Tag Archives: giving

Stockings: Drawing Shouldn’t Be Complicated

33 Dots: Stockings

“And the stockings were hung by the chimney with care in the hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.”

Christmas has come and gone but not the spirit of Christmas – that’s what should last all year.

Today I drew my 33 dots again. This time I saw the stockings immediately.

stockings

stockings

Thoughts:

Although some people think that Santa shouldn’t be part of Christmas, I disagree. I think that the giving part of Santa should stay alive. As long as we don’t put “getting” before “giving” we will be okay.

On the top of the mantel is the true meaning of Christmas, the Babe, Jesus, arrived in the flesh. The Incarnation. God with us.

I love the story called “Santa’s Favorite Story”. Santa is worn out, but discovers that he can find happiness again in giving as he remembers the true meaning of Christmas. Simple but powerful.

A gift opens the way
and ushers the giver into the presence of the great (Proverbs 18:16, NIV).

You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God (2 Corinthians 9:11, NIV).

Let’s keep the giving alive at Christmas. But let’s put to rest the getting.

Do you want to keep growing in your faith? Do you need a boost to study God’s Word?

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.

His Hands – Put everything there

His Hands – Put everything there – Hope Stream Radio Podcast

During this 4th week of Lent I have been studying Mark 12:41-44. I have come to the conclusion I need to put everything in His Hands.

HIs Hands - cast all your cares

Photo from Free Digital Photos.net

His Hands - Hope Stream Radio

On Tuesdays I podcast on HopeStreamRadio. You can listen to: Putting it in His Hands by clicking on this link: Here.

I have written out the show notes for those who would rather read than listen.

Show Notes for Putting it in His Hands

 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on (Mark 12:41-44, NIV).

I noticed that Jesus sat down at a particular spot so He could see the offerings. He sat down to watch what people were doing – specifically how they gave to God.

I read that the offerings were collected in containers that looked like upside down trumpets. As Jesus watched I am sure He thought about all the people as they came into the temple. It says there was a crowd.

Hebrews 4:12 tells us that God will judge the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

I try to think – what did Jesus see and hear?

He saw a crowd, which is a large number of people.

I wonder what their thoughts were?

I can hear the mental arguments as they tossed in their coins:

Oh I wish I could keep this. I could really do with a new pair of sandals instead of giving this money to the temple.

Oh I think these priests are greedy expecting me to give to them – why don’t they work like I do?

Or I could hear and see the wealthy saying to themselves:

Look everyone. Look at my fine clothes. I am helping the treasury more than anyone else here. Look how much I give.

Or we look at the woman with the two small coins and we hear:

Thank You Lord for all You are. I willingly give to You what You require of me.

Are these the thoughts that Jesus hears? If so, I have to look at myself.

What am I saying when I give? What are you saying? (click to tweet)

And let’s look at our lives – not just the offering – the money part.

Jesus asks us to give Him everything – that means our whole lives. (click to tweet)

Is there anything you are trying to keep for yourself? Are you afraid to give that to Him? Maybe He will know you a little more if you give it up. That way you are giving yourself to Him and putting your life in His Hands.

Psalm 55:22 says

Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.

I love the word “cast”. I can see myself throwing my cares over to Him. Hence the picture at the top of the fly fisherman. Can you cast away your cares and let the Lord deal with them?

On a personal note, I have been trying to give up control of my hubby for the Lenten season. I don’t always succeed. I think it’s because of habit and because I care about him and want the best for him. But it sounds like nagging when I do it. So once again I am laying it down and asking Jesus to help me not want to run my husband’s life.

May I pray for you and me?

Father, what we know and what we do are two different things. We know we need to give it all to you but it’s hard when we want to be in control. So today we lay down ourselves and take You up Jesus. We ask You to be the leader, Our Shepherd. We will follow You. In Your name. Amen.

Until next time, what can you learn from God’s Word. Make sure You keep reading and keep studying and of course, keep praying and listen to what God has to say. It will be life-changing.

Are you putting everything into His Hands?

I would love to hear from you. Drop me a note below. It’s always good to be connecting with new friends and old.

 

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Scripture and a Picture – Where Can We Show LOVE this Christmas?

Scripture and a Picture – Where Can We Show LOVE this Christmas?

2 Corinthians 3:17-18

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 from The Message:

 Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.

This week we are memorizing this verse from NIV.

Now the Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

I see light shining from our faces when we are in Christ. Thank you Jesus.

The LOVE of God who sent his Son to save us. To break down the barrier between God and us. To give us a spirit of freedom.

This is the second Sunday in Advent – LOVE

For many years our family has decided to forgo the family gift giving tradition. We do give small gifts to the grandchildren. Instead of family gifts we use that money to reach out to others and give to our favourite charities.

Where can you show love this Christmas?

Keep your eyes open and your prayers lifted up and God will show you how to love.

Here are some ideas:

  • food banks
  • sponsor a needy family
  • help a neighbour

Personally, here are our favourite charities, after our church:

International Messengers Canada

The Highlands Pregnancy Care Centre

HASP – Haliburton Assistance for Single Parents

Ratanak International (this is the charity that I am working with for December to raise awareness of human trafficking.)

World Vision Child Sponsorship

Hope for Sierra Leone

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, help us to look to you – and absorb the Holy Spirit in order to shine Your light to the world. Help us to think beyond ourselves this Christmas. Help us to help others. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Tweetable:

Where can you show LOVE this Christmas? (tweet this)

I am adding a linky that will be open until Christmas for you to LINK the charities that you sponsor. You may link as many as you like. I will be adding mine too. And in the comments you can explain what reasons you give to certain groups.

ADD your charity LINKS here:
[inlinkz_linkup id=587769 mode=1]

Monday Musings – Can a Dress Change the World?

Monday Musings – Can a Dress Change the World?

It’s amazing to me how God leads me in a different direction sometimes. On Facebook I saw a post about DRESSember. Curious I followed the post. This is what I found out:

Can a dress change the world?

Dress Ratanak Janis Cox

That is the question.

The challenge is to wear a dress every day in December to bring awareness about sex trafficking around the world.

After hearing all the talk about wearing dresses to raise awareness about human trafficking I decided to do it too.

Tomorrow is day 1.

I think I am ready. I am a pants girl. So this will be a challenge. But coupled with skirts and pants over dresses I think I can do this.

I remember when I attended school and university that we had to wear dresses, even in snowstorms in Toronto. I had high boots, but cold knees. We didn’t have fashionable tights or leggings.

I am going to donate to Ratanak International,. I learned about this organization when Kelita Haverland came to be a speaker at our Women’s Day Together a few years ago. And I am Canadian and this is a Canadian charity. But it has a US affiliate so you can donate there if you are American.

However and whatever happens it is opening my eyes to prayer for those who are caught in this human trafficking evil. Please pray with me for the month of December (and beyond).

If you want to join me, email me at Janis and I will give you the scoop (as far as I know it).

I will be posting updates and pictures on my Facebook Page – AuthorJanisCox. And will update my progress next Monday.

I am joining with Ratanak International to support their work. See more on my Facebook Page as I figure this out.

Here is my Ratanak Page.

Also I have decided to give $5.00 for each Tadeo Turtle (my children’s book) sold during the month of December. Please see How Tadeo Wants to help Fight Against Human Trafficking.

Blessings,

Janis signature

Tweetable:

Join me in wearing a dress to fight against human trafficking. (click to tweet)

Prayer:

Lord, please help all of us to be faithful in prayer for everything that you bring to our attention. Today I am praying for all those affected by the evils of human trafficking and I am asking for wisdom and abundance for those who work to fight against this evil and help those who are hurt by it. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

 

Sunday Stillness – How Can God’s Word Change You?

 Sunday Stillness – How Can God’s Word Change You?

Photo from Free Digital Photos.net

Photo from Free Digital Photos.net

Thank you for all your prayers and emails during this flu. I am happy to say that I am on the mend.

I am continuing to study Titus using the SIMPLE Method of Bible Study and Ed Hird’s book Restoring Health. Today I am working through Titus 1:7b. If you want a PDF of the SIMPLE Bible Study – please click on SIMPLE Bible Study by Janis Cox.

REstoring Health ed hird cover

Of course, I start with a prayer for God to open the Scripture to me.

S – Say the passage aloud.

– not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain (Titus 1:7b, NIV).

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

When I think of the pirates Paul is talking about – yes they were violent and robbed others. How hard must that have been for Titus to speak against. Their whole way of life needed to change.

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

What’s the opposite of violent? – peace loving, and grace giving.

What’s the opposite of  pursuing dishonest gain? – living honestly, working for your money, telling the truth.

I began thinking of this world – nowadays. What do we hear and see on TV, movies, books, video games? Violence, murders. What would Paul say to our world? STOP it. If we want to follow Christ, we have to stop this way of thinking and viewing. What we see is then enacted out in real life. I think of this next generation growing up with violent video games – how is that affecting their minds?

And dishonest gain? We see that in all walks of our lives. People cheating on taxes, people trying to get a “fast buck”, people scamming others. Lotteries – aren’t they just trying to get money that wasn’t earned? Look at big companies – CEOs charged with fraud. The crash of 2008 – greed of the banks and lending companies blinded them to what could happen.

What is happening?

Ed writes a wonderful chapter on this verse.

Our glorification of violence makes us our own worst enemy. Our pride naturally leads to anger and aggression.. Loneliness creates anger (Restoring Health – Mind, Body and Spirit, Ed Hird, page 40).

P – Pray again for God’s guidance.

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

It’s always funny (to me at least) what God brings to my mind. It is not always what I think about reading the passage, or writing my questions, or even reading Ed’s thoughts – sometimes it is out of the blue.

1. – Not Violent

I used to read violent books. I wondered why I didn’t sleep well. I used to watch the news before bed. I wondered why I didn’t sleep well. I believe it is good to keep up with what is happening in the world and for that reason I read the news on my IPAD in the morning – never before bed.

I now read good books, with love, redemption, excitement, troubles that are overcome, journeys and struggles.

2 – Not Given to Dishonest Gain.

I don’t think I ever purposefully lied or took money illegally. However, my giving heart had to melt before I could open the door to being generous. One sermon many years ago cracked open the door to giving in my heart. The question was asked: How much do you pay to heat your house? Shouldn’t you pay that amount or more to heat your heart?

Hubby and I now look for God’s leading of where to give. Try it and as Ed says:

Our giving must be out of thanksgiving and love for what Jesus did on the cross (Restoring Health, page 42).

Generosity is a healthy mark of a Spirit-filled ex-pirate (Ibid. page 43).

This also brought to mind taking Dave Ramsey’s course, called Financial Peace, and how this changed our thinking too.

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

Lord, thank you for showing me the ideal way to live – Your way. Help me as I struggle with keeping peaceful at all times. As I go out into the world help me to pray when I see violence and dishonest gain. Help me to have a generous gentle heart. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Tweetable:

Janis Cox

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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.

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

I sometimes link to:

RECOMMENDATION SATURDAY @ RENEWEDDAILY.COM
STILL SATURDAYS @SANDRAHESKAKING

PLAYDATES @LAURABOGGESS

THE WEEKEND BREW @BARBIESWIHART

TITUS TUESDAYS @CORNERSTONE CONFESSIONS

 

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Today is Sunday Stillness.

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