Monday, December 30, 2013

New Release ~ Really Rare Rabbits Book 3

Flapping! And screeching! And, a terrifying shadow.
 There they were––giant geese--and very real!

Chi Chi watches as Fi Fi slides down Al Alpaca's fuzzy back. They bid farewell to the new friend they met on their adventure through Peppermint Pass. Now, the brother and sister head down the yellow dandelion trail to the Winding Wall where Grandfather Rabbit waits for them. But, first they must venture through the mysterious jungle of Selvaland.

They've heard a scary story about giant ghost geese who live in Selvaland. Chi Chi shrugs it off, but Fi Fi is frightened. He assures her it is just a story. After all, their friend Al wouldn't send them into Selvaland if danger lurked there. 

Chi Chi soon changes his mind when they meet Hotchie, a strange looking creature guarding the entrance of Selvaland. But, Hotchie is not the scariest creature they will meet along the way. When the rabbits stop to rest, their fears mount. Fi Fi trembles, but Chi Chi encourages her to believe God's Word that says, "Trust the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock." Chi Chi doesn't know how much he and Fi Fi will need to trust the Lord all the way to the Winding Wall––and beyond!

Published by Pix-N-Pens Publishing
Available on Amazon at: 
Also available by order at Barnes and Noble and local bookstores.
Really Rare Rabbits Book Trailer: 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The "Lighthouse" on the Mountain

Rumi Rancho

Rumi Rancho sits at the bottom of a mountain where it guides those still in darkness to the Light of the world. It is a lighthouse for all those looking to find the Savior––born that Christmas morn long ago.

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

"We are told to let our light shine, and if we do, we won't need to tell anyone it does. Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining––they just shine." D. L. Moody

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mud-Oven Bread Ministry

Thanksgiving 2013 is now a memory, and we look forward to Christmas. Stores in the United States are decorated, and shopping lists are made. Neighborhoods glisten with beautifully decorated trees twinkling in windows, and kitchens everywhere are filled with scents of freshly baked cookies. But the scene is different where I live.

My first thoughts about Christmas are not of sugarplums or decorations, not even of cookies or candy. My first thought is bread. Not just any bread, but bread baked in a mud oven. If you've never had a fresh, warm bun out of a mud oven you are missing out on a delicacy. The aroma rising from the oven, the crackling fire, and of course, the first bite as your teeth seem to smile as that bread glides over your taste buds. Bread is truly a Christmas blessing to many where I live in Bolivia, South America.

The world seems to put more emphasis on gifts, food, and decorations at Christmas than on the birth of our Savior. But Christians focus on the birth of Christ, and why He was born. Many take part in children's ministries in the U. S. and around the world at this time. They give of their resources so those less fortunate will be blessed with gifts at Christmas and, most importantly, hear about the One who was born on Christmas morn. As for me, Christmas does mean the giving of gifts and food, and yes, even bread. I am blessed to have a small part of a ministry for children who never get gifts. And with the gift giving comes an opening to share the Christmas Story, and the greatest Gift, with the people and children of the Andes Mountains of Bolivia. Most of them have never heard about Jesus or how He was born in a stable and died on a cross.

Every Christmas, we travel with our Bolivian church members to remote mountain regions. We take gifts and food to people and children living without even the basic needs. There are no twinkle lights or Christmas trees in their small, mud homes because there is no electricity, not even firewood. We buy toys for the children. Little trucks and baby dolls make their eyes pop with joy. We wash feet, cut nails, wash hair and remove lice from little children's heads. The little girls' eyes widen, and their lips curl upward when we tie bows and ribbons in their clean hair. Then the fun part comes. We reach into big burlap bags filled with mountains of bread and pull out the most wanted gift that everyone has come to receive. Bread. Shouts of joy and lines of fidgeting feet wait for their bread.

Can you imagine asking a child if he wants more bread or just candy, and he answers, "Just bread, please"?

One Christmas, little Paco met us coming into his village. He was wearing sandals made of old truck tires and had no sweater for the cold weather. We gave him a sweater to keep him warm and food for his tummy. His eyes lit up when he saw the gifts and candy, but what he wanted most was the bread––a real treat in the high mountains above the tree line where there is no firewood to bake bread. He was just five years old when he heard the story of Jesus for the first time. He accepted the gift of salvation joyfully and without hesitation. We not only gave him bread for his growling tummy but also Bread for his soul.

Last Christmas, our four year old grandson, Baden rushed downstairs on Christmas morning and shouted to his older brother, "Ben, come down and see your foot." His "foot" was stuffed with good things. I imagined those beautiful "feet" hanging from the mantel. I thought about the beautiful feet that are taking the Good News to the mountain people of Bolivia––Bolivians reaching their own people for Christ. They are enduring hardships to go to dangerous and hard to reach places so their own people can come to know Jesus and live with them in heaven forever. Beautiful "feet" (stockings) hanging on a mantel stuffed with good things for children of our country, while  thousands of miles away children received good gifts also from beautiful feet––feet that climbed the mountain to take them the best gift of all––the Bread of Life. "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry," John 6:35 (NIV)

Paco is just a little guy, but with a story that points to heaven; trust the Father, believe in Jesus and enter the kingdom with childlike faith. Paco may only have bread when we visit, but he will always have the Bread of Life. What a joy and privilege to give Christmas gifts to children who have nothing and are elated to receive a piece of bread. But, better yet, is the joy of seeing them receive the Bread of Life and become a child of God. They come to receive bread for their stomachs and walk away with Bread for their souls. For me, Christmas is giving bread from a mud oven and the Bread from heaven.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bring on the Butter

I can hear your comments soaring through the heavens and shouting out through my computer. "Butter has more fat than margarine." "Butter has more calories than margarine." "Butter isn't good for your heart."

First, allow me to remind you that butter is real. To which you reply, "So will the fat on my hips be real if I eat more butter." So let's talk Godly butter to fatten up the soul––not the hips. Let's talk about buttering up our brothers and sisters in Christ––no calories involved, but tons of blessings to gain.

More than a decade ago, I went to a clinic in Miami for allergy treatments. I learned about natural things compared to artificial things regarding foods. As far as allergies go, real is always better than artificial. Of course, one must be wise to be moderate in all things––including butter. But what about Godly buttering up?

When it comes to relationships, maybe it would be wise to be piling on the butter. "Do not withhold good from those who deserve it," Proverbs 3:27 (NIV). How many times do we pass up an opportunity to encourage someone? A missed opportunity to butter someone up. No, not in an artificial way, but in a real and Godly way. God tells us to do it. We often withhold those good words or good deeds that will make someone smile and let them know we love them and care about them. We all need encouragement. If we hold back, we are withholding good from that person.

Of course, encouragement is more than words only––it's action too. It's coming along side when a friend needs a babysitter or a meal––maybe even an e-mail. There are endless ways to encourage one another. Let's not hold back.

Wouldn't you like to hear something encouraging today? Of course, you would! So tell that sister or brother, "Hey, little Johnny was an angel in church today." "Your new haircut is stunning." "That card you sent me brought sunshine into my heart." And you ask, "What if that person thinks I am just trying to butter them up?" Perhaps they need some Godly buttering up. Let's be God's butter.

Bring on the butter and watch your relationships fatten up––promise, no calories or extra pounds, just tons of blessings to gain!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Heavenly Hugs

I have the blessing of receiving many hugs in our ministry. We live in a rural area of Bolivia where we teach practical skills to underprivileged children while reaching them for Christ. This picture was taken when I visited the local government school to register these precious children for our computer classes. They blessed me with heavenly hugs.

Often, we are asked what we miss the most from home. That's easy to answer––family and friends, of course. Our granddaughter recently celebrated her ninth birthday. We missed the party. But, there is a heavenly hug available. It travels through the heavens and comes out through a phone or a computer. We are blessed by the technology we have available to us today. Before Internet, we got mail once a month and rarely made a phone call. Now we are blessed to have instant communication daily.

God has blessed me with a ministry of physical hugs from children every day and ethereal hugs from across the miles often. Even when I miss a birthday party, I am content where God has me. He is my refuge. I feel His heavenly hugs underneath His everlasting arms.

"The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms;" Deuteronomy 33:27 (NIV)

Thanks Internet friends for your friendship through the heavens––sending you heavenly hugs today!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Shine Like Stars

Hollywood Star or Heavenly Star?

When I step out our back door at night, I see a clear sky. We live on the outskirts of a large city, and here in the boonies the stars shine brightly. There is no pollution, just clear nights with shining stars. The beauty of God's creation is visible without the pollution of civilization. When I look at the night sky in the city, I don't see stars. But they are there––just not shining through.

There are days that I am polluted too. It's difficult to see Jesus shining through the pollution. Do you know the feeling? You're tired or complaining and maybe even grumpy too. Philippians 2:14-16 says, "Do everything without complaining or arguing so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life..."

My friend Debi once asked me (more than a decade ago), "If you were to win the Lottery, what would you do?" It's kind of hard to win if you never buy a ticket, I thought. Before I could answer she said, "You don't have to answer. You'd go back to Bolivia, right?" Right! 

At the time, we were raising support to return to Bolivia. We didn't know if God would have us return to Bolivia or if He had another plan for us. We prayed for His plan, but in our hearts we hoped to return to our ministry on the field. We wanted to hold out the Word of Life for the Bolivian people and shine like stars for Jesus––showing His light through us. God gave us the desires of our hearts and provided for us to return to our ministry. Debi has since gone Home to be with the Lord. She was a star for Jesus on earth, and now she walks among the stars of heaven with her Savior. 

We are stars for Jesus on earth. Some days we may not shine as brightly as others, but at least our light flickers on those days because He lives within us. The world will see Him shining through us––whether as a tiny star or a galaxy of constellations.

Wouldn't you rather be a Heavenly star with eternal rewards instead of a Hollywood star with only earthly rewards? Not many of us have a chance to be Hollywood stars, but we all have the choice to become heavenly stars––shining for Jesus.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Walk on Water

Sunset at Sandy Cove Bible Conference

My husband and I were blessed to spend our first year in full-time ministry at Sandy Cove Bible Conference. In this beautiful setting, we served God along side dedicated staff members, and we had the privilege of sitting in on sessions taught by both famous and notable spirit-led Bible scholars. If you've never had the joy of visiting this spirit-filled place, you are missing out on one of God's blessings this side of heaven. If you ever have the opportunity to visit, notice the sign when you enter the conference grounds. It says, "Jesus Never Fails." And, I'm sure when you leave, you will never forget those three words.

When I lived in this beautiful place, I walked hand-in-hand with my husband to this sight by the water many nights. Not long after moving from our home town to North East, MD, to serve at the Cove, our first visitors arrived from our home area. They also loved this view at sunset. They'd been good friends for many years, and of course, we laughed together often. When their visit was coming to an end, I suggested we all go for one last walk to the pier, but that wasn't what I said. Instead, I blurted, "Let's go walk on the water."

My loving friend responded, "Oh, now that you are in full-time Christian ministry you can walk on water?" A good laugh was had by all that night. But, the disciples didn't laugh when they saw Jesus walking on the water. In fact, they were scared and thought Jesus was a ghost.

"When the disciples saw him walking on water, they were terrified." Matthew 14:26a (NIV).  I have to confess. I know the Bible says God works all things for good, but sometimes I am terrified about my circumstances just like the disciples were––when I am not walking by faith.

"Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on water and came toward Jesus." Matthew 14:29b (NIV). There he was, walking on water going toward Jesus. He experienced God's power. Can you imagine the scene? Wind blowing, waves splashing, but Peter wasn't thinking about his surroundings. He was just caught up with looking at Jesus. But then he saw the wind, the Bible says. Yes, he looked at the wind and not at Jesus. He took his eyes off the Lord and instead, looked at his circumstances, and he began to sink. His faith faltered. He cried out for the Lord to save him.

And then the Scripture says, "Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him." Matthew15:31 (NIV). Jesus didn't let Peter sink. He reached out and caught him––immediately. And what about Peter? When he focused on the high winds and waves, his faith faltered. But what he did next is significant. He looked to Jesus for help. While the waves pulled Peter down, his hand reached out to Jesus, and Jesus caught him. Peter was afraid, but he still looked to Jesus for help. He had faith that Jesus would help him. He wasn't focused on the waves then but on the One who could help him.

At times, we splash through the winds and waves of difficult circumstances. To maintain our faith when we are thrashed about, we must keep our eyes on Jesus and not our circumstances. Sometimes our faith may falter, and we may begin to sink, but Jesus will always be there to stretch out His hand and pull us out of the waves.

"And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down." Matthew 14:32 (NIV). Sometimes the winds howl around us, and other times they die down. But, whether safe in the boat, or on the water tossed about in the waves, we know we are safe because "Jesus Never Fails!" And, with our eyes fixed on Jesus, we can walk on water!

*Photo used by permission from Sandy Cove Ministries

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fi Fi Faces Her Fears

We all have things we fear. But, what about children's fears? How do we help them through their fears and teach them to trust God? Really Rare Rabbits Book 2: Giant Green Ghosts and the Secret at Peppermint Pass is a tool to help children overcome their fears. These rare, adorable rabbits will take you on a dangerous journey with them to meet their grandfather. On the way, they meet new friends, face their fears, and learn to trust God.

We all go through storms in our lives or face giant obstacles in our paths. Maybe they aren't giant green ghosts, but all the same, we are afraid when they appear. Children also face their giants. Fi Fi trembles when she meets the giants, but she remembers a Bible verse tucked away in her racing heart. "Do not fear; I will help you." Isaiah 41:13 (NIV)

I'm sure you will fall in love with the adorable rabbits brought to life by illustrator, Samantha Bell.

Read more about the Really Rare Rabbits books at:

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Hooray––47 years!

Look at those babies in the picture! We've proved the statistics wrong! All the odds were against us. Married at 19, from two different faiths, and two opposite personalities. But God, huh––there's the difference. But God brought us together for His purpose!

If I hadn't given this boy a once-in-a-lifetime date––his only date, I thought––then this anniversary today would not be happening. A senior in high school and a little snooty, (sorry to say) I had little time for this pesky boy in my life. But, oh, he was persistent. Now, I'm not going to tell the rest of the story. It's included in Amazon's bestselling romance collection Heart Bouquets, released by Write Integrity Press in February 2013. My story is "Stolen Ice Cube". Along with my story, my five co-authors have heart-warming stories in this book.

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)

If there's one thing I've learned in life, it's don't miss God's best for you. Never settle for second best when God wants to give you His best. When God was changing the direction of our ministry, I thought I'd help him by being obstinate. You know, that stubbornness that takes over when you buck change. I said it something like this: "But God, we are fine right here where we are, why would you want to change our whole life now?" And, what if I had insisted on my way?

If I hadn't allowed God to be in control of my life, I would have missed the best part of my life and ministry. Going forward with God, He led my husband and me to begin a new mission, build a house and mission base, and He gave us a new ministry reaching children for Him. What if I had settled for second best? When I allowed Him to lead, He gave me the best husband, the best ministry, and the best life!

"God gives the very best to those who leave the choice to Him."~ author unknown

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Really Rare Rabbits Book 2 is Released

Pix-N-Pens Publishing just released the second book of my children's series, 
Really Rare Rabbits Book 2: Giant Green Ghosts and the Secret at Peppermint Pass.

Fi Fi and her brother heard about Jesus when they ventured down their mountain in Bolivia and peered into the windows of the missionaries' house. Now, she and Chi Chi are starting a long journey to meet Grandfather who went to visit his Inca relatives of long ago. He's waiting for them at the mysterious Winding Wall. But first, they must journey through secretive Peppermint Pass.

She's heard stories of giant green ghosts at Peppermint Pass, and she sure doesn't want to meet any ghosts––especially giant green ones––along the way. So, the morning they leave for the big trip, Fi Fi tells her brother about her fears. Chi Chi waves them off as just stories. While Fi Fi trembles, she remembers a Bible verse tucked away in her racing heart, "Do not fear; I will help you." Isaiah 41:13 (NIV)

Fi Fi realizes why it is so important to memorize Scripture––so it stays in your heart always and comes back to you when you need it. Even so, she has no idea how much she and her brother will need to call on God for help to rescue them from the dangers that await on their journey through Peppermint Pass.

Available on Amazon,

And Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository and by special order at local booksellers.

Chi Chi and Fi Fi invite you to view their trailer,