Category Archives: Hope Stream Radio

How Can We Battle Satan’s Strikes?

How Can We Battle Satan’s Strikes?

Find out how to battle Satan strikes even when there is a major glitch in your plans.

I have been writing on Medium.com for the past two months. Sorry that I haven’t always been posting on this blog. I would ask that you drop over to my Medium page and join in to wonderful blog posts on faith. (and everything else). I will try on Monday’s to remember to send the link to my blog post.

There is a clapping system instead of LIKES. You can clap up to 50 times. But your claps are supposed to balance your feelings towards to piece. So clap away.

Here is today’s post.

Will this Unbelievable Glitch ruin Our conference?

Notes from a podcast from HopeStreamRadio

Have you ever attended a Christian conference? It’s always a time to seek God’s leading and learn to grow in my faith.

glitch
Morning Prayer Time

Recently I flew from Toronto to Edmonton to join my fellow writers at the Inscribe Christian Writers’ annual conference.

To put together this type of gathering takes time, energy and patience.

 As soon as we step out in faith to glorify God we know Satan may strike.

To find out what happened please go to Medium.com.

Did Satan strike? If so how was God glorified?

5 Ways to Become a Watchman for God

5 Ways to Become a Watchman for God

By concentrating on learning more about God I can become His watchman.

Lessons on Communicating with God

Colossians 4:2 says:

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

I like that idea — to devote myself to prayer — but how can I accomplish it? While studying Mark Batterson’s Draw the Circle — The 40 Day Prayer Challenge I realized that prayer is beyond any expectations that I ever thought possible.

I would like to become a watchman for God.

And to do that I must stay alert to what’s happening around me. That way I can help others, I can thank God and be grateful for His help.

Mark says: Prayer is the difference between seeing with our physical eyes and seeing with our spiritual eyes.

Here are 5 ways I have found to bridge the gap between earth and the unseen world.

1. Pray specifically for God to open your eyes

Only God can open our spiritual eyes.

I know when I do this that I will be seeing things I would normally pass over. I will see divine appointments. I will notice where God is leading me.

The Aramaic word for prayer means “set a trap for”.

Instead of thinking of prayer as a list of wants we need to see prayer as a way to ask God to speak to us. (tweet this)

Waiting for Him to give us wisdom. Waiting for Him to answer our questions.

watchman

From my Bible journalling on Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson

2. Prayer is a two-way conversation.

We need to remember it isn’t just us speaking. God can reply. God speaks through our dreams, our desires, our promptings, impressions and ideas. The Holy Spirit helps us to do this. We could say the Holy Spirit is our Sixth Sense. He helps us see into the spiritual realm and to hear across the divide between earth and heaven. That’s the way to become a watchman.

3. Be prepared for work and practice.

Set a time each day to practice the art of prayer. Set your alarm if you need to get up earlier. Be specific in what you ask and then wait. This prayer journey must become routine. We need to do it each day.

4. Read God’s Word daily.

Start using God’s Word as an offence. Pray the Scriptures.

Mark says: Quit talking to God about your problem and start talking to your problem about God.

watchman

Bible Journalling from Days 12 and 14 from Mark Batterson’s Draw The Circle

5. Read devotionals, Bible studies and thoughtful theologians.

These resources will help enrich your experience. Make sure that the references you are using are biblical. I like books that are filled with scriptures.

Here are a few books that I enjoy:

My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers

Draw the Circle The 40 Day Prayer Challenge by Mark Batterson

The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer

The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormy Omartian

Knowing God by J.I. Packer

You are welcome to have a free PDF about a SIMPLE Method of studying the scriptures that I developed. (Join my newsletter at Growing Through God’s Word Newsletter.)

This prayer journey can be exciting. But we need to begin. So if you haven’t asked God to open your spiritual eyes, do so today and begin a wonderful, exciting journey into communicating with God.

May I pray for you and me?

Thank You Father for this wonderful way to communicate with you. Help us to learn more and more as we ask for Your help. Jesus taught us how to pray by saying Our Father Who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory. For ever and ever. Amen.

Until next time, I would love to hear about your prayer journey.

Remember to take time each day to pray and read God’s Word.

You can listen to this devotional and more on my weekly podcast for Hope Stream Radio.

Thanks for reading!

If you enjoyed this article, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Please click to get 2 Free Ebooks, Living 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 Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram.

How Important is a VBS for Children?

A look at my week running a VBS

How rich it is to work with kids! This summer I again had the privilege to run a VBS – Vacation Bible School. We are a small church but we had 14 children most days, aged 4-8.

VBS

What amazes me is the sweetness of their hearts. They want to know Jesus. They want to hear stories from His Word. And best of all they love learning scriptures. Between all crafts, games, stories, songs and snacks we really got to know each other.

Jesus said in Matthew 19:14:

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

That’s why I run this program. The kingdom of heaven belongs to them. (tweet this)

I’m not young. Our church doesn’t have many children. Our congregation is getting older. But for the past 5 years I have run a successful summer program. God brings the workers.

My job is to pray.

God supplies all our needs, including health and energy.

The three most frequent reasons I’ve read of why churches are no longer running a VBS are:

Lack of time, children and volunteers.

 

VBS

I know that there are mega churches, which do hold successful programs. However, many churches are stopping this practice.

Honestly it doesn’t take a lot of preparation if you keep the week simple.

Kids don’t need over-the-top productions to know about Jesus. Sometimes I feel that Jesus might get lost in today’s hubbub of technology, colour, and contraptions.

In my VBS I use the Simple Method. Choose 5 stories. Choose 5 scriptures with the last ones leading to Christ and salvation. Check out Pinterest for crafts and games and songs. And get someone who can prepare nutritious food. Get your supplies ready. And there you are. And pray consistently.

VBS

VBS

Daniel in the Lions’ Den

We still use an overhead projector to learn the songs. Really? Yes. – old technology is interesting to them.

Every day before we start we have a prayer with the leaders who are present.

As the kids arrive we have a little activity while we wait for everyone. Then we begin with a quiet group time and prayer is always the first thing. Then as I tell the Bible story I watch their eyes – they listen. They are fascinated.

This year we had the privilege to have a biblical story-teller visit us one day. She made the scripture come alive and involved the children. I can see trying that out myself next year.

Yes I will be doing a vacation Bible school next year.

Just offering it is allowing God to show His power in His people. My volunteers worked hard but felt a tremendous satisfaction in a job well-done.

And this verse says the way I felt at the end of the week.

From 3 John 4:

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

May I pray for you and me?

Heavenly Father, thank You for children. Thank you for their desire to know You. Thank You for their creativity which we endeavour to encourage and not squelch. Help them to know You more and more. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Until next time, what does God inspire you to do – that is beyond your comfort zone, energy and time? I would love to hear from you. Drop over to my website at www.janiscox.com. And stay reading His Word.

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

Visit my Bookstore.

You can also find me on TwitterPinterest, FacebookInstagram.

 

How and Why I Should Stop Saying the “S” Word

A look at how what we say can affect us

I never thought about it. It never occurred to me. My daughter said, “Mom you really shouldn’t say that “s” word.” Now before you start thinking that the “s” word was a swear word – it isn’t.

 

The word she meant was “stupid”. She has taught her children not to say that “s” word or the “d” word either – yes – dumb.

Frederick William Faber a noted English hymn writer and theologian, whose best-known work is Faith of Our Fathers is quoted to have said:

“With the help of grace, the habit of saying kind words is very quickly formed, and when once formed, it is not speedily lost.”

I like the fact that he says saying kind words is a habit we need to form and that once formed we hold on to that. The Bible tells us to be wise how we live.

Therefore it is so important that we not only teach our children to use a kind word but we as spouses, friends, and grandparents use words that we would like our children to get into the habit of using.

And certainly not use words that we would not want to hear our children repeating.

We are told in God’s Word, in Proverbs 16:24:

Kind words are like honey sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.

word

Click on the picture to hear the podcast of this post.

 

When I first became a Christian even though I didn’t swear very often I started to notice that I still was capable of a rant with words that were not “honey to the soul”.

This was a choice I had to make.

Could I think before opening my mouth even when I felt angry and frustrated? The Holy Spirit helped me to use the fruit of the spirit to make my words encouraging and gracious. Is there anything blocking the fruit of the spirit in your family?

Choices: We make them every day, sometimes every minute.

Proverbs 15:23 says:

Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!

I don’t know about you but sometimes I answer without thinking it through.

Certainly email and texting has added to this haste to speak without deep thought. How can we make a “fitting reply” when we are hurried to text back, or answer an email?

God can help us change if we ask Him.

But we have to be willing to do the work.

Proverbs 10:20 says in The Message:

The speech of a good person is worth waiting for;
    the blabber of the wicked is worthless.

Slowing down. I think that is what God is telling us.

It is worth waiting for the wise speech of a good person. They have thought through their words, carefully crafting the best way to explain something. They have prayed that God will bless those words.

How can we in our hurried lives learn to speak slowly, carefully and wisely?

Here are three ways I think will help you in this growth:

  1. When you wake up ask God to watch over your mouth for the entire day. Ask Him to speak to you if He senses you are going to make bad choices. And then be ready to listen to Him.
  2. Stop answering emails and text right away. Give it a few minutes at least so you can think over your replies especially if someone is seeking advice or has said something that you disagree with.
  3. Don’t react right away when confronted with anger, or disagreement. If necessary ask to be excused to the washroom (if this is a face-to-face meeting) and in that time – pray that God will calm your spirit, give you wisdom and give you peace.

Throughout Proverbs we are given Scripture after Scripture about the power of words. They can build up and tear down. They can cause division and hatred. They can bring reconciliation and love.

What do your words do?

May I pray for you and me,

Lord, you gave us the power of speech and the ability to think what we say. No other living creature that you created can do this. Let us use this gift wisely to show love, care and protection of one another. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Until next time, think about your words this week. Pray every morning for revelation. Learn to curb your impulses and speak with wisdom and love. And stay reading His Word.

For other thoughts on the power of words listen to my first 4 podcasts on Hope Stream Radio.

word

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

Visit my Bookstore.

You can also find me on TwitterPinterest, FacebookInstagram.

 

 

 

 

What can we learn from a tiny seed?

It’s wonderful what Creation can teach us.

Did you know that from one of the smallest seeds grows one of the largest trees? The seed of the sequoia is only ¼ the size of a grain of uncooked rice. And yet it grows into the biggest tree, having roots that can cover over 2-4 acres and bark that can be 2 feet thick.

seed

I find that amazing!

And can you imagine our earth without seeds? There would be very little plant growth.

In Genesis 1:11-13,

God spoke: “Earth, green up! Grow all varieties
of seed-bearing plants,
Every sort of fruit-bearing tree.”
And there it was.
Earth produced green seed-bearing plants,
all varieties,
And fruit-bearing trees of all sorts.
God saw that it was good.
It was evening, it was morning—
Day Three.

Jesus told this parable: From Matthew 13:31-32

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.  Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

Have you looked at a seed lately?

As I planted my garden this spring, I marvelled that the tiny beet seed would produce luscious red beets;tomato seeds would grow into tall tomato plants; bean seeds into edible beans.

seed

But the parable of the tiny mustard seed:

– that makes more sense when I understand the miracle of a tiny seed growing into a large plant like the Sequoia seed turning into the largest tree.

And that our faith can be like that – small, unassuming, but powerful because we enlist the aid of God.

seed

Mark Batterson in his book study called Draw the Circle, reminds us of the miracle of that tiny seed and also how we need to go slow and wait expectantly for our prayers to be answered.

He says:

Each prayer is like a seed that gets planted in the ground. It disappears for a season, but it eventually bears fruit that blesses future generations…. So even when we die our prayers don’t.

In this world we want quick fixes, and instant solutions.

Mark says:

We want God to microwave solutions, MapQuest directions and Twitter instructions.

We forget, yes forget, that we serve a powerful awesome God.

 

In Psalm 50 we hear that God owns the cattle of a thousand hills.

 

We need to remember that we can’t let fear dictate our decisions.

 

Mark Batterson also says:

When Jesus walked out of the tomb, the word impossible was removed from our vocabulary.

Our God who can make a humungous tree grow from a tiny seed,
can surely answer our prayers.

 

Is your God big enough to answer your prayers? Remember you need to ask. So dream big and ask our awesome God.

May I pray for you and me?

Lord Jesus, You came to earth to show us the way. You came to teach us about God. You talked about Who God is and you showed miracles to show us how big our God is. Please help us to have that mustard seed of faith to put our trust in You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Until next time, think about your prayer time. Are you spending time in prayer and reading God’s Word?

Please click to get 2 Free Ebooks, Living Life — One Word at a Time and Five Ways God Changed Me.

Visit my Bookstore.

You can also find me on TwitterPinterest, FacebookInstagram.

forgiveness

Why are you poisoning yourself?

A lesson on forgiveness

I was hurt – very hurt. Someone had said an untruth that bothered me tremendously. I felt angry, betrayed and resentful. Everything I said and touched started to turn to stone. My heart became hardened. I wanted to feel the anger – conversations always led back to how hurt I felt. I knew it was wrong. I felt torn in two, worn out. I was stuck in “unforgiveness”.

What could I do?

I recall those feelings now. I don’t have them anymore. I was able to forgive and find peace.

How? How did I do that?

forgiveness

Here are 6 things you need to know before you can start on the road to forgiveness.

  1. Let Go.

Yes Let go – Forgiveness means a decision to let go of resentment or anger. It does not mean a denial of what happened or that the act is justified.

But we need to LET GO.

How can we do that? Did you hear that the definition says that we don’t condone what was done? But we let go of it. It is something that will happen supernaturally as you follow through these steps. But you need to keep it in the front of your mind as I go through the steps. Remember Let Go.

2.  Ask yourself – What are the pitfalls of not forgiving?

You may ask what if I do forgive – how will that help me? I want to stay angry. I feel like I deserve the right to be angry.

I’ve been hurt and want to feel the pain.

My answer is, you do have that right to keep the anger. We have free will. But what does anger do to you – to your body, mind and soul. It does everything you don’t want it to do. It makes you sick. You may ache physically from tenseness. You may have headaches, fatigue, weight gain, weight loss, or depression. These are things that could happen if you keep the anger.

Listen to Proverbs 14:30 in The Message:

A sound mind makes for a robust body,

but runaway emotions corrode the bones.

That doesn’t sound too delightful does it? Corroding of the bones – brittle bones, disintegrating, useless.

3. Check out what you may be missing without forgiving.

There are good things that happen to you when you forgive. Besides better health your face changes, you smile more often. You see goodness around you (by the way it was there before).

And as a Christian how do we want others to see us – as angry, or as loving, peacemaking people? God wants us to forgive others and He says that unless we do so how will God forgive us of our sins (and we do have them, don’t we?).

Listen to Matthew 5:8 in The Message:

You’re blessed when you get your inside world – your mind and heart – put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

We lose touch with God when our minds and hearts are out of whack. (Tweet this)

When we are fraught with anxiety, fear and anger we can’t find God.

“Unforgiveness” does that – it blocks the goodness around us.
It blocks our relationship with God.

4. Get Over Yourself and Think of Others

Be kind to your friends and become a loving person once again. If you are truthful you will hear how you are acting around others. Remember we all sin. So if someone has sinned against you – be a peacemaker and forgive them so that when the tables are turned you too will receive forgiveness.

 

forgiveness

 

5. Don’t fret the small stuff

We are not perfect – not one of us.

How do you know when you are going to go down that path and do something to someone else? You may not even know it – and they might be upset with something you said and did. So really – don’t fret the small stuff. There are many other things that will happen and this area that is upsetting you now will seem trivial in the future. Remember the saying, Do under others as you would have them do to you.

 6. Ask God

This really should be step one but you had to find out why you needed to give up the “unforgiveness” before I gave you this step.

Ask God for help.

Yes He can’t change your emotions but He can help you change them, He can help you find peace, He can help you know Him and His ways which are higher than any other way.

If God says to do it – Do it. And do it right now.

Don’t wait because God says we are to do it right away – not to let the sun go down. Get rid of it – now. Ask God to help you get rid of this “unforgiveness” – and then release it to Him – right now.

Listen to Ephesians 4:26-27 from The Message:

Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.

I will be praying for everyone who is harbouring a grudge or living in an unforgiving state.

Give yourself a break and give it over to God.

May I pray for you and me?

Lord, this “unforgiveness” is one of the hardest things we face in our life here on earth. You talked about it in Your Word. You said we have to forgive. Period. So Lord I give over any feelings, emotions, or hardness of heart that I have resting in me. I ask You to cleanse me of all of it. Even the stuff I don’t know about. Give me a clean heart before you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Until next time read Colossians 3:13. Remember to bear with each other and let the world know we are Christians by our love for one another.

Other Resources to Help You

http://www.joycemeyer.org/articles/ea.aspx?article=the_poison_of_unforgiveness

The word forgive: Forgiveness can be defined as the decision to let go of resentment, anger, and thoughts of revenge as a result of a real, or perceived offense, hurt, or wrongdoing against you. Forgiving someone does not mean denying a person’s responsibility for hurting you, nor does it mean minimizing, or justifying the act. (http://www.essentiallifeskills.net/forgiveness-and-letting-go.html)

 

Please click to get 2 Free Ebooks, Living Life — One Word at a Time and Five Ways God Changed Me.

Visit my Bookstore.

You can also find me on TwitterPinterest, FacebookInstagram.

3 Ps for the New Year

3 Ps for the New Year

On Hope Stream Radio you can listen to the entire podcast called 3 Ps for the New Year.

3Ps for the New Year – click here.

3 Ps for the New Year

Thinking back over the past 31 days that I studied the human trafficking scriptures I thought about what God had been teaching me.

On the podcast I talk about my Word for last year and my word for this year.

Then thinking of what God had taught me, I came up with my plan for the New Year – based on Roman 12:12. This was my first scripture to read this New Year.

Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder (The Message).

Find out my 3 Ps for the New Year on Hope Stream Radio. (tweet this)

Free gift. Can you think of the words I used for the 3 Ps? To check your answer listen to the podcast. The first person to tell me the correct answer gets the prize. Email Janis. No one from Hope Stream Radio production can enter, or my family.

Find out more about my award winning children’s books at my bookstore. A Growing with God series.3 Ps

3 Ps

 

Free books – sign up now. 

4 Podcasts for Advent

4 Podcasts for Advent

Listen to the 4 pillars of Advent at Hope Stream Radio – 4 Podcasts for Advent.

Hope

Hope now and forever

Love

let's love

Joy

JOY

Peace

Blessings to everyone as we head toward Christmas.

Janis

Listen to 4 podcasts on the 4 pillars of Advent. Join us at Hope Stream Radio. (click to Tweet)

A Cast Iron Skillet – and my Faith?

A Cast Iron Skillet – and my Faith? Podcast for Hope Stream Radio

I podcast for Hope Stream Radio once a week. I am podcasting about A Cast Iron Skillet – yes, that’s right. I cook with one all the time. This week I thought about it and how it compares to my faith. Please click on the link to hear the podcast.

a cast iron skillet and my faith

Click on HopeStreamRadio to hear my podcast.

A Cast iron skillet and my faith

Short summary:

Study of Galatians 2:20
Wrote a poem –

Surrounded by His Spirit
Enveloped in His love
He dwells deep inside me
Guides me
Inspired me
Heals me.

My life has become a well-seasoned skillet, hardened by a faith, seasoned with the Spirit (tweet this)

How to Overcome Fear – podcast

How To Overcome Fear – Podcast for Hope Stream Radio

Today on Hope Stream Radio I am talking about how to overcome fear. Fear used to be the way I lived. I became tense and irrational. Listen to what I learned.

how to overcome fear

 

How to overcome fear

Click on the link to hear the podcast: Click here.

Here are the show notes for those who would rather read the transcript.

How to Overcome Fear on Hope Stream Radio.

There are many things that have changed in my life since that pivotal moment in 2001. On an October day that year I accepted Jesus as my Saviour and promised to follow Him.

One of the first scriptures I memorized was Philippians 4:6-7

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.

I chose that Scripture because my life had been filled with fears – big ones and little ones. When I didn’t know Jesus I tried to control everything, my husband, my kids and my friends. That desire to control is still there but the Holy Spirit reminds me when I step over that line.

Losing control – or actually giving up control to Jesus is not easy. To give control to Him I had to learn to trust Him.

I learned trust by intentionally focusing my life on learning more about Him, through prayer and studying my Bible. I made Jesus my top priority.

Fear can strangle us.

Our passion, desires and dreams can be locked in a prison when we fear. (tweet this)

My fears held me back from living a full life.

When I committed this scripture to memory it started to be a part of me. I could say:

Don’t be anxious about anything.

I watched as Jesus torn down the walls of my fear and my hesitancy to try new things. As I wrote in my journal I learned more about me and my relationship with our God.

When I hit a roadblock, I prayed through it. I didn’t panic. I prayed.

I started to watch God in action. I saw Him open doors to a new life for me. I got excited. I felt a passion.

When I used to worry, my stress level soared. It made my sick – physically.

I heard someone say:

The best worriers become the best pray-ers. (tweet this)

I guess that’s me. I turned worry into prayer. Not only was there less stress , there was actually great peace, an inner peace.

Yes – a calmness overcame my rigid hyperness. I remembered to breathe in Christ when I face trials. I prayer. He answered.

There are so many passages that helped me overcome my fear.

The one I love the best is from 2 Timothy 1:7:

For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control.

I learned it that way from the New English Translation.

Doesn’t that tell us everything we need to know. When we give our lives to Jesus – we become filled with His power and His love. And self-control, or discipline – what a fantastic byproduct.

The Message for today’s passage from Philippians says:

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

How is your life? It is filled with worry? Learn how to overcome fear. (tweet this)

Breathe in Christ.

Genesis 2:7 says:

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Jesus came to give us back that breath of life. This is the way we can overcome fear. (tweet this)

Breathe in Christ and live.

May I pray for you and me?

Father God, You gave us life. You breathed into us. Fill us up with Christ. Breathe life back into our lives so we can live in freedom, freedom from fear and worry. Help us to be alive with Christ. Help us to learn this. We know it make take time, but guide each of us in our walk with You. May the God of peace guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. In Your name, Jesus, we pray. Amen.

Until next time, look carefully at your life. Is there a concern or worry that you need to give to Jesus? Memorize Philippians 4:6-7 and may it help you as it helped me leap over my fears.

DOWNLOAD 2 FREE BOOKS – LIVING LIFE ONE WORD AT A TIME and 5 WAYS GOD CAN CHANGE YOU.

Living-Life-CoverWeb5 Ways God Changed Me