Tag Archives: fear

What Have I been Writing on Medium?

I am joining the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes. Join me. 

I am writing in a blogging platform called Medium. Visit me.

 

This has become an annual tradition inspired by the Write 31 Days challenge,
which takes place every October.
For Write…
fiveminutefriday.com

Here are my first five posts written in Medium. – a new blogging platform

Day 1 — How Did Your Fabulous Story Begin?   

The prompt is “story”.

Day 2 — How I was Afraid but Learned not to Fear

The prompt is “afraid”.

Day 3 — How and What Do You Believe?

The prompt is “believe”.

Day 4 — Do you Cry, “Why, Lord” When Things Go Wrong?

The prompt is “why”.

Day 5 – How Much or How Little Do You Share?

I am trying to catch up.

If you want to find me on Medium click here.

Stay tuned to more updates.

Hope everyone is doing well.

May I pray for you and me today?

Lord,I pray that the person reading this post is focused on You. I pray that they will continue to put your first. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

3 Ways to Turn from my Old Ways

Five Minute Friday: Turn

Okay – I think I will continue to do my Five-Minute Fridays on my blog rather than Medium. This week’s prompt is TURN.

turn

Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash

So I have 5 minutes to write on the word “turn”: Set the Timer: Go

I keep hearing the words from the Bible: “Turn from your ways”.

And that’s exactly what God told me when I accepted Jesus as Saviour in 2001.

” ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live’ (Ezekiel 33:11, NIV).”

There were many ways I had to turn from.

Here are 3:

Judgment:

I’m still judgmental. But not as bad as I was. Everything that would happen I would have an opinion and I believed my thoughts and ways were the best.

I am working on turning even further from that.

 “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you (Romans 12:3, NIV).”

turn

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Control:

Oh yes, I think that is how I am wired. I am a task-master, a doer, a person who likes to get things done. I want to fix things and make them right. I’m reminded of Peter – yes, he too wanted to make things right. Remember when he wanted to set up tents for Moses, Elijah and Jesus? He thought that was the right thing to do. It was not.

I have to learn over and over that others have thoughts and ideas too. I am working on that as well. But, as someone told me, “Don’t let go the fire that you have inside you. Just don’t burn anyone.”

Self-control – that’s what I am working on. Keep looking to Jesus.

turn

 

Fear:

turn

I worried constantly. The control part of me helped me do that. I feared climbing ladders, thunderstorms, speaking in front of people, what people would think, how I looked. And it goes on and on.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes (Matthew 6:25, NIV)”.

turn

Bible Art by Janis Cox

Now I learned to pray and I have heard that the best worriers become the best intercessors.

Jesus let me drop all that when I said to Him, “I’m yours.” Now I will go boldly where Jesus wants me to go. I will tread the waters and not look down.

These are my 3 big turns since deciding to follow Jesus.

Time’s up. Join me at Five-Minute Fridays to speak your mind about a prompt.

Other posts you might enjoy.

Control: Five-Minute Friday

How to Overcome Fear

Call to Action:

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turn

 

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Skater: Drawing Shouldn’t Be Complicated

33 Dots: Skater

Another day for 33 Dots – from Meg Konovska’s idea. This is my second day of randomly placing 33 dots on a piece of paper – then trying to figure out what’s there. Today we get a colourful skater.

skater

Coloured pencil skater – 33 dots

Thoughts:

As I looked at this skater, I thought of myself on ice skates. I used to be able to skate pretty well. Not great but I could make it around the rink. Not now. Now I need help. Last year my daughters took me for a spin and they shot this picture. I stayed steady for the picture and then said – “grab me.”

skate

This year, everyone forgot their cameras. But I still went around the rink twice. It wasn’t as smooth this year – many holes from lots of use. But I felt a sense of accomplishment, just putting them on, getting to the rink, and going around with help on either side.

This girl remind me of how I need to be bold, whether in trying to skate, or attempting new things.

Her skates don’t look very steady and that’s how I feel sometimes, treading this Internet and connecting with others. I’m on shaky ground.

But God tells us again and again (over 400 times actually) to not fear.

Do NOT be afraid He says.

He will always be with us. It is God Who leads and guides us so we have NOTHING to fear.

Read John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

The colourful outfit that my girl is wearing is the creativity that’s in me. It’s in all of us. But we are fearful of not being able to do it. But if we let ourselves go and let God lead it is amazing what He can do.

Read Ephesians 2:10

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Here is the beginning of the picture. I had put the 33 dots. I forgot to take the picture with just the dots.

skater

Skater – 33 dots, Janis Cox

When I wrote Tadeo Turtle and wanted to illustrate my own children’s book, I didn’t think that was possible. But I did it. And it won an award in 2012 from The Word Awards.

What I believe, is that we can do anything when God is beside us.

We can learn to change our plans: our temperament; we can be kinder; we can learn to be inspirational; we can learn to draw, to write and even to skate. But we do need to ask Him and listen for His answers too.

Do you want to change? Are you tired of doing things on your own? There are two ways I hope I can help?

CALL TO ACTION:

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. JOIN US.

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.

Excuse – Five Minute Friday

What Lay Hidden that God knew But I didn’t?

Today is Five-Minute Friday and the word prompt is excuse. Just write. Little editing. Join us at Five Minute Friday. Set the timer: GO

excuse

I didn’t want to admit it. We were discussing our attitudes to our family in a Bible study. We were asked to think deeply over past conversations. How did we act and react? I didn’t want to go there. I could hear my voice – my controlling voice.

It’s not nice to look back at what you said, is it? I used to be very controlling to my husband and family. It started with trauma but ended with a fear and a need to make sure everyone was safe. It had started before I really knew Jesus.

I had this urge to be watchful and careful of everyone. I didn’t trust anyone except my family.

For that reason I wanted to ensure their safety (as though I could??)

And if my way wasn’t followed then I would be very upset. I wanted everything done my way. No room for anyone else’s opinion..

So in this Bible study I made an excuse. I didn’t know. Or I lied. I am not sure.

I said that there was nothing that was wrong in my attitude with my family. Nothing. Nothing at all.

I went home. I thought and thought. I decided I had better ask Jesus if there was something that I was doing that He did not like. I prayed. I listened. God answered.

Yes there is something that you are doing. You are not trusting me. You are running afraid so you think you need to control everything.

Oh my. Convicted. Jesus was right. I saw my sin. I had also made an excuse. My sin had been hidden but now it was revealed.

control

Do you have hidden faults? Are you making an excuse? Do you need to talk to God about them?

I found more hidden faults as I continued in that Bible study and in the years since. And now I continue to ask God to reveal anything that is not of Him.

I don’t want to make excuses to God. I want to be righteous before HIm.

TIME’S UP. 

If you are looking for a way to connect with God creatively. If you are tired of scrolling through Facebook pages and getting nothing of value.

Please join us at Growing Through God’s Word Private Facebook Group.

We share. We learn. We create. We connect. We grow.

 

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Surrender – Five mInute Friday

Surrender – Five mInute Friday

I have five minutes to write about the word “surrender”. You can join too. Follow the link below.

surrender

I have always been very forthright and always wanted to fix things or get my way. Coming to Christ changed all that. Over the past 16 years He has taught me to let go – of myself, of my feelings and of my desire to do things my way.

It has been a very slow process. Two steps forward one step back. But I am moving forward.

The peace I have found during these years has been amazing. I don’t fear anymore. That was a big hangup of mine. Fear would paralyze me. As I surrendered things to God, He showed me that He has control – not me. He would look after everything. I still hesitate to do some things but I am getting better at stepping out into new arenas.

In September I went on a book tour and visited 12 classrooms in the Calgary area. After the first one I knew I felt God’s presence and I could do this and have fun.

When I surrendered to God I became free. Free to do more than I ever believed possible. (tweet this)

Surrender Surrender surrender surrender

Time’s up.

Your turn to write for 5 minutes without editing.Surrender

Today I joined Kate Motaung at Five Minute Fridays. 

She has a contest too. Check that out before Monday, November 28, 2016.

 

NOTICE:

Last few hours for special deal from me. Please check out Black Friday Deal.

 

How to Overcome Fear – podcast

How To Overcome Fear – Podcast for Hope Stream Radio

Today on Hope Stream Radio I am talking about how to overcome fear. Fear used to be the way I lived. I became tense and irrational. Listen to what I learned.

how to overcome fear

 

How to overcome fear

Click on the link to hear the podcast: Click here.

Here are the show notes for those who would rather read the transcript.

How to Overcome Fear on Hope Stream Radio.

There are many things that have changed in my life since that pivotal moment in 2001. On an October day that year I accepted Jesus as my Saviour and promised to follow Him.

One of the first scriptures I memorized was Philippians 4:6-7

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.

I chose that Scripture because my life had been filled with fears – big ones and little ones. When I didn’t know Jesus I tried to control everything, my husband, my kids and my friends. That desire to control is still there but the Holy Spirit reminds me when I step over that line.

Losing control – or actually giving up control to Jesus is not easy. To give control to Him I had to learn to trust Him.

I learned trust by intentionally focusing my life on learning more about Him, through prayer and studying my Bible. I made Jesus my top priority.

Fear can strangle us.

Our passion, desires and dreams can be locked in a prison when we fear. (tweet this)

My fears held me back from living a full life.

When I committed this scripture to memory it started to be a part of me. I could say:

Don’t be anxious about anything.

I watched as Jesus torn down the walls of my fear and my hesitancy to try new things. As I wrote in my journal I learned more about me and my relationship with our God.

When I hit a roadblock, I prayed through it. I didn’t panic. I prayed.

I started to watch God in action. I saw Him open doors to a new life for me. I got excited. I felt a passion.

When I used to worry, my stress level soared. It made my sick – physically.

I heard someone say:

The best worriers become the best pray-ers. (tweet this)

I guess that’s me. I turned worry into prayer. Not only was there less stress , there was actually great peace, an inner peace.

Yes – a calmness overcame my rigid hyperness. I remembered to breathe in Christ when I face trials. I prayer. He answered.

There are so many passages that helped me overcome my fear.

The one I love the best is from 2 Timothy 1:7:

For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control.

I learned it that way from the New English Translation.

Doesn’t that tell us everything we need to know. When we give our lives to Jesus – we become filled with His power and His love. And self-control, or discipline – what a fantastic byproduct.

The Message for today’s passage from Philippians says:

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

How is your life? It is filled with worry? Learn how to overcome fear. (tweet this)

Breathe in Christ.

Genesis 2:7 says:

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Jesus came to give us back that breath of life. This is the way we can overcome fear. (tweet this)

Breathe in Christ and live.

May I pray for you and me?

Father God, You gave us life. You breathed into us. Fill us up with Christ. Breathe life back into our lives so we can live in freedom, freedom from fear and worry. Help us to be alive with Christ. Help us to learn this. We know it make take time, but guide each of us in our walk with You. May the God of peace guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. In Your name, Jesus, we pray. Amen.

Until next time, look carefully at your life. Is there a concern or worry that you need to give to Jesus? Memorize Philippians 4:6-7 and may it help you as it helped me leap over my fears.

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Easter Thoughts – Podcast- HSR

Easter Thoughts – Podcast- HSR

During Lent I went through 6 verses from Mark and studied them, asking God to speak to me the words He wanted me to hear. These are my Easter Thoughts. You can listen them at Hope Stream Radio.

EAster Thoughts

Click on the link to hear the podcast: Click here.

Here are my show notes:

The last passage I studied was Mark 14:66-72. – particularly verse 72.

Immediately the rooster crowed the second time.[a] Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice[b] you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept.

It’s a familiar passage of Peter’s denial of Jesus – three times before the cock crowed twice.

As I heard my grandfather clock chiming the hour as I wrote this I thought of how Peter would have felt hearing that cock crow.

It would have been a piercing sound, bombarding his ears with the voice of Jesus – You denied Me.

It would have overwhelmed Peter to hear that sound – so much that he cried.

My NIV version says: He broke down and wept.

The Message version says: He collapsed in tears.

Peter had been passionate for Jesus, always giving a rallying cry.

Suddenly he feels all is lost. Empty. Alone.

Those 3 days must have been devastating for him. Worry. Fear. Sorrow. Regret.

Then – EASTER. The incredible news that Jesus is alive.

When Peter sees and recognizes Jesus on the shore – He jumps out of the boat to greet Him.

That reminded me of the time before the resurrection when Jesus asked Peter to come out of the boat and to walk on water. And Peter did – for a bit.

Now, and especially after Pentecost, when the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit – Peter is again on fire, willing to jump out of the boat and to walk on water, to trust God with everything.

What can I Learn from Peter? What are my Easter Thoughts?

Do not be afraid – Jesus has conquered death. He will always look after me. He has conquered death for me too.

Do what Jesus calls me to do – no matter how impossible it may seem, do it anyway because Jesus can do anything.

Be passionate – When I heard God tell me what to be passionate about it has been like a fire running through me. The words I heard were:

Get all Christians to read their Bibles daily.

That’s my goal. My mission. My purpose.

Easter Thoughts

picture from Pablo by Buffer

That’s what I am passionate about. What about you?

Easter Thoughts: What passion has God put on your hearts? Are you going full out for Him? (click to tweet)

May I pray for you and me?

Father, we know that sometimes we feel we have reached the impossible spot. But nothing is impossible for You. Keep us remembering that and give us courage and passion to do Your will. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Until next time, follow the passion the Lord has given you. Do it knowing that we have a great God who will strengthen and guide you. And remember to be in His Word, daily.

Peter’s Lesson – Word of God Speak Linkup

Peter’s Lesson – Word of God Speak Linkup

This week as I looked at the verses Mark 14:66-72 during the sixth week of Lent I learned Peter’s Lesson.

Peter's Lesson

Watercolour Painting by Janis Cox

We are using the S.I.M.P.L.E. Method of Bible Study  to study this passage.

S – Say the passage out loud: Check other versions.

Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept (Mark 14:72, NIV).

I – Interpretation – Check footnotes, references and commentaries. Find out all you can about the passage. When? Where? Why?

The other Gospels give this report as well. Matthew 22:69-75, Luke 22:55-62, and John 18:15-27.

Jesus is called Jesus the Nazarene because he came from Nazareth (Mark 1:24)

Jesus tells Peter what will happen – that Peter will deny Him three times before the cock crows twice (Mark 14:30).

When Jesus had been arrested and they were interrogating Him, Peter was in the courtyard below with Judeans. They heard his accent and knew he was a Galilean and accused him of being a follower of Jesus. He denied that three times.

Denial – in psychology: a condition in which someone will not admit that something sad, painful, etc. is true or real.

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

What did Peter learn?  He gained new found strength through prayer and the Holy Spirit. He became the pillar of the early church.

God uses our failures, problems and circumstances to grow us and to teach us to help others. He can turn us around. He can change us.

When He becomes our Rock, we can have the strength, vision, and power than only God can give.

Peter was weak and afraid. He had not prayed. He had fallen asleep while Jesus was arrested. (Mark 14:38).

But he did not runaway as others did. After he heard Jesus’ words in his mind when the cock crowed, he wept. He was overcome with remorse.

How often have I thought the “should haves”?

Probably too many times. Praising God for His grace and patience with me.

The Lord penetrated Peter’s heart.

Peter’s Lesson:

Even though we may deny Christ or disobey His Words, He forgives us and gives us a chance to work for His glory.

P- Pray for God’s Guidance This is a silent time of prayer, listening to God Speak. When you have finished writing all your thoughts, questions and ideas then take time for prayer.

L- Life Application – Write down what you heard God speak (no matter how different from your own thoughts previously).

I heard God talk about FEAR.

  • I remembered how I used to control my children (through my fear of something happening to them). I wanted to be sure they were safe. But I smothered them.
  • I remembered that I held back from pursuing my passion to paint because I didn’t think I would be good enough.
  • I remembered that I hadn’t done any podcasting or video because I felt too shy and didn’t think I could do it.

BUT: Then I remembered Peter’s Lesson – do it anyway, fearful or not.

  • I remembered how I spoke up against gossiping at the curling club.
  • I remembered I did start to podcast at Hope Stream Radio
  • I remembered that I did start to paint seriously and really enjoy it.

I heard God say, “Foxes chase chickens. Do you want to be a chicken or a lion?(tweet this)

Peter's lesson

Watercolour by Janis Cox

E- Exit with a prayer of confirmation, forgiveness, praise or acceptance.

Father, thank You for helping me push past my fear. Thank You for helping me try new experiences and speak out for You. Continue to guide me in this way. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

What about you? Have you fallen away from trusting Jesus completely? If you fell away and then came back tell me your story.

I would love your thoughts about my post on Wednesday – about the importance of Daily Bible reading.

DOWNLOAD 2 FREE BOOKS – LIVING LIFE ONE WORD AT A TIME and 5 WAYS GOD CAN CHANGE YOU.

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 ONE last thing: I am running a contest to give away a copy of my children’s book Tadeo Turtle. Enter by clicking here.  Contest is now closed.

Special Giveaway

Today is our Linkup For Word of God Speak.

Please remember to visit your neighbour(s). A link back to my blog would be welcome. Thank you. These must be faith-based God honouring posts, please.

Please follow me on Twitter and on Facebook.


How Do You Combat Fear?

How Do You Combat Fear?

how do you combat fear

How Do You Combat Fear?

I read with great interest today the introduction to lesson 4 of Priscilla Shirer’s Seed Pack. The title is Armour and the topic is “Stage Fright”. One thing really hit me – we CAN battle fear with Scripture.

She says:

“Scripture became my offensive weapon.”

That is powerful for me.

Lies that Satan puts on our hearts and into our minds need to be battled with Scripture, God’s Holy Word, and with prayer. (tweet this)

Our group picked Jeremiah 1:6-9 to study and came up with many ideas of how this passage speaks to each one of us.

““Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”

But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with youand will rescue you,” declares the Lord.

 Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth.”

Beth Moore in our study of Esther says:

Our fears become like long bony index fingers pointing at our vulnerabilities. (Beth Moore, Esther Bible Study) (tweet this)

Try it – study Scripture – God says to be not afraid. Believe it. (tweet this)

DOWNLOAD 2 FREE BOOKS – LIVING LIFE ONE WORD AT A TIME and 5 WAYS GOD CAN CHANGE YOU.

how do you combat fearhow do you combat fear

Janis is author of Tadeo Turtle. Read more about him here.

How do you combat fear?

 

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.