Trinity Widows Group ~a much needed time

Trinity
Trinity Baptist’s large foyer, widows group meets in Next Steps room.

support, laughter, food

My “Florida sunshine” friend Deborah asked me if I’d like to meet her this afternoon at Trinity Baptist Church for it’s widows group. I immediately said, “YES.”

I’d been feeling down in the dumps. Another dear friend who I’ve known for many years (since my time in NYC) is battling cancer and she’s just moved. Packing up the old house, a cancelled flight and an overnight at an airport hotel, arranging for another flight…and when she arrived in Texas, she was hospitalized. She and I had been texting back and forth for over 24-hours and I was emotionally drained.

My husband passed away three years ago on December 8th, so the holidays are bittersweet for me. Even still, on the very year Joseph died, Christmas was a comfort to me. That year, my house had been decorated since the day after Thanksgiving. So, when I arrived back home in Florida after the memorial service in NYC, my little two-bedroom house had its halls fully decked out…and Christmas enveloped me and comforted me. I know it’s not that way for many who have lost loved ones during the holidays, but the spirit of Christmas held me in its arms that year…and it did last year, and I expect it will this year. Of course, this was Jesus expressing Himself in a gentle and tender way through the symbolism and spirit of the holiday we believers choose to celebrate His birthday.

So meanwhile, back to today…when I got to the church Deborah met me in the parking lot. Inside, the tables were decorated with Pilgrim salt and pepper shakers and there was an informal Thanksgiving buffet. The turkey had been ordered, but all of the other dishes were prepared by the women. When we got to our tables, the very first topic of conversation was how good it was to cook again. Nearly every woman at our table, including me, said she hardly cooked anymore since it was cooking only for one. The ladies had enjoyed breaking out cooking chops again and preparing a dish for a large group. I was really a good cook once, and I feel my skills in the kitchen have diminished from lack of use. I do find that disturbing but it is what it is.

Women shared a lot about their grandchildren, trips taken to Israel, Ireland. And then we got to how even years after your husband’s death…you’re going along…and out of the blue something blindsides you and triggers the old feelings of grief. Of course you knew you weren’t over it…but you thought you’d tucked the worst of it away…and then Pow!

It wasn’t a discussion group. Just a gentle back and forth and it was good and it was healing.

‘A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, Is God in His holy habitation.’ ~ Psalm 58:5 [New American Standard Bible, NASB]

Trinity Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Fl  904.596.2400

Trinity Baptist College, Jacksonville, Fl   904.596.2351

Trinity Christian Academy, Jacksonville, FL   904.596.2460

All My Tears by Kathy McKinsey ~ an author interview

 

Five women search for God’s hope through sorrow and deep troubles.

All My Tears

Meet five women who struggle with life’s deep sorrows. Beth fights to recover from alcoholism and to mend her relationships with her family. Ann doesn’t believe God will forgive her. Kathleen wrestles with a years-old fear and with saving her marriage. Cassie needs to learn to deal with chronic depression. Martie finds herself the single parent of the eight-year-old niece she barely knows when the child’s parents die in a car wreck.

See how god gives them the gifts of hope, healing, and love.

Flower, rose bud

AUTHOR INTERVIEW:

Nike:  What is the key theme and/or message in the book?

Kathy:  God is our loving Father, and when we stumble and walk away, he waits and watches for us, so that he can see us as soon as we start to return and run to greet us and take us back.

Nike:  Why this genre is important to you, personally?

Kathy:  I write what I enjoy reading. I like books about women, reading how they deal with family and marriage issues; jobs, their work and job setting; and different kinds of relationships—dating, parents, siblings, neighbors, best friends.

Nike:  Does writing energize or exhaust you?

KathyMaking myself start to write exhausts me. When I finally settle into working on a story, I become excited, even after a long session of writing.

THREE FUN BULLET QUESTIONS:

What is your fav vacay spot?  Visiting my mother and daughters in Missouri, Iowa and Wisconsin

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?  A writer

Describe yourself in three words.  Goofy home body

BIOGRAPHY:Kathy McKinsey 2

Kathy McKinsey grew up on a pig farm in Missouri, and although she’s lived in cities for nearly 40 years, she still considers herself a farm girl. She’s been married to Murray for 31 years, and they have five adult children. She’s had two careers before writing—being a stay-at-home-Mom and working as a rehabilitation teacher of the blind.

Now she lives in Lakewood, Ohio with her husband and two of her children. Besides writing, she enjoys activities with her church, editing for other writers, braille transcribing, crocheting, knitting, and playing with the cat and dogs.

Contact Kathy at:  Kathy.mckinsey@gmail.com

Visit her at:  http://kathymckinseyauthor.blogspot.com/

 

Ale Pie House ~ restaurant review

Ale Pie 1
Menu

This place is similar to an Italian restaurant/cafe in NYC. They have thin pie crusts like I’m used to from my years in Brooklyn. They also have their own delish specialty pies. They’re near my veterinarian. So, if I ever have to leave a pet off and am in need of comfort food…it is near at hand.

I’ve been here twice. Once with a large group of Christian women who dine out once a month. We had an abfab time and everyone said their food was very good. I had to be challenging. I asked them to make a New York style thin crust pie like I used to order in Brooklyn. I asked for one side of the pie to have sliced meatballs and the other side anchovies. They’d never had anyone ask for that. Still they made it and it was excellent.

Ale Pie 2
Grilled Chicken Pie, it’s got broccoli

The next time I came with two friends. We all ordered specialty pies. Mine was the Florence Pie. It was the first time I’ve ever had pickles on pizza. Very good. This is a go-to place for me.

They also have salads, Italian entrees, and luscious desserts.

This review first appeared in Yelp.

 
 
Ale Pie House
3951 St Johns Ave
Jacksonville, FL 32205

Westside ~ 904-503-8000

 

Ale Pie 4
This one they made up special too. It’s half white pie and I think it’s half veggie. Can’t recall what my friend asked for.
Ale Pie 3
They call it Pesto Pie, with pesto, goat cheese, pineapple and olives. Interesting combo

 

 

 

 

 

For a Christian Woman Over 50 ~ things profitable

woman, of the worldI hope, as a seasoned Christian woman over fifty, I’m at peace with myself and others. From time-to-time in my pondering moments, I’ve wondered what are a few benchmarks, standards, norms a Christian woman over fifty should have attained, or be shooting for in her life. Below is a list I’ve compiled, and it’s by no means exhaustive.

1. Have a healthy, intimate relationship with God. ~ Knowing the Lord can’t be tamed, managed, or manipulated, we should be willing to intentionally follow His direction on the faith-journey He is laying out before us. We should we willing to hear the personal “word” He has for us.

2. Be in possession of a good Bible, not only a preWWI family heirloom you can’t write in, except to record births and deaths, and one you’re almost afraid to open lest a page tears. Make sure your daily-use Bible is in a translation that speaks to you.  And don’t be afraid to write personal notes in the margins. According to a recent survey, the King James Version (KJV) is still the most popular Bible and the most used by Christians. The New American Standard Bible (NASB) is a more literal translation from the ancient texts. The Living Bible (TLB) is making its way into many homes because although it’s not a word-for-word translation, it tries to say exactly what was meant by the ancient texts.

3. Don’t lead a cloistered life. As the Bible tells us we are not to forsake the assembly of the saints. Also become part of the community at large. We should shine our lights, bring peace to situations in our neighborhoods, at work, where we recreate.

4. Have a pretty good idea what our emotional baggage is and where it came from. But instead of picking lint out of our navels and analyzing it to death, we should invite the Holy Spirit into the mess so He can heal it. After all, Jesus is the healer.

5. Forgive everyone we can think of who has done us wrong. And when our fleshly-self starts murmuring about them again, unleashes bitterness and resentment aimed at them, once again, determine to forgive on purpose…and we’re free. Also, don’t forget to forgive ourselves. Jesus died so that we would be forgiven. So, it’s important and biblical to forgive ourselves…and go free.

IMG_0673
Christmas Eve in my family has traditionally meant a meatless meal.

6. Have at least one tantalizing recipe, you’re known for, to hand down to your kids, your friends, or offer to your church cookbook. Better still if if came from your mom, and she got it from hers. All these little things are a part of a positive legacy women can create.

7. Have a few things in your home that document and/or attest to memories. Photos, shots or video of an abfab church activity, conference or a vacation. Curios, knickknacks, or a fine piece of furniture picked up on that awesome vacay. Women say having these things around the house makes them feel happy when they take a small trip down memory lane.

8. It’s really important to keep dreaming and to have a few dreams so big it will take God to bring them to fruition.

 

 

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The Well Dressed Capriciously Curvaceous Crime Fiction Writer

Dress, plus sizeHas anybody created a fashion blog that’s sensible? Is there a blog out there for larger size women that isn’t angry and holding men responsible for their plus size? Haven’t any Christians been called to minister to the fashion world by starting a clothing company that doesn’t make clothes that expose all the parts of my, shall we say, capriciously curvaceous body, that nobody wants to see exposed anyway; least of all me. And it’s not that I’m ashamed of my curves, I love them, but the whole world doesn’t have to see every single curve.

I know I haven’t been called there…to the fashion world, that is, even though I hold a two year degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in Fashion Buying and Merchandising. I won’t say that was completely a waste of two years, as it led me to jobs in public relations, which led to sharpening my writing skills. God had a plan for my writing way before I did. But it sure didn’t do much for organizational ability in my own closet. I’m having trouble deciding if I should buy yet another pair of black jeans. I think I should.

I’ve just done a search of, say 15 or more fashion blogs and have decided those mavens in the fashion world have to go a long way to convince me “the little black dress” is “important.”

There’s even an offensive site declaring “The Bible Makes Me Look Fat In This Dress.” I’m sure I don’t want to even know what that’s about.

It seems every one’s blogging their anger out, blaming everyone and everything for whatever fat they think they have. Hey, they should get a life! Ok, someone could have righteous anger about world-wide persecution of Christians, or starvation in Africa. Why is fashion important enough for all that anger anyway?

Yeah, sure I’d like to loose weight, am even trying to loose weight, and trying, and trying. But I’m OK as a child of God, a woman, and a person with my capriciously curvaceous bod. I’ve noticed people don’t tend to faint dead away on the street when I pass by.

Isn’t anyone having fun getting dressed? That’s why I spent two years at The Fashion Institute of Technology in the first place. I had this really naive idea that it would be really creative to get into expressing a woman’s (or a man’s) divine uniqueness in the way they dressed. That it could be exciting to see the human body as a palette on which to paint the individual’s personality in clothes. After graduating and spending a few years working in the fashion world, I found it was much more about creating anxiety in women (and men) regarding how they looked, and making them feel if they didn’t buy the latest trend out in the fashion mags, they’d feel hopelessly inadequate. I made a fast exit left.

Tall, short, fat, skinny, or somewhere in between; avantgarde or totally middle class…I think we should enjoy getting dressed. If a believer’s body is the Temple of the Living God, it certainly should be maintained as healthily as possible, but then I also think it should be dressed accordingly. The Temple in Jerusalem was decked out in royal purple and blue, after all.

Here’s to a New Year of me going out in style…my style. Here’s to a New Year of me decking the olde capriciously curvaceous Temple of the Living God out in a style to which He’s entitled.