Category Archives: Five Minute Friday

Do You Know Why You Are Stressed? Pause

What Jesus Can Teach Us About Pause

The word for Five Minute Friday this week is “pause”.

pause

“Pause” is such an important word in our lives. Jesus went away from all the people to find communion with God. He left early in the morning to go out by himself to pray.

We need to use His example.

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed (Mark 1:35, NIV).”

“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed (Luke 5:16, NIV).”

In the hustle and bustle of our lives we need to take that time. Five minutes. An hour. A day. A week. Take whatever you need to find out what God is saying to you.

I find when I am feeling rushed and tense, it’s good to leave and just breathe somewhere quiet. I use the washroom. Usually that brings quiet. A short walk around the block. Sitting outside in nice weather.

rest

Where do you find rest? We need it physically and spiritually.

My mother-in-law gave us a plate when we were newly married. It didn’t make sense to me at the time. As the years go by it means more and more to me.

I wrote a post about this. And many times in the past few weeks God has said: slow down. Stop. You can read more posts at the bottom.

pause

But I really wonder how many of you will really heed this warning.
What are you striving for?

If you are in ministry, are you doing for God instead of being with God? Sometimes He wants us to slow down to hear His voice. Stop and find out what He wants. There will be more power if you allow the Holy Spirit to enter your life and your decisions.

Have you thought of art as a way to relax and relate to God. I love Bible Art and would love to teach what I have learned. Please consider signing up for a free course. 

pause

Other posts about “pause”. These are older posts and some of the pictures are missing as I deleted any picture that wasn’t “free”.

Slow: Five Minute Friday

Breathe: Five Minute Friday

 

Secret: Does God Keep Secrets From His People?

Does God Keep Secrets From His People?

I had to check through God’s Word to see what He said about the word “secret”. I know it’s not good to keep secrets if it hurts someone but it’s also not good to spread news – gossip. The only way we can figure out what God says about secrets is to go to His Word.

secret

Are you looking for a group to help you on your way to growing closer to Him?
Do you want to be connected in a deeper way?

Join us at Artists and Writers Grow Through God’s Word.

It’s time for Five Minute Friday – we have 5 minutes to write on a prompt. The prompt the word is “secret”. Join us and meet others who write for Him.

Surprises are lovely. Keeping things a secret helps with the surprise. We have had 3 big surprise parties.

Surprise Number 1:

I remember my husband’s 30th birthday party. He came in the back gate and found a whole bunch of people in his yard. His first thought was, “What are all these people doing here?” SURPRISE.

Surprise Number 2:

Then he surprised me on my 40th. Our kids were visiting – that was normal. We were going away to Europe the next day. Not normal. I had things still to figure out. But Hubby talked me into having the kids come to celebrate. But then there was the doorbell and people started arriving. Party time. I had fun but told him to time it better the next time – I need time to plan. But what a sweet SURPRISE and well-kept secret.

Surprise Number 3:

Our children surprised us on our 40 wedding anniversary. In the early evening my son-in-law decided to vacuum the carpets – clue. But I thought oh he is being so nice. Then the doorbell rang and I answered it. A friend was at the door. I said, “Oh what’s wrong? Can I help you?” She said, “surprise!” And that was that.

Those were all lovely surprises by keeping them secret.

But today when I heard the word “secret” I immediately started to sing “It is no secret what God can do”.

IT IS NO SECRET written by Stuart Hamblen

Sung by Anne Murray

I chose Anne’s version because I love her voice and she is Canadian.

God does keep secrets for now. But all will be revealed sometime.

Mark 4:22  “For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light.”

Matthew 10:26 “Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.”

Luke 8:17 “Nothing has been covered that will not be exposed. Whatever is secret will be made known.”

Things may be murky for now – but we will know everything some day. In the meantime I know we need to work hard to discover Who God is and how we can communicate with Him.

God also wants to reveal Himself.

This song gives me that knowledge. His promises make it clear. We can know Him.

God is shows us what He can do – if we look around. Watch, look, pray.

Be aware and you will see Him.

Are you looking for a spot to learn more about the power of God in your life?
Are you searching for a way to take time to study His Word?

Please join us a Artists and Writers Grow Through God’s Word – a closed Facebook Group. We welcome you with open arms.

secret

secret

Include: Building a Christian Community

Are You Longing For An Intimate and Thriving Community of Christian Artists and Writers?

include

Do you wish to be encouraged in your faith and art?
What if you could be strengthened in your faith by fellow artist passionate about putting God first and having a sure foundation for their life’s work in God’s Word?

If you haven’t already, join us HERE in the Closed Facebook Group, Artists and Writers Grow Through God’s Word.

adapt

We know that our strength and power come from God everyday.

“Each day that we live, he provides for our needs and gives us the strength of a young eagle. (Psalm 103:5, Contemporary English Version).”

include

Bible Art by Janis Cox

Today is Five Minute Friday. Feel free to join us. We set the timer and write free for 5 minutes. The prompt today is “include”.

This post is my response to the prompt “include”, creating a community.

Just think of the power of Christian writers and artists coming together.

This has become my heartbeat.

My focus for writing  is to inspire and equip Christian writers and artists to receive strength and power from God – every day. (tweet this)

My first gift to you a free email Bible Art course to excite others in the wonderful world of studying a verse through art. Click HERE to sign up. When we study God’s Word and paint, God’s Word comes to life and sinks into our hearts.

include

My second gift is a PDF for my SIMPLE Bible Study Method,  where studying a verse can be meaningful but easy.

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I will be building a community here on my website and including a Linky for you to share your posts and artwork. More on this later.

I’m linking to Five Minute Friday and reading other writers’ articles on the word “include”.

include

 

Adapt – Five Minute Friday

Changes Are Coming

We have to learn to adapt. This is Five Minute Friday and today’s word is ADAPT.

adapt

Photo by Melissa Chabot on Unsplash

Write for 5 minutes. GO.

This past while things have been changing. Many things.

  1. As Snowbirds we came back to Canada. That is difficult most times but particularly this year as I caught a wicked cough/cold. Over two weeks ago I succumbed. Just beginning to see the light. We had to adapt to cold. Yes, the weather in Arizona was in the 90s and in below 32 here. I couldn’t get warm.

cactus

hot and cold

2. I changed the name of my Facebook Closed Group. It is now called Artists and Writers Grow Through God’s Word. I think this will be the title of this blog as well. What are your thoughts?

 

adapt

 

3. After blogging on Medium for 30 days straight. I stopped. Now I am learning to find a new rhythm. You can find my posts here.

4. I stopped podcasting for a bit. With all the turmoil I thought I wouldn’t be doing a good job. So I have taken a hiatus. You can listen to my podcasts on Hope Stream Radio here.

Growing Through God’s Word

5. Our house is still for sale so I have to get in a routine of keeping it clean so I don’t have to go into overdrive when the agent has a client coming. While in the States is was easy – the clients saw the house “cold” but clean.

 

6. Our dog has developed a urinary problem so needs a new diet – no other food and an antibiotic. More watching and waiting.

adapt

Snowball

7. Learning to lean on God more and more. Now I make sure I go to Him first each morning. He certainly showed me I needed to relax and slow down and smell the roses.  

8. Lastly, this next week I start into the schools with the Artists in the Schools program to do 7 classroom workshops on Sponge Painting with Watercolour. Please pray. Thank you.

Blessings

Janis

 

 

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:

Do you struggle with studying the Bible?
Do you want a creative way to do this?

Join my Free Bible Art Course

turn

 

http://lcontacts.herokuapp.com/embed/button/writercta?userId=592716a45fbc457423b17b86&mediumUserId=1f13132894d77ef5294ebe614102ac7e8007a0799149039cee2a6e8e59fb96f1c

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

 

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.

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

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

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?