Tag Archives: Jesus

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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What is it I really need?

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What Is It That I Really Need?

What is it that I Really Need?

I’m a little late for Five Minute Fridays but can’t resist writing on this week’s prompt: NEED. Five minutes to type out my thoughts. Here goes.

need

This morning I read two devotionals – Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, and Jesus Calling. Both said the same things to me – I only need Jesus.

The time I spend with Jesus every morning is all I need to give me everything I need for the day. (Tweet this)

Strength, calmness, focus, joy, connection, inspiration and on and on.

Sarah Young wrote:

You must traverse this day like any other; one step at a time.

That reminded me of a favourite song, Step by Step. Here is a great version with Michael W Smith blending this song with Forever we will sing.

Each step forward we get closer to our Lord. I need that.

I read a scripture prayer this morning that I turned into a personal prayer. Do you do that? This reminds me of what I need.

Hebrews 13:20-21

This is what I wrote:

Lord, may You equip me with everything good for doing Your will and will You work in me, what is pleasing to You. (NIV)

And Jesus – put me together and provide me with everything I need to please You. Make me into what gives You most pleasure (The Message)

And how to do I do that?

James 4:7-8

Submit yourself, then to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you.

So what do I need? One answer: time with God. What about you? (Tweet this)

Time’s UP. Lots more to say but for this post I am supposed to write for 5 minutes only.

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Who Can I Expect to Meet My Needs?

Expect – Five Minute Friday

For a very long time in my life I would expect everything to be my way.

expectTwasn’t me, ’twas the Lord! I always told Him, ‘I trust to you. I don’t know where to go or what to do, but I expect You to lead me,’ an’ He always did. ~ Harriet Tubman

Being the first born my parents expected much from me and I obliged. But I also then felt the same about others. If people didn’t come up to my high standards it bothered me.

When I married 46 years ago I felt my husband should see my needs and respond to them. As I found out that is not possible. My needs are not his problem. They are my problem.

That doesn’t mean he doesn’t care for me. I know he does. But it does mean I can’t expect him to see everything my way and do everything my way and when I want it.

Yes I was bossy. My younger sister can attest to that. I loved to rule the roost.

Getting rid of my expectations has helped me to relax, and has turned my world up-side down. Instead of trying to get my way (all the time) I am learning to look to the needs of others. I am learning that it is not about me. It is a slow process.

Jesus said we are “to be poor of spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3).”

I still work on this one. Not only do I try not to expect others to meet my needs I try to not be self-sufficient and meet my own needs.

I know that sounds weird. Why wouldn’t I want to strive to meet my own needs?

But if Christ is living in me I need to look only to Him to look after me. (tweet this)

It’s my expectations that have to change. Others may help me grown spiritually but I don’t need to depend on them. I have Jesus.

Expect: – To look forward, to consider probable or certain

Expect is more than a desire or longing but a knowledge that such a thing will happen.

We can’t expect people – any people to always be on the same page as we are. It’s impossible.

Jesus is the only One that I can expect to be there at all time, through all situations.

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

I did put my trust in Him. He does as He promises – He is there. He listens.

I love the praise song, “Hungry Falling on my knees”- 

There is sentence that says I know You satisfy.

Hungry, I come to you
For I know You satisfy
I am empty but I know
Your love does not run dry

Where do you put your expectations?

Time’s up… On Fridays I join Five Minute Friday and we write for 5 minutes – no editing. Just thoughts on a page. Join us at www.fiveminutefriday.com.

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Enough – Five Minute Friday

Enough of Me

Joining Kate at Five Minute Friday #FMFparty. The word is “enough”. Write for 5 minutes. Go.

Sometimes it feels like I’ve had enough. What about you?

Too many things going wrong
arguments
cooking and cleaning
confusion
sickness

But then I stop. I realized it’s me. It’s not what I’m doing, or what others are doing. It’s me.

I have had enough of ME.

How do I get rid of me?

Seek Jesus, He is enough for me.

enough

When I go to Him, talk to Him, He gives me all I need.

I’m finally realizing that peace means to give up ME, and get Jesus.

The song that comes to me is Christ is Enough  sung by Hillsong.

Listen to some of the words:

There’s nothing in this world that could ever satisfy.

I’ve been set free.

Heaven is our home.

And it finishes with I have decided to follow Jesus.

When you’ve had enough of this world –
Seek Jesus because He is the Only One that can satisfy. (tweet this)

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV).

What do you think of the word “enough”? Read other posts at Five Minute Friday.

And there is a giveaway on Kate’s blog this week. Drop over.

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Friend: Five Minute Friday

This week’s word is FRIEND.

friend

As I pondered on this word I thought first of family. My husband is my best friend and we have known each other for almost 49 years. We will celebrate our 46th anniversary this year. After him my kids and grandkids are my friends. I can talk to any of them about anything. We listen to one another. We help one another.

Then there is a set of friends that I didn’t know I could have – until I met Jesus. He led me to very special friends, both ones I have met in person and those I have met online. They are my Christian friends. They offer to pray for me. I pray for them. Together we know Jesus. We talk about how to walk with Him, how to talk to Him, and how do glorify His Name. Each one has become special to me in a different way.

Jesus says He calls us friends. That means so much to me – to be called a friend of Jesus.

The hymn “What a friend we have in Jesus” has a whole new meaning.

What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs to bear
And what a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer
Oh, what peace we often forfeit
Oh, what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged
Take it to the Lord in prayer
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness
Take it to the Lord in prayer

To have a Lord and Saviour who calls me His friend. I celebrate that.
(tweet this)

Because I know He is my friend I can talk to Him and I will listen to what He says.

Time’s up. Your turn. What does the word FRIEND mean to you? Join us at Kate Motuang’s Five Minute Friday. If you don’t write, read wonderful posts.

And of course, comments are always welcome. Click the comment at the top of the post.

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Abandon: Five Minute Friday

We are given 5 minutes to write without editing on a word every week. This week’s word is ABANDON.

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Sometimes I want to abandon what I am doing. I ask myself why am I doing this? This is especially true about my writing and art. Sometimes I get discouraged and feel like giving up. But then I read God’s Word and He tells me to persevere, to not give up. He speaks to me about telling others how awesome it is to give ourselves to Him.

In a way that is abandoning too.

Can we abandon ourselves to Jesus?

Can we let all our cares be given over to Him?

That’s what He asks us to do.

How are you doing in that department? Most of the time I can do it – but sometimes I know that emotions and self get in the way and make me want to take control again.

Thank You Lord for Your Word – because Your Word always brings me back to the centre – to You. You remind me again and again that You are the Lord. That you are working in and through everything.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28, NIV).

That You have all things under control. That you know my thoughts and you know when I start to falter. I love it when I know that I can trust in You completely.

By abandoning myself to Your love and care, I can relax in body and spirit. (click to tweet)

You flood my being with Your Presence. You help me heal, get strength, have wisdom and see the direction You are heading me in.

I may feel tired and frustrated sometimes but I know You will never abandon me. I read Your Word and I know what is true.

 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed ( 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, NIV).

Time’s up. 5 mInutes goes fast when you are typing and thinking. It’s your turn. What are your thoughts on the word abandon?

I am joining Kate Motaung again this week. You can join in too. Just follow the link.

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Sometimes I link:

Grace and Truth Linky @ Arabah Joy

#DanceWithJesus Friday @ SusanBMead.com

Faith & Friends Friday @ Counting My Blessings

Weak: Five Minute Friday

Weak: Five Minute Friday

Only five minutes to write about my thoughts on the word of the week – which is weak. I set the timer and start writing.

There had been many times that I felt, “I just can’t do” something. That’s when I used to lean on God. I have changed.

Now I lean on Him every minute of the day, because I know I am weak without Him. (tweet this)

weak

I found it amazing when I went on my mission trips to Poland how I could keep going when normally I would have given in and taken a nap.  I found out there was something about walking with God on a mission trip that makes Him all the closer.

Nowadays I think my reasoning goes like this. In most areas I am weak with out God. So why even try to do anything without enlisting His help first. Then I know no matter what I do it will be done well.

I know He likes this – our doing things together. As I set out to paint a picture, read a scripture or write a post I ask Him for help. Then my inspiration and my hands work together without any stress.

In other words I like being weak. I like having Jesus as my partner.(click to tweet)

Jesus said:

 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly (Matthew 11:28-30, The Message).”

Once again I am reminded of Allen Arnold’s new book, The Story of With. That’s the way I think our lives are meant to be – with God, then we will never be weak.

Time’s up. It’s your turn. You can write for five minutes and join us at Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Fridays or you can go over and read many wonderful posts on the word WEAK.

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Linking up today also with:

Grace and Truth Linky @ Arabah Joy

#DanceWithJesus Friday @ SusanBMead.com

Faith & Friends Friday @ Counting My Blessings

Refine: Five Minute Fridays

Refine: Five Minute Fridays

The definition of refine: to free (something, such as metal, sugar, or oil) from impurities or unwanted material.

refine

I am joining Kate Motaung today for 5 Minute Fridays. Just 5 minutes to write my thoughts on the word refine.

My heart and mind have been grappling with someone’s illness. It has been baffling doctors and her family. As a quick recap: she had suddenly become ill in November and just couldn’t seem to get better. Instead she was getting worse until she was hospitalized the day after Christmas. The local hospital after 2 weeks could find nothing wrong so she was transferred to a city hospital where she has been for the past 2 weeks. They can’t seem to find anything “wrong”. They have upped her medications and lowered her medications. She has been on IV fluids.

All of this is finally pointing to chronic carbon monoxide poisoning. But the doctors and the toxicity man can’t believe it. Until today – maybe they will understand when they realize that the furnace in the house was emitting 2300ppm instead of 50ppm of CO. Ever since the house was closed up in November – in other words the heat came on and the windows were closed – she got sick.

There must still be some carbon monoxide floating around in her system and compromising her oxygen flow.

She needs to have help to refine her oxygen flow to make her healthy again.

They have considered  hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT).  They are still not sure if the doctors agree. But hopefully something is figured out. Prayer teams have been praying.

There is an unwanted material inside so we are praying that the Lord will refine her body to get rid of that toxic substance. We want her free from those impurities.

Praising God that He is able to free us from our sin. He can purify us through the blood of Jesus. Now that’s refinement, isn’t it?

We need to have help to refine our bodies to make us healthy again – thank You, Jesus. (click to tweet)

Psalm 12:6

The words of the LORD are pure words; As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.

1 Peter 1:7

so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

Certainly all those concerned have been tested with fire. Refined to trust in the Lord. This quote has made me think.

Do I place my faith in books and prayers or other joys in my life? Or have I placed my confidence in God Himself, not in His blessings? ~ Oswald Chambers – My Utmost for His Highest

Are you being refined by Christ? I know I am.

 

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