Tag Archives: art

Why is that cell phone addictive?

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash
cell phone
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I have been running an online study of God’s Word on Facebook and last January  we  looked at Proverbs.

I love the way God shows each member of our group different things to look at. This morning during the sermon a church I heard why that happens.

Our Pastor said, “As we examine His Word, God examines us.”

And that’s exactly what we have found while studying the first 5 proverbs.

As I studied Proverbs 5 I knew it talked about faithfulness and the sin of adultery. As I focused on verse 3, I read:

For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey,
and her speech is smoother than oil;

From a Bible Journaling

This made me think of other things that give me pleasure, but are not necessarily good for my spirit.

I thought of all the enticements that the world offers that we have to be aware of. There are many.

Then I thought about social media. And my new cell phone. Was I drawn to it – more than I should be?

Looking at the honey analogy I see that social media is sweet, enticing and tastes good.

Recently, I read a very good article in the Globe and Mail that showed me that although our desire to see who is talking on line and whether people are liking and commenting is very sweet, it is worse than that — we are wanting more and more.

That’s addiction.

And to make it worse the people behind the programs, like Facebook and Instagram, can manipulate our “likes” to make us come back to check — which is exactly what they want — the more views, the better advertising. Oh — they caught us!

But how and why do we continue to want to do this?

It’s all about something called dopamine. It’s a funny word — because it reminds me of the word dope — or simple-minded. We are been played for fools.

Screen time has been called “digital heroin”.

Dopamine is a feel-good neurotransmitter. And somehow screens with their likes, comments, games, bring about this feeling. It makes us want more. It is addictive.

Another article from the New York Post explains the “digital heroin”.

Can you live without your cell phone for a week, a day, or a couple of hours? If you can’t answer yes — you may be addicted.

It drips like honey — enticing you.

In the second part of the Proverbs it talks about lips having speech smoother than oil.

There is so much on the Internet that slips into our minds without our noticing if it’s right or wrong. It may soothe your ego, flatter your ability, or lie to you.

Listen to Psalm 5:6

“Not a word from their mouth can be trusted;
their heart is filled with malice.
Their throat is an open grave;
with their tongues they tell lies.”

Can that be what we are listening or reading?

Is there a way out of this?

I think there is.

It is called discipline and wisdom.

Read the first 5 proverbs, and you will see that God will provide us the wisdom we need if we ask Him.

In prayer we can ask for help with our own cell addictions and those of our children.

I know with God’s help we can use the devices – cell phones –  with wisdom, and discretion.

And for what we read and share on the Net — we need to research it thoroughly and test it against the Word of God. Does it line up?

I would say that:

If it is hateful — it is not of God
If it is judgmental — It is not of God
If it is hurtful — It is not of God.

Remember Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.”

The more we read the Bible, the more we pray and the more we listen, we will find the wisdom of God.

And when we do we will find joy, love, peace and hope as well.

May I pray for you and me?

Father, we know there are things of this world that can be good and bad. Help us control cell phone use. We know that You can help us discern how much time we spend on our phones, and how we can use them wisely to glorify You. Help us to find that way. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Until next time, check yourself and your family.

Are you snared by that phone?
Are you missing out in personal communication?
Pray for control over that device and stay in the Word to gather discernment about its use.

CALL TO ACTION:

Are you a Christian? If so, do you need to go deeper in your spiritual journey?

One way to continue to grow in God’s Word is online.

Artists and Writers Grow 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.

revival

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.

What Can I See With 33 Random Dots?

What Can I See With 33 Random Dots?

Once again I challenged myself with 33 dots on a page. I prayerfully put 33 random dots on a page with my eyes closed. Then I join the dots without crossing any lines. See how I found a rabbit. Hint it has something to do with Easter.

rabbit

From Pixabay

What will I be able to see this time?

It’s not easy but I ask God — what it is this week that you want to explain to me? I turned the page around and round. I finally settled with this view.

What do you see?

 

rabbit

33 Dots connected. What do you see?

This week I had the pleasure of a visit from my sister-in-law. We did some walking around the Riparian Water Reserve in Gilbert, Arizona. We had our little dog, Snowball, with us.

 

rabbit

Janis at the Riparian Water Park in Gilbert, AZ

My sister-in-law loves taking pictures. So I wandered and she shot 100 pictures. She and Snowball have one thing in common and that’s rabbits. They both love rabbits. But Snowball likes to chase them and my sister-in-law wants them to stay still. I would hold our little dog back while she took some great pictures.

 

rabbit

Isn’t he cute? Photo by my Sister-in-law.

I guess rabbits were on my mind when I looked at my 33 dots because this is what I saw.

A rabbit emerged from the 33 random dots.

 

rabbit

33 Dot Image — Rabbit

Now I have a rabbit picture and of course, Easter is coming in a few weeks so my mind went to the Easter Bunny and Easter Eggs.

I have questioned this custom before. In fact, I wrote about Satan’s letter stating that children were taken away from the true meaning of Easter by the Easter Bunny.

But I’ve changed my mind since reading about the history of these customs.

To read more of this post go to How Can God Let Me See Through My Painting.

Linking to Paint Party Friday.

CALL TO ACTION

Are you struggling alone?
Do you need other Christian writers to help you?
Do you want to be in a community of believers?

Join us at Grow Through God’s Word on Facebook.

 

Click on the image to go to the group.

Is Pride Easy to Spot? I Think Not

33 Dots: Pride

I am doing a challenge experiment in drawing — to make my mind expand but also to hear God at the same time. This time I heard the word pride.  I put 33 dots on a piece of art paper, outline them and then colour. Then I pray. What Lord does this mean?

just the dots outlined. Step 1.
Step 2 — The contour embellished and made into an image.
The final painting for 33 dots.

Now comes the harder part. Lord, what is this? What are you showing me?

At first, when I looked at the outline alone and turned it round and round I kept seeing crowns.

That carries back to Lord of the Rings and my reading of the third book in the series. There are a series of kings in the story. Good and bad. And then I am also reading David Kitz’s book “The Soldier Who Killed a King” and we have read together in a study both Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, followed by Herod’s entry. A study of two kings. Quite the differences.

But then I got to thinking that I saw an egg — and an egg person.

So what I see is Humpty Dumpty.

As I read through article after article it seems to me that this sentence made the most sense:

Perhaps, in this instance, we could take advice from Humpty Dumpty himself, as seen in Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll:

“When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less “ (Lewis Carroll).

People will always attribute more meaning to nursery rhymes than was initially intended (from The Origin of Humpty Dumpty).

I like to take the rhyme of Humpty Dumpty as a riddle. So I asked God what He thought. I prayed. I listened.

To read what God told me please go to:

What Does God Think of the Sin of Pride?

I would you to hear your thoughts.

Sharing on Paint Party Friday. 

 

How God Can Speak Through My Art – What’s my Burden?

33 Dots  – Burden

I love to draw. But lately I felt hemmed in when I painted. This week my painting led me to the word – burden.

Photo from Pixabay

I decided I’m letting my inhibitions go and see where God would lead me.

I want to draw freely.

As always I pray first. Then I put down 33 dots ( Idea from Meg Konovska) and draw in the outline. After that I look and look. Then I decide what I see and make the picture. Then I paint it.  Continue reading

How and Why God is Leading Me to Go Forth

33 Dot Challenge: Go Forth

I love the creative challenge of 33 dots. I randomly place the dots on a page without looking. Then I draw lines to connect them without crossing any lines. This time I saw me carrying a banner that said: GO FORTH.

olympic rings Pixabay

No I am not going to the Olympics.

At first I was reminded of the up-coming Olympics and the torch that they carry. Then I saw myself – carrying the word of this year. Valiantly carrying on even though I have no idea where God is headed.

I love the challenge of the 33 dots and of my life with God.

When finding my “word” and scripture for 2018 I heard these words:

thrive, flourish, prosper, blossom, profitable and succeed.

My scripture for this year is from Hebrews 13:21

May God give you every good thing you need so you can do what He wants. May He do in us what pleases Him through Jesus Christ. May Christ have all the shining-greatness forever! Let it be so (NLT).

As you can see I only go forth with Him.

Not ahead. Not holding back. It is my goal to do what He desires and not my will.

Here is my image from today’s challenge.

go forth

Watercolour Painting 33 dots by Janis Cox

Call to Action:

Are you searching for more in your studying of the Bible?

Do you hesitate to take your Bible from the shelf?

Do you want to go deeper with God?

Connect. Create. Grow through God’s Word.

If you are interested you are welcome to join us in our search together on Growing Through God’s Word Facebook group.

We are finishing up Proverbs now. And today I learned Proverbs 28:19

“He who worked his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.”

go forth

Bible Art by Janis Cox – Proverbs 28:19

You can also find me on Instagram. go forth

How Can We Learn to Be Good Fishers of Men and Women for God?

Fishers of Men: 33 Dots

I love doing the 33 dot challenge. Does anyone else want to do it with me? If so I would set up a special way to link for it. This time my dots turned into a fish. And it reminded me of “Fishers of Men”.

fishers

Photo by Fredrik Ohlander on Unsplash

“Walking along the beach of Lake Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers: Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew. They were fishing, throwing their nets into the lake. It was their regular work. Jesus said to them, “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.” They didn’t ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed” (Matthew 4:18-20, MSG).

Jesus said He would show us how to catch men and women. How?

I think He meant that through the Holy Spirit we would learn things we didn’t know before. Through His Word the Spirit would open up new ideas and awake us to the truth. And when we learned these things He wanted us to go out and tell others.

Are you telling others? If the conversation turns to God do speak up for Him? Or do you turn away? Change the subject?

I hope this fish reminds you that Jesus wants us to be Fishers of Men and Women.

“Run away from infantile indulgence. Run after mature righteousness—faith, love, peace—joining those who are in honest and serious prayer before God. Refuse to get involved in inane discussions; they always end up in fights. God’s servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey. You never know how or when God might sober them up with a change of heart and a turning to the truth, enabling them to escape the Devil’s trap, where they are caught and held captive, forced to run his errands” (2 Timothy 2:26, MSG).

How can we learn mature righteousness? “Joining those who are in honest and serious prayer before God.”

The Artwork for Fishers:

Here is the progression of my picture.

fishers

fishers

Final Painting

 

Our new group in Facebook is aimed to do just that – help us grow into Fishers of Men and Women. We grow closer to God by studying His Word and prayer. Join us.

Create. Connect. Grow Through God’s Word

And if you want a Lenten study this year like no other join us in another Facebook group, Book Study with David Kitz and Janis Cox. Learn more about that week before Jesus died. Be part of the crowd; feel what the centurion feels. Join us.

fishers

Last day to get a free book is January 31. Don’t delay join us today.

Book Study with David Kitz and Janis Cox

 

Skater: Drawing Shouldn’t Be Complicated

33 Dots: Skater

Another day for 33 Dots – from Meg Konovska’s idea. This is my second day of randomly placing 33 dots on a piece of paper – then trying to figure out what’s there. Today we get a colourful skater.

skater

Coloured pencil skater – 33 dots

Thoughts:

As I looked at this skater, I thought of myself on ice skates. I used to be able to skate pretty well. Not great but I could make it around the rink. Not now. Now I need help. Last year my daughters took me for a spin and they shot this picture. I stayed steady for the picture and then said – “grab me.”

skate

This year, everyone forgot their cameras. But I still went around the rink twice. It wasn’t as smooth this year – many holes from lots of use. But I felt a sense of accomplishment, just putting them on, getting to the rink, and going around with help on either side.

This girl remind me of how I need to be bold, whether in trying to skate, or attempting new things.

Her skates don’t look very steady and that’s how I feel sometimes, treading this Internet and connecting with others. I’m on shaky ground.

But God tells us again and again (over 400 times actually) to not fear.

Do NOT be afraid He says.

He will always be with us. It is God Who leads and guides us so we have NOTHING to fear.

Read John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

The colourful outfit that my girl is wearing is the creativity that’s in me. It’s in all of us. But we are fearful of not being able to do it. But if we let ourselves go and let God lead it is amazing what He can do.

Read Ephesians 2:10

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Here is the beginning of the picture. I had put the 33 dots. I forgot to take the picture with just the dots.

skater

Skater – 33 dots, Janis Cox

When I wrote Tadeo Turtle and wanted to illustrate my own children’s book, I didn’t think that was possible. But I did it. And it won an award in 2012 from The Word Awards.

What I believe, is that we can do anything when God is beside us.

We can learn to change our plans: our temperament; we can be kinder; we can learn to be inspirational; we can learn to draw, to write and even to skate. But we do need to ask Him and listen for His answers too.

Do you want to change? Are you tired of doing things on your own? There are two ways I hope I can help?

CALL TO ACTION:

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. JOIN US.

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.

She also has a gift for you called One Word at a Time, if you like to work through scripture.

Porcupine: Drawing Shouldn’t be Complicated

Drawing Shouldn’t be Complicated

Try 33 Dots to Discover your creativity and God’s Word – porcupine

The other day I read Meg Konovska’s post about her method of painting with 33 dots. This fascinated me as I need more help visualizing pictures.  At first I forgot the number and painted only with 14 dots. Both my 5 year grandson and I tried it with 14. We used shiny paper and markers. It was so much fun.

Here at the 14 dot pictures.

14 dot porcupine challenge

Janis – markers. 14 dot challenge

14 dot porcupine challenge

Grandson Bryce – 14 dot challenge – bear going to school

Now he is excited to try with 33 dots.

 

Today I tried the 33 dots and immediately saw a porcupine (stylized).

porcupine

Watercolour Pencil – Janis Cox

porcupine

Watercolour Pencil – with water – Janis Cox

My thoughts:

When I think of a porcupine I think of prickly and defensive.

We can be like porcupines. We snap. We get defensive.

But porcupines are reacting to danger.

What is pushing our buttons?

God gave us the ability to change. When we see the problem, we can ask for help. When we pray and ask God for help in those situations where our emotions would rather scream, but our spirit wants to halt.

We remember the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22

“But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

As we head into the busyness of Christmas, reflect on this. Breathe. Seek God. Find His love, joy, peace and hope. Try not to be a porcupine.

Blessings

Janis

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.

only

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.

only

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.

near

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)?

near

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

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