Category Archives: Five Minute Friday

Why It’s Hard to Agree With My Husband

How to learn to Get Along

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

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Setting the timer: GO

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

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

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

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

Five Ways to Work Through Agreement

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

Time’s Up.. 5 minutes goes quickly.

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

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

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

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

What’s pushing My buttons?

My podcasts about Words can be found here.

Call to Action:

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

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

And you can find me on Instagram too.

Three Ways to Surrender All to God

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

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

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Photo by Jared Erondu on Unsplash

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

I felt burdened with the cares of this world.

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

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

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

And the next memorized Scripture was:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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3 Ways to Surrender All

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

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

surrender

How to Get off Track Easily from Being Intentional

Being Intentional – It’s not easy

I have five minutes – given the prompt “intentional” from Five mInute Fridays.

Set the timer: GO

When I heard the prompt this morning I thought, “yes I can write about that”. Then I had interruptions, lots of interruptions. Now it is 5 hours later (and still Friday) and I am being “intentional” once again.

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There seems to be only one way I can work this intentionality and that’s to focus on the task and JUST DO IT.

I get waylaid too often. I have many things I write down to do but other things come up. Then I get distracted.

One of the worse distractions is my cell phone. I didn’t have a cell phone last year – at least one that worked with data, texting and lots of space to fill up. Now it has become my companion. And I think that’s not a good thing.

I am reading “Lord of the Rings” and as I read about the ring and Gandalf’s story about it being called “precious”, I thought aha. That’s what my cellphone has become. It has become my “precious”. The attraction of what’s going on, who is doing what, who needs me .. is too much. I have to check it.

I don’t want my cell phone to have POWER over me and my time.

I have found 3 ways I am working towards stopping my “Precious” from controlling me.

  1. Put it Away: I put it aside – somewhere NOT near me, or on silent, so I can’t wonder if  there is anyone there and be tempted to reach for it. I don’t have notifications alive for my social media so if I want to know I have to actually click and find out.
  2. Don’t Use it: I use my computer alone to check messages, and emails (and when I am writing I shut those down too).
  3. Use a Timer: I use Pomodoro, a timer, to tell me when 30 minutes is up – the maximum time I should sit without a break. Then I take a break and go back for another 30 minutes.

I want to be intentional in my writing, studying and painting. But I know that this one distraction can make havoc of my plan. How Can I be Intentional?

But then again I have another distraction and it is called “hubby”. He just came in. And thank goodness the timer has gone off and the 5 minutes are up.

In one place I am super intentional and that’s my time with God. I do get up every morning and I do study and pray. My cell phone is OFF. I concentrate on God alone.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (Matthew 6:33, ESV).

Do you want to find that intentionality? Please read below and join me.

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Bible Journaling

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.

intentional

5 Ways to Simplify your Work Life

To Simplify isn’t Easy, you know

Today on Five Minute Friday the prompt is SIMPLIFY.

simplify

Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

Write for 5 minutes. Setting the Timer: Go

I totally agree with Kate when she wrote about over doing it. I have done that before. I think there are 5 major things we can do to simplify our lives.

Start with God

Always start with God in the morning. Sit down with Him. He is your coach. See what He says about the day. Read His Word. Pray. Listen.

Psalm 143:8, “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”

Review your Life

Look at your life every once in a while. Check that what you are doing is what God has planned for you. Say NO to things that are not on His path.

 “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans.” Psalm 118:8

Watch your Time While You Work

Use your time wisely. I podcasted this week about social media as a trap for me (it will be available next Tuesday on Hope Stream radio). I recently uploaded an app called Pomadoro, which is a timer with breaks. I have set it for 30 minute work sessions and then a couple of 5 minute breaks and then a 15 minute break. So far it is working very well to simplify my writing and my art.

Colossians 4:5 “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.”

Where are you spending that Time?

Look at activities that you do. Are you watching TV that is not uplifting? Are they time wasters? I have watched much TV for the last 5 years.  Are you going to things that you feel you have to go to but really are not benefiting your heart and soul? Choose wisely.

Isaiah 40:31 The Message “But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
    They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
    they walk and don’t lag behind.”

Are you Cluttering Your Mind with your Stuff?

Look around you. Are you looking at too much stuff? Is that making your head not clear? Cleaning up my desk is something that really frees my mind. Clutter can cloud our thinking. Gett rid of stuff routinely.

Romans 12:2 ESV  “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Those are the 5 ways I have learned to simplify my life (at least that  I can get down in 5 minutes.)

What about you? What do you do to simplify your life?

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.

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What do I need to motivate me towards a disciplined life?

Motivate at Five Minute Friday

It’s Five Minute Friday and the first one of the year. The word this week is MOTIVATE.

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From Unsplash ben-white-146950

That’s a great word for 2018. MOTIVATE.

My Word for this year is GO FORTH. (There will be more coming about this in the next few weeks.)

So that means I need to be motivated to get going. How do I do that?

First thing I do is pray for God’s wisdom. And since we just started studying Proverbs in Growing Through God’s Word Facebook Group, I’m learning more and more.

Here are the first 5 verses I picked out from Proverbs 1-5. Join us as we continue to grow with God through His Word. Get motivated to study God’s Word.

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This year I think God has me pointed towards motivating Christian writers. If you are a Christian writer I would love to hear from you. Email Janis.

I believe God wants all His writers to be in the Word.

It doesn’t matter the amount of time but the quality and focus of that time. That’s why I like reading short passages and then using my SIMPLE method to study them. Even meditating on a verse and then listening to His thoughts can set you on fire for the day.

My mornings are the best fruit of my day.

Not only do I study God’s Word but I take time to ask Him to talk to me. I am pushing myself to have discipline to LISTEN to Him.

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That means I need to do 3 important things.

Get up early

Yes for me, as I said, the mornings are the most productive and they also inspire me onward for the rest of the day. So for the past 16 years God has been waking me up – ever since I asked Him to do that.

Have a passage to focus on

I find when I am in a special study I learn more. Otherwise I might look at my Bible and say, “oh where do I start?”. So for the past years I have tried various methods to get me disciplined. I have studied prayer scriptures, gone through books of the Bible one verse at a time, and studied words in the Bible. There are many methods of doing this. Find yours and keep with it.

Pray

I pray before I start my day. I pray during my studying. Then I have the best time writing my prayers and then LISTENING for His answer.

Time is up. Lots more to say. Join us at Five Minute Friday.

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You can find lots of my thoughts on faith, prayer, the Bible, art and journaling on my Medium page. I would love you to follow me there.

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.

 

It’s Amazing How Different Things are When You Look Closely

This was going to be a different Friday as I had decided not to write. Ha ha. Me? not write?

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Photo by Cody Davis on Unsplash

So I am taking the required 5 minutes to write on the word “different” for Five Minute Friday. If you are a writer and just want to write for fun and link with others to encourage them, join us.

If you need help or encouragement just ask me. I’m right here to help you. Email Janis.

5 Minutes: GO

I thought of many ways I could approach the word different – how changed I am from the way I was last year, to how I was 16 years ago- to today. I thought of how life is better and different when I am with God than when I am not.

But I decided to take a look at my journey in art. When I first took a watercolour painting course in 1996, I didn’t realize how much I didn’t know.

Not about art – but about seeing.

Yes my eyes were closed to the world around me. Through my subsequent art lessons I learned to see.

I remember when we were taught to look at a distance and see the atmospheric conditions – how there were grays, and not blues, how the trees where not green but they could actually look blue.

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Photo by Sergei Akulich on Unsplash

And then to look at trees on the side of the road – to really look at the different greens. There are deep greens, lime greens, all interspersed. Can you see the difference?

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Photo by Matt Artz on Unsplash

I started to look. And as I started to look closer I really saw the difference.

I had to be careful when driving on the country roads that in my desire to see, I didn’t take my eyes off the road.

Now to look how this affected my life.

I really hadn’t seen how different God made his creatures, his plants, his flowers. When I saw a flower up close it looked incredible.

I started to take pictures. I bought a good camera and for a long time I took many pictures.

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Photograph by Janis Cox – Butterfly Conservatory

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Photograph by Janis Cox – Butterfly Conservatory

My thought: When you take time and look, things can be different. (click to tweet)

The same is true with my faith. I didn’t really think about my faith before. It was there. It didn’t mean anything to me.

But then I started to look – to ask, to question, and eventually to pray.

I now know I am different than I was in 1996. I have seen into the spiritual and as I study, pray, and listen to God I see it more and more.

Now I also do Bible Art so I can see what God is speaking to me. Here are 2 versions of 2 Corinthians 3:17.

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Painting by Janis Cox from 2 Corinthians 3:17

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Bible Journaling by Janis Cox 2 Corinthians 3:17

Call to Action

If you are looking for a way to connect with God deeply and creatively. If you are tired of scrolling through Facebook pages and getting nothing of value….

Please join us at our interactive Growing Through God’s Word Private Facebook Group.

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

Janis has a free book, called One Word at a Time.  If you like short devotionals you will enjoy these 4 devotionals with questions and a place to journal.

What Do You Do When You are the Only One in the Room?

What Do You Do When You are the Only One in the Room?

Have you ever been the only one in the room to not know anyone? That’s not a normal position. But the other day I walked into a room filled with women that I didn’t know. I asked my way to my table and sat down.

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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Today is Five-Minute Friday and we are to write on a word prompt for 5 minutes with little editing. This week’s word is ONLY.

Start:

Back to the story. There I was sitting at a table of strangers – everyone knew everyone else except me.

This used to bother me – so much that I wouldn’t attend anything or go anywhere unless someone was with me. I would rather hide behind my wall of insecurity.

However, now as I get older I find that I am able to relax, listen and strike up a conversation. If I focus on the person with questions concerning them it makes them relax in talking to a stranger.

How was I able to overcome this fear?

It is something I had to learn. One main reason that I changed from the fear of being the only one in the room, is Jesus. Over the past years (I am a young Christian), He has taught me to rely on Him fully. He is the One whom I need to please, be accountable to and worship.

Am I reaching out for Him? Or am I hiding away – afraid to be His child?

My goal is to help you become unafraid. I don’t want you to be alone.

You aren’t the only one who feels this way.

We are all in the same boat – the boat of learning more about God. And if we want to get out of the boat we first have to get in it and learn.

Do you long to be consistent in studying the Bible?

Do you desire to know the scriptures better?

If so, help is at hand.

I like to teach how to study God’s Word in an safe, relaxed, interactive style. Join us at Growing Through God’s Word Private Facebook Group. Answer the 3 questions and join us in discovering the power of Christ.

Time’s up.

If you haven’t received your free devotional book – One Word at a Time please click here.

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Do you feel like your are Standing Alone?

How Do I Come into His Presence When I Am Lonely?

Be Near: Who is like the LORD our God?

Be Near: Five Minute Friday

I find it very exciting and interesting how God links some things together – actually He holds everything together (Colossians 1:7). This morning as I did my morning readings and studying I came away with thoughts to write about. But then Five MInute Friday’s prompt came through and the prompt “near” fit exactly with what I had been thinking. Wow.

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Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash

Five Minute Fridays is a time to just write for 5 minutes with little editing. Just get the words on paper – or screen. So I am setting the Timer – 5 minutes and counting. GO

I have been leading a Facebook Bible Study group using David Kitz’s book “psalms alive” (Yes no capitals). Today’s study is Chapter 19, Psalm 113:4-9.

Here is the Scripture:

The Lord is exalted over all the nations,
his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God,
the One who sits enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look
on the heavens and the earth?

He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes,
with the princes of his people.
He settles the childless woman in her home
as a happy mother of children.

Praise the Lord (Psalm 113:4-9. NIV).

My focus stayed on “Who is like our LORD our God?”

I remembered a song from worship in our former church by Vineyard. Here it is: There is No One Like Our God.

 

But the word “STOOPS DOWN” really hit me. God loves us so much that He stooped, bent low, reached out to us. He sent Jesus to bring His nearness to Him fully.

And look at all the action words in the rest of the verses: stoops, raises, lifts, seats, settles.

God moves to be with us.

God is a God of Action.

He wants to be near us.
He works to be near us.
He even planned to be near us.

When I work on a passage I ask God to speak to me through my thoughts. These are the words I heard this morning:

Be Near to Me

Cast down your crowns,
So I can approach you.

I can only get near
when your heart is soft,
your mind is open,
when nothing stands between us.

When you humbly
fall down
on your knees,
I will approach you.

I AM
wants to meet you.

After journaling, praying and listening,  I see what I can paint in my Bible. What do I want to remember about this scripture – this time (because God’s Word is living and active – it changes as we change and grow)?

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Bible Journaling Psalm 113:4-9

Time is up: 5 minutes goes quickly.

CALL TO ACTION:

If you are looking for a way to connect with God deeply and creatively. If you are tired of scrolling through Facebook pages and getting nothing of value….

Please join us at our interactive Growing Through God’s Word Private Facebook Group.

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

near

Related Posts:

What is it I really need?

Fill Out Your Closer Connection to God Form

Why Do I Need to Study in Community?

A Look at Group Study with others

The prompt for Five Minute Friday is NEED. Time is 5 minutes to write my thoughts. Here goes.

Okay so I did it again. I thought this sounded familiar. But here is another post about NEED. I guess I am ahead of myself this week. Tomorrow is Friday. 🙂 Feels like it as the US has a holiday today. Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends.

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Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

This week there has been much study and thought from a book and Facebook Book Group about the psalms. We are using Psalms Alive by David Kitz. I realized how much need we have to study His Word.

I knew it before but having a group of people study these psalms with me, I realized how much we need to be in fellowship and community together.

Studying by myself is great – I really learn a lot.

But I learn more and deeper in community. I need this.

By looking and listening to the thoughts of others, and by seeing their pictures, collages, and music, my mind and spirit expand.

Reading David’s book, which is fabulous in itself, helps, but add to it reading the scripture passage – that adds the truth of God’s Word – into my heart and soul. Both together have been inspiring and uplifting.

These are the scriptures we have studied so far: Psalm 19, Psalm 23, Psalm 32, Psalm 46, Psalm 67, and Psalm 84.

Here are a few samples of the wonderful interpretations we have been seeing:

 

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By Lila Diller, interpretation of Psalm 84:5-9

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By Violet Nesdoly, Psalm 84

The words from David’s book that inspired above picture:

these birds are not just visiting; they are not passing through. They have made God’s house their home. This is their nesting place. Here they will raise their family.

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by Connie Inglis “The God of the universe is calling the peoples of the world to a festival of praise.” This chapter reminded me of the people group that we are translating the Bible for in Southeast Asia–a church of only around 50 believers praising God in a difficult environment–giving their people the Word to study and to sing.

The above picture shows how great the need is in this world to hear His Voice. Thanks to those who spend time translating the Bible into different languages.

Time’s up….

Writing for Five Minute Friday (although it was Thursday and the wrong week).

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Call to Action:

If you are looking for a way to connect with God deeply and creatively. If you are tired of scrolling through Facebook pages and getting nothing of value….

Please join us at our interactive Growing Through God’s Word Private Facebook Group.

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

need

Ruth Snyder – Psalm 84

Please click here to get 2 Free EbooksLiving Life — One Word at a Time and Five Ways God Changed Me

Visit my Bookstore. Two children’s books, 1 Bible study.

I blog at www.janiscox.com

You can also find me on TwitterPinterest, FacebookInstagram.

Excuse – Five Minute Friday

What Lay Hidden that God knew But I didn’t?

Today is Five-Minute Friday and the word prompt is excuse. Just write. Little editing. Join us at Five Minute Friday. Set the timer: GO

excuse

I didn’t want to admit it. We were discussing our attitudes to our family in a Bible study. We were asked to think deeply over past conversations. How did we act and react? I didn’t want to go there. I could hear my voice – my controlling voice.

It’s not nice to look back at what you said, is it? I used to be very controlling to my husband and family. It started with trauma but ended with a fear and a need to make sure everyone was safe. It had started before I really knew Jesus.

I had this urge to be watchful and careful of everyone. I didn’t trust anyone except my family.

For that reason I wanted to ensure their safety (as though I could??)

And if my way wasn’t followed then I would be very upset. I wanted everything done my way. No room for anyone else’s opinion..

So in this Bible study I made an excuse. I didn’t know. Or I lied. I am not sure.

I said that there was nothing that was wrong in my attitude with my family. Nothing. Nothing at all.

I went home. I thought and thought. I decided I had better ask Jesus if there was something that I was doing that He did not like. I prayed. I listened. God answered.

Yes there is something that you are doing. You are not trusting me. You are running afraid so you think you need to control everything.

Oh my. Convicted. Jesus was right. I saw my sin. I had also made an excuse. My sin had been hidden but now it was revealed.

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Do you have hidden faults? Are you making an excuse? Do you need to talk to God about them?

I found more hidden faults as I continued in that Bible study and in the years since. And now I continue to ask God to reveal anything that is not of Him.

I don’t want to make excuses to God. I want to be righteous before HIm.

TIME’S UP. 

If you are looking for a way to connect with God creatively. If you are tired of scrolling through Facebook pages and getting nothing of value.

Please join us at Growing Through God’s Word Private Facebook Group.

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

 

need

Please click to get 2 Free EbooksLiving Life — One Word at a Time and Five Ways God Changed Me

Visit my Bookstore.

I blog at www.janiscox.com

You can also find me on TwitterPinterest, FacebookInstagram.