Is My Brand Accurate?

After reading a few of my blog posts, a writer friend suggested that my brand, Friendship, Hope, & Fried Fruit Pies, may not fit my writing style. I appreciate her honesty, and I know her intent is to help me.Dollarphotoclub_64670043

As I consider the stories I write, and the books I hope to publish, I feel strongly that my brand is accurate. I write stories of women’s friendship’s, hope, and the women in my books often enjoy desserts together (usually a fried fruit pie.)

Mississippi_Mud_cakeThis habit stems from my personal life in that,  if someone I care about is sick, the first thing I consider is their favorite foods, and I do my best the prepare something I know they’ll appreciate.  I’m currently looking for a recipe for Mississippi Mud Cake because a family member, battling a serious illness, recently reminisced about his grandmother preparing this chocolate delight. It makes me happy to do this small thing.

I wonder if this is a habit of someone who’s lived her entire life in the South or if it’s a common instinct women share. We long to comfort and food, to me, is a comfort. Do you like to share desserts with friends in a time of crisis?  If not, what do you do? I can’t wait to read your responses.

My blog post might fall outside my brand because I tend to post personal stories about things that are important to me, such as African missions. Sometimes I share about concerns or current hot topics on the news. So I agree with my writing friend in that my blog post might not fit my brand. I suppose you will have to wait until my book is published to determine if my brand fits my stories.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Many of you write comments that encourage me. I hope you feel uplifted and cheered after reading something I’ve written. May God bless and keep you.

Warm regards,

Friendship, Hope, & Fried Fruit Pies
There’s a fruit for every season.
“But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23.

Presidential Prayer

Have you been confused about which presidential candidate to support? After watching the debates, I debatefelt fearful, and discouraged. I want to elect a president who loves God, more than self.  Someone who will strive for peace, have compassion for the poor and helpless, and love his neighbor as himself. How can I elect such a president? I know it’s a tall order, but with God, all things are possible. Maybe that’s part of the problem. Maybe I, and other Christians, have been attempting to repair our country without God’s help.

I’ve not been a fan of President Obama’s policies, but maybe the first person I should criticize is myself. It’s easy to blame elected officials for our country’s problems. I must consider my own failure to pray for my president and accept my share of the responsibility.

Pray text on hand design concept

Pray text on hand design concept

First of all, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made for all people, for kings, and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” 1Timothy 2:1-2.

I don’t know who will win my vote in the upcoming presidential election, but even if my preferred candidate loses the race, the very least I can do is commit to pray for the President of the United States. I believe we should pray for all the world leaders, even our enemies.

The list of current presidential candidates may leave you feeling hopeless, but I’m going to place my trust in God. Perhaps the most important way I can improve the world’s condition is to offer a daily prayer for our current and future presidents and leaders.

The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe. Proverbs 29:25


Do You Love Our Muslim Neighbors?

A friend posted a picture of himself holding a sign that said, “I  love my Muslim neighbors.” It surprised me, but I’m grateful for his bold witness because it inspired me to write this post. I usually avoid controversial topics, but Christians must take a stand and demonstrate love. God commands us to love our neighbors, and our enemies. (See Matthew 5:44-48).  If I didn’t love Muslims, would I travel to Niger, a country that is 99.9% Muslim, camp in primitive conditions, endure the Sarah sun, when I could be enjoying a beach vacation?

Some of the news stories that unsettle me the most involve politicians, their rants, their actions, and promises. I understand the desire to protect Americans, but the sad truth is, there is no safe place.  If I ask a bully to protect me, who will protect me from the bully?

I’m not naïve. I understand there are Muslims who would like to convert, enslave, or kill Christians. Just read, Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali or In the Land of Blue Burqas by Kate McCord. The Muslims I’ve met in Niger, Africa are gentle, gracious, welcoming, and more concerned with feeding their family than anything else. Many citizens in Niger have not had the opportunity to learn to read, so they’ve not read the Qur’an or the Holy Bible. Do you consider all Americans, to Christians, because America is called a  “Christian” nation? People are in Niger are considered Muslim, because they live in a “Muslim” nation, yet many have never read the Qur’an and don’t receive religious training. They participate in some of the rituals, but how many people in America exchange Christmas gifts with little knowledge of the birth of Jesus.

Women in Niger spend their days gathering water, pounding millet, and caring for their children. They don’t seem to be concerned about world politics, or religious differences. When visiting compounds in Niger, women graciously remove a mat from their home and spread it in front of us. If they possess a chair, they offer the very best seat to us. We share our names and ask them their names. As we begin telling them the purpose of our visit, the group usually grows in number, as others become aware that Americans are visiting. They listen, with rapt attention, when we tell them about God’s plan for salvation. I’ll never know if the seeds planted will be harvested, but I pray for God to soften their hearts.

When I was in Niger, and passed people on the road, I felt heartbroken. Many will die never knowing there is a God who loves them so much that He sent His son to die for their sins, and well as for my sins.

I love Muslims, and if you’re a Christian, you should too. Not everyone will have the opportunity to travel to a third world country, to share the gospel. But we should all love our neighbors, and that includes Muslims (and politicians with whom we do not agree.) No one is perfect, especially me.

Burning a mosque will never bring someone to know Jesus. Removing a Muslim from a group setting will antagonize other Muslims. Asking Muslims to register will not protect us from the evil people who wants to harm us. That activity reminds me of Hitler requiring the Jewish peoples to register, and makes me shiver.

My experience of showing respect, grace, and love has opened the door to friendship, love and a heart open to receiving the Holy Spirit. I’m NOT perfect, and I struggle to love everyone, especially politicians who treat others disrespectfully. Thank goodness, I have a Savior who intercedes for me.

Let us all strive to love our neighbors, and our enemies.

But I say to you, ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (46) For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? (47) And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? (45) You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.’” Matthew 5:44-48

#africanmissions #missions #loveyourneighbor #loveyourenemies

Meru National Park – Kenya

Not all our activities in Kenya revolved around mission work. On the first day in Nairobi, we visited a mall and had the opportunity to see how the middle class live. I could have closed my eyes and imagined I was home, in America.  However, we were required to go through metal detectors and our bags were searched for weapons before we entered the  mall.

It took us about two hours to drive from our camp site in Tharakaland to the Meru National Park. I learned that travel distance is measured in time, not miles in Kenya.  The Meru National Park is about 870 square kilometers or about 540 square miles. We spent one night at the luxurious Elsa’s Kopje Lodge and enjoyed a guided game drive through the Meru National Park. Considering the size of the park, we might not have seen any wildlife, but God blessed us as you’ll see by the photos below. The only animal on my list that we didn’t see in the park was elephants. We were very close to a herd, but I could only make out a trunk because of dense brush. Maybe next time I’ll get to see elephants in the wild.

We had little time to relax by the pool. After days in the wilderness, this seemed like a dream.



Our shower.

Another team members room. Notice there are no walls, only screens that are closed at night.


The dining room.


This walkway led to the dinging room from our room. Guests are required to have a guide assist them to navigate the pathways after dark.

After camping, this bathroom was a dream come true.


This is a view of the dining room and bar. Dinner was served to us on tables set up on the lawn on the previous evening.

This is the truck we travelled in while we visited the park.


The signs as we left Elsa’s Kopje and entered the park.

A view of Elsa's Kopje as we start the drive.

A view of Elsa’s Kopje as we start the drive.


This is a view of other team members in their truck.


This is Judy. Notice the white rhinos in the background.

We saw many zebras in the park.

I love seeing the zebras too.

I love seeing the zebras too.

A herd of cape buffalo.

The giraffes are my favorite.


I was not brave enough to cross the swinging bridge.


We saw a few monkeys.

A kudu, according to my husband.

The cape buffalo have been know to wander onto the lodge grounds.

The cape buffalo were have been know to wander onto the lodge grounds.


A beautiful sunrise and then we loaded back into the truck and drove for eight hours to Nairobi.

We spent the morning in Nairobi visiting an elephant sanctuary.

We spent the morning in Nairobi visiting an elephant sanctuary.


We spent the afternoon in Nairobi visiting a giraffe sanctuary. This is my sister kissing a giraffe. I believe I am the only one on our team who took a pass on this activity.


After a day of touring Nairobi, we loaded the plane, travelled about 22 hours, and arrived home, safe and sound. Thank you Jesus and thank you to those who covered us with prayers.



Anger: The New Normal

I’ve noticed that anger seems to be the new normal. Earlier this week, I sat in my car at a red light with my blinker indicating I planned to turn right, and a horn blared behind me. In Kentucky, a driver may turn right at a red light, if there is no oncoming traffic. However, I noticed a truck speeding toward the intersection. Had I turned when the irritated driver behind me wanted me to move, I could have been killed.

The offended driver shifted lanes and at the next red light, he shook his fist at me, and shouted while we waited. I’m glad the closed windows kept me from hearing his words. When he drove away, my heart pounded, but I also felt sympathy for him. He must carry a heavy burden for a minor delay to ignite such a temper tantrum, and so, I lifted a prayer for him and those in his life.

I see the same behavior reported every day on the news. People are on edge, and tempers explode in an instant. I am thankful the furious driver didn’t pull out a gun and shoot me. Such an incident happened last year at a rest stop on I-65, five miles from my home. 

Wednesday’s incident caused me to wonder what the Bible says about anger and how to we should respond. Below are some of my favorite verses.

Proverbs 15-1





















As Christians, we can’t allow anger to be our normal behavior. I hope and pray my actions, and maybe more importantly, my reactions to others’ behavior demonstrate evidence that the Holy Spirit lives within me. When I fail, I not only risk losing an opportunity to draw others to the light of Jesus, but I also grieve the Holy Spirit. We live in a broken world, and our only hope is Jesus Christ.

I pray others see the fruit of the Spirit in my life. “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace patience, kindness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control. Against these things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23fuit

Highlights of Kenya – August 2015

One of the highlights of 2015 was our mission trip to Kenya.  We planned this visit for for almost two years and prayed often for God’s hand to guide us. God was faithful and answered our prayers.

Our flight plan included leaving Nashville, to Detroit, to Amsterdam, then Nairobi. On the morning of our departure, I received a text message from American Airlines that our flight from Detroit to Amsterdam had been cancelled. All but two of our team members were re-routed through Paris, and the other two were re-routed through London. The group I travelled with arrived as scheduled, but two of our team members faced a storm in Atlanta, and their London flight was delayed so they missed the connection to Nairobi.

We went straight to the Heart Lodge in Nairobi and went to bed because we had traveled for 28 hours.  Scott and Wanda arrived while we were having breakfast the next morning. They had traveled for 38 hours without rest.








With a quick shower we were on the move to the home of our missionary host family.  We attended orientation, reviewed our schedule,  then enjoyed lunch at an outdoor restaurant. We napped during the afternoon and planned to leave for  Tharakaland District on Saturday morning.

Heart_Lodge_AThe grounds at heart lodge.


Our room at the Heart Lodge

Jeff_Kathy_HomeThis is a picture of the home of our host missionaries.



Lunch in Nairobi.

Time to load the truck and head toward Tharakaland District.IMG_3082
















The trip to the Tharakaland district was long.  After four hours of travel, the paved roads turned to dirt. Most locals travelled on motorbikes, called piki pikis. We stopped for lunch and enjoyed a box lunch.


This tree has a bee hive.  Can you imagine climbing so high to harvest the honey?

After another 3 hours of rough roads we reached our destination and we exited from the truck and walked the last bit of the journey because the road had huge gullies and it was jarring.





We walked the last stretch of road to the tree where the believers worshiped because of the rough terrain.










It took us about thirty minutes to set up camp.



Our camp. 20150825_084326

Some of the believers brought benches form their homes and visited with us.  I could only see one home within seeing distance. I don’t know how far people had to walk to visit with you.

We spent the first morning working in small groups to teach the local Kenyans how to share the gospel using salvation bracelets and “From Creation to Christ” cards.



This is a picture of Scott with his team.

And this is a picture of Wanda with her team.

wanda's group

I was on of the lucky ones who had the chance to visit people on a piki piki.piki piki

Others had to walk in the brutal heat across difficult terrain to visit with families.













Chris had to fight his way through the thorns.


This may be a home or a storage building.


On the second day, the children came for VBS. We realized that the adult were just as interested in the stories as the children and did our best to include the adults in activities if we had supplies. Judy and I entertained the kids with Bible stories and puppets while the women attended a health class.





We are telling the story of Creation.vbs

The parachute served double duty.





DSCN3915We also had a small parachute for the smaller children thanks to Judy.DSCN3991

Everyone loved Play Dough

girls play dough

During the evening we showed the Jesus film.  The actors spoke in Swahili.


This is a picture of women who arrived early for the  movie.  You can see the project and screen to the right. I don’t know how many attended the film but over 60 accepted Christ as the end of the movie.20150825_194003

This is a picture of the fly trap for cattle that Chris demonstrated.


Mike is demonstrating how the water purification using clear plastic water bottles.


Two of our team members treated minor medical issues.



One of my favorite pictures under the Baobab tree, capable of living thousands of years. Just think, this tree might have been alive when Christ walked the earth.



And how shall they preach, except they be sent. as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” Romans 10:15


#africanmissions #missions #friendshiphope&friedfruitpies

To Forgive & Forget… Can I?

When I read my devotional this  morning, I winced. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” Psalm 139:23.

What does God see when he searches my heart? I’m not going to make a list because it’s too discomforting. Thank  you Lord for grace. I’ve pondered, if I could change one habit, what might improve my life?

As I considered my weaknesses, I decided to work on two things. First, to forgive, and next, the most difficult for me, is to forget.

So many times I forgive someone who has hurt me, breath a sigh of relief, but pick up the angst again. Why do I do this?

My friend Jamie said, “Holding on to anger and resentment is like drinking poison and expecting it to harm someone else.”

The scriptures contain guidance in this area. Do I want God to be kind and tenderhearted?  Of course I do. So I must do the same.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ Jesus forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you.  Matthew 6:15

Do I want to be judged, condemned? No way.
Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.  Luke 6:37

Am I perfect? Far from it. So I too must make allowances for others’ shortcomings.

Make allowances for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13

Do I want mercy. Yes, please. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Matthew 6:7mercy_and_grace

How many times has Jesus, forgiven me?  More than seventy times seven.

Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him?  Up to seven times?”(22) Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.  Matthew 18:21-22.

My prayer for you is that you too can forgive and forget. I pray you will discover the peace that surpasses all understanding. Happy New Year.

A Year of Blessings

The year is winding down and as I look at my prayer journal, I realize it has been a year on the mountaintop. God has blessed me beyond anything I deserve. So many prayers have been answered, it overwhelms me. Friends have received miraculous healings, my family is growing, my church is thriving, and God continues to provide me and my family with worthwhile work.

In late December, I began a new prayer journal and started writing the names of family members and friends for which I am thankful. It takes about three pages to write each name and the list changes daily. This is a new way for me to count my blessings. When I pen the names, I see the faces of the ones I love and am thankful. God has provided me with many blessings, but His greatest gift is His Son.

barnOn my first trip to Africa, I sat in a mud-brick building. It smelled of hay and animals. God sent His Son to be born in such a place, among the poorest of the poor. It was a holy moment that I’ll never forget.

I may someday lose all the people on my prayer list and I will be heartbroken, but I can never be separated from Jesus. Whatever challenges come my way, I know that I will always be blessed because I have Jesus. And that’s my prayer for you. No matter what tomorrow brings, I pray you too have received the greatest gift ever given, Jesus Christ.John_3_16

Covered By Grace

The holidays can be the most stressful season of the year.  It’s rare for me to lose my temper, but last week I experienced a tantrum so violent, I’m amazed my hair isn’t  scorched. Considering the season, you might assume this happened while I was shopping in the Christmas hustle, but you would be wrong. It happened during my morning quiet time with the Lord. I was alone, with my Bible, and there should have been no distractions. But something had been bothering me, and I decided to take care of it.

A few years ago, because of my failing eyesight, I bought a large-print Bible. I’d used the same Bible for years and it’s still a special treasure because it was a Christmas gift from my Mom.  It contains years of study notes and written prayers. But the print is tiny, and I can’t read it without glasses, and vanity caused me to buy a new Bible rather than wear glasses constantly.

I spent a long time studying the different selections of large-print Bibles.  The store where I shopped specialized in Christian materials so I had many versions from which to choose.  Finally, I selected an ESV Bible with a burgundy leather cover, and gold trim on the pages. I planned to use this Bible for a lifetime and I thought it appropriate to have my name embossed with gold letters. The clerk informed me it would take about an hour so I left it with them while I went to lunch.Bible

When I retrieved my Bible, the store employee had a look of trepidation and said, “The leather was too thick to emboss, so we imprinted your name on a gold plate and applied it.” She tentatively offered me my Bible, and I inwardly cringed and thought. I’d rather have a plain Bible than this. But the damage was done, so I did my best to show grace, and took my package.

I’ve used this Bible for three years and the gold on the plate started to peel away. The offending label bothered me as I studied my prayer list, and my fingers started working at the gilt edge. In an instant, I yanked the nameplate off. When I did, I discovered something ugly. Hidden under the shiny gold plate, was someone else’s name. The glue from the plate removed some of the gilt lettering, but it looks like “Shelia Johnson” and my name is “Shelia Stovall.”plate

The realization of the clerk’s mistake, her blatant lie, and the covering of that lie with a gold plate caused my temper to ignite to the heavens.

I spent the day in torment, and visualized returning to the store with my head held high. But as I pondered what I’d say, I began to wonder if anything could satisfy me. My Bible contains precious notes and prayers. It’s travelled with me to Africa and the thought of giving it up caused a shadow to pass over my heart.

People use the phrase, “What would Jesus do?” so often, it’s almost become a cliché, but that’s the question I asked, and I knew the answer. He’d show grace.  I don’t want a new Bible and I don’t want to look at someone else’s name and be reminded of how I’d been hoodwinked. Looking at the damage still causes my temper to simmer. And then I remembered Grace has covered my sin. I decided to ask for a new plate embossed with “Grace.”

When I returned to the store to ask for such a plate, the clerk explained they no longer use them. I sighed, and said, “Thank you.” I’m sure I can buy such an item somewhere else.  In the meantime, it still bothers me that the cover of my Bible displays someone else’s sin. But as I’ve looked at it this week, it occurred to me perhaps this is how Jesus feels when he sees my sinful nature.

During this season, there will be many challenges to show grace. My prayer for you is that whatever the circumstance, you will remember the gift of grace that has been freely given to you and because of the Holy Spirit that lives in you, you will be able to offer grace.





Friendship, Hope, and Grace & No-bake Christmas Crumble Recipe

 By Rose Allen McCauley

Thanks to Shelia Stovall for inviting me to her garden. I hope she doesn’t mind me tweaking her brand a little because my story in the eBook collection Home for Christmas fits right in with her brand.

God is a God of second chances which is the reason we celebrate Christmas-when he sent His Son to be born in a stable to live a sinless life so He could atone for our sins. That is why I love to read and write stories about second chances. Hope you will enjoy this summary of my book Christmas Grace and a recipe from the book Always remember “Jesus is the reason for the season.”

This collection contains 7 previously released novellas by the authors listed below:

My novella is entitled “Christmas Grace” and is very special to me as the idea popped into my head while at the funeral visitation for my daughter’s best friend in high school who died from kidney failure complications. The rest of the story is all fiction. It is about hope and second chances when my heroine, Grace, gets re-acquainted with Chris, who along with Terrie (his deceased wife) were all best friends in high school. They are both in Gatlinburg for Christmas and to plan their 10th reunion. While together they reminisce and start to have feelings for each other.  Can they let this relationship develop?

This cover is also special because my daughter and son-in-law are the models on the cover!

Since the stories have all been published before we are able to offer it for the special eBook price of only 99 cents, which has helped it climb to #1 in 3 categories on Amazon Kindle! Hope you can order it and enjoy lots of Christmas reading! Or you can read below how to win a copy on my blog!

That’s all for now, since I want to save room for the delicious dessert that is included in the book.  Merry Christmas everyone, and happy reading and eating!

To buy “Home for Christmas,” click on the attached link:

 No-bake Christmas Crumble Recipe

2 c. almond flour
1 ½ cups oats
½ t. salt
1/4 c. coconut oil (melted)
12 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped


25-30 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
½  c. + 1 T water


1 c. chopped walnuts
½ cup slivered almonds
1 c. shredded coconut (can tint half the coconut red and half green for Christmas Crumble)


  1. Grease a cookie sheet (around 10.5 in. x 15). In the food processor or blender, blend almond flour, oats and salt until the mixture crumbles. Add dates and process again until a crumbly mixture forms. Add the melted coconut oil and process until sticky. Remove mixture from blender. Save ¾ c. mixture for topping, and press the remainder of the mixture firmly onto the cookie sheet.
  2. Process the 25-30 dates with water until paste forms, scraping sides often. Spread all the date mixture onto the crust with a wet spatula.
  3. Sprinkle the saved ¾ c. mixture and press down, then sprinkle walnuts and press down. Sprinkle slivered almonds and shredded coconut and press down.
  4. Chill for several hours until firm, then cut into squares. Refrigerate until eaten or can be frozen.

About Christian Author, Rose McCauley

Rose McCauley is a Christian author and speaker. Her experiences as a public school teacher, Sunday school teacher, Girl Scout leader, MOPS mentor and Moppet worker, scrapbooker, wife, Mom and Grandmother give her a wide field of ministry to women. She supports missions and has been privileged to spend time on three mission trips.

Rose has been happily married for over 40 years to her college sweetheart. They lived and raised their family of two daughters and a son on a farm of rolling hills in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky , but recently moved to Paris, KY. Their family is growing with the addition of a two sons-in-law, a daughter-in-law, and five grandchildren who are definitely GRAND!

Rose’s Website: She has a giveaway going on her blog this month. All those who sign up for her blog or newsletter or click her FB or Twitter icon on her page can earn one chance for each sign-up/click. You must leave a comment on her blog to let her know which things you clicked so she knows how may times to put your name in the proverbial hat for a drawing on Dec. 20th for a copy of the eBook Home for Christmas. If you win, you can spend the rest of the month reading her novella Christmas Grace and novellas by 6 other authors!

Twitter: @RoseAMcCauley

Fiction available in print and kindle:
Christmas Belles of Georgia (Barbour)





Christmas Grace

Non-fiction books: listed on website

Fiction available in eBook only:
Home for Christmas
Surrender to Peace (to be released in print early 2016 by Olivia Kimbrell Press)
Also to be released in July, 2016: The Courageous Brides Collection by Barbour

#ChristmasGrace #HomeforChristmas #ChristianRomance