The Front Porch


Faithful Acres Body Soul Spirit

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when life gets
a little more than
i can take
.
i slip away
and take a break
far from the city
and all its demands
.
frankly, it’s more
than i can stand
.
so i slip away
to a little place
far from the busy streets
.
all the pushin’ and a shovin’
and a keepin’ up with
some feller named Jones
.
that’s just not for me
.
out in the sticks
is where i call home
back in the hills
just a takin’ it slow
.
ain’t in no hurry
we’ll git there soon e’nuf
.
got everythin’ i need
right here on the porch
a nice cool breeze
birds singin’ to me
and a tall glass of tea
.
that feller Jones
ain’t got nothin’ on me
.
~ poem “That Feller Jones” by Michael Traveler, author/poet
.

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Fiction Diner: The Official Williams Cranberry Cake


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Christian Author: A.M. Heath

Happy (belated) Birthday to a beloved character, Ralph Williams!
Today, Fiction Diner meets the pages of my own work as we celebrate one of my characters with food. Throughout my novels, I’ve made mention of a special cranberry cake. This recipe belonged to the Williams family and was only baked twice a year: Christmas and Ralph’s birthday.
When readers started asking me for this fictionalized recipe, I began searching for one. With the help of my readers, I present to you today the official Williams Family Cranberry Cake. I hope you enjoy!!

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I’m about to share with you a recipe that was adapted from two different jam cake recipes. I followed the ingredients of one recipe, with the slight alteration, and the directions from a local community cookbook, and I created for you a brand new recipe.
The cranberry flavor isn’t very strong. In fact, none of my kids knew…

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If You REALLY Want to Help those Who Grieve


Living Our Days

We sat on the couch, side by side, but miles apart.  She had just lost her son in a tragic accident.  I had four living and healthy boys — and no words that could touch her loss.  In the weeks and months that followed, I wrote notes, shared Scripture verses, listened to her sadness, and showed up at her door bearing food, but never feeling confident that any of it held meaning, and often feeling as if I was missing the whole point.

Nancy Guthrie writes to bring clarity and a measure of confidence to people like me:  those of us who want to help and bring comfort to our grieving friends, but want to avoid saying all the wrong words and assuming things that are not true.  Her “research” for What Grieving People Wish You Knew was gritty and uninvited, and began on the day when her infant daughter…

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Love, Faith, and Courage in the Killing Fields


Living Our Days

“One death is a tragedy.
One million deaths is a statistic.”      ~Joseph Stalin

Banking on this banality of evil, the Khmer Rouge murdered or starved 1.7 million Cambodian citizens during the years in which they were in power, all with an eye toward establishing themselves and their Community ideology. Having wiped out 25% of the population, the Khmer Rouge will go down as history’s most totalitarian regime, for even though Mao and Stalin were responsible for more deaths, no dictator has ever destroyed one fourth of its citizens.

This chilling period of history forms the meta-narrative of Les Sillars’s Intended for Evil, but he has brilliantly shared the harrowing story through the eyes of one man, Radha Manickam who survived the Cambodian Killing Fields.  Of Indian ethnic descent, Radha was born into a Hindu Brahmin family, but came to faith in Christ as a young man in 1973…

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Theology 101 (In the Nursery)


Living Our Days

When school started in the fall, I introduced a series in our Sunday School on God’s incommunicable attributes — for the kids.  The timing was perfect:  everyone was going back to school.  We all have lots to learn.  God has never needed to learn anything.   He is omniscient . . .  and on we went from there, week by week, pondering God’s sovereignty, His immutability, the other omni’s, and more besides.

Childhood is the perfect time to introduce little people to the important truths of the faith.  With that in mind, Danielle Hitchen has produced a tool to make the learning process fun for the kids, the parents and the teachers.  Bible Basics – A Baby Believer Counting Primer has all the best indestructible features of a board book, the interesting and colorful pictures that go with a cute counting book, but with the important difference that the…

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Built Up


The pile driver with its steady thump, thump, thump sounded throughout the China Town neighborhood as it drove the huge steel beams deep into the earth. Building was happening on a steep hillside. Bedrock would need to be reached if the structure built above was going to stand on its precarious perch. Even though the beams would never be seen by the people who would live above them, they would provide strength and stability to those who inhabited the apartments. If the earth decided to shake as it quite often does in Southern California, the structure would stand firm thanks to its ‘roots’ beneath the surface.

This first stage of building is an important one. The builders would have to go down before they could be built up. It would make all the difference in the ability of the structure to stand. Without the bedrock supporting its feet, the homes above…

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Happy Thanksgiving!


Writing... Apples of Gold

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On this day of giving thanks, what if we take up a refreshing challenge to  be a blessing?

Today, I am pondering the grateful hearts of the first settlers celebrating teamwork and mutual respect and adventure of beginning on a wondrous new journey…how they came together in humble and joyful spirit after so much heartache and struggle…

O, how we need to turn our hearts once again to that spirit of giving and receiving blessing!

Have you noticed lately – all the tares among the wheat?  “What is happening to a world where we think nothing of taking disrespect for others to seismic scale?  Hatred and anger and fear and rudeness – even attack — are considered elite, correct stances and no one is more important than number one.   “I don’t care what you are feeling!” one young, otherwise intelligent woman decries, captured as if in tantrum display on…

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