Tag Archives: Christian

Include: Building a Christian Community

Are You Longing For An Intimate and Thriving Community of Christian Artists and Writers?

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Do you wish to be encouraged in your faith and art?
What if you could be strengthened in your faith by fellow artist passionate about putting God first and having a sure foundation for their life’s work in God’s Word?

If you haven’t already, join us HERE in the Closed Facebook Group, Artists and Writers Grow Through God’s Word.

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We know that our strength and power come from God everyday.

“Each day that we live, he provides for our needs and gives us the strength of a young eagle. (Psalm 103:5, Contemporary English Version).”

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Bible Art by Janis Cox

Today is Five Minute Friday. Feel free to join us. We set the timer and write free for 5 minutes. The prompt today is “include”.

This post is my response to the prompt “include”, creating a community.

Just think of the power of Christian writers and artists coming together.

This has become my heartbeat.

My focus for writing  is to inspire and equip Christian writers and artists to receive strength and power from God – every day. (tweet this)

My first gift to you a free email Bible Art course to excite others in the wonderful world of studying a verse through art. Click HERE to sign up. When we study God’s Word and paint, God’s Word comes to life and sinks into our hearts.

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My second gift is a PDF for my SIMPLE Bible Study Method,  where studying a verse can be meaningful but easy.

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I will be building a community here on my website and including a Linky for you to share your posts and artwork. More on this later.

I’m linking to Five Minute Friday and reading other writers’ articles on the word “include”.

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What do I need to motivate me towards a disciplined life?

Motivate at Five Minute Friday

It’s Five Minute Friday and the first one of the year. The word this week is MOTIVATE.

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From Unsplash ben-white-146950

That’s a great word for 2018. MOTIVATE.

My Word for this year is GO FORTH. (There will be more coming about this in the next few weeks.)

So that means I need to be motivated to get going. How do I do that?

First thing I do is pray for God’s wisdom. And since we just started studying Proverbs in Growing Through God’s Word Facebook Group, I’m learning more and more.

Here are the first 5 verses I picked out from Proverbs 1-5. Join us as we continue to grow with God through His Word. Get motivated to study God’s Word.

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This year I think God has me pointed towards motivating Christian writers. If you are a Christian writer I would love to hear from you. Email Janis.

I believe God wants all His writers to be in the Word.

It doesn’t matter the amount of time but the quality and focus of that time. That’s why I like reading short passages and then using my SIMPLE method to study them. Even meditating on a verse and then listening to His thoughts can set you on fire for the day.

My mornings are the best fruit of my day.

Not only do I study God’s Word but I take time to ask Him to talk to me. I am pushing myself to have discipline to LISTEN to Him.

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That means I need to do 3 important things.

Get up early

Yes for me, as I said, the mornings are the most productive and they also inspire me onward for the rest of the day. So for the past 16 years God has been waking me up – ever since I asked Him to do that.

Have a passage to focus on

I find when I am in a special study I learn more. Otherwise I might look at my Bible and say, “oh where do I start?”. So for the past years I have tried various methods to get me disciplined. I have studied prayer scriptures, gone through books of the Bible one verse at a time, and studied words in the Bible. There are many methods of doing this. Find yours and keep with it.

Pray

I pray before I start my day. I pray during my studying. Then I have the best time writing my prayers and then LISTENING for His answer.

Time is up. Lots more to say. Join us at Five Minute Friday.

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You can find lots of my thoughts on faith, prayer, the Bible, art and journaling on my Medium page. I would love you to follow me there.

CALL TO ACTION:

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

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

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.

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.

 

Why Do I Need to Study in Community?

A Look at Group Study with others

The prompt for Five Minute Friday is NEED. Time is 5 minutes to write my thoughts. Here goes.

Okay so I did it again. I thought this sounded familiar. But here is another post about NEED. I guess I am ahead of myself this week. Tomorrow is Friday. 🙂 Feels like it as the US has a holiday today. Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends.

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Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

This week there has been much study and thought from a book and Facebook Book Group about the psalms. We are using Psalms Alive by David Kitz. I realized how much need we have to study His Word.

I knew it before but having a group of people study these psalms with me, I realized how much we need to be in fellowship and community together.

Studying by myself is great – I really learn a lot.

But I learn more and deeper in community. I need this.

By looking and listening to the thoughts of others, and by seeing their pictures, collages, and music, my mind and spirit expand.

Reading David’s book, which is fabulous in itself, helps, but add to it reading the scripture passage – that adds the truth of God’s Word – into my heart and soul. Both together have been inspiring and uplifting.

These are the scriptures we have studied so far: Psalm 19, Psalm 23, Psalm 32, Psalm 46, Psalm 67, and Psalm 84.

Here are a few samples of the wonderful interpretations we have been seeing:

 

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By Lila Diller, interpretation of Psalm 84:5-9

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By Violet Nesdoly, Psalm 84

The words from David’s book that inspired above picture:

these birds are not just visiting; they are not passing through. They have made God’s house their home. This is their nesting place. Here they will raise their family.

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by Connie Inglis “The God of the universe is calling the peoples of the world to a festival of praise.” This chapter reminded me of the people group that we are translating the Bible for in Southeast Asia–a church of only around 50 believers praising God in a difficult environment–giving their people the Word to study and to sing.

The above picture shows how great the need is in this world to hear His Voice. Thanks to those who spend time translating the Bible into different languages.

Time’s up….

Writing for Five Minute Friday (although it was Thursday and the wrong week).

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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.

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Ruth Snyder – Psalm 84

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

Visit my Bookstore. Two children’s books, 1 Bible study.

I blog at www.janiscox.com

You can also find me on TwitterPinterest, FacebookInstagram.

Last Day for Bonus Items

Last Day for Bonus Items

Hello everyone,

This is the last day to purchase The Kingdom of Thrim and get 2 bonus items.

Signed copies are available at my bookstore:

Here is a tweet that you could share for me. Click on the date or the picture and you will be taken to Twitter.

 

OR Click on this link and you can use Facebook to help get the word out. The Kingdom of Thrim.

You could also forward this email.

All help would be appreciated.

Blessings,

Janis

Worth Living by Mary DeMuth

Worth Living by Mary DeMuth – Thoughtful Thursdays

It is my pleasure to introduce Mary DeMuth. Mary is the author of many wonderful books. On May 3rd her new book will be offered for sale, Worth Living. Just look at her smile at the bottom of the page and you can see that Jesus shines through her.

Worth Living

Tell me a little bit about your church background. How did you come to faith in Jesus?

I met Jesus in high school. I had no church background up to that point. I learned about Jesus through the ministry of Young Life. After experiencing a traumatic childhood, I could so relate to Jesus, and I hesitated to believe that he could possibly love me. But oh how I wanted that love.

When did your interest in writing start? Can you look back and see God working through and with you in your desire to write. If so, explain your thoughts.

Yes, it started with a positive comment from my second grade teacher, then morphed into a whole lot of journaling. In college, I was an English major. I taught English for a few years, then stayed home with my children. That’s when I dusted off the dream. I spent ten years writing in obscurity and then met a literary agent in 2004, sold a couple books, and have published 2-3 a year since then.

How and when do you spend time with God? Do you have a favourite devotional? What version of Bible do you use the most?

I spend time talking with God all day long, a continual conversation. I also enjoy studying the Bible. I’ve memorized several verses (which is a huge blessing when I’m in the middle of a trial.) Lately I’ve been doing more art journaling and art response for my time in the Bible. I like several translations, but currently really love the New Living Translation.

As a writer, time is important; quiet is important. How do you find that quiet time to reflect and write?

Now that my children are nearly grown, I have a lot more time. When they were younger, they also had “quiet time” in the afternoon so we could all have time to get our heads on straight. I also grab solitude when I travel.

What is one deep desire that you would like God to fulfill for you? What Scripture could you find that could help you accomplish that goal?

I would like to do more speaking in churches and conferences. I believe God is opening up those doors.

‘But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.” 2 Timothy 4:5

Prayer:

Jesus, please open doors for the person reading this post. Fulfill dreams. Give hope. Encourage the faint hearted. We trust You for our journeys, no matter how they look. Amen.

Ask Mary DeMuth to speak at your church or conference. Read about her faith. #worthliving (tweet this)

Mary DeMuth

Worth Living

Mary DeMuth is an international speaker and podcaster, and she’s the author of over thirty books, the latest: Worth Living: How God’s Wild Love for You Makes You Worthy. She loves to help people re-story their lives. She lives in Texas with her husband of 25 years and is the mom to three adult children. Find out more at marydemuth.com.

Thoughtful Thursdays – How God reached Marcia Laycock and changed her life

I am excited today to introduce you to my friend, Marcia Laycock. I know that you will find it fascinating how God has moved in her life. She is a prolific author, devotional writer and teacher. She is also warm, and caring. God has blessed her with an amazing way of expressing life through Him.

Welcome Marcia.

Thoughtful Thursdays – How God reached Marcia Laycock and changed her life

Marcia Laycock

1.  Tell me a little bit about your church background. How did you come to faith in Jesus?

I was raised in a Catholic home but never understood what it meant to have a relationship with Jesus. I went through some nasty things as a child and decided God did not like me let alone love me, so I turned my back on Him by the time I left high school. I wandered in the wilderness for many years, ending up in a tiny town in the far north (Dawson City Yukon). You can read the full story on my website, but short version is, the Lord grabbed hold of my husband and me there, through the death of some close friends, and a “miracle baby,” in 1982.

Within a short time we found ourselves at Briercrest Bible College, then pastoring a small church in Ponoka Alberta. The Lord led us to the mission field in Papua New Guinea in 1996, then to plant a new church here in Blackfalds Alberta, in 2005.

Looking back over all those years it amazes me how He led and kept us and has blessed us in amazing ways as we’ve watched Him at work in our lives and the lives of many others. (tweet this)

2.  When did your interest in writing start? Can you look back and see God working through and with you in your desire to write. If so, explain your thoughts.

I began writing when I was very young, mostly I think as a way of escape in a rather stressful home. God gave me some wonderful teachers who encouraged me to continue writing but it wasn’t until I finally yielded my life to Him that a burning desire was kindled in me to see my words published. I’m sure it was by His orchestration that I ended up in a province that had a thriving Christian writers’ organization (now called InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship). I joined that group in the early 90s, and was privileged to be on the executive for many years. It is my joy now to be able to teach and help others in their journey as they write for Him.

3. What is the best thing you have written? Describe it. Tell me why you think it is the best. (so far).

That’s a hard question to answer. It brings to mind some devotionals that have had amazing responses from readers, my first novel, One Smooth Stone, which, through the Lord’s power, has changed lives, and even one or two of my poems. But If I had to choose I think I’d pick my current work in progress, a play called A Pattern in Blue, which is the story of my dad’s experience during World War 2. I was tremendously blessed to be able to work with the professional actors and a wonderful director at Rosebud School of the Arts and see that play read on stage last May, as part of the Budding Playwrights Festival. I am continuing to work with Lucia Frangione to expand and finish it and hope to see a full production of it some day. I think it is an important story that needs to be told.

4. What is your favourite scripture or scriptures and why? What is your thinking about memorizing Scripture? Do you have any tips for our readers on ways to memorize that work the best for you?

I used to be stressed about trying to memorize scripture because I find it very difficult, especially since going through chemotherapy a couple years ago.

But I have been amazed how God’s word simply floats into my mind – sometimes quite long passages – when I need it.

There are a few scriptures that I would say are favourites – Hebrews 10:24, Psalm 103, Isaiah 43:1-7, and the whole book of Job, which, if I had to choose, would be my favourite. I had to read it all in one sitting, write a ten page paper and then an exam, all in the space of a week, while at Bible college, and it had a profound impact on me.

I try to read it in one sitting once a year and it never fails to “knock my socks off!” 🙂

7. What new project/s are you working on? Why do they seem important to you? Are you compelled to write or do you need to find inspiration? How do you deal with interruptions?

As I mentioned in # 3, I’m finishing A Pattern in Blue and also working on another play, as yet unnamed, for the Advanced Playwriting Course I’m taking with Lucia. This play is about a group of people who have come together for support. I believe it’s important because it’s all about putting our theology to work.

The picture below should make you wonder what the play is about. I have lots of questions. Do you?

Reading of play by Marcia Laycock

I am also in the process of setting up my own publishing company, Small Pond Press and have released two titles so far – Abundant Rain Devotional for writers of faith and A Traveler’s Advisory, stories of God’s grace along the way. They are both available now on Amazon.

As I mentioned above, as a pastor’s wife interruptions are constant. I’ve learned not to get stressed over it, to go with the flow and trust that God is working out my schedule so that all things important get done.

Marcia Laycock

Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada where she is a pastor’s wife and mother of three adult daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone. The sequel, A Tumbled Stone was short listed in The Word Awards. Marcia also has three devotional books in print and has contributed to several anthologies, including the Hot Apple Cider books. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan.

How to Find Her

Website – www.marcialeelaycock.com
Blogs – http://marcialeelaycock.com/thespur
 http://www.writer-lee.blogspot.ca/
Facebook – www.facebook.com/marcialeelaycock
Twitter – @MarciaLaycock – profile – https://twitter.com/MarciaLaycock
Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/marcialaycock/
Amazon author page –  http://www.amazon.com/Marcia-Lee-Laycock/e/B007ATSV1E
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/MarciaLeeLaycock
The Spur sign-up – http://eepurl.com/BOkO1

Books

One Smooth Stone – http://amzn.to/1vyyBHO

One-Smooth-Stone-Marcia-Laycock
A Tumbled Stone – http://amzn.to/XXnIA9

SMALL COVER - ATS
Spur of the Moment – http://amzn.to/VgcjcM
Abundant Rain – http://amzn.to/1r5zsgZ
Abundant Rain Journal – amazon.com – http://amzn.to/1Jakd91
The Ambassadors book one – Amazon.com – http://amzn.to/1rEz618
Clinging to the Rock – http://amzn.to/1yilevh
An Unexpected Glory – Christmas ebook – http://amzn.to/1l0Wzrz
Earthly Treasure – http://amzn.to/1GkIzhR
Missing Christmas – http://amzn.to/1sQaZOd
Uplifting Devotionals Book 3 – Amazon.com-  http://amzn.to/1DEo0hA
Celebrate This Day – amazon.com http://amzn.to/1vE5Ius
A Traveler’s Advisory – am.com – http://amzn.to/1X4VkDB

Hope Stream Radio – Six Things I learned from the Magi

Hope Stream Radio – Six Things I learned from the Magi

Hope Stream Radio

Janis Cox on Hope Stream Radio

Today is the Feast of the Magi or Epiphany.

From December 25 until January 6th we celebrate the twelve days of Christmas. I have found this year that these days have been an amazing time of reflection and prayer. Today is the day we take down our Christmas decorations. We will think about the magi and their coming to visit the child – Jesus, bringing gifts and being in wonder of all that God has shown them.

I don’t know about you but it was only a couple of years ago that I knew that the Magi did not arrive at the same time as the shepherds. Our Christmas pageants have made that connection and it sure fooled me.

However, on reading through the Scripture, Matthew 2:1-18,  it is very clear that they are two separate events.

This week on my podcast at Hope Stream Radio I talk about the magi and what I learned from them.

I hope you drop over to listen. You can listen directly to my podcast on my Page at Hope Stream Radio.

HopeStreamRadio is a Christian internet radio station that provides daily programming to English‑speaking Christians around the world to encourage them in their relationship with the Lord and inform them about the work God is doing around the world.

Listen anytime – HopeStreamRadio’s unique programming loops continually throughout the day. My podcasts loop on Tuesdays.

6 Thoughts for New Christian Writers – Blog Hop

6 Thoughts for New Christian Writers – Blog Hop

Fourth in a series of a Writers Blog Hop held by Ruth Snyder. 

Our first blog hop can be found at Ruth Snyder. for 2014. Writing Goals.

Our second blog hop can be found here. Writing Tools.

Click here for the third blog hop on the topic. Hero.

Blog Hop -4

Today’s post is Advice for new writers. Click here to read more posts.

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6 Thoughts for New Christian Writers

6-Thoughts-for-Christian-Writers

1. Always put God first.

I know as Christians we say this but … do we really do it? Whenever you are ready to put words on paper, centre yourself with Jesus. And expect Him to help you.

Jesus said:

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:20, NIV).

2. Write for God.

No matter what type of writing you are doing write for God. Don’t write anything that would offend Him or upset Him. Don’t worry about what other people will think or say. They cannot harm you. Don’t look for praise from other people. Write for One alone. If you blog don’t count the hits or the comments – this can be destructive.

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer (Psalm 19:14, NIV).

3. Write from your heart and your experience.

Take situations and memories and make them come alive to explain a truth about God. Be real. This is especially true if you write Christian devotionals.

You are what you write ~ Helvy Tiana Rosa 

4. Learn as much as you can.

Writers’ conferences are great places to learn about writing and connect. The Word Guild puts on a conference in Guelph called Write! Canada and Inscribe Writers’ Fellowship puts on a conference in the fall.

Join a small writers’ group. Encouragement and critiques in your writing will help you to enjoy what you do and improve.

Join writers’ groups. I belong to The Word Guild, Inscribe Writers Fellowship and the American Christian Writers.

5. Write all the time. And read too.

Start a daily journal to express your thoughts, write your prayers, study God’s Word and study other good Christian non-fiction books. Some of my favourite devotionals are:

The Upper Room
My Daily Bread
Oswald Chambers – My Utmost for His Highest
Grace Notes – Philip Yancey
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

Three of my favourite blogs are:

A Holy Experience by Ann Voskamp
Margaret Feinberg

So reading and writing go hand in hand. Certainly if you want to write for a certain publication read and study that publication.

6. Network with other writers.

Be sure to seek out other writers – not just to learn as in number 5 but to become friends. Friends help each other out, through prayer, knowledge and comfort. You need that when you write.

Writing is a solitary experience so we need to reach out to others to broaden our horizons.

Tweetable:

Writing is a solitary experience so we need to reach out to others to broaden our horizons. (tweet this)

6 Thoughts for New Christian Writers. (tweet this)

Don’t forget to read other blogs on the same topic.

Ruth Snyder’s Blog Hop Number 4.