use. So we know we need the kind made by God for His creation, thus the sun primarily. Therefore, when Jesus is called the Sun of Righteousness, that name is significant of necessity and sufficiency and appropriateness for His people to thrive. Without His light – like a plant without sunshine, or a person always indoors - we fade, we can't produce fruit, we wither and eventually die, forever. He is also called a Star. As long as they have existed, stars have been used for guidance, to mark the seasons, and to establish one's location. This is quite an accurate name for what our Savior does for us in our lives.

Genesis 1: 4; 14 –18
Job 22: 28; 24: 13
Psalms 4: 6; 27: 1; 36: 9; 43: 3; 56: 13; 89: 15; 119: 105; 136: 7–9; 148: 3
Ecclesiastes 11: 7
Isaiah 9: 2; 49: 6; 60: 1, 3, 20
Jeremiah 31: 35
Micah 7: 8, 9
Malachi 4: 2
Matthew 13: 43; 17: 2
Luke 1: 79
John 1: 7–9; 3: 19– 21; 8: 12: 9: 5; 12: 35, 36, 46
II Corinthians 4: 6; (11: 14)
Ephesians 1: 18; 5: 14
Philippians 2: 15
I Peter 2: 9
II Peter 1: 19
James 1: 17
I John 1: 5, 7
Revelation 1: 16; 21: 23; 22: 5


I would like to show you a project, from Abigail, but my computer must get itself in order first for me to be able to get to the photos. Still to come...

Mittwoch, 6. Dezember 2017

Happy St. Nicholas Day

Look Who Came To Town Today




And these come every year, the first one for thirty years.





Happy celebrations!

And look who just joined Big Nick.




Littler Nick

This is our festive set up for tonight. Not many young ones here anymore.




But fun nonetheless.

Advent 6

The Good Shepherd



6. Shepherd

In the mysterious way of God, who is not bound by our structures of thought, Jesus is called not only the Lamb of God, but also our Shepherd. He is not only the sacrifice for sin, but also the high priest who offers the sacrifice, the one who guides the sheep of His own flock, and the owner of the flock. This is important to note. God had stipulated very clearly and strongly that only those He specified were authorized to offer sacrifices or carry the Ark of the Covenant or do the tasks appointed exclusively to priests. Numbers 18: 7. Anyone who disregarded that forfeited his own life. Numbers 16. In the Bible God gives pictures of shepherds who become the leaders of His people. Learning to care for animal sheep prepared them for the difficult job of leading human “sheep.” It was always an arduous task. Moses got forty years' training. David probably had about twenty. A shepherd was sometimes hired for the job of guiding sheep and sometimes led his own flock, and Jesus gave a notable distinction about which was more devoted to the flock's welfare. John 10. A shepherd's work involved leading the flock to pastures and water, protecting them from praying beasts, giving them refuge for rest, seeking out strays, buying new sheep, ransoming the stolen, assisting the birthing process, healing the injured, and sometimes sending his dogs after rebellious wanderers. Because sheep are rather stupid and quite fragile, the shepherd needs to be gentle and patient, forbearing, and long-visioned. In all of this picture we see our Savior with us. It is not conducive to pride in ourselves to be called sheep, but it cannot but bring honor and glory to our Good Shepherd.

Exodus 3: 1
I Samuel 17: 34 ff
Psalm 23
Psalm 80: 1



Dienstag, 5. Dezember 2017

Baby Boat Shoe Booties


One of the teachers at art school is going to have a baby shower, so I crocheted a quick pair of baby boat shoes (I don't know if she knows if it's going to be a girl or a boy, so I tried to make something that was good for either) from a pattern I found on Pinterest.

crocheted baby boat shoes (sorry about the lighting)

They didn't turn out as lovely as I'd hoped (they are rather crooked, and I might have missed a row in one of the shoe's soles!?), but I think they are still cute enough to give to the lady. :) Hopefully she and her baby (and however many other people are in her family) will enjoy them!

Advent 5

Lamb



5. A Lamb

This picturesque name for our Savior is unambiguous. In the Old Testament, abundant prefigurements explain the meaning of the term as a perfect, innocent, substitutionary sacrifice for the sin of others. We read this in the stories of Abraham's offering of Isaac, of the first Passover and the blood on the doorposts, in the countless mentions of temple offerings, and in John the Baptist's specific naming of Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Then we read of the life and work and work of Jesus, how He never sinned, how He helped and served, how He gave His life for others, and how His death atoned for all the sins the lambs' blood never could. This Lamb though had a different ending to His sacrifice: He arose from death and lives eternally, and gives that same gift to those He Justifies.

Genesis 22
Exodus 12
Numbers 6:14
John 1: 36
Hebrews 9: 12, 22

Revelation 14 : 4; 17: 14


Montag, 4. Dezember 2017

Quilt Reborn

I figured it out! I figured out how to get photos from my device to make a post! 🙌🏻 

I took these photos last night to share this quick project but then realized I wouldn't be able to get them here. But! I figured it out! So here they are...

Here's my quick sewing project- 

This week is my #1 son's birthday (on St. Nicholas Day) and tonight his dad and I will be meeting up with him (and his brother) for a birthday supper in the big city.  I recently found this quilt in a storage closet in the barn. It is the quilt I made for Kris when he was a boy and he loved it and used it daily.
 


I've since learned a lot about fabrics and how poorly some are made. In the future any project that I hope will last a lifetime will need to be made from high quality, expensive goods. This quilt, just from a normal amount of love and wear, has fallen apart and is irreparable.
What I did was cut parts from the middle, the less worn area, to make a pillow cover to give Kris for his birthday.

Though less worn, the fabric is still very fragile so won't last a long time but he will get a bit more enjoyment out of his boyhood quilt.

(I had to switch to my laptop to finish this post as the digital device was too uncooperative but at least now I can get photos transferred which was the main reason I was unable to make many posts this year)