Friday, December 29, 2023

Happy New Year

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I never keep them, and I don’t want to disappoint myself. But I do think it’s right to believe in new beginnings, fresh starts, second chances, third and fourth…


Lamentations 3:21-23: 

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.


How can I not hope for new chances? God promises me new mercies and love every day.


I want to be more like Jesus every day.


I want to be a better wife to Murray, to the man who shows me such kindness and tenderness, who I hope to have many years yet to live with.


To be the kind of mother to my kids who can still support them as adults.


To find a more organized way to do my work as a writer, editor and braille grader.


And I pray for you that you will be reminded, too, of God’s new help every day for new and better todays.


2 Thessalonians 2:16-17:

"May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hopes, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word." 

Friday, December 22, 2023

Journey with Jesus

During Advent this year, our church is reading through the book of Luke. I wanted to share some of the messages of God’s love I found through this journey.


Chapter 2:14: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!”


To think that God is pleased with us!


The verses Jesus read in the synagogue about himself:


4:18-19: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me     to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”


He came to set me free from the prison of my sin.


7:33-34: “For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’”

Verses 36-38: “When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.”

50: “Jesus said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’”


The people then accused Jesus of being a friend of tax collectors and sinners. They didn’t know they were speaking the truth.


10:16: “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.”


How we respond to Jesus is crucial.


15:3-6: “Then Jesus told them this parable: ‘Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.”’”


I praise God that he seeks one lost sinner and rejoices when they are found.


17:3-4: “So watch yourselves. If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”


I am so glad Jesus is willing to forgive multiple times.


22:31-32: “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”


Thank you, Jesus, that you now pray for us.


I am so grateful for the kind of people Jesus paid special attention to:


5:12-13,31-32: While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, ‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.’ Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ And immediately the leprosy left him. Jesus answered them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’”


8:47-48: “Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. Then he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.’”


The woman tried to hide, but Jesus forced her to talk to him so he could show he loved her like a daughter.


19:1-5,9-10: “Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.’

“Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.’”


21:1-4: “As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. ‘Truly I tell you,’ he said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.’”


23:42-43: “Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.’”


The thief on the cross.


And Jesus pays special attention to you and me too. 

Friday, December 15, 2023

Need Any Christmas Gifts Still?

Here are a few ideas that have touched my heart.


The emergency: a year of healing and heartbreak in a Chicago ER by Thomas Fisher, (Board-certified emergency medicine physician). A wide open, heart-felt description of medical care in a poor, Black Chicago emergency room, during the first nine months of the Covid outbreak.


3:16: the numbers of hope by Max Lucado. Beautiful descriptions of God’s great love for us which caused him to give the gift of his son.


Thief of Corinth by Tessa Afshar. A story of Corinth of the New Testament, including some well-known names from the Bible. Describes a family’s tragedies, sorrows, and their road to the grace of Jesus.


Choices of the Heart by Laurie Alice Eakes. A family feud in the mountains of Virginia in 1842, and a reminder that “There is therefore now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.”


This promise of change: one girl's story in the fight for school equality by Jo Ann Allen Boyce and Debbie Levy. A brave story from one of twelve students who agreed to be the first Blacks to attend a Tennessee high school in 1956.


The watchmaker's daughter: the true story of World War II heroine Corrie ten Boom by Larry Loftis. I was already familiar with this story; I’m sure I read The Hiding Place. But it is good to keep this history fresh in my thinking, and to remind myself of what people will do, even in the darkest valley, to share the love of Jesus.


Millie’s Christmas by Kathy McKinsey. This precious children’s story that God gifted me with at Christmas a number of years ago. 

Friday, December 8, 2023

Guest Author, Malissa Chapin


Here’s another author with a Christmas story. It sounds great. Thank you, Malissa.



Hope for Christmas


Merry Noel is a busy woman with no time or patience to celebrate holidays. But when she's fired after going berserk at the office Christmas party, she goes back to Wisconsin to visit her mom for the first time in years.


A wise man named Joe, a blizzard, and an unexpected guest help Merry recapture her joy and bring her Hope for Christmas.




Malissa Chapin has a heart for writing stories filled with humor, faith, and truth. She’s always adored reading excellent books and is tickled to see her childhood dream of becoming an author finally come true.


Malissa loves creating with words, watercolor, fabric, and yarn. You can find her in her garden, at the piano, homeschooling her bonus baby, or enjoying a coffee with friends.


She lives and sometimes freezes in Wisconsin with her family and a crazy cat.


About writing this novella:


When I saw this cover for sale on my cover designer’s page, I fell in love with the colors, the style, and the feeling, but I didn’t have a Christmas story in the works. I kept looking at it and started to worry. “What if someone else buys it?” Aack!

That’s it! I bought it. So, the cover was mine, and now I needed a story.

I wanted to write a story similar to all the sweet cheesy movies some of us enjoy at Christmas, but I also wanted to include some thought-provoking ideas, and that’s the twist in the story!


My true confession is that I wrote a story just for a cover I had already purchased. I’m sure that qualifies me for nerd status somewhere. Ha!

Friday, December 1, 2023

Kathy's Kitchen Crawfish Cornbread

People who know me well know this probably wouldn’t be in my kitchen, but my friend, author Mary Lou Cheatham, had this recipe on her blog recently as something different for a holiday meal.


Crawfish Cornbread



1 pound crawfish with fat, or sausage if you desire      

2 cups cheddar cheese, grated

1 box Jiffy® Cornbread Mix

3 eggs

1 stick butter (unsalted)

1 can cream style corn

1 teaspoon Tony Chachere’s®

1 teaspoon red pepper

2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ cup red bell pepper, chopped

½ cup onion, chopped

1 bunch green onions, chopped



·      Sauté onions and peppers in butter until tender. Add crawfish to vegetables and cook for 5 minutes. Set aside.

·      Mix together cheese, cornbread mix, eggs, corn, seasoning, jalapeños, and baking soda. Add crawfish and vegetables to mixture. Pour into greased 9” x 13 " pan or cast iron skillet and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into middle.

                                                                                                           Cathy George


About Crawfish Cornbread

Crawfish Cornbread is indescribably delicious. Each bite is memorable.


The delicate blending of flavors and textures is indeed masterful. The spices deliciously complement the unique flavor of the crawfish tails. The delicate lacing of herbs, green onions, red bell peppers, and jalapeño peppers is masterful.

The moist texture of the cornbread mixed with the smoothing texture of the sharp cheddar cheese, catapults this truly extraordinary dish into a category all its own. Each bite renders itself memorable, as it bathes the diner's mouth with textures and flavors uniquely broad, delicate, and delicious.

Notes written by a friend who is an expert consumer of delicious food


This sounded so delicious. I wrote to Mary:

I suggested to Murray that we make this, minus the crawfish. Sorry.:)


Mary was generous enough to send me this recipe:


Paula’s Mexican Cornbread 

1 cup self-rising cornmeal mix 

1 can whole kernel corn, drained 

3-4 Jalapeño peppers 

1 large onion diced 

Approximately 1 cup milk 

1 pound mild cheddar cheese 

1-2 pounds ground beef (Variation: substitute sausage for ground beef.) 

 1 can Ro*tel® tomatoes 


Brown ground meat in skillet. Drain well. Add Ro*tel® tomatoes. Cook until all liquid evaporates. A little garlic powder adds flavor to this meat mixture. Mix meal, corn, onion, peppers, half the cheese, and milk until batter is easily stirred. Use enough milk to give the mix the consistency of thick cake batter. Pour half the batter into greased 9 X 13” pan. Spread meat mixture over batter, cover with remaining batter, and cover with the remaining cheese. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until you smell it


I was ready to make this, but Murray beat me when he found a similar recipe for the crockpot. He cooked it on low for 5 hours and served it with salsa, sour cream and shredded cheese. I’ll have to be quicker next time. So yummy. 

Friday, November 24, 2023

Guest Author, Mary Lou Cheatham

 I am so happy to have Mary on my blog today. She was one of the very first authors to help with my stories when I started writing again about ten years ago. I appreciate her mentoring me, and I love her stories.


The Longer I Live


“The Longer I Live” serves as a title for some new popular songs. Country singers perform a version; a man with an operatic voice performs another one on Broadway. Since I’ve reached the age of eighty, this phrase runs through my mind every day. I know my purpose is to honor God and love Him forever.

Yet, as the days go by and I enjoy youthful vitality, I realize the specific goals of my life at this time—my calling. I feel a strong compulsion to be about the tasks assigned to me. 

My thoughts go to the story of Caleb, one of the most inspiring characters in the Bible. His name means “whole-hearted.” He was faithful, bold, and brave. When Caleb was forty, he went with Joshua and some more strong men to spy on the living conditions in the Promised Land.  When they returned to the desert, only Joshua and Caleb reported words of encouragement, saying that the Israelites could take the land. Forty-five years passed, and Joshua had the job of dividing the land among the tribes. Caleb, who was eighty-five, spoke up and reminded Joshua to give him a promised mountain. Caleb could have chosen flat land, which would have served his family well for farming, but Moses (instructed by God) had promised Caleb the mountain.

Caleb had the strength to climb it, and he led his family to drive out the giants, who called Hebron their home. Caleb’s descendants spread through the hill country known as Hebron.

Here’s an excerpt of the account from the Bible:

And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children's forever, because thou hast wholly followed the LORD my God.

And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old.

As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.

Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims [giants] there, and that  the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.

And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance.

Joshua 14:9-13 (KJV)


What do I get from this passage?


When I was a ten-year-old girl, I felt a strong calling to write novels. As my life progressed, other callings filled my time and heart. I became a wife, teacher, mother, and nurse. Then when I reached sixty, the day came to return to the desire of my childhood.

Over the years I’ve written novels. It has been my goal to entertain readers and challenge them to examine their relationships with the Lord. God has led me to friends, such as Kathy McKinsey, who have helped me develop essential skills along the way.

Now, as I begin my ninth decade, I must conquer my mountain. Every day on earth has a purpose. I’m as strong as I ever was, but the forms of my strength have changed. The biggest challenge I face—the steepest mountain—is to place my books in the hands of those who need to read them, as I pray that their eyes and hearts will be open.


My most recent novel is All Her Dreams of Love. You can find it on Amazon. Lately, I’ve been placing reels and posts on Instagram and Facebook.


In rural post-Civil War Mississippi, the virgin woods offer cover for bands of outlaws. Underdeveloped roads provide limited transportation for the settlers. Most farmhouses stand miles apart. All Her Dreams of Love weaves tension into an inspirational romance set in a harrowing struggle to survive.

When Nancy O’Reilly lies in bed at night, the cries of bobcats, panthers, and owls in the nearby Cohay Swamp remind her how lonely her life is. She doesn’t know how she can manage their remote farm while she takes care of her little son. Because she has a baby on the way, she experiences tender feelings, and she needs the gentle touch that her husband has provided.

Without the man she loves, Nancy doesn’t know how she can carry on. Where will she find the strength?

Friday, November 17, 2023

Guest Author, Jodie Wolfe

Jodie, thank you for sharing with us. This story sounds like so much fun.



A Sneak Peek into Wooing Gertrude

By Jodie Wolfe


The print copy of my new book released today, Wooing Gertrude. I had so much fun creating Gertrude Miller. She’s on the verge of all her dreams coming true…or is she? 😊 Here’s a sneak peek at the back cover and first page of the story which is book three in my Burrton Springs Brides Series.



Enoch Valentine has given up finding peace for his past mistakes. He throws everything he has into being the new part-time deputy in Burrton Springs, Kansas while maintaining the foreman position at a local horse ranch. But when trouble stirs on the ranch, he questions whether he's the right man for either job.

Peace has been elusive for most of Gertrude Miller's life, especially under the oppressiveness of an overbearing mother. She takes matters into her own hands and sends for a potential husband, while also opening her own dress shop. Gertrude hopes to build a future where she'll find peace and happiness.

Will either of them ever be able to find peace?



The seamstress with a knack for trouble wasn’t who the deputy envisioned.


First Page Peek


Burrton Springs, Kansas

August 4, 1877

Gertrude Miller’s life couldn’t get any better. She grinned, patting her pocket. Her fingers traced the two skeleton keys. After months of planning and preparing she finally had moved into her own place a week ago, away from the overbearing reach of her mother. In two days, she’d be opening the clothing shop beneath her apartment.

She studied the trail leading into town hoping for a wisp of dust indicating the stagecoach was on its way, but saw none. Smoothing the light blue flowered fabric of her skirt, Gertrude’s hand settled against her churning stomach. What would George Witt think of her when he arrived? Would he see past her faults and still find her loveable? Would he like the place she picked for them to live?

The many letters he’d written to her crinkled in her reticule, as she clutched it close to her heart. His last missive declared he planned to marry her shortly after arriving. Mama would have a conniption, which was why Gertrude hadn’t breathed a word to her mother that she’d marry tomorrow after the church service. Mama would try to do everything in her power to prevent it. Gertrude didn’t plan to say anything to her until they were sitting side by side in the church. No use creating a stir ahead of time.

Her dress hung from a hook in her new place waiting for the blessed event. She’d spent hours sewing it and adding yards of intricate lace she’d crocheted.


The book explores the theme of finding peace in the middle of storms. You probably guessed that Gertrude has to go through a series of problems before she learns this lesson. I hope you’ll pick up a copy and join her journey.




Jodie Wolfe creates novels where hope and quirky meet. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and Faith, Hope, & Love Christian Writers (FHLCW). She's been a semi-finalist and finalist in various writing contests. A former columnist for Home School Enrichment magazine, her articles can be found online at: Crosswalk, Christian Devotions, and Heirloom Audio. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie. Learn more at


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Thank you for allowing me to stop by for a visit today!

Friday, November 10, 2023

Guest Author, Diana Leagh Matthews

 Thank you, Leagh, for this article. It reminded me of the joy we had when our kids were small, and we all had so much fun singing together.



The Songs We Choose to Sing

by Diana Leagh Matthews


Victor Hugo said, “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent."

Music has been proven to have healing power to help stroke victims, dementia patients communicate, or assist individuals with a brain injury to heal. It also has a way of bringing people together whether through friendship, at a dance, or in worship.

In my new novel, “Carol of the Rooms,” I explore the power of music on the mind and soul. Terri Neely is a modern-day Scrooge, who has hardened her heart and become consumed by money and business. Her heart has grown calloused toward those around her. Music—which should soothe her—only irritates and angers her.

When she has an experience similar to the one in “A Christmas Carol,” she not only views the past but hears the soundtrack of her life. Listening to the songs that compromise her life reveals how each experience has truly impacted her heart, beliefs, and outlook.


We all have those songs that speak to our hearts and resonate with us. Often these songs remind us of the good times such as hanging out with friends, our first kiss, or falling in love. What song played at your wedding, or did you sing to your children when they were young?

Music is a powerful force. Studies have proven it can reduce stress and blood pressure, help us learn, stir up memories, or decreases anxiety and depression. Depending on the type of music we listen to, the beat and timbre can make us happy and full of joy or raise our blood pressure and create anger.

Every day we are faced with choices. How we react impacts our consequences and the ultimate outcome.

In my novel, Terri had options of how she could react. Instead of facing the issue head on, she shut down and lived in anger and misery. This anger pushed others away until harshness and loneliness emanated from her. A mental block formed, and she couldn’t grasp where she went wrong or how the music in her life impacted her soul.

To be honest, there’s been times when I’ve been like Terri. Where pain, abuse, and betrayal have wounded me deeply to the point that it’s difficult to trust myself or others. Unlike Terri, I’ve worked hard to cut through the lies and treachery, to surround myself with scripture and uplifting music. To choose to sing a different song than what I’ve been handed.

Saul, in the Bible, stood by and watched as Stephen was stoned for preaching the Word. (Acts 7:54-60) Sometime later, Saul was on the road to Damascus where he had letters approving his intention to arrest and prosecute believers of Christ. A light blinded him and a voice from heaven spoke to him. Saul lived as a blind man for three days but by the time “something like fish scales fell from his eyes he could see,” his life and heart had been forever changed. (Acts 8)

Saul would later become known as Paul. He preached fervently for the Lord but endured many hardships including being shipwrecked and imprisoned. However, he also wrote half of the New Testament.

Even when in prison and facing an unknown future “Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.”  (Acts 16:25) Paul chose to see past his circumstances and to trust the Lord.

We always have a choice whether it’s in the music we listen to or our reactions. Sometimes it feels as if we’re all alone and it doesn’t matter but others are watching. We never know how our choices or the song we choose to sing impacts others. What song are you singing?


To celebrate my new release, I’m hosting a Christmas extravaganza with special guests, giveaways, and a ton of fun. Please join me at




Diana Leagh Matthews shares God’s love through her story from rebel to redeemed. Her day job is as a volunteer coordinator, but at night she writes and hunts genealogy. She gives programs as a speaker, teacher, vocalists, and presents historical monologues. Leagh (pronounced Lee) is the author of Carol of the Rooms, History Made Real, 90 Breath Prayers for the Caregiver, and others in the Breath Prayers series. She also writes the history behind hymns at While there you can sign up for her monthly newsletter where she shares all her news first.



Friday, November 3, 2023

Guest Author, Heidi Glick

 I have such admiration for someone who has six pets.:) And, I love Christian suspense.



Writing Journey

My writing journey started when I was thirteen and growing up in Southern California. My church had a live action nativity that guests walked through. I wanted to try out for the part of Mary, but the only noise I can make is joyful and off key. An adult suggested I write my own play, and from there, I began creating stories on my mom's old school word processor. Probably because I grew up in California, I first dreamed of writing Christian screenplays. In college, I tried my hand at silly poetry and a story involving a plesiosaur. After college, I wrote a little. When I moved to Ohio, I wrote my first novel and entered it into a contest. Unfortunately, I knew little about fiction writing at the time.

I worked as a technical editor for many years and wrote two articles. Years later, I joined American Christian Fiction Writers, which accelerated my knowledge of the craft. In 2013, Pelican Book Group published my first novel, Dog Tags. Then in 2014, I co-authored an infertility devotional with five other ladies. I completed my graduate degree, had two children, and put writing aside while I cared for my kids. When my children attended school full time after the pandemic, I resumed writing. In the summer of 2023, Pelican Book Group released my second novel, Hold for Release. On November 1, 2023, Pelican Book Group will release my Christmas novella, 12 Days. Recently, I began line editing for Scrivenings Press. Also, I am currently working on a three-book, environmental thriller series set in Cincinnati.

Readers can follow me on various social media platforms:



Scott Newton retires from the sheriff' s office after a fellow officer is killed. Wracked by sorrow and the need for justice, Scott grows distant from his girlfriend, aspiring crime writer, Lindsay Billings. But, when Lindsay goes missing, and Scott discovers her research on the missing person cases thought to be the work of a serial murderer known as the Christmas Killer, Scott vows to find her at all costs. Police have never found the bodies of the people who went missing many Christmases ago, and Lindsay won't become just another statistic.


Then, someone kills again in Blanchardville. Police locate a corpse atop one of seven inflatable swans on a pond, and another body in a pear tree. Scott receives odd texts from Lindsay's phone and deduces they're from the killer.


In order to save Lindsay, Scott agrees to meet the madman and play his game. As time runs out, Scott must learn to trust in God again, no matter what.





Heidi Glick has a B.A. in biology from Cedarville University, a Master of Technical Communication from Utah State University, and a passion for writing Christian fiction. Additionally, she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Faith, Hope, and Love Christian Writers and has written two articles for Intercom. Before becoming a suspense writer, Heidi taught science to middle and high school students and edited science documents. Heidi resides in rural Northwest Ohio with her husband, two children, and six pets.