Page 1

Easter Baskets and other Traditions by Joan Leotta Crossing the Valleys, Climbing the Mountains by Norma C. Mezoe

Irish Soda Bread by Jeanne Doyon

When it rains, the LORD reigns! by Mary Anusha Chandrakumar

My Greatest Need by Lisa J. Radcliff

The Selfless Gift by Shara BuelerRepka

Where Is Spring? by Rejetta Morse

Wishing Away Winter – Hope of Spring by Jeanne Doyon

A Month for Everything by Lisa RadcliffDay St. J. Patrick’s

Fun Ideas Whenfor God’s yourNumber Home and was Dialed Family by Adwoba Addofrom Vintage Mama’s Boateng Cottage

Faith on Trial by Adwoba Addo-Boateng

RUBY Magazine

In This Issue of RUBY

Your voice, your story APRIL, 2019 Easter Morning by Joan Leotta

My Elegant Little Eggs ~ How to Chalk Paint Plastic Eggs by Theresa L Begin

Spring has arrived! We are so excited about all of the possibilities that come with the season of new life. We celebrate Easter and the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and here at RUBY magazine we offer creative inspiration for your home and family. In the April issue of RUBY magazine you will find inspirational articles, devotionals, poetry, short stories, book reviews, crafts and recipes that will be a blessing and encouragement to you every day of the month.

“He Lives” by Alfred Henry Ackley Hymn Story by Diana Leagh Matthews

We would love to have you join us in the RUBY community, now on Facebook, so it is really easy for you to connect with us. Here’s the link: Hope to see you there!

Plant Seeds with Your Children by Gloria Doty

Senior Editor: Nina Newton Editorial Assistant: Theresa Begin Feature Writers: Sharon L. Patterson, Norma C. Mezoe, Shara Bueler-Repka, Lisa J. Radcliff, Joan Leotta, Diana Leagh Matthews, Carol Peterson, Jeanne Doyon, Adwoba AddoBoateng, Miriam Jacob, Gloria Doty, Mary Anusha Chandrakumar, Cynthia Knisley

The “Sticks and Stones” Lie by Sharon L. Patterson

Credits and Copyrights All stories and articles are copyright by the authors. All pictures and images are copyright by the authors and / or have been purchased, used by permission or are in the public domain. If any pictures or images have been used inadvertently, and they do not belong in this publication, please email us and we will immediately remove them. Nothing in this issue of RUBY magazine may be reproduced, copied, or shared without the permission of the author. Advertising information is available by contacting us at Questions? Email Nina @ RUBY magazine is published by CreativeLife All submission inquiries should be directed to: Nina Newton, Sr. Editor RUBY magazine

Creating beautiful designs and dĂŠcor for your graceful home

Visit Graceful Home Studio for inspirational, seasonal, and holiday home dĂŠcor items that will reflect the grace and joy of family life in your home.

Handmade and refashioned garments and accessories from Tatters to Treasures

You can find this FREE printable calendar from The Cottage Market * All images are the property of the original bloggers and are not a creation of RUBY magazine or any of our writers.

Daffodils in the Spring Sunshine by Nina Newton, Sr. Editor Yesterday the sun was shining, but the wind was blowing a bit. I took our sweet doggie out for a walk to give her some exercise since she recently had hip surgery, and she loved being in the sunshine. So we would slowly limp around the yard, sniffing the wind and listening to the geese honking as they flew over the pond in the field across the road from our house She would sometimes walk / limp across the front yard, and then she would sometimes do a threelegged jog, but I always had her securely attached to me via her harness and leash. We also have a sling that helps give her back legs some support as she is recovering from surgery, but she is quickly moving beyond the need for that. As we walked over by the mailbox she stopped, sniffed the air, listened intently for something, and then . . . she just plopped right down on the grass to take a rest. She loved sitting there with the warm sun shining on her, so she then decided to lie down. That was great! Except that I was just standing there waiting for her to move along, so the breeze was rather chilly when I was standing still. I waited . . . and waited . . . and waited. I thought it was really good for her to be outside in the fresh air, and it really felt great to me, as well after being inside for the past several months to avoid the blowing snow. But I was getting really cold, so I tugged on her leash and kind of pulled up a bit on her sling, and she got right up and headed for the front door. I hope we are making progress on teaching her where she can and cannot go. I’m encouraged. Today was another beautiful day with a bright blue sky, sun shining warmly on our deck, and very little breeze. Out we went again, and down she sat in the grass, sniffing the air with her nose twitching and her ears perking up at every bird tweet and squirrel rustling the leaves. After a few minutes of being on “high alert” to all of the exciting events happening in our yard on a Wednesday morning, she again decided to flop down in the sun, lying on the grass. As I was bringing her back in, I noticed a corner of our yard, right beside our deck where we cleaned out the flower beds last summer. There in the corner, peeking up from the layer of dead leaves from last year was a whole bunch of daffodil shoots. Some of them even had buds on them! I’m excited about watching them bloom. After the past couple of weeks of stress and anxiety, between the dog getting hit by a car and having hip surgery and now a kid with potential knee surgery on the horizon, I needed a sunny spring day with our sweet doggie resting peacefully in the sunshine, and the daffodils peeking up through the dead brown leaves from last autumn, really made me feel hopeful again. I hope you are enjoying your spring days and that you are filled with God’s blessings and joy as we enter the season of new life and celebration of God’s gift of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. Happy Easter!

You can find more great resources for encouragement in your faith at Organic Christian Living.

Wishing Away Winter – Hope of Spring by Jeanne Doyon

As much as I love the beauty of fresh fallen snow, too much winter makes me pine for spring. Living in New England has its attractions:

His promise to never leave you alone and to walk with you through anything, applies to any season, winters of the soul included.

Gorgeous fall days

I hope you will see His signs of spring. The new life, hope and relief as you come forth from the winter days. He is there. Ask Him to show you His presence, the fingerprint that He is with you. Look for the glimmer of light in the middle of the darkness.

Bright colors as the leaves change Apple picking in the fall Tapping trees for Maple syrup in late winter We enjoy four distinct seasons that we’d miss. But, winter can drone on until you find yourself crying, Uncle. Or in other words, BRING SPRING. We hope in the groundhog’s predictions but don’t believe a word he says. No matter what, we are in for winter’s hold until at least the end of March. I remember an ice storm in May—a fluke? Yes. But something you definitely remember by keeping photos in a scrapbook with a label that says, Unbelievable!

I promise you that His relief will come and it will become one of the memories kept in your scrapbook of faithfulness marked, Unbelievable. Because we can’t help telling others how God met us in the middle of our darkest time and shined through the dimness with His light. There is a favorite verse I’d like to share with you to encourage you through to relief because God promises not to waste any dark moments in our lives. They become the beacon of His glory if we allow them to.

Winters of the soul are similar.

What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light Matthew 10:27.

When you are facing illness or trials, the spring can’t come quick enough. Your four walls, prescription bottles and calendar filled with appointments begin to close in until you utter the word: Uncle. But what you mean is BRING RELIEF.

God has a message for you. You may or may not see it right now because it’s dark. But, as His light dawns you will see something that will bring comfort and show His glory to another.

From one New Englander who knows what the winter prison feels like, I am praying for you that you see a glimpse of spring in the coming days. I pray that you know that no matter what you’re facing and how dark it seems, God is with you.

I have been there. Buried. In darkness. And, I promise you, spring is coming.

In My Valley by Norma C. Mezoe In my valley, God placed a mountain… He formed and molded it in his hands. He knew in the loneliness of my valley, I needed a high place to stand. In my sorrow, he offered contentment… For my heartache he supplied sweet release. He gave me forgiveness instead of resentment And for turmoil, a heart filled with peace. Yes, in my valley God placed a mountain… in the middle of my valley of pain. He created a life giving fountain And shelter from life’s threatening rain. Over the mountain, God placed a rainbow… And set it in a background of blue. Then reminded me when my head is bowed low, To remember he is always true.

Image by efPercy05 from Pixabay

Easter Baskets and other Traditions by Joan Leotta

Easter is the most important holiday in the Christian calendar. Teaching your little ones about the Resurrection of Christ as the central point of our religion can seem more daunting than involving those same little ones in Christmas. After all, everyone can understand the birth of a baby, and the giving of gifts to celebrate, but it is more difficult to understand the mystery of Christ fulfilling scripture by rising from the dead. I found that the key to working with little ones is to simply teach the story directly from the Bible and reinforcing its importance in doctrine with the general celebration of the holiday, all the while explaining the Christian viewpoint on the secular trappings, as we do at Christmas. Easter Basket—eggs, jelly beans, chocolate. All of these also have various cultural traditions behind them, sometimes just that the Lord’s word is sweet, sometimes more than the rabbit and the egg are symbols of new life, of spring—new life in Christ, resurrection of the world from its winter sleep. Keep the explanations simple, adding more detail as the child is older. We also took the opportunity to include Children’s books on the true meaning of Easter in the Easter basket. Easter Dinner - whether you serve lamb or ham, be sure to open the meal with a bit more than the usual pre-dinner prayer. Read from the account of the first Easter, coming to find the tomb empty. While the children are waiting for the meal to be ready, print out some Bible worksheets with the picture of the empty tomb for them to color.

As the children get older, lower and upper elementary, encourage them to read the scripture in reader’s theatre style for the rest of the family, acting out the parts of the women coming to the tomb and talking to the angel. I’ve done this with Sunday school students. Puppets are another way to present the story. For the very youngest, perhaps the adults could act out the reading using puppets. Slightly older elementary students can make stick puppets and read the story, using the stick puppets as the actors—this is especially good for those who are more shy. Singing - During Christmas, hymns and carols are sung everywhere. Easter does not enjoy this diffusion into the popular culture. Sing your favorite Easter hymns together as a family. Church and Talking about the Holiday - Many churches offer sunrise services—try to attend one. If your church offers services on the other days of Holy Week, especially Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday (for the first time Communion was offered) and Good Friday, (the commemoration of Christ’s death on the Cross), attend if you can, as a family. This helps reinforce the importance of the occasion of Easter by establishing its relationship to these other days. Talk about these festivals with your children. Do these things each time Easter comes around. My heart was filled with joy when after years of these practices, I heard our daughter tell one of her friends that she could not wait for Easter because it was the most important holiday of the year.

Easter Morning by Joan Leotta Slowly, slowly comes the light appearing between two trees, from the tomb Son's glow signaling end of sin’s eternal night.

My Elegant Little Eggs ~ How to Chalk Paint Plastic Eggs by Theresa L Begin Easter will be quickly on us, and to be honest, I'm not a big decorator for this special Holy Day. When we had little ones around we would do quite a bit more decorating but as an adult, and a child of God, I really cherish this time with my church and family, being mindful and grateful of what Christ did for us all and celebrate my Salvation, because of it. He Is Risen, indeed! Truly, that is the most important thing of all. I did, however, have time in the past couple of weeks to fiddle around with something I'm really enjoying. I have been seeing Easter eggs all over the internet, as I am sure you have, made of every possible material and decoration. They truly are extraordinary. The one thing I hadn't seen was any chalk-painted eggs! And, as you may know, I love my chalk paint! Especially, when I can tint it easily for pastels! I also truly wanted to make a frugal option. So, I bought these dollar store plastic eggs to start with! 8 of them for $1. I used some Krazy Glue to keep them closed and sanded the little bit of overlapping plastic at the seal. I can tell you now, from personal experience, plastic did not love chalk paint! At least not with the first coat. Never deterred, I found that if you stipple it on for a coat or two by your third you can paint it on just as easily as painting a wall. Then I tinted three different spoonfuls of my paint and put the final coat on. I even lightly sanded them. When I had the color and finish I liked, I put a clear sealer on them and started to decorate. A little bling and bejeweling, thanks to the dollar store and my local crafts store, there were plenty of options to either glue gun on or just peel and stick! One of the most difficult tasks for me, as a writer/photographer, is picking out exactly which image will go first, or that you will like the most, or truly represent how the project actually turn out. It's always a dilemma for me. I tend to like a lot of them, but they don't always read as well as on the computer screen or printed page as they looked in just photograph form.

As you can see, too, depending on the lighting and surroundings, they can look entirely different. Hopefully, I've shown you enough for a true representation. I truly pray that you all have a very blessed Easter with your family and friends. I hope you've enjoyed my little "Elegant Eggs." They were great fun to make and I'm sure I'll enjoy them for a long time to come! Who wouldn't love an egg with pearls or diamonds?! This is such a wonderful time to be grateful for all that we have been given, freely from Our Father, and not take one second of it for granted.

~Theresa Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die..." -John 11:25-26 (ESV)

For inspirational and creative articles, visit Theresa Begin on her blog, Shoestring Elegance.

Now accepting submissions for the

MAY 2019 issue of RUBY magazine Visit the

RUBY blog for all the details

When Life Doesn’t Match Your Dreams by Jill Eileen Smith Book Review by Miriam Jacob What do you do when “Life Doesn’t Match Your Dreams?” Have you ever wished that your life could be different in every way? Jill Eileen Smith tells us the answer, giving us “Hope for Today from 12 Women of the Bible.” Jill assures us that God can be trusted and we can always hope in Him. God is our only hope in the twists and turns of life, when we are confronted with unwanted choices and difficulties. Extensively researching women of the Bible, Jill Eileen Smith wields her pen with a flourish to teach us priceless lessons in trusting God from the lives of ancient women like Adam’s wife, Eve; Noah’s wife, Adah; Abraham’s wife, Sarah and her maid servant, Hagar; Lot’s wife, Melah; Isaac’s wife, Rebekah; Jacob’s wife, Rachel; and many others. We learn what all these women did, right or wrong, when faced with deferred dreams and shattered expectations. We will confidently believe that our faithful God loves us and shapes us, through our trials and difficulties, into the people He intends us to be. This book bridges the wide gulf between the ancient women of the Bible and the modern women of today. Jill Eileen Smith makes her characters spring to life, addressing the myriad problems that women of all time struggle with. This book inspires us to look to Christ and the Bible for a transformed life. Jill Eileen Smith vividly details the life stories of women of the Bible, portraying each one from what might have been her own unique perspective. Just like us, they all were imperfect women, with flaws of their own, facing unexpected situations in challenging circumstances. Yet, God loved them with a love beyond compare. Jill expertly connects these women of the Bible to women of modern times, and inspires us to reflect upon our own unique lives’ experiences and times of trials, gently reminding us that God is always with us, even on our darkest days and in our most difficult times.

Miriam Jacob is a reviewer at Oxford Academic, Oxford University Press; a blog reviewer at Revell Reads, Baker Publishing Group; member of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid, Christian Authors Network and Ruby Book Review Team; Google Scholar and Researcher at; ebook author and poet; top reviewer at NetGalley, Christian Book Distributors, Barnes and Noble, Google Books and Goodreads. Miriam is a reviewer at Tyndale House Publishers; Moody Press; Barbour Books; Harvest House; New Hope Publishers; Penguin; HarperCollins Christian; Abingdon Press; WaterBrook & Multnomah; and Discovery House. Miriam's articles and poems are published on her WordPress blog at . She is also a singer/songwriter whose songs are featured on Sermon Network. Miriam's poem "Harps of God" was set to music by British Composer, Patrick Larley (Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, UK) and submitted to Reading Phoenix Choir, UK for the Walter Hussey Composition Competition 2019.

When God’s Number was Dialed by Adwoba Addo-Boateng

Anthony was a man who never believed in God. He felt God never existed. He did all things with his own strength and he had succeeded all this while. One day, he had a problem at work and he was laid off. His wife was also a stay-at-home mom so things were truly difficult. Suddenly, his strength could not carry him through. He was totally worn out. He was so confused. His kids were at home because he couldn’t pay their fees that term, feeding had even become a luxury. His hope was revived when a friend promised to lend him some money. All of a sudden, his friend was not taking his calls. He tried to communicate with his friend but all efforts proved futile. “What do I do now?” he said to himself quietly. Reality had begun to stare in his face. For the first time in his life, he broke down and said a simple prayer to God. What had he done? He had just prayed and he was surprised at himself. An hour later, he began scrolling through the contacts on his phone and a name highlighted. He hadn’t spoken to this person in two years. “Something” was urging him to call that number. He finally did and the person invited him into his office. When he got there the man was asking of his kids; he told the man how the kids were at home because of his inability to pay fees. The man didn’t utter a word, pulled out money in a brown envelope from his drawer and handed over to him. He took it and left for home. When he got home, he called the man and thanked him so much for the kind gesture. And guess what? The money was enough to pay the kids fees for a whole year. He told him, if he had tried to thank him, he would have broken down. Anthony now believes in God and most importantly the power of Prayer and that God loves a contrite heart. “The Sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart-These, O God, You will not despise” Psalm 51:17

Find more beautiful Christian hymn printables by Jessica Lynette on her blog as well as her Etsy shop.

Can you imagine what the disciples and followers of Jesus must have said as word spread that he was not in the tomb? The words, “He lives” seem to be one option which is plausible. This hymn was composed in 1933 by Alfred Henry Ackley. Alfred Ackley was born on January 21, 1887. His father was a Methodist Minister who provided a strong foundation for him in music. He played at least the piano and cello. As a young man, he began composing songs. He felt called to the pastorate and graduated from Westminster Theological Seminary in Maryland. He was ordained as a Presbyterian Minister in 1914. He pastored churches in Pennsylvania and California. Even while pastoring churches, he never stopped composing and writing. He often composed with his brother, Bentley DeForest Ackley.

“He Lives” by Alfred Henry Ackley Hymn Story by Diana Leagh Matthews “He lives! I tell you, He is NOT dead, but lives here and now! Jesus Christ is more alive today than ever before. I can prove it by my own experience, as well as the testimony of countless thousands.” Ackley preached with great fervency both that morning and evening on the Lord’s resurrection. But later that night, he still could not shake the question of that young Jewish student and the words of that liberal preacher. It was then his wife encouraged him to do something about it.”

Alfred Ackley even worked alongside evangelist, Billy Sunday, for a while. He Lives is also often referred to as “I Serve a Risen Savior,” the first line of the hymn.

Rev. Ackley, in telling the story later, said he preached that Easter Sunday quite differently than he had ever preached before, but at the end of the day, still felt he had not yet said everything he wanted to say!

In Forty Gospel Hymns Stories, we are told, “In the 1930s, there was a preacher named Alfred Ackley. During a time of evangelistic meetings, a young Jewish student asked the question, “Why should I worship a dead Jew?” Using the Scriptures to witness to him, Pastor Ackley began to explain to this young man how Jesus was alive.

He turned to the passage in Mark which described Christ’s resurrection. The words “He Lives” in the passage stuck out to Ackley. He began to write as the words flowed from him. In moments, he was at the piano adding music to the words he’d been inspired to write.

“He Lives! I tell you; He is not dead but lives here and now! Jesus Christ is more alive today than ever before. I can prove it by my own experience, as well as the testimony of countless thousands.”

The hymn first appeared in Triumphant Service Songs, a hymnal published by the Rodeheaver Company in 1933. It has been a favorite with evangelical congregations since that time.”

The thought of our resurrected Savior was on his thoughts after that conversation. As he prepared for his Easter sermon, the thought became even more present. “On that Resurrection Day as he rose early to prepare, Ackley turned on his radio. He was shocked to hear a liberal preacher say something like this: “You know, it really doesn’t matter to me if Christ be risen or not. His body could have turned to dust long ago in some Palestinian tomb. But what’s important is His truth goes marching on!” “It’s a lie,” Pastor Ackley yelled. He was worked up by what he heard and it mixed with his continual thoughts of the Scripture.

John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, awarded Alfred Ackley an honorary Doctor of Sacred Music degree. Alfred Ackley died on July 3, 1960 in Los Angeles, California. He wrote over 1500 hymns and secular songs in his lifetime, including God Has Not Forgotten, I Am Coming Home, When Jesus Shall Appear, Somebody Knows, Take Up Thy Cross and There’s a New Day Dawning.

Kids’ Korner Kids’ Korner is a monthly resource featuring short stories, book reviews, puzzles, and coloring pages created by some of our RUBY writers. So call the kids and grandkids, and share the

Kids’ Korner

fun with them!

When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes, author and Laura Dronzek, illustrator Before spring comes, the trees are dark sticks, the grass is brown, and the ground is covered in snow. But if you wait, leaves unfurl and flowers blossom, the grass turns green, and the mounds of snow shrink and shrink. Spring brings baby birds, sprouting seeds, rain and mud, and puddles. You can feel it and smell it and hear it—and you can read it!

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney Barbara Cooney's story of Alice Rumphius, who longed to travel the world, live in a house by the sea, and do something to make the world more beautiful, has a timeless quality that resonates with each new generation. The countless lupines that bloom along the coast of Maine are the legacy of the real Miss Rumphius, the Lupine Lady, who scattered lupine seeds everywhere she went. Miss Rumphius received the American Book Award in the year of publication.

Worm Weather by Jean Taft Drip,drop, skip and hop. Splish, splash, sidewalk dash! It's worm weather! Join in the rainy-day fun, as kids splash through the puddles, affecting another weather enthusiast, a nearby worm. An imaginative and playful story, readers will love seeing the worm delight in the weather just as much as the kids.

Visit RUBY’S Reading Corner where you will find these fun springtime books for kids as well as many other family-friendly titles to choose from.

Celebrate Springtime Coloring Page

Find more coloring pages, puzzles, and mazes at The Kidz Page

The Selfless Gift by Shara Bueler-Repka Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels “I smell smoke,” my friend Maria said as we ate lunch on the school lawn.


I nodded and popped a chip in my mouth. “Smells pretty strong.”

Rrrrrriiinnggg. “Well, that hour went fast,” I frowned. We tossed our trash in the can and headed for gym class.

“I wonder if the mountain backcountry is burning again.”

The spring breeze kicked up, and I glanced warily at the sky. Was the smell of smoke getting stronger?

“Probably,” I shrugged. “It usually does this time of year.”

I jogged my last lap around the basketball court and glanced at the sky again.

I grabbed an apple from my lunchbox. “Hey, by the way, I love your sweater,” I said, purposely changing the subject.

I froze.

“That color of blue is awesome.” “Thanks,” she beamed. “I’ve been eyeing it in the store, like, forever. My mom got it for me when I aced the math exam.” “Nice!” Rrrrrriiinnggg. “Well, that hour went fast,” I frowned. We tossed our trash in the can and headed for gym class. The spring breeze kicked up, and I glanced warily at the sky. Was the smell of smoke getting stronger? I jogged my last lap around the basketball court and glanced at the sky again.

Smoke drifted over our school. Others had noticed it, too. Anxiety and rumors ricocheted through the hallways: “Structures are on fire at the base of the mountains!” My heart skipped a beat. My home stood in those foothills. My hands shook as I tried to reach my family on my cell. No answer. I started to panic. Just then, Miss Julie, my mom’s friend, rounded the corner from the teacher’s lounge and put her arm around my shoulders. “C’mon, I’ll take you home,” she said. Relieved, I followed her out to her car.

Red and blue flashing lights pierced the haze as patrol cars blocked our way to my house.

OK, I was game. “You look mah-velous, dahling!” I applauded. And we both laughed.

We detoured toward my grandma’s house. Miss Julie gripped the steering wheel as the car crept through the smoke and screaming wind.

Ding. Dong. Ding.

As we pulled into my grandma’s driveway, I saw my family standing on her front lawn.

During the “fashion show,” the doorbell rang. I stepped over a half empty Hefty and peeked through the window. “Hey, Miss Julie!” I grinned as I flung the door open.

“Thank you, God, they’re safe,” I breathed as I made my way toward them. But our house was gone, and we lost everything but the clothes on our backs. My grandma squeezed my dad, mom, brother, and me into her two-bedroom, one-bathroom house.

“Hi, Kaila,” she smiled. “I have something for you,” she said. “Maria and her family went out of town, but she wanted to be sure that you got this.” She handed me a box with a pretty blue ribbon around it.

The next day after school, I stepped off the bus and opened her front door.

“What’s this?” I asked, fingering the neatly tied bow.

My mom and a pile of trash bags met me in the entryway.

“She didn’t tell me,” Miss Julie shrugged. “Only that she wanted you to have it.”

“They’re filled with clothes,” she said, pulling them out of the walkway. The room blurred as tears welled in my eyes. It was weird being on the other end of charity.

“Thank you,” I said.

“Life isn’t supposed to be this way,” I quietly cried. “God, where are you?” I prayed. I fumbled with the plastic tie on the nearest bag. Stuffed inside was a circus of clothes: torn jeans, stained shirts, and skirts from the last century. Bag after bag revealed more of the same stuff. Only a few of the items were even wearable. I rolled my eyes. OK, so this is what rock-bottom feels like. My mom, however, grabbed some clothes and headed for the back bedroom. In a couple of minutes, she strutted into the living room, wearing a pair of bell-bottom jeans with a tear in the pocket and a puffy lime-green blouse, complete with stains on the front. She performed pivot turns with her hands on her hips. In my imagination, she wore Dior on the runway of Paris Fashion Week.

Hmmmm. What was Maria up to? Mom and Miss Julie chatted as I carried my box to the couch. Slowly untying the ribbon, I lifted the lid. Tucked between sparkly, pink tissue paper was a hint of blue and a little note. Dear Kaila, I’m so sorry about your house. I can’t imagine losing everything. I know this may not be much, but it’s the best I can do. Your friend, Maria Tears rolled down my cheeks as I pulled her beautiful, favorite blue sweater from the box. I hugged it tight. My friend’s selfless gift helped soothe the pain of receiving others’ rejects. I made myself a promise right then: If I ever met anyone in need, I would treat them how I would want to be treated, and give them my very best.

Plant Seeds with Your Children by Gloria Doty

Spring is inevitable and so is the inner call to plant seeds and watch them grow. I remember when I was a child and the seed catalogs would start arriving in the mailbox. My mother would page through them and pore over their varied offerings. From beautiful flowers that seemed so vibrant that you could almost smell them to the pictures of succulent vegetables that looked like you could eat them right off the pages! While our planting urge is usually bigger than our available space, it is a wondrous thing to watch something that we have planted come to life and poke its head up through the soil. Around this time of year, when children and adults alike are ready for the signs of spring, what better way to plant ‘spring’ than to help your child or grandchild start some seedlings, indoors? Here are some tips for doing just that: 1) Don’t wait until you are ready to put plants in the ground. Start now. The stores already have their selections available or you can order seeds online. 2) Take your child along to help select the vegetables they would like to plant in the garden. Obviously, you don’t want to start the seeds of a giant watermelon if you only have a 3x3 foot garden space. 3) When it comes to the growing medium, you have several options. You can purchase a stack of the small biodegradable containers and fill each one with a pre-fertilized planting soil or put an inexpensive potting soil into empty yogurt cups (make sure you punch a few holes in the bottom for drainage) or you can purchase the containers that are already filled with soil. 4) Plant only a few seeds in each cup or they will be spindly and weak. 5) Place the cups in a tray of some sort. Even a cake pan will work. This will keep them upright and make it easier to water them.

1) You will need to find a spot that is fairly warm and draft-free. The top of the refrigerator is a good place or you can set the tray on a heating pad. The plants will require 12-16 hours of light per day. Artificial light is best. 2) Make sure that the soil doesn’t dry out. It needs to stay consistently moist. You can cover the entire tray loosely with plastic after watering each cup or you can pour water into the tray and let it ‘wick’ up. 3) When the sprouts appear, thin them down to one plant per cup. Do this by snipping off rather than pulling out. That enables the remaining shoot to be sturdier and healthier because it isn’t competing for water and nutrients. 4) If you choose to, you can feed your plants with houseplant fertilizer, diluted to half strength. 5) Two weeks before you actually plant your seedlings in the ground, you will need to harden them off. This is done by moving the entire tray to a sheltered spot in the daytime and bringing them in at night, especially if there is danger of frost. 6) All that is left now is to plant your “babies” in the location you want them to stay: their permanent home. Make sure the soil is not too wet; it should be crumbly in your hand. If you have chosen the biodegradable pots, you can place the entire pot in the ground. If you used yogurt cups, you can cut down the side of the cup and remove it without disturbing the soil around the plant. (Remember to rinse and recycle those yogurt cups) Then close the hole by filling it with soil. Children will be much more willing to weed, fertilize and nurture their plants since they have ‘birthed’ them, so to speak. They will also be more willing to eat the vegetables they have grown. Mission accomplished. A word of caution: This adventure may also be the start of an entrepreneurial career. My grandson planted his first tomato seeds when he was seven. He had more than he could plant in the garden, so when they were big enough, he took the remaining plants around his neighborhood in his wagon and sold all of them. The next year, through word of mouth, he had orders for (and sold) over 130 plants. The following year, he had orders for 200 tomato plants.

Finding Jesus Each Month The Flowers of April: Sweet Peas and Daisies by Carol Peterson The two flowers associated with the month of April are the sweet pea and the daisy. The sweet pea is fragrant, colorful and lacy as it dances in the spring breeze. And because it symbolizes happiness, it reminds us of Jesus, who is the source of our true joy. April's second flower is the daisy. The unassuming yet staunch daisy symbolizes innocence and certainty. No matter our past, no matter our sins, no matter our struggles; when we repent and receive Jesus, we are purified. His forgiveness washes us clean and purifies our soul. We are born again; innocent in his eyes. Of that we can be certain. We can imagine sitting with others at Jesus’ feet as He holds an enormous bouquet of daisies. He would pick each petal and drop it softly over our heads, repeating, “I love you. I love you. I love you.” Because He does not know how to say, “I love you not.” The Black-Eyed Susan, also called the Gloriosa Daisy, is the state flower of Maryland.

This article is the fourth in a year-long series about flowers of the month. You can find out more in the book, Flowers, Gemstones & Jesus: Finding Jesus in the Months of the Year, by Carol Peterson, available from RUBY’S Reading Corner.

Little Things by Norma C. Mezoe It happened at a church meeting. Julie was asked to report for a committee. She gave a brief report, using words that had a double meaning. A spattering of laughter was heard among the members. Julie didn’t understand the laughter and became angry. Such a little thing, innocent words followed by laughter, but this small thing caused a good worker to resign a position she was well suited to fill. Do we have little things in our lives that we allow to become larger than life? Do we allow small irritations to grow out of proportion and become mountains, just as a tiny rock in our shoe seems to grow larger with each step we take? Are the little things important enough to cause us to be rude to our mate, shout at our children or be hateful to our co-worker? Are they really? Thought for Today: What little thing will I allow to needlessly annoy me today?

God’s Grace through Gastritis, GERD, and Grit by Jehn Marie Kubiak “God miraculously healed a twenty-one-year-old Biola University student during the summer of 2017. Long before that process began, she battled erosive gastritis, GERD, panic disorder, depression, suicide, and she even found out she had ADHD.” God’s Grace through Gastritis, GERD, and Grit by Jehn Marie Kubiak is available from RUBY’S Reading Corner.

When it rains, the LORD reigns! by Mary Anusha Chandrakumar

Are you facing any form of storm or struggling to withstand any challenge in your life? "For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you." (Isaiah 41:13) Well, God says that he holds you with His right hand to get you out of the situation.

Let it be your finances, businesses, health issues or day to day life struggles, whatever may it be that you are going through right now, just give it to God, He will turn it upside down for you it. Keep on trusting God for all seasons. Trusting Him and obeying His words will surely bring a breakthrough on due time. Give thanks to the LORD with the heart of praise!

Do not worry about it anymore, lay it down at the feet of God, and release the burden from your shoulders. The LORD says, "He has given the strength for us to overcome every trial, temptation or weakness through Jesus Christ." If you are going through a difficult time right now, do not get tired of it. The strength of the Lord is upon you to endure it, and the Lord will answer you at the right time to bring you out of it. God is watching over to protect you from every attack of the evil one. God is bigger than any of these storms you face right now in your life. You only need to surrender yourself at the feet of God. He is the one and only Savior who overcame the world through the cross for all of us. He is able to change anything in your life within a blink of an eye or snap of your finger.

Prayer: Thank you, Abba Father, for all the blessings that you have showered upon us so far. You are a God who never ever forgets us at the time of our need. Still you are in control of everything in our life. We did nothing to deserve such a blessed life though you have saved us and gave the right to become your children. We acknowledge that your very love reaches to heal our hearts, minds and souls whenever we are broken in our life. Your very word is our daily bread which strengthens us to go on the journey of our earthy life. We pray and give thanks to you father God for your greatest revelations and guidance in our life. In Jesus name amen!

You won’t want to miss this one!

Dash Air Fryer / GIVEAWAY sponsored by Katherine’s Corner March 16 – April 21, 2019

Pantry List for a Traditional Easter Dinner Make this Adorable Easter Bunny Salad!

Image via Betty Crocker

by Cynthia Knisley

Easter is just around the corner----time to check the pantry for canned pear halves, cloves, slivered almonds, large marshmallows, and lime gelatin. Fresh items will include cheddar cheese (orange colored), parsley, kale or spinach leaves. These are the ingredients for the traditional bunny salads that find their way to our family table on Easter Sunday. The steps are easy and fun---a great way to engage little ones, as the bunnies can be constructed at the last minute. Before the feast day, prepare the green gelatin and chill in a shallow glass dish. When congealed, gently stir into informal little clumps and keep refrigerated. Salads can be made as individual serving portions or a group of bunnies on a large platter. Either way, they are adorable! 

Line serving plate with small pieces of curly kale or spinach leaves

Spread the chilled green gelatin on top to give the illusion of a grassy meadow

Place a pear half onto the “grass,” hollow opening down

Create the bunny face at the narrow end of the pear, using two cloves for eyes and slivered almonds for ears

Cut a tiny sliver of cheese to resemble a carrot and press a “spriglet” of parsley into one end

Place the little carrot-like piece at the bunny’s mouth, as if he were nibbling it *Don’t worry…the idea here is not perfection. Bunnies like all shapes of carrots.

A marshmallow forms the tail, tucked in at the wide end of the pear

And the bunny is ready to serve! Adaptation to simplify recipe: skip the kale/spinach and use only gelatin for grass or skip the gelatin to reduce sugar intake and use only the greens. Adaptation to make salad more complex: stuff the hollow part of the pear with a ball of softened cream cheese mixed with bits of finely chopped maraschino cherries and nuts. This requires extra time and ingredients but provides a tasty surprise.

Reflection: How did bunnies become an Easter tradition, a part of our most sacred celebration as Christians? Some suggest the idea came to our country with early immigrants who passed on the tale of an egglaying rabbit that eventually became the deliverer of beautiful colorful eggs and sweets. Others trace the tradition back to pre-Christian times when the rabbit represented fertility and new life. As for me, it all ties together with the glorious, amazing event that occurred on that first Easter---the rebirth of Jesus to eternal life, the assurance to us that earthly death is not the end but just the beginning, the source of our hope and joy as Christians. Now, back to my pantry list‌. Wishing you much joy around your Easter table!

More Sweet Easter Recipes Springtime Cupcake in a Jar from Two Sisters Crafting How cute are these adorable Springtime Cupcakes in a Jar? Be sure to visit Two Sisters Crafting blog for the complete recipe and directions. You could make a few of these with the kiddos and take them to friends at church or to your neighbors to help them celebrate the arrival of spring.

Bunny Oreo Cookies from Party Pinching These sweet little Bunny Oreo Cookies would delight any child on a birthday or for a family Easter dinner. You can find the super-simple recipe over at Party Pinching where you will find lots of other great holiday and party resources and creative ideas.

Springtime Vanilla Lemon Cake from Brit + Co This beautiful cake in pastel shades of springtime would make the perfect dessert for Easter dinner or really for any spring family gathering. Brighten up any event such as a baby shower, birthday party, or Easter brunch with this gorgeous Vanilla Lemon Cake. You can find the complete recipe on the Brit + Co website. All images are the property of the individual bloggers and their blog / website. Used by permission. None of these images belong to RUBY magazine or to any of our writers. Please visit the original blog / website for complete recipes.

A Month for Everything by Lisa J. Radcliff Everything has a month, and every month has a thing. In fact, every month has several things to celebrate or to raise awareness. I looked up what is celebrated in the month of April and found no less than 64 things! Here are some that piqued my interest: National Decorating Month, National Couple Appreciation Month, National Humor Month, National Fresh Celery Month, National Month of Hope, National Soft Pretzel Day (April 10), National Straw Hat Month, National Jazz Appreciation Month, and Pets are Wonderful Month. I only picked a few. Believe me, it was hard to choose just a few to highlight. But the one I want to focus on is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. My childhood was marred by sexual abuse. It is something that affects me even now, at 54 years old. There are days something triggers memories of the abuse: a smell or a sound or being in a certain place. But those memories don’t last, and they don’t control me. The reason for that is the most important thing we will celebrate this April: Easter. Understanding the cross of Christ freed me from the grip of childhood sexual abuse. As a sixteenyear-old, I turned my life over to Jesus and his control. The abuse had ended about a year before, but feelings of fear and shame ruled my life. The change that occurred when I was saved was almost immediate. I strongly felt the love of God and his forgiveness of my sin. But there was another side to the cross that I didn’t expect. I came to realize the cross of Christ didn’t just take away my sin, it took away my past. It rendered my past dead. “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:3 ESV) Things that are dead and hidden cannot possibly have any hold on my life. For the first time in my life, I felt the weight of my past losing its grip. The more I studied God’s Word, the more I learned what it meant to be a new creation, living in newness of life, with the old things passed away. When I thought of my life being hidden with Christ, I would picture Satan trying to grab something from my past to attack me, but Jesus wouldn’t let him get to it. “The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I (Jesus) came that you may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10 ESV)

I found I could live an abundant life, filled with love, hope, amazing adventures, even humor, without the fear and shame that had been such a big part of my past. My past was dead, and I was ready to live the abundant life Jesus promised. So, it seems fitting that Easter and National Child Abuse Prevention Month share April this year. The whole Easter story, from the physical abuse Jesus suffered before he was crucified to the shame of sin he carried on the cross to his glorious resurrection and defeat of death, brings hope of new life, free from the past, to those who have suffered abuse. Statistics tell us that one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before their seventeenth birthday. Think about that as you look around at your congregation celebrating Easter with you. How many are longing to hear the good news of freedom in Christ? Many Christians feel stuck in their faith or less useful to God because their past keeps them from experiencing complete freedom. The most life-changing thing I tell victims is, “It was not your fault.” Sometimes the shame they carried throughout their life is eliminated with those five words. Most victims heard just the opposite from their abuser. And in some cases, adults to whom they disclosed their abuse blamed them. At times, authorities did the same. Things have changed quite a bit since my abuse. Adults are more aware and authorities are better trained. Unfortunately, the church has been way behind in talking about this and other ugly topics that keep their members in bondage. National Child Abuse Prevention Month could be a catalyst to opening a dialogue at your church about keeping children safe and ministering to abuse victims. Does your church have written policies regarding child safety? Does every Sunday School room have more than one adult and doors with windows? Have your children’s ministry volunteers been trained to see signs of abuse and to identify predators? Are all the keys to your church accounted for? These are just the beginning steps in making your church a safe place for children. There are tons of resources available online. Some organizations that I recommend are: Samaritan Safe Church, Rise and Shine Movement, Mama Bear Effect, and GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment). These are just a few of the organizations trying to prevent and end child sexual abuse. If you’d like to know more about my story, my book is Hidden with Christ: Breaking Free from the Grip of Your Past. You can find it on my website or any online book seller. Have a Blessed Easter, living abundantly in the freedom Jesus purchased and offers to all who believe!

September 12-15, 2019 Groton, Connecticut Does your life need a PAUSE BUTTON? Do you need to renew your weary soul? This Connecticut weekend getaway is just for you. Join us for the Pausing for R & R Women’s Retreat in September 2019. Experience time away from the everyday routine and listen to God’s voice over the clamor of the world. The Pausing for R & R Retreat will give your spirit room to breathe. In Mark 6:31, Jesus says: “Come away to a quiet place and get some rest.” Come…           

Catch your breath. Be seen. Be known. Be refreshed and renew your soul! You will experience: Time without distractions Time in God’s Word Refreshing rest Renewed strength Encouragement & Fresh Perspective God’s presence Supportive Community…

All in a Beautiful Setting

For more information about the Pausing for R & R Retreat, visit Jeanne Doyon on her blog.

You are invited to join us for the weekly

Bible Study on the RUBY blog

“I am Elizabeth� by Carol Peterson New lessons posted every week with inspiration and encouragement from the Word of God just for you!

The “Sticks and Stones” Lie by Sharon L. Patterson

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!” How many times since childhood have our ears heard these words and had them pierce our hearts? Never has there been a greater lie perpetrated on humanity. We now live in a time when words are often hurled like sharp pointed sticks that resemble spears more than sticks. Words take on the effect of missile driven stones as well. They are thrown with precision and accuracy toward targets of all ages, genders, and races. The innocent and the defenseless are especially vulnerable. The purpose is annihilation driven: Defeat, destroy, make null and void, reduce, wipe out, take down and ultimately murder the targeted person or group’s reputation and effectiveness. All competitors whether real or imagined are viable victims. The speed and range of poisonous words have increased exponentially due to technology and media audience accessibility. A quote from the beloved Superman television series I watched as a child in the 1950’s describes prophetically the speed of destruction possible today:

“Faster than a speeding bullet; more powerful than a locomotive; able to leap buildings in a single bound!” The results of word attacks can take out an entire life’s work with the touch of a single button. There is a variety of tools delivering such widespread, instantaneous mayhem, ranging from computers and smart phones to I-pads and tablets. The attacks that once reached small localities are now worldwide. Is there something to combat such disastrous capabilities? What is available to override such destruction that comes out of a heart of evil and is delivered through such speedy devices? Is there hope? Yes. The same devices, the same technology and media can be used for opposite purposes. Where do we go for this difference maker? We turn to the Word of God…the first word spoken in the universe and the last word uttered over all creation emerged from the heart of absolute and supreme good-God Almighty.

It stands in stark contrast to what we have previously discussed. The Word of God speaks about building up, encouraging, strengthening, lifting up and loving not only those we care for but even our enemies. Hebrews 4:12: “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Proverbs 18:21 tells us that life and death are in the power of the tongue and we will eat the fruit of whichever one we choose. Having examined detrimental choices, we now turn to what the Bible has to say about the power of our words when we choose to speak God’s way. The desired goal is to carefully regard and examine what comes out of our mouths to everyone in our lives. We must strive to make transformational decisions to convert our lingo, our descriptions, and our speech to that which blesses rather than curses. Our words must be ones which build up rather than tear down, and that promote life and not death. Ephesians 4:15 presents the how-to of our talk: “Instead, speaking the truth in love…” The Bible offers the greatest look at wisdom and its attributes including what comes out of the mouth. One of my favorites (which I often need to rehearse) is found in Proverbs l7:27-28: A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.” If I am not talking, my ears can get a better workout in the art of listening to see if there is need to interject into conversations.

The book of James offers other clarifications as to the kind of things that should come out of our mouths: James 1:19 “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” Further, in James 1:26 we are wisely consulted: “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.” James 3 talks specifically about the power of the tongue comparing it to the very small rudder that steers giant ships. James 3:5-10: “likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the part of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell….with the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?” We have just looked at verses that, if utilized, will produce not only edifying conversations but strike a blow to the sticks and stones lie. The truths presented lead to do better communicating in our relationships In closing, the Bible has some other great truths concerning the power of our words. They are scattered liberally in the book of Proverbs. Enjoy these I have gathered for your contemplation.

While listening, I may discover the truth of Proverbs 18:2: “A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.”

May we be those who nourish our hostile world with words of righteousness, peace, justice, truth, and love.

Many needless battles of words could be avoided if we heeded the wisdom of the verses we have just looked at.

May we defy the foolish statement: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!”

Words about the Power of Our Words from Proverbs (Truth, Tone, Trust, and Thought Matter)

Proverbs 4:20: “My son, pay attention to what I say: listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body.” Proverbs 10:11: “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life.” Proverbs 10:19: “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” Proverbs 10:21: “The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of knowledge.” Proverbs 10:31: “The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be cut out.” Proverbs 10:32: “The lips of the righteous know what is fitting, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.” Proverbs 12:18: “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:19: “Truthful lips endure forever but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.” Proverbs 12:22: “The Lord detests lying lips, but He delights in men who are truthful.” Proverbs 13:14: “The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death.” Proverbs 14:3: “A fool’s talk brings a rod to his back, but the lips of the wise protect him.” Proverbs 15:1: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:2: “The tongue of the wise commands knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.” Proverbs 15:4: “The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.” Proverbs 15:23: “A hot-tempered man stirs up dissention, but a patient man calms a quarrel.” Proverbs 15:21: “A man finds joy in giving an apt reply-and how good a timely word is!” Proverbs 15:31: “He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise.” Proverbs 16:21: “The wise in heart are called discerning, and pleasant words promote instruction.” Proverbs 16:23: “A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction.” Proverbs 16:24: “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:27: “A scoundrel plots evil and his speech is like a scorching fire.” Proverbs 16:28: “A perverse man stirs up dissention, and a gossip separates close friends.” Proverbs 17:4: “A wicked man listens to evil lips; a liar pays attention to a malicious tongue.” Proverbs 17:9: “He who covers over an offense promotes live, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:4)

NEW from author Pat Jeanne Davis

When Valleys Bloom Again A Novel of World War II Available from RUBY’S Reading Corner

Ruth: A Story of Redemption by Lynn Mosher Ruth came to a decision fork in the road. Her choice would take her on a path that she could never imagine. How many of God’s companions depart from Him at the decision-fork in the road? When they come to an intersection He has ordained, one that will lead them on the bloodstained road home, what do they do? Ruth’s decision-fork took her on a road that departed from the land of widowhood and devastation, meandered through the fields of impoverishment, and led her through the land of... Well, you’ll just have to read it to find out. Click here to download it at

Visit RUBY’S Reading Corner where you can find Walk Like a Warrior by Shara BuelerRepka along with many other family-friendly titles for you and your family.

Crossing the Valleys, Climbing the Mountains by Norma C. Mezoe “I have feelings for you.” That was the reply when I asked my husband if he still loved me. The night before, he had attended a deacon’s meeting after the church service. It was eleven p.m. when the meeting ended. John* came home and sat at the kitchen table for a while, then stated, “I have thinking to do,” and left. I waited anxiously for his return. As the hours passed, I noticed people milling around outside the church where he served as pastor. Desperate to know what was happening, I phoned the wife of one of the deacons. Hesitantly, Paula* told me, “John has run off with Betty*.” Betty was a married woman, a member of the congregation, and the mother of two young children. I continued praying throughout the night and into the dawning of a new day. Finally, John returned and that was when I asked if he loved me. Through twenty-seven years of marriage, he had often expressed his love for me, but that morning, his response had been “I have feelings for you.” John told me he was leaving me and he had returned to the parsonage only for his possessions. As I heard his footsteps echoing throughout the parsonage, gathering his clothing and other items, I realized he would soon be walking out of my life and out of our marriage. The life I had known ended that day and a new life started. I began claiming Romans 8:28 the night John left and clung to the promise it offered: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (NIV) During our marriage, I had not worked outside my home. Now I would have to support myself. But what qualifications could I offer a potential employer? God was already working his plan for my life, and soon I was hired to work as a telephone recruiter for a non-profit organization. After being employed for only one week, the secretary became upset and turned in her resignation. When I walked in one morning she was on the phone, suggesting to the employer that he interview me for the position. Since I didn’t have job experience on my resume, I listed the skills I had acquired in my life that would be helpful as a secretary. The interview was favorable and I began working the next morning. The office employed two people: a district supervisor and a district secretary. At the time I was hired, the search was on for a supervisor. I worked alone for three weeks until one was hired.

Once I learned the basic steps of my job, I enjoyed the work because part of it involved helping patients with cancer. Two groups of volunteers made dressings and bed pads, which we offered free to people needing those items. I was with the organization for a total of six years and during that time I worked with four supervisors. I received good evaluations and pay increases from the first three. Then, Nancy was hired and stress began to flood the office. Nancy was more concerned about decorating the office than in learning the responsibilities of her job. She neglected her work as she spent time choosing colors to paint the walls or pored over samples of carpet for the floors. She lied to her supervisor about the way I did my work. When she made mistakes, I was blamed for the problems that resulted. When it was time for my evaluation, Nancy gave me the lowest score and put me on probation. At the end of my probation, I was given another evaluation with Marilyn, Nancy’s supervisor, present. Again, Nancy lied about my work during a two hour meeting. At noon, Nancy and Marilyn went to lunch together while I spent my lunchtime typing rebuttals to Nancy’s accusations. When they returned, the evaluation continued. The next morning, Nancy loaded my desk with work that she wanted finished by 9:30 A.M. Then she and Marilyn left the office. When they returned, I was called into Nancy’s office and told I was fired! I was ordered to gather my belongings and leave. Volunteers who were working in the office were shocked to learn I had been fired. Several of them had become my friends through the years. As I walked from the office, I held my head high. I was determined Nancy and Marilyn would not see me cry. Within three weeks I began a new job. I took a decrease in my salary, earning half of what I had worked my way up to at my first job. My new job included working with checks, including filming and filing, as well as working in the mail room. It was quite a change from being a secretary, helping to meet the needs of others .I prayed every morning that God would help me to have the right attitude. I am now a senior citizen, and as I look back on the struggles and challenges in my life, I also am aware of the blessings I have experienced. I have walked through many valleys, but I have also stood on mountain tops of joy. I would not have chosen to leave my comfort zone, but because I was forced into it, God worked to help me grow in all areas of my life. *Names have been changed

RUBY magazine is now available in print! Every issue of RUBY magazine can now be purchased as a print publication. To purchase RUBY magazine in print, please visit the RUBY blog at where you will find the link for each issue.

My Child, As You Grow Older Lessons for Life Written by Laura Doyle Artwork by Toby Mikle My Child, As You Grow Older offers a blueprint for children to learn from the challenges they face as they grow. Written with a gentle and fun approach, this book presents a fresh perspective on some of the day-to-day challenges of life, and suggests a way that children can emerge from them with a positive outlook and renewed strength. Readers young and old will find My Child, As You Grow Older a celebration of resilience and selfesteem. It’s never too early to start reading these encouraging life messages to a child, or for a child to read these valuable lessons for life, themselves. It is never too late for inspiration and encouragement, at any age in life. My Child, As You Grow Older Coloring Book is a wonderful companion book for My Child, As You Grow Older. The coloring book offers a unique opportunity to co-create the inspiring messages of the book and add another element of positive emotion and creativity.

Moments with Billy Graham: America's Preacher Whose Ministry Led to Our Changed Lives (Divine Moments) by Yvonne Lehman (Compiler, Editor) This is a beautiful way to remember “America’s Preacher” and discover words of blessing, inspiration, and encouragement from contemporary Christian writers. Moments with Billy Graham features personal recollection of special moments in the lives of people from all walks of life who experienced the gift of inspiration from the preaching of the beloved evangelist Billy Graham. The forward is written by his daughter, Gigi Graham. The writings of over 40 different contributors are featured in this book, including our own RUBY writers Lynn Mosher and Diana Leagh Matthews. Moments with Billy Graham: America’s Preacher Whose Ministry Led to Our Changed Lives is now available from RUBY’S Reading Corner.

Be watching for the

MAY 2019 issue of

RUBY magazine Available MAY 1, 2019 on the

RUBY blog

Call Patrice D. Wilkerson for all your business needs at

WILKERSON’S BUSINESS SUPPORT, LLC Dedicated to servicing your business needs

Vintage Mama’s Book Shoppe * DIY Home Décor * Gardening * Parenting *Christian Fiction * Family Life

God’s Mercies after Suicide by Jean Ann Williams is available from

RUBY’S Reading Corner

Ruby Writing Team Sharon Patterson, retired educator, career military wife, and leader in women's ministry, has written inspirational encouragement in various forms from greeting cards to short stories, poetry, and Bible studies for over thirty years. She has authored three books, and is a contributing author for several of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She and her husband Garry live in Round Rock, Texas. They have three sons and five grandchildren.

Theresa Begin lives in Northern California, where she was born and raised. She is a Christian who loves her family and says, “I have been blessed with the world’s best parents!” She has three sisters and one brother, as well as 16 beautiful nieces and nephews who “mean the world to me!” She is “differently-abled,” and chooses not to allow her limitations to define her life. She loves to write and share her various projects on her blog, “Shoestring Elegance,” which came about as she discovered that living on a tight budget did not mean compromising on style. “Nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37 NLT

Shara Bueler-Repka is enjoying life as a singer/songwriter/recording artist, freelance writer, and award-winning author. She and her husband, Bruce, live in their living quarters horse trailer and call “home” wherever their rig is parked. Their mailbase, however, is Hallettsville, Texas. She also loves riding/ministering with her husband and their horses (aka The Boys) in the backcountry and writing about God’s grace in the various adventures on the trail less-traveled. Join the fun and be encouraged on their website: and her blog:, or come for a visit on Facebook.

Lisa Radcliff is a writer, speaker, women's Bible study teacher, and a 35-year volunteer youth worker, residing in Pennsburg, PA. She is a wife, mom, and mom-mom who loves God's Word but also loves football, chocolate, shoes, and Maine. Her hobbies include quilting, shopping, cooking, and raising Seeing Eye puppies. You can reach her at

Mary Anusha Chandra Kumar is a Born Again Christian who was born and raised in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She enjoys her lifestyle as a Worship Leader, Interpreter, and Motivational Speaker at Churches across Asia, Marriage Counselor, and Hosts International Prayer Conference Online, a writer who brings people into a more intimate relationship with God and an upcoming Business Woman in the Cinema Industry as a Christian Film Director and Producer. Further, she is a social worker who holds the UNICEF Certificate of Helping Hand and who is very much enthusiastic in optimizing her spare time in fabric painting, and cooking both Continental and Asian Cuisines.

Norma C. Mezoe began writing after a crisis in her life. She has been a published writer for thirty years. Her writing has appeared in books, devotionals, take-home papers and magazines. She lives in the tiny town of Sandborn, Indiana where she is active in her church as clerk, teacher and bulletin maker. Contact at:

Miriam Jacob is a reviewer at Oxford Academic, Oxford University Press; a blog reviewer at Revell Reads, Baker Publishing Group; member of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid, Christian Authors Network and Ruby Book Review Team; Google Scholar and Researcher at; ebook author and poet; top reviewer at NetGalley, Christian Book Distributors, Barnes and Noble, Google Books and Goodreads. Miriam is a reviewer at Tyndale House Publishers; Moody Press; Barbour Books; Harvest House; New Hope Publishers; Penguin; HarperCollins Christian; Abingdon Press; WaterBrook & Multnomah; and Discovery House. Miriam's articles and poems are published on her WordPress blog at She is also a singer/songwriter whose songs are featured on Sermon Network. Miriam's poem "Harps of God" was set to music by British Composer, Patrick Larley (Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, UK) and submitted to Reading Phoenix Choir, UK for the Walter Hussey Composition Competition 2019.

Jeanne Doyon writes and speaks from the heart, connecting the Truth of Scripture to everyday life. Her passion is to pause and see God’s presence around us and in His word. She teaches at women’s retreats and events. Connect with Jeanne at and on her blog, The Stream’s Edge. She and her husband John have been married 38 years. They have three grown kids, a daughter-in-love, and two grandsons

Joan Leotta has been playing with words since childhood. She is a poet, essayist, journalist, playwright, and author of several books both fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. She is also a performer and gives one-woman shows on historic figures and spoken word folklore shows as well as teaching writing and storytelling. Joan lives in Calabash, NC where she walks the beach with husband, Joe. and

Carol Peterson, Author

My mission as a writer is to educate, entertain and inspire–children, their teachers and parents, other writers, and readers of all genres. As a children’s writer I try to “Make Learning Fun” by helping busy teachers address curriculum accountability standards, and encouraging other writers to do the same. You can connect with Carol at her blog, Carol Peterson, Author Carol is a member of the Ruby Book Review Team.

Diana Leagh Matthews writes, speaks and sings to bring glory to God.

She has been published in numerous anthologies, including many Moments books. In her day job, Leagh is a Nationally Certified Activities Director for a busy nursing facility. She takes great joy in family, friends and soaking in the beautiful wonders and promises of God. Leagh blogs about her faith and struggles on her website and family history at

Cynthia Knisley After years as a “stay-at-home” mom, Cynthia enjoyed a fulfilling second career as a high school language teacher and curriculum developer. Recently, she took a leap of faith and left the classroom in order to devote more time to family---aging parents, adult children, and lively young grandchildren. Her home is in West Chester, PA, where she plays classical music, bakes bread, and tends a “secret garden.” A novice blogger, she welcomes you to her posts at

Adwoba Addo-Boateng is the author of the book “The Helpline is Engaged,” a contemporary book about prayer, which is now available from RUBY’S Reading Corner. She is also a Christian marriage counselor, used by God greatly to restore marriages. She blogs at where readers are encouraged and motivated in the Lord to live fulfilling lives

Gloria Doty is a published Christian author, writer and speaker. She has published a non-fiction book, a devotion book, a series of fiction romance books and several children's picture books. Gloria has 5 adult children and 13 grandchildren. She has recently re-married and she and her husband reside in Fort Wayne, IN.

Nina Newton, Sr. Editor:

When my four older children were in school, I returned to college as a “non-traditional student.” Eventually, I earned degrees in Classics and Philosophy, and a graduate degree in Medieval Studies: History of Theology. After teaching at a small community college in Michigan for seven years, my husband and I were blessed with the adoption of our two beautiful daughters, Gracie and Annie. We live in northern Indiana in a small farming community where I work on RUBY magazine in my home office. I have worked for several years offering my handmade and refashioned garments and accessories in a local boutique under the creative name of “Vintage Mama’s Cottage.” My personal blog is at

Stop by Vintage Mama’s Cottage for creative inspiration for your home and family

RUBY magazine is published by CreativeLife

Profile for RUBY magazine

RUBY magazine April 2019  

Spring has arrived! We are so excited about all of the possibilities that come with the season of new life. We celebrate Easter and the resu...

RUBY magazine April 2019  

Spring has arrived! We are so excited about all of the possibilities that come with the season of new life. We celebrate Easter and the resu...