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Category: Special Blogs
Tags: Water Garden Giveaway Giveaway Katherine’s Corner Giveaways

You are invited to join us for the Water Garden Giveaway sponsored by Katherine’s Corner!

Enter to WIN and make a few new bloggy friends along the way!

This month’s giveaway is sponsored by Katherine’s Corner, Katherine’s Corner Shop and Simple Nature Decor. The cash prize is provided by Katherine’s Corner and some of her bloggy friends ( listed below).

One winner will receive this beautiful hanging water garden from Simple Nature Decor ( this prize is valued at $65)

AND $50 via PayPal or Amazon gift code ( winners choice)!

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PayPal and Amazon are not sponsoring nor do they have any connection to this giveaway

Your Hostesses for the Water Garden Giveaway are

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Katherine from Katherine’s Corner

“Why Write?” by Jewell Utt Tags: Christian authors Christian Life God's Grace Ruby For Women

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“God does not call us to a spirit of fear, but of power” -2Timothy 1:7

A peaceful Sunday morning at church turned into a moment of high-alert for many people. A man dressed in a long coat, carrying backpacks and duffle bags, came to rest at our main entrance. Instead of coming directly in, he pulled a large piece of chalk out of his luggage and began writing on the sidewalk of both entryways: “Sinners are damned to Hell.”

This occurred shortly after nine people were killed in a shooting at an A.M.E. Church in South Carolina. The man’s unusual behavior didn’t escape notice. As he entered the church, people were concerned that his long grayish-green coat and odd shaped bags could conceal weapons. He was asked to leave them in the coat room.

As he settled in a back pew, he was surrounded by plain clothes police officers and military men who attend our church. If the poor guy reached for a pen, he might have been thrown to the ground and restrained. I felt sorry for him, but admired the prudence of our brethren.

After church, he introduced himself as a street evangelist who travels from town to town spreading the “Good News.” Unfortunately, his demeanor and the words he wrote on the sidewalk told a different story. He was spreading fear in a world where there is enough chaos. In a world where the church should be the answer, not another thing to dread.

It takes a thousand good words and experiences to combat the damage of a careless few. We live in an age of terror and an age where people are readily hurt. Unfortunately, the church is one of the culprits because it’s comprised of imperfect people.

“Ninety percent of young adults have turned away from their childhood faith.” I’ve heard this statistic cited for years, but most recently at a writer’s conference.

I question the interpretation that Millennials have turned away from the faith.

My experience—as a Bible-study teacher of college-aged women, and someone who frequently interacts with young people—is that they’ve actually turned away from the legalism, the old ways…the order set by man.

This is a problem we need to recognize and change within the church culture, because this generation, unlike any other, faces a world where terror is a daily occurrence. News of mass-shootings, suicide-bombings, hate-groups, police-killings, human-trafficking, drugs, pornography, and gang-violence flood their social media. The danger is not only the crumbling society they face, but the fact that they are being indoctrinated by a worldview.

In an age where people render their opinion instantly and frequently—without edit or restraint—our main goal should be to get the right words out there…words of healing…words that rescue…words that are Holy. The problem of allowing this to continue, uncontested, is that it leads to confusion, and confusion can lead to recruitment.

Writers today have a unique opportunity to open spiritual eyes on a global scale…to ride social-highways and balance news-cycle with truth. We can combat wrong-thinking with an army of words. It takes courage.

Today, the words of Revelation, Daniel, and Thessalonians are suddenly clear and possible. Although we will not know the time or day of Christ’s return, we can know the signs and engage in the fight. Let’s engage as soldiers would.

And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? – Romans 10:14

 

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Jewell Utt is a regular contributor to the RUBY magazine.

Chili Mac and Cheese Hot Dog Casserole from Marilyn’s Treats Tags: Family Homemaking mommy bloggers

Chili Mac and Cheese Hot Dog Casserole

Like Chili Dogs? How about Mac and Cheese? If you can’t decide what’s for dinner why not make both! This Chili Mac and Cheese Hot Dog casserole is a one-pan dish goes from fridge to table in just 1 hour! After running all day and playing taxi driver for the kids you need this dinner in your arsenal. They will gather around the table without an argument and be ready to do homework and crawl into bed in no time.

Thanks to Marilyn’s Treats for sharing her recipes with the RUBY community! Visit Marilyn on her blog for more great ideas for autumn recipes for your whole family!

Chili Mac and Cheese

Hot Dog Casserole

by Marilyn Lesniak of Marilyn’s Treats

Ingredients

  • 4 C. Macaroni and Cheese
  • 4 C. Chili
  • 4 hot Dogs
  • 1 C. Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • French Fries optional
  • mustard
  • onions
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a casserole dish.
  3. Top with mac and cheese, chili, hot dogs and cheese.
  4. Repeat layers until dish is filled.
  5. Place fries on top.
  6. Bake 45 minutes.
  7. Set oven to broil.
  8. Broil until fries are golden about 5 minutes.
  9. Top with onions and mustard. Enjoy!

 

Marilyn's Treats

 

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“There’s a Rock in My Sock!” by Lynn Mosher Tags: Daily Devotional Faith Forgiveness God's Grace mommy bloggers Prayer Christian Life Christian women

Pearl in Oyster Shell

Ever get a pebble in your shoe or your sock and think, Now, where did that come from?

I’m a sock person. I wear socks a lot and, every once in a while, I find the tiniest bit of something irritating my foot. I turn my sock inside out, only to find a barely visible piece of grit. I shake out my sock and get rid of it.

 Irritations, like pebbles, come in all sizes. We all have them at one time or another, whether in our socks or in our spirits.

Usually, we struggle not with the big boulders in our life’s path but with the puny pebbles. The boulders we can generally manage…But the pebbles? They end up causing us to stumble, fall, or just be irritated.

They are like little stumbling blocks, little annoyances that get under our skin and in our spirit. They elicit ungracious thoughts that pop out of our heart and mouth that shouldn’t. Or just stay hidden in our thoughts.

Guess who just loves to initiate those pebble attacks? The enemy. His vexations can come out of nowhere, like…

* someone has an opposing opinion of your beliefs and unloads a barrage of venomous words about it

* someone pulls out in front of you while driving and lets you know it’s your fault

* your kids aren’t playing nicely together

* you drop half your lunch on the floor

* the water company overcharges you

* odd habits of your spouse

Or maybe it’s one of these…

* fear of failure

*fear of not being good enough

* fear of rejection

* doubt or worry

Even the smallest grit can get in our spirit and irritate us.

Irritations will boot joy and praise right out the front door. And the enemy’s laughter will be almost audible. He hates our joy and praise. He gets a kick out of upsetting us, tripping us over little things.

He relishes knocking “us down with a straw…Most of us manage better in our great struggles than we do in our minor ones.” (A.B. Simpson)

We have a choice. If we harbor those pebbles of irritation, we do not have a clear conscience before God. Paul said, “I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.” (Acts 24:16 NKJV) By definition, an offense is a stumbling block.

However, to counteract those stumbling blocks, we can choose joy and praise, which will ring the enemy’s death-knell.

What do we do with those irritants? We can turn them into pearls! Yes, pearls of praise.

A natural pearl forms when a foreign substance slips in between the oyster’s mantle and the shell. It begins to irritate the mantle. The oyster’s natural reaction is to protect itself from a foreign substance.

The man­tle covers the irritant with layers of the same substance used to create the shell. And eventually, it forms a pearl.

So, next time your socks get full of irritating grit and you wonder where did that come from, turn those irritations inside out and get rid of them. Protect yourself from the enemy’s irritants by using praise.

Oysterize that grit into pearls of praise!

The worst sound in the ears of the enemy is praise from the lips of one of God’s children. The enemy hates it. Praise gets the attention of both God and the enemy!

May you protect yourself from the enemy’s gritty irritants by transforming them into pearls of praise!

 

Lynn Mosher

Since the year 2000, Lynn Mosher has lived with fibromyalgia and other physical conditions. During this time, the Lord placed the desire in her heart to write for Him. Now, armed with God’s purpose for her life and a new passion, she reaches out to others to encourage and comfort them through her writing, giving God all the glory. She lives with her husband in their empty nest in Kentucky. On occasion, their three offspring, who have flown the coop, come to visit, accompanied by a son-in-law and three granddaughters. Visit Lynn at her blog, at http://lynnmosher.com

lmosher

“Step Back to be Drawn In” by Mary Dolan Flaherty Tags: Daily Devotional God's Grace Christian authors Christian Life

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Have you ever noticed the benches in art galleries? I always assumed they were there so I could sit down when I didn’t feel like standing—a convenient place to rest. But I think it’s more that the bench is strategically placed a certain distance away from a painting so that the observer can get a better view of the blend of colors and textures. Up close, we see dots of red, dabs of white and blotches of black. But if we step back, a beautiful blend of colors forms a breathtaking scene. In order to be drawn into the scene, you have to step back.

I went to one (or three) of those paint classes where there is a picture by a famous (or not-so-famous) artist clipped on the top of your easel, and—using only four primary colors—you are supposed to paint this picture on your blank white canvas. Of course, a skilled artist gives you step-by-step instructions. It’s a fun night, but I left with a less than perfect imitation of the photo. Up close, it’s almost laughable. But from far away, it doesn’t look half-bad. Sometimes, in order to draw close you have to step back.

We are a work of art. Ephesians 2:10 says that “You are God’s masterpiece” (NLT).  Other translations use the words workmanship or handiwork. The original Greek word is “poema,” from which the word “poem” comes. All imply that God created us out of nothing using His imagination. We are a piece of art, a poem. A love song created for God’s enjoyment. A masterpiece sculpted by the Master-Artisan.

 

Yet, we tend to stand too close to the mirror and see only our flaws. We see the blotches and blemishes glaring back at us. We look at the lopsided facial features, the too small lips and too large nose…The too short legs and too long ears. We see all the flaws because we’re too close.

We need to step back and see ourselves as God sees us. He knows those flaws because He is the Creator, but He sees the whole picture. He sees a work of beauty—a masterpiece.

“How beautiful you are and how pleasing, O love with your delights “(Song of Solomon 7:6).

“Delights?” you ask. “I have none of those.”

That’s because you’re too close. Step back—away from yourself—in order to draw close to the One who sees it all, in order to be drawn in to the loving arms of God. He sees your delights because He is the one who put them there! When He look

s at you, He doesn’t say, “It’s not my best work, but from far away, she’s not half-bad.”

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The Bible doesn’t exactly say this, but from what I can gather about how God sees us, I think His heart flutters in excitement when He looks at you and me. His pulse quickens and joy rises and overflows. Just as He said in the beginning, He looks at what He has made—you—and says, “It is good—no, it is very good.” And then he does a little dance of joy.

He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:1).

So the next time someone notices something beautiful in you, please don’t pull them up close to point out your imperfections. Step back and allow yourself to be drawn in to the loving embrace of the God who fashioned you in His image—step back to see the whole picture. You might just notice your own beauty. Stop berating yourself, and start celebrating who you were designed to be—uniquely YOU!

Mary-Dolan-Flaherty-headshot-1-377x400

Mary Dolan Flaherty is a quirky gal who loves to encourage people and make them laugh. She writes and speaks with self-deprecating humor and transparency, saying what most people think but won’t admit.  She lives in New Jersey with her husband, whom she affectionately calls Hubbles, and has two grown children and two grand-dogs. Mary enjoys hiking, theatre, music, gardening, and traveling and can be found blogging at SonRiseInsights.blogspot.com.

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