Helps for Your Helping Stones

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The One Who Goes Ahead of Me

I am in Charlotte for the She Speaks Conference. I arrived today and was assigned the smallest car I have ever driven. It feels like driving my Dad's lawnmower. Zippy and fun!

On the plane, I had a reassuring chat with God about where this is going...what I will take away from this conference...if I am ready for meetings and classes...what did I forget to prepare. In the end, I knew that it was not anything to worry about. So, I will go and enjoy the experience. God has been here before me and that's all I need.

Serve wholeheartedly (Ephesians 6:7),

Friday, July 18, 2014

Summer Helping Stones

This month, it has been a delight to teach a women's class using the Helping Stones concept. The class is on the 5 Tuesday nights in July. Every night, we do a 30 minute devotional and chat about what we are learning and the things in it that we can apply to our lives.

 These are some of the project we have made to remind us of God's words we are reading.

 And also, some of the women who are in the group.  

 One night, we even had a little Reader's Theater in which Bonnie was a shepherd. I am sure the fabulous prop helped her stay in character.

This past week, God reminded us that guarding our hearts is a very important responsibility that have been given to us. 

We have taken that to heart. By making visual art reminders of what we are learning, or remembering, we are keeping God's word close to us.

Several of the class members have told me what a great encouragement it is to see that piece of art hanging on the wall. Every time they walk by, it reminds them of God's love, or God's gifts.

Love one another (John 13: 34),

Sunday, July 13, 2014

TUTORIAL: Watercolor Pencils

TUTORIAL: Watercolor Pencils

TUTORIAL: Transferring a Pattern

As For Me and My House

 This is a page in one of my journals. It could easily also be hung on the wall. it would just need a ribbon, wire, or cord hanger. I used watercolor pencils to "paint" it, and pretty much, it is just like coloring. Anyone can make art with watercolor pencils, and it is fun.

"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15

In this chapter in Joshua, we see a Joshua who is close to the end of his service to the Israelites, and he has called them together to discuss their future. He reminds them of what God has done for them. He also reminds them that serving the Lord is a choice, and tells them right then if they want to serve another god, to choose him and get to it. But, Joshua and his house will serve the Lord. To make that statement, all in the house must have followed his lead; his family and his servants. I am surmising that did not happen without teaching and discussing, and making God a topic of conversation regularly.

We have learned from the Israelites that it does not work to pledge service to God and never think about it again. That is how idols become interesting and God gets forgotten. Serving the Lord is an ongoing, continual decision.

Make your piece of art to remind yourself and your family. Discuss it. Put it where everyone can see it and be reminded.

 To make this, you need:

  • watercolor paper, lightweight: 90 lb. (you can buy this in a pad or by the sheet at your craft store.
  • watercolor pencils (These come in a set. Take your weekly coupon to your local craft store and you can get a set of 24 for just a couple dollars. The inexpensive set works just as well as the expensive. Isn't that great?)
  • permanent black marker (use a fine Sharpie or a Micron pen. You can also use an expensive brand if you are dying to spend a bunch of money.)
  • Sharpie markers in colors you like or want, to add to your art
  • a water brush or a round paintbrush with some clean water (a water brush is a hollow plastic brush that you fill with water)
  • #2 pencil
  • eraser
  • a print out of the pattern (you will find it by clicking on the free patterns tab at the top of the page)
  • Optional: a copy making store. You need a commercial printer. The ink jet printer on your desk will not make a waterproof copy. The big machine at the copy store that uses toner will make a waterproof copy) You will not be able to use the copy machine transfer if this is on a page in your journal.

Here is what you do:
1. Transfer the pattern on to your watercolor paper, following the pattern transfer tutorial. Or you can print out the pattern, put the watercolor paper in the copier, and copy the pattern to the watercolor paper with the push of a button.

 2. Loosely color in all sections with watercolor pencils. See Tutorial for coloring techniques.

 3. Using the water brush or the paintbrush with clean water, brush over the watercolor pencil color, one section at a time (see the bottom left section of the design). This gives your work a watercolor-y look. 

4. When the paint is dry, outline and add details with Sharpie markers (bottom left section).

5. With black marker, add any scripture verse you want.

Frame it, hang it, tack it to the bulletin board.....

Practice hospitality (Romans 12:13),


Please take a look at my Pinterest board titled Helping Stones. Use it to find inspiration. I will be pinning art pieces/projects including painting, papercrafting, doodling, and whatever else I find. I will add to it frequently, so click the "follow" button!

And if you have a similar board, comment below so I can follow yours too!

Look to the interest of others (Philippians 2:4),

Monday, June 9, 2014

Ebenezer: Not a Guy

Ebenezer. In the original Hebrew, eben haezer means stone of help or commemorative stone. For us, Ebenezer is not necessarily a literal stone, but an object that helps us remember and acknowledge God's help in our lives.

Samuel's rock and other rocks used for the same purpose by Old Testament characters, were a reminder that could be seen.

When Joshua led the Israelites across the Jordan into the promised land, God stopped the water flow so they could walk across the river bed.  From that river bed, they collected 12 stones. They carried them out and placed them where they stopped for the day.

Later, when God's people walked by the stones, they remembered. When their children asked what the big deal was about some rocks, they could use it as a teaching opportunity, a remembrance, maybe a time of praise and worship.  Sometimes my own small handmade Ebenezers make me say 'Hallelujah!", I can just imagine the emotions that the 12 stones at Gilgal might have brought out in the people that lived the experience.


Maybe you have sung this song. Growing up in a small Baptist church, it was a staple. I always thought Ebenezer (mentioned in the second verse) was a guy. It never made much sense to me.

Here I raise my Ebenezer,
Here by Thy great help, I've come.

Now it does.

Love holds it all together (Colossians 3: 14),

Saturday, May 31, 2014

You'll Remember and Not Get Distracted

There is my tassel. It is tied to my computer bag and whenever I see it, it has sort of a calming influence on me. It reminds me that He is my God and I am His child. That means I do not have to be distracted by my feelings or the things of this world that get me off track.

I made this tassel myself and you can make one too. Follow my suggestions for construction, but choose your own colors and make it any size you like.

Cut several lengths of yarn, fibers, or ribbons. For my tassel, I cut about 60 pieces in the lime/chartreuse family, each about 26" long.

Using a 4 yard piece of blue (per God's instruction) ombre yarn, I wrapped about 5" right in the center of my green lengths. Wrap as tightly as you can. Start this by knotting one end of the blue yarn at the starting place. Finish by knotting the blue yarn to a piece of green yarn.

A yarn/ribbon tassel is a loose translation of this passage. By tassel, the translation really means fringe. And the word blue in this passage is translated from the Hebrew word tekeleth, which means violet. The Old Testament Jews were commanded to add fringe to the hems of their garments. It was not for the cool factor, it was to remind them when they looked down at their fringe or felt it as they walked, of God's commandments. In Old Testament times, fringe was actually uncool, and it set the Jews apart from everyone else.

Pull the two blue strands together, forming a loop. Pull tight and knot them together.

Wrap the longest blue yarn end tightly under the bottom of the loop. Wrap 8 or 10 times tightly, and knot the blue yarn ends together. If your tassel ends are raggedy and that bothers you, give your tassel a trim. 

Tie it to your bag, your chair, pin it to your bulletin board, put it wherever you will see it so you will remember and not get distracted.

Be kind and tenderhearted to one another (Ephesians 4: 32),

I Need a Brain Boost. You too?

I have not seen anyone really do this, but we each have little ways to help us remember. What is yours? Note on the calendar? Sticky note? Send yourself an email? It's possible that I need all three....and then some. Sometimes it feels like my brain is on overload and I just can't remember everything.

I envy those of you who can memorize verses and tell me months later what you learned in your study. My brain functions like it has a hole in it. 

A long time ago, I started making visual reminders of my Bible studies. If I want to remember a particular verse or idea from a study, I work in my visual journal, make a piece of jewelry, or some other small arty reminder that I can wear or display. When I see it, my memory is triggered.

Join me on my quest to make art from the Word. We'll create art that will spark a memory of a chapter, verse, or story, and the way we can apply it to our lives. 

Honor one another above yourselves (Romans 12:10),