Ruby for Women Autumn, 2015 “A voice for every Christian woman”
“Her worth is far above rubies . . .” Proverbs 31:10 Cover image by Katherine Corrigan of Katherine’s Corner
Ruby for Women A voice for every Christian woman Autumn, 2015 www.rubyforwomen.com
Help us celebrate the arrival of autumn! This is a wonderful time of year, filled with anticipation of the harvest and looking ahead to the holidays which are just around the corner. Here at Ruby for Women we offer a place where every Christian woman has the opportunity to tell her story. Won’t you join us on this journey of discovery and share your story with us soon? We would love to hear from you! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org Cover image by Katherine Corrigan of Katherine’s Corner.
In This Issue . . . Page
Autumn is Glorious at Ruby for Women Nina Newton, Sr. Editor
Footprints in the Mud: What if everybody did it? Beth Brubaker, Asst. Editor
September 2015 Calendar
Autumn To Do List
5 DIY Projects to Welcome Autumn Jessica Kane
I watched your petals Keith Wallis
The Flowers are Crying Keith Wallis
A Change of Season Donna B. Comeaux
Pumpkin Patch Recipe Round-Up Vintage Mama
The New Standard of Perfection Michelle Lazurek
Vexing Hexes Puzzle Beth Brubaker
Focus on the Son Rise Angela Hiskett
Ruby for Women is an online Christian women’s magazine that offers words of hope, inspiration, and Assistant Editor: Beth Brubaker encouragement to women everywhere. Knowing that every woman has a story to tell, we seek to give a Poet-in-Residence: Keith Wallis “voice to every Christian woman,” from all walks of life, Feature Writers: Lynn Mosher, Katherine Corrigan, of every age, from all around the world. Sharon L. Patterson, Carol Peterson, Gloria Doty, For advertising inquiries, please contact Nina Newton Yvonne Carson, Miriam Jacob, Michelle Lazurek, at email@example.com Nells Wasilewski, Heather King, Lanette Kissel, Donna B. Comeaux, Melissa Zelniker-Presser, Jean If you would like to share your story with Ruby for Ann Williams, Gayle Veitenheimer, Alisha Ritchie, Women, please email our Assistant Editor, Beth Kathleen Katt Luce, Mia DeBruyne, Dorothy Kurchak, Brubaker at firstname.lastname@example.org Also, please visit Connie Arnold, Cindy J. Evans, Ifeoma Samuel, Kim our blog at www.rubyforwomen.com where you can Lengling, Maia Bartee, Jessica Kane, Angela Hiskett, connect with other Christian women. 1 Ruby for Women Rhea B. Riddle, Patrice D. Wilkerson, Kathryn Ross, 2731 W 700 N Kathleen McCauley, Mary Dolan Flaherty Columbia City, IN 46725 email@example.com Senior Editor: Nina Newton
Investment in Time with God is an Investment in Me and My Family Maia Bartee
The Gift of Jesus Alisha Ritchie
The Rod and the Cross Lanette Kissel
The Good Shepherd Lanette Kissel
Carol’s Book Club Carol Peterson
Are You in the Desert? Ifeoma Samuel
Word Logic Puzzle Beth Brubaker
Expecting the Extraordinary: What I Learned from a Woodchuck Kathryn Ross
God’s Mercies after Suicide: Blessings Woven through a Mother’s Heart Jean Ann Williams
Kids’ Korner Carol Peterson
Digesting Life Kathleen McCauley
Kelly Boyer Sagert: Freelance Writer, Editor and Mentor
Thankful for the Suffering Donna B. Comeaux
Harvest of Peace Lynn Mosher
Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving by Laurie Halse Anderson Book Review by Kathryn Ross
Another Place Rhea B. Riddle
You are Beautiful Angela Hiskett
October 2015 Calendar
Autumn Leaf Crafts Vintage Mama
A Baby Boomer’s History of T.V. Sharon L. Patterson
Page 63 Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado Book Review by Miriam Jacob
Born Again – and Healed! Kathleen Katt Luce
Overwhelmed Donna B. Comeaux
Word Grid Puzzle Beth Brubaker
Succumb or Submit? Mary Dolan Flaherty
Ruby’s Reading Corner
Vexing Hexes Puzzle Answer Key
Word Logic Puzzle Answer Key
Word Grid Puzzle Answer Key
Meet the Ruby Writers
Credits and Copyrights
Unshakeable Faith by Kathy Howard Book Review by Miriam Jacob
Loving Thyself Patrice D. Wilkerson
It Must be Fall Sharon L. Patterson
The Radical Cross by A.W. Tozer Book Review by Miriam Jacob
Bible Clubs in Public School? Kathleen Katt Luce
Embracing this Year’s Community Gayle Veitenheimer
Our Legacy Angela Hiskett
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Ruby for Women Magazine and Blog You have a story to tell and we want to hear it! God has given a voice to every Christian woman and we celebrate YOUR voice. Please visit us at the
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Inspirational posts Featured bloggers FREE seasonal online magazine Crafts, recipes, poetry, and stories We would love to hear from you!
Autumn is Glorious at Ruby for Women Nina Newton, Sr. Editor We have also included the “Pumpkin Patch Recipe Round-Up” with lots of fun recipes featuring pumpkin for your family to try out. Autumn is my favorite time of year – as I sit in my little home office the sun is shining in a brilliant blue sky, and the leaves are just beginning to change colors. The chrysanthemums are blooming across the way in shades of gold, amber, orange, and maroon. And best of all, the temperatures are just perfect for a BIG move! My family is in the process of relocating from our lovely little lake cottage into a larger home which is closer to our girls’ schools. That will save me a lot of time in the coming months; time that I can use to focus on a few other projects . . . . like writing! Our new house has a large workshop area where we will be setting up all of my sewing machines and supplies, as well as all of my art and crafting projects. There is even a room just for my office, so Ruby for Women will finally have its very own home! In this issue of the Ruby for Women magazine we have several new writers who come to us from the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers’ Conference. I had the privilege of attending this conference at the end of July where I met so many amazing writers. I was honored to be invited to teach a workshop at the conference entitled “Telling Your Story: Creating a Digital Document for Publication.” What a great opportunity to learn and discover new ideas, and make some new friends along the way. The autumn issue of Ruby for Women always includes inspirational articles and devotionals, as well as short stories, poetry, crafts and recipes that celebrate the season. This issue is no different and you will find fun craft projects that are fun and easy to do with your family that will bring a touch of autumn joy to your home. If you are on a budget, well, we always look for ideas that you can do on a “shoestring.”
Our Book Review Team continues to share new books for us to read (it’s time to think about those long winter evenings when you will finally have a bit of time to curl up with a good book!). We have children’s book reviews, as well as inspirational books, nd books of encouragement and wholesome entertainment. I would like to introduce you to our newest Administrative Team member, Connie Chandler. As Ruby for Women has been reaching more and more readers over the past year or so, we have realized that many of our readers would like to know about the family-friendly, home –based businesses that are available online. Connie has been one of our writers for the past two years, and is now our Advertising Administrator. She will be managing all of our advertising accounts, creating ad copy, promoting all of our advertisers, and designing future advertising specials for the Ruby for Women community. If you are interested in advertising in upcoming issues of the Ruby for Women magazine, be sure to visit our Advertising page on the Ruby for Women blog or contact Connie at firstname.lastname@example.org for all the details. Thank you for your support for the ministry of Ruby for Women . . . . we wish you a joyous celebration of autumn and look forward to hearing from you soon! Contact us at email@example.com and let us know how God is blessing you through the 4 ministry of Ruby.
Footprints in the Mud What if everybody did it? by Beth Brubaker, Assistant Editor
“What if everybody did it?” As children we remember this phrase well, and as parents we often use this phrase to keep our kids from doing something silly. “What if everybody jumped off that bridge?” “What if everybody stuck their hand in a beehive?” I don't care if everybody else is doing it, you aren't going to! But what if we turned this statement around to mean something different? What if everybody helped one another? What if everybody pulled together when times were tough for someone? What if everybody worked to make this a better planet? “What if” indeed! Let's take the unemployment situation. What if one parent stopped working out of the home and became an at-home parent? Just this one change would have massive impact on the economy. How, you ask? Unemployment would go down. You have onehundred families with two working parents. If each family had one parent stay at home, that's onehundred extra jobs to help another one-hundred families. Imagine this in the billions and you see the major impact this could have! A better family life. Kids are happier when a parent is there for them. It doesn't matter if they're school age or babies! If there's an emergency, someone is always there to answer the phone. Kids crave security, and when parents are more involved in their kids' lives, children themselves are more stable. Besides, who better to teach your children your core values than you!
Less harmful stress. There are no worries about you losing your job because you have to stop what you're doing to pick up a sick child from school (again), no bad tempered boss to try to soothe, and no co-workers muttering behind your back because they had to do your work while you were out for an emergency. There are different stresses when being an athome parent, but the ones listed here are usually those that affect your health the most. Less stress means less therapy and medical bills. A village would form. At-home parents would be plentiful and able to find others in their neighborhood, and friendships would form. There is truth in the saying “it takes a village to raise a child” and nothing says it better than when at-home parents put their heads (and kids) together to have a little fun and fellowship. The more at-home parents, the more people that can get together, and the less lonely at-home parents would be than if they stayed home-bound with no one else to talk to. The neighborhoods are safer. Imagine having eyes everywhere to see what everyone’s kids are up to, and everyone will know if a stranger is in the neighborhood, whether that be a strange vehicle up to no good, or someone who might be looking to rob or harm someone. The closer knit the neighborhood, the lesser chance of crime happening. This is where busybodies come in handy! Less money, more conversation. Does a three year-old really need an electronic gadget to play games on? Do kids really need to look at a screen 5 all day to be entertained?
When the money gets tight, families get closer! Yes, less money means less luxuries (and sometimes no luxuries- at least temporarily), but that's not alltogether a bad thing. Many families I know have cut back on plugging into the network and are a lot closer than they used to be. Why? Because when there are no gadgets in the house, or allowed at the dinner table, kids begin talking to you and each other. Amazing! Being at-home doesn't always mean there is no opportunity for paid work. Working online has become one of the most popular jobs in this country. So long as it isn't overwhelming family life, there's nothing wrong with doing this! Even in Proverbs 31:10-31 it says that the woman works from the home, making things for sale, buying property, and hiring people. If you can afford it, hire a house cleaner or someone to do those tasks you hate - just don't hire a nanny or caregiver - the whole idea of staying home in the first place was so you could be there for the kids! No 'outside' childcare worries. Not all child care or full-time baby-sitters are bad, but there are enough bad ones out there to give a parent pause. If a parent stayed home, there would be a lot less worry about strangers harming the kids, babysitters teaching their babies bad habits, or passing on bad values. Iâ€™ve always said, if anyone is going to mess my kids up, it's going to be me! You eat better. Dinner is a big issue with many families when both parents are working. No one has time to cook, and because there are extra funds, take out is a very popular option - though not often a healthy one.
Since the budget is cut down because one of you is staying home, your family can't always afford to get fast food regularly. Home cooking is much better nutritionally, because you see what's going into your food, and you donâ€™t add chemicals or preservatives. It's cheaper to eat at home too - especially if you have big eaters in your family. In fact, if you broke it down into three meals per day per person, you'd be surprised how little you'd spend by cooking at home! (I did the math and it costs me a minimum of$ 4.00$5.00 per person if I do take-out, vs. $1.37 if I cook at home - and the home portions are bigger!) Dinner isn't the only meal that can be homemade either. Breakfast can be fast and nutritious as well what's better in the long run? Sugary cereal or bacon, eggs and cheese on a bagel that took you five minutes to make? You can make snacks and goodies, too - There's nothing like a cookie fresh from the oven with a glass of cold milk to go with it! So what if we all did this? It might just be a better, more peaceful world. But we have to start with ourselves. Once we start changing, our environment changes, too. Neighborhoods change. Towns change. Then cities, then states, then countries - all because we started making our own little world better. And isn't that what God wants for all of us?
Visit Beth Brubaker at Footprints in the Mud to read her humorous, inspirational posts.
Find more fun FREE printable calendars from iMom
8 Find more fun FREE printables at www.tatteredtotaylored.com
5 DIY Projects to Welcome Autumn by Jessica Kane Autumn is one of the best times of the year. The sweltering summer heat gets replaced by cooler nights, which creates the perfect weather for curling up under a blanket and roasting marshmallows by the fire. Another wonderful part of this season is that there are a multitude of crafts you can make. From mason jars to mod podge, you can enjoy using a variety of supplies to make these five outstanding DIY projects for fall. These are sure to keep your home looking fun and festive all season long!
Autumn Wreath from Sherri at To Simply Inspire An autumn wreath is a great way to welcome guests into your home. They'll be excited about the festivities you have planned before they even step inside. This wreath tutorial shows you how to make a classic and beautiful fall wreath in just fifteen minutes. This DIY project requires only a handful of materials, is really easy to put together, and will keep your door looking fantastic all season. When winter rolls around, you can even put it away and save it for next year!
Fall Scented Spice Candles from Merissa at Little House Living Fall is full of so many wonderful scents like pumpkin, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and more! A great way to enjoy all of the wonderful smells of autumn is to make spice candles. Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to make them. You can try out as many different scents as you like, and you can even make your own unique combinations. This project will only take a few minutes, and you can make several at a time so you can share them with friends or just keep the extras for next year.
Decorative Leaf Bowl from Crafts Unleashed Decorative bowls make great centerpieces, and this one is designed to add a natural hint of fall to your coffee table, dining room table, breakfast bar, etc. This decorative leaf bowl is a hands-on project that's full of fun. It uses artificial maple leaves, so your bowl will look just as great at the end of the season as it did the day you made it. A benefit of this project is that you get the flexibility to make decisions about a lot of the details such as size, thickness, color, and more.
Pumpkin Flower Pot from Jamielyn at IHeartNaptime It just wouldn't be autumn without some pumpkins, and this pumpkin flower pot is probably the easiest fall DIY project there is! In the past, this idea has been completed with real pumpkins, but that takes longer. When you're using real pumpkins you have to clean them out, and they don't last as long as you would like. For this variation, you can choose between plastic or Styrofoam pumpkins. It saves a lot of time, and you can reuse them year after year.
Wood Slice Chalkboard from Craftahloics Anonymous Nature is even more beautiful during the fall season, so it only seems right to bring some of that nature indoors. This wood slice chalkboard is a wonderful way to incorporate that outdoor beauty with your indoor decor. Larger wood slice chalkboards can be made into decorative signs to welcome your guests or to count down the remaining days until Thanksgiving. Tiny ones can be made into place cards for dinner or labels for dishes of food. You can give your home a little taste of fall by choosing just one of these projects or fill it to the brim with all of them. Get creative, and mix and match these fun crafts to welcome autumn into both your home and your heart. Jessica Kane is a professional writer who has an interest in interior design and home decor. She currently writes for ECOS Paints, a leading vendor of superior, durable and eco-friendly paints. 10
I watched your petals I watched your petals fall away like youth in a blessing of the breeze. One by one they butterfly away silent, spent breaths in the reveal of time; a dance of veils unwrapping until stripped-eased and naked you succumb to age. Beneath, the path is strewn with your children, decorated, as if for ritual. ~Keith Wallis 11
The Flowers are Crying The flowers are crying; their diamond tears glinting in the light, tiaras on debutante petals. Heavily jeweled, they look opulent but sad and wait for the kiss of sunshine to awake their love. ~Keith Wallis 12
A Change of Season by Donna B. Comeaux There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: 2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 On June 12th, the summer had barely begun. The evening was late but warm, my spiritual peace intact, and my family safe. Earlier during the week, I remember sitting at my computer listening to the noises of school-children playing on the street, wondering how mommies and daddies would keep their little ones busy for the next eight weeks. I was already missing fellowship with ladies from our Wednesday Morning Bible Class. We shut it down during the summer months in order to give teachers a well-deserved break. A few weeks before, on Mother's Day to be exact, I wrote a devotional entitled, "My Joy Isn't For Sale" (https://awriterfirst.wordpress.com/2015/05/12/my-joy-isnt-for-sale/). I reminded everyone of that sick feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you lose something of value. I didn't know God had placed those words in me, then onto my computer, all acting as a storage place to be used at a later time. Often, I think I'm helping others with my writing, when in fact, God is helping me. And I needed every ounce of God's help on that warm summer evening of June 12th. The weather forecast all week predicted an electrical storm with heavy rains throughout the weekend. I made a mental note of it, but I wasn't concerned. I had no fear of being caught in it. I had nowhere to go. Rather, I wondered how long I might keep my electronics on before I unplugged them. I didn't want lightening to fry my computer. 13
I wished it hadn't.
I held onto the steering wheel mercifully tight, trying everything within me to dwell on the things God had done for me, and not concentrate on the four hours I had to drive to my destination. I listened to Christian music. In my ear, my Bluetooth. I hoped I wouldn't receive a call with a tragic update. I told God, "I know you've got this."
My son's fiancé phoned to tell us that his left femur snapped in two. He wasn't in an accident. He didn't fall. He didn't stomp his toe. He and his fiancé spent time looking at wedding venues that day. He merely walked into a room and . . . POP!
I saw him at work at the very beginning. He was making changes, doing something to us that I did not understand, but I fully accepted. I'm filled with confidence that one day he'll let me know his full intentions, whether it be in this life or the next.
I'm the calm one in the family. I was on the other end of the phone hardly speaking, too busy dissecting every word, planning while under pressure, packing while processing the gravity of the situation.
One thing is sure, He has no intentions of harming any of us. So, with the godly confidence He has given me, I declared, "God, whatever you decide. I will abide. I will serve you no matter what. You are sovereign, Lord."
Doctors wanted to operate first thing Saturday morning. I looked at the clock. Ten fifteen p.m. I had to wash clothes, pack, put out the trash, find someone to keep my dog, call a friend and apologize for not attending a belated wedding reception, fill up the car, make sure I had enough cash, and double-check the security of our home.
I have spoken those words almost every day since.
By 8:00 p.m., the rain hadn't made it to our area yet. Unconcerned, I kept revising my family saga in hopes to meet my daily deadline. At 9:20 p.m., my cell phone rang.
Through it all, I can remember having one goal in mind: to get to that hospital before the surgeons cut on my child. That was of grave concern to me. Once I finished everything, I hit the highway. The canopy above me looked darker than usual, a crystal, glassy topping that made me curious, but not afraid. Wicked, gnarled lines of lightening streaked the sky. Still, no rain. I looked through the windshield half expecting the sky to help me determine if it would rain before or after I arrived at my destination. But before I merged onto the interstate, heavy raindrops pelted my windshield. No matter how fast those wipers rubbed across my window, I couldn't see. I literally had to keep my eyes on the white hash marks on the road. The downpour on the turnpike resembled heavy, wet bedspreads. I couldn't see through, around, or above the rain. Neither could I use the traffic ahead of me as a guide.
It rained until I was five miles outside the city limits of my final destination. As I edged toward the city, the rain trickled and then disappeared. Straight ahead of me, just above the horizon, the sun gave off a faint orange glow. The rest of the sky was a clear bluish gray. You'd think that after I had come through such a horrific storm, I'd breathe a sign of relief. The time had not yet come for that. Two years ago, I met my son for lunch, so I remembered what the hospital looked like and once I was in the right area of town, I knew its approximate vicinity. Google Maps also played a part in me not getting lost. I parked my car in the hospital's parking garage and once I made it inside the hospital, I asked for directions. My son's fiancé was there, her mother, and two of their best friends. We exchanged pleasantries, but I was anxious for someone in green hospital garb to come out, talk to me, give it to me straight from the hip. That time had come. Diagnosis: fibrous dysplasia in both femurs—both a mirror image of the other. 14
Although only the left femur was fractured, the doctor informed us that titanium rods had to be placed in both femurs. It was just a matter of time before the right femur also fractured. Most people don't know much about this bone disease. It's a soft tissue that invades and weakens the bones, making them brittle and prone to fractures. It's extremely painful. And believe it or not, that's putting it mildly. It is first detected during the adolescent years. It's "not" hereditary. It's also known to occur in elderly people—not a young, healthy, thirty-seven-year-old man. (But we can now say we're a case study because we may have rewritten the statistics and all documentations.) The second thing to note about our season of change is that fibrous dysplasia is usually, almost always, on one side of the body. Obviously, my question was: Why is it showing up now? And why is it in both femurs in the exact same place? Of course, doctors can't answer that. They try, but they don't know everything. I held that question close to my breast, waiting for it to be answered by God at a later time. The surgeon said the operation would last about three hours. I kissed my son and reassured him I'd be there with his fiancé waiting for him. Surgery lasted six hours. Those last three hours pulled me away and I found myself almost glued to a wall wondering and praying and hoping. When surgery was over, my son was as loopy as they come—on heavy narcotics, trying his best to talk intelligently. The doctors showed us x-rays of his femurs before and after surgery. I stood there examining those pictures in great detail, having no idea what I was looking at, but certain this wasn't the perfect example of healthy legs. I also saw two blank spots on the left femur. It looked as if the bone had disintegrated, as though someone had blown on them like a child blows on ragweed seeds, sending the seeds into open space, never to return. After questioning the doctor, I understood that fibrous dysplasia had filled so much of the bone that, in those two spots, hardly anything was left.
I'm a crier, but the only time I wept during this entire process happened not long after they wheeled my son to his room. None of his medications eased his pain. I watched and listened to him groan; grind his teeth, trying his best not to request too much from anyone. I don't think I've ever seen anyone hurt so bad. Ever. I quietly left the room and found a spot down the hall and squatted on the floor as low as I could and wept softly so no one would hear me. Then I got up, literally brushed myself off, and returned to his room and went to work. It was determination I felt. It was godly strength. My task was clear. Get him on his feet. Don't allow him to feel sorry for himself. And assure him that God has his handprints all over this. . . . God has his handprints all over this? What I haven't shared with you is the peace that was in me during this entire journey. There have been a number of people at my congregation concerned about me. When they ask, it's hard to put into words the peace that I feel. Not once did I feel a need to act frantic about the situation. Even now as I write this, my heart is filled with joy. Deep inside my spirit, I knew from the very beginning that God was taking all of us on a journey. And the marvelous revelation within this is that he let me know he had prepared me for it. It's tough to explain. The only way I can come close to expressing this knowledge is to point you back to the article I wrote for Mother's Day entitled "My Joy Isn't For Sale," and to point you to Ecclesiastes 3:18. Most of the time, you and I are so busy kicking and screaming about the mess we're in that we don't see the paved road ahead of us. We're blinded by rain as thick as bedspreads. If you can see the paved road ahead of you, why are you crying? We should feel encouraged. When I wrote, "My Joy Isn't For Sale," I had no idea what I was doing, had no idea that every word on that computer page would sink deep into my soul and stay with me until it was time 15 to pull it out during this season of change.
There is no way could I have predicted this journey. No way did I see this coming. No way I held up as well as I did because I'm a strong woman. The strength I had came from the Word of God already embedded deep within me.
There's power in prayer and in believing. It's kind of funny how we have things so backwards sometimes. We often try to gather our belief and faith during a crisis like a farmer gathers his wheat at harvest.
I remember the first twenty-four hours very clearly. I got up June 12th at 8:00 a.m. and didn't go to bed until June 13th at 10:00 p.m.
We fail to understand that believing begins long before a crisis rears its ugly head. And the value of your belief and your faith cannot be manifested unless it’s put under fire. For those who are well-fed with God's Word, they have enough fuel stored up to withstand the pressures of life. Those who don't, often cave.
And every day after that for eighteen days, I rose at 5:00 a.m., arrived at the hospital at 5:45 a.m., stayed until 3:00 p.m. My son's fiancé stayed at the hospital from 4:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. The process was repeated every single day. And during this season, my son's fiancé was in the middle of planning their wedding which was to occur on July 25th. As the weeks progressed, we had no idea if my son would be able to stand on his own two feet at the wedding. And if he did, would he have to use crutches or a walker, or both? On the day of the wedding, he sat on pews tucked out of sight until right before his bride walked down the aisle. His brother, the best man, was by his side and helped him every step of the way. It was a touching moment. My husband and my granddaughter cried through the entire wedding. I smiled, bathing in the reality of God's love, totally in awe of Him. During my son's stay in the hospital, we witnessed to janitors, nurses, a clergywoman, who was amazed that she came to console us only to be consoled.
A Change of Season comes to us all. Fall is approaching and I'm remembering that I lost Grandmother on September 1st. As winter is about to blanket us with snow and ice soon, and while many prepare for the holidays, I remember my mother's birthday. You are struggling with a variety of hurts, some self-inflected, some imposed by others. None of that matters. Your job is to stay focused. KNOW your mission. Our seasons of change never last long. It's merely a part of the journey that sifts our faith to see if there's anything stable and noteworthy. “You are a royal priesthood, the salt of the earth. Don't let anything pollute your salt. "38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39) Be prepared! Your Change of Season is right around the bend.
Visit Donna B. Comeaux and read more inspirational articles on her blog, A Writer First.
Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle in a Jar by Circusberry
Pumpkin Mousse Cupcakes by Jamie Cooks it Up!
Pumpkin Praline Cake by Sunny Side Up
Pumpkin Cheesecake by Brown Eyed Baker
Pumpkin Roll Cake by Wilton
Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins by The Girl Who Ate Everything 18
The New Standard of Perfection by Michelle Lazurek “I didn’t get perfect attendance,” my daughter said as she hopped off the school bus.
My normally joyful child was preoccupied with her own thoughts of unworthiness.
She worked so hard all year, dodging every merciless flu bug just so she could stand in front of her classmates on the last day of school and wave her attendance certificate proudly for all to see. In my haste,
Then it dawned on me. She had not been working so hard all year for her; she had been working all year for me.
I erroneously picked her up early from school one day, tarnishing her otherwise spotless record. I picked up the phone and furiously punched the numbers on the keypad. Speaking to the school secretary, she confirmed that she had indeed not received perfect attendance. A myriad of self- debasing thoughts ran through my head. I had failed my daughter. Perhaps if I had waited one extra hour that day I would not have robbed her of the distinct honor of having her teachers and peers acknowledge her achievement. Before I could continue throwing myself a pity party, a thought flooded my head: Why do you care if your daughter is seen as perfect? The Lord, in His gentleness, was speaking to my heart. He reminded me of all the times I had come close to winning an award in school but fell short. Every empty preschool sticker chart telling my friends how good I was, every bedroom shelf devoid of trophies every other child had received, every book contract that I hadn’t signed all screamed in my head:
I was living vicariously through my daughter in a desperate attempt to fill her shelf with awards in order to fill the insecurities in my own heart. Although unspoken, I proclaimed the message that worthiness equals performance. The true failure had not come in falling short of the world’s standard of perfection. The failure had come from falling short of God’s standard of perfection. God calls me to His standard of perfection, not one that boasts of neatly framed certificates on the wall but one that can candidly look in the mirror and accept myself for who I am imperfections and all. A standard that can hug my daughter despite her imperfection and softly whisper, “you’re perfect to me.” A standard that reminds me that I am loved for who I am not for what I do. The road to adopting this new standard will not be easy. There will be moments when I’m tempted to lean on the world’s standard of perfection once again, only to fall on my knees begging God for His unflinching grace. I’ll want to base my worth and value on the insecurity of my achievements, not in the security of the Savior’s love. When that happens, God will remind me of His standard of perfection:
You are unloved. You are unworthy. You are not good enough.
I am loved.
As I put the phone down in a huff and looked at my daughter, I saw a look of sadness overtake her face.
I am enough.
I am worthy.
Vexing Hexes Puzzle by Beth Brubaker
Place all hexagons into the honeycomb below. The numbered sides should match its neighboring hexagon.
Answer key on page 77
Focus on the Son Rise by Angela Hiskett Last fall I was driving to work. It was a foggy morning, the light was dim and the sun was struggling to give its light to the world. I saw what appeared to be little pink clouds zooming across the sky. It really looked like they were floating by on some upper atmospheric air current, and they were pink! It was cool. I thought, ‘that’s awesome God, thank you for letting me see that!’ Then I noticed something; it wasn’t the clouds that were moving- it was the fog. What I was actually seeing were bits and pieces of a gorgeous and breathtaking sunrise that was hidden by the fog. What I had thought to be moving pink clouds were actually holes in the fog. Through the holes I could see this amazing color-filled sunrise that the fog was hiding from me. I was only receiving small bits and tastes of the glory behind the fog. We don’t receive God’s full light. How can God give his light to the world if we don’t even notice its missing? How can God light our path if we aren’t even looking for it? If I had glanced at the pink clouds and said ‘oh cool’ and went on worrying about what I’d need to do first at school that day, I’d have missed the awesome sunrise! Think of that with a different homophone, I would have missed the awesome Son rise… What is forever, what is beautiful, is an eternity with God! Focus on God, don’t be turned by world; focus on God so your place in eternity is secure, brush away the fog and see the true beauty that God has in store, brush away the daily trials, and issues, and take a look at the majesty that IS God. That is the true beauty of life; serve him, not the world. Serve him and see the Son rise. Psalm 37:5 “Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him and he will help you.” (NLT) The fog is our daily lives, our worries, our business, our little ‘water cooler’ trials. It’s all the little things that bring our focus to earth. 21
Matthew 11:28 - 30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (NLT) We get so caught up in the world that we miss reality. Our time here is from God, our time here is fleeting. We can’t take all our amassed things with us when we die. All of our ‘big deals’ and ‘I can’t believe she said that’s’ are going to be forgotten in a week. The rough time or trial we are experiencing now will be gone and just a memory in a week or a year. Some things may still hurt, but they will still be a memory. If we keep our focus on God, if we live for him and follow his way, we will still have these trials, but He will guide us through them. If we give our worries to Him, they won’t be worries anymore. If we recognize the sunrise on the horizon for what it is, and not get caught up in the fog, we will be blessed with the glory of God. If we recognize the Son rise for what it is, and not get caught up in the things of this world, we will be blessed with the Glory of God! Romans 12:2 “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (NLT)
Angela Hiskett is a member of the Ruby Blogger Team as well as a regular contributor to the Ruby for Women magazine. You can read more of her inspirational posts on her blog, Grant me Wisdom Oh Lord. Her book, Our Legacy: Bringing Families Together with God Volume 1 is now available from Ruby’s Reading Corner. 22
Investing in Time with God is an Investment in Me and My Family by Maia Bartee Scripture: Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. It was another long day. I started my day much like all the other days that preceded; rushed. From the moment I woke up until the moment I laid in the bed preparing to go to sleep, I was rushing.
Everyone close to me was suffering as a consequence to me feeling empty every day. I struggled getting up the next morning, but I managed to pull myself out of bed, spend time with God, get myself dressed, and completely ready to go. By the time my children and Andre’ woke up, I was able to serve them; surprisingly with a pleasant and willing attitude.
No amount of preparation the day before seemed to help. Even my husband’s willingness to tag team getting the kids ready didn’t seem to slow down my morning sprint to the car to get to work on time.
I left my house, with my kids ready to go and time to spare. I came home still full and ready to pour into my family all that they needed from me.
By the time I battled an hour drive faced with seemingly never-ending traffic I arrived at work EMPTY. I had nothing to give to the people I worked with and when I came home my tank was empty.
Investing in time with God is a direct investment in me. We are able to fill our cups so that we can overflow into those around us. When we are not being fed spiritually, through unrushed time with God, we can’t pour with an overflow into the lives of those around us because we have nothing to give.
My attitude was poor, my patience for my children was non-existent and then to try and be intimate with my husband on top of all of that… it was simply not going to happen! Andre’ tried to tell me one night after putting the kids to bed that I needed to figure out how to avoid being so rushed in the morning because it only made my day horrible. I had a lot of sarcastic thoughts for his brilliant suggestion, but the little bit of God I carried left in my spirit at that moment didn’t allow me to say them. After all, I knew he was right, but I felt like I had tried everything to prevent the morning rush and inevitable burn out by the end of my day, yet nothing was working. On top of all of this, I felt like my day consisted of pleasing and serving everyone else but me. Broken and feeling helpless I cried out to God; “Lord I’m empty, and I’m tired, I need your help.” That evening the Holy Spirit laid on my heart to get up earlier than everyone else and spend time with God and getting myself ready first. Earlier for me, meant 5 AM. I was not excited about seeing that number on my clock, but I was at a point where I realized I needed to try something different.
Waking up before everyone and going to sleep after everyone is not an easy task, however it is vital to me being able to carry out my day without feeling like I have nothing to offer anyone. How can you invest in unhurried time with God today so that you can be filled and ready to pour into the lives of others? Walk it Out: Try waking up 30 minutes earlier than usual and spend time with God, praying and meditating on His word. Do this for 5 days and journal the difference you have in your attitude and your patience with your husband and those around you. Prayer: God I’m crying out to you today, praying that you will fill me up with Your love, Your truth and Your word. I know that if I am empty, I can’t pour with an overflow into the lives of those around me. Help me to make you a priority even if it means sacrificing what I 23 love most. In Jesus name. Amen.
The Gift of Jesus by Alisha Ritchie “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7 ESV I struggled with my emotions all morning. With a sad yet hopeful demeanor, I prepared to see one of my former patients in the Hospice house. I knew her time on earth was short and I wanted to visit with her, to let her know that I love her and that she means so much to me. I desired to take a gift with me. It just didn’t feel right to visit a sick person without bringing something for her. “But what do you bring to a friend who is dying? What kind of a gift can I bring that will be meaningful and useful?” I thought. I debated bringing lotion or possibly a tasty treat. She might enjoy a book or some lovely flowers. But none of these ideas seemed to be just right. And then the Holy Spirit laid it on my heart- take her Jesus. Take Jesus wrapped up in the gift of you. And that’s exactly what I did. I visited with my dear friend for what may very well be the last time. We relished our time together as we laughed, cried, and shared from our hearts. I gave my friend the gift of Jesus wrapped up in the package of me - my love, time, and attention. Isn’t that what God calls each of us to do? The circumstances may be different for each of us but God desires we share Him by showing love to others. The key verse reminds us that God is love. What better way to point others in His direction than by showing love to the people in your life? Your gift of Jesus may take the form of cooking a meal for a sick friend. Or you might babysit your neighbor’s child while she runs some much needed errands. Your gift of love may constitute of praying for a coworker’s spiritual need. The gifts of love we give can take on many different forms but the motivation behind the gifts is the same-Jesus’ love. Make it a point today to seek out tangible ways to bless others. Give those around you the gift of Jesus wrapped in the package of yourself. God will work mightily through you and these lasting gifts will forever be cherished by the recipients.
The Rod and the Cross by Lanette Kissel It was just a simple shepherdâ€™s staff, a little wooden rod. When Moses held it in his hand, called upon the mighty power of God. It was just a simple wooden cross, carved from the heart of a tree. Instrument of His suffering and pain, symbol of victory for you and me. If called upon, would you raise the rod? Would you take up your cross? And should you lose your life for Him, Count it victory or loss? (Published in the Pink Chameleon issue 14)
The Good Shepherd by Lanette Kissel The Good Shepherd watches over his flock. He will not lose even one of His sheep. He enfolds us within His loving arms. We are all safe within His keep. When the wolf is crouching just over the hill, when the Deceiver lurks outside our door, we can call upon the Shepherdâ€™s strength to stand against temptation once more. The Shepherd wonâ€™t let us out of His sight. He watches over us through the night and day. When Satan is near, He is aware of our plight. With His guidance, we will not go astray. 26
by Lynn Mosher
The autumn season is here in nature, bringing with it the thought of harvest. As nature goes through its seasons, so do we as Christians. As Solomon said, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” (Eccl. 3:1NKJV) We all have spiritual seasons of storm, calm, dryness, flood, abundance, lack, plus sowing and reaping. Circumstances come and go in our lives, but our aim is to always work toward having a spiritual harvest, no matter what the circumstantial season. God once whispered to my heart… “If the ground is not turned, I cannot plant My seeds. A life as a lovely green meadow with its abundance of wild flowers is a fair picture of beauty. But there’s more to be had from the rich soil lying beneath the surface blanket of a lovely green pasture. Cultivating this meadow can produce a harvest of fruit, of nourishment, of good things for others. “The Hand of the One tilling the soil is the One Who loves it the most and sees the greatest potential in it for a harvest. The roots of unwanted growth beneath the surface must be ripped out that the ground might be tilled and furrowed. This gives room to accept the seeds of new growth and eventually welcome a beautiful, golden field of harvest, waving its ripened grain in the breeze. “A life in the Hands of the One guiding the plow will display a fruitful meadow. When it is uprooted and turned over, it welcomes the plantings of the Master Husbandman and gladdens the hearts of others with its lovely field of produce.” God is the Master Husbandman Who sometimes must dig deep furrows into our lives, knowing where the best soil lies, and, there, He drops in the seeds of His Word. But sometimes, our lovely field of harvest is destroyed by roots of unwanted growth. Do you have any? I know I do.
Do you have any roots like: bitterness, unforgiveness, pride, gossip, complaining, judging, doubt, worry, unbelief, or hypocrisy? No? None of those? Then, do you have the roots of too many duties, meetings, appointments, errands, kids’ activities, church obligations, or work, work, work? No matter what roots attempt to work against us, if our lives are not accompanied by one thing, we will be miserable. And that one thing is…Peace! If we are filled with sin or the anxieties of life and make no time to fellowship with the Beloved Husbandman for intimate conversations, then our peace is seriously at risk. So, what seeds have you been planting? Sin-seeds? Busy-seeds? Have you failed to sow certain seeds and now you have a crop failure in some area of your life? The most valuable seeds you can sow are the time-seed and the obedience-seed. Why? Because you reap the benefits and the harvest of His presence and His peace. God said through Isaiah to Israel, “If you had obeyed me, you would have had peace like a fullflowing river.” (Is. 48:18a NCV) Ah, like a flowing river. Is that flowing river of peace missing in your life? If the harvest coming up around you is not what you’d like, it may be time to check those seed bags. Paul wrote to the Galatian believers, “Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.” (Gal. 6:7 NLT) Jesus has given us His peace, as He told His disciples, “I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27 TLB) And don’t let those unwanted roots strangle your peace. I love these two versions of James 3:18, “People who work for peace in a peaceful way plant a good crop of right-living.” (NCV) “And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness.” (TLB) I pray for all of you as Paul prayed for the Thessalonian church, “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.” (2 Thess. 3:16 NKJV) May you realize that the Husbandman’s plow is at work in your life to produce the greatest harvest. So, plant those seeds that produce a harvest of peace. 28
Book Reviews by Carol Peterson, Author Show Some Love: How to Be a Friend to Someone in Recovery by Daphne E. Tarango Comfort Station Publications (December 19, 2014) Many of us have loved ones who are hurting. There are processes and organizations that help people in their own recovery. But what tangible things can a person do to help someone else in that recovery? That question is the basis of Daphne E. Tarango’s book, Show Some Love: How to be a Friend to Someone in Recovery. Christian author, Tarango shares personal stories of people in various stages of healing, recovering from divorce, smoking, alcohol, drugs and physical and emotional abuse and presents suggestions from them as to what family and friends did during the recovery process that were most helpful (and most hurtful). Tarango divides the book into four sections: Looking up: Understanding a person’s need to allow Jesus to be part of the recovery process and how to encourage that faith. Looking in: This is the process of understanding the recovery process and accepting responsibility, of taking an inventory of one’s past life, addressing hurts and habits and making amends to others. She offers suggestions to support and encourage a person as she proceeds through that process. Looking out: This step involves helping the person act on what they’ve learned in order to maintain recovery. It is important to understand the need to encourage a person without bringing up past mistakes while continuing to keep the recovering person accountable. Loving Yourself: Making sure you set boundaries to protect yourself while not enabling the recovering person to fall away from recovery. Recognizing that your renewed trust may take time to develop. 29
Each chapter explains the stages of recovery and contains suggestions to help your recovering loved one. Each chapter also contains a prayer for that person based on the stage of recovery they are going through and includes guided questions to assess the help you are giving. There are many fine books written about the recovery process to help a person in recovery. What makes this book different is its focus. Tarango clearly shares how we can begin to understand what our hurting loved ones are going through. Then she takes the further step and provides practical ideas on how to help them as they move into and maintain recovery. Join our book club by clicking the big red button. Then share with us what you think.
Carol also writes a With Faith like Hers Bible study series. When we understand the ways in which our character or circumstances are similar to women in Scripture, we get a glimpse of how God might see us as He saw His daughters of old.
Available are I am Eve, I am Esther and I am Ruth. I am Mary is a study of Jesusâ€™ mother. From Honor Bound Books and available at Amazon.com as well as from Rubyâ€™s Reading Corner.
Carol is a member of the Ruby Blogger Team, and she can also be found at www.carolpetersonauthor.com
Are you in the desert? by Ifeoma Samuel
Her business was doing badly, in the face of a pending divorce, no money and no friends were was she to turn? And now she was almost homeless. Are you her? Is life blowing you cold? I am not new to life’s storms. In fact, I could hear them even if they were miles away. We all go through these desert experiences. Where we feel lonely, unaccomplished and many times we are reminded of our failures. Almost as if everything in life is static. I can understand what the Israelites went through as they moved in the desert. And like the Israelites faced with no food and no water, we are faced with lack, failures, weakness etc. My dear friend often, in the face of difficulties we are presented with two choices. A choice to remain in the state we find ourselves. On the contrary, we can choose to go forward.
There is water for you in the desert. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19 He knows you are going to be thirsty. He is prepared so come to Him in your thirst and let Him fill you up (Psalms 42:1-2). Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Isaiah 55:1 He also knows you are going to be hungry. He makes provision for each day of our desert experience. Just trust Him to deliver. (1Kings 19:1-15) He will turn your wasteland into joyful land (Isaiah 54:3)
Your choice is as good as mine. Going forward, we make the desert a place to draw nearer to God. I love that Jesus taught us that example. He would frequently withdraw to a quiet and secluded place or a wilderness and pray (Mark 6:31-32). Let’s get this right, the desert of life ain't easy, but we can turn every disappointing experience into a joyful experience. When things don’t seem to go our way, there is something bigger God is planning.
You are not forsaken of the Lord. Never again will you be desolate.
Remember, God is a way-maker and the desert is no exception to his expertise.
Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. Isaiah 62:4
Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19
Now you see you are well prepared for your journey. 31 The desert is not your destination. You will never end up in the desert of life in Jesus Name. The Lord will bring you into your Land of Rest.
How do you keep moving forward in the desert?
Word Logic by Beth Brubaker John is a locksmith and is head of the neighborhood committee, which also includes a chef, dentist, and mechanic. They all sit around a table. John sits on Jackâ€™s left. Jacob sits at the dentistsâ€™ right. Jeremy, who faces Jack, is not the mechanic. What kind of job does Jacob have? Answer is on page 77
Visit Lynn Mosher on her blog to read her daily devotional and inspirational posts.
Visit Heather King at Room to Breathe to read her inspirational posts.
Another Place by Rhea B. Riddle Light, space, zest—that’s God! So, with him on my side I’m fearless, afraid of no one and nothing. Psalms 27:1(The Message Version) The ominous clouds crawled and clawed their way across the rain-swollen sky. Each had a name they bore with a frown and a grimace reflected in their metallic darkness. The leaders were Terror, Angst, and Mercilessness; they were taking their time, staking a claim, and overwhelming the earth as they strafed the valley below. Just over the horizon, there was a streak of light not yet enveloped by the looming storm, it too had a name: “Word of God." To some it appeared weak, and timid, and seemed to have no will to claim the sky, but to others it shone as "Promise," and they waited for deliverance. The storm raged on. I, the watcher sit in a protected place, a place of study, thought and excitement. A place of waiting, and so, I wait...pinned by my held breath and expectations. My emotions reined tight, my desires are chained, I have no fear. I unfetter my faith, and knowledge rides on the wind as I breathe deeply of this uncreated time and wonder when God will awaken me from this unique dream. Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I’m not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure. Psalm 23:4 (MSG) From this place where I watch the heavens time has no meaning. Even here my mind and heart are open and I crave a word, "the Word." It will carry me over, past, or through the storm, destroying personal clouds that I call by their given names. One day he and his disciples got in a boat. “Let’s cross the lake,” he said. And off they went. It was smooth sailing, and he fell asleep. A terrific storm came up suddenly on the lake. Water poured in, and they were about to capsize. They woke Jesus: “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” Getting to his feet, he told the wind, “Silence!” and the waves, “Quiet down!” They did it. The lake became smooth as glass. Then he said to his disciples, “Why can’t you trust me?” 33
They were in absolute awe, staggered and stammering, “Who is this, anyway? He calls out to the winds and sea, and they do what he tells them!” Luke 8:23-25 (MSG) I have a sense of calmness, and as I look, I see the gloomy clouds are still present, but there has been a change in their names. Now they answer to Overrated, Powerless, and Temporary. Their sting is gone; they still appear on the scene, but are quickly fading. I glance toward the growing light, although it is brighter than the sun I cannot turn away. I am drawn; I plead, "Cover me!" For I am God, your very own God, who stirs up the sea and whips up the waves, named God-of-the-Angel-Armies. I teach you how to talk, word by word, and personally watch over you, Even while I’m unfurling the skies, setting earth on solid foundations, and greeting Zion: ‘Welcome, my people!’ Isaiah 51: 16 (MSG) I become aware, and began to stir; the "place" becomes my sofa where I take my afternoon naps. Again I beg, "Oh please, don't let me lose it." "Lose what?" He questions… "Time; the time I am drawn to Your word. Time, time when I experience You in ordinary and in extraordinary places!" "Well, that would be up to you, I will meet you anywhere, in storms or when calm, but I exist in timelessness, you live in time. I manage your eternity; you are free to manage your “time.” I am wide awake. I have much to ponder... His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what. Hebrews 4: 12 (MSG)
35 More FREE printable calendars from www.imom.com
Autumn Leaf Crafts from Remodelaholic We found some absolutely gorgeous autumn craft project ideas at Remodelaholic! There are 25 beautiful autumn leaf crafts on this one blog – if you are looking for some new projects and a bit of autumn inspiration, you will want to visit Remodelaholic to see all of the crafts. We can only include a few here, but there are so many more!
Leaf Decoupage Pumpkins originally posted on Better Homes and Gardens Adorable little pumpkins embellished with autumn leaves are perfect for every family occasion from harvest to Thanksgiving. Super simple, inexpensive, and fun to make!
Frosted Autumn Leaf Cookies from Sweet Sugar Belle These beautiful frosted autumn leaf cookies are just too pretty to eat! But they would be a perfect centerpiece for a harvest dinner or for your family’s Thanksgiving table.
Vintage Paper Leaf Wreath from Martha Stewart Cutting out the leaf shapes from vintage paper would be the most difficult part of this project. If you are like me, cutting up old books or papers is not something to take lightly – but if you can find a few that you don’t mind parting with, this is a great autumn craft to make for your home this autumn.
Autumn Leaf Wall Art from Lowe’s Creative Ideas These stunning wall hangings are made from simple black frames with scraps of press board for the background. The leaf shapes are cut out from patterns available on the Lowe’s website, then painted and mounted on the background. Any kind of background could be used to match your own home décor. What a beautiful display to bring a bit of autumn inspiration to your family! 36
Unshakeable Faith by Kathy Howard Book Review by Miriam Jacob Is your faith doggedly determined to withstand difficult times when the storms of life beat upon you with relentless fury? An unshakeable faith can keep you standing firmly on the unsinkable Rock, despite the storms beating around you like a turbulent sea. The Apostle Peter was a very run-of-the-mill kind of person, a hard-working fisherman, very passionate and overly headstrong, famed for being 'impetuous, impulsive and overeager.' Jesus singled him out for a most extraordinary mission. Simon, the faltering fisherman, was transformed into Peter the Rock, to lead Christ's Church strongly in the fiery face of persecution. The greatest triumph of Peter's life was the fact that although, when Christ was betrayed, Peter fearfully denied knowing Him, thirty years later, Peter fearlessly died for his faith in Christ. This was his vindication. What brought about such an awesome change of heart? God inculcated eight 'faith traits' in Peter to produce an unshakeable faith, guaranteed to weather every single storm in Peter's life. These eight spiritual factors will give you an 'obedient, dependent and trusting relationship with your Savior,' to depend and rely upon when trials strive to unsettle you. Life is full of the most extraordinary trials and difficulties. The only firm foundation for you to stand on is a rock-solid faith in God that is not easily moved. Peter's remarkable life reveals that God can transform a fragile, faltering faith into a strong, unshakeable faith. Trait One reveals that you are secure in the love of God who chose you to be His very own. In Luke 5:1-11, Jesus saw Peter and his friends washing their nets and getting ready to go home after fishing all night to no avail. Yet, Jesus told Peter 'to take the boat back out into the water and put the freshly-cleaned nets down for a catch.' Peter stared at Jesus in disbelief but obeyed Him at once. There instantly occurred an incredible miracle right in front of their eyes. 'The catch was so large they had to call for another boat.' Two other miracles also occurred simultaneously in Peter's heart. Peter's perception of Jesus changed in the twinkling of an eye. He saw His Master in a new light. Peter's perception of himself also changed radically. As he perceived Christ's awesome power and authority, he also became acutely aware of his own wretchedness. A deep sense of sin overwhelmed him. 'Now Peter was ready to follow Jesus.' 37
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Loving Thyself by Patrice D. Wilkerson Have you ever looked in the mirror and were unhappy with what you saw? Have you ever wished you could look like someone else? If you answered yes, you are not alone. I used to look in the mirror and just hate the image that I saw. It was obvious that I was in a completely different category than the girls on television and in the magazines. As I got older, I continued to have issues with my appearance. I can remember crying one day after school because of what someone had said about me. My parents could tell I was upset. They told me I was beautiful and God created us all differently. I dried my eyes and prayed to God that He would make everything better. The next day I started reading my Bible because I wanted to see exactly what God had to say about beauty. Weeks after reading, I stumbled across a key verse that would change my life forever: “You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you” (Song of Solomon 4:7, NIV). What a revelation this was for me. It was like seeing a rainbow after a storm. Months later I could feel my confidence growing. I stood proud and tall because no matter what others may have said about me, my Heavenly Father says that I am beautiful. There was also another startling revelation. As I was reading my Bible I stumbled across another powerful verse: “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. 39
People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7, NIV). Wow, here I am worrying about my outer appearance but what about what’s inside my heart? What could I do so that God would be pleased with what’s in my heart? Well, for starters, I made sure I read my Bible more so that I could learn more about God and what other qualities he looks for in a Christian. Second, I cleansed my heart by putting away all the baggage I was carrying. This baggage (such as holding grudges, unwillingness to forgive others and not letting go of the past) was weighing me down. One day as the Pastor called everyone up for altar prayer, I left all of my baggage and never picked it back up. Third, through my reading I learned that we should love each other. From that moment on, my heart was filled with love for everyone, even those who had mistreated me and laughed at me. By doing these things, my heart felt cleansed, which allowed me to love the image that I saw in the mirror. I was proud of the person I was becoming. My words and my actions showed that God was in my mind, body, spirit and heart. I hope that all women can find the courage to love themselves unconditionally. Everyone is made differently and that is what makes you unique. I encourage everyone to embrace all that God has given you. I know there is a lot of pressure to be a certain size or to look a certain way, but remember, God loves you just the way you are. Spend more time focusing on your inner beauty, because that is what matters the most. God is looking for what is in your heart - not what lies on the surface.
It Must Be Fall by Sharon L. Patterson Walk with me on sidewalks strewn with leaves muted in colors of red, gold, olive, and brown… Stand with me on the hill and feel a crisper wind, a hint of chill that announces summer’s end… Pause with me to hear the crunch of yesterday’s green grass covered in today’s crispy foliage… Watch with me the smoke rising from chimneys at September’s end and October’s beginning… Wait with me at the corner as children in sleeved sweaters step up into school buses… Gather with me the bright orange pumpkins, the fruits of harvest… Bow with me to thank the One who delights us with glorious change and supplies us with plenty in every season… especially now, that it is Fall.
The Radical Cross by A.W. Tozer Book Review by Miriam Jacob In The Radical Cross, A. W. Tozer explains the mysterious paradox of the cross. Peace and justice united in Christ’s death on the cross of Calvary. The cross is the crux of the matter. The cross of Jesus Christ is the crux of history. Without the cross, there is no history. The cross of Christ defines history. “Excruciating” in Latin means “out of the cross.” In English, it means “in the throes of indescribable pain.” The excruciating pain of Christ on the cross comforts the deepest hurts of the human heart. We live with the deepest hungers of the heart. Truth, love, justice and forgiveness grip the soul and stir the heart. These four hungers lie at the foot of the cross. In the paradox of the cross, God provides for our deepest needs. A. W. Tozer understood the death of Christ in its timely and timeless nature. It symbolized the past, present and future. Christ’s death was a specific point in time past. He lives with us in the present and promises to return in the future. This world needed a costly redemption in the death of Jesus Christ, the sacrificial Lamb of God. The cross of Christ bridges the vast divide between God and men. Without the cross, the gulf separating us from God cannot be bridged. The Christian must try to understand the costliness of Christ’s death on the cross. Our understanding of the cross and our commitment to it are paramount. There is no more important theme. It defines everything in this world and on it the world revolves.
Miriam Jacob is a member of the Ruby Blogger Team as well as a regular contributor to the Ruby for Women magazine as a member of our Book Review Team. She blogs at Miriam Jacob’s Portfolio as well as Authors for Christ where you can read her poetry as well as her other book reviews.
Bible Clubs in Public School? by Kathleen Katt Luce
I was asked to speak to the church women in a nearby community. My topic was Outreach. I shared several opportunities available for women to reach a needy world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
One club already has over 20 students. The other has 47 and will soon split into two clubs! The clubs meet weekly for 1.5 hours from October through May.
The biggest response was to the need for a Good News Bible Club for children in their local public elementary school.
Please join me in praying for Godâ€™s special anointing on these clubs, and that many children will come to experience the love and joy of the Savior.
I explained that we have nine after school Bible clubs in our local schools, but no clubs in two nearby cities, including theirs.
This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:3-4
These clubs were approved in 2001 by the U.S. Supreme Court, to be held after school hours in public elementary schools throughout the U.S.
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. Luke 19:10
The upshot: Good News Clubs were recently started in two nearby communities! Both are the result of this group of wonderful women answering a need. They took the training and secured permission from their district superintendents.
Child Evangelism Fellowship is an international outreach ministry for children. Are they represented in your community? For more information visit Child Evangelism Fellowship.
Embracing This Year’s Community by Gayle Veitenheimer
During the school years, teachers, coaches, and classmates change with the grade. Each year brings a host of people into our lives, some old and some new. God engineers a fresh mix of mentors and classmates to best fit His desires for our children—and for us as well. He reminds us each new face represents a new family for ours to embrace. For the next school year, we will do life together—in the classroom, on the soccer field, or at the dance studio. So why not pray now: For healthy friendships For growth, even if it’s painful For opportunities to share and to help others in need For teachers and coaches as they juggle work and family And not only pray, but plan. Plan to reach out to the single dad struggling to get his daughter to practice. Plan to speak often with the bilingual family mastering a second language. Plan for unknowns. Encourage your children to look for needs. They see things in the course of the day that parents can’t. Plan for bumps. Rare is the year in which each child gets along beautifully with every classmate or teacher. (Plan to stick several packages of cookie dough in the freezer for when your child tells you at ten o’clock at night that they need cookies tomorrow.) God has placed you and your child strategically. Proactively pray and intercede now as you ask Him to reveal His purposes and plans for the year ahead. 44
Meet Author Angela Hiskett I am a child of God, a mother of four, wife to one, teacher to many, a daughter, a sister, a sister-in-law, an aunt, a granddaughter, a pet owner of 7, house-cleaner of 1 husband 4 kids 2 dogs and 5 cats... and a writer? The pet situation is not as bad as it sounds, as they spend most of their time outside and come in to eat or get attention and maybe work in a nap (the pets, not the kids, although that may be true of my husband). My husband and I united our families when my youngest was 3, and that was 7 years ago. Now they are entering their teens and it is not as scary as I had imagined! Just proof that anything is possible with God. They are a great bunch of kids that I love dearly. Don't get me wrong, it's not all rainbows and butterflies. We have a good dose of muck and mire, but we rely on God and he sees us through. I am also a teacher. I just finished up my first year as a Level 3 special education teacher at the same small town school my children attend. Before that I was the teacher in a self-contained classroom for students with emotional and behavioral disorders in a bit larger district for 7 years. I love the Lord! I do not feel I am doing all that I should be doing for him. He has blessed me with four children to raise for him, and they are growing in their walk with him daily. But I know there is more. I also assist in leading the worship music in my church and teach the youngest of our Sunday school scholars (try saying that 3 times as fast as you can!) during the school year, and assist with the summer Sunday school program. We also were enabled by God to have a great Christmas program last year. I love to read, ride horses, and spend time with my family. My recently published book, Our Legacy: Bringing Families Together with God (Volume 1) is now available from Rubyâ€™s Reading Corner.
Expecting the Extraordinary: What I Learned from a Woodchuck by Kathryn Ross Now Moses was tending the flock . . . he led the flock to the back of the desert . . . And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight . . .” Exodus 3:1-3 NKJV I saw a woodchuck yesterday. Odd that I almost missed him. I mistook him for a greyish-brown shopping bag stuck on a tree branch, blowing in the crisp, chilly breeze of an autumn morning. I was driving into the local mall by the back road, nestled between a parking lot and a stretch of overgrown grass and saplings. My mind raced with a long list of quick stops I had to make in the next hour. No time for detours—let alone rumination and reverie. So, it is no wonder that as I drove towards my parking destination, I saw—from a distance—what appeared to be a bit of trash trapped in a tree. I wondered if mall maintenance would clean it up, or if it would be stuck there indefinitely. But to my surprise and delight, as I drew closer I saw that the alleged trash was, in fact, a treasure. A large woodchuck balanced himself on a tree branch, taking in a snack of leaves that had yet to begin changing color. I caught a split second glimpse of his white teeth glistening beneath beady black eyes as his front paws simultaneously held tight to the branch and shoveled leaves into his mouth. I was stunned and slowed the car to a stop. Should I take the time to investigate? I really did have a lot of busy to be about. But, the truth was that, much like Moses and his sighting of a burning bush, I had never seen a woodchuck in the wild before. Plenty of rabbits and squirrels and chipmunks and field mice. Even the occasional opossum and skunk were plentiful. But, this fellow was a relatively new sighting for me in such a busy part of town. I had heard others speak of seeing the creatures in their woodland yards—and of the accompanying rodent damage to their coifed foliage. Well, now I had the opportunity to glimpse this shy character with a bold appetite, myself. But, a day’s worth of busywork stretched before me. I was torn. I’d expected the ordinary in my day, yet the extraordinary was before me. My response needed to be appropriate to the moment. Errands would have to wait. I decided to go no further until I took a closer look. Was my camera in my purse? Yes! There must be photos, of course. I would document my detour in answer to God’s call for a moment of retreat and reflection. After all, this was a unique sight rarely seen in overdeveloped suburbia. No other car appeared on the road behind me, so I put mine in reverse and slowly backed up to the tree. 47
Alas, too late. The moment had passed. I missed my chance to take full advantage of it, pausing in indecision for the tyranny of the urgent. My woodchuck was gone. He had shimmied down the tree and disappeared into the tall grass. I didn't seize the moment swiftly enough to make the most of studying this elusive little bit of wildlife. I wasn't looking for him. So I missed him. What might I have gained by maintaining a sense of delightful expectancy! I might have assumed the extraordinary and stopped the car in the choicest moment, recognizing a serendipitous appointment to spy on his snack time. What a privilege to be able to share such a moment in his life! God used this “Selah” second—this stop-and-think-about-it instant—to remind me of incorporating moments of “retreat” into my whirlwind days. Nature came out of hiding to demonstrate the humble value of simple joys and small pleasures. And slowing down. Lesson learned. Today, I shall seek to apply said lesson to fresh opportunities. Perhaps less on my to-do-list, allowing time for a cup of green tea, roosting on my love seat by the window. Contemplating the sparrows that flit among the branches of the fir tree in the front yard. Should I tarry long enough, who can say what treasures I may own from momentary meditations. When we take the time to behold the ordinary with delightful expectancy, the scales fall from our eyes and we glimpse God’s extraordinary power packed into every fiber of Creation. If we listen close enough, He will whisper to our hearts something glorious of His Character. And in such moments of rumination and reverie, prayer without ceasing becomes like breathing. Intimacy and inspiration ensues. Disclaimer: I understand the woodchuck, a.k.a. groundhog, a.k.a. whistlepig (due to the sound he makes to alert others to possible danger) is something of a home and garden pest. His burrowing has been known to completely upend the foundation of a house, and his eating habits can decimate the family’s fall harvest. His personality is surly at best. Few would describe him as cute and cuddly. These are sad but true facts on the critter. But the point of this story is not the woodchuck. It is my own blindness to the treasures of God poured liberally upon me each day—should I have eyes to see and ears to hear. May we stand alert and still in expectancy—much like a woodchuck on guard outside his burrow—and whistle to alert others when the extraordinary crosses our path with not-to-be-missed opportunities. Surely, in such moments, we are on holy ground. So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush . . . “Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Exodus 3:4-5 NKJV 48
Discover more of Paulineâ€™s Christian fantasy books on her website, Pauline Creeden
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Kelly Boyer Sagert is a professional writer, editor and coach with decades of experience. She is a member of the prestigious American Society of Professional Journalists and Authors (ASJA) and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). She is an experienced ghostwriter, as well, and has nearly a decade of professional search engine optimization experience. What writing or editing work do you need to have done? Do you need a speaker or 50 trainer? Contact Kelly for more information.
God’s Mercies after Suicide: Blessings Woven through a Mother’s Heart by Jean Ann Williams “When our children die, we want their lives to have mattered. We long for the world to know they were here.” ~ Jean Ann Williams God’s Mercies after Suicide: Blessings Woven through a Mother’s Heart is a devotional intended for mothers who’ve lost children to suicide. This book is a friendly, approachable, inviting book that helps mothers feel welcome and at ease, and to allow them a peaceful time to reflect on their loss and the child they miss. Each chapter has three sections. The devotional begins with Scripture and then the author tells the story of her loss, and then ends in a prayer. The second part is of the author’s anecdotes and memories of her son. They are short and sweet, with a dramatic style rather than a how-to. The author shares moments in her child’s life and recalls how she felt to see the different stages of growth and challenges he faced in life. The concluding part to each chapter is a journal page for the readers to write their memories of their child. It allows them space for memories and grieving, a prayer of praise, and a Scripture of encouragement. When a mother has lost a child, there are times when it’s hard to mingle with other people. Each chapter in God’s Mercies after Suicide can be read and journaled in within the privacy of a mother’s home, giving her a bit of hope and rest for another day. The book is distinctive in that it combines coping with the pain of loss while encouraging mothers to search for their own blessings. The book reaches out from its pages and wraps mothers in the warmth and love of their heavenly Father. It has been stated by sufferers of loss to suicide that the topic of suicide is taboo, and that the survivors feel they’ve been isolated from the normal hum of life. In truth, the ones left behind after the suicide do have a valid point. Included in the preface of the book is this paragraph: “I’ve written these devotions for those mothers who have shared the deep heartache of a child’s suicide. Through my writing, I believe God wants me to share from my heart to theirs, by encouraging them and giving them ways to cope. Mothers can have hope and a due measure of peace after a suicide. God has helped me, and He wants to help other mothers. The loss is horrific, but God is faithful. He brought me through this dark time, and He wants to do the same for all mothers.” Mothers of loss from suicide face separate concerns—concerns that are not taught nor thought about when they become parents. No one wants to consider that they’ll give birth to a child who could die by suicide. The mothers who endure this type of pain need a resource that considers their exclusive struggles and offers honest help from one mother to another—not in a step-by-step format but in story form, which draws the reader into a world they may know all too well.
From the Preface to
God’s Mercies after Suicide: Blessings Woven through a Mother’s Heart Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? —Isaiah 43:18-19 I had a dream. I dreamed the nightmare never happened. Our son Joshua never passed on to the hereafter. He married and had children. Then I woke, and knew the dream was only that—a dream. We live with our reality. I’ve written these devotions for those of you who have shared the deep heartache of a child’s suicide. Through my writing, I believe God wants me to share from my heart to yours, by encouraging you and giving you ways to cope. You can have hope and peace after a suicide. God has helped me and He wants to help you. The loss is horrific, but God is faithful. He brought me through this dark time, and He wants to do the same for you. A yearning to write this story came five years into my journey of loss. I sensed a dawn of courage within myself, but I haven’t come this far in a blink, nor on my own. Although I knew I’d lose my nerve, only to gain it back time and again before I completed my story, I also knew I’d have the help from Lord God, and the folks He sends my way. Am I full of courage? Yes! Yes, I shout, with God’s hand upon me. God, when I falter, I pray You will renew my strength. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Jean Ann Williams began her writing career in 1994 by reading a stack of books on the craft of writing. Since then, Jean Ann has published over 100 articles and short stories on the topics of Christianity, health, travel, friendship, relationships, family life, Sunday school take-home papers, and the loss of her son by suicide. She has two completed and professionally edited books, Just Claire and God’s Mercies after Suicide: Blessings Woven through a Mother’s Heart, for which she is seeking representation. In her free time, Jean Ann enjoys reading and reviewing books and mentoring young writers for the next generation. Jean Ann lives with her husband of forty-four years, Jim, on a one acre goat farm with a flock of hens. In 2013, she took up archery and hunts big game for food with her custom-fitted bow for short people. To learn more about Jean Ann Williams visit her on Face Book, Twitter, and her blogs Love Truth and Jean Ann Williams: Author. Cover photo by James D. Williams
Kids’ Korner by Carol Peterson
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg Atheneum Books for Young Readers; 35th Anniversary edition (December 21, 2010) Eleven-year old Claudia Kincaid decided to run away from home, not because life was horrible. Rather, she ran away because something in her life was missing. So she planned it all out very carefully, bringing her little brother Jamie (who had the money) and running away to the most elegant place on earth—the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. There they set out to solve a mystery in the art world while making sure not to get caught and sent home. Although this Newberry award winning middle grade novel was first published in 1967, before threats made parts of the book impractical, it remains a delightfully fun story of a brother and sister discovering something about life and themselves. The very fact that this novel is still in print after nearly 40 years and is still well loved is due to the humor and delightful personalities of the characters and Konigsburg’s theme that the greatest adventure in life is right there inside you. Both boys and girls ages 8-12 will enjoy this story of finding oneself amid humor, suspense and intrigue. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler is available from Ruby’s Reading Corner.
Baby by Patricia MacLachlan Yearling (August 1, 1995) This book is the story of a family in grief. When a struggling mother leaves baby Sophie in a basket to be cared for by 12-year old Larkin and her family, the family not only falls in love with Sophie, she helps them in their healing process. MacLachlan’s writing is like reading poetry, each word perfect on the page. The simplicity and beauty of MacLauchlan’s writing are a joy both for kids 8-12 and adults as well. Because the topic is grief, Baby is not for every child. But the sensitive young person who may need to experience healing through the eyes of another will find this book memorable. Baby by Patricia MacLachlan is available from Ruby’s Reading Corner. 53
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Digesting Life by Kathleen McCauley
When I was a girl my parents threw lots of parties, and the morning after each one we would all sit around the kitchen table talking about the people, the stories and the food. In my early years, the day after was what I loved most about those parties. Years later when I was in graduate school, which refers to my analytical years, I thought that “day after processing” of my parents’ parties was so judgmental. But now that I am close to fifty, I see that “processing” was really “digestion”. “Digestion” of life events is perhaps one of the most neglected processes of our social life. To digest life is somewhat like food digestions. We need to savor it, the moment, the people, and the fragrance. We must have time to absorb all the nurturing that each experience has to offer. Recently I was thinking about my daughters and realized that they both had experienced significant moments in their lives these past few weeks. One daughter took her First Holy Communion and the other one her Confirmation. I hardly remember the events because I was so focused on making sure everything was just right, that everyone was dressed properly and that they all arrived on time.
I recall an old wives’ tale as I reflect on this topic; not to swim right after eating, you must wait an hour for your food to digest. This advice always made sense when we were young and naïve, but it doesn’t appear to be accurate for swimming any longer. Perhaps there is some wisdom to be discovered in this saying. If we could take an hour or a week or a day to digest life as it is coming at us, we might be able to savor the juices that would quench our thirst for more. As much as I know the methods and means of “meditation” and prayer, that all seems to get lost in my crowded schedule. I often wonder about the joys that I would discover if I were to take the time to sit and reflect on my life. Perhaps it could be as simple as taking a few moments to remember the big and the small events of each day or week.
These types of events are rites of passage, and if I miss these important moments, my girls will be grown up and on their own before I even know what happened in those years. I have only come to see the value in taking the time to digest life since I have begun working full time, away from home, while trying to balance the needs of my family. As the weeks turn into months so many important events and experiences begin to blur together in my mind. Life is beading off me like rain on a good London Fog. It feels as if nothing is being absorbed into my heart. Most days, it seems that I am just going through the motions of living, trying desperately to find enough energy and organization to start another week on the tread mill of life.
As I seek to understand the process of “digesting” life events, I will choose to allow myself the luxury of time to experience life in all of its wonder. And at the end of each day, my heart and soul will be 56 nurtured and filled with God’s goodness, just as He plans for me to feel.
Kelly Boyer Sagert
Freelance Writer, Editor, and Mentor In the 10th grade, I took an aptitude test and my counselor told me that I clearly should become a journalist – and I told him “no way!” That, to my 15year-old self, would feel like having daily homework for the rest of my working life. So, I went to Bowling Green State University and earned a psychology degree, even when my English teacher suggested creative writing. Then, eight years later, I felt a strong urge to write for a living – and, although it took me several years to actually turn writing into a full-time career, that’s what I ultimately did.
I’m also spending more time teaching writing through Writer’s Digest University, something I’ve been doing for 15 years, and one-on-one coaching, online and by phone and Skype.
I’ve been writing and editing professionally for 26 years now, with about 14 of them fulltime. Just recently, I gave up the last remnant of a staff writing job, becoming 100% freelance.
I’m helping to plan the fourth annual Northeast Ohio Christian Writer’s Conference (www.neocwc.com) and excitedly awaiting the January debut of my new book, Everything to God in Prayer: A Writer’s Weekly Devotional.
Late in 2015, a documentary where I have script writing credits will debut on PBS, and can appear on PBS channels throughout the United States for the next three years: Trail Magic: The Grandma Gatewood Story.
Here is a review from a pre-reader: “Filled with anecdotes from her own faith journey in the midst of trials, Everything to God in Prayer by Kelly Boyer Sagert is a unique devotional for Christian writers.
Emma “Grandma” Gatewood had lived an unremarkable life, earning an eighth grade education before becoming a farm wife and mother. She had a tumultuous marriage and, after three decades, decided that she could not tolerate any more abuse, so she divorced.
You will love Kelly’s warm style, grace-filled prayers, and insightful exercises designed to recharge your motivation to write. I highly recommend it!” (Jeanette Levellie, author of Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top, The Heart of Humor, and Shock the Clock: Time Management Strategies for Writers)
When Emma was 67 years old, though, she did something incredible – she became the first woman to solo-hike the 2,000+-mile Appalachian Trail, trudging up mountains and forging streams, sleeping and eating in the wild.
I’ve been married for nearly 28 years to Don, who manages a printing department (and who bowls a mean 225 average!).
After that, she repeated her feat two more times, becoming the first person ever – man or woman – to solo-hike the Appalachian Trail three times.
Our two sons, Ryan and Adam, are young adults. Ryan is a published poet and a musician, and Adam is attending Kent State University, earning a degree in special education. We have a house full of animals, too!
For an encore, she climbed the five highest peaks of the Adirondack Mountains and solo-hiked the Oregon Trail, beating the wagon that carried passengers by an entire week.
You can find more information at www.kbsagert.com or at my site-in-progress: 58 www.everythingtogodinprayer.com – and you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Thankful for the Suffering by Donna B. Comeaux want everything to return to normal. A silent phone. No one barging through the door and pulling me in different directions. A thousand miles placed back on the odometer of my car. For loved ones to live in those same old houses. Favorite church members to resume their proper places and greet me with the bright smiles I've grown accustomed to. I want rundown buildings, corner grocery stores, two-lane highways, and old bridges to rise up and once again become landmarks so I can find my way to Grandmother's house, to old schoolyards, to off-the-road fishing ponds where we cast fishing lines years ago. I have this idea in my head that I'll be the first to go, leaving everything exactly as I've always pictured it, a lot like bookmarks between yellowing pages of dusty old books I have yet to finish. Happy events turn the pages of our lives and cart us off to places far beyond our imagination. Marriage has a way of transporting us from all that we've known to cities and states, sites and venues that unsettle us until we form new customs and connect to those with similar views. New jobs disrupt our routines, bringing us face-to-face with unfamiliar cultures, different languages, and a host of inconveniences. But none of those events have a more profound effect on us than trials and tribulations. Nothing can transform our souls and spur spiritual growth like a horrible trial. If you're anything like me, you hate trials. They press you in spiritual soft spots that make you twist and turn, tug and pull in unexpected directions. Trials rub against the grain. They're uncomfortable. I'm so busy analyzing and trying to find ways out of a trial that I don't appreciate how the trial is creating a good work in me. I'm totally unaware that the spiritual fire burning underfoot is preparing me for my final dress rehearsal before I see the King. When we're in the fire, we don't understand it. God's word has grown cold in us and we've forgotten that fiery trials are present to reshape us like soft, blown glass. We fail to comprehend what's really happening. We've lost sight of the fact that we aren't fighting "flesh and blood," but "evil in the heavenly realms." To ease our distress, we point fingers. "If the doctor hadn't been so arrogant and full of himself, my baby wouldn't have . . ." "I tell you what, if she marches in here today with that attitude, I'm going to nail her." 59
"Well, if you had just listened to me, then . . ." "I don't trust you! I thought I married a better man. I trusted you!" We cry out, "Why me, Lord?" Then we get this notion to be more "proactive." All that does is create more fires and before you know it, fires implode and consume us. God's word tells us: "2Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." (James 1:2-4) God warns us that trials will come and we are to be prepared by: 11
Put(ting) on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 17And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.â€? (Ephesians 6:11-17) How can I do any of this? Begin by changing the way you look at suffering. For too long, we have taken to self-pityâ€”overburdening the brotherhood of believers with our trials because we've defied God. We refuse to pray. It's God's fault that I didn't get what I wanted. Losing a child to suicide, a disease, accident, or in any manner, is a tragedy. It hurts. Unexpectedly burying a husband or wife is almost unimaginable. Hearing that your step-father wouldn't feed your mother in her last days is disturbing and enough to send you into a fitful rage. 60
(Ask me about that some time, and one day I'll share how I got through that season of my life.) But isn't God there with you through it all? Did he not see and hear the calamity around you? Do you not remember that God said to repay evildoers with good so that hot coals are heaped upon them? Did God not say that vengeance is his? We don't get to choose our trials. Satan does a fine job poking and prodding us until he finds the right mixture of trouble to bestow upon you and me. And when he finds out what works—guess what?—he will continue to work it until our death. Let's not fool ourselves. This world is wicked. It's nothing like the world God first created. We've done a fine job of mistreating it. Every minute of the day, evil spirits work tirelessly to convince others to spiritually attack. And Satan has you and me on his hit list. If I must suffer, I don't want to suffer as a murderer, thief, or as any other criminal. I want my suffering to mean something. I want to be accused of believing in God and laying my life down for him. I want to do so while calling out his name. But I can't do that until I change my views on trials and tribulations. To change our outlook, we must: 1. ". . . not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you." 2. ". . . rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, . . ." 3. ". . . so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." When he reveals his glory through your sufferings, you will be overjoyed, indeed. 4. Know we are blessed. "If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you." 5. Be not ashamed to suffer for Christ Jesus. ". . . do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name." (I Peter 4:12) The benefits of suffering are to mature us in Christ Jesus. No child has ever grown to adulthood without hardship. I don't care how much college education you've received, you will need training for your new job—and you will be tested and tried before you're given that promotion. 61
How is it that we know these things about life, but can't wrap our arms around the fact that trials and tribulations exist to strengthen us? Since we are children of God, we must go through many growing pains to reach the rewards of our faith. Many of you know what it's like to call on God when the flames reach your earlobes. When my son was diagnosed with a bone disease this past summer, I had no idea where God was leading us, but I knew he was leading. It never occurred to me to doubt or become overburdened with fear. If this diagnosis had come ten years ago, I would have been a mess. I remember having a talk with God on the way to the hospital, "God, I have no idea what you want to do about this, but no matter what happens, I know you've made the right decision. I know you've got this." I confess. I like routine. I want things to remain the same. I want Grandmother to still be in that long, narrow, white house where the floor creaks right before you get to the kitchen door; where closets smell of mothballs; where living rooms have more vintage whatnots than I can count. I want to hear Momma's flip-flops tap the hallway floor; I peek through the doorway and find her asleep with her eyes half open, snoring the roof off the bedroom ceiling, her iced Pepsi melted to a murky liquid. Things change. Loved ones die. Friends move away. A number of our loved ones have traded this chaotic world for a heavenly, peaceful rest that's unfathomable. And here you and I sit, left behind to fight through trials and tribulations that we hate and for which we don't have the patience. Be assured of this one thing: God never commands us to do something we cannot do. So, if God says to "Consider it pure joy when you face trials, . . ." then I think you and I can safely say, "We can count it pure joy." "We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away." (Hebrews 2:1) I hope you feel encouraged. I love you! All scriptures from the NIV version of the Bible.
Pageant Wagon’s Family Literacy Book Reviews by Kathryn Ross
Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving by Laurie Halse Anderson
Did you know turkey is on the “super-foods” list? That means eating turkey can be heroic for your health. It is forever etched into the American consciousness as undivided from Thanksgiving Day, thanks to the super-heroic efforts of Sarah Josepha Buell Hale. This patriotic daughter of the Revolution lived an amazing life through the course of the 19th century. She served heroically as wife, mother, widow, writer, publisher, and opinion maker through her powerful editorials in the most popular magazine for American women in its day, the Ladies’ Magazine. Her influence expanded in women’s lives when she wrote for the legendary Godey’s Lady’s Book. If Sarah said it – American women were doing it. In Thank You, Sarah, Laurie Halse Anderson chronicles her heroic letter writing campaign to five American presidents in an effort to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. Anderson writes: Sarah Hale loved Thanksgiving. She wanted the whole country to celebrate it on the same day. When folks started to ignore Thanksgiving, well, that just curdled her gravy. “Curdled her gravy!” What a hoot! More witty prose like that, simmering in chuckles, abound in a clever epic text. Illustrations in ink and watercolors, swathed in antiqued tones with a contemporary comedic attitude, beg to be studied in detail. Delightful as a read aloud, the story covers the first Thanksgiving in 1621 through to the Civil War years. Sarah’s faith undergirded a belief in the importance of her quest. She heroically persevered through years of disappointment until President Lincoln was finally persuaded by her letter-writing army of American women. On October 3, 1863, Abraham Lincoln formally declared the fourth Thursday in November to be a national day to give thanks. Hurray for Sarah! I mean, thank you, Sarah. This Thanksgiving, let’s allow the “inner hero” to rise up in us all by placing the emphasis on giving. Volunteerism is a great way to invest yourself as a family in your local community. Find a creative way to give and to serve—with a heart of thanksgiving—at your local senior center, soup kitchen, maybe even the family next door. 63
You are Beautiful! by Angela Hiskett Sometimes I just can’t get over how beautiful God’s creation is. This world He gave us is astounding and amazing and breathtaking! Last winter I spent some time trudging through snow drifts all over my yard. There was one as tall as me. Another was chest high and about 8 feet wide- there were tons of drifts rolling across our backyard. A few I crawled over and rolled down because I knew that if I’d walked over them I would get stuck when my leg crashed through them! It was beautiful! It was dazzling! Spring we welcome life back to the earth as the grass begins to grow and trees begin to bud, sprouting tiny leaves of a soft and gentle green. In summer the skies blaze blue, the air smells sweet, and the sun warms your skin. Water sparkles, inviting you in. The trees and grasses are a brilliant green. Then I think to the fall. The amazing colors God sends through everything. The tall grasses turn a reddish orange, the trees range from deep burgundy to bright yellow and every shade in between. The crops ripen for harvest. The air is crisp and cool. In each season, God has painted sunrises and sunsets that call for utter silence… I also know there are breathtaking places that I have never even seen. Crystal waters, towering mountains, awe inspiring waterfalls… God has given us this beautiful earth. The other day I was gazing out my second story office window. Looking out to the horizon I said, “This world you have made is so beautiful Lord!” In my mind, I heard God’s reply. You are part of it.” You are part of it. God made this beautiful world – look around at the beauty of His creation, and remember He made you. Each and every one of you is a part of this beautiful world that God created. God created this 65 world, and He created you. You are beautiful! God says so.
A Baby Boomer’s History of T.V. by Sharon L. Patterson Pause with me from whatever screens you might be viewing; I’d like to take you on a journey, I think you might find amusing. Let’s go back to when this grandmother was just a little knot-knee six year old and my Daddy brought home the Stromberg-Carlson he’d been sold. It was our very first 11 inch screen, black and white TV there were very few families who had one back in ’53. At first, there were just a couple of local channels to peruse. Next came variety shows, Saturday cartoons, and of course, the news. Then, before long I laughed with comedians Cid Cesar, Red Skelton, and Milton Berle. I even sang with Brenda Lee and could say, “Howdy” just like Minnie Pearl. I could pout my lips full as Marilyn Monroe, I wasn’t into the Three Stooges…it was my sisters who liked Larry, Curly and Moe. I danced every step with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. I was one of American Bandstand’s original bobby soxers. I shot up gangsters with Bogart and Edward G. and went to World War II with hero Audie Murphy. I watched every western known to man; Tenderfoot, Wagon Train, Maverick, and Cheyenne. I wanted to defy gravity and fly away with Peter Pan like Wendy. On and on I could go but commercials are over…time for another re-run show! 66
Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado Book Review by Miriam Jacob Here is a road map and a blueprint for your life, to inspire you to be all that God intends you to be. Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado will change your life and help you to influence the world. It will expand your world vision and enable you to chart your course through life. Max Lucado writes with rare candor and grace, simple beauty and a vivid imagination, presenting the gracious gift of compassion to the world in a lucid, literary style, coupled with another priceless gift - the clarion call to compassion, a call that is so strikingly clear, so outrageously true that you will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that it emanates from the very heart of God. This is a refreshing and inspirational wake-up call, a battle cry and a passionate call to arms, to put our faith into action, with a real sense of mission, to reach out to those in desperate need. With his customary blend of the most lofty lyricism and the most simple, down-to-earth insight, Max Lucado artfully weaves together an exquisite tapestry of stories of hope with amazing dexterity, reallife accounts that skillfully portray the most ordinary people, each one designed to make a difference, who are used by God in extraordinary ways, to reveal God's love to the people and nations of the world. Max Lucado effectively conceals and disguises his genius with success. He tackles the most profound truth and makes it understandable by simple people like you and me. And then, the inevitable miracle happens. This life-transforming truth ultimately changes your heart, and eventually through you, reaches out to bless the lives of people everywhere. Max Lucado issues a soul-stirring call to authentic Christianity, for a resurgence of compassion and service. He teaches us how to live compassionately in a hurting world. Also available is the companion workbook for Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado. Both books are available from Rubyâ€™s Reading Corner.
Born Again – and Healed! by Kathleen Katt Luce I was 27 when my life changed dramatically. It was nothing I forced on myself or worked for. I was attending my first Bible study and made a decision to take Jesus Christ as my personal Savior! Just think—my sins would be forever forgiven! I would have a free pass to heaven! Who wouldn’t want that? But wait-- Jesus also wanted me to make Him my Lord. That meant He wanted me to put Him first in my life. How could I do that? After weeks of inner turmoil, I finally made the decision; I simply talked to God and told him, “I cannot live the Christian life on my own power—I keep failing. I’m ready to surrender my life to You. Please forgive my sins. Send Your Holy Spirit to come and live inside me. Take control of my life. Make me the person You want me to be. I’m Yours.” That was my prayer. I immediately I sensed a peace settle over me—a peace with God I had never known. I felt that He was pleased with me. Within an hour that peace turned to joy. I was so happy I’d made this decision! Within another hour, there was love. I wanted to show love to people, even people who were difficult to love. God began changing me. Every morning I would awaken and look at my life with new eyes. The worldly pleasures in my life—the books I’d read and some of the TV shows and movies we’d watch suddenly became distasteful and a waste of time. I’d think, “I can’t believe I watch this silly show every week!”
Certain hobbies became frivolous and foolish. People became more important than things. After one week I realized I had changed. I was different. My husband noticed. So did my friends. It was then I realized that Jesus’ words, “You must be born again” described my condition. Shortly before our marriage four years earlier, I experienced a perforated appendix. Peritonitis followed. Afterward, I was told my reproductive system had suffered irreparable damage and I would never bear children. A year later I had corrective surgery but the surgery was not successful. Meanwhile, my husband Dan was tested and we learned he was unable to father a child. Adoption was repeatedly recommended. The very week I gave my life to Jesus was the week God healed both Dan and me. I gave birth to a son the next year. Two years later we had a daughter. Later I required more abdominal surgery and afterward the surgeon asked, “Where did you get your children? I saw your innards. There is no way anyone with your reproductive system could ever conceive and bear children.” “I told you they were miracles.”
[Jesus said] You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ John 3:7.
Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Psalm 127:3
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting 68 shadows. James 1:17
Overwhelmed by Donna B. Comeaux
Sisters and brothers who are heavily involved in ministries and mission work are often so absorbed with taking care of others that they neglect to properly care for themselves. Years ago when I was Nursery Coordinator for a large congregation, I had to undergo many failures before I finally learned how to rest. When I wasn't rested and refreshed, there was no way I'd be any good to those I served. Remember this passage: 21
Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens. 22Let them judge the people at all times; and let it be that every major dispute they will bring to you, but every minor dispute they themselves will judge. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. 23If you do this thing and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all these people also will go to their place in peace. . . . (Exodus 18:21-23) In order to become a more effective minister of God's word, there are several things you must do. They are: Don't set out on a mission or go into a ministry without a life jacket. Be well-equipped (or well-versed) in the word of God. You can't teach what you don't know.
Memorize songs of thanksgiving. We forget that songs of thanksgiving are expressions of our joy in Christ Jesus. Express your joy through song. These songs of praise and thanksgiving will also refresh your spirit. Daily remind yourself of your priorities: God first, spouse second, children, local church family, those in need. The moment you get these priorities out of order, expect trouble. Watch for warning signs that indicate you're spending too much time outside of the home. What good is your ministry to the world, if you can't first take care of your home? Our diligent service to our families is a testament to the world. Accountability with a Purpose Choose spiritually strong individuals who will hold you accountable. You want people in your life who will not "sugarcoat" issues that cause you to stray and disrupt your relationship with God and with your family. Don't buy into the idea that you can walk this Christian life alone. Though we constantly fail one another, we are to keep fighting the good fight and press forward. Relationships are messy, no matter how few or how many you may have. It's better to pray for and continue your pursuit for meaningful relationships than to muddle through life alone. Don't buy into Satan's schemes by allowing him to convince you that you can do this all by yourself. Share weaknesses and stumbling blocks that you experience in your ministry work. Plead with these individuals to pray for you.
Have a well-established prayer life. Don't pray only when things go bad; pray always, and pray about everything.. To lead without seeking God is like the blind leading the blind. We can do nothing without his counsel and leadership. Our earthly wisdom will not go far enough.
Meet and share with these individuals on a regular basis. Be mindful not to treat these meetings as gripe or gossip sessions. This is about your 69 relationship with God and if you are aligned with his will.
Set aside specific times to sit and do nothing.
During your quiet time:
Plan the day, week, month, time, and place to have your quiet time.
Self-reflect by re-examining your spiritual purpose / ministry; Meditate and pray; Sing spiritual songs; Recite / memorize new passages of scripture; Remember the trials and tribulations God brought you through; and remember God's blessings in as much detail as possible.
Be responsible by informing your family and other ministry workers that you are taking time off for yourself. For safety reasons, be sure to give them a return date, a phone number, and a place you can be reached in case of an emergency. Quiet time is so important that Jesus Christ went to the mountain to pray and rest.
Self-Care. Visit your favorite beauty salon / barber shop.
Notice in John 6:3 below, Jesus has led his disciples up a mountain, pulled them aside, and the crowd is still waiting.
Indulge in a spa treatment.
Take a walk (no jogging; you are to rest, not continue a rigorous schedule).
It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. 13And when day came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles . . . (Luke 6:12) 2
A large crowd followed Him, because they saw the signs which He was performing on those who were sick. 3Then Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat down with His disciples. (John 6:3)
Wake early. Sit with God . . . just sit in his presence. Drink tea / coffee and admire God's beauty from a porch or mountainside. Soak in a bubble bath (don't shower - showers are quick and easy; remember you are trying to slow down and refuel). Take a nap or gaze at the stars at nightfall. Seek Help With Your Ministry.
Take a fresh look at reasons for having quiet time: (a) it allows you to rest; (b) it offers you a moment to refuel; (c) it gives you more opportunity to commune with God; and (d) it helps you look at things from a different perspective. Self-Reflect / Introspect. Meaning: Introspection is the examination of one's own conscious thoughts and feelings. (Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Introspection) Self-reflection is a key element needed in order to become an effective minister of God's word.
Don't be afraid to revisit with those of whom you've previously solicited help. These people might be in a better position to offer assistance with your ministry. Stopping long enough to refuel is hard. I constantly battle with physical and mental exhaustion. At times, I'm not aware that I'm on overload until it's too late. It's only then that I'm forced to stop everything and regroup. If I don't stop, it will take me twice as long to get back up.
I have come to the realization that if I'm to be an effective sister in Christ Jesus, I must: . . . work out your (my own) salvation with fear and trembling; 13for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:12-13) If I don't rest, I won't be able to: 14
Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, 16holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. 17But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. (Philippians 2:14)
And neither will I be able to: Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (I Peter 5:8) Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11) Being overwhelmed is a real issue in the family of God. We must be diligent to overcome this weakness by implementing a plan of attack against this stumbling block. Hopefully, these steps will help reboost your energy and stablize your mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. I pray you will spend more time with God and become an effective leader in the church rather than an exhausted leader. May your love for the Lord grow deeper each day. Amen.
Word Grid Puzzle by Beth Brubaker Starting from a lettered box (NOT the center!), find the word that uses all of the letters. You can only go up, down, left, or right â€“ not diagonally. Use the hint to help you: â€œSomething we all have, later on!â€?
Answer key on page 78
Anchor of Promise, a support and educational blog for parents with hurting and troubled teens.
Visit Vintage Mamaâ€™s Cottage where you will find eBook patterns to guide you in creating little treasures of wearable art for YOUR little treasures!
Revision for Women offers entrepreneurial advice, business and life coaching, and online courses for building your business.
Succumb or Submit? Mary Dolan Flaherty Another day that I messed up. That was my thought when I succumbed to the temptation of sugar. In my mind, the fact that I'd eaten healthy all day completely negated the cookie, the candy and the ice cream...yes, all in one day. I didn't give myself credit for the good, the control and the discipline. My brain magnified the weakness. The cookie wasn't so bad. I'd allowed myself to have that. After all, I had eaten a healthy breakfast and a decent lunch. I could permit myself the sweet treat after lunch. But I got hungry, or maybe bored later and succumbed to the candy because it was right there. I told myself I'd only have half. But I guess I couldn't decide which half, because I ate both. Later, Hubster and I were out after dinner running errands, and the weather was so beautiful. It was like summer. Summer = ice cream. I'd only have one scoop (and I did! But I'm definitely going back because that girl got a lot of ice cream in one scoop). But as I lay in bed, all I could hear were the accusations; the voices in my head that sounded so much like my own: I'll never lose weight. My cholesterol and triglycerides will never be under control if I keep eating like this. I can't seem to control my sugar cravings. I'll never lose this gut. Cheater! Hypocrite! I had a choice. I could continue to succumb...this time, to the voices of accusation... Or I could submit - to what God says about me: God saw all that He had made and behold, it was very good (Gen 1:31). If, on the sixth day, God beheld all that He created, then he must behold me and call me "very good" as well. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, to succumb is to stop trying to resist something; to yield to superior strength or force or overpowering desire or appeal. Interestingly, the example that is used is to succumb to temptation. â€œSubmitâ€? offers many definitions, one of which is almost exactly the same as succumb: To stop trying to fight or resist something. To agree to do or accept something that you've been resisting or opposing. However, submit has a component that succumb doesn't: 73
to yield to governance or authority to defer or to consent to abide by the opinion or authority of another to yield oneself to the authority or will of another; surrender.
Oh, that sounds a lot like what we need to do as Christians, doesn't it? I can choose to yield myself to the overpowering desire and appeal of the fleeting force of temptation, or I can yield and surrender myself to the authority of Jesus Christ and His opinion of me. When I choose to succumb to the voices, I must remember that I am not succumbing to anyone or anything of authority. I am simply giving in and giving up. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot (Rom 8:7) If I choose to submit to Jesus, I give my consent to abide by His opinion, whether or not I like it or agree with it. In so doing, He gives something beautiful and powerful back to me. He gives me the authority to quell the voices that attempt to lure me into sin. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you (Luke 10:19). The voices I once succumbed to, maybe my whole life, maybe earlier in the day, or maybe only moments before...flee. Submit yourselves, therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7) We succumb to temptation in weakness. We submit to God in faith. You and I must always remember God's words as He stood back and observed our forms after creating us... It is very good! Don't succumb to the voices that tell you otherwise. Even if your craving turns into caving, you're still worth saving.
Visit Mary Dolan Flaherty on her blog at SonRise Insights to read more of her inspirational articles.
Vexing Hexes Puzzle Answer Key by Beth Brubaker
Word Logic Answer Key by Beth Brubaker Giving John the bottom seat, the four men can only sit this way: Jacob Jeremy
In this seating, Jack is the dentist, Jeremy is the chef, and Jacob is the mechanic. 77
Word Grid Puzzle Answer Key by Beth Brubaker Starting from a lettered box (NOT the center!), find the word that uses all of the letters. You can only go up, down, left, or right – not diagonally. Use the hint to help you: “Something we all have, later on!” HINDSIGHT
You are invited . . . Are you a writer? Do you love to cook or craft? You are invited to submit your stories, articles, poems, book reviews, recipes or crafts for publication in the HOLIDAY, 2015 issue of Ruby for Women. DEADLINE FORHOLIDAY SUBMISSIONS IS OCTOBER 15, 2015. Please send your submissions to email@example.com For advertising inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet the Ruby for Women Writers Aunt Dots, Master Gardener Aunt Dots has been writing for Ruby for Women since the very beginning. Her love for gardening started early in her life: “I believe I got my love for growing flowers from my mother. She had a large flower garden with annuals and dahlias. I had my first flower garden after I married and we lived in a garden apartment.” She now has perennial gardens, rose gardens, grape vines, asparagus, currants, gooseberries, walnut trees, apple trees, and hazelnut trees. In the winter months, Aunt Dots sews, making quilts that she has donated to a Mennonite Relief auction. Miriam Jacob is an author and poet in cyberspace, having published a series of E-Books at Lulu.com. She is a book reviewer at CHRISTIAN BOOK DISTRIBUTORS, BARNES AND NOBLE, GOOGLE BOOKS and HARPER COLLINS CHRISTIAN PUBLISHING (BookLook Bloggers). She writes reviews for Christian books, in the categories of literary fiction, non-fiction, poetry and politics. Her articles and book reviews are published on her blog: “AUTHORS FOR CHRIST” Miriam is a member of the Ruby Book Review Team.
Lynn Mosher, Devotions
Since the year 2000, Lynn Mosher has lived with fibromyalgia and other physical conditions. During this time, the Lord placed the desire in her heart to write for Him. Now, armed with God’s purpose for her life and a new passion, she reaches out to others to encourage and comfort them through her writing, giving God all the glory. She lives with her husband in their empty nest in Kentucky. On occasion, their three offspring, who have flown the coop, come to visit, accompanied by a son-in-law and three granddaughters. Visit Lynn at her blog, at http://lynnmosher.com
Katherine Corrigan, Recipes and Crafts Katherine is a blogger at Katherine’s Corner, an artist, designer, tea drinker and hug giver. She has been a contributor to Ruby for Women for five years. She is originally from England. But she has lived in the USA since 1975. She holds a rare dual citizenship with the UK and the USA and is a proud citizen of both. She greets each day with grace, dignity and gratitude. Thanking God for her strength as she continues to encourage others and moves forward despite her physical challenges. She is happily married and has five grandchildren. After 30 years of working in the medical field and managing other people’s businesses Katherine has her own online shop and graphics business. She never hesitates to contribute to Ruby for Women. She says, “Being part of Ruby for Women is like getting a big hug every day.” Blog http://KatherinesCorner.com Blog Graphics at http://BlogArtByKatherine.com Shop http://KeepsakesByKatherine.etsy.com
Heather King is a wife to a wonderful husband and a mom to three beautiful girls. A former English teacher, she now lives a life of doing dishes, folding laundry, finding lost toys and mending scraped knees. She treks to the grocery store more times a week than she’d like and struggles to keep up with chores, appointments and the to-do list that refreshes itself day after day. In addition to all that, she’s the worship leader at her church in Virginia, a Bible study teacher and women’s ministry leader. You can find her blogging about these times with God at her devotional site: Room To Breathe: http://heathercking.wordpress.com/
Lanette Kissel lives in southern Indiana with her adopted Yorkie-Poo, Benjy. She enjoys singing in her huge choir at Crossroads Christian Church. She has been a freelance writer of Christian/Inspirational poetry for twelve years. Recently, she has been writing Inspirational articles and essays, as well as devotions. Her work has appeared in: Mature Living Magazine, Purpose, Live, The War Cry, The Lutheran Journal, The Catholic Yearbook, Silver Wings, Inspired Women Magazine, and others.
Jean Ann Williams is a writer and the author of God's Mercies after Suicide: Blessings Woven through a Mother's Heart, a devotional book written following the death of her son, Joshua. You can connect with Jean Ann on one of her blogs: http://joshua-mom.blogspot.com/ http://jeanannwilliams.blogspot.com/
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.
Rhea B. Riddle was born in Kentucky, in a little town on the Ohio River at the time of the famous flood of 1937, which may have contributed to her sense of drama, and to an amplified love of life. She has penned and published many articles and stories on several current e-zine sites. Her world view is view influenced by gentle traditions and strong Christian values. She hopes to lure you with current life adventures as well as past ones (completely truthful and otherwise) often drawing you to a time of “rewound” living!
Connie Chandler lives in a Hobbit Hole in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where she teaches and serves in international refugee ministry. She loves studying the Bible, trying new things, listening to stories, going on adventures, and drinking hot tea. She sits in a wheelchair because she has a disability that weakens her muscles but not her spirit. She shares the stories of God’s strength and faithfulness in her life on her blog: conniesbowlofcherries.blogspot.com. 80
Stacy Flury is mom to two grown daughters, the youngest of which is homeschooled and will graduate next year. She has been married for 32 years and lives in New Jersey. In addition to being a wife and a mom, Stacy is the writer of the blog Anchor of Promise, a support and educational blog for parents with hurting and troubled teens. She is currently writing her first book, Anchor in the Parenting Storms: Survival Devotions for Parents with Teens in Crisis.
Gloria Doty: I am a mother of 5 and grandmother of 13. I have owned a catering business, and a Grade A goat dairy. I have managed a restaurant, worked in retail and was Dir. of Children’s’ Ministries for a large church for 10 years. I have been writing since I was in third grade. I currently write 2 blogs about my youngest daughter, Kalisha, and our journey together through the world of mild mental retardation, autism and Aspergers. One blog is written for www.MOMS.FortWayne.com and is titled “Not Different Enough”. The other blog is www.gettingitright-occasionally.blogspot.com I write freelance articles for magazines and am a contributor to two devotional publications: Living the Gospel Life and Hope-Full Living. I do not believe it is possible to make it through a day without faith and a sense of humor, even in the darkest times and I try to always reflect that in my writing.
lives with her wonderful husband Shlomi and their three children Avery, Collin and Meadow in South Florida. Melissa was born and raised in a Jewish home and later found Jesus at the age of 35. Shlomi, an Israeli Jew, was not far behind, finding the Lord shortly thereafter. Both Melissa and Shlomi are practicing attorneys in the criminal justice field. Their journey is one of brokenness, mercy and redemption. You can read her blog posts at Work for the Cause Not the Applause.
Donna Comeaux resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her husband, Glenn. Together, they have two children and five grandchildren. She draws inspiration from her life, the life of others, the news, and her wild and vivid imagination. She is a freelance writer and has written several poems for funerals and weddings, and is in the process of editing her first completed family saga, White Castle. She wrote her second novel, Taken by Choice, and a short story, Selfish Ambition, in 2014.
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: A Soldier's Strength from the Psalms (2007); Healing for the Holes in Our Souls(2008); and Where Is Happy?(2011). She is a contributing author for Chicken Soup for the Soul: A Book of Miracles and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Answered Prayer; also Gettin' Old Ain't for Wimps (Karen O'Connor,2004) and Special Strength for Special Parents (Nina Fuller, 2006). She and her husband Garry live in Round Rock, Texas. They have three sons and 81 five grandchildren.
Christie Browning has more than 20 years of writing, developmental coaching and teaching experience. She is a four-time Hoosier State Press Association Award winner with two first-place designations for her editorial feature stories. Originally from Tennessee, Christie now resides in Indiana. www.revisionforwomen.com
Michelle S. Lazurek has been a pastor's wife for over twelve years. Whether it is through writing counseling material, organizing ladies retreats or mentoring women in her church, Michelle considers each day an opportunity to find her place in God's story. In 2007, Michelle and her husband Joe planted Praxis Church. Michelle holds a Master's degree in Counseling and Human Relations from Liberty University. She has two beautiful children: Caleb and Leah. Michelle provides tips for busy writers on her blog The Writers’ Tapestry: Where Writing and Life Intertwine http://www.michellelazurek.com
Alisha Ritchie is a wife, mother of two wonderful children, Physical Therapy Assistant by profession, and dedicated church member and Sunday School teacher. She resides in the small town of Stanfield, North Carolina, where she enjoys writing, spending time with her children, and ministering to others through her work and small group Bible studies. You can read other devotions she has written on www.christiandevotions.us.
Kathleen Katt Luce is a registered nurse, married, the mother of two and grandmother of seven. It brings her great joy to share Christ with the lost and lonely. Over the years she's learned a great deal while facilitating Bible studies. She's found herself on college and university campuses, the beach, the streets, the hospital, the jail and the facility for incarcerated teens, sharing God’s message of love. She is also an online missionary with Global Media Outreach. She has seen countless lives transformed when people turn away from sin and turn to Jesus. The changes God makes are real and lasting. She writes a blog: www.kathleensfaithwalk.com
Gayle Veitenheimer is a writer, speaker, athlete, wife, and mom. Her mission is to write great stories and to encourage you and yours to live your best and not miss a thing. “I love adventure and a good book. When I’m not writing, I’m working out—running, swimming, and biking which is my sanity break. I also love to hang out with my family, which consists of one terrific guy, four fun kids, and a very relaxed white Lab. I’m a Navy mom, a Baylor mom (Sic’em Bears!), a dance mom, and a sport-of-the-season mom.”
Ifeoma Samuel is privileged to be a Woman after God’s heart and is happily married to her sweet heart Obiora Samuel. She is the author of the new book My 30 Days Journey To a Fulfilled Life. You can find her blogging regularly at Purposeful and Meaningful You can also connect with her on Pinterest, Google+ and on Facebook 82
Angela Hiskett is a member of the Ruby Blogger Team as well as a regular contributor to the Ruby for Women magazine. She blogs at Grant Me Wisdom, Oh Lord and her book, Our Legacy: Bringing Families Together with God, is now available from Ruby’s Reading Corner.
Kelly Boyer Sagert is a member of the Ruby Blogger Team as well as a contributing writer for the Ruby for Women magazine. She is a free-lance writer, editor and mentor as well as a screen writer. Kelly is involved with the Northeast Ohio Writers’ Conference. You can find more information at www.kbsagert.com or at her site-in-progress: www.everythingtogodinprayer.com – and you can reach Kelly at email@example.com .
Kathleen McCauley has been an active retreat leader for over 25 years.
She received her professional training as a Campus Minister and retreat leader at the University of Dayton. Kathleen enjoys working with adults in their cultivation of spirituality and personal growth. Prior to her work as a Career Counselor at Neumann University, Kathleen served as a Resident Minister for eight years at St. Joseph’s University and seven additional years giving retreats for local churches and community groups. You can contact Kathleen to learn more about her retreat work at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-314-5368.
Mary Dolan Flaherty is a quirky gal who loves to encourage people and make them laugh. She writes and speaks with self-deprecating humor and transparency, saying what most people think but won’t admit. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, whom she affectionately calls Hubbles, and has two grown children and two grand-dogs. Mary enjoys hiking, theatre, music, gardening, and traveling and can be found blogging at SonRiseInsights.blogspot.com.
Jessica Kane is a professional writer who has an interest in interior design and home decor. She currently writes for ECOS Paints, a leading vendor of superior, durable and eco-friendly paints.
Kathryn Ross is an enrichment artist, writer, speaker, and independent publisher at Pageant Wagon Publishing with a mission is to nurture the seeds of all good things, innocence, and beauty in the human heart. Her books and storytelling programs engage young and old with dramatic flair. Many of Miss Kathy’s inspirational works and discipleship tools are designed to minister to all ages—all at the same time. She lives with her bookseller husband, a storyteller in his own right, and two literary cats. Inspired by the stillness of birdsong and silent reflection, teatime, God’s Word, classic literature, and the arts inform her words with a splash of old world elegance. Timeless truths leap from the page and the stage through Pageant Wagon Publishing and Productions. Weekly doses of enriching words and images stir the heart through her blog at The Writer’s Reverie. 83
Keith Wallis, Poet-in-Residence Keith Wallis is an English poet. He is a senior part of the leadership team of Houghton Regis Baptist church. An engineering designer by trade, he brings an eye for detail as well as faith into his poetry. As well as being ‘poet in residence’ at Ruby magazine, he is a moderator at ChristianWriters.com. His blog of ekphrasic poetry is: http://wordsculptures-keith.blogspot.com/ where you’ll also find links to his books and his other blogs. Married to Val in 1970, he has two sons and three grandsons. The eldest grandson is disabled and cannot communicate verbally. Though not an ‘academic’ (school was a disaster!) he was always fond of writing. He began submitting work for publication in the 1980’s after being encouraged by a community writer in residence.
Beth Brubaker, Assistant Editor Beth is a humorist poet and songwriter, and her day jobs include homemaking, writing, and paper and fabric arts. Beth has been a Christian since her early twenties, and has been married to her "Knight In Dented Armor" since 1997. She is the mother of two teenage children and two cats (she still hasn't told the cats they were adopted...Shh!) Her oldest child has Asperger’s, which helps her see things a little differently through his eyes. Beth's passion is the written word, and is developing ways of sharing her brand of humor with the world through poems, songs and stories. She enjoys sharing her struggles and experiences with others, to encourage them to find their own passions and attain what they want out of life- and to find joy and humor along the way. Don't miss Beth's columns and puzzles in every issue of Ruby for Women! You can read Beth's posts on her blog Footprints in the Mud at http://footprintsinthemudblog.blogspot.com or emails her at email@example.com.
Nina Newton, Sr. Editor When all of 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. Gracie is 14 years old and Annie is 12. They were both born in China, and we were able to travel to China two times to bring our daughters home. We live in northern Indiana in a small farming community where I work on Ruby for Women 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.mamaslittletreasures.com 84
Credits and Copyrights All stories and articles are copyright by the authors. All pictures and images are copyright by the authors and / or have been purchased, used by permission or are in the public domain. If any pictures or images have been used inadvertently, and they do not belong in this publication, please email us and we will immediately remove them. Nothing in this issue of Ruby for Women may be reproduced, copied, or shared without the permission of the author. Advertising information is available by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org Questions? Email Nina @ email@example.com or Beth @ firstname.lastname@example.org Ruby for Women is published by rubyforwomen.com All submission inquiries should be directed to Nina Newton, Sr. Editor Ruby for Women email@example.com or Beth Brubaker, Assistant Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising inquiries should be directed to email@example.com Creative Consultant, Katherine Corrigan of Blog Art by Katherine http://katherinescorner.com/blog-art/
Please visit the Ruby for Women blog for information about submissions, advertising, or to read previous issues of the Ruby for Women magazine. www.rubyforwomen Website design by Blog Art by Katherine
The autumn 2015 issue of Ruby for Women features over 60 pages of seasonal crafts and recipes, inspirational articles and devotionals, book...
Published on Sep 14, 2015
The autumn 2015 issue of Ruby for Women features over 60 pages of seasonal crafts and recipes, inspirational articles and devotionals, book...