Hands Be Strong, Inc.
Publishing, Educational Services and Consulting

"Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong."
(Zechariah 8:13, NRSV)

Our Books

Mountain Mutts - Joy's Tale

Mountain Mutts - Joy's Tale

Mountain Mutts – Joy’s Tale
(review published in the Lake City Silver World, September 4, 2020)

When a new puppy named Joy joins the family she struggles to be accepted by the older dog, Spring.  Why is Spring so reluctant to acknowledge Joy? Is it the right move to bring a puppy into Spring’s world after her beloved friend dies? What adventures await these two delightful dogs?

Mountain Mutts – Joy’s Tale is a charming story of life and death, as seen through the eyes of two beautiful shelties.  This children’s book written by local resident, photographer and author Julie Stephens, is a wonderful read aloud to your children, as a family or to a class of students.  Parents and teachers alike will enjoy the life lessons woven throughout the story, including tolerance, death, sadness, joy, helping others, the excitement of learning and the always relevant qualities of kindness and diversity.

Both charming and honest, the author describes the pain of loss Spring feels when her canine companion dies and how Spring feels as a new puppy is brought into the home.  Eloquently, the author describes in both words and photography, how puppy Joy ultimately wins reluctant Spring’s friendship.

The photography in Mountain Mutts – Joy’s Tale skillfully captures the dog’s expressions.  The whimsical and colorful photos make this story set in the mountains, even more believable, as you truly see Spring’s pain and sadness; as well as Joy’s confusion and enthusiasm in making Spring her new friend.

While identified as a children’s picture book, Mountain Mutts – Joy’s Tale is so much more.  The book connects with readers of any age: as a picture book, for people welcoming a new puppy, helping to comfort someone who has had a dog die, as well as collectors of anything dog.

Stephens is an accomplished author and photographer.  She writes an award-winning column called, Life from My View, for the Lake City Silver World Newspaper.  Julie has also has an informative and inspirational blog entitled, Living in the Mountains, which can be found at https://notes.julie-stephens.com.  Check out her website at https://julie-stephens.com where Stephens other books and information can be found.

Review by Erin Cavit.

Mountain Devotional  ...He went up apart to pray.

Available from our Store or from Amazon

Reviews of Mountain Devotional

Mountain Devotional“I got chills reading this devotional.  Candy and Julie have reminded me why I live here, and that the good book provides the answers to questions we may have.” – Bernadette Hagendorf,  Lake City, Colorado resident and current St. James Episcopal Church representative for the Lake City, Youth Council

 “Let the authors gracefully take you on a breathtaking journey, savoring the painted beauty of God's arresting, stately creation.  Be forewarned.  They take you a bit further than you might expect, pulling back the curtain of creation itself.  Behind it shines the blinding light of its Regal Architect, radiating His brilliant power, beauty, and intimate compassion.  People who have seen such things seldom remain unchanged.” – David Booth, Ph.D., is the Minister of Education and Family Discipleship at First Baptist Church in Winnsboro, Texas. David and his wife Christy have three children

 “I have been reading around in the writings of Thomas Berry recently and your book affirms his contention that nature is the primary source of revelation.  It was here, eons ago, long before the Scriptures were written for us as revelation and displays, magnificently the majestic presence of God in all he has created, the great and the small.” – The Rev. John Manahan retired Catholic Priest, former high school teacher

Tea and Talk with Friends

Available from our Store or from Amazon

 Look inside: download the first few pages or read online.

Tea and Talk with FriendsTea & Talk is the sharing of love, friendship, simple joys, and everyday pleasures. It is the sharing of what is important to us. All we really have in life besides this moment in time are our relationships and our memories. May we always have someone to love, someone with whom to share life’s joys and sorrows and may you enjoy sharing ~ Tea & Talk with Friends ~

Tea & Talk is well written, interesting, a delightful to read with beautiful photographs. Bob Hines, Retired Creative Art Director and Artist

I think it is beautiful!! I like the way you two have tied together the threads of your poetry, prose and photos. I think Tea and Talk will have a wide audience. Phyllis Kayne, Poet and Artist

Special friends are rare and this book will be a treasure for them. I love the way you put pictures in reader’s minds as you tell the story. Your photographs are great, poetry and idea will touch hearts. A heartwarming story and I believe needed at times like the world is having now. We need to hold on to the special people in our lives and your book will be a constant reminder of this. Karen Hurd, Author and Artist

Reflections In The San Juan Mountains

Available from our Store or from Amazon

 Look inside: download the first few pages or read online.

Reflections In The San Juan MountainsI don't think it's an overstatement to say that anyone who knows Julie is better for it. She lifts up everyone.  For much of her life she did this just by being herself.  Now she has taken some of the inspiration she finds around her, in nature and in everyday activities and submitted that to paper.  As a result, we will all be enriched again by her presence.

David McHam, Instructional Professor
Jack J. Valenti School
of Communication
of Houston

Watch a short video about Reflections



Bible Plays for Children

Watch a short video about Bible Plays for Children

Look inside: download the first few pages or read online.

Bible Plays for ChildrenA new approach to Christian Education: "Bible Plays for Children"
Let the Scripture speak for itself in the ancient tradition of the theatrical play.  The contents of the CD ROM have been placed online for free download.

Bible Plays for Children eBOOK

The eBook is a great product that includes the complete contents of the original CD with detailed teacher’s guide for over 100 Bible Plays for Children of all ages. Scan the titles, both Old and New Testament. quickly locate the easy-to-use scripts. review the background notes, reflection questions and extra activities, all included on the Bible Plays for Children eBook. You can purchase the eBook from Amazon.

Bible Plays for Children CD

Bible Plays for Children CDThe Bible Plays for Children CD is available for free download.
All of the plays and instructional materials are in PDF format with an easy to use menu.