Tag Archives: writers

Include: Building a Christian Community

Are You Longing For An Intimate and Thriving Community of Christian Artists and Writers?

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Do you wish to be encouraged in your faith and art?
What if you could be strengthened in your faith by fellow artist passionate about putting God first and having a sure foundation for their life’s work in God’s Word?

If you haven’t already, join us HERE in the Closed Facebook Group, Artists and Writers Grow Through God’s Word.

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We know that our strength and power come from God everyday.

“Each day that we live, he provides for our needs and gives us the strength of a young eagle. (Psalm 103:5, Contemporary English Version).”

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Bible Art by Janis Cox

Today is Five Minute Friday. Feel free to join us. We set the timer and write free for 5 minutes. The prompt today is “include”.

This post is my response to the prompt “include”, creating a community.

Just think of the power of Christian writers and artists coming together.

This has become my heartbeat.

My focus for writing  is to inspire and equip Christian writers and artists to receive strength and power from God – every day. (tweet this)

My first gift to you a free email Bible Art course to excite others in the wonderful world of studying a verse through art. Click HERE to sign up. When we study God’s Word and paint, God’s Word comes to life and sinks into our hearts.

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My second gift is a PDF for my SIMPLE Bible Study Method,  where studying a verse can be meaningful but easy.

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I will be building a community here on my website and including a Linky for you to share your posts and artwork. More on this later.

I’m linking to Five Minute Friday and reading other writers’ articles on the word “include”.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 – 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.

Highlights:

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.

Workshops:

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.

Prayer:

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.

Tweetable:

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

Today is Sunday Stillness.

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

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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
MOTIVATION MONDAYS – @EMBRACINGHISWILL
SHARING HIS BEAUTY – @THEBEAUTYINHISGRIP

 



6 Thoughts for New Christian Writers – Blog Hop

6 Thoughts for New Christian Writers – Blog Hop

Fourth in a series of a Writers Blog Hop held by Ruth Snyder. 

Our first blog hop can be found at Ruth Snyder. for 2014. Writing Goals.

Our second blog hop can be found here. Writing Tools.

Click here for the third blog hop on the topic. Hero.

Blog Hop -4

Today’s post is Advice for new writers. Click here to read more posts.

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6 Thoughts for New Christian Writers

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1. Always put God first.

I know as Christians we say this but … do we really do it? Whenever you are ready to put words on paper, centre yourself with Jesus. And expect Him to help you.

Jesus said:

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:20, NIV).

2. Write for God.

No matter what type of writing you are doing write for God. Don’t write anything that would offend Him or upset Him. Don’t worry about what other people will think or say. They cannot harm you. Don’t look for praise from other people. Write for One alone. If you blog don’t count the hits or the comments – this can be destructive.

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer (Psalm 19:14, NIV).

3. Write from your heart and your experience.

Take situations and memories and make them come alive to explain a truth about God. Be real. This is especially true if you write Christian devotionals.

You are what you write ~ Helvy Tiana Rosa 

4. Learn as much as you can.

Writers’ conferences are great places to learn about writing and connect. The Word Guild puts on a conference in Guelph called Write! Canada and Inscribe Writers’ Fellowship puts on a conference in the fall.

Join a small writers’ group. Encouragement and critiques in your writing will help you to enjoy what you do and improve.

Join writers’ groups. I belong to The Word Guild, Inscribe Writers Fellowship and the American Christian Writers.

5. Write all the time. And read too.

Start a daily journal to express your thoughts, write your prayers, study God’s Word and study other good Christian non-fiction books. Some of my favourite devotionals are:

The Upper Room
My Daily Bread
Oswald Chambers – My Utmost for His Highest
Grace Notes – Philip Yancey
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

Three of my favourite blogs are:

A Holy Experience by Ann Voskamp
Margaret Feinberg

So reading and writing go hand in hand. Certainly if you want to write for a certain publication read and study that publication.

6. Network with other writers.

Be sure to seek out other writers – not just to learn as in number 5 but to become friends. Friends help each other out, through prayer, knowledge and comfort. You need that when you write.

Writing is a solitary experience so we need to reach out to others to broaden our horizons.

Tweetable:

Writing is a solitary experience so we need to reach out to others to broaden our horizons. (tweet this)

6 Thoughts for New Christian Writers. (tweet this)

Don’t forget to read other blogs on the same topic.

Ruth Snyder’s Blog Hop Number 4.

 

Under the Cover of Prayer

I started out blogging a few years ago – trying to find out what God wanted me to talk about. I wrote Shining His Light and Spirit-Filled Canada which I have now closed for lack of time.

Last year at our Writers’ Conference, Write!Canada, God put upon my heart to blog about prayer. I was faithful. I started Under the Cover Prayer at the end of June 2010. Today we have 18 guest bloggers and myself writing for UTCOP. We also repost from other sources.

I write on Fridays for UTCOP. So I encourage you to slip over and see what we are all about. There are no comments allowed on the prayer blog. It is a blog for contemplation and prayer.

I encourage all writers and want-to-be writers to check out Write!Canada. Have no fear – we are a fun-filled, spirit-filled group of men and women who are Christian. There is something for every level and passion. The bookstore is awesome. You can meet up with editors, writers, publishers, and agents – all under the same roof. Worship on Friday and Saturday morning is awesome. The classes and workshops are top notch. If you have questions feel free to ask me – I will tell you what I know. You can reach me either in the comment section or by email.

LOSING ONE’S FOOTING

Losing One’s Footing

by Grace Fox (reprinted with permission, Losing One’s Footing, October 8, 2010)

Have you ever felt yourself emotionally, mentally or spiritually slip into a negative space? Have you ever experienced a loss of perspective that resulted in discouragement or despair? I have. Quite honestly, many writers often struggle with this.

We spend hours in solitary confinement writing a message we believe could give direction, bring hope or change lives. We do our homework, researching the best markets for those messages. We attend writers conferences to learn more about our trade. We wrestle to understand and adjust to ever-changing technology and its effect on individual writers and the publishing industry at large. All this while trying to meet the expectations and financial burdens placed on us to market our work due to constraints on our publishers’ budgets. And then we receive the inevitable rejections, the polite no from editors. It’s easy to lose our footing, to grow discouraged, to lose sight of our calling, and to go out in search of a “real job.”

The Psalmist dealt with the same feelings but for a different reason. He’d poured his heart and soul into following God and obeying His commands. He’d done his best to live in integrity, developing and guarding an untarnished reputation. But then he began to question the effort he’d exerted. He wrote, “But as for me, I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone. For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness…” (Psalm 73:2,3).

Comparing his lot as a God-fearing man to the prosperity of those who ignored God’s ways left him frustrated and envious. He asked tough questions such as, “Did I keep my heart pure for nothing? Did I keep myself innocent for no reason?” He began slipping into the abyss of discouragement, wondering if his efforts to follow God were worth it, but then he caught himself. He wrote, “Then I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked…Then I realized that my heart was bitter and I was all torn up inside” (vv. 17,21).

What enabled the Psalmist to realize his precarious position? Spending time in God’s presence. Doing so renewed his perspective. It helped him realize the slippery path he’d followed and the lies he’d believed about the prosperity of the wicked.

The Psalmist then regained his footing by reviewing assurances of God’s love toward him. “Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand,” he wrote. “You guide me with your counsel; leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever…But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign LORD my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do!” (vv. 23-26,28).

When I, as writer, feel my footing slip…when I allow circumstances within the publishing industry to discourage me…when I begin to question my calling…I must do as the Psalmist did and go into God’s sanctuary. I must withdraw for a time, pour over the Word, and seek God’s face in prayer. Doing so renews my perspective. It helps identify the places in my heart that need revival. And it reminds me that God loves me no matter how many books sell or how many contracts I carry. He holds my hand. He guides me with his counsel and leads me to a glorious destiny. Relationship with Him is to be desired and treasured above success by human standards.

This is where my heart is today. I received a rejection on my latest book proposal last night, and I’m seeking God’s face regarding where and how to proceed from here. If I focus on rejection and disappointment, I’ll surely lose my footing. But if I keep my perspective in the right place, my heart will be strengthened in Him. No matter what happens, God loves me and I am His.

How’s your heart? Have you felt your footing slip for some reason lately? If so, how did you regain your perspective?