Thoughtful Tuesdays – How we can make joy bubble over

Thoughtful Tuesdays – How we can make joy bubble over

bubbles-joy-web

My thoughts during the bout of flu were “how can I make this joyful”? During that time I tried to pray but really felt so bad I couldn’t do it. But I did read my Scriptures, and some blog posts. I did sing praise songs while soaking in the tub. I found I could accept what was happening if I just rested in God and thanked Him for little things.

It reminded me of the years that I would count the gifts. Ann Voskamp has a wonderful site where she encourages us to count the gifts, daily. I did that and now have many posts to show those weeks. Check out Counting Gifts.

And Margaret Feinberg has written a book and Bible study to show us how to Fight Back with Joy.

So my little picture came to me as I thought of joy. Joy that bubbles over. If we can have that joy – then others will see it. And they will be led to wanting to know more about Jesus.

I am creating something new in you: a bubbling spring of Joy that spills over into other’s lives. Do not mistake this Joy for you own or try to take credit for it in any way. Instead, watch in delight as My Spirit flows through you to bless others (Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, June 13).

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness (Galatians 5:22, NIV, my emphasis).

 

I learned a song while in Poland. The English words are:

Jesus’ love is bubbling over.
Jesus’ love is bubbling over.
Jesus’ love is bubbling over.
Hallelujah!

Have a great week.

Blessings,

Janis

Tweetable:

Be thankful so the JOY of Christ can bubble over in you. (click to tweet)

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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.

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

 

 

 

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Sunday Stillness – What is a strong faith-filled leader?

Sunday Stillness – What is a strong faith-filled leader?

What-is-a-strong-faith-filled-leader-

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 1:8. 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.

Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined (Titus 1:8, NIV).

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

It is interesting to note that the King James Version says: a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy and temperate.

a lover of good men? compared to loves what is good. I am still working on figuring this out. Any ideas?

sober: one meaning is being self-controlled

temperate: one meaning is moderate or self-restrained.

Paul continues to talk about elders – those who will lead the new Christians in Crete. He has stated the word “blameless” twice. This time he expands on the qualities of a leader.

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

The choice of words in the KJV, sober and temperate, seem alluding to alcohol consumption. Knowing the pirates – obviously they did have a problem in drinking to excess.

The point being that a leader of the church should be open to scrutiny.

I think of churches nowadays. I hear of leaders being in disgrace – not following these guidelines. Why does this happen so often? Are they so hard at work that they forget to stay focused on Jesus?

P – Pray again for God’s guidance.

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

Lots of thoughts and words in this passage.

I hear God saying that strong leadership is important to build the church. As many are coming to Christ in other parts of the world, we have to encourage them to follow Paul’s words to Titus.

Building leadership! A focus that is needed in all our churches. The push in North America is to build big churches – but that’s not giving time, sometimes, to build good leaders. Maybe we need smaller churches but with more faith-filled congregants? Each new member needs a mentor, and needs to build a strong foundation of faith. This takes time. Are we taking the time to do this?

Pastors – Are they feeling isolated and where do they get fed? Who reminds them to stop, drop and pray? Who reminds them that their focus must be on Jesus first?

What about the word hospitable? I think that means to be open to whomever God brings to our door. It means to be charitable when God shows us how.

Goodness? When we seek good people, we build relationships. We share. We care. A community is built. When we do good, it reminds us of Who God is. God is goodness. Can we be like that?

Goodness almost needs a press agent to convince people of its value (Ed Hird, page 43, Restoring Health).

Self-Controlled Not letting circumstances or emotions control us, seeking God instead. That is something I have learned over the past 15 years. To control myself. Not to fly off the handle. To think when I am hurt. To wrestle with God over situations. To take time in prayer.

I love this quote which although attributed to John Wesley seems to have some controversy about that fact. But I still like the quote.

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.

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

Lord, it seems once again that focussing on You keeps us healthy. You tell us to look after our bodies, minds and spirits. Help each of us to follow Your direction. Show us how to care best for our bodies – exercise, nutrition; our minds – reading, talking and thinking; our spirits – prayer, fasting, study and focusing on You. Thanks for Your Word that stretches and prepares us for good works in this world. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Tweetable:

Janis Cox

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

 

 

 

 

 

Today is Sunday Stillness.

Please link your posts. And please visit others as well. Let’s keep this community vibrant and encouraging.

 



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Five Minute Fridays – SHARE

Five Minute Fridays – SHARE

I am joining Kate Motaung at Five Minute Fridays.five-minute-friday-4-300x300

I have not written a Five Minute Fridays post for a long time. But this morning the word – SHARE – just caught my attention.

Yesterday at Bible study we talked a lot about sharing, openness and being REAL. We are studying Maxi Dunnam’s The Workbook of Living Prayer.

I remember the first time I was asked to join a Bible study – the year – 2000. I said to my friend that she had to promise me three things:

  1. I would not have to share
  2. I would not have to pray out loud
  3. I would not have to hold hands

My friend kept her word – but, you know God had a plan. Through that group I found REAL friends whom I could share my thoughts, my dreams, and my questions. I found out that real friends will allow me to be me. I didn’t have to pretend to be someone else.

Now I share, I pray out loud, I hold hands and I even lead Bible studies. Thank You, Lord.

If you haven’t joined a Bible study, pray about it. God will lead you to the right one, with friends who will be friends for eternity.

I did write about being real in a Five Minute Fridays – in 2012. You can check it out at REAL – Five Minute Fridays. There is much to this story – and I can’t write about it in 5 minutes.

Here is my acronym for REAL.

Release Everything (to God) And Live.

Here is a fridge magnet I made. If you would like the higher definition .jpg so you can print it, please email me at Janis.

REAL-Magnet-web

Tweetable:

In order to share we need to be REAL before God and others (click to tweet).

Join us on Fridays – take 5 minutes to share your thoughts – no editing, just write.

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Thoughtful Tuesdays – Creative Tuesdays – My Word for 2015

Thoughtful Tuesdays – Creative Tuesdays – My Word for 2015

One of my goals this year was to be intentional – so one way was to join Creative Tuesdays. Every couple of weeks we are given an art challenge.

These were the instructions for this time:

You may have heard of the one little word movement but if you’re still stuck, not to worry! Here’s just one woman’s example.

 

However you choose to focus on your word, the idea is that it’s one that thrills you to action and contemplation.

 

It’s more about using intention for the year which is far more inspiring than making a new year’s resolution that invariably fails with its rather rather energy-sapping tasks.

(Creative Tuesdays).

 

For the last part of 2014 I struggled finding my WORD for this year. I settled on Intentional (which took 2 more posts, an addendum and God Changed my mind). After 16 days of rest, due to a bad bout of flu, I can say that I have been listening to Him.

Here is my artwork that describes my WORD for 2015.

 Word-for-2015webI think my Word for 2015 is RESTORE.

Restore – to grow in each area of my life and produce a crop for Jesus.

I have been reading Titus and also Ed Hird’s book, Restoring Health, Body, Mind and Spirit. Then the Scripture I read next made so much sense.

My life verse is John 21:15, “Feed my lambs”.

So looking at Mark 4:20, I read:

Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop – some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown (Mark 4:20, NIV).

The landscape in the background Is my life here on earth – the places I have been, the places I will go to.

The butterfly is to remind me of my freedom in Christ. I was in a cocoon and now I am free – no longer caught in sin but saved by grace.

It is good to look back over 2014, to reflect on accomplishments and to see where God led me.

And I think that it is good to look ahead, but not so focused that I plow before seeding and planting and check the soil conditions too.

Food has been on my mind. I wrote at Family and Faith Matters how we have changed our diet to eat all healthy, natural foods. I want to nourish my body. I hope to write about this again as we closed Family and Faith Matters.

I even went further to look at each area and what I might want to focus on:

MIND – get rid of excess clutter, focus on one thing at a time

BODY – eat good healthy food, lots of fruit, vegetables, grain fed meats, chicken, fish, no GMO if I can help it, no sugars, no grains. I also need daily exercise and fresh air.

SPIRIT – to spend more time in prayer and studying the Bible.

Prayer: Lord, help me to focus on these areas in my life. Be in each area as I make changes and learn more. Help me in my prayer life – teach me to pray. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Thanks to Michael for his Creative Tuesdays linkup.

I will be pinning my artwork on my wall to remind me of my WORD – RESTORE.

What’s your WORD for 2015. I would love to hear from you.

Tweetable:

What’s your WORD for 2015? Mine is Restore. See how God let me that word. (Click to Tweet)

I joined Creative Tuesdays. What is my Word for 2015? @dottyhill (click to Tweet)

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Sunday Stillness – How Can God’s Word Change You?

 Sunday Stillness – How Can God’s Word Change You?

Photo from Free Digital Photos.net

Photo from Free Digital Photos.net

Thank you for all your prayers and emails during this flu. I am happy to say that I am on the mend.

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 1:7b. 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.

- not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain (Titus 1:7b, NIV).

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

When I think of the pirates Paul is talking about – yes they were violent and robbed others. How hard must that have been for Titus to speak against. Their whole way of life needed to change.

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

What’s the opposite of violent? – peace loving, and grace giving.

What’s the opposite of  pursuing dishonest gain? – living honestly, working for your money, telling the truth.

I began thinking of this world – nowadays. What do we hear and see on TV, movies, books, video games? Violence, murders. What would Paul say to our world? STOP it. If we want to follow Christ, we have to stop this way of thinking and viewing. What we see is then enacted out in real life. I think of this next generation growing up with violent video games – how is that affecting their minds?

And dishonest gain? We see that in all walks of our lives. People cheating on taxes, people trying to get a “fast buck”, people scamming others. Lotteries – aren’t they just trying to get money that wasn’t earned? Look at big companies – CEOs charged with fraud. The crash of 2008 – greed of the banks and lending companies blinded them to what could happen.

What is happening?

Ed writes a wonderful chapter on this verse.

Our glorification of violence makes us our own worst enemy. Our pride naturally leads to anger and aggression.. Loneliness creates anger (Restoring Health – Mind, Body and Spirit, Ed Hird, page 40).

P – Pray again for God’s guidance.

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

It’s always funny (to me at least) what God brings to my mind. It is not always what I think about reading the passage, or writing my questions, or even reading Ed’s thoughts – sometimes it is out of the blue.

1. – Not Violent

I used to read violent books. I wondered why I didn’t sleep well. I used to watch the news before bed. I wondered why I didn’t sleep well. I believe it is good to keep up with what is happening in the world and for that reason I read the news on my IPAD in the morning – never before bed.

I now read good books, with love, redemption, excitement, troubles that are overcome, journeys and struggles.

2 – Not Given to Dishonest Gain.

I don’t think I ever purposefully lied or took money illegally. However, my giving heart had to melt before I could open the door to being generous. One sermon many years ago cracked open the door to giving in my heart. The question was asked: How much do you pay to heat your house? Shouldn’t you pay that amount or more to heat your heart?

Hubby and I now look for God’s leading of where to give. Try it and as Ed says:

Our giving must be out of thanksgiving and love for what Jesus did on the cross (Restoring Health, page 42).

Generosity is a healthy mark of a Spirit-filled ex-pirate (Ibid. page 43).

This also brought to mind taking Dave Ramsey’s course, called Financial Peace, and how this changed our thinking too.

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

Lord, thank you for showing me the ideal way to live – Your way. Help me as I struggle with keeping peaceful at all times. As I go out into the world help me to pray when I see violence and dishonest gain. Help me to have a generous gentle heart. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Tweetable:

Janis Cox

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.

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

 

Tadeo-Turtle-Cover-large-web

 

 

 

Today is Sunday Stillness.

Please link your posts. And please visit others as well. Let’s keep this community vibrant and encouraging.



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