Monthly Archives: December 2015

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.

John_3_16

 

 

 

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:

http://www.amazon.com/Home-Christmas-Heartwarming-Christian-Romances-ebook/dp/B015HLUPRE/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449278107&sr=1-1&keywords=home+for+Christmas+by+Rose+McCauley

 No-bake Christmas Crumble Recipe

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

Filling:

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

Topping:

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

Directions:

  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: www.rosemccauley.com 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!

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1IummD3
Twitter: @RoseAMcCauley

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

http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Belles-Georgia-Romancing-America-ebook/dp/B0067D8IUS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449278489&sr=1-1&keywords=christmas+belles+of+georgia+by+rose+mccau

 

 

 

 

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

A Divine Appointment with a Shoebox Child

Last year, I had the opportunity to travel to Atlanta with a group of forty from my church. We signed up to work a shift at the Operation Christmas Child Distribution Center in Atlanta. Some refer to this as the ‘shoebox ministry.’

It’s always fun to travel with this group of teens. Most of these youth were my students in Sunday-School class in first grade. It thrills me to see them active and serving.

When we arrived at the hotel, God had arranged a divine appointment. I was waiting for the elevator with our group when a young man asked me, “Where are you from?”

I replied, “Franklin, Ky. We are here to work at the Operation Christmas Child Distribution Center.”

His eyes sparkled.  “I was a child who received a shoe box.”

Tammie was standing next to me. She is our church’s Operation Christmas Child team leader. She works tirelessly through the year to collect items for the shoe boxes. Thanks to her efforts, our church put together over 700 packages.Tammie_image (1)

The young man introduced himself to us. “I am Renan and I am from Honduras.”  I love how God pays attention to details when arranges meetings. Tammy is passionate about missions and has been called to serve in Nicaragua and Honduras. She and her family led a mission  team to Honduras in 2014.

“Every shoebox represents a person,” said Renan. “When I first opened my box, I saw a note and it said, ‘I love you.’ I lived in a village surrounded by people controlled by alcoholism and poverty. Because of the shoebox, I learned about Jesus and his love.”

“Don’t worry about what to put in the box,” said Renan. “Go to Walmart or the Dollar Store and pray as you shop. God will lead you. And pray over the box that a child who receives it will receive Christ.”

Today Renan is married to a missionary and lives in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I am thankful that God allowed me to be standing by Tammie’s side when he arranged for us to meet Renan.

There are nine distribution centers across the United States. It’s easy to work at the distribution center. First they train you. It takes about 10 minutes. There are six positions on the team. The warehouse is large but well organized. On the Saturday we worked, the distribution center processed about 108,000 shoeboxes.

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I encourage you to make a shoebox for a girl or boy. Popular items to place in the shoe box include: a toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, comb, soap, washcloth, pencils, notebook, rubber balls, toothpaste, metal spoons, hard candy (candy that will not melt), plastic cups, sewing kits for older girls, and tool sets for older boys, knitted caps, ponytail holders, and small toys. I hope you’ll follow Renan’s advice and wander the aisles with a shoebox and pray as you fill it.

My position on the team was “inspector.” I had to pull out countless bottles of hand sanitizer, liquid glue, and lotion. My trainer told me, “If it wiggles or giggles, it can’t be in the shoebox.”

handWhile we were working last Saturday, the entire processing center took a break and heard a testimony from a young woman who had been a shoebox recipient. She too was from Honduras. She had grown up in an orphanage when she received a shoebox, and was thrilled to get a toothbrush. Before she had her own, she’d had to share one toothbrush with 25 other children.  She also had a package of 10 pencils in her shoebox. A treasure, because she was given one pencil a year, and it was expected to last her through the year. She hid her pencils in fear that someone would take them. It was through this shoebox that she realized that someone cared about her and that Jesus loved her. God has big plans for this little girl who lost her family. She earn a soccer scholarship to attend college in the U.S. and is currently enrolled in medical school.

Terra with children recieving shoesboes in Niger.My niece, Terra served as a missionary in Niger, Africa last year and she has participated in the shoebox ministry for several years at home.  She was delighted that the children she was working with in Africa. They were chosen because they were attending her Kid’s Club and learning about Jesus.

I hope you’ll consider putting together a shoebox next year. You will bless someone. Remember each box is for a person. A child who has next to nothing. But the most important gift he or she might receive is Jesus.