Tag Archives: time

Time, How God Can Expand it

How Can God Expand Time

Someone asked me if I could do something. I had to say, “I’m sorry at the moment I have no time”. I even said that I wished God would give me another 24 hours in a day. But you know what, He answered me and showed me how to not be concerned with time.

Time - How God Can Expand it

This is the grandfather clock my hubby built.

We are continuing with week three of a Lenten study using The SIMPLE Method of Bible Study.

S – Say the passage out loud. Check other versions.

Today’s study is based on Mark 11:27-33

They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him.  “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you authority to do this?”

Jesus replied, “I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things.  John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin? Tell me!”

They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’  But if we say, ‘Of human origin’ …” (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.)

So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”

Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”

I – Interpret the passage – check footnotes, references, and commentaries. Find out all you can about the passage. When? Where? Why?

Jesus had just cleansed and cursed the temple. The religious leaders wanted to destroy Him. This is the first of 5 controversies in the temple. Tension is building on the way to the cross.

The temple courts were courts that surrounded the main temple buildings. There was the court of women, court of men (Israelite) and court of Gentiles.

What authority? Priest wanted to know why Jesus could perform an official act when He had no status.

“Heaven” was a common word for “God”.

M – Make list of thoughts, questions and ideas.

Those who called themselves “religious” should have understood Who Jesus was. But they didn’t. They were blinded by obstacles. I was too – See my faith testimony.

Submission to Authority:

The priests had become powerful. They had money and position. They saw Jesus as a threat to that. They reject His authority (28) – See Mark 1:22, Mark 1:27, Mark 2-10-11.

Who is our authority? Is it science, the world, the media, other people, ourselves?

Check out the Evidence:

I read A Case for Christ by Lee Stobel and books by CS Lewis, Max Lucado and of course The Bible to help me answer the question Who is this Jesus? 

It’s a great question that Jesus posed. The evidence is seen in Malachi 3:1, Isaiah 40:3 and by John the Baptist.

But even with all this evidence the priests could not get over themselves and the possibility of losing control.

Fear God rather than man:

Fear of man is a common problem (See Proverbs 29:25). The leading Jewish authorities were afraid of the people. So they waffled and said, “We don’t know”. They wanted to stay safe and comfortable and keep the status quo.

P – Pray – after all your thoughts are expended – take time to talk to God and then to LISTEN to Him.

L – Life Application – Write down what you heard God speak (It might be entirely different than your thoughts – that’s okay)

I think it is amazing how God works. This is the passage suggested in the study I am following. And last Sunday it is the text that the sermon was based on. Our pastor, Rick Thiemke, if Via Church in Mesa, Arizona, explained the passage very well and many of my thoughts came from that sermon. I love this quote.

Science is a great description of what God already knows. (click to tweet)

Remember the burning question I had this week: How can I get more time?

I am learning to never say never. God is the God of the impossible. Being God-led means submitting to His authority. I was reminded of two old acronyms and one new one.

 

And my new one – TIME

T – Thankful: Be thankful for each moment of the day.

I – Interest: Show interest and understanding and watchfulness for events around you.

M – More:  God gives us more than we need. He expands time, energy and vision.

E  – Expansion: Our world expands when God is in control. I pray to expand my territory for God.

How do you see TIME? God’s version is different than ours.

Submit to His authority and see TIME expand. (click to Tweet)

The scripture to study for this week will be Colossians 1:17 because I think it encapsulates all the ideas of TIME.

He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

E – Exit the study with a written prayer of confirmation, forgiveness, praise or acceptance.

Oh Father, once again You amaze me of how You put things together – this day, this week, this year. The sermon, this Lenten study, Your words through prayer. You tie is all together. You hold everything together. You even expand time. Thank You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

CALL TO ACTION

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Do you need friends to pray and study with together in a safe place?

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How to Get off Track Easily from Being Intentional

Being Intentional – It’s not easy

I have five minutes – given the prompt “intentional” from Five mInute Fridays.

Set the timer: GO

When I heard the prompt this morning I thought, “yes I can write about that”. Then I had interruptions, lots of interruptions. Now it is 5 hours later (and still Friday) and I am being “intentional” once again.

intentional

There seems to be only one way I can work this intentionality and that’s to focus on the task and JUST DO IT.

I get waylaid too often. I have many things I write down to do but other things come up. Then I get distracted.

One of the worse distractions is my cell phone. I didn’t have a cell phone last year – at least one that worked with data, texting and lots of space to fill up. Now it has become my companion. And I think that’s not a good thing.

I am reading “Lord of the Rings” and as I read about the ring and Gandalf’s story about it being called “precious”, I thought aha. That’s what my cellphone has become. It has become my “precious”. The attraction of what’s going on, who is doing what, who needs me .. is too much. I have to check it.

I don’t want my cell phone to have POWER over me and my time.

I have found 3 ways I am working towards stopping my “Precious” from controlling me.

  1. Put it Away: I put it aside – somewhere NOT near me, or on silent, so I can’t wonder if  there is anyone there and be tempted to reach for it. I don’t have notifications alive for my social media so if I want to know I have to actually click and find out.
  2. Don’t Use it: I use my computer alone to check messages, and emails (and when I am writing I shut those down too).
  3. Use a Timer: I use Pomodoro, a timer, to tell me when 30 minutes is up – the maximum time I should sit without a break. Then I take a break and go back for another 30 minutes.

I want to be intentional in my writing, studying and painting. But I know that this one distraction can make havoc of my plan. How Can I be Intentional?

But then again I have another distraction and it is called “hubby”. He just came in. And thank goodness the timer has gone off and the 5 minutes are up.

In one place I am super intentional and that’s my time with God. I do get up every morning and I do study and pray. My cell phone is OFF. I concentrate on God alone.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (Matthew 6:33, ESV).

Do you want to find that intentionality? Please read below and join me.

intentional

Bible Journaling

CALL TO ACTION:

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.

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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.

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intentional

5 Ways to Simplify your Work Life

To Simplify isn’t Easy, you know

Today on Five Minute Friday the prompt is SIMPLIFY.

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Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

Write for 5 minutes. Setting the Timer: Go

I totally agree with Kate when she wrote about over doing it. I have done that before. I think there are 5 major things we can do to simplify our lives.

Start with God

Always start with God in the morning. Sit down with Him. He is your coach. See what He says about the day. Read His Word. Pray. Listen.

Psalm 143:8, “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”

Review your Life

Look at your life every once in a while. Check that what you are doing is what God has planned for you. Say NO to things that are not on His path.

 “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans.” Psalm 118:8

Watch your Time While You Work

Use your time wisely. I podcasted this week about social media as a trap for me (it will be available next Tuesday on Hope Stream radio). I recently uploaded an app called Pomadoro, which is a timer with breaks. I have set it for 30 minute work sessions and then a couple of 5 minute breaks and then a 15 minute break. So far it is working very well to simplify my writing and my art.

Colossians 4:5 “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.”

Where are you spending that Time?

Look at activities that you do. Are you watching TV that is not uplifting? Are they time wasters? I have watched much TV for the last 5 years.  Are you going to things that you feel you have to go to but really are not benefiting your heart and soul? Choose wisely.

Isaiah 40:31 The Message “But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
    They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
    they walk and don’t lag behind.”

Are you Cluttering Your Mind with your Stuff?

Look around you. Are you looking at too much stuff? Is that making your head not clear? Cleaning up my desk is something that really frees my mind. Clutter can cloud our thinking. Gett rid of stuff routinely.

Romans 12:2 ESV  “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Those are the 5 ways I have learned to simplify my life (at least that  I can get down in 5 minutes.)

What about you? What do you do to simplify your life?

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.

simplify

Control: Five Minute Fridays

Control: Five Minute Fridays

It’s Friday night and I’m off to a conference tomorrow. I am taking 5 minutes to write my thoughts about control.

control

This has been a big issue with me. It’s what I have been fighting with for years. My controlling nature – wanting it done and done the way I want it. But I am learning – slowly that it’s better to let some things go.

I have learned to take deep breaths when I think I need to take over or make my stand. Somethings are just not worth it.

But I do get into the “fix it” stage when I want to make something right. (At least what I think it right.) And I know I have to back off. I am remembering that God is in control.

God will tell me when I need to step in and when I need to step away. (tweet this)

Giving up control is not easy. I have to keep asking God for help to relax and let Him take over. When I do I am astounded how wonderfully things turn out.

Even though I knew I wanted to finish a Bible study I was working on to take with me to the conference tomorrow, I didn’t fret or stress. I worked on it when I had a few minutes. And you know what – it got finished.

I knew I wanted to write this post but didn’t know if I could squeeze in the time. But it’s only 5 minutes. So it did get finished – only with me relaxing and see if the time happened.

Don’t you just love this? – follow God, give up control, and all will be well. Matthew 6:34 (tweet this)

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes (Matthew 6:34, The Message).

Time’s up. Your turn. What are your thoughts on control?

Join us at Five minute Fridays.control

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Hope Stream Radio – How to Find the Unseen

Hope Stream Radio – How to Find the Unseen

Logo-HopeStreamRadioweb

This week on Hope Stream Radio I am still focusing on 2 Corinthians 4:17-18. This time I looked at TIME. I talked about how to get closer to God for this time on earth.

God can change us – if we let Him. We can become closer to Him – if we let Him. (click to tweet)

Check out my Podcast – under 4 minutes. Tell me your thoughts.

It’s called Finding the Unseen.

Here are some more pictures about the Unseen. click to read my posts.

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2Corinthians-17-and-father-of-lights

Word of God Speak – How to Focus on the Unseen

Word of God Speak – How to Focus on the Unseen

I have been thoroughly enjoying looking at a verse a week, finding ways to memorize it and thinking about what it means to my life.

The verses I have used so far are about what God’s Word is telling me about His Word. I thought since my blog is called Growing through God’s Word, and these posts are called Word of God Speak, I would focus first on those verses that tell us directly about His Word.

Last week’s verse was found at Isaiah 40:8.

The grass withers, and flowers fade, but the Word of our God stands for ever.

That’s a promise from God. Hallelujah. God is the only enduring reality in this world.

2-Corinthians-4-17-18

What is time? Temporary while we are here. Eternal with God.

This week I am looking at 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 – a longer passage, but I think it is important to learn it as a whole.

S – Say the Scripture out loud:

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far out weighs them. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

I also read the Scripture in other Bible versions. I liked the Good News in particular because it says that what can be seen only lasts for a TIME, and what cannot be seen lasts FOREVER.

And this small and temporary trouble we suffer will bring us a tremendous and eternal glory, much greater than the trouble.  For we fix our attention, not on things that are seen, but on things that are unseen. What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts forever.

I – Interpretation. Using dictionaries, and footnotes and commentaries find out as much as you can about when, where, how and why this was written.

When I first read it I thought, “Oh my this carries on exactly after last week’s verse – the withering and fading of things in this life and the assurance of God’s Word being eternal.

Paul is talking about our temporary bodies – compared to our eternal ones. We are treasures in jars of clay. Sometimes I know that only too well. – Joints, and muscles can ache, I forget things, I get sick etc. etc.

Here are a few extra Scriptures to read:

Psalm 30:5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
    but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
    but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Romans 8:18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

1 Peter 1:6, 7 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

2 Corinthians 5:7For we live by faith, not by sight.

Romans 8:24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?

Hebrews 11:1Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

I liked this commentary by John W. Ritenbaugh

We Christians have this treasure in earthen vessels. If we submit to God’s discipline—expending ourselves and yielding to God in the little things day by day—we will see our conviction grow. Then, if people call us into account, we will not be worried because we know absolutely—because we have lived it. This is the kind of faith God wants us to have.

 

M – Make a list of thoughts and questions.

I was taught to believe in what I saw – and told that what I saw was real. And not to look to the spiritual. Put your faith in concrete stuff. Thus, my imagination was curtailed. Science, math were triumphed. Literature was allowed – but creating fictional characters and thinking beyond what I could see and hear – that wasn’t encouraged. Even in university my courses in anthropology confused my faith. Sociology also didn’t help. And self-help books and authors only confused me more.

Now I have come full circle. Now I have actually heard things that some would say are not real.

I listen and watch for God to speak and show me His way.

I pray for circumstances to meet people and to help them. I’ve seen miracles, I’ve seen signs.

I believe in the Holy Spirit
I believe I can hear God’s Voice
I believe in Jesus, that He died, was resurrected and lives again
I believe He will come again
I believe in the Everlasting.

I know this world is but a vapour. Kingdoms rise and fall. But God’s Word will stand forever. I will NOT be shaken.

P – Prayer time. Don’t forget to LISTEN to God’s voice. Sometimes we chatter so much we forget to listen.

L – Life Application – what did I hear from God today?

I had a good long quiet time. I just love being still before the Lord. I have been reading AW Tozer and the attributes of God in his book, The Knowledge of the Holy.

I kept hearing assurances of God’s faithfulness.

Words came: He faileth not, great is Thy faithfulness, through summer and winter seasons.

Forever He is faithful, Forever He is strong, Forever He is with us, Forever and ever.

I’m fixing my eyes on Jesus. That’s what brings hope, strength, and passion for the day.

I will live with the UNSEEN.
I will be with God
I will hold fast to His Word
God does not change.

E – Exit with a prayer

To my unfailing, forever God, I will stand on Your Word. You are forever faithful. I will study. I will memorize your Word. I will put You first. I thank You for Your unendingness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tweetable:

I know this world is but a vapour. Kingdoms rise and fall. But God’s Word will stand forever. (click to tweet)

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Scripture with a Picture

Scripture with a Picture

Art-&-Scripture

From Creative Tuesdays – Prompt – orange!

I haven’t really decided what to call this yet. I have Art and Scripture? Scripture with a PIcture? I really can’t decide – so if you get creative please tell me in the comments below.

Every other Tuesday I like to join Creative Tuesdays so that title will be in my heading on those days. But I will always ask God what the word prompt should mean to me.

Since Michael is away for a funeral for the next while I will still be painting and adding my thoughts about the word/words I choose.

Today comes from my new interest in paint journalling right into my Bible. I found this lovely website and Facebook page, Bible Art Journalling Challenge that encouraged me to try this. Rebekah tells what supplies she used, and gives a video tutorial. I want to learn from this.

But in the meantime, I am keeping it simple.

I bought a Bible from a thrift store and have been painting in it.

My first one was from a challenge for: Ecclesiastes 3:1. I didn’t have my watercolour pencils – only watercolour pastel crayons. But I thought I would try it and see what happened.

Here is the result:

Bible journalling in watercolour Ecc 3-1

Now the other good thing about Rebekah’s video is that she tells her thoughts about the passage. How cool is that? Here is the link to her Autumn leaves challenge.

Reading the passage:

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven. (That’s from my new thrift store NASV Bible).

Usually we read:

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens: (NIV)

I started to think about TIME.

And yes God has a season for us for everything.

Right now I am so excited to be in the season of creativity. I get up wanting to get time to paint. And my Bible inspires me. Next week I will look at a passage about foxes and show you other pictures that happened from that little scripture.

But today I’m thinking about seasons. We are so fortunate to spend our winters in Arizona. We go for walks, and see new flora and fauna. We see amazingly clear skies and so much sunshine. We miss the cold, snowy days of Ontario – I loved the crisp fall air, the first snowfall, the walks with the sun glistening on the snow. But I do not miss driving in the snow, or the bitter cold winds blowing toward us as we try to walk our little dog around the block.

I would call this season for us – change, and adjustment. I miss my friends back in Canada – Hello everyone!! I miss my family.

But – again there is a time and a place under heaven.

This is where we are at the moment and I will embrace the feelings, the challenges and the blessings. I will count my gifts.

Five Gifts from this week:

  1. of course – sunshine and walks
  2. meeting new neighbours
  3. inspiring posts by my Community of Word of God Speak
  4. being part of two cross-country groups – TWG and Inscribe Writers
  5. my tap dancers – what a lovely group of people. I enjoy getting up early to tap and talk.

Prayer:

Lord, help us all in the time where we are at. In the season you have put us. Help us to have courage and strength, vision and excitement. Help us to enjoy each minute as our days are numbered and you are in charge of those numbers. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

I have also started a new Facebook page called Word of God Speak.

I hope to encourage all of us to learn a short passage, through memorizing, painting, discussion. Join us.

Until next week – Please be in the Word – there are so many ways to do this.

Blessings,

Janis signature

 

Sunday Stillness – What is REST? – LINK

Sunday Stillness – What is REST?

REST-for-web

This has been on my mind for some time. What is REST? Last Wednesday I found out. I think it means to spend some quality time with God.

R – Restore

E – Everything

S – Sit

T – Tight

I had trouble doing this the past few weeks. On Wednesday,  I still had trouble but had the time to persevere – until I heard that quiet voice with some answers. I loved Oswald Chambers from August 5.

A Christian is one who trusts the wits and the wisdom of God, and not his own wits (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, August 5)

If I am going to trust in His wits, then I have to be close to Him, listen to Him and follow His directions.

Tweetable:

Are you trusting in your wits or God’s? REST in Him. (click to tweet)

Today is Sunday Stillness.

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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. Janis also is a contributor to Hope Stream Radio. Join her on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

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Sunday Stillness – Time – Titus 1:2

Sunday Stillness – Time – Titus 1:2

time---Titus-1-2

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness— in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,  and which now at his appointed season he has brought to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,

 To Titus, my true son in our common faith:

Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior (Titus 1:1-4, NIV).

Time – something that God gives us. And He uses it to His glory. God planned our eternal lives before the beginning of time. That is a promise. And I just love God’s promises.

This week my “time” has been different but as I wrote in Five Minute Fridays – He is always right. I know I should be where I am. It is different and not what I do normally but I know He has the plan and I plan to follow Him.

Are you going with God’s timing or trying to make your way in your timing? It is a big question.

As my little grandson (22 months) is learning to do – Breathe. When things don’t seem to be going his way, he gets frustrated. His mommy has taught him to take a slow breath – and breathe. That calms him very well so he can then listen to why things are not going to go according to his timing.

Are you breathing? Are you taking the time to listen to the God Who created you?

Today is Sunday Stillness – Take time. And remember God has planned everything – in His timing.

Today is #SundayStillness.

God planned our eternal lives before the beginning of time. Are you in His timing? (click to tweet)

Are you going with God’s timing or trying to make your way in your timing? (click to tweet)

(yes you can use that # hashtag when you tweet your posts).

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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.

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How Intentional Are You?

How Intentional Are You?

by Janis Cox

How-to-be-Intentional

An advantage of being a snowbird is to meet other Christians in the United States (and not just online). A few weeks ago I attended the American Christian Writers Conference in Phoenix. How did I do that? Well – God led me to a Facebook friend who invited me to the conference. Wasn’t that wonderful?

One of the speakers talked about intentionality. She urged us to focus on time. She gave us 7 reasons we procrastinate. Joan C. Webb spoke about partnering with God in excellence.

Her take-away:

People, organizations, circumstances and actions do not have the
ability to be constantly flawless here on earth.

Only God is perfect. – Joan Webb (tweetable)

Joan urged us to find where God wants us to focus our time. There are only so many hours in one day.

Do you know what is taking up your time? (tweetable)

We did a quick survey by jotting down the times of the day and filling in the activities that have to be done. Then we added up the hours used and subtracted from 24. Those are the discretionary hours we have in our day. And surprise – we have some!

Instead of complaining how busy we are, let’s get a grip on time. Let’s use it to our advantage.

As always – put God first. When we give Him the first fruits He will bless us immensely.

Then be intentional about the rest of the day. Decide where our best two hours are and do what is most important in those hours.

As I have worked on this theory and asked God for help, I see that I do put some things off. Why? – Laziness, fear, unwillingness to try harder to learn, and distractions.

So here is my plan:

Set a goal. Pray about it. Then set about being
intentional to work on it. 
(tweetable)

And a caveat:

Be ready to change if prompted by the Holy Spirit. I don’t want to be so task-oriented that I overlook what God is doing. (tweetable)

Prayer:

Lord, we thank You for time. We ask You to help us use it well, for Your glory. Show us how to use this time You’ve given us – wisely. In Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

Would you remember to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. And if you use #UTCOP maybe we can develop more people who look for posts on prayer.

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 and Inscribe Writers Fellowship.