About Tamera Kraft

Tamera Kraft has been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire For Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. She is also a writer and has curriculum published including Kid Konnection 5: Kids Entering the Presence of God published by Pathway Press. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.

When 20 Million People Died of the Flu

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

We live in a relatively healthy period in time. We no longer die of the black plague or small pox. There are cures for rabies and inoculations for just about everything from the flu to chicken pox to polio. Even though we had a rough flu season this winter, very few people had life threatening problems because of it, and only twelve died from the flu this year, many because of complications from other health problems.

Sometimes it is hard to believe that less than one hundred years ago, a flu pandemic swept through the world and killed over 20 million people. Over 600,000 of those people were in the United States. Some estimates say the death toll world-wide was as high as 30 to 50 million.

The time was during the ending days of World War One in 1918. Roller skating rinks, movie theaters, and amusement parks were popping up every where as Americans had more money and leisure time than ever before. Although almost everyone in America lived on farms and in rural areas, people were increasingly moving to the cities and suburbs. Model Ts were affordable, and many were trading their horses in for cars. All the modern conveniences like indoor bathrooms, running water, electricity, and the telephone were starting to make their way into some homes. Women were starting to work outside of the home before they had children, and states were ratifying the amendment to give women the right to vote.

The only downside to living in America during this period of time was the Great War across the ocean. Germany and its allies were set on conquest and Europe was in a stalemate costing thousands of lives. In 1917, the United States entered the war, and many young men were sent overseas as Dough boys.

In 1918, the first cases of the pandemic flu epidemic hit. Many soldiers in army training camps through the US were some of the first victims. Military hospitals, both in the US and overseas, filled up quickly with more victims from the flu then from warfare. Nine million solders died from warfare, but 50 million died from the flu.

In March 1918, Haskell County, Kansas sent a message to the Public Health Department informing them of 18 cases of severe influenza. By May, cases of influenza overseas was being reported. By August the flu swept through North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. The flu came in three major waves, the last hitting in Spring 1919, a few months after the Great War had ended. One factor for the defeat of the Germans was the devastating effects of the flu on their soldiers.

The Public Health Service fought the flu spread through education (fliers, ads, posters), quarantine, sanitary measures, and requiring masks be worn in public. Although these measures probably helped, the flu epidemic eventually just went away.

In my Easter novella, Resurrection of Hope, Vivian’s parents and sister died of the influenza epidemic. Most families during that time had family members who had died from the flu.

Resurrection of Hope

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

She thought he was her knight in shining armor, but will a marriage of convenience prove her wrong?

After Vivian’s fiancé dies in the Great War, she thinks her life is over. But Henry, her fiancé’s best friend, comes to the rescue offering a marriage of convenience. He claims he promised his friend he would take care of her. She grows to love him, but she knows it will never work because he never shows any love for her.

Henry adores Vivian and has pledged to take care of her, but he won’t risk their friendship by letting her know. She’s still in love with the man who died in the Great War. He won’t risk heartache by revealing his true emotions.

You can buy Resurrection of Hope at a variety of online sites including Amazon.

Grieving for My Characters

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Have you ever cried during a movie or while reading a book because one of your favorite fictional characters died? If so, imagine the grieving process for us poor authors who not only created those characters but also had to kill them off.

One character in particular still causes a lump to rise to the back of my throat three years after writing his death scene. Joe was an honorable Christian slave before the Civil War. The daughter of his master was an abolitionist who was helping slaves escape to freedom. When a wicked man attacked her, Joe stepped in the way and was killed.

I was devastated. I had no idea Joe would do something so heroic to save my heroine. I cried for a week whenever I thought about it. My husband tried to console me explaining that Joe was a fictional character. Poor man didn’t understand, nor did he understand how I could be so upset about Joe dying when I was the one who wrote the scene. I tried to explain that I had no idea Joe was going to do such a thing, let alone be killed, until I wrote the scene. He just jumped in the way of the bullet. My husband is still shaking his head about that one. He’s not an author.

I went through all the stages of grief with Joe. First I couldn’t believe he’d done that. I didn’t plan on him being killed in my plot outline. Second I became rather irate. I am in charge. I’m the writer. How dare one of my characters go off and get himself killed without my permission. During the bargaining stage, I thought if I rewrite a few scenes, maybe I could save Joe. The depression stage is where I cried for a week and ate lots of chocolate. Finally I learned to accept Joe’s death even though I never really got over it.

In my newest novella, Resurrection of Hope, I also had to deal with the death of one of my characters, but I can’t tell you who. You’ll have to read the story. Fortunately this time, it didn’t come a surprise. Since I planned this death from the beginning, I had time to emotionally prepare, but the loss of any of my characters is never easy.

There is an exception. Evil characters who cause my protagonist heartache give me a certain amount of satisfaction when I kill them off in delightful ways. Ah, the life of a writer.

So when have you grieved over a fictional character’s death?

resurrectionofhopecoverartResurrection of Hope

She thought he was her knight in shining armor, but will a marriage of convenience prove her wrong?

After Vivian’s fiancé dies in the Great War, she thinks her life is over. But Henry, her fiancé’s best friend, comes to the rescue offering a marriage of convenience. He claims he promised his friend he would take care of her. She grows to love him, but she knows it will never work because he never shows any love for her.

Henry adores Vivian and has pledged to take care of her, but he won’t risk their friendship by letting her know. She’s still in love with the man who died in the Great War. He won’t risk heartache by revealing his true emotions.

Resurrection of Hope is available at these online stores:

This Week in History 3/6 – 3/12

HistoryThis Week in History

March 6:

  • Missionary to India, Amy Carmichael committed her first of many kidnappings by sheltering a young girl dedicated to the Hindu gods and forced into prostitution (1901)
  • US Supreme Court rules Africans cannot be US citizens in the Dred Scott Decision (1857)
  • Battle of Alamo ends when 1,500-3,000 Mexicans overwhelm the Texans at the Alamo, killing 182-257 Texans including William Travis, Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett (1836)
  • First US alternating current power plant starts in Massachusetts (1886)
  • Artist Michelangelo Buonarroti was born (1475)
  • Acetylaslicylic acid, known as Aspirin, patented by Felix Hoffmann at German company Bayer (1899)
  • After a meeting in Indianapolis, USA, a group forms the Social Democratic Party, later becoming the Socialist Party (1900)
  • Silly Putty invented (1950)
  • Dmitri Mendeleev presents the first periodic table of the elements to the Russian Chemical Society (1869)
  • Stalin’s daughter Svetlana Allilujeva asks for political asylum in US (1967)
  • In Germany, the Edict of Restitution ordered that all church property secularized since 1552 be restored to the Roman Catholic Church (1629)
  • The trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, alleged Soviet spies, begins (1951)
  • Illinois passes first state vaccination legislation in US (1810)
  • Magellan discovers Guam (1521)
  • Edgar Allen Poe removed from West Point military academy (1831)
  • Cassius Clay joins the Nation of Islam and is renamed Muhammad Ali (1964)

March 7:

  • Christians Perpetua and Felicitas were martyred by being thrown to wild beast as they joyfully praised God and encouraged other believers (202 AD)
  • Ohio Territory militiamen began a two-day massacre of the Moravian Indian town of Gnadenhutten killing 96 Christian Delaware Native Americans in retaliation for Indian raids made elsewhere (1782)
  • Alexander Graham Bell patents telephone (1876)
  • Alabama state troopers & 600 black protesters clash in Selma (1965)
  • Cincinnati Mayor Mark Breith stood before city council & announces that, “women are not physically fit to operate automobiles” (1908)
  • Roman Emperor Constantine I decrees that the dies Solis Invicti, sun-day, is the day of rest in the Empire (321 AD)
  • Colonial preacher Anne Hutchinson and nineteen other exiles from the Massachusetts Bay Colony settled in Rhode Island (1638)
  • Russian February Revolution breaks out [OS=Feb 24] with strike at Putilov factory in Petrograd (1917)
  • WW2: Hitler breaks Treaty of Versailles, sends troops to Rhineland (1936)
  • Captain James Cook first sights Oregon coast at Yaquina Bay (1778)
  • First jazz record record released on a 78 (1917)
  • King Henry VIII’s divorce request is denied by the Pope; Henry then declares that he, not the Pope, is supreme head of England’s church (1530)
  • US Navy issues first permanent order assigning women on combat ship (1994)
  • Birth of Peter Cameron Scott, founder of the Africa Inland Mission (1867)
  • In Washington, D.C., the first Baptist church was organized with six charter members (1802)
  • Game of Monopoly invented (1933)

March 8:

  • Great Awakening revivalist Gilbert Tennent preached a sermon, The Danger of An Unconverted Ministry, refuting church leaders who opposed the Great Awakening and starting the New Light movement of knowing God more intimately (1740)
  • When the Communist Polish government banned public crosses, three thousand students protested, waving crucifixes in the air (1984)
  • Gnadenhutten Massacre – Ohio militia kills 90 Indians (1782)
  • The first case of Spanish flu occurs, the start of a devastating worldwide pandemic (1918)
  • Susan B. Anthony addresses the U.S. House Judiciary Committee arguing for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting women the right to vote (1884)
  • Russian Revolution, also known as February Revolution, begans (1917)
  • First flight of the Goodyear blimp (1972)
  • US Supreme Court rules in McCollum v. Board of Education that religious instruction in public schools is unconstitutional (1948)
  • Edwin Hubble photo shows as many galaxies as Milky Way has stars (1934)
  • The first meeting of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (1698)
  • New York Stock Exchange is founded (1817)
  • In The Spectator, English essayist Joseph Addison wrote: “To be an atheist requires an infinitely greater measure of faith than to receive all the great truths which atheism would deny.” (1711)
  • President Reagan first known use of term “Evil Empire” about the USSR in speech in Florida (1983)
  • Baroness Raymonde de Laroche of Paris becomes the 1st ever licensed female pilot (1910)
  • Malcolm X resigns from the Nation of Islam (1964)
  • Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 with 239 people loses contact and disappears, prompting the most expensive search effort in history (2014)

March 9:

  • 40 Roman soldiers refused to denounce Christ and marched naked into ice cold water to be martyred praying 40 would receive crowns of life. When one lost his nerve, a guard took his place and received Christ as his savior (320 AD)
  • WW1: Otterman Turks Interior Minister Talaat issued a directive to wipe out all Christian Armenians; one and a half million died in the next few months (1915)
  • WW2: 334 US B-29 Superfortresses attack Tokyo with 120,000 fire bombs in the single deadliest air raid of the war (1945)
  • Russian Bolshevik Party becomes the Communist Party (1918)
  • The first Barbie doll makes her debut at the American Toy Fair in New York City (1959)
  • WW2: Last Japanese soldier, a guerrilla operating in Philippines, surrenders, 29 years after World War II ended (1974)
  • First Ford Mustang produced (1964)
  • US Civil War: Ulysses S. Grant is appointed commander of Union Army (1894)
  • First female cadets accepted to West Point Military Academy (1976)
  • Phoebe Palmer Knapp, author of over 500 hymns, was born (1839)
  • The World Radio Missionary Fellowship was incorporated in Lima, Ohio which today broadcasts the Gospel in 15 languages to South America and Europe (1931)
  • Publication of the influential economics book The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith (1976)
  • Supreme Court issues NY Times vs Sullivan decision, public officials must prove malice to claim libel & recover damages (1964)
  • Marten Luther begins preaching his Invocavit Sermons in the German city of Wittenberg (1522)
  • Publication of the influential economics book “The Wealth of Nations” by Adam Smith (1776)
  • US Congress is called into special session by FDR, beginning its “100 days” (1933)

March 10:

  • Slave-ship Captain and author of Amazing Grace, John Newton, gave his life to Christ (1748)
  • First telephone call made, Alexander Graham Bell to Thomas Watson (1876)
  • US Senate approves amendment lowering voting age to 18 (1971)
  • Dante, author of Divine Comedy, was exiled out of Italy (1302)
  • Anabaptist leader Balthasar Hubmaier was martyred by being burned at the stake (1528)
  • Quaker William Penn received a charter from Charles II for the colonial American territory known today as the state of Pennsylvania (1681)
  • A group of Salvation Army members invaded New York City as “missionaries to America” (1880)
  • US Revolutionary War: USS Alliance under Captain Barry fights and wins last naval battle of US Revolutionary War off Cape Canaveral (1783)
  • Abraham Lincoln applies for a patent, only US president to do so, for a device to lift a boat over shoals and obstructions (1849)

March 11:

  • US army Corps of Engineers established (1779)
  • US Civil War: Confederate convention in Montgomery adopts constitution (1861)
  • Benjamin Banneker and Pierre Charles L’Enfant begin to lay out Washington, D.C. (1789)
  • Menachem Begin & Anwar Sadat sign peace treaty in Washington, D.C. (1982)
  • Muslims hold 130 hostages in Washington DC (1977)
  • WW2: First deportation train leaves Paris for Auschwitz Concentration Camp (1942)
  • Great blizzard of ’88 strikes northeastern US (1888)
  • 9.0 magnitude earthquake strikes 130 km east of Sendai, Japan, triggering a tsunami killing thousands of people and causing the second worst nuclear accident in history (2011)
  • US War Dept creates the Bureau of Indian Affair (1824)
  • WW2: Hermann Goering officially creates German Air Force, the Luftwaffe (1935)
  • New York’s English Deputies approved a new legal code, which guaranteed all Protestants the right to practice their religious observances unhindered (1665)
  • US Civil War: Lincoln removes George McClellen as general-in-chief (1862)
  • Woman’s Medical College of Penn becomes first female medical school (1850)
  • A meteorite enters the earth’s atmosphere and explodes over New Martinsville, West Virginia (1897)
  • Ashes of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry are launched into space (1997)
  • Moscow becomes capital of revolutionary Russia (1918)
  • Felix Mendelssohn arranged to have Bach’s St. Matthew Passion played March 11, almost exactly a century from the date of its first, long-forgotten performance (1829)
  • Goths lay siege to Rome (537 AD)

March 12:

  • After years in exile, Jews finish rebuilding the temple of God (515 BC)
  • First record of Johann Gutenberg’s Bible, letter dated this day by Enea Silvio Piccolomini refers to the bible printed a year before (1455)
  • WW2: Nazi Germany invades Austria (1938)
  • US lowers voting age from 21 to 18 (1970)
  • US House joins Senate approving Hawaii statehood (1959)
  • New Jersey becomes an English colony (1664)
  • Girl Guides, now known as Girl Scouts, forms in Savannah, by Juliette Gordon Low (1912)
  • Coca-Cola is sold in bottles for the first time in Vicksburg, Mississippi (1894)
  • FDR conducts his first “fireside chat” (1933)
  • President Harry Truman introduces Truman-doctrine to fight communism (1947)
  • Congress accepts Pre-emption Bill: free land in West for colonists (1860)

Can We Expect God to Rescue Us?

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

galile_cThere’s a Bible story in Mark 34 is one that resonates to us all. Jesus told His disciples to get on the boat with Him and go to the other side. Jesus went to sleep on the voyage. Meanwhile, a great wind suddenly appeared and tossed the boat to the point where the disciples were in a panic. At this point, one of them noticed Jesus asleep. They woke Him and said. “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”

There are times when we all are in that situation. The wind is blowing, the waves are overwhelming us, and Jesus seems to be asleep at the wheel. It’s times like these we are tempted to wonder if God really cares. Can we really expect God to rescue us from this mess we’re in? The truth is there are times God doesn’t rescue His children. Peter was delivered from prison and certain death when an angel was sent to rescue him, but a few years later, he was martyred by hanging on a cross upside down. God doesn’t always rescue us, but sometimes He does.

Even when God doesn’t come to the rescue or send the cavalry, He still is there for us. The story of the disciples in the storm ends in Mark 4:39. “Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.”

In this case, Jesus rescued the disciples by speaking to the storm and rebuking the wind. He said, “Peace, be still.” Sometimes Jesus will rescue us by speaking to the storm, but sometimes Jesus will speak peace into our hearts in the midst of the storm.

In my Easter novella, Resurrection of Hope, Vivian has gone through lots of storms. Her fiancé died in the Great War. Her entire family died of the influenza pandemic. If that wasn’t bad enough, she was evicted from her home because of her father’s gambling debts. She lost hope that God would ever rescue her. At the point when she was at her lowest, God sent Henry in her life to save her, but she still needed the hope and peace only God gives. She needed God to speak peace to her spirit.

Sometimes God will calm the storms; sometimes He won’t, but we can always count on God to speak peace to our spirits.

resurrectionofhopecoverartResurrection of Hope

She thought he was her knight in shining armor, but will a marriage of convenience prove her wrong?

After Vivian’s fiancé dies in the Great War, she thinks her life is over. But Henry, her fiancé’s best friend, comes to the rescue offering a marriage of convenience. He claims he promised his friend he would take care of her. She grows to love him, but she knows it will never work because he never shows any love for her.

Henry adores Vivian and has pledged to take care of her, but he won’t risk their friendship by letting her know. She’s still in love with the man who died in the Great War. He won’t risk heartache by revealing his true emotions.

Resurrection of Hope is available at these online stores:

Chance to Win Resurrection of Hope

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

I am giving away 5 free digital copies and 1 autographed paperback copy of Resurrection of Hope, my post-WW1 Easter novella. All you have to do to enter is subscribe to my author newsletter. I won’t sell your email or spam you. Just click the link below and fill out the form. I’ll draw the winners on Friday and announce them in a comment.

Author Tamera Lynn Kraft Newsletter Sign Up Form

resurrectionofhopecoverartResurrection of Hope

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

She thought he was her knight in shining armor, but will a marriage of convenience prove her wrong?

After Vivian’s fiancé dies in the Great War, she thinks her life is over. But Henry, her fiancé’s best friend, comes to the rescue offering a marriage of convenience. He claims he promised his friend he would take care of her. She grows to love him, but she knows it will never work because he never shows any love for her.

Henry adores Vivian and has pledged to take care of her, but he won’t risk their friendship by letting her know. She’s still in love with the man who died in the Great War. He won’t risk heartache by revealing his true emotions.

This Week in History 2/27 – 3/5

HistoryFebruary 27:

  • Birth of Constantine the Great, the first Roman emperor to be converted to the Christian faith (280 AD)
  • Abraham Lincoln makes a speech at Cooper Union in the city of New York that is largely responsible for his election to the Presidency (1860)
  • US Supreme Court unanimously upheld 19th amendment to the US Constitution – women’s right to vote (1922)
  • 22nd amendment ratified limiting US Presidents to 2 terms (1951)
  • Britain’s House of Lords agrees to end 1,000 years of male precedence by giving a monarch’s first-born daughter the same claim to the throne as any first born son (1998)
  • Gulf War: War ends after Iraqi troops retreat and Kuwait is re-taken by the US (1991)
  • Mao’s famous speech to the Supreme State Conference “On Correct Handling of Contradictions Among People” expounding Maoist ideals (1957)
  • Washington, D.C. placed under Congressional jurisdiction (1801)
  • Chaim Weizmann becomes first President of Israel (1949)
  • First Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans (1827)
  • American Indian Movement occupy Wounded Knee in South Dakota (1973)
  • US Republican Governor Jan Brewer vetoes a religious freedom bill that would have allowed businesses to turn away gay customers (2014)
  • US Supreme Court outlaws sit-down strikes (1939)
  • Psychiatrists Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud meet for the first time in Vienna (1907)
  • Wikileaks begins disclosing 5 million emails from private intelligence company Stratfor (2012)
  • Fred Rogers died (2013)
  • Leonard Nimoy died (2015)

February 28:

  • James D. Watson and Frances H.C. Crick announce that they have determined the double-helix structure of DNA, the molecule containing human genes (1953)
  • WWI: After the French try to drive the Germans forces back into the Champagne region, they gain a few hundred yards – at the cost of 50,000 casualties (1915)
  • Arkansas legislature requires free blacks to choose exile or slavery (1859)
  • WW2: Hiding Place author Corrie Ten Boom, who was suffering from the flu, and her sister Betsy were arrested by the Gestapo for hiding Jews (1944)
  • Preacher David Wilkerson, after hearing a Word from God, tried to speak at a gang member’s trial in New York City and was slapped in handcuffs and escorted out giving him an audience with the youth he would later help (1958)
  • John Wesley formally chartered Wesleyan Methodism (1784)
  • Ann Lee, the founder of the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, a Christian sect commonly known as the Shakers, is born in Manchester, England (1736)
  • The Scottish Covenant separating the church from the rule of the king was read in churches throughout Scotland which led to Civil War (1638)
  • Gulf War: United Nations troops move into Kuwait City and Saddam Hussein orders troops out of Kuwait; Iraqi soldiers ignite Kuwaiti oil fields during their retreat (1991)
  • In Taiwan, during 228 incident, civil disorder is put down with the loss of 30,000 civilian lives (1947)
  • In “Exodus of 1879” southern blacks flee political/economic exploitation (1879)
  • Territories of Nevada & Colorado created (1861)
  • JFK names Henry Kissinger special advisor (1961)
  • President Richard Nixon ends historic week-long visit to China as the first president to visit there (1972)
  • Republican Party formally organized at Ripon, Wisconsin (1854)
  • Final TV episode of M*A*S*H airs on CBS with a record 125 million watching in the US (1983)
  • Smokers must prove they are over 18 to purchase cigarettes in US (1997)
  • The brains of two rats successfully connected so that they share information (2013)
  • Roger Scott was tried in Massachusetts for sleeping in church (1646)
  • Indians attack Deerfield, Massachusetts, killing 40 and kidnapping 100 (1704)
  • Gun battle erupts near Waco, Texas at Branch Davidian compound after FBI attempts a raid (1993)
  • The erroneous word “Dord” is discovered in the Webster’s New International Dictionary, Second Edition, prompting an investigation (1939)

February 29:

  • Tituba, the female Indian servant of the Reverend Samuel Parris, and Sarah Goode were both arrested and accused of witchcraft in Salem Massachusetts (1692)
  • President Theodore Roosevelt, appoints 7-man Panama Canal Commission to proceed with completing a canal at the Isthmus (1904)
  • Death of Pope Hilary, 46th Bishop of Rome, who during his seven-year pontificate, he reaffirmed the earlier church councils where the major creeds of the Early Church were hammered out (468 AD)
  • Hattie McDaniel becomes first black woman to win an Oscar for Gone with the Wind (1940)
  • Martyrdom of Scottish reformer Patrick Hamilton (1528)
  • Jay’s Treaty proclaimed, settles some differences with England (1796)
  • Columbus uses a lunar eclipse to frighten hostile Jamaican Indians (1504)

March 1:

  • Hudson Taylor, founder of China Inland Mission, arrived in Shanghai, China (1854)
  • Continental Congress adopts Articles of Confederation (1781)
  • Congress passes Civil Rights Act; invalidated by Supreme Court 1883 (1875)
  • First US census authorized (1790)
  • Henri Becquerel discovers radioactivity (1896)
  • 118 die when three passenger trains buried at Steven’s Pass in Cascade Range by the worst snow slide in US history (1910)
  • U.S. Army Captain Albert Berry performs first attached-type parachute jump from an airplane (1912)
  • Scottish reformation preacher George Wishart, who  preached in in churches and when those doors were closed fields calling all men to repentance, was martyred by being burned at the stake in England (1546)
  • 20 month old Charles Lindbergh Jr, kidnapped; found dead May 12 (1932)
  • Fidelia Fiske sailed for Persia becoming the first single woman missionary there (1843)
  • The Salem Witch Trials in the Massachusetts colony officially began with the conviction of Reverend Samuel Parris’ West Indian slave, Tituba, for witchcraft (1692)
  • Isabella Goodwin, first US woman detective, appointed in NYC (1912)
  • The first issue of The Evening Light and Church of God Evangel was published in Cleveland, Tennessee (1910)
  • US federal income tax takes effect (1913)
  • Watergate grand jury indicts 7 presidential aides (1974)
  • President Kennedy establishes the Peace Corp (1961)
  • Pennsylvania becomes first US state to abolish slavery – for newborns only (1780)
  • Ohio becomes 17th state (1803)
  • President Tyler signs a resolution annexing the Republic of Texas (1845)
  • Most of Nebraska becomes 37th US state, expanded later (1867)
  • Yellowstone becomes world’s first national park (1872)
  • WW1: Germany begins attacking ships in the Atlantic (1916)
  • The Hoover Dam is completed (1936)
  • Michigan becomes 1st English-speaking jurisdiction to abolish the death penalty, except for treason against the state (1847)
  • End of US commercial whale hunting (1970)
  • Captain America first appears in comic book form (1941)
  • Management of the United States Customs Service and the United States Secret Service move to the United States Department of Homeland Security (2003)
  • Puritan English parliamentary leader Sir Peter Wentworth confined in London Tower (1587)
  • Joseph Stalin suffers a stroke and collapses, dies 4 days later (1953)
  • Georgeana, Maine became the first incorporated American city (1642)
  • Country singer June Carter Cash weds Johnny Cash (1868)

March 2:

  • The Sound of Music starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer is released (1965)
  • US Revolutionary War: Americans begin shelling British troops in Boston (1776)
  • Congress bans slave trade (1807)
  • U.S. invasion of Afghanistan: Operation Anaconda begins (2002)
  • Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, is born (1904)
  • Congress standardizes US weights & measures (1799)
  • First Evangelical church building dedicated in New Berlin, Pennsylvania (1817)
  • Republic of Texas declares independence from Mexico (1836)
  • US Civil War: First Reconstruction act passed by US Congress (1867)
  • Evangelist John Wesley dies (1791)
  • English King Charles I dissolves Parliament against opposition, imprisoning 9 members of parliament (1629)
  • Louis V becomes King of the Franks (986 AD)
  • Pennsylvania ends prohibition of theatrical performances (1789)
  • Freedman’s Bureau founded for Black Education (1865)
  • Territory of Arkansas organized (1819)
  • Territory of Washington organized after separating from Oregon Territory (1853)
  • US creates Dakota & Nevada Territories out of the Nebraska & Utah territories (1861)
  • US passed its first immigration law (1819)
  • Interstate commerce comes under federal control (1824)
  • First US company to make sewing needles by machine incorporated (1866)
  • US Congress creates the Department of Education (1867)
  • The Convention of Constantinople is signed, guaranteeing free maritime passage through the Suez Canal during war and peace (1888)
  • Long-distance communication speeds up with the unveiling of a semaphore machine in Paris (1791)

March 3:

  • Star Spangled Banner officially becomes US national anthem by congressional resolution (1931)
  • Congress establishes US Mint (1791)
  • Richard Allen founded African Methodist Episcopal Church (1794)
  • First US probe to enter solar orbit, Pioneer 4, launched (1959)
  • Missouri Compromise passes, allowing Missouri to join the United States despite slavery still being legal there (1820)
  • The U.S. Congress enacts the Comstock Law, making it illegal to send any “obscene, lewd, or lascivious” books through the mail (1873)
  • Anne Sullivan begins teaching 6 year old blind-deaf Helen Keller (1887)
  • American Telephone & Telegraph, AT&T, incorporates (1885)
  • WW1: Facing pressure from internal counterrevolutionary forces and an external German offensive, the Bolsheviks are forced to signs the harsh Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany and Austria (1900)
  • US Congress passes Indian Appropriations Act (1885)
  • US Congress creates Courts of Appeal (1891)
  • US Congress creates Office of Superintendent of Immigration, Treasury Department (1891)
  • Congress increases US Supreme Court membership from 7 to 9 (1837)
  • US President Andrew Jackson & Congress recognizes Republic of Texas (1837)
  • Mount Rushmore dedicated (1933)
  • US Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, & Abandoned Lands established by Abraham Lincoln to help destitute free blacks (1865)
  • WW2: In the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, Australian and American air forces devastate Japanese navy convoy (1943)
  • War of 1812: Office of Surgeon General of the US Army forms (1813)
  • Florida becomes 27th state of the Union (1845)
  • US Home Department (later renamed the Department of the Interior) established by Congress (1849)
  • US Steel Corporation organizes (1900)
  • First female lawyer heard by US Supreme Court, Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood (1879)
  • First US child labor law regulating working hours passed (1842)
  • Louisiana-Missouri Territory forms (1805)
  • Territory of Minnesota organizes (1829)
  • Idaho Territory forms (1863)
  • Mississippi Territory is divided into Alabama Territory & Mississippi (1817)
  • First US internal revenue act, taxing distilled spirits & carriages (1791)
  • Rockefeller Foundation: John D. Rockefeller Jr. announces his retirement from managing his businesses so that he can be devoted full time to being a philanthropist (1910)
  • Origin of Saka Era now known as India (78 AD)
  • Mohandas Gandhi begins to fast in protest against autocratic rule in India (1939)
  • NYC premiere of King Kong starring Fay Wray (1933)

March 4:

  • Beatles John Lennon is quoted, “Christianity will… vanish and shrink… We’re more popular than Jesus Christ right now” becoming one of many to announce the premature “death” of Christianity (1966)
  • President Zachary Taylor refused to take the presidential oath of office on a Sunday leading the United States “without” a president for a day (1849)
  • American missionary Gustav Schmidt, opened the Danzig Instytut Biblijny in Danzig, Poland, the first Pentecostal Bible institute established in Eastern Europe (1930)
  • First US Congress meets and declares constitution in effect with 9 senators, 13 representatives (1789)
  • First sighting of Orion nebula by William Herschel (1774)
  • England’s King Charles I grants a royal charter to Massachusetts Bay Colony (1628)
  • Vermont admitted as 14th state, first addition to the 13 colonies (1791)
  • Quaker William Penn receives charter from Charles II, making him sole proprietor of colonial American territory Pennsylvania (1681)
  • US Civil War: Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated as 16th US President (1861)
  • Martyrdom of Saint Adrian of Nicomedia who was head of the Roman head of the praetorium guard and became a Christian after torturing Christians and asking them why they died with such courage (303 AD)
  • First recorded case of Spanish flu at Funston Army Camp, Kanas; start of worldwide pandemic killing 50-100 million (1918)
  • American Automobile Association, AAA, founded in Chicago (1902)
  • Great fire in Shanghai; over 1,000 buildings destroyed (1894)
  • Civil War: Confederate States adopt “Stars & Bars” flag (1861)
  • Nero, later to become Roman Emperor and great persecutor of Christians including the one who killed Peter, Paul, and other apostles, is given the title princeps iuventutis, head of the youth (51 AD)
  • Chicago becomes incorporated as a city (1837)
  • US Revolutionary War: The Americans capture Dorchester Heights dominating the port of Boston, Massachusetts (1776)
  • First Jewish member of US Congress, Israel Jacobs, takes office (1791)
  • Thomas Jefferson becomes the first president inaugurated in Washington DC (1801)
  • FDR inaugrated as 32nd president, pledges to pull US out of Depression & says “We have nothing to fear but fear itself” (1933)
  • WW2: Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II, joins the British Auxiliary Transport Service as a driver (1945)
  • Over 1,100 Christian organizations combined to form the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability ECFA (1979)
  • First flight of the airship Hindenburg at Friedrichshafen, Germany (1936)
  • President James A. Garfield was baptized at age 18 (1850)
  • Territory of Idaho established (1863)
  • Birth of Gloria Gaither (1942)
  • Oranges introduced to Hawaii (1792)
  • Happy Birthday To You published by Claydon Sunny (1924)
  • Lucille Ball files divorce from Desi Arnaz (1960)

March 5:

  • US Revolutionary War: Boston Massacre when British soldiers kill 5 men in a crowd throwing snowballs, stones, and sticks at them (1770)
  • Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech in the US popularizes the term and draws attention to the rise of Communism in Europe (1946)
  • Hula Hoop is patented (1963)
  • US Revolutionary War: John Hancock delivers the fourth annual Massacre Day oration, a commemoration of the Boston Massacre, and denounces the presence of British troops in Boston (1776)
  • Abolitionists establish “Crispus Attucks Day” in Boston in honor of the first man to die in the Boston Massacre who was an African American (1858)
  • Nikola Tesla, in Electrical World and Engineer, describes the process of the ball lightning formation (1904)
  • WW2: Germany’s Nazi Party wins majority in parliament  (1933)
  • Samuel Colt manufactures first pistol, 34-caliber “Texas” model (1836)
  • Smoking tobacco introduced in Europe by Francisco Fernandes (1558)
  • In Boston, editor Thomas Prince published the first issue of The Christian History, the first religious journal published in America (1743)
  • Missionary Henry Nott arrived in Tahiti and spent 22 years preaching before seeing his first convert, the violent king Pomare II (1797)
  • George Müller and Henry Craik formed The Scripture Knowledge Institution, for Home and Abroad without any money and a resolve not to ask for donations or accept money from the unsaved (1834)
  • Graves of Tsar Nicholas II and entire family found in St Petersburg (1995)
  • Joseph Stalin dies (1953)
  • English King Henry VII hands John Cabot a commission to explore for new lands (1496)
  • Mother-in-law’s day first celebrated (1934)
  • First American temperance law enacted in Virginia (1623)
  • Roman Emperor Julian moves from Antioch with an army of 90,000 to attack the Sassanid Empire, in a campaign which would bring about his own death (363 AD)

Using Historical Events to Create Fiction

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

I am sometimes asked why I write historical fiction. I usually answer that I find so many stories in history. Many times, reading about historical events will get my creative juices flowing when I think about the lives and stories of people who lived during these times.

ResurrectionOfHopeCoverArtFor instance, Resurrection of Hope, my novella that has just been released, the historical backdrop of the time helped me create the characters and the events in the story.

At the beginning of the story, Vivian is depressed. In the last year, her fiancé died in the Great War (World War I), her family died of influenza, and she was evicted from her family farm because of gambling debts of her alcohol father. This would be enough to depress anyone, but many post WWI families were going through the same turmoil during 1919.

The Great War had just ended, and many men had died in Europe. At the same time, over twenty million people had died from the great influenza pandemic. There were very few families that hadn’t suffered loss from one of these events. Some families were completely wiped out. Another tragedy of the period was the rise of alcoholism and gambling addiction during the early years of the 20th century. A number of men lost everything and left their families destitute. That was one of the major reasons for prohibition.

Henry, the male main character in the story, had been a doughboy in World War I. He had just returned from the war with all the baggage that came with fighting warfare in the trenches. Many of the problems he had with Vivian stemmed from his experiences fighting and losing his best friend in the war. The stoic tough guy image most men tried to live up to during that period of time made things worse.

Another event I used in Resurrection of Hope was a tornado. In 1920 on Palm Sunday, one of the deadliest tornado outbreaks in history swept across the Midwest. People in Indiana and Western Ohio were most affected.

Every story I write starts with reading about the events in history and imagining people’s lives during that time. I’ve read historical fiction that could have taken place in any time period, but the writer loses an opportunity to make the stories of history come alive. Every good historical uses history, not just as a setting, but as a main character in the story.

Resurrection of Hope

By Tamera Lynn Kraft

She thought he was her knight in shining armor, but will a marriage of convenience prove her wrong?

After Vivian’s fiancé dies in the Great War, she thinks her life is over. But Henry, her fiancé’s best friend, comes to the rescue offering a marriage of convenience. He claims he promised his friend he would take care of her. She grows to love him, but she knows it will never work because he never shows any love for her.

Henry adores Vivian and has pledged to take care of her, but he won’t risk their friendship by letting her know. She’s still in love with the man who died in the Great War. He won’t risk heartache by revealing his true emotions.

You can buy this on Amazon.

10 Life Hacks for When You are Overwhelmed

Hand Writing HELP on Whiteboardby Tamera Lynn Kraft

No matter how well organized we are or how well we plan, life sometimes throws us a curve ball. An illness, family emergency, or a million other things can steer us off course, and there is nothing we can do in those times but hold on tight and ride the wave through it. Here are ten life hacks to help you when those things happen.

lists-freeMake a list of things to do. Even when you don’t have time to do your to do list, it helps to write everything down. Then go through the list and cross off everything that doesn’t have to be done. Write an L for later beside everything on the list that has to be done but can wait until your past your emergency mode. For the rest, decide what you can delegate to others.

Hire help. Sometimes it is worth spending a little money to free up your time during emergencies. There are lots of companies that are willing to mow your lawn, run your errands, do your shopping, and clean your house. You can even take your laundry to the laundry mat and have them wash, dry, and fold your laundry. You may consider these services luxuries you can’t afford, but remember this is a temporary fix to get you through a tough time.

Say no. You are in emergency mode. You don’t have time to take on any new projects no matter how worthy they are.

24-1013tm-cart-professionalsGet your family on board. Explain to your husband and kids what’s going on. If you have close friends, get them involved too.Tell them you may not be there for them like you usually are and ask for their help. Also ask them to pray for you.

Give yourself permission to not be perfect. When you are in emergency mode, let your motto be “good enough is good enough.” Perfection is for people who have more time.

Use essential oils in a diffuser. This really works. I recommend Young Living Joy or Peace and Calming.

Have a cup of tea. While coffee might energize you temporarily, it will also make you nervous and on edge. Tea calms the nerves and makes everything better.

Exercise: Common sense says you don’t have time to go to the gym, but exercise helps stress levels come down and will keep your on task.

raising-handsWorship: Crank up the worship music and play it while you are doing what you need to do. Also take some time out to worship God. God will redeem the time you spend in His presence.

Ask God for peace and joy. God can give you peace and joy in the most difficult times. Peace and joy are not based on your circumstances but on God’s mercy and grace.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

New Novel Cover Reveal

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

My new novel, Alice’s Notions, is due for release in April. Here, revealed for the first time, is the novel cover.





Alice’s Notions

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

In this quaint mountain town, things aren’t always what they seem.

In this cozy Cold War spy thriller, World War 2 widow Alice Brighton returns to the safety of her home town to open a fabric shop.

She decides to start a barn quilt tour to bring business to the shop and the town, but what she doesn’t know is sinister forces are using the tour for their own nefarious reasons.

Between her mysterious landlord, her German immigrant employee, her neighbors who are acting strange, and a dreamboat security expert who is trying to romance her, Alice doesn’t know who she can trust.

This Week in History 2/20 – 2/26

Historyby Tamera Lynn Kraft

This Week in History

February 20:

  • John Glenn is first American to orbit Earth (1962)
  • Kepler-37b, the smallest known exoplanet, is discovered (2013)
  • US Postal Service Act creating US Postal Service is signed by President George Washington (1792)
  • Death of Kathryn Kuhlman (1946)
  • WW2: American movie studio executives agree to allow the Office of War Information to censor movies (1943)
  • Hydraulic electric elevator patented by Cyrus Baldwin (1872)
  • Luther Crowell patents a machine that manufactures paper bags (1872)
  • Silas Noble & JP Cooley patents toothpick manufacturing machine (1872)
  • First territorial legislature of Hawaii convenes (1901)
  • State of Prussia ceases to exist (1947)
  • WW2: Nazis order Polish Jews barred from using public transportation (1901)
  • WW2: Batman & Robin comic strip premieres in newspapers (1944)
  • Tennessee Governor W C Brownlow declares martial law in Ku Klux Klan crisis (1869)
  • Rutherford, author Apology of Divine Grace which refuted salvation based on works, was exiled from England (1636)
  • New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art opens (1872)

February 21:

  • Francis Crick and James Watson discover structure of DNA-molecule (1953)
  • US Congress passes Presidential Succession Act (1792)
  • US Congress resolves establishment of a US mint (1782)
  • Washington Monument dedicated (1885)
  • First known sewing machine patented in US (1842)
  • Freedom of worship was established in France under the constitution that came out of the French Revolution (1795)
  • Eric Liddell, Olympic champion runner from the film Chariots of Fire who later became missionary to China and was captured by the Japanese during WWII, died of a brain tumor while still imprisoned (1945)
  • Joan of Arc’s first day of interrogation during her trial for heresy (1430)
  • The Prussian Confederation is formed (1440)
  • NC Legislature, adjourns for day to mark death of Frederick Douglass (1895)
  • Rights activist Malcolm X is shot dead by Nation of Islam followers at Audubon Ballroom in New York City (1965)
  • Watergate figures John Mitchell, H. R. Haldeman & John D Ehrlichman sentenced to prison terms for conspiracy and obstruction of justice (1975)
  • Richard Nixon becomes 1st US president to visit China (1972)
  • Oregon becomes first US state to make Labor Day a holiday (1887)
  • Alka Seltzer introduced (1931)
  • First American Indian newspaper in US, Cherokee Phoenix, published (1828)
  • World’s Fair in San Francisco opens (1915)
  • Walter Taylor, missionary to railroad men and miners in Colorado and at the Old Brewery Mission in Montreal, gave his life to Christ after his Christian wife died (1896)
  • British poet Robert Southwell was hanged and quartered for treason for being a Catholic (1595)
  • Ranavalona II, ruler of Madagascar, and her court converted to Christianity ending decades of persecution (1869)
  • Jackson 5 make TV debut on American Bandstand (1970)
  • Camera exposure meter patented (1932)
  • Jimmy Swaggert admitted to visiting a prostitute and announced he would be leaving his ministry for an unspecified length of time (1988)

February 22:

  • Black evangelist William J. Seymour first arrived in Los Angeles and began holding revival meetings which, latter that year, broke out into the Azuza Street Revival (1906)
  • Dolly the Sheep, world’s first cloned mammal, is announced by the Roslin Institute in Scotland (1997)
  • Indians introduce pilgrims to popcorn (1930)
  • Russia & Britain establish Alaska-Canada boundary (1825)
  • Tennessee adopts a new constitution abolishing slavery (1865)
  • President Cleveland signs bill to admit Dakotas, Montana, and Washington as US states (1889)
  • WW2: President Franklin Roosevelt orders General Douglas MacArthur out of the Philippines as American defenses collapse (1942)
  • WW2: Members of White Rose, a nonviolent resistance group, are executed in Nazi Germany (1943)
  • Hawaii becomes US territory (1900)
  • Due to drought the US side of Niagara Falls runs short of water (1903)
  • Johns Hopkins University opens (1876)
  • First national meeting of Republican Party (1856)
  • Airplanes are no longer permitted to fly over the White House (1935)
  • Vietnam War: 25,000 US & South Vietnamese troops launch Operation Junction City against Viet Cong. Largest US airborne assult since WWII (1967)
  • First national convention of Prohibition Party in Columbus Ohio (1872)
  • It Happened One Night starring Clark Gable premieres in New York City (1935)

February 23:

  • Polycarp, the last church leader personally taught by the apostles whose mentor was John the Apostle, was burned at the stake (155 AD)
  • Johannes Gutenberg prints his first book, Bible (1455)
  • The Great Persecution by Roman Emperor Diocletian begins when Christians were dragged off and tortured them to death, employing the rack, the scourge, slow fires, crucifixion, and many other barbarities (303 AD)
  • First mass inoculation against polio with Salk vaccine (1954)
  • Plutonium was first produced and isolated by Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg (1941)
  • Osama bin Laden publishes a fatwa declaring jihad against all Jews and Crusaders (1998)
  • WW2: US Marines raise flag on Iwo Jima depicted by a famous photo and later a statue in the Marine Corps War Memorial (1945)
  • 13 day siege of the Alamo begins (1836)
  • US Civil War: Mississippi is readmitted to US (1870)
  • Boston, Massachusetts, is incorporated as a city (1822)
  • Walt Disney’s animated movie Pinocchio released (1940)
  • WW1: First victory of Red Army over the Kaiser’s German troops near Narva and Pskov (1918)
  • Vietnam War: US troops begin largest offensive of Vietnam War (1967)
  • Wilt Chamberlain becomes first NBAer to score 25,000 points (1968)
  • Gulf War: US insists Iraq publicly announce it is leaving Kuwait by 12 PM EST (1991)
  • Nevada enforces convenient divorce law (1915)
  • Tootsie Roll introduced by Leo Hirshfield (1896)
  • WW2: Fascist Party forms in Italy by Benito Mussolini (1919)
  • President Calvin Coolidge creates Federal Radio Commission (1927)
  • Dow Jones closes above 4,000 for first time (1995)

February 24:

  • Pope Gregory XIII issued a bull that Catholic nations accept the Gregorian Calendar and that October 4th be followed by October 15th that year to make the calendar in sync with the rotation of the Earth (1582)
  • First official Roman edict for persecution of Christians issued by Emperor Diocletian officially beginning the Great Persecution (303 AD)
  • US House of Representatives vote 126 to 47 to impeach President Andrew Johnson (1868)
  • US Supreme Court 1st rules a law unconstitutional – Marbury v Madison (1803)
  • Arizona Territory created (1863)
  • WW1: German plan to get Mexican help in the war is exposed when the Zimmerman Telegram is intercepted (1917)
  • Britain’s Prince Charles announces engagement to Lady Diana Spencer (1981)
  • Israel & Egypt sign an armistice agreement (1949)
  • Communist Party seizes complete control of Czechoslovakia (1948)
  • Antibaptists voted to accept a confession of faith now known as the Schleitheim Confession (1527)
  • St Francis of Assisi, 26, received his vocation in Portiuncula Italy (1208)
  • King Ethelbert of Kent in England, who was converted to Christianity by St. Augustine, died (616 AD)
  • Mahatma Gandhi released from jail (1924)
  • South Africa announces it is constructing largest modern day blimp (1997)
  • Mass arrests of the mafia in the US (1923)
  • WW2: The “Battle of Los Angeles” takes place (1942)

February 25:

  • First cabinet meeting takes place at George Washington’s home in Mount Vernon (1793)
  • Hiram R. Revels, Republican senator from Mississippi, is sworn in as the first African American member of Congress (1870)
  • Samuel Colt patents 1st revolving barrel multi-shot firearm (1836)
  • The 16th Amendment to the US Constitution becomes law providing the legal basis for the institution of a graduated income tax (1913)
  • League of Nations set up by Paris Treaty (1919)
  • US Civil War: Paper currency, greenbacks, introduced in US by Pres Abraham Lincoln (1862)
  • US Congress passes first federal quarantine legislation (1799)
  • First Bank of US chartered (1791)
  • Elizabeth I of England was excommunicated by Pope Pius V for her severe persecution of Roman Catholics in England, the last such judgment made against a reigning monarch by any pope (1570)
  • First use of “insanity plea” to prove innocence (1859)
  • WW2: Immigrant Adolf Hitler gets German citizenship (1932)
  • Bread in Berlin rises to 2,000 marks (1923)
  • The Baptist General Tract Society was organized (1824)
  • Pioneer missionary Eduard L. Arndt first arrived in Shanghai, China, 10 months after having founded the Evangelical Lutheran Missions for China (1913)
  • First performing monkey exhibited in America (1751)

February 26:

  • 15th Amendment guaranteeing right to vote, regardless of race, color, or former servitude, sent to states to ratify (1969)
  • WW2: German Luftwaffe is re-formed under Reichsmarshall Hermann Goering (1935)
  • WW2: First female US navy captain, Sue Dauser of nurse corps, appointed (1945)
  • Spanish Inquisition delivers injunction to Galileo (1616)
  • Marx & Engels publish Communist Manifesto (1848)
  • Second tallest building in world, NYC World Trade Center, bombed (1993)
  • Last total eclipse of Sun in 20th century for continental US (1979)
  • Congress forms Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona (1919)
  • Grand Tetons National Park established (1929)
  • Golden Gate Bridge ground-breaking ceremony held at Crissy Field (1933)
  • Acadia National Park forms in Maine (1919)
  • WW2: Trial against Hitler in Munich begins (1924)
  • First red & green traffic lights installed in Manhattan (1930)
  • WW2: Italian nationalist & fascists merge, blue-shirts & black-shirts (1919)
  • Napoleon Bonaparte & his supporters leave Elba to start a 100-day re-conquest of France (1815)
  • Gandhi supports the African People’s Organizations resolution to declare the day of arrival of the Prince of Wales in South Africa as a day of mourning in protest against the South Africa Acts disenfranchisement of Indians, Coloreds and Africans in the upcoming Union of South Africa (1910)