Category Archives: Blog

Book Launch for “Elizabeth Gets Her Wings”

Yesterday, both Olivia and I had a great time. We had one of those God-incidents that some people call coincidence. Facing me at children’s time, during worship, was a sweet little girl named Elizabeth. That’s right, when the children came forward to hear about Elizabeth Gets Her Wings, Elizabeth sat down right in front of me. God does work in mysterious ways.

After the service, the church hall was filled with people enjoying the refreshments and buying books. I signed books until my hand ached. Dunsford always feels like coming home for me. Yesterday, I enjoyed a multitude of hugs and hearty handshakes. I give God thanks for instilling in our minds to launch our new book from Dunsford United Church. We also offer thanks to the congregation and especially their minister, Rev. Sharon Ballantyne for making this wonderful day possible.

“Elizabeth Gets Her Wings” is Launched.

Tomorrow is the big day. Hallelujah!!!!! We are launching 

at Dunsford United Church , just off highway 36 between Lindsay and Bobcaygeon. Our house is electric with excitement.I’m sure it’s the same at Olivia’s home too.  So here is one more invitation.

Come and meet the author, Janet Stobie & the illustrator, Olivia Phillips.

Sunday, November 12, 2017,  11:30 to 1:30

Dunsford United Church.

Have a chat. They’ll tell you about their journey with Elizabeth.

They’ll sign your books.

It’s not often you get both author’s and illustrator’s signatures.

If you come at 10:00 for the church service, you’ll hear Janet read some of the book to the kids. You will also experience the joy of spirit-filled worship.

Give it a try. It feels good.

 

ELIZABETH GETS HER WINGS HAS ARRIVED!!!!!!!

Our books arrived this morning. I managed to post on Facebook a video of their arrival at the house. It took two tries but I did it. I’m sure I did it because I received an email that it was liked. I don’t see that video but obviously everyone else can. Today I delivered one of my pre-orders and sold three more.

Here are two happy new owners and of course one very happy author as well.

If you live in the area, I have posted my schedule below. Both Olivia and I would love to see you at any or all of these events.

BOOK LAUNCH/SIGNING

              Dunsford United Church after the 10:00 a.m. service this Sunday, Nov. 12th  from 11:30 to 1:30. We decided we wanted to start out with our good friends from the Dunsford congregation and anyone else who wanted to come. Dunsford United has been Olivia’s church family since she was a young child. I served five years there as their minister. It’s wonderful to be surrounded by their love. You are welcome to come for the service or just for the Book Launch. Dunsford is a right turn off highway 36. Drive past the school to the stop sign. Turn left. You will find the church on your left about 200 feet up the road. You can’t miss it. We will have coffee, tea, juice, water and goodies. Please join us.

 

BOOK SIGNING

Please come for a chat & to do your Christmas shopping. I look forward to seeing you.

St. James United Church, PeterboroughNovember 18th from 10-2:00

I will have a table at their Christmas Bazaar, with all of my books, including Elizabeth Gets Her Wings, available for purchase and signing.

Dunsford Community Center.  November 18 from 10-2:00

Olivia will have a table at their Christmas Bazaar, with her art work and of course Elizabeth Gets Her Wings.

              Fenelon Falls United Church   November 25th from 11-3:00

                             I will have a table at their Christmas Bazaar with all of my books including Elizabeth Gets Her Wings, available for purchase.

              Little Britain United Church   December 2nd from 10-2:00

                             I will have a table at their Christmas Bazaar with all of my books including Elizabeth Gets Her Wings, available for purchase.

              Keene United Church  December 9th from 9-3:00

I will have a table at their Christmas Bazaar with all of my books including Elizabeth Gets Her Wings, available for purchase.

Olivia has other events that she will be posting. We both have a busy time ahead.

A Huge Dose of “Hope”

God’s Love Will Prevail

The news media keep flogging the darkness in our world. Cruelty and selfishness seem to be growing.  Wars just never seem to end. Hunger and poverty are not shrinking. In fact, with the population explosion in third world countries, it seems hunger and poverty are increasing. Sometimes it’s hard to hang onto my belief that we are slowly progressing as human beings towards a world of peace and love. I keep telling myself I cannot lose hope, for hope is essential for living.

Twice in the last two days, I have been reminded about the goodness in this world. Yesterday, my granddaughter and I went for lunch at the Galley Pub on Church Street in Pickering Village. As we were preparing to pay the bill, our waiter came to tell us that the young man sitting around the corner from us had already paid for our lunch. Of course, we thanked him. He smiled. I told him that his act was a sign that goodness and generosity was on the rise. My granddaughter and I left that restaurant with smiles on our faces, feeling loved. The sun seemed to be shining just a little bit brighter.

Today, while I was at the Arts Festival in Cobourg, I walked downtown for a snack and a cup of tea. I chose the “Buttermilk Café” on King Street. The friendly waitress suggested the chef’s special dessert, pumpkin cheesecake. It was scrumptious. I ate it slowly savoring every bite. Again, when I offered the waitress my credit card to pay my bill, she informed me that the two ladies that had been sitting across from me had already paid it. As I walked back to the church, my heart was lighter, my energy higher, my spirit flying.

Twice in two days, I have been the recipient of a random act of kindness. I have received a strong message. In my heart ,God is saying, “Don’t give up hope. In the midst of what seems like an epidemic of selfishness and greed, this country is rising up with love.”

There is a movement afoot. The general population is being infiltrated by people determined to live generosity and love. Hope abounds. Random acts of kindness and pay it forward choices can bring new life. I am truly grateful.

 

I’m thrilled to introduce to you –

Elizabeth Gets Her Wings

Elizabeth is delightful. She’s enthusiastic. She’s a child, God’s beloved child just as each one of you and each one of your children and grandchildren are also God’s beloved children. Elizabeth is an angel child who is waiting for her wings. Just like us, Elizabeth can’t wait. She’s wants her wings early. Maybe she can earn them. Elizabeth Gets Her Wings is a magical children’s story, yet it’s our story.

My new Christmas Book for children and their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles & neighbors, Elizabeth Gets Her Wings is now available for ordering.

To purchase an autographed copy or two or ten for yourself or as Christmas gifts, please email me:  info@janetstobie.com 

Elizabeth Gets Her Wings is just $10.00 plus shipping.

Order now by clicking on the link: info@janetstobie.com

Elizabeth Gets Her Wings will be available on Amazon.com and .ca within the next two weeks.

 Reflection

My Story/ Elizabeth’s Story

I’ve never thought much about heaven. It takes all my energy and focus to enjoy and live well in this present life. Mostly, I believe that eternal life means I will be with God, and life will be good. Even so, my imagination and God’s inspiration resulted in Elizabeth Gets Her Wings, a story about an angel child from heaven doing a task for God here on earth.

The day after Elizabeth Gets Her Wings went to print, my daily reading was based on the Biblical Quote from King David, “One thing I ask from the Lord…that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord.” (Psalm 27:4)

In the middle of the new book, Olivia, the illustrator, has drawn Elizabeth basking in God’s love and acceptance. God’s multicolored hand rests on her head. The complete ecstasy embodied by Elizabeth expresses the feelings I experience every time I hold a new born baby, or am truly hugged by someone I love who loves me. These are my glimpses of heaven, times when I recognize that I am in God’s presence.

If heaven means I am perfect in God’s sight just as I am, with all my faults, idiosyncrasies and attempts at goodness, I know I don’t have to worry about the details. I can be one of Elizabeth’s volunteers. I can step into the mysterious journey of this next life with confidence and joy. Thanks be to God.

Please pass this on to all your email friends.

The Strength of Our Scars

This morning I read some wise words written by Madeline L’Engle in her novel, “In a House Like a Lotus”. I plan on remembering these words and applying them to my own life. I decided that they might be helpful to some of you.

“There isn’t anything that happens that can’t teach us something, that can’t be turned into something positive. One can’t undo what’s been done, but one can use it creatively…The only thing is to accept and let the scar heal. Scar tissue is the strongest tissue in the body…so I shouldn’t be surprised if it’s the strongest part of the soul.”

As we journey through the tough times in our lives, for me it is helpful to remember that the scars when fully healed will provide us with the strength we need for living. I guess the secret is, to have the courage, and take the time, for the healing to happen.

Is Faith a Magic Charm?

What Do You See?

Is faith a magic charm? Some people think so, but not me. Faith is not my “lucky rabbit’s foot”, or special hat that will ensure my life goes smoothly. Faith doesn’t protect me from failure, or accident or illness. Faith won’t even keep my loved ones alive. So what good is it?

Faith is that strength from God that comes when I feel totally overwhelmed. When I’m amazed that I actually survived such a tough time, I know that God joins me in life’s journey. Faith tells me that God’s strength will sustain me through the joys and tragedies that come with living. With faith, I will not just survive, but live creatively. My faith is my anchor for living. I will not lose hope. When darkness surrounds me, God gives me enough light for the next step, and that is all I need.

My faith also calls me to journey in gratitude. I am grateful for the abundant blessings I receive. I am also grateful for God’s presence carrying me, leading me through the storms of life. I am grateful that I can trust that there will be new life at the end of the storm.  God will not be defeated.

Forty-five years ago, a sixteen-year-old high school student painted an intriguing masterpiece just for me. It hangs in my living room still today. In the picture, a teenager stands at the water’s edge with her dog. Wind blows her hair and clothes. White caps roll in. Thunderclouds fill the sky. There is a gap in the clouds with just a sliver of sun showing. Sometimes, my guests think the teen is watching a storm coming. Sometimes they see new life in the sun that is peeking through the clouds, bringing an end to the storm. I see faith in that painting. The presence of the son, whether or not he is hidden by the clouds, is always there waiting, loving, giving strength. The teen in the picture can face whatever comes, and whatever has been. For me, that high school student of so long ago captured Jesus’ words, “I will be with you always, even unto the end of the age.”

Calgary International Film Festival

A Story of Hope

           Norway House – Students at Helen Betty Osborne School

Tonight we went to the Calgary International Film Festival to see “Our People Will Be Healed,” produced and directed by Alanis Obomsawin. This National Film Board of Canada Film, is a wonderful story of hope. The film opens at Norway House Cree Nation, where the school is doing an effective and caring job of enabling indigenous young people to value and use their gifts to become the best people they can be. Only after we have celebrated the wonderful accomplishments of the children and adults connected to this school were we given the story of one young woman who was murdered when she went to high school in The Pas, Manitoba in 1971. Ms. Obomsawin’s gift as a film maker enabled us to fully identify with the young woman’s family. When the film ended, Ms. Obomsawin came forward to answer questions.

Tonight was my introduction to attending a film festival. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It was a privilege to see “Our People Will Be Healed”. I recommend it.

For more information go to the Helen Betty Osborne School website and Wikipedia’s file on Alanis Obomsawin. You will be impressed.

I Can Do It!!!

I listened to a most interesting radio program, “Word on the Hills” this morning. Gwynn and Felicity interviewed today’s author, Reva Nelson who has done workshops and written a book on risk taking. As I listened, I realized that I started my life with a wonderful sense of adventure. My friend Nancy said to me about 20 years ago that I was willing to try anything. She wasn’t talking about physical risk taking. She was referring to my ability to set aside fear and feelings of incompetence and try a new recipe, a new job, whatever. My ability to take this kind of risk is a quality that helped me answer God’s call to ministry and begin writing and publishing books.

My thoughts shifted to the present. For the last three years, I have been thinking about sending a manuscript off to a publisher or an agent. I told myself my writing wasn’t good enough. I didn’t want the rejection.  I continued my self-publishing with the same moderate success. A month ago, I discussed my desire and my fear with my editor. She listened to my talk about lack of competence for about five minutes, then looked at me and said, “Give it up, Jan. Just do it.” Her words have stayed with me.

Today’s radio interview with Reva reinforced Ruth’s words. I can take the risk. I used to just step forward ready to do my best, trusting that God will use whatever I do for something good. I used to take risks easily. Today, I am choosing a new mantra. “You can do it. Give it a try. Whatever happens, you will survive.” Thanks to “Word on the Hills” and Reva Nelson, for giving me the push I need, at this moment.

I Love My Body!

I woke Sunday morning at 5:55. My alarm was set for six. My first thought, I love my body. God has gifted me with an inner alarm. I usually don’t trust it so I set my clock alarm, but I don’t have to. I automatically wake up just before the alarm rings. Tom appreciates my gift, too, especially on days when he doesn’t have to be up early.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember ever before thinking, I love my body. Usually, I look at my body and groan. Twenty pounds lighter would make my knees much happier and my clothes look better. I’ve got love handles, and a tummy that is rounder than it should be. My ankles are slightly swollen. My skin is dry. I’ve got lots of wrinkles. Those miserable brown age spots keep popping up here and there. Yes, normally I’m not at all happy with my body. And I don’t think I’m alone in this world.

Our society has taught us to be dissatisfied with our bodies. Watch your weight. Don’t eat too much. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise. Try this diet. No, try that one. If you want to be beautiful, you have to be thin. And so, the messages come at us, fast and furious.

My daughter is a child psychologist. She speaks a different message. “Learn to love your body as it is,” she says. So today, I suggest, appreciate the wonder of your body. Across from me is a vase filled with majestic, brightly coloured gladioli. On the windowsill, are delicate sweet peas. I can see their beauty and smell their sweet fragrance. At night as I go to sleep, I hear Tom whisper, “I love you.” I wake up, and I can still walk. My arms can reach out to hug my fabulous granddaughter.  And those are only a few of the wonders of my body. There is a children’s song titled “Oh, What a Miracle Am I.” It’s time we all tried chanting that line.

Yes, I can love my body even though it’s aging. I have decided to repeat those beautiful words, I love my body, every day as I get up. And give God thanks. What better way to start my day.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139:14).