A new adventure

JoJoisms Header 5I’ve been writing and speaking about communication skills for the last 12 years with Art of Eloquence.  I treasure my experiences and I pray I’ve made a difference both inside and outside the homeschooling community.  That being said, I feel it’s time to move on to a new adventure.

I can be a bit dense so it’s taken me a while to see God’s leading, especially since I had so much invested in this website and its ministry.  Back in October of 2013, I declared that 2014 would be The Year of Faith.  And it has been, but not the way I thought it would be.

You see, I had plans to write a weekly newsletter with tips and insight into the most effective ways to share and defend the Christian faith.  However, God had other plans.  As I said, I can be a bit thick, but the writing was on the wall…or website as the case may be.

After struggling for many years with debilitating fatigue, pain and brain fog, I thought I had found a doctor who would take that away from me.  While I do feel somewhat better, I still suffer from these and many other symptoms of Hashimoto’s Thyroid Disease, Fibromyalgia, Insomnia, Adrenal Fatigue, Reactive Hypoglycemia, Peri Menopause and a few others I can’t remember right now.  But I pulled myself up by my bootstraps (OK. they were flip flop straps as I was in ARIDzona at the time) and resolved to work harder to bring this important subject to light.

In December, we found out that my dh was being blessed with a big promotion at work (ending many years of financial hardships) that necessitated us to move (and QUICKLY) across the country.  In between calling moving companies for quotes and giving away items we couldn’t or didn’t want to take with us, I soldiered on writing in the wee hours of the night while insomnia raged.  I accumulated a few weeks worth of blog posts, newsletters and information for future Year of Faith articles. Then we were off to Indiana to look for our new home.

On January 18th, we were involved in a rollover car accident in the snow in which I broke my hand.  Unable to type, I had to put virtually everything else on hold.  Sounds like a great sob story doesn’t it? LOL  In truth, I did sob and whined and yelled, but I came to understand that my Year of Faith was really MY year of faith.  I had to sit still and listen to what the Lord was saying to me and what I heard will take me (and you) on a new adventure as I adjust to life in my new surroundings both geographically and physically.

So I am closing down my Art of Eloquence blog and newsletter. I’m putting my purple blog and Facebook fan page passion on the back burner and I’m picking up a new baton.  I’m going to leave this website up and will be servicing any customers who purchase our products, but I will not actively be marketing for Art of Eloquence.  What I AM doing, is re purposing my www.JoJoisms.com site to reflect a new calling and direction for my life and ministry.

As you can see, the new design reflects my desire to uplift, support and energize those who suffer from chronic illness or issues.  No lollypops and roses or rah rah. Just some good old fashioned fun with frustration, looking on the lighter side with scripture leading us always and ever closer to God.  Join me, won’t you?  www.JoJoisms.com

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Where have all the AoE Blog Posts Gone?

accidentIt occurred to me that I never did explain why my posts suddenly stopped in January.  Life has been a bit crazy since I posted last.  On January 18th, after traveling to Indiana to find our new home, we were involved in a car accident.  My dh fractured his back and I fractured my hand.  I’ve been unable to post more than a few lines without pain for over two months and it looks like it’ll be another two or three months for the healing process to complete.

It took me a while, but I was able to get a post out on my JoJoisms blog.  If you want more of the details, you can read about it there.

I’ll be back in a few months with more blog posts.  Until then, feel free to scroll through the previous posts you may have missed and check out all the free sample lessons, articles and such on the main Art of Eloquence site.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Rein of Error

This is a new feature here on the Art of Eloquence blog.  Many of my readers feel there has been a rein of error in communication these days.  They cringe when they see misspellings, improper use of grammar and typos.  This new feature of the AoE blog will turn your cringing into giggling.

Here are this month’s Rein of Error entries you can laugh at.  No need to avert your eyes!  It’s safe to look.  Can you spot all the errors?   These are just a few of the ones we had personal experience with.

This was my son’s cake from a few years ago.










This was an SAT Prep Book we chose not to buy for our dd about six yrs ago.

Barron's SAT Prep 23nd Edition










And here is a picture a friend of mine sent me that was in her city.











Did you spot all the errors?  How’d they happen?  Take a guess.  Have your kids try their hand too.  Please post your findings in the comments.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Year of Faith Postponed Again Due to Car Accident

accidentAs some of you know, last week’s Year of Faith newsletter didn’t come out because the Art of Eloquence site was hacked for the 4th time and my isp was blocked.  It took so long for me to deal with it to where my web host fixed it that I had no time to get the newsletter out before I left for Indiana.  (My family an I were out there for a week to find a new home. )

The day we were due to return to ARIDzona, we were involved in a car accident.  Our car rolled over.  My dh’s back was injured pretty badly an I might have broken my finger.  So I am only able to type with my right hand an d my left index fingr.  It’s taken me a long time just to type this much so far.

handsthe good news is we all walked away and we did find a house.  The bad news is that I’m afraid the Year of Faith newsletters will have to be postponed for anothr week or to when i can rgain full use of my hand.

Please continue to pray for our family so that we may continue to bring you this series.  It sems the enemy is conspiring to keep this information from being publishd.

If you are not alrady subscribedt o our nwslettr, you can do so here.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

I AM responsible for your assumptions

JoJo SeptOne of the most popular sayings quoted in graphics posted on social media right now was popularized by the movie Rush Hour.  In this scene, LAPD Detective Carter on loan to the FBI is asked to babysit a police officer from China to keep him away from the kidnapping case they are trying to solve.  Inspector Lee, played by Jackie Chan, pretends not to speak English in order to get as much information out of Detective Carter as he can.  Later on, Lee lets it slip that he does speak English and Carter asks him why he made him believe otherwise.  Lee says, “I didn’t say I didn’t, you assumed I didn’t…I’m not responsible for your assumptions.”  Oh, wasn’t he?

This article is part of a series I’ll be writing on good sayings that don’t really ring true.  This saying is a myth perpetrated by a well-meaning, self-help enthusiasts meant to inspire and empower those who may have spent a lifetime trying to explain themselves.  However, this quote is a myth.  It isn’t true.  It doesn’t work.  So what’s the problem with it?

Exodus 23:1 says, “Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.” So when you say something you know may be misinterpreted, you are raising a false report.  Further, when you knowingly and purposefully withhold setting the record straight, James 4:17 says you are sinning, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”

There are three other things we need to consider about this myth:


1. First rule of communication

It is the speaker’s job to be understood and not the listener’s job to figure it out.  So actually, it is your responsibility if your listener makes assumptions that are incorrect.  Only you know what you mean to say.  Only you can communicate what’s in your head to the listener.  And only you are responsible to make sure that your listener understands it the way in which you intended it.

2. Unintentional or not, misunderstandings can and should be avoided

It’s bad enough when someone says something that another misinterprets because of an assumption, because it can lead those hearers to make decisions based on false information and damaged relationships.  How would you feel if a person, acting on an assumption they made from something you said, went on to cause themselves or others harm?

However, unintentional misunderstanding aside, you are absolutely responsible if you notice someone is not getting what you are communicating.  It’s your job then, to correct them and not allow them to be confused or make an incorrect assumption, even if it is to your advantage as it was in the movie, Rush Hour.

3. The Spaghetti Test doesn’t work for communication

To test if spaghetti is done, some cooks will throw a few strands of spaghetti up on a wall and see if it sticks.  If it does, it’s done.  That may work for spaghetti, but it doesn’t work for communication.  You cannot simply throw some communication up on the wall (or in this case, in the face of an unsuspecting listener) and hope that something might stick.  What happens is that your listener ends up with a lot of spaghetti on his face.  Or egg on yours!

For these three reasons, this myth is a dangerous one to adopt for we are, indeed responsible for the assumptions others make whether through the sin of omission, a false statement or by allowing someone to assume something that isn’t true.  Politicians are masterful at this.  Christians shouldn’t be.  We are called for greater things.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Nitpicker’s Annonymous

sticks her tongue outHere is part two of my article from last week called Conversation Correction Patrol:

My advice when you post on Twitter and Facebook (or any of the other social networking sites) is to stop before you publicly disagree with someone.  Yes, even an obscure post on Twitter or Facebook is a public post.  Reflect on these questions before you hit the “share” button:

1. Is it really a mistake or are you reading too much into it?

Are you perhaps being too picky, stretching the meaning, reading it out of context?  Is what they posted really a problem or are you looking for situations in which the statement could be taken another way.  Did the other party mean it the way you are interpreting it or are you pretty sure he meant it in a completely innocent way?

2. Does what you disagree with rise to the level that the person should be made aware of his/her mistake?

If the person did, indeed make a mistake or state an untruth, does it really need to be corrected?  I’ve written many times about my children and their creation of the Conversation Correction Patrol.  I even wrote a children’s ebook by that title once!  Sometimes we look for things to correct in other people, but don’t realize that there is no need.  The other parties involved know that Julie meant 12 noon and not 12 midnight for nobody in their right mind would have lunch at midnight.  The only thing you will accomplish by making a big deal of Julie’s mistake is embarrassing her.

3. Is it best to send the person a private message?

Is this something that should be handled personally or would it be received well if you posted it for all her Facebook friends to see?  Sometimes it’s more gracious to notify someone of a faux pas in private.  Think about how you might feel if someone yelled out at a party that you were so dumb as to think lunch was at midnight.  That’s more or less how it is received when you make a big deal of a small mistake in public (online).

4. If not, have you chosen the most gracious words?

If something needs to be said, even if it is in private, have you taken care to use the most gracious words you can in pointing out someone’s mistake or have you condemned them, made them feel dumb, or called them a liar?

5. Have you said anything positive, encouraging or uplifting to this person or are you only sending them replies when you have something negative to say?

Even if you have been gracious by pointing out something that should be corrected, take a look at what other communication you have had with this person.  Is the only time you have communicated with Martha been when you told he she was wrong?  Did you bother to say you’d pray for her when she announced she was ill?  Did you congratulate her on her newest project or promotion?  Have you uplifted her or have you replied to her only when you spotted an error?

Choose your battles and your words wisely.  Remember that just because you are right, doesn’t mean you are justified in saying so.  Sometimes you will win the battle, but hurt a friend.  “An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city, and disputes are like the barred gates of the citadel.” Proverbs 18:19  Even if the person doesn’t take offense, this sort of “tug and pull” communication can be draining.

I know that some people see errors glaring at them and feel they just have to point them out.  Anyone involved in any part of the editing process may be a card carrying member of the Communication Correction Patrol.  I’m an author so I know.   In fact, anyone with bright kids might know this intimately!  Those who spot errors feel the overwhelming need to fix stuff, but I implore you to stop and think if this is the best course of action in each particular situation.  If so, please handle with care.  If not, might I suggest Nitpickers Anonymous.   We meet on Thursdays!

JoJo Tabares holds a degree in Speech Communication, but it is her humorous approach to communication skills which has made her a highly sought-after Christian speaker and writer.  Her articles appear in homeschool publications, such as Homeschool Enrichment Magazine and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, which also endorses her Say What You Mean curricula, including Say What You Mean Defending the Faith.  You can also find JoJo on web sites such as Crosswalk.com and Dr.Laura.com.  For more information on communication FUNdamentals and Christian-based communication skills for the whole family, please visit http://www.ArtofEloquence.com

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Conversation CorRection Patrol

sticks her tongue outThis is part one of a two part article series:

My mother always told me that if I didn’t have anything nice to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all.  It seems that communication over the internet means you don’t need to look your victim, er, Facebook Friend in the eye.  Folks don’t seem to make it a point to be as uplifting and gracious as they are when face-to-face.  As I navigate the Information Super Highway, I often reflect upon this scripture, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29

A while ago, I had a little situation on one of the social networking sites.  I had posted an article and reposted some interesting things that others had seen fit to post.  I received replies from someone picking nits about the content.  I’ve had this happen a time or two before (I’ve seen it happen to others many times on the internet.) and always found it rather interesting.  I’m not going to name names or even the site it was on.  I post virtually the same things on all sites each day.  All I’ll say is that it was really just a case of nitpicking.

The people who pick nits rarely reply to anything in which they cannot find something to disagree.  They are usually not uplifting in any way and most often don’t bother to put things graciously, but instead prefer to show everyone how ignorant the other guy is and how smart they are in contrast.  However, in my experience, the nitpicker isn’t usually seen as smarter or helpful, but rather as picky and condescending.

If I disagree with someone, I usually find it best to send a private message unless I feel it’s something that will lead others astray.  In that case, I will be grace-filled and loving in my reply.  For example, I might tell someone that I “look at it a different way” or reply “in my experience…” or share that “in my research…” or “my understanding is…”  I will usually assume the other party is simply mistaken, not a liar.  I almost always gently correct if I feel something is just not so.  It’s always better, in my opinion, to tell someone they are incorrect instead of callously stating they are WRRONG or a liar.

But I find that too many people on the web are unconcerned with being gracious.  And although Proverbs 16:24 says,  “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.“, I notice it among the Christian community as well.  I’ve talked about this before on the blog, in my articles and in my communication studies.

Sometimes it’s simply a matter of a mood we are in.  Sometimes we are just in a contrary frame of mind.  Perhaps we had a bad day so we look at things and notice what we disagree with.  This provides many opportunities to Tweet and Facebook our opposition in virtual anonymity, a tempting prospect that allows too many to fall into nitpicking.

Next week I’ll share part two of this article, Nitpicker’s Annonymous. Stay tuned!  Subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss each weekly post!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

New Year; New Theme

Happy New Year everyone!

Don’t forget that tomorrow begins not just 2014, but The Year of Faith here at Art of Eloquence.  Our newsletter subscribers will find weekly articles on various faith topics beginning this week.

If you make New Year’s Resolutions and even if you don’t, make this one!  Subscribe to our newsletter for 2014!  Learn all you can about how to fulfill The Great Commission and why we, as Christians, are commanded to do so.  It’s not easy to discuss faith issues these days and most Christians are either too afraid of the consequences or are doing it in such a way that it actually drives unbelievers away from God.

This is your chance and it’s all free!  This is the most important New Year’s Resolution you will ever make.  Make it and keep it, by subscribing here, NOW!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Merry CHRISTmas from Art of Eloquence!

It’s CHRISTmas Eve–a time for reflection, family and praise for Christ.  Since The Year of Faith over on my newsletter is just around the corner.  (Be sure to subscribe to this blog for in 2014, I’ll be back with a weekly column to educate and amaze!)   I’m taking these last few weeks of 2013 to share some praise and worship with you.

This video touches on one of my pet peeves about CHRISTmas time.  There is very little Christ in CHRISTmas anymore.  Most of the Christmas movies talk about it being all about family and love.  A nice concept to be sure, but certainly not the focus of CHRISTmas.  Some of the Christmas movie line up doesn’t even talk about Christmas!  Every year during the Holidays there is a Harry Potter marathon!

So to do my share, please enjoy this very special CHRISTmas video.  Becky Kelley with Where’s the Line to See Jesus:


Merry CHRISTmas one and all!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Give Christ a CHRISTmas gift this year!

This CHRISTmas, why not give Jesus a gift?  Something He has asked of us.  Something that adds to the kingdom of God.  This CHRISTmas, give Him the gift of boldly, graciously, and effectively sharing the Gospel with others.

If we are commanded to share the Gospel, why is it that so many Christians don’t?

1. They don’t know what to say.

2. They don’t know how to say it.

3. They are afraid they won’t be able to handle the consequences.

4. Or they are too bold or lacking in grace when they share bringing about unintentional consequences for both the one sharing and the one who is being ministered to.  But it doesn’t have to be this way!

swymdtfbooksmshadowArt of Eloquence has put together a communication study like no other.  It contains years of my personal experiences with unbelievers and the questions and issues they have with the Bible, Christ and Christians.  Growing up in an Atheist home of Jewish decent, I have heard all the questions and I know how not to answer the questions.

Say What You Mean: Defending the Faith will give you a simple way for teens and adults to learn how to answer the most popular questions unbelievers have.  And this month, you can get it at 50% off!

Other course of this nature fall short because they don’t take into consideration:

* God didn’t make Cookie-Cutter People so a one-size-fits-all approach reaches few unbelivers
* They most often teach you what to say, but fail to instruct you on how to say it or to tailor it to each individual
* They often teach you to open with a scripture or statement that doesn’t reflect the concerns of the unbeliever
* They don’t teach you how to answer the most common questions and misconceptions unbelievers have
* They don’t give you embedded links where you will find scientific data supporting biblical events.

This course will not only prepare you to speak to others about Christ, but it will actually strengthen your own faith because it gives you the historic and scientific supporting evidence for the answers to the most important questions about God!

To order Say What You Mean: Defending the Faith, just click on the previous link and order as usual. Where it says, “Apply DiscountCode,” put in voucher code: Faith5013  It will automatically reduce the price by 50% and remember that this offer is only good this month, December 2013! So order now before time runs out!

Give Christ a gift this CHRISTmas!  Give the gift of effective communication for Him because Christ died for us, the least we can do is tell people why!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter