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Hello and Welcome!

Life is tough, but God is good. God’s Word is a strong foundation that is indeed practical and relevant in our world today. Scripture surely molds and changes us as we integrate it into our hearts and lives. Paul’s example in I Thessalonians demonstrates spiritual fruit that remains. I want these same elements to characterize my life to:

  • Present the gospel with boldness,
  • Give myself—in loving, supporting, cherishing,
  • Live without blame and above reproach,
  • Exhort and comfort others (as a mother to her children)
  • Expect God’s Word to work powerfully,
  • Condition others for persecution and suffering,
  • Always be ready for Christ’s return.

A personal relationship with Christ is the most exciting element for daily living. He came to give us an abundant life! (John 10: 10). He loves us and wants us to experience the fullness of His grace, joy, and peace. A joyful heart is good medicine (Proverbs 15: 13). I pray that you’ll find encouragement and hope through my writings and that God will bless you abundantly as you seek His face.

Warmly, Fran

Download a free copy of Fran's book "See You Later, Jeffrey" translated into Russian
Загрузить бесплатную копию книги Фрэн"Увидимся позже, Джеффри" переведена на русский язык

THIS MONTH'S MESSAGE

Touchstones of Hope and Faith
By Fran Caffey Sandin

In the pocket of her lab coat, Dr. Glenda Hickman carried hand-painted stones with scriptures or words of hope and faith. As director of palliative medicine at the Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, she addressed the medical and emotional needs of patients and their families. Dr. Hickman noticed that patients facing life-threatening illnesses would hold on to things. As a means of consoling and reassuring her patients she came up with the idea of sharing the stones she had first begun painting at home for relaxation. Patients were so grateful they rubbed the stones until the words came off, so Glenda began adding a coat of lacquer to preserve the message.

Dr. Hickman said, “We recognize that suffering has many forms, not just physical,” she added, “We work hard to relieve emotional, social, and spiritual suffering as well.”

In discussing how they were dealing with their illness, Dr. Hickman asked patients if spirituality was a source of strength. If they responded positively, she would reach in her pocket and give two stones, one to keep and one to give away.

The little polished stones, not suitable for jewelry-making because they were imperfect with dings or pits, were purchased by the pound. It is estimated that within one year’s time, Dr. Hickman had given away nearly 1,600 stones. She continued for several years. Not only patients, but families and hospital caregivers gained comfort from the precious gifts because as one nurse said…”when you touch them, you know someone cares”.

It was my privilege to know Dr. Hickman since her childhood, and to observe her outstanding intelligence, cheerful spirit, her many talents, as well as her deep compassion for others. Dr. Hickman, age 48, arrived in her heavenly home on May 14, 2012. For the last five months of her illness, she received hospice care herself, bravely faced each day, and even continued her medical education as strength allowed. It was a difficult journey, but one that ended in victory.

I write this devotional as a tribute to a young woman I greatly admired who leaves a valuable legacy of hope and faith. She was also a gifted writer. In April, 2006, Dr. Hickman sent me this poem written as a song.

COVER ME
By Glenda Gilbert Hickman. M.D.

Cover me with Your wings, O Lord; Protect me from the storm;
When my heart has failed within me, Let me find shelter in Your arms.
You see the pain too deep for weeping, You hear each word I cannot say;
When I fall before you, broken, You will never turn away.
Your tender gaze I long to see; No other touch can comfort me;
Oh Father, God, just let me be A child who’s safely kept in Thee.

Dear Father, I thank you for Glenda, her life, her gifts, her ministry, her love for You, and that she shared that love with so many. May we each gain inspiration from her generous spirit and find our own ways to spread Your hope and comfort with others. In Jesus’ name, A-men.

Some of the above information appeared in The Methodist Times hospital newspaper, Houston, Texas, Sept. 24, 2007.

THIS MONTH'S RECIPE

Breakfast Sausage Casserole

6 slices bread
1 pound pork sausage
8 ounce package shredded cheddar cheese
6 eggs, beaten
2 cups half & half
1 tsp. salt

Brown and drain sausage. Use non-stick spray on 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
Line the dish with bread and sprinkle cheese and sausage over bread.
To well-beaten eggs, add half & half (or whole milk) and salt,
And pour evenly over all.

Cover and chill in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 15 minutes,
Then Bake at 350 degrees 45 minutes or until set and serve hot.
Makes 8 servings

I like to use this recipe combined with
a tasty muffin and some fruit,
It is a great do-ahead recipe when company comes.
Enjoy!