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Saturday – Just as Faith Filled!

Friday was a rough day, and I completely forgot to do a Faith-Filled Friday blog. Our faith should be strong every single day, but that does not mean my memory will be.
I decided to share some Bible verses that have meant something to me over the years.

John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the word through him might be saved.
Those two verses were some of the earliest ones I memorized as a child. They give me comfort in knowing that I will get to stay with God in heaven since I asked him to forgive me all those many years ago.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
This may seem like an odd choice, but it gives me reassurance and strengthens my faith to know that God has always been here and will always be here.

1 Peter 2:4-5 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
The living stone is Jesus (vs 4), and believers are the lively stones (vs 5). I used to collect colorful rocks in the creek behind our trailer. We called them egg rocks because they were shaped like eggs. That may be why I collected rocks in my travels, sometimes for their shape other times for the color. I never thought of my stones as lively, but Jesus is the Rock of my salvation and thinks his children are precious.
If you go down a few verses to verse 9, you will read … a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. The phrase peculiar people ticked me off the first time I read it. The way we use the word ‘peculiar’ today is somewhat of an insult – She has peculiar taste in clothes, or he has peculiar way of looking at things. Back in Jesus’ time it meant God’s own people.

Ecclesiastes 10:2 A wise man’s heart is at his right hand; but a fool’s heart at his left.
This has become a popular joke on social media, but there is more to it. The right is the place of protection and effectiveness; the left is the place of ineffectiveness and no protection. I used to think that was why the warrior carried his shield in his left hand and his sword in his right, or maybe that is where the phrase came from originally.

Addressing a Writer’s Fear of Submission

By C. Hope Clark

Regardless where in life we find ourselves, we fear the gatekeepers. At work, at school, with family, amongst friends, especially on stage. Even Facebook can block you from posting, and Amazon can erase your book review. Being judged is the problem, and very few of us are willing to stand in the spotlight and take it.

And many writers fear being rejected. This fear of rejection keeps thousands of them from submitting to contests, agents, publishers, editors, and critique groups. 

And they never grow. 

Nothing grows without understanding what works and doesn’t work. A new, less published, less critiqued writer cannot define all the rights and wrongs of writing by themselves. So rather than cease writing, rather than avoid the pain of submissions, consider the following mindsets about putting yourself out there.

  • The people on the other end do not know you. Their interest is in writing, and even if your work is horrendously rejected with miles of red ink, the individual doing the red-inking won’t remember your name. They are hunting for the winner, the book manuscript to contract, the better material. So, take advantage of the time they invested into showing you your flaws, and be thankful for the time they invested into your manuscript. 
  • Be grateful for rejection. As a matter of fact, be ecstatic. The more you are rejected, especially with feedback, the sooner you find the right way to improve. When I submitted to 36 literary agents, with 80 percent feedback of how it just wasn’t quite there yet, I realized I’d gathered enough information to go back and rewrite. I later landed an agent.
  • You cannot get accepted without being rejected. Nobody lands a book deal or wins a contest the very first time they write a story and send it in. I landed an agent on the 72nd try. What if I’d stopped at number 62, 35. . . or 71? The National Endowment for the Arts  issues writing grants each year, and nobody wins the first year they submit. The winners submit year after year, readjusting each time, tweaking to improve their odds.
  • You cannot please everyone. You don’t like every book you read, so how can you expect a judge, beta reader, agent, publisher, or editor to like every submission that crosses their desk? Without understanding a person, you can’t expect to write to their satisfaction. The odds of acceptable bank partly on quality, partly on timing, and partly on the person’s preferences, which can change from day to day.
  • Nobody cares if you do not submit. They only care if you do, because they can’t learn about you until you tell them who you are and show them how you write.

First, rejection isn’t personal. Submitting isn’t going to hurt you. And if you realize it’s a process, a far cry from the level of getting married or baring your naked self under auditorium spotlights, the pain subsides. Do I admit some disappointment when not accepted? Sure. A twinge. And admittedly it used to hurt more, but over time I learned to capitalize on those experiences to grow. My armor is so much thicker now, and if someone gives me feedback, then it means they took the time to read my work, and that in itself is a beautiful thing.

BIO

C. Hope Clark is the award-winning author of the Carolina Slade Mysteries and the Edisto Island Mysteries. During her career with the US Department of Agriculture, she met and married a federal agent-now a private investigator. She plots murder mysteries at their lakeside home in South Carolina, when she isn’t strolling Edisto Beach. Find our more about her at http://www.chopeclark.com  

LINKS

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44089103-dying-on-edisto

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130656357

http://chopeclark.com/edisto-island/

BOOK BLURB

One death. Two detectives. And unexpected backup.
A Callie Morgan and Carolina Slade crossover, standalone mystery!

When a renowned—and now dead—travel blogger washes ashore on the banks of Indigo Plantation, Edisto Beach Police Chief Callie Morgan agrees to head the investigation as a favor to the county sheriff, whose reasons are as questionable as the death itself. When death turns to murder and a watchdog from the county makes her investigation difficult, Callie reluctantly turns to Carolina Slade and Wayne Largo, vacationing agents with the Department of Agriculture.

Because poison is growing on this plantation and someone knows how to use it well.

TESTIMONIALS

Murder, corruption, and page-turning intrigue are usually the elements that shine the brightest in mysteries like Hope Clark’s latest Dying on Edisto. But it’s the characters that bring a vivid literary element to Clark’s prose and create a strong emotional response to their tangled lives. The scenic town of Edisto Beach is peopled with a modern-day pirate claiming to be a descendent of Blackbeard, a degenerate travel blogger, a yoga teacher who drives a baby blue vintage Benz convertible, a mixed race waitress and her matriarchal grandmother, and a whole slew of wealthy and crooked good ole boys. Leading the cast are two strong female protagonists—a police chief and an investigator with the Department of Agriculture. Did someone say hemlock? —Susan Cushman, author of Cherry Bomb and editor of Southern Writers on Writing

“In a plot as complicated as the numerous waterways that create Edisto Island in South Carolina, C. Hope Clark has combined the characters from her two series to solve the murder of a renowned travel blogger. They mystery requires all of their detective skills and blends the two mystery worlds in a page-turning standalone. The story opens with a floater and progresses with edge-of-your-seat action. Prepare to be absorbed by Clark’s crisp writing and compelling storytelling. This is one you don’t want to miss!”— Carolyn Haines is the USA Today bestselling author of three mystery series. She is the author of over 80 books and has received numerous writing awards.

Hope Clark converges her sleuths, Carolina and Callie Jean, on Edisto Island for the finale, Dying on Edisto, concluding her two murder mystery series. Slews of fans always awaited these highly addictive and superbly penned novels – grabbing you from the first page and not letting go until the last. A pristine, sleeper sea island, two determined masters of law who butt heads, a mystery corpse from Atlantic waters, a few idiosyncrasies along the way – the absolute best cast and plot for an intense coastal thriller. ~Karen Carter, Owner, Edisto Bookstore

Home Front – Wartime Recipes (3)

Pacific Paratrooper

From: The 1940’s Experiment .

We discussed rationing and we’ve discussed just how well our parents and grandparents ate – despite the rationing and time of war when all the “good” stuff was going overseas to the troops!  So …. as promised, here are some more of the wonderful recipes from the 1940’s.

Please thank Carolyn on her website for putting these delicious meals on-line!

Recipe 61: Chocolate biscuits & chocolate spread

Recipe 62: Curried potatoes 

Recipe 63: Vegetable pasties

Recipe 64: Wheatmeal pastry

Recipe 65: Homemade croutons

Recipe 66: Quick vegetable soup

Recipe 67: Fruit Shortcake

Recipe 68: Cheese potatoes

Recipe 69: Lentil sausages

Recipe 70: Root vegetable soup

Recipe 71: Sausage rolls

Recipe 72: Eggless ginger cake

Bubble n’ squeak #78

Recipe 73: Mock duck

Recipe 74: Cheese sauce

Recipe 75: Duke pudding

Recipe…

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Faith Filled Friday: A Truly Creepy Phone Voice

Yesterday I got a phone call from someone declaring that they would charge my bank account with $399 for a computer upgrade if I did not call them back within ten minutes. Not unusual. We have all gotten those annoying scam calls trying to cheat us out of our money anyway they can. This call was different from the usual ones because of the voice. It was distorted and super creepy sounding. Her tone seemed threatening even though no threatening words were spoken. If Satan were calling me from hell, that’s the voice I would expect to hear. However, since Satan was an angel, I doubt his voice would have been that horrible. Heck, it might have scared him as well!

I rubbed my arms to get rid of the chill. Maybe they were not aware of the sound glitch in their recording, or maybe they hoped people would be so freaked out, they would send the money right away. I went back to my computer and hoped the horrible feeling would go away soon. Have you ever been around someone who made you feel so dirty that you never expected to feel clean again? I felt like evil was all around me and I could not brush it off fast enough.

Ten minutes later, she called again. (The voice was deeper than the average female voice, but it seemed female.) I did not listen long, but I thought this time she said it would cost $599 for the upgrade. I probably heard the amount wrong the first time, but I immediately thought, “Wow, $200 for every ten minutes! What would it total by the time Jack got home.”

My husband was out doing some errands. After hearing the voice again, I wanted to hear a loving tone, so I called him. I told him about the phone calls and he advised me to ignore it. Duh! Like I was going to call them back and give them money for creeping me out. It was still comforting to hear his voice and laughter. After I hung up, I went on Facebook and posted what happened. The caring and loving comments I got back also helped to take away some the creepy feeling that had been hanging around.

While I was typing my response to one of my friends, it dawned on me that I had not prayed to the Lord about it. There are times I feel like I should not bother Him with trivial stuff. Being creeped out by a phone call fit in the trivial category.

I prayed for a few minutes and felt so much better afterwards that I was sorry I had not prayed earlier. God should have been the first person I talked to, not my husband, not my Facebook friends even though they were great. Don’t we all do that sometimes – put God second, or even last?

I found some verses to share about God’s voice.
Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him? Job 40: 9
And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters; and the earth shined with his glory. Ezekiel 43:2
Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. Hebrews 12:26
And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they were burned in a furnace, and his voice as the sound of many waters. Revelation 1:15
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20
I included the above verse from Revelation for two reasons: 1) if someone knocked at my door and talked in that creepy voice, I would be on the phone with the police, not inviting them in to visit; and 2) having Christ in my life has been the best thing ever and I want to share him with everyone.

Faith Filled Friday: Job’s Loyalty

Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. Job 14:1

The book of Job begins by telling us that Job was perfect and upright, that he feared God, and shunned evil. His wealth is listed: 7 sons and 3 daughters, 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 she asses, and a very great household. Job was the greatest of all the men of the East.
One day the sons of God presented themselves before the Lord, and Satan came along with them. The Lord asked Satan where he had been. Satan answered that he had been going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.
The Lord asked him what he thought of Job, “that there is none like him in the earth.”
Satan said, “Why shouldn’t he love you. You have given him great wealth, and made a hedge about him, but if you take away everything he has, he will curse thee to thy face.”
The Lord gave Satan permission to do what he wanted to Job, but commanded that he not harm Job himself.”
Satan did his best. First, the Sabeans came. They slew the servants and stole the oxen and asses. Before that servant finished, another servant arrived with news that the ‘fire of God’ fell from heaven, and burned up the sheep and servants. That “fire” may have been lightning, but it sounds like they blamed God.
While he was still speaking, another servant arrived bringing news that the Chaldeans took the camels and killed the servants. Before he finished another servant arrived to inform Job that a great wind blew down his oldest son’s house where all of his sons and daughters were gathered. Everyone was killed.
Job goes from having a large family, servants, and vast wealth to having practically nothing. After all his losses, what did Job do? Job 1:20 tells us that he arose, tore his mantle, shaved his head then fell down upon the ground and worshiped God.
Satan was not ready to give up. He went with the Sons of God to present himself before the Lord again. This time Satan was permitted to attack Job’s person. He gave him sore boils from the bottom of his feet to the top of his head. Job followed the recommended treatment of the day – scrape off the dead skin and sit on ashes, the only thing soft enough to ease some of his pain.
His wife encouraged him to curse God and die. Through it all Job wished he had never been born, but he never cursed God. He had three friends who visited and were not very encouraging. He still refused to curse God.
After it was all over, God blessed Job. Family and friends gave him a piece of money and a gold earring. The footnote (42:11) in my Bible explains that those were customary gifts given when visiting an important person after a calamity.
God gave Job twice as many animals as he had originally owned but only the same number of children. The footnote (42:12-13) explains that was because Job would see the ten who died in the resurrection.
We all go through trials and usually wonder why. Try to keep Job in mind, and remember that God loves all his children.

The Electoral College is as American as Baseball

He explains the Electoral College very nicely.

The Way I See It

The object of baseball is simple: hit the ball and score runs. If a team does these things well enough, they might get to the World Series, and a team wins the World Series by winning four out of seven games.

Most of us are familiar with this concept.

Understanding how the World Series works helps to understand why we need the Electoral College and why it still makes sense in the 21st century

My current state of Colorado has joined a movement to circumvent the Electoral College, awarding all electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote instead of whichever candidate actually wins in Colorado.

Not only is this an affront to the people of Colorado, but with that kind of thinking they might as well abolish the World Series next.

Consider this imaginary World Series scenario, featuring the Colorado Rockies and the New York Yankees…

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The History of the Alamo: Mission to Fort

Still Current

Ron Current Ron Current

By the end of 15th century Spain had claimed for itself all of South and Central America and as far north in North American as California, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and Kansas. But claiming these lands and controlling them were two totally a different matters.

The professional Spanish Conquistadors sole mission was to look for gold and silver, not to create settlements for Spain. This was very true with their North America claims. In fact Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Kansas went completely unsettled by the Spanish. The Spanish also had problems in populating the extreme northern parts of Florida and Mexico.

Although British colonists from Georgia and the Carolina colonies had begun settling in northern Florida and its panhandle it was losing their state of Texas that worried Spain the most.

In 1689, near Matagorda Bay in Texas, they found the remains of French explorer La Salle’s Fort Saint…

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