Sunday, May 3, 2015

On To What's Next

I can't express how thankful I am to have walked life with Hayley for so many years now, and to continue to get to live within an hour of each other for these past two years of college.

Today was our last day of living so close together for a while though, since Hayley will be moving up to Wisconsin in a couple of weeks. It's not too far, but it's farther than a Metra train can take me on a weekend.

It has been sweet, unexpected and extremely special getting to just take the train out to the suburbs and spend a weekend with Hayley every few months, and today was another one of those sweet days, filled with laughter, movies (always movies), walks in the neighborhood, and heart-to-heart catching up.

I'll miss living only an hour away or less, Hayley, but I'm also excited for what's ahead for you. And I'm super proud of you for following the Lord and trusting Him in every circumstance.

Obviously, this is not "goodbye", in that long-term sense. It's just a "see you soon"! This is in some ways one of those "moving on to the next chapter" moments, so it's bittersweet, but also right. I can't wait for whatever adventures still are ahead for Claire and Hayley - wherever those may be!

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Gospel: Illustrated

Our presentation for Human Development was a proposal for a week-long VBS program in Brazil for school-aged children (based off of Erikson's psychosocial development stages, that's about ages 6-puberty). According to the schedule we created, we would cover the whole Gospel in the 5 days that we would be with the kids. We decided to use a particlar curriculum to help us present the Gospel in a way that would be clear and linear for the children. 

Since our presentation needed creative elements, one of those elements was my role in the group:  illustrating and presenting the "10 Gospel truths".

Piaget’s theory of cognitive development says that children think concretely between the ages of 7 and 11. They are able to understand logical progression of objects. According to Piaget, it is important for children to actually touch and see tangible materials in order for them to learn (Seifert, Hoffnung and Hoffnung 273-309), which is why I chose to use images to help them understand the entire story of the Gospel.

The VBS program would be centered around the 10 Gospel Truths, which were written by Michael, Nelson, and Burk in their book, “Helping Children to Understand the Gospel”. The wording of the truths themselves comes from the book, but the descriptions and the illustrations are my own. You can click on the verses to find the full references.

I hope you find this helpful, or even just encouraging. This is the Good News. This is who we are and what we believe as Christians. This is the true story of God, of His character and of His mercy. This is a story of brokenness and sin that is transformed to joy and a restored relationship with the Lord because of repentance and faith.


#1. God is the Sovereign Creator of all things. 

God created the heavens and the earth, the water, the trees, the animals and he made all of us. God is sovereign and he alone created everything.

Psalm 24:1, Isaiah 44:24

Claire Patty

#2. God created people for His glory.

God created you to know, trust, and love Him above anything or anyone else. God created man and woman in his image. That means that we reflect him in certain ways. This is so that we can know him and have a relationship with him, and so that we can worship him.

Psalm 29:1-2, Isaiah 43:6-7

Claire Patty

#3. God is holy and righteous.

That means that he is perfect. No one is like him in his perfection. God gives us good commands and laws. If we were to be holy and righteous, we would be expected to follow these laws perfectly all the time.

Claire Patty

#4. People are sinful.

God created people for his glory, and we were made to reflect his character. But we have all sinned, and we can not follow all of God’s commands perfectly. We fall short of his glory and we are not righteous and perfect like He is.

Claire patty

 #5 God is just and is right to punish sin.

We deserve God's punishment of death and hell. We are helpless to save ourselves. Your iniquities have made a separation, between you and your God, as is written in Isaiah 59:2.

“For the wages of sin is death,” - Romans 6:23a

Claire Patty

#6 God is merciful. He is kind to undeserving sinners.

God offers us the free gift of salvation, not because of any good works that we have done. You must depend on his mercy to be saved.

“The Lord is gracious and merciful,  slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” - Psalm 145:8

Claire Patty

#7 Jesus is God’s holy and righteous Son.

Jesus, the light of the world, came into the world to save sinners - us!

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” - John 8:12

Claire Patty

#8 Jesus took the punishment for sinners.

Jesus died on the cross to take the punishment for our sins.

“But he was pierced for our transgressions;
   he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
   and with his wounds we are healed.” - Isaiah 53:5

Claire Patty

#9 God offers the free gift of salvation to those who repent and believe in Jesus.

This gift is only by his mercy and through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There is salvation and hope in no one else. It is by repenting and believing that we can accept this gift.

Acts 4:12, Ephesians 2:8-9

Claire Patty

#10 Those who trust in Jesus will live to please Him and will receive the promise of eternal life— enjoying God forever in heaven.

1 John 2:15 represents what it means to walk in obedience to God. When we repent and believe in Jesus Christ, we receive the Holy Spirit, who works in us to sanctify us. It is God himself who works in us to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose (as is written in Philippians 2:13).

God promises that those who believe in him will have life everlasting.

Claire Patty

It was sweet dwelling upon these truths as I illustrated them last week. It was harder than I expected to think of ways to capture the essence of this message in concrete images, but I loved it too. I hope that one day I am able to use these pictures to share the Gospel with kids, who think concretely, but I believe these kinds of literal depictions of the truths help us adults too, even though we can think abstractly.

It was good for me to be reminded of the tangible truths of the Gospel and how enormous of an effect and impact they have on my life and the lives of those who trust in His name. God is so powerful, faithful and merciful!

If you would like to use these pictures for your purposes or have any questions, feel free to e-mail me (my address can be found in the "About Me" section) or comment below. As always, I love hearing from you!


Michael, Sally, Jill Nelson, and Bud Burk. Helping Children to Understand the Gospel
           Minneapolis, MN: Children Desiring God and Bethlehem Baptist Church, 2009. Print.
Seifert, Kelvin, Robert J. Hoffnung, and Michele Hoffnung. Lifespan Development. 2nd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999. Print.