Archive for December, 2022

For Unto Us A Child Is Born

Monday, December 5th, 2022

Isaiah 9:6 reads:
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

If you’ve ever sung Handel’s Messiah (as I have, many, many times!), you now have that beautiful chorus ringing in your head. I’ve always loved this verse, and usually my mind goes to the gift that Jesus is. That He was given to the world, and that because He came, one day He will rule justly and there will be peace on earth!

This year, though, as I looked at the verse afresh, the second half really struck me, and I started thinking about what each of those character attributes mean to us.

Jesus is, first of all, our Wonderful Counselor. He is the best source of wisdom, comfort, clarity, and direction. At the holidays, we often have to navigate situations with family, friends, and community that call for discernment. As you enter Advent, remember that your Wonderful Counselor is an ever-present help!

The second name of Jesus in this passage is Mighty God. Jesus comes to us at Christmas as a baby, humble and vulnerable, but let us never remember that He is God! He put off the glory of Heaven that was His right to make a way for us to be with Him, but that was His deliberate decision. He is the Mighty God!

Some have had the wonderful blessing of a good earthly father, while others have experienced pain or hurt in that relationship. God promises to be our perfect Father, and He will be that forever, from everlasting to everlasting. This is personal. In Jesus, we have access to a perfect Father who loves us unconditionally forever.

How I love this picture! In this ever more divisive world, Jesus promises Peace. His life grants us access, His death grants us forgiveness, and His resurrection grants us peace. This Christmas, He gives Himself as the gift, the gift that gives peace to all.

Which of these character traits of Jesus, our greatest gift, speak the most to you today? I hope you know Him, and all the blessings of this season. Merry Christmas!

Fall 2022 Wrap-Up

Thursday, December 1st, 2022

Getting ready to shoot at TCT television

With one of the classes at River Trail School in IL.

At gorgeous Covenant Harbor Camp in WI.

Dayspring Wesleyan’s Worship Team at the Essential Women’s Conference.

At Boyd E. Smith Elementary.

Speaking at Knox Ladies’ Seminar.

A welcome sign for an author visit!

At Sycamore Creek Elementary.

Well, here we are again, wrapping up a busy fall season, and I’ve not blogged at all. I’m just doing a history.

July 13th I taped the television show “Julie and Friends” on TCT in Akron, OH. I’d been to their other studios for some other shows, but never this one, so that was an interesting day!
Aug 13th I did a one day women’s event for Red Haw United Methodist Church.
Sept 16th I flew up a couple days early to see my daughter, Rinnah, in Chicago, and then we did two schools together on the 16th, River Trail Elementary and Spaulding Elementary. Then we headed onto Covenant Harbor camp and I spoke again that night for their women’s retreat.
Sept 16th-18th This was the Covenant Women’s Retreat for the Central Conference at Covenant Harbor. I was the keynote and taught the life of Esther.
Oct. 1st I was the kenote for Dayspring Wesleyan Church’s Essential Women’s Conference. I spoke on “Jesus, the Essential Light of the World.”
Oct. 14th I had author visits at two schools, Furry Elementary and Meadowlawn Intermediate in Sandusky, OH.
Oct. 20th I was the keynote for a one-day ministry event at Springdale Nazarene Church in Cincinnati.
Oct. 21st I had author visits at two schools again, Pattison Elementary and Boyd E. Smith Elementary in Cincinnati. I also stayed that night and was the featured author at their “Reading with the Stars” family night with the Cincinnati Observatory – super fun event!
Nov. 12th I was the keynote speaker for the Knox Ladies’ Seminar in PA. I did three sessions and taught on the life of Peter.
Nov. 13th I spoke for the worship services at Sandy Lake Wesleyan in PA on “Nothing to Fear.”
Nov. 21st I had an author visit at Sycamore Creek Elementary in Pickerington, OH.
Nov. 28th I had an author visit at Glacier Ridge Elementary in Dublin, OH.
On Dec. 2nd I’ll wrap up my fall season with a private Christmas show for WTGN radio which covers northern OH and parts of IN and MI. They’ve been wonderful supporters of my music for years and have become friends, so that’s a lovely way to start the Christmas season!

It’s been a great and very busy fall. We’ve ordered another printing of “Dumplings Mean Family” complete with a new cover that I’m excited to debut after the new year. It’s been wonderful to get to do the teaching I’ve done, and very rewarding to share at so many author visits and see so many kiddos connect to the content. It’s especially poignant when I hear from the adopted kiddos who see themselves in the book, and as one said to me this fall, “I’m being adopted soon, I hope. I didn’t know other fourth graders got adopted. It’s good to see you are happy. I think I’ll be happy too.” I’m happy to normalize the experience and have them know they aren’t alone.