Category Archives: 33 dots

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.

2. Would you like to excite your study of the Bible — Join me for a free Bible Art Course — coming soon? Sign up now.

Click on the image to go the Watercolour Sign up.

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

Are you struggling alone?
Do you need other Christian writers to help you?
Do you want to be in a community of believers?

Join us at Grow Through God’s Word on Facebook.

 

Click on the image to go to the group.

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. 

 

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

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.

balancebalance

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.

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

You can also find me on Instagram. go forth

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

 

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?

What can I learn from a Saguaro Cactus?

33 Dots: If I can do it, so can you.

I’m continuing to use those 33 dots. I find my imagination is expanding and I am painting without the use of photos as ideas. Today I wasn’t sure … was it an animal again? But no, wait I see a saguaro cactus. So that’s what I drew.

cactus

I use 33 randomly placed dots. Then I outline without going over or crossing a line. Then I figure out what it might be. Sometimes I will erase a line. Certainly I add more lines.

cactus

You can see the dots and then I connected them.

When I went to draw it I eliminated some of the lines. And this is what I got.

cactus

Thoughts on a cactus and scripture:

As I thought about the cacti here in Arizona I recall that they can last a long time without water. However, when it rains they soak it up. They get really fat. This will sustain them for long periods of drought.

When we get into a dry spot (sickness, worry, fear, etc.) we will have enough of God’s water to sustain us.

This reminded me of the filling up of the stores from God’s Word. From 1 Timothy 6:19 in The Message.

“Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life.” (my bolding)

Sometimes these cacti grow to be 40 feet tall. Their lifespan can exceed 150 years. Harming a saguaro in any manner is against the law in Arizona.

I want to grow tall in the Lord. I want to be filled up with all the nourishment I need for the dry spells.

cactus

Here is my final picture of the cactus.

cactus

 

What do you learn from Scripture? Do you make it a daily discipline?

CALL TO ACTION:

Do you need to go deeper in your spiritual journey?

One way to continue to grow in God’s Word is online.

Growing Through God’s Word is an interactive Facebook Group that is a safe place to explore your faith without judgment. Learn to read your Bible and discover God’s Word. Learn to listen and hear God speak.

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

Janis is a creativity catalyst with a heart to connect people to God. She specializes in creating art based on Scripture so that the Truth penetrates hearts and not just minds.The world needs more pictures, art and colour.

Connect with me also through my newsletter. I don’t email often so you won’t be inundated with emails. Click here and I’ll send you a free book as well.

I linked this post to Paint Party Friday. Join us.

What’s Better? Multitasking? or Doing One Thing at a Time?

33 Dots – A Bear Juggling?

Today I would like to show you the process of the 33 dots. It’s a game my friend Meg Konovska taught me. It loosens me up as I try to see the picture, then colour it. Today it turned into a juggling bear which reminded me of multitasking.

First I put down 33 dots randomly with my eyes closed. (Sorry forgot the picture of the dots.)

Next I draw the lines around the dots without any lines crossing.

multitasking

Then I try to figure out what it is. I turn it around and around until I see something. This time I saw a bear.

multitasking

Then I colour it.

multitasking

I used pencil crayons – not watercolour pencil crayons this time. I don’t think the paper I chose is for pencil crayons as there is too much texture. But I will try again.

Thoughts:

This is where I tell you a story about the picture. After some thought as I was colouring the picture, it came to me that we do this a lot – try to stand on one foot while balancing something in one hand. It’s a trick. Sometimes we can do it. But if there is anything that disturbs our concentration then the ball comes tumbling down.

And that reminded me of multi-tasking.

When we try to do more than one thing at a time. Most studies I have read say that it turns out this practice is not a good thing – for your brain or the task you are doing.

Here is a good report about multitasking. 12 Surprising Reasons Multitasking doesn’t work.

And here are the 12 reasons cited:

  1. It’s slowing you down.
  2. You make mistakes.
  3. It’s stressing you out.
  4. You’re missing out on life.
  5. Your memory may suffer.
  6. It’s hurting relationships.
  7. It can make you overeat.
  8. You’re not actually good at it.
  9. It dampens your creativity.
  10. You can’t only handle it once.
  11. It can be dangerous.
  12. You are not really multitasking – you are task switching

Cell phone usage?

I wrote about cell phone usage for my next podcast (next Tuesday on HopeStreamRadio) – because I feel we are overusing our phones. Cell phones can keep us from paying attention to those around us. I have been watching when we walk, or when we are in the store and the number of people talking and walking with cell phones is huge.

Are you one of those people?

As for “multitasking” or “task-switching”, I find there are sometimes I need to do it. When I do the laundry I am not going to wait for each load to be finished – I am going to do something while I am waiting. The same for cooking a meal – sometimes there are a few things that can be done ahead, and when I am preparing one thing I can still prepare another.

But I am going to try harder to sit down and write at one sitting, at least for 45 minutes, before I get up and move around. (And that’s an advantage of multitasking – I get more exercise and a change of pace.)

Anyway that’s my thoughts about my painting today.

Spiritual Thoughts

God tells us to search for wisdom, to seek understanding, and be aware of the world around us.

We can’t do that if we are multitasking, especially with our cell phones.

From Proverbs 8:21 in The Message:

Wisdom is talking.

You can find me on Righteous Road—that’s where I walk—
    at the intersection of Justice Avenue,
Handing out life to those who love me,
    filling their arms with life—armloads of life!

That’s what I am working toward – armloads of life. What about you?

Here is an example of one of Meg’s paintings. 

CALL TO ACTION:

Are you a Christian writer? If so, do you need to go deeper in your spiritual journey.

One way to continue to grow in God’s Word is online.

Growing Through God’s Word is an interactive Facebook Group that is a safe place to explore your faith without judgment. Learn to read your Bible and discover God’s Word. Learn to listen and hear God speak.

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

Janis is a creativity catalyst with a heart to connect people to God. She specializes in creating art based on Scripture so that the Truth penetrates hearts and not just minds.The world needs more pictures, art and colour.