Sunday, October 21, 2012

Exercise is Healthy

"Exercise is good for your body, but religion helps you in every way. It promises life now and forever."

Monday, August 13, 2012

Heaven's Very Speacial Child

Photo from National Down Syndrome Society

I work at a creative arts center (read more about the Cooper Center here or follow them on Facebook) for people with people who have disabilities teaching language arts and art.  One day for my cultural reading class we read poems by and able people with disabilities.  One of the girls with Down Syndrome fell in love with this one titled "Heaven's Very Special Child."  She even made me print a copy for her to take home.

Just thought I would share the joy.

Heaven's Very Speacial Child

A meeting was held quite far from Earth!
It's time again for another birth.
Said the Angels to the LORD above,
This Special Child will need much love.

His progress may be very slow,
Accomplishments he may not show.
And he'll require extra care
From the folks he meets down there.

He may not run or laugh or play,
His thoughts may seem quite far away,
In many ways he won't adapt,
And he'll be known as handicapped.

So let's be careful where he's sent,
 We want his life to be content.
Please LORD, find the parents who
Will do a special job for you.

They will not realize right away
The leading role they're asked to play,
But with this child sent from above
Comes stronger faith and richer love.

And soon they'll know the privilege given
In caring for their gift from Heaven.
Their precious charge, so meek and mild,
Is HEAVEN'S VERY SPECIAL CHILD.


by Edna Massionilla December 1981 The Optomist- newsletter for PROUD Parents Regional Outreach for Understanding Down's Inc.

If you are more of an art fan be sure to check out my social justice art blog and my Facebook Art page.  I am in the process of creating a series of posters dealing with the fascinating history of people with disabilities.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Stories

I found this post about getting to know people's stories on Donald Miller's blog. 

Talking to people about their life is one of the best ways to get to know someone.  This article offers some great ideas for questions to ask to help you dig a little deeper than basic small talk.

Next time you are at church, a party, or just hanging out with friends ask some deep questions.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Outdoors and God

I can't believe that I have not written about the outdoors on my religion blog yet.  The outdoors have played a huge part in my faith from the time I was a young child (at least 3rd grade).  My faith statement for confirmation, snowboarding, my artwork, my church camp experiences and even my wedding have all been forms of worship taking place in the outdoors.  I will start with a basic overview and will post a bit in the future about these various outdoor experiences.

I grew up in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Lead and then Rapid City and I currently live in Laramie, WY.  I attended Outlaw Rance, Atlantic Mountain Ranch (AMR), or Klein Ranch every summer between 3rd grade and my senior year of high school.  I then worked at Outlaw and AMR for the next two summers and had my wedding at Outlaw.  If asked what denominaiton I am, I tend to respond with "Church Camp Lutheran." Since then I have been blessed with many opportunities to camp and backpack throughout Wyoming, Colorado, Washington state and even some in Oregon.

In addition, snowboarding has played a huge role in my relationship with God and my spiritual beliefs.  Everything from snowboarding alone, and praying or meditating on the beauty of the snow covered trees and even the metaphors of mountains are significant to my spiritual journey.

I found this quote and decided to use it for my own handbill/meme because it describes my faith and this aspect of what fuels me perfectly...

"I just need some time in a beautiful place to clear my head"

so true...

The Snowy Mountains, Wyoming.
Be sure to follow my blog for paintings and drawings inspired by my summer outdoor adventures.

What inspires you about the outdoors?  How do you relate best to God?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Past Haiti Trip

Me sharing a a Paper Bead Lesson
As many of you know I was fortunate to be able to take a trip to Haiti last summer. The goal of our group was to build a chicken coupe in a small village community while spreading the Good News.

One of the cultural differences led to the Haitian males taking away most of the American women’s jobs while working on the chicken house (polaye in Creole). Though frustrating for some of the ladies, this was a good thing for two reasons. First, I strongly believe that it was our job to equip people rather than do for them. And second (third, fourth and fifth), this dynamic led to me being surrounded by tons of kids, and the opportunities to lead art lessons, learn some Creole, and having the chance to spend quality time with one of the older girls. One-on-one time with a role model of some sort is a major need for many young women in Haiti. The photo above is me teaching some of the order girls and young boys how to make paper beads.

 I would love the opportunity to go back to the small village again, to show the kids that it was not a one-time event, but rather a sincere investment in their lives. I also have a small amount of money to take back from selling my art in response to the first trip.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

4 More Interesting Topics Surrounding Voodoo

Voodoo Dolls binding people to Haiti, to a family or to another.

Have you ever heard about Voodoo Dolls, Zombification or wondered about the rolls of the Catholic Church and Jazz in Voodoo? Well here are some basics on these four topics.  Click the links for information form the Voodoo museum in New Orleans (keep in mind New Orleans Voodoo is not the same as Haiti's Voodoo).

The voodoo doll - I actually saw some of these and talked to a man who was had a spell cast on him by the woman (whom he had never met) who is now his wife.  These dolls are typically used to bind someone.  In this example the wife bound the man to her, after the binding ceremony, they met and got married.

Zombification - My understanding is that a zombie is created once a spell is cast, the person looses life signs but is not dead (possibly due to a powder), is buried, and brought back.  The zombie is now under the spell that is cast.

Jazz - Voodoo is a world that means to dance.  Music and dance are integral to Voodoo religion.  Music interacts with the possessing spirit.  Different spirits have different beats that accompany them.

Catholicism - During colonization Catholicism was the dominant religion forced onto those who were captured as slaves.  As would be expected African beliefs were kept but adapted to the only religion they were allowed and forced to practice.

Moving Like Bernie (a parody of a zombificaiton scene in Weekend at Bernie's)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Jesus Socialism Meme

B-b-but if you feed everyone, Jesus, that would be <gasp> Socialism.

Graduation Song

As I graduate from college I am reminded of an old song from my high school graduation and thought you might enjoy a flash back from 2006.

Congrats to all the graduates out there!!!

Graduation by Vitamin C

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Graduattion Bible verses and Prayer

I will be graduating in just a couple days and have been thinking about where I am going and where I have been.  (To see where I am going be sure to check out my art blog.) I thought I would share some of the verses that are fitting for this time in my life. I hope you find them fitting and please share them with any graduates that you know. You can also pray the prayer at the end of this posts for any one moving on the new stages of life this Spring.

Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

1 Timothy 4:12 Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.  

Joshua 1:9 ...Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. 

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Psalm 71:5 For You are my hope, O Lord GOD; You are my trust from my youth. 

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails. 

Hey God, I just wanted to say thank you for all that you have shown me in the past few years. 
I have learned so much in and out of the classroom.
 I pray that my work and future could be dedicated and pleasing to you. I thank you for the opportunities that you have shared and as for continued blessings. 
 Amen! 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Power of Music

Be careful what you think, because your thoughts control your actions.

Proverbs 4:23

This is one of my favorite Bible verses because I think that it is true.  We must think about something before we do it and often what starts as a thought will become an action.  

I understand that there is a variety of music and there is no particular style that I am against or for, beyond personal taste.  I tend to think that it is the lyrics which we get stuck in our heads affect us the most.  If you repeat words over and over, they will become a sort of personal mantra. Below are a couple examples that argue the beats and music itself does play a deeper role in life than I have just argued .

However ,voodoo also comes from the term Vodun which means "to dance".  This is in part because those who practice voodoo use the music as a part of the possession ritual and the dance is a visible symbol of the spirit he or she is possessed by.

John Todd is an ex-Satanist who converted to Christianity.  If you look back at Satanist beliefs (video below), he states that the beats, rather than the lyrics are what affect us.


What do you think? DO lyrics or the beats affect you more? Does music possess any power at all.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Church and State, Jim Naylor, & Rick Perry.

See more religious artwork by Felicia Follum


The separation of church and state is an interesting topic...

Some people (Rick Perry) seem to believe that religion is what not only our political beliefs, but also vote and country, should be based on  Though i am a Christian, I have a hard time with this idea.  I have read way too many KKK essays and rule books to believe that someone claiming to be a Christian means they are a good person especially if that person is in a position of power.  Feeding off of what we have in common can be taken too far...


To the extent that we will do anything to keep our ideas dominant (This can be seen in an essay titles "why we Must Kill Those Bastards" written by General Nathan Bedford Forrest, one of six founders of the KKK and a Civil War hero).  I am in no way trying to say that Rick Perry is associated with racialists, racism, the KKK or any other Neo-Nazi group, just explaining why I have a hard time with his Strong Campaign.



Sorry Jim Naylor, I think Rick Perry is fighting against your "liberal attacks on our heritage."  Don't you know that our faith made America strong? 

Alright, truth is, I love many Christians, but sadly there are enough that have led to have led me to side with this raging atheist (Jim Naylor) on the topic of church and state.
 
Another truth is that I would argue against Naylor on several points, like the existence of God and truth.  I will post a link when I discuss those...

Friday, April 13, 2012

Demotivaitonal Religious Humor

I typically try to be pretty encouraging on this blog, but really wanted to share some de-motivaitonal humor.  I hope you enjoy!

Posters from DemotivatingPosters.com





My favorite Jesus Meme poster is coming soon to a blog near you...ahhh, it is this blog...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

10 Ways to Teach Your Child they are Beautiful.

This is inspired by a couple stories of parents with dark skinned children needing to teach their sons and daughters that they are precious just the way God made them.  However, with the rise of body image issues in young children, it certainly applies to many if not all children.


1. Start a Pinterest board and include images that look like your child or a variety of children to teach about diversity.
2. Turn off the television.  Images on television only teach children to grow up too fast and to look a couple specific ways.
3. Protest or create awarenes.  You could create awareness using a site such as change.org to help give your child a sense of empowerment.
4. Create a poster.  Here is some inspiration
5. Find birthday cards, books, magazines with people who look like them.
6. If you cant find the items in number 4 use colored pencil to darken the skin color on some of the images.
7. Ask friends to do the same when giving books or cards. This is much more significant than one might first assume. I still remember getting my first card with someone who looked like me on the cover.  I kept it for years.
8. Introduce positive role models of the same race (or whatever aspect they may be struggling with). Please do not show your son any old gangster rap artist and “say you can be anything you want to be.” Athletes may be overused as well.  You may find some here.  I will try to come up with some more lists specifically for this purpose. (Don't worry they won't all be black)
9. Create a beauty blog. This example deals with recovering from eating disorders but you could create one based on any topic.
10. Talk to them.  Tell them they are beautiful and wonderful just the way they are.  Do this every day.

What are some strategies you have used to help your child gain confidence in their physical appearance, or in general?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Managing Your Temper

If you are like me you have lost your temper a time or two, only to regret it later.  I thought I would share some tricks, quotes, and Bible verses about controlling your temper and the benefits.  Hope this helps you next time you are about to blow.

Photo taken in Haiti.  Check out my art blog to see more art from my Haiti trip
Tricks

New Research: The Nicer the Mom, the Smarter the Kid -  A great post for moms includes ways to not loose your temper at the very end.
Your Diet and Your Temper - MSN Health discusses some foods to calm your temper as well as other ways your mood
10 Tips to Tame Your Temper  - 10 simple actions to help keep your anger levels low

Anger and Your Health

25 Reasons Not to Loose Your Temper  - Includes tips and health reasons
Losing your Temper is Bad for Your Health - and here is why

The Bible Tells Me So...

and if the above info was not enough here are 28 Bible verses about Anger and Managing Your Temper.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Facts About the Shamrock and St. Patrick’s Day

My favorite part about St. Pats day is always the shake

1. St. Patrick used it to symbolize the trinity and triune God.
2. Shamrocks were originally worn to represent crosses.
3. They are now worn on St. Patrick’s feast day.
4.  Short, but Good Video

5. Shamrocks are used to treat snake and scorpion bites.
6. The national symbol of Ireland is not the shamrock but the harp.
7. A shamrock is presented the Irish Guards by a member of the British Royal Family on St. Patrick’s Day.
8. The first written English reference to the shamrock is 1571.
9. St. Patrick was a British slave?
    Link to Video

10.  Several thoughts on the shamrock.

11. I’m not so sure about this video…but enjoy the humor.

12. Misc. Facts and a more in-depth history.  Created by some lil' kids.  The second half is a song.

13. My dad was born on St. Patrick’s Day and his name is Pat. Wish him a Happy Birthday below! 

White girl hair tutorial (it may work on a little black girls hair too, but I don’t know) ; )



More details about the history and symbolism of the shamrock.

PS if you did not catch it, this post is dedicated to my daddy.  Happy birthday again...Love you!!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Make it Plain: Art Exhibition

RSVP on Facebook
I am proud to announce that Make it Plain will be a part of the 16th Annual Shepard Symposium on Social Justice this year.

For those of you who do not know, Make it Plain is my art exhibition focusing on African American religious culture and history.  You can check out more information and see more images on my Art + Design blog.

The opening for my solo exhibition will be held in the 234 Gallery (in the University of Wyoming Union) on Wednesday, March 28 from 6-8pm directly follow a talk by Tim Wise (one of my favorite social justice speakers out there).  I have created some posters in response to Time Wise...Be sure to look for those.

The show will be up from Monday March 19 - 31.

If you missed my Make it Plain solo exhibition the first time around, be sure to check it out now.  I am proud to say that the first showing was quite a success and I believe this one will be as well.


If you can not make it be sure to check out my Art on Facebook and like the page.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Top 28 Bible Verses about Anger and Managing Your Temper

Untitled Drawing, 4x6, See more drawings on my art blog

Regardless of your religion there is certainly wisdom that can be found in the Christian Holy Book.  Here are 28 Bible verses about anger and managing your temper.  If you are like many of us and struggle with anger or would like to become more peaceful, many of these make great memory verses and/or mantras to incorporate into your daily routine.

Wisdom

1. Mockers stir up a city, but wise men turn away anger (Proverbs 29:8).
2. It is to a man's honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel (Proverbs 20:3).
3. A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered (Proverbs 17:27).
4. A wise man fears the Lord and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless (Proverbs 14:16)
5. A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult (Proverbs 12:16).
6. A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control (Proverbs 29:11).
7. My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires (James 1:19-20).

Character Building

1. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:4-5).

2. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions (Galatians 5:19-20).
3. And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful (2 Timothy 2:24).

Speech

1. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret-it leads only to evil (Psalm 37:8).
2. A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger (Proverbs 15:1).
3. Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing (Proverbs 12:18).
4.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you (Ephesians 4:29-32).


Self-Control and Patience

1. Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control (Proverbs 25:28).
2. A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel (Proverbs 15:18).
3. Do not say, "I'll pay you back for this wrong!" Wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you (Proverbs 20:22).
4. Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city (Proverbs 16:32).
5. A quick-tempered man does foolish things, and a crafty man is hated (Proverbs 14:17).
6. A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly (Proverbs 14:29).
7. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it (Proverbs 4:23)
8. An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins (Proverbs 29:22).

Commands


1.You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, "Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment." But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment ... first go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift (Matthew 5:21-24).
2. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).
3. In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold (Ephesians 4:26-7).
4. Let your gentleness be evident to all (Philippians 4:5).
5. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips (Colossians 3:8).
6. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing (1 Peter 3:9).

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Creativity

But, ancient Greece and ancient Rome - people did not happen to believe that creativity came from human beings back then, OK? People believed that creativity was this divine attendant spirit that came to human beings from some distant and unknowable source, for distant and unknowable reasons.

Elizabeth Gilbert

Where do you believe creativity comes from?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Witches & Mad Prophets: A portfolio of Heretics from Justseeds

Justseeds is one of the most interesting art cooperatives I have seen in a long time. They create political and social artwork, mostly in the medium of printed posters (from what I have seen).  I absolutely love Justseeds and wanted to share a project some of it members are working on with other artists.  This body of artwork is dealing with the topic of "Witches & Mad Prophets: A portfolio of Heretics."  13 artists who are inspired by depictions of religion and heretical themed artwork from medieval art history and other vast genres have come together to create some beautiful work and offer some great deals via Kickstarter.com. 






Should be an interesting art portfolio.

What is your favorite heretical themed story?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Why I Hate Religion

Why I Hate Religion but Love Jesus



“Church is not a museum for good people but a hospital for the broken” from the spoken word poem titled “why I hate religion, but love jesus”

Not sure what this young man's name is name but his YouTube username is bbal1989

Some of my artwork on grace.

What are your thoughts on the church, church or religion?  Do you agree with this video? Disagree with parts? Why?