Archives for November 2015

Thanksgiving: Some Things Never Change by BJ Robinson

Thanksgiving: Some Things Never Change by BJ Robinson

Be Joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated at different times of the year to give thanks for the blessing of the harvest for the previous year. Families tend to develop their own traditions. In the South, turkey stuffed with cornbread dressing is common. My mother-in-law passed down her recipe, which I use and enjoy.

I have always enjoyed having guests for the holidays. When my children were small and still at home, I cooked huge family meals. One Thanksgiving, unexpected guests arrived with the family. The small home couldn’t hold all the dinner guests. The cramped kitchen held only a small table.

“I have plenty of food cooked, but you will have to find somewhere to sit,” I informed them.

By the time the turkey was served, the place was bursting with people trying to find plates and utensils for eating. Some borrowed from my mother-in-law had to suffice. The guests took their plates and sat outside to eat on the small front porch and the hoods of cars. Back then, they were more durable and didn’t bend like today’s vehicles.

I had one more chair than Henry David Thoreau, who wrote in his book Walden that he had only three chairs. He said he had, “. . . one for solitude, two for friendship, and three for society.” If more people happened to visit Thoreau, he said that they had to stand. He thought many houses were, “. . . extravagantly large for their inhabitants.” Personally, I thought my trailer was extravagantly small for all the Thanksgiving dinner guests.

I sat outside with them. We all enjoyed the beautiful sunny day the Lord had made, the delicious food, and one another’s company. When the guests began to leave, they thanked me for a great home-cooked meal, not a lovely, impressive dinner. One man with twinkling blue eyes laughed. “It didn’t matter if the dinnerware didn’t match. We didn’t come here for you to impress us. We came for you to feed us.”

A lot has changed over the years. I no longer live in the same place or in the same state. I have lost family members. My children are grown and have all made me a grandmother thirteen times. My mother, father, and youngest sister all live in their heavenly home. Though some of the most loved people in my life are no longer here to share the holidays with me, I still have a traditional turkey each Thanksgiving. We still celebrate the holiday and thank God for the food and blessings.

I will always remember the special Thanksgiving in the tiny ten-foot wide trailer. We were a close-knit family group. Fancy plates and utensils did not matter, nor did a fancy setting. What made that holiday so special had nothing to do with fancy materialistic things. The warmth and friendliness of our family and friends more than made up for whatever trivial items were lacking.

Though a lot has changed, some things never change. I thank God for the family who now shares my holidays. The kitchen table is larger, and I have matching plates and silverware, but love for family and thanking God for the blessings he has bestowed upon us and the mercies he has given us will never change.

Times change. People change. Places change. But remember, it does not take fancy plates or a large, fancy home to have a great Thanksgiving with family and friends. Those are trivial items that can be done without.

The heart of the family and thanking God for His blessings and your family is what Thanksgiving is all about, so have a blessed one!

Author’s Note: The cornbread dressing or stuffing recipe used by my family for generations is included at the end of my historical romance River Oaks Plantation and makes a wonderful recipe for use at Thanksgiving as well as Christmas. Our family uses it for both. The book is available for the Kindle through Amazon. http://goo.gl/zhCU7V

Cornbread

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, copyright 1973, 1978, & 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Bio:

B. J. RobinsonB. J. Robinson loves reading and penning Civil War era historical romance as well as various other genres to provide choice for readers. She’s an Amazon best-selling author and has written over twenty books. Blessed with children, grandchildren, and pets, her three dogs and one cat are part of the family. Visit her at http://goo.gl/JgL7O6

CrossReaders Book Review: Love Octagon by Felicia Rogers

CrossReaders Book Review: Love Octagon by Felicia Rogers

Love Octagon

Title: Love Octagon

Author: Felicia Rogers

Rating: 5 stars

About the Book

Kevin Smith is an ordinary guy. He works a plain job. Owns a normal, but disorganized home. And plays like every single man. In short, he is the average male. Until one day on vacation, he takes a run in the park and rescues a bag lady from mugging, after which his life is never the same. The mysterious lady grants him one wish. Assuming the woman’s offer is false, Kevin returns home with thoughts of a past conversation in his mind. Later when he steps from the shower everything has changed. The disorderly home is no more. All his vacation chores have been completed. And most surprising of all he has seven wives. Will this unexpected twist turn out to be the blessing he hoped for, or a curse he wished he’d never asked for?

Review

Be very careful what you wish for!

Reading this story I decided that Kevin Smith’s picture was in the dictionary by the word procrastination. Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow. But it just seemed like each day, tomorrow never came. What is the saying? The path to Hell is paved with good intentions.

What would happen if a stranger granted you one wish and it came true? But your mind was focusing on the silly conversation at work with your friends, a wife for each day of the week and you would never have to do a thing? Yea, right, seven wives and lots of children in one household, nothing can ever go wrong there! So will this unexpected twist turn out to be the blessing he hoped for, or a curse he wished he’d never asked for?

“Your greatest desire shall be fulfilled, one wish you may build. It was like she’d been leading him down a path he hadn’t been able to see. When his eyes were finally opened to his loss, his misery, his need for repentance, was when his life changed for the better.” Now can Kevin and Angela find happiness when they get together and talk without others interfering?

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This review was submitted by: Kathy Watts

CrossReads Short Takes: A Reluctant Assassin & Stealty Steps

CrossReads Short Takes

A Reluctant Assassin

A Reluctant Assassin

Her mission was simple — get close to the Prince, and kill him. . .

Kayden entered the palace under a lie, one designed to get her close to the Prince. On the outside, she may look like a princess but beneath the mask, a killer lays in wait — for the perfect moment.

Dvarius was not ready to take the crown, nor was he ready for a wife . . .

But due to his father’s unexpected death and an archaic law — he must find a bride before he is allowed to take his rightful place on the throne.

And the one woman he wants — just might be the one who is there to kill him…

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Stealthy Steps

Stealthy Steps

My name is Gemma Keyes. Other than my name, I am utterly forgettable—so those who never paid much attention to me in the first place haven’t exactly noticed that I’ve disappeared. Vanished. Oh, it’s much more complicated than it sounds. And let me tell you, invisibility comes with its own set of problems.

I should tell you about Dr. Samuel Bickel, world-renowned nanophysicist. We used to work together, but I’ll be candid with you: He’s supposed to be dead. Well, he’s not. (Imagine my surprise.) Instead of the proverbial “six feet under,” he’s subsisting in an abandoned devolution cavern beneath the old Manzano Weapons Storage Facility on Kirtland Air Force Base here in Albuquerque.

“I need to show you what I’m protecting here, Gemma,” he insisted.

I stared into the clear glass case. I could hear . . . humming, clicking, buzzing. A faint haze inside the box shifted. Dissolved. Came back together. Reminded me of how mercury, when released on a plate, will flow and form new shapes. Only this, this thing was “flowing and forming” in midair.

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Passing the Pearly Gates by Sherry Chamblee

Passing the Pearly Gates by Sherry Chamblee

My pastor gave us a great message last night on Revelation 21, and one thing that stuck out to me was what he was saying about the gates of pearl. The pearl is the only gemstone that’s created by a living creature – the pearl is the oyster’s answer to pain.

His thoughts were that perhaps, just perhaps, the gates being made of pearl is God reminding His people – the ones allowed into the New Jerusalem – that while the city offers freedom, that freedom came at a great price. That price was a painful price. It was God’s answer to pain, but it also represents Christ’s pain – caused by our sins.

So this made me think – if the reminder is the intention of the pearly gates, then that means we don’t forget everything that happened here on earth.

We won’t just forget this life on earth. It’ll have a mental impact of some sort, even in eternity…because if God wants us to remember His pain on the cross that procured our salvation, then that means God wants us to remember. Seems simple, right?

But I think we sometimes give ourselves a pass – even when we sin here on earth, someday we’ll forget it all because the Bible says God will wipe all tears from our eyes. Of course, the Bible doesn’t say He’ll wipe our memories. And He doesn’t say that He’ll wipe away all the pain of those memories…

So – what if a painful memory from our life here could taint a relationship there in heaven? What if, before talking to someone in Heaven, we hesitate because the pearly gates remind us of the pain that our actions caused in regards to that person.

What if we treated everyone around us with that thought in mind?

The thought that in Heaven – in the New Jerusalem – we’ll be interacting with this person, and our interactions now will be remembered then – every time we pass the pearly gates.

About the Author:

Sherry Chamblee

Sherry grew up in various cities around northern and central California. This gave her all sorts of stories that sat and festered in her brain, waiting to be let loose. She eventually went to college in Wisconsin, where she met her equally frenetic husband, Rich. They have six (yes, count them) children, two dogs and a cat, and currently reside in a madhouse in the southern California area. As a family, they enjoy being active in their local church. Sherry spends her time writing when not caring for Granny, the kids, the dogs, the cat and any number of strays in the neighborhood.

Sherry Chamblee can be found at http://www.sherrychamblee.weebly.com Or check out her books at http://www.amazon.com/Sherry-Chamblee/e/B00BA06RJ2/

CrossReaders Book Review: Times of Tribulation by Cliff Ball

CrossReaders Book Review: Times of Tribulation by Cliff Ball

Times of Tribulation

Title: Times of Tribulation

Author: Cliff Ball

Rating: Five of five stars

About the Book

A Christian End Times thriller and the last book in the End Times Saga

Review

The best of Cliff Ball’s end Times Saga is also the last. The book covers time during the book before it but from a different view point. This series of how things may be in the very near future should be an impetus for all Christians to darw closer to the God of their salvation and for no-Christians to think seriously about becoming Christians. For those of you who have no intention of ever becoming a Christian, the read is worth it for the thrill, so read and enjoy.

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This review was submitted by: Allison Kohn

Please visit their website at http://www.allsionkohn.com