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MINISTRY  TO  LADIES 

This page is dedicated to sharing miniature devotional thoughts, poetry or ongoing short studies that will encourage and inspire us to look to the Lord Jesus and be transformed more and more into His likeness as we seek to live godly lives before our families and friends, and the world.

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Indian Ink Sketch Cameo of Jan

 

 SOMETHING   NEW  TO   THINK   ABOUT   FOR   TODAY

Alone Yet Not Alone sung by Oscar Nominee Joni- Jan.2014

 This video starts with Joni's prayer, then she begins to sing...Please enjoy & share with friends.

 

ENCORE PERFORMANCE - May the 3 videos below refresh your hearts.

Jan's Live Interview in  2 - 8 Minute Segments here + 2 Min. Mini Art show Please Enjoy & Share  

 

Just Thinking.... Carol's Rose Watercolor by Jan Howlett

 Unfolding Tiny Rosebuds?   Mar. 1, 2011 

It is only a tiny rosebud,
A flower of God's design;
But I cannot unfold the petals
With these clumsy hands of mine.

 

The secret of unfolding flowers
Is not known to such as I.
God opens this flower so easily,
But in my hands they die.

 

If I cannot unfold a rosebud,
This flower of God's design,
Then how can I have the wisdom
To unfold this life of mine?

 

So I'll trust in God for leading
Each moment of my day.
I will look to God for guidance
In each step of the way.

 

The path that lies before me,
Only my Lord knows.
I'll trust God to unfold the moments,
Just as He unfolds the rose.
 

Author Unknown & Taken from a Church Bulletin.

How precious to know that we have God's Holy Word as His love letter to us at our fingertips to nurture us, guide us and teach us the way in which we should go every day. He will never lead us in ways that are wrong or foolish. 

"As for God, his way is perfect: The word of Jehovah is tried; He is a shield unto all them that take refuge in him.

(Psalm 18:30)

 

 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future!"

(Jeremiah 29: 11)

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Just Thinking.... 

 The Old Road Home    Oct. 4, 2010

 Is it not wonderful to know that the “old road Home”
Is quite plain and direct, and does not aimlessly roam?
For Jesus travelled it long ago—meeting the day
Smoothing the rough, straightening the bent or crooked way.

Though the road is narrow, yet with Love it is strewn
With writings on landmarks & signposts carved & hewn
By our precious Saviour, whose Mercy counted the cost
To secure Salvation for all of us who were lost.

His Love covers us, so under His wings we can rest.
Jesus is our Refuge and Peace—He comforts us best!
God’s Word tells us our final dwelling is not this earth,
For we are truly just strangers passing through since birth.

Assured the place He’s prepared will not make us sorry
We are Heaven bound, ready to meet Christ in Glory.
So always live for Him, and from His Way never roam.
Don’t miss out, Yes Travel with me—
                                             on the “old road Home!”

Excerpt: The Treasure of His Company-By Jan Howlett

 

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings
you will find refuge; his faithfulness
will be your shield and rampart.
(Psalm 91:4 NIV)

 

 

 

Just Thinking   Sept. 15, 2010 

We all face trials but, is God's Grace Sufficient? Read on....

 

I am enjoying a glorious painting vacation with my husband Ross in the quietness of a lovely local Bible Conference camp ground surrounded by lovely gardens as seen in the photo above--A painters inspiration for sure.  Quiet because the season is over and most of the trailers are vacant.

 

And after a very busy summer of ministry this time of total quiet and relaxation allows me to paint to my heart's content and read some of my favourite Bible authors.  This week I am being blessed by J. Sidlow Baxter, entitled "His Part and Ours."  My copy is a very old edition, written in 1937.  The first chapter is a study on God's Grace based on the Scripture verse, "My grace is sufficient for thee..." (2 Cor. 12:9)

 

This paragraph was truly a comfort and reassurance to my heart.  I trust it will be to your heart as well.   We all face many struggles in life and illnesses that have no solutions at the present moment. I am no exception.

 

Sidlow writes about the supply of God's sufficient Grace and that it "has exact correspondence with the need; never too much, never too little, but perfect adequacy: never too soon, never too late, but timed to the tick of the clock and to the beat of the heart..."J.Sidlow Baxter, 1937

 

How precious to know that His Love and Grace are so intimately measured and formed right down to the very beat of our hearts.  Nothing escapes His watchcare over us, or His purpose for our lives in continually transforming us into His glorious Character.  So be encouraged dear reader as you trust Him for every breath and for every circumstance whether easy or difficult.  Trust on.

Blessings, Jan. 

 

Just Thinking    May 15, 2010 

“The things that make God dear to us are NOT as much His great big blessings, [though they are wonderful!] but the tiny things: because they tell of His amazing intimacy with us; for He knows every detail of our individual lives!”  ~~Oswald Chambers

And what a comfort to know that God cares that much about my life!  The journey of faith is a precious one, and I pray that you will be encouraged to know that as you too put your full trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, He will be with you every step of the way!

And in fact, as I share in one of my poems in my book, Page 130 "Jesus Knows Every Teardrop," God’s Word reassures us in Psalm 56 that He sees every teardrop you cry, and He knows every burden that you carry, and I can tell you first hand that He will not waste any of them, but rather turn them into something beautiful!

 

I quickly learned that when God uses His “paintbrush” He not only paints His Divine Beauty into my life in the sunny times, but He also paints unexpected “TREASURES” into the dark times, much like the many threads in a beautiful tapestry! And we all know that it takes time, love & patience to create such a work of art!

 

And so we can know that when we suffer and struggle it is not without deep purpose and meaning, or ultimately Eternal value.  We can find that purpose as we trust the Lord in our struggles asking Him to help us recognize it and  find the treasure and beauty He intends and then share it with others who are also hurting and need real encouragement.  You will be a special blessing in their lives.

 

So lean hard on our dear Lord, for He understands what you are going through and will give you the strength you need as you Trust Him, even in the dark.  And out of those dark times the "treasures found" will be seen  as a beautiful tapestry, woven by God's own hand and therefore a blessing to all!

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Just Thinking    April 30, 2010

You all know my love of writing and books.  Today I received a Mother's Day greeting in my E-Mail from my book publisher, Essence Publishing, and I just had to share the following quote with you all.   How true this can be of books and the blessing received most uplifting.   

 

"A book is like a garden carried in the   pocket."   

                                                    --Chinese Proverb

However, as much as I love this proverb it immediately got me thinking again.  This proverb is truly lovely and beautifully describes a book filled with worthy content, and I hope my book, The Treasure of His Company, can be described in that way.

But it is only one among millions of books in the world.  Out of all the books ever published the only book more wonderful and more life transforming and meaningful is the Bible carried in our hearts, lived out everyday and shared with others!

Don't miss out on the amazing lifespring of Holy Scriptures and be sure to keep it in your heart.  When you experience need or hardship or guidance or the cares of this world weigh you down, God's Truth and lasting comfort will sustain you.  His promises are new every morning, and He understands what you are going through today.

Blessings, Jan

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                 Just  Thinking     March 6, 2010                      

SPRING  BEAUTY  SURPRISE!

You can listen on the player here or simply read it below.

Spring Beauty Surprise-Bv-49.mp3

          

For me, compared to past Winters, this season has not been as severe or cold and yet somehow inwardly there was still that longing for brighter, warmer sunshiny days.

 

My husband and I were completing a busy afternoon of grocery shopping and errands.  All we had left to do was to run into Zellers for Toothpaste on sale.  After a weary and painful three weeks of illness it was my intention to just stay put in the car and let Ross slip in and pick up the sales item.  But as I looked toward the rather uninteresting and uninviting dull store front, for some reason I was enabled to muster a bit more energy and accompanied Ross through the sliding glass doors into the store lobby. 

 

It's a very plain entry with a plastic bench and some children's dime store games to the right of the door.  But to the left of the door, there was an unexpected explosion of color! Instantly my spirits soared and my energy level suddenly increased.  And to think I almost missed this glorious surprise by staying back in the car! All tiredness was momentarily forgotten.

Primrose full photo

It was as if we had just entered a beautiful, summer garden filled with Evening Primroses alive with wonderful vibrant colors all neatly tucked into little green pots begging for our gaze and bursts of praise. A jewel-tone mix of burgundy reds, pretty pinks, soft purples, sunshine yellows and rich creamy white blooms. It was eye candy to this artist's heart!

 

Only a few days earlier we experienced a few hours of delicious warm sunshine and with it the melting of more snow in the backyard exposing a small patch of grass. I remember how wonderful the warmth of the sun beaming through the window felt and thinking Spring is in the air today.  It won't be long now until I can sit out on the back porch and enjoy the fresh air again without shivering or fussing with heavy winter jackets and snow boots. Then it was gone, and the weatherman was issuing his predictions of light snow to arrive in a couple of days.

 

But as I drank in those glorious floral colors before me, that weather forecast was forgotten.  Now only thoughts that a 'touch of Spring' had arrived fuelled the desire that I just had to have at least one of these beautiful Primrose plants!   Secretly I wished I could have taken one of each color home with me.  But with a grateful heart I carefully placed my Spring treasure into the cart and pushed it through the doors into the main part of the store. My quest for toothpaste was almost forgotten until I saw the store sales flyer.

 

I pushed my cart down the isles until I found what I had come for, but those flowers were still on my mind.  The closer I got to the check out counter the more I desired to have at least one more plant to enjoy.  So I instructed the cashier to add an extra plant to my bill. One pink one and one soft mauve color satisfied my garden fever. I left the store still gazing on the colorful Spring beauties.Primrose Photo 

 

And now they sit in my family room where I can drink in their loveliness and dream of warmer days not too far away while thanking the Lord for His wonderful creations and my dear husband for my flower gifts.  As I continued to think about the simple yet joyful moments of the evening before, I thought of the spiritual impact of what I call a 'Spring Beauty Surprise' and what it meant to me.  It had given me something to think about, and caused me to dig deeper.

 

The uplift and joy I felt in the midst of great physical stress and my weary frame of mind was the unexpected delight I experienced as I walked through those drab doors and discovered 'treasure' staring me in the face. Treasure that sparked a new sense of comfort, relief, hope and a reassurance of better days ahead with the awakened anticipation that Spring was indeed just around the corner.

 

It reminded me of the same joy we are granted when we discover the joy of the Lord Himself in unexpected places, including the common, sometimes drab circumstances of life that we face everyday but once in a while explode with new treasure.  Sometimes we have to search and look beyond the clutter.  But sometimes, in God's Love and Mercy, it is just so big it is staring us in the face so we can't miss it. 

 

That's the way it was for me.  It's as if the Lord just placed those Primroses in my path and made them especially for my encouragement.  This was late evening and only a few of the plant holders were empty, so most of the other shoppers had just passed by them without even perhaps a second glance and missed the quiet 'treasure' just waiting to be enjoyed.

 

As you venture out today, you too may be very tired and weary with burdens.  But as you go, go in the strength of the Lord.  Trust Him to carry you through your day.  Perhaps today you too will be given an extra bit of strength to push one more step, and as you do so you will find an unexpected 'treasure' placed in front of you, meant just for you!  And, His 'Spring Beauty Surprise' will shower you with His joy and comfort when you most need it.   

 

Have you had a  similar treasure gift from the Lord lately?  If so, share it with someone today and become an instrument of encouragement.  Certainly something to think about.

 

Perhaps I will be able to paint a Primrose composition this summer with this event in mind and I will call it, "Spring Beauty Surprise!"  If in the future you see it on our website, you will know the inside story and inspiration that was behind such a painting.

 

Until next time, have a blessed day, and watch for God's surprises.  And when you do discover them, be sure to give Him all the praise.  Be encouraged. Blessings,
Jan.

 

 If you would rather listen than read

click on the Ps 91 radio  below

Be sure to scoll down for accompanying links & photo as you listen.

Just Thinking Ps 91.mp3

 Just Thinking....Jan. 4, 2010...

Psalm 91 is a precious and comforting Psalm. Finding peace and purpose in the midst of trials or sorrows is to find the treasure of The Secret Place of the Most High God: indeed a spiritual refuge beyond compare. Be sure to take a moment and read through this precious Psalm.

I had been feeling overwhelmed with trials and the burdens of life.  I had mindlessly picked up a travel guide to distract my mind from pain. In the process I became intrigued with the lovely pictures and the names of delightful sounding towns. For a brief moment I relaxed, but it was short lived.

First of all, true spiritual refuge and contentment that we need and seek after can never be provided by idyllic pictures painted by delightfully named cities in some travel guide. No. That perfect and lasting contentment or that eternal refuge we seek can only be provided by
God Himself. However, in some cases they may at least be used of God to redirect our focus.

Secondly, true contentment, eternal refuge and peace can only be found and enjoyed, first and foremost, when we accept Jesus Christ as our own personal Lord and Saviour. If I belong to the Lord, then His Word becomes the foundation for my life, my peace and my purpose.

Then, thirdly, our joy continues as we live for Christ in His Presence, obeying His Word and abiding in sweet fellowship together, day by day, moment by moment, keeping our gaze fixed on Him.
Coast Guard Boat PhotoBut
when we face great storms in our lives, losing our focus, we need a Saviour.  We need to read and remember Psalm 91 & it's message afresh.

It is in that psalm that we discover that the Shelter of Peace for which we long is in Jesus Christ, The Prince of Peace.  He is the “Secret Place of the Most High.”  And it is there in the Secret Place that we discover afresh the treasure of His company, even as I have written about in my book by the same title. You can read excerpts and see real pages if you would like to know more by visiting my web page entitled, Book- The Treasure of His Company.

Of course, we do not come to enjoy the gifts of peace or spiritual contentment and refuge by simply reading, memorizing or quoting word for word a famous psalm like Psalm 23 or 91 for example.  No, it is only as we get to know the Divine Author, the Lord Jesus Christ, personally that the promises become a living reality for each of us.

And so it becomes a "heart issue."  What a lesson! Yes, my burdens and concerns may still exist, but I know Who can handle them, and when I place my burdens and concerns back into His hands, nothing can disturb or steal my joy. I can face the rest of the day, eager to serve the Lord in any little task He lays before me, for I have found true Heart’s Content in the Secret Place, just as Psalm 91 promises. 

Something to really think about today, especially as we enter a brand new year in 2010.  Seek Him with all of your heart, and you will not be disappointed!

 

Just Thinking....Nov. 1 2009...

 No More Mud Please!

One of the first lessons I had to learn as a watercolour artist was how to avoid making mud!  However, the second lesson, which should probably have been the first lesson, was to learn the discipline of waiting for a passage of wet paint to become bone-dry before applying a new layer of colour over the first one.


The colours I chose also had to be correct. This is especially true when I use the glazing method. If I do not wait for each layer to dry, at best the only thing I will end up with will be dulled, lifeless pigments or unsightly water blooms that will spoil the overall effect of the piece.  At worst, I will lose that lovely luminous glow because the dead, heavy colours will block out the treasured light of the white paper below. This will defeat the exquisite beauty and charm of using transparent watercolours. All I will have successfully created is what all artists dread, and that is mud!

 

Perhaps, like me, you sometimes find it difficult to wait for the Lord to put all the necessary layers into place that will cause His Will to become a reality in our lives. And when that process exceeds our time clock we become impatient thinking that He has forgotten us or that He has even abandoned us.

 

When that happens, we may be tempted to take things into our own hands and begin to manipulate or twist plans and circumstances to fit what we either believe or hope is God’s Will for us. But choosing not to wait for the Lord’s leading is a grave error in judgment, and will only bring bitter disappointment.

Our effectiveness for His Kingdom will also be greatly reduced. Such choices will set us on a path that takes us backward instead of forward. And forward is where we wanted to be in the first place....

Excerpt from The Treasure of His Company, By Jan Howlett, p. 131. Used with permission. 

 

Just thinking... July 29, 2009....

Sometimes when we have been waiting on the Lord to confirm His direction and guidance on a matter and the answer seems a long time in coming, we may grow impatient or confused and begin to second guess what we felt we knew clearly.  That kind of moment reminds me of a favourite quote from Amy Carmichael 's book, Gold By Moonlight , Christian Literature Crusade ©1935 p. 127.  

 

Let me share it with you here... Something more to think and meditate upon and in the process find comfort and renewed peace to help us keep waiting for His confirmation ....

 “Never let what you know be distressed
by what you do not know.”

                                                                          By: Amy Carmichael

Excerpt from The Treasure of His Company, By Jan Howlett, p. 56. Used with permission. 
 

 

Just thinking...June 2009

 “Who could be careless about sin with Calvary in view?

It is not by looking at sin that we see it for what it is,

but by looking at the love of God and His pure holiness.

As we look at that we begin to understand

something of the nature of sin.”   

                                         ----Amy Carmichael   

                                

Taken from Gold By Moonlight, Amy Carmichael,

Christian Literature Crusade © 1935, p. 58. Used by permission.

 

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Just thinking...May 2009 

 Yield To His Grasp

Clearly, there is no better place or perfect time to yield

One’s entire life and soulto overcome sin’s battlefield.

Then at last, from your turmoil you can triumphantly cease,

As you receive complete forgiveness and eternal peace.

Yes,when you surrender by faith,

Christ’s love transforms anew,

In the grasp of His Hands, which were

nailed to the Crossfor you.

 

Excerpt from The Treasure of His Company, By Jan Howlett, p. 43. Used by permission.

 

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