3 Ways to Turn from my Old Ways

Five Minute Friday: Turn

Okay – I think I will continue to do my Five-Minute Fridays on my blog rather than Medium. This week’s prompt is TURN.

turn

Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash

So I have 5 minutes to write on the word “turn”: Set the Timer: Go

I keep hearing the words from the Bible: “Turn from your ways”.

And that’s exactly what God told me when I accepted Jesus as Saviour in 2001.

” ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live’ (Ezekiel 33:11, NIV).”

There were many ways I had to turn from.

Here are 3:

Judgment:

I’m still judgmental. But not as bad as I was. Everything that would happen I would have an opinion and I believed my thoughts and ways were the best.

I am working on turning even further from that.

 “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you (Romans 12:3, NIV).”

turn

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Control:

Oh yes, I think that is how I am wired. I am a task-master, a doer, a person who likes to get things done. I want to fix things and make them right. I’m reminded of Peter – yes, he too wanted to make things right. Remember when he wanted to set up tents for Moses, Elijah and Jesus? He thought that was the right thing to do. It was not.

I have to learn over and over that others have thoughts and ideas too. I am working on that as well. But, as someone told me, “Don’t let go the fire that you have inside you. Just don’t burn anyone.”

Self-control – that’s what I am working on. Keep looking to Jesus.

turn

 

Fear:

turn

I worried constantly. The control part of me helped me do that. I feared climbing ladders, thunderstorms, speaking in front of people, what people would think, how I looked. And it goes on and on.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes (Matthew 6:25, NIV)”.

turn

Bible Art by Janis Cox

Now I learned to pray and I have heard that the best worriers become the best intercessors.

Jesus let me drop all that when I said to Him, “I’m yours.” Now I will go boldly where Jesus wants me to go. I will tread the waters and not look down.

These are my 3 big turns since deciding to follow Jesus.

Time’s up. Join me at Five-Minute Fridays to speak your mind about a prompt.

Other posts you might enjoy.

Control: Five-Minute Friday

How to Overcome Fear

Call to Action:

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Join my Free Bible Art Course

turn

 

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Find out How and Why God has Given me Release

Update: I needed to find a release. I think that’s more like freedom. Timing is good for this release too.

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

I know it’s been awhile since I posted here. I have been busy writing on Medium.com. I’ve been busy taking courses. Maybe too busy.

You can check out my posts by going to Janis Cox Medium. You don’t have to sign up to read the posts. But you can’t “clap” (which is a “like”) unless you sign up. (A few of my posts are in a program to get paid and you can’t get those unless you subscribe to Medium.) If you are already a member please tell me so I can drop over to visit you.

I did a 30-day challenge to write 5 days a week in March. Whew, that was interesting. I don’t think I’ll keep up that pace. I learned a lot though.

This week as I talked to God and read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 I realized I needed to take a break, a release.

release

We travel back home to Canada on Tuesday – so lots to do here in terms of closing up.

I have two special things to tell you about.

  1. If you are looking for a place to learn about God’s Word, but don’t have time, or not sure how. Here is a safe haven – join us on our Facebook Closed Group – Growing Through God’s Word.

release

 

2. I am offering a free Bible Art course. If you always wanted to try this – here is your chance. Materials are minimal. Sign up.

release

 

Now for the Five-Minute Friday post:

Five minutes to write. Go: – The Word is RELEASE.

God always brings me back to centre.

I have been so involved in learning about blogging, writing, creating and doing I forgot to pause to live. So I am going to take a release from all of this. And I want to work on my Bible Study course.

It’s going to be hard because I love to write. But I think I need to regroup with God to discover how to enjoy this writing adventure and life too. I need to find a rhythm – a holy rhythm.

Writing about what God is telling me and teaching me is exciting. However, I need to find a schedule that fits my life.

And coming back to Canada there are other responsibilities and family to have time for.

Also, I am doing 7 Artist in the Schools workshops when I return. That will keep me involved.

So I feel God has given me a release from this job of writing for the moment.

You might see me here on Five-Minute Fridays though – because that’s what I like – to keep things SIMPLE.

Blessings,

Janis

 

What This Painting Taught Me About God – A Snuggly

What This Painting Taught Me About God

A 33 Dot Challenge to Encourage My Creativity – My Snuggly

Photo From Pixabay

As for painting, I have been challenging myself by trying to push my imagination to see things from nothing. Yikes. That’s not easy. Today is another 33 Dot Challenge. Meg Konovska got me hooked on this.

Here is the first dots with connecting lines.

Dots with lines to join.

Now as I turned this round and round I saw a number of things. But I kept seeing the mouth open.

So I followed most of the lines — some I erased and some I added.

Here is the next step:

My Outline for 33 Dots

The next step is the most fun. Painting it.

My Stuffed Animal — 33 Dots by Janis Cox

Now I ask God to show me what He wants me to remember about stuffed animals.

I know that my first thought went back to my youngest’s favourite — a Puffalump — a soft stuffed animal. She took that friend everywhere. And now he lies upstairs in the grandkids’ loft area with an assortment of Cabbage Patch Dolls, a Curious George and a Snuggles Dog.

Puffalump

I am sure Puffalump is lonely. The grandkids are getting older and don’t visit very often. They still play with the Lego and other toys. But “stuffies” are past.

What do “stuffies” signify?

Love — tales of highs and lows of the day, of frustrations and joys — all are shared with our loving friends.

Cuddles — something to hug when no one is around.

Protection — yes, at night when things go bump in the night, the stuffie stays close and can ward off fears.

Sounding Boards — when a child might not talk to an adult, a child will talk with a stuffed animal or doll. Many of these are used in counselling sessions to help ease a frightened child into peace.

Rest — sleep comes easier when a child has a friend to settle down to sleep with. Tucking a child in with a snuggly, gives a safe warm feeling.

Now that we are adults, where can we find our peace? Who can comfort us at all times? Who can protect us? Whom can we talk to?

Who is our Snuggly?

I believe I have found the answer. After years of searching and trying to live life on my own steam, I have found my snuggly, my “stuffie”.

My snuggly is Jesus. Jesus is my hope, my all in all.

Here is my song of hope: In Christ Alone

He is my Joy and Peace

Look at Romans 15:13

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (NIV).” 

Bible Art by Janis Cox

He is my Counsellor. I can talk to Him.

We are taught how to pray. And then we LISTEN.

“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 (Philippians 4:6–7, NIV).”

Bible Art by Janis Cox

Jesus is my Protector. He is my fortress.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging (Psalm 46:1–3, NIV).”

Bible Art by Janis Cox

Jesus loves me with a steadfast love.

“Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD (Psalm 32:10, NIV).”

Bible Art — Janis Cox

When I asked God to tell me what He wanted me to learn from my picture — I had no idea what He would show me.

But here it is — Like a snuggly, God is:

Jesus is my hope, my all in all.

Jesus is my Joy and Peace.

Jesus is my Counsellor. I can talk to Him.

Jesus is my Protector. He is my fortress.

Jesus loves me with a steadfast love.

Have you found your Snuggly — the most powerful One of all — Jesus?

CALL TO ACTION

Are you frustrated with your spiritual life?
Do you want to meet Jesus and talk to Him?
Do you need friends to pray and study with together in a safe place?

I have TWO opportunities for you:

1. Grow Through God’s Word is a unique Facebook Group — a safe place to dig deeper and be inspired through God’s Word.

Click on the image to go to the Facebook Group — answer 3 questions please.

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What Can I See With 33 Random Dots?

What Can I See With 33 Random Dots?

Once again I challenged myself with 33 dots on a page. I prayerfully put 33 random dots on a page with my eyes closed. Then I join the dots without crossing any lines. See how I found a rabbit. Hint it has something to do with Easter.

rabbit

From Pixabay

What will I be able to see this time?

It’s not easy but I ask God — what it is this week that you want to explain to me? I turned the page around and round. I finally settled with this view.

What do you see?

 

rabbit

33 Dots connected. What do you see?

This week I had the pleasure of a visit from my sister-in-law. We did some walking around the Riparian Water Reserve in Gilbert, Arizona. We had our little dog, Snowball, with us.

 

rabbit

Janis at the Riparian Water Park in Gilbert, AZ

My sister-in-law loves taking pictures. So I wandered and she shot 100 pictures. She and Snowball have one thing in common and that’s rabbits. They both love rabbits. But Snowball likes to chase them and my sister-in-law wants them to stay still. I would hold our little dog back while she took some great pictures.

 

rabbit

Isn’t he cute? Photo by my Sister-in-law.

I guess rabbits were on my mind when I looked at my 33 dots because this is what I saw.

A rabbit emerged from the 33 random dots.

 

rabbit

33 Dot Image — Rabbit

Now I have a rabbit picture and of course, Easter is coming in a few weeks so my mind went to the Easter Bunny and Easter Eggs.

I have questioned this custom before. In fact, I wrote about Satan’s letter stating that children were taken away from the true meaning of Easter by the Easter Bunny.

But I’ve changed my mind since reading about the history of these customs.

To read more of this post go to How Can God Let Me See Through My Painting.

Linking to Paint Party Friday.

CALL TO ACTION

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What is a Split-Second Prayer?

What is a Split Second Prayer?

My prayer life is in progress. I read my Bible every day. I learn a little bit here, a little bit there. Jesus teaches me. The Holy Spirit teaches me. This is about a split-second prayer.

split-second-prayer

What is a Split Second Prayer?

I read something the other day that made me have an aha moment. Then I knew I needed to be in constant conversation with God.

Split-Second Prayers

A split-second prayer is a quick communication link
before I start anything.
(tweet this) 

By doing these split-second prayers I get in touch with God instantly.

“In this way, your speaking comes under the control of My [Jesus] Spirit (Jesus Calling, August 3rd).

I remember learning this when I took The Workbook of Living Prayer. I would pray when I heard a fire engine, an ambulance, at a stop light, while in a grocery line, or before I made each phone call.

I wrote back in October 2010, a post called Constant Communication:

In Living Prayer, we are encouraged to find our own pattern of prayer to practice different methods until we discover how we can best communicate with God. What time of day is best for you? Do you use interruptions as a call to prayer (being put on hold on the phone, lineups at the store, traffic lights)? Do you follow a pattern (PATH,  ACTS,  SHELTER )?

Today I thought of other ideas for split second prayers:

      • anytime I am speaking – pray, think, listen, then respond
      • when I begin to write
      • before I begin to paint
      • as I begin to make a meal

Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry
(James 1:19, NIV).

Before we do anything, connect with God – it only takes a split second. (tweet this)

Prayer:

Lord, help us to keep up a constant communication. Help us to use split-second prayers so we keep in touch with you. Speak to us. Show us how to listen. Help us be slow to speak so we can listen to You. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

This post was updated from one I wrote in 2013.

CALL TO ACTION

Do you long for a deeper relationship with God?
Are you tired of being tired?
Would you like to feel God’s peace, protection and strength?

Grow Through God’s Word is a safe Facebook group where we learn scriptures, dabble in Bible art, and express our thoughts and questions on scripture. To join answer the 3 questions.

Click on the image and it will take you to the Facebook Group.

Would you like to learn more about Bible Journaling? Please add your name to the waiting list for a Free Bible Art course.

Click on the image to sign up for the waitlist for the course.

 

 

Five Minute Friday: Regret

Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

This week the writer’s prompt from Five Minute Fridays is REGRET. We have 5 minutes to write what comes to us — quickly. Little editing. Just write.

Go: Clock is ticking

This post first published on Medium.com

I will admit I hate that word — regret. It has a negative tone and I am a positive person.

As I looked through Scripture I think God feels that way too. We are told many times to look forward, not behind. We press on, not look back. Even Lot and his family were told not to look back. Lot’s wife did — and she didn’t continue on.

“But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26, NIV).”

Therefore if we aren’t to look back what should we do? Look forward of course.

Consider this passage:

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead (Philippians 3:13, NIV).

Do you hear that?

Forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead.

That’s the way our walk with Christ should be. We won’t always do the right thing.

But we will continue on the path set before us.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1, NIV).”

But how can we throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that entangles us?

And God shows us how. We know when we feel that aching in our souls when we know we are convicted of a sin. Don’t stay there. God is speaking to you. He will make you regret something and it must be cleansed immediately.

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12, NIV).”

One of my first Bible art — Bible journaling.

When we feel that conviction of our spirits we need to act.

And to act is to ask forgiveness for our sins. Don’t stay there stuck in the muck thinking about it. Do something.

A prayer of repentance is the door out of regret.

Knowing that Jesus died for our sins makes us realize that we have been forgiven and don’t need to wallow in the past. We have to let the past go. It doesn’t help us in our walk with God at all.

Jesus said: “It is finished.” He didn’t mean almost done, ready to be done or will be done.

He said, “It is done.”

Therefore are you letting regret grab hold of your life? Are you mulling around all the should haves? Well, STOP it right now. Jesus has paid the price and you are not thanking Him by thinking of the past.

Go on. Move forward.

Here is a prayer for releasing regret.

Lord Jesus, thank You for dying for my sins. I am so grateful that I can hardly understand it. You have washed away all that from my past and have wiped the slate. The tape is erased. I am new because of You, Jesus. Help me to move forward, beyond this moment of time into Your presence of light and joy. Help me be at peace because You have made the way for me to be free and live eternally with You. And today I know that there is something still I need to confess. I confess it now before you. …………………………….In Your Name, Jesus. Amen.

CALL TO ACTION

Do you long for a deeper relationship with God?
Are you tired of being tired?
Would you like to feel God’s peace, protection and strength?

Grow Through God’s Word is a safe Facebook group where we learn scriptures, dabble in Bible art, and express our thoughts and questions on scripture. To join answer the 3 questions.

Click on the image and it will take you to the Facebook Group.

Would you like to learn more about Bible Journaling? Please add your name to the waiting list for a Free Bible Art course.

Click on the image to sign up for the waitlist for the course.

Is Pride Easy to Spot? I Think Not

33 Dots: Pride

I am doing a challenge experiment in drawing — to make my mind expand but also to hear God at the same time. This time I heard the word pride.  I put 33 dots on a piece of art paper, outline them and then colour. Then I pray. What Lord does this mean?

just the dots outlined. Step 1.
Step 2 — The contour embellished and made into an image.
The final painting for 33 dots.

Now comes the harder part. Lord, what is this? What are you showing me?

At first, when I looked at the outline alone and turned it round and round I kept seeing crowns.

That carries back to Lord of the Rings and my reading of the third book in the series. There are a series of kings in the story. Good and bad. And then I am also reading David Kitz’s book “The Soldier Who Killed a King” and we have read together in a study both Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, followed by Herod’s entry. A study of two kings. Quite the differences.

But then I got to thinking that I saw an egg — and an egg person.

So what I see is Humpty Dumpty.

As I read through article after article it seems to me that this sentence made the most sense:

Perhaps, in this instance, we could take advice from Humpty Dumpty himself, as seen in Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll:

“When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less “ (Lewis Carroll).

People will always attribute more meaning to nursery rhymes than was initially intended (from The Origin of Humpty Dumpty).

I like to take the rhyme of Humpty Dumpty as a riddle. So I asked God what He thought. I prayed. I listened.

To read what God told me please go to:

What Does God Think of the Sin of Pride?

I would you to hear your thoughts.

Sharing on Paint Party Friday. 

 

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