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Jesus, My Best Friend by Frances Gregory Pasch

Along the Winding Road of Time by Norma C. Mezoe

Drifting Along by Lisa J. Radcliff

The Master Gardener by Norma C. Mezoe

Tourists by Joan Leotta

RUBY Magazine Your voice, your story AUGUST, 2019

In This Issue of RUBY Blessed Assurance by Fanny Crosby Hymn Story by Diana Leagh Matthews

Grandmother’s Butter Tarts from Theresa L. Begin Shoestring Elegance

Wondering by Susan Paulus

The August issue of RUBY magazine features inspirational articles and poetry, devotionals and short stories, recipes, book reviews, and our monthly feature, the Kids’ Korner with a story just for the young people in your family.

Quiet Results by Nancy Frantel

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!

We are born in the world to live for Him! by Mary Anusha Chandrakumar

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, Adwoba Addo-Boateng, Mary Anusha Chandrakumar, Susan Paulus, Nancy Frantel, Melissa Sturt, Frances Gregory Pasch, Miriam Jacob, Pat Jeanne Davis, Stan Popovich, Priscilla Nyahwa

Long-Awaited Furlough by Pat Jeanne Davis

40 Verses to Ignite Your Faith by Laurie Polich Short Book review by Miriam Jacob

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

Designed and created for Vintage Mama’s Cottage

RUBY has a new look! by Nina Newton, Sr. Editor Did you know that we have been publishing RUBY magazine for over 10 years?!?! Yes, that’s true, and we have made some amazing progress in those 10 years through improved technology, editing and publishing skills and platforms, and lots of help from all of YOU. So here’s to celebrating the first 10 years of RUBY magazine and looking forward to the next 10 years! With the help of our Editorial Assistant, Theresa Begin, we have been working on updating the RUBY blog so that we can do an even better job of featuring your articles and blog posts in the coming months. Theresa is also the RUBY blog administrator, so you will want to contact her for any questions or suggestions you might have for our brand-new, updated, beautiful RUBY blog. One of our goals with moving the RUBY blog to a new platform is to generate more traffic and page views (I guess that is called SEO optimization, but you’ll have to check with Theresa to be sure!). We are creating different pages on the new RUBY blog so that we can focus on familyfriendly resources for all of our readers. We will continue to stock RUBY’S Reading Corner with new publications and seasonal books for every member of your family. You will also find a page devoted to recipes, and we are also working on a page just for fun craft projects. One of the best things about the new RUBY blog is that we will continue to feature all of our writers each month. Your articles, stories, poems, and book reviews will be posted on the RUBY blog which we then promote on all of our social media pages. Here’s how you can be part of this exciting new adventure for RUBY . . . . 1. Be sure to post each issue of RUBY magazine on your blog or website, or place a lined image on your sidebar. We will send you the links and codes each month in the newsletter. 2. Post the link to each issue of RUBY magazine on all of your social media pages. This is a great way to let your friends and family know about the great family-friendly resources available in RUBY magazine. 3. Stop by and visit the RUBY blog often! You will find your articles there so you can share with them with your friends and family, and it would be great if you would take a minute to leave some comment words of encouragement for some of our other writers. We’re all a team, working together to share words of encouragement, hope, inspiration, and blessing to women around the world – I hope you will join us in promoting the new RUBY blog! Coming soon . . .

NEW from author Pat Jeanne Davis When Valleys Bloom Again A Novel of World War II Available from RUBY’S Reading Corner

Jesus, My Best Friend by Frances Gregory Pasch Jesus is more than my Savior He's also my very best friend. He's here whenever I need Him. On Him I can always depend. He wakes me every morning He's with me all through the day. And when I'm ready to go to bed with me all night He will stay. I have no other friend like Him. He answers whenever I call. He only wants what's best for me. He picks me up each time I fall. He knows all of my weaknesses and from His path I might stray, yet I'm assured He'll forgive me if I turn to Him and pray. And although He is my best friend He can be your best friend, too. For His love has no boundaries He has lots left just for you. So stop and take a minute; welcome Him into your heart. You'll sense a wonderful feeling that only His peace can impart.

Along the Winding Road of Time by Norma C. Mezoe Along the winding road of time, Jesus walks with me. He knows what lies around the bend, He sees what I can’t see. At times my steps are weary and I stumble along the way. Then Jesus gives renewed strength to walk another day. I need not fear what lies ahead, the bumps, the curves, the bends‌ He holds my hand and leads me on, my Savior, Lord, and Friend.

Drifting Along by Lisa J. Radcliff Summer to me is synonymous with water: lakes, pools, swimming, canoeing, ocean waves, even sprinklers. My childhood summer memories revolve around those things. One of my favorite things to do as a kid was paddle out into the lake in our canoe and then lay down in it and drift back to our dock. Of course, it was critical that the wind was blowing the right direction. If it was blowing from the south, I could have ended up at the other end of the lake – three miles away! But there was nothing quite as relaxing as lying in the bottom of that canoe with the sun on my face in the quiet of a Maine lake, slowly drifting along. Every now and then, I would check my location and make sure I was still heading back home, making the necessary adjustments needed to keep me on course. I still do this, except I’ve traded the canoe for a kayak. I’ll recline in my kayak with one foot in the water, hoping the Molasses Pond monster isn’t hungry (that’s another story) and drift off, both floating on the current and falling asleep. It’s a great way to spend a vacation. It’s not such a great way to live life. It’s easy to lie back, put our feet up, and passively be fed spiritual knowledge. We may think it’s OK because we’re not just tuning into TV preachers. We wouldn’t be that naïve. In a much more modern, intelligent way, we watch clips on YouTube, follow blogs, and “like” clever memes and tweets.

But how often do we take the time to dig into the Bible, not just a verse with an accompanying devotional, but to study the Scripture ourselves? If we accept everything being taught in Christian circles without examining it against Scripture, we may find we have veered off course. Or worse, we won’t realize we’ve gone off course until we don’t recognize our surroundings at all. As relaxing as drifting along in my canoe or kayak might be what I really love is when the wind is coming down the lake, turning the mirror-like surface into white-capped waves. That’s my favorite time to be out on the water. There is challenge and excitement to it. You have to keep the stern of the canoe or kayak facing into the waves. Get turned sideways, and you’ll probably end up going for an unplanned swim. Straining to keep the boat heading into the wind takes effort. But what fun it is to crash through the waves. Yes, you get very wet as the boat launches over a wave, water rushing over the sides. But what a thrill! When I dive into God’s Word, I can get that same sort of thrill, discovering truth and getting to know more of my Savior. The Holy Spirit unlocks truth as I navigate through cross references and consult commentaries. When I hear sermons live or online, I take notes on things I want to explore further. I make sure what I am allowing into my mind is true. Once satisfied that what I heard checks out in Scripture, then I can let it sink into my heart.

After an hour or so paddling my kayak through rough waters, I’ll head back to the quiet shelter of our little cove. The water is shallow there, calming the waves. One last stroke of the paddle and my kayak safely slides onto the sandy shore. Mission accomplished. I braved the wind and waves and made it back home without capsizing. Hopefully, searching the Scriptures won’t be that difficult or exhausting, but still just as thrilling.

And, certainly, after spending time in God’s Word, you discover a peace that life’s waves can’t knock off course. . . . so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, (Ephesians 4:14-15 ESV)

NEW from author Jean Ann Williams

Just Claire ClaireLee's life changes when she must take charge of her siblings after her mother becomes depressed from a difficult childbirth. Frightened by the way Mama sleeps too much and her crying spells during waking hours, ClaireLee just knows she'll catch her illness like a cold or flu which hangs on through winter. ClaireLee finds comfort in the lies she tells herself and others in order to hide the truth about her erratic mother. Deciding she needs to re-invent herself, she sets out to impress a group of popular girls. With her deception, ClaireLee weaves her way into the Lavender Girls Club, the most sophisticated girls in school. Though, her best friend Belinda will not be caught with the likes of such shallow puddles, ClaireLee ignores Belinda's warnings the Lavenders cannot be trusted. ClaireLee drifts farther from honesty, her friend, and a broken mother's love, until one very public night at the yearly school awards ceremony. The spotlight is on her, and she finds her courage and faces the truth and then ClaireLee saves her mother's life. Author Jean Ann Williams, the eldest in a large family, enjoys digging into her fascinating childhood to create stories for children. Having written over two hundred articles for children and adults, Just Claire is her first book for young readers. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She writes regularly at Putting on the New blog and her own Real Stories for Real Girls website. Jean Ann and her husband live on one acre in Southern Oregon where they raise a garden, goats, and chickens. Her favorite hobbies are hiking through the woods and practicing archery.

Finding Jesus Each Month The Flowers of August: Gladiola and Poppy by Carol Peterson The two flowers for the month of August are the gladiola and the poppy. They are two very different flowers, yet both can remind us of Jesus. The gladiola stands tall and straight, its blossoms in a row, announcing to all the world its symbolism of strength and sincerity. The gladiolus is often the frame upon which the florist creates. The backdrop for the arrangement. The strength for the display of color and beauty. Many people assume that the root meaning of the word gladiolus is that they are flowers that make you glad. In reality, the gladiolus was named after the gladiator. Its Latin root, gladius literally means sword. The flower is even sometimes called the “sword lily.” The gladiola is a warrior's flower. We are called to be in Jesus’ army and to fight evil around us. To do so, Ephesians 6:11-17 reminds us to put on the full armor of God. One part of that armor is the sword of the Spirit; which is the word of God. The gladiola, the “sword lily,” reflects both the power and the beauty of Scripture. The poppy is the second flower of August. It grows in fields, spreading out as far as the eye can see. Low to the ground, waving in the breeze. Fluid, gentle, tender. The poppy is the state flower of California. Despite its exuberant growth in the wild—covering meadows and poking out of beach grass—it is illegal to pick the flower in California. It is precious.

One of the best images of poppies is from the movie, The Wizard of Oz. Dorothy and her friends climb a hill and look out into the valley ahead. “Poppies!” they exclaim before bounding, leaping and skipping into their midst. Yes, the poppies were poisoned by the wicked witch, but their sight was joyful. And despite the poison, the stalwart friends didn’t gasp and choke. They simply lay down in the midst of the pleasant meadow and drifted off to sleep. That image reminds us of Psalm 23: Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. When we walk through the darkest valley, is it possible that the valley floor is covered with spiritual poppies, along with the lilies of the valley we learned about in May? Has God provided a soft meadow for us to rest in during our journey through the dark valley? Will Jesus wake us gently, when we are renewed and ready to complete the journey, just as the Good Fairy did for Dorothy and her friends? The gladiola is about strength, named for some of the fiercest warriors in history. The poppy is a gentle flower, growing wild and free. Taken together, perhaps we need both the strength of the warrior gladiola and the gentleness of the poppy in our lives, both of which Jesus can provide. What an unusual and beautiful bouquet they make when tied together with the ribbon of faith.

The Master Gardener by Norma C. Mezoe

“…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” - John 10:10b Oh, no! Watch out roses. Gene has a shovel…. Gene, my husband, enjoys growing rose bushes. However, he is an impatient gardener. When the bushes don’t begin leafing out in the spring as soon as he believes they should, he replaces them. This spring was no different, and two bushes were dug up and tossed aside. Upon examining them, I discovered tiny green spots on both bushes and I replanted them in a different area. Through the following weeks, I have watched as more areas of the bushes began to turn green and tiny leaves sprouted. It won’t be long until the bushes bloom and I’ll be rewarded with colorful and fragrant roses. Sometimes we may treat people as my husband treated the bushes. We look at those who may be struggling with addictions or other problems and we consider them to be of little worth. We may say, “They’ll never amount to anything. Why waste time on them?” Jesus, however, had a different viewpoint. He told a parable in Luke 13:6-9 about an impatient owner of a vineyard. The man had waited three years for a fig tree to bear fruit, but it failed to do so. He told the gardener to cut the tree down, but the overseer of the vineyard pleaded with the owner, “Sir, the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’” (Luke 13:8-9) The gardener wasn’t ready to give up on the tree. Jesus knows the potential deep within the person that we might be ready to dismiss as unworthy. He knows if they will surrender their lives to him, it is possible for that person to become vibrantly alive and to bloom for the rest of their life. After all, Jesus is the Master Gardener. Perhaps I need to ask myself, “Am I as concerned about people who have been ‘thrown away’ by society as I was about the rose bushes tossed aside by my husband?” What about you? Will you help others to find the abundant life Jesus offers?

Hymn printable designed and created for Vintage Mama’s Cottage

Blessed Assurance by Fanny Crosby Hymn Story by Diana Leagh Matthews Fanny Crosby went blind at the age of six weeks in 1820. Her blindness was brought on due to an improper medical procedure. One day in 1873, Fanny was visiting her friend Phoebe Knapp. Phoebe began to play a tune for Fanny, which she {Phoebe} had composed. She asked Fanny what the tune said to her. Fanny’s answer: “That says Blessed Assurance.” Fanny then quickly composed the words for her popular hymn. In July of that same year, the hymn appeared on the last page of Palmer’s Guide to Holiness and Revival Miscellany, a magazine printed by Dr. and Mrs. W. C. Palmer of 14 Bible House, New York City. The song became very well-known with the popular 19th Century Evangelist, Dwight L. Moody. He often used this hymn and many of Fanny Crosby’s other hymns in his crusades. In the summer of 1894, Fanny Crosby was in Northfield, Massachusetts and attended a revival with Dwight L. Moody. She did not want to be recognized, but when Moody’s son, Will, offered her a seat he realized who she was. Moody asked Fanny to speak and share her testimony. At first, she refused, but finally relented. While her hymn was sung, Will led her to the platform where Fanny received a standing ovation upon being recognized. Fanny Crosby lived to be 95 years old. She wrote over eight thousand songs and hymns throughout her lifetime. She said she always asked God for inspiration before she began to write. She used over two hundred pseudonyms besides her own name. Although Fanny did not want a large tombstone, a large memorial stone was erected over her grave. On the memorial is transcribed the first stanza of Blessed Assurance

Fanny Crosby (top) and Phoebe Palmer Knapp via Wikipedia

Grandmother’s Butter Tarts from Theresa L. Begin Shoestring Elegance Sometimes we bake for fun, most often for need, and I think, sometimes just for the comfort of an old memory. There is a small way to keep those loved ones and times that have passed on present with us. Food and recipes enjoyed from another time always seem to bring us back to those people and places. The familiarity brings us comfort from times gone by. My Grandmother passed away many years ago, now, but sometimes I still feel her right next to me. Especially when I bake! My grandma loved food. She loved feeding everyone! Since I have always loved to bake and share, almost as much as she did, I am blessed to have received her handwritten recipe book. It is not like most recipe books you’ve seen mind you. Simple and to the point, her green little binder with college ruled paper was all she needed to store her “tried and true” recipes. It’s actually a good thing that I know how to bake, because my grandmother didn’t always put instructions with her recipes. Some just had a list of ingredients with a little note, “cook in cool oven” or ”Best!” She would do this when she had several versions of a recipe, lest I’d be confused about which one she actually used. It never occurred to her to take out the other recipes. I think that’s what makes me enjoy it all the more. I have one of her hand-sewn aprons too, that I love to put on while baking, every once in a while. One recipe not actually in her book that I know she made often and probably thought too obvious to write down was the recipe for her Butter Tarts! I think you will be pleasantly surprised by how much you like this tart! In Canada, where my family is originally from, Butter Tarts are as common as Apple pie is here in the US and there are as many ideas on how to make them as there are bakers! A Butter Tart at its simplest is a small tart usually made a dozen at a time in a muffin tin, with a butter pastry and a wonderful butter, sugar, egg, caramel-y filling. That seems to be all that most people agree on. Depending on where you go, what province or town, you’d get the addition of raisins, or pecans, or walnuts, or just one or none. Some people use a mixer; others swear they are not a true butter tart if not mixed by hand.

I’ve actually done a lot of research on the subject of these sweet little treasures. Though we know they’ve been around for centuries, the first person to actually write down and record a recipe wasn’t until 1900. “The earliest published Canadian recipe is from Barrie, Ontario, dating back to 1900 and can be found in The Women's Auxiliary of the Royal Victoria Hospital Cookbook, to which a Mrs. Mary Ethel MacLeod submitted the recipe for a butter tart filling, simply labeled as just "filling".” If you search the internet for a Butter Tart recipe I have no doubt you will find thousands and they will all be similar, but, as I said, they differ all over. The recipe I’m sharing with you today is just an old family one that I find to be the best of what I’ve tried. As I said, tailor this recipe to your liking. Walnuts, pecans, raisins or plain, this is a very versatile recipe. No matter what you put in or keep out, I believe you will just love them! Let’s make it! Preheat oven to 400F. I have a little trick that I do just to make sure my tarts are going to pop out of their tin, even if the caramel mixture goes over a teeny little bit. Very lightly brush your tin, tops, in-betweens, etc. with a tiny amount of melted butter. You know, where you brush it on and almost literally wipe it off? That much.

Basic Butter Tart Recipe     

½ cup Butter, room temp ½ cup packed brown sugar ½ cup white granulated sugar 1-½ tsp vanilla 2 large eggs

Make a basic butter crust. If you don't have a good pastry recipe THIS one works quite nicely. Roll out your pastry, half at a time, to be sure you don't overwork it again. It will be similar in thickness to a pie shell, maybe a scant thinner. (If you don't have a 4 inch round cutter, you can cut out a little disc and use it as a template). Place into muffin tin and set in the fridge. Be sure to keep your tart shells refrigerated until you’re ready to add the filling and pop in the oven. For the Filling: Combine butter and sugars in a bowl with a whisk. You really don’t need to plug in the electric one for this recipe but if you’re more comfortable with it you won’t hurt it either. Add your vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, whisking before and after adding the second. Fill your tart shells no more than ⅔ of the way or you will have a caramel-y mess. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Okay, so the question I always get‌ What do I put in my filling? See the picture for that answer! Everyone has a favorite! I prefer plain or just a few chopped walnuts. As you can see, even in our own family, everyone has their own personal preference. Play with the filling! See what your favorite is! I would absolutely love it if you would let me know what your favorite is!

Visit Theresa at Shoestring Elegance for more recipes as well as weekly inspiration and creative ideas for everyday life.

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.

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.

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!

Books for Teens

Visit RUBY’S Reading Corner for more family-friendly books for every member of your family!

Find more FREE printables at Woo Jr.

I Just Can’t Hate the Guy by Shara Bueler-Repka She’s the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen. Long dark hair. Big blue eyes. And she’s talking to me. Me. Shy, skinny little me. I think of something intelligent to say. “So, the corn dogs in the Cafe tasted pretty good, huh?” Ugh. I feel like such a dork. But she doesn’t seem to mind. “Would you walk me to the bus stop?” Melanie says. Geez, even her name is beautiful. My eyes grow wide, and my palms begin to sweat. “S-sure!” I stammer. She smiles sweetly. Oh, that smile! I feel dizzy. We slowly walk to the idling bus. I can barely hear what she’s saying. I’m in love!

The next few weeks are a whirlwind. We’re inseparable. Melanie and Mason—nice ring to it, don’t ya think? Every day we eat lunch together. Almost every day, I carry her books to nearly all our classes. I even drum up enough courage to hold her hand. We hang out in our fav spot on the picnic bench, underneath the big oak tree in the schoolyard. Our picnic bench. Our shade tree. All is right with my world. Until... Sitting in math class, I decide to glance over at the new guy who intently taps his pencil over a math problem. Today is his first day. This dude is totally buff. Like, football-player-buff. Dang it.

I’m a bit intimidated by him. Because, of course, I’m me. And, well, ya know, just look at him—tan, tall, perfect star material. But, I muster up the courage to say “hey,” anyway. “Hey,” I whisper. He looks over at me. “Hey,” he replies with a nod. O.K., he seems pretty cool. “First day?” I ask. I already know the answer, but I figure it’s a good start to a conversation. “Yeah,” he sighs, rolling his eyes.

On top of that, my girl and Carlos spend more time talking to each other. I also notice that when Carlos passes us in the halls, her eyes linger on him a bit too long. After a couple of weeks, Carlos occasionally sits with other friends. Melanie and my special lunches become fewer and fewer because she starts tagging along behind him. My heart aches, but I really can’t blame her. There isn’t anything wrong with the guy...unfortunately. One day, Carlos and I are tossing the football to each other (the coach says I have a pretty awesome throw). I give it my best shot and drill the football toward him.

“No worries,” I grin. “You’ll like it here.” I lean toward his desk. “My name is Mason.”

If he flubs this, I’ll feel a whole lot better that he isn’t perfect.

“Carlos,” he smiles.

He catches it like a pro! Of course!

His teeth are even perfect.

I’m angry about the way Melanie flirts with him, but I still consider Carlos a good friend.

We both bury ourselves again in our algebra books.

I just can’t hate the guy.

Riiinnnngggg. My heart jumps—as it always does when the bell rings for lunch. It signals the time Melanie and I will be eating lunch again under our shade tree. Funny thing—weeks have gone by since we first started hanging out, but my heart still leaps at the thought of being with her. I munch on some Cheetos, and she tears a chunk off her ham and cheese sandwich. We laugh about the class clown getting busted for putting fake boogers on one of the cheerleader’s desk. Out of the corner of my eye, I notice Carlos walking toward us. “Hey, Carlos,” I wave.

One day, Melanie starts talking to me again. She goes on and on about how Carlos had been talking to another girl. “Seriously?” she storms. “I can’t believe he would talk to that girl!” And then the weirdest thing happens. She starts flirting with me! I’m so confused. I don’t know what to do. Sure, part of me wants to relive the good ole days of sitting on our picnic bench, underneath our oak tree. But the other part of me doesn’t want to lose the friendship with Carlos. Truthfully, I don’t even know if he’s into Melanie or not. He’s a nice guy and friendly to everybody.

“Hey, Guys,” he grins. “Can I hang out here for lunch?”

“God?” I pray. “What’s the right thing to do?”

“Sure,” I shrug. Melanie motions with her hand to a spot on the bench.

Friendships. True friendships are really hard to find. Carlos hasn’t purposely done anything wrong against me.

After that, Carlos joins us for lunch every day. As the new kid, I can totally understand. And we’re becoming good friends. But, still, I start getting a little annoyed. This is Melanie’s and my time together!

The answer comes almost instantly.

And Melanie? Well, I won’t diss her, and I’ll still be nice to her... But Carlos and I will always be friends.

Wondering by Susan Paulus each piece begins the same becoming what the artist decrees clay onto still wheel centered a foot starts the wheel spinning pressure centrifugal force shaping begins hands both gentle and firm pull at the clay fingers pinch lightly smoothing edges water lessening friction he shapes his creation flaws large or small removed as the artist works tiny air bubbles cannot remain pin holes cannot remain flaws left uncorrected leave the piece useless weak breakable flaws explode in the fire is the clay like me wondering when this spinning will end wondering how much pressure will be used and when wondering if the potter knows wondering when he is finished, am I ready for life or death

Godly Advice by Frances Gregory Pasch On days when things get hectic and my head is spinning around, Jesus takes me by the shoulders and He gently sits me down. He whispers, “Do not panic… relax and stop a while. Fatigue causes tension and robs you of your smile. “Put everything in order, get your priorities straight... forget unneeded details, on key things concentrate. “Stop all of your rushing, tackle one thing at a time... slow down and take it easy, as the ladder of life you climb. “You don’t have to impress Me, it’s not how much you do, it’s the way in which you do things... just keep My will in view. “For whatever you accomplish it’s not for you, but Me. If you put Me first, you’ll triumph and dwell with Me eternally.”

We are born in the world to live for Him! by Mary Anusha Chandrakumar

We are separate people from the world. We are Children of the living God. We are a new creation. We can't live by two faces. If we are a new creation it means no longer we hide or zip our worldly character or attitude. Learn to live a Christian lifestyle according to God's word rather than to follow the trend of the world. Let God's perfect unfailing love reflect through our lives so let us hold on to ourselves high and concentrate on Our Gods Great Mercies in our Minds, Hearts and Souls. In everything you do, do it in His way. If we walk through God's ways only we can achieve success in the world to live a blessed and peaceful life. Humility is the most precious thing which we have to keep in our lives. God hates pride. He never shows any pride towards people. He always welcomes people with love. He is the best example for humbleness. When God hates pride why should we Christians love it? If God hates it we also should hate it and humble ourselves. You humble yourself to God; He will lift up you in due time. We don't need any pride in life; it leads us only toa sinful life. Be humble; it leads you to a very good Christian life style. We always ask God - why are you getting so late to answer our prayers? Sometimes we doubt but God is never too late or in a hurry to answer or to complete His work in our life. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. We can trust Him with our eyes blindfolded too, as that much He is so faithful to us. We are nothing without Him, but we are everything in Him. (Psalms 46:10) Be still, and know that I am God. Prayer is the best connection to God. When we pray God reveals many things. He advises us on which things we have to do and not to do. If you are in a situation of searching for a job or a higher promotion or anything at all, turn around to Him in your position of life.

Let’s keep it at God's feet and let God move to set it and give all things at His right time. Waiting in the season is very hard but at the end we can receive what God has stored for us, and when it comes it will be worth the waiting so keep calm and pour out your heart before God. He will take all of your pain and give you a rest to your worrying heart. Praise God and thank Him; He can do anything within a minute for you. We just have to submit ourselves only in prayer before Him. And He will change our atmosphere into wonderful blessed atmosphere. Changing life means a systematic change in everything we do according to God's way. Don't focus on your capabilities or possibilities to change, but always focus on God and let Him take charge of your Life. He is the Alpha and Omega. His love molds us to change our earthly attitudes towards His heavenly purpose for us on earth. God's love can change any evil person into a Godly person. His love has the power to change our hearts, minds and souls. God is our only hope in this world. We may face many problems in our lives. But God gives His strength to overcome all of it; whether the issues are pertaining to health, finances, family, jobs - whatever you name it. Let us allow His Abundant Grace and Heavenly Peace to rule over us. (Proverbs 3:5-6) “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Today, I would like to pray for everyone who is facing these kinds of troubles. Lord, I come before your throne for every one of them, let your healing hand hover over them and bless their physical, mental and spiritual bodies and I ask you to restore once again the peace in their family lives and bless them with many job opportunities and make them financially stable throughout the year. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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40 VERSES TO IGNITE YOUR FAITH by Laurie Polich Short Book review by Miriam Jacob 40 Verses to Ignite your Faith by Laurie Polich Short is an inspiring book of 40 exclusive Bible verses for all who seek God’s wisdom and hope. We encounter the God who breathes life into dead bones, the God who weeps, and the invisible God who is visible through our eyes of faith, as we sit in the silence of God, waiting to hear from Him. These 40 specially selected Bible verses are “the lesser known Scriptures to help us discover new angles to breathe life into our faith.” God’s amazing grace always gives us “second chances, fresh starts and new beginnings.” Trusting God in despair requires a resilient faith that will never give up, whatever the cost. God pulls out all the stops for us to taste His love. “You are the God who sees me… I have now seen the One who sees me” – (Genesis 16:13). These inspiring words boost and bolster our faith like nothing else. We have a God who sees us in our pain, when we are utterly alone. God is with us in our sufferings. We are never alone. I highly recommend this book to all who desire to taste God’s love in all its fullness. Bethany House Publishers, Date of Publication: April 2, 2019. ISBN: 9780764232565


Tourists by Joan Leotta

Many of us take vacations in August. We become tourists, happily splashing in the ocean waves or enjoying a walk in the cool of the mountains, or explore the art and culture of new cities here in the US and abroad. Perhaps the role of tourist is one that is easy for me to relate to—I live in a tourist town (Myrtle Beach) and I love to travel, so I am often a tourist in other places. Yes, I often think about the concept of tourism as it applies not just to me as a vacationer, but how it applies to my life as a Christian. You see, all Christians are tourists here on Earth. In a prayer to the Father on behalf of His disciples, Jesus says, (John 17:16, NIV) “They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.” He goes on to apply this statement to those who follow (us!) as well as to the apostles and disciples of that era. Studying the broader context of this quote we see that Jesus is saying we are tourists here. Earth is not our home base—heaven is. He prays that Father God will keep us safe while we are here. So, as tourists, what should we do, how should we live? Other places in the Bible offer answers—Matthew 5: 13-17 tells us to be salt and light—to make the world a better place while we are in it.

It is our job, while enjoying the wonders of life on earth, to flavor and preserve lives around us and to allow the light of God’s love to shine through us. Be kind. Respect local customs while at the same time remaining true to our core values. As citizens of heaven, we have a lot to offer the people in the areas where we live and/or travel. We want to share with them the message, we are told to do so in Matthew, but the best way we can show the meaning of the Message is to show its love. There is no one right way to be a good tourist. Sometimes the local customs are very enticing— wealth, success, envy, lies—all of these things are easy in the world today. We must stand for truth by expressing that truth in love. After all, and above all, we must remember that our heavenly citizenship was a gift of grace, bought for us, not through our own labor, but by the sacrifice of Christ. He paid for us to become citizens of heaven. Our daily lives should reflect the love of Christ in such a way that they become curious, open so that the Holy Spirit can work in their hearts and eventually, they will want to be citizens of heaven and join us as tourists on this earth.

Long-Awaited Furlough by Pat Jeanne Davis August 1942 This had been the longest two months of Millie’s life, ever since Frank left for boot camp. In three hours he’d be returning to spend ten days with her—just the two of them. She turned up the music before sitting at the vanity dresser. Butterflies flitted in her stomach as she listened to “I’ll Get By (As Long as I Have You).” Millie backcombed her shoulder-length hair onto a roll and pinned it to the back of her head, then glanced at the ring on her finger. She hadn’t felt this ecstatic since Christmas, when Frank asked her to marry him. She got into a blue silk dress with a white bow at the neck—his favorite—and completed the outfit with a blue doughnut-shaped hat. Had they made the right decision to wait to get married? It was mid-morning when Millie got into the Chevy sedan that Frank left for her to use. When she arrived at the station, his train stood at the platform. She took several deep, calming breaths before rushing up the steep metal steps in her high heels. At the top, she surveyed the gaggle of people. They melted from view when she saw Frank, one foot on his duffel bag, craning his neck to catch sight of her. When he did, he bolted across the platform as she rushed to meet him. Running with abandon, she barreled into his outstretched arms, nearly bowling him over. He swung her around and around before drawing her to his chest. “You’re gorgeous, sweetheart.” Millie released her arms from around his neck. “It’s been such a long time.” Frank tilted her chin up. She closed her eyes as he leaned down to kiss her. He stroked her cheek.

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“I can see those guys at your USO club fighting for a chance to take you around the dance floor.” A smile flickered across his lips. “Don’t give any GI your captivating smile. It belongs to me.” He tapped his thumb against her nose. Only last night she’d arranged for a band to play for soldiers from a nearby base. She talked and danced with servicemen, all the while imagining herself in Frank’s arms. And now here she was. With him. Eight weeks of Florida sun showed in his heavy tan, emphasizing his white teeth and blue eyes. She traced her finger down the dimple in his cheek. “More handsome than ever.” Then she ran her fingers through his trimmed hair and grimaced. “Must it be so short?” Stepping back, she inspected his service uniform. The red insignia on his shoulder was embossed with a large 1. “Turn around.” He grinned and pressed her hands to his face. “Dress fashion. They never let you forget you’re a soldier.” Millie latched on to his arm. When they reached the parking lot, she stretched up on her toes and kissed him again. “Welcome back, darling.”

That afternoon they took a picnic lunch to a secluded table nestled inside a pine grove. Millie looked out across the shore to the water. Wispy white clouds scurried across an azure sky. Frank walked down the beach and pointed out to the ocean where a line of masts and turrets stood out against the horizon, then turned back to Millie and cupped his hands around his mouth. “Those are ours,” he called out. They made their way back to the picnic table, arms locked. Frank cast another glance at the convoy over his shoulder. “That explains all the precautions along the seaboard. Blackout curtains and civilian air patrol are a small inconvenience for safety at home.” She went to where he stood and shielded her eyes from the sun with her hand. “I hope they help. Some of our merchant ships have been sunk by German U-boats.”

The scenes from the latest Pathé newsreel flashed before her. Since the attack on Pearl Harbor there appeared to be no quick end to the war. It would be easy to pretend that he’d be safe where he was going.

“Would you like fried chicken? And there’s potato salad, pickles and deviled eggs,” she said, determined with God’s help to be cheerful in spite of the looming uncertainties and her nagging fears. He twisted the cap off a Coke bottle and passed it to her. “Yes, to everything.” With his little finger, he pushed back a tendril of her hair as she handed him a plate. “You’ve decided to accept the USO offer of assistant to the director?” She nodded. “I’m excited. Our club will be one of the first to have a mobile canteen with coffee, doughnuts, books, and movies for the men.” Frank smiled, took a swig of his Coke and ran the back of his hand across his mouth. “And how are you doing with getting gasoline for my sedan?” “I’m restricted to three gallons a week. But hope to be switched to a ‘B’ coupon soon.” After the meal, they strolled the beach and waded in the gentle surf as the blazing sun passed overhead. “We need to leave now or we won’t make the Benny Goodman concert,” he said.

He bent down and kissed her cheek. “Don’t worry, sweetheart. We’ve not yet seen the full weight of our power.”

Millie gathered up the picnic hamper, aware of an even longer separation that would soon come. But for now there were nine days ahead to spend with her soldier. She’d make it a memorable time for him.

Millie spread out the red-and-white checkered cloth, unfastened the wicker basket and placed their picnic on the table.

And when this war ended—and he returned for good—she’d be here, waiting . . .

NEW from author Adwoba Addo-Boateng The Marriage Cookbook Filled with great cooking tips and yummy recipes such as Pineapple Upside-Down cake, Thank You Pies, heart-shaped burgers and Ever There marshmallows, this is a collection of simple, intriguing recipes and stories from married life that will help readers to get married to Christ in order to be fulfilled in their married lives. Our marriage should be like God’s ordained ministry where it is cherished and nurtured to achieve its full potential. Being Christ’s beautiful bride does not require a lot of effort, but it is the grace of God that will help us through.

Read more inspiring hymn stories in

101 Hymn Stories: Inspiring True Stories Behind 101 Favorite Hymns by Kenneth Osbeck

Now available from RUBY’S Reading Corner 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. /

Quiet Results by Nancy Frantel “Be still and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10 (NRSV) Many of my friends quote this verse from Psalm when facing difficult times. However, this message provides wisdom even with simple events. At seven years of age, I went fishing for the first time. My brothers and I accompanied our grandmother to one of her favorite country ponds. I knew she enjoyed fishing and had many stories. As a kid, I didn’t think about whether true or not. Numerous delicious meals over the years testified to her success. On this day of my fishing experience, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would I be like my grandmother and catch a lot of fish? I watched her place the bamboo poles, empty buckets, and rags in the trunk of the car. My excitement waned when the unimaginable happened. She set the bait containers filled with worms on the floorboard in the backseat by my feet. Although I spent a lot of time playing outside at home, having worms so close brought a squeamish, “Yuck.” “Do these have to be by me?” She replied, “They can’t get out. The tops are secure.” During the drive to the pond, I tried not to think about the containers’ contents. Noting what my grandmother said about the security of the lids allowed me to focus on the adventure ahead. Once we arrived, my brothers and I assisted bringing the gear to the water’s edge. After providing basic safety instructions, she secured a worm to each of our hooks. She told me to stay with her, but allowed my older brothers to walk to the other side of the small pond. With my line in the water, I wasn’t sure how long it would take to trick a fish into noticing an easy meal. What I didn’t think about until it happened was how long it would take my brothers to start fussing with each other. Grandmother chastised, “Be quiet. You’ll scare the fish away.” She was right. The fish headed in our direction, and a bass latched onto my hook. I don’t remember how long we stayed, but know my brothers left empty-handed. Guess they didn’t realize the result of being quiet and still. Thank you, heavenly Father for the simple lesson by the pond.

Saying “Yes” to the Process: How God Heals Our Brokenness by Sharon L. Patterson What expectations I had after discovering that God desires to heal the broken places in our lives. My heart stirred at scriptures such as 1Peter 2:24 “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree; so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness: by his wounds you have been healed.” (NIV) Like a child, I thought the process would be as instant as Tinkerbell’s touch with her magic wand that fixed everything Peter Pan needed. Naively, I felt discovery of the truth of healing was the entire process. Obviously, my understanding needed increasing. That happened as God began to heal me. We are not mere subjects waiting for a fix by some passing guru, but as born again believers we are God’s children looking to our Heavenly Father to heal what no man can fix. God has provided everything needed: Jesus by his work on the cross is the healer; the Holy ‘Spirit who lives in us is the revealer and sealer of our healing. Without revelation of our wounded condition, we walk about coping in our own strength and selfguided remedies. The Spirit of God makes us aware of our wounds. Others may try but until the Spirit shows us we may not see it. He causes us to understand what the Bible is saying. Our spirit gets stirred and our soul begins to respond. In a prayer of surrender, our Father begins to apply the healing power we need. Sometimes that touch is immediate, even miraculous, but more often than not, due to the depth of our wound, more is required. However, that “more” is not leaving it up to us to take over. Just the opposite is true. It is a simple step…simple but not easy. It is saying “yes” to the process. God has so much more in mind for us through this process than we can imagine. He has growth as well as healing; increase of heart and understanding as well as greater depth of relationship with Him and others.

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When one part of our being is broken, it affects every other area of our life. So, when He heals one part of our being, it affects and invites the other parts of us to healing. We visit the deeper ravines of mercy and truth in the healing process. We perceive life not just through what was done to us but as mercy joins truth, we see what our brokenness did to others. It is like witnessing an event…where we stood, we saw and felt that event. Others were present and stood at a different location. They saw and felt it, too. Then, above all the situation sits the Lord God who saw it in totality. As we look to Him, He reveals the event from His all-seeing view. He points us to the cross of His Son Jesus where every broken place of humanity, every evil work was dealt with. When we add our “yes” to His process, mercy and truth go to work on our soul wounds. New and safe boundaries of relationships form; brokenness becomes wholeness; faith in God grows greater; trust in others flows once more. Mercy linked to truth is not just a substance we want to receive but what we want to give. At the cross, Jesus invited us to lay down some things and walk down the hallway of our heart applying the same forgiveness He has given us. It will push unforgiveness, bitterness, envy, jealousy, hurt and anguish out of the way. Saying “yes” to the process is not easy, but oh the benefits! They are life long and cannot be withdrawn unless we back out of the process and choose to hold onto a fresh wound that will only putrefy with refusal to forgive. I don’t know about you, but my prayer will always end with a “yes to the process!” Won’t you join me?

Are You Puzzled?

by Frances Gregory Pasch “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” 1 Corinthians 13:12 Jigsaw puzzles come in all shapes and sizes. A few are even three-dimensional. Some take long hours to put together, especially those with small pieces and shapes that are similar. It is often frustrating to find where a particular piece fits. But when the last piece is in place, the finished picture can bring a feeling of accomplishment. God’s plans for our lives are also like puzzles. Each day is just a small piece of a big picture. We often have trouble figuring out how everything will fit together. There are times when we would like to change the arrangement of the pieces. If we could have our say, we’d choose a different way of doing things. But we realize that God has a reason for all that He does and that He works through changing circumstances. Unlike our jigsaw puzzles, the finished picture of our life will not be revealed until we meet the Lord face to face. But the wait will definitely be worthwhile! My life is not puzzling to God.

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The Lord is My Shepherd Psalm 23 by Adwoba Addo-Boateng As good a shepherd as the Lord is, he cares for his sheep no matter what. He died on the cross to save his sheep. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep (John 10:11). The sheep are totally reliant on the Shepherd although prone to wander, to receive utmost care from the sheep. (John 10:27). He leads us in his way all we have to do is to be his sheep and submit to his will. We cannot see God as the Shepherd if we don’t see ourselves us his sheep. A sheep is totally submissive to his Shepherd, owing to the fact that the Shepherd leads the way for the Sheep to follow. The Sheep trusts that it is the best way. The more a sheep needs its shepherd, the more the Shepherd provides for his sheep. If a sheep feels that he can feed himself on his own, he wanders and drifts away from the Shepherd. “I shall not want” in Psalm 23 signifies one being fulfilled in Christ. Even when we want something and we do not get, the peace that he promises us overrides our wants. It does not mean that we do not lack but even in our lack God’s love is sufficient for us which is manifested by the grace which he bestows on us. His grace is available to all those who have you have humbled themselves. Without Christ- like humility you can never see God’s will. “Yea though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death” Even when all is bleak, dark I still remain in his love. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (Romans 8:35). When God is leading us we don’t care even if we are at a dark place. God is still providing and protecting us in those dark moments, for darkness cannot comprehend the light. Besides, no temptation has overtaken you except what is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what we are able, but with the temptation will also make a way out for escape, that you may be able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Even though we are broken or in despair, God is still enough for us. “He makes us lie down in green pastures” God allows us to rest so that he can work. He fights battles for us because he is a mighty warrior. All what we have to do is to rest in the finished work of Christ. His works were finished even before the world begun. “He restores my soul” Even when I am weak, then he is strong so that Christ’s power will rest on me. When I am tired, he renews my strength. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12). “In the presence of my enemies thou anoint my head with oil” Christ is the anointed one. When you have Christ, you can partake of the Lord’s goodness and mercy. With the Holy Spirit’s guidance you move away from the sin that entangles and you are in his presence every day and God is magnified.

Crazy Emotions by Melissa Sturt “But I don’t feel like doing that!” my child whined in my ear for the hundredth time. “That’s too have to do it anyway,” I replied. As I said these words this particular time, I felt the good Lord gently remind me that the same applies to me. Well, after feeling suitably corrected, I realized that we all have emotions that regularly go awol but that doesn’t give us an excuse to ignore God’s command of love. Emotions come and go and are extremely fickle. One minute we are ecstatically happy, the next we are morbidly sad. We mustn’t fight these emotions, just observe them and feel them but don’t react to them. It isn’t always easy. When someone has been unkind to us, emotions take over and we feel angry, hurt, indignant etc. The natural thing to do is to act according to them, but if this path is taken, it leads only to more anger, hurt and frustration. It will never produce good in our lives. One cannot fight fire with more fire. We are told in Romans 12:21 to overcome evil with good. A funny thing happens when we obey that verse...all of a sudden our emotions decide they agree with us after all and a deep joy surges up within us. This is the joy of the Lord and it is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Another thing I have learnt from life...don’t expect yourself or others not to experience anger, sadness, frustration, happiness etc. We all have these emotions that have - by the way - been given to us by God Himself. They can be wonderfully glorious or incredibly horrid. The trick is to not live your life by them.

Conquer your Fears and Anxiety through Prayer by Stan Popovich

Prayer can be very effective in managing your fears and anxieties. There are countless numbers of people who have experienced the power of prayer. Here are some reasons on why prayer can be effective in managing your anxieties, fears, and stresses. Asking God for help is a great way to manage your fears and anxieties. When you pray, you are asking God to help you manage your fears. God is the most powerful person in the universe and he is willing to help you if you ask him. Prayer is the way to do this. You are tapping into the power of God when you pray. God is stronger than your fears and anxieties and prayer is the connection to the power of God. A simple prayer can do wonders in managing your anxieties. God is the one person who has the power to help you. When you pray to God, it sometimes takes time to get your prayers answered. God works in mysterious ways and you do not know how your simple prayer will be answered. There are an endless number of opportunities for prayer to be effective in your life.

Praying works. There are many inspirational magazines and books on how people were helped through the power of prayer. Read some articles to get an idea on how effective prayer can be in your life. Never doubt the power of God. He loves you and he is willing to help you with your problems. You can pray anywhere you want. You can pray at church or pray when you are at home. It doesn’t matter where you are located. The important thing is that you are sincere in your prayers. The next time you feel anxious or fearful, say a simple prayer to God. God is listening and he will help you.

Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods” – an easy to read book that presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. For additional information go to:

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I Come as One, Stand as 10,000 by Priscilla Nyahwa The transformative power of a struggle is undeniable. You enter the struggle as one, and come out as strong as 10,000. An army of the Living God is constructed inside you during the struggle. It’s so difficult but necessary when we’re going through tough times to hold onto this scripture. James 1: 2 - 3 says “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” It doesn’t mean go around pretending to be happy when you’re really going through some stuff. Such an instruction would be contrary to the authenticity of God. I believe it’s saying, joy is reaching beyond happiness, it’s finding peace in a storm. Holding onto the Prince of Peace, we develop the ability to stand in a storm. I have always been passionate about people reaching their greatness. That’s who I am.

I am that annoying person that tells you to reach for your greatness because you have all you really need inside of you. I suppose it’s comical that reaching my own greatness would be where my test would be. Have you experienced an attack on your identity? Felt that the core of who you are was being destabilized or shaken or made questionable? Been unable to share your truest beliefs because it would make people look a little more closely at your life? That’s a struggle. This was my story. College graduation had come and gone, I was super excited about what I was going to accomplish in the world. I truly felt that nothing was impossible. That hard work always won at the end of the day. I had worked my tail off for good grades and been awarded scholarships in the process. I figured my resume was pretty solid, and at least enough for someone to give me a shot.

Five years later, and I was still sending out my resume with no response at all. By this time, my sense of self was dwindling. My confidence had gone down the drain. I couldn’t even relate to my friends. I had nothing to share with them, and to be honest, I just wanted to avoid the well-meaning questions about what I was up to. It’s bewildering how much of our identities are tied up in what we do. I had to lose it all, to be isolated from where and who I thought I should be for me to hear the voice of God and to know His nature. I was frustrated because I wanted to take care of myself, but before I was employed I had to know that the Lord is my provider. I desperately wanted someone, anyone, to give me a shot; but I had to learn that God is the only one who opens doors. I had my plans, the things I was going to do, but I had to learn that God has a more perfect plan. I wanted success in the systems of the world, but I had to learn that the only success is to be used of God. I look back at every tough situation that I encountered. I thought I wasn’t going to make it. Emotionally tired, mentally exhausted, physically weary, and yet my spirit kept fighting. Not because I had anything to do with the fight left in my spirit, but I believe because God wouldn’t let me go. There are times when peace has left the building, and the only thing you can do is go into His word for sanity. He kept holding me up when I was too weak to stand.

You won’t care what people think or say. The space that was being taken up by fear in our hearts has been eclipsed by faith. We were afraid during the struggle, because it almost took us out, but it couldn’t. Now we know who God is and what only He can do. If he kept you alive in the struggle, it was for a reason. It was to take you to the next level. I think of Daniel in the lion’s den, when he was released unscathed, he knew the power of the Living God. I think of Job, when God restored him double what he had lost. He knew the comfort and provision of the Living God. I think of all of us who have faced various trials and challenges. The strength we now possess is supernatural. We can smile at adversity because we know the power of the Living God. It doesn’t matter what we are trying to do, be it raising a family, starting a business, growing a ministry. Remember the power that you now stand in. We’re not ordinary women. They may see you as one person, but you stand as firm and strong as a 1,000 people. Speak the promises of the Living God over your life. Stand in His victory. Our faith moves mountains. Don’t hold your tongue. Speak life into everything. How wonderful to know that as women, we are life givers, we are the symbol of producing, and our mouths hold so much power. That is why the devil wants to deceive us, to keep us speaking about things that don’t matter, gossip, slander; so that we don’t use our power.

This may sound abstract, but I know that people who have been through any form of struggle will understand this. When you come out of a struggle, I say “when,” because the victory has already been won.

Please consider your power, use it for the glory of the Almighty. Nothing is impossible to the children of the Almighty. Let’s stand in our power.

You won’t be the same. Fear has been cast away.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1: 7

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:

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

Frances Gregory Pasch’s devotions and poems have been published in devotional booklets, magazines, and Sunday school papers since 1985. Her writing has also appeared in several dozen compilations. Her book, Double Vision: Seeing God in Everyday Life Through Devotions and Poetry is available on Amazon. Frances has been leading a women’s Christian writers group since 1991. You can contact her at

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

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.

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 Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods” – an easy to read book that presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. For additional information go to:

Nancy Frantel lives in Virginia, and is a published author of three history books, public speaker and researcher. Prior to becoming a writer she worked in corporate management. A “life interruption” injury in 2010 limited her ability to work as a writer. In 2017, she attended several Christian writing conferences, and felt led to start over in a different genre. Her goal is to write inspirational and encouraging stories based on her experiences, lessons learned by trusting God, and individuals He provides along the way.

Susan Paulus: My writing began as a prayer for some sanity in my life when I was raising children, sharing life with a husband who often didn't understand me and working a full time job. That was many years ago, and I have recently been searching for a way to have some work published. For two years i wrote for a small NWO publication called Living Today. It was rewarding to know that others might be blessed by what was written. I pray that continues through the ministry RUBY magazine. My name is Melissa Sturt and I live in Queensland, Australia. I am a 42 year old mother of 3 home-schooled children aged 9, 11, and 14, and happily married to my wonderful husband, Mat for nearly 19 years. I love encouraging other women in my life and I would love my writing to do the same.

Priscilla Nyahwa is a wife and mother who writes about her love for Jesus. She is from Zimbabwe, but currently lives in Australia.

Pat Jeanne Davis writes from her home in Philadelphia, Pa. She is married and mom to two sons. Pat loves to work in her flower garden and travel. She has completed two historical inspirational novels and is represented by Leslie H. Stobbe and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She loves to hear from her readers. Please visit her

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.

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

RUBY magazine is published by CreativeLife

Profile for RUBY magazine

RUBY magazine August 2019  

The August issue of RUBY magazine features inspirational articles, short stories, poetry, book reviews, recipes, and free printable. You don...

RUBY magazine August 2019  

The August issue of RUBY magazine features inspirational articles, short stories, poetry, book reviews, recipes, and free printable. You don...