Tag Archives: work

How Can I Balance my Life in This Day and Age?

33 Dots: Balance

I am still challenging myself to draw 33 random dots on paper; then connect the dots without intersecting any lines; then paint. Today it turned out to be the theme of balance.

This challenge has me inspired. I never know what I will see.

This time was very different. I couldn’t see anything for a while. First I saw a foot but it looked like it was stepping on the head. Why would someone be stepping on a head? I didn’t like that. I saw the little dog but wondered what he was doing up there at the top of the page.

Step 1: Connect the dots to make contour lines.

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Outline when I connected the 33 dots.

Do you see anything? I turned it around and around but kept coming back a foot, a head and a dog. At one time I thought I saw a whale’s tale but there was no whale.

Step 2: See if I can make anything out of this.

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The outline of the picture as I saw it. 33 Dots.

As I looked at my rough sketch I changed the bows on the triangle on the dog to make it a real bow. I erased some lines and added some.

Step 3: Draw with micron pen and paint.

This is the final outcome.

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The final picture for 33 dots – Balance

Step 4: See where God leads my thoughts.

Balance:

This year is the first time I have found a balance of how to write, paint and enjoy retirement. I have focused on God for the past 17 years but have been balancing ten times more things that I had to.

My Focus:

To me I have learned balance by learning to focus on the one thing I heard God say to me. And that was: “Encourage believers to read their Bibles and pray.”

That also has led me to try Bible journaling and getting out of my shell and talking and listening to others. God is teaching me to become a spiritual mentor.

Here are a few of the latest Bible Journals from our study of Proverbs in Growing Through God’s Word Facebook Group. Join us.

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Listen to God:

In this study of 33 dots, Instead of just “painting” listen God before I paint. He helps me connect the dots. Then after I paint I see what He shows me – the meaning of my painting. By doing the 33 dots challenge it forces me to trust God and it makes me look, and create.

What this painting means to me:

The person at the bottom (me) is learning to carry a heavy load as well as balance a dog on a poll. I think the standing person represents my work in writing and painting. It is steady on its own. The little dog is the rest of my life. It moves around so I have to watch it carefully so it doesn’t topple. But it’s the fun part. Even though my “work” of painting and writing is delightful I can also take fun in the other people in my life and the experiences around me.

And the Holy Spirit helps keep all things in balance.

Notice how the person at the bottom is looking forward. And that’s where I am looking. Not down or up but following God on the path He is leading me. My word for this year is “Go Forth” and as I pray and listen to God I am willing to change my direction. The things I am balancing are light because Jesus is right beside me or should I say inside me.

Jesus is my strength. He leads and guides me. I do what He tells and shows me. I listen.

Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)

“The heart of man plans his way,
    but the Lord establishes his steps.”

Are you struggling to find more time with God? Where is your path headed? Do you want to feel His strength in your life?

CALL TO ACTION

Are you feeling disconnected from God?

Is your art or writing suffering because you are struggling do work on your own?

Do you want to tap into God’s unlimited creativity?

If you want a safe place to connect with other believers, to grow stronger in God’s Word and learn to listen to Him, please visit us at Growing Through God’s Word Facebook Group. We would love to have you.

Why We Have the Highest Privilege to be in God’s Kingdom

It’s A Great Privilege to Be In God’s Kingdom

It’s time for Five Minute Friday. Hubby’s out for a few minutes. Facebook turned off. Ready set go. The word this week is “privilege”.

privilege

I looked up privilege. Dictionary definition:

a right or liberty granted as a favour or benefit especially to some and not others

Therefore it’s a right that not all people have.

Somehow I don’t think that’s right. And in this world it isn’t.

But the way the world is set up – there are people in authority, rich people, poor people, sick people, well people. And so on.

We are all here in this land with different privileges – education, background, colour, race, religion, and so on.

But the one thing is sure, when we put our trust and faith in Jesus, we all become Kings and Queens of God.

Everyone is open to that privilege. Everyone can be a part of God’s Kingdom.

Yes it’s our placing our lives in Jesus’ hands that gives us the privilege of being in God’s Kingdom.

We are told we are of a royal priesthood.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9, NIV).”

We are set apart.
We are privileged.
God’s special possession.
That’s a privilege.

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I am so glad I am part of God’s community.

There is something else though. With the acceptance of Jesus comes work. We can’t just say, “Thanks Lord” and go on our merry way. We need to work out our lives so we are better able to meet God when the time comes. We do this with “fear and trembling”.

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12, NIV).”

With privilege comes work.

And I think that goes for any other privilege we have. If we are educated we need to use what we have learned. If we have money we need to use it wisely and for God’s Kingdom. If we have a gift of writing, we need to write. Are you starting to understand what I am saying?

Don’t sit on the sidelines. Learn to listen to God and find out exactly what purpose He has for your life.

I love that God gave me the privilege to be part of His Kingdom. I love that He is showing me the path He wants me to follow. What about you?

CALL TO ACTION

Are you struggling to find time to get to know God?

Are you anxious but don’t know how to deal with it?

Do you want to know what path God has for you?

Do you need more time reading your Bible?

I have a solution for you.

Join me on my FB Page called Growing Through Gods’ Word. We learn together how to pray and how to study His Word.

This month I am offering 3 – free spots  – to 3 people for a “coffee Skype or FB Messenger video” to talk over what you feel you need to accomplish these goals. The first 3 to email me get a spot. Email me at Janis Cox.

Check out:

Restore your life – Are deceivers blinding You to God’s purpose for your life?

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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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WHAT IS PRAYER WITHOUT PARTICIPATION?

What is Prayer Without Participation?

by Janis Cox

What is Prayer Without Participation?

Prayer is work. YES Work.

Talking to God is starting to come naturally to me in the morning as I awake, during the day at certain times, at night before I sleep and in the watches of the night when He wakes me up.

But to actually have a full prayer life I need to make a determined choice to just do it.

I need to set a daily time for specific interaction with God for me and for others.

Ron Hughes gave us some points to ponder on prayer. The two that I decided – yes I made a determined decision – to work on are the first two in Ron’s List:

1) Keep a Prayer List

“I’ve resorted to keeping a prayer list, which my spontaneous side thinks is mechanical, but my mechanical side knows is necessary. If you’re young with a fabulous memory, you might not need this. I’m not and I do” – Ron Hughes.

2) Recall a Face

“When I know the person for whom I’m praying, I take time to recall his or her face, even briefly. This little bit of effort focusses my mind better than simply speaking, or thinking, a name. On a few occasions when the Lord has brought someone to mind, but not shown me what to pray for, I simply hold that person’s face in my mind and trust the Spirit to pray through me” – Ron Hughes.

I feel now that I am doing the “work” I am called to do.

“The quality of a person’s life is in direction proportion to their commitment of excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavour” – Vince Lombardi.

I want to be excellent in my prayer life. Therefore I need to make a determined commitment to work at it because the quality of my prayer life is in direct proportion to the amount of effort I put into it.

How are you doing in your prayer life?

I have moved my Gratitude List to Mondays on my website. www.janiscox.com Please come and visit; subscribe by email or by RRS feed. I continue to count my gifts and will be hitting 2000 very soon.

Jan Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

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. Jan has completed a children’s book called Tadeo Turtle. She is the watercolour illustrator. Word Alive has published Tadeo Turtle. See more information at Jan’s Website.