Category Archives: Prayer

Repossess -LinkUp – Poetry

Can God Really Repossess Me When I’m Old?

It’s remarkable to me that God did find a way to repossess me when I got older. I hope that happens to all those who haven’t met Him yet.

Repossess

Photo of Janis as a baby

This is a poem of reflection.

Repossess

At birth, I knew God
And He knew me

As we separated
I tore away into the world

Throughout the next years
We met occasionally
Through children’s books
Sunday school songs and stories
Church activities

Through marriage vows
Births of three children
I felt Your power and magnificence

Then it happened
The world and evil intervened
I felt anger and pain
I blamed me and You, Lord

For 17 long years, I held You at arm’s length
I cried out to You only when I needed to

Empty
Forlorn
Stranded

You came along
You led me
You taught me

Then you caught me
Repossessed me
You changed me
And are changing me still

Wholly Yours
I no longer fear
No longer pull away

I seek You every moment
For strength and guidance
For healing and Your power

Thank You for loving me
And wanting to repossess me

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Pivot- How God Can Change Our Lives

And To Pivot is Good

It’s been quite the changeable last 6 months. But the last month has really swung me away from what I was doing and allowed me to pivot in a different direction.

Pivot

A sign I bought in a Tennessee book store.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1–2, NIV)

Things are changing — not just in our world but in my life.

Read my poem where this all began.

God is moving me forward but in another direction.

He is taking me on another adventure — a creative one.

For many months, I have felt stifled

I felt something was missing.

I prayed. I prayed more. I listened.

Even though I enjoy this Medium platform I felt something missing from my creative side. Looking at stats — became a game. Posting in groups — another game. But I wasted my time.

All of these things took time away from what God wanted me to do.

I am not sure if I’ll stop writing on Medium (a platform for writers and readers) but certainly, I don’t want to be tied here.

The ropes are off. The chains are gone. I feel free to see where God leads next.

Pivot

Artwork by Janis Cox

Let’s break the chains and let Jesus set us free.

Here are some things that God has led me to do recently. Definitely a pivot from what I was doing.

More Bible Art

This week I have painted and written two pieces in my Bible Journal.

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Bible Art by Janis Cox. Free course available.

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Bible Art by Janis Cox. Free course available.

Tadeo Turtle

I have made a second edition of my first children’s book, Tadeo Turtle. That meant learning InDesign and publishing through KDP.

Tadeo Turtle, winner of The Word Awards in 2013, is a story of a turtle who longs to be different. He is frustrated not being able to run around like some of his friends. This is a story that helps children to know that God created them perfectly.

A review on Amazon from a verified purchase show how much this little book can help children with different abilities to live happy, successful lives.

I love Tadeo Turtle. 🙂 I actually bought him on my kindle to read to my little nephew this Christmas, but my 10 year old daughter fell in love with him as well, so we’ve transferred to her kindle, which is fancier and has better showcase of Janis’s artistic talents. 🙂 My nephew is in kindergarten and he has Autism.

He has already memorized the book and quotes it to his friends. I don’t know if he quite realizes how much it fits for him, with his autism, but the grownups in his life sure do, and we appreciate it! Tadeo’s shell also called to mind devices that help the disabled (since I am disabled), like wheelchairs, leg braces, etc.

Those are things that we may feel self-conscious of, as children and as grown-ups, but they are God’s blessing to us to help us be all that we can be. This would make a perfect book marketed for special-needs children, as well as a great self-esteem book for all. ~ Renewed Hubby

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Cover of my new book, Tadeo Turtle.

US Amazon
Canadian Amazon

I am working on getting my second children’s book, The Kingdom of Thrim, republished.

Publisher

Me? A publisher? That is a pivot from writing on a blog.

I have a publishing company named, Butterfly Beacons.

There is a story behind the name. The butterfly symbolizes freedom in Christ. The beacon is the Light that He shines in this world and I am trying to shine it too.

Sunday Stillness Link – A poetry linkup

There is a link for others to share poetry from Medium or their blogs.

Sunday Stillness is for poets who are Christian. Join us and read poetry from others. Remember to use your friend’s link if you link to your Medium post.

God made us to be creative.

Where does your creativity lie?
Is it buried beneath stuff?
How will you work to release it?
Do you need to pivot from what you are doing?

Deanne Michelle Welsh called me a “Creativity Catalyst”. I want to get back on that path. I strayed too far on the social media, admin side. Now I am free.

Blessings,
Janis

May I pray for you and me?

Father, we wish to be in your will for our lives. Help us to focus on You first. Then help us take a leap of faith and go where you are calling. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

How Can I Hear From God Today?

To hear from God we need to be still.
Hear from God

Stillness – How to Hear from God

Being still
So hard to do

Stop
Pause
Release

Drop shoulders
Slow heart rate
Focus on Jesus

Come, Lord Jesus

Deep breath
Then another

Feel the tension ease
Let go of all thoughts
Except for Jesus
He is My Strength
And My Shield

The cares of this world
Bounce off His shield

I am protected
His power flows
Through my body
He and I are so close

Sh h h

God says,
“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper.” (Isaiah 54:17, KJV)

You, Jesus, completely cover me

Peace
Put
Everything
Aside
Christ
Enters

©JanisCox 2020

Written after reading morning scriptures.

To hear from God comes from waiting. It comes from reading God’s Word. It comes from prayer.

Psalm 28

You are my strength and my shield from every danger.
When I fully trust in you, help is on the way. (Psalm 28:7a, TPT)

Matthew 8

Even the wind and waves obey his Word. (Matthew 8:27, TPT)

Blessings,
Janis

May I pray for you and me?

Father, thank You for teaching us through Your Word. Thank You for bringing us to understand Who You are. Help us to slow down and find peace in listening to You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Janis is a writer, podcaster and author/illustrator.
If you want to join in reading the Bible in 3 years, join her Facebook group, Growing Through God’s Word.

Today is Sunday Stillness Linky Party – for Poetry. Add your poems and read others. To make sure you always get the email reminder sign up here.

Join now.

 

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Why Is Asking Forgiveness So Important?

Forgiveness

Forgiveness

Anger only makes us sick. Learn forgiveness. Pixabay photo

I think forgiveness is the hardest thing to do. I have been in that situation a few times. I found that when I didn’t forgive, my muscles were tight, sickness invaded my system easier and my bones ached. So much for hurting anyone but myself. When I forgave (this doesn’t mean you have to agree with the person or even like them) the person or situation, I became free.

I am reading the Bible in three years.

Today’s scriptures, to me, focused on forgiveness. Another day I may see something else.

Romans 1:1–7

We are told that we are set apart, called to be saints. To be a saint really means we are holy — because of Christ. Nothing we have done. Paul states this to all of Rome. Everyone can belong to God.

And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: (Romans 1:6–7, NIV)

Psalm 51

After we are restored to God, we are expected to tell others. But who are able to come to God? — those with broken spirits and contrite hearts. They have sought forgiveness either from others or from God.

I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered. Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice. (Psalm 51:17, MSG)

“Heart-shattered lives ready for love” — open, and free.

Jonah 3:1–10

Jonah listened to God (finally) and proclaimed the truth to Nineveh, warning of their destruction.

What did the Ninevites do?

All the people and the king fasted. They wore sackcloth — a sign of repentance. They prayed to God to forgive them. And they gave up their evil way.

Result?

God had compassion and there was no destruction.

God saw what they had done, that they had turned away from their evil lives. He did change his mind about them. What he said he would do to them he didn’t do. (Jonah 3:10, MSG)

After I had read the passages, I wrote my thoughts.

  1. Obedience to God is important and can change lives.
  2. God is compassionate.
  3. God hears people cry out to Him.
  4. God listens to our hearts.
  5. True repentance can bring reconciliation with God.

Who are you angry at?
What is there in your heart that might not be pleasing to God?
Search yourselves.

Ask forgiveness.

Kimberly Payne writes about forgiveness.

How many times a day do we need to ask forgiveness?

Once per transaction. Then Jesus covers you.

Thank You Jesus, that You are right here. I don’t need my transgressions to build until I can tell a priest. You are the High Priest that will hear and answer immediately.

I love the verse from Micah. In Micah 6:8

But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously — take God seriously. (MSG)

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (NIV)

I love The Message: “Take God seriously.”

When I went to God in prayer, this is the poem I heard.

Forgiveness

Anger eats away at our souls
Crusty, hard, judgmental

Warm your hearts
Embrace the compassion of God.

Anger builds walls
Love embraces

Confession breaks down walls
God forgives

Hearts are restored
Healing happens
Life returns
God is connected

©Janis Cox 2020

May I pray for you and me?

Lord, You see inside us. Help us to see what You see so we can confess. Break open our hearts to the truth so we can be healed. We ask forgiveness for …. [fill it in]. Thank You that You hear us. Thanks for reconnecting with us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

3 Ps

Special Offer – The Kingdom of Thrim

Special Offer – today until September 18, 2019




A special offer.

I am offering The Kingdom of Thrim, signed copies, to everyone who orders from now until September 18th — $13.00 Canadian and no shipping cost. To Canadian residents and US mainline residents only.

It’s also available on amazon.com and amazon.ca.

Please check this out at my Bookstore or message me for more information.

The “Kingdom of Thrim” delights children of all ages – don’t miss this special offer

By author/illustrator Janis Cox

Special Offer

Special offer

Glynis Belec says,

“Janis’s delightful watercolor illustrations add to the charm of this story and the activities and research ideas at the back of the book serve to enhance the enjoyment of THE KINGDOM OF THRIM”

Maria I. Morgan says,

“Author Janis Cox does a marvelous job teaching the timeless truth of seeking God in all of our decisions. Beautifully illustrated by Janis, The Kingdom of Thrim will be popular with children and grandchildren alike!”

Don’t wait – buy now




What Do You Know About Saving the Bees?

Watercolour by Janis Cox (in Tadeo Turtle)

I love butterflies and hummingbirds. I realize the importance of bees. There is a serious danger of these fragile creatures dying. I love to paint all three.

You and I can help save the bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

Want to make your yard a haven for bees and butterflies?

Two tips: don’t use pesticides containing neonicotinoids or don’t use any pesticides, and be careful where and which plants you buy.

Neonicotinoids are poison to bees (and harmful to butterflies and hummingbirds, too)

I found it extremely difficult to find plants last year that were neonic free.

There is good new s— Big chains are taking action. April 2019.

“That could be another reason the number of companies taking action is on the rise. Today, big chains with garden centers like Home Depot, Walmart, Ace Hardware and True Value are making good on pledges to stop selling neonicotinoid-treated products, from seeds to live plants (Earth Day Challenge for Gardeners).”

What happens to the bees when they ingest this poison?

Bees behaviour changes

Lack of hygiene

In a proper colony, bees are very clean and tidy. They like to keep any dead or sick bees out of the nest. When worker bees have been in touch with a neonic their behaviour changes. Then the other bees get sick and in time the colony declines. Sometimes their brains are affected and they lose their way home.

The Queen dies

If the queen dies and a replacement can’t be found, there are no longer any eggs laid. Without eggs, there are no future bees.

What other components work with the neonicotinoid?

Studies have shown that fungicides on their own do not affect the bee population. But mixed with the neonics, this combination significantly enhances mortality of bees.

“Other labs had shown that fungicides make neonicotinoids more toxic, so Zayad’s team tested them, too. Neither the most common herbicide (linuron) nor the most common fungicide (boscalid) affected worker bee mortality on their own. But when the bees were exposed to the fungicide in combination with the neonicotinoid clothianidin, it took half as much of the chemicals to kill as many bees. The same applied if clothianidin was swapped with another neonicotinoid, thiamethoxam” (Neonicotinoid Pesticides).

Why save the wild bees?

It is not just about honey. Honey bees usually are kept in controlled conditions even when on small farms. But they still travel for their nectar — and could find one of the poisonous plants.

It is about pollination. Bees pollinate fruits, squash, cucumbers, melons and beans, to name a few. We need this pollination to grow our food.

Solutions to Save the Bees

Research

Carefully research which plants you can buy that are free from Neonicotinoids.

Create a yard that is bee and butterfly friendly

Plant flowers — but be sure they do not contain neonics. If the seller can not assure you that they are neonic free — don’t buy them.

Buy organic plants that attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Buy plants that are native to your area.

Photo by W R on Unsplash

Create a place for them to drink water. A shallow saucer is great. Make sure you replenish with fresh water so it isn’t a haven for mosquitos. Put the saucer near plants that might get aphids. The bees will keep the aphids away.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRKI-qxpsUo

Keep parts of your lawn MESSY.

I thought this very interesting. Leaving a few leaves, twigs and not mowing some areas helps tremendously.

Let’s be sure that we are NOT the cause of these creatures’ decline.
Let’s be proactive this spring and summer.

Image by fancycrave1 from Pixabay

Help bring awareness of pesticide use

Many countries are trying to ban pesticide use. Not only does it stay on the plants but because of rain, it also goes into the water table. Into our lakes.

The problem, of course, is that when one pesticide is banned another one takes its place.

But we have to keep at it.

What’s wrong with natural?

We leave our dandelions — or pick them out. I actually like a spring crop of dandelions. They are natural, a lovely colour and brighten up a dull spring day.

Photo by Marija M. on Unsplash

Bees, beetles, and butterflies all like to snack on dandelions. Let’s not consider them a weed but a spring flower.

I love to paint these creatures

Batik Watercolour by Janis Cox
Batik Hummingbird by Janis Cox

The righteous care for the needs of their animals,”(Proverbs 12:10, NIV).


Thanks to these sites for information and more reading for you

Let dandelions grow. Bees, beetles and birds need them
Dandelions are demonised as one of the most pernicious weeds, but hold back on the mowing and you’ll find a whole range…www.theguardian.com

How Did God Lead Marianne to Social Justice?

A Powerful Story of God’s Persistence and a Woman’s Obedience

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Marianne Jones, author, blogger, scriptwriter.

“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” ~ Malala Yousafzai

Marianne

Marianne didn’t let anything stop her from speaking out. Here is her story.

I knew from the time I was ten I wanted to be a writer. I was an insatiable reader and loved to memorize poetry and write my own. When I was 14, I saw an ad for a national writing competition from a now-defunct magazine called Miss Chatelaine. I decided to enter, as a test, to see if I had what it took. I was shocked when I actually won. It seemed like confirmation, but it also scared me, and because of my perfectionism and fear of failure, I didn’t do a lot of writing for a long time.

In my twenties, married, with two children, I decided to try seriously to write, and took a Christian correspondence course in writing. I thought that I’d give writing one year, and if I hadn’t sold anything in that year, I’d give myself permission to quit. That year I sold an article to Woman’s Touch magazine (also defunct now, but I don’t think it had anything to do with my article) for $15.

I felt that God had given me my answer.

Still, it was not smooth sailing after that. I had years of tears, discouragement, rejection letters. But God wouldn’t let me go. Every time I was on the verge of quitting, I’d sell another piece. And I began writing for local newspapers, which taught me how to do interviews and brought in a small salary.

I first heard about IJM (International Justice Mission) at church.

Right away I was hooked.

So often we look at things like human trafficking and think, “That’s awful, but what can I do about it?” Here was a Christian organization that was doing a great deal about it!

The idea of writing a play about their work kept gnawing at me.

I had written a play about the work of the Salvation Army in Thunder Bay, and it had done well. I ordered Gary Haugen’s book, “Terrify No More,” to get a sense of how they carry out their rescue operations, and used it as a model for a play that I wrote and directed at church. We had a fabulous cast and team, and raised $22,000 from that evening!

I have been involved to a smaller extent with other things my husband Reg  has spearheaded. He formed a committee at church to sponsor two Syrian refugee families and help settle them in Thunder Bay. Both families are doing very well, and have become good friends. They are eternally grateful to the committee and to our church. Reg has also formed a “Walking Together” group at church to explore ways in which we can partner with First Nations people and promote healing, and reconciliation. This has been an exciting venture in our city, with the Walking Together group growing and gaining traction and influence in the city and some northern communities.

God has led all the way.

When I was a young Christian, churches seemed to be mainly concerned about evangelism among people that were similar to themselves.

Social justice was not considered to be the church’s work.

That never felt right to me or Reg. Throughout the Bible, God talks about injustice and oppression. Jesus spoke of breaking chains and preaching good news to the poor. This is an exciting time, when we are seeing God lead in showing His love to refugees, slaves, and people trapped in poverty and addiction. His love is not just toward those of us who live in a comfortable middle-class bubble.

I am thrilled at what God  is doing!

Several years ago I heard Linda Stewardson share her story at church. We were riveted as she told of being stabbed as a child by her stepfather, put into a garbage bag, and left to die.

As she continued, I thought, “This is a book. I have to write her story!”

I approached her later about it, and she was willing to work with me on a manuscript. Later, I entered it in a publishing contest run by Word Alive Press with Women’s Journey of Faith, and it won! Linda has spoken to women in prison, girls in crisis, College classes for child and youth workers, and everywhere she is invited. People are always enthralled by her story of how God enabled her to overcome her past and thrive. She has appeared on 100 Huntley Street three times, and the Centre for Mental Health and Addiction awarded her the Courage to Come Back award.

Marianne

A powerful story of the impact one story can have

While Linda and I were signing copies at the launch of The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die at Women’s Journey of Faith in Saskatoon, a young woman stood near. She hung back. When there was a free moment, she came closer, hesitated, and then said, “Thank you for writing this.” Her eyes filled with tears, and she appeared to be struggling.

“Does this story resonate with you?” I asked. She nodded, and managed to share that she, like Linda, had experienced severe abuse in her life. Linda and I both embraced her and tried to convey our sympathy. I asked her if she was getting support, and she said yes. She also said that often people didn’t want to hear about it.

I told her that there is power in sharing one’s story.

The Girl Who wouldn’t Die

Watch it by clicking the link above.

Someone else came with a book for signing, and I turned to them, as Linda continued to speak with the young woman. Unfortunately, we didn’t get any contact information from her to continue the conversation, but she has stayed in our hearts and prayers since.


Linda said to me, “That’s the whole reason for this book. That’s why we did this.”
I couldn’t agree more.

Marianne

Linda and Marianne at book signing.

People are often uncomfortable at topics like sexual abuse and human trafficking.

They would rather change the subject and move on to something more pleasant. But I don’t see that as an option. How can we turn our backs on our sisters (and brothers) who, through no fault of their own, are  treated as objects for abuse? I can handle the unpleasantness of the topic. I’ve heard women share their stories with me.

Their stories don’t depress me. Rather, they motivate me to do something about it.

Like everyone else, I have limited time, money and energy. But like the boy who gave his bread and fish to Jesus to be shared, I can give my small offerings of time and talent, trusting that God will multiply them.

The Kindle version of The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die can be found here.
For a print copy, email her

Marianne is a team member for Chain Breakers at IJMCanada. Please consider donating to this worthy cause.

Chain Breakers.

 

INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE MISSION is a global organization that protects the poor from violence throughout the developing world. IJM partners with local authorities to rescue victims of violence, bring criminals to justice, restore survivors, and strengthen justice systems. International Justice Mission Canada shares in this mission.

 

Where Can You Find Me? I am not lost.

Not Lost – But Found

I am not lost but found. At least anymore than a child of God is lost in this world. But I am found by Him – and that’s a hallelujah. And it’s time for revival.

I believe strongly we need to all be praying for revival of the Holy Spirit. Join me at Artists and Writers Grow Through God’s Word Facebook Group.

lost

 

I am not posting as much here as I have begun to write seriously on another platform called Medium. I belong to a publication called Faith Hacking and one called Publishous. I also write in the member’s posts section.

You can find me here and follow me on Medium – with no obligations.

Janis Cox 

Some of my topics:

Revival  There are many posts on this topic of revival.

Battling Satan

How to Relieve Stress

These are my most recent. If you follow me you will see more of my posts.

 

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.

surrender

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.

surrender

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. 

surrender

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