Christmas is acomin’ . . .

Christmas is acomin’ . . .

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Christmas is quickly approaching. I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that once summer ends, it’s already time to start planning for Christmas again.  Time sure does fly!

Each year I promise myself to be more organized so when the time comes, I’m not so stressed over everything, and every year my plans fail.

But it doesn’t matter, Christmas comes every year whether I’m ready or not, and I know my kids and grandkids don’t really care if everything is perfect. They just enjoy our time together–and so do I.

I know it’s easy to get caught up in the commercialism and busyness of the season, so I caution you (and me too!) to S L O W down a wee bit. Take the time to remember what we are celebrating. Spend a few minutes recalling memories of Christmas past. They may be happy memories, or they might be painful, but they are all a big part of who you are today, so they are all precious.  And in the eyes of God, so are you!

 

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”

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THIS is what the season is all about. Not tinsel, not presents, not carols or food.

Just JESUS.

He is truly the reason for our celebration.

So, while you’re baking cookies or hanging your stockings or decorating your Christmas tree, thank God for giving us His Son so many years ago–to leave His heavenly home to come down here to earth and save us from our sins.

THAT is what it’s all about, folks.

Wishing you a VERY Merry Christmas from our house to yours.

May God bless each and every one of you–today and always!

Ruth Kyser

If you’re looking for a good, clean Christmas novel, check our my novella,  One Last Christmas.   Only 99 CENTS right now at Amazon.   One Last Christmas

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Some things are worth remembering . . .

Some things are worth remembering . . .

Fifteen years.

That’s how much time has passed since the worst terror attack this country has ever known.  Those of us who are old enough to remember that day know exactly where we were and what we were doing when we first found out about the attacks on the World Trade Center towers.

I was working in an insurance office, and the first we were made aware of the attack was when the son of the owner called to say a plane had hit one of the twin towers.  At the time no one knew if it was just an accident or something worse.

Then the second plane hit the other tower, and there was no longer any doubt in our minds.  This was intentional.  This was war.

We didn’t have a television in the office, but quickly turned up the volume on the radio and listened intently to reports as they came in.  Everyone looked at each other in shock—not believing what we were hearing.  It was like a nightmare.  I suddenly understood the trepidation in my parents’ voices when they recalled where they were the day Pearl Harbor was attacked.

Soon was the news that the Pentagon had also been hit by a plane and was on fire.  I think that’s when it became very real for me.  This was a planned attack on our country by people who were evil.  It wasn’t just a random event—they’d been orchestrating this attack for years, meticulously planning each and every moment of it.

I’m more thankful than I can say for the passengers of the United Airlines flight who chose to fight back that day, rather than allow a fourth plane to hit the White House.  How brave they were.  I think I mourn their losses even more than the others as they chose to die for their country.

I wasn’t going to write anything about 9/11—even though it’s an important anniversary of that tragic day.  Then I thought about the fact that today’s teenagers have no idea what it felt like to live through that day and the days following.  All air flights were cancelled, people were sent home from work, we all went to churches and prayed for the lost and for our country.  There was fear in the land, and our innocence was lost.  We weren’t as safe as we’d thought we were.  In the ensuing months, we feared even to open our mail as anthrax was sent through the postal service to several agencies.  It felt as if our world had changed forever.

And it had.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live in fear, but I also think it’s important that we learn from what happened on 9/11 and never forget how precious the freedoms are that we enjoy in this country.  And we need to make certain that our children and our grandchildren are taught the truth about that day.  We WERE attacked by evil.  And it COULD happen again.

Hopefully, we’ve learned this most important thing—take nothing for granted.  It can be lost so quickly.

And remember, as Christians, our true freedom can NEVER be taken away from us.

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.  (John 8:31-32)

 

 

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Saying goodbye to ‘family’ . . . .

Saying goodbye to ‘family’ . . . .

I just realized something.  The Christian novel I recently published was my 10TH NOVEL!

Somehow that doesn’t seem possible.

Then I started checking.  It was back in November of 2011 when I published my first novel, a Christian American Revolutionary War Romance novel named, THE DOVE AND THE RAVEN.

Who knew there would be nine more books on the horizon?

The amazing part is that six of those ten books have been about one family – The Morgans.  What started out three years ago as a single, stand-alone book when I wrote TRUE COVER, quickly grew into two three-book series.  At the request of my readers (there were many emails, Facebook posts, and pouty lips), I wrote two more books in that series that continued to tell the story of FBI Agent, Sam Morgan – BLUECREEK RANCH, and SECOND CHANCES.

I thought I was finished with the Morgan family, but something happened to change my mind.  While I was writing SECOND CHANCES, the final book in the TRUE COVER series, I created a family tree for Sam—going back to his great-grandparents.  I suddenly realized one day that I had the makings of a second three-book series—this one based on Sam’s ancestors.

And that is how THE MORGAN FAMILY SAGA series came to be.  Book 1 in the series, MATTIE’S HEART, tells the story of Brady and Mattie Morgan, Sam’s great-grandparents, and the founders of Bluecreek Ranch.  Book 2, CLARA’S HEART, tells the story of Reece and Clara Morgan, Sam’s grandparents, and Book 3, LAURIE’S HEART, (which was just released) tells about how Clay and Laurie Morgan met and fell in love.  They are Sam’s parents, and brings the story of the Morgan Family full circle – back to the first book in the TRUE COVER series.

If you haven’t read any of these books, I encourage you to do so.  You’ll find adventure, danger, mystery, history, stubbornness, forgiveness, and a loyal love of God as each member of the family finds their way in the world.

It’s been a fun ride, telling the Morgans’ stories.  I’ve really enjoyed knowing these folk, and it’s going to be difficult to tell them goodbye as I move on to my next writing project.  It’s kind of like saying goodbye to family!  But they will always live on in my heart and mind–and of course, in my books!

God bless – and happy reading!

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Just a reminder.  You can find all my books at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com

Ruth’s website

Ruth Kyser

 

 

A warm legacy . . .

I’m a writer of Christian Fiction.  I spend my days weaving tales of romance and intrigue.

But that doesn’t mean that’s the only thing I like to do.

One of the things I most enjoy doing on really cold winter days is quilting.  There’s something cozy about pulling your latest project onto your lap–especially when it’s a thick, warm quilt.

I don’t know how other quilters make their projects, but I’ve always hand-sewn mine.  There’s something satisfying about looking at the finished product and knowing every stitch and wrinkle.  They aren’t fancy quilts, but are made with patchwork pieces–some of which I’ve had for years.  It may take me years to make one quilt, but they’re made to last–hopefully long after I’m gone.

My current project is a flower basket pattern; it’s not made the conventional way, but instead made using handkerchiefs for the basket part of the blocks.  The handkerchiefs are precious to me as some of them were mine when I was a child.  There are also some that were my mother’s, my mother-in-law’s, and my husband’s grandmothers’.  Hopefully it’s a way of passing down to one of my granddaughters something to remind her of her roots–the women whose strong will and get-it-done attitude she will hopefully inherit.

I also pray I can instill in my grandchildren the beliefs of their ancestors–the faith that kept them going no matter what trials and tribulations came their way.  That inheritance is so much more important than a quilt.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. – Prov. 22:6

Blessings to you, my friends.
And keep warm.  8487_1117145348296017_7537366304963948335_n

Ruth Kyser

 

 

Oh, and don’t forget, Ruth is a Writer.

You can find all of her books at Amazon or Barnes&Noble

 

 

 

 

 

It’s the little things. . .

It’s the little things. . .

It’s the little things . . .

I learned years ago that it’s the little things that make Christmas memorable for your children.

When we first started our family, we always bought each child a package of socks (along with a few other gifts–money was tight, of course).  It became a tradition, and every year socks was one of the first things we bought in preparation for Christmas morning.

Over the years our family has grown, and it now takes the better part of a morning to wrap all the various sized packages of socks.  They range in size from “little” little girl’s size to extra-tall men’s socks (our son-in-law is a BIG boy).   This year our numbers grew to an even baker’s dozen (13), and it always amuses me when we’re going through the check-out line to see the look on the clerk’s face as she rings up multiple packages of socks in every size and type.  (Each child and grandchild all have their distinctive favorites!)

I wouldn’t dream of not buying them socks now though.  It’s become a tradition, and I know from hearing them talk about it that it is very special to them.  When I asked my daughter-in-law for ideas for gifts for our son, she mentioned a few things, then added:  “But I know he will be excited to get socks.  He really likes getting socks every Christmas.”

Some things never change.

I’m sure there are traditions at your house for Christmas.  Whether it’s a particular fruit salad you fix every year, or a special spot where they always hung their stockings when they were little, your children remember these things, that to us may not seem that significant.  But to them, they are precious memories.

This year in the midst of all your Christmas festivities though, be sure that when you’re creating special memories with your children to include the TRUE meaning of Christmas.  Perhaps read the Christmas story of Christ’s birth from Luke Chapter 2 just before they turn in for the night, or sing some old carols that heralded the coming of Jesus.  Talk about and remind your children often of the most important gift we’ve ever received.

Those little things may not seem like much, but those are the things your children will remember – and when it comes right down to it, they are the only things that matter.

Wishing you all a blessed Christmas.

Hugs,

Ruth Kyser

“And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this things which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

              And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.”

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Finding old friends….

Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but I’ve been thinking a great deal lately about the girls who were my best friends when I was growing up.

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Now you have to understand, I’m talking about a completely different world—back in the ‘60’s.  Back then a child of six or seven could walk to school without fear.  A child could play outside in the neighborhood with the other children and not worry about going home until the street lights came on.  Those who didn’t head home right away would hear the sound of their mother hollering their name, echoing across the back yards.  Those were wonderful days for children.

I had several ‘best’ friends growing up.  I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t kept in touch with any of them over the years.  We moved from the old neighborhood when I was thirteen, and even though I wrote sporadic letters to some of them for a while, after a time the letters stopped.  So, I have no idea what happened to all my old friends.  Over the years, they’ve often come into my thoughts as memories of my childhood returned.  Then I recently made the decision to attempt to find some of them.

You would think in today’s world with Facebook and LinkedIn and all the other social networks, it would be fairly easy to track down old friends, and I suppose that’s true with male friends.  But when you’re looking for a female, it gets a little more difficult.  Women marry and, more often than not, take their husband’s name.  They basically become impossible to find.  So I wasn’t having much luck finding any of my old friends.

Then I did a search for my friend Nina.

Nina was a girl I became friends with back in the first grade.  She and her family moved to my neighborhood from another country.  I didn’t know from where at the time (I learned just recently, Nina was born in Canada), but I did remember both her parents were of Scandinavian descent.  Her mother was Norwegian and I have fond memories of going to their house and hearing her mother bustling around in the kitchen (they lived in a very modern split-level home), singing Norwegian folk songs, and baking spicy Christmas cookies.  I have never forgotten the day my friend, Nina, was late for school because she had gone with her parents to a ceremony to become an American citizen.

But life interferes, people move, and Nina and I lost touch.

So I decided to do a search on-line for her.  More than likely because her name was not a common name, I actually found some information about a Nina that sounded like it might just be her.

I came across a website that had been set up to honor a woman in her struggle to return from a stroke which had almost taken her life.  There were photos showing her in a wheelchair and going through physical therapy, and photos showing her finally going home.  I continued to search, hoping I would find out more information about this woman as I was certain this was my Nina and I was determined after finally finding her, I was going to contact her.

And then I found a link to another website, and when I clicked on it, my heart dropped.

Not too long after going home, this Nina had suffered an aneurism and died.  I looked at the date on the memorial site and cried.  She had passed away exactly one month earlier.

I had waited too long.

Tears running down my face, I scrolled through the photos that told the story of Nina’s life; photos of her as the young girl I remembered from my own childhood; photos of her and her two daughters; photos of her and her husband.

It wasn’t fair, I cried out.  I had waited too long to look for her and now she was gone.

There was an email address listed for one of her daughters, and I emailed to explain I had gone to school with a Nina many years ago and described the place and situation under which we had known each other.  My hope was I had the wrong Nina, but my hopes were crushed when her daughter emailed me back and told me—yes, I had the right Nina.

My friend was gone.

I never had the chance to know her as an adult.  We didn’t have an opportunity to compare notes or share our life stories, and I’m sure by what her daughter shared with me, we would have had a great deal in common.  I have to believe we would have laughed over mistakes we’d make and smiled over shared joys in our lives.   I was very thankful to discover Nina was a faithful Christian, and I know someday I will be reunited with her.

However, that knowledge down not erase the sense of loss I have.

Sometimes people come and go in our lives for a reason.  Nina had a sparkling outgoing personality—even as a small child—whereas I was a very shy child.  She came into my life and befriended me and made me laugh at all of life happening around me.   She lived every day of her life with love and excitement and passion, and from what her family has told me, she never backed down from a challenge.

I am so sorry I waited so long to try and contact her, but even in her death she has inspired me to live my life with passion and enthusiasm—not to just go through the motions.

Whenever I get tired of trying, I will remember Nina.  And I will try one more time.

 

Family reunion….

file5191278363648Today I was blessed to be able to spend some time with my youngest sister and her daughter.  It was a noisy visit as my son, daughter-in-law, and three of their daughters were also here (the two youngest are age 3 and 17 months!)  But it was a special time with family — being able to catch up on each others’ lives and reminiscing about past times.  I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

That got me to thinking about another reunion I hope to attend someday.

When I die, I’m going to heaven.  I look forward to spending time with those from my family who have gone on before me — even those I never knew here on earth.  My earthly mind can’t quite wrap itself around that notion, but I know it will be a reality in heaven.  That’s all I need to know.

Even more exciting is the realization that I will get to meet my Savior and Lord in heaven.  Wow!

Won’t that be a wonderful family reunion!!

I can hardly wait!

 

“As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.”  — Psalm 17:15