Tag Archives: Books

The Bible Story Lady-In Person

26 Mar


Judy Wills

In my post of January 8, 2023, I mentioned my time in Dallas, Texas, my birthplace.  In thinking about the First Baptist Church of Dallas, I also mentioned Ms. Bertha Mills, the nursery worker who would take me on her lap and read a story.  I have vague memories of that.  My brother Bill says he really doesn’t remember that.

She wrote down some of her stories and published them in book form.  It was published by The Story Book Press out of Dallas, Texas, and copyrighted in 1948.

I contacted First Baptist Church of Dallas, and asked about any more information on Ms. Bertha they could give me.  Ruth Turner, the Director of the Truett Memorial Library for the church replied to my request.  She gave her permission to use any/all of the information she sent about Ms. Bertha.

Ms. Bertha died January 12, 1964.  The following article was in FBC’s weekly “Reminder” by the pastor, Dr. Criswell.

Last week we laid to rest in the arms of Jesus our sweet Miss Bertha Mills.  The record of her ministry among little children in this First Baptist Church of Dallas is nothing less than phenomenal.  It covers a full half century….will be preparing a beautiful memorial for this worthy and noble teacher….write a tribute in verse that would say better than we could in prose our tenderest thanksgiving for Bertha Mills.  It is so true to the spirit of this noble Nursery Leader.

As I’ve said before, she was a much-loved lady in the church.  If I can figure out the copyright laws concerning her stories, and it is okay, then I will share her stories with my readers.  They are short, but very entertaining – to both children and adults. 

For now, this is all about Ms. Bertha.  

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you.

Philippians 1:3

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

The Days Go By

25 Apr

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Image by Prettysleepy from Pixabay

Books surround me. I like novels for women and Christian books that give me a deeper walk with our dear Lord. I would have thousands of books if I had kept them all, but thank heaven, I learned that you have to take the clutter down at least a bit, or you go bonkers.

I have a collection of Maeve Binchy’s books, another collection of Gene Stratton-Porter, and one of D. E. Stevenson. I have the four novels I wrote and published with Amazon. 

Today I was at the church Book Chat. This church has a lovely small library, and we read books and get to talk about them and ourselves once a month. Some of us are hard of hearing, and others can’t remember the words they want to say. It has been a life-saver even though only four ladies were attending during the worst times of the Covid. Today we had nine, and we filled the whole hour with our opinions on the characters and how they might relate to our own lives. 

It’s common knowledge that when you are elderly, you need to keep your spirits up by getting out and meeting with people. 

Image by Q K from Pixabay

Writing in a journal is one way to sort things out and cheer up.

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Next week we plan to visit a restaurant that hosts Mariachis and supplies Tex/Mex food. I like 1 Taco. Bill likes other things and usually brings home enough for two more meals.

At home, we have a yard with a yardman who does us the honor of coming to weed and help us with our yard. He now has a big black dog that was left alone out in a field for a large part of her life. She is sweet. When she comes over with him, we keep her in the backyard so she won’t get into any trouble, but one thing has been difficult, she loves to dig and has done quite a bit of it. We have replaced the dirt, and we think we have found out why she needed those holes. They are cool when you are big and need a nap, so you make your bed in them. We now have a plant to let her sleep the morning away in our airconditioned shed.

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

What Type of Reader are You?

29 Jun

On the Porch
Onisha Ellis


This morning I was idly thinking about my reading habits. I consider myself a “fluff’ reader.  I didn’t enjoy what my teachers called the classics. Steinbeck and Hemingway bored me to tears and I really wanted that old man in the sea to just cut-the-line. And what was the point in the Iliad and the Odyssey and sirens luring men to their death? Hello, who didn’t know that men will fall for a pretty face and enticing body. Reading the book was not going to change that. Give me a good mystery or romance novel. I also enjoy a rousing action story.

I definitely don’t enjoy fantasy novels, although I have read a couple that engaged my attention. Thinking about reading made me wonder about authors. What influences their choice of genre?

It seems to me that authors of fiction fall into two very general categories, fixers and story tellers. Fixers write in genres that involve building worlds that are a better place, especially fantasy novelists. The authors who write dystopia and thriller/war create problems then set about solving them. Romance novelist are serious fixers. They create wounded characters and spend the entire book setting them up to be restored, complete with a happy ever after ending.

Story tellers take a more gentle approach. Their characters need to be fixed but that is not the point of the novel. My favorite story tellers are D.E. Stevenson and Miss Read.




Their books and writing style are now considered simplistic and old fashioned but they draw me into the lives of their characters and include me in their journey. James Herriot was a fine story-teller as well.  His books are classics I can relate to.



Reader friends, are you drawn to fixers or story tellers? To my author friends, I would enjoy your take on my theory. Do you see your writing in terms of fixing or telling a great story?

Just. One. Book. Thoughts from the Airport

22 Jun

On the Porch 

Onisha Ellis

Last week I shared a blog post about a town that had no Library for their students. Well the call for Just One Book has been answered. I am sharing a small part of the post, be sure to read the rest. It will be worth it. With so much discord going on, this is heartening.

The 2016 Silver Buckle Rodeo Queen, Hannah Lambach, stopped by for me to interview her for the local paper. She’s 16 and a Greenville High School student. Her words, “You mean we will finally be able to check out a book?!” She stood there amazed. Then went and got her truck to back up to the building and haul the recycling to Evergreen Market which employs students. The store owners Centella and Ken Tucker are volunteering to pick up boxes while I’m gone and bring them to the library. Ken told Hannah to have the students who work for him help unload the recycling. Hannah promised to come back and tell others to come help.

IMG_7821  These were the bags from Saturday’s UPS haul. That’s not counting the Fed Ex afternoon bags, or the post office which had 5 rolling carts of boxes.

IMG_7824Sue (on the left there) instructed Jazmin how to orderly open and sort. Jazmin was sort of dazed for the first few minutes. “These books are for us?!” As I was unloading the UPS bags Jazmin opened a box and stared at the book inside. You could tell she wanted to pick it up and go to a corner and start reading.

“It’s impossible to open the boxes and not want to read everything,” I said. “Oh yes,” she said.

Then more students started to arrive to help as I was leaving. I was nervous about my trip to Wisconsin for a few days, but one of the things I love about Greenville is that when there’s a project, everyone is all in–doesn’t matter whose idea it was, or what your affiliation is. If there’s something that needs to be done, someone is there to help. Weber wants the students active in this. There’s a whole lot of thank you cards to write.

This attitude is why I like this little hamlet of a town. Despite it sometimes not quite being in the 21st century, despite the Internet going out in the middle of the day, despite the crumbling sidewalks rolling up at 5 pm (hey they have a grant from the state to fix our potholes and highway and sidewalks!), it’s a great place to teach kindness and breathe fresh air. It’s a place where there is always something that needs to be done and there are people willing to show others how to do those things.


Don’t miss out on the rest of this story.

Source: Just. One. Book. Thoughts from the Airport – Throwing Chanclas

Love to Read?

26 Jan

On the Porch

Special Editon

Onisha Ellis

I'm a winner

Hi friends,

I love to read, always have since I was in second grade. You could call it a life long passion. It’s funny now, when parents are begging their children to read, but as a chid, I was always getting in trouble for having my nose stuck in a book. Reading all the time could be why I was a late bloomer in my social skills.

Little girl dream

This week, a Clean Indie Reads, one of my favorite Facebook groups is having a book sale with 140 eBooks offered at free, discounted or everyday low price. I love this group of authors.  They have set themselves to prove there is a market for fiction that does not rely on course language, sex and gore and they are succeeding!

You can click the picture below or click HERE to visit the sale page.

2016 mid winter 140 books

Usually, my daughter, Rebekah Lyn would have at least one book in the sale, but sigh, I procrastinated too long. If you would like to take a look at her Christian fiction novels, she is on Amazon and the first book in her Seasons of Faith series, Summer Storms eBook  is currently free.

Seasons of Florida fiction winter collage

Did you know our talented and sweet DiVoran Lites also has a novel series also available on Amazon and at the Titusville Book Rack

The Florida Springs Trilogy

Available on Amazon and at The Titusville Book Rack

DiVoran and Rebekah would be delighted if you would stop by their book website.

Rebekah Lyn Books

After my rambling, I am re-posting the link to the CIR Mid Winter Sale.


Cozy up mid winter sale 2016

Happy First Anniversary Clean Indie Reads

20 May

I attempted to re-blogg this  post from our sister blog, Rebekah Lyn Book but it didn’t work so I will share the highlight here~Onisha


Clean Indie Reads

Anniversary Sale MAY 20th ONLY

We’ve brought you Flinch-Free Fiction for one year.

Now we bring it to you for less than one dollar!

Be sure to look for our novels

The Florida Springs Trilogy

Sacred Spring, Living Spring, Clear Spring

Julianne and Summer Storms

Click Photo to Visit Sale  Happy Shopping!

Click Photo to Visit Sale
Happy Shopping!



Visit Rebekah Lyn Books to read about Clean Indie Reads and why I love them.

Do You Like Books or Love Books

14 Apr

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Author, Poet and ArtistAbout a year ago, I started taking a family consisting of Mother, Laura, two-year-old Sunny, teen-aged cousin, Rita, and fifth grader, Clarisse, to the library every three weeks. I did it because Rita is an avid reader, but lost a book from the high school library and couldn’t check out any more until it was found or paid for (which eventually happened). I understood what it might be like not to have anything to read because I too am an incurable reader, though until recently I’ve only been able to read LP books.

The first time we went, Rita selected so many books that when she stacked them she had to hold them at arm’s length. She placed her chin on the top one to steady the stack. That was an endearing sight.

We went again this last Sunday, but this time I was the greedy one. I checked out six novels and three non-fiction books from the NEW bookshelves. Books are almost as important as shelter or clothing to a writer.


  1. The Fever Tree, Jennifer McVeigh
  2. Lookaway, Lookaway, by Wilton Barnhardt.
  3. The Cleaner of Chartres, by Salley Vickers
  4. Tapestry of Fortunes, by Elizabeth Berg
  5. A Nearly Perfect Copy, by Allison Amend
  6. One Glorious Ambition, by Jane Kirkpatrick.


  1. Smart Chefs Stay Slim: Lessons in eating and living from America’s best chefs, by Allison Adato.
  2. This is the Story of A Happy Marriage, by Ann Patchett
  3. To the Moon and Timbuktu, by Nina Sovich,

So that’s the list of what I have to look forward to. I feel rich. I teased Rita a bit when I showed her I had more books this time than she did. She was proud to announce that she left a few she wanted, knowing they would be there the next time she came back. Oh, yes? I’m not so sure about that, I wasn’t taking any chances this time.

Do you have your books in the public library? We have ours in two libraries in our county and in the Orlando Public Library as well. Bill just asked and they took them. You never lose by giving things away. God always gives more than we do, and some people read so many books they can’t possibly afford to buy them all. I understand Amazon Kindle has a lending policy, as well. There are a lot of benefits to being open-handed. “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”



BooktoberFest and Chocolate Covered Potato Chips

4 Oct

It’s Booktoberfest time! We are excited at our house about Booktoberfest. Rebekah Lyn will be one of twenty authors at a meet and greet in the quaint town of Mount Dora, Florida. Since this is being held in October, the month of Fall festivals and Halloween, authors and guests are taking up the costume of their favorite book characters.

Rebekah writes Christian fiction and her characters are of the everyday  sort so it has been hard to decide who to portray. Finally she chose  Michelle of Winter’s End, the lead singer and guitar player for her band Tangled Web. It has been fun turning the very professional  Rebekah into a rocker and in the process throw in some clever branding. Pictures will be up at  Rebekah Lyn Books .

Be sure to click the link below for all the details of Booktoberfest. It is going to be a great event!

JLB Creatives -Bringing Fairy Tales to Life…One Novel at a Time. HIDDEN EARTH is a six novel series by best-selling author, Janet Beasley. Janet is the founder/owner of JLB Creatives, a company designed to bring light to the literary world. It is a company built on the fantastical imaginations of Janet and her family.

via Author Janet Beasley – BOOKTOBERFEST! 10/5/13.

At the event we will be inviting readers to sign up for the Rebekah Lyn Books newsletter and as a reward for signing up, we will  have a drawing  for a box of Grimaldi chocolate covered potato chips delivered right to your front door.


You Can Win These!

Not going to Booktoberfest? Sign up for Rebekah’s newsletter here and you are in the drawing. Good luck!

We will draw the name of one lucky winner from those who sign up between now and Sunday October 6, 2013 and you will be notified by email.


7 Mar

I think I may have discovered a hidden treasure. While visiting with a friend’s mom we began discussing books and this lead to writing which led to the discovery that she has been writing for years. Of course I pounced at the chance to have her as a guest on our blog. So today I am sharing with you  Louise Gibson, a friend and poet who has a delightful sense of humor Onisha




Trade Off


Pigeons are not on my list of favorite creatures


They destroy my peace of mind.


The feeder in my yard was dwarfed


By pigeons of every kind.



They came each day and flapped their wings


As they fought for a position.


The feeder was too small, you see,


Which affected their disposition.




My patio used to be a place


Of quietness and contentment


Until the pigeons came in droves


And filled me with resentment.




“Lord” I cried, “I need your help


I cannot stand their spats.”


The Lord obliged, to my chagrin


And sent instead eight cats.




No squirrels, no birds, they fled in fear-


The cats you see, do domineer.


Now you find no pigeons on Chipola


God sent them all to Lake Eola!




English: A flock of domestic Rock Pigeons (Col...

Downtown Orlando at Sunrise

Downtown Orlando at Sunrise (Photo credit: camflan)

Down Home Down Town

4 Mar

My Take

DiVoran Lites

jungle divoran

After World War II, when I was seven years old and my brother was almost four our parents bought a restaurant in a small town in Colorado that had only three hundred residents. I don’t know whether that included the ranchers and their families who came to town on Saturday night or not.

In this small town, called, Westcliffe, If I wasn’t at school, or outside playing, I was almost always doing dishes or waiting tables at the restaurant or going around to the neighbors—except our neighbors happened to be the other merchants on our two block stretch of Main Street.

The Luthi family and the Quicks owned restaurants, too. The Luthi’s also owned the one hotel in town. There was no competition that I ever knew of, just pleasant cooperation. I baby sat for the Quicks from when I was about ten years old and played, and went to Sunday school with the Luthi girls.

When I was out and about, I visited Mr. Cope at the drugstore, Miss Lily, at the post office or my friend’s mother Marie Erp at Canda’s grocery. She always played ragtime piano at the community dances. I liked to pop into the tiny library across the street from our restaurant. The librarian agreed that fairy tales were the best reading you could get.

Yesterday I got a taste of that kind of wandering downtown in my present hometown, which has more people in it, but about the same amount of old downtown. Once it was in danger of dying completely, but as Onisha and I walked from shop to shop to ask if we could leave posters about Rebekah Lyn’s and my book signing we realized that the downtown is coming back to life, and you know who’s responsible? Mainly it’s the food emporiums, the artists, the historians, and the boutiques.

I’ve lived here forty-six years and Onisha is native Floridian. The really wonderful and fun thing was that in almost every business someone recognized either her or me. At the historical museum a friend I hadn’t seen for a year met us at the door and in a little while when I looked around for Onisha she was in another room talking with her husband’s aunt. What warmth, what excitement, what love! It was a quiet, middle of the week, day, so no one was too busy to talk, in fact most of them seemed to relish the company.

It was so much fun in fact, it kind of showed me that in my heart I was a down town girl. Too bad it has taken me so long to figure that out, but now I’ve signed up to go down there for book signings and to paint in the garden of the Pritchard house which has been beautifully restored. Maybe Onisha and I will wander the streets together again some day just like my best friend and I did in childhood. Whether we do or not it was a lovely day and we’re very glad to see our town coming back in such a wonderful way.

Psalm 13:6


Westcliffe, Colorado


Titusville, Fl





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