12 Days of Christmas – Celebrating Who You Are with Jan Cox

Today I welcome my friend and fellow Christian author, Janis Cox, to my blog. If you have children make sure you purchase at least one of Jan’s books!

How to Celebrate Who You Are

By Janis Cox

 

Is there a time when you have felt unloved?
Have you felt that you are not good enough?
Or you have wanted to be or act like someone else?

Children have the same struggles. That’s how competition makes for hurt feelings and inadequacy.

Tadeo Turtle is a little colourful turtle who loves life – until he sees Sammy squirrel climbing a tree and starts to envy his way of life. Join Tadeo on his journey of self-discovery. He learns a lesson that we all need to learn – God loves us, just the way He made us.

Acceptance of who you are leads to many positive characteristics. So no matter what age you are this book has a lesson for you.

Created for ages newborn until 6, Tadeo Turtle has become a best-loved book.

There are children’s activities and research ideas in the back of the book.

Happy readers have said,

 “I bought these [Janis has 2 books] for my grand-nieces a couple of years ago. They’re not book kids, but they loved these. Their mom says they still read them!’ – Bobbi Junior

“May we accept this beautiful gift as Tadeo learned to do. This short book has a lesson for children and adults alike. How often do we wish we were like someone else or had things that others have? Tadeo Turtle is a simple rhyming story for the young. Janis Cox illustrated the animals and scenes in luscious, colorful watercolors. They are so beautifully painted.” Amazon customer

To get a copy:

Canadian Amazon

US Amazon

Available in paperback or Kindle

Alternately you can contact me and I will send you one.

Email Janis Cox.

Janis started writing in her journal as a way to learn more about her faith. She is an award-winning author/illustrator of Tadeo Turtle and The Kingdom of Thrim. She podcasts on Hope Stream Radio. Her talk Growing Through God’s Word can be heard each Tuesday. Janis is also an artist and her art is showcased in the Rails End Gallery, Haliburton. She is a creative catalyst who encourages Christians to study God’s word through creativity. Janis lives in Haliburton with her husband and her dog, Snowball.


12 Days of Christmas 2018 – Grab The Next Rung with Toni Crowe

Grab the Next Rung On Your Career Ladder

Bullets and Bosses Don’t Have Friends, How To Navigate Tough Challenges at Work  by Toni Crowe is a book about learning to be the best you can be at work.

Discover how to handle tough peers and tougher bosses from one of America’s top Executives.

With a honest, compelling look at relationships with peers and bosses alike, discover a pragmatic approach to mastering your trek through management. You will navigate common challenges in the workplace and conquer them with your personal style.

 

What Will YOU Learn

In Bullets and Bosses Don’t Have Friends, you’ll discover:

– A behind-the-scenes peek at corporate America that shows you what it’s really like at the top

– Which skills and attitudes you need to scale to the top of the business world

– How to cultivate a relationship with your boss that benefits both of you

– What you can do when confronted with difficult peers so you maintain control

– How you can and should deal with workplace treachery, and much, much more!

Bullets and Bosses Don’t Have Friends is a series of true stories from Toni Crowe’s life in the corporate world, each with a practical lesson and a set of exercises you can apply to your own career. If you like the personal approach of a mentor, tales of hard-won success, and real-world advice from a CEO with an amazing record of achievement, then you’ll love Toni Crowe’s latest book.  third installment in the five-part My Journey from a Lady of the Night to the Lady of the Boardroom memoir!

Excerpt from Bullets and Bosses ***

Many people believe that being the boss is easy. It is not. There are numerous activities that are hidden from the everyday employee that would shock them.

I was working for a toxic boss on a large, important project. The project involved castings, which are made by pouring liquid metal into a mold. Manufacturing parts with precision dimensions using this process is something of a magic trick. To add to the challenge, we didn’t have molds for this project.

Normally, from start to finish, a casting takes about thirty weeks. We had to make the part samples ourselves, check them, send them to a supplier for machining, check them again, and then send them to a supplier for painting.

We developed a plan for the parts to travel from one supplier to the next, cutting us out as the middleman and bringing the lead time down from thirty weeks to twenty-five. On this project, those five weeks could make a huge difference to the production team, which wanted to get the sample parts back in-house as fast as they could to build up, first, the production prototype and then the units themselves.

Both the production team and the parts procurement team reported directly to me. Despite enormous effort on my part and theirs, the parts did not come in at twenty-five weeks. They came in at twenty-six weeks.

They were one week late.

The day the parts were due but did not show up, my boss stormed into my office. His face was red, he was breathing hard, and his hands were clenched into tight fists. He walked straight toward me, and for a moment, I thought he might punch me.

He climbed up on my desk and started kicking. He kicked my phone off the desk, then my paper clips, then my calendar.

I didn’t get out of my seat. I just rolled my chair back against the wall while he was up on my desk kicking things around, hoping I didn’t get hit by anything. I was stunned into silence. He was not a skinny man. How upset was he to climb on my desk?

When he had finally kicked everything off, he stared at me. “What was the timeline for this project?”

I told him, “The schedule was thirty weeks.”

He didn’t like that answer. “What did you tell me you and your team could do?”

“I told you we could get it down to twenty-five weeks.”

“Did you get it down to twenty-five weeks?”

“No,” I told him, “I did not. I got it down to twenty-six weeks. I apologize for missing the plan by a week and only being four weeks ahead of the original schedule.”

This appeared to calm him down a bit. He climbed off my desk.

“Engineering is now behind twelve weeks, and you have only made up nine. I want you to see what you can do to make up the last three weeks we need to be on schedule for this project.”

I stood up and pretended that my desk items were not scattered about on the floor.

“Sure. I’ll make that happen.”

My ability to “make that happen” was one of the reasons I did so well in my career. My second ability to stay calm and take the heat was the second. If you work in manufacturing, operations, or supply chains, there are multiple problems you must solve every day. When you are responsible for all of the parts that are needed to produce revenue products, 99.9% is not good enough. If the plant needs one million parts and you and your team provide 999,999, you have failed.

Manufacturing and Operations are tough gigs. Sometimes, no matter what you achieve, it is never enough.

End Excerpt ***

Toni Crowe, BSEE, MSM, CLA, PE is the bestselling author of the $7 Journey series.

She is an award winning and accomplished executive with 30 years of experience as a CEO/President, Vice-President, Director, Engineer, and Manager across multiple sectors including high tech, consumer and nuclear sensors, Aerospace,  film production and glass.

Toni has extensive experience in P&L, Manufacturing, Operations Management, and Lean.  She has participated in a number of mergers and acquisitions.

Toni is currently the CEO of  Just One,  her company which is dedicated to changing lives, one life at a time, by insuring that no one has to make the same mistakes she made.

 

Buy Bullets and Bosses Don’t Have Friends to grab hold of the next rung on your career ladder today. https://smile.amazon.com/Bullets-Bosses-Dont-Have-Friends-ebook/dp/B07JH6W8XH


12 Days of Christmas 2018 – Be Strong in the LORD

 

NOTE: Check out a related post I shared on InScribe Writers Online today 🙂

Today I would like to share a sample from my newest devotional book, Equipped: Ephesians 6 Devotionals to Empower and Make You Victorious in Everyday Struggles.

Be Strong in the LORD

By Ruth L. Snyder

“Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”

—Psalm 37:3-6

I started my morning with prayer and Scripture reading. My heart was especially burdened for our family. I prayed for God’s protection and was quiet before God. My heart was filled with peace when my devotional time was finished. Less than an hour later, my husband and I were embroiled in a heated disagreement regarding our children. The longer we talked, the more we disagreed. I retreated to my piano to play hymns and reflect. Why couldn’t we resolve this situation? Kendall and I both want the best for our children, but sometimes we disagree about what this looks like. We are learning to use tools like John Gottman’s Sound Relationship House (https://www.gottman.com/about/the-gottman-method/).

Life on earth is full of challenges and problems. Sometimes we get totally overwhelmed. Cancer. Addiction. Family issues. War. Abuse. God is the only one who is big enough, wise enough, to have the solutions. We need to choose to be strong in HIM. He will give us the victory, if we trust him and not ourselves.

According to Strong’s Concordance, the phrase, “be strong,” comes from a root word that means to enable, empower, strengthen, or be made strong. Remember the apostle, Paul? We may see him as a spiritual giant, but he claims that God’s strength is best displayed in our areas of weakness.

When we feel strong, we don’t rely on God the way we should. In fact, when we have the ability to do things well, we often boast and become proud. When we realize we are weak, God is able to work through us to display his love and power to those around us (1 Corinthians 1:26-31; 2 Corinthians 12:9). Here are some examples from Scripture:

  • God enabled Samson to defeat Israel’s enemies, but when Samson chose to disobey God, he was captured (Judges 14-16).
  • God chose Saul to be King. When Samuel took a while to show up, Saul took things into his own hands. Then he disobeyed by not destroying all of the enemy, and God took the kingdom from his son and gave it to a lowly shepherd boy, David (I Samuel 9, 13, 15).

Think About It

Have you experienced God’s power in your daily living? What difference is it making in your life? Journal your thoughts, or respond in another way that is meaningful to you.

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you that you are all-powerful. Help me to remember that without you I am vulnerable and weak.  As I walk through this day, lead me. Help me to be sensitive to your voice and obedient to your will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Equipped: Ephesians 6 Devotional to Empower and Make You Victorious In Everyday Struggles

 

Purchase your copy of equipped  by emailing Ruth

OR order from Amazon

I would like to invite you to join a FREE 10-Day devotional challenge. You will receive 10 free devotionals and access to a private Facebook group to discuss the devotionals, apply them to your life, and pray.

https://equipped.lpages.co/equipped-10-day-devotional-challenge/

 

Ruth L. Snyder resides near Glendon, Alberta, along with her husband and five children. Ruth enjoys writing articles, devotionals, short stories, and Christian fiction. Ruth is Past President of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.

 


12 Days of Christmas 2018 – Jennifer Waddle

Today I am happy to welcome Jennifer Waddle to my blog. I met Jennifer through Author Audience Academy.

Jennifer Waddle considers herself a Kansas girl, married to a Colorado hunk, with a heart to encourage women everywhere. She is the author of several books, including Prayer WORRIER: Turning Every Worry into Powerful Prayer, and is a regular contributor for LifeWay, Crosswalk, and Abide. Jennifer’s online ministry is EncouragementMama.com, where you can find her books and sign up for her Encourage Letter, “Discouragement Doesn’t Win.” She resides with her family near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains—her favorite place on earth.

I felt a small lurch in my stomach as I looked at all that goopy, white frosting dripping off of the cupcakes. The leftover pizza smelled like stinky feet, so I moved my desk away a few inches.

I closed my eyes and tried to think about nothing, but the song “Ice, Ice, Baby” kept playing over and over in my head, which usually meant I was going to throw up.

My stomach started making noises like an Orca as I miserably wiped my nose on the sleeve of my scratchy sweater.

My teacher, Mr. Will, was trying to get everyone to sing Christmas Carols. He was wearing a Santa Hat that had a dirty looking beard attached to it. (Only the girls were singing.)

Finally, after painfully enduring the seventh round of “Jingle Bells Batman Smells,” our class was dismissed.

It was Christmas break!

Book Description

What do zombie parents, one-eyed dolls, and leftover lasagna have in common? Find out in this LAUGH-OUT-LOUD Christmas book for kids ages 9-12.
Brad Finkley is an ordinary kid who seems doomed to have the worst Christmas break ever.
This eBook is perfect for your kid’s reading list over Christmas break. Hilarious, funny, and super engaging. Sure to become a family favorite!

Purchase your copy at https://www.amazon.com/Worst-Christmas-Break-Ever-Finkley-ebook/dp/B01NBG1QBE

 


Christmas Wishes and Looking forward

Here it is four days before Christmas. I’m sitting at our local library enjoying a few quiet moments of reflection and catching up. It’s the last day of school for my children, and I’m looking forward to spending more time with them and making some new Christmas memories.

As I think about Christmas this year, I don’t have the same sense of anticipation I have had many years. I am not caught up in chasing the glitter and harried pace. But one thing remains the same – God my Father loves me, and Christmas is the time we celebrate the selfless love He demonstrated in giving up His one and only Son so that I could receive the gift of salvation.

  • Although I experience pain and confusion, He gives me peace.
  • Although I experience grief, He gives me comfort.
  • Although I experience weakness, He gives me strength.
  • Although I experience brokenness, He makes me whole.
  • Although I have so many unanswered questions, He is the answer.

At this Christmas season, I don’t know what you are experiencing, but God does. I do not wish you happiness, which is a common sentiment at this time of year. Instead, I wish that you accept God’s gift of salvation, His peace, comfort, strength, wholeness, and that in Him you find the answer to all of your unanswered questions. What about you? What is your wish for others this Christmas season?

If you are experiencing a difficult Christmas season, or know someone who is, you may be interested in a recent post I shared on InScribe Writers Online – When Christmas Isn’t Merry.

Yesterday I received a free pass to all national parks in Canada. You can get a free pass as well – it’s part of celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017! Our family is looking forward to using this pass several times in the coming year.

In January I will be celebrating my 50th birthday. Watch for some special deals and help me celebrate! Here are some goals I have set for my 50th year:
  • Submit 50 pieces of writing for publication
  • Write 50 Haikus
  • Share 50 Memes on Social Media
  • Write 50 blog posts
  • Write 50 thank you notes
  • Share a list of 50 books I’ve read and would recommend
  • Share a list of 50 people who have influenced my life
  • Add at least 50 people per month to my mailing list

What are you looking forward to in 2017?


Keeping your Christmas tree healthy and happy

NOTE: Today I have a guest post on A Beautiful Life about our family tradition of going on a Christmas tree hunt.

Whether you cut your own Christmas tree down or purchase a real tree at the nearest Christmas tree lot, you want your tree to stay healthy and keep its needles as long as possible. Here are some tips:

Choosing a tree

Look for healthy branches with no signs of dryness or brown needles. At the Christmas tree lot, grab a branch and pull it towards you. When it springs back into place, you should only have a couple needles in your hand if the tree is healthy. Make sure you store the tree in a sheltered, cool spot until you are ready to decorate it.

Making room for your tree

Choose a spot in your home that is away from heat sources like the heat register. It should be close enough to a plug-in for the lights.

Setting the tree up

If the tree has been sitting for more than 4 hours or you purchased it from a lot, saw off a small round from the bottom of the trunk. This enables your tree to access water more easily, which keeps your tree vibrant and healthy. The bottom of the trunk should be straight to make it easier for you to mount it in a stand. (Wondering what makes a good stand? Check out 3 Best Christmas Tree Stand Designs.) The stand should be able to hold a good amount of water (some say up to a gallon) so that you don’t have to keep adding water.

There are some people who say just plain water is best and others who insist you need to add a few things to prevent mold and keep the needles on longer. Here are some recipes for Christmas tree food:

 

Safety Considerations

Make sure your light strands don’t have any exposed wires. Keep your tree away from heat sources. Take your tree down before it dries out.

More Information?

 

Do you have any more hints for taking care of a Christmas tree? What’s your favourite Christmas tradition? Please share in the comments below.


Merry Christmas: O Holy Night and some thoughts about Christmas

Musical Christmas12

Merry Christmas! O Holy Night is my favorite Christmas carol, the first one we sang at our Christmas Eve Service in Glendon last night. Due to spending time with my family, I haven’t done the research like I did the previous 11 days on my musical countdown to Christmas. However, I did find a beautiful version to share with you.

I’d also like to share a few thoughts about Christmas that have spoken to me in the past week or so:

From In Touch Ministries (Daily Devotion)

“As we lay our praises at the foot of the manger, let us not forget that He came so that we may lay our sins down at the foot of the cross. This is Jesus’ Christmas gift to you.”

On Facebook from Taber’s Truths:

“Gone to Dad’s to prepare a place for you. Be back to pick you up soon, Jesus.”

From a little gift book called Practice by Practice, written by a fellow Canadian author, Kathleen Gibson.

IMG_1539

We’ve had dreary weather all week – fog, cloudy skies, and . . . beautiful hoar frost. We had a few hours of bright blue skies and sunshine last Friday and I snapped the pictures below. The beauty took my breath away – and I was almost late for my Music for Young Children Sunshine class in St. Paul, because I kept stopping to take more pictures!

Frosty bale of hay
A farm near St. Paul, AB.

 

Frosty Gazebo and trees
In St. Vincent, AB

 

Frosty sunrise in December
A view in our yard.

 

Christ is Born
A scene from the Christmas play at the Glendon Community Church

 

Whether you are spending Christmas overseas away from family and friends, or in a busy noisy household, my prayer for you is that you will focus on the birth of Jesus Christ and the salvation we have because of His birth.

I’ll be taking a break from blogging over the Christmas holidays, but will be back in 2015. Watch for more details about some blog hops I’ll be hosting! You may also want to hop over to the InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship Blog on December 29th to read my monthly contribution there.

 


Musical Countdown to Christmas: Do You Hear What I Hear by Noel Regney & Gloria Shayne

Musical Christmas11

It’s Christmas Eve! As you make last minute preparations, take time to still your heart and mind. Read the Christmas story from Luke 2 and listen to your favourite Christmas carols. Enjoy this second to last musical countdown to Christmas.

Who were Noel Regney and Gloria Shayne?

  • Noel Regney was born August 19, 1922 in Strasbourg, France
  • Studied classical music at Strasbourg, Salzburg, and Paris
  • Drafted into the Nazi army even though he was French, but became a deserter
  • Settled in Manhattan in 1952, working as a television music arranger, composer, and conductor
  • He met Gloria Shayne in Manhattan while she was playing the piano in the dining room of a hotel
  • They married a month after they met
  • They composed many songs together. Usually Gloria wrote the lyrics and Noel wrote the music.

The Story behind Do You Hear What I Hear?

  • Written in October 1962
  • A plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis
  • Regney wrote the lyrics and Shayne wrote the music
  • The lyrics were written after Regney watched babies being pushed in strollers in New York City
  • Sold more than a quarter-million copies in the first week it was released
  • Bing Crosby recorded the song in 1963
  • The song has been recorded many times since

Here’s a version with some sand art

Historical Context

  • Written during the Cuban Missile Crisis (threat of nuclear war)
  • First recorded on November 22, 1963 – the day  United States President John F. Kennedy was assassinated
  • American Express introduced credit cards in the United Kingdom
  • Pope John XXIII died
  • Martin Luther King delivered his famous speech, “I Have a Dream”
  • The Beatles released their first album

Looking for more details?

My Gift for today:

Leave a comment below for your opportunity to win a paperback copy of the San Francisco Wedding Planner Series II.SFWP Series 2 Cover