Hello 30-Day Kitchen!

I am spending a lot of time in the kitchen now that Americans are basically staying at home. Maybe the only good about this is that I can stay in my p.j.s until noon, refrain from making my bed, and let the dusting and vacuuming go a few days longer. No one will be visiting, and that truly is the sad part about being in quarantine.

Well, for sure my husband George is hunkering down fairly well because he’s getting some really great meals. I’m in the kitchen more, now that we are not eating out.

I’m really not complaining. I’m thankful. I’m finding something every day to thank God for. I am thankful that – for now – we are not sick with Corona. And my joy in God’s protection and His presence finds me humming while cooking and baking, and even singing when disinfecting the counters and the frig handles. Hello 30-day kitchen. I love you!

Just the other day I baked some delicious spare ribs. Today, it’s homemade chili with cornbread. Tomorrow, who knows! King David wrote about the joy of eating. He said: You, God, satisfy our mouths with good food. He also said that the loving kindness of our LORD is from everlasting to everlasting. And I am finding that true, even while wiping tears when I see the terrible effects of Corona. Somehow I know deep in the depths of my faith that God is in control, and trusting Him is what He wants all of us to do, and truly it is good food for the soul.

I’m thinking that before this pandemic is over Americans my emerge with a few extra pounds because we are all indulging in “comfort food” and eating more because of boredom. Well, at least in my kitchen that’s how it’s going. The pantry door is opened more. The bathroom scale shows 3 pounds up. Gotta work on that!!

In closing today, here’s an easy recipe for something that compliments your cup of coffee in the morning: Roll out biscuit dough into a half inch rectangle. Generously butter it. Sprinkle the buttered dough with cinnamon and brown sugar. Roll it up. Cut it into 1-1/2 inch wide biscuits. Bake. Glaze with powered sugar. Voila! Something to comfort the soul while you thank God for His love and protection and start your day with someone you love.

Could God Be Speaking to The World?

My website generator says to me every morning: What’s on your mind?” This is the encouraging invitation to write and send a message into the Internet for thousands to read, as it also advertises their computer business and capabilities. So, here’s what’s on my mind. It has everything to do with the Corona Virus and what’s happening to the world.

Many Christians believe that the Words of the Old Testament are not relevant to today. They believe we should read only the New Testament (Matthew thru Revelation) as our instructions from God. This is not true. The entire Bible is relevant, and proof of this statement is the Scripture that says, “God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

So looking back to how He dealt with the Israelite’s, I believe He also deals with us today. Their disobedience to Him, under the direction of Moses, was severely dealt with. Actually, not one of the original Israelis got out of the dessert alive. It was their kinfolk that enter into the Promised Land. This happened because of God’s anger with their disobedience. Are we any better then them?

In view of what is happening world-wide, we cannot wink at the Corona Virus and say it’s just one of those things. Something of this magnitude is obviously seen by God, and allowed by God for a purpose.

The ramifications of this disease is like a domino rampage going on for weeks and months. It is now affecting world economics in a huge way. It has closed off much of our everyday life so that even the sports world cannot play their games. Banks are using their windows only. People are hoarding food. It’s become questionable even if we want to buy a Big Mac at McDonald’s, for fear someone may have coughed or sneezed on it that has the Corona Virus. Worse yet, Corona has chosed the doors of the CHURCH.

So to me, the most important statement made by God for a time like this is the statement God made in the Old Testament to the Israelite’s regarding their attitudes and their disobedience to Him. Here it is plain and crystal clear: “All this is that you (the world) may know that I am the LORD your God.” ( Reference, Deuteronomy 29:6).

What we do with the Corona Virus – meaning how it affects us personally – is up to each of us. If God is speaking, then we need to listen.

I am not in a panic. Yes, I am concerned about what’s happening. I’d be stupid not to be concerned and obey what our government is telling us to do. I am concerned about world economics and our personal pocketbooks, but greater yet, I am concerned about the CHURCH, because they are closed around the world. Will we come together after this passes? Or will people get so used to staying at home that the CHURCH loses it’s power to evangelize and feed God’s people? Will people stop supporting the CHURCH with their money, and pastors and church buildings are left to nothing?

I am hoping that people like Franklin Graham will step to the plate and call for a world-wide day of prayer and fasting. God may be speaking in this Corona Virus situation, and we need to listen and draw close to Him. This is far worse than 9/11. It has the magnitude of a great war or a world-wide earthquake.

Jesus Christ says: “I stand at the door knocking. If anyone hear my Voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and they will be with Me.” (Reference: Revelation 3:20)

God bless you all.

The Secret Place

Today, amid the fear of the Corona virus I am prompted to write something inspiring and full of confidence. For you and for me, I remind us of the “Secret Place”.

Paraphrasing sacred words from long ago….

We rest in a safe place – in the secret place of the Most High – covered by His wings, like that of a great eagle. Our High Priest tells us not to be afraid when pandemics come or terror overtakes us. A thousand may fall at our right side and ten thousand at our right hand, but it will not come to us. No plague will enter our dwelling places. He gives His angels charge over us to keep us in all our ways. (Psalm 91)

What more could we ask for?

God says when we call upon His name, He will answer. He will deliver and honor those who have put their faith and trust in Him, though Christ Jesus the Messiah.

Amazon.com has my book: “Take Charge of Your Destiny” by Mary Cates. Click the link to order: http://amazon.com

God bless and keep you all.

We Believe in Second Chances

I listened to President, Donald Trump give recognition to “Former Prisoners” in Las Vegas last week. He said to them: “We believe in second chances” – which was an inspiration that they had a second chance to move on and make something better out of their life.

Where would you and I be today without second chances?  Like when we were kids and a teacher gave us another chance to make a better grade on a test, or as adults when a police officer says: “I’m just giving you a warning this time.” It could even be the second chance we get when someone forgives us and we get a second chance to nurture a relationship.  

There are many success stories of people who have failed at first, but they kept trying and finally got it right. Many famous people had second chances to get it right. Like the wire in the hand of Alexander Graham Bell that became a telephone, or the spark inside a small glass dome in the workshop of Thomas Edison that became electricity. The vaccines and anti-biotics that finally work, after several attempts in the laboratories.  Without second chances to keep trying, our world would be much different.

The greatest “second chance stories” are perhaps those found in the Bible. Like the repenting thief hanging on a cross next to Jesus. The Lord said to him, “Today you will be with me in paradise“.  Or to the adulteress who heard the words from Jesus, “neither do I condemn you – go and sin no more.”

Sometimes it’s hard to give a second chance when we’ve been taken advantage of. Harder yet, to forgive when someone has really hurt us deep. 

I believe in second chances because I often need them, and thankfully I have had many. 


Check out my page: “Chicken Soup & Stuff“. There’s New stuff there. Click on the link above. Great ideas for left-overs and a fake apple pie.

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Plants, Pets, and Vidalia Onions

There have been some interesting studies on pets and plants and the effect they have on their owners. Things like stress reduction, lowering blood pressure and in some cases, thought to lengthen life.

I think of my wonderful Jack Russel Terriers that were with me for 16 years. (Pictured) They were a handful. My husband and I were forced to rule them with an iron fist because they fought. I honestly believe they were by-polar – if dogs can have psychological problems. One day they loved each other and would cuddle in the same bed, the next day they were growling and fighting. The best thing about them was their loyalty and unconditional love toward us. Believe it or not, they were so smart we often spelled words so they wouldn’t know what we were up to.

As for plants… I love to work in my patio garden, but the green thumb belongs to my husband. He knows how to groom a lawn to perfection, and grow scrumptious vegetables. When we lived for a short while in the south, he grew the most delicious turnip greens and the sweetest Vidalia onions I’ve ever tasted.

Speaking of plants, my neighbor is on a cruise in the Mediterranean. She asked if I would take care of her Peace Lily for three weeks. Sure! No problem. So her husband brought it over just before the uber driver pulled onto their driveway. The pot was so heavy I had to ask him to come in and set it down for me. I was shocked! All along I had been expecting something small, like a little African Violet. After he left, I realized I was in charge of a prized plant. After all, nothing that large could be trivial! Oh gosh, what would I do if it died while they were enjoying Rome and Israel? It’s like babysitting a child — hoping while it’s in your care they don’t get hurt or sick.

Okay, I can do this  — two thirds of water a day. Maybe talk to it a little too.

Emergency Alert: The Secret Place

I am not frightened, but I am very concerned. It is 6:21 a.m. as I write this, but I’ve been awake since 4:15 this morning because Monroe County called to announce that the 911 lines were down.  Wide awake now, I picked up my cell phone to check messages and saw the ALERT – Corona virus is likely to get out of control – many nations reporting confirmed cases. It’s here in the US – six cases, but the virus is spreading all over the world. Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Britain – the list goes on and on. The global health organization has now issued a global emergency, because this virus is highly contagious and it’s spreading in China like wild fire. It will take months to develop a vaccine.

Watch this video:

I am a Registered Nurse and I hold a valid license to practice. My extended formal education is in Human Services, and that is why I am sending this article. Not to tell you how to protect yourself, but to bring comfort. 

It is likely this virus will become a genuine plague. It’s worse than the Sars virus which hit the world in November 2002 to July 2003. We were a little frightened then, but this new one is much worse according to the World Health Organization.

When the call came this morning to inform me that the 911 lines were down, I was first thankful that I didn’t need ambulance service or police help. As I laid back in bed – trying to go back to sleep – the thought came to me: what if it was worse! What if the entire grid went down!!!

From there my mind conjured up all kinds of emergencies. Then I remembered what brought a sense of comfort to me back during Sars. Psalm 91. Inspired words from King David, given to him from God. “A thousand shall fall at your right hand, but it will not happen to you. There shall no evil come to you, neither shall any plague come to your house. He shall cover you with his wings, You shall live under the Shadow of the Almighty.”

We live in a world full of all kinds of frightening things. If corona isn’t bad enough, we are saturated with the fighting and tangling going on in Washington – hate at one of its highest levels. Terrorists attacks almost daily – you name it, we have it! But we also have the Word of God and His presence – coming to us more powerful than the enemy of our soul and our body. “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.”

Be careful to do what is suggested by our health leaders, while at the same time put your faith and trust in God to keep you safe. Rest in the Secret Place of the Most High.

Whatever media you belong to, I hope you will pass this message on. Just click below on the social media you are a member of and the message should fly.

Say Hello!

I’ve learned a lot in my lifetime….still need to learn more, but one thing that comes back to me time and time again is our mortality. What I’ve understood most in that area of thought is that only acceptance of our mortality makes us free to live and appreciate the wonder of life. After all, it is death that reminds us that we don’t have forever. So the point in this conversation is that if you and I are going to make our “statement” toward some worthy purpose or express our love for another person, or accomplish anything, we must do it now.

So many times I’ve sadly learned that there’s no holding back, because when I’ve done that – I lose. We must let go. Saying “hello” to something or someone will most often lead to a “goodbye” but the journey with the project or the person is what we call “life”. And in that “life” the light of you and I is brought forward in wonderful ways.

Never sit back thinking that you haven’t got what it takes. Grab today with all you’ve got! Say hello! Let God handle the goodbyes.

Happy is as Happy “IS”

Strange, that we can be suspicious of happiness. For instance, we can have so much fun doing something, or loving someone that we worry it won’t last, or something terrible might happen.

Here’s a story I heard a long time ago that fits this conversation:  a man was so frightened about having joy that he drove himself mad. He did everything the opposite of what he planned because he thought it would trick unhappiness. He found the woman of his dreams, but became so obsessed about losing her, he behaved senselessly – and ended up losing her. 

This brings me to say that on the flip side there is nothing wrong with having things go right and celebrating it. I honestly believe if we celebrated everything that goes right in our life, we would have no time to worry — even if something was wrong.

Remember our childhood. It was a time when the worst thing that happened was a scraped knee, but then Mom cleaned it up, put a band aid on it, kissed our cheek and we were off to the next scraped knee – happy as a lark.

Chances were good that we would soon be back in Mom’s arms crying, but we never played with our friends in a mind set of worrying that we might scrape our knees. 

In a world that seems to have lost its soul, it is hard to find something to really be happy about. Seems that the moment we go out our door the challenge of worry comes.  Be careful. Watch your back. Don’t anger another driver. Hang onto your purse and wallet. Know where to hid if a terrorist starts shooting up the store.

The Apostle Paul wrote that he was content in any circumstance. That’s really pushing the truth for most of us, but he was right, for even in the worst situations we still have the promise that Jesus will never leave us or forsake us.

I believe happiness begets happiness. The more you embrace it, the more it flows.

Take time to be happy about something, and let it flow.

2020 – A New Year with New Hope, Maybe a New World

I’m sure you would agree that there is nothing greater in the “joy bell arena” than to find new ways of overcoming our weaknesses. You and I know all about the thrill of victory and the  agony of defeat. As life goes on, we encounter obstacle after obstacle. Yet our hope, our dignity, and our laughable madness is what makes us believe in ourselves and keep us moving in the right direction.

The greatest failure is to fail to try, and I am not just preaching to the choir, but to myself. For I have 2 books floating around in my mind — in that creative part of me that is always working — and I know if I give up I may dry up and blow away.

You too, have perhaps given up just when, with a bit of persistence and belief in yourself, you would have made it! 

So often when all seems lost and useless to keep trying, the breakthrough comes.

I honestly do not indulge in New Year resolutions.  It’s like starting a new diet that never works. What I like to do instead is to make a covenant with God and ask for His help. It doesn’t always work, because I still have a lot of responsibility to perform. But at least I have the recognition that something needs to be done somewhere in my life.

The world is dangerously slipping into confusion and chaos. Signs are everywhere that if we don’t pull things together we will be lost. 2020 means perfect vision. To have this perfection it often takes glasses to see better. I like to think of “spiritual” glasses, worn to help us discover what we personally need to discover about ourselves that will carve out a new mind set and start the joy bells ringing.  The new decade of 2020 may likely bring multiple changes for all of us. Let’s not be afraid to face them. Get your glasses on and see your greatest potential…..right where you are, right where you live. Make it a great start to a new “you”.

This year is my last year to have – in print by my publisher – my book: “Take Charge of Your Destiny” by Mary Cates — featured on http://amazon.com

You, or a loved one, or a friend might find just the right words in this book to inspire the “new you”.  Log into amazon (above) right now and ask for Mary Cates Books.  Click on “Take Charge of Your Destiny” by Mary Cates and order it now….order several as gifts to help those you love perhaps find the right word, the right thought, just the right morsel to get back on track. The book has a discount price. Also great for Bible studies too.  As this book becomes a success with my publisher, I will be able to keep writing. Thank you so much!    The book cover is featured here: