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  • Writer's pictureLinda Thomson

A Warm Cup of Comfort: Uninvited Guest. A Winner & A New GIVEAWAY!

My husband and I have had a Christmas Open House every year for 30 years. One year the doorbell rang and I went to greet our guests. To my surprise it wasn’t anyone we had invited, I recognized him as someone from our very large church but it wasn’t someone we were acquainted with. He quickly explained he was just there to drop something off to a couple that had come earlier, Greg and Constance. Of course we asked him in and soon we noticed he was enjoying himself as he stayed the entire evening. We’re so glad he did, we made a new friend! Well for a few years after that every time December rolled around and we were making up the guest list for our next party we would have so much fun asking Greg and Constance how many people they were planning to invite to our Open House!!

You may have an uninvited guest in your home, fear. Now, none of us would willingly fling open our front doors and welcome fear in and yet there it is sitting at your dinner table, lounging on your sofa cushions and greeting you before you lay your head down to sleep at night.

In his book, “The Bumps Are What You Climb On” Warren Wiersbe shares, “We are accustomed to managing things ourselves that when an unmanageable crisis comes along, we feel helpless and afraid. The secret to victory over fear is faith in God. There is no problem too great for God to solve, no burden too heavy for God to carry, no battle too overwhelming for our God to fight and win. God is big enough to conquer the enemies that rob us of our peace and leave paralyzing fears behind. Faith is not simply medicine to kill the disease; faith is spiritual power to keep us from being infected in the first place."

We find divine resources to sustain us in these scriptures:

  • “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

  • “But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3

  • “I prayed to the Lord and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4

Bound to Please: Book Readings

I've put the kettle on for you so settle down into a comfy chair to enjoy a good book and a warm cup of comfort. For fun I have videoed a book reading for you. Click here to hear me read from “The Bumps Are What You Climb On.” In his book Warren Wiersbe points out, “God doesn’t promise to remove the stones from the path, but He does promise to make them stepping-stones and not stumbling blocks.”

Mixing Bowl: Recipes!

These lemon bars, like the story behind them, will remind you that there are certain things we eat that stir up warm memories and awaken friendships, they remind us of overcoming and coming together! Click here to make these easy and yummy Lemon Bars shared with us by Jean Reno. Judy Butler shares a recipe for Hamburger Pie and Gina Hoss Culver loves how easy this recipe for Chicken Enchilada Casserole is as it can be baked in the oven or cooked in a crock-pot. Both are sure to be perfect at your dinner table. “What’s for dessert?” I’m glad you asked. Here is Janni Cassera’s recipe for Melting Moments Cookies. Makes you glad you finished your dinner!!

What Brings You Comfort?

We look for big dramatic ways to find relief and calm when the Lord’s presence and comfort are readily available to us in the still and simple. So many of you reminded me of this by sharing the comfort you receive in the things we hear, see, touch, smell and taste.

Linda Thomson – The other day Christian musical artist Natalie Grant said this concerning this time of social distancing. “As the weight of the day and circumstances became unbearable she began to worship. Because His presence is our greatest weapon and my worship opens up the heavens and is the pathway to His presence.” Click here to hear a great and comforting song by another musical artist named Cody Carnes. The song “Run To The Father” says “My heart needs a surgeon my soul needs a friend so I run to the Father…”

Terri Stoddard – “So I actually speak Gods word back to me out loud and that comforts me greatly! Also comfort to me is a big soft chenille covered couch (Do I have one of those? No!) But I have a good chair and my Bible and study books are always nearby! I’d love a walk in the woods (but I don’t have that either!) So I will take a walk and I ask Him to join me.” Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures evermore.”

T.J. Seabert – “I find baking very comforting. I love the aroma of baking. My girls and I would bake our chocolate chip cookies and it was our way of sharing joy with others and delivering them to our neighbors, convalescent homes, police stations, the VA hospital. It always brought joy and comfort to us by sharing them and to the recipients receiving them.”

Paige Newman - Inspired by Job 38-39, Paige has written us this beautiful poem.

"Help Us Remember"

"How we love to worry and fret, as if we have no safety net.

As if this life is built by us with all our toil and our fuss.

But which one of us hung the stars in place,

taught the bird to sing, created the human face?

Draws the wind through the mountain pass,

engineered genes or made lizards so fast?

Which of us takes credit for the sun,

wired the first thought or was there when life begun?

Oh help us remember the grander plan

that we have a Creator and rest safe in His hand."

Scripture to Nourish Your Souls:

Jean Reno – “Be still, and know that I am God” reads the sign on God’s waiting room wall (Psalm 46:10). You can be glad because God is good. You can be still because He is active. You can rest because He is busy.” From the Max Lucado calendar, “You’ll Get Through This.”

Lynn Bailey – Some of us are feeling like we are in a spiritual drought, like a wilted garden or a dried-up spring with nothing left to give to our families, no encouragement to offer those we see at work or in our neighborhood. Well Isaiah 58:11 addresses this beautifully! “And the Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” Go drench somebody!

Dianna Lakjer – Psalm 40:1-3 “I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in Him. “

Lynne Vogel - “The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8


As we all seem to have loved ones that are long distance and as things slowly open up here are some great ideas to keep in touch. You can do these things through your favorite video chat platform or in person.

  1. Have a Coffee Date – before a scheduled phone call (Face Time, or Zoom) have everyone grab a cup of coffee and maybe a yummy snack, pick up the phone and share the moment. Have you ever kept a Phone Journal? I have kept one for years. It reminds me of sweet conversations and prayer requests that might have otherwise slipped my mind. Some of these conversations were with loved ones that are no longer with us and I cherish the memories of each scribbled entry.

  2. Card making – set supplies out before make cards together. Discuss who may need some extra cheer, who you’d like to surprise with good ole snail mail! End your time in prayer for each other and those you’ve made the cards for. Great for any age.

  3. Read Aloud – this can be done “real time” or recorded for later use. It can be as easy as picking up your phone and using your video platform. Perfect for Grandparents to do with their grandkids!

"Oh, Oh pick me!"

I've got a WINNER for Sheri Torelli’s wonderful cookbook,

“The Fast-Food Kitchen, Great Meals at Home in 15 Minutes.”

Congratulations: MARIE D.

Don't forget, you can go online and order a cookbook for yourself, you'll be glad you did!!

And now a little something for each one of you since you can't all win the giveaways! There is an acronym Max Lucado developed for the word calm, C-A-L-M. You will love it. Just click here to print a copy of it off for yourself!


Is just in time for a coffee date.

I will be giving away two"Friend" Coffee Mugs.

Leave a comment below about a friend and why she's important to you and if your name is drawn I will send both of you this adorable yellow mug along with some of my favorite coffee and teas!

Lastly this encouragement from Warren Wiersbe:

Nothing moves or changes God. God is not affected by the conclusions of society or the confusion of the government. He is the rock – He stands secure – He will not be moved.

So remember – my kettle is on for you!



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Linda Thomson
Linda Thomson
Jun 15, 2020

Dear Marney, I'm so glad you are part of Heart & Keeper's neighborhood! I have just always wanted my website to be a place grounded in principles of faith where we can encouragement each other and "gathering together." Let's gather together soon!


Marney Hamilton
Marney Hamilton
Jun 15, 2020

Once again, my heart is full from your lovely words of encouragement and sharing of food and song! What a beautiful song...we know that we can lay anything at our Lord's feet. Psalm 46:10 is my go to verse always...for myself, for friends in need or facing situations. God's got us!! We just need to Be Still and let His grace and unending mercies flow through us! Oh Linda, what a heart you have for Jesus and your sweet way of sharing and being a servant is deliciously gobbled up!! Love you friend; can't wait to gather with you!! Blessings


Linda Thomson
Linda Thomson
Jun 15, 2020

Dear Sheri, You have always showed us how to value and cherish friendships! Thank you for this beautiful reminder, "It's basis is Christ and everything after that is icing on the cake!


Sheri Torelli
Sheri Torelli
Jun 15, 2020

For me friendship is that easy, breezy comfortable feeling one gets when sitting down for a freshly brewed cup of coffee or tea. It's conversation that flows easily, brings smiles and laughter and is steeped in mutual care for one another. It's basis is Christ and everything after that is icing on the cake! Love you my sweet friend!


Linda Thomson
Linda Thomson
Jun 15, 2020

Hello Naomi, What a precious testimonial of your dear friend. I know you have been a blessing to her as well!

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