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.