Why I Celebrate Christmas

So it’s started. Everyone is going on Facebook telling why they hate Christmas, don’t celebrate Christmas, don’t decorate for Christmas because such and such happened or because it is too commercial.

I’m not saying you have to go into debt or buy a lot of things. Celebrate the way you decide is best.

I celebrate because of one thing that happened, whether or not it happened on Dec. 25. I celebrate because Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior came to Earth and was born to die for my sins, and to rise again.

Celebrate how you like but no humbugs around me please. So I leave you with this quote from “A Christmas Carol”.

“There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,’ returned the nephew. ‘Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round—apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that—as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”
― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Christmas Fiction Spotlight with Author Tamera Lynn Kraft

A Christmas Promise

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

A Moravian Holiday Story, Circa 1773

During colonial times, John and Anna settle in an Ohio village to become Moravian missionaries to the Lenape.

When John is called away two days before Christmas to help at another settlement, he promises he’ll be back by Christmas Day. When he doesn’t show up, Anna works hard to not fear the worst while she provides her children with a traditional Moravian Christmas.

Through it all, she discovers a Christmas promise that will give her the peace she craves.

Join Tamera at the Christian Fiction Lovers Christmas FB Party at this link.

The Real History of the Pilgrims

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Thanksgiving is coming soon. There are many facts about America’s spiritual heritage ingrained in the Pilgrims and Puritans. These are some of the facts that children are not taught in school.

Most children are taught that pilgrims came to America to flee religious persecution. That’s not exactly true. Pilgrims and Puritans were persecuted for believing that Christians could have a personal relationship with Jesus separate from the Church of England. But they traveled to Holland to flee the persecution, not America.

So why did they travel to America? There were many reasons, but the main reason is they felt compelled by God to come to America and establish a colony of people that honored God. Many called this colony, New Jerusalem, believing that God had established this new land to spread the gospel to the world. William Bradford wrote in his journal that the motivation came from “a great hope for advancing the kingdom of Christ.”

Pilgrims and Puritans were not the same. Pilgrims were separatists who believed they should separate themselves for the Church of England and the world systems. Puritans believed in working within the system. When they came to America, Puritans wished to set up the government so that religious freedom of expression would be established. Pilgrims wanted freedom of religion so they were free to worship without fear of persecution. Both Pilgrims and Puritans wanted freedom of religion to protect the church from the government, not to protect the government from the church.

Many schools teach that Thanksgiving was a secular celebration. But letters written by the Pilgrims tell a different story. God was such a part of their everyday life that they included God in everything. One such letter states that Thanksgiving was a celebration called so that “God be praised” for what He had brought them through. John Winthrop called New England a City on a Hill in one of his sermon. He, as well as many other Puritans and Pilgrims, believed they had made a covenant with God to be a new nation that was a model of Christianity to the world.

William Bradford believed that America was called to spread the gospel to the world. Since the Pilgrims and Puritans came to America, the United States of America has sent missionaries to more nations and more remote places in the world than any other nation on Earth. Could it be they were right?

Christian Fiction Spotlight with Author Tamera Lynn Kraft

Red Sky Over America

Ladies of Oberlin Book 1

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

In 1857, America, the daughter of a slave owner, is an abolitionist and a student at Oberlin College, a school known for its radical ideas. America goes home to Kentucky during school break to confront her father about freeing his slaves.

America’s classmate, William, goes to Kentucky to preach abolition to churches that condone slavery. America and William find themselves in the center of the approaching storm sweeping the nation and may not make it home to Ohio or live through the struggle.

Red Sky Over America tackles the most turbulent time in history with thorough research and fascinating characters. Tamera Lynn Kraft has woven a tale about the evils of slavery that should never be forgotten. — Mary Ellis, author of The Quaker and the Rebel, The Lady and the Officer, and The Last Heiress.

Join Tamera at the Christian Fiction Lovers Historical Romance FB Party at this link.

10 Reasons to Celebrate the USA This Independence Day

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

The United States of America has a unique history and heritage that most other nations haven’t shared. Whether you call it exceptionalism or something else, America is special and should be celebrated for its differences. At this time in history, we are divided as a nation in a way we haven’t been since the Civil War, yet I believe America will survive and thrive. Here are some of the things to be proud of this 4th of July.

The United States was birthed out of a revival. While other nations’ origins were born out of class warfare, overthrowing dictators, and bloody overthrows, America fought a civilized Revolutionary War in comparison. A few years earlier, men like Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, and the Wesley brothers had led the colonies into a untied nation under God during the First Great Awakening. Our founding fathers were affected by this revival and many were strong Christians. The day of the vote on Independence, the Continental Congress all got on their knees and prayed for God’s guidance.

The United States First Amendment guarantees the rights to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of press, and freedom of assembly. This amendment has been assaulted in recent years, but it is the bedrock of why we remain a free society.

The United States has a peaceful transfer of power. Other nations also have this, but many don’t. We are guaranteed that every four years there will be an honest election and the leaders will abide by the will of the people whether they like it or not. It doesn’t matter if you like this president or the last one, you can rest easy that there will not be a coup. The Constitution put this in play, but it was initiated before that when our first president, George Washington, refused to become king.

The United States is a democratic republic. Many people don’t understand this or believe the USA is a democracy. We are a democracy, but we are also a republic. That means that although leaders are chosen by majority vote, we don’t have mob rule. Every person, every minority, is represented and protected.

The United States has a balance of powers. Our government moves slowly because of this, but it essential to our form of government and prevents dictatorship. When it works correctly, the Congress makes the laws, the President enforces the laws, and the Supreme Court interprets the laws. The US Constitution is above every branch of the government and has kept us from straying from our origins.

The United States is the strongest nation on Earth. When it comes to military power, financial power, and innovation, the US is the strongest nation. We could use that strength to conquer, but instead, we use that strength to protect and serve.

The United States has benefitted the quality of life everywhere. Because of the structure of freedom in our DNA, the US has been a leader in industry, medicine, innovation, creativity, and innovation. We gave the world electric lights, movies, computers, and airplanes. We were the only nation to put a human being on the moon. Our scientists are some of the best in the world.

The United States has the best medical treatment in the world. While debates are going on in Congress about medical insurance, remember how medical technology and innovation is stronger in the US than any other country. People who can afford it come to the US for medical treatment. We have shared that technology with other nations and have been instrumental in the fight against aides, ebola, and other epidemics.

The United States learns from its mistakes. America isn’t perfect, but no nation is. We have made mistakes. Slavery, prejudice, and our treatment of indigenous people are some of them. Yet with each generation, we strive to learn from the mistakes of the past and correct them.

The United States is great because it is good. In the 1800s, Alexis de Tocqueville toured America and said, “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” While this statement is being worn thin, America is still good in many ways. America and Americans go overseas every year to help people in other nations. We give more money and man power to help in natural disasters than any other nation. Missionaries all over the world feed the hungry, cloth the poor, treat the sick, and care for orphans. In this country, when we become aware of a need, there is an outpouring to meet it. Not everyone in America is good, but there is a remnant that is still good.

For these reasons and more, America has been a beacon of hope drawing people from all over the world. We have reason to be proud to be Americans, so let’s celebrate.

Important News about My Books!

Important Update!

Some of you may have heard my publisher, Desert Breeze Press, is closing its doors at the end of June. I wanted to write a short note to let you know what that means.

First of all, Desert Breeze has been great to me. They are handling this closing in the an ethical way. I want to thank the managing editors, Gail and Jennifer. They are a class act. I also want to thank the editors and cover artist who worked there. Everyone worked to make my novels the best they can be. Sometimes these things just happen in the changing publishing world.

What it means for my books is that all of them but A Christmas Promise will be discontinued on all online sites by the end of June. I don’t know the exact date. If you planned to order a book, please do so now. It also means the next novel in the Oberlin Series will not release in November through Desert Breeze. If you want to leave reviews, continue to do so. Those reviews will carry over when the books are rereleased through another publisher.

This is not the end though. Another publisher is picking up my past books and publishing the next two Oberlin Series books. I don’t know the timing or details yet, but I will let you know when as soon as I know.

Thanks for all you support. This news would be devastating if I didn’t have loyal fans like you and if I didn’t know God has this all in His hands.

Christianity is Like a House

Matthew 7:24-27 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

Some have suggested Christian doctrine (the Bible) is fluid and subject to change. It doesn’t really matter if we believe differently as long as we all come under the tent as Christians. After all, God loves everyone. Some even go as far as to suggest the sins we’ve known from Scripture to be sins since Christ walked the earth and even before are not really than bad. We need to adjust our beliefs according to the culture we live in. We need to examine each belief, not according to the Bible, but according to what we feel is right.

The problem with this is God’s Word is not a smorgasbord where you can chose to eat the chicken and skip the steak as some suggest. Matthew 7 likens the Christian life to building a house. We need to get the foundation right or the house is in danger.

That foundation is the Word of God. Matthew makes this clear. Those who use the foundation of the Word of God is like a man who built his house on the rock. The house won’t fall away when the storms come. But what is the Word of God.

John 1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

The Word of God is the Bible, but it is more than a book. It is the very words of God. Still more, it points us to Christ. In John 1, the Bible says the Word is God, the Christ. The Word of God is the foundation, and Christ is the chief cornerstone.

Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, Fully God and Fully Man, who was there with God, as God, at the creation of the world. He is the One who the Bible is about. He is the central figure of all creation. He is the Kingdom of God, the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords, the Lamb that was slain for the sins of the world, and the Lion who is ruler of all.

Let’s go back to that doctrinal house. When we take stones or bricks out of the foundation we don’t like, we weaken the structure. We can say, “I don’t like this stone, but it’s okay because I have all those other stones are there. Every stone we remove weakens the structure further. Every misunderstanding or falsity about who Christ really is will cause the whole structure to crumble. It’s inevitable.

When we build the church and our lives on a firm foundation, Christianity and our spiritual lives will thrive. Are you building on a firm foundation?

Ephesians 2:19-22 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.