Friday, June 22, 2018


By Rachel H.T. Mendell

The first time I saw the ocean we were driving in San Franscico on a street called Straight. (The real name of the street is Lombard.)

My mom made a big deal of it, and I was hooked.

“Here we go!” she announced.

We had driven hours and hours in the heat (this was before cars had air conditioning), through unforgiving deserts on steaming hot highways. Our Chevy Impala (shiny black with a white top) was comfortable, but even the breeze the open windows allowed was hot. We were cooled by our sweat.

When we reached San Francisco, the air freshened, thousands of green trees welcomed us and I almost asked my parents if we could move there. At that moment Phoenix seemed blanched and dusty.

Up the hill, slowly. Our car no longer struggled since my dad had flipped the air filter so the carborator would work better.

We were at the top. My dad paused for drama. My mom loved dramatics.

Then over the crest we went – slowly, slowly, down, back and forth, trees and bushes blocking the view I was supposed to see. I strained toward the view, leaning into the front seat.

“There's the ocean!” My mom's voice was hushed in a sacred moment. Looking back now I realize this was a huge deal for her.



And we meant it.

The ocean stretched out before us an expanse of gray blue quicksilver. I couldn't look at it enough.

“When will we get there?” asked my brother.

“It will be a while before we can find a beach or a dock or something,” said my mom. But her confidence was enough for me.

I would get to touch the ocean.

It was several hours before I put my bare feet in the water. In that warm, wet moment it was as if I had arrived. My dad rolled up his pant legs and went in as far as he could without getting them wet. The waves weren't as huge as I thought they would be, but my mom assured us we would spend a lot more time soaking our feet in salt water when we arrived at our final destination.

Looking back to that day, I know why God made the ocean.

We needed a visual, physical picture of His Love.

Each day I travel that road up the hill as I read my Bible passages for the day, waiting patiently for The View to appear.

And it does.

And I am awed once again. God's Love is so huge and wide and long and deep, never ending, always there even if I can't see it.

And I decend slowly, back and forth, putting on my mental brakes 'cause I don't want to go too fast, along the windy road of understanding, until I reach that place of peace where I place my feet and soak in the feeling of arrival ...

… at The Ocean of His Love.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Ohio Country Journal: If Barns Could Talk

Ohio Country Journal: If Barns Could Talk: This barn makes me smile every time that I see it, which is almost daily because it is near the reservoir where I love to take nature wal...

Friday, May 25, 2018


Window, by VirginiaG at Pixabay


Open the window to the cold morning air

Listen to the bird song before dawn, the earliest waking the others,

Praise God for another day to live


Notice how much the grass has grown since yesterday, the new blooms on the blueberry bushes and lavender

Hear the traffic outside, the loud truck that passes by every week day, and pray for the worker driving that truck, may he or she have a good day filled with God's blessings

Smell the fresh air cleansed by dew and a new scent of something blooming


And plan to explore the outside to discover what this new flower might be


Feel the aches and pains of yesterday melting away as God's Word fills my heart and body

Thank God for a new day

A day of discovery,

A day of troubles solved by My Protector, questions answered by My Counselor, the day's path smoothed by My Guide and Leader

Feel the responsibilities creeping into my heart,

Hold them at bay for a moment longer



Then give the day to My Master

And go …


Thank you Kate Motaung for giving us this place to share each week. You're awesome!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Supporting Authors

Galion Public Library has always supported authors, that is why it is no surprise that the first Multi-Author Book Signing was another step in growing that support.

Five authors spoke about their books and had copies available for perusal, sale and signature.

Cook for Cats

Noel had lots of books and journals to display. Her most recent book, Cooking for Cats, recently hit the shelves. The book offers recipes for your favorite cat that are tasty and healthy. All recipes use human-grade ingredients and are completely safe for pets. Noel said these recipes are a safe alternative to chemically altered, often recalled, commercial cat food.

Her previous book, Good Dog! Pet Cookbook, has also been well-received. The proceeds for each of these pet cookbooks goes to the non-profit organization Rescued Rollers: Wheelchairs for Dogs.

To purchase Noel's cookbooks go to

For more information about Rescued Rollers see their Facebook page -

The Will to Survive

Helene is a book about a young girl growing up in WWII Germany. Author Helga Long recorded interviews with her mother over a period of years. Of the 19 audio cassettes, Helga was able to create a story of her mother's life in Germany. Some of her stories include Hitler invading Poland, many life-threatening experiences, escape from Russian occupation, work as a Red Cross nurse, and eventual emigration to the United States.

Helga shared a concern with us - perhaps some of the stories were too far fetched. She conducted extensive research and found her mother had a great memory. All her storiesof that time were true and matched up with historical time lines of important events.

Helga was inspired by her mother's resilience and optimism in the face of continual hardship and danger.Helene: True Story of a German Girl's Resilience Growing Up During World War II is an inspiration to the reader.

To find out about Helga go to Here you may also see her speaking engagements. To contact her via email:

A Magnificent Adventure

“Walk close to the Lord always and your life will be a Magnificent Adventure. Stray to your own will and it will become a Diminishing Future.”

Cherie Young felt led to write down her adventures in life – her life with God. She weaves Bible stories and classic literature with her experiences to create her book. A Magnificent Adventure is a travel of the heart. Cherie's father used to tell her stories to help with life.

“Everybody is in a race,” said Cherie. “It's not about winning, it's about who you become during that race.”

Among her interwoven stories are A Christmas Ghost, George Bailey and narcissism, the Wooden Head and The Wizard of Oz. “Friends are to be forever,” says Cherie, “To forgive, to love.”

To check out her book (and to find out about the story of the fireman who taught her how to shine) go to or email her at Cherie is an author and a speaker. To request her services call 419-561-1515 or 419-562-5164.

Relationally Driven

Dwayne Castle has been a manager and a minister. Through these experiences he has come to the conclusion that today's customer service is all wrong. This led him to his first of a three-book series, Relationally Driven.

“If I give you $10 every time I see you, you'd find more ways to bump into me, right?” Dwayne noted we like to be around people who add to our value. It's not about transactional relationships (you give me something and I'll give you something), it's about loving the person in front of you so you don't have to pretend.

“We need to change the culture,” said Dwayne. “Recognize the person's value.”

To learn more about his book go to Dwayne's website

To request a consultation, training or coaching on business or on life in general email or call 419-961-1265.

To find out more about my books, check the links on this blog or go to

Friday, May 4, 2018

Fight for me

I was encouraged this morning by Micah. He was a prophet that lived thousands of years ago, yet his words live to this day.

Micah reminded me that God is in control. He has all my moments in His hand and He is always with me.

And He fights for me … and I remember ...

God has rescued me from so many things. I once made a list of them, at least those that I could remember (and those I knew about), and was amazed.

He saved me from a bad car accident when I was seven. He protected me while I walked to school all those days in rain, snow, wind and through bad neighborhoods. He held my hand all those days I was sick with the mumps, the measles, chicken pox, flu, colds and scraped knees. He was with me all the times I was in labor and protected my young children. He was with us on trips and covered us with His love when our vehicles broke down. He has protected me from threats, slim finances, job loss, personal attacks, and wild animals. He has even taken away the irritating habits of fear, worry, control, anger and bitterness.

Praise God!

When I am in trouble I can say with confidence, “Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; When I fall, I will arise; When I sit in darkness, The LORD will be a light to me.” (Micah 7:8 NKJV)

And when I arise in the morning, instead of worrying about the day, or feeling the guilt of past mistakes, or giving in to the pre-dawn fear of the unknown I can say, “Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:18-19)

God, fight for me! Father, strengthen Your people. Protect Your chosen ones. Empower Your remnant to speak Truth, pray for those in prison and bondage, and praise Your Name in the streets. In Jesus, Who did it all.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Praying in My Car

“But when you pray, go into your most private room, close the door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees [what is don] in secret will reward you.” – Matthew 6:6

I remember the day my brother told me he prayed in his car. He even bought a bumper sticker that said “My Car is My Prayer Closet.”

So I tried it.

It felt weird the first time, and I wasn't even praying out loud. I was just sitting in my car in the newspaper parking lot praying in my head.

But it became a wonderful place of peace and safety. Most days I would pause in my car and pray before entering the office. It changed the way I viewed myself, my job and my co-workers. I was a child of God. I was working here because God put me here and I was doing my best. I was available to help my co-workers and the community, but not to be used by them.

Praying in my car surrounded me with the assurance of God's protection.

I prayed on the way home from work, complaining about the irritating things I had to deal with all day. I piled it at Jesus' feet on the floor of the car so I could have a free heart for my family. This one was a totally different kind of letting go because I wanted to share my burden with those I loved, but the sharing was actually pushing my family away.

My car closet prayers became the place I dropped my baggage before moving on to the next thing. And when I got back in my car all that baggage was gone. Jesus had cleaned it up and replaced the burden pile with peace.

Praying in my car unburdened my heart, mind and soul.

As I grew in confidence I shared this new spiritual tool with my children.

We created a simple prayer before trips to town: “Road trip, Jesus, Amen.”

We composed longer ones on scarier days, like when we had to drive through heavy snow or rain,

“Road trip-”

“Driveway -”

“Safety -”

“Enough gas -”

“Truck starting -”

“Driveway again -”

“Jesus. Amen!”

Pretty soon, if I forgot this prayer, one of the children would remind me.

Praying in my car became a way to share my faith (and spiritual warfare) with my children.

I continue to pray – out loud – in my car … and sing … and ask for safety of others on the road with me. I've branched out to singing praise songs too.

God has given me more prayer closets since then: my attic, my office and the lawn chair under the oak tree in my back yard.

I'm praying today that God gives you a new place to pray.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Just for today

Just for today, let's go the other way

take the other path

think the other thought

do the other thing

make the other choice

eat the other meal

choose the other option

speak the other words

write the other thought

join the other club

read the other book

listen to the other music

amble the other walk

engage the other senses

drink the other beverage

hike the other trail

engage the other muscles

speak the other truth

visit the other grave

reach the other goal

dance in the other style

attempt the other art

practice the other skill

draw the other face

photograph the other flower

muse upon the other opinion

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” - Romans 12:2