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Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs

I created these twelve quilts for the sanctuary of Trinity Lutheran Church of Minnehaha Falls in Minnesota.  They are eight feet long and three and a half feet wide.  They were made from outdoor fabric to reduce risk of fading from the sunlight coming from the many outside windows of the building. 

Psalm 1 - Planted by the water

Psalm 1:1-3

"Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,

but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law  day and night.

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither — whatever they do prospers."

Trinity values the word of God and transformed lives.

The “tree” in this Psalm is an acacia tree as found throughout the savannahs of Africa.  One may be on a long, hot safari and suddenly there will be a green thriving acacia tree standing alone on the vast savannah.  Why?  Because its roots go down deep to where the water is still flowing.  Such is the person who meditates and learns the word of God; they will thrive in the most difficult of circumstances.

Psalm 23 - Good Shepherd

Psalm 23 :1-4

"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.

He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil,for you are with me; your rod and your staff,they comfort me."

Trinity emphasizes a personal relationship with the good shepherd.

I have never met an American shepherd, but I have met many African shepherds, thus this shepherd is African.  Psalm 23 is the description of what our good shepherd is like. You will note the shepherd’s kind face, that he carries a cross, his well-cared-for sheep and the many in the distance who are making their way to him.

Psalm 78 - Teach our children

Psalm 78:5-7   

"He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children,

so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.

Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands."

Children are priority at Trinity – this involves two parts; teaching and modeling.

You will see that the mother is reading to her daughter about Moses parting the Red Sea. The figures of the Israelites are leaving the pages of the Bible and entering this scene from the exodus, as though they are a thought bubble above the pair’s heads. Throughout this psalm the theme is clear – God is faithful even when we are not; He is faithful even in our difficult circumstances. We must teach our children how the Lord has been faithful in the past, how He is faithful now and will be in the future.

Psalm 127 - Precious Arrows

Psalm 127:3-5

“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.

Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.

Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.”

Our children are a gift, prized and treasured.  Through them we reach the world – our target.  Look at the son’s pocket – he has a slingshot and beginning to get what his dad is teaching him.  As a church, we “parent” all the children in our midst.

Trinity is a Lutheran church – we observe the liturgical calendar.  I made two quilts that celebrate the two holiest seasons, that we may be ever mindful throughout the year.

Easter - My Redeemer Lives

Job 19:25

“I know that my redeemer lives, 
and that in the end he will stand on the earth.”

I can nearly hear Mary’s joy when she saw Christ alive.  Surely she could have sung this song from Job.

Christmas - Come All Ye Faithful

Hymn - Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful

“Oh come all ye faithful
Joyful and Triumphant
Come ye O come ye to Bethlehem
Come and behold him, born the king of angels.
O come let us adore HIM!”

Standing in the historic town of Bethlehem left me in near tears as this was the place where my Savior was born. The next Christmas I set to capture that feeling again. In this quilt, I am inviting Trinity to “travel” and climb through Bethlehem to worship Christ.

This is the meaning of Christmas.

Psalm 8 - The work of Your hands

Psalm 8:3-5 

“When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,

what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?

You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.”

The first time I saw the Northern Lights was at Camp Patmos.  I stood in awe and wonder at what God was doing before my eyes.  I felt small and God was big.  This psalm also reminds us that this big God considers us very important.

Psalm 119 - A Light to my path

Psalm 119:105  

“Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path.”

In Africa, a flashlight is essential when walking at night.  It warns us of uneven terrain and dangers, such as snakes and lions.  God’s word is like a light through life, it warns us of things that may harm us and gives us wisdom that others lack.

Isaiah 55 - Clapping trees

Isaiah 55:12  

“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; 
the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, 
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”

This verse describes the Israelites returning to Jerusalem after seventy years of exile – pure joy!  When I read it, I see a Minnesotan autumn day, the trees with their bright colors singing for joy.  If you look closely you will see the trees actually clapping their hands.  May we leave Trinity bringing joy to our world.

Psalm 96 - Declare His glory

 Psalm 96:3

“Declare his glory among the nations, 
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.”

Trinity is a missionary sending congregation. I chose a country from each of the five continents where Trinity has sent missionaries: Mexico, Bolivia, Poland Nepal and Kenya/Tanzania.  There is a face from each nation along with its flag.  A ribbon connects the flags and changes as it moves down the banner.

Revelation 22 - The Spirit and the Bride

Revelation 22:17 

“The Spirit and the bride say,‘Come!’ 
And let him who hears say,‘Come!’ 
Whoever is thirsty, let him come; 
and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.”

In the New Testament, the church is frequently pictured as a bride. Like a bride calls for her groom to come, so the church with the Holy Spirit beg Christ to return to take her to His home.

Philippians 2 - At the name of Jesus

Philippians 2:10-11 

“At the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,to the glory of God the Father.”

This quilt is the culmination of all the others.  When I read this scripture, this is what I see in my mind: Satan, the angels and people from every time period, every age, every culture bowing down in worship of the Lamb of God, the Light, the King of Kings, the Savior.

Church Setting