Category Archives: Art & Scripture

What Will Heaven Look Like?

Image by Pixabay

One thing I am sure of — we will not be floating on clouds with the angels. We will have an earth. But it will be different. Come with me as I travel through some scripture to figure out how this will look.

First, look at water

Water — we have lots of water on this planet. Actually, over 2/3 of the planet is covered in water. And only 25% of that is fresh water.

Let’s think about water:

Destructive power — floods

Locally:

Water can bring devastation.

Here in our county of Haliburton, the town of Minden had severe flooding — again.

Our minister said that although he grew up in Minden they never had any flooding problems. There used to a 100-year flood in the town. Now it’s the second time in 6 years that flooding has occurred. And record flooding too.

Minden, Ont., residents prepare for record-level flooding again
Resident in Minden, Ont., are bracing for another ” one-in 100-year flood ” – the second of such in six years. READ…globalnews.ca

The United States:

Today, Tuesday, May 21, in Oklahoma, USA there were severe tornadoes and flooding.

“Storms on Monday and Tuesday were causing serious flooding in parts of Oklahoma — and more flooding is expected to develop in states to the east.”

After 14 tornadoes in Oklahoma and Texas, millions in Central Plains are under flash flood threats
Severe thunderstorms will drench and flood parts of Oklahoma Tuesday, on the heels of a series of tornadoes that…www.cnn.com

In biblical times water also destroyed

The Genesis Flood

“Then the flood came upon the earth for forty days, and the water increased and lifted up the ark, so that it rose above the earth” (Genesis, 7:17, NASB).

What about the Israelites?

They were not seafarers. They crossed seas but only by the hand of God. They were wary of the sea. Storms on the Sea of Galilee came up unexpectedly. Their boats were not really seaworthy.

http://www.freebibleimages.org/illustrations/gnpi-043-jesus-storm/

So water can be very very destructive. We can see how over the years it can push back waterfalls by miles and miles. Take a look at the rate of erosion of Niagara Falls.

Rate of Erosion of Niagara Falls | Marriott on the Falls
Undoubtedly, Niagara Falls is one of the greatest wonders of nature. In some circles there is a concern among…www.marriottonthefalls.com

The word “sea” can be equated to the word “chaos”

In our new Heaven and new Earth, there will no sea.

“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea” (Revelation 21:1, NIV).

God will rid this world of chaos — no sea.

That line really struck me — no sea.

Let’s look at Jesus. He walked ON THE WATER. He was above the sea. Water =chaos. Jesus is in control over chaos.

“Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake” (Matthew 14:25, NIV).

http://www.freebibleimages.org/photos/lumo-walk-water/

In the new Heaven and Earth, there will be NO CHAOS.

Jesus will restore our physical lives when we are resurrected — just like He was restored. New life.

We cry water in this world by tears.

It’s a way to release the pain from sorrow.

In Heaven, we will live in a place with no mourning

The water from our tears will be wiped away.

Praising God that with the tears He also gave us a release valve for our mourning. Now, we have that release that allows us to let out the mourning and bring in newness from God.

Bible Art by Janis Cox

“‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away (Revelation 21:4, NIV).”

The danger in this world

Go a little further and we see that “Danger” will also be gone.

That beast that rises out of the sea — the chaotic force — the anti-Christ will be vanquished by Jesus.

Picture this:

Jesus coming from Heaven. The Beast coming from the sea.

Goodness and Light — Versus — Chaos and Darkness.

Revelation 1:7

“Look, he is coming with the clouds,”(NIV).

Revelation 19:11

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war” (NIV).

Photo by Robert Nyman on Unsplash

“And I saw a beast coming out of the sea” (Revelation 1:13, NIV).

By Albrecht Dürer — Web Gallery of Art: Image Info about artwork, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12255351

One more thought about WATER

There is also goodness that comes from water. It is a symbol of joy and new life.

But the water from Jesus is more powerful

“Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,

but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13–14, NIV).

Let’s rejoice that our new Heaven and new Earth will be beautiful, wonderful, joyful and peaceful.

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

………

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Creative Tuesdays – Stained Glass – Watercolour Batik

Creative Tuesdays – Stained Glass – Watercolour Batik

After last week’s painting I couldn’t wait to try another watercolour Batik. So I did another for Michael’s Creative Tuesdays.

Tadeo's new adventure

I have a few projects on the planning board for this year. One of them is a second in the Tadeo Turtle series. I have decided to do all the illustrations in watercolour batik. It may take me a little longer but I love the look of this method of painting.

I am actually on my week off from blogging (ha ha) so this will be short and sweet.

I have been spending much time in studying God’s Word and in prayer. I think I know His Word for me for this year. I will share on Word of God Speak on the weekend. I need to think about it a little more.

I am taking a new 4 week course on learning to show glass in my watercolour. It should be interesting. I hope to share what I have learned.

I have been thinking about creativity – and being created in God’s image.

God is the Master of Creativity. (tweet this)

Have you ever looked at some of those videos and photos that abound on the Internet showing us how creative He really is?

Here is a beautiful video about God’s Creation and sung by Brian Doerksen.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice[b] goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun (Psalm 19:1-4, NIV).

 

John 1:14

Creative Tuesdays – How to give the impressions of stained glass using watercolour batik?

Creative Tuesdays – How to give the impression of stained glass using watercolour batik?

Michael is back from Creative Tuesdays – with a challenge of stained glass. I decided to try a watercolour batik version.

I haven’t done a watercolour batik for a number of months (6?). So here is my Creative Tuesday’s submission for stained glass – Shatter the Glass Ceiling.

John 1:14

Watercolour Batik given to my hubby December 25, 2015.

John 1:14

The Word became flesh and He made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only Son, Who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

As I repeat this verse over and over and try to get it into my memory banks, I think of the amazing coming down of Jesus.

Here is a video, Song of Hope, God of Heaven come down.

It reminds me that our God of heaven came down – in the form of a baby. Jesus – human and divine. Awesome to know. The Incarnation. The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.

Songwriters
Daniel Garth Hamilton;Tedd Tjornhom;Robert Earl Seay;Chase Jenkins;Ryan Owens;Taylor Scott Johnson

Read more: Robbie Seay Band – Song Of Hope (Heaven Come Down) Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Join us at Word of God Speak Community on Facebook where we look at ways to study Scripture through art.

Christmas is over but the New Year begins. As one character in the movie War Room asked, “Are you going to be lukewarm, cold or hot for God?”

I want to be on fire for HIm.

Join me as we study His Word together and build a strong group of Jesus followers.

Tweetable:

A stained glass look using watercolour batik for John 1:14 (tweet this).

 

 

 

 

 

Scripture and a Picture – Christmas Approaches

Scripture and a Picture – Christmas Approaches

Romans 15:13

This week’s Scripture is 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.

I love this Scripture – It can be used as a benediction or prayer.

God, may you fill us with all joy and peace as we put our trust in You. May we overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. As we head toward Christmas, calm our spirits, give us strength, wisdom and joy to celebrate the birth of Your Son, Jesus. In His name we pray, Amen.

Christmas is just a few days away. We have been expecting it to arrive and it will.

Come long expected Jesus.

Here are a couple songs to put you into the hope, love, joy and peace of Christmas.

“Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” is an Advent carol. The music is by Rowland H. Prichard and the lyrics are by Charles Wesley.

And for that wonderful Holy Night. This song carries us away to Bethlehem like no other. Céline Dion sings O Holy Night.

Tweetable:

As we approach Christmas let us rest in the PEACE of Christ. (click to tweet)

Scripture and a Picture – How to be Free

Scripture and a Picture – How to be Free

John 3:5

I have been painting into my Bible for the past few weeks. I am finding that as I do that I really remember the scripture I am studying. I bought some Bibles at the local thrift store, so I have many to choose from.

Now I am trying to frame the verse before I paint, in order to be able to check the verse for the picture.

As I started to paint John 3:5 it felt like the Lord was pressing upon me the availability of His Spirit. Every week we seem to be focusing either on the UNSEEN, or the Spirit of God.

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no-one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.

The first thing I noted are the words from Jesus, ” I tell you the truth”. Jesus says that phrase may times in His Word. The truth is what He came to teach us because

The truth will set us free. 

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (John 8:32, NIVUK).

I listened to a program on Huntley Street the other day. They were interviewing Brian McConaghy. He said that when they found these young girls in Cambodia, some as young as 5 years of age who had suffered in the sex trade, that he did not hold out much hope for their rehabilitation.

However, through the power of Christ these young girls are now confident faith-filled women.

Here is the page with the interview. I urge to watch it.

  Cambodia Cries Out

That’s amazing to me – that they could endure such abuse, and still be able to put it behind them and live joyful lives.

That’s what Christ can give us – an inexpressible and glorious joy, for we are receiving the goal of our faith, the salvation of our souls. (based on 1 Peter 1:8-9).

Peace, contentment, and joy through ALL situations.

That is something to remember.

We are born of water and the Spirit.

Now we are free.

Prayer:

Oh Heavenly Father, I struggle to understand what happens to these girls. I struggle to understand how anyone could do what they do to abuse them. I just plain struggle. I feel overwhelmed and very insignificant. Please help me to help them. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Tweetable:

Freedom in Christ. Find out just how the Holy Spirit can work in our lives. (click to tweet)

Scripture and a Picture – Where Can We Show LOVE this Christmas?

Scripture and a Picture – Where Can We Show LOVE this Christmas?

2 Corinthians 3:17-18

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 from The Message:

 Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.

This week we are memorizing this verse from NIV.

Now the Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

I see light shining from our faces when we are in Christ. Thank you Jesus.

The LOVE of God who sent his Son to save us. To break down the barrier between God and us. To give us a spirit of freedom.

This is the second Sunday in Advent – LOVE

For many years our family has decided to forgo the family gift giving tradition. We do give small gifts to the grandchildren. Instead of family gifts we use that money to reach out to others and give to our favourite charities.

Where can you show love this Christmas?

Keep your eyes open and your prayers lifted up and God will show you how to love.

Here are some ideas:

  • food banks
  • sponsor a needy family
  • help a neighbour

Personally, here are our favourite charities, after our church:

International Messengers Canada

The Highlands Pregnancy Care Centre

HASP – Haliburton Assistance for Single Parents

Ratanak International (this is the charity that I am working with for December to raise awareness of human trafficking.)

World Vision Child Sponsorship

Hope for Sierra Leone

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, help us to look to you – and absorb the Holy Spirit in order to shine Your light to the world. Help us to think beyond ourselves this Christmas. Help us to help others. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Tweetable:

Where can you show LOVE this Christmas? (tweet this)

I am adding a linky that will be open until Christmas for you to LINK the charities that you sponsor. You may link as many as you like. I will be adding mine too. And in the comments you can explain what reasons you give to certain groups.

ADD your charity LINKS here:
[inlinkz_linkup id=587769 mode=1]

Scripture and a Picture – How Can the Holy Spirit Help Us to Snatch and Catch?

Scripture and a Picture – How Can the Holy Spirit Help Us to Snatch and Catch?

Last weekend as I looked at my Scripture  to memorize for this week, God moved me from one Scripture to another and I ended up picking 1 Peter 1:8-9, HCSB to memorize for this week.

 You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:9

While I listened to God I heard the word, “catch”. My mind instantly went to football, catching the ball and running with it towards the goal.

Because of my fascination with the word “catch” I looked it up on line in Greek. There were 2 meanings that interested me.

agreuó – original word -ἀγρεύω  (Strongs 64) means catch and capture

harpazó  –  original word -ἁρπάζω (Strongs 726) means to snatch

For the first one – capture. I see this as CATCH HIS FIRE, His Holy Spirit. And we can do that as we read His Word.

They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us (Luke 24:32, NIV)?”

For the second one – snatch. I see us snatching ourselves and others out of the fire.

Be merciful to those who doubt;  save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh (Jude 1:22-23, NIV).

I found two other instances of the word “snatch” – snatching from the fire. Amos 4:11 and Zechariah 3:2-5.

I believe we are called to be disciples of men (as in human beings). As we grow in God’s Word, we become stronger in our faith and can help others along the way.

As we run the race, clutching onto the Holy Spirit, dodging the world’s traps, we can also reach out to others and help them towards the goal, too.

As we memorize God’s Word, the Holy Spirit works in us to teach and change us. He also brings people into our paths whom we can encourage.

Prayer:

Father, Help us to learn Your Word. Help us not only to memorize but chew on it until it becomes part of who we are. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Don’t forget to join us at:

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Tweetable:

How can we find inexpressible and glorious joy? (click to tweet)

How to run your life with a football of faith (click to tweet)

Scripture and a Picture – What is the Unseen?

Scripture and a Picture – What is the Unseen?

2Corinthians-17-and-father-of-lights

On the weekend I looked at 2 Corinthians 4:17-18.

I am working at memorizing this verse. It is LONG. I have been taking it in short sections:

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far out weighs them. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

I see the entrance to the unseen as a portal. I wrote about 5 Ways to Stronger Prayers and as I read this over I realized that these also help us to find a portal to the UNSEEN.

The Scripture that also has been on mind this week is James 1:17:

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

That is what is unseen  – our heavenly Father.
In order to fix our eyes on Him we need to have a strategy.

It’s not easy to fix our eyes on something we can’t see, is it?

That’s why we have to be intentional about our faith. With all the hubbub in our lives, we need to make time for the quietness of God. He is found in the silence. Some may argue that they can hear Him at all times – in noise and quiet. I say – good for you. But my brain is not wired that way. I am too stuck in this world to hear God when noise is going on and my head can’t focus on connecting with God.

So I make my time in the morning – that is my quiet time of prayer, study and listening to Him.

What is the way you hear God?

Don’t forget a few things:

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Blessings,

Janis signature

 

 

 

Tweetable:

How can we actually connect with the unseen? (click to tweet)

 

 



Scripture and a Picture – How we learn that the Word of God Stands forever

Scripture and a Picture – How we learn that the Word of God Stands forever

Continuing on from my study of Isaiah 40:8 on Word of God Speak, today I would like to encourage you to continue to memorize this Scripture.

The grass withers and the flowers fall (fade), but the Word of God stands forever.

I have been encouraging you to learn Scripture through repetition and through art. This week I have tried to paint in two different Bibles. Here are the results.

Isaiah-40-8-1web Isaiah-40-8web

Please join us at our Facebook Group called Word of God Speak Community where we continue to share our successes, ideas and thoughts about the Scripture for the week.

As I studied this verse I thought about the weaknesses of man – how sin has made the world not the way God intended it. Our flesh is weak. We cannot save ourselves. And our friends can’t save us. Beauty fades, We die.

So we look to the Light – a portal to the unseen. A Hope beyond this life. This is God’s promise to us.

That’s what the Word of God can do for us, that flesh cannot. The Word of God leads us to Jesus who has bridged the gap to allow us to live with God forever.  Eternal.

The words from the song I linked on Sunday from I will Not be Shaken by Vineyard:

When the nations crumble
The word of the Lord will stay
Kings may rise and fall
His love will endure
Though the strong may stumble
The joy of the Lord is strength

To my soul
I will not be shaken
I will not be moved
I will not be shaken

Then I read chapter 19 of AW Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy, entitled The Grace of God. Here is part of his opening prayer:

We are astonished and marvel one so holy and dread should invite us into Thy banqueting house and cause love to be the banner over us.

Here is His Banner over me is Love by Hillsong.

Here is a picture to colour. You can download it colouring page Isaiah 40-8

or Isaiah 40-8 colouring page

raw-colouring-page-Isaiah-40-8web

Tweetable:

We cannot save ourselves. We die. So we look to the Light – a portal to the unseen. A Hope beyond this life. (click to tweet)