Remembering a special Christmas Story

The Christmas Pie

My friend Ross told me when he became middle-aged his life was a wreck. Divorced and depressed, he had stopped trying to lead a Christian life.

Ross kept odd hours, partied all the time, and did not care that his loud music disturbed the neighbors.

But Christmas was coming. For Ross it was the loneliest time of the year: no family, no feasts, no presents.

No amount of loud music could fill his emptiness.

Then just before Christmas, a knock came at his door. There stood an elderly neighbor  bearing a luscious chocolate pie.

She had ample reason to criticize and condemn him. Instead, she had baked him a pie. 

As Ross sliced through the warm filling, hope was born in his heart. Someone, he told himself, thinks I am worth saving. 

Ross returned  to church, to his faith and found a new way of living.

In time Ross married Carol, a beautiful Christian woman. Whether baking biscuits for Sunday School, harvesting hay or playing guitar in a blue grass band, his life was good.

“Every year at Christmas,” Ross concluded his story, “I remember with gratitude that wonderful Christian neighbor and her delicious chocolate pie.” 

Now hear the rest of the story.

Moved by Ross’s story, I submitted it to The Upper Room, a magazine distributed by the United Methodist Church.  They published the piece December 13th, 1996.

This month, twenty-two years later, I read that Ross was inducted into the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame.

God loves us so much that he sent his only son with a wonderful message. Whoever follows me will find abundant and eternal life. –Jesus

Good tidings, great joy–what Christmas is all about. 

Coming soon Flynn and the Dragonfly–a book to help distracted kids come along and belong.

Misgivings or Thanksgivings

I answered an unknown caller, Thanksgiving week, 2017.

“I’ve read your manuscript.

It rings true…

“I like this….”

Watch for the contract.”

Gently, I hung up, then raced to Ken’s study.

He had seen my misgivings–

concern about spending so much time,

two years,

on a project that might not see the light of day.

“Taylor and Seale will publish my story!”

Ken’s laughter lit the room.

I went crunching into the yard

Over multi-colored leaves I whispered:Dragongly Blue Dasher

Thank you God

      for prompting me to answer Dr. Custueri’s call.

     for an opportunity to help distracted kids come along and belong.

     for fall leaves

     for family and friends.

God, you are so good.

A year has passed and Flynn and the Dragonfly is scheduled to release this December.

Watch for it this holiday season.

Amazon, Books-a-million, Taylor and Seale.


Even in situations darkened with misgivings, we can cling to the promise in Psalm 23

“Surely goodness and mercy will follow me

all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

See Psalm 23.