Where is Beauty? Five Minute Friday

If we use our eyes we will see beauty around us.

I have 5 minutes to write my thoughts on “Beauty”. The prompt is from Five Minute Fridays.

beauty

From “The Kingdom of Thrim” by Janis Cox

 

When I think of the word beauty I see all of God’s creation.

There is so much to see. I haven’t travelled the world much — I’ve been to Europe a few times, the Caribbean, and seen some of Canada and the US.

But I hadn’t really seen any of the beauty. I had to look for it.

During a challenge by Ann Voskamp back in 2012 I started a journal based on a book called One Thousand Gifts. I saw more of God’s beauty than I ever had before. But I had to look.

Looking isn’t easy in our busy lives, is it? We run from one activity to the next.

Continue reading

How God Can Speak Through My Art – What’s my Burden?

33 Dots  – Burden

I love to draw. But lately I felt hemmed in when I painted. This week my painting led me to the word – burden.

Photo from Pixabay

I decided I’m letting my inhibitions go and see where God would lead me.

I want to draw freely.

As always I pray first. Then I put down 33 dots ( Idea from Meg Konovska) and draw in the outline. After that I look and look. Then I decide what I see and make the picture. Then I paint it.  Continue reading

Why Did Jesus’ Life Go From Adulation to Execution?

Why we need to be transported back to the first century to find the real story of Easter

I’m joining Five Minute Friday today with the word prompt “why?”

why

“Why?” I think this is the most asked question in our lives.

From the everyday:

Why can’t you remember?

To the deep:

Why:

Isn’t there peace?
Can’t people get along?

And to the deeper?

Why did Jesus have to die?

Continue reading

How Can I Balance my Life in This Day and Age?

33 Dots: Balance

I am still challenging myself to draw 33 random dots on paper; then connect the dots without intersecting any lines; then paint. Today it turned out to be the theme of balance.

This challenge has me inspired. I never know what I will see.

This time was very different. I couldn’t see anything for a while. First I saw a foot but it looked like it was stepping on the head. Why would someone be stepping on a head? I didn’t like that. I saw the little dog but wondered what he was doing up there at the top of the page.

Step 1: Connect the dots to make contour lines.

balance

Outline when I connected the 33 dots.

Do you see anything? I turned it around and around but kept coming back a foot, a head and a dog. At one time I thought I saw a whale’s tale but there was no whale.

Step 2: See if I can make anything out of this.

balance

The outline of the picture as I saw it. 33 Dots.

As I looked at my rough sketch I changed the bows on the triangle on the dog to make it a real bow. I erased some lines and added some.

Step 3: Draw with micron pen and paint.

This is the final outcome.

balance

The final picture for 33 dots – Balance

Step 4: See where God leads my thoughts.

Balance:

This year is the first time I have found a balance of how to write, paint and enjoy retirement. I have focused on God for the past 17 years but have been balancing ten times more things that I had to.

My Focus:

To me I have learned balance by learning to focus on the one thing I heard God say to me. And that was: “Encourage believers to read their Bibles and pray.”

That also has led me to try Bible journaling and getting out of my shell and talking and listening to others. God is teaching me to become a spiritual mentor.

Here are a few of the latest Bible Journals from our study of Proverbs in Growing Through God’s Word Facebook Group. Join us.

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Listen to God:

In this study of 33 dots, Instead of just “painting” listen God before I paint. He helps me connect the dots. Then after I paint I see what He shows me – the meaning of my painting. By doing the 33 dots challenge it forces me to trust God and it makes me look, and create.

What this painting means to me:

The person at the bottom (me) is learning to carry a heavy load as well as balance a dog on a poll. I think the standing person represents my work in writing and painting. It is steady on its own. The little dog is the rest of my life. It moves around so I have to watch it carefully so it doesn’t topple. But it’s the fun part. Even though my “work” of painting and writing is delightful I can also take fun in the other people in my life and the experiences around me.

And the Holy Spirit helps keep all things in balance.

Notice how the person at the bottom is looking forward. And that’s where I am looking. Not down or up but following God on the path He is leading me. My word for this year is “Go Forth” and as I pray and listen to God I am willing to change my direction. The things I am balancing are light because Jesus is right beside me or should I say inside me.

Jesus is my strength. He leads and guides me. I do what He tells and shows me. I listen.

Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)

“The heart of man plans his way,
    but the Lord establishes his steps.”

Are you struggling to find more time with God? Where is your path headed? Do you want to feel His strength in your life?

CALL TO ACTION

Are you feeling disconnected from God?

Is your art or writing suffering because you are struggling do work on your own?

Do you want to tap into God’s unlimited creativity?

If you want a safe place to connect with other believers, to grow stronger in God’s Word and learn to listen to Him, please visit us at Growing Through God’s Word Facebook Group. We would love to have you.

Why We Have the Highest Privilege to be in God’s Kingdom

It’s A Great Privilege to Be In God’s Kingdom

It’s time for Five Minute Friday. Hubby’s out for a few minutes. Facebook turned off. Ready set go. The word this week is “privilege”.

privilege

I looked up privilege. Dictionary definition:

a right or liberty granted as a favour or benefit especially to some and not others

Therefore it’s a right that not all people have.

Somehow I don’t think that’s right. And in this world it isn’t.

But the way the world is set up – there are people in authority, rich people, poor people, sick people, well people. And so on.

We are all here in this land with different privileges – education, background, colour, race, religion, and so on.

But the one thing is sure, when we put our trust and faith in Jesus, we all become Kings and Queens of God.

Everyone is open to that privilege. Everyone can be a part of God’s Kingdom.

Yes it’s our placing our lives in Jesus’ hands that gives us the privilege of being in God’s Kingdom.

We are told we are of a royal priesthood.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9, NIV).”

We are set apart.
We are privileged.
God’s special possession.
That’s a privilege.

privilege

I am so glad I am part of God’s community.

There is something else though. With the acceptance of Jesus comes work. We can’t just say, “Thanks Lord” and go on our merry way. We need to work out our lives so we are better able to meet God when the time comes. We do this with “fear and trembling”.

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12, NIV).”

With privilege comes work.

And I think that goes for any other privilege we have. If we are educated we need to use what we have learned. If we have money we need to use it wisely and for God’s Kingdom. If we have a gift of writing, we need to write. Are you starting to understand what I am saying?

Don’t sit on the sidelines. Learn to listen to God and find out exactly what purpose He has for your life.

I love that God gave me the privilege to be part of His Kingdom. I love that He is showing me the path He wants me to follow. What about you?

CALL TO ACTION

Are you struggling to find time to get to know God?

Are you anxious but don’t know how to deal with it?

Do you want to know what path God has for you?

Do you need more time reading your Bible?

I have a solution for you.

Join me on my FB Page called Growing Through Gods’ Word. We learn together how to pray and how to study His Word.

This month I am offering 3 – free spots  – to 3 people for a “coffee Skype or FB Messenger video” to talk over what you feel you need to accomplish these goals. The first 3 to email me get a spot. Email me at Janis Cox.

Check out:

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

How and Why God is Leading Me to Go Forth

33 Dot Challenge: Go Forth

I love the creative challenge of 33 dots. I randomly place the dots on a page without looking. Then I draw lines to connect them without crossing any lines. This time I saw me carrying a banner that said: GO FORTH.

olympic rings Pixabay

No I am not going to the Olympics.

At first I was reminded of the up-coming Olympics and the torch that they carry. Then I saw myself – carrying the word of this year. Valiantly carrying on even though I have no idea where God is headed.

I love the challenge of the 33 dots and of my life with God.

When finding my “word” and scripture for 2018 I heard these words:

thrive, flourish, prosper, blossom, profitable and succeed.

My scripture for this year is from Hebrews 13:21

May God give you every good thing you need so you can do what He wants. May He do in us what pleases Him through Jesus Christ. May Christ have all the shining-greatness forever! Let it be so (NLT).

As you can see I only go forth with Him.

Not ahead. Not holding back. It is my goal to do what He desires and not my will.

Here is my image from today’s challenge.

go forth

Watercolour Painting 33 dots by Janis Cox

Call to Action:

Are you searching for more in your studying of the Bible? Do you hesitate to take your Bible from the shelf? Do you want to go deeper with God?

Connect. Create. Grow through God’s Word.

If you are interested you are welcome to join us in our search together on Growing Through God’s Word Facebook group.

We are finishing up Proverbs now. And today I learned Proverbs 28:19

“He who worked his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.”

go forth

Bible Art by Janis Cox – Proverbs 28:19

Would you like a free 4 study devotional? go forth

You can also find me on Instagram. go forth

Why It’s Hard to Agree With My Husband

How to learn to Get Along

I’m joining Five Minute Friday just to write for 5 minutes on a word. Today’s word is AGREE.

agree

Setting the timer: GO

I don’t always agree with my husband. We have been married for 46 years and we are still happily married. It’s not because I always agree with him. On the contrary I am probably the hardest person to live with. We are probably still together because he has patience in dealing with me.

I tend to jump at things before I can think them through.

I used to get totally angry at him when he said something I didn’t understand or didn’t agree with.

But – there is a bright side here. I am learning. Here are 5 things I am learning through my study of God’s Word.

Five Ways to Work Through Agreement

  1. If I start the day with study and writing my prayers to God – and listening to Him, I am better to prepared not to fall into the pit.
  2. Right now I am studying Proverbs in an online study group I lead. This practice is helping me watch what I say – because it’s a daily reminder.
  3. I am calmer overall. As I have grown closer to God I listen to Him more than I listen to myself. That’s a very important part of my peace.
  4. I know that to agree is not always possible. But to listen to his side is possible. I’m learning to bite my tongue and try to hear the other side.
  5. I’ve seen my anger in the past. I’ve seen how I like to control. Knowing these sins helps me learn to tread more carefully as I know what triggers my reactions. SELF.

Time’s Up.. 5 minutes goes quickly.

Here is a selection of wisdom that God has shown me this month on my words and my tongue.

agree

 

agree

agree

agreeDo you have trouble being agreeable? Can you see ways to curb your tongue? Can you find a way to negotiate between you and someone else?

One more thought. I always need to agree with God and what I hear from Him. There is no way I want to disagree with what He says.

A few other thoughts on this matter and why it’s hard to agree.

What’s pushing My buttons?

My podcasts about Words can be found here.

Call to Action:

Are you struggling with time to study God’s Word? Do you need a booster shot of inspiration?

Join us at our closed Facebook Group – Growing Through God’s Word.

And you can find me on Instagram too.

How Can We Learn to Be Good Fishers of Men and Women for God?

Fishers of Men: 33 Dots

I love doing the 33 dot challenge. Does anyone else want to do it with me? If so I would set up a special way to link for it. This time my dots turned into a fish. And it reminded me of “Fishers of Men”.

fishers

Photo by Fredrik Ohlander on Unsplash

“Walking along the beach of Lake Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers: Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew. They were fishing, throwing their nets into the lake. It was their regular work. Jesus said to them, “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.” They didn’t ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed” (Matthew 4:18-20, MSG).

Jesus said He would show us how to catch men and women. How?

I think He meant that through the Holy Spirit we would learn things we didn’t know before. Through His Word the Spirit would open up new ideas and awake us to the truth. And when we learned these things He wanted us to go out and tell others.

Are you telling others? If the conversation turns to God do speak up for Him? Or do you turn away? Change the subject?

I hope this fish reminds you that Jesus wants us to be Fishers of Men and Women.

“Run away from infantile indulgence. Run after mature righteousness—faith, love, peace—joining those who are in honest and serious prayer before God. Refuse to get involved in inane discussions; they always end up in fights. God’s servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey. You never know how or when God might sober them up with a change of heart and a turning to the truth, enabling them to escape the Devil’s trap, where they are caught and held captive, forced to run his errands” (2 Timothy 2:26, MSG).

How can we learn mature righteousness? “Joining those who are in honest and serious prayer before God.”

The Artwork for Fishers:

Here is the progression of my picture.

fishers

fishers

Final Painting

 

Our new group in Facebook is aimed to do just that – help us grow into Fishers of Men and Women. We grow closer to God by studying His Word and prayer. Join us.

Create. Connect. Grow Through God’s Word

And if you want a Lenten study this year like no other join us in another Facebook group, Book Study with David Kitz and Janis Cox. Learn more about that week before Jesus died. Be part of the crowd; feel what the centurion feels. Join us.

fishers

Last day to get a free book is January 31. Don’t delay join us today.

Book Study with David Kitz and Janis Cox

 

Three Ways to Surrender All to God

I want to Surrender to God but I don’t know How

Today is 5-Minute Friday and the prompt is SURRENDER. Five minutes to write… Set the timer. GO.

surrender

Photo by Jared Erondu on Unsplash

As I surrender to God I ask Him to give me the words to write. I think back – to the year 2000. That’s when I did life mostly all by myself. I felt as if my stress level was huge.

I felt burdened with the cares of this world.

surrender

But the Lord turned me around and gave me this scripture that I have memorized from 1 Peter 5:7.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

That’s exactly what I needed to do. And I did. The pain went away. I slept well. I didn’t worry about much any more, because I knew  – I really knew that God had it under control.

And the next memorized Scripture was:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

To surrender takes work. It takes time. It takes trust.

My life has changed. Yours can too. Surrender to God.

Are you stressed? Do you feel as if you life is out of control? Do you want to be closer to Jesus? Do you need to surrender to Jesus?

I’m working to help you. At the moment I have two ways to help you find the way to surrender to Him.

  1. I run a Facebook Group that is safe, and comfortable. It’s where we can grow closer to God; where we can study His Word. Join us. Growing Through God’s Word.
  2. There is an exciting opportunity for all believers to dig deeper into their faith. We will be studying David Kitz’s book, “The Soldier Who Killed a King”. Starting February 14. But for the next 6 days we are offering free books as well (for as long as they last). So join us. Book study With David Kitz and Janis Cox. 

surrender

3 Ways to Surrender All

  1. Get up with God. Pray and connect. Go to bed with God. Pray and thank Him for the day.
  2. Pick up your Bible and read something. Then journal, draw and/or meditate on it throughout the day.
  3. Join somewhere with believers. I have given you 2 ideas. There are many more.

If any one needs prayer, please feel free to contact me. (Email Janis).

surrender

What do a Dancer and Studying God’s Word have in Common?

How the Joy of the Lord can Be My Strength

Once again I challenged myself to 33 dots. This morning it only took about one minute before I saw the dancer. Yes, she was in action with a drape of material around her.

dancer

Photo by Patrick Kool on Unsplash

I looked at the dots. I knew why I saw this.

I love dancing.

I actually have been tap dancing 3 times a week here in Arizona. Except for the past 2 weeks. I pulled a muscle in my back and hip and decided I need to give my body time to heal. Gradually I have increased my distance walking and I do run on the spot. My back is feeling much better and I think I’ll return on Friday am. I also put a timer on my phone (when I remember) for 30 minutes so I don’t sit here too long.

But as I thought of dancing these words came to me:

Dance: Freedom, excitement, joy, movement, expression, and of course colour.

Then I thought of my spiritual life and realized that those words also apply how I feel about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. It’s also how I feel about reading the Bible and connecting with others who study His Word.

Spiritual Life:  Freedom, excitement, joy, movement, expression, and of course colour.

Here is the dot outline (I forgot again to take the picture with just the dots.) I added lines as I saw the dancer appear.

dancer

 

Here is the outline once I saw how I wanted her to look. Then I erased the dots.

dancer

And the final picture, this time painted with watercolours.  I made her colourful and hopefully full of life.

dancer

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17, NIV).

When we believe in Jesus we have the freedom to choose to do His will. He will talk to us. He will show us the way.

I run an online Bible study called Growing Through God’s Word. Join us. We interact.

We create. We connect. We grow in God’s Word.

Also we have a special group branching off for the season of Lent. David Kitz has generously provided a number of free books. Time is running out to get yours before the course starts on February 14. You get a print copy. Please join us. Email me with questions.

Go to Book Study with David Kitz and Janis Cox. Answer 3 simple questions.

A study guide will be provided. JOIN US. Don’t miss this opportunity.

For further reading:

Why I Love to Abandon in Dance

Do You Dance?