Tag Archives: belief

Sunday Stillness Link – If You Believed

Sunday Stillness Link – If you believed


Quick watercolour pencil sketch in my notebook.

Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” (John 11:40, NIV)

 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer (Matthew 21:22, NIV)

Last Sunday our minister asked us when we began to believe. Then he asked us, “What do you think helped you to come to believe? He talked about all the pray-ers in our families, in our lives. Then he told us that the prayers of those people opened up God’s power to bring each of us to the knowledge of God. If you are not there yet, don’t worry. God is working on you – He is not finished with you yet. And He is not finished with believers either.

I have some ideas of who prayed for me. Certainly there were women in the church I started to attend who prayed non-stop for me. I know that because I joined their Bible study shortly afterwards. I thank God for leading me to them and for their prayers. I know my parents and my Dad’s parents were prayers – so I am sure I would have been in their prayers.

Tantrum 2013 small

Let’s look at what the Bible says about believing:

Even though many saw the blind beggar healed, they refused to believe. But the now not-blind beggar certainly exclaimed, “Jesus healed me”.

We read from John 9:25 (NIV). The Pharisees had accused Jesus of being a sinner because he broke the rule of healing on a Sunday.

He (the blind man) replied, “Whether he (Jesus) is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”

and then the beggar returns to Jesus. John 9:35-38, NIV

Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”

 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”

 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.

God only asks us to believe – not waver, but trust in Him. (click to tweet)

Do you have friends or family who do not believe?

Let’s pray for them now.

Lord Jesus, prayers we know are powerful because You are powerful. We pray for our families and friends who do not believe. We ask you to open ways for them to believe. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

I have asked myself many times, “if I believed earlier, how much different would our lives be now?”

My belief has changed my very existence, – the way I think, the way I act, the way I live. (click to tweet)

But then I remember it is all in God’s timing. Maybe I wasn’t ready to truly believe earlier. And that’s how I think of my family and friends – God is not ready to reveal Himself to them …. YET.

What are your thoughts? Yes or no.

Today is Sunday Stillness.


Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. Available in Kindle Format, in bookstores, online and from her website. Curriculum available upon request. Janis also is a contributor to Hope Stream Radio. Join her on Tuesdays and Saturdays.


You can find her on Facebook, and Twitter. Tadeo has his own Facebook Page.






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#UTCOP – Who is Steroidal Aunt Bessie?

Who is Steroidal Aunt Bessie?

by Brenda Wood


A killjoy likes to kill joy in others. Their behaviour prevents others from having a good time.
We all have an Uncle Freddy who looks down his nose at giggling children and spouts off saying like “In my day, children were seen and not heard!”


Then there are the Aunt Bessies who ‘Harrumph’ their displeasure if they cannot control the conversation. One Aunt Bessie I know grabs her stomach and cries out “Oh, I do not like you even discussing that.” Then she rushes to the bathroom to throw up, or at least pretend to do so.

Atheists are only another version of killjoys.

They don’t understand our love and devotion to Christ and spout long dissertations on why we ought not to believe. Don’t bother arguing with them.

Atheists are just Aunt Bessie on steroids.

The following are atheist excerpts from Mark 6:1-6, NIV. We aren’t the only ones amazed at their lack of faith.

“Where did this man get these things?” they asked.


“What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?”


And they took offense at him. He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.

Jesus was amazed at their lack of faith.


Lord, please open the eyes of our unbelieving friends and relatives that they too would come to know Christ as their personal Saviour. Amen.


Who is steroidal Aunt Bessie? (tweet this)

Brenda J. Wood

A popular motivational speaker, Brenda, of Barrie, Ontario is known for her common sense wisdom, sense of humour and quirky comments. Brenda especially enjoys speaking at women’s retreats and conferences, community events, Mops, World Day of Prayer, and Stonecroft Ministries.

A prolific author, her current books include:

The Big Red Chair: a children’s book dealing with the loss of a grandparent.
Meeting Myself: Snippets from a Fractured Mind:  the author’s recovery from abuse and eating disorders.
Hearts Under Construction: A motivational cookbook designed to feed both body and soul
Heartfelt: 366 Devotions for Common Sense Living.
God, Gluttony and You: a Bible Study dealing with our relationship to food.
The Pregnant Pause of Grief: the first trimester of widowhood

Read more at:
facebook – www.facebook.com/brendawoodspeaker


Prayer is About Believing Too!

Prayer is About Believing Too!

by Tanya

Prayer Includes Believing

From Free Digital Photos.Net

A lot of times when we think about prayer, we think about it as asking God for something.

When we are sick… a loved one is sick… we need financial assistance… we have family problems… these are all times when we turn to prayer.

But a lot of times we stop here.

Have you heard the story about the little girl whose family prayed for rain? She was the only one who left with her umbrella.


When we pray, sure we might as God for something, but prayer doesn’t stop with the asking.

Prayer also includes believing.

“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you (Mark 11:24, NASB).

When we pray, let us also believe in the power of our infinite God of love and grace, to grant us that which is best for us. If we truly believe, just like that little girl who took the umbrella because she believed that the rain would fall, we will confidently step out in faith PREPARED for our “rain” to fall.


Prayer includes believing. Mark 11:24 (tweet this)


Tanya – from God’s Character

Tanya is a child of God, wife, stay at home mom and homeschooler. She loves the Lord and loves telling people about who He is. By God’s grace her husband and she intend to live out Joshua’s statement “but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”. And so her greatest desire is to see her Lord face to face and along with her family, join in the joyous strains of triumphant voices praising our Lord and King. Check out her blog at God’s Character.

Sunday Stillness – Mark 11:24

Sunday Stillness – Mark 11:24


Picture is from Free Digital Photos.Net

I am reading through the New Testament with Margaret Feinberg as a Lenten exercise. I started earlier because I knew I needed more time than 40 days.

As I read through Mark, I came across:

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours (Mark 11:24, NIV).

We doubt a lot. We wonder if it would be possible for God to answer our prayers. And here Jesus says, “believe you have received it.”

In The Message I read this:

Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you’ll get God’s everything (Mark 11:24, The Message).

Embracing the God-life – listening to His Voice, acting on His Word, praying persistently.

Every day I try harder and harder to do this. And I have seen miracles, divine appointments and God moving mountains.

I believe I have received it when I pray. Do you?


I believe I have received it when I pray. (tweet this)

Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (tweet this)

Join me at my other blog Under the Cover of Prayer as we wrestle with all facets of connecting with God.

I hope you consider joining me in my new venture with a newsletter. I am taking a step of faith to do this.

Join He Cares for You

To contact me at any time please email Janis.

Today is Sunday Stillness.

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Here are my favourite links for Sunday Stillness:

The Sunday Community

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Watchful Wednesdays – Christian Authors Book Launch Tour

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Michelle D. Evans, another member of John 3:16 Network. We get to know a little about her and find out about her book, Spiralling Out of Control. To find out more about the John 3:16 Book Launch Contest see the end of this post. 

You can enter the contest right here on this page.

Watchful Wednesdays – Christian Authors Book Launch Tour

by Michelle D. Evans

It is such an honour and privilege to be here on Janis’s blog today. Thank you so much for hosting me.Spiralling Out of Control PREVIEW-1

When Janis asked me to write about faith I jumped at the chance. I love talking about faith. Everyone has faith in something. Even atheists have faith in their belief that no higher power exists. Faith is something we hold onto, it gets us through the hard times and it lets us soar in the exciting times.

In my novel Spiralling Out of Control, Stephanie’s family turn up to a traditional church, but where their faith actually is could be questioned.

Do her parents have faith in the church, in the people that go, in the priest or in themselves?

Stephanie doesn’t know herself where her parents’ faith lie and she herself is lost in what she actually believes. Because she is so lost, she jumps at the chance to date a high school senior and puts her faith in him.

I have seen over and over when people put their faith and trust in another person, they are nearly always let down.

Our faith needs to lie in a greater force, a higher power,
greater than any imperfect human being. 

Many people search for years without finding a one true God and unfortunately, by the end of Spiralling Out of Control, Stephanie is still searching but she begins to think her best friend’s faith in God might have some substance.


 Spiralling Out of Control

Temptation, depression, seduction, betrayal … Not what Stephanie was expecting at fifteen years of age. Uprooted from her happy, all-girl high school life with a dream filled future and thrown into an unfriendly co-ed school, Stephanie spirals into depression.

When charismatic high school senior, Jason notices her, Stephanie jumps in feet first and willingly puts all her faith and trust in him, a boy she barely knows.

Every choice she makes and turn she takes leads her towards a dangerous path.

Her best friend is never far away and ready to catch her … but will she push Tabbie too far away when she needs her most?

This novel contains adult themes. Recommended reading audiences 17+



Michelle Dennis Evans writes picture books, chapter books, young adult contemporary novels and free verse poetry. Her debut novel Spiralling Out of Control and poetry collection Life Inspired both reached #1 in subcategories on Amazon in their first week of release.

Michelle is married to an awesome man. She spends most of her days educating, socialising and sporting their four children and her nights writing.

She lives on the Gold Coast of Australia and believes you can find healing and hope when you read someone else’s story, fiction or truth. Her life is full and at times overflowing but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

From December 1 through December 16, the John 3:16 Marketing Network is hosting a Christmas Book Launch. Spiralling Out of Control is a featured book. As part of the event, the Network is offering a $200 Amazon gift certificate to one lucky winner. For a chance to win, go to http://bit.ly/Christian_Books and enter the Rafflecopter toward the bottom of the page.


I just entered to #win & you can too: “Win a $200 Amazon Gift Card”. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Why Start Your Faith Journey with the Book of John?

Why Start Your Faith Journey with the Book of John?

by Brenda Wood

The Book Of John

The Book Of John (Photo credit: design-gate)

When I first invited Jesus into my life, someone suggested that I start my new journey with Christ in the Book of John. I’ve since offered the same advice to other newbies. Why do we do that?

According to the introduction to John in the Amplified Bible, this book is very different from the other three Gospels. Its purpose is to report the signs or miracles of Christ so that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ. In fact, the word “believe (trust, adhere to, rely on)” occurs ninety-eight times in this writing.

As we learn to believe, we will learn to trust, and the more we do that,
the more we will pray and obey. (Tweetable)

Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God (Isaiah 50:10, NIV).

So have your read the Book of John lately? It would be a great place to start if you need to rekindle your faith.

 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (John 1:1-5, NIV).


Lord, we believe. Help our unbelief! (from Mark 9:24) In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

A popular motivational speaker, Brenda, of Barrie, Ontario is known for her common sense wisdom, sense of humour and quirky comments. Brenda especially enjoys speaking at women’s retreats and conferences, community events, Mops, World Day of Prayer, and Stonecroft Ministries.

A prolific author, her current books include:

The Big Red Chair: a children’s book dealing with the loss of a grandparent.
Meeting Myself: Snippets from a Fractured Mind:  the author’s recovery from abuse and eating disorders.
Hearts Under Construction: A motivational cookbook designed to feed both body and soul
Heartfelt: 366 Devotions for Common Sense Living.
God, Gluttony and You: a Bible Study dealing with our relationship to food.
Read more at:
facebook – www.facebook.com/brendawoodspeaker 

Five Ways For Stronger Prayers

Five Ways For Stronger Prayers

by Janis Cox


Read: James 1:6

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

and Hebrews 11:6

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

The emphasis in each passage is mine. Here are my five ways to have stronger prayers:

1. Make a Conviction to believe

That takes determination and will power.  Reread the Scriptures. Say them over and over.

2. Keep to the Straight Path.

Do not look to the right or left but keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. (tweetable)

Say this Scripture over:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV).

3. Keep on the narrow road.

Don’t try to widen the road. Keep true to the Word of God and Jesus.

Our lives should be an absolute hymn of praise resulting from perfect, irrepressible, triumphant belief (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, November 13).

4. Live

Live steady as she goes. Don’t rush ahead of God. Be prepared to wait, hold and even change direction.

Our faith must be built on strong determined confidence in Him (Oswald Chambers).

5. Hold fast to your beliefs

So much worldly stuff gets intertwined with what we believe. Clear it out and stick with the Truth. (tweetable)

We must continually focus and firmly place our faith in Jesus Christ (Oswald Chambers).


Thank You, Lord for the privilege of talking to You. I pray today with the conviction and belief that you hear our prayers and answer them. Right now I will lay down all my concerns and know that You have it under control. I rest assured that You love me and will always do the best for me, even when it doesn’t look or feel like it. I trust You, Lord. In Jesus’ Name I pray. AMEN.

One of my favourite songs – Shout to the Lord – My Jesus, My Saviour sung here by Hillsong.


My comfort, my shelter,
Tower of refuge and strength;
Let every breath, all that I am
Never cease to worship You.

Nothing compares to the promise I have
In you.

Janis Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Janis, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. A writer since 2003, Janis co-ordinates a group blog called Under the Cover of Prayer. She is also a contributor to a group blog called Family and Faith Matters.

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. She is the author and watercolour illustrator. For more information visit Janis on her website He Cares for You. She is a member of The Word Guild andInscribe Writers Fellowship.

How Can I Learn to Pray?

We are pleased and blessed to have a guest post from Michelle DeRusha who wrote this post for Prodigal Magazine. Please continue to read the rest of her post by following the link.

How Can I Learn to Pray?

by Michelle DeRusha

English: Oil painting, "Praying Hands&quo...

English: Oil painting, “Praying Hands” by Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


As a kid and teenager, I relied on two basic prayers:

begging prayers largely related to algebra and boys,

and the prayers I’d memorized in Saturday morning catechism classes: the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Act of Contrition.

In college I stopped believing in God, so I stopped praying altogether.

When I came back to faith in my late thirties I struggled with prayer.

Often I forgot to pray at all, and when I did remember, I worried that I wasn’t doing it right. I didn’t talk to God like he was an intimate friend or a beloved parent. Instead I approached him like I would a CEO – politely and respectfully, but on-guard.

I felt like I needed to be on my best behavior with God.

I also worried that I didn’t use the right language, that my prayers weren’t fancy enough. Maybe I’m supposed to be more verbose. Maybe I should try to make my prayers more eloquent, I fretted, especially after I noticed that my small group leaders often concluded their prayers with particular phrases, like: “I ask this in your son Jesus’ name.” They sounded more formal and certainly fancier and more articulate than I did when I prayed.

As I’ve grown in my faith during these last few years, I’ve come to worry less about both the style and the substance of my prayers. Nowadays I’m inclined toward a broader, more fluid definition of prayer.

Continue to read the rest of Michelle’s post at Prodigal Magazine  and find out the way to learn to pray.



Do I Want a Powerful Prayer Life?

by Violet Nesdoly

Jesus About to Heal a Boy by William Brassey Hole

 “Jesus said to him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.'” Mark 9:23

The demon-possessed youth was a particularly difficult case. His problem was long-standing and the disciples’ attempts at exorcism had failed.

We find two clues about how to get prayers answered in this story of the man and his unfortunate son.

1. Believe
“If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes,” Jesus told the father. The dad was quick to ask for help in this department: “Lord, help my unbelief.” I am reminded of Jesus’ experience in Nazareth where Matthew 13:58 says, “He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”

I don’t think that means their unbelief limited His power, but it did impact His willingness to work miracles in that place. Jesus chose not to in an atmosphere of doubt.

2. Pray and fast
“Why could we not cast it out?” the disciples asked. Jesus replied,“This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”

But when did Jesus pray and fast for this? He didn’t check out for an hour or so between hearing the man’s request and healing the boy. One can only assume that He meant we can live a life of such earnest waiting on God (with regular prayer and fasting) that we are constantly prayed up and ready for any difficult case that comes our way.

It’s so simple: 

Believe and live a life of prayer-and-fasting readiness. Tweet this.

To continue reading please head over to Violet’s Blog – Other Food – Daily Devos.

Violet Nesdoly

Violet freelances in several genres and has been published in a variety of print and online publications. Her articles, stories, and activities have appeared in Keys for Kids, Devotions for Girls, Devotions for Boys, Clubhouse, Guide, Primary Treasure, Partners, Pockets and others. She has also published two books of poetry and is an avid blogger. She is a member of Inscribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and a professional member of The Word Guild.


A Vision

by Ramona Furst

“How do you do it?” asked my darling civil engineering husband.

“Get that pattern from the paper onto those tiny squares in the material? You haven’t been cross stitching for, well, twenty-five years or so. Pretty ambitious Amish pattern to use after such a long time away from it. How long will it take?”

As he waited for me to answer, I thought to myself, How do YOU do it? Figuring out all the designs, loads, calculations; meeting standards and codes, that in due time will somehow materialize into highways and bridges?

Experience builds in us the belief that what seems impossible to comprehend by others, and at times even to us – ridiculous and somewhat overwhelming – can and will get done.

My project, your project, those visions and goals God’s called us to do with our lives often seem unbelievable. Praying that like Abraham we will believe God when we don’t know the wheres, don’t know the hows and don’t know whys of all our questions and for our next steps in life.

“For still the vision awaits its appointed time…” (Habakkuk 2:2EST)

Quotes are from B. Manning’s Ruthless Trust and Souvenirs of Solitude

Ramona Furst

Ramona resides in North Bay, Ontario. She has spent many years in Pastoral Care especially in Palliative Care and in Bereavement support groups. Ramona is a member of TWG (The Word Guild) and considers it an honour to be a part of the TWG prayer team. She divides her time water colouring (www.ramonafurst.com ) and writing and makes effort to enjoy God’s creation and each season throughout the year by hiking, kayaking, and cross country skiing.