Tag Archives: comfort

What This Painting Taught Me About God – A Snuggly

What This Painting Taught Me About God

A 33 Dot Challenge to Encourage My Creativity – My Snuggly

Photo From Pixabay

As for painting, I have been challenging myself by trying to push my imagination to see things from nothing. Yikes. That’s not easy. Today is another 33 Dot Challenge. Meg Konovska got me hooked on this.

Here is the first dots with connecting lines.

Dots with lines to join.

Now as I turned this round and round I saw a number of things. But I kept seeing the mouth open.

So I followed most of the lines — some I erased and some I added.

Here is the next step:

My Outline for 33 Dots

The next step is the most fun. Painting it.

My Stuffed Animal — 33 Dots by Janis Cox

Now I ask God to show me what He wants me to remember about stuffed animals.

I know that my first thought went back to my youngest’s favourite — a Puffalump — a soft stuffed animal. She took that friend everywhere. And now he lies upstairs in the grandkids’ loft area with an assortment of Cabbage Patch Dolls, a Curious George and a Snuggles Dog.

Puffalump

I am sure Puffalump is lonely. The grandkids are getting older and don’t visit very often. They still play with the Lego and other toys. But “stuffies” are past.

What do “stuffies” signify?

Love — tales of highs and lows of the day, of frustrations and joys — all are shared with our loving friends.

Cuddles — something to hug when no one is around.

Protection — yes, at night when things go bump in the night, the stuffie stays close and can ward off fears.

Sounding Boards — when a child might not talk to an adult, a child will talk with a stuffed animal or doll. Many of these are used in counselling sessions to help ease a frightened child into peace.

Rest — sleep comes easier when a child has a friend to settle down to sleep with. Tucking a child in with a snuggly, gives a safe warm feeling.

Now that we are adults, where can we find our peace? Who can comfort us at all times? Who can protect us? Whom can we talk to?

Who is our Snuggly?

I believe I have found the answer. After years of searching and trying to live life on my own steam, I have found my snuggly, my “stuffie”.

My snuggly is Jesus. Jesus is my hope, my all in all.

Here is my song of hope: In Christ Alone

He is my Joy and Peace

Look at 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 (NIV).” 

Bible Art by Janis Cox

He is my Counsellor. I can talk to Him.

We are taught how to pray. And then we LISTEN.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6–7, NIV).”

Bible Art by Janis Cox

Jesus is my Protector. He is my fortress.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging (Psalm 46:1–3, NIV).”

Bible Art by Janis Cox

Jesus loves me with a steadfast love.

“Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD (Psalm 32:10, NIV).”

Bible Art — Janis Cox

When I asked God to tell me what He wanted me to learn from my picture — I had no idea what He would show me.

But here it is — Like a snuggly, God is:

Jesus is my hope, my all in all.

Jesus is my Joy and Peace.

Jesus is my Counsellor. I can talk to Him.

Jesus is my Protector. He is my fortress.

Jesus loves me with a steadfast love.

Have you found your Snuggly — the most powerful One of all — Jesus?

CALL TO ACTION

Are you frustrated with your spiritual life?
Do you want to meet Jesus and talk to Him?
Do you need friends to pray and study with together in a safe place?

I have TWO opportunities for you:

1. Grow Through God’s Word is a unique Facebook Group — a safe place to dig deeper and be inspired through God’s Word.

Click on the image to go to the Facebook Group — answer 3 questions please.

2. Would you like to excite your study of the Bible — Join me for a free Bible Art Course — coming soon? Sign up now.

Click on the image to go the Watercolour Sign up.

Sunday Stillness – Use SIMPLE to study Psalm 23:4

Use SIMPLE to study Psalm 23:4

A-SIMPLE-way-to-study-the-Bible

At the beginning of October I gave instructions of how to use the acronym S.I.M.P.L.E. to study a Bible passage.

Last week I used this method to study John 3:1-8. This week I am using a very short, known passage to see what I can learn using this method. Psalm 23:4.

S – Say the passage aloud.

Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me (Psalm 23:4, NIV).

Because it is so short I am going to look at it in The Message as well.

Even when the way goes through
    Death Valley,
I’m not afraid
    when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
    makes me feel secure (Psalm 23:4, The Message).

I – Identify the characters, the setting, and the circumstances surrounding this passage.

God and I. When I am fearful, sad, confused. Remembering to fear nothing because of the presence of God. Just before this verse it says that I am led along quiet waters and through right paths. Then there is the word, “even”. Or “yea” in the KJV before the darkness comes in.

M- Make a list of the thoughts, questions and ideas.

As I go through this world I remember that God is always with me. I am NEVER alone. But it says “when” you walk by my side. So I have to know that God is there. I think of rod and staff and remember about shepherds keeping their sheep close by and being able to catch them or get them out of predicaments. The Message using “trusty shepherd’s crook”  is a great picture. No matter how dark things appear – I know I have a Shepherd watching over me.

P – Pray again for God’s guidance.

As I prayed this time I was reminded of those who do not know the Lord – who are fearful because of this. I prayed for those who are going through tough times, those who know You, Lord and those who don’t. I prayed that You would talk to those who don’t know You so this passage will speak to their hearts.

L- Life – How can I apply what I have been studying to my life?

As for my life, when I prayed I heard You speak of being bold for You. To speak out about Your love, Your grace and Your faithfulness. I want to show everyone Jesus. In all I do, in all I speak and in who I am.

E – Exit the passage with a prayer for God to help you.

Prayer:

Oh Father, I pray for those who are hurting right now, for my friends who know you and for those who don’t. I pray Your Spirit will comfort them in their times of need. I also thank You that You are my Shepherd and I do not need to fear, that You are there to catch me when I fall, You are there to hold me when I am weak, You are there to inspire me when I feel uninspired. Thank You for being my All in All. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Tweetable:

Use the new SIMPLE method to study Psalm 23:4. Pray and study together. (tweet this)

Today is #SundayStillness. Join us as you read and add your posts. Thanks for building this community.

 



Do You Feel Like You Are Standing Alone?

Do You Feel Like You Are Standing Alone?

by Patricia Day

Standing-Alone-by-Patricia-Day

 Come to Me, all you who labor and toil, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke. Put it on your shoulders and learn from Me. I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest (Matthew 11:28, NIV).

Each morning, I read a devotional and the relevant Bible passage from the RBC Devotionals publication (www.rbc.org). I invariably receive a sense of balance and guidance, as I read of everyday challenges that other people encounter, and then read how to deal with the situation from the words in the Bible.

Today, there was a wonderful analogy of aloneness. You know, the aloneness that death brings, or separation or job loss. Any kind of loss that leaves you bewildered or angry, and on your own.   This is especially true for anyone who has lost loved ones in situations where they believe that they too should have succumbed. Left behind, they question why they survived?

The devotional tells of a lone tree in a field. All other trees have been felled for farm land, except that one standing in the middle of the field. Long ago, in farming communities, one tree was spared for a very good reason. Farmers left a single tree standing so that they, as well as, their animals, could have a cool, shady place to rest when the hot summer sun became too hot to bear.

Death leaves us in a place of great despair and need.

Our life must go on even though death has deprived us of one or more loved ones. Anger creeps in. We are robbed of inner peace. Despair fills our hearts as everything overwhelms us in the pain of grief, and we long to be anywhere – just not where we are. We might be guilty of wallowing in a pity-party. Life is too hard to tolerate. That’s okay, but to live life again, we’ve got to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start over again.

 (God will give) comfort to all who mourn (Isaiah 61:2c, NIV).

The crushing emptiness left behind, when someone you care for dies, is agonizing. It is even more painful, if you do not have faith and believe in God’s awesome power.

He can give relief when everything and everyone else has failed. Just don’t give up.

Being a lone survivor can be transforming. Once grief eases (and it will, although it can take a long time), we begin to get in touch with everyday reality. One day, we’ll hear of a person dealing with loss, just as we have, and we’ll understand their agony.

This is the moment our past personal pain, can become the elixir of comfort for another human. We can offer them the shelter of understanding. We can simply say, “I know how it feels. How can I help?”

Just as the tree provides a reprieve from the heat of day, we can too, by providing emotional shelter.

Only God can give us complete shelter. He promises to do that is we lean on Him and trust in His guidance.

God cares for you, so turn all your worries over to Him (1 Peter 5:7 ,CEV).

Prayer:

Father God, help us in all our ways. Provide us with Your strength and comfort as we experience painful circumstances. Help us to never give up as we feel the aloneness of loss. Let us become a place of comfort for others. Amen

 Tweetable:

God can give us relief when everyone and everything else has failed. (tweet this)

Do you feel like you are standing alone? There’s hope. (tweet this)

 

Patricia Day

Patricia Day

Writing has always been a passion of Patricia’s. She believes that she expresses herself better in writing. Patricia enjoys creating short stories and devotionals. Other favourite past-times include family-time; gardening; reading; walking and listening to good music.

Patricia is married and the mother of two sons and stepmom to a son & daughter. Best of all, she is Nana to ten grandchildren. Look for her devotionals at Pepe Prays  and her blog Patricia E. Day .

Patricia recently completed her first novel – Eleanor, A Stolen Childhood . she is currently at work on second novel, Priscilla – Hidden in the Shadows.

 

FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY – Comfort

Five Minute Friday – Comfort

On Fridays I link to Lisa Jo Baker and take only 5 minute to write a post. Great for making me to sit and write with total freedom. Here goes:

COMFORT

comfort

As I listen to the rain teeming down I am filled with a sense of peace. We had a long dry spell which helped the flooded victims in Minden. However, it became so dry that we needed rain because of the possibility of forest fires. So now it rains. Just in time. Wonderful.

To me comfort is peace in every situation. And I am learning to do this. If I stay focused on the One who created me I can always bring that to mind – no matter what situation I am in. What a great comfort that is.

Now cozy comfort is sitting with a blanket and a good book, usually the Bible or an historical Christian fiction and soaking up the peace that I find there.

Most of my favourite Bible verses are ones of comfort:

Do not fear – Philippians 4:6-8
Let God be my strength – Isaiah 40:31
Trust in the Lord – Proverbs 3:5
He gives me peace – Psalm 23

I find comfort in Praise music:

My Redeemer Lives
Blessed be Your Name

I find comfort in Hymns:

Be Thou my Vision
Blessed Assurance
Trust and Obey

So putting these all together I can feel comfort in every situation.

Time is up. What do you think of when you hear the word “COMFORT”?

Have a great weekend,

Blessings,

Janis

Linking in with Lisa-Jo Baker and Five Minute Fridays.

Time’s up. What do you think of when you think of the word COMFORT?

1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in {you can grab the button code in my blog footer}
3. Go leave some comment props for the five minute artist who linked up before you {and if you love us, consider turning off word verification for the day to make it easier for folks to say howdy}

It’s a great way to catch your breath at the end of a long week.

 

CAN WE REST IN GOD’S ARMS?

Rest in His Arms

by T. L. Wiens

Lamb

Lamb by T.L. Wiens

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28 KJV).

It’s been a hard month. So many things are going on that aren’t part of the norm in our lives. One of our “out of the norm” events was a little orphan lamb that came into our lives.

The other day Lamby was jumping around my feet. Slowly he got braver, ventured further away and then made an extra big leap into the tall grass beside the road. He landed with a thump, not having realized he was getting in deeper than he thought. The bleating followed. I picked him up and held him in my arms until he calmed down. Then I set him back on his feet. He wobbled for a bit and then scampered off, this time staying away from the tall grass.

It reminded so much of the way we as humans get ourselves into messes. One moment, we’re beside the still waters and the next, we’re floundering in the valleys of the shadow of death. We bleat for help or rather send up a prayer. It’s then that our shepherd, Jesus Christ, lifts us into His arms and cradles us close.

When I pick up Lamby, he crosses his front legs and relaxes so completely. I know when I cry to my Shepherd, that’s where He puts me as I navigate life’s obstacles.

Tammy Wiens

Tammy lives in Saskatchewan with her husband. They have four children. She enjoys gardening, walks along the beach and being on the farm. She has a passion for her faith, studying the Bible and prayer.

She has published two books; Where a Little Rain Comes Down and Making the Bitter Sweet. A short story, “May’s First Christmas” appeared in Christmas Chaos, a collection of stories about Christmas experiences that don’t make the fronts of Christmas cards. “Careful What You Whisper” is another short story about Tammy’s experiences after breaking her back. It can be found in A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider. Visit T. L. Wiens for more information about Tammy’s books and workshops.

HARD EUCHARISTEO

Hard Eucharisteo

by Jan Cox

In many of the past posts we have talked about prayer in all circumstances. This week I learned the practical reasons for this.

Last week my husband’s van collided with another van at an intersection. He had a green light and had started into the intersection as another van ran through the red light on the cross street. Our van spun around and the airbags deployed. Wayne broke his sternum and two ribs. He spent two days in hospital and is now recovering at home here in Arizona. We believe it will take 4-8 weeks to recover.

From the time I learned of the accident (the police called me) to this point I have been thanking God for being in every circumstance. I remembered that thanks is a verb. My prayers became thankful prayers.

There have been times with all the extra details of driving in unfamiliar traffic, listening to doctors, giving medicines and dealing with insurance companies that I would have a tendency to get uptight. But I keep focusing on Jesus – calling to Him to help me – and He is there, holding me steady and giving me peace.

I am so grateful that Ann Voskamp heard His voice and wrote One Thousand Gifts. I am so grateful I have read the book four times and have led a Bible study based on it.

To read it – to teach it – and then to live it – Eucharisteo – that word stuck in my mind.

From Ann’s words on qideas:

It [Eucharisteo] means thanksgiving in Greek. My life’s struggling to pronounce it, that word that’s set like the unexpected crown jewel in the center of Christianity, right there at the Last Supper before the apex of the Cross. When Jesus takes the bread, gives thanks for it, that’s the word for his giving thanks: eucharisteo. It’s like a language lesson: in that word for thanksgiving, eucharisteo, are the roots of charis, grace, and chara, joy. If you can take all as grace, give thanks for it, therein is always joy.  Eucharisteo –  grace, gratitude, joy – one word that God in flesh acted out when he took the cup.

©iStockphoto.com/Annette Wiechmann

Now as we head into Advent season (this Sunday is HOPE) I would encourage everyone to starting writing down the gifts that you see, hear, feel and touch this Christmas season. Let us give thanks to God in every situation and find His joy.

Here are other links for thankful ideas for Christmas and Advent.

With Thankful Hearts

Haliburton Pastoral Charge Thanksgiving Letter

Haliburton Pastoral Charge Advent Letter

Ann Voskamp’s Jesse Tree Family Devotional

My Gratitude List for this week – I have skipped over many to be able to write this week’s list. I am counting and up to 689. This is a long list but it has been a long week.

  • Hard Eucharisteo – Wayne is t-boned in an accident, broken sternum and bones
  • Friends who pray
  • Family and friends who care
  • A friend who loaned me his car to take Wayne to the hospital
  • Car insurance and medical insurance
  • Your calming presence in my life
  • The gift of prayer
  • Knowing You are in charge
  • My daughter’s presence here in Arizona during this time
  • Kind, caring doctors at the first hospital
  • A nurse who brought me an orange and another who brought me a hearty salad
  • A warm blanket for me
  • A TV to pass the time while we waited for test results (5 hours)
  • Good doctors watching Wayne for any complications
  • Safety on the roads to the airport and hospital
  • Arriving safely back to our home in AZ with Wayne
  • All the prayers from friends and family
  • Energy to continue when I just want to lie down
  • My daughter safely back home in Canada
  • Wayne comfortable on medications
  • Wayne’s laughter even when it hurts
  • Walks around the lake
  • Snowball’s new tricks
  • A good book to just pick up and read
  • Morning time to think and pray and rest in Him
  • So many email friends praying
  • A nap that restores my energy
  • Another friends’ car to use – a “red box”
  • Pain meds for Wayne
  • A rental car
  • Regular routines
  • Learning the steps to a dance in tap
  • Finishing an easy Sudoku
  • Remembering that it is not about me – instead to serve
  • My shoulder feels almost normal
  • Jesus – to call upon
  • Scripture to keep me strong and at peace
  • A replacement vehicle for the one totaled (more mileage but insurance money paid for it)
  • Trust and belief in God
  • Writing all this down
  • Growing in the knowledge of God

Jan Cox

Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan has written a children’s book in which she is also the watercolour illustrator. She hopes to publish it some day.