Tag Archives: hope

How and Why I Should Stop Saying the “S” Word

A look at how what we say can affect us

I never thought about it. It never occurred to me. My daughter said, “Mom you really shouldn’t say that “s” word.” Now before you start thinking that the “s” word was a swear word – it isn’t.

 

The word she meant was “stupid”. She has taught her children not to say that “s” word or the “d” word either – yes – dumb.

Frederick William Faber a noted English hymn writer and theologian, whose best-known work is Faith of Our Fathers is quoted to have said:

“With the help of grace, the habit of saying kind words is very quickly formed, and when once formed, it is not speedily lost.”

I like the fact that he says saying kind words is a habit we need to form and that once formed we hold on to that. The Bible tells us to be wise how we live.

Therefore it is so important that we not only teach our children to use a kind word but we as spouses, friends, and grandparents use words that we would like our children to get into the habit of using.

And certainly not use words that we would not want to hear our children repeating.

We are told in God’s Word, in Proverbs 16:24:

Kind words are like honey sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.

word

Click on the picture to hear the podcast of this post.

 

When I first became a Christian even though I didn’t swear very often I started to notice that I still was capable of a rant with words that were not “honey to the soul”.

This was a choice I had to make.

Could I think before opening my mouth even when I felt angry and frustrated? The Holy Spirit helped me to use the fruit of the spirit to make my words encouraging and gracious. Is there anything blocking the fruit of the spirit in your family?

Choices: We make them every day, sometimes every minute.

Proverbs 15:23 says:

Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!

I don’t know about you but sometimes I answer without thinking it through.

Certainly email and texting has added to this haste to speak without deep thought. How can we make a “fitting reply” when we are hurried to text back, or answer an email?

God can help us change if we ask Him.

But we have to be willing to do the work.

Proverbs 10:20 says in The Message:

The speech of a good person is worth waiting for;
    the blabber of the wicked is worthless.

Slowing down. I think that is what God is telling us.

It is worth waiting for the wise speech of a good person. They have thought through their words, carefully crafting the best way to explain something. They have prayed that God will bless those words.

How can we in our hurried lives learn to speak slowly, carefully and wisely?

Here are three ways I think will help you in this growth:

  1. When you wake up ask God to watch over your mouth for the entire day. Ask Him to speak to you if He senses you are going to make bad choices. And then be ready to listen to Him.
  2. Stop answering emails and text right away. Give it a few minutes at least so you can think over your replies especially if someone is seeking advice or has said something that you disagree with.
  3. Don’t react right away when confronted with anger, or disagreement. If necessary ask to be excused to the washroom (if this is a face-to-face meeting) and in that time – pray that God will calm your spirit, give you wisdom and give you peace.

Throughout Proverbs we are given Scripture after Scripture about the power of words. They can build up and tear down. They can cause division and hatred. They can bring reconciliation and love.

What do your words do?

May I pray for you and me,

Lord, you gave us the power of speech and the ability to think what we say. No other living creature that you created can do this. Let us use this gift wisely to show love, care and protection of one another. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Until next time, think about your words this week. Pray every morning for revelation. Learn to curb your impulses and speak with wisdom and love. And stay reading His Word.

For other thoughts on the power of words listen to my first 4 podcasts on Hope Stream Radio.

word

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4 Podcasts for Advent

4 Podcasts for Advent

Listen to the 4 pillars of Advent at Hope Stream Radio – 4 Podcasts for Advent.

Hope

Hope now and forever

Love

let's love

Joy

JOY

Peace

Blessings to everyone as we head toward Christmas.

Janis

Listen to 4 podcasts on the 4 pillars of Advent. Join us at Hope Stream Radio. (click to Tweet)

Baubles, Bangles and Beads?

Baubles, Bangles and Beads?

Are we walking with baubles, bangles and beads? Or are we walking in the hope of our faith? Today I looked at HOPE as this is the first week of Advent.

baubles, bangles and beads?

Our faith is built on hope. And during this Advent season I will light an internet candle each week to help me focus on the preparation of the true Christmas – the Incarnation – the coming of Jesus – man and God – to this earth!

As we do this we walk among those who celebrate the season with baubles, bangles and beads.

I love the book and the movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas. How the crassness of the season started to steal the Grinch’s heart and how he found out that the real Christmas isn’t in the stuff but in the hearts of those who celebrate it.

As sojourners on this earth, we need to watch how we walk and talk among those who do not know the Lord. (tweet this)

We cannot get ourselves taken in with politics, commerce, and all the things that go on here. That doesn’t mean we can’t become involved but we need to do so in a Christ-like way.

What we need to show is HOPE.

We need to look to God instead of the world. Our walk, how will it look? Can it be different or will it be the same as those who don’t believe? Will our walk be counter-cultural? Or are we looking to:

Baubles, Bangles and Beads?

Let’s check God’s Word. Here are 10 ways I found that we can walk in hope:

Walk in Freedom

I will walk about in freedom,
    for I have sought out your precepts (Psalm 119:45, NIV).

Walk in the Light

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin (1 John 1:7, NIV).

Walk in Love

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love (2 John 1:6, NIV).

Walk in all His ways

And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul (Deuteronomy 10:12, ESV).

Walk and not be faint

but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint (Isaiah 40:31, NIV).

Walk humbly with God

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8, NIV).

Walk in the newness of life

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4, ESV)

Walk by faith and not by sight

For we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7, NKJV).

Walk in the truth

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth (3 John 1:3, KJV).

Walk in wisdom

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time (Colossians 4:5, ESV).

Through this walk one of the most important things I think is to be HUMBLE. Oswald Chambers calls this shallow – those every day duties and living, and to do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Make a determination to take no one seriously except God ~ Oswald Chambers (tweet this)

Even the shallow things of life, such as eating and drinking, walking and talking, are ordained by God ~ Oswald Chambers (tweet this)

Walking counter-cultural, not thinking constantly about baubles, bangles and beads, must be done QUIETLY, not boastfully. (tweet this)

It must be done gently, not arrogantly. With joy and peace, patience and understanding.

This Hope, this being counter-cultural means acceptance of others. It does not mean hiding in a closet. It means following God wherever we are whatever we do.

I can see that God has taken me on a walk today.

How do we walk in hope? Being aware, open, gentle, kind, humble, filled with the Spirit. (tweet this)

And finally 1 Peter 4:7-11 – Let’s try to be:

self-controlled
sober-minded
keep loving
show hospitality
use gifts to serve others
speak God’s Word
be God-like

And we do all this so that:

He’ll get all the credit as the One might in everything (1 Peter 4:11, The Message).

Walking towards Christmas. How are you looking at Christmas this year?

Today is Word of God Speak.

If you have a post about God please link below and then visit someone else.

 

 


Hope Now and Forever #WOGS linkup

Hope Now and Forever #WOGS linkup

I have been thinking this week about hope – hope now and forever. We lost a wonderful joyful calm brother-in-law this week. We celebrated his life and we know he is with Jesus. But we mourn. We are the ones who are left here on earth.

As I think about our faith and the hope we are given I remember this acronym:

Hope now and forever

This openness – how did it happen?

At Pentecost the Spirit of God descended onto the disciples and the world. They were filled with the Holy Spirit. God resides now on earth through His Spirit and all those who accept Jesus are filled with it.

We need to be open to receive it in order to find hope now and forever.

hope now and forever

The Holy Spirit has been here on earth since Jesus’ death and resurrection and the coming of Pentecost.

we have to receive the revelation that He is here (Oswald Chambers).

It is Christ’s power that comes to us when we are open to receive it. That power is given so we can see Jesus and realize that this is eternal life – from this moment on and forever.

And this is eternal life, that people can know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom You have sent (John 17:3, NIV).

Perceiving eternity – can be in the now, knowing Christ, having
hope for now and forever.

I love 10 000 Reasons by Matt Redman.

Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

Tweetables:

We need to be open to receive it in order to find hope now and forever (tweet this).

How can we perceive eternity? – know Jesus Christ (tweet this).

The waiting depends not on God’s providence, but on our own fitness ~ Oswald Chambers (tweet this).

 

Update on my next children’s book:

Now and forever

I think we have jumped through some hurdles and we are on the way to the finish line. Stay tuned for the news.

 

This is Word of God Speak Linkup – #WOGS Linkup 

 

 


Joy and Peace – Hope Stream Radio

Joy and Peace – Hope Stream Radio

This week on Word of God Speak I looked at three scriptures in review. One about joy and peace, kept surrounding me. Joy and peace. Lovely words. I called my podcast How God’s Word Can Fill You and Overflow to Others.

Joy and Peace - Romans 15:13

Watercolour Bible painting Romans 15:13

Hope Stream Radio

You can listen to my podcast at Hope Stream Radio. Or if you want to read instead of listen, my show notes can be found below.

Here are my show notes for Joy and Peace:

As I study God’s Word and work on memorizing verses I am astounded how God uses this to bless others. This morning I came across a fellow believer who felt weighed down in grief. One of my memorized verses came to mind. I wrote her to give her God’s Word:

From Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

This became a healing balm to her troubled spirit and a starting point for recovery. That’s one little verse. Such a powerful impact with God behind it.

Can you picture this verse? As we read His Word and pray, God pours out joy and peace into our hearts. Then that joy and peace continue to fill us, and we overflow so others may see God in us. The Holy Spirit works in our lives, for us and for others.

God is able to work in our lives if we allow Him to. (tweet this)

Listen to Philippians 2:13

For it is God who works in you to will and act in order to fulfill His good purpose. 

I see God working in my life. I study the scriptures; He fills me; He sends me to those in need; He fills them with the Scriptures and they overflow. Others are filled.

Or I stumble; He sends His Word from others who read the scriptures; I take them to my heart; I heal; I overflow and give to others.

Is God calling you? What have you learned from His Word this week? I would love if you shared your journey with God with me. Drop over to janiscox.com and send me a note.

Two songs spoke powerfully to me in church this Sunday. The words come from the Scriptures:

In Christ Alone

by Natalie Grant

He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.

Here is the music for In Christ Alone by In Christ Alone…Passion 2013..Singer : Kristian Stanfill

This is the way we sang it on Sunday. Even with the oh oh ohs.

And Cornerstone
from Hill song

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly trust in Jesus’ name.

Here is the music for Christ Alone Cornerstone by Hillsong

We can hear God Speak if we listen to His Word. If you haven’t asked Him to reveal His Word to you – first open your Bible, then pray for God to open His Word to you. Then read and listen. It’s that simple.

May I pray for you and me?

Lord, in all we do, say and think, in all our lives, we ask you to fill us with Your hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. As we open our hearts to you, worship You and read Your Word, may we not only be filled but may we overflow with Your hope so others may come to know You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Until next week, may Christ be Your Cornerstone. May you have a week filled with His love, mercy and power. May you open His Word and let Him speak to you.

blessings,

Janis

FREE Download

Joy and Peace Romans 15-13 colouring page

 

romans-15-13-colouring-page-web

 

 

Hope Stream Radio Podcast – Expectancy, heading to Christmas

Hope Stream Radio Podcast – Expectancy, heading to Christmas

Logo-HopeStreamRadioweb

This week on Hope Stream Radio I talk about our Scripture of the week -2 Corinthians 3:17

The Lord is Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.

Having the Spirit of the Lord – can that bring a freedom? Can it change lives?

Please listen in to my podcast at Hope Stream Radio Where the Spirit of the Lord is There is Freedom.

Let’s open our eyes to the possibilities of freeing those trapped in slavery and hopefully teaching them the salvation that comes from Jesus.

Check out Ratanak International for a chance to change the world.

Tweetable:

LIsten to Hope Stream Radio Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Freedom. (tweet this)

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

#UTCOP – Why I Lift My Eyes to Him

We welcome Angie Webb today as a guest on UTCOP. Please read her bio at the bottom of this post.

Why I Lift My Eyes to Him

by Angie Webb

Angie Webb

Over the years, fear has been an easy place for me to find myself. Struggling with panic attack and agoraphobia led me down a road that was often bumpy, lonely as well as less than God intended for me, yet over and over I found myself there again. Round and round I would go with no end in sight.

Prayer was often a forgotten aspect of life, even though I knew God would listen, I did not feel worthy of the desperate prayers I so often needed to have answered. God and I were not best buddies, as I so wanted, not because of Him but because of me. I felt He had more “worthy” folks to help… certainly not me.

Can you relate? Do you feel your prayers are so pointless to God that you never pray?

Do you feel that God won’t listen or care?

Prayer is the lifeline between you and God. Without it, you are like a ship lost at sea.

How do you feel about prayer? Do you want God to know your needs, dreams and wants without ever uttering a word? How can He know your heart if you never open up and willingly share?

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans (Romans 8:26, NIV).

As Christians, we often get so caught up with life and trying to keep all of the plates spinning, we can forget to remember to rely on Him and open our hearts up for the wonderful blessings He so desperately wants to shower upon us.

We get in our own way because of our pride as well as our doubts.

I doubted I was worthy of the desperate prayer for freedom to be answered; yet I so needed to be heard. Freedom from fear and agoraphobia was often my only thought and only prayer, but I had to be willing to pray. Laying down my doubts and pride was the first step to lifting my eyes to Him.

Without Him, freedom from fear would never be possible.

What are you praying for today? I want to offer you hope in reminding you that God hears each and every prayer we offer to Him. He is waiting for us to be willing to lay down our pride, doubt and fears so He can begin the work in our lives.

Today, take the time to lift your eyes up to Him for all you need, dream and want from this life. He is waiting to listen and perform miracles in your life.

The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth (Psalm 145:18, NIV).

Prayer:

Lord, I come to you today and ask for you to meet each person reading this and to feel in their hearts how much you love them. Help us to always remember none of our prayers are a waste of your time or our time because each day is a new opportunity for an answered prayer. If not today, maybe another day soon.

We are worthy in your eyes of your time, love and new beginnings. We ask for you to forgive us where we fall short and to help us to keep moving toward the call, purpose and plan you have for us. We are forever thankful. In Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

Tweetable:

Prayer is the lifeline between you and God. Without it, you are like a ship lost at sea. (tweet this)

Angie Webb photo

Angie Webb can be found at http://angiekaywebb.com.

There she shares her journey out of fear, anxiety and agoraphobia as well as how her life changed after the loss of her grandparents to a murder/suicide.

Angie offers hope and encouragement to others in similar situations. She has been married to her high school sweetheart, Mike for 30 years. They have two grown sons and three grandchildren.

How We Can Hang On

How We Can Hang On

by Patricia E. Day

winter Ice and snow

PHoto by Patricia Day

For weeks I have watched snow and ice build on, then slide off, the bird house in my garden. After a recent ice storm, sunshine helped relieve the grip that the ice had on this bird condo. One side became clear of the icy mantle while on the east side, the layer just slipped, refusing to let go. It now hangs precariously in space awaiting warmer weather to continue its downward journey.

January is often the time of year that many of us can slide into depression. Too much indulgence over the Christmas period can lead us to crash – emotionally.  The joy of the holidays, and time with loved ones is over and now normal living returns.

In the cold light of day, we may allow ourselves to spiral downwards, instead of hanging on.  Whatever our condition, how we choose to respond will effectively decide the outcome.

As frigid temperatures stop the melting process of ice and snow; our choices can deter us from living life to the fullest.

We become stuck in our circumstances.

God promises that we can overcome all things if we ask for His guidance and strength. (click to tweet)

 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13, CEV).

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6, CEV).

Prayer:

Abba, we ask that You help change our hearts and enable us to grow in wisdom and discernment.  Lord, help us hang on to Your guidance with renewed tenacity so we will win the freedom that Your good and wise choices bring us.  Amen.

Spring is around the corner.

spring-backyard

Photo by Patricia Day

Patricia Day

Patricia Day

Writing has always been a passion of Patricia’s. She believes that she expresses herself better in writing. Patricia enjoys creating short stories and devotionals. Other favourite past-times include family-time; gardening; reading; walking and listening to good music.

Patricia is married and the mother of two sons and stepmom to a son & daughter. Best of all, she is Nana to ten grandchildren. Look for her devotionals at Pepe Prays  and her blog Patricia E. Day .

Patricia recently completed her first novel – Eleanor, A Stolen Childhood . she is currently at work on second novel, Priscilla – Hidden in the Shadows.

Watchful Wednesdays – Angie Webb

Watchful Wednesday – Angie Webb

Today I have a guest blogger, Angie Webb. Please welcome her. You can’t help but like her by just looking at her wonderful smile.

Angie-Webb-web

Broken
Rejected
Lost
Afraid
Hopeless

Yet, then God reminded me:

I am far from broken; because He is doing a new thing in my heart (based on Proverbs 27:19)

I am far from rejection: because He will never leave me nor forsake me (based on Deuteronomy 31:6)

I am not lost: because He sent His son to die on the cross for me  (based on John 3:16)

I am to not be afraid: because He has called me out of the darkness and into the light.
(based on 1 Peter 2:9)

I am not hopeless: because hope always wins with God on my side (based on Psalm 62:5)

After living a life full of fear, anxiety and eventually agoraphobia, my heart broke daily for all of the life I was missing out on, whether it was with my children, husband or friends. There always seemed to be a part of life that I just was not able to be a part of because of the bondage I was in. Fear had a grip on me that I could not seem to break free from. I so desperately wanted to be free but it always seemed to be out of my reach.

In August 2012, God did a wondrous miracle in my life. I was set free from all of the anxiety, fear, panic attacks and agoraphobia. My family has made three vacation trips since that time. After 15 years of not traveling at all, we are making up for lost time.

I want to offer you hope today. Even when it feels like we are beyond God’s reach; He is still there. He hasn’t forgotten us and nor does He not hear our prayers.

Our prayers are so important to Him, but often we forget that His timing is perfect. (click to tweet)

Maybe we feel like we are ready for the miracle we are so desperately seeking but maybe we do not see the whole picture. I don’t think I was truly ready for the freedom before August 2012 even though I desperately prayed for the freedom to come. I truly believe that God had everything lined up perfectly and had prepared my heart to move out of the past so I could be ready for the wonderful freedom He has granted me today.

I wasn’t ready because I was still living in the past and I certainly was not ready for the doors that God has opened by the sharing of my story. Was I ready for freedom in 2012? Yes and the freedom I have found is so sweet.

Friend, I want to offer you hope. Nothing is lost, even our brokenness and hopelessness. He sees it all and knows our hearts. Keep praying and believing for your miracle. Today it may be NO but who knows, tomorrow it may be YES.

Until then:

Keep believing
That nothing is lost
Even
Ashes of a life not fully lived.

Because today is a new day and His mercies are new every morning. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Angie Webb

Angie has been married to her high school sweetheart, Mike from the age of 18 years old. Mike and Angie have walked through many trials and joy together. After 30 years of marriage they are more in love and cherish each moment of the day together. Life is sweeter when holding the hand of the one you love.

Angie and Mike have two grown sons and three grandchildren, as well as their 5 dogs Angie has had several jobs along the way but some of her favorites have been the time she was employed by her towns’ local library.

Connecting with the local patrons and interacting with other avid book lovers was the highlight of her time at the library. She has also worked in a grocery store for many years and knows everyone by a first name basis. Today, Angie and her husband own their own business, Texas Overhead Door & Construction, which keeps them both very busy. In her free time Angie enjoys writing and speaking about her journey through the trials of life as well as the healing God has performed in her life.

Angie is in the process of writing a book about her journey through fear, anxiety and agoraphobia which has a working topic of When Your Home Becomes a Prison: Out of Fear and Agoraphobia.

Angie’s hobbies are crafts, acrylic painting and cooking for family and friends.

Connect with Angie at Facebook

and Angie on Twitter