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Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Bible Journaling - Genesis 4 & 5

The story line of the Bible unfolds at a tremendous pace in the early chapters of Genesis. We have seen the world created, the disruption in the relationship between man and God, and the downward spiral simply continues at this increased pace from there. In Chapter 4, we are introduced to sibling rivalry, even among the first two siblings on the planet. This gets so bad, that one actually ends up murdering the other. This depravity reaches a low point in the story of Lamech, a man whose self-righteousness knows no limits. I invite you to read Genesis 4 and 5 with me today, while I show you what I did to summarize these two chapters in pictures.


Genesis 4 and 5 look like this in the Inspire Praise Bible.


I prepare the pages with Zellen Clear Gesso.


The pages look like this when dry.


I use Metalic Pens to colour the picture on the right hand page with.


By the time I am done with my study of Genesis 3, my page looks like this.


In the first couple of verses of chapter 4, we are introduced to the characters of Cain and Abel. Abel kept livestock, we are told. I draw a sheep in pencil to represent this early farmer.


Cain was a crop farmer. To represent him, I draw a bundle of wheat.


I use a combination of Duo Markers and Fine Markers to colour the wheat.


I use the same combination to colour the sheep. When I was a child, I came to the conclusion that Cain's offer was rejected because it wasn't a live animal that was sacrificed. It was only years later that I would learn that God also requested and accepted grain offers, as specified in the later Mosaic law. So, why then was Cain's offer rejected while Abel's was accepted? It had everything to do with character, as is revealed to us a little later on. In these opening lines we only read that Able brought from his first and best as an offer to God, while Cain brought some of what he had. This begs of each of us to do some introspection. Do we bring our first and best to God, or do we expect Him to be satisfied with some of what we have. Are those your left-overs? After you've done everything else that needed doing, and only if there is time left, you will spend some time with God. Do those things that needed doing then include things like watching television, or spending time on social media, or ...? How about your money? And your talents, knowledge, abilities, etc.? I am doing introspection right along with you as I am typing this. Perhaps it is time we once again straighten our priorities. Too often, I am asked the question 'why would God not answer my prayers?' Perhaps these early chapters in Genesis already hold the key. Perhaps it is because you do not prioritize Him. I often come across some form of modern quote/quip that instructs us not to prioritize people who won't prioritize us. Ask yourself this question; why should God prioritize you? Thank God for the grace and mercy that is found in Christ Jesus, or there would be no hope for any of us. But don't just thank Him for it, seek it out and make it part of your life!


From verses 6-16, God and Cain falls into conversation with each other. These are the verses that gives us such acute insight into the character of Cain. This was a headstrong man, who did as he liked, regardless of whether it was right or wrong. I imagine he was one of those people who did not stop to consider the consequences of his actions, and would not be deterred by it, unless it proved to be to his own disadvantage. Certainly what little we know of his actions, would suggest this, and the admonishment received from God, also seems to point towards this being the case. The conversation that takes place here is key to understanding life, and the 'rules of the game' has not changed since all those centuries ago. Read God's words in verse 7 with me: "You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master." In my illustration, I chose to depict this 'crouching sin' as a seductive woman. I started the sketch in pencil.


I then coloured the figure in Derwent watercolour pencils, which I painted with water afterwards.


I did the same with the hair.


Then I added facial features and a base for the figure to rest on.


Sin is such a vague word that I did not want to use it. Instead, I contemplated the things that tempt most people and reduced it to four major temptations. These I wrote in neon highlighters next to the beckoning figure: sex, wealth, power, and fame. Our egocentricity easily fools us into believing that we deserve these things, that we are entitled to it, and that we ought to have it. We are not tempted by things we find abhorrent, we are tempted by things we find attractive. In the previous blog, on Genesis 2 and 3, I spoke about how it is our own minds that convinces us to what is wrong, turning what is wrong into something acceptable and 'right.' But if it is not right in God's eyes, our arguments do not matter, however clever and well-constructed they might be. Sin is eager to control us. But take note: we can subdue it. We can master it. God has confidence in our abilities to do so. Do not fool yourself into believing that you will be able to convince Him one day that you did not have the necessary skills or power to do so - he knows better.


We then read a very short genealogy of Cain's descendants, which culminates in one of the most deprived self-righteous and arrogant statements known to have been uttered. Lamech speaks to his two wives and tells them how he has already killed for having been slighted and how he is prepared to do so again. And then he claims that his own wrath surpasses that of God. This is it. This is true. This is human nature, when it is stripped of God. In God, we find love, acceptance, forgiveness, mercy, grace. Humans who places themselves above God in importance (or self-importance), do not possess these characteristics naturally. If we pursue evil, refusing to submit it and rule over it, this is what each of us have the potential to develop into. As my pages are already becoming very busy, I simply put a transparent sticker here, reminding us that we all need to check our moral compass from time to time.


The last verses in the chapter informs us of the birth of Seth. It contains one line of information that is easily overlooked - 'At that time people first began to worship the LORD by name.' The typing of the word here indicates that the word YHVH was used here. I again place a sticker here in acknowledgement of this, while also underlining the words quoted above.


I am now done with chapter 4 and need to move on to chapter 5.


The first verses in chapter 5 reminds us that we were created in God's image, and that we were created male and female. It also says that we were blessed by God. As the remainder of this chapter deals with genealogy, I choose to underline these words. These are the same words that would be used to describe Adam's offspring; a son would be born to him, who was just like him, born in his image. Oh, that we should grasp how important God considers us in creation, and how He longs for our company! Oh, that we should realize that we were created for God's pleasure, just as we are to find pleasure in Him! How different our lives would be, if only we would subject our own egos and thoughts to His, so we could learn what it truly means to live!


When I turn the page, I am confronted with this blank page. It is already treated with gesso, as I treat both sides of the page before I start.


As I read the text, there are a couple of things that gain my attention. I underline and highlight these, even though most of this will disappear behind the picture I will soon paint over it. It is not of significant importance but deserve some cursory attention. The first verse that stands out to me is verse 4, informing us that Adam had more sons and daughters. Then verses 21-24 tells the short story of a man, Enoch, who walked closely with God, before He simply disappeared. It is commonly believed that God took Enoch up into heaven alive, not unlike what He did with Elijah all those years later, as accounted in 2 Kings 2. We then encounter the man who reached the oldest age, Methuselah, and lastly we are to take note of the birth of Noah and his sons. This genealogy serves as a very quick way to move the story along to the next interval in human history which is of importance, which are of course the events that unfold around Noah in the next few chapters.


As there really isn't too much to illustrate in a genealogy, I opt to simply decorate this page with a large flower. I draw the flower in pencil on the page.


I then use my Faber-Castell Artist Pitt pens to colour the flower.


I develop depth by adding a darker shade.


My flower is starting to take shape.


I use a ProMarker on the leaves.


I draw the veins in with a Pitt pen. I also outline the tips of the petals on the flower.


Then I add some interest with a warmer colour.


I start to develop the centre of the flower.


I continue developing the centre of the flower.


Still working on the centre of the flower.


I use ProMarkers to add detail to the centre of the flower.


More detail is added.


Even more detail is added.


I am finally satisfied that the flower is fully developed.


I use a blue Derwent Inktense pencil to outline the flower in blue.


I then pain the Inktense in water.


The completed page.


I page back to look at the completed chapters.


You can watch a short compilation video of the steps above on YouTube:
https://youtu.be/rbJUSBnnT6M


Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2005,2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois, 60188. All rights reserved.

Inspire PRAISE South Africa edition copyright 2017 by Christian Art Publishers, PO Box 1599, Vereeniging, 1930, RSA. All rights reserved.

Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy my books here:
You can purchase Designs By Miekie 1 here.
Jy kan Kom Ons Teken en Verf Tuinstories hier koop.
Jy kan Kom Ons Kleur Tuinstories In hier koop.
Jy kan Tuinstories hier koop.
You can follow Miekie's daily Bible Study blog, Bybel Legkaart, here in English & Afrikaans.
You may prefer to follow the traveling blog, A Pretty Tourist.
For more crafty ideas and great product reviews, visit A Pretty Talent on Facebook.
If you are in a literary mood, follow Miekie's musings, stories and poetry on A Pretty Author - Miekie.
Remember to keep nurturing your TALENT for making life PRETTY.
You can subscribe to any of these blogs and receive regular updates by email. Simply register your email address at the top of the applicable blog.

Friday, 15 February 2019

Bible Journaling - Genesis 2 & 3

I have often heard people argue that the story of creation is inaccurate and that the two accounts found in the first two chapters of the book of Genesis are contradictory. This is not how I interpret this at all. I rather see the first chapter as interested in detailing the sequence of events, while the second chapter concerns itself with placing the story of creation in context of time and place. There is a clear shift in focus between the first and the second chapters. The first chapter speaks of the creation of the universe and the earth as a whole. The second chapter narrows the scope by concentrating our attention on a specific setting and a garden that is established in the east of this place. Then, once the wider setting has been established, the author focuses in on an even smaller scale, by drawing our attention to the people who are at the centre of this tale. By doing so, the author ensures that all of the attention is directed to the formation and creation of man and ultimately, woman. In chapter one, the focus was placed on them, by leaving them to the last, but they still simply remained part of a long list of things created. Now, they enjoy the prominence hinted at in the last verses of the previous chapter where they were blessed by their Creator.
Chapter 3 then picks up the story line when more detail about the actions, choices and characters of the key role players are revealed. This chapter also sees the introduction of a new character, which becomes more pivotal to the unfolding of the story of the Bible as a whole. The character of Satan is introduced as the antagonist to the creation. This is also the first hint we receive that the seeming heroes of the story are not the actual true main characters, but that God Himself will fill the role of perfect protagonist. This sets the scene, not only for the rest of Genesis, but also for the rest of the Bible. And if one pays very close attention, also for our daily lives today and into the future. In today's blog, I share my illustrative notes on Genesis 2 and 3 with you in my Bible Journaling journey.


Genesis 2 and 3 in the Inspire Praise Bible look like this.


I prepare the pages by coating it with Zellen Clear Gesso.


I use highlighter pens to colour the journaling on the page. The wording here deals with Genesis 2:18 and reads as follows:
It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him. This concept is key to the story told in chapter 2 and certainly deserves the prime attention paid to it by the Inspire Praise Bible. However, it also means that I will not devote much attention to this aspect of the story in my own treatment of the chapter, as I feel it has received its due attention here already. Instead, I will focus on some other aspects of the chapter that may be become obscured by the main story line.


I use Mont Marte Duo Markers to colour the remainder of the picture.


When I am done colouring the words, the page looks like this.


In verses 1-3, we are told that God opted to rest on the seventh day of creation, however long that 'day' was, as time that marked day and night, was only created on the fourth day of creation. The first half of the chapter is concerned with setting the scene. Here we are told a brief version of the creation story as told in Genesis 1. The author moves on quickly to tell us about the place and the rivers surrounding it. Then he tells us that the garden of Eden was established in the east of Eden. I use two shades of blue Gellatos to draw rivers with small waterfalls in them. I use a fan brush to paint the waterfalls. I once more find that the gesso I am using is not ideal. Instead of holding the paint, it seems to be resisting the mediums, making it really difficult to paint the waterfall.


I decide to rather use watercolours, but once again I find that the pages seem to resit the mediums I paint on it. I struggle to layer the paint on the gesso. This is contradictory to the reason why one would choose to use gesso on a surface - it is supposed to prepare a surface to accept mediums, not resist it. This gesso seems to only serve as a seal, and even then it has proven to fail in its task.


I continue working at it, but find that I have to wait for long periods of time, so that previous layers will have time to dry, before I continue on to more layers.


While waiting for the layers to dry, I turn my attention to the second half of the chapter. We learn that there were two important trees in the garden of Eden. Verse 8 tells us that among the other trees, there were also the Tree of knowledge of good and evil, that most of us know about, but also the Tree of Life. The man was only prohibited from eating of the Tree of knowledge of good and evil, not from the Tree of Life as well. This is key to the unfolding to the story of the Bible. It was God's intention that mankind should have life in abundance, in perfect harmony with God. Sin disrupted that harmony and fouled the relationship between man and God. God then removed man from access to the Tree of Life so that he would not have to live forever in this fallen state of sin. But this separation did not last forever. We encounter this tree again in the book of Revelations, where those who have received eternal life, once again have full access to it. Revelations 22:1-5 has references to more things that are part of the creation story, than merely the tree of life. It is important that one should be aware that the story of the Bible has a beginning and an end, even though we are part of the middle of the story line, although not being written into it per se.


I finally gave up on trying to gain the brush definition I should have been able to arrive at in the waterfall. Instead, I define the waterfall with the Duo Markers.


I use Derwent Inktense pencils to draw the tree. I then paint the pencil with water.


I add leaves to the tree.


As the fruit of the tree are essential to the story, I make sure to paint these in a bright red.


I then devote my attention to the creation of Adam and Eve. I use a fine liner to write the words Adam ♥ Eve.


I then place a clear sticker on top of these words, in the shape of a heart, shaped by hearts. Along with the journaling in the margin of the Bible, this is enough space devoted to this aspect of the story.


This then concludes the story of Genesis 2, making it time to move on to Genesis 3.


Right at the opening lines of the chapter, we are introduced to Satan. He arrives at the woman in the form of a serpent. One should not misinterpret the significance of this. You see, he will disguise himself in many shapes that we find commonplace and familiar. The woman would not have had any reason to fear a snake at this stage in the history of mankind. It posed no danger. Or at least, no obvious danger. If each of us were to investigate our own lives, we will also be able to distinguish the voice of Satan when he approached us disguised in the shape of a familiar voice or person. The word Satan literally means accuser or adversary. At one stage, Jesus addresses Peter as Satan when Peter placed himself directly opposite the will of God (Matthew 16:21-28). Is Satan an actual entity, or is it simply a name for those who oppose God? There is some controversy surrounding this in the Christian religion. I don't care to explore this question in this blog. Suffice it to say, that the study of Revelations would seem to indicate that  he is an actual entity. For now, I will leave off and simply tell you that I incorporated this new character by drawing him in pencil, as a snake wrapped around a branch.


I then painted the drawing in Inktense pencils.


I developed the detail of the painting.


I then used watercolours to paint the background blue.


Finally, I added more detail to the illustration with Duo Markers.


When I turn the page, I discover that my pens had bled through the page, despite the fact that I had treated both sides of the page to a coating of gesso before I even started.


I decide to draw the flaming sword that guarded the entrance to the garden of Eden in the left margin of the page. I start by drawing a very simple sword in pencil.


Then I draw flames surrounding the sword. I leave this picture be for the moment to devote some more attention to the events that preceded the banishment from the garden.


The most devastating consequence of Adam and Eve's disobedience, is the fact that it made them aware of their own fallibility as humans and that this knowledge brought separation from God. The relationship of carefree and guilt-free companionship, had been tarnished by their new-found knowledge. Not only did this affect their relationship with God, but also with each other. See the words God spoke to them. The perfect unity that existed between them, would never be the same again. But even more, their relationships with themselves had been affected, as well. They could no longer look on themselves as before; they now felt ashamed of their nakedness, saw shortcomings in themselves and hid themselves. This reminds me of what Jesus identified as the greatest commandment, when prompted to do so: Love the Lord your God. And second and equal to this: Love your neighbour... as you love yourself. You can read more on this in Matthew 22:37-40. My Afrikaans readers may wish to read more on this topic in a previously published blog called Om mure te bou en te herstel. I wish to depict Eve's shame at this point in my journey. I will show you how to draw this seemingly difficult drawing step by step. I start with her drawn up legs.


I add a head, the other side's protruding buttocks, and some facial details and hair. As I am doing this, my thoughts wander on about the knowledge of good and evil, an how it is too often our own thoughts that trip us up in life. My mind then skips ahead to Paul's words in 2 Corinthians 10:5 where he also addresses the battle takes place in the mind: "We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ."


I then draw the first arm. This means that I need to erase the lines of the legs so that the arm appears to be in front of the legs, rather than making it seem as if the arm is transparent.


I draw the second arm and again I erase the necessary lines. I realize that I need to move her hair out and do so.


I also wish to remind myself that shame in ourselves is what causes us to hide from those who love us. It strips us of our confidence and condemns us. This too often means that we blame others for condemning us, which causes us to shun them. It is for this reason, that it is so very important that we should have a healthy self-concept. Who and what we really are, can only be discovered in our Creator. I invite you to visit with Him in prayer, submitting your own thoughts and imaginations to the truths that are to be found in Him. In the meantime, I draw a couple of leaves surrounding Eve.


The stems and veins of the leaves are coloured in two shades of Derwent Inktense colours.


I then use the same green as above to colour the edges of the leaves.


Then I paint these colours with water, using my aqua brush.


I outline Eve in an reddish earthtone. This time I use Derwent Watercolour pencils.


I colour Eve's body in two shades of pink.


Then I paint these colours in water.


I use two reddish browns to colour her hair. I also colour the facial features a dark brown.


The hair is painted with water.


I fill the centres of the leaves with a pale green and add a shadow under Eve's body.


This too is painted with water.


After God had announced the curse that mankind, and the snake/Satan, had brought upon themselves, He banished them from the Garden of Eden, in order to prevent them from eating of the Tree of Life. Death is grace for mankind, as this means that he can rise to live eternally in a restored relationship with God, after the interventionist steps taken by Jesus a couple of thousand years later. The curse directed at the serpent hints at this, as this is a foreshadowing of the battle that is to follow between Satan and Jesus Himself. In the meantime, two cherubim are placed at the entrance to the garden to prevent re-entry after the banishment. These cherubim, we are told, wield two flaming swords, going back and forth. I now start to colour the sword I had drawn. I colour the handle in two shades of Inktense pencils, which I then paint with water.


I use Derwent Metallic pencils to colour the outlines of the metal pieces of the sword.


I fill the centres of these pieces in with a lighter shade of the metallic pencils.


Then I paint the sword with water.


I outline the flames in bright red and paint it with water. I wait for the paint to dry, before proceeding, as Inktense can not be lifted again once dry. I do not wish for my colours to mix here.


I add a bright orange and once again paint the flames with water. I once more wait for the paint to dry, before proceeding.


I add a bright yellow to the flames closest to the sword. I paint this with water.


What my page looks like when I am done with this chapter.


The completed layout of the page, when I page back to where I started.


You can watch a short compilation video of the steps above on YouTube:
https://youtu.be/AkF1YpJG7IM


Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2005,2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois, 60188. All rights reserved.

Inspire PRAISE South Africa edition copyright 2017 by Christian Art Publishers, PO Box 1599, Vereeniging, 1930, RSA. All rights reserved.

Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy my books here:
You can purchase Designs By Miekie 1 here.
Jy kan Kom Ons Teken en Verf Tuinstories hier koop.
Jy kan Kom Ons Kleur Tuinstories In hier koop.
Jy kan Tuinstories hier koop.
You can follow Miekie's daily Bible Study blog, Bybel Legkaart, here in English & Afrikaans.
You may prefer to follow the traveling blog, A Pretty Tourist.
For more crafty ideas and great product reviews, visit A Pretty Talent on Facebook.
If you are in a literary mood, follow Miekie's musings, stories and poetry on A Pretty Author - Miekie.
Remember to keep nurturing your TALENT for making life PRETTY.
You can subscribe to any of these blogs and receive regular updates by email. Simply register your email address at the top of the applicable blog.