Archive for March, 2010

Blessings!

~More about Nanci J. Gravill’s new book, “Fresh Hope … Cleveland”

This week is a holy week for Christians. As we pray and worship our Savior, it’s a time also to gather together, celebrate, and find the true blessings in our lives.

Blessings are in front of us every day. Their beauty greets us when we become aware of them. In the second section of my book, “Fresh Hope … Cleveland,” I give tips that will soothe your soul and foster your well-being. These tips will help you cope better. They will help you manage what you are experiencing right now. In the section called “Let Your Spirit Rise” I tell you to start your own encouragement file. What does that mean? That means you remember and gather the good things people have said about you. You remember too, the many wonderful blessings from last year and the year before. Blessings can be gifts, meeting someone, getting a good grade, or finding a new job. But blessings can also be things like watching a beautiful sunset, a good meal, good news, or an unexpected card or gift that someone sent you.

Blessings come in many forms. They even come in the form of good health, realizing you can see, walk, think – MOVE! Blessings come when you see an old friend or when you receive a nice smile from someone. We can forget to count some of those things. And right now you may be seeing the change of seasons as a huge blessing! Yes, no more snow in Cleveland is cause for a big hurray!

As I mentioned, you can make your own encouragement file and capture some of those wonderful blessings. Start saving all the cards and notes that others have given you. Write down too great comments people have made about you. You are a fabulous person and those comments will feed your spirit in the times when you need a lift or a kind word. Often times no one is around to give you what you really need and so you must give yourself the encouragement you need.

As this week unfolds, I think of the greatest blessing of all – the greatest source of encouragement for any life. He is RISEN! Christ is RISEN! And because the stone was rolled away and Christ rose again – God has the power to work in your life. But more than that, God has the power to change your life! That’s what Easter is all about – His resurrection power.

Jesus rose from the dead! No other religion can claim anything like that! God became flesh and dwelt among us and He died for our sins. Sins are things like anxiety, worry, cheating, adultery, pornography, or lying. Your sins are the things that separate you from a holy God. They are also the things that steal your joy and keep you working long hours so you miss spending time with your kids and your family. They are the things that cause you to never be satisfied; you always want more. But in the quietness of your own heart, there’s this little voice that tells you you’re not happy at all. Because more money and bigger play toys don’t make your life any better. They don’t make you any happier. And wherever you go, there you are. Isn’t that funny? Whatever you have done, you can never get away from you. Here’s the problem: you’re serving the wrong God.

So how do you change gears and tap into this powerful and eternal blessing? How do you unleash the Resurrection Power of Christ? Simple. You ask God to forgive your sins and ask Christ to come into your heart. Ask God to change you from the inside out. Your life begins then when you start living for God —  not yourself! To begin your new life, start reading the Bible and find a church that preaches the Word of God. And as you make some new friends that love God, they will support you and help you grow in your new relationship with Christ. Now that’s a real blessing!

May you feel the love, joy–and the POWER of Easter!

HE IS RISEN INDEED!

Love, Nanci

March 30, 2010 at 11:33 pm 1 comment

Forgiveness

~More about Nanci J. Gravill’s new book, “Fresh Hope … Cleveland”

Forgiveness has been on my mind lately. It’s funny how things go in circles because my pastor spoke about this last Sunday. It’s that time of year –Easter. This important concept is not in my book, “Fresh Hope  … Cleveland” but it needs to be. And since there’s no time like the present, I’m starting a “Fresh Hope” conversation about forgiveness right here.

Easter deals with Christ’s dying on the cross for forgiveness of our sins and then of course His resurrection on the third day. Christ’s words spoke truth. “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Hanging on the cross, the Son of God set the example. Forgive.

Daily we confront our own humanity. People hurt us, disappoint us, and betray us. We pull away and hold on to the pain. We have repeated conversations with ourselves holding on to those ugly feelings. Then we obsessively tell others about how we have been hurt; wronged. Therapists and psychiatrists can bring perspective but the real freedom comes from letting go. Forgiveness is all about your own work; no one else can do it for you. Releasing the dark resentment brings with it fresh and positive emotions to fill the old miserable spaces. How? Why? Thankfully for each of us, forgiveness brings emotional and physical healing. Forgiveness restores and replenishes our spirit. Personally I find forgiveness to be like drawing from the well inside myself. And as I dip into that reservoir I can bring up either an angry, bitter spirit or a loving, nonjudgmental attitude toward someone. Forgiveness speaks to your inner most being. It asks you to be not only unselfish, but it also asks you to turn from anger to a generous and loving heart. There’s something very powerful in this act of turning from one behavior to another much more positive one. The turning away from and embracing the other of forgiveness begins the healing process.

There are some things in life only you can do. And you are the only person that can free yourself from your pain and let yourself out of the emotional prison that your unforgiveness has created. Here’s an important fact, forgiveness is not so much for the other person as it is for you. So often the person we are harboring negative feelings toward has moved on and out from our lives. Whatever has been said or done probably is no longer bothering them yet we are wounded and still suffering the effects of our hurt and pain. Then there are the times too that instead of forgiving another person, you just need to forgive you!

Research studies show that people who forgive are happier and healthier than those who hold resentments. Forgiveness is good medicine and you can feel those positive effects right in your own body. I am so aware when I hold on to negative feelings because every cell in my body seems to be poisoned by what I am allowing myself to feel. However, I know there is great freedom if I let go of bitterness, resentment, and anger. But more than anything, I remember the powerful example that Christ set for each of us. Forgive.

God Bless You!

Nanci

March 24, 2010 at 7:29 am Leave a comment

Couldn’t You Use a Little Fresh Hope?

~More about Nanci J. Gravill’s new book, “Fresh Hope … Cleveland”

On this sunny day in Cleveland I’ll be very straight forward. With a slower economy and many losing their jobs and homes, here are just a few of the benefits of the material contained within my book, “Fresh Hope … Cleveland.”

1. Like its name states, “Fresh Hope” … Cleveland provides helpful information on everything under the sun — shopping, health club memberships, food preparation, employment tips, and ways to take better care of you!

2. “Fresh Hope” provides a place to begin for those who need help. It’s a directory of all kinds of things all in one!

3. Having “Fresh Hope” reduces any overwhelming feelings produced by your personal and professional circumstances. Life is not easy. And your circumstances are very different than your neighbors. Your life is different than your sister’s and it’s different from your friend’s. And because life isn’t easy, that means you have many things to consider and many decisions to make. “Fresh Hope” will help you sort out the mess and will help you make sense of things.

4. “Fresh Hope” helps you overcome inertia, fear, and panic. Apply the ideas in the book to your life and you are on your way to finding the answers you need and you will see your life move forward again.

5. “Fresh Hope” provides ideas to help increase your coping skills. We all use coping skills each day to manage our lives. Fresh Hope will teach you more ways to feel good by sharing valuable and proven strategies on self-talk, emotional intelligence, and more!

6. “Fresh Hope” inspires individuals to develop more creative ideas for their life. How? You’ll see what I’ve done and that will give you ideas for your own life.

7. “Fresh Hope” provides encouragement. Fresh Hopes ideas, colorful pictures, and vignettes (small stories) will make you feel good. Toss in the other meaty information and you got a Fresh Hope meal full of all the nutrients your life needs!

8. “Fresh Hope” begins with you taking action for your life. It begins with you taking responsibiity for your life. Sitting back and not dealing with things will only make things worse.

9. “Fresh Hope” is about believing things will get better. And they will! Because whatever you are experiencing it’s just temporary. Winter always turns into spring.

10. Couldn’t you use a little “Fresh Hope” right about now?

God Bless You!

Nanci

March 16, 2010 at 5:38 am Leave a comment

Behind-the-Scenes

~More about Nanci J. Gravill’s new book, “Fresh Hope … Cleveland”

The sun is out today. And in Cleveland that’s what we all wait for. That’s what we all yearn for. The sun makes us feel good. It makes us feel better. It makes us live better. In a sense by its very presence, it gives us hope.  

Last week when the sky was gray I shared that “Fresh Hope … Cleveland” was filled with sunshine. It’s filled with the kind of sunshine that comes from beautiful colors – orange, blue, purple, green, and more. Color makes us feel good; my book’s that kind of a book. It brings you light and hope. And the color greets you warmly on every page.

But the warmth you will feel on every page is not just from the great colors. The warmth you feel from the book is because “Fresh Hope” also has vignettes. The idea came from my marketing professional, Jim. He’s a smart and savvy guy! If you didn’t already know, vignettes are small stories. And in some case in the book, you’ll find they are just one sentence. Because  what you can share in one sentence alone can be very, very powerful. Vignettes are found throughout the first section of the book. They make this book more friendly and as Jim says, “You’re giving people comfort.” He’s right. And I think that’s one of the things people need right now.

But there’s one vignette you’ll love probably more than all the others. It’s the longest too. Let me introduce you to Emma. She’s my little field mouse in the book. Emma introduces the page on Social Services. Social Services can provide lots of help when you’re in difficult times. And you know you’re not alone. My little Emma’s having a tough time because of the economy too! She’s worried and concerned. This global economic crisis has really rocked her little world! But Emma knows that God can help her. And she shares a very important concept in the book. In fact, she shares one of the most important concepts in the book. Emma knows and believes in the power of prayer. Perhaps you have discovered how powerful prayer is as well! But my mouse Emma is not only cute and helpful, she’s smart. Because Emma knows that prayer unleashes God’s power in our lives. And she is so right. I won’t tell you the rest. Because like any good storyteller would say, you’ll just have to read the book!

In the next week to 10 days, I’ll be sharing how you can buy a download of the 79-page book as a sneak preview. And beginning next week I’ll tell you about the benefits of the book. There are many so you won’t want to miss that entry or the others that follow!

If the sun is shining where you are today; enjoy it! In your heart the sun can shine everyday too — no matter what. But if the sun isn’t shining today due to problems and concerns, tap into God’s power and PRAY! Because both Emma and I know — GOD DOES ANSWER PRAYER!

God Bless You!

Nanci

March 10, 2010 at 3:27 am Leave a comment

“Fresh Hope … Cleveland” Is Full of Color!

~More about Nanci J. Gravill’s new book, “Fresh Hope … Cleveland”

March is month of transition as we move toward spring. Soon we’ll see the grass and then buds on the trees along with colorful flowers around the area. During the past winter months you may have noticed how the lack of sunlight effected the way you felt. This lack of sunlight can cause what doctors and psychologists call Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Simply put, SAD means your brain isn’t making enough of the good chemicals it needs to function well. And without the right amount of these good brain chemicals, you could feel sluggish or depressed in the winter months. But did you know that color can also have an effect on how you feel?

Psychologists say, color without our realizing it, can have a profound effect on how we feel both physically and mentally. Green is considered to be one of the most healing among all the colors while blue helps create feelings of calm and serenity. Choosing orange creates that “let’s get going” type of feeling. Orange helps create energy. But on the other hand, it’s probably no surprise that red produces the most energizing feelings of all the colors in the spectrum!

I love color. Green, periwinkle blue, and purple are my favorites. I decided right from the very beginning that my book would be in color. Here’s why. Knowing that color can make people feel better emotionally is specifically why I wanted my book, “Fresh  Hope …Cleveland”  to be printed in color. I also feel that vibrant color makes you feel more alive. I find black and white to be drab and impersonal — at least in this case. Black and white leaves you hanging emotionally. It saids I’ve given you just the facts — now scram! There’s no little feel goods. It’s like strawberry shortcake — but hey, where’s the strawberries? And my book is definitely not like that at all! The marketing professional I work with tells me all the time that the book will not only help a lot of people, but it will bring comfort to them as well. So in my book black and white is making room for lots of greens, purples, blues, and orange! I think that color probably has the ability to create better brain chemistry like sunshine because it so elevates our mood. Nonetheless, reaching for “Fresh  Hope … Cleveland” will create positive feelings and the little colored pictures will be comforting and friendly at a time when people need that most.

I hope you’re seeing God’s goodness and love in your life today!

God Bless You!

Nanci

March 3, 2010 at 5:38 am Leave a comment


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