Monday, December 31, 2012

2013, 2013, 2013

 Are you ready to have a happy, healthy, blessed new year?
Starts with prayer.
Stays with being willing to take a risk and step out of faith.
Continues with growing in God's Word.
Is sustained by serious commitment.
Is worthwhile when we give of ourselves
Using boldness to spread the gospel
Watch for the Lord's return for His bride

My personal resolution?
  • Never stop growing in God's Word
  • Keep up the prayer for my Country
  • Pray daily for my Family
  • Pray regularly for Friends and Loved ones
  • Pray for Enemies
  • Trust God every day, not just now and then
  • Stand for Righteousness
  • Keep my standards high
  • Remember the importance of the Values, Morals, and Principles God put before me and keep them

And, oh, so much more.
Anything else?
  • That God would open the door for my family to move
  • That we would do what is necessary to accomplish our goals this year.
  • Write a good book :)
  • Read several good books :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Making Holiday Memories

Making Holiday Memories
LoRee Peery

Wrapped up in all the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparations, how do others see you? Do they see harried grouchiness or joy in our Lord’s birthday celebration?

“A joyful heart makes a cheerful face,” (Prov. 15:13). That’s what our faces should reflect as we go about the busyness of the holiday season.
Looking Back
Nostalgia goes hand in hand with holiday happenings. Taking a trip back in time, I remember my mother telling us how fortunate we were at Christmas time. Her gifts were necessary homemade clothing and maybe, an orange.

One of my favorite memories is the wonderful school plays given in a one-room country schoolhouse. Blankets were strung on wire for stage curtains, the teacher sat on a bench with script in hand (no one sat close to the oil-burning stove in the center of the room), and after the play, an ancient Santa wearing a seamed face and lots of padding, rang out in his jolly bass, “Ho, ho, ho, M-e-r-r-y Christmas!” His voice resounded through the room as we waited to taste the delightful goodies he carried in that gunnysack slung over his shoulder: hard candy, nuts, chocolate-covered mints we called “haystacks,” an orange and an apple. Mmmm.

Christmas Eve was our Sunday school program and we were allowed to open one gift before we left for church. That was a necessary surprise we needed to wear.

Our trees were always spindly, sparsely branched cedars cut from the pasture or shelterbelt. We kids loved throwing on icicles to cover up the holes between branches. With so many small helpful hands involved, the glass baubles grew fewer each year.

My father’s parents made it a Mosel tradition to have oyster stew after church on Christmas Eve. That’s one I carried on, until my sons-in-law fessed up to not liking it. So we have a couple different soups now, and my husband and I eat oyster stew on New Year’s Eve.
Memories, Memories, Memories
What are you leaving as memories for your loved ones? You can (and should) build memories for your children and grandchildren. As soon as my kids were big enough to stand on a bench, they helped roll out and decorate sugar cookies.
After being away from home a few years, I asked my adult children what they remember about getting ready for Christmas.  I heard singing, buying presents, baking cookies, making decorations, the tree, and our living room. When they were small, that room was a Victorian parlor depicting the era. The kids would descend the stairs in wide-eyed wonder.

Traditions create memories and bind families. They vary from a birthday cake to Jesus and reading the Christmas story from Luke, Chapter Two, crazy gift-giving games or drawing names for handmade gifts, saving Christmas cards and praying for the sender through the year, or even starting the next year’s gifts by shopping the day after Christmas.

Whatever your memories, savor them because life is short and changing faster than we can voice an opinion. Take time to make new memories. Love one another, and may I challenge you to leave a legacy of joy.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Futuristic Realities with Brian Ritchie

Brian Ritchie has 25 years in the publishing business as a manager and innovator at a large metropolitan newspaper. He is a freelancer, author and occasional poet. On his blog, he writes about the quirky little adventures that everyday life in a family provides. As an author his passion is for sharing biblical stories through futuristic adventures, while including the gospel message. When he isn't writing, or keeping the presses rolling, he spends his time on his real passion, loving on and enjoying his wife and three children, just outside of Cleveland, Ohio.

Anointed: The Chronicles of Ascension volume 1

Anointed takes the reader to a bleak dystopian future, after the United States government has collapsed.

The sitting ruler is a mad man who is steering his subjects to depravity, and self-indulgence. The singular remnant from the collapsed government, Syrus Finn, sets-out on a covert quest to discover and anoint God's new ruler. Desperate and on the verge of giving up, he discovers Duncan, a wild and untamed boy. Could this really be God's chosen King? As the boy eventually finds himself working in the Palace, war is waging out west, against the bitter separatist country, Pacifica. The armies face-off and the tension builds as Pacifica presents their vile, mutation Grimm to issue a challenge. When no one comes forward, the unlikely Duncan volunteers to meet the challenge.

Set in a future time, Anointed takes the well-loved biblical story of David and Goliath and follows the events as described in 1 Samuel 16-18.

An excerpt:

Once he had struggled to his feet, he turned to the children, and discovered they had all frozen. They were stiff, eyes wide, and afraid.

They heard something, he thought. Something he hadn't, and they were looking right at him. Two or three of the youngest shakily stepped backward, the fear more prominent on their faces than the others. His head raced, somehow he knew their senses were attuned to things out here that his worn set of faculties were not.

He waited, and the children held their positions, as if waiting for affirmation before bolting. Then he heard it, himself. A low, throaty growl, coming from the woods right behind him. The birds hadn't stopped their songs in fear of the children, after all. There was a real predator nearby, and Syrus's instincts told him he was it's prey.

The next one was deeper and longer, menacing and ferocious, its vibrato shaking the very leaves on the bushes. This one revealed it's identity. A bear, and a big one by the sound of it. He had seen them in zoos as a child, but those had no access to him. They didn't live under the rule of the jungle, that drove them to eat or die.

Youthfully stepping off the mat, and several feet down the hill with adrenalin coursing like a drug through his veins, he turned his back to the children, ready to defy, or at least occupy the animal. He wouldn't be much protection for them, but he was closer and the easiest victim, so he would make sure his death counted, and know they would all be able to escape.

What made me do it:

I know it has been said many times by many people, and it feels a little cliche to say it, but I've wanted to write a book since I was a kid. I really have. The real question is, why did I wait until I was in my forties to actually do it? I wish I could say, but when I finally got down to the task, it pored out of me.

I've been forever a fan of science fiction, and have read the C. S. Lewis Space Trilogy and the Lord of the Rings more times than I can count. So when I sat down to write my first book, I knew I wanted to do something futuristic (I'm learning that sci-fi/fantasy are dirty word in Christian Literature), while retelling a biblical story. So, I decided, since I wanted to sell books, it would be wise to write a book that fits in the popular genre of Young Adult fantasy that is so popular these days.

I wanted Anointed to have the appeal of books like the Hunger Games, and I think that is just what it does.

Anointed is available on Amazon, kindle, kobo and a couple other online stores, all of which can be accessed through my web site.