Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Morgan!




Sixteen years ago today, we were blessed with the birth of our dear daughter, Morgan. At the time I never could have imagined what a fine young lady she would become. We celebrated with lunch out with gramma, and supper later with the whole family.


Because of the snow, today is the first day we’ve been anywhere but between our house and the ranch, for 5 days. The snow drifts are amazing!




Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all Nebraska Family Times subscribers, sponsors, advertisers, and readers! We are snowed in so will be celebrating the birth of Jesus at home. I think a lot of others are doing the same thing.

May God bless you and your families!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

"The Revolution" Perfrms Dramatization in Florida

"The Revolution” Performs Dramatization in Florida
by Shelly Burke, Editor

(this article appeared in the December issue of the Nebraska Family Times)

A Columbus group from the Center of Survivors recently had the opportunity to share their ideas for preventing teen dating violence to a group of adults from around the nation.

Abbie Tessendorf and Erin Nahorny are leaders of The Revolution group, which works to inform teens about dating violence and sexual assault. They, along with seven teenagers, (Aaron Adams, Lauren Wright, Omar Rodriguez, Elizabeth Bartels, Bryanna Hammons, Katie Rodriguez, and Tayler Bock), recently attended the National Conference on Sexual Assault in our School in Orlando, Florida. While they were at the conference they performed a dramatization called “Boiling Point.”

The 20 minute dramatizations in “Boiling Point” show unhealthy teen relationships. After the dramas the kids stayed in character and answered audience questions from their character’s point of view. They also stayed in character to educate the audience about teen sexual assault and violence. Tayler Bock then presented a slide show that he had created, set to music and also relating to the topics of teen dating violence.

According to Tessendorf, the purpose of the trip to Florida was to ”Show other leaders what we do—peer education to prevent dating violence--so they can take the idea back to their organization. Many people asked for more information about developing their own program. Kids listen so much better to other kids, so when kids educate through a dramatization, slide show, and questions and answers, it really makes an impact on those kids who are watching.”

“Boiling Point” is one of the only programs depicting teen violence that goes into high schools, and has been presented at many area schools. The audience is informed that the dramatization is realistic and contains simulated violence and profanity.

The “Boiling Point” script is now retired, and a new one is being written. Tessendorf said the script is re-written every few years to keep it fresh for area audiences. ”We have made many referrals after presenting the dramatization in area schools. Kids come up to us after the dramatization, crying, because they, or a friend or sibling have been affected by dating violence. We help the kids in the audience—whether they’re perpetrators of violence, victims, or friends—know what they can and should do. We make an impact.”
Presentations are free to schools in the Center for Survivor’s service area. If you are interested in a presentation at your school or for your group, call Abbie Tessendorf at (402) 564-2155. The Center for Survivors is located at: 3103 13th StreetColumbus, NE 68602. Call toll-free 800-658-4482 or e-mail centerforsurvivors@citlink.net for more information.

Nebraska Family Times Website

The Nebraska Family Times website has been up and running…but I’m finding it hard to find the time to get it updated. My priorities are God, family, and then business…and unfortunately, although “update website” has been on my list of to-do’s, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.

Until I am able to regularly update the website, I will be reprinted selected articles on this blog. It won’t be quite as easy to find the articles, and they won’t be as easily accessible, but it will give you access to at least some of the articles in the newspaper.

And meanwhile…if you’ve found a way to add several hours to each day, please let me know! J

Monday, November 30, 2009

December Issue

As I did research to find the “perfect” article for the front page of the paper, I found an article by Alan Sears, titled “It’s OK to say ‘Merry Christmas,’ Charlie Brown." It was interesting to read how the producer of the feature “A Charlie Brown Christmas” warned Charles Schultz that if he left the scene featuring Linus reading the Christmas story, Charlie Brown would be ruined. Schultz, however, stuck to his beliefs and today “A Charlie Brown Christmas” remains one of the highest rated programs on network television when it airs.

Do you think you know a lot about Christmas? Take the “Christmas IQ Quiz” and find out. You’ll also find several articles about starting new Christmas traditions, and questions to ask at Christmas gatherings, to stimulate conversation and gain a deeper understanding of how others see Christmas.

If you missed the December issue of the Nebraska Family Times but would like to receive a copy, call and inquire. A limited number of copies are available at no charge.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!








Happy Thanksgiving! We are so blessed to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving in Missouri with my mom and dad, sisters and their families, and grandpa. On Thanksgiving Eve we attended church and had the surprise and treat of listening to Dad preach. (he didn’t tell us he was going to, so we didn’t know until he walked in at the beginning of the service) We had a great time eating mom’s YUMMY Thanksgiving with all the trimmings, and talking and talking and talking. And of course taking lots of pictures.






Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Cody!



Happy Birthday Cody!

Eighteen years ago God blessed us with our first baby; Cody Edward. We are so thankful to God for letting us experience the joy of raising our children. We celebrated with friends and family at one of our favorite restaurants, Husker House, in Columbus. Thanks to all who made it a fun day.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Living Water Rescue Mission

Living Water Rescue Mission

By Shelly Burke, Editor

Chaplain Ted Pearson did not intend to open another Rescue Mission; he keeps plenty busy as the Director of the Columbus Rescue Mission. Over the last few years, however, he kept hearing people say, “We need to do something in York. There is a need for a shelter there.” Realizing that God was behind the people voicing the need for that shelter, Pearson listened.

”God had to lead this and make it work,” Pearson said when I talked to him last week. Pearson talked with the Board of Directors at the Columbus Rescue Mission, and they gave the OK to pursue the project and see where God led. A Board of Directors from York was developed, and includes several people from the Columbus Rescue Mission Board. The Living Water Rescue Mission in York will be a satellite of the Columbus Rescue Mission.

Pearson said the people and businesses in York have been supportive of the idea of a shelter in York, and they’ve been involved in the search for a location for the Living Water Rescue Mission. Pearson is confident of their continued support and encouragement as the project progresses.

Finding a location was time-consuming. Any property has to be brought up to current code (for electricity, plumbing, etc.) before people can sleep there, and that can be costly. A property has been located, and Pearson and everyone involved hope they’ll be able to buy it. They need the $95,000 purchase price by December 1st, plus an estimated $105,000 to renovate the building and bring it up to code.

It’s an old building, but Pearson spoke with enthusiasm when he said, ”God’s people will destruct it, and then reconstruct it up to code. They will be a part of it, and take pride in it.” The project will proceed in stages, and people will move in as the space becomes habitable. Pearson hopes that single men will be able to move in by next spring, and eventually plans to have rooms for single men, single women, and families.

One population the Living Water Rescue Mission will serve is people who visit friends or family members at the York women’s prison. ”They will need somewhere to stay when they visit, and women in the prison will need somewhere to stay when they get out,”Pearson remarked.

Pearson anticipates serving wide variety of people who will need the services of the Living Water Rescue Mission. He assures readers that, ”God will do incredible things with the people whose cars break down on the interstate and come to us, and those who stop in York for some other reason. He will send us people from all over the country, with problems and needs different from those we see in Columbus. This is God’s ministry, His mission, His work; He will do incredible things here.”
(Watch for updates on the progress of the Living Water Rescue Mission in future issues of the Nebraska Family Times.)
----------------

The Rescue Mission asks for your prayers as they provide services at the Columbus Rescue Mission and move forward with the Living Water Rescue Mission.
The Rescue Mission will be delivering Thanksgiving food baskets and serving a Thanksgiving meal. Donations of food, plates, plasticware, etc., are needed and appreciated, as is a donation of time to help put together baskets, cook, serve, or clean up.
If you would like to make a monetary donation, send it to: Columbus Rescue Mission, 1471 25th Ave., Columbus, NE 68601. If you would like to donate goods, call for current needs; (402) 563-1096 or check the blog at http://www.columbusrescuemission.blogspot.com/.

Friday, October 30, 2009

November Paper Ready to Print!

As I’m working on each paper, I pray that God will lead me to articles that will encourage, inspire, and motivate readers. It is a great feeling to come across an article that contains useful information, or inspires me even as I read it. I also look for fun or lighthearted articles; we all need some laughter and something fun to think about.

One of my favorite articles in the November issue is: Experience the Transformation of Tithing. During these tough times it can be hard to trust God enough to give Him our “firstfruits” as we are instructed. However, through personal experience I’ve found that God is faithful to us, even when (or especially when) it takes a leap of faith to tithe.

The November paper also includes; Fun Facts about Thanksgiving, a devotion about the road-map of the Bible, and book reviews for a fiction book, Crystal Lies, and one of my favorite devotion book, New Day, New You; 366 Devotions for Enjoying Everyday Life, by one of my favorite authors, Joyce Meyer.

Our local feature is about the Living Water Rescue Mission, which is in the planning stages. Chaplain Ted Pearson is the Director of the Columbus Rescue Mission and will also direct the Living Water Rescue Mission. Read the article in the next post.

I hope you enjoy the November issue of the Nebraska Family Times! As always, if you have any suggestions or comments, please let me know!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sponsor Spotlight

A fairly new feature in the Nebraska Family Times is the Sponsor Spotlight. Every month, a sponsor or advertiser is featured in an article about how that business was started, what makes that business unique, and so on. Readers are eager to read about and support Christian businesses, and we are happy to learn more about these businesses and give them some publicity.

Would you like your business to appear in the Sponsor Spotlight? We would love to feature you! Please e-mail shelly@shellyburke.net and I will send you a brief questionnaire and set up a time to talk with you about your business.

Do you know a business that sponsors the Nebraska Family Times and you would like to see in the Sponsor Spotlight? Encourage them to contact me, or contact me with your suggestion and I will contact them!

We appreciate your support!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fall Advertising Special

Would you like to reach almost 3,000 Christian readers throughout Nebraska? Consider advertising with the Nebraska Family Times!

Our Fall Special is; purchase any size ad for three months, receive one month FREE; purchase an ad for six months and it will appear for an additional two months FREE, and purchase an ad for a year and receive four months FREE! (call to request an ad rate sheet)

The deadline for the November issue is October 27th. When you take advantage of this offer, you can advertise Christmas and New Year specials or events.

We can set up an ad for you (at no charge) or use one you already have set up.

For more information e-mail me at shelly@shellyburke.net or call (402) 750-3496 or (402) 993-2467.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Delivery Day

I finished deliveries in Norfolk today, and also got papers mailed to subscribers and sponsors.

I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy delivery day, and today was no exception! I met several people I hadn’t met before, and heard from others how much they enjoy reading the paper. It was also very gratifying to see that in several locations, most of the papers had been taken!

Would you like to be a sponsor and offer free issues of the Nebraska Family Times in your place of business? A sponsorship is only $10/month for 10 copies of the paper. Many businesses report that customers come in every month to pick up a copy of the paper and do business at that location! You can also have the papers mailed to you and distribute them to friends, co-workers, or people in your congregation. It’s a great way to spread positive news, and inspire, encourage, and motivate people in their Christian walk.

For more information, e-mail me at shelly@shellyburke.net or call (402) 993-2467 or (402) 750-3496.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Picking up the Paper

I went to Wayne to pick up the paper today. As I’ve said before, it’s always fun to see how it turned out in “real life.” I know the trend is for newspapers to appear online and “real life” print newspapers are becoming fewer and fewer. But I, for one, will never stop reading an actual book or newspaper. One of my favorite things to do is lie in bed, eat popcorn, and read a book . . . I can’t imagine that it would be quite the same “turning pages” on a computer, as it is turning actual paper pages!

I think many others feel the same way, at least I hope they do! There is just something about reading a newspaper that you can feel, and see more than one article at a time, and clip article and cartoons out of to look at again later. I hope that people feel that way about the Nebraska Family Times!

As always, if you have any complaints, compliments, or suggestions about what appears in the paper, or what you’d like to see in it, please let me know! I appreciate your comments—they help me print and write articles that you want to read

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cody's Senior Pictures

Cody had his senior pictures taken today. I still have a hard time believing that he’s a senior! It seems just a short time ago that he started high school. I think the pictures went well (an NO, I didn’t take pictures of Karen taking pictures of him!); it was a little chilly for the outside pictures but the grass is still green and I think she got some good pictures of him.

It's just another reminder that Cody's time at home is limited . . . I've shared before that it's a bittersweet time for me. I pray that we've taught him, and will continue to teach him, what he needs to succeed on his own and become a productive member of society.

Monday, September 28, 2009

AKSARBEN Cattle Show







Cody and Morgan exhibited their cattle, and Morgan her sheep, at the AKSARBEN cattle show this weekend at the Quest Center in Omaha. (Did you know that AKSARBEN is “Nebraska” spelled backwards? I didn’t until several years ago, and still don’t know why they used it as the name of a show . . . )

It was a very successful weekend. One of Cody’s steer, named The Yellow Steer, was a Reserve Division winner, and Morgan’s heifer, Amber, was the Supreme Champion Breeding Heifer! People from 5 states exhibit at AKSARBEN (despite the show being named after “Nebraska”) so it’s a big win. Pictures appear in this post.

Many of our other cattle-showing friends won honors at the show, also. It’s neat to see the kids’ hard work pay off. They work with their animals every day—often putting them in the air-conditioned barns before school, and when the weather is warm, the animals often don’t go back outside until after dark.

Part of the fun is also seeing friends, and it was fun to spend time with and catch up with many of our friends.






Thursday, September 24, 2009

October Issue Completed!

October Issue Completed!

The October issue of the Nebraska Family Times is complete! There is always a feeling of satisfaction in getting it done.

A new feature in the Nebraska Family Times is the “From Our Readers” section, where comments from readers will be published. I look forward to what YOU have to say—about the paper or current issues. Your letter could be published! You may submit your letter by e-mail to shelly@shellyburke.net or by regular mail to Nebraska Family Times, 42887 G. G. Road, Genoa, NE, 68640.

October is clergy/pastor appreciation month! In the paper you’ll find ideas for showing your pastor or clergy person how much you appreciate what he (or she) does.

I’ve received several comments/letters regarding listing sponsors of the Nebraska Family Times. When I took over the paper I decided to add more articles and information in the form of The Play Room pages, in place of listing sponsors. However, in light of the comments, we will bring back a list of sponsors in some form, perhaps listing sponsors from a city or several towns, every month. We appreciate our sponsors and THANK them for making the paper available! If you get your paper at a local business, please thank them for making the paper available to you!

We have lost several sponsors in the last few months. In an effort to continue to make the paper available, the Nebraska Family Times has continued to stock papers at those locations. However, the number of papers I can contribute at no cost is limited. Would you or your business like to sponsor the Nebraska Family Times?

You can make a one-time contribution towards sponsorship, or sponsor for one month or as many months as you’d like. A sponsorship costs $10/month for 10 papers to that location; you can sponsor more papers if you’d prefer. Please contact me if you’d like more information. You can reach me by e-mail at shelly@shellyburke.net or call (402) 750-3496 or (402) 993-2467.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sad Day

Lori Clausen is a long-time friend and assistant at the Nebraska Family Times. On Friday afternoon her 16 year-old daughter Rachel was in a car accident. Rachel died Saturday, September 19th.

Rachel indicated on her driver’s license that she wanted to donate her organs, and her wishes were granted. Several lives will be changed forever because of her thoughtfulness and generousness.

Rachel was baptized as a baby and confirmed her Christian faith on May 15, 2007. We find joy in knowing we will see her again, but of course are very sad because she is no longer here on earth with us. Please remember Rachel’s parents, Dave and Lori, and her brother Ryan, as well as her grandparents and other relatives and friends, in your prayers.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Starting on the October Issue

I’m starting to work on the October issue of the Nebraska Family Times! It’s always fun to start finding articles for the paper. I’m always on the lookout for potential stories or articles.

This month I’ll be profiling Keith Coleman. Keith is a Christian singer and song-writer from Omaha, NE. Keith was a classmate of Tim’s and mine at Genoa High School, many years ago. It was fun to catch up with Keith and find out about what he’s doing. Check out his website and hear several of his songs at virb.com/keithcoleman.

Friday, September 11, 2009

My Nursing Job and "How to Find Your Perfect Job in Nursing"

I worked at my nursing job today.

I’ve wanted to be a nurse since I was a little girl—I gave ballpoint pen “shots” to my dolls and set them up with IV’s that were taped together straws. I’m so glad I went into nursing—I love taking care of people and it’s a career that offers so much flexibility in the way of jobs.

The job I have now is private duty, meaning I go into my patient’s home to take care of her. My “commute” is only about 15 minutes, mostly on country roads! Another nurse and I “share” our job; I work 1-2 days every week and she works the other days. We get to make our own schedule so it’s easy to work around our kids’ activities and days off and other appointments.

I enjoy my nursing career so much that a friend and I wrote a book called How to Find Your Perfect Job in Nursing. The co-author of the book, Martha Whited, and I became friends shortly after Tim and I moved back to Genoa and I got a job in the local nursing home, where she was the Director of Nursing.

Several years later we decided to write the book. We want it to encourage people who are nurses but not happy with their job, to look for a job that is perfect for them! The book is also ideal for people considering a nursing career—almost 100 different nursing jobs are described, along with techniques for determining during an interview and tour if that job might be the reader’s perfect job. How to Find Your Perfect Job in Nursing is just $15, including postage and handling, and would make a great gift for any nurse, or anyone considering nursing or entering nursing school!

For more information contact me at shelly@shellyburke.net or call (402) 750-3496 or (402) 993-2467.

Where Were You?

I think we’ll always remember exactly where we were and what we were doing eight years ago when the terrorist attacks took place.

I remember being very sad that my children would never know a world where “terrorist” wasn’t a word they heard every day.

In the uncertain times after that day, I, like many, many people, wondered what to tell my children (at the time they were 7 and 9 years old), and how to reassure them. I told them the truth. “The likelihood of a terrorist striking in Nebraska are very small . . . the likelihood of it happening near us is even smaller. But if the very, very worst thing happens, we know that we believe in God, and we will be in heaven with Him.”

And the most reassuring thought to me during those turbulent weeks, and still is today; God is in charge. Not terrorists, not politicians, but GOD. Nothing happens that He does not allow to happen (we might not understand WHY He allows it to happen, but He still allows it to happen).

In your prayers today, please remember the people who were affected by the events of that day, and our service men and women who fight all over the world and in the United States, to protect us from threats, most of which we’ll never know about.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Update on Grandpa


Grandpa broke his hip on June 26th, and I’ve shared brief updates of his recovery with you on this blog. Grandpa was transferred to a rehabilitation facility several days after his fall and surgery, and should be returning to his home this weekend!

I’ve talked with him on the phone several times and he sounds just like grandpa! Sometimes I can tell he's a little tired, and depressed . . . but he usually cheers up during our conversation. I think he is anxious to get back into his own home. He lives less than 100 yards from my mom and dad, so they’ll be able to check in on him easily as he continues to recover.

Thank you so much for your prayers and well-wishes for grandpa!
(the picture above was taken on Thanksgiving, 2007; grandpa is in the center of the front row)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Paper Delivery and Mailing

Today was paper delivery and mailing day, in Norfolk. Lori and I were able to do it together again, after several months of conflicting plans. Rain was falling when I picked Lori up at her house, and as we made the first few deliveries, but after we took a break at the Norfolk Coffee Company, the skies cleared. It was nice to see Lori and have the day to talk.

Enjoy the paper! If you receive your issue at your church, doctor’s office, or other business, thank them for sponsoring the paper so you can enjoy it!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

FREE Trial Subscription! FREE Book!


I’ve owned and managed the Nebraska Family Times newspaper for almost a year now. I’ve gotten fairly comfortable finding and writing articles and features for the paper, and my next goal is to increase the circulation of the paper.

Have you seen the Nebraska Family Times? The mission of the newspaper is to Inspire, encourage, and motivate you in your Christian walk. Would you like a FREE trial subscription? E-mail me with your name and address and I’ll send you the August and September issues immediately, and the October issue, when it is published, FREE!


After the October issue you’ll be billed just $20 for the November 2009-November 2010 issues (the paper is printed monthly). If you do not want to continue receiving the paper, just write “cancel” on the bill and send it back to me.

Do you have friends or family members who would enjoy the paper? While Nebraska issues are covered in the paper, out-of-state readers will find many articles to enjoy also! Send me the names and addresses of five people, and they will receive three issues FREE, and then be billed as above. By sending me five names, you will receive a FREE copy of my book, Home is Where the Mom Is; A Christian Mom’s Guide to Caring for Herself, Her Family, and Her Home!

The paper is also distributed in churches, doctor, dentist, and chiropractor offices, auto dealership and insurance company waiting rooms, grocery stores, and other businesses. Would your business like to sponsor the Nebraska Family Times? Do you know a business in which you’d like to see the paper offered? E-mail me the name and address, and they will receive a FREE three-month sponsorship of 10 papers every month.

After three months, they will be billed just $30 for the next three months, receiving 10 papers/month. Sponsors may cancel at any time also.

Thanks for your help in spreading the word about the Nebraska Family Times!


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

State Fair Champion!




Morgan showed her heifer, Amber, at the State Fair today. She received the honor of winning Grand Champion Open Class Heifer! Many, many people were involved in making it a successful day, and some of them are pictured here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

September Issue

The September issue of the Nebraska Family Times will appear in your mailbox, or favorite sponsor’s waiting room or reading area, by September 5th.

Check out the thought-provoking article on the front page; Time Peace; A New Perspective on Time. The article about how our society seems to be ruled by our watches, and reminds us of Jesus’ perspective on time.

The article “PINK Kids Make Trip to Canada” is near and dear to my heart, as the kids who went to Canada are members of “my” church. It was interesting to interview several leaders and kids who went on the trip. I think you’ll enjoy reading about what they accomplished teaching VBS in Cormorant, Canada, in July.

Bible Challenge is a fairly new feature in the paper. I hope people will take up the challenge every month and learn more about the Bible.

What features would you like to see in the paper? Would you like to see articles on a certain issue or topic? Please let me know! You can e-mail me at shelly@shellyburke.net or call me at (402) 750-3496.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

First Day of School


The first day of school this year is bittersweet for me . . . it’s Cody’s last, first day of school! Yes, he is a senior this year and next year will be heading off to college . . . and I probably won’t be there on that first day. (I joke that I’m going to buy an RV and camp out in the parking lot outside his dorm or fraternity house . . . and although there are some days I’d like to do that, I’m not going to . . .{well, I’m probably not going to!} )

Morgan is a sophomore this year! She is looking forward to seeing her friends and getting started in new classes. She has some challenging ones, including geometry, biology, and speech. She’s considering being part of the speech or mock trial teams, but will have to see how that will fit in with everything else.

Cody and Morgan didn’t have to be to school until 11:00 this morning. Morgan had an appointment in the morning, so Cody drove by himself and I took Morgan to her appointment and then to school. After I dropped Morgan off I drove through the parking lot and saw Cody’s truck . . . and unexpectedly burst into tears! Of course I know that it’s part of life for our kids to grow up and leave home . . . but it’s going to be a huge change for our family. I talked to several moms who said the same thing happened to them—tears at unexpected times during that senior year.

I know that this year will just fly by, and I plan to spend as much time with Cody and Morgan as I can (without annoying them too much!). Years ago, in our MOPS (Mothers Of Pre-Schoolers) group, our mentor said, “With children, the days may sometimes seem slow, but the years will go fast.” She was absolutely right!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Newspaper Ponderings

I am so blessed to have this opportunity to be the owner, editor, and publisher of the Nebraska Family Times!

The job does, however, have its ups and downs! As the person “in charge” of, well, everything, I can do everything how I want to do it . . . but I’m also responsible for absolutely everything. I’m also blessed to be working with people who know more than I do in the areas of websites, layout, and so on, and I’m so blessed to have several very trusted friends who I can ask questions of and can count on getting honest answers from. I appreciate the thoughts, comments, and advice I get from others! It’s easy to see everything having to do with the paper from “my” perspective, but I need to also consider what readers want to see.

Sometimes it all gets overwhelming! When checks are slow in coming in, or I can’t seem to find the articles I want to find, or people are upset about something that has to do with the paper, I wonder if I really AM cut out to do this!

But then I receive a positive comment or two, or a note enclosed with a payment, or someone tells me about an article that really touched him or her, and I know I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. When I get discouraged, I remember how I prayed before making the decision to buy the paper. I very clearly heard from God, that this is what I’m supposed to be doing.

I have so many ideas of things to do with the paper—my ideas and those that have been given to me by others. I want to touch people throughout Nebraska and beyond! I want to show God’s great love for us, His plan for each of us, and how He can guide us through life. I want to do what He wants me to do, with the paper. Many days I wish I could stay up all night, just working on the paper! (I guess I could—I was able to during nursing school!—but at this age staying awake for one night wipes me out for about three days!)

I recently heard Joyce Meyer, one of my favorite Christian authors and speakers, say something that really hit home with me: “I may not be where I should be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be.” And that’s how I feel about the paper. I don’t have everything exactly as I want it to be, but I thank God for what I’ve learned not just since I’ve owned the paper, but all through my writing career.

I thank you, my readers, for all of the thoughts, comments, and suggestions you’ve shared with me! The paper is for YOU, so please let me know what you like, and don’t like, and want to see in it. I also ask for your prayers, that God will guide me in the direction that He wants the paper to go.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

20th Anniversary

Tim and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary today!

We were hoping to spend the day at the zoo with Cody and Morgan, and stay overnight in Omaha, but our plans just didn’t work out. Instead we went to Grand Island shopping with Morgan. I should say, Morgan shopped, and Tim and I browsed and sat and talked. It was nice to spend time with Tim without the phone or laundry or anything else that, at home, seems to interrupt us.

When I look back, I see the many blessings God has given us throughout our marriage. After our faith, we of course consider Cody and Morgan our greatest blessings! We also have achieved our dream of living at the ranch, where Tim and Cody and Morgan have their cattle and Morgan has her sheep. We are each blessed with our own businesses, and each other.

I’m not much for trying to imagine where I’ll be in five, or ten, or 20 years, so I never had a picture of where we’d be on our 20th anniversary, and I don’t have a picture of where we’ll be five, or ten, or 20 years from now. What I know is that Tim and I have been blessed by God in our years together!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Paper Delivery and Mailing Week

It was a busy week, but I feel that I accomplished a lot! We got the papers packed (for sponsors who receive 10 copies or more every month to display in their waiting room or reading material area), addressed (for individual subscribers), and mailed at the Bulk Mail Unit in Norfolk, and delivered to businesses and churches in Norfolk and Columbus.

Lori is out of town this week, so Morgan helped me with deliveries. It was fun to spend the time with her, and we even had some time to do school shopping after we made deliveries in Norfolk.

I always wonder what people think when they receive their papers. I hope they look forward to reading the issue that they receive, and get something out of the articles in the paper.

I had several people tell me, today when I delivered papers, that they were happy to see me with the new issue! That made my day!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Letting Others Know about the Nebraska Family Times

Today I met with a friend, Cheryl, who is considering working with me on the paper! I’m interested in finding someone who will help me do research in areas in which I’d like to market the paper. I would like the paper to be sponsored in churches and hospitals, so church members/patients/visitors could read a paper and take it home if they wanted to.

Cheryl will work on making calls to determine who, in hospitals, we should send a sample paper, letter, and information to. Lori, my Assistant, is going to work on compiling a database of churches, so we can send them the same information.

When I tell people about the Nebraska Family Times, I find that few of them have heard of the paper! I think the Nebraska Family Times is a very important Christian resource, so am trying to spread the word.

I hope readers of the paper will also spread the word. Just ask people you know if they’ve heard of the paper. If you’re willing to part with your copy, offer to let them borrow it. They can also request a free sample copy from me and I’ll be glad to send it out!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

August Newspaper

The August issue of the paper is full of articles for all readers!

There are several articles I think will touch many readers. On the front page you’ll find an article about The Big D; Divorce Through the Eyes of a Teen. The class, for kids age 14-18 whose parents are divorced, begins September 2 in Columbus. The class will help kids learn to balance two lives when custody is shared, and will also help kids establish their own set of values when living in households with different sets of values. For more information call Linda Meyers-Bock at (402) 276-2208.

The article Straight Talk About Casual Sex separates truth from what the media portrays as the “joys” of casual sex. Parents—read the article and talk with your kids about the issues addressed within, or ask your kids to read the article and discuss it with them later.

Pray God’s Promises for Your Kids’ Lives gives guidelines for praying for your kids now and in the future.

The August issue should arrive in your mailbox, or at the business/church where you pick it up, by July 31st. As always, I look forward to your comments and suggestions!

{If you read this after the August issue has been distributed, call and request a copy; I usually have a few issues left over and will be happy to send you one at no charge if they are available!}

Monday, July 20, 2009

Starting the Week

I work at my nursing job almost every Monday. I enjoy working Mondays; it gives me a good start to the week. While I’m at work, I have a chance to think about what I want and need to accomplish during the week.

I usually do errands after work, since I’m on the way to Columbus anyway. It’s a good feeling to get home and have the groceries and supplies I’ll need for the week.

Today I also worked on the paper; I need to have all the articles to Jennifer by Wednesday so she can get the paper set up. My mission is to find articles that will inspire, encourage, and motivate readers in their Christian walk, and sometimes it’s hard to find articles that I think will benefit readers. This was one of those months; I searched my usual good sources, but the articles just weren’t “good enough.” I will work on the paper again tomorrow, and pray that I’ll find articles that you’ll enjoy.

Back to work!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Grassroots Event at The Abbey


It was fun to meet new authors and hear the music at The Abbey tonight!

All of the authors were asked to give a brief presentation, and I talked about my writing career. I enjoyed hearing the other authors talk about how they’d come to be writers.

Thanks to Kay Marshall at The Abbey for arranging the event!


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fun at the Fair




The Platte County Fair is always a high point of our summer. It’s great to see friends, and the kids are proud of the accomplishments from their hard work on projects.

This year, for the first year since Cody began showing 10 years ago, neither Cody or Morgan showed in the cattle show! Morgan showed sheep, and Cody, for the first time in the history of the Burkes showing at the fair, showed a pig! The kids both did great with their animals, and enjoyed spending time with friends.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Catching Up

After nine straight days of working my nursing job (eight of those nine days being shifts of 12 hours or more), and then being gone for four days to Missouri to visit my grandpa, I feel more than a little behind at home!

Tim, Cody, and {especially} Morgan kept things under control at home, and no one starved! I was happily surprised at how nice the house looked when I returned. My office, however, is another matter! Between being gone for work, and to Missouri, and putting the paper together, it’s a disaster, to put it mildly. And the cooking, cleaning, and laundry never ends . . . and my list of things to do for the paper just keeps getting longer and longer.

I am trying to keep what is most important . . . most important. I have the tendency to rush thru the day hurrying to get “things” done . . . and at the end of the day realize I have not taken time for Bible study, exercise, or even family. I’m trying to break that habit and take time for what is most important. My day always goes better when I start it with God. And my family is the most important thing in my life . . . I do not like to think about Cody and Morgan leaving for college in a few short years; they (and I!) will remember time spent with them more than dirty dishes (I hope).

And today I took a walk with Jenny, down to the barn where Morgan was shearing her sheep. It was fun to see her pride and excitement in getting them ready for the fair (check-in is tomorrow!) When I got back home I talked with Cody and his girlfriend. It wasn’t a “deep” conversation, but it’s always nice to just chat with them. When I get back home after a walk, my mind is always clearer, and my spirit is renewed from the fresh air and physical activity.

I’m making a resolution to make the most important things in my life . . . the most important. Or, as a wise man once said, “The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.”

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Grassroots: Celebrating Northeast Nebraska Authors and Artists

The Abbey Christian bookstore in Norfolk is featuring an event that will showcase Nebraska authors and artists. On July 15th, from 6PM-9PM, area authors and musicians will be at the Abbey. Authors will give brief presentations and have their books available, and musicians will be playing outside, in front of the Abbey.

The Nebraska Family Times will attend the event, and as well as sample papers, I will have my books available. Books I have written include, “How to Find Your Perfect Job in Nursing,” “Home is Where the Mom Is; A Christian Mom’s Guide to Caring for Herself, Her Family, and Her Home,” and “What Should I Say? The Right (and Wrong!) Words and Deeds for Life’s Sticky, Tricky, Uncomfortable Situations.” During my presentation I will talk about how I came to write each book, and give suggestions to aspiring writers (I think everyone has a book in them!)

During the event, we will also be drawing for the July Summer Fun Giveaway, which features tickets to the Pawnee Plunge Waterpark in Columbus. We hope to see you at the Abbey July 15th!

Sign up for the Summer Fun Giveaway any time by sending me an e-mail with your name, address, and phone number, or calling me at (402) 750-3496.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

July Paper

The July paper is here! And thanks to Marci and Lori, is being delivered in Norfolk. The mailing will be several days late as I’ll do it when I get home; no one else has the database of address labels! THANKS so much to Lori and Marcie for coordinating the pick up and deliveries. Thanks also to Lori’s daughter Rachel, who helped deliver in Norfolk.

I hope you enjoy the July issue of the paper! There are some neat features about local events and people in the paper. The front page features a local man who joined the Army and has had some huge accomplishments. Daniel Micek is from Silver Creek, NE. The front page also features a Norfolk project. A group of people are planning to make a Christian movie. “Fireproof,” a surprise hit in 2008, is a Christian movie made by a church, also.

July 16-18 CIKcrew (Christ is King) is planning a film school; The Art of Movie Making. The school is targeted toward members of the community who would like to learn more about what film production involves. For more information, visit CIKcrew.com.

As always, I look forward to your comments, suggestions, and ideas for the paper! You can e-mail me at shelly@shellyburke.net or call (402) 750-3496.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Grandpa

Thanks for all of your prayers for my grandpa! He had surgery in Springfield, MO, on June 28th. I arrived that night and spent the night with him; he was very restless and in some pain. I spent part of Monday and Tuesday with him at the hospital and he’s doing much better.

I also got to spend some time with my parents, and it was nice to have some time to talk with them. Grandpa will be in the hospital for at least another few days, then go to a rehabilitation facility. We continue to pray for him to heal and gain strength.

July Paper

WOW—another month has gone by already! The paper is on someone’s computer at the Wayne Herald, waiting to be printed on Monday.

A new columnist is featured on The Playroom pages this month; Morgan Burke! Morgan is 15 years old, loves to read, and wrote several book reviews for teenagers this month. She will be writing occasional teen book reviews for the paper. Marcie Sextro’s column also contains recommended reading to put on your summer reading list, so I hope you'll find some time to enjoy a Christian book this month.

The paper will be mailed and delivered sometime next week. I’m not sure of the day right now; my grandfather fell and broke his hip yesterday, in Bolivar, MO. He’ll be having surgery either tomorrow or Monday, and I feel like I should be there for him as well as for my mom and dad.

Please remember him in your prayers and pray for a fast and uneventful recovery. He has some underlying health problems but is cheerful and positive. He’s a very special man in our lives and we hate to think of him in pain. He has a strong belief in God and that gives us all a sense of peace. Marcie and Lori might be taking over the mailing and delivery for me this week but never fear, you’ll get your paper!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Christian Cross Festival




Top: Roger Miller and part of his family, winners of the June Summer Fun Giveaway
Middle: Macy and Morgan helping set up
Bottom: Lori Clausen and Shelly, taking a break

We had a wonderful time at the Christian Cross Festival in Norfolk! Morgan and I picked up her friend Macy at about 9:30, and we picked up Lori about 10:00.

The skies were threatening rain, and by the time we got to the park in Norfolk, it was pouring! None of us wanted to get out and find someone to tell us where to set up, so we sat in the vehicle for 45 minutes waiting for it to ease up. It didn’t. Finally an official at the event told us that because of the rain they were going to have to change the location of the event to the Divot’s Event Center . . . but that it wouldn’t start until 5 PM, giving the bands time to move and set up their equipment.

We took advantage of the time and went shopping! None of us had a long list, but it was fun to wander through the mall without being in a hurry.

We arrived at the Events Center and set up our table, and soon people began to arrive. Since the drawing for the Summer Fun Giveaway was at the event, we encouraged people to sign up for that and for the hourly giveaways. The hourly giveaways consisted of Winter Jam bags with CD’s and one of my books, “Home is Where the Mom Is; A Christian Mom’s Guide to Caring for Herself, Her Family, and Her Home.”

The June Summer Fun Giveaway included 10 tickets to the College World Series, a gas card, a cooler full of snacks to enjoy on the way to the game, and money for snacks at the game. After several hours of listening to Christian music by area bands, we drew for the Summer Fun Giveaway. Congratulations to winner Roger Miller and family of Battle Creek!

I lived in Battle Creek until I was 12 years old, and Roger said he remembered being a neighbor of ours! He and his family were thrilled to win the tickets and other goodies. Thanks to sponsors Preferred Insurance Agency, Battle Creek; Norfolk Transmission and Muffler Service, Norfolk; and Dr. Roger Curry, DDS, Omaha. These sponsors made the Summer Fun Giveaway possible!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

June Paper

It’s paper time again! Even though I know exactly what will be in the paper (I either pick out, approve, or write every article), it’s always fun to see how it turns out. The process goes like this. I also get to pick the accent color for the paper. Some months there’s a good reason for a certain color--May is pink, in honor of Mother’s Day, June will be pink for Father’s Day—but often I pick the color for the month . . . just because.

I pick out, write (the articles I write have either my name by them, or [NFT]—denoting “Nebraska Family Times”—in front of them), or approve (by other writers, usually Marcie Sextro, who writes the “Open Door” and “Upcoming Christian Events” columns) the articles for the paper, and e-mail them to an account that the lady who does the layout, Jennifer Gleames, has access to.

I also e-mail information for new ads to Jennifer, and let her know where certain articles should appear in the paper, and if I have any suggestions for how they should be arranged (usually I don’t—she does a better job than I ever could!).

Jennifer arranges the articles in the paper according to what fits where and looks good, and she also fits the ads in. Jennifer also picks out the graphics—the pictures that go along with some of the articles. She does a great job of finding graphics that compliment the articles and add to the look of the paper.

When she’s done doing that, she emails me a file of the paper for proofreading. It’s neat to see the paper in semi-finished form on the computer. The way the pages of the paper are layed out for printing, on one computer screen I see the front and back page of the paper, on the next screen I see pages 6 and 11, and so on, so it’s not in order or the order in which it will appear. If there are any corrections or changes, I e-mail Jennifer about them and she makes the corrections or changes. She then e-mails the file to the Wayne Herald, where it is printed.

Marcie’s husband works in Wayne, so he now picks up the paper at the Wayne Herald and Marcie and I meet somewhere in between our homes (usually in Madison), and once the 16 or so boxes of papers are in my vehicle, I get my first look at it in “real life”!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day


This picture was taken on Mother's Day last year (also Morgan's Confirmation Day). No, I didn't wear the pink Crocks to church; they were a Mother's Day gift. Laugh all you want--they're COMFORTABLE!
We had a nice Mother’s Day. My kids are so special, and it’s such a blessing to be a mom. When I got up this morning and went into my office, there was a small remote control on my desk, with a note that said, “turn to the right,” “press power,” “ENJOY!” Cody and Morgan had gotten me a CD player/radio for my desk, and Cody had it all set up and ready to listen to. It was so nice of him to get it out of the box and all unwrapped and hooked up for me.

Later in the afternoon we went to the graduation party of a good friend of ours, and I got to see some of my mom-friends I know through cattle showing.

It is hard to believe that Cody will be graduating from high school next year! We will certainly miss him when he goes to college! But we also know that it’s our job as parents to raise our children to be independent, productive members of society. On the way home from the graduation party, Cody (who has been to several other graduation parties of friends) and I started a list of the things he would like at his graduation party next year. It was fun to start planning—I’m sure the year will go very fast.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Delivering the Paper

Today Lori and I delivered the paper to sponsors in Norfolk. It’s always fun to deliver the paper and talk with customers at the various businesses. (If your business is interested in sponsoring the paper—providing complimentary copies it for your customers or patrons to read—contact the NFT at shelly@shellyburke.net or call (402) 750-3496. New sponsors and advertisers receive a 25% discount!)

Lori has two children in high school (Ryan will graduate next month). Ryan, Cody (my son), Rachel (Lori’s daughter), and Morgan (my daughter) are stair-step in age—Ryan’s a senior, down to Morgan who is a freshman(woman). It’s so nice to have several hours to talk with Lori about our kids and families; even though our conversations are interrupted frequently when we get out to take papers into a business, we seem to be able to pick up our conversations almost mid-sentence when we’re together in the vehicle again.

I’ve found that as my kids enter the teen-age years, the worries don’t decrease, they just change. Even if Lori and I don’t come up with any solutions to our current “kid issues,” it’s good to talk about them and share ideas about why kids do the things they do, and ideas for getting them to do something different!

Thanks for a nice day, Lori!

Monday, April 27, 2009

FFA Banquet




We had a great time at the FFA Banquet tonight. It’s always fun to see Cody and Morgan with their friends, and they received several awards. Tim and I also enjoy talking with the other kids’ parents . . . it’s always a relief to know that our kids aren’t the only ones to (insert embarrassing/appalling/worrying/silly event here).

Monday, April 20, 2009

May Paper

I’m working on the May paper this week. Sometimes it’s a challenge to find articles that I think will inspire, encourage, and motivate readers, but it’s fun to explore all the resources available.

You'll see a new look to our front page this month! We've added our mission under the title of the paper. Our mission is "To inspire, encourage, and motivate you in your Christian walk." My prayer is that everything that is in the paper will do that.

In these tough economic times, it’s easy to get discouraged and lose hope that things will improve. I hope the front-page articles will be encouraging to readers. The main article is titled, “Got Hope? God’s Promises in Uncertain Times.” The article stresses God’s promises and the certainty of them.

The next front page article is titled, “Living Generously During Tough Times.” Money—specifically, having “enough,”--has always been an issue of mine. I know God does not want me to worry about money . . . but it’s very hard for me not to worry. I know that “my” money was all given to me from God, and part of my responsibility is to give some of that money back to Him. This article shows how we can give back in ways other than with money.

The last front page article is titled, “Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be” and gives readers encouragement and steps for getting to . . . where you want to be in life.

If you are a new to the Nebraska Family Times, and would like to read a FREE sample copy, send your request to shelly@shellyburke.net or call (402) 750-3496.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Meeting with Marcie

Marcie and I got together to discuss plans for the paper for the next month. Marcie is the Promotions/Advertising person who joined the team several months ago. It’s great to work with Marcie—she has ideas for marketing and promoting the paper that I would have never come up with! Many of her suggestions are barters—for example we’re exchanging ad space for radio ads—so you’ll be hearing about the Nebraska Family Times on KPNO 90.9 in the near future!

Marcie also introduced me to the Christian Cross Festival, which will take place June 7 in Norfolk. The CCF is a gathering of Christian bands and organizations that get together for an afternoon and evening of music and fellowship. This year, for the first time, the Nebraska Family Times will have a table at the CCF! That evening we will draw for the winner of the June Summer Fun Giveaway. Details to follow! For more information about the Christian Cross Festival, go to www.christiancrossfestival.org.

Monday, April 13, 2009


“Hunting” on Easter

Our family has a tradition of attending Sonrise service at our church on Easter. It’s such a joyous service, with the choir singing and the brass and bell choirs playing. I have memories of attending early services with my mom and dad and sisters years ago. The celebration of Jesus’ resurrection never fails to bring tears of joy to my eyes; I’m just overwhelmed with gratitude that He would save me and everyone who makes the simple choice to believe in Him!

Our drive to Columbus was a little . . . eventful . . . and not in a good way. I drove, and about 2 miles from our home, I hit a pheasant that flew up in front of the vehicle. It happened too fast to avoid the bird . . . but I still felt bad about. It was the first time I’d hit any animal in a very long time.

We continued on to church . . . and just a few minutes later, I hit a deer! THAT was a first for me, both hitting a deer AND hitting two animals within eight miles and 10 minutes. We think the deer was OK because there was nothing in the ditch. Hopefully he just had a few bumps and a good story for his other deer friends.

When we got to church we discovered that there were both feathers AND hair caught in various parts of the vehicle . . .

We are very thankful that no one was hurt, the vehicle was driveable . . . and we made it to church on time to celebrate Easter!
(in the picture above, note the feathers in the windshield wipers and the deer hair in the back door handle)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

April Fire


On April 3rd and 4th our sileage pile and hay pile caught on fire. We lost a lot of cattle feed, but insurance will cover part of the cost of more feed. We’re so thankful for the quick response of the Genoa and Silver Creek volunteer fire departments. No one was injured and there was no damage to Tim’s mom and dad’s house. Our community is blessed to have people willing to undergo the training and be available at any time to respond to emergencies.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April Paper

I hope you enjoyed the April issue of the Nebraska Family Times! My prayer is that every article in the paper will touch someone who needs encouragement, inspiration, or motivation in their Christian walk. I appreciate your comments and suggestions. You can reach me at shelly@shellyburke.net or (402) 750-3496.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Burke Family News

Our family is having a busy spring!

We’re about half done calving. Tim moved the new babies and their moms to a pasture than I can see from our bedroom. I love watching the little baby calves running around the pasture.

Cody and Morgan are busy with school. This coming week they’ll be attending the FFA State Convention in Lincoln, where they’ll each participate in several events. Next Saturday, Cody takes the ACT test and has Prom. There have been—and will continue to be—cattle shows most Saturdays from now on.

I’m enjoying working on the paper—I think that if I could stay awake for 24 hours, I could fill all of them doing things with the paper and implementing new ideas! I am blessed to have something to do that I enjoy so much. When I feel overwhelmed, I’m reminded of Ecclesiastes 5:19, “. . . when God gives any man wealth and possessions and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God.”

My wealth is in the form of family and friends, I have plenty of possessions, and I am so blessed to be happy in my work.

Do You Want to Share the Paper, but Don't want to give up Your Copy?

If you’d like to share the Nebraska Family Times, but don’t want to give up your copy, contact me and I will send you up to five copies of the paper, FREE! We want to spread the news of the Nebraska Family times as an encouraging and positive source of Christian news.

To get your FREE copies, call me at (402) 993-2467 or (402) 750-3496; e-mail me at; shelly@shellyburke.net, or write ;Nebraska Family Times, 42887 G. G. Road, Genoa, NE 68640.

Looking Back . . . and Looking Ahead

Looking Back . . . and Looking Ahead

The April issue marks the 7th issue of the paper that will come out after I took over! I’ve had so much help from other people during these months—THANK YOU ALL for your encouragement, for answering my questions, and for your patience when I didn’t know quite how things were done.

Editing and publishing a newspaper was a completely new experience for me! I won’t say I’m an “old pro” quite yet, but I feel much, much more comfortable with the process after doing it for several months.

I’ve learned so much, made new friends, and pray that I’ve made a positive difference in the lives of everyone who reads the paper.

I’m looking forward to the future! I am continually working to improve the paper with new articles, sponsors, advertisers, columnists, and so on. My ultimate goal is always to bring Christian news, information, and encouragement to readers.

I think there are many, many people who will benefit from the Nebraska Family Times—we just have to figure how to let them know that this positive media source is available. I know there are many opportunites, and Marcie has already alerted me to several of them.

Thanks to everyone who has spread the good word about Nebraska Family Times! If you are interested sharing the Nebraska Family Times, see the next post.

New Nebraska Family Times Website on the Way!

A new Nebraska Family Times website is in the works! I would like to have a place where people can go to get information about the paper, subscribing, sponsoring, advertising, and so on.

We will also include selected information from the newspaper, on the website—upcoming Christian events, The Open Door column, and more!

The website will be set up by one of our advertisers and sponsors. Terry, who owns Web Tech Design Group, lives and works in Utah! It is amazing to me that with computers and the internet we can do business with people throughout the United States—throughout the world!

Watch for more information about the new website here, and in the next issue of the Nebraska Family Times.

April Issue

The April issue of the Nebraska Family Times will be printed Monday! On Tuesday, my mother-in-law, Anne, and I will pick it up in Norfolk and deliver there (Lori is substitute teaching so won’t be able to help this week, but I look forward to spending time with Anne!). The rest of the week I’ll get papers addressed and mailed.

The April issue is full of Christian news and information. I especially enjoyed reading “The Open Door” column but Marcie Sextro. Marcie is our new Advertising/Promotions person, and she has an extensive background in reporting Christian events. Marcie has some great ideas for promoting the Nebraska Family Times and I am so excited to spread the word and give people the opportunity to have a source of Christian news.

An event I just learned about (from Marcie) is the Christian Cross Festival, which, this year, will take place on June 7th in Norfolk, NE. You can check it out at www.christiancrossfestival.org. The Nebraska Family Times will have a display table at this event!

I’m so excited to see the new issue of the paper! I hope you are too . . . and I look forward to hearing your comments about the paper.

Monday, March 9, 2009

"Home is Where the Mom Is" special


I've self-published several books; my favorite one is Home is Where the Mom Is: A Christian Mom's Guide to Caring for Herself, Her Family, and Her Home.

I wrote Home is Where the Mom Is during a very special time in my life; my children were toddlers and I was a member of a MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) group. Many of my friends from MOPS (who are still friends today!) had suggestions for the book and encouraged me as I wrote it.

Home is Where the Mom Is is a comprehensive book, filled with encouragement, information, and "real life" advice for moms who have kids of any age. I pray that it reaches moms who read it, when they need what's provided in the book.

Since I've taken over the Nebraska Family Times, I have not had as much time as I would like to promote Home is Where the Mom Is. However, I still believe in the messages in Home is Where the Mom Is and I want to get the book out to moms who need the message of encouragement as they live their lives doing the most important job in the world--being a mom!

I've decided to offer a special on Home is Where the Mom Is. Regularly priced at $15 each, from now until May 15th, buy three copies for ONLY $25! That means you'll get three copies of Home is Where the Mom Is for just $25 + $5 shipping and handling!

Home is Where the Mom Is is the perfect gift for:


  • Any new mom, or mom with kids of any age

  • Birthday

  • Mother's Day

  • Baby shower

  • Christmas

  • just because!

If you don't have a specific mom in mind, consider donating a copy of Home is Where the Mom Is to your church library, local MOPS group, or city library.


With the special offer, you can do your shopping for all the moms on your list, for the whole year!


If you want to take advantage of this offer, send your payment via PayPal to shelly@shellyburke.net. Checks and money orders also accepted; mail to Shelly Burke, 42887 G. G. Road, Genoa, NE 68640.


Books can also be gift-wrapped and mailed directly to the recipient; e-mail me at shelly@shellyburke.net or call (402) 993-2467 or (402) 750-3496 to give me the details.




Time Flies!

And already another issue of the Nebraska Family Times has been put together, printed, delivered, and mailed out. March marks the 6th issue of the paper I put together (with a lot of help from former owner Vyckie, my assistant Lori, Promotions and Publicity person Marcie, and the support and advice of my family).

I'm learning more every month, and I'm as excited about the paper as I was the day I decided to take Vyckie up on the wonderful opportunity she offered me--if not more so! It seems that every day I get another idea about an article, or column, or something I want to share with my readers. I hope you are enjoying reading the paper as much as I enjoy writing it! I appreciate your comments, suggestions, and questions. Please keep them coming!

Monday, February 16, 2009

February Advertising Special

The Nebraska Family Times is offering a sponsor/advertising special in February.

When an individual or business purchases an ad of any size for a year, and pays in full by February 28th, that ad will run for an extra month--13 months for the price of 12!

This offer is also good for sponsorships! If you, or your business, would like to purchase a minimum of 10 copies of the NFT every month for only $1/copy, to hand out to your friends or offer to customers who come into your business, when you pay in full ($120) for the year by February 28th, you'll recieve an extra month, FREE!

With any size ad, you'll receive a FREE sponsorship!

If you, or someone you know, is interested in advertising in a family-friendly, Christian newspaper, please contact me at shelly@shellyburke.net or (402) 993-2467 or Marcie, Promotions/Advertising, at (402) 675-3039 or marciesextro@gmail.com.

Promotions/Advertising

I am blessed in that someone who is interested in promotions/advertising was led to me and the Nebraska Family Times!

Every month I stop in at The Abbey, in Norfolk. Kay, the owner, has been a friend and supporter for several years. Last time I talked with her she that she knew someone who might be interested in writing book reviews and articles for the paper. Several days later, Kay talked to Marcie, who then e-mailed me.

When I saw Marcie's resume' I realized that she would be perfect for doing promotions and talking with people about advertising in the NFT, and so I asked Marcie if she'd be interested in doing so. She was, and got to work right away. We met several days later and "clicked". She has some great ideas for marketing, publicity, and advertising, and I'm looking forward to working with her!

She's going to be writing some entertainment articles for the paper, about Christian music and books. She knows people in the industry, so will have the latest information--I think it will be a fun addition to the paper.

Odds and Ends

My "newspaper" to do list was filled with odds and ends today! First on the list was to call the man at the Wayne Herald, where the paper is printed, to let him know the date we'd like to print, along with how many papers to print and what the accent color will be. When I got done with work (at my nursing job), I discovered that he had already called me! I feel behind when he calls first, but he's very friendly and didn't seem to mind. It was easy to choose the color for the March issue--green, of course, for St. Patrick's Day. I love getting to choose the color, and coming up with a reason for choosing that color.

Next on my list was to email Jennifer, the lady who lays out the paper in preparation for printing. I haven't heard back from her but she's been working on the paper for a long time so I'm sure she knows the layout will be next week.

I also sent several e-mails to people who have expressed interest in advertising in the paper; we're offering a February special--details in the above post.

THEN I made some temporary business cards for Marcie, the lady who is the new Promotion/Advertising person for the NFT. (More about Marcie in an above post.)

All in all, it was a fun and productive day! I enjoy the variety of this job, doing different things every day, coming up with new ideas, and so on!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Always Thinking about the Paper

Even though the February issue of the paper just came out this week, I'm already working on the March issue.

I've found that I'm always in "paper" mode--thinking about what to put in the next issue, reading the paper, internet, magazines, etc., with the paper in mind, even listening to the radio and thinking about things that readers would enjoy. Whenever I get an idea or hear something I want to do more research on, I write it down--sometimes on a sticky note, sometimes on the back of a receipt, sometimes on whatever scrap of paper I can find.

I have also gotten into the habit of immediately tearing out articles or blurbs in the paper or magazines; if I wait until "later" it's inevitable that I either won't remember what it is I wanted to tear out, or, will remember what I wanted to tear out but won't be able to find the paper or magazine.

As a result of all of this tearing and jotting down, when I get home from work or doing errands I usually find sticky notes or scraps of paper in my pocket or purse. I often find more when I clean off my desk I find them too. Sometimes I have trouble remembering just why I wrote down a few words or a website, but when I put them in the context of the paper I usually remember.

I really enjoy having a "mission" that I'm always thinking about, even if just subconsciously. I truly feel it's a calling, something that God has led me to do . . . I am blessed to be able to do what I love!

Longer Days!

I noticed several days ago that the days are getting longer. Of course that is a misnomer; the days are always the same length, but the time it's light is getting a little longer every day.

As someone who strongly dislikes the dark days of winter where it seems to start getting dark shortly after lunch, it's like taking a deep, refreshing breath of fresh air to realize it's after 5 PM . . . and the sun is still shining!

We've had some warmer days this week . . . "only" in the 40's and 50's, but still, when I walk outside and take a deep breath . . . I can almost smell spring. :-) !!!

I'm sure we'll have some cold days, and probably a snow storm or two . . . but now that it's February, I know spring isn't too far away.

"New Year's" Resolutions . . . in February

My sister has an interesting--and good--idea for New Year's resolutions; she says that January is a "practice" month, a month to fine-tune resolutions. Then, in February, she pursues her (sometimes revised) resolutions in earnest.

I think it's a great idea! If your resolutions aren't working out the way you wanted them to, re-evaluate them. Were you too ambitious in resolving to exercise an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening, every day? Was resolving to prepare 21 low fat, high fiber, low calorie, delicious meals every week too big of a reach? Have you given up on your resolutions just because you didn't meet your goals for a day or two?

Revise your resolutions, re-commit to meeting your goals, and start your New Year's resolutions . . . on February 6th. Or 15th. Or March 1st. Or any time during the year! Improving yourself can, and should, start any time you want them to.

Reader Help Wanted!

Have you always wanted to see your name in print? Do you dream of becoming a published author someday? Here is your opportunity! I'm looking for reader input in several areas of the paper.

If you like to read and/or listen to music, consider writing a review of your favorite CD or book (Christian book, or a book with positive Christian values, please), fiction or non-fiction. Reviews are a feature of the new "room," The Playroom. Keep your review to about 150 words, and it will be considered for publication. You can mail your review to: Shelly Burke, Nebraska Family Times, 42887 G. G. Road, Genoa, NE, 68640, or e-mail it to me at shelly@shellyburke.net.

Are your children amazing, funny, and/or entertaining? Write their story for the "Your Charming Children" column. See previous issues for examples.

If your review or story appears in the Nebraska Family Times, you will recieve 10 copies of the NFT--with YOUR name in it--to share with friends and family.

Let your inner author . . . out!

February Issue of the Nebraska Family Times

The February issue of the Nebraska Family Times comes out this week!

Lori and I picked it up on Tuesday and made the Norfolk deliveries that day. It was nice to have someone along for deliveries, and not have to park and turn off and lock the vehicle at each location. It was a cold day, too, so we took turns going out into the cold to make the deliveries.

Lori packed and mailed the "big" boxes of papers today, and I mailed the bulk mailings in Norfolk this afternoon. Tomorrow I'll make the Columbus deliveries--it's supposed to be a really nice day so I'll enjoy being out.

I'm very excited about this issue of the paper. I've added a new "room"--The Playroom. These pages were previously filled with a list of sponsors. Instead of just listing sponsors, I'll be spotlighting a sponsor (or several) every month. The Playroom also contains book reviews, recipes, and other fun information and ideas.

This issue of the paper also includes the questionnaire that was in the last issue. I don't always remember to fill out and send things in the first time I see them, so thought wanted to include it again in case anyone else procrastinates like I do. Please fill out and return the questionnaire--the information will help me to fill the paper with news and information that is valuable to you!

Trip to Denver




WOW--it's been a busy few weeks!

The day after my last post we (Cody, Morgan, and I) went to the National Western Stock Show in Denver. Cody drove, and we all had fun on the way there talking and guessing the songs on the radio and the singer. Cody and I had a close battle going for awhile, but he ultimately pulled ahead and won.

We saw a lot of good friends in Denver, friends we don't see often during the year. Our family and several other families stalled together (had our cattle by each other) and everyone helped everyone else get their cattle ready. All the adults made sure the kids got to the ring on time to show, and then back to the stalls.

On Saturday the families who were working together had cattle in classes 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and 12. There were several calves, and therefore several kids, in each class. It was quite a challenge to get everyone where they needed to be, at the right time, but it got done! We had a successful day with several calves in the champion drive.

We show with one family frequently, and the dad and two sisters came to Denver. The mom had to work and take care of the cattle at home, so was unable to come. As her daughter showed (and Morgan was in the same class) I got the inspiration to take a picture of her daughter with my cell phone and send it to her. She was thrilled to be part of the day even though she couldn't be there. I also sent pictures throughout the day to my mother-in-law. (I would have done the same for my parents, but I don't think they can get pictures on their phone). It was fun to share the day with loved ones who couldn't be there.

The show was very successful for us, and for the families who were there. It was a busy week, but one of the high points of our showing year.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Denver--National Western Stock Shoow




We had a fun trip to Denver and a successful show.

Cody was the Champion Senior Showman, with his steer Pumpkinhead
Moran's heifer, Sadie, was the Reserve Grand Champion Prospect Heifer


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Billing Day

One of the things on my long list this week was to do the billing for the Nebraska Family Times. I'm getting more comfortable using the software, and I think it's going faster every time. I now have all the bills printed out, and just have to get the envelopes addressed and get the bills into them, stamped, and into the mail tomorrow!

Mission Trip Fundraiser

A youth group from our church is going on a mission trip this July. They're going to Canada to a tiny town and will teach Vacation Bible School to the Native Americans there. I admire the kids, as well as the adults, who go on these trips. There is a lot of planning involved, as well as more than 24 hours of driving (over two days)! Last night at the meeting (see below) one of the sponsors showed me a map of where they were going; it is literally at the end of the road!

My first goal, when I bought the Nebraska Family Times newspaper, was to learn and get comfortable with the process of putting the paper together, and mailing and delivering it. I feel like I've met that goal, although of course I will continue to strive to fill every issue with articles to inform, encourage, and inspire readers.

My next goal is to publicize and promote the paper throughout the area. When I saw the announcement in the bulletin about the youth group fund raisers, I had an inspiration! The youth group and I are now working together; the youth group will be selling subscriptions and sponsorships for the paper, getting a percentage of each sale. They'll be able to do more than I could, more quickly than I could, when 14 kids go around selling subscriptions. And I can support them by giving them a percentage of the money the collect. The parents and kids seemed enthusiastic last night (when I gave the presentation to the group), so I hope they are well-received.

If a member of PINK (the youth group) asks YOU to support their mission trip by purchasing a subscription or sponsorship, please consider doing so!

Busy Days!

The kids and I are going to Denver for a few days, to the National Western Stock Show. They'll show their cattle and sheep there and we're all looking forward to it!

I've felt more than a little overwhelmed the last few days, trying to get ready to go. My mom always made sure the house was clean before we went on a trip, and I've inherited that desire to come home to a clean house.

Besides cleaning the house I've had Nebraska Family Times business to do, and I worked two days this week at my nursing job.

I gave a presentation at our church last night to a youth group that is going on a mission trip this summer. (See above post for more details.)

While we're gone I plan to spend some time scrapbooking, so I was going through pictures I'd taken in the last 18 months or so, FINALLY choosing the ones I wanted prints of and ordering them online.

To throw another little twist in my planning, my computer has been acting goofy all week. One day it locked up at least eight times and I had to restart it . . . usually while I was trying to download pictures to the WalMart website to get developed.

And . . . it's been soooooo bitterly cold here for the last few days--below zero and then windy . . . I just do not like the cold! I try very hard not to be crabby about it, but it tires me out.

I won't whine any more . . . I have many, many things to be thankful for. I was worried for awhile that the computer problem stemmed from my photo program and I would lose the photos I hadn't saved. Thankfully they're all printed now! I am thankful that I can check my e-mail (I think the problem is in my Outlook Express program) through another website. I have a warm home, warm clothes, and a reliable vehicle to keep me out of the weather. AND . . . I have a friend who is helping me with the paper, and when I asked her if she'd get the boxes of papers mailed, she said YES! WHEW! What a relief it was to get that off of my lists.

It seems everything is coming together! Tim said it was 50 degrees in Denver yesterday--yeah! My house probably won't be "mom clean" but it will be good enough (I continue to hope that the cleaning elves come while I'm gone!) I'm getting everything done and if it doesn't get done, it's not that important.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Paper Delivery Lady/Paper Mailing Lady

Today was delivery and paper mailing day!

The papers are mailed via bulk mail, so I have to put the individual papers in rubber-banded groups in zip-code order. Thankfully, the computer prints out the labels in that order, so I just have to remember to start a new "group" when the third number of the zip code changes (papers are put into groups in which the first three numbers of the zip code are identical).

Before I took the addressed papers to the BMU (Bulk Mailing Unit)--which is a different building than the "regular" post office--I delivered papers around Norfolk. It's always fun to visit the different businesses and churches, and say "hello" to the people there.

Today one of my first deliveries was at the Downtown Coffee Company in Norfolk. I'm not a coffee drinker, but wanted something hot to drink. The employees are always friendly, so helped me choose something hot and caffeinated. I had a "dark" chai tea--chai tea with a shot of expresso. It was yummy, warmed me up, and kept me going all day!

The first time I did the deliveries in Norfolk it took me about 4 hours. This time, it took me just a little over two hours, and that was with having to backtrack twice. I'm sure it will continue to get easier as I do it more. Hopefully my friend and Newspaper Assistant Lori will be able to come and help in the future. It takes as long to park the car and turn it off as it does to actually take the paper in. If two of us go, one can wait in the car, close to the door, and that will cut down on time needed.

At first I was apprehensive about getting the bulk mail papers ready to go. I envisioned a government person scrutinizing every single paper, telling me that if a label was on crooked or one paper was out of zip code order I'd have to take them all home and start over! The man who works there has been extremely nice, and helpful, and it just takes a few minutes to get that part of paper delivery done with.

It is very satisfying to get papers delivered and on their way to their destination. I pray that something in the paper will touch the heart of, or meet a need of, every person who reads the paper. After I was done with deliveries and the mailing, I had a few minutes to go to the mall--yea!