Tag Archives: Bible study

How Can an Abecedarian Poem Free Us?

An Abecedarian poem

Abecedarian Poetry Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I didn’t feel free to write poetry. But God did. A new type of poetry, abecedarian, kickstarted my love of poetry.

These past months I have written many poems as I read and studied scripture.

I started a 3-year Bible plan in the spring. Each day I read 3 scriptures. I use the SIMPLE Method of Study. Find out how you can join a Facebook group studying God’s Word.

I thought I would start to share those abecedarian poems with you.

Today’s poem is called, “Today’s Thoughts”

An abecedarian poem is a type of acrostic poetry but runs through the entire alphabet. I endeavoured to do that with my thoughts for today. As I just let go and let God, these words are what happened.

Today’s Thoughts

Anxious thoughts roll through my mind
but I keep focused on Jesus

Creator God, I know You
desire that every creature on earth see
everything beautiful and peaceful — You will
fulfil Your purpose

God, You
have established Your rule and are
interested in each individual who seeks
justice for all and I know that the
knowledge of You
lives inside each of us

Many have been touched by Your mercy
None will be lost forever

Open hearts is Your desire
Peace is Your plan

Quietly sitting with You helps
restore my faith and my hope

Seeking You each morning
teaches me the power of Your Word
until I start to know it by myself

Variety in teaching helps me
with establishing Your Word and the
xyst that you have for my life

You have given me such
zeal for all that You are and all that I can be

© Janis Cox 2020

*xyst means a garden walk planted with trees or a portico used as a promenade. I considered it a path that God wants me to take.

May I pray for you and me?

Father, Son and Holy Spirit, on this Trinity Sunday, I ask that You seek our hearts and we seek Yours. Touch us and let us feel Your Presence. Reach us in our deep inner parts and teach us all that we need to know. In the powerful name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.



Five Minute Friday: Regret

Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

This week the writer’s prompt from Five Minute Fridays is REGRET. We have 5 minutes to write what comes to us — quickly. Little editing. Just write.

Go: Clock is ticking

This post first published on Medium.com

I will admit I hate that word — regret. It has a negative tone and I am a positive person.

As I looked through Scripture I think God feels that way too. We are told many times to look forward, not behind. We press on, not look back. Even Lot and his family were told not to look back. Lot’s wife did — and she didn’t continue on.

“But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26, NIV).”

Therefore if we aren’t to look back what should we do? Look forward of course.

Consider this passage:

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead (Philippians 3:13, NIV).

Do you hear that?

Forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead.

That’s the way our walk with Christ should be. We won’t always do the right thing.

But we will continue on the path set before us.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1, NIV).”

But how can we throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that entangles us?

And God shows us how. We know when we feel that aching in our souls when we know we are convicted of a sin. Don’t stay there. God is speaking to you. He will make you regret something and it must be cleansed immediately.

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12, NIV).”

One of my first Bible art — Bible journaling.

When we feel that conviction of our spirits we need to act.

And to act is to ask forgiveness for our sins. Don’t stay there stuck in the muck thinking about it. Do something.

A prayer of repentance is the door out of regret.

Knowing that Jesus died for our sins makes us realize that we have been forgiven and don’t need to wallow in the past. We have to let the past go. It doesn’t help us in our walk with God at all.

Jesus said: “It is finished.” He didn’t mean almost done, ready to be done or will be done.

He said, “It is done.”

Therefore are you letting regret grab hold of your life? Are you mulling around all the should haves? Well, STOP it right now. Jesus has paid the price and you are not thanking Him by thinking of the past.

Go on. Move forward.

Here is a prayer for releasing regret.

Lord Jesus, thank You for dying for my sins. I am so grateful that I can hardly understand it. You have washed away all that from my past and have wiped the slate. The tape is erased. I am new because of You, Jesus. Help me to move forward, beyond this moment of time into Your presence of light and joy. Help me be at peace because You have made the way for me to be free and live eternally with You. And today I know that there is something still I need to confess. I confess it now before you. …………………………….In Your Name, Jesus. Amen.


Do you long for a deeper relationship with God?
Are you tired of being tired?
Would you like to feel God’s peace, protection and strength?

Grow Through God’s Word is a safe Facebook group where we learn scriptures, dabble in Bible art, and express our thoughts and questions on scripture. To join answer the 3 questions.

Click on the image and it will take you to the Facebook Group.

Would you like to learn more about Bible Journaling? Please add your name to the waiting list for a Free Bible Art course.

Click on the image to sign up for the waitlist for the course.

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

Can the Word of God come ALIVE to us?

Can the Word of God come ALIVE to us?

A New Opportunity for Studying God’s Word

I will be starting a new FB study – Psalms Alive using David Kitz’s book, “psalms alive” (yes no caps). He has generously offered his book for anyone who wants to join this study. Some of you may have read this in my newsletter. You can sign up here to join my newsletter if you aren’t part of that and want to be.

Psalms Alive Starts November 1, 2017 (looks like a 7 doesn’t it?)

psalms alive

You must be on Facebook to join psalms alive.  Sorry.

Please email me for further information.

We hope that anyone who joins in this study will do so with full attendance and attention. And if possible you will give David a review at the end of the study. (or in the middle. lol )

In the prologue David says:

God speaks to us – to humanity – through His Word….. How do we draw meaning from these words?…can the Word of God come alive to us and speak to our hearts? Are there insights we can gain by looking at the prayer and devotional life of the ancient Hebrews?

That speaks to me. I want to go deeper. Don’t you?

I will use the SIMPLE method of study for each of the chapters. You can follow that or do what you need to do.

I will be drawing, painting, and lettering as God leads me. You can do that or just let God speak to you as He does, which is different for each person.

You can find this study on Growing Through God’s Word FB. Ask to join.

Psalm 19:4 – I started David’s book … just a quick look and a sketch.

psalms alive

Won’t you join us?

Embrace: Five Minute Friday

The word for Friday at 5 Minute Fridays was embrace. I couldn’t put together 5 minutes to write since Friday. Now I have those 5 minutes and I will try.

Here goes:

When I saw the word embrace my first thought was a hug. I love hugging – my family and close friends. I’m not as keen on hugging strangers but it’s getting easier. There is something better about a hug than a hand shake. And probably less germs too.


But then I thought of the word embrace to reach out, grasp and make it my own. That has happened this past year. Before I did things but never really put my whole heart and soul into it. This year I doing that.

When I start my day, I ask God to show me people, events or even news items that He wants me to deal with. Sometimes it is in prayer. Sometimes a word. Sometimes an email.

As I go about doing my “stuff” I try to focus on what I am doing – not let my mind wander in all those other directions that it tends to do.

Focus – embrace. I think they go together.

This year I hired a coach. I needed to learn to focus on certain things. We talk about that. We pray about that. Then I get down to business.

Two books have made an impact on my focus. The Art of Work by Jeff Goins and The Story of With by Allen Arnold. Both say to me that God can inspire me and can lead me where He wants me to go.


Iridescent flowers by Janis Cox

I have been embracing my art, both watercolour and writing, – the gifts God has given me. I have been practising to make them better. I joined #ScribblePicnic to help with my art inspiration. I said yes to Brenda Poulos to do the illustrations for her new book coming out soon. I published a Bible study that has only been available in PDF.

So I embrace all of life – all that God is offering me.

I want to embrace my Saviour with my heart, mind, spirit and soul and in that way embrace the life He has given me. (tweet this)

Time’s up. Your turn. What do you think of when you hear the word “embrace”.


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Purpose: Five Minute Friday

Purpose: Five Minute Friday

About 8 years ago I met a wonderful man of God whose name is Ed Hird. Ed had written a book called Battle for the Soul of Canada, based on 1 and 2 Timothy. As he told me about his book I became impassioned to read it. I wasn’t disappointed. It made me realize that I hadn’t retired – I had become realigned to God’s purpose.


From that time forward I knew that God wanted me to write for Him, to meet others and discuss His Word. I started to blog, to faithfully attend Christian writers’ conferences and God blessed me with new friends and great conversations.

As soon as I read Ed’s book I felt called to write a Bible study to go with it. In the pursuing years I have had it edited a number of times but couldn’t find any way to publish it except by PDF. For a long time I gave it away.

This year I finally had it published with the help of Ruth Snyder in both print edition and Kindle and I couldn’t be happier. Finally I can hold it in my hands, work through the study again myself and discover anew how a Timothea should live.


God showed me my purpose that day and since then He has continued to lead me in new and exciting ways. (tweet this)

Times’ up.

What does the word “purpose” bring to your mind?

I am joining Kate Motaung again this week. You can join in too. Just follow the link.



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Sometimes I link:

Grace and Truth Linky @ Arabah Joy

#DanceWithJesus Friday @ SusanBMead.com

Faith & Friends Friday @ Counting My Blessings

How Often do you say, “I will do it”?

How Often do you say, “I will do it”?

I wonder how often we say the phrase, “I will do it”, or “what if you”? How often do we think we have the answers?

will do it

I am starting to do the Bible study about Daniel by Laura Davis, Unlocking the Truth of Daniel. I helped her do some of the editing and working through the questions but now it is time to let God speak to me through this study. I read Daniel 2 this morning.

I stopped at Daniel 2:4. Those words really spoke volumes to me this morning.

 Then the astrologers answered the king,“May the king live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will interpret it (Daniel 2:4, NIV). (emphasis mine)

For some reason this morning those words spoke so clearly of arrogance. We will interpret. We can do it. We are wise. We are wonderful. We can do anything.

Then I thought, how often do I do that? When someone tells me their troubles, how often do I try to fix them? How often do I say, “What if you…?”

I need to stop that right now – as of today. I need to instead say:

‘Let’s ask God for a solution to your troubles.”

Praying is a much better solution for everything. Asking Him can sidestep our weakling human ideas. God may give us some human ideas but it will come from Him, not me. Taking things into our own hands can go against all that Jesus taught us.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you (Matthew 7:7, NIV).

Doesn’t that say it all.

Self-reliance can be debilitating.
Spirit-reliance can be freeing. (tweet this)

Freedom is giving over everything to Jesus so we can live in peace. (tweet this)

The battle is fought “in the domain of the will before God.” (Oswald Chambers). (tweet this)

Are you more devoted to your idea of what Jesus wants than to Himself? (Oswald Chambers). (tweet this)


Help us, Lord, to overcome ourselves. Help us to get so close to You that our hearts beat as one. Guide us each minute of our days. In faith and trust we pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Are you led by the Spirit or Man?

Are you led by the Spirit or Man? Word of God Speak Linkup

This will be a different Word of God Speak today. God has shown me what I need to do and that is listen to His Spirit. Are you led by the Spirit or Man?

I had decided to join an online Bible study that was doing 17 New Testament books in 17 weeks. I realized that it wasn’t for me. I felt rushed and stressed when I thought of doing my studying that way. I’m one who likes to see each individual tree – not the whole forest.

Are you led by the Spirit or Man?

I like to dive deep into one passage or verse. (tweet this)

God stopped me in my tracks. He told me to “stop and smell the roses”. I have a plate that reminds me of that – I just didn’t listen.

Are you led by the Spirit or Man?

I am reading through the Bible in two years and that takes enough effort and time. I read until God shows me something. This morning he showed me Deuteronomy 8:12-14. God is warning the Israelites to obey His Word.

 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down,  and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied,  then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

Last week I did take a look at Galatians 1 and 2 and focused on Galatians 2:20. You can read my post here and listen to my podcast each Tuesday on Hope Stream Radio.

I also painted in one of my regular Bibles as I haven’t bought a Bible journal here in Canada. I actually like the paper in this one which I had found at a garage sale.

But as I continued with Galatians I stopped again at Galatians 3:3:

Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?

The Galatians were  being misled by the work of the flesh. Paul calls them foolish (verse 1) and asks if they have received the Spirit by law or by believing.

I live by faith in the Son of God
Who loved me and gave Himself for me (words from I’ve Been Crucified by Christ by Robin Mark).

Are you led by the Spirit or man? Listen to God. (tweet this)

I read a message from a woman in the First5 App who had started back to school and felt overwhelmed a couple of weeks into the semester. She sees the forest and panics. I believe we must see each individual minute as a gift from God; to live each day in a relationship with Him.

And to help me out this week I have started a new way to do my day. I write down 5 tasks I want to complete. I focus on those tasks. I have been doing this and it’s working.

I see each tree and not the forest.

This week’s memory verse is Galatians 3:3 because it reminds me that in everything I will live in the Spirit.

As you can see God led me through many things to get me back on the path of being led by the Spirit and not man. I’m glad to be back.


Thank You, Lord for speaking to me about what I can do and not do. Thanks for stopping me and redirecting my path. Let me continue to live in the Spirit – being guided continually each and every moment of the day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

See each tree and not the forest, write down 5 tasks per day and follow that. (tweet this)


Are you led by the Spirit or Man?Are you led by the Spirit or Man?

Today is the Linkup for Word of God Speak




[inlinkz_linkup id=625016 mode=1]

Sunday Stillness – What is the Gospel?

Sunday Stillness – What is the Gospel?


From FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Last week I gave a rundown on how we were studying the Bible in our Bible Study. We were trying to find out exactly “What is the Gospel?” by reading big chunks of Scripture.

You can read more of the study by going to Six Important Things to Remember When Studying Scripture.

I said I would give my answers this week.

I will share my answers and what we decided as a group.

My answers:

What was the BAD NEWS that we needed GOOD NEWS?

All men have sinned (separation from God) and fallen from God’s grace and condemned to a separated from God forever.

What was the GOOD NEWS?

Jesus died for our sins in order to bring us back into a right relationship with God and live eternally with Him.

Our discussion:

What is the BAD NEWS?

darkness, rejecting the Truth, lack of belief in Jesus, sinners, separated from God, God’s wrath on us, helpless, hopeless.

What part did God play in the Good News?

God takes the initiative to rescue us through Jesus. There was a purpose to save the world through Jesus. It was a gift. God did this legally and justly. He provided death Himself to give us life. Jesus came to live and to die.

That’s Why we Praise Him – Tommy Walker

What part must man play?

Believe, receive, be born again in the spirit, born into a new family – God’s family, trust, a relationship with God (Scripture uses the words, children of God, one with the Father, followers, adopted, reconciled.) Our belief is active and will bring about the relationship. We need to rest and trust in Jesus.

What is sin?

Going against the Word of God, doing our own things, not doing God’s way, not worshipping God, darkness, rebellion against God.

Are you doing your own things or what God wants us to do?

We need to bow down, relinquish self.

What do good works have to do with the Good News?

They flow out of our belief. We desire to do good works.

We talked a lot about good works to be sure we understood that we cannot gain any more or less favour from God by good works. It is not for “brownie points”. Good works cannot build our relationship with God. Sometimes believers count their good works and think that will get them closer to God – That is WRONG. Sometimes believers feel bad when they sin and have fallen short of what they believe God expects and feel helpless and “not good enough”. That is WRONG too. We must make sure pride in our good works does not happen. We need to keep our good works in perspective. Good works have nothing to do with us but everything to do with God.

The object of our faith is CHRIST ALONE. Belief is forsaking all others except for Jesus. We want a right relationship with God. We turn our lives over to Jesus. We trust and rest in God alone.

Christ Alone sung by Kristian Stanfill –

What are we saved from?

God’s wrath, judgment, separation

What are we saved to?

Eternal life – with God forever.

What is the Gospel? My answer

Christ died for our sins, which had alienated us from God; Christ was buried, raised on the 3rd day, and went back to Heaven. All this is how God planned from the beginning in order that we could be reconciled to Him forever. We only have to ADMIT our sins, BELIEVE in Jesus and CHOOSE to follow Him. Then we are saved and will have everlasting life with God.

The simple answer that we came up with:

Jesus is our Saviour. He died for our sins, was resurrected and went back into Heaven to be with the Father.

So that was it. Very full. I found it fascinating to take such a large chunk of Scripture and look for specific answers.

And I learned a new word: Propitiation –

that by which God is rendered propitious, i.e., by which it becomes consistent with his character and government to pardon and bless the sinner. The propitiation does not procure his love or make him loving; it only renders it consistent for him to exercise his love towards sinners.


It’s an important word as it is part of the Gospel – God’s sacrifice in Jesus to appease His wrath.


I found it fascinating to take such a large chunk of Scripture and look for specific answers.(click to tweet)


Please link your post about what God has been teaching you. And please remember to visit your neighbour, leave comments and get to know more people in this group. We are a growing community of believers.




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.


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


I sometimes link to:







Embracing His Will @Motivate and Rejuvenate Mondays

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Sunday Stillness – Six Important Things to Remember When Studying Scripture

Sunday Stillness – Six Important Things to Remember When Studying Scripture


I am taking a little break from studying Titus. We are preparing in the next couple of weeks to relocate back home to Haliburton. This always takes more thought and time than I realize.

Today for Sunday Stillness, I will tell you about the study I have been in for the last 3 weeks. We have been reading and studying through passages that tell us about God and the Gospel. We been asked to find the answers to these questions:

  1. What do you learn about God?
  2. What do you learn about man?
  3. What do you learn about the Gospel?

It has been a lot of reading, underlining and prayer to try to understand all of this.

This week our questions are:

  1. What is the bad news for which the Good News (the Gospel) is the remedy?
  2. Write 2-3 sentences to answer the question: What is the Gospel?

Here are the references we used,  if you want to try this exercise:

John 1:1-18, 3:1-36, 6:25-40, 10:20-50
Romans 1:1-32, 3:9-31, 4:1-7:6
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
2 Corinthians 5:1-21
Galatians 1:1-17, 2:11-21, 3:1-4:11
Ephesians 1:1-2:22, 4:1-5, 17-24,5:1-21
Philippians 1:1-11, 3:1-11
Colossians 1:1-23, 2:6-15, 3:1-17
Titus 2:1-3:8
Hebrews 8:1-10:39
James 2:14-26

We were given 6 important things to remember when studying Scripture:

1. Prayer – It is always important to ask God first to open the Scripture for you.

2. The Context – Always consider the context. Don’t take a passage out of the context to try to get it to fit your point of view.

3. Background – Use the 5 Ws, where, what, why, when, who. Find out the culture of the times, the idioms and the history.

4. Different Translations: Read through different translations.

5. Cross-references – These are other verses that correspond to the verse you are studying. Check them out.

6. Commentaries – First work on the passage by yourself and ask God to help you figure it out. Next check at least 3 commentaries (expert opinions) and then compare with your thoughts.


Father, it is so important that we study your Word. We thank You that we can ask You to help us. We also thank other experts who have gone before us to help us to understand more fully what we read. Help us as we continue to grow closer to You. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

I will tell you next week what I have found out. In the meantime tell me what you think about this type of study.

Have a wonderful Sunday Stillness.


How do you study the Scripture? Studying in big chunks this time.  (tweet this)


Please link your post about what God has been teaching you. And please remember to visit your neighbour, leave comments and get to know more people in this group. We are a growing community of believers.




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.


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


I sometimes link to:







Welcome to the Linky Directory. Please follow the instructions after you click ENTER.