These past few months, I’ve been incredibly busy with university life! A major project I have been working on would have to be my “Baby Thesis” which I am so proud to present to all of you right now. :]
(logo symbolizing the Spoken Word)
Background: In my wonderfully peculiar course, we’re required to create something, with the use of design, that is, and can be relevant to ourselves and to society. It should try to answer a particular problem/reality which our target audience experience/s.
Design, which I am learning every day, is not only purely aesthetics but is a process of problem-solving while trying to make life easier for most people. I struggled with my topic at first but I knew I wanted it to be about my God so I made sure it was what I picked and, everything else just fell into place. ♡
The prevailing “problem” I chose is something very personal. This was exactly what I experienced a few months ago but praise God, people came into my life and convinced me how important reading the Scripture is.
Problem: For a great number of people, the Bible is deeply neglected. It is not given the appreciation and recognition it should receive. Tradition and prejudices hinder them from actually taking the time to get to know what is inside. Some are intimidated by its volume, length and subject. A lot misunderstand and are trapped in the incomplete idea of what the Bible is and what it really wants to say to people—what He wants to say—so they fail to see and understand its message.
Topic: Communicating the Word of God to Teenagers and Young Adults Through Merchandise, Incorporating Bible Verses Using Graphic Design
Solution: I actually planned a book of some sort but my professor told me it won’t be able to get the message out there so he suggested, I create some merchandise. This “baby thesis” aims to communicate the word of God through selected verses of the Bible designed and displayed on merchandise. Through the use of graphic design and different art forms such as photography and typography, this aims to spark more interest in teenagers and young adults to get to know the Bible.
(mock-up website design)
(sample notebook designs)
(sample bag designs)
(sample clothing designs)
(some of my favorite designs)
This is not a “recreation” of the Bible but a more modern, youthful and visual approach of communicating the word of God to my target audience.This is my way of trying to help people become closer to God since learning to read the Bible changed me a lot! The Bible after all, which I continuously learn is God’s way of communicating to us in our vernacular. :]
I honestly had no idea how I was going to pull this off since I am just starting to really learn and practice design but I was doing it out of my love for Him so I believe that really played an important part in finishing this project. I had my God to back me up and give me so much inspiration especially during times I almost wanted to give up.
This beautiful excerpt from a book I read which really helped me understand what the Bible does for people:
“A common difficulty experienced by people, is the inability to pray. The dryness and aridity so normal in a spiritual life may have been aggravated by the many distractions of our daily routine. We may find, all of a sudden, that we hardly pray at all.
The idea was to take Richard Dawkins’ “The God Delusion” and create blackout poetry with it that glorifies God. Giving words back to the Creator. I think it was a fun project. Thanks for all of the support!
God’s will for a good world is something we should wish for.
But I cannot wish for it with hypothetical religion. Those who believe so, deserve themselves.
I say demonstrate the power of utmost faith.
God exists. here, in the face of objection, God is the definition of what is true.
Believe in God, don’t believe in religion. A rule book is merely a claim to live by different lights. We need God more.
We have God’s favour, in that there is a sense of goodness to follow.
Hold up the Bible Follow it for in it God shall surely be.
So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” And the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes.Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.” He said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.” Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” And the Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.
- Genesis 18:22-33
Absolutely. Insane. Passage.
Abraham speaks to God and actually takes the courage to make requests, of the God who created him and holds the whole universe in His hands. And God actually listens to his requests.
I wonder if sometimes we forget who we speak to when we pray. I think sometimes we take it for granted and forget to take off our spiritual shoes since we stand on holy ground when before Him.
Intercessory prayer is bold, it’s exhausting, and the Scriptures are full of examples of men and women, seeking after the lost and fearing God in reverence, interceding.
Here’s a few points to take away and remember about intercession:
Appeal to God’s nature, as He will be true to Himself. Notice that Abraham presents his requests to God not by asking God to please him, but by praising God for who He is. “Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” When you are in intercessory prayer, remember that it’s not about trying to convince God that He should answer your prayers because you are great or deserving, but that intercession is about appealing to His own nature and glory. It’s about reminding God of His steadfast love, of His mercy. When I pray in intercession, I praise God for His mercy and blessing extended to me, when I was so undeserving. As His people, we know that He is good. It’s not about manipulating or convincing God, it’s simply reminding ourselves and praising Him for who He is. I often pray this prayer for others, as I do for myself: “What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness?” (Psalm 30:9). Remember that we intercede for others for His glory, and that is the purpose, that He would be glorified through our prayers and though the answers He so generously gives.
Recognise who you are before God in humility. Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. Every moment you speak to the Mighty LORD is an incredible privilege. Intercession is not about demanding a list of requests. It’s about coming before the LORD, praising Him for the joy of prayer, that we can approach Him and make our desire for others to experience His blessing known to Him. Remind yourself of that, for there is no other way to speak to the Lord of Lords.
Be BOLD. Abraham makes bold request after bold request. Each made in humility, recognising that he is in no way more powerful than God. We see in this snapshot of their conversation that God does respond and listen to what Abraham is asking of Him. Recognise that while God is great, and mighty, He loves you, His child, greatly, and He will always be true to His character. Make your requests bold, and specific, and trust that God is listening.
Be patient. Be still, and be focused. …but Abraham still stood before the Lord. This is a really painful one. Intercessory prayer takes time. It’s exhausting. Other things are all too distracting. But know this. Intercessory prayer is about praying until you are certain that the request has been heard, that the answer has been given. And until then, you commit yourself to praying and praying and praying. You need to be focused. If you find yourself getting distracted, quietly bring your mind back, ask the Spirit to help you fix your eyes on Christ, and continue back in prayer. You cannot get on your knees in intercession when you are watching TV. Intercession in this case is not just a quick arrow prayer. It will take energy, but it will be worth it. He is glorified when we commit to prayer to honour Him with all our hearts.
It’s not easy, but I do feel that we are losing sight of how great a mission we’ve been given, and how much help we are granted through prayer. May we remember always the words of Christ:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” - John 14:12-14
“Have you ever in the first five seconds of temptation, demanded of your mind that it look steadfastly at the crucified form of Jesus Christ? Picture this. You have just seen a peek-a-boo blouse inviting further fantasy. You have five seconds. “No! Get out of my mind! God help me!” Now, immediately, demand of your mind - you can do this by the Spirit (Romans 8:13). Demand of your mind to fix its gaze on Christ on the cross. Use all your fantasizing power to see his lacerated back. Thirty-nine lashes left little flesh intact. He heaves with his breath up and down against the rough vertical beam of the cross. Each breath puts splinters into the lacerations. The Lord gasps. From time to time he screams out with intolerable pain. He tries to pull away from the wood and the massive spokes through his wrist rip into the nerve endings and he screams again with agony and pushes up with his feet to give some relief to his wrists. But the bones and nerves in his pierced feet crush against each other with anguish and he screams again. There is no relief. His throat is raw from screaming and thirst. He loses his breath and thinks he is suffocating, and suddenly his body involuntarily gasps for air and all the injuries unite in pain. In torment, he forgets about the crown of two-inch thorns and throws his head back in desperation, only to hit one of the thorns perpendicular against the cross beam and drive it half an inch into his skull. His voice reaches a soprano pitch of pain and sobs break over his pain-wracked body as every cry brings more and more pain. Now, I am not thinking about the blouse any more. I am at Calvary. These two images are not compatible.”—John Piper (via chaispice)
“Although the sight of water made her feel ten times thirstier than before, she didn’t rush forward and drink. She stood as still as if she had been turned into stone, with her mouth wide open. And she had a very good reason; just on this side of the stream lay the lion.
It lay with its head raised and its two fore-paws out in front of it, like the lions in Trafalgar Square. She knew at once that it had seen her, for it eyes looked straight into hers for a moment and then turned away– as if it knew her quite well and didn’t think much of her.
‘If I run away, it’ll be after me in a moment,’ thought Jill. ‘And if I go on, I shall run straight into its mouth.’ Anyway, she couldn’t have moved if she had tried, and she couldn’t take her eyes off it.
How long this lasted, she could not be sure; it seemed like hours. And the thirst became so bad that she almost felt she would not mind being eaten by the lion if only she could be sure of getting a mouthful of water first.
‘If you’re thirsty, you may drink.’
They were the first words she had heard since Scrubb had spoken to her on the edge of the cliff. For a second she stared here and there, wondering who had spoken.
Then the voice said again, ‘If you are thirsty, come and drink,’ and of course she remembered what Scrubb had said about animals talking in that other world, and realized that it was the lion speaking.
Anyway, she had seen its lips move this time, and the voice was not like a man’s. It was deeper, wilder, and stronger; a sort of heavy, golden voice. It did not make her any less frightened than she had been before, but it made her frightened in a rather different way.
‘Are you not thirsty?’ said the Lion.
‘I’m dying of thirst,’ said Jill
‘Then drink,’ said the Lion.
‘May I—could I—would you mind going away while I do?’ said Jill.
The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience. The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.
‘Will you promise not to—do anything to me, if I do come?’ said Jill.
‘I make no promise,’ said the Lion.
‘Do you eat girls?’ she said.
‘I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,’ said the Lion. It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.
‘I daren’t come and drink,’ said Jill.
‘Then you will die of thirst,’ said the Lion.
‘Oh dear!’ said Jill, coming another step nearer. ‘I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.’
“Even our church growth can happen without Him. Let’s be honest: If you combine a charismatic speaker, a talented worship band, and some hip, creative events, people will attend your church. Yet this does not mean that the Holy Spirit of God is actively working and moving in the lives of the people who are coming. It simply means that you have created a space that is appealing enough to draw people in for an hour or two on Sunday.”—Francis Chan, Forgotten God (via peacenotwar)