Let us run the race


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Rumi Rancho Reindeer




"There really are reindeer in Bolivia,"
said Abby to her sisters, Ellie and Olivia.

"They seem to me just a little bit strange.
Aunt Peggy says it’s because they’re open range.

I’ve seen them and they are strange indeed
Because their funny antlers are red and green."

Many kids walk far to go to Rumi Rancho to play
They hear stories of Jesus and always want to stay.

They heard that Jesus was born a long time ago
  His birthday is on Christmas day and He loves us so.

Missionaries travel the whole world wide
To tell the Good News that Jesus is alive.

He was born in a manger on Christmas day
So that we might learn of all God’s ways.

The way to heaven is still the same
Believe in Jesus, He knows us by name.

We know we celebrate because you are the reason
So Happy Birthday, Jesus, this Christmas Season.

From Rumi Rancho you can hear the kids cheer
Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year!
  
Luke 2:11 “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior,
     who is Christ the Lord.”

And before you go, check out this recipe all the way from Bolivia!

BOLIVIAN BUÑUELOS RECIPE:

Buñelos are a popular snack throughout Latin America. While they can be eaten at
anytime, Bolivian tradition sees them eaten on Christmas morning with syrup and hot
chocolate.

Buñuelos are a soft doughy sweetbread that is deep-fried in the same way doughnuts are
made, with a similar flavor but a slightly more chewy texture, traditionally served
drizzled with a syrup or honey. The buñuelos are often puffy with a crispy crust and air
pockets on the inside.



Ingredients:
2 tablespoons fresh yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon anise
2 eggs
2 cups flour
3 cups butter
Molasses to taste
1/2 cup sunflower oil to moisten hands

Preparation:
In a bowl, dissolve the sugar in water, add the fresh yeast, let it stand for about 7 minutes,
then add the salt, anise, eggs and flour, mixing it slowly with your hand until you obtain a
watery dough. Let the dough stand and rise twice before you start frying in hot butter or
oil.

To fry, first spread oil over your hands, take a handful of dough with the fingertips and
stretch it into a 4-inch round; rotating the dough occasionally to form a circle. When
about to fry, poke a hole in the middle, and put in the frying pan with a stick or the back
of a wooden spoon through the hole. Let it acquire a golden brown color on both sides
before retiring and leave in a colander to drain away excess oil; then put all in a bowl to
serve.

Serve with a jug of hot sugar cane syrup, molasses or honey for each person to add the desired amount on the buñuelo. Note: Some Bolivians prefer to eat their buñuelos covered in sifted powdered sugar.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

 Thanksgiving was a traditional family gathering at my in-laws. The siblings came from near and far with their families. Entering the snowy driveway, we'd see the house with seven gables high on the hill. The roar of snowmobiles could be heard coming from the fields nearby––nieces and nephews enjoying Grandpa's toys. Beautiful horses galloped in the fields near the red barn. Approaching the house, we'd be engulfed by a whiff of the turkey; then Grandma opened the door and lavished us with hugs. As we'd sit down at the beautifully set table with its china and crystal, the golden turkey was the centerpiece, and the pumpkin pie was a sweet ending to the feast. It was truly a Norman Rockwell scene.
I miss those gatherings. They are but treasured memories now that many family members have entered eternity. The memories cause me to be thankful for the times past, and they make me conscious this Thanksgiving of how short my time is on earth. Psalm 107:1 says, "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, his love endures forever." (NIV)
This Thanksgiving Day, I'll give thanks to the Lord for providing a way for me to have eternal life and for good health, family, and friends, and so many other blessings. And yes, good memories too. God is so good––enjoy His goodness––Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Interview Blessing


My blog interview by fellow author Betty Thomason Owens


Author of Dancing Like Bees, 31 Steps to De-stress, Delight, and Dance Like Bees
It is my privilege to introduce today’s guest, Peggy Cunningham, fellow Write Integrity Press author. Peggy and I became virtual friends while I was preparing to make the trip to Ecuador. Peggy and her husband are missionaries stationed in Bolivia, so she very kindly shared some excellent advice on traveling to South America. Her children’s book, Really Rare Rabbits made the trip with me. I shared the Spanish version of the book with viewers during my first live television interview in Cuenca. dance-like-bees-cover-front-cover
Today on the blog, Peggy is talking about her latest release through Pix-N-Pens Publishing–a devotional book called Dancing Like Bees. Very cute cover, don’t you think? Intriguing title, too. I’ll let her tell you more about herself, her writing, and the inspiration for the book.
Where do you work?
Peggy: I work at the ends of the earth––in Bolivia, South America, where my husband and I have been missionaries since 1981. At times, it seems like the end of the earth when we’re without pepperoni and McDonald’s. I say that with a smile. But seriously, those things grow dim when we compare them to the joys of doing God’s work. We minister to the Quechua people of the Andes Mountains––both in the valleys and remote mountain areas. We have a children’s ministry teaching underprivileged children practical skills while reaching them with the gospel. We also have two churches––one in the rural area where we live and work, and one in the city closest to us.
Betty: I know at times it’s a sacrifice, and at other times, a blessing, so let me ask you,
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Peggy: Honestly, when I wrote my first book, I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer. What I did know was that I wanted to stay in touch with my grandchildren from 6,000 miles away. They visited Bolivia for the first time when they were only toddlers. My daughter and son-in-law wanted them to bond with us, and they decided to stay for three weeks so our grandchildren could get to know us. It certainly helped us connect with them as grandparents. When they left to return home, the silence in our house rang out loud and clear. For at least a week, we found any excuse to leave the house to escape our loneliness and sadness. I began to ponder how to communicate with them from afar. At the time, phone service was expensive and not always reliable. And, phone calls usually resulted in yes and no answers––hardly relationship building. I prayed for a unique way to connect with them, and God gave me the answer––writing.
So, how did you begin writing?
hare-940972_1920Peggy: My answer to staying in touch with my grandkids came from God. And, it resulted in the beginning of my writing journey, now going on 12 years. I decided to write stories for Ben and Kayla about the animals they had come to love while visiting us. At the time we had nine animals––resulting in nine stories. Ben and Kayla looked forward to my next story with excitement, so I kept writing. Those stories became my first venture at self-publishing. Their overwhelming success with our supporters, friends, family, and churches caused me to begin thinking about a publisher. But first, I started submitting stories and devotions to magazines, and that resulted in being asked to write a children’s column for a Christian newspaper. In 2013, Pix-N-Pens Publishing released my first traditionally published three-book children’s series, Really Rare Rabbits. Now, I’m writing non-fiction also. My first devotional, Dancing Like Bees, was just released this month by Pix-N-Pens Publishing.
How many books have you published?
Peggy: Dancing Like Bees is my fourth traditionally published book. And, I’ve self-published 14 children’s books.
Tell us a little bit about your new book, Dancing Like Bees.honey-311047_640
Peggy: My book explores our struggle with stress and how to energize our walk with God: hence the sub-title, 31 Steps to De-stress, Delight, and Dance Like Bees. Through the 31 devotionals, I investigate the “bes” of finding peace through life’s difficult circumstances in our daily journey with God while using the honeybee as an example of God’s organized and peaceful creation. Chapters include: Be Pollinating, Be Yourself, and Be Renewed.
daisy-1520486_1280I find it interesting that when talking with people about missionary work they sometimes think we live a perfect, fairy-tale type life where everyone gets along, and there are no problems or stress. I almost chuckle because that is not my life. But, it’s a myth believed by many. The number one reason missionaries leave the field is because of stress–-with relationships, finances, and their children just to mention a few. The same stress factors we all encounter no matter our geography. I examine some of those common stresses in my book.
I know you’ve visited the mission field, Betty, and I’m sure you can attest that missionary life is stressful. Missionaries are not exempt from real life, although we do live an exotic life in some ways and do experience some stress factors only related to missionary work. But, I haven’t eaten an elephant––nor would I ever––but swinging from trees like Tarzan might be therapeutic at times.
Betty: Ha ha! It absolutely would. And yes, I saw stressful situations among the mission workers in Ecuador. I met so many who have given everything to follow the call. I have to admit, I was in awe of their dedication. 
bee-961148_1280Where did your inspiration come from? And, where did you meet your main characters for your book?
Peggy: I felt frustrated and near exhaustion when I slipped away temporarily from my caregiver duties to meet with the Savior one morning. My husband suffered with a bout of shingles that left him in constant pain with no relief—not even with morphine. Months turned into years. Countless doctors tried their best but with no success.
“Where are you, God, I asked? Don’t you see us in the middle of a foreign country with no help?” Of course, I knew He did, but I couldn’t feel His presence because of my circumstances that seemed to engulf me. I sat near a flowerbed filled with daisies and that’s when I met my main characters for my book––the Honeybees. Their busy buzzing drew my attention. They flew peacefully from flower to flower doing the job God created them to do, even as a storm approached. If bees could be joyful and peaceful in all circumstances, surely I could find a way. And, so I began researching the honeybee to learn more of their everyday lives.
Betty: That is truly an amazing story. Honeybees are a fascinating subject. We can learn a lot just from watching them.
What message do you want to convey with this book?
honey-311047_640Peggy: Even in days of uncertainty and turmoil, and the “stings of life”, I hope my readers will find new depths of joy from the parallels of the work of the bees to the Christian life that I’ve discovered through my research of God’s creation, the honeybee. Bees communicate through their dances to reap their harvest, and they work till death. In and through the midst of challenging faith-stings, I hope Dancing Like Bees will refresh and revitalize stressed souls and God’s honey will ooze like a salve to heal their life-stings. Last but not least, I hope all who read my book will find God sufficient in all circumstances to live a joy-filled busy, balanced, and blessed life so they can dance as David did––with all their might. “And David danced before the Lord with all his might” (Samuel 6:14 KJV).
Thank you, Betty, for inviting me to share about my book on your blog. I’m blessed to be your fellow author with Write Integrity Press and your friend.
Betty: Any time, Peggy. It’s always nice to talk with you. I hope to meet you in person one day. In the meantime, I’m glad to give my readers a chance to know you better. Readers, I hope you’ll take a look at Peggy’s website. Keep up with her journey and the fascinating stories she writes.

More about Peggy Cunningham:
peggy-headshotPeggy Cunningham and her husband, Chuck, have been missionaries in Bolivia, S.A., since 1981. In 1999, they founded Rumi Rancho Ministries. Chuck and Peggy work with the Quechua people in a rural area of Bolivia where they have a children’s ministry––teaching practical skills to underprivileged children. They also work with national churches. Peggy teaches teen girls’ cooking and baking classes along with Bible studies. She is also a writer. Her children’s book series, Really Rare Rabbits, volumes one, two, and three, released by Pix-N-Pens Publishing in 2013 is available on Amazon.com in print and on Kindle. They are also available in Spanish. Her new book, Dancing Like Bees, is her first non-fiction book, a devotional, published by Write Integrity Press/Pix-N-Pens Publishing in 2016 also available on Amazon.com. All books can be ordered at local bookstores also.
For more information about Peggy and her books: Peggy’s Website 

Dancing Like Bees
dance-like-bees-cover-front-cover
Click to Buy
Frustrated and exhausted, Peggy walked the mission property early mornings to slip away temporarily from her caregiver duties and meet with the Savior. Her husband suffered from a bout with shingles that left him in constant pain with no relief—not even with morphine. Months turned into years. Countless doctors tried their best but with no success.
Where was God? Didn’t He see them in the middle of a foreign country with no help? Hadn’t they given their lives to serve as missionaries and trusted Him for their health? She wept as she sat near a flowerbed filled with daisies. Just then, the buzz of bees drew her attention. They flew peacefully from flower to flower doing the job God created them to do, even as a storm approached. She noticed a pattern. If bees could be joyful and peaceful in all circumstances, surely she could find a way.
Through the thirty-one devotions, this book examines what Peggy learned about God’s intricate creation of the honeybee and how it speaks direction into our need for living peaceful, productive lives while overcoming stress and achieving joy. God is faithful always, and His creation magnifies His majesty if we take time to seek Him in everyday situations—even through the honeybee. Buy the book: Dancing Like Bees
really-rare-rabbits
Really Rare Rabbits http://amzn.to/2dwaKpy

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Featured Author


Pix-N-Pens Publishing
Feature Author:
Peggy Cunningham

Have you ever wanted to run away to a faraway exotic land to escape the stress and frustrations of life? I can assure you that even there you’d find stress and discontentment. How do I know? Because I live in a faraway exotic land.

My mission base is nestled in the foothills of the Andes Mountains where I’m a missionary to the Quechua people of Bolivia, S. A.. The views from my windows are breathtaking––snow capped mountains reaching 17,000 feet and valleys with wildflowers and bustling cities. Fairytale like––hardly! Exotic lands don’t escape the real world. Only through God can we reach a life of peaceful mountaintops and eternal purpose in our faith journey.

A few years ago, my husband suffered from a bout of shingles that left him in constant pain without relief. Where was God? In my new book, Dancing Like Bees, I examine God’s intricate creation of the honeybee and how it speaks direction into our need for living peaceful, productive lives regardless of circumstances. Through the honeybee, I learned of God’s ways and His faithfulness. I found God’s peace.

 “Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness;” (Psalm 86:11 NIV)

Available in Paperback and on Kindle on Amazon at: http://amzn.to/2eqoXAd