Ruby for Women A voice for every Christian woman MAY, 2016 www.rubyforwomen.com
Spring has finally arrived! We celebrate the joy of new life with opportunities for gardening, picnics, and family fun in God’s glorious outdoors. We hope you are having a joyous and blessed springtime. Please visit us on the Ruby blog at http://www,rubyforwomen.com and let us know how we can be an encouragement to you today! We would love to hear from you. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org Senior Editor: Nina Newton Assistant Editor: Beth Brubaker Poet-in-Residence: Keith Wallis Feature Writers: Lynn Mosher, Katherine Corrigan, Sharon L. Patterson, Carol Peterson, Gloria Doty, Sarah Johnson, Miriam Jacob, Toni R. Samuels, Cynthia Knisley, Heather King, Lanette Kissel, Marilyn Lesniak, Linda McKee, Connie Arnold, Ifeoma Samuel, Alisha Ritchie, Kathleen Katt Luce, Jennifer Workman, Joan Leotta, Jean E. Wieben-Hill, Cindy J. Evans, Ifeoma Samuel, Jonathan Lawrence, Jewell Utt, Frances Gregory Pasch, Amy Lignor, Rejetta Morse, Norma C. Mezoe, Kathryn Ross, Rhea B. Riddle, Mary Dolan Flaherty, Jean Ann Williams, Laura L. Zimmerman, Pat Jeanne Davis
In This Issue . . . Page
Laundry on the Line Nina Newton, Sr. Editor
Footprints in the Mud: Tree House Faith Beth Brubaker, Asst. Editor
Be-YOU-tifully YOU-nique: Do you think you’re beautiful? Mary Dolan Flaherty
Hidden Word Puzzle Beth Brubaker
Quote Maze Puzzle Beth Brubaker
10 Great Breakfasts Marilyn Lesniak
Running to Feel God’s Pleasure Pat Jeanne Davis
To the Wind Keith Wallis
In the Making Keith Wallis
Innocent Prayers Laura L. Zimmerman
Carol’s Book Club Third Daughter by Susan Kaye Quinn
Ruby for Women is an online Christian women’s magazine that offers words of hope, inspiration, and encouragement to women everywhere. Knowing that every woman has a story to tell, we seek to give a “voice to every Christian woman,” from all walks of life, of every age, from all around the world. For advertising inquiries, please contact Nina Newton at email@example.com If you would like to share your story with Ruby for Women, please email our Assistant Editor, Beth Brubaker at firstname.lastname@example.org Also, please visit 1 our blog at www.rubyforwomen.com where you can connect with other Christian women. Ruby for Women 65 S. Niles St. Columbia City, IN 46725 email@example.com
Spring Crafts for Kids Vintage Mama
Auction Miracle Cynthia Knisley
Celestial Graffiti Keith Wallis
Hitori Puzzle Beth Brubaker
An Unexpected Journey Gloria Doty
God’s Mercies after Suicide: Blessings Woven through a Mother’s Heart Chapter Two Jean Ann Williams
Lose Weight Get Fit & Change Your Life Carol L. Doyel
Bring a Cowboy Home Gloria Doty
Praise God Jennifer Workman
Life as a Fixer-Upper: Journal Challenge Kathryn Ross
Garden Cumberland Sarah Johnson
Hidden Word Puzzle Answer Key
Quote Maze Puzzle Answer Key
Hitori Puzzle Answer Key
Just Claire Jean Ann Williams
Lose Weight Get Fit & Change Your Life Carol L. Doyel
Meet the Ruby Writers
Credits and Copyrights
Jean Ann Williams, author of Just Claire and God’s Mercies after Suicide Page 38
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Laundry on the Line Nina Newton, Sr. Editor
I know it is kind of “old-fashioned” to hang my laundry outside on a sunny spring day, but after all I am a “Vintage Mama” and I’ve been hanging out laundry for a really long time. I do lots of things the “old-fashioned” way, like handwashing our dishes (especially now that I have discovered that our utility bill, which includes our water usage, is almost as much as our car payment so I don’t use the dishwasher very much these days) . . . . and I still like to sew clothes, work in the garden, and other little daily tasks that are easy to leave behind in a busy, crazy schedule. Driving through the countryside here in northern Indiana, you will see lots of homes with laundry hanging on the line, even in the middle of winter (I’m not THAT rugged!), but that’s because we live very near to a large Amish community. I love to take a drive through their villages and the back roads where there are Amish farms on every side. In the spring and summer, their gardens come alive with a riot of colorful flowers (perhaps to express their creativity, since they typically have quite limited colors that can be used in their garments and homes?).
That’s probably why I love to hang the laundry outside on a warm, breezy spring day. Not that I could emulate all of the “old-fashioned” ways of our Amish neighbors, however. We mow our lawn with a riding mower, we drive a car to the grocery store to buy most of our food, we have electricity and a washing machine and of course, I couldn’t live happily for very long without my sewing machines . . . . and my girls love their techy gadgets. So I will be content with hanging laundry on a clothesline on a sunny spring day and give thanks to God for the beauty of springtime, the joys of daily life, and the blessings of friends and family.
There will be bicycles with carts, carriages pulled by horses, plows in the fields, and fresh produce stands along the dirt roads. Kids running barefoot, chasing a ball or playing tag, on a warm evening and a mama out pushing a lawn mower while a daddy is still out in the field until sunset. There is something so peaceful about the “oldfashioned” ways that bring a sense of peace and tranquility in the midst of an over-scheduled, overcommitted, and overwhelming world.
Footprints in the Mud: Tree House Faith by Beth Brubaker, Assistant Editor
Have you ever felt like your faith was strong, until something shakes you up so bad you wonder if you ever had any real faith to start with? Me too. My faith has been shaken like a rickety tree-house in a windstorm. Despite the tree-house looking sturdy, it wasn't - and my faith came crashing down the moment the wind kicked up. But God is good and left me enough debris to rebuild a better, stronger faith. And this time I want to build it the right way- slowly with more supports! God tests our faith every day by the things that happen to us and around us, both good and bad. Why? Because He wants us to be better, stronger people in the long run. What would you rather have - a faith like a tree-house thrown together with scraps of rotting wood, or one made with solid, seasoned wood that can stand the elements?
Sometimes I might use some old boards or rusted nails, thinking that will be good enough - and if I do, God will surely let me know of my mistakes and give me another chance to make repairs. He's good like that. Yesterday my faith was a single board. Today I nailed another board to it. Soon enough I'll have a floor, then one wall, then the other three, then the roof. By the time my tree-house is fully built, there will be no trace of rotted wood or rusty nails, and it will survive a tornado. And God will be smiling the entire time. Inspect your tree-house faith and see how sturdy it is before the windstorm comes. You might be surprised! It could be stronger than you thought, or it could need some work. Either way you'll benefit from the inspection!
God sends those windstorms not to punish us, but to show us where our faith is lacking so we can make the proper repairs. That's where free will comes in - either we make the repairs, or we leave it, hoping the tree-house will survive the next storm. As for me, I waited too long and my tree-house collapsed. Now I'm smarter for the experience. It will take time to rebuild my tree-house the right way.
Visit Beth on her blog, Footprints in the Mud, for more humorous and inspirational posts.
Be-YOU-tifully YOU-nique Embracing who you are; becoming who you were made to be Do you think you’re Beautiful? by Mary Dolan Flaherty There’s a new show, hosted by Steve Harvey, called Little Big Shots. It’s basically a showcase of talent--incredible talent, I might add--of children. Some of these kids are as young as three, and some are teenagers. As entertaining as these children are, what I love just as much are the interviews. Steve Harvey is funny and engaging with people of all ages, but you can see how much he loves children. He tells every child who sits on his couch something positive. Much of the time, it’s “Has anyone ever told you how cute you are?” Or, “You’re very handsome/pretty.” The older children have been taught to say, “Thank you.” The ones from the South reply, “Thank you, Sir.” (which I love). But the little ones are the ones that capture my heart. Their response is quite often, “I know.” And when he asks if they’ve ever been told they’re cute, they respond “Yes,” with an innocence that only comes from being young and having love reinforced in their lives. No one would dare tell a three-year-old that they’re stupid or ugly, would they? Interestingly, I’ve never seen a child shrug or disagree or hide behind a wall of shame or self-doubt. These kids all seem to exude confidence. Maybe they’re just the only ones who get past the screening process. Or maybe the kids who don’t have that assurance can’t excel in their talent. Maybe lack of support and encouragement can actually hold us back from our full potential. So when does that happen? When do we go from that innocent knowing that we’re cute or pretty or awesome or talented or amazing or even “just enough” to thinking that we’re ugly or stupid or otherwise flawed? Of course, it begins with our parents. The messages we hear from those we love the most will be the ones that form our beliefs about ourselves. Then we begin to have peers--those who are our own age, who must know more than our parents (who are old and know nothing). Negative words are thrown at us, and if we’re not already secure in who we are, we’ll catch those words and store them in our hearts, believing that these peers somehow must be the experts.
We carry all of this into adulthood, and that’s how we end up where we are today--comparing ourselves to everyone else, seemingly always coming up short. A lot of these children have dads in the audience. Sometimes the camera pans to the parents in an embarrassing moment of truth from their kids (like the precocious four-year-old who said she loved her older brother because he made her feel better when she got a whooping), but sometimes it’s during a poignant moment-like when a three-year-old “princess” laughed at Steve’s question of whether the man in the audience was her father. “He’s not my father. He’s my dad.” Steve quoted what so many of us have heard over the years. “Anyone can be a father, but it takes a special man to be a dad.” The camera showed a teary-eyed father--no, dad. How wonderful that this princess was treated like royalty by her dad. That’s how she knew she was beautiful. Not every little girl gets that from her father. Maybe you missed out on that. The good news is that God longs to be the dad you didn’t have. He longs to hold you, kiss you, laugh with you, cry with you, and call you his princess. He calls you Beautiful. He calls you Amazing. He calls you Flawless. He calls you Perfect. He calls you His. It’s never too late. The Hebrew word for “Daddy” is Abba. Today, will you soften your heart and allow God the Father to become God, your Abba Daddy? He wants to show you off. He wants you to be His Little Big Shot. If you’ve been wounded by your earthly father and struggle with accepting your Heavenly Father’s love, please tune in to my video, “Now I Know My Father’s Love.” I pray this encourages you. If you are interested in the story behind the song, or would like to contact me for prayer or encouragement, feel free to email me at SonRiseInsights@gmail.com
Visit SonRise Insights for inspiration, encouragement, and wisdom for your daily walk.
Hidden Word Puzzle by Beth Brubaker
Quote Maze Puzzle by Beth Brubaker
9 ANSWER KEYS ON PAGE 39
Recipe Collection by Marilyn Lesniak of Marilynâ€™s Treats
10 Great Breakfasts from Marilyn Lesniak at Marilyn’s Treats Baked Caramel Apple Pancakes On a summer Saturday morning, wouldn’t these Baked Caramel Apple Pancakes be absolutely the best? The kids or grandkids will LOVE these yummy treats, and you can make any ordinary day a special family celebration. The caramel apples and topping are baked right into these pancakes. Ever have a baked pancake? Takes a bit more time than on the griddle but they are SO worth it! Everyone eats at the same time, and you don't need to have breakfast while you are cooking just to have your pancakes warm. These taste just like a WARM HOMEMADE CARAMEL APPLE PIE! You definitely won't be disappointed when you serve these. Find the complete recipe and instructions on Marilyn’s blog, Marilyn’s Treats, along with all the other recipes in this collection.
Orange Butter French Toast Here’s another traditional breakfast dish with a creative twist from Marilyn’s Treats! The orange butter adds a touch of pizzazz, and then you can add any seasonal fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries. Besides being delicious this Orange Butter French Toast is so pretty you will want to serve it the next time you have a special occasion in your family. Find the complete recipe and instructions at Marilyn’s Treats, along with all the other recipes in this collection.
White Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Raspberries According to Marilyn, “These pancakes are so tasty they don’t need syrup. If you love fresh fruit and homemade whipped cream, then these pancakes are for you!” 11 Visit Marilyn’s Treats for the complete recipe and instructions for the White Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Raspberries.
Brioche French Toast with a Cinnamon Glaze Thick slices of authentic rich brioche dipped in vanilla batter, grilled to perfection swirled with a luscious cinnamon glaze topped with cream cheese icing. Have the kids and hubby been especially good lately? This recipe will not just feed your crowd, but bring them back for more. Find the complete recipe and instructions at Marilyn’s Treats, along with all the other recipes in this collection.
Nutella Crepes with Fruit Generously flavored with sweet Nutella spread, this crepe recipe is just as fitting for your dessert menu as it is for the breakfast table. “Looking in the pantry I found three jars of Nutella which I don’t remember buying. Can you believe THAT?! Not like me at all. Being Sunday I decided to make some crepes as a treat. Nutella and bananas seemed like the most fitting filling for us, but there are SO many options you can try. Strawberries & whipped cream, peanut butter & chocolate chips, marshmallow crème with graham crumbs & chocolate and baked apples & cinnamon are just a few.”
Very Berry Pancakes “These pancakes are so light and yummy and I just love you can add fresh fruit of any kind. Here is a mixture of blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. These berries are very healthy and go so well together. Add whipped cream or syrup if you have a sweet tooth, but the berries alone make this dish sweet enough.” Visit Marilyn’s Treats for the complete recipe and instructions for the Very Berry Pancakes.
Golden S’mores Pancakes “Pancakes are a kid favorite in my home. The idea of chocolate chip pancakes isn’t a new one. Adding marshmallows, chocolate syrup, graham cracker crumbs and whipped cream to pancakes makes them a special treat. These can be assembled by the older kids as the smaller ones set the silverware on the table. Feed the entire family at once by preheating the oven as low as it will12go and place a heat resistant platter with the finished pancakes to keep them warm. No head starts, and the family eats together. Warning! These are very rich and sweet so make the pancakes silver dollar size!”
Running to Feel God’s Pleasure by Pat Jeanne Davis
The writer of Hebrews likens the Christian life to a long distance race (Hebrews 12:1-3 NLT). He exhorts believers to “let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us.” To run this marathon successfully we must have faith in God and the promises in His Word. The Apostle says, “So you see, it is impossible to please God without faith” (Heb. 11:6). Use sustained effort The race of faith, the most important race of our life, requires strict discipline to get into good shape. Anyone who has run long distances knows the feeling—from the top of your head to the soles of your feet, every nerve fiber throbs. My son ran track and cross-country while in school. Joshua trained three hours per day, performed sprints, ran repeated miles and lifted weights. He trained to win. My son’s desire to run the best race possible affected what he ate and drank, how much he slept, and how he managed his time. Believers too need to be consistent, work hard and endure pain. The women’s marathon is among the events at the Summer Olympics Game. There some of the greatest athletes of all times run to outperform their opponents. The modern Olympics have their roots in ancient Greece. The Apostle Paul uses the analogy of an athletic race to describe the Christian’s spiritual growth. He tell us, “I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should” (See 1 Cor. 9:25-27). Run unencumbered Many of the Olympic runners wear ultra-high tech track apparel that is aerodynamic and where less in design is more. These women don’t want anything to slow them down or sap their energy. You and I won’t grow in faith, stop tripping over our sins and run the race successfully unless we strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress (Heb. 12:1).
Ask yourself How am I running the race of faith? What is slowing me down? Where are the time wasters? Where have I overcome? How can I continue to grow? Am I digging deeply into God’s Word so when the unexpected comes, I can respond? Am I looking to Jesus and running to win? Our faith in God grows as we attend to His Word and in obedience apply its precepts to our lives, make prayer a habit, and worship and fellowship with others. Run lawfully The Apostle Paul says, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize?” He encourages the believers in Corinth to “run in such a way that you win” (1 Cor. 9:24-25). Finishing well is everything. However, we are not to strive to win at any cost. In our day some runners have been involved in scandals and been accused of taking performance enhancing substances. Integrity and conviction “When I run I feel God’s pleasure,” said Eric Liddell. Born to Scottish missionaries while living in China, he went to Scotland and became that country’s acclaimed sprinter and their only chance for a gold medal in the 1924 Paris Olympics. In order to prepare for the Olympic track he was asked to run on Sunday—a day set aside for attending church and to worship God. He placed himself at a great disadvantage, but refused to run. He received criticism from his countrymen and the press. We shouldn’t be surprised when non-believers are unsympathetic to our values and way of living. We’re competing with the enemy of our souls. During the week Eric trained by running a 200 meter 13 race and qualified to run in the 400 meter Olympic track. On the last day of the competition Liddell went to the starting blocks. An opposing team leader handed him a note that read, “Those who honor me, I will honor.” With that piece of paper in hand, he ran.
As Eric rounded the turn on the track where all the runners usually come together, he expected to see the world record holders ahead of him. He was there alone. He threw his head back even more than usual, pumped his legs as fast as he could and crossed the finish line first, winning the gold medal. Eric achieved the highest glory, but not through sacrificing his commitment to God’s Word. Let us run our race with integrity and conviction. In his book Made for His Pleasure, Alistair Begg, senior pastor at Parkside Church and heard on the radio programme Truth for Life, writes “Pleasing God is not a matter of personal choice, but an imperative that must be taken seriously. In a world of self, we must give way to the priority of God if we want to experience His joy.” Later, Eric Liddell accepted God’s further call on his life. He returned to China—a country no longer friendly to missionaries and at war—to serve the people with the Gospel. He became a great source of inspiration to other Christians while confined with them in a Japanese prison.
After months of serious health concerns and the death of her brother, Liz Curtis Higgs, author and speaker, in her blog post at the beginning of January writes, “Believers aren’t exempt from life’s various tests and troubles and manifold temptations. In fact, God says they’re good for us. They make us who we are: men and women of God, unwavering in our faith, a worthy witness to His power. It’s our faith being put to the test, with ‛spiritual maturity’ as the goal” (See James 1:3). I know first-hand the disappointment felt when a positive answer you hoped to get is not the one you receive. Do you also yearn to obtain a heartfelt goal? Do you cherish a life-long dream—one that you’re convinced God placed in your heart—that seems impossible? When the goal you’ve set for yourself seem unobtainable. Remember our chief goal is to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. We’re always in sync with God’s will when we ask Him to direct our paths.
Endurance Are you dissatisfied with the course? Perhaps you’re exhausted from doing too much. Your emotional and mental energy is failing as you battle to keep a positive outlook and trust God. Maybe your body presents a challenge with ailments that slow you down. Have you fully submitted to the sovereign will of God? Keep in mind your Heavenly Father set the course. Focus on the finish. Don’t give up.
When your dreams are yet unrealized and you’re tempted to despair. Pray for patient perseverance while you wait on His perfect timing. If you don’t run with endurance, you won’t get the prize. Patient perseverance requires a particular mind-set and a willingness to push past the pain. 14 Avoiding the difficult is never good physically or spiritually and is a hindrance to our growth. When the track becomes too difficult and you are tempted to quit, read Acts 20:20-24; 2 Tim. 4:6-8.
We run with endurance by fixing our eyes on Jesus. Steven J. Cole, Pastor of Flagstaff Christian Fellowship, in an article titled Faith to Run the Christian Marathon, dated 2004, writes, “Fixing our eyes is literally looking off to. The idea is taking your eyes off of other things and focusing on Jesus alone.”
Don’t look back
Call to mind faithful sisters in the Lord—those in our church family, teammates cheering us on—and mighty women such as Elizabeth Elliott, Gladys Aylward and Amy Carmichael. Consider these and many more who ran the race of faith. They encourage you to do the same.
I can be easily distracted by the cares of this life. Like a runner, I need a clear focus on where I’m going and a clear goal in mind. In Phil. 3:13, the Apostle Paul tells us he is “forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.” He shares the secret of his own success in living the Christian life in verse 14, “I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.” Refocus on Jesus and the joy of receiving the crown of righteousness that He has promised and run the race set before you.
This is key to running a successful race. Keep in mind our forebears in the faith, the Old Testament saints, for encouragement. Read again Hebrews 11. Remember the apostles and early Christian leaders, such as Timothy and Silas.
Above all, look to Jesus—the one with all power. Read again Heb. 12:3. As author and finisher of our faith, He gives everything needful. Let us continue to grow in faith, look to Him and run to win. In these ways, you and I bring pleasure to God, and we shall receive the crown that perishes not.
Pat Davis writes from her home in Philadelphia, Pa. Her work has appeared in Christian Devotions Online, Faith & Family, Faith & Finances, Woman Alive, The Lookout, Bible Advocate and Chicken Soup for the Soul books.
Here’s a great opportunity for you to connect with other writers and learn from the workshops and speakers. For more information, visit the Colorado Christian Writers Conference website.
To the Wind by Keith Wallis Back-slapping the rocks, like some hearty reveller finally getting the joke, the breaker blows its top. In a salty guffaw its laughter punches the sky broadcasting spray to the wind from whence it came. The shingle proclaims its applause as it tumbles back to the sea silvered with the grasping of the wave. As I look at the captured moment I read other imaginations into the scene and see, momentarily, an elephant, ears alert with its trunk raised to the wind in exultation. In the background wind turbines stand like April daffodils paying their own homage to the wind. And I wonder, in the imagination of God, how inventive He is when He looks at me.
In the Making by Keith Wallis Above, the threatening calamity of clouds gently embraces sunlight, focusing its luminescent span a prelude to the refreshment of spring rain. Below, evidence of earlier showers percolates beneath our feet in time carved cavern and crystal caves. In the dark forges of eons and watercourse spin gems are crafted. While hand in hand we watch cloud swirl, its twin, unseen, in subterranean secrecy, continues a timeless creation. And my soul, and your soul, in resonant echo, parallel the growing seen and unseen.
Innocent Prayers by Laura L. Zimmerman “But Jesus said, ‘Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’” Matthew 19:14 "Jesus please save us. Jesus please hug me. Jesus nice to me. Jesus is good. Amen." This was the prayer of my three-year-old daughter one evening before supper. She didn’t often ask to pray for the meal, but had been the first to raise her hand on this particular evening. After she said the words she looked up, a considerable smile spread across her face. My heart melted. Where had this prayer come from? Sure, she attended Sunday school class at our church, and she belonged to a Christian preschool three days a week. We prayed together as a family, and often had discussions about our faith and what it meant to be a Christian. So I knew these words weren’t foreign to her. Yet, I was still amazed. How could someone so small have such a deep understanding of the love of our Father? In those few, short words, my little one had captured the fundamentals of the very faith we have in Jesus. “Jesus please save us.” This is the big one - the very basis of our faith in Christianity. The afterlife we look forward to rests in one very simple concept: to accept Christ as our Lord and Savior. Only in this moment of acceptance and repentance do we become truly saved. Only then do we have the assurance that there is more to this life than what we experience here on earth. Jesus save us. “Jesus please hug me.” Yes, yes. A thousand times, yes! Isn’t this our very nature as humans? Don’t we long to be hugged, loved, desired? Isn’t our ultimate longing to be chosen? Regardless of race, nationality, gender, age - we all want to be loved. And how much more love can one experience than to be adopted into a family? That is what we are. We are adopted. We are loved. We are chosen by our Father. Jesus hug us. “Jesus nice to me.” He really is, isn’t he? Aren’t there just times where you’re blessed beyond anything you can imagine, and you just think, “Thank you, Lord!” We don’t deserve all the things we have, but he gives them anyway. 19 These blessings take many forms, yet they are all ultimately from the Father. Coming away safely from a near collision. Finding out your new purchase is on sale once you arrive at the checkout counter. Finding money you hadn’t realized you had.
We are beyond blessed to even live in a country like America. His blessings are never ending. And we are blessed to be able to share those blessings with others, as well. What a fantastic plan our Lord has for us! Jesus is nice. “Jesus is good.” This one. This is the one I most often forget. This is the one we immediately question whenever something goes wrong in our lives. ‘Why would God let this happen?’ ‘What have I done wrong?’ How many times have I heard my own children say these words to me? Yet, the truth remains unchanged. Jesus is good. He is a perfect God that resides over an imperfect world, and for that we must accept what comes, both good and bad. Jesus stands by our side at the birth of a baby - and he remains firmly planted by our side at the loss of a loved one. Jesus is with us when we celebrate the beginning of a new job or house - and he is still with us when those things are lost. He is faithful in the good. He is even more faithful in the bad. If we would just open our eyes and look. He is there. Jesus is good. Jesus save us. Jesus hug us. Jesus is nice. Jesus is good. Simple words of a three-year-old child. Life changing words of faith that give us hope and comfort.
Laura L. Zimmerman resides in Lancaster County, PA and is a homeschooling mom to three beautiful daughters. She is thankful for a supportive husband, who is always quick to encourage her love of singing, reading, writing or drinking coffee. Laura enjoys writing young adult and middle grade fantasy fiction and hopes to encourage children to a relationship in Christ through her work. You can find out more about Laura at her website and blog www.lauralzimmerman.com on Twitter @lauralzimm , and on Facebook.
Book Reviews by Carol Peterson
Third Daughter The Royals of Dharia, Book One by Susan Kaye Quinn Seventeen-year old Aniri is the third daughter of the Queen. Yes, she has a few royal duties, but otherwise she's not really important in the kingdom. It's the first daughter who will one day be queen; the second daughter is the back up. But when Aniri agrees to a marriage to secure a political alliance, she struggles with the question of freedom vs. dutyâ€”while being thrust into a position to help prevent a war among the three kingdoms on the planet. The story is set in an imagined world. The rich culture created by Quinn is nicely balanced with interesting steam punk technology. The descriptions of the clothing and palace gardens are lush and exotic; the descriptions of the technology make it understandable without detail overload. The characters in the book were well-defined, believable and made it easy for the reader to keep track of who is doing what and why. Each book in the trilogy focuses on Aniri but shares how her life, her choices and her actions affect the kingdom as they relate to her two sisters. Although the trilogy is considered romance, the writing is clean and wholesome, while still acknowledging both the physical and emotional parts of true romance. The series is not Christian, however, the brief mentions of the fictional society's goddess did more to supplement the planetary world Quinn built, rather than take away from my personal Christian world view. While I love most all young adult novels, it's especially nice to have one whose heroine is spunky and brave even if she doesn't want to be and who is neither a physical mutant nor in possession of supernatural abilities. Since most of the rest of us aren't either. Genre: Young adult clean and wholesome romance; sub genres: steam punk, sci fi
Third Daughter by Susan Kaye Quinn is available from 21 Amazon. The other two books in the series are also available from Amazon.
Spring Crafts for Kids Baby Bluebirds in a Nest by Blaire at The Seasoned Mom It is so much fun to do crafts with kids! But if you’ve very tried it, you know that it is important to find quick and easy projects, because the little ones tend to get distracted quite easily. Here’s a great craft project to welcome spring and encourage creativity in your kiddos. Super simple, inexpensive and so cute . . . the Baby Bluebirds in a Nest were created by Blaire at The Seasoned Mom where you can find the complete tutorial.
Mod Podge Bird House by Justine at Sew Country Chick What could be more perfect to go with your baby birds in a nest project, than this sweet adorable bird house? This is a project for kids of all ages, because you can just let them play and create to their heart’s content and whatever they come up with will be beautiful! Visit Justine at Sew Country Chick for complete instructions for making this Mod Podge Bird House. 23
Pretty Painted Garden Stones from ParentMap Even if you have a small garden, it would be fun to paint small stones to decorate around your flowers and vegetables. And it is a creative way to get the kids involved in the gardening tasks! You can find this and more great family fund craft ideas and tutorials at ParentMap.
Polka Dot Garden Flowers from All Free Kids Crafts For even more bright spring garden embellishment, why not make some of these retro Polka Dot Garden Flowers? You will find the instructions for making these cute garden flowers in the FREE eBook available from All Free Kids Crafts.
Spring Printer’s Tray from Consumer Crafts On a rainy spring day you can still be creative and celebrate the season! This adorable Spring Printer’s Tray home décor wall hanging will bring a delightful touch of whimsy to any room in your house. This is a project you can make for yourself and make it as elaborate and detailed as you want, or you could make one with the little people at your house and keep it super simple and sweet like this one with butterflies, lady bugs and a tiny bird’s nest. All the instructions for making the Spring Printer’s Tray can be found at Consumer Crafts.
Auction Miracle by Cynthia Knisley
It had rained in torrents the entire evening and into the night. By morning, puddles had become ponds and rivers. The much-needed rain was welcome, but did it have to arrive just then? Something important was scheduled. It was not a garden wedding, not the birth of a baby who would have been oblivious to the wet world at his arrival, and not the annual family picnic or championship swim meet. My little cottage in the country was scheduled to be sold by auction that day. Normally the auctioneer and potential buyers stand outside for such events—along with curious onlookers. How could this take place in the rain? What about the basement? Would I find it had suddenly flooded? Fortunately, when I arrived at the house the basement was perfectly dry in spite of the pouring rain outside. That was a relief. However, other factors created a dismal picture. I knew that no one had inquired about the “For Sale” listing, though advertisements and photos had been posted on line and in hard copy newspapers. I had painted and cleaned, installed an attractive new fence and dotted the porches with blooming plants. But not a single person had come to the open house a week prior, or expressed a smidgeon of interest. Still hoping for a turn of events on a soggy day, I cheerfully placed fresh flowers on the window ledges and checked all the rooms. Was there a speck of dust on the carpet or a stray hammer or screw driver left in a corner? I adjusted the curtain ties one last time to gently hold back the muslin fabric from the cute country windows. All the while I prayed, sang, and trusted. Gradually the heavy rain changed to thick mist and then to fog over the countryside and around the little house. It was time to review an alternate plan regarding the sale, as it seemed likely that no one would show up for the auction. Then the most amazing thing happened! A glimmer of sunlight broke through the heavy cloud cover, then more and more brightness. While nibbling on a bite of supper at a nearby drive-through restaurant, I suddenly spotted it from the parking lot. The fog had lifted and a full rainbow arched across the sky. The soft pastel shades against baby blue created a lovely pallet—a most beautiful sight. This was the day of my mother’s birthday. She would have turned ninety-three but had recently left us to be with God after months of decline and heartbreak. I was absolutely certain that she and Jesus had something to do with this change in the weather. Indeed her heart was in that little house as she had once helped me sand the old pine floors and hang the curtains. It was like a warm smile of love and encouragement coming from my dear mother and saying, “It’s going to be okay.” 25
Bolstered immensely by the wonder of it all, I returned to the house, gazed at the exquisite rainbow curving over the rooftop, and watched puddles of rain evaporate before my eyes. It was a wonder! Before long the auction personnel arrived along with my little “support team” consisting of a friend, a cousin, and my sister and her husband. Two curious neighbors showed up, and they all stood around on the lawn. Suddenly a young lady with two children popped into the kitchen where I was standing with the auctioneer and attorney. She quickly checked out the house and within fifteen minutes made a fair offer to buy it. We were all surprised! After a brief time of thought and counsel, I accepted her offer. We signed the papers and shook hands. Now, one day later, I am still marveling at the way things unfolded. I have known God to be with me at many places in my life but was never as uniquely aware of His loving support as on the day of the auction. I think my mother had something to do with it too! “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him.” Romans 8: 28 Heavenly Father, You promise us goodness. In the midst of difficult days give us the grace to simply ask you to enter our world. And if in our panic we forget to ask, please be there anyway---with a beautiful rainbow, a gorgeous sky, a kind smile, a quiet bench for resting, a lone buyer at an auction. Thank you for showing up when we need you most. Amen
Cynthia Knisley, educator for 24 years in a suburban Philadelphia high school, has always been fascinated with language. Teaching Latin and German trained her to respect the nuances of structure and story as well as the power of words. Three years ago she felt called to leave a wonderful career in order to devote precious time to her aging parents, about whom she often writes. Her home is in West Chester, PA, where she delights in her grandchildren, plays classical music, and tends a “secret garden.” A novice blogger, she welcomes you to her posts at firstname.lastname@example.org. 26
Celestial Graffiti by Keith Wallis The coloured playment of glass celestial graffiti, dyes the walls with tinted light. Todayâ€™s sunkissed patterns patina ancient walls like a pavement artist in love with the glory of God.
Hitori Puzzle by Beth Brubaker Fill in the squares so there are no duplicate numbers in any row or column.
ANSWER KEY ON PAGE 40
An Unexpected Journey by Gloria Doty
Most of us don’t leave on a journey without at least a bit of advanced planning. If we are going to take a train, plane or bus, we need to purchase tickets. If we are traveling by car, it usually takes even more research and preparation. When I was a child, my father would begin planning in January, for our two-week summer trip. He would pore over maps and the best route to take advantage of all the sights and landmarks he thought we should see along the way. This was before Google and GPS use. He used maps, travel brochures and mileage charts. We always reached our destination and gained a wealth of information along the way. By the time I was 10-years-old, I had visited 42 states. Believe it or not, I am not writing about that kind of traveling or journey. I want to tell you about the last few years of the journey God has led me on. My life journey. There was no planning on my part, but as I look back, I can see that He had it all planned from the beginning. If you ask me what I do or what my occupation is, I will answer, “I am a writer and author.” That has not always been the case. I have had 15 occupations (not counting wife and mother) in my lifetime. In retrospect, I believe God was preparing me to be a writer. I needed all the life experiences and acquaintances to broaden my skills at creating believable characters and being able to make my readers feel empathetic to them and their situations. In June of 2011, I had knee surgery. As I sat for a good deal of the time, I contemplated what exactly I was going to do when I was totally mobile again. I did not want to return to the residential cleaning business I had been doing previously. I had been writing various things for many years: magazine articles, puppet scripts and Sunday School curriculum. Maybe it was time to be serious about this endeavor. I prayed about it and did indeed begin to submit articles to various magazines. I attended a writer’s conference in Wheaton, IL and absorbed everything I could. I even had a short story accepted for publication. I wanted to write about something I was familiar with, so I made a decision to write a book about my daughter and our 30-year journey with autism, Asperger’s and intellectual disabilities. Not Different Enough was self-published in 2014. It won the Writer of the Year Award from the WTP Conference. I felt as though God was encouraging me to continue. The next thing I tackled was a book co-authored with my sister. We both wrote devotions for a quarterly devotional and we both loved flowers, so the natural thing was to write a devotion book with flowers: A Bouquet of Devotions was published in 2015. I continued to write freelance magazine articles and never even considered writing fiction. I always thought I had enough bizarre happenings in my life, I didn’t need fiction.
Here is where God ‘pushed’ me a little. My author friend invited me to an American Christian Fiction Writer’s luncheon as her guest. I accompanied her and left there thinking perhaps I could try my hand at fiction. From everything I had read and discussed with other authors, writing a novel takes a very long time and then finding a publisher takes even longer. I had an idea for a romance story in my head when I sat down at my computer in July, 2015. The words simply flowed from my brain to the computer screen. I fell in love, literally, with my characters. Within a month, I had written a 60,000 word novel. I spoke to a friend who encouraged me to submit it to Booktrope Publishing. She was familiar with them and even did editing for them. What a coincidence. I did submit it but later realized I had done it incorrectly and forgot to add my name in the proper place. (God had this all planned out) I contacted the book manager and told her my problem. She immediately found the manuscript, read it and accepted it. A time frame that should have taken 6 weeks at least, took only 6 days, due to my ‘mistake’ which God used for good. That book, Bring a Cowboy Home, became the first in a series of three that I named, The Magnolia Series because they take place on a ranch outside Magnolia, Texas. The next two in the series were written in two months. Everything about these books has been blessed. Choosing the perfect cover designer, editor, proofreader and book manager was truly God-inspired because I didn’t know any of them with the exception of my editor-friend. I am in awe of how God’s plans may take years to unfold or may take years while He prepares us, but I do know this: never be afraid to go where He is leading you…even if you don’t know the earthly destination. He’s got this…just follow.
Bring a Cowboy Home is now available from Ruby’s Reading Corner. The other two books in The Magnolia Series will be available soon. All of Gloria’s books are available from Ruby’s Reading Corner.
God’s Mercies after Suicide: Blessings Woven through a Mother’s Heart by Jean Ann Williams EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second chapter from the book, God’s Mercies after Suicide: Blessings Woven through a Mother’s Heart by Jean Ann Williams. We will be publishing one chapter from her book in each upcoming issue of Ruby for Women to share her story with you. We trust that God will use Jean Ann’s story to be a blessing to you. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the English Standard Version (ESV), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a Division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ************************************* Chapter Two Within Two Hours For my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. —Psalm 57:1 KJV My body trembled. What could I have done better to keep him here? Would Joshua go to heaven? Emergency workers moved in the background. A few tight-knit family members stood in shocked silence. I felt dead, as dead as my son in the next room. My adult daughter, Jami, knelt before me where I sat on the couch. Tears streamed over her flushed face. “Mommy, I’m grateful you and Daddy are safe.” Safe? Her brother Joshua lay in the other room. His body rested on his bed. His spirit? It had flown to eternity. The room hummed. My husband talked with authorities. I heard a voice. Satan. “Now where is your God?” He mocked me. I shuddered in terror. Another shock, the aftershock, worse than when I felt my son’s heartbeat stutter—Good-bye, bye. 31
My spirit flew into the arms of safety, and my mind called, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Father, hold me. Let me sob in Your rest. Your feathers1 cover me. In Jesus’s name, I pray. A Mother’s Memories Born in Lindsay, California, on November 27, 1978, making us a family of five, my son came into the world with coal-black eyes and a shock of feather-hair to match. The first time the nurse brought him to me, cleaned and bundled, I gripped him around his chest and raised him as an offering to the God on high. I peered into my little one’s face and began to singsong, “Hi, Son.” His head stayed straight above strong baby neck muscles, his eyes zinged to mine, and he swallowed, listening. Mother and son bonded. Thank You, Father, for giving me this long-awaited child. I am blessed. In Jesus’s name. Amen. ******************************************* In this stirring memoir Jean Ann Williams shares her son, Joshua’s, life and also his untimely death at age twenty-five. Being a woman of faith, in each chapter she shares thoughts and scriptures which have given her comfort and support in the hopes her journey can help others. The book is a must read for anyone who has lost a family member to suicide. Gloria Horsley Ph.D. President of Open to Hope Jean Ann Williams has written a powerful book, full of pain and joy, despair and hope, all in the form of short, pithy devotions. This author understands the agony of losing someone to suicide, because her son took his life and shredded his family’s heart. However, though Williams clearly spells out the agonizing grief she endured after her beloved son’s death, she also shows God truly does offer a Light at the end of the long, dark tunnel of loss. And as the author takes us on this long journey out of overwhelming darkness, she also enables us to feel the everlasting arms underneath her, carrying her and healing her every step of the way. If you or someone you know has lost a loved one through suicide, please get this book. It will bless and minister to you as often as you read one of its devotions or reflect on the words within its pages. Kathi Macias, author ***Kathi Macias (www.kathimacias.com) is a multi-award winning author of more than 50 books. She lives in Southern California with her husband, Al. You can connect with Jean Ann Williams and follow her journey as she experiences God’s mercies on her blog: Love Truth: Hope after Suicide.
Praise God by Jennifer Workman Praise God with every fiber of your being, for God is awesome and worthy of all our praises. Praise God for it is he that has created every living thing and it is he that has power to destroy everything. Praise God for God is the life giver and sustainer of all things and loves all people with an indescribable love. Praise God for hands and legs that move, eyes from which to see, a tongue to taste all of the wonderful foods of creation, hearing to hear the beautiful melodious sounds of nature and the different genres of music. Praise God for a heart that beats to “the rhythm of life.” Praise God for our wonderful sisters and brothers all around the world that have been uniquely and beautifully made in the similitude of God. Praise God for sending Jesus as the ultimate atonement for our sins and a clear representation of his “agape” love for all of mankind. Praise God for he is God and there is none other than him. Praise God for He loves us unconditionally. Praise God for he gives us life that we don’t deserve. Praise God for he is gracious and merciful towards us. Praise God for he protects and keeps us safely every day. Praise God for he deserves all of our praises.
Life as a Fixer-Upper: Journal Challenge by Kathryn Ross My feet hit the floor with an "ooff"! I rarely awake with a "let's get to it!" Mornings are tough for this little chick. I was bleary-eyed from binge watching Chip and Joanna of Fixer-Uppers on Netflix ‘til midnight. Waking up would take some time. I went to bed dreaming of gutting my own little cottage which, based on the condition of the homes I see presented as viable options for fixer-upper clients, my house decidedly fits the mold. I wondered what potential resides within the walls— or horrors behind the walls. What might my house look like redrafted without some of them? Chip and Joanna have an amazing ability to look at the space in a home and imagine it far different from what it is. They see the potential of what it can become, then take bold steps to create a new reality. Demolition ensues. Walls tumble down. Floors are removed. Ceilings are rent asunder. In a matter of hours the house is unrecognizable, often reduced to bare bone framing.
In such a state, diseases that had been safely harbored behind those walls and floors and ceilings are discovered. Mold, rot, decayed electrical wires, corroded plumbing, bee’s nests, and more are revealed. Though shocking in the moment when hidden damage requires an increased budget, the homeowner learns to be thankful for ripping things apart. How else might such internal damages be remedied and replaced? How much better to deconstruct to reconstruct with new purpose and life, rather than slap a sloppy coat of paint or patch with substandard materials in order to hide a home's defects. It’s worth the money spent. I'm learning a lot from watching back to back FixerUppers such as some practical things I can do to update my own home. Joanna’s style is simple, dreamy, and inspiring to the DIY re-purposing queen living in me. But watching Chip and Joanna breathe new life and beauty into the four walls of these fixer-uppers stirs me to ponder the metaphorical life lessons I can draw from this creative well. Sometime homeowners are reluctant to grasp the vision Joanna paints of what a particular house COULD look like IF a wall were removed and new floors laid down. The homeowners have a wish list for their dream house, but a stunted vision when faced with a fixerupper. They see only the walls before them. One color scheme. One design plan. 35 I can be like that. I look around my house and want something fresh. An update. But I can’t see how to steer my desires to a new reality. I loathe the thought of what would have to happen to make it so.
Longing for something new and big--but not so new and big that it takes me out of my comfort zone—or control. I don’t know WHAT can be done and am ignorant of HOW it could be done. I would have to trust my home renovation to someone else with the vision and ability to change my reality. Chip and Joanna are professional homebuilders and designers with a great track record of successful remakes and satisfied clients. Their work increases a home’s market value. They don't think in boxes. They boldly look at a space and re-imagine it with color and style foreign to a homeowner's smaller world of ideas and creativity. Their wider scope of vision and skill sets invite the homeowner to, literally, let down their walls and replace the windows of their imagination.
So, after my "ooff" out of bed and shuffle to the kitchen for my morning glass of water, I sit down with my cuppa tea in my comfort zone corner for devotions. I have my own safe plans for the day.
Much like God inviting me to open wide the home of my heart to His renovation plan. To trust Him to make the vision He has for my life a reality.
But God sometimes knocks those walls down with a gentle prompt in my spirit. My day is re-imagined and renovated. I hear the Lord call me to re-design a room in my house.
God’s been in the renovation and re-imagining business relating to my life from the day I handed the keys to my heart and mind over to Him.
Perhaps He calls me to begin new construction on a home extension—stretching the square footage of my life by doing something I have never done before.
It hasn't looked pretty in the process through the years, with so many different layers of walls and shiplap and ceilings and floors being ripped up and out. Some walls have been completely eliminated-replaced with wide open space flooded in His Light. I'm able to better see things—the full potential—as He sees things. And, I'm called to trust His ultimate design purposes. God proved Himself time and time again—for all of history and in all of my life. Two thousand years ago the cross of Jesus Christ demolished a decaying world order and began construction on a fully renovated worldview. God’s design are drawn out clearly in His Word—the Divine Building Blueprint. Why should I doubt Him when He calls me to renovate my life into bold and daring living spaces?
This happened the day I boldly laid the foundation on a new room, crossing the threshold as an independent publisher. Or, the day I expanded my skill set to learn podcasting. Or, the rooms added when life changes like chronic illness, empty nests, career changes, loss of loved ones, or retirement require major home improvements. We may not know HOW to build such home extensions, but God doesn’t care that we don't know how to pour the foundation for a new room. He does. And He can be trusted to build in me what I cannot. My life has often felt like a home renovation project, 36 complete with razed walls, ripped up floorboards, replaced plumbing, and a brand new electrical box with more amps. The time frame of a reno job can seem indefinite and be a messy work zone.
If God is playing the part of Chip and Joanna as builder and designer, I can expect bold and daring designs in this new living space
Do you have the spiritual budget to support such a building plan? Do you have the patience to wait for the final reveal?
He is crafting in me. It may get messy with few comfort zones during construction, but there is increased market value promised here.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV
And for all the bold and daring risks of interior demolition, the final reveal is glorious! Journal Prompt: What interior room renovations are you dreaming of for your spiritual home interior? Can you trust God to remodel and expand the walls of your life? What will it cost you?
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12: 2 NKJV For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18 NKJV
Kathryn Ross is an enrichment artist, writer, speaker, and independent publisher at Pageant Wagon Publishing with a mission 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 as inspirational works and discipleship tools 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—and her newest Fable Springs Parables high concept picture book, Bugaboo-Bee’s Bop: Patience for the Prize. Visit her online at www.thewritersreverie.com and www.pageantwagonpublishing.com .
Visit Kathryn at The Writers’ Reverie for more encouragement and inspiration.
Garden Cumberland by Sarah Johnson
In a town where history reaches back almost 270 years, Nancy and Carl are relative newcomers, having arrived about fifteen years ago. At that time, their home had an antiquated, non-functioning kitchen, an eclectic collection of ‘garage-type’ outbuildings with no access for vehicles, and a back yard that sloped off into oblivion—or at least to the creek. Nancy is a writer, artist, and local historian, and she flows color and texture liberally throughout the garden, embellishing it with a note of patriotic fervor and finessing with a stroke of hospitality. Carl, carpenter-on-duty, sees to all the hardscaping, such as the terraces, arbors, decks and building projects. Nancy, an active member of The Mauricetown Historical Society, also serves on the Board of the East Point Lighthouse. Two of her children’s books (she is both author and illustrator) bring to life the history of local lighthouses. They are available for purchase. The home’s quaint façade, that of a ‘stack house.’ mimics several in the neighborhood, marking it as among the first flurry of construction in a newlyborn town—way back in the early 1700’s! The challenges are ongoing, and the outbuildings—ranging from small shop, barn, cookhouse, even an outhouse, are now handy for storage. With a fewer trees and some clever work terracing the slope, the backyard is now a lightly shaded oasis with a large deck and layers of pleasant spots for enjoying the outdoors. The owners, active grandparents, often host activities for their grandchildren among the flowers and birdfeeders. The remnants of a Fairy Birthday make the theme of one garden path, while a shady corner beside the barn holds a swing set. Croquet mallets hide in the outhouse, as archery equipment waits in another building. There are trellises, arbors, swings. Quaint chairs wait for lemonade-laden visitors. The deck, added to and adjusted as needed, now has a canopy, intermittent railing recycled from a different project, several sitting areas and an overall theme of blue details to pull it together. Garden plants spill into walkways and soften the edge of ‘garden rooms.’ Plants include easy native perennials such as Rudbeckia and Hemoracalis, self-sowing annuals like Cleome, edibles such as beach plum, grapes, and tomatoes, A sprawling maple at the center of it all.
Hidden Word Puzzle Answer Key by Beth Brubaker
Quote Maze Puzzle Answer Key by Beth Brubaker Use soft words and hard arguments!
Hitori Puzzle answer Key by Beth Brubaker Fill in the squares so there are no duplicate numbers in any row or column.
Anchor of Promise, a support and educational blog for parents with hurting and troubled teens.
Katherineâ€™s Corner: a blog for sharing
Visit Lynn Mosher on her blog to read her daily devotional and inspirational posts.
New from author Jean Ann Williams
Just Claire ClaireLee’s life changes when she must take charge of her siblings and depressed mother, and she finds relief in the lies she tells herself and others. Frightened by the changes in Mama, ClaireLee just knows she’ll catch her illness like a cold or flu that hangs on through winter. Deciding she needs to reinvent herself, she sets out to impress a group of popular girls. At the slip of an untruth, she deceives her way into the Lavender Girls Club. Her best friend Belinda will not be caught with the likes of such shallow puddles. ClaireLee drifts further from honesty, her friend, and a broken mother’s love, until one very public night. The spotlight is on her, and she finds her courage and faces the truth and then she saves a life. Just Claire is now available from Amazon.
Lose Weight, Get Fit & Change Your Life – With 4 Powerful Principles by Carol L. Doyel Carol Doyel is Editor-in-Chief and Founder of LivingBetter50.com. She is a graduate of The Full Gospel Bible Institute and has a passion for women’s ministries, issues and lives. She and her husband of 26+ years have three grown kids and four grandchildren. They currently reside in southern CA. Her desire is to inspire women to live better physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. 42
Meet the Ruby for Women Writers 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. Blog http://KatherinesCorner.com Blog Graphics at http://BlogArtByKatherine.com Shop http://KeepsakesByKatherine.etsy.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.
Jennifer Workman is the founder of Simply Victorious Ministries, a ministry founded on the infallible Word of God. She has been actively involved in ministry all of her life and has ministered to seminary students, the religious community, high school students and female prison inmates. Jennifer has more than fifteen years in the radio, television and publications arena. She is the Inspirational Host and Producer of "Simply Victorious for Life," a monthly inspirational podcast aired via Faith Filled Family and Family Filled Youth. If you want more information about her ministry and/or other pertinent information, check out her ministry website http://simplyvic.webs.com or her professional website http://jyworkman.wix.com/jennifer
Rejetta Morse enjoys writing poetry so she can write about God and how He speaks through nature. Writing poetry is a new found purpose and hobby she discovered over recent years which brings her joy, peace, and encouragement. She also enjoys reading poetry and is working to learn more about the craft of poetry. She spends her free time singing with her church choir and listening to gospel music, watching biographical movies, and encouraging other people.
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.
Jewell Utt has served in church leadership for over twenty years. She is the director of a local food pantry and the women’s ministry leader at her church. Her desire is to encourage women through writing, speaking and music. Jewell is a resource speaker for schools, churches, and women's events. She has been married for thirty-four years and has three grown sons. Contact her at: email@example.com visit her website at: www.jewellutt.com.
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. Gloria blogs at www.gettingitrightoccasionally.blogspot.com
Laura L. Zimmerman resides in Lancaster County, PA and is a homeschooling mom to three beautiful daughters. She is thankful for a supportive husband, who is always quick to encourage her love of singing, reading, writing or drinking coffee. Laura enjoys writing young adult and middle grade fantasy fiction and hopes to encourage children to a relationship in Christ through her work. You can find out more about Laura at her website and blog www.lauralzimmerman.com on Twitter @lauralzimm , and on Facebook
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.
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.
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 Writersâ€™ 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. 45
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.
Pat Davis writes from her home in Philadelphia, Pa. Her work has appeared in Christian Devotions Online, Faith & Family, Faith & Finances, Woman Alive, The Lookout, Bible Advocate and Chicken Soup for the Soul books.
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
Cindy Knisley I have been an educator for 24 years in a suburban Philadelphia high school, I have always enjoyed language and writing. Teaching German and Latin trained me to respect the nuances of structure and story as well as the power of words. Three years ago I felt called by God to leave the work I loved in order to support my aging parents. My home is in West Chester, PA, where I tend a "secret garden," enjoy my grandchildren, attend church, and write.
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
Joan Leotta has been playing with words since childhood. She is a poet, essayist, journalist, playwright, and author of several books both fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. She is also a performer and gives one-woman shows on historic figures and spoken word folklore shows as well as teaching writing and storytelling. 46 Joan lives in Calabash, NC where she walks the beach with husband, Joe. www.joanleotta.wordpress.com and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Joan-LeottaAuthor-and-Story-Performer/188479350973
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 todo 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/
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.
Frances Gregory Pasch’s devotions and poems have been published in devotional booklets, magazines, and Sunday school papers since 1985. Her writing has also appeared in several dozen compilations. Her book, Double Vision: Seeing God in Everyday Life Through Devotions and Poetry is available on Amazon. Frances has been leading a women’s Christian writers group since 1991. You can contact her at www.francesgregorypasch.com.
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.
Sarah Johnson writes, photographs and gardens from her home near the tidal marshes of the Delaware Bay. Her work is inspired by the glory of God’s creation and the nuances of light in life, from that of literal sunshine to the shadow-dispelling joy of serving her Creator. Herding three cats, two children and a husband, keeps her busy between editing flowerbeds and weeding paragraphs. She is the editor of 'Garden Cumberland', a gardeners resource that encourages others to find their 47 hearts in the sunshine and soil of South Jersey. https://www.facebook.com/GardenCumberland
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 15 years old and Annie is 13. 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 48
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/
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The May 2016 issue of Ruby for Women features inspirational articles, short stories, poems, book reviews, crafts and recipes for you and you...
Published on May 5, 2016
The May 2016 issue of Ruby for Women features inspirational articles, short stories, poems, book reviews, crafts and recipes for you and you...