Choosing a Birthday

Today is a special day. It's the birthday of my nephew and a special friend . . . but I chose April 4th to be the birthday of Phoebe, a young girl born in a little village near Albany, New York - back in 1800's, when the world was bursting with new inventions and discoveries. 

In the sequel, Going Home with Phoebe, Zeke and Phoebe help Maseppa to choose her own birthday - since she didn't know when she was born. 

Maseppa's Calf 

At the supper table, Phoebe chattered on and on, She grabbed a slice of bread and spread a thick coating of butter on it. “Zeke, Maseppa says all this isn’t for a birthday or nothing. When is your birthday, Zeke? Mine is April fourth, right?”

Zeke slurped a spoonful of soup. “I haven’t done nothin’ for my birthday, since I was a youngster. I was born on September twentieth, so today’s not my birthday. Zeppa, do you know when you were born?”

She cocked her head and looked from his face to Phoebe’s. “I do not know. My mother did not tell me.”

Phoebe wiggled on her chair. “You could choose a birthday, Maseppa! What time of year do you like?”

Maseppa looked at Zeke and then around her. “I think I choose the time of summer. It makes me feel happy to walk in the trees and listen to the birds and animals, to find leaves and berries and roots.”

Phoebe smiled. “Yes, that is the best time for you, Maseppa. What do you think, Zeke? Is she more a July or August person?”

His eyes twinkled. “I’d say Zeppa is an August person. Do you have a favorite number?”

“Number? I will say three. One for Phoebe, one for Zeke, and one for me. That is three.”

“Wooohee!” Zeke waved his napkin over his head. “I declare August third the birthday of Zeppa Ernstein.” He lifted her hand to his lips and kissed it.

Phoebe grinned.

Maseppa quietly smiled. “I have thought of a name for the new baby cow. It is the color of my mother’s dress. I will call the calf Doeskin. It is good, yes?”

“Perfect! It fits you and the calf, too.”  

   ~ ~ ~ 

To read more, you may purchase the book (here) 
or contact me for a signed copy.

To learn more about Going Home with Phoebe

Tout est Accompli

Sometimes I wish I could understand other languages. For many times, I have heard of how God has given to a certain people some phrase that is not in our English language - a word that gives more depth to God's great love and mercy. The words of our English language often seem too shallow and trite to express the greatness of God.

The many lessons of love and sacrifice at Calvary have been studied by theological scholars for eons, especially the words spoken by the Lord on the cross. The last words of Christ at that time were "It is finished." We understand that to mean that His work was done. He had obeyed the Father's will and taken the penalty for our sins.

In French, the words read, "Tout est accompli."
All has been accomplished, completed.

Somehow, it seems to mean more. It seems to show that everything that God had planned, from before time began, had been fulfilled.

All of it. 

All the sins, from eternity to eternity were paid and forgiven.

All of them. 

All the sacrifices on all the altars were represented by the sacrifice of the Lamb of God.

All of them.

Will we ever know the complete meaning of the cross? I don't think so. For how can we know the great gulf between God's holiness and man's sin? How can we fathom the knowledge of God becoming a man to redeem us when we didn't deserve it? How can we understand such love?

We need not - we cannot do anything to save ourselves. He has done it - He has done it all.

Walkin' On the Water

A victorious Christian life is experienced when God's power works through us to do the impossible. We can see the power of God perform things that we could never do alone. Have you felt this power in your life? 

Walkin’ On the Water

Have you gazed only on your Creator,
So that nothing else seemed real?
Did you forget the thundering and winds,
Crashing and whirling about?
Did you step beyond the walls of safety,
Consciously trusting your Lord?
Have you ever felt the thrill of walkin’, 
Walkin’ on the water?
Nothing is impossible when His power is within.

Have you faithfully stood for your Lord,
Doing the right amid the foes?
Did your heart beat with fear and faith,
Knowing others watched and laughed?
Did you bow your head humbly to your King,
Knowing He would see you through?
Have ever felt the peace of sleepin’,
Sleepin’ with the lions,
Walkin’ on the water?
Nothing is impossible when His power is within.

Have you spoken boldly for your Saviour,
And roughly tossed to the ground?
Did you feel the pain of stinging words,
Your name smeared with mud and scorn?
Did you wipe your cheek and try again,
Grateful to be worthy of Him?
Have you ever felt the joy of singin’,
Singin’ at midnight,
Sleepin’ with the lions,
Walkin’ on the water?
Nothing is impossible when His power is within.

Have you seen the things of this world
Through the eyes of your Redeemer?
Did pleasures, worries, and sins
Seem as dust as you looked to the sky?
Did you feel the power of His Spirit
Give you victory o’er temptations?
Have you ever felt the strength of soarin’
Soarin’ with the eagles,
Singin’ at midnight,
Sleepin’ with the lions,
Walkin’ on the water?
Nothing is impossible when His power is within.


Find this and other poems and short stories in this book, 
In Their Sandals. 
For more information (click here).
Contact me for a signed copy.


A Special Day

The Ending of a Special Day
Yvonne Beverly Blake

I drag my slippered feet upstairs,
I brush my teeth, and say my prayers.

My eyes are heavy; the lights are dim.
My puffy quilt is under my chin.

My daddy sits upon my bed,
Gives me Teddy, and rubs my head.

“There's something special about today.
Every four years is Leap Year Day.

"The earth makes a circle around the sun.
It takes a year before it’s done.

"Three hundred and sixty-five days,
Plus six more hours— it's a long ways.

"We could not have one fourth of a day.
There's not enough time to sleep and play

"So every four years, it works out fine
To have a February twenty-nine.”

 Dad kisses my head and turns out the light,
And as he leaves, he whispers, “Good night.”

“A special day?” – I am wide awake.
“I can’t sleep now, for goodness sake!”

If I had known, when day was new,
A hundred things I’d want to do.

I would have worn my lucky hat,
And hit a super home-run –SMACK!

I could have sailed a kite so high,
With cotton-puff clouds dotting the sky

The day is gone. It is slipping fast.
This special day is almost past.

I could have read my favorite book
While curled up in a cozy nook,

And waved to train cars traveling far.
Or wished upon the brightest star.

Another four years? I’ll be so old.
I wish this day could be retold.



In Their Sandals
a book of Biblical short stories and poems. 

March around Jericho, walk on the Sea of Galilee,
even listen to the angels. Read it in God's Word,
then put yourself in their sandals.

Here is an example of a short story in pages of In Their Sandals.


“Don’t touch me!”  

Sarai pulled back as if she had been burned. Her eyes filled with tears when they met Ruben’s gaze. “I forgot.” She buried her face in her hands and sobbed.

Ruben wrapped a loaf of bread in a cloth and filled a skin with fresh water. Flinging it over his shoulder, he crouched near Sarai. “Dearest, I must leave because I love you. You know that.”

Fresh tears ran down her cheeks, and she nodded in acknowledgment. “Oh, Ruben! I’d rather go with you.”

“Sarai, I will never stop loving you. I will be watching for you…” His gaze dropped to her rounded belly. “…and the little one, when you come to the sheep gate.”

Sarai nodded. It would be the closest she would ever get to him again.

Ruben held his hand over her head—only he did not touch her. His arms and heart ached with the restraint. “Sarai!” he whispered, then disappeared into the night.

The air was warm and heavy. He hoisted his sack higher on his shoulder and clutched his walking stick with determination. As he neared the campfires, he saw the shadows of a dozen people—some squatting, some lying down, and one leaning against a tree. His foot knocked a pebble loose, and they all turned in his direction.

“Who is it? We are unclean!”

Unclean…the word stabbed Ruben’s heart. “I am Ruben ben Jacob. I am unclean, also.”

“Come! Show yourself.” 

When Ruben stepped into the light, the others melted away from him. Some crawled on festering limbs; others tugged rags around their faces. Their eyes shone in the firelight like wild animals around their prey. Ruben pulled down on his tunic to show the white spots on his chest. A sympathetic moan surrounded him.

“Come,” said the leader. “Sit down. I am Jedediah.” He put a hand on each of Ruben’s shoulder. One by one, the others approached, each touching him on the back or shoulder or head. Ruben sat on a stone and took a bowl of stew offered to him.

Jedediah leaned close. “Tell us of the city. What is new?” The others listened expectantly. “Have you seen this man called Jesus?”

Ruben looked up quickly. “Yes, I was there when he made bread for hundreds of people. He heals the lame and blind. I heard he walked on the sea. Some say he is a prophet, and others say he is the Messiah.”

“What do you think?”

Ruben shrugged. “I don’t know.  He is not a man like others.”       

Each evening, Ruben waited for Sarai. The first day was the hardest. He could not approach closer than fifty steps from the wall. Sarai sobbed. She could not even speak. Leaving her basket, she stumbled away.

As the months passed, Ruben saw that the time of her birthing was getting closer. He longed to touch her.

 “Are you well?” he hollered.

She nodded.

“I am praying to Jehovah for you!”

“Oh Ruben!” The tears began again. “I need you!”

Sarai did not come the next evening. Ruben waited until the stars appeared. Still she did not come. He could not sleep. I must see Sarai. I must go home! But Ruben knew the law. “The unclean must live outside the city.” If only he could be cured…if only…He sobbed, “Jehovah, be merciful to me!”

Jedediah roused him the next morning. “Ruben! Ruben! The man called Jesus is coming this way. Perhaps we will see him as he enters the city.”

Ruben jumped up. The Lord has heard my cry!

“Where are you going, Ruben? He’s not here, yet.”

Ruben ran. The stones cut his feet, but he didn’t feel them. People shied away from him when they saw his bandages. Crowds filled the road— people who were busy, people who didn’t care.

Then he saw Jesus. 

It had to be Jesus! Others turned away from his ugliness and rotten flesh—but not Jesus. Ruben fell down before Him, “Lord, if you will, I know you can heal me.” 

Jesus lifted him to his feet. He wrapped his arms around Ruben and held him close. “I will. Be clean!” 

Ruben felt his body fill with strength and healing. He pulled up his shirt and felt his chest and face. His skin was clean! He jumped and danced and shouted. 

Jesus smiled. “Go, Ruben. Go show the priests that you are healed. Go home to your wife, for she has born a son.”  

To purchase In Their Sandals, 
or contact me for a signed copy. 


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