Author Archives: JanisCox

Why Do I Need to Study in Community?

A Look at Group Study with others

The prompt for Five Minute Friday is NEED. Time is 5 minutes to write my thoughts. Here goes.

Okay so I did it again. I thought this sounded familiar. But here is another post about NEED. I guess I am ahead of myself this week. Tomorrow is Friday. 🙂 Feels like it as the US has a holiday today. Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends.

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Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

This week there has been much study and thought from a book and Facebook Book Group about the psalms. We are using Psalms Alive by David Kitz. I realized how much need we have to study His Word.

I knew it before but having a group of people study these psalms with me, I realized how much we need to be in fellowship and community together.

Studying by myself is great – I really learn a lot.

But I learn more and deeper in community. I need this.

By looking and listening to the thoughts of others, and by seeing their pictures, collages, and music, my mind and spirit expand.

Reading David’s book, which is fabulous in itself, helps, but add to it reading the scripture passage – that adds the truth of God’s Word – into my heart and soul. Both together have been inspiring and uplifting.

These are the scriptures we have studied so far: Psalm 19, Psalm 23, Psalm 32, Psalm 46, Psalm 67, and Psalm 84.

Here are a few samples of the wonderful interpretations we have been seeing:

 

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By Lila Diller, interpretation of Psalm 84:5-9

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By Violet Nesdoly, Psalm 84

The words from David’s book that inspired above picture:

these birds are not just visiting; they are not passing through. They have made God’s house their home. This is their nesting place. Here they will raise their family.

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by Connie Inglis “The God of the universe is calling the peoples of the world to a festival of praise.” This chapter reminded me of the people group that we are translating the Bible for in Southeast Asia–a church of only around 50 believers praising God in a difficult environment–giving their people the Word to study and to sing.

The above picture shows how great the need is in this world to hear His Voice. Thanks to those who spend time translating the Bible into different languages.

Call to Action:

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We share. We learn. We create. We connect. We grow.

need

Ruth Snyder – Psalm 84

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Visit my Bookstore. Two children’s books, 1 Bible study.

I blog at www.janiscox.com

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Regeneration: 3 Ways to Keep in Step with God’s Spirit

I wanted to look at 3 ways to keep with God’s Spirit. This post was first published on Medium.com. I needed regeneration.

We have a water softener in our home in Arizona because the water is extremely hard. For this reason I found my hair didn’t feel as clean as at home with our well water.

Water softeners work by using resins to soften the water.

After a period of time, the resin beads get coated with hard minerals and need to be cleaned. This is called regeneration. Push a button on the water softener and the resin is flooded with the brine water cleaning the hardness and sending the residue down the drain.

I liked that picture in a spiritual sense. I thought of myself as the water softener — my body or the Flesh as the Bible calls it. I know my flesh can get stale, crusty and hardened because of sin.

Sometimes these are sins I don’t even recognize.

I need a water softener (Jesus) to be constantly keeping my flesh clean. But I also need a regenerator system to flush out the stuff that sticks to my insides.

Our sermon this week helped me see this. The pastor focused on Galatian 5:16–25.

Listen to verses 16 and 17:

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.

So how do I do this? If my flesh wants to control?

But I want to walk in the power of the Spirit. Don’t you?

How?

Galatians 5:22–23 explains the outcome of walking in the spirit — Fruit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;

And verse 25

If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.

All right I want to do this. I want to walk in the Spirit, keep step in the Spirit.

To listen to the podcast click on picture.

But HOW?

I think there are 3 essential ways that I can keep in step with the Spirit and keep the power of the Spirit flowing through me.

Daily Bible Reading: Reading of God’s Word is essential for anyone who wants to get closer to God. His Word is truth. This is where we get our nourishment. It is where God speaks to us. We need to establish a daily routine to read at least 1 verse per day.

There are many ways to do this.

Some people read a devotional with a scripture to ponder over. Others may read chapters and settle on something that God has pointed to.

I have a method called the SIMPLE method where I can search one verse, study it in context and then listen to what God is saying. And I want to memorize it too. I find art helps me do this too.

Sometimes I draw and colour what a Scripture means to me.

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Sometimes I draw my thoughts into my Bible – Bible Journaling

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Prayer: Yes we need to talk to God. I always pray before during and after I study God’s Word. And throughout the day as well. I want to stay close to the One who gives me life. He speaks when I listen. I must communicate with Him.

Clean out my system: This is what I found out this weekend. I have to clean out my system. Routinely. Yes I need to regenerate. Even with regular Bible study and prayer my soul can get hardened. I can let unfruitful fleshy things infest my soul.

I need to push that REGENERATE button.

How can I do that?

In private I can confess my sins to God and receive His forgiveness.

But a more powerful way is to partake of Holy Communion with a group of like-minded believers. This can cleanse me of all sin (even those hidden ones) and God’s mercy flows during the taking of the blood and wine.

This happened this Sunday. I felt the flow of His forgiveness as I took the bread and the wine. He flushed me clean. He inspired me anew to write for His glory.

Just as the old hymn says:

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Now I am renewed, reinvigorated, and regenerated.
I am filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, ready to do His will.

May I pray for you and me?

Lord, we love that you want this close relationship with us. We want to get closer and closer to you. We know you have set up the means for us to do that — through your Word, Prayer and Communion. Thank You so much. Help us to grow and produce much fruit to glorify Your Name. Thank You Jesus. Amen.

Until next time, think about this: Are you using the 3 methods of producing spiritual fruit? Learn to hear God’s Word through scripture and prayer. And be cleansed by His blood through confession and taking of the elements in communion.

Join me on Facebook at Growing Through God’s Word Facebook Group where we try to get closer to our Father through study, and prayer.

Create. Connect. Grow Through God’s Word.

Please click to get 2 Free EbooksLiving Life — One Word at a Time and Five Ways God Changed Me

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Excuse – Five Minute Friday

What Lay Hidden that God knew But I didn’t?

Today is Five-Minute Friday and the word prompt is excuse. Just write. Little editing. Join us at Five Minute Friday. Set the timer: GO

excuse

I didn’t want to admit it. We were discussing our attitudes to our family in a Bible study. We were asked to think deeply over past conversations. How did we act and react? I didn’t want to go there. I could hear my voice – my controlling voice.

It’s not nice to look back at what you said, is it? I used to be very controlling to my husband and family. It started with trauma but ended with a fear and a need to make sure everyone was safe. It had started before I really knew Jesus.

I had this urge to be watchful and careful of everyone. I didn’t trust anyone except my family.

For that reason I wanted to ensure their safety (as though I could??)

And if my way wasn’t followed then I would be very upset. I wanted everything done my way. No room for anyone else’s opinion..

So in this Bible study I made an excuse. I didn’t know. Or I lied. I am not sure.

I said that there was nothing that was wrong in my attitude with my family. Nothing. Nothing at all.

I went home. I thought and thought. I decided I had better ask Jesus if there was something that I was doing that He did not like. I prayed. I listened. God answered.

Yes there is something that you are doing. You are not trusting me. You are running afraid so you think you need to control everything.

Oh my. Convicted. Jesus was right. I saw my sin. I had also made an excuse. My sin had been hidden but now it was revealed.

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Do you have hidden faults? Are you making an excuse? Do you need to talk to God about them?

I found more hidden faults as I continued in that Bible study and in the years since. And now I continue to ask God to reveal anything that is not of Him.

I don’t want to make excuses to God. I want to be righteous before HIm.

TIME’S UP. 

If you are looking for a way to connect with God creatively. If you are tired of scrolling through Facebook pages and getting nothing of value.

Please join us at Growing Through God’s Word Private Facebook Group.

We share. We learn. We create. We connect. We grow.

 

need

Please click to get 2 Free EbooksLiving Life — One Word at a Time and Five Ways God Changed Me

Visit my Bookstore.

I blog at www.janiscox.com

You can also find me on TwitterPinterest, FacebookInstagram.

Be Silent – And Remember

Be Silent and Remember

Tomorrow is Remembrance day. We need to spend at least 2 minutes in silence listening to the Lord’s voice about this day. What are His thoughts? What does He want you to remember?

Today is 5-minute Friday. The clock is set and I am ready to write for 5 minutes. 5-Minute Friday is the only time that I write directly into my computer. I always write in a notebook and then transfer my thoughts to my blog. So no editing..

Timer set: GO

I remember as a child having Remembrance Day services in our school. Very hushed. We filed in as quietly as we could and sat down. There were readings and some music (sometimes bagpipes). We were told about what war was and how and why our country fought for the freedom of all mankind.

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My Dad was a captain in the World War II. He landed on Juno Beach in the first wave across the sea. I can’t imagine the feeling – sea sickness, terror. My dad never felt sick. I believe he rested all his thoughts on Jesus. He went from one minute to the next.

But he returned home. Found my Mom. Got married and had 2 daughters. He didn’t talk much about that day.

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But I am sure that silence was a welcome reprieve from all the gun fire.

I believe that he found peace in that silence and knew God was there with them.

God was there. Crying with them. Struggling with them.

I always get teary eyed at this time of year. I remember all that those men did. I think of the wives, and mothers at home – waiting.

The silence of waiting – not knowing.

That must have been awful. But I do believe that God brought peace to those women. If He could bring peace to my Dad – then peace can be found in any situation.

Do you take time to have silence before God? It is essential to finding peace. Try it.

……

Timer went. Lots more to have said.

But sometimes silence is better.

Remember tomorrow to take a moment and be quiet before God for all those who served before and serve now for our freedom.

As a child we recited In Flanders Fields by Major John McCrae. I can still say this from memory.

Here it is for you now:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Let us remember. Let us never forget.

My pictures today are done in watercolour pencil crayons. I am taking a course in pencil crayons and need to buy some. But I tried it with watercolour pencils. My background was an old piece of watercolour – background, on 140 pound watercolour paper. It is not smooth. It’s supposed to be smooth for pencil crayons. But I learned a lot. Pencil crayons is all about LAYERS. More on that in another post.

Here are the first 2 versions before I used the water on the last one.

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Have you tried pencil crayons? Which version of this poppy do you like?

May you remember on November 11 to stop for 2 minutes of silence.

Here are a few other posts about the Poppy.

The Poppy

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A Bible Journaling about the Poppy

How to Remember Remembrance Day

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Early Bible Journaling

Blessings

Janis

 

If you are looking for a way to connect with God creatively. If you are tired of scrolling through Facebook pages and getting nothing of value.

Please join us at Growing Through God’s Word Private Facebook Group.

We share. We learn. We create. We connect. We grow.

 

need

What Is It That I Really Need?

What is it that I Really Need?

I’m a little late for Five Minute Fridays but can’t resist writing on this week’s prompt: NEED. Five minutes to type out my thoughts. Here goes.

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This morning I read two devotionals – Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, and Jesus Calling. Both said the same things to me – I only need Jesus.

The time I spend with Jesus every morning is all I need to give me everything I need for the day. (Tweet this)

Strength, calmness, focus, joy, connection, inspiration and on and on.

Sarah Young wrote:

You must traverse this day like any other; one step at a time.

That reminded me of a favourite song, Step by Step. Here is a great version with Michael W Smith blending this song with Forever we will sing.

Each step forward we get closer to our Lord. I need that.

I read a scripture prayer this morning that I turned into a personal prayer. Do you do that? This reminds me of what I need.

Hebrews 13:20-21

This is what I wrote:

Lord, may You equip me with everything good for doing Your will and will You work in me, what is pleasing to You. (NIV)

And Jesus – put me together and provide me with everything I need to please You. Make me into what gives You most pleasure (The Message)

And how to do I do that?

James 4:7-8

Submit yourself, then to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you.

So what do I need? One answer: time with God. What about you? (Tweet this)

Time’s UP. Lots more to say but for this post I am supposed to write for 5 minutes only.

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Take a journey through the Psalms with David Kitz. Ask to join our Facebook Group: Growing Through God’s Word. 

Need

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How Can Joining a Group help me reach God?- Psalms Come Alive

How Can Joining a Group help me reach God?

Let’s make the Psalms come alive.

I haven’t been posting here much as I have been posting on Medium.com. I am building a following there too.

Also I have started a Facebook study group of Psalms Alive by David Kitz. I hope to keep you up-to-date here about what I am discovering.

Psalms come Alive

Discover more yourself by joining us at Growing Through God’s Word on Facebook. Ask to join. Mention this post. David has books available  Please go here to find out more.

Reading from the Prologue in his book, I found some wonderful nuggets of wisdom.

Psalms come alive

 

psalms come alive

David inspires us to ask the Holy Spirit to bring His Word to life.

We find life in the Psalms, real people, and a relationship with God and His people.

We will be reacting to what God is telling each of us -not what I say, because what God says to me could be entirely different to what He is telling you.

Our expression will be through words, prayers, poems, songs, art, pottery, and relationships.

psalms come alive

An example of expression through art.

Here is a short welcome video to the study to help you decide. This is a new way of communicating. I am taking the plunge and learning to video. Yikes. I have a lot to learn. But I am breaking away from fear – and branching into new territory.

I feel like Moses when He saw the burning bush. I know God is calling me to do this. But I always say, “Who me, God?” Just as God gave Aaron to Moses, God has given me a new cheerleader, Deanne Welsh. She writes at Deanne Welsh at Unstoppable Writers. I am excited to see where this leads, willing to do the work. But I just need a push and support.

Have you let the Psalms come alive for you?

 

I pray that this email finds you well. If you ever are in need of a specific prayer, please email me.

Blessings

Janis

………

Please click to get 2 Free EbooksLiving Life — One Word at a Time and Five Ways God Changed Me

Visit my

Bookstore.

You can also find me on TwitterPinterest, FacebookInstagram.