Archive for December, 2012

Inspiration for 2013

~ More about Nanci’s new book Fresh Hope … Cleveland.

Sometimes you look over the past year and wonder what happened. You had such a clear vision or high hopes and yet things did not materialize the way you had planned. Then again you may have discovered late in the game you needed to institute Plan B ~ an alternative plan. Or sometimes you may have felt that you didn’t know what to do at all which brings confusion as you approach a new year. All these things can make you feel discouraged and less than positive about yourself. If you can identify with any of these issues, then you need to review the past year in a different sort of way. Here’s how.

Perspective for 2012 + the New Year

1. We are always too hard on ourselves. Instead of reviewing what went wrong and why, review ALL the things you did RIGHT this past year! Hold on to those good thoughts as you head into 2013.

2. You are not the same person today mentally, physically, intellectually, or spiritually that you were when you started 2012. My guess is, you are a lot stronger. Give yourself credit for growing and maturing and look carefully at all the things you learned and how you grew from the challenges that came your way. Recount some of your brightest moments and hold your head up high.

3. Life is often about waiting for the right opportunity to come along at the right time. That can mean not giving up even when it seems like nothing is happening. Be determined this year not to give up. Set reasonable goals for yourself for 2013 and have faith in God’s ability to guide you.

Are These 3 Points in Nanci’s Book?

If you’re wondering if these points are mentioned in my book the answer is no. However, the text shares lots of great strategies that will help guide you as you WAIT for things to materialize in your life.

Here’s to a very bright New Year filled with Hope and Opportunity!

God Bless You!


December 28, 2012 at 2:39 pm Leave a comment

Merry Christmas ~ the origin of the greeting

~ More on Nanci’s new book Fresh Hope … Cleveland.

Being that it’s Christmas today, the day we celebrate Christ’s birth, I was curious to know more about the origin of the greeting Merry Christmas. Here’s what I found.

These days, it’s a comon practice to wish “Merry Christmas” to one another around the 25th of December, the day we celebrate Christmas. The origin of this practice is a little obscure. However, it’s believed that an English admiral first used the term Merry Christmas in an informal letter, way  back in 1699. In 1843, Charles Dickens used the same phrase in “A Christmas Carol.” However, notwithstanding the veracity of it’s origin, “Merry Christmas” has become a sort of universal term to communicate joy and good wishes.

Thanks to

Say it with candy!

~ Wishing You a Very Merry Christmas ~

God Bless You!


December 25, 2012 at 4:48 pm Leave a comment

World’s Ending Today?

~More on Nanci’s new book Fresh Hope … Cleveland.

It’s snowing today. It’s the first  snow of the season. It really looks like Christmas. Here in Cleveland, Ohio, it’s a good day to bake cookies and watch the kids make snowmen. What are you up to? Are you nervously thinking, “I wonder if there’s any merit to the idea that the world will end today?”

End of the World?

My pastor sent a message that went something like this: End of the world? Sound far-fetched? Not to a lot of people. Inmates in a Russian women’s prison near the Chinese border are said to have experienced a “collective mass psychosis” so intense that their wardens summoned a priest to calm them.  The Turkish village of Sirince expects to receive over 60,000 visitors tomorrow, as New Age mystics believe its positive energy will aid in weathering the “catastrophe.”

Another report indicates panic buying of candles and essentials has been reported in China and Russia, along with an explosion in sales of survival shelters in America. In France believers were preparing to converge on a mountain where they believe aliens
will rescue them.

Go Ahead with Your Plans Today

I come back to Jesus’ words in Acts 1:7–“It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.” He says similarly in Matthew 24:36–“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” This is not the end of the world but the end of the Mayan calendar which rolled over to zero like your odometer on your car. Scientists do say that today, the Winter soltice, our Earth and the Sun will be in line with the center of our galaxy. That means this is the longest day of the year.

Bigger Problem Than End of the World

Our problem here in the United States isn’t about rebuilding and being the strongest and the best after 9/11 or the mortgage crisis fallout. The real issue is where we putting our trust and confidence. If we put our trust in our own efforts, then all the muscle power in the world won’t make a hill of beans of difference. The real issue is we have turned away from God as a nation. What does it say on your money? It says “In God We Trust.” This country was founded on those very principles but that’s no longer true. We have pushed God out of our schools, our homes, and out of our lives — out of our hearts.

Wake-up Call

Nine – eleven (9/11) was a wake-up call for our country. For a while people did go back to church. However, today God is warning our nation and this should be a wake-up call for you too: Turn Back to God! So if the alignment of our Earth with the Sun or China or North Korea creates a nuclear event, you’ll be in good hands ~ God’s hands and well-able to navigate the days ahead.

Have a wonderful Christmas.

God Bless You!


December 21, 2012 at 1:50 pm Leave a comment

Have a Very “Mary” Christmas ~ Tips to help you enjoy the holidays

~ More RESOURCES and IDEAS in keeping with my new book Fresh Hope … Cleveland.  

Christmas Preparation ~ Try a New Approach

If you are bustling about getting ready for the holiday — don’t! Try a new approach this Christmas to all the demands society and others place on you.

The Story of Mary and Martha 

Cooking. Cleaning. Shopping. Wrapping. Then there are the concerts, parties, and cookies to bake!  They all scream of time, money, credit card debit, stress, and exhaustion. Do you know the story of Mary and Martha from the Bible? Here it is very simply. Dear Martha ran around busying herself making dinner for Jesus when He came to visit at their home. Mary, instead, sat at Jesus’ feet listening to every word He shared. On this particular day, Martha was stressed with all the preparation and organizing while Mary gained wisdom and strength at the feet of our Lord. Can it be possible that in preparation for one day, Christmas Day, we are too busy doing things and we have lost sight of the real reason for the season — the birth of Christ?

Four Tips to Help You This Christmas

So who will win the battle in your life this Christmas? Will you spend more time worshipping or working — busy doing stuff? Here are four tips to help you have a very “Mary” Christmas this year.

  1. Sit Down. Stop doing and start sitting. There will always be more to do. Sit down anyway. Jesus is waiting for you!
  2. Listen. Peace and quiet is optional. Mary sat down and listened to Jesus in the midst of all the things Martha was busy doing for the perfect dinner! I’m sure the pans were clanging and Martha was complaining about not having any help. So, turn your head and in the midst of all the kids playing or practicing the piano. Tune out the vacuum cleaner’s hum and turn your head. You’ll hear Jesus in spite of it all.
  3. Give an Offering. Martha thought the most valuable thing to give Jesus was a good meal. But Mary poured herself out at this feet to learn from Him. What’s more valuable to you than Jesus? Time? Work? Ministry? Stuff? Offer it to Him as a present from your heart this Christmas.
  4. Worship. Minimize the gifts and the giving — the commercialism, and maximize the symbolism. Therefore, surround yourself with the real reason you celebrate — Christ the Newborn King ~ Jesus, the Word made flesh, come to Earth to serve and to save.

Christmas Note: Sitting at His feet, valuing RELATIONSHIP over PERFORMANCE, Mary demonstrated the posture of a worshipful woman, servant, and friend. You can too!

I wish you a very “Mary” Christmas this year!

God Bless You!


(Thanks to the Women’s Ministry of Grace Church in Middleburg Heights, Ohio, for the idea for this post and most of the information).

December 18, 2012 at 12:40 pm Leave a comment

Give Hope ~ Xmas “Blessing” Book Tour (till Dec. 31)

Fresh Hope … Cleveland ~ Xmas “Blessing” Book Tour”

When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. Matthew 2:10

Many believe that the “GIVING” of gifts at Christmas originated long ago with the three wise men. To celebrate God’s gift to us ~ His Son, I’ve combined the “GIVING” of this season in a special way so you can “BLESS” someone else with a gift this holiday ~ Join my Xmas “Blessing” Book Tour!

Details: Purchase a copy of my new book Fresh Hope … Cleveland: Resources to Help You Navigate through Unsettled Times and “BLESS” a single mom, single woman, a family with kids, someone who’s unemployed, a good friend, or even a stranger. Make life brighter. Fill it with “Hope.


WHAT:  Fresh Hope … Cleveland Xmas “Blessing” Book Tour

WHEN: December 1 –31

WHERE:  Xmas “Blessing” Book Tour — tab on this blog!

SALE PRICE:  With Purchase of Two Books


Thank You ~ God Bless You!


December 14, 2012 at 2:21 pm Leave a comment

All I Want For Christmas is a Job!

~ More helpful resources in keeping with the theme of Nanci’s new book Fresh Hope … Cleveland.

Dear Santa,

I’ve been really good this year and I do have one really important and very necessary request. Please fill my stocking with a good job – one I’ll like, pays a good salary, at a place where I can contribute in a meaningful way, and some place where I’ll be able to use my skills and talents. I promise I’ll work hard and I won’t complain. Thank you!

Signed Unemployed

P.S. I also have a request in with God.


Dear Friend,

Let’s face it, the holiday season beginning at Thanksgiving on through the winter months can be tough to navigate for those getting divorced, those with illness, families helping an ill loved one, those missing loved ones, and for those unemployed. So below I’ve listed a link to a great website that lists some great advice for those who are job hunting this holiday. If you are unemployed, yes, you should still be searching for a job during the holiday season. Please check out the website below. Some of them share valuable information on how to change careers especially if very little hiring is being done in your area of expertise. I hope it helps you in many ways.

Links to helpful employment information and on changing careers:


Make it a great day!

God Bless You!


December 11, 2012 at 2:19 pm Leave a comment

Join the Green Bean Club This Christmas

~ More on Nanci J. Gravill’s new book Fresh Hope … Cleveland.

This post is dedicated to my sweet nieces in Seattle – Devon, Shannon, and Brenna! It was through them that I learned about the Green Bean Club!

What’s The Green Bean Club?

Okay, did the title of this post get your attention? I hope so. The idea came from something my sister used to tell her kids during dinner. I observed this firsthand when my sister and my three nieces would come to visit during the summer. My sister would tell the girls it’s the Green Bean Club! And all they had to do to join was eat their green beans! And of course, they always ate them because the Green Bean Club sounded really fun and they all wanted to be in the club!

The Green Bean Club Secret … and Success!

Well, this Christmas no matter what age you are, you can be in the Green Bean Club too. That’s because the real secret to the club’s success was that we took something nutritious like ordinary green beans and made them fun and desirable all wrapped up together with a great big sense of belonging. And BELONGING is really the key word here. Everybody needs to belong somewhere. So you see this post really isn’t about a club that rewards you for eating your green beans but it could be. This time of year it’s about families and better yet, connecting with others.

How You Can Be Part of The Green Bean Club This Christmas?

Families make us who we are by nurturing, encouraging, and directing us. They also help mold our personality and character. But besides all that, a family is the place where we experience holiday traditions with food, decorations, music, and perhaps your funny Aunt Clara. Remember she’s the  one  who always bakes ten pies, brings her cute little Schnauzer, drives a VW bug – and she’s attractive but still not married!

In a perfect world a family is the place where you’re accepted and loved in spite of everything. But even though it’s Christmas, not everyone has a family to visit and share in the simple wonder of belonging and connection that is so much a part of this joyous holiday.

What Can You Do This Holiday?

So here’s what I think you should take away from The Green Bean Club This Christmas: make a special point to see if any of your friends, co-workers, and neighbors will be alone this Christmas. It won’t take much but a moment of your time to reach out and care. If they don’t have plans, set another place at the table and invite them. Now we’re talking Green Bean Club!

Have an awesome day! As you go about your work or errands today, give out a smile and a little bit of  love! I think that’s what Jesus would do!

God Bless You!


December 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm Leave a comment

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