Tag Archives: Proverbs

Why is that cell phone addictive?

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash
cell phone
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I have been running an online study of God’s Word on Facebook and last January  we  looked at Proverbs.

I love the way God shows each member of our group different things to look at. This morning during the sermon a church I heard why that happens.

Our Pastor said, “As we examine His Word, God examines us.”

And that’s exactly what we have found while studying the first 5 proverbs.

As I studied Proverbs 5 I knew it talked about faithfulness and the sin of adultery. As I focused on verse 3, I read:

For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey,
and her speech is smoother than oil;

From a Bible Journaling

This made me think of other things that give me pleasure, but are not necessarily good for my spirit.

I thought of all the enticements that the world offers that we have to be aware of. There are many.

Then I thought about social media. And my new cell phone. Was I drawn to it – more than I should be?

Looking at the honey analogy I see that social media is sweet, enticing and tastes good.

Recently, I read a very good article in the Globe and Mail that showed me that although our desire to see who is talking on line and whether people are liking and commenting is very sweet, it is worse than that — we are wanting more and more.

That’s addiction.

And to make it worse the people behind the programs, like Facebook and Instagram, can manipulate our “likes” to make us come back to check — which is exactly what they want — the more views, the better advertising. Oh — they caught us!

But how and why do we continue to want to do this?

It’s all about something called dopamine. It’s a funny word — because it reminds me of the word dope — or simple-minded. We are been played for fools.

Screen time has been called “digital heroin”.

Dopamine is a feel-good neurotransmitter. And somehow screens with their likes, comments, games, bring about this feeling. It makes us want more. It is addictive.

Another article from the New York Post explains the “digital heroin”.

Can you live without your cell phone for a week, a day, or a couple of hours? If you can’t answer yes — you may be addicted.

It drips like honey — enticing you.

In the second part of the Proverbs it talks about lips having speech smoother than oil.

There is so much on the Internet that slips into our minds without our noticing if it’s right or wrong. It may soothe your ego, flatter your ability, or lie to you.

Listen to Psalm 5:6

“Not a word from their mouth can be trusted;
their heart is filled with malice.
Their throat is an open grave;
with their tongues they tell lies.”

Can that be what we are listening or reading?

Is there a way out of this?

I think there is.

It is called discipline and wisdom.

Read the first 5 proverbs, and you will see that God will provide us the wisdom we need if we ask Him.

In prayer we can ask for help with our own cell addictions and those of our children.

I know with God’s help we can use the devices – cell phones –  with wisdom, and discretion.

And for what we read and share on the Net — we need to research it thoroughly and test it against the Word of God. Does it line up?

I would say that:

If it is hateful — it is not of God
If it is judgmental — It is not of God
If it is hurtful — It is not of God.

Remember Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.”

The more we read the Bible, the more we pray and the more we listen, we will find the wisdom of God.

And when we do we will find joy, love, peace and hope as well.

May I pray for you and me?

Father, we know there are things of this world that can be good and bad. Help us control cell phone use. We know that You can help us discern how much time we spend on our phones, and how we can use them wisely to glorify You. Help us to find that way. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Until next time, check yourself and your family.

Are you snared by that phone?
Are you missing out in personal communication?
Pray for control over that device and stay in the Word to gather discernment about its use.

CALL TO ACTION:

Are you a Christian? If so, do you need to go deeper in your spiritual journey?

One way to continue to grow in God’s Word is online.

Artists and Writers Grow Through God’s Word is an interactive Facebook Group that is a safe place to explore your faith without judgment. Learn to read your Bible and discover God’s Word. Learn to listen and hear God speak.

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

Janis is a creativity catalyst with a heart to connect people to God. She specializes in creating art based on Scripture so that the Truth penetrates hearts and not just minds.The world needs more pictures, art and colour.

Why It’s Hard to Agree With My Husband

How to learn to Get Along

I’m joining Five Minute Friday just to write for 5 minutes on a word. Today’s word is AGREE.

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Setting the timer: GO

I don’t always agree with my husband. We have been married for 46 years and we are still happily married. It’s not because I always agree with him. On the contrary I am probably the hardest person to live with. We are probably still together because he has patience in dealing with me.

I tend to jump at things before I can think them through.

I used to get totally angry at him when he said something I didn’t understand or didn’t agree with.

But – there is a bright side here. I am learning. Here are 5 things I am learning through my study of God’s Word.

Five Ways to Work Through Agreement

  1. If I start the day with study and writing my prayers to God – and listening to Him, I am better to prepared not to fall into the pit.
  2. Right now I am studying Proverbs in an online study group I lead. This practice is helping me watch what I say – because it’s a daily reminder.
  3. I am calmer overall. As I have grown closer to God I listen to Him more than I listen to myself. That’s a very important part of my peace.
  4. I know that to agree is not always possible. But to listen to his side is possible. I’m learning to bite my tongue and try to hear the other side.
  5. I’ve seen my anger in the past. I’ve seen how I like to control. Knowing these sins helps me learn to tread more carefully as I know what triggers my reactions. SELF.

Time’s Up.. 5 minutes goes quickly.

Here is a selection of wisdom that God has shown me this month on my words and my tongue.

agree

 

agree

agree

agreeDo you have trouble being agreeable? Can you see ways to curb your tongue? Can you find a way to negotiate between you and someone else?

One more thought. I always need to agree with God and what I hear from Him. There is no way I want to disagree with what He says.

A few other thoughts on this matter and why it’s hard to agree.

What’s pushing My buttons?

My podcasts about Words can be found here.

Call to Action:

Are you struggling with time to study God’s Word? Do you need a booster shot of inspiration?

Join us at our closed Facebook Group – Growing Through God’s Word.

And you can find me on Instagram too.

What do I need to motivate me towards a disciplined life?

Motivate at Five Minute Friday

It’s Five Minute Friday and the first one of the year. The word this week is MOTIVATE.

Motivate

From Unsplash ben-white-146950

That’s a great word for 2018. MOTIVATE.

My Word for this year is GO FORTH. (There will be more coming about this in the next few weeks.)

So that means I need to be motivated to get going. How do I do that?

First thing I do is pray for God’s wisdom. And since we just started studying Proverbs in Growing Through God’s Word Facebook Group, I’m learning more and more.

Here are the first 5 verses I picked out from Proverbs 1-5. Join us as we continue to grow with God through His Word. Get motivated to study God’s Word.

motivate

This year I think God has me pointed towards motivating Christian writers. If you are a Christian writer I would love to hear from you. Email Janis.

I believe God wants all His writers to be in the Word.

It doesn’t matter the amount of time but the quality and focus of that time. That’s why I like reading short passages and then using my SIMPLE method to study them. Even meditating on a verse and then listening to His thoughts can set you on fire for the day.

My mornings are the best fruit of my day.

Not only do I study God’s Word but I take time to ask Him to talk to me. I am pushing myself to have discipline to LISTEN to Him.

motivate

That means I need to do 3 important things.

Get up early

Yes for me, as I said, the mornings are the most productive and they also inspire me onward for the rest of the day. So for the past 16 years God has been waking me up – ever since I asked Him to do that.

Have a passage to focus on

I find when I am in a special study I learn more. Otherwise I might look at my Bible and say, “oh where do I start?”. So for the past years I have tried various methods to get me disciplined. I have studied prayer scriptures, gone through books of the Bible one verse at a time, and studied words in the Bible. There are many methods of doing this. Find yours and keep with it.

Pray

I pray before I start my day. I pray during my studying. Then I have the best time writing my prayers and then LISTENING for His answer.

Time is up. Lots more to say. Join us at Five Minute Friday.

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You can find lots of my thoughts on faith, prayer, the Bible, art and journaling on my Medium page. I would love you to follow me there.

CALL TO ACTION:

Are you a Christian writer? If so, do you need to go deeper in your spiritual journey.

One way to continue to grow in God’s Word is online.

Growing Through God’s Word is an interactive Facebook Group that is a safe place to explore your faith without judgment. Learn to read your Bible and discover God’s Word. Learn to listen and hear God speak.

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

Janis is a creativity catalyst with a heart to connect people to God. She specializes in creating art based on Scripture so that the Truth penetrates hearts and not just minds.The world needs more pictures, art and colour.

 

Sunday Stillness – Are you working or dreaming? – An Ant Lesson

Sunday Stillness – Are you working or dreaming? – An Ant Lesson

Are-you-working-or-dreaming

Watercolour painting by Janis cox

Or maybe it should be are you dreaming of working? This past month as I worked through Proverbs I read one little passage – Proverbs 30-24-38, that took my attention.

Today I will look at Proverbs 30:24-25

Four things on earth are small,
    yet they are extremely wise:
 Ants are creatures of little strength,
    yet they store up their food in the summer;

When reading about Proverbs I learned that most are attributed to Solomon. However this one it says: The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh – an oracle. We don’t know the background of Agur but it can be assumed he was a wise man or prophet.

So small things can be very wise. I think it interesting that today I am writing about the ant – as my kitchen has been invaded by the little beasts. AGAIN. Same as last year. It took us 6 weeks to finally get rid of them. I do hope it is faster this time. YUCK.

But they are industrious little things. Set on task. Going somewhere. Nothing stops them (except Fantastic). And obviously they stored up enough food to last the winter and come back to bother me this spring.

Check out another reference to ants.

Proverbs 6:6-8

Go to the ant, you sluggard;
    consider its ways and be wise!
 It has no commander,
    no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer
    and gathers its food at harvest.

I noticed it said: Hard worker. I think that is extremely important in this life. To work as hard as we can. Certainly to work at learning as much about God and our relationship as we can.

And Proverbs 28:19 talks about the importance of hard work. Those who just dream about things and don’t put them into practice are wasting  precious time.

Those who work their land will have abundant food,
    but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty.

Tweetable:

What can we learn from the small ant? (tweet this)

The picture today comes from one of the sketches I did for Adam’s Animals by Kimberley Payne – a great resource for homeschoolers and Sunday School teachers. I decided to sketch it again and try my watercolours.

Adam’s Animalsadam's animals web cover

 

 

Today is Sunday Stillness!

Please join us by linking your posts about what God is doing in your life. Remember to visit your neighbour and leave an encouraging comment. Continue to get to know wonderful writers for God online.

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.

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You can find her on Facebook, and Twitter. Tadeo has his own Facebook Page.

 

 

 

 

 

I sometimes link to:

STILL SATURDAYS @SANDRAHESKAKING
PLAYDATES @LAURABOGGESS
THE WEEKEND BREW @BARBIESWIHART
TITUS TUESDAYS @CORNERSTONE CONFESSIONS
THE SUNDAY COMMUNITY – #GIVE ME GRACE @SEE SPEAK HEAR MAMA
SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS – @SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS 

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2012 – THE YEAR OF ?

2012 – the Year of ?

by Jan Cox

As we put away our creche scene for another year, I thought how wonderful that Jesus isn’t “put away” after Christmas; how our Lord lives with us every day. The Christmas Season may be over but “God is with us – we are not alone.”

This is the time to reflect on who we are in Christ. That means our prayers and quiet times before God can be eye opening.

Some people pray for a word for the year. Grace Fox has chosen the word JOY. Ann Voskamp of A Holy Experience has picked 2012 as The Year of Koinonia. Koinonia is a Greek word meaning “communion”.

I used to search and ask God for a plan – a goal. Although this might be good, we must remember that our goals may be changed by Him. I wrote this past Tuesday at Inscribe Online about Losing Hope for our Own Solutions.

This year I am praying to TRUST in HIM. I’m praying my body and mind can work together in complete relaxation and peace – knowing that He is at work, even when it feels like everything is crumbling. I want GOD solutions.

And I plan – yes I plan to work toward openness and trust that will move me closer to God. But I can’t do it on my own. NO – I CANNOT DO IT. I will rely on God to move me forward as I pray, no longer for “THE PLAN” but for the “knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding”.

Once again I see my problem is an issue of CONTROL. I make a plan. I want it to move forward. I do everything to make it work. WHAM@!! Something hits and I fall apart.

Do you see the “I’s” in that plan?

This year – I will still plan – but knowing that the plan made be side-lined according to His will. I will be praying to be ready to bend, to turn around, to stop … as He orchestrates my life’s symphony.

For me this year 2012 – is the YEAR OF TRUST.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And lean not on your own understanding
In all your ways acknowledge Him
And He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)

Prayer:

Father, I acknowledge I like my own way. I know that is not necessarily Your way. I will try to learn this year to have less of me and more of You. But I know I need Your help to do that. Fill me with the knowledge of Your will. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

What will this year be for you? Ask God to reveal a word, a Scripture or idea for your personal growth.

Counting My Gifts from Him – Counting to 1000 – I am at 889

  • Starting my day praying, journalling and studying God’s Word and listening to Him
  • Good visit with family – hugs from grandchildren
  • Walking in drizzle in Toronto where it was warmer than in Mesa
  • Snowball is a good traveller on airplane, train and car
  • Decorated Christmas trees
  • The first snowfall – a white winter wonderland
  • Being able to help family
  • A loving understanding husband
  • Grandkids’ laughter
  • Bing Crosby singing Christmas songs
  • God’s Holy Spirit keeping me calm
  • The Alphabet prayer when I can’t sleep
  • Playing games with grandchildren
  • Remembering to have a Mary heart in a Martha world
  • My grandson’s 6th birthday – donations to Free the Children instead of gifts. Feel free to help.
  •  A God-incident where I can speak His Word to someone
  • Peace, and joy found through Jesus
  • Knowing God has a plan and learning to trust in Him
  • Wayne gaining confidence to drive after his accident
  • A concerned sister – who is always there and trusts in God
  • Equal opportunity health care in Canada
  • Encouraging notes from friends
  • De-icing machines for airplanes
  • Warmth of Arizona on our return
  • Making Russian Borscht in a crockpot
  • Putting away the creche but knowing He is always with us – we are not alone.

Jan Cox

Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan is working on a couple children’s books in which she is also the watercolour illustrator.