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THE GREATEST GIFT EVER GIVEN

Posted by on Dec 23, 2013 in Blog, Devotions, Uncategorized | Comments Off on THE GREATEST GIFT EVER GIVEN

 

IS

 

JESUS

 Great Holy Family

THE MOST IMPORTANT GIFT YOU WILL EVER RECEIVE

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6,7

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CHRISTMAS IN WILLIAMSBURG

Posted by on Dec 18, 2013 in Blog, History, Media Sharing, Uncategorized | 2 comments

Pineapple, apples, okra, dried flowers and wheat

Pineapple, apples, okra, dried flowers and wheat

Every year Williamsburg comes alive at Christmas. A daytime stroll down Duke of Gloucester Street, the main thoroughfare in the historic district, and you’ll see wreaths, swags, and evergreen roping on many of the homes, shops and taverns. 

 

For more information on Williamsburg’s Grand Illumination which heralds in the Christmas season, and some of the history of the village, and details of the décor, see my post from Colonial Quills http://colonialquills.blogspot.com/2011/12/williamsburg-christmas.html

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pine cones, apples, artichokes, pomegranates adorn this wreath

Meanwhile, take a walk down Duke of Gloucester Street with me and see just a few of the beautiful, natural decorations.

 

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Wheat, dried flowers, orange slices, cinnamon sticks

 

 

Pomegranates, pineapple, apples, magnolia leaves.

Pomegranates, pineapple, apples, magnolia leaves

 

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Wreaths with apples and horseshoes

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dried flowers, pine cones, cotton, nuts and nutshells

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apples, pomegranates, okra and pheasant feathers

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dried flowers and wheat

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TIME WELL SPENT IN GOD’S WAITING ROOM

Posted by on Dec 3, 2013 in Blog, Commentary, Devotions, Uncategorized | 6 comments

How many times have you been in the midst of a difficult situation, whether it’s related to a job, financial struggles, damaged relationships, a health crisis, or a profound loss? Perhaps you are in the whirlwind of just such circumstances right now and are wondering how you are going to get through it.  It’s so easy in the midst of difficulties to grow discouraged and focus inward. This is when it can be helpful to remember, everyone has “stuff” they are dealing with. As we age, and experience more of these “detours”, it can grow easier to weather these storms, because we have reached safe shores in the past.
 
Ever notice how solutions rarely come when we want them? For Christians, we reach out to God for answers, all the while reminding ourselves that He’s in control. We know we need to be walking with Him, seeking His guidance, and waiting for His answers. Meanwhile our emotions can range from shock, confusion, denial, grief, anger, fear, anxiety, anticipation, impatience, and finally acceptance. 
 
“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven”
Ecclesiastes 3:1
 
I remember reading a blogpost some time ago that referred to this time as “God’s Waiting Room”, a place where God meets us, and if we allow Him, He guides us through this season. While none of us seek trials, it is often in the midst of such events when we realize our limitations, gain some humility, and are finally willing to let go and let God. Isn’t that really what God wants from us, to be submissive, open to Him, and allow the One who has our best interests at heart to guide us?
 
God’s Waiting Room may be a lonely spot, but it is also a refuge, where life slows, and in its stillness, provides an opportunity for us to draw closer to Him. Here, we quietly acknowledge what is past, honestly evaluate where we are, and think about what is next. So what do we do A woman at prayerwhile we are in this sanctuary? We can read God’s Word, and pray. And we can listen. We find encouragement as we recall all the people and things for which to be thankful. As we enumerate how the Lord has brought us through other challenges, our perceptions change. It will probably not alter our current circumstances, but it can revise our attitude as we navigate our way through them. 
 
It is human nature to try to orchestrate our lives, whether about family, jobs or other pursuits. However, how often have you heard from someone, whose life has been involuntarily disrupted and sent in an unintended direction, that they could never have anticipated the benefits or blessings missed had they remained in their previous situation? 
 
“pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17, 18
 
 
“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”
Proverbs 16:3
 
So, when we face the changes that come into our lives, do we have to navigate that journey alone? No! It is often in God’s waiting room that He does His finest work.
 
 
“Change is always in your favor when you’re walking with the Lord.”
Words from a wise friend
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AMERICA’S FIRST THANKSGIVING ~ BERKELEY PLANTATION

Posted by on Nov 26, 2013 in Blog, History, Uncategorized | 5 comments

Front of Berkeley Mansion

Front of Berkeley Mansion

A visit to Berkeley Plantation in Virginia will take you on a journey back to one of the earliest English settlements in America and the sight of the first Thanksgiving.

Berkeley Plantation is twenty-nine miles from the first English settlement at Jamestown that was established in 1607. It is one of many plantations situated along the James River in southeastern Virginia. Traveling by land, it is located twenty-three miles southeast of Richmond along historic Rte 5 where one will see farmland, some modest commercial ventures, and exits to many other plantations.

There were a variety of reasons people emigrated from England to the colonies in the 1600’s. Some came for religious freedom, others to escape poverty, over population, and failing industries. There were also immigrants pursuing financial opportunities. Profit was the motive in 1618 when four English gentlemen met in London to establish a company to start the “Berkeley Hundred and Plantation” on the 8,000 acres and three miles of waterfront granted them by King James I.  Their expedition sailed on the “Good Ship Margaret” in August of 1619 from Bristol, England to settle, grow crops, and establish commercial ventures. One of the men, John Smyth of Nibley, was the historian of the Berkeley family and Berkeley castle in England. He also chronicled the “Berkeley expedition” and settlement of Virginia from 1609-1622.

 

View of the James River

View of the James River

 

The First Official Thanksgiving in America

Most of us associate the first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. Actually, the first official Thanksgiving occurred 590 miles south of Plymouth and almost two years before the Pilgrims and Indians shared a harvest feast. The “Margaret” dropped anchor at the Berkeley site December 4, 1619, and upon going ashore the Captain John Woodlief and the company of men dropped to their knees and prayed:

 

First Official Thanksgiving Commemoration Plaque -2

First Official Thanksgiving Commemoration Plaque -2

First Official Thanksgiving Commemoration Plaque

First Official Thanksgiving Commemoration Plaque 1

 

 

 

“We ordaine that this day of our ships arrival,

at the place assigned for plantacon (plantation) in the land of Virginia,

shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy

as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God.”

  

Where the Massachusetts celebration was primarily a social occasion with the Indians, the Berkeley event was strictly a religious one. The London Company gave specific instructions that this religious ceremony was to be repeated annually, and it was . . . for a time. The Virginia settlers and the Indians initially enjoyed friendly relations; however on March 22, 1622, in a calculated plan, Chief Opechancanough led a massive attack at many of the settlements for 140 miles on either side of the James River and Berkeley was among those that perished. Jamestown prepared for the attack as they were warned of the intended massacre by an Indian named Chanco, so were able to defend themselves. The Massacre of 1622 ended the settlement of Berkeley and the annual celebration of Thanksgiving until 1958 when it was reinstated.

(This is in part a re-print of a blogpost I posted on Colonial Quills.)

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday, 394 years after that first Thanksgiving in Virginia, my prayer is that we will all draw closer to God, and be thankful for the many ways He has blessed us individually and as a nation. 

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FIFTY YEARS LATER ~ REMEMBERING THE DEATH OF C. S. LEWIS

Posted by on Nov 20, 2013 in Blog, Commentary, History, Uncategorized | 6 comments

I was a teenager sitting in a high school English class on November 22, 1963, when we heard through the PA system of the assassination of President Kennedy. Most people over the age of sixty remember exactly where they were when they learned of this horrific event.

What has sadly been overlooked is that on that same day, a gifted man and devout Christian evangelist, with an incredible resume, and Irish roots, also passed away. The vast work of Clive Staples Lewis, better known to the world as C. S. Lewis, and to his friends and family as “Jack”, has entertained and influenced many generations. He was a renowned scholar, poet, novelist, academic, essayist, and Christian apologist. Six by Lewis

C. S. Lewis was born November 29, 1898 near Belfast, Ireland. His father was a solicitor and his mother was the daughter of a Church of Ireland (Anglican) priest.  He was brought up in the Christian church, but abandoned his faith as a teenager and became an atheist. His mother died when he was a young child and his relationship with his father was distant. Lewis was educated at boarding schools and by tutors. After serving in the British Army, he completed his university education at Oxford with a focus on literature and philosophy.

In 1925 Lewis was elected as a Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, where he spent nearly thirty years on the staff. He left Oxford in 1954 to accept the position of chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University.

It was while he was at Oxford that he joined fellow faculty members, his brother, Warren Lewis, and a group of writers, in a guild known as the “Inklings”. His close friendship with J. R. R. Tolkien and other members of the group, as well as his interest in the works of George MacDonald, made him discard atheism, return to the Anglican Communion, and embrace a relationship with Jesus Christ. 

Three by LewisDuring World War II, he gave very popular wartime radio broadcasts on the subject of Christianity, and his talks brought many listeners into a living faith with Christ. These broadcast speeches would later make up one of his most famous works, Mere Christianity.

Lewis, a long time bachelor, struck up a relationship through correspondence with Joy Davidman Gresham, an author and American educator. She was an intellectual of Jewish background, and a former Communist, whose troubled marriage finally ended when she converted to Christianity. She and Lewis renewed their friendship when she traveled to England with her two sons. In 1956 they learned Joy’s visa could not be renewed, so to insure she could remain in Great Britain, they chose to have a civil marriage even though they continued to live apart. However when Joy was diagnosed with bone cancer, they realized the depth of their affection. Joy and Jack wanted to be married in the church, but as a divorcee that was not possible. However an Anglican priest, and close personal friend, performed the ceremony at Joy’s hospital bedside on March 21, 1957. Her cancer went into remission and they enjoyed three happy years together until she died in July of 1960. Lewis’s book, A Grief Observed, originally published under a pseudonym, describes his struggles with his faith and his intense grief after her death. C. S. Lewis developed a heart condition and passed away three years later.

His scholarly work has perhaps been overshadowed by his many Christian non-fiction and fiction books that have continued to be reprinted and enjoyed by people throughout the world. Here are just a few:

 

Fiction

The Chronicles Of Narnia

The Chronicles Of Narnia

The Pilgrim’s Regress

The Screwtape Letters

The Chronicles of Narnia

The Space Trilogy

 

Non-fiction

Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life (autobiography)

Mere Christianity

Miracles

The Problem of Pain

The Abolition of Man

A Grief Observed (1961; first published under the pseudonym N. W. Clerk)

 

On the 50th anniversary of C.S. Lewis’s death, he will be honored with a memorial in Poets’ Corner, Westminster Abbey.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-20426778

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Brave New Century ~ Just Released ~ Inspirational Historical Romance

Posted by on Nov 14, 2013 in Blog, Books, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Brave New Century ~ Just Released ~ Inspirational Historical Romance

I’m delighted to feature a newly released anthology.

Brave New Century

ebook_BNC copy

Inspirational Historical Romance from Prism Book Group

Stories of four young women who are each braving challenges at the dawn of the 20th century in the big city. Will they overcome their hardships and find love?

Three Rings for Alice by Lisa Lickel

Love and respect in 1899 Milwaukee is as close as a phone call.

Forgiven by Paula Mowery

When Henry and Jessie meet it seems to be classic love at first sight until a shocking revelation tears them apart.

The Pocket Watch by Kathleen Rouser

Searching for the past an orphan and a young doctor find love for the future.

Flames of Hope by Teena Stewart

Love ignites in the midst of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.

 

More about Three Rings for Alice:

Our opening story, Three Rings For Alice, shows Alice Smith’s struggles to be a modern woman at the turn of the twentieth century in America. Orphaned, she must make her own way in an age when women are just coming into the workforce. Despite a proposal of marriage from a long time friend, she

Lisa Lickel

Lisa Lickel

determines to marry for nothing less than love, even if her love is a voice over the telephone.

About the author: Lisa Lickel is a Wisconsin writer who lives in a hundred and sixty-year-old house built by a Great Lakes ship captain. A muti-published, best-selling and award-winning novelist, she also writes short stories and radio-theater, is an avid book reviewer, blogger, a freelance editor, and magazine editor. Visit LisaLickel.com.

More about Forgiven:

Henry Smith has little interest in the plans his parents have for him when it comes to his career and who he will marry. His world is turned upside-down when a shoot-out ends in fatalities. 

Jessie Lee Capelle and her sister strike out from the orphanage their father mysteriously abandoned

Paula Mowery

Paula Mowery

them at to make a life for themselves. Shamed by her background, Jessie struggles with Henry’s attention. 

Just as Henry and Jessie decide on a life together a shocking revelation could force them apart unless true forgiveness can be found. 

Paula Mowery is a published author, speaker, and acquisitions editor for Prism Book Group. Her articles have appeared in Woman’s World, The Christian Online Magazine, and the multi-author devotional blog, Full Flavored Living. She reviews Christian fiction for several authors. She is a member of ACFW and on their author interview team. Paula is a pastor’s wife who lives with her husband and daughter in East Tennessee.  Find her at www.paulamowery.blogspot.com or connect with her through her author page on Facebook.

More about The Pocket Watch:

Isabel Jones, an orphan, receives a ruby ring left by the mother she never knew and wants more than ever to find her roots. When a young physician, Daniel Harper, rescues her from an oncoming automobile and she finds his pocket watch in a puddle, her circumstances take a turn. She begins to

Kathleen Rouser

Kathleen Rouser

consider what life outside the orphanage could be like. Daniel’s heart has been broken before and the attractive young lady who finds his treasured timepiece wouldn’t be deemed suitable by his social climbing parents.

When Isabel and Daniel work side by side, caring for the orphanage children during an influenza epidemic, she becomes gravely ill. Compelled to redeem the time by helping her find the past, Daniel finds a buried truth that creates an unbridgeable chasm between them. Where will they find hope in a hopeless situation?

About the author: Kathleen Rouser has loved making up stories since she was a little girl and wanted to be a writer before she could even read. The Pocket Watch is Kathleen’s debut novella. She has been published in Homeschool Digest and An Encouraging Word. She currently enjoys interviewing authors for the Novel PASTimes historical fiction blog. Her desire is to bring to life endearing characters who resonate with readers and realize the need for a transforming Savior in their everyday lives. She lives in southeast Michigan with her hero and husband of 31 years, Jack, who not only listens to her stories, but also cooks for her. Find her at: www.kathleenrouser.com, www.novelpastimes.com and https://www.facebook.com/kathleenerouser

More about Flames of Hope:

Young San Francisco police officer Gideon Light is smitten the moment he sees Lily McMinn rolling down the awnings on her father’s mercantile. Lovely, petite, and spunky, Lily had to grow up quickly

Teena Stewart

Teena Stewart

after her mother passed away. She not only oversees the welfare of two younger siblings, she also helps run her father’s business.

Gideon and Lily are immediately attracted to each other and soon become good friends. It doesn’t take long before Lily realizes her feelings for Gideon have changed to something far deeper. He secretly harbors dreams of advancing in the force to earn a substantial enough income to make Lily his wife.

Before either has a chance to pursue each other, however, an earthquake of unthinkable magnitude shatters their world. With a raging fire fast in its wake, tragedy and triumph await as Gideon, Lily, and her family flee for their lives with little more than the clothes on their backs.

Set during the time of the great 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, this tale of great loss, incredible human courage, and sweet romance, will inspire and warm your heart.

About the author: Teena Stewart is a published author, an accomplished artist, and a ministry leader. In addition to Brave New Century, her recent published books include Mothers and Daughters: Mending a Strained Relationship and The Treasure Seeker: Finding Love and Value in the Arms of Your Loving Heavenly Father. Brave New Century represents Teena’s first fiction inclusion in a book. She and her husband Jeff are involved in “out-of-the-box” organic church ministry in Hickory, NC. For more info on Teena visit www.teenastewart.com

Available at: Amazon.com – http://www.amazon.com/Brave-New-Century-Lisa-Lickel/dp/1940099250/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1384256685&sr=1-5&keywords=brave+new+century

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/376373

Barnes and Noble, Prism Book Group, All Romance eBooks, Sony Reader Stores, KOBO

 

 

 

 

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