RUBY magazine May 2019

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The Foundation of Love by Mary Anusha Chandrakumar

Irish Soda Bread by Jeanne Doyon

To Honor My Spiritual Mother by Susan Paulus Know These Things by Deb Ilardi

Mom’s Holding Faith by Norma C. Mezoe

A Fresh Start St.Pat Patrick’s by JeanneDay Davis

Fun Ideas for your Home and The Solid Family Rock by Diana Leagh Matthews from Vintage Mama’s Cottage

Memorial Days by Lisa J. Radcliff

RUBY Magazine Your voice, your story MAY, 2019

In This Issue of RUBY On the Making of Pizzelle by Joan Leotta

Pretty Please Mother’s Day DIY Gifts

Second Chances by Shara BuelerRepka Can you believe it’s already May?!? We are so excited to see the spring flowers blooming and hear the birds chirping outside the kitchen window in the mornings.

Just a Mum by Melissa Sturt

This issue of RUBY magazine is packed with inspirational articles and poetry, devotionals and short stories, Mother’s Day craft ideas and recipes, and our monthly feature, the Kids’ Korner with a story just for the young people in your family. 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!

Porch Time by Jeanne Doyon

Senior Editor: Nina Newton

A Reminder about the Gardener by Sharon L. Patterson

Editorial Assistant: Theresa Begin Feature Writers: Sharon L. Patterson, Norma C. Mezoe, Shara Bueler-Repka, Lisa J. Radcliff, Joan Leotta, Diana Leagh Matthews, Carol Peterson, Jeanne Doyon, Adwoba AddoBoateng, Mary Anusha Chandrakumar, Susan Paulus, Jehn Kubiak, Nancy Frantel, Melissa Sturt, Cindy J. Evans, Stacie Eirich, Pat Jeanne Davis, Nora Spinaio, Deb Ilardi, Frances Gregory Pasch, Judith Vander Wege, Sharmelle Olson, Sheri Diaz, Krystle Nicole Martin

Come What May: Living in the Present by Jehn Kubiak

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

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When the Mountains are Too High by Nina Newton, Sr. Editor Even as spring arrives with the soft, gentle rains and the delicate shoots spring up from the ground in my garden, there are still days when the obstacles in life seem overwhelming. There are circumstances that simply cannot be explained, relationships that are broken, and moments of sadness that we all experience. Some days, of course, are better than others for most of us, but we all have days when the mountains we are facing are just too high for us to cross alone. But we are never alone. Although it is frequently difficult to remember, God has promised never to leave us nor forsake us. On our darkest days, we might even need someone else to remind us of this truth. But here’s the challenging part of this – what happens when my darkest day is also your darkest day? How can we encourage one another? If we remember that God sent His Son, the LORD Jesus, to this earth as a baby, to live among the people of His time to show them His love in human form . . . then we need also to remember that God gives us one another so that we can experience God’s love “with skin on.” It can be intimidating to open our hearts and share the pain in our soul to another person. And it is true that we need to be wise about sharing too much with too many people. But God does not leave us to wander through the darkness alone. He will bring others who understand and have traveled this journey before us. So even when we feel the most hopeless; when it seems that all is lost; when there appears that there is no “light at the end of the tunnel;” do not despair. Ask God to show you the way and be open to those who come across you path. Who knows? One day, you just might be the one He uses to encourage someone else. The old saying, “Misery loves company,” is not particularly helpful - but the truth is that only someone who has experienced what you are going through can understand your pain. If my darkest day is also your darkest day, then we can hold one another through the night until we see the morning light. And we can remind each other, even in the midst of the storm, that God has a plan for tomorrow. We can remind each other that, even though this mountain seems to be too high and my strength is almost gone, that the morning will come and with it will come God’s grace to face whatever is before us. He will give us both the peace and courage that we need to face that mountain. If you are facing a mountain that just seems too high to cross, remember that God is only a prayer away. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Reach out to someone who has conquered that mountain pass and climbed to the other side . . . or reach out to someone who is still on that journey so that you can walk together until you see the beauty that God has for you if you don’t give up. He has a plan and a future for you, no matter what the mountains look like today.

The Greatest Comfort by Sharon Patterson There are many special memories of my mother although she left us far too soon at age 44. Life had been a struggle for her most of her early years from the Depression, World War II, and epilepsy to name a few. Despite hardship and struggle, Mother carved out some very precious memories for me not only as a little girl who loved coming home to a huge stack of the most delicious oatmeal raisin cookies.( I knew how to eat an entire row of them so as not to divulge the exact number consumed!) Her Saturday morning waffles were to die for. Today, I still make her Sunday pot roast and gravy doing every step of the process she taught me. Her chocolate sheath cake was unrivaled by any other baker I knew including my grandmother. Mother once walked every store in our little shopping center to drop my name in boxes located in each store for the Miss Meadowbrook Shopping Center Queen contest and I won! Always my greatest cheerleader and occasional critic, she maneuvered my teen years with grace and a few high-pitched corrections. Softening some of the verbal reprimands was a constant array of wonderful deserts at the end of bountifully delicious meals. Such were the comforts afforded this daughter. Yet one comfort surpasses them all. It came at the end of a very trying day in college. I was engaged to a young soldier deployed during the dangerous TET Offensive in the fall of 1966. It had been almost 3 weeks since I had heard from him. Coming in the door from college I went straight to my room. Glancing in the kitchen, I noticed mother seated at the kitchen table. Distraught, tears streaming from my eyes, I sat on the bed. Suddenly, I felt mother’s arms around me. There was no need to explain anything. She had not asked…it was as though she totally understood. She pressed ever closer and her warm embrace soothed my tears and comforted my heart. To this day, 55 years later, it remains not only one of my greatest memories of Mother, but the greatest comfort.

Happy Mother’s Day with a Smile! by Sharon L. Patterson “Momma, you can’t rollerblade, Can’t catch, pitch, or dunk a ball. Momma, you don’t spit, cuss or chew; Nothing unlady-like do you do at all. You give me more allowance thank I make, And laugh at my jokes no matter how insane. You clean my sneakers and don’t complain; And how I love your chicken-fried steak! To count your virtues is more than I can name, So, even if you can’t do what other moms do I would never choose anyone but you, Cause you are the spark that lights my flame.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mom’s Holding Faith by Norma C. Mezoe “Is your mother going to come after you?” The words surprised me, but I quickly recovered. “No, I have my own car,” I replied. I was cleaning my parent’s house and it was my mother who asked the question. I had suspected Mom’s problem was more serious than the small strokes and Parkinson’s that had been the doctor’s diagnosis. Sometime earlier Mom had left a note on my front door. The words had been scrambled and senseless. As the dementia worsened, Mom sometimes became more agitated at night. One night Dad phoned, asking for help, because Mom would not go to bed. When I arrived, she told me, “Mom and Pop just live up the road and I want to go visit them.” Of course, her parents had died many years before. I was finally able to calm her by promising she could visit her parents the next morning. The years passed and at the age of eighty-one, Mom was only a shadow of her former self. She was able to eat without assistance, but most of her needs were met by caregivers. Then Dad needed surgery and while he was in the hospital, I stayed with Mom in the evenings. After work, I stopped at home to gather clothing for the next day and then I spent the night with Mom. One evening as I walked into Mom’s house, she asked “Where are the others?” In her mind people were coming to eat with her and she had fried several chicken legs for the occasion. Thankfully, she had turned off the stove burners. Once before, Dad had come home to discover all of the burners of the gas stove turned on. Mom was a Christian and before the illnesses had read her Bible and attended worship services at her church. Now she made no attempt to read the Bible and she never mentioned her church. It bothered me and I yearned for assurance that she was still holding on to her faith. Each night after taking care of Mom’s needs, I pulled the covers down on her bed and tucked her into bed as she had done for me when I was a young child. Turning back the hands of time, I’d tell Mom good night the way she had done with me all of those long ago years. I said, “Nighty-night.” She looked up at me, smiled, and repeated, “Nighty-night.” That ritual went on for several nights. Then one bedtime, as I stood ready to say good night, Mom reached up and grasped my hands. Words began tumbling from her mouth. At first, I didn’t understand what she was mumbling. Looking down, I discovered her eyes were closed. She wasn’t talking to me—she was praying! I heard her conclude with “. . . and Lord, help us all to be better Christians.” My concern had been needless. Mom was holding tightly to her faith in Jesus Christ. I whispered, “Nighty-night,” kissed her on the forehead, and tip-toed from her room. I had been given my assurance. I had known all along that the Lord would never forget or forsake Mom, but it was such a blessing to know that under the blanket of confusion in her mind, her faith was still holding.

On the Making of Pizzelle by Joan Leotta Please write your recipe for pizzelle," I demanded one winter afternoon, "They are my favorite cookie." "They are a lot of work," she warned reaching for her red pen and an index card. She wrote for a minute. Then stopped. "Words are not enough. You need to learn to feel when the dough has just enough flour." That very afternoon, together, we measured, stirred and measured again, matching the day’s humidity with the correct amount of flour. After her spoon declared the mix "correct," she watched me bring the spoon round and round the bowl until I could too "feel" the dough's message—"I am thick enough." We oiled her special press, laughed, as I burned the first few, efforts. Two hours later we proudly set a plate of finely finished specimens before my father and husband. Only then, Mom wrote out the recipe. Next, she took me to buy a pizzelle iron from the man who sold one to her. Twenty years later, I trace the swirls of my mother’s orthography feeling her love in each loop of ink, on the yellowing three by five card.

Mom lives only in my heart, but annually, I revive her love as I measure, stir, and press out crisp light anise flavored stacks of pizzelle. Yesterday, my daughter asked me to email the recipe to her. I sent a plane ticket instead. "Mere words, won't work," I explained. "Pizzelle making, reveals its secrets only if we work side by side. Besides, I will need to buy you a pizzelle iron from the son of the man who sold mine to me."

Finding Jesus Each Month The Flower of May: Lily of the Valley by Carol Peterson

The flower for the month of May is the lily of the valley. Lilies of the valley are tiny and delicate, often growing wild. They remind us of what Jesus said: “Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these” (Luke 12:27). It’s just like Jesus to focus on the small things we might otherwise not pay attention to—such as mustard seeds, children, sparrows, tiny lilies. When looked at closely, the beauty of the lily of the valley is undeniable, with little bells that silently chime God's praise. They are dressed in splendor. By God. Jesus is often referred to as the “Rose of Sharon.” That reference comes from the Song of Songs 2:1—written by the same King Solomon Jesus spoke of: I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. Although the context of Song of Songs is Solomon’s love for his wife, many biblical scholars believe the book represents Jesus’ desire to have a relationship of love with us. King Solomon’s father, David is credited for writing one of our most familiar Psalms, which says: Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me (Psalm 23:4). Sometimes we feel like we are walking through a shadowed valley of despair, sorrow or crisis in life. When we do, could those valleys be covered with lilies; filled with sweet-smelling reminders of God’s love and presence? Several Psalms begin with notations: to be sung to the tune of Lilies. (Psalm 45, Psalm 60; Psalm 69; Psalm 80) We don’t know what that ancient Hebrew tune sounded like, but it must have been beautiful to God and to men for its reference to have been preserved in Scripture. So too should our lives be beautiful to God. Our songs to Him should be filled with praise and clothed in splendor, like the lily of the valley. The lily of the valley is described by botanists as a “hardy” plant, often grown amid thorns. Jesus was forced to wear a crown of thorns—taking us again to Song of Songs (Chapter 2:2) “like a lily among thorns”… and reminding us of Jesus.

To Honor My Spiritual Mother by Susan Paulus “The sum of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.” Psalm 119:150 Her name was Jan, Jan with the beautiful eyes. Her eyes crinkled when she smiled and totally disappeared into her cheeks when she laughed. My name was then, and is now, Sue. I would say my eyes were pretty, too, but they seldom smiled and even more seldom totally disappeared in laughter. Our perspectives on life were totally different. I knew success or failure depended totally on me and how hard I worked. She believed God had everything in His hands and would guide every step, as He directed her life. The thought that I was totally responsible for my life made raising children stressful, as I was totally responsible for them, too. When they were little it was small things like potty training, giving up a binky or a favorite blanket. In school it progressed to making sure they got decent grades, ate healthy meals and snacks, got enough sleep, showered when necessary—and with pre-teen girls it was necessary often. Then came the teen years…Well, dear Reader, if you raised children and tried to control them as teens you can write the next sentence yourself. But back to Jan. A devout Charismatic Christian, Jan believed: she believed in salvation, in the work of the Holy Spirit, in miracles of every size and shape. No questions asked, she believed. She also believed she should be sharing her faith, but the Lord hadn’t brought anyone to her at that time. Her prayer became “Lord, use me.” Within a week of that prayer, the Lord gave her a challenge she hadn’t anticipated. He gave her me! She faced great difficulty as she attempted to make me tear down the wall I had spent 20 years building. By then I had discovered that being responsible for everyone and everything can make a person miserable. What I hadn’t discovered at that point was this: not knowing Jesus is what really makes you miserable. The two go hand in hand.

God made the two of us friends through actions that only He could manage to put together and she took me under her spiritual wing. For a year, we met weekly for study. Our small group grew in numbers as other women joined us for study and prayer. I remained skeptical; she remained firm in her faith. One day, after I stated—again—that “I’m just not sure I believe all this,” she replied, “Well, it is true. Whether you believe it or not changes nothing, It’s true.” This must have shocked me as many years later I remember it well. I thought she was saying that she was ready to give up on me and move on. By then I loved this woman, did not want to lose her friendship. Plus, I was beginning to see her faith gave her a deep peace. After a year of meetings, study and her prayers for me, I slowly allowed Jesus to reveal Himself to me. Her words, her love, plus His Word began to tear down my well-built wall. One afternoon, while home alone, I was so wrapped in prayer and praise that His presence filled every room I entered. Somehow, I knew, I just knew that if I sat down in that green chair—the one right over there—I would have a whole new understanding of the Holy Spirit, His leading, His directing and His importance in my life. I sat, He responded, I cried, He smiled (I know He smiled, I could feel it) It wasn’t long before He broke down a major portion of my wall. That day He and I began a wonderful, loving relationship. Now Reader, you know that even a loving relationship, while filled with joy and wonder, is not without trial and some misery. Not on His part; He remained steady, faithful, true. But at times, I attempted to put that wall back into place. After all, I believed it had protected me for 20 some years. There were times I forgot how miserable I had been without His love and guidance. I had forgotten the times spent crying, bossing, directing, stamping my feet in anger because nothing was going as I planned. Like the Israelites, I was willing to go back to Egypt after being delivered from slavery. Thanks to my spiritual mother, Jan with the laughing eyes, I have now been a Jesus Follower for more years than I lived believing that I could be in control of my life and those in it. The difference is amazing to me. As I have matured, my relationships have grown deeper and more loving, especially my relationship with my Lord. I thank Jesus for the plan that He had to put us together, Jan and me. As I think about it, we both have laughing eyes now! Hallelujah!

What would you like to receive for a Mother’s Day gift? Are you one of those moms who have a shelf filled with children’s handcrafted Mother’s Day gifts that hold a special place in your heart? I certainly have my share of those sweet treasures from Mother’s Days past! Here are a few creative DIY ideas that you can make with your kiddos or grandkids that will be practical and pretty, all at the same time.

Pretty Please Mother’s Day DIY Gifts

So, moms go ahead and get crafty with the kids and make something special for grandma . . . . or big kids get together and make a fun Mother’s Day gift for mom.

Painted Flower Pots Mom would love to display her spring and summer flowers in a pretty painted flower pot. Super simple and inexpensive, you can use any container (including clay pots from the local hardware store) and decorate them any way you want. Pop in a few flowering plants and you’ve got the perfect Mother’s Day gift.

DIY Chalkboard Mason Jar Vase from We Heart Parties Here’s an adorable gift that Mom will treasure for years to come! It is so cute and can be displayed all year long! Visit We Heart Parties for the tutorial.

Mother’s Day Floral Wreath with Paper Flowers from Finding Time to Create This beautiful Mother’s Day wreath is rather more intricate to create, but it is gorgeous! This one was created using paper flowers that were made using a commercial paper cutter, so if you have one available, this surely is a gift that Mom will absolutely LOVE! You can find the complete tutorial at Finding Time to Create.

Mason Jar Succulent Planters from Lolly Jane Isn’t it amazing what you can create with Mason jars? Spray a bit of paint on these cute jars, fill ‘em up with potting soil, and pop in some succulents, and you have an adorable gift for Mom.

Watercolor Free Mother’s Day Printables from The Happy Housie How easy is this? Cute, too! You can pop on over to The Happy Housie and print off one of these free printables, frame it, and there you go! Happy Mother’s Day!

Come What May: Living in the Present by Jehn Kubiak I’m a huge planner; my life plan for probably the next two years exists. I’ve decided what kind of job I want to pursue after graduating from seminary (copy editing), where I want to move to, and even what kind of apartment I want to rent. Ambiguity has no place. However, after ending up in the hospital this past month for a nervous breakdown, I realized that the future scared me more than anything; I had no control over anything. Plans failed. Unexpected things occurred, and chaos commenced. The worst possible thing happened this past February: I had a PTSD flare-up from a workplace bullying incident this past summer. As a result, I had flashbacks at my main job, and those prevented me from excelling as a shift supervisor. Due to the nature of the bullying incident, I worried when things went wrong on my shifts (which they usually did, and of course, they were perfect on everyone else’s). I thought, “I’m going to get fired for sure. I keep making mistakes, and my manager will hold them against me.” These flashbacks came at the most inopportune times against my own will: I had no control whatsoever, and that ruined me emotionally, mentally, and physically. I barely ate anything––just enough to get by––and only slept a few hours each night for about a month. I stopped swimming (one of my favorite hobbies) and was incredibly exhausted all the time to the point where my legs felt like they would give out at any moment. Eventually, a coworker triggered the worst flashback I had since they began, and I resigned from that job. As much as I loved it, I couldn’t handle the emotional turmoil––especially after ending up in the hospital one night from a nervous breakdown. I wondered, “what in the world is wrong with me?!” I had this great plan to keep that job until I graduated in December and now that had fallen through. What would I do? I constantly prayed to God about it over the last couple of weeks. I asked him to show me what changes I needed to make in my life. Of course, he delivered.

The Lord reminded me that many therapists tell clients in cases like these to download a mindfulness app or complete mindfulness worksheets. But I hated that idea since it seems so “new-agey.” After looking into it, however, I realized that mindfulness is really just being aware of one’s surroundings and living in the present. It was then that I realized that I proclaimed Christ’s name, yet I didn’t really trust him with my life. Therefore, I needed to start living in the present instead of criticizing my past mistakes or wondering about what-ifs. Mindfulness can be as simple as listening for chirping birds in the morning. It can be noticing the gentle breeze or the green hillsides as you drive the freeway. It also can be as easy as appreciating the music playing from your car stereo. Mindfulness can also be enjoying a conversation with your friends over coffee or a meal with your family instead of planning out the next day. All in all, “Come what may” is something we have to live with. Transient human beings have no say in what does or does not happen––but we can certainly adjust in each circumstance. We can always wonder about what may happen, but what if we just lived in the present for once? What if we really enjoyed the life and things God blessed us with? Let May be a month of mindfulness and new beginnings.

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

The Solid Rock by Diana Leagh Matthews Jesus told the parable of two builders. One builder built his house on a rock and when the floods came and winds blew, “it didn’t fall for it was founded on the rock”. The other builder built his house on sand and when the rains came, and winds blew the house “fell—and great was its fall.” {Matthew 7:24-27} This parable is a reminder of how we need to build our own lives upon the rock of God and not the sands of the world. The parable served as a basis for the popular hymn The Solid Rock. The Solid Rock or My Hope is Built on Nothing Less was written by Edward Mote. He was a pastor at Rehoboth Baptist Church in Horsham, West Essex, England. Mote was born in 1797 and trained to be a cabinet maker. At the age of 50, he entered the ministry. When offered the church building as a gift, Mote replied “I do not want the chapel, I only want the pulpit; and when I cease to preach Christ, then turn me out of that.” My Hope is Built on Nothing Less was written in 1834. The song was originally published anonymously in the 1837 Hymns of Praise, A New Selection of Gospel Hymns, Combining All the Excellencies of our Spiritual Poets, with Many Originals. The original title the hymn was published under was “The Immutable Basis for a Sinner’s Hope”. The hymn became very popular and has been covered many times. Mote died in 1874 and is buried in the churchyard where he preached. He wrote over 100 songs during his lifetime. The Solid Rock remains one of Mote’s best loved hymns. What is your life and hope built on?

Read more inspiring hymn stories in

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

Now available from RUBY’S Reading Corner

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!

Celebrate Mom!

You can find more amazing doodle art printables at Doodle Art Alley.

Second Chances by Shara Bueler-Repka

I stare at the tattoos on this dude’s arm. There isn’t a free space on his entire limb. My eyes travel up to his head: A truck could drive through his earlobes, and a scar trails through an eyebrow. I would not want to meet this guy in a dark alley. I sit here in this church youth group between scaryguy and “churchy” kids. I cross my arms tightly across my chest. Why did Grams and Papa make me come here?

I sit bolt upright in my metal folding chair. He continues on with his story... “A beeping sound slowly nudged me awake. I blinked to clear my eyes and shook my head to clear my foggy brain. A woman in a white coat, holding a big silver clipboard walked to the side of my bed and checked a monitor above my head.

My mom’s in jail for selling drugs. I never knew my dad. I’m ashamed of where I come from. Where do I fit in? Definitely not here!

A nurse? I’m in the hospital?

Suddenly tattoo-dude gets up and steps to the front.

‘You OD’d,’ she growled. ‘It’s a miracle you’re alive.’

“Welcome,” he grins. “I see some new faces out there. Cool. Most of you have heard my story, but I’ll share it again tonight.”

I stared at the ceiling, my wrist handcuffed to the bed rail. And I’m feeling really stupid. I don’t want this life anymore.

“My name is Dylan,” he continues, “and I’m the youth leader.”

What am I going to do? I have nowhere to go, and I’m in big trouble.

My head jerks up and my mouth drops.

My mom and dad had nothing to do with God. But, I figured, if God’s up there somewhere, He’s the only shot I’ve got.

He looks out over his audience. “My dad was a drug dealer and an addict, my mom is an addict and doing time upstate. When my dad committed suicide and my mom went to prison, I had nowhere to go.”

‘What happened?’ I groggily asked.

‘God?’ I gazed up somewhere between the ceiling tiles. ‘If you’re around, here’s the deal,’ I bargained.

‘I’ll clean up what’s left of my life if you get me out of this. No more dealing drugs…no drugs…period. No crashing on ‘friends’ couches or living on the streets.’

We had us a grand ole time spray painting the inside and breaking its windows. Turned out, someone owned the building and was pretty upset with our ‘makeover.’

I finally got out of the hospital and I’m now standing in front of a judge. He has to release me into the custody of a court-approved guardian.

I’m loaded into my home-away-from-home—the back seat of a squad car. I’m released into Tina and Brady’s custody...again.

I called every contact in my phone. The judge is hovering over the sheet of paper listing the names of those few people willing to take me.

I wouldn’t be surprised if my cousins tried to ship me off somewhere. I deserved Siberia.

Sweat is trickling down my neck. He peered at me over his spectacles and shook his head. ‘Even if any of these people can pass a background check, I won’t release you into their custody.’ I frantically racked my brain for anyone I knew that might ‘pass.’ One person came to cousin, Tina. I don’t really want to go there. I barely know her, but I was told she’s super religious.

Tina broke the silence during the long drive home. ‘Dylan.’ Butterflies are head-butting in my stomach. ‘First of all, no more hanging out with those kids. Also, the owner of the building did not press charges against you. But, your free time after school and on Saturdays will be spent helping him with cleanup and repairs.’ She turned around to face me.

‘Churchy’ types rejected me one too many times. I won’t put up with any more nasty stares and snide remarks from ‘churchies.’ She’s not in my phone contacts anyway. I’m running out of options…and time. The judge is impatient. I desperately scrolled through the contacts again, just to make sure I didn’t miss anybody. I scrolled through the last number...and stared at the screen. The last number is not the final number anymore. There’s another number. Impossible. That contact was not there before!

‘We also want you to know that we’ve forgiven you. And God already forgave you on the Cross. But you need to accept Him and His forgiveness and start making better choices.’ ‘Sooo, you’re not going to ship me off?’ I asked in disbelief. ‘You’re not going anywhere,’ Brady smiled. ’We love you. God loves you. And with His help, we’ll work things out together.’” Dylan’s eyes dance as he looks at each one of us. “I went to church with them the next morning.

My cousin Tina’s phone number is right there in front of me, big as life! I knew this was another miracle.

And, it was here that I gave my life to Jesus.

The judge released me into Tina and her husband, Brady’s custody.

I figured that if He still loved me after all the stuff I’d done, than He would be someone I could trust, who would never let me down. And I would try really hard not to let Him down either.”

But things were a little rough at first. One night I pulled a bonehead move with some of my friends. An old abandoned building that supposedly was on a list to be torn down became the victim of our shenanigans.

Tears well up as I listen to Dylan’s words. There’s a peace about this guy that I’ve never seen before. I want what he has. Maybe there’s hope for me too? Dylan gives an invitation to join the family of Jesus. My hand slowly raises...

Meal of Grace by Nancy Frantel “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” Matthew 25:35 (NRSV) I walked out of a restaurant after enjoying lunch one day and noticed a poorly dressed woman in the parking lot. She appeared alone, and carried a dirty bedroll and overstuffed backpack. While heading to my car, I felt led to turn around and ask if she was hungry. “Yes.” “Let’s go into the restaurant. I’ll buy you lunch.” Once inside I told the manager I wanted to buy her lunch. He smiled, said there would not be a charge, and guided her to a table. I watched the staff treat her with compassion, and heard the waiter tell her she may have anything on the menu. As I turned to exit, I noticed something on the floor by her feet. Walking closer I saw a piece of cardboard. The handwritten sign read, “Homeless - need money for food.” How did I miss the third item she was carrying? Then spotting a crease, I guessed she must have folded it, not expecting anyone to help her. A guest from another table came over, wanting to buy her lunch. I told him about the manager’s generosity. He handed money to her instead, and offered to give her more which she refused. Within a few minutes, her meal arrived at the table. She immediately started eating, indicating she hadn’t had a meal in a while. Thinking more about the event, I thanked God for hiding the sign from me. I’m not sure I would have helped her, judging the message was a trick to get money for other uses. Forgive me Lord, and thank you for your grace.

Just a Mum by Melissa Sturt "I'm just a mum," I said to the young man on the phone from the insurance company. "No, you're not 'just a mum,', he said gently. "My wife is a stay-home mum and I know how much work it is. It's a full-time job! It's not easy." I was so touched that someone acknowledged that what I did was worth something and I didn't just 'sit around' all day as some people had cruelly said to me. Perhaps what I did could not be seen...drying tears, changing nappies, soothing wounds, playing games with little ones, guiding and training young hearts, teaching manners...but in years to come it would show. What mothers do is emotionally and physically draining...we don't have a clock-on and clock-off's 24/7! During those early childhood years, it can be so demanding that we may often feel we lose ourselves...that what we do is insignificant. Our days are filled with attending to children, with precious little time for ourselves. It's a time of sacrifice but it's only intense for a's not forever. It is, however, immensely valuable and one of the varied talents God has given to each woman. Even women who don't have children of their own can be used by the Lord to 'mother' a child whose own mother may be unable to nurture her child or perhaps has left this world too soon. So please - all you amazing mothers out there - NEVER say "I'm just a mum" ever again. What you do is as priceless and essential as the very air we breathe. Without mothers, children would be abandoned, unloved, rudderless and desperately afraid! So instead, be proud to say, "I'm a Mum!"

My name is Melissa Sturt and I live in Queensland, Australia. I am a 42 year old mother of 3 home-schooled children aged 9, 11, and 14, and happily married to my wonderful husband, Mat for nearly 19 years. I love encouraging other women in my life and I would love my writing to do the same.

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UP by Cindy J. Evans I saw the small girl look up at him, arms stretched towards the sky, fragile, so vulnerable, saying only "Up" as she gazed into his eyes... He knew immediately she needed help, and a lift he was happy to do, so he scooped her right up with ease and joy and she was delighted, too! Watching this, I pictured our Father, imagined each of us below, needing His loving lift, His hands to raise us where we want to go. Can we be a trusting, tiny child, simply saying "up" quietly, knowing that He'll then pick us up into His strong arms we'll safely be!

Earth’s Sanctuary A Prose-Poem by Stacie Eirich

I sit in the stillness of light through trees, a stolen patch of warmth surrounded by the brown dirt, leaves and wood of long-ago felled trees. A bit of wild in the midst of a city, preserved - a sanctuary of quiet brimming with life yet scattered with death. Lavender iris, tall crocuses rise among grassy patches of swamp-water.

A few more, slow minutes pass, and I'm alone in this forest that is a cacophony of life - within a buzzing city with the ever-present hum of cars, voices, music, laughter, song, chatter. Now all I hear is the music of birdsong, as constant here as the rise and fall of the sun over the Earth, the story of a sanctuary told through circles of years within their hearts - the hearts of the trees, the great mothers of this tiny forest city.

As far as my eye can see from this center-point, my chosen writing space here upon a log - is only acres of brown-green catching light, reflections of the sun beaming down upon me in a soft April sigh.

It's twelve noon now, my clock reminds me in glowing digital - foreign, out of place here amidst stillness and green, the hum of insects (who remain mostly unseen, blending in to the earthy browns and split-pea greens), and trills of birds.

A couple wearing blue-jeans and backpacks, tall, thick walking sticks in their hands - pass. Spry and quick, they tromp through sticks and crunch leaves, hearty travelers down the path...while I sit scrawling in my notebook just away from it, out of view.

The rush of a squirrel down a tree, the leap of a lizard through dried leaves lifts my eyes from the page.

I hear their echoing talk, see other walkers pass on another, crisis-crossing trail, but can't make out their words.

I've lost sight of the tiny, blue-winged bird but can find a thousand points of light through which to gaze, each vision of Earth and its wonders enough to hold me here past the next minute, the next hour life beckoning me to stay in her midst a while longer.

I remain hidden, though my outline is painted in the sunshine of a radiant April day, weaving words like raindrops against a bright open sky.

Afterwards, A Reflection: This piece of writing feels like an ode to nature, to a world that still exists outside of modern technology and city life.

I lift my face to it; the sun blinks back at me through a canopy of trees.

An ode to life itself, and the preservation of our natural world. Written just off the path of the nature center, only minutes from home on a clear, cool April day. For the last twenty minutes or so, I've glimpsed no one - the only movements around me birds, spiders, leaves - nature. A beautiful, restoring way to write.

I am still, waiting. Wings fall through them in playful flight, leaves dance around me in the gentle breeze. Time feels suspended as I watch a tiny, blue-winged bird hop from tree to tree.

Porch Time by Jeanne Doyon Sunshine called. Today was perfect to sit on my porch. I listened to the bird’s spring call to their beloved; first a clear high pitch, and then an answer in a bit lower tone. They call and edge nearer to find one another. Spending time on my porch is my way to slow down and match step with nature. Our world is hurried. But my backyard is slow and contemplative. Birds chirp to one another as they build nests or feed their chicks. Bees hum about the beautiful flowers and gather today’s portion. Small critters frolic in the day’s delight. Nothing hurries—it simply is, and takes time as it comes. But, the truth is also not lost on me. Nature is just as fallen as I am, yet somehow has discovered how to gracefully flow. Yes, hawks swoop to eat their prey and trees succumb to insects and disease. Yet their world seems so much more peaceful than the one I strive in. Have they discovered how to move at the speed of ‘enough?’ Have they been able to live and move and have their being — rather than doing—to match pace with God’s rhythm of time? I guess that’s why I love porch time so much. It regulates the rhythm of my heart to His. It slows my pace so that when my beloved calls, I am able to answer. Pausing helps me to notice things around me: new shoots on my peonies; chives getting ready to flower; a tree limb that fell during the last storm. Taking time helps me to enjoy things I would normally rush right past, like my yellow primroses thriving more than they were last year. Enjoying today helps me to try my hand at planting peas — just because. Focusing on ‘right now’ shows me three industrious ants that invited themselves to my porch and may need a bit of pest control. Porch time helps me to pause, enjoy, notice, and be mindful of where I am and where I am going. Spending time has helped me today. It’s been a bit of Sabbath-rest and of hearing my Beloved’s call. I have been able to stem the flow of the world for just a bit so I can listen to my heart…So what am I hearing? Enjoy today Pause long enough to notice Assess my direction Focus on whatever is… true, noble, pure, just…Philippians 4:8 How about you…How is God speaking to you today? Where can you feel the tug on your accelerator, drawing you to slow down? What benefits do you find? How does your perspective change? Do you find yourself thinking, “I need to do this more often?” How can you be more intentional in scheduling time for this? He is calling you His beloved….it’s porch time.

A Fresh Start by Pat Jeanne Davis

Vicky sat at the kitchen table. Since the break-up two years ago she’d tried hard to leave painful memories behind. She pulled her long, brown hair into a ponytail. She knew she was blessed to have a place with a back yard. And she’d dropped two dress sizes, placing her at the ideal weight for her frame. But still not as slim as the woman Bob left her for. Now she had no job and no husband. Just as she poured her first cup of coffee, the doorbell chimed. A woman with gray hair and bright blue eyes stood on the step outside. “Hello. I’m Emily from across the road,” she said, smiling. “I hate to disturb you, but your dog’s barking in my back yard.” “Sorry.” She grabbed Luke’s leash from a hook on the back of the door and extended her hand. “I’m Vicky.” “I wouldn’t mind, but my son works nights. Are you on vacation this week?” “No, I lost my job.” “Oh, I’m sorry.”

Vicky hurried after Emily. She spotted her golden retriever sitting in the midst of Emily’s garden. Begonias scattered pink, yellow, and coral around him. She sighed, realizing she must do something about her gate. As Vicky was leaving, Emily touched her arm. “Good luck finding work. Let me know if I can be of any help, dear.” Vicky smiled. “Thank you.” Back home she flopped onto the settee and drank cold coffee while Luke sprawled across her feet. “There’s still you, old fella, and a friendly neighbor.” She hoped her melancholy would soon pass. Tears stung the back of her eyes, and she reached down to stroke Luke’s coat. “You’ll go for a run this afternoon and then I must fix that latch.” New routines felt strange as the weeks dragged, and Vicky grappled for some semblance of normality while looking for another job. She now had time to spend with her grandmother at the nursing home and to volunteer her services there.

Leaving the house one afternoon, she spotted Emily standing at the curb. A man—not much taller than her own five-feet-eight—was unloading bags from Emily’s car. Vicky crossed the street. “This is my son Ben. Ben, Vicky,” Emily said, jerking her head toward him.

His grin widened. “I thought your face looked familiar too.” She met his gaze, taking in his strong jaw and the small scar on his cheek. “I worked there for four years until they reorganized my department.” “It’s six years for me on the fifth floor.”

He turned around. Vicky held out her hand and smiled.

Vicky took a deep calming breath. “So you’re a psychiatric nurse?”

“Er, sorry, no free hands,” he said. Ben nodded. Vicky’s gaze shifted from his warm brown eyes to the packages piled up in his arms. As Ben walked away, Emily leaned over and whispered, “Not so friendly with women since his girl broke their engagement last summer.”

She felt a tight knot in the pit of her stomach and scrambled for something more to say. Since the break-up, she’d tried with God’s help to force from her mind that brief hospital stay for depression. “Probably saw you on one of my rare day shifts.”

She squeezed Emily’s arm and attempted a smile. “I’m off to do some shopping and then the fitness center.” Seated in the car, Vicky watched in her rear-view mirror as Ben walked back to where his mother stood. Where had she seen him before? She searched her memory, but with no success.

Vicky threw him an anxious glance. “Possibly.” “About the job loss. You’ll find another one I’m sure,” Ben said, flashing a captivating wide smile. She attempted to sound cheerful. “I have an interview tomorrow.”

Shopping done, she walked the short distance from the car to the gym, flipping through a magazine as she went.

“Try to be optimistic.” He adjusted his cap over his tousled dark hair. “Maybe we’ll run into each other again.”

“Can you read and open the door too?” a deep, masculine voice said.

“I expect to be home most days,” she called after him, hoping they’d do more than bump into each other. ******************

She looked up to see Ben. He shifted a duffel bag to his shoulder and stepped back into the lobby to let her in. “Vicky, isn’t it?” He swiped his forehead with the back of his arm, perspiration running down his cheek.

Two days later, Vicky went to open the front door, dressed in a crumpled blue robe. Who could it be at this hour?

She dropped the magazine into her oversized bag. “And you’re Ben.”

Ben stood with Luke at his side. “Your dog likes my house.”

“We meet again,” he said, still holding the door.

“I’m sorry he’s a bother.”

Vicky smiled. “Looks like you’ve had a good workout.”

“No bother. I just got off work.”

Ben glanced down at his clothes. “Need to shower and change before going into Jefferson.”

“I thought I’d repaired that latch,” Vicky said, regretting she hadn’t even dressed or combed her hair.

“Jefferson! The hospital? So that’s where I’ve seen you.”

He stooped and stroked Luke’s neck. “Have you found anything yet?”

“No . . . not yet.” Ben stood up. “Don’t lose hope.” He made to leave, and then turned. “Would you like me to look at your gate now?” She smiled. “If it wouldn’t be any trouble.” “Sometimes it’s just a matter of having the right tools.” “I’ll pour you a cup of coffee before you start.” “Sounds good.” In no time, he had repaired the latch. They watched as Luke cavorted across the lawn. Ben gave a hearty laugh. She laughed along. “I don’t know how to thank you,” she said, grateful that her dog had a secured space to romp. Ben gazed into her eyes, smiling. “No need for that.” Then he cleared his throat. “Look . . . are you free this Saturday? I’m going for a hike in the hills.” He patted his waist. “Need to lose weight.”

Luke jumped up and planted his paws on Ben’s chest. He ruffed the dog’s ears. “More room there for him to run.” Vicky’s heartbeat picked up in anticipation of spending a day with Ben. “Thanks for asking,” she said, her tone masking her excitement. If it hadn’t been for the defective latch, she might’ve never had a chance to get to know Ben. “Well, need to get some shut-eye. The unit was busy last night.” He smiled. “You know how it goes.” Vicky studied his intent expression and nodded. She watched him cross the street, her heart surged with the prospect of a fresh start. God continued to watch over her. The fluttering of a curtain across the road caught her eye. She saw Emily step back from the window. Vicky pressed her nose against Luke’s snout. “So . . . who’s the matchmaker here? Emily or you?”

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

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

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

All in a Beautiful Setting

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

Thankful Observation by Nancy Frantel

“As he [Jesus] walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s work might be revealed in him.” John 9:1-3 (NRSV) When my son was in elementary school, he played recreational soccer. I enjoyed watching the game each Saturday. However, I preferred the relaxed environment of the mid-week practice session. Due to varying athletic skills, the coach separated team members into groups. Within each group, he concentrated on skills to improve scoring opportunities for Saturday’s game. I appreciated how he encouraged each player, and taught basic rules to avoid violations during a game. Most players understood the “no hands rule,” but for some restraint proved difficult. I didn’t have to pay close attention to know when a mistake happened, since several team members cried, “You can’t use your hands! What’s wrong with you?” A response ensued, “Well, you did (fill in the blank) wrong.” Depending upon the excessive energy of my son’s team, I watched the team practicing on the field next to us. One evening their coach allowed the team to play a game, while providing instructions from the sideline.

I’m not sure the kids were listening, but they were having fun. Clustered around the ball, they seemed oblivious to the basic concept of spreading out. The coach insisted, “Move away from each other or I’ll stop the game,” resulting in obedience. While they continued to play, I spotted one child’s athletic talent. Due to his accuracy, agility, and speed I thought, “He must have played for years.” Then I noticed he had one arm. My mom instincts took over and I wondered how serious an injury he might suffer if he fell. Filled with anxiety, I tried not to think the worse. Instead, I noticed his confidence. The powerful image caused me to search my heart. I felt guilty wondering if I’d allow my child to participate knowing the risk for injury. My anxiety changed to joy as I saw him compete at the same level, or better, than his teammates. Focusing back on my son’s team, I watched them give their best effort with the skills God bestowed upon them. Thank you, heavenly Father for placing these beautiful children in my path. “. . .[Jesus] saying to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’ (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see.” John 9:7 (NRSV)

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

Ruth by Nora Spinaio I recently heard a sermon based in the book of Ruth. It had never dawned on me until the preacher said it. Naomi didn’t go back to Judah because she loved her country. She went back because God had blessed Judah with food, and she was hungry. While it’s true that Naomi was a widow, she wasn’t alone. She had her two daughters-inlaw with her. It’s clear in chapter 1 the three women loved one another. But, what could she do? She had no more sons for them to marry. She had no resources to give them. All hope had turned to bitterness. So, she went home to Judah. To Bethlehem. What of Orpah and Ruth? In Ruth 1:14, we see that Orpah finally agreed to go back to her own people. I’m sure she cried all the way. She loved Naomi. She had intended to go to Bethlehem. However, when she was faced with the logic of the situation, she chose to go back to her own people. Who can blame her? She was still young enough to remarry and have children. To have a home of her own. Judging by the times she lived in, I’m sure she did. In Ruth 1:16-18, we see Ruth was stubborn. Not only was she determined to go with Naomi, she was so determined she even changed faiths. “Your God will be my God” is part of one of the most famous quotes in scripture. What if there had been plenty of food in Moab? What if Naomi hadn’t decided to go home? What if her sons and husband hadn’t died? Ruth would have never married Boaz, become the greatgrandmother of David, and she would not be included in the genealogy of Jesus. Ruth had no idea she would be so blessed as to be part of the greatest love story in history. She did what her heart told her. She listened to Naomi. She married Boaz. The book of Ruth never says whether Ruth loved Boaz. The evidence is clear though, I think, that he loved her at first sight. And, it does say she loved her son. Circumstances are temporary. Our heartaches will heal leaving only small scars. We should always look toward Heaven knowing our God has good plans for us. He knows where we are, and more importantly, where we are going. There’s a song Chris Tomlin sings “I Will Follow You.” Ruth’s story reminds me of these lyrics. What else can we do other than follow Jesus?

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

Moments with Billy Graham: America's Preacher Whose Ministry Led to Our Changed Lives by Yvonne Lehman (Compiler, Editor)

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

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

Know These Things by Deb Ilardi Spencer Everett was uncomfortable in the building called Hospice House. It was a lovely old building, could easily have been a church once, or even a hotel.

It made him sad, but then, it also gave him a chance to really be with her, except here at Hospice House of course. Here he was only near her.

But now it was a home of dying people, sad family and friends, and people like Spencer not sure what to do while being there.

Eventually Spencer wandered into a room that could have been a chapel, or a prayer room, a quiet place. It reminded him of his new house in Connecticut where his wife had asked for a closet she could have just to herself.

He was there with his grandmother, to visit a friend of hers who was, as grandma said, waiting to die. Spencer didn’t know exactly why he was uncomfortable. The home wasn’t creepy or scary. It wasn’t because he didn’t know Magda, the waitingto-die woman who appeared even older than his 89 year old Grandma Tillie. It probably wasn’t even because he had a wife and two children back home in Connecticut, where soon there would be a third child. No, Spencer thought it probably had to do with the idea of dying, not something he thought of very often. Grandma Tillie talked about dying with such ease, such comfort, even her own eventual passing. Spencer could not recall, at that very moment, ever talking about dying. That was probably responsible for the edginess in his gut. That must be why he started walking around. Spencer felt almost invisible. The rooms were quiet, in a respectful way. There were small items of decoration, a few books and paintings. There was a toy room in the large dining area where there was hot food available for anyone who felt hungry. If he encountered a person they nodded or smiled and kept to themselves. This was so different from his usual days of hectic sales and raising children. He’d offered to come and stay with Grandma Tillie for four days while his own parents were out of town. She needed someone nearby, someone to drive her places and listen to her chatter. She could no longer manage being alone.

She wanted to create a meditation area, she said. It seemed extravagant at the time. There weren’t many extra spaces in the home. But he’d agreed, and she had made an extraordinary corner of tranquility. She offered to let Spencer use it if the kids were both asleep and she didn’t need it at the moment. So far he hadn’t accepted the offer. Exiting his reverie, he realized there was a corner with two chairs facing the wall in one part of the Hospice room. It looked so odd that he went over to it, intrigued. Both chairs faced a large framed poster on the wall. The background was ocean, and sky and sand…his mother’s favorite scenery. Words were written on top of the photograph requiring his close attention. Without hesitation Spencer sat down. This is what he read . . . I need for you to know these things: My life has not been lost to you because my physical body is gone. What we were together cannot be erased from you. I hope you will allow your reactions to occur (grief, sadness, emptiness, regret, anger, loneliness, and any others), to wash over you and become emotions outside your control for a little while. I believe it is possible for you to remember me without being sad someday soon or in the future.

I have loved my life and felt blessed to have been a part of yours. I was the oldest one in our family. Yet know that I eventually realized this afforded me little status. I learned from the rest of you, every time I listened. You are wise and have insights I didn’t. You are special, and smart and important. Thank you.

“Spencer, I’m ready to go now.” It was Grandma Tillie’s gentle voice coming from the doorway. She smiled at him as he stood and walked toward her. “I was hoping you’d find that poster to read while you were here. Did it touch your heart?”

Truly, I acknowledged that I didn’t know what would happen after death. Choose your belief and allow it to comfort you.

Spencer nodded and smiled back at his grandma. He reached out and hugged her. She looked happy and relaxed, even though she had just said goodbye to her friend for maybe the last time.

But please don’t judge me, or anyone else with a different belief. Don’t impose your belief on me. Until you die you won’t really know, will you?

“That poster was just hung there last week,” she said.

Based on what I believe, we might meet again in the future as different people. I hope we do. I lived my life with a certain certainty that I’d known some of you before. There are many intriguing ideas in the stories I have read and the ones I have written over the last ten years. All writings are meant to entice you to think and grow. Whatever you read, please find your own meaning. Always try, when you remember, to see the commonality in us all. No one is more important than another. No one gets to learn their own necessary lessons without asking for help, listening carefully, offering to share, or giving freely. Forgive everyone, including yourself, when you fall short of ideal. It happens as we learn and travel through every day. Love is endless. Seek it in each opportunity. Let yourself be so caught up in that pursuit that you never feel unloved, because you never are.

“I had to wait several months for it to be framed. Your grandfather wrote it before he died.” They walked to the car together, Spencer’s arm around Tillie’s shoulder and hers around his waist. Spencer was no longer out of sorts and Hospice House would never again feel anything but comforting. __________________ *Hospice Foundation of America, Inc is an official organization with tremendous services. Explained on their website: Hospice offers medical care toward a different goal: maintaining or improving quality of life for someone whose illness, disease or condition is unlikely to be cured. Each patient’s individualized care plan is updated as needed to address the physical, emotional and spiritual pain that often accompanies terminal illness. Hospice care also offers practical support for the caregiver(s) during the illness and grief support after the death. This article is not an official document but instead is a personal/fictional piece of writing.

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.

Because He Lives by Frances Gregory Pasch O dear heavenly Father, We come boldly to Your throne, Through the blood of Jesus By nothing of our own. For Jesus opened heaven’s door When He died on the cross, And three days later rose again So none need to be lost. How blessed we are…He bridged the gap Left open by man’s sin. How blessed we are…because of Him That we can enter in.

Bright Wings by Stacie Eirich A golden-breasted warbler, silvery feathers and shimmering, ebony eyes, sits high atop leafy green branches, trilling a tune into the spring sun. His dazzling song breaks through lazy, blue afternoon light, cottony-white clouds passing smoothly, uninterrupted by his call. I sit, silent, entranced by his fragility, his melody, his beauty, hoping he will stay long enough for me to finish writing this poem. His bright wings rising as he soars through the gentle breezes of spring.

Memorial Days by Lisa J. Radcliff

Never forget. That became a national motto, if not battle cry, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This month, our country sets aside a day to do just that, remember. Memorial Day is not just a day for grilling hot dogs, opening swimming pools, and getting a tan at the beach. It is a day Americans remember those who lost their lives in defense of our country and freedom around the world. It seems we have forgotten what Memorial Day is really about. My family has a long history of military service. A long history—I am eligible to be a member of Daughters of the American Revolution. The stories of their proud service are some of my most cherished memories. I realized with the recent passing of my father-in-law that now it is up to my generation to make sure the stories are shared with the younger generations. I wish I had recorded his stories! But besides war stories, we need to never forget the things that God has done for us and the things he has brought us through. In Joshua, chapter 4, God tells Joshua to set up stones as a memorial so the Israelites would remember what He had done for them. 21

And he said to the people of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22 then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, 24 so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever.” It was up to those who were there to pass on the stories of God’s works to those who weren’t there. But they failed to share the stories, and in just two generations, those stories were lost. Joshua warned them it would happen. But after he died, we learn how quickly all of Israel forgot God. “10 And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD or the work that he had done for Israel. 11 And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals. 12 And they abandoned the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt.” (Judges 2:10-12 ESV) How sad. Imagine only a few generations removed from Egypt, and the Israelites didn’t know God because they hadn’t heard the stories of all He had done. Our children should be able to tell our stories as easily as we can because they’ve heard them over and over. Even if they roll their eyes, tell them what God has done so they don’t forget who He is. Set up those memorial stones.

Peter tells us that we are to be living stones. Why? “…that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9b ESV) Proclaiming what God has done in your life will glorify God and cause your future generations to remember Him. Never forget. Like ancient Israel, Americans are quick to forget. High school seniors were either newborns or not yet born on September 11, 2001. They have never known America with the Twin Towers or even carrying a water bottle through security at the airport. I am amazed at how much young people don’t know about American History.

While watching an episode of this year’s American Idol’s, filmed in Hawaii, one of the contestants didn’t know that Pearl Harbor was a real military base. He thought it was just a movie. How can this be? No one ever told him. The only way to know what happened in the past is to hear or read the stories of those who lived it. I am fortunate to live where American history was born. In less than an hour, I can be wandering through Valley Forge Park, where Washington’s troops spent a bitterly cold winter. Or I can be at the Liberty Bell Pavilion, Independence Hall, Betsy Ross’s house, or the Constitution Center. In two hours, I can be walking among the monuments on the Gettysburg Battlefield. And, of course, all sorts of history books are just a mouse click away. But nothing beats the family memories. We had one family member who repaired Union uniforms for troops stationed near her home. Her treadle sewing machine still had scraps of Union uniforms in the drawers when she died. More importantly, we have a long history of God’s hand in the lives of our family members. We know their stories. We know the ways God kept them. And we are responsible to pass along those stories, so the younger generations of our family never forget. Remember this Memorial Day the sacrifices made by Americans who fought and died for our country’s freedom. Visit the memorials, go to the parades, listen to the stories. But also remember the sacrifice God made for our freedom from sin and death. Share the story of Jesus with your family. Your stories will be a memorial so they never forget. Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! 2 Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! (Psalm 105:1-2 ESV)

Inadequacy to Glory by Judith Vander Wege Scripture: "I have redeemed are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you... everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made," (Is.43:1, 4 &7, RSV) In my valley, vision is limited. High walls rise on either side. Mountains impassable, immovable, are barriers to the vistas of inspiration for which I yearn. I long to 'Write His Answers,' but don't even comprehend the questions. I cry out for understanding, longing to glorify God in this inadequate human frame. Created for your glory? Oh Lord, do you mean me? What is there I could ever do to praise the Trinity? The answer comes slowly, softly, surely: "To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory," (Col. 1:27, NIV). Cleansed and forgiven by Jesus Christ, I live by my Lord's power. His Spirit is at work in me to perfect the plan of God in my life to write God's messages. Yes, this human frame is inadequate, yet Christ in me is God's glory like the breath of a musician empowers a woodwind instrument, like the wind makes the wind chimes sing, like a light within a lantern dispels the darkness. Lord Jesus Christ, speak your gospel message through me, shine in me and through me, empower me by your breath, play your beautiful music through me. Amen.

A Vessel for God’s Use by Frances Gregory Pasch Read: Galations 2:20-21 “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 While arranging a bouquet of rust-colored carnations in a crystal vase, I noticed that one of the stems was cracked and three tiny buds were clinging to the section that broke off. I was going to discard them, but instead I placed the buds in an empty plastic juice bottle that I rescued from the recycling bin. The bottle wasn’t very pretty, but once the flowers were in it, my eyes focused less on the container and more on the buds. The next day as I looked at the makeshift vase on my counter, a thought came to mind. For many years, I was like that average-looking plastic bottle—empty and waiting to be filled. Then my son told me about Jesus and His desire to have a personal relationship with me. When I asked Jesus into my life, I became a container for Him and felt blessed to be available for His use. Just as I was more attracted to the buds than to the plastic bottle, I pray that others will look beyond my outward appearance and be attracted to Christ living in me. PRAYER: Thank you, Lord, that what matters to You is my heart. Amen.

Demonstrating Kindness by Nancy Frantel “Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.

At first, the goal of allowing her to leave without having the door hit her appeared unlikely.

Whosoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 4:10-11a (NRSV)

After a small opening, his feet started sliding on the linoleum floor.

While walking from the parking lot towards the local library I heard laughter.

He didn’t complain about the difficulty.

Upon reaching the first of two glass doors, I noticed people speaking with a mom as she stood with her son next to the interior door. The discussion centered on her son’s actions. He wasn’t tugging on her pant leg anxious to go home, or even trying to interrupt the conversation.

Grabbing the handle, he pulled.

With arms outstretched and body leaning at a 45degree angle backwards, he didn’t give up.

Instead, he grunted. And grunted again believing, “The louder I am, the easier this will be.” Continuing to pull, his face showed the intent of using every muscle available. The three-year-old pulled the door open for her to exit safely.

Instead, he wanted to hold the door open for everyone entering and departing the library.

He did not let go and say, “I told you so.”

I joined in awe and respect of the endeavor.

Instead he continued struggling, allowing the next library patron to benefit from his efforts.

“I can do it. Watch me,” he told his mom. “The door is too heavy for you.” “No, it’s not!” We stood aside and watched innocence and determination in action. The first lady to head toward the exit didn’t realize a “doorman” stood waiting to assist.

We commented about the positive example her son demonstrated through the kind gesture. He may not have understood the impact of his actions, yet his willingness to use all his strength provided a life lesson. To him, there was no such thing as failure. What a special gift to receive just for returning a book.

The Foundation of Love by Mary Anusha Chandrakumar

The word “love” itself is very beautiful and attracts every human being. A person who says that "I love you" to the significant other or anyone he or she loves, activates the unknown happiness of the heart with a feeling longing to see each other every minute of life. Where can we find meaning to true love? It is found in Christ's Love which is unconditional and unchanging Agape Love. “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”(1 John 4:8) Let me say, love reaches us from the very throne of God so we get filled with the heavenly glory of love, by which we begin to love others the way Christ loved us on the Cross of Calvary. God is love and that is why that love is so special and the worldly people cannot understand or feel it unless they receive Jesus into their hearts. We are so blessed to have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. God showed His love to the world by giving His One and Only Begotten Son. In life, when struggles come and we lose hope and give up on God’s mission of loving others, if we meditate on the love of Jesus Christ, it will strengthen us to be His true followers to do what he asked us to do in our earthly life! God loves you so much. None can love us the way He does, because He is the God of love. His promises are so real. He is a righteous and faithful God whose love is so pure and perfect. Our everyday life is flooded by the love of God because of His unending mercies.

We didn't do anything special to receive such a love from God, but His Inherent character brings forth love to humanity as He Himself even created us with His very nature to love each and everyone around us. His love never changes or fades away. Even though you don’t see His invisible hand, but believe me, He is holding you every minute, every hour and every day because He loves you so much as you are His Child who is bought by the very blood of Jesus Christ. He has made you free from the clutches of sin and Satan. We could not understand His pure love for us unless we give ourselves in His Presence to experience it. Love changes everything within a minute. Its smallest impact in a person’s life has ripple effects as it begins to change people from within, from bad to good. The hard characters of people start to melt down and soften to the very core with the love of Christ. To spread the love of God everywhere brings the joy of God into our lives. Let His love move into your life and from your life to the lives of others Jesus is our darling of Heaven who has descended from His heavenly throne for the sake of love. Let His name be exalted high above all names for He has brought us the love of God on earth. His love covers a multitude of sins. God's love never changes for us; He is perfect in His ways. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Praise be to God for His Great love for us and for loving us unconditionally forever.

How great though art, my everlasting God of love. Your love is the miracle of the universe. It is so pure and unchanging. We are nothing compared to His Greatest love for us on the Cross of Calvary. He is our Great God forever who loves us. He is our Alpha and Omega. His love molds us to change our earthly attitudes towards His heavenly purpose for us on earth. God's love can change any evil person into Godly person because His love has the power to change our hearts, minds and souls. Embrace His Love!

Prayer: Today, we pray for those who are in need of love and compassion of God including ourselves. Let everyone’s life begin to change from within by the touch of heavenly love of God. Let there be a fresh start with God. We cast all our anxiety on Him because He cares for us; we bless ourselves and others with Shalom - the Peace of God! We let your love move into our lives to get closer to you more than any day. In the name of Jesus we pray, amen!

The Mystery of Me by Sharmelle Olson and Sheri Diaz The mystery of Me, who am I? I am a faithful person who loves to look out at the blue sky and the mourning doves. I am a talented person in so many different ways; I like to make graphic arts, as I go through that journey following the path of my heart. Another talent of mine is graphic design it really makes me use a wide variety of colors through the big grapevine some of the colors I use are watercolors. I enjoy my poetry writing through the years as I still write daily, I become better and better with tears of joy from reading the poetry letter.

The Problem: Man shall not live by Rice Alone

by Adwoba Addo-Boateng Mr. Allan bought a bag of rice at the supermarket and so happily brought the bag of rice home for his family. Mrs. Allan met him at the doorway and said, “Hey, what do we have here?” “A bag of rice for the family,” he replied. Then Mrs. Allan commented, “Okay.” Mr. Allan repeated, “Okay . . . is that all you will say?” “What do you want me to say?” she inquired. “You have to say ‘thank you,” he stated. “Do you know what I went through to get this bag of rice?” he demanded. Mrs. Allan continued, “You bought a bag of rice only for your family and you want me to say thank you . . . for what?” she again asked. “What would you expect me to do if you had taken me to Paris fashion week to shop?” she snapped as she walked out of the room. Now the situation was getting ugly. It turned into series of fights and arguments.

Recipe: Thank You Pies Ingredients ½ cup appreciation ¼ cup love ¼ cup humility Method Humility is one of the key ingredients in marriage, being humble enough to thank your partner for little things will not hurt. If we say we are imitators of Christ, then our attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus who being found in appearance as man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2). When we love our partners, we should be able to appreciate them by constantly reminding them that they are appreciated and loved. Giving thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18). As you thank your husband for that bag of rice, you are actually thanking God and being grateful to him for everything, for from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever Amen (Romans 11:36).

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

Be watching for the

JUNE 2019 issue of

RUBY magazine Available JUNE 1, 2019 on the

RUBY blog .

They Lead me Back to You by Krystle Nicole Martin Every mountain I climb, Every valley I walk through, Every desert I crawl, Every ocean I cross, They lead me back to You. Every secret, Every thought, Every heartbreak, Every brokenness, They lead me back to You. Every cut, Every bruise, Every sprain, Every hurt, They all lead me to You. Every laugh, Every smile, Every dance, Every burst of joy, They all lead me to You. They lead me back to You. You have Your hand in everything. You have patience with me. You are gentle to me. You are gracious and merciful towards me It is Your loving-kindness that leads me back to You. Every step, Every moment, Every heartbeat, Every breath, It all leads me back to You.

Believing is a Must by Frances Gregory Pasch Before I knew you, Jesus, I would worry and I'd fret. Each time bad news came my way, I'd really get upset. Now I try to analyze The news that I receive; I look beyond the surface So I will not be deceived. I have learned, dear Jesus, At times I must bear pain. I also know it won't be long Before you will explain. I'm learning to accept what comes… In You, alone, I trust, For if I'm to be faithful... Believing is a must!

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

Mom’s Wise Decision by Norma C. Mezoe I saw that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness. - Ecclesiastes 2:13 Mom’s family didn’t have much money. At one time they lived in a corncrib after fire destroyed their home. She walked to school, summer and winter. Sometimes, her braids froze. Mom didn’t get far in school, possibly sixth grade, because her mother was lonely and often chose to keep her at home. But Mom had a head filled with wisdom. Some would call it common sense. When she was fortythree years of age, Mom made the wisest decision of her life: she chose to become a Christian. Life was sometimes hard because of that decision because Dad was not a Christian. However, Mom never faltered in her Christian walk. I was by her bedside when death crept into her room. As I sat, patting her arm, Mom peacefully went to be with her Lord. Mom didn’t have years of education, fame, or fortune. But she had the wisdom to choose Christ, the only way to eternal life. Wisdom is making Christ our Lord and Savior.

An Encourager by Norma C. Mezoe Lord, let me an encourager be, To look at others and their problems see. To think more of my brother and less of me, Loving God, I thank you. Let me walk side by side along their road, Pick up their burden and lighten their load. Share a smile with the young and lend a hand to the old, Loving God, I thank you. I do not ask for wealth or fame, I care not that others know my name. Just let me live in the fire of your Spirit’s flame, Loving God, I thank you. I pray when my earthly race is run, And I am united with your precious Son… He can look at me and say, “Well done.” Loving God, how I will praise you.

A Reminder about the Gardener by Sharon L. Patterson

As we enjoy this month of May whose beauty is magnified in the blanket of gorgeous wild flowers we see in the fields we drive by; the carefully designed gardens we walk though; or the treasured potted plant of geraniums we hover over as if it belonged in a palace, I am reminded of a very special Sunday morning 46 years ago when a dear friend in our choir brought our church a significant reminder about the greatest Gardener of all time. Every head in the choir bowed in prayer as Linda made her way to the microphone. We anticipated not only the deep, rich tones of her beautiful contralto voice but the anointed touch her singing always evoked. It was what we did every time a soloist sang at our church. We were blessed with so many wonderful, unique soloists. I have never been at a church since that had so many anointed solo voices both male and female. Hymns were sung in a rich variety of styles from gospel to country. Rich operatic voices took us to heights while deep base tones filled every church pew during “the special” we sang each Sunday. That particular Sunday morning, Linda felt to say a few words before singing her solo in our carefully rehearsed special. To this day, her words have remained planted in my heart. She began speaking about the Great Gardener, our Heavenly Father.

She quickly reminded us of all the different kinds of flowers he created. Every color and hue was chosen- from bold and bright, to the sheerest pale and pastel. Then, he perfumed each one uniquely with a scent that would also define them. He crafted the elegantly simple daisy; rolled delicate rows of leaves in the chrysanthemums he designed. Rose petals had a velvety texture added even as he dotted the stems with a prickly thorn. No detail was random but chosen with very specific purpose in mind. Beauty increased with contrast with every new flower he conceived. Though profoundly different, there would be no comparison in God’s garden-just delight in each new thoughtfully designed variety. He could have made only one kind of flower to occupy his garden but what a boring garden that would have made! She concluded by likening our choir and the soloists to the flowers the Great Gardner made to beautify his garden. We were each made to delight God and one another. Oh my, what rose to the nostrils of God that day! I think he loved walking in his garden…I know we did!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deb Ilardi is a registered nurse and has written professionally for decades. She was the Clinical Editor of School Nurse News from 2001-20016. Now she is retired and living in NC with her husband where she enjoys life near the ocean as a freelance writer.

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

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

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

Sharmelle Olson is a graphic artist and designer, photographer and poet. She loves to share her poems in RUBY magazine. Shar is also an administrator for Ruby for Women Ministries and enjoys helping out around the community and making new friends there. She has been writing poetry and taking photographs since elementary school, and started doing graphic art and design work in the early 2000s. Shar has four children, two of whom are twins.

Carol Peterson, Author

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

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

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

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

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

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

Krystal Nicole Martin lives in Oklahoma City and she loves to write and encourage people through her writing. She loves God and other people and she uses her writing to be a blessing to others. Krystal blogs at Welcome to My World.

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.

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. My name is Melissa Sturt and I live in Queensland, Australia. I am a 42 year old mother of 3 home-schooled children aged 9, 11, and 14, and happily married to my wonderful husband, Mat for nearly 19 years. I love encouraging other women in my life and I would love my writing to do the same.

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. Connect with me 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.

Nina Newton, Sr. Editor:

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

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

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