Wednesday, April 29, 2015

This Day in Christian History: April 29, Dachau Liberated

This Day in Christian History: April 29, Dachau Liberated

April 29, 1945: Dachau Liberated by US Troops

American troops guarding the main entrance to Dachau just after liberation, 1945
Dachau is the oldest of the Nazi concentration camps. It was the first, opened in 1933. The Dachau system grew to include over 100 sub camps located throughout southern Germany and Austria. The prisoners lived in constant fear. Their treatment was brutal, including floggings, confinement in standing cells, tree or pole hangings, and other atrocities.

Dachau was liberated by American troops on this day in 1945, freeing  more than 30,000 people. Most were terribly sick.

Women of the Dachau camp wave to their liberators
There were 32,000 documented deaths, mostly Jews, during the camp's 12 year existence. Thousands more went undocumented.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

This Day in Christian History: April 28, Israel Recognized by the UK

This Day in Christian History: April 28

April 28, 1950: Israel Recognized by the UK

Almost two years after Israel's declaration, the government of Britain finally recognized Israel as a state. They were the last power in the world to do so. They also recognized the annexation by Transjordan of the Arab part of Palestine at the same time. Britain’s decisions were communicated today to Israel and Transjordan by her diplomatic representatives in Tel Aviv and Amman.

According to the Global Jewish News reported on April 28, 1950:
Winston Churchill, welcoming the announcement by the British Minister, told the members of Commos that President Chaim Weizmann of Israel and King Abdullah of Transjordan have always been staunch friends of Great Britain. He urged the British Government to bring these two “eminent men” into closer harmonious contact. He asked whether the British Government is embarking on such a course.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Saturday Morning Gazette: Israel Surrenders the Sinai, Tips from Walt Disney and more

Saturday Morning Gazette: April 25 Edition

HIStory tidbits, links, and fun stuff for your weekend.

Verse of the Week:

Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. ~II Peter 3:13

This Day in Christian History:

April 25, 1530: The Augsburg Confession, the first summary of the Lutheran faith, was read publicly at the Diet of Worms.

April 25, 1792: Happy Birthday John Keble! John was an English clergyman and poet. He is best known for the composition of the hymn, Sun of my Soul, Thou Savior Dear which he wrote in 1820.

April 25, 1800: Death of William Cowper, a great hymnist of his day. Despite a life of hardship and depression, he wrote inspiring hymns of faith such as There is a Fountain, God Moves in Mysterious Ways, and Oh, For a Closer Walk with God.

April 25, 1982: Israel surrenders the Sinai peninsula to Egypt as part of the Camp David act of 1979.

Chuckle of the Week: 

This is what you call bragging rights!
I need one of these shirts.

Interesting Links:

Tips on Not Quitting from Walt Disney

WWII is the New Amish

Beware of Body Snatchers!

This week's Pins

Mayflower by John Klingel
What stories could come from this?

Giveaways and Freebies:

Learn Twitter: 10 Beginning Steps by Ruth Snyder is FREE on Amazon April 27-May 1. 

Memory Box of Secrets by Brenda S. Anderson ends May 2

Beyond all Dreams by Elizabeth Camden ends April 28

A Newly Crimsoned Reliquary by Donna F. Crow ends TODAY

Writer’s Corner:

Who Are They? The Good the Bad and the Ugly of Character Names

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

Friday, April 24, 2015

This Day in Christian History: April 24: Augustine is Baptized

This Day in Christian History: April 24

 April 24, 387: Augustine of Hippo is Baptized

Augustine of Hippo
On Easter eve, 387, Saint Augustine of  Hippo was baptized at the age of 32. As Augustine tells it, he heard a childlike voice tell him to "pick up and read." So he picked up the Bible and began to read from the first place he saw. The verses his eyes fell upon were Romans 13:13-14.

Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying, but put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof.

This was the beginning of his transformation. He wrote about his conversion in Confessions, which has become a classic of Christian theology. 

Augustine went on to become the Biship of Hippo, and influenced much of Western Christianity. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

This Day in Christian History: April 22, In God We Trust

This Day in Christian History: April 22

 April 22, 1864: In God We Trust is engraved on US coins for the first time

1864 Two Cent Coin with the new Motto: In God We Trust
A little known fact about the Civil War is the revival that swept the nation during that time. In fact, what is now commonly known as the Bible Belt originated during this period. According to the US Treasury Website, "The motto IN GOD WE TRUST was placed on United States coins largely because of the increased religious sentiment existing during the Civil War." The Treasurer received letters from Christians requesting that God be acknowledged on our coins. One such letter states:

You are probably a Christian. What if our Republic were not shattered beyond reconstruction? Would not the antiquaries of succeeding centuries rightly reason from our past that we were a heathen nation? What I propose is that instead of the goddess of liberty we shall have next inside the 13 stars a ring inscribed with the words PERPETUAL UNION; within the ring the allseeing eye, crowned with a halo; beneath this eye the American flag, bearing in its field stars equal to the number of the States united; in the folds of the bars the words GOD, LIBERTY, LAW.

This would make a beautiful coin, to which no possible citizen could object. This would relieve us from the ignominy of heathenism. This would place us openly under the Divine protection we have personally claimed. From my hearth I have felt our national shame in disowning God as not the least of our present national disasters.

Apparently, the Treasurer Salmon Chase agreed with this statement, because in a letter dated
Salmon Chase, Secretary of Treasury 1864
November 20, 1861, he sent these instructions to the mint director:

Dear Sir: No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense. The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins.
You will cause a device to be prepared without unnecessary delay with a motto expressing in the fewest and tersest words possible this national recognition.

The motto that should appear was debated, but on April 22, 1864, Congress approved the motto In God We Trust, and it first appeared on the two cent coin.  

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

This Day in Christian History: April 21, Happy Birthday Reginald Heber

This Day in Christian History: April 21

April 21, 1783: Happy Birthday Reginald Heber!

Reginald Heber - Bishop of Calcutta 1823
Reginald Heber was born at Malpas England and was named after his father. Even from an early age, Reginald showed an interest in church history and beliefs. He attended Oxford College where he gained a reputation as a poet. With a heart for ministry, Reginald became a deacon, then a bishop at Oxford, and later took over his father's parish in Hodnet.

Reginald married Amelia Shipley in April of 1809, and they had two children.

In 1823, Reginald was ordained as the Biship of Calcutta, and he served his people faithfully until his sudden death three years later at the age of 42. Monuments were erected in his memory in India for the work that he had done there.

Heber Memorial in Madras
Reginald is best remembered in America for the hymns that he wrote, mainly during the years of 1811-1821. He admire the hymns of John Newton and William Cowper, but he wrote about 57 of his own hymns including his most famous, Holy, Holy, Holy, which is still a popular hymn today.

Monday, April 20, 2015

This Day in Christian History: April 19-20 The Warsaw Ghetto

This Day in Christian History: April 19-20

April 19-20, 1943: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Begins

SS Agents burn houses
Warsaw is the capitol city of Poland. A city of over 1.3 million residents in 1919 when Poland resurrected as a state. Pre-WWII, Warsaw was home to over 350,000 Jews, about 30% of their population. On September 29, 1939, Nazi troops entered the city.

By October 12, 1940, a ghetto had been established and a decree made that all Jews were to move to the designated area, which was then sealed off from the rest of the city with a 10ft. high wall. It is estimated that over 400,000 Jews were contained in this ghetto from Warsaw and the surrounding area.

Needless to say, the conditions were crowded, and poor.

April 19th, 1943, the Eve of Passover, Nazi SS agents entered the ghetto. Knowing what this meant, the Jews made the decision to fight back.The Jewish insurgents ambushed the Nazis. The fighting lasted for several days. The Germans began burning down houses, block by block, which is what finally broke the rebellion.

Between the days of April 19th and May 16th, 1943, over 13,000 Jews were killed. The remaining residents were shipped off to concentration or extermination camps.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Saturday Morning Gazette: Here I Stand, Franklin's Fake Newspaper & more

Saturday Morning Gazette: April 18 Edition

HIStory tidbits, links, and fun stuff for your weekend.

Verse of the Week:

Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
~Romans 13:8

This Day in Christian History:

Luther at Worms
April 18, 1521: Martin Luther Concludes His Defense at the Diet of Worms
The Imperial of Worms was Martin Luther's presentation to the Catholic church in defense of his heresy charges. He arrived in Worms on April 16th, and was cheered by the people. Over the next two days, he gave a clever and thought out defense. He concluded his oration on April 18th with these words:

"Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason - I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other - my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen."

Whether or not Luther said "Here I stand; I can do no other. God help me." is debated.These words were not recorded on the spot, however they were recorded in the first printed version of his speech.

Chuckle of the Week:

Interesting Links:

Lucky Lindy - A Legendary Life 

A Virtual Tour of the Tower of London

This week's Pins
Civil War Ambulance Wagon
Maryland Train
Era Clothing














Giveaways and Freebies: 

The Wood's Edge by Lori Benton

A Stranger's Secret by Laurie Alice Eakes

Writer’s Corner:

 Conference Travel Mishaps with Agent Tamela Hancock Murray

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Interview with YA Historical Author Deanna Klingel

Deanna enjoying books with a young class.
Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to Deanna Klingel. Deanna is at home in the mountains of North Carolina. She and her husband lived many places during his IBM career while they raised their seven children. The children are grown and married now and Deanna and Dave fill their empty nest with golden retrievers and books. Deanna has published eight books,several short stories, and has other books under contract. 

Welcome Deanna! Tell us a little bit about yourself. 
I live in the mountains of western North Carolina. It's our retirement home. I'm married to my high school sweetheart. Our seven kids are grown now and off with families of their own

How did you discover your calling to be a writer?
I've been a writer I'd say for all my life, since I first held a crayon. But for publication, only after the children were grown and gone.

What books have influenced your life most?
Oh boy, there are so many great books to choose from. Cane River, A Noble Treason, Winds of War, John Jakes Bicentennial series.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
John Jakes.

What is your favorite time in History?
Civil War era, WWII.

We have that in common then! What was the most outstanding thing you learned while researching for this book?
The most outstanding thing for me was seeing the Jefferson Davis family from a different perspective.

Please tell us about your book.
The Mysterious Life of Jim Limber is a middle grade/YA. The first third of the book is a 14 month biography of Jim Limber. Jim Limber was a freed boy, but an orphan. Varina Davis, wife of Jefferson Davis, saw him being abused in Richmond in 1864. She took him to her home, the White House of the Confederacy, not as a servant but to live as a member of their family. Jefferson Davis, a slaver, took out guardianship papers, intending to care for him until adulthood. This is counter to anything we might have known about the Davises! But 14 months later, the Davis family fled Richmond. Jim was with them. He was with them when they were arrested in Georgia, and with them at Port Royal where they parted company. These 14 months are well-documented by Varina Davis who was a wonderful writer. The middle third of the book is historical fiction, what I think might have happened through his adolescence. The final third is a choose-your-own-ending, or write-your-own-ending.

What do you want readers to take away from The Mysterious Life?
I think historical fiction is a wonderful way to get into a deeper layer of history, beyond the names, dates and events. In historical fiction you get all that and more. You get the emotion, the driving forces behind events. It helps us to better understand the consequences. Understanding leads to forgiveness. We need to do that. I hope young readers will gain perspective on the Davis family and realize they are human. Humans make mistakes. We need to understand circumstances and emotions of that time and not judge history by our own standards. Most people do the best they can with what they have and the knowledge they posses at the time. I hope my book will give them a thirst for more.

I agree! Any fun behind the scenes tidbits you'd like to share with us?
I did most of the research at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond where Varina Davis' writings are archived. She was so thorough in her diaries I even knew when Jim Limber was constipated. More than I needed for the book.

What is the next project you're working on?
I'm awaiting the arrival of one of the "summer people" here in the mountains. We started her story last fall. When she was 16 she was a member of the French Resistance during WWII. I'm eager to get her story started. I'm also doing the edits on Blue-Eyed Doll coming out next summer, and getting ready for the second Little Beth book to appear this summer.

How can readers find you on the internet? will get you everything, my website, blog, schedule and books .
After young readers have read the book, if they want to write their own ending they can send it to me and I will publish it on my website.

Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing with us today!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Leprosy: The Ebola of Bible Times?

Join me over at Heroes, Heroines and History to learn about Leprosy in Bible days! Here's a preview:

Incurable disease. Those two words have terrified people for thousands of years. The recent Ebola epidemic caused panic across the globe. In Bible times, leprosy was the disease that was perhaps the most feared of them all, because like Ebola, it was contagious, miserable, with no known cure. 

What is leprosy?

Leprosy is mentioned 68 times in the Bible, however the modern definition of leprosy, and what was considered leprosy during Bible days differs. 

Read the full post on!

Friday, April 3, 2015

This Day in Christian History: April 3

This Day in Christian History: April 3

April 3, 1528: German reformer Adolf Clarenbach arrested

Statue of Adolf Clarenbach (right)
Adolf Clarenbach was born around 1497 on a farm in Germany. Adolf became a teacher, and sought to spread the principles of the Reformation, which he strongly believed. Because of his open acceptance and teachings of Martin Luther's ideas, Adolf was arrested and imprisoned on April 3, 1528. He was confined for eighteen months. At the age of 28, Adolf became one of the first Protestant martyrs of the reformation. He was burned at the stake with another follower of Luther on September 28, 1529.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

This Day in Christian History: April 2

This Day in Christian History: April 2

April 2, 1524: Zwingli Marries Anna Meyer

Zwingli Reads the Translated Bible to Anna
Huldrych Zwingli was a leader of the reformation in Switzerland. Like Martin Luther, he saw many corruptions in the Catholic church, and pushed for reform. Eventually, Zwingli broke away from the Catholic church and joined Luther's reformation. He and Luther met in person once, but they disagreed of the Holy Eucharist.

At age 40, Zwingli married Anna Meyer, a widow who lived near his home. Their marriage was short lived, however. Seven years later, Anna became a widowed for the second time when Zwingli was killed in battle while defending Zurich.