Tag Archives: Christmas

Stockings: Drawing Shouldn’t Be Complicated

33 Dots: Stockings

“And the stockings were hung by the chimney with care in the hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.”

Christmas has come and gone but not the spirit of Christmas – that’s what should last all year.

Today I drew my 33 dots again. This time I saw the stockings immediately.

stockings

stockings

Thoughts:

Although some people think that Santa shouldn’t be part of Christmas, I disagree. I think that the giving part of Santa should stay alive. As long as we don’t put “getting” before “giving” we will be okay.

On the top of the mantel is the true meaning of Christmas, the Babe, Jesus, arrived in the flesh. The Incarnation. God with us.

I love the story called “Santa’s Favorite Story”. Santa is worn out, but discovers that he can find happiness again in giving as he remembers the true meaning of Christmas. Simple but powerful.

A gift opens the way
and ushers the giver into the presence of the great (Proverbs 18:16, NIV).

You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God (2 Corinthians 9:11, NIV).

Let’s keep the giving alive at Christmas. But let’s put to rest the getting.

Do you want to keep growing in your faith? Do you need a boost to study God’s Word?

CALL TO ACTION:

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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.

Baubles, Bangles and Beads?

Baubles, Bangles and Beads?

Are we walking with baubles, bangles and beads? Or are we walking in the hope of our faith? Today I looked at HOPE as this is the first week of Advent.

baubles, bangles and beads?

Our faith is built on hope. And during this Advent season I will light an internet candle each week to help me focus on the preparation of the true Christmas – the Incarnation – the coming of Jesus – man and God – to this earth!

As we do this we walk among those who celebrate the season with baubles, bangles and beads.

I love the book and the movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas. How the crassness of the season started to steal the Grinch’s heart and how he found out that the real Christmas isn’t in the stuff but in the hearts of those who celebrate it.

As sojourners on this earth, we need to watch how we walk and talk among those who do not know the Lord. (tweet this)

We cannot get ourselves taken in with politics, commerce, and all the things that go on here. That doesn’t mean we can’t become involved but we need to do so in a Christ-like way.

What we need to show is HOPE.

We need to look to God instead of the world. Our walk, how will it look? Can it be different or will it be the same as those who don’t believe? Will our walk be counter-cultural? Or are we looking to:

Baubles, Bangles and Beads?

Let’s check God’s Word. Here are 10 ways I found that we can walk in hope:

Walk in Freedom

I will walk about in freedom,
    for I have sought out your precepts (Psalm 119:45, NIV).

Walk in the Light

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin (1 John 1:7, NIV).

Walk in Love

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love (2 John 1:6, NIV).

Walk in all His ways

And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul (Deuteronomy 10:12, ESV).

Walk and not be faint

but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint (Isaiah 40:31, NIV).

Walk humbly with God

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8, NIV).

Walk in the newness of life

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4, ESV)

Walk by faith and not by sight

For we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7, NKJV).

Walk in the truth

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth (3 John 1:3, KJV).

Walk in wisdom

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time (Colossians 4:5, ESV).

Through this walk one of the most important things I think is to be HUMBLE. Oswald Chambers calls this shallow – those every day duties and living, and to do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Make a determination to take no one seriously except God ~ Oswald Chambers (tweet this)

Even the shallow things of life, such as eating and drinking, walking and talking, are ordained by God ~ Oswald Chambers (tweet this)

Walking counter-cultural, not thinking constantly about baubles, bangles and beads, must be done QUIETLY, not boastfully. (tweet this)

It must be done gently, not arrogantly. With joy and peace, patience and understanding.

This Hope, this being counter-cultural means acceptance of others. It does not mean hiding in a closet. It means following God wherever we are whatever we do.

I can see that God has taken me on a walk today.

How do we walk in hope? Being aware, open, gentle, kind, humble, filled with the Spirit. (tweet this)

And finally 1 Peter 4:7-11 – Let’s try to be:

self-controlled
sober-minded
keep loving
show hospitality
use gifts to serve others
speak God’s Word
be God-like

And we do all this so that:

He’ll get all the credit as the One might in everything (1 Peter 4:11, The Message).

Walking towards Christmas. How are you looking at Christmas this year?

Today is Word of God Speak.

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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.

John 1:14

Creative Tuesdays – How to give the impressions of stained glass using watercolour batik?

Creative Tuesdays – How to give the impression of stained glass using watercolour batik?

Michael is back from Creative Tuesdays – with a challenge of stained glass. I decided to try a watercolour batik version.

I haven’t done a watercolour batik for a number of months (6?). So here is my Creative Tuesday’s submission for stained glass – Shatter the Glass Ceiling.

John 1:14

Watercolour Batik given to my hubby December 25, 2015.

John 1:14

The Word became flesh and He made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only Son, Who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

As I repeat this verse over and over and try to get it into my memory banks, I think of the amazing coming down of Jesus.

Here is a video, Song of Hope, God of Heaven come down.

It reminds me that our God of heaven came down – in the form of a baby. Jesus – human and divine. Awesome to know. The Incarnation. The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.

Songwriters
Daniel Garth Hamilton;Tedd Tjornhom;Robert Earl Seay;Chase Jenkins;Ryan Owens;Taylor Scott Johnson

Read more: Robbie Seay Band – Song Of Hope (Heaven Come Down) Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Join us at Word of God Speak Community on Facebook where we look at ways to study Scripture through art.

Christmas is over but the New Year begins. As one character in the movie War Room asked, “Are you going to be lukewarm, cold or hot for God?”

I want to be on fire for HIm.

Join me as we study His Word together and build a strong group of Jesus followers.

Tweetable:

A stained glass look using watercolour batik for John 1:14 (tweet this).

 

 

 

 

 

Word of God Speak – What does it mean that God came down?

Word of God Speak – What does it mean that God came down?

The-Word-Became-Flesh

My husband made the figures of exotic wood. Simple but meaningful.

I bought a Bible journal this week. It is a double column English Standard Version. I have always wanted that version and this one seems perfect. Now I will have space to paint, practice some lettering and learn my verses even more.

Using the SIMPLE Method of Study I will be looking at our Scripture for this week.

S – Say the verse out loud.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14, NIV).

I – Using study notes, references, footnotes, delve into the passage.

The Greek for “made His dwelling” is tent/tabernacle. In Exodus 40:34-35 we see that God’s glory filled the tabernacle.

Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.

Jesus revealed Himself to us as God through his miracles, His death and His resurrection.

We have seen His glory.

Grace/truth reminds us of the unfailing love and faithfulness of God.

Psalm 26:3 – For your steadfast love is before my eyes,
    and I walk in your faithfulness

A beautiful post by Beth Willis Miller also looks at John 1:14. 

There are so many references in my Bible for this verse. But I like the one in Hebrews the best.

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery .(Hebrews 2: 14-15, ESV).

Once again God has brought me back to the topic of slavery – human trafficking being the latest of this world’s evil – through Satan. See more on my Monday Musings how I am trying to bring attention to this travesty. Can A Dress Change the World?

M – Make a list of thoughts and questions to ask God

It is so amazing to me that we have now the ability to talk to the Father through Jesus. Back before the birth of Christ, the Lord rested in the Tabernacle and could not be seen. And even though we cannot SEE Him we know Him. I love that passage we studied. We can connect to Him.

What new ideas will I learn from studying His word in 2016? What new connections will He bring to me? Our community has become one of encouragement and joy. I hope to meet and talk to more of you in the coming year.

P – Pray. Talk to God and most importantly listen to Him. What is He telling you today?

L- Life Application – What did I hear today?

This entire month of December I have been hurting – hurting inside about those who are hurting – all those who are abused by others. I keep praying for God to show me how to help. I started with wearing a dress through December to show support for Ratanak International. I showed videos, I put my plea out on social media. I connected. Even my local paper in Haliburton is running a story about this. I am excited to see what happens.

I know God is leading me somewhere. I will continue and watch where He leads.

We are called to look after those who cannot look after themselves. That is many people.

Can a Dress Change the World?

I played with my grandkids in a dress.

Janis Playing in a dress

I played pickle-ball

Pickle-Ball-Dress-Janis-Cox

and tap danced in a dress.

tap dance dress

 

It is a simple thing, wearing a dress, but it made me think – feel, and understand. Wearing a dress every day in December – it’s been mind-changing.

A great article written by Sue Carr Tiffin in The Highander. Check out page 18. Talking about Violence Against Women.

E – Exit with a Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for leading me to wear a dress this month of December. You have opened my eyes to see, my heart to melt, and my mind to process more than I ever had before. I have been broken. I have been surprised. I have been blessed. As I head into 2016 please continue to open doors where You want me to go. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tweetable:

God came down. He dwelt among us. The Word became flesh. (click to Tweet)

Except for Tuesday when I join Creative Tuesdays (stained glass)  I am taking next week to study His Word, pray for direction, and pray for a word for 2016. Happy New Year everyone. See you on December 30 for Creative Tuesdays and January 2 for Word of God Speak. Of course, Monday Musings too.

Today is Word of God Speak – Please join us by linking your posts about God.

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Hope Stream Radio Podcast – How Can you PACE yourself this Christmas?

Hope Stream Radio Podcast – How Can you PACE yourself this Christmas?

Hope Stream Radio

Today on Hope Stream Radio I talk about How Can I Find Peace This Christmas?

I also talk about everything hinging on your PACE.

I have never been so confused with the order of the advent candles. When I researched it tonight it was all over the place. So I am going with PEACE for the fourth Sunday even though my pastor said it was JOY. So confusing.

As we walk toward Christmas let’s let the Holy Spirit speak into our lives and find the peace we need at all times.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls (Luke 11:28-29, ESV).

Merry Christmas everyone!

I will see you on the weekend with the next Word of God Speak.

Tweetable:

Listen to my @HopeStreamRadio, podcast, How Can I Find Peace this Christmas? (click to tweet)

 

Scripture and a Picture – Christmas Approaches

Scripture and a Picture – Christmas Approaches

Romans 15:13

This week’s Scripture is Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I love this Scripture – It can be used as a benediction or prayer.

God, may you fill us with all joy and peace as we put our trust in You. May we overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. As we head toward Christmas, calm our spirits, give us strength, wisdom and joy to celebrate the birth of Your Son, Jesus. In His name we pray, Amen.

Christmas is just a few days away. We have been expecting it to arrive and it will.

Come long expected Jesus.

Here are a couple songs to put you into the hope, love, joy and peace of Christmas.

“Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” is an Advent carol. The music is by Rowland H. Prichard and the lyrics are by Charles Wesley.

And for that wonderful Holy Night. This song carries us away to Bethlehem like no other. Céline Dion sings O Holy Night.

Tweetable:

As we approach Christmas let us rest in the PEACE of Christ. (click to tweet)

Word of God Speak – How Can We Find Peace this Christmas?

Word of God Speak – How Can We Find Peace this Christmas?

Peace

Watercolour by Janis Cox – Reflections

This is the last Sunday in Advent – PEACE. Here is my acronym for peace.

{Aside: Much to my chagrin it looks as if JOY is the last Sunday in Advent, unless our Pastor got it wrong. 🙁 So the last two weeks are reversed}

Put Everything Aside Christ Enters

Although I started studying 1 Corinthians 2:4-5, I decided to memorize another Scripture. It came from my looking at other references and seemed to fit best with this Advent week of PEACE.

We will be memorizing Romans 15:13. See below.

Following my SIMPLE Method of Bible Study I looked at 1 Corinthians 2:4-5.

S – Say the Passage out loud. Check other versions.

My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power (1 Corinthians 2:4-5.NIV).

I – Interpret the passage – check footnotes, references and commentaries.

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 14:17

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,

1 Thessalonians 1:5

 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.

All of these passages turned me to the true meaning of Christ’s birth. The filling up with the Holy Spirit. Those who lived during His time on earth could see and feel His power. Now we can do the same through the Holy Spirit.

M – Make a list of thoughts, questions and ideas.

The week before Christmas – the birth of our Lord.

We’ve discussed HOPE, LOVE and JOY. and now Jesus brings PEACE too.

How can we find God’s peace?

Through the Power of the Holy Spirit.

At the beginning of 2015 I found my WORD for this year – Intentional. Intentional for Jesus.

I think it funny that at the end of this year I join Intentional Bloggers and Tribe Writers. It has been a year of change, of rethinking, of growing. I had to drop some first loves (Family and Faith Matters, and Under the Cover of Prayer Group Posts) and find my focus which is God’s Word.

I must deliberately give my sanctified life to God for His service, so He can use me as His Hands and His feet (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest).

But it has been God’s POWER that has propelled me forward into uncharted waters:

I’m very excited to see what God has in store for 2016. I haven’t discovered my WORD for 2016 yet but I am getting some strong ideas. I will get back to you early in 2016.

P – Pray. After all your thoughts are expended – take time to talk to God and then to LISTEN to Him.

This time my prayer time was a jumble of ideas – probably because that is the way my mind has been going lately, – WILD,

L – Life Applications – Write down what you heard God speak.

I see a revival, a passion for hope, love, joy and peace in this world.

Nothing can stop God from moving in His people – NO THING.

Rely on the certainly of God’s redemptive power and He will create His own life in people (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest).

This December has been filled with excitement by following Christ and not the world.

We are not going home to Canada for Christmas this year (we celebrated the family Christmas last weekend – yes a plane ride back and forth). I’m watching and waiting to see what God has in store for us.

I’m shaken by the news of the human trafficking that is happening around the world – and even in my province of Ontario. Watch the video from the Toronto Star and your eyes will be opened. I’m wearing a dress every day in December to remind me to pray and to advocate for those caught in human trafficking.

Ratanak Support Icon

I’m reminded of one of my favourite scriptures: Micah 6:8

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

This is a great reminder before Christmas.

May Jesus be Christmas for you this year.

May you shine for Him.

May you be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.

Let’s be revived and revive others.

E – Exit the study with a written prayer.

Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus – for His coming to earth to see, to share to teach. Create in us Your life so we can know You more. We rely on You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tweetables:

Rely on the certainly of God’s redemptive power and He will create His own life in people (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest). (click to tweet).

Nothing can stop God from moving in His people – NO THING. (click to tweet).

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Tuesday Thoughts – Christmas Cards?

Tuesday Thoughts – Christmas Cards?

From Free Digital. Net

From Free Digital. Net

I have been working on our annual Christmas letter – a little update on our family and a few pictures. It doesn’t take long and many of our friends and family have expressed delight in watching our family grow.

We take the Word file over to Staples and have them print out the copies, then stuff them in envelopes – and print the address labels (after updating of course).

As I attach each label to the envelope I say a prayer for that family.

What do you do to keep in touch with your family and friends at Christmas?

For to us a Child will be born. To us a Son will be given. And the rule of the nations will be on His shoulders. His name will be called Wonderful, Teacher, Powerful God, Father Who Lives Forever, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6 NLV).

JanisCox-photo2web

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.

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Christmas Sale

 

CyberMonday – Where do I find good Christian books?

CyberMonday – Where do I find good Christian books?

Please check out a wonderful post written by Lorilyn Roberts, founder of John316 Network for Christian authors.

Perhaps this Christmas you don’t have a lot of money to spend on gifts. Have you considered giving books as Christmas presents? I’d be willing to bet they will outlast the latest iPhone or iMac computer.

Ten years from now, those electronic gadgets will be in a landfill somewhere, long replaced by something bigger and faster. Stories last forever,  like that book my dad gave me for Christmas when he hardly had a dime to spare.

When is the last time you read a really good book anyway? Probably too long (Lorilyn Roberts).

 

CyberMonday - Lorilyn Roberts

Christian Books Make Great Christmas Gifts by Lorilyn Roberts.

And remember to check out Tadeo Turtle – My book is on sale right now for 99 cent Kindle and also for only $10 autographed (plus shipping) both in Canada and the US. Take advantage of this offer now – only until December 15.

TAdeo-Turtle-Christmas-sale

Tweetables:

CyberMonday – Great Christmas gifts from #Christian Authors. (Click to tweet)

#CyberMonday – Tadeo #Turtle 99 cents Kindle, $10 signed copy +ship (click to Tweet)