All posts by judith99kyhighlands

About judith99kyhighlands

I've been writing since I was a child. My first newspaper column appeared in the Chicago Heights Star in King Arthur's Court when I was a third grader at Garfield Elementary in Chicago Heights, Illinois. Having been an early reader and seeing how much my mother loved books, the power of the printed word took me captive. Around that time I was also given my first camera by a cousin serving in the military. From that moment on, writing and photography became two great influences in my life. I wrote for every contest that came along at school and by fifth grade, my best friend, Diane, and I wrote a play that was performed before the entire student body of Eastview Elementary. By high school the two of us had become ambitious enough to write a full length movie script and sent it to Walt Disney. Of course we never heard anything back, but we remained hopeful for an unreasonable amount of time. School newspapers, anthologies, and pen pals kept me writing until I went away to college. I never stopped writing, but it certainly took a back shelf until I got involved with my students during my teaching career. As a result of student initiated projects that I was glad to facilitate, we produced six magazine type publications over the years then graduated to the standard book format, collecting stories from students, friends, family, and community to document our local history, culture, and folklore. I consider these student works to be among the brightest achievements in my teaching career. What better could I ever hope to pass on to my students than the love of reading, writing, and seeing their work in print? In the meantime I continue to photograph a variety of things, do freelance writing, and have written a weekly column for the Harlan Daily Enterprise for about twenty years. Writing and photography are both expressions of my faith and I believe that these two things are part of the person God created in me.

Where are the Fall Colors?

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Where are the colors for Autumn 2018?  I had to borrow last year’s photos for this post. I never remember an autumn in Appalachia where there was still no color evident by today’s date – October 17.

I’m a leaf watcher.  Every year I can hardly wait until the trees pop with color and the mountains look like a giant bowl of Trix cereal. I grab my camera and go to the woods, or for a drive in the car. Sometimes the colors are so brilliant, they almost hurt the eyes with beauty.

Perhaps all the colors will burst forth at the same time.  We’ve had a soggy spring, summer, and fall.  Cold nights and sunny days are said to be the perfect combination for inspiring the colors to come forward.

Like many others, I’m watching daily in hopes that falls delay will not mean that it is also colorless.

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When Tomorrow is Uncertain

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I chose this image of a beautiful butterfly because it is obvious the poor little thing has seen some stormy weather or difficult times.  Yet, it is still a butterfly, doing what butterflies do.  The storms it has encountered may have frayed its wings, but it flies on.

As we age, the storms of life assail us, but we weather them and press on.

My dad recently had colon cancer surgery.  Sore, frightened, and discouraged from the process, he has not failed to reach out to people around him and share the love of God with everyone who will give him a few minutes and listen.

We don’t know what tomorrow holds for him or for our family, but we will continue to fly on these old wings and weather the storms around us until God calls us home and replaces all things old with new.

Philippians 3:14 (KJV)

14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

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Warrior Women Photo Gallery

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I am currently accepting submissions for the fourth book in the Warrior Women Series.  Warrior Women, Victory on the Battlefront of the Mind.  The projected deadline is May 31, 2018.  If interested, please contact me on my Facebook page – Judith Victoria Hensley, Author.

The original book is Mother: Warrior.  The second book in the series is Warrior Women, The Power of Prayer.  The third book in the series is Warrior Women, Healing the Brokenhearted.  As a  part of this book series, I have also photographed friends, relatives, and women from my church of all ages and all walks of life.  I would like to share some of those photographs.  As Christians, there is a warrior woman in each one of us.  The photographs tell a story of their own.

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Bibliography in Book Covers

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The following book covers include books I currently have in print and available on Amazon.com and Kindle. The first section includes Christian faith based books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have written one Christian Romance novel:  In the Circle of His Arms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next section includes books appropriate for middle school, junior high, and high school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next section includes book of Appalachian folklore, culture, and interest.    

 

 

 

                               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following books include short stories I have written as part of their project collection:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following books resulted from student projects at Wallins Elementary School and Junior High in Harlan County, Kentucky in the 30 years of my teaching career. The students are also featured in a book called Hope and Heroes by international photographer Barry Shainbaum, and illustrated the book Odette, Goose of Toulouse by the late, beloved Earl Hamner, Jr. (creator of the Waltons).       Their work was also highlighted by Steve Flairty in his Kentucky Heroes book series.

                                                                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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An Interview with Crypto Crew, Thomas Marcum

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I want to extend a special thanks to Thomas Marcum of the Crypto Crew for the interview he posted today on his website listed below about my two latest books:  Bigfoot and Woolybooger Tales and Panther Tales and Woodland Encounters.  Thomas Marcum is also one of the expert researchers whose stories appear in these books, along with another Crypto Crew member, Tony Felosi who is a researcher, documenter, producer, and film maker.

Please pay a visit to Thomas Marcum’s website if you are interested in cryptozoology, bigfoot, and other unexplained phenomena.  You won’t be disappointed with his research, eyewitness accounts, and documentation.  Thomas is also the author of several books on these subjects.

 

https://www.thecryptocrew.com/2018/04/bigfoot-panthers-and-more-with-judith.html

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Warrior Women, Healing the Brokenhearted

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This book is the third in the Warrior Women Series.  It is a collection of stories from women of the Christian faith who have experienced great loss as well as divine intervention in their healing process.  The book also includes photographs of ordinary women dressed as warriors which adds to the unique appeal of the book.

Available for purchase through Amazon.com and Kindle

Introduction

By J. V. Hensley

This book, Warrior Women, The Power of Prayer, is the second in a series. The first book Warrior: Mother – Daughters, Arise! can be found on Amazon.com, all of its affiliates, and Kindle. Submissions are being accepted for the third book in the series Warrior Women, Healing the Brokenhearted.

I believe God is speaking to women everywhere to arise and become who He has called us to be.

As Esther, we were born in this time, and in our respective places around the world, for such a time as this.

As Deborah, we are established to be workers in the kingdom of God, both fearless and wise.

As Ruth, we are fashioned to be loyal and steadfast, doing the will of God.

As Hannah, we are to be promise keepers, placing all our hopes and dreams in God’s hands.

As Rebecca, we are chosen ones.

Many women suffer from low self-esteem, or doubt their place in the Kingdom of God. Through the stories and images on these pages, it is my prayer that every reader will see herself differently than she did before opening the cover.

When God looks at us, He doesn’t see our flaws, our warts, our scars, or our failures. If we are born again Christians who have put our faith in Christ Jesus, that’s who He sees in our reflection. All our shortcomings are forgiven at the foot of the cross where we are redeemed by the blood of Christ and His great sacrifice for us.

We are His precious daughters, blood bought, redeemed, children of the Most High God. We are called and equipped through the Word of God and the power of prayer to become Warrior Women and make a difference in this world in our lifetimes.

We are instructed to put on the whole armor of God.

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; – Ephesians 6:10 – 18

The call has gone out. DAUGHTERS, ARISE! God is calling His warrior women to come together in unity. Let our voices be heard in the land. Let our prayers touch the throne of Heaven. Let us take up our Sword, which is the Word of God, purify and strengthen ourselves through the power of prayer, and take our places in the ranks of those called by The Living God of Heaven.

1 Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:

My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and He in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.

Lord, what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him? or the son of man, that thou makest account of him?

Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away.

Bow thy heavens, O Lord, and come down: touch the mountains…               – Psalm 144

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Warrior Women, The Power of Prayer

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This is the second book in the Warrior Women Series.  It is a collection of stories from women of all ages and walks of life who acknowledge the importance of prayer working in their daily lives.  Photographs of women dressed as warriors add to the uniqueness of this series.

Available for purchase through Amazon.com and Kindle

 

Something Smells Good in the Oven

By Judith Victoria Hensley

Nothing smells better in a home than the evidence that someone has been busy baking.  The person who comes in and sits down at Mom or Grandmother’s tables and automatically gets fed a scrumptious meal probably doesn’t think about all of the preparation that goes into it.

When someone walks in the door and asks “What’s cooking?  Something smells delicious!” they know the meal is close to being completed.  The smell gives it away.

A friend recently compared answered prayers to making a pie.  There are a lot of steps in a homemade pie.  The crust has to be made first, and then the contents prepared.  The filling of a pie can be very time consuming or very simple.  From chicken pot pie to pecan pie, the ingredients in the middle take some preparation.

The answers to our prayers are like that.  We have to invest some time in praying and seeking God’s answer.  We may need to do some preparation on our end also in order to be ready to accept God’s answer.  On His end, there are many factors or ingredients that may be necessary to bring a specific answer for a prayer to pass.  Some people give up and move on if the answer doesn’t come immediately.  Impatience will cause a person to give up prematurely before the answers to prayer become evident.

When we pray, we may not see what all goes on in preparation before our pie goes in the oven.  Even then the oven must be set at the right temperature and the pie has to remain in the baking stage for the right amount of time before it is edible.  If it is taken out too soon, there is nothing more disappointing than a raw inedible pie.  If it stays too long, there is nothing good about burnt pie.  A seasoned baker knows exactly how long the pie has to stay in the heat and exactly the right temperature to produce a culinary masterpiece.

Hebrews 11:1 says that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Shouldn’t our faith in God be that simple?  If we have faith that God will answer a prayer request we have brought to Him and wait for the process to be complete, the answer will come in due season.  Our faith is like being able to smell the pie before we see it.  We know that by the time we can smell it, it is almost finished.  When God brings our pie (answered prayer) out of the oven, it will be perfect.

I can’t think of anyone that enjoys waiting, unless we know the exact time the waiting will be completed and we get what we want.  Some people wait better than others.  Consider a doctor’s office waiting room, for example.  Some people read, while others watch TV or listen to the music.  Some are perfectly content to talk to strangers.  Others sit there and moan or huff and puff to let everyone else know how miserable they are.

Waiting on answered prayers is pretty much the same way.  Some people whine and complain that they are still waiting.  Some people go about their daily business until the answer comes.  And some people praise the Lord ahead of time for answered prayers.

If we’ve been waiting for God to answer a prayer, consider if He’s given us instructions to follow in the waiting time.  We must be faithful in both the praying, the waiting, and the praising.  We can do what we know to do in the meanwhile.  Waiting time always passes more quickly when we are doing something productive during the wait.

Throughout the Bible there are amazing stories of fascinating characters.  Script writers and their imaginations can’t begin to match the real people and their life stories recorded in the Bible.  The unglamorous part of those lives is usually the season where they were required to wait.

Strength of character is developed while we are waiting.  Wisdom is gained while we wait.  God is equipping us to be able to receive the answer to our prayers when they come.  In the wait, our faith is established.  Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

If we’ve been waiting a long time, there is a temptation to give up.  We grow weary and begin to feel that either God hasn’t heard us, isn’t going to answer us, or has forgotten us.  Hope deferred makes the heart sick.

The toughest part of waiting on an answered prayer is in the silence while our unseen answer is on the way.  There is an appointed time for answered prayers to be unveiled in our lives.  From the first moment we, as children of God, whisper a prayer, it is heard and things are set in motion.  Sometimes the answer is an immediate, “No,” because we’ve asked for something amiss or selfish.  Sometimes it is an immediate, “Yes!”  Most of the time, even our “Yes,” means we will have to wait for it.

We can smell a pie in the oven that is almost complete.  The aroma fills a house with the promise of something good to eat.  We have faith in the one who created it that they used all the right ingredients and are in control of the timer to bring the pie out of the oven when it’s done.  Our faith in God should be the same.

Don’t give up!  The answers to situations we’ve prayed about are on the way and are closer than they were yesterday!  We only need to hang on a little longer.  We do not know what another day will bring forth or what answered prayers will be in it.  We can praise God during the wait, knowing that His answers come from His great love for us.

 

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Mother: Warrior

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This is the original book in the Warrior Women Series.  It is a faith based collection of stories from Christian women who write about the importance of the role of mother in their lives.  Featured in photographs throughout the book series are every day women dressed as warrior women.

Available for purchase through Amazon.com and Kindle

Mother Warrior

Birth of a Book

By Judith Victoria Hensley

          Motherhood is one of God’s greatest blessings in my life. My former husband and I had planned on having lots of children. He said he wanted a basketball team. Since my mother’s mother had sixteen children, and my father’s mother had fourteen children, that idea didn’t sound so unrealistic at the time.

We agreed that adoption would be part of our family plan, plus children of our own. We were in the midst of the adoption process and had been married for five years before I found out that a little one was on the way.

Our rented home was a historical house on Sulphur Well Road on the outskirts of Lexington, Kentucky that had at one time served as a toll booth for wagons and stage coaches. It sat at the edge of a lovely sprawling cattle and tobacco farm.

In the middle of a September night, I heard a voice with a joyful message. “You are going to have a baby son.”  It was as if the voice was coming from a real person standing very near the bed, or even over the bed.

I awakened my husband and said, “Did you hear that?  Did you hear that?”

He hadn’t heard anything. The voice had been so loud and so real to me, it was hard for me to believe that he didn’t hear it also. When I told him what I’d heard, he didn’t believe me. I was so persistent that he got out of bed and checked the whole house to make sure all the doors and windows were locked and that there was no way anyone could have gotten in and said anything.

The idea that a heavenly voice had spoken to me was outside his stretch of faith at the time.

I was so thrilled and filled with joy, it was overwhelming. I wanted the world to know that I was going to have a son!  I was going to be a mother!

In the meantime, we were called for a final adoption hearing. We had successfully passed all the interviews, medical exams, and things that had taken years to complete.

“Has anything changed?” the interviewer asked. “Are you pregnant at this time?”

With joy, and apprehension, I had to answer, “Yes.”

Our adoption process came to a screeching halt. We were informed that we could renew our application in a couple of years if we were still interested.

As much as I knew I would have loved adopted children, I couldn’t help the joy of my own potential biological motherhood. I believed God’s timing was perfect.

I was totally convinced that if God had spoken to me through a dream, a voice, or an angelic visitation, HE had made no mistake. There was faith and affirmation in my heart that no amount of doubt from anyone else could defeat.

It took months for a pregnancy test to show up positive at the doctor’s office (in the era before home testing). Even the doctor tried to convince me that my enthusiasm and the test results were not compatible.

When the test did show positive, I couldn’t wait to tell everyone. Even my mother tried to soften my expectations for a “son” in case I delivered a bouncing baby girl. At the baby shower, she even bought a little girl’s outfit (which could be returned) just in case the new baby needed a frilly outfit to wear home from the hospital.

I had a normal pregnancy with some issues of pre-eclampsia which required me to quit work earlier than expected. Our health insurance had changed and the baby had to be born after June 1 to be covered on our policy. Again, God’s timing was perfect.

On June 6, 1978, I went for my check up with Dr. O’Neil at Central Baptist Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky. After the examination, he said, “Are you ready to have this baby?”

I laughed and said, “I surely am!”  I thought he was making conversation.

“You have a couple of hours to get home, get your bag and get back to the hospital.”  He laughed when he saw the startled expression on my face. “This baby is ready to meet Mama. You are already in the beginning stages of labor and dilated to four. No more than two hours before you get back!”

I was stunned. I had been having some pains scattered here and there for a long time. They were still far enough apart that I didn’t recognize them as “regular.”

When I checked in to the hospital, Dr. O’Neil came and signed orders to set me up on a pit drip. He was going to take his wife out for an anniversary dinner that evening. “I’ll see you around midnight,” he said as he left.

Things sped up far too quickly. I was in full blown labor after 7:00 p. m. and in the most excruciating pain I could imagine sweeping over me like the waves of a great storm. My husband was telling me to quit pushing and the nurse was trying to explain to him that I couldn’t stop the contractions and wasn’t pushing on purpose.

The doctor on call was already in the middle of a delivery, my doctor was out to dinner with his wife, and no one was available. It looked like daddy might have to handle the delivery himself with the help of a nurse.

The doctor came rushing in the room in his tuxedo right before 8:00. He checked on the baby and me, scrubbed in, and wheeled me off to delivery. At 8:06, our son was born. When they placed him on my chest, he looked up at me with one little open eye. I felt so sorry for him and the difficult passage through the birth canal that had caused his little face to swell. “Poor little fellow,” I said.

The doctor and staff were making happy guesses about how much he weighed. “He’s a big fellow!” they all agreed.

They cleaned him up and weighed him in at 9 lb. and 8 oz. My doctor was getting ready to go back and finish celebrating with his wife.

I knew something was amiss with me and I told the nurse. When she checked, I was hemorrhaging. I could feel the life blood draining out of me. Everyone broke into full blown panic. The doctor came back and began to put pressure on my abdomen with his fists. Nothing was helping stop the flow of blood.

They started preparing for an emergency procedure. Out of desperation the doctor climbed on the gurney and increased his efforts to press his fists into my belly. I remember thinking that it felt as if an elephant was stomping on me.

“I’m so sorry,” the doctor assured me. “If this works, it is far better than what we’ll have to do in surgery.”  I suppose he was referring to a hysterectomy and the end of my ability to produce children. I never asked.

I was praying. I don’t think I realized how close I had come to death and how serious the situation was when the bleeding stopped. God had preserved me.

I stayed in the hospital for a total of eight days while they continued to monitor me and make sure that my blood count was coming back up to normal. When I finally went home, I was weak as a kitten and my mother came to stay with me for a week.

I was instantly in love with my child. As much as I loved his father, I had no idea the depth that would be there of my mother love for him. I wanted to hold him and protect him from every possible hurt. I was as happy as could be just watching him sleep. My beautiful boy!

I have watched my son go through heartache in his life. He had to deal with the disappointment of losing his dad through divorce before he ever reached the age of one. I won’t go into detail of the challenges he faced all through growing up because he was a child of divorce. He was greatly loved on both sides, but also greatly conflicted by his own love for both of us.

In recent years, I watched him go through adult heartache that I would have taken on myself if it were possible. All I could do was love him, stand with him, and continue to pray over him. I could feel the darkness trying to overtake him, and except for prayer and my faith in God’s great faithfulness for him, I didn’t know how to “fix it for him.”

In what seemed like out of nowhere, I had one of the most dramatic visions of my entire life. I was viewing the vision as if I was above the situation, looking down on the whole thing. I saw my son cowering in a dark corner of a room that looked like a basement or a pit of the most nightmarish kind. Above him, peering down through the ceiling was a horde of demons with long claws and teeth. They couldn’t wait to get hold of him and rip him to shreds.

But between him and the creatures that were waiting to attack stood the most glorious of creatures. She was dressed in full armor in a fighting stance with her sword drawn and held up in both hands. Light was shining out of her, out of her sword, and all around her. She was the light which was keeping the demons at bay and was there to protect my child.

“An angel!” I declared.” God has sent an angel to fight for my son and hold back the darkness!”

A voice spoke in my heart with bold authority.
“She is not an angel. This is you. MOTHER.”

I was dumbfounded!  There was no way in real life that I even remotely resembled that glorious creature in full battle attire.

The Holy Spirit began to teach me many things from that vision. She was clothed in the, “full armor of God” and the sword she held was, “the Word of God.”

Ephesians 6:10-18

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Being a mother is one of the most important, and most noble roles a woman can play in this life. Whether a woman becomes a mother through the birth process of her own body, adopts children, cares for her siblings, or becomes a mother figure to children in her extended world, the heart of “motherhood” is a wonderful gift.

The calling to be a mother is also a call to be a warrior. If a child is placed in a woman’s care, she has a joyful responsibility, although fraught with challenges, to make a difference in that child’s life.

There will be times that she is the watchman; the guardian standing between her child (or children) and the powers of darkness commissioned to destroy them. When she prays and trusts in God, the armies of heaven are behind her.

God Himself hears the cries of a mother’s prayers for her little ones, no matter what their age. God equips mothers with a warrior’s heart for her children and calls them to intercession for those in her care.

We cannot control our offspring when they grow to adulthood, the decisions they make, or the struggles they face, but we can always be Mother: Warrior in their behalf.

It is my sincerest desire that the stories gathered for this book will encourage the reader, increase faith, and help each one to see herself as God sees her.

Mother Warrior

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