Friday, March 29, 2024

The Joy of Easter--God did not Want to be Separated From Us

What is the joy of Easter? God did not want to be separated from us.


Matthew 27:50-51a: And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.


Max Lucado, in his Book Unshakeable Hope, says that the curtain which separated people from the Most Holy Place in the temple was a handbreadth in thickness. When Jesus died, this wall was torn from top to bottom. God tore it away, so there need no longer be a separation between him and us.


Jesus offers us that assurance if we follow him. And he promises that still now, he is tearing down any separation between us and God.


Hebrews 7:25: Consequently he is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.


1 John 2:1-2: My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.


Romans 8: 34,38-39:  Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Oh, what joy! Thank you, Lord. 

Friday, March 22, 2024

Speaking of Books

I enjoy reading a variety of books. I hope you find something interesting here.


Dangerous depths by Colleen Coble. Mystery and suspense, romance, struggle with the will of God, and a rich description of the scenery, culture and history of Hawaii.


The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck. A beautiful story, knitting a family together over more than sixty years, through mistakes and wounds and sorrows, through healing, forgiveness, and answered prayer.


To the Ends of the Earth by T. Davis Bunn. A story in the 300s AD within the Roman Empire and the early church. Intrigue and danger, courage and love.


The only plane in the sky: an oral history of 9/11 by Garrett M. Graff. Minute by minute description of the day through conversations from the planes, communication throughout FAA, interviews with military, medical responders, police, fire fighters, survivors, family members, observers, government staff, calls from people on the planes and in the upper floors of the buildings, descriptions of escapes. This is a long book, and it was often emotionally difficult for me. But I’m glad I read it. It’s important to me to be knowledgeable about this part of our history.


Jewel of the Nile by Tessa Afshar. Again from the time of the early church. A beautiful story of grace, family, and realizing the value God puts on each of us.


And speaking of books…

My book, Millie's Christmas, has now been made into an audible book by the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled. Anyone who is a member of this service can now order or download Millie’s Christmas. The number to order is DBC29172. I am so excited. It is a children’s book, but I believe adults of any age can enjoy it. 

Friday, March 15, 2024

Kathy McKinsey: Birthday Chili and Easter Cookies From Kathy's Kit...

Kathy McKinsey: Birthday Chili and Easter Cookies From Kathy's Kit...:   I get daily devotions from this site, and sometimes, delicious recipes. For my birthday, I made this chi...

Birthday Chili and Easter Cookies From Kathy's Kitchen


I get daily devotions from this site, and sometimes, delicious recipes. For my birthday, I made this chili. Yummy


Secret Ingredient Chili

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Makes 6 servings.


• 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef

• 1 large onion, chopped

• 2 (15-oz) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

• 1 (15-oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained

• 1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained

• 1 (15-oz) can tomato sauce

• 3 Tbsp. chili powder

• 1/2 Tbsp. ground cumin

• 1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

• 2 cloves minced garlic

• Salt and pepper to taste


1. In a large saucepan, cook the ground beef and chopped onion over medium heat until the beef is no longer pink; drain the fat.

2. Add the beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, unsweetened cocoa powder, minced garlic, and salt and pepper, if desired.

3. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

4.  Top the chili with any or all of the following: sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and chopped green onion.

NOTE: For a spicier chili, use a 28-oz can of diced tomatoes with green chilies instead of regular diced tomatoes.


I plan to make these cookies for Easter lunch, so I can’t tell you yet how they are. But I expect to be delighted.


Easter Egg Blondies

A new season is on the way, flowers are starting to make an appearance, and celebrating Jesus’s resurrection puts us in the mood for anything that looks like joy. And nothing in the oven looks more like joy than pastel egg-shaped chocolate in a blondie!

Prep Time: 15 min

Bake Time: 30 min


• 1/2 cup butter, melted

• 3/4 cup packed light

• brown sugar

• 1 large egg

• 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

• 1 cup all-purpose flour

• 1/2 tsp. baking powder

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1 (9-oz.) pkg. Cadbury Mini Eggs, divided (chop 1 cup of the mini eggs to stir in the batter and keep the rest, almost 1/2 cup, unchopped to use for scattering on top)


1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease an 8 x 8” baking pan or line with parchment paper; set aside.

2. In a large or medium-sized bowl, add the melted butter and brown sugar, blending well. Then add the egg and vanilla extract, mixing everything well. Next, add the flour, baking powder, and salt, mixing until all ingredients are combined.

3. Fold in the 1 cup of chopped mini eggs, mixing until evenly distributed in batter. Add batter, spreading evenly, into prepared baking pan.

4. Bake at 350˚F for 20 minutes, then remove from oven briefly to scatter and slightly press the remaining mini eggs on top; bake 10 more minutes, until edges are golden and center is set (a toothpick inserted in center should come out clean).

5. Cool completely in pan, then cut into squares.

Note: An easy way to “chop” the mini eggs is to put them in a zip-top bag and crush them into chunky pieces with a rolling pin. 

Friday, March 8, 2024

March Madness

I found this the other day while trying to organize some of the files on my computer, and I don’t think I ever posted it.


I became a Christian when I was seventeen. I know people who made that decision at even an earlier age. Our time of needing to ask God for even greater forgiveness still lay in the future.


1 John 2:1-2:

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.


1 Samuel 16:12-13:

So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.


Psalm 51: 1-4,10-13: 

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.

Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.

Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight;

so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.


The Holy Spirit came to David when he was very young. Still he sinned before God after that. He prayed for God’s forgiveness and cleansing. With boldness he asked God to restore the joy of salvation to him. He knew that that would cause him to share God’s love with others.


Psalm 139: 1-4,15-17:

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.

You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.

You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.

Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

How precious to me are your thoughts, God!

    How vast is the sum of them!


Before we were born, God knew every day of our lives. Even the sinful ones. He knows everything we say and everything we do. Yet, he loves us still. And Jesus sits beside God even now to ask his father to forgive us. 

Friday, March 1, 2024

Psalm 19, A Writer's Prayer

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.

They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.

Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. 

In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.

    It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.

It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth.

The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.

The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.

The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.

The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.

The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.

The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.

They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold;

they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.

By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults.

Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me.

Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression.


Father, thank you for the loveliness of this song. The worship and commitment to your word. Teach me to have David’s plea to be right before you.


And thank you, Father, that the last verse of this psalm is a perfect prayer for me as a writer:

Verse 14: May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.