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.
Bella: Crosses are simple to make and easy to give away. If your readers will provide me an address (email me to email@example.com) 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 artistwithahook.blogspot.com.
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 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.