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Ruby for Women A voice for every Christian woman January, 2012

“Her worth is far above rubies” Proverbs: 31:10


Contents January, 2012 www.rubyforwomen.ning.com

In This Issue . . . Page

Title

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When it’s Winter in Your Heart Nina Newton, Sr. Editor

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2012: The Year of Our Lord Amanda Johnson

Page 6 January Book Give-Away: Hope of Refuge by Cindy Woodsmall

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White Chocolate Snowballs

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The Night Has Pulled Its Covers Down Lee E. Shilo

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Hope Lynn Mosher

January is a time for new beginnings! Some of us make “New Year’s Resolutions,” and that might include the decision to focus more diligently in the New Year on our walk with the Lord. Whatever your goals or dreams for the coming weeks and months, the New Year gives us all a renewed sense of hope, and a renewed commitment to honor God in every area of our lives. Won’t you join us here at Ruby for Women as we walk together on this new adventure on our journey into the New Year, 2012? Happy New Year from all of us at Ruby for Women!

Senior Editor Nina Newton Assistant Editor Amanda Johnson Creative Assistant Katherine Corrigan Family Fun Editor Beth Brubaker Gardening Dorothy Homer Devotions Lynn Mosher, Deborah McCarragher Poetry Keith Wallis, Lee E. Shilo

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Winter Craft: Snow Globes Vintage Mama

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My Favorite Excuses Theresa Ceniccola

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Getting Back on Track Beth Brubaker

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Old-Fashioned Spicy Gingerbread Vintage Mama

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A Sure Foundation Deborah McCarragher

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Grace Calls My Name Keith Wallis

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Ruby for Women is an online Christian women’s magazine that offers words of hope, inspiration, and encouragement to women everywhere. Knowing that every woman has a story to tell, we seek to give a “voice to every Christian woman,” from all walks of life, of every age, from all around the world. For advertising inquiries, please contact our Advertising Administrator, Angela Morris at amorris@rubyforwomen.com

If you would like to share your story with Ruby for Women, please email our Assistant Editor, Amanda Feature Writers Carol Mokry, Connie Arnold, Kristin Johnson, at ajohnson@rubyforwomen.com Also, Bridgman, Amy Lignor, Sheila Watson Kraklow, please visit our community website at Scott Henderson, Theresa Ceniccola, Scarlett Von www.rubyforwomen.ning.com where you can connect Gunten, Charlotte Siems, Yvonne Anderson, Angela with other Christian women. Blake Morris, Kausar Iqbal, Elizabeth Baker, Maxine Ruby for Women Young, Pauline Creeden, Yvonne Carson, Kendra 2731 W 700 N Peterson Columbia City, IN 46725 1 editor@rubyforwomen.com Quilting Laura Brandt


Page

Title

Page 51

Title Are You a Nag-ivator? Amanda Johnson

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Prepare and Plan for Success in 2012 Yvonne Carson

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Make Your Own Hand-Embellished Journal Vintage Mama

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I Feel a Deafness Keith Wallis

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The Tale of the Towel Maxine Young

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Creative Silk Painting Kausar Iqbal

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Quiet Time Crossword Puzzle Beth Brubaker

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Ask Beth Beth Brubaker

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Chicken Noodle Casserole Vintage Mama

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Color and Cut-Out January, 2012 Calendar

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Special Delivery Dr. Yvonne Anderson

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Design Your Own Hand-Painted Sneakers

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Knuffle Bunny Books Page 23 by Mo Willems Reviewed by Kendra Peterson

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Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff from the kitchen of Vintage Mama

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Life Moves On Keith Wallis

Page 20

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Winter in the Garden Aunt Dots

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Super-Duper Simple Fudgey Crinkles

Safety at the Pharmacy Maxine Young

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Why Does the Silence Seem So Loud? Keith Wallis

The Assignment Elizabeth Baker

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Taxing Circumstances Elizabeth Baker

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Hot Apple Raspberry Cinnamon Cider

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Vintage Paper Dolls from the collection of Vintage Mama

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Ruby for Women Community

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The Power of the Stirring of Dust Keith Wallis

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Quiet Time Crossword Puzzle Answer Key Beth Brubaker

Page 32 40

Cinnamon Sugar Soft Pretzels Vintage Mama

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Do You Think He Wore Slippers? Kristin Bridgman

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Bright Hopes Bible Block Sampler Laura Brandt

Sudoku Puzzle Answer Key Beth Brubaker

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The Ruby for Women Writers

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Credits and Copyrights

44 49

Sudoku Puzzle Beth Brubaker

Page 44

Page 51

Page 61

Page 66

Page 67

www.tatterstotreasures.com 2


National Hobby Month

National Oatmeal Month

January 1: New Year’s Day January 6: Cuddle Up Day January 8: Bubble Bath Day January 10: Peculiar People Day January 13: Blame Someone Else Day January 14: Dress Up Your Pet Day January 15: National Hat Day January 18: Winnie the Pooh Day January 19: National Popcorn Day January 20: Penguin Awareness Day

January 21: National Hugging Day January 23: Measure Your Feet Day January 24: Compliment Day January 25: Opposite Day January 26: Spouse’s Day January 27: Chocolate Cake Day January 28: National Kazoo Day January 29: National Puzzle Day January 31: Backward Day January 31: Inspire Your Heart with Art Day 3


When It’s Winter in Your Heart by Nina Newton, Sr. Editor

Just as life has different seasons, we all experience times when our journey takes us deep into the darkest valleys, along the pathway through shadowed forests, and eventually out into the bright sunshine on a mountain top. So no matter what your age, you will inevitably experience times when it is winter in your heart. When the snow is blowing and blustering around our little house, we cuddle up beside the fireplace with a cozy blanket and a bowl of popcorn and watch a funny movie. Sometimes we watch a heart-touching movie, or a movie that helps us see the bigger picture in life. But when confusion, pain, and brokenness are swirling around our hearts; when it is winter in our hearts, what can we do then? Sometimes watching a funny movie isn’t enough to bring back the sunshine. We cuddle up with a blanket and hide away in a corner, afraid to come out for fear of being hurt again. When it is winter in your heart, there is only one thing that can bring back the joy of life, and that is knowing the One Who alone can heal a broken heart. Even when we can’t seem to remember that springtime follows winter, we can trust Him always to do what is best for us. God’s Word reminds us that His plans for each one of us are for our blessing and not for our destruction: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 When all seems lost; when everything feels hopeless; when it is winter in your heart, remember that spring is just around the corner!

God’s Word continues in this passage to remind us of our part in this plan: “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord . . . . “ Jeremiah 29:12 – 14a Is it winter in your heart today? Are you stumbling through the desolate places where fear and uncertainty are crowding out the beauty of the season? Perhaps it is time to look beyond the raging storm that surrounds you; perhaps you need to look up past the confusion that is swirling through your thoughts. Now is the time to take action! Today it is time to get put aside the weight of sadness that is holding you back and get busy looking for His plan and purpose which is for your prosperity and blessing. Today is the day to remind yourself that God’s plan for your life is to give you hope and a future. But just like any other gift that is offered, it will never be yours until you reach out and accept His gift of grace. One of the movies we watched the other night when those huge, beautiful snowflakes were drifting down outside our windows was called “Evening.” It was a story about a woman who was reliving memories of her youth as she lay dying. It was also about how mothers and daughters can misunderstand one another, and for years never really get to know one another. In the end, the youngest daughter finally discovered that her mother had lived her entire life making hurtful choices because she carried a heavy load of guilt . . . guilt over something that had happened years ago for which she was not responsible. It had been winter in that mother’s heart for so long, that she didn’t even realize that God could give her the gift of forgiveness and hope. Don’t miss out on the joy and promise that is yours because you are stuck in the winter that is in your heart today . . . . God’s gift is a bright tomorrow! 4


2012: The Year of Our Lord by Amanda Johnson, Assistant Editor Greetings and welcome to the New Year 2012 in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! It’s an exciting time to be alive and serving our Lord! We are living in an age where we have been given amazing and new opportunities to reach the lost for Jesus Christ! We are also living in a time of increasing fear of the world’s end and the destruction of mankind. The Lord, however, has taught me many promises from His Word in preparation for this New Year and I want to take a moment to pass them along. Uneasiness and fear of the unknown are typical of our human nature and have become key areas in which the enemy is using to attack us and steal our peace and joy. The Lord tells us that when fear fills our heart we can know that it is not from Him for He is love (I John 4:8) and “perfect love drives out fear” (I John 4:18). We can rid our hearts of this fear by holding strong to the promises of God. Jesus tells us in John 16:33 “…In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” He also assures us with these words from John 14:27 saying, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you… Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Jesus left this world promising to return again and even though we don’t know when that will be (Matthew 24:36), He has promised that He will be with us and will not leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). As believers we have a sound faith and trust in the Lord where there is no fear, but instead His peace. However, those who do not believe still face a strong fear within their hearts.

We can help by sharing the hope and assurance we have in Christ. In Matthew 28:1920a, Jesus gave His final commandment before ascending into Heaven. He commissioned believers to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” Knowing the uncertainty that was sure to creep in, Jesus added another promise and assurance of hope saying “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20b). Time will run out whether it’s this year or ten years from now, and when it runs out we will all stand before the Lord to give account for our life here on earth (Romans 10:14-12). Jesus says “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” As my pastor shared recently, the deeper the darkness surrounding us here on Earth, the brighter the light of Christ will shine through us. We must devote our lives to shining the light of Christ and spreading it to as many people as possible so that they too will find hope in our Lord and Savior! What a blessed assurance and extraordinary comfort to know that God is on the throne and is in control! Let us continue to rejoice with our Father God as we celebrate the beginning of this New Year 2012 A.D. By the way, did you know we put A.D. after each year in recognition that it is the Anno Domini, which is Latin for “year of our Lord”? Take heart, be of good cheer and welcome in 2012, the year of our Lord!

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January Book Give-Away The Hope of Refuge by Cindy Woodsmall Raised in foster care and now a widowed single parent, New Yorker Cara Moore struggles against poverty, fear, and a relentless stalker. When a trail of memories leads Cara and her daughter, Lori, away from the city toward an Amish community, she follows every lead, eager for answers to mysteries from her past and a fresh start. She quickly discovers that Dry Lake, Pennsylvania, is no place for an outsider. But one Amish man, Ephraim Mast, dares to fulfill the command he believes that he received from God – “Be me to her” – despite how it threatens his way of life. Ephraim’s sister Deborah is fearful of the strange Englischer woman causing turmoil for her family, but keeps focused on the marriage and home she longs to begin with Mahlon Stolzfus. Her dreams are threatened when Mahlon begins behaving oddly, withdrawing, and causing concern for Deborah and Mahlon’s mother, Ada. Will the run-down house that Ada envisions transforming unite them toward a common purpose – or push Mahlon away forever? As Ephraim is torn between trying to do what he believes is right and the requirements of his community, he risks losing everything, including a developing friendship with the guarded single mother. And he knows that long-held secrets about her family history ripple beneath the surface of Dry Lake – secrets with the power to tear apart the home Cara is desperately trying to find. If you would like to enter the January Book Give-Away at Ruby for Women, please visit the Ruby blog and leave a comment, including your email address. You will be contacted for your mailing address if you are the winner. The drawing will take place on February 1, 2011.

www.keepsakesbykatherine.etsy.com 6


Make these WhiteWhite-Chocolate Snowballs for a yummy treat on a winter afternoon Ingredients: 1 ½ cups peanut butter ½ cup butter, softened 1 (16-ounce) package confectioners’ sugar 2 cups white chocolate chips 1 Tbsp vegetable shortening ½ cup shelled, unsalted peanuts Let’s make it! Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and another with waxed paper; set both aside. Using an electric mixer (or a wooden spoon), beat together the peanut butter and butter in a large bowl until blended and smooth. Add the sugar, ½ cup at a time; blend until smooth. Press the mixture into 1 inch balls. (The dough will be dry, so it may be easier to form with damp hands). Place the balls on the foil-lined sheet. Let stand until firm, about 30 minutes. Melt the white chocolate chips and shortening in a heatproof bowl on top of a pot of simmering water over medium-high heat. Stir continuously until smooth. Remove the pan from heat. Using a toothpick for a handle, pierce each ball and then dip it into the melted chocolate. Spoon melted chocolate over balls to coat them, if needed. Set them on the waxed-paper-lined sheet and top each with a peanut half. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Let’s Get Organized! January is the perfect time to get things organized in your home, and this is a quick and easy project that even the kids can make. You might want to make one for every member of your family, line them up on the counter top or on a closet shelf that everyone can reach. That way you’ll have a special place for all those papers that seem to appear as if by magic, when we aren’t looking! What you need: * Scissors * 3 shipping boxes, 11 ½” X 13 ½” X 2 ½” * Packing tape * Wrapping pager or scrapbook paper * Colored duct tape Let’s make it! Cut the flaps from one end of each box. Stack the boxes. If necessary, use scraps of cardboard to level the edges. Seal the boxes together with packing tape. Cover the boxes with wrapping paper or scrapbook paper. Line the raw edges at the front with coordinating colored duct tape. There you have it! A super-simple way to keep all those papers organized. 7


The Night Has Pulled Its Covers Down by Lee E. Shilo When all the night has gone to bed, with dreary, sleepy eyes. When it has pulled its covers down, across a midnight sky. All the land does slumber sweet, and silence falls like snow. In all our dreams of yesteryear, we dreamed of many things. All safe, and warm, tucked in our dreams, of what tomorrow brings. Comfort does, as comfort is, a warm, and sweet embrace. All tucked up in our beds at night, we quickly dream, with haste. Yes the night has pulled its covers down, and it is always said. When the night, makes no more sound, then it has gone to bed.

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Hope by Lynn Mosher Hope…sometimes stuck in our finite brains as wishful thinking, as a “pie in the sky” kind of thing, but… …hope is not wishful thinking! What others say about hope… *Love floods us with hope. ~Jareb Teague *Hope is grief’s best music. ~Author Unknown *Hope is the physician of each misery. ~Irish Proverb *Once you choose hope, anything’s possible. ~Christopher Reeve *Hope is putting faith to work when doubting would be easier. ~Author Unknown *You’ve gotta have hope. Without hope life is meaningless. Without hope life is meaning less and less. ~Author Unknown *Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all. ~Dale Carnegie *When you say a situation or a person is hopeless, you’re slamming the door in the face of God. ~Charles L. Allen So, if hope is not wishful thinking, what is it? It is active participation in trust! Scripture says, “And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady.” (Rom. 5:4 TLB) How does the dictionary define the word ‘hope’? Whether as a noun or a verb, it describes ‘hope’ as the feeling or desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment, as that which is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best, a person or thing in which expectations are centered, to expect with confidence, to believe, trust, or rely, or to cherish a desire with anticipation. How does the New Testament define ‘hope’? Two words are used… *The first word is a noun, ‘elpis,’ which means expectation whether of good or of ill, rarely in a bad sense, fear; in a good sense: expectation of good, hope; and in the Christian sense, joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation. It is always translated (in the KJ) as ‘hope.’ *The other NT word is a verb, ‘elpizo,’ which comes from ‘elpis,’ meaning to expect, confide, or trust. Many times in the KJ, it is translated as ‘trust.’ 9


Of all the usages of the word ‘hope’ in scripture, most are expressed by Paul. He sprinkled his letters and speeches with phrases of hope, such as: * “the hope of salvation” (1 Thess. 5:8) * “in hope of eternal life” (Titus 1:2) * “the hope of your calling” (Eph 4:4) * “the hope of righteousness” (Gal. 5:5) * “the hope which is laid up for you in heaven” (Col. 1:5) * “the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13) “The God of hope” (Rom. 15:13) has authored our hope. And Jesus, as Paul said, is the one “on whom we have set our hope” (2 Cor. 1:10), “Christ in you the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). Many are suffering great challenges right now, extreme health issues, deep financial troubles, devastating grief or loss, and the list goes on. During dark times of adversity, hope keeps us spiritually alive. It brightens our paths and heightens our awareness of the Lord’s presence. Have you misplaced your hope, instead placing it in your finances, job, family, possessions, or spouse? Or have you lost it altogether? We cannot live without hope. Solomon said, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” (Prov. 13:12 NKJV) We need to fortify the hope that God has placed within us. David tells us to “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” (Ps. 31:24 NKJV) Paul also encourages us, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Rom. 5:5 NKJV) No matter what may transpire in my life, I will say as David said to the Lord, “But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more,” (Ps. 71:14 NKJV) and pray as he did, “Uphold me according to Your word, that I may live; and do not let me be ashamed of my hope.” (Ps. 119:116 NKJV) Will you be filled with hope this New Year, no matter what? May I pray for you? Father, I ask that You will touch the lives of those reading this and that You will bring renewed hope to reside in their hearts, giving them trust and strength to cling to You whatever may cross their paths. Fill their lives with health, peace, protection, prosperity, success, comfort, joy, love, and their hearts’ desires. In Jesus’ name I ask this…amen! So be it!

New Year’s blessings, Lynn 10


Winter Crafts to Brighten Up a Snowy Day by Vintage Mama The bustle and busyness of the Christmas season is over, we’ve welcomed the New Year, and now what? It is January, it is cold and snowy, the days are frequently dark and gloomy, so what can we do to brighten up our days? Crafts are always a great way to bring joy to our life, and many craft ideas are easy enough that we can include our kids or grandkids in all of the fun. At our house, we have lots of projects going most of the time, from scrapbooks to art journals, sewing and quilting, drawing and painting, and turning something old into something new. Some of the best inspiration for craft projects can be found right in your own home, neighborhood, community, or back yard. After the holidays, it is fun to replace the festive decorations of the Christmas season with a few sparkly and shimmering decorations that reflect the beauty of winter. Snowflakes, mittens, ice skates, sleds, and trees adorned with glistening snow make ideal themes for winter craft projects. So whether you like to make quilts, scrapbooks, wall hangings, home décor items, or any other type of craft, January is the perfect time to try your hand at another project to brighten up your world on a snowy day. Snow Globes are super simple to make, and you can make them very inexpensively and quickly. The kids can participate in this craft, and you can make yours as extravagant and elegant as you want! Make several and line them up on the fireplace mantle or use a grouping of snow globes as a centerpiece the next time you have a special family supper. You can make several with a similar theme, such as snowmen, evergreen trees, sleds, cottage and sleigh, ice skates, children, or little houses. Or you could make a grouping of snow globes in coordinating colors. Some colors that reflect the beauty of winter (and are a nice change from the reds, greens, and golds of Christmas) are blue, purple, pink, and silver. Gather up your supplies and let’s make a Winter Snow Globe! What you need: * Glass jar with large mouth and lid that seals * Craft paint in your choice of colors * Epoxy or Crazy Glue * Distilled water * Liquid glycerin (can be purchased at a pharmacy or at a craft shop) * Glitter * Artificial snow (can be purchased at a craft shop) * Small figurines, vintage trinkets, buttons, pine cones, or other small items of your choice 11


Let’s make it! Step #1: Paint the lids of your jars, using two coats for complete coverage, in colors of your choice. You can also add glitter to the inside and / or outside of the jar lids for added sparkle! Be sure to allow paint time to dry before attaching figurines or other items. Step #2: When the lids are dry, glue items on the inside of each lid. Let glue dry thoroughly, over night or at least 12 hours. Step #3: After the glue is dry and all items are securely attached to the inside of each jar lid, fill each jar to the top with distilled water. Add ½ tsp of liquid glycerin to the water (to make the glitter or snow fall slowly through the water. Add glitter and / or artificial snow to the water (the amount is up to you, but too much will make it difficult to see your figurines or other items inside the globe). Step #4: Screw the lids on each jar, being careful to hold them over a sink in case the water overflows. You want to be sure that each jar is a full as possible to avoid a large air bubble at the top of the globe. You might want to add a bead of glue around the inside of each lid before you screw it on to be sure it stays securely closed. Shake your little snow globes and see how beautiful they are! Now, line them up on a shelf or the mantle, or group them together on the dining room table for a charming winter decoration for your home.

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My Favorite Excuses (and Five Ways to Eliminate Them!) by Theresa Ceniccola the Christian Mompreneur Have you ever experienced a fleeting moment when your true desire for greatness took up residence in your heart and radiated within you, only to be extinguished in seconds by all of your excuses? It looks a little bit like this: “This is my year! I'm going to run a marathon!” “No, maybe just a 5k… I would never make it 26.2 miles.” Or . . . . “Wouldn't it be amazing to open that boutique I’ve always wanted to own?!”

How to Tell the Difference between Excuses and Legitimate Reasons Trust me when I tell you that I know all about excuses. I’m a rock star when it comes to explaining, justifying and defending my choices to stay stuck in my own overwhelmed mess of a life. Whenever I have one of those enlightening moments, in which I can see clearly where God is calling me to go, I am filled with energy and passion! I am ready to take that leap of faith and I know for certain that He is going to be there for me. That euphoric feeling lasts about 24 hours at most. Then the excuses creep in. Here are some of my favorites:

“But that’s too risky and we don’t have the money to invest.”

“I’m too busy.”

Or . . . .

“My family needs me.”

“I am finally going to write that book that’s just waiting to come out of me!”

“I don’t have the money.”

“Well, maybe I’ll wait until the kids are older – they really need me now.”

“I need to get a degree or certificate first.” “My friends and family wouldn’t approve.”

Sure, they sound like perfectly legitimate reasons for putting our lives on hold. And sometimes God does call on us to serve others and to be good stewards of our resources. But surely he doesn’t call on us to sit backstage forever and watch others step in the spotlight to achieve their goals and dreams while we dampen our own lights.

“I'm not ready yet.” “That’s not the responsible thing to do.” “It will never work.” “Now is just not a good time.”

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What to do When Your Excuses Are Calling the Shots If these excuses sound even vaguely familiar, I want to encourage you to keep reading. Because I don’t profess to be “cured,” but I do know how to recognize – and overcome – the excuses that have held me back in my business. Here are the steps I take when my favorite excuses start to occupy space in my heart and attempt to prevent me from shining my light on others. Five Tips for Extinguishing Your Own Excuses: Dig a little deeper. Ask yourself why the excuse is true for you. Why are you not ready? Why don’t you have time? Why wouldn’t it work? Sometimes when we dig beneath the surface of our resistance, we uncover the source of the problem, which has nothing to do with our original understanding. This happened for me when I told myself I couldn’t let someone else handle the family finances. My excuse was that “nobody else will do it the right way.” What I later discovered to be my real issue was, “I don’t want to let go of control.” (By the way, if you don’t have any control issues, you can stop reading now, because I probably can’t help you!) Turn it around. Choose to believe the opposite is true. Tell yourself that you do have the money and that now is the perfect time. Say it aloud as many times as you need to until you believe it. Write it down and keep it someplace where you can see it every day. If you tell your child she’s great at math, will it make her earn straight A’s? Maybe not…but as a mother, you know it will make her more likely to give it her best and to feel good about herself in the process. You can give yourself that same boost by choosing to believe in your own success.

Create a daily habit. Excuses are like head lice - by the time you can see them, they’ve taken root in your soul and require painstaking attention to eliminate. And they’re quietly infectious, which makes it easy for us to be surrounded by others who feed on our excuses. So we have to be diligent each day in taking action to combat our excuses. What’s ONE thing that you can do to extinguish your own excuse each and every day? If you tell yourself “It will never work,” then perhaps you need to spend ten minutes a day reading inspirational stories and words of wisdom from others who “made it work.” If you think you’re too busy, then maybe you can commit to 30 minutes a day at first. Surely you can create 30 minutes a day to your life purpose! Tell someone. Not just anyone. Share your fears with someone who won’t accept them as truth. Someone who believes in you and sees you in the place you want to be. It’s easy to confide in a “Yes Man” – someone who will agree with you and tell you that you’re doing the right thing by putting your hopes and dreams on the back burner because it’s safe or smart or caring. It’s easy to find validation for our excuses. But what you really need is to be challenged. You need to share your excuses with someone who doesn’t accept them. Who will force you to confront them with gentle but firm compassion? So find someone who can hold you to a higher standard and ask her to do that for you. Pray on it. Don’t assume that your excuses are coming from God just because they are rooted in noble intention. If you’re putting off your business because your family needs your attention, it’s natural to think that God is calling you to be a mother and a wife. And maybe he is. But maybe he has other plans for you – plans that allow you to expand your capacity to serve hundreds (or millions!) of people with the gifts he has bestowed on you. How do you know he isn’t calling you to do more? Or, to do less? Ask. Listen. Trust. What’s your excuse? Have you been putting your business or your dreams on hold for a seemingly logical reason? Can you tell the difference between excuses and reasons in your own life? Share your story with us! 14


Getting Back on Track by Beth Brubaker The holidays are over and the decorations are down (at least for the most part). The past two months have been filled to the brim with activities beyond the norm, and when January hits, we have to go back to our old schedules. Or do we? The New Year brings a feeling of change, and that can also mean changes in our daily grind. Did last year's plan work for you? If it did, you might not want to change things right now, but if you're like me, you can always see a need for change - or at least some tweaking. For instance, I learned I'm much better off scheduling a little bit of everything into each day, rather than setting a different day for each activity. I manage to get a little writing done, some sewing worked on, as well as baking and housework. It keeps my mind from wandering too far, and I like changing things around during the day. Doing one thing all day long would bore me to tears, even if it was something I loved! Having a schedule with a scattering of different jobs throughout the day also allows me to skip a day if I have something else to do like helping a friend in need, or taking the car in for repair. If I missed out on sewing that day, I can always finish up the next day, instead of waiting for another opportunity to sew the next week. Many of my friends like doing things on a certain day. Wash day was on a Monday, Tuesdays were reserved for deep cleaning a certain room, etc. My idea of deep cleaning is to move out, so you know how often I do it! I'm more of a maintainer, so I needed to adjust my schedule accordingly. Whenever I make changes, I try to test them out for at least a week or two before I make a decision to keep the change or ditch it. It's fun for me to see what works and what doesn't, and I make notes of everything I do, just in case someone else gets in the same rut. What works for me might not work for someone else, but that someone would be a perfect fit for the ideas I threw out. So I write down everything and put them in a folder, just in case. I have enough information stored to write several books! Good thing I'm setting aside time each day to write! If you don't have a schedule and find yourself bogged down with too many things to do, you really should make one for yourself. Start out small, and see what works for you, especially if you have a lot of clutter in your house. That alone takes a lot of time and effort to get through, depending on how much you have. Speaking as a borderline hoarder, nip the clutter in the bud as soon as possible! Clutter prevents you from getting back on track, especially after the chaotic holidays. Even if your schedule is a simple list of chores to get done each day, do it, and cross at least one thing off that list. You won't regret it! 15


Mix up a batch of Great-Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Spicy Gingerbread from the kitchen of Vintage Mama As a little girl, I remember the spicy smell of gingerbread baking at my Grandma’s house. Made from the dark molasses that she always kept in her cupboard, the gingerbread quickly became one of my favorite desserts at Grandma’s! Although not as sweet as other cakes and cookies that are found at the holidays, the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg make this oldfashioned dessert perfect for any snowy day . . . . at Grandma’s house or at your house! What you need: 3 ounces butter ½ cup molasses 2 eggs, slightly beaten 1/3 lb. brown sugar 1 Tbsp. baking soda 1 ¼ c. hot water

2 1/3 cup flour 2 tsp. ground ginger 2 tsp. cinnamon ½ tsp. ground cloves ½ tsp. allspice ½ tsp. nutmeg

Melt butter in saucepan and carefully mix in syrup, eggs and brown sugar. Place soda in 2-cup measure and pour hot water over it. Mix in butter-sugar mixture. In large bowl, combine flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg; stir into batter. Pour batter into greased 13-by-9by-2-inch baking pan and bake at 350 degrees about 20 minutes or until firm. Top with almond sauce when cool. Almond Sauce * 1 stick butter * 1 tsp. almond extract * ½ cup powdered sugar In small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter; add almond extract. Blend in sugar and spread over cool gingerbread.

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A Sure Foundation by Deborah McCarragher As a new year approaches, it would be a good time to talk about spiritual “foundations” and what that means for the Christian. A foundation is a prepared base or support for a structure to be built upon. In days of old, when a new building in town was to be constructed, a foundation stone was laid with great fanfare, often in a public ceremony. Many times during a ground-breaking ceremony, a local dignitary would symbolically put a shovel into the dirt and pose for a picture to commemorate the event. The foundation is the most important part of any building. The materials and work on a slab foundation is literally “set in stone”, and has no room for errors. In this type of foundation, wooden forms are built which then hold the poured concrete. A footing trench is dug around the perimeter to provide added thickness along the end of the slab. These edges are stress prone and the weakest point of the foundation. Usually sand or gravel is spread below where the concrete is poured. This technique prevents the slab from sinking under the weight of the concrete. A vapor barrier is usually installed above the sand or gravel, and wire mesh is placed in the center of the slab with rebar (steel rods) in the footing areas to add rigidity and prevent cracking. The following 1st stanza and refrain from this famous hymn passionately conveys this spiritual truth… The Solid Rock - by Edward Mote (c.1834) My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name. Refrain: On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand, All other ground is sinking sand. Scripture tells us that JESUS is the “Chief Cornerstone” of our faith. Isaiah 28:16-17 says, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily. Also I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plummet…” Peter quotes both Isaiah and the Psalms in I Peter 2:6-7. He states, “Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will be no means be put to shame.” Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.”

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In Matthew 21, Jesus tells the parable of the Landowner while He was teaching in the temple. He was speaking to the Chief priests and Pharisees. He then quoted Psalm 118:22-23 and said, “Did you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?” Christ Himself was the Cornerstone of the Church – rejected by the Jews. He came first to the lost sheep of Israel, only to be rejected, mocked and executed by those who heard His message that day. In Acts 4, Peter is preaching to the Sanhedrin, quoting familiar scriptures from Isaiah. He then says, “Nor is there salvation is any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” His audience marveled at his and John’s preaching, noting that they were uneducated and untrained, but yet spoke with great power and boldness. The Apostle Paul takes time in Corinth to teach on the concept of the right foundation. In I Corinthians 3:9-14 Paul explains the importance of a sure and righteous foundation: “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now, if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become manifest; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.” Paul also stressed to his readers that if their work was destroyed by fire, they themselves would be saved, though refined by the flames. Either way – we must be sure our faith and works are built on the solid truth of Jesus Christ and His gospel. The New Year is quickly approaching. This is the point of it all: You need a firm foundation to move ahead as a Christian to effectively reach a lost and perishing world. For some, this Christmas was the beginning of a long and fruitful Christian life. For others, a recommitment to Christ is what is needed. Paul knew and preached that salvation was by faith, through grace alone. He knew that justification was through a belief on Jesus, the Son of God. He taught us to “count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus… that we might know Him and the power of His resurrection.” The New Year brings opportunity for a renewed “God Purpose” – a fine-tuning of our Christian basics. We need to be sure we have a solid biblical foundation to launch out from in 2011. Here are a few things to inspect: Discipleship opportunities and Bible Study Decision making, obedience and submission to God’s leading Discernment, wisdom and stewardship Fellowship, outreach and ministry Charity, hospitality and good works If Jesus came to do a foundation inspection, would you pass the test? 18


Grace calls my name by Keith Wallis

Grace calls my name my name scratched in nail upon His hand my life - a page in a holy book. A path in a mist to a light shrouded in mystery which faith reveals but sight cannot fathom. Grace calls my name in a voice I hear but cannot see yet its touch is holy reality.

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Prepare and Plan for Success in 2012 by Yvonne Carson Wow! I can hardly believe that the year 2011 is fast coming to an end! Did you accomplish what you set out this year? Did you do what you said you would do? Those New Year’s resolutions you made in 2010 for 2011 did you hit the mark? I can honestly say, NO! I did not reach where I wanted to go in 2011! To be completely honest with you, I did not set any significant goals and I sure as heck did not write them down. What about you? The majority of people wait until New Years Day to start planning for what they want to do for the New Year. However, I am getting a head start for the New Year 2012, so when the New Year rolls in I already know what I need to be doing in order to accomplish my dreams and goals. NOW is the time to start some serious planning, strategic planning! People make New Year’s resolutions every year; however, by the end of January or March, all the excitement and momentum has long sense died out! To ensure that this does not happen to you and I, we really must take the time to pray and spend quiet, quality time with God. He knows what you need and what you are planning to accomplish in 2012. God says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13). We really need to take time also to get to know ourselves, the gifts, talents, abilities, and creativity that God placed on the inside of our hearts. It’s time to wake up those dreams and goals that has been lying dormant due to perhaps frustration, disappointment, and lack of support, encouragement, inspiration, and motivation. It’s time to go back and pick up your dreams and take action toward making them come to pass with the help of God and supportive people. Start thinking about what it is that you feel deep inside your heart that God is calling you to do. Pray and ask Him to give you His vision, goals, and plans so that you can write it down, read it, and run with it! “Write the vision, make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it” (Habakkuk 2:2).

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When setting your goals for 2012 and in the years to come, keep these S.M.A.R.T. things in mind as you create your plan of action: • • • • •

S – Specific M – Measurable A – Attainable R – Relevant T – Time Specific

A Specific goal is so clear and concise that there is no room for doubt as to where you’re going. A Measurable goal has a number associated with it that can be tracked. An Attainable goal is one that you are either equipped to accomplish now or will be equipped to accomplish in the foreseeable future. A Relevant goal is one that truly means something to you right now and that supports your vision. A Time Specific goal is tied to an actual time period and feels like a deadline. Your goals need to be based on things that deeply matter to you and are in line with your deeply held values. This will help to keep you motivated, inspired, and focused. Keep these Scriptures in mind during your time of preparing your goals for 2012: During your time of preparation for the New Year, here are some Scriptures to keep in mind: •

Where there is no vision, the people perish (Proverbs 29:18).

Write the vision, and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it (Habakkuk 2:2).

My people are destroyed or lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6).

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5, 6).

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye (Psalms 32:8) About the Author Yvonne Carson is a single mother since the age of 15 and has 3 adult children (27, 32, and 39 years old) and a teenage daughter (17 years old). She was the first to finish high school in her family, earn a college degree, and start a business from home.

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Yvonne is the CEO/Founder of Woman-To-Woman Empowerment Academy, LLC based in Austell, Georgia. Her organization is tentatively set to officially launch in January 2012. She is the author of the forthcoming book “How to Discover and Fulfill Your Purpose from the Inside Out: An Easy Step-by-Step Personal Action Plan and Coaching Guide to Help You Live Your Life With Purpose, Passion, and Fulfillment.” Yvonne is the author of several e-books and 2 children’s books. Yvonne is a licensed minister and a 2-time graduate from Oral Roberts University located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She earned master’s degrees in Divinity and Christian Counseling with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy and is also a Christian Life Purpose Coach, helping women discover their purpose and the obstacles that keep them stuck. She partners with her clients to help them get unstuck and catapult them into the God-given purpose and destiny. Yvonne is passionate about her faith as a believer and follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and loves teaching and preaching God’s Word to bring His love and healing power to all people! Yvonne Carson, M.Div., MA, MFT “Living Purpose-FULLY is not an Accident!” Author of forthcoming book “How to Discover and Fulfill Your Purpose From The Inside Out: A Step-By-Step Personal Action Plan and Coaching Guide to Help You Live Your Life With Purpose, Passion, and Fulfillment.” http://yourlifepurposecoach.com http://wtwea.blogspot.com http://spiritualseedfoodforthesoul.blogspot.com http://empoweredchristiansinglemom.blogspot.com Social Media http://facebook.com/yvonne.carson http://twitter.com/purposecoach1 http://linkedin.com/yvonnecarson

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Create this beautiful handembellished journal for someone special (or for yourself!) by Vintage Mama Perfect to use as a journal, diary, scrapbook, or just a notebook for jotting down thoughts and ideas! Quick, easy, and inexpensive, this notebook will surely become your favorite place to stash your creative ideas for art projects, recipes, quotes, Bible verses, addresses, and anything that inspires you throughout your day. Gather up your supplies and let’s get started! What you need: * Small / medium size blank book, journal, sketchbook, or diary * Fabric scraps to cover the book (you can also cover your book in a large piece of pretty paper) * Various other embellishments such as buttons, beads, lace, ribbons * Craft glue

Step #1: Open the journal / book and lay it on the fabric scrap, with the front and back centered. Cut the fabric approximately 1” – 2” larger on all sides of the open book.

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Step #2: Using your craft glue, carefully wrap the book with the fabric, wrapping the edges to the inside of both the front and back covers. You will want to make square corners and secure the ends of fabric down with glue on the inside of both the front and back covers.

* At the top and bottom of the spine of the book, snip the fabric so that you can tuck a corner under to accommodate the fold of the book.

Step #3: Using coordinating scrapbook paper (cardstock will work best) cut a piece of paper to cover the inside of both the front and back covers. You will want to completely cover the raw edges of the fabric that you used to cover your book.

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Step #4: Add any additional embellishments such as beads and buttons, more lace and ribbons, or whatever you would like on your beautiful hand-embellished book! * I tried various different embellishments because I couldn’t decide which design I liked best. Because I chose the soft ivory baby wale corduroy for my cover, I also added some vintage ivory lace and a rope of gold tone and rhinestone braid. * One embellishment that I added was the two-heart charm as shown in the picture at the top of this tutorial. * Another embellishment came from my jars of vintage buttons. The inside of the journal is blue, so I added a row of vintage blue buttons all along the side. * Then I found some gold tone vintage buttons and scattered them around on the left side of the cover, and then used a single gold tone button on the center right side kind of like a little “door knob.” * In the bottom of my button jar I discovered a vintage gold tone angel pin and thought that might be a fun embellishment! * Finally, I thought I’d try just a simple, single gold tone vintage button on the front. I might attach a ribbon to the back of the journal and bring it around to the front to loop over the button to close this pretty journal. So many different ways you could embellish your journal! Give it a try, and please be sure to send us pictures of your finished project. You can send photos of your hand-embellished journal to editor@rubyforwomen.com and we’ll share them on the Ruby for Women blog and in an upcoming issue of the magazine. 25


Dealing with Life Problems Abba, Father; A Simple Prayer by John Poche “It’s not a matter of if we will experience problems, it’s when.” For most of us, life problems are inevitable. How do we deal with problems related to relationships, marriage, divorce, family employment, work, finances, addiction, health or the death of a loved one? John shares his personal story of how a short prayer and simple praying helped resolve some stressful problems and change his life into happy, joyous and free. He describes the development of his simple prayer plan and numerous experiences of his twenty year prayer journey. He offers many suggestions in hope that his biblicallyinspired simple prayer will help you experience the joy of knowing that God is present and working in your life. It worked for him; maybe it will work for you! http://www.amazon.com/Abba-Father-Simple-PrayerPoche/dp/145074933X/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid= 1321980994&sr=8-1

Be sure to visit

Ruby’s Reading Corner when you are shopping for books! Every purchase you make from Ruby’s Reading Corner helps support the ongoing ministry here at Ruby for Women. The next time you are planning to purchase a book for yourself, for a friend, or for a family member, please consider shopping at Ruby’s Reading Corner. http://astore.amazon.com/rubyforwomenreadingcorner-20

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The Tale of the Towel by Maxine Young The other evening I was watching a television show featuring of one of the most famous people in the United States today. As is common with many shows having studio audiences, a free giveaway was in the works. Unfortunately, but to the surprise of the host, the company which produced the sought after item refused to co-operate; it was a seemingly devastating turn of events. With a lot of cajoling, and perhaps a promise or two, one of the team members was able to talk the company into coming on board thus saving an important section of the show. Upon hearing this wonderful news, the host lifted and then clasped her hands, and seemed to bow her head. One of the people in the room said in surprise - "Are you praying?" to which she responded "No, just overwhelmed, I don't bother God with little things like this, with big things like world peace - sure, but not this." Do you know that God listens to us no matter what? As a matter of fact, I'd venture to say that God has a special place in His heart for our trifles; the little girl who lost her doll, the forgetful dad who lost his keys, and the busy mom who needs an extra hand can always turn to God. He is ready, willing and able to hear all of our requests. You would think that after believing this I, myself, wouldn’t have hesitated to bring one of my own trifles to God... It was my absolute favorite towel, it was a large towel, almost beach towel-sized, and I loved it. I had it since I was 14 years old and it was the first towel that was mine and mine alone! That was more than 15 years ago at this point! No wonder it was so tattered; practically coming apart at the edges, and sprouting loose threads all over the place.

But as I said before it was my favorite towel, and held much sentimental value to me. I would’ve probably been content to use it until it looked more like a wash cloth than a towel. That morning while writing in my prayer journal, I scribbled something at the bottom of the page - "towel.” I looked at it and shook my head would God really care if I got a towel or not? It's just a towel. I even remember mentioning to my sister that I was asking God for a new towel, and explaining how silly it made me feel to write "towel” in my prayer journal. I felt that way because I was sure God had better things to do than to worry about my towel. She said - "No, He's God, He can do anything no matter how big or small". It was the reminder that I needed at that time. For the next few weeks, I would still continue to jot down the word "towel" at the bottom of the page I wrote that day, and I believed God would send me a towel, but I just had no idea how. Looking back, I think I just felt I would be able to scrape up enough money, to get a new one, or that God would send me the money, but every time I was able to go out - I forgot about the towel. One day last week, my father decided to clean out the closet in his bedroom. After 10 minutes he came out to where I was and said, “I have two of these he . . . do you want one?” I looked up and in his hands were two identical towels - I had not even told my father that I needed a new towel, yet here he was offering me a towel!

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I know the Lord was showing me that indeed he does listen to little requests. After about half an hour later, my father came out with a bag, and in it were three new towels (one of which was an almost exact replica of my own 'favorite' towel). I thanked God again and then said to my father – “You know I prayed to God for a towel? I've been praying for one for a few weeks now.”

God DOES care about our “little things,” even when we think they might be inconsequential; God cares. The enemy would have us believe that He does not, that God is too busy handling the universe's other affairs to care, but that is where we have it wrong. Yes, He is the creator of the universe, but He's also our Father, and He cares about everything that we are dealing with.

He just said "Really?" He returned to the room, and 5 minutes later he came back with two more towels - beach towels this time. I was amazed.

The Bible says we should come boldly before His throne, because He's always going to hear you (Hebrews 4:16). We can come boldly because there will always be someone waiting just for you. So be encouraged sister, there is nothing too big for God, but there is also nothing too small for God. It's what makes Him God; there's nothing impossible for Him. © 2011 Maxine Young

God knows that I sometimes take a while to catch on, so in no more than 50 minutes He answered my prayer , not once, not twice, but three times with 6 towels. God didn’t just give me a towel - He gave me a choice of towels. And even though this towel will replace my favorite one, it will be just as prized because it was a gift from both of my fathers.

www.theresaceniccola.com 28


Quiet Time Crossword Puzzle by Beth Brubaker

Answer Key on page 69

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Warm and Cozy . . . . Chicken Noodle Casserole on a Winter’s Day from the kitchen of Ruby for Women Here’s the perfect hot dish casserole recipe for the blustery and snowy days of January. Here in Indiana, we frequently get ice instead of snow, but then when the snow swirls outside our windows, we know that we won’t be going anywhere for a day or two! All that snow on top of icy roads keeps us tucked inside by the fireplace with time for creative cooking, sewing, crafting, and working on scrapbooks. If you have a day like that, give this recipe a try.

Ingredients • • • • • • • • • • • • •

1 package (16 ounces) egg noodles 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped 1 large onion, chopped 1 celery rib, chopped 1/4 cup butter, cubed 2 garlic cloves, minced 1-1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 3 cups chicken broth 3 cups half-and-half cream 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, cubed 12 cups cubed cooked chicken 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons salt

• • • • • •

TOPPING: 1 cup finely crushed cornflakes 2 tablespoons butter, melted 1 tablespoon canola oil 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley 1/2 teaspoon paprika

Directions •

• •

Cook noodles according to package directions; drain. In a large skillet, saute the red pepper, onion and celery in butter until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add mushrooms; cook 2-3 minutes or until tender. Remove vegetables with a slotted spoon; set aside. Add flour to the skillet; stir until blended. Gradually add broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat. Gradually stir in cream. Add the cream cheese; cook and stir until cheese is melted. Remove from the heat. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, salt, noodles, vegetables and cheese sauce. Transfer to two ungreased shallow 3-qt. baking dishes. Combine topping ingredients. Sprinkle over top. Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake 15-20 minutes longer or until bubbly. Yield: 2 casseroles (8-10 servings each).

Modified from a recipe found at www.myrecipes.com 30


Special Delivery by Dr. Yvonne Anderson With the passing of Christmas in the previous month, our memories were drawn to the birth of Jesus as well they should be because amidst all of the tinsel, trees, and toys, Jesus is the reason for the season.

Gabriel also told Mary that the Offspring that would be born of her would come about by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is still a very present Helper who will enable us to do what we cannot do if we will do our part: hear and obey.

Consider the following question: Has God ever asked you to do something that took you by surprise or for which you felt you were unprepared and/or unqualified? You might then ask, “Why me, God?” God’s response to me was, “Why not you?”

Mary realized that she came not to be served but to serve. She understood that someone else’s life (yours, mine, and the rest of the world) depended upon her obedience to comply with the will of God to bring forth that “Special Delivery.”

Mary probably had the same questions come to her mind as she tried to comprehend what Gabriel, the Angel of the Lord, was telling her. She voices her concern by telling Him what she does not have, what she is not. How often have you and I looked at instructions or an assignment from God in light of who we are rather than looking at them through the Light of who He is?

Just think about how different life would have been had Jesus not come into the world. Life begins “in Christ.” Anything outside of Him is artificial. God has given each and every one of us a “Special Delivery.”

Somehow, I don’t think that any of us are a surprise to God. He is our manufacturer, our Creator, and He knows exactly what He’s getting when He commissions us. Gabriel told Mary that she had found favor in the sight of the Lord. God is still releasing favor for those who have a revelation about the set time for their favor being NOW!

In other words, there are people who are waiting for your gifts, talents, and abilities, and at some point in time, they will come across your path. Think about them the next time you are tempted to quit. What a waste and a disservice to mankind when we fail to serve one another as Jesus served us. You may not need to make a “new” New Year’s resolution. Why not recommit to what God has already assigned you, and / or go before Him, and ask Him what His commission is for you in 2012?

Dr. Yvonne Anderson has a teaching ministry and she can be contacted through her website, The Doctor’s Innsite. Please visit her for more uplifting and inspirational articles at www.thedoctorsinnsite.org

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The Knuffle Bunny Books by Mo Willems review by Kendra Peterson The books in the Knuffle Bunny Series are sure to be a hit with your 4-7 year old. The author and illustrator of the three books is Mo Willems. He won a Caldecott award for the first Knuffle Bunny book called: Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale. In this book, Trixie is a one year old and her very favorite Knuffle Bunny is accidentally put in the washing machine at the laundromat. In book two, called: Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity, Trixie is in preschool and takes her Knuffle Bunny to school where the teacher accidentally gets Trixie and Sonja's Knuffle Bunnies mixed up. In the third book, called: Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion, Trixie accidentally leaves her bunny on the plane when her family goes to Holland to visit her grandparents. The illustrations in each of these books are fantastic. He uses black and white photography pictures for the background and painted the characters into the pictures. When I read these books to the kindergarten classes at school, they couldn't wait till the next week to have me read the next one! At the end I printed off pictures of playgrounds, school, buses, parks and the kids picked one picture, glued it to a paper then drew their own characters with colored pencils to be a "Knuffle Bunny Illustrator." They had a lot of fun with this activity, and had their own story to tell with their picture. These books are a great read aloud with your young children. You can look at the illustrations over and over and have a lot of fun reading these together. For more information on the Knuffle Bunny Series, please visit the author’s website at www.mowillemsstuff.blogspot.com

Kendra Peterson is an elementary school librarian and in her spare time, she loves reading to children and helping them learn to read with great books. 32


Winter in the Garden by Aunt Dots January in zone 5 can be very dreary. The sky remains overcast most of the time and the sun seldom shows its face. It’s a good time to check for any repairs that may be needed around the yard such as a fence railing or a bird house the squirrels have chewed on. It’s also a good time to check out second hand shops for garden decorations. A neighbor of a friend buys and sells “stuff.” She handles just about everything. We checked out her shed the other day. I found this bird cage! It’s very unique in that the roof is ceramic. The little doodad on the top is missing, but I’ll find something to stick on there. Next spring I’ll put it on a pole in one of the gardens. Then my husband showed me a wheel he made many years ago for a project, which he doesn’t recall at this time. It’s missing a center part so he attached a round piece of wood from when I made the trellis a couple years ago. He will attach the wheel to the side of the granary where it will show up well against the black tarpaper. Those were both good finds. When we go to Florida I’ll be looking for other unique items. Florida is known for its garage and yard sales. Last year we went to a sale that covered so many acres that they had tractor drawn wagons to carry folks around. In scanning my photo library I came across a picture of the hollyhocks. Hollyhocks have been around for a long time. It is believed the Crusaders brought seeds from China to Great Britain where they are still grown. A painting from the late 1800’s shows hollyhocks in a garden on the Isles of Shoals in Maine. If you have a cottage type garden you’ll need hollyhocks. Cottage type gardens have a very casual appearance where the plants put themselves where they drop their seeds. My perennial garden has been called a cottage garden by visitors, but I call it an out of control garden. Anyway, I saved some seed from a friend’s garden of a dark, dark red hollyhock which I’ll plant this spring. Hollyhocks self seed very well. In fact they overdo it. To prevent this cut the plant back before the seeds ripen and drop in late summer. When you save seed just put them in a glass jar in a cool, dry place. Don’t freeze them. Hollyhocks are a good addition to the back of your garden or along a fence. They will add height and give a background to the garden. They will need plenty of sunshine and don’t let them grow too close together as they are prone to rust fungus which shows up as small orange-red blisters on the undersides of the leaves.

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These infected leaves should be removed and burned. Don’t put them in the compost pile! Japanese beetles can also be a problem. Just pick them off and give them a good firm squeeze. They won’t feel like coming back to bother you. So on these dreary days of winter get out your garden books and plan for the spring. I hope you saved some garden catalogs too. Since I’ll be in Florida ‘till April, I will be planning for spring here in zone 5 of Michigan. I’ll also be checking out the native plants of Florida to beautify our winter home. I’ll let you know what I find. As ever,

Aunt Dots

Super-Duper Simple Fudgey Crinkles Whip up a batch of these yummy cookies, made from just four ingredients, and watch them disappear! Ingredients: 1 box (18 ¼ oz) Devil’s Food Cake Mix (Betty Crocker Super Moist works best) ¼ cup vegetable oil 2 large eggs Confectioner’s Sugar or granulated sugar for rolling out Let’s make it! Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together dry cake mix, vegetable oil, and eggs to make cookie dough. Dust hands with Confectioner’s Sugar and shape dough into 1” balls. Roll balls in Confectioner’s Sugar and place 2” apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes, or until center is just set. Do not over-bake. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire racks. Modified from a recipe found at www.food.com 34


Why Does the Silence Seem So Loud by Keith Wallis Why does the silence seem so loud when 'be still' is Your command ? Why do colours drain from view when seeping sadness encamps around ? 'Why are you downcast, O my soul ?' Trust and sight vie for supremacy, faith and life - arguing foes and the blood upon the battlefield is tears upon my cheek. The only sword within my grasp: the will to follow at Your call, the only rod and staff to clasp is an ensign that won't pall. So all the greys and blacks and blues, drab soulmates of today, in the light of faith and truth will startle and amaze.

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Taxing Circumstances by Elizabeth Baker It couldn’t be true. No way. Charlie stared at the computer screen a moment then commanded the machine to compute the figures a second time. Same answer. How could they owe almost $2,000 more to the government? “Honey,” his wife’s voice mixed with the loud wails of baby Andrew. “Get the baby. I’ve got my hands full trying to get dinner.” Resentment was easy. “Sure,” he answered, “All I am doing is figuring our tax return. I’ve got all the time in the world.” The sound of pans clanging against range burners became louder. Andrew reached up from the crib with a runny nose and tear-wet face. “Ok, little guy. What’s your problem?” Grabbing his daddy’s shirt with surprising strength, the nine-month-old pulled himself into his strong embrace and the pitiful cries instantly turned to intermittent sniffing.“ “Just as I thought. Your only problem is that you want to be near the action.” Charlie wiped the baby’s nose with the edge of a blanket. “Come on, little guy.” Carrying Andrew in one arm and a rolling walker in the other, he returned to the living room kicking toys out of the way with his sock covered feet. It wasn’t easy running a one-man plumbing business from the living room of the smallest house in town and babies made the task almost impossible. Settling Andrew in the walker, Charlie returned to the taxes. Were those receipts for parts added right? He looked at the four inch stack of papers he had already added three times and sighed. Maybe he missed something. He pulled the stack closer and clicked on the calculator: $14.94; $304.27; $1.85 . . . “Charlie, I’m sorry.” He jumped. Mary was standing only inches from his back. He had not even heard her enter the room. “I know I need to do what Dr. Dobson said.” The most frustrating thing about women was the way they made a man feel he had just walked into the middle of a movie and no one told him the plot. Dobson, who? He looked at her blankly, then a ray of light dawned. Oh, yes. The studies they were doing at the church on Sunday nights. But, he still had no idea what she was talking about.

“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?” Matthew 7:9 (NIV) 36


“You know,” she prompted. “Dr. Dobson said; ‘Respect was fundamental to good communication.’ We should really make requests of each other rather than barking commands.” He still didn’t have a clue what she was talking about but breathed a long, “Aw-ha” and smiled and nodded as though he did. “I should have asked you if you were busy and then requested that you get Andrew rather than telling you what to do.” Now that she mentioned it, no wonder he was ticked off. It was Mary’s fault he got mad. That Dobson fellow knew what he was talking about. “It’s all right,” he said feeling gracious. “I forgive you.” His smile was patronizing and Mary wondered if he were joking. Probably not. But, she smiled back at him anyway and gave him a hug before returning into the kitchen. Maybe married life wasn’t so bad. The hug had made him feel warm inside, but the feeling quickly faded when he turned back to the desk. Where had he stopped adding? It didn’t matter because now the LCD screen was black. Dead battery. He retrieved a battery from the back of a drawer and began again: $14.94; $304.27; $1.85 . . . “Ouch!” The hard plastic edge of an infant walker cut into his ankle. Startled, he turned to Andrew with a scowling face and loud voice. “That hurt, buddy boy!” Roughly pulling the baby from the walker he deposited him on the floor with a thump. Andrew looked a bit surprised but was pleased with his new freedom and began crawling toward a red ball. Back at the desk again Charlie tried to add the receipts. It was impossible. Guilt kept him from concentrating. He must be the worst husband and father in the world. He had taken his family out on a limb by starting this business and now they owed the government more than four times the total in their savings account. He was so inadequate he couldn’t even hold his temper when dealing with a baby. Unable to organize his mind, he sat to work organizing the desk. Invoices to the left. Business expenses stacked according to vendor. Paperclips. He pushed a button on the computer and printed off a trial copy of the tax return then studied the pages. There was bound to be a mistake somewhere. Something wet was soaking through his sock. Andrew looked up with a slobbery grin then returned to chewing on his father’s big toe. “Andrew, that’s nasty,” he said shaking his foot free from the toddler’s mouth. Depositing the baby on the other side of the room and offering him a rubber dog to chew on, Charlie returned to the desk. The last line on the print out seemed to glare at him as though written in neon lights. Taxes Due: $1,982. 37


He slapped the papers down hard on the desk. “Lord, have mercy!” The phrase was an empty expression of frustration that meant nothing. It was a habit he had inherited from his father. What would that Dobson fellow say about that? The guilt was creeping back. With a sigh, he picked up the printout once more. “Lord,” he mumbled softly under his breath. “I really didn’t mean it that way. I guess if anyone needs Your mercy, I sure do. I just don’t know how I will explain to Mary about the mess I’ve made of our taxes.” The confession hurt but somehow felt good at the same time. He might have continued his prayer, but a wet sensation was once again soaking through his sock. “Andrew!” He jerked up his right foot and looked down at two bright eyes shining at him from under the desk. “I told you, buddy boy, that’s nasty!” His size ten foot landed with a thud on top of a stack of invoices. “There,” he said with finality. “I’ll bet you won’t be able to reach that high for at least another year.” He scanned the first page of the tax return again. It all looked correct. Maybe he needed to try those receipts one more time. He picked up the stack and put a pencil between his teeth. He would check off each one and set the calculator to print each entry as well as displaying it on the screen. The tactic might have worked, but a warm sensation and tugging at his left foot distracted him. He would never be able to work until both feet were far away from the mouth of that ravenous kid. Charlie draped his left leg over the arm of the chair. Not high enough. Andrew had begun to pull up last week and was already reaching for the sock covered toe. Shifting his weight in the chair, and settling his left foot deftly between the paperclips and a pile of scratch paper, he had just enough room to work on the edge of the desk in front of the keyboard. He began to add again: $14.94; $304.27; $1.85 . . . “Practicing yoga?” Mary’s voice came from the doorway. He glanced up and removed the pencil from his mouth with a slurp. “Kid,” he said nodding toward the small body beneath the desk. “Toes,” He was determined not to lose count again and felt the two words thoroughly explained the situation. Mary laughed. “So, you discovered Andrew’s new trick. He thinks shoes and toes are far better for teething purposes than rubber dogs. Smart kid.” Charlie glanced sideways at her and frowned while counting out loud: “$105.54; $36.99; $5.79…” For the life of him, he could not understand how choosing shoes over rubber dogs made his son “smart.” 38


“Ok, I’ll take Andrew in the kitchen. He can eat Cheerio’s and watch Mama cook.” Mary ducked under her husband’s knee and pulled Andrew from beneath the desk. She stood and held the baby high above her head then made blubbering noises against his exposed tummy bringing waves of giggles from Andrew. “Come with Mama you cute little tax deduction. Let your daddy think.” Charlie waited until Mary disappeared beyond the doorway then threw his feet to the floor with a slap and grabbed the computer keyboard. Babies. Tax deductions. Now, where was that line marked Child Credit? Be Encouraged Today! Sometimes the answer to our problem is so close we overlook it. A little humor can go a long way toward opening our eyes.

Elizabeth Baker is an author and retired counselor drawing on thirty-five years of experience helping individuals apply biblical principles to real-life situations. She currently lives in Pittsburg, Texas where she concentrates on her writing. A widow since her mid 30's, Elizabeth has four grown children, fifteen grandchildren, and six great-grands. You can find Elizabeth’s books at her website at www.elizabethbakerbooks.com

Hot Apple Raspberry Cinnamon Cider This delicious spiced cider blends refreshing raspberry and apple flavors in a pretty punch that's sure to warm up even the snowiest days this winter! Serve in clear glass mugs with additional cinnamon sticks for stirring. Not only yummy but beautiful, too! Ingredients: • • • •

2 quarts sweet apple cider 1 can frozen raspberry cocktail concentrate, thawed 1 or 2 whole cinnamon sticks, broken in half 2 cups frozen raspberries

Let’s make it! In a saucepan, stir together apple cider, raspberry cocktail concentrate and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat to low and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in raspberries and serve directly from the saucepan or transfer to a crock-pot to keep warm. 39


Cinnamon Sugar Soft Pretzels from the kitchen of Vintage Mama The legends surrounding the pretzel date back to the Medieval era when it is believed that in monks baked pretzels in the shape of children praying with their arms folded across the chest. These first pretzels were created and baked especially during the season of Lent, and eventually became the symbol for bakers throughout Medieval Europe. Since that time, there have been many variations on the basic pretzel, from small “loop” shapes to pretzel sticks, and more recently to make them soft, more like yeast bread. When baked this way they make a great snack, and when you embellish them a bit with raisins and cinnamon, everyone will look forward to a treat on a snowy day. Ingredients: • • • • • • • • • • •

3/4 cup raisins 3-3/4 cup all purpose flour 1/4 cup brown sugar 1-1/2 tbsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 2 cups plain yogurt 1 egg 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1 tsp cinnamon 2 tbsp butter

New Year’s Pretzel from Germany

Let’s make it: 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper and grease the paper lightly. 2. Measure the raisins into a bowl and pour boiling water over to cover. Let soak while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. 3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 4. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt and the egg. Pour the yogurt mixture into the flour mixture and stir well until everything is blended. Drain the raisins and add to the dough, mixing well -- the dough will be quite soft. 5. Sprinkle some additional flour onto the counter or table (or wherever you like to work) and turn the dough out onto this floured surface. Knead the dough about 10 to 15 times, just to make it all uniform, then cut into 12 equal pieces. Working with one lump of dough at a time, roll it out into an even rope about 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick. Twist it into a pretzel shape -experiment until you get it right -- and place on the prepared cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining lumps of dough. 6. Stir together the cinnamon and sugar and melt the butter in a small dish. Brush each pretzel with some butter, then sprinkle evenly with cinnamon sugar. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned on top. 40


Do You Think He Wore Slippers? by Kristin Bridgman (As I ponder on the last January 1st we had, I ponder about getting on those attic stairs again. . .) Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall Humpty Dumpty had a great fall All the king’s horses and all the king’s men Could not put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Poor thing! Do you think he was wearing slippers? This silly woman in her slippers had a great fall from the attic stairs She fell over backwards and was about to split hairs But she stuck out her arm and smashed all her bones Oh my goodness, you never heard such moans! Thank goodness I didn’t have king’s horses and king’s men I had Greenview nurses and wonderful doctor men They are the ones who put me back together again. For now I am living on pain pills and prayers And the goodness of people who don’t put on airs. The flowers, so pretty, so good is the food All of this is elevating my pitiful mood. I’m sorry for the poor fella who cracked himself up He probably split his yolk He should have yelled out to Jesus like I did That’s no joke I’ve learned in the good times and bad, the scary and sad All you need to whimper is the name of our Savior Don’t you know it makes Him glad that you thought of Him first And it makes me thankful that He never will waver. It is time to end this little ditty I hope you found it somewhat witty

“I could have been a goner but He said “not yet.” Instead He has given me a time of rest, blessing me more than I could have imagined. New friendships are forming, and older ones are deepening.”

Remember, I wrote this under the influence of drugs But do not worry, they came from Walgreens Not the street corner thugs. I wonder if Jesus ever wore slippers; probably sandals. Whatever His foot covering, I know He never slipped. He was surefooted in everything He said and did because He walked so closely with the Father. I’m sure a lot of us slip here and there in life, whether it be in tongue or thought, or whatever misfortunate thing we let out of control.

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It is a comfort to know the One I follow is surefooted and I can always count on Him to catch me when I fall and carry me when I need those strong arms underneath me. Yes, I fell off the stairs, but I believe he carried me to my arm because I was headed to the garage floor with my head. I could have been a goner but He said “not yet.” Instead He has given me a time of rest, blessing me more than I could have imagined. New friendships are forming, older ones are deepening. January 1st, I would have said having a mangled wrist and arm was no blessing, but God, once again has brought good from something that seemed so bad. So I will try not to complain too much, for the blessings far outweigh the pain. The devil might have laughed that January night, but God is getting all the glory for this story! As for Humpty Dumpty and me…I think we should stay off of high places and keep our feet on the ground. (I smile as I get up my courage and face those stairs once again. With God, all things are possible.)

www.vintageimagecraft.com 42


The Visionary by Pamela S. Thibodeaux A visionary is someone who sees into the future. Taylor Forrestier sees into the past but only as it pertains to her work. Hailed by her peers as “a visionary with an instinct for beauty and an eye for the unique” Taylor is undoubtedly a brilliant architect and gifted designer. But she and twin brother Trevor, share more than a successful business. The two share a childhood wrought with lies and deceit and the kind of abuse that’s disturbingly prevalent in today’s society. Can the love of God and the power of His grace and mercy free the twins from their past and open their hearts to the good plan and the future He has for their lives? Find out in . . . The Visionary . . . . where the awesome power of God’s love heals the most wounded of souls. Pamela S. Thibodeaux is multi-published in fiction and non-fiction. Her writing has been tagged as “Inspirational with an Edge!” and reviewed as “Steamier and grittier than the typical Christian without decreasing the message.” She is the Co-founder and a member of the Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. As a former member of American Christian Fiction Writers (formerly ACRW), Golden Triangle Writers Guild, Coeur de Louisiane and RWA, Pam won Coeur’s 1999 “Diamond In The Rough” as well as their 2000 “Ruby” Award and received her RWA Pro Pin in 2001. A committed Christian, she firmly believes in God and His promises. God is very real to her and she feels that people today need and want to hear more of His truths wherever they can glean them. Although her writing is Inspirational, she does her best to encourage readers to develop a personal relationship with God. The deepest desire of her heart is to glorify God and to get His message of faith, trust and forgiveness to a hurting world. Her hope is that all of her stories will touch the lives of everyone who reads them and – in some way – bring them a truer knowledge of God and urge them into a closer walk with Him. Pamela has extensive experience in speaking on a wide variety of topics related to writing as well as women’s issues. To invite Pam to speak at your luncheon or event, email her at: pthib07@gmail.com http://pamelathibodeaux.com/ & http://pamswildroseblog.blogspot.com/ 43


“Bright Hopes” Bible Block Sampler by Laura Brandt of “Wentworth County Quiltworks” “Bright Hopes” is block #4 in the Bible Block Sampler Sew-Along by Laura Brandt. Titus 2:13, Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:14, Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. There is no hope brighter than that found in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, if we’ve been truly saved and born again according to John 1:12. The old hymn says, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand.” If you can use some encouragement, take a look at the various mentions of the word “hope” in the Bible! The Bright Hopes block was published in the Silver Anniversary issue of the Farm Journal and Farmer’s Wife, in 1945. I’ve used five fabrics for mine, a nice assortment of purple and yellow. This is an excellent block for beginners. Please note: all seams are ¼”; final block is 12.5” unfinished

Step 1 – Cut your fabric according to diagram above. 44


Step 2 – With right sides together, sew one Fabric A square to the Fabric D rectangle, along the 4.5” edge. Press seam.

Step 3 - With right sides together, sew one Fabric B square to the Fabric E rectangle, also along the 4.5” edge. Press seam.

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Step 4 – With right sides together, sew the other Fabric B square to the Fabric C square and press seam.

Step 5 – With right sides together, sew the second Fabric A square to the opposite edge of the Fabric C square. Press seam.

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Step 6 – Lay out your three rows as shown below:

Step 7 - With right sides together, sew your Rectangle D strip to your centre strip, aligning your two Fabric A squares side by side at the top.

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Step 8 - Repeat with your Fabric E strip along the other edge of the centre strip, aligning your two Fabric B squares side by side at the bottom and you are done!

Wentworth County Quiltworks Bible quilt updates and a growing Bible Block-of-the-Month collection

Visit Laura and follow along as she creates her Bible Block-of-the-Month Collection! www.wentworthcountyquiltworks.com 48


Sudoku Puzzle by Beth Brubaker

Answer Key on page 70

This Space is For Sale! If you would like to advertise in an upcoming issue of Ruby for Women, please contact Angela Morris, Ruby for Women Advertising Administrator amorris@rubyforwomen.com for all the details 49


Where fitness, nutrition, and support equal success for you in 2012! http://beachbodycoach.com/esuite/home/BlessedandFit#

I'm Christena Hammes, married to my best-friend. We met at the Outside Inn so God could change us from the Inside Out!! We have two beautiful daughters (Lena and Amanda) two son-in-laws (Cameron and Justin) and one amazing Granddaughter (Savannah Jo). I never knew what the Father's love was all about until I had children of my own. They really do hold your heart and forgiveness comes easy. http://beachbodycoach.com/esuite/home/BlessedandFit# 50


Are you a Nag-ivator? by Amanda Johnson Back in October I went on a nine day road trip with my sister-in-law, Sarah. We drove about 12 hours each day all over New England. We had a road atlas, Internet maps, and Sarah’s GPS on her phone. While I drove, Sarah served as navigator and when Sarah drove I served as navigator. We were in good hands and having a blast, but somewhere along the way our navigating techniques turned into a new role we called nag-ivating. A navigator is someone who “directs” or “manages” others and in our case it was the one giving the driver directions. Over the course of those nine days, Sarah and I managed to get ourselves turned around a few times. There were some tense moments when the navigator was at the center of the investigation as to why we were going the wrong way! We were getting frustrated with each other’s directions and we really started to nag one another. To laugh it off and keep focus, Sarah and I nicknamed ourselves nagivators. Thankfully, through our nag-ivating we laughed away the frustration and enjoyed a great trip together, but it’s not always like that. It’s no fun to be a nag or to have someone else nagging us. In reading through several New Year’s articles, I came across various stories about planning for the future and navigating through the New Year. When I saw the word navigate, I couldn’t help but ask myself if I was navigating through life listening to the ultimate navigator – God – or if I was nag-ivating? Was I really seeking God’s guidance and direction for my future or was I talking back and nagging Him about what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go, and how I planned on getting there? We often find ourselves nagging or complaining because we’re so unsure of where God may lead us. We need to remember that He will never lead us in the wrong direction or send us down a path He cannot get us through. We also need to know that He does care about our dreams and goals in life, but He wants us to entrust them under His care and direction. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Isaiah 30:21 tells us “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ’This is the way; walk in it.’” There’s no need to be a nag-ivator when we place our trust in the Lord’s direction and care. He knows what lies ahead and He knows exactly how to navigate us through it. He will show us His way if we will ask, listen, and follow.

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I feel a deafness by Keith Wallis Why do I put up the shutters bar the door and hide when you knock at my door ? How can I ignore the gentle tapping of your broken hand on the fragile strength of my self-sufficiency ? Why do I look away every time you take up your position on the cross of my life ? I stand beneath your splintered tree again and wait impatiently as always before. Questioning all I know, afraid to discard the dreams, terrified of closing my eyes to dream again. Why, when all I know of you is love, truth and tender caring, do I desire to hide in the dark corners of my life when you offer me yours ?

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Creative Silk Painting at the EWM Studio by Kausar Iqbal History of Silk: Silk: Silk is a beautiful gift from nature, and painting on silk can be traced back to 3000 B.C. when we first see evidence of the rearing of silk worms. The Silk Roads of Asia established some of the earliest of ancient trading methods. In the past centuries, the purpose was to acquire silk, as yarns and fabrics were not always readily available at prices that would make them accessible. Silk reached Europe by means of the 6,210 mile long silk route. This route extends from China through Central Asia to India and into Syria, which was part of the Roman Empire. In the beginning, the Chinese maintained a great deal of secrecy surrounding the manufacture of silk thread. In fact, death was the penalty for betraying the secrets of silk production. In this way, China protected its silk monopoly for two thousand years. But eventually silk reached into different parts of the world. Many silk artists migrated to France, where their fabric painting skills allowed them to make a living through their artistry. The silk painting technique lent itself especially well to the art of the deco look then flourishing in France. Until 1940, the sources of silk material and the techniques of silk painting were guarded by Russian artists and their French protĂŠgĂŠs. With the proliferation of new dyes and the resist technique, this delightful medium became available to the public. Thus, silk painting has become a medium for artists as well as a hobby for the non-artist. Painting on silk can be intimidating, involving a great deal of artistic ability, as well as a sizeable investment in both time and money.

Facts about silk fabrics: fabrics:

The quality of silk material depends not only on the fibers and the processing, but also on the method of weaving.

Types of weaving * Plain weave is the simplest method, and has the smallest possible pattern. The weave is smooth and looks the same from both sides, found in such fabrics as chiffon, georgette, crepe de chine, taffeta, and silk.

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* In twill weave, each weft thread goes over several warp threads before being woven underneath. Lines can be seen on the surface of the weave within a shape of z-shape as in twill. * In the sateen weave, the crossover points are not regular but scattered all over the weave. The weave is comparatively light and soft, in fabrics such as satin and satin crepe.

Testing colors on silk fabrics: fabrics: Testing of colors on silk is very important as various colors affect each fabric in a different way. The color spreads out according to the thickness of the material and the composition f the weave. An example of this is when a drop of color spreads across a much larger area of a fine fabric than on a thick and coarse fabric. This is important for the silk painter because it means that the thickness of the silk must be taken into account when calculating the quality of color to use in each project.

Tips on caring for silk: silk: Silk is a sensitive natural material. Before you begin to paint on silk, there are several points to consider: * If the material contains any finishing agent, the paints tend to run off the surface, so these types of fabrics should be washed before painting. * Silk should be hand-washed in lukewarm water using light washing powder. After washing, rinse thoroughly in warm water. To brighten the colors, add a little white vinegar to the final rinse. * The water should be gently squeezed out of the fabric, the roll the fabric in thick, absorbent cotton towel and squeezed out again, but do not wring. It is best if you iron it immediately. * Freshly painted and treated fabrics should be left for a couple of days before washing, and painted silk fabrics should always be washed separately. * Iron silk while it’s still fairly wet; use the wool setting on your iron. Make sure you don’t use the steam feature as this will make the silk shine. After ironing, leave silk to cool.

Silk dyes and paints: paints:

Dyes are applied to silk fabrics using an exciting array of water color techniques. The brilliant translucent colors merge to become an integral part of the fabric which always remains soft to the touch. Silk painting is not static, but movement and fluidity are the hallmarks of this art form. If you really want vibrant colors for your silk, you will want to use steam-set dyes. Then you will not have to over-paint. It really isn’t all that difficult to steam a scarf. All you need is a pot and perhaps a vegetable steamer to raise your fabric above the water. A bamboo steamer also works nicely is so easy. Just wrap your scarf in brown paper or cotton fabric, then place in the steamer for a few hours on simmer. In my next series on silk painting, you will learn about the techniques used in this type of painting. 54


To order “The Recipe Box� by Morgan Von Gunten, visit her website at iWoman Magazine http://iwomanmag.com/recipes

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Ask Beth by Beth Brubaker

Dear Beth, I'm having a hard time keeping the food bills down. Do you have any suggestions for cutting costs?

-Flustered Dear Flustered, Yes, I do! In fact, I've found a lot of ways to cut costs, both large and small that will have immediate results, as well as long term savings - if you're willing to invest in them. ● Cut

out fast-food and make meals at home. You'd be amazed at how much you can spend on fast food - even if it's the dollar menu! If you find your family eating fast food a lot, break out those cookbooks and start cooking at home. Not only is it cheaper, but it's better for you too, because you know what's going into it! ● Watch

for sales at the supermarket. There are some great deals to be found in those circulars, so give them a good read before you go. Don't limit yourself to one store if you can help it - I've been known to visit three if they had the stuff that I wanted on sale!

Just make sure the trip is worth it - it won't do you any good to spend more on gas getting to a store that only has one sale item you wanted!

● Clip

coupons or learn to extreme coupon. If you have the time to spare (and it's a fulltime job, really), extreme couponing might be the way to go- but beware! Many of the foods that have coupons are filled with stuff that isn't good for you. Clip carefully, keeping nutrition in mind. It will be worth it. ● Get

a membership to a bulk food store like Sam's or BJ's. Not everything is a bargain (so be careful when spending!) and see what items can be bought bulk and stored (like paper goods and meats). If you can't afford the card fees, ask a friend to take you in as a guest- That way you can get a few items every month (or few months) instead of weekly and not drain the coffers doing so. ● Buy

from a farmer's market instead of the supermarket. Not only do they have fruits and veggies fresh from the local farms, but it's cheaper. Just remember not to buy too much at a time to prevent spoilage. ● Don't

buy packaged meals. Instead, take your leftovers (and make sure you make extra so there are leftovers!) and turn them into frozen meals on the go - all you need to do is invest in single serving microwaveable containers. Fill them, stack them up and you have lunch for the next few days - at almost no extra cost! ● Look

into getting a freezer- a used one can come fairly cheap, and you'll be able to store your freezeable bulk buys (like meats, fruits and vegetables). Fill it when things are going well, so when things are tight, you can live off what you stored.

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● Repack

foods to save freezer space for bulk buys. You don't need to defrost ten chicken breasts for a family of four, so when you bring those bulk foods home, repack them in plastic bags for more convenient use later.

● Homemade

soups and stews can be stretched with adding pasta, rice, beans (in a can), or potatoes to the broth. This is especially good if you have leftover rice or beans from last night's meal!

Divide the package into usable portions (say 2-4 chicken breasts per bag, depending on your needs) and flatten them out before sticking them in the freezer. Flattening them not only lessens the space taken up by the bags, but also keeps the meat from being a big lump of frozen rock and will thaw more evenly. ● Make

larger meals and freeze half so bulk buys won't spoil. Soups, stews, casseroles and one-dish wonders can be doubled and put into two dishes instead of one. Freeze the second (you can freeze it baked or unbaked, but you need to bake anything with raw eggs in it) so you can use it when there's little time to make dinner. Just take it out the night before to thaw in the fridge (or that morning on the counter if you forgot!) and stick it in the oven at 350 degrees for 1-2 hours before dinnertime. ● If

you have canned soups, stretch them out by adding rice, pasta, or leftover vegetables to the broth. You can feed a family of four on one can that way!

● Bake

your own bread. Did you know it costs about forty cents a loaf to make your own bread? If you have a lot of bread lovers in the family, it would definitely be worth it to bake it when you can. You can also make rolls, biscuits, buns, pizza crust and breadsticks! To save time, make several loaves at once, and freeze them after they are completely cool. These are tips I use every day, and they've done me wonders! I hope these tips will help you out too. God bless!

~~ Beth

Ruby Pearls January 2012 Quips and Falls “The quickest way for a parent to get a child's attention is to sit down and look comfortable.” -Lane Olinghouse, writer “Human beings are the only creatures that allow their children to come home.” -Bill Cosby, entertainer “If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done at the library?” - Lily Tomlin 57


Print out and color your own January, 2012 Calendar

www.familycrafts.about.com 58


Make these Whimsical HandPainted Sneakers to brighten up a winter day! There are lots of ways to embellish a pair of plain white sneakers, so use your imagination and create your own polkadot, stripe, or curli-cue designs for yourself, for the kids, the grandkids, the neighbor kids . . . . . everyone will love these adorable one-of-a-kind sneakers. What you need: * Newspaper * Clean canvas sneakers * Fabric or acrylic craft paint * Artist paintbrushes * Fabric paint pens Let’s make it: Gather your supplies and cover your work surface with newspaper. Using the fabric paints and paint pens, and your imagination, decorate the sneakers. You can make circles, or squares, or houses and trees, a rainbow, a dog, a cat, write your name, make polka-dots or stripes, or anything else you can think of! When you are finished painting, let the first coat or “layer” dry for 24 hours before adding additional images on top of original design. You can add several layers for a more intricate design. For more fun wearable art craft project ideas, please visit www.365daysofcrafts.com

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Warm up your tummy with this family favorite Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff from the kitchen of Vintage Mama Fill your kitchen with the delicious aroma of beef stroganoff simmering in the crock pot all day long, and the whole family will be looking forward to supper time. Perfect for a cold winter day – put it all together in the morning and let it slow cook until it’s time for supper. Serve with warm muffins or quick bread, a salad, and apple crisp and this will surely become a family favorite! What you need: * 2 lbs. beef sirloin tips, cut into 1” cubes

* 1 bay leaf

* 1 onion, chopped

* 2 cups beef broth

* 3 cloves garlic, minced

* 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

* 1 pkg. (8 oz.) mushrooms, sliced

* 8 oz. carton sour cream

* 1 tsp dried marjoram leaves

* 2 Tbsp mustard

* ½ tsp salt

* ¼ cup flour

* 1 tsp dried thyme leaves

* ¼ cup water

* 1/8 tsp pepper Let’s make it: Combine everything except sour cream, mustard, flour, and water in a 3 ½ quart slow cooker. Cook on low heat for 8 – 10 hours or on high for 4 – 5 hours. Remove and discard bay leaf. Combine sour cream, mustard, flour, and water in medium bowl and mix well, using wire whisk. Add 1 cup of the hot broth from the crock pot to the sour cream mixture and stir until combined. Return this mixture to the crock pot and stir well. Cover crock pot and cook on high for an additional 20 – 30 minutes, until thickened and bubbly. Serve over hot, cooked egg noodles. Makes 6 servings.

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Life moves on by Keith Wallis Life moves on, its spanning pace out strides me breathless I wonder if I take a rest will I catch up or fondle into dust. Life moves on, it takes me in its slipstream into its mountains, the gradient steepening with age. Life moves on and its cacophony gets louder with each cascade of changes. I long for the silent words, the still-crisp air of the mountain top and the smile on the face of a child.

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Safety at the Pharmacy by Maxine Young Although we strive to live healthy lives via the nature that God has provided us, there may be times in life where we must use the services of a pharmacy in order to fill a prescription. I recently went through an experience that although (hopefully) not common, does happen. It turned out that the medicine prescribed by my doctor was mistakenly doubled on the medicine label provided by the pharmacy. If I had taken it, the results could’ve been disastrous. Pharmacists are human, and often overworked. Mistakes will be made, but we should perhaps do as much as we can to make filling prescriptions a bit safer. Here are a few tips that I hope will help you to avoid this kind of scare. 1. Read and understand the doctor’s prescription. Please do not feel it is a burden to ask your doctor to take the time to explain the medication he/she is prescribing. It is after all, your body. I will include a checklist of some of the information you should know about your medication at the end of the article. 2. Check your prescription! Before you leave the pharmacy, take one moment to go through and read what you have received. Is the dose correct? Are the instructions correct? Do they mirror the instructions you spoke about with your doctor? If your pharmacy provides you with a visual description of the medication, check what’s in the bottle – does it match? 3. Be sure to read the medication information and inserts. It may seem like a bother, but if taking 5 minutes to read some information saves your life. It’s worth it! 4. Get involved! Become a part of your own healthcare provider. We should try to be vigilant about our health care and the medications we are prescribed. We must understand that we cannot fully rely on the doctor or pharmacist to take care of our bodies. It is important to be an active part of the process. Safety at the Pharmacy Here is a checklist of some information you need to know about prescribed medication: A. The name of the medication and what it does What is the name of this medication? Why is it prescribed? What does it do? How is it supposed to help me? Is this medication age appropriate? 62


(This may seem like a strange question, but when I was a child; my doctor prescribed a medication that was for adults. The pharmacist also somehow missed this very important fact, and the next day I was in distress with a tear in the lining of my stomach, of course that was a very, long time ago. Hopefully things are different now!) B. How to take the medication – dosage and frequency How often should I take this medication? How much of the medication are you prescribing? What time of day should I take the medicine? C. Are there special instructions for this medication? Should I take it before or after a meal? Are there any foods I should avoid while taking this medication? Will this medication interfere with any other medicines I’m taking? D. Side Effects What are the side effects? Is there any way to avoid or treat them? If you feel your doctor has not explained these points with you – be sure to ask the pharmacist. © 2010 Maxine Young

You are invited to join Katherine’s Corner Book Club At Katherine’s Corner you connect with other book lovers and share a new story every month! Every month Katie will post a new book list and you get to vote for your favorite. Then, together we will read the selected book and discuss it via the Book Club page at Katherine’s Corner blog. Once a month a new book will be chosen and you can leave comments on the Book Club page throughout the month. A new book vote will be posted on the 15th of every month. The Book Club at Katherine’s Corner is a “no obligation” book club! Just read the book with the other members of the club and share your thoughts with one another. Settle in, read along, and leave comments on the book whenever the mood strikes you. Once a month is all the commitment needed. The fun part is that you can make comments throughout the month so you don’t have to keep your thoughts on the book silent until a specific meeting date. If you would like to join the Book Club at Katherine’s Corner, simply visit Katie at www.katherinescorner.com and sign up! Then, if you wan to help promote the book club, you can grab the button code to paste into your blog sidebar. You can find the code and all of the details at Katherine’s Corner. 63


The Assignment by Elizabeth Baker “I’m not sure when it started,” the angel Rachel began.“ Probably Bible College. They made a lot of noise in those years about doing ‘big’ things for God. You know, ‘Jesus has a wonderful plan for your life!’ that sort of thing.” “Is that bad?” JaKobe’s eyebrows drew slightly higher and the tilt of his head followed. “Don’t be absurd,” she defended. “But how often have you seen a human who knew what a ‘big thing’ or a ‘wonderful plan’ might look like in ordinary life?” .... It’s been seven hundred years since the warrior, JaKobe, worked on earth but when his curiosity is piqued by Rachael’s strange request, he knows time has come to return. Follow his angelic adventure as he fills an assignment others have shunned. As you view an ordinary Sunday through angel eyes, a new world of possibilities will open. It’s a view that just might change your own ordinary Sunday’s as well! Reader Comments: “I love the whole angel interaction thing. I think you have a strong premise. . . By the way, I loved the whole intro and the way JaKobe decided to enter back into the human world.” — Jim Rubart (Author who read the script) “I enjoyed the book and found the characters to be very life-like, believable, and easy to identify with. The whole concept of angels waging spiritual warfare around us without our awareness is an exciting one and you portray it very well” — Janet Ann Collins (Author who evaluated the script) “This book is very deep and meaningful and has great potential to explain the deeper issues of our faith to those whose faith wavers and who don’t understand spiritual struggles in the church. … At times there are flashes of brilliance and understanding that took my breath away. Your writing is excellent and your characters very alive and real.” — Deborah Dunn (Author who evaluated the script) “[The book] just reaches out and pulls you in. I couldn’t put it down.” — Mike (reader) “I can’t wait to read the book again” -- Toyne (reader) “Are you planning on writing a sequel...or perhaps a series? I could have continued reading and reading....I especially enjoyed the chapter with the angels praising God. I printed that portion off and used it in my quiet time with the Lord this morning during adoration. I have written the praises in my journal for future use in prayer. ” — Penny (reader) 64


Mission Possible by Deborah McCarragher Deborah began her journey of creative writing soon after coming to know Jesus Christ as her personal Savior in 1989. She uses her spiritual gifts of encouragement and teaching in her home church. She is also a small business owner of over twenty years. Her primary goal is to share her personal testimony with others while bringing hope and practical help through her book. She and her husband have one married son serving in the US Military. They reside in north Florida. Mission Possible is a unique book in the Christian marketplace. It addresses a subject that is often overlooked and misunderstood. It is a candid look at my struggles and quest to reach my husband for Christ. It applies Scripture and biblical principles to everyday struggles encountered within a spiritually mismatched marriage. Mission Possible won the 2010 Readers Favorite Gold Seal Award for best Christian Non-Fiction book, and was nominated for the Christian Small Publisher’s Assoc. Book of the Year Award in 2009 http://www.Twitter.com/debitsdeb http://www.Facebook.com/Godmissionpossible http://www.Godmissionpossible.blogspot.com

www.katherinescorner.com

Shopping for books this winter? Be sure to visit the Christian Book website and click through the button on the Ruby for Women community site. Every purchase you make helps support the ministry of Ruby for Women! http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/home?event=AFF&p=1164946

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More Vintage Paper Dolls from the collection of Vintage Mama

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The Ruby for Women community is a great place to meet new friends, share prayer requests, chat about your favorite books, recipes and crafts! Winter is a wonderful time to try out new recipes! Here in the Kitchen of Ruby for Women we will be posting new recipes weekly and we would love to have you share some of your favorite winter recipes with us, too! http://rubyforwomen.ning.com/group/fromthekitchenofruby

As we enter a brand-new year, let's work together to support one another in pursuing our dreams and goals of building our online businesses. Please post your website or online business banner or logo in the Ruby Shopkeepers group so we can share your information with all of the members of the Ruby for Women community. http://rubyforwomen.ning.com/group/rubyshopkeepers

Do you have a blog? We would love to have you share links to your latest blog posts so that we can tell all of the members of the Ruby for Women community all about it! Please visit us in our Girls Who Blog group. http://rubyforwomen.ning.com/group/girlswhoblog

In our prayer request group, we pray for one another and uphold each other before our Heavenly Father. Please join us at We Are Praying for You and let us know how we can pray for you. http://rubyforwomen.ning.com/group/weareprayingforyou 67


The power of the stirring of dust by Keith wallis

At that moment, the instant before all hell cried vengeance, the writing found its mark, striking hammer hard. Frowning faces fading to fear, shame and the need to hide. Law is law brittle, uncompromising, condemning and unflinching. Sure of itself, beyond testing, questioning or a spirit of truth. He sat there quietly stirring the dust with a stick that pierced defenses surer than the sharpest sword. No spoken words, no vitriolic accusation of tongue, no pointed finger nor slanted glance, just the stirring of dust. They all slinked away to their personal depravities holding their wounds in pincered grip; indicted by inner voices a jury released by stirred dust. He sat there, no vestige of a smile, stirring the world with words in dust. The words changed, lust becoming love as the breeze rearranged shadows. “Sister where are those who condemn ?� His words still stir the dust and hearts of lust return to love. 68


Quiet Time Crossword Puzzle Answer Key by Beth Brubaker

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Sudoku Puzzle Answer Key by Beth Brubaker

This Space is For Sale! If you would like to advertise in an upcoming issue of Ruby for Women, please contact Angela Morris, Ruby for Women Advertising Administrator amorris@rubyforwomen.com for all the details 70


Real Pretty Pics by Angela Morris http://www.zazzle.com/realprettypics

www.mamaslittletreasures.etsy.com

Keepsakes by Katherine where every day is a special occasion! www.keepsakesbykatherine.etsy.com

A River of Small Stones by Keith Wallis A beautiful and inspirational book of poetry, perfect for gift-giving this Christmas season Poems written as “small stones,� polished moments of paying proper attention to life Available at www.ariverofstones.blogspot.com 71


Nana's BIG Storybook by Sheila WatsonWatson-Kraklow A collection of three of the most popular children's stories and rhymes written by Sheila Watson Kraklow, plus a bonus new story; they are all filled with the illustrations of Sheila Watson Kraklow. 131 pages Color Illustrations Complete Bible references included Ages: 5-12 Read-to-me bedtime or read alone Visit DoveQuill Publishing to order “Nana’s BIG Storybook” http://www.dove-quill-publishing.com/Nana-s-BIG-Storybook.html

Discovery House Publishers Feeding the Soul with the Word of God

Visit Discovery House Publishers at www.dhp.org

www.vintageimagecraft.com 72


A Garden of Love by Thomas B. Clarke An endearing gift book for the Christian woman who enjoys flowers www.bible-discernments.com www.prayergardeners.blogspot.com

Ruby for Women is searching for . . . Questions! We need your help! Ruby is looking for questions in the following areas: * “Ask Beth” * “Ask a Silly Question” Can you give us a hand? Please send your questions to Beth Brubaker at bethatruby@aol.com with one of the two titles in the subject line of your email. Your response is very much appreciated!

A Friend in Need … Is there something you need, but just can't seem to find? Are you looking for a recipe, a store location, or the best places to go in a certain area? Do you have an item you would like to give to someone, but no one near you needs it? Send your requests into the magazine (bethatruby@aol.com) with 'A Friend in Need' in the subject line and we'll publish it for you! When making a request, please include a current email address for a direct reply. Those who are answering queries are to correspond to the posted email address directly, and not to the staff of Ruby for Women. Items offered must be free (except for shipping costs, agreed to be paid by the receiving party unless otherwise agreed upon by the giver and receiver). All postal regulations must be followed. Ruby for Women can not be responsible for shipping costs or lost items.

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Introducing the Ruby for Women Administrative Team Over the past two years, the ministry of Ruby for Women has grown into a full-time ministry for several women here in the Ruby community. We have been blessed to be able to partner with women from all over the United States in the work of Ruby for Women, and we are currently in the process of adding four new administrators to our team. If you would be interested in joining the Ruby for Women administrative team, please email our assistant editor, Amanda Johnson, at ajohnson@rubyforwomen.com Here are the current members of the Ruby for Women Administrative team: Sr. Editor, Nina Newton Assistant Editor, Amanda Johnson Advertising Administrator, Angela Morris Affiliate Administrator and Pastor at Ruby for Women, Carol Mokry Creative Consultant and Graphic Designer, Katherine Corrigan Would you like to advertise with Ruby for Women? Please contact Angela Morris, Advertising Administrator, at amorris@rubyforwomen.com for all of the details on our new advertising packages. We would be honored to share your family-friendly, home-based business with our readers.

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Abundant Comfort and Grace Inspirational Poetry by Connie Arnold www.conniearnold.blogspot.com

Thank you to Laura Brandt of Wentworth County Quiltworks for sharing her Bible Block Sampler with the Ruby for Women community! www.wentworthcountyquiltworks.com

http://shilocom.com/

www.compelling-creations.com/cathiegarnier 75


Meet the Ruby for Women Writers Aunt Dots, Master Gardener Aunt Dots has been writing for Ruby for Women since the very beginning. Her love for gardening started early in her life: “I believe I got my love for growing flowers from my mother. She had a large flower garden with annuals and dahlias. I had my first flower garden after I married and we lived in a garden apartment. I planted seeds in a small 4 X 6 plot in front. Then we moved to a house trailer next to my mother where I had annuals.” She now has perennial gardens, rose gardens, grape vines, asparagus, currants, gooseberries, walnut trees, apple trees, and hazelnut trees. In the winter months, Aunt Dots sews, making quilts that she has donated to a Mennonite Relief auction. She has also made hand-made paper and greeting cards with pressed flowers. In her “spare” time, Aunt Dots volunteers two afternoons a week at a nursing home, as well as serving on the mission board at her church and teaching an adult Sunday school class.

Scott Henderson, Vintage Image Crafts Scott is the creator of Vintage Image Crafts, a website where vintage images are the inspiration behind all of the crafts and scrapbooking projects. From the romantic to the whimsical, Victorian and turn-of-the-century illustrations can give your creativity a distinctive touch. These classic illustrations and photographs are rich in color, artistic technique and symbolism. This bygone art captures the essence of life’s highlights - holidays, celebrations and sentiments – vividly. You can find Scott at www.vintageimagecrafts.com

Beth Brubaker, Footprints in the Mud and Ask Beth Beth is the “Family Fun” editor here in the Ruby for Women community. She is a mother of two very active kids whose antics are sprinkled liberally in her columns. She has been married for 13 years to her Knight in Shining Armor, and she is delighted to share with us that they still hold hands in public! Her day job is working as a fabric artist, a homemaker, and a writer. Beth will be writing humorous articles about life in general, puzzles, and an advice column that is based on readers’ questions, as well as sharing hints and tips for everyday life that she comes across in her travels between her laundry room, living room, and kitchen. Don’t miss Beth’s columns in every issue of Ruby for Women! You can read more of Beth’s posts on her blog, “Footprints in the Mud” at www.footprintsinthemudblog.blogspot.com or email her at bethatruby@aol.com

Laura Brandt is the owner of Wentworth County Quiltworks and a child of the King whose one desire is to please the Lord. She quilts and maintains her website and her blog, as well as serving as a Moderator at Authorized Version Bible Believers Fellowship forum. She’s also edited books for up-and-coming Christian authors. Visit Laura at her new quilting website, www.wentworthcountyquiltworks.com, her blog, http://laurasthoughtsonscripture.blogspot.com, or the forum at http://avbbf.com. 76


Lynn Mosher, Devotions Since the year 2000, Lynn Mosher has lived with fibromyalgia and other physical conditions. During this time, the Lord placed the desire in her heart to write for Him. Now, armed with God’s purpose for her life and a new passion, she reaches out to others to encourage and comfort them through her writing, giving God all the glory. She lives with her husband in their empty nest in Kentucky. On occasion, their three offspring, who have flown the coop, come to visit, accompanied by a son-in-law and three granddaughters. Visit Lynn at her blog, Heading Home, at www.lynnmosher.blogspot.com

Carol Mokry, Affiliate Administrator, Ruby for Women

“Jesus found me 37 years ago and we have been walking together ever since. He has been my help, hope and strength as I have walked through dark miles of trials and adversity. First and foremost I am a woman called to follow Jesus Christ. I am a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a credentialed minister with the Assemblies of God. It is my relationship with God that has made me who I am today. In all these things I can say if God is for me who can be against me, I am more than a conqueror in Him who loves me!”

Lee E. Shilo, Poetry and Short Stories I live on Vancouver Island, in Victoria, Canada, with my loving wife Elisabeth, paranoid cat, and crazy dog. I enjoy writing Poetry, Children Stories, Fantasy/Fiction, and especially (Believe It Or Not) stories. I have been writing professionally for close to 20 years, and have numerous Published Books / eBooks in that time. At present I am retired, but used to work in the print industry producing Wide Format Displays for Conferences and stuff. As well as being my passion, writing affords me some release of daily frustrations and everyday tensions. www.shilocom.com

Katherine Corrigan, Recipes and Crafts Hello, my name is Katherine. I am an open minded and spiritual person who strives to always maintain a positive attitude and greet each new day with grace, dignity and gratitude. I’m honored to meet you and to call you friend! I am originally from England and now living in the US. I have had the privilege of living in, and visiting, several different countries throughout my lifetime. I hold a rare dual citizenship with the UK and the USA, and I am a proud citizen of both. I work very hard to create designs for my shops and to provide an entertaining and informative website and blog. I hope you’ll stop by. Hugs, Katherine www.madeitforyou.com www.giftsbykatherine.com www.katherinescorner.com

Jennifer Cirka, Crochet Patterns and Recipes Jennifer Cirka, the designer behind Jaybird Designs, is never without a hook and some yarn in her hands! This Crochet Guild of America recognized Professional Crochet Designer has a book of her girls’ sweater designs with Leisure Arts and has been featured in major crochet magazines such as Crochet Today, Interweave Crochet, and Crochet World, with more publications coming out each year! www.jaybirddesigns.com www.jaybirddesigns.blogspot.com www.etsy.com/shop/JaybirdDesigns

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Theresa Ceniccola

is The Christian Mompreneur, a Mentor to Moms Who are Running a Business that Supports Faith and Family. She empowers entrepreneurial moms to build profitable businesses with wisdom and grace through the Christian Mompreneur Mastermind program and her professional Marketing services, which include copywriting, marketing and strategy consulting and private coaching. www.theresaceniccola.com.

Maxine Young I was born into a Christian family, attended church every week and Church schools even, but it is now as an adult that I am truly learning how to have a personal relationship with the Lord. You can read more of Maxine’s articles and posts on her blog, Hope and Writing http://hopeandwriting.blogspot.com/

Kristin Bridgman

I’ve been married to a very sweet, patient, loving man for 29 years. I’ve been a mom to two sons I love with all my heart for 22 years. I’ve been a born again Christian loving the Lord for 36 years. I home schooled for 14 years. I’m just an ordinary woman who lives for an extraordinary God. http://www.ponderingsbykris.blogspot.com

Yvonne Anderson, The Doctor’s Innsite I have been called to teach. It is one of the five-fold ministry gifts with Jesus as the Master Teacher. For a while, I had forgotten that teaching is a ministry. God allowed me to take some time of to regain my focus. I know today that teaching is my ministry and that I am called, anointed, and appointed to this field to further His Kingdom. .Connie Arnold, Poetry lives in North Carolina, is married and has two children and three grandchildren. In coping with lupus, fibromyalgia and other difficulties, she has turned to the Lord for inspiration and offers her inspirational poetry to offer encouragement, comfort and hope to others who are suffering. She is the author of Beautiful Moments of Joy and Peace, Abiding Hope and Love, and Abundant Comfort and Grace plus a new 2012 inspirational calendar, Glimpses of Grace. She also writes for children and is the author of Animal Sound Mix-up and has two other children’s books under contract. You can visit Connie at www.conniearnold.webs.com or her blog, www.conniearnold.blogspot.com

Sheila Watson, Kraklow, Guest Writer, DoveQuill Publishers Sheila is the author of several books, including “Nana’s Great BIG Storybook,” and “A Mission for Leedle Burro,” as well as a cookbook filled with her “sassy recipe” articles. Sheila is also the owner of DoveQuill Publishing Company. www.dove-quill-publishing.com

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Deborah McCarragher, Devotional Contributor Deborah is the author of a Christian inspirational book for women titled “Mission Possible”. The book addresses living in a spiritually-uneven household. You can visit her website at www.AlabasterBoxPublishing.com for more information about her book.

Kendra Peterson has been married to Brad for 21 years. They attend Big Lake Church of God, and they have twin daughters, Rachel and Allissa, who are age 19 and in college. Kendra is a librarian at West Noble Primary School in Ligonier, Indiana for grades K-1. She loves reading to children and helping them learn to read with great books. In her spare time, she loves to camp and ride their Gold Wing around the countryside, and she loves spending time with family.

Angela Blake Morris, Advertising Administrator, Ruby for Women I am a fairly new Christian led to Christ by a friend and my daughter’s insistence that we go to church. That began a journey for me that has been awesome and inspiring. I now have my own blog page where we seek to lift up stay-at-home moms and homeschooling families, Chronicles of Christian Moms. http://csahm.webs.com

Charlotte Siems is a home-maker, home manager, T-Tapp Trainer, teacher, speaker and author. Her story of losing over 100 pounds with T-Tapp has encouraged thousands of people all over the world. She specializes in making home management and T-Tapp "doable" for real people and real life. She is happy to be a wife and mother of twelve children whom she has successfully taught at home for 25 years. Visit Charlotte and read more of her blog posts at www.charlottesiems.com

Scarlett Von Gunten, CEO & Editor of iWoman Magazine. For more information or to contact Scarlett, please visit her at www.iwomanmag.com

Elizabeth Baker is an author and retired counselor drawing on thirty-five years of experience helping individuals apply biblical principles to real-life situations. She currently lives in Pittsburg, Texas where she concentrates on her writing. A widow since her mid 30's, Elizabeth has four grown children, fifteen grandchildren, and six great-grands. You can find Elizabeth’s books at her website at www.elizabethbakerbooks.com

Yvonne Carson is a single mother since the age of 15 and has 3 adult children (27, 32, and 39 years old) and a teenage daughter (17 years old). She was the first to finish high school in her family, earn a college degree, and start a business from home.

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Keith Wallis, Poetry Keith Wallis is an English poet. He is a senior part of the leadership team of Houghton Regis Baptist church. An engineering designer by trade, he brings a eye for detail as well as faith into his poetry. As well as being ‘poet in residence’ at Ruby ezine, he is a moderator at ChristianWriters.com. His blog of ekphrasic poetry is: http://wordsculptures-keith.blogspot.com/ where you’ll also find links to his books and his other blogs. Married to Val in 1970, he has two sons and three grandsons. The eldest grandson is disabled and cannot communicate verbally. Though not an ‘academic’ (school was a disaster) he was always fond of writing. He began submitting work for publication in the 1980’s after being encouraged by a community writer in residence.

Kausar Iqbal, East World Market and CD Crafts East World Market actively supports arts and crafts in Pakistan. We market creative products by underprivileged women internationally, and help them to become self-sufficient. The artisans on our team come from many small cities across the nation and are trained in a broad range of crafts. By channeling their talents, these artisans have managed to make a viable living for themselves, and have grown in their respective specializations. Now, EWM aims to showcase them actively in the American and international markets.

Amanda Johnson, Assistant Editor Amanda has been writing for Ruby for Women for the past year, and she has been a free-lance writer for several years, beginning her writing career as a young teenager. She also works for Love Unveiled, a ministry to women in undeveloped countries around the world. Amanda brings experience as well as a passion for ministry to the work of Ruby for Women, and she has a heart for reaching out and touching the hearts and lives of women everywhere. Amanda will be working with all of our writers on their submissions, as well as assisting in keeping the Ruby for Women blog and website up-to-date with new information daily.

Nina Newton, Sr. Editor When all of my four older children were in school, I returned to college as a “nontraditional 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. Gracie is 11 years old and Annie is 9. They were both born in China, and we were able to travel to China two times to bring our daughters home. We live in northern Indiana in a small farming community where I work from my home office. For the past six years I have been designing and creating children’s clothing and various crafts. I began writing ebook patterns for my designs in 2007, and have several patterns available for sale on You Can Make This at www.youcanmakethis.com . I have also been a free-lance writer for many years, writing for two local newspapers when we lived in Michigan. My personal blog is at www.mamaslittletreasures.com where I frequently post tutorials and patterns for crafts and other sewing projects, as well as weekly reflections on life as a woman, wife, mother, and daughter of the King.

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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 for Women may be reproduced, copied, or shared without the permission of the author. Advertising information is available at www.rubyforwomen.com/advertise Questions? Email Nina @ editor@rubyforwomen.com or Amanda @ ajohnson@rubyforwomen.com Ruby for Women is published by rubyforwomen.com All submission inquiries should be directed to Nina Newton, Sr. Editor Ruby for Women editor@rubyforwomen.com or Amanda Johnson, Assistant Editor ajohnson@rubyforwomen.com Advertising inquiries should be directed to Angela Morris at amorris@rubyforwomen.com Graphic design by Jorim http://jorimslist.com/portfolio Web Design and Creative Consultant, Katherine Corrigan of Made It For You www.madeitforyou.com Please visit our community website at www.rubyforwomen.ning.com to see how you can help support the ministry of Ruby for Women. Special thanks to Scott and Martin of Vintage Image Craft for sharing their amazing craft ideas with the Ruby for Women community!

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Ruby for Women, January, 2012