Tag Archives: freedom

What do a Dancer and Studying God’s Word have in Common?

How the Joy of the Lord can Be My Strength

Once again I challenged myself to 33 dots. This morning it only took about one minute before I saw the dancer. Yes, she was in action with a drape of material around her.

dancer

Photo by Patrick Kool on Unsplash

I looked at the dots. I knew why I saw this.

I love dancing.

I actually have been tap dancing 3 times a week here in Arizona. Except for the past 2 weeks. I pulled a muscle in my back and hip and decided I need to give my body time to heal. Gradually I have increased my distance walking and I do run on the spot. My back is feeling much better and I think I’ll return on Friday am. I also put a timer on my phone (when I remember) for 30 minutes so I don’t sit here too long.

But as I thought of dancing these words came to me:

Dance: Freedom, excitement, joy, movement, expression, and of course colour.

Then I thought of my spiritual life and realized that those words also apply how I feel about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. It’s also how I feel about reading the Bible and connecting with others who study His Word.

Spiritual Life:  Freedom, excitement, joy, movement, expression, and of course colour.

Here is the dot outline (I forgot again to take the picture with just the dots.) I added lines as I saw the dancer appear.

dancer

 

Here is the outline once I saw how I wanted her to look. Then I erased the dots.

dancer

And the final picture, this time painted with watercolours.  I made her colourful and hopefully full of life.

dancer

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17, NIV).

When we believe in Jesus we have the freedom to choose to do His will. He will talk to us. He will show us the way.

I run an online Bible study called Growing Through God’s Word. Join us. We interact.

We create. We connect. We grow in God’s Word.

Also we have a special group branching off for the season of Lent. David Kitz has generously provided a number of free books. Time is running out to get yours before the course starts on February 14. You get a print copy. Please join us. Email me with questions.

Go to Book Study with David Kitz and Janis Cox. Answer 3 simple questions.

A study guide will be provided. JOIN US. Don’t miss this opportunity.

For further reading:

Why I Love to Abandon in Dance

Do You Dance?

How Can I live a Vital Life?

How Can I live a Vital Life? #WOGSlinkup

I want to live a vital life in Christ. This week I learned the secret.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28, NIV).

I learned from Oswald Chambers that rest does not mean lying down.

  • It does mean rest from being weary or burdened.
  • It means freedom from worry and strife.
  • It means release.
  • It means vitality and joy.

It is like getting out of jail. – running into freedom. Getting far away from where we have been kept in captivity.

It’s expansive. It’s expressive.

Our chains have been let go.

How Can I live a vital life?

Here is Chris Tomlin singing Amazing Grace My Chains are Gone.

Vital

Come to Me – says Jesus
Yes run to Him
Then fly in His freedom

Oswald Chambers says: “I [Jesus] will imbue you with the spirit of life, and you will be stayed by the perfection of vital activity.”

Christ makes Himself the touchstone (Oswald Chambers)

Perpetual vitality – do you want it? Live in the Kingdom of God NOW.

Come to Jesus for a life of vitality.

Find that quiet time to rejuvenate.

May I pray for you and me?

Lord Jesus, help us to come to You. To be in Your Kingdom each day, to find the rest needed to be vital for Your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Tweets:

Life in the Kingdom of God is expansive, expressive. It is full of life. (tweet this)

Perpetual vitality – do you want it? (tweet this)

I am very excited to announce the publication and arrival of my books of The Kingdom of Thrim. You can find out more at my bookstore.Thrim Pregnancy

Don’t forget you can get 2 free ebooks by signing up to my newsletter.

Today is Word of God Speak – linkup – #WOGSlinkup Please use this hashtag when you tweet.


 

Freedom and Change for 2016?

Word of God Speak – Linky – Freedom and Change for 2016?

by Janis Cox

This week I want to look at freedom and change for 2016.

Freedom and Change for 2016

 

As we head into a new year – 2016 – I am filled with expectancy. After much praying I finally found my word for 2016.  – ABOUND

This year these words have been flowing through my mind:

Freedom and Change

 

 

Expectant, rebirth, birth, growth, newness, refreshing.

And that’s probably what led me to eventually find my word ABOUND.

This week I was led to Hebrews 1:10-12 so this is our scripture to memorize for this week.

It’s a longer passage to memorize but I really like it. I want to change and I will; God will not change – ever. Hallelujah.

S – Say the passage out loud:

In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you remain;
    they will all wear out like a garment.
 You will roll them up like a robe;
    like a garment they will be changed.
But you remain the same,
    and your years will never end. (Hebrews 1:10-12, NIV).

I – Interpretation – Find out all you can about the passage. When? Where? Why?

Hebrews 1:3

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory, and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word.

Read through the following: Ps 8:6; Zechariah 12:1; Isaiah 34:4; 51:6; Hebrews 12:27; Hebrews 13:8; Psalm 102:25-27;

As I read through these verses these thoughts stood out:

God is the Ruler of All Things
He lays the foundation of the earth; formed the Spirit of man
He will make judgment on all nations
Even though the heavens will vanish He will save us
God can shake things up. But we can remain unshaken.

I love Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.

Notice how Psalm 102:25-27 is very similar to our passage.

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

Tozer talked about the unchangeableness of God; but he also talks about God giving us freedom and change.

He can change us too. Working in our sphere of influence God can make changes in us and others.

I thought about why God can’t change. Here’s what I think.

God can’t get better – He is perfect.
God can’t get worse – He cannot sin.
God is unique – so He can’t change.

He is immutable, which means that He has never changed and can never change in any smallest measure (Tozer, The Pursuit of God). (tweet this)

A couple more quotes from Tozer made me really think:

Much of our difficulty as seeking Christians stems from our unwillingness to take God as He is and adjust our lives accordingly.

Are we “unwilling to take God as He is and adjust our lives accordingly”? AW Tozer (click to tweet)

A satisfactory spiritual life will begin with a complete change between God and the sinner … a conscious and experienced change affecting the sinner’s whole nature.

One of the first Bible verses I learned:

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17, NIV)

My mind focuses on permanence – of God but the changing of us. This year 2016, is it one of change, rebirth, experience for me?

I see a butterfly and freedom and change.

Freedom and Change for 2016

Watercolour butterfly by Janis Cox

P- Pray for God’s Guidance This is a silent time of prayer, listening to God Speak.

L- Life – How can I apply what I have heard from God to my life?

This time was different. I don’t usually fall asleep during my prayer time. But this time I did. I felt like the disciples when they fell asleep when Jesus asked them to watch and pray with Him.

But through my dozing I heard – newness of life; change; rebirth. I know that my Word is exactly what God told me.

I know I must change for my relationship with God to grow. (click to tweet)

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

O Lord, mold me, melt me, make me into the one You want me to be. Help me to listen to You, study Your Word and grow closer to You. Help me to know how to feed Your lambs. Increase my wisdom. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

This hymn kept going through my head:

Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me.
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.
Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me.

Hebrews 1:10-13

Join us at Word of God Speak Community both here and on Facebook.

On Facebook  Word of God Speak Group Community we look more into how to express the scripture through art and memory work. I share colouring pages and ideas of how to paint in your Bible.

Today is Word of God Speak – Please link your posts below.

[inlinkz_linkup id=593982 mode=1]

Hope Stream Radio – How to Find Joy and Freedom in Christ

Hope Stream Radio – How to Find Joy and Freedom in Christ

Hope Stream Radio

In this week’s podcast for Hope Stream Radio I am still looking at John 3:5. This time my thoughts turned to butterflies – and freedom. We must be born of the Spirit to be free.

Have you learned to SMILE – See More in Life Every day?

Join me as you listen to my podcast: Find the Joy and Freedom in Christ

Tweetable:

Can you see more in life everyday? SMILE Find joy in Christ podcast @hopestreamradio (tweet this)

Do I Think Too Much?

Do I Think Too Much?

by Janis Cox

Do I think too much?

Obviously if you are reading this blog, Under the Cover of Prayer – UTCOP, you are interested in prayer and the facets surrounding the practice of prayer.

It seems to me the more I read, the less I know. Why is that? I believe it’s because my brain is trying to learn it all.

But indeed I know that my spirit knows more than my brain thinks.
(click to tweet this)

As I read Oswald Chambers every morning I realize I do think too much. This week I tried to listen to the Holy Spirit rather than my brain.

Oswald Chambers says the “I” factor takes us from interceding for others. We think of what is on the “to do” list. We think of “ifs”. Or we question what should we do.

Chambers asks:

How long is it going to take God
to free us from the morbid habit
of thinking about ourselves?
(Oswald Chambers, June 21) (click to tweet this)

Here’s a Haiku I wrote:

Saved
Jesus Christ
Freed, Open, Peace
Accepting the Holy Spirit
Life

Now I can:

Pray on the realization that you are only perfect in Jesus Christ, not on this plea – “O Lord, I have done my best, please hear me” (Oswald Chambers, June 21).

Prayer:

As I give over my thoughts to the Holy Spirit, help me hear the names of those I am called to pray for. As I become open to the Spirit I thank You for that connection. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

In the coming weeks I will choose to do the priestly work of prayer.
(click to tweet)

I will let the Holy Spirit guide me.

I linked to:

Janis Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Janis, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. A writer since 2003, Janis co-ordinates a group blog called Under the Cover of Prayer. She is also a contributor to a group blog called Family and Faith Matters. Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. She is the author and watercolour illustrator. For more information visit Janis on her website He Cares for You. She is a member of The Word Guild and Inscribe Writers Fellowship.

Do You Have Freedom When You Pray?

Do You Have Freedom When You Pray?

by Janis Cox

Music Notes

Have you ever listened to a pianist who can play by ear? Or have you seen an artist who draws freely without a picture to look at? The flow from them is uninterrupted.

I can follow directions; I can learn something; I do watercolour; but I can’t draw freely. This summer I have enrolled in an expressive arts class. I hope and pray that I can grown in my expression and creativity.

This past week, God has impressed on my to embrace Him – NOW.

I still get doing things without pausing first to connect with Him. But I am getting better and allowing my spirit to connect with God before I write and before I paint.

Please don’t squander one bit of this marvellous life God has given us (2 Corinthians 6:1, The  Message).

God gave me the gift of grace and that wonderful gift allows me to come to Him at anytime. The flow of living water is available to me always.

So at this moment, Lord, I put myself at your throne. I call upon You and You will answer me.

Prayer is the experience of drawing on the grace of God (My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers, June 26). (click to tweet).

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we come to You now, at this moment – grateful for the grace You have bestowed upon us. Keep this grace flowing in our hearts and minds throughout this day. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

And the song that comes to my mind – Freedom Reigns by Jesus Culture

Janis Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Janis, 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 is also a contributor to a group blog called Family and Faith Matters.  She is the author and watercolour illustrator of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle. Word Alive has published Tadeo Turtle. See more information at Janis’s Website.

MY INBOX

This week is Write!Canada, a conference for writers. I know I will have no time to post for Friday so am doing it now – you will see it Friday if all goes well.

I am reposting from Inscribe Online where I am part of a team of writers.

My Inbox

by Jan Cox

My Inbox

I am learning more and more to trust in God. I have written many posts this year on the “me” factor and how it inhibits my growth with God. Relying on “me” can be frustrating and exhausting.

RELYING ON GOD IS FREEING

If I look at my Inbox, I see too much. I panic and say “I can’t do all that!”

But if I look to God, He says, “I am here. Look to me and not to your Inbox.”

Then I can focus on Him. He helps me calmly DO one task at a time. And they all get done – miraculously.

Oswald Chambers says:

“It is much easier to Do something than to trust God. We mistake panic for inspiration. That is why there are so few fellow workers WITH God and so many workers FOR Him” (June 1). (emphasis mine)

Oswald asks:

“Am I quite sure that God will do what I cannot do?” (June 1).

Here is what Scripture says:

“I can do ALL things in Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV).

This all ties in with a Bible study I am leading with a group of women. Grace Fox has written a study called, Moving From Fear to Freedom: A Woman to Woman Conversation. We are learning strategies to push past our fears and blocks. One strategy stressed is:

FOCUS ON GOD

As I spend more time with God, praying and studying His Word, He is teaching me that:

Yes, I am quite sure that God will do what I cannot do.”

Oswald Chambers says:

“The degree of panic is the degree of lack of personal spiritual experience” (June 1).

Tough statements.

I will panic… and when I do, I remind myself, “STOP! Look to God.”

Panic cannot live in the same place as God. “Go to the right place. Choose God.”

Prayer:
May all of us, Lord, look to You – You alone. You can do ALL things because Christ can give us the strength. Help me to continue marching towards complete and utter trust in You. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

My Gratitude list for this week – shortened because I head out for the conference on Tuesday. I am at 1464

      • sleeping very well
      • beautiful sunshine for Mom’s committal service (forecasters called for rain – 90%)
      • cousins who drove from far away to attend the service
      • everything went well for the service – lovely flowers, and Canadian flags to commemorate DDay

 

      • chatting and catching up in a restaurant before heading home
      • emails of my cousins – now we can connect
      • seeing a license plate in front of us with my maiden name  – Mom’s name (don’t know if legal to print it – but I took a picture) – miracle
      • watching grandkids in the pool
      • grandpa and granddaughter play another game of Trouble
      • lovely dinner before our drive back home
      • Sunday service – 100th anniversary of our church’s sanctuary
      • bagpipes greeted us

      • beautiful canopy with balloons

      • lots and lots of people
      • excitement of upcoming Write!Canada conference
      • grandnephew fell off porch; went to hospital with a concussion but after cookie and ice cream is fine and going home

CHANCE TO WIN?

Here is your chance to win

Coming up next Thursday – a chance to win. Next Thursday will be your chance to add comments to my post for a chance to win Grace Fox’s DVD and Bible Study on Moving from Fear to Freedom: A Woman-to-Woman Conversation.- a great ministry resource for women in your congregation. Make sure to drop in and see all about it.

Here is a sneak preview:

Has fear kept you awake at night?  Has it hindered you from saying yes to a new opportunity? Has it caused you to make impulsive choices you later regretted? If so, you’re not alone!

Fear is a big deal for many women. If left unchecked, it can prevent us from fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives. So, what’s the answer? How can we move beyond fear into freedom?

Grace Fox, Canadian author of four books including Moving from Fear to Freedom: A Woman’s Guide to Peace in Every Situation,  shares the answers in her newly released DVD and Bible study guide titled Moving from Fear to Freedom: A Woman-to-Woman Conversation.

See you next Thursday.