Tuesday, December 5, 2017

What Will I Find?

Let Christmas come alive for you this year in a breathlessly exciting way! Do you believe that Jesus really walked this earth and lived and breathed just like we do? Do you think He ever got weary, angry, happy or sad? Do you think He played like other children or would He have piously strode around with His head tilted just so so that His halo would remain at the perfect angle?
If this book doesn't leave you enthralled with what an incredible Man Jesus was then let me know. If you can convince me that you truly weren't impressed and aren't just pulling my leg, I'll refund you the money.
Oh, by the way, if you hurry you'll still get a chance to win a free night at our Bed and Breakfast. (You choose the date.) Check out the details on my website.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Something's Happened to Mommy!

This is the part of the sequel to Two Mothers, Twin Daughters I am working on. Don't forget the contest closes at Christmas.

Mummy,” Emily sounded troubled so Marita looked up from the sock she was mending. “When did you allow me to wear my bangs cut and my hair in curls?”

Marita dropped the yarn and sock back into the mending basket and reached for the photograph Emily was studying. Emily handed the picture to her mother but her eyes widened when she saw the stricken look on Marita's face.
“Oh, Alice, my little Alice,” Marita moaned as tears sprung to her eyes.
Emily was shocked to see her mother kiss the picture repeatedly. After staring at her for an instant she whirled out the door.
“Daddy!”She shrieked as she flew across the freshly fallen snow.

Randall ambled slowly towards his daughter. He was used to her excitability.

“Daddy!” she shrieked again, “Come quickly! Something happened to Mummy!
“Emily, where are your boots?” Without slackening his stride,
he scooped her up into his arms and strolled through the wide open door.

Randall was startled by his wife's expression. “Marita, are you alright?”

Marita smiled at him, her face radiant in spite of the tears.
“Oh, honey, do you know who this is,” she asked, showing him the picture.
“Em—No. No! This is Alice! Our Alice! Where did you get this?”
Without waiting for an answer, he continued; “ They're identical! They really are! Except for the fancy ringlets on this little girl's head, and,” he glanced mischievously as Emily, “this one's eyes are so huge!”

“Do you know that girl?” Emily asked.

Marita hesitated; “I saw her as a baby,” she replied.

“How come she looks so…. terribly… much like me?”

Oh, if only something…anything would happen to disrupt this conversation
. I’m not ready for it!… Will I ever be?

Marita swallowed the lump in her throat and knelt beside the child. She cupped the solemn little face with gentle hands. “She looks so much like you, honey because she’s your twin.”

“My twin? My very own twin?” Tears of understanding slowly filled Emily’s eyes. “I always wanted a sister. Now I have one and she’s far away.” She turned away and looked unseeingly out the window. Slowly, strange new questions came to her mind. But why is she gone? Why doesn’t she live with us if she’s my sister? How come I don’t remember her? Will they send me away, to? Out loud she announced, “I’m going to write my twin and tell her I love her.”
Was there a hint of defiance in that voice, or a quiver of loneliness?

“Not right now, dear. It’s time to set the table for supper.”
As Emily carried the stack of plates to the table, her lovely blue eyes were round and sad. “Why didn’t you tell me I had a twinnie?”

Marita studied her expression, “Because you were too little to understand.”
“But why isn’t she here with me? I want to play with her. I want her to sleep in my bed.”
Marita's eyes pleaded with her husband to help. Surely he would know what to say.
“We’ll get her as soon as possible,” he said tickling her nose with the end of her braid.
Emily didn't smile. The plates made a quiet thud-thud sound as they were placed on the table. When she was done, she stood looking out at the cloudy sky.
“Where is ‘Swizzerland’ Mummy?” she asked. “Is it very far away?”
“Very far, honey. But we want to get Alice back as soon as possible.”
“Did they kin-nap her?”
“Kidnap? Oh no. They took care of her for Mummy.”
When Emily didn’t answer, Marita wondered how she was processing the information. When she merely played with the food on her plate, Marita worried but didn't pressure her to eat.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Falling Rocks

When you drop a stone into the water, it disappears, right? No matter if it was a grain of sand or a diamond it sinks and sinks never to be seen again. Kind of discouraging, I'd say. Especially with the diamond. Maybe it seems the same way when we try to reach out in kindness to others. We want to be a Christian witness, we want others to know the joy our salvation brings so we smile at strangers, listen to their stories and go on our way. Did it do any good? The deed sank like a rock. But wait, look at those ripples, they are spreading out so far. What does that mean? The one poem says 'down a long eternity'. Can our random acts of kindness make a difference in someone's life forever? I sure hope so, and let's keep praying that someone will be drawn to Christ and reach Heaven because of our simple, easily forgotten (by us) gestures.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Too Much Cheese!

Hanzel was a jolly Dutchman with a white shirt and a vest who liked to make cheese almost better than anything else in the world. He liked it so much that Hanzel was positive that his cheese was by far the best in the whole county of Leyden. Problem is every farmer for miles around insisted that their own was superior to any other made in all of Holland and that lead to quite a hullabaloo on market day. There were rows and rows of stalls in the cheese section of the market, and the competition was fierce. Many if not all of them had banners in varying colours advertising their wares. The bolder ones went even farther and hired drummers which added to the din. Even the shyest had to resort to calling out the virtues of their special product.
And what was the result? No one got very much business. Friends, I feel very much like that bewildered Dutchman. Since the market has been opened wide to thousands of authors through the advent of self-publishing we are being drowned in a cascade of literature just at the time when technology is causing the interest in paper books to wan. Tell me, what should I do? If you have any advise, anything at all, please let me know. www.marilynshistoricalnovels.com

Thursday, November 16, 2017

MARY Did You Know


Happy holidays! How many times have you said that or had someone say that to you? Did it bring a smile to your face? Sure probably, but did it bring a warmth to your heart as you thought of the true reason for the season? 
Or do you even know why so many people all over the world have a celebration right in the middle of the shortest month in the northern hemisphere? 
 Have you ever heard of the tiny baby whose birth was heralded by a whole choir of angels? It looks as if all of Heaven couldn’t contain the joy that a Savior had come down to rescue fallen man from their sins. Did you know that wise men, possibly very wealthy ones at that, had traveled a very great distance to come and see this new born baby, and give Him wonderful gifts? That, by the way, is the reason why we exchange presents at Christmas. 
Traveling wasn’t so easy in those days and we are given reason to believe they journeyed over a vast desert to see the Son of God. This infant was created in the form of man, not only so He could save us, but so He could totally identify and have compassion on us even on our worst days!
Okay, this isn’t just a wonderful mythical story from long ago like the one about Santa Claus. This honestly happened: Jesus truly is the Son of God and millions have gotten to know and love Him to this day  because we know that after He died, He rose again and eventually went back to Heaven and sent a Comforter who gives us joy, peace, and guidance.
So are you going to have a Happy Holiday or a Blessed Christmas? I don’t care for the word ‘Merry’ because it suggests a frivolity that could lead to grief. See the word Christmas? It is announcing for all the world to see that Christ—that tiny baby, Jesus Christ—is supposed to be the center of the season. 

Are you going to invite Christ to your home, or better yet have Him the center of all you do?  Go for it! He is the most awesome Guest you will ever have.

Monday, November 13, 2017

I Can't Die, I Won't Die!

I hope you have the time or will take the time to read this to the very end because it has a surprise ending.  I do not know the name of the main character in this true story, so for simplicity sake will call her Melissa. Melissa was like many of us in that she went to church and enjoyed the social and spiritual aspects of it, but she didn't think the Bible needed to be taken literally when it spoke of being separate from the world in word and action.  1John 2: 15-17,  Romans 12:2. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/She would occassionally make fun of more conservative Christians and went on her merry way. Although she endured a slow and lingering death, cancer perhaps, she rejoiced in the assurance in being swept up to Heaven immediately after departing this life.
Now I will quote directly from this ancient book Dying Testimonies of Saved and Unsaved: https://www.amazon.com/Dying-Testimonies-Saved-Unsaved-Shaw/dp/1933304324
"respiration grew shorter and shorter and at last ceased and they deemed the spirit already in the embrace of blissful messengers who were winging it to paradise. A fearful shriek! and in a moment they beheld her that they had looked upon as the departed sitting upright before them with every feature distorted.
"Horror and disappointment had transformed that placid countenance so that it exhibited an expression indescribable fiendish. "I can't die," she shrieked, "I won't die!"

Her pastor walked in just then and she screamed, "Out of the door, thou deceiver of men!"
Then died.
Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven. Matthew 7:21https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/

Sunday, November 12, 2017

One of the Most Disturbing Stories Becomes a Favorite

 You've got to picture the background to understand what this woman was up against.  The Jews were God's Chosen People and they knew it. Most likely the neighbouring 'gentiles' were quite aware of this opinion also. But mother-love surpasses even racial barriers if the mother is desperate enough. This mom sure was. This Canaanite Woman knew Jesus was a teacher and a healer, she probably assumed He was in their country to preach to the Jews living among them but she didn't care. Her daughter was sick, really sick because of a demon that was causing terrific suffering. Jesus could deliver her, she knew it, so she pleads with Him to do so. www.marilynshistoricalnovels.com
Now here comes the puzzling part, not only did Jesus not do it, but He ignored her and later implied that she was a dog. (Probably a common racial slur at the time.)
Why did she persist? Because she saw something the disciples didn't. She saw the love in His eyes, and He saw her faith. He saw a tremendous opportunity to teach those hoity-toity Jews that God loved everyone. So why did she run off to beg the disciples to do something? Maybe she figured Jesus thought it would jeopardize His position if He healed her daughter so out of respect tried to give Him a break. But they weren't helpful so Jesus honoured her request--and her faith. I love it!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Don't Look If You Are Not Planning to Buy the Book

A Sweet Lily

Up ahead a lantern was glowing cheerily from a front window even though the hour was late. Marita hoped it was where they were going. Yes! They were turning down the narrow lane leading to the sweet white cottage!

Was that a flower behind those daintily ruffled curtains: a bright red geranium, perhaps?

Even before Mr Sutherland stopped the horse by the garden gate, the front door was flung open by a pleasantly plump grandma-type with snowy white hair. She hustled towards them with wide-open arms.
“Marita!” she cried, giving her a warm embrace. She held her out at arm’s length then gazed into her eyes.
“I have been longing to comfort the girl Randall chose. I just knew any girl Randall loved I would love, too. You have had such a hard time the past few months, and, perhaps I can make it up for you in some way. ”
Marita felt faint.
Mrs Sutherland tipped her chin with a finger. “Randall’s little wife,” she murmured shaking her head and smiling faintly. She is so lovely, yet seems dejected.
“It grieves me that you had to know pain and suffering at your age. I hope you were able to share with your parents in spite of that awful war going on.” (Marita winced.) “May I be like a second mother to you since yours is so far away?”Marita nodded, trying to swallow the lump in her throat.  Like a mother? My own never showed such tenderness to me. Randall’s sweet-faced mother beckoned her to come into the kitchen.
There on the small square table, spread with a dazzling white cloth, a very English looking tea awaited them. Marita gasped delightedly.

“I know it’s late but thought you might be hungry after such a long trip. I even remembered to heat the milk that you Englishers’ love to add to your very strong tea. I had to ask around about some of the other details, though. Perhaps you will like it just a little? I so hoped to make you feel a little more at home in our strange back woodsy country.”
“Like it?” Marita gasped, “Oh, Mrs Sutherland, I love it!” She impulsively gave her mother-in-law a heartfelt hug then stepped back, ashamed. Eighteen years had gone by and not once had she ever been tempted to hug her own mother.
“What’s the matter, honey? Is something wrong?”
Marita numbly shook her head.
“Don’t you like cream puffs? They are made from our own Jersey cream but perhaps don’t look near as lovely as what your mother made. Marita winced again, fancy mum ever making cream puffs, the richest thing she ever made was scones, and that only once!

“… Although I did make them just today-- it was such fun preparing for your arrival. That’s all right if you don’t like something; I want you to feel at home here, not anxious.”
The kettle was whistling merrily so she filled the teapot.
“Or don’t you care for cookies? I frosted them a little before your drove in the yard.” When she smiled, her light blue eyes twinkled and a dimple lurked near the corner of her mouth.
 Cookies, Marita did not know what she was referring.
“I, I’m not sure what you are talking about,” she confessed.
“Cookies? Do you not know what cookies are?”
 “Do you mean this?” Marita pointed to the neatly arranged pile of iced sugar cookies on a pink plate.
As Lily nodded, Marita reddened. I have to remember that biscuits are ‘cookies’ here in Canada.
“But is everything all right? I hope it’s not all too strange…”
“Oh, Mrs Sutherland, it’s not that—It’s nothing like that at all. Everything is just wonderful, just…too, too…wonderful.”
After thrusting Emily into her grandmother’s unsuspecting arms, she buried her face in her hands and turned away.
At that moment, Ben slammed the back door. He had returned from caring for the horse and wagon.
 “What’s that woman crying about now?” he growled brushing a piece of straw off his plaid flannel shirt.
Lily looked bewildered: “I have no idea,”.
“Try not to take your father-in-law’s gruff ways too personally,” she said in a low voice.  “He is quite deaf in one ear and suffered from shell shock during the first war.”
Marita’s head jerked up. That’s one possible explanation for his unfriendly behaviour I never thought of.
Mr Sutherland dragged a mint green chair out from beside the table and helped himself to a couple of cookies.
To Marita’s surprise, Lily leaned her hands on Ben’s shoulders, massaging them, and then stroked his greying hair. She murmured something into his good ear, which he must have understood because he nodded.
Marita stared.  She isn’t even afraid of him. Did she know how Ben had kept Randall from writing to her? 
Lily soon sat down, however, and while they were sipping tea and munching on treats, gently encouraged her daughter-in-law to tell about the trip, her family and the war.
Marita’s heart overflowed with love towards the woman. She felt safer with her mother-in-law than with Margaret even.  It was a healing balm to be sharing with her. Even her husband’s features seemed to soften when he gazed at his wife.
“Just call me Mom or Lily if you’re more comfortable with that,” Mrs Sutherland invited after a while. “My husband’s name is Ben, or perhaps you knew that already?”
Marita nodded. “How do, Ben,” she said self-consciously.
He grunted.
Inevitably, the talk turned to discussing Randall.
Ben’s lips compressed into a tight line when his son was mentioned, his eyes hardened. Marita turned to look at Randall’s mother’s and saw that hers were troubled.
“We’re sorry about Randall ending up in jail,” Lily confided, “and I’m sure he is too. He can be so impulsive, but truly has a tender heart! Maybe you can help him—somehow…” She gestured helplessly with her hands.
Marita couldn’t begin to guess what had happened yet it must have been most dreadful if he had to be imprisoned for it, she was too scared to ask.
Ben soon lumbered off to bed, but Marita and Lily shared into the wee small hours of the morning, which really wasn’t that far away.
Why is it that God has blessed me with such wonderful people in my life if I am just a nobody?” Marita exclaimed while they were washing up the dainty tea dishes together.
“A nobody? My darling child, why would you call yourself that?”
Marita didn’t answer directly but her mother-in-law gently drew her out, and soon she was confiding many seemingly insignificant details of her basically cheerless past. Lily’s heart yearned to find ways to bring joy and comfort to the young girl.
Marita shared quite a lot about Margaret, and as the clock crept past the midnight hour, she shyly confided about praying while travelling through the long dark night.
“That’s wonderful, simply wonderful!” Lily burbled, clasping Marita’s hand. “I prayed and prayed that you would learn to know my Jesus if you didn’t already.
That gives me more courage to believe that Randall might believe someday, also.”
 “Life isn’t near so hard when you have a friend like Jesus to take your troubles to.”
The two ladies had gone to sit in the tiny living room while visiting. Each had chosen a comfortable, floral print armchair on either side of the potbellied stove.  Lily kept her hands busy knitting a pair of wool socks for her husband while Marita had the baby nestled in her arms.
Emily was in the dreamy borderland between sleep and wakefulness and was making sucking sounds with her lips although her tummy was warmed and filled.
The sweet little innocent caused stirrings of maternal tenderness in the young mother, but a second later, she bit her lip as a shadow clouded her brow.  Lily noticed the change in her expression but could not comprehend why.
Eventually Lily saw that Marita’s eyes were falling shut. She felt stricken.
“Here you are so worn out and I’ve been yattering away! I’m sorry, Marit, I’m so sorry.”
Marita barely opened her eyes, barely smiled.  Lily hastened to show her to her room.  Ben had set the luggage just inside the door and Lily insisted on carrying it all by herself to Randall’s old room, which would be Marita’s for now.
“You have that precious darling to carry, and you’re much too tired to carry anything else,” Lily insisted.

“Not even my handbag?” Marita murmured drolly.

“Well, maybe your purse,” Lily conceded.

When Marita walked into Randall’s old room, a wave of loneliness threatened to overpower her. There was a quilt on the bed made up of a mixture of solid and plaid squares of cotton material. Marita was sure the pieces were from Randall’s shirts although she had never seen him in civilian clothes.

A row of books, much read, was on a shelf next to the corner. Forgetting her tiredness, Marita went over to exam them, eager to see what kinds of stories had interested her husband. There was Black Beauty with its setting partly in dear old London, and David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, but although most of the titles were unfamiliar, even the lingering scent in the room reminded her of her missing husband.

Lily had taken her granddaughter from Marita. Now she gently laid her on the bed in order to remove her wrappings. Emily stirred sleepily while Lily was diapering her but didn’t awaken.
“My, she must be very tired,” Lily remarked, a soft note of longing in her voice. “She makes me think of my own little twins,”
Marita's head jerked up; her mouth dropped open.
“W-what did you say?” she blurted.
“My own little twins: I guess Randall never told you.” She sighed deeply while picking at the lace edging on the little bonnet in her hands.
“They both had lots of dark hair and were so very tiny… Born far too prematurely, so they didn’t make it.” She dabbed at her eyes with the eyelet bonnet.
“My heart still aches when I think of them and the joy they could have brought to our home: two sweet little angels, Rachel and Rhoda. Rachel was the stronger and larger of the two. We hoped she would make it at least. But when Rhoda’s little heart gave out, Rachel seemed to lose the will to live.”
“I don’t know why I’m talking to you about this. I haven’t shared it with anyone for a long time. I guess because you feel so much like family, and you have a baby girl.”
 She searched her apron pocket for a hankie.
“We had them sleeping together in a softly padded wicker basket because they were premature. We placed it on the door of the oven to keep them warmer. They’d actually snuggle. You wouldn’t believe it unless you saw it for yourself.”
Marita did believe it, her own girls did the same, and now they were separated, forcibly: by their own mother.
Now Lily was looking into Emily’s eyes and cradling her gently in her arms. “So when Rhoda died, Rachel got restless—in a few hours she turned blue—and we couldn’t, we just couldn’t revive her—I still don’t know why she—they had to go to.” For a moment, she couldn’t continue. “
“It was the dead of winter, February, in fact, and the snow plough rarely comes out this far, so the doctor wasn't able to come.”
Lily was vaguely aware of how white Marita had become, and how increasingly agitated, but hadn’t thought about it until later.
 Marita’s hands fumbled as she searched for a nightgown for Emily and shook it out.  Soon the new grandma was lovingly dressing the child.
“Losing the babies caused me to turn to my parent’s faith for comfort and I began reading the Bible Mother had given me when we got married. I surrendered my life to Jesus and He’s been healing my broken heart, but Ben, -Dad- turned the other way. He became so bitter—”
“I—I guess I’d better go to bed, now,” Marita gasped.
 “Oh, I’m so sorry! Did I say something wrong? You must be extremely tired!”
“Ya, I am,” Marita stated flatly to shaken to realize just how rude it sounded. “I just want to go to bed.”
“Oh, Marita,” Randall’s mother fussed,” I am so thoughtless! May I bring you something, an aspirin, perhaps? You’ll be way too tired for a bath, I suppose?”
“I’ll go to bed just like I am, tonight.”
Lily kept apologising for keeping her up so late, but Marita was not listening. Lily got a distinct feeling Marita wanted to push her out of the room but was too polite to, so with a breaking heart, walked to her own room.
Lily felt perplexed by the girl’s actions. I thought we were getting along so nicely. What did I say that offended her? As she slid in quietly beside Ben, she prayed earnestly that God would help her to understand.

Remember the contest? Soon it will be December then you will have only 25 days to buy one of my books. Excerpt from one of the books offered. They are available in many countries.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Angelic Rescue

 I've been intrigued with angels, and have often wondered how I would respond if I actually saw one. 
   All though the night the snow must have fallen softly, because this morning there was a luscious layer covering the gray, muted landscape. For some reason, the gentle beauty made me think of hoarfrost on a day when the sky is a bright, clear blue. Surely an angels wings would sparkle like hoar frosty diamonds!
  No, I have never actually seen an angel in all its glory, but I have a precious memory of when one came to my aid. Our oldest daughter was just a wee tot when this happened. The stairs leading down to the basement of the house we were living in at the time were rotting, so needed to be replaced. They were removed in the evening and the brand new ones would be installed first thing in the morning. That gaping hole made me uneasy.
   During the night I woke up to the pitter patter of little feet. Audrey was coming to our room! I instantly got up to go to her, but she had walked past our bedroom and over to the basement doorway. I hurried over and brought her to safety. It wasn't until later that I realized I couldn't have possibly gotten to her on time, and she had stepped into mid air and was being held by an angel until I could reach her. Oh, Audrey, I wish you could remember this, and tell me what it was like to be held in an angel's arms!
   Now its your turn
I accidentally deleted all comments, but snuck Chloe's back in here. So sorry, folks!
 Let's share our experiences of heavenly encounters

Just Barely In Sight

Two mothers were watching their children scamper around in a large field of wildflowers. The children were having a lot of fun and the sun was shining overhead.

The younger mother took a sip of her iced drink and placed the tall sparkling glass in the cupholder on her chair. "It's sure a fine day for the children to be playing outside," she commented.

Her friend nodded and picked up the book she had brought along to read. They were silent for a while.

As the young mother, whose name was Pat watched the youngsters she mused. It is really too bad Jesus expects us to follow Him by faith and not by sight.Those children are happy because they can see us and know we are keeping an eye on them. Because we as Christians have to walk by faith we must be so careful and miss out on a lot of fun. 

A shrill scream pierced the summery balm and was echoed by a dozen more. By the time the women reached the children one was writhing in agony on the ground while several small lads were trying to kill a poisonous snake with stones. Someone called 911 and a rescue was made but Pat was left shaken. If we had been with the children, this would have not happened.

Just as she was dozing off that night another thought stole into her awareness. If we could walk by sight with Jesus, some of us would wander as far away as we dared and would not know we were in danger. Our Guide knows what is best.