Posts Categorized: Devotional

Christmas: Simple Beginnings

One week from today, we’ll gather with family, friends, or neighbors to celebrate Christmas with merry decorations, gift-gifting, and a festive feast.

As I reflect upon God’s provision of a Christmas baby, who would grow to become our Easter Savior, I find myself contemplating the simplicity of His plan. Not an easy plan, but a modest one.

Jesus would come to earth as both God and man to simple folk: a teenager and a carpenter. Not to be birthed in a pristine palace, but on a gritty road trip instead. (more…)

One-Room Schoolhouses, A Clean Slate, A New Year!

School Slate Banner

2013 has faded into the sunset and most of the year 2014 still stretches out before us, a clean slate.

I write historical fiction set in the 1800s, a time when one-room schoolhouses were common. Students of varying ages and stages of education would use a school slate, a piece of quarry slate framed with wood, and a slate pencil to form letters of the alphabet and to practice their sums.

The advantage of slates over paper was that they could be wiped clean. The historical novelist in me looks at a new year as a clean slate, which offers a fresh start. The year 2014 is fresh and presents us with an opportunity to write a new chapter in our lives. My novels and novellas celebrate fresh starts and new beginnings. Whether it is the Sinclair Sisters forced by their fathers to go west, the Saint Charles Quilting Circle facing the aftermath of the Civil War without the men they loved, or The Boone’s Lick Wagon Train Company traversing The Oregon Trail looking for a better life, my story characters find fresh starts. So do you and I. On a daily basis, because of God’s amazing, renewing grace. (more…)

Christmas Light: A Quilted Heart Devotional

Candle Lantern

In Dandelions on the Wind, Maren Jensen has immigrated to America, her heart full of plans to send for her family and give them a better life. When her failing eyesight narrows her own prospects for a new life, darkness begins to swallow her hope, along with her vision.

Candle Lantern

As Maren lifts a glowing match to the wick of an Advent candle to commemorate the coming of the Light of the world, she surrenders her darkness to God, looking to Jesus to be her Light.

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world:
he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness,
but shall have the light of life.’”
John 8:12, KJV

In what ways has Jesus been Light in your life this past year?

© 2012 Mona Hodgson, Author and Speaker

Got Laughter? A Twice a Bride Devotional

Hodg_TwiceABride_all_cvr_r1.indd

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

Proverbs 17:22 KJV

Book 4
The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series

“Hattie covered her mouth, but the giggle escaped anyway. Boney Hughes lay under her kitchen sink, his upper body concealed by the cupboard. His legs sprawled over her linoleum flooring.

Boney scooted out from under the sink and peered up at her. ‘You think me rappin’ my old knuckles on these leaky pipes is funny?’

Unable to stifle her amusement, Hattie nodded. ‘You look like a . . .’ She fanned herself, trying to regain her composure while he stood. ‘Like a fish out of water.’

Boney’s winter-white eyebrows arched. ‘A big old river catfish?’

Giggling, Hattie studied him from his wiry beard to his worn boots. ‘A smaller fish perhaps, but surely one with a big heart.’”

The proprietor of Miss Hattie’s boardinghouse and Boney Hughes understand the gift of a merry heart.

TRUTH TO EMBRACE

Worry weights our spirit and robs us of the joy of the Lord. A joyful spirit is primed for praise and laughter.

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy,  and with my song I praise him.” Psalm 28:7

TALK IT OVER

Thank You, Lord, for the gift of laughter. Help me rest in You, so my heart will be lighter and my spirit merry. Amen

Do you know someone whose laughter is contagious? What makes it irresistible?

Kat Sinclair Interviews Miss Hattie of Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Fame

Harpers Bazar

Harper’s Bazar                                                         New York

Vol. XIXI,  Saturday, May 07, 1898

Women of the West

Mrs. Kat Sinclair Cutshaw, Female Western Correspondent

I count it a privilege to share the stories of fascinating women of the west with you each month. This month, I have chosen Mrs. Adams as my subject. My sisters and I, and most young women in Cripple Creek, know her as Miss Hattie, the proprietor of Miss Hattie’s Boardinghouse. I will forego my usual third-person writing style so I may interview Miss Hattie instead.

Miss Kat Sinclair Cutshaw: Miss Hattie, where did you reside before coming west?

Miss Hattie: I was born in Missouri and lived in Saint Charles. In ’66, I met my late husband George, God rest his dear soul. We met on a wagon caravan coming west.

Miss Kat Sinclair Cutshaw: You are one of our country’s pioneers. You are the sole proprietor of a boardinghouse, and in the past ten years, you’ve had a definitive role in bringing classical music and culture to a wild west mining camp. To what do you give credit for your spirit of adventure?

Miss Hattie: When I would test my mother’s patience with dreams and schemes, she blamed my father; said I was just like him. From an early age, I counted it a favor. The day we received word of his death in the War Between the States, I’ve clung to that spirit of adventure as tightly as I’ve held the memory of him.

Mrs. Kat Sinclair Cutshaw: You are the chairwoman for the Women for the Betterment of Cripple Creek. But in this time of Suffragettes and marches on main streets, you take a quieter approach to leadership and affecting change. You don’t march in the streets or stand atop a platform in the town square. Neither do you wield a megaphone or a sword.

Miss Hattie: I prefer to lead from behind an apron, a cookie tin, or a mop. I consider myself a friend to women. The best way to change our circumstance, whether it’s personal, community-wide, or across our great country, is to come along side one another.

Mrs. Kat Sinclair Cutshaw: I’ve seen, first-hand, your style of leadership. A cup of tea and a lemon scone, a tender touch and a listening ear that tells another woman she is not alone; that she can be an overcomer…an achiever.

Miss Hattie: Thank you, dear. You always did favor the scones.

Mrs. Kat Sinclair Cutshaw: Miss Hattie, what advice would you give women wanting to make a difference in their community?

Miss Hattie: To be an effective leader, you need to know what you’re following and in whom you are placing your faith. You need to believe that ideal and that person is worthy to lead you.

Mrs. Kat Sinclair Cutshaw: Thank you for your time, Miss Hattie, and thank you for your leadership.

Miss Hattie: It’s been my priviledge. Every bit of it, dear.

~

Any Miss Hattie fans in the crowd?

You’ll be happy to know that our dear Miss Hattie is counted among the main charaters in Twice a Bride, now available for Pre-Order in time for the October 2nd release.

MORE GOOD NEWS! I have Miss Hattie’s recipe for lemon scones, and I”ll share it with you soon.

Peace: Attainable or Illusive?

TBWB Pinwords

At one time or another, we’ve all been convinced that we’re the only one who can’t get it right. We have a kindred spirit in Vivian Sinclair.

The Bride Wore Blue, Book 3
The Sinclair SIsters of Cripple Creek series

“Vivian was nearly to the corner when she heard footsteps slapping the muddy road behind her. Her back and arms ached under the weight of her skirts as she forced a faster pace from her tired legs. Rain stung her eyes. A furious pulse pounded in her ears. Still she ran. How could she have been so stupid? So blinded?”

The youngest Sinclair sister arrived in Cripple Creek with a secret and felt unlovable, beyond God’s grace. The shame she carried pursued her.

Vivian made the suffocating mistake of measuring herself against the expectations of others and the appearance of those around her.

“God doesn’t list sins from the worst down to the slightest and judge a person accordingly. Only people do that.” Carter Alwyn in The Bride Wore Blue

HOPE FROM THE WORD

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. ~Romans 5:1-2 KJV

ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURE READING

Romans 3:23-25
1 John 1:8-9
Ephesians 2:8-9
John 14:6
1 Corinthians 12:9J
1 Peter 5:10
2 Peter 3:18
Proverbs 3:34

TRUTH TO EMBRACE

Everyone needs forgiveness. Nothing we can do in and of ourselves can reconcile us to our Holy God. When we place our faith in Jesus Christ, it is God’s free gift of amazing grace that bathes us in His forgiveness and washes us clean. And it’s the same for everyone. The natural response of someone bathed in God’s grace is to pour His grace onto others.

TALK IT OVER

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions, wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from sin. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steafast spirit within me. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. Thank You, Jesus, for being the Way to the Father; for being the Truth and the Life. Amen (Psalm 51:1,2,10,17 and John 14:6)

RECOMMENDED ADDITIONAL READING

A Violent Grace by Michael Card
The Gift for All People by Max Lucado
Once Upon a Tree by Calvin Miller
The Color of Grace by Tonia Triebwasser
No Wonder They Call Him The Savior by Max Lucado

REFLECTION

Have you embraced God’s amazing grace?

The gift of God’s grace came at a price for the Father who gave His only Son Jesus as payment for our sin. What does God’s gift of grace say about how He views you?

Has God used someone in your life to demonstrate for you God’s grace?

© 2012 Mona Hodgson, Author and Speaker

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