May 03, 2013

How Did I Become a Christian Writer? - Janis Cox

I've been asked a question:

Are you a Christian writer or a writer who is Christian?

I would say I am a Christian writer. After giving my life to Christ I wanted to learn more and more about Him. I took Bible studies; read my Bible; memorized Scripture; discussed difficult passages; asked the Holy Spirit to help me understand more and more.

The Bible is my focus.

Now I feel confident to spread the Word of God - to feed His lambs. That is not to say that I have learned it all - I am the first to admit that there is an endless ocean to knowing God.

As for the writing part - I have gone to Write!Canada (a conference for writers and editors who are Christian) for the past 8 years. I read books about writing. I read many other books. I journal every day. I pray (both talking and listening).

And I believe my writing is improving, because I am writing more. I am encouraged by comments on my blogs. I blog on my own blog He Cares for Us, 5 times a week. I co-ordinate a group blog called Under the Cover of Prayer. At Family and Faith Matters I write once a week. And for Inscribe Writers Online I post once a month.

This forces me to write.

In the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell,  he states that to become really good at something you need 10 000 hours. "
"Outliers are those who have been given opportunities — and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them."

So I am beginning on that journey. I will get better with more study, more prayer, and more writing.

Can I improve? For sure. Learning never ends. Even with a passage of Scripture it speaks to me in a different way at a different time. The more I become aware of the Holy Spirit and the more I ask to be a part of His service - the more He shows me.

Then there is the other side of my life - painting. God has led me to paint in watercolour. I love it. I am working at merging my two loves - as I illustrated and wrote a children's book called Tadeo Turtle. Once again the more I paint - the better I get.

But as long as God wants me to write - I will write. And if He wants me to paint, I'll paint.  If He takes me in a different direction, then I will follow that path.

Being ready, being aware and being surprised by Him each day.


  1. 10,000 hours! Now I feel like trying to calculate my own 'time' over the last twenty five plus years...

    There is a differentiation between 'Christian writer' and 'writer who is Christian' for sure. (Obviously in the material they write) Both are needed.

  2. Janis, I think it's wonderful that you write AND illustrate children's books! You are definitely using the gifts God has given you.

  3. Tracy,
    Definitely both types of writers are needed. I thought it was interesting to figure out what type I was.
    Thanks for commenting.

  4. Thanks Marcia,
    It has only been recently that I have started to use these gifts - God keeps inspiring me, taking away any fear and giving me freedom to follow the Holy Spirit.
    Thanks for commenting,


    What is the meaning of calling on the name of the Lord? Many assume that believing in Jesus and saying a form of a sinner's prayer constitutes, calling on the name of the Lord. The problem with that theory is none of the conversions under the New Covenant support that assumption. Not one time is anyone ever told to believe and say the sinner's prayer in order to be saved.

    The apostle Peter on the Day of Pentecost quoted the prophet Joel, Acts 2:21 And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." (NKJV)

    The apostle Peter preached the first gospel sermon under the New Covenant. Peter did not tell the 3000 converts to believe and say the sinner's prayer.

    Peter preached the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. He preached Jesus as both Lord and Christ. When they heard this they asked Peter and the rest of the brethren what they should do?(Acts 2:22-37) Peter told them what to do. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.(NKJV)

    How did the 3000 on the Day of Pentecost call on the name of the Lord and become saved?
    1. They believed that Jesus was both Lord and Christ.
    2. They believed that God raised Jesus from the grave.
    3. They repented. Repentance is a change of heart. Repentance means to be converted so that God may forgive your sins. Repentance is to make the intellectual commitment to turn from sin and turn toward God. (Acts 3:19, Acts 2:38)
    4. They were immersed in water (baptized) so that their sins could be forgiven.

    How did the 3000 on the Day of Pentecost not call on the name of the Lord?
    1. They did not say a sinner's prayer.
    2. Not one person was asked to pray for forgiveness.
    3. Not one single man was told to be baptized as a testimony of his faith.
    4. No one was told that water baptism was a just an act of obedience.
    5. No one was informed they were saved the very minute they believed.
    6. Not one person was told that water baptism was not essential for the forgiveness of sins.
    7. Not one person was told to be baptized so they could join a denominational church.

    Jesus said he that believes and is baptized shall be saved. (Mark 16"16) Jesus did not say he who believes and says a sinner's prayer shall be saved.



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