My Father’s Garden by Nancy Frantel
Unspoken Love by Frances Gregory Pasch
To the Rescue by Pat Jeanne Davis
November 11: Girl The Lonely by Shara Bueler-Repka Why I Wear Poppies by Joan Leotta Homemade Apple Recipes for Every Thanksgiving Autumn Day! by Stacie Eirich A Concise “His Story” of Plimoth Plantation by Kathryn Ross
RUBY Magazine Your voice, your story NOVEMBER, 2018 www.rubyforwomen.com
In This Issue of RUBY Over the River….. by Cynthia Knisley
Thanksgiving Joy by Nancy Frantel
It is the season of giving thanks! Of course, we are thankful to God for every season of the year, but on these gorgeous autumn days, we are truly reminded of all our blessings. In this issue of RUBY magazine you will find autumn crafts, recipes, short stories, poetry, book reviews, and inspirational articles. RUBY magazine is a great resource for you and 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: https://www.facebook.com/rubyforwomen/ Hope to see you there!
Make Your Own Autumn Love Wreath by Theresa Begin
Luke: Gathering the Goodness of God’s Word Verse Mapping Bible Study Series by Kristy Cambron
Senior Editor: Nina Newton Editorial Assistant: Theresa Begin Feature Writers: Sharon L. Patterson, Norma C. Mezoe, Shara Bueler-Repka, Lisa J. Radcliff, Jehn Kubiak, Nancy Frantel, Carol Peterson, Kathryn Ross, Rejetta Morse, Joan Leotta, Diana Leagh Matthews, Cynthia Knisley, Stacie Eirich, Patrice D. Wilkerson, Caryl McAdoo, Kristy Cambron, Frances Gregory Pasch, Priscilla Shumba, Irene Baron.
The First Annual Thanksgiving Books & Blessings Collection
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 firstname.lastname@example.org Questions? Email Nina @ email@example.com RUBY magazine is published by CreativeLife All submission inquiries should be directed to: Nina Newton, Sr. Editor RUBY magazine firstname.lastname@example.org
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How to Make a Miracle by Writing a Blog Post at
Katherineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Corner Join a community of friends and neighbors supporting and caring for one another. Even a small miracle is a TRUE miracle!
My mama always told me . . . . you will have many friends in your life, but only a very few will be your friend for life. Now, my mama was not the most sophisticated, educated, or accomplished woman in the world. She was an ordinary, hard-working, heartbroken woman who grew up during the Great Depression and lived life right on the edge of destitution. She was oftentimes unkind and angry, and she frequently used words that were hurtful to a little girl’s heart. But I have learned over the years that her unhappiness was a result of having so many obstacles and challenges in her life. But she was right about a lot of things. Friendship is one of them. I remember girl friends from my youth, girls I played with in the woods behind the little lake cottage where I grew up. I remember friends from high school, several of whom I remain in contact with even after all these years. I remember a few friends from my early college days, and I remember many friends from all of the years of being a young wife and mother, through the years of kids growing up, going to school, off to college, getting married, and having their own babies. And I remember friends from church, community, and neighborhood that God brings into our lives over the years. They are all treasured memories and I am so grateful for their presence in my life. But life has changed in so many ways over the past 20 years, with the opportunities to connect with new people all over the world and the open door to discover new friends from all around the world via the technological “miracle” of the internet.
The Miracle of Friendship Nina Newton, Sr. Editor This open door, in my life, has proven to be a gift that has led to some very special friends, most of whom I have never “met” in “real life,” with the very real possibility that I never will. The amazing thing about all of this (in my opinion) is that friendships can be discovered, nurtured, and maintained even across the miles, and across the years. This is one of the “miracles” that God has brought into my life. Katherine is one of my dearest friends, even though we have never met in person. But we have talked on the phone many times over the years and we have been supportive and helpful to one another in many different situations. Right now is one of those times, and now you have the opportunity to discover the miracle of friendship, too. Please visit Katherine’s Corner and read her blog post “How to Make a Miracle by Writing a Blog Post,” and see how God can use YOU to be a blessing to others. Even when we are facing challenging times in our own lives, it is such an amazing opportunity to do something so small that means so much to another person. Small miracles are TRUE miracles, and this is no exception! Perhaps you, too, are in a place where a word of encouragement, an act of kindness, or even just a simple, small gift could make a big difference to you. Is that where you are today? I know I’ve been there many times in my life, and God always brings someone along at just the right time to remind me that I am not alone. Let me know how God has given you an opportunity to reach out and touch the life of another pilgrim on this journey of life . . . . and also let me know if you need a word of encouragement today. Remember, we are all in this together and our love, support, and kindness for one another makes a HUGE difference. Friendship, no matter how God brings it into your life, truly is a miracle!
Discover more about the Thanksgiving Books and Blessings Collection One by visiting their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ThanksgivingBooksAndBlessings/ The Thanksgiving Books & Blessings Collection is now available at Amazon for your enjoyment! With this beloved holiday becoming more and more overshadowed, eight authors got together to write a story in which a family gathering for Thanksgiving would be an important part of each book! That’s the stories’ connection—a very special Thanksgiving dinner! Several also include writing or other books and they all certainly filled with blessings! GONE TO TEXAS by Caryl McAdoo, full length GATEWAY TO THE WEST by Susette Williams, novella-ette TRAIL TO CLEAR CREEK by Kit Morgan, full length HEART AND HOME by Pauline Creeden, novella-ette NO TURNING BACK by Lynette Sowell, novella DAUGHTER OF DEFIANCE by Heather Blanton, novella UNMISTAKABLY YOURS by Kristin Holt, full length
Let’s Count Our Blessings by Norma C. Mezoe
As you read this article, Thanksgiving is fast approaching. Summer is only a pleasant memory; autumn is giving way to winter’s chill. What do I have to be thankful for during this season of Thanksgiving with winter’s subzero temperatures and snowdrifts just around the corner? Will I be plagued with car breakdowns as I have for the past three winters? Will the roads become impassable? Will the heating bills soar to new records? Why should I be thankful when I face these uncertainties? Knowing I am a child of the King causes my heart to rejoice, to release words of thanksgiving that bubble within. How can I not be thankful? Jesus Christ’ death and resurrection have given me a source of abundant living. Each morning I am blessed to open my eyes and my ears to the sights and sounds of living. I breathe in the life-sustaining air and remember they are gifts from God. When I was left alone after many years of marriage, God knew I needed a way to support myself. He miraculously opened doors for employment in an organization where I enjoy my work and find it fulfilling. My needs are continually met day by day. I am blessed. A friend spoke of a Thanksgiving Day when we she was in teens. Her family’s home had been destroyed by fire and they were forced to live in a chicken house. Her father was working in another town and could not be home. The meal consisted of sauerkraut and wieners. At the time, it seemed to be a very dismal Thanksgiving. The following Thanksgiving found the family once again living in a home, her father was with them and the table was laden with food. Now they were able to enjoy the material things they had missed the year before. However, that year they were missing a family member. Her brother had been killed in a tragic accident. My friend speaks of the sauerkraut and wieners year and realizes how truly happy she and her family were. Do we complain too often about the things we do not have and fail to thank God for the blessings we are given each day? Turkey and all of the trimmings may not be on our Thanksgiving table, but sauerkraut and wieners can taste like a feast when shared with loved ones and touched by God’s love. (This article was written in the mid-eighties. God continues to bless and to meet my needs.) First Rights – The Vision, published 11/04/07
Over the River….. by Cynthia Knisley
The air was crisp and lightly tinged with the woodsy smell of a campfire. We children piled into the green VW mini-bus and settled by our favorite windows as Dad hopped into the driver’s seat. We were headed for Grandpa’s house on Thanksgiving morning. Mother had been busy for hours---preparing a savory dressing; cleaning, seasoning, and stuffing the turkey; and carefully stitching together the flaps of the cavity with needle and thread. She stayed behind to baste the turkey and prepare coleslaw---and maybe to enjoy a few minutes of quiet. Pies, mincemeat and pecan, and pumpkin-nut bread had been baked the day before, and her traditional cranberry salad, second only to the turkey itself, was already setting up in the refrigerator. As the “bird” slowly roasted, a wonderful aroma began to fill the house. We knew the fragrance would be there when we returned. The drive to Grandpa’s took us out of our neighborhood and into the countryside. We traversed narrow winding roads, hills, and valleys, passing wooded thickets and wide ribbons of fallow cornfields that stretched to the horizon. Eventually Grandpa’s village appeared.
Just a few minutes …… and there he was, waiting for us at the old oak table in the kitchen, sipping coffee and reading. Hugs and smiles later, he quickly gathered up his warm jacket, a bag of freshly-hulled black walnuts from the yard, and the old tin he always filled with fudge from the farmers’ market. Soon we were out the door and on our way home, with him by our sides. It was a joyful ride through the countryside. We were hungry and anticipated a delicious feast! Dad was humming the tune to “Over the River and through the Woods.” Grandpa smiled and sat quietly. Maybe he was thinking of years gone by, when he had celebrated Thanksgiving with his parents, then later with his dear wife, our Grandmother who was no longer with us. Surely his mind was full of happy images of the past. I wish we had asked him to describe these memories. Our questions were more current. What new projects were in process in his woodshop? Birdhouses perhaps, or was he repairing a neighbor’s fence or building a new shed for someone? The conversation was light and the mood sweet.
The winding road though hill and dale led us home, where Mother greeted us in her fresh apron and crisp cotton dress. Lady, our little beagle, bounced around happily, especially eager to lick Grandpa’s hands. The roasting turkey smelled wonderful as we entered the house. We girls helped to set the table with the good china and real silverware, while the men carried in kindling and logs for the hearth. Before long, Mother rang the dinner bell. We took our places around the table, with a special spot for Grandpa, and bowed our heads to give thanks. Then Dad began to carve the turkey, as Mother carried in steaming bowls of vegetables and casseroles of baked stuffing---always an alternative to the cooked-inside-the-turkey sort. Salads and sweet breads were already on the table. This was a beautiful time, with six of us gathered together.
We savored the delicious meal, reported to Grandpa about what we were learning in school, told old and new stories, and laughed. At one point our father asked us to share something that we were especially thankful for. I can’t recall the answers but am certain that this practice helped us develop a sense of gratitude. So many simple blessings! Time has passed. Grandparents and parents are no longer with us. The family may gather on a day other than the actual date of Thanksgiving---and at a different home. But, I still wear a favorite apron and prepare my mother’s delicious cranberry salad, bake a Thanksgiving pie or two, and set the table with pretty napkins and candles, just as she did. And, whenever I find myself driving on a crisp November day down a lane in the country, I can hear my father singing; “Over the river and through the woods, to Grandfather’s house we go.”
Here find my mother’s
Thanksgiving Cranberry Salad recipe What you need: 12 oz fresh cranberries (4 cups) 1 orange, peeled and sectioned 2 small packs raspberry Jello (or strawberry) 2 c. boiling water 1 c. crushed pineapple, drained 2 ribs celery, finally chopped, (1 c.) 1 c. finely chopped walnuts or pecans ½ tsp salt 2 c. sugar and 1 c. tap water Let’s make it!
Process cranberries with orange until finely chopped. In bowl combine boiling water, Jello, and cranberry-orange mixture. Cool 20 min. Stir in drained pineapple, celery, nuts, and salt. In small pan combine sugar with 1 c water. Bring to boil. Cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Cool 10 min. and stir into Jello mixture. Pour into serving bowl and refrigerate overnight.
Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving! Vintage postcard image courtesy of Old Design Shop
November 11: Why I Wear Poppies by Joan Leotta
My father, Gabriel DiLeonardo, came from a large family—13, most were girls. Since all but one of his sisters and only one brother lived close to us, I did not know them well. There is one I never met—my father’s second oldest brother—Uncle Egidio. He came to the United States as a young man in 1913 when my father was only three years old. Uncle Dom, the oldest brother took care of him. Until World War One broke out. Uncle Dom was already married. When the United States entered the war, Uncle Egidio decided to enlist. He wanted to hold up the honor of his new country. He was so proud to be in America! I’m not sure if he became a citizen by serving (laws were different then) or if was already a citizen when he joined. What I do know is that this man fought for our country and was wounded—seriously. It has been my grandfather’s intention to bring the entire family over, one by one. The war prevented that. It was not until 1921 that my grandfather was able to bring the rest of the family over to America. My Dad was eleven years old. For the first time, he met his brother Dominic (the two of them were look-alikes) and his brother Egidio. He did not really get to know Egidio well, because Egidio had been so badly injured by an attack of poison gas in the trenches of France that he could hardly speak or breathe. In addition, I suspect he suffered from “shell shock,” what we call PTSD today. Uncle Dom worked to get Egidio into a Veterans hospital—where he spent the rest of his life.
Uncle Egidio died in 1976, having lived almost all of his adult life in a hospital. The nurses told me he was a kind and gentle man. By the time he died he probably understood English, but the gas injuries likely prevented him from speaking. When I hear about how the country behaved toward Italians in the 1920s, it saddens me. My Dad fought in his neighborhood for respect and my Uncle fought so that those who bullied my father, his brother, could do so in a free and safe country. Those in charge of pursuing the peace when the war was winding down decided it would be nice to have everything end at eleven in the morning on the eleventh day of the eleventh month. So, people fought and died up to the last minute. It is said that thousands died on that last day—due to the hubris of leaders who wanted an “interesting” end time and did not consider the men who would die right up until the last gun was silenced. It is said that the bitterness, the rancor of the following year’s Treaty of Versailles that carved up the world among the victors was a direct cause WWII and the terrible devastation that brought. That all seems so long ago. In fact, it was exactly one hundred years ago, this year. My personal connection pushed me to visit some WWI battlefields a few years ago and to look up my Uncle’s records. I could not find out much about him. So, I invented a life for him. Before and during the war in a series of short stories. The first of those stories has been published.
But even more than that, thinking and reading about WWI and the amazing literature that flowed from it, has given me new insights into our need to be kind to one another, to live as Christ would have us live—to understand and care for the poor and the strangers among us, to love those whose ideas are different from ours, even if they do not love us. So, for all of this, I wear the poppies of the famous Flanders Field (poem honoring those who died in WWI) on November 11—for my Uncle, for all who died in and because of that war, for all who lived through it, and for our country, that we may never repeat the sins of the past.
Come, Ye Thankful People, Come by Diana Leagh Matthews November is the month of Thanksgiving and a time to give thanks. This is a month when we concentrate on what we must be thankful for. So, what better time to look at a popular Thanksgiving song? Come, Ye Thankful People, Come is a harvest hymn that was written in 1844. The song was written by Henry Alford. In the days when most people survived off the land, they understood the importance of the harvest. There was an urgency to safely gather the harvest before the winter storms rolled in. The first stanza is written to be an invitation to give thanks to God. The second and third stanzas are a commentary on the Parable of the Wheat and Tares, as recorded in the gospel of Matthew. The last stanza is a prayer for the Lord’s return. Henry Alford was born on October 7, 1810 in London. At sixteen years of age, he felt the presence of God and gave his life to Christ. He followed in the footsteps of his ancestors and became a clergyman and was a prominent Greek scholar. He was the author of forty-eight hymns, wrote many songs and published a hymnbook. At the age of 47, he was appointed Dean of Canterbury, a position he held until his death on January 12, 1871. The lyrics were set to the tune, St. George’s, Windsor written by George J. Elvey. The tune first appeared with Alford’s text in the Anglican hymnal, Hymns Ancient and Modern. George Elvey was born on March 27, 1916 and served as organist at the Royal Chapel at Windsor Castle for 47 years. In 1871, he was knighted by Queen Victoria. He died on December 9, 1893.
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made by Lisa J. Radcliff The emotions that course through you when you get the call from your child saying, “We’re in labor!” but the baby isn’t due for another two months. Excitement, concern, joy, fear—it is quite a roller coaster. And it happened to me not once but twice in the same week! Monday morning was the first call. I spent the day at the hospital as the staff worked to stop my daughter-in-law’s labor. We played cards and watched TV between the nurse’s check-ins. The checkins grew farther apart, along with the contractions. By Monday night, the contractions stopped. There was relief sprinkled with a little disappointment that we wouldn’t see our fifth grandbaby just yet. My daughter-in-law was released Tuesday evening with no restrictions and an appointment for an ultrasound on Friday. She spent Wednesday at home, resting. But in the middle of the night, the contractions returned. We got the second call at 3:30 a.m. Thursday morning. There was no stopping it this time. Their first baby wouldn’t wait for her due date. We needed to get to the hospital. The feelings returned. All of them. This was really happening. What if the baby’s lungs weren’t strong enough? What other things could happen with a preemie? I was too focused on the scary stuff. My granddaughter was about to be born. It was an exciting time, regardless of the outcome. As we drove the dark, deserted route to the hospital, I prayed, asking God to prepare our hearts for whatever this birth would bring. Immediately a peace filled me, not that everything would be fine, but that God would be with us through whatever today brought. We were there less than three hours when Everlee was born—a healthy, beautiful, baby girl. She was bigger than they thought she would be, almost four pounds. And she was perfect. We cried tears of joy, mixed with relief. God gave us a special gift. We were prepared for the worst, but he had another plan, and we were so grateful. Seeing her for the first time filled my heart with such love. She was so tiny, so precious. She looked like a little doll. I wanted to scoop her up and kiss her, but the NICU has rules. So, I stood next to her bassinet and watched her chest rise and fall and took in the incredible detail of her fingers and toes. Such small knees. She had blonde hair. I praised God for this little miracle. Psalm 139:14 rang in my ears, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” The nurses explained everything that was happening with her and what we should expect. They checked the miniscule IV and feeding tube. They explained the amount of energy she expends just digesting a teaspoon of food. Pooping is even more exhausting. They don’t do more than two big things a day because more would be too much for the baby. We could cup her (place our hands on her head and feet) but not hold her or touch her or rub her limbs—it would be too much stimulation. There was so much to learn about being fearfully and wonderfully made.
Every day this little wonder crushed the benchmarks the NICU nurses were looking for. She was off the CPAP on day two. She was off oxygen on day three and her parents were able to hold her. She had quadrupled her milk intake. She was breathing on her own and maintaining a normal temperature. She kept on amazing us, being fearfully and wonderfully made. On day nine, I entered the NICU with my son. He said, “Do you want to hold her?” He opened the side of the isolette, and I cupped my hands on her head and feet. Then he said, “Why don’t you sit down?” “Because I won’t be able to reach her. Remember, I’m short with T-rex arms.” “No, sit down, and you can hold her in your arms.” What! I get to finally cuddle this precious, little bundle? I sat myself right down. My son lifted his daughter (which he could have done with one hand but carefully used two) and put her in my arms. I would have cried, but my smile was so big, it made my eyes squint shut, not allowing any tears to escape. It felt like I was only holding the blanket. She was so light and so small and so fearfully and wonderfully made. Day fourteen, the feeding tube was removed. Day twenty, my son and daughter-in-law stayed overnight in a regular hospital room with the baby, preparing to take her home in the morning. It was my son’s birthday—what a gift! All her tests had come back normal. She was perfect. On day twenty-one, they left the hospital as a family. Three weeks. The medical staff had said she might have to stay in the hospital for eight weeks but could go home in three to four weeks if all went perfectly. Being fearfully and wonderfully made took on a new meaning, as I marveled over this beautiful, intricate creation. I will never read that Psalm again without thinking of my tiniest granddaughter. So small yet so perfect—fearfully and wonderfully made.
We Can… but We Can’t… by Sharon L. Patterson We can copy the sunset on canvas but we can’t create it. We can name the constellations but we can’t pull one star from the heavens. We can feel the wind against our face but we can’t trace its origin. We can plan our day but we can’t hold back its passing into tomorrow. We can make peace but we can’t stop war. We can birth life but we can’t prevent death. We can choose good but we can’t eliminate bad. We can search for truth but we can’t add to it. We can love others but we can’t make them love us. We can survive injustice but we can’t stand before jealousy. We can build the world’s finest structures but we can’t change another human being. We can empathize with our friends suffering but we can’t experience theirs. We can find God through faith but we can’t earn God’s love through works
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!
Sharing the Bread: An OldFashioned Thanksgiving Story by Pat Zietlow Miller Celebrate food and family with this heartwarming Thanksgiving picture book. We will share the risen bread. / Our made-with-love Thanksgiving spread. / Grateful to be warm and fed. / We will share the bread. In this spirited ode to the holiday, set at the turn of the twentieth century, a large family works together to make their special meal. Mama prepares the turkey, Daddy tends the fire, Sister kneads, and Brother bastes. Everyone—from Grandma and Grandpa to the littlest baby—has a special job to do. Told in spare, rhythmic verse and lively illustrations, Sharing the Bread is a perfect read-aloud to celebrate the Thanksgiving tradition.
The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dalgliesh In this festive Caldecott Honor–winning picture book, Alice Dalgiesh brings to life the origin of the Thanksgiving holiday for readers of all ages. Giles, Constance and Damaris Hopkins are all passengers aboard the crowded Mayflower, journeying to the New World to start a new life. Things get a little more cramped when their baby brother Oceanus is born during the passage. However, when they arrive, there are even worse challenges to face as the Pilgrims are subjected to hunger, cold, and sickness that put their small colony in great danger. With the help of the Native Americans though, they might just be able to survive their first year in this strange land—and have a November harvest to celebrate for generations!
Nine Men’s Morris Game by Carol Peterson Early settlers in America came from many countries to the eastern coast of the United States. One of the games they enjoyed was a board game called Nine Men’s Morris. You and a friend might like to play this game on Thanksgiving Day and think about the early days of America. Here’s what you need: Two people This game board 9 small game pieces (dried beans work great) To play the game, the person with the first name alphabetically starts. Players takes turns placing a game piece, one at a time on the circles. The object is to get three pieces in a row while keeping the other person from doing so. When you get three in a row, you take one of the other person’s game pieces off the board. The player with at least one game piece left is the winner.
Weeds…UGH! by Shara Bueler-Repka
I hate weeds! When I see “pull weeds” on my list of chores, I cringe—‘cause, boy, do we have a lot of ‘em! I think every species of weed God ever created lived on our place. There are a gazillion things I’d rather be doing than spending all day yanking those pesky fun-stealers out of their hard ground. You know, FUN stuff. Riding my horse and swimming in the pool are at the top of my list. Of course, even watching the paint peel off the walls would be better than this! I stood, staring at the first weed. A mustard weed… the worst! It looked like a small tree! “Ah, man, I’m never going to get this thing out!” I frowned. I stomped up to it, grabbed a hold of the top and pulled… and pulled… and PULLED. Sweat trickled down my face as I put my whole body weight into it (which isn’t much at eight-years-old). Suddenly the little flowers, stems and all, slid through my fingers like a slick rope, sending me sprawling on my backside. Flopped on my fanny in the dirt, I opened my hand. Yellow petal remnants and green stems were all I had to show for my efforts. “Hmmmm… that didn’t work. Let’s see… I'll grab closer to the root!”
I pulled again as hard as I could (except with more grunting and growling). Seriously? The stems and flowers didn't even come off that time! My eyes narrowed with a sneaky thought, and I chose the next trick up my sleeve. I'll just whack it off at the top with a hoe, close to the ground. Then I’ll kick dirt over it! I stared down that mustard weed like a cowboy at the OK corral. It seemed to be staring back at me just as ornery. Armed with the hoe I stalked up to it. I wielded that hoe like a cavalry sword, standing on my tiptoes to land the death-blow. But the blade bounced right off the rock-hard root. Really?? What do I do? All my fun plans were disappearing like the sun that was slowly sinking behind the hills. OK, now I was mad. I stormed to my dad. “Those stupid weeds CANNOT be pulled out!” I whined. “Why can’t we just leave them?” The corners of his mouth twitched. No way! Was he trying not to smile? He cleared his throat and quickly turned away.
“Follow me,” he said. “We can’t leave the weeds there because the snakes like to use them for a hiding place.”
He rubbed his chin, deep in thought. “You know, getting rid of these weeds isn’t the only lesson here,” he said.
My eyes grew wide.
He hooked up the garden hose to the faucet beside the barn and dragged it over to the tree-weed. He let the water flow around the root, letting the moisture sink deeply into the hard soil.
“Yep. Those weeds are like tough places in our heart—like bad behavior… lying, stealing, gossiping, bullying. The water is like Jesus. When we let him help us, he softens those hard places in our heart, so we give up those bad habits.”
I shook my head. “That’s only making a muddy mess, dad,” I said. He grinned.
I dug my toe in the dirt. “Or like snatching the TV remote from Sissy’s hand when I wanted to watch my show instead of hers?”
After a few minutes, he turned the water off and walked over to that horrid plant. He grabbed the root, jiggled it around, and yanked. That ole thing popped right out of the ground!
He nodded. “It’s like that mustard weed. The “flowers” are our actions, but they grow out of a strong root. In the case of the TV remote, the root is selfishness.”
I gawked at the miracle.
My face turned red and I ducked my head. “So Jesus can help me to stop thinking only about me?”
“You see,” he replied, as he washed the dirt off his hands, “sometimes it takes a bit more effort and help to get the tough roots out.”
Dad laughed. “Of course, He can. He’s just waiting for you to let Him turn the hose on you.”
Suddenly Dad flung some hose water at me.
“And you can’t ignore them because they’ll never stop growing and spreading until they take over the place.”
“Hey!” I yelped.
“And then there’s the snake hide-out thing,” I said.
The sun disappeared over the horizon, leaving brilliant streaks of gold and orange as we strolled back to the house.
We both laughed.
We Gather to Give Thanks by Rejetta Morse Jesus transformed a pair of fish and five small loaves of bread. He gave thanks before five thousand and everyone was fed. More miracles he grants each day and gives us food to eat. He heals the sick and blesses us; our needs he always meets. Before he died upon the cross, He thought of you and me. Is there a greater love to find? He died to set us free. And now we gather all around the table on this day. We give thanks for our blessings and for new ones on the way. Yet amid the sounds of laughter, we shed a silent tear, thinking of loved ones gone away; how weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll miss them this year.
Homemade Thanksgiving by Stacie Eirich Sweet scents of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg dance within this home of my childhood; pumpkins adorn the windows, the porch covered in fallen leaves of orange and red hues. I am greeted with hugs and smiles, given a place at the table, asked to make a blessing. Candles flicker atop the delicate cloth covering the cherry wood, I am impatient to taste the scrumptious treats beside me candied yams, corn casserole, soft butter-rolls, roasted turkey and dressing. I open the prayer book, reciting the blessing that begins our traditions, an array of confections â&#x20AC;&#x201C; apple, pumpkin, cranberry pies and homemade vanilla ice cream march in precision to form a line behind this feast. My belly over-full, body tired and mind content, I relax by the fire, sipping hot cider and eggnog, resting peacefully in the warmth of this Homemade Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving Joy by Nancy Frantel
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name. For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” Psalm 100:4-5 (NRSV)
“How can we help?” asks the new arrivals. “Please check and see if the stuffing is ready.” Turning towards another eager assistant, “Would you mind setting the table?”
When my family gathers for Thanksgiving, the first order of business is giving everyone a hug.
With assignments in place we work around each other in the small space.
Many travel from out-of-town, so this style of greeting is expected once they pass through the door's threshold.
We are careful not to drop the food (any food) as items are removed from the oven.
Some hug harder than others. You know the type– squeezes so hard you think a rib might break. After recovering, we learn to expect a “special” hug at future gatherings. Once everyone arrives, the fun starts. Cousins, nieces, and nephews congregate in one room. Nonkitchen adults observe them nearby, while kitchen workers head towards the aroma of food prepared with love.
With so many hungry people, even though there's plenty of food, they expect their favorite dish to be on the menu. They prefer not to find out their item is burned, or otherwise rendered inedible. So far, so good–no catastrophes. At least this year. Closer to serving time I check with mother, “Do you think it's time to carve the turkey?”
If she answers yes, my brother joins us in the kitchen. After volunteering one year, we welcome his special carving skills ever since. The cooks work together and double check the casseroles to make sure none have been left in the oven. We place a variety of hot and cold dishes on the kitchen counter. With several high school and college kids ready to consume large quantities of food, buffet style works best. There's a guarantee they will return for seconds, and maybe even thirds. While those in the kitchen share stories, laughter filters in from the other room.
“Time to eat!” results in the release of the adult on the bottom. Bringing smiles with them, they head towards the buffet. Once everyone congregates, my father offers a prayer. “Dear heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of family and the time we have to spend together. Thank you for the food before us, and bless this to the nourishment of our bodies. We celebrate this day in your holy name. Amen.” While the meal is the reason for gathering, joy comes from spending time with family.
Some kids giggle while silly dancing. Others pile on top of each other to see how tall a stack they can make. One of the energetic adults may start the pile, yet regrets the decision as more than an expected number of kids climb on top.
On this day, three generations celebrate love, laughter, and memories. “This is the day that the lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 (NRSV)
Who Do You Serve? by Patrice D. Wilkerson I kept asking myself time and time again, How in the world did I let him in? My life was headed on the narrow and straight, and just like that I fell for his bait. I lost all control when surrounded by this I was powerless by just a simple kiss. It was so hard to stop, as many times as I tried; it was so hard to be happy, as many times as I cried Never did I think this could happen to me; praying to God was something I did religiously This just shows that the devil may come in the blink of an eye, and once you let him in, you can kiss your life goodbye But through it all, God was patient and kind. He took me back in and now I have a made up mind. I will refuse to let the devil come in and throw me a curve because I know it is God who I serve.
Make Your Own Autumn Love Wreath by Theresa Begin I absolutely LOVE this time of year! The cooler weather, the colors of the changing leaves, and the joys of hot cocoa and cookies all come together to create a delightful time. I hope you are enjoying autumn wherever you live. Here’s a creative idea that I came up with and wanted to share with you, just in case you are a little bit like me and really can’t afford to buy or make a brand-new wreath for every season of the year. Maybe I can do that some other day, if I ever have oodles of storage space and an unlimited budget. But since that isn’t going to happen today, not at my home, I decided to come up with my own version of an “Autumn Love” wreath. I am so abundantly blessed, no matter whether or not I have a new wreath on my front door, but it is still fun to see something pretty outside when I come home from church, so here’s what I did: I took out last year’s wreath and changed it up to make a “new to me” wreath this year! I admit I have a special place in my heart for last year’s wreath, but they really are all wonderful memories for the time that they decorated my home. I removed the old sign and bow, and then started adding some of my favorite colors with items I gathered from the Dollar Store, Goodwill, and even on beautiful bunch of silk flowers from Michael’s that I got for half price. The total cost of my wreath update was approximately $6 - $8!! Who doesn’t LOVE that price tag for a “new” autumn wreath? Just take a closer look at my beautiful “Autumn Love” wreath and maybe you will be inspired to try your hand at updating an old wreath for your front door. I know that this will be beautiful all season long, and will remind me of my blessings every day. Wishing you all the joy of autumn from my home to yours!
The Value of Collections to Authors and Readers The First Annual Thanksgiving Books & Blessings Collection All writers want to be read, whether writing books, blogs, or magazine articles. But writing ‘The End’ is just the beginning to achieving that goal. One of the hardest things an author must do, whether published traditionally or independently, is find readers. With today’s print-on-demand option offered by internet companies across the World Wide Web, getting a book published is relatively easy. Locating readers is not. But one excellent way I’ve found is through collections. Here’s a open secret: my husband of fifty years and I write together, always have, every book. When Simon and Schuster contracted for VOW UNBROKEN, the editor wanted one author’s name on the cover and preferred a female’s. So be it; we agreed. From that book forward, all our titles have been under my name only. It works well for us. From my first invitation to participate in a collection, I saw the value! But not my dear husband. He felt that concentrating on the historical Texas Romance Family Saga series we were writing would be more important, no matter how hard I tried to convince him. I had to decline that and many other offers.
Then one day—God had to be in it—I got another invite and asked, and he said, “Sure.” SILENT HARMONY (January, 2018) in the Lockets and Lace Collection launched and proved all those points I’d tried so many times to make with him! In February, Ron agreed to let me organize another collection. Thanksgiving has long been my favorite holiday. In 2013, I hosted my first November Facebook multiauthor online party: Thanksgiving Books & Blessings to bless readers and authors alike. I believe we both enjoy finding each other equally! So, 2018 is the fifth annual event . . . I decided to invite the authors to write a novel with a prominent Thanksgiving dinner. And that’s how the First Annual Thanksgiving Books & Blessings Collection was born. Just as the birdies in the proverb, authors of a genre flock together! At conferences, book-signing events, seminars, and of course, online, I’ve met a plethora of like-minded ladies and a few gentlemen who love to write books of all sorts of genres! I invited authors who wrote historical Christian stories to join the project. Lena Nelson Dooley, Kristin Holt, Kit Morgan, Heather Blanton, Susette Williams, Pauline Creeden, George McVey*, and Lynette Sowell blessed me and accepted my invitation. To bring our stories into continuity, I laid out a few specifics such as they were to be set in the 1800s, decade of author’s choice. Though Thanksgiving didn’t become an official date until Lincoln declared it a national holiday in 1863, our first president tried the same thing in the late 1700s, but one specific day just didn’t stick. People have been celebrating the harvest, giving thanks to God for His many blessings since the famous Pilgrim and Indian dinner. Our books have no cursing and no onscene intimacies. They all have a romance—or two—and they all have a poignant Thanksgiving Day meal. We all began writing, and I began organizing. I contracted with Evelyne LaBelle at Carpe Librum Book Designs to do our covers. She did an amazing job! I set up a Facebook group called . . . wait for it . . . “Thanksgiving Books & Blessings” for our readers to get to know us! Come join us at: (https://www.facebook.com/groups/ThanksgivingBooksAndBlessings) And that is exactly what collections do, bring readers and authors together. Each author brings their ‘fan base’ to meet all the other authors in the collection. Avid readers never read only one author! So building our readership is not a net sum game. How many book lovers have told me how much they love finding new authors to read? Writers whose characters become friends, who make them feel as though they are right there experiencing the journeys personally, writers that make them laugh aloud and cry tears that drip onto the pages of the book.
Introducing my readers to the other authors in the Thanksgiving Books and Blessings Collection One doesn’t diminish the number who read my stories, but meeting readers of the eight other authors definitely increases them! I love win-win situations! The authors win! The readers win! We individually released our books in September, one each day in succession. Four are full-length: mine, Kirstin's, Lena’s and Kit’s—and four are novellas: Heather’s, Susette’s, Pauline’s and Lynette’s. George’s was to be*, but he had issues and his book didn’t get published. If he gets those fixed, his story will be included at a later date. I’d love to share all eight stories with you, but there may not be enough room! Mine is Book One, GONE TO TEXAS, Book Two is Susette William’s GATEWAY TO THE WEST, Kit Morgan wrote Book Three, TRAIL TO CLEAR CREEK, and Book Four is Pauline Creeden’s HEART AND HOME. Book Five is Lynette Sowell’s NO TURNING BACK; DAUGHTER OF DEFIANCE is Heather Blanton’s Book Six; Kristin Holt wrote Book Seven UMNISTAKABLY YOURS and lastly, ESTHER’S TEMPTATION by Lena Nelson Dooley is our Book Eight. Our readers will meet blacksmiths, bakers, and wagon train makers they'll surely love, and they’ll enjoy many hours of sheer entertainment. All of our authors have written multiple books and have many 5-star reviews on those; most are award-winning and best-selling authors who know how to write an engaging story. The First Annual Thanksgiving Books & Blessings Collection launched November 1st, all eight stories available for one low price through the end of the month. https://www.amazon.com/First-Annual-Thanksgiving-BooksBlessings-ebook/dp/B07JWGPVGX/ In 2019, another group of authors will write more amazing stories with Thanksgiving as a theme and the Second Annual Thanksgiving Books & Blessings Collection will debut! And if God’s willing and Jesus tarries, another in 2020 will be born, the Third Annual collection. Each year the earlier collections will be available again, too. Hopefully, you’ll give the First Annual Thanksgiving Books & Blessings Collection a try and fall in love with a few new-to-you great authors! A happy and blessed Thanksgiving Day to Ruby Magazine folks! All its contributors and readers! May love and your favorite Thanksgiving dishes abound at your table!
Thank You, Lord by Norma C. Mezoe Thank you Lord, for your mercy on me, for forgiving my sins and setting me free… for blueness of sky and eyes that see… thank you, Lord, for your blessing on me.
The Encourager by Norma C. Mezoe For two months I had been alone. God’s love had so surrounded me that most of those days had been filled with peace and even joy. However, one day I felt lonely and somewhat depressed. I needed an extra helping of love and assurance. Before the day had ended, God chose four ways to encourage me. I had wanted a fern for a hanging planter, but couldn’t afford to buy one. On a walk in the country I spied a small fern growing along the road. Next God sent a teen to air my bicycle tires, another need. My egg supply was low and a member of the church brought fresh eggs along with packages of meat. My fourth encouragement was learning of insurance I didn’t realize I had. Through all of these things, I felt God’s encouraging hand upon me. Scripture promises that “Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.” -Psalm 30:5 (NASB)
Luke: Gathering the Goodness of God’s Word Verse Mapping Bible Study Series by Kristy Cambron “When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was being baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’” Luke 3: 21-22 (NIV) The story of Jesus’ baptism in Luke 3:21-22 establishes a foundation of how He would serve, sacrifice and surrender to God in His ministry to come. If we look around us, sacrifice isn’t hidden away. It’s there even in what we might see as insignificant moments. In the Gospel of Matthew, John the Baptist claims Jesus should be the one to baptize him instead of the other way around. But the King steps back to place Himself behind those who’d lined up for baptism- those ready to embrace a new beginning with God are put before God in the flesh. Jesus obeys, laying down His will and surrendering His all, to be sacrifice for all. The reminder of sacrifice and surrender begs a question from all of us: What if our schedule, our time, responsibilities, needs- even our desires and dreams- what if they all took a backseat to our relationship with God? What kingdoms am I willing to give up in order to make Him King of my life? If we look at Luke 3:21-22 what stands out? The act of sacrifice is to give of something we adore in this life- for a will and a purpose greater than our own. God sacrificed for us, giving the world His Son, and Jesus sacrificed for the world, surrendering His will and offering His life. The Gospels document Jesus’ baptism, but Luke offers us the only clear indicator that the first thing Jesus did to embark upon ministry was to make Himself last. Instead of taking a step forward to lead and model obedience through being baptized FIRST, Jesus instead took a step back…to SACRIFICE and SURRENDER. When we surrender to Jesus, we give back our lives- including the desire to hold onto the adored things of this life. The word “when” in these verses indicated a place in time- meaning “just after”- establishing the foundation of faith through authentic sacrifice and surrender. Other translations of Luke 3:21-22 give the same indication that Jesus held back, placing himself last by allowing others to be baptized before Him. So what can we take away from these verses?
Jesus was willing to sacrifice displaying what it means to put oneself last in servant leadership, he models surrender in baptism and He seeks God first with prayer at a pivotal moment. To truly be set free from the enslavement of sin, we willingly make ourselves last. That means taking an authentic look at what we’re slaves to and what we are willing to lay down to find freedom in Christ. We SACRIFICE and SURRENDER- just as Jesus did for us. What would it look like if we really needed the Word of God in a way that isn’t a chore but a gift with every new day, and we’re willing to sacrifice to do what it says? This is adapted from “Luke: Gathering the Goodness of God’s Word” part of the Verse Mapping Bible Study Series from Kristy Cambron, now available from RUBY’S Reading Corner.
Now accepting submissions for the
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A Concise “His Story” of Plimoth Plantation by Kathryn Ross Note: The following is an excerpt from The Pilgrim Chronicles: Thanksgiving Stories for the Stage, a collection of plays/programs with complete production notes designed for schools and churches. Check out this comprehensive American history enrichment tool by Kathryn Ross, culminating 20 years of teaching this important aspect of American Christian history. Visit www.pageantwagonpublishing.com/thanksgivingplays. On October 3, 1863, at the height of America’s Civil War, Abraham Lincoln issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation including these words of note: No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the most high God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy . . . I do therefore, invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and those who are sojourning in foreign lands to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens . . . it is announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord . . . it has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. Did you know that there are thousands of this type of proclamations with such language on record dating back to the first Jamestown Thanksgiving in 1619 Virginia? In our almost 400-year American history America’s national leaders and presidents have regularly acknowledged our nation’s dependence and gratefulness to God in this way. But, when the fourth Thursday in November rolls around each year, it is the picture of the Mayflower, pilgrim men and women, and Native American Indians who are imbedded in our collective imaginations.
We gather around tables with our families, feasting on traditional turkey and stuffing. But did you know that in the fall of 1621, in an outdoor setting, European Christian pilgrims and Native Americans actually ate more seafood and venison throughout their three-day Thanksgiving feast dedicated to the God of the Bible? They had much to be thankful for in that day. And much to mourn. The Plimoth Plantation Thanksgiving Story The Pilgrims’ story begins in 1607 when Christians in England met secretly to worship God according to the way the Bible taught, rather than the way King James and his state appointed bishops mandated that they should. These brave people came to be called “separatists” because they “separated” from the Church of England. They realized that the Bible taught freedom in Jesus Christ to know right from wrong and the principle of self-government with their hearts submitted to God, rather than mere traditions of men. Religious persecution increased to intolerable levels. The worshipers fled from England to Holland. William Bradford records the details in his famous diary writings:
Thus, being constrained to leave their native soil and country, their lands and livings, and all their friends and familiar acquaintances, it was . . . thought marvelous by many to go into a country they knew not . . . where they must learn a new language and get their livings they knew not how. It was by many thought an adventure almost desperate, a case intolerable, and a misery worse than death. They were not acquainted with the trades and traffic, but those things did not dismay them for their desires were set on the ways of God to enjoy His Providence and they knew Whom they believed. Living in Leyden, Holland, the Pilgrims knew relative peace for about ten years. But all was not well. Leyden was a beautiful place of wealth and worldliness. They were free to worship God, but easy-living made it easy to lose the sense of God’s will. Their children grew-up with no memories of England, greatly influenced by the worldliness of the Dutch children. Through a miraculous set of circumstances, King James, who had persecuted them a decade before causing them to flee, granted them a charter to establish a colony in Virginia, in the New World. The Pilgrims returned to Plimoth, England to set sail for the American shores. During the turbulent ocean voyage a storm knocked them off course, bringing them to the Massachusetts shoreline near Cape Cod. It was too late in the year to sail south to Virginia, so they decided to settle where they were. But, before disembarking for settlement, they drafted the first constitutional document of our nation—a declaration of organized agreement amongst themselves. The Mayflower Compact set forth in writing the Pilgrims’ purposes in coming to the shores of America, and their commitment to each other and God as a governmental body. They made settlement in a prepared clearing where Indians once lived, but had died out four years earlier of disease. Before the cold of winter set in, they had just enough time to build one common shelter. Though a small beginning, they believed God was on their side. In January and February of 1621, a “General Sickness” fell upon them. With only six people well enough to care for all who had become ill, they bid farewell to many husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, and children who died.
Of eighteen married women, only five survived. Of twenty-nine unmarried men, servants, and hired hands, only ten survived. By March, spring was in the air. Bravely, they pressed on building six new cabin homes. With the change of season, the “General Sickness” departed, leaving new challenges before them. Farming the new land required new skills and wisdom in the use of depleted resources. The Pilgrims prayed to God for help to farm in unfamiliar soil. The Lord sent two Indians into their midst who had met Englishmen before and knew the English language. They also knew God, having converted to Christianity some years earlier. They helped the Pilgrims make friends with the surrounding Indian tribes. Trade was established, providing necessary goods. The Indians, Samoset and Squanto, taught the Pilgrims how to farm new foods like corn and squash and pumpkin. In the fall of 1621, one year after the Pilgrims arrived on Plimoth Plantation; God’s blessings were evident in a plentiful harvest, inspiring plans for a Thanksgiving feast. They invited the Indians and the great chief Massasoit, who brought ninety of his braves, plus a good deal of wild game meat to roast. For three days, the Pilgrims gave thanks in prayer, feasted, and enjoyed contests and games with the Indians. No matter how small their beginning, the greatness of their losses, or the trauma of their trials and sufferings, they rejoiced in their freedom of worship, the greatest blessing of all for which to give thanks. These details and more, concerning the Pilgrims’ day-to-day life, are recorded in The Ballad of Plimoth Plantation, a poem turned folk song written three years after the Pilgrims landed. It humorously sketched a picture of life on Plimoth Plantation, meant to be heard back in old England. The Pilgrims honestly recorded the highs and lows of settling in the New World. They encouraged new settlers to join them, trusting God in all things, as noted in the final verse:
Now you whom the Lord intends hither to bring Forsake not the honey for fear of the sting, But bring forth a quiet and contented mind And all needful blessings you surely will find. And, I’ll still praise Jehovah for my God is good.
Visit Episode 3 on the Podcast Page at www.thewritersreverie.com or use the short URL: http://bit.ly/2QOTniX
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanks-giving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV Want to learn more? Curious to know what the Ballad of Plimoth Plantation sounded like when sung? And all the verses? Check out Miss Kathy’s podcast dramatization of the story with links to a five-part blog series on the Plimoth Plantation Thanksgiving—a critical moment in American history, the establishment of America’s purpose, and a powerful demonstration of the American mind.
Granola Bar Devotionals: Spiritual Snacks on the Go! Compiled and Edited by Alisa Hope Wagner Sometimes your faith just needs a little spiritual pick-me-up. In the rush of the day, our faith-filled Granola Bar Devotionals, written by over forty women, offer you a quick inspirational boost to energize the heart and revitalize the soul! Each devotional is unique, but they are all good for you. So go ahead and open one up! Granola Bar Devotionals is available from RUBY’S Reading Corner
I’m a 2 Rule Girl by Karon Phillips “Let's make it simple. Let's throw out the oversized rule book and get where we've wanted to get all along. Let's follow the rules Jesus gave us – only 2 – and find a new way, a new peace, and a new life. Let's start now. “What is the most important command?” they asked Him. “Love God, love others,” Jesus said. No list needed, no way to fail, nothing to fear. Deepen your trust to a place you've never known, discover and grow the wisdom you never thought you had. Know new strength, courage, power and grace.” * Study Guide and Resources included. I’m a 2 Rule Girl is available from RUBY’S Reading Corner
Old Testament Puzzlers by Norma C. Mezoe 1. A dead man’s body was thrown upon this prophet’s bones and the dead man revived. Who was this prophet? (2 Kings 13:20-21) 2. When was the last time manna fell?
3. What was the first recorded mouth to mouth resuscitation? (2 Kings 4:32-35) 4. What name did God give to Solomon?
(2 Samuel 12:24-25)
5. Why wasn’t King David permitted to build the temple?
1 Chronicles 22:8)
6. How many years passed after the Israelites left their slavery in Egypt before Solomon began building the temple? (1 Kings 6:1) First Rights – The Gem, published 03/11/12
ANSWERS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE
The Grumbler by Norma C. Mezoe Once there was a woman who seemed to be an incurable grumbler. Finally, there came a time when it seemed she had something for which to be thankful. Her potato harvest was exceptional one year, both in quality and in quantity. Her minister thought to himself that now he would hear the woman offer thanks. But when he talked with the woman about it, her comment was, “Yes, it was a fine harvest, but where are the rotten potatoes to feed the pigs?” Are we ever guilty of being like this woman? Do we fail to realize and to give thanks for the blessings the Lord provides? First rights – Free Spirit, published Nov/Dec 1989
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Elisha The manna stopped falling the day after the Israelites ate food from the land of Canaan. Elisha performed it. Jedidiah God said David had shed too much blood. 480 years
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins by Theresa L Begin Happy November! Are you enjoying the signs of fall? This time of year is so exciting for me. I'm loving the cooler weather and all the changes that come with it! I hope you are enjoying it, as well. Okay, on with recipe! You know, there all kinds of fancy desserts on the internet, and heaven knows I am tempted to go for the WOW factor, as well. The truth of the matter is that the best recipe I have to share with you in this month is a muffin. It's my own recipe, I have tweaked here and there over the years, but it really is quite simple. No appliances necessary, just a wooden spoon and a good, hot oven. I am always trying to find different ways to eliminate the use of oils and fats in recipes, yet still get that rich tasty flavor. This one really does deliver that. This is a really yummy, fairly light Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin! My "go to" on almost all my muffins is: 1 cup oats 1 cup buttermilk 1 cup flour 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce This is a great base for most any good muffin. Let's just get right down to this recipe! You may think it sounds a little wonky, but I guarantee that you will love it and so will your friends and family! First of all, bake in a hot oven. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 204 Celsius. Soak 1 cup of oats, quick or regular, in 1 cup of buttermilk with 1/2 cup of applesauce. For this recipe add 1 cup of pure pumpkin puree; combine well and set aside. In a separate bowl whisk together: (not too much, though. just combine) 2 large eggs 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract 2 large tablespoons of creamy peanut butter (if you are not a fan of peanut butter, you can easily do without that addition, and substitute with 1/3 cup of canola, coconut, or veggie-oil) 1/2 cup each white and brown sugar Add to your oat mixture, combine and set aside.
Over a nice size piece of wax paper, in your sifter (if you don't have a sifter you can combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and then whisk them until combined and aerated:
1-1/2 heaping cups of all-purpose flour 1-1/2 teaspoons of baking powder 1/4 teaspoon baking soda Pumpkin spices to taste
I really like Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice mix (and no, I don't get compensated by Trader Joe'sI) use 1 large Tablespoon of their pumpkin spice mix (so, if you are a leveler, 1-1/2) If you don't have any pre-made spice mix, here's a great combination of spices to get you the same flavor combine cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Personally, I use more cinnamon and nutmeg than cloves and ginger, because I buy them fresh and in bulk, so the flavors are strong. But, I believe you could do equal portions of each and get a great flavor, just the same. Combine dry ingredients with wet. I'm showing you this picture for one reason. I firmly believe that most every muffin and/or biscuit or scone is 10 times better when you combine the wet and dry ingredients by hand. And, I don't mean a rapid stir, just a gentle kind of folding things together, just until combined. Now you are ready to fold in your chocolate chips. I use 1-1/2 cups, usually, but if there are a lot of kids around, I add a whole 12 oz. bag! You get the idea?! It's very flexible. I've added chopped walnuts before and it was wonderful. For my parents, I pour enough batter to make 6 muffins aside before adding the chocolate chips, because they prefer pumpkin, raisin walnut muffins. Anything goes! Fill your prepared muffin tins 2/3 of the way and bake for 8-10 minutes. That's it! I hope you enjoy my humble offering and give it a try! They are great to have in the house and wonderful and easy to make and share with friends and family! They also just scream “autumn’s here”!!
For inspirational and creative articles, visit Theresa Begin on her blog, Shoestring Elegance.
Unspoken Love by Frances Gregory Pasch “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten…” Joel 2:25 I can’t remember the day the picture was taken. I was too young. But now, sixty-three years later, I notice for the first time that Dad has his arm around me. And I wonder…did he naturally put it there, or did someone pose us! I wish I knew. Now that Dad is dead, this picture is precious to me. Even though he’s not smiling, it is the only one I have of him embracing me. Dad never felt comfortable sharing emotions. Mom was more outgoing, but she, too, had trouble showing affection. No hugs or kisses from her either. And the words, “I love you” were never spoken. I was never “Daddy’s Little Girl.” I can’t remember sitting on his lap or playing games with him. He was tired after working long hours, and I went to bed early. Dad never went on vacations with us. Every summer, he drove us to a nice resort, stayed a few hours, and came back a few weeks later to pick us up. Occasionally, he’d come for a weekend. When I was fifty-three, Dad had a stroke. After his hospital stay in 1986, he moved in with me, Jim, and the boys. For the first time, Dad and I were together day and night. Dad was fairly mobile, but he needed speech therapy. After only a few lessons with the therapist, he dismissed her. “I’d rather have you help me,” he said. I was happy to hear that but a little nervous as I had never done this before. Having watched the therapist, I made lists of our family’s names, the days of the week, and the names of the months, and gradually Dad remembered a few more each day. I purchased crayons and a coloring book to reteach him colors, and he relearned his math skills by doing number exercises in a grade school workbook.
The Lord blessed our time together, and instead of Dad being a burden, each day was a new adventure. We were doing children’s things together—the things we never did when I was growing up. Each night as we watched TV, I’d hold his hand— something we also never did before. And later, I’d walk him upstairs and stay for a while in his room. “Stay downstairs with Jim,” he’d always say.” But somehow I knew he was happy that I ignored his instructions. Dad only lived for six months after his stroke, but those 180 days hold my best memories of our relationship. It was a special father/daughter time— all crammed into a short space. Dad never did say the words, “I love you,” but I saw it in his eyes and felt it in my heart, and after his death, God revealed Dad’s love for me in a special way. Six hours before Dad died, he talked to my twin sons about me and all the things I had done for him. He told them, “Your Mother is a wonderful woman.” Dad had never told me that, but he knew the boys would relate his message. And in my heart, I truly believe this was Dad’s way of saying, “Frances, I love you.”
In Honor of Veterans Day… a Personal Story by Sharon L. Patterson We are not only a family of patriots; we are a family of veterans. My husband has traced back family veterans in the Continental Army of the American Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War (both Union and Confederate forces), World War I and World War II, and the Vietnam War. We trace forward to his 30 year service and that of our youngest and oldest sons who are presently serving and have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our oldest grandson is in the National Guard in an engineer unit. To honor not only our veterans but their families, I share a personal story of our second oldest grandson who will turn 16 this month. He was 21 months old when his daddy deployed for the first of three deployments.
Joshua regularly spends a couple of days a week and several week-ends with us. The first thing he does every time he wakes up is to point to Jeremy’s photo handing on our bedroom wall and say, “Daddy!” Before our son left for Iraq, we purchased a wooden yellow ribbon sign with his unit crest on it and put it in the front yard where Pawpaw would often play ball with Joshua. The night our son came home on leave, we took our first home photo of Daddy holding Joshua kneeling by the yellow ribbon sign.
Our Twenty-One Month Old Patriot It is one of those moments that etched instantaneously into the history-maker family stories that you know you will tell from now on. It doesn’t even have to have Pawpaw or Grannah add any embellishments. The just-as-it-happened is awesome enough. It still chokes up both my husband and me every time we relate it. In August, our youngest son, Jeremy, a sergeant with the Army’s 1st Cavalry Division stationed in Baghdad was home on leave after being wounded. Even with that difficulty, it was a much anticipated event for our family and for his twenty-one month old son Joshua in particular. He was only 16 months old when his daddy left for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Worried that he might forget his daddy, my husband and I spent time each week showing him Daddy’s pictures in the album I made when my son left for duty.
The two week leave went all too quickly. Jeremy returned to Baghdad, and we returned to our weekly grandparent delight of keeping Joshua as often as we could. I was in the house when I heard my husband yell at me to come outside in the front yard. He had a tear or two in the sound of his voice, not to mention glistening in his eyes. He was holding Joshua very close and said, “You are not going to believe what just happened!” He had been throwing a ball to our grandson who picked it up and walked over to the sign, pointed, and said, “Daddy, home!” We are a military family and we are patriots. Who could have guessed the legacy would pass so quickly? Our Joshua proved it to us by becoming the youngest Patterson patriot at twenty-one months old!
Marital Bliss is not a Fairy Tale by Priscilla Shumba
It starts out as this big community of people, events, and fun leading up to the wedding day. There’s just so much love in the air. It’s the season filled with congratulations.
Make yourself happy. He can never make you happy. It’s not his job, and even if he tried, he couldn't bear the weight of such a heavy task. If you think about it, a human being cannot do God’s work.
Working towards making the big day perfect brings all kinds of stress but it’s all going to be worth it when it’s better than we imagined. We’re so focused on THE DAY that we forget about nurturing the relationship.
Bringing joy into the hearts of people has always been and will always be God’s work.
Then all of a sudden, in a matter of hours, it’s over. They day has come and gone. The people have gone back to their lives. There are no more events. Life feels ordinary, far from all the excitement of preparing for the wedding. We’re in our new place, and it’s quiet. This is where the marriage begins. Did you get the memo that it was going to be work, real work, but real fun work too? I sure hope so. Remember why you wanted to be married in the first place. To live a life with your best friend. To enjoy their company forever. To share in a commitment of love. Has that changed? Probably not, but something has changed in you. The three best pieces of marriage advice I got were:
And . . . Your marriage account is empty. You cannot withdraw what you didn’t deposit. If you want love, deposit plenty of it. If you want compassion, deposit plenty of it. If you want reliability, deposit plenty of it. If you think about it, it’s a biblical principle that leads to a happier you. There is greater joy in giving than in receiving. And . . . Love is service. Make a decision daily to outdo each other in showing love. Sometimes we have to go back and be reminded of the true meaning of love in 1 Corinthians 13. To be patient, kind, not envy/boast/be proud, not dishonour, not self-seek, not be easily angered, and not keep a record of wrong. That’s our definition of love.
It’s easy to focus on the other person, what he should do, and what he should be. It’s human nature. Try this next time you find yourself going down that mental path: picture yourself pointing the finger at your partner. One finger is pointing at him, and four fingers are pointing back at you. The only thing you can control in life is yourself. Don’t lose yourself in trying to fix another person. It’s wasted effort that yields very bad results. Focus on being the best you that you can be. Living with purpose and zeal for life and love. That’s the only way you can ensure that you will always be destiny bound. The marriage in the Bible that we are shown intimately is that of Abraham and Sarah.
1 Peter 3: 6 states, “For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do.” The word “master” captures respect for her husband. This scripture does not focus on what Abraham did, but what Sarah did. A wise woman builds her house. Let’s serve our husbands and children out of love. The world says, “I won’t do anything for you unless you do something for me”; but God says I will cause the sun to shine on the good and the bad. Let’s strive to love like our Lord does. It’s an extravagant kind of love. Never waiting to see how we will respond, but continuously showering us with his love. When we get tired, He will fill us up. We cannot create marital bliss even with our best efforts, but in obedience to His word love will abound in our homes.
Priscilla Shumba is a wife, mother, and entrepreneur. Born and raised in Zimbabwe, she is currently residing in Australia. She is passionate about encouraging people to live up to their destiny. She is a newly self-published author of a Christian book titled Raising Kids with a Millionaire Mind. It is available from RUBY’ S Reading Corner and Amazon.
Raising Kids with a Millionaire Mind by Priscilla Shumba Bright, smart young people often fail to reach their potential because they never learn what life demands, and that these demands are not personal. The millionaire mindset for kids is more than an arrow pointing to a survival toolkit, it’s the perspective that success demands. Teaching a millionaire mindset to our children will forever change the course of their lives. It’s a compass for doing life successfully. We don’t know what circumstances our children will fact tomorrow, but we do know this way of thinking about life’s challenges and opportunities will provide an invaluable internal guide. We may not all have a million dollars for your children to inherit, but we do have the ability to give them a head start. Let’s give them an advantage in life.
Thankfulness beyond Thanksgiving by Jehn Kubiak
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” - Melody Beattie Celebrating Thanksgiving creates a time and space where families and friends can join together and share the wonderful things God has done for them. Not to say that this practice is a bad thing, but what if we were grateful for God’s blessings on more than just one day of the year? Think about how often people in the United States complain about what they do not have. They don’t have the perfect car, family, Smartphone, body, budget, house, etc. Since they’re focused on what they don’t have, these people cannot focus on what they do have: shelter, friends, enough money to get by, family, all five senses, and more. Furthermore, gratitude is a huge theme in the Bible. Think about Miriam, who praised God during the Exodus from Egypt. Consider how many times the psalmists––especially King David––praised God for the wonderful things he has done. Consider how many times Jesus thanked his Father in the New Testament.
Notice how many times Paul thanked the churches he wrote to for various reasons, including their spiritual growth. Gratitude is not something a person can neglect. Those stuck in this negative thought pattern may find it difficult to engage in gratitude. What if we took small steps forward and started thanking God for something each day? Yes, this might become a hard task if you had a hard day at work, the kids aren’t listening, and your spouse just doesn’t seem to understand how you feel. However, finding that one glimmer in the dust might make the day even just a little better and remind you about the ways God is Lord of your life. In addition, gratitude will make everyone in the family healthier because it helps with physical, emotional, psychological, somatic, and relational health, according to Forbes. All of these things will come in handy during the next month––when the holiday blues kick in––and lead to a life of longevity. This practice of thankfulness can manifest in many ways. First, use sticky notes. Write something you’re thankful for each morning and leave these notes in different places around the house. Second, practice art. Create an image of something important to you, such as the place you grew up or even something as simple as the family dog. Third, pick a different Bible verse to meditate on each day, and journal about how it evokes gratitude. Fourth, keep yourself accountable and verbally tell someone what you’re thankful for that day––you can even tell the kids you’re thankful for them completing their homework. Lastly, keep a journal with a list of things you’re grateful for and add something new each day. This Thanksgiving, invite everyone onboard with the endeavor. Transform it into a family project with a whiteboard full of grateful thoughts. Read devotionals that express gratitude before family meals or during devotional times. On that note, have a family prayer time focused on thanking God for his faithfulness. Find opportunities to sneak thanksgiving in and capitalize on them. These activities can last as short as a month or as long as a year, but I encourage you to make them a habit. Finding the beauty in each day proves difficult if you haven’t stopped to appreciate both the small and major blessings in your life. However, having that arsenal of thankful thoughts provides a powerful weapon against pessimism and creates a peace that lingers throughout the soul.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
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Why You Can Trust God with Your Dreams by Kristy Cambron For a girl from small town Indiana who had zero experience in publishing (and who sometimes got a B in English class), dreaming big, big things with God seemed a far, far away reality. I couldn’t write, could I? I couldn’t tell stories with God. I couldn’t be bold. Or brave. Or step out and dare to dream wild, “out-there”, impossible things with Him at the helm. Everything in me said ‘No’. And I believed the lie… but only for a while. It was one day in 2009—a workday like any other. I sat in my downtown office building, looking out over a bustling city street as I chatted with my husband on the phone. The corporate trainer in me loved what I was doing—the teaching, writing, and communicating fed my soul, but not the deep-down parts that tapped into the space of a true calling. I felt that void widening and longed aloud, “I’d give anything if I could just do this for Jesus”. A fire-starter sparked in me then—though I wasn’t sure then what it was—lighting… flickering… building a flame in my heart that signaled change was coming. Everything in that moment drew me to a question I’ve carried for the nearly ten years since that day: Can I trust God with my dreams? Yes. We can trust Him. Yes. He can make every wild, “out-there”, impossible thing come to be. Yes. His plan will take us to our calling… but that story road may look very different than we’d imagined. Here’s how we can dare to dream, but to do it with Him: 1. Ask: What’s my dream? Once you zero-in on the deepest, private, dream-chasing corners of your heart, you can compare those to God’s dreams for you. Does my dreams align with Scripture? Do they tap into my skills, passions, experience, and spiritual giftings? Do they require me to rely on Him to open the doors, make talent grow, and light a fire in my passion to pursue them? If we can answer ‘Yes’ to these questions—and do so easily—we’ve just nailed down our chase.
1. Ask: What will I have to sacrifice? You may not know the answer right away, but in order to dream big with God, you may have a thing or twenty to surrender first. I make no attempt to offer financial or career advice on this journey. (Looking back, cashing out a 401k and walking away from a 15-year career seems the height of crazy!) But the move was right for us. Our family was more than four years into prayer on the nudge to step into full-time ministry. And the sacrifices we ultimately decided to offer up were very real. It was a loss of control, security, financial comfort, pride walls we didn’t realize we’d built, and later… some basic provisions we’d become accustomed to. The point is, this is not our plan. Not our dream and not our story to construct. God’s vision is bigger than that. And the sacrifice comes in the day-by-day walking it out, more than in any one moment of brave stepping-out at the beginning. 2. Ask: What am I really chasing? The flicker of a flame on my heart always drew me back to becoming an author. That’s what I thought the answer was—for years. It wasn’t until the dream-chase got really hard, the walking it out road really long, and the nudges to ‘Quit’ came more often. The WHAT I’d been chasing shifted into the WHO, and I realized that Jesus—time with Him, time in the Word, and longing for both through Verse Mapping—had been my dream-chase all along. Once we realize the dream-chase we’re after isn’t the WHAT but the WHO, it makes the valley moments all the sweeter for the walking. 3. Ask: Can I trust Him… even with this? I don’t know what your “this” is. It might be moving crosscountry. It could be shifting to an entirely new career. Or adoption. Or finally starting that charity. Or maybe even writing that book that’s been nagging your heart for years. Whatever it is, can you trust Him with the journey? Romans 11:29 (NIV) is clear: “For God's gifts and His call are irrevocable.” If we can receive an irrevocable gift of grace and entrust God with our eternity, how can we do any less to trust Him with an irrevocable calling in our “right now”? It’s not simple to walk a dream-chasing road, but it gets easier if we develop those authentic trust-muscles along the way. Dare to dream big, big things. Dare to dig into the wilds of your inner-most and see what could be possible with God leading the way. And while the end destination may not be exactly what or where you’d planned, know that He’s paving the story road you’re walking—and the masterpiece He’s crafted at the end… is YOU.
Kristy Cambron is an award-winning author of Christian fiction, including her best-selling debut The Butterfly and the Violin, and an author of Bible studies, including the Verse Mapping series. She is a passionate storyteller who travels to speak at ministry events across the country, encouraging women to experience a deeper life in the Word through verse mapping. To connect with Kristy or to learn more about verse mapping, visit: kristycambron.com
Savory Roasted Pumpkin Soup by Theresa L Begin It is that wonderful time of year when pumpkins are everywhere. I am in love with autumn! (this is no secret to my regular readers). Although, I do not participate in all things Halloween, I do so enjoy the harvest time. So many wonderful and different varieties of vegetables are available (as long as you are not intimidated by them). After I became "differently-abled" I volunteered at our local food pantry and soup kitchen for about six or seven years, every time the loads would come in from the stores and local farms, with a variety of beautiful squash, most everyone looked at me and said, "Theresa, we have more 'gourds' for you." They thought them only good for rustic, harvest-themed table decoration and never did add them to our food give away. Very seriously, the public's loss was my gain. One time I even offered to print up recipes to go with this vegetable, but I was overruled as it being "too difficult" for most people to work with. So, now, finally, I have the voice, and platform, here to tell the public, that the opposite is true! They are very easy to work with! With the morning and evenings finally beginning to get crisper, my mind automatically begins to turn to memories of wonderful, comforting soups. My mother and grandmother were famous for their hearty chicken and beef stews. I, on the other hand, have been more known for my various rustic vegetable or squash "cream-style" soups. My Savory Roasted Pumpkin Soup is one of my personal favorites and most requested recipe. This is not your standard pumpkin soup recipe, with only a few ingredients, highlighted by some spice you would normally associate with pie; it is wonderful and very savory and quite hearty. These pumpkins are also packed with nutrition. According to Nutriondata.self.com, â&#x20AC;&#x153;This food is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.â&#x20AC;? Remember, you aren't using a jack-o-lantern pumpkin here. You need to buy, specifically, a baking pumpkin or maybe your store calls it a pie pumpkin. I get mine from our Trader Joe's, just because they have a large variety, but you can buy yours wherever you can find them. Local farms carry a great variety. Average cost for these beauties is between $1.99-2.99. Be sure and grab some before they are gone again until next year!
You may notice they are just a tinge darker than the "regular" pumpkins that you might buy for decoration. Still, they are quite sweet and unassuming. The task of cooking them that people are SO concerned about couldn't be easier truly if you tried. Simply cut in half, remove seeds and stringy membrane with a metal ice cream scoop, cut in quarters or eighths (depending on the size), brush the flesh side lightly with some olive oil, place flesh side down on a cookie sheet and pop them in the oven at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes. When you can easily pierce through the pumpkin skin with a dinner fork they are done! That's it! Not so complicated, right? Another wonderful feature to these little gems; there is no peeling necessary. As you can see when left for 5-10 minutes after roasting, the skin simply pulls off leaving you with all that scrumptious pumpkin meaty goodness. A couple turns in a bowl with your whisk and you have made your very own organic pumpkin puree. Each 1-1/2 to 2-2/2 lb pumpkin yields about 2-1/2 cups of this beautiful puree. You are going to use it all in this soup.
This is your basic mirepoix with a few additions and how you begin to make your soup. The Ingredients:
1-1/2 cup chopped onion 1-1/2 cup chopped celery 1-1/2 cup chopped carrots 1-1/2 cup chopped potatoes 1-1/2 cup chopped yellow pepper 1 Tbs. olive oil 1-1/2 tsp. salt
Sauté the above ingredients in a saucepan with the lid on for about 1520 minutes, be sure not to let then brown. Add to vegetables: 1 can of chicken broth (I'm partial to Swanson’s, but you can use your favorite). Replace lid and increase heat to medium high and cook down for another 30-40 minutes.
This is a perfect time to be roasting your pumpkin. Once you have your fresh pumpkin puree, add it to your vegetable mixture and add 1 more can of chicken broth. Let the pumpkin cook in with the vegetables for about 20-30 minutes on medium low. Now you're ready to blend! I use a blender but you could easily use an emulsifier here as well. our soup will be approximately 2-3 blenders 2/3 full off soup. While blending, add in divided portions, 2/3 cup of whole milk and 2/3 cup finely shredded Colby jack cheese (or half cheddar, half jack cheese). You want to do this at this step because your mixture will be hot and will easily melt your cheese and combine well with your other ingredients. Return your blended mixture to a soup pot and keep on a very low setting. Be careful here and when reheating. You don't want to let your soup boil or you may get some separation of your milk and then it just loses its â&#x20AC;&#x153;wow.â&#x20AC;? I love to toast my pumpkin seeds well and toss a few on top for texture and taste, along with a few crumbles of bacon, and chopped green onions. You can top it anyway you like! I've also simply tossed some yummy garlic salad croutons on top with the leftovers, equally yumm! (As far as seasoning for this soup, I always say season to your taste. But, as a guideline, I'm adding my seasonings here for you to try to or play with). While cooking your vegetables, add 1/2 tsp of pepper, 1 tsp each minced, dried chopped onion/garlic, 1/2 tsp of sugar, add any desired additional salt, 1 tsp of Mrs. Dash original seasoning. It's a wonderful and flavorful blend. I hope you enjoy my recipe as much as we do! I pray that you are dry and warm and able to enjoy and share this soup with your friends and family too. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and cook with me today! Many Blessings,
For inspirational and creative articles, visit Theresa Begin on her blog, Shoestring Elegance.
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Mary Knew by Irene Baron Remember the popular song asking Mary, the mother of Jesus, “Did you know?” Whenever I heard that song, I thought about what it must have been like for Mary. I realized most people thought Mary was just some average teenager off the street. They had no idea who she was or that she actually knew what was going to happen. Mary learned as a child that her parents had dedicated her to God before she was conceived. She knew God named her Mary, gave her parents instructions how to feed and raise her, and that she was to be dedicated to the Jerusalem Temple by age three. Angels told her parents, the barren Anna and her wealthy husband Joachim, that their daughter would be the most blessed woman to ever be born on Earth. The only person more blessed than Mary would be her Son, Jesus. Eye witness testimony by James, Joseph’s youngest son, told about Mary. James lived with Mary and Joseph and traveled to Bethlehem with them. His eye witness testimony about Mary, written by him and his scribe, was used in early Christian churches for hundreds of years after the death of Christ. These ancient scriptures are full of accounts about angels. They tell about the tribulations of Mary’s parents and their communications with angels, the first three years of Mary’s life, her ten years of living in the Jerusalem Temple with angels daily visiting and feeding her, her holy vow to God, the reluctance of Joseph to take another wife, life in Joseph’s home, the trip to Bethlehem and the miraculous birth of Jesus, Immanuel, the Savior of mankind. I felt sad that people did not know the facts about Mary. I had studied ancient scriptures for many years and became quite an expert about Mary’s life. She lived over 2,000 years ago when there was an infant mortality rate of 50%. After much contemplation, I wrote her story using the eye witness accounts from James who later became a chief Apostle and the first Christian Bishop of Jerusalem after the death of Christ. Her biography was written in a historical narrative format, a story form and easy to read. I named the book: MARY KNEW-A Biography of Mary from Ancient Scriptures. Near the front of the book is a copy of the signed testimony from eye witness James. Mary’s parents suffered before being informed by messenger angels from God that they were going to be parents. Angels instructed them before her conception how to raise her, what she was to eat, and what was forbidden. She was never to be placed in a position where someone could later start a rumor or give false witness about her. She was not allowed to go outside her home or visit with commoners. Her few visitors were priests or playmates that were proven to be undefiled and followed guidelines set for her visitors.
Her parents provided a large sanctuary room for her during the three years she lived with them. It had no windows. She could not see the sun or moon or trees, the ground or sky. She could not hear rabble-rousers of the village or what was going on outside. At age three, she was dedicated to the Jerusalem Temple. She was immediately taken by the High Priest into the Most Holy room, much to the surprise and anger of some priests. Once settled in the virgin apartments in the Jerusalem temple, she was visited daily by angels in her apartments and Most Holy areas of the temple. She never left the sanctuary of the temple to go outside during her elevenyear stay. Her parents died during that that time. The detailed story of Mary’s life unfolded in a magnificent manner. Angels and miracles followed Mary continually. Her holy vow to God created difficulties among the temple priests. Zacharias, the High Priest at that time, used ancient scriptures to solve the vow problem after God’s loud voice told him and everyone in the temple what to do. God’s guidance about how to solve the problem of Mary was sought by priests and given several times. Ancient prophecies over 3,000 years old were fulfilled in front of hundreds of temple witnesses. Imagine being a witness when a Bible prophecy was fulfilled in front of you! How moved those witnesses were was evidenced by their shouting, crying, rolling on the floor and praying. They would never forget what they saw for the rest of their lives. That was just one of many prophecies fulfilled. To write her little known story was a unique experience for me. In asking for heavenly guidance and for the right words to use throughout the endeavor, I felt information was provided to make it memorable for anyone who would read the book. I asked three persons to read the book and give advice. The first, a male engineer, said he wanted to read just a few paragraphs before dinner to see what it was like, but couldn’t put it down until it was finished. He stayed up most of the night. Laughing as he told me, he said he surprised himself at how deeply he became involved in her story and how much information he learned. He had no idea Mary was such a holy and blessed woman. Her magnificent biography, with details from eye witnesses including her midwife, is now published. MARY KNEW-A Biography of Mary from Ancient Scriptures is now available in paperback and eBook format from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other book sellers. Buy it online from RUBY’S Reading Corner. After you read Mary’s biography, please leave a review on Amazon.com. I would love to read your comments. To help others learn more about Mary, I began and will enlarge a website dedicated to her: www.maryknew.com.
Irene Baron is an author and illustrator of numerous fiction and academic books, as well as an educator for over 30 years in the various fields of science. She is a public speaker for workshops and seminars for science educators, and she has received many awards for her contributions to science education. She is also holds private pilot ratings from the Federal Aviation Administration for single and complex engines. Irene has recently published a biography of Mary the Mother of Jesus, now available from RUBY’S Reading Corner.
God’s Mercies after Suicide by Jean Ann Williams is available from
RUBY’S Reading Corner
Ruby Writing Team Sharon Patterson, retired educator, career military wife, and leader in women's ministry, has written inspirational encouragement in various forms from greeting cards to short stories, poetry, and Bible studies for over thirty years. She has authored three books, and is a contributing author for several of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She and her husband Garry live in Round Rock, Texas. They have three sons and five grandchildren.
Theresa Begin lives in Northern California, where she was born and raised. She is a Christian who loves her family and says, “I have been blessed with the world’s best parents!” She has three sisters and one brother, as well as 16 beautiful nieces and nephews who “mean the world to me!” She is “differently-abled,” and chooses not to allow her limitations to define her life. She loves to write and share her various projects on her blog, “Shoestring Elegance,” which came about as she discovered that living on a tight budget did not mean compromising on style. “Nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37 NLT
Shara Bueler-Repka is enjoying life as a singer/songwriter/recording artist, freelance writer, and award-winning author. She and her husband, Bruce, live in their living quarters horse trailer and call “home” wherever their rig is parked. Their mailbase, however, is Hallettsville, Texas. She also loves riding/ministering with her husband and their horses (aka The Boys) in the backcountry and writing about God’s grace in the various adventures on the trail less-traveled. Join the fun and be encouraged on their website: www.ponyexpressministry.com and her blog: www.trailtails.blogspot.com, or come for a visit on Facebook.
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. Writer-speaker, Kathryn Ross is Pageant Wagon Publishing—igniting God’s Word and biblical principles as a vibrant light of literacy and learning in the life of your Christian family. Inspired by the stillness of birdsong, silent reflection, antiques, and teatime, she filters her love of history, classic literature, and the arts through God’s Word, to inform her words. Her passion to equip women and families in developing a Family Literacy Lifestyle produces readers and thinkers who can engage the world from a biblical worldview. In addition, she mentors authors as a book shepherd, assisting them in the development, editing, design, and production of the book God has called them to write. Miss Kathy blogs and podcasts at www.thewritersreverie.com and www.pageantwagonpublishing.com.
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.
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: email@example.com
Lisa Radcliff is a writer, speaker, women's Bible study teacher, and a 35-year volunteer youth worker, residing in Pennsburg, PA. She is a wife, mom, and mommom who loves God's Word but also loves football, chocolate, shoes, and Maine. Her hobbies include quilting, shopping, cooking, and raising Seeing Eye puppies. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 â&#x20AC;&#x153;life interruptionâ&#x20AC;? 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.
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. www.joanleotta.wordpress.com and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Joan-Leotta-Authorand-Story-Performer/188479350973
Rejetta Morse enjoys writing poetry so she can write about God and how He speaks through nature. Writing poetry is a new found purpose and hobby she discovered over recent years which brings her joy, peace, and encouragement. She also enjoys reading poetry and is working to learn more about the craft of poetry. She spends her free time singing with her church choir and listening to gospel music, watching biographical movies, and encouraging other people.
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 www.DianaLeaghMatthews.com and family history at www.ALookThruTime.com
Stacie Eirich is a writer, mother and unabashed dreamer who reads poetry by moonlight and dreams of traveling beyond the stars. She's recently published stories & poetry in MUSED, Wee Tales (Golden Fleece Press) and Ruby Magazine. Author of The Dream Chronicles, a fantasy series for middle-grade readers, she lives north of New Orleans with her family and two feisty furballs, Ollie & Oreo - writing, mothering, and dreaming.
Priscilla Shumba is a wife, mother, and entrepreneur. Born and raised in Zimbabwe, she is currently residing in Australia. She is passionate about encouraging people to live up to their destiny. She is a newly self-published author of a Christian book titled Raising Kids with a Millionaire Mind. It is available from RUBY’ S Reading Corner and Amazon.
Kristy Cambron is an award-winning author of Christian fiction, including her bestselling debut The Butterfly and the Violin, and an author of Bible studies, including the Verse Mapping series. She is a women’s ministry leader at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY, and a passionate storyteller who travels to speak at ministry events across the country, encouraging women to experience a deeper life in the Word through verse mapping. Her work has been named to Publishers Weekly Religion & Spirituality TOP 10, Library Journal Reviews’ Best Books, RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations. Kristy holds a degree in Art History/Research Writing, and has 15 years of experience in education and leadership development for a Fortune-100 Corporation, working in partnership with such companies as the Disney Institute, IBM/Kenexa, and Gallup. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, and can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.
Caryl McAdoo is the best-selling, award-winning Christian author of thirty-eight titles who prays her stories gives God glory. She writes several genres and loves to sing new songs God gives her (see on YouTube) and gathering with her eighteen grandsugars. Husband Ron built her a home deep in the woods of the Red River County seat, Clarksville, Texas.
Irene Baron is an author and illustrator of numerous fiction and academic books, as well as an educator for over 30 years in the various fields of science. She is a public speaker for workshops and seminars for science educators, and she has received many awards for her contributions to science education. She is also holds private pilot ratings from the Federal Aviation Administration for single and complex engines. Irene has recently published a biography of Mary the Mother of Jesus, now available from RUBY’S Reading Corner.
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 www.francesgregorypasch.com.
Patrice Wilkerson is a MBA graduate who loves writing about the Lord. She has been writing poetry since she was 8 years old and loves to inspire others through words. She’s written a collection of poetry entitled, “Through It All, I’m Going to Make It” which she published in 2010. She loves the Lord with all of her heart and encourages others to see just how wonderful and powerful He is. She is fun, patient, sweet and personable.
Cynthia Knisley After years as a “stay-at-home” mom, Cynthia enjoyed a fulfilling second career as a high school language teacher and curriculum developer. Recently, she took a leap of faith and left the classroom in order to devote more time to family--aging parents, adult children, and lively young grandchildren. Her home is in West Chester, PA, where she plays classical music, bakes bread, and tends a “secret garden.” A novice blogger, she welcomes you to her posts at email@example.com.
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 www.vintagemamascottage.com
RUBY magazine is published by CreativeLife