Monday, June 29, 2020

Best Worst Thing

While reading through my morning devotional, which happened to be titled "best worst thing" a question nudged me. What was my best worst thing?

I have many. But this morning I was carried back to a June day in 1991. My daughter and I were headed up a road that winds along a local tributary called Little River. We were singing along to the radio and enjoying the rush of summer air coming in through our opened windows. I needed to deliver a meal to a home bound couple on the river. We were about six miles up when a fully loaded log truck with a second trailer approached us from the opposite direction.

I noticed that as it came around the corner its outside tires were lifted up off the pavement. It was going to tip over!

And it did. 

The truck spilled giant logs onto the roadway and down the bank in front of us, then the trailer barreled at us. My mind searched for a way to survive, but no idea seemed to be enough. Certain my daughter and I were facing our last moments on this planet, I slammed on my brakes, hoping to diminish the impact and steered as close to the edge of the highway as I dared. And then ... amid the screaming sounds of screeching breaks, shattering glass and grinding metal the truck trailer slammed into our van.

That was a worst moment, worst day,  and what followed were the worst months of my life.

My daughter Kristi and I survived that terrible accident. Kristi was physically uninjured but she still carries emotional scars. Me ... well I'm thankful for my life. I had a number of injuries, some that never healed. 

My life changed dramatically. I couldn't return to work. Couldn't clean my house. Couldn't cook meals. Couldn't buy groceries. And a lot more couldn'ts. In the early weeks, I thought I would recover, but I never fully did. When doctors told me I would have to accept my painful condition and go on with life I was pretty devastated.

But that's just the worse part of the story. There are a lot of those kind of stories in the Bible. Something terrible happens to one of God's people and it looks like the worst thing ever, but God steps in and uses it as a best thing.

Because of my injuries I couldn't return to work and I slid into a deep depression. The darkness drove me to search for the Light. I needed God so badly and knew He was my only salvation. I prayed that He would reveal His plans to me.

Before the accident I'd played at writing. It was a fun little hobby. But God wanted it to be more than just a pleasant pass time. He stirred my heart into a fervent desire to create with the written word. With courage given by God and with guidance from other authors I stepped into the writing world with a first book, The Journey of Eleven Moons. 

It was part of my best thing. Incredibly it became a best selling book. God is so good. 

He opened doors and I kept moving forward. I've never had a big footprint in the writing world, but I've had a grand time creating stories - twenty three so far. It hasn't been easy but the rewards have been huge.

I've worked hard, trusting God, and he has blessed me. I hear from people nearly every day who have been encouraged or uplifted by reading something I've written. It's gratifying to know that my small footprint is having a big impact in some people's lives. 

When I look back and remember that what I originally thought was my worst thing was actually a best thing. It was and is all because of God. He helps me along my way every day.

What about you? Do you have a worst thing? Believe God is in the midst of that and it can be your best thing.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Monday, June 22, 2020


This morning when I reached for a pair of earrings I wondered what is was that I liked about them. They were purposely made imperfect. The round spheres are not truly round. That's okay with me. I like things that are "flawed".

Imperfection surrounds me. Some of it is done purposely. For instance, I don't like items lined up in a perfect row. I want my treasures displayed in a random pattern. When my granddaughter sometimes cleans my house I always find that she's lined everything up "perfectly". I follow behind and place the items the way they were. I almost never hang paintings on the wall in a row - they go up in a random pattern. And I prefer writing that is a bit flawed. I enjoy the flavor and texture of a story more than a perfectly constructed sentence.

Does this mean I'm flawed? I certainly am. But none of us are "perfect".

I've always been the one to stand up for the underdog. I even cheer for the football team that is supposed to lose.

What about this incredible creature? The way it's put together doesn't seem to make sense. Why the long neck and long legs? Of course there is a reason, and in spite of its gangly appearance it is a gorgeous, powerful animal. God knew what he was doing when he created it.

The earrings in the photo above are one of my favorite pairs, but I never receive compliments when I wear them. Perhaps that means I'm the only one who likes them. But that's okay. I believe we sometimes need to embrace imperfections. I'm not saying we ought to go out and purposely cause destruction or trouble. And certainly shouldn't purposely sin against God. But we are each created as individuals. We're not cut out by a cookie cutter. God created us perfectly imperfect. And He loves His creation. 

Let's embrace who we are. We were sculpted by the Hands of our Creator to be an individual with our own voice and our own way of seeing the world. 

If He loves us as we are, maybe we can love ourselves and others just as they are.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Tuesday, June 16, 2020

News From Deer Creek

On March fifteenth I had a successful launch for my most recent book, One Hundred Valleys. Though I must admit Covid-19 did complicate things a bit. Still, I was able to get the word out and heard back from many of you. It's loyal readers and followers who keep us writers going. Thank you.

The fun's not over yet. I will be posting a newsletter in a few days with news and updates. Make sure to sign up for my Table Talk newsletter so you won't miss out on what's up. You can find the button on my home page of this website at

I'm celebrating summer with a GIVEAWAY! So, check it out. News is coming your way soon.

If you read the book One Hundred Valleys, you'll know this character. She is the beloved Margaret Clark. She really is a lovely person and a good cook. 

Margret owns the Deer Creek Cafe and there's always something delicious cooking in the kitchen. She makes especially good pies. I thought you might like to try her apple pie, it's a favorite at the cafe. I've included it below so you can give it a try. If you do, I'd love to hear from you and know how it turned out.

Margaret's tasty Apple Pie

Crust:    2 cups Flour
              1 teaspoon salt
              2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Cut in:  2/3 cups Lard (shortening)
             2/3 cup water – sprinkle it over the dry ingredients and work into the dough.

Do not overwork the dough or you will end up with a tough crust.

Divide the dough in half. Gently work both halves into a round shape. Sprinkle flour on a kitchen counter and, using a rolling pin, roll out to approximately a 10 inch circle. Drape dough crust in a 9” pie pan and let it set while you prepare the apple filling.

Filling:   6 – 7 crisp, flavorful apples, peeled, halved and sliced thinly.
      3/4 cup sugar
      1 tsp. cinnamon
      ¼ tsp. nutmeg (optional)
      ¼ cup flour or 3 Tablespoons corn starch.

Mix the filling in a large bowl. If desired for more tender apples, let it set overnight on the counter (the night before you prepare your crust). Pour filling into the bottom crust.

Place the 2nd portion of pie dough over the top of the filling and press down gently until it touches the apple mixture. Fold the dough around the edges (the top crust over the bottom crust), so it is well sealed, then crimp between your fingers all the way around. Use a fork to poke several vent holes. You can whip egg white and use a pastry brush to wash it over the crust if desired.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pie on a lower rack in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. To ensure the bottom crust is well done you may want to add an additional 15 minutes baking time, but do not overcook the top crust.


There's still a lot going on in Deer Creek. I'm working on a sequel to One Hundred Valleys. There are lots of adventures to come. 

I pray you are doing well. 

A Word from the Lord.

"I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." 

Isaiah 41:13

Grace and peace to you from God,


Tuesday, June 09, 2020

A Mile In Your Shoes

The last four months I have felt as if I were living within a category 5 hurricane. Covid-19 struck and spread across our world locking people in their homes. Hundreds of thousands have died. George Floyd was murdered by a police officer, and we watched his agonizing death on television news. Outraged Americans joined together in protest, united. And then militant groups hijacked a heartfelt and significant movement. In the midst of looting, destruction, more murders and beatings, George Floyd's death was diminished.

I've posted my thoughts about all of this on my Facebook page but today I want to bring our focus back to one another. We are all related, one family - humankind. 

When I was young and sometimes made judgments about others my mother was always quick to correct me. She would say that I couldn't truly understand what was going on inside another person's heart. She would add, "You have not walked a mile in their shoes." How right she was. She knew and understood the pain of discrimination. She'd grown up poor and native in a place that saw her as less valuable than others. And even as an adult she could be brought to tears by the memories.

You may not know what it is like to live as a Native Alaskan. You may not know what it is like to be told that one day you will be blind. You  may not know how difficult it is to live as a fat person in a world that detests and judges fat people. (I have stories) And you may know the pain of losing a young and vibrant father when you are only twenty-three. We don't share all the same experiences, so how can we know?

I do not know what it is like to be Black in America. And there are thousands of other experiences I can't fully understand.

However, we all know what fear is like. We know pain. We know sorrow. We know rejection. And because we know we can empathize ... if we choose to. We can listen and have open minds. God tells us to love one another ... all others.

This storm we find ourselves in can destroy our world as we know it. But we don't have to let it. We can place our hurts and disappointments and our fears in God's hands. And most of all we can hand over our hate. The enemy loves hate, and he will use it to destroy us if we let him.

As the weeks have passed a song has been playing through my mind. It's one we all know. And I post it here to remind us of its simple but profound truth.

"Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world."

In these difficult days let's sing that song and pray that God will help us see one another through His eyes of love.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Even So ... Praise Him

In these sorrowful days it often feels as if I, us, we Believers are being oppressed. The evil one slinks through our court system and maligns our government even at the highest levels. Right is now wrong and wrong is now right. It's painful to witness the downslide of our values and of our country. 

And when I thought things couldn't be darker, people who have been suffering with Covid-19 watched as their government leaders and fellow citizens politicized the disease, even its treatments. And I had to ask, why? I have no clear answer. 

I've been distressed over the state of our world because of Covid-19 ... and now demonstrations and rioting is in our streets. The demonstrations began in unity and with good intent. A terrible wrong had been done to one of our citizens. But as is often the case there are those who will take advantage of what they see as an opportunity. 

I have been sick at heart as I watch the destruction of our cities. And the foolish self-centered volleys of flaming darts that our leaders cast back and forth. The malevolence only deepens. 

Aren't we better than this?

We can be.

In my daily reading I landed on Psalm 43, which feels perfect for this time. I'd like to share these comforting words with you. I've replaced all the personal references to a collective term. It says this,

O God, take up our cause! Defend us against these ungodly people. Rescue us from these unjust liars. For you are God, our only safe haven. Why have you tossed us aside? Why must we wander around in darkness oppressed by our enemies? Send out your light and your truth; let them guide us. Let them lead us to your holy mountain, to the place where you live. There we will go to the altar of God, to God - the source of all our joy. We will praise you with our harp O God, our God! Why are we discouraged? Why so sad? We will put our hope in God! We will praise him again - our Savior and our God!

We are not alone in this evil world. We have the almighty God with us. Even in the midst of heartache and sorrow we can be comforted and know joy. God's Word tells us we will have tribulation, that there will be dark days, but we are not to be disheartened. We can walk in the light of the Lord.

Keep praying. Keep rejoicing. The Great I Am sees it all. And He loves you.

Grace and peace to you from God,