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Moms and Sons, a Time to Laugh by Lisa J. Radcliff

The Accidental Editor Waiting for Retreat by Helen Ellis

Interview with Nina Newton, Sr. Editor, RUBY magazine by Joan Leotta

Mothering our Mothers by Joan Leotta Getting Rid of the Clutter! by Norma C. Mezoe

After The Storm by Pat Jeanne Davis

A Hug Sent From God

Wild Horses and Storms

by Norma C. Mezoe

by Shara Bueler-Repka

Running the Race by Judith Vander Wege

Sunset on the Sea by Stacie Eirich

RUBY Magazine

In This Issue of RUBY

Your voice, your story JUNE, 2018 Inside the Bible by Nancy Frantel

Complete Guide to Money by Dave Ramsey Book Review by Carol Peterson

Summer has arrived! Here at RUBY magazine and community we are working hard to bring you great family-friendly resources every month. We would love to have you share your summer crafts and recipes with us so we can include them in an upcoming issue of RUBY magazine.

Happily Doing Marriage Wrong by Lisa J. Radcliff

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

Summer Fun! Watermelon DIY Projects

Senior Editor: Nina Newton Editorial Assistant: Theresa Begin Feature Writers: Sharon L. Patterson, Norma C. Mezoe, Shara Bueler-Repka, Joan Leotta, Lisa J. Radcliff, Jehn Kubiak, Susan Paulus, Nancy Frantel, Cindy Evans, Judith Vander Wege, Stacie Eirich, Michele Morin, Pat Jeanne Davis, SE Johnson, Rejetta Morse, Carol Peterson

Summer Snacks for Kids of all Ages

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

Creating beautiful designs and dĂŠcor for your graceful home

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

Looking to the Future, Remembering the Past Handmade and refashioned garments and accessories from Tatters to Treasures

The Accidental Editor Interview with Nina Newton, Sr. Editor, RUBY magazine

by Joan Leotta A few weeks ago, one of our regular contributors, Joan Leotta, suggested that we include an article about me. Me? Who would be interested in knowing about me? But after I thought about it a while, I realized that we probably do have lots of readers and some of our writers who don’t know the history of RUBY magazine and how this ministry came about. So, here is Joan’s interview with me, Nina Newton, Sr. Editor, RUBY magazine. I hope you enjoy learning a bit about RUBY! When did you start RUBY Magazine? Actually, I didn’t start RUBY magazine. It was started back in 2007 or 2008 by another woman who began with a newsletter that she created for her friends and family. The name of her newsletter was Ruby Women, and it included devotionals, craft and quilt patterns, recipes, and humorous articles. I connected with her in 2009 after I lost my job at a local bank when they closed all of the branches in our area, and she asked me if I would be interested in helping her do some marketing and promotion for her little “ezine.” At that time, it was a PDF file that she would create and send to the people on her mailing list. At the time, that sounded like a good thing to do, in light of the fact that I was not working away from home, and I kind of like to write and do that kind of stuff – so I agreed to help out. Within just a few weeks, however, she emailed me and said that she was having some health issues and would no longer be able to keep the Ruby Women ezine going unless she could find someone who would be interested in taking on the full responsibility of publishing it. Well, why not, I thought.

So in 2009 I took over as the senior editor for Ruby Women ezine. It didn’t take long for it to begin to grow and develop into a full-fledged online magazine with writers from all across the USA as well as several other English-speaking countries. In September of 2009 we expanded our readership when we began publishing RUBY as a digital document, available on the RUBY blog, as a monthly publication. The ministry of RUBY continued to grow with more and more writers and readers until in the summer of 2016 we began making RUBY magazine available as a print publication. It is still published monthly, and we have over 120 writers who have contributed to our magazine as well as over 600,000 impressions over the lifetime of our publication. RUBY magazine is a small publication, with limited resources, but God has continued to use this ministry to reach and touch the lives of thousands of women around the world. Today we continue to publish both the online digital document as well as a print publication every month. The digital document is always available for FREE to read online on the RUBY blog, and the print publication is available for purchase through Amazon each month. Did it grow out of your other business? (Tell us a little about that too) No, it was quite unexpected that this ministry opportunity presented itself to me when I wasn’t looking! My other businesses include free-lance writing, editing, and teaching as well as adjunct instructor of writing at a local Christian university. In addition I have recently started working as an ESL teacher for children in China. That is a perfect job for me, as it allows me to work from home where I continue to be a “stay-at-home-mom” with our two teen-age daughters.

I also have an Etsy shop where I design and create refashioned garments, shoes, and accessories for women and children. Along with a few other “hobbies” wihich keep me busy most days! What is the editorial philosophy of the magazine? How does the magazine’s philosophy line up with your Christian world view? That’s a great question! Since this was all quite unexpected for me, I just picked up where the other editor left off . . . devotionals, short stories, crafts, recipes, book reviews, inspirational articles, and humorous pieces. As things have evolved, I have felt very comfortable with the direction RUBY magazine has taken. I like to describe RUBY as a Christian Women’s Day magazine. We offer advice, encouragement, and inspiration primarily for the woman in her home, for whom the primary ministry in life is her family. Of course we have readers who are single, and women who are not mothers, women who are moms and grandmas, and all different ages. But our focus is on the traditional woman who finds her greatest joy and fulfillment in her ministry within her home and family. What do you want readers to see in the magazine? Is it a tool to help them grow closer to Christ? Our primary objective is to encourage women to realize that their ministry within their home and with their family, for many, is the greatest service they can offer to God. So, we want our readers to grow closer to Christ through the inspirational articles and devotionals, and offer all Christian women a voice where they can tell their own stories. It is primarily a platform for Christian women to express the stories that God has given them to be a blessing to other women. The magazine is beautiful. What made you decide to go to a four-color magazine? Because the original magazine / newsletter was designed to be not only informational but inspirational, it just seemed natural to go with a full-color design. In the beginning, when RUBY was an online digital publication, it was easy to create it with an artistic feel. When we decided to put the magazine into print, having an aesthetically attractive publication was a consideration that was important for the continuity of the image of RUBY.

I think the answer to this question is . . . . because I think it’s pretty like this! Where do you get your art? Do you work with specific artists? Do you do the art placement (layouts) and cover design yourself? Again, many things have come together out of necessity, including the art work. I have found numerous websites where I can obtain images for free, sometimes I purchase art work, and frequently we have contributors who send in art work. I try to find just the right image for every article that we include in each issue, so that our writers know that their work is respected and appreciated. Yes, I create the layout of each issue myself. I choose the cover image and do all of the text placement. It might be interesting to note that I am not a trained graphic designer, so I’m pretty sure there are easier ways of doing what I do each month to create RUBY magazine, but I do the best I can with my experience and resourcefulness, and I think it usually turns out pretty good! I know you have a basic core of freelancers, but are you open to other submissions as well? Absolutely! We are always open to new contributors, especially because our primary focus and reason for existence is to offer Christian women a voice. Our vision is somewhat different from other publications, as I’ve discovered over the past several years of attending writers’ conferences and connecting with other writers, some traditionally published and some just getting started.

We are not looking for “perfection.” We are listening to stories. Every woman has a story, and often times those stories are lost when the voice doesn’t quite measure up to some standard that some editor somewhere has determined to be good enough. So, we want to hear every woman’s story, even if she has not achieved a high level of eloquent expression, grammatically correct sentence structure, syntactically excellent phrasing, or an artistic turn of phrase. I teach college students to write, and I have also edited numerous fiction books, so I understand how important all of these technical skills are for a writer. But if we don’t capture the stories, we truly miss so much of our heritage.

You publish articles, devotionals, poetry, reviews, food articles, DIY, crafts, and even some fiction—how do you select the mix for each issue? Another great question! Each month I encourage writers of all ages and writing skill levels to submit articles for an upcoming issue. Then I go with what comes in. Usually we have several inspirational articles, a couple of book reviews, several poems, sometimes a short story or two, and occasionally an article on fun things to do with a family or a few recipes or a new craft project. That’s one of the things I enjoy the most about putting each issue together. There is such a variety of articles that we receive, and that keeps it interesting, I think, for our readers. What advice would you give to a writer of any particular type who wants to publish their work with you? In addition to the guidelines, of course. The most important thing when submitting an article for publication in RUBY magazine is to just send it in! I know that writers are afraid of rejection, but here at RUBY magazine we WANT to hear your story. We have a place for YOUR voice, so send me an email and let’s talk! I love to meet new writers. You can always email me at

Are you the only editor? Yes, at the minute I am. I have had help from assistant editors in the past, for which I am truly grateful, but it is a lot of work and a lot of time commitment, and since we do not have any funding sources, these have not been paid positions. I have been designing and creating RUBY magazine for over nine years and I have never received any financial compensation. All of the expenses for keeping the ministry of RUBY going have come directly from my family’s household budget. So we keep expenses low, and pray that God will bring someone along who shares the vision for this work and who also shares the passion that I have for providing a platform for Christian women to tell their stories.

Do you have an editorial calendar? Themed issues? Nothing that is rigid. We, of course, go with the flow of the seasons, so the December issue will always focus on Christmas, and the May issue will always focus on Mother’s Day, and the September issue will always include back-to-school articles as well as harvest recipes. That kind of thing. We really are rather low-key and if something comes in that isn’t quite right for one issue, we’ll save it for another issue. What do you look for in a writer? As previously mentioned, I am looking for an honest, heartfelt, sincere story. That’s the main ingredient for getting an article published in RUBY magazine. I’m an editor. That’s what I do. I can help a writer with things like split infinitives, dangling participles, and prepositional phrases.

What I can’t create on my own is YOUR story. Everyone has a story, and that’s what we’re looking for in a writer. Someone who feels God has called them to share their story with other women so that in our struggles we might be an encouragement to one another. What publishing organizations do you belong to in order to promote the magazine? The only place other than our own social media sites that we promote the magazine is And even then I am not always able to keep up with the promotional aspects of this project. Sharmelle Olson continues to help me with that by keeping the RUBY Facebook group and community updated, but I have not had time to do as much promotion and marketing as I would like.

How many subscribers to you have? How has the number of subscriptions / readers grown since the magazine began?

That’s another area of this ministry that needs someone else to come along side and share the vision and the goals of RUBY.

We do not have subscribers for a couple of reasons. One reason is that it would be difficult to encourage people to subscribe to a magazine that they can’t see ahead of time.

What are some other ways you promote the magazine?

When you go into a grocery store and pick up a magazine, you might decide to purchase it once you see what is in it and see that there are articles that interest you.

Primarily we promote the magazine on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+. Right now, Ruby is free—do you intend to sell ads at some point? RUBY is free to read online. It always has been and, as long as I am the editor, it always will be. The objective is to get the stories and the words of encouragement and hope into the hearts and minds of as many women as possible. The print publication, however, is available for purchase each month from Amazon. It is typically priced at $8.99 which covers the cost of publication. There is no profit in the sale of RUBY magazine. We do have opportunities for advertisers in RUBY magazine, of course for family-friendly businesses, but this again is an area that I have not had time to pursue. I would love to have a few advertisers each month to help offset the cost of publication, but at this time that would require more “woman power” than I currently have available.

Because RUBY is a digital document, on the one hand, it doesn’t seem that people would subscribe to our magazine if we restricted it only to those who paid for it. On the other hand, to set up a system for subscriptions to the print publication would, again, require more time, energy, and expense than we have available at this time. It would require keeping track of all the subscribers, and then purchasing the magazines and paying shipping costs to my office, and then repackaging each magazine to the individual subscriber, and then paying shipping costs again to send out the individual magazines. I’ve given it a lot of thought, but right now subscriptions are just not a possibility. Thank you, Joan, for suggesting this interview. There is a lot of information here about the ministry of RUBY magazine and community; I hope our readers find it interesting!

Where are the Monarch Butterflies? by Rejetta Morse They flitter as they float like a joyful, happy song. The fragile Monarch butterflies fly north with strength so strong. As orange gems in the sky, over the distant seas, they hope to find Milkweeds as they fly in the gentle breeze. Soon as their journey ends, they fly over the flowers. Where are the tall purple Milkweeds? They search for many hours. Once they find Milkweeds they flutter down to land, onto their pods to lay their eggs – on tiny legs they stand. With no eyelids, they rest with no sleep through the night. They crawl inside fresh blades of grass until the morning light. They flitter as they float, in a poisonous atmosphere, with bright new wings of radiant angels they rise and disappear.

Planting the Bean by Stacie Eirich My son pulls on his blue rain boots, telling me of ladybugs, aphids and Holland flowers, swinging through the spring breeze. “Today I got picked.” he says “for the treasure chest.” He asks for new rain boots in fire colors: red, orange, yellow, sliding, climbing, kicking balls across the grass. Running out to the green swings, he checks to see if his bean is growing, brought home from Kindergarten class in its paper cup. Birds chatter in the breeze, dogs bark, breaking the quiet. He finds the best spot, plants his bean, pressing the dirt down with his hands. He rushes in to get a cup of water, brings it to his little bean, watering the soil so it will grow. His own garden of a childhood spring day. He shows his big sister, they swing beside one another, laughing together in the late afternoon sun.

After The Storm by Pat Jeanne Davis

The weather forecast called for a sunny, dry day, so my husband and I and our son decided to go on a picnic. Later, while walking a favorite trail along the creek, a storm arose. My family dashed for the car, thankful for its protection. We drove out of the valley and onto the main highway, homeward bound. As we got closer, the sky revealed a spectacular rainbow in front of us. “The sign of the covenant God made, a promise to never again destroy with a flood,” my son said from the backseat. The weather forecaster had gotten it wrong. Our Heavenly Father's predictions, however, are never in error. The summer storm, with its destructive potential of lightening, thunder, strong winds, and heavy downpour, is comparable to the darkening times in which we live. As I looked into the clearing sky and gazed upon that rainbow of promise, the word “hope” sprang to mind—the certainty that what God has promised is true, has occurred, and will happen in accordance with His Word. In 2 Corinthians 1:20, the Apostle Paul says, “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen. . . .” Hope is never a static or passive thing. Look up the word, and you will find reference after reference pointing out the active results in the lives of those who truly have a biblical hope and live accordingly. Such a hope doesn’t leave us idle, drifting or throwing up our hands. Be Hopeful A biblical hope is not an escape from reality or from our problems. At times a stressful situation is not of our making and is out of our control.

Perhaps your family, your business, your own hopes and dreams are crumbling around you. These are days when we must place our hope in God alone. Belief in a sovereign, loving God gives us the insight to know what is true, and we do not lose hope amid life's disappointments and setbacks. Our hope will be based on God's promises. It will be dynamic and life sustaining. Today, as in the days of Noah, wickedness is rampant; warnings are refused. Waywardness will be recompensed. But if we dwell on the news that is so readily available, we can become disheartened by the extent of evil. The fabric of society appears to be ripping apart, a time foretold in God's Word (2 Timothy 3; Luke 21:25, 26). As the world self-destructs, its violence born from Godless roots, we can turn to Psalm 91:5 for assurance: “You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day. . . .” Only when we call to mind the Word of the Lord do we find peace and hope for the future. The Prophet Jeremiah knew this source of hope: “O the Hope of Israel, his Savior in time of trouble . . .” (Jeremiah 14:8). Be Obedient Jeremiah had a most difficult message to deliver. He loved Judah, but he loved God much more. The Book of Jeremiah records the final prophecies to Judah, warning of oncoming destruction if the nation did not repent. The prophet calls out for the people to turn back to God, “Yet they did not obey or incline their ear . . .” (7:24). He recognized the inevitability of Judah’s destruction due to its unrepentant idolatry and immorality.

As painful as it was for Jeremiah to deliver a consistent message of judgment to his own people, he obeyed what God told him to do and say. We too are to obey even when it is difficult to trust in God's perfect plan. Jeremiah reminds us, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord . . .” (17:7). Be Praising The consequences of sin and disobedience were severe for Israel. God allowed the Babylonians to besiege, plunder, and destroy the city of Jerusalem. Solomon’s Temple, which had stood approximately four hundred years, was burned to the ground. God reveals through this story that a lifestyle apart from His commands leaves us destitute and lost. Jeremiah, an eyewitness to these events, is credited with writing Lamentations. This book consists of five heart-wrenching cries of anguish because the Chaldeans had broken down the terraces and completely destroyed the walls of Jerusalem. The third lament stands alone as a song of praise in the midst of misery and crumbling ruins. There in the middle of the book is Jeremiah's song of hope: Jerusalem would be rebuilt because God's mercy and compassion never fail; they are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22, 24).

Be Expectant Today the consequences of sin and disobedience surround us. The systems of this world are not based on Christ's righteousness. We live in a time when institutions, including the family, are falling apart around us. These are desolate times. We too weep for the destruction and loss of life we see. But the Lord is not slack concerning his promises. Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophecy in Jeremiah 23:5, 6. The prophet describes Him as a Branch from the house of David, the King who would reign in wisdom and righteousness. Just as Jeremiah did, we must place our hope in God. His great faithfulness will carry us through this great time of trouble upon the earth. When our Lord's disciples inquired as to what would be the sign of His coming, Jesus describes all the things that must come to pass before the end of the age (Matthew 24). Our Lord instructs us to watch and pray so that day does not take us unawares. While we await the further revealing of God's purposes, we can say with a strong and confident expectation, “Nevertheless, we, according to His promise, look for a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13). And while we wait for the storm to clear, we can live as we should—expecting, praising, obeying, and hoping.

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

Running the Race

Running the Race by Judith Vander Wege “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, that [we] will not grow weary and lose heart,” (Heb. 12:2a & 3b, NIV). As a Christian writer, I have often grown weary and become discouraged. Besides the struggle to express thoughts and research in a clear way, marketing is difficult. Rejection letters are a normal part of the job. Someone told me, “When you have enough rejection letters to paper your wall, then you are a real writer.” The idea is that a 'real' writer can't not write. A real writer doesn't quit, but perseveres in his/her calling. A real writer keeps 'running the race.' Hebrews 12:1 says that because we are surrounded by witnesses, we should throw off hindrances and besetting sins, running “the race marked out for us.” Witnesses could be angels, demons, or humans (on earth or heaven). We are often hindered and tempted to quit, yet we want to complete the task or mission God marked out for us. How can we overcome discouragement and persevere to the end? We can't by our own power. But if we focus on Jesus, thinking about what we've learned about him through the Bible, Sunday School and church, and trust him, he will encourage us and guide us to write the messages he has called us to write, or to do whatever he has called us to do. Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for your encouragement and strength to “run the race.” Thought for the Day: Focusing on Jesus gives us courage to complete his calling.

A Hug Sent From God by Norma C. Mezoe Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort…. 2 Corinthians 1:3 (KJV) After undergoing surgery, I developed a large blood clot. Then, my heart went out of rhythm and my lower lungs collapsed. What was to have been an overnight stay in the hospital, became a week. The stress to my mind and body took its toll. When my daughter, Jean, visited me in the hospital, the floodgate opened and the tears rolled down my cheeks. Jean wrapped me in her loving arms and encouraged me, “Get it out.” When I told my cousin, Janet, what Jean had done, she exclaimed, “Oh, that’s just what I prayed for! I asked God to reach down and give you a big hug.” God used Jean to answer Janet’s prayer. The first line in a poem by Annie Johnson Flint states, “Christ has no hands but our hands to do His work today….” Sometimes we are not willing to be His hands because we think we don’t have time. Colleen was one of those people. She was busy, trying to get her work done, when an inner voice said, “Go visit Bertha.” The experience was so real that she answered, “I will not!” But when the voice nudged her once again, she realized God was speaking through His Holy Spirit and she obeyed. Bertha was an older woman who was lonely and she didn’t think anyone cared for her. Colleen was able to assure her this wasn’t true. The following week, Bertha was seriously injured and spent the remainder of her life in a nursing home, unable to communicate because of a brain injury. How thankful Colleen was that she had obeyed that inner voice and responded by being the hands of Christ. God wants to use us in various ways, but first we must be willing to follow His leading. It may be something as simple as giving a smile to a tired cashier, driving a senior citizen to the doctor, or maybe like my daughter, we’ll be called upon to give encouraging words, accompanied by a loving hug sent from God. --As God comforts us, may we pass along His love and comfort to others.

First Ask Why: Raising Kids to Love God through Intentional Discipleship by Shelly Wildman Intentional Parenting with a Vision for Your Family Book review by Michele Morin Consider is a word that pops up all over the place in Scripture, and was even on the lips of Jesus as he invited a crowd gathered on a hillside to “consider the lilies of the field.” For most of us, there’s hardly an area of our lives that would not profit from a dose of thoughtful introspection and a few probing questions aimed at the dead-center of our motives and the purpose behind our practices. In First Ask Why: Raising Kids to Love God Through Intentional Discipleship, Shelly Hunt Wildman turns a laser focus onto the subject of parenting, inviting her readers into an intentional practice of envisioning the kind of family we want and then, by God’s grace, doing what needs to be done to make that vision become a reality. Fortunately, Shelly is writing from a place of self-awareness that prevents her from sounding off as a “parenting expert.” With honesty about her shortcomings and failures, she shares her own goal of greater mindfulness with the voice of a fellow-traveler on this bumpy road of parenting. When we begin asking why, we open ourselves up to a consideration of the purpose behind all the things we do as believing mums and dads. If leaving a Christ-following legacy is at the top of your parental do-list, your family becomes a unique training ground where you and your children together lean in to the demands that are placed upon our lives by the gospel, all the while trusting in the promises for their glorious fulfillment. Our Charge “Setting a vision for our family can help us become more intentional about family life.” Family devotions in the Morin compound have always been a rowdy affair, and at times it was not obvious that anything spiritual or even educational was happening. There was the howling St. Bernard whenever we sang hymns; there was the odd question posed, now and again, for the sheer joy of derailing our train of thought; oh, and then there was the time the napkin caught fire. And yet, we persevered because, like the Wildmans, we believed, fiercely, that “parents are and should be the primary influence in the lives of their children.” However, discipleship that sticks around the dining room table and never finds its way out into the great wide world of practical application is not in keeping with the principles of Deuteronomy 6 which describe a discipleship that happens all day long–a sitting, walking, rising, and lying down learning that takes different forms and looks different in every family. If our goal is to develop a resilient faith, every thing we do must point our children toward a meaningful and lively relationship with Christ. In doing so, we help them to fulfill their ultimate purpose: to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.

Our Challenge “Heart work isn’t easy, but it sets the course of [our children’s] lives.” Therefore, the goal of parental discipline–or, we could say, the why of discipline– is to develop selfdiscipline or the freedom of self-control in our children at an early age. With this in mind, discipline becomes “training rather than punishment.” This mindset requires a marathon mentality, for we’re not simply in the business of extinguishing annoying or inconvenient behaviors. Instead, the goal is to instill a strong foundation of spiritual disciplines (prayer, Scripture reading, service, giving, worship) that are owned by our children as part of that growing relationship with God. The sooner we can duck out of the position as “middle man” in our children’s spiritual growth, the better. Our Compassion “As our kids’ love for God grows, so should their love for others.” This love will show up in obedience to God and will be evident in our child’s truthfulness, kindness, willingness to serve, and in their stewardship of gifts and possessions. While integrity is an intangible concept, Shelly’s shared experiences and application put flesh on the bones for parents who need to become role models of truthfulness themselves and who are unclear about the difference between “being nice” and true biblical kindness. After all, there’s a good reason why the word service (or serve) is used over 400 times in the Bible. Our Contribution “Strong families can bless this world, and in so doing, bring glory to God.” When our crew gathers, the in-jokes fly so fast that at times I wish for sub-titles in order to keep up with the conversational flow. (And I have an inkling that maybe my obtuseness has become one of the in-jokes . . .) Family traditions and shared memories are strong cords that strengthen family ties and the sense of belonging. Road trips, crazy scavenger hunts and elaborately themed birthday parties, beach days, and big, rowdy gatherings around a loaded table are some of the experiences that have shaped our family’s culture and identity. Having said that, part of our job as parents is also to reinforce the value of diversity, “recognizing that cultural differences between people exist without assigning them a value–positive or negative, better or worse, right or wrong.”

Children with strong roots are free to explore other cultures and to step outside their comfort zone through travel, diverse reading and viewing options, and openness to friendships with people of various cultural backgrounds. Ambassadorial Work The parenting journey is a mission with the goal of connecting our children with Jesus. Paul Tripp refers to it as “ambassadorial work from beginning to end. . . [P]arenting is not first about what we want for our children or from our children, but about what God in grace has planned to do through us in our children.� And so, we do our best work when we intentionally seize every opportunity to turn their thoughts (and our own) toward Him. First Ask Why is not a do-list to stimulate parental guilt. It is an invitation to consider the uniqueness of each child, who they are becoming, and how they can best fit into the plan of God. As we ask ourselves the all-important why questions about our parenting practices, and as we consider the growing and the learning and the letting go of the parenting journey, let us first consider Jesus, for He alone can enable us to make our parenting vision a reality.

* Many thanks to the author for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review, which, of course, is offered freely and with honesty. All quotes are from the book First Ask Why: Raising Kids to Love God through Intentional Discipleship by Shelly Wildman

Summer Rainstorm by Stacie Eirich The rain fell in thick, expansive sheets, pelting the windows hard, sky darkening to blue-black, thunder booming, lightening streaking across the fabric of heaven, as if in warning, clouds moving fast, low, ominously through the noon sky, making it look like night. Heat that had lingered before now vanished, replaced with cool fast blowing wind, the tree branches thrashing wildly in its wake. Then, as quick as it came, the storm passes, loud pounding rain lifting, clouds releasing to silent blue sky, sun peeking out heat slowly rising off the wet pavement. Frogs croak gently in the ditches, newly filled with water, turning dirt to mud, the children coming out to play in their rain boots with smiles of delight, as they jump in fresh puddles on a June afternoon.

Inside the Bible by Nancy Frantel “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.” II Timothy 3:16-17 (NRSV) For years I thought about reading the Holy Bible from the beginning to the end. However, I never followed through. Admitting reasons not to try, I realized the factors became excuses. Although embarrassing to admit, I thought the task would be too hard. Plus, with my daily responsibilities, and added interruptions, I figured I would fail. So I never tried. Until July 2017. During a Christian Writers Conference, a teacher and I discussed the Bible challenge. He offered a new perspective for me to consider. Read the Bible like a regular book. Start at the beginning, and establish my own pace until I finish. No timeline, no deadline. Some days I might read one chapter. Another day I may find myself engaged with the text, and read more than anticipated. He explained one rule-don’t analyze the Scripture as I read. The idea of not taking time to contemplate the message from the God-inspired writers was uncomfortable. I was raised in a Christian home and attended church services and Sunday school every week. The pastor and teachers spent time discussing Scripture. And now I am supposed to ignore my training, and continue reading without searching for the deeper meaning of the verses? Reading the Bible the same way as any other book never occurred to me, and was an unfamiliar concept. However, several weeks after the conference, my excitement increased. The teacher’s advice might work for me. His approach allowed freedom from the popular plans of how to “read the Bible in 365 days,” and provided flexibility. I decided to take on the challenge. Both options included the key component−finish the entire Bible in order.

The first few weeks of reading moved along without issue. The Genesis and Exodus stories were familiar to me, taking less time to complete. Progressing further into the Old Testament felt like pushing the boundaries of my cooperation. In certain chapters, I wanted to read a few verses and stop due to the nature of the text. Other chapters I wanted to skip over. At times I found myself pleading to God, “Please don’t make me read this part.” The commitment to completing the task forced me to read sections which I found uncomfortable or unpleasant. However, my assignment did not involve quitting or skipping. After this reminder, I found myself engaging with God in an unexpected manner. The “don’t stop to analyze” process allowed my mind to open up, and see the text in a unique way. A change took place as if reading the material in a different language, even though the words were still in English. I went from trying not to study, to absorbing. I saw more in the story, the individual words, and the process. The interaction with God changed in ways which are hard to describe. My comments, “God, I don’t understand where You are headed with this information,” changed to an environment of wanting to continue on. Just like a good book. One a person does not want to put down. After nine months, I reached the last page and felt like I could catch my breath. But only for a short while. Now I look forward to reading the entire Bible in another version, and am excited to see what God reveals for future training and assignments.

Happy Father's Day by Cindy Evans Our father gave us life and watched as we grew, so much he wanted to show us, so much he wanted to do. Just like our heavenly Father, who also gave us life to live, so much He wants to teach us, so much He wants to give. Our father was there to protect us, watching over us night and day. He had answers to our questions and took the time to pray. Just like our heavenly Father who has all the wisdom we need. He has answers to all our concerns if only we'll let Him lead. Our earthly father would carry us in his arms so big and strong, so comforting that he'd love us our entire life long. Just like our heavenly Father who picks us up and carries us through... we can rest in perfect peace for we know that's what He'll do!

Kids’ Korner

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

Korner fun with them!

Summer Reading, Writing, and Camping with Your Kids Every year it is the same . . . once school is out for the summer, lots of us parents are looking for creative ideas to keep our kids active and engaged in learning about life and the world around them. If you are a home school mom, you probably already have lots of resources available to keep your kiddos focused on the important things in life. Like reading, even when they aren’t in a structured classroom. But if you need some ideas for your family for the upcoming summer months, here are a few good books that will help them have fun and keep them learning all season long. The Summer Camp Journal is a great way to help the kids remember all the fun they have in this very special summer activity. This is a 6” X 9” journal that will encourage creative writing to record their awesome camp moments. This fun journal includes a packing list, 14 days of journal pages with writing prompts, autograph pages for their friends to sign, scrapbook pages for photos, and contact pages to keep addresses for all of their new friends. And Then Come Summer is a beautiful celebration of the arrival of our favorite season of the year1 “When the days stretch out like a slow yawn, and the cheerful faces of Johnny-jump-ups jump up . . . then it’s time to get ready for summer! From flip-flops and hide-and-seek to fireworks and ice-cream trucks, from lemonade stands and late bedtimes to swimming in the lake and toasting marshmallows, there’s something for everyone in this bright and buoyant celebration of the sunny season. Tom Brenner’s lovely, lyrical ode to summers spent outdoors will strike a chord with anyone who’s ever counted down the days until school gets out, and Jaime Kim’s jubilant, nostalgiasoaked illustrations leave little doubt that summer is indeed a time unlike any other.”

And Then Comes Summer and My Summer Camp Journal are both available from RUBY’S Reading Corner! Book descriptions via Amazon

Find more FREE summer fun coloring pages at

Wild Horses and Storms by Shara Bueler-Repka Wild horses! Just the possibility of spotting them sent me trotting to the barn. It took me no time at all to saddle my horse, Nocona. To be quite honest, I really didn't think I'd see anything, as these horses run on about 64 million acres of Nevada’s Bureau of Land Management land. What are the odds of me finding them? But, hey, it was worth a shot. I glanced at the sky with its gathering clouds, but figured I'd have plenty of time to quench my thirst for exploration that day. However, I tied my slicker on the back of my saddle; just in case—you never know what the weather will suddenly do in the backcountry. Off we rode toward adventures unknown. The wind was up, and my excitement grew. Topping the last hill, I caught my breath in sheer delight as I gazed at the entire high desert valley stretched out before us to the far mountains—not a soul out there but me and my horse as far as our eyes could see. I breathed in the sweet smell of sage as it saturated the breeze. “He gives us all things to enjoy” whispered to me as a reminder of a scripture I had read. (1 Timothy 6:17). “No telling what we might discover, Nocona!” I confided in my horse as we descended into the valley. He flicked his ear and quickened his step. Suddenly I sensed something looking at us. Heart pounding, I slowly scanned the terrain. And then I saw them. A band of six jet-black wild horses calmly watched us from their hill. I could hardly contain my joy. Captivated, I spotted the stallion standing on the point. The breeze caught his mane and tail; they flowed softly behind him. Never in my life did I ever think I would witness this sight for real, not just in some movie. I would have stayed there all day with the black band, but the trail was beckoning, urging us to continue exploring this vast, wonderful land. A red-tailed hawk soared above us as I swung Nocona around and headed down the valley.

Riding the backcountry, one has to keep an eye on the trail… and another on the weather, which, in this case, was becoming more unstable every minute. As I glanced toward Fred's Mountain, I noticed the black clouds quickly beginning to gather. Reluctantly, I decided to abandon my original trail ideas and head back to camp. With every step, the dark clouds to our right were getting worse. To our left, huge white thunderheads were forming and also heading our way. If Nocona and I didn't hightail it out of there, both storms would catch us. I had to pick between taking the shorter route home toward the worst part of the storm and risk getting hit, or taking the longest route and hoping we would make it through that way. The storm wouldn’t have seemed so threatening except the boom of thunder foretold of lightning inching closer. We were up in an open valley and a prime target. Did I start praying? You bet I did! "Jesus, keep us safe," I prayed, as I kept an eye on the black mass making its way over our heads. I surveyed the sky again. Right between the mass of white thunderheads and the mass of blackness was a perfect trail of blue. Surprisingly, it pointed toward the longer route. I made my decision, threw on my slicker, and urged Nocona into a long trot, following that trail in the sky. As serious as this situation was, I had to laugh. Up on the "wild horse ridge," I spotted the herd watching us as Nocona and I hightailed it across their valley. I wonder what the horses are thinking, I mused. Trotting and loping, dodging sagebrush and cactus, we weaved our way toward the main trail. Sailing off the ridge, we raced across the valley floor. Urgent prayers went up again as we headed into open country while lightning streaks flashed to the ground. My hat strained against its stampede string as it threatened to fly off my head, and I threw my hand up, pushing it down to my ears. My slicker snapped at the air behind me as the wind tried to grab it. My other hand grasped the bridle reins with a white-knuckled grip. Suddenly, I witnessed a miracle. The wind blew in my face, but the black clouds moved away from us! As I prayed, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, “I am bigger than the storm." With renewed courage, we galloped toward camp. I glanced up at Fred's Mountain again and witnessed another amazing sight. More storm clouds tried to make their way over the summit into the valley. But they were held back by some unseen force. At last we slid safely into camp and into the barn. Only then were the clouds released. The downpour was deafening as we heard the roar of rain on the tin roof. But we were already inside, thanking God for His goodness.

Streams of Living Water by Susan Paulus Drink deep Drink of the Gifts of God Enjoy the clear, fresh, pure water Remembering that at no time are these gifts ours They are God’s gifts to others through us So drink in and pour out! Pour out His love His peace His comfort His strength Pour out His holiness His compassion His joy His Word Keep the Living Water flowing Pour out everything He has blessed you with Drink deep Drink in and pour out Others need to see Him through you

Complete Guide to Money by Dave Ramsey Book Review by Carol Peterson We all know we need to manage our money better. There are hundreds of finance classes in-person and online. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to those classes. Thank you book writers! I did a lot of nodding every time I tuned in to Dave Ramsey’s radio program. I recently completed his in-person course Financial Peace University. Outside of the great information and encouragement, I found myself regularly astonished because when I would mention the course, the response was either “That course changed my life” or “I’d love to take that course one day.” Basically, Complete Guide to Money covers what is in Ramsey’s in-person course. Everything is common sense, understandable to us non-financial folks and based on biblical principles. What I love about Complete Guide to Money is that Ramsey puts all the elements together (savings, budgeting, debt, credit, insurance, investment, retirement, mortgages, giving) and explains how each element is essential to the whole. Then he challenges the reader to act and change behaviors, so we can manage our money rather than letting it manage us. Ramsey’s in-person course isn’t available everywhere. Fortunately, Complete Guide to Money can get you started toward financial responsibility by presenting the information clearly and providing summary points and thought-provoking questions to urge you forward. It’s a great book to get you started on financial stability. Complete Guide to Money by Dave Ramsey, and all of his other books on financial freedom, are now available from RUBY’S Reading Corner!

RUBY’S Reading Corner for family-friendly, seasonal, and holiday books and home décor.

Swimming: One of the Best Summer Activities by Jehn Kubiak Some kids absolutely hate the water––you splash any bit of it on them and they become upset. Others enjoy it, but they’d rather not go in if given the choice. Then, there’s the small percentage who are fishes––they enjoy every minute splashing and playing in the pool. Regardless of the child you have, swimming is one of the best summer activities for kids of all ages. The temperatures peak after school gets out, and air conditioning or even running fans for a while racks up the electricity bill. Don’t exceed the budget––instead, cool off naturally. Find a local pool near you––high schools and universities generally open their facilities to the public for summer––a gym, or an aquatics center. Now. some children naturally connect with water currents and intuitively know at least a couple strokes––generally freestyle and backstroke. However, others will struggle. I have taught swim lessons and noticed the differences between natural swimmers and the typical child. Natural swimmers know how to breathe on their side and keep their hips up, but most kids don’t. Instead, they keep their head up and their hips sink, so they struggle swimming even the 25 yards from the shallow to the deep end. As a result, swim lessons come highly recommended. Even if your child swims well, it’s possible they could benefit from some extra instruction and hone their techniques. After taking lessons, your child may enjoy swimming more and feel comfortable navigating the deeper parts of the pool.

Secondly, pools provide a space for some fun games: water basketball, pool noodle fights, ring dives, blow-up floatie races, and more. Some of my favorite summer moments were spent playing “colors” and sharks and minnows. In addition, swimming is a great activity the whole family can enjoy. Parents can spin their kids around, sit in the shallow end with the little ones, have belly-flop competitions with the older boys, and the whole family can race each other during lap swims. Third, swimming is a great form of exercise. According to Better Health Channel, swimming is a lowimpact activity, so it doesn’t strain muscles or joints much, which is great for both older parents or grandparents as well as young children. It can also build muscle and endurance, give a full-body workout, help with posture, relieve stress, and improve coordination. Furthermore, it is a great activity for those with asthma, multiple sclerosis, and pregnant women, according to Healthline. My parents dropped me off at the pool for a couple hours every weekend––and every other day in the summer––so I could swim. When we moved to another house with a pool, I swam every day after school. Basically, I lived in the water and my parents could hardly drag me out––that’s how much I enjoyed swimming. I know I’m not the only one, so if your child enjoys swimming, encourage that passion. It could lead to a future on the swim team, or if nothing else, provide a fun summer activity during those long summer days away from school. Take the whole family to a department, thrift, or sports store, purchase some swimsuits and goggles, find a pool, and jump in the water.

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

Swimming by Stacie Eirich Submerged in ice cold water, I swim through waves, ripples gliding through water with my arms, pushing through black bugs, floating on the surface, brought in from the rains. I needed to feel this today, needed the chill to wake me, free me, make me alive. Diving under, sounds fill underneath, swept into a watery vacuum, the water is too blue, heavy with chlorine, too full, brimming at the walls, nearly breaching the surface. I emerge, dripping, cold, the pool is empty. I stay to write. Listening to sounds of small birds singing in the trees around me. Cars passing, a young child playing, the cawing of a black crow. It flies from tree to tree, gracefully spreading its black wings. I need the solitude of this hour. The ever-present sound of semi-trucks, humming on the highway behind me. The sun hides itself behind gray clouds, they move ominously, darkening, threatening a storm to come. I put away my pen, ease into the waters depths, a few more laps. Then I will depart, raindrops on my back, the yellow school bus trundling down the road, bringing my children home.

The Beauty of Summer Photography by SE Johnson

Happily Doing Marriage Wrong by Lisa J. Radcliff

My husband and I must be doing marriage all wrong. Although we just celebrated 33 years of marriage, we don’t use the same descriptions of marriage that we hear our friends and even marriage experts using. Words like “hard,” “work,” “difficult,” and “stressful.” In fact, we would use words like “easy,” “natural,” “comfortable,” and “soothing.” Just a few weeks ago, while having lunch with friends, those commonly used words came up. The other three couples were talking about how much work marriage is, that it takes hard work to have a long, happy marriage. My husband and I were silent, stealing glances at each other. These were happily married, mature Christians. This hasn’t been our experience. What is wrong with us? What is hard about being a married couple? There’s really nothing to it. You hold a ceremony, make vows, kiss, and voilá, you’re married. It doesn’t even need to be a big, fancy ceremony. Okay, so maybe that’s not what they mean by “marriage is hard.” In my humble opinion, I believe marriage is easy. Marriage boils down to doing life together rather than independently. It’s simply easier to do life with a partner. Almost anything you do is easier if you have someone helping you do it. Life isn’t any different. My husband makes life so much easier. It could be as simple as picking up milk on his way home from work, freeing me to do something else.

Or something bigger like standing by me when I’m going through a tough time. Over the last two years, as I have dealt with chronic pain, my husband has taken on all the responsibilities of our home and still takes time to sit with me and do what he can to alleviate my pain. Having his support makes everything in my life easier. Work is work, marriage is not work. If by “work” you mean learning about your spouse and putting effort into making life with them as good as it can be, then I guess there is work involved. But for us, being married came naturally. We dated three years before getting married. During that time, we talked about marriage, we went to seminars, we hung around others with good marriages, we searched the Scriptures for wisdom in marriage, we did all we could to be ready for marriage. It wasn’t just natural, it was fun. At first it was like playing house. We tried to outdo one another in loving each other. In the process, we learned each other’s strengths and weaknesses and how to best love each other. That’s the kind of work Marc Anthony referred to, “if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” Difficult. Really? Obstacle-course races are difficult. Marriage is not an obstacle course. It’s more of a three-legged race. The two of you moving as one to win the race. If you fall, you fall together and lean on each other to get back up.

The secret is learning to move forward in synch with your partner, matching their stride and speed. And it works best if you have your arms around each other. Once you find the right rhythm, being bound together becomes comfortable. You might even find it difficult to walk on your own once you’re untied from each other. My marriage is so comfortable, it’s like sinking into a favorite overstuffed chair. When my husband walks through the door at the end of the day, my body and mind relax. Marriage is difficult because people are selfish. We realized how selfish we are even before we were married and intentionally put the needs of the other first. We show love to each other in small ways over and over which create deep ruts in our relationship.

They are ruts of kindness, patience, humility, trust, joy, and peace. I love the ruts we are in—holding hands everywhere we go, making googly eyes across a room, talking about how great the other is, rubbing each other’s tired muscles, hugging often My marriage is the least stressful part of my life. I draw strength and peace from my relationship with my husband. He takes the stress out of my days. When I am in a stressful situation, his presence soothes me. One way he does that each morning is kneeling beside our bed, taking my hand, and praying for our day, for the needs of friends and family, and giving thanks for our marriage and asking God to strength it . . . every day. We aren’t anything special. We just try each day to love each other as best we can, relying on God to accomplish what we desire.

You might think ruts are bad thing. But when it comes to marriage, it’s those ruts that bring stability.

On our wedding day, we sang a song together. The words we sang to each other were: “I see the more you have given yourself to God, the more you have left for me.”

When we show love over and over, it becomes a natural way of life, making marriage easy. Did you ever get stuck in a rut? They are hard to get out of.

I don’t look to my husband to fulfill me, complete what is lacking in me, or meet all my needs. That’s not his job, it’s God’s.

In marriage that is a good thing, if ruts have been forged from repeatedly showing love to your spouse.

As each of us has grown to love God more, we have grown more in love with each other. Our marriage hasn’t been perfect, but it has come close. I think we’ll just keep on doing it wrong.


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

Favorite Memories by Norma C. Mezoe My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. - Proverbs 6:20 (NIV) When a minister’s son was asked to name his favorite day, he replied, “The day I went fishing with my dad.” Upon hearing this, the minister thumbed through a journal he kept. On the day his son spoke of, the minister had written: “Took my son fishing. I wasted the whole day.” What are our children’s favorite memories of us? I believe one of my son’s favorites would be the many times his dad helped him to deliver newspapers on cold icy days when the snow was too deep for a bicycle to plow through. Most of those times occurred after his dad had put in a full day of work. It isn’t the big expensive things that our children remember. It’s those times when we showed our love through simply being there and being available. Parenting isn’t an easy job, but it is a rewarding one when we allow God to guide us as we in turn guide our children. Prayer: Father God, thank you for guiding Christian fathers and mothers as they rear their children. May they, through their lives, lead their children to you; in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sunset on the Sea by Stacie Eirich Colors vibrate, breathing life into sweet marshes, tiny fish gills floating within the ripples of the waves. Salty mussels with cracked shells float amongst smooth blue waves. Fleshy toes run across the sandy shore, wrapped in blankets of fresh heat, new love. Evening falls over divine sunlight as a breeze blows, cool and attentive, fireflies lighting rocky stones brought in to shore. Waves crash, washing them back to hidden depths until color returns, the day reborn with the dawn.

Who doesn’t LOVE watermelon??? The colors are so bright and cheerful, and just . . . “summer-y!” So I thought it would be fun to find a few ideas for creating my own watermelon DIY projects this month, and here’s what I came up with. If you are looking for a bit of summer fun, why not try making your own DIY watermelon crafts? Watermelon Wreath from The Scrap Shoppe Blog This cute watermelon wreath looks so sweet and simple, and pretty easy to make, too. It would be perfect to add to our summer décor out on our deck, along with all of our red impatiens, white petunias, and lots of greenery. Bright red and green ribbon wrapped around a wreath form, with some small black buttons . . . you’re done!

Watermelon Planters from Cool Crafts We have quite a few smaller planter pots from previous summers, but they are all so boring! Guess I better round up the red, green, and black paints and get started! Wouldn’t these look cute with white flowers?

Watermelon Door Mat from Cool Crafts Perfect for our deck, especially once I get that watermelon wreath hung on the door! Check out the tutorial at The House that Lars Built for all the details on how you can make this sweet watermelon door mat for you deck or porch.

Watermelon Banner from Empty Nest Home Goods on Etsy You could hop on over to the Empty Nest Home Goods shop on Etsy and buy your very own adorable watermelon banner . . . . or you could make one of your own! I think you could make this from card stock or fabric, or even wooden cutouts that you paint and then string together with ribbon. This is so cute! Wouldn’t this be adorable hung on our gazebo?

Watermelon Mason Jar from The Country Chic Cottage Of course, no DIY collection would be complete without a Mason jar project! I kind of like the way this one is translucent instead of completely covered with paint. It would be cute to create a whole set of these for a summer picnic of party and then fill them up with lemonade or iced tea. On my way to pull out the rest of the Mason jars in my studio!

Simple Summer Decorative Watermelon Pillows from The Real Thing with the Coake Family One more idea to brighten up your deck or porch, or even inside your house. These cute watermelon decorative pillows are super simple to make. The complete tutorial is available at The Real Thing with the Coake Family. Perfect combination with the watermelon canvas art . . . . this will be so adorable in our entry way! Have fun with your summer DIY projects!

Watermelon Canvas Art from Spot of Tea Designs And inside we can dress it up with more cute, cool watermelon creations. This watermelon canvas art would be a fun project to do with my girls, so I’m thinking that we will give it a try next week, after school gets out. Check out the tutorial at Spot of Tea Designs.

The Coach and the Runner by Sharon L. Patterson “We are going to prepare by running every day; “And I’ll be with you, every step of the way. “I may not be visible, but never you mind; “My presence is there though to your eyes it’s blind.” “You’ve trained hour by hour for days until now; “You’re ready as ever for I’ve taught you how. “On your mark, get set, time to go~ “Let that sustained energy flow.” “Now, do not linger behind but order your pace, “Every mile you mark, each runner you chase “Along the course you are here to run. “Eyes straight ahead like the first day we begun”. “Remember, distance we measured in quarters of a mile “You were gangly but determined, unconcerned with style. “But in time, long and graceful your stride became; “Your muscles strong, your body a fit runner’s frame.” “Coach, look over there! “The sign says ‘Caution: Beware!’ I can’t see what’s up ahead; “My heart is beating fast, I’m full of dread!” “What is that you say? “Keep on going, don’t stop or delay! “Now, throw off that defeating thought; “A few more steps just as I’ve taught.”

“Oh, and by the way, it’s steep up ahead, “So keep in mind what I’ve said: “Be careful, don’t veer right or left “The path is narrow on that cleft.” “You are going to make it just fine, “But I can’t guarantee it won’t shake your mind. “That’s when you must remember my Word, “It will guide you when the way gets blurred.” “Forge on, there’s 10 miles to go, “Go around that bolder in the road. “Run now with a sure foot and calm spirit” The wind is at your back so lean into it.” “Oh Coach, it’s unbearably hot: “I really need to find a spot “To stop and lay down a while. “I can’t possibly run another mile!” “Coach…is that really you “Telling me what to do? “Really? There’s a stream just up the way? “Why, yes I can see it’s just as you say!” “Oh Lord, Dear Coach, that tasted like heaven! “We’ve got how many more miles, seven? “I’m refreshed and ready; “My gait is even, my resolve steady.” “Now trust me, I’m at the finish line, I can’t wait to hold you in this embrace of mine, And tell you how proud I am of you! “There’s a victory lap for us to do.”

The Coach and the Runner have finished this race. Now they’ll share the joy face to face!

Thou Shalt Not! by Norma C. Mezoe Dorothy was having health problems and needed to enter the hospital. She shared her room with another patient who was rather vocal. The woman used words that Dorothy did not want to hear; oaths using God’s name.

(image courtesy SE Johnson)

A curtain hung between the two beds and so the patients did not see one another, but it was impossible for Dorothy to block the offensive language from her hearing. One day Dorothy couldn’t take the swearing any longer and in her best Charlton Heston voice she intoned, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” There was silence for a short period and then the older patient said, “Oh, my!” Dorothy had effectively gotten her message across. (This is a true story about an older friend. Dorothy “graduated” to heaven several years ago.) Image courtesy SE Johnson

He’ll Always Be There by Norma C. Mezoe When the icy fingers of fear flood your soul with pain… and you doubt you will ever have peace again… remember God still loves you and he’ll forever care… when you need him, He’ll always be there.

Now accepting submissions for the

JULY 2018 issue of

RUBY magazine Visit the RUBY blog for all the details

Your Book from: God by DaPorscha Rufus 366 Days of Inspiration, Spiritual Guidance, Anointed Prayers, and Heartfelt Poetry In her moving devotional, DaPorscha Rufus shares honest advice cultivated from various sources of inspiration. Including everything from popular culture to key verses from the Bible, Your Book From: God provides powerful motivation for every day of the year. Your Book From: God by DaPorscha Rufus is now available from RUBY’S Reading Corner

Summer Snacks for Kids of All Ages from Vintage Mama’s Cottage What kinds of summer snacks do you have for your family? We are always looking for fun ideas to make summer snacks and meal times interesting . . . . of course, without investing a ton of time, energy, or effort, because after all, it’s summertime and we’ve got other fun stuff to do! Here are a few quick and easy summer snack recipes that we are going to try. You might want to see if your family would like some of them, too. Strawberry Salsa and Baked Cinnamon Chips from FeelGreatIn8 Fresh strawberries all mixed up with other yummy ingredients into a light and refreshing salsa, combined with baked cinnamon chips – sounds like a great summertime lunch or snack on a hot afternoon. Check out the recipe at Feel Great in 8 and make your own batch of strawberry salsa and baked cinnamon chips for your family.

Hummus and Guacamole Dip from This Week for Dinner Does your family like hummus? I didn’t even know what it was until our oldest daughter asked me to buy some at the grocery store a while back. We love it! Especially with guacamole and tortilla chips. So when I found this recipe for hummus and guacamole dip I decided we’re just going to have to give it a try. A light snack or a yummy lunch, this dip will be one of our summer favorites! You can find the complete recipe at This Week for Dinner.

Make-Ahead Fruit, Yogurt, and Granola Cups from LiveSimply Cool, creamy yogurt is the perfect summer snack! Or for breakfast, too, this out be a great make-ahead item to have ready to go right out of the fridge. You can find the complete recipe for these make-ahead fruit, yogurt, and granola cups at Live Simply. You can minimize the amount of sugar by making these yogurt cups yourself, using fresh or frozen fruit, homemade granola, and plain yogurt . . . sweetened with a bit of honey if you want!

Avocado Toast with Fried Cheese from BecauseILikeChocolate

How about using that avocado before it gets too soft and make your family a batch of avocado toast with friend cheese? This is definitely a recipe that my family would LOVE! It might even make a nice light supper on a hot summer day. Easy to fix and filled with yummy avocado and cheese, two of our favorites! Check out the complete recipe at Because I Like Chocolate.

No-Bake Fruit Pizza from TwoHealthyKitchens Fresh fruit pizza has been one of our favorites for many years, so it was fun to be reminded of this yummy summer treat. You can use whatever fruit is in season, combine them all together and layer it all together with a creamy dip that is sweet and light. Find the complete recipe at Two Healthy Kitchens.

All images and recipes are the property of the original websites. RUBY magazine does not own any of the images in this article and they are used only as part of a featured collection. To find any of the original articles, please visit the websites which are linked to each image.

Road Trip of Delusion by Jean Ann Williams is available from

RUBY’S Reading Corner

The Hannah Experience: When Nothing seems to be Producing the Desired Effect by Jennifer Workman “This book extends inspiration to every bibliophile to press forward in prayer and trust God unequivocally despite what they may encounter in life and trust that God is the way and that he will ultimately supply their needs and bring them to their final destination at the appointed time.”

Now available from RUBY’S Reading Corner

Be watching for the

JULY 2018 issue of

RUBY magazine Available July 1, 2018 on the

RUBY blog

Shopping for books to add to your summer reading list? Come on over to

RUBY’S Reading Corner where you will find family-friendly, inspirational books, devotionals, Bibles, Christian fiction, biographies, children’s books, and so much more!

RUBY’S Reading Corner

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

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

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

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

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

Cindy Evans is a published poet living in the greater Atlanta area. When she's not writing, you may find her a faith-based movie with her husband, making trail mix or serving at the local Christian hospice.

Jehn Kubiak is a Biola University journalism graduate and current pastoral care and counseling major at the Talbot School of Theology. She is a San Diego native who enjoys distance swimming, coffee, dogs, and painting. She loves researching and writing about people, sports, activities, and more.

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

Susan Paulus: My writing began as a prayer for some sanity in my life when I was raising children, sharing life with a husband who often didn't understand me and working a full time job. That was many years ago, and I have recently been searching for a way to have some work published. For two years i wrote for a small NWO publication called Living Today. It was rewarding to know that others might be blessed by what was written. I pray that continues through the ministry RUBY magazine.

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

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

Stacie Eirich I'm a writer, mother and unabashed dreamer who reads poetry by moonlight and dreams of traveling beyond the stars. Fueled by hazelnut coffee, dark chocolate and red wine, I'm currently writing my next children's fantasy in The Dream Chronicles series. I live north of New Orleans with my family and two adorable cats, Ollie & Oreo - writing, mothering, and dreaming.

Michele Morin is a teacher, blogger, reader, and gardener who finds joy in sitting at a table surrounded by women with open Bibles. She has been married to an unreasonably patient husband for nearly 27 years, and their four children are growing up at an alarming rate. She blogs at Living Our Days because “the way we live our days will be, after all, the way we live our lives.”

SE Johnson writes, photographs and gardens from her home near the tidal marshes of the Delaware Bay. Her work is inspired by the glory of God’s creation and the nuances of light in life, from that of literal sunshine to the shadow-dispelling joy of serving her Creator. Herding three cats, two children and a husband, keeps her busy between editing flowerbeds and weeding paragraphs. She is the editor of 'Garden Cumberland', a gardener’s resource that encourages others to find their hearts in the sunshine and soil of South Jersey.

Rejetta Morse enjoys writing poetry so she can write about God and how He speaks through nature. Writing poetry is a new found purpose and hobby she discovered over recent years which brings her joy, peace, and encouragement. She also enjoys reading poetry and is working to learn more about the craft of poetry. She spends her free time singing with her church choir and listening to gospel music, watching biographical movies, and encouraging other people.

Judith Vander Wege, I’m a Christian Writer, Composer, Bible Study Leader, child of God and follower of Jesus Christ. I've had nearly 300 short manuscripts published in such magazines as The Quiet Hour, ALCW Scope, Standard’s Devotions, Aglow, Evangel, Foursquare World Advance, Live, Power for Living, Vision, The Lutheran, Upper Room, Light From the Word, and Columbia Basin Herald. You can read more of my bio on my web site's "about" page at or .com. I have a Facebook page at

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

Nina Newton, Sr. Editor:

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

Vintage Mama’s Cottage Creative Inspiration for your Home and Family

Please join us in the RUBY community, now on Facebook! Connect with other Christian women, share prayer requests, book reviews, blog posts, crafts, recipes, poetry, and parenting advice and encouragement. We even have a home school group where you can share resources with one another! I hope you will take time to visit the RUBY community group and let us know how we can pray for you. I’ll be looking for you, Nina

RUBY magazine is published by CreativeLife

June 2018 ruby  

The June 2018 issue of RUBY magazine celebrates the arrival of summer and Father's Day. You will find summer recipes and crafts, short stori...

June 2018 ruby  

The June 2018 issue of RUBY magazine celebrates the arrival of summer and Father's Day. You will find summer recipes and crafts, short stori...