Ruby for Women Ruby for Women Ruby for Women
Ruby forChristian Women A voice for every woman
A voice for every woman woman A voice for Christian every Christian September, 2012
September, 2012 A voice for every Christian woman August, 2012 July, 2012
Special Early Autumn Issue!
“Her worth is far above rubies” “ . . . .her worth Proverbs: 31:10is far above rubies.” Proverbs 31:10
Image by Angela Morris
Contents September, 2012 www.rubyforwomen.ning.com
Our cover image this month is “Sisters” by Nina Newton. September is a time when many of us refocus our days around a school schedule. Whether we home school or educate our children in a local school, these are days of great excitement and anticipation. This photo is of the first day of school, when the girls were walking together, holding hands, with Mama walking right behind them! Here at Ruby for Women we 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? www.rubyforwomen.ning.com
In This Issue . . . Page
The Forty Year Waltz Nina Newton, Sr. Editor
“Lord, help me in my unbelief” Amanda Johnson
Homemade Frosty Drink Recipes Maxine Young
Rahab’s Story Ann Marie Weaver
A Study of the Sea Keith Wallis
Light Within Keith Wallis
The Ideal Mompreneur Theresa Ceniccola
Tangy Cucumber, Tomato, and Black Bean Salad Sally Ann Bruce
School Dazed Hidden Word Puzzle Beth Brubaker
Ask Beth Beth Brubaker
Until Next Time Amy Lignor
The Uneducated Amanda Stephan
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, Christina Fox, Sheila Watson, Theresa Ceniccola, Shannon Medisky, Lynne Waite Chapman, Angela Morris, Sharon L. Patterson, Elizabeth Baker, Maxine Young, Gloria Doty, Yvonne Carson, Kendra Peterson, Christena Hammes, Rosann Cunningham, Amy Harper, Amanda Stephan, Tricia Goyer, Michelle Lazurek, Scarlett Von Gunten, Donna McBroom-Theriot, Sally Ann Bruce, Debra Ann Elliott, Jennifer Jo Fay
Ruby for Women is an online Christian women’s magazine that offers words of hope, inspiration, and encouragement to women everywhere. Knowing that every woman has a story to tell, we seek to give a “voice to every Christian woman,” from all walks of life, of every age, from all around the world. For advertising inquiries, please contact Nina Newton at email@example.com If you would like to share your story with Ruby for Women, please email our Assistant Editor, Amanda Johnson, at firstname.lastname@example.org Also, please visit our community website at www.rubyforwomen.ning.com where you can connect with other Christian women. Ruby for Women 2731 W 700 N Columbia City, IN 46725 email@example.com 1
Helping Your Child Grieve Rosann Cunningham
More Southern Cooking Debra Ann Elliott
The “Me” in My Head Gloria Doty
51 52 Page 23 53
Cocoon of Circumstance Lynn Mosher
The Lure of False Advertising Maxine Young
Jamie’s Cranberry Spinach Salad Christena Hammes Oven Roasted BBQ Pulled Pork Debra Ann Elliott The Happy Housewife Elizabeth Baker
The Happy Housewife: Chapter Four: “Don’t Bug Me, Man!” Elizabeth Baker
Lemon Raspberry Bars Katherine’s Corner
Books Your Kids Just Have to Read! Nina Newton
Keith Wallis 29
Great Green Grape Smoothie Sheila Watson
Greek Cross Quilt Block #12 Laura Brandt
Is September Wind-Down Time for Gardeners? Dorothy Kurchak
Keeping a Creative Child Active Jennifer Jo Fay
And God Sent the Dragonflies Elsie Spurlock
Charming Autumn Craft Projects from Around the Blogosphere
In My Periphery Michelle Lazurek
“Boys’ Toys” Sharon L. Patterson
“Momma, the Boy, and the Cycle of Wheels” Sharon L. Patterson
Betsy McCall Goes to School Vintage Mama
Money Logic Puzzle Beth Brubaker
Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie Barbara of “Chase the Star”
Apps for Kingdom Living Sharon L. Patterson
Golden Owl Appliqué Pattern mamas*little*treasures
Gilded Wings Amy Lignor
Footprints in the Mud: Why Can’t We Have Medications with Good Side-Effects? Beth Brubaker
School Dazed Hidden Word Puzzle Answer Key Beth Brubaker
Money Logic Puzzle Answer Key Beth Brubaker
Meet the Ruby Writers
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The Forty Year Waltz by Nina Newton, Sr. Editor Then she watched, as the girl in the tattered blue sweater and calico dress tripped and fell . . . . “How would you know?” she said to the girl wearing white . . . . a blood red rose in her hair. “Have you been to this dance before?” she asked, gazing intently into the girl’s innocent eyes. “Well, no, I haven’t, but I know . . . “ said the girl wearing white . . . with a blood red rose in her hair. “Then how do you know how to dance this dance, this Forty Year Waltz, that seems never to end?” she inquired as she continued to spin. Stepping so slowly, so proper, so prim, the girl in the white dress . . a blood red rose in her hair . . . turned her eyes away from the shabby calico dress as the other continued to dance. “I’m sure you’re not doing it just quite right,” the girl spoke as though into the air, and she tucked her white dress up close to her heart.
“I’m sure you’re not doing it just quite right,” said the girl wearing white, a blood red rose in her hair, as she swirled and twirled on the arm on her beau. Though her rough brown shoes were broken and worn, and the tattered blue sweater was threadbare and torn, the girl in the calico dress stood again . . . . and she danced with a limp as the blood trickled down - from a cut on her knee. At the side of the room, at the edge of the light, there he stood watching her stumble and bleed – with her eyes she implored him, “Please help me this time.” With a laugh and a sneer he turned away; she continued to dance the Forty Year Waltz, praying that this time she would get it just right. Then the girl in the white dress . . . . a blood red rose in her hair . . . glanced over her shoulder just in time to see – that tattered blue sweater and calico dress transform in the night.
Around and around, 1 – 2 – 3, 1 – 2 – 3, over and over, the girl in the tattered blue sweater and calico dress began to spin faster and faster it seemed.
In a moment of redemption, the Forty Year Waltz stopped . . . . no longer wounded, no longer bloodied, the girl in the calico dress became whole.
The girl in the white dress . . . the blood red rose in her hair . . . watched in silence as the dance continued until . . . .
The girl in the white dress . . . . the blood red rose in her hair . . . . touched the thorn on that rose and she suddenly knew . . .
A handsome young man held out his hand, to the girl in the white dress . . . a blood red rose in her hair . . . and gently pulled her close.
She was dancing the Forty Year Waltz, that seems never to end – and she twirled through the darkness, pleading “Help me this time.” But her beau stood there silent . . .
His strong arms and brave heart gave her courage to stand, and dance through the night – through the storm; through the darkness and danger she danced . . . .
Too late she could see now . . . but she couldn’t stop dancing . . . she was not doing it just quite right.
“Lord, help me in my unbelief” by Amanda Johnson Faith is the very substance of “things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Without it, “it is impossible to please him [God], for he that cometh to God must believe that he is…” (Hebrews 11:6a). Faith is the ultimate, absolute, unshakeable assurance that we know what we know is The Truth. But what about the times when our faith is shaky and not so sure? There are times when a hundred ocean waves couldn’t knock my faith down. Then, there are times when the smallest breeze stops me in my tracks, pushing me to the ground. Feelings of assurance are overwhelmed with doubts, which lead to feelings of shame and failure. What do we do then? We ask for help in our unbelief. In Mark 9 Jesus is approached by a man whose son is demon possessed. The man pleads with Jesus saying, “if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us” (22). Jesus replies, “Everything is possible for one who believes” (23).
The man’s response is simple, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (24). Speaking with boldness, the man asks Jesus to heal his son. Yet, when Jesus stops to enquire further, the man cowers back a little and adds “if you can…” Of course Jesus can, but what if He doesn’t? This is how our minds work and the enemy loves it. One minute we’re strong and sure and the next we’re doubtful and scared. Thankfully, Jesus knows and understands this about us. Jesus extends a helping hand to the man by reminding him that anything is possible with faith. The man declares his belief and then humbly asks for help to stay strong in that belief. Feeling a little doubtful today? Remember this prayer, “Lord, help me in my unbelief.”
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Homemade Frosty Drinks for a late summer picnic from the kitchen of Maxine Young Iced Passion Tea I use Tazo passion tea bags, but you can use any tea youâ€™d like. What you need: 3 tea bags 2 cups boiling water 2 tsps lemon juice (or to your taste) 1 tablespoon superfine sugar (or to your taste) Ice Directions: 1. Steep tea bags in boiling water, allow to cool 2. Add lemon juice and sugar 3. Serve over Ice with a wedge of lemon Makes 2 tall glasses
Orange Cream Milkshakes A childhood favorite gets a makeover! What you need: 1 can frozen orange juice concentrate 1 cup cold water 1 pint vanilla ice cream Directions: 1. Add ingredients to blender and blend! 2. Depending on whether you use an unsweetened concentrate and your familyâ€™s sugar tolerance, you may need to add some sweetener to this recipe. Be sure to taste before serving.
Your Choice Mocha Frappe A frosty coffee treat! What you need: 2 cups of cool coffee (your choice of flavor and strength) 1 cup ice 1.5 cups milk (your choice of milk) 2 tsp sugar (or to taste) 3-4 tsp chocolate syrup Whipped topping Directions: 1. Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth 2. Top with whipped topping and a few drizzles of chocolate syrup Makes 3 cups
Fruity Lemonade ‘Slurpees’ An icy treat that uses real fruit for flavor! What you need: 2.5 cups of your favorite lemonade 2 cups ice 1/2 cup frozen fruit – mango, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple (whichever you wish) Directions: 1. Add all of your ingredients to a sturdy blender 2. Blend until smooth – if it is too thick add more lemonade 3. Pour into cool glasses and serve Makes 4 - 5 slurpees
Keepsakes by Katherine, where every occasion is special! www.keepsakesbykatherine.etsy.com 8
Rahabâ€™s Story (based on Joshua, Chapters 3 â€“ 6) by Ann Marie Weaver Their current leader, Joshua, has destroyed many towns and armies, always victorious, and we live in fear of being next. Today started out no different than any other day. My head is aching from not enough sleep, and my body aches from head to toe. Last night brought me not one visitor, but three. Filthy, vile creatures men are, but since being a prostitute is my lot in life, there's not much I can do about it. It puts food on the table. Perhaps I will have time to take a warm bath later this morning, and then take a short rest before the day's heavy chores begin. I sighed. Time to stop daydreaming and get the meal I have just prepared over to my father's household before the sun rises. My mind drifted in thought as I slowly made my way across the city... Everyone has heard about a great god, the God of the Israelites, and I wondered about him. Who is he? Is this god real or just another among the many that my people worship? Useless, I would say. I've never had much need for gods and religion. After all, what has any god, anywhere, ever done for me? Still . . . the entire city has heard of how the great Red Sea was parted by Moses so that the Jews could escape the Pharaoh.
What if Joshua's army did invade Jericho? How could my family and I escape? And would this great god, the God of Joshua and his people, spare a person such as me? This is foolish thinking; I am nothing but a harlot, well-known and hated by most; except for those perverted beasts that desire my services. I climbed the steps and entered my father's household. Many hours later, after a much-needed bath and rest, and after the daily chores were complete, I prepared myself for the evening guest that was sure to come. Brushing my hair so that it shined like polished ebony, I heard a knock upon my door. I opened it, expecting to see my most wealthy customer, but instead I was staring into the hooded faces of two Israelite men. My heart jumped in my chest, as I knew they shouldn't be inside the city gates. Afraid of being seen, I promptly ushered them into my home. I was frightened, but moreover I was curious. Who were they, and why were they here? But my silent questions were soon banished as I heard the shouting and clanking armor of the king's soldiers in the city streets outside my door. And it sounded like the noise was coming closer. 9
â€œPulling the scarlet cord back up, I attached it to the window in a way that could be clearly seen from the outside, but looked like a simple decoration to anyone who might question me. Then, exhausted from the night's events, I fell onto my sleeping pallet and immediately drifted off.â€?
Quickly, I hid the two men on the roof, behind stalks of flax that I had laid there earlier. No sooner had I hid the men, when there was a loud pounding at the door and the accompanying shout of the captain of the guard; demanding that I open up. Trying to slow my racing heart, I quickly smoothed my hair and looked around, making sure there was no sign of the men who were hiding on my roof. Remaining calm on the outside, but trembling on the inside, I pulled open the door. Immediately the hulking captain and his men pushed past me and said, "Bring forth the men that came to you, that entered into your house: for they have come to search out all the country." Shocked, but without hesitating, I replied "There were men who came to me, but I know not where they came from. When the time came for the shutting of the gate, after dark, the men left. Where they went, I know not. But pursue after them quickly and you shall overtake them." Shutting the door behind the guards as they hurried away, I rubbed my arms and began thinking. I knew that the time had come for Jericho to be destroyed, and that I had some role to play in this. That the two spies had been directed to my house in the first place, let me know that
something very unusual was afoot. Perhaps all was not completely lost yet . . . I rushed up to the roof and boldly spoke to the two men: "We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when you came out of Egypt; and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites that were on the other side of Jordan; Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed." "And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts melted, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath." "Please, I pray you, swear to me by the Lord, since I have shown you kindness that you will also show kindness towards my father's house, and give me a true token: That you will save alive my father and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death." Nervously, I awaited their reply. They looked at each other, and then one said to me, "Our life for yours, if you utter nothing about our business. And it shall be, when the Lord has given us this land that we will deal kindly and truly with you." Relieved, I went back down to the lower level, the men following behind me. I looked around and grabbed a thick scarlet cord from the window covering. 10
â€œI constantly worried about whether the two spies would keep their oath to me. Knowing that we might be saved from destruction kept me going each day, but having lived my life trusting no one but myself, doubts kept creeping into my mind.â€?
Preparing to lower it over the window, I turned and said to them, "Go quickly to the mountain, lest the guards see you; and hide yourselves there three days, until your pursuers have returned. Afterward, you may go on your way." One of the men replied, "Take heed, when we come into this land, you shall tie this line of scarlet thread in this window which you let us down by. And you shall bring your father and your mother, and your brethren, and your entire father's household into your home." "And it shall be that whoever goes out the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be upon his own head, and we will be guiltless. And whoever stays with you inside your house, his blood shall be on our head, if any hand slay him. And if you utter our business to anyone, then we will be free of this oath which you have made us to swear." Agreeing to what they said, I then lowered the men out the window and down the city wall. Pulling the scarlet cord back up, I attached it to the window in a way that could be clearly seen from the outside, but looked like a simple decoration to anyone who might question me. Then, exhausted from the night's events, I fell onto my sleeping pallet and immediately drifted off. As fate would have it, the next morning when I went to take the first meal to my father's house, I found that both my father and my mother had fallen ill during the night.
Though it wasn't serious, it was reason enough to move my father's entire household into my home without anyone suspecting that something was amiss. After all, it was expected that the eldest daughter care for her parents. The entire city of Jericho had heard about the two spies and knew that Joshua's army might soon arrive. Nerves were tense, and the fear was almost a palatable midst in the air. The residents of Jericho naturally withdrew into their homes, and the town became quieter. I constantly worried about whether the two spies would keep their oath to me. Knowing that we might be saved from destruction kept me going each day, but having lived my life trusting no one but myself, doubts kept creeping into my mind. Weeks passed, and I kept myself busy caring for my still-ailing parents and my brethren. My home could barely contain all of us, and the cramped quarters put everyone on edge. Fortunately, my customers quit coming, so I no longer had to worry about shaming myself directly in front of my family. Months passed with the same routine, and I began to wonder if it had all been just a dream. I could almost believe this, except that Jericho's townspeople were still preparing for war. Then suddenly, like apparitions in the morning mist, Joshua's army and his priests--carrying the Ark of the Covenant--appeared out of nowhere and began marching around the walls of the city. They circled the city once, and then left. This went on for six days. 11
“And then, as I stood there in awestruck terror, the entire wall surrounding the city of Jericho fell down with a mighty crash! The entire wall fell, save one--the tower in which I lived . . .”
On the seventh day of Joshua's marching, something was different. They didn't march around the city just once. No, this time they marched around the city seven times. I know because I was watching out my window on the tower wall; counting each time the leaders passed by. Wringing my hands in nervousness, my heart skipped a beat when the army stopped after the seventh pass. The air was eerily silent and still. Suddenly, the priests of the army blew their horns, and the entire army shouted as one. And then, as I stood there in awestruck terror, the entire wall surrounding the city of Jericho fell down with a mighty crash! The entire wall fell, save one--the tower in which I lived . . .
Epilogue: Ten years have passed since the fall of Jericho. My family and I were welcomed into the camp of Israel, and we have remained here. I have come to fully believe in the God of Joshua and Moses. I worship Him now as the Israelites do; eternally thankful for being both chosen by Him and spared His wrath. I, Rahab, am no longer a harlot. My sins have been washed away by the blood of the priests’ sacrifices and the mercy of the Almighty God. In fact, I am now married to the most wonderful man, who loves me for who I am and not because of my past, and we have two beautiful children together. I never dreamed that my life would turn out this way. God is very good! I am blessed.
Images used by permission from www.biblesearchers.com and www.freechristimages.org
Ann Weaver is a Christian mother of two grown children and a proud grandma of four. She enjoys reading, gardening, watching HGTV, creating & designing websites, and spending time with her grandchildren. When inspired, she likes writing blogs and articles on a variety of subjects. Rahab's Story is her first attempt at writing fiction. To read this author's other articles, please visit: AnnMarie7-Squidoo
A Study of the Sea The growling waves percussion on the shingled shore a strange cacophony for youthful ears more used to traffic and the chaotic uproar of the town.. Imagination, caught in the net like unsubmissive fish, baulks against understanding and, finding freedom, goes with the gulls to blue and cloudy skies. Galleons of adventure sail into latent dreaming, the debriefing of the night and the scheming of the unconscious. ~ Keith Wallis
Light Within Light without, hard and bright, scouring the world with its wanton gazing pointing fingers at the shadows. Light within, soft and warm soothing hurt places with gentle embrace and the easy glowing of its generosity. ~ Keith Wallis
The Ideal Mompreneur: Business Lessons from the Proverbs 31 Woman by Theresa Ceniccola When God plants a seed in your heart to grow a business while raising a family, he doesn’t promise it will be easy. No, he prefers the Slow and Steady method to the Get Rich Quick strategy. But he does give us encouragement through an unlikely source – the Proverbs 31 Woman. I used to feel guilty when I read about this Virtuous Woman. Not only because I didn’t measure up to her, but also because I thought she chose family over career, while I attempted to manage both. After all, isn’t she revered as the Wife of Noble Character? But the woman depicted in Proverbs 31 is more than the ideal wife and mother. She is the Biblical version of a mompreneur – sharing her gifts and talents, working long hours and exhibiting wisdom and compassion at home, in her business and in her community. The Proverbs 31 woman serves as an inspiration and a role model for modern day mom entrepreneurs. While it may be impossible for us to emulate her in every detail, let’s take a look at what we can learn from the Virtuous Woman about running a business that supports faith and family.
What the Proverbs 31 Woman teaches us about being a Mompreneur She contributes not only to the welfare of her children but also to her entire household. “She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.” – Proverbs 31: 15 •
How can your business enable you to contribute to a greater cause and serve the world – beyond your immediate family?
She makes wise business decisions and invests her profits in the future. “She inspects a field and buys it. With her earnings she plants a vineyard.” – Proverbs 31: 16 •
Do you make wise business decisions and invest in your family’s future?
She provides for her family with an entrepreneurial spirit and a dedication to her work. “She sees her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.” – Proverbs 31:18 •
Are you willing to work hard and take risks to provide for your family?
She lives with purpose and is prepared for the future. “When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.” – Proverbs 31:21 •
Are you a good steward of the financial resources in your business?
She is a mentor and teacher. “She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” – Proverbs 31: 26 •
How are you sharing what you’ve learned with others? Remarkably, all of this hard work does not compete for her family’s attention, but rather earns her praise and respect. “Her children arise to call her blessed: her husband also, and he praises her.” – Proverbs 31: 28 •
How do your children and husband feel about your business and the work you are called to do?
She is the “Supermom” of her day. “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” – Proverbs 31: 29 •
Do you inspire others and serve as a role model for women?
She is rewarded because of her faith – because she honors, loves and respects the Lord. “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” – Proverbs 31: 31 •
Where do you draw the strength, inspiration and wisdom for your business?
The next time you read Proverbs 31, try not to compare yourself or become paralyzed by her perfection. Take a careful look and see if there are lessons you can apply to your life – at home or in your business. Please come back and share your insights with me! I’d love to know what you are learning from our Biblical mompreneur!
Tangy Cucumber, Tomato and Black Bean Salad from the kitchen of Sally Ann Bruce I have been craving veggies lately, maybe it has something to do with summer time, ya think! Anyway, a friend of mine shared a cold veggie salad with me the other day and it hit the spot for my veggie craving so I thought I would create one of my own. Here is what I came up with . . . Chop and mix together: 6 tiny cucumbers cut into bite size pieces 1 small package of grape tomatoes, sliced in half 3 small baby sweet peppers, diced 1 16 oz. can black beans, drained 1/2 cup sharp cheese, diced Dressing: Apple cider vinegar and Olive oil (I never measure these two ingredients when I make my own salad dressing but it is usually 1 part vinegar to 4 parts oil). Herbamare (This is an herb seasoning that I buy at our local health food store) I usually just sprinkle in a small amount then taste and adjust if needed. Mix all the veggies and cheese together in a bowl and pour the dressing mix over. Eat right away or let set for an hour or more to get even better flavor. I usually eat some right away because I am impatient and can't wait. This is a great summer time salad that is safe for picnics because there is no mayonnaise in it that would have to be kept chilled to keep from spoiling.
School Dazed Hidden Word Puzzle by Beth Brubaker
Answer key on page 81
Visit Tricia on her blog, Itâ€™s Real Life, for more information about her books.
Ask Beth by Beth Brubaker
Dear Beth, My church is small and they're always asking people to help with different ministries. I want to help, but I really don't want to help with everything! I'm afraid that once I start helping, they'll pressure me into doing others things I'm not gifted for. It seems as if all the ones doing the volunteering are volunteering for everything else too! What do I do?
Helpless Helper Dear Helpless, Fear not! I have an answer. And that answer is (believe it or not) - fear not! Don't be afraid to volunteer at your church - just make it clear what you are willing to do before you start. It might just be that all those volunteers who are 'doing it all' have to because no one else will! If you start helping in one area, you might be freeing one of those other volunteers for something else. However, you need to take a look into your heart first. Before you volunteer you need to ask yourself a few questions: “What would I like to do in my church?” “What would I enjoy doing all the time versus occasionally?” “Am I ready to make a commitment to a ministry?” That last one is important, because if you're not willing to commit to something but you still want to help, you can offer help on occasion instead. Serving in a ministry regularly is a big commitment, and is something that should be considered with great care before acting on it. Talk with your pastor. Speak with the leaders of the volunteers. Chat with the volunteers. Search your heart for what you really want to do and not something you'd feel guilty about not doing. The heart has a much different attitude when it's feeling obligated than when it's actually desiring to do something in ministry! Keep up the good work and God will guide you into the ministry that is just the right fit for YOU!
Blessings, Beth 19
Amy Lignor on Her YA Debut of
Until Next Time New author Amy Lignor's YA debut, Until Next Time, kicks off her Angel Chronicles series. The story follows angel pair Matt and Emily as they go to earth in order to protect humans. Inhabiting the bodies of their assigned mortals, this supernatural team experiences an array of human emotions that threatens to complicate both their jobs and their relationship. Today the author reveals more about Matt and Emily and their heavenly adventures. To me, angels were always unlike the other mystical and/or paranormal characters that seem to be all the rage, simply because this is one particular entity where a writer has to walk a very fine line. Some will say angels are automatically religious or inspirational, whereas others will want to see only the ‘fallen’ and their trials and tribulations. When the angel/warrior team of Matthew and Emily came to me I was only thirteen (seeing as that I’m forty-two now, I would say the duo really had time to sink in). I had first ‘seen’ Matthew after my own beloved grandfather had died, and I was so unbelievably upset that my faith was pretty much out the window. Matt was the ‘muse’ I saw sitting in a very amazing library in one of my dreams who talked to me about my grandfather. He was a boy who wanted with all his heart to come down here and experience ‘life.’ Seeing as that he was training to be a warrior, he wanted to protect, defend and serve — much like our own fighting men do today — but he also wanted the chance to just be human and experience everything we’re given on a daily basis. Emily, on the other hand, is the angel side of this team and she’s completely different. In fact, she has a great deal of faith in her existence, but after seeing the pain and heartache down here, she has very little faith in human beings. She looks at her trips as ‘the job,’ and nothing more. Having Matt and Emily work side-by-side not only offered them a chance at romance, friendship, partnership and gave them a person to talk to who was their complete opposite when it came to emotions, but it also gave me a chance to write an enigmatic, memorable pair without giving them the weight of being shunned, thrown out of the gates, etcetera. Matt and Emily are very interesting to explore because, of course, when they’re down here they have free will — just like the rest of us. This means they can get into just as much trouble, or find themselves in harrowing experiences all the time. Even though they have power in their souls, the ‘shells’ that they inhabit can be broken or twisted by the world and by the people around them, causing them to have to be saved by each other. “Being able to take a normally ‘only inspirational pair’ and provide them with lives above and below, was extremely exciting. They never preach. In fact, just like every other teenager in the world, they’re learning as they go. And whether that be learning about fame, wealth, power, people’s hatred, greed, romance, or passion — they still have to find each other, maintain their faith, and try to save the souls that need saving before it’s too late. With them…it’s all in a day’s work!” - Amy Lignor (reprinted with permission by RT Book Reviews) 20
The Uneducated by Amanda Stephan So, for those who are concerned about it, our children regularly attend church. Not only do they attend, but they also help us run the Wednesday night children’s club. I must ask your forgiveness because apparently, I’m uneducated. Let me explain. My children and I help out / work at the food bank on most Thursdays. One Thursday, there was a new person in charge. I have seen this person on several occasions, but we haven’t talked much. On this particular morning, we settled down for devotions before the crowd came in, and this new boss asked me which school my children go to. Perhaps she was a little bewildered because they weren’t attending school that Thursday morning. Understandable. Without hesitation, I replied that I homeschool. And with out hesitation on her part, she said, “Oh, I didn’t realize you were uneducated. Without a blink. Without a smile. Without me knowing her very well at all. One of the things I’ve had to deal with from people who don’t home educate their children is their misunderstanding on certain subjects. One major issue a lot of people have against homeschooling is socialization. Dictionary.com defines socialization as a continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behavior, and social skills appropriate to his or her social position.
They’re often asked to help in the younger group’s junior church or in various Sunday school classes. They both do this without hesitation or complaining, and always with a smile. (Score one to the parents. Or five or six, if we want to be technical.) And . . . we occasionally allow them to leave the house and go to . . . Walmart and Hobby Lobby.; Don’t forget karate lessons. Each and every Tuesday. With multiple other people in attendance. I’m really showing my heathenism now, aren’t I? But don’t worry. The karate class is run by a very respectable Christian man who loves the Lord and doesn’t promote the Eastern stuff at all. Not that I’m saying our children wouldn’t get *anything whatsoever* like that at a regular school. And perhaps I shouldn’t mention that these children go along with me to book signings and not only help me with my books, but also sell their own items that they’ve made. (They’re saving for college . . . . should I mention that?” Occasionally, people want to know how we run our school days. Thanks for asking. We get up, Monday through Friday, at six. We eat breakfast as a family and begin our school days at seven. (No, none of us wear pajamas to the school room. And yes, we have an actual room set aside for school. With desks. Fancy, huh?)
We do seven subjects; Bible, math, English, literature, spelling, social studies, and science. Our daughter has done several foreign languages – Dutch, French, and a little Spanish. Our son will start this year.
Our children aren’t perfect. There are times when they burp at the table, and there are times they are stubborn and have attitudes. There are times when they sass and they joke at inappropriate times.
Our daughter’s electives are current with today’s computer-driven society. She has learned how to build websites, manage and run blogs, contact authors for interviews, and she often relates her thought on current events in our country, as well as on religious topics on her blog.
The flip side? They laugh and smile. They hold open doors for strangers (who quite often don’t even bother to say “thank you”), and they help out whenever they‘re asked.
Boys, having been created differently, learn differently. Our son is a fantastic worker outside. He never complains when he does yard work, tilling, weed whacking, mowing, and plowing of our driveway. He’s built dog houses, cat houses (without help), helped build decks, barns, porches, and renovate houses. When we’re at book venues, there is nothing that he won’t do willingly. Whenever I need something, I can count on him.
They carry sacks of groceries out to strangers’ cars with the hot sun beating down upon them, or with the rain pouring down on their bare heads. They stand up for what they believe in when no one else is – and they’ve been bullied for it. If this is uneducated, then thank you for the loveliest of compliments. And no, your opinion doesn’t offend me in the least. Because I’m the one walking this road. I’m the one with a fantastic family. And I’m the one who is deeply blessed to be this uneducated.
Helping Your Child Grieve by Rosann Cunningham
Have you ever had to help your child grieve over the loss of someone or something dear to their heart? Wow, is it tough! When it comes to raising children, parents (especially new ones) don’t always have the answers to every question or dilemma. In fact, we really often find ourselves in “sink or swim” situations. We are totally learning on the job! Well, recently I had a big “sink or swim” moment when I had to help my child grieve for the first time. My daughter, Faith (five years old), is a very social girl with lots of “best friends,” but one day not long ago she came home from school completely bummed out because her good friend Leena was going to be moving out of the area. “Mommy!” she said, “Leena is my BEST friend. We are recess buddies and we sit next to each other in class!” During Leena’s last week of school, Faith went through different stages of emotion. Some days it didn’t seem to bother her, and other days she was very moody. I figured she would take it a little bit hard, and reminded myself to be extra patient and aware of her feelings. I also asked her several times to find out from Leena how far away she would be moving, because perhaps if it was just a different school district in the area, we could arrange a future play date. Day after day Faith came home with the same answer. “Leena doesn’t know where she’s moving. All she knows is that we’ll never, ever see each other again!” Just before Leena’s last day, Faith asked me if we could give a gift to Leena as a way of saying “good-bye.” It thought that was very kind of her and a wonderful idea, so we picked up a cute toy for her, along with a nice going away card. In the card I made sure to put our contact information in case a play date would be possible. The next day Faith went off to school and came home seemingly happy as usual. In fact, it wasn’t until the following week that it really sunk in to her just how much she missed Leena. It was that dreadful day that she came home, dropped her coat on the floor and plopped onto the stairs sobbing. That’s when I realized my child was experiencing a true loss. The loss of a friend that she would never see again.
So Faith and I discussed the different things she loved about Leena. We talked about the games they played during recess, what Leena’s favorite color way, and her favorite boy in class. Because they are only in kindergarten, Faith discovered that there was a lot about her friend that she didn’t know.
When we moved away from California, Faith left behind so many good friends, but it was with the idea that we would eventually go back to visit, and therefore she’d see them again soon. She was also embarking on a new adventure with her family which added an element of excitement. Leena’s move was very different for her to accept, though. She didn’t understand why Leena had to move, and she couldn’t bear the thought of not ever seeing her again. This time she wasn’t the one who left, but instead she was the one left behind. She was experiencing a sense of grief similar to someone grieving over the death of a loved one. As a parent, I was sort of taken aback as shed struggled to tell me her feelings. I wasn’t sure how best to respond to my daughter, lying there heartbroken. I mean, ho do you help a five year old grieve? I was thankful that it was only over a friend moving and not the death of someone she loves deeply, but it didn’t make the process any easier. All I could do was take her into my arms and let her have a good cry. But I knew I would have to offer some encouraging words and some way for her to have closure. Then I remembered a book we had purchased for her a few months prior. The book is Chester Raccoon and the Acorn Full of Memories by Audrey Penn. The story is about Chester’s friend not showing up to school one day. The teacher tells Chester that his friend was in an accident and wouldn’t be returning to school. So Chester goes through the grieving process of his friend’s death. His mother then helps him find a way to keep the memory of his friend close to his heart, thus giving him closure. It’s a sad story, but one that is helpful to read with a child experiencing a painful loss. So Faith and I discussed the different things she loved about Leena. We talked about the games they played during recess, what Leena’s favorite color way, and her favorite boy in class. Because they are only in kindergarten, Faith discovered that there was a lot about her friend that she didn’t know. At that point, I took the opportunity to tell her how wonderful REAL best friend relationships can be. Not that I was trying to make her relationship with Leena seem unimportant, but I wanted to give her something to look forward to as she grows and develops her current friendships into something even more meaningful. 24
We keep the picture in a special place so she can look at it whenever she misses her friend. And I know she still misses her. The loss of Leena wasn’t all bad though. Faith now has a better understanding of how precious relationships are and how important it is always to nurture them and appreciate them. After all, life is a never ending road of growth and change. Then I suggested she draw a picture that would remind her of Leena. She asked for my help, so together we drew a picture of her classroom and the table she and Leena sat at. I drew Faith (badly . . . . as I am not an artist!) and Faith drew Leena. I had to laugh though, because she made Leena look exactly the way I remembered her from a birthday party we had gone to. High ponytail with a giant blue bow! The picture turned out really cute and Faith loves it. Finally we prayed together asking God to comfort Faith’s heart and to help Leena adjust to her new home and school. That was all it took. She needed closure. We keep the picture in a special place so she can look at it whenever she misses her friend. And I know she still misses her. The loss of Leena wasn’t all bad though. Faith now has a better understanding of how precious relationships are and how important it is always to nurture them and appreciate them. After all, life is a never ending road of growth and change. ~~ Until next time, may God bless you with answers to your sometimes difficult parenting questions!
Sweet Southern Rice Pudding from the kitchen of Debra Ann Elliott What you need: 1 cup rice 2 cups water 1 1/2 cup half and half 1/2 cup dried pitted plums, chopped 1 egg, beaten 5 tablespoons butter 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/3 cup dark brown sugar Let’s make it! Bring rice to boil in water, reduce heat to low and simmer 15-20 minutes. While rice is cooking pudding mixture, combine half and half, egg, cinnamon, and brown sugar; cut butter with fork or pastry cutter, mix well, set aside. Add plums to rice about 5 minutes before end cooking time. Remove from heat. In medium saucepan combine milk mixture, cook over medium heat until butter melts, reduce heat and add rice mixture, cook over medium-low heat about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Strain and serve warm. 25
More Southern Cooking from the kitchen of Debra Ann Elliott
Hawaiian Baked Beans What you need: * 4 (16-ounce) cans navy beans with slab bacon, drained and rinsed (If you have time you can used dry navy beans, soaked overnight) * 1 (16-ounce) can chunk pineapple (reserve juice) * 1/2 cup yellow mustard * 1 cup ketchup * 1 1/2 packed dark brown sugar * 1 cup plus 6 oz. pineapple juice Letâ€™s make it! Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Whisk your wet ingredients together first, add brown sugar, mix until a golden brown color, add pineapple chunks. Combine with navy beans, mix well. Place in aluminum pan. Bake 90 minutes until bubbly.
Pineapple Parfaits What you need: * 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream-softened * 12 oz. container whipped topping * 6-8 pineapple slices-drained * 6-8 maraschino cherries-drained * Pineapple ice cream topping Letâ€™s make it! In dessert bowls layer 1 scoop vanilla ice cream, 2 teaspoons pineapple topping, top with whipped topping and 2 teaspoons pineapple topping. Repeat with 1 scoop vanilla ice cream and whipped topping. Add pineapple ring and cherry. Serves 6-8
The ‘ME’ In My Head by Gloria Doty A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to have a photo taken by a real photographer. When I told his wife I needed a good picture for a number of online sites, he graciously said he would do it. I was so excited. Since this was to be only a head and shoulders shot, I did my best job of applying make-up and changed clothes three times before I was satisfied with the look I was going to project. It was lots of fun. He took pictures in various places in their yard; shade versus sunlight, flowers behind me, foliage behind me, tilt my head to the left or to the right. When he was done shooting, I had twenty-eight pictures to choose from. Some were eliminated immediately, while others were scrutinized. I finally narrowed it down to five poses. He sent me home with the selected five on a thumb drive so I could download them to my computer. As I sat and looked at them on my monitor, I was amazed that was what I looked like. Please don’t misunderstand; he did a beautiful job, even minimizing a few wrinkles, etc. but somehow, that was not how I thought I looked when he was snapping my picture. When I used my favorite one on the sites, I received an unbelievable number of comments about how great the photo looked. I was complimented, but still the thought nagged at me that I was surprised that was how I looked. I struggled to explain it, when my friend, Lynne, captured my feelings perfectly. She said, “The ME in my head is never the ME in the picture.” That is absolutely true, even when it is a great picture. We only see ourselves from the inside unless someone captures us in a photo or we pass by a mirror. Perhaps that is why my Amish friends don’t have any mirrors or pictures. There have been times when I had to leave home quickly to pick up someone or run an errand and until I catch a glimpse of my reflection, I didn’t realize that my hair was uncombed or I had not put even a little make-up on. From inside my head, I looked just fine. I have been pondering my friend’s simple statement for over a week. I believe it is not only true of our outward appearance, but of our inward, heart and thought, appearance, also. In my head, I think I am much nicer than I probably am. I think I help others more than I actually do. I think I donate more than my checkbook indicates. In my head, I read my devotions and have a prayer time every morning, but the truth is that I am not consistent with those things. In my head, I see myself as a soft-spoken, non-judgmental, caring, God-follower, when in actuality, my ‘picture’ appearance is anything but those things. I am not berating myself. I have a forgiving and full-of-grace God who loves me with all my faults, but isn’t it amazing that what we see inside our heads is not necessarily what the world sees? The ME in my head is not the ME in the picture. How true that is.
Naked by Keith Wallis
Naked in different ways when all is stripped, stolen, given away; claimed by time and the march of souls. Naked, when the smile is no longer a disguise and the barren tear offers no sheeny, shiny, shelter in the thirsty desert. Naked, skinless, muscles merely shadow and a memory of strength. Exposed, Ezekielâ€™s miracle is a long time coming, while the dry-boned valley anticipates resurrection. 28
Cocoon of Circumstance by Lynn Mosher “My troubles turned out all for the best…” (Ps. 119:71 The Message Remix)
Where can the most beautiful vistas be viewed? From atop the summit of the tallest mountain, after the most strenuous climb. Which valleys have the richest green velvet pastures and the fullest spikes of wildflower colors? Those that have withstood the greatest drenching rains. What forests produce the most prolific new growth? Those that have suffered the hot, searing flames of destruction. Which diamonds sparkle the most brilliantly? Those that have felt the cleaving of the jeweler’s sharp chisel and the friction of the polishing wheel. An old Chinese proverb says, “The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.” Just as all of nature suffers contrary conditions in order to be expanded, improved, or strengthened, so, too, do we. Difficulties and trials will always be a part of our lives. We cannot separate ourselves from them. And if we ponder it closely, we realize we will not grow as Christians if trials do not come to test and enlarge us. If we try to wiggle out of these times, we force premature deliverance, frustrating God’s plan. It is like prying open a cocoon before the caterpillar has finished its metamorphosis into a butterfly. Forcing open the cocoon too soon will render the caterpillar deformed for the rest of its short lifespan. When we manipulate the hands of the clock to align with our own agenda, we destroy the beauty that God desires to emerge from His timing. Through our own efforts to “help” God out with our deliverance, do we come out of our cocoon of circumstance too early and spiritually deform in some way? Or do we wait for the revealed transformation by God’s hand? 29
Is our cocoon of circumstance not intended, as for the butterfly, to deepen our richest colors and give us wings of flight, beautifying our character, all which we may not have had before the trial? While in that cocoon of circumstance, we “are being transformed into His likeness with everincreasing glory.” (2 Cor. 3:18 NIV) God knows the worth, the power, and the beauty hidden deep within our hearts and only that which is contrary to our comfort releases the precious qualities within us. As Paul said, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Rom 8:18 NKJV) God will work out all our circumstances for our benefit when we fully commit them and ourselves to Him, His Word, and His timing. After experiencing a cocoon of contrary circumstance, are you able to say, as David, that all your troubles turned out for the best? “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” (Rom. 8:28 NLT)
From His feet, Lynn
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The Lure of False Advertising by Maxine Young A few weeks ago, wanting to get out of the house for a bit, I accompanied my family on a furniture shopping excursion. It was unseasonably warm in the area that day and I was having a little trouble walking, so I picked up my cane and headed out of the door. The front window of the store had a Handicapped Accessible sign. I always appreciate seeing that sign. It assures me that I won't run into a problem later on. About 30 seconds later I was rudely awakened to the fact that just because a sign is in the door doesn’t mean it is TRUE. Once we walked in, one of the employees volunteered to help and off she leapt down a very dangerous looking set of stairs. I knew I could not attempt it, but since this shop was handicapped accessible, I also knew there must be an elevator right? Wrong. No elevator. Down that stair case was the only way to both enter and exit the furniture show room.
Has the lure of false advertising ever fooled you? I think it is pretty safe to say, that if you live in this modern world, you (or someone you know) has at some point in life been attracted to something or…someone who promised the world, but delivered nothing. How incredibly disappointing! The lure of the world and its promise of happiness and satisfaction right this second - riches, popularity, friendships, the perfect car, spouse or house can be so tempting that we hop off of the road that God has planned for us to make stops at the “empty promise” stores that the world has to offer. It's really great at first; getting what you think you wanted. Sometimes it can seem like some of the most fun you have ever had . . . until it's not. All that glittered fades to dust, and all you thought you wanted turns out to be nothing you needed. Those empty promises got you to trade your future for your present, and such a realization is difficult to swallow. Yes, many of us have been bitten by the false advertising bug, but that's not something we have to worry about when it comes to God.
I was going no where. As I stood alone on the upper floor of the store, so much went through my mind - first and foremost - which part of the shop is handicapped accessible, and why are they allowed to hang that sign which was clearly false in the window? I felt duped. Clearly, for many places - just because it is advertised as accessible does not make it so!
God never falsely advertises. It is not who He is. He lets you know that sometimes the road won’t be easy. Sometimes you'll have to sacrifice and lose things, but as long as you keep your hand firmly in His, He will lead you through the difficulty to peace. With God, what you see is what you get, and in times like these that promise is refreshing. We never have to live in fear of God promising something He cannot deliver. 31
Great Green Grape Smoothie from the kitchen of Sheila Watson This is a delicious smoothie that is made using snappy Thomson Seedless Green grapes – they are so sweet, with a multitude of nutritional benefits to offer. Other green things in this smoothie are sweet honey-dew melon, seedless cucumbers, and green apples, and the added fiber, color and goodness of baby spinach - oh yes – remember those vegetables! Total Preparation Time: 10 minutes Servings: 2 Ingredients: * ½ cup low-fat milk * ½ cup Greek yogurt * ½ cup soy milk * 2 tbsp. agave syrup or honey * 2 tsp. vanilla extract * 1 baby banana * 1 cup Thomson Seedless grapes, cut in half * ½ any green apple, cut into quarters, seeded, unpeeled * 1 cup washed baby spinach leaves, rough chopped * 1 cup frozen Honey-Dew melon chunks * ¼ English cucumber (optional) * 1 cup ice cubes Directions: 1. Add milk, yogurt, soy milk, agave syrup, and vanilla in a blender, pulse a time or two to combine 2. Add banana, grapes, apple, spinach, melon, cucumber, and ice 3. Blend on liquefy until mixture is thick and has no lumps 4. Pour into a 12-14 oz. tall glass Pour this verdant, delicious smoothie into a tall glass and sip at your leisure over the morning newspaper. You really do deserve a break today, but skip the McSmoothie – make it yourself.
Is September Wind-Down Is September Wind Down Time for Gardeners? Time for Gardeners? by Dorothy Kurchak by Dorothy Kurchak
By no means! I have such a long to-do list I feel like going shopping instead. But I’ll tackle the iris garden first. I just bought 13 new irises which need to be planted and I’m already looking forward to seeing them next June! I do love iris. Their petals are like the finest iridescent satin. All flowers are beautiful, but I think the Lord did a magnificent job on the iris. Anyway, I trim the leaves down to about five inches and cut flower stems down to the tuber. Do this on a sunny day so the wounds will heal quickly. Iris don’t seem to need much fertilizer. I give them a dose of liquid fertilizer in the spring and that’s all. The shipping instructions also suggested to go easy on fertilizer. September is still summer although, because it ends in “ber,” it makes me think of colder weather. So I get started on fall clean up as many plants are slowing down and some have already fallen asleep. Keep up with pruning out yellowing or dead growth. Continue to keep the gardens clean of grass and weeds. If you leave one weed there may be two by spring! This is also the time to divide overgrown plants. In this little garden I call the purple garden, the Veronica “Purple Rain” outgrew the support ring so it will have to be divided as well as the cat mint “Walker’s Low.” The cat mint produces little ones by seed which I have put in other gardens. I’ve met some other neighbors and hope they will welcome some of my leftovers. I bought a handy tool from Jung Seed Company when I bought the iris. It does very well in cultivating around the plants. It does a much better job than the old threepronged cultivator. One about half that width would be good also for closer plantings. If you have purchased new plants remember to mulch them after a hard freeze, which will come much later than September. Some years ago I bought my husband a garden edger. It has a rotating blade that cuts through the sod and you can lift the sod out with a hoe. It gives a very clean edge. If you clean up the edges now they will look good in the spring when you will be busy again. If you’re a serious gardener you know you’re always busy!
This summer I dug up the hens and chicks I had as they had gotten weeds and grass in them. I put some back in the edge of the garden and others I made into dish gardens. They turned out quite nice so I had to share them with you. I picked up the other plants in town and added some rocks from my collection of rocks. My late husband was a real “rock hound.” He always walked across the field with his eyes on the ground. The window sills in the sunroom are lined with rocks and containers with bird feathers. I got to know one of my favorite neighbors when I stopped at his house and asked him if I could have some rocks he had in back of his garage. He said “No.” It turned out he was going to use them to build a retaining wall at the back of his lawn. He did a great job, by the way. Since then I drop in on them and discuss our gardening problems. He has a large orchard with every known fruit as well as blueberries and raspberries. He also has bees to pollinate. This spring was overly warm in March and the fruit trees blossomed and then got frosted. So there is little to no fruit this summer. The trees are in good health and will bear fruit next year. I didn’t have any disease or bugs in the apple and peach trees so there was no need to spray. One less thing to do. It’s not difficult to spray, it’s just that I seemed to have so much to do, but I’ve managed through another summer. Another month and gardening season will be over for Zone 5. Each winter I make a quilt or two. This winter it will be a Bear Paw quilt in navy and cream. Then maybe some table runners. See you later,
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: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/and-god-sent-thedragonflies?keyword=and+god+sent+the+dragonflies&store=allproducts&iehack=%E2%98%A0 http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&fieldkeywords=And+God+Sent+the+Dragonflies http://www.xulonpress.com/bookstore/bookdetail.php?PB_ISBN=9781622308217
In My Periphery by Michelle Lazurek I see what I allow myself to see. I see the mother screaming in the parking lot at her child to get out of the car. I see the angry driver swerving dangerously in and out of the highway lanes. I see the gray haired man, who reeks of sweat and last night’s dinner pushing the grocery cart, overflowing with glass bottles and leaving a trail of soda cans behind him. I see what my eyes present to me. In my heart, I judge. I think I see. But God sees what I don’t see. He sees what’s in my periphery. He sees the single mother’s tears she cries at night, holding her child close, as she stares at the pile of unpaid bills on the kitchen table. He sees the angry driver sitting anxiously in the waiting room, praying the test results are negative. He sees the gray haired man in his Sunday best, hair groomed to perfection, hopping from interview to interview, getting no further than his grocery cart or his hope takes him. He sees. And He weeps. He wants me to weep, too. He wants me to see them the way He sees them. He wants my heart to break, not judge. He wants me to be His hands and feet so the world may know Him. He wants me to care for them the way He cares for them. Lord, help me not to see just what my eyes present to me. But, also, what’s in my periphery. 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 (www.mslazurek.wordpress.com). 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 www.michellelazurek.com, www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com. You can follow her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/mslazurek or Twitter: @mslazurek. 36
Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie from the kitchen of Barbara of “Chase the Star” What a yummy treat for an autumn afternoon! When you take a coffee break, or sit down to read with the kids, or just have a minute to stop in the midst of a busy day, this Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie would be the perfect treat. Please visit Barbara at “Chase the Star” for more great ideas for your family! Preheat oven to 325 degrees What you need: Crust – 9” pie tin 2 packages of graham crackers (about ½ half of a typical box) ¼ cup of butter, melted Filling – 2 large eggs ½ cup all-purpose flour ¾ cup white sugar ¾ cup packed brown sugar ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter, softened 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
* Grind the crackers in a food processor * Add the melted butter * Press into the pie tin Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. While the crust is in the oven: 37
* Beat the eggs in a mixer on high speed until foamy. * Beat in the flour and both the white and brown sugar. * Add the softened butter. * Stir in chocolate chips with a wooden spoon. * Spoon the mixture into the cooled graham cracker crust. * Bake for approximately 1 hour. Let it cool completely before cutting.
I like it best after itâ€™s cooled in the fridge overnight . . . . but if you canâ€™t wait that long, you can serve it warm and even add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!
Apps for Kingdom Living by Sharon L. Patterson Apps . . . . we download them on our smart phones to access information quicker, to manage our daily tasks, and, ultimately, to simplify life into more enjoyable bites of time with family and friends. We question what we did without them and decide that we can no longer live without them. They have not just integrated into our world but upgraded it as well. We pass information about them onto others, praise their usefulness, and pat ourselves on the back every time we find just what we need for the moment.
Size: Mustard seed dimensions (Matthew 17:20), though it will grow when watered with God’s written Word (the Bible) (Romans10:17) and the spoken word (preaching and teaching). (Romans 10:8) We can ask that it ever increase. (Luke 17:5 Functions / Descriptions:
Guess what? APPS have actually been around for a very long time, not only in the technological secular world but in the spiritual world of God’s kingdom here on earth.
1. First of all, it works in conjunction with the LOVE APP that we will look at later. (Galatians 5:6)
As Christians, we haven’t called them apps, but since God exists where past, present, and future are one, He is not surprised at our newest tag for “helps.”
3. Further, we walk by faith. (2 Corinthians 5:7)).
They are permanent apps for our Christian walk here. They are practical as well as spiritual. Actually, they are what make the spiritual practical.
6. We obtain righteousness by faith. (Romans 4:5)
Just in case you may have not downloaded some of these APPS for kingdom living, and integrated them into the daily functions of your spiritual life, I’d like to provide a quick search of those utilized most often for you. It won’t take long, I promise. You see, there are only three. The multiple functionality of each of them is nearly inexhaustible, so I will list only a few. The rest can be searched out in the concordance of any Bible. To download, hit “request” while in prayer. Faster than the blink of an eye, they are ready for use. Ready? Here we go: THE FAITH APP Purpose: Foundational and an absolute necessity to kingdom living. It is impossible to please God without it. (Hebrews11:6) It is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
2. It also manifests its reality through good works. (James 2:17) 4. We live by faith. (Galatians2:20) 5. We stand by faith. (Romans 11:20) 7. We are justified by faith. (Romans 3: 28). 8. Faith purifies our hearts. (Acts 15:9) 9. We overcome the world by faith. (1John 5:4) 10. Faith functions as a shield of spiritual armor. (Ephesians 6:16) Testimony: I have personally used this app for over 53 years for all of the functions listed previously and found it not only necessary and foundational for Christian living, walking, standing, obtaining righteousness, overcoming the world, fighting spiritual warfare, keeping a pure heart, but also for maintaining my relationship with the Lord, family, friends, and co-workers. My faith is still growing through God’s written word, listening to preaching and working good works by Christ’s love. Wonderful App! I highly recommend its immediate download. If you have already downloaded it, but not used it recently, why not restore it? 39
THE HOPE APP Purpose: A significant and substantial trust in the promises of God which holds us steady in our everyday walk and points us toward our ultimate eternal destiny. (Romans 4:18); (Romans 8:2425);(Colossians 1:5); and (Colossians 1:27); (Corinthians 15:19) Size: More scope, than size. It scans the here and now, overreaches tomorrow, and launches toward eternity. (Romans 8:25); (Acts 24:15) Functions / Descriptions: 1. Hope is founded in and toward God. (Psalm 39:7); (Psalm 71:5) 2. Hope abides forever. (1 Corinthians 13:13) 3. Hope inspires clean living. (1John 3:3)
Functions / Descriptions: 1. Love covers sin. (Provers10:12) 2. Love is unquenchable. (Song of Solomon 8:7) 3. Love is stronger than death. (Song of Solomon 8:6) 4. Love lays down its life for others (John 15:13) 5. Love does no harm to its neighbors. (Romans 13:10) 6. Love is the evidential fruit of the Spirit of God. (Galatians 5: 22) 7. Love is born of God (1John 4:7) 8. God is love (1John 4:8) 9. Love casts out fear. (1John 4:18) 10. Love is patient.
4. Hope assures us of immortality. (Acts 24:15)
11. Love is kind.
5. Hope is a heavenly treasure. (Colossians 1:5)
12. Love does not envy.
6. The Hope of glory is Christ in us. (Colossians 1:27)
13. Love does not boast.
7. Hope is the anchor of the soul. (Hebrews 6:19)
15. Love is not rude.
8. Hope worked in us makes us to not be ashamed. (Romans 5:5)
16. Love is not self-seeking.
9. Hope rejoices. (Romans 12:12)
18. Love keeps no record of wrongs.
10. Hope anticipates Jesus coming to earth again (Titus 2:13)
19. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
11. Hope is a basis for testimony to others. (1 Peter 3:15) 12. Hope is lively (1Peter1:3) Testimony: How often this trusted anchor has held me to my Christian faith. Hope in the promises of God, through Jesus, ministered by the power of His Spirit glues me consistently and constantly. Truly, it is the anchor of the soul. Put it right next to your FAITH APP! It will be quite useful to you there. THE LOVE APP Purpose: This is the app that never fails. It is the greatest app. It is the essence of God manifested through the life, death and resurrection of His son Jesus for the salvation of mankind. (John 3:16)
14. Love is not proud.
17. Love does not anger easily.
20. Love always protects. 21. Love always trusts. 22. Love always hopes. 23. Love always perseveres. (1Corinthians 13 4-7 NIV) Testimony: What more can I possibly add about this app. It is what makes all things work in kingdom living. I cannot live without its functions daily. It is as essential as breath to my body. Without it, faith and hope will not be enough. May you enjoy the usefulness and functions of your spiritual apps-faith, hope, and love all the days you walk your daily journey in Godâ€™s kingdom living.
Size: Immeasurable 40
Golden Owl Appliqué Pattern by
mamas*little*treasures Here’s a super-simple appliqué pattern that is quick, easy, and adorable! This little owl could be made up in lots of different fabric combinations, but I thought it would be really fun for autumn through Thanksgiving if I made it all in shades of gold, brown, and orange. And it goes perfectly with the Autumn Patches jeans and skirt (see below). Basic Supplies for the Golden Owl Appliqué T-Top One t-top, short or long sleeve (I used Old Navy and found that the knit is stable and easy to work on) Scraps of fabric in any color combination you like Matching or coordinating thread Fusible interfacing Fusible web Sharp scissors Buttons for eyes
Whenever I do an appliqué, I always begin by pressing the t-top very carefully to smooth out any wrinkles or creases. This is a very important step, and it is important to press throughout the appliqué process.
Lay your t-top face up and press the entire front where you will place your appliqué design. Turn the top inside out, and on the INSIDE of the front of the top, press a piece of fusible interfacing. This piece of interfacing should cover the entire inside front, from the neckline to the bottom, and from side to side. Much of this will be trimmed away, but it is important that you do not accidentally try to appliqué stitch on the knit fabric without the interfacing for stability.
Now it’s time to get the appliqué pieces ready! First, print out the enclosed patterns, and cut out the paper pieces. Choose several different fabric scraps that are various sizes. Press fusible interfacing to the back of your fabric scraps. This provides stability for your appliqué pieces when you are stitching them on to the top.
Place the pattern pieces on your fabric scraps, choosing colors or designs that you think would look good together. Remember, this is your artwork, so whatever you like is RIGHT! But you might try something that you think will look good, and then decide you really don’t care for it after you see all the pieces together. So, it is OK to play around with different combinations until you get it just the way you want it. Cut out all of the appliqué pieces and arrange them on the front of the top to be sure that they all will fit and have the interfacing completely covering the design space on the inside. Arrange and rearrange the pieces until you have a design that you like. Be sure to consider whether or not the top will be worn tucked in or worn outside of a pair of pants or a skirt. You will want the design up high enough that it will not “disappear” if it gets tucked in! When you have all of the pieces arranged the way you want them, start with the piece that needs to be underneath all the other pieces and work your way to the top of the design. So, for our owl project, the first piece you will appliqué to the top is the branch. Cut a small piece of fusible web to fit beneath the branch piece and press in place. Using a wide, close zigzag stitch (satin stitch or appliqué stitch), begin stitching on one LONG straight side of the branch. The setting on my machine for appliqué is a zigzag stitch that is 3.6 width (on a scale of 0 – 5) and length of .30 (on a scale of 0 – 5). This gives me a stitch that is wide enough to catch in all of the raw edges of my appliqué patch and attach it securely to the top, and it is “tight” enough (stitches close together) to provide a decorative edge and cover all of the raw edges and loose threads. 42
You will want to begin stitching on one of the long, straight sides of the piece (whenever possible) so that when you stitch all around the appliqué piece and return to the beginning of your stitching, you can line up the ending stitches with the beginning stitches for a smooth connection.
Stitch all the way around each appliqué piece, returning to the beginning stitches and line them up as closely as possible. Finish off this stitching by taking two or three straight stitches back and forth across the satin stitching to tie it off securely.
When you have completed stitching all around the branch appliqué, press thoroughly before pressing on the next pieces. The best way to determine placement for the next piece(s) is to lay out all of the basic appliqué pieces again. This way you can see how much room you have above and below each piece.
The next pieces to stitch on will be the owl’s feet. Place them on top of the branch, making sure the body appliqué will completely cover the tops of the owl’s legs. Press the feet pieces in place using small pieces of fusible web to hold them in place while you stitch them down. Carefully stitch each foot in place with the satin stitch, beginning and ending your stitching as closely as possible where they overlap, taking two or three straight stitches back and forth over the satin stitches to tie it off securely. 43
Again, press carefully before beginning your next appliqué piece.
The next piece that you will appliqué in place is the body of the owl. Using fusible web, press the body piece in place. Carefully stitch all around the body appliqué using the satin stitch, beginning and ending your stitching as closely as possible where they overlap, and securing your stitching with two or three straight stitches.
Continue adding appliqué pieces in the same manner, continuing to arrange them in place before stitching to be sure they all fit into your design space. The next piece will be the owl’s tummy. Press in place with fusible web, stitch all around, ending and securing your stitching the same way that you did with all the other appliqué pieces.
Press thoroughly in between each application of the appliqué pieces to prevent any accidental wrinkles or creases to get “stuck” in your stitching.
After you have stitched on the owl’s tummy, then it is time to stitch the head appliqué in place, and then the beak should be stitched in place.
The final appliqué pieces to be stitched in place are the leaves. Place these pieces wherever you want them, press them down with fusible web, and stitch around each one with the satin stitch. When stitching on the leaves, it works best to begin at the point of the leaf, where the “stem” would be. That way, when you get all the way around to the point again, stop stitching with your needle in the DOWN position. Lift the presser foot and pivot the top so that you can then stitch up the middle of each leaf to make the “vein” of the leaf. Be sure to end your stitching by taking two or three straight stitches back and forth across the satin stitching to tie it off securely.
When you have all of the appliqué pieces stitched in place, press the entire design thoroughly. Choose buttons for the owl’s eyes and stitch in place by hand.
Turn the top inside out and VERY CAREFULLY lift away the excess interfacing from the stitching. Using sharp scissors, carefully trim away all of the excess interfacing.
BE VERY CAREFUL not to cut so close to the stitching that you accidentally snip a little hole in your top. That can be very discouraging after you’ve done so much work to make this cute little top! (But should it happen, there are ways to repair it so that all is not lost. Email me for guidance should this happen.) When all of the excess interfacing has been removed, press the top again on the inside. Turn right side out, and there you have your adorable little Golden Owl!
The Golden Owl AppliquĂŠd T-Top is perfect with the Autumn Patches Jeans and Skirt. You can find the ebook pattern for the jeans and skirt in my Etsy shop, mamas*little*treasures, at www.mamaslittletreasures.etsy.com
Copyright 2007 by Nina Newton aka mamas*little*treasures. All text and images contained herein are owned by and are copyright 2007 mamas*little*treasures. None of the contents of this pattern eBook may be reproduced or republished. This pattern is for the express and sole use of the customer for personal or home use, and may be used to create garments for the customer to sell on his or her own. 48
Gilded Wings The Angel Chronicles Book 2 by Amy Lignor The Beloved Angel / Warrior Team from Until Next Time Returns! When Matt and Emily are sent on their second mission they have no idea how truly dark human nature can become… Emily never wanted to face humans again. With the heartache that went on down below, she’s still trying to figure out how to save souls that don’t deserve saving. The only one she wants to see again is Jason - the young man she fell in love with who became the soul mate she simply can’t forget… Matt was trained to protect and defend the souls down below. Longing to feel the heartfelt emotions that come from being human, Matt wants nothing more than to have just one life - one chance - to live and love the girl of his dreams… The powerful team find themselves in a brand new century, living in the Gilded Age of New York City. Emily takes over the body of Anya, a young Russian girl who arrives on Ellis Island after a hideous tragedy. There she meets up with a strangely familiar young man by the name of Drew Parrish, who helps Anya survive in an unknown world of luxury, snobbery and…obsession. What Anya’s inner angel doesn’t know is that the soul she loves is also back. This time around Jason goes by the name of Max Carrow. Once a quiet and kind boy, he’s now part of the ‘Four Hundred Club,’ and wants nothing more than to be among the most admired as he climbs the shaky ladder of society’s elite. As two worlds merge, Emily and Matt struggle under the weight of their “Gilded Wings.” Not only will they have to figure out who they should fight to save, but they must also face a romantic choice that could destroy them both. Gilded Wings will be available November 1, 2012. For more information about Gilded Wings, please visit Amy Lignor’s page on Goodreads at http://the-angel-chronicles.blogspot.com 49
Footprints in the Mud Why Canâ€™t We Have Medications with Good Side Effects? by Beth Brubaker At this point I would settle for honesty on the side effects labels: Have you ever read the small print on medication bottles? I know it's hard, but if you put it under a micron microscope, you might be able to see a word or two under the side effect warnings. It's scary! Look on a bottle of sleep aid and read the side effects. Among a long list of others, these are a few - dizziness, coma or death. Coma or death? Are you kidding me? No thanks, I think I'll risk the insomnia - I don't want to sleep that long! That got me thinking - Why don't they make medications with good side effects? Side effects like: Hair grows longer, stronger, and has a mink-like sheen. Severe weight loss - but only for those who are overweight. Increase in niceness. Increase in muscle mass without aggression. Can not only work heavy machinery, but you can do it better than the boss. It's a nice thought, isn't it?
Shortening temperament that includes possibility of death - by family members. Causes just enough baldness to prevent combovers. Makes you mess up on machinery during evaluation day. Causes projectile vomiting the moment your child is asleep. Makes you bloat more than a New Year's parade balloon. Of course if they did this, those medical conglomerates might have to make bigger bottles to compensate for all those words - maybe that's why they don't? Nah. If they did, I think we'd be buying a lot less medicine! There are only two things that we administer to ourselves and others that don't have bad side effects - laughter and the Word of God! Laughter doeth good like a medicine, so why don't we laugheth and prayeth a bit moreth? I know I'm going to! I'll recover a lot faster than if I read all those side effects on the labels!
Please visit Beth on her blog, Footprints in the Mud, for more humorous and inspirational posts.
Jamie's Cranberry Spinach Salad Submitted by Christena Hammes September is the open door that we walk through each year, anticipating the blessings and joys of autumn and the upcoming holiday season. Here is a salad recipe that combines the bounty of the summer harvest with the reminder of the coming joys of Thanksgiving. Spinach and cranberries, topped off with almonds and poppy seeds and a sweet – sour dressing is the perfect combination to take us through the last days of summer to the beautiful days of autumn. What you need: * 1 tablespoon butter * ¾ cup almonds, blanched and slivered * 1 pound spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces * 1 cup dried cranberries * 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds * 1 tablespoon poppy seeds * ½ cup white sugar * 2 teaspoons minced onion * ¼ teaspoon paprika * ¼ cup white wine vinegar * ¼ cup cider vinegar * ½ cup vegetable oil Directions: In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook and stir almonds in butter until lightly toasted. Remove from heat, and let cool. In a large bowl, combine the spinach with the toasted almonds and cranberries. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, onion, paprika, white wine vinegar, cider vinegar, and vegetable oil. Toss with spinach just before serving. Nutritional Information: Amount Per Serving Calories: 338 | Total Fat: 23.5g | Cholesterol: 4mg You can find this recipe here: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/jamies-cranberry-spinachsalad/detail.aspx
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Oven-Roasted BBQ Pulled Pork from the Southern Kitchen of Debra Ann Elliott Here’s another great late-summer recipe from one of Ruby’s “Kitchen Divas,” Debra Ann Elliott. Be sure to visit Debra in the Ruby for Women community where you will find more recipes from her blog, Granny’s Southern Cooking. Ingredients: Dry Rub: 3 tablespoons paprika 1 tablespoon garlic salt 1 tablespoon onion powder 1 tablespoon cinnamon 1 tablespoon sea salt 1 tablespoon black pepper 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar 1 (5 to 7 pound) Boston butt (My family prefers Boston butt) Pineapple Barbecue Sauce: 2 cups ketchup 1 cup pineapple juice 1 cup packed dark brown sugar 1/3 cup cider vinegar 1 cup cola Directions: Mix the paprika, garlic salt, onion powder, cinnamon, sea salt, black pepper and dark brown sugar together in a small bowl. Rub the spice blend all over the pork and marinate, covered in the refrigerator 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Put the pork in a roasting pan and bake for about 6 hours until pork is falling apart and tender. To make the barbecue sauce: combine the ingredients in a saucepan over low heat. Simmer gently, stirring, cook about 15-20 minutes. Be sure not to scorch the pineapple juice. Make sure the brown sugar melts. Remove the pork roast from the oven and transfer to a large platter. Allow the meat to rest for about 10 minutes. While your Boston butt is still warm, take 2 forks and "pull" the meat to form shreds. Using 2 forks shred the pork by steadying the meat with 1 fork and pulling it away with the other. Put the shredded pork in a bowl. Pour 1/2 of the sauce on the shredded pork and mix well to coat. Debra 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. http://www.grannyssoutherncooking.blogspot.com/
The Happy Housewife by Elizabeth Baker Foreword (2012) Receiving a candid glimpse into one’s personal past is a rare privilege, but I got one. When I began converting The Happy Housewife from physical pages to electronic files, the past came rushing at me headlong. Here were my thoughts, feelings, and conclusions from forty years ago come to life in my own words. I scarcely knew the young mother who was publishing her first book before her thirtieth birthday. It was like looking in a mirror and wondering how the wrinkles and grey hair happened so suddenly. Yet, as I continued down memory lane, I was surprised to find most of my conclusions as valid in 2012 as they had been in 1976. Life was certainly different but truth was not. Back then there were no computers, cell phones or Internet. In fact, even school backpacks were not yet in vogue. I know. I created the first few chapters with a pencil borrowed from my daughter’s pile of arm-held supplies and finished out on a manual typewriter bought at a garage sale.
“One of the basic facts of this book has been that its author is no one special. I am a housewife with little education and no formal Bible training. I am very common, but I serve a most uncommon God. And the great thing about that statement is that, if you want Him, He will be your God and Savior, too.”
It was a pleasure to find the advice I gave long ago and the emotions I felt then are as valid today as they were when I pulled carbon-paper copies from black rubber rollers. Of course, some things can’t help but change and one of those is the English language. In the ‘70s, gender correctness was in its infancy. My generation had no problem with the fact that our mailman was a woman. When our church congregation sang, “Brethren we have met to worship,” no one was insulted and everyone understood brethren meant everyone—male and female equally. I still remember how shocked I was when many years later my doctoral committee made me change my dissertation to read humankind instead of mankind. Another change forced by time is the capitalization of pronouns referring to deity. Once it was acceptable to put Him in the middle of a sentence. No more. Now, it gives the grammar check indigestion. Even God with a capitol “G” is slowly changing. For some that spelling no longer refers exclusively to Jehovah, the God of Christians and Jews, but to an unidentified, all-powerful force of nature or a general idea of Supreme Being unbound by religious connotations. 53
Today, when I write for publication I keep these changes in mind. I compose for editors with an updated style book and modern readers. But for this book, I have chosen to keep mixed gender identified with masculine pronouns rather than he/she and to capitalize all pronouns referring to Deity despite grammatical rules to the contrary. Just chalk it up to an old lady who is still part of mankind and delights in worshiping Him. Other things never change. Motherhood involves joys and baby puke, insecurities and dreams, hard work and confusion—just like always. And, the practicality of applying Bible solutions to daily problems works the same yesterday, today and forever. I found fresh proof of that as I read the closing paragraphs of the 1976 edition. Their timelessness touched me so deeply I decided to include them as a close to this 2012 Foreword:
“Back then there were no computers, cell phones or Internet. In fact, even school backpacks were not yet in vogue. I know. I created the first few chapters with a pencil borrowed from my daughter’s pile of armheld supplies and finished out on a manual typewriter bought at a garage sale.”
“One of the basic facts of this book has been that its author is no one special. I am a housewife with little education and no formal Bible training. I am very common, but I serve a most uncommon God. And the great thing about that statement is that, if you want Him, He will be your God and Savior, too. If Jesus can use my small faith, He can surely use yours. If He can teach my thick head, He can teach you, too. If He can use my talent, He can use yours. There is no limit to His forgiveness, no bounds to His great love, nothing He can’t conquer, no person He can’t save. If this book has impressed you with the ability of the Lord to touch the everyday things, it has achieved its purpose. If it has caused you to see more clearly the goals God has for you, it has been well worth the tedious hours I’ve devoted to it. If it has stirred in your heart a desire to know more of Him, then I am more than repaid for the times I’ve prayed for you over these typewriter keys.” Editor’s Note: This charming and inspirational book by Elizabeth Baker has been re-published and is now available again through Amazon. Ruby for Women is honored to be able to share with our readers a new chapter each month, along with the updated Forward that reflects the author’s heart from the original publication. We hope you enjoy the timeless wisdom from Elizabeth Baker, The Happy Housewife. This month we bring you Chapter Four from The Happy Housewife: “Don’t Bug Me, Man!”
“If Jesus can use my small faith, He can surely use yours. If He can teach my thick head, He can teach you, too. If He can use my talent, He can use yours. There is no limit to His forgiveness, no bounds to His great love, nothing He can’t conquer, no person He can’t save.” 54
The Happy Housewife by Elizabeth Baker
Chapter Four Don’t Bug Me, Man! There are plenty of things in this modern, uptight world to irritate us. Pushy people who cut in front of us at the traffic light, appointments to keep, meals to plan, cranky children, the endless cycle of housework, even household noise can get on our nerves. The TV is clamoring; the washing machine is chugging; the kids are squealing; the telephone is ringing. It is no wonder if we jump three feet in the air when the dryer lets out a loud “BLE-E-E-P!” signaling another load is ready for attention and emptying. In times like these the teachings of the Bible can seem far removed from life and not very practical. Living in tents and traveling country roads by wagon or on donkeys sounds like the good life of a day gone by when time was slow and civilization was not threatened with extinction every time the evening news was aired. It is fine for God to tell us to be gentle and quiet (I Peter 3:4), to take time to meditate in His Word (Joshua. I:8), and to be at peace and patient (I Thessalonians 5:13-14. We acknowledge we should do these things. Our hang-up comes not with the should, but with the how. Words come into fashion like styles of clothes and hair. Each new generation compiles its own personal dictionary, much to the confusion of anyone over 30. What Grandma called “The bee’s knees” was “groovy” to recent moderns and I wouldn’t risk saying what it might be now. Though I tucked the phrase “pneumonia hole” away with the shattered remains of my bridal bouquet and went back to calling that object a window, a few of the colorful phrases of my youth remain with me to this day. One of these is, “Don’t bug me.” In my opinion, few words better describe the irritation and discontentment bred by everyday annoyances as that phrase.
Bugs! Living in the South, I am all too familiar with those pesky creatures that can make life miserable. I have a running battle with weevils in our wooded cabinets, even in sections where no food is kept. Bill found the carcass of one of our bulls yesterday. That big powerful animal had become a victim of anaplasmosis given to him by the bite of an insect. Chiggers and ants, roaches and wasps, are our unwelcome guests from the first sign of spring through most of the year. I have even seen flies on the Christmas tree. But the bug of all bugs has got to be the local tick. For those who live in a less privileged section of the country and are not familiar with these fascinating creatures, let me explain a little about ticks. They range in size from tiny specks barely visible to the eye, to whopper cow ticks that are half an inch across when full of blood. A tick sneaks through the grass or hides under tree bark and waits impatiently for a foot, paw, or hoof to stray close by so he can grab hold of it. He hitches a ride on the unsuspecting host and crawls up his leg until he finds a comfortable spot of soft skin, usually in the bend of a joint or behind the ears. Then he proceeds to burrow into the victim’s skin and feast on his blood. The tick will remain in place for several days or until so fat and round he looks like a tiny gray marble with feet. The tick then drops off, content with the world, and lets a hungry brother take his place.
Cattle farms come with a built-in supply of ticks. They crawl on the children as well as the dogs and feast on adults as well as cows. Once a tick has a good hold on his private piece of property, he hangs on for all he’s worth. Each tick must be pulled off with tweezers. In summer one of my last jobs at night is to “de-tick” the children, and more than once after a long hot day with the cattle, my husband has said as he comes through the back door, “Mama! Where’s the tweezers?” The bite of this bug itches longer than that of a mosquito. To put it mildly, this bug is an irritation. You haven’t lived until you have been sitting in church and slowly begun to realize there is a tick crawling around under your girdle.
If we know there is a deep-seated problem somewhere but can’t quite pin it down, if we are worried and depressed and feel like each new day is a chain about our legs but we can’t put into words why we feel this way, we have blessed assurance in Scripture. “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weakness. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26). “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him,” (James 1:5). Prayer can help you cope with unnamed irritations, but perhaps even more important, it can give you the necessary wisdom to identify them.
There are three ways to handle a tick. 1. Pretend it isn’t there. 2. Admit it is there and gripe about it. 3. Get rid of the bug by pulling it off and throwing it away. As strange as it may seem, these are the same three basic ways people handle spiritual irritations. 1. Pretend it isn’t there. People who follow this route suffer silently while their ulcers bite each others. They are determined to live like Christ if it kills them—and it just about does. They swallow when they want to shout. With all their might and main they struggle to keep the lid on the boiling turmoil inside them until it explodes in a fit of unreasonable temper or prolonged self pity or even physical illness. 2. Admit it is there and gripe about it. The first step in getting rid of an irritation is to admit it exists and name it. What irritates you? A mother –in-law? Housework? A husband who won’t say, “I love you?” Children? Someone has said that a problem well stated is half solved, and I agree with him. We can’t take a problem to Jesus until we are willing to admit exactly what the problem is.
But admitting and identifying the irritation is still only half of the solution. If we stop there the irritation will not leave. Knowing the cause does not eliminate the problem and rubbing off on others the irritation we feel only multiplies the problem by two. The only effective method of eliminating a bug is method 3. 3. Pull the thing off and throw it away. Before we can expect the Lord to eliminate the irritation we feel about a certain thing, we must first be willing for Him to do so. It is easy to say, “I wish the Lord would take this thing away.” But do we mean it? Irritation is the first cousin to self-pity and self-pity is as delicious to the egocentric “Adam” nature as pie a la mode to the dieting stomach. If we have a situation that rakes across our nerves, we can go to a friend and moan, “Look what I must put up with.” “Look how badly so-and-so treats me.” And when the friend sympathizes with us or says how brave we are, the Adam nature laps it up with glee. An irritating situation also gives us a convenient excuse for unchristian behavior. “I know I should not have yelled back at the kids, but their father made me so mad last night!” Or, “It’s only natural that I need nerve pills when you consider that my mother-in-law lives next door.” 56
When we experienced salvation, or the new birth, we laid our present sins and our future days at Jesus’ feet and trusted Him to do what He said He would do: forgive all our sins and grant us life with Him in heaven (I John 1:9; John 3:16). When we did this, the Spirit of God came to live within us (Romans 8:9). Just as two people can live in one house, two spirits can live in one body. Learning to let the Holy Spirit rule us, learning to give Him control—sometimes one area at a time— is the Christian life. Learning to pull each irritation out of our own minds and give each to the hands of Jesus is the only solution to every situation. Letting go of objects and problems and people is an art that develops slowly in the lives of many Christians, but it is a beautiful art well worth practicing, and when in full bloom it allows us to say with the Apostle Paul, “For I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content,” (Philippians 4:11). Case of the Shabby Sofa One of the toughest battles I fought as a newly growing Christian was learning to give Jesus my living room sofa. Oh, how I hated that thing! How it irritated me! It was the constant symbol of all my poverty. When Bill and I first married and set up housekeeping in West Texas, we found ourselves with many needs and few dollars. One of our needs was furniture, so we went to a little town outside the air base that did its main business in newlywed traffic. Their prices were rock bottom, and unfortunately, so was their quality for the most part. In order to keep the finance company happy, I was forced to take the cheapest couch the store had in stock. It was plain brown in a looped fabric and I disliked the thing on sight. We reasoned we could make do with this monster for a couple of years and get something nice when money was not so scarce. For the next five years we moved at least once a year. The brown couch was loaded on and off the pickup so many times that it began to look battle weary.
When we received orders for overseas duty I strongly suggested that the old sofa be tossed over the bluff and a new one bought on our arrival back in the States. Bill assured me that we would indeed get a new one but it would do no harm to store the old one while we were gone. Two years and 10,000 miles later, I found myself seated in a tiny old farm house on the Oklahoma prairie and under me sat that same old brown sofa I had learned to hate so well. There was cotton creeping out of a hole in its middle, and the fabric on the arms was threadbare. It even had a spring broken and a rip across the back. “Now?” I asked. “Why buy a new one now?” Bill reasoned. “We will be out of the service in two more years. We can get a new one when we are settled.” Back home to East Texas we traveled at last, and after four months of searching we located a suitable rental house. Uncle Sam shipped our furniture, and once more that ugly brown thing was deposited in my living room. Another year went by . . . no sofa. Then Bill traded for a new tractor, and I thought that was the last straw. With a little effort I convinced myself that I never got my way about anything. It was like the rhyme I used to chant as a child: “Nobody loves me. Everybody hates me. I’m gonna eat a worm.” My heart was both hurt and angry, and my spiritual weakness showed in my being shorttempered with the children and discontented with the nice things I did own. I knew the Lord did not want me acting this way. I knew He expected me to be content with what I had. But try though I might, there was no way to force contentment into my rebellious heart. I was miserable. At this time, there was a Christian radio program that I listened to daily. The speaker was teaching about spiritual victory and how it is achieved. Giving Scripture references, he showed that spiritual victory is won the same way salvation or the new birth is won, not through self effort but through surrender to Jesus Christ. 57
(Certainly, everything that comes over the radio in the name of religion should not automatically be considered true; neither should everything that comes out of a book or from a pulpit. But I had checked this speaker many times with the Scripture and had learned to trust him over years. “Back to the Bible Broadcast” remains one of my staunchest allies in spiritual growth.) So, I went to Jesus in prayer and gave Him that ugly, torn, dirty brown sofa. I gave it to Him just as surely as if I had given it to my sister-in-law to recover and use in her spare room. The couch couldn’t bother me anymore because I didn’t own it anymore. I said, “Jesus, this is Yours. I give You complete control of it. Burn it up or let it sit where it is for the next 20 years. It is Yours, not mine any longer. I do this because You have asked me to give You all I have and own and am. Now, I trust You to do what You said You would do and give me peace and contentment.” This prayer was based on His words recorded in Matthew 10:37-39; Romans 12:1; and John 14:27, just as all fruitful prayers must be based upon His word. When I awoke the next morning and went about my work I knew beyond doubt that Jesus had fixed things. I didn’t have to force myself to act contented; I was contented! I didn’t have to bite my tongue to keep from yelling, I felt no need to yell! Jesus had fixed me and I was glad. Later, when I was cleaning the living room, I remembered the Scripture where God asked Moses, “What is that in thy hand?” I knew enough Bible teaching to realize that God always expects us to use what we have in our hands. What did I have on hand that could be used to make this room more attractive? From the long forgotten corners of my mind I faintly recalled a bedspread, a pink one. It was an expensive spread in soft damask weave that had been purchased overseas years before. I had washed and dried the thing and accidently shrunk it. I could remember folding it and putting it in storage somewhere.
But where? I found it at last, hidden away in the blanket storage compartment built into the bottom of the old couch. After a couple hours in the fresh air, and with a few pins holding it in place, the bedspread made the old couch almost smile. The living room floor was made of common wide boards that had been stained dark brown. But the stain had worn off in the doorways and the passing of many years had dulled the finish on the rest of the floor. I gave it a good scrubbing, put on three new coats of wax, and to my surprise the floor took on a soft dark glow that was very pleasant. There were red roses in the yard, left by some long forgotten tenant and I placed a bowl full of them on the coffee table. God supplied spring sunshine streaming through the large windows and a soft breeze to make my thin white curtains sway. Standing there I had to admit that the room which yesterday had irritated and depressed me was indeed lovely. When God took away the depression that blinded me, I began to see other things more clearly also. Bill had not been unfair when he placed a new tractor above my wants. He was trying to build a future for his family and it often requires a $60,000 investment to set up a small farm that will support a family the same as a blue collar job. That is one of the nicest things about the way Jesus works. Just as irritations over one thing in life will spill over and color all of life, so the joy He gives over a victory will often spread light and peace into the dark hallways also. Each tick must be pulled off separately. Each irritation in life must be given to Him specifically. Each person. Each thing. Each problem. Jesus can handle any situation we are willing to give Him, but we must be willing to give. 58
Lemon-Raspberry Bars from the kitchen of Katherineâ€™s Corner Source: Marcy Goldman -The New Best of Better Baking Hereâ€™s another delightful recipe that combines the summer sunshine and a glimpse of autumn harvest. Lemon and raspberry . . . what could be more perfect for a late summer treat? What you need: For the crust: 1 cup unsalted butter, softened 2 cups flour 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt 1 tsp grated lemon zest For the lemon topping: 6 eggs 2 cups sugar 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice 1/4 tsp pure lemon extract zest of 1 lemon 3/4 tsp baking powder 4 tsp flour 1/2 cup raspberry preserves Letâ€™s make it! Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9" square baking pan with baking spray or line with parchment paper. Set aside. Prepare the crust: Combine all the crust ingredients in a medium bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Press evenly into the prepared pan. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Bake the crust for 15 minutes, and then let cool for 15 minutes. Prepare the lemon topping: Combine all the topping ingredients, except the raspberry preserves, in a medium bowl and whisk until well blended. Spread the raspberry preserves evenly over the baked crust. Slowly pour the lemon topping mixture over the raspberry layer. Bake for 22-24 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 325F and continue baking for 20-25 minutes longer or until topping is set. Transfer the baking pan to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting. Dust with powdered sugar before serving. 59
Books Your Kids Just Have to Read! by Nina Newton When my older children were small, and even as they entered their teen-age years, we always had a book that we would read together. Of course, they read on their own as well, but we discovered so many wonderful books over the years that we loved . . . . and I wanted to share a few of them with you. It also helped that I have a good friend who taught Children’s Literature courses for many years so she gave me lots of suggestions, too! If you have children or grandchildren, nieces or nephews, or any children in your life, any of these books would make great birthday or holiday gifts, or just as a little way to say, “I love you!” One of our all-time favorites (which we all learned to recite by heart, so that even when they couldn’t yet actually read the words, they knew all of the words in this book!) is “Goodnight Moon.” Every night, when we tucked them in, we would read this one together. And then there was “The Little Engine that Could,” which would always remind us all that we must never give up, no matter how difficult a challenge we are facing. “Corduroy” is a delightful story of a little girl and the teddy bear she discovers . . . . “The Snowy Day” is reminiscent of quiet winter days of childhood and playing in the snow . . . . “Stone Soup” tells the tale of how a whole community comes together to make a big pot of soup to share . . . and “Where the Wild Things Are” has left an indelible mark on our family, as we all use the phrase, “I’ll eat you up, I love you so!” Even the grand babies have discovered how much Mamaw loves them when she tells them she’ll take a nibble from a tiny ear or toe! “Charlotte’s Web” is truly a classic that all children must read! Themes of friendship and doing good to others flow through this delightful story that has been turned into an animated film. Finally, my favorite children’s story of all time is “The Hundred Dresses.” This sweet, yet sad, story tells the tale of a young girl who is treated badly by other girls in her school because she is poor and lives in an immigrant neighborhood. In the midst of all their bragging about their beautiful new clothes, Wanda tells them that she has “a hundred dresses” at home in her closet. This story will touch your heart as well as help your children understand the pain that is caused when children are unkind to one another. If you have a little girl, in the second through fifth grades, this would be a great book to share with them! Of course, there are so many more, but for this month here are just a few that we have discovered over the years . . . . I hope you will read some of them together in your family! 60
Greek Cross Block #12 for the Bible Block Wedding Sampler Sew-Along with Laura Brandt The Greek cross is a very common form of the Christian cross that was in use by the fourth century. It wasn’t intended to represent the Crucifixion as the Latin cross is today, but it was easily disguised which was important to the safety of persecuted Christians. With the first and last letters of “Jesus” and “Christ” on the top and the Greek word for conqueror (nika) on the bottom, the Greek cross became known as the victor’s cross. This quilt block is a great beginner’s block because it’s a traditional nine patch made up of half square triangles (HSTs), squares and rectangles. It’s a simple design, but can make for a stunning block. Please note: all seams are ¼”; final block is 12.5” unfinished. Step 1 – cut your fabric. From Fabric 1, cut two squares 4 7/8” x 4 7/8”. From Fabric 2, cut two squares 4 7/8” x 4 7/8” and four rectangles 4 ½” x 2 ½”. From Fabric 3, cut one square 4 ½” x 4 ½” and four rectangles 4 ½” x 2 ½”. Step 2 – make your half square triangles. On the wrong side of a 4 7/8” Fabric 1 square, draw a diagonal line corner to corner. Draw a ¼” line on either side of the diagonal line. Place your marked square right sides together with one of your 4 7/8” Fabric 2 squares and sew along the quarter-inch lines you’ve marked on either side of your diagonal centre line. Cut your square apart along the drawn centre line to separate your square into triangles. Press your seams toward the darker fabric and you now have two 4.5” half square triangle units. Repeat with your remaining Fabric 1 and Fabric 2 squares to create a total of four 4.5” red and yellow HSTs. (A visual of the previous instructions can be seen on the Wedding Ring tutorial or on the Contrary Husband tutorial. )
Step 3 – Place one of your Fabric 2 rectangles right sides together with one of your Fabric 3 rectangles. Sew together on the long edge. Press seams and repeat with your remaining Fabric 2 and 3 rectangles to create four 4.5” blue and yellow squares.
Step 4 – Being careful to follow the diagram on the rotary cutting instructions, lay out your block as shown:
Step 5 – Sew your squares together into rows and press seams:
Step 6 – Being careful to watch your alignment, sew your rows together into your block. Press seams and you are done!
Greek Cross Block #12 Templates A and B 63
Greek Cross Block #12 Template C Wentworth County Quiltworks Bible quilt updates and a growing Bible Block-of-the-Month collection Visit Laura and follow along as she creates her Bible Block-of-the-Month Collection! www.wentworthcountyquiltworks.com 64
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 avoidacollision.com. 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 shop.positivity4ever.com. 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 www.avoidacollision.com You can also find Glendaâ€™s magazine, Positivity 4 Ever, at www.shop.positivity4ever.com
Keeping a Creative Child Active by Jennifer Jo Fay
Children really need to be encouraged to be creative, so for all you parents out there, it is so important to nurture your creative child. Don't ever tell him/her that she can't do it! It shouldn't matter how messy they get, and don't sweat the small things if you find yourself being the one to clean it up. At least you have kept them occupied and they have gotten the opportunity to express themselves. I have always had my children doing lots of different types of creative activities. I'm sure it helped that I did all of it, too. Two of my kids have developed an artistic talent like me, and so far both of my daughters want to be artists. My oldest son likes photography. Of course he wants to tell people where to drill for oil so he can retire early, but he also enjoys taking pictures. Here are lots of craft ideas and activities to get your children involved with their creative side: 1. Take them on a walk and give them each a Ziploc bag or a brown paper bag and let them collect found objects. Pine cones, leaves, rocks, flowers, sticks, feathers, and almost anything that they can find are perfect! Bring them back and pull out the paints. You can teach them how to paint their found objects and then press their paper down on top of them or press the objects onto the paper to see the print that is created from the painted objects. 2. Teach them how to finger knit if you know how to knit. My daughters learned how to finger knit from someone at school. One can do it with five fingers! 3. Get a pie pan and add water and a little bit of dish soap and add some food coloring. Then have your kids blow bubbles into the pan with a straw. That's a fun activity, and it makes beautiful bubbles! My oldest liked doing that once. 4. If your daughter wants to make a spider web all over the living room with a ball of yarn, let her do it. Just tell her that at the end of the night it all has to come down. My youngest did this once when younger.
5. Let them paint at a young age. If they get messy, let them do it. Let them be in their moment. 6. Teach them how to weave with yarn or ribbon. You can either buy a loom or a pizza loom is very fun and it's a very easy thing to learn. Or if you don't want to buy something, you can use a frame. Just take out the glass and then start tying your yarn to the frame and wind around where you want to weave. It will look like a strip which would be good for a bracelet. Then of course with other yarns, it's an over, under, over, under process. When you are all done, you cut your strings in the back two at a time and tie them together. Do this across the top and the bottom which will hold it together. 8. Crayon rubbings are fun. Gather up a few found objects that have a texture to them and have your kids put paper on top and start rubbing. Leaves, grasses, pressed flowers, concrete, or even textured floor tile will work! 9. Collage and scrapbooking. Kids love to learn to cut around things. 10. Have them try to write a little story. That's a great activity for kids to learn how to write stories too. That should be a good start. Always search for new ideas to help them learn and grow as you want them to be all they can be.
â€œ. . . don't sweat the small things if you find yourself being the one to clean it up. At least you have kept them occupied and they have gotten the opportunity to express themselves.â€?
For more creative activity ideas, visit www.ehow.com or http://allcraftblogs.blogspot.com
Charming Autumn Craft Projects from Around the Blogosphere We all love Pinterest . . . . and we love to share the ideas we discover there! Here are a few of the charming autumn craft ideas that I found while out and about. All images are from the respective blogs or websites where the ideas are posted. If you are looking for some great ideas for craft projects to brighten up your home this autumn, please visit some of these creative bloggers! And be sure to sign up for a Pinterest account where you will discover hundreds of other great ideas.
Sweater sleeve pumpkins from Tins and Treasures . . . . .
Fabric pumpkins from Sew Dang Cute Crafts . . . .
More fabric pumpkins from Sunshine in My Soul . . ..
Homespun pumpkins from Martha Stewart . . . .
Felt leaves from Martha Stewart . . . .
Jar oâ€˜lanterns from Martha Stewart . . . .
Fall leaf candle jar from Family Fun Crafts . . . .
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 www.youcanmakethis.com 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 familyfriendly 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! email@example.com 71
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Tatters to Treasures Where new beauty arises from the ashes of yesterday in reconstruction garments, shoes, and accessories www.tatterstotreasures.etsy.com 72
As the mother of three sons, I have had many new areas of learning when it came to toys. The most challenging was the year they each turned sixteen . . . see what I mean and have a grin or two on me!
“Boys’ Toys” by Sharon L. Patterson Though raised with all girls, I had all boys, And never quite understood the appeal of their wheeled toys; That is, until I saw the excitement in their eyes The day we gave them their birthday surprise: No more matchbox cars but a ten speed and a mountain bike. Now, the demand for new wheels at sixteen is quite different you see, All they want is a car, not necessarily new, but up to speed. Now, that is quite alright with Momma As long as they drive safely with no trauma And can afford the gas, insurance, and such. “What’s that you say…I’m asking way too much?” “Hey, boys…” “Want back your matchbox toys?”
If that brought a smile, see about this one. You can see that the wheels kept turning . . . theirs and mine!
“Momma, the Boy, and the Cycle of Wheels” by Sharon L. Patterson “Momma, Momma, can I have a new match box car? The kind you barely push to go really far?” “Momma, Momma, can I have a bike?” “Well, you’re five now…we’ll trade in your trike.” “Momma, Momma, will you ask Dad “To get me a go-cart, if I ask, he might get mad.” “Momma, Momma, can I have the keys?” “I won’t go far…please, Momma, please!” “Momma, Momma, can I have my own truck?” “What do you mean, Momma, “Good luck?
Vintage Paper Dolls from the collection of Vintage Mama
Money Logic Puzzle by Beth Brubaker Rachel spent all her money in five different stores. In each store, she spent $1.00 more than half of what she had when she came in. How much did Rachel have when she entered the first store? Answer key on page 81.
Ruby Pearls for September by Beth Brubaker September 16th is Women's Friendship day! Call up your gal pals and do something fun! â€œHold fast to dreams - for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.â€? -Langston Hughes
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.
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 www.ariverofstones.blogspot.com
Spiritual Trail Mix by Elizabeth Baker Spiritual Trail Mix by Elizabeth Baker is the perfect companion for modern life on the go. Whether you’re looking for a moment of down time before going to sleep or an interlude of laughter while waiting in line, these stories will give a fresh reason to face the day with a positive attitude. From romance to humor to drama, the variety will be refreshing and the spiritual nourishment a boost to keep you going with a smile. Like a quick call from a friend or an unexpected breeze on a summer day, these 30 stories provide a moment of refreshment without weighing you down. And, best of all, every story can be read in ten minutes or less. You have enjoyed Elizabeth’s stories in Ruby for Women, now download her e-book free as a member of Amazon Prime, or purchase for $3.99 from Amazon. E-book can be purchased formatted for other readers at www.ElizabethBakerBooks.com
The Ruby for Women community is a great place to meet new friends, share prayer requests, chat about your favorite books, recipes and crafts! Summer 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!
Summer 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.
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. http://www.Twitter.com/unequalmarriage http://www.Facebook.com/Godmissionpossible http://www.Godmissionpossible.blogspot.com
You are invited to join Katherine’s Corner 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 www.katherinescorner.com 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 love to see you there! You can find us in the Ruby for Women community at www.rubyforwomen.ning.com
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.
School Dazed Hidden Word Puzzle Answer Key by Beth Brubaker
Money Logic Puzzle Answer Key by Beth Brubaker Rachel started with 62.00. Rachel was broke after the last store, so if you work backwards from the last store, the math goes like this: Store 5: (0 + 1) x 2 = 2.00 Store 4: (2 + 1) x 2 = 6.00 Store 3: (6 + 1) x 2 = 14.00 Store 2: (14 + 1) x 2 = 30.00 Store 1: (30 + 1) x 2 = 62.00 81
Discovery House Publishers Feeding the Soul with the Word of God
Visit Discovery House Publishers at www.dhp.org
Visit the Ruby for Women blog at www.rubyforwomen.com
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 email@example.com 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 82
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 www.footprintsinthemudblog.blogspot.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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, www.wentworthcountyquiltworks.com, her blog, http://laurasthoughtsonscripture.blogspot.com, or the forum at http://avbbf.com. 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. http://www.reverbnation.com/robhammes
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, Heading Home www.lynnmosher.blogspot.com
Katherine Corrigan, Recipes and Crafts
Hello, my name is Katherine. I am an open minded and spiritual person who strives to always maintain a positive attitude and greet each new day with grace, dignity and gratitude. I’m honored to meet you and to call you friend! I am originally from England and now living in the US. I have had the privilege of living in, and visiting, several different countries throughout my lifetime. I hold a rare dual citizenship with the UK and the USA, and I am a proud citizen of both. I work very hard to create designs for my shops and to provide an entertaining and informative website and blog. I hope you’ll stop by. Hugs, Katherine www.katherinescorner.com www.keepsakesbykatherine.etsy.com
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. www.theresaceniccola.com.
Amy Harper, Craft Contributor
is a pastor's wife from West Virginia and mother of two AWESOME kids. (She says she isn't biased.) She currently writes book reviews for a small local paper, and teaches piano lessons in her community. Her blog, www.Threadsinthenest.blogspot.com combines her passion for Jesus Christ with her other loves -- books, vintage items, and sewing. Visit Amy at her blog, “Threads in the Nest” for daily inspirational posts and craft tutorials.
Ann Weaver is a Christian mother of two grown children and a proud grandma of four. She enjoys reading, gardening, watching HGTV, creating & designing websites, and spending time with her grandchildren. When inspired, she likes writing blogs and articles on a variety of subjects. Rahab's Story is her first attempt at writing fiction. To read Ann’s other articles, please visit: AnnMarie7-Squidoo 84
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 www.conniearnold.webs.com or her blog, www.conniearnold.blogspot.com
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. www.dove-quill-publishing.com
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 www.AlabasterBoxPublishing.com for more information about her book. http://www.Twitter.com/unequalmarriage
Ugochi Jolomi is a wife and mother of three, a graduate of banking and finance turned minister of God. She blogs on Teshuva (www.ugochijolomi.com ), 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 www.MOMS.FortWayne.com and is titled “Not Different Enough”. The other blog is www.gettingitright-occasionally.blogspot.com I write freelance articles for magazines and am a contributor to two devotional publications: Living the Gospel Life and Hope-Full Living. I do not believe it is possible to make it through a day without faith and a sense of humor, even in the darkest times and I try to always reflect that in my writing.
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. Shannon has experience working with children ranging in age from preschool through the 8th grade, and is a parent herself to two young boys, including one with a multitude of special needs. Shannon earned a double BA in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education from Central Washington University, but credits her children—biologically, via adoption and in the classroom—as her greatest educators. Her articles have been featured in many prominent magazines such as Exceptional Parents, Adoptive Families, Hybrid Mom, Mothering and Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family. She lives in Renton, Washington with her husband, Jason, and their two high-spirited boys, Nate and Mark. www.shannonmedisky.com
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 www.elizabethbakerbooks.com
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 http://www.BooksByAmanda.com Her collaborative blog - http://www.thepriceoftrust.com Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/amandastephan and Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/creativehomemomma
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. http://www.grannyssoutherncooking.blogspot.com/
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 twentyfive 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 www.triciagoyer.com
Michelle S. Lazurek has been a pastor's wife for over twelve years. Whether it is through writing counseling material, organizing ladies retreats or mentoring women in her church, Michelle considers each day an opportunity to find her place in God's story. In 2007, Michelle and her husband Joe planted Praxis Church. Michelle holds a Master's degree in Counseling and Human Relations from Liberty University. She has two beautiful children: Caleb and Leah. Michelle provides tips for busy writers on her blog The Writers’ Tapestry: Where Writing and Life Intertwine (www.mslazurek.wordpress.com).
Maxine Young I was born into a Christian family, attended church every week and Church schools even, but it is now as an adult that I am truly learning how to have a personal relationship with the Lord. You can read more of Maxine’s articles and posts on her blog, Hope and Writing http://hopeandwriting.blogspot.com/
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.
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 ChristianWriters.com. His blog of ekphrasic poetry is: http://wordsculptureskeith.blogspot.com/ where you’ll also find links to his books and his other blogs. Married to Val in 1970, he has two sons and three grandsons. The eldest grandson is disabled and cannot communicate verbally. Though not an ‘academic’ (school was a disaster!) he was always fond of writing. He began submitting work for publication in the 1980’s after being encouraged by a community writer in residence.
Amanda Johnson, Assistant Editor Amanda has been writing for Ruby for Women for the past two years, and she has been a free-lance writer for several years, beginning her writing career as a young teen-ager. She also works 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 from my home office. For the past seven years I have been designing and creating children’s clothing and various crafts. I began writing ebook patterns for my designs in 2007, and have several patterns available for sale on You Can Make This at www.youcanmakethis.com . I have also been a free-lance writer for many years, writing for two local newspapers when we lived in Michigan. My personal blog is at www.mamaslittletreasures.com 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. 88
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 www.rubyforwomen.com/advertise Questions? Email Nina @ email@example.com or Amanda @ firstname.lastname@example.org Ruby for Women is published by rubyforwomen.com All submission inquiries should be directed to Nina Newton, Sr. Editor Ruby for Women email@example.com or Amanda Johnson, Assistant Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising inquiries should be directed to Angela Morris at email@example.com Web Design and Creative Consultant, Katherine Corrigan of Made It For You www.madeitforyou.com UGOCHI JOLOMI Please visit our community website at www.rubyforwomen.ning.com to see how you can help support the ministry of Ruby for Women.