A Tale and A Treat When Plans Fail and Other Acts of God’s Love (part 2)

My wonderful husband is still unemployed. That has not changed. We did not plan for him to be jobless. Who does?  But it is an astonishingly frequent event in the lives of those around us today.

 When we talked last year about Jeff going back to school again, the agreement was that his quest for a PhD had to run alongside the other things that we were doing, like working fulltime. However, the doors of the university continue to open as the doors for employment shut. He has been accepted into the program he desired and it even includes a teaching assistant position. If he goes to school part-time and continues to look for a full-time position, it just might work.

Right now we are paying close attention to the movement of the Spirit, reading scripture, praying and praying and praying . . . for His will for our lives.

And now we wait. Wait to see what incredible, or even ordinary, things that God has for us as we step out in faith.

Riley Morgan, in Long Trail Home has lost more than his faith. After returning from war he lost his parents and his fiancé. His dreams did not work out as he planned either.

But how could God have allowed him to lose so much?

Annie Sheffield was many things: a thief, an orphan, a child looking for a home, but she was definitely not blind. Miss Laura Wilcox knew all these things about Annie but she chose to accept her into the Wilcox School for Blind Children anyway. Laura needed the help and Annie needed a home. The only catch was: Annie had to make everyone around her believe she was blind.

Annie became a young woman by the time Riley Morgan came to work at the school, and he grew to admire Annie for her bravery in the face of her disability. His crusty façade began to wear as Riley came to care for the children living there. With little warning, Otis Ramsey swooped into town to announce that the benefactor of the school, Mr. Henry Morrow, has died—and he, Otis Ramsey, was going to shut down the school. They have 30 days to vacate the property he has inherited.

Laura, Annie, Riley and all the children are going to lose their home. They’re devastated.

This situation caused a unique conflict for Annie, after dedicating her heart to God at a tent meeting. Annie feels she must tell the truth. Will the town reject her once the truth is out? What about Riley? Where will she go once the school is closed?

Our plans are often interrupted; they often fail. But, God always has plans and they are often far better than we can imagine. Read how Laura, Annie and Riley live out His plan in Long Trail Home, due out this fall.

A Treat:

I took a poll around the office and many agreed that nothing screams Texas louder than a barbecue recipe. Well, I am going to do you one better with a smoked brisket recipe. I love brisket, it is my favorite cut of meat and when it is prepared properly it is a game changer. I like brisket so much that I consider myself a snob about it. With the help of this website I was able to find a great recipe that seems foolproof.

Texas Smoked Brisket Recipe

1 large untrimmed brisket
1/4 cup paprika
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp black pepper
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
2 Tsp ground coriander
2 Tsp oregano
3 or 4 mesquite wood chunks

Mix the spices, salt, and sugar well, then coat the mixture onto the brisket. Plastic wrap it and let it rest in the fridge overnight if you have time… if not, try to give it at least a couple of hours. And remember, to get that dry rub flavor into the meat on both sides, score the fat on the fatty side. Cut down into the fat far enough to just expose the meat, in a pattern of one inch squares.  Smoke the meat with the mesquite chunks. If you don’t care for mesquite, oak will do a great job. When the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees, take the meat off, cover it, and let it rest for thirty minutes to an hour before slicing it across the grain. This final step is very important. It allows the meat to absorb its own juices and will leave you with an extremely tender and flavorful cut of smoky meat. Unfortunately, a smoker is necessary for this delightful dish, so either invest in one or head over to a friend’s house where there is a smoker and offer to make them dinner.


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