Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Christmas of Blessings

The Christmas celebrations are drawing to an end here in Costa Rica as the people look forward to a new year. The sounds of fireworks fill the air from dark until well after midnight every night. Sadly, many have no interest in the true reason for remembering and celebrating. This is why it is so important to reach the children now with the truth.

Our celebrations with the children and the church were hectic, but wonderfully blessed. With help from old friends and new friends we were privileged to make this Christmas a special time for 77 children. Saying thank you to all those who made this possible seems inadequate to express the gratitude and appreciation we feel! Making these young ones feel special and loved was possible because of all of you who cared and prayed and gave. Bless you!!!! Because not all 77 children are in the same location, we actually had 3 different parties. Thanks to you we were able to provide the children not only with a toy, but with some much needed clothing, shoes, and other personal items. We want to share a few photos with you of some happy, smiling faces as well as some shots of the gifts and food and the Christmas drama. Thank you so much for making this possible. We pray that God will greatly bless you in this coming year.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Share the Blessings - second update

Just to keep those of you who are praying about the Christmas gift situation up-to-date......God is blessing greatly. We have only 12 children left who are without a gift. Please continue to pray about this need and share it with others. We want to thank those of you who have helped in this. We cannot begin to tell you how much it means to us and to these children.


Book 2 in the Chronicles of the Spanish Civil War series

Sophie discovers that nothing is as she first imagined. When Walt, the reporter who helped her over the border, shows up again after Guernica is bombed, Sophie is given an impossible mission. She must leave behind the man she's fallen in love with and return to the person who betrayed her. Another layer of the war in Spain is revealed as Sophie is drawn into the international espionage schemes that could turn the tide of the war and help protect the soldiers from the International Brigade ... she must find a way to get a critical piece of information to Walt in time.

Q and A with Tricia!


A Shadow of Treason follows A Valley of Betrayal. This is the first time you've written books as a series instead of stand alone. Which way do you like better?

A: I love writing in series. It was great to continue with the same characters. In my stand-alone books I fell in love with these people and then I had to say good-bye after one book. It was wonderful to be able to continue on.

Q: In A Shadow of Treason Sophie must return to the person who betrayed her in an effort to help the Spanish people. It makes the book hard to put down because the reader has to know how Sophie's heart will deal with it. Why did you decide to make this an element of the book?

A: There are very few of us who go through life without giving away a part of our hearts to someone who didn't deserve it. Even though Sophie had the best intentions, she gave away her heart and she was hurt-not only that she must revisit those emotions.

I wanted to include this element-to delve into the topic that emotions are sometimes as big of a trap as any physical cage. Emotions are real and they guide us -- even when we don't want to admit it. Poor Sophie, not only does she have to deal with a war around her -- she also has to deal with a war within herself. It's something I've battled, and mostly likely others have too.

Q: There is an interesting element that arises in this book and that is Spanish gold. I know you can't tell us what happens in this book, but can you give us a brief history of this gold?

A: Sure. When I was researching I came upon something interesting. The Spaniards, as we know, had taken much Aztec and Inca gold during the time of the conquistadors. Well, at the start of The Spanish Civil War much of this gold was still held in Madrid. In fact Spain had the fourth largest gold reserves in the world at that time. The Republican government was afraid Franco would take the city and the gold. They had to get it out of Madrid and this included transporting priceless artifacts. The element of gold does make its way into my story. It was great to include this little-known (and true!) element into my story.

Q: Another historical fact I learned about was the Nazi involvement during this time. Not only were the Germans active in Spain, but they had spy networks busy around the world. How did you find out about this?

A: I love reading tons of research books. Usually I find one little element that I dig out and turn into a plot line. This is what happened with my plot-line for the Nazi pilot, Ritter. I dug up this bit of research of Nazi involvement in Spain -- and the United States -- because a lot of people aren't aware of the Nazi involvement prior to WWII. The truth is they were busy at work getting the land, information, and resources they needed far before they threatened the nations around them. The Germans knew what they wanted and how to get it. And most of the time they succeeded!

Q: A Shadow of Treason is Book Two. When will Book Three be out? Can you give us a hint of how the story continues?

A: Book Three is A Whisper of Freedom. It will be out February 2008. The characters that we love are all still in the midst of danger at the end of Book Two. Book Three continues their stories as we follow their journeys in -- and (for a few) out -- of Spain. It's an exciting conclusion to the series!

Q: Wow, so we have a least one more fiction book to look forward to in the near future. Are you working on any non-fiction?

A: Yes, I have two non-fiction books that will be out the early part of 2008. Generation NeXt Marriage is a marriage book for today's couples. It talks about our marriage role models, our struggles, and what we're doing right as a generation. It also gives advice for holding it together.

I've also been privileged to work on the teen edition of Max Lucado's book 3:16. It was a great project to work on. What an honor!

Tricia is available for further interview. Contact Amy with your ideas and questions!

Tricia's Bio:

Tricia Goyer has published over 300 articles for national publications such as Today's Christian Woman, Guideposts for Kids, and Focus on the Family, and is the co-author of Meal Time Moments (Focus on the Family). She has led numerous Bible Studies, and her study notes appear in the Women of Faith Study Bible (Zondervan).

She has written seven novels for Moody Publishing:
From Dust and Ashes (2003)
Night Song (2004)
Dawn of a Thousand Nights (2005);
Arms of Deliverance (2006)
A Valley of Betrayal (2007)
A Shadow of Treason (Fall 2007)
A Whisper of Freedom (February 2008)
Night Song was awarded American Christian Fiction Writer's 2005 Book of the Year for Best Long Historical. Dawn of a Thousand Nights won the same award in 2006.

Tricia has also written Life Interrupted: The Scoop on Being a Young Mom (Zondervan, 2004), 10 Minutes to Showtime (Thomas Nelson, 2004), and Generation NeXt Parenting (Multnomah, 2006). Life Interrupted was a 2005 Gold Medallion finalist in the Youth Category.

Also, coming out in the next year are: My Life, Unscripted (Thomas Nelson, 2007), Generation NeXt Marriage (Multnomah, Spring 2008), and 3:16-the teen version of the a book by Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson, Spring 2008).

Tricia and her husband John live with their three children in Kalispell, Montana. Tricia's grandmother also lives with them, and Tricia volunteers mentoring teen moms and leading children's church. Although Tricia doesn't live on a farm, she can hit one with a rock by standing on her back porch and giving it a good throw.

Important Links!

First Chapter:

Amazon Link:

Book 1, A Valley of Betrayal:

Tricia's Website:

Tricia's blogs:

Note from Kathie:
I just finished reading "A Shadow of Treason". It was wonderful. Since Spanish is my second language, I especially like Tricia's use of Spanish throughout the book. This is a must read.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Share the Blessings - Update

Please be sure to scroll down and read the original Share the Blessings post below. Just wanted to give everyone an update on our progress toward providing a Christmas gift to the 75 children we are working with this year. As you know from the original post we were still in need of funds for 25 children. Well........Praise the Lord! That number has dropped to 18 children and we have 5 other people who have contacted us that they are planning to help us meet this need. To each of you who have helped or who have promised.....thank you so much for making Christmas a special time for these little ones. I will give another update next week. Please be sure to include our ministry, this need, and our family in your prayers. May God greatly bless you.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Share the Blessings

The time is rapidly approaching when we will remember the birth of God's Son, Jesus Christ. For many people that means the giving of gifts to friends and family, and to those who are less fortunate. It is a time to give to others as God so unselfishly gave to us. Each year we, the Nolasco family, here in Costa Rica strive to share the meaning and the joy of this special time with the children we work with in the ministry. This year we have 75 children. To date we have been blessed by finding enough donations to provide a gift for 50 of the children. We still need help to provide for the other 25. As many of you know, we work with children who live in extreme poverty and many of them are in abusive situations as well. For these precious young ones a gift of love and kindness is something they have experienced far too rarely in their lives. We are truly in need of your help and your prayers as we seek to meet the needs of these remaining 25 children. We are hoping to have approximately $20 per child. This will allow us to purchase them clothing or shoes or personal items such as toothpaste and shampoo or school supplies, and possible a small toy like a doll or a car. If any of you would like to help meet this need we would be most grateful. You may contact us by leaving a comment on this post or by emailing us at . The slideshow are photos of the 25 still to be provided for. Blessings to you and yours.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Child of GOD

Part 3 - Work in Progress

When I was a baby Christian, there was a song that was very popular on Christian radio. It was called “He´s still working on me”. I claimed that song as my very own. Even now, years later I will catch myself humming it. What a reminder it is to me that God is patient and loving and compassionate with his rebellious, wayward, stubborn child! I praise His name that He is. Anyone else would have thrown up his hands long ago and walked away. Not God. He is so good.
God has known me from throughout eternity past, right up to the present, and on into eternity future. He has always had a plan for me. Even when I was only His creation, and not yet His child, He protected me and shielded me. He was working on me, preparing me, teaching me.
I remember one of those times very clearly. In fact, just thinking about it sets my heart to pounding and brings me the cold rush of a chill up my spine. I was 20 years old. Some friends and I were on spring break. We headed for the Ozarks to do some camping and rock climbing. Do you remember one of the songs in “Sound of Music”? The one that goes “Climb every mountain.”? Well, even though my mother assured me that Julie Andrews was no singing about physical mountains, I claimed that as my goal in life. To literally climb every mountain.
We had camped at the base of a cliff the night before, ready for climbing and later repelling off the face the next day. We had spent time checking harnesses and ropes and other equipment because we taught rock climbing to kids and were in the habit of being careful. All our equipment was in great shape. The cliff was not a particularly hard climb. There were plenty of hand and toe holds on the way up. Of course, the real joy was repelling down the face once we reached the top. The cliff was just alittle over 100 feet in height. The climb up went well and without event. My friend was going to belay for me as I repelled down to the boulder strewn base. I stepped off into space with a rush of adrenaline, feeling like this was as close as you could get to truly flying. I had hopped down only about 10 feet when I noticed an interesting shaped rock lying on a narrow ledge. I paused, picked it off the ledge, and shoved it into my pocket. I glanced down between my legs at the nearly 90 foot drop. Looking up, I waved at my friends, flexed my knees and kicked off into space. I remember kicking off twice more in rather short hops, and then kicking way out. The rope stretched out, went taunt and snapped. I actually hear it pop. I was still some 35 to 40 feet off the ground. For a moment it was as though time had stopped except for the broken end of the rope snaking by me as it plunged toward earth, and suddenly I was following it down. I didn´t scream. I didn´t do anything. I hit the ground flat on my back, spead eagle, on the only patch of grass in that boulder field. There were boulders within inches of my head and even one between my legs. I remember blinking up at the bright blue sky and wondering if I was in heaven. Then I realized someone was screaming. It was one of my friends up on the cliff. I laid there for several seconds and I remember thinking that God must really care about me. I knew there was absolutely no reason why I should be alive, but I was. Not only alive, but unhurt. I learned later that one of my friends actually fainted dead away when I got to my feet. Other than having the breath knocked out of me, there was not a scratch or a bruise on me. As I glanced around me at all the rocks and my little patch of grass where I had landed, I told God that I had climbed my last physical mountain. It is a promise I have kept to this day. But I have done a lot of mountain climbing for Him. Spiritual mountains. I still have many more to go.
God had a task for me. He preserved my life long before I became one of His children. He waited patiently for me, and He is still patiently working on me. Serving Him has been the greatest joy of my life. Knowing how much He loves this rebellious, stubborn, wayward child of His is what gives me the strength and courage to face each new mountain, knowing His hand is leading and guiding me every step of the way. Knowing that with Him by my side I have nothing to fear. Knowing there is nothing that can touch me or harm me that is not in His will. I know that like Job I can honestly say, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him,” Job 13:15

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Part 2- Wayward and stubborn?

Wayward? God is such a patient Father. Praise His wonderful name for that. I am sure if He could ever run out of patience with anyone, it would be me. I can honestly say that my intentions are good, but so often they don´t turn out that way. I can honestly say that the desire to do right is overpowering at time, and yet I will do wrong. The war between me, the flesh, and me, the spirit, is ongoing and furious. God has to get my attention frequently and bring me back, wounded and bleeding, to His place of sweet peace. The Bible speaks of the tongue being such a small part of the body and is yet so powerful. I know mine can sure get the best of me. You´ve heard the saying, “Open mouth, insert foot”? How I wish I could get my foot into my mouth more quickly. It would prevent me from saying things that are hurtful and unkind; things that I later regret. My tongue is so wayward I often wish I didn´t have one.
Stubborn? My daddy use to tell me I was the hard-headedest kid he had ever seen. God surely feels the same. Once I set my mind on something it´s like a steel trap and changing it may take an act of God. While living in Honduras, I became well acquainted with donkeys, which are called burros there. Growing up in Kentucky, I spent a lot of time with horses. They may be cousins of some sort, but horses and donkeys are as different as day and night. Truly, a horse, if it likes you, has a desire to please you and have fellowship with you. A donkey has no desire to please anyone or anything, and would just as soon kick you as look at you.
There was a man who lived near my little house in Honduras who cut and sold wood for the cooking fires. He had a donkey. He and the donkey would head out before daylight toward the jungle where they spent the day. In the afternoon they would return, the man trudging wearily along, axe on his shoulder, soaked in sweat, his head down and his back bend under the load of wood he carried. The donkey also was loaded with wood and he would follow along after the man. One afternoon for no apparently reason the donkey stopped in the middle of the road just beyond my little house. The man came to the end of the rope, jerked to a halt not knowing the donkey had stopped behind him, stumbled and dropped his load of wood. When the man turned back to see what had happened to the donkey, the donkey laid his ears back, bared his teeth, and stomped one hoof. Then he dropped his head, his chin almost touching the dust in the road and closed his eyes. The man pulled on the rope, he pushed from behind, he shouted, he begged, he threatened, he said some very unrepeatable things to the donkey. The donkey remained unmoved. The man picked up his wood and continued his trip home. A short time later he came back with several of his small children and a bucket. He offered the donkey water. No response. The children offered the donkey handfuls of grass that they pulled from my yard. No response. The man unloaded the donkey, and he and his children carried the wood to their house. Throughout the evening I would glance outside to see if the now unloaded donkey had wandered on home. Nope, he was still there, nose nearly touching the dust. In the morning when I got up the first thing I did was to take a look outside. The donkey was still there. The man stopped by with a bucket that morning and asked if I would be kind enough to offer the donkey a drink of water from time to time during the day. I asked him what was wrong with his donkey. With a very Latin sort of shrug he smiled and said, “The devil is sitting on his neck, pushing his nose into the dirt, whispering bad thoughts into his ears. But he is only a burro, not very smart, and very stubborn. When he is tired of listening to the devil, he shake the devil off and return to his work.” From time to time throughout the day I went out to offer the donkey a drink from the bucket. It was hot there on the north coast of Honduras. Not unusual for it to reach 110ºF by mid-day and the humidity was often nearly 100%. The donkey, however, ignored me. He stood there under the full force of the sun all day. The man came back from the jungle in the late afternoon, his load of wood on his own back larger than usual. He trudged by not giving the donkey even a glance. Moments later, the donkey whished his tail and slowly raised his head. He shook himself like he had just awaken from a long nap and slowly followed the man home. The next morning the man and his donkey went to cut firewood as though nothing had happened.
Are you wondering where I am going with this story? Well, I must admit that sometimes I am very much like that donkey. I let the devil get a toehold in my thoughts and attitude, and he pushes my face into the dirt. Do I like it? No, but for reasons that leave me baffled, I am too stubborn to shake him off. Too proud to admit that I have once again messed up and need to ask for some help. Too proud to ask my patient Father to forgive me and help me. I sometimes wonder if I am the only person who is rather donkey-like.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Child of God

Part One - Rebellious?

Who am I?

God´s little rebel? God´s wayward child? God´s stubborn little donkey?
There have been times in my life that I have been all of those things and a great deal more. None of them very complimentary from a Christian viewpoint, to be sure.

Unfortunately, we are not born as God´s children. Adam and Eve saw to that way back in the beginning of things. However, God has never stopped wanting us to be His children, and in His grace and mercy He immediately gave us a way to return to the sweet preciousness of being His child. It is sad that so many think that just because we are His creation we are automatically His children. Not so. That is perhaps the greatest of the enemy´s lies. A great deception to blind millions to the truth. Our enemy, by the way, is Satan, and he is very clever. Don´t underestimate him, or you will be sorry.

I grew up in a Christian family. My great grandfather was a circuit-riding preacher. I had uncles who were deacons. Family members who were Sunday School teachers. The church doors opened and I was taken inside, sometimes kicking and screaming. Sometimes angry and sullen. Never joyfully or gladly. I´m not quite sure why. I had grown up in the church, weekly going to choir practice, Sunday School, Bible studies, etc. I knew all the right answers to all the questions. Who is God? Who is Jesus? What did Jesus do for us?

Maybe “us” was the key word to my lack of understanding. My answer was “He died for our sins on the cross” and I thought that was the end of it. I knew I had to be good and I thought that if I was good enough, I would go to heaven when I died.

Really, how many children even know what death implies? I didn´t. I thought it was what happened to people over 30 until I was about 10 years old when I decided it happened to people over 40. (The age of death has been taking a steady march toward higher numbers all my life so it will stay ahead of me.)

Back to the key word “us”…. I grew up with no understanding that I could not be a Christian just because members of my family were. I grew up with no understanding that it was an individual, not a collective, decision. I knew all the answers, but did not understand that I had to personally apply them to my life. I had the head knowledge, but not the heart knowledge. I would be 26 years old before I moved that knowledge from its storage place in my head to the throne of my heart. I can´t place the blame for my lack of understanding on the church. We had a great pastor. Even I liked and respected the man. But somehow I totally missed out on the part about the decision to do something with that knowledge being a personal one.

A rebel? Who me? You better believe it. In an age of free love, pot, and wild partying that were my college years, I remained untouched by them all. I was not particularly interested in men romantically at that time of my life. They were okay to go rock climbing or hiking with, but beyond friendship, no thanks. Pot didn´t interest me in the least. It grew wild all over the river bottoms where I was reared. Literally, it was a weed. Why would anyone want to smoke that stuff? It stunk worse than tobacco. Wild parties? I went to a few. Was the designated driver. I can clearly remember watching my friends and classmates making fools of themselves and knew I had no interest in being a fool. May not sound like much of a rebel, but believe me, in my heart I was truly a rebel. I had a deep dislike for authority and everything that went with it. And yet God was obviously keeping a protective hand on my life.

How was God protecting me? Part Two will explain.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Taking a Stroll

I've had a few people ask me where I came up with the name of this blog. I will try to explain.
I'm a writer. That might explain it to some, but in case you are still in the dark, here's an explanation of sorts. My mind is a BUSY place and (as a writer) characters, scenes, plots, and conversations materialize as I stroll (mentally) along. All I have to do is write them down.
People frequently ask me, "Why do you write?"
Years ago, my first response, with a pleasant smile, was "Why don't you write?"
I got various comebacks to that, but the most common was "Because there is nothing to write about."
At that point in the conversation I usually said, "I'm sorry."
I truly felt sorry for people who felt there was nothing to write about. I have learned through the years that just because someone asks a question, they don't necessarily want to hear the answer. For that reason I no longer make comments like "Why don't you write?" or "I'm sorry." I just smile and shrug. I didn't and don't think that everyone can or should be a writer. My response then, and my feelings now, have nothing to do with their abilities to write. It has to do with their attitude toward the world around them. For me, they live a sad existence. The universe around us is running over with miracles and wonders and stories to be told. It's a tragedy that as we age, moving from infancy to childhood to adolescence to adulthood, that many of us lose our curiosity and sense of wonder. If growing up means losing my ability to observe and feel and experience, losing my curiosity and my need to 'know more', then I prefer not to grow up. (I'm 53, by the way). There is a precious beauty in seeing the world through the eyes of a child. One of my favorite pieces of poetry says it so well:
To see the world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
William Blake

In the past I've taught high school grammar (no moaning or groaning allowed), literature, and creative writing - among other subjects. For me there are few things more exciting than assigning teenagers to keep a journal as part of their course grade (the moaning and groaning is substantial), and after a few weeks having a teen stay behind after class to fearfully or timidly ask me if I would read his/her first attempt at a novel or short story.
Brings joy to my heart. I've help the blind to see. That teen will never be the same again. He may not one day have a book on the Best Seller list, but he now sees the universe with a sense of wonder. His eyes and ears and emotions have been opened to a universe of endless possibilities, limited only by his own imagination.
The world is not a static place. It is dynamic! Life is never boring. Every person you meet has a story to tell; every situation has a lesson to teach. We were not created to mope our way through life. We, as humans, are the jewel of GOD's creation and HE gave us a universe overflowing with light, color, sound, smells, and tastes; a universe for us to experience and enjoy. If GOD wanted us to merely exist HE could have given us a drab, dull, bland world of grey and brown, but HE didn't. HE put us in a place of beauty. A place that is the reflection of His glory and majesty. Open your eyes and your hearts to the treasures around you.
Take a stroll.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Recipes from around the World #2

Irish soda bread contains no baking powder. It will rise because of the acid/alkaline combination of buttermilk and baking soda. After baking, you are to wrap the bread in a slightly damp towel and let it rest for at least 8 hours. Of course, who can wait that long! You need to at least let it cool so it will slice well.
4 cups flour
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease baking sheet or a round cake pan. In a large mixing bowl, stir together all the dry ingredients. Add the buttermilk and stir the a fork until the dough holds together. Knead on a floured surface for 30 seconds. Then place into the cake pan, patting it out to about 1 ½ inches thick. Using a sharp knife dipped in flour, slash a large X across the top. This should be about ¼ inch deep. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until nicely brown and the X spreads open. Place on a rack to cool. Afterwards wrap in a slightly damp towel and allow the bread 8 hours to rest.
This is great with the Irish Coddle from the earlier recipe. Just slice off a slab of bread and spread on lots of butter. Remember, this bread is moist, tender, and rather heavy.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Good Read

As anyone who knows me knows I LOVE TO READ!
And, unfortunately, books are not all that easy to come by here in Costa Rica. I really enjoyed the book reviewed below. It had all the qualities I like most in a book. 1) It caught and kept my attention (I read it straight through). 2) It was funny (I laughed and laughed), and 3)it was free (I won the book in an on-line contest). So, here´s the review....

Dachshunds, Wedding Cake and… a Missing Groom?
THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS, July 6, 2007: Take one heavily-charged laptop. Add a crazed mystery writer, two disobedient dachshunds, one frantic mother of the bride, a worried bride-to-be, and one missing groom. What have you got? GONE WITH THE GROOM—the latest cozy mystery from Texas author Janice Thompson. Three times over a “mother-of-the-bride,” Thompson knows what it's like to be in wedding-planning mode. She’s coordinated a host of ceremonies and receptions over the years. Need a Cinderella-themed June extravaganza? No problem; Thompson’s done it! Looking for a Cupid-driven Valentine’s Day spectacular? Not a problem! Thompson has coordinated one of those, too! Have your heart set on a Hawaiian ceremony and reception, complete with roasted pig? Thompson has walked that road, too. In fact, there are few things about weddings that she doesn’t know.
So, what’s a bleary-eyed mother of the bride to do when she’s got that much wedding experience under her belt, but no money left to plan ahead for daughter #4? If you’re a mystery author like Thompson, it’s a given. You write about it! Capitalizing on her wacky wedding-related experiences, Thompson pours her “Bless Your Southern Heart!” expertise into a series of mysteries called "The Bridal Mayhem" series (Barbour Publishing). Her first novel in the series, THE WEDDING CAPER (Barbour Publishing) released last fall! Now, with the release of GONE WITH THE GROOM, Thompson reminds readers that weddings are the perfect setting for fun-loving “who-dunnits.”
SYNOPSIS: The best laid plans of brides and men go awry when Annie Peterson's future son-in-law Scott disappears. Have pre-wedding jitters caused Brandi's fiancé to take flight, or are more sinister forces at work? Surely Annie can solve the riddle. But who could be behind this apparent kidnapping caper? Maybe the drug company Scott works for has hidden motives. Perhaps it's the handiwork of Otis, Scott's deceitful dad. But then again it could be the shady wedding photographer, or the "political enemies" of Scott's mother. Will Annie solve the mystery and recover the missing groom, or will she suffer "regrets only"?
READER RESPONSE: According to reviewer Lacy Williams, “Thompson's gentle sense of humor permeates this novel and ties into southern references including Annie's mother, who serves grits for breakfast every morning. This reader found herself laughing aloud more than once. A charming cast of characters is handled deftly by Thompson, who manages the whole passel with style and shows how a supportive family can band together in hard times. Between witty dialogue and fast action sequences, this novel kept my attention until the very (happy) end.”
Copies of GONE WITH THE GROOM and THE WEDDING CAPER are available at Christian bookstores, Barnes and Noble, and a host of other stores that carry inspirational fiction. Readers can also find copies online at:,, and
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Award-winning novelist Janice Thompson is an inspirational author of over twenty books - everything from inspirational romances to historical novels, to non-fiction books. She lives in The Woodlands, Texas with two very mischievous dachshunds (Sasha and Copper) who play a major role in her stories.
Gone with the GroomAuthor, Janice A. ThompsonBarbour Publishing, June
ISBN: 159789642XBinding: Trade PaperPrice: $9.97

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Book Giveaway

I love giveaways and especially when it involves books. If you like books and winning giveaways, be sure to check out the Pay It Forward Book Exchange giveaway by visiting and check out all the great books you could win.
Join in the fun!


Recipes from around the World # 1

This is a favorite with my family. Hope you enjoy it.

Nationality: Irish
Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Serves: 4 (large portions)
8 sausages (pork or beef)
4 strips of bacon
2 large onions, chopped
2 large leeks, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
6 large potatoes, peeled and sliced
¼ teaspoon of sage
¼ of thyme
Black pepper
¾ cup of chicken broth (can use apple cinder)
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
*Place sausages in a pan, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Reduce
heat and let cook uncovered for 7 minutes. Drain off water and set the sausages aside.
*Slice the bacon strips into 1 inch pieces. Place in a skillet and cut for 1 minute.
*Add the onions, leeks, garlic, sage and thyme to the bacon. Saute until the vegetables are transparent. Remove bacon and vegetables from the skillet.
*Place the sausages in the skillet and fry them in the remaining bacon drippings.
*Place the potato slices in a cassarole dish. Top with the bacon/onion mixture. *Sprinkle with black pepper, salt, and add the chicken broth.
*Lay the sausages on top.
*Cover the dish with foil and place in the oven.
*Bake for 1 hour.

This is great served with Irish Soda Bread. I will share that recipe with you next time.
Blessings from Costa Rica

Monday, August 6, 2007

July Newsletter

We want to take this opportunity to share our quarterly newsletter with you.

Nolasco News
Apdo. 129-2350
San Jose, Costa Rica, Central America
July 30, 2007
Dear Friends and Family in Christ,
What an awesome GOD we serve and how wonderful are His blessings.
After attending Eli´s graduation in the U.S., Kathie and I returned to Costa Rica on May 18th. We began to make final preparations for the June 30th arrival of the puppet team from Pennsylvania: finalizing the presentation schedule, determining by who and where meals would be provided, preparing sleeping quarters for the eight-member team, planning out their free-day of sightseeing, running 3600 copies of activity sheets, and posting promotional flyers about the presentations. During those weeks before the team´s arrival, we had some problems with the location we are presently using for church services in Nazaret. As many of you already know, we are renting the Community Center for half a day only. There are those in the community that simple don´t want God´s word taught in the neighborhood, and have tried on more than one ocassion to stop us from using the community center. Also, the people in the house next door have started playing loud rap music while we are having Sunday School with the children, making it impossible for the children to even hear the lesson. One woman in the community went house to house insulting and threatening the parents if they allowed their children to attend the VBS presentations. Kathie had asked to rent the community center for her ladies outreach ministry in Nazaret (these meetings were previously held at the home of Maria Elena, but since the recent birth of her grand-daughter who she cares for during the day while her daughter works, the meeting cannot be held there), but her request was denied. So far, we are still allowed to use the community center on Sunday mornings for church. We would appreciate your prayers about this situation. We have the opportunity to rent a house in Nazaret that has a large auditorium area, two rooms for Sunday School classes, and restrooms. However, it is $250/month that we don´t have available at this time. Having such a place would allow us to separate the children and have classes for their age groups, and to have a place to hold the Nazaret ladies meetings.
We need your help, the help of God´s people, to reach out and touch lives here in Costa Rica for Christ. The children of Costa Rica need Jesus because they so often have no one else to really care about them. But God cares and so do we. These children are the future of the gospel of Christ in Costa Rica. These children, many of whom are abused and neglected, need to know that someone loves and cares about them. We need you to help us help them, and unfortunately, that requires money. As I have mentioned above in this letter, we need a place where we can meet with and work with these children. A permanent place, and for that we will need the help of God´s people. Land here is expensive and so is the cost of building. We have been teaching the children to give their offering and they understand about tithing. However, they are children. They have no income to tithe and very little to give in the way of offerings. Just to give you an idea, we have been working in Nazaret for 18 months and the total offering in that time has been less than $25. From whatever the Lord gives us through you, our supporters, we provide for the rent, the transportation for the children, the materials for Sunday School, and we feed the children a meal every Sunday. For many of them, this is the only decent meal they have all week. We need to be able to purchase a piece of property and build a place to house the church, or purchase property with a building(s) already on it. We need $80,000 to cover the cost of land and construction, or the cost of property with a building already in place. Our God is strong and mighty. He can provide for this need through His people if His people are willing to be used by Him. We humbly ask your prayers in this matter, and ask that you would allow Him through you, whether you are a church or an individual, to do great and wonderous things here in Costa Rica. We invite you to come and see the ministry; to come and see the needs so you might better understand our plea for your help.
The VBS puppet presentations were excellent and God greatly blessed. The presentations consist of a four-day program in each location. There are songs, memory verses, Bible stories, games, and activities. Presentations were done in six different locations: Nazaret, Pitahaya, Ochomogo, San Ramon de Alejuela, Santa Lucia de Paraiso, and Cervantes. During the 24 presentations the gospel was presented to 1,764 people and 221 came forward during the invitation for salvation. What a tremendous blessing! Having the puppet team here to work with us was a special privilege and words are not enough to express our gratitude or appreciation for their commitment, love, and sacrifice. During the time they were here (June 30th - July 14th) the bonds of fellowship grew strong and they all are very precious to us. We will miss them greatly.
Kathie´s ladies meetings are going very well, except fot the lack of a place in Nazaret where we are praying about a new location as mentioned earlier in this letter. A new group has been started in San Ramon de Alejuela bringing the groups to a total of six. Funding continues to be a problem. We are, however, most grateful to those who help meet the needs of the ladies ministry each month and encourage you to continue doing so. Please pray that others will feel lead to help as well.
As always we are blessed by your love, prayers, and support. May God keep you in His love.

Samuel Nolasco

*****If any of you feel lead to help meet the needs of the ministry here, please feel free to contact us at this blog site, the email address in my profile, or at the email address in the header of the newsletter itself.

Blessings from Costa Rica

Friday, July 27, 2007

VBS 2007

For the Smile of a Child

The little child was, and still is, so important to Jesus. He always had time for children and He rebuked those who didn't. He told us we must come to Him like a little child. That's why children are such a major part of our ministry here in Costa Rica. They are the forgotten of many denominations and religions. They have no monetary wealth to give, no political powers, and no skills. They are simply little children. Yet how precious they are to our loving God and how beautiful when a smile of joy lights their faces! It is all worthwhile for the smile of a child.
The slide show in the post above is our way of sharing the joy of those heartwarming smiles with you. Watch the slide show and meet the 2007 VBS team. The team consisted of 8 members from Pennsylvania; our daughter Becca; Ronnie, a Costa Rican who drove the second van; and Sam and I for a total of 12.
In a period of 11 workdays, 2 church services and 24 VBS presentations were done in 6 different locations. The presentations consisted of Bible stories, songs, memory verses, games, and activities. Using gospel colors bracelets (made during the activity times) each and every person in attendance was given God´s plan of salvation. A total of 1,764 people heard the Good News of God´s love, and 221 people came forward during the altar calls to pray for salvation! What a tremendous blessing! And what a privilege to serve the King of kings and Lord of lords with the team from Pennsylvania! It was a hectic time of hard work, long hours, and many miles of travel, but it was a precious time of being used of God to touch the hearts of little children. The fellowship was sweet. The time of sharing and praying together was uplifting. The time of parting was tearful, but filled with a blessed hope that the lost and dying world doesn't understand but desperately needs. Our prayer is that your heart might be touched by these precious children and their joyous smiles.
Sam and Kathie

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Dedicated to Daddy

My dad has been gone now for many years, and yet there are moments in my day when I see or hear or experience something and my first thought is that I need to share this with Daddy. There are moments when I look up and out across an expanse of open land, and I expect to see him come striding steadily toward me with his easy smile, a rifle held loosely in the crook of his arm. He was the most important human influence in my life and on who I am today. He is the standard I hold up for other fathers and, unfortunately, no one else matches up.
I don´t know what other fathers teach their little girls, but I doubt that there are very many who are taught the lessons mine taught me. My dad taught me to hunt and fish. He taught me how to trap muskrat, beaver, and fox. He taught me how to set a deadfall. He taught me to read sign in the forest. He taught me to live off the land. He taught me how to move quietly and how to be cautious. He taught me how to dig gingseng and goldenseal and may apple. He taught me how to be independent and take care of myself. He taught me how to think for myself. He taught me to love poetry and books. He taught me to enjoy art and all the beauty in this world around us. He taught me to be in awe of the glories of God as we studied the night skies. He taught me to have a deep respect for the land and for life and for the God of the universe we live in.
I never saw my dad get angry or heard him raise his voice. I never heard him belittle or ridicule another person. He was always calm, quiet, and humble. He was a man who loved his family and his country. He was a man with a strong sense of right and wrong, and of juctice. He saw things in black and white, never in shades of grey.
I can clearly remember the few times he disciplined me. He spanked me only once and I vividly remember the ocassion. He had told me not to throw rocks in the direction of the house and cars. I didn´t listen and one of my rocks broke out the tail lights on the car. He popped me once on my backside. It lifted me completely off the ground and it HURT. But the disappointment in his expression hurt far more. My rock throwing days were over. As I got older my wrong doing earned me talking-tos as Daddy called them. He would sit me down and then seat himself. He would calmly and quietly tell me how disappointed he was in my choice of actions, and how it hurt him to know that I would willfully disobey him and break his rules. The more he talked the smaller I felt until I must have been microscopic. I would rather have had a beating than one of Daddy´s talking-tos.
In life God has given fathers a tremendous responsibility. A father is God´s representative in the life of his child. A father is to show that child God´s love and character. So often in my Christian life my concepts of God are colored by the memories of my dad. For me God is the calm, quiet, loving person Who wants the very best for me, who shows me how to live rightly through lessons that are not always easy, and who loves me despite all my faults and mistakes. The memory of that look of disappointment and hurt on my dad´s face when I did wrong is the same look I know is on the face of my loving heavenly Father whenever I displease Him, and it is that memory that helps me to pause and take a close look at my intentions and thoughts before I act on them.
On this day when we remember our fathers I dedicate this to you, Daddy. I love you and I miss you so much. How I wish every child could grow up under the influence and compassion of such a father as you were to me. Thank you for always having time for me, for listening, for seeing my potential, and for caring enough about me to discipline me. I love you.