Multi-published author Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for history, books and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call “historical fiction at its finest”. A homeschool graduate from a family of 12 children, Amber found her calling early in life. First published at age 21, she has continued to hone her craft and is now the author of over half a dozen books. Between ministry, family and working in their family-owned businesses, Amber loves to connect with readers. Find her on the Stitches Thru Time blog, or on any of the major social media sites. Amber is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Historical Novel Society.
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Not a Silent Night
This is one of my all time favorite Christmas songs. If you’ve never heard Labor of Love by Randy Travis, or even if you have, you should click over and listen to it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYYw6I0yjlo
This song was very influential for me and I’ve used it in our church Christmas program for several years now. We usually think about that night in the stable as calm, bright, and peaceful . A time when Mary, Joseph, angels, shepherds and wise men stood in awe as they gazed at baby Jesus, but in reality, it wouldn’t have been a silent night.
We don’t know exactly how far along Mary was when they travelled to Bethlehem, but the Scriptures say that she was “great with child.” Traveling the distance of about 70 miles would have been perilous, especially for a pregnant woman. It is commonly thought that Mary travelled on a donkey, however during my research for The Swaddling Clothes, I was unable to find any historical validation for that. It is possible that Joseph was able to transport her by cart, but even that would have been a hardship for her. It could be that the long walk is what put her into labor. She battled fatigue, weather, lack of food and shelter. They also may have encountered bandits, or wild beasts such as lions or the Syrian bears.
Ladies, can you imagine being eight or nine months along, and arriving in a foreign town, and your husband can’t find a place to stay? Men, can you imagine having a wife on the verge of giving birth and every inn you approach turns you away? The best place you can find for the love of your life as she bears her first child is a stinky, cold, dirty stable.
Mary had no mother or sister to comfort her, hold her hand and mop her brow. She had no convenience of home. She wasn’t in her own house or her own bed with a trusted midwife. Instead, she was in a stable among strangers. The stables would have been echoing the cries of a woman in pain, heavy breathing, perhaps Joseph’s nervous steps upon the stones, or his gentle coaxing. Instead of clean hospital sheets there was straw, dust, blood, manure, and animals slurping from their trough.
This is how the Savior of the world made His entrance. Not with glamour. Not the way the priests expected. Humbly, He began His life of experiencing every pain, set back and temptation that we have. It is hard to imagine. Why would God send His son this way? Why would He choose commoners, poor people without an education, spiritual training, or even a place to rest?
To borrow Mary’s words from The Swaddling Clothes, “Perhaps, to prove that His love can reach this far.”
The Swaddling Clothes
Through the ages, many stories have been told about Mary, Joseph and the birth of the Messiah. Stories of shepherds and sheep, kings, angels, and stables. But there is one story that has never been told. One story that has remained hidden in the fabric of time. The story of The Swaddling Clothes.
Mentioned not once, but several times in the Scriptural text, what is the significance of these special cloths? And how did they make their way into a stable in Bethlehem? From the author that brought you the Days of Messiah series comes a whole new adventure critics are calling “intriguing…thought provoking… a fresh twist on an age old story.”
“I get tired of Bible stories sometimes, but The Swaddling Clothes brings the story to life.”
“Heartwarming…truly inspired. A story you will want to read again and again. Rich details and a suspenseful plot will keep you reading while giving you a glimpse of God’s wonderful power and His amazing love.”
The Swaddling Clothes is available on Amazon, B&N, Kobo and is now available as an audiobook! Listen to a sample here: http://www.amberschamel.com/the-swaddling-clothes-book-sample.html