Monthly Archives: September 2016

Ms. Susie’s Pumpkin Bread

Dinner with librarians.

Dinner with librarians.

Ms. Susie retired from the library where I work several years ago. We miss her company and the delicious food she frequently shared. One of my favorite treats from Ms. Susie’s kitchen is her pumpkin bread.

To celebrate the cooling weather, I baked her recipe yesterday and plan to surprise my coworkers with a platter full of slices. I’ve discovered sharing food and laughter make the best memories. Try Ms. Susie’s pumpkin bread, and perhaps you’ll have a new Fall tradition too.

Thank you,  Ms. Susie, for sharing your recipe, your friendship, and your generous heart.

Ms. Susie’s Pumpkin Breadccanpumkinbread2

2 eggs, beaten
1 ½ cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin
½ cup cooking oil
¼ cup water
¼ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp soda
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cloves
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 2/3  cups Flour

img_2918

Cakes cooling in coffee cans.

Preheat oven to 350° . Grease and flour two (12 ounce) coffee cans. Combine eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl and mix well. Add pumpkin, oil and water. Blend thoroughly. Add all dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into coffee cans filling them ½ full. Bake for one hour.

 

Doing Our Small Part…Even When It’s Through Fiction by Janet Ferguson

janetprofileWhile writing my third book, I attempted to tackle the vast subject of human trafficking in a small way. I researched a good bit about the horrific issue, and I was pretty overwhelmed by the enormity of it. How could I help or make a difference besides raise awareness in a fictional novel? The fall after I finished my first draft, our church announced our Christmas project. We were going to assist an organization called Touch a Life that helps trafficked and vulnerable children. They are an organization that was born of sorrow—parents who had lost their son needed to find a positive way to channel that grief. (If you want the full story read, Jantsen’s Gift.) Touch A Life’s website states that they “develops creative ways to bring healing and empowerment to those who are suffering, exploited, and at-risk around the world. We serve children in Ghana, Vietnam, and Cambodia.”

boys_ghana37Our church spent over a month looking at how the ministry worked. They provide a home and art therapy for the kids (as young as preschoolers) that are rescued from the dangerous job of diving down to untangle fishing nets. Our children and teens raised money along with the adults. God provided the resources through our members to support thirteen children who had been rescued from forced labor on Lake Volta in Ghana.

There are so many more children and adults that need freedom and support, but between my research for Tackling the Fields and this project I was reminded that God ultimately frees all the captives. We can partner with him to do our small part. Even if it’s one person, one child, one novel, one heart, one donation, one charity at a time.

tacklingfields-ferguson-ebookwebPaperbacks Amazon
EBook
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Tackling the Fields
Southern Hearts Series ~ Book 3

Cole Sanders is a changed man. The university quarterback questions his direction in life after serving on a mission trip in Honduras. Things that used to fill Cole’s ego seem empty after witnessing the developing country’s extreme poverty and the death of a precious child. The one glimmer of hope through his confusion is the fresh perspective he now has about his tutor, Audrey. She possesses something beautiful inside and out—something that might help him become the person he wants to be.

University senior Audrey Vaughn tutored Cole Sanders for an entire year and never imagined the popular quarterback would see her as anything more than a friend. After partnering with him on the mission trip, they are drawn together. And he appears to have changed for the better. To let Cole into her life, Audrey will have to overcome not only her brother’s distrust, but also the paralyzing fear still lingering from a past she’s tried to leave behind.

Cole can’t walk away from Audrey now that they’re back in Oxford. He’ll have to figure out how to keep her giant of a brother, a lineman on his football team, from killing him when the coach has his back turned. But can Audrey trust her heart to a player so similar to the one who stole so much from her in the past?

janetprofileYou can connect with Janet Ferguson, by clicking on the links below.

 https://www.facebook.com/Janet.Ferguson.author
http://www.janetfergusonauthor.com/
https://www.pinterest.com/janetwferguson/
https://twitter.com/JanetwFerguson
 
Faith, Humor, Romance
 Southern Style
 

Will Work For Food by Kim B. Teague

kim_teague-5x7The elderly man held the cardboard sign higher as our car pulled to the stoplight.

My friends and I had just come from a women’s conference at a nearby church. I sat in the backseat beside Eleanor, whose window was even with the man outside.

She looked at him, then her eyes darted to her purse. “I don’t have money to give, and certainly not a job. But I do have this.” Eleanor nodded to the loaf of banana bread she’d won as a door prize at the conference. Beaming, she leaned out of the car window and handed the loaf of bread to the man.

He stared at the wrapped bundle. “What’s this?”

“Banana bread—for you!”

A smile lit up his weathered face at the unexpected gift. “Thank you!” he called as the light turned green.

The elderly man wasn’t the only one smiling. Those of us in the car had just witnessed a God-ordained moment, a moment in which an old man received joy because of my friend’s generous heart.

Some time later, I experienced that same generosity in my own life. I was chatting with my co-worker Cassie during a quiet moment in our otherwise busy day. My daughter Bethany was a freshman at a university in the mountains of North Carolina, and the weather was turning cooler. Almost thinking out loud, I mentioned I needed to get a winter coat for Bethany since she’d be walking to class in freezing temperatures.

Cassie thought for a moment, then smiled. “I have a coat that might fit her. My daughter can’t wear it yet, so Bethany can use the coat until my daughter needs it.”

Cassie lived in public housing, and over the years she had raised sixteen children. Yet, she was willing to trust me with a coat her own daughter would one day need. Her loving, generous spirit humbled me.

God taught me two important lessons from Eleanor and Cassie. The first is to embrace the opportunities He presents to us. Consider Proverbs 3:27,28: “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it,’ when you have it with you.”

Cassie heard of my daughter’s need for a coat, and she offered one she owned. She didn’t wait until her children had outgrown it. Likewise, when Eleanor saw a man who was hungry, she seized the opportunity to meet that need. And she did it in the seconds before a traffic light changed! How many times do we wait for the time to be more convenient and miss the blessing in front of us?

The second lesson God taught me is to give what I have and trust Him with the results. Even though I’m sure Eleanor would have loved to offer a four-course meal to the elderly man, she had only a loaf of bread. But she gave what she had.

Think about the feeding of the five thousand recorded in the Gospels. John 6:8,9 state: “One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, ‘There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?”

We can sympathize with Andrew, can’t we? Sometimes we look at our limited resources and think, “How can this help?” And we may be tempted to give nothing at all.  But Andrew, along with everyone else that day, witnessed how Jesus multiplied the tiny lunch into more than enough for the crowd to eat and be satisfied.

He can do the same for us. When Jesus touches our offering, He works wonders! His power and resources are never limited. Because of God’s abundant grace, He will give us an abundance for every good deed.

Let’s not miss the wonders God will work when we trust Him. May we embrace the opportunities He gives. And may we do so with hearts like Cassie and Eleanor.


About the Author:

Kim Tekim_teague-5x7ague is pursuing a life-long dream of writing. Her first book, The Secret of Jenny’s Portrait, has just been released by Elk Lake Publishing, Inc. In this Christian suspense novel, a lovely portrait and a shocking discovery put faith to the ultimate test.jennys_portrait

Kim’s passion is to portray characters who, in the midst of life’s struggles, journey to a deeper trust in God and His amazing love. Kim is married to Barry, senior pastor at Brices Creek Bible Church. They enjoy spending time with their grown children, walking on the beach, and taking care of two dogs and a cat. Visit Kim’s website at www.kimteagueauthor.com. The Secret of Jenny’s Portrait is available at Amazon.com and Kindle. Click on the book cover for an easy link to Amazon.

Greater Love by Gabrielle Meyer

Gabrielle Meyer
Friendship is something that continues to amaze me. As I type this, I have only been home from the ACFW Conference in Nashville for thirty-three hours and I’m about to return to the airport to pick up two friends who were at the conference with me. They flew to their homes in Texas and Arizona, did laundry, went shopping, made meals, accomplished a week’s worth of work, kissed their husbands and children goodbye, maybe slept for a few hours, and are now on airplanes jetting their way to my home in Minnesota.

Why are they doing this? Because my first novel will release on September 1st and they are coming to my release party to celebrate.

True friendship. It’s a powerful force to be reckoned with. I’m reminded of John 15:13: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” In many ways, they are laying down their lives this week for me. They are coming two days early to help me prepare, and they are staying three days after to visit and brainstorm our upcoming projects (one of which I need a lot of help on!). They are putting their busy lives on hold just to be with me. That’s amazing.

I’m honored and blessed to be on the receiving end of friendship this week. I know the sacrifice my friends are making to be here, and I know the sacrifice many other friends are making to come to my party. They are traveling from all parts of the state (and nearby Iowa), they are rearranging schedules, volunteering to help, and genuinely happy to celebrate this milestone in my life and writing career.

There have been countless other times in my life when my friends have laid down their lives for me in practical and realistic ways. When I had my twin boys and they brought meals to my home for the first two weeks. When I’ve had sick children and they’ve come over to take care of the healthy ones. When I’ve been laid up with a neck that went out and they did my grocery shopping. When I had a tight deadline and they critiqued my story. When I’ve needed a shoulder to cry on, an understanding ear to listen, and a smiling face to share my joy—my friends have been there for me.

I thank God for my friends. They bless me with riches beyond compare.

I’d love to know when you’ve experienced the receiving end of friendship.

About the Author:

Gabrielle MeyerGabrielle Meyer lives on the banks of the Mississippi River in central Minnesota with her husband and four children. As an employee of the Minnesota Historical Society, she fell in love with the rich history of her state and enjoys writing stories inspired by real people and events. Gabrielle’s first novel, A Mother in the Making, releases with Love Inspired Historical in September and her second novel, A Family Arrangement, releases in December. You can connect with Gabrielle on Facebook, Instagram, and her website at www.gabriellemeyer.com.

About the Book:

A Mother in the Making
Matchmaking with a Mission 

Practical, steady, levelheaded: all qualities single father Dr. John Orton expects in both a governess and a wife. But his children’s temporary governess Miss Marjorie Maren seems set on finding him an impractical woman to love…despite his plans of marrying solely for convenience. Nothing could be more exasperating to the handsome widower—except his increasing interest in Marjorie.

Vivacious and fun-loving: that’s the kind of bride the reserved doctor needs. Before Marjorie leaves to pursue her acting dreams, she intends to match him with a suitable wife candidate. Yet growing affection for her four charges and their dashing father has awakened a new hope—that she might be his perfect bride. But can she convince her employer to take a chance on love and claim real happiness before it slips away?