Bunnies ~ in my bookcase

1980-01-01 00.01.17-1

I’ve got my plush bunnies, a little lamb, candle eggs, as well as a few Easter mugs I’d received as gifts…all arranged in my bookcase. There are a few more Eastery items placed here and there around the house. They make me feel happy.

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” ~ Abraham Lincoln.

“These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”  ~  John 15:11 [New American Standard Bible]

A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones. ~ Proverbs 17:22 [New Kind James Version]


Gator’s Dockside, Baymeadows, Jacksonville ~ restaurant review


This big boy is their mascot, a chalkboard with specials is behind it.

My author friend and I had business in Baymeadows. We were hungry so we stopped in for lunch. She’s a great fan of the Monte Cristo sandwich which she first had near Buffalo, NY. She said it’s hard to find one in Jacksonville. I’d never had one, so we both ordered it and it came with fries. It’s American and Swiss cheese stacked between wheat bread, and then batter-fried golden brown. It’s covered in powdered sugar and served with raspberry preserves for $11.99. It was very good, filling, and not on my diet.

We were seated in a booth in which the cushions were placed in a wooden frame that was uncomfortable to get in and out of. Once seated, it was very comfortable, but I wanted to limit getting in and out. Next time I’ll sit at a table. Our server was attentive and warm. All of the staff was courteous as far as we could see. When we arrived the place was pretty empty. Two guys were at the bar, a large family was about to leave. About half way through our meal, a few more families came in and sat at tables.

The ladies room was very clean. We weren’t there to watch a game, but it seems it would be a good place to do so.

This review first appeared in Yelp.

8650 Baymeadows Rd, Jacksonville, Fl 32256



High-top tables

WHAT PRAYER CAN DO by Ada Brownell ~ a showcase

What Prayer Can DoPrayer is a practice in my life and a topic dear to my heart. I believe in the power of prayer, the comfort of prayer. I’m so excited…and it’s my privilege to showcase Ada Nicholson Brownell’s work WHAT PRAYER CAN DO. Ada is one of those dear people, I’d love to reach out to through the internet and hug. (((hug)))


A Collection of articles and testimonies written by Ada Nicholson Brownell, published by The Pentecostal Evangel.


By Ada Nicholson Brownell

An excerpt from What Prayer Can Do

Irene Hoselton suddenly awoke and sat up in her bed, cloaked by terror. Hot panic shot down her neck.

“My children! My children!” she cried in anguish. “O God, help me find my children.”

This was not an isolated experience for Irene, an acquaintance of mine. She was age 30 when her husband took the children to their grandparents’ house for the weekend—and never returned. He and his parents packed their belongings and moved to another state where Irene couldn’t find them.

Weeks, months, and years passed with no trace of her missing children. Although she searched throughout the western states, even with help from authorities, they seemed lost forever.

But the mother never gave up. Often she awoke in the night as anguish nearly ripped her emotions apart. She worried about her two boys, Waldo and Wendell who were 11 and 7 years of age when they disappeared, and her little daughter, Jessie, age 9.

She prayed. She asked God to take care of them. She prayed she would find them.

False hope would be raised at times, only to be dashed and to deepen her anguish. She became so emotional she couldn’t work or do anything but sit and brood.

Only a mother can understand how she felt. To think one might never see her children again is a distressing thought.

Only bereavement itself could be worse. Being separated from loved ones when one knows it is final is perhaps the most terrible earthly experience.

But some day a worse terror will come when those who have rejected Christ as Savior will be separated eternally from God! They will never again taste His joy, peace, and love (Revelation 20:12-15).

Fortunately Irene Hoselton’s story had a happier ending. She was miraculously united with her children in May 1972, after searching for them 38 years.

A phone call did it. After Irene’s children were old enough to have homes of their own, she would call long distance to cities all over the U.S., asking the operator if her boys’ names were listed. The calls were fruitless until one day, after a particularly fervent prayer session, she seemed to hear a voice say, “Call Kansas City, Kansas.”

With trembling fingers she dialed Kansas City, Kansas, and asked if a number were listed for Waldo. In a few minutes she was talking to Waldo’s wife! They were shocked to find their mother was still living, as her husband told the children their mother was dead.

In only a few weeks she saw all her children and grandchildren. What joy to be in each other’s arms again! Now her home is filled with pictures of her family, and her heart is bursting with joy.

The separation of 38 years was a painful ordeal—but what if the separation were eternal? How tragic when families not united in Christ are divided between heaven and hell. That final separation will be the most awful of all.

If you are one of God’s lost children, He is seeking you. Like the mother who sought her children, the Lord will never give up the search while life remains.

Jesus indicated this when He told about the search for the lost coin, and the prodigal son. He summed it by saying, “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth (Luke15:10).

Repent and follow Christ now so that you will not be lost. Call on the Lord and let Him save you today.




By Ada Nicholson Brownell

One family’s baby, born with hydrocephalus where the child’s head grows faster than the body, was said to not have a fully developed brain until she was prayed for by their pastor. A few weeks later, the parents received a call from the special center where the child was kept.

 “Your child is completely normal. Come and get her.

 New X-rays showed the brain fully developed, and this amazing woman has lived a normal life for nearly sixty years.

The doctor wrote “Absolute miracle” across her records.

Hebrews 11:26 says to please God we must believe that He exists and that He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

What Prayer Can Do has true testimonies from people the author knows that God rewarded.


ada brownell

Ada Brownell has been writing for Christian publications since age 15 and spent much of her life as a daily newspaper reporter. She has a B.S. degree in Mass Communications and worked most of her career at The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado where she spent the last seven years as a medical writer. After moving to Springfield, MO in her retirement, she continues to freelance for Christian publications and write non-fiction and fiction books. She occasionally writes op-ed pieces for newspapers.

WHAT PRAYER CAN DO Purchase on Amazon

­Amazon Ada Brownell author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KJ2C06

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/AdaBrownellWritingMinistries

Twitter: @adabrownell

Blog: http://inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com Stick to Your Soul Encouragement

Lenten Season ~ clean it up

House Cleaning

Traditionally, people in the Main Line, Catholic, and Orthodox churches thoroughly clean their houses during Lent. Deep Cleaning. Spring Cleaning. They’re preparing for Holy Week, the remembrance of the scourging and crucifixion of Jesus. The celebration of His resurrection.

My Christian spiritual practice isn’t traditional or Orthodox, yet, I find comfort in tying my spring cleaning to the church Lenten season. There’s something renewing about cleaning the house in preparation for remembrance of the passion and resurrection of Jesus. I can’t help but think about cleaning my mind and my soul as well.

As I’m cleaning, I’m thinking of what I don’t need anymore that’s in good to excellent condition that I can take to Goodwill. My church is collecting food for Easter dinners for families in need and Easter baskets for their children. The church has provided a list of food items to contribute. I already brought to the church canned corn and green beans for a family of six, as well as collard greens (this is the south), boxed instant potatoes and boxed mac ‘n cheese. As far as food stuff, I still have to bring…a boxed pie crust mix, canned pie filling, canned yams, and a $20 supermarket gift certificate for a ham. Then I’ll hit the dollar store and pick up an Easter basket, plastic eggs and individually wrapped candy to go inside the eggs for the kiddies.

I’m glad my church is doing this. This effort on my part makes my Easter a bit brighter. God has blessed me and it feels good passing it along during the Lenten Season. And my house will be a bit cleaner. Which reminds me, I have to get out my vacuum.


Shadows of the Past by Patricia Bradley ~ tackling my ‘to read list’

Shadows of the Past

Intense feelings of failure pervaded profiler Taylor Martin’s life. She couldn’t prevent a young man from murdering his stepfather. Her former fiance left her a ‘dear Jane’ letter. In her present case, she failed professionally, and the local sheriff was badly injured.

The author constructed strong main characters in Taylor Martin and best selling mystery writer Nick Sinclair. The development of these characters’ inner vulnerabilities as well as the tension between them was deftly done. There is tremendous suspense as the plot thickens and it becomes obvious the stalker/killer in the case she’s come to Memphis to solve is someone Taylor knew…and the reader knows him too…but who?

However, there’s another case to solve. Taylor’s father has been missing for over twenty years. Her family strongly prefers she not dredge up old wounds, but Taylor has nightmares involving his disappearance and she wants answers.

The novel delves into faith in God and questions people have, such as does God care? However, it’s never preachy. Some of the characters are Christian, some are seekers, many are neither. Just like in real life. I recommend this novel for ages 17 to 117.

Our Closest Relationships ~ how we damage them

Friends 3RELATIONSHIP, perhaps one of the most important and powerful words ever.

I’m a firm believer that my relationship with God is the most important relationship I have. It’s the one that upholds everything else in my life.

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” ~ Genesis 2:18 [New American Standard Bible]

We were created to have relationships. In our society today we seem to be so isolated, lonely, even desperate. Depression seems to be epidemic. I know that in my life, building relationships with other people has been the key to happier days.

Yet, relationships are so easily damaged. Here is a list of five things (done to me, done to others, or I’ve done) that I’ve learned, from painful experience are huge NO-Nos. We could each make up our own list, and in fact, that’s a great idea. Make your personal list. Here’s mine.

1. Don’t take loved ones for granted and stop putting in effort. Don’t think they’ll always be there. For one reason or another, one day they won’t. Don’t stop treating them like they’re special. Don’t forget birthdays, anniversaries, school events and other occasions, family celebrations.

2. Don’t demean your loved one/friend in public. Don’t show greater respect to someone of higher status, of greater wealth, or who is just plain flashy…when that person will mean nothing to you in the long term and will have little impact on your life. Don’t constantly correct your loved one in public (or in private, for that matter).

3. Don’t constantly show you can do things better than your loved one. When your spouse, child, sibling, parent, friend washes the dishes, don’t pick up the water glasses, inspecting for spots and then begin to wash them over. This is an example. Anything in this vein is an insult.

horse laughing

4. Don’t engage in negative joking and banter, as a practice, with the ones you love. Have you noticed on reality TV these days the couples and/or family members are constantly belittling each other in the form of a joke? This is not good. This is hurtful. Because we are bombarded by this type of behavior on TV, doesn’t make is a healthy thing to do in our relationships. Habitual put-down jokes are very destructive.

5. Don’t lie…don’t sneak…and don’t cheat. Self-explanatory. Self-evident.

Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. ~ Luke 6:31 [New American Standard Bible]



Ale Pie House ~ restaurant review

Ale Pie 1


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






%d bloggers like this: