Thursday, April 14, 2011

She calls herself the Unconventional Adventurer. I wonder if that applies to more than a few of us.

Have you been thinking about the upcoming Resurrection celebration just around the corner?  I have.

This is the time of year that my husband thrills over most. Together, he and I remember with clarity and focus what the Lord did for us when He died on the cross and then rose for our redemption. It's because of His great and unselfish love, not only for the two of us who are undeserving but for every person in the world, that makes us treasure this time of year so much.

I often wonder how many take time to really think about the significance of that and of what He did and why.

With Easter to look forward to, I am blessed to be able to share with you, not one, but two authors who will reflect on their personal joys of this time of year from their individual perspectives, as they reflect a bit about themselves and about this special time.

This week we have Bella Steele with us  -- a delightful Christian sister who is also a part of Faith, Hope, and Love, a Romance Writers of America Chapter, we are both blessed to be a part of.

Annabella “Bella” Steele lives in SW Ohio but her heart is elsewhere–Kentucky her home state and any western state you care to name. She retired from the world of business to write and has published seven short stories and novellas under the name of Billie Warren Chai. Now a stay at mom with two teenage boys, who she thinks are devastatingly handsome, and their father, she stays busy writing her stories and crocheting. After a serious illness she thanks God for every day she has with her family.
Bella Steele, well known to many of you avid romance readers, is blessed to be more than an author with the gifted talent of making words into stories. Bella enjoys making use of her  talent of working with her hands -- somewhat like the Dorcas we all know from the New Testament, and turning it into a ministry unto God.

Please join me in welcoming her to A Pen for Your Thoughts.

Shirley: Tell us about yourself, Bella.

Bella: My spiritual journey has taken me down many paths and God has patiently shepherded me along. I grew in a Southern Baptist Church, went to American Baptist next, then I joined the Church of Christ and Presbyterian churches. I’m currently studying to convert to Catholicism. I love to savor religious art as part of my religious experience.

Over the years I have engaged in many handcrafts–including basket-weaving but now I stick to crocheting, sewing, and embroidery. I constantly look for patterns that reflect the spiritual picture inside my head. I created many beautiful angels using thread on canvas (count and cross-stitch) and have given them away to those who need comfort. Currently I’m crocheting and my pieces reflect the spiritual thirst I have.

Shirley: That sounds awesome. Tell us more.

Bella: As Easter approaches I am more aware than ever of the burden the Lord has placed on me to follow Him. The Heavenly Father sent his Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit to redeem us from sin and guide our path. The suffering endured by Christ for all of us is unimaginable. I have no way to pay Him for his sacrifice and He would refuse it anyway.

He tells us in John 21:16 -- He saith to him again the second time, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, FEED MY SHEEP.

(I believe) my writing and my handcrafts feed  Christ’s sheep. I could not do this without Christ in my corner. I was surprised to find, but I shouldn’t have been, that many crafters such as my self create items strictly to give them away.

A woman waiting with me at the VA Hospital was crocheting red, white and blue blankets for veterans. Others make tiny hats and booties for premature babies.

The woman I admire the most crochets christening gowns for premature babies and stillborn children. I can feel the mother’s pain at the loss of her child. It is hard–I had four miscarriages before my sons were born. God blessed me with them and I committed them to him as babies. They are now wonderful young men.

Shirley: I, too, believe that the gifts and talents we use, as Christians, are to be exercised for the glory of God, no matter what it is.

I've always loved to sing harmony and I learned to play a couple of instruments as a youth. When the Lord found me, He increased my talent with stringed instruments (primarily the guitar), and I began writing songs for Him from scriptures that I could play and sing on my Martin guitar for years as a worship leader. It became my ministry, Bella. I vowed later, that whoever I gave that guitar too, would also do the same.

The Lord re-directed my life in time to show my creativity with writing, and I've been there ever since. Every talent we have is a ministry from Him to be used for Him.

You mentioned the VA Hospital, Bella. Because I am a military mom, I can sense the blessing you received as you met with those other women because of what they do. Every man and woman in the military wrenches at my heart, which reminds me of the importance to pray for them.

Bella: Crosses are simple to make and easy to give away. If your readers will provide me an address (email me to I will send them a cross.

Shirley: You can be sure you'll hear from me too. What a treat especially this time of year. God bless you, Bella.

To read more about Bella's needlework ministry, please check out her blog over at 

And as I mentioned earlier, Bella also is a gifted author. If you, as a reader, have not had the opportunity to enjoy her writing, I'm including one of her books here for you to search out.
Bella: May God Bless (you) Shirley, for providing this wonderful service. May the peace of Christ be with you always.

Bella Annabelle Steele

Shirley: To the viewers this week. Drop us a line and tell us what you believe God has especially gifted you in and what you believe is your ministry. We'd love to hear from you. And don't forget to let me know that you'll be sending a note to Bella, so she can bless you with a stitched cross.


  1. I loved the post.

    I crochet warm hats for the homeless in our area. I do hundreds each year.

    I noticed the book cover on the post. What book is that? Did you or Bella write it?

  2. Bella wrote that story, Lena, and under the name of Billie Warren Chai. Hope you'll be able to get it. Let us know your thoughts. Isn't that great cover art!

    Be sure to drop Bella an email so you can get a cross. It's a special treat she's doing for all of us.


  3. Great post. Thanks.
    I believe my ministry is to share tea with my lady friends as we talk about God together. I get so blessed doing that. I think they do too.
    You are right. Everything we do CAN be a ministry.

  4. I get very moved by military personnel. Two of my friends have a grandson and a son who are the same age as my oldest. Both are in the USMC and one is headed for Afghanistan. I have given a number of books to the VA Hospital here or the Veterans.
    Almost anything we do in the name of the Lord can be a ministry. Shirley, Lena and Betty, I thank God for your service to Him.

  5. Hi Bella, I so loved the part of your post where you said you crotcheted for premature and stillborn babies. Bless your heart, what a beautiful ministry, one I'll keep in my prayers.

  6. Thank you for telling us all you do because of your relationship with God, Bella. It sounds wonderful.
    Janice Ian