Wednesday, June 18, 2014

See Ya Later!

Dear Readers,
RUBY Magazine Troy UMC wanted to thank you for an incredible three-year run.  Take the time to search our archive for honest, inspiring essays, delectable recipes, and some interviews with some amazing women blessings.  

Blessings to all,

RUBY Magazine

Monday, June 16, 2014

Renewing My Faith: The [extra] Ordinary Christian Way

Let me share a few lists with you today. After all, don’t we all keep lists? So here goes (it’s a short list, I promise):
In the past year I
1. relocated to Troy, IL, from Toledo, OH,
2. started a new job at a wonderful local university
3. became pregnant and gave birth to my 3rd, lovely child.

I share this list because each item you see there has been both a blessing and a challenge for me. I really didn’t want to leave my husband’s and my childhood hometown, but in order to accept the teaching position, I was compelled to leave home. While starting something new can be exhilarating, meeting new colleagues and branching out in a new work environment can be equally terrifying (for someone like me, at least, who wants to control every aspect of her life!). But here I am, enjoying my new teaching position. And I don’t even need to qualify this, but there just isn’t anything like having a baby. For me, it is the ultimate human experience, but it sure is a draining and thankless job at times.

Lists are powerful. They help us remember what we need to pick up at the grocery store. Lists remind us what we need to accomplish during the day (even if it is that millionth load of laundry). More importantly, lists can highlight what is most important in our lives. Taking stock of my short list above, I recently realized how God has blessed me. And I am humbled by it.

I don’t try to hide it – I’ve been a lukewarm Christian for a long time. I just couldn’t make the connection or the commitment to put my faith in action. The person I saw in the mirror just didn’t measure up with what I mistakenly believed an “ideal” Christian “had to be."  I had a fairly long list running in my head dictating to me what an ideal Christian was, and not one of my attributes could be found on that list (sad but true – I really didn’t believe I could be of any use to God). I had come to accept that I was outside God’s full grace.

But I want to share a shorter list than the one above – it is something I recently [re]discovered, accepted and now live by (having children has really revealed new and old insights!). This list is the not-so-secret “set of requirements” to receive God’s blessing, to be the “ideal” Christian:
If I, or anyone, want to be and live as a Christian, all I need is:
1. Faith

That’s it. As Po discovers in Kung Fu Panda, there is no secret ingredient in his father’s soup. (Yes, I just linked my spiritual “aha” moment to a computer-animated film. I have young children, remember?) Po learns that the soup is delicious because everyone believes it is. The soup is special because people believe it to be true. Likewise, I am special because God has blessed me – even if I see myself as just an ordinary cup of Christian soup. All I need to do is believe. All I need is faith the size of a mustard seed.

So today I am posting a new list on my bathroom mirror. It is the ordinary Christian list, and there are just two items on it:
What I need to be an ordinary Christian:
1. Faith

The most special ordinary Christian:
1. Me

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1, KJV)

Amen to that!

Looking for more on faith and the challenges you will encounter throughout life?
Check out 1 Peter 6-7

By Stephanie Quinn/@QuinnWordWoman

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunday Thanks

A kind smile from a complete stranger . . .

Celebrating Father's Day with three generations of men blessings . . .

An unexpected thank you . . . 

The commitment of woman blessing Carol P. to RUBY Magazine . . .

Laughter found in an odd news story from a small town . . .

An invitation for my daughter from a woman blessing neighbor . . . 

The opportunity to share my love of writing and reading to additional students in the fall . . .

For what are you thankful?  Reflect on this past week, and share your thoughts in the comments section below.  You may help others appreciate the richness in their lives.

Daily Wisdom: Intimacy

God does not hold resentment or bitterness against my inattentiveness, but His heart aches for intimacy with me. He does not need my love to complete Him; He is complete within Himself. However, He longs for all my heart, all my mind and my undivided devotion as He draws near to me.

                                 ~Katherine Walden~
Submitted by Carol Pigg/@carols_kitchen, "This spoke to my heart. Btw, we've found a really old church to attend Sunday. The Wesleys travelled a lot through this region." 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Lisa Jo Baker's Five Minute Friday: Messenger

Messenger . . .  as I think about this word, I think about Sports Camp this past week at church where the message was delivered daily to the kiddos enrolled through devotion, prayer, and example. . .  

What ensued was laughter, encouragement, helpfulness, friendship, and sharing . . . messengers.

Tonight I heard my girls sing one of the devotional songs in their room . . . messengers. 

Consider messenger in the context of your own life, and take five minutes to share your thoughts below in the comments section.

Daily Wisdom: Grateful Heart

"A grateful heart is one that finds the countless blessings of God in the seemingly mundane everyday life."


Submitted by Carol Pigg/@carols_kitchen, "Can we get a few 'amens' on this?"

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Cleo's Pumpkin Dog Biscuits

2 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons dry milk
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 1/2 cups brown rice flour *
1 teaspoon dried parsley (optional)

Preheat oven to 350ยบ

In large bowl, whisk together eggs and pumpkin to smooth. Stir in dry milk, sea salt, and dried parsley (if using, optional). Add brown rice flour gradually, combining with spatula or hands to form a stiff, dry dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface (can use the brown rice flour) and if dough is still rough, briefly knead and press to combine.

Roll dough between 1/4 – 1/2″ – depending on your dog’s chew preferences, – and use biscuit or other shape cutter to punch shapes, gathering and re-rolling scraps as you go. Place shapes on cookie sheet, no greasing or paper necessary. If desired, press fork pattern on biscuits before baking, a quick up-and-down movement with fork, lightly pressing down halfway through dough. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully turn biscuits over, then bake additional 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely on rack before feeding to dog.

* Brown rice flour gives the biscuits crunch and promotes better dog digestion. Many dogs have touchy stomachs or allergies, and do not, like many people I know, tolerate wheat.

Makes up to 75 small (1″) biscuits or 50 medium biscuits.

Submitted by Carol Pigg/@carols_kitchen