Tag Archives: Jesus

Do You Know Why You Are Stressed? Pause

What Jesus Can Teach Us About Pause

The word for Five Minute Friday this week is “pause”.

pause

“Pause” is such an important word in our lives. Jesus went away from all the people to find communion with God. He left early in the morning to go out by himself to pray.

We need to use His example.

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed (Mark 1:35, NIV).”

“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed (Luke 5:16, NIV).”

In the hustle and bustle of our lives we need to take that time. Five minutes. An hour. A day. A week. Take whatever you need to find out what God is saying to you.

I find when I am feeling rushed and tense, it’s good to leave and just breathe somewhere quiet. I use the washroom. Usually that brings quiet. A short walk around the block. Sitting outside in nice weather.

rest

Where do you find rest? We need it physically and spiritually.

My mother-in-law gave us a plate when we were newly married. It didn’t make sense to me at the time. As the years go by it means more and more to me.

I wrote a post about this. And many times in the past few weeks God has said: slow down. Stop. You can read more posts at the bottom.

pause

But I really wonder how many of you will really heed this warning.
What are you striving for?

If you are in ministry, are you doing for God instead of being with God? Sometimes He wants us to slow down to hear His voice. Stop and find out what He wants. There will be more power if you allow the Holy Spirit to enter your life and your decisions.

Have you thought of art as a way to relax and relate to God. I love Bible Art and would love to teach what I have learned. Please consider signing up for a free course. 

pause

Other posts about “pause”. These are older posts and some of the pictures are missing as I deleted any picture that wasn’t “free”.

Slow: Five Minute Friday

Breathe: Five Minute Friday

 

Secret: Does God Keep Secrets From His People?

Does God Keep Secrets From His People?

I had to check through God’s Word to see what He said about the word “secret”. I know it’s not good to keep secrets if it hurts someone but it’s also not good to spread news – gossip. The only way we can figure out what God says about secrets is to go to His Word.

secret

Are you looking for a group to help you on your way to growing closer to Him?
Do you want to be connected in a deeper way?

Join us at Artists and Writers Grow Through God’s Word.

It’s time for Five Minute Friday – we have 5 minutes to write on a prompt. The prompt the word is “secret”. Join us and meet others who write for Him.

Surprises are lovely. Keeping things a secret helps with the surprise. We have had 3 big surprise parties.

Surprise Number 1:

I remember my husband’s 30th birthday party. He came in the back gate and found a whole bunch of people in his yard. His first thought was, “What are all these people doing here?” SURPRISE.

Surprise Number 2:

Then he surprised me on my 40th. Our kids were visiting – that was normal. We were going away to Europe the next day. Not normal. I had things still to figure out. But Hubby talked me into having the kids come to celebrate. But then there was the doorbell and people started arriving. Party time. I had fun but told him to time it better the next time – I need time to plan. But what a sweet SURPRISE and well-kept secret.

Surprise Number 3:

Our children surprised us on our 40 wedding anniversary. In the early evening my son-in-law decided to vacuum the carpets – clue. But I thought oh he is being so nice. Then the doorbell rang and I answered it. A friend was at the door. I said, “Oh what’s wrong? Can I help you?” She said, “surprise!” And that was that.

Those were all lovely surprises by keeping them secret.

But today when I heard the word “secret” I immediately started to sing “It is no secret what God can do”.

IT IS NO SECRET written by Stuart Hamblen

Sung by Anne Murray

I chose Anne’s version because I love her voice and she is Canadian.

God does keep secrets for now. But all will be revealed sometime.

Mark 4:22  “For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light.”

Matthew 10:26 “Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.”

Luke 8:17 “Nothing has been covered that will not be exposed. Whatever is secret will be made known.”

Things may be murky for now – but we will know everything some day. In the meantime I know we need to work hard to discover Who God is and how we can communicate with Him.

God also wants to reveal Himself.

This song gives me that knowledge. His promises make it clear. We can know Him.

God is shows us what He can do – if we look around. Watch, look, pray.

Be aware and you will see Him.

Are you looking for a spot to learn more about the power of God in your life?
Are you searching for a way to take time to study His Word?

Please join us a Artists and Writers Grow Through God’s Word – a closed Facebook Group. We welcome you with open arms.

secret

secret

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).”

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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:

Do you struggle with studying the Bible?
Do you want a creative way to do this?

Join my Free Bible Art Course

turn

 

http://lcontacts.herokuapp.com/embed/button/writercta?userId=592716a45fbc457423b17b86&mediumUserId=1f13132894d77ef5294ebe614102ac7e8007a0799149039cee2a6e8e59fb96f1c

What This Painting Taught Me About God – A Snuggly

What This Painting Taught Me About God

A 33 Dot Challenge to Encourage My Creativity – My Snuggly

Photo From Pixabay

As for painting, I have been challenging myself by trying to push my imagination to see things from nothing. Yikes. That’s not easy. Today is another 33 Dot Challenge. Meg Konovska got me hooked on this.

Here is the first dots with connecting lines.

Dots with lines to join.

Now as I turned this round and round I saw a number of things. But I kept seeing the mouth open.

So I followed most of the lines — some I erased and some I added.

Here is the next step:

My Outline for 33 Dots

The next step is the most fun. Painting it.

My Stuffed Animal — 33 Dots by Janis Cox

Now I ask God to show me what He wants me to remember about stuffed animals.

I know that my first thought went back to my youngest’s favourite — a Puffalump — a soft stuffed animal. She took that friend everywhere. And now he lies upstairs in the grandkids’ loft area with an assortment of Cabbage Patch Dolls, a Curious George and a Snuggles Dog.

Puffalump

I am sure Puffalump is lonely. The grandkids are getting older and don’t visit very often. They still play with the Lego and other toys. But “stuffies” are past.

What do “stuffies” signify?

Love — tales of highs and lows of the day, of frustrations and joys — all are shared with our loving friends.

Cuddles — something to hug when no one is around.

Protection — yes, at night when things go bump in the night, the stuffie stays close and can ward off fears.

Sounding Boards — when a child might not talk to an adult, a child will talk with a stuffed animal or doll. Many of these are used in counselling sessions to help ease a frightened child into peace.

Rest — sleep comes easier when a child has a friend to settle down to sleep with. Tucking a child in with a snuggly, gives a safe warm feeling.

Now that we are adults, where can we find our peace? Who can comfort us at all times? Who can protect us? Whom can we talk to?

Who is our Snuggly?

I believe I have found the answer. After years of searching and trying to live life on my own steam, I have found my snuggly, my “stuffie”.

My snuggly is Jesus. Jesus is my hope, my all in all.

Here is my song of hope: In Christ Alone

He is my Joy and Peace

Look at 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 (NIV).” 

Bible Art by Janis Cox

He is my Counsellor. I can talk to Him.

We are taught how to pray. And then we LISTEN.

“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 (Philippians 4:6–7, NIV).”

Bible Art by Janis Cox

Jesus is my Protector. He is my fortress.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging (Psalm 46:1–3, NIV).”

Bible Art by Janis Cox

Jesus loves me with a steadfast love.

“Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD (Psalm 32:10, NIV).”

Bible Art — Janis Cox

When I asked God to tell me what He wanted me to learn from my picture — I had no idea what He would show me.

But here it is — Like a snuggly, God is:

Jesus is my hope, my all in all.

Jesus is my Joy and Peace.

Jesus is my Counsellor. I can talk to Him.

Jesus is my Protector. He is my fortress.

Jesus loves me with a steadfast love.

Have you found your Snuggly — the most powerful One of all — Jesus?

CALL TO ACTION

Are you frustrated with your spiritual life?
Do you want to meet Jesus and talk to Him?
Do you need friends to pray and study with together in a safe place?

I have TWO opportunities for you:

1. Grow Through God’s Word is a unique Facebook Group — a safe place to dig deeper and be inspired through God’s Word.

Click on the image to go to the Facebook Group — answer 3 questions please.

2. Would you like to excite your study of the Bible — Join me for a free Bible Art Course — coming soon? Sign up now.

Click on the image to go the Watercolour Sign up.

Why Did Jesus’ Life Go From Adulation to Execution?

Why we need to be transported back to the first century to find the real story of Easter

I’m joining Five Minute Friday today with the word prompt “why?”

why

“Why?” I think this is the most asked question in our lives.

From the everyday:

Why can’t you remember?

To the deep:

Why:

Isn’t there peace?
Can’t people get along?

And to the deeper?

Why did Jesus have to die?

Continue reading

How Can I Balance my Life in This Day and Age?

33 Dots: Balance

I am still challenging myself to draw 33 random dots on paper; then connect the dots without intersecting any lines; then paint. Today it turned out to be the theme of balance.

This challenge has me inspired. I never know what I will see.

This time was very different. I couldn’t see anything for a while. First I saw a foot but it looked like it was stepping on the head. Why would someone be stepping on a head? I didn’t like that. I saw the little dog but wondered what he was doing up there at the top of the page.

Step 1: Connect the dots to make contour lines.

balance

Outline when I connected the 33 dots.

Do you see anything? I turned it around and around but kept coming back a foot, a head and a dog. At one time I thought I saw a whale’s tale but there was no whale.

Step 2: See if I can make anything out of this.

balance

The outline of the picture as I saw it. 33 Dots.

As I looked at my rough sketch I changed the bows on the triangle on the dog to make it a real bow. I erased some lines and added some.

Step 3: Draw with micron pen and paint.

This is the final outcome.

balance

The final picture for 33 dots – Balance

Step 4: See where God leads my thoughts.

Balance:

This year is the first time I have found a balance of how to write, paint and enjoy retirement. I have focused on God for the past 17 years but have been balancing ten times more things that I had to.

My Focus:

To me I have learned balance by learning to focus on the one thing I heard God say to me. And that was: “Encourage believers to read their Bibles and pray.”

That also has led me to try Bible journaling and getting out of my shell and talking and listening to others. God is teaching me to become a spiritual mentor.

Here are a few of the latest Bible Journals from our study of Proverbs in Growing Through God’s Word Facebook Group. Join us.

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Listen to God:

In this study of 33 dots, Instead of just “painting” listen God before I paint. He helps me connect the dots. Then after I paint I see what He shows me – the meaning of my painting. By doing the 33 dots challenge it forces me to trust God and it makes me look, and create.

What this painting means to me:

The person at the bottom (me) is learning to carry a heavy load as well as balance a dog on a poll. I think the standing person represents my work in writing and painting. It is steady on its own. The little dog is the rest of my life. It moves around so I have to watch it carefully so it doesn’t topple. But it’s the fun part. Even though my “work” of painting and writing is delightful I can also take fun in the other people in my life and the experiences around me.

And the Holy Spirit helps keep all things in balance.

Notice how the person at the bottom is looking forward. And that’s where I am looking. Not down or up but following God on the path He is leading me. My word for this year is “Go Forth” and as I pray and listen to God I am willing to change my direction. The things I am balancing are light because Jesus is right beside me or should I say inside me.

Jesus is my strength. He leads and guides me. I do what He tells and shows me. I listen.

Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)

“The heart of man plans his way,
    but the Lord establishes his steps.”

Are you struggling to find more time with God? Where is your path headed? Do you want to feel His strength in your life?

CALL TO ACTION

Are you feeling disconnected from God?

Is your art or writing suffering because you are struggling do work on your own?

Do you want to tap into God’s unlimited creativity?

If you want a safe place to connect with other believers, to grow stronger in God’s Word and learn to listen to Him, please visit us at Growing Through God’s Word Facebook Group. We would love to have you.

Why We Have the Highest Privilege to be in God’s Kingdom

It’s A Great Privilege to Be In God’s Kingdom

It’s time for Five Minute Friday. Hubby’s out for a few minutes. Facebook turned off. Ready set go. The word this week is “privilege”.

privilege

I looked up privilege. Dictionary definition:

a right or liberty granted as a favour or benefit especially to some and not others

Therefore it’s a right that not all people have.

Somehow I don’t think that’s right. And in this world it isn’t.

But the way the world is set up – there are people in authority, rich people, poor people, sick people, well people. And so on.

We are all here in this land with different privileges – education, background, colour, race, religion, and so on.

But the one thing is sure, when we put our trust and faith in Jesus, we all become Kings and Queens of God.

Everyone is open to that privilege. Everyone can be a part of God’s Kingdom.

Yes it’s our placing our lives in Jesus’ hands that gives us the privilege of being in God’s Kingdom.

We are told we are of a royal priesthood.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9, NIV).”

We are set apart.
We are privileged.
God’s special possession.
That’s a privilege.

privilege

I am so glad I am part of God’s community.

There is something else though. With the acceptance of Jesus comes work. We can’t just say, “Thanks Lord” and go on our merry way. We need to work out our lives so we are better able to meet God when the time comes. We do this with “fear and trembling”.

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12, NIV).”

With privilege comes work.

And I think that goes for any other privilege we have. If we are educated we need to use what we have learned. If we have money we need to use it wisely and for God’s Kingdom. If we have a gift of writing, we need to write. Are you starting to understand what I am saying?

Don’t sit on the sidelines. Learn to listen to God and find out exactly what purpose He has for your life.

I love that God gave me the privilege to be part of His Kingdom. I love that He is showing me the path He wants me to follow. What about you?

CALL TO ACTION

Are you struggling to find time to get to know God?

Are you anxious but don’t know how to deal with it?

Do you want to know what path God has for you?

Do you need more time reading your Bible?

I have a solution for you.

Join me on my FB Page called Growing Through Gods’ Word. We learn together how to pray and how to study His Word.

This month I am offering 3 – free spots  – to 3 people for a “coffee Skype or FB Messenger video” to talk over what you feel you need to accomplish these goals. The first 3 to email me get a spot. Email me at Janis Cox.

Check out:

Restore your life – Are deceivers blinding You to God’s purpose for your life?

It’s Amazing How Different Things are When You Look Closely

This was going to be a different Friday as I had decided not to write. Ha ha. Me? not write?

different

Photo by Cody Davis on Unsplash

So I am taking the required 5 minutes to write on the word “different” for Five Minute Friday. If you are a writer and just want to write for fun and link with others to encourage them, join us.

If you need help or encouragement just ask me. I’m right here to help you. Email Janis.

5 Minutes: GO

I thought of many ways I could approach the word different – how changed I am from the way I was last year, to how I was 16 years ago- to today. I thought of how life is better and different when I am with God than when I am not.

But I decided to take a look at my journey in art. When I first took a watercolour painting course in 1996, I didn’t realize how much I didn’t know.

Not about art – but about seeing.

Yes my eyes were closed to the world around me. Through my subsequent art lessons I learned to see.

I remember when we were taught to look at a distance and see the atmospheric conditions – how there were grays, and not blues, how the trees where not green but they could actually look blue.

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Photo by Sergei Akulich on Unsplash

And then to look at trees on the side of the road – to really look at the different greens. There are deep greens, lime greens, all interspersed. Can you see the difference?

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Photo by Matt Artz on Unsplash

I started to look. And as I started to look closer I really saw the difference.

I had to be careful when driving on the country roads that in my desire to see, I didn’t take my eyes off the road.

Now to look how this affected my life.

I really hadn’t seen how different God made his creatures, his plants, his flowers. When I saw a flower up close it looked incredible.

I started to take pictures. I bought a good camera and for a long time I took many pictures.

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Photograph by Janis Cox – Butterfly Conservatory

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Photograph by Janis Cox – Butterfly Conservatory

My thought: When you take time and look, things can be different. (click to tweet)

The same is true with my faith. I didn’t really think about my faith before. It was there. It didn’t mean anything to me.

But then I started to look – to ask, to question, and eventually to pray.

I now know I am different than I was in 1996. I have seen into the spiritual and as I study, pray, and listen to God I see it more and more.

Now I also do Bible Art so I can see what God is speaking to me. Here are 2 versions of 2 Corinthians 3:17.

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Painting by Janis Cox from 2 Corinthians 3:17

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Bible Journaling by Janis Cox 2 Corinthians 3:17

Call to Action

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

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

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

Janis has a free book, called One Word at a Time.  If you like short devotionals you will enjoy these 4 devotionals with questions and a place to journal.

What Do You Do When You are the Only One in the Room?

What Do You Do When You are the Only One in the Room?

Have you ever been the only one in the room to not know anyone? That’s not a normal position. But the other day I walked into a room filled with women that I didn’t know. I asked my way to my table and sat down.

only

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Today is Five-Minute Friday and we are to write on a word prompt for 5 minutes with little editing. This week’s word is ONLY.

Start:

Back to the story. There I was sitting at a table of strangers – everyone knew everyone else except me.

This used to bother me – so much that I wouldn’t attend anything or go anywhere unless someone was with me. I would rather hide behind my wall of insecurity.

However, now as I get older I find that I am able to relax, listen and strike up a conversation. If I focus on the person with questions concerning them it makes them relax in talking to a stranger.

How was I able to overcome this fear?

It is something I had to learn. One main reason that I changed from the fear of being the only one in the room, is Jesus. Over the past years (I am a young Christian), He has taught me to rely on Him fully. He is the One whom I need to please, be accountable to and worship.

Am I reaching out for Him? Or am I hiding away – afraid to be His child?

My goal is to help you become unafraid. I don’t want you to be alone.

You aren’t the only one who feels this way.

We are all in the same boat – the boat of learning more about God. And if we want to get out of the boat we first have to get in it and learn.

Do you long to be consistent in studying the Bible?

Do you desire to know the scriptures better?

If so, help is at hand.

I like to teach how to study God’s Word in an safe, relaxed, interactive style. Join us at Growing Through God’s Word Private Facebook Group. Answer the 3 questions and join us in discovering the power of Christ.

Time’s up.

If you haven’t received your free devotional book – One Word at a Time please click here.

only

Do you feel like your are Standing Alone?

How Do I Come into His Presence When I Am Lonely?

Be Near: Who is like the LORD our God?

Be Near: Five Minute Friday

I find it very exciting and interesting how God links some things together – actually He holds everything together (Colossians 1:7). This morning as I did my morning readings and studying I came away with thoughts to write about. But then Five MInute Friday’s prompt came through and the prompt “near” fit exactly with what I had been thinking. Wow.

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Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash

Five Minute Fridays is a time to just write for 5 minutes with little editing. Just get the words on paper – or screen. So I am setting the Timer – 5 minutes and counting. GO

I have been leading a Facebook Bible Study group using David Kitz’s book “psalms alive” (Yes no capitals). Today’s study is Chapter 19, Psalm 113:4-9.

Here is the Scripture:

The Lord is exalted over all the nations,
his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God,
the One who sits enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look
on the heavens and the earth?

He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes,
with the princes of his people.
He settles the childless woman in her home
as a happy mother of children.

Praise the Lord (Psalm 113:4-9. NIV).

My focus stayed on “Who is like our LORD our God?”

I remembered a song from worship in our former church by Vineyard. Here it is: There is No One Like Our God.

 

But the word “STOOPS DOWN” really hit me. God loves us so much that He stooped, bent low, reached out to us. He sent Jesus to bring His nearness to Him fully.

And look at all the action words in the rest of the verses: stoops, raises, lifts, seats, settles.

God moves to be with us.

God is a God of Action.

He wants to be near us.
He works to be near us.
He even planned to be near us.

When I work on a passage I ask God to speak to me through my thoughts. These are the words I heard this morning:

Be Near to Me

Cast down your crowns,
So I can approach you.

I can only get near
when your heart is soft,
your mind is open,
when nothing stands between us.

When you humbly
fall down
on your knees,
I will approach you.

I AM
wants to meet you.

After journaling, praying and listening,  I see what I can paint in my Bible. What do I want to remember about this scripture – this time (because God’s Word is living and active – it changes as we change and grow)?

near

Bible Journaling Psalm 113:4-9

Time is up: 5 minutes goes quickly.

CALL TO ACTION:

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

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

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

near

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