Monday 25 January 2021

Kismet Finds a Way

I’m so excited that KISMET FINDS A WAY is now available on Amazon in digital, print and Kindle Unlimited at Unlike the other books I’ve written, this story is based on a major, life-altering experience I had right after college graduation. If there had been someone I could turn to for help and advice I might have chosen the path not taken. But history cannot be rewritten, and everyone discovers truths about human nature that are often not easy to digest. 


Andrea Halbert always lived by the rules. She was an obedient child, honor student, college graduate, loyal member of the community, and totally committed to making a success of her life. But she had never found Mr. Right. Then one dark, fall night, after moving to a brownstone in a city far away from home, a stranger enters her life in a very unsettling way. He is handsome, charismatic, and has a passion for living that makes her head spin, but he also has a dark past and secrets he doesn’t want to share. Her head tells her to be careful, but her heart doesn’t want to listen. Will a whirlwind romance, and some choices she does not see coming, cause her to fall from grace, or will she be the catalyst in helping a man she is unable to forget find his forgotten dreams? 


I dedicated the book to a very dear friend, DiAnne Pack, who lost her battle with cancer last month because she taught me so much about faith, courage and endurance during the tough things life throws our way. (If you read my last post, you learned about her. But for those who didn't, here's the brief version I put in the release.) When Covid hit Branson, Missouri, she lost her job and home in one day. The next week she was admitted to the hospital with fluid in her lungs. A week later, the doctor found an inoperable mass somewhere around her trachea. With no family to help, she lived in a motel room while going through 2 rounds of radiation and one of chemotherapy. When I saw her last September, she was down to 78 pounds but determined to keep on fighting. On Christmas morning, she lost consciousness and fell on her face breaking her nose. The picture of all the bruising was heartbreaking. She had just moved into a doublewide trailer when she stopped answering my texts and calls the first week in January. The Thursday before last, I heard from another friend, who had no additional information, that she had died. I may never know how it happened or if she was alone at the end, but I will never forget how completely she had turned her life over to God. We all have excruciatingly difficult challenges that bring us to our knees and cause our hearts to crumble. That humanness binds us together, even when we could have chosen a different path and didn’t. That’s why this book means so much to me and took such a long time to write. A split-second decision, or one piece of news, really can change the course of a life.

Each book I've written comes from my heart and reflects experiences, beliefs and things I've gone through as the years progressed far more rapidly than I ever thought possible. I have learned so much about myself and why I acted like I did while exploring my characters and coming to see life through their eyes. Each life is different, but they all contain many of the same elements of love, loss, heartache, joy, wisdom, regret and contemplation. While I often wish I had been dealt a different hand when it comes to certain aspects of my life, I know the valuable lessons I've learned through the hardest knocks have been the ones of most value because they caused me to reach inward and find the strength to go on when I thought I couldn't. 

KISMET FINDS A WAY is my fifteenth book. I would love to send each of you a digital copy of one of my books. It's my way of saying thank you for reading my blogs. I know each of you have your own unique story to tell and I would love to hear from you. Just send me quick email at and let me know where you want me to send it. 

Books by JS Ririe (my pen name):


Beyond the Glass Doors

Rivers of Rage

Final Allegiance

Book 2 - Resilience

Book 3 - Safe Haven

Book 4 - Unsheltered

Book 5 - Welcome Redemption

Indecision’s Flame

Book 2 - Lost

Book 3 - Exposed

Book 4 - Reawakening

Book 5 - Betrayal

Book 6 - Unraveling

Book 7 - Destiny


Happy Reading! 

Sunday 17 January 2021

Rough Days

It's been another tough few days around here that have taken me to my knees more than once for some much needed relief. But as is always the case when we can look beyond the moment, there are lessons to be learned and a way opened where our faith can be increased. It is during those tender moments when  we can draw just a little closer to our Savior and be made more aware of how thin the veil really is between this life and the one that comes next. 

As I wrote some weeks ago, I lost my brother the day after Thanksgiving. His life had been far from easy, and we were very close having gone through so many earthy experiences together. He was three and I was five when we left the house one spring morning to play. My mother had told me to keep my eyes on him, but it didn't take me long to become distracted. As a very curious farm boy, Sandon quickly disappeared and went to find our father who was in the field getting ready for spring planting. The noise was too great for him to hear my brother coming and when the tractor lunged forward, our father looked back to see his little coat wrapped in and out amongst the blades of the tandem disk.

With superhuman strength he was able to get my little brother out, but he wasn't breathing. When daddy came running to the house with Sandon dangling in his arms and screaming for the keys to the jeep, I hurried to see what had happened. My mother took one look at me and said, "If you had been watching him like I told you to this never would have happened." 

My brother was in a coma for over six weeks, and had  been deprived of oxygen several times. Despite many prayers, he didn't awaken to a joyful, happy life. The crushing of his trachea had caused brain injury that affected the right side of his body and the accompanying motor skills that went with it. He had to learn to walk and talk and do everything over again. He was never able to do things other children took for granted, but he always fought to keep going. 

He walked with a bad limp his entire life and had to have the bones in his right hand welded so it wouldn't turn under permanently. While he enjoyed many good friendships and became the father of six children, his life wasn't easy. Due to some bad choices, he ended up falling into a fire pit where he couldn't get out and spent the last twelve years of his life in a nursing home. He went through continual skin grafts and untold amounts of both physical and emotional pain that would have reduced the strongest man to tears. He eventually ended up in a wheelchair and had only one daughter who would even talk to him. My heart is still breaking because I miss him so much.

But that pain was compounded on Thursday when a friend from Branson, Missouri sent me a text saying that my friend, DiAnne, had lost her battle with cancer. For those of you who haven't read all of my blogs, I'll give you just a quick rundown on what the last ten months of her life were like. 

Right after Covid restrictions started, she lost her job and her home the same day. A week later, fluid filled her lungs for no apparent reason, and she was hospitalized. By the time the doctors got the condition under control,  they found a large, inoperable mass somewhere around her trachea. She had no close family to help but decide to fight back with all she had. While living in motel room because she had no other place to go, she went through two rounds of radiation and one of chemotherapy. When I saw her in September, she was down to 78 pounds but determined to make it until I came back the next spring. I told her we would celebrate with a picnic by the lake and release balloons with her name on them into the air.

Despite all she had gone through, she was doing quite well until Christmas morning when she passed out at a friend's house, fell on her face and broke her nose. She was severely bruised and ended up in the hospital for a few days because she was dehydrated. (I'm including a picture so you can see what she looked like. She has become one of my biggest heroes.) 

She was trying to move into a doublewide trailer when I last heard from her. She was excited about finally having her few belongings back but was extremely tired. I tried for two weeks to reach her by phone and text knowing something awful had happened but had made a serious error in not getting the phone number of the woman who had been helping her along the way. I may never know what happened at the end or if she spent her final moments alone, but I have learned to pay more attention to details. 

That brings me to Thursday afternoon when my son called me to say that they were putting their 16 year-old dog down on Saturday and wanted me to be with them. I'm allergic to both cats and dogs and had watched her a number of times when they were away from home. But when they asked me if I would take care of her for two years while they were living with my daughter-in-law's parents so they could pay off all the hospital and doctor bills they had accumulated while she went through stage four melanoma-lymphoma, I had to say yes. It was a tough adjustment for Ruby because she was used to sleeping with them, and I couldn't even have her in my bedroom. But it was nice having someone to talk to because I had been alone for 18 years. 

I couldn't stop the tears from streaming down my cheeks as I sat with them in that quiet room and we all said our goodbyes. Ruby had come into our lives as a way to help my daughter-in-law deal with the fact that she would never be able to have a baby. She was their child, even after they adopted my beautiful granddaughter several years later, and never lost her place in the family or the love they had for her. My son is the most compassionate man in the world. He just held her in his arms and kept telling her how very much he loved her and that he would see her again soon. 

It was one of God's tender mercies for me because I could see my brother opening his arms to her the minute she passed through the veil. Together they would run through the fields and be free from all the pain life had brought them through accidents and old age. I could see Ruby licking his face as they laughed together and then went off  to do some more exploring. They were both young, healthy and truly happy again. Sandon loved dogs with his whole heart but could never have one when he was growing up because any animal would bump into him and knock him down or get under his feet and make him trip.

I even had the brief thought that perhaps my brother and my friend would meet and share past experiences of pain and heartache as they learned more about what God had in store for them because they had made it though so many tough tests with faith and courage during this life. 

My heart is still very tender, and I'm crying more than I usually do, but I am so grateful that I know God lives and this life isn't the end. We will be reunited with those we love and experience more glorious reunions than the mortal mind can envision. My prayers are with all of you have are going through though times of sickness, sorrow and pain. The days will get brighter, and if we don't lose hope, we will catch a glimpse of the beauties God wants us to see in even the worst of times.

Sunday 3 January 2021

Ring Out Wild Bells

I just got home from church where I was reminded of an old hymn that is seldom sung anymore but is quite applicable to how so many of us feel about the ending of 2020. It was written by Alfred Lord Tennyson and published in 1850 as part of his elegy to Arthur Henry Hallam, his sister's fiancé who died at the age of 22. His thoughts are profound and so applicable they could have been written today.

The first verse reads:

Ring out, wild bells, to the sky,

The flying cloud, the frosty light:

The year is dying in the night;

Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

It goes on to talk about ringing out the false and grief that saps the mind, the feud of rich and poor and ringing in redress to ALL mankind. To ring out a slowly dying cause and ancient forms of party strife so sweeter manners, purer laws and nobler modes of life can be enacted. To ring out the want, the sin, the faithless coldness of the times, mournful rhymes, false pride in place and blood, the civic slander and the spite, old shapes of foul disease, the narrowing lust of gold, the thousand wars of old and the darkness of the land. 

It tells us to ring in the love of truth and light, the common love of good, the thousand years of peace, the valiant man, and free the larger heart and the kindlier hand. But the very last line covers it all for me. Ring in the Christ that is to be. He is the way, the truth and the light. If we follow him, we don't need to be afraid of what may come because we will already be on the path the leads us from bondage of any kind - including the sorrows we heap upon ourselves through sin and poor choices, the decisions of others and simply the things that happen as part of daily living.

I've been thinking of that old poem turned into a song since being reminded that it even exists. It's one few people could sing without having the words in front of them, but it truly embraces what we've gone through as humans this past year and all the struggles that lay ahead since so many things are out of our hands. We can't control how far the virus will spread, who it will claim, future mutations, the effectiveness of vaccines or if any measure we're told to take will be enough. We can't change the course of events in our country surrounding the election, the increased amount of violence, terrorism, vandalism, propaganda spread, personal agendas being being pushed forward instead of the rights everyone shares, toppling of statues that meant everything to people who paid for and constructed them or the rewriting or exclusion of history so the same mistakes will not be made again. 

Nor can we do much about the loss of jobs, businesses, freedoms we so took for granted, and laws being enacted that the general public knows nothing about. We can't control the way the media discloses news, covers up evil that needs to be exposed and causes panic among people who believe what they're being told without asking any questions or looking for answers away from what they've been conditioned to listen to and accept.

Personally, I don't see 2021 being any better than the year we've just gone through, unless the majority of citizens in our free nation return to the principles and promises our country was founded on. A belief in God, freedom from oppression for all and the desire to put aside evil and concentrate on the Christian values that caused our founding fathers to give all they possessed in a fight for freedom that never would have happened without divine intervention. I was reading a short statement about the cost in lives  during World War II and something struck me that I hadn't thought much about before. Along with so many Jews and others, over ten million Christians were put to death because the socialist and communist countries who wanted to control the world didn't want anyone believing that we were created by a loving Heavenly Father who is concerned about our welfare and wants us to return home to him. 

I can't do much about some of the wealthy and powerful whose evil desires are to strip us of every freedom. It's part of Satan's plan to dominate and control that has been reinventing itself since the world began, and we will never stop fighting the war between good and evil until Christ returns again. But I can take more control of my own life by doing the things I know are right and standing up for what I know is true. Love is the only unifying force in the world, and when people can only see hatred and evil, the good can never be felt. I choose to live this new year with more faith, hope, love, compassion and courage. I chose to find joy in the simple things and make my home a place where the Savior's spirit can dwell. I chose to spend more time with family and friends, be more sensitive to the needs of others and spread more light wherever I go.  I am only one, but I do much good in my small circle of influence if I so desire. May each of you find peace and joy as you contemplate the coming year and how you want to spend it. 

I'm including a couple of items I found helpful and useful. The first is a letter from a  Covid  survivor and talks about how best to treat its symptoms at home. The other is a list of some of the things hydrogen peroxide can do. It's really an amazing product that so many of us have forgotten about.


No one ever talks about how to fight Covid at home. I came down with Covid in November. I went to the hospital, running a fever of 103, a rapid heart beat, and other common symptoms that come with Covid. While I was there they treated me for the high fever, dehydration and pneumonia. 

The doctor sent me home to fight Covid with two prescriptions - Azithromycin 250mg & Dexamethason 6mg. When the nurse came in to discharge me, I asked her, "What can I do to help fight this at home?" She said, “Sleep on your stomach at all times with Covid. If you can’t sleep on your stomach because of heath issues sleep on your side. Do not lay on your back no matter what because it smashes your lungs and that will allow fluid to set in.

Set your clock every two hours while sleeping on your stomach, then get out of bed and walk for 15-30 min, no matter how tired or weak that you are. Also move your arms around frequently. It helps to open your lungs. Breathe in thru your nose, and out thru your mouth. This will help build up your lungs, plus help get rid of the Pneumonia or other fluid you may have.

When sitting in a recliner, sit up straight - do not lay back in the recliner, again this will smash your lungs. While watching TV - get up and walk during every commercial.

Eat at least 1 - 2 eggs a day, plus bananas, avocado and asparagus. These are good for Potassium. Drink Pedialyte, Gatorade Zero, Powerade Zero & Water with Electrolytes to prevent you from becoming dehydrated. Do not drink anything cold - have it at room temperature or warm it up. Water with lemon and little honey, peppermint tea and apple cider are good suggestions for getting in fluids. No milk products or pork. Vitamin’s D3, C, B, Zinc, Probiotic One-Day are good ideas. Tylenol for fever. Mucinex, or Mucinex DM for drainage, plus helps the cough. Pepcid helps for cramps in your legs. One baby aspirin everyday can help prevent getting a blood clot, which can occur from low activity. "

Drink a smoothie of blueberries, strawberries, bananas, honey, tea and a spoon or two of peanut butter. 

We always hear of how Covid takes lives, but there isn't a lot of information out there regarding how to fight Covid. I hope this helps you or someone you know, just as it has helped me.


 “Hydrogen Peroxide” is the miracle hack that solves just about anything, and it costs under a dollar. Besides dapping it on any injury, it also:

-      whitens teeth

-      cleans the grout in showers

-      refreshes the scent in washing machines

-      cleans hard water in dishwashers

-      is the best mirror and window cleaner  . . . .

-      takes away any hard water buildup on faucets and plugs in the bottom of sinks

-      cleans any food grease buildup near your cooking area (for example the grease shield that collects near the steam vent)

-      spritz floors with it after cooking with grease and simply swiffer it up

-      takes away grimy handprints on anything stainless steel

-      kills the nasty norvirus that causes most cases of the stomach flu

-       kills yeasts, fungi, bacteria, viruses, and mold spores. 

-      disinfects counters and cutting boards

-      gets rid of garbage can germs

-      removes grass stains, blood stains, and drink stains like fruit, juice

-      dab onto pimples or breakouts to help clear skin

-      helps heal painful canker sores. Swish a tablespoon or so of hydrogen peroxide around your mouth for about 10 minutes

-      whitens yellowed nails

-      induces vomiting when pet have eaten something toxic

 All you need is hydrogen peroxide and a spray bottle. Don’t dilute unless recommended to do so. These are just a few examples, but it’s one of the most effective disinfectants and cleaners available. And there’s no smell.