Saturday, January 18, 2020

Happy Saturday reader!

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Dear friends,

I treasure you more than you’ll know. And because of that, I value your time, your commitments and your need to receive something that will make your life better and easier.

Beginning this year, the newsletter will pop in your inbox every three months. And the content will vary to give you a little something to ponder upon, to uplift your day or even add to your collection of insights.

The Bible says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).

How cool is that! We’ll learn from each other. Together we’ll learn as we go through life’s sad times, joyful moments or challenging days.

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In this issue you’ll find:

• What’s new with me (hint: I'm learning about compromise).

• A bit of humor to brighten your day.

• A health tip about good fats to incorporate in our diets.

• An insightful video about food and brain function.

• An inspirational excerpt from one of my books.

• An opportunity for you to submit a prayer request

• Because of you...a personal note.

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As you know, my life begins this year as a new bride. And adjustment to married life has challenges.

Some of them are silly, others need work. For example, I don’t eat red meat and prefer free range chicken or fish and veggies. My new husband, as amazing as he is, prefers meat and potatoes and doesn’t eat chicken.

Goodness gracious, how do we prepare meals? Well, in our first meal we served a huge helping of compromise. I fixed him a big salad with all kinds of fresh veggies, dried cranberries, organic grapes, fresh greens, tomatoes, pickled beets, Shitake mushrooms, fresh cucumber and used my homemade avocado dressing. And guess what! He loved it.

We often have that for dinner. He also learned to drink Kombucha (I applaud him for that). And we both love nuts of any kind as long as they’re raw.

And my side of compromise? I ate the taco salad he made. Yes, with ground beef…. sigh! At least it was from grass fed cows. And I’m learning to eat chili with meat.

It’s a process but the journey is exciting just because we learned one super important thing…it’s not about us individually, it’s about us.

Similar to our relationship with Jesus. It’s all about give and take. We give Him our cares and He receives them. We give Him our fear and He pours His comfort. We lift our prayers and He sends answers. We share our secrets and He stores them in His love. We hand Him our worries and He whispers reassurance. We give Him our anxiety, and He gives us peace in return.

How blessed we are, to have Jesus dwell under the same roof of our heart. We live together in a relationship wrapped in love.

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One day in the army I was assigned KP (kitchen) duty. I reported to the Mess Hall and was told by the sergeant in charge that he wanted me to make 100 gallons of soup for tonight's dinner. I told him I didn’t know how to make soup. He quickly handed me a book and told me to follow the directions carefully.

Soon after I had a large kettle of soup simmering. The sergeant came up and tasted the soup. He took a second spoonful and stood there staring at me. I thought I had really messed up the soup and was waiting for a reprimand. Instead the sergeant said, “This tastes really good...are you sure you followed the recipe?”

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Starting the New Year requires changes, good changes on all levels—spiritual, emotional and physical. This 2-minute video will give you startling insights about the relation between what you eat and how your brain functions. It’s called: Change Your Brain, Change Your Life. You can watch it HERE.

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An excerpt from one of my books:

We all long to be safe, to protect our families and kids. We even install not the basic, but the “paranoia package” of the home security system. We hope all is guarded to the max.

Safety, however, is not the absence of danger, but the presence of Jesus?

Life for us and our children will face inevitable encounters with danger, risks and challenges.

Life is like that. Much like elevators, life has its ups and downs. But did you ever see an elevator go up or down while the door is still open? Of course not, the door must be closed before it can move. If it weren’t for the light purposely installed, darkness would rule.

Sometimes, it’s also necessary to experience some closed doors in our lives, the darkness of trials, losses or setbacks. My sons could easily remain stuck, stagnant, and unable to move forward and grow to become stronger unless some door closes, creating a certain degree of darkness. It is this darkness that might be necessary in order for the light of the Word of God to hold more value, similar to the elevator, which does not move until that door is closed. It’s this darkness that brings forth the depth and value found in the powerful light of the Word of God. In order for my sons to grow closer and have a deeper relationship with Jesus, they might need to experience some inevitable darkness in order for His light to shine brighter.

Is darkness necessary for emotional or spiritual growth? Perhaps not, but I find that the deeper the valley, the greater the glory as His hand lifts you to the top of the mountain!

The dark moment that surrounds you may be precisely the preparation for something bright that’s about to shine.” This excerpt is from my book Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get your own copy is HERE.

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Prayer

One of the most profound privileges is to receive your prayer requests and jo in you in prayer. Please send your concerns and requests with this LINK.

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Because of you...a personal note.

This note is from my heart.

Because of your encouragement, your financial and prayer support, God ushered me to accomplish the following in 2019:

I shared God’s redemptive power in several interviews on radio and television programs. And what gratitude I have for comments like this one: “I happened to be flipping around on the television and saw your interview. You are beautiful and amazing to God's glory only and always. I was so blessed. Everything you said was pure, deep, and rich. You have allowed the Lord to crush you, and to use you for His glory. His beauty is seen in you. I needed the encouragement your life story taught. I tend not to listen too closely to women who have all the answers but haven’t been through anything. You've been through the deep waters and it has washed over my soul. Gail

2019 was also the year that many of my stories inspired readers of Crosswalk.com. Here are a few of the titles:

• Five Behaviors That Say Dump Her Now

• Five things you do that can spiral into divorce.

• Seven steps to being secure in who you are.

• Have Christians lost the courage to believe?

• Five ways to Stop Feeling Insecure as a Mom

• Seven Ways to Conquer Loneliness (a story that received 10k hits when it first posted)

(These and many more can be found here: crosswalk.com.)

In July, I visited Cuenca, Ecuador where I brought a message of God's unconditional love to disabled teens, their parents, and volunteers.

“I love God too,” a young girl with Down syndrome said struggling to utter each word, “because He loves me, too.”

From Cuenca I traveled to Quito to speak at a conference with 1,300 women. Here, I had the privilege to deliver a message of the power to redeem and restore found through Jesus.

That night, God touched the heart of 180 folks who chose to accept Christ and live with the assurance of life eternal. Among them was a woman who hugged me tight and said, I’m not sure why I came because I profess to be an atheist. But now I’m leaving changed, and I am now a Christ follower.

While still in Ecuador, I was interviewed on HCJB radio where I shared my story of victory in Christ. Listeners sent in questions from various countries around the world including Australia and Spain. One of them wrote: My life has already changed just by listening to the joy Janet has because of God.

Back home, I had the honor of serving God by addressing Christian events to lift folks from valleys of adversity to the light of hope in Christ. Indirectly, my presentations at corporate events also highlight God’s never-ending love.

Toward the end of 2019, I traveled to Tennessee to present a keynote presentation before producers, directors, actors, musicians and agents at the International Conference for Visual Media. As I stepped off the stage, an agent shared his intention to identify a screenplay writer with the hope of putting my story into a movie. If God allows this, imagine how many more we can reach with the Gospel!

My blog posts and newsletters still reach many of you. And I praise the Lord big time when you write me and tell me God has touched your heart through my writing.

One more bit of exciting news occurred when JC Empowerment went under the umbrella of Greeneway Church  in Orlando, Florida.

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An opportunity for you...

All of the above was possible because of your loving support, your prayers, and your joyful donations to JC Empowerment Ministries.

Our team counts on you so we can continue to do God’s work. Should God lead you to support the ministry, your tax-deductible gifts can be sent HERE.

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Thank you for spending these moments with me. My joy overflows because you are such an important part of my inspirational family.

Janet