Friday, May 31, 2013

Dance! Dance! Everybody Dance Now!

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
                       -Ecclesiastes 3:4

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;
-Psalm 30:11

 Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.
-Jeremiah 31:13

And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.
-Exodus 15:20

They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance.
-John 21:11

Monday, May 27, 2013

Connect with Karen Paubel

I would like to introduce to you a woman blessing and prayer warrior, Karen Paubel,

Karen, would you tell us a bit about yourself and your family, please?

All of my life I have had a heart for prayer. I am a person who loves great resources, especially free ones. So when I learned young that I could call on heaven, I grabbed hold of it and never let go of prayer to my Heavenly Father. My father was a great prayer warrior and passed that passion to me. My life calling is to be a intercessor.  One of my prayer passions is to pray my children. I also love to encourage and equip others to pray for their children. When my husband and I were dating, he always said he wanted seven children and I would just laugh. Now after 23 years of marriage and seven children later, I am still laughing. I guess I married a man who keeps his word.  I homeschool my children. My children range in age from 19 to 8 years old. My heart's desire for homeschooling is to train them up in the Lord.  Raising children is such a heavy responsibility, way beyond my human ability. I call on God daily to equip me to raise an army for Christ. 

I found you through a friend forwarding your email. How and when did you get started emailing "Daily Prayer to Pray in Agreement for Our Children and Grandchildren"?

About 4 years ago I started a group called PM- Praying Moms. We would meet once a month in my home and pray for our children while they played.  We met for a few years and this daily e-mail grew out of us daily praying in agreement for our children. A Praying Grandmas group has started from this group for the last few years. One of my friends has started up the Praying Moms group again. The Daily Prayer email has grown just by mothers passing on to other mothers. There are also many fathers on the list also.

Will you share a sample of your daily emails?

Prayer for Gratitude

Lord,  I thank You for this precious gift or my children and grandchildren. You have given them to me and now I dedicate them to You. You alone know what they need. I release them to You to care and for and protect, and I commit myself to pray everything you put on my heart. Teach me how to pray and guide me in what to pray with regard to their lives. Help me not to impose my own will when I am praying for them, but rather enable me to always pray that Your will be done in their lives. Because Your Word says that every good gift comes from You. I know that You have given me my children for me to raise. You will help me to do that. I invite You to  be in control of their lives. I rely on You for everything, and this day I trust my child into Your care. 

Adapted from: Prayers and Promises for My Little Girl by Stormie Omartian 

Prayer is the most effective tool a parent has. When teaching discipline and modeling fail, prayer succeeds. Prayer goes where a parent can't. It softens hard hearts, enlightens darkened minds, and guides lost souls. Prayer works. As a parent, we don't have to settle for having the kind do children that our society seems to determine to produce. As praying parents, we don't have to sit quietly by and watch while our sons and daughter are led astray by the allure of culture. Prayer is a parent's way of taking matters into God's hands.So pray. Pray big, bold, biblical prayers for your child. God is ready to answer, and he doesn't want you to settle for less than his best or to compromise when you pray for your child. Pray Big! taken from Praying Big for Your Child by the Power of Praying God's Promises for Your Child's Life by Will Davis

The Impact of Praying Kids

It is important that we encourage this passion for prayer when we see it, not quench it-so the fires of revival can be birthed again from their prayers. Our youth have the potential to make huge differences in their world and our through their prayer lives and their ministry for Christ. They are the future leaders of the Christian world movement, and adults know it. Older Christians are often inspired to follow young people as they begin to manifest a passion and proactiveness toward the things of God.

I believe that during the dawn of the twenty-first century God is up to something more expansive that we have previously imagined. From my vantage point the children and youth take center stage.

taken from: Prayer Saturated Kids by Cheryl Sacks and Arlyn Lawrence

Do you have a favorite Bible verse you would like to share?

Years ago, I heard a sermon by Charles Stanley on the Life Changing Prayer from Colossians. It inspired me so much that it has been my life and prayer verse ever since.

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,  being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you  to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.

                                                                  Colossians 1:9-12 NIV

How about a favorite song?

Find Us Faithful

by Steve Greene

We're pilgrims on the journey

Of the narrow road

And those who've gone before us line the way

Cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary

Their lives a stirring testament to God's sustaining grace

Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses

Let us run the race not only for the prize

But as those who've gone before us

Let us leave to those behind us

The heritage of faithfulness passed on through godly lives


Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful

May the fire of our devotion light their way

May the footprints that we leave

Lead them to believe

And the lives we live inspire them to obey

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful

After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone

And our children sift through all we've left behind

May the clues that they discover and the memories they uncover

Become the light that leads them to the road we each must find

Anything else you think our readers should know? 

This about says it all:

One generation commends your works to another;
    they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
    and I will meditate on your wonderful works.

They tell of the power of your awesome works—
    and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
    and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

                                                       Psalm 145:4-7

You can sign up for daily prayers in your inbox by emailing Karen Paubel

Beth Miramonti

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Another Woman

We went on vacation, and my husband fell in love with another woman.  Not just any woman . . . this woman, even I must admit, was mesmerizing with eyes that shone emerald along with cascading endless waves.  Each night after we gorged ourselves on seafood, he snuck away simply for a glimpse of her and then to boldly stare and, finally, to collect her castoffs all while playing footsie with her.  When he returned after each meeting with her, he was, in truth, simultaneously invigorated and exhausted from having been in her presence.  His seven day rendezvous eventually had to come to an end, but gratefully, due to his newly found passion, I think we might just search her out again next year.

And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so.
                                                                   -Genesis 1:9 ESV 

Courtney Winkler

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Connect with Cathy "Miss Cathy" Lynn

RUBY: How long have you attended Troy United Methodist Church?
About 17 years

RUBY: What drew you to this church?
They offered a lot of activities, especially for our children

RUBY: Which service do you typically attend?

RUBY: Share a favorite Bible verse and/or inspirational song, and why this is a favorite.
Matthew 17:20 …if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain,”move from here to there,” and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. I like to think of this whenever I feel like I am not strong enough or don’t know enough in my faith.
My favorite song is He. It says it all. I first learned it as a child because my mom sang it at a lot of weddings. 
RUBY: Tell us about your involvement at Troy UMC and/or the community. 
I have been a preschool teacher at First Step for 15 years. I helped with VBS for many years. I was a Cub Scout leader and was on the Council for Boy Scouts for over 12 years. I attend the women’s Bible study group on Monday afternoons.

RUBY: Which book do you look forward to reading with your students each year? 
I have many favorites but the first 2 that come to mind are Noah’s Ark and Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert.

RUBY: The best aspect about teaching is . . .
that unconditional love and trust you receive from the students and seeing the progress each one makes throughout the year.

RUBY: You have hooked me on card-making. Tell us about your own card-making. 
I first started card-making about 20 years ago along with scrapbooking. I have taught classes in it and belong to a “card” club that gets together to make cards and share ideas. I own way too many stamp sets, but I love them all and can never decide which ones, if any, to get rid of!

RUBY: Tell us about your family.
My husband, John and I have been married for almost 31 years. We have 3 sons, Matthew (age 27), Zach (age 24), and Tyler (age 19). Matt has blessed us with 2 grandsons, Landon (age 6) and Chase who is 8 months old. They keep us very busy.

RUBY: How may we contact you in order to make a further connection?
e-mail at

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Have You Clicked on This Link?

Summer's on Its Way

Submitted by Beth Miramonti

RUBY Tuesday

"I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.  So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.  The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.  For we are God's co-workers; you are God's field, God's building."

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Corinthians 3:6-9

Sue Busler

Monday, May 13, 2013

Missing Dad on Mother's Day

Being Mother's Day, I was given autonomous control over the day's schedule.  Sweeet!  When my girls were both under the age of two, I dreamt of an ideal Mother's Day lying in bed for the entirety of the day.  If I needed anything to eat or drink, I would simply ring a bedside bell.  If a need to visit the ladies room was calling, I thought a bedpan, ideally, might just do the trick.  Rest, rest, and more rest was what I yearned for.  No, this dream never came to fruition.
Today with my girls being five and seven, more independent, rest is no longer a priority.  Thus, my family and I began the day with church this Sunday morning in an attempt to serve others by assisting with the passing out of carnations and RUBY Magazines to the ladies of the congregation.  Able to squeeze on several of the women blessings in attendance today, I was a happy camper.
From there, we headed to an all-you-can-eat buffet in Highland which appealed to every one of our hunger pains and then some.  A leisurely drive home then called for a nappy on the couch while my husband and squirts ran errands.  I awoke to a bowl of Hershey's Kisses from my youngest;  this day kept improving with each passing hour.
Ready to burn the too-numerous calories (did I mention the homemade macaroni and cheese?) consumed at lunch, we all piled into the van and headed to the batting cages for a visit down memory lane.  These batting cages in question are the same batting cages my dad and I used to frequent on many a weekend when I was an adolescent.  I would be swing-away Merrill while Dad was critiquing, "Choke up on the bat," "Raise your right shoulder," "Level swing," and so on.  He dropped the tokens into the machine, and I kept my eye on the balls.  Frustrated with my foul tips or what seemed to be the incessant drone of his voice, I would snip, "Okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay," with as much insolence as possible.  What was welcome, though, was our enduring agreement to always end on a "good hit," one in which we both agreed upon.  Depending on the day, a "good hit" may have come at the first sign of fatigue while other days a "good hit" seemed to be that ominous needle hidden in a haystack.  Nonetheless, the finale was a positive regardless of the amount of time it took us to reach it.  With a delighted heart, I can see this ritual continuing with my own girls as my oldest declared,  "Stop talking!" while my hub and I offered our two cents worth and my youngest asked, "When can we come back?"

During the course of my lifetime, my relationship with my father experienced many foul tips, ground outs, pop flys, and some glorious out-of-the-ballpark home runs.  During the last eleven months of his life, I was no longer teaching due to a high-risk pregnancy, so I was able to spend a great deal of time with him.  When the end of his life was imminent, I was allowed some alone time with my dad.  He could no longer respond, but I knew he heard and understood.  Our connection was and always had been sports since my first t-ball game, so I thought no need to change this now.  Sitting as close to him on the bed as possible, I stroked his thick grey hair while whispering into his ear, "Dad, you did good.  We'll see each other again, and this time we'll have someone to shag our balls (my newly-born first child) while we're playing softball in the sky.  I love you always."  With this, I kissed him good-bye and waved him Home.

Courtney Winkler

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Dannette's Devotional

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

This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

Spring reminds me of how much I enjoyed hearing the birds as I waited for my carpool in the church parking lot where we met last spring. It didn’t matter that I was invading their territory. It didn’t matter that speeding cars and noisy trucks were zooming past on State Highway 162. It didn’t matter when thunder was rumbling, lightning was flashing, and the sky was darkening with an impending storm. The birds continued to warble and chirp and tweet. What a joyful noise!
Perhaps I need to be more like a bird ... to make a joyful noise when people make demands on my time and space, when the world is zooming around me, when I’m facing the storms of life. But how? When I turn my focus to God instead of my problems ... when I remember that God is good all the time ... I can rejoice. Yes, I will rejoice and be glad in this day that God has made! 

Dannette McKellar

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Connect with Lisa Powell

RUBY: Share your testimony with us.

I grew up in the Lutheran church. My parents were both believers, and we went to church every Sunday, read the Bible at home, prayed, etc. But, as was the story with many of my friends at church, when I grew up I realized that my faith was not so much my own as it was my parents’. It wasn’t personal to me. I graduated high school and spent the next few months really struggling with some hard issues in my life. I lived at home through college, so there were some really difficult months between myself and my parents, all due to my own rebellion and bad choices. I was lost. I met my husband Josh the spring of my first year in college. He was from a Christ-following family, and he knew his Bible forwards and backwards. I knew he prayed, and I knew he read his Bible often, and I was drawn to that. I started going to church with him at his family’s church, and saw how people there seemed to really have a relationship with Jesus, which was new to me. I always knew who Jesus was and knew that He loved me, but this felt different. Shortly after meeting Josh, I rededicated my life to Jesus. I wanted to have a relationship with Him and live my life in a manner that was pleasing to Him. Throughout the past 18 years since then, I feel like I have grown stronger in my relationship with the Lord. He is everything to me. He has been with me through many difficult times in my life where I felt like I had no one, and felt hopeless. But then, I am reminded in His word about how I have hope in Him. That He loves me and wants what is best for me more than anyone else. He is my strength, my joy, my hope, my peace, my comfort, my provider, my healer and my GOD.

RUBY: Share a favorite Bible verse and/or inspirational song, and why
this is a favorite.

Hmmm…this is a hard one to narrow down!
Probably my favorite verse is Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” I draw strength in this verse on an almost daily basis as I am reminded that I don’t have to do everything on my own. God is always there, wanting me to put it all in His hands and rest on Him.
As far as songs, I love music! God speaks so much to me through songs. There are hundreds of songs that I can say have changed my life or lifted me up when I needed it. But there are two songs that immediately came to mind when I saw this question.
1. Great is Thy Faithfulness: When my daughter was first diagnosed with hearing loss and had to be fitted with hearing aids, this mama struggled with feelings of “why God?” I was at Bible study one night during this time, and we sang that song all together and it was like God spoke the words straight into my heart. No matter what the circumstances of my life are, great is His faithfulness. He sees the whole plan for our lives before we are even born. He is always in control, and His ways are always best for us. An overwhelming sense of peace came over me as I chose that moment to praise God in the midst of my struggles.
2. Stand in the Rain by Superchick: This song came on the radio during a very dark time in my life. The beginning lyrics are: 
She never slows down. She doesn't know why but she knows that when she's all alone, feels like it’s all coming down. She won't turn around the shadows are long and she fears if she cries that first tear, the tears will not stop raining down. So stand in the rain. Stand your ground. Stand up when it's all crashing down. You stand through the pain. You won't drown. And one day, what’s lost can be found.
You stand in the rain. 

This song was a reminder to me that even though what I was going through was the hardest thing I’ve ever faced, if I just continue to stand with God through it, I would make it through the rain and He would restore what was lost. Every time I hear it to this day, it still brings back those feelings I felt that day, and I remember what God has brought me through.

RUBY: I was so thrilled when you agreed to be a part of RUBY Magazine. Tell us about your involvement with RUBY Magazine.
Ha! I’m sure a lot of people are wondering who is this person! Courtney Winkler has been one of my best friends for many years now! Our husbands went to the University of Illinois together, and we became fast friends! In the many times we have visited Chad and Courtney, we have had the pleasure of meeting some of their friends from church. When Courtney asked me to contribute to RUBY Magazine I was thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful community of believers!

RUBY: Tell us about your family.

My husband Josh and I have been married 15 years this year. We live in the country a few miles northeast of Champaign, IL. We have three beautiful daughters, Olivia just turned 10, Addison will be 6 in a couple of weeks, and Charlotte just turned 3. We have a very close family. Josh’s parents live just a few miles down the road, and my parents live less than 2 miles down our road! Our siblings are all close too! It’s great to have all of our family so close.
We attend Christian Life Church in Rantoul, IL. Josh plays guitar in our worship band, and I teach kindergarten on Sundays.
Josh is a Senior Research Engineer at Creative Thermal Solutions in Urbana, IL. He has a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and is way smarter than I could ever dream of being! He has worked at CTS for 6 years.
I have a degree in Elementary Education, and I taught at a Christian school in Champaign, IL for 5 years before I had our first daughter Olivia. She was born with hearing loss in both ears and was fitted with hearing aids before her 2nd birthday. When she was 4, I decided to homeschool her for Kindergarten and have been homeschooling ever since! Olivia is very smart and very active. She loves being outside. She plays basketball and softball. She is also in 4-H learning about cooking, cake decorating and horses.
Addison is also very smart. She is our little goofball! She is always making people laugh and saying funny things! She LOVES making people happy! I call her my little lovebug because she is always hugging people. She brings smiles to many people’s faces. She is starting t-ball this summer and loves to do crafts and read.
Charlotte is quite the little whippersnapper. She is very outgoing, very talkative, and very cute! She thinks she’s 6, even though she just turned 3. She loves being a big girl and doing big girl things.
We have a very active chocolate lab and 3 lazy cats. We love living out in the country, going for family bike rides and walks, and being outdoors as a family.

RUBY: You used to teach in a classroom and now you homeschool your three beautiful girls. What do you consider to be the best aspect about teaching?

I did. I taught 2nd grade and 4th grade. Being a classroom teacher and now a homeschool teacher, I think the best aspect of teaching BY FAR is seeing that light bulb go on above a child’s head when they really truly understand something for the first time. I love it. When I taught 2nd grade, a lot of the students were already reading, but there were always a few that really struggled. To see them struggle for so long and then one day something clicks in their brain and they are so excited! That’s the best! And now to be homeschooling my own children and to see that moment happen for them is awesome! My middle child, Addison, knew her phonics families forwards and backwards and was reading small words and stories. But whenever someone would ask her to read something to them, she would get really frustrated and tell them she couldn’t. One night my husband Josh and I were sitting together after dinner, and she came running up to us with a book shouting the title “SHARK IN THE PARK!! IT SAYS SHARK IN THE PARK!!” She all of a sudden realized that she could read books!! And she’s been reading everything she can get her hands on since then!

RUBY: Tell us about one of your favorite field trips you and the girls have taken.

One of my favorite field trips we have done is to go to this park that has many different kinds of trees. We spent the morning doing bark rubbings, collecting leaves and seeds, and identifying the trees. Then we had lunch and spent the afternoon playing at the park. It was not what I had planned for that day, but it was so fun to just relax with the girls all day. They all had a blast gathering leaves and seeds and trying to find tree types that we had not found yet. It was a beautiful day, and it was nice getting away from our regular routine for a day. 

RUBY: Are there any websites/sources you would suggest to other homeschooling parents?

We use Bob Jones University for our curriculum. I love it because scripture is infused into every subject. The website for that is I also get most of my teaching ideas from Pinterest. If I’m looking for a idea for how to make learning about clouds, for instance, more fun, I go to Pinterest. It’s like having hundreds of websites all linked together. I love it. Other than that, something really important I would tell homeschooling parents is try never to buy anything new. I get almost all of our curriculum on ebay used and pay a fraction of the retail price. I get as much as I can used and then buy new only what I cannot find used. It saves a TON of money. We also belong to a homeschool group that meets weekly for fun classes. It is a great way to connect with other homeschool families and allow the girls time with other homeschool kids their ages. The website for our group is Most areas have a homeschool group similar to this. You would just have to do a google search for one in your area.

RUBY: I've been to your house, and you are extremely organized. Share some of your organizational strategies.

Ha! I laugh at this question because my house looks like a tornado hit it right now. I can’t stand clutter. So I try to declutter my house as much as possible. For instance, I sort my mail every day standing by the garbage can. It either goes in the trash, or it goes in my bills & important papers basket. Also, baskets hide a multitude of sins. I like to put everything in baskets or containers of some sort. It gives everything a neat and clean look, even if what is in them might not be the same. I will also take a day every now and then to go through all baskets and drawers and dump them all out and sort them into the places where the items should actually be. In addition to that, I also have a basket that is reserved for quick pick ups when company is coming over, especially last minute. I put everything in the basket that I do not have time to put away and then clean it out after the company has left. I try to teach the girls how to keep things picked up too. We have a 5 minute clean up time every night before bedtime so that we aren’t waking up to a messy house to start our day. In terms of organization, I try and put kid stuff at kid level so that they are responsible for putting their things away. For instance, I have the girls put away their own clothes from the time they are old enough to recognize a picture of clothing. I make labels for their dressers that say their name and have a picture of what kind of clothing goes in that drawer. Charlotte, my youngest, does not have a dresser, but I got her those 3 drawer plastic storage units. They are low to the ground and perfect for her to do herself. And she LOVES putting away her clothes because she feels like a big girl because she’s doing it herself.

RUBY: How may we contact you in order to make a further connection?

My email is You can find me on Facebook at Lisa Maxwell Powell. My twitter name is MamaOf3Gs.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Connect with Krystal Rossetto

RUBY:  Share a favorite Bible verse and/or inspirational song, and why this is a favorite.

This scripture was read at my wedding:
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs..."  1 Corinthians 13:4-5
RUBY:  I am so grateful our squirts met as well as us through 1st Step Learning Center.  As a parent, what are some of your favorite aspects of this preschool?
I love First Step, I like the whole program, and I think teachers are really great and caring.
RUBY:  Tell us about your family.
I have been married for 8 years and have my hands full with two girls, Sofia who is five and Ellie who is two. 
RUBY:  What is your favorite dessert, and would you mind sharing the recipe?
I love just about any dessert, but at the top of the list would be ice cream sandwich cake:  line a dish with ice cream sandwiches, top with whip cream, then add choc chips and Heath chips, top with choc or caramel syrup. Yum
RUBY:  What do you like to do in your free time?

I like spending time with my family, playing softball, and shopping!
RUBY:  If you were stranded on an island, which three items would you want with you?
Hmmmm..  A blanket, a swimsuit, and my phone (for when I'm ready to come home!)
RUBY:  What was your favorite book as a child, and why?
The Pain and the Great One by Judy Blume.  It is about a brother and a sister, and when me and my brother were kids my mom would read it to us all the time. She gave me that same book for my baby shower

RUBY:  How may we contact you in order to make a further connection?
E-mail me

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Don't Forget Your Memory Card

I decided on Sunday to take pictures at our 8 am service, since the Bell Choir was performing.  A lot of times, the 8 am service doesn’t get the big music that 9 am and 10:30 enjoy, so it was a real treat. 

Just as I got a picture of the newest huge bells, up flashed a notice on my camera.  “Memory gone.”  Memory gone?  I’ve never used up an entire flash card of memory.  I tried to erase older pictures, but this didn't work.

So, I came home to download them.  To my surprise, there was no memory because there was no flash card in my camera.  While heartbroken that I missed those pictures, it was not a disaster since no one was counting on them.

As I thought a little longer, it made me think how often we let our memory card run out or forgot to use it.  Yet, God never forgets us.  He continues to bring us grace, hope and love, even when we do not read our Bible study for a day (that could be our memory card missing) or if we forget to Bless Him for all He has given us.  He continues to load our flash card with pictures of hope, pictures of memories, pictures of what the future will bring us. 

God is good.  Let us constantly read His messages to us and take them to heart.  Let us remember to insert our learnings and “post” them in our everyday language, behavior and attitude.

Carol Pigg

Monday, May 6, 2013

RUBY Tuesday

Colossians 1:9-10
"For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God's will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of The Lord, fully pleasing to Him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God."
I took this photo in Arizona last May in my brother-in-law's yard.  The lone orange on the young tree reminded me that God calls each of us to bear fruit.  As we grow in The Lord and in His Word, we increase our yield.  Amen!

Be on the lookout for people bearing fruit for The Lord this week; snap a picture and submit it to "RUBY Magazine" at with the subject, "Ruby Tuesday," or post to our Facebook page.  We want to hear from you!
Delivering flowers to teachers in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week . . .
Sue Busler 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Connect with Lisa "Miss Lisa" Rayle

RUBY: Tell us about your role as a teacher at 1st Step Learning Center.
Miss Lisa:  I am one of the 3-year-old teachers at first step. This is my 5th year teaching here, and I was a substitute teacher for one year. Our duties as a teacher are many.  We come up with lesson plans and help guide them through a year of exciting crafts, science projects, chapel lessons and other fun activities. We also help them develop their social skills with each other and build self-esteem.

RUBY: What is one of your favorite aspects of teaching preschoolers?
Miss Lisa:  Just watching them grow from the beginning of the school year to the end is so amazing. Sometimes they come in very shy and quiet, but by the end of the year they have opened up and are just so excited to get to school each day.

RUBY: Personally, our family was blessed to have you as a teacher for both of my girls, and they have wonderful memories of your being their teacher. Share a memorable teaching moment.
Miss Lisa:  As a preschool teacher for the better part of 25 years, I have many great memories. We have had caterpillars in our classrooms many times and just watching their excitement to see them turn into butterflies is always so fun! Helping them to get excited about learning is one of my favorite things.

RUBY: What are your plans for the summer break?
Miss Lisa:  This summer my husband and I, our three kids, our son-in-law and our granddaughter will spend 10 days in Florida together! Since my children have grown up, we don’t often get to have everyone together so I am very excited about this. I will also get to have my granddaughter for a week this summer. 

RUBY: Share a favorite Bible verse and/or inspirational song, and why this is a favorite.
Miss Lisa:  So many to choose from! Well, Philipians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” is the first thing that pops into my head. As I get older I jokingly say that Proverbs 16:31 “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of the righteousness,” is my new favorite.  One of my favorite songs right now is by Colton Dixon and it is called You Are. Really powerful and you may just see me belting it out in my car!

RUBY: Tell us about your family.
Miss Lisa:  I am a Navy brat who married a Navy man.  We moved to Troy in the summer of 2006, and this is the longest I have lived in one place in my entire life. I have lived in 7 states and 2 countries. We have three children and one grandchild. My oldest daughter, Jessica, and her husband and their daughter live in Lexington, KY. My middle child, Samantha, graduated from Greenville last summer with a degree in education. My youngest and only son, Christopher will graduate from Taylor University in just a couple weeks and will be attending medical school in Chicago. David and I have been married for 24 years.

RUBY: With Mother's Day around the corner, what does being a mother mean to you?
Miss Lisa:  I love being a mom and now a Grandma! To me being a mom means sacrifice, but in a great way. It takes a lot of time, money, love and energy to raise a child, but watching them become wonderful, amazing children of God is sooooo awesome!

RUBY: What trait do you most admire in others?
Miss Lisa:  I like to think of it more as a gift, but I really admire those encouragers out there! Those people who just always have a beautiful smile, a kind word or a compliment at the ready for whoever may need it!

RUBY: How may we contact you in order to make a further connection?
Miss Lisa:  We live in Troy in the Meadowbrooke subdivision. E-mail me and our number is 618-402-3995

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Happy Cinco de Mayo Day!

So, my eldest squirt completed her treasure map behavior chart.  The result of which equals an activity/outing of her choosing.  Knowing Cinco de Mayo, a celebration of Mexican pride and heritage, was right around the corner, she opted for a day of eating nothing but Mexican delicacies.  Immediately, she put Taco Bell (authentic Mexican need not be a requirement) on the list for lunch so that she may divulge in their soft tacos.  One less meal to cook . . . sounds good to me!  For breakfast, we discussed the possibility of Huevos Rancheros, but today she is convinced she does not like eggs even though she fed herself eggs by the handful as a toddler.  So, together we Googled and came across a recipe for Homemade Donuts with Mexican Chocolate Sauce.  Not a huge fan of cinnamon myself which the recipe calls for, I knew I could overlook this if my donut were doused with enough chocolate sauce.  Oh yeah, come to Momma!

Prioritizing the recipe, the chocolate sauce came first . . .

Not having enough cocoa powder (since I decided to quadruple the recipe), I substituted carob powder, and the result was delicioso!  

Next came the mixing of the donut batter. . .

Since no picture accompanied the recipe, I was flying blind.  The batter seemed thin, but I had followed the measurements and was afraid to compensate so I just went for it and proceeded to fry the batter.  What ensued may have been a happy mistake.  Although the donuts did not maintain a ball shape, the fried finale looked like Little People-sized sombreros.  After allowing the donuts to drain on a paper towel, the squirts then sprinkled them with cinnamon sugar.

Finally, time to wrap the goodies to give away to Sunday school teachers in celebration of Cinco de Mayo as well as a thank you in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week.

Courtney Winkler

This is a Must Read!

Think Like a Guy: Gabrielle Reece on the Great Gift of Getting Older

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Connect with Kim "Miss Kim" McGrath

RUBY: How long have you attended Troy United Methodist Church? 
About 9 yrs.

RUBY: What drew you to this church?
Everything they offered for children.

RUBY: Which service do you typically attend?
9am service, I LOVE the music it truly lifts me.

RUBY: Share a favorite Bible verse and/or inspirational song, and why this is a favorite.
Jeremiah 29:13 – you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all you heart.
And my FAVORITE song is a tie between Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord and Blessings by Laura Story.
I think because they all touch my heart so deeply. Especially Blessings because the words mean so much to me.

RUBY: Tell us about your involvement at Troy UMC and in the community.
I am the director for 1st Step Learning Center – (the preschool here at Troy UMC) and I volunteer with Harvest Ministries, Children Ministries and have joined the team of “Dessert Makers” for TGIW recently. I really just love to help out where I can and I love to cook and bake!

RUBY: I was sold on 1st Step Learning Center the first time I spoke with you on the phone. Tell us about 1st Step Learning Center and your involvement with it.
Well, when my daughter was 2, I heard about the preschool program through a friend. I called and put her on the wait list, and she was enrolled a few weeks later. At that time parents were required to volunteer once a month in the classroom. I loved it so much I volunteered as much as I could. I was approached by the director to be a substitute teacher and did that a couple of times. I was then asked if I would be interested in becoming a teacher and office assistant for the following school year. And I have been here ever since.

RUBY: If you could, what kind of business would you love to start? 
I always wanted to own a bakery. 
RUBY: Tell us about your family.
I have a husband – David, all I can say about him is he makes me laugh and is truly amazing. And God blessed us with a miracle in the form of a beautiful daughter – Abby. She is my everything, and I am extremely proud to be her mom. I am very lucky to have my extended family mostly in this area. My parents, sister, brother, and lots of niece and nephews and great nieces and nephews that live with in 10 minutes of us.
I would be wrong if I didn’t include my pets as part of my family. We have our “girls” Sophie, and Lola and our only boy Sheldon - our puppies and my bird Bailey and Abby’s cat Jumpers.

RUBY: How may we contact you in order to make a further connection? 
You can e-mail me at work or home or I am on Facebook as well.