Tag Archives: Poland

A Broken Life Mainspring. How Could I Fix It?

The story of how Jesus altered my mainspring

I have had the privilege of being a short-term missionary five times. This is my look back on how my life changed with Jesus and how He altered my mainspring of life.

HOw-Jesus-Altered-my-Mainspring

Picture from Public Domain Pictures.net

As I look back 16 years to the day after I said, “Okay, Jesus, I will be Yours”, I can see great progress in my attitudes – particularly in my trust and patience.

I know that Jesus altered my mainspring that morning.

If I think of a computer when the CPU is not working effectively, the technician can tinker with it but until he does a complete overhaul to the main board, a restart, – it won’t work at top efficiency.

Jesus does not alter human nature: He alters its mainspring (Oswald Chambers, July 24).

Jesus had to restart my life – he left my personality, and my physical being the same.

But I became NEW with Jesus added to my life.

And when I think back, He even changed my physical being as I am no longer stiff and sore. I no longer have serious back issues or knee issues. My personality may be the same but He has added more self-control to my being.

I needed to be made NEW by the supernatural grace of God.

Jesus says – if you are My disciple you must be right not only in your living, but in your motives, in your dreams, the the recesses of your mind ( Oswald Chambers, July 24)

The great marvel of Jesus Christ’s salvation is that He alters heredity. (Oswald Chambers, July 24)

Ponderings from my mission trips to Poland:

What did I learn personally?

  • I don’t need so much social media.
  • I need to interact with real people.
  • God will give me everything I need in all situations.
  • I can absorb criticism and not be personally hurt.
  • I can rely totally on Jesus for my life.
  • Listening to God is the very best!

What did I see?

  • a team praying and working together
  • peace in all situations
  • laughter – grumpy faces turning into joyful faces
  • hearts melted towards others and God
  • lives open to the possibility of learning about God by reading the Bible themselves
  • rainy weather forecasts turned aside – sun shone (after prayer)

Prayer:

Thanks for showing me how much people mean to me. Thanks for using me to reach out to others. Thanks for the strength to do more than I could normally do. Thanks for being my God. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Tweetable:

Jesus does not alter human nature; He alters the mainspring. (tweet this)

I know Jesus altered my mainspring that morning. (tweet this)

Please click to get 2 Free Ebooks, Living Life — One Word at a Time and Five Ways God Changed Me.

Visit my Bookstore.

You can also find me on TwitterPinterest, FacebookInstagram.

Sunday Stillness – How Can I make Jesus Joyful?

Sunday Stillness – How Can I make Jesus Joyful?

How-Can-I-Make-Jesus-Joyful

We talk a lot about being joyful in the Lord. That’s how I can find joy – looking to Jesus for answers.

But how can I make Jesus joyful?

When I gave a post on Twitter that asked:

Someone answered me back.

“to make yourself feel better”

That shocked me. I believe I truly went on this mission trip to make Jesus joyful.

I want Jesus to use me however He wants. I rely on His strength, His wisdom and His peace.

When I go on a mission trip I leave behind the comforts of home, family, food, soft bed and … sleep. I go where I must trust in God fully.

He gave me strength to have fun with the campers on less than 6 hours sleep. He gave me Holy Spirit words during our Bible Studies. He let me watch as He drew people to Himself. He used me.

I think God is joyful from my obedience.

He also revealed Himself to me. I took on more and more jobs that were not humanly possible (for a grandma fighting a cold) – but God made it work. He strengthened my spiritual connections with the IM staff, the national staff and the campers. God led me to those He wants me to continue to pray for.

God stretched me and sometimes it hurt.

I believe I go on mission trips because God calls me to go. I believe that there will be at least 2 people who will change during my trip. Me and one other.

Every time I go on a mission trip I have seen this.

And I see Jesus smile.

I agree and follow what Oswald Chambers says:

I want that “oneness [with God] which will make [me] not only blameless in His sight, but a deep joy to Him.

Prayer:

Thank you Lord for the opportunity to serve you on an overseas mission trip. Thank you for nudging me to participate. Thanks for showing me how to trust fully in You. May I bring You joy in all I do. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

 Tweetable:

I think God is joyful from my obedience. (tweet this)


>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.

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)

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

Sunday Stillness – How to Live in My Father’s House

Sunday Stillness – How to Live in My Father’s House

How-to-Live-in-My-father's-house

In the next few weeks I plan to muse about my time on a mission trip in Poland. This week is the first of a series. As my thoughts unfold, as I wrestle with what I saw, and as I get over jet lag, I hope to express to you how God is working in my life.

During my time in Poland we sang a chorus to Big House by Audio Adrenaline.  It reminded me that no matter where I go or what I do, I need to be in my Father’s house and to be “about my Father’s business”.

Here are the words to the chorus:

Come and go with me
To my Father’s house
Come and go with me
To my Father’s house

It’s a big, big house
With lots and lots of room
A big, big table
With lots and lots of food
A big, big yard
Where we can play football
A big, big house
It’s my Father’s house

Obviously we have changed it to mean our Father’s House and so I capitalized Father. If you want to hear the tune you can listen and watch on YouTube.

But it started me thinking. Then I read Oswald Chambers this morning.

Prayer in The Father’s House

And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49, ESV).

We had a Bible study in Poland that talked about the “Narrow Door” to God. But it also talked about the time when the door will shut and no one else will be able to enter. It is a powerful passage. The Master says to some, “Sorry, you’re not on my guest list.” Luke 13:22-30 (The Message).

So I ask, does Jesus know me? Am I about my Father’s business?

Then to make it absolutely certain that God was talking to me, I was led to a sermon by Charles Sturgeon – yes on the same topic.

It is amazing how God connects things for me so I will understand.

Charles Spurgeon’s sermon was entitled, Jesus About His Father’s Business.

Salvation is here called God’s work: “it is my meat to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.”

I think this shows that you and I need to work on working out our salvation – not sit on the sidelines watching. Jesus tells us to work hard.

So what are you hearing from Him?

Make sure you take time to listen carefully and then obey without haste.

Prayer:

Thanks, Lord, for the opportunity to go to Poland. Thanks for showing me how to show Your love to Your people. Thanks for leading me to speak Your words so others will know You. Continue to lead and guide me so I can be about “My Father’s Business”. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Tweetable:

Am I going about my Father’s business? (tweet this)

Read the first in a series of my thoughts on my mission trip to Poland. (tweet this)

Today is Sunday Stillness. See all the rules at Sunday Stillness Rules. Join us.



Sunday Stillness – Why Go on a Mission Trip?

Sunday Stillness – Why Go on a Mission Trip?

why-do-I-go-on-a-mission-trip

This Tuesday I will be heading to Europe to be with a team of missionaries to Poland. This will be my 5th trip with the same leaders, Grace and Gene Fox, of International Messengers.

I have to ask myself – why am I going? I haven’t gone every year. Sometimes I hear a voice that says: NO. But this year, I didn’t hear anything about “no” only a resounding “yes”. Why?

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15, NIV).

You know I really don’t know. Except to say that God seems to know when He wants me to go.

I certainly have developed a friendship and love for the people in Poland, especially the Polish pastor and his family. My hubby travelled with me for a holiday last year to meet them and see the country. I have pasted a few of our pictures below.

beauty-of-Poland

Beauty of Poland

one-of-my-first-mission-trips

One of my first mission trips

Zloy-Potok---first-trip

My first trip – Karpatcz, Poland.

So why do I go?

      • When you hear God’s call – you will know it. 
      • When your heart can’t wait to go – you will know it.
      • No matter what weird circumstances happen, if God wants you to go and you obey, you will go.

I won’t be posting any contributors’ posts while I am away. I think that is too much and I won’t do them justice. Hopefully they will be back on August 7th.

I hope to post my Sunday Stillness posts while I am gone.

Here are some posts that I have written about my Poland adventures.

I would appreciate your prayers while I am gone.

Prayer:

Lord, You have called me to go. And I answered. Please watch over all our team and the Polish people. Help us to show them Christ in action. Prepare the way for us so the campers will be able to trust in Jesus. In Your Name. AMEN.

Tweetable:

Why go on a mission trip? (tweet this)
Please join me for my newsletter and enjoy a free ebook. Also each newsletter I offer a free watercolour painting in .jpg. Join us.

Join He Cares for You


TO CONTACT ME AT ANY TIME PLEASE EMAIL JANIS.

Find me on Twitter @authorJanisCox.

Feel free to pin the picture.

Follow me at AuthorJanisCox on Pinterest. And join me on Facebook at AuthorJanisCox.

PS – Don’t forget to check out Tadeo Turtle – a story of acceptance for children up to age 7. Available on Amazon.Tadeo-Turtle-Cover-large-web

Today is Sunday Stillness.

Special announcement to the people who link. If you wish to be notified that the linky is open please email me at Janis. Due to new legislation in Canada against anti-spam emails we must have permission to email you. Thanks for taking the time to do this.

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)

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

Blessings to everyone.



How Can Going on a Mission Trip Change You?

How Can Going on a Mission Trip Change You?

Beautiful friends in Poland

In 2007 I read an email from Grace Fox about a mission trip to Poland – an evangelical camp to teach English. I had met Grace at The Word Guild’s Write!Canada conference and felt comfortable travelling with her.

I thought I was to go and teach adults, English. God had others plans. A few months before we were to travel to Poland, Gene Fox, the president of IM called and asked me to consider working with the children instead of the adults.

I am a retired public school teacher so that didn’t bother me. However, I felt confused and had to pray about it before I said, yes. And I did say yes. And have gone on 3 other mission trips since (once teaching the adults).

Last week I posted my thoughts from 2010 about my time on a mission to Poland.

I believe I learned 4 important things during my time in Poland:

1. Always trust in God. There were many times we thought something would be impossible – but God showed us that was not the case.

2. Pray with your team, especially when you feel threatened or angry. God can smooth the waters through prayer.

3. Watch what God does around you – and go where He is working. I had to learn not to fret about myself and my feelings but look at all the miraculous ways He works in others.

4. Don’t worry about sleep – you might not get your quota for the days at camp. But God knows how much you need and He will see that you have time and strength to continue to do His will.

4 Ways a Mission trip Changed my LIfe

I learned much more than that but those were the important things that I feel changed me in my time there. These have carried over into my life back in North America.

Have you been on a mission before? What did you learn?

If you want to join this mission trip, please see the Facebook note below and follow the links to learn more about the camps.

www.im-canada.ca/family-camps
download an application: www.im-canada.ca/pub/IndTeam.pdf
request an application by mail: www.im-canada.ca/short-termers/apprequest

Tweetable:

Have you been on a mission before? What did you learn? (tweet this)

How can going on a mission trip change you? 4 ways it changed my life. (tweet this)

Being His – Mission Trip 2010 to Poland

Being His – Mission Trip 2010 to Poland

Week-30-Poland

I found this post on my old blog about my trip to Poland in 2010. I will be travelling again this year for my fourth trip to Poland. To find out how you can be a part of this please go to the end of the post.

Jesus says we can’t become a disciple if we are tied to anyone – we must be His alone.

In order to spread the Good News as a disciple I had to leave behind the NORMAL and RELIABLE. Jesus has to be responsible for me and I have to rely on Him alone..

Oswald Chambers says:

The secret of the missionary is – I am HIS, and He is carrying out His entreprises through me. Be Entirely His.

A COUPLE OF STORIES:

The summer of 2010 placed me in new hurdle. I had to fly the first leg of the journey alone – no one else was coming from Eastern Canada. I had never travelled alone. I had never even had dined in a restaurant alone. Once again God was there. It was actually fun! Except for the 9 hour wait at Heathrow Airport – God kept me company and I became HIS.

But I was so tired… So tired and needing to see a friendly face. When I saw the first 2 orange IM shirts (and they were bright orange) – I embraced this startled couple. I was so excited to see them after such a long wait. Tom and Deb are a very quiet reserved couple – If you know me you will how excited I can get. Tom told me later that he wondered what on earth he had been led into. This was his first trip as a missionary. Even after that startled beginning, Tom, Deb and I became good friends as we grew to know each other and our passion for Christ grew us closer together. Tom teased me incessantly about my energy and jumping about.

A miracle. Pastor Cezary lives in Gorzow and our camp was 5 hours away by car in Karpatcz. Cezary had an 18 year old car in which he travelled with Ewa and three children. It was long past its “last legs”. He was told by the garage not to take it on long trips. Miraculously he drove to camp and back without a problem. We did pray over that car before we left camp and headed for Gorzow. IM fundraised this past year for a van in which Cezary could take kids to camp, pick them up for after school meetings and drive to summer camps as well. Now he drives a 9-person van and is grateful to all who contributed.

MY THOUGHTS

Mission Trips like IM impact three sets of people

1. The national IM staff

The pastor and his family are encouraged by our participation. Without English speakers these camps would not take place. Family camps give an opening to people who would not attend church and it gives them a chance to know a personal Jesus. It gives the pastor an opening into their lives as he continues to build these relationships after we have left.

The campers

For the unbelievers it may be the first time they have held a Bible;

They may discover that God can speak to them without a priest as mediator; One camper said: “This is the first time I have ever been with a group of people who could talk to God as you do.”

Believers are encouraged through fellowship with the North American church – knowing we care and love them.

Campers said they felt unconditionally loved. That’s why they have returned each year. And this is true of all IM camps.

3. Our team members

Most feel inadequate for the task but when they say “yes” to God, they discover His enabling power. They go back home and have courage to say “yes” to other assignments He gives.

Many have to raise financial support in order to go. Those who say “yes” inevitably are overwhelmed with God’s ability to provide.

A trip such as this can stretch us to the max – physical weariness, cross-cultural challenges, working with differing personalities. It is a perfect time to learn true servant hood and relying on God through all times. (Philippians 2)

When we go out of our comfort zones, we must rely on God. So instead of depending on our own abilities and strengths we rest in Him to make us more than we are. We are forced to live by faith. That is when we experience God in deeper and more exciting ways.

When doing something you really love to do, we come alive – it becomes a Holy Time and that is how I feel when I am on these trips. Wrapped in God’s love the whole time.

What makes your Holy Time? It can be anything that you love to do. I love teaching Sunday School, singing with actions, dancing, painting and writing. I think I can even say I love talking to a group.

When we listen to God – we can hear what He is saying.

Where is your heart? When we focus on God we feel a purity of heart. Things become less about us and instead who we are focused on – God. Being HIS.

“Always measure your life solely by the standards of Jesus. Submit yourself to His yoke, and His alone”  ~ Oswald Chambers.

Tweetables:

Missions is simply being touched by people and meeting their needs. (tweet this)

You don’t have to go out of the country to do ministry. Look in your own backyard. (tweet this)

Prayer:

Lord help us all to step out of our comfort zones, to attempt to rely on You, alone. Little steps can lead to bigger steps. Help us. Remind us that You are beside us always. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

www.im-canada.ca/family-camps
download an application: www.im-canada.ca/pub/IndTeam.pdf
request an application by mail: www.im-canada.ca/short-termers/apprequest

To find out more about this year’s trip check the Facebook page below.

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.

Sunday Stillness – 1 Corinthians 14:33

Sunday Stillness – 1 Corinthians 14:33

1-Corinthians-14-33

As I prepare to go away on my trip to Poland this Scripture was highlighted in Jesus Calling. Perfect for me. As you know when you plan to go away there are many things to do. But God is the planner – He knows what to do – He gives me the time, and the peace to do it.

So I did a little sketch to remind me of this Scripture. Sometime I will get back to painting  pictures with my watercolours. But in the meantime the watercolour pencils are fun – but it was hard to make a light wash so I used my fingertips.

Right now we should be in Warsaw, Poland. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

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

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

 Sharing His Beauty

Missional Women – Faith Filled Fridays

Scripture and Snapshot

http://christianmommyblogger.com

The Weekend Brew



A QUICK UPDATE – Children’s Gallery

A Quick Update – Children’s Gallery

I have been adding pictures to the Children’s Gallery. Please drop by for a visit.

Below are the most recent pictures sent to me of a wonderful class in Poland who used my book, Tadeo Turtle, and the accompanying crafts to enjoy a fun time.

Thanks Iwona for sending the pictures. I hope all my readers enjoy them.

Here they are.  The others can be found on the Children’s Gallery Page.

Class in Poland enjoying Tadeo Turtle activities

Molded little turtle A little turtle - just like Tadeo Great creations Turtle Crafts

CONNECT – Five-Minute Fridays

Connect

Connect – through Christ.

Each Friday I join Lisa-Jo Baker to write for five minutes on a selected word. If you want to write try this – it is a great way to stretch yourself. We write without editing.

Drop over to Lisa Jo and join the writers.

Here goes – CONNECT

I recently returned from my 4th mission trip to Poland. Ever since the first time I have felt a strong connection to this country and the people. I have no family history from Poland. I am Canadian and 1/2 Irish.

Why do I feel this strong connection? I have pondered about that over the years. The best reason I can think of is Christ. Christ connects us to the people He wants us to know. If we let Him.

I work in Poland with a mission group of Christians – we pray together, work together and live together for 14 days. Some of the nationals that I have met I see each year – I reconnect with them – find out how they are doing and go home to pray for them.

Other connections I have made through Christ – yes there are a few. Today I am having lunch with two women, one of whom I have never met, and the other whom I have met once or twice a year – usually at the Home Show. But we have so much in common through our faith that today we are going to meet for more than a couple of minutes.

Christ can lead us to those connections. I pray each day to be used by Him – for Him to show me whom He wants me to meet.

Isn’t that what life is about – whom we meet, whom we can encourage, whom we can lead to knowing God better?

5 minutes are up.

Five MInute Fridays

Five Minute Friday from the Gypsy Mama