Tag Archives: God

Book Review: Tadeo Turtle – by Janis Cox

tadeo-turtle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book: Tadeo Turtle
Author/Illustrator: Janis Cox
Publisher: Word Alive Press
Date: 2012
Genre: Children's picture book; ages 2-6
Pages: 24
Price: $12.25, paperback
My rating: A lovely book encouraging children to 
accept themselves

 

I won this book and agreed to write my honest review of it.

Tadeo Turtle by Janis Cox (Canadian author and retired school teacher) is an engaging story about a turtle not satisfied with how he was made.  He didn’t know the Scripture (quoted at the beginning of the book) from Psalm 139:13-14 that can be applied, in part, to his situation – “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it.” – New Living Translation

Tadeo (pronounced TAD-ay-OH) was a cheerful little painted turtle who loved to play. One day he met a squirrel who could run up trees, and Tadeo became sad because he couldn’t do that. Tadeo wished he didn’t have a shell that he thought was a hindrance to him.

One night he dreamed that he was free of his shell so that he could run and climb, too. Tadeo was happy about that until a cat spied him and thought he was a rat. Poor Tadeo. He tried to hide among the rocks, and then found one that smelled like home. It was his shell that looked like a rock! It was then that Tadeo realized how safe he was inside his shell, just as God intended.

This is a fun story in rhyme. The rhyme doesn’t quite make the cut in some places, but it’s not enough to throw the reader out of the story. Janis Cox illustrated her story beautifully. I especially like the face of the cat, and the colours Janis chose throughout the story are very pleasing to the eye.

Isn’t this beautiful? I’m showing this image by permission of Janis Cox, the author/illustrator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the back of the book, the author included an activities section with instructions for children on how to make a paper plate turtle, a dough turtle, a rock turtle, and a felt board with pieces to make a turtle, rocks, and water. The author has not left her teaching experience behind as this book is a great tool in a classroom.

Janis Cox also included a research page with links to how to learn more about different turtles, and other interesting information. Tadeo Turtle is a book children will enjoy.

You can find Tadeo Turtle by Janis Cox on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Chapters.Indigo, and Goodreads.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

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Book Review: Without Proof – by Janet Sketchley

without-proof

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book: Without Proof: a Redemption's Edge novel
Author: Janet Sketchley
Publisher: Janet Sketchley
Genre: Christian suspense
Date: October 10, 2015
Pages: 308
Price: paperback, $12.99
My rating: a suspenseful story of hope

I won this book from the author and, very late, I’m posting my honest review.

Without Proof is book three of a trilogy by Canadian author Janet Sketchley. Even though it is the third in the series, the author gives enough information so that the first two books are not necessary for the reader to easily follow and enjoy the storyline. This novel can stand on its own. (I read and reviewed the first book, Heaven’s Prey, HERE, if you would like to check it out.) I haven’t read book two, Secrets and Lies, but would like to purchase it and find time to read it later.

In Without Proof a young woman, Amy, is recovering from serious injuries she suffered in a plane crash two years before. Her fiancé, Gilles, did not survive it, so she is left alone and grieving. Her fiancé’s Aunt Bay takes her in, and his best friend, Michael, helps out however he can. Michael also has an art business, so Amy helps manage it while struggling with her memories, physical pain, and emotions, including her growing feelings for Michael.

Janet Sketchley’s writing style is easy to read and enjoy. She pulls the reader right into the story, meaning that once into the story the reader doesn’t want to leave until the end. In this novel, there is suspense and enough going on to keep the reader interested in trying to figure out who is doing what to whom. Someone leads Amy to believe the plane was sabotaged, and in trying to find out the truth Amy places herself in danger. There are threats, break-ins, mysterious people, and enough drama to keep the pages turning in anticipation. And, of course, there are surprises – events that occur to keep up the level of suspense.

God is front and center in Aunt Bay’s life, and yet Amy isn’t sure how God fits in her own life or even if He does. Without Proof is written without profanity, is not preachy or “religious” – although there is a hopeful message – and is a story that leaves the reader satisfied. In the back of the book, there are even discussion questions that are great for a study group or a book club.

Without Proof was a finalist is the Word Awards (Suspense Category).

You can find Without Proof by Janet Sketchley on my BUY THE BOOK page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Shared article: What God says about getting older

I was going to save this for when my birthday rolls around. However, since it doesn’t come until November, I thought someone might appreciate some encouragement before then. The following was posted on DaySpring.com and offered as an article to be shared.

What God Says About Getting Older  —    

Imagine celebrating your birthday like you’re 10 years old again. Full of joy, excited for the year ahead, doing something you love with the ones who make you smile.

Why do so many of us stop celebrating as the years pass? Birthdays come and go – maybe there’s a dinner involved, a few cards, some well wishes online. We move up one number, and it’s business as usual.

What would it look like to really celebrate our years again – to begin shifting our focus from the fear of aging, to the rich, full lives God is calling us into as the years pass?

This is not an easy task in a culture that fears growing old. Every day we’re bombarded with anti-aging messages. Remember this popular skincare commercial from the 80’s?

“Why grow old gracefully?” Says a beautiful, wrinkle-free woman, ”I intend to fight it every step of the way!”

But what does God say about it all? If we listen to the One Who created us, we will hear all about grace and goodness; not fear and resistance.

He reminds us more than once in His Word that growing older is an honor. “Gray hair is a crown of splendor…” (Proverbs 16:31 NIV). The more years we live, the more experiences we’re given to learn from, and the more wisdom and perspective we gain to see life in new and beautiful ways. When we see someone in their later years (or when we look in the mirror and it’s us!) lets remember what a gift that is.

And while the media leads us to believe that youth somehow has more value, the truth is, we are treasured by God at every age. Not only that, but He gives us specific gifts to share with the world in every season of our lives. In Titus 2:3-5, Paul reminds the older women of their great purpose – that by living reverent lives of love, self-control, purity and kindness, they will bless and nurture the hearts of the younger women and their families. The generations to come depend on our willingness to share what God has given us.

Some of us also fear growing older for physical reasons. Aging is often seen as a loss of control. Maybe our bodies aren’t able to do what they once could; our memories aren’t as sharp; we begin to need more help than we used to. As the years pass, our fear of the unknown may grow stronger.

But the truth is, we’ve never been in control anyway! From the moment we were created – whether we’ve realized it or not – we’ve relied on our Creator for every breath. Growing older helps us to shed that illusion of control more and more, and to rest in the promises of our loving God. Whether we’re 9 or 90, He vows to be with us every step of the way:

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. (Isaiah 46:4 NIV)

How can we lean into God as we age, trusting that every day matters, from our first to our last?

Claim His Promises – Sit with a journal and your Bible, and interview yourself about growing older.  Am I afraid of aging? And if so, why? Once you’ve recorded your thoughts, find specific promises in God’s Word that will help bring you peace and assurance.

Make Healthy Choices – While the human body is not intended to live forever, we can still honor our Creator by making choices that bring us health and strength each day.  We are here at this time for a reason – let’s not miss the opportunities to help guide and encourage those around us!

Celebrate Life Every Day – Whether you’re celebrating your birthday or that of someone you love, remember that every day in every life matters. Don’t wait for a milestone to make it extra special.  Look in the mirror and cherish your laugh lines; remember how they are created. Smile at the grays; God says they are splendid. Laugh at the future; remember Who’s holding it all.

Does this make you feel any better about getting older? What is your attitude – and do you have any tips – about aging?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

A story fit for Hallowe’en

I can be quite wordy at times, and other times it seems I have little or nothing to say. Ever notice that? 🙂  Life events affect me that way. This post will be brief but I hope it holds something of interest, however strange, for you.

Today is the birthday of my beloved father-in-law who has been gone over a year now. It’s hard to understand the passing of time, isn’t it? Sometimes it’s difficult to deal with what life brings our way, but I find the Lord gives what we need at the time. More recently, a week ago a very dear friend passed into Glory, a man who, two evenings a week, spent time playing cribbage with my dad into the late hours. He is greatly missed as he was a very caring friend, well thought of and loved by a great number of people.

Those loved ones, although absent from our lives, impacted us in positive ways. It’s good to remember them. 

Now, to take this a different way … with no intention to be offensive …

Since it’s Hallowe’en weekend coming up, All Hallows Evening on October 31, I found an article that should curl your hair, or make it stand on end, or cause you to shudder – or perhaps all of those.

Click here for this actual true story that happened in 1705.

Tomorrow my husband and I are going on a weekend trip, a brief vacation, something very rare for us. If it weren’t our 40th anniversary on October 3o we wouldn’t be going even now for this much needed break. Family members are keeping a close eye on things for us and taking care of my little Meyya. We’ll be back before October 31.

Oh, and here are some pictures of my “little stinker” ready to welcome Trick-or-Treaters.

little-stinker-1little-stinker-2little-stinker-3

 

 

 

 

Do you have plans for Hallowe’en weekend, or do you prefer to not get involved? Have you heard other strange stories as I mentioned above? There are many.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Do you worry? Here are some helpful quotes

I used to be the world’s best/worst worrier. It is true that if I hadn’t something to worry about I would worry that I had nothing to worry about because that must mean there’s something to worry about that I was overlooking.

Follow me?

That changed the day I turned my life over to God. Really.

Now I’m not out today to preach to you or at you, but I’m telling you the truth. I’m not saying I never worry anymore, but it takes more effort to worry now. He brought inner peace into my life. He is, after all, the Prince of Peace.

I found some good quotes that have something to do with worry, and give good food for thought on how to let it go.

Wayne Dyer (1940) self-help author, speaker
“The more I give myself permission to live in the moment and enjoy it without feeling guilty . . . the better I feel about the quality of my work.”

François Fenelon (1652-1715) French archbishop, theologian, writer
“You really don’t even own the present moment, for even this belongs to God.”
“Above all, live in the present moment and God will give you all the grace you need.”

“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength – carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
― Corrie Ten Boom

“How can a person deal with anxiety? You might try what one fellow did. He worried so much that he decided to hire someone to do his worrying for him. He found a man who agreed to be his hired worrier for a salary of $200,000 per year. After the man accepted the job, his first question to his boss was, “Where are you going to get $200,000 per year?” To which the man responded, “That’s your worry.”
― Max Lucado

“Drag your thoughts away
from your troubles…
by the ears, by the heels,
or any other way you can manage it.”
― Mark Twain

“Worry is a misuse of the imagination.”
―Dan Zadra

Wow!  Good stuff, huh? What I’ve found since our car accident a week ago is that  anxiety can take over when you’re not paying attention. You can feed it or accept God’s peace. I prefer His peace.

Do you battle worry? How do you let it go?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

More change; Valley Sunshine

Starting near the end of last year and continuing in January of this year I shared with you my thoughts and other people’s quotes regarding CHANGE.  I felt there was marked change going to occur – specifically, but not only, in my own life.

2016 is definitely shaping up to be my year of change.

A long chapter of my life ended this week. It was so hard to let it go.

When I was in my early 30’s, and the mother of three young children (a fourth born later), I started a friendship newsletter – called Valley Sunshine – that quickly turned into a Christian one which developed into a type of ministry. I started with about three dozen ‘members’, a number that rapidly increased to over 500 worldwide! It was phenomenal to me. That’s with no advertising except word-of-mouth, except for a few mentions in others’ newsletters. (Once there was a half page article in the provincial newspaper about me/Valley Sunshine!) For over ten years that continued – run on donations – no subscription fee, with mail coming to me almost daily from all over the world, occasional phone calls, and a surprise package now and again. It was like a huge family of friends who encouraged one another. I know the Lord touched lives through that little homegrown publication; it was my joy to be part of it, and I look forward to one day knowing all He did through that humble publication. With the passing of my mother (my greatest “fan”), I took a long break from VS publishing.  A few years ago I started it up again on a much smaller scale by subscription as requested. (It remained non-profit.) Finally, this week, I sent the final issue out. It was a hard decision to come to, but a necessary one. Trying to compile that last issue I mourned the loss of this connection with people I’d grown to love, this change of calling on my life, the hard choices; however, eventually I sensed the relief of admitting it’s done – it’s run its course. I still feel the loss, and I will for a long time. But …

It’s time to allow change in my life to have its own space.

As a caregiver one’s time is used very differently, it’s taxed in a way one does not expect. The things that used to be easily addressed cannot be handled the same way. I had to accept it was time to let change happen and allow the Lord to redirect my life.

Writing in other ways has floated to the top of my life. As you may know, I’ve been interested in writing for MANY years, have taken courses and participated in various online writer’s groups. Now I’m working on children’s stories again. I have a writing coach/buddy. I’m a member of an online critique group, and recently joined an in-person writer’s group (mixed writing genres) that meets once a week. I’m a member of 12×12 and participate in PiBoIdMo and ReFoReMo. All these things are intended to help me learn and improve. Life is still busy. Writing is a huge part of that for me.

Now I’ve told you much more than I had intended to when I started this post. I was going to give you a fun quiz to do, and the above was going to be the lead-in. It just grew and grew!  Next post will be the quiz. 🙂

Much love to you.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to let go because it’s time so that you can move on to other things in your creative life?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Quotes about change

In this post I am sharing a few quotes about change, since this is my year of change.  🙂  Perhaps they will speak to you or remind you of another quote that has been meaningful to you.

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.Maya Angelou

Your mind is a powerful thing. When you fill it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change.  – Unknown

All you change is yourself, but sometimes that changes everything!  Gary W. Goldstein

Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.       Jim Rohn

 

The above quotes are inspiring and encouraging. One thing I want to add is that what I’ve found in my own life is that my efforts to change myself usually end up as a source of discouragement and disappointment, which I think is what often happens to many people who make new year’s resolutions. However, if I let the Lord change me it becomes a reality. A heart change is a real change. It may seem as if I have changed myself when it is the Lord changing me. I like that. 

Do you have any inspiring quotes to share about change?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

PS: Please remember to pass on the word about my 2nd giveaway of 2016 offered in my January 21 post; draw February 10. Watch my countdown calendar!