Thanksgivings Revisited

Three and a half turkeys, 3 wild, 1 cooked

Let’s revisit recent Thanksgivings

EPAPHRAS STRUGGLES WITH THANKSGIVING

Back in 2016, In my novel, The Pray-ers, Book 1, Troubles, Epaphras struggles with Paul’s teaching on giving thanks.

In this short post I quote the two historical characters, as they walk thru this issue.

I think you’ll find it entertaining, as well as informative.

CLICK HERE for the post and Epaphras’ struggle. The Itinerant preacher Alexander Rich is also quoted in the post.

Click above or on the characters below:

The novel cover of The Pray-ers with the main characters for all 3 eras

If you’re interested, the book is available for FREE after you pay shipping and handling of $7.95. Just CLICK HERE, or the book below.

Free Book Offer After Shipping & Handling

 


 

Last year I wrote the following post at Thanksgiving:

THANKSGIVING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE

 

A Thanksgiving scene with lots of food

The title tells the story of the post. To read it, CLICK HERE, if you dare.

 


ONE MORE

Only one, I promise.

THANKING GOD FOR THE TOUGH STUFF

CLICK HERE to read the short post and view the short video. It’s titled, Thanking God For The Tough Stuff.

Video Still of Thanking and Praying

Believe me when I tell you, “It’ll challenge ya!”

 


Okay, One More

Do you mind if I give you a little perspective?

Here’s an Instagram post of mine from the other day.

Recent post from Instagram

 

 

Blessings,

Mark S Mirza Signature

Book 2 Sneak Peek

Just like the title says,
I get to give you a
SNEAK PEEK of my book.

Forgive the photo. I don’t particularly like that shot, but the publicity department in heaven told me to use it.

Below is the FIRST CHAPTER. Give me your feedback:

CHAPTER ONE

Day One

 

 

 

Her sobbing was uncontrollable and watching her caused my throat to constrict. My chest wanted to heave and a tear, which I could not hold back, slipped from my eye. I was angry, really angry.

I couldn’t believe this was happening. I mean, I knew in my mind this would occur, but watching Mary bury her head into John’s shoulder, and hearing her sobs for her Son, they were heart-wrenching and impacted my emotions, something for which I was not prepared.

Somehow it comforted me to see John hold Mary close to his heart. As I watched her release her emotions, I wished I could too, but I was one angel amongst the twelve legions of angels[1] on assignment. We were literally on the most important call of our four-thousand-year-old lives.

Every sinew of my nine-foot-tall body burned. I had been on full alert for the previous twenty-four hours, muscles taut, leaning forward, unblinkingly watching the chaos around my God, and your Saviour. I awaited a call from our mutual Creator’s lips.

Anger wasn’t the only emotion I dealt with. I experienced a frustration I had never felt before or since.

We numbered more than eighty-thousand angels and represented every department in the Realm. My department is the Company of Guardian Angels, but I confess, right now I felt like we were worthless angels, not guardians at all.

While every single one of us were poised and ready to move, we just stood there. We watched the self-righteous Pharisees judge Jesus in their kangaroo court proceedings. We then stood and hovered watching the political leaders who were more interested in building relationships than making hard decisions.

Watching this, I had one overarching thought, “Give me the word, Jesus, Son of God, so I can race to my position, take my stance and bring You victory.”

The call I wanted to hear never came. Instead, Nesah, my immediate supervisor, an Undersecretary to Michael the Archangel, gave the order, “Hael, stand down.”

And just then I heard those words, “Into Your hands I commit My Spirit.”[2]

I wouldn’t be allowed to do a single thing. I could only watch. And I did, I watched as the lifeless body of my Creator hung there, limply, on a cross.

 

Outside of the Earthly Realm there is the Heavenly Realm which includes the Angelic Kingdom and the Demonic Kingdom. Technically the demons are angels too, but this nomenclature has worked best for us since the rebellion.

As a result of the two kingdoms being in the same Realm we can hear everything going on in both Kingdoms, which comes in handy for the Winged Rotating Oversight Committee (WeROC), which is located in the redacted department in Heaven.

But at Golgotha today, I didn’t need WeROC. I heard them. We all heard them, and they knew it.

They acted like they were on bleachers in a stadium watching a sporting event. They cursed and laughed, yelled and screamed, hooted and hollered. Their celebration seemed to know no bounds. It was nearly more than I could handle. But when they cheered in a unison chant, it unnerved me.

I had put up with it all day and the previous night.

It began when Jesus, in the garden sweating drops of blood, returned to Peter, James and John who were asleep.[3]

“Simon are you sleeping?” Asked Jesus.

When the agony in His voice became palpable to all of us, the demons cheered.

When Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss[4] and Jesus was then arrested,[5] the demons cheered.

During the physical abuse in the company of Annas, then Caiaphas, the demons cheered.

At Peter’s denials[6] the demons mocked the big fisherman, but when they noticed Jesus turn and look directly at Peter,[7] the demons cheered.

In Pilate’s courtyard, Jesus and Barabbas were offered to the crowd. When they rejected Jesus,[8] the demons cheered.

Pilate’s Roman soldiers mocked Jesus in the Praetorium, shoving a crown of thorns into his scalp. They stripped Him and led him out to be crucified,[9] and again, the demons cheered.

At the sight of the weakened Christ stumbling, falling and dropping his cross, the demons cheered.

When the soldiers put the mocking title on the cross, above Jesus’ head,[10] the demons cheered.

Not only did their boisterous arrogance and cheering infuriate me, but the incredible number of them shocked me. I was surprised how many of them were arrayed around Golgotha. I had forgotten how many they are.

Not since the rebellion lucifeR perpetrated in heaven, shortly after the creation of Adam and Eve, had I seen the entire horde all in one place. Back then, when the demons chose to follow sataN, a full one third of the original angelic host[11] were huddled together leaving heaven.

They had just lost their positions of authority and rank, and were all leaving heaven, humiliated.

Today, they were anything but humiliated.

As I review and record the events of that night and day, I am reminded of the three hours of darkness which engulfed the entire land.[12]

I sensed a gleam of light, as it were, and want to record it for you. They were fearful. While the demons couldn’t put their clammy talons on it, they knew something was amiss.

Since this darkness came from the Lord, the demons knew they could not control it, and I sensed fear in them.

When the curtain in the sanctuary was ripped in two,[13] I sensed fear in them.

During Jerusalem’s earthquake,[14] I sensed fear in them.

When dead bodies of the saints were raised,[15] I sensed fear in them.

And then when they realized the hardened centurions were moved by this Nazarene Carpenter’s death,[16] I sensed fear in them.

I tried to imagine what these demons were thinking. Surely, they knew they had just suffered an incalculable loss. And while they had been arrogant for the previous twenty-four hours, the reality of their condition had to have finally hit them.

But that very evening, the strong influence of deception showed itself. These demons, initially created perfect, were like their chosen father, the devil. They spoke only lies, which is their true nature. And they constantly want to carry out their father’s desires, for there is no truth in them.[17]

Paradoxically, another noteworthy thing happened which I will never forget. When Jesus gave up His spirit, I saw lucifeR edge away from his demons, for the evil one knew something they did not yet comprehend.

The day sataN dreaded, had arrived.

[1] Matthew 26:53

[2] Luke 23:46

[3] Mark 14:37

[4] Mark 14:45

[5] Mark 14:46

[6] Mark 14:66-72

[7] Luke 22:61

[8] Luke 23:13-18, 24

[9] Mark 15:16-20

[10] Matthew 27:37

[11] Revelation 12:4

[12] Matthew 27:45

[13] Matthew 27:51a

[14] Matthew 27:51b

[15] Matthew 27:52

[16] Matthew 27:54

[17] John 8:44


Book 1

Buy it while you are awaiting book 2. You can click the picture below, or CLICK HERE.

The novel cover of The Pray-ers with the main characters for all 3 eras

 

Blessings,

Mark S Mirza Signature

 

Church Unity, Then and Now

Church unity, then and now, featured picture

Demonstration of Unity

I have been spending a lot of time with the book of Colossians. Because book 2 of my current novel series, (which I just finished this week, YIPPEE!!!) includes a major section that centers around the ancient city of Colossae (you can find book 1 HERE).

I was up late last night rereading the beginning of Colossians and it struck me that Paul says, “hello” to so many of his churches by telling them how much and how often he and his entourage thank the Lord for them.

Love in the Colossae Church

And though I have read it dozens and dozens of times over these this last few months. It struck me how this view of Love in the Colossae Church must differ from ours in the 21st century Church.

Now I recognize that I am painting churches with one broad brush and that is unfair. I give that to you and I apologize if am wrong about your church, which I know I will be.

Love For All the Saints

But I started thinking about many, many of the people that I pray with and I recognized that I see Love For All the Saints in Jerry and Todd, and in the 3 Davids, in Lew and Derrick and Tony.

Love For All the Saints is evident in Bryan and Greg and Aaron and Bryant.

There is Love For All the Saints in Tom and in Bennett, in Brandon and Ben and Marc, in Jerry and Vince and Victor.

I also see Love For All the Saints in Roger and Eugene, in Don in Craig and in John and Reed.

I even see Love For All the Saints in the women that I pray with on these conference calls.

They all pray!

Now you need to realize, these men and women come from all over the economic landscape and the spiritual maturity landscape. They come from all over the theological landscape, and, God forbid, the political landscape.

And it took me only half a second to realize what the common denominator was and is, in every single one of them. Surely you know what that common denominator is, don’t you?

They all pray!

The Colossae Leader Prayed

DON’T think I’m writing ONLY TO PASTORS!

Are you a leader in your home, with your siblings, at work, when you are alone and by yourself?

This message is to ALL OF US!

Is it any wonder that Epaphras who played an important role in the Colossae church (Colossians 1:7a) before he went to Paul’s side, is known and remained known as a man of Prayer (Colossians 4:12-13)?

Whose Fault is Dis-Unity

PS. You may want to stop reading this. Continue at your own risk. . .

There is a reason we do not have unity in the church . . . And it is our fault.

It’s not the fault of those that we believe are wrong in their thinking. It’s not the fault of those who won’t change “no matter how much we pray” that they do change.

I believe the problem is in us, the ones who won’t pray that we would love others unconditionally.

Love them when they see the light and get their act together? Absolutely!

But humbly come before the Lord and ask Him to fix me because I don’t like somebody, with a righteous dislike of course! Absolutely No Way!

What’s the Cost

Why don’t we have #ChurchUnity?

I believe the reason we do not have #ChurchUnity is because it is too costly. And we, the ones who “claim we want” unity are, for the most part, unwilling to pay the price.

Imagine what #ChurchUnity means. It means that I have to engage with, “those other people.”

Scripture and Unity

Romans chapter 15 verse 5 (Mark’s paraphrase) May the God of endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves, as you follow Christ.

You want unity? It’s the other guy’s responsibility, right?

Not at all. You want unity? It’s on you, not them.

John chapter 17 verse 21 (again, Mark’s paraphrase) The way they will know that I came from the Father has nothing to do with your ability to parse doctrine, how you baptize, how you pray or how you vote. The way they will know that I came from the Father is if you have unity. By the way that was Jesus speaking.

The next time you talk about unity in the church, would you ask yourself if you’re willing to pay the price to be united with those that you vigorously disagree with?

Blessings,

 

Mark S Mirza Signature

Children’s Prayer Book 1, for 99 Cents

99 cent kindle add

I Need Your Help!

Many of you know, and have, this prayer book for children in physical format.

99 cent kindle add for book 1 of Rainbows of Promises

 

But I just put it on Kindle and would ask for your help!

Does this work for you?

Do you like having this children’s book on your phone or tablet?

Will it be easier for you to share with your kids/grandkids?

One More Question:

Do you like the format and the simplicity of it?

CLICK HERE to buy it for 99 cents as an electronic book.

And of course, click on the icon below for the link to the physical book.

Why The Questions?

There is a reason for these questions. I have Book 2, The Old Testament that I am getting ready to add to Kindle, depending upon your feedback. Its cover will look like this:

 

Blessings my friends,

 

Mark S Mirza Signature

July 4th Kindle Release, Threefold Cord

Featured Image for the July 4th 99 cent offer of A Threefold Cord

Mark’s 1830’s Daily Devo

Often called a Prayer-Devo

Is now available electronically!

AND FOR THIS WEEKEND ONLY

You can purchase it for 99 cents,

by CLICKING HERE.

After this weekend it becomes $4.99 per download.

 

Interested in the physical book?

Click on the book cover below to buy it and to see more details on it.

A Threefold Cord Cover

 

Please remember to give us your feedback.

Mark S Mirza Signature

 

Spiritual Warfare Treatise

Featured Image for the Spiritual Warfare quote from Dr. Dale in The Pray-ers, Book 2

Well, the Beginning of a Treatise

Many of you know that my second Historical Christian Fiction novel (what a mouthful) in The Pray-ers series is going to focus on Spiritual Warfare.

I want to share with you a few sentences that Dr. Dale, the modern day track coach says at the beginning of his series on Spiritual Warfare:

Spiritual Warfare has been marketed so we are wrongly calling God’s actions on earth and His sovereign work in our lives, spiritual warfare.

Acts of God, natural disasters, are wrongly considered spiritual warfare.

The difficulties He brings into our lives so we can be a Godly example to others, are wrongly considered spiritual warfare.

The challenges which come our way to strengthen our faith muscle, if we let it, are wrongly considered spiritual warfare.

The opportunities God gives us to comfort others, because he has first comforted us, are thwarted because we wrongly look at the situation, the difficulty, the challenge, as spiritual warfare.

Spiritual Warfare has been so marketed, the things God uses to prepare us for the future are wrongly considered spiritual warfare!

You may find this a concern, and I fully understand that. But please allow Dr. Dale to challenge your thinking.

He is challenging mine!

 

Mark S Mirza Signature

 

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Moses and the Lampstands (In 3 Languages)

Featured Photo of post talking about God in the Details

ENGLISH

God and the Details

MOSES AND THE LAMPSTANDS
READ | Numbers 7:89-8:3

Numbers 7:89-8:3 (NASB)

(89) Now when Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with Him, he heard the voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was on the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim, so He spoke to him.
(1)Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
(2)”Speak to Aaron and say to him, ‘When you mount the lamps, the seven lamps will give light in the front of the lampstand.'”
(3) Aaron therefore did so; he mounted its lamps at the front of the lampstand, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

Have you ever wondered who to talk to about all of the “little things” in your life? I know that we all believe that we can talk to the Lord, but really, do we? How many of you talk to the Lord about which gasoline to put in your car, what date/s you should go to the ball-game, where you should go on holiday? I bring this up because if you look at our passage above it would seem that the Lord talks to Moses about something that we would think is inconsequential, the direction of the lamps! How bizarre is that? But it should be a reminder to us that our God is interested in EVERYTHING in our lives!

Look at the passage, the Lord essentially is telling Moses to tell Aaron which direction to face the lampstands…incredible!

Let me take this another step further, have you ever thought that God knows everything about everything? I know that you recognize that in your head, but I wonder if you recognize that in your heart. When you are at work, and you are stuck and don’t know what to do next, how quickly do you bring the Lord into the equation? How quickly do you ask the Lord to give you the wisdom to complete the work (James 1:5)? I don’t expect you to drop to your knees at your desk, but you can get up, walk to the restroom, walk outside, etc. There are all kinds of ways for you to bring the Lord into your workplace. The same thing goes at your home, when you are struggling with something (or someone) there, get away for a few minutes and talk to the Lord. He really is interested in each of those “little things” in our life.

There’s one more practical reason this is important. If you are a person who is committed to praying for others, we would all agree that it is important to take seriously trusting in the Lord. After all, those we are praying for expect us to have confidence, when we pray for their needs. I believe that we demonstrate to the Lord, to ourselves, and to those that are closest to us, how much we REALLY trust the Lord, by how we bring our “little things” to Him. If you pray for others with supposed confidence in the Lord you need to demonstrate it at home too.

So I challenge you to have confidence in coming to the Lord, even on those “little things” in your life, like which direction a lampstand should face.

Questions for Moses and the Lampstands:

  • Amazing that God would allow an example in scripture of how He is really concerned about the little things. Can you think of how you might make the same point to your family?
  • What things do those around you want prayer for, that you would have looked at as a little thing?
  • Now as you pray for them, what impact on your child do you think this will make?
  • How likely are they to pray for everything and anything as they get older, because they saw you praying for little things.
  • You have a wonderful opportunity to influence your family GREATLY.
  • Pray for the LITTLE things!

SPANISH

Dios y los Detalles

MOISÉS Y LOS CANDELABROS
LEA | Números 7:89-8:3

 

Números 7:89-8:3

89) Cuando Moisés entró en la Tienda de reunión para hablar con el SEÑOR, escuchó su voz de entre los dos querubines, desde la cubierta del propiciatorio que estaba sobre el arca del pacto. Así hablaba el SEÑOR con Moisés.
1) El SEÑOR le dijo a Moisés:
2) «Dile a Aarón: “Cuando instales las siete lámparas, éstas deberán alumbrar hacia la parte delantera del candelabro.” »
3) Así lo hizo Aarón. Instaló las lámparas de modo que alumbraran hacia la parte delantera del candelabro, tal como el SEÑOR se lo había ordenado a Moisés.

¿Alguna vez ha tratado de de encontrar a alguien con quien hablar acerca de los “asuntos pequeños” en su vida? Se que todos nosotros creemos que podemos hablar con el Señor pero, honestamente, ¿Lo hacemos? ¿Cuántos de ustedes hablan con el Señor acerca del tipo de gasolina que van a poner en su auto, o de las fechas para ir a ver un partido, adónde ir un día feriado? Hablo de esto porque si usted mira el pasaje anterior, pareciese que Dios le habla a Moisés respecto de algo irrelevante, la orientación de las lámparas. ¿No le parece raro? Pero esto debe ser un recordatorio de que Dios por TODO lo relacionado con nuestras vidas.

Échele una mirada al pasaje, el Señor básicamente, le está diciendo a Moisés que le diga a Aarón en que dirección poner las lámparas… increíble.

Permítame llevar esto un paso más allá. ¿Alguna vez ha pensado en el hecho de que Dios conoce todos los detalles respecto de todas las cosas. Yo se que usted lo acepta en su cabeza, pero me pregunto si lo reconoce en su corazón. Cuando está en su trabajo y no sabe que hacer, ¿qué tan pronto incluye al Señor en el asunto? ¿Qué tan pronto le pide al Señor que le de la sabiduría para completar su tarea (Santiago 1:5)? Yo no espero que usted se ponga de rodillas en frente de su escritorio, pero puede levantarse y caminar hacia el servicio sanitario, ir afuera del edificio, etc. Hay muchas maneras en las que usted puede traer al Señor a su lugar de trabajo. Lo mismo se aplica para su hogar. Cuando usted está batallando con algo, o con alguien, aléjese por un par de minutos y hable con Dios. El realmente está interesado en todas esas “cositas” en su vida.

Hay una razón práctica más por lo que esto es importante. Si usted es una persona comprometida a orar por otros, deberemos estar de acuerdo en que el confiar en el Señor es algo que debemos tomar con mucha seriedad. Después de todo, aquellos por los que estamos orando esperan que nosotros confiemos en Dios cuando oramos por sus necesidades. Yo creo que nosotros demostramos a nosotros mismos, a aquellos cerca nuestro, cuanto es lo que REALMENTE confiamos en el Señor, cuando traemos a el esas “pequeñas cosas” en oración. Si ora por otros con una supuesta confianza en el, usted debe demostrar esta confianza en su propia vida también.

Entonces, quiero retarle para que venga al Señor con toda confianza, trayendo inclusive esas “cositas” en su vida, tales como en que dirección deben orientarse los candelabros.

Preguntas para Moisés y los Candelabros:

  • Dios permite un maravilloso ejemplo en su Palabra para dejarnos ver como se preocupa aún por las cosas pequeñas. ¿Puede pensar en cómo explicar esto a su familia?
  • ¿Cuántas cosas de las que alguien le ha pedido orar le han parecido “pequeñeces”?
  • Ahora, mientras ora por sus hijos ¿Qué impacto cree que esto va a tener en sus vidas?
  • ¿Es posible que crezcan aprendiendo a orar por todo al verlo a usted orar aún por las cosas pequeñas?
  • Usted puede impactar a su familia TREMENDAMENTE.
  • Ore por las cosas pequeñas.

SWAHILI

Mungu na Maelezo

MUSA NA VINARA
SOMA | Hesabu 7:89-8:3

Hesabu 7:89-8:3

89) Kisha Musa alipoingia ndani ya hema ya kukutania ili kunena na Mungu, ndipo aliposikia sauti ikinene naya kutoka hapo juuya kiti cha rehema, kilichokuwa juu ya saduku la ushahidi. Ikitoka kati ya yale makerubi mawili, naye akanena naye.
1) Kisha Bwana akanena na Musa na kumwambia
2) Nena na Haruni ukamwambie utakaposiweka taa hiza taa saba, zitatoa nuru hapo mbele ya Kinara cha taa.
3) Basi Haruni akafanya, akasiweka taa zake ilisitoe nuru hapo mbele ya Kinara, kama Bwana alivyo mwagiza Musa.

Je, umewahi kushangaa nina unaweza kuongea naye kuhusu mambo yote madogo katika maisha yako? Ninajua tunamini kwamba tunaweza kuongea na Mungu, lakini kweli, je tunaweza? Niwangapi wenu munamuliza Mungu niainagani ya mafuta mutaweka kwa gari, nitarehe gani utaenda kwa michezo, niwapi utaenda likizo? Ninawasilisha hili kwasababu ukiangalia mandiko pale juu, inaonyasha kama kwamba Mungu aliongea na Musa kuhusu mambo tunayoweza kudhani si ya muhimu, Mwelekeo wa Kinara! Ni ya kushangaza namnagani? Lakini niya kutukubusha kwamba Mungu anahusika nakila kitu maishani mwetu.

Tazama andiko, Mungu anamwambia Musa aambie Haruni ni upendi gani ataelekeza Kinara…kushangaaza!

Ebu nipeleke hii mbele saidi,Je ushawahi kufikiri Mungu ana jua kila kitu ya kila kitu? Najua unajua kwamawazo yako, lakini nashangaa kama unajua kwa roho yako. Wakati uko kazini, na umekwama, na hujua cha kufanya, ni haraka kiazi gani unamuliza Mungu hekima kumaliza kazi (Yakobo 1:5) Sitarajii uanguke kwa magoti kwa kiti chako, lakini unaweza kuinuka, Uenda msalani, uende inje na kadhalika. Kuna njia nyingi mno za kuleta Mungu mahari pako pa kazi. Mambo hayo hayo yanaweza kutumika nyumbani kwako, Wakati unasumbuka na jambo (au mtu) hapo, ondoka kwa mnda mufupi uongee na Mungu. Kwa hakika ana husika kwa kila kitu kidogo katika maisha hako.

Kunasababu ingine ya wazi na ni ya muhimu. Kama wewe ni mtu amejitolea kuombea wengine, sote tunaweza kukubaliana ya kwamba ni ya muhimu kutilia maanani kuamini Mungu. Hata hivyo, wale tunaowaombea wanatalajia tuwe na ujasiri, tunapowaombe kwa mahitaji yao. Naamini tuna dhihirisha kwa Bwana, na kwetu, na kwa walio karibu nasi, jinsi tunamwamini Bwana, kwa vile tunaleta mambo yetu madogo kwake. Ukiwaombea wengine kwa ujasiri katika Bwana unahitaji kuonyesha nyumbani pia.
13 Kwa hivyo na kuchangamoto uwe na ujasiri ukija kwa Bwana, hata kwa hayo mambo madogo katika maisha yako, kama vile niupande gani Kinara kinaangali.

Swali kwa Musa na Kinara:

  • Ni ya kushangaza kwamba Mungu ana ruhusu mfano katika andiko jinsi anahusika na mambo madogo. Je, unaweza kufiri jinsi unaweza kufanya hivyo kwa jamii yako?
  • Ni mambo gani walio karibu nawe wanahitaji kuombewa, ambayo umeona ni mambo madogo.
  • Unapowaombea, Nimambadiliko gani kwa mtoto wako unafiri italeta?
  • Niuwezekano gani kwamba wataombea kila jambo watakapo kuwa wakubwa kwa sababu walikuona ukiombea mambo madogo.
  • Uko nanafasi nzuri ya kufutia jamii yako kwa kuu.
  • Ombea mambo madogo!

 

Blessings,

 

Mark S Mirza Signature

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The Johnstown Tragedy, Ready for Pre-Purchase

Featured Image of the Johnstown Tragedy

FINALLY

My latest novel is ready for pre-purchase.

Forgive me, I said “My latest. . .” when in point of fact it is the Guardian Angel, Hael’s first novel. 

Below is a 2 1/2 minute video, quickly walking you through the book:

129 Years In The Making

This novel begins with the graphic, heart-rending descriptions from the 1889 account written by James Herbert Walker. Hael then inserts backstories of his and other angel’s descriptions of men and women;

  • Some who died,
  • Some who lived, and
  • Some who took advantage of the tragedy.

The collage of pictures below are just a few of the pictures that filled the 1889 author’s book. CLICK HERE to view these drawings and photos more clearly.

A few of the pictures from 1889 of the Johnstown tragedy

In contrast to the 1889 stories, Hael tells us of a variety of incidents which occurred;

  • Before the flood,
  • During the flood,
  • After the flood, and
  • Far from the flood, in heaven.

His backstories are so varied that you will look forward to each one. Here are just a few of his titles.

  • HAEL, CHRISTLIKE BRAVERY
  • HAEL, GERTIE’S TESTIMONY
  • HAEL, INCREDULOUS ABOUT PRAYER

Throughout 384 pages you will see these section titles, all in caps, and italicized. These instantly tell you that a backstory from Hael begins. In them, you will see human tragedy mixed brilliantly with Godly hope.

As an added focus, Hael shows us what happens between earth and heaven, as well as many, many descriptions of meetings in heaven.

If you are wondering if this will be a depressing book, I can give you a resounding, “No! You will be moved, and it will be sobering. But YOU WILL experience hope and even joy.”

Sample Hael’s Backstories

Below are a couple of Hael’s backstories, in full. Enjoy:

HAEL, TWO SISTER’S DEATHS
     Note the account above of the features being “twisted and contorted as if they had died in the most excruciating agony. Others are found lying stretched out with calm faces.” This reminds me of two sisters, both were Christians and are in heaven right now. But both met their death very differently.
     Miss Molly and Miss Emma were known in South Fork as the Spinster Sisters. They were twins born in 1831 when this area was known as the rough far west region of the Unites States. They were born of sturdy hard-working parents who just barely made a living, raising chickens and cattle. The girls grew up knowing the hard labor that sons would have done, had their mother been able to have additional children after the girls were born. But the birth of twins out in the beautiful, but lonely far west ruined her ability to have any more children.
     And so, the two girls were the “boys” their father wanted and needed. Miss Molly and Miss Emma were visiting family in Pittsburgh when their parents died together in a flood in 1862 that occurred because the same dam weakened and broke. Being unmarried and thirty-one years old, they decided to stay on in South Fork, after all, Molly had become very active in her church.
     Miss Molly and Miss Emma were identical twins. Standing next to one another, you couldn’t tell them apart, but that is where the similarity ended. The moment they moved apart you could see instantly the activity that Miss Molly would endeavor to accomplish. But Miss Emma’s heart was very different.
     When Miss Molly was teaching a Bible study, making a dinner and organizing the young boys to clean the yard where they were to feast after church, Miss Emma contented herself to play with the children, tidy the house, and read their parent’s Bible, allowing it to direct what she prayed about and how she prayed.
     That morning and afternoon were exactly what you would expect, Miss Molly entered Johnstown before the sun and walked the grounds where numerous flags awaited the soon coming parade. She had two or three boys with her sending them as dispatch riders to accomplish this item and accomplish that item.
     Miss Emma stayed close to Molly, but would break away to encourage a little child she saw who might be up early on this historic and exciting day. Alert to the feelings of those around her she always watched the boys her sister would give orders to and calm their nerves when they realized Miss Molly had just demanded what they feared would be beyond their ability.
     Miss Molly ordered people, and Miss Emma encouraged people.
     Miss Molly handled her women’s Bible study the same way: she told them how to live and what to do. And then she demonstrated it, “showing what a real Proverbs 31 woman does” she would often say.
     One Sunday morning Miss Molly felt so bad from a head cold that she could not get out of bed to go to church. Fearing that her women would begin to believe that they too did not need to go to church, she sent her sister, Miss Emma to conduct the Bible study.
     “Emma,” she said, “I know that you surely cannot teach the women like I do, nevertheless, I need your help and expect you to teach the women for me.”
     After a calm smile, confident Miss Emma replied softly, “I’ll do my best sister.”
     It was the last time Miss Molly ever asked her sister to lead the study, for the next Sunday when Miss Molly sat with her ladies and Miss Emma took her usual place behind Molly, the class began to tell her how much they enjoyed Miss Emma.
     “It was like we were sitting at the feet of Jesus,” one woman explained.
     On the fateful day of the flood which tore their mortal lives from them, they were hiking alongside the swift moving Conemaugh River. The trail they were walking on got closer and closer to the normally tranquil river and immediately their trail disappeared under the raging water so the sisters started to climb up the steep ravine. They had left Johnstown heading back home to South Fork when they heard it. They had never heard a sound like this before. As it came toward them they expected to see bolts and shafts of lightning all around them. For the sound was as if thousands of cracking lightning bolts were being hurled down by God Himself.
     As they stopped to take a rest the two sisters saw a dirty mist churning toward them. They looked in shocked amazement for what seemed like an eternity but could only have been a few seconds. They saw trees being turned over in a large wave of dust and debris.
     The debris would rise to the top of the wave and then come sharply, and forcefully down upon the earth below, with a deafening sound. They turned to look at one another, realizing at the same time that they would not escape this, and here in the midst of the ultimate turmoil, a life-threatening event, the differences in the two sisters became evident.
     While Miss Emma fell to her knees she raised her hands and lifted her face to heaven. Remembering the words of Job, she cried out, for she had to yell to hear herself above the roar coming so close to her. “Oh Father, with nothing I came into this world, and with nothing I leave this world.”
     With her arms raised she lowered her head in submission to God. The debris flying around her was so thick that she shut her eyes. When she opened them again she saw Jesus standing and welcoming her into His kingdom, and standing next to him were her mother and father.
     A few feet away from Miss Emma, who had just hit her knees, Miss Molly had a decidedly different reaction. When her sister went to her knees, she turned and hurled herself in the opposite direction. While running and jumping as quickly as she could the sound got closer and closer.
     Looking up to the heavens as she ran she said anxiously, “Why have you done this Lord?” She then felt the crush of the churning debris pick her up and pound her into the ground. Although a fellow angel had her surrounded by his wings she felt an intense agony so all pervasive that she did not want to open her eyes, yet when she did, she saw Emma, already robed in white, standing next to Jesus along with their parents.

 

HAEL, DECEPTION
     As usual, seeing only the side of this disaster from your vantage point misses a great deal of the “action,” as you may want to call it. (Hael is telling you this because in the book, The Johnstown Tragedy, you would have just read the 1889 author’s account of Hettie’s death, without Hael’s insight).
     Mrs. Hettie Ogle had been on the job with Western Union for nearly thirty years. She had lost her husband in the Civil War and had a tough outer skin that caused her to take her job more seriously than one would expect. She also took responsibility for her daughter Minnie, but both would perish as they did not expect the flood would do the damage that it did.
     Remember that the evil one’s deception is best told by Jesus who said he is here to steal, to kill and to destroy. This is only half the verse though, for in the other half Jesus tells you that He has come that you might have an abundant life.
     The demon hoadtiE (pronounced like HŌD-tī, with a long “O” and a long “I”) had been called in from Eastern Europe where he had spent the last 2000 years. It became obvious to us that the evil one had him, an upper echelon demon in the Western Union office to cause more deception and distraction.
     Mid-morning on this rainy and dreary day hoadtiE had continued to speak into the ear of 52-year-old Hettie Ogle that, “this would not be a difficult day, very wet, and the creek will rise a bit. But Hettie, you do not have to take these fears you keep hearing seriously.”
To her credit, she took the warnings coming to her very seriously and continued to keep her end of the messages flowing as long as she could. She always ate lunch early and so at 11:00 a.m., when her 32-year-old daughter Minnie brought her lunch she asked her to stay. “After all Minnie, the water in the streets is rising. Stay with me and we will walk home together after this rain subsides and the water level reduces.”
     Thinking that he had won, hoadtiE let out a cackle that we were all forced to hear.
Our role in these types of situations is to encourage the believer, even comforting them if necessary. We found ourselves doing that on behalf of Minnie. Hettie, too busy sending dispatches to fret, was also too busy to calm Minnie. When she would worry, hoadtiE would cackle but one of us would wrap our wings round about her and then hum to her which always gave her comfort.
     At 1:00 p.m. the water rose so much that they both went to the second floor. But Hettie, a brilliant worker, kept the Tribune editor Mr. Swank updated, as he kept a running diary of the day. She also kept Mr. Deckert, the Pennsylvania Railroad Freight Station agent updated.
     Hettie would not know this but Mr. Swank had just noted that the Stoney Creek had just carried a live cow down by him.
     Still thinking that that water would soon quit rising and all would be well, Hettie and Minnie Ogle could not hear hoadtiE scream his joy when at 3:15 Hettie called The Tribune to say that the South Fork Reservoir above her continued to worsen.
     The dam had already burst and by this time was already headed towards them.
Cackling his approval of the certain death to come, hoadtiE watched from above while two of us encircled Hettie and Minnie.
     From their second story perch, really, the second story of the telegraph tower, the sound of the debris being pushed by the mountain of water reached their ears first. The noise of scraping and bumping and grinding came from all around them. The sound began as a low rumble. It then began to vibrate their second story overlook.
     Hettie looked up in bewilderment and saw a dark brown haze. She immediately pushed Minnie into a corner.
     When Minnie saw her mother’s eyes widen she started to scream and immediately heard her mother recite the 23rd Psalm.
     As we wrapped our wings around them their fearful shaking eased, and hoadtiE watched the wave of debris reach their tower and squealed with delight. The power of the rolling turbulent debris crushed the tower into the already soft and wet ground.
     Neither Hettie nor Minnie’s bodies would ever be identified, but as they breathed their last here on earth we carried them into heaven where Jesus stood, welcoming them into Paradise. Standing next to Jesus was Hettie’s husband, smiling and awaiting their arrival.

 

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A Note From The Author

After reading Hael’s account, I can assure you that this will NOT be his last.

You may also be interested in the writing, memoirs actually, of another character in The Pray-ers, Book 1, Troubles. These are free short stories written by Gretchen. CLICK HERE for them.

Blessings,

 

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Ricky Skaggs’ Somebody’s Praying

Spiritual Warfare Short Story

Gretchen’s next short story will be out in mid-April, and it will focus on spiritual warfare, what it is, and what it is not.

Part way thru her husband’s memoir, the Guardian Angel, Hael is giving us the back-story around spiritual warfare and he references Ricky Skagg’s live performance of “Somebody’s Praying.”

Here it is for you to enjoy.

If you are interested in receiving Gretchen’s FREE short stories, CLICK HERE.

Blessings,

 

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