About Tamera Lynn Kraft

Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures and writes Christian historical fiction set in America because there are so many adventures in American history. She is married to the love of her life, has two grown children, and lives in Akron, Ohio. Soldier’s Heart and A Christmas Promise are two of her historical novellas that have been published. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and is a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest.

This Week in History 1/9 – 1/15

HistoryThis Week in History

January 9:

  • US Civil War: A Union merchant ship, the Star of the West, is fired upon as it tries to deliver supplies to Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina (1861)
  • Apple Inc CEO Steve Jobs announces the iPhone (2007)
  • US Civil War: Mississippi secedes from the Union (1861)
  • WW2: US soldiers led by Gen Douglas MacArthur invade Philippines (1945)
  • Ed Martin, missionary to Japan and founder of a prison ministry, became born again in prison (1944)
  • Daguerrotype photo process announced at French Academy of Science (1839)
  • US Supreme Court strikes down Dallas’ ordinance imposing strict zoning on sexually oriented businesses (1990)
  • Semi-automatic rifles adopted by US army (1936)
  • First hot-air balloon flight in the US lifts off in Philadelphia (1793)
  • The Great Gale of 1880 devastates parts of Oregon and Washington with high wind and heavy snow (1880)
  • St. Philip of Moscow, primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, was murdered by Czar Ivan IV – Ivan the Terrible (1569)
  • Anson Jones, the last President of the Republic of Texas, commits suicide (1858)
  • After 140 years of unofficial racial discrimination, the Mormons issued an official statement declaring that blacks were not yet to receive the priesthood “for reasons which we believe are known to God, but which He has not made fully known to man.” (1970)
  • Abigail Van Buren’s Dear Abby column first appears in newspapers (1956)

January 10:

  • US Revolutionary War: Common Sense Pamphlet by Thomas Paine, published advocating American independence (1776)
  • UN headquarters opens in Manhattan, New York (1951)
  • Inauguration of the League of Nations held in Paris (1920)
  • US Civil War: US forts & property seized by Mississippi (1861)
  • US Civil War: Florida secedes from the Union (1861)
  • US Senate proposes female suffrage (1878)
  • Oil discovered in Texas (1901)
  • John D. Rockefeller incorporates Standard Oil (1870)
  • Poets Elizabeth Barrett & Robert Browning begin corresponding (1845)
  • The first section of the Complutensian Polyglot, the world’s first multi-language Bible, was printed at Alcala, Spain (1514)
  • U.S. Senate Chaplain Peter Marshall prayed, “May we resolve, God helping us, to be part of the answer, and not part of the problem.” (1947)
  • Louisiana slaves rebel in 2 parishes (1811)
  • King Charles I & family flee London for Oxford (1642)
  • Julius Caesar crosses the Rubicon, signaling the start of civil war (49 BC)

January 11:

  • First public demonstration of telegraph message sent using dots & dashes at Speedwell Ironworks, Morristown, New Jersey by Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail (1838)
  • First government report warning by US Surgeon General reports that smoking may be hazardous (1964)
  • The Church of God, headquartered today in Cleveland, Tennessee, and with roots going back to 1886, officially adopts its current name (1907)
  • WW2: In Hamburg, Germany, the Altona Confession was issued by area pastors, offering Scriptural guidelines for the Christian life, in light of the confusing political situation and the developing Nazi influence on the State Church (1933)
  • Timothy Dwight, grandson of Jonathan Edwards and Yale President who brought revival to the college, died (1817)
  • Amelia Earhart flies from Hawaii to California (1935)
  • Insulin first used to treat diabetes (1922)
  • Elizabeth Blackwell becomes first woman in US to earn medical degree (1849)
  • President Theodore Roosevelt makes Grand Canyon a national monument (1908)
  • First pineapples planted in Hawaii (1813)
  • US Civil War: Alabama secedes from Union (1861)

January 12:

  • Governor John Winthrop, leader of the Puritans and first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, was born (1588)
  • Earthquake occurs in Haiti killing 230,000 and destroying the majority of the capital Port-au-Prince (2010)
  • Record blizzard struck Midwest killing over 100 (1979)
  • WW2: German forces in Belgium retreat in Battle of Bulge (1945)
  • Dr. Victor Rambo, medical missionary to India who cured the eyesight of thousands there, sailed for India (1924)
  • Romania bans Communist party – first Warsaw Pact member to do so (1990)
  • Gustav I of Sweden “father of the nation” crowned King of Sweden (1528)
  • All in the Family premieres on CBS featuring first toilet flush on TV (1971)
  • Josef Dzhugashvili signs himself as Stalin “man of steel” in a letter to the paper, Social Democrat (1913)
  • FBI arrests 6 members of the Great Brink’s robbery gang, 6 days before statute of limitations runs out (1956)
  • US Congress recognizes independence of Philippines (1933)
  • “Batman”, starring Adam West as Batman, Burt Ward as Robin, and Cesar Romero as The Joker, debuts on ABC (1966)

January 13:

  • Henry Ford patents a method of constructing plastic auto bodies (1942)
  • The world’s first hymnbook was published in Prague (1501)
  • Congress changes US flag to 15 stars & 15 stripes (1794)
  • Mickey Mouse comic strip first appears (1930)
  • NASA select its first American women astronauts (1978)
  • Anthony Foss patents accordion (1854)
  • Birth of Philip Jacob Spener, founder of German pietism (1635)
  • Mary Slessor, a world-famous missionary to Nigeria who ended many of the abuses there, died (1915)
  • Galileo Galilei discovers Callisto, 4th satellite of Jupiter (1610)
  • The Act of Multipliers is passed by the English Parliament forbidding alchemists to use their knowledge to create precious metals (1404)
  • Death of George Fox, English founder of the Society of Friends – Quakers (1691)
  • Humanist Society established in Hollywood, California (1929)
  • Odo, Count of Paris, becomes King of the Franks (888 AD)

January 14:

  • US Revolutionary War: US Congress of the Confederation ratifies the Treaty of Paris ending the war (1784)
  • Henry Ford introduces an assembly line for Model T (1914)
  • Nobel Prize-winning physician Albert Schweitzer is born (1875)
  • US Civil War: General Sherman begins his march to the South (1864)
  • First black selected for presidential cabinet – LBJ selects Robert C Weaver-HUD (1966)
  • Clarinet invented in Nuremberg, Germany (1690)
  • WW2: Hitler declares “Total War” (1943)
  • First Connecticut constitution, Fundamental Orders, adopted in Hartford (1639)
  • US Supreme court rules race separation on trains unconstitutional (1878)
  • George C Wallace sworn in as governor of Alabama, his address states “segregation now; segregation tomorrow; segregation forever!” (1963)
  • Juan de Valdes published Dialogue on Christian Doctrine which paved the way in Spain for the Protestant Reformation (1529)
  • Galileo Galilei discovers Callisto, 4th satellite of Jupiter (1610)
  • Mickey Mouse Comic Strip first appears (1930)
  • National Geographic Society founded (1888)
  • WW2: Taking advantage of the chaotic condition of Germany, Hitler stages a demonstration of 5000 storm troopers and denounces the ‘November crime’ (1923)
  • The Act of Multipliers is passed by the English Parliament forbidding alchemists to use their knowledge to create precious metals (1404)
  • Dr. William Brydon, a surgeon in the British Army during the First Anglo-Afghan War, becomes famous for being the sole survivor of an army of 16,500 when he reaches the safety of a garrison in Jalalabad (1842)

January 15:

  • Salem and the Massachusetts Bay Colony proclaimed a day of fasting and repentance before God for the tragic error and folly of the Salem witch trials (1697)
  • Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon lays siege to Jerusalem under Zedekiah’s reign (588 BC)
  • US Revolutionary War: Vermont, then known as People of New Connecticut, declare independence from England (1777)
  • Steam elevator patented by Elisha Otis (1861)
  • The Coca-Cola Company, then known as the Pemberton Medicine Company, is incorporated in Atlanta, Georgia (1889)
  • Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake premieres, St Petersburg (1895)
  • Israeli archaeologists reported uncovering the first evidence supporting the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. by military forces of the ancient Roman Empire (1970)
  • Vietnam War: President Nixon suspends all US offensive action in North Vietnam (1973)
  • US Revolutionary War: American Continental Congress establishes court of appeals (1780)
  • The University of Notre Dame was chartered under Roman Catholic auspices in Indiana (1844)
  • First top hat worn by John Etherington of London (1797)
  • Henry VIII declares himself head of the Church in England (1535)
  • Mt. Sinai Hospital was incorporated as the first Jewish hospital in the U.S. (1852)
  • Donkey first used as symbol of Democratic Party in Harper’s Weekly (1870)
  • While robbing the First National Bank in East Chicago, Indianapolis, Dillinger is shot several times by Officer William O’Malley, but survives because he is wearing a bullet proof vest (1934)
  • 4 Watergate burglars plead guilty in federal court (1973)
  • Elizabeth I crowned Queen of England in Westminster Abbey (1559)

Review of Pages of Ireland by Cindy Thomson

Cindy PagesIreland_frontonly300Pages of Ireland

Book #2, Daughter of Ireland

by Cindy Thomson

In sixth-century Ireland, books are rare treasures.

Aine, a young woman unwillingly pledged to marry, believes the book is a talisman with the power to change her circumstances. When she steals it from her betrothed’s clan, desperate to use it to help her mother’s impoverished people, events tumble out of control. She seeks help from Brigid, the woman who rescued her long ago, but doing so puts an entire monastery at risk as the king deploys his army to get the book back.

The formerly banished druid Ardan hopes the book can be traded for revenge, but a mysterious force curses him with a reoccurring mark in the shape of Brigid’s famous reed cross. Is it the power of a vengeful god or the command of the book that is causing his anguish?

While many seek to possess the book, it appears to choose who will hear its words. No one in Ireland will know the power of the words written on its pages if the book does not survive the battle.

web1My Review: ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Pages of Ireland is the second book in Cindy Thomson’s Ireland Series. Set in the Middle Ages, she continues her tales of how Christianity took root in Ireland. This novel focuses upon Aine, the girl Brigid saved in the last novel Brigid of Ireland. Cindy weaves Ireland legend and folklore into stories about early saints and missionaries in a way no one else has. I enjoyed Pages of Ireland even more than her first book in the series. I highly recommend it.

This Week in History 1/2 – 1/8

HistoryThis Week in History

January 2:

  • WW2: 28 nations at war with Axis powers, pledge no separate peace deals (1942)
  • Future Foursquare Gospel church founder Aimee Elizabeth, known later as Aimee Semple McPherson, along with her husband Robert Semple, was ordained to the ministry in Chicago by evangelist William H. Durham (1909)
  • Free African American community of Philadelphia petitions US Congress to abolish the slave trade (1800)
  • President Theodore Roosevelt shuts down post office in Indianola, Mississippi for refusing to accept its appointed postmistress because she was black (1903)
  • WW2: Japanese troops occupy Manila Philippines (1942)
  • WW2: Allied air raid on Nuremberg (1945)
  • Martin Luther King Jr. begins a drive to register black voters (1965)
  • Pittsburgh’s Calvary Episcopal Church broadcasted the first religious service on radio (1921)
  • A team of Israeli scholars announced the discovery in Jerusalem of a 2,000-year-old skeleton of a crucified male, the first direct physical evidence of the well-documented Roman method of execution (1971)
  • First Jewish child born in Spain since 1492 expulsion (1966)
  • Alice Sanger becomes first female White House staffer (1890)
  • Responding to global fear of communism caused by the Russian Revolution and known as the Red Scare, US Attorney General Palmer authorizes raids across the country on unionists and socialists (1920)
  • Big Bottom Massacre in the Ohio Country marking the beginning of the Northwest Indian War (1791)
  • Willis Carrier receives a US patent for the world’s first air conditioner (1906)
  • Tsar Ivan the Terrible’s march to Novgorod begins (1570)

January 3:

  • A band of Russian Pentecostal Christians who being persecuted, led by Paul Vashchenko, overwhelmed the policeman at the gates of the American embassy and entered (1963)
  • WW2: 320 pastors of the German Confessing Church met to draw up a statement opposing the Nazi German Nationalist Church (1934)
  • Apple Computer, Inc incorporates (1977)
  • Alaska admitted as 49th US state (1959)
  • March of Dimes established to fight polio (1938)
  • US Civil War: Delaware legislature rejects proposal to join Confederacy (1861)
  • Construction begins on Brooklyn Bridge in New York (1870)
  • Martin Luther was excommunicated from the Catholic Church (1521)
  • WW2: Benito Mussolini dissolves Italian parliament/becomes dictator (1925)
  • Leonardo da Vinci unsuccessfully tests a flying machine (1496)
  • First patent list issued by US Patent Office (1872)
  • US Revolutionary War: General George Washington’s revolutionary army defeats British forces at Battle of Princeton, New Jersey (1777)
  • Stephen F. Austin receives a grant of land in Texas from the government of Mexico (1823)
  • First wax drinking straw patented by Marvin C Stone in Washington, D.C. (1888)
  • Solomon Northup is freed after 7 illegal years in slavery with aid of Washington Hunt, Governor of New York (1853)
  • First deep sea sounding (1840)

January 4:

  • WW2: Reich-bishop Müller issued a decree known as the “Muzzling Order” forbidding ministers to say anything in their sermons against the Nazi regime or teach against a superior Arian race. Although most churches complied, 320 ministers pledged support to the Confessing Church and stood against the Nazi regime. (1934)
  • Louis Braille, creator of Braille system of reading for the blind, was born (1809)
  • Nixon refuses to hand over tapes subpoenaed by Watergate Committee (1974)
  • Elvis Presley records a 10 minute demo in Nashville (1954)
  • The US Senate appointed Peter Marshall to be their chaplain (1947)
  • Samuel Colt sells his first revolver pistol to the United States government (1847)
  • Ferdinand of Austria, younger brother to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, issued the first secular mandate forbidding the Anabaptist religious movement (1524)
  • Luna 1, Mechta, becomes first craft to leave Earth’s gravity (1959)
  • LBJ’s “Great Society” State of the Union Address (1865)
  • The New York Stock Exchange opens its first permanent headquarters at 10-12 Broad near Wall Street in New York City (1865)
  • Topsy the elephant is electrocuted by her owners at Luna Park, Coney Island and filmed by Edison Manufacturing movie company (1903)
  • Ralph Bunche appointed first black official in US State Department (1944)
  • Emilio G. Segrè and Carlo Perrier announce technetium, a previously unknown element and the first artificially synthesized chemical element (1947)
  • Utah becomes 45th US state (1896)
  • First elected Jewish governor, Moses Alexander, takes office in Idaho (1915)
  • Billboard magazine publishes its first music hit parade (1936)
  • King Charles I with 400 soldiers attacks the English parliament (1642)
  • Most of the Palace of Whitehall in London, the main residence of the English monarchs, is destroyed by fire (1698)
  • The New Apostolic Church is established in Germany (1863)

January 5:

  • Eight Methodist leaders, including Great Awakening preacher George Whitfield, gathered in South Wales to hold the first Calvinist Methodist Conference (1743)
  • Davy Crockett arrives in Texas, just in time for the Alamo (1836)
  • George Washington Carver, innovator of farming and former slave, died (1943)
  • Anabaptist reformer Felix Manz was drowned in punishment for preaching adult baptism, the first Protestant in history to be martyred at the hands of other Protestants (1527)
  • US Revolutionary War: British naval expedition led by Benedict Arnold burns Richmond, Virginia (1981)
  • US Civil War: 250 Federal troops are sent from New York to Ft Sumter (1861)
  • Following her divorce, popular American evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson resigned her denominational ordination and returned her fellowship papers to the Assemblies of God (1922)
  • Sudden extreme cold kills thousands of Europeans (1709)
  • First steamboat, Red River, sails (1859)
  • President Harry Truman labels his administration the “Fair Deal” (1949)
  • Eris, the largest known dwarf planet in the solar system, is discovered by the team of Michael E. Brown (2005)
  • WW2: National Socialist Party, Nazi, forms as German Farmers’ Party (1919)
  • FCC hears first transmission of FM radio with clear, static-free signal (1940)

January 6:

  • 3 Kings Day – the day celebrated as the day the wise men found Jesus (3 AD)
  • Last year the Church in Jerusalem observed the birth of Jesus on this date (548 AD)
  • Morse demonstrates the telegraph (1838)
  • New Mexico becomes 47th US state (1912)
  • Mother Teresa arrives in Calcutta to begin a her work among India’s poorest and diseased people (1929)
  • Pan American Airlines becomes the first commercial airline to schedule a flight, known as Pacific Clipper, around the world (1942)
  • President Franklin Roosevelt’s “4 Freedoms” speech, freedom from speech, worship, want and fear, during US State of Union address (1941)
  • Washington National Cathedral is chartered by Congress (1893)
  • Theodore Roosevelt dies (1919)
  • Mountain man Jedediah Strong Smith is born (1798)
  • Schoolhouse Rock premieres on ABC-TV with Multiplication Rock (1973)
  • King Harald of England crowned (1066)
  • Charles H. Spurgeon was converted in a Methodist chapel (1850)
  • Thomas Edison submits his last patent application (1931)
  • Daily newspaper comic strip Superman debuts (1939)
  • The English Rump Parliament votes to put Charles I on trial for treason and other “high crimes” (1649)

January 7:

  • First presidential election is held with George Washington (1798)
  • Isabella Thoburn, missionary and teacher to improvised women in India, arrived in India (1870)
  • Fire destroys Jamestown, Virginia (1608)
  • Galileo discovered four satellites of Jupiter with the aid of the newly invented telescope (1610)
  • US President Harry Truman announces American development of the hydrogen bomb (1953)
  • Fannie Farmer publishes her first cookbook (1896)
  • Typewriter patented by Englishman Henry Mill (1740)
  • Georgetown-IBM experiment, the first public demonstration of a machine translation system, is held in New York at the head office of IBM (1954)
  • Buck Rogers, first sci-fi comic strip, premieres (1929)
  • Tarzan comic strip premieres (1929)

January 8:

  • Missionaries to Ecuador, Ed McCulley, Nate Saint, Jim Elliot, Pete Fleming, and Roger Youderian, were martyred by Aucu (1956)
  • Youth for Christ organizes (1945)
  • In London, the first soup kitchens were opened for the relief of the poor (1800)
  • US President George Washington delivers first state of the union address (1790)
  • Black men granted the right to vote in Washington, D.C. despite President Andrew Johnson’s veto (1867)
  • Crazy Horse and his warriors fight their last battle with the United States Cavalry at Wolf Mountain (1877)
  • Columbus World’s fair in Chicago destroyed by fire (1894)
  • Severinus, missionary to Austria, died (482 AD)

Guest Author Tanya Eavenson – Family Memories

tanya-eavensonTanya Eavenson is our guest blogger today. Tanya is a bestselling and an award-winning inspirational romance author. She enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children. Tanya is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Word Weavers International. Her favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee, eating chocolate, and reading a good book. You can find her at her website, on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google, or on Amazon.

Family Memories

by Tanya Eavenson

Red christams roomFor years growing up our tradition was to gather with family on Christmas Eve. Aunts, uncles, and cousins I hadn’t seen since the year before would flock together for this one day. Even now, I can picture the older men sitting at their squared card tables playing dominoes and smoking cigars. No matter where you were in the house, the sound of shuffling and clinking tiles could be heard.

This is a memory I will never forget, and was a precious time growing up. But when my first daughter came into the world around Christmas time, I told my husband I wanted to start my own family tradition, one that would help our children understand what Christ did coming as a babe. My husband knew how important this was for me since I hadn’t grown up in a Christian home. So the next year we began our own family tradition.

Every year on Christmas day, whether we go home for the holidays or not, we make a birthday cake for Jesus. The kids get up in the morning and help me make the cake, from stirring the ingredients to layering the icing on thick, and yes, they like a lot of icing. Then after dinner we bring out the cake, light the candles, and sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus. Now, you might be wondering who blows out the candles. We all do because Jesus came for all.

I pray when my children get older, they will have their own traditions, but they will always remember praising and worshiping Christ on Christmas day. Even with something as simple as a cake.

togainamommy_1600x2400To Gain a Mommy

They had a plan, but will it work?

Thirteen years ago, pediatrician Hope Michaels was the fool-hearted girl who came home from college to learn the man she loved was engaged to her twin. But now to move on with her life and accept a proposal of marriage, she must confront the one man who holds the key to the wounds of her past.

Fire Captain Carl McGuire can put out any flame, except for the one Hope sparks within him. As she stirs up his life and heart, Carl knows some things never change. Even a past he’d rather keep hidden.

When a new neighbor moves in across the street who would be a perfect fit for their family, Mary and Brody form a plan to bring their dad and Hope together. But how will it work if Hope keeps pushing him away?

Excerpt from To Gain a Mommy

Chapter One

Carl McGuire smiled and shook his head as his eight-year-old son, Brody, held the sheer curtain and stared out the window at some poor, unsuspecting woman across the street.

Brody pointed, excitement dancing in his wide eyes. “Did you see the dog? He was standing by the palm tree a minute ago.”

“No,” Mary huffed, moving her younger brother to the side, swiping the tan fabric from him. “What does she look like?” She followed his stare out the window.

“She’s golden brown. And how do you know the dog is a girl? You can’t tell from here.”

“I’m not talking about the dog. The lady. What does she look like?”

“Who cares about her? Look at the dog.”

Carl leaned back in his desk chair, setting his phone down. The woman had no idea what she was about to encounter being their neighbor, but if she did indeed own a dog, she’d find out soon enough. Perhaps he could go over and warn her before it was too late. “Why don’t you give our new neighbor some privacy?”

Mary perked up and turned from the window. “I have a better idea. Why don’t we go over and say hi? It’s the neighborly thing to do. Love your neighbor as yourself, you always say.”

How conveniently she recalled scripture when it suited. Only last week she totally ignored his comment to ‘obey your parents.’ Even if there was only one parent, it still applied.

“Yeah, dad!” Brody pushed past his sister to stand near the door, so if Carl agreed, he’d be the first out. “I’m sure she’ll let us play with her dog while she moves her stuff from the truck.”

Carl had actually thought about going over to introduce himself and his children when the moving truck had first pulled into the driveway earlier that day, but several phone calls later, the fire department’s fundraiser was finally underway. As captain, he had an obligation not only to the townspeople and their safety but also to raise money for needed improvements to the fire fighters’ “home away from home.”

He glanced at the list of numbers he still needed to call. “Maybe tomorrow. We can take some cookies or something.”

“But Dad, it’s a golden retriever.”

As if the breed of the dog would change his mind. “Sorry, buddy. I still have too much to do.”

Mary released the curtain. “She has blond hair, but that’s all I could tell.” She rounded the couch and plopped down in the recliner. “You know, if you’d just get him a dog, it might cure his dog fascination.”

“Thank you, Mary. I’ll keep that in mind.” Even though his daughter stayed silent, he sensed she wanted to say more but held her tongue, something she’d been doing more often lately.

Being a single parent wasn’t easy, but he’d always known where he stood with Mary and what was on her mind. Now he wasn’t so sure and it bothered him. She’d be a teenager in less than six weeks and was growing up much too fast. Every day he’d been noticing little things that reminded him of Faith, memories of what he used to have before she was taken in a hit-and-run. Some days like today were painfully real.

“…are you listening? We’re hungry.”

Carl blinked twice, pushing his thoughts away as he glanced at the time on his phone. “What do you want to eat?” He stood and slid his cell into his pocket.

Mary linked her arm through his. “Can I go to Tiffany’s house Tuesday for a sleepover?”

Brody ran past them into the kitchen and opened the freezer. “I thought we’re going to Grandma’s?”

“You are. I’m on shift.” He patted his daughter’s hand as it slid from his arm. “Maybe next week.”

“Why I can’t go? I’m a teenager now. I can take care of myself. Besides, it would be easier for Grandma if I wasn’t there. One less mouth to feed.”

“You know how I feel about staying together while I’m on shift. I don’t have to worry about your safety. And besides, Grandma fixes us food regardless or sends it home with us. Speaking of”—he opened the refrigerator—“are you in the mood for leftovers?”

Brody yanked out a pizza. “How about pizza?”

“Not pizza again.” Mary sank to a barstool. Her lips protruded slightly into a pout.

“Okay.” Brody stuffed the pizza back in the freezer and held out two more options. “We have pizza rolls or pizza pockets. I like either one.”

Carl chuckled, swiping his wallet and keys from the counter. “Grab your shoes. We’ll get something to eat.” He went into his room and put on his running shoes, but as he was walking out, the picture of Faith on his dresser caught his eye. The ache in his chest dimmed over the years, but never quite vanished. She gazed back at him, her smile brilliant. Breathtaking. And a mirror image of—

He shook his head to focus on the present and his two hungry children. Walking back into the living room, he yelled, “We ready?” The front door was open. They must be waiting for him by the truck.

In an instant, an ear piercing scream cut through the air, straight down the center of his heart.


10 Life Resolutions

Writeby Tamera Lynn Kraft

While all of us are deciding what we want our goals and resolutions to be for 2017, I thought I would share 10 of my life resolutions.





Resolution #1: I resolve to obey God without delay and without consideration for the consequences or lack of resources.

Resolution #2: I resolve to be a student of God’s Word and as I read it to apply it to my life. I will be a doer of the Word and not a hearer only.

Resolution #3: Because I want to spend time regularly with God and develop an intimacy with Him, I will continually be in prayer even when I don’t “feel” like praying.

Resolution #4: I resolve to be a worshipper because God alone is worth of my worship.

Resolution #5: I will not compromise my faith to become more acceptable to the culture. This would include salvation is only through the blood of Jesus Christ, that there is only one road to Heaven, and that what God calls sin is sin.

Resolution #6: I resolve to constantly learn and read.

Resolution #7: I resolve strive to forgive anyone who I become offended with and to resolve any matter where people are offended by me as far as it is up to me.

Resolution #8: I resolve that when I am stressed by everyday life, to be in joy and peace through Jesus Christ.

Resolution #9: I resolve to be expectant and ready for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ at any moment and to live my life that way.

Resolution #10: I resolve to repent as soon as I realize I have failed with one of these resolutions and to return to fellowship with Christ.

This Week in History 12/26 – 1/1

HistoryThis Week in History:

December 26:

  • A 9.3 magnitude earthquake creates a tsunami causing devastation in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Maldives and many other areas around the rim of the Indian Ocean, killing 230,000 people. (2004)
  • First Spanish settlement La Navidad, modern Môle-Saint-Nicolas, in the New World is founded by Columbus (1492)
  • US Revolutionary War: General George Washington wins Battle of Trenton after surprise attack on Hessians that were dazed from too much Christmas celebrations (1776)
  • Plymouth Colony was settled by the Mayflower colonists (1620)
  • George Washington is eulogized by Colonel Henry Lee as “First in war, First in peace and First in hearts of his countrymen” (1799)
  • The crimes of Elizabeth Báthory, the most prolific female serial killer who murdered hundreds of young girls, are uncovered (1620)
  • WW2: Winston Churchill becomes first British Prime Minister to address a joint meeting of the US Congress warning that Axis would “stop at nothing” (1941)
  • Judy Garland

    Judy Garland, age 2½ and billed as Baby Frances, makes her show business debut (1924)

  • A theater fire in Richmond, Virginia kills the Governor of Virginia George William Smith and the president of the First National Bank of Virginia Abraham B. Venable (1811)
  • WW1: Government takes over US railroads for duration of the war (1917)

December 27:

  • Christian temperance leader Carry Nation raided and wrecked her first saloon in Medicine Lodge, Kansas (1899)
  • Radiation from an explosion on the magnetar SGR 1806-20 reaches Earth, the brightest extrasolar event known to have been witnessed on the planet (2004)
  • Spanish Crown issues the Laws of Burgos, governing the conduct of settlers with regards to native Indians in the New World (1512)
  • Flushing Remonstrance petition signed in the Dutch colony of New Netherland protesting ban on Quaker worship (1657)
  • First public railway using steam locomotive completed in England between Stockton and Darlington (1825)
  • WW2: President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders his secretary of war to seize properties belonging to the Montgomery Ward company because the company refused to comply with a labor agreement (1944)
  • Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie premieres at the Duke of York Theater in London (1904)
  • WW1: Great Poland Uprising against the Germans begins (1918)
  • Ether first used in childbirth in US (1845)
  • The World Bank was created with the signing of an agreement by 28 nations. (1945)
  • Radio City Music Hall opens (1932)

December 28:

  • Congress officially recognizes Pledge of Allegiance (1945)
  • Galileo observes the planet Neptune (1612)
  • World’s first commercial movie screened (1895)
  • US Revolutionary War: Thomas Paine is arrested in France for treason (1793)
  • Early signs of Ebola epidemic: 2 year old child in Guinea dies of an unidentified haemorraghic fever; mother, sister and grandmother soon follow (2013)
  • Harriet Tubman

    US Civil War: Harriet Tubman arrives in Auburn NY, on her last mission to free slaves, evading capture for 8 years on the Underground Railroad (1860)

  • William Finley Semple of Mount Vernon, Ohio patents chewing gum (1869)
  • First American test-tube baby, Elizabeth Jordan Carr, is born in Norfolk, Virginia (1981)
  • Korean War: Chinese troops cross 38th Parallel, into South Korea (1950)
  • American Colonization Society organizes (1816)
  • Spain recognizes independence of Mexico (1836)
  • Vladimir Putin signs into law a ban on US adoption of Russian children (2012)
  • U.S. immigration judge orders John Demjanjuk deported to Ukraine for crimes against humanity committed during World War II (2005)
  • Gulag Archipelago by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a book about Stalin’s prison camps in central Asia, was published (1973)
  • Westminster Abbey dedicated (1065)

December 29:

  • Popular American hymnwriter Philip P. Bliss, song leader for DL Moody, died when the train in which he and his wife were riding plunged off a bridge into a ravine 60 feet below (1876)
  • Thomas Edison patents radio signals (1891)
  • First American Young Men’s Christian Association, YMCA, chapter opened in Boston Massachusetts. (1851)
  • Allen Yuan, Chinese preacher who was sentenced to life in prison for openly preaching the Gospel, was converted to Christianity (1936)
  • The Treaty of New Echota is signed, ceding all the lands of the Cherokee east of the Mississippi River to the United States (1835)
  • Texas admitted as 28th US state (1845)
  • Assassination inside Canterbury Cathedral of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury by followers of King Henry II (1170)
  • Life magazine ceases publication (1972)
  • Emma Snodgrass arrested in Boston for wearing pants (1852)
  • First telegraph ticker used by a brokerage house, Groesbeck & Co, NY (1867)
  • War of 1812: The USS Constitution under the command of Captain William Bainbridge, captures the HMS Java off the coast of Brazil after a three hour battle (1812)
  • War of 1812: British burn Buffalo, New York (1813)
  • Bowling ball invented (1862)

December 30:

  • Creation of the USSR formally proclaimed in Moscow from the Bolshoi Theatre (1922)
  • International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, founded by evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, was incorporated in Los Angeles, California (1927)
  • Vatican recognizes Israel (1993)
  • John Wycliffe, Bible scholar and translator, died (1384)
  • Astronomer Edwin Hubble formally announces existence of other galactic systems at meeting of the American Astronomical Society (1924)
  • Vietnam War: President Nixon halts bombing of North Vietnam & announces peace talks (1972)
  • Abraham Mills’ commission declares Abner Doubleday invented baseball (1907)
  • Electric arc lamp sets fire to Iroquois theater in Chicago leaving 602 dead in one of the deadliest blazes in American history (1903)
  • Wearing masks at balls forbidden in Boston (1809)
  • Filipino nationalist José Rizal is executed by firing squad in Manila by the Spanish (1896)
  • First picture of a comet from space (1973)
  • The lowest ever United Kingdom temperature of -27.2°C was recorded at Altnaharra in the Scottish Highlands (1995)

December 31:

  • Import of African slaves banned by all of the Northern US states (1783)
  • Birth of Peter Bohler, the Moravian missionary who influenced the religious spirit of John Wesley (1712)
  • WW2: President Harry Truman officially proclaims end of WW II (1946)
  • Charles Darrow patents Monopoly (1935)
  • Ellis Island New York City opens as a US immigration depot (1890)
  • Thomas Edison gives first public demonstration of his incandescent lamp (1879)
  • Times Square New Year’s Eve, 1904

    The first New Year’s Eve celebration is held in Times Square, then known as Longacre Square, in New York, New York. Ball drops for the first time. (1904)

  • First battery to convert radioactive energy to electricity announced (1951)
  • WW2: Italian Fascist Mussolini orders the suppression of opposition newspapers (1924)
  • US Civil War: President Lincoln signs act admitting West Virginia to the Union (1862)
  • US Revolutionary War: Battle of Quebec (1775)
  • Willem van Orange, leader of the Dutch Protestant revolt against Spain, demands freedom of conscience/religion (1564)
  • Brooklyn’s last day as a city, incorporates into New York City (1897)
  • Last San Francisco firehorses retired (1921)
  • Ratification of United Nations Charter completed (1945)
  • Bank of North America, first US bank, opens (1781)
  • British East India Company chartered (1600)
  • English astronomer James Bradley announces discovery of Earth’s nutation motion (1744)
  • Queen Victoria chooses Ottawa as new capital of Canada (1857)
  • The official opening of Taipei 101, the current tallest skyscraper in the world, standing at a height of 509 meters or 1,670 feet (2004)
  • 80,000 Vandals, Alans and Suebians cross the Rhine at Mainz beginning an invasion of Gallia (406 AD)
  • A window tax is imposed in England, causing many shopkeepers to brick up their windows to avoid the tax (1695)
  • Frisia/Groningen adopt Gregorian calendar, tomorrow is 1/12/1701 (1700)
  • End of French Republican calendar; France returns to Gregorianism (1805)

January 1:

  • Origin of Christian Era; first day in AD (1 AD)
  • New Year’s Day is celebrated on January 1 for the first time in history as Julian Calendar goes into effect (45 BC)
  • Agnes Ozman became the first recorded person in the 20th century to speak in tongues and was later involved with the Azuza Street Revival (1901)
  • US Civil War: Emancipation Proclamation issued by Lincoln to free slaves in confederate states (1863)
  • US Civil War: President-elect of the United States Abraham Lincoln declares slavery in Confederate states unlawful (1861)
  • US Revolutionary War: General George Washington hoists Continental Union Flag (1776)
  • US Revolutionary War: Mutiny of 1781 when 1,500 soldiers of the 6th Pennsylvania Regiment under General Anthony Wayne’s command rebel against the Continental Army’s winter camp in Morristown, New Jersey (1781)
  • War of 1812: Official reopening of the White House (1818)
  • US Civil War: First US income tax (1862)
  • New York City annexes the Bronx (1874)
  • Albany replaces NYC as capital of New York (1797)
  • William Lloyd Garrison publishes first issue of Abolitionist Journal (1831)
  • WW2: Emperor Hirohito of Japan announces he is not a god (1946)
  • First practical horse drawn fire engine in US enters service (1853)
  • Building of Panama Canal begins (1880)
  • Johnny Cash plays first of many free concerts behind bars (1960)
  • Haiti gains independence from France (1804)
  • Protestant Western Europe, except England, begin using Gregorian calendar (1700)
  • Quakers in Pennsylvania emancipate their slaves (1788)
  • Dr John H Watson is introduced to Sherlock Holmes (1881)
  • Wilhelm Röntgen announces his discovery of x-rays (1896)
  • First homestead under the Homestead Act claimed in Nebraska (1863)
  • Lincoln University, a black college, chartered (1854)
  • St. Basil, church leader who defied Roman Emperor Julian for turning his back on Christianity and refused to serve in his court, died (379 AD)
  • In Lexington, KY, 12,000 followers of Alexander Campbell called “Campbellites” merged with 10,000 followers of Barton W. Stone known as “Christians” to form the Disciples of Christ Christian Church (1832)
  • Portuguese navigators discover Rio de Janeiro (1502)
  • Last gladiator competition in Rome (404 AD)
  • Dutch East Indies Company dissolves (1800)

Guest Author Joi Copeland – The Beauty of Christmas (Book Giveaway)

I would like to welcome guest author Joi Copeland today. Joi is giving away a copy of her novel Christmas Rayne. To enter the drawing leave a comment answering this question: Why is Christmas so special to you?

Joi is married to a wonderful man, Chris, and has three amazing boys, Garrison, Gage, and Gavin. She lives in Denver, Colorado, but within the year, hopes to be living in Galway, Ireland.

Joi’s love of writing began at a young age. She wrote short stories for several years, and in 2009, she began writing her first novel, Hope for Tomorrow.

The Beauty of Christmas

by Joi Copeland

Stack of books and other presents in basket. Christmas decoratioI love Christmas. Everything about it. I love Jack Frost nipping at my nose. Snow gliding down from heaven, blanketing the earth in peaceful silence. The smell of Christmas trees brings in me a euphoria I can’t even explain. Christmas lights twinkling in the night gives me hope that Jesus will shine brightest in the darkness of life. For some reason, peppermint comes to mind when I think of Christmas. The smell and taste sends my senses soaring to new heights. And the ability to give gifts to loved ones near and far makes my heart sing.

Don’t get me started on the Christmas songs. Songs of the birth of my Savior, shouting it from the mountains, singing about how many kings would leave their kingdom and pour out their hearts for the likes of me. O Holy Night tops the list of my favorite Christmas songs, followed by Do You Hear What I Hear. Can’t help it. Singing about Jesus brings me joy!

But what about the times in my life when I haven’t felt it? It just didn’t feel like Christmas. Songs didn’t draw me closer to the feeling, neither did the peppermint drinks or lights from the tree. Gift giving became more of a stressful chore than anything. My heart did not sore. It plummeted. Why?

Because I was searching for the feeling and not the meaning. I wanted to FEEL like it was Christmas. My feelings can be deceitful. They normally are. I forgot to search for the meaning of Christmas that year. I was left distraught, frustrated, angry, even, that I didn’t get the joyful feelings of Christmas.

I didn’t search for the meaning. Jesus. If I would have searched for Him, I would have found Him. Jesus can be found when we seek and search for Him. I searched for the feeling of Christmas and was left empty. How I wished I would have searched for Jesus instead! Then, everything else was sure to follow!

As we get closer to celebrating the birth of Christ and you are running around, getting those last few gifts, baking a few more goodies, gathering at parties a few more times, remember to search for Jesus. He’ll make all of those things you have to do worth it. Because, after all, He truly is the reason for the season. Let’s not forget that as Christmas draws near. Draw near to Him, and He will draw near to you.

Merry Christmas! Or as the Irish say, Happy Christmas!

christmas-rayne-cover-new-v2Christmas Rayne

Rayne Adams loves Christmas time. While shopping for a Christmas tree, she runs into a love from the past. With a possible new love forming on the horizon, will the past continue to haunt her or will she be able to let it go and move on? Or is there room in her heart for her former love?

Justin Thomas made the biggest mistake of his life three years ago. Now, finding himself face to face with the one he hurt the most, can he regain her trust and her love? Or will he lose her to another? Find out in Christmas Rayne!

Joi’s books include:

  • Hope for Tomorrow, book 1
  • Hope for the Journey, book 2
  • Hope from the Past, book 3,
  • Letters of Love
  • Christmas Snowe and Peppermint Cocoa, a novella
  • Sheriff Bride Rob’s Story, a novella

Joi Copeland is giving away a copy of her novel Christmas Rayne. This is for USA only. The winner will be chosen at random next Thursday, and the winner will be emailed with instructions. To enter the drawing leave a comment answering this question: Why is Christmas so special to you?