Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Where ya' from?


The picture at the left gives you a big, broad hint as to where I'm from. Though I currently live in Minnesota, I wasn't born or raised here.

Dorothy Gale and I have the same home state. (And no, it's not in black and white.) Superman/Clark Kent and I have the same home state. Other famous people from my home state are:

Amelia Earhart
Buster Keaton
Martina McBride
Mark Schultz
Danny Manning
Walter Chrysler
Kirsty Alley
Annette Benning
Don Johnson
Dennis Hopper
Erin Brockovich

Sunflowers, buffalo, meadowlarks, Jayhawks, and wheat fields. You guessed it. I'm from the great state of Kansas. I was born in Salina, in the center of the state.

So, where do you hail from. Do you currently live in the same state in which you were born? What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the state of Kansas?

________________________________________
Author of Historical Romance

Reluctant Bookkeeper 

Homeschool Mom (for 2 more months)

Earl Grey Aficionado 

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Taking a Sick Day

It's that season for me. I got sacked with a cold and the stomach flu. So nothing super impressive from me today except hoping you all can avoid this bug! .... Jaime

Monday, April 21, 2014

It's Friday, But Monday's Coming!

A throw back statement about Easter used to be "it's Friday, but Sunday's coming..." 

Even though Jesus died on Good Friday and our hearts were downcast, we can celebrate because we know that Easter Sunday is coming, and we can live our lives knowing Christ's resurrection power. But think about it, what was life like for the disciples on Monday?
by permission: www.freedigitalphotos.net
Who are you in this year's Easter story?

Every year at Christmas and Easter, I strive to find some new nugget of truth in the age old story of our Messiah and Savior.

Last year, I was amazed to learn....that I relived the story mostly through Peter. And the story  goes something like this:


Yes, I've followed Jesus. Sat at His feet. Supped with Him. Broke bread with Him. Walked with Him. Prayed with Him. In fact, I was even the first of my disciple friends, when asked who He is, to declare, "why Lord, you are the Christ." (I was secretly proud I'd gotten the answer right before the other disciples...)

And as I saw that He was the chosen Messiah, long prophesied, now come--this revelation changed me to my very core. Even my name was changed, from Simon to Peter. He said I would become the rock, the foundation of His church--whatever He meant by that, I wasn't sure exactly. But it sure sounded great, important---I even wondered which side of His throne I might sit on.

My whole life was changed by this Son of Man. I left fishing. Why, I was so swept up in His teaching, His example, His power--that when He walked on water and bid me come to Him, I dared to believe I could do the great things He did. I even took up a sword in His defense. I declared I would follow Him even unto death.

But that was before Friday.

Friday, everything changed. What a fool I was. One minute we were having supper, basking in His loving care for our band of brothers, amazed still at His example. The next--they had seized Him and we scattered to the shadows. None of us knowing where the others had fled.

The streets of the city grew strangely quiet. Soldiers feet could be heard about, scraping the cobblestones as they went, searching for sympathizers. 

I followed at a safe distance and finally fell in place with a group of street dwellers warming by a fire. Fear gripped me, for I knew not what would become of Him, or of our band of brothers. Where would I go if I had not my brothers but had made such a fool of myself among my friends and family? Suddenly, everything we'd learned, everything He'd said seemed suspect--overstated, surreal, nearly bordering on psycho-babble, or merely a well-meaning man who'd falsely raised our hopes only to leave us empty in the end. How ridiculous I must have appeared to everyone!

The words slid from my mouth, no, my innermost being, and past my lips--"No, I never knew him."

Cold shame seeped to my bones. Bile seared the back of my mouth and throat. Tears burned my eyes even as I set my jaw firmly in place with the realization that----it was over, and try as I might, it had all failed.

I wasn't a rock. Would never be a rock.

And my sorrow only sunk deeper as Friday melded to Saturday, our day of preparation. Our mourning was compounded by our persistent fear and terrible shame. Disillusioned, we stumbled through the motions.

Slumber after those terrible days was fitful and I awoke early Sunday. Mary was banging on my door to tell us the unbelievable greetings that "He lives!"

My joy, my shame, my curiosity, my hope all welled up together as we met Him once again. And when I saw Him--at once I knew, He loved me still. Though I'd been so afraid to declare His glory. Though I'd only wanted to keep His love selfishly private.

When He looked into my eyes, to my very soul--I knew His great mercy--for I did not deserve His forgivenessBut in a glance He'd already given it and more, pushing me further, drawing me deeper into His Kingdom and I knew it had all been.....THE TRUTH. All of it. It had all been very REAL.

"Simon Peter," He said," do you love me more than these?"

"Oh Lord, You know that I do.I wept.

"Tend my sheep. Feed my sheep. Follow Me."

He said that when I was young, I could go and do as I wished, but as I am older I will be taken where I do not wish to go.

Then I knew it. The TRUTH about Him would sweep me deeper into His kingdom, to tell of His teachings, His love to all the world...no matter where it would take me. And so, we waited for His Holy Spirit to come as He promised. And after His breath came from heaven, I was compelled to share with all who were thirsty to hear it--and even those who might refuse to believe it. Crowds gathered to hear it.

And when the story went public, my earlier shame cast aside, my fears of appearing foolish and wrong melted away as we baptized over 3,000 souls.

And a part of my old self died that day as we told His story.

And so a rock was found under my feet....

....I am Peter.
-------------
Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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Friday, April 18, 2014

Book Report & Giveaway: A Sensible Arrangement, by Tracie Peterson

Celebrating Tracie Peterson's 100th book! YES THAT'S RIGHT! I cut my Inspiration fiction reading teeth on Tracie Peterson. I almost fainted when I found myself in the same room with her. Of course the fact I was also six months pregnant and anemic might have had something to do with it.

Anyway, A Sensible Arrangment is a great read. I really loved the fact her heroine was in her 30's. You don't see that as often and Tracie captured the young hip version of this historical heroine ("hip" isn't probably the correct terminology, but cut me some slack) while also giving her the maturity due someone in their thirties who'd experienced the trials of life.

It IS an arranged marriage story. BUT Tracie doesn't go the route of arranging a marriage to save a ranch. Instead our hero is a bank manager trying to save face with the powers-that-be of the bank who find an eligible bachelor less than seemly to hold such a powerful position. Married and settled is far more preferred. Of course, there is the ranch aspect. This is the West (Colorado) to be precise. And Jake wants to ranch while Marty, our heroine, wants to b as far away from it as she can. That's where she came from, and what she's running from. The memories of a marriage that ended to soon. So it wouldn't be a good idea to tell her new husband she holds his dreams in her hands, would it?

OK! no spoilers! The romance between the two is classic Tracie Peterson, as are the Spiritual threads, the gently woven plot that keeps you turning pages and the well-scripted scenery.

She has not disappointed with this one-hundredth book, only proven why Peterson is the MASTER of everything Historical Romance.

So if you were going to be married in an arranged marriage, what State would you hope your intended lived in? Leave your answer in the comments and enter to win the book! 
Lis K is the winner of last week's give away, watch for an email!
_________________________________

Jaime Wright - 

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Martyrs Mirror

Most Anabaptist Mennonites can tell you that the Martyrs Mirror holds a record of all the martyrs from the time of Christ through the Reformation to 1660 for their confession of faith. It includes accounts of more than 4,000 Christians who suffered a martyr’s death because of their simple, nonresistant faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was first printed in 1660 by a Dutchman.



Many Mennonite homes held a copy, and contained a record of family marriages, births, and deaths. We have one in our home. Ours isn't a vintage antique like this first edition copy though, bummer. What many Mennonites may not know is that it was one of the most important documents in print in Colonial America.


In 1745, Jacob Gottschalk arranged with the Ephrata, Pennsylvania Cloister of believers to translate the book from Dutch into German. The work took 15 men three years to finish and in 1749, at 1512 pages, it was the largest single book printed in Colonial America before the Revolutionary War.  The first edition printed 1300 copies to support the faith of the growing nonresistant Mennonite Church.

How could such a book play a role in the foundation of our nation? After the French and Indian War ended in 1763, Americans in the 13 colonies became divided in their support of Great Britain. About a 1/3 supported King George III of England, called Loyalists. Another 1/3 supported the Revolution and were called Patriots. The remaining 1/3 were neutral citizens, including nonresistant Mennonites and many others.

Public Domain: image of Dirk Willems who turned back to save his pursuer, who later put him to death

The Ephrata Cloister of Mennonites printing the large volume were literally located in the wilderness and used something close to 10,000 pounds of linen rag to make the 500,000 pages of paper for each volume. This type of printing effort was not to be repeated until mid 19th century. Being printed for the importance of the content, it was a financial disaster that play a crucial role in the Revolution. 

A large portion of unbound sheets were confiscated by the Continental Army supplying the Patriots with wadding for their muskets, quite an ironic fate for a book that existed for the sole purpose of the testimony of nonresistant faith. It's even reported that some believed the supply of wadding might have altered the outcome of victory.


All sides had losses, but today we live in a free country. 
Let us not take our liberty for granted. 
As we move toward the cross of Jesus Christ this Easter week, what moves you about the sacrifice for faith? Are you surprised to learn this tidbit of history, or have you read it before?
_____________

Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book or Movie?


I remember the first time I watched Gone With The Wind. I was mesmerized by Scarlet O'Hara, the burning of Atlanta, the sheer scope and size of the movie. I think I was about 12 the first time I saw it.

A few years later, I checked the novel out of the library. I was floored that the story-line differed so much from the movie. When it was all said and done, though the book was wonderful (Pulitzer, anyone?) I found I preferred the movie to the book.

I felt the same way when Hallmark made a movie from Julie Garwood's book For The Roses. Again, the book differed from the movie. Hallmark changed handsome, manly, hunky Harrison--the prototypical historical romance hero--into a nerdy little fop that had NO resemblance to the book's hero. The nerve! In addition, in the movie, they killed my favorite character off! This does NOT happen in the book. In this case, I preferred the book to the movie.

Then there are some book-to-movie stories that I think are fairly even, I love them both. Robert Parker's Appaloosa. Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove series, Tolkien's Lord of The Rings.

And I've come to the conclusion that my favorite version of a story tends to be the one I experience first. And if I have a choice of one over the other, I always want to read the book first. I guess I'm more of a 'word person' than a 'picture person.'

So, do you prefer books or movies? Does it matter which one you experience first? Are you more about the words or the visuals? What is your favorite book-to-movie, and which one were you most disappointed with?





_________________________________________
Author of Historical Romance

Reluctant Bookkeeper 

Homeschool Mom (for 2 more months)

Earl Grey Aficionado 

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

When it's Time to Give Up

I think sometimes we just walk through the desert and all we can hug are cactus. 
(If there are any cactus growing)
But I think God allows us to walk in the desert because if we don't, and we're always in green pastures, our need for Him dissipates. And then I think at the same time, the enemy likes to see our discouragement and make it even more dry than it ever was before.

It's sort of like writers block and the only way to break writers block is to keep pushing forward and not allow our discouragement to make us quit. Because were passionate about what we do. If we are passionate about Jesus it should be the same pushing forward and pushing through and realizing that it is our strength that makes us strong. Admitting a weakness is sometimes the best thing we can possibly do.

Our struggles are not meaningless. There is a purpose and a time and place for everything.Whether it's husbands, wives, children, parents, or yourself wallowing in depression.Goals not being achieved at the speed we desire.Our independence hampered by the needs of others.Or maybe just exhaustion because of the pace at which the world turns these days.

We live in a fallen world and yet we expect perfection because God has planted that desire in our hearts. And He planted it knowing He is the only one who can provide it.So we need to stop looking for an emotion.Stop searching for a feeling of peace.Stop waiting to feel better when everything is better.And realize that maybe we need to hunker down, in the bow of the ship, with Jesus standing with His arms outstretched to calm the storm in His time, at His beckoning. And as we ride out the storm, or trudge through the desert, or embrace the cactus, and all we see are mirages of hope that always seem to be just out of reach...He whispers "be still".

But not to the storm.And not to the desert.And certainly not to the cactus.But to us.
Stop fighting. Stop wishing for something we do not have. Stop expecting peace during worship, revelation during Scripture, and hope during the day. Because really, we're looking for a feeling.
Instead we should just look for Him.And the rest will come.

Experience the desert or storm lately?

_________________________________

Jaime Wright - 

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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