Tag Archives: writing

Secret: Does God Keep Secrets From His People?

Does God Keep Secrets From His People?

I had to check through God’s Word to see what He said about the word “secret”. I know it’s not good to keep secrets if it hurts someone but it’s also not good to spread news – gossip. The only way we can figure out what God says about secrets is to go to His Word.

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Are you looking for a group to help you on your way to growing closer to Him?
Do you want to be connected in a deeper way?

Join us at Artists and Writers Grow Through God’s Word.

It’s time for Five Minute Friday – we have 5 minutes to write on a prompt. The prompt the word is “secret”. Join us and meet others who write for Him.

Surprises are lovely. Keeping things a secret helps with the surprise. We have had 3 big surprise parties.

Surprise Number 1:

I remember my husband’s 30th birthday party. He came in the back gate and found a whole bunch of people in his yard. His first thought was, “What are all these people doing here?” SURPRISE.

Surprise Number 2:

Then he surprised me on my 40th. Our kids were visiting – that was normal. We were going away to Europe the next day. Not normal. I had things still to figure out. But Hubby talked me into having the kids come to celebrate. But then there was the doorbell and people started arriving. Party time. I had fun but told him to time it better the next time – I need time to plan. But what a sweet SURPRISE and well-kept secret.

Surprise Number 3:

Our children surprised us on our 40 wedding anniversary. In the early evening my son-in-law decided to vacuum the carpets – clue. But I thought oh he is being so nice. Then the doorbell rang and I answered it. A friend was at the door. I said, “Oh what’s wrong? Can I help you?” She said, “surprise!” And that was that.

Those were all lovely surprises by keeping them secret.

But today when I heard the word “secret” I immediately started to sing “It is no secret what God can do”.

IT IS NO SECRET written by Stuart Hamblen

Sung by Anne Murray

I chose Anne’s version because I love her voice and she is Canadian.

God does keep secrets for now. But all will be revealed sometime.

Mark 4:22  “For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light.”

Matthew 10:26 “Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.”

Luke 8:17 “Nothing has been covered that will not be exposed. Whatever is secret will be made known.”

Things may be murky for now – but we will know everything some day. In the meantime I know we need to work hard to discover Who God is and how we can communicate with Him.

God also wants to reveal Himself.

This song gives me that knowledge. His promises make it clear. We can know Him.

God is shows us what He can do – if we look around. Watch, look, pray.

Be aware and you will see Him.

Are you looking for a spot to learn more about the power of God in your life?
Are you searching for a way to take time to study His Word?

Please join us a Artists and Writers Grow Through God’s Word – a closed Facebook Group. We welcome you with open arms.

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secret

Find out How and Why God has Given me Release

Update: I needed to find a release. I think that’s more like freedom. Timing is good for this release too.

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

I know it’s been awhile since I posted here. I have been busy writing on Medium.com. I’ve been busy taking courses. Maybe too busy.

You can check out my posts by going to Janis Cox Medium. You don’t have to sign up to read the posts. But you can’t “clap” (which is a “like”) unless you sign up. (A few of my posts are in a program to get paid and you can’t get those unless you subscribe to Medium.) If you are already a member please tell me so I can drop over to visit you.

I did a 30-day challenge to write 5 days a week in March. Whew, that was interesting. I don’t think I’ll keep up that pace. I learned a lot though.

This week as I talked to God and read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 I realized I needed to take a break, a release.

release

We travel back home to Canada on Tuesday – so lots to do here in terms of closing up.

I have two special things to tell you about.

  1. If you are looking for a place to learn about God’s Word, but don’t have time, or not sure how. Here is a safe haven – join us on our Facebook Closed Group – Growing Through God’s Word.

release

 

2. I am offering a free Bible Art course. If you always wanted to try this – here is your chance. Materials are minimal. Sign up.

release

 

Now for the Five-Minute Friday post:

Five minutes to write. Go: – The Word is RELEASE.

God always brings me back to centre.

I have been so involved in learning about blogging, writing, creating and doing I forgot to pause to live. So I am going to take a release from all of this. And I want to work on my Bible Study course.

It’s going to be hard because I love to write. But I think I need to regroup with God to discover how to enjoy this writing adventure and life too. I need to find a rhythm – a holy rhythm.

Writing about what God is telling me and teaching me is exciting. However, I need to find a schedule that fits my life.

And coming back to Canada there are other responsibilities and family to have time for.

Also, I am doing 7 Artist in the Schools workshops when I return. That will keep me involved.

So I feel God has given me a release from this job of writing for the moment.

You might see me here on Five-Minute Fridays though – because that’s what I like – to keep things SIMPLE.

Blessings,

Janis

 

Where is Beauty? Five Minute Friday

If we use our eyes we will see beauty around us.

I have 5 minutes to write my thoughts on “Beauty”. The prompt is from Five Minute Fridays.

beauty

From “The Kingdom of Thrim” by Janis Cox

 

When I think of the word beauty I see all of God’s creation.

There is so much to see. I haven’t travelled the world much — I’ve been to Europe a few times, the Caribbean, and seen some of Canada and the US.

But I hadn’t really seen any of the beauty. I had to look for it.

During a challenge by Ann Voskamp back in 2012 I started a journal based on a book called One Thousand Gifts. I saw more of God’s beauty than I ever had before. But I had to look.

Looking isn’t easy in our busy lives, is it? We run from one activity to the next.

Continue reading

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.

balance

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.

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.

 

Catapult into 2018 – An online writer’s retreat

What are you waiting for? Do you want to kick-start your writing?

Are you ready to Catapult into 2018?

Catapult into 2018

It’s going away… Tuesday, November 28, 2017 is the last day to register.

It’s easy to say, tomorrow, or next week, or next year…

Sign up Now.

Before we know it, weeks and months have passed and our goals are gathering dust. I don’t want this to be you, which is why we have developed CATAPULT. Deanne Welsh the Founder of Unstoppable Writers gathered 5 other people to put on this retreat.

I now I have a habit of putting  off things – but I am learning, to ask God, then make the decision. God will tell you if it’s the right time.

Many writers suffer from not having a plan, not being inspired. We don’t want you to be alone – we want you to join us.

We can help you make the catapult into 2018!

Here is the line up:

Janis Cox (yes, that’s me) is a creativity catalyst and will give you resources, time and space to get clear on your gifts, passions and writing.

Lee Nicholson knows how to get things done. He’s going in depth with how to plan and follow through so that you will no longer feel stuck and unsure of where to begin.

Blake Powell started from scratch and built a following of over 8,000 on medium. He has personal tools to help you discover your voice and inner genius.

Frank McKinley has sold over 26,000 books and can’t wait to tell you how to do it too.

Deanne Welsh loves the tension between being a writer & entrepreneur, and she will share the details on how to start earning an income NOW rather than waiting for 1,000 subscribers or a book contract. She will help you find the way.

After each session, a scheduled WORKING session takes place for you to follow simple action steps given by each speaker. At the end of the day you will be TIRED, not from listening, but from WORKING ON your writing and your specific steps to CATAPULT your writing in 2018.

We are beyond excited to be a part of your journey.

We are cheering you on, whether you can join us at the retreat or not.

I hope to tell you what I learn from my experience..

Here is the LINK: Remember it’s time sensitive. Join us at the Retreat.

Embrace: Five Minute Friday

The word for Friday at 5 Minute Fridays was embrace. I couldn’t put together 5 minutes to write since Friday. Now I have those 5 minutes and I will try.

Here goes:

When I saw the word embrace my first thought was a hug. I love hugging – my family and close friends. I’m not as keen on hugging strangers but it’s getting easier. There is something better about a hug than a hand shake. And probably less germs too.

embrace

But then I thought of the word embrace to reach out, grasp and make it my own. That has happened this past year. Before I did things but never really put my whole heart and soul into it. This year I doing that.

When I start my day, I ask God to show me people, events or even news items that He wants me to deal with. Sometimes it is in prayer. Sometimes a word. Sometimes an email.

As I go about doing my “stuff” I try to focus on what I am doing – not let my mind wander in all those other directions that it tends to do.

Focus – embrace. I think they go together.

This year I hired a coach. I needed to learn to focus on certain things. We talk about that. We pray about that. Then I get down to business.

Two books have made an impact on my focus. The Art of Work by Jeff Goins and The Story of With by Allen Arnold. Both say to me that God can inspire me and can lead me where He wants me to go.

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Iridescent flowers by Janis Cox

I have been embracing my art, both watercolour and writing, – the gifts God has given me. I have been practising to make them better. I joined #ScribblePicnic to help with my art inspiration. I said yes to Brenda Poulos to do the illustrations for her new book coming out soon. I published a Bible study that has only been available in PDF.

So I embrace all of life – all that God is offering me.

I want to embrace my Saviour with my heart, mind, spirit and soul and in that way embrace the life He has given me. (tweet this)

Time’s up. Your turn. What do you think of when you hear the word “embrace”.

embrace

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Worth Living by Mary DeMuth

Worth Living by Mary DeMuth – Thoughtful Thursdays

It is my pleasure to introduce Mary DeMuth. Mary is the author of many wonderful books. On May 3rd her new book will be offered for sale, Worth Living. Just look at her smile at the bottom of the page and you can see that Jesus shines through her.

Worth Living

Tell me a little bit about your church background. How did you come to faith in Jesus?

I met Jesus in high school. I had no church background up to that point. I learned about Jesus through the ministry of Young Life. After experiencing a traumatic childhood, I could so relate to Jesus, and I hesitated to believe that he could possibly love me. But oh how I wanted that love.

When did your interest in writing start? Can you look back and see God working through and with you in your desire to write. If so, explain your thoughts.

Yes, it started with a positive comment from my second grade teacher, then morphed into a whole lot of journaling. In college, I was an English major. I taught English for a few years, then stayed home with my children. That’s when I dusted off the dream. I spent ten years writing in obscurity and then met a literary agent in 2004, sold a couple books, and have published 2-3 a year since then.

How and when do you spend time with God? Do you have a favourite devotional? What version of Bible do you use the most?

I spend time talking with God all day long, a continual conversation. I also enjoy studying the Bible. I’ve memorized several verses (which is a huge blessing when I’m in the middle of a trial.) Lately I’ve been doing more art journaling and art response for my time in the Bible. I like several translations, but currently really love the New Living Translation.

As a writer, time is important; quiet is important. How do you find that quiet time to reflect and write?

Now that my children are nearly grown, I have a lot more time. When they were younger, they also had “quiet time” in the afternoon so we could all have time to get our heads on straight. I also grab solitude when I travel.

What is one deep desire that you would like God to fulfill for you? What Scripture could you find that could help you accomplish that goal?

I would like to do more speaking in churches and conferences. I believe God is opening up those doors.

‘But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.” 2 Timothy 4:5

Prayer:

Jesus, please open doors for the person reading this post. Fulfill dreams. Give hope. Encourage the faint hearted. We trust You for our journeys, no matter how they look. Amen.

Ask Mary DeMuth to speak at your church or conference. Read about her faith. #worthliving (tweet this)

Mary DeMuth

Worth Living

Mary DeMuth is an international speaker and podcaster, and she’s the author of over thirty books, the latest: Worth Living: How God’s Wild Love for You Makes You Worthy. She loves to help people re-story their lives. She lives in Texas with her husband of 25 years and is the mom to three adult children. Find out more at marydemuth.com.

Thoughtful Thursdays – Why MaryAnn Diorio is compelled to write and other interesting facts


Today we have the pleasure to meet MaryAnn Diorio. MaryAnn is a member of the John316 Marketing Network of writers of which I belong. You will find her passion for writing has certainly been inspired by God.

Thoughtful Thursdays – Why MaryAnn Diorio is compelled to write and other interesting facts

Surrender to Love - MaryAnn Diorio

1. When did your interest in writing start? Can you look back and see God working through and with you in your desire to write. If so, explain your thoughts.

When I was 30 years old, God called me to a writing ministry.  I had never considered writing, other than a fleeting thought while still in high school that it might be interesting to become a journalist. But that thought did not last long.

Shortly before my 30th birthday, I began to have a desire to write. I thought this was strange since my professional training was in foreign languages.  But the desire to write kept increasing to the point where it was almost becoming an obsession.

Since I was not sure if the desire was from God or not, I asked the Lord to increase it if it was, indeed, from Him, or to take it away if it was not from Him.

The desire only increased, and God confirmed in a marvellous way that the desire was from Him.

I had written a poem that I submitted to The Saturday Evening Post. Novice that I was, I had no clue that The Saturday Evening Post was virtually impossible for a newbie like me to crack. But, by God’s grace, my poem was accepted.  When I subsequently learned how difficult it is to get published in The Saturday Evening Post, I knew that God had allowed this acceptance to confirm His call on my life to write for Him.

 2.  As a writer, time is important; quiet is important. How do you find that quiet time to reflect and write?

I make the time to write.

Finding time is an illusion; we have to make time.

We have to make an appointment with ourselves just as we make appointments with other professionals or with friends, and we have to schedule that writing appointment in our calendars.  If we do not take our writing seriously, no one else will. I am blessed to have my own writing studio where I can close the door and write. Also, my children are now grown, so I do not have the same responsibilities and time commitments I did when they were small.

3.  What new project/s are you working on? Why do they seem important to you? Are you compelled to write or do you need to find inspiration? How do you deal with interruptions?

I am currently working on a trilogy of novels titled The Italian Chronicles.  The first book is called The Madonna of Pisano; the second is called A Sicilian Farewell; and the third is called Return to Bella Terra.  The idea for the trilogy was sparked when I discovered some interesting information while researching my ancestry.  This project is important to me because it will reveal a very important truth about forgiveness and, I hope, set some of my readers free (Remember John 8:32).

As for being compelled to write, I find that I must write almost as much as I must breathe.

Since God has called me to write, I must write in obedience to His call. The inspiration is always there in the sense that I never have to be motivated to write. I wake up every day eager to get to my writing desk.  Sometimes I wonder what I should write next because I have more than enough ideas to last several lifetimes. But when that happens, I ask Holy Spirit what He wants me to write next.

Regarding interruptions, frankly, I have difficulty with them. This is an area where the Lord is teaching me to release His patience and to discern between a true, divinely appointed interruption and a distraction from the enemy.  I have created a sign I place on the outside doorknob of my writing studio that alerts my family to the fact that I am in creative mode and would appreciate not being disturbed unless it is an emergency.  My family is very supportive of my writing and totally understands that I need uninterrupted time to create. I am greatly blessed in this way.

4.  Do you have hobbies, or sports that you are interested in? What is it about these activities that you like? Looking at your personality are these activities ones that God has brought to you?

I love to paint in oils, acrylics, pastels, and colored pencil.  Art has always been a love of mine.  What I love about art is the creative process.  In writing, I paint pictures with words. In art, I paint pictures with various media.  Art goes hand-in-hand with my creative personality that also loves to write.

5.  What is one important lesson that Jesus is teaching or has taught you that has changed your worldview, your outlook, and/or your relationships?

Perhaps the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that I cannot live the Christian life in my own strength but that I must allow Christ to live it through me (Galatians 2:20).  This is what it means to “crucify the flesh” and to “carry one’s cross.”  The cross we carry is our flesh–the tendencies of the old man that still rise up to harass us. But the Good News is that in Christ we can overcome the flesh every single time it rears its ugly head if we allow Christ to love through us, to be patient through us, to be kind through us–and on and on.  When I recognize and admit my weakness and inability to live the Christian life, then Christ is strong in me.

It is a matter of yielding to His Presence in me.

Prayer:

Papa God, I come to You in the mighty and matchless Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I praise You for Who You are–the God of Love and Mercy and Grace.  Thank You, Abba, for sending Jesus to die so that we might live. Thank You for Your Word that sustains us moment by moment.  Thank You for allowing us the privilege to work with you in enforcing Your Kingdom in the earth.  I pray, Papa, for those who have read this interview. I speak joy and peace into their lives.  I pray especially for Janis and for her generous heart in publishing this interview.  For both writers and readers alike, I pray that You would bless the work of their heart and of their hands, for Your glory and for the building of Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ Name I pray and receive. Amen and Amen.

MaryAnn Diorio

 

MaryAnn Diorio

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. MaryAnn Diorio is a widely published, award-winning author who writes compelling fiction that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart. She holds the PhD degree in French with a concentration in Comparative Literature from the University of Kansas and the MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton HIll University.  MaryAnn resides in New Jersey with her wonderful husband of 46 years. They are the blessed parents of two amazing daughters, a fantastic son-in-law and five rambunctious grandchildren. When she is not writing, MaryAnn loves to paint, to read, and to make up silly songs for her grandchildren.

BOOKS

A CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING
SURRENDER TO LOVE
CANDLE LOVE
TOBY TOO SMALL
WHO IS JESUS?
DO ANGELS RIDE PONIES:

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

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The Life of an Author – Guest Posting

The Life of an Author – Guest Posting

Tadeo and stuffed Tadeos

Today I am a guest poster on Emma Right’s blog. Emma is the author of many books. Her most recent ones are a children’s series called Princesses of Chadwick Castle Adventure Series.

Emma asked me to tell about a typical day as a writer. Yikes – there is no typical day but I gave it a try.

To see more go to: In the Life of Author Janis Cox.

Blessings for a wonderful day.

Janis