Tag Archives: Faith

Creative Tuesdays – The Greatest Gift

Creative Tuesdays – The Greatest Gift

Gift-of-God

The prompt this Tuesday was Gift. Check out all the other posts at Creative Tuesdays.

This watercolour was painted in analogous colours. Those are the colours on the colour wheel close to each other. I chose green as my main colour because to me green = life. And blue represents the sky and water, and our lives are tied to both.

About gifts:

I am not a “gift giver” or a “gift receiver”. Things don’t bless me. I guess it all started when Christmas got out of hand (we cut back on that), and when I had joined a sorority that expected secret sisters to buy gifts for each other. That got out of hand too. How much stuff can we get?

As a public school teacher we had a hard time at Christmas and the end of the year with gifting. It made it hard for poorer families to keep up with the other families. My collection of mugs could start a store (but I have since given them to our thrift store). The best gift I ever received over the years was a letter from a family explaining that they had helped a child in another country have a needed operation in my name. Now that gift brought tears to my eyes. Such a blessing to know that they thought of me as the recipient of that gift.

Now just because I am not one who doesn’t like gift giving doesn’t mean others don’t. In Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages, receiving gifts is one of the love languages. An excellent book of how to relate to others, particularly our spouses.

But for me – that is not one of my love languages.

However, there is one gift that I will cherish forever and it comes from Romans 6:23 (NIV).

The gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.

That is the real gift that changed me and my life forever.

To know that I can live forever with God is the greatest gift of all.

Linking to Creative Tuesdays.

Tweetable:

The best gift of all is eternal life in Jesus. (tweet this)

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. Janis also is a contributor to Hope Stream Radio. Join her on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Tadeo-Turtle-Cover-large-web

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

 

 

 

 

Creative Tuesdays – PICNIC

Creative Tuesdays – PICNIC

Watercolour - Janis Cox 2015

Watercolour – Janis Cox 2015

My prompt from Creative Tuesdays this time is “picnic”. We had such a wonderful time at our Sizzlin’ Summer Service 8 in our park in Haliburton on Sunday that I had to paint it. We didn’t actually have a big picnic basket but we did have a small cooler for our two grandchildren. And grandma and grandpa didn’t sit in this position. Grandpa and daddy sat up on the hill in their blue chairs. My daughter and our two little ones sat on a blanket with the snacks. But they did munch their way through the music, the prayers, and the message.

There were over 300 people attending a joint church service put on by our ministerial. Great message about unity and how to be disciples of love to everyone.

The service is always a reminder of what all Christians should be thinking about and acting – unity and love. Read from The Message below:

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way (Colossians 3:16-17, The Message, my bolding emphasis).

We sang tremendous songs – They know We are Christians by Our Love, The Twenty-Third Psalm, It is Well with My soul, Shine Jesus Shine.

And a wonderful song by Rend Collective:

My Lighthouse

And of course Robin Mark – Fly CCLI Song #6098290:

Fly – new song by Robin Mark

And a new one for us by Graham Kendrick CCLI Song #738261:

Heaven is in My Heart

I hope you enjoy a listen to these wonderful worship songs. I am still singing them from Sunday!! Oh Oh ..Do you like these?

Tweetable:

Having a picnic together as we worship the Lord together. (click to tweet)

Don’t forget to drop over to see other artistic versions of the word “picnic”.

Creative Tuesdays – Under the Leaves

Creative Tuesdays – Under the Leaves

Under-the-Leaves

I hope you have patience to work through with me as I was given this prompt of “Under the Leaves”.

I will admit when I first read “Under the Leaves” as a prompt for Creative Tuesdays,  I thought of the bunnies that our little dog, Snowball, chases every time we go for a walk. I thought of the shade in the summer when we sit under our tree.

But then I thought of the leaves of a book.

 

So I thought I would talk about the pages of the Bible. It was to be “Under the leaves of the Bible”. I have joined an online Internet radio station and am a contributor once a week. The station is called HopeStreamRadio.com. I hope you check it out. My friends, Ron Hughes, Stephanie Nickel and Kimberley Payne are all involved. My talk is called Growing Through God’s Word. My program runs on Tuesdays. Each week I talk about how God teaches me through His Word.

I didn’t always feel that way. The Bible was just a book on my shelf, seldom opened and needed dusting. I might open it to check out a crossword puzzle solution or answer a question if it came up in discussion. One time when I was very sick I read the Psalms. That worked very well. But studying the Bible – No.

What have I found under those leaves?

 

Here are just some of the things I have found:

  • wisdom
  • insight
  • passion
  • people
  • peace
  • release from fear
  • guidance,
  • history
  • life changes
  • conviction
  • truth
  • eternal life through Jesus

Under those leaves lives a pattern for life with God’s Holy Words ever true. It reminds me of the song Ancient Words.

Here is the YouTube video of Robin Mark singing this song.

Ancient words
Ever true
Changing me
Changing you.

 

Here is another video for my Canadian family sung by Michael W. Smith.

When I hold the Bible I hold God’s history and God’s people in my hands – a sacred, mighty, powerful book.

Have you looked under the leaves of the Bible?

As I said, I started to look at the leaves of the Bible – then I wondered if there were God’s words about “leaves” in the Bible. There were!!

Revelation 22:2 says:

and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

I found a most interesting post written in 1855 by Milo Mahan, entitled The Leaves of the Tree are for the Healing of the Nations. It is not an easy read and I want to go back and really read more deeply into his message.

Here is what I found interesting:

 Each generation has its own work … to do, its own trials to meet, its own resources to develope [sic], its own account to give to the Judge and Maker of us all. ….

The Tree of Life was designed to be a shelter against all evils. Its leaves are specifics for national disease.

If you check back to a post a wrote on deceivers it looks as though this writing was a prophetic message – each generation has a work to do. So my prayer is that we pray for God to show us how to do it.

So that is my round-about mental process of figuring out “Under the Leaves”.

Thank you so much for Michael at Creative Tuesdays for giving us this creative exercise. I am not that happy with the watercolour I did – but I didn’t copy anything – just drew as I felt led.

The exercise has been meaningful to me – knowing that the Tree of Life is covering me through trials, despair, joy and inspiration. All those leaves from ancient days until now, are they the saints before us and around us?

Blessings,
Janis

Tweetable:

I join Creative Tuesdays, “Under the Leaves” @dotti_hill.  (click to tweet)

Creative Tuesdays – Around the World

Creative Tuesdays – Around the World

Around-the-World

Freehand watercolour painting of the world in a low-error map projection by Janis Cox

I mulled over the prompt from Creative Tuesdays for these two weeks. The theme is Around the World.

The watercolour was produced free-hand using a low-error map projection. I looked at globes but you could only see some of the countries; I looked at the mercator projection and countries are all skewed.

When I first heard the challenge I thought of travel. Where have I been in the world. I came up with; Canada, United States, France, Belgium, Poland, Dominican Republic, Germany, Italy, Venezuela , The Czech Republic, Netherlands and Cuba.

My next thought was missions. Where have I supported people around the world? I came up with: Philippines (our child in the Philippines), Sierra Leone (we support an orphanage and are trying to help with sustainable farming), Poland (I have visited on a mission trip five times), Haiti (God led us to a mission during the time of the hurricance). As well we support our local missions and others I can’t think of.

Jeo- Philippines web

Jeo from the Philippines

 

Then I thought of the Internet and I realized how we are getting closer to one another – through blogging, Twitter, Facebook etc. Even my book, Tadeo Turtle, is now around the world – Ecuador, Poland, Kenya, Nepal, USA, Canada. And other places I don’t even know of.

Tadeo in Nepal

Tadeo in Nepal

 

Tadeo-goes-to-Kenya-in-2015-web

Tadeo in Kenya

class-in-Poland-enjoying-Tadeo-Turtle-activities

A class in Poland enjoying Tadeo Turtle activities after reading the book.

So my drawing today is to represent connections we are making around the world.

I belong to a Network of Christian writers called John 316 Marketing Network. We have members from Canada, the United States, Australia, Cuba, New Zealand, Scotland, Malaysia and the Bahamas. Sorry to those I might have missed.

We read in the Gospel of Matthew:

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come (Matthew 24:14, NIVUK).

And in Revelation we read:

And then I saw another angel flying in mid-air, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth – to every nation, tribe, language and people (Revelation 14:6, NIVUK).

 

These are exciting times. We are being connected around the world.

Please tell me in the comments where you live.

Tweetable:

How we are reaching people for Jesus across the world. Joining CT for Creative Tuesdays. @dotty_hill. (click to tweet)

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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.

Tadeo-Turtle-Cover-large-web

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

 

 

 

 

Thoughtful Tuesdays – How Jesus is My Hope

Thoughtful Tuesdays – How Jesus is My Hope

It-is-not-what-I-can-do

It is not what I can do but what Christ can do in me and through me. (based on 1 Corinthians 2:4)

This past Sunday was the first Sunday in Advent – HOPE.

Advent for me is an adventure. Where is God leading me? What is He teaching me?

The word for this week is HOPE.

As I listened to the sermon I remember these words I have memorized from Titus.

faith and knowledge, resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised from the beginning of time (Titus 1:2, NIV).

I love, “resting on the hope”. Even the word “resting” brings a peace.

As God’s plan unfolds I can only see the past and today. But:

 I can believe in hope for the future.

Two songs came to me this morning both dealing with HOPE.

Good to Me sung by Craig Musseau.

“Your are my hope
Your promise never fails me.”

And In Christ Alone sung by Kirstian Stanfill.

“Jesus commands my destiny.”

I found my HOPE in Christ alone. Have you?

Tweetable:

How Jesus is my hope. #video You are My Hope, Craig Musseau. (tweet this)

Jesus commands my destiny, In Christ Alone #video Kirstian Stanfill. (tweet this)

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.

Tadeo-Turtle-Cover-large-web

Sunday Stillness – Are you joining God in His will?

Sunday Stillness – Are you joining God in His will?

Are-you-joining-God-in-His-will-

Photo from free digital photos.net

Come near to God and he will come near to you (James 4:8, NIV).

I have had an interesting two weeks. A close relative died and that meant a trip home from Arizona. Always knowing that I need to follow God’s will, I have stayed for two weeks – not sure exactly why – but when God says something – we act. I pray that I have been a help to those concerned and shown God’s love and comfort to those in need.

I had read Oswald Chambers a few weeks ago.

The moments I truly live are the moments when I act with my entire will (Oswald Chambers, Nov. 4)

And then to top off that weekend the Sunday’s sermon focused on these words:

Do I live my life

  • with my will and my strength
  • with His will and my strength
  • with His will and His strength?

Putting these together:

The dominating power of the world, the flesh and the devil is now paralyzed, not by your act, but because your act has joined you to God and tapped you in to His redemptive power (Oswald Chambers, Nov 4).

To my way of thinking, if we are acting in God’s will, we do what comes naturally.

But we must move – we must do. We can’t sit back thinking should we or should we not. I know there is a time when God says wait – and I wrote about waiting expectantly. But when He says “do” – we need to “do”.

Is there something God is calling you to do?
Take time to listen to HIm. Act in His will.

Do you have that urge to act but are afraid?
Remember to be not afraid. Do it in His strength.

Tweetable:

Are you joining with God in His will, and living in His strength? (click to tweet)

Today is Sunday Stillness.

Join in the community. Leave comments. Bless one another.

May I pray for you? Please email me at underthecoverofprayer.

Linking this week to:

Titus Tuesday 


#UTCOP – How to Pray for Those Facing Sickness

I would ask that you pray especially for Tanya today. She request this prayer: “Please pray for God’s strength, guidance, peace and healing as I face illness and as my family go through this ordeal along with me.”

How to Pray for Those Facing Sickness

how-to-pray-for-those-facing-illness

Photo by freedigitalphotos.net

All mighty God, today we uplift all those who are facing illness in their families. Illness comes in like a thief to steal joy, hope and peace, but we thank You Lord, that You are with us through illness. We praise You because of the assurance that though the outward man perishes our inward man will be renewed.

Bring comfort to those that are ill. Heal according to Your will. And above all else Lord, strengthen them that they may endure all that they face and be victorious in You.

Be with the family, help them to be the strength that their ill loved one needs when they are feeling especially weak. Help them to be compassionate and supportive through all the difficulties that arise. And help them also to bring their loved ones before You, because You are the Great Healer, not only of the body, but of the soul.

So Lord, be with us all who face illness. Help us never to let go of You but to help us to see and know and show who You are in spite of all that we face.

We pray all this is the name of Our Saviour, Amen

 

Tweetable:

A prayer for those who face illness. (tweet this)

 

Tanya – from God’s Character

Tanya is a child of God, wife, stay at home mom and homeschooler. She loves the Lord and loves telling people about who He is. By God’s grace her husband and she intend to live out Joshua’s statement “but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”. And so her greatest desire is to see her Lord face to face and along with her family, join in the joyous strains of triumphant voices praising our Lord and King. Check out her blog at God’s Character.

#UTCOP – What is a Faith Prayer?

What is a Faith Prayer?

by Susan Harris

Help-me-to-forge-ahead-in-faith

Photo from freedigitalphotos.net

Father, I come to you in the Name of Jesus. My heart sings because I know You are moving on my behalf even though I may not see which direction You are going.

Help me to forge ahead in faith with my Sword lifted to sever doubt and discouragement.

I will passionately pursue the dreams You have hidden in my heart.

We will partner and watch the blessings of the Almighty overtake me. Today I will breathe the pure air of the noble calling in Christ. I will seek the high place. I will live in anticipation that You who began a good work in me is faithful to complete it.

Glue my eyes heavenwards and light the path so I will not stumble. Thank you Jesus. Amen.

Tweetable:

Help me to forge ahead in faith with my sword lifted. (tweet this)

Susan Harris

Susan Harris

Susan is a speaker, wife, mother, and former teacher. Prayer is her passion, and except for salvation, it is the subject on which she has spoken most frequently over 20 years of Christian ministry. She is also the author of three books – Little Copper Pennies for Kids, Little Copper Pennies: Celebrating the Life of the Canadian one cent piece (for adults) and Golden Apples in Silver Settings. She loves kittens, pennies, and making new friends. Find her at www.susanharris.ca, on Facebook at SusanHarrisCanadianAuthor, and on Twitter @SusanHarris20.

 

#UTCOP – How to Have a Day Marked by Prayer

How to Have A Day Marked by Prayer

by Stephanie Nickel

How-to-Have-a-Day-Marked-by-Prayer

Public Domain Pixabay.com

Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV).

As I sat in the evening church service, I recommitted myself to beginning the day with prayer even before I roll out of bed. Then I thought about the prayers that could be inspired by my day-to-day life.

The following prayers can act as springboards throughout the day.

Prayer of Commitment

It could be as simple as saying, “Lord, thank You for the day before me. May I honour and glorify You, and may I bless those I come in contact with.”

Prayer of Protection

As we go about our morning routine, we can pray through the armour of God.

Lord, no matter what the enemy throws at me, may I stand . . . the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the readiness and firm footing of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit (Your Word), and prayer all firmly in place. (See Ephesians 6.)

Prayer of Empowerment

Whether we’re students, stay-at-home parents, blue collar workers making minimum wage, or corporate execs, we all face daily challenges. And God is there to help. And we must remember God’s command to do everything as unto Him, which includes schoolwork, housework, and paperwork (1 Corinthians 10:31).

“Dear Lord, may I honour You as I face this day’s joys and challenges. May I accomplish each task to the best of my ability, leaning on You for wisdom, strength, and direction.”

Prayer of Connection

Each individual we come in contact with—in person, on the phone, or online—is someone we can pray for. It may be especially difficult to pray for those people who give us nothing but grief, but it’s important for them—and for us—that we do so.

“Dear Lord, I pray that in all my interactions I will glorify You. And today, Lord, I pray that You will bless each person I come in contact with. If they don’t know You, please draw them to Yourself. And if they do, draw them ever closer. May I be a blessing in each life. May I be a Christlike example.”

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Even after a particularly difficult day, there are many things to be thankful for: God’s provision, family, friends, a home, clothes to wear, food to eat, the abilities He has given us, and so much more. And there will be days that the first thing we thank Him for is that it’s over. Hopefully those days are few and far between.

“Dear God, I have so many reasons to thank You. It’s harder to remember that some days, but help me to do so. Thank You that You are unchanging, that You love me on my good days—and on the days I’d just as soon forget. Lord, even if I blew it today, thank You that tomorrow is a new day, a fresh start. Please bring to mind the things I have to be thankful for, especially when the negativity presses in.”

Prayer of Release

The end of the day is a wonderful time to release our worries, doubts, and fears to Him. Remember “he gives to his beloved sleep” (Psalm 127:2 ESV).

A good night’s rest is a gift from God.

There may be family concerns, problems at work, or health issues to contend with when we awaken, but if we open our hands and hearts and release our cares to the Lord, we can rest assured that He, indeed, cares for us.

“Lord, thank You that Your Word assures us of Your love and care. May I trust You to take care of me and all those I love. Even when things aren’t as I’d like them to be, may I rest in You. May I have confidence that You are working all things together for my good. May I enjoy the sleep You’ve promised to Your beloved. May I wake refreshed, ready to begin again for Your glory. Amen.”

Tweetable

Lord, may each moment of my day be marked by prayer. (tweet this)

 

Steph Beth Nickel

Headshot 1 Stephanie 2013

Steph Beth is a wife of over 30 years and the mother of three grown children. Steph’s eclectic interests include writing, editing, fitness, photography, and childbirth (she is also a labour doula).
Steph’s was honoured to co-author former Paralympian Deb Willows’ memoir. Living Beyond My Circumstances is available from Amazon and directly from the publisher, Castle Quay Books, among other places. 
Steph edits for Christian Editing Services under the leadership of Karen Burkett. She is a long-time member of The Word Guild and a more recent member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.

Steph blogs at Steph’s Electic Interests. Her author website, Steph Beth Nickel, is a work-in-progress.

You can also find her at Steph’s Facebook and Steph’s Twitter.

Sunday Stillness – What is Obedience to God?

Sunday Stillness – What is Obedience to God?

what-is-obedience-to-God

What He says we will do, where He sends we will go

This will be my last Sunday in Poland. It will be the end of camp and I think the last day of camp. I head back home on Tuesday. Will have lots to tell you when I return.

Jesus said:

Blessed … are those who hear the word of God and obey it (Luke 11:28, NIV).

Oswald Chambers says:

The level of my growth in grace is the way in which I look upon obedience (July 19).

So I guess the obedience I have to Jesus gets stronger as my relationship with Jesus increases.

Obedience is only possible between equals; it is the relationship between father and son, not between master and servant (July 19, Oswald Chambers).

As I come closer to Jesus I can hear His voice better; sense Holy Spirit promptings; and know that I want to obey.

The stronger the relationship, the stronger the trust between the two parties.

Because Christ lives in me, He has that right to show me the truth and the way to go.

I love Robin Mark’s song, I’ve Been Crucified With Christ. Listen and enjoy.

And of course a favourite oldie. Trust and Obey.

Here are the words;

Breathe them in:

Trust and Obey

When we walk with the Lord
in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
Let us do His good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey,
for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
but to trust and obey.

Not a burden we bear,
not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss,
not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.

Trust and obey,
for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
but to trust and obey

Then in fellowship sweet
we will sit at His feet.
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do,
where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.

Trust and obey,
for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
but to trust and obey.

Let’s grow stronger together.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for Jesus, and Your Holy Spirit. Thanks for teaching me through Your Word, and prayer. Hold my hand as we walk this walk together. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Tweetables:

What is obedience to God? (tweet this)

The obedience I have to Jesus gets stronger as our relationship grows. (tweet this)
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PS – Don’t forget to check out Tadeo Turtle – a story of acceptance for children up to age 7. Available on Amazon.Tadeo-Turtle-Cover-large-web

Today is Sunday Stillness.

Special announcement to the people who link. If you wish to be notified that the linky is open please email me at Janis. Due to new legislation in Canada against anti-spam emails we must have permission to email you. Thanks for taking the time to do this.

Read the Sunday Stillness rules if you are new here.

I would appreciate if you would link only about God’s Word. If you have a linky party that’s okay if it is about the same thing. Please no sales or prizes. I want this to be friendly but I must ask you to abide by the rules. Others want to read God’s Word – and that is what I would like the links to be about. I must take down the links that don’t follow the rules. Thanks so much.

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