Tag Archives: Mark Buchanan

Do You Have Enough Dead Space? – Secrecy

Do You Have Enough Dead Space? – Secrecy

by Janis Cox

Secrecy

I have been writing about Dead Space – Solitude; Dead Space – Silence.

In Mark Buchanan’s book, Your God is Too Safe, I have been reading a chapter called “Leave Yourself Alone”. I am learning the two disciplines of solitude and silence.

Today is the last of these dead space disciplines – Secrecy.

Either we do good things in order to be seen by others, or we do them in order to bring praise to God (Your God is Too Safe, Mark Buchanan, page 184).

OUCH.

Our lives are a part of God’s plan. And God’s plan is to redeem His people. He is battling Satan every minute. We are part of this drama.

Jesus tells us many times to be humble.

Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness before men, to be seen by them (Matthew 6:1, NIV).

A hard lesson – but learned through continuous communion with God – in prayer.

We need to become less so God can become more.

God thinks what I do when no one else is watching is pretty important.
Time alone can seem so inconsequential. That’s why we can fill it so easily with seemingly harmless activities … But God sees it all. Our heavenly Father sees what we do in secret. Meditating on that consistently is bound to lead to the fear of the Lord (from a post called What We Do in Secret).

Prayer:

Help us Lord to remember to not boast. Help us to remember that You see our every move. Help us to spend time with You. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Janis Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Janis, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. A writer since 2003, Janis co-ordinates a group blog called Under the Cover of Prayer. She is also a contributor to a group blog called Family and Faith Matters.

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. She is the author and watercolour illustrator. For more information visit Janis on her website He Cares for You. She is a member of The Word Guild andInscribe Writers Fellowship.

Do You Have Enough Dead Space? – Silence

Do You Have Enough Dead Space? – Silence

by Janis Cox

wieliczka salt mine

wieliczka salt mine (Photo credit: sama sama – massa)

Last week I wrote the first in a series of Dead Space – Solitude.

I practiced what I wrote last week. I took time away from the computer, from my husband and I spent time with Jesus. Jesus and I together. Heavenly.

This week I want to look at another dead space – silence.

Oh my – my mind is never silent. How about yours? I talk a lot when I have a willing audience. I am impatient to say my thoughts.

I need this discipline of silence – this dead space
where God can draw closer and I can be with Him. (tweet this)

Do we speak when we should? Are we quiet when we need to be?

Here is one example how my words got me into trouble:

I got lost in the Salt Mines in Krakow, Poland. We were on a tour of the Salt Mines with a group. We had taken a break and were told we would be leaving in about 10 minutes. I quickly ate an apple and then told my hubby I had to use the washroom.

When I returned from the washroom – empty – the room was empty of my group. No husband. No tour guide. Frustration. Panic. Anger.

I scurried around to find an English speaking person to find out if they knew where my tour was headed. I was told I could join another group. No – that was not going to happen – the bus might leave without me. So I asked again and was told that they thought the tour went down the stairs.

Breathing heavily (we were down over 300 feet in the mine), I climbed down many stairs, turned a few bends, and then I saw at the end of the tunnel – my husband and the group.

So – what do I do? I let my emotions get the better of me – and fly off with an accusation.

“Why didn’t you wait for me, or tell the tour guide I was missing.”

Of course, my hubby’s reaction was also accusatory.

“You knew we were leaving. You have to watch and keep with the group. No I wasn’t going to watch out for you. You are on your own.”

Me – I was hurt, angry, and my words spewed forth. I wrecked the rest of the tour for myself and maybe my hubby as I clammed up tight and shuffled along.

What happened? Because I spoke out of my emotions now I was more upset. Silence would have been better. I could have prayed for wisdom. I could have breathed a sigh of relief that I found them. I could have asked Jesus for help with my feelings.

“It’s best to speak when tempted for selfish reasons to be silent, and it’s best to be silent when tempted for selfish reasons to speak” (Mark Buchanan, You God is Too Safe, page 182).

There you have it – I spoke for selfish reasons. I was hurt, angry and wanted some attention. I wanted him to say, “sorry, I shouldn’t have been so unthoughtful”. But he was doing his own thing – exactly how he always would. I know my husband – for 42 years I should have known better.

Guilty! I was guilty.

Silence is the room we create for the searching of God,
where we hear His voice and follow (Your God is Too Safe, Buchanan).
(tweet this)

I admit I am working on this one. What about you? Can you remember to be silent – when you need to be.

Prayer:

Help us to be silent when we need to be. Help us to speak out when we need to. Remind me to spend time with You, Jesus. You centre us. You keep us focused on You. In Your name, we pray. AMEN.

Janis Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Janis, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. A writer since 2003, Janis co-ordinates a group blog called Under the Cover of Prayer. She is also a contributor to a group blog called Family and Faith Matters.

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. She is the author and watercolour illustrator. For more information visit Janis on her website He Cares for You. She is a member of The Word Guild andInscribe Writers Fellowship.

Do You Have Enough Dead Space? – Solitude – Part 1

Do You Have Enough Dead Space? – Solitude – Part 1

by Janis Cox

Jesus Goes Up Alone onto a Mountain to Pray

Jesus Goes Up Alone onto a Mountain to Pray (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In reading a chapter called “Leave Yourself Alone” in a book called Your God is Too Safe by Mark Buchanan, I was captivated by three spiritual disciplines – Solitude, Silence and Secrecy.

I will try to tell you what I have learned in three sessions. Today’s is Solitude.

“The loss of dead space is killing us, inch by noisy inch” (page 176, Your God is Too Safe).

Mark talks about giving ourselves time for solitude – and in those moments Jesus can increase and we can decrease.

Jesus-Calling-0826

Painted by Janis Cox for Sunday Stillness at www.janiscox.com

Jesus sought solitude.

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).

So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place (Mark 6:32, NIV).

Jesus was slow.

This is so unlike me. I move quickly. I act quickly. I need to S-L-O-W down.

Solitude – is a space for listening.

Solitude – is not aloneness.

Solitude – this is where we meet God.

If we only talk to God and do not listen we may never hear from Him.
(tweet this)

Can I go slower and do more? I believe God gives us that ability. Let’s take time for some solitude this week and see what happens.

Prayer:

Father,

we know that to hear from you we need to slow down, we need to stop and we need solitude. Please help us to find that time in the coming week so we get even closer to You. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Janis Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Janis, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. A writer since 2003, Janis co-ordinates a group blog called Under the Cover of Prayer. She is also a contributor to a group blog called Family and Faith Matters.

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. She is the author and watercolour illustrator. For more information visit Janis on her website He Cares for You. She is a member of The Word Guild andInscribe Writers Fellowship.

Are You Living Life to the Full?

Are You Living Life to the Full?

by Janis Cox

Cloud-of-Witnesses

Hebrews 12:1

Last week I talked about the book I am reading, Your God is Too Safe, by Mark Buchanan. I have taken it with me on my trip to Poland and hopefully will have finished it while travelling.

Little words in the Bible are very important. Words like – therefore, since, but, because, yet. Do you notice them?

Check this out:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1, NIV).

We are told that therefore, since … because we know what we know, and if we know what we know, we must throw off encumbrances that will impede our journey.

Mark talks about the characters in The Secret Garden (one of my favourite childhood books). Colin is an invalid; he does not go outside; he has been told that he will get sick if he does any exercise or get fresh air. Mary doesn’t believe that; she pushes, she prods, she yells but she gets Colin outside into the garden and the fresh air. She takes him from the safety of the dark dreary little room into the world.

Mary knew all along he [Colin] was made for life to the full (Your God is Too Safe, Mark Buchanan).

You can read The Secret Garden online following the link above. Here is a description of Colin when he first enters the garden.

He looked so strange and different because a pink glow of colour had actually crept all over him, ivory face and neck and hands and all.

And what does Colin say?

I shall get well! I shall get well! …I shall live forever and ever!

Isn’t that what happens when we meet Jesus?

Let us live life to the full. (tweet this)

Prayer:

Let us see the power in Jesus. Let us go where God leads us. May we have clear eyes to see where God is working and go there in the power of Jesus. In Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

Is Your God Too Safe?

Do you trust Him?

Can you follow Him?

We are still in Poland as of this date.

Please pray for us while we are gone that we will be His Light and shine for Jesus.

Please follow me on Twitter – Author Janis Cox, Facebook – Author Janis Cox and Pinterest – Author Janis Cox.

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Janis Cox, a retired public school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. A writer since 2003, Janis co-ordinates a group blog called Under the Cover of Prayer. She is also a contributor to a group blog called Family and Faith Matters.

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. She is the author and watercolour illustrator. For more information visit Janis on her website He Cares for You. She is a member of The Word Guild and Inscribe Writers Fellowship.

Are You Avoiding the World?

Are You Avoiding the World?

by Janis Cox

arrival2011

One of my mission trips to Poland – 2011 – with Czarek and a fellow missionary.

By the time you are reading this my husband and I should be in Warsaw, Poland. We are heading there as tourists for ten days. I have travelled to Poland as a missionary four times with International Messengers. This trip is a holiday and my husband is coming with me. We hope to meet some of the people I have met before in Poland.

I have been reading Mark Buchanan’s book, Your God is Too Safe. I am on Chapter 11. This statement struck me today:

If anything, an ethic that sends us out into the world, with all its dangers, toils, and snares, makes us more prayerful and prepared (Your God is Too Safe, Mark Buchanan).

In his book, Mark talks about risks. Jesus tells us to go into the world NOT to avoid it. Some take the quote, “not of this world” to mean that we can sit back and avoid the world all together. Mark challenges us that we are not following Christ by avoiding the world.  We can be in this world, living with God in us. God is with us. We are not alone.

But we need not avoid the world. Once again – awareness – he says:

we are called to live with new eyes, grace-healed eyes … seeing every moment.

Our lives are not to be ones of the least involvement but instead:

we’re to enter the marketplace looking for ways to bring God’s Kingdom, light, healing into it.

Come – to Jesus

Go – into the world

We will be praying every step of the way for awareness of what God wants us to see and do.

Prayer: 

As we travel from our comfort zone please keep us close to You. Help us to see the world through Your eyes. Help us to be Your hands and feet. Praying in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Please pray for us while we are gone that we will be His Light and shine for Jesus.

Please follow me on TwitterAuthor Janis Cox, FacebookAuthor Janis Cox and Pinterest – Author Janis Cox.

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Janis Cox, a retired public school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. A writer since 2003, Janis co-ordinates a group blog called Under the Cover of Prayer. She is also a contributor to a group blog called Family and Faith Matters.

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. She is the author and watercolour illustrator. For more information visit Janis on her website He Cares for You. She is a member of The Word Guild and Inscribe Writers Fellowship.