Ruby for Women, November, 2012

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Ruby for Women A voice for every Christian woman November, 2012

“ . . . .her worth is far above rubies.� Proverbs 31:10

Contents November, 2012

As November arrives, we all begin to look forward to the coming holiday season. In this issue of the Ruby for Women magazine we have gathered a wonderful collection of holiday crafts, recipes, stories, poems, and articles for you. We hope you enjoy the November issue of Ruby for Women. We also would like to invite you to visit us in our community of Christian women for fun, friendship, conversation, encouragement, inspiration, and prayer support. Won’t you join us soon?

In This Issue . . . Page



Digging Ditches Nina Newton, Sr. Editor


When Venting Becomes More Than Blowing off Steam Amanda Johnson, Asst. Editor

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A Prayer in November Sharon L. Patterson


Apple Harvest Cake Lynn Mosher


Do You Worry? Taylor DeVine


Pretty Little Pumpkins mamas*little*treasures


Reflecting God’s Glory, One Dollar at a Time Michelle Lazurek


Gobble, Gobble Give-Away Katherine’s Corner


In Shape for the Holidays Word Puzzle Beth Brubaker


God’s Creations Rosanne Cunningham


Family Favorite Autumn Recipes Lynn Mosher


Rust and Tide Keith Wallis

Senior Editor: Nina Newton Assistant Editor: Amanda Johnson Advertising Administrator: Angela Morris Creative Assistant: Katherine Corrigan Family Fun Editor: Beth Brubaker Gardening: Dorothy Kurchak Devotions: Lynn Mosher, Deborah McCarragher Poetry: Keith Wallis, Lee E. Shilo Quilting: Laura Brandt Feature Writers: Connie Arnold, Taylor DeVine, Sheila Watson, Theresa Ceniccola, Carin LeRoy, Sally Bruce, Angela Morris, Sharon L. Patterson, Elizabeth Baker, Maxine Young, Gloria Doty, Amy Lignor, Kendra Peterson, Christena Hammes, Rosann Cunningham, Debbie Anne Buchner, Amanda Stephan, Tricia Goyer, Michelle Lazurek, Lisa Simpkins, Kristin Bridgman, Sally Ann Bruce, Debra Ann Elliott, Corallie Buchanan, Kathleen Kohler, Heather King, Richetta Blackmon

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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 If you would like to share your story with Ruby for Women, please email our Assistant Editor, Amanda Johnson, at Also, please visit our community website at where you can connect with other Christian women. Ruby for Women 2731 W 700 N Columbia City, IN 46725 1



Wash Away the Dance of Time Keith Wallis


The Vaulted Marriage of Time Keith Wallis


No Greater Love by Levi Benkert Book Review from Create with Joy

Dinner is Served: Making Meals for Others Heather King


Budget Corn Casserole Sally Bruce

“I Was Gonna” Gloria Doty


Vexing Hexes Number Puzzle Beth Brubaker


Two Houses and a Basket of Thanksgiving Elizabeth Baker


There’s a Chill in the Air and Chili in the Pot Dorothy Kurchak


Footprints in the Mud: Ten Tips for Self-Motivation Beth Brubaker


Craft-a-Day by Sarah Goldschadt Book review from Create with Joy


At the Feet of Jesus by Joanna Weaver Book review by Loni Vanderstel

This is Not Their Moment Keith Wallis


Do You Want to Go Back to Egypt? Corallie Thornton

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Autumn Crafts from Around the Blogosphere Vintage Mama Thanksgiving’s Meaning Connie Arnold


Thanksgiving Word Search


Faith Notes Richetta Blackmon


Ask Beth Beth Brubaker







Offer to God a Sacrifice of Praise Christena Hammes

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The List Gloria Doty


The Shepherd’s Call Debbie Anne Buchner


Empty Promises by Pete Wilson Book review from Create with Joy


Interrupted Sharon L. Patterson


Kentucky Glamour Kristin Bridgman


Loss or Blessing? Lynn Mosher


Women Empowering Women in Executive Positions Lisa Simpkins


Bittersweet Gloria Doty


In Shape for the Holidays Word Puzzle Answer Key Beth Brubaker


Vexing Hexes Number Puzzle Answer Key Beth Brubaker


Gilded Wings by Amy Lignor


Meet the Ruby Writers


Credits and Copyrights



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Gentleman’s Fancy Quilt Block #14 Laura Brandt Learning to Live Again: Rejoicing Debra Elliott Feast of the Year Angela Blake-Morris

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Thanksgiving Recipes Lynn Mosher Decorating for a Fall-Themed Wedding Carin LeRoy Psalm 27:14

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Ruby for Women We want to hear your story, because God has given a voice to every Christian woman.

Let us welcome you into our community of Christian women! * Daily inspirational posts * Featured bloggers * FREE monthly online magazine * Community groups and forums * Crafts, recipes, poetry, and stories

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Digging Ditches by Nina Newton, Sr. Editor

The condition of our soil makes a difference in the outcome of what we produce. We need to prepare well and then we will have abundant fruit. To prepare sometimes you have to plow the ground under, burn last year’s stubbles left over. God will not sow seeds on a field that is not prepared, it’s a waste of seed. If we do our part God will do His part. by Wayne Corderio Some days it feels like I’m just digging ditches, all day long, day after day, week after week, and it rarely seems as if I’m making any progress. Do you ever feel like that? Especially for those of us who are moms, we get up every day and frequently do the same stuff, over and over, and nothing ever seems to change. Why bother to make the bed when we’re just going to lie down again tonight and mess it up again? Why waste my time sweeping the floor when I know that as soon as one of the kids walks in the door, there will be a trail of “stuff” from one end of the house to the other? Why wash the dishes at all? Why not just pull whatever we need out of the sink, rinse it off, and use our dishes like that? For that matter, why bother taking a shower when by tomorrow I’ll need to wash my face and brush my teeth again . . . . let’s just put it off for another day. And then there’s the laundry. I’m thinking just let them wear dirty clothes and underwear, or else go without, because I can’t be bothered to keep washing the same clothes day after day, week after week, forever, and ever, and ever.

That’s why I sometimes feel like I’m digging a ditch that will never be finished. I suppose that is the way it is with our lives, when God gently guides us along the pathway and we keep doing dumb stuff. So, He starts all over again, and patiently walks beside us, carrying us when we are too weak to go on, and then one more time, we do something that is not helpful. Sooner or later, kind of like mama who says, “Fine, if you can’t pick up your clothes, you can go to school bare naked!” God occasionally needs to tap us on the shoulder while we are down in one of our ditches and turn things upside down before we come to realize what is going on. The smart thing to do at that point is to recognize that sometimes God does need to “plow the ground under, (and) burn last year’s stubbles” so we can be receptive to what He has planned for us this year. I know it is hard to see the horizon when we are down in a ditch, but if we but lift our eyes to our Ever Loving Heavenly Father, He will show us the way that we might do our part, so that He can do His part. Just keep digging until He gives you another job to do, because where you are serving right now is a place of blessing. Prepare your heart so that the seeds He wants to plant in your life will grow the beautiful fruit He has planned for you. So go ahead and do the dishes, even if they are going to be piled high in your kitchen sink later today. He is preparing you for the next step on your journey, so be ready for tomorrow …. but don’t miss today along the way. 5

When Venting Becomes More Than Blowing Off Steam by Amanda Johnson

Venting; we all do it. We gather around the copy machine at work, call a friend, send a text, and even post a message online in an effort to voice opinions and get things off our chest. But what happens when venting becomes more than blowing off steam? Sure, there are times when life puts us on edge or even threatens to push us over. There are even times when it's the people we come in contact with in life that are the ones doing the pushing. Our instincts, when we've been verbally wounded or feel we've been wronged, are to run to the nearest ear and rehash the entire predicament (in our own words, of course). We're frustrated, hurt, angry, and even sad and we're desperate for a "I know how you feel" or a "oh, you poor thing." But venting, as we've come to call it, is a careless past time. For one thing, we are in such a hurry to retell the story and gain the sympathy of others, that we don't use good judgment in who we tell. Instead of seeking a close friend or confidant for a true word of encouragement or help, we blab to whoever will listen.

And guess what? If that person is willing to listen, then that person is most likely willing to re-tell and it may or may not be retold the same way. Most importantly, venting is almost always guaranteed to become much more than letting off steam. Venting is not simply releasing the build up inside; it's blowing the top off the entire volcano. And, like a volcano, it doesn't simply blow and then quit. Instead it spews for hours, days, and sometimes years. When the volcano does erupt, the lava spills out covering everything in its path and even after it's cooled, the black presence is everywhere. It's the same with the stories we tell when we vent. We can't take back the words we say and they will continue to cause hurt and pain for those telling and listening. It's no wonder that Proverbs 29:11 says "A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back." The next time venting seems to be the best option, take a deep breath, and talk it over with the Lord. Tell Him about the situation and ask His direction. He may send a friend to offer words of advice and encouragement, but let that be His call.


A Prayer in November by Sharon L. Patterson “O Lord, my loving Father and almighty Savior, bring me once again into the glory of your presence; make my feet to walk steady and straight in your way for there is no other way that leads to righteousness. So many times you have enlarged my tent; now, I ask you to continue to lengthen my cords and make my gates wider. draw my attention daily in the direction of your heart. Let me rest where your peace remains; let me move at the still small voice of your command. fill my mouth with words of truth spoken in love that are of eternal magnitude. And as I grow in your ways; when I stand still, transfixed in your love and holiness then, O Lord, may I walk among others, sharing and truly caring for their earthly walk and eternal success. May I give without expecting and always, O God, leave a portion of your heart, a sign of your life. Oh Jesus, make me a minister, a servant, a disciple; keep me as a little child in innocence, a lion in faith, and a faithful soldier in prayer. Amen 7

Apple Harvest Cake from the kitchen of Lynn Mosher Spicy, sweet and warm right out of the oven, this delicious cake is full of autumn harvest apples and walnuts. The smells of autumn will fill your kitchen, too, when you make the Apple Harvest Cake. Cake: * 1 ¼ c. all purpose or unbleached flour

* 1 t. salt

* 1 c. whole wheat flour

* ¾ c. vegetable oil

* 1 c. granulated sugar

* 3 eggs

* ¾ c. firmly packed brown sugar

* 1 t. vanilla

* 1 T. ground cinnamon

* 2 c. finely chopped and pared apples (approximately 2 large)

* 2 t. baking powder * 1 c. chopped walnuts or pecans * ½ t. baking soda Glaze: * ½ c. powdered sugar * 2 t. milk

For top of cake: * Apple slices * Walnut or pecan halves

* ¼ t. vanilla 1. Generously grease a 10 inch angel food cake (tube) pan or a 12 cup fluted tube pan with butter; sprinkle with flour. Tap out excess. 2. Stir flours, sugars, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and baking soda until well blended in a large bowl. 3. Add oil, eggs, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in apples and nuts. Do not use mixer. Pour into pan. 4. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Loosen around edge and tube with knife. Invert onto wire rack and cool completely. 5. For glaze: combine powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Beat with a fork until smooth. 6. Place cake on serving plate. Spoon glaze over cake and allow to run down the sides. 7. Garnish the top with alternating thin, half slices of apple and nut halves. 8

Do You Worry? by Taylor Devine That is a silly question to ask. Of course you worry. We’re women; it’s imbedded into our DNA. (Sorry men, I can’t vouch for you…I don’t know if you worry. But, if you do, this article is meant for you too. If you don’t worry, don’t stop reading.) It’s okay to worry, right? Some of you may be thinking “Of course it’s not okay to worry; it causes stress, and wrinkles and gray hair…” I say that it’s great to worry! Now, before you stop reading this saying, “This girl does not know what she’s talking about, she must not worry.” HA. I worry. Of course I worry. I’m the queen’s servant of worry -I worry for the queen AND myself. Last night I spent so much time with God He probably got tired of me expressing my concern for my future. You see, I graduate in May - a year earlier than I’m supposed to. While this is a huge achievement, and something I’ve been looking forward too for a LONG time, I am scared to death about life after a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Obviously, the next step would be to get a master’s degree, but where? These are the questions I ponder. During this time with God, He kept laying Jeremiah 29:11 on my heart, one of my favorite verses. But, as stubborn Taylor would do, I wouldn’t listen. I kept saying to God “Yes, I know you have a future for me, but WHERE is my future?”

I wanted answers, and I wanted them NOW. I’m sure God was throwing His hands up in exasperation wanting to throw a lightning bolt down on me and say “Now, listen here you hard-headed child of Mine…” but, God is too loving to do any of that, thankfully. As God would have it, He had something much different in mind for me when I woke up. I’ve been reading the Jesus Calling devotional by Sarah Young. Boy was I in for a treat when I opened up the page to “September 30:” I am perpetually with you, taking care of you. That is the most important fact of your existence. I am not limited by time or space; My Presence with you is a forever-promise. When you make that quantum leap into eternity, you will find Me awaiting you in heaven. Your future is in My hands; I release it to you day by day, moment by moment. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow. I want you to live this day abundantly, seeing all there is to see, doing all there is to do. Don’t be distracted by future concerns. Leave them to Me! Each day of life is a glorious gift, but so few people know how to live within the confines of today. Much of their energy for abundant living spills over the time line into tomorrow’s worries or past regrets. Their remaining energy is sufficient only for limping through the day, not for living it to the full. I am training you to keep your focus on My Presence in the present. This is how to receive abundant Life, which flows freely from My throne of grace. 9

The word “perpetually” in Hebrew means “without interruption.” God’s eyes and heart are on us perpetually (2 Chronicles 7:16b). So, when you can’t hear God’s voice, who is doing the interrupting? You. Instead of worrying about tomorrow, what we will do, where we will go, what we will say. Let’s focus on TODAY and on being the soldiers we need to be, for our Commander, our Lieutenant, our Father.

To clarify the idea of “worry,” think instead of being “concerned”. When we worry, we try and do God’s job; we need to be CONCERNED about how our light shines, and in what way we’re portraying Christ. God will provide for the future, He’s got it all planned out. Trust Him for the future, focus on what He has equipped you with to do today. We need to plant the seed, so that someone else can water it, and God can grow it. (1 Corinthians 3:6)

Hey y’all! My name is Taylor. I live on a ranch in the middle of nowhere but I absolutely love it! Riding horses, working cattle, working with horses, reading, writing, running, and cooking are my passions. A mantra of mine is "Fearlessness." Never be afraid to stand up for what you believe in, what you're passionate about, and what you know you have been equipped by the Holy Spirit to do. When you are waiting on God to open another door, praise Him in the hallway. Follow me on twitter: www.twitter.come/tndevine

You are invited to join us every week for

Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy This is a great opportunity for you to connect with other women who share your passion for creativity and inspiration! Please join us for Inspire Me Monday 10

Make These

Pretty Little Pumpkins to Decorate your Home This Autumn! by mamas*little*treasures Since I have been refashioning and embellishing sweaters for a couple of years now to sell in my Etsy shop, these sweet little pumpkins seemed like the perfect project to decorate our home for autumn. Probably the best way to make this kind of craft project would be to use the pumpkins that you can buy at Hobby Lobby or even the Dollar Store, but since we already had a few real pumpkins on our porch that were just the right size, I decided to experiment with them. Of course, this batch of pretty pumpkins won’t last until next year, but I just had to see if I could use some of the sweater scraps that I’ve got stashed in my sewing room, and there just wasn’t time in my schedule to run into town to Hobby Lobby. Since there were several shades of orange in my stash, I decided to go with the peachy orange solid color sweater, along with a striped sweater fabric in autumn shades, and an ivory fabric with tiny gold flecks. That way I could embellish them all with gold and green wired ribbon, and a little sparkly butterfly that I spray painted gold and sprinkled with gold glitter. Now that I’ve figured out how to make these Pretty Pumpkins, I just might buy up a bunch of the plastic (or whatever they’re made of) pumpkins at the craft store next time I’m in town and save them for next year. This would be a perfect project to do with kids, because it is so simple, inexpensive, and it’s almost impossible to make a mistake! These sweet pretty little pumpkins would be perfect on the mantle, as a table top display, or even along the top of your kitchen cupboards if you have a little shelf up there for pretty stuff.


What you need: * Several small pumpkins, either real or “pretend” from the local craft store * Sweater fabric scraps or old sweaters that you can cut up * Various ribbons and other embellishments including wired ribbon for the stems * Hot glue gun

Let’s make it! Step #1: Choose one small pumpkin and slide it into the sleeve of an old sweater just until the pumpkin is completely covered, leaving the bottom of the pumpkin showing through the opening in the cuff of the sweater sleeve. This will make a flat bottom so your pumpkin will sit straight on a table. Step #2: Cut off the sweater sleeve just above the stem of the pumpkin. Step #3: Wrap wired ribbon around the stem, enclosing the excess sweater fabric. Using the hot glue gun, securely glue the end of the ribbon so that it stays in place. Then place a drop of glue at the top of the pumpkin stem and close up the ribbon. Step #4: Embellish your pretty little pumpkin with glittery ribbon, vintage buttons, lace, yarn, or charms. For our pretty little pumpkins, we wrapped the stems with gold and green glittery wired ribbon on two of them, and a burlap wired ribbon on the other one. Then, we cut the gold and green ribbon into diamond-shaped designs to use as leaves. We tied a length of both ribbons around one of the stems and just bent and shaped the ribbon to resemble leaves. Then, by cutting one length of the green wired ribbon the long way, we were able to wrap the ribbon around a pencil to create winding “tendrils” for one of our pumpkins. Finally, we added a little fabric and wire butterfly that we had sprayed with gold paint and sprinkled with gold glitter to one of the pumpkins (we bought the butterflies from the Dollar Store, three for $1.00). A vintage button was added to one of the pumpkins for a little old-fashioned charm. We arranged our three pretty little pumpkins on our mantle on a gold tone silky cloth, with glittered leaves from our front yard scattered all around. Very pretty right next to the candle we made last week with the rest of the leaves! For more fun craft projects and creative tutorials, please visit my blog at mamas*little*treasures 12

Reflecting God’s Glory, One Dollar at a Time by Michelle S. Lazurek I made a quick trip to Walmart to grab extra food and household supplies before picking up my children from school. As I drove my car around the back entrance to exit the parking lot, a burly, white haired man stood in the middle of the median separating the incoming from the outgoing cars. He certainly looked like a homeless man, his dingy clothes clearly tattered, his beard messy and unclean. He said nothing but only held up a sign. The sign said, “Homeless and hungry. Donations appreciated.” As soon as my eyes met his, a flood of emotions washed through my body. Fear and pity gripped me. I felt torn as to how to respond to this man. Should I give him money? If so, how much? What if he is merely pretending to be homeless? I remembered my husband telling me a story of when he worked at a local fast food restaurant. He said a group of men, similar in appearance to this man, would come in and stand in line for food, counting out the wad of one dollar bills they had collected from their day out on the streets. They bragged to each other about who had collected the most money that day and laughed at all the fools that believed their sad story. I didn’t want to be one of those people, I thought to myself. But what if this was an opportunity to show God’s love? Isaiah 58:9-11(NIV) says, “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”

As I drove away I glanced at my rear view mirror. I watched as the once strong-looking man appeared desperate as he stumbled aimlessly towards it, desperately trying to catch it. I realized this man was not scamming me, but just wanted a chance to meet his basic needs. My cynicism quickly turned to shame. 13

While I waited at the stoplight, others in front of me handed the man a bill, so I decided I would as well. As a Christian, God asks me to help the poor, regardless of their response to it. When the light turned green, I moved slowly, rolled down my window and held out my hand. I held it in such a way that I wouldn’t have to touch him, as I always fear for my safety. I opened my hand and placed the dollar bill in his hand. He clasped his hand around mine in an attempt to grab the cash, but I got scared and let the money go. The bill floated into the air, landing a few feet away from his post. As I drove away I glanced at my rear view mirror. I watched as the once strong-looking man appeared desperate as he stumbled aimlessly towards it, desperately trying to catch it. I realized this man was not scamming me, but just wanted a chance to meet his basic needs. My cynicism quickly turned to shame. That day I realized I am a conduit for God’s love, something not to be feared but embraced. Every day I go out into the world, God puts people in my path that need God’s glory to shine in their lives. I understood that, as a Christian, I need to choose to bring life and not death to all those I meet (Deuteronomy 30:19 NIV).

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 ( Michelle’s book Becoming the Disciple Whom Jesus Loved: Discover Your Character In God’s Love Story (Winepress Publishing, October, 2011) invites readers to engage with the story God is writing for their lives and discover their role as a character in that story. The book also asks the reader “What’s Your Story?” and provides thought provoking questions at the end of each chapter to allow readers to interact with the material. The book is available on her website , and . You can follow her on Facebook: or Twitter. 14

Join in the celebration! “Faith Has a Voice” CD / Album Release Party Featuring songwriters Rob Hammes and Benjamin Mosier

November 10, 2012 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. Come dance and praise to anointed contemporary Christian worship music! Life Church and Training Center 5895 E Thompson Rd Indianapolis, 46237 317 786-5460 FREE admission, for all ages! For more information, please visit the website at or


Don’t miss the

“Gobble, Gobble Giveaway” at Katherine’s Corner! November 2 - November 30th

Prizes: * Turkey figurine * Autumn colors necklace * Autumn craft ribbon and pumpkin decoration * Metal napkin holder and napkins Everyone is welcome to participate! Just stop by and visit Katherine’s Corner and join in the fun of the “Gobble, Gobble Giveaway”

In Shape for the Holidays Word Puzzle by Beth Brubaker

Answer key on page 94. 16

God’s Creations by Rosann Cunningham

God's creatures are all around us. One of the things my children have loved about living in Western PA is the abundance of wildlife that is always presenting itself for their enjoyment. Since moving here, God has shown us the beauty of His creation in many ways. A few examples worth noting: * We watched baby rabbits grow in their ground nest in our backyard. * We stopped our car while driving down the road so that a very large turtle could cross the street. * We watched a family of four deer cross the road during an evening snow storm. * Groundhogs seem to be all over the place lately. * Last year the girls chased butterflies all throughout our backyard. * Summer fireflies were also a big hit last year. And more recently, the discovery of a robin's nest in a low tree at Grandma's house! So the past few weeks, whenever we've visited my in-laws, the girls have eagerly rushed over to the tree with the nest to see if the baby birds have hatched. We've watched the birds gathering worms and taking them back to the nest.

The girls have been so excited when they've watched this process and were even more thrilled to discover the babies had hatched, when they saw a little black head and beak peeking up over the edge of the nest. Here are some surprising facts about robins: It has been very interesting to learn about robins and watch their behaviors without completely invading their space or comfort zone. What I've found most interesting is the maternal and paternal instinct the mother and father robin have whenever we've gone near their baby's nest. In fact, during a recent visit one of the adult birds actually flew down, as if it was in attack mode, right at my mother in law's head while she was moving a branch aside so the girls could have a better view of the nest. Luckily she moved out of the way just in time. But I thought it was so cool that even a bird, which has little chance of protecting itself from a human, would be willing to take on this rather large "predator" in the interest of protecting its young. Just the other day, we checked on the nest again and suddenly birds started flying everywhere from every direction! We must have inadvertently startled them, because even the babies flew out of the nest, one landing on top of a car in the nearby driveway.


“Fascinating is the power of a parents love for their children, regardless of what species they happen to be.”

It was at that moment when we decided it was time to leave them alone going forward. But we still watched as the robin parents communicated with the babies, directing them to a safe place. One of them even flew on its own back into the nest. Amazing are God's creatures! Fascinating is the power of a parents love for their children, regardless of what species they happen to be. It's a love that says, "I would give my life to protect yours." It's a love that is nurturing, a love that teaches, a love that is displayed through actions and communication, and a love that never ends. Isn't that just like God to create everything out of love and filled with love? “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Why are you not much more valuable than they?” ~ Matthew 6:25-26 I can't help but use this as an opportunity to teach my children the beauty of God's creation, the miracle of life, and to show them that like the mother and father robin who are caring for their babies, God loves us, guides us, teaches us, and protects us in all ways and according to His great purpose. In what ways have you used nature to teach your children about God's love? ~Until next time, may God bless you with the beauty of His magnificent creation! Images used by permission, Dreamstime: Dreamstimefree 5265777 800x533 300x199 Gods Creations © Jaime Brum | Dreamstimefree 967823 800x654 300x245 Gods Creations © Barbara Pritchard |

Visit Tricia on her blog, It’s Real Life, for more information about her books. 18

More Family Favorite Autumn Recipes from the kitchen of Lynn Mosher

Cranberry Salad There are no measurements for this Thanksgiving favorite. Just add as much of each ingredient as you like! What you need: * Whole berry cranberry sauce * Finely chopped apples * Mandarin orange slices * Chopped pecans Mix all ingredients together in your prettiest serving bowl and enjoy this delightful salad with your Thanksgiving dinner.

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Pumpkin Cookies What you need: * 2 cups butter, softened * 2 cups granulated sugar * 2 teaspoons baking powder * 2 teaspoons baking soda * 1 teaspoon salt * 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon * 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg * 2 eggs * 2 teaspoons vanilla * 1 15-ounce can pumpkin * 4 cups all-purpose flour * ½ cup butter * ½ cup packed brown sugar * ¼ cup milk * 1 teaspoon vanilla * 2 ¾ cups powdered sugar * Ground cinnamon (optional)

Let’s make it! 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat 2 cups butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Add eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla; beat until combined. Beat in pumpkin. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. 2. Drop dough by heaping teaspoons 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until tops are set. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool. 3. In a small saucepan, heat 1/2 cup butter and brown sugar until melted and smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in powdered sugar until smooth. Spread frosting on cookies. If desired, sprinkle with additional cinnamon. Makes about 60 cookies. 19

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And God Sent the Dragonflies by Elsie (Mimi) Spurlock, Bruce Hinton & Mary Hinton “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD” Isaiah 55:8 In the cold, sterile room at the hospital, where we were quickly ushered the night of July 11, 2008, the piercing words of the Physician’s Assistant sliced through the very core of my being: “We did everything we could…so very sorry….take you in to see him…toxicology report…was drinking…traveling at high rate of speed on the motorcycle…lost control.” Oh, Father God, please let this be a dream. Please wake me up so I can walk down the hall, into Dane’s room, and find him sleeping peacefully. I don’t like this dream, Lord. I wasn’t dreaming. My first-born grandson was lying on a bed in that hospital. No doctor would be able to bring him back to us. In the days and months following Dane’s death, I would come to realize the generosity of a God who sends comfort to one of His hurting children. I would learn He had hand-picked a man and his wife to be by Dane’s side as he lay wounded and dying. I would marvel as He sent dragonflies as a sign that Dane was with Him and all was well. Bruce and Mary, co-authors of this book, were the strangers who stopped and knelt at Dane’s side. Each has heart-wrenching and heart-warming stories as to what God has done in their lives, before and after July 11, 2008. More than anything, this book is about a loving God who asks us to believe Him when He whispers to us that all is well when our grieving heart belies that truth. For more information about And God Sent the Dragonflies, or to order your copy, please visit the following websites:


Rust and Tide

While rust and tide invade and salty mist encamps, I may decay, or age, upon their onslaught. I may display some tremorous shiver, at their grip as their fingered touch seeks bone and sinew beneath wool and cotton unequal to their task. This chill assault may batter my battlements making patterns on my walls with its eroding whispers, may send me beneath my collar seeking shelter. But my heart is safe, my soul is free, as we pound this beach alone just You and me. ~ Keith Wallis


This is Not Their Moment

photo: Polperro, Cornwall.

Asleep, the latent sea at bay beckoned by tide, small boats ride scaffold in the abandonment of waves. This is not their moment. The regal nod and bob a memory, a dream for later, a gift, as yet, unwrapped this day. Exposed, proud repellers of elemental assault, planks at the border-theatre of battle, now mere sentries with time to waste. This is not their moment. The battling kisses of waves peck other cheeks dispassionately, or, in fervent assault, test other craftsmanship. Time has dominion here, not tide, and, in the moments of days, ascendency is ordered by its ebb and flow. ~ by Keith Wallis 22

Do You Want to Go Back to Egypt? by Corallie Thornton I don’t know about you, but in my years of being a follower of Jesus, I have heard endless teachings about the Israelites. I sometimes get sick of hearing the same old lessons, time and time again. You would think that by now we would have learned all we could from their mistakes. Yet every time God brings me to read through their story, He somehow teaches me something completely new. To be honest, I find the Israelites some of the most annoying people in Scripture. Do you want to know why? They complain and complain, and when they are finished complaining about one thing, they start on another. I often wonder if they ever stopped complaining. Do you know what is even more annoying? They remind us of ourselves. I remember thinking how much are the Israelites like us? Do we really complain as much as they did?

Are we really all that bad? Surely we can’t be as bad as they were . . . When looking at yourself, I am sure you can see remnants of the Israelite nature still residing in you, more than you would probably care to admit. However, I recently discovered something new about them that I hadn’t seen before. The reason the Israelites complained so much was because of their misguided understanding of the journey ahead of them. They expected the journey to the Promised Land to be easy, and when it wasn’t, they got the rudest shock of their lives. They thought that once they left Egypt, everything would be sweet. They foolishly believed life would be easier after Egypt. We all know the story. The road to the Promised Land was not easy. In fact, it was very hard. They had battle after battle, kind of like our own lives. However, their journey could have taken a lot less time had they just followed the right directions. 23

The Israelites could see the plan that God had for them, yet they wanted to take the easy road to get there. Let me tell you that the easy road went right back to Egypt.

Attitude was what kept the Israelites in the desert for forty years. Had they just listened to God and had a right attitude from the beginning, the journey would have only lasted eleven days.

Once they realized that the journey to freedom would not be won without a fight, they decided to leg it back to Egypt. Why? Because it was the easiest option.

Yet here they were, forty years later, doing the exact same thing as they had always been doing, going around the same dumb mountain.

Sure, life in Egypt was hard, but at least it was better than wandering out here in the desert, right? Well, not really. You see, while it was difficult in the desert, their Master was kind and generous. He loved them and took care of their every need. However, back in Egypt, they had a master who gave them what they thought they wanted. But in reality, he was a harsh and angry master whose sole purpose was to punish them and use them for his own profit. If you were to ask me directions to get to the Promised Land, and I would show you this sign, what would you do? Now it would be stupid of anybody to turn left at this junction and expect to end up at the Promised Land, when the sign clearly say Egypt.

If you want an easy life, don’t become a Christian. Anyone who has been around long enough will tell you it takes guts to be a true follower of Jesus. I know in my life, I have been knocked about like you would not believe. I went through three parental divorces before the age of seventeen, experienced depression, no father figure, disabled younger brother, social exclusion, suicidal thoughts, negativity, bitterness, lack of self confidence…do you want me to go on? I practically lived in the Israelites camp for the majority of my life. Eventually I got sick of going around the same dumb mountain. While the rest of my family are still making their trip around the mountain, I decided about ten years ago that it was time to stop going around in circles.

Well, the Israelites did. Once they discovered that they were not on the easy road, they wanted to go back.

I was heading for the Promised Land, even if I had to leave most of my family behind (which I eventually did).

Given the choice to take the easy or the hard road, most of us take the easy road. The easy road is full of complaining and bickering, selfishness and self-centeredness.

There were many times I was tempted to leg it back to the mess I came from. Life was too hard as a Christian. I wanted it easy.

We think that by taking the quickest road, it will get us to the Promised Land much quicker, and with a lot less effort. This strategy is set up for inevitable fail. The Christian life calls for hard work and determination, and the journey is NOT easy. If we want to actually make it to the Promised Land, we need to follow the right directions. Not only that, we also need to have a good attitude while we are on our way!

But then I remembered the mess that God saved me from, and it spurred me on. I will ask you the question I asked myself many times…Do you want to go back to Egypt? If not, quit whining and complaining about where God has you. Get a good attitude already; otherwise you will spend the rest of your Christian life wandering around lost in the desert.


If you want the “easy” road, go back to the mess you came from. Go back to Egypt if you think it is so fantastic. For those of you with a little more sense, you will dig your heels in and refuse to be dragged back there. Get some guts in your belly and tell the enemy where to go. Don’t let yourself be misguided by false expectations of the journey ahead of you. The road ahead will be harder, not easier. It is these false misconceptions that lead people to give up their Christian walk. Get your running shoes on, get your good attitude right, dig your heels in, and let’s kick up some dust…we’re heading for the Promised Land!

Full time mother and author, Corallie Buchanan, is a woman who writes from her heart. Over the years, she has shared her heart with magazines such as the Queensland Baptist, Christian Woman, Footprints, Mum to Mum, Captivated, Being Women, the Online Bible College student magazine, Deeper Devotions Student Ministries, as well as several other magazines and ministries. Corallie is the author of Watch Out! Godly Women on the Loose, a book which won her the award of Young Australian Christian Writer of the Year in 2007. She lives with husband David and daughter Esther in Brisbane, Australia.

Bible Girl and the Bad Boy by E.C. Stilson “The book practically cried for me to spare its life, and for a moment I thought I'd rather burn in Hell than lose something my brother had given me in love. The pastor nudged me, though, and my heart turned to ice. I thought of all those hours my brother had read to me. I thought of all that time he'd invested. I couldn't throw it into the fire; not the last book of the trilogy. That funny little dwarf stared at me from the cover. Then, I closed my eyes. I stepped so close to the flames they almost ate my skin. I tore the book in front of those kids. I put on quite a show throwing in a section at a time because I couldn't stand sending the whole thing in at once. When the last pages went up in flame, and the dwarf on the cover curled with death, I dropped to my knees and cried. The kids all hooted and screamed in ecstasy, thinking I'd been freed, when the ropes of religion had just twisted tighter. Surrounded by hypocrites, Elisa's foundation starts crumbling. She doesn't know who to turn to. That's when she meets a mysterious man. But maybe she shouldn't trust him. Will he help her, or make things even worse than they were before? Faced by an uncertain future and surrounded by hypocrites, Elisa feels her foundation crumbling. She doesn't know who to turn to. That's when she meets a mysterious man. But maybe she shouldn't trust him after all. Will he help her, or make things even worse than they were before? Bible Girl and the Bad Boy is now available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 25

The National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs was born out of a passion to connect women who are ready to create, collaborate, and contribute to changing the world. We gather people and ideas together through online content, tele-courses, individual/group coaching and retreats. Our desire is to unite under a common goal of helping one another to succeed and thrive in business. We are blessed to share in a common faith in Jesus Christ and yet know that we might each choose to worship in a different way. The National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs (NACWE) invites you to join our family as a Member!

Join NACWE today! • • •

Get connected to Christian Women Entrepreneurs throughout the United States and Canada for networking, business building, and prayer support Start creating new ideas, plans, programs and products with valuable monthly training calls and webinars Begin collaborating with women who can walk beside you on the journey with love and not competition PLUS, NOW YOU CAN JOIN US FOR JUST $27 a month!!

NACWE Membership & Benefits Membership is open to women entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others who have to desire to launch their entrepreneurial venture. We also serve women business owners who are ready to add new marketing success tools, gain access to other like-minded women through networking, and increase their online presence.

Claim your FREE copy of 10 Marketing Secrets to help you Generate Leads, Increase Revenue, and Build a thriving community! 26

No Greater Love by Levi Benkert Book Review from Create with Joy Have you ever received a phone call that forever changed your life? Former real estate developer Levi Benkert has. During a period when his business was failing and he faced an uncertain future, Levi received an urgent call from Steve, a former family friend turned pastor. “I just found out a few guys I know are heading to Ethiopia to help with an orphanage project and was wondering if you’d want to join them.” “Sounds like fun,” I said, trying to humor him. “No really.” He almost pleaded. “You’ve got to hear this. There’s a rural tribe that are killing their children because of some superstition . . . ” “There are more children . . . who are going to be killed if someone doesn’t rescue them . . . Will you go, Levi? Will you help?” No Greater Love – One Man’s Radical Journey Through The Heart Of Ethiopia by Levi Benkert and Candy Chand is the riveting story of a man who risks everything to save children who are destined to die by their own parents’ hands because they are “Mingi”. Mingi means “unclean” or “cursed”. In certain Ethiopian tribes, elders can declare children Mingi for reasons such as these: • • •

The child’s parents are not married. The child’s top teeth come in before their bottom teeth. The parents do not announce to the elders they are planning to conceive in an elaborate ritual ceremony.

Once a child is pronounced Mingi, the parents must kill their child to protect themselves and the tribe from evil spirits. As many as one thousand Ethiopian children a year die as a result of Mingi sacrifices. • • • • • •

Do Mingi children ever survive? What happens when a Mingi child is rescued? How do tribal parents feel about Mingi? What happens when parents and Mingi survivors meet? What is the Ethiopian government doing to protect Mingi children? How can I help?

You’ll learn the answers to these questions and more in this amazing story!


No Greater Love is one of the most compelling books I have read this year. The story is both hope-filled and heart-breaking. Although the author begins the book by acknowledging that the ending isn’t what he envisioned as he began his journey, the outcome is very true to life. I look forward to reading more about Levi’s new adventures as he and his family embrace their new role in the lives of the Ethiopians – one that is part of God’s larger redemptive plan.

Levi Benkert

is a former California real estate developer who moved to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with his wife Jessie and his four children to create a better life for orphaned Ethiopian children. He formed a community called Bring Love In that helps create families made up of orphans and widows within the local Christian church community. Levi is passionate about his family, orphan care, and writing. For more information: Visit Bring Love In Follow @BringLoveIn on Twitter Follow Levi’s Personal Website Follow @LeviBenkert on Twitter

The Deception of Pride My name is Pride. I am a cheater. I cheat you of your God-given destiny - because you demand your own way. I cheat you of contentment - because you deserve better than this. I cheat you of Knowledge - because you already know it all. I cheat you of healing - because you're too full of me to forgive. I cheat you of holiness - because you refuse to admit when you're wrong. I cheat you of vision - because you'd rather look in the mirror instead of out a window. I cheat you of a genuine friendship - because nobody is going to know the real you. I cheat you of love - because real romance demands sacrifice. I cheat you of greatness in heaven - because you refuse to wash another's feet on earth. I cheat you of God's glory - because I convince you to seek your own. My name is Pride. I am a cheater. You like me because you think I'm always looking out for you. Untrue - I'm looking to make a fool of you. God has so much for you, I admit, but don't worry.... If you stick with me, you'll never know. ~ Author unknown In his pride the wicked does not seek Him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. Psalm 10:4



Sharmelle’s Graphic Haven in the Ruby for Women community! All of us here at Ruby for Women are delighted to welcome Sharmelle “Shar” to the neighborhood. She creates beautiful images for websites and blogs and offers them to our members free of charge.

Please visit Sharmelle’s Graphic Haven Haven in the Ruby for Women community to see all of her beautiful designs.


‘Cause Angels Can’t Sing by Elizabeth Baker 10 Booklets and 10 Gift Envelopes for only $20 Looking for the perfect group gift at a price you can afford? 'Cause Angels Can't Sing, may be the solution! These 38 pages of holiday fiction will make even the Grinch smile as the true meaning of Christmas unfolds in modern settings with characters you can believe. Teachers and co-workers, the clerk you've been praying for and members of your Bible study group will all appreciate this thoughtful remembrance that is more than a card. View the product, read the stories and order in time for the holidays by visiting As a bonus, you can receive a $5 discount by entering the code HoHoHo at checkout!

Try this frugal family recipe for your Thanksgiving dinner!

Budget Corn Casserole from the kitchen of Sally Bruce What you need: * 1 can (15 ½ ounces) whole kernel corn, undrained * 1 can (15 ounces) cream-style corn * 1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni * 1 cup (4 ounces) diced processed American cheese (Velveeta) * ½ cup butter, melted * 1 Tbsp. finely chopped onion Let’s make it! In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Pour into an ungreased 2-qt. baking dish. Cover and bake at 350° for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 30 minutes longer. Yield: 10 servings. 30

Autumn Crafts from Around the Blogosphere Here at Ruby for Women we are always looking for new craft ideas and creative projects to share with you. You are invited to submit your latest crafting adventure ideas with us! All you have to do is send an email to our assistant editor, Amanda Johnson, at and let us know you have a craft article or tutorial to share with us. That’s it! We’ll take it from there and include your submission in an upcoming issue of the Ruby for Women magazine. Every month Vintage Mama takes a little journey through the craft blogs and websites from all over the blogosphere and brings together some of the best crafty ideas to share with you. This month we have some very clever ideas for autumn home décor to get your home decorated for your Thanksgiving celebration. All images are from the websites or blogs where the original posts were found, and we have linked back to every tutorial so you can try your hand at a new creative adventure this autumn. We would love to see pictures of your finished craft projects, so be sure to email us and tell us all about it! One of the best websites we’ve found is Holiday Crafts and Creations where we discovered these sweet little Patchwork Pumpkins. With a few scraps of ribbon and fabric, and some buttons or beads, you can turn ordinary pumpkins into these whimsical, charming centerpieces, perfect for your Thanksgiving table. They would also look adorable as a mantle display or lined up on a sunny windowsill! Another creative Thanksgiving craft project from Holiday Crafts and Creations at is this “Thankful” Felt Garland. With a bright autumn color scheme, this beautiful banner will add a splash of Thanksgiving color to your home. It would be perfect over your fireplace mantle, draped over a large picture or mirror, or as the focal point above a collection of autumn decorations as shown in this image from Holiday Crafts and Creations at 31

This “Harvest” banner will add a touch of Thanksgiving charm to your home this autumn. Using simple embroidery stitches that are easy to learn, this banner is also embellished with cute leaf-shaped buttons, and hangs by a matching ribbon. This adorable banner would be perfect for hanging on your door, in your entry, over a mantle or just about anywhere in your home where you want to display a bit of Thanksgiving cheer. You can find all the instructions for this and the above mentioned Thanksgiving craft projects at the Holiday Crafts and Creations website at Be sure to visit them often for more creative ideas for every season of the year! There are so many amazing crafters and bloggers out here, and we hope to share many more of them with you in upcoming issues of the Ruby for Women magazine. If you are looking for more creative craft ideas for Thanksgiving, be sure to search for “autumn crafts,” “Thanksgiving crafts,” or even “pumpkin crafts” and you’ll find hundreds of ideas for making crafts for everyone in your family, from the tiniest tots to Grandma and Grandpa! This pumpkin candleholder centerpiece is simple yet elegant, and so easy to make! We discovered the tutorial for this charming and creative Thanksgiving craft project on Examiner at where you can find articles on every topic you can imagine. If you are looking for a craft project to do with the kids, this is it! Not only is it simple, but it is made from kid-friendly materials and little fingers can help arrange the silk foliage around the candle and tuck it all down in the opening in the top of the pumpkin, around the scented candle in the center. You might want to make several, in different sizes, to display on your mantle, on your dining room table, or on a window ledge. And finally, we discovered this Heritage Memories Shadowbox project on the Better Homes and Gardens website at where you can find an endless selection of creative craft projects, home décor ideas, sewing, quilting, and scrapbooking idea. Although this particular craft project is not specifically for Thanksgiving, it might be something you would want to begin to think about creating for someone special in your family for Christmas. It would make a wonderful gift for mom or grandma, or even for dad or grandpa, using vintage pictures and memorabilia that have been stored away in the attic or in an old shoe box somewhere. Complete instructions for this Heritage Memories Shadowbox craft are available at Better Homes and Gardens at 32

Thanksgiving’s Meaning by Connie Arnold

Thanksgiving isn’t just about eating or about families happily meeting; not just about turkey and pumpkin pie, or deciding whether to drive or fly. It’s not just about gravy and dressing, but also for thankfulness, counting each blessing. Getting together is a special reason, but there is much more to the Thanksgiving season. It’s a time to give thanks with hearts full of love for the bountiful gifts that come from above, to offer gratitude, worship and praise to the Giver of all things and all of our days.



Faith Notes from Richetta Blackmon The Sixth Sense: Faith Today’s verse is short and to the point! It is from 2 Corinthians 5: “We live by faith, not by sight”! As a Christian I have to remember that I cannot depend on the carnal things of the world. When I approach a situation it is detrimental that I see it through the lens of Faith. By faith all things are possible. So if all things are possible, why consider what you see? The five senses are how we interact with the earthly world. We discover through seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching. The bible has scriptures that talk about each of these senses: SeeingIsaiah 5:21 “Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” HearingHebrews 5:11 “Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing”. SmellingPhilippians 4:18 “But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God”. TastingPsalms 34:8 “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” TouchingMark 5:28 “For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.” There are many, many verses that reference the five senses but I choose these because they all pertain to trusting and believing in God. It shows what reward comes from faith and what curses come from lack of faith. So I would like to introduce the Sixth Sense: Faith. Faith will allow us to see, smell, taste and touch what is of the Lord. If that sense is in check then you will discover a world that is not of this word but of God. Tap in to you Sixth Sense and see your life changed, burdens removed, yokes broken and miracles happen. Visit In the Living Word and join the “31 Days of Faith” series: 35

Ask Beth by Beth Brubaker

Dear Beth, I'm sentimental and have a hard time throwing away old cards and gift wrap. I really don't want to toss the cards away (some of them are just too cute, or have personal notes written in them), and the gift wrap is big enough to reuse - but I always forget to use it until after I'm done wrapping! Do you have any suggestions?


Dear Senti-Mental, You can make some awesome scrapbooks! Go through your cards and cut out all the things you want to keep - the cute characters, pictures of Christmas trees, presents, or snowmen, and use special fancy-edged scissors to cut around the notes inside. Get creative! If you like the borders of a card, cut out the inside of the border and use it as a 'frame' for your pictures! Put all your cut-out treasures in a sandwich bag, and use them whenever you need a little embellishment on a page. But what do you do with the gift wrap? If it's big enough, turn them into custom background pages! All you have to do is smooth out the folds and glue them to a scrapbook page blank or to an index weight paper. Smear the glue thinly all over the page to prevent puckering, and you now have something special for your pictures! Not only will this clear up your sentimental clutter, but you'll wind up with a keepsake that will be handed down through the years - and make a great conversation piece when the family comes over!

Happy Scrapping! Beth


Offer to God a Sacrifice of Praise by Christena Hammes “Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name.” Hebrews 13:15 (Amplified) Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice, an official sacrifice prescribed by God; hence an offering the Lord accepts because offered on His terms. #2378 Greek: of praise a thank-offering, A. V. 'sacrifice of praise, presented to God for some benefit received #133 That is, the fruit is “praises,” which are presented to God as a thank-offering. #2590 Of lips that confess agree or "confess”; to profess (confess) because in full agreement; to align with (endorse). #3670 His name the manifestation or revelation of someone's character, i.e. as distinguishing them from all others. Thus "praying in the name of Christ" means to pray as directed (authorized) by Him, bringing revelation that flows out of being in His presence. "Praying in Jesus' name" therefore is not a "religious formula" just to end prayers (or get what we want)! #3686) (NIV with Greek word studies added in) By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. (King James) I find myself looking at the words – constantly and continually. One definition of constantly is continually occurring; persistent. One definition of continually is - recurring regularly or frequently So I am seeing that our (my) ‘sacrifice of praise’ should be frequent and persistent (refusing to give up or let go; persevering obstinately) And since it is ‘the fruit of our lips’ I should be audible with my praise and in the Greek, “praise” is a thank-offering. I confess His name which means I need a revelation of His Name(s) so I can know His character. So let me put Hebrews 13:15 in Christena’s version for my life today: In Jesus’ Name, I, Christena, will not let anything keep me from offering up praises with my mouth to the Lord. I will open my mouth and speak of His greatness. I say He is the Lord of my life! No matter what I may be going through – be it a daughter that has walked away from her family; loss of a close friend; an unexpected bill; a lie spoken about me; a negative report from a doctor – or things that are positive – a prodigal returns; a new friend is made; the bill is covered; truth prevails; body is healed ------I will give praise, I will give thanks through all of this, knowing He is my Yahweh Jireh (God will provide); Yahweh Shalom (Lord of peace); Jehovah Rapha (Healer) – and the list goes on. 37

It took me awhile to realize the power of praise and thanksgiving. Once you get a revelation of who God is you begin to praise and thank Him constantly and at all times because you know His Word is Truth, God does not lie. I challenge you to get your Bible out and begin to do a study the names of God. Use or to help you look up the Greek or Hebrew meanings of His Name. As you do this, begin to praise and thank Him for being your Healer, Peace, Provider… will find yourself going through your day and your spirit will recognize a Name of God you have learned and out of your mouth will come – “I thank and praise You Father, I needed peace and You are Yahweh Shalom!” Don’t feel intimidated with the Greek or Hebrew pronunciation , praise Him in your language - tell Him how awesome He is and that He is the Lord of your life, He is your Healer, Provider, Redeemer, Father and Protector. Give Him a sacrifice of praise for the strength He gives you to get through each day; for the hope you have in your prodigal returning; for the promise of healing and how our body is obeying it’s maker right now and all sickness is leaving; for being the peace that you needed in a time of test and trail. If you have been having trouble in this area, ask yourself: “Am I really walking with the Lord or am I saying….well, I went to church today, now it’s up to God to blah, blah, blah, so I’ll just kick back this week and watch some TV, play some games, check out my neighbors wife/husband…….God expects us to know Him and obey Him; He is not Santa Claus or a magical fairy. So if you are tired of being in the same place day in and day out – if you are doing the same thing over and over, don’t expect different results – you either believe or you don’t and if you believe, you WILL hunger and thirst after God, your desire will be to know Him and then you begin to desire to change, as you change you see His Word is true and you seek more from His Word - then you begin to live in joy and peace, even when those times of trials knock on your door, you find you stand tall in the armor of God and know the victory is yours through Jesus Christ. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord. Psalm 27:5-6 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100 38

The List by Gloria Doty

“Decorate the tree.” I was reciting my ‘to do’ list as I emptied the dishwasher. My 8-year-old grandson, Jeremy, asked, “Whatcha talkin’ about, Gramma?”

“Decorate the house.” “Find the outside lights and untangle them.”

“Oh, I’m just trying to remember all the things I have to do or buy before Christmas.” “Christmas?” Jeremy asked incredulously. “It’s not even Thanksgiving yet.”

“Put them up on the house.” “Write and send Christmas cards.” “Buy invitations for the Christmas party.”

“I know, Jeremy. But there are so many things to remember that I have to start early.” “Well,” he said as he climbed on a stool, “Do you want me to write them down for you?”

“Plan a lunch for my girlfriends.” “Decide what to buy for everyone.” “Bake cookies.”

I found a piece of lined paper and a pencil in a drawer and handed them to him. “I think that is an excellent idea, Jeremy, and if I forget anything, you can add it, okay?” “Don’t talk too fast, Gramma. I’m not a speed writer.”

“Decorate cookies.” “Make candy and fudge.” “Find the Christmas CDs” “Make an appointment for family pictures.”

“Got it,” I said. “Just write one or two words for each thing and that will jog my memory when I read them.” “Ready?”

“Clean the house again.” “Go shopping.”

“Ready,” he said as he gave me a thumbs up sign. “Make sure the linens are all ironed for Thanksgiving dinner.” “Make a grocery list.”

“Wrap presents.” “Help with….” “Gramma,” Jeremy interrupted, “You have to stop. That’s an awful long list and I want to know something . . . ”

“Buy the groceries.” “What’s that?” I asked. “Clean the house.” “Put the tree up.”

“Well, I thought Christmas was about Jesus and I filled the whole paper, but I don’t see Jesus on here anywhere.” 39

I sat on a stool next to him and with tears beginning to fill my eyes, I put my arms around him and asked, “You are right, Jeremy. What do you think we can do about that?”

Put out the Advent wreath and be faithful about having a devotion every day.

With childlike earnestness, he said, “I think you should cross about half this stuff off and add some Jesus stuff.”

It was the best and most peaceful Christmas season ever. I didn’t totally give up buying gifts, but I looked for small, unique things in little gift shops instead of rushing around in the big stores, and I totally enjoyed the slower pace in these shops.

“Okay. Jesus stuff it is. But you have to help me, okay?” We crossed off some of the non-essentials. After all, why did I have to make 10 different kinds of cookies? Five kinds would be sufficient. And why candy and fudge? Pick one or the other. Someone else in the family could be responsible for putting up the tree and the lights.

Go caroling in the neighborhood.

As Jeremy and I were in the kitchen again, sipping warm cider and listening to Christmas songs, he smiled and said, “I like the little list much better, Gramma.” “Me, too, Jeremy. Me, too.”

Instead of shopping for gifts no one really needed anyway, I let Jeremy choose a livestock gift from a Christian organization’s catalog for each family to be sent to a family in another country. No wrapping or shopping necessary. Then we added to the much smaller list: Go to Christmas Eve service. Include an invitation to Christmas service at church with the cookies for the neighbors.

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 and is titled “Not Different Enough.” I write freelance articles for magazines and am a contributor to two devotional publications: Living the Gospel Life and HopeFull 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.


What’s on Your “To Do” List? Here’s a list you can use as you prepare for the holidays . . . . and be sure you don’t forget the “Jesus Stuff”!


The Shepherd’s Call

When the day is long and the night is dark; when I hear the wolves a-howl, fear doth want to grip my heart but I hear the Shepherd’s call. His voice it soothes and makes me calm, His staff saves from a fall, and if I've wandered from the flock I will hear the Shepherd’s call. The Shepherd He's unwavering, His commitment to us all, you will know He's always present, for you'll hear the Shepherd’s call. Come Saints saved by Grace, Come sinners one and all. Return unto the Lord's embrace, And you'll hear the Shepherd’s call.

~ Debbie Anne Buchner 42

Interrupted by Sharon L. Patterson As we approach Veteran’s Day, I am reminded of an incident prior to my youngest son's first deployment to Iraq in 2004-2005. Perhaps it happened because as a career soldier's wife and mother I seem to have an automatic return button when it comes to remembering those who keep us out of harm's way. The incident was simple at first - my early morning sleep was interrupted - not by the sound of my husband's snoring, but by churning thoughts of our soldiers who have already given the "last full measure of devotion" in this present war. My mind and heart were fretful over the great cost of their sacrifice to their families. The tomorrows of their children and loved ones whose soldiers would not return summoned me from the comfort of my bed to prayer. Following prayer, as I climbed back in bed and attempted to go back to sleep, more thoughts, like gulps of hot, fiery air not only interrupted but erupted into words and sentences that seemed to be crying out from beyond. I grabbed a pen and pad from the nightstand, slipped into the study, turned on the light and wrote down the words that came to my heart . . . Do not forget me ... next week, next month, or next year. I was part of something so significant that, despite destruction, will ultimately build. Freedom that costs this much cannot help but promote great progress. Honor me by remembering that when called, I did not hesitate to leave the comfort and ease of my life in America. I left my loved ones there to go to help free tyrannized families in a land too distant for me to imagine just a short time ago. Remember that daily I swallowed not only the sand that blew in my face, but the fear that constantly rested just below the surface and rose in my throat with the unknown of each battle. Still, I did what I was trained to do, swallowed that fear and chose courage. Carry on for me by passing on the good I stood for. Actively participate in strengthening good wherever possible. By doing that, you will lessen the effects of evil in this world. Keep doing good even when criticized or unpopular. Opinions change as fast as remote buttons ... good does not. Think before you speak and check your motives before criticizing. Wisdom is more important than knowledge. Prefer love to hatred no matter how hard it is to do. Celebrate our freedoms robustly. Sing our country's anthem out loud when the flag is flown at ceremonies and ball games.


Show my children what the words "land of the free" means. Tell them that in this war we were compassionate liberators, not bragging conquerors. Teach these simple truths to my children: Tyranny dictates Evil eradicates Opinions speculate Truth liberates and love...never fails! Lastly, understand my sacrifice by doing something very special ... by example; show my children how to be better Americans. Happy Veterans Day ~Sharon Patterson P.S. This is dedicated to my husband who served 30 years in the Army and my two sons, veterans of both Iraq and Afghanistan, presently serving their country. One is a Purple Heart recipient, the other a Bronze Star recipient. --About the Author: Sharon Patterson is a retired educator, wife of a career military officer, mother of three sons, grandmother to five precious angels, author, CLASS graduate, Certified Personality Trainer, and women's ministry leader. She has written numerous shorts stories published in other authors' works, and has authored three books: A Soldier's Strength from the Psalms, Healing for the Holes in Our Souls and Where Is Happy? (2011) Sharon's writing experience spans thirty years.

Coming in January! The next chapter in

The Happy Housewife by Elizabeth Baker Elizabeth's classic best seller from 1979 is brought back to life for a new generation. Humorous, honest, Bible based and compelling, this ageless primer on the joys and traumas of dealing with kids, husbands, and dirty dishes will have you laughing and bring you to tears. Her practical advice provides realistic solutions to problems that never change. Join her in an exploration that is a fresh and ageless as mother-love. Elizabeth tackles issues that are modern in every respect while her home-spun style makes the readers feel as though they are having coffee with a wise friend.


Loss or Blessing? by Lynn Mosher

Thanksgiving. Do we really give thanks? Maybe we should do as Robinson Crusoe did. In searching for something new to write about for Thanksgiving, I came across the writings of Daniel Defoe and his classic, fictitious character Robinson Crusoe, which was published in 1719. Defoe based Crusoe on the real-life experiences of Scotsman Alexander Selkirk, who went to sea in 1695. In 1704, he was a sailing master under the command of William Dampier. As the ship he was on sailed past an island group, Selkirk demanded to be let off for fear that a battle with the Spaniards would sink the ship. The crew cast him off with only his clothing, a gun, a few tools, tobacco, and a Bible. In the book, while on the island, Crusoe became despondent. He wrote, “I daily read the word of God, and applied all the comforts of it to my present state. One morning, being very sad, I opened the Bible upon these words, ‘I will never, never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ Immediately it occurred that these words were to me; why else should they be directed in such a manner, just at the moment when I was mourning over my condition, as one forsaken of God and man? ‘Well, then,’ said I, ‘if God does not forsake me, of what ill consequence can it be, or what matters it, though the world should all forsake me, seeing on the other hand, if I had all the world, and should lose the favour and blessing of God, there would be no comparison in the loss?’” He decided to make a list. He wrote... “I now began to consider seriously my condition, and the circumstances I was reduced to; and I drew up the state of my affairs in writing, not so much to leave them to any that were to come after me - for I was likely to have but few heirs - as to deliver my thoughts from daily poring over them, and afflicting my mind; and as my reason began now to master my despondency, I began to comfort myself as well as I could, and to set the good against the evil, that I might have something to distinguish my case from worse; and I stated very impartially, like debtor and creditor, the comforts I enjoyed against the miseries I suffered, thus:45

“For every negative aspect, he found a positive aspect for giving thanks. Sometimes, we may find ourselves on an island of despair and self-pity like Crusoe. If so, what happens to our praise and thanksgiving?”

“Evil: I am cast upon a horrible, desolate island, void of all hope of recovery. Good: But I am alive; and not drowned, as all my ship’s company were. Evil: I am singled out and separated, as it were, from all the world, to be miserable. Good: But I am singled out, too, from all the ship’s crew, to be spared from death; and He that miraculously saved me from death can deliver me from this condition. [He was rescued five years later.] Evil: I am divided from mankind - a solitaire; one banished from human society. Good: But I am not starved and perishing on a barren place, affording no sustenance. Evil: I have no clothes to cover me. Good: But I am in a hot climate, where, if I had clothes, I could hardly wear them... Evil: I have no soul to speak to or relieve me. Good: But God wonderfully sent the ship in near enough to the shore, that I have got out as many necessary things as will either supply my wants or enable me to supply myself, even as long as I live.” On and on he went. For every negative aspect, he found a positive aspect for giving thanks. Sometimes, we may find ourselves on an island of despair and self-pity like Crusoe. If so, what happens to our praise and thanksgiving? Scripture tells us, “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” (Ps. 34:1 NKJV) And “Rejoice everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thess. 5:16, 18 NKJV) If this is God’s will, do we obey it? Make out a list this Thanksgiving, and for every negative in your life, find a positive. May you be a Robinson Crusoe this season. I pray this year’s Thanksgiving will be filled with a full list of positives for each of you.

Thanksgiving Blessings, Lynn


Gentleman’s Fancy Block #14 for the Bible Block Wedding Sampler Sew-Along by Laura Brandt I’ve most often seen this block made with “Flying Geese” units. Depending on whose pattern you use, sometimes it’s made with four “flying geese” and sometimes it’s made with eight. I’ve even seen it made with a bunch of half square triangles. I decided to use the good old rotary cutting instructions for it and when that didn’t work out, I printed off the templates and used them instead. This block is primarily made up of triangles and it was tricky to put together without cutting off any (or many) points. Please note: all seams are ¼”; final block is 12.5” unfinished. Step 1 – cut your fabric. You’ll only want two fabrics this time. My Fabric 1 is orange; my Fabric 2 is white. Again, it’s a good idea to starch your pieces carefully after you’ve cut them out to keep the triangle edges from getting stretched out of shape. Be sure to press your seams (move the iron up and down), not iron them (move the iron back and forth). From the rotary cutting diagram: Fabric 1 (orange) A is four 4 7/8” squares cut in half once diagonally to make eight patches. Fabric 1 (orange) B is one 5 ¼” square cut in quarters diagonally to make four patches. Fabric 2 (white) B is three 5 ¼” squares cut in quarters diagonally to make twelve patches. Fabric 1 (orange) C is one 4 ½” square, which is the block centre.


Gentleman’s Fancy by Laura Brandt

Rotary Cutting Guide 48

Step 2 – take one of your twelve Fabric 2 Template B triangles and centre it on the edge of your Template C square. You can do that by folding both the triangle and the square in half to find their respective centres and then pinning them together on the fold marks: Sew the two pieces together, right sides facing, along the edge and press the seam.

Repeat the above steps to sew Fabric 2 Template B triangles to the other three sides of your Fabric 1 centre and square it up.

Step 3 – in the same manner, attach four of your Fabric 1 Template A triangles to your newly made square. This square should now measure 8 ½”. Step 4 – with two Fabric 2 Template B patches and one Fabric 1 Template B patch, make a strip of triangles. It’s easiest to lay them out:

Then position your right side triangle against the middle triangle with right sides together:


Sew and press your seam:

Position your left side triangle against the middle triangle with right sides together:

Sew and press that seam to complete your strip:

Step 5 – repeat the above steps with your remaining Fabric 2 Template B patches and Fabric 1 Template B patches to make a total of four triangle strips. Step 6 – sew one of the triangle strips you just made to an edge of your 8 ½” block from Step 3. With the right sides together, align your points carefully by pinning them together at the centre of the edge.


Step 7 – repeat Step 6 and add triangle strips to the remaining three edges.

Step 8 – add your last four Fabric 1 Template A triangles to the corners of your block. Again it’s easiest to lay them out:

Place your upper left triangle right sides together with your block. Notice how the point lines up with the corner of the centre square:

Sew your seam, press it and place your upper right triangle right sides together with your block. Again you want the point of the triangle to line up with the corner of the centre square: 51

Sew that seam and press it, then go on to your third triangle:

And your fourth triangle:

Congratulations! You are done!

Wentworth County Quiltworks Bible quilt updates and a growing Bible Block-of-theMonth collection Visit Laura and follow along as she creates her Bible Block-of-the-Month Collection! 52

Learning to Live Again: Rejoicing by Debra Elliott “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!� Philippians 4:4 NIV You have been through the journeys and ashes. You've discovered God's purpose for you, now you have to learn to live again... Philippians 4:4 instructs and encourages you to rejoice in the Lord always.

You can't give into pity. What you have been through or what you are going through can be overcome. Let us exult and triumph in our troubles!

You may think, "How can I rejoice in my life or how can I learn to live again?" Well, I'm here to tell you, YES YOU CAN! After my abortion in 1977 I didn't have much to rejoice about; in fact I had a pity party. We're all guilty of feeling sorry for ourselves. It's normal and natural, but rejoicing is also normal and natural. After all of the journeys, and all of the fires, your purpose can become a sea of pity if you don't learn to rejoice. God is very specific about rejoicing and how it correlates to your life. Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. Romans 5:3 AMP You can't give into pity. What you have been through or what you are going through can be overcome. Let us exult and triumph in our troubles: Leap for joy? How can you leap for joy after suffering beyond the scope of exultation? It isn't easy to be joyful when facing troubles. What I didn't realize God wanted me to exult in my troubles. He was asking me to leap for joy so I could live again. He was asking the impossible. He wanted me, someone who had an abortion to leap for joy? I couldn't. I couldn't give up my pity party. I was going to let pity triumph over my troubles. Pity over time becomes sorrow and before you know what has happened your life is only a shell. You will no longer have joy but only sorrow. My pity party had to cease and so does yours! You can exult and triumph over troubles with Romans 12:12. Rejoice and exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer. AMP 53

* Rejoice and exult in hope that no matter what you have suffered there is hope you can live again. God loves you and He doesn't want you to suffer. He wants you to leap for joy! * Be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation. Be reminded suffering is only temporary, that pity is not a solution, but an open invitation to sorrow. Turn tribulation into triumphs. * Be constant in prayer. You can triumph over your troubles with constant prayer. Don't throw a pity party to celebrate your troubles. Turn pity into prayer. Rejoice in your suffering. Let us rejoice in our sufferings: Celebrate suffering? You have already lived through the pressure, affliction, and hardships of suffering, so how can God possibly want you to celebrate? God does not want you to suffer, but rejoice in the knowledge that because you have suffered you will have patient and unswerving endurance. I did not rejoice in my suffering, instead I wallowed in self-pity. God asked me to do something again that I thought would be impossible. I couldn't be a woman who rejoiced in her suffering. Why was the Lord asking this of me? A woman who rejoices in her suffering has knowledge that pressures, afflictions, and hardships produce patient and unswerving endurance. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. I Peter 1:6 NIV * Greatly rejoice in all kinds of trials. Suffering is part of a hurting woman's life, but she can learn to live again through rejoicing. When you suffer grief through all kinds of trials you gain knowledge. God gave you that knowledge through suffering.

Greatly rejoice in all kinds of trials. Suffering is part of a hurting woman's life, but she can learn to live again through rejoicing. When you suffer grief through all kinds of trials you gain knowledge. God gave you that knowledge through suffering.

He gave you pressures, afflictions, and hardships so you could develop patient and unswerving endurance. Pressures, afflictions, and hardships will come your way. It is through these trials you will learn to endure. I want you to remember to rejoice through it all. I want you to remember Philippians 4:4; Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! So you can learn to live again . . . 54

Feast of the Year a Short Story by Angela Blake-Morris Carol rushed out her door, keys and purse in hand. There was only a matter of hours to tie together all the loose ends. She felt frazzled and rushed at the last minute change of venue. Thanksgiving was no longer at her mom's house. Mom was sick with the flu. As she made her way to her car, Ms. Denison shouted out her usual hello. Carol mentally rolled her eyes. There was no time for idle chatter. She did not want to hear about days of old; especially right now. "Hi, Ms. Denison! I would love to chat, but I really must go." Ms. Denison nodded accepting the rejection. Her face went from “cheerful, happy to see you� to sad and lonely. She suddenly looked like a puppy that had been told no after chewing on a good shoe. "I understand." She sighed and returned to her home. Carol brought out her list of must-haves and began to make her way down each and every aisle. She checked and compared prices. Trying to decide on a whether a bargain would result in quality. She had to get this right. Her sister Cynthia was a chef and that added a great deal of stress to Carol's mission. There was no room for error. Carol always wanted her older sister's approval and this was her big chance to get her attention. Once her shopping was done, the car loaded and a long receipt in hand, Carol headed back home. She was already hoping that Ms. Denison would not be outside working in her garden. She lucked out in preventing Ms. Denison from being so chatty this morning. There was no way she was going to be able to put her off again this afternoon. Just as she pulled into her drive way, there was Ms. Denison, sitting on Carol’s porch steps. Carol sighed, knowing she was going to have to surrender and allow Ms. Denison a chance to share her tales. Maybe if she did this one good deed, when she grew old, someone would stop and listen to her banter. "Hi Ms. Denison," Carol said in a not-so-warm welcoming tone. Ms. Denison walked over to greet Carol and returned her not-so-welcoming tone in a stern motherly voice. "Carol, what has gotten into you. In all my days I have never been treated so." 'Oh my goodness,' Carol thought to herself.' I don't have time for this backlash. This woman has got to be off her rocker.' "Ms. Denison, I assure you I meant no disrespect. My mother had to cancel hosting Thanksgiving. This means it all falls on me. I have to host the event. On top of that my sister is a hot-shot chef working for some elite restaurant. My skills are going to be seriously judged. " Ms. Denison began laughing. "I'm sorry dear; I am not laughing at your situation. I am laughing because I can help." 55

Carol just stared at her blankly. "You can help, how?" "I owned a restaurant back in the 1950's. It was all American home-style food. I made everything myself," Ms Denison explained. Carol could not believe her luck. If Ms. Denison truly had such cooking skills, then Carol could show her sister she had a little something special to offer. Ms. Denison and Carol gathered all the groceries and headed straight to the kitchen so they could get right to work. "The key to a good old-fashioned home-cooked meal is to keep it simple. Stick to key ingredients and never ever get fancy, especially when it's a last minute deal." Carol nodded her head in agreement. This was definitely not the time for extravagance. In a matter of hours Carol and Ms. Denison whipped up a home-cooked meal with the classic turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, biscuits and more. All the usual suspects in the way of a Thanksgiving meal now adorned Carol's table. "Ms. Denison, I can't thank you enough for helping me; even after I blew you off this morning. I am so very sorry." Carol took Ms. Denison's hands into hers. "It was an honor cooking with you." She could see Ms. Denison's eyes tearing up. "Are you heading to your family's home now, could I maybe offer you a ride" "Oh, honey, that is so sweet of you. I don't have any family here in town or even in the state. With the economy as it is, and being on a pension, I can't afford to fly out to my daughter’s place." Ms. Denison was now visibly choked up. Her emotions seemed to have the best of her. "You do have family here, you will stay with us and I won't take no for an answer!" Carol made sure she made eye contact with Ms. Denison. And to think she wanted to blow her off this morning. Not to be bothered by her tales of the past. This was the least she could do to make it up to her. "Are you sure it's no bother. I won't be a charity case." Ms. Denison commented in a serious manner. "Never a bother," Carol reassured her. Carol’s sister, husband and four children showed up not long after. Carol introduced Ms. Denison as an old family friend, and the inspiration behind this year's Thanksgiving meal. Ms. Denison gave raving reviews about Carol's ability in the kitchen and assured everyone that her meal was sure to please. "Carol this meal was phenomenal. I am so proud of you. I want this recipe for your sweet potatoes." Carols sister pleaded. "Sorry Cynthia, but that is a secret." Carol turned and winked at Ms. Denison. Ms. Denison smiled and answered back. "One shared between friends." 56

Thanksgiving Recipes from the Kitchen of Lynn Mosher It’s always fun to pull out the old, tried-and-true recipes every holiday . . . there is just something special about the traditions that our families establish over the years. But sometimes it is fun to try a new recipe for your family holiday celebrations! Here are a couple of recipes that just might become new traditions at your house!

Peach Melba Upside-Down Cake * ¼ c. butter * ½ c. raspberry preserves * 1 pkg. pound cake mix * 2 eggs * Sliced canned peaches * Liquid as mix directs Melt butter in a 9x9x2 inch pan in the oven as it preheats to 350 degrees. When butter is melted, stir in raspberry preserves. Arrange peaches evenly in pan. Prepare cake mix as directed. Pour over the peaches. Bake for 55 minutes or until center springs back when pressed. Remove pan from oven and cool on wire rack 5 minutes. Loosen cake from sides with a knife and invert onto plate.

Baked Apples Measurements are approximate. You can adjust to your own taste. Preheat oven to 350. Core 3 apples (of your choice) but not all the way to the bottom. Place in non-stick pan. Mix together: * ¼ c. packed brown sugar * 1/3 c. raisins (any kind) * ¼ c. chopped pecans * ½ t. cinnamon * Orange marmalade (apx. 1-2 T.) * /3 c. dried cranberries * Small amount of orange juice Spoon mixture into center of apples. Pour apple juice or orange juice over apples. Bake 30-45 minutes, until apples are tender but not soft. 57

Gingersnap Crumble Pumpkin Parfaits What you need: * 1 recipe Gingersnap Crumble (see recipe below) * 1 quart vanilla ice cream * 1 - 15 ounce can pumpkin * 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar * 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice * ½ teaspoon salt * 1 cup whipping cream, whipped * Pumpkin pie spice (optional)

Let’s make it! 1. Prepare Gingersnap Crumble. Set aside. 2. Place ice cream in refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes or just until softened. In a large bowl combine pumpkin, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Stir ice cream to soften; fold into pumpkin mixture. Cover and freeze 20 minutes or until pumpkin mixture holds its shape when heaped with a spoon. 3. Spoon ice cream into parfait glasses; sprinkle with Gingersnap Crumble. Cover and freeze until firm (4 hours to 48 hours). 4. Before serving, top with whipped cream and, if desired, a leaf pastry cutout. Sprinkle with additional pumpkin pie spice, if desired. Makes 10 servings. Gingersnap Crumble * 1 ½ cups crushed gingersnaps (about 30 gingersnaps) * ¼ cup melted butter In a small bowl stir together crushed gingersnaps and melted butter. Stir just until crumbs are coated.


Decorating for a Fall-Themed Wedding by Carin LeRoy Last fall, when her daughter was getting married, one of my friends asked if I could help her coordinate the wedding decorations. The bride chose teal blue as the wedding color, and she wanted a fallthemed country wedding. Loving items from nature, she requested we decorate with pine cones, sunflowers, acorns and leaves. The wedding would be held outside overlooking a lake. As we began to gather ideas for how to pull things together, we soon decided on burlap runners for the tables accented by teal blue lanterns, yellow sunflowers and brown pinecones. My friend purchased wagon wheels, two wooden arbors, several wooden baskets and birdhouses to enhance the country theme. We decorated the entrance to the wedding site with these items. On each side of the arbor, we placed several bales of hay. Then we accented each side with a birdhouse, basket of fresh apples, lantern and wagon wheel. Not wanting to block the lake view, we kept the ceremony area simple. We placed an iron bench in the front and surrounded each side with flowers. Candles lined the aisle. For the decorations on the tables for the reception, we cut long strips of burlap 18 inches wide and placed the teal lanterns down the tables. Then we accented with votive candles, pinecones, sunflowers, acorns and leaves.


The head table for the wedding party overlooking all the guests was decorated with burlap sashes tied with flowers and ribbon. Budget-friendly bamboo torches lined the area around the tables to add ambient lighting for the reception and dance area. The wedding day turned out beautifully.

Psalm 27:14 "Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. I'm waiting on you Lord to help me through this day. My heart would want to fail me, from the snares along the way. Your Word my source of strength shall be, in my heart, my soul, and mind. For You said come and wait on Me, good courage you will find. Wait! He does say again, wait upon the LORD. Wait on Him be it day or night, His strength is your reward.

by Debbie Anne Buchner 60

Wash Away the Dance of Time

Ebb’s exposures languish in saline dreams, heavy with air, and the screeching lullaby of gulls. Wash away the dance of time you laundering tide in the rippled passion of kisses that peak to a flood and flying freedom in a watery sky. Wash away the dance of time raptured in the joy of salty baptism, swallowed in loves engulfing potion and the thunder of waves. Wash away the dance of time in the undulating rhapsody of after-love and the silence of dreams. ~ Keith Wallis


The Vaulted Marriage of Time Sunlight shines on the dust; the melancholy debris of age in the vaulted marriage of time and eternity. Echoes of plainsong spirits, the quiet prayer of silence, and the occasion of birds. There are no childhoods here but the cloaked penetration of age without youth the hungry wisdom of quest and patient complines the veritas of moonlight.

A River of Small Stones by Keith Wallis A beautiful and inspirational book of poetry, perfect for gift-giving this Christmas season Poems written as “small stones,� polished moments of paying proper attention to life Available at 62

Dinner Is Served: Making Meals for Others by Heather King You don’t want everyone to bring pasta. Five nights of spaghetti sauce and noodles could be overwhelming! One of the long traditions of living in a caring community is taking a meal to a family in need. Mom has a baby? Send over pot roast. Son has surgery? Send over lasagna. Dad is sick? Send over some chicken noodle soup! Hospitality isn’t my God-given spiritual gift, so I’m a slow-learner when it comes to serving those in need. In fact, I often get so tangled up in worry about how to make the perfect meal that I fail to serve at all.

When a friend’s husband was diagnosed with cancer, one of her friends used this incredible online tool to coordinate meals called Take Them a Meal ( With one email message, she told everyone details such as: The family’s normal dinner time, food allergies, food preferences, and other helpful hints and requests.

Yet, sometimes it’s not so much what we do or whether we get it all right that counts. What matters is just showing we care!

People could log in, sign up for a convenient day, and indicate what meal they would bring so we avoided duplicate dinners. This was the easiest meal coordination I’ve ever seen in action!

It’s better to take that first step, make an attempt to reach out, and be willing to grow in this area rather than simply ignoring the hurts and needs of those around us.

* Have recipes on hand that are tried and true: Know in advance some recipes that would work well for delivery and even for the family to reheat the next day.

Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned about the hospitable art of taking a meal:

I have go-to dinners like lasagna, chicken parmesan, crock pot meatballs, and pepperoni pasta (for families with kids), so I don’t have to struggle with a menu plan when an opportunity to serve comes along.

* Involve your kids: What better way to teach your kids how to “love one another” than get them involved in taking meals to other families? Once when my kids heard that one of their Awana leaders was having back pain, they suggested taking her dinner. They even picked out the meal we could serve, including fresh bread and some brownies for dessert. I loved that they were thinking of others and of practical ways to show God’s love. * Coordinate with others: If several people will be bringing dinners to a family, be sure to plan together.

* Make enough to keep and share: I have a husband and three kids of my own, so I like to prepare meals that can easily make enough for them and some for us. That makes one cooking session feed two families. * Accessorize: Why stick with one casserole? Add in some scrumptious bread, a salad, and a simple dessert. Make things for others that show thoughtfulness and extravagant care. You could even throw in some paper plates and napkins so no one has to do clean-up duty. 63

* Gift cards are always welcome, too: If you don’t cook or life is just so busy that meal delivery is too much to handle, gift cards are a great option.

Whether you’re making your world-famous chicken casserole or sending a gift card to Chic fil-A, there are simple ways we can reach out to others.

In fact, sometimes they are better for families who are on the road visiting a hospital and will be stopping for dinner every night at local restaurants and fast food places.

Don’t let excuses keep you from providing a meal for a family in need and thereby fulfilling Jesus’ command to “Love each other” (John 13:34 NLT).

They also allow families to treat themselves to a night out and to choose foods they really enjoy. It might not be old-fashioned hospitality, but gift cards can provide practical help and care for a family under stress.

To read more devotional thoughts from Heather King, check out her blog here:

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. Somewhere in the middle of the noise, mess, and busyness of life, she takes time to meet with God at her kitchen table with a Bible, a journal and a cup of strong hot tea with lots of sugar. You can find her blogging about these times with God at her devotional site: Room to Breathe at "He's solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul” Psalm 62:1-2 (MSG).

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I Was Gonna by Gloria Doty “ . . . we can thank God that He is the ultimate Provider, Counselor, Comforter and Savior. He always keeps his promises, never makes excuses and never says, “I was gonna.”

We have all heard that phrase many times; too many times. It seems that children learn to say that as soon as they can talk. “Honey, you didn’t put your toys away, like I asked.” “I was gonna. I just forgot.” Then they get a little older. “Hey, Sweetie, you promised you would finish your homework before going out to play.” “Yes, I know and I was gonna, but Brad came and wanted me to play a little basketball before it got dark.” “Did you feed the dog before you left for your date?” “I’m sorry, Mom. I was gonna. Really I was.”

It isn’t just children who are guilty of this slang term; adults use this phrase as an excuse, also. “I was gonna come over and help with VBS, but I just got busy with other things.” “I was gonna let you know I couldn’t come to the party, but I forgot.” I remember one evening, my birthday, when my husband came home from work and said, “I was gonna stop and get you flowers when I passed the florist, but traffic was heavy and I was in a hurry.” We have all uttered those words at some point in our lives. The problem I have with that phrase is that it insinuates you did indeed remember what it was you were supposed to do, whether it was your homework, feeding the dog, showing up somewhere or buying flowers; you simply chose not to. I personally would have preferred it if my husband had said, “I’m sorry I didn’t get you anything. I truly forgot.” I can accept forgetfulness much easier than knowing he was going to get the flowers and then made a conscious decision to not get them. If we don’t make our car payment, the bank doesn’t accept the excuse, “Oh I’m sorry. I was gonna.” If our employer forgot to write our paycheck, we would not be too happy if he said, “You know, I was gonna do that, but I just got busy with other things.” 65

If I carry this scenario to the extreme, what would happen if we awoke one morning to a dark, freezing world and when we complained to God about the sun not being in the sky, He said, “I was gonna do that this morning, but I didn’t.” As I stated in the beginning, we are all guilty of using that excuse, but we can thank God that He is the ultimate Provider, Counselor, Comforter and Savior. He always keeps his promises, never makes excuses and never says, “I was gonna.”

‘An Ordinary Love Story’ by Gloria Doty is now available as part of the anthology “My love to You Always: 42 Real Stories of Enduring Love.” In her story, Gloria tells the story of her parents and their love for each other through good time and bad times. The book from Oak Tara Publishing is available online at,, and is also available in e-book form at Congratulations, Gloria!

Vexing Hexes Number Puzzle by Beth Brubaker Answer key on page 94. 66

Two Houses and a Basket of Thanksgiving A short story by Elizabeth Baker Sonya threaded her left arm through the basket handle and fumbled with the van keys. “There,” she said to no one in particular as she placed the basket securely on the back seat. “I’ll make the last delivery and still have time to pick up the kids from school.” She had borrowed the idea of Thanksgiving baskets from a magazine. It was supposed to streamline the holidays by allowing one yearly obligation to be done early. Baskets delivered at Thanksgiving enabled one to provide a tangible remembrance for people in the “you-need-to-remember-them-but-they-don’t-requirea-real-present” category before the rush of Christmas began. The idea made more sense than addressing cards with pictures of snowmen in July. Maybe this would be the year she relaxed by the fire, dressed in velvet slacks and a ruffled blouse, sipping mulled cider. At least, it was nice to dream. Sonya did a lot of dreaming. This last basket was destined for her husband’s great-aunt Thelma who lived eighty miles away in Madison. Robert often said that one day his Aunt would leave them a sizable inheritance, but that was not the reason for Sonya’s yearly visit. At least, it wasn’t the only reason. Even if Aunt Thelma was rich, she was also old and lonely. A yearly visit wasn’t too much to ask. Sonya arrived early. Too early for comfort. Traffic had been light and they had finished construction on that stretch outside of town. It was just past noon when she pulled into the long circular drive and parked before Thelma’s plantation style home. Sitting in the car and relaxing for a moment, she looked over the manicured grounds and large home. What she wouldn’t give to live in a place like that! Room for the kids. Room for the dog. Maybe a media room tucked upstairs. The dream tasted delicious. She was tempted to linger, but what was the use? Reluctantly pulling herself back to reality, she brushed off the covetousness that so often made her miserable. After all, Thelma was old and lonely. What did a big house matter when it was empty? As she approached the front door, Sonya was thinking about possible excuses she might offer for leaving early. If one were not careful, old people could trap one into boring conversations. It was best to be prepared. She rang the bell and waited. Then, a voice not fifteen feet away made her jump. “Why don’t you just come on over and sit down? There’s no one inside to answer the door.” She turned to see a smiling Aunt Thelma seated comfortably in one of several white rockers that adorned the broad front porch. Dressed in black jeans, Reeboks, and a smart sweater set, the only things that hinted of her seventy-plus years were grey hair and thin shoulders. 67

“Happy Holidays,” Sonya said as she extended the basket. She stooped and hugged the woman then apologized for needing to cut the visit short. The children had to be picked up from school and one could never predict the traffic. “Well, however long you can stay, you are always welcome.” Thelma’s bright eyes sparkled. “My, what delicious looking treats! Thank you so much.” She carefully examined each offering in the basket, smelling individual items and remarking about Sonya’s creativity. She ate a bite from one of the cookies and took time to read the card seeming genuinely pleased with the gift. It was only when Thelma settled the basket by her feet rather than placing it on a nearby table that Sonya noticed the cups. Six of them. Most were recently used and sitting alongside a warming tray that held a pot of what smelled like cocoa. “Am I interrupting something?” she asked. “Oh, no, child,” Thelma smiled. “Sit. Make yourself comfortable. My friend, Missy, stopped by with two members from the city planning board. She has been trying to talk me into serving and thought there might be power in numbers.” Sonya settled uneasily into a rocker. Thelma’s dress, manner and obvious social connections were disconcerting. She and Robert had been married for ten years and during that time she had probably seen his Aunt a dozen or more times, but somehow the image of her as needy and lonely had persisted in spite of evidence to the contrary. The truth was that Sonya needed this woman to be old and lonely. It was the only way she could a ccept Thelma’s wealth without jealousy. The possibility of Thelma being not only rich, but also active, healthy, and intelligent—not to mention as thin as a fashion model—challenged Sonya’s sense of justice. It seemed unfair. Covetousness began to rise again. She sighed and looked around her as an uncomfortable moment of silence passed. Clearing her throat she said the only thing that came to her mind. “You have a lovely home.” “Yes,” Thelma said without apology, “Both of them are lovely.” “Uh, you have a second house?” “No,” she smiled. “I only have a dead house and a living house.” Her eyes twinkled with a teasing glow. Sonya assumed Thelma must be a bit demented, but she tried to make conversation from the strange statement. Taking on a patronizing tone she soothed, “I know there must be many you love who have passed on to the other side.” 68

Thelma’s laughter sent a musical echo out among the stately trees. “Many of my friends have died, but I was not referring to the ‘dearly departed.’” She waved her hand in a large half moon taking in the yard, veranda and house. “I was referring to THIS! All that you see is either dead or dying. “I love this house. Some of the most peaceful moments of my life have been spent right here in this chair.” Thelma sat for a moment as though breathing in a memory then gazed directly into Sonya’s eyes and continued. “But, this house is made of dead trees and bricks that never were alive. The plumbing and electric wires are dead as the door-nails. Even that huge oak in the center of the drive is on its way out of this world.” Sonya knew she had a reputation among Robert’s family of being jealous and discontent with her tiny house in the suburbs. She could feel a sermon coming. In a moment the old woman would point her finger and scold her for not being content. She stiffened and thought about her reasons to leave, but Thelma surprised her by completely changing the subject. It happened so abruptly that Sonya suspected Thelma might have a touch of dementia after all. “Have I ever told you about the boxing match my husband, David, had with Robert’s grandfather?” Sonya shook her head. “I believe the cocoa is still warm and that cup on the left is clean. If you have time, you might have some and I’ll tell you the story before you drive back.” Cocoa? Yes. That sounded good on a cool, November afternoon. Of course, she couldn’t stay, but maybe it wouldn’t take too long if she had only a little. David and Philip had a boxing match? The only way she knew the men were as two elderly gentlemen in a family portrait. Thelma poured the sweet chocolate into a porcelain cup with pink roses and Sonya found herself settling deeper into the comfortable rocker. Robert’s grandfather had died before he and Sonya met, but as Thelma unfolded the story, she could see traces of his character in her husband. The laughter helped her relax even more. They were well into a second story when Sony’s cup went dry and Thelma offered another. The first hour passed and the second was ticking by as their conversation drifted from one member of the family to another. It was Thelma who finally had to remind her of the time. Sonya jumped and gathered her sunglasses and van keys. With apology for taking up so much of her afternoon and promises to come back soon, she sat down her empty cup with a clatter and quickly turned to leave. “Thank you for the basket,” Thelma called after her. “But thank you most of all for being part of my house.” Sonya turned; a perplexed expression on her face. 69

“Remember? I have two houses; one dead and one living?” Sonya still looked confused. “When you get home, look it up in the Bible. The word house is most often used to describe members of a family—like ‘the house of David.’” Thelma waved her hand toward her spacious home. “I am very grateful for my house made of dead things. But, I am far more grateful for my living house. You are part of that house and I am glad.” Sonya smiled and waved good-bye, but she couldn’t shake the concept of the living and dead houses that Thelma had planted in her mind. Maybe gratitude for the living house allowed one to enjoy the dead house without being shackled by pride or jealousy. Maybe. She had eighty miles to consider the matter. Be Encouraged Today! Gratitude and keeping your eyes on what is really important does much to relieve stress and lighten the spirit.

Watch Out! Godly Women on the Loose by Corallie Thornton Read what others are saying about Watch Out! Godly Women on the Loose by Corallie Thornton “As a child Corallie Thornton barely survived the pain of living with her dysfunctional family. Life became even more unbearable when she reached her middle teens. But though many troubles, trials and the grace of a loving Father God she survived and eventually became a dynamic and confident young Christian woman. She is now committed to using her experiences to help others to victory. Godly Women is a touching book designed to help women (and men, too) of all ages identify the basic lie they believe about God, themselves and others. Healing from the past is a process that cannot begin until we come out of denial and allow God access to deal with our past hurts and lies believed. Corallie speaks God’s truth and uses helpful word pictures to enable understanding of the plight of hurting people who feel so bound to the past. Godly Women is scripturally sound and I thoroughly recommend it as a significant healing tool for those who have been neglected or abused, those who minister to them and also those who would just be a friend.” Dell Sadler, Omega Writers 70

There’s a Chill in the Air and Chili in the Pot by Dorothy Kurchak It’s very quiet today. For the past two days they have been harvesting corn. There was lots of dust and noise. Standing here at the upstairs window I note that the farmer has finished harvesting the corn, which has surrounded my little homestead this summer. The raccoons enjoyed the corn. Many stalks were knocked down so the raccoons could reach the ears. The ears were mostly full. Because of the unusual spring weather and later drought, some ears were small. Somewhere I heard that an ear of corn has an equal number of kernels in each row. I’ll accept that statement as I know our Lord is a very orderly creator. My older brother and I visited our younger brother in Kentucky this summer. The three of us are “rock hounds.” Wherever we go we’re looking for interesting rocks. I have lots of small rocks but would like some larger ones. I found this rock with a flat side and put three little round rocks on it. Rocks are amazing! There are some larger rocks under the brush pile. The pile will have to be burned before I can get them. This is a balanced stone arrangement by the garage. Little rocks were wedged under the rocks to keep them in a balanced position. My younger brother had a garden full of rocks and he gave me my choice of which one I would like. I call it “Paul’s Palace” rock. There is a lake in Kentucky near his home and when the water is low he looks for rocks. Most of them are what look like sandstone, but they are very heavy and hard. For sure, I’ll be going to Kentucky again next spring to get some more sandstone rocks as they are very unusual and add a contrast to the mostly green of the garden. I gathered up some fall foliage to make an arrangement that I put on the old wood stove in the kitchen.


The stove was in the house when we moved in 33 years ago. The house was my late husband’s parent’s home. We both like the stove and it’s in good condition considering its age, which might be 75 years or more. My late husband, Mike, kept a fire in the stove during the cool weather. He loved cutting wood. We have a fifteen acre wood lot in the back which had many hard wood trees. After he died I vacuumed out the stove as I’m not a wood cutter. The arrangement includes cedar, spruce cones, clematis seed balls, fountain grass, barberry and mums. The mums are of the old variety. I’m always able to pick some for the Thanksgiving table. I had no fruit, apples, pears or grapes, this year to add to the arrangement. There were three apples on one tree and the deer or raccoons got them before I did. The birds ate all the grapes. I really missed the grapes. They are concord grapes, which make good eating, jelly and juice. I wish you all a thankful Thanksgiving. Thank the Lord, not the Indians, as a school history book noted. In reading through the Bible I’ve noted that the Lord wants us to be thankful for what He has done for us. A thankful heart is a more happy and contented heart. I’m very thankful for salvation and what the Lord has done for me. As much as I love this earth and its beauty, I’m looking forward to Heaven.

In Christ, Aunt Dots 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 five grandchildren.


Footprints in the Mud Ten Tips for Self-Motivation by Beth Brubaker

It happens to all of us - you start feeling run down, worn out and just plain sluggish when it comes to getting anything done. Before you start, plan something that's fun that puts some pep back into your step - recharge those batteries!

Tip 3: Curb Negative Self-Talk. Remember the last tip about 'the body will follow'? The same goes if you're thinking you'll never get anything done. Don't think about the entire list - just one item at a time. Don't overwhelm yourself!

It could just be the monotony of going from project to project non-stop, or it could be that you're becoming burned out. If you still feel listless and unmotivated, here are a few tips to help you get re-started.

And never tell yourself you just can't do it, it's too much to do, or you're going to mess it up.

Tip 1: Have a To-Do list. On scratch paper, write down what you have to do. Then prioritize each task (1 for the most important, etc.), then re-write the list listing in 1,2,3 order.

Tip 4: Keep it Simple. Don't micromanage things! All the forks in the drawer don't need to be facing the same way, the paper clips don't need organizing by size, and the pencils don't have to be sharpened evenly!

Set clear and reachable goals, and allow a space in between each task just in case something comes up (and you know it always does!) Most important - Don't try to do everything in a single day!

Do all that after the tasks are finished, if you have time. Micromanaging means that while you're doing the small stuff, the more important stuff is being neglected!

Do what you can, then rewrite the list the next day, moving every thing up accordingly. Tip 2: Get in the right Mind-Set. Really think about that task you want to accomplish, see yourself doing it, and finishing it - the body will follow! If it's something like cleaning a room, imagine what you want clean, imagining what it will look like when you're done. Then open your eyes and get to work!

Thinking is half the battle! You can do it, you will do it, and it will turn out great!

Tip 5: Do the Harder Stuff First. When you start your list is usually when your energy is at it's highest. This is when the hardest, toughest things need to be done! It also keeps you from dreading the task while doing the easier ones (not that this has ever happened to me - just don't ask my husband!). Do the harder tasks first, and the rest of the list will be a lot easier to handle.


Tip 6: Don't Dread It, Just DO It!: For me, this has to be the hardest to overcome. The funniest part is after I'm done dreading and just do the task, it's not so bad!

Tip 9: Give Yourself Reasons For Doing Each Task. This is for those of you who ask 'Why bother?' when you're confronted with a list of Things To Do.

If the task in question won't kill you and eat you for lunch, what are you so worried about anyway? Stop thinking about how hard it will be (or how hard you think it will be!) and just start doing it. The dread will go away the second you do!

Give yourself good reasons to do each task, whether it be to invite someone over (I'll have so-and-so over for coffee after the kitchen is cleaned), make yourself happy (when this gets finished it will look great!), or reward yourself afterwards (when I'm done with this I'll put my feet up and read a little!)

Tip 7: Finish What You Start. The phone rings, the kids need something, the cat threw up...these are all things that happen during our day. Some of us who go off-task forget to finish what we start, and move on to the next item before we realize what happened. If this happens to you, simply go back to your list and double check yourself. Did you really finish that last thing, or did you just think you finished it? If you're anything like me, I think I finish a lot of things before I realize I've done five tasks halfway. It's one of those “Walked into a room and forgot why I was there' moments. Just go back to your list and check before starting the next one. Tip 8: Establish Deadlines. Even If You Don't Need To. I know this sounds silly to some, but if you work better under a little pressure, this tip will help get you to the Finish Line! Giving yourself a deadline (within reason) for each task (or set of tasks) will allow you to focus better on the task at hand. It also feels really good to finish ahead of schedule!

The why doesn't matter - the point is to motivate yourself in a way that you'll want to finish those tasks! Tip 10: Resist Distractions. This is not the same as Tip 7: Finish What you Start. These distractions are things you do to distract yourself, whether it be a good book, the computer, or whatever else you like to do to avoid finishing your list. Self-distraction can be the biggest issue when trying to complete your list! Put that book away in a drawer, turn off the computer (or use it to play your favorite music station and just shut off the screen), and put away anything else that might keep you from finishing your tasks! Out of sight really does mean out of mind, and chances are if you don't see it, it can't distract you! I hope these tips help you to accomplish what you need to do in your life. But also remember to take time out to rest too! All work and no play makes one weary. Even God rested on the seventh day!

Be sure to visit Beth at her blog, Footprints in the Mud, for more inspirational and humorous articles 74

Craft-a-Day 365 Simple Handmade Projects by Sarah Goldschadt Book Review by Ramona of Create with Joy • • •

Are you a parent who wants to foster a love of crafting in your children? Are you a teacher looking for ways to enhance creativity in the classroom? Are you a crafter looking for ways to add some razzle dazzle to your home?

If so, Sarah Goldschadt’s new book, Craft A Day – 365 Simple Handmade Projects is for you! Craft a Day is filled with 365 Simple Handmade Projects – one for every day of the year! The projects are easy to make and lots of fun to create. The book is divided into weekly themes. Each week contains templates relating to the theme – for example, starbursts, kittens, snowflakes – and then 7 projects featuring the theme. Each project is featured on a full colored page with a supply list and simple instructions. Many of the supplies are items you will already have readily available in your home. Here is a sampling of the types of projects you will create throughout the year: • • • • • • • • • • •

Cards Gift Tags Bookmarks Puppets Headbands Cupcake Toppers Garland Ears Tote Bags Mobiles Magnets

Experienced crafters may find the projects a bit basic, but parents, teachers, homeschoolers, and new crafters will appreciate the simplicity of the ideas and the instructions! Sarah has created not only a great resource but a wonderful gift book! For more information or to order your copy of Craft-a-Day, please visit: 75

At the Feet of Jesus: Daily Devotions to Nurture a Mary Heart by Joanna Weaver Book review by Loni Vanderstel of Writing Canvas I have read and both enjoyed and been encouraged by Joanna Weaver’s books, so when I was given the opportunity to read and review At the Feet of Jesus: Daily Devotions to Nurture a Mary Heart I was thrilled and I am not at all disappointed! This is a devotional book for a full year. Each day includes the author’s devotional on a topic that affects many women and many of them are excerpts from her books. At the end of each devotional is a reference to Scripture to read and a short sentence afterwards on a thought to “reflect” on. Throughout the book there are pages called “Going Deeper” which encourages more intimate time with God and how to do so. At the Feet of Jesus is a great book to pick up each day and just be encouraged where we are at. I have always liked Joanna Weaver’s realness as she relates to everyday, stretching, and growing women who have pains and deal with life in general. This book is no exception. Even if you have read her other books, I found reading through some of the devotionals to be a reminder of thins that had pricked my heart previously and that I know God wants me to remember! I really liked At the Feet of Jesus and think it would be a great Christmas or birthday gift to give to a special friend, daughter and / or mom. It’s definitely a book I will continue to read! I received a copy of At the Feet of Jesus at no cost for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own and were not otherwise compensated. The information below was provided by Litfuse Publicity to share with my review. About At the Feet of Jesus: You were made for more than serving God; you were made to “know” Him. Intimacy with God – to know Him and be known by Him – is what our hearts desperately need, but somehow life conspires to keep us busy and distracted. For anyone who struggles when it comes to daily devotions, At the Feet of Jesus extends an irresistible invitation to set aside your duties and find the amazing peace and incredible joy that come from time alone with Him. Drawn from Joanna Weaver’s beloved Bethany trilogy, each reading in this 365-day devotional includes a Bible reading passage and reflection question. All-new material and “Going Deeper” sidebars are also woven throughout. Discover for yourself the riches that come from spending a portion of each day alone with God. At the feet of Jesus – where true life begins. Includes a unique One-Year Bible Reading Guide.


About Joanna Weaver: With more than one million books in print, Joanna Weaver is the best-selling author of Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Having a Mary Spirit, Lazarus Awakening, and the award-winning book, With this Ring. Her books have been translated into several languages around the world. Weaver’s articles have appeared in such publications as Focus on the Family, Guideposts, and In Touch. She has also appeared on a number of national TV and radio broadcasts such as The Harvest Show, Midday Connection, HomeWord, and others. She is also a highly sought-after speaker and shares her message at intimate gatherings and several high-profile events each year. As much as she loves writing and speaking, her greatest joy is found in being a pastor’s wife and a mother. The parents of three, Joanna and her pastor husband, John, live in Montana. Learn more about Joanna Weaver and her books at Readers can also keep up with her via Facebook and Twitter.

Empty Promises by Pete Wilson

Book review by Ramona of Create with Joy When you hear the words idol and idolatry, what images come to mind? Do you conjure up pictures of people making sacrifices to unknown gods…temples filled with statues of pagan gods and goddesses…cultures where animals and ancestors are revered? If this is what comes to mind when you think of idols…if you believe you are free from idolatry in your life…think again! In his book, Empty Promises – The Truth About You, Your Desires and the Lies You’ve Been Believing, best-selling author and pastor Pete Wilson shows how idolatry is a trap that we must guard against every moment of our lives… and how idols are more than statues we worship. Pete defines idolatry in terms that are relevant to our lives: Idolatry is when I look to something that does not have God’s power to give me what only God has the power and authority to give. It’s when we take good things like a successful career, love, material possessions, even family, and turn to them in the hope that they’ll provide what only God can provide. It’s when we buy into the empty promise that such things can give us the significance, security, safety, and fulfillment we crave. It’s when we feel a God-given appetite and try to fill it with something that isn’t God. Empty Promises helps us identify and free ourselves from the hidden idols in our lives… idols we have turned to in the hopes that they will fill our empty spaces… idols like power and achievement… money and beauty… even religion. Empty Promises shows us how, ultimately, only God can fill our most fundamental needs. Pete Wilson has written an engaging, thought-provoking book filled with hard-hitting truths. I highly recommend Empty Promises. It delivers what it promises, and leaves you feeling quite fulfilled. 77

Visit Katherine’s Corner for creative crafts, seasonal recipes, book reviews, product reviews, and so much more! 78

Kentucky Glamour by Kristin Bridgman My husband and I are celebrating our 31st wedding anniversary pretty soon and I wanted to give him a nice gift. He doesn't have many nice pictures of me so I decided to do a photo shoot for him and give him some real glamour shots he could be proud of. Thought I would share them with you, and you tell me if I look glamorous. Do ya think he'll be real proud of me?

I shoot real good if it's close and not movin’

Takin' a rest before doin’ my chores . ...

Love me some good ol Kentucky recipes!

As much as I want to look good for that man o mine, I want even more to be radiantly beautiful in the eyes of my Lord and Savior. May we never neglect to look into the spiritual mirror to see how we’re lookin'. The real glamour is if people look at us and see the beauty of the Lord shining from within. That kind of glamour don't need no make-up, new doo, or new shoes. Just beautiful love, grace, and mercy. That's a real glamour shot! May we never neglect this or take it for granted. God bless you all, you beautiful women! 79

Women Empowering Women in Executive Positions by Lisa Simpkins To become empowered is considered highly desirable. Seeking empowerment however has its problems, and we definitely need support to move in that direction. But how do we acquire empowerment for ourselves? How do we motivate ourselves and support others to move in the same direction and thought? What is Empowerment? How do we determine our ideals of empowerment? I believe we should first consider preserving energy as an appropriate reaction against "giving your energy away" or being "powerless". To be inspired is to have management over your lifestyle. You may be experiencing your desire to excel as an impulse to evolve yourself, or to realize the potential of your creative gifts and talents, and to make your greatest contributions in life. Being efficient instead of passive indicates a past desire to move towards freedom. It does not mean, however, that we become so inspired an individual that we become islands: to be happily selfempowered, we acquire freedom in our lifestyle, while never before have we, as women, been holding so much power to shape the future. While we’ve gained the freedom to do, be and have anything we want, we haven’t always been driven to cultivate our power and to cause our lives to flourish and thrive. Being attached to others may involve relationships; however, knowing our own Reality, and understanding who we are -- Self Details -- are efficient factors of empowerment. To be empowered is to know yourself, to think for yourself, to be an individual while still being able to flourish and thrive, to be a whole, to take responsibility for yourself and your actions. An individual who is self-empowered has balance, vitality, creative expression and the highest potential of well being. Obstacles to Empowerment Now that we have dissected the value of self, how do we become empowered? Let's look first at what may take place on our way. What are the difficulties on our path to empowerment? What do we need to alter or execute? One of the difficulties to self-empowerment is energy. We are learning that we can question ourselves and still regard energy as a way we think and act while enhancing ourselves. I think of this as onedimensional or "totalitarian", considering it does not allow for overall change of the way we think. Thus, females should act in one way, and men in another way. Seeing ourselves as only one (unisex) and thus not seeing the other only acts to drain our energy. 80

We become empowered when we move ahead from the difficulties of, one-dimension and exercise to a larger, more "whole" view of ourselves as multi-tasking positive thinkers.(e.g., females should please others and men should be dominant). Thus, we must reprogram our mind and have a healthier viewpoint. Another obstacle of empowering our self is low selfesteem. If we don't really like ourselves, how can we believe in our self? Self-doubts, low self-esteem, all are void of becoming empowered. If we don't think incredibly well of ourselves, we certainly and truly are not empowered of our thoughts and self esteem. Self-knowledge is complex resolved thinking that motivates us to truly know ourselves. Being knowledgeable builds self esteem, seeing clearly, and doing accordingly. Fears are a considerable challenge as well. It is an energy that finishes, instead of enhancing externally. Fears vex our path toward self empowerment. To be empowered is to be obvious, sometimes outspoken, and even judgmental; while fear prevents us from being truly self-reliant and clear-sighted. We must be an individual, we must be efficient and effective, and we must be fearless. Lack of skills can be a huge challenge to empowerment. To be empowered, one must be as self-reliant as possible. It is complicated to be self-reliant without information. Sensible men have described the importance of skills over the ages. As we add to our own special knowledge, we add strength to our storage space in our brain from which we draw upon. As we add to our information, we are better able to think for ourselves. But, insufficient understanding means a broken and inadequate scenario; which is not positive energy. "Knowledge is Power." These are just a few obstacles to empowerment and many of these factors are relevant. Certainly low self-esteem, fear, energy and unclear problems are inter-connected. As you move toward cleansing, others around you also become affected. Taking Paths to Empowerment Given the difficulties of empowerment, we may be affected at any time by one or many problems along our path. How do we move toward empowerment? How do we remove the obstacles? How do we empower ourselves to create a better energy force? First let me say that we all have our own tracks to comply with. The route I have followed may vary considering your route. In looking for the best path, and in following it by your reaction to it, you can find your own route. 81

With that said, I would like to suggest some possible activities or recommendations. Some of these may be obvious. Some may be more eye-catching to you than others. If it seems appropriate, try it. Keep in mind that empowerment is a procedure that gradually starts, then builds. Reprogram Your Thinking Break down the areas of "totalitarian" thinking; considering alternative techniques and careers. The more we are exposed with a healthy viewpoint to non-mainstream concepts, the more we begin to find ourselves. We are wise individuals. What seems correct at this time, may later encounter incorrect and vice-versa. Try to keep a healthy viewpoint as you reveal more. The more you find alternative techniques with a healthy viewpoint, the more you are deprogramming your thoughts and allowing your mind to create new techniques. Process what you are exposed to. Don't agree to everything as gospel. You will gradually end up developing your own route and one step closer to being empowered.

Gaining Self-Esteem Gaining self-esteem is a procedure and there are different techniques to try to help yourself. One conventional technique is treatment or assistance. This is an actual technique and doesn't have to be declined immediately out-of-hand. If you choose to analyze this technique, try to choose your expert or advisor effectively. Self – discovery - increasing information helps you increase your abilities at home and work. This leads to increased knowledge, recall and self-confidence and raises self-esteem. Developing your capabilities - enhance self-esteem. Remember that you are a unique and genuine individual. Keep in mind that we all have our capabilities and roles to play. That we all create a few mistakes and learn by them. Keep in mind that your inner beauty is that which flourishes from within. Take time to include these concepts into your daily claims, fantastic claims, and affirmations. Complex Procedure - Knowing Yourself Knowing yourself can be a complex procedure. We are usually trapped in our own self. Our selfperception tends to be tinted mentally by our needs, self-concept, and level of self-esteem. Find that objective place in yourself, the place that is subjective or short-term problems -- the audience. 82

Observe yourself in complex conditions and with different people. What do you see? How do you react? Remember these for a little chat with yourself later. Learn how your thoughts function. Notice yourself think by showing upon your inner objective audience. Explore pleasure as a tool for tracking yourself. Look into self- empowerment. What is stopping you? What are your talents? What includes your interest? What things already move to empower you? Conquering Your Issues Clearing problems is another procedure that may be a complex and divergent route. Again, assistance may be an option, as well as regression treatment and recommended reading pleasure. It feels good when your burdens are lifted from your shoulders. Achieve maximum concentration – reduce distraction and improve your time management! Travel into your objective audience (through pleasure, and self-empowerment) and comprehend why your self management is not under control, what is the main cause. Sometimes conscious information can help you move ahead and away from the problem. Look for different designs in your lifestyle. Do you end up over and over again engaged in similar architectural conditions or with the same architectural people. Again look for the main cause. Know that you can take care of your problems. Know that you can encounter better and more satisfying material. Know that others have shifted this route before and that you can, too. Conquering Your Fears One of the first activities is to recognize your fear. If you don’t recognize it, you cannot change it. Denial enslaves us. Many problems are created from the fear within us. Eliminating fear can reduce many problems. Fear also may be of the unknown. There is also the worry of not having enough or going without, which is appropriate for self help. As we execute on self-esteem and acquire information, this fear is reduced. Try going into your fear, a little at a time. Real empowerment comes when we are "fear-less" Whenever you encounter fear and have identified the main cause, focus on empowerment. You can better yourself, and conquer that fear at the same time. Remember that nothing can harm you unless you allow it. 83

Developing Yourself - Gain Knowledge The more we comprehend and acquire information, the more knowledgeable we become. Is there something you've always preferred to do or learn? Allow yourself to find it – and do it. Your efforts towards empowerment will also result in you raising your intelligence. It’s your brain, just smarter, stronger, faster, FOREVER! Anyone can have and enhance any of these capabilities. It has further been found that, if you are not using all of your capabilities, you have not fulfilled all you are capable of. You are not a whole person until you do. We all have inexperienced potential. As we create ourselves, we also acquire understanding of ourselves. Our self-view improves (empowerment). Remember: "Knowledge is Power." Final Thoughts… Good decision makers are informed, and provide solutions quickly. To change and improve in today’s world you need volumes of quality information. ZOXing gets you the Best Information – FAST. (It will make you feel good to learn new skills.)

My name is Lisa Simpkins and I have been working online for 15 years now. I have gained enough knowledge over the years to work in many different fields in online business. My Specialty: Social Networking and Administration: Content provider, database, public relations, reputation management, member recruitment, marketing manager, link marketing, blog creation & branding/rank and community management. Other areas of interest: Blogging, advertising, business branding/personal branding, mentoring, training one-on-one, SEO, product creation, RSS and web site creation. My husband (Teddy Simpkins) and I work as a team. My husbands credentials are.. HTML Programming, web design, WP & Joomla blog creation and product creation. We personally build your business in the social media arena. We will help you build keyword profiles, market you and your business in the social media arena, and brand you and your business.


Bittersweet by Gloria Doty When I felt the coolness in the air and smelled the wonderful fragrance of wood smoke, I knew it was time. It was time to put away the daisies and summer flowers adorning my front porch and bring out the yellows, oranges, deep reds and browns of fall. In the midst of fastening a garland of fake bittersweet to the fireplace mantel, I wondered about the term, bittersweet. Many times, I have picked fresh bittersweet in fencerows along gravel roads, but never really thought about the name. When I was done decorating, I decided to investigate a little further. The woody-stemmed plant’s name is derived from the fact that the berries have a bitter taste initially, but become unpleasantly sweet as they ripen. According to Webster, the term bittersweet means both pleasant and painful. When the Israelites left Egypt, God gave them instructions for the meal. One ingredient was a bitter herb, signifying their years of slavery and their tears. Their freedom and God’s leading was a sweet experience that replaced the bitterness. Isn’t that the perfect description of many occasions in our lives? When parents take their child for that first day of school, it is a time of happiness, knowing the child is taking the first steps on the road of education, but also a time of sadness, for the parents. Their little one is growing up and becoming independent. It is much the same with many of life’s milestones. Each graduation, whether from elementary school, high school or college is marked by happiness, pride of accomplishment, and celebration; however, it also marks more maturity and independence and is a bit sad for the parents, even in the midst of their joy. When a child leaves home, they not only leave an empty room, but an empty hole in their parent’s heart. My daughter is redecorating her eleven-year-old son’s room. Just thinking of removing the ‘little boy’ theme and replacing it with a more adolescent one is causing her to think about the fact that his childhood is slipping by entirely too quickly. It is a bitter thought; however, the excitement of painting, choosing fabrics and new furniture that is more age-appropriate is turning the sadness into a sweet experience. Death is by far the most bittersweet experience for the ones left behind. When my father died, it was truly a blessing. He had Alzheimer’s for the last 5 years of his life and didn’t know anyone. While my sister and I were rejoicing that Daddy was whole again and in the presence of Jesus, we still shed tears because we would miss him even if he didn’t recognize us. We have all lived these bittersweet experiences at different times in our lives and under different circumstances. This fall, each time we see the bittersweet plant, we need to let it remind us that the bitterness of Christ’s painful suffering and death was necessary for us to taste the sweetness of everlasting life. Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy… Psalms 126:5, NIV 85

Tatters to Treasures Where new beauty arises from the ashes of yesterday in reconstruction garments, shoes, and accessories

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Let Gossamer Wings Publications transform your writing into a beautiful digital document to post on your blog or website! Are you a writer, poet, author of devotional or inspirational articles, children's author, writer of short stories, or motivational books? We have been creating eBooks and digital publications since 2006, and we are now offering our publishing services to you at Gossamer Wings Publications. Since 2010, we have published Ruby for Women, a monthly online Christian women's magazine which features family-friendly articles on home making, cooking, arts and crafts, poetry, devotionals, inspirational articles and stories, short stories, quilting tutorials, puzzles, kids' crafts, book reviews, gardening and frugal family living articles. In addition, Ruby for Women has published ebooks for poets and writers of short stories and devotionals, as well as ebook tutorials and patterns for sewing and crafts for mamas*little*treasures which are currently sold on numerous websites, including You Can Make This at Beginning in 2012, all of our publications will be produced, published, and promoted by Gossamer Wings Publications, and we are now offering our publishing services to you. We will publish your writing, poetry, sewing and craft books, devotional and inspirational articles, short stories, and any other family-friendly projects that you've been working on. You've been waiting for the opportunity to get YOUR ideas out to the world, but you just haven't known where to start! Now you can have a beautifully formatted eBook created for you at a price you can afford, and we will even help you promote your publication. At Gossamer Wings Publications, we will work with you to design your ebook to reflect your personality and express the words and ideas that God has put in your heart and mind. Email today for your FREE consultation and to set-up your very first publication with Gossamer Wings Publications! 87

Avoid a Collision with a Positive Vision by Glenda Staten Glenda Staten is the owner of Positivity 4 Ever. Positivity 4 Ever promotes positivity by providing helpful resources to enrich everyone's life. She created "Avoid a Collision with a Positive Vision", a basic guide used to help young adults make positive decisions and live a responsible life while accomplishing their goals. High school students, college students, young adults, parents, and numerous organizations will benefit from the helpful information in the guide. The guide focuses on "knowing yourself", "being open to change", "setting goals", friendship and bullying. Preview the guide at Glenda also created the Positivity 4 Ever mini magazine to promote positivity, and to share positive conversations from entertainers, authors, and entrepreneurs. The magazines are available at Glenda joined the military after graduating from Albany Junior College in Albany Georgia. While in the military, she worked for numerous organizations in the United States and abroad before retiring in 2004. She worked at The National Defense University in Washington, DC where she performed duties as the senior enlisted leader of the organization. Glenda worked on the National Defense University's Security Team during a visit from the President of the United States, and she was commended for her service. Glenda was selected to be the Senior Non-commissioned Officer in Charge for the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army at the Pentagon. She completed her military career while assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Personnel Administration and Services Division. Glenda received her Master's Degree in Management from City University of Seattle in Bellevue, Washington before she retired. Glenda's military experience enriched her life, and provided the necessary insight needed to help her focus on positivity. For more information or to purchase your copy of Avoid a Collision with a Positive Vision, please visit her website, Avoid a Collision, at You can also find Glenda’s magazine, Positivity 4 Ever, at


Becoming the Disciple Whom Jesus Loved by Michelle Lazurek Becoming the Disciple Whom Jesus Loved: Discover Your Character In God’s Love Story (Winepress Publishing, October, 2011) invites readers to engage with the story God is writing for their lives and discover their role as a character in that story. The book also asks the reader “What’s Your Story?” and provides thought provoking questions at the end of each chapter to allow readers to interact with the material. The book is available on her website, and

The International Christian Mompreneur Network is a community of moms who are passionate about faith, family and business (in that order!). We believe that God calls us to share our gifts and talents and serve others through our businesses. We offer solutions and support to help you build a profitable business with wisdom and grace. If you’re self-employed, starting a business, running a home based business or just thinking about creating a business while raising a family, you’re in the right place!

Do you enjoy reading the wonderful posts at the Ruby for Women blog or the articles in this eZine? Do you have a post or article that was featured? Why not "click & share" Ruby with ALL your social network friends. It's the best compliment you can give our featured bloggers & writers. Thank you for supporting and sharing Ruby for Women! For more information about supporting and sharing Ruby for Women, please email Angela Morris at 89

Abundant Comfort and Grace Inspirational Poetry by Connie Arnold The Happy Housewife Elizabeth's classic best seller from 1979 is brought back to life for a new generation. Humorous, honest, Bible based and compelling, this ageless primer on the joys and traumas of dealing with kids, husbands, and dirty dishes will have you laughing and bring you to tears. Her practical advice provides realistic solutions to problems that never change. Join her in an exploration that is a fresh and ageless as mother-love. Elizabeth tackles issues that are modern in every respect while her home-spun style makes the readers feel as though they are having coffee with a wise friend.

The Happy Housewife is now available from Amazon Kindle.


Mission Possible by Deborah McCarragher Deborah began her journey of creative writing soon after coming to know Jesus Christ as her personal Savior in 1989. She uses her spiritual gifts of encouragement and teaching in her home church. She is also a small business owner of over twenty years. Her primary goal is to share her personal testimony with others while bringing hope and practical help through her book. She and her husband have one married son serving in the US Military. They reside in north Florida. Mission Possible is a unique book in the Christian marketplace. It addresses a subject that is often overlooked and misunderstood. It is a candid look at my struggles and quest to reach my husband for Christ. It applies Scripture and biblical principles to everyday struggles encountered within a spiritually mismatched marriage. Mission Possible won the 2010 Readers Favorite Gold Seal Award for best Christian Non-Fiction book, and was nominated for the Christian Small Publisher’s Assoc. Book of the Year Award in 2009.

You are invited to join Katherine’s Corner Book Book Club At Katherine’s Corner you connect with other book lovers and share a new story every month! Every month Katie will post a new book list and you get to vote for your favorite. Then, together we will read the selected book and discuss it via the Book Club page at Katherine’s Corner blog. Once a month a new book will be chosen and you can leave comments on the Book Club page throughout the month. A new book vote will be posted on the 15th of every month. The Book Club at Katherine’s Corner is a “no obligation” book club! Just read the book with the other members of the club and share your thoughts with one another. Settle in, read along, and leave comments on the book whenever the mood strikes you. Once a month is all the commitment needed. The fun part is that you can make comments throughout the month so you don’t have to keep your thoughts on the book silent until a specific meeting date. If you would like to join the Book Club at Katherine’s Corner, simply visit Katie at and sign up! Then, if you wan to help promote the book club, you can grab the button code to paste into your blog sidebar. You can find the code and all of the details at Katherine’s Corner.


Please join us at the

Ruby for Women CafĂŠ for conversation, fun, friendship, and encouragement. Just pop in anytime, we would love to see you there! You can find us in the Ruby for Women community at

Are you a shutterbug? Do you love to capture every moment with your camera? Have an artistic eye or just a natural knack for getting those special moments? Join our Captured Moments photography group to share photos, tips, tricks and a weekly photo prompt. 92

The Ruby for Women community is a great place to meet new friends, share prayer requests, chat about your favorite books, recipes and crafts! Autumn is the perfect time to try out a few yummy new recipes! Here in the Kitchen of Ruby for Women we will be posting new recipes weekly and we would love to have you share some of your favorite recipes with us, too!

Autumn is also a great time to support one another in pursuing our dreams and goals of building our online businesses. Please post your website or online business banner or logo in the Ruby Shopkeepers group so we can share your information with all of the members of the Ruby for Women community.

Do you have a blog? We would love to have you share links to your latest blog posts so that we can tell all of the members of the Ruby for Women community all about it! Please visit us in our Girls Who Blog group.

In our prayer request group, we pray for one another and uphold each other before our Heavenly Father. Please join us at We Are Praying for You and let us know how we can pray for you. And please be sure to stop by the Ruby for Women blog at 93

In Shape for the Holidays Word Puzzle Answer Key by Beth Brubaker

Vexing Hexes Number Puzzle Answer Key by Beth Brubaker 94

The Team that Stole Readers’ Hearts is Back: Gilded Wings Releases to a ‘5-Star’ Explosion! When a small, unknown book came out at the beginning of 2012 called Until Next Time, it was received well. Blogs, reviewers – most had only good things to say about this mysterious author and her look into a ‘new world.’ With the inundation of vamps, wolves and angels in fiction, some thought this was going to be yet another story about the ‘fallen’ and the demons who were after them. However, the more the ‘buzz’ built, the more readers learned that this tale – this angel/warrior team – was COMPLETELY different than what had been seen for the past few years. This is a team that spoke volumes about life, romance, adventure and a whole lot of fun! Gilded Wings is Book II of The Angel Chronicles trilogy and, (even though I didn’t think it was possible in ANY series to say this), it’s even better than the first. Set in a time period that was completely exciting and has made a comeback recently – The Gilded Age – Emily and Matthew find themselves in a brand new life that’s filled with secrets, lies and the literal backstabbing of the ‘Captains of Industry’ who actually built this country. The scenes are spectacular. From Emily’s first beginnings in Russia during a moment in history that will forever be remembered for its absolute shock and fear; to an arrival across the ocean that makes the reader hold their breath because the writer does such an amazing job that you can almost see the Statue of Liberty welcoming people to America’s shores. The reader is then taken into an arrogant world that includes everything from mansions of the wealthy that still exist today; to the backstreets and boroughs that almost burned down around the heads of the poverty-stricken; an up-close-and-personal walk through Central Park with a view of the original shops on Park Avenue; as well as a famous show that Harry Houdini put on with his famous pachyderm, that’s STILL talked about today. But with all the amazing scenes and breathtaking looks into very real locations and situations, the romantic issues between this angel/warrior team become even more difficult. Jason (for all those like me who were just waiting to see what happened next) returns…but you will be surprised. The author has done a magnificent job of not following the ‘crowd.’ In fact, this romantic triangle takes a turn that you will NOT believe and could never have guessed from reading the first book. Gilded Wings is a stand-alone story, although Until Next Time is a perfect lead-in that will have you sitting in your beds, chairs, by the fire, etc. – without moving – until both have been savored. The only issue to be upset about is that you don’t have book III in your hand when you finish. A huge ‘shout-out’ to this author for a remarkable job. Although this is categorized as a YA – ALL ages will love this! And if you’re a Matthew fan – heads up and hearts a pitter-pat, because he plays a much bigger and cooler role this time around!


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.

Beth Brubaker, Footprints in the Mud and Ask Beth Beth is the “Family Fun” editor here in the Ruby for Women community. She is a mother of two very active kids whose antics are sprinkled liberally in her columns. She has been married for 13 years to her Knight in Shining Armor, and she is delighted to share with us that they still hold hands in public! Her day job is working as a fabric artist, a homemaker, and a writer. Beth will be writing humorous articles about life in general, puzzles, and an advice column that is based on readers’ questions, as well as sharing hints and tips for everyday life that she comes across in her travels between her laundry room, living room, and kitchen. Don’t miss Beth’s columns in every issue of Ruby for Women! You can read more of Beth’s posts on her blog, “Footprints in the Mud” at or email her at

Laura Brandt is the owner of Wentworth County Quiltworks and a child of the King whose one desire is to please the Lord. She quilts and maintains her website and her blog, as well as serving as a Moderator at Authorized Version Bible Believers Fellowship forum. She’s also edited books for up-andcoming Christian authors. Visit Laura at her new quilting website,, her blog,, or the forum at I'm Christena Hammes, married to my best-friend. We met at the Outside Inn so God could change us from the Inside Out!! We have two beautiful daughters (Lena and Amanda), two sons-in-law (Cameron and Justin) and one amazing granddaughter (Savannah Jo). I never knew what the Father's love was all about until I had children of my own. They really do hold your heart and forgiveness comes easy.


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

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 three 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 Blog Graphics at Shop

Theresa Ceniccola is The Christian Mompreneur, a Mentor to Moms Who are Running a Business that Supports Faith and Family. She empowers entrepreneurial moms to build profitable businesses with wisdom and grace through the Christian Mompreneur Mastermind program and her professional Marketing services, which include copywriting, marketing and strategy consulting and private coaching.

Richetta Blackmon: I am studying ministry and I have training in Christian Life Coaching. I feel that I will be a great encourager in the Ruby community by offering a listening ear, and speaking words of encouragement.

Kathleen Kohler writes for magazines and anthologies from her real life experiences that offer hope. She and her husband of thirty-four years live in the Pacific Northwest, and have three children and seven grandchildren. Visit to read more of her published work. 97

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. Somewhere in the middle of the noise, mess, and busyness of life, she takes time to meet with God at her kitchen table with a Bible, a journal and a cup of strong hot tea with lots of sugar. You can find her blogging about these times with God at her devotional site: Room To Breathe: "He's solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul" Psalm 62:1-2 (MSG).

Sharmelle “Shar” of Sharmelle’s Graphic Haven, Graphic Design I am passionate about graphic design and photography, and I spend a great deal of time developing my talents. Like many, I had set my career aside for a few years while working on other projects, but I found that I missed working with others and feel that many people need support and encouragement to follow their dreams. I have recently resumed the art of design and photography, and I have trained myself in the modern tools of today’s visual artists, using the computer. I’m sure that if, when I was a child, I could have had a computer, I might not ever have gone to school at all! You can find my graphic designs for use on blogs and websites in the Ruby for Women community at Sharmelle’s Graphic Haven.

Connie Arnold, Poetry lives in North Carolina, is married and has two children and three grandchildren. In coping with lupus, fibromyalgia and other difficulties, she has turned to the Lord for inspiration and offers her inspirational poetry to offer encouragement, comfort and hope to others who are suffering. She is the author of Beautiful Moments of Joy and Peace, Abiding Hope and Love, and Abundant Comfort and Grace plus a new 2012 inspirational calendar, Glimpses of Grace. She also writes for children and is the author of Animal Sound Mix-up and has two other children’s books under contract. You can visit Connie at or her blog, Full time mother and author, Corallie Buchanan, is a woman who writes from her heart. Over the years, she has shared her heart with magazines such as the Queensland Baptist, Christian Woman, Footprints, Mum to Mum, Captivated, Being Women, the Online Bible College student magazine, Deeper Devotions Student Ministries, amidst other magazines and ministries. Corallie is the author of Watch Out! Godly Women on the Loose, a book which won her the award of Young Australian Christian Writer of the Year in 2007. She lives with husband David and daughter Esther in Brisbane, Australia.


Sheila Watson, Guest Writer, DoveQuill Publishers Sheila is the author of several books, including “Nana’s Great BIG Storybook,” and “A Mission for Leedle Burro,” as well as a cookbook filled with her “sassy recipe” articles. Sheila is also the owner of DoveQuill Publishing Company.

Deborah McCarragher, Devotional Contributor Deborah is the author of a Christian inspirational book for women titled “Mission Possible”. The book addresses living in a spiritually-uneven household. You can visit her website at for more information about her book.

Ugochi Jolomi is a wife and mother of three, a graduate of banking and finance turned minister of God. She blogs on Teshuva ( ), where she shares on a variety of practical subjects from everyday life, inspiring and encouraging us to live life in the happiness and truth that come from God.

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 and is titled “Not Different Enough”. The other blog is 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.

Shannon Medisky, an educator turned parent turned writer, Shannon Medisky enjoys sharing ways that kids can help themselves. Through entertaining and accessible presentations, stories and activities, Shannon engages and empowers kids to take the leading role in writing their own school—and ultimately life— success stories. Through a relatable tone and immediately applicable ideas, she enables parents to help their children become the very best they can be.

Kristin Bridgman I’ve been married to a very sweet, patient, loving man for 29 years. I’ve been a mom to two sons I love with all my heart for 22 years. I’ve been a born again Christian loving the Lord for 36 years. I home schooled for 14 years. I’m just an ordinary woman who lives for an extraordinary God. 99

Elizabeth Baker is an author and retired counselor drawing on thirty-five years of experience helping individuals apply biblical principles to real-life situations. She currently lives in Pittsburg, Texas where she concentrates on her writing. A widow since her mid 30's, Elizabeth has four grown children, fifteen grandchildren, and six great-grands. You can find Elizabeth’s books at her website at

Amanda Stephan is a multi-published Christian romance author who loves sharing God’s love with others. A homeschooling mother and stay at wife, she finds pleasure in many things from sewing, to baseball and karate, to writing. She is currently working on a three book Christian romantic suspense series and resides in Columbia, TN, with her real-life hero husband of 8 years and two children. You can find Amanda at her website Her collaborative blog - Twitter - and Facebook -

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 five grandchildren.

Debra Ann Eliot is a Southern granny who loves to cook. She is the author of several works, including two poetry books. Debra devotes herself to maintaining several blogs, but the one that is most dear to her heart is Granny’s Down Home Southern Cooking. Debra Elliott

Tricia Goyer is an acclaimed and prolific writer, publishing hundreds of articles in national magazines including Today’s Christian Woman and Focus on the Family while authoring more than twenty-five fiction and nonfiction books combined. Among those are 3:16 Teen Edition with Max Lucado and the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Award winners Night Song and Dawn of a Thousand Nights. She has also written books on marriage and parenting and contributed notes to the Women of Faith Study Bible. Tricia lives with her husband and four children in Arkansas. Connect with Tricia at


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 (

Rosann Cunningham is a Christian Author, wife to the man of her dreams, and stay-at-home mom to two delightful little girls. When she’s not out for a jog or having giggle fests with her daughters, she can be found writing for her blog ChristianSuperMom, and ministering to women whose husbands are in a season of unemployment, at her other website UnEMPLOYED Faith. Her writing inspiration for both projects comes from a strong desire to glorify God while sharing the heart of her journey through a life of faith. Hey y’all! My name is Taylor DeVine. I live on a ranch in the middle of nowhere but I absolutely love it! Riding horses, working cattle, working with horses, reading, writing, running, and cooking are my passions. A mantra of mine is "Fearlessness." Never be afraid to stand up for what you believe in, what you're passionate about, and what you know you have been equipped by the Holy Spirit to do. When you are waiting on God to open another door, praise Him in the hallway. Follow me on twitter: www.twitter.come/tndevine “Like” my page on Facebook: “Love Joyfully. Live Beautifully -Taylor DeVine” Subscribe to my blog

Keith Wallis, Poetry 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 ezine, he is a moderator at His blog of ekphrasic poetry is: 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.

Angela Blake Morris, Advertising Administrator and Contributing Writer Angela is passionate about faith, family, writing, photography, and blogging. She left a seven year career as an administrative support staffer at a large credit union at God’s urging that it was time. Taking this large leap of faith, she continues to follow the path that God lays out before her. Part of that journey is sharing her story of caring for her special needs child with the Ruby for Women members at “Butterfly Wings and Prayers” on the Ruby for Women community groups board. Be sure to visit her at her personal blog at 101

Amanda Johnson, Assistant Editor Amanda has been writing for Ruby for Women for the past two and a half years, and she has been a free-lance writer for several years, beginning her writing career as a young teen-ager. She also worked for Love Unveiled, a ministry to women in undeveloped countries around the world. Amanda brings experience as well as a passion for ministry to the work of Ruby for Women, and she has a heart for reaching out and touching the hearts and lives of women everywhere. Amanda will be working with all of our writers on their submissions, as well as assisting in keeping the Ruby for Women blog and website up-to-date with new information daily.

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 11 years old and Annie is 9. 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 also work at Huntington University, Huntington, Indiana as the Curriculum Assistant for the Graduate and Professional Programs. My personal blog is at where I frequently post tutorials and patterns for crafts and other sewing projects, as well as weekly reflections on life as a woman, wife, mother, and daughter of the King.

Introducing the Ruby for Women Administrative Team Over the past two years and a half years, the ministry of Ruby for Women has grown into a fulltime ministry for several women here in the Ruby community. We have been blessed to be able to partner with women from all over the United States in the work of Ruby for Women, and we are currently in the process of adding four new administrators to our team. If you would be interested in joining the Ruby for Women administrative team, please email our assistant editor, Amanda Johnson, at Here are the current members of the Ruby for Women Administrative team: Sr. Editor, Nina Newton Assistant Editor, Amanda Johnson Administrative Assistant, Beth Brubaker Advertising Assistant, Angela Morris Creative Consultant and Graphic Designer, Katherine Corrigan Publications Assistants: Ugochi Jolomi, Donna McBroom-Theriot, Anne B., Jackie McMullen, Christena Hammes 102

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 at Questions? Email Nina @ or Amanda @ Ruby for Women is published by All submission inquiries should be directed to Nina Newton, Sr. Editor Ruby for Women or Amanda Johnson, Assistant Editor Advertising inquiries should be directed to Angela Morris at Web Design and Creative Consultant, Katherine Corrigan of Made It For You Please visit our community website at to see how you can help support the ministry of Ruby for Women.