About His Work with Janet                   December 2016   

Merry Christmas Message!
If you're like me, I'm saying where did this year go? It went by fast and furious, but that could be because Forsaken God?: Remembering the Goodness of God Our Culture Has Forgotten was released in February, and that same month I signed the contract for Mentoring for All Seasons: Women Sharing Life's Experiences and God's Faithfulness. Releasing one book and writing the next one does have a way of making the year go by quickly.

Then came a very energetic long election season, and the next thing I knew it was Thanksgiving and now we're preparing for the celebration of our Savior's birth. As I wrote in my blog post, Give the Gift of Encouragement at Christmas, this is our season. This is the time that Christians should be joyous and celebrating because without the birth of Jesus, there would be no Christian church, no Christian faith, no Christians. Have you ever thought of Christmas in that light?

Of course, we know the Christmas story, we enjoy the kids' plays in church, and we read the Bible passages. But so often the relevance of Christmas to our faith, the correlation to Easter, can get lost in the parties, presents, presentations, and people. Christmas has become so commercialized by the culture and festivities that many people have no idea the significance of why they're celebrating . . . but we do.

I was at a doctor's appointment last week, and as the doctor left the room, he said, "Merry Christmas." This was a new doctor, so I was thrilled to hear him say this, not as a response to my Merry Christmas, but of his own accord. But then, I thought . . . How did Christians let this become such a big deal to hear someone say "Merry Christmas"? That should be the natural greeting during the celebration of our Savior's birth. Never let anyone take that away from you or discourage you from keeping Christ at the center of your CHRISTmas.

Share the love of Jesus with those who don't know Him this Christmas . . . eternal life is the only gift that will outlive you and it costs you nothing to give . . . Jesus already paid the price at Easter.

Merry CHRISTmas and I'll talk with you next year,
About His Work,

PS: I'm still receiving "Brave" stories for my next book. Please contact me for guidelines. I would love to hear a time when you had to be brave or God asked you to do something you couldn't do on your own power. 

PSS: New Blog Posts: 
Give the Gift of Encouragement at Christmas  
PSSS: Get all your Woman to Woman Mentoring Resources now exclusively at our website shop. Books always personally signed by Janet. 
PSSSS: Read the Author Interview with Kimberly Drew & Jocelyn Green about their book, 
Refresh: Spiritual Nourishment for Parents of Children with Special Needs and a chance to win a free copy.   

In an interview the executive editor of the New York Times said, "We don't get religion. We don't get the role of religion in people's lives. We can do much better."

The truth is they can't do much better until they hear from us, the people whose lives center around Jesus Christ. That's why I wrote Forsaken God?: Remembering the Goodness of God Our Culture Has Forgotten. This editor expressed what we know, and is evident, our culture has deemed Christianity irrelevant, and yet evangelicals came out in force in the last election which left the media all wanting to know more about us because we've remained silent for so long.

There is no better way to start the New Year, then remembering the God of the past in our own lives and making Him relevant in the world in which we live today.

There are questions at the end of each chapter in Forsaken God? for group discussion. Churches, Bible studies, and small groups are using it for group study. Now's the time to order for 2017! We have plenty in stock, and I'll sign each one.

Take advantage now of our Christmas/New Years special through 1/15/17 in our website shop - Only $10.

Also available on  Amazon.
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Don't forget to Order Mentor and Mentee Handbooks for your Kickoffs  
Our  testimony this month: 

Hi Janet,                
We've just passed our 1st anniversary of the mentoring ministry. The leadership team is taking shape and there is a pool of trained, committed mentors developing. Each coffee has taught us new things about what works within  our church's particular culture.

We are opening the coffees up to the local community.

We are praising God for taking our leadership team from 1 (me) to 6 in just a year! And that we stay out of His way while we surrender daily to His leading.
Be blessed today as you are a blessing to others.
Suzy B.     
               Mentoring Tip            
Before each Orientation Coffee, establish dates for Kickoff Night and the Mentor Halftime Refresher and announce those dates in advance so M&M's can plan to attend.       

 Family Traditions! 
We've lived near three of our eleven grandkids for six Christmas's, and their family spends Thanksgiving weekend with us when we're in town. To keep the three kids occupied and to have some fun the Saturday after Thanksgiving, they run around the house gathering up all the fall decorations I have out. Then their daddy helps us move our furniture, Grampa puts up the Christmas tree, and the kids decorate it.

Since we live in the forest, their family cuts down their own fresh Christmas tree to take home.

We also do a gingerbread house that weekend and usually decorate some cookies. It makes for a fun, full time.

I didn't realize the kids were looking at these activities as "traditions," until the oldest said something to the two younger ones about decorating the tree because that was the "tradition." Then it hit me, that yes not only were we making memories together and having fun, the grandchildren would hopefully remember when they're adults, the traditions they had at Grammie and Grampa's house. Without even trying, we were laying down family traditions.

What kinds of Christmas activities do your grandchildren and children participate in that they will remember as traditions?
  author2Meet An Author
Spiritual Nourishment for Parents of Children with Special Needs

As I interviewed the authors, I thought about how blessed and honored I am that the publisher of Refresh chose my endorsement for the back cover
of this book .

Kimberly, at what point in raising Abbey did you begin to think that you wanted to share what God has been teaching you with other parents of kids with special needs, too? Did you know right away you wanted to do it through a book?
In the early years of Abbey's disabilities, I was definitely in a survival mode. As I came to accept this life I had been called to, I realized I didn't want my pain to be for nothing. I needed it to help others. Eventually, I found myself drawn to those with disabilities and their families because I know how uncomfortable it is in public sometimes. For me, a quick conversation or offer of prayer for someone's child felt like a step in the right direction, but it never felt like enough. I told my husband Ryan that I wished that I had something in my hand to give them. Something that when I walked away, I would know it contained the Gospel and stories that would inspire both hope and courage in this difficult and sometimes overwhelming journey. When I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for, I reached out to my friend Jocelyn to help make this dream a reality. She had just published a devotional for military families, and I thought, "BINGO! A devotional for parents of children with special needs!"
  Tell us about the process of pouring your heart and soul into the pages of this book. What affect did the actual writing of these devotions have on you, spiritually and emotionally?
Writing was both extremely therapeutic and emotionally draining. Occasionally I would have to close the computer and just ask God to continue to heal my heart. I felt completely inadequate most of the time, but God was perfectly adequate. Every part of our story belongs to Him. Every time I tell it and share how He has given us hope and life and joy, I'm giving it back to God and I'm asking him to use it for His glory. I also believe that the Word of God contains everything I will ever need to live this life. As I study Scripture, I find meaning and purpose and hope. It was extremely important to me that while writing I didn't want my experiences to define my view of God, but I wanted my God to define my view of my experiences. My time in His Word while writing this book was invaluable to me, and I believe He used it to challenge and stretch me in new ways. I do, however, remember telling Ryan that I was "SO OVER being stretched" and that I really just wanted a vacation! Ha! It's been almost a year and I'm just getting back to blogging and writing for other websites. I needed an emotional and spiritual break.
  How did it feel to read the devotions featuring the parents Jocelyn interviewed?
What started out as me wanting to share my own heart evolved into a devotional format that included lots of families and different disabilities. This was really Jocelyn's vision and I'm so grateful that she pushed to expand the idea because even though I knew I had a lot to write about, there is something really beautiful about the way this book came together. That's the great part about working with a professional! Jocelyn and I would write and send each other drafts to look over and I would find myself crying over her e-mails saying, "YES! That's it! That's exactly what I went through." Even though I was writing for the same book at the same time, it was like a gift that kept giving back to me and ministering to my own spirit. Every parent and family featured in this book holds a place in my heart. These devotionals inspired and challenged me. On many occasions I would read something and think, "That's the kind of person I want to become." I'm so grateful for that and honored to have worked with my friend on something that meant so much to me.
Jocelyn, this is your first book not written for or about the military community. Why the change in theme?
My son was born with congenital hypothyroidism, which meant that if he went untreated, he would be profoundly mentally and physically disabled. Because his condition was caught at birth, he was able to begin taking medicine at five days old. It's a life-long condition but with his medication, he is symptom-free, and a pretty typical little boy. But I can't help but think of all the families who receive news of their children's disability, and there is NOT a pill that will fix everything, like there is for my son. What could I do about it, though?

When Kimberly approached me with her idea for this book, I knew right away it was something worth all the energy and time it would require. Kimberly and I had been good friends in college-I was even one of her bridesmaids! So re-connecting with her on this project has been meaningful on so many levels. Our prayer is that
Refresh encourages parents who desperately need it.

Author Bios:
Kimberly M. Drew and husband Ryan have four children. They also have a son, who is waiting for them in heaven. Kimberly developed a passion for children with special needs and their parents after their firstborn daughter suffered a traumatic birth resulting in multiple disabilities. In 2016, they adopted a baby girl with special needs. Jocelyn Green is a former journalist and multiple award-winning author of more than ten works of fiction and nonfiction, including the Faith Deployed and Faith Deployed . . . Again devotionals for military wives, The 5 Love Languages Military Edition (with Dr. Gary Chapman), and the Heroines Behind the Lines Civil War series of novels. Kimberly and Jocelyn are both graduates of Taylor University. Find their book, Refresh, at   Amazon , ChristianBook , or BarnesandNoble .

If you would like to enter a drawing to win a copy of Kimberly & Jocelyn's book Refresh, please  contact me. 
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