Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hurricane Sandy




We all have some connection to the affects of hurricane Sandy. 

My daughter attends college in the area. She tried to escape, but had to turn back because of dangerous roads. 

Fortunately, she bought fresh water, filled her gas tank, charged up her computer and cell phone and  snapped glow sticks for light. She managed to take a photo for me during a flicker of power. 



My daughter dealing with hurricane
 Sandy in her apartment 3 days so far.

Like you, I turned on the radio/TV/Internet to check on continued updates. We saw huge trees fallen across roadways, transformers pop sending lightning flashes across the sky, water surges, and damaged buildings. 

Seeing these updates helped me understand the hardship of those living there and it reminded me to pray for them. Friends facebooked and emailed each other asking prayer for their loved ones. My prayer list grew.

Like the results of the tsunami which devastated Japan in 2011, physical damages to structures can be repaired in time. What we truly care about, though, is the affected lives and their needs.

Food, fresh water, clothing, and other aid will be sent to needed areas, organizations like the Red Cross will mobilize. As a nation we are careful to meet the physical needs of those we know are hurting from tragedies.
The sale of indulgences shown in
A Question to a Mintmaker, woodcut
 by Jörg Breu the Elder of Augsburg, ca. 1530.

Many years ago, on this day, people had major physical needs as well. But greater than the physical needs both then and now is a spiritual need. Martin Luther grew outraged at the corruption of the Roman Catholic church especially the papal practice of asking for payment for the forgiveness of sins. He boldly nailed a document to the Whittenburg church door to correct the teachings.

While I am reminded of the physical needs of those in the hurricane/storm's path, Lord, please let them know they are loved by You and can go to You with their concerns. Help us to boldly meet not only their physical needs, but to help them with their Spiritual needs as well

Do you have someone we can pray for?


Monday, October 29, 2012

The Meridian Room Scare

Has anyone played a joke on you so well, had they not told you the truth you might still be fooled?

No?

What if an announcement went viral over Twitter or Facebook and no one detected the farce. Or if someone tried to call attention to the deception, but those convinced of the announcement would not believe them?

No?

Well, over a million radio listeners in New Jersey, Chicago, and around the nation did. 

Traffic jams blocked city streets with residents attempting to escape cities. No one knew where they were going, they simply had to leave. Get away. Those not in vehicles ran to police officers pleading for gas masks to save them from the poisonous gas on its way to the city.

Phone lines to the electric companies jammed with requests to have power shut off.  A report from a church in Indianapolis states a woman ran into the sanctuary, raised her hands and screamed, "Flee for your lives. New York City has been destroyed. The end of the world is here. Prepare to die."

I have often wondered what convinced so many people to believe Martians landed and attacked the United States. I've listened to the replay and, until today didn't know why.

Orson Welles used state of the art technology, the best actors, and a convincing script to perform the radio show The War of the Worlds on October 30, 1938. We may look back and say pshaw, I wouldn't have fallen for that." But those who heard it then believed and became afraid for their lives. Their hearts pounded with fear and they honestly knew beyond any doubt, martians would take away all that they had and loved.

Welles announced a disclaimer in the beginning of the program, "The Columbia Broadcasting System and its affiliated stations present Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater on the air in 'War of the Worlds' by H.G. Wells." Why did the people still believe?

Word of pandemonium across the nation reached the CBS station. Wells interrupted the dramatization and announced a reminder to all listeners, "This presentation is fiction, ladies and gentlemen." But they didn't believe him. People stampeded, cars crashed, loved ones gave farewell hugs to family members.

In the aftermath, the FCC investigated the matter and found that no laws had been broken. Networks agreed to use caution in the future.

But the question remains. What caused the people to believe the reality of Welles story? 

That night, a favorite American radio program aired on NBC at the same time. The first guest was ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his dummy "Charlie McCarthy, a favorite for millions of listeners. His presentation lasted twelve minutes. The second act that night happened to be an unknown singer. 

Listeners switched their radios over to CBS where an announcer took them to "the Meridian Room in the Hotel Park Plaza in downtown New York." The music of Ramon Raquello and his orchestra entertained listeners for several minutes before an announce broke in to report "Professor Farrell of the Mount Jennning Observatory had detected explosions on Mars." The dance music resumed followed by another interruption telling listeners that a large meteor landed in a farmer's field in New Jersey.

The listeners missed the warning in the beginning. The events portrayed as real events and convinced the masses. Orson Welles intent was not to scare a nation but to entertain. 

The Bible, on the other hand, does not seek to entertain, nor does it seek to scare. The Word of God, does, however, give us warnings of events to come. 

What has scared you?

I'll start. To this day, I do not like being in a dark room. 


Friday, October 26, 2012

Fabulous Friday Feature-Angela Breidenbach


Angie Breidenbach, Mary Vee, & Susan Hill. Montanan Gals


I met Angie at a Montana ACFW meeting held in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. She is a sweet friend who is willing to help. A piece of trivia for you: Angie was Mrs. Montana. 

I will be moving this weekend, so no book drawing this time. I still would love to have you become a follower, though...pah leeze? See the upper right corner, below the About Me section.

I asked Angie to share something about her writing journey. So, Angie, tell us...



Often I Couldn't Figure Out Who I Was

I am a communicator, I talk a lot, write a lot, and connect.

There's irony in that statement because though we have natural talents and innate personalities, we still must learn the skills of how to use those talents to become who we are meant to be.

Coming from a home with a mentally ill mom, confusion reigned. Often I couldn't figure out who I was or what I was supposed to be. It seemed like the rest of the world understood how to interact in society and make friends. I couldn't even figure out how to talk to another person without being pegged an odd duck.

I learned to read and write at four. I'd journal, write poetry, and lyrics for songs. None of it done with any skill, just raw emotion. Emotion that had to get out to help me survive.

I married, too young, to escape.I didn't feel safe writing my thoughts or stories. I set all my writing aside, except for long letters home, for ten years in order to avoid arguments.

When my life changed again, I began journaling to ease my stress. For several months, I hid my writing. I still feared someone finding it and attacking me for my feelings or personal thoughts. About six months into being a single mom, I wasn't afraid any longer that someone would read it without my permission, but I still kept it hidden. My soul clicked back on. But I still had no skills, only the deep burning desire to write.

I searched for classes and support as a writer. I bought writing books and devoured them. I remarried and continued to take online classes while raising six kids and working full time. What I knew about me came from something I'd found in the Bible. I knew God knit me together in my mother's womb. He knit into me an all-consuming desire to write, speak, and share. I recognized one thing: A writer is who I am, who I was made to be. I still need skills, both in novel writing and in how to understand the publishing business world.

Friends materialized out of the fog. Friends that could bond with me on this road. I'd been so isolated, these special people helped me to build confidence, courage, and a sense of self. God poured into me through these beautiful friends at writing conferences and online. It started at the Idaho Writers League in 2004 where my contest submission actually won honorary mention. I wasn't a bad writer? 

Christy LaShae Smith, Me,
Mindy Obenhaus, Lindi Peterson, Jennifer Hudson Taylor
There I found out about RWA (Romance Writers of America) and the Faith, Hope, and Love chapter for Christian writers. More friends added a rich quilt of love in my writing life, all writers running the same race. Here's a picture of the FaithGirls.com blogging buddies from our 2008 conference. Do you recognize any?

The Lord knew I needed mentors. It took many, many people to help me crawl on my path until I could walk on my own two feet. But still, I link hands with my friends, and hope I offer a hand to another as I was offered.

fans Julie and Karen
I met my agent, Tamela Hancock Murray, because of another friend (Michelle Sutton). Tamela sold my first book, a non-fiction Christian living, Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life. 

Creative Cooking for Colitis and Creative Cooking for Simple Elegance (coming soon to kindle) are books I'm also very proud to share.

Tamela Hancock Murray with me
at ACFW conference
Tamela called me a second time. My first novel was accepted for publication. It releases April 2013 in the www.QuiltsofLoveBooks.com  line from Abingdon Press. A Healing Heart is about a woman who has a similar problem, she's a workaholic just like me.

That last soul click taught me a missing link in my writing. Writing who I am is what I know and gives me a unique voice. I can write any genre, any location, anytime frame, any characters as long as I write from the depths of my soul, the depths of my experiences, the depths of my growth.

I have so much more to lean. But this late bloomer finally figured out that to live a fulfilling life, I have to be who God made me to be and write her into my books in order to make a ripple with my guppy tail in a great big ocean.

Interact with or learn more about Angela Breidenbach:


Inspire a Fire:  http://www.InspireAFire.com
Angie's Place: http://www.ChristianFictionOnlineMagazine.com  monthly feature column 



:)    :)    :)    :)    :)    :)    :)    

Thank you Angela for joining us today. No one could tell the struggles you've had from the smile you always share. God has certainly taken you hand and helped you walk in His ways.

Reader, please leave a comment to encourage Angela, or a question for her. Perhaps you'd like to know about her interesting cookbook mentioned in this post.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Cook Who Changed the World


One of the cooks who shipped off to war from Fort Riley, Kansas had a cold. No one thought much of this new recruit's sniffles. 

After landing with his unit in Europe, his symptoms flamed into a severe cold. He finished serving dinner one evening, cleaned up and chose to stop by the infirmary to let the doc take a look.

"We'll need to isolate you," the doctor said. "You have something more than a cold. Not sure what, yet." The cook developed a deep cough, one that wouldn't stop, and his skin turned blue. His symptoms grew worse every minute.

An hour later some of his buddies joined him. They looked terribly sick. The cook didn't have the strength to speak with them, but he wondered if he looked as bad as they did. After five weeks, the cook's "cold" spread to 1,127 soldiers in his unit, forty-six of which died. 

Back in the United States, the cold had spread to other forts preparing to send recruits to Europe for service in WWI. Their sniffles had been ignored as was the cook's. The troops filled transports bound for Europe for war duty. 

Soon French soldiers experienced initial symptoms of this cold now referred to as influenza. The soldiers spread the flu to residents and on it traveled throughout Europe. 

The flu bug kindled its work in Spain. There it earned its name, the Spanish Flu, in a country not yet participating in the war. Hardly a country in the world became exempt from the impact of the deadly virus, which took five percent of the 1918 world's population.

A second and third wave of the same flu roared around the world. What brought it to a stop? The end of the war. When the soldiers returned home, a few last outbreaks came, but the flu's  power screeched to a stop.

Why do you think this happened?

How difficult is it to spread something around the world? Not so much in the days of the Internet, but in 1918 they didn't have Internet. 

As powerful as the Spanish flu became to ultimately steal lives, we have an opportunity to change the world in a positive way. Each time we tell someone God loves them and sent his Son to pay the punishment for their sin, we share Good News which can revive lives for all eternity.

What has created a stir in your life?
How can you create a stir for the Gospel in the lives around you?

Monday, October 22, 2012

On Second Thought...

The winner of last Friday's book give away is... 
please scroll to the bottom of the post.

I had a post done for today. At the last minute I exercised my female rights to change my mind. Today is a day for ramblings.

Life struggles have hit a peak for many of my friends, and me as well.

It makes me sad. 

We are moving but we don't have a home, yet. My husband is working several states away and the house is quiet. Not even Pandora or a rental movie cuts through the quiet or the thick dark at night and the early morning.  

There is a limit how much we are allowed to put on the moving truck which will come this Thursday or Friday, or Saturday, who knows. Memories are being given away and thrown away to lighten the load. I swiped a tear and told myself to buck up, they're only things. 

But these things represent thirty plus years of wonderful events. 

Before the moved was scheduled, I walked through my house and saw them, even those tucked inside a box. I didn't have to take it out, but I knew it was there. I didn't love the object, I loved the memory it represented.

Two soaked tissue boxes later, the memories have found a new home, or have been stuffed in a trash bag.

There is a good reason for these experiences, as all experiences tend to be. I think, from now on , when I visit my mom's tiny apartment and see every inch filled with things, including the stupid plaque I painted in elementary school, I think I will have a different point of view

--and tell her how lovely her apartment looks.


The winner is Cynthia Herron. Congratulations!





Friday, October 19, 2012

Childhood Stories



Today I welcome the kindest, giving, fantastic writing teacher, and author friend: Michelle Lim. 


Enter to win a copy of Melanie Dobson's book The Black Cloister, see below.




I met Michelle through My Book Therapy. She is a regular instructor for the Monday night chats. I couldn't wait to meet this wonderful lady in person at the conference. She manned the My Book Therapy booth, reaching out to writers to encourage them. At the MBT Western Theme Pizza party she wore her duds and had fun, even took a pic with me. She is a cheerleader, a supporter, an encourager, and someone who knows how to make you smile.


I asked Michelle to share her writing journey. Here is her answer:



Childhood Stories

If you’ve ever lived in a small town, you might understand how I began to love stories. Small town folk have to have an active imagination if they are going to stay busy.

As a pastor’s daughter, I spent a lot of my years in small towns. I saw the stories of families told at local cafes and the exaggerated tales of giant fish, 12 point bucks, and big foot.

People can light up the room when they tell a story. Everyone is drawn closer to hear the tale and enjoy knowing the adventures of each others lives. I lived those adventures in my imagination taking me places a young girl could never go.
Words poured out onto my journal pages full of thoughts and funny things that happened to me.

There was the time we got snowed into a hotel on the way to our cousins for Christmas and used my Dad’s fingernail clipper to take off the legs of our jeans so we could swim.

Contests for who could jump into the boundary water lake where we vacationed the earliest in May fill my thoughts of June bugs, Cray fish, and boat cushions.

Going fishing with my dad early in the morning on a glass top lake only to be startled by the angry otter that belly-flopped next to our boat. These images and sensations are as real in my mind as it was when I was there.

The environment around me sparked ideas that turned into a complete story. We all have the ability to find stories in our world around us.

Whether you are inspired by people, settings, or an amazing plot there is a way for you to find story ideas and to continue to build the conflict in your novel. That is really what my new book is about.

Idea Sparking: How to Brainstorm Conflict in Your Novel, gives you tricks and strategies to up the conflict in your stories with new ideas and specific methods. It is designed to be a resource you pull out time and again to find a strategy to apply to your manuscript.

My ideas come from the things around me, the people, and amazing real life stories. 

What is your favorite childhood story?


Michelle Lim is the author of the new book Idea Sparking: How to Brainstorm Conflict in Your Novel. Also a romantic suspense author whose manuscripts have earned recognition in The Rattler Contest 2012, the Genesis Contest 2011, and the Frasier Contest in 2010. Michelle is the Brainstorm/Huddle Coach at My Book Therapy and serves as Vice President of MN N.I.C.E., a local chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers.



Thank you Michelle for joining us today. What a treat to have you with us.




To enter the contest for the book The Black Cloister by Melanie Dobson become a follower if you aren't already (see the upper right corner of this blog to join). And leave a comment. Please also include your email address (username (at) yahoo (dot) com) so I can contact you if you are the winner. The winner will be selected by a third party, random.org, and will be announced on Monday. U.S. residents only. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Teddy Roosevelt vs Jim Elliot

courtesy Library of Congress
courtesy of Billy Graham Archives
Teddy Roosevelt  and Jim Elliott experienced similar situations resulting in total different outcomes.

What could these two men have in common?

What happened:
October, 1912, Teddy Roosevelt teetered in the arms of his staff outside a Milwaukee hotel, ready to give a campaign speech. An unemployed saloonkeeper shot Mr. Roosevelt in the chest only moments before. 

January, 1956 Jim Elliot stood with four other men on a beach near the Waodani Indians village in Equador ready to share their faith in Jesus Christ. Jim Ellion, Ed McCully, Roger Youderian, Pete Flemming, and Nate Saint were mortally wounded by the Waodani.

What happened next:
In most stories this would be the end but not for these two men.

Teddy Roosevelt approached his audience and opened his speech with different words than he planned: "Friends, I shall ask you to be as quiet as possible. I don't know if you fully understand I have been shot." The crowd gasped as he unbutton his vest and revealed the bloodstained shirt. He leaned toward the microphone and softly said, "It takes more than that to kill a bull moose." 

He reached in his pocket and pulled out a blood spattered paper marred by the bullet hole. "... I was going to make a long speech...but I will do my best." Roosevelt went on to give a ninety minute speech and lived to talk about the event.

Jim Elliot and the other four missionaries with him did not defend themselves during the Waodani attack. As each man fell to his death the others reached out to the Waodani, trying to show God's love, a forgiveness, a reason to stop and hear the Gospel news. They could have run for their guns, hidden back with their other supplies, but they didn't. Shooting their attackers, even in defense, would not demonstrate God's love. The five men died that day.

The Result?
Teddy Roosevelt lived, he gained great sympathy and votes...yet in the end he lost the election.

Jim Elliot and the four other missionary friends died, but left a legacy which flourished. Rather than seek revenge against the Waodani tribe, other missionaries went back and shared God's message with them. Tribal members listened. They were amazed with the actions of Jim and the other missionaries during the attack. Because of the witness, many Waodani tribal members asked Jesus to be their Savior.

Had I stepped into Roosevelt's or Elliot's world and walked in their shoes I don't know that I would have responded as they did. Learning what they chose to do gives me strength to face my own tragedies with God's help. I respect the tenacity of both these men. They continued working toward the finish line despite tragedy. Both men reached their mark. But only the choice of  Jim and the four missionaries with him resulted in eternal gain.  

God promises to give strength to face challenges He knows we can endure. 

Please share. How has God helped you?

I'll start. I am a three time cancer survivor, excited to see what work God has planned for me in my future days.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Power that Affects Lives

The winner of yesterday's drawing for Borders of the Heart is..scroll to end of this post.

Hurricane Hazel surprised many people on October 15, 1954. She sped west across the Atlantic, slamming into Grenada, fueled up and with new energy threw her winds at Jamaica, Haiti, and Puerto Rico destroying crops and lives.

This wayward hurricane made a sharp turn up the eastern coast of the United States, stopping off at the Carolinas and Virginia before skipping up to Ontario.

Her untamed winds hurt many people both directly and indirectly.

With today's technology, we receive warnings on our cell phones. My daughter, who lives in a storm area told me her cell phone company sent her an alert to get to higher ground due to floods.

Sometimes unusual circumstances prevent an escape or a homestead is severely damaged/destroyed. I've never experienced a hurricane in any way. Quite truthfully I would not be able to include the situation in a book because I wouldn't know the experience.

Some of you have lived through hurricanes.

What does it feel like to have a hurricane tromp through your home/neighborhood/business? Where do you hide? How do you protect yourself? What does the neighborhood smell like? Does it smell like salt air? What does the wind sound like? Is it the same train sound we hear with tornadoes? How did service agencies help?

Maybe you know someone else who has had a hurricane come to their area. Please share to help the rest of us understand.

God's power is greater and affects lives as well. His power, though, is one that changes lives. When I experience God's power the air around me smells fresh, clean, floral; food tastes are vibrant, rich, tangy, worth savoring; sounds have crystal tones, replay in my mind and sooth my angst; I see something special, perhaps a star, a bug, a kind deed; and I feel happy despite a grumpy person nearby.

 **************


A fantastic idea recently came to me. One that requires your help. I hope you will join me.


There is a new tab at the top of my website called Where in the World Have We Traveled. You can check it out to see the pics I posted. Each month I would like to add two new photos from readers to that page.To give you an incentive to submit, I am having a Photo Contest:


Submit :

A photo of you at some place in an outside setting.
Ideas:  Major city, boat, rural area, mountain, skiing, swimming, hiking, lounging, and etc.


The photo needs to be:
In Color
Focused
From present or past
G rated
Belong to you

Include permission for me to post the photo
and a caption telling where the photo was taken

photos must be received by October 26th, 2012
(send your entry to my email address; mimary_vee@yahoo.com)

The two winners will be chosen  by a third party (random.org) from all eligible entrys. Their photo will be included on the page and given a choice for one of these books: 

House of Secrets by Tracie Peterson
Just Between You and Me by Jenny b. Jones
Love on the Line by Deanne Gist

The first name drawn will have first choice. Offer for USA residents only.

The winner of the drawing for Borders of the Heart is Martha A. Congratulations Martha.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Fabulous Friday Feature-Christopher Columbus


Today I welcome my adventurous, inspirational friend: Cristóbal.  


Enter to win a copy of Chris Fabry's book Borders of the Heart, see below.

Library of Congress Photo Library




I first met Cristóbal in a text book while in school. I must admit our friendship tends to renew only each October. He has a very busy schedule. I don't mind, at least he squeezed in a moment with all of us today.  I asked Cristóbal to share that day, October 12th in 1492. 



After All These Years

First, let me thank Mary Vee for inviting me today. From the first moment I received her request, I counted the days remaining to be with all who visit during my stay. I look forward to your comments below and will have Mary record my responses.

Now, as asked, I will tell you about that day, October 12th, 1492. I remember it as though it happened today.

The sea air flowed through my nostrils and whipped the flag raised high above my head. Only a few days before, the crew from all three ships threatened mutiny. The food bins had crumbs, and the water containers nearly dry. Rations barely gave the men energy to hoist a sail. 

Many of the sailers had been forced, paid extra, or promised gold if they joined the crew. Some of them thought the world was flat. And then there were those who thought the ocean was filled with sea monsters, which had been created to swim about the ocean waiting for some pudgy sailor to figure out he should sail west. The menu had been planned, tasty sailor with sea salt. 

Their fear fueled their anger.

Library of Congress Photo Library
Queen Isabella was listed among the very few who believed in my plan for a journey west to discover a faster, more efficient way to transport goods and services to and from China and other eastern countries.

The sailors might have fared better had we landed within the estimated time, or perhaps a day or two extra at the most. If the good Lord didn't bring a sign of land soon, the sailors would mutiny and turn the ships about. Huh. A lot of good that would do, they'd starve before reaching on their home soil.

I asked the men for three more days. If nothing appeared, we'd turn back. According to my calculations the man in the crows nest should spy China's shore any moment. I waited as a child on Christmas eve. 

And then came the words. Not "Land ho," instead we heard, "Birds." The creatures only ventured so far from soil. I don't believe I wanted to see a bird more on any other day of my life. The men cheered and hustled to their stations, working with vigor. 

We sailed ahead and found pieces of drift wood and other signs of land not afar. The wind picked up and pushed the sails toward the China coast. The cry from the nest above soon came, "Land Ho!"

I knew it. I knew it. India and her rich spices could be reached by sailing west. I danced around the deck with the other hands before pressing the crew to advance to shore. the bowsprit move as close to land as she could and anchor lowered. I took a select crew and boarded the longboats. 

Never before had I seen a person from India. Would they be friendly and give us food? The men had been told gold could be found laying on the ground, even dripping from the trees. I didn't know. For the queen's sake, I hoped they were right.

My destination remained only a short distance away. I could barely breathe from the excitement. Years of research and attempts to convince any person who would listen to my ideas finally had an end. My palms were covered with sweat. 

Library of Congress Photo Library
I didn't need to tell the men to row faster. Their excitement matched mine. Inches away from the shore I leaped out of the boat . . . and sloshed onto the shores of India.

I bowed my head and fell to the ground. At last. At long last. So many years of work and now, at last I touched the soil for which I longed.

I understand that you who are reading this today are on a journey as well. Perhaps you, too, have spent years researching, studying, seeking help, guidance, and supporters for your work. 

I encourage you to press forward. Ride the oceans of rejection. Stand tall before those who say sea monsters will destroy your work. Push toward the goal burning in your heart and do not be anxious. If you have dedicated your work to God and have shown yourself a workman worthy of the task, you will receive the blessing.

###

Thank you, Cristóbal for visiting with us. I have but one question. 

Yes, Mary? How may I help you?

Well, I was wondering, didn't you land on soil later known as the America's?

Yes. Well. (clears throat) At the time I thought I found India. I didn't know a large landmass later to be named the Americas stood in the way. I understand my discoveries were considered significant nonetheless.

Yes. They were. Thank you, again Cristóbal for your visit. :)

How about you, reader? How can we encourage you to press forward, ride the oceans of rejection, stand tall before those who say sea monsters will destroy your work, push toward the goal burning in your heart and do not be anxious?

credit: historian Carly Vee, for her consultations.




To enter the contest for the book Borders of the Heart by Chris Fabry, become a follower if you aren't already (see the upper right corner of this blog to join). And leave a comment. Please also include your email address (username (at) yahoo (dot) com) so I can contact you if you are the winner. The winner will be selected by a third party, random.org, and will be announced on Monday. U.S. residents only. 







Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Why? Benedict Arnold. Why?


From the Library of Congress Online Library
On October 11 1776, Brigadier General Benedict Arnold fought as a brave, American hero against the British.

Although the mighty British fleet had defeated fifteen American ships in this battle, Benedict Arnold made them work for their victory. More than two long days of battle at sea dragged by, allowing American forces time to set up ground forces on New York shores. 

A year before Benedict met this same British captain in another battle. Benedict had been wounded but went on to fight. His career had been glowing with patriot heroism. 

He felt might proud of himself and although he received pats on the back and other forms of kudos, it wasn't enough. The commander over him took the reward money and the honor which belonged to him. He was a hero. He had great battle strategies. He executed the plans with fortitude and bravery. He certainly deserved much more...much more than what had been given.

Greed and anger grew in his heart.  Thoughts like, Why did I not receive riches and honor. I deserve more. If it were not for me we would still be under the king' of England's rule roamed in his mind.

As each year passed his name faded from the news. Apparently the colonies did not appreciate his work. Well, if that was the case, then maybe they didn't need him after all. 

While serving as commander of West Point in 1780, Benedict Arnold attended a meeting with the British and agreed to surrender our valuable Hudson River fort to the British for 20,000 pounds. The arrest of a British spy revealed Benedict's traitorous choice.

And now his name, Benedict Arnold, is synonymous for the word traitor.

What a legacy to leave.

Why did he do it? Anger. Greed. Selfish gain. Spotlight.

Judas Iscariot had the same problem. Selected as one of the twelve, he trained with the Lord himself. Giving up all, he became a traitor for thirty pieces of silver. 

We probably have all had at least one moment in the spotlight, if only in our family. When the attention turned away from us how did we handle it? 

What ways have you used to keep the greed monster away?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Hoover Dam: Light and Water



Scroll to the bottom for the winner of last Friday's book giveaway: 
The Shunning, by Beverly Lewis

Have you ever lost power in your home or gone for a hike and run out of water? I have, too.

Today we celebrate the Hoover Dam.

On October 9,  in 1936, a switch opened the doors allowing water to flow over the Hoover Dam for the first time. 

Generators sprang to life, electrical power flowed to residents in the west improving quality of life and providing a way for new businesses. Producing electricity for those in the west is often the focused news about the Hoover Dam.

But, the lesser know primary reason for the dam was to provide water to needy desert regions in the west. 

Los Angeles residents and other communities in the west struggled for years to find adequate water. The desert area took many lives, human, animal, and plant. One could live without electricity, but they could not live without fresh water.

And yet, not far away, the Colorado River flowed into the ocean dumping tons of usable fresh water into the sea. 

With the building of the dam, an idea to bring water to the west was formed. 

Engineers and architects of the dam built aqueducts to carry the halted Colorado River water to ranches and communities in the west.

Imagine living in a desert community. It's summertime and the well ran dry. Your horses are thirsty. The pipes had been installed to bring water and according to some official, it would come one day. You sort of believed it. You told your children they would have plenty of water soon and rubbed the horses back to assure the animal water would come.

Then an unexpected sound came. A sound you had never heard on your land. You go to investigate and find water flowing. Fresh water. Glasses are pulled out of the cupboard and filled with the clear liquid. You give some to your children and drink together. You pour some in a dusty trough and lead the horse to the tasty liquid. 

"Amazing," you say. You knew it would come. But then it did and it was better than you thought.


I would have liked to have seen God create the sun, moon, and stars. I would have like to been there the day God created the oceans, seas, lakes, and rivers.

I must admit, I am amazed when God's power touches lives. I know He is able, but when it happens, excitement bubbles inside and makes me want to jump and dance, sing, laugh, cheer.

Do you think those in the west felt that way the day electricity came from the Hoover Dam?

But . . .

There have been times I did not have access to water. A few times the water near me needed to be filtered before drinking and I didn't have a filter. I have known thirst. I felt tired as if drugged, unwilling to go find drinkable water, and if someone offered me a cup, I didn't feel like drinking. My lips dried, cracked, and bled. My tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth and my stomach hurt.  

The thirst I knew was small compared to the thirst of those living in the west before the Colorado River water flowed to their land. The Hoover Dam and the aqueducts helped meet that physical need. 

There is another water we can have. 

Jesus told the woman at the well, "Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst again. Indeed the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life." John 4:13 NIV

Now that sounds like good water. No filtration needed! 

If you have never tasted the living water Jesus speaks of, and don't know what to do, email me and I will be glad to tell you more of what Jesus said. mimary_vee@yahoo.com

Have you been without power or water? What happened or what did you do while you waited? 

The winner of the book drawing for The Shunning by Beverly Lewis is Jill Kemerer. Congratulations, Jill!