Friday, July 30, 2021

Grace and Truth, Jesus and the Father are One, John 10:11-42

Verses 14-16: “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.


What a joy, that Jesus was thinking all the way to us today and beyond, not only of the people with him then. What a privilege to be accepted as part of his family.


Verses 17-18: The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”


We have no reason to doubt that Jesus wanted to give his life for us.


Verses 28-29: I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.


I grab on to this promise, that no one can snatch me from the hands of Jesus.


Verses 30-33: “I and the Father are one.”

Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”

“We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”


Jesus knew he would make them mad, but he had the courage to tell the awesome, important, necessary truth anyway.


Friday, July 23, 2021

Kathy's Kitchen, Porcupine Meatballs in the Crockpot

Welcome back to Kathy’s Kitchen. I’ve been enjoying searching through recipes and sharing recipes with my mom recently, so you may be hearing more from Kathy’s kitchen.


This dish is something I do regularly, and our family loves it.


Porcupine Meatballs in the Crockpot


1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef

1/2 c. raw rice

1/2 c. onion, finely chopped

1/2 c. green pepper, finely chopped

1 egg

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1 (10 1/2 oz.) can tomato soup

1 can diced tomatoes and liquid

In mixing bowl combine ground beef, rice, onion, green pepper, egg, salt and pepper. Mix well to blend. Shape meat mixture into 24 meatballs, about 1 1/2

inches in diameter. Place meatballs in slow cooking pot. Pour soup and diced tomatoes over meatballs. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or high for

 4 to 5 hours. Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Now in Kathy’s kitchen, we always remember the rule my husband Murray taught me, “A recipe is merely a suggestion.”


I use two pounds of meat, usually one of beef and one of sausage. For a sauce, I use a jar of salsa or bottle of barbecue sauce. It’s sometimes a little dry, so I’m planning to add an 8-ounce can of tomato sauce next time.


I’m working on convincing Murray to let me cook these to go with our spaghetti sometime, but for now, we eat these on hamburger buns. Mmm mmm good. 

Friday, July 16, 2021

Together for Good Series, LeighAnne Clifton

Thank you, LeighAnne for giving me a chance for an interview in your newsletter.







Don't forget to share with your friends and encourage them to subscribe!

More great author & artist spotlights are lined up!


Here it is! The cover for the 2nd book in the Together for Good series, Ready to Forgive! I hope it starts the wheels turning in your head... What happens with Alex and Chad? How is the relationship between Miss Matilda and Terry?


I'd love to hear your thoughts! Pop over to the Book News page (link below) and leave a comment, question, or even your guess at what the cover hints at!


I think you'll be surprised!!!


Book News Link


And now, let's

welcome this week's

Author Spotlight!

Kathy McKinsey


This week, we'll learn about Kathy McKinsey. I had the privilege recently of being the guest blogger for Kathy's blog. You can check out that post here.


Introducing: Kathy McKinsey - Woman of Many Talents


Kathy McKinsey wears many hats: Christian, wife, mom, vision rehabilitation therapist, and author! Kathy has a blog (which you can navigate to below) that keeps her busy. She's also published several books and loves sharing her stories with readers.


Kathy's story is a beautiful reminder that God has amazing plans for us in all circumstances!

How long have you wanted to become an author? What made you take the leap?


I dreamed of publishing a book since I was a teenager. I did have a few short stories published in magazines then. But for over 30 years, I wrote little, using college, work and raising a family as excuses. Nine years ago, I had to stop work because of health reasons, and God encouraged me to pick up my writing dream again.


What is your most recent book about?


My most recent book, Gifts of Grace, is a collection of women’s fiction novellas. Stories of women with struggles and sorrows who find hope and grace in Jesus.


I also have two other books, All My Tears, another collection of women’s fiction novellas, and Millie’s Christmas, a children’s Christmas story.


Do you write around a certain theme? Or do you just let the story guide you?


I have a basic theme when I start writing, but God sends me delightful surprises as I travel through the story.



How did you find your publisher? What do you like the most about them?


Mantle Rock Publishing published all three of my books. I met Kathy Cretsinger when she taught a monthly class for the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). I will always be grateful to Mantle Rock for taking a chance on a beginning author.


Mantle Rock has recently transferred most of their books to Scrivenings Press, and I look forward to working with them. I am currently in the process of independently re-publishing Millie’s Christmas, which only makes me appreciate my publishers more.

What's your favorite Scripture verse and why?


So many favorites. This one comforts me and gives me joy:


O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help. Psalm 86:5


What are some of your favorite things? Basically, how do you like to spend your free time (as if authors actually have any of that!)


We have had cats in our home ever since our children were small. We also had dogs when my son lived at home with his guide dogs from The Seeing Eye. Such joys!


Although dark chocolate will always make me smile, my favorite food is a hamburger with lettuce, onion, tomato, pickles, and mayonnaise.


My all-time favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird. My husband Murray introduced me to the movie The Sound of Music soon after we were married, and we have watched it repeatedly over the years.


How can folks find you?


You can find me online at the following places:


·         Website

·         Facebook

·         Twitter

·         Email


Thanks for joining us, Kathy! I love your story and your willingness to go where God was leading. He's always an on-time God, equipping us for what He's prepared us for. I'm sure the readers will want to check out your books by clicking the links above.


Don't Miss the "Fruity" Series!

This week the summer-long series on the Fruit of the Spirit continues with a look at LOVE and JOY!


The information in the series will soon be available in Bible study format and will include additional content, more accompanying reference Scripture, and study questions.


Stay tuned!


Fruit of the Spirit - Love & Joy


Remember to share this newsletter with a friend and remind them to subscribe! Great bonus content and more sneak peeks will be available ONLY to SUBSCRIBERS!


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Friday, July 9, 2021

No Balloons for Nine Years?

Nine years ago, due to a fall down basement stairs, I had enough of a brain injury that I was no longer able to go back to work.


I was in the hospital and rehab for six weeks, to figure out how to walk again, to swallow food safely, to work on communicating again.


The injury led to a number of consequences—balance problems, memory loss, hearing impairment, difficulty finding the right word when I speak.


Although I still have a little trouble with balance, that is probably the difficulty that has recovered most. I’ve been blind most of my life, and I felt like I could deal with that reasonably. But now, with the new disabilities of memory issues, hearing loss and difficulty with finding words, I struggled.


For a long time after my accident, I felt useless. My kids were mostly grown and didn’t need the kind of help they’d once needed from me. I couldn’t work to help support our family. Both these areas had been a huge help for me, to prove I was still a capable person, even though I was blind.


Recently, as my accident’s ninth anniversary approached, I realized what a good life God has given me since that scary, sad time.


I’ve been able to go back to my dream of writing, and through that, my relationship with God has grown. My acceptance of my own forgiveness from God and my ability to offer this grace to others.


I learned how much I enjoy editing for other writers.


I’ve had more time with my husband than I did when I was working.


Certainly, I still struggle. But, after the accident, I wouldn’t have believed how much good God could bring from this. Now, I see what a wonderful life he was able, is still able, to give me.


Before this, I had become blasé about Romans 8:28:


And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.


Now I see how true that promise is for me.


Something just happened which brought this more to mind, and made me laugh.


After the accident, I had slight paralysis on the left side of my face. My eye wouldn’t close and no longer produced tears. There was a tiny bit of numbness on the left side of my tongue and jaw. It’s hard for me to lift the left side of my lips in a smile, and I might dribble out of that side of my mouth when I drink.


I think that mouth difficulty has improved some over the years, but I was just reminded it’s still here.


I may not have tried to blow up balloons in nine years. The kids are grown, so I haven’t really had a need. But on Ping-Hwei’s birthday last week, I decided to blow up balloons for his celebration dinner.


And I couldn’t.


I blew and blew, and air spat out of the left side of my lips, and the balloon wouldn’t fill.


“I want to blow up these balloons!”


So, I tried pinching that side of my lips between my fingers as I puffed and—


I filled a nice trash bag full of balloons!


And I laughed. God is continuing to give me the skills and wisdom to deal with these new difficulties, as well as a sense of humor. 

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Guest Author LeighAnne Clifton

Thank you, LeighAnne, for sharing your story and your heart with us.


My name is LeighAnne Clifton, and I want to thank Kathy for inviting me to join y’all today.

Yep, I said, “y’all.” I’m a Southern girl, born and raised! Originally from the beautiful city of Ocala, Florida, I’ve called South Carolina home for many decades now. My degree is in chemical engineering, and I worked as an environmental engineer for over 30 years. Between that, two kids, and my husband, I managed to keep very busy.

In December 2020, though, I hung up my engineering hat, retired, and started truly focusing my energies on writing Christian fiction. Now, before you start thinking I’m some flighty, irresponsible, spur-of-the-moment kind of lady, just wait. I’m far from it!

The writing bug bit me when I experienced the thrill of publishing a children’s book, The Little Vessel, in 2018. I’d already been growing weary of workplace politics, and, even though our kids are grown and on their own, it became increasingly difficult to devote enough time to my writing. Then… I signed a contract for the publication of my first novel! So, after much prayer, I took the leap into retirement.

My first novel, All Your Heart, was published by Pen It! Publications in March 2021. Allow me to give you a glimpse into Alex’s world.

All Your Heart

Alex has a full scholarship, earned through her tireless work ethic, that she hopes will propel her across the country from her workaholic mother. However, a prom night incident leaves Alex pregnant, confused, and unsure of her next move. Forced to alter her well-crafted plans, she considers abortion after fleeing her small town where everyone knows everyone else’s business. Her trip changes course, though, when an accident strands her and she encounters Miss Matilda, care-taker and care-giver at Together for Good, a home for ladies facing a crisis pregnancy. Miss Matilda welcomes Alex, showering her with love, kindness, and Good News.

While living at the home, Alex finds a dusty old diary and reads the confidences penned within it. The secrets Alex discovers change not only her life, but also the lives of Miss Matilda and her nephew Terry, who’s become Alex’s new business partner. Alex must decide if she can let go of her own secrets, grasp the revelation of newly-discovered family, and allow her budding romance with a local businessman to fully bloom.

My Spirit-led goals in writing this book were three-fold:

1.      reach people with the gospel of Jesus,

2.      highlight the sanctity of life, and

3.      remind readers of God’s sovereignty.

As I continue to write the next books in this series, these fundamental themes recur, in addition to some other important concepts, such as forgiveness and patience.

The inspirational and foundational Scripture verse for All Your Heart is Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” So much truth is packed into those few words, and the verse has carried me through many tough times. Similarly, Alex and her friends learn how to let go of their own plans and fully trust God with everything, even when obstacles seem insurmountable. Spoiler: God’s plans are ALWAYS better (even when we don’t recognize it)!

The next novel in the Together for Good series, Ready to Forgive, is under contract, although a release date is unknown at this time. If you’d like to know more about All Your Heart and keep up with Ready to Forgive on its journey to publication, sign up for my biweekly (every other week, not twice a week) newsletter at LeighAnne Clifton Book News! | ( .

Readers may purchase All Your Heart and The Little Vessel (a modern-day parable about God’s perfect and unique purpose for each of us) online.


All Your Heart:


The Little Vessel: