Saturday, November 26, 2016

Beyond the Horizon cover reveal!

Hey folks! I've got an exciting post for y'all today! Today I'm going to reveal the cover for my Christmas Cinderella WWII novella, Beyond the Horizon.




Faith and Kaitlyn are joining me in the reveal, so be sure to check out their blogs and leave these wonderful ladies a comment!

Now, without any further ado . . .


Eeeppp! Isn't is so beautiful?!?!?!? Willowy Whisper did a superb job designing it, and I'd highly recommend her as a cover designer!!


About the Book: 

Eliana longs to see the world beyond the mountains that tower above Salzburg, Austria, but knows that dream will never see such adventure- and neither will she.
Surrounded by a world of cruelty, she lives for the weekly visits of Aaron, a boy she met on one of her rambles through the countryside.
But as the years pass and she begins to grow older, a new and unwelcome world is opened up to her.
On a fateful night at a party she vowed she’d never attend, she comes face to face with a shocking truth.
As the world around her teeters on the brink of war, Eliana struggles to figure out just where her loyalty lies; a decision that will drastically change the course of her life. Will she ever be free to see what lies beyond the horizon?

If you would like to visit the pinterest board I have for the story, you can see it here. 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! :) 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Black Friday Book Sale!

Smiley



Like most other bookworms, great books make their way onto my "things I'm thankful for" list every year. It's hard to choose favorites, but I went ahead and picked five books I read in 2016 and am thankful for.

  1. Brothers in Arms, by Jack Lewis Bailott. This definitely ranks #1 in my favorite books of the year. Soooo good! I already love WWII, and this also added so many other things I love. Such as friends, brothers, enemies... Ahh! Words can't describe how much I love it!
  2. Resist, by Emily Ann Putzke. This book. Emily Putzke is my new favorite author. Such emotions spread throughout the pages! It was just . . . wow! Another amazing WWII book!
  3. The Old River Road, by Ivy Rose. This was such a sweet story! I loved the slower pace of the book, and the characters were so sweet! <3 
  4. Befriending the Beast, by Amanda Tero. I love fairy-tale retellings, and this one was so sweet and precious!! 
  5. War Tears, by Faith Potts. This is the only book on the list that is not published, but I just HAD to put it in here. I've been reading this story slowly as Faith finishes it up and sends me parts of it, and I love it so muchly! Of course, it's WWII, again... xD
I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to another great year of reading!

Speaking of more reading, here's one more thing to be grateful for. Books on sale! In honor of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a group of independent Christian authors banded together to offer over seventy discounted books on Nov 25-28. There's literally something for everyone. Every single book listed on Indie Christian Books is on sale in one or more ways. Find discounted paperbacks, dozens of books offered with free shipping, $0.99 ebooks, package deals and more. Even if you have a budget of $0, new reading material awaits you. Don't know what to pick? The fearless Indie Christian Books team created a quiz that will generate a book list perfect for you! Check it out!


What awesome reads of 2016 are you grateful for? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2017?

A note on the Ebooks Only page. All books are listed as "Sold Out." This only refers to paperback copies of these titles. Please click onto the product pages to find descriptions and links to discounted or free ebooks. Also, some of the authors this year chose to not sell their paperbacks directly through the site. Those books are also marked "Sold Out" but if you click them open, you'll find a link to the site where they are on sale and a discount code for you to use at check out.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to Leah E. Good and Kendra E. Ardnek for their work organizing this sale, and Hannah Mills for her fantastic design work on the website graphics. Hannah can be contacted at hmills(at)omorecollege(dot)edu for more information about her design services.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving





See that house in the distance? Yes, that one. The brick one, with all the lights inside lit. Come with me, that's the house we're going to. 
Now, there's no snow, but be careful, it's a bit icy out. Be sure and close the door behind you; the cold air is blowing outside. Inside, the fire crackles merrily in the hearth. Its dancing flames send a cozy feel over everything, and the warmth it exudes pushes away the cold that lingers outside.
There are candles lit and set on the mantle above the fire.  Pumpkin and spice, of course. The spicy smells mix with the delicious scents that are wafting out from the kitchen. 
As you step into the dinning room, you see a table arrayed with beautiful china. The silverware is wrapped in the napkins, and they reflect the candle light of the three candle centerpieces that adorns the middle. Around the three white candles is a swirl of orange leaves and acorns, along with a few pinecones. All of it is set on a silver platter, so as not to mix in with the food.
If you listen carefully, you can her instrumental hymns playing softly in the background. Not quite loud enough that you can sing along, but still loud enough that you would miss them had they been switched off. 
As you make your way into the kitchen, you'll see that the counters are laden with food in an array of colors. The cranberry punch sparkles in the punch bowl, and a dozen glass cups sit nearby, waiting to be filled. Right beside the punch is the sweet potato casserole, the green been casserole, and then, more brilliant red comes into the picture with the cranberry salad.  The turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes adorn a second counter, and the pies, pumpkin, pecan and apple, fill yet a third. 
Everything is ready and waiting for the meal to begin. A bit later, the house will be filled with laughter and the sound of clinking glasses and silverware against the china, but for now all is silent. 

Maybe this is the scene in your house today, give or take a few details. Our house has everything but the ice outside, and the fireplace, though we do have a heater that *sounds* like a fireplace. Not the same, I know, but still. ;) 
Today is a day to get together with family and friends. To cook and bake, and to eat some of the best food ever. 
But more than that, it's a day to be thankful for what we have. The freedom we have in Christ, as well as the freedom we are blessed with in the this country; the family we live in; God's precious word. 
And also, it's a time to think back on years gone by, and to be thankful for the memories we have made. 

I hope you all have an amazing thanksgiving, and God bless!

Friday, November 18, 2016

NaNo///Week #3///snippets

Hey all! It's day 18 of NaNo! Can you believe it?!? The end is in sight!!!! :D I hit 35K last night, which means I only have another 15K to go before I've completed NaNo. So I'm pretty excited!

This week started out a bit rough. On Monday we got the news that my grandpa, my mom's dad, passed away. We're not sure if he ever accepted Christ, so that made it even harder. But God is good, and he sent many blessings our way this week.

Also . . . I got nine beta-readers! I was not expecting that many, so that was a blessing! Y'all are awesome!

Apart from that I think our week was pretty normal. It's cold here today finally. Like, we were in the 80s yesterday, and today we have temperature in the 40s. Kansas weather is crazy. xD

So now the part I'm sure y'all are waiting for. Or not. I don't know if you really are, I'm just assuming. ;)
Instead of a whole bunch of random paragraphs like I did last week, I'm going to give you a whole scene this time.
Hopefully it makes some sense out of context . . . ;P It was literally the only scene I wrote this week that I can share without giving away major spoilers. And of course, we wouldn't what THAT! ;)


Micah followed Erich as he led the way up a flight of stairs and into one of the many flats in the heart of Basel, Switzerland.
The building was warm, and not at all drafty, which gave Micah a sense of relief. It wouldn't have done for them to get sick.
Erich slowed down and stopped outside a door on the far end, and he removed the key from his pocket and unlocked the door of the small flat.
The door creaked open on rusty hinges, and Micah’s eyes took in everything. The place was small and a bit dusty, but it looked well cared for. 
Well, besides the dust.
“You can stay where you stayed last time, Arnold.” Erich threw the words over his shoulder as he headed toward one of the two doors in sight.
Where he stayed last time?
As Erich stepped into the other room, Micah blew out a deep breath and took a seat on the sofa. Was this where Arnold had stayed? Or had he stayed somewhere else? Blast it all, why had he ever agreed to this plan? Why did he ever think he could play the part of his twin? He shook his head; he would never get used to being called Arnold.
He placed his briefcase between the couch and the table beside it, and than stood and walked toward the window on the far edge of the room. A small kitchen was nestled in the corner, and a small table with two chairs shared the space between the sofa and kitchen.
But Micah gave them only a passing glance. From the window, everything looked to peaceful. The people went about their business with little care as to who was walking behind or beside them. He could feel himself longing for a bit of that peace, and wondering if there would ever come a day when he felt safe walking down the street without looking over his shoulder.

***

Erich left the door halfway open as he made his way into the small room. The twin bed was shoved up against the side of the wall neatly made, just as he’d left it.
He sat down, keeping his eyes toward the open door. His gaze strayed to Micah, who was rubbing his face with his hands.
Erich inwardly smirked. He was having fun making Micah squirm and letting comments slip past about things that only Arnold would know. It made Micah uncomfortable, which in turn made Erich feel satisfied.
Fact was, the last time Arnold had traveled with him anywhere, he had spent the night down at the nearest tavern.
He let his lips form a smile, feeling confident that Micah would not see him. 
What he wanted was to see Micah spending the night there with his Bible in tow. Now THAT would be a sight to see. He watched as Micah slid the briefcase between the table and sofa, and then stood and looked around the room, taking in every corner. Yet,though he seemed to be taking in the detail, a glazed look fell over his eyes, making Erich feel as though he really wasn’t seeing everything. His brain was registering facts, yet he wasn’t thinking about them. After a moment he made his way over to the window, and gazed out into the streets and mountains that spread out in the distance.
His stance was slightly tilted, so that Erich could still clearly see half of his face.
As he stood there, gazing out into the sea of people, Micah’s mask slid away, and his eyes filled with longing . . . and pain.
Suddenly, Erich wished he had closed the door behind him.
It seemed that Micah did have feelings. And when he was alone, he wasn't afraid to let them be known.
Erich wanted to look away, yet something it Micah's gaze wouldn't let him. The pain, the hurt, the longing . . . those were feelings that Erich hadn't let himself acknowledge for years now. This was one reason he and Arnold had gotten a long so well. Between them there seemed to be some sort of mutual silent agreement that feelings were meant to always be hidden.
Micah . . . Micah was different. Erich had no doubt that if Micah knew he were watching, he would be livid. Micah struck him was the kind of man who didn’t want anyone to know how he really felt; not if he could help yet. Yet when he was alone . . . when he was alone he let himself at least try to sort out the horrors of the war.
An ache started to work its way around Erich's heart. He wished he could tell Micah that it didn't work. If you kept asking question, you would just get more confused. Because there were no sane answers. War wasn't sane.
And then, just as soon as the the mask had slid off Micah's face, it returned, and Micah was in control again.
His movements were slow and controlled as he turned and made his way into the kitchen, checking the cupboards. Seeing they were empty, he ran a hand alongside the sides as though checking for any hidden bugs.
Erich almost felt like laughing aloud. They were in Switzerland, and as far as anyone knew, Micah was Arnold, his assistant. No one would ever hide anything kind of recording devices to listen to them. Not when doing so would have the wrath of the Germans upon them.
Switzerland was officially neutral and they allowed no one from either military, allied or axis, to enter unless they were prepared to spend the rest of the war behind bars. Yet the streets roamed with people such as him. Every suit held a different sort of criminal, of that he was sure. Maybe, to one country, the person wasn't a criminal. But to the country on the other side, he was. 
It was strange how perception could change things.
Satisfied that the flat was clean, Erich was surprised when Micah turned and started walking toward the room. Erich suddenly turned and started unpacking the second change of clothes he had packed, trying to make it appear as if he had been busily working the whole time.
Micah knocked on the door, and Erich shook his head, seriously feeling like rolling his eyes. That was another thing; Arnold would have simply barged his way it, not caring at all about whether or not it broke military regulations.
"Come in."
Micah opened the door further and took a step in. "I'm going to head down to the city and walk around for a bit; get acquainted with the shops around here a bit."
Erich nodded, not turning to look at Micah. "You go right ahead. And don’t spend as much time at that tavern with that girl like you did last time. I bet she didn't wait for you."
There was a pause, and Erich could just picture the look on Micah's face. Disgust mixed with a bit of confusion, and then understanding would dawn right about . . .
"Ahh."
Now. Erich congratulated himself on his timing. He knew the Wilson brothers better than they knew themselves.
"I'll be sure and not waste my time there. I'm actually thirsty for a cup of coffee, and I'm going to see if I can find some somewhere."
Yeah, Arnold hated coffee, and that was one thing he did hate about the Germans; they enjoyed it. Micah had been around enough Americans to acquire a certain taste for it, while Erich knew that Arnold never would. 
Arnold, no matter how much he wished it otherwise, was British to the core. He loved nothing more than a good, strong cup of tea.
Erich tucked his identity papers, the set he wouldn't be using, into the top drawer of the dresser and then rummaged in his pocket before finding the correct key and locking it.
"Well, we don't have anything that needs done today, so you're free to go. Just make sure you remember the way back; I'm not going out looking for you tomorrow morning like I had to last time just to find you drunk somewhere." Boy was this fun. The most fun he’d had in a long time.
He heard Micah shuffle his feet and clear his throat uncomfortably. "Yeah, I'll be sure and be back within the next few hours."
He stepped away from the door, and, from his footsteps, Erich gathered that he had walked to the couch and stopped.
Turning and resuming his seat on the bed, Erich watched as Micah took the small, black leather Bible from the bag and tucked it into his pocket, and then put the bag away and reached the door on two long strides.


So how is NaNo coming for you? Is your story cooperating? Are you excited we're so close to the end? I know I am! :D

Friday, November 11, 2016

NaNo + writing news + Veteran's Day

Hello folks! How are you doing today? I'm doing well!
To everyone's who's doing NaNo . . . we're on day eleven!! Can you believe it?!
Anyway. It's been going great! I was able to attend a WWI reenactment last Saturday (pictures to come) and I got a lot of question answered! It was like being able to do historical research by stepping back into the era and talking to the men who were fighting. 'Twas awesome, people. ;)

So far I've written a grand total of 22,151 words this month! I've actually been updating my word count daily on the NaNo site (unlike last year) and it's been fun to see the word count go up. I think the only day I didn't update it was Tuesday, because, well . . . it was election day!  And we were up until around 3:30-4:00am waiting for the results and watching speeches. It was totally worth it, but it did result in my getting  a bit behind in where I wanted to be.

For today I thought I'd first share a couple snippets from my NaNo project, A Question of Loyalty, and then... well, I have some exciting news, but I'm going to make you wait for that. ;)

///Micah was awoken with a sudden crash, and he bolted upright. To his surprise, sunlight filled the room, shining through the single window in the side wall. Dr. Simmons locked the door, and grabbed a chair from the nearby table. He turned it around, and sat in front of Micah, who was still groggily rubbing his eyes.
“Get with it, Dr. Wilson. We need to talk.” 
An American. I should have guessed. Only they would use such terms and expect everyone else to understand. It was  good thing he did understand. The look on this guy’s face showed he meant business./// 


///God, why? Why do you allow all this to happen? The killing, the wars, the tearing up of families? It was a question he had wrestled with since the war started, and he was sure it was one that he would be asking till the day he died.
Maybe then, on that day, he would finally get the answer.///


///One thing Arnold hadn’t figured in was the fact of how good it had been to see his brother again. He hadn’t realized just how much he had missed his family until now. In fact, he hadn’t thought about them much at all. He had made his decision and chosen to turn his back on them. He had told himself that he didn’t care anymore.
But, if that was true, then why did a sudden twinge of regret twist his insides? Talking to his brother . . . it was as if he hadn’t changed. Micah still seemed the same, even though Arnold knew he had changed. The war changed everyone. He could see the lines around Micah’s eyes, and the tiredness in his eyes when he looked at him. 
But even with those physical changes, Micah was still . . . 
He searched for the word. Normal. Micah was still Micah. He still stood for what he had always stood for. His voice was the same, the uncanny connection between them was the same. He gritted his teeth as he remembered it. That was one thing he wished would have changed. 
He shook his head to clear his thoughts. He didn’t have much time before he arrived at headquarters and he still had to think of something to tell Erich.///


///To Micah's relief, the man on the bridge was not dressed in the uniform of France’s enemy. The man was dressed as a commoner, something like how Micah himself was dressed. He strode purposefully over to him, and stopped inches from Micah’s face. 
“The water always runs under a bridge.”
Micah nodded. “Unless the bridge has fallen.”
Seeming a bit more at ease than he was when he first arrived, the man continued. “I hear the bridge in London has fallen.”
Though this was a mission of grave importance, Micah couldn’t keep the smile from his voice. It seemed that the common nursery rhyme about London Bridge had given everyone the idea that Londoners never rebuilt any of their architecture. “The reports of the fallen London bridge are greatly exaggerated.”///


///Micah shook his head to clear the image. Yet, like a bit of fog slowly creeping over the skyline, a feeling of dread seemed to grow closer every minute. He started toward and Erich, and Erich started toward him. They met halfway across the station, and Erich took the strap of Micah’s bag off his shoulder. “Here. I picked this up for you.” 
Micah reached out to take the bag, and in doing so looked down at Erich’s wrist. Though the rest of his posture exhibited perfect control, his fingers shook ever so slightly, and  the veins in his wrist where pulsating.
Micah inwardly groaned. That was caused by adrenaline rush. Erich hadn’t been running anywhere, and it wasn’t likely he had gotten any upsetting new from Berlin. 
No, Erich was upset because he knew. It was the only thing that made sense.///


///Erich stood and walked over to the single window, resting a hand on the pistol in his belt. Somehow, knowing he could protect himself no matter when came, made him feel better, even if he was alone in the office. 
It was strange what war could do to a person.///

Yes, I have three guy's POV's. Which is . . . interesting. And fun. I'm enjoying it. :)

Alrighty folks. Now some writing news. You know that Christmas Cinderella WWII story I mentioned a couple weeks back? Well, I finished it! I actually did get it finished before NaNo. ;) It's about 19,000 words, and I just finished the first read through and edit this past week. :) Because of the fact that it ended up being a Christmas-y story, I'm hoping to have it published, at least in kindle (but probably in paperback as well) by the 2nd week in December.
So what does this mean? It means I'd really love to have a few beta-readers. ;) I realize that November is a super busy time for most people, (especially my NaNo friends) so I'm not going to have a sign up. So If you'd be interested in beta-reading, shoot me an email either through the contact me page, or my email, if you have it. :) I know a couple of you said you were interested in beta-reading, but I also know NaNo can be crazy . . . so if you'd rather not that's fine!

And . . . Veteran's Day! This post is getting a bit longer than I expected. ;) But when I realized today was veteran's day, I had to mention something about it. A large part of my family has either served in the military in the past, or are still actively serving. And I'm so thankful for their sacrifice and the sacrifice of all our men and women in uniform, both past and present. And future. ;) We owe them all a huge debt of gratitude for what they've done for us; being willing to fight for our liberty.


Young and old, they all came to serve
to fight for our freedom, they left nothing reserved.
They left their families and homes behind,
they didn't look back, they went where assigned. 

They fought battles we'll never understand,
they lost friends halfway around the world in some barren wasteland.
The scars of the battle will never truly fade,
these men have done something that cannot be paid. 

For freedom is priceless, it's a gift from above.
But it's our responsibility to protect it in love. 
Our veterans have done that, they answered the call,
They loved freedom more than life itself; they fought for it above all. 

So let's take a moment to thank those who serve,
whether at home of abroad, they deserve the honor they've earned. 
Each one has a story, something to tell, 
So take care and listen, and value them all. 



Today is also the day WWI officially ended, and it's got some pretty interesting history, I would encourage you to look it up and read about it if you haven't already. :) 

Make a point to thank at least one veteran today for their service. Just a simple thank you really says so much more. 

Well, I think that's all for today! I hope your week has been wonderful and have an amazing weekend! God bless!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Washington Vacation--post #2

Ahh, I'm finally getting this post up almost a month later. So sorry about that, guys! :P But . . . better late than never, right? ;)
Okay, now for the next five days of my visit . . .

Saturday:
Saturday we got up early and headed to work at the orchard! It was a bit rainy when we got there, but pretty soon it cleared up and there were lots of people! And, guys, it smelled soooo good! There was hot caramel apple cause, hot cider and . . . yeah. It was amazing. I would die for the apple sauce. (Okay, maybe not literally, but you get the point!)
I helped Emily at the outdoor register, weighing apples, boxing apples and cider, etc. It was so much fun! When work was done, we went and picked some apples for some pies we were going to make, and I grabbed a few pictures. 




Apple trees everywhere!


Sunday:
Sunday we went to church. And we went to Idaho. Which was super fun. ;) 

The view from their church window. 

But yes, I was able to attend Emily's church in the morning, and then we drove into Idaho, since their church is right on the boarder of the two states.And Emily and her two sisters and I had so much fun taking pictures. And realizing there was  train coming. that made the pictures even better. ;) 






 After that we drove home, having an interesting conversation about personality types on the way. ;) And then Emily, Ana May, their mom and I headed out to go hiking! Which I was super excited about, since . . . you can't really hike in KS. xD
It was super foggy when we started out!

But it cleared up, which was nice!



Emily and I in a lean to of some sort. 

And Emily and her sister, Ana May.

All three of us. 




Shh, I was stalking them. Okay, not really. ;) 

Monday:
We didn't have work this week, so we went and fed Bodie, and then Emily's sister took us to go and grab some shavings for his stall. Which was fun. We go to ride in the back of the truck. ;) 

Lots of pictures of mountains in this post, folks. Because I never get to see them here. ;) 
After we were done with Bodie, Emily, her mom, and two of her sisters and I got in the car to head to Steptoe, which is a place unique to eastern WA. It's pretty much just rolling hills going on forever. It was sooo pretty!! There was one small hill/mountain (I have no idea how it's classified!) that we drove up and got some amazing pictures!





Stalking from behind again. *nods* I'm good at at that.

This is probably my favorite picture from the whole trip. I just love it so much! My sister told me it looks like we Photoshoped the background in behind us. ;) Thanks to Emily's sister for taking it! :D
After this we came home and had supper. And then we made apple pies! 
And, folks, I tried Dutch Bros coffee. For the whole time I'd been in WA, I had insisted that Starbucks was better. Because, I mean, nothing's netter than Starbucks!
Well they convinced me to try Dutch bros. And then I felt like strangling them. Because it's SOOOO good and amazing and ten times better than Starbucks! And Kansas doesn't have one. 
But yeah, that was amazing. ;) And then we watched Bridge of Spies and ate hot apple pie. which was realllyyy good! (both the movie and the pie ;))


Tuesday: 
Tuesday Emily and I were able to get together with . . . Ivy Rose! Now, Emily and her had met before, but I never had. So, needless to say, I was a bit nervous. Just ask Emily.
We were meeting at a coffee shop and we got there a bit early, so we picked out a table and waited. And then Ivy came! And she's so sweet and amazing and wonderful, and AUGH! It was so much fun! We talked for a while over coffee, and then we went and Ivy was able to meet Bodie. And then Ivy drove us back to Emily's house and we talked there for a while. :)

The sun was bright. Obviously. ;) 

And than that night, two of Emily's sisters and I watched "Cinderella." It was my first time ever watching it, and it was so amazing!! I loved it so, so much!


Wednesday: 

We just pretty much hung out and talked and had fun with Bodie. Since I was leaving the next day, we didn't really do a whole lot. We took pictures. ;) 





We also took shadow pictures. *nods*
Also, that night I got to ride Mia, her sister's horse, bareback. It was so much fun!!


 I have a picture with both Emily and I with Mia . . . but I can't get it to upload right. :(
That night I told her family goodbye, and then we talked for a while and I got packed up. We went to be somewhat early because we had to be up around 3:45am the next morning to make my flight. 


Thursday:
We got up and went to the airport. And it was sad. And we had to say goodbye.  


So we said goodbye and I had to go through security. 

I walked to the flight gate when it was still dark, and airport lighting only goes so far.  I was super sad. and when I'm sad, I often sing to myself in my head. (don't ask me why). But I literally could only think of two songs.

It started out as a feeling, which grew into a hope. Which grew into a quite thought, which grew into a quite word. And then that words grew louder and louder, till it was a battle cry. I'll come back when you call me, no need to say goodbye. 

When I think back on these times, and the things we left behind, I'll be glad 'cause I was blessed to get to have you in my life...

So they helped cheer my up just so much. *insert sarcasm*  I was really mad that those were the only lines that kept playing in my head. ;P 
So I went and walked around the gift shops for a while, since I still had about an hour.  And I picked up this cup. 

Because coffee + Washington = perfect. And I managed to get it home without breaking. So that was good. ;) I use it for coffee every morning, and I told my sister that is she uses it and breaks it, she's paying for my to fly back and get a new one. ;) 

One thing about getting an early flight, is you get to watch the sunrise on the plane. It was gorgeous! The pictures do not do it justice! I was so thankful that I ended up sitting by two really nice people in this flight. They were super considerate, and that was a blessing! I was blessed on every plane I was on with who I sat next to. :)





Well, that concludes my October trip to WA state to visit the McConnell family. It was the best experience ever, and I hope to do it again next year! :) 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Why I believe Christians Should vote

In which I join the thousands (perhaps millions?) of bloggers who have, sometime during this election season, written a post about politics.
I pretty much promised myself I wouldn't do this. Just because . . . I don't really want to start any sort of arguments or disagreements. But with how this election has been shaping up, I thought it was time for me to say something. Because I hate just sitting back and watching idly while things seem to be going from bad to worse.
And before you read anymore, I just want to stress that these are personal convictions I have on this matter. I'm not saying you have to agree with me, or that if you don't you're wrong. No, I'm just explaining why I think it's important to vote, and giving y'all my opinion on voting. (Not sure how much it's worth, but...) Also, I'm not endorsing anyone. (Literally not sure what good it would do anyway ... ;)) I'm just sharing my thoughts on the candidates and the reasons why I will personally be voting for Donald Trump.

So yes, now that all of that is out of the way . . . Most of you are probably aware that I come from a very conservative family. Thus, it's an unavoidable result that my thinking in all of life, including politics, has been shaped by the upbringing. Still, I know others who have had pretty much the same upbringing as me, and they think differently. So I just wanted to do a short post (I will try to keep it short!) on why I believe voting is so important, and why I believe it is our duty, as American citizens and Christians to do so, even when we have candidates like we've had this year.

--Romans 12:8 If it be possible, as much as it lieth in you live peaceably with all men. 

How is it possible to live in peace when our leader is someone who's policies go against some of our most fundamental beliefs as Christian?  In my opinion of the two candidates we have to chose from, Mrs. Clinton stands for a lot of things that I am against. She is for abortion, she promotes an un-biblical definition of marriage. Mr. Trump, on the other hand, hasn't exactly live a moral life himself. (okay, he hasn't at all. ;P) But his policies are mostly in accordance with the Bible on theses issues.

Why do I believe abortion is wrong?

Psalm 139:13-14 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 

Why do I believe marriage should only be between a man and a woman?

Genesis 5:2 Male and female he created them; and blessed them . . . in the day they were created

Genesis 2:4 Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall become one flesh. 



--Jeremiah 29:5-7 Build ye gardens, and dwell in them; and plant gardens and eat the fruit of them; take ye wives, and begat sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished. And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall you have peace. 

Though the Israelites were strangers in a strange country, yet they were still commanded to seek the peace of the city they had been exiled to.
As Christians living in this world, it is not our final home. Yet, just as the Israelites were commanded to seek the peace of the city that was not their home and participate in a government that was not their own, so we as Christians and strangers in this world are called to play a part in our Government and seek the peace of our country. Those in power in Babylon were, no doubt, a far cry from the kind of leaders God would have appointed in Israel. But regardless, God's chosen people were told to be a part of this Government.


--Deuteronomy 16:18 Judges and officers shall thou make thee in all thy gates, which the Lord God gaveth thee, throughout the the tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment. 

The people of Israel are commanded to elect judges and officials who will judge fairly. This election, not only is the office of president on the line, but also our Supreme court. Mrs. Clinton has as much as promised that she will appoint judges that support Roe vs. Wade; judges that support a definition of marriage that is contrary to what the Bible commands. 
Mr. Trump, on the other hand,  has promised to appoint conservative justices. In the last debate, he was asked if he would overturn Roe vs. Wade if he was president. He replied that "If we put another two or perhaps three justices on, that will happen. And that will happen automatically, in my opinion, because I am putting pro-life justices on the court.” (http://people.com/politics/trump-roe-v-wade-overturned/ 

--Romans 13-1-7 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.  For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. 

We are told to live in subjection of the authorities over us, for they are ordained (established) by God. 
Yes, it does say in Acts 5:29 that's when those in power command us to do something God forbids, God's way is always right. However, if we are following God, we are going to obey the leaders to the best of our ability. And we can't obey leaders who are blatantly against things the Bible teaches. 
Because of the fact that we are instructed to obey the rulers who are over us, we should do all we can to elect the rulers whose policies have the most in common with Bible. I'm not saying that those who are more conservative will always win. God allows judgment. (Micah 3:12; Amos 9:8) Perhaps the very fact that we are having a Trump/Clinton election is a part of God's judgment. Yet we still have a choice. We still have a candidate who says he stands for Biblical principals. 


--I Peter 2:13-17   Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

Oh, there's so much packed into here! Again we are reminded to obey the king (authority), for he is ordained of God. One thing I've noticed in talking to people is the fact that many say "Well, if God is ultimately in control and He elects rulers, why should we even bother to vote?" 
Well, why share the gospel with someone if God alone already knows whether or not they'll be saved sometime during their life? 
Yes, I know these are two very different subjects, but I believe the same principal can apply to both of them. We are mere humans, and we don't know the ways of God, yet he often works through us to accomplish his purposes. 
(Also, kinda a side note here, when we live in obedience to the authority over us, we are able to quiet those who may say that we don't care at all about the government since we believe that "God's ways are higher than man's.) 
God has gifted those of us who live in this country freedom. As Christians we have freedom in Christ (Galatians 5:1), yet He has also given us freedom in this country. Please don't tell me that our freedoms are slipping away. Yes, it's true in a way, yet, we still have more freedom that most places anywhere in the world! We need to continue to try and keep that freedom, and then use it not to get comfortable in our faith, but instead to use this freedom to bring others to Christ. The world is a mission field . . . but I think far too often when we say that we forget about the U.S. Here on our own soil millions of people need to know the Lord. We have the freedom to talk openly about our faith, to reach out to others without little or no fear of government involvement. While we still have the opportunity, let us not let it slip away!
We are to be slaves for Christ by sharing His gospel first of all. But don't sit by and hand over the freedom God has given us here in our country. 

Why do I believe we should vote? Because if we are supposed to be able obey the government, we need to have a say in who our leaders are. We need to vote for the lives of the unborn. We need to treasure the freedom God has blessed us with and take part in our government.
And what's our most basic responsibility as a citizen of this great nation? To vote. ;) 

--Daniel 2:20  Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:

Well, this post has ended up quite a bit longer than I expected. I do apologize for that. :) These two verses from Daniel seemed like a good way to wrap everything up. No matter what we personally feel convicted to do and ultimately decide to do, God is the one who will give us the wisdom to make the choice. And He's the one we should follow. 

1 Timothy 2:1-4 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

These are probably the most quoted and well known verses in this post. ;) No matter what your political leanings are, and no matter how the election turns out, we are instructed to pray for those in authority. Only God has the ability to change hearts . . . and He's still doing it today! 

--2 Chronicles 20:12b Neither know we what to do, but our eyes are upon thee. 

If you would like to look more in-depth at the difference between the democratic and republican platforms, I found this article that a friend emailed to me to be extremely helpful! https://billygraham.org/story/2016-party-platforms/?utm_source=DecisionElectionGuide+LP+Post+Event&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=Decision+Election+Guide&utm_content=Post+Event+BD160YDEG&SOURCE=BD160YDEG

I'm going to close this post with a sentence I got from an email that was forwarded to me with the above article. I don't know who originally said it or I would give credit. :) 

"This is not about fear. Whoever wins this election, GOD IS FOREVER ON THE THRONE. But we have a God-given right to vote and fight for justice and righteousness as long as we can."

Amen to that!!

The Tomb is . . . empty.

Matthew 28:1-9 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mar...