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A Journey to Grace by Kelly Kavich

God’s Waiting Room A Day like Any Other by Carol Palmer Nugent

by Lisa J. Radcliff

“So, What Are They Worth?” by Sharon L. Patterson

“Go in the Strength You Have” by Cindy Evans

RUBY Magazine Your voice, your story SEPTEMBER, 2019 www.rubyforwomen.com

In This Issue of RUBY What a Friend We Have in Jesus by Joseph M. Scriven Hymn Story by Diana Leagh Matthews

Advice from My Dad by Joan Leotta The September 2019 issue of RUBY magazine features inspirational articles and poetry, devotionals and short stories, recipes, book reviews, and our monthly feature, the Kids’ Korner with a story just for the young people in your family. We would love to have you join us in the RUBY community, now on Facebook, so it is really easy for you to connect with us. Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/rubyforwomen/ Hope to see you there!

“I Am the Bread of Life” John 6:35 by Gloria Doty

The Motive behind Your Prayer by Adwoba AddoBoateng

Senior Editor: Nina Newton Editorial Assistant: Theresa Begin Feature Writers: Sharon L. Patterson, Norma C. Mezoe, Shara Bueler-Repka, Lisa J. Radcliff, Joan Leotta, Diana Leagh Matthews, Carol Peterson, Adwoba Addo-Boateng, Mary Anusha Chandrakumar, Nancy Frantel, Melissa Sturt, Frances Gregory Pasch, Miriam Jacob, Kelly Kavich, Cindy Evans, Connie Arnold, Gloria Doty, Carol Palmer Nugent

Drama Queen by Shara Bueler-Repka

Credits and Copyrights All stories and articles are copyright by the authors. All pictures and images are copyright by the authors and / or have been purchased, used by permission or are in the public domain. If any pictures or images have been used inadvertently, and they do not belong in this publication, please email us and we will immediately remove them. Nothing in this issue of RUBY magazine may be reproduced, copied, or shared without the permission of the author. Advertising information is available by contacting us at rubymagazine2019@gmail.com Questions? Email Nina @ rubymagazine2019@gmail.com RUBY magazine is published by CreativeLife All submission inquiries should be directed to: Nina Newton, Sr. Editor RUBY magazine rubymagazine2019@gmail.com

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Journey of the Heart by Nina Newton, Sr. Editor This has been a year of journeys for our family. Not journeys that took us far away from home, but journeys of the heart. Even though I’ve been a mama long enough to have learned that they all eventually grow up and go on with their lives the way God has planned for them, it is still a challenge for me to let them go. That has been a major journey for me over the past many months, and I am still adjusting. Our oldest daughter at home will soon be 19 years old. She graduated from high school in the spring and she has recently started taking college classes. At the minute, she still lives at home, works two jobs, and commutes to her classes. But it is just not the same as when she was my little girl. Our youngest daughter returned to high school just a couple of weeks ago, and she is in the 11 th grade. I am definitely not ready for this! Which perhaps seems strange to other people who know that I’ve been doing this mama thing for a really, really long time. I guess it is just what God has given me to do, and I have found my life’s work here at home with my little family. It’s not that I don’t have anything else to do . . . I teach English as a Second Language (ESL) classes online seven mornings a week. I am also currently teaching an online writing class for a local university. And, of course, I have the ministry of RUBY magazine and community to keep me out of trouble most days. When we traveled to China in 2002 and then again in 2005 to bring our daughters home (after each raising four children before we married each other), we knew that our lives would be filled with “kid” stuff for many years to come. And we also knew that we will never retire, but we decided that having a family together outweighed all of the perceived “limitations” of beginning a new family in our mid40s. We knew other people would think we were crazy, but it’s what we felt God had called us to do. So here I am, almost 15 years after of last trip to bring our baby back to her “forever family,”and I am struggling a bit with the reality that they don’t stay little forever. Of course, I know that but still . . . Today I remain focused on all of the other tasks that God has for me to complete in the coming months and years, and try not to think too long and hard about all of the “kid stuff” that will no longer be part of my every day life. But then again, there is still the homework that needs to be finished (by tomorrow morning, of course!) and the college essay that needs to be edited – why not, that’s what I do for a living – and football games, dorm parties, and fortunately for our family, Family Game Night is still pretty popular around here. When you come to a fork in the road on your journey, it can be challenging, but I’m trying to remember that what lies beyond the horizon can be just as beautiful as the view in my rear view mirror. I hope your days are filled with happy memories and anticipation of a joyful future!

A Journey to Grace by Kelly Kavich

So many times we fail, and we look to others for their approval and praise. We want tangible items to say we have succeeded and found the treasure of life.

My self-esteem was at a low and I figured I would never be one of "those pretty girls." At the age of 16 I thinned out a bit and found some friends; we went to church and school, and we worked together.

However, in truth, this goal is not what the Lord has set as a success.

So, it was natural that we would also hang out together. Jesus was not the focus of our group and we began to drink, smoke, and smoke weed.

For Him, success is a life that is spent at His feet seeking Him and allowing Him to grow us and change us no matter how painful the process may be. My life began 40 years ago, born to a young man and woman who would go on to serve God in fulltime ministry. I was the third of four children, and the first girl. When I was five years old, I would stand outside our home that was on a busy street in Indianapolis and raise my hands singing and praising the Lord. My little five-year-old thought process was that maybe someone would see and want to know Jesus too. I remember at the age of nine some other girls and I started a Bible study. One day after a meeting, I came to my mother and said to her that I felt as if the Lord had told me I would go through hard times, but it would be to help others. I could not fully grasp what exactly that would look like, but I knew that I had heard from God. Fast forward to my high school years in public school where I wanted so badly to "fit" in and have lots of friends. I desperately wanted to be liked by boys and wear the coolest styles. But I was a chubby girl, and in the 90s fashion had yet to allow "chubby" girls to dress in the latest styles. It was on its way but not there yet.

It became our group's thing to do, get together and party. One guy that had started coming to the church took notice of me and we began dating. By this time, I had bought into the world’s version of what guys wanted and what a relationship should look like, so we got too intimate way too soon. We ended up marrying at a young age and divorcing a year and a half later. After that, I was sure this is what God meant when I was younger! I thought surely I must have now gone through it and would be able to help other ladies! I thought it was my “ah-hah!” moment….but I was wrong. Life went on and I stopped dating and started getting serious about church and had developed a somewhat nominal relationship with Jesus. I went on Sundays and Wednesdays and even taught some classes for girls. But on the weekdays and weekends, my life was not one of surrender. That would not come until I was 26 years of age. I was a nanny for my two adorable nephews (who still have my heart) and lived in their house. I had started to seek God because I had a lot of alone time when they were napping or after their parents got home from work. The Lord awakened my spirit through the power of His Spirit, and I was filled with the gift of tongues.

My sister and I began to serve as co-youth pastors and it seemed like I was well on my way to a life of ministry and being alive in Christ. In my personal life, however, things weren’t going so great.

I would go to my sister’s house to take showers each day. She had become the only person I knew would be there for me. My parents were still there too, but they knew that they could not make me leave.

I had gained a lot of weight and I was becoming lonely and subconsciously a little desperate. I was living on my own and I had started to walk after I would get off work.

What it took for me to walk away was the Spirit of God. My mother had prayed “Lord, let him hurt her so that she knows he will never change. But do not let him harm her.”

I started to lose some of the weight and after a while, a younger guy began to show some interest.

That is exactly what happened.

Because of my loneliness and not allowing the Lord to become the one who filled that, I soon came to the temptation and began a not-so-wise relationship with this person. It was a whirlwind, and when it ended, I was worse off than ever. I was now 30 years old, living alone, angry with God and walking away from the church. I told the Lord I did not want anything to do with him ever again, even though it was my actions that had led me to where I was; I wanted someone else to blame. So, for about five months after that I slipped further and further into a place of darkness no one could get me to come out of. I began drinking, smoking, and smoking weed again. I began hanging out with friends that promoted those things again. My life was miserable; it seemed that everything I did was a failure. I eventually ended up in a relationship up with a man who was five years older than me and had been an acquaintance for quite some time. I knew this man’s reputation was not a good one. But I told myself it didn’t matter; he wanted me, and that was what mattered. Life with this man took me down a path I would have never dreamt of going down. He became abusive in every way; he had me living in situations that were unbearable. I stayed all for the sake of what I had decided was “love.”

The abuse went from a weekly thing to daily thing and I couldn’t take anymore. I lay in bed one evening after he had been beating me, crying and broken, and I said “Lord, just give me the courage to get up and go. If you give me the courage I will not turn back again.”

“I praise God for this journey, and I praise God for the journey of grace that He has led me in. I know without a doubt that it is due to Him and through Him that I'm alive and free today. He has restored to me more than I could have imagined; He has given me a new mind and a new spirit.” I got up, took my purse and my dog and started walking out. He stopped me and pinned me down to the bed telling me I wasn’t going anywhere. But my mind had been made up; when he let me up he took all the money I had on me before I could walk out the door. I bought my life for $40.00 that night. I walked away, and got in touch with my sister. She came and picked me up, and the next day I went and spoke with a dear lady from our church. She knew a place I could go out of state that would be safe and I could get the help I needed never to return to this man.

My family tried to get me to leave him; my friends began to back away. Nothing seemed to be working out right. I lost everything I had.

Within three days I was out of state and being checked in by my parents to a Mission Teens center. The Lord did a transformational work during my time there. I now call it the best/hardest time of my life.

We lived in motels, he had me stealing, and eventually living in a trailer with no plumbing and holes in the floor.

It was hard, it was work, but Jesus was there every step of the way and His Holy Spirit renewed my heart with an indescribable joy.

There were powerful times of the Holy Spirit’s movement that were undeniable; I saw others set free from drugs, and I saw them filled with the Spirit. I was there for seven months before leaving and coming home. After almost a year back in Indiana, I was crying out to God saying, “Lord I don’t want anything but you. If you have a husband for me that is good, but if not, you will always be enough for me.” A few days after praying that, I met my husband and a year later we were married. While at the mission I knew God was calling me to write and speak and work with women who needed a new beginning. I also know that I still have the promise of a child waiting. The Lord is not done with my story. I believe three years into our marriage He is moving and shifting us to where He wants us to be so that He can use us for His glory. My prayer is that others will come to know my Jesus the way I know my Jesus, and have an intimate walk that comes through being filled with the Holy Spirit and spending time with Him every day.

I praise God for this journey, and I praise God for the journey of grace that He has led me in. I know without a doubt that it is due to Him and through Him that I'm alive and free today. He has restored to me more than I could have imagined; He has given me a new mind and a new spirit. My life is full of Him, and He wants to do the same for each and every one who will humble themselves and pray. Seek Him and seek a life that is worth something. He is a good Father; waiting with open arms for those who will humble themselves and pray to Him. I have just recently turned 40 years old and life has never looked better to me. I feel a fullness that I have never known before; He is beginning to open doors of ministry more profoundly and I am so excited to be on this ride with Jesus. I know that no matter where He leads, I will follow.

My name is Kelly Kavich, I currently am in the process of allowing Jesus to lead me into the next chapter of my life. I have a passion for writing about the Lord and a great many things He has done inside of me. I am wife to my amazing and wonderful husband; I am a non-traditional student and the Woman's Minister at my church. I also serve in several other capacities for the church; I create the bulletin and announcements each week and run slides for our worship team. I desire to work for the Lord and not for man to see captives set free from anything that has bound them for far too long. The call that Jesus has placed upon my life is to see a Woman's Shelter that is Spirit-filled and led be open in my hometown, to write for God and to teach and preach of His love and redemption.

A New Way by Frances Gregory Pasch When I got up in the morning I never used to pray; I would go about my business and make plans for my day. I would rush around and hurry seeing how much I could do… thinking mostly of myself, depending on “me” to get through. But no matter how fast I hurried, nor even how hard I tried, I was always restless and anxious… I had an empty feeling inside. Then my son told me of Jesus and what He’d do for me. If I would give my life to Him, I’d find serenity. So no matter how busy my schedule is, I now start each day with a prayer and not only manage to finish my tasks, I even have time to spare.

What a Friend We Have in Jesus by Joseph M. Scriven Hymn Story by Diana Leagh Matthews Imagine your life held so much sadness and tragedy, that you willingly decided to take and live a vow of poverty. In our day and age, this seems extreme, but it is the story of the author to the hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” The lyrics were penned by Joseph M. Scriven in the mid1800s. Mr. Scriven longed to bring comfort to the mother who gave him life in 1819s Banbridge, Ireland. He had not seen his mother in over a decade when word reached him at his Canadian home that she was ill. Sitting at his desk, he must have thought back over the events that separated him from his mother. He was born the second son to John, a Captain in the Royal Marines in Canada during the War of 1812, and Jane Medlicott Scriven. In his youth he attended Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. As a young man, he was deeply in love and looking forward to his wedding the next day. Imagine the heartbreak, as he waits on the opposite side of the bridge for his bride to meet him. While traveling across the River Bann, she fell off her horse and died in a tragic drowning accident. Instead of walking down the aisle to meet his bride, he was now forced to say goodbye to the woman who had stolen his heart. His grief was so great he left Ireland in 1845 on the ship Perseverance, saying goodbye to his beloved Mom and friends, to start a new life in Canada. He did return to Ireland after a couple of months to recover from a short illness. The following year he traveled as a tutor with a family to the Middle East where he had what he called a “Saul of Tarsus” moment on the street called “Straight in Damascus.” Canada offered him a fresh start, where he taught school for a while. Joseph stayed with a local family and paid for his board by doing various chores, such as cutting wood. During this time he was teaching at Woodstock and Brantford in Canada, Joseph met Eliza Catherine Roche, who was a relative to one of his students. The two fell in love and once again Joseph was engaged to be married. Before their wedding could take place, a full immersion baptismal service was held in Rice Lake.

Joseph Scriven

Eliza, who was already battling consumption, developed pneumonia and died four months later on August 6, 1860. She was buried in the little cemetery beside the Pengelley chapel.

Joseph Scriven was again left heartbroken but leaned on his faith in God. After losing his fiancé, he spent considerable time in prayer and Bible study. Through his studies of the Sermon on the Mount, the twenty-five-year-old teacher made a vow of poverty. He sold all his earthly possessions and vowed to give his life to the physically handicapped and financially destitute. This is a vow that he reportedly never broke. He spent the remainder of his life giving his time, money and clothes to help the less fortunate and spread the love and compassion of Jesus everywhere he went. He preached wherever he found people gathered.

Eliza Catherine Roche

The Port of Hope journal says that he preached “in the country or on the street corners of Port Hope, Millbrook or Bewdley, sometimes to their express annoyance. Pelting with fruits and vegetables did not stop him. Arrest didn’t deter him. Scriven became a familiar sight around Port Hope, a big man with bushy white hair and full white beard, carrying a buck and a bucksaw, offering to cut wood for anyone who was unable to cut his own or pay someone to do it for him. But he wouldn’t cut wood for hire.” Now his mother was ill, but he did not have the finances for passage back to 1855 Ireland to see her. Feeling a need to reach her, he prayed for words that would give his mother comfort. Accompanying the letter, he included the story of his life in the three verses that would become the hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” Scriven shared the words with a friend, who took a copy to a music publisher. Within two years the poem was published and Charles Converse, a US Attorney and composer, had written a tune for the words in 1868. At the time of the original publication, no one knew who had written the lyrics. Almost thirty years after mailing the poem to his Mom, Joseph Scriven became ill. When a friend came to visit, he was flipping through some of Joseph’s papers and discovered the poem. He was impressed to discover his friend had penned the words to this hymn. When asked about it, Scriven replied “The Lord and I together wrote the song.” As a result of this visit, Joseph’s poems were published in a book called Hymns and Other Verses and by the 1880s Scriven received full credit for the hymn.

Joseph Scriven became critically ill in October 1886. In a state of delirium, he stumbled outdoors from his sick bed and fell into a small creek. One friend described the 66-year old’s death by saying: “We left him about midnight. I withdrew to an adjoining room, not to sleep, but to watch and wait. You may imagine my surprise and dismay when on visiting the room I found it empty. All search failed to find a trace of the missing man, until a little after noon the body was discovered in the water nearby, lifeless and cold in death.” Legend has overtaken his death with various myths of suicide or murder, but what is clear is that regardless of the circumstances this was a tragic accident. Joseph Scriven was buried next to Eliza Roche in the Pengelley family cemetery. Originally, he was buried in an unmarked grave, but years later local residents did add a marker. His obituary, published on Friday, October 15, 1886 described him in part by saying: “Mr. Scriven had not an enemy in the world, he was truly a good man and it is to be hoped the sermons he preached on the streets of Port Hope may be like bread cast upon the waters, the fruit of which may be seen for many days.” The citizens of Port Hope, Ontario thought so much of him they erected a monument on the Port Hope-Petersborough Highway to this humble man who had led such a sad and obscure life. From his pain and heartache, Mr. Scriven gave the world the comforting words to “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” When the great evangelist, Dwight L. Moody heard the song in 1875, he said it was “the most touching modern hymn I have ever heard.” Moody and his song leader, Ira D. Sankey, gave the song a national platform through their crusades, writings, teachings and their hymn book Sankey’s Gospel Hymns Number 1. As war loomed on the American home fronts during World War I and World War II, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” became the most commonly played and sung hymn {along with Amazing Grace} to send the young men off to war or memorialize these same young men when lost in battle. The words to this beautiful hymn have served as an anthem with a universal theme in times of “trouble and sacrifice” and “insecurity and doubt.”

Diana Leagh Matthews writes, speaks and sings to bring glory to God. She has been published in numerous anthologies, including many Moments books. In her day job, Leagh is a Nationally Certified Activities Director for a busy nursing facility. She takes great joy in family, friends and soaking in the beautiful wonders and promises of God. Leagh blogs about her faith and struggles on her website www.DianaLeaghMatthews.com and family history at www.ALookThruTime.com

“So, What Are They Worth?” by Sharon L. Patterson The carpenter went to the checkout counter with three bundles of unfinished wood he picked out of a pile of surplus lumber. Looking at the clerk he asked, “I can’t find a price on these anywhere. So, can you tell me what they are worth?” “Well, replied the puzzled clerk, I really don’t know. You work with wood for a living, so, you tell me, what are they worth?” “Not much now, but when I finish the table I plan on making, I’ll come back and ask you once more, so, what they are worth.” The little boy rushed into his father’s study. Eyeing some blank paper laid to the side of his computer, the son asked, “Daddy, can I have a couple of sheets of that paper?” With a gleam in his eye, the father said, “Certainly Son. If you can answer my question, “So, what do you think they are worth?” “Why Daddy, nothing much right now, but when I finish drawing on them, I’ll bring them back and then I’ll ask you, “So, what are they worth?” The elderly woman dug through the remnant trim and scraps of material in one of the bins of the craft store. The sign indicated that they were free. With careful examination, she finally settled on several pieces. Bagging them along with some thread the elderly woman purchased, the curious woman at the cash register asked, what do you plan to do with the remnants and scraps you picked out. “What are they worth to you?” “Oh, I know they are free, but just you wait, I’ll bring back the quilt I will make with them, and then you can ask me that question again. “What are they worth?” God Almighty looked down on earth. Eyeing the hundreds of thousands of people he turned to his son and said, “So, what are they worth?” “Father, he replied, I think you and I have already decided the answer to that question. They are worth dying for!”

Speed Bumps! by Norma C. Mezoe God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. – Psalm 46:1 (NIV) Most of us have encountered speed bumps while driving. They are intended to slow the speed of drivers, and they work well. However, they can be a challenge and a frustration. Many of us have experienced other kinds of speed bumps in our lives. Just when it appears life is going smoothly, we become aware we are approaching another speed bump! No matter how hard we look for a detour around these troubling obstacles, there is no way to avoid them. Mark learned about life’s speed bumps. He had served time in prison because of offenses committed while on drugs. Upon being released, doors were opened for a job and life was good. He became a Christian and grew spiritually. Mark lived and worked in a large city during the week, but he returned to his home in a small town on the week-ends. As he drove home one Friday evening, he was stopped because a tail light on his car was not working. The arresting officer ran a check and found there was an outstanding warrant for Mark’s arrest. The offense he had been arrested for dated back seven years and involved Mark fleeing from the police when he was under the influence of drugs. Mark’s attorney had failed to completely check his records and the charge remained on the books. Although his life had turned around since that time, Mark was being punished for his past life. He had hit a huge speed bump and it put his life on hold while attempts were made to free him from jail. Since Mark was a new Christian, his faith may have been shaky as he looked at the circumstances around him, but he continued reading the Bible and praying. After being in jail a few days, Mark was released and the charge from the past was dropped. The arrest was a speed bump that slowed him down but God brought him over the rough areas and back onto a smoother road. When we become discouraged over illness, heartaches, job loss or other troubles, we can be assured that we never have to face these things alone. The Lord will travel the roads with us and bring us safely over the speed bumps in our lives.

God’s Waiting Room by Lisa J. Radcliff

My three-year-old granddaughter was working the crowd in my physician’s waiting room. She was being her adorable self—saying hello to everyone who walked in, dancing to music only she heard, and whispering loud enough for all to hear (on purpose). But like most of us in the waiting room, after a while, she got a little impatient with the wait. The nurse called another name that didn’t belong to me, and Emma said, “Mom-mom, maybe they forgot you’re here.” “I’m sure they know I’m here, Emma. It just takes a while sometimes. They’ll call us soon. We just have to be patient and listen for my name. But when they call my name, they’ll say ‘Lisa,’ not ‘Mommom.’” Emma’s eyes grew wide, and she sucked in her breath, “They don’t call you Mom-mom?” My fellow waiters laughed out loud at her shock and dismay. It may have been the most fun they’ve had in a waiting room in a long time. It’s been said that we hang out in “God’s Waiting Room” when we are waiting for an answer to prayer. Like most time spent in waiting rooms, we watch the clock, wondering what could be taking so long. Did He forget about me?

Lately, I’ve been spending time in two waiting rooms, my physician’s and God’s. As I write this, I am waiting on test results. The tests were done five months ago. Fortunately, I didn’t have to remain in my physician’s waiting room all that time. But maybe a fresh batch of outdated magazines would have arrived. I have been waiting in God’s waiting room. There have been numerous prayers on my behalf— prayers for healing, prayers for doctor’s wisdom, prayers for relief from pain, and prayers for clear test results. This week, I landed once again in a waiting room, waiting for my name to be called for bloodwork. What I thought would take fifteen minutes turned into an hour. The physical therapy office where I work out is in the same building. My plan was to have my bloodwork done then workout before heading to another doctor’s appointment. So much for a well-laid plan. What I should have done was go to the PT office and tell the Lab to call when they were ready for me. As I close in on getting the final test results, I realize that God doesn’t really have a waiting room. He doesn’t expect us to just sit and wait for Him. He expects us to continue to do the works he has prepared for us to do while we wait. He would have been fine with me leaving the waiting room to get a workout in. In the last five months, in the midst of prayer and pain, I have continued the work he has given me to do. I am preparing for teaching on the life of Joseph at our ladies’ Bible study and for a speaking engagement in the fall on Finding Joy. I’ve been working on two committees, developing church policies for Child Sexual Abuse. And I’ve been writing. I have a novel in the pipeline and a Bible Study, plus some devotionals. Also, this fall, I will be restarting a Bible study for sexual abuse survivors. There’s a lot to do. I don’t have time to sit around. Do I tell you of all that I’m doing to toot my own horn? No. It’s more of a kazoo anyway. I only let you in on what I’m doing to encourage you to continue to use your gifts, even if you are in a place of waiting—waiting for results, waiting for direction, waiting for God to answer. Sometimes His answers come when we’re engaged in His work. Many of us found His calling because, while praying and waiting, we also stepped out in faith. Maybe it was a short-term mission’s trip that became a call to the mission field. Maybe it was volunteering for VBS and finding you have a gift for teaching children.

“The opportunities to serve God and others are almost always available to you. If you are asked to do something, don’t back out with “I’m waiting on God.” That may have been Him!”

The opportunities to serve God and others are almost always available to you. If you are asked to do something, don’t back out with “I’m waiting on God.” That may have been Him! Most of the Psalms that implore us to wait on the Lord are referring to waiting for God to deal with our enemies. But even then, the psalmist says to do good, to have no fear, to take courage, to trust God, to learn His ways, to sing is praise, to offer sacrifices with joy (various verses in Psalm 27 & 37 ESV). It doesn’t sound like we’re to be stuck in a waiting room. Our waiting should be active. Those of you with children know the best waiting rooms are the ones with toys and jungle gyms. Be listening for God’s answers but, while waiting, do His work.

Autumn Memories by Norma C. Mezoe Leaves tumbling in an explosion of color… crimson, orange and yellow. Strolling through a forest glade, pleasant scents warm and mellow. Autumn pleasures to be enjoyed and shared; memories to store in a treasure chest. Enjoy today's blessings - each and every one, then store away with the rest.

“Go in the Strength You Have” by Cindy Evans The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” Judges 6:14, NIV Lord, I’m feeling weary, tired and weak and empty… How can I do the things You are wanting from me..? “Go in the strength you have.” I heard Him say clearly. So I decided to obey and His power I did see. His presence came sweetly and I felt Him mightily… Lord, You are enough, and that is what is key!

God is Very Near by Connie Arnold In the silence of the morning While the grass is wet with dew, As the sun slowly brightens A day that’s fresh and new, The chirping of a bird Is the only sound we hear, And awareness dawns within That God is very near. In the hustle and the bustle Of a busy, active day, With no time for reflection As we go along our way, The beauty may be missed, Nature’s sounds we may not hear, But although we may be unaware, Still God is very near. In the ending of the day, At the fading of the light As we make our preparations To go to bed at night, Before we close our eyes, As the nighttime sounds we hear, Give thanks that we can sleep in peace Since God is very near.

Kids’ Korner Kids’ Korner is a monthly resource featuring short stories, book reviews, puzzles, and coloring pages created by some of our RUBY writers. So call the kids and grandkids, and share the

Kids’ Korner

fun with them!

Back-to-school books for kids of all ages from

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Drama Queen by Shara Bueler-Repka

“She’s such a drama queen,” I whisper to my best friend, Jordan. Cassie, the queen of all things drama, was up to her usual antics. A marquee for today’s particular performance could be titled ‘The Trials of Tween Labor’. “I just forgot to take out the trash,” she huffs. “And they ground me from my iPhone?” “And then,” she flails her hands, “I wasn’t feeling well, but my mom expected me to do the laundry anyway...before dinner!” Peeking around at her growing audience, she gains momentum: “So she grounds me from my TV because I tell her I just don’t have the strength to do it!” Mumbles of shock roll out of her captivated audience. She finishes her performance, complete with sniffles and a sigh, by sprawling across the picnic bench. And oh the attention she gets! I want to hurl. “Oh, you poor thing!” This from my best friend who never gives me that much sympathy...for anything! Our friend Jack pats Cassie’s shoulder. “Can I get you a Coke? A Snickers?” I roll my eyes. Cassie eyeballs me through the crowd, almost daring me to confront her. And I stare her down. What? She did not just flip her perfect little blonde braids and smirk at me! Seriously? Does no one see this but me? What an attention-junkie! Rrrriiiinnnggg!

Awesome. Saved from this pathetic production! We all dash for class and slide into our seats. And then we remember. Ugh! Butterflies head-butt in my stomach. Jordan nervously chews on her thumbnail. Jack raps out some vague staccato beat on the linoleum floor with his Nikes. Each one of us will have to stand in front of the whole class and read our essays on ‘what we did during the vacation break’. “Cassie?” Our teacher, Mr. Disch, calls. “You’re up first.” Cassie pops up from her desk and rushes to the front of the class. No surprise there. She can’t wait for all eyes to be on her. She dives in: “...and we went on a cruise. And the water was crystal blue. I swam with dolphins and…” Blah, Blah, Blah. I doodle on my notebook. “And I brought souvenirs for everybody!” Hmmmm? O.K., full attention here. “But, I forgot them at home. I’ll be sure and bring them tomorrow.” Figures. Tomorrow comes and goes—and no nifty gifties. Not even a sign that she remembered her promise. Only more drama on the schoolyard-stage.

Doesn’t it say in the Bible, ‘Thou shalt not lie’?

But I can’t shake this feeling that I’m about to do something very wrong.

What is with this girl? I make it my mission to call her out. “So...Cassie,” I begin in my best courtroom voice. “When may we expect those souvenirs you spoke of?” I think I’ve been watching too many Judge Judy reruns. Oh, well, whatever. Her eyes grow wide. Her face reddens. Aha, caughtcha! And I ready myself for the pounce. And stop dead in my tracks. At the same time I open my mouth, my chest tightens. Weird. I try again to confront her. A small voice inside me urges me to stop. “Don’t do it,” I hear. Now I’m confused. I know this is the right thing to do! She needs to quit her shenanigans, I tell myself. Doesn’t it say in the Bible, ‘Thou shalt not lie’? But I can’t shake this feeling that I’m about to do something very wrong. She stares at me, her whole body stiff, like she expects a blow.

I just stand there wide-eyed. Now my face reddens. “Nevermind,” I shake my head as I walk away. The next day I’m late for class and tiptoe over to my seat. But not before noticing the gloomy mood of the whole class, including the teacher. And Cassie slumps at her desk with her head down. Apparently, I missed something really big. But no one is saying a word. They just bury themselves in the reading assignment. The lunch bell finally rings and I head for my locker. Jordan and Jack run up beside me. “Hey, did you hear what happened?” Jordan says, her brown eyes darting from the hallway to me. Jack’s words collide with Jordan’s: “Cassie’s parents…” “Wait. Whoa. Slow down,” I hold up my hand. Jordan takes a breath. “Cassie’s parents got thrown in jail last night.” “Yeah, it’s all over the news!” Jack blurts. “No way!” I gasp. “Why?” Jordan leans in. “Drugs,” she whispers. A million thoughts race through my brain. Drugs? I mean, Cassie’s annoying and all, but I figured she had a pretty normal life like all of us. Well, except for the cruise thing. None of us have ever been on a cruise. But I guess the boat trip and dolphins were probably bogus too. We walk in silence toward the cafeteria. Suddenly I have nothing but compassion for Cassie. I shoot up a quick prayer: “Jesus, what can I do to help her? I don’t think she ever wanted this kind of attention.” As we push the doors open and make our way to our usual table, I glance across the room. Cassie sits by herself at a corner table along with some stacked chairs. She quietly picks at what passes for lunch...peanut butter crackers. I shuffle through the obstacle course of tables, chairs, and kids until I reach her. “Do you want to sit with us, Cassie?” Grateful blue eyes stare into mine as she slowly nods and follows me to where our friends hang out. I peek at Cassie over my Frito Pie. She silently chews on half of a ham sandwich Jack shared with her. And I wonder, does it really matter about the cruise, the dolphins, or the souvenirs? And, who cares whether or not she owns a TV or iPhone? True, it’s not cool to make up stories. But there’s also that thing called mercy. I slide Cassie my favorite bag of M&Ms as we all rally around our drama queen…our friend.

RUBY magazine is now available in print! Every issue of RUBY magazine can now be purchased as a print publication. To purchase RUBY magazine in print, please visit the RUBY blog at www.rubymagazine.net where you will find the link for each issue.

NEW from author Pat Jeanne Davis When Valleys Bloom Again A Novel of World War II Available from RUBY’S Reading Corner

Turning the Tide of Emotional Turbulence

Devotions for Parents with Teens in Crisis by Stacy Lee Flury Do you parent a teen wrestling with abandonment, depression, identity issues, suicidal tendencies, low self-esteem, body image obsessions, or self-harm. Many parents are struggling to understand how best to help their teen with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, mood-disorders, bad company, anxiety, drugs, criminal behavior, promiscuity, or sexual abuse. Stacy Lee Flury exposes the parent's daily emotional battles to tread water in the stormy seas of raising a troubled teen. With candid humility she shares her story, relatable to anyone caught in the riptide of a loved one who struggles with their children’s destructive choices.

Available from RUBY’S Reading Corner

These 45 devotions feature personal stories, challenge questions, Scriptures, and prayer. Stacy’s message of hope, restoration, and renewal will calm the rough seas of distressed parents and teens adrift in problematic times.

When Valleys Bloom Again A Novel of World War II by Pat Jeanne Davis

As war approaches in 1939, Abby Stapleton’s safety is under threat. Her father, a British diplomat, insists she go back to America until the danger passes. Abby vows to return to her home in London—but where is home? With her family facing mortal danger so far away and feeling herself isolated, she finds it hard to pray or read the Bible. Did she leave God behind in war-torn London too? Abby becomes friendly with Jim, a gardener on her uncle’s estate. Jim can’t get Abby out of his mind. Did she have a sweetheart in England? Was it foolish to think she’d consider him? He curses his poverty, and the disgrace of his father’s desertion and drunkenness haunts him. Can he learn to believe in love for a lifetime and to hope for a happy marriage? Abby couldn’t know the war would last a long time, nor that she would fall in love with Jim—soon to be drafted by the US Army—or that she’d have to confront Henri, a rejected suitor, determined by his lies to ruin her reputation and destroy her faith in God’s providence. Will she discover the true meaning of home and find happiness with Jim?

Available from RUBY’S Reading Corner

Love’s Treacherous Terrain Inspirational Romance; Multi-Cultural by Shoba Sadler A terrified Tanusha Koshi finds herself the 'entertainment' for a stag party. She eventually flees with the bridegroom, in a dramatic rescue, but wonders if she has simply exchanged one danger for another. The bridegroom places a price for saving her and Tanusha has little choice but to agree. Her attempt to put that night behind her fails when months later, the two meet again. This time, under very different circumstances. When Tanusha lends the help that the bridegroom's family so desperately needs, she, in turn, receives deliverance from her childhood past, but loses the battle to remain indifferent to him. He belongs to another woman. Tanusha's feelings for him seem futile. Can she walk away this time and not look back?

Available from RUBY’S Reading Corner

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The Battle God Fought by Ruth Susan George Submitted by Miriam Jacob

God is good, what He does is good. Psalms 119:68 Hello, my name is Ruth Susan George. I am now in year 7 of Children’s Service. I am going to share one incident in my life where God Fought the Battle for me and my family. I still have a scar to remind me of this amazing moment. But, wait I am getting ahead of myself, that battle goes like this.

My aunt from Ernakulam had come for that night so my father didn’t really want to go. But my mother insisted that we should. We went to Chaithanya Hospital and it took the whole day with tests and scans. While my scanning was progressing, I saw the doctor talking seriously with my parents.

Back in April 2018, my family and I, straight after my 11th birthday, went to India for the Easter holidays. Unusually, this time I wasn’t very excited to go and was persuading myself to be.

At the end, the doctor wrote a letter and told us to see a neurologist before leaving the country. We went home and I was told to go and lie down. I found my father calling the airline to change his flight. I also remember that my parents were being very soft with me after the scan.

After landing at Cochin we had to visit some family members along the way and at the end we reached my father’s house late evening. Now, I had nothing to do but my father did. Dad had to go to an optician to fix his glasses and since I had nothing to do I forced myself to go.

We went to Indo-American Hospital in Vaikom for further consultation. On the way I was singing a chorus repeatedly and it was ‘On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.” My mum asked me to stop singing as she was tense hearing the word ‘sinking sand.”

I asked my mum to come with us as well. My father’s testing was taking time, so my mum wanted to test her eyes because she had been having some headaches.

We saw the neurologist and on his preliminary examination we were told there was nothing wrong with me. I was relieved, but then he said because of the ophthalmologist’s letter I had to take an MRI.

I also said I wanted mine checked in the hope of getting a new frame, although I started wearing a new one only six months before.

I was really sad and started crying. The doctor started taking other tests and we went for lunch before taking the MRI. After the MRI my mum told me to sit with my uncle while they went to meet the doctor.

When mine was tested, I couldn’t see the first letter of every row. The optician suggested consulting an ophthalmologist. My parents booked an appointment and got it on the day before my father was leaving back to Doha.

My mum came back and said, “Let’s go for a walk.” We went out and she said, “Let’s go back slowly to Qatar. ‘Still I had no idea what was going on.

The next week I found myself in a hospital bed and about to have surgery. You may ask why I was going to have a surgery - it was because I had a brain tumor.

I read Psalm 126 thinking that was one of my father’s favourite verses. The Psalm says that nations and we will say that God has done great things for us.

The night before the surgery, one of my mum’s friends, Betsy Aunty from children’s service, sent my mum a verse from the message she heard at the church and it was 2 Chronicles 20:15,

Only later I found my father’s favourite chapter was 128 and my parents now believe it was my Heavenly Father who prompted me to read this great promise.

‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s’. On the day of the surgery, I started singing a song ‘The enemy trembles every time because he knows the battle is no longer mine,’ which became the battle song for my parents, even though they never heard it before. After the surgery, I had some trouble walking and had to be helped about. One morning, during prayer my mum asked me to read a Psalm.

I was also told that lot of people, including Doha Children’s Service, joined the battle by praying for me. This is my story and that is why I still have a scar on the back of my head. But what I learned is that, God will fight the battles for you whatever they are. So do not worry. He will help you in times of trouble and is always there for you. I want to help and encourage others and that is why I think this has happened to me. © Ruth Susan George

You Can’t Outgive God by Norma C. Mezoe Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over. - Luke 6:36 (NASB) A short time after her husband, Richard died, Colleen attended a worship service that included a short memorial for him. An offering was taken, and as Colleen watched the offering plate coming toward her, she was in a dilemma. She had only a ten dollar bill, and she needed that for food. Yet she wanted to give an offering. So she placed the money in the offering plate. Later that night her sister-in-law came to visit. As she was preparing to leave, she placed an envelope in Colleen’s hand. She said someone had asked her to give it to Colleen. When she opened the envelope, Colleen discovered a twenty-dollar bill. It seems you really can’t outgive God!

Lessons of Life by Connie Arnold Although we enjoy sunshine, know there also must be rain, and though we long for pleasure, at times in life there’s pain. The chaos of the world may lead us to despair, to wonder why bad things occur and feel that life’s not fair. We long to find more joy, to never suffer sorrow, but though today the clouds may come there’s hope for a brighter tomorrow. The lessons of each day, if they are to be learned, can lead us to the joy and peace for which our hearts have yearned. When we in faith seek God, Who has all things in control, healing and strength can brightly flow, shining beauty into each soul.

Help Me Be Still by Frances Gregory Pasch Why must I always be busy? Why can I never rest? Why must I always be "doing" Whom do I need to impress? I have a preconceived notion that stillness is not a good sign; if others see me just sitting, sSome fault in me they will find. I seem to forget, dear Jesus, that you always took time to be still, and I must make time for silence, if I'm ever to learn Your will. Help me to change my old habits. Teach me to slow down my pace. Show me where I should be heading, and fill me with Your loving grace.

Finding Jesus Each Month The Flowers of September: Asters and Morning Glories by Carol Peterson The two flowers for the month of September are the aster and the morning glory. The word aster comes from the Greek word for star. The aster flower is the shape of a star. But not just a 5-pointed star. The aster resembles a lush, brilliant star. This reminds us that there was no more brilliant star than the one that shone over Bethlehem during Jesus’ birth. In ancient times, folks believed that burning the leaves of the aster flower would drive away serpents. In Christianity, the serpent represents Satan. And biblically, Christ stomped his heel on the serpent and conquered Satan. Additionally, the aster is a symbol of love, faith, wisdom, patience and light. Coincidently, Jesus is love, faith, wisdom, patience and light. The morning glory is a second birth flower for September. Its name refers to the fact that it that blooms in the morning. It thus reminds us of that glorious morning on Easter Sunday when Jesus’ empty grave proved His power over death. It also reminds us that in the Book of Revelation, Jesus is referred to as the “bright and morning star,” encompassing both the symbolism of the aster and the morning glory.

Because of its large saucer shape, the morning glory allows bees to pollinate it easily. As a result, new flowers bloom each day. Morning glories are therefore a powerful symbol of resurrection and new life. Jesus reminds us: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die" (John 11:25). The morning glory also grows in vines. It reminds us that Jesus said: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (John 15:5-8). It is fitting for the month of September, that the primary birth flower is the aster. Asters are traditionally placed on graves as a symbol of remembrance. This is especially poignant in the United States as we remember the citizens who died on September 11, 2001. And as the morning glory reminds us of Jesus’ promise of eternal life, this second September birth flower gives us hope for us still living that one day we will live in glory with Him.

The Motive behind Your Prayer by Adwoba Addo-Boateng

James 4:3 says “yet you do not have because you do not ask, you ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures”. I will narrate the story of Amy. Amy wanted to be a lawyer at all cost; she had a very good analytical mind and neighbours always came to her with marital problems, work related problems and other family issues which she solved amicably. Everybody advised her to do law for she would be a great lawyer. Secretly, Amy had a problem. Her husband was controlling and she felt her independence had been taken away. Her husband worked at the local radio station where his salary was meager and they lived on a low budget. She felt that if she went to law school to become a lawyer, then her husband and she could work together. So she applied for and gained admission to do law in one of the public universities in the country. How to pay the school fees had suddenly become a problem. She prayed to God, but it looked as if her prayers were not heard. Her husband tried securing a loan to help her start the law degree but all to no avail.

Why didn’t God hear her prayer? She wanted this; to be a lawyer was her greatest dream but unfortunately it wasn’t realized. She tried to secure money to pay for the law degree herself, but it proved futile. Very disappointed, she finally gave up. Years passed by and she had totally forgotten about that law degree. Her attitude toward her husband changed. She found a job as an assistant sales girl in a grocery shop. She worked tirelessly and supported her husband to raise two kids. Their home was a lovely home, full of happiness. One night, Amy was watching a documentary on TV on how innocent people were jailed and some could not afford a lawyer. Amy cried, “Oh how I wish I was a lawyer, God. I would have helped these innocent people for free.” A few weeks later she saw an advertisement for law school admissions to a prestigious university. She applied and the long and short of it all is that she gained admission with a full scholarship. Amy and her husband rejoiced and sang the song “How Great Thou Art.”

The ABCs of Positivity by Laura Lynn Doyle The ABC’s of Positivity is a delightful rhyming picture book full of powerful and positive affirming messages to help children develop a positive attitude towards themselves, others, and life; all while having fun learning at the same time. The ABCs of Positivity by Laura Lynn Doyle is available on her website at www.lauralynndoyle.com

Visit Theresa at Shoestring Elegance for recipes as well as weekly inspiration and creative ideas for everyday life.

NEW from author Adwoba Addo-Boateng

The Marriage Cookbook Filled with great cooking tips and yummy recipes such as Pineapple Upside-Down cake, Thank You Pies, heart-shaped burgers and Ever There marshmallows, this is a collection of simple, intriguing recipes and stories from married life that will help readers to get married to Christ in order to be fulfilled in their married lives. Our marriage should be like God’s ordained ministry where it is cherished and nurtured to achieve its full potential. Being Christ’s Friendship beautiful bride does not require a lotRelay of effort, but it is the grace of God that will help us through.

God’s Mercies after Suicide by Jean Ann Williams is available from

RUBY’S Reading Corner

Advice from My Dad by Joan Leotta


“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:9-11 New International Version (NIV) Some of the best advice ever given to me came from my father. When praying for wisdom and help from the Lord, I have found it to be most beneficial to ask advice of the wise people he has given me— one of the best of those was my father. Although he is now no longer on this earth, his words often come back to me when I am seeking direction. It was to be my first vacation experience without my parents—two weeks at the Atlantic Ocean with my Grandmother. I was ten years old and in spite of trying to learn to swim at Lake Erie when on vacation with my parents, I was still just a wader when it came to water. In my dreams I was a mermaid, even though my real-life experiences with swimming were not very successful.

My mother helped me pack. My father gave me five dollars (hey, it was the fifties and five dollars was a lot!) and the day before Grandma and I left, Dad sat me down, looked me in the eye and said, "Have a great time but remember this—never turn your back on the ocean." I nodded in agreement. However, once I saw that vast expanse of water all I could think of was playing in it. After all, I fancied myself a mermaid and was sure the sea would pay me homage with gifts of lovely shells. For our first day at the beach, Grandma rented two beach chairs and sat down while I kicked off my shoes and headed down the sand to the water. My tender-skinned feet, recently released from those shoes, were a bit delirious with summer freedom. They propelled me in quick hops over the solar-heated hot white sand until at last they found relief in wave's soft damp domain. My toes wiggled in soft flow of water on the damp sand, the cool damp sand.

At first, I just stood there taking in the sight as waves slithered around my toes. Then I ventured out to ankle length. As I walked, bits of shell poked and pricked at those tender soles. I lowered my head and walked a bit farther out, to mid-calf level.

I turned toward shore and saw the lifeguard standing in his chair, pointing my way.

Incoming waves rolled shells and pebbles along the bottom, tickling my toes as they pushed the soughtafter detritus into shore then pulled it out again.

At last I could stand, my feet flat on the sand, water only at waist level and I could almost run toward the heated sand where Grandma waited, and the beach chairs waited for me.

I tried to peer through the water to the bottom and in those few seconds between the in and out movement. I turned toward to shore to better spy shells as they rolled out. Lowering my head, I saw a flash of orange—a fan shell—perhaps a whole one! Reaching down, my full attention focused on that bit of color, hoping to secure it before the wave could pull it out again. Suddenly water crashed over my head. A huge wave, much larger than normal for the day, was sweeping in and up, pushing me over, rolling me around like a bit of shell. I gasped and my mouth filled with water. Nasty water. I coughed and choked and I tried to stand up, but my feet kept slipping out from under me. I felt myself and the orange fan shell being pulled out as the wave receded back into the ocean. I closed my eyes. My mind must have snapped off for a moment or two. I opened my eyes and found my hand clasping the sturdy ankle of a woman who at first tried to shake me off and then reached down and pulled me to my feet, bringing my head out of the water. I was standing, but precariously, on the tips of my toes, almost floating, in water up to my shoulders. The wave had swept me much farther out than I had wanted to go, much farther than my limited ability to swim would/should ever take me. Through the water in my ear, I could hear the woman scolding me. Salt-water, tears and ocean mixed, blurred my vision of her. Gradually, I could see a large expanse of red bathing suit, on white legs and white arms flailing about, while scolding words came from a freckled face framed by a red swim cap. I think my savior thought I was pranking her. Before I could sputter out an explanation, the shrill shriek of the lifeguard's whistle tipped through my ear bubbles into my consciousness.

I slogged back with the waves tickling those toes, tempting me to return to their domain. Slowly I made my way toward shore.

When I stepped out of the waves, a sand-covered, waterlogged Venus, I did not get the expected tongue lashing from the lifeguard—he was already on to someone else. When I got back to our chairs, I discovered my Grandma was asleep! She had missed it all. "Did you have a good time playing in the water? You certainly got sandy!" I didn’t tell her how afraid I had been, how the water had tried to claim me for its own. Instead, I submitted to her chiding and after stopping first at the hotel's pool room showers—too much sand on me for us to even get on the elevator; we went back to the room and changed. The next day, I was faced with a decision: go back into the water or stay away. I remembered my Dad's wise advice: "Never turn your back on the ocean." I realized I had turned my face away from the waves, turned my back on the ocean. I resolved to return to the ocean but keep an eye on it. As the waves came in, I laughed and played in them and occasionally bent down to swoop up a shell—but I kept one eye on the ocean as I did. Mermaid indeed, but now, a cautious one. I have since applied that advice to other live ventures and adventures. I traveled alone all over Europe at age 19—left a bad job before obtaining a new one and secured an even better job though it was a poor economy at the time. When trying something new, I look at all the possibilities. I am not afraid, I am aware of my assets and my limitations--I exercise caution and prayerfully proceed. "Never turn your back on the ocean.” My father’s advice was the first I gave to my own children when we brought them to the beach. And I think it has served them well—at the beach and in life.

“I Am the Bread of Life” John 6:35 by Gloria Doty

Mmmmm, can you smell that? The unmistakable aroma of bread baking. If you walk into any of the popular sandwich shops, that smell makes your mouth water, even if you came for a salad. One of the larger chains has a lighted sign in the window, inviting customers to “Come for the smells.” The shop’s owners recognize the fact that our olfactory sense is the strongest of the five senses when it comes to evoking memories. When selling my home, I was advised by the realtor to make sure the house smelled like baking when a potential buyer was coming to view it. The presumption was their senses would immediately tell them, ‘This is a cozy, family-friendly home.’ In my community, there is a bakery that supplies loaves of bread for sale once a month after service on a chosen Sunday. It is called Justice Bread. The profits from the sales are used to support the programs of the local Lutheran Social Service agency. Buyers are encouraged to enjoy one of the loaves for themselves and share the others they’ve purchased. If you’ve ever stood in the grocery aisle, pondering the type of bread you would like to purchase, you soon realize bread comes in countless varieties…whole wheat, rye, white, garlic, glutenfree, cornbread, raisin, French, Italian, tortillas and pita bread, to name a few.

They each have their own distinct flavor and purpose. The pioneers made flat bread over the open fire when they traveled West in covered wagons. One of the staples they brought from home was a barrel or several bags of flour. Bread, in one form or another, has been around since the beginning of time and some form of bread is found in every society. Jesus referred to himself as the bread of life many times in scripture. That wasn’t an idle term. Bread supports life. When the Israelites had nothing to eat in their long sojourn in the desert, God provided meat and manna, a form of bread. When there is nothing else to sustain us, we can live on bread. Just as our lives occasionally become so entangled and desperate, we have nothing to sustain us except Jesus…our Bread of Life. We should be like the loaves of Justice Bread…sharing our faith with others. Don’t attempt to live without Jesus in your life. His love is the sweet, memory-inducing fragrance that says, ‘Breathe deeply and think of home.’ Paul Claudel, 1869-1955 French poet, stated, “Stale bread is not hard; what is hard is to live without it.” And so it is with Jesus in our lives…hard to live without him.

A Day like Any Other by Carol Palmer Nugent It was the spring of 1969—a day like any other day, the sun rising to melt the dew off the fresh green grass, a gentle breeze stirring the leaves, the fragrance of lilacs in the air. Yes, it was a day like any other for the rest of the world, but not for me. This was the day when my plans for a loving, normal, marriage and family came to an end and my hopes and dreams were shattered—for that was the day when he first hit me. That day I realized I was the same kind of victim my mother had been for so many years. This was not a gentle little playful slap made by mistake—this was a forceful, deliberate strike which sent my head spinning in a whiplash, and raised a swollen red imprint on the side of my face that would later turn to shades of purple and blue. The shock of it had me frozen in place and it brought back all the memories of abuse my family endured from my bitter, angry, explosive father—a man who was supposed to love, guide, and protect us from harm. With that blow, came the realization within me—I had married the same kind of man—and along with that blow came his words— demeaning, vicious words which cut into my heart and mind until I believed them— “you’re nothing, I own you, and you’re not going anywhere—ever.” If you think this is a story of abuse which haunted me daily, you are wrong. He was a man of many moods, reactive, and volatile at times, but he was also hard working, determined, and ambitious. When he drank, it was to get drunk, but even sober, he was a rage-aholic, and his anger seemed to always be boiling within him ready to explode if the world didn’t treat him right or he didn’t get what he expected out of life. As a narcissist and sociopath, he blamed me and everyone else for every challenge or bad thing which happened in our lives. In some ways, he was the same as my father, rather shy and quiet in public, and though he seldom showed it, he had a gentle side too. But there was a constant battle within him as to which side would prevail. My father suffered from PTSD, as a strong young man who left for WWII and returned with scars which healed on the outside, but never on the inside. My husband, on the other hand, endured a childhood filled with physical and emotional abuse from warring, alcoholic parents, and he brought it with him into our marriage. Raised in fear of my father, I now came to the realization that fear had come to my marriage as well. For seventeen years, I endured the constant roller coaster of love, hate, abuse and empty apologies, or accusations that everything was my fault. He brought this to our children too, terrorizing them at times, and I stood in the gap to keep them from his wrath.

I tried to never leave them alone with him because he was so quicktempered you never knew when he might blow up. At times, I stood up to him, but even if I got my way at the time, it would always turn against me later. I was a capable, dedicated, over-achiever at work, but at home, I could do nothing without his approval. There seemed to be no help in this situation. Today there are shelters and assistance to help women get out of these situations, but then there was nothing available to me. I tried going to my mother, but she being a victim herself, had no advice or help. Once after he climbed on top of me and choked me with both hands until I nearly blacked out, I went to my doctor. I sat in his office with bruised ribs and the purple imprint of his hands around my neck, and the doctor told me to, “Try not to make him so mad.” There seemed to be nowhere to turn and I believed even God had deserted me. I thought many times about leaving, but it seemed like when our finances were at their worse, it was the most volatile and unpredictable of times. I tried to save money and I hid it, but he always found it. He didn’t trust me, and he watched me, monitored my phone calls, stalked me at work, and even followed me around our little town when I went to the laundromat or grocery. I was packing up some old clothes for donation one day, when I found my Bible in a box on a shelf in my closet. I put my hand on the soft burgundy leather cover and began to cry. I prayed God would help me to honor my marriage, and He would give me strength and peace. I opened the Bible and read Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Hope was something I had lost a long time before, but now I realized God was going to see me through this time. I prayed every day after that and believed God had a plan for my life. Finally, there came a day of independence. After seventeen years of marriage, we divorced, but independence was a strange thing to suddenly have after so many years of possession and darkness. I didn’t know how to make my own decisions and I was constantly second-guessing myself, but I got help. I saw a counselor, and learned about co-dependency and the cycle of domestic abuse. More importantly, I prayed. I found my inner strength and grew ever closer to my Heavenly Father who was willing to love me for who I was. I changed—I healed—I grew—I blossomed. My plans were to raise my children and never marry again, but God had other plans for me. After six years of being single, He brought me a gentle, godly man who has been my friend and husband now for over twenty-eight years. The days of abuse and turmoil are behind me. They are part of my past which seems more like a story out of a book, rather than the life I lived through. I rarely think about it anymore, but once in a while, something like the smell of lilacs will trigger a memory of the past, and it reminds me of how blessed I am to be where I am today.

If you need a breakthrough in your life, turn to God by Mary Anusha Chandrakumar The whole world gets worse day by day. We have to pray for the protection of every Christian who is living in countries where they are persecuted. Christian people's lives should reflect Christ in order to bring non-believers closer to the living God. Our Christ-like attitude must change others. The ways of our life style reflect our Christ’s attitude to others. Many observe our Christian life style to get closer to God. So be careful with your life style. Be Humble and Genuine always. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. (Luke 6:45) In recent months the USA was devastated by natural disasters. I am sure American Christians might understand why God is allowing these things. The US government must kneel down to God's authority and let His reign take place through permitting Bibles again in education sector. Many ungodly T.V programs and new technologies have affected the young minds of Americans. Liberal thoughts have led to drug addictions and all kinds of sexual sins. The future of America is paralyzed by satanic schemes. Youth of today lost sight of Gods plan for them. They can't come to their senses to see how precious their young life is. Let us come to stand on guard as gate keepers by praying for the mercies of God to reverse the entire course of American life style. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2) Heavenly father, we come in agreement and declare a blessed nation of God to rise up with our young generation to lead us and spread the kingdom news of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Friendship Relay by Nancy Frantel When I think of the word “relay” the first image in my mind is an actual race. My sons participated on the track team in school, however the relay I’m referencing is different. I chose to use the word in a non-traditional manner. For example, a person passing along kindness to another. This type of connection involves offering encouragement, emotional support, and positive advice. The result may end up meeting a friend who God placed along the way.

He knew the relay of information would result in a new connection later in the year. And friendship.

Nina Newton fits this description.

God knew Nina would help me and offer encouragement to continue writing, after a gap of many years while recovering from a serious accident.

In July 2017, I attended a Christian Writers Conference and met a lady (not Nina) affiliated with the magazine who suggested I submit material to RUBY.

Nina provided a comfortable environment for me to heal and grow by sharing her gift of hospitality.

“What kind of magazine is that?” I thought. A month later, I reviewed the submission guidelines, and gathered up enough courage to send material for consideration of publication. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Sometime editors wait months to respond, if at all. Nina responded within a few days, welcoming me to the community of RUBY writers. She expressed warmth and sincerity. When she advised me the story would appear in a future issue, I praised God for allowing me to attend the conference, and leading me to the magazine, and Nina.

When I told her recently I felt a tug from the Holy Spirit to change to a different genre (after two years of RUBY submissions), she expressed excitement about new opportunities I felt led to pursue. She assured me I was welcome back any time. I leave with a heavy heart. It’s my turn to show the same support by writing about the blessing of knowing Nina. She demonstrates a giving spirit by inspiring others to write from their heart, resulting in passing along joy and inspiration to readers. Thank you, Lord Jesus for special team relays and friends along the way.

Our Eternal Reward by Frances Gregory Pasch THOUGHT FOR TODAY: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.” John 14:1-2 I love watching television programs about extreme home makeovers. The thrust of these shows is to change a family’s life by giving them a fresh start and renewed hope. The stories of the chosen families are sometimes heart wrenching. Some families are financially strapped because of illness or hardships. Others are crammed into a very small space or live in an unsafe home. With the help of hundreds of volunteers, compassionate builders and large companies donate their time and money to build a new home for the family selected. While the family is sent on a vacation, the workers demolish their old home and build a house beyond everyone’s wildest expectations. When the family returns, they are overwhelmed with gratitude and tears of joy. If humans can build beautiful custom homes, imagine what the Master Designer plans to construct for us! One day, we will receive a new home, much grander than any earthly structure. With God as the architect and no budget limits, the results will bring us to our knees. The offer of an eternal mansion is not for just a select few, but for everyone who believes in God. Prayer: Jesus, thank You for the promise of a new eternal home. Amen

Crazy Emotions by Melissa Sturt “But I don’t feel like doing that!” my child whined in my ear for the hundredth time. “That’s too bad...you have to do it anyway,” I replied. As I said these words this particular time, I felt the good Lord gently remind me that the same applies to me. Well, after feeling suitably corrected, I realised that we all have emotions that regularly go AWOL but that doesn’t give us an excuse to ignore God’s command of love. Emotions come and go and are extremely fickle. One minute we are ecstatically happy, the next we are morbidly sad. We mustn’t fight these emotions, just observe them and feel them but don’t react to them. It isn’t always easy. When someone has been unkind to us, emotions take over and we feel angry, hurt, indignant, etc. The natural thing to do is to act according to them, but if this path is taken, it leads only to pain and frustration. It will never produce good in our lives. One cannot fight fire with more fire. We are told in Romans 12:21 to overcome evil with good. A funny thing happens when we obey that verse...all of a sudden our emotions decide they agree with us after all and a deep joy surges up within us. This is the joy of the Lord and it is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Positive emotions can also be a potential trap. We may have feelings of excitement and enthusiasm about a new project on which we have just embarked, only to lose interest and become bored with it after just a few weeks. According to Galatians 6:9, if we want fulfilment in life, we must not grow weary or become discouraged in doing good; for at the proper time, we shall reap if we don’t give up. Another thing I have learnt from life...don’t expect yourself or others to not experience anger, sadness, frustration, happiness, excitement, etc. We all have these emotions that have - by the way - been given to us by God Himself. They can be wonderfully glorious or incredibly horrid. The trick is to not live your life by them!

Ruby Writing Team Sharon Patterson, retired educator, career military wife, and leader in women's ministry, has written inspirational encouragement in various forms from greeting cards to short stories, poetry, and Bible studies for over thirty years. She has authored three books, and is a contributing author for several of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She and her husband Garry live in Round Rock, Texas. They have three sons and five grandchildren.

Theresa Begin lives in Northern California, where she was born and raised. She is a Christian who loves her family and says, “I have been blessed with the world’s best parents!” She has three sisters and one brother, as well as 16 beautiful nieces and nephews who “mean the world to me!” She is “differently-abled,” and chooses not to allow her limitations to define her life. She loves to write and share her various projects on her blog, “Shoestring Elegance,” which came about as she discovered that living on a tight budget did not mean compromising on style. “Nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37 NLT Shara Bueler-Repka is enjoying life as a singer/songwriter/recording artist, freelance writer, and award-winning author. She and her husband, Bruce, live in their living quarters horse trailer and call “home” wherever their rig is parked. Their mailbase, however, is Hallettsville, Texas. She also loves riding/ministering with her husband and their horses (aka The Boys) in the backcountry and writing about God’s grace in the various adventures on the trail less-traveled. Join the fun and be encouraged on their website: www.ponyexpressministry.com and her blog: www.trailtails.blogspot.com, or come for a visit on Facebook.

Lisa Radcliff is a writer, speaker, women's Bible study teacher, and a 35-year volunteer youth worker, residing in Pennsburg, PA. She is a wife, mom, and mom-mom who loves God's Word but also loves football, chocolate, shoes, and Maine. Her hobbies include quilting, shopping, cooking, and raising Seeing Eye puppies. You can reach her at lisajradcliff@gmail.com.

Mary Anusha Chandra Kumar is a Born Again Christian who was born and raised in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She enjoys her lifestyle as a Worship Leader, Interpreter, and Motivational Speaker at Churches across Asia, Marriage Counselor, and Hosts International Prayer Conference Online, a writer who brings people into a more intimate relationship with God and an upcoming Business Woman in the Cinema Industry as a Christian Film Director and Producer. Further, she is a social worker who holds the UNICEF Certificate of Helping Hand and who is very much enthusiastic in optimizing her spare time in fabric painting, and cooking both Continental and Asian Cuisines.

Joan Leotta has been playing with words since childhood. She is a poet, essayist, journalist, playwright, and author of several books both fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. She is also a performer and gives one-woman shows on historic figures and spoken word folklore shows as well as teaching writing and storytelling. Joan lives in Calabash, NC where she walks the beach with husband, Joe. www.joanleotta.wordpress.com and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Joan-Leotta-Authorand-Story-Performer/188479350973

Norma C. Mezoe began writing after a crisis in her life. She has been a published writer for thirty years. Her writing has appeared in books, devotionals, take-home papers and magazines. She lives in the tiny town of Sandborn, Indiana where she is active in her church as clerk, teacher and bulletin maker. Contact at: normacm@tds.net

Carol Palmer Nugent is a member of Word Weavers of Northern Arizona, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Gopher Prairie Writers group. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two dogs. She enjoys gardening, reading, writing, and learning something new each day. She has published short stories in 2016 in The Good Old Days and RUBY Magazines, a true story in A Woman of Worth anthology in July, and two stories in Christmas Collection II for 2016. In addition, Carol received an honorable mention in the 2016 -85th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. Carol is currently working on a fiction story about her Grandfather Carlisle Palmer growing up in the Palmer House Hotels. https://carolpalmernugent.wordpress.com

Diana Leagh Matthews writes, speaks and sings to bring glory to God.

She has been published in numerous anthologies, including many Moments books. In her day job, Leagh is a Nationally Certified Activities Director for a busy nursing facility. She takes great joy in family, friends and soaking in the beautiful wonders and promises of God. Leagh blogs about her faith and struggles on her website www.DianaLeaghMatthews.com and family history at www.ALookThruTime.com

Carol Peterson, Author

My mission as a writer is to educate, entertain and inspire– children, their teachers and parents, other writers, and readers of all genres. As a children’s writer I try to “Make Learning Fun” by helping busy teachers address curriculum accountability standards, and encouraging other writers to do the same. You can connect with Carol at her blog, Carol Peterson, Author Carol is a member of the Ruby Book Review Team. My name is Kelly Kavich, I currently am in the process of allowing Jesus to lead me into the next chapter of my life. I have a passion for writing about the Lord and a great many things He has done inside of me. I am wife to my amazing and wonderful husband; I am a non-traditional student and the Woman's Minister at my church. I also serve in several other capacities for the church; I create the bulletin and announcements each week and run slides for our worship team. I desire to work for the Lord and not for man to see captives set free from anything that has bound them for far too long. The call that Jesus has placed upon my life is to see a Woman's Shelter that is Spirit-filled and led be open in my hometown, to write for God and to teach and preach of His love and redemption. Nancy Frantel lives in Virginia, and is a published author of three history books, public speaker and researcher. Prior to becoming a writer she worked in corporate management. A “life interruption” injury in 2010 limited her ability to work as a writer. In 2017, she attended several Christian writing conferences, and felt led to start over in a different genre. Her goal is to write inspirational and encouraging stories based on her experiences, lessons learned by trusting God, and individuals He provides along the way.

Cindy Evans is a published poet living in the greater Atlanta area. When she's not writing, you may find her a faith-based movie with her husband, making trail mix or serving at the local Christian hospice..

Miriam Jacob is a reviewer at Oxford Academic, Oxford University Press; a blog reviewer at Revell Reads, Baker Publishing Group; member of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid, Christian Authors Network and Ruby Book Review Team; Google Scholar and Researcher at Academia.edu; ebook author and poet; top reviewer at NetGalley, Christian Book Distributors, Barnes and Noble, Google Books and Goodreads. Miriam is a reviewer at Tyndale House Publishers; Moody Press; Barbour Books; Harvest House; New Hope Publishers; Penguin; HarperCollins Christian; Abingdon Press; WaterBrook & Multnomah; and Discovery House. Miriam's articles and poems are published on her WordPress blog at www.miriamjacob.wordpress.com She is also a singer/songwriter whose songs are featured on Sermon Network. Miriam's poem "Harps of God" was set to music by British Composer, Patrick Larley (Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, UK) and submitted to Reading Phoenix Choir, UK for the Walter Hussey Composition Competition 2019. My name is Melissa Sturt and I live in Queensland, Australia. I am a 42 year old mother of 3 home-schooled children aged 9, 11, and 14, and happily married to my wonderful husband, Mat for nearly 19 years. I love encouraging other women in my life and I would love my writing to do the same.

Adwoba Addo-Boateng is the author of the book “The Helpline is Engaged,” a contemporary book about prayer, which is now available from RUBY’S Reading Corner. She is also a Christian marriage counselor, used by God greatly to restore marriages. She blogs at adwobaaddoboateng@blogspot.com where readers are encouraged and motivated in the Lord to live fulfilling lives

Frances Gregory Pasch’s devotions and poems have been published in devotional booklets, magazines, and Sunday school papers since 1985. Her writing has also appeared in several dozen compilations. Her book, Double Vision: Seeing God in Everyday Life Through Devotions and Poetry is available on Amazon. Frances has been leading a women’s Christian writers group since 1991. You can contact her at www.francesgregorypasch.com.

Connie Arnold lives in North Carolina with her husband, Tom. They have two children and three grandchildren. In dealing with lupus, fibromyalgia and other difficulties she has trusted in the Lord and shares her inspirational poetry to offer encouragement, hope and comfort to others who are suffering. She is the author of Peaceful Moments of Love and Light devotional, A Symphony of Seasons, Abundant Comfort and Grace, Abiding Hope and Love, and Beautiful Moments of Joy and Peace, as well as three children’s books, Animal Sound Mix-up, Count 123 With Me, and Olive and the Great Flood. You can visit Connie at her website, www.conniearnold.webs.com or blog, www.conniearnold.blogspot.com

Gloria Doty is a published Christian author, writer and speaker. She has published a non-fiction book, a devotion book, a series of fiction romance books and several children's picture books. Gloria has 5 adult children and 13 grandchildren. She has recently re-married and she and her husband reside in Fort Wayne, IN.

Nina Newton, Sr. Editor:

When my four older children were in school, I returned to college as a “non-traditional student.” Eventually, I earned degrees in Classics and Philosophy, and a graduate degree in Medieval Studies: History of Theology. After teaching at a small community college in Michigan for seven years, my husband and I were blessed with the adoption of our two beautiful daughters, Gracie and Annie. We live in northern Indiana in a small farming community where I work on RUBY magazine in my home office. I have worked for several years offering my handmade and refashioned garments and accessories in a local boutique under the creative name of “Vintage Mama’s Cottage.” My personal blog is at www.vintagemamascottage.cnet

Have you seen the beautiful, brand-new, updated RUBY blog? You are invited to stop by and visit us soon! You will find inspirational articles and blog posts by our team of RUBY writers, and you can even read every issue of RUBY magazine on the RUBY blog. Come on over . . . we’ll be waiting for you!

RUBY magazine is published by CreativeLife

Profile for RUBY magazine

RUBY magazine September 2019  

The September 2019 issue of RUBY magazine features inspirational articles and poetry, devotionals and short stories, recipes, book reviews,...

RUBY magazine September 2019  

The September 2019 issue of RUBY magazine features inspirational articles and poetry, devotionals and short stories, recipes, book reviews,...


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