Archive | March, 2012

UnitedThread: Shop Inspiration

30 Mar

A while back I stumbled across one of the most enchanting owl illustrations I’d ever seen. (If anyone knows me, they know I’m a bit obsessed with owls) It was full of pattern and color and washes. Truly inspirational to as it’s the type of art I love to do. I even kept the image as my computer background for awhile. Sadly, I did know who the painter was or where to find more of their beautiful stuff. Until recently…

The paintings are work done by Michelle Morin, owner of UnitedThread. I love the use of watercolor and gouache in her work along with the boldness of the patterns. And the birds. Ah the use of nature is quite evident throughout her body of work. I had a hard time paring down to just a few images to share.

You can find many more examples of her work on her blog or purchase some in her shop. I think I’m gonna save up and get that owl one day.

Enjoy the weekend!


Turning the World Upside Down: Tshirt

28 Mar

Here is a little design update on a kids ministry t-shirt I’ve been working on. The shirts are mostly to be worn by the workers each Sunday but they will also serve as a sell item to raise money for Kmotion. Kmotion is the Children’s Ministry at Temple Assembly of God in Clanton, AL. If you live in the area and are looking for a fun place come join them on Sundays. They’re also having an Easter Eggstravaganza on Saturday, April 7th from 10-2. It should be an exciting event for the whole family with free food, games, and other events.

We went with two different shirts for this so that the workers have a variety. I used bright bold colors to create a high energy. I mean we are turning the world upside here so it has to be bold. I also used bubblish typography and doodles to get across the kid feel. I’m hoping I can rock that white one soon.


“Heerrmmennutics”…and How You Can Use It

27 Mar

When I signed up for Hermeneutics, I have to say I was totally excited and intimidated. The “how awesome will knowing how to interpret the bible thought” waged war with the “umm, that seems really impossible for little ole me thought.” I mean I’m studying these Berean classes on my own and not in some higher learning institute under a professor who has certificates and diplomas as wallpaper. I mean I was amused at the humming noise I made just by saying “Heerrmmennutics.” Yes, I know I’m easily amused. Entertainment is cheaper that way.

So here I was little ole me jumping into the world of biblical interpretation. Imitated and in over my head cause I couldn’t hear past the humming…and you know, I found out that it’s pretty common sense principles that every person should learn to apply in their daily bible study.

First you might ask, well why should I learn to interpret the bible? Isn’t that why we go to church and listen to sermons and pastors? Well, yes we do but you know, “God helps those who help themselves!” Hezekiah 6:1

Oh wait, that’s not actually in the bible. In fact Hezekiah isn’t even a real book. Funny how many people quote that “scripture” and fully believe they are correctly applying the word of God to their lives.

We have been given the extremely graceful and prosperous gift to actually own a bible for our own personal use. In fact, it’s sad to say but in America most “Christians” own probably 3-5 plus the 80,000 translations on our handy dandy smart phone. We also have been blessed with the mind to set down and study and meditate on God’s word. To use it for our own growth and relationship with Christ. We also have the best teacher available and that is the Holy Spirit to guide us in what we read and absorb.

So you might wonder next, ok where do I begin? Do I just pick a verse? There’s a bunch of them, where do I start?

It’s important to keep a verse in context of it’s passage and book. To know the historical setting behind a book or passage. To know why the author wrote it in the first place. And then to figure out how to apply it correctly to your life today.

For this outline example I’m going to use the book of Amos. I’ll be honest, I’ve read it but couldn’t have told you before today really much about Amos.

First answer five questions about the author.

  1. Who was he?
    Amos. He was a herdsman from Tekoa in southern Judah during the reign of King Jeroboam II. He was given a special call from God to go speak to Northern Israel. We find this info in 1:1 but for the record I did many google searches. Now it’s a good idea to to own a good study bible (they normally list this info in brief detail at the beginning of a book) or to own some kind of biblical study software but I’m writing this to help you in a most down to earth way. So I used the internet to search for this. (NOTE: don’t rely on one source, check several and make sure they are all saying the same thing and that they are a reliable source) I’ll attach the several links of study I used at the end of this. ALSO READ THE BOOK.
  2. When did he write the book?
    The events in Amos took place in the middle of the 8th century BC. The book is dated between 767 and 753 BC.
  3. What setting was he in?
    This was written during a time when both Israel and Judah were experiencing political stability and prosperity. This materialistic comfort led to self-indulgence and immorality.
  4. What relationship did he have with those he wrote to?
    We aren’t given much here. He was a herdsman in the southern part of Judah so he was possibly a fellow countryman to some.
  5. What was his purpose?
    His prophecies were a warning to the people of Israel that their mistreatment of the poor and religious corruption would bring on the wrath of God. He makes a call for repentance. 
Then answer three questions about the audience of the book.
  1. Who were they?
    Mostly Northern Israel but some believe that parts were directed at Southern Judah as well.
  2. What was their city or town like?
    The middle of the 8th century B.C., was a time of great prosperity, for Israel as well as Judah. Under Jeroboam, Israel had given back the control of the international trade routes: the highway through Transjordan, and the rod to the sea through the valley of Jezreel and through the coastal plain. According to II Kings 14:25, the frontiers of Israel had been reestablished from Lebo Hamat in the north, to the Arabian Sea (the Dead Sea), to the south. On its part, Judah, under Uzziah, recovered Elath (seaport on the Gulf of Aqaba), and southwest at the expense of the Philistines. Israel and Judah thus achieved a new political and military strength, but the religious situation was in a lamentable state: Idolatry was rampant; rich people lived luxuriously while the poor were oppressed; there was generalized immorality; the legal system was corrupt. The people believed that prosperity was a sign of GOD‘s blessings. {1}
  3. What was their social status? (Jews? Wealthy? Slaves? Educated?)
    They were Jews experiencing a time of prosperity.
Then look at the historical-cultural background.
  1. Historical Details
    Jeroboam II, the son of Joash (or Jehoash, 798-782 BC), reigned over Israel longer than anyone, even though he followed the evil example of his namesake, Jeroboam I (2 Kings 14:23-24). His reign of forty-one years included eleven years in which he ruled along with his father, Joash.Jeroboam II ruled in the city of Samaria (2 Kings 14:23). Archaeological evidence suggests that Joash and Jeroboam II undertook a reconstruction project in the royal temple; over 60 invoices or labels for oil and wine that had been sent to the royal store were found in 1910. These illustrate the riches and opulence of the royal house in Israel during Jeroboam II’s reign.Large numbers of carved decorative plaques and panels of ivory were also found in the ruins of Samaria, a reminder of the wealth of the northern kingdom in its latter days. Pictures of various gods have been carved on the ivories, which indicates the influence of the pagan societies of Syria, Assyria, and Egypt.The prophet Jonah, son of Amittai, had prophesied that Jeroboam II would take power (2 Kings 14:25). Although Jeroboam’s reign was late in the history of the northern kingdom, God still sought to show his love for Israel during this time (2 Kings 14:26-28). The northern kingdom reached its greatest extension since the time of Solomon as the result of God’s care for Israel during Jeroboam’s reign. The boundaries stretched from Hamath on the Orontes River in the north to the Gulf of Aqaba, with its cities of Elath and Ezion-geber, in the south. But Israel’s prosperity did not save it from war and political problems. The extensive corruption in government and the degenerate spiritual state of the people propelled Israel into its final days. Jeroboam’s own life must have been in danger from conspirators; Amaziah, a priest at Bethel, even accused the prophet Amos of conspiring to kill Jeroboam (Amos 7:8-17). Amos actually did prophesy the destruction of Israel and the fall of Jeroboam’s kingdom, and perhaps the king felt the word of God to be a threat.

    Economic depression, immorality, political weakness, and government corruption hastened the fall of Israel. The rich landowners, including Jeroboam II, had oppressed the less wealthy citizens and had forced small landowners to migrate from their farms to the cities. {2}

  2. Cultural Details
    We know that they are Jews. They know the Law.Economic concerns was the mistreatment of the poor. (Amos 5:11-12 NASB) “Therefore, because you impose heavy rent on the poor And exact a tribute of grain from them, Though you have built houses of well-hewn stone, Yet you will not live in them; You have planted pleasant vineyards, yet you will not drink their wine. [12] For I know your transgressions are many and your sins are great, You who distress the righteous and accept bribes, And turn aside the poor in the gate.”Political matters: Israel was greed. They taxed and oppressed the poor.Religious concerns. They were being idolatrous. Creating false rituals. (Amos 5:21-24 NASB) “”I hate, I reject your festivals, Nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies. [22] “Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them; And I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings. [23] “Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps. [24] “But let justice roll down like waters And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”

    The priests were being corrupted and were not from the Levitical line. (Amos 2:12 NLT) “But you caused the Nazirites to sin by making them drink wine, and you commanded the prophets, ‘Shut up!’

Once we have established an understanding of the background and purpose behind the book, we can read and understand what the book of Amos is really all about and how to apply it to our modern life.
Ch.1 and 2: These chapters start out condemning the nations surrounding Israel. They were corrupt, they mistreated people for years. God had had enough. The Israelites could see this and were like, “Yeah, right on. Preach it!”
Ch.3-6: Then Amos brings it home and they are forced to realize they haven’t been any better. Worse yet, they knew better. Remember they had the Law. Ch.5 is a plea to repent.
Ch.7-9: These chapters are visions that Amos had. Some where God relents and others where he does not. There is a brief interjection in chapter 7 where Amaziah the priest of Bethel commands Amos to go home and preach there. Amos replies that he is not a professional prophet but a simple herdsman called by God to deliver this message. (Amos 7:14 NLT) But Amos replied, “I’m not a professional prophet, and I was never trained to be one. I’m just a shepherd, and I take care of sycamore-fig trees.
Applications to our lives today.
  1. Obeying/learning from our mistakes and repenting.
    Israel had a covenant with God, yet they were making the mistakes that the surrounding nations were making. As Christians we have a covenant with God and should not make the same mistakes as the world. When we do we should immediately repent of it and not blatantly keep on indulging in the sin.
  2. Don’t put false security  in prosperity.
    Israel mistook riches as a sign of God’s blessings. Whereas God surely blesses and we should be grateful for his provision, remember that just because you have a full stomach doesn’t mean we are free from sin. Daily examine your life to make sure you are living in accordance with the word of God.
  3. You don’t have to be a professionally trained person to do the will of God. 
    Amos was a herdsman. He was a layperson. I think this is a perfect application to end this with because it’s pretty much what this whole post has been about. You don’t have to be trained to let God use you. You should study and rely on the Spirit to guide you in applying these principles and correctly interpreting the word of God in your daily bible studies. Meditate on scripture. Pray over it. Seek what God is saying to you. And learn from teachers and pastors and others.
I hope this has helped eased the imitation of hermeneutics. I’m still amused at how it tickles my nose to say that. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to tag on. Below are some links that helped me in finding the information above. The question outline came from my Berean course: BIB121 Intro to Hermeneutics

New Mercies

22 Mar

Last night we did a worship song in youth done by Jesus Culture, called “Your Love Never Fails.” It’s pretty catchy, great song. One of those that’s easy to jam out to. Problem though, sometimes it’s so catchy that we miss the vitality of the words in this song. You make all things work together for my good. It’s catchy right, but how easy is it for us to sing it and not believe it. I can be real here and say I worry way to much to say I put that phrase into daily practice. I try to but I fail regularly. If crowns were given out to the person who worries most, I’d have a gem laden diadem. Probably would worry some of those gems would fall out though or my neck would get some horrid catch from the weight of it.

The very first part of the song goes like this:

Nothing can separate
Even if I ran away
Your love never fails

I know I still make mistakes
But you have new mercies for me everyday
Your love never fails.

New Mercies. I’ll be honest it’s part of the song I usually sing over and never process. But after a morning of a heavy heart of bad news after another that phrase kept going over and over in my head. New Mercies. New Mercies.

Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)

 22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Isn’t is great that we serve a God who never gets tired. Every morning he’s ready and rested with NEW MERCIES. Messed up? New mercies. Still sick? New Mercies. Still a worrier? New Mercies.

The song continues…

You stay the same through the ages
Your love never changes
There may be pain in the night but joy comes in the morning.

How often do we forget that God is the SAME. He hasn’t changed from the dawn of creation. The same God who made the heavens and the earth, that made every cell and organism to live and work in harmony to the minutest detail, that did a billizon things in the bible, IS THE SAME GOD OF TODAY! It’s hard to believe but he is, he didn’t change. They aren’t just cool stories in the bible, they are examples for us to LIVE BY. One of my favorite books is the Hiding Place, by Corrie TenBoom. Amazing true story of God’s provision over Corrie as she survived the concentration camps of the WWII Holocaust.

Psalm 103 (NLT)

A psalm of David.

Let all that I am praise the Lord;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.

I thank God for all the mercies he provides for me on a daily basis!



The Story of the “Keep Calm and Carry On” WW2 Poster

19 Mar

I know everyone and their brother has seen a version of this poster and a million parodies of it. Keep Calm and Eat Cupcakes, Keep Calm and Kill Zombies, Keep Calm and Do Something. It’s like it sprung out of nowhere and became contagious. Me and my boyfriend were in Books a Million a while back when he saw a journal cover with it. He sorta had an epiphany and was like I saw something like this on the internet the other day but in regards to Star Wars, what the heck is it? I told him a bit and about how it originally was a WW2 poster from Britain. “Ah, that’s cool,” was his reply and the conversation dropped. The other day he sent me a link to this video that tells the story of this quaint little poster. It was originally a part of a set of 3 different propaganda posters used. But this one was held in reserve till a real crisis came. The war thankfully ended and it was never circulated. No one ever saw it until years later. Watch the video for the full story, but it seems to me a interesting thing that a poster designed in the late 30’s made it’s debut in a very fashionable, relevant way today. Maybe because the truth of the statement is timeless and it came about when it was something folks could latch onto. In the world we live, all of us have worries, fears, or some insecurities of the future. It’s a good reminder to keep calm and carry on. I think my favorite mimic of this poster would be “Keep Calm and Trust God.” He knows the storm. Watch the video here.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

17 Mar

I have to say for some odd reason today is one of my ALL TIME FAVE holidays. I adore it, I don’t know why. Possibly, because it is my mom’s birthday. I was always convinced as a child that automatically meant we were Irish. I mean she has red hair, born on St. Patrick’s day, and her last name was Tatum. That sounds Irish right? At least it did as a kid. Two years ago I got to live out a long time dream and spend the day at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, in Dublin, Ireland. I know right? How awesome. It was crazy! So many different cultures came from all over to celebrate and it was packed. I imagine it’s quite like the perfect party blend of Mardi Gras in New Orleans with the National importance of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The trip was part of a 10 day graphic design study abroad trip. I still can’t believe I got to go but I did and I’ve very thankful. I highly recommend the trip. The city was fascinating but the countryside was absolutely memorizing.

Here are some of my top fave photos. Enjoy!

Description of the photos:
1. Monastery at Glendalough. Some of the movie Braveheart was filmed at this location.
2-3. Cliffs of Moher
4. Hill of Tara and St. Patrick’s statue.
5. Architecture in Dublin
6. Brewley’s Bakery. So good!
7. Doors of Dublin and a really big leprechaun.
8. The Liffey Bridge at night in Dublin.
9. St. Patrick’s Day Parade
10. Christ Church Cathedral.

Another interesting point I was surprised to learn is that our decorations we use here for St. Patrick’s day is pretty much what they use over there. I thought was just mimicked it and made up something but no it’s pretty dead on. Wear green today y’all.

Top of the Mornin’ to ya

16 Mar

Ok so I’m in fact obsessed with Irish culture and have to admit while more folks forget tomorrow is a holiday, I get giddy with excitement over it. Every Friday at work someone brings breakfast (nice right?), so I decided today was the perfect opportunity to bake these Irish Coffee Bar/Blondies I found in the March issue of Martha Stewart Living.

The blondies turned out delish. Especially the glaze and almond mixture. Almost taste like parlines. Here’s the recipe.

And I’ve signed up with Earthfare to receive weekly freebies. This week was free Dubliner Cheese. Very unique and tasty. Kinda nutty and sharp.

Tomorrow I’m posting several pictures from my Ireland trip to celebrate the day. Stay tuned. Enjoy!