It Was the Worst Christmas Break Ever

Children’s Story by Jennifer Waddle

Jennifer Waddle

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!

Here is a small sample from the book:

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!

 

Jennifer WaddleJennifer 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.

To find out more about Worst Christmas Break Ever please click here. 

Disclaimer:

I have not read this book. But I think one of my grandkids might enjoy it.

I am joining in the Twelve Days of Christmas Author Blog Hop run by Ruth Snyder. Disclaimer: I have not read this book.

12 Days of Christmas

Tomorrow we start Twelve Days of Christmas

We have 12 days to read 12 Days of Christmas and find out what authors are writing. I hope you enjoy the articles.

12 days

In the meantime you can download for 99 cents on Amazon Kindle, Living Life One Word at a Time. Tell me your thoughts and whether I should continue to make this a full book.

Living Life One Word at a Time

I would love to know how you are doing. Drop me a line at Janis or comment below.

If you need prayer drop me a line too.

I have been busy writing and you can find me on Medium.com.

 

How Did God Lead Marianne to Social Justice?

A Powerful Story of God’s Persistence and a Woman’s Obedience

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Marianne Jones, author, blogger, scriptwriter.

“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” ~ Malala Yousafzai

Marianne

Marianne didn’t let anything stop her from speaking out. Here is her story.

I knew from the time I was ten I wanted to be a writer. I was an insatiable reader and loved to memorize poetry and write my own. When I was 14, I saw an ad for a national writing competition from a now-defunct magazine called Miss Chatelaine. I decided to enter, as a test, to see if I had what it took. I was shocked when I actually won. It seemed like confirmation, but it also scared me, and because of my perfectionism and fear of failure, I didn’t do a lot of writing for a long time.

In my twenties, married, with two children, I decided to try seriously to write, and took a Christian correspondence course in writing. I thought that I’d give writing one year, and if I hadn’t sold anything in that year, I’d give myself permission to quit. That year I sold an article to Woman’s Touch magazine (also defunct now, but I don’t think it had anything to do with my article) for $15.

I felt that God had given me my answer.

Still, it was not smooth sailing after that. I had years of tears, discouragement, rejection letters. But God wouldn’t let me go. Every time I was on the verge of quitting, I’d sell another piece. And I began writing for local newspapers, which taught me how to do interviews and brought in a small salary.

I first heard about IJM (International Justice Mission) at church.

Right away I was hooked.

So often we look at things like human trafficking and think, “That’s awful, but what can I do about it?” Here was a Christian organization that was doing a great deal about it!

The idea of writing a play about their work kept gnawing at me.

I had written a play about the work of the Salvation Army in Thunder Bay, and it had done well. I ordered Gary Haugen’s book, “Terrify No More,” to get a sense of how they carry out their rescue operations, and used it as a model for a play that I wrote and directed at church. We had a fabulous cast and team, and raised $22,000 from that evening!

I have been involved to a smaller extent with other things my husband Reg  has spearheaded. He formed a committee at church to sponsor two Syrian refugee families and help settle them in Thunder Bay. Both families are doing very well, and have become good friends. They are eternally grateful to the committee and to our church. Reg has also formed a “Walking Together” group at church to explore ways in which we can partner with First Nations people and promote healing, and reconciliation. This has been an exciting venture in our city, with the Walking Together group growing and gaining traction and influence in the city and some northern communities.

God has led all the way.

When I was a young Christian, churches seemed to be mainly concerned about evangelism among people that were similar to themselves.

Social justice was not considered to be the church’s work.

That never felt right to me or Reg. Throughout the Bible, God talks about injustice and oppression. Jesus spoke of breaking chains and preaching good news to the poor. This is an exciting time, when we are seeing God lead in showing His love to refugees, slaves, and people trapped in poverty and addiction. His love is not just toward those of us who live in a comfortable middle-class bubble.

I am thrilled at what God  is doing!

Several years ago I heard Linda Stewardson share her story at church. We were riveted as she told of being stabbed as a child by her stepfather, put into a garbage bag, and left to die.

As she continued, I thought, “This is a book. I have to write her story!”

I approached her later about it, and she was willing to work with me on a manuscript. Later, I entered it in a publishing contest run by Word Alive Press with Women’s Journey of Faith, and it won! Linda has spoken to women in prison, girls in crisis, College classes for child and youth workers, and everywhere she is invited. People are always enthralled by her story of how God enabled her to overcome her past and thrive. She has appeared on 100 Huntley Street three times, and the Centre for Mental Health and Addiction awarded her the Courage to Come Back award.

Marianne

A powerful story of the impact one story can have

While Linda and I were signing copies at the launch of The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die at Women’s Journey of Faith in Saskatoon, a young woman stood near. She hung back. When there was a free moment, she came closer, hesitated, and then said, “Thank you for writing this.” Her eyes filled with tears, and she appeared to be struggling.

“Does this story resonate with you?” I asked. She nodded, and managed to share that she, like Linda, had experienced severe abuse in her life. Linda and I both embraced her and tried to convey our sympathy. I asked her if she was getting support, and she said yes. She also said that often people didn’t want to hear about it.

I told her that there is power in sharing one’s story.

The Girl Who wouldn’t Die

Watch it by clicking the link above.

Someone else came with a book for signing, and I turned to them, as Linda continued to speak with the young woman. Unfortunately, we didn’t get any contact information from her to continue the conversation, but she has stayed in our hearts and prayers since.


Linda said to me, “That’s the whole reason for this book. That’s why we did this.”
I couldn’t agree more.

Marianne

Linda and Marianne at book signing.

People are often uncomfortable at topics like sexual abuse and human trafficking.

They would rather change the subject and move on to something more pleasant. But I don’t see that as an option. How can we turn our backs on our sisters (and brothers) who, through no fault of their own, are  treated as objects for abuse? I can handle the unpleasantness of the topic. I’ve heard women share their stories with me.

Their stories don’t depress me. Rather, they motivate me to do something about it.

Like everyone else, I have limited time, money and energy. But like the boy who gave his bread and fish to Jesus to be shared, I can give my small offerings of time and talent, trusting that God will multiply them.

The Kindle version of The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die can be found here.
For a print copy, email her

Marianne is a team member for Chain Breakers at IJMCanada. Please consider donating to this worthy cause.

Chain Breakers.

 

INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE MISSION is a global organization that protects the poor from violence throughout the developing world. IJM partners with local authorities to rescue victims of violence, bring criminals to justice, restore survivors, and strengthen justice systems. International Justice Mission Canada shares in this mission.

 

How Can We Stop Human Trafficking?

Why in the World is human trafficking going on?

My heart is broken. Every time I hear about someone who has been captured and put into slavery or someone abused I get upset. Human trafficking has got to stop. What can we do?

human trafficking

A few years ago I felt compelled to advocate against human trafficking. At that time I helped Ratanak. The next year I helped a small organization working for Dunamis.

But this year God put it on my heart to join International Justice Mission (IJMCanada).

What can you do to help fight against human trafficking and abuse?

  1. I made a team called Chain Breakers
  2. My Artists and Writers Group in Facebook is study scriptures for this month. You can download 30-Verses-to-Pray-Against-DMST or join us on our group.
  3. Yellow shows the light we can shine on the darkness.  The campaign is called Bold in the Cold #liveboldinthecold. But since I am now in Arizona I changed mine to Be Bold – Wear Yellow. Join me.

human trafficking

4. I have challenged myself to work on 30 sketches, pictures and paintings for this month – in yellow. This is Day one – yesterday.

human trafficking

5. I have a Facebook Page called Help Break the Chains of Abuse.

6. And finally you are the first to know – I am going to give ALL the MONEY collected this month for sales of Tadeo Turtle and The Kingdom of Thrim to International Justice Mission. Please go to Amazon and order your copy  of my books.

Click here for more information: Bookstore: 

human trafficking

human trafficking

Follow me on Instagram.

 

What Have I been Writing on Medium?

I am joining the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes. Join me. 

I am writing in a blogging platform called Medium. Visit me.

 

This has become an annual tradition inspired by the Write 31 Days challenge,
which takes place every October.
For Write…
fiveminutefriday.com

Here are my first five posts written in Medium. – a new blogging platform

Day 1 — How Did Your Fabulous Story Begin?   

The prompt is “story”.

Day 2 — How I was Afraid but Learned not to Fear

The prompt is “afraid”.

Day 3 — How and What Do You Believe?

The prompt is “believe”.

Day 4 — Do you Cry, “Why, Lord” When Things Go Wrong?

The prompt is “why”.

Day 5 – How Much or How Little Do You Share?

I am trying to catch up.

If you want to find me on Medium click here.

Stay tuned to more updates.

Hope everyone is doing well.

May I pray for you and me today?

Lord,I pray that the person reading this post is focused on You. I pray that they will continue to put your first. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Why is that cell phone addictive?

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash
cell phone
Click on the photo to listen to the podcast.Or click on Hope Stream Radio podcast.

I have been running an online study of God’s Word on Facebook and last January  we  looked at Proverbs.

I love the way God shows each member of our group different things to look at. This morning during the sermon a church I heard why that happens.

Our Pastor said, “As we examine His Word, God examines us.”

And that’s exactly what we have found while studying the first 5 proverbs.

As I studied Proverbs 5 I knew it talked about faithfulness and the sin of adultery. As I focused on verse 3, I read:

For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey,
and her speech is smoother than oil;

From a Bible Journaling

This made me think of other things that give me pleasure, but are not necessarily good for my spirit.

I thought of all the enticements that the world offers that we have to be aware of. There are many.

Then I thought about social media. And my new cell phone. Was I drawn to it – more than I should be?

Looking at the honey analogy I see that social media is sweet, enticing and tastes good.

Recently, I read a very good article in the Globe and Mail that showed me that although our desire to see who is talking on line and whether people are liking and commenting is very sweet, it is worse than that — we are wanting more and more.

That’s addiction.

And to make it worse the people behind the programs, like Facebook and Instagram, can manipulate our “likes” to make us come back to check — which is exactly what they want — the more views, the better advertising. Oh — they caught us!

But how and why do we continue to want to do this?

It’s all about something called dopamine. It’s a funny word — because it reminds me of the word dope — or simple-minded. We are been played for fools.

Screen time has been called “digital heroin”.

Dopamine is a feel-good neurotransmitter. And somehow screens with their likes, comments, games, bring about this feeling. It makes us want more. It is addictive.

Another article from the New York Post explains the “digital heroin”.

Can you live without your cell phone for a week, a day, or a couple of hours? If you can’t answer yes — you may be addicted.

It drips like honey — enticing you.

In the second part of the Proverbs it talks about lips having speech smoother than oil.

There is so much on the Internet that slips into our minds without our noticing if it’s right or wrong. It may soothe your ego, flatter your ability, or lie to you.

Listen to Psalm 5:6

“Not a word from their mouth can be trusted;
their heart is filled with malice.
Their throat is an open grave;
with their tongues they tell lies.”

Can that be what we are listening or reading?

Is there a way out of this?

I think there is.

It is called discipline and wisdom.

Read the first 5 proverbs, and you will see that God will provide us the wisdom we need if we ask Him.

In prayer we can ask for help with our own cell addictions and those of our children.

I know with God’s help we can use the devices – cell phones –  with wisdom, and discretion.

And for what we read and share on the Net — we need to research it thoroughly and test it against the Word of God. Does it line up?

I would say that:

If it is hateful — it is not of God
If it is judgmental — It is not of God
If it is hurtful — It is not of God.

Remember Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.”

The more we read the Bible, the more we pray and the more we listen, we will find the wisdom of God.

And when we do we will find joy, love, peace and hope as well.

May I pray for you and me?

Father, we know there are things of this world that can be good and bad. Help us control cell phone use. We know that You can help us discern how much time we spend on our phones, and how we can use them wisely to glorify You. Help us to find that way. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Until next time, check yourself and your family.

Are you snared by that phone?
Are you missing out in personal communication?
Pray for control over that device and stay in the Word to gather discernment about its use.

CALL TO ACTION:

Are you a Christian? If so, do you need to go deeper in your spiritual journey?

One way to continue to grow in God’s Word is online.

Artists and Writers Grow 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.

revival

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.

Where Can You Find Me? I am not lost.

Not Lost – But Found

I am not lost but found. At least anymore than a child of God is lost in this world. But I am found by Him – and that’s a hallelujah. And it’s time for revival.

I believe strongly we need to all be praying for revival of the Holy Spirit. Join me at Artists and Writers Grow Through God’s Word Facebook Group.

lost

 

I am not posting as much here as I have begun to write seriously on another platform called Medium. I belong to a publication called Faith Hacking and one called Publishous. I also write in the member’s posts section.

You can find me here and follow me on Medium – with no obligations.

Janis Cox 

Some of my topics:

Revival  There are many posts on this topic of revival.

Battling Satan

How to Relieve Stress

These are my most recent. If you follow me you will see more of my posts.

 

Do You Know Why You Are Stressed? Pause

What Jesus Can Teach Us About Pause

The word for Five Minute Friday this week is “pause”.

pause

“Pause” is such an important word in our lives. Jesus went away from all the people to find communion with God. He left early in the morning to go out by himself to pray.

We need to use His example.

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed (Mark 1:35, NIV).”

“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed (Luke 5:16, NIV).”

In the hustle and bustle of our lives we need to take that time. Five minutes. An hour. A day. A week. Take whatever you need to find out what God is saying to you.

I find when I am feeling rushed and tense, it’s good to leave and just breathe somewhere quiet. I use the washroom. Usually that brings quiet. A short walk around the block. Sitting outside in nice weather.

rest

Where do you find rest? We need it physically and spiritually.

My mother-in-law gave us a plate when we were newly married. It didn’t make sense to me at the time. As the years go by it means more and more to me.

I wrote a post about this. And many times in the past few weeks God has said: slow down. Stop. You can read more posts at the bottom.

pause

But I really wonder how many of you will really heed this warning.
What are you striving for?

If you are in ministry, are you doing for God instead of being with God? Sometimes He wants us to slow down to hear His voice. Stop and find out what He wants. There will be more power if you allow the Holy Spirit to enter your life and your decisions.

Have you thought of art as a way to relax and relate to God. I love Bible Art and would love to teach what I have learned. Please consider signing up for a free course. 

pause

Other posts about “pause”. These are older posts and some of the pictures are missing as I deleted any picture that wasn’t “free”.

Slow: Five Minute Friday

Breathe: Five Minute Friday

 

Is this the Time for Another Revival of the Holy Spirit?

Let’s Pray for Revival

revival

job-rascon-271117-unsplash

Sometimes writing is hard. Sometimes it’s easy.

I am in a hard spell. There has been a lot going on in my life and I can’t seem to concentrate on sitting still and writing.

But here I am.

This Sunday and last Sunday we had marvellous sermons about Pentecost. Yes, the coming to earth of the Holy Spirit. The fire — the life — the revelation.

We need that again.

In 1734 Jonathan Edwards wrote:

“”It pleased God…to display his free and sovereign mercy in the conversion of a great multitude of souls in a short space of time, turning them from a formal, cold, and careless profession of Christianity, to the lively exercise of every Christian grace, and the powerful practice of our holy religion.”

Free and sovereign mercy — God did this.

We have to remember that God brings revival. So what do we do?

We pray for revival.

Here are the first great revivals.

The Great Awakening, 1734–43 in America

Jonathan Edwards and George Whitfield are names from that awakening.

The Second Great Awakening, 1800–1840

James McGready and Charles Finney are names from that awakening.

Is it time for another awakening of hearts and spirits?

Let’s look:

  1. Revivals happen in a period of moral decline. Look at our world: sexual abuse, disgust with those running governments, corruption, killings, and fear. We have screen abuse so we are no longer talking face to face with others. Our reading skills are declining.
  2. Prayer stimulates our hearts and souls and sends a signal to God that we are ready to see Him in action.
  3. Those who teach from God’s Word are speaking into the hearts of the people.

Are you ready for revival?
Do you want to see God’s spirit move in hearts?
Are you ready to be convicted and see yourself as God sees you? (That’s scary.)

I always love this song by Robin Mark. Revive Us.

God has put it on my heart to gather believers together, to grow through God’s Word and prayer.

Scriptures to read:

Titus 3:5-6

“He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,”

Isaiah 40:31

“Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.”

1 Corinthians 2:4-5

“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.”

revival

Bible journaling – Janis Cox

I would like to start a collection of revival, restore scriptures that we can pray. Please add your scriptures in the comments. Thanks.

Posts on the Power of the Holy Spirit

Unleashing the Holy Spirit

Humidity, Hearts and The Holy Spirit – My thoughts from Poland Trip 2010

How To Regenerate God’s Power in Your Life

We need to be connected. To pray together. Join us at Artists and Writers Grow Through God’s Word.

revival

 

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.

secret

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.

secret

secret