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Faith Filled Friday: Sunshine

by Connie Terpack, October 22, 2021

God created light on the very first day, but I think the sun was created on the fourth day. The creation story is found in Genesis 1:1-31.

Most of us think of sunlight for growing our plants, but our bodies need sunlight as well. I was a little surprised to see all the things that sunlight helps us humans.

1. Vitamin D production

Sunlight helps our body produce vitamin D and it takes roughly 15 minutes in the sun every day to get an adequate amount. Vitamin D helps our body absorb calcium and phosphate from our diets, which are necessary for healthy bones, teeth, and muscles.

2. Supports better sleep

Your body creates a hormone called melatonin, which is critical to helping you sleep. Because your body starts producing it when it’s dark, you usually start to feel sleepy about two hours after the sun sets. Sunshine regulates your circadian rhythm by telling your body when to increase and decrease your melatonin levels. So, the more daylight exposure you can get, the better your body will produce melatonin when it’s time to go to sleep.

3. Increases energy

Sunshine gives signals to your brain to be alert and awake. Being outdoors can help you feel more lively and energetic.

4. Uplifts your mood and depression

The vitamin D that your body produces with the help of natural sunlight can help with depression symptoms and improve your overall mental health and well-being.

5. Improves some mental health conditions

Sunshine boosts your body’s level of serotonin, which is a chemical that improves your mood and helps you stay calm and focused. Increased exposure to natural light may help ease the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is a change in mood that typically occurs in the fall and winter months when there are fewer hours of daylight. Some studies suggest sunshine might also help with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), schizophrenia, and some eating disorders.

6. May help lower blood pressure

Sunlight, only the UV rays, may trigger the skin to release stores of nitrogen oxides, which cause the arteries to dilate, and in turn, lower your blood pressure.

7. May help reduces stress

Melatonin also lowers stress and being outside will help your body naturally regulate melatonin, which can help reduce your stress level. And because you are often doing something active when you’re outside (walking, playing, etc.), that extra exercise also helps to lower stress.

8. Helps weight loss

There seems to be a connection between sunlight in the early morning and weight loss. It takes only 30 minutes of being outside between 8 am and noon to help with weight loss.

9. Lowers risk of metabolic syndrome

There was a recent study which suggested that sunlight can help decrease the risk of developing metabolic syndrome, which includes high blood pressure, excess body fat, and high blood sugar. This might be because a certain wavelength in sunlight can travel deep enough in your body to have an effect on certain types of adipose (fat) tissue that might protect against metabolic syndrome.

10. Strengthens your immune system

Vitamin D is also critical for your immune system, and a consistent exposure to sunlight can help you strengthen it. A healthy immune system can help reduce the risk of illness, infections, some cancers, and mortality after surgery. A healthy immune system can also protect you against catching the flu and colds.

11. Maintains strong bones

One of the best and easiest way to get vitamin D is by being outside. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium and phosphate which are necessary for healthy bones, teeth, and muscles.

12. Prevent cancer

Some cancers have been linked to lower levels of vitamin D. It is still being looked at, but it’s worth getting your sunshine every day as a preventative.

13. Heal inflammation

Remember, while it is important to get some sun, you do not want to get carried away with it. The sun can help with inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and acne. Sunlight has also been associated with improving autoimmune diseases such as arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

14. Extend life expectancy

Some believe that by getting enough sunlight and therefore, adequate levels of vitamin D, you can live longer. A study of Swedish women over 20 years revealed that those who spent more time in the sun lived six months to two years longer than those with less sun exposure. More research needs to be done in this area, but it is an interesting concept.

A word of caution – do not over do the sunshine. You do not want a painful sunburn to deal with.

My comment: I have never been been much for being outside, but after looking this up to do this blog, I decided to spend more time in the fresh air and sunshine.

Also, I think sunny days make us happy and give us a little more energy.

Enjoy the sunshine!

Matthew 5:45 – That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Ecclesiastes 1:5 – The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.

Psalm 113:3 – From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised.

Psalm 104:19 – He appointed the moon for seasons; The sun knows his going down.

Ephesians 4:26 – Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

2 Samuel 23:4 – And he shall be as the the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds, as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.

Psalm 148:3 – Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light.

Smitty’s Letter XIV “On The Move (again)”

I always enjoy Smitty’s letters.

Pacific Paratrooper

LSTs unload at Leyte

By mid-November, Gen. Krueger’s 4 divisions held only a small fraction of Leyte and Yamashita’s reinforcements were still landing.  The weather was grounding aircraft on both sides.

18 November, the 11th Airborne joined in on the King II Operation.  The 2nd battalion of the 187th Regiment went aboard the USS Calvert to land on Bito Beach.  Being as Smitty was part of Gen. Swing’s staff in HQ Company, I do not know if he went aboard this ship.


Letter XIV                                                                             “On The Move (again)”


Dear Mom, 

We have been at sea now for three days heading toward someplace the Land and the great white father in Washington only knows.

As I sit here writing this, I just can’t help but feel like a very small insignificant part of something so vast that the mind can’t in any way begin to comprehend…

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Faith Filled Friday: Verses to Uplift and Reassure

by Connie Terpack 10/15/21

Recently I had injections into my left knee and lower back. The shots helped the pain in my knee, but did nothing for my back. I thought it was to help my muscle strength, but they said no. Needless to say, I’ve been feeling down and disheartened. I wanted to be able to walk upright again and without a cane.

The Lord has healed a number of other problems I have had, so why not this myasthenia gravis or the arthritis? I decided to read some Bible verses on healing and attitude. It has not been long that I did a post like this and it should not be surprising that there are so many verses of comfort. I think the Lord knew life would not be easy for some of us.

Psalm 121:7 The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil; he shall preserve thy soul.

Numbers 6:24-26 The Lord bless thee, and keep thee. The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee. The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

Nahum 1:7 The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.

Jeremiah 31:25 For I have satiated the weary soul, and had I have replenished every sorrowful soul.

Isaiah 41:13 For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

James 1:2-5 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ecclesiastes 7:13 Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?

3 John 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

The following two verses are still my favorites, which the Lord showed me after a particularly trying time.

1 Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all; yet not I but the grace of God which was with me.

These verses let me know God had a plan and reassured me that He still loved me and it would all work out. If you are feeling down, I hope you can find some comfort in these verses also.

Faith Filled Friday: Storm and Noah’s Flood

by Connie Terpack October 8, 2021

We had a torrential rainstorm on Thursday morning and, naturally, I had a doctor’s appointment. My husband and I stood in the doorway watching the rain pour down and listening to the thunder, hoping it would let up. We are about five feet below the level of the road, which means our front yard is ankle deep in water. That brought to mind Noah’s flood in Genesis 6:1 – 8:19 (KJV Bible used in all references)

Genesis 6:14-16 The entire population of mankind had become evil and wicked and God decided to flood the earth to destroy everyone but Noah and his family. God told Noah to prepare an ark big enough to hold one male and one female from every kind of animal and creature. God gave Noah directions on how to build it, what kind of wood to use and its size.

Genesis 6:18-21 God also told Noah what animals to include and instructed him to take enough food for his family and the animals.

Noah did as God commanded and when he was finished God told him to enter the ark with his family and the animals.

Genesis 7:4 God gave him seven days to get everyone inside.

Genesis 7:6 Noah was 600 years old when the flood began.

Genesis 7:13 tells us about Noah’s family, which included his wife, his sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth; the three wives of his sons.

Genesis 7:20 It rained for 40 days and 40 nights. The water went up 15 cubits. I looked up cubits and learned that it is an ancient measurement of length based on the distance from the elbow to the tip of the longest finger. Ark Encounter, the builders of the Noah’s Ark replica, guessed that the cubits the ancient civilizations typically used was the royal cubit (about 19.8–20.6 inches [52 centimeters]).

According to Genesis 7:19, all the high hills were covered. Verses 21-23 say, And all the flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and very man: And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.

The waters lasted 150 days, before God made a wind to pass over the earth and the waters asswaged (subsided).

Genesis 8:1 mentions that the fountains of the deep also stopped, which means not all the flood waters came from rain. I don’t think I’ve ever read that in any of the stories about the flood.

The ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat on the seventeenth day of the seventh month. At the end of forty days Noah sent our a raven, but it apparently never returned. Ravens are scavengers and would have no trouble finding food or resting on any slimy surface.

Genesis 8:7-12 Noah then sent out a dove. The dove returned and Noah waited another seven days before sending out the dove again. The dove returned in the evening with an olive leaf. Noah recognized that the waters were gone, but he stayed several more days before checking to see if the waters were completely gone. The face of the ground was dry (vs 13).

Genesis 7:14-17 The time frame is a little confusing to me, since, again, this was nothing that was included in the flood story I have heard all my life, but it seems that God waited a month before giving Noah the okay to leave the ark. Read Genesis 8:14-17.

All the people and animals left the ark. The first thing Noah did was build an altar to the Lord and make a burnt offering. God decided that he would never again curse the ground for man’s sake; nor kill every living thing as he had done with the flood.

While the earth remainth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. Genesis 8:22 (KJV)

It was fun to read this story again, but I am still confused on the timeline.

Lessons in Storytelling From a Musical Theater Nerd

Fascinating and a great read. I never would have expected a show titled ‘Assassins’ to be a musical!

A Writer's Path

I am a huge musical theater nerd. It’s something that’s been a part of my life since I was two years old and Grease was my favorite movie. However only recently have I become aware of the part of me that is absolute trash when it comes to Broadway shows.

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What I Didn’t Know at the Start of my Writing Journey

Stevie Turner

We’ve all learned many things as we’ve gone on to write one book after another. I started off writing novels back in 2013. I would dedicate 2 whole days to writing, and then work at the hospital on the other 3 days. I sent off my first manuscript, Mind Games, and was straight away considered for representation. This is easy, I thought.

However, when The Susijn Agency eventually turned me down after a week of nail-biting, I started writing The Pilates Class and A House Without Windows, and then these were followed by ‘Lily: A Short Story‘, all in 2014. Eventually by 2021 my Amazon author page is full of books, and I now have a very different opinion about writing novels than I did at the beginning. Here are a few things I’ve learned, not in any particular order — just as I think…

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Faith Filled Friday: 7 Attributes of God

10/1/2021 by Connie Terpack

1. God is eternal

This means he had no beginning and his existence will never end.

The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms:… Deuteronomy 33:27a

Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Timothy 1:17

2. God is just

God does not show favoritism. His justice is always fair.

He is the Rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. Deuteronomy 32:4

3. God is incomparable

There is no one like him; he is unequaled, perfect, and past understanding.

For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone. Psalm 86:10

4. God is compassionate

He listens to us; he is merciful, patient and understanding.

But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. Psalm 86:15

5. God is omnipresent

He is everywhere and knows the past, present and future.

Whither shall I go from thy spirit or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. Psalm 139:7,8

6. God is forgiving

If we ask God for forgiveness, he is willing and just to forgive us.

But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. Psalm 130:4

Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do… Luke 23:34a

7. God is sovereign

He is supreme. He is three in one – God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

Behold, God is great and we know him not, neither can the number of his years be searched out. Job 36:26

These are only a few of God’s attributes. He has so many more that it would take me too long to list them all. The one I’m most thankful for is that he gave us his son, who died for me and you that we could be saved and spend our eternity in heaven.

John 3:16; Romans 3:23; 5:8; 6:23

The Showers

Pacific Paratrooper

Unfortunately, I do not remember which island this story occurred on.

Smitty did not write home about his experience with the showers. .. BUT,

He was coming back into camp after having a nice cold shower.  He walked back with a towel wrapped around his middle and held it closed with his left hand.  The jungle appeared quiet except for the buzzing of the insects whizzing around him.  [The New Guinea “salute” is said to actually be the act of swatting the insects!)

He said, “You know how annoying just one mosquito can be when it’s hovering by your ears.  This was like a swarm and I tried like hell to use my right hand to swat them away from my face.  When I began to approach our tents there was not one man to be seen and I couldn’t imagine where they all went.  As I got closer I could…

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Faith Filled Friday: Why is it important to spend time alone with God?

By Connie Terpack, 9/24/2021

When I was around seven or eight years old I used to walk across the street and up a small hill. There was a small clearing in the wooded area with a flat-topped rock that was perfect for a little girl to sit on and talk to Jesus. I was the middle child and we lived in a trailer. There was always screaming and fussing going on. I had an older brother and three younger sisters, one of which was still a baby since she was six years younger than me. That little spot away from my home was quiet and peaceful. I would sit there and talk to Jesus and sometimes cry.

We moved and I missed my private spot, but I still would sit outside to talk to Jesus. I liked my quiet time to talk to him. Unfortunately as I grew up, those quiet times disappeared and all the busyness and interruptions of life took over.

There are at least four benefits to spending time along with God. You may come up with more.

1. Peace of mind, rejuvenation and reassurance

Jeremiah 29:12-13 KJV Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

I always feel calmer and reassured after my conversations with God. I may not get answers to all my questions, but I have less worry knowing that God is handling it. I always felt better after talking to Jesus because I felt like he gave me a hug.

2. Being closer to God

Jeremiah 29:11 KJV For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Jesus is in my heart. I asked Him to forgive my sins when I was 12 years old, but I honestly think that because of our conversations when I was younger that Jesus was already in my heart. God is my heavenly Father, and just like with your earthly father, you naturally want to spend some alone-time with him.

3. Finding strength and wisdom

Psalm 18:32 KJV It is God that girdeth me with strength and maketh my way perfect.

Psalm 29:11 KJV The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.

Psalm 73:26 KJV My flesh and my heart faileth; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.

Ecclesiastes 9:16a KJV Then said I, wisdom is better than strength…

James 1:5 KJV If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

I like having Jesus with me and often talk to him throughout the day. I thank him for the birds flitting around the feeder. I ask him to help me when I’m driving. I ask him to heal me or lessen the pain. I thank him for a good night’s sleep, the rain and the sunshine. The list is endless.

4. Blessings

Psalms 118:26a KJV Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord…

John 20:29 KJV Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed; blessed are they that have not see, and yet have believed.

We should bless the Lord, and always expect blessings from him. The Lord has blessed me over the years. I am not flooded with money, but our needs are met. I have good friends and a good family. Every time we moved I was able to find a good Bible-believing church. He gave me a good singing voice so I sang in the choir for many years. He has protected me from harm on many occasions.

We have had our share of problems and troubles, but I have always been able to rely on Jesus to get us through.

Does God Want Alone-time with Us?

God knows the number of hairs on our head (Luke 12:7), but he still wants us to come to him and talk with him. God walked in the garden in the cool of the day planning to talk to Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:8).

Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together…;

Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

Spending time alone with God helps us gain focus on the important things of life and frees our minds of distractions. And God will meet our needs better because we will have a closer and more personal relationship with him.

Matthew 5:6 KJV Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.

Letter XIII Latrines

Pacific Paratrooper

High class facilities in the Philippines, 1944

Back in the states, people were still dancing to the tunes of The Dorsey Brothers, Count Basie and Artie Shaw.  They listened to the songs of Doris Day, the Andrew Sisters, Lena Horne and Rosemary Clooney.  But, some others weren’t so lucky, in the army there was always latrine duty, as depicted in the following letter from Smitty.


Letter XIII                               Latrines                        Wednesday 9/5/44

Dear Mom,

Many are the times you have heard me refer to the latrines.  Never before had I any conception or realized the amount of genius and mathematical figuring that was necessary for the building of one of these casual looking comfort stations.

Yesterday I had the dubious honor of being selected, with four other disgruntled G.I.s, to labor on a detail whose sole aim and mission was the digging and building of a latrine.  It seems that in order…

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