Tag Archives: joy

Thoughtful Tuesdays: How to Live in Defiant Joy

Thoughtful Tuesdays: How to Live in Defiant Joy

Joyful-are-We

While reading the first few chapters of Margaret Feinberg’s book, Fight Back with Joy, I was suffering from one of the worst bouts of flu I have had in a long time.

 I decided to follow her advice and I fought back with JOY.

I thought of thanking God for the timing of this illness – we had had a wonderful Christmas break with family, we flew back to Arizona with a reasonable flight, we went out for a great New Year’s Eve Party with friends – before the flu hit. I thanked God for a patient and loving husband – so tolerant of my moans and pleas. I thanked God for friends who were praying for my recovery.

Yes I could feel JOY during this time.

Margaret writes from her whole heart and her experiences as she tells about her brutal fight with cancer. She explains lessons she learns along the way.

She says:

More than whimsy, joy is a weapon we use to fight life’s battles… You are founded in joy, created for joy, and destined for joy. Joy is where you come from. Joy is what you are created to experience. Joy is where you are headed.

I asked Margaret how hard it was to write this book on a scale from 1-10.

An eleven! This journey has been the most painful experience of my life. And, to share about it requires some vulnerability. Okay, a lot of vulnerability. And, that’s really, really hard. But I feel like I’m finally ready to share what God has stirred in my heart along the way because although cancer has been the most painful journey—it has also been the most joyful. And no one is more surprised than I am.

Pick up a copy of Fight Back With Joy at Amazon or Barnes and Noble today.

Fight back with JoyWatch the promo video:

Tweetable:

Joy is where you come from. … Joy is where you are headed. @mafeinberg #fightbackwith joy. (click to tweet)

Janis Cox

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

 

 

 

 

 

#SundayStillness – Are you focusing on God or your circumstances?

#SundayStillness – Are you focusing on God or your circumstances?

When-we-focus-on-God-the-rest

Photo from freedigitalphotos.net.

 “I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you.  (John 15:11-12, The Message). (my emphasis on JOY)

What is a wholly mature joy? I have been thinking about that. This summer has been a joyful one – family, more family and more family. I have loved it. Even though others have complained about a cool summer – really it was lovely. Love filled the summer.

But in the past, I didn’t always feel “joyful”. I found myself tired, overwhelmed, disorganized and confused. Why?

I think Oswald says it best:

The first thing that will hinder this joy is the captious irritation of thinking out circumstances (Oswald Chambers August 31).

I used to let little things bug me – laundry, dishes, meals, cleaning. Instead of just doing them joyfully. I used to let the fact I was tired bug me.

Instead, I needed to be rightly related to God,
and then my joy will come without any effort on my part. 

When I figured this out – I could be joyful during anything.

So I had a wonderful summer during tiredness, sickness, and sleepless nights.

So if you are feeling overwhelmed, tired, or confused:

STOP – pray.

Get right with our Lord, thank Him for all His blessings.

When we focus on God the rest falls into place.

Prayer:

Lord, sometimes we let the trials of the day drag us down. Instead we need to look to You for our strength and joy. Help us to get closer and closer connected to the mainspring of our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Tweetable:

When we focus on God the rest falls into place. (tweet this)

God Arise – and scatter all your foes. by Robin Mark. Find joy in God. (tweet this)

Follow #UTCOP to read the prayers of our contributors. (tweet this)

Join us as we continue to pray this month – for all sorts of things. Follow Under the Cover of Prayer by subscribing to this blog by email.

Feel free to pin any picture you find to Pinterest.

Enjoy God Arise by Robin Mark.

Today is Sunday Stillness – others join me to link their posts about what God is teaching them. Enjoy.



Sunday Stillness – How Can We Learn to Live Each New Day in Expectation

Sunday Stillness – How Can We Learn to Live Each New Day in Expectation

Everydayis-a-new-canvas-to-paint-on

This is the day that the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24, NKJV).

So good to be back writing. My month long sabbatical was excellent. And if any of you are feeling overwhelmed or frustrated I would suggest you try it. Every day now seems like a day of renewal.

I am learning to live each day in a state of expectation. To look around and see what God has in store.

I want to:

Seek the Light
Give thanks for each moment
Find beauty in little things
Be amazed
Find my childlike wonder
Open my eyes to what God is doing.

Here is a picture I painted in 2000. The beginning of my awakening.

New-Day

I want to:

Watch where God is leading me
Be ready to say yes
Be ready to say no
Continue to study His Word
Continue to pray
Follow Jesus

I read a wonderful book by Matt Appling called Life after Art.

He has some excellent words of wisdom. Here are few.

Creating excuses is always easier than creating change.

An amateur artist tries to erase a mistake. A master artist learns how to work with a mistake.

Every interaction you have with the world is a chance to add a little more paint.

 

Any one of these would make a wonderful post.

Seek this week to look for beauty in every moment.

Blessings to all of you.

Prayer:

Lord thank You so much for the beauty of this earth. Thank You for Jesus and the Holy Spirit Who guide us, heal us and protect us. Bless all my readers this week as we seek to follow Jesus. In His Name, AMEN.

May I pray for you. Please contact me at Under the Cover of Prayer if there is a special prayer you would like me to pray.

Tweetables:

Learn how to live each day in expectation. (tweet this)

Creating excuses is always easier than creating change. Matt Appling. (tweet this)

I hope you consider joining me with my new newsletter. Receive a free ebook for signing up.

 I am trying to produce a newsletter once a month. Watch for chance for a free painting in each episode. Join us.

Join He Cares for You


TO CONTACT ME AT ANY TIME PLEASE EMAIL JANIS.

Today is Sunday Stillness.

Do you have a Scripture that spoke to you this week? Please link below. If you post to Twitter use #sundaystillness and @authorjaniscox.

Feel free to pin the picture. Follow me at AuthorJanisCox on Pinterest.

And join me on Facebook at AuthorJanisCox.

Read the Sunday Stillness rules if you are new here.

I would appreciate if you would link only about God’s Word. If you have a linky party that’s okay if it is about the same thing. Please no sales or prizes. I want this to be friendly but I must ask you to abide by the rules. Others want to read God’s Word – and that is what I would like the links to be about. I must take down the links that don’t follow the rules. Thanks so much.

JOIN THE SUNDAY STILLNESS COMMUNITY – 
READ OTHER POSTS AND ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER.

Please check out all the places I link to during the week. Thanks to everyone who has joined Sunday Stillness. I do try to get to your posts every week but I admit sometimes I don’t have the time.

Here are my favourite links for Sunday Stillness:

The Sunday Community by Deidra Riggs

Still Saturday by Sandra Heskaking

Sharing His Beauty

Missional Women – Faith Filled Fridays

Jennifer Miller at Scripture and a Snapshot

Fellowship Fridays at Christian Mommy Blogger

The Weekend Brew by Barbie

Shelly Hendricks at Renewed Daily (Recommendation Saturday)

Counting My Blessings

Your turn: Add your link below. Don’t forget to copy the specific URL from your post. Talk to others.



What is Joy?

Today I am writing over at Family and Faith Matters. I joined Lisa Jo Baker for Five Minute Fridays – the word is JOY.

by Janis Cox

 Joy

Last week we had the pleasure of a visit from our son and his family. For three fun filled days we explored some sights in Arizona. Those days were filled with joy. As I watched my grown first born interact with his children, his wife and us, I astonished myself with the emotion I felt.

To read this rest go to What is Joy at Family and Faith Matters.

Tweetable:

Can you write about Joy for five minutes? Join #FMFparty @LisajoBaker

Joy to the World

Joy to the World – Christmas Day, 2013

by Janis Cox

2-Christmas-carollers

Watercolour by Janis Cox, Christmas 2013

Joy to the World

Please enjoy Chris Tomlin singing Joy to the World – Joy Unspeakable Joy

Merry Christmas everyone,

Blessings,

Janis

I would ask that you join me over at He Cares for Us. www.janiscox.com to see two new Christmas watercolours.

Sunday Stillness – Isaiah 35:2

Sunday Stillness – Isaiah 35:2

Isaiah 35:2

Finally this week I planted my garden. This spring has been cold, rainy and it hasn’t been the right time to get outside and plant.

I had a wonderful time. I love getting my hands into the dirt. I never use gloves. On the other hand, my hubby hates to put his hands into the earth. So he uses the shovel and I play with the dark soil. Heaven.

Joy – beauty – and song.

This week’s Scripture is from The Message:

Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers
and singing and joy!
The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon,
as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon.
There the Lord will display his glory,
the splendor of our God (Isaiah 35:2)

What joy are you seeing this season?
I watch for the splendour of God as it unfolds in my garden.

For those visiting please check out the posts that are linked below. And everyone loves comments.

If you write about God’s Word, join us in providing your link about what God has spoken to you about this week. Thanks so much to the wonderful contributors.

Today is Sunday Stillness.

Do you have a Scripture that spoke to you this week? Please link below. If you post to Twitter use #sundaystillness and @authorjaniscox.

Feel free to pin the picture. Follow me at AuthorJanisCox on Pinterest.

I would love it if you would subscribe to my blog. See the sidebar to enter your email address.

Read the Sunday Stillness rules if you are new here.

I would appreciate if you would link only about God’s Word. If you have a linky party that’s okay if it is about the same thing. Please no sales or prizes. I want this to be friendly but I must ask you to abide by the rules. Others want to read God’s Word – and that is what I would like the links to be about. I must take down the links that don’t follow the rules. Thanks so much.

JOIN THE SUNDAY STILLNESS COMMUNITY – 
READ OTHER POSTS AND ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER.

Please check out all the places I link to during the week. Thanks to everyone who has joined Sunday Stillness. I do try to get to your posts every week but I admit sometimes I don’t have the time.

Here are my favourite links for Sunday Stillness:

The Sunday Community

Still Saturday

 

Missional Women – Faith Filled Fridays

Scripture and Snapshot

The Weekend Brew

 

 



DO YOU KNOW JESUS IS THERE FOR YOU?

Do You Know Jesus is There for You?

by Mary Haskett

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church http://www.stjohnsashfield.org.au, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus’ description of himself “I am the Good Shepherd” (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows the detail of his face. The memorial window is also captioned: “To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Years ago I came to Canada with my family to start a new life. We arrived in the fall and my lifelong friend, who had immigrated before me, housed us for a few months and informed us about the ways of life. We learned of the coming winter and the necessity for the children to have snowsuits, boots, hats, gloves and scarves.  We learned that skating was practically a national past-time.

With excitement, the said items were purchased and off we went to the skating rink. We rented skates and soon my six year old twins and their two older brothers were going it alone, albeit a bit wobbly, but with great determination. “Come on Mom,” they yelled as they passed by me clutching the side!

I never did learn to skate, perhaps I didn’t try hard enough, but one thing I learned – that Jesus Christ loved me and my family. Once I learned this truth there was no hesitancy on my part, not like at the rink where I stumbled and fell.

Not a doubt entered my head as I joined
the company of believers in a nearby church.

What a joy to know that God loves us and through the challenges and stumbles of life He is there to help. I learned the truth of Jesus’ declaration:

“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly”  (John 10:10, KJV).

Prayer:

O Lord may I never doubt your love, but remember through all my ups and downs that You care, and You will help me in every situation. Thank you Jesus.

Mary Haskett

Mary is a writer and speaker. Since becoming a Christian she has served in many capacities. On a monthly basis in her home, she hosts a women’s prayer group, a women’s fellowship group, and Ready Writers, London of which she is the founder.
She serves in several ministries in her church.

She is a member of The The Word Guild. and Inscribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.
Her book Reverend Mother’s Daughter was a finalist in the 2008 Word Guild of Canada Awards and won an IPPY award in the states. Her second book Because We Prayed was released two years ago.  India My Calling is her latest release, and relates the compelling story of  Jean Darling who served for 40 years on the mission field. Mary has had many articles published and  has been a regular contributor to the community publication Christian Life in London. You can visit her at http://www.maryhaskett.com

CAN I JOY DARE YOU? Week 10

Can I Joy Dare You? Week 10

Can-I-Dare-You-

As I continue to count the gifts I feel like I have been on a scavenger hunt seeking new things. A wonderful week searching and looking. Thanks so much to Ann Voskamp for leading this journey.

I have to admit that I had trouble focussing on some of these clues this week. Particularly on the loud one. We are so quiet down here that there isn’t too much noise. Although I admit I just found one – the dishwasher – it is irritatingly loud. Day isn’t over yet – just getting this post set up for Monday – so I will keep my ears open for the rest of the day – loud.

March 4 ~ 3 gifts hard to give thanks for

  • a sinus headache – spring must be coming
  • a grandbaby who has a fever (then we find out croup) PS He is much better.
  • sore nose from new glasses

March 5 ~ 3 gifts found

  • found time to continue my memory work
  • found help from hubby to fix my photo frames for the art show
  • found another frame I needed from Costco

March 6 ~ bent, broken and beautiful

  • My new glasses – just don’t feel right
  • breaking of my heart – to hear a young woman who needs a lung transplant
  • being able to create – made a children’s craft with tissue paper

March 7 ~ 3 gifts found in the kitchen

  • plentiful water
  • enough food in the fridge
  • a loving hubby who cleans up the kitchen

March 8 ~ 3 gifts loud

  • thunder in the desert – a big boom this morning and a few during the day
  • my dishwasher (I love it but it is so noisy)
  • my oven (I love it but it is so noisy when I turn it off the fan continues to make an irritating sound)

March 9 ~ 3 gifts carved

  • I carve an apple every morning – Braeburn apples, very inexpensive in Arizona

Carve Apple

  • we love stir fry so I chop lots of vegetables
  • some day I want to learn to carve soapstone. Right now I am going to try to carve a piece of soap to be a Tadeo Turtle. We’ll see what happens.

March 10 ~ 3 gifts in Christ

  •  In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples” (Luke 14:33, NIV). We are learning about this in Experiencing God – to be able to give up everything for Jesus.
  • Knowing that, “it never works. God does.”
  • Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” (Ephesians 3:20, NIV).

There were not too many clues that lent themselves to pictures for me this week so I thought I would leave you with some great wonder shots.

Rain drops on leaves

Raindrops on leaves in desert

reflections

Reflections in the lake.

Sweet oranges

Sweet Oranges

CAN I JOY DARE YOU – Week 9

Can I Joy Dare You? – Week 9

Can-I-Dare-You-

As I continue to count the gifts I feel like I have been on a scavenger hunt seeking new things. A wonderful week searching and looking. Thanks so much to Ann Voskamp for leading this journey.

I will be adding a LINK today for those of you who would like to put in your lists of gifts. No matter whether you are doing the specific Joy Dare or listing your gifts – please join me this week. And let’s praise God for all the wonders He is showing us.

February 25 ~ 3 gifts worn out, new and made-do

  • old socks that Snowball loves to use as toys; but she also loves any socks so we have to make sure we put all socks away from her keen sense of “sockiness”

Worn Out

  • daffodils in the desert; such a beautiful sight. I had to go and check if they were real or plastic

daffodil

  • I couldn’t find the journals I like but found one that would work okay

February 26 ~ 3 gifts seen as reflections

I couldn’t stop seeing reflections after reading this clue

Reflection in a painting

 

Reflections in a painting 2

Grand Canyon Reflection

February 27 ~ 3 ugly-beautiful gifts

This one had me stumped. I had to pray for wisdom and vision.

  • Michael Bull Roberts – a gangster turned Christ follower – I don’t even see him as ugly now because of his beautiful heart, soul and spirit. God is using him mightily for the Kingdom.

Here is a website about Michael. The writer states: “A man covered in tattoos from head to toe, 300 pounds and one of the scariest looking guys I’ve ever seen turned to be the most caring person I’ve ever met.”

His Facebook page: Michael Bull Roberts

  • art – looking at different pieces of art – beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. What I see as an ugly painting or not my best – others rave about. I can’t figure it out. Here is a kingfisher – the whole batik process didn’t go the way it was supposed to  – I had running ink from a non-permanent pen, it got messy but lots of people love this painting. Go figure.

KIngfisher by Janis Cox

  • an ugly little caterpillar – this is my favourite – how an ugly little caterpillar which crawls on the ground, feels creepy when I hold it – can become a beautiful butterfly who can soar high up in the skies

Butterfly

 

February 28 ~ 3 gifts of the past that help you trust the future

  • the healing of my back, jaw, neck, knees and my soul – thanks be to God
  • my hubby standing steadfastly beside me through the years – through highs and lows
  • the people that I have met who have a strong faith and whom  God brings into my life all the time

March 1 ~ 3 gifts at 3 pm

  • a lovely walk around our lake

Walk at 3pm

  • there was a school of fish that congregated at the bridge. We couldn’t figure out how they didn’t slip over the bridge. As we watched a number of them came close to doing that. And why were they all there? But I forgot my camera – you will have to visualize them there – and I will take another shot another day.

Fish at the Bridge?

 

  • it is getting warmer here in Arizona and the sun’s warmth is beautiful

March 2 ~ 3 gifts green

Everywhere I go here in Arizona I see green. And what has been brown is turning green.

 

Green Trees

Green Gifts - Joy Dare

Daffodils - Green in the Desert

March 3 ~ 3 gifts wore

I thought about this one for a long time.

The garments made by man – wear out.
But the garments that God gives us don’t wear out. Tweet this.

  • a belt of truth (Ephesians 6:14)
  • a garment of praise (Psalm 61:3)
  • a garment of salvation (Isaiah 61:10)

Would love to hear your comments. And please feel free to either put your gifts in the comments or add your link.

Blessings,

Janis

I link to other sites – please check the sidebar to find more Linky Parties.



WHEN WERE YOU LAST IN HIS PRESENCE?

When were You Last in His Presence?

by Brenda Wood

Write! Canada - we worship You O Lord.

When did you last shout and praise God?

One day, to our delicious surprise, we found ourselves looking after 2 year-old Quinn because he was too sick to go to day care. Could we do it everyday? Not likely! Not enough stamina. Even when not so well this little guy can run us ragged.

The best thing? When he came into the house and he saw it was indeed Amma and Afi’s house, he reacted! Temperature or not, he ran and laughed and laughed and ran and hugged for several minutes. He found it a lovely thing just to be in our house, in our presence.

I asked myself when, if ever, I’d been that excited to spend time with God?

When had I last shouted and praised Him?

How long had it been since I thanked Him for anything? Or when had I dwelt on the thought of how Jesus died on the cross just for me?

Surely it wasn’t a year ago, was it? Surely I’ve thought of these things since then.

But have I really? Have you?

How deep is our prayer life, really?

When is the last time we showed Quinn’s kind of joy, just because we were in the presence of Father God?

“To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen” (Jude 1:24-25, NIV).

Prayer:

Lord, forgive us for forgetting who you are and what you’ve done for us. Amen.

Brenda J. Wood

A popular motivational speaker, Brenda, of Barrie, Ontario is known for her common sense wisdom, sense of humour and quirky comments. Brenda especially enjoys speaking at women’s retreats and conferences, community events, Mops, World Day of Prayer, and Stonecroft Ministries.

A prolific author, her current books include:

The Big Red Chair: a children’s book dealing with the loss of a grandparent.
Meeting Myself: Snippets from a Fractured Mind:  the author’s recovery from abuse and eating disorders.
Hearts Under Construction: A motivational cookbook designed to feed both body and soul
Heartfelt: 366 Devotions for Common Sense Living.
God, Gluttony and You: a Bible Study dealing with our relationship to food.
Read more at:
http://heartfeltdevotionals.wordpress.com
facebook – www.facebook.com/brendawoodspeaker