“That Story Lady”

Angela Scott, Author – Storyteller – Ventriloquist

Archive for the ‘Inspirational’ Category

Endorsement from Jim Stovall

December 20, 2016

The Conversational Bible The New Testament in Story

I received an endorsement from Jim Stovall for my book, The Conversational Bible: The New Testament in Story Form.

Angela:

Thank you for sharing this with us. I wish you great success with your book.

“Anything that makes the scriptures more accessible and readily understandable is a blessing to millions.”

Jim Stovall

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Now Available in Hardcover

November 20, 2016

The Conversational Bible The New Testament in Story

My new book, “The Conversational Bible: The New Testament in Story Form” is now available in hardcover.

Here’s a synopsis:

What is more important for a young Christian than to be deeply and intimately familiar with the life of Christ? The Conversational Bible: The New Testament in Story Form walks through the events, teachings, and miracles of the New Testament, as well as the growth of the early church and the work of the apostles. Scripture is explained in an approachable, conversational style in order to appeal to new believers of all ages. Few things are more important in a Christian’s walk than the diligent reading of God’s Word, and The Conversational Bible encourages that practice while also expanding upon the teachings of Scripture, making it the perfect companion for the follower of Christ. The Conversational Bible, an update of History of the New Testament in Words of One Syllable, published in 1888, also contains many of the engravings found in the original.

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The Conversational Bible: The New Testament in Story Form

August 25, 2016

The Conversational Bible The New Testament in Story

My new book “The Conversational Bible: The New Testament in Story Form” is available on Amazon. Here is a synopsis:

What is more important for a young Christian than to be deeply and intimately familiar with the life of Christ? The Conversational Bible: The New Testament in Story Form walks through the events, teachings, and miracles of the New Testament, as well as the growth of the early church and the work of the apostles. Scripture is explained in an approachable, conversational style in order to appeal to new believers of all ages. Few things are more important in a Christian’s walk than the diligent reading of God’s Word, and The Conversational Bible encourages that practice while also expanding upon the teachings of Scripture, making it the perfect companion for the follower of Christ. The Conversational Bible, an update of History of the New Testament in Words of One Syllable, published in 1888, also contains many of the engravings found in the original.

Read the rest of this entry »

How a Family Visit Taught Me the Value of Miller’s Gravy and Fellowship

December 10, 2014

“Let’s drive to a restaurant and eat breakfast before you and your family drive home.” Our group was rather large; however, a quaint restaurant was found with seating capacity to accommodate all of us.

Orders for breakfast items were recorded by our kind waitress with a genuine smile. Each time she completed a page of breakfast orders, it was apparent this waitress was the server our group needed. Thankful to receive good service with good food, my appreciation increased while observing her servant attitude.

With confidence she asked, “Do you need anything else?” In an adjacent seat, I heard a request for Miller’s gravy. It seemed plausible that I’d missed the listing for Miller’s gravy on the breakfast menu.

“Who wants the ketchup?” The casual question of four words from our waitress captured my attention. A cousin pointed toward the opposite side of the table. “Over there.” After a pause and an extended glance, I saw Miller’s gravy; it was ketchup. The visual image of ketchup covering an entire plate of hash brown potatoes and scrambled eggs is etched in my memory.

“Why?” The one word question slipped through my lips. Gentle laughter surrounded me. In unison the group proclaimed, “Heinz ketchup. It’s a family tradition at breakfast, over everything.”

That gravy conversation reminded me of the gravy Mom had oftentimes prepared for our family. Her version was a delight to smell and to eat. Even though a bottle of ketchup was a staple item in our refrigerator, we had never eaten Miller’s gravy at breakfast.

An African proverb reads, “If you close your eyes, you can see far.” When closing my eyes now, it is easy to remember the morning our extended family ate breakfast together. A substantial amount of ketchup consumption at breakfast precipitated a vivid memory from several years ago with a lot of new giggles.

Years have elapsed since we enjoyed that visit with family. The memory was and is a picture for a post card. It was the last time I enjoyed a 4th of July vacation with mom. Conversations, video cameras capturing laughter, a volleyball game or two, and the gift of time enjoyed in the picturesque mountains of West Virginia are now cherished memories.

Reflecting on that visit, I understand now the value of listening and observation. It is essential to embrace the myriad gifts of life with gratitude.

Although I may not eat Miller’s gravy at breakfast, I appreciate its value as well as how to order it. The distance between our family members is merely a noun rather than an obstacle.

 

 

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Perspective

November 22, 2014

angela scott two giraffes

It’s hard to understand the other’s point of view when one is looking in the opposite direction.

 

 

 

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Love Is Foundation for a Miniature Platform Rocking Chair

February 24, 2012

It was a gift from a previous colleague and friend. “This antique rocking chair was the first gift my wife gave to me when we married…” He had been promoted and his career required relocation to another state. “We just don’t have room to take it with us and we know you’ll appreciate it.”

Thankful to have been the recipient of such a valued treasure, reality struck. “This rocking chair needs a lot of love and work, which would include re-upholstering as well as refinishing the wood. When dad first saw the chair, he paused. “I hope they paid you to haul it away…” It was the truth, albeit brutal, and then he smiled.

Dad and I began our joint venture the next week. It proved to be an extensive project of work requiring incalculable hours. Several weeks later, family and friends enjoyed the new and improved antique rocking chair. It was comfortable beyond words. Someone always found time to rest in the classic rocking chair.

The corduroy cover on the seat cushion resembled the color of mink that faded with use until it was beyond time to repair it again. Thankful to remember that dad had a friend who specialized in upholstery, the friend agreed without hesitation to restore the antique.

Only a few months later, dad died. His death devastated my tiny daughter. Afterward, when chatting with dad’s upholstery friend, he offered to craft a miniature platform rocking chair for my daughter. He wanted to give her a tangible memory that represented her grandfather’s love as well as the friendship our families shared.

A few tears welled in the eyes of dad’s friend as he gently placed his hand over his heart. Emotion filled his words. “I have a few leftover remnants of the fabric used for your rocking chair… I’ll craft a miniature platform rocking chair for your daughter. It’ll be like a matched set. It’s for your dad, too.

Less than seven years of age, she enjoyed playing in the chair; however, several years would go by before she’d be able to comprehend the gift’s magnitude. She loved her grandfather; he loved her, too. On the birthday she celebrated with him before his death, he’d told me how grateful he was for the time he’d been given to spend with her “Pa-poo.”

Dad’s friend told me the fabric that covered her child-sized platform rocking chair was sturdy and durable enough to last a long time. He reassured me with a smile and a few words. “It’s so tough, gravy won’t stick to it!”

His eyes brightened when I asked if he’d autograph a 3 x 5 index card to commemorate the gift. “Of course! Write what you want remembered. I’ll sign and staple it underneath the chair to one of its wooden foundational supports.”

Recently, I was reminded of that signed index card. It was a tender, sweet reminder of dad, his love, and his life. The card remained in tact even though it’s been almost 20 years since it’d been stapled to the foundation of the miniature platform rocking chair that was custom-made for her.

Mom says it best. “It’s the little things that matter the most.”

 

 

 

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Time Capsule in a Tin Can

June 22, 2010

In the middle of a 30 second cell phone conversation, I heard a beep and silence. The battery died, I guess.

“Only a year ago, I paid 99 cents for this cell phone, new.” The death of my frugal investment wasn’t comforting.

On my way home, I checked on the price for a replacement battery. The sales associate listened attentively even though it was minutes before their business closed for the day. His reply, “Only $37.95 for a new battery,” wasn’t comforting.

He must have seen the question on my mind because he began an abbreviated yet detailed summary about the steps to replace the dead battery. “This type of battery will be a special order; this week’s orders have already been placed. The anticipated delivery date…approximately two weeks.” My response, “Oh,” ended our conversation.

Just a few years ago, I experienced a similar situation. That cell phone battery died too. It wasn’t a comforting memory.

Digging inside the console of my car, I was desperate to find a power source for the cell phone. Instead, I found a silver tin container. It was rectangular in shape with a heart and cross embossed design on the lid. “What’s that?”

As the primary driver of the car, I was the culprit who had buried the unlikely version of a time capsule in a tin can. Neither did I remember the contents of the tin container nor did I remember why I had placed it in the console of the car.

Eager to find out what I had inadvertently hidden, I sat on the floor and lifted the lid off of the tin container. I found a wooden toothpick holder, two Bible verses which had been clipped from a newspaper, one miniature mechanical pencil, a few antacid tablets and a Theodore Roosevelt quote.

Also inside the container, there were two more newspaper clippings and a miniature hand carved box that could be opened only with secret instructions. It was less then two inches wide. A tiny red heart was painted on the outside. Inside the box, the palm of a hand was etched in the thin wood.

In addition, there was a miniature plastic bag in the tin that contained a collection of gifts symbolic of courage, strength and hope.

The first newspaper clipping told a story about Bald Head Island, North Carolina. However, there wasn’t a year listed in the article so I’m certain it was over a year old.

Another newspaper clipping told a story about two professors who had recently received the highest civilian honor bestowed by the North Carolina Governor, “The Order of the Long Leaf Pine.” That article didn’t list a date either but it did include the state toast.

It felt as if I had discovered a time capsule buried in my car, without premeditation. Each item evoked memories far beyond the face value of the item.

People might say the intrinsic value of my tiny memories was little more than a miniature tin can of trash. However, the epiphany I experienced while inventorying my buried treasure was worth more than a pound of rare gems.

I confess this recent discovery of memories led me on a path I had previously traveled but forgotten. Memories flooded my mind searching for understanding.

The answer, of course, was the realization that the tin container held glimpses of previous opportunities in life, a miniature blueprint for future plans.

The questions played over and over in my thoughts. “Why did I bury these items? Why did I stop? When did I stop?”

Waiting for my response, I remembered. Mom had a heart attack in July the previous year. I remembered the urgency to develop a new plan of action after that unexpected family emergency.

Dr. David Campbell said it best in his book entitled, “If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going, You’ll Probably End up Somewhere Else.” I found myself in quite a different place than my original plans.

Mom’s heart attack stopped me temporarily but the severity of her situation urged me to live intentionally with a definite plan, even though it had been temporarily misplaced.

Remember, now is better than never to prepare a blueprint for your life, even if you use a tin can.

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Angela Scott is an author who diligently works to encourage and inspire you, and those with whom you live and work to continually find hope. Visit http://www.thatstorylady.com to get your free “Thought for Today.”

Hope Made by Noble Hands and a Heart of Gold

February 6, 2010

When I attended a convention out of state last year, I remember longing for hope. With a few spare minutes between workshops, I managed a ten minute stroll through the university bookstore.

In a cozy corner of the bookstore, my eyes were pleasantly surprised when I saw two leather wing back chairs facing an old fashioned wooden cupboard and an oval braided rug on the floor. A spiral staircase to my left led to the second floor.

When I sat in one of the leather wing back chairs, it seemed as if I was in my own cozy home, which was not within driving distance.

Enjoying that abbreviated moment, my eyes focused on a small basket positioned on the floor at the base of the staircase. Filled with beautiful colors of dish cloths made of soft yarn and tied with ribbon, the price tag caught my attention.

“Hope Made,” was the name of the item with the purchase price listed at the bottom portion of the tag. The name is what I remember rather than the price. This was different than all the other items I had seen on display in the bookstore.

Reaching to touch them, I confess I was curious. Immediately walking toward the cash register I felt compelled to ask about the story of an unlikely place for dish cloths to be available for sale in a college bookstore.

Graciously answering my questions, the manager told the story. Proceeds from sales of the dish cloths would support the efforts of a co-worker to adopt an orphaned baby. An anonymous benefactor had hand woven yarn into dish cloths and donated them for sale to support the financial aspect of the adoption.

Holding the dish cloths in my hands, it felt as if I held a moment of heaven. Soft and comforting, it seemed like my Aunt Bea was looking over my shoulders with a bright, shining smile on her face. Everything my Aunt Bea did was “Hope Made.”

An ordinary item such as a set of dish cloths mixed together in my mind with memories of my own family. As I stood in the checkout line of the bookstore, alligator shaped tears poured down my face.

Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” My purchase of the handmade dish cloths was a minimal contribution, however, it would count in the mission to help another family that I may never meet.

 

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Angela Scott is an author who diligently works to encourage and inspire you, and those with whom you live and work to continually find hope.

“Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation.”

All writings here are copyrighted by Angela Scott. You may not use them without written permission but you may link to the posts or give out a link to the posts.

How I Learned to Begin an Old Thanksgiving Tradition Today

November 27, 2009

Reading an article in the waiting area recently while my car was being serviced, I found an article about Thanksgiving that described one way to enjoy the holiday that I had not previously thought about. Although the magazine was not familiar to me I eagerly read the article in the November 1947 issue of the “Country Gentleman,” which was only 62 years ago this month.

The author of the article spoke about her friend who would sit by the living room fireplace after the family settled down for the night to write a note of appreciation to the two or three people who had meant most to her during the year.

Her friend’s tradition evoked mental flashbacks in which she shared her own reflections of the happiest home she knew earlier in her life. The details she remembered such as the wintery Sunday afternoons gathered near the fireplace eating popcorn, apples, or fresh baked cookies and milk were vivid and detailed as if the experience had just occurred.

As I sat in that waiting area, I began thinking about the two or three people who meant the most to me this year. Although the article was written several years ago, I felt compelled to implement this old Thanksgiving tradition today.

One of my friends in the New England area is the first person who came to mind. We met at a ventriloquist convention two years ago but when we talk it doesn’t seem like any time has elapsed since we first met.

My second cousin is the next person who came to mind. We met face to face for the first time two years ago at a family reunion. Our friendship has grown exponentially in a short time.

My adopted mother is the next person who came to mind. Even though I am not adopted, I decided to adopt her as my second mom because she has prayed with me and encouraged me during an extremely challenging time in my life.

Of course, there are more than three people who have meant a great deal to me during this year; however, this short list will provide a good beginning point because there is a long list of people who have made a difference in my life.

Rosita Perez, author of the book, “The Music is You,” said she learned to give flowers to people she appreciated while they were alive instead of waiting until it was too late for them to smell the flowers. Before you go to sleep tonight, begin your new Thanksgiving tradition today.

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All writings here are copyrighted by Angela Scott. You may not use them without written permission but you may link to the posts or give out a link to the posts.

How the Fear of an Angel Saved My Life

October 13, 2009

Severe thunderstorms with torrential rain awakened us on March 23rd. Angel, our 4.6 pound miniature rat terrier, panicked. I thought she was going into shock from her fear of hearing the heavy rain pounding on the skylights in our home. Her body trembled from the tip of her head to the end of her tail, all ten inches of her frame.

In the kitchen, I found her anti-anxiety medication to relax her during stormy weather. Grabbing a can of E-Z cheese, I camouflaged Angel’s medication so I’d be certain she would relax. Besides, I needed to shower and get ready for work.

Angel refused the cheese she loved, but her fear was not unwarranted. If I had not been so preoccupied with preparations necessary for the day ahead, my own trepidation may have stalled me as well.

Inviting Angel to rest on the bed with my daughter before she needed to leave for school was one of Angel’s favorite things to do. They both loved to snuggle. My hope was to calm Angel but she was not the least bit interested in this option.

I warmed blankets in the dryer just like the hospitals do for patients after they have surgery, to comfort them. Placing the warm, fuzzy blankets on the bed, which previously enticed her to rest, held no attraction for Angel that day.

Perhaps she knew I wouldn’t give up offering her the camouflaged medication in the cheese from a can. After Angel accepted the medicine and cheese, I carried her in my arms with a blanket. She and I went to the couch. I hoped she would forget the booming thunderstorm overhead while I held her and comforted her in my arms. Although it seemed like an eternity, Angel finally rested her head on my arms.

“You’re going to be late for work,” my husband fussed. Although I consciously knew the time, Angel had several health issues during the nine years we’d adopted her into our family. We had been to the emergency veterinary hospital so often that the staff knew us on a first name basis. Those bills reminded me of the frequent medical visits required to care for her but that didn’t matter; I loved her.

When she relaxed, I did too. Zipping through a shower and dressing for work, I asked my daughter once again to watch our precious dog a few more minutes before she needed to leave the house. Angel was mischievous if left free to roam on her own so we always secured her in her dog crate which was partially filled with her favorite toys and blankets.

Confident now that Angel was calm; I was satisfied to leave the house for work.

I left our home for work about five minutes later than usual. As I approached the intersection near work, I saw the traffic snarled ahead of me. This particular road was the main route I traveled every work day.

I saw marked and unmarked police cars, flashing red lights, fire trucks, paramedics, vehicles, bystanders and concerned spectators. People were walking toward the ramp over the intersection in front of me. “What could have happened?” I thought to myself. What had happened that morning was confined to a small area.

I managed to peel away from the traffic snarl into a detour which meant I would arrive late for work just as my husband had predicted, five minutes to be exact. I remembered the snarl of traffic and wondered how I could have arrived at work as quickly as I did.

Work was hectic that morning. Two co-workers were out sick and the telephone rang continuously. When lunch time arrived, my boss asked if I heard that another fellow employee had been killed in the morning traffic accident. I gasped.

I overheard conversations in the cafeteria and realized the person was killed in the exact path I normally traveled. And I also learned a high school teenager had been killed as well. The more I listened, the more I realized the value of those five minutes I’d spent with Angel. Only a few hours earlier I’d worked to assuage the fear of my tiny Angel. Her fear saved my life that day. It’s a good thing I didn’t know how my life would be used only three months later to help save the life of my husband.

 

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All writings here are copyrighted by Angela Scott. You may not use them without written permission but you may link to the posts or give out a link to the posts.