Family Man by Bettye Westbrook

My name is Bettye Jones-Westbrook.  I was born in a family of ten siblings. Six sisters and four brothers. My parents did the best that they could to raise us with God’s help.  My parents were not educated.  My momma learned to read when my oldest sister started school. They learned together.  My daddy never learned to read.  Education was important for his children though, so we had to go to school.  Daddy was the first-born out of his siblings.  His father’s name was Matthew, and he was born during slavery. When slavery ended, my grandfather had no family except his father and mother, because his two brothers were sold during slavery.

 

Daddy worked hard farming, and at the end of the year, he would just break even. One day, Daddy came home and said to my mother that they did not make it.  Because he did not break even, they lost the farm. But he had an option to stay on the farm and continue work for the person that he was share chopping with …but God.

 

I can remember how Daddy would only buy what they did not raise on the farm.  He came home with a barrel of flour, sugar, salt and the major items. Momma would use the flour sacks along with some cloth to make our dresses. I can remember momma looking in the Sears catalog to make our dresses, and that was a gift from God.  Daddy was the best dad. He would take us riding in the horse and wagon.  He owned a horse named Bob, and a mule named Ole Jim.

 

At the age of twelve, I can remember my daddy saying, “Yes sir” to a white boy my age. I stood there feeling so awful, and I think the young guy was embarrassed too. But that was him, and the time he was from.  You see, Daddy was born July 3, 1903. My parents bought their first truck in 1953, and my brother was the driver.  

 

My daddy loved God above all.  He was the janitor at our church.  He also served as a deacon.  I can remember momma telling us that she taught daddy a verse in the Bible each week, so when he helped with the devotion, no one would know that he could not read. What love!

  

My Daddy would take us to Church every Sunday.  Ironing, playing ball and cards was not allowed because Sunday was Holy.  With the help of God, my daddy kept his family together. He was a family man. God blessed him to see six of his children grown and doing well and a host of grandchildren. He had one son in college, and two in school when he went home to be with the Lord. I loved my dad, and I thank God for him. When up against the odds, he didn’t give up. He made a stand and trusted God for everything.

About Timeless Memories

For centuries, we have used story telling as a way to maintain our traditions, values, and history.  As we have transitioned to the 21st century, we use the internet and social media to share who we are -creating a gap in our story telling traditions for those that experienced some of the most prolific events of the last 100 years.  The Great Depression, two World Wars, miraculous medications and awesome inventions mark some of the incredible happenings witnessed first hand by today’s seniors, many of whom do not use email or the internet.  The stories of how we lived life before computers may be lost in the shuffle from paper and pen to bits and bytes.

Timeless Memories: Our Legacy for Your Generation is a compilation of stories, poems and reflections of the seniors participating in our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ Legacy Program.  This one of a kind program offers a platform for our writers to leave a footprint of their history to this generation and beyond.

A portion of all sales benefit St. Luke A.M.E. Church in Waco, Texas, provider of Writing for the Soul Workshop Legacy.

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New in September: Dreams Never Lie by Elsie Varn Harrell

Dreams Never Lie by Elsie Varn HarrellJosh Howard is only eight years old when the little girl next door, Doni, is kidnapped and killed.  Josh vows to catch her killers when he grows up.  As an FBI agent, he knows the chance of solving the case after so many years is slim to none, but he still dreams about Doni.

Josh is assigned a serial murder case in which the victims are tortured and raped before being killed. After a long string of murders with no leads, Josh starts receiving coded messages from the killer, warning when another attack will take place.  Then, there are hints that connect the killer to Josh’s new wife.

As Josh faces one of the most perplexing cases of his career, his personal life is now in shambles.  Will he be able to stop this maniac before he strikes again?  Will he be able to save his marriage?  Is his wife the next intended victim?

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About Elsie Varn Harrell

Elsie was born and raised in Brooksville, Florida a small town about 15 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico. She moved to Texas with her three children in the 1980’s where she met her husband on a blind date. The lovely couple recently celebrated their 30th anniversary.

Elsie lives in a small town in Texas where she is an active member of a Baptist church. Elsie is an insurance agent, and is also hard at work on her next novel. She loves the north-central Texas area as is evident in her books.

More by Elsie Varn Harrell

The small north-central town of Glenwood, Texas is being methodically burned to the ground. Every few days another fire. Acres of scorched pasture, and skeletal remains of the once majestic trees that surrounded the township attest to the skill of the arsonist. Sheriff Dodge Brewster is frustrated by his inability to find even a single shred of evidence.

Several teenage girls in surrounding communities have been brutally raped. When the rapist finally targets Glenwood, the girls are not only raped, but murdered also. Deep in the woods outside of town, a Vietnam vet lives as a hermit. The people of Glenwood accuse him of every misdeed that occurs. The arson, rape and murders are no exception. They are demanding that Dodge arrest the vet, but new evidence in a turn of events point to his own friend.

Will Dodge be able to prove his friend’s innocence? Will he have to arrest him? Or will he go along with the townspeople and arrest the Vietnam vet?

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TGIM Celebration Release: Loopholes by Paul Kurko

One year ago, Paul signed with TGIM Digital Publishing and released Issues. This year, celebrate with us by ordering Paul’s second release: Loopholes.

Loopholes by Paul Kurko

Life is a roller coaster for all of us. No matter where you are in life, no matter your age or your station, life has a way of throwing us curve balls.  Sometimes, it seems like you are on top of the world, only to have events change suddenly so that you are struggling.  Other times, you may be in dire circumstances with no hope, when suddenly, against all odds, a loophole changes your situation for the better.

Loopholes is a journey through those times in my life when God showed up in a big way; those circumstances where I should have lost my freedom, or even lost my life because of the decisions I made, where suddenly I was delivered from the worst possible consequences.  God’s grace is real.  And while we all suffer the ups and downs of life, I hope these stories from my life can show you that God is always working behind the scenes as our Divine Counselor, finding those loop holes we didn’t even dare to hope for.

Buy The Book $12.99Download The eBook

Booking for Paul Kurko

20170624_201819861_iOSEnlighten, entertain, and encourage your group by booking Paul Kurko for your next event. His motivating and inspiring message touches the hearts of diverse audiences from all walks of life.

“Paul’s story really encouraged me, and reading his book gave me hope. It was like I was drowning in life, and Paul threw me a life jacket. I was afraid to pursue my dreams until Paul spoke to us.” -Cameron White, Student

The cost of $700 is definitely less than the benefit you get when you book Paul for your next event. Your group will step beyond motivation into impact, and leave with tools they didn’t have before. The price includes 50 of Paul’s books entitled ‘Issues’ that he will autograph for your group. You may purchase copies at a discounted rate if you need more. Price does not include travel. Use the Contact Form below to book Paul Kurko.

Bullying Prevention Awareness: Bullying Hurts The Bystander Too

Would it surprise you to know that those who witness bullying may be more impacted than those who are victims or those who bully? According to the American Psychological Association, “Students who witnessed acts of bullying were more likely to report greater psychological distress than those students who were bullies or victims, according to the results. This was the case even for students who had not been victims themselves, although being both a witness and a victim did also significantly predict mental health problems.”

We may spend time talking to our kids about not bullying, or what to do if they are bullied, but do we talk to them about what happens if they witness bullying? Statistics show that every child will be a witness to bullying at least once during their school years.  As TGIM accepts submissions for The Bully Diaries Volume II, we know that many bystanders of bullying experience feelings of guilt, shame and helplessness.  They don’t want to simply stand by, but they don’t know exactly what to do.

About.com provides some ideas about how to handle being a bystander:

Avoid joining in or laughing. Sometimes kids will chime in or laugh at a bullying incident in order to avoid becoming the next target. Explain to your children that you expect them not to join in the bullying. Even if they don’t feel brave enough to do something, they can at least avoid giving in to peer pressure.

Walk away. Sometimes bullies are bullying simply to get the attention. And, if they don’t have an audience, they will stop. As a result, sometimes all it takes is to walk away from the incident or to ignore the bully. Still, your child should report the bullying incident to an adult so that it doesn’t happen again.

Tell the bully to stop. Usually if a bully is not getting positive attention from the crowd, he will stop what he is doing. It only takes one or two people to show disapproval and the bullying will end. Tell your children to use this method only if they feel safe in doing so. If the bully poses a physical threat, another option might be to find help.

Get an adult. Encourage your child to calmly walk away from a bullying incident and go find help. This can be done discreetly and keeps your child out of harm’s way.

Use a cell phone to call or text for help. Most tweens and teens have cell phones these days. If your child is one of these kids, tell him that he can always call or text an adult and ask for help. This keeps him from having to say something directly to the bully, but gives him a way to help the victim. Some schools have even implemented help lines where kids can text or call anonymously when someone is being bullied.

Request other bystanders to stand up too. Sometimes it’s safer and more effective if a group of kids confronts the bully. In fact, research shows that when peers intervene in a bullying incident, the bullying stops nearly 60% of the time.

Address cyberbullying. Keep in mind that your child doesn’t have to be physically present to be impacted by bullying. Witnessing a classmate being targeted online can affect your child too. Be sure you teach her how to report cyberbullying. For instance, your child should save the message or postings and report the cyberbullying to an adult. What’s more, many social media sites have mechanisms for reporting abuse. Help her become familiar with how to report harassment.

Support the victim. Sometimes the best way to get involved in a bullying incident is to be a friend to victims. In fact, research shows that having at least one friend can deter bullying. Give your child ideas on how to be a friend to the victim. This might mean walking to class together, sitting with them at lunch and inviting them to social events.

the-bully-diaries-cover-300dpiThe Bully Diaries

Chances are that you experienced bullying in your life. Whether your experience was as a victim, a bystander or the bully, if you search your memories, you will probably find instances when bullying was a part of your life. For many of us, these experiences have defined us and shaped us. Our experiences made us stronger, and helped us become who we are today.

When you are being bullied, it is hard to think about much more than getting through today. For others, there is no today. Their experience being bullied was too overwhelming, and drove them to a devastating and permanent solution to the temporary pain.

Through a community partnership with Stand for the Silent, Writing for the Soul Workshop collected stories, letters and poems from youth, teens and adults from around the world. These stories are pieces of lives impacted by bullying; written to show everyone affected by bullying that you are not alone, that you can survive the experience, that you are somebody.

A portion of the proceeds from book sales goes to support Stand for the Silent.

Details:

eBook: $11.99 USD
Soft Cover: $16.99
Size: 5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm) 
Color: Black & White on White paper
Page Count: 202 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1539125297
ISBN-10: 1539125297
BISAC: Nonfiction / Biography & Autobiography / Literary
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Do you have a story about bullying?  Writing for the Soul Workshop™ is collecting stories from youth around the world for Volume II of “The Bully Diaries”.  Every voice is important, so submit your story today!  You can use the Contact Form below, or email us at: submissions@tgimonlinue.us.

 

TGIM says “Y.E.P.” to President Trump’s proposed 2018 Budget

No one wants to think that their tax money is being “wasted” through inefficient programs and bloated government agencies.  Making the government “efficient” sounds like a noble goal. Creating a new generation of jobless youth with fewer resources to learn marketable skills is the true result of the current proposed budget.  As reported by the Atlantic “The 2018 budget details around $500 million in cuts for the department (of Labor), which likely means that programs for disadvantaged workers, including seniors, youths, and those with disabilities, would be reduced or completely eliminated. The Senior Community Service Employment Program, training grants at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and technical-assistance grants at the Office of Disability Employment Policy would all disappear. Job-training centers for disadvantaged children would be shuttered and funding for more general job-training and employment services would move from the federal budget to states.”

In addition, the new budget also cuts after school programs that could prevent youth from falling through the gaps in the first place.  This means that even more youth impacted by poverty are less likely to change their outcomes without small businesses stepping forward with targeted efforts to impact the Youth Unemployment Rate.  This is one of the key reasons that TGIM Digital Publishing is working to launch Y.E.P. as a component to our Affiliates Program.

Our Presentation

When you think about the dire economic and social picture facing youth around the world today, it’s clear that we need to do better.  Around the globe, communities face government corruption, lack social services, and have growing unemployment issues in their youth populations.  Some communities are further devastated by natural disasters, and civil wars.  Impacting youth and creating change will require out of the box solutions. We need For-Profit companies that have the heart to create change, and that are willing to accept a mission that provides what our society needs.  We need companies who know that helping our youth is just as important as profits.  We need companies that are willing to focus on our society as humans, not just consumers. Companies that have a mission, that have a heart, and that produce results …like us. Call us at: 682.235.TGIM (8446) for more information and to discuss ROI.

Why not a .com?

When you clicked on this title, perhaps you were expecting some enlightening research on web domains, and whether or not your business web domain will impact your site traffic.  While this blog might not contain that information, rest assured that what you are about to read definitely impacts you!

The education system in the United States has roots to the colonial times, when education was targeted for white male land owners, and focused on preparation to better understand religious doctrine.  By the early 1900’s this focus shifted with the Progressive era, and our educational system was seen by government and urban leaders as a way to prepare individuals for blue-collar work in factories.  This focus has remained, one of the reasons our school curriculum is primarily focused in math, science and technology.

If you are a business owner, right about now you are wondering why this information impacts you… well, if you employee anyone other than your self, or your customer base includes anyone under 80, keep reading…

Our economy in 2017 looks very different from the one 50 years ago.  As our nation has moved from an industrial economy to an information economy, our expectations of our school systems really haven’t changed. We still expect that individuals with a High School Diploma or GED will have the requisite skills needed to be successful at most entry-level jobs. The problem with this expectation is that those entry-level jobs have changed drastically over the last 2 decades, and our current education system doesn’t really prepare students for their future in the job market.  As The Fiscal Times recently put it “nearly three-quarters of hiring managers complain that millennials – even those with college degrees – aren’t prepared for the job market and lack an adequate ‘work ethic.'”

This means that as students navigate an education system that focuses on standardized test scores instead of what happens in today’s job market, we will continue to face a dearth of individuals that are prepared to work, improve, and earn salaries that will help continue to drive our economy.  That is where the importance of “.us” comes in… if we want a future work force that is prepared for our current economy, it will take a village to drive the changes we need to ensure this preparation.

According to Mother Jones magazine, most students will take 113 standardized tests in the school life.  In Texas this means that more than 50% of high school graduates would have FAILED the writing portion of their standardized tests.  With more and more jobs that require customer service and sales skills, the ability for individuals to clearly communicate with others is of utmost importance.  We have to do better in preparing todays children in reading and WRITING.

As part of this focus, TGIM Digital Publishing is offering Writing for the Soul Workshop™ as a way for students to increase their scores in Writing on standardized tests like the STAAR test administered here in Texas.  An overwhelming number of students, even in high school, struggle with Essay writing, a component that represents 26% of an individuals test scores.

This program is proven as a viable option to increase a students writing ability, and has shown to help improve educational outcomes, and Essay scores on standardized test.  Currently, TGIM offers these workshops to schools at no charge to students.  Participants not only receive tutoring, but important skills in customer service and sales through participation in this program.  As a business owner this means a better prepared future workforce.  A better prepared workforce means better wages and more money in the economy, which is a win for all of us.

indiegogo-buttonAs anyone knows, offering services like this does have a cost, even when it isn’t passed on to participants.  We need your help to ensure that students here in Texas and around the world maintain access to Writing for the Soul Workshop™, and all of the wow factors available. Your contribution today helps to ensure youth in your community continue to access a program that offers better educational outcomes than school alone.  As the Will Stegerson foundation reminds us,  “In order to reach a kid, you’ve got the meet them where they are. And if you can meet them where they are, then you can take them somewhere else.”  Help www.tgimonline.US take our next generation of students to places that our .com can’t. Back our INDIEGOGO campaign today.

 

Meet Our Quality Assurance Manager: Gedalyah Yasharahla

“Quality is not an act, it is a habit.” Aristotle

When most business leaders think of Quality Assurance, they think of things like product testing, or unscheduled inspections.  In today’s new information economy, quality assurance is so much more.  When a program impacts the lives of our most precious resources, our children, it becomes imperative to have an uncompromising commitment to the quality of our program.

At TGIM, we believe that meeting the rigorous guidelines of our program is a non negotiable element.  We strive to ensure that everyone involved in our programs receives the same amazing experience, regardless of whether they access the program from their homes, their schools, or their community centers, whether in the US or abroad.  We have proven processes that deliver amazing results, when followed correctly.

The importance of the quality of our programming is a key reason that TGIM Digital Publishing created the role of Quality Assurance Manager.  Our program requires high standards, and ensuring these standards are met at every level is a cornerstone of our brand integrity.  As our Quality Assurance Manager, Gedalyah oversees all areas of company operations, assumes responsibility for company’s success and achievement of financial goals. He is also responsible for driving sales and business through development.

This is an exciting time for us, as we work to expand our staff, and support our growing global customer base.  Recently, we filled the position of Community Coordinator in TGIM Africa. We are currently looking to fill positions for a Business Development Manager, and Community Coordinators here in the US and Australia. TGIM is a mobile brand, so you can set your own hours, and can work from the comfort of home.  These positions are perfect for college students, and stay-at-home care givers.

Gedalyah was seeking something that no amount of money, or milestone was able to fill. He found it here at TGIM. Is that you too?  Then do something different …do something amazing. Email us and request more information about the job opportunities we have available. Send your email to info@tgimonline.us or call us toll-free at: 855.377.TGIM. –Eric L. Jones, Sr., TGIM CEO