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It's a miracle when women finally carve out a minute to ponder our own lives! When  we do, we like to notice what's working and what's unraveling. Often simultaneously! We look up and look for wisdom. Who has practical ideas we can make our own?

Host Cathy Krafve invites experts to share their personal stories and talk openly about all the things women care about. How to create life-long companionship? Dealing with mental illness in our families? Bullying at our kiddos' school? No topic is too tough. All women have things we are afraid to ask. You name it, we talk about it.

For Truth with a Texas Twang, join Fireside Talk Radio, the show where women ponder the things we store in our hearts.

Thank you for downloading our shows and sharing them with your friends. Whatever else you do today - whether you are on your recumbent bike, walking your neighborhood, or traveling - thank you for joining us.

When women courageously talk about the tough stuff, we call that a conversational adventure! No taboos here. No dumb questions either. Your comments and input for future episodes are joyfully welcomed at

Fireside Talk Radio, where Truth and Twang meet. Join us for our next conversation adventure!

Sustainability, Gardening, the Bible, and, What Weeds? with James Van Dyke

When James Van Dyke (shown with his adorable wife) came on Fireside Talk Radio lately to talk about entrepreneurship, I was giddy with excitement. I might not get compost, but entrepreneurship stirs my heart. Plus, I have a long history with gardening sustainability. 

The Right Spot

Once, when I was a kid, my dad let me pick out seed packets and a new trowel. The only thing Dad didn’t let me choose was my spot in the yard.

“Dad, this is the dogs’ pen!” I exclaimed in dismay.

“Yes, but I’m not sure you’ll remember to weed your flower bed. If you take care of this one, next year I’ll give you a spot other people can enjoy, too,” he responded with a twinkle in his eye.

Weeds? What Weeds?

Two months later, Dad asked me if I had checked on my garden. Nope, not once. I hurried out to the spot, delighted to discover a flower bed brimming with marigolds, inpatients, and petunias in profusions of colors – all surrounded by a healthy bouquet of weeds! Apparently, the dogs provided sublime organic fertilizer.

Fertile Ground

I love what James is doing as a young businessman with Texas Organics. Plus, there’s that side business of flipping houses with his amazing wife. Not to mention raising their darling small children.He makes entrepreneurship look easy, even when I know better! Yep, life is blossoming under James’s loving attention and hard work. 

Stewardship and Sustainability

Stewardship, according to James, is a guiding principle when it comes to entrepreneurship. An environmental scientist, he explained how he’s learned to appreciate the process of culling, replenishing, and germination.

For example, he told of one field that wouldn’t grow a thing. The story has a happily-ever-after ending, though, because now it’s fertile and flourishing.

Hydrogen, carbon, and all that fancy chemistry stuff graced our conversation, as he inspired me with tales of reclaimed fields, organic compost, and soil samples. Best of all, having given a lot of thought to sustainability, he took a moment to offer some specific spiritual insight.

Principles For Stewarding in Business and Life

“I would say stewardship is the opportunity to maintain and care for the things around you, with sustainability in mind. That sounds pretty cheesy,” he laughed, adding, “to make something sustainable” is key. Here’re some choice things James shared about stewarding companies, the land, and relationships with customers. (To hear James’s entire podcastsclick here.)

#1 Being a good steward is the most profitable option. As an example of how smart business people think, he noted that the timber industry in East Texas replants because it’s in everybody’s best interests, especially theirs.

#2 Business thrives on efficiency. Whatever industry you’re in recycling ends up being the most efficient way to increase profits, according to James.

#3 Problem solving serves your customers. James says the mindset, “I’m a problem solver; that’s when you develop a relationship with customers.”

#4 Steward relationships for sustainability, too. Stewardship includes building strong customer relationships by taking care of needs, according to James.

May we all take heed from our loamy East Texas soil and this wise young entrepreneur and grow!

In Other News: 

Checklist Charlie, my column which just hit its eleventh birthday last June, gained a new home on-line in the Tri County Leader. At the Tri County Leader, it’s the same staff you trust and see at Brookshires or the Post Office. As always, their commitment to good old fashioned reporting and real news coverage continues for a great big chunk of East Texas. Please support this local bastion of accountability by subscribing. (No one pays me to say that, I just think our democracy needs trustworthy reporting.)

May I pray for you?

Dear Father, so many people are taking the risk of becoming independent through entrepreneurship. I ask now for Your blessing on their efforts to steward their lives in ways that honors You. May we treat all around us with loving respect. Help us take note of Your creative design for sustaining not only the physical stuff in our life, but also our relationships. Teach us to serve as Your beloved Son served, with a heart to do what is best for others. Bless our efforts, O Lord, that we may care for our families. Please bless especially those with young children. Give young entrepreneurs grace, strength,, and courage as they face daily challenges. We ask in Jesus name. Amen.

We love to hear from you!

What makes your heart happy in the garden? When you think of sustainability and entrepreneurship, what new idea are you wanting to try? Since James and other environmental scientists get giddy over good soil, what are you doing to keep your heart rich and ready to grow?

You can sign up for my Blog/Newsletter by clicking here.

Cathy Krafve, Texas Columnist, Speaker, Radio Host, and “almost” Author focusing on fellowship in Marriage, Family, and Community, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at Truth with a Texas Twang.

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Relationship Superheroes: Beyond Brokenness with Suzy Shepherd

Suzy Shepherd, CathyKrafve.comI drove 450 miles to meet Suzy Shepherd; two of us Texas gals in Missouri brought together by a love of communicating good news. She shared of being broken when her first marriage failed.

Beyond Brokenness

At that point, she turned to God to put all her relationships in order. Now, she’s rockin’ a blended family. If that’s not enough, Suzy’s life is full of friendships and relationships all over the place. So, how do we get beyond brokenness?

God Raises Up Saints to Pass Along Good News

It’s encouraging to know God is raising up saints to spread good ideas about relationships in a culture that’s overdosing on fear and foolishness. Suzy and I are both in Christian Communicators’ graduating Class of 2018. I couldn’t wait to get back home and get Suzy on Fireside Talk Radio to share her wisdom.

God Meets Us in Our Brokenness

Suzy shared how brokenness can be a place where we meet God in a new and tender way. She learned this when her own life came crumbling down around her. Getting beyond brokenness can be as simple as turning to God and friends for insight.

“We’re going to fail as mamas,” laughs Suzy, for instance, about the inevitable challenges we all face. Immediately in our shows, she mentioned the support and necessity of good women in our lives. Hallelujah and Amen, Sister!

Connectedness to Get Beyond Brokenness

Her personal story of brokenness led her to discover the beautiful ways God pursues connection with each of us, and in turn, He invites us to connect with those around us. Connectedness can apply to all our relationships, according to Suzy, if we start practicing principles that work.

Suzy is founder of The Sisterhood and Divisional Director for Stonecroft, so she’s an expert on creating connections. She spends her days helping women connect in meaningful ways to others and to Jesus. 

The Four Principles

A gifted communicator, Suzy turned her sorrow into victory for everyone else in a new book called, The Four Principles. Just this past May, the book became a national simulcast called “Where Love Lives,” as women tuned in to hear how to jump start their relationships. Pretty cool, stuff!

Love is the ungirding power that underlies all relationships, according to Suzy. The Four Principles include:

#1 Love seeks relationships. “We are created to be interdependent. We are wired to need relationships,” says Suzy.

#2 Love desires wholeness. “You are looking for wholeness for that other person,” says Suzy about wanting what is best for those we love.

#3 Love moves first. “Love initiates,” she says, adding, “Love moves toward those we are in relationship with.”

#4 Love gives life. “It’s easy to take offense. Its easy to take issue,” says Suzy, but, “when we see God in these principles, then we have a beautiful model for all relationships.”

Their Special “Blend”

Suzy refers to her blended family like a special mix of coffee. With nine kiddos between them and a big mix of relatives, Suzy and her hubby get to practice the four relationship principles on a daily basis. You can find our podcasts at CathyKrafve.comShe chuckles when I ask her about how they manage their unique family blend. “We’ve resigned ourselves to the idea that laundry and dishes are forever,” she laughs.

“Love is Life,” she says, summing up how our Father’s love can become a conduit for loving others. I hope you will check out more from Suzy at

You can sign up for my Blog/Newsletter by clicking here.

Cathy Krafve, Texas Columnist, Speaker, Radio Host, and “almost” Author focusing on fellowship in Marriage, Family, and Community, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at Truth with a Texas Twang.

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Raising Creative Kids: The Written Word Sparks Imagination with Sandra Merville Hart


Sandra Merville Hart, CathyKrafve.comTo understand how excited I was to have Sandra Merville Hart as a guest on Fireside Talk Radio, you have to know how much I love educating about history through story-telling. Sandra writes some of the best historical fiction I’ve read lately. Her pristine handling of the written word sparks imagination.

Civil War or the War Between the States?

Whether you call it the Civil War or the War Between the States, I bet you’ll enjoy her latest book, A Rebel in My House. Don’t let the romance novel book cover, fool ya. There’s a love story all right, but the story is fast-paced entertainment with dramatic flair is a perfect example of how the written word sparks imagination.

The Written Word Sparks Imagination

Sandra did her homework in this perceptive telling of the battle around Gettysburg, so we can relax. I love it when a fun read educates me. 

To me, this is one of the best uses of imagination: enhancing empathy by letting folks try out other perspectives in an engaging story. My family loves the arts, like the written word, mixed with imagination. Children especially benefit when parents let books spark their own imagination, too.

Raising Creative Kids Takes Parent Imagination, Too

World-class imaginers, my kids and their friends inhabited a world where pirates captured space ships floating in the canal across from our house. Canoes were patched with duck tape until the next capsize. Indians and cowboys defended our tree fort. Kings and queens issued royal decrees to knights prepared to defend honour to the death (by plastic sword).

Sandra endorses being alert to all the ways your creative child may already express their imagination. “I expressed a strong interest in writing as a child,” she says.

To Spark the Creative Urge in Your Child

If you’re raising a natural-born story-teller Sandra shares these thoughts on how to best encourage your creative child’s gifts.

“I would have loved to visit libraries when authors were speaking. Author events at bookstores, museums, or schools might have allowed me to meet others who achieved my dream and encouraged me. Look for writing classes for kids at the library or school,” she says.

Of course, don’t overlook simple encouragements. “If my parents had given me a desk, writing supplies, and a quiet place to write, I’d have been on my way,” says Sandra.

For the Visual or Tactile Child

Art museum visits, painting parties, birthday party at pottery places; Sandra’s imagination begins to tick off ideas about how to encourage the creative child who tends to be visual or tactile.

“What if your child draws cartoons in their free time? Parents can research the creative journey of someone like Charles Schulz, creator of Charlie Brown and Lucy and Linus, to find ways to help them develop his or her abilities,” says Sandra.

Finally, Sandra closes with this wisdom: “Encourage them. Praise their efforts. Allow them to try something new and fail and learn how to pick themselves up to try again. Your attitude makes a HUGE difference.” For more of our interview with this lovely creative author, look for our podcasts on

We love to hear from you!

What creative adventures with your kiddos exceeded your imagination? Any fails you might share for a laugh? Any creative dreams for the future?

May we pray together?

Dear Father in heaven, You are the great and amazing Creator, with endless imagination. You created us in Your image and we rejoice. What joy to be creative beings as You Yourself are! Thank You for letting us be like You in this. Inspire our imaginations with ideas and plans that will bless our families. Help us model creativity in all aspects of our lives, so our children can prosper. Thank You for gifting authors, like my friend Sandra, and many others to be proficient with the written word. We know You love the written word Yourself because You gave us the Bible. Thank You for those who taught us to read. In all this we are Your thankful people. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

You can sign up for my Blog/Newsletter by clicking here.

Cathy Krafve, Texas Columnist, Speaker, Radio Host, and “almost” Author focusing on fellowship in Marriage, Family, and Community, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at Truth with a Texas Twang.

Return to the Fireside Talk Radio Show Page
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Cell 121: How to Respond When Your Child Goes to Jail with Lori Boruff


Lori Boruff, CathyKrafve.comHave you ever had “your own personal nine-eleven moment”? A personal nine-eleven is what my friend Lori Boruff called that crisis moment when she knew her son was arrested. When a child goes to jail, the pain is excruciating. But, in Lori’s case, there’s nothing but victory now.

The Painful Moment When a Child Goes to Jail

When they arrested her son, Rusty, leading him away from their home in handcuffs, Lori’s life direction changed instantly. Yet, she says, “God had plans for her family and “it was a good direction even in that painful moment.”

Many Families are Suffering

Sadly, I know many good families with parents who love their kids who are suffering because of a conviction. I’ve been praying about who could come on Fireside Talk Radio to answer questions about how to handle the sorrow when your child goes to jail. I wish I didn’t need this information. 

Lori is a nationally known speaker and one of three partners in Christian Communicators. I believe in answer to specific prayer. So, when I attended the 2018 Christian Communicators Conference and met Lori, it couldn’t be a coincidence. One of the things she shared with us was the way time in jail transformed her son, Rusty Boruff.

“Rusty spent many years as a homeless addict who eventually found himself sitting in Cell 121. He spent a year of his life behind bars and met Jesus there,” according to One Eighty, the ministry her son started to help others who’ve been to jail. By the way, the folks at One Eightyare very kind about answering questions, if you need someone to talk to in that intense moment.

Praying for A Child in Jail, Especially about Grief

In the midst of crisis, Lori began to pray for him from Psalm 121 once she saw the number on his cell. Now the leader God always intended, Rusty helps others rebuild their lives after incarceration through One Eighty.

Lori believes strongly that grief can be a crucial factor in making poor decisions that lead to arrest. She tells of her lightbulb moment as she listened to story after story. Blink! Could grief be the common denominator that sets a son or daughter onto a self-destructive path? Yes, says Lori. Parents need to be alert to signs their child is grieving.

If you know anyone who is going through this process, you will want to share Lori’s wisdom on our podcasts.

The Stress on Marriage

How did Lori hold her marriage together in such a strained moment?

“It came back to knowing that God loves my husband more than I do!” she laughs, and she prayed, “‘God, you’ve got him; I’ll just work on my heart.’” In retrospect, Lori says the crisis brought them closer and closer because she wasn’t “working out of a wounded heart all the time.”

What the Church Can Do

What can the church do to comfort those who are in shock because their child has been arrested?

“One of the most hurtful thing is to ignore it,” she says, “I loved it when we’d get a card in the mail.” You may not need to say just say the perfect thing, but acknowledge the hurt that is happening.  Lori suggests asking a simple, tender question: “What part of your heart is hurting?”

For myself, I want to say that you are not alone. Since we hear confidential stories all the time at Camp Krafve, we know people often feel alone and isolated. The truth is so different, though. Please don’t isolate yourself. You’ll be amazed at how folks want to help, if you just reach out.

We want to hear from you…

How have you found comfort in a crisis? Has someone encouraged you when you felt you were isolated and rejected? If your child has been arrested, how did your church offer you true help?

May I pray for you?

Dear Father in heaven, You love our children even more than we do. This week again we cried when we heard of another arrest. Have mercy on us, O Lord. Thank you for Rusty and Lori and their testimony of Your loving care in the midst of sorrow. You established order and gave us the law as a way to find Your Son, Jesus. In heaven and on earth, You reign. Your judgment is righteous and merciful. We turn to You for mercy. Oh, how we love You. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

You can sign up for my Blog/Newsletter by clicking here.

Cathy Krafve, Texas Columnist, Speaker, Radio Host, and “almost” Author focusing on fellowship in Marriage, Family, and Community, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at Truth with a Texas Twang.

Return to the Fireside Talk Radio Show Page
Link to Article
Joy and Justice in Education with Sarah Cumming: Can a School Give a City Joy?

Promise Academy Student, CathyKrafve.comOne of my favorite thought leaders, Sarah Cumming, the Head of Promise Academy, joined me recently to chat about how communities benefit when joy and justice team up.

Joy and Justice Together

Did it ever cross your mind that joy and justice could be byproducts of each other? Sure, everyone knows that joy happens when there is justice. But did you ever think joy could be the creative force behind righting injustice? Not me. At least not until Sarah prodded me to think deeper about how God’s Spirit permeates our lives with both joy and justice. Wow! I’d been praying for years about the pernicious self-segregating in our east Texas communities. It never once occurred to me that joy could be the solution to the generationally ingrained issue of injustice.

Joy-full, Healthy Communities

Sarah describes the best kind of communities, when joy enhances respect and justice, in an episode of Fireside Talk Radio, called Joy in Education, Justice for All.

“In a (healthy) community you come to things as equals. There’s not a skewed power dynamic. Joy says its good for us to be together and, as equals, to learn together,” says Sarah. She also shared insight about how students, donors, volunteers, teachers, parents, all benefit from a discipleship mindset.

Falling in Love

Just for fun, I got her to share her love story about how she and her hubby met and fell in love, in Joy in Education, For the Love of Community. Since I’ve known and respected Alan from his youth, their story feels like a Hallmark movie where I scored a minor cameo late in the show. If you’re wondering how Sarah and Alan developed a passion for the way education can be a spring board to joy and justice, you will want to tune in. Her ideas are a multifaceted blessing, especially in her own voice.

For the Joy of a City

Next question, have you ever thought that a school could be designed for “the joy of a city”? Promise Academy, is the dream of bringing Christian education to a part of Smith County that’s underserved, “for the joy of the city.”

“Christ-centered education of the highest academic standards should be accessible to all students, families and neighborhoods in Tyler regardless of geography, economics and social restrictions, and that the city will know God’s joy, unity and biblical justice through this pursuit. This holistic education — committed to the truth, discipline and values of the Gospel of Jesus Christ — will affirm the promise of each student: that all persons are made in the image of God, created for God’s glory and endowed by him with the potential to acquire wisdom and knowledge. As such, Promise Academyjoins families to nurture kingdom-minded citizens who work for justice, economic opportunity, ethnic harmony, hope for the family and joy in their communities,” according to their website.

Back to School with Joy

With school around the corner, if you’re making decisions about how to best educate your children or encourage your grandchildren, check out what this wise educator and mom shares from her heart on our podcasts. May the kiddos we love see joy expressed in our lives!

We love to hear from you!

Please let us know what you’re up to. For instance, what are you doing to prepare your kiddos to return to school with joy? How did you stand strong in the face of injustice when you were a kid? What injustice today concerns you the most for the next generation?

Will you join me in prayer?

Dear Father in heaven, You are the One who establishes justice. Joy and justice are such a part of Your nature, that our human nature yearns for them, too. Make our hearts aware of injustice. Give us courage to speak boldly and compassionately for justice’s sake. Give us persistence and perseverance, O Lord. And most of all, give us Your joy! In Jesus’s name. Amen.

You can sign up for my Blog/Newsletter by clicking here.

Cathy Krafve, Texas Columnist, Speaker, Radio Host, and “almost” Author focusing on fellowship in Marriage, Family, and Community, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at Truth with a Texas Twang.

Return to the Fireside Talk Radio Show Page
Link to Article
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Entrepreneurship. His Story: Digging into the Environmental Dirt with James Van Dyke
Relationship Superheroes. Where Love Lives with Suzy Shepherd
Relationship Superheroes. Her Story: Brokenness and Beyond with Suzy Shepherd
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Connect with Cathy

A Semi-retired Mom, Queen of Fun, and Coffee Cup Philosopher Cathy Krafve pulls in exciting guests from all walks of life who rejoice in deeply spiritual truths.

Warning: You may feel guilty pleasure for listening in on these sparky conversational adventures.

With her never-met-a-stranger attitude, Cathy asks "Why learn stuff the hard way, when experts want to share wisdom with us for free."

A columnist, speaker, writer, small business owner, education connoisseur, and middle class philanthropist, Cathy brings all her experience together to ask the questions we all want to know.

Like a friend you met for coffee, Cathy's guests share practical strategies for marriage, family, community, and life.

Why? Because all women deserve a break. By a break, we mean a minute alone with a strong cup of coffee and good podcast. For more great shows go to

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