Moving day….

“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed…and all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, into the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary, his espoused wife, being great with child: and so it was that, while they were there, the days wereImage accomplished that she should be delivered.” — Luke 2:1-6

This has been a week of moving.  The office where I work has recently been remodeled and we were finally able to move back into our ‘new’ office space.  It’s so nice to have carpet on the floors again and not have to deal with the smell of fresh paint.

Tomorrow (hopefully) close members of my family will be moving back to the area.  We’ve been praying for just such a move for years, so it’s quite exciting to have it finally happening.

Changes are a part of our lives, and I believe they are a huge part of God’s plan for our lives.  When we are timid or uncooperative, I know He is more than able to ‘arrange’ situations that ‘require’ us to move in the proper direction.

And THAT is how Joseph and Mary found themselves in Bethlehem at the time of Jesus’ birth.  God moved them through circumstances so they would be at the right place, at the right time.

Isn’t God’s timing wonderful?

 “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be a little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel, whose going forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”  Micah 5:2

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”      Isaiah 9:6

Wishing you All a blessed Christmas, confident in the knowledge that God knows all about you and loves you more than words can express.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Christmas traditions….

120105a_004I’ve actually finished all the wrapping of Christmas presents for this year!  It’s an enjoyable job, but a task I’m always relieved to have out of the way.  Of course, wrapping Christmas presents requires me to dig “the box” out of the back of the closet.  “The box” is filled with bows, ribbons, small sections of unused wrapper paper (I have a difficult time throwing anything away….), and tags.  You need to realize these tags I’m talking about are not new tags, but wrinkled, reused tags that have been put on my children’s and grandchildren’s gifts for many years.

When our children were small, we didn’t have much money (like most young married folk), so our Christmas gift tags were made from old Christmas cards, trimmed in the shape of stars, Christmas trees, and triangles.  And we always saved the tags to reuse from year to year – I never even had to ask my kids to save them.  They just did.   Then along came the grandchildren, and the tradition continued.  “Don’t throw away the tags”, was the cry when cleaning up the wrapping debris.

I didn’t realize how important this tradition had become until last year when I finally had to throw out some of the oldest ones.  My daughter responded with a frown.  “But that bell has been one of my tags for years – it was my favorite!”

To me, they were just gift tags cut from old cards into festive shapes and inscribed with their names.  But to my loved ones, they were precious memories.

But the most important memories we need to make with our children and grandchildren at this most special of holidays is to be sure they understand the reason for the celebration.

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”  Isaiah 9:6

It’s all about the story….

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I’ve had many of my readers ask me where I get the ideas for my stories.  Story ideas are all around me, so I never seem to have a shortage.  So, where did the ideas for the books I’ve already published come from, you  may ask?

“The Dove and The Raven” was born out of researching my family history.  During my genealogical search, I discovered an ancestor (his name was Solomon, not Samuel) who came to this country as a British soldier during the Revolutionary War.  He was captured by the Americans and decided he had been fighting on the wrong side.  Smart man!  After the war, he stayed in this country and married and raised his family here.  It was only after I’d published “The Dove and The Raven” that I discovered that he came to this country with General Burgoyne’s army and after the war he turned country school teacher.  My Solomon also supposedly served as an adjutant to General Marquis Lafayette.  Of course, most of what I wrote about was fiction and not based on anyone’s life, but it’s always interesting to find out how the facts somewhat align with what really happened.  And I loved the reading I had to do to tell the story of the birth of this great nation we live in.  History has always been one of my loves.

The book “Endless Season” actually began with a dream I had one night where I took a trip and went to England to visit my pen pal of 40 plus years.  This dream gave me the seed of an idea and from there my imagination took off.  The story line pretty much lived in my mind for a year or so before I finally wrote it down.

“True Cover” also began with a dream – which was really more of a nightmare.  I had a dream where I went back to my office after lunch one day to discover the building had been destroyed in an explosion.  (I must have had some strange food before bedtime that night….)  There again, the seed was planted in my mind and the rest of the story developed over the next few weeks until I had to write it down as it was driving me crazy.

I would like to think though that the most important part of my stories is the message I share about how much God loves us and cares about everything we do.  I pray that the Good News of salvation is the real story of my books.

I don’t know if it’s that way for all writers.  That’s just the way my mind works.

So, as Paul Harvey used to say, “now you know the rest of the story”.