Friday, June 30, 2023

Grace and Truth, John 17, Jesus Prayed for Us

During a time which must have been filled with unbelievable fear and horror for him, Jesus prayed for his disciples. And he prayed for us.


His first concern was to bring praise to his father.


Verse 1: After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.


Jesus had protected his disciples while he was with them, but now, as he was leaving, he prayed for his father’s protection for them.


Verses 11-12,15: I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.


He prayed for all believers, including you and me, so that people in the world will believe in him.


Verses 20-23: “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.


Lord, protect us from the evil one. Help us to show the world around us your love for them. 

Friday, June 23, 2023

Guest Author, Bettie Boswell

This is a delightful, fun story.


Writing is a community effort

July 1, 2023 is the release date for my third novel, Hoping for Treasure: a sequel to On Cue. About seven years ago, I decided to write a book. I had no idea that choice would lead me through the creation of three books in a trilogy about a young woman named Ginny. The picture of a stereotypical author typically features a lone person typing away at their computer, or in the old days, their typewriter. My first writing, for a few church related magazine articles, took place on an electric typewriter which was an improvement from the old one I used in college for term papers. Soon after computers took over my life and I wrote my first manuscript, only to discover that a lone writer needed help. Whether you are a writer or in some other profession, don't try to do it alone. Ask God and other people to help you on your journey through life.

I took my first manuscript, On Cue, to a Christian Writers Conference about six years ago and discovered I couldn't write alone. I needed the feedback of other writers and lessons taught by those who had gone before me. It took several years and many workshops before Ginny's first story became a reality. Her contemporary romance told of the production of her musical about an Underground Railroad. When a major benefactor of the musical forces Scott Hallmark into the position of directing her musical, all kinds of sparks will fly.

In 2020, after many revisions and rejections, On Cue found a publisher willing to give the story a chance. I discovered that just having a publisher wasn't enough. I still had edits to complete to make the novel worth publishing. Being willing to accept change in any profession can be a challenge, especially when things you think are perfect, must go. God can help you face your disappointments and He can give you strength to persevere during the challenges you face. Having fellow writers or companions to lean on during those tough times is important to keeping you facing forward.

Persevering through the challenge of writing the next book was vital. Someone told me at a workshop that no one would want to publish another book about the Underground Railroad. I had a great start on an Underground Railroad adventure written for a couple in a forced marriage when I discovered that discouraging tidbit. I brought the news up for discussion and a fellow writer suggested surrounding what I had about the Underground Railroad with a second story. The idea of a time-slip story developed as I decided to encapsulate the Underground Railroad journey with the story of Ginny researching her musical for On Cue. As a result, Free to Love became a reality and my Christian publisher added it to their list. Brainstorming with others gave me the ability to write the second story in what would become a trilogy.

Never be afraid to ask for help or ideas from others. Prayers make wonderful brainstorm opportunities happen too, wherever you are in your life. About this time another writer and I became critique partners, helping each other brainstorm and find ways to improve our jottings.

Knowing that book series often come in threes, I decided to brainstorm about a third book. There was a scene I'd written created from an inspiration based on my parents’ post WWII romance. That scene became part of another time-slip novel with Ginny and Scott being newlyweds who face some difficulties and discover a manuscript about her great-grandparents' post WWII romance. In Hoping for Treasure, the discovery of a hidden room used as part of the Underground Railroad, by Ginny's grandparents, tied my three books together.

My critique partner began to face some difficulties of her own when her husband's declining health became an issue. We still work together, but God opened an additional door. An acquaintance asked me to join a wonderful online critiquing group. Each one of these writers has their own unique skills. One may work on my grammar, while another catches story holes or hyphenated words or medical and scientific issues. I am learning so much from each of these valuable authors, one of which invited me to do this blog. Thank you, Kathy, for being part of my creative community. Make sure you find time to be part of your community at work or by seeking out fellow worshipers at church.

I hope you will consider reading and sharing about my Christian novels with your friends.

About the Author

Bettie Boswell always loved to read and create stories for family and friends. In 2016 she began writing and illustrating stories to share with the world. She is now an author/illustrator of both children and Christian adult fiction and non-fiction books. Her efforts include novels, chapter books, picture books, contributions to educational works, leveled readers, magazine articles, and devotional and short story anthologies. Bettie has two grown sons, one daughter-in-law, three grandchildren, and a busy minister husband.

Buy links:

Hoping for Treasure-

On Cue-

Free to Love-

Friday, June 16, 2023

Kathy's Kitchen, Summer Recipes

I love salads all year long, but summertime especially asks for salads. And, if you cook out, you need a good bean dish to go with it. Here are a couple recipes from my friends authors Mary Lou Cheatham and Sharon Connell.


From Sharon:

(A recipe from her mother)

Potato Salad

My kids love this potato salad and won't eat any other.

2 cups cooked red potatoes, cut in bite-sized pieces

4 hard-boiled eggs, 3 diced. Slice the 4th and save for decoration on the top of the salad

¼ cup yellow onion, chopped fine

¼ cup finely chopped celery

¼ tsp salt

Dash pepper

1 cup mayonnaise

1 tbsp. yellow mustard


In a large bowl combine potato and egg until thoroughly mixed.

Add celery and onions.

Salt and pepper, and mix until everything looks evenly blended.

Mix mustard and mayonnaise in a small dish and add to the potato mixture.

Fold everything together until everything is wet.

Add the egg slices and sprinkle with paprika.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and cool in refrigerator until time to serve.


From Mary:

Beans to Serve with Hamburgers

10 ounces bacon

1 small white onion

1 can black beans (15-ounce size)

1 can chili beans (15-ounce size)

1 can light red kidney beans (15-ounce size)

2 teaspoons dark brown sugar


Air fry bacon.

Chop the bacon and set it aside.

Chop the onion and fry it in a small amount of bacon grease. 

Rinse a can of black beans.

Add the black beans, chili beans, and kidney beans to the onions.

Add the dark brown sugar.

Simmer 30 minutes.

Stir the bacon into the mixture and simmer the beans 5 more minutes.


Feel free to share more recipes with us! 

Friday, June 9, 2023

A New Job?

In February, I turned 62, and my brother said I should retire.


I’ve been pretty much retired anyway for eleven years. I had to quit work early due to health issues. But God gave me the gift of landing in the writing world. I write some and I critique and edit, and I love it. That was all the job I needed.


Then in March, I was offered a job to grade manuscripts for people seeking to be certified braille transcribers.


I love braille. When I learned braille at age eleven, my world changed. I could read books to myself.


When I became a rehabilitation teacher, the most fun thing I did was teach braille. I believe learning to read braille goes a long way to helping people with visual impairments to gain literacy as well as confidence for work and life. And, as my friend Randy says, audio books are great, but when you read braille, you can hear the story in your own voice.


So, I took the job. It would be nice to have a little extra money.


It’s working itself into my routine now, but at first, it was a struggle. Housekeeping? Cooking? Just didn’t seem that important. I put writing on the back burner.


Doesn’t seem like it should be that hard a job. I’d been reading braille for a long time.


But, more so than editing, I have to be careful to pay attention to each character and letter for accuracy. I have to search manuals to find the exact rule to attach to my comments about errors.


And poor Murray. He better not talk to me when I’m focused, unless he just likes being screamed at.


Like I said—it’s working itself more into my routine now. And, I got my first paycheck. Always a plus.


But in my heart of hearts, I’m still a writer and editor.


I love editing and critiquing, being part of the writing world, the wonderful friendships I have from critique partners. Editing is so much fun, being a part of some really amazing story-tellers’ work. Writing is still the job that most makes me smile. A spark of an idea, working to find just the right words.


So, who’s getting old? Who can retire? I just need to find another chunk of hours to add to my day. 

Friday, June 2, 2023

Need Some Titles for Summer Reading?

When my kids were in school, they had assigned summer reading. Not that that was ever a problem for my book-loving children. But, still, it’s nice to be able to choose some for yourself.


Bullseye by Virginia Smith. Mystery, romance, faith.


Love Unexpected by Jody Hedlund. A story about lighthouses; a reminder to accept the forgiveness God has given us through Jesus.


The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox. An unbelievable heart-breaking, heart-warming story about how Jesus saw people who were invisible, alone in the byways of life, and loved them, joined them together, and made them a family.


The Painted Castle by Kristy Cambron. Three breath-taking stories at a country manor in England; one in the time of Queen Victoria, one during World War II, one during the 21st century, and how the lives of the three families are beautifully woven together.


Where the light fell by Philip Yancey. Memoir. Looks at how from a troubled childhood home, he and his brother end up on totally different life tracks. Ends with a trust in God’s love and the gift of his grace.


Tranquility Falls by Davis Bunn, one of my favorite authors. Mystery, recovery, family, and a bit of romance.


19 minutes to live: helicopter combat in Vietnam by Lew Jennings. Excellent history and personal accounts of the Vietnam War. Warning, rough language.