Tag Archives: connection

Are Letters Becoming a Lost Art?

Letters – Scribble Picnic

There are so many stories about letters that I couldn’t decide at first. After mulling this around I decided on the emotional ones.

l

My Dad and Mom met in 1945 on a blind date in November. By the end of December they were engaged and married in April 1946. My Dad, born in 1910 and my Mom, born in 1917 were the perfect match. I never saw a real argument between them all the time I grew up. My Mom might have what we called “snits” but no cross words were ever heard. It was idyllic.

When they had been married less than two years my Dad had to go away on a business trip. This wasn’t any business trip. He had to fly to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Back then flying that far took quite awhile. No cell phones. He couldn’t even make a phone call from New York.

All communication was by mail. Airmail. Thin letters so it wouldn’t cost too much. On one of the envelopes I saw CR $3.80. (no idea how much that was but I bet it was expensive). He was away for 3 months, from February 29, until May 30, 1948 (that was his last letter and I think it took him almost a week to get home).

lettersI have read through all the letters and made copies for my sister and my 3 kids.

I saw a different side of my Dad while reading these letters.

You could really tell he loved my Mom. I wish I had her letters to him as he answers some of her questions but it is hard to tell exactly what she was asking.

Two months after returning home I was conceived (from counting back from my birth) and when my Mom was 5 months pregnant both Mom and Dad went off to Brazil together. I am sure she enjoyed this a lot more than waiting for my Dad to come home.

Mom would never show us the letters while she was alive.

I knew where they were but I respected her privacy. I do wish she had let us read them so we could have asked all those questions.

My Dad died in 1993 and my Mom lived as a widow for 19 years saying that he was the only man for her. She died in 2012. My sister and I miss them both.

I am so grateful to have these letters and other correspondence as it seems to bring me closer to them, remembering how sweet they were to each other. Okay so this got my tearing up. Time to wrap up so I can finish this post.

You have seen the first sketch. This is the watercolour pencil final.

letters

Here is the sketch with pencil crayons and the original letters so you can see the size of paper I am using . It is in a 9 x 6 Sketch Diary with weight of 94g/m2. It’s fine for watercolour pencils but not for watercolour paints.

letters

Don’t you love the ribbon around them. That’s about 1/2 the letters. And I can tell they have been read many times over the years.

I might now start back into reading the correspondence that my Dad had with his Mom during the war years. My father was a captain in the Canadian artillery. He also wrote some stories of what happened during that time. Thank goodness I can read his writing.

Because yesterday was D-Day and my Dad landed on Juno Beach in the First Wave in 1945, I am finding these memories powerful and emotional. Every year, he always went to Guelph, Ontario, to meet up with his buddies from that time.

Is letter writing becoming a lost art? (tweet this)

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WHAT ARE YOUR TIN GODS?

What are Your Tin Gods?

by Jan Cox

Tin gods

What are your tin gods?

We read about the kings of the Bible in the Old Testament. We see how some of them follow God – at first – then turn their backs on Him. They turn away and start to worship alien gods or tin gods such as the Baals.

“I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals” (1 Kings 18:18 NIV).

God waits until they are desperate and calling for Him. Then God answers. They come back to worship Him.

But this cycle repeats itself over and over again.

We think, “How can they be so stupid turning to those tin gods or alien gods?”.

Then I look at my life and your life and think –

Do we have tin gods?

What pulls me away from studying His Word?

What pulls me away from praying?

What pulls me away from helping others?

There was an email circulating years ago called Satan’s Meeting. In it Satan wrote to his devil helpers. He encouraged them to keep humans busy, all the time … doing and doing and doing.  In that way humans became so focused on themselves and all their activities they forgot about God.

That letter had an impact on my life.

Today I will reprint part it here so you can pray about anything that might be your “tin god” – something that keeps you away from connecting with God.

Next week I will continue…

It is called Satan’s Meeting:

SATAN’S MEETING

Satan called a worldwide convention of demons. In his opening address he said:

“We can’t keep Christians from going to church. We can’t keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. We can’t even keep them from forming an intimate relationship with their Saviour. Once they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken.”

PAUSE

“So let them go to their churches; let them have their covered dish dinners, but STEAL THEIR TIME, so they don’t have time to DEVELOP A RELATIONSHIP with Jesus Christ.”

He continues:

“This is what I want you to do,” said the devil: “DISTRACT them from gaining hold of their Saviour and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!”

Do you have anything that distracts from your connection to God? If so, what can you do about it? Any ideas. I would love to hear from you.

Prayer:

Father, we want to connect with you. Show us our tin gods so we can turn away from them and to You. Help us to find time to connect with You. Show us how. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Gratitude List:

My Gratitude list for this week: Counting to 2000 and connecting to Ann Voskamp’s Multitude of Mondays.

          • What a VIBE (VBS) week!
VIBE

Our VBS – VIBE

          • early morning sunshine; stillness
          • great dollar store in town called Needful Things
          • endorsements for my children’s book, Tadeo Turtle
          • made 3 little pigs puppets and 1 big bad wolf puppet for Poland

My 3 Little Pigs

          • beautiful walking weather
          • going out on the boat with my hubby 
          • saw a loon very close to our boat
          • saw a seagull dive and come up with a fish in its mouth
          • saw a heron land in the marsh and then walk along
          • oh that I would remember my camera but thankful for my memory

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 completed a children’s book called Tadeo Turtle. She is the watercolour illustrator. Word Alive will be publishing this story and it will be available later this summer. See more about Tadeo at Jan’s Website.

CONNECTED

Connected

by Jan Cox

“My kingdom,” said Jesus, “doesn’t consist of what you see around you”  (John 18:36 The Message).

When we arrived at our winter residence, I expected to pick up where I had left off last April. As I had hoped the water ran, the hydro and phone worked. Wonderful! But when I plugged in my computer … no Internet.

The Internet is my connection with family and friends, downloading recipes, asking how to’s, and finding out the weather here and back home. We also watch movies and the news. So I felt … STRANDED. I felt unhooked.

Good news. The Internet provider, after a phone call, resolved the problem. We are now rewired to the world.

The same thing happened to my godly connection – my morning devotional and meditation. My morning time is so vital for me. We have been travelling for four days and although I prayed, read and studied, my godly connection was missing.

This morning – I reconnected.  Blissful. Peaceful. Inspiring. Revitalizing.

I think about our ‘busy’ lives and know that our quiet time with God gets left out. But I believe it is the MOST important part of our day. To be wired to God. How else can we live the life He wants? Without His godly spirit flowing through us, how can we deal with our daily lives?

I felt I needed the Internet to stay connected but I needed God even more. He also answers my questions, speaks to my family and friends and gives me insights and knowledge.

When I get frustrated with my life – He is the answer.

When I get hurt – He is the answer.

At all times – He is the answer.

“The great enemy to the Lord Jesus Christ in the present day is the conception of practical work that has not come from the New Testament, but from the Systems of the world in which endless energy and activities are insisted upon, but no private life with God”. Oswald Chambers.

I plan to stay connected with God. I want to put my emphasis on the right thing. Do you?

Prayer:

Help us, Father, to make the time to have a private life with You. Help us to connect. And as we have this time remind us to listen to You. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

My Gratitude List for the week: I am at number 390.

  • Startling colours of fall driving back from my Mom’s
  • Cool air of fall
  • Breezes as they blow down leaves – which flutter to the ground
  • A Christian wedding where a covenant is made before God
  • Time to head south – feel like a bird
  • To be able to dance, hear and feel the beat of the music
  • Watching my hubby chat with friends
  • Glitches taken with a laugh
  • God’s promises – how wonderful
  • My ability to think and reason
  • Scrabble!
  • Morning writing in my journal

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 this year.

CAN PRAYER BE GOOD FOR ME?

Can Prayer be Good for Me?

by Jan Cox

In the past few weeks I have challenged myself to be more disciplined in prayer. Then I asked myself – why? Why do I pray?

The “self” part of me says:

“I can do everything. I can cope. I do not need help. But if I need help, I will ask.”

Have you heard yourself say that? And I also get busy doing things and forget to talk to God even when I get into trouble. I say to myself, “I can work this out.”

“As long as you are self-sufficient you do not need to ask God for anything.” 1

Then what is prayer for? Is it to get things, be blessed, or get out of sticky situations? Obviously when we are needy our lack of self-sufficiency might drive us to prayer. “Oh, Lord, help me!” But is that why God created this way to communicate?

I have pondered about this for awhile. I think God created prayer as a means of communication to get to know Him. It is a relationship builder. As we pray – we change. Our dispositions can change and then we can, in our new frame of mind, relate to our circumstances differently.

“”It is not so true “prayer changes things” as that prayer changes me and I change things.””2

So this week I will try again to open my relationship with God to a new level. I want to know Him more; I need to talk to Him about me, who I am and how He and I can work together.

“Prayer is the way the life of God is nourished [in me]. “3

1, 2, 3 All quotes come from Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, August 28.

Prayer:

As I work on my prayer life, help me to open myself to hear Your words. Help me to open myself and talk to You about the real me. Help me to be still before You. Help me NOT to be afraid to say, “change me, Lord”. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN.

My Gratitude List for this week: I am at 280

  • a fun-filled week at a cottage with kids and grandkids
  • watching my granddaughter take pictures – she is 4
  • watching my family enjoy each other
  • lots of food
  • many games and laughter
  • swimming in the lake
  • campfire with smores
  • nighttime stars above the trees

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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 this year.

MY MISSIONARY MUSINGS

My Missionary Musings

by Jan Cox

Almost one week has gone by since I flew home from Poland (via Berlin and London). I had a fabulous two weeks of discovery, connections and faith building. We had lots of prayer times.

Here are some thoughts that I jotted down in my journal about what I learned about God:

  • God works in people’s lives
  • God helps them (and us) to gain a better perspective on their situations
  • God uses us (missionaries) to show His love and to teach His word
  • God’s Word is POWERFUL
  • God helps me stay calm in situations where I could lose control
  • God gives me words when I know I could not have thought of them myself
  • God gave us all strength when were we at the end of our own physical stamina
  • God builds relationships of trust
  • God is the same – in Poland, here and everywhere

As I try to regroup I find that He is teaching me new things. In my week of adjustment I took a sabbatical  – a rest to reenergize, refocus and renew. So I am learning:

  • To wait on Him
  • That He has a plan and I don’t need to rush ahead of Him
  • He will put things in place
  • That although I may be a part of His plan it is not about ME
  • Relationship building is as important here in my little village as it is in Poland
  • My morning time with Him is even more important than before
  • Memorizing scripture is important (and I will try to catch up to my Colossians Scripture Memorizing group)

As I readjust to living in Haliburton and listen to Him I urge all of you to take time for a “Sabbath” rest and be still before Him.

Prayer:

Lord I pray a blessing for those I left behind in Poland, the campers, and the pastors and their families. I pray for my mission team as they readjust to their lives. I ask for Your peace to settle over everyone; for Your inspiration so we can carry out Your plan. In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN.

My Gratitude List book was left at home while I travelled. I will continue to count God’s gifts. But here are some of the things I had written before I left home. (up to 256)

  • Discipline to keep regular blog posts
  • Hubby barbecuing between rain showers
  • God-incident meeting with a friend to clean up a misunderstanding
  • A great VBS
  • Tired cranky children (reminds me to remember the HALT method of proactive parenting)
  • Loving daughters
  • Swimming in the lake
  • Seeing generosity in people’s hearts
  • Another fawn in the backyard
  • Blue blue cloudless skies
  • My prayer team for my mission trip to Poland

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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 sometime.