Category Archives: Twelve Smooth Stones


This month, we recognize two very sad days in America’s history. Oroe-v-wade-death-pie-chart (1)n January 22, 1973, our supreme court made its landmark decision promoting abortion. Since then, in the United States alone, 16,000,000 children have died because we gave their mothers choice to have it be so.

On January 27th, we remember the eleven million people who died because one man believed that their lives were somehow inferior: some because of their religious beliefs, others because of their sexual preferences, and still others because of their mental state. His beliefs concerning Nazi eugenics made the conclusion that these people were not fit to live, and Adolf Hitler led in the mass murder of millions of innocent men, women and children.

One man decides that his way is the best, and somehow, he is able to convince an entire army of Nazis to agree and carry out his plan—we call that insanity. Sixteen million men and women chose to end the life of their babies—we call iAuschwitzt pro-choice. The freedom to choose—it’s a powerful right, and I’m thankful for the rights that we have in America, even though many seem to be eroding away as fast as the moral fiber of this great land.

What can be done? Were there people living within ten miles of Auschwitz who felt as helpless as I do concerning the death of the innocent? Probably. Thankfully, we do have the power to vote.  This is not a political blog, so I’ll leave the rest to you, but think about it when you cast your ballot.

We can’t do everything, but we each can to something. I chose to write a book. It was the product of a heart filled with an unusual burden concerning the Holocaust. The research I needed to do for the book still haunts me, but the burden I carried for the Jewish people needed an outlet! Stepping away from the book, I realize that it also became a cry to any person who is very religious but lost.  Religion may be a powerful force in our lives; however, like Esther Ruth Raul, the main character in my book, each of us must realize that only the Living Water of Jesus Christ can quench the thirst of a parched and tattered soul!

Twelve Smooth Stones (also available as an ebook)tells her story of trials and tragedy which ultimately led her to redemption.  It’s a historical fiction. I hope you’ll take a look! In spite of all that, it is does contain a romance and is an easy read.  My purpose in writing it was not to expose all the grim details of the circumstances surrounding the Holocaust, but to focus on the people and their tenacity to live and overcome those obstacles.  Above all, it’s a book about the Gospel, because when it is all said and done, is there really anything more important?

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.

2 Corinthians 4:3


The mind is an amazing thing! Lately, thoughts have been swirling in my head, and I’ve decided to try my hand at writing short stories. The first one is called How Big is Your God, and you can find it at the the top of the page under SHORT STORIES.   🙂

I remember reading a short story about a young man who came into a room where a huge map covered one wall. People were busy scurrying about and he felt lost.  He asked one of the workers if he could help him find his way home, and gave him his address.  The man looked puzzle, and the youth expanded his address from city to state to country. When he mentioned Earth, the man’s face brightened and he pointed to a small dot on the map, explaining that he thought Earth was part of that dot called, The Milky Way Galaxy.

That’s the “seed thought” behind How Big is Your God.  Hope you enjoy AND if you like it, I hope you’ll try Twleve Smooth Stones!

Woe to Beautiful Women

This really isn’t a subject that I’m personally familiar with!  The only time I’ve been called beautiful is the day I walked up the aisle  – bless my dear husband-to-be!  I’ve often been thankful that I wasn’t beautiful.  There are many pitfalls for the raving beauties.

We are a visual society, and if you don’t know what I mean, just go to your local mall!  The visual sensory can be attracted in all sorts of ways – my favorite is the huge chocolate covered strawberries!  My mouth waters just writing about it!

Whether you are referring to the Bible’s Queen Esther or Esther Ruth Raul from my book, both ladies were beautiful. Esther Ruth hated her looks because it caught attention that she did not wish for; however, as you can see by the following excerpts, it also caught the attention of three men in her life, and by doing so, her life was forever changed.

First, Gabriel Bachman, her high school sweetheart:

Gabriel Bachman was the smartest boy in the class ahead of hers. Bright and talented as well as strong and handsome, every girl’s dream was for Gabriel to notice her, but it was in Esther’s direction that he set his cap…

All semester he had looked for an opportunity to talk to this beautiful young lady. He wondered, at times, if he was only drawn to her good looks. Yet after many sleepless nights with thoughts only of Esther, he realized that she was not only beautiful and bright, but her heart was genuinely beautiful as well. He watched her devotion to her father and mother, her kind yet sparking exchange with her older brothers, and her gentle, respectful ways toward her elders. He often referred to her in his mind as his Queen Esther. Surely the captive maiden of long ago couldn’t have been any lovelier.”

(MacAvoy, Wanda. Twelve Smooth Stones (Kindle Locations 211,221-225). Kirkdale Press.)

Then there’s Kurt Gerstein, the SS officer at Auschwitz.

“As the doors of the train cars were opened, Kurt could see the usual distorted faces as they tried to adjust to the blinding sunlight and their new surroundings. The lying facades of the soldiers sickened him as they spoke condescending words of comfort to the people, assuring them that all would be well. His own mask of total nonchalance nearly slipped when he saw her— a young woman, perhaps sixteen to eighteen years old, and beautiful, in spite of her ragged appearance. She was being sheltered by three men, probably a father and two older brothers.

He stepped forward. “You there,” he commanded. He could see the startled look on her face and the horror on her father’s. If only he could tell the truth about what he was about to do. “The girl. Come! Stand here,” he ordered, his features masked in false indifference. Another wrenching goodbye.

Later, after they had read scripture together and prayed together, life takes a very different turn:

“Silence. He was still on his knees. As he gazed up at her, she felt flushed, unnerved. His face was just inches from her own. Something was passing between them, but Esther didn’t know what it was, or perhaps she didn’t want to admit what it was.

Kurt broke the spell by coming to his feet. Control yourself, man, he reprimanded himself. Walking to the closet, he busied himself there until he heard Esther leave the room, quietly closing the door of the bathroom behind her. He let out a slow sigh. If he had interpreted the look in her eyes correctly, life had just gotten a little more complicated.

Esther couldn’t seem to catch her breath. She was trembling. What is wrong with you? What are you thinking? First, you start reading about the Christian Messiah, and now your heart is falling for a Gentile! What would Gabriel think of you? Her face burned with shame and confusion. She must remember who she was— and who Kurt Gerstein was as well.

MacAvoy, Wanda. Twelve Smooth Stones (Kindle Locations 863-368,1381-1388). Kirkdale Press.

And then there’s Issac Hirch, an Israeli with a hurting heart:

“Isaac had driven her to the dock, helping with every detail. As they had stood waiting for clearance to board the ship, he had taken her hands and held them tightly. “Please, don’t forget us,” he had said, his dark clear eyes filled with anguish. It nearly broke her already torn heart. Was she making a mistake? Oh, why did life have to be so hard?

She had tried to explain all the reasons she could not stay. He had been so broken— so much so that he begged to come to America with her. “No, Isaac. You cannot leave all that you have worked for. It wouldn’t be right.”

“But I—” He had hesitated, weighing whether the words should be spoken. “I love you, Esther. Don’t you know that?”

“Isaac, you are breaking my heart.” She looked away, a sob catching in her throat. Gently, she reached up and pulled his head to her lips, kissing his forehead. He had moved with actions fueled by years of pent-up emotion— pulling her close, kissing her lips and cheeks and hair before wrapping her in his arms.

“How can can I let you go?” he sobbed huskily..

MacAvoy, Wanda. Twelve Smooth Stones (Kindle Locations 3726-3732). Kirkdale Press.

Ah, the difficulties of being beautiful!  Men falling in love with you at every turn!  Seriously though, I’ve seen heads turn and look at a beauty as she innocently passes by, and have listened to the frustration beautiful women experience at those times.

I am thankful that I am not beautiful; however, I long for the inner beauty that only comes by obedient surrender to Christ – allowing His Word to chisel away the the ugliness that comes so naturally! Esther give us a good example in that she truly was beautiful on the inside too, and when heads turn because someone just caught a glimpse of Christ in us – that’s a beauty worth beholding!


Twelve Smooth Stones – The Way of Truth

How do you write a story? Where do the thoughts come from?  I’m not sure how other writers answer that question, but for me, I believe with all my heart that the idea for Twelve Smooth Stones came from my heavenly Father, hence the dedication:

I dedicate this book to my gracious Heavenly Father, who gave me the idea in the first place and then led me every step of the way.

The idea was a combination of thoughts: what would a modern-day story of Esther look like?  What if an heirloom locket could be the means that would help to make the connection in a young Jewish girl’s mind from her heritage to the truth about Jesus Christ.

The following is the final excerpt from my book and was the spark that flamed into Twelve Smooth Stones.  It’s quite a long excerpt and perhaps some background is needed. Esther, taken from her home in Amsterdam and surviving Auschwitz, moved to Israel, hoping for a new life.  She is now in America and has long ago lost the beautiful locket that had been a family heirloom – the twelve gems each representing the twelve tribes of Israel.  She is presently living with the Porters, the family of a young Christian girl whom she befriended on the ship from Israel to New York City, and is working for the father in his hardware store.  She has a son, David:

The day was bright but cold, and everyone seemed to need paint. Esther was so tired by the end of the day that she decided that she would miss the Bible Club that afternoon. But when Gladys came through the door with Little David laughing and sharing some special secret, her feet suddenly didn’t feel so tired. Besides, all you do is sit and listen— Libby does all the work, she thought.

David was still giggling when Esther gave him a hug. “And what is so funny, young man?” she asked in mock sternness.

David saw the twinkle in her eye. “Aunt Gladys was just telling me about the time she—”

“Now hold on, partner,” Gladys said with a cowboy twang that had David in stitches. “Are you going to tell my secret?” David beamed. He adored Gladys almost as much as she adored him.

“Well …” he said as if considering his answer. Gladys pounced on him, tickling his sides. “You better not, or I’ll tickle you to death!” David was nearly rolling on the floor with laughter when Mr. Porter came over.

“What’s going on here?” He played the part of a disgruntled adult, but the sparkle in his eyes gave him away.

“My partner here was just about to tell this woman our secret,” Gladys said, pointing an accusing finger at the little traitor.

“Ah,” her father exclaimed, “a serious offence.” He looked down his nose at David and then bent down to talk to him face to face. “You know, we are nearing the time when secrets will be on every one’s mind.”

David looked curious. “What do you mean, Grandpa John?”

Mr. Porter leaned a little closer and whispered in the little boy’s ear, “Christmas.” David’s curiosity turned to confusion.

“What’s Christmas?” For all of Mr. Porter’s intuition, he completely forgot that David was Jewish. He looked up at Gladys, who was smirking at him, and Esther, whose eyebrows were lifted, and sputtered on. “Well son, Christmas is a very special time of the year when everyone gives presents.” He longed to tell the boy the whole story, but he knew it was not his place.

“But why?” came the innocent response. Gladys’ eyes softened, and Esther came to the poor man’s rescue.

“David, we will talk about that soon, but don’t you think we had better get to our Bible Club?” As if on cue, Libby came sweeping into the building, flannel board in tow. The usual crowd of youngsters began to arrive with a couple of new faces that Libby introduced as children from her Sunday school class. For some reason, the statement tugged on Esther’s heart, and she pictured Little David sitting among the men at the synagogue looking totally lost.

After the usual attendance, Libby flew into the memory verse with her usual flair. “Could one of you older boys find Galatians 4:4 and read it for me?” Several of the students furiously looked into their Bibles to be the first one to find it. A tall, red haired boy’s hand shot up in the air. “Danny, you read it, please.”

The boy cleared his throat and read with a heavy brogue accent. “ ‘ But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.’  ” He looked up and smiled. Libby obviously received much affection from these children— they adored her.

“Thank you, Danny. Now we have been learning a lot about the Old Testament, but today we are going to look at the New Testament. In fact, we are going to talk about heaven, and I have something very special I want to show you.” The excitement buzzed around the room. Libby often used objects to help the students have a visual picture to remember the lesson.

She went on to explain the verse, stating that all the Old Testament pointed to the time when God would send His Son to earth, made of a woman. “Who can tell me what holiday we celebrate that speaks of this wonderful event?”

Hands shot up, and one girl answered excitedly, “Christmas!” David looked back at his mother with wonder, his face shining. Esther would never forget the way that Libby spoke of the coming of the Messiah that day. She made everything so plain that for the first time, Esther began to understand.

“God told us exactly when, where, how, and why He sent us His Son.” Using each adverb as an outline, Libby swiftly moved through many of the Old Testament verses that they had studied, and then read verses from the New Testament where they had been fulfilled. “Can anyone tell my why God sent Jesus?”

Again, hands were raised, and another girl answered, “So we could go to heaven.”

Libby smiled. “Yes, Patricia. And that’s what we will be talking about in the next few weeks.” Her eyes were shining, and the children knew it was time for her surprise object. “Do you remember the beautiful stones that God used to decorate Aaron’s robe?” Heads nodded.The students had especially enjoyed the lessons about Moses, the tabernacle, and the high priest’s garments. Libby turned to Revelation.

“In the very last book of the Bible, God gives us a description of heaven. It also has twelve of something— twelve foundations— and they are not made out of just ordinary, ugly cinder blocks like our houses are here. They are made of beautiful gems, just like Aaron’s robe— jasper, sapphire, emeralds, and topaz, just to name a few. God used every color imaginable to make these foundations.” Her excitement swelled as she spoke of her favorite topic.

“Just imagine! Each foundation will sparkle and shine in twelve glorious colors. And God used pearls to make the gates and gold— pure gold for the streets. God wants us all to be in heaven with Him forever. Don’t ever forget that.” Her eyes twinkled as she turned around to take something from her bag. She put it into her hands so that no one could see it. “Can you guess what is in my hands?”

Several gave answers, but each time her reply was, “No.” Libby’s face grew serious, even wistful. “Someone very special gave this to me, and every time I see it, it makes me think of heaven— partly because of the twelve smooth stones, but mostly because the one who gave it to me is there right now.” She opened her hand and held out a locket with deep etchings and twelve colorful stones around its oval shape. It was a beautiful locket— it was Esther’s locket.

MacAvoy, Wanda. Twelve Smooth Stones (Kindle Locations 4911-4912). Kirkdale Press.

Twelve Smooth Stones – a Christian Historical Fiction

twelvesmoothstones-1200x1600Although Esther Ruth Raul, the main character is a fictional character, several other names are not: in particular, Oskar Schindler and Kurt Gerstein.

The combined actions of these two men are instrumental in saving Esther’s life: Kurt Gerstein, an SS Officer for the Third Reich, is disillusioned with Hitler’s “Final Solution” as he calls it, and seeks to save lives in any way possible.  Historically, he did bury canisters of the Zyclon-B chemical which was used in the gas chambers. Fictionally, he rescued young girls from the usual barracks where so many died of starvation, disease or the gas chambers by placing them in a situation none of them would choose.

The following is one of my favorite glimpses of Kurt Gerstein. The first excerpt takes place right after Esther arrives at Auschwitz, where she is chosen by Kurt along with several other girls.  They are taken to another building, showered, and then tattooed.  Their hair is not shaven due to the “profession” which they will be involved with; and until now, she has been able to keep her precious locket hidden:

Esther was ordered to stand by the door and wait for the other girls to finish, pain shooting up and down her arm from the tattoo. Finally, the last of the girls were finished, most of them whimpering from the pain and fear of what was happening. What next? Who cares, Esther thought morbidly.

As she leaned against the wall, to her horror, she felt her locket give way. She frantically clutched at it, but before she could grab it, it clattered to the floor at her feet. All eyes were upon her as the woman officer, who seemed to be in charge, looked at her with eyes of menacing steel.

She coolly and slowly walked over to Esther, standing inches from her; the woman’s hot breath blew from her nostrils into Esther’s face as she coldly stared into her eyes— pools of terror. Without warning, the woman struck a hard blow across Esther’s face, sending her reeling to the floor. She felt a shoe on her neck as the woman reached down to pick up the necklace.

“You little fool,” the woman spat at her. “Take her out of here!”

“You forget whose she is, Frau Stedder,” a voice as calm and cool as an Arctic breeze spoke. Esther could not see him, but she knew it was the officer who had taken her from the platform.

“But Officer Gerstein, you know the rules! She tried to hide this from us,” the woman whined, waving the locket in his direction.

Gerstein casually glanced at the locket and then back at the woman. “And are you more concerned with the rules or with keeping the trinket?” Kurt knew much of the Jewish jewelry never made it to the official stockpile.

Stedder would keep quiet, for she knew that he too would keep her secrets. She vehemently dropped the locket into his outstretched hand, spun on her heels, and returned to her desk for the tattoo order form. She curtly placed it in his hand and, without a word, continued her duties, dismissing him by her silence.

He turned to the girls, his eyes locking with Esther’s for just a moment. “Follow me.” Esther scrambled to her feet. As they all reached for their satchels, Gerstein simply stated, “Leave them.”

Later, while in Kurt’s room, she gets another glimpse of her Captor-Savior:

She could hear him locking the door. She walked to the other room and looked furtively out the window. There weren’t many people out on the walkway. She saw him hurrying down the road toward a building across a lawn, set back away from all the other buildings. She could see the brick building with the giant smokestack across the way. It looked ominous. At the moment, there was no smoke spewing forth. All seemed at rest. What time is it anyway? Esther wondered.

She had no way of knowing. The sun had long since set behind the western wall. Had it been a beautiful sunset? Somehow, she couldn’t imagine any beauty in this place. She turned back to her room. It was more pleasant than she would have expected. In the back room was a bed complete with sheets and a cover. A small table stood between the bed and the outer wall, which held a small lamp and a book.

Curious, she walked over and cautiously picked it up. It was a Bible. Her first reaction was to throw it down. It was a forbidden book to her. She would read her Ketuvim*. Then she remembered that her Ketuvim was gone— along with everything she held dear. Gabriel’s letters! The thought of them in a stranger’s hands made her heart ache.

(* A Jewish sacred book containing Esther through Song of Solomon.)

The book in her hand brought her back to reality. Had she not heard that part of this book was like her own sacred writings? She hesitantly opened the front cover. The first page bore an inscription:

To Kurt, With love, Father and Mother

Strange! As she continued to turn the pages, she realized that it was indeed the same as the Torah. With hope in her heart, she continued fanning the pages. The familiar books were all there— First and Second Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah— even Esther. Pulling the book to her chest, she fell to her knees and wept tears of joy. Oh Jehovah, how great thou art! She could speak no more; she simply allowed the tears to wash away all the horror of the day…

(several days later)

She was so absorbed in her reading that the rattling of keys in the lock startled her. She found herself holding her breath, hoping that it was Kurt Gerstein. He entered, quickly locking the door behind him. As he looked at her, his eyes fell again to the Bible. She awkwardly laid it beside her, absentmindedly smoothing the wrinkles from her dress. He walked to her and knelt before her, gazing directly into her eyes. They were brimming with emotions, but Esther couldn’t discern which ones. Not anger. Not pity. Perhaps just sadness.

“Esther, I don’t know what is going to happen to any of us, but while you are here, in this room, please know that it is your room. You may look at anything, read anything. I have no secrets— nothing too personal that I would not want to you see it.”

He picked up the Bible, and placed it back into her hands. “But especially this Book.” He hesitated, not wanting to startle her by his forwardness. “At Auschwitz, there is no time. We just continue blindly in our routines as if moving through a nightmare. We forget what real life is like.”

Again, he halted, and the silence in the room was stifling. His closeness made the hairs on the back of Esther’s neck rise; she could hear his labored breathing, as though his next words were costing him a great deal. “I used to read the Bible every night. Perhaps we could do that together.” There was a subtle pleading in his voice.

Before Esther could respond, he continued on in a different tone. “When we are outside these doors, I must treat you as if you are no different than the other girls. During the day, you will eat with them and work with them, but at night you will be protected. If the other girls talk about … their situation, it would be wise if you did not reveal yours.”

He was visibly shaken. He absently massaged his forehead between his thumb and fingers, seeking to drive away the pounding headache that had started at the office. “When you are finished for the day, you may visit with the other girls or come here, but do not have any of the girls come to this room. Lock the door behind you. And I would suggest that once you are in here, stay in here.”

He stood to his feet and walked to the door. He held the knob for a moment and then turned to face her. “Tonight will be very difficult for the girls. You may hear things. If I am not here, please do not open the door for any reason. Even if someone knocks and demands you to open, just ignore it. I cannot stress that enough.”

He was so urgent. He turned back to the door and paused, taking a deep breath and exhaling it slowly. The drooping shoulders squared, transforming his entire appearance. He looked like the SS officer his uniform portrayed. Esther would find herself wondering at his dual image: the stern SS officer and the kind gentleman caught in a web spun by the Third Reich called the Final Solution.

MacAvoy, Wanda. Twelve Smooth Stones (Kindle Locations 1130-1138). Kirkdale Press.

Twelve Smooth Stones is also a love story… 🙂

Twelve Smooth Stones – a modern-day Esther story

THUMBNAIL_IMAGELast night was my first speaking engagement for Twelve Smooth Stones at our local library.  Several commented that after hearing what I said, it made them want to read my book! So… I thought I’d try to tantalize some of you as well!

I’d like to give you three different perspectives about the book; but first, just a little background:

Twelve Smooth Stones is a modern–day Esther story.  Esther Ruth Raul faces some of the same trials that Esther of the Bible had to face:  She’s brutally taken from her home, and because of her beauty, placed in a situation she would not choose.  But God is leading and she comes to realize that she too is being “brought to the kingdom for such a time as this.”

Excerpt from Twelve Smooth Stones, Chapter Four:

               Monday morning, August 14th, dawned dreary. The sun would not shine today. Esther looked out her window as the trees dripped from the evening’s thunderstorm. The air felt fresh and clean, and the colors in Mother’s garden glistened vibrantly even without the sun. But in spite of all this, there was heaviness in the air. All seemed strangely quiet.

               Esther would often look back and wonder if nature had a premonition about the day’s agenda. Even the birds were not singing their usual morning canticle of praise to their Creator. She dressed quickly, putting the degrading yellow star on her sleeve. Today it seemed to mock her, as if to say, “Here I am, come and kill me!” Last, as always, the locket was placed around her neck and tucked underneath her blouse. As she descended the stairs, the sweet aroma of Mother’s morning scones tantalized her stomach. She was hungry.

                When everyone was assembled, Father bowed his head for prayer, and Mother poured the rich brown coffee. Scones and coffee were Esther’s favorite. It was a usual morning— the usual amount of banter, the usual clinking of silver and china, the usual sweet fellowship, the usual tasty morsels. All that was missing were the beautiful splashes of color that would adorn their table as the sun’s rays washed in through the stained glass window. Esther instinctively looked up at the window to admire its glowing translucent colors when suddenly, every shred of normalcy was shattered by a rock crashing through the colored glass. Mother screamed.

                “What—” was all Father had time to say before the pounding of the front door brought him to his feet. Ad and Daan were close behind their father as he went to the door. The sense of foreboding seemed to blanket Esther’s world. They were here— shouting and pushing into their privacy, their sweet, tranquil home. At first she thought that they only wanted the men, but two soldiers were heading for her and Mother, shouting, pushing, and cursing.

                Before she knew what was happening, Esther was outside on the front sidewalk, and Mother was behind her. Her precious father and brothers could only watch as their women were herded like cattle out into the street. It was then that she heard her mother’s voice speak such angry forbidden words.

                “How dare you come into our home like this?” her mother shrieked. “Who do you think you are? You are no better than us! In fact, you are less than the lowest of God’s creation. Snakes! All of you— snakes! Barbarians! Murderers!”

               As if signaled by the last insult, with half a sneer and half an air of total indifference, the soldier standing behind her pulled his revolver from its holster and shot her in the back. Mother seemed to stand there for a moment— frozen in time and forever etched in Esther’s memory— before she crumpled into a heap on the front steps.

               The soldier simply stepped over her and pushed Esther ahead. “No!” Esther screamed, but Father was there pulling her away to join what seemed to be the entire neighborhood. They all looked shocked, stunned beyond comprehension. What could they do? Nothing but survive…

Twelve Smooth Stones  is a love story as well as an historical fiction; but mostly, it’s a quest for the truth!  Next blog: Love story!!! 🙂

If you’re interested, you can purchase my book at:Create Space, or on Amazon.

You Jew!

IMG_3940“You Jew,” the one teen said.

“Don’t say that. You know what Mrs. B said.”

The conversation had me curious.  What did Mrs. B say to her students?  I happened to be substitute teaching at our local public high school one day when I overheard this conversation.  So I asked: what did Mrs. B say?  I was told that the students were not to call each other ‘Jew.’  My next response was, “Why would you call anyone a Jew?”

“Because it’s a bad name,” came the answer.  Since then, I have taken any opportunity that comes my way to ask students what they know about these people called Jews; and I’ve been shocked to find out that they know very little, AND what they do know is all negative!

One student told me that Jews were poor people, sort of like hobos.  Another said that they were bad people!  Where are they learning this?

As a fifth grade chorus sang a beautiful song in Hebrew, I again started to question them.  As I mentioned the Holocaust, I was shocked to find out that only one girl knew anything about it!  When I asked why people would want to kill the Jews, one girl raised her hand and said, “My Dad said it’s because they killed someone.”  As I continued to question her, she wouldn’t say who they killed; and unfortunately, it wasn’t until I was thrashing it out in my mind on the way home that I realized that she was probably referring to Jesus, but was afraid to say it!

As a child, I was also negative against the Jewish people.  Why?  Because I was told that they killed Jesus.  Did they?  No, my friend – each of us drove those nails into His hands because of our sin.  Yes, the Jewish nation rejected Jesus and, for the most part, are still rejecting Him; but we cannot blame them for Jesus’ crucifixion.

As Twelve Smooth Stones began to take shape, I realized how much I love the Jewish people.  My heart aches for them and their blinded eyes.  Perhaps my greatest desire for Twelve Smooth Stones is that someone, Jewish or Gentile, will read it and relate to Esther’s struggle to find the truth and find it themselves.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, I’d be honored to have you read it and share your thoughts. You will find it at Kirkdale Press.

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you freeJohn 8:32 

Twelve Smooth Stones to be Published March 20!

twelvesmoothstones-1200x1600When I began this journey, everyone said it would take about two years to publish a book and they were right! Now the day is here and all I feel is numb!  Here’s the info:

You can visit and find the book and an author bio there, or go directly to  This is a pre-order – the book will be out on the twentieth of this month!

Thank you for your patience and support.  May you be more than just entertained by Esther’s story; may it encourage your walk with the same awesome God that directed her every step of the way, and to God be the glory!

“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation…” Isaiah 61:10

Hope Deferred

 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

Proverb 13:12

When I got the email that the publication of Twelve Smooth Stones was pushed back to March, I experienced this verse first hand.  It seemed like I had waited forever for the August date and March was not even on my radar!

They had told me at that time that editing would start in late fall, and I anxiously waited to hear from them again, all the time thinking that instead I would receive a “dear John” letter!

Well, the editing has begun – hence the slow-down in blogs!  Sorry about that, but the dead line is just around the corner for the first editing.  How exciting!

Thank you to all of you who have been so supportive in this book project.  I must say that I am SO excited.  For so long, it just seemed like a dream, but now it’s a reality.

And isn’t that just how we will feel when we see our Lord in the air?  He will be there – really be there, after centuries of hoping and looking and waiting!  What a glorious day that will be!

Keep looking up!

Dealing with Disappointment (Part Two)

 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.”  Proverbs 13:12

You may have noticed that the countdown calendar is not on my blog page any more.  That’s because I just heard from my publisher that the date of publication has been moved back to March 2013.  That is very discouraging! FYI:

  • Feb 2011 – finished Twelve Smooth Stones
  • Mar 2011 – submitted the book proposal to Christian Manuscript
  • Jun 2011 – contacted by Kirkdale press
  • Oct 2011 – signed a contract with them
  • Mar 2012 – received the August publication date

Discouragement 101!  Hope has truly been deferred, and I apologize to you dear folks who seemed just as excited about the book’s publication as I was!

So what were my reactions:

  1. Unbelief – How could this be?
  2. Anger – How can they do this to me?
  3. Discouragement – Why am I even doing this?
  4. Doubt – Who do I think I am anyway – I’m not an author!
  5. Blame – Why did you do this, Lord?
  6. Refocus –

Why did God do this?  Do I know?  No.  Do I need to know? No.  I just need to take this opportunity to build my trust in Him.  He is my heavenly Father.  He GAVE me the book, so what He chooses to do with it is His prerogative, not mine.  Can you imagine a servant to the king, or an aid to the president telling him what to do?!  I get a better understanding of Nehemiah’s situation when he stood before the king, not hiding his discouragement.  His sad countenance caught the king’s attention and the Lord used it for good; but how quickly we jump over the phrase: “…Then I was very sore afraid,” (Nehemiah 2:2)

So what do I do?  Do I write a scathing letter to the publisher?  I may ask some questions, but the way I approach them must be in line with my faith in God.  His character must be seen in me, no matter the circumstances!

“…but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life”  This phrase is mentioned eleven times in the Bible: three times in Genesis, four times in Proverbs and Revelation.  It makes a fascinating study; however, I’ll just share Matthew Henry’s comments:

Nothing is more grateful than to enjoy that, at last, which we have long wished and waited for: When the desire does come it puts men into a sort of paradise, a garden of pleasure, for it is a tree of life. It will aggravate the eternal misery of the wicked that their hopes will be frustrated; and it will make the happiness of heaven the more welcome to the saints that it is what they have earnestly longed for as the crown of their hopes.

This has been a great lesson for me in trusting God.  I hope it is a help to you as well.