Tag Archives: worship

Alabaster Jar – Giving all to Jesus

Alabaster Jar – Giving all to Jesus – Word of God Speak Linkup

“What she has done will also be told.” And it has been told. Again and again. The story of the woman and the alabaster jar of fragrance is such an extravagant story. From the expense of the nard, to the heavy fragrance of the perfume, I can sense the abundance.

Alabaster Jar - Giving all to Jesus

Alabaster Jar from Wikipedia

Today we are looking at Mark 14:1-9 as the fifth week in Lent. We are using the S.I.M.P.L.E. Method of Bible Study.

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

I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her (Mark 14:9, NIV). 

And in The Message:

And you can be sure that wherever in the whole world the Message is preached, what she just did is going to be talked about admiringly (Mark 14:9, MSG).”

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

Last week we looked at Mark 12:41-44 where the poor woman put in everything.

Looking back at the previous passages we see Passover is two days away. Today’s passage follows Jesus’ description of the “end of the age”. Jesus describes his coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And after this passage – Judas goes to the priests to betray Jesus.

Read all of Mark 14:1-9

Here are some questions:

Why hadn’t the priests killed Jesus? 

They didn’t want the people upset. It was feast time. The people might riot.

Where was Jesus?

He was in Bethany at Simon the leper’s.

Who arrived? And what did she bring with her?

A woman entered and brought in an expensive alabaster Jar of perfume – pure Nard. I can find many reports that this was Mary of Bethany, Martha’s sister. But I also found other references that she was an unnamed woman.

What did the woman do?

She broke the jar and poured it over Jesus’ head.

What was the reaction of the people in the room? 

They rebuked her and wanted to know why so much money had been wasted instead of giving it to the poor.

What was Jesus’ reaction?

Jesus told them to leave her alone, not to bother her. He said we would always have the poor but He would not always be here. She did what she could to prepare His body for burial.

Gospel means good news.

Read the following references:

Matthew 24:14
Mark 16:15
John 12:3 – This woman has been identified as Mary – and she pours the nard over Jesus’ feet.

Nard is made from oil that had been extracted from the root of a plant grown in India. It’s very fragrant.

M- Make a list of thoughts, questions and ideas.

There is so much in this story. Focusing just on our featured passage – the one we will attempt to memorize – Jesus is telling me how important worship is to HIm. The woman has gone to the house with a purpose – a plan. I believe God led her to Jesus to bless Him abundantly. She shows her love and how much she cares for Him.

Many stories, articles, and songs have been written about this woman and what she did. It is a small passage but Jesus predicted it would be told again and again when His story was told. And it was and is.

Jesus knew exactly what the woman was doing and how much this story would be told over and over. I like to believe it was Mary of Bethany. I remember her sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening to Him and learning from Him. I remember Martha being upset with her for not helping with the preparations. And I remember Jesus saying to Martha that Mary was doing what is best. And once again He says the same thing.

P- Pray for God’s Guidance This is a silent time of prayer, listening to God Speak. When you have finished writing all your thoughts, questions and ideas then take time for prayer.

L- Life Application – Write down what you heard God speak (no matter how different from your own thoughts previously).

Once again I fell asleep. I have been tired lately, fighting allergies. But it was very peaceful and I remember feeling in His arms.

I know I will worship Jesus by studying, praising, praying and preaching His word. (click to tweet)

Thy will be done
Hail to my King
Pouring nard from an alabaster jar on my Saviour

Sing joyous songs of deliverance
Be wary of going off track
Plan with God

Alabaster Jar - Giving it all to Jesus

E- Exit with a prayer of confirmation, forgiveness, praise or acceptance.

Lord, I love how you show me where my focus lies. From looking at the woman who gave everything to the woman who worshipped Jesus fully. I am trying to put my whole self into your Hands. I am trying to cast my cares on You. I am trying to let You show me how to gain more time for Your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


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His Hands – Put everything there

His Hands – Put everything there – Hope Stream Radio Podcast

During this 4th week of Lent I have been studying Mark 12:41-44. I have come to the conclusion I need to put everything in His Hands.

HIs Hands - cast all your cares

Photo from Free Digital Photos.net

His Hands - Hope Stream Radio

On Tuesdays I podcast on HopeStreamRadio. You can listen to: Putting it in His Hands by clicking on this link: Here.

I have written out the show notes for those who would rather read than listen.

Show Notes for Putting it in His Hands

 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on (Mark 12:41-44, NIV).

I noticed that Jesus sat down at a particular spot so He could see the offerings. He sat down to watch what people were doing – specifically how they gave to God.

I read that the offerings were collected in containers that looked like upside down trumpets. As Jesus watched I am sure He thought about all the people as they came into the temple. It says there was a crowd.

Hebrews 4:12 tells us that God will judge the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

I try to think – what did Jesus see and hear?

He saw a crowd, which is a large number of people.

I wonder what their thoughts were?

I can hear the mental arguments as they tossed in their coins:

Oh I wish I could keep this. I could really do with a new pair of sandals instead of giving this money to the temple.

Oh I think these priests are greedy expecting me to give to them – why don’t they work like I do?

Or I could hear and see the wealthy saying to themselves:

Look everyone. Look at my fine clothes. I am helping the treasury more than anyone else here. Look how much I give.

Or we look at the woman with the two small coins and we hear:

Thank You Lord for all You are. I willingly give to You what You require of me.

Are these the thoughts that Jesus hears? If so, I have to look at myself.

What am I saying when I give? What are you saying? (click to tweet)

And let’s look at our lives – not just the offering – the money part.

Jesus asks us to give Him everything – that means our whole lives. (click to tweet)

Is there anything you are trying to keep for yourself? Are you afraid to give that to Him? Maybe He will know you a little more if you give it up. That way you are giving yourself to Him and putting your life in His Hands.

Psalm 55:22 says

Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.

I love the word “cast”. I can see myself throwing my cares over to Him. Hence the picture at the top of the fly fisherman. Can you cast away your cares and let the Lord deal with them?

On a personal note, I have been trying to give up control of my hubby for the Lenten season. I don’t always succeed. I think it’s because of habit and because I care about him and want the best for him. But it sounds like nagging when I do it. So once again I am laying it down and asking Jesus to help me not want to run my husband’s life.

May I pray for you and me?

Father, what we know and what we do are two different things. We know we need to give it all to you but it’s hard when we want to be in control. So today we lay down ourselves and take You up Jesus. We ask You to be the leader, Our Shepherd. We will follow You. In Your name. Amen.

Until next time, what can you learn from God’s Word. Make sure You keep reading and keep studying and of course, keep praying and listen to what God has to say. It will be life-changing.

Are you putting everything into His Hands?

I would love to hear from you. Drop me a note below. It’s always good to be connecting with new friends and old.




Sunday Stillness – How to Feel Invigorated

Sunday Stillness – How to Feel Invigorated

There are times we need to have connection with others to feel invigorated. This past week I had the opportunity and pleasure to attend the Inscribe Writers Conference. What a blessing it was! Not only was I invigorated but I felt a strong sense of God’s leading in my life.


Jeff Goins: Author of many books but his latest is The Art of Work.

Jeff is as real as he seems on line. What a genuine gentleman. A faithful follower of Christ.

Some quotes from his book that I thought very important (there are so many more).

Success isn’t the goal; legacy is.

We are called to call others; we are given gifts to be given away.

The right choice isn’t to retire …. it’s to work hard and passionately, but acknowledging the limitations of what one life is capable of.

The executive for Inscribe:

What an amazing group of warm and caring individuals. They never seemed frustrated, harried or stressed. They trusted in God to figure things out. What a way to show us all how to walk with Him.


I learned something important from each workshop I attended. All leaders were gracious, answered questions and filled our heads with tons of information. I learned a new form of poetry called, “Found Poetry”. The picture for today is one that I wrote based on Psalm 50. Thank you, Colleen Taylor McCubbin.

The people:

This was my first time attending the conference. I knew names and some faces from being online. But what a warm welcome I had. I felt like I had come home. Everyone seemed to be from my “tribe”.  I found my niche of people who truly understand how God is leading us. Powerful prayer times. Wonderful worship led by Colleen McCubbin. A warmth and caring that I miss all ready.


Thank You, Lord, for pushing me to attend this conference. The urge was so strong I knew it had to be You. Thank You for all the people who put together this conference – behind the scenes people too. Thank You for always leading us when we listen. I learned that “he who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honours” God (Psalm 50:23, NIV). I am so thankful. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


How to learn, worship and be with your tribe. @inscribecwf Great conference. Thanks again. (click to tweet)

Today is Sunday Stillness.


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.


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






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Creative Tuesdays – Wet Tears for Jesus

Creative Tuesdays – Wet Tears for Jesus

Once again I am joining the prompt from Creative Tuesdays. The theme this week is WET.

I pondered on this for a long time. I thought of all my plants – I am trying to grow some vegetables from seeds. I need to water them, keep the light on them. And I bought an hibiscus – which of course needs watering and watching. I thought about ducks getting all wet. I love water – splashing and exhilarating.

But this Scripture kept coming back to me –

 One of the Pharisees asked him over for a meal. He went to the Pharisee’s house and sat down at the dinner table. Just then a woman of the village, the town harlot, having learned that Jesus was a guest in the home of the Pharisee, came with a bottle of very expensive perfume and stood at his feet, weeping, raining tears on his feet. Letting down her hair, she dried his feet, kissed them, and anointed them with the perfume. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man was the prophet I thought he was, he would have known what kind of woman this is who is falling all over him (Luke 7:38, MSG).”


This woman was so overcome that she rained tears, enough to wash Jesus’ feet. The Pharisees had no idea what this was all about. They didn’t understand that Jesus has the power to release us from our sins. That woman did and was so sorrowful that she rained tears. But there is good news.

Then turning to the woman, but speaking to Simon, he said, “Do you see this woman? I came to your home; you provided no water for my feet, but she rained tears on my feet and dried them with her hair. You gave me no greeting, but from the time I arrived she hasn’t quit kissing my feet. You provided nothing for freshening up, but she has soothed my feet with perfume. Impressive, isn’t it? She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal.”

Then he spoke to her: “I forgive your sins.”

That set the dinner guests talking behind his back: “Who does he think he is, forgiving sins!”

He ignored them and said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace (Luke 7:43-50, MSG).”

Her faith gave her the freedom she needed to live.

This is a beautiful reminder to us that Jesus forgives all. Every time I think of this story I remember that Jesus washes away our sins. We are new again.

Explanation of the Watercolour

This watercolour is totally different than what I usually paint. I haven’t painted too many portraits – and none without a photo as reference. So this woman is totally from my head. It is darker than I usually paint but really she is full of sorrow. And I painted her quickly. In about an hour.


The woman rained wet tears on Jesus’ feet. “Your faith has saved you.” (click to tweet)

What I Want to Learn about Prayer

What I Want to Learn about Prayer

by Janis Cox


I started Under the Cover of Prayer in 2010 because I felt God calling me to bring pray-ers together; to teach more about all the facets of prayer; and to make me a better pray-er.

He has done more than that. He has built a community, what I have started to call a Tribe of Jesus. I have started to use something called a hashtag (#) which helps people locate everything to do with this blog. I am using:



I have read many prayer books. I study the Bible. I focus on what I hear and see.

Today’s reading from Oswald Chambers really struck me.

How does God view our prayers and our pray-ers?

Worship and intercession must go together, one is impossible without the other (Oswald Chambers, March 30)

And from the Bible:

Your attitude should be the same as Christ (Philippians 2:5, NIV).

Now that makes me think long and hard and ask myself some questions.

      • Am I pleading without being with the mind of Christ?
      • Am I thinking of myself and my feelings, and my agenda when I pray?
      • Do I question God and ask how can I do this?
      • Do I let tell Him, ‘it is impossible’?
      • Do I decide for Him whether something will work or not?

Oswald Chambers says we need to aim to:

live in a holy relationship with God … having such intimate contact with Him that we know His mind about the ones for whom we pray.

For that reason I need a blogging holiday – not just one week, but at least one month away from blogging.


Please pray for me while I take this time to renew, refresh and rekindle that intimate relationship that I crave.

From April 10 – May 10th. I want to R.E.N.E.W.


If you need to contact me during this time please email Under the Cover of Prayer.


Lord Jesus, you have told me to take this time away to renew. Please help me to hear clearly what is important to you. In Your name, AMEN.




I want to RENEW my relationship with Jesus (tweet this)

Why am I taking a blogging holiday? (tweet this)


Do We Enter His Gates with Praise?

Do We Enter His Gates with Praise?

by Rose Spillenaar Harmer

English: The gates to St Deiniol's church, Haw...

I love you dearly!

I know how much you love hearing of my love each day.

It is the same in the throne room of God.
Your praises and love are like perfume in our courts.

We receive many petitions and requests each day.

But, many people have not chosen to “enter into my gates
with thanksgiving and into my courts with praise.”

Remembering to be thankful and loving is the key.

If you practice this formula in your daily interactions,
you will find relationships grow sweeter and richer.

Let’s read:

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise; be thankful unto him and bless his name. For the Lord is good: his mercy is everlasting and his truth endureth to all generation (Psalm 100:4-5, KJV).

Many years ago, when I read the book “The Hour That Changes the World,” by Dick Eastman, I determined to always begin daily devotions by praising God for who He is.

Continue to read Rose’s post at Listening to Hear.

Rose Spillenaar Harmer

Rose was born in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, and speaks on subjects related to marriage, family and mental health.  Her travels take her throughout North America and she winters in Cape Coral, Florida.

Her published words include a short biography in Clayton’s Kids (2009) and a column entitled “Listening” which will be part of a forth-coming book.  Contact Rose.

Do You Hand God a Bill?

Do You Hand God a Bill?

by T.L. Wiens 


I wonder how many times we invite our Heavenly Father for a meal, a time of fellowship and hand Him a bill for showing up?

I was invited to a friend’s house for dinner. Her children wanted to serve the meal and I thought it would be a fun evening. Our plates were empty, the meal very much enjoyed, and my friend and I prepared to clear the table when one of the children handed me a bill. Their mother turned red, snatched the bill from my hands and chastised her children.

I wonder how many times we invite our Heavenly Father for a meal, a time of fellowship and hand Him a bill for showing up?

We live in the time of nothing is free. So many times we put our list of wants at Jesus’ feet like a bill—I spent time with you and now you must do this for me. We forget who He is and who we are in His Kingdom.

I know for me, it’s something I need to keep in check
—I serve Him, not the other way around.

John the Baptist had it right.

“He (Jesus) it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.” (John 1:27, KJV).

Jesus Christ is our King. He and the Father are One. (paraphrased from John 10:30, KJV)

We need to remember that in every aspect of our relationship with Him.

Tammy Wiens

Tammy lives in Saskatchewan with her husband. They have four children. She enjoys gardening, walks along the beach and being on the farm. She has a passion for her faith, studying the Bible and prayer.

She has published two books; Where a Little Rain Comes Down and Making the Bitter Sweet. A short story, “May’s First Christmas” appeared in Christmas Chaos, a collection of stories about Christmas experiences that don’t make the fronts of Christmas cards. “Careful What You Whisper” is another short story about Tammy’s experiences after breaking her back. It can be found in A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider. Visit T. L. Wiens for more information about Tammy’s books and workshops.


Wednesday’s Word – Worship

Worship by Janis Cox

Watercolour Painting by Janis Cox

Sunday was Ascension Sunday – and we heard a great sermon called “Home Again”. Some of the truths I learned about worship:

      • worship is not just singing to God
      • worship is exercising your spirit (your mind and feelings can be part of this)
      • one of the keys to spiritual power is worship
      • to exercise our spirits we need to work at it – it is like a muscle that needs to be stretched and toned
      • when we sing we need to listen and appreciate the words we are singing
      • we exist to tap into the power of the risen Christ
      • if Jesus is home again, then we are at home with Him
      • the age to study the Bible is now
      • Jesus is at home now preparing a place for us. 

That last one struck home as that is the first piece of Scripture I memorized as a child at a Bible camp:

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:1-6, KJV).

As I worship – whether in prayer, in singing, in walking outside – every way I worship I am working at being aware of God, thanking Him and coming into His Presence.


Willingly Offering Reverence Showing Him Intentional Praise

“Offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – This is your spiritual act of worship” (Romans 12:1, NIV).

This week let’s try to exercise our spiritual muscle. (tweet this)

Each Wednesday we hold a Wednesday’s Word Community. Please check the rules of Wednesday’s Word if you are here for the first time. Feel free to add your link below about God’s Word. And we all love comments.

May you look at worship in a different way this week.

After you link please go to the blog that is in front of you and comment on their site. Words of encouragement mean so much to each of us. If you have time visit more of the writers.
Linking on Wednesdays to:



Sunday Stillness – Matthew 6:20

Matthew 6:20

Watercolour painting by Janis Cox

“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:20, NIV).

“Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being”(Matthew 6:20, The Message).

This week I have been studying about being Holy and worshipping in the true way. We have been studying Rational Worship.

Where I place my treasure is where I spend my time and where I want to be. I want to be in God’s Word so I am ready, so I am filled with the Holy Spirit and so I am grounded in the truth.

So I am storing up treasures in heaven – what about you? What is God teaching you this week?

Remember this passage:

 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:1-2, NIV).

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.

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 will take down the links that don’t follow the rules. Thanks so much.

Comments always appreciated. Linking with Jumping Tandem, and Scripture and a Snapshot.


Lift High the Name of Jesus

by Janis Cox

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church http://www.stjohnsashfield.org.au, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus’ description of himself “I am the Good Shepherd” (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows the detail of his face. The memorial window is also captioned: “To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Lift high the name of Jesus
Glory be to God
In the name of the Father
Be true, virtuous, full of life
Sing a new song
High and lifted up
Soaring among the eagles.

Lest you forget:

“I am here,” says the Lord.
“There is no fear
I am in control,” says the Lord.

He is above all things,
over things, in all things,
controls all things.

Wherefore art thou, my God?

“Speaking to you.
Are you listening to me?” says the Lord.
“Go forth in peace,
in triumph, in justice.”

Don’t fall aside.

“Remember and remember.
Listen when I call.
For I am God. I made you,” says the Lord.