Creative Tuesdays – Under the Leaves

Creative Tuesdays – Under the Leaves

Under-the-Leaves

I hope you have patience to work through with me as I was given this prompt of “Under the Leaves”.

I will admit when I first read “Under the Leaves” as a prompt for Creative Tuesdays,  I thought of the bunnies that our little dog, Snowball, chases every time we go for a walk. I thought of the shade in the summer when we sit under our tree.

But then I thought of the leaves of a book.

 

So I thought I would talk about the pages of the Bible. It was to be “Under the leaves of the Bible”. I have joined an online Internet radio station and am a contributor once a week. The station is called HopeStreamRadio.com. I hope you check it out. My friends, Ron Hughes, Stephanie Nickel and Kimberley Payne are all involved. My talk is called Growing Through God’s Word. My program runs on Tuesdays. Each week I talk about how God teaches me through His Word.

I didn’t always feel that way. The Bible was just a book on my shelf, seldom opened and needed dusting. I might open it to check out a crossword puzzle solution or answer a question if it came up in discussion. One time when I was very sick I read the Psalms. That worked very well. But studying the Bible – No.

What have I found under those leaves?

 

Here are just some of the things I have found:

  • wisdom
  • insight
  • passion
  • people
  • peace
  • release from fear
  • guidance,
  • history
  • life changes
  • conviction
  • truth
  • eternal life through Jesus

Under those leaves lives a pattern for life with God’s Holy Words ever true. It reminds me of the song Ancient Words.

Here is the YouTube video of Robin Mark singing this song.

YouTube Preview Image

Ancient words
Ever true
Changing me
Changing you.

 

Here is another video for my Canadian family sung by Michael W. Smith.

YouTube Preview Image

When I hold the Bible I hold God’s history and God’s people in my hands – a sacred, mighty, powerful book.

Have you looked under the leaves of the Bible?

As I said, I started to look at the leaves of the Bible – then I wondered if there were God’s words about “leaves” in the Bible. There were!!

Revelation 22:2 says:

and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

I found a most interesting post written in 1855 by Milo Mahan, entitled The Leaves of the Tree are for the Healing of the Nations. It is not an easy read and I want to go back and really read more deeply into his message.

Here is what I found interesting:

 Each generation has its own work … to do, its own trials to meet, its own resources to develope [sic], its own account to give to the Judge and Maker of us all. ….

The Tree of Life was designed to be a shelter against all evils. Its leaves are specifics for national disease.

If you check back to a post a wrote on deceivers it looks as though this writing was a prophetic message – each generation has a work to do. So my prayer is that we pray for God to show us how to do it.

So that is my round-about mental process of figuring out “Under the Leaves”.

Thank you so much for Michael at Creative Tuesdays for giving us this creative exercise. I am not that happy with the watercolour I did – but I didn’t copy anything – just drew as I felt led.

The exercise has been meaningful to me – knowing that the Tree of Life is covering me through trials, despair, joy and inspiration. All those leaves from ancient days until now, are they the saints before us and around us?

Blessings,
Janis

Tweetable:

I join Creative Tuesdays, “Under the Leaves” @dotti_hill.  (click to tweet)

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Sunday Stillness – How do we become sound in the faith?

Sunday Stillness – How do we become sound in the faith?

How-do-we-become-sound-in-the-faith

From free digital photos.net

 

I am continuing to study Titus using the SIMPLE Method of Bible Study and Ed Hird’s book Restoring Health. Today I am working through Titus 1:13,14.

REstoring Health ed hird cover

 

IF YOU WANT A PDF OF THE SIMPLE BIBLE STUDY –
PLEASE CLICK ON SIMPLE BIBLE STUDY BY JANIS COX.

Of course, I start with a prayer for God to open the Scripture to me.

S – Say the passage aloud.

This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the merely human commands of those who reject the truth (1 Titus:13, 14).

I - Identify the characters, the setting, and the circumstances surrounding this passage.

Testimony: This is referring to verse 12: all Cretans are evil brutes, liars and lazy gluttons.

Rebuke: tell them “no”. Be wiling to stand up for the faith.

M- Make a list of the thoughts, questions and ideas.

So how does this apply now? What and who are the ones who are making money dishonestly using “Christianity” as their catalyst? Are there some Christian speakers? writers? singers? Who is real before God? Who are followers of Christ and not themselves? How can I tell who is real?

The Message says:

For there are a lot of rebels out there … Those who were brought up religious and ought to know better are the worst. … He (the prophet) certainly spoke the truth. Get on them right away (Titus 1:10-16, MSG).

[Titus] started a truth revolution, a Jesus revolution. Through speaking the truth to a pirate culture not that dissimilar from our North American culture (Ed Hird, Restoring Heatlh, Page 55).

So what is truth?

I heard this:

When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense (Interpreting Scripture).

We in North America are seeking other “truths” in man-made knowledge. What in our modern day compares to this? Movies, gossip, self-help books, astrology charts, fortune tellers, Eastern religions and their activities?

P – Pray again for God’s guidance.

God kept saying to me: “See the myths vs the truth”.

L- Life – How can I apply what I have been studying to my life?

If we believe in the Bible we can check all things by reading what God says. We are to be graphed to the vine (John 15). And if we are graphed, the Holy Spirit will flow through us to teach and admonish us through His Word. ‘What would Jesus do?’ question makes sense if we are a part of Him.

I see many things that are NOT a part of God. Do you?

Can we separate ourselves from those things but still live in the world and love all people?

Truth is the way of health and life … Violence is the way of death. Jesus is the way of life. (Ed Hird, Restoring Health, page 55).

We need to OPEN our eyes to see how we may be pulled away into the world. Here are a few examples:

  1. Do you listen to gossip? Do you add to the conversation? Do you start your own gossip tale?
  2. Have you read or seen or played violence for the sake of entertainment?
  3. Are you forwarding emails without checking the accuracy of the truth to the statement?
  4. Are you forgetting to pray for God’s will in the lives and decisions of the leaders of our countries? Or are you just complaining and spreading hatred?

As for the rebuking those who don’t follow the truth – I will continue to write what I learn from God’s Word. Even one person is worth fighting for. Jesus wanted to find the lost sheep. If we focus on speaking the truth someone will hear. This is how I found Jesus – someone found me and led me to Him.

E – Exit the passage with a prayer for God to help you.

Thanks Lord, for the excitement I feel about speaking the truth. I will continue to focus on Your Word and what You tell me to say. I will rest in Your truth in order to restore my mind, body and spirit. And it is not easy separating ourselves from worldly pursuits. Help us to see whether our activities and actions are of You. Help us to pull away from anything that would not be of Your will for us. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

TWEETABLE:

 I see many things that are NOT a part of God. Do you? (click tweet) 

[Titus] started a truth revolution, a Jesus revolution. (click to tweet)

TODAY IS SUNDAY STILLNESS.

Please link your post about what God has been teaching you. And please remember to visit your neighbour, leave comments and get to know more people in this group. We are a growing community of believers.

Thanks,

Janis 

JanisCox-photo2web

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. Available in Kindle Format, in bookstores, online and from her website. Curriculum available upon request.

Tadeo-Turtle-Cover-large-web

You can find her on Facebook, and Twitter. Tadeo has his own Facebook Page.

 

 

 

I sometimes link to:

STILL SATURDAYS @SANDRAHESKAKING

PLAYDATES @LAURABOGGESS

THE WEEKEND BREW @BARBIESWIHART

TITUS TUESDAYS @CORNERSTONE CONFESSIONS

THE SUNDAY COMMUNITY – #GIVE ME GRACE @SEE SPEAK HEAR MAMA

SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS – @SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS 

 

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Sunday Stillness – How our society embraces mindless violence

Sunday Stillness – How our society embraces mindless violence

How-our-society-embraces-Mindless-violence

photo from Free Digital Photos.net

 

I am continuing to study Titus using the SIMPLE Method of Bible Study and Ed Hird’s book Restoring Health. Today I am working through Titus 1:12.

REstoring Health ed hird cover

I love a quote from Martin Luther:

Titus contains, “all that is necessary for a Christian to know and live by”.

 

IF YOU WANT A PDF OF THE SIMPLE BIBLE STUDY –
PLEASE CLICK ON SIMPLE BIBLE STUDY BY JANIS COX.

 

Of course, I start with a prayer for God to open the Scripture to me.

S – Say the passage aloud.

One of Crete’s own prophets has said it, “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons (Titus 1:12, NIVUK).

I - Identify the characters, the setting, and the circumstances surrounding this passage.

I think the statement says it all. Titus and Paul had their hands full. In Greek literature to “Cretanise” meant to lie. I learned from Ed’s book that the scriptural quote is from 6th Century B.C. prophet Epimenides. Things were bad in Crete and Paul tells us that. Paul also knew that God could do anything.

M- Make a list of the thoughts, questions and ideas.

My thoughts went right away to labelling people. When people make that label – then others see them that way. The fat lady, the skinny lady, the black woman, the Native person, the poor, – or more disparaging terms which I won’t print.

But I am reminded that God sees the heart. Jeremiah 17:10. But God also judges our actions. So Titus must have seen beneath the crustiness of the Cretan pirates and saw they had good hearts. Change is possible if we can see into people’s souls. He was able to bring their actions into godly production.

P – Pray again for God’s guidance.

L- Life – How can I apply what I have been studying to my life?

I see people labelling other people. I see and hear racist talk. I see and hear political talk – put downs of leaders, instead of prayers for them. And I usually am bold enough to speak out.

Some people have a history (like the pirates) and people label all people based on their own association with them. They can’t see any good which might be hidden but is there. Pray when you find yourself judging.

People assume the worst – and therefore it becomes a self-fullfilling prophecy.

God created each of us in His own image.

 

We have to be open to really seeing people as Christ would see them. Paul was passionate about life transformation in a culture that glorifies violence. And I am not talking only about  Crete.

Check out our society:

violent video games, violent TV, martial arts, fighting in sports, (watching hockey, are we watching a game or a fight?), blood spurting movies, degrading shows, lack of respect for both sexes.

Before coming to Christ I used to watch some “not godly” movies and read books that God would not be happy about. I read today about how God hears the prayers of those who are closest to Him. Is there a chance that what you are watching or listening to is coming between you and God? Think seriously about this. Be aware. Talk to God about it.

That reminds me of the new movie Fifty Shades of Grey. – an abhorrent life style which no one should have to see. Read a fabulous eye-opening article on this topic by Randy Alcorn. Once again God’s timing in this – my studying Titus and this movie coming out. I don’t even like mentioning it as it fuels more press.

But really – all you prayer warriors –
pray that God will protect people from seeing this movie.

North America is in desperate need of breaking its addiction to mindless violence (Restoring Health, Ed Hird, page 53).

Can we take a step to see each person as a child of God, come along side him, and lead him to embrace a life with Jesus?

E – Exit the passage with a prayer for God to help you.

Father, we live in times where all is not the goodness You seek for us. I am sorry that Your heart must be bleeding for Your people to come to their senses. We live where violence is glorified. Help us to ignore all violence – on TV, videos or movies. Help us keep our children in purity. Help us to seek truth and refreshment in You. Help us to see Jesus in every person we meet, to reach out and embrace every creature as a creature of God. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

TWEETABLE:

Martin Luther said that Titus contains, “all that is necessary for a Christian to know and live by. (click tweet) 

North America is in desperate need of breaking its addiction to mindless violence. (click to tweet)

Today is Sunday Stillness.

Please link your post about what God has been teaching you. And please remember to visit your neighbour, leave comments and get to know more people in this group. We are a growing community of believers.

Thanks,

Janis 

JanisCox-photo2web

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. Available in Kindle Format, in bookstores, online and from her website. Curriculum available upon request.

Tadeo-Turtle-Cover-large-web

You can find her on Facebook, and Twitter. Tadeo has his own Facebook Page.

 

 

 

I sometimes link to:

RECOMMENDATION SATURDAY @ RENEWEDDAILY.COM
STILL SATURDAYS @SANDRAHESKAKING

PLAYDATES @LAURABOGGESS

THE WEEKEND BREW @BARBIESWIHART

TITUS TUESDAYS @CORNERSTONE CONFESSIONS

THE SUNDAY COMMUNITY – #GIVE ME GRACE @SEE SPEAK HEAR MAMA

SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS – @SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS 

 

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Creative Tuesdays – Bible Pillows for Rest

Creative Tuesdays – Bible Pillows for Rest

7 Scriptures to help you find rest

Bible-Pillows-for-Rest

The prompt this week for Creative Tuesdays is PILLOWS.

This watercolour was done as a quick watercolour on only 90 pound paper. We had been learning the colour wheel in my art class – so I used what I had learned about mixing colours. Three colours were used: opera, quinacridone gold, and cobalt blue.

Again, I thought about this prompt all week. I prayed about it.

Pillows to me mean rest.

When I head to bed I love to tuck that pillow under my head and snuggle down to sleep. So my thoughts went to resting.

The best way I know how to rest is with God.

Here are the 7 Scriptures that I like for rest. Starting from the top:

God rested:

on the seventh day God rested from all His work (Genesis 2:2, NIVUK).

 Rest on the Sabbath:

The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27, NIVUK).

Go away and find rest:

So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place (Mark 6:32, NIVUK).

Be still and rest:

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him (Psalm 37:7, NIVUK).

Peace is rest:

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and  your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7, NIVUK).

Salvation is rest:

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him (Psalm 62:1, NIVUK).

Jesus is rest:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28, NIVUK).

If you are not getting enough rest – try a quiet time with God. You will feel rejuvenated, energized and at peace.

Tweetable:

What does the word pillow bring to your mind? I think of peace. Find 7 Scriptures for rest. (click to tweet)

Thanks to Michael for providing Creative Tuesdays link for “pillows” where we link together our art projects.

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Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. Available in Kindle Format, in bookstores, online and from her website. Curriculum available upon request.

Tadeo-Turtle-Cover-large-web

You can find her on Facebook, and Twitter. Tadeo has his own Facebook Page.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday Stillness – Are deceivers blinding You to God’s purpose for your life?

Sunday Stillness – Are deceivers blinding You to God’s purpose for your life?

Are-deceivers-blinding-Satan-http-__www.freedigitalphotos.net_images_Valentines_Day_g135-Red_Devil_p43362.html

Photo from Free Digital Photos.net

 

I am continuing to study Titus using the SIMPLE Method of Bible Study and Ed Hird’s book Restoring Health. Today I am working through Titus 1:11.

If you want a PDF of the SIMPLE Bible Study –
please click on SIMPLE Bible Study by Janis Cox.

 

REstoring Health ed hird cover

Of course, I start with a prayer for God to open the Scripture to me.

S – Say the passage aloud.

They must be silenced because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach – and that for the sake of dishonest gain (Titus 1:11, NIVUK).

I - Identify the characters, the setting, and the circumstances surrounding this passage.

Since we have been following Titus verse by verse, if you are new here, you will need to go back to the beginning to better understand the characters, setting and circumstances.

Continuing from the last verse from last week:

They = mere talkers and deceivers

These deceivers are teaching things they ought not to teach.

M- Make a list of the thoughts, questions and ideas.

So how do we silence them? Everyone is involved – whole households. I wonder who the “they” were in Paul’s day. Were they people who knew God but started their own ideas? Or were they people who wanted to have people follow them – for the sake of dishonest gain. So they pretended to be “like” the apostles but without the sound doctrine of Jesus.

Were they Jewish rabbis who were following so closely to the rules they forgot to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with their God? (Micah 6:8) Remember Jesus got very angry when they turned the temple into a marketplace – Church is supposed to be a House of God.

I look at all that can deceive us. There is plenty. We have so much vying for our attention – TV, videos, movies, social media, sellers, Facebook ads, – all taking us on rabbit trails (some good some bad).

This all reminded me of Satan’s Letter.

What takes us away from the TRUTH – that we follow Jesus? Are we holding firmly to the trustworthy message as we have learned it from Jesus? (Titus 1:9)

P – Pray again for God’s guidance.

Make sure when you do this study that you take time for this step. Otherwise we are thinking our own thoughts and can be led astray.

L- Life – How can I apply what I have been studying to my life?

Deceivers come looking like goodness but they are covered up and we can’t see the truth behind them. Remember Satan is the devil in disguise. I chose the icon because Satan can  come looking like a Valentine.

the two greatest dangers to … the Kingdom of God, come from two directions, money and power… Money and power crucified Christ (E. Stanley Jones).

This reminded me again of the course by Dave Ramsey, Financial Peace. We need to get a handle on money so it doesn’t get a handle on us.

I wanted to look at all the areas of my life – all of them. Where could I be deceived?

Here is what I discovered.

POWER -

That is self. I struggle with self sometimes, many times. I have to keep asking myself, am I going this for God or me?

SOCIAL MEDIA

I must watch how much time I spend on this. Which one should I focus on?

PROCRASTINATION

Of course I do what I like to do first, or what is most pressing. But maybe I need to stop and ask God where I need to focus my attention for that time?

ACTIVITIES/STUFF

God is really speaking to me about this. Is there something else I need to lay down?

About 10 years ago I heard my LIFE VERSE, “feed my lambs”. I have been trying to do this but I do go on rabbit trails. That is why this year my goal is to be Intentional to Restore my focus on God.

So in December I decided to stop writing for Inscribe, stop Under the Cover of Prayer, stop Family and Faith Matters.

I picked up being a contributor to Hope Stream Radio each Tuesday. I hope you listen to this wonderful online radio station.

And I keep hearing, do Sunday Stillness.

Of course then there are projects I need to still work on this. Which ones?

E – Exit the passage with a prayer for God to help you.

Lord, all of the things I am involved in are good things but they may not be where you want me to spend my time. Help me to wrestle through this. I am asking for clarification of the truth – the real road. Please point me in the right direction. Help me to learn the best way to “feed your lambs”. Help me clearly see and hear the deceivers. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Tweetable:

Are deceivers blinding you to God’s purpose for your life? (click tweet) 

2015 – my year for being intentional to focus on God’s plan (click to tweet)

Today is Sunday Stillness.

Please link your post about what God has been teaching you. And please remember to visit your neighbour, leave comments and get to know more people in this group. We are a growing community of believers.

Thanks,

Janis 

JanisCox-photo2web

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. Available in Kindle Format, in bookstores, online and from her website. Curriculum available upon request.

Tadeo-Turtle-Cover-large-web

You can find her on Facebook, and Twitter. Tadeo has his own Facebook Page.

 

 

 

I sometimes link to:

RECOMMENDATION SATURDAY @ RENEWEDDAILY.COM
STILL SATURDAYS @SANDRAHESKAKING

PLAYDATES @LAURABOGGESS

THE WEEKEND BREW @BARBIESWIHART

TITUS TUESDAYS @CORNERSTONE CONFESSIONS

THE SUNDAY COMMUNITY – #GIVE ME GRACE @SEE SPEAK HEAR MAMA

Spiritual Sundays – @Spiritual Sundays 

Welcome to the Linky Directory. Please follow the instructions after you click ENTER.

 



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