To all of my readers,
I've established a new combined website to carry my blog at www.janetstobie.com I will no longer be posting any blogs here. I've made a lot of changes with the new site and added new information. Please click on www.janetstobie.com Roam around the site and then subscribe to the blog. Thanks so much.
Blessings Janet Stobie
Author, Storyteller and Inspirational Speaker
I've moved my blog to my new website at www.janetstobie.com Please come find me there. I've added lots of new information.
Hear Janet tell the story "The Last Shall be First" from her book Can I Hold Him?(Part One) (Part Two)
For more than twenty years, I’ve had to write something for Thanksgiving. Often, I’ve used the Biblical story of the “Ten Lepers” for inspiration. If Jesus wondered why only one leper was grateful for his healing, what must God think of us when we take our blessings for granted? This year, I’m beginning with Tom’s words, “Every time I turn around, there’s another pleasant surprise from God.”
As we left for
Tucson last month, our minds were riddled
with worry and sadness. Our grandson had been injured playing rugby and needed
surgery and the day before we left my nephew was killed in a car accident.
Staying home was out of the question. I was conducting my mother’s memorial
service in Tucson.
We packed our bags and drove first to my sister’s home six hours away and then
back to . The next morning, Tom opened the drapes in our
hotel room and said, “Every time, I turn around there’s another pleasant surprise
from God.” Buffalo Airport
What was he talking about? He pointed to the idyllic country scene just outside the hotel window and began ticking off the list of blessings we had received over the past twenty-four hours. He started with the previous night. When we crossed the bridge at
Niagara Falls, we needed
gas immediately. He asked a taxi driver for directions to the nearest gas
station. That stranger not only led us to the nearest open gas station, but
also all the way to the Buffalo airport. He even paid
our toll as we crossed a toll bridge. As he disappeared into the night, we gave
thanks to God for his kindness. Tom finished his list with the unexpected
Jacuzzi tub in our hotel room.
Yes, God had given us little blessings here and there, as we set out on this journey, our hearts full of sadness and worry. I needed to give God thanks.
I offer you this tip. God offers small blessings, surprises, even on the worst days. We can follow
St. Paul’s instructions,
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this
is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians
, school has begun once
again. For me, this fall is different. My son has returned with his family from
Although they spent every summer and most Christmas vacations with us for the
last twelve years, this will be the first experience of our Canadian schools
for my granddaughter Jenna. China
When my children were young, we moved often. I remember the anxiety I felt accompanying them to yet another new school. Will they be accepted? Will they make new friends? I did my best to make our lifestyle an adventure, but I knew it wouldn’t be easy for them. High school was even more stressful. I consoled myself with the belief that somehow, the frequent moves might help them greet new experiences all their lives. Now, Jenna has a new beginning, and my prayers are with her.
This week and for the next months, I encourage you to pray for all young people starting into a different school – college, university, high school, elementary school, nursery school. Pray that they will find adults and children who care about them and their individual needs. Ask God to find some way of telling them that they “are truly fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14), that they are loved and valued as God’s special creations. I believe when we know that we have value in ourselves, and have the security of being loved by at least one other person, we can step into a new world with confidence.
Psalm 139 is one of my favourite scripture passages because it talks of the uniqueness and love that each one of us enjoys as God’s child. Pray that each child this year will know that he or she is not alone. As Jesus said, “I will be with you always, even unto the ends of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) God is with us. We are not alone. Thanks be to God.
My laptop computer is getting old and cranky. The battery power lasts for only an hour, and then it fails. I almost always try to find an outlet where I can plug in.
As the years pass, I too feel as if the battery that supplies my energy is failing. Although I know a good diet and exercise will help, what I really want is a power outlet. I’d like to plug in to a life source and get a dose of new life. I’m just like the rest of humanity that has searched for that “fountain of youth” for centuries.
This week, in my Bible, I read Isaiah 40:27-31. “They shall rise up on wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.” The message for me was that when my battery gets low, I can plug in to God. I know that God does not promise a new young body, but God will ensure that I have the energy I need for the tasks that God has for me.
How do we plug in to God? The first step is prayer. When we take time to talk and to listen to God, we are opening ourselves to God’s power. Step two is to pick up our Bibles and begin to read. Start with the book of Mark, the shortest of the stories of Jesus’ life. Don’t just zoom through it. Read a short section. Think about it. Read it again. Focus on what God is saying to your life in that story. Talk with God about it. Step three: Talk with a friend about what you need and what you are learning. You’ll be amazed at the renewed strength and energy you will have.
"God gives power to the weak and to those who have no might. God increases strength."
In our land of abundance, “No one will ever leave our home hungry,” is often a family tradition. In many places, hospitality can mean the difference between life and death, physically or emotionally. Visitors to the poorest nations are amazed by the generous sharing of food that often leaves the host family hungry. Regularly, foreign guests are offered lodging in dwellings already overcrowded.
The Bible speaks about the importance of hospitality. Like the word hospital, hospitality comes from the Latin word for healing. Much of the time, as hosts, we are unaware of the healing that our guests need. We welcome friends and family, sometimes feeling like Martha, overworked, hurried, glad to see our guests and already wondering exactly when they will leave.
Today, I offer you another way. From the moment you know they are coming, whether months before, or as you hear the knock on the door, wrap your guests in prayer.
- Ask God, not only for a safe journey to and from your home, but also for joy along the way. Pray that their eyes, ears and hearts will be open to glimpses of God’s Kingdom.
- Prepare their room with prayer for restful sleep. Fill the room with loving thoughts.
- Focus on your good memories with them, and good experiences you hope to have as you prepare the food you will share.
- Give God thanks for the gift of their visit each morning as you wake and each night as go to sleep.
- As they leave, ask for God’s blessing upon their lives not just for the return journey, but always.
Wrapping your guests in prayer will ensure that you offer them an experience of healing. That is true Biblical hospitality.
“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (1Peter 4:9-10)
I’m feeling great. I’ve managed to make my way through all the forms, click on all the right boxes, and send my book “A Child Speaks” to Smashwords. I’m still floating from the experience of seeing my book listed with millions of others. My next task is to organize a blog tour or book launch. I’ve still got to work my way through the U.S. tax forms in order to receive the money, when the book sells. But, I belief in jumping one hurdle at a time. I’m truly grateful to Kimberly Payne for her help in navigating, to Maureen Cutajar for formatting the book and Donna Casey for designing the cover. It’s easy to purchase just go to www.smashwords.com and type in the title. It’s only $5.99. If you already own the print version, I’d be thrilled if you checked into Smashwords and left a review.