Friday, February 27, 2015

This Day in Christian History: February 27

This Day in Christian History: February 27

February 27, 280 A.D.: Birth of Constantine the Great

Constantine the Great was the Roman Emperor who ended the Diocletianic Persecution of Christians. His reign lasted from 306-337 A.D. after his father, Constantuis Chlorus. Originally pagan in his religion, Constantine was converted to Christianity and became the first emperor to profess Christianity as his religion. He is a very important figure in Christian history, he had great influence upon the organization of the Christian churches during that time. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem was built by his orders.

Constantine was the 57th emperor of Rome, and died in May of 337 at the age of 65.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

This Day in Christian History: February 24

This Day in Christian History: February 24

February 24 ,303 A.D.: First Edict of the Diocletianic Persecution Is Issued

On this day in 303 A.D., Roman Emperor Galerius Valerius Maximianus issued the first of several edicts that called for the persecution of Christians. The edicts demanded that Christians comply with the Roman pagan rituals, and if they should not, they were subject to imprisonment or execution. These executions varied, including being fed to wild beasts, torture or being burned at the stake.

The persecution ended when Constantine restored full legal rights to Christians.

Amber Schamel is the author of the Days of Messiah series, a historical fiction series about early Christianity.

Read a Free Sample!

Monday, February 23, 2015

This Day in Christian History: February 23

This Day in Christian History: February 23

February 23, 155 A.D.: Polycarp is Burned at the Stake

Polycarp was an apostle of the early Christian church. According to the writings of Irenaeus, he was a disciple of the Apostle John, and John had ordained him as the Bishop of Smyrna.

At the age of 86, Polycarp was arrested and sentenced to death because of his faith. He was bound to a stake and set on fire, however the fire didn't harm him. His martyrs then stabbed him to death.

The account of Polycarp's martyrdom is considered the earliest genuine account of Christian martyrdom after the Acts of the Apostles.

Amber Schamel is the author of the Days of Messiah series, a historical fiction series about early Christianity.

Read a Free Sample!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The History Behind Valentines Day

The History Behind Valentines Day

Growing up, I was told that Valentines Day was a Christian holiday that celebrated true love. A man named Valentine was martyred for marrying couples when it was against the law, and was killed for it on February 14th.

 Imagine my disappointment when I found out that this is only a legend with little to no fact.

The truth is, there are three men named Valentine that were martyred on February 14th, but the only information we have about them is their name, the fact that they were martyred, and where they are buried.

Because of the lack of information we have on Saint Valentine, the Catholic church actually removed the holiday from their calendar in 1969.

The holiday of "Valentine's Day" was actually a substitute for very pagan Roman traditions. Of February 14th and 15th, the Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia. This was a celebration of the god of women and fertility. The feast consisted of beating women in hopes that they would be more fertile, and a lot of immorality and paganism.

Later, the Catholic church tried to change the holiday, and that's when they brought out the legend of Saint Valentine.

Aren't you glad that Valentines is now a happy holiday of chocolate, flowers, and a nice dinner?

Today I'm also blogging at Stitches Thru Time with a Valentine's Day interview with Author Darlene Franklin! Click over to read the interview!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

This Day in Christian History: February 10, and Announcing Last Week's Winner!

This Day in Christian History: February 10

February 10, 1546: "Pray, and let God worry."

Martin Luther was one of the greatest reformers of all time. He was born in Eisleben Germany in 1483. He was baptized the next day into the Catholic church, but didn't stay there. He recognized the errors of the Roman church and spoke out against it.

But today, I'm not going to talk a lot about the life of Luther, but rather about a letter that he wrote to his wife on this day in 1546. He wrote, "Pray, and let God worry."

This quote really stood out to me because worry is a common enemy for me. This year, I have been focusing on two things, first, prayer, or more specifically the word "pray." And second, not worrying. So it was kinda funny when I ran across this quote.

Sounds like a piece of advice we all should follow.
 I liked it so much, I just had to share it with you.

Do you struggle with worry? What is something that has helped you not to worry?

Announcing the Winner of the Cave of the Winds Souvenir! 

Last week I had a great time chatting about our local attractions and sharing a bit about Cave of the Winds in Manitou, CO. The winner of the miner geode souvenir is...ahem, drumroll please....

Maxie Anderson! 

Congratulations Maxie! And a special thank you to everyone who participated in the giveaway and blog post! 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

This Day in Christian History: February 3

This Day in Christian History: February 3

February 3, 1943: The Story Behind Four Chaplain's Day

U.S.A.T.  Dorchester
February 3, 1943, the American Troopship U.S.A.T. Dorchester sails on its way to Greenland as part of a Navy convoy. During the early morning hours, around 12:55 a.m. a torpeedo from a German U-boat smashes into the bow of the ship. It is clear that the damage is severe as the boilers lose power leaving not even enough steam to sound the whistled command to abandon ship. There was no power to send a distress signal via radio, and no time to launch rockets to alert the escort. Only a portion of the lifeboats were able to launch, and several of them were flipped over as the passengers crammed themselves onto them.

During the midst of all this chaos, four men stood out as heroes. George L. Fox (a Methodist minister), Clark Polling (Reformed Church in America Minister),  John P. Washington (a Catholic Priest), and Alexander Goode (Jewish Rabbi) gave up their life vests so that other soldiers might be saved. The Dorchester sank from the bow in about 20 minutes. All four chaplains perished in the icy waters. Because of their heroism and bravery, Congress deemed February 3rd as "Four Chaplains Day" and the men were even commemorated by a postage stamp.
Of the 904 men aboard the Dorchester, only 230 were saved. 

To read more about the incident, read about it on wikepedia.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Cave of the Winds: Historical Colorado Cave & Giveaway! Part 3

Cave of the Winds: Historical Colorado Cave & Giveaway! Part 3

Click HERE if you missed part 1, and HERE if you missed Part 2.

Okay, in this last part of the Cave of the Winds series, we're going into the different formations found in the cave.

This is one of my favorite formations. They call it "Cave Bacon." Formally, it is a curtain formation of flowstone. The iron and calcium that are prevalent in Cave of the Winds give it the red and white coloring.

The stalactites in Cave of the Winds are tubular, meaning they are hollow in the middle when they're first formed, and then fill in later. Here you can see the different coloring of the center of the formation, this is due to the tubular formation process. There are a lot of these "soda straw" formations in Cave of the Winds.
This is the only cavern in Cave of the Winds that is still forming. The rest of the cave is dormant.
The above formations are known as Cave Coral, or Popcorn formations. They are very common, especially in limestone caves such as this one.
A formation affectionately called "The Popcorn Stand."

This one is called Romeo and Juliet, because due to a shift, they will "never be together." You gotta love the sense of humor at Cave of the Winds. Our guide was great.

This is the longest stalactite in the cave, over 8 feet long!

And the last formation for this series, Pickett's Column. I was named after the stone cutter from Ohio that excavated the cave and made it a tourist attraction in 1881.

So there you have it, it's almost like having been to Cave of the Winds yourself! Hey, you might even end up with a souvenir to show for it. This is your last chance to enter the giveaway to win this cute little guy!

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