Author Archives: JanisCox

What about Ladybugs?

Ladybug – #ScribblePicnic – An Art Co-operative

This week’s prompt for #Scribblepicnic is ladybugs or ladybirds.

I knew I had painted ladybugs before. When checking back through my posts, Michael had given a prompt for “critters” when we did Creative Tuesdays. Here is that picture and a link to that post.

ladybug

You can see the post to Little Critters here.

And I also remember doing another ladybug picture.

ladybug

And you can find that post Be Careful How You Live  by clicking here.

I have always loved ladybugs. That is until we found them along with wasps in the springtime coming into our great room. The high windows, heat and light must attract them. The wasps are dozy and easy to swat but I don’t like killing them. I vacuum them up (which is just as bad I guess.)

5 Facts about Ladybugs:

  1. Ladybugs are not bugs but beetles.
  2. They are a red colour to protect them from animals that might harm them. They do have a toxicity but not enough to harm humans but it will taste awful.
  3. Adults have wings under the red flaps on their backs.
  4. They are used as pest control.
  5. They are not always beneficial. They also could eat your plants like beans.

I have no time this week to paint another ladybug as I will be in the midst of this year’s VBS (Vacation Bible School) at our church. Lots of fun; lots of energy needed too.

For more #ScribblePicnic pictures click on this link.

ladybugs

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What can we learn from a tiny seed?

It’s wonderful what Creation can teach us.

Did you know that from one of the smallest seeds grows one of the largest trees? The seed of the sequoia is only ¼ the size of a grain of uncooked rice. And yet it grows into the biggest tree, having roots that can cover over 2-4 acres and bark that can be 2 feet thick.

seed

I find that amazing!

And can you imagine our earth without seeds? There would be very little plant growth.

In Genesis 1:11-13,

God spoke: “Earth, green up! Grow all varieties
of seed-bearing plants,
Every sort of fruit-bearing tree.”
And there it was.
Earth produced green seed-bearing plants,
all varieties,
And fruit-bearing trees of all sorts.
God saw that it was good.
It was evening, it was morning—
Day Three.

Jesus told this parable: From Matthew 13:31-32

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.  Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

Have you looked at a seed lately?

As I planted my garden this spring, I marvelled that the tiny beet seed would produce luscious red beets;tomato seeds would grow into tall tomato plants; bean seeds into edible beans.

seed

But the parable of the tiny mustard seed:

– that makes more sense when I understand the miracle of a tiny seed growing into a large plant like the Sequoia seed turning into the largest tree.

And that our faith can be like that – small, unassuming, but powerful because we enlist the aid of God.

seed

Mark Batterson in his book study called Draw the Circle, reminds us of the miracle of that tiny seed and also how we need to go slow and wait expectantly for our prayers to be answered.

He says:

Each prayer is like a seed that gets planted in the ground. It disappears for a season, but it eventually bears fruit that blesses future generations…. So even when we die our prayers don’t.

In this world we want quick fixes, and instant solutions.

Mark says:

We want God to microwave solutions, MapQuest directions and Twitter instructions.

We forget, yes forget, that we serve a powerful awesome God.

 

In Psalm 50 we hear that God owns the cattle of a thousand hills.

 

We need to remember that we can’t let fear dictate our decisions.

 

Mark Batterson also says:

When Jesus walked out of the tomb, the word impossible was removed from our vocabulary.

Our God who can make a humungous tree grow from a tiny seed,
can surely answer our prayers.

 

Is your God big enough to answer your prayers? Remember you need to ask. So dream big and ask our awesome God.

May I pray for you and me?

Lord Jesus, You came to earth to show us the way. You came to teach us about God. You talked about Who God is and you showed miracles to show us how big our God is. Please help us to have that mustard seed of faith to put our trust in You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Until next time, think about your prayer time. Are you spending time in prayer and reading God’s Word?

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What’s in a Dot? An Art Prompt

Scribble Picnic: Fill in the Blank

Mr Michael at #ScribblePicnic gave a very usual prompt this time. It was called “Fill in the Blank”. Take a look below.

Fill in the Blank

We were to take this exact shape and size (we could turn it around and change the colour) and incorporate it into a picture.

Since Canada 150 is still on my mind and I haven’t blogged much on my home and native land I thought of using this time to paint my Canadian picture. I used my micron pen 03 and my watercolour pencils.

Fill in the Blank

A Few Facts about Canada

  • Canada’s population is 36,286,425 and the country is 998,467,000 hectares in size.
  • Our 150th birthday is called our sesquicentennial.
  • Canada stretches across six time zones.
  • We have two official languages: English and French.
  • Canada is the world’s most educated country: over half its residents have college degrees.
  • Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world’s lakes combined.
  • The U.S. / Canada Border is the longest international border in the world and it lacks military defence.
  • “Canada” is an Iroquoian word “kanata,” meaning “Village.”
  • The butter tart was invented in Canada.
  • We don’t use dollar bills or two dollar bills – we use Loonies and Toonies.
Fill in the Blank

Group People Waving Canadian Flags Back Lit from Huffington Post.

We are now 150 years and 12 days old.

Don’t forget to drop over to the other Scribble Picnickners.

fill in the blank

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forgiveness

Why are you poisoning yourself?

A lesson on forgiveness

I was hurt – very hurt. Someone had said an untruth that bothered me tremendously. I felt angry, betrayed and resentful. Everything I said and touched started to turn to stone. My heart became hardened. I wanted to feel the anger – conversations always led back to how hurt I felt. I knew it was wrong. I felt torn in two, worn out. I was stuck in “unforgiveness”.

What could I do?

I recall those feelings now. I don’t have them anymore. I was able to forgive and find peace.

How? How did I do that?

forgiveness

Here are 6 things you need to know before you can start on the road to forgiveness.

  1. Let Go.

Yes Let go – Forgiveness means a decision to let go of resentment or anger. It does not mean a denial of what happened or that the act is justified.

But we need to LET GO.

How can we do that? Did you hear that the definition says that we don’t condone what was done? But we let go of it. It is something that will happen supernaturally as you follow through these steps. But you need to keep it in the front of your mind as I go through the steps. Remember Let Go.

2.  Ask yourself – What are the pitfalls of not forgiving?

You may ask what if I do forgive – how will that help me? I want to stay angry. I feel like I deserve the right to be angry.

I’ve been hurt and want to feel the pain.

My answer is, you do have that right to keep the anger. We have free will. But what does anger do to you – to your body, mind and soul. It does everything you don’t want it to do. It makes you sick. You may ache physically from tenseness. You may have headaches, fatigue, weight gain, weight loss, or depression. These are things that could happen if you keep the anger.

Listen to Proverbs 14:30 in The Message:

A sound mind makes for a robust body,

but runaway emotions corrode the bones.

That doesn’t sound too delightful does it? Corroding of the bones – brittle bones, disintegrating, useless.

3. Check out what you may be missing without forgiving.

There are good things that happen to you when you forgive. Besides better health your face changes, you smile more often. You see goodness around you (by the way it was there before).

And as a Christian how do we want others to see us – as angry, or as loving, peacemaking people? God wants us to forgive others and He says that unless we do so how will God forgive us of our sins (and we do have them, don’t we?).

Listen to Matthew 5:8 in The Message:

You’re blessed when you get your inside world – your mind and heart – put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

We lose touch with God when our minds and hearts are out of whack. (Tweet this)

When we are fraught with anxiety, fear and anger we can’t find God.

“Unforgiveness” does that – it blocks the goodness around us.
It blocks our relationship with God.

4. Get Over Yourself and Think of Others

Be kind to your friends and become a loving person once again. If you are truthful you will hear how you are acting around others. Remember we all sin. So if someone has sinned against you – be a peacemaker and forgive them so that when the tables are turned you too will receive forgiveness.

 

forgiveness

 

5. Don’t fret the small stuff

We are not perfect – not one of us.

How do you know when you are going to go down that path and do something to someone else? You may not even know it – and they might be upset with something you said and did. So really – don’t fret the small stuff. There are many other things that will happen and this area that is upsetting you now will seem trivial in the future. Remember the saying, Do under others as you would have them do to you.

 6. Ask God

This really should be step one but you had to find out why you needed to give up the “unforgiveness” before I gave you this step.

Ask God for help.

Yes He can’t change your emotions but He can help you change them, He can help you find peace, He can help you know Him and His ways which are higher than any other way.

If God says to do it – Do it. And do it right now.

Don’t wait because God says we are to do it right away – not to let the sun go down. Get rid of it – now. Ask God to help you get rid of this “unforgiveness” – and then release it to Him – right now.

Listen to Ephesians 4:26-27 from The Message:

Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.

I will be praying for everyone who is harbouring a grudge or living in an unforgiving state.

Give yourself a break and give it over to God.

May I pray for you and me?

Lord, this “unforgiveness” is one of the hardest things we face in our life here on earth. You talked about it in Your Word. You said we have to forgive. Period. So Lord I give over any feelings, emotions, or hardness of heart that I have resting in me. I ask You to cleanse me of all of it. Even the stuff I don’t know about. Give me a clean heart before you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Until next time read Colossians 3:13. Remember to bear with each other and let the world know we are Christians by our love for one another.

Other Resources to Help You

http://www.joycemeyer.org/articles/ea.aspx?article=the_poison_of_unforgiveness

The word forgive: Forgiveness can be defined as the decision to let go of resentment, anger, and thoughts of revenge as a result of a real, or perceived offense, hurt, or wrongdoing against you. Forgiving someone does not mean denying a person’s responsibility for hurting you, nor does it mean minimizing, or justifying the act. (http://www.essentiallifeskills.net/forgiveness-and-letting-go.html)

 

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Tadeo Turtle enjoys a delicious piece of watermelon

Scribble Picnic: Watermelon

This week for #ScribblePicnic the prompt is watermelon. That is a savoury treat for this time of year.

Since I have seen so many pictures of turtles snacking on watermelons I couldn’t resist putting my little Tadeo in this week’s picture. Here he is enjoying his juicy watermelon treat.

watermelon

Tadeo Turtle was published in 2012. In 2013 it won The Word Awards for best children’s book of the year. It’s a sweet story of a turtle who longs to be different. Through an exciting adventure he learns to accept the fact that God made him just the way He did for a reason. It is for ages 2 and up. With rhyming words and colourful pictures he delights the children. He is available everywhere.

In case you are wondering – Tadeo’s back leg is there – just off to the right in the air. He is so happy that he is kicking up his leg!!

I did this sketch with micron pens and with watercolour pencil – and somehow I just can’t get the blending I can with watercolour. But I’m working on it.

Here is Tadeo’s real professional photo.

watermelon

 

Tadeo enjoyed an outing with his creator this past weekend at our local author’s group in Minden, Ontario to celebrate Canada Day. That is not my elbow – I’m taking the picture of the table. 🙂 Tadeo is hidden on the far right. I need to get better stands for all my books. That’s the next task. It was very windy, cloudy, sunny, and humid, and threatening thunderstorms but didn’t. It was delightful all the same.

watermelon

A few week’s ago I was in Haliburton at the park – yup – doing the same thing. I didn’t have a tent covering that day. It was hot and sunny.

watermelon

As for watermelon. I used to enjoy that occasionally but just found out I have a sensitivity to it. Can you believe that? Still not believing it myself.

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Visit my bookstore to look at my children’s books and my Bible study.

Find out more about Scribble Picnic here.

jars

Do you check out a Fortune Teller?

Ask a Fortune Teller

Is there a way out of this darkness we find ourselves in? I know some people ask a fortune teller? or look at their astrology sign for advice.

You can listen to this podcast on Hope Stream Radio: Ask A Fortune Teller.

fortune teller

In my study of Isaiah I see many familiarities with our situations today.

Listen to Isaiah 8:19 from The Message

When people tell you, “Try out the fortunetellers.
Consult the spiritualists.
Why not tap into the spirit-world,
get in touch with the dead?”

Does this sound familiar?

Have you read the papers? – the Internet. There are always pages for Astrology. People ask, “What sign are you?” And there are still fortune tellers too.

The word “luck” is bandied about everywhere. “Good luck.” “Oh you were lucky.” “As luck would have it.”

People in the time of Isaiah had lost their belief in God.

They searched for answers in other places – even fortune tellers. But they were the wrong places. They suffered from invasion and hunger. They felt distressed with all that was happening around them.

Today we see the distress in people – God’s people too. What’s the answer? (tweet this)

Are they looking in the right places? I think maybe not.

If we look at the books lining the shelves in bookstores. The “self-help” section is full. And look at all the new age therapies.

But it’s interesting that the secular world at this time in our history is also looking at meditation, peace, focus, commitment, community, love, friendships. Don’t those sound like terms from God’s Word?

But did the Israelites ask God for help? Did they humble themselves to acknowledge the need for God? NO they did not.

Where does the world look for answers?

They look to movie stars, sport stars, scientists, businessmen and the charismatic words of leaders. They check out spiritualists, karma, and others.

Did the people of Israel do the same thing? YES

Listen to Isaiah 8:21-22

Frustrated and famished,
they try one thing after another.
When nothing works out they get angry,
cursing first this god and then that one,
Looking this way and that,
up, down, and sideways—and seeing nothing,
A blank wall, an empty hole.
They end up in the dark with nothing.

But where does Isaiah tell them to look?

Isaiah 8:20

Tell them, “No, we’re going to study the Scriptures.”

fortune teller

They are told to look to the Scriptures – God’s Word. Because we are blessed with the Old Testament and the New Testament we can see more than the people in Isaiah’s time.

How are we going to get out of the darkness in this world? (Tweet this)

The same as what Isaiah told God’s people:

Ask God and study His Word.

This is relevant for us today. If you are in distress cry out to God and study His Word in the Bible.

The people in Isaiah’s time did not have the light of Jesus yet. We do. We have no excuses.

We have Father, Son and Holy Spirit – our Triune God. We can speak and ask directly to God through Jesus. We can freely study the Word of God.

We have no reasons to live in darkness. The Light has come.
The Light is here. Thanks be to God.

May I pray for you and me?

Lord Jesus, we acknowledge that we need you. We really need you. Please enter into our thoughts, our emotions and our actions. Teach us to ask for help and teach us that daily reading of Your Word will strengthen and guide us. In Your Name, Jesus I pray. Amen.

Until next time if you feel you are in darkness, look to the light of Jesus. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Pick up a Bible and start reading.

Are you looking for a Bible Study that will make you think? Check out:

fortune teller

Based on Scripture this study will help you find your way by using God’s Word.

Check it out here.