Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Why is this blog named Inspirational Romance?

As an author, I write stories to give hope. Yes, I always add romance as the plot is usually about someone's dreams being fulfilled. Maybe not as they'd visualized but with a wonderful end result. And I always allow my main characters to grow emotionally and spiritually.

There's no doubt hope is what keeps us going...moving forward and never giving up. God has given us that ability. Even so it is still a choice we have to make even when things seem impossible.

Thousands of years ago when God allowed the Jews to be be captured by the King Nebuchadnezzar, the ruler of the Babylonian kingdom, He gave them hope for their future. Yes, they'd sinned against His Word, by listening to evil prophets and diviners, consequently being caught up with horrible practices. Yet even after they'd been carried off to a far land he granted them hope. Hope that if they repented of their wrongdoing, He would again bring them back into their own land. In fact He said an amazing thing to them through the prophet Jeremiah. We read:

"I will fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you," declares the lord, "plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

We may face some limiting circumstances today. We may have lost a dear one, or are facing financial difficulties, or a debilitating illness. Now is the time to seek the Lord with all your heart. Find your hope in Him for the coming year.

My friend, read John's Gospel and you will find hope in Jesus - the Way, the Truth, and the Life. May God bless you.
Rita Stella

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


I heard a true story recently.

A young man shared how he worked on a farm in Paraguay. The farm had various crops and a few sheep. Now the ewes had just lambed and the farmer picked one and gave it into the young man's care. The farmer said as long as he fed and petted it, the lamb would follow him everywhere.

The farmer named it Navidad which is Spanish for the word Christmas. Sure enough that little lamb followed the young man everywhere and he grew very fond of it. He thought it must have been a special pet that the busy farmer had no time to look after. He formed a real bond with Navidad - similar to a man and his dog.

Time passed and as the end of the year approached, the young man had a disturbing thought. Had there been any particular reason why the lamb was named Christmas? Then the sad truth sank in. It all made sense now. Navidad was to be offered as their Christmas dinner. His little lamb to be killed just so they food to eat? He was truly saddened. Because the farm was poor, Navidad the little Christmas lamb must die ... so that they might live.

For the first time in his life he understood something of how God felt when His Son died on the cross taking on Himself the penalty of our sins. Jesus truly died that we might live. How deeply it cut the Father's heart to offer His own Son Jesus.

Mercifully the little lamb didn't know what would happen as it went quietly to be slaughtered ... but Jesus did and His suffering was great. Earlier in His ministry, John the Baptist saw Jesus coming and cried out, 'Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.' His amazing sacrifice was foretold by the prophet Isaiah in the Holy Bible. ( Isa.53:5-7.)

This is the reason why Jesus was born in that manger so long ago.

I wish you, my reader, a very happy and blessed Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2014


How could one small baby bring peace between men out to harm each other?

That's what Canadian missionary Don Richardson asked himself. He and his college sweetheart Carol had married and then felt the call of God to share the good news with the Sawi tribes-people of Irian Jaya.

After many months working among these volatile warring tribes, one day he threatened them as they began fighting outside his house.

He cried out loudly that he'd go and work among other villagers if they didn't quit their feuding and make peace.  Suddenly one man ran off and took his baby son from his wife. She screamed and wrenched it away from him. Then another man from the opposition hurried to his house and took up his baby son. His wife shrieked and wailed but couldn't stop him when he handed over their baby to a man who he had been fighting. As the man accepted the child others laid hands on it amidst women's cries.

Deeply shattered by this show of great emotion Don asked what was happening. "This is the only way to make peace between us," he was told. "As long as the Peace Child lives we are safe." Don had the answer. He told them how God the Father had sent His only Son as a Peace Child between men. Wicked men killed Jesus, but He rose from the dead because He was God's Son and He lives forever. So they had no need to do this anymore once they believed in Him because the sacrifice of His Peace Child lasts as long as Jesus lives. And He will never die again.

And this Christmas we can thank our Father for sending His Son to give us His peace in our hearts. May you all know the blessing of His lasting peace. Remember there is nothing we can add to His perfect sacrifice, but to accept it and honor Him with our right living.


Follow me on Twitter @RitaSGalieh

Thursday, December 4, 2014


When times are tough try taking the following steps to get on the same page!

  1. Confront the problem.  If your spouse says, “We’re fine” and doesn’t want to talk about it, there probably is something going on.   Arrange to meet later and discuss what you’re thinking about.
  2. Confess it!  Yes, confess!  It’s much easier to pass judgment and blame your spouse.  But even if the problem may be 90% something your spouse is responsible for, you still are responsible for 10%.  A loving marriage admits fault!
  3. Pray together.  Couples rarely pray together. Far from intimidating it can draw you closer together. 
There are two ways to ensure that “tough times” won’t lead to divorce. 
  1. Treasure your marriage.  God brought you together for a lifetime.  It’s a fragile gift and if not valued as such, your marriage will suffer.  Make your spouse a priority.
  2.  Have fun together!  Some of the best fun you can have is when you plan well ahead to do something together you’ve never done before. Laugh and play like kids!  It'll be so much fun.
 Isn't this worth trying?

Follow me on Twitter  @RitaSGalieh

Thursday, November 27, 2014


There is something very special about a woman who takes her wedding vows seriously at a time when so many give up and walk out of a marriage.

Leslie Sherrod tells about her mother:

A quiet woman with busy hands, my mother has been a constant caretaker. When the diagnosis of my father's illness first entered our family in the late 1980s, my mother was working as a nurse on the night shift. With an invalid husband and two daughters to raise in Baltimore City, she continued working while caring for him, nurturing my sister and I, and also tending to her father who had Alzheimer’s, and her mother who had a stroke.

Her faith in Christ a foundation, my dear mother’s compassion and care for others extends beyond her previous nursing duties and ongoing family obligations.

I do not know when my mother slept,and now that I am an adult with a family of my own, I do not know how she balanced it all. Resources were always limited. Sometimes the electricity was off and the food and clothes we had were donated. But she managed. And to this day, now unable to work but still required to serve, I haven’t heard her complain. She shares silly jokes and plays goofy games with her grandchildren, and few would know the trauma, the trials she’s endured, is enduring.

I am sure such a woman will hear the Lord's commendation, "Well done, you good and faithful servant."  

Thanks for sharing about your mother, Leslie.

Follow me on Twitter @RitaSGalieh

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Francine Rivers, bestseller author of Christian fiction  says,
In truth, the Bible is a romance and every word is true.  It is the story of the heights, lengths and depths that God will go to bring us into an intimate, all-consuming love relationship with Him.

She also tells of the way her family have needed God's care:
We all have close calls, those times when we know we have come face to face with eternity. Our heart rate skyrockets and adrenalin kicks in to reaction quickly.  Sometimes we look back and see how we were plucked out of situations that could have ended disastrously.

My husband, Rick, has had numerous close calls in his life.  When he was a boy and living in Jordan, his family scheduled a photo safari in Kenya.  At the last minute, they had to cancel because Dad Bill got a call from the airline he directed that he was needed.  The Mau Mau Uprising sent tribesmen on a rampage, killing every white person they could find in the same area where Rick and his parents would have camped.

When Rick served in Vietnam, he stood guard duty one night.  He stepped down and headed into a bunker when a rocket hit exactly where he had been standing.

And another time Rick took our eldest son fishing in British Columbia.  The one and only time he forgot to check for a map and compass, he got lost in heavy fog.  They knew they were close to shipping lanes and in danger of being run down in a small fishing boat.  He tried to dead reckon back to shore, but couldn’t find it.  So he prayed, “Lord, if anyone has to die because of my mistake, please don’t let it be Trevor.” As soon as he finished praying, the fog lifted and they were right at the mouth of the cove where their camp was located.

I sometimes wonder how many other times the Lord has intervened or sent angels in disguise to protect us. 

Thank you Francine, I agree wholeheartedly!!     Follow me on Twitter  @RitaSGalieh

Thursday, November 13, 2014


What will He write in the way of recording my life and yours?

My first chapter began at birth and followed my growing up years until I reached school age. Then followed fairly uneventful teens filled with longings I didn't fully understand.
Then I grew up only to discover the chapter of romance and love and being cherished in return. I also learned about conflict and resolution. A few years later I became a mother and found another love in my life. Then the chapters fly by and I believe there are more to be written, but I still wonder about my final chapter.

His Word, the Holy Bible, was written by His scribes. Even so He is the Author. No one can add or take away from this precious book. It stands for all time unedited.

He is also the lover of my soul. He is my wise all-knowing Heavenly Father who is always there to listen to me...ME! The wonder of this never ceases to amaze me.

He allows things to happen that I would never choose for myself. But when I look back I can see the purpose. Sometimes a case of correcting, sometimes a time of learning. Often the special training for patience because He knows I hate waiting. Yet everything, yes, everything is for my good. And only a loving father does that.

My name is already written in His BOOK of LIFE, but there are still many chapters yet to be written and I cannot read between the lines. And being human with a free will I can make a host of mistakes. That is why He took the trouble to give us HIS STORY which is even more than mere history. We are privileged to read the Manufacturer's Directions every day... if we choose. And so many genres! Poetry, history, love songs, praise songs, prophecies, guidelines and more ... it's all there.

What will my next chapter be? I can plan a rough outline of my life, but desire His will not mine. He knows best as I've proved so many times in my life. And He wants the best for me ... and you. To think He loves us so much He gave His only Son, Jesus as a sacrifice to pay the penalty for all those sins of ours!

Oh yes, my Lord is a God of variety who has created us to fulfil His purposes. And best of all, following Him is NEVER DULL. Our lives can be real page turners when He is in control.

What will be the next chapter in your life?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Covenant Not a Contract

Ken and Pam were like typical young marrieds.
Then their children were born. They will take up their story.

That’s when our relationship began to develop cracks.  Ken’s seminary classes and study groups and Pam’s work schedule, together with balancing the needs of a 4 and 2 year old led us further away from one another (when we were together, it was usually arguing).  We found a short term solution when we discovered a seminary in Phoenix with evening classes and a more stable lifestyle for our family.

Just when we were starting to feel like our relationship was on solid ground, Pam's 22 year old sister, her brother-in-law and sister-in-law were killed in a car accident in Indiana.  A year after Jen’s death, Pam was severely depressed and Ken was doing everything he could to keep the family together while working a full time job and going to seminary at night.

A year later, we moved to San Diego.  We would love to say it was smooth sailing from that point on but there were still many obstacles to overcome.  It was our covenant before God and our tenacious commitment to accountability with other couples that we were able to stay in the ring!  We “survived” teenage children (our son decided to prove he was not a Pastor’s kid – he’s a High School Pastor today), job challenges and aging parents.

What made it work for us?  It’s the understanding that marriage is a covenant and not a contract – it’s a personal promise made before God, family and friends.  If you break that promise, it’s so much more than a contract ripped up – it’s an attack on personal integrity and family destroyed!

Through the years, we’ve grown to understand what it means to have a true best friend, to know what the other is thinking. We laugh, we cry, we work hard and play hard, and at the end of the day, we reflect on how blessed we are just to have stuck like glue!

THAT is the reason we are passionate about marriage – we made it and we know what it feels like!  If there is one wish we have for you – it’s that YOU make it too!

Wonderful advice from a couple who have proved their covenant with God worked.

FOLLOW ME on TWITTER:   @RitaSGalieh

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Working Together - Stull Family

This lady and her husband inspire me.    

Brenna Stull is a pastor's wife and mother to five young children. She is a professional home organizer and the creator of an eight-week home efficiency course designed to help women live a balanced life.  

Passionate and transparent, she is a popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats and Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) meetings. 

Brenna and her husband Chris speak on marriage enrichment at couple's retreats. She enjoys leading worship for conferences alongside her triplet brother and sister, Trent and Tamara. Brenna and her family live in McKinney, Texas.

Chris Stull graduated with an undergraduate degree in math/computer science in 1986 from the University of Oklahoma and went on to receive his MBA with an emphasis in finance.  


 From 1990 to 1998 he worked with the Fellowship
 of Christian Athletes as the State Director for Arizona.  Chris then accepted a position at North Phoenix Baptist Church as the Minister to Young Married Adults as then Executive Pastor.  In 2002 he was asked to move to McKinney, Texas to serve as Executive Pastor of First Baptist Church of McKinney where he is today. 

You can follow Brenna at her website:    

Saturday, October 25, 2014


From times of singing in a dark closet to founding a national
women’s mentoring ministry, Thelma Wells' life has been a courageous journey of faith. The name on her birth certificate read simply: Baby Girl Morris.

Thelma’s mother was a severely deformed teenager with no husband and no place to go, since her own abusive mother insisted that she take the baby and leave the house. So when the baby was born, her unwed teenage mother found work as a maid cleaning “the big house” while living with her baby daughter in servants’ quarters. Eventually, the baby went to live with her great-grandparents, who called her Thelma Louise Smith and loved her dearly. They took little Thelma to church, where she learned to love the hymns and praise songs.

On those occasions when Thelma was taken to her grandparents’ home, her grandmother abused her, just as she had tormented Thelma’s mother. She was locked in a dark, smelly, insect-infested closet until just before her grandfather came home when her grandmother would bring her out of the closet, clean her up, and act as if all was well. 

In spite of her deep fear, little Thelma spent her time in the closet singing every hymn and praise song she could remember. She would sing herself to sleep in that closet, and the Lord received this little girl’s innocent praise and rewarded it with an abundant life of joy, protecting her from feelings of anger or bitterness.

Thelma grew up to become a trailblazer for black women, a prominent international speaker and author, and a wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. As a student at North Texas State University in Denton, Texas (now the University of North Texas), she was a member of the first group of girls to integrate the school’s dormitories. She earned her Bachelor’s degree there and eventually received a Master’s of Ministry from Master’s International School of Divinity in Evansville, Indiana. In 2002 she became the school’s first black female professor.

In 1980 Thelma became the first black woman in the South to organize her own international speaking and consulting corporation. Her natural talent for public speaking and storytelling attracted the attention of the Women of Faith Tour, and in 1996 she became the first black core speaker for the organization. She has authored several books, including God Is Not Through With Me Yet, an inspiring examination of her own life experiences in which she encourages readers to “sing in the closets of their lives.” 

She serves as the president of The Daughters of Zion Leadership Mentoring Program, an organization she founded in 2000 (another first for a black woman). Through this ministry, “Mama T,” as she is affectionately called, has mentored over 100 spiritual daughters, received an honorary doctorate degree and was ordained into the Christian Ministry on December 16, 2008, from St. Thomas Christian College and Theological Seminary and the Association of Christian Churches in Jacksonville, Florida. She was also was named Extraordinary Woman of the Year 2008 at Extraordinary Women Conferences an affiliate of the American Association of Christian Counselors.

Thelma has been married to George Wells, her best friend, supporter, and encourager, for over 45 years. The couple lives in Dallas, Texas, and has three children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Visit Thelma’s website to see her books at
                                                                                                      Follow me on Twitter    @RitaSGalieh                                                                                               

Monday, October 20, 2014

Alzheimers & True Love

"In sickness and in health..."

Bill Forward has risen to the challenge of caring for Gladys, his wife of fifty years. Alzheimers disease had taken over her life. 

In his own words, Bill says, "I don't count it a burden to look after my wife.  From the moment she wakes up to the time she goes to bed, I take care of her every need."

Out of his concern came the BIKE-CHAIR.

"Several years ago I felt a deep sense of loss as I noticed my wife was losing her ability to walk. We had enjoyed walks by the sea, through parks and beside rivers. Having lived and travelled in Asia I remembered what people had done to bicycles to make food carriers or tri-shaws.

I thought that we could modify a bike to enable us to continue these outings I wanted the passenger seat in front of me so that we could see and talk about the same things together and then as her disability progressed, I would be able to see if she was in some difficulty or another. 

I took the concept to my good friend, Ken, who immediately spotted the problems. With his skill and knowledge we were able to produce the original Bike-Chair. We have developed it further to ensure safety and comfort. We can put the Bike-chair in our box trailer to visit nearby beaches and also on a rack behind our Coaster RV when we travel to enjoy special times It is a wonderfully liberating experience to be able to get out again together and cycle along bike paths everywhere. I get the exercise I need to stay healthy and my wife loves to meet and greet people along the way."

If you know of someone who could be helped, see his website:

What a great story. Thanks Bill for sharing with us.

Thursday, October 9, 2014


My writing friend, Nola Passmore shares her story.

I always thought I’d be married by the time I was 25, but when 1994 rolled around, I was 32 and still single.  Through a series of events, God made it clear that I was to leave my academic job at a university and do some courses with the Christian group Youth With a Mission (YWAM).  I handed my boss a letter of resignation, but he persuaded me to take 20 months leave without pay instead.  It was nice of him, but I wouldn’t be back.  I was about to head off on a grand adventure. 

Although it wasn’t my reason for going to YWAM (really it wasn’t!), it did cross my mind that I might meet ‘Mr Right’ while I was away.  However after 18 months in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, New Zealand, San Diego and Mexico, I returned to my home town still single and ready to recommence my university job.

By then, a Christian staff group had started up at work.  In the lead-up to Orientation Week in 1997, we thought it would be a good idea to put together a Welcome Flyer to let new students know there were Christian staff members in every faculty and section.  We started contacting people we knew to see if they would like to have their names on the flyer.  One woman gushed that it was good to finally ‘come out of the closet’.  Another fellow agreed and said, ‘Why don’t you contact Tim Passmore.  He might be interested.’

I knew who Tim was, as we were in the same Faculty, but I’d never officially met him.  He hadn’t heard of the Christian staff group, but said he would come along the next Friday.  He became a regular attender after that.  I thought he was really nice, but when he rang me a few weeks later to see if I’d like to go for a coffee with him, there was a complication.  I’d just started going out with someone else. 

I suggested he come over the next night as I was having a few friends round to meet the new boyfriend.  Let’s call him Fabio.  Tim agreed to come, but much later told me he felt like a goose.  There were at least two things in his favour though.  One of my friends brought her young children with her and they instantly took a shine to Tim.  I’d also bought a puppy a couple of months before and she decided that Tim’s lap was the best place to catch some ZZZs.

Well, children and animals can tell a lot.  Before long, it was ‘Goodbye Fabio’ and ‘Hello Tim'.          We married the following year and have just
celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary. I often
marvel at how I travelled all over the place with
YWAM and then found my husband waiting in my
own backyard, but God had a plan all along.  He
 prompted my boss to offer me leave so that I
would eventually meet the perfect soul mate
He’d already picked out for me.  We’re looking
forward to growing old together … if we can survive the new puppy we’ve just bought. 

Here's a photo of their newest family member I swiped from Facebook. Isn't he adorable?

Nola Passmore is a freelance writer who has had more than 120 short pieces published in various magazines, journals and anthologies (including poetry, devotions, magazine articles, true stories and short fiction).  She and her husband Tim have just started their own freelance writing and editing business called The Write Flourish (  She loves writing about what God has done in her life and encouraging others to do the same.  (Some call it ‘nagging’, but she calls it encouragement).

Thanks so much Nola, Tim, and puppy!       Follow me on Twitter @RitaSGalieh