Friday, July 21, 2017

Sour milk on my cereal

How to get through a day

If life gives you sour milk, eat ice cream!

Among the good blessings in life, we discover some surprises aren’t good. Like pouring sour milk on a dish of cereal, we never know when frustrations will seep in to soak up our energy and distract us from our goals.

With gratitude I enjoy breakfast …
  1. Coffee—a staple in my diet
  2. Cereal—variety or combination of rice, wheat, corn, barley and oats
  3. Nuts—pumpkin seeds and sliced almonds
  4. Fruit—fresh or frozen blueberries
  5. Milk—if sour and there’s no fresh milk on hand, ice cream makes a rich and smooth substitute
Sour milk ruin your breakfast cereal? Start fresh and substitute ice cream!
Sour milk ruins cereal, so start fresh and substitute ice cream! To fix the breakfast blunder: strain and pick out cereal to dispose, rinse/save the blueberries/nuts, add fresh cereal and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
VoilĂ —a blessing in disguise!

Words sour, substitute, purpose and accomplish inspired me to take this picture and motivated me to write.  

And then questions came to mind:
  1. “What does your daily routine look like?” a friend asked, knowing I’d made a career change to work from home.
  2. “What do you hope to accomplish in this life before you die?” came up during a class studying a man of integrity, Martin Luther, who translated the Bible so it could be printed for everyone. 
His last written words were, “We are beggars: this is true.” from Holy Ponderings of the Reverend Father Doctor Martin Luther, translated for Project Wittenberg by James Kellerman

I push forward to accomplish purposeful goals and keep an open mind to where the Lord may be leading me. And then I sin.
Sin can be summed up as all the things we say, think, do, and don’t do, that fall outside of God’s holy will for our lives and end up separating us from God. —Lutheran Hour Ministries
All of us should watch out for various ways Satan tries to trick, confuse, pull us into his lies and distasteful ways. Our own and also other people’s sin cause us to suffer all kinds of unpleasant consequences: sad situations, horrible circumstances, harmed or broken relationships.

So, what do we do about the sour moments?

Do not swallow the sour milk. Sin is more than we can handle and fix on our own. To be strong we should quickly pick up our heavy sin and give it to Jesus, saying, “I’m sorry” to Him and also to each person offended. Seek help, change direction, work hard at not repeating mistakes—it’s called repentance which receives God’s mercy.
If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Proverbs 24:10 ESV (whole chapter)
Love others because Christ first loved us. Thrive on every ounce of the Holy Spirit’s fruit to face difficulties caused by darkness coming from another person, poor health, or natural disaster.
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1 ESV (whole chapter)

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV (whole chapter)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control… Galatians 5:23 (whole chapter)

Like strained sour milk, rinsed fruit and rich ice cream, let the merciful love of God save the day.

The Holy Spirit creates faith and comes to us in the water of Christian Baptism and the Word. Once received, always there—stronger than evil which the Truth of Scripture exposes.

When sin is repented, it is strained completely out through Christ. Jesus, Our Substitute has accomplished what was necessary. God looks into the hearts of believers and sees not our sin, but sees His Son who took away the sin of the world. More about repentance and forgiveness: click here

To top it all off, we are covered by the richness of the Holy Spirit to smooth over our conscience.

Out of thankfulness, we study the Bible with friends regularly in church. To follow God’s perfect recipe, complete with instructions for life: we drink, eat and inwardly digest the Good News which sustains and holds us safe.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7 ESV (whole chapter)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. … Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding… Proverbs 3:5,13 ESV (whole chapter)

Explore God’s purposes for allowing us to experience disappointing hardships.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 ESV (whole chapter)
  1. Our loving Heavenly Father desires all people to be saved.
  2. He expects us to ask questions and examine Scripture for guidance and wisdom. 
  3. Reminder to reconnect if we’ve wandered, procrastinated, or have become arrogant and lazy about faith matters.
  4. Pray The Lord’s Prayer as it may relate.
  5. Find a church and talk with a Pastor.
  6. If you love God with your whole heart; just trust He’s working it for good. 
  7. Reminder to: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. … So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:2,10 (whole chapter)

The power of the Holy Spirit

  • Educates and opens our eyes to realize we need our Savior; then leads us to repent and strive to change
  • Offers relief from fear and comfort for pain
  • Lifts depression—replaces it with contentment and joy
  • Grants freedom to be faithful
  • Makes clear methods to improve self-control
  • Allows us to receive forgiveness, goodness and kindness
  • Equips us to forgive others (even when thy have not admitted guilt); then permits us to be good and kind toward them
  • Strengthens us to patiently, mercifully, bear with the faults and burdens of others
  • Encourages and motivates us to be gentle, peaceful and loving

While I can’t escape sour milk moments, in an average day my routine may include:

  • Sleep about 7–8 hours until I wake for the day
  • Stretch and tone up for about 40 minutes
  • Listen to Worldwide KFUO and other internet radio stations
  • Pray, read and listen to prayers, various devotions and Bible
  • Sing or listen to hymns (a form of prayer) via You Tube or
  • Work creatively in some form such as sketching or writing in this blog
  • Business at FreshRetroGallery Etsy and Handmade-Amazon: plan, design, research, development, product creation, photography, graphics, promotion, purchasing, maintenance, organize, bookkeeping, customer service, print labels, package, take shipments to the Post Office, continue education
  • Home—organize, shop, meals, laundry, clean
  • Exercise—long walks or swim laps; use stepper
  • Socialize in person or online
  • Relax with a novel or Netflix
I expect additions and changes in my daily routine:
  • Family vocations of sister, wife and mother: experiences make life full
  • Crazy mode pre-Christmas business shipping rush
  • Church, theater, concerts, museums, travel, extending/receiving invitations, celebrations, book club, dates, festivals, special organized activities and events
  • Opportunities knock to use God-given talent through volunteer work. I recently formatted language translations of Luther’s Small Catechism for Lutherans In Africa (LIA), serve on a church reformation anniversary committee and participate in a women’s organization
  • Health issues and appointments for myself or to help others

Please click center arrow to play Lutheran Service Book hymn: From God Can Nothing Move Me from Heirs of the Reformation: Treasures of the Singing Church 4-CD Set

Dear Lord, thank You for the love Christ has shown to me through His death and resurrection. May that love motivate me to continue in my Christian faith, even when it’s hard. In Jesus’ name. Amen. — prayer from Mustard Seed Devotions

Friday, May 19, 2017

Free coloring sheet printable: Lutheran Christian faith art for adults and kids

Free coloring sheet for adults and children — Faith Art

Coloring page, free crafts for VBS, Sunday school, church event party favors and activities!

Free downloadable coloring sheet Christian Faith Art
Hey friends, I made this this printable coloring page for adults and children! Free download: just click the art to open a larger jpg image, save to your device, print and color it! You are welcome to share with teachers, students, pastors, parents, friends. See colored seal, get vector PDF format (higher resolution) and other versions at FreshRetroGallery Etsy.

Ideas to use as art, craft, coloring projects for Lutheran/Christian events and occasions

Enjoyment, education, evangelism

Coloring is a trending activity using art to teach lessons, memorization, and share our Savior’s gospel with students, family, and people in your circle.
  • Baptism
  • First Communion
  • Confirmation
  • Party favors
  • Sunday school
  • Vacation Bible school (VBS)
  • Parochial school classroom
  • Adult Bible study class
  • Prayer, devotion, women’s group (LWML) meetings
  • Mother-daughter events
  • Hospital and nursing home visits

What does this mean?

About the Design

Martin Luther personally oversaw the creation of the Luther Rose art recognized for Lutheranism. The seal is a beautiful visual summary of the faith which is common to Christians of every place and time. Luther explained the meaning of his design in a letter to Lazarus Spengler, July 8, 1530 [WA Br 5:445]; tr. P. T. McCain

Taking a fresh look at Luther’s purposeful, enduring art — the symbol he shared in good friendship — I created this rendition with a purple banner that says, “It’s all about Jesus” to emphasize that nothing we do achieves salvation which is only in Christ. Purple paraments are used by liturgical congregations during Lent. The color reminds Christians of their daily need to seek to live a life of humble repentance (as the inerrant Scripture reveals).
“And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him.” Mark 15:17 ESV
Words in the gold ring summarize Lutheran teaching
  1. Grace alone
  2. Faith alone
  3. Word (Scripture) alone
  4. Christ (Truth) alone
Lessons prepared for adults and children are found in the short descriptions of faith on the coloring page drawing.

Black Cross

The first should be a black cross in a heart, which retains its natural color, so that I myself would be reminded that faith in the Crucified saves us. For one who believes from the heart will be justified”. Although it is indeed a black cross, which mortifies and which should also cause pain, it leaves the heart in its natural color. It does not corrupt nature, that is, it does not kill but keeps alive. “The just shall live by faith” but by faith in the crucified.

Red Heart

The heart is red because Jesus shed His blood for us so that we may live. He saves us by grace through faith.

White Rose

Such a heart should stand in the middle of a white rose, to show that faith gives joy, comfort, and peace. In other words, it places the believer into a white, joyous rose, for this faith does not give peace and joy like the world gives. That is why the rose should be white and not red, for white is the color of the spirits and the angels.

Blue Background

Such a rose should stand in a sky-blue field, symbolizing that such joy in spirit and faith is a beginning of the heavenly future joy, which begins already, but is grasped in hope, not yet revealed.

Gold Circle

Around the blue field is a golden ring, symbolizing that such blessedness in Heaven lasts forever and has no end. Such blessedness is exquisite, beyond all joy and goods, just as gold is the most valuable, most precious and best metal.

Purple Banner

Purple represents repentance as we daily turn from our sin and trust in Christ.

Green Leaves

Five green leaves remind us of God’s wonderful creation! New life through the Spirit of Christ comes to us in Baptism. Trusting His Word, we grow in faith.

Shell/Water and Bible

Baptism art is placed above three lines where a person’s full name can be written. It is one of the miraculous means of grace (another is God’s Word as it is written or spoken), through which God creates and/or strengthens the gift of faith in a person’s heart. Biblical references for the coloring page are Romans 10:10, Romans 1:17, John 14:27, Matthew 28:3, John 20:12, 1 John 3:2, Romans 5:5, Genesis 1:1, John 11:25, and Mark 1:15.

Coloring page created to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation

We appreciate the creativity of Luther’s rose design which has lasted so long! God’s hand was in the timing of Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press and Martin Luther’s Bible translation. These events made Scripture accessible to common people throughout Germany and eventually the world!
“Martin Luther was many things: preacher, teacher, orator, translator, theologian, composer, and family man. He came to symbolize everything the Protestant Reformation stood for. But perhaps Luther’s greatest achievement was the German Bible. No other work has had as strong an impact on a nation’s development and heritage as has this Book.” more at Christianity Today (CT)

Learn more history, theology, teaching, worship, media, resources, and how to get involved at the Lutheran Reformation site. Get answers to Lutheran Christian faith questions and read more about my church’s beliefs and practices.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 ESV

Go ahead! 

Please, enjoy using my coloring page as you study its content. Personal and educational use of the coloring sheet does not require further written permission from me, the designer.

© Elizabeth Knaus, FreshRetroGallery

Additional versions of digital files — color, grayscale, black — in high resolution PDF and other formats are available to download for reproduction at FreshRetroGallery