CONGRATULATIONS!

Congratulations to Debbie Clatterbuck who won a "Spa Moment with The Reluctant Guardian!"



Thursday, February 28, 2013

Permission to Refuse

By Niki Turner

When was the last time you said "no"? And I don't mean to the dog or your kids.

My grandson will be 2 at the end of April and he has just learned the awesome power of the word "no." Even as a toddler, he's figured out that "no" is one way to take command over his circumstances and situations. Granted, he says "no" to everything right now, and that's out of order, but we can get out of order on the other side as well.

Somewhere in my Christian walk, I got sucked in to the trap of saying "yes" to every favor, every opportunity, every need, in order to "prove myself faithful" and show a "spirit of excellence" and to be a "good servant." At least, that's what I told myself I was doing. What I was really doing was attempting to please other people, make a platform for myself, and prove myself worthy of love.

Needless to say, burnout ensued. I would say "yes" to things for the wrong reasons and then experience dread and resentment instead of the peace and satisfaction that come from following the leading of the Lord.

This year I've made a commitment to myself and to the Holy Spirit to "just say no" to things I don't want to do. Wow. I just heard a sacred cow fall over in a religious pasture somewhere. We can DO that? Yep. In fact, I believe we must do that in order to guard the gifts God has given us.

In Exodus, Moses was so busy taking care of the disputes between all the Hebrews, he was at risk of burnout. He received some words of wisdom from his father-in-law, Jethro.

"Moses' father-in-law replied, "What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone."
Ex 18:17-19 NIV
Jethro's first words are important to remember. It's not that the work Moses was doing wasn't good, it was the way he was going about it that wasn't good. 


I'm not talking about refusing to do the laundry, or pay the bills, or go to work. I'm talking about saying no to those things that drain our spiritual and emotional reserves and leave us weak and worn down. I had to say no to something this month and saying "no" was far more difficult than saying "yes." But once I said it, I was amazed by the soul-peace and freedom I felt. Instead of being choked by dread and hating the task for the duration, I just said "no" and that was the end of it. Fortunately, it was a work-related task, so I didn't have the additional pressure of other Christians trying to convince me that taking the assignment was, most definitely, God's will for me, in spite of what I was "hearing" in my own spirit.

Mary and Martha are perfect examples of this vicious circle. Martha, overwhelmed by her own need to accomplish things and do stuff and make everything perfect for Jesus, eventually turned her animosity on her sister, Mary, who wasn't compelled by guilt and obligation and worry. Jesus had to correct dear Miss Martha's motivation for all her activity, and for attempting to intimidate and manipulate her sister into taking on more than Mary wanted (or needed) to do.

38 Now while they were on their way, it occurred that Jesus entered a certain village, and a woman named Martha received and welcomed Him into her house.
39 And she had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord's feet and was listening to His teaching.
40 But Martha [overly occupied and too busy] was distracted with much serving; and she came up to Him and said, Lord, is it nothing to You that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me [to lend a hand and do her part along with me]!
41 But the Lord replied to her by saying, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things;
42 There is need of only one or but a few things. Mary has chosen the good portion [that which is to her advantage], which shall not be taken away from her.

Luke 10:38-42 AMP
Did you know the things God has planned for you to do are to your advantage? But the things you plan for yourself, and the things other people plan for you, aren't always to your advantage. As someone has said, it's not what God has called us to do that wears us out, it's everything else we add to it. Do you find yourself overwhelmed? What have you agreed to take on without checking to see if there's a big red "X" buzzing over your spirit? 

Saying "yes" to working in the church nursery because there's a need and you're motivated by guilt; doing a favor for a friend or relative, not out of love, but because you feel obligated to that person; accepting an assignment at work because you want to please your employer and your pocketbook more than you want to please God; or taking on someone else's responsibilities because you feel sorry for them, or you want to rescue them from the consequences of their own inaction... these actions, even cloaked in "good works" and "good deeds" are the ingredients of burnout.


So ask yourself, when was the last time you said "no"? If it's been awhile, it might be time to make some adjustments. You have permission to refuse. Saying "no" doesn't make you weak, mean, bad, or a failure. In fact, it might just make you stronger!




 Niki Turner is a writer, former pastor's wife, mother of four, and grandmother of two. She is a self-confessed failure at coming up with catchy taglines for her writing, her purpose in life, or what she hopes to achieve in the future. Suggestions are welcome.




Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Old Winter Sports - Skating


by Anita Mae Draper


This is my third in a series of posts showing Old Winter Sports. You can find the others here:
Part 1 - Early Snowshoes for Man and Beast
Part 2 - Snowshoes from Yesteryear to Today

Medieval bone skates on display at the Museum of London.
Courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_skate 

In researching for this post, I was thrilled to discover this tidbit in the wikipedia page on ice skating:

According to a study done by Federico Formenti, University of Oxford, and Alberto Minetti, University of Milan, Finns were the first to develop ice skates some 5,000 years ago from animal bones. This was important for the Finnish populations to save energy in harsh winter conditions when hunting in Finnish LakelandThe first skate to use a metal blade was found in Scandinavia and was dated to 200 and was fitted with a thin strip of copper folded and attached to the underside of a leather shoe.


That was confirmed in a post by Stefan Lovgren of the National Geographic News who said, " Ice-skating—the oldest human-powered means of transportation—was invented in Finland not for fun but for survival, according to a new study."

Yay, me! (If you haven't been following my blogs, my maternal grandparents are Finns.)

There are many different types of skates, odd and unusual ones like the bone skates above, clog skates, etc at the Virtual Ice Skates Museum. Since the site is copyrighted, I won't copy their images, and I'll let you check them out as you wish. Instead, I'd like to concentrate in the time period I set my stories in - the latter 19th and early 20th centuries.

1900-1910 Wood and metal skates fashioned by a blacksmith in the Montreal area. © McCord Museum

Although many people think the above photo is how ice skates looked in the mid-19th century, lands where snow and ice prevailed had efficient skates for all ages like the one below:

1862 Ice Skates found on Pinterest

I knew I'd filed this image somewhere but couldn't find it until I looked on my Pinterest board of Historic Winter Sports, which is the board I'm displaying all the images I've posted in this series. I don't know where the image originally came from because one of the links along the way isn't good, but I can tell you I repinned it from Carla Olson Gade's Pinterest board. :)



Then, as now, the climax to the season was the Skating Carnival. In the above photo, children pose in their skating carnival costume. Because they often skated on outdoor ponds and rivers, most skating carnivals were held in February before the ice began to thaw.

The Newmarket Era, Feb. 13, 1885
To the left is a write-up I found while researching my husband's family in the Newmarket, Ontario area for the 1911 Courtship Love Letters on my Author Memories blog. Although socially unnacceptable by today's standards due to racial ignorance of the time, the article could have been written about any skating carnival I've ever watched, and with four kids who were all members of the Canadian Figure Skating Association at one time or another (Nick and JJ started at 2 yrs old), I've been to a whack of carnivals. Mount Albert was a small farming community of only a few hundred people, and yet they were blessed with a rink and the article states that they decorated it with Chinese lanterns.

I found this ad for new skates in the 1897 edition of the same paper.


The Newmarket Era, 1897


LouisRubenstein, championship figure skater, Montreal, QC, 1893  ©McCord Museum

Louis Rubenstein (1861-1931) is considered the "Father of Canadian Figure Skating."  Prior to 1892 the  World Figure Skating Championships didn't exist, but there were still championships. Rubenstein was chosen to represent Canada in a championship held in St. Petersburg, Russia. He won the gold medal despite being the subject of anti-semitism.  Rubenstein was the force behind the birth of the Amateur Skating Association of Canada, now known as Skate Canada, and he served as President of the International Skating Union of America from 1907-1909. 


c 1910 Harold and Mary McHugh skating at Banff Winter Carnival, Banff, AB.

In 1910, Harold and Mary McHugh skated at the Banff Winter Carnival in Banff, Alberta. Here they are wearing their skating costumes and medals. The Glenbow Museum states "They won all fancy skating awards in individual and team competitions."

Canadian women have been playing hockey for over a century, as evidenced by this photo taken in 1905 in Banff, AB.

1904-1905 Women's Hockey in Banff, Alberta

 However, as far as I know, we’ve never been as brave as these Dutch women who proved their abilities while wearing bathing suits in 1925 Minneapolis, MN .



c 1925 Dutch Women Playing Hockey in Bathing Suits, Minneapolis, MN.
Photo courtesy of  Nationaal Archief / Spaarnestad

Now take these kids… they know how to dress for the weather. Mind you, I’d untangle that little girl from the sled rope around her legs before letting her take a spin on the ice.


Children playing hockey, 1908, Rowley Murphy collection
Archives of Ontario


People in Nome, Alaska know how to enjoy their winter. I’m not sure I’d feel safe skating next to those ships, though.

 Skating on Snake River, Nome, Alaska c 1903-1915,
Note: Ships in distance on Norton Sound, Bering Sea

I couldn’t put a list of skating photos without showing an ice waltz. Wouldn’t this be a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon? I’d say yes except that I’m one of the rare Canadians who don’t like to skate. Like most kids in Grade 5, we took the regulatory skating lessons at a local rink, but our family didn’t have much and my skates didn’t have much support left in the ankles. I suppose I didn’t have much strength in my ankles either. So for me, skating was a horrid affair where I spent more time sitting on the ice than skating on it. Let's just say that I'm more of an armchair skater because I love watching it on TV. 




Now take this little guy from Holland…

Young skater with safety cushion, The Netherlands c 1933, 
Nationaal Archief / Spaarnestad Photo

 That’s exactly what I needed!
  
Were you in Chamoix, France for the 1924 Winter Olympics? I wasn't, but I found a video about it. Here's Sonja Henie and some other early winners showing how it was done back then. If the video doesn't show, you can find it at http://youtu.be/pIz-cDy7sv8  





I’ve concentrated on ice skating because it’s a winter sport, but there are other kinds of skating. 
Are you a skater? Blades or wheels? Shoes or board?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anita Mae Draper is retired from the Canadian Armed Forces and lives on the prairie of southeast Saskatchewan, Canada with her hubby of 30 plus years and 2 of their 4 kids. She writes stories set on the prairies of Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. Anita Mae has semi-finaled in the Historical Romance category of the ACFW's 2011 Genesis contest and finaled in the Inspirational category of the 2011 Daphne du Maurier, the 2011 Fool for Love, the 2011 Duel on the Delta and 2009 Linda Howard Award of Excellence contests. Anita Mae is represented by Mary Keeley of Books and Such Literary Agency. You can find Anita at http://www.anitamaedraper.com/




Monday, February 25, 2013

Lifeboat Ethics


Part of my responsibilities as RWA Faith, Hope & Love chapter president includes writing a message for the newsletter. Since this is the month of love, I thought it fitting to share my first presidential message. Enjoy! ~xo g

RWA-FHL President’s Message
By Gina Welborn

“We’re going to the Cotton Bowl!” When my husband said that to me way back before the End of the World (thanks, Mayans, for excuse to have a party), I wasn’t too sure he was serious. He was. Hmm, football game in January? I shivered just thinking about it. But then hubby informed it the game would be at Cowboys Stadium. In one day I marked three things off my Bucket List: (1) Go to OU football game, (2) Go to a Bowl game, and (3) Go inside Cowboys Stadium. Our team lost, but that’s okay. I saw a fight in the stands. Some riveting entertainment that altercation was! I still have yet to write my letter of complaint to Jerry Jones informing him I will not be back until he puts in a Starbucks on every level. I’m a writer. I procrastinate. 

To kill pre-game time, I figured I’d catch up on some reading—Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller. During the game, my book rested with my purse under my seat. Consequently my book will now forever smell like beer. Donald Miller is fine with that.

When I was in high school, I went with my fellow student council officers to a leadership conference. One team-building exercise included a thought-provoking game of Lifeboat. You know, a boat-not-the-Titanic is adrift at sea, and in the lifeboat are a male lawyer, a female doctor, a crippled child, a stay-at-home mom, and a garbageman, and one person has to be thrown overboard to save the others. Which do you choose?

Other variations of the game exist (our game had more racially, intellectually, and economically diverse tributes to select from), but all variations are created to achieve the same result: Deciding who has value and who does not.

Last fall I volunteered at a writer’s conference. For reasons too long to explain, I had one lowly ribbon on my badge. The gal helping me on the second day came in and took charge. Doubtful her nose could get any higher when she looked down on me. Then a fellow author stopped to ask me what the pins were for on my badge. The moment I said, “This pin is because I was a Golden Heart finalist, and this one is for when I got booted out because I sold my first manuscript,” my helper suddenly looked at me differently. Like I had value.

My Inky sisters could tell you how proud I am of my pins (quite). My conference roommate could tell you how much I whined because I only had a “Southwest Region” ribbon in my conference packet (immensely). The moment after my helper’s impression of me changed, I wanted to remove my pins and ribbons, well, ribbon. Not because of her, but because I yearned to get on my soapbox and say, “You treated me as if I were a nobody when you thought I was a nobody, but now that you see I am a published author, you want to be my friend. Don’t talk to me. I don’t want to be your friend. You have no value to me.”

I don’t want to be a person who thinks something like that, let alone says it. But I did think it. I did. *sigh* I did.

Killing time for the Cotton Bowl to begin, I read Donald Miller share, “I was thinking of Paul recently when I saw an evangelical on CNN talking about gay marriage. The evangelical agreed with the apostle Paul about homosexuality being a sin, but when it came time to express the kind of love Paul expressed for the lost, the kind of love that says, I would gladly take God’s wrath upon myself and go to hell for your sake, the evangelical leader sat in silence.”

Love is far easier to say we have than it is to practice. Forget the world for a moment. Miss Writer, you there, me here . . . do you love your fellow writers? Yes. Really?

Are you patient with other writers? Kind? Do you care more for other writers than yourself? Do you want what they have? Love is not boastful or proud or rude. (ouch) It does not demand “me first!” Do you allow other writers to irritate you? Do you keep a record of being wronged? Love does not rejoice when other writers grovel but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love puts up with things, always looks for the best, never loses faith, and endures through every circumstance.

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Magistrate's Folly by Our Own Lisa Richardson


by Dina Sleiman

The Magistrate’s Folly by our own Lisa Richardson takes an intriguing look at Colonial life from the cheerful streets of Williamsburg to the dark side of slavery. I was pleasantly surprised that this little Heartsong book dealt with such realistic topics and deep themes. The book examines justice in all it’s many forms: from the English justice system, to the balance of justice and mercy, to the injustice of slavery.

Here is the official blurb:

But when she fails to prove her case, she's convicted of larceny and sent to colonial Virginia as an indentured servant. Now she must find a way to survive an ocean away from her beloved home in England…and a way to silence her heart. She couldn't help but recognize the magistrate, Graham Sinclair—her first love until he disappeared from her life. Far from healing old wounds, his sudden reappearance has brought nothing but fresh hurt.

Ever since condemning Merry, Graham is haunted by her memory. When he discovers her innocence, he obtains a pardon and pursues her. But by then Merry is embroiled in a new mystery—one that Graham won't let her face alone.

Together they hunt down a killer to save a friend…and their future.

There is never a dull moment in this book. It’s a power packed novel full of intrigue, adventure, and suspense. Not to mention a healthy dose of romance.

For me, perhaps my favorite part was the Williamsburg setting. I loved seeing the beautiful old city brought to life. I’ve toured it many times, and I could picture it throughout my reading of the book.

I also loved the fact that the author did not turn a blind eye to the injustices of this time. The heroine is drawn into danger and intrigue when she tries to help the Negro slaves in the home where she herself is enslaved as an indentured servant.

If you’re looking for a light, sappy, romance, this might not be the one. LOL. This novel is elegantly written, superbly crafted, and full of memorable characters, excitement, and depth. Which means, of course, I loved it and highly recommend it :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Taste and See

by Delia Latham
Please welcome guest-blogger Delia Latham. Delia has visited us here at the Inkwell before, and we're so happy to have her here with us again. 


 Psalm 34:8–O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

My eight-year-old grandson wrinkled his nose and eyed the two chicken casseroles I had pulled from the oven as he watched. For the past ten minutes, he’d been loudly insisting that he was starving “to death,” really, truly, he was!
Now, however, one little eyebrow lifted high, and one little turned-up nose—well…turned up. “I don’t like that.” He twisted his lips in a cute little snarl that was meant to be tough. “Don’t want none.”
I ignored his grammar gaffe with effort. There is a time for everything, I reminded myself.
“How do you know you don’t like it?” I reasoned. “You haven’t tasted it yet.”
“I don’t!” He clamped his lips together and curled them in as tightly as he could manage. His big blue eyes never left the casserole.
I followed his gaze and took a good look at the dish, which is always a favorite at family gatherings. The wonderful aroma made my mouth water—good thing I’d made one for us, or the other one might never make it to the church potluck. Looking at it now through a child’s eyes, however, I had to admit it might lack a bit of visual zip.
“Oh, Logan, I love this stuff!” I injected more enthusiasm than was really merited into the announcement, then scooped a bite onto a fork and blew on it to cool it down. “It’s my favorite. Come on, sweetie…taste it for Nanny. Please?”
He gave me a sour look, but opened his lips just enough for me to slide a small bite between them. His expression said I was asking far more than was fair of a grandmother.
I saw the very instant when he realized the casserole tasted better than it looked. He lifted a wide-eyed gaze to mine. “Hey! It’s kinda good!”
“Well, you tried it anyway.” I tousled his hair and made as if to put the casserole back in the oven to stay warm for the rest of the family. “You don’t have to eat it.”
“No, wait! Nanny! I like it. I really do.”
“Well, OK, if you’re sure...”
He climbed onto a stool drawn up to the kitchen bar. “Yeah.” His little shoulders lifted in a shrug. “I mean, you made it and everything. Might as well eat it, I guess.”
I bit back my laughter and set a plate in front of him. Watching him chow down, I was suddenly slammed quite forcefully with a truth that made me ashamed: Logan’s behavior was similar to that of many adults—myself included—who seem to have trouble trusting God.
Why is that, I wonder? He gives us good gifts every day. And our Father doesn’t stop at what we “need.” He sets out to give us the desires of our hearts. Yet we turn up our noses and reject His love, because sometimes it isn’t in a pretty package. Sometimes it looks like something we do not want—no way, no how.
Despite all He does to bless us, we still haven’t learned to trust Him. In order to give us the gifts He brings, and to do for us what we need the most, God almost has to pry our spiritual jaws open and force us to partake of His blessings.
And every time, we are forced to sheepishly acknowledge—all over again—that the Lord is good.
In my story, Lexi’s Heart, my heroine has major trust issues. Lexi doesn’t trust anyone—including God—except her mother, who is sinking further and further under the murky waters of Alzheimer’s. From the first, little reminders to trust God keep being put in her path. Eventually, of course, she has to open herself up to God and to love (same thing, right?) in order to find her happiness.
The same is true of us. Until we open our mouths wide enough to “taste and see,” we’ll never be able to completely partake of the bounty God has prepared for us.
To paraphrase my little sweetie, God’s already “made it and everything.” Seems only right to sample the offering….
And I can almost see Him not bothering to bite back His laughter at the very moment He sees us wake up to the knowledge that His blessings are good—every time.


Lexi’s Heart blurb:
Her heart. His faith. Love reborn.

Forty-three-year-old Lexi Carlisle’s abusive marriage ended three years ago. Deeply scarred by the experience, and helplessly watching her beloved mother succumb to Alzheimers, Lexi is devastated. After selling her fancy home, she rents a cottage in Heart’s Haven, a special place unlike any other. Slowly learning to live again, she despairs of ever delivering the message of love that burns within her heart for her ever-worsening mother. But Mitch Gaynor, a handsome Christian author, reminds Lexi that with God all things are possible, planting within her battered and distrustful heart the seed of hope for a miracle. But can she open her fortressed heart to God? And is Mitch a part of His plans for her future?

A little about Delia~~

Born and raised in Weedpatch, California, Delia Latham moved to Oklahoma in '08, making her a self-proclaimed California Okie. She loves to read and write in her country home, and gets a kick out of watching her husband play Farmer John. She's a Christian wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, but especially loves being a princess daughter to the King of Kings. She loves Dr. Pepper and hearing from her readers. Contact her through her website, her blog, or her Facebook author page.

Delia writes inspirational romance and women's fiction, and is currently contracted through White Rose Publishing (a division of Pelican Book Group) and Vinspire Publishing.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Figures of Speech



Writing is an art form, like music or sculpture or dance, but where music uses sound and dance uses movement, writing uses words. Good writers place exactly the right words in exactly the right place for maximum effect. Just as a composer needs to study music theory—scales, chords, the circle of fifths—so too must a novelist master the tools of language.

Look at the last sentence again. If you aren’t a musician, I’ll forgive you for thinking that the circle of fifths has something to do with the five rings of the Olympic logo or that a chromatic scale is the external layer on a tropical fish. I have sympathy for those whose music appreciation doesn’t go much beyond knowing the call letters of their favorite radio stations. I can sum up the entire breadth of my knowledge of painting with a single phrase: “I know what I like.”

But language is different. Language is the most accessible of all the arts because each of us uses it every day. We mumble a “good morning” to our family, listen to the weather forecast, read the cereal box, and jot a quick note to get more milk—all within an hour of waking. For the rest of the day we will text, talk, email, tweat…well, you get the idea. Functioning in a modern society requires every person to have a bit of a writer living inside.

Given that language is so important to our everyday lives, I thought it might be fun to look at some common figures of speech (sometimes called rhetorical devices) that appear in literature. Why do writers use them? Sometimes we want to add emphasis. Sometimes we want to make our ideas more memorable. And sometimes, we just want to play a little joke on our readers.

Did you see what I did there? That’s called anaphora—starting a series of phrases or sentences with the same words, in this case “sometimes we want…” Its counterpart is epistrophe—ending a series of phrases with the same words. Usually the last of the series carries an extra punch or a little twist—it’s more emotional or humorous. The reader’s subconscious mind sees the pattern in anaphora or epistrophe and begins to pay closer attention, waiting for the final thrust.

A couple other favorites of mine are asyndeton and polysyndeton. Asyndeton is taking a series of three or more—words, phrases, even sentences—and not including a conjunction. It’s tense, abrupt, agitated. Polysyndeton is its opposite. The writer puts conjunctions between all the words in the series, thereby slowing down the pace of the series. If you’ve ever read a sentence that goes on and on and on, you know what I mean.

No, there won’t be a test on the terms tomorrow. However, when we are aware of the ways a writer puts words together, we develop a greater appreciation for the artistry behind good writing, like a musician listening to a master perform. We can better understand what the writer felt most important and most wanted us to learn or feel. We come away with a deeper understanding of the ideas and concepts the writer has put forth.

Of course, you are probably familiar with some common figures of speech such as similes, metaphors, irony, allusion. And if you have a teenager in the house? You’re no doubt well acquainted with hyperbole. (“I’ll just die if I can’t have Latest Gismo X.”)

Did you ever consider that God also speaks to us in language? The Bible is the world’s greatest work of literature, and its author uses figures of speech to add emphasis and make ideas more memorable.

“The Lord is my shepherd.” Obviously God doesn’t carry a crook and walk around the hills with a border collie. He just wanted us to know he cares for us like a shepherd cares for sheep. But, oh, the power of that figure of speech! It is perhaps the most famous metaphor in the world.

Here’s a bit of personification (giving human characteristics to objects or animals) from Isaiah 55:12. “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Yes, we know. Mountains don’t have voices and trees don’t have hands, but the word picture this paints for us is one of impossible beauty and joy and awe.

Now consider Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus in John chapter 3. Did you ever notice that each time Jesus answers Nicodemus’ questions, he begins with the same phrase? Here’s the familiar King James Version: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee…” The phrase appears in verses 3, 5, and 11. (Anaphora—for those who have already forgotten the term.) Furthermore, he says the first word twice in each instance. Verily is an old word that means “in truth.” Jesus used the word six times in a mere eight verses. Now that’s emphasis! Is there any doubt what Jesus wanted Nicodemus (and us) to learn?

Here’s another rhetorical device, parallelism. “I am Alpha and Omega…” Jesus says this four times in Revelations. Parallelism is a way of reinforcing similar ideas by making them parallel. Jesus is both the beginning (Alpha) and the end (Omega)—equally.

In the first appearance of this phrase, we have parallelism with polysyndeton (using the conjunction “and” multiple times in the series): “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelations 1:8 KJV). Polysyndeton gives the feeling of something that goes on and on and on—a pretty good definition of God, as a matter of fact.

Now let’s look at the last time Jesus speaks this phrase, in Revelations 22:13. This verse combines parallelism with asyndeton (no conjunctions in the series): “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” Asyndeton creates a sense of urgency—very appropriate since seven verses later Jesus promises he is coming soon.

Pretty cool, huh? The entire concept of God is too big for our minds to comprehend. But figures of speech let God communicate with us in a way that we can glimpse a piece of that greatness.

Have you ever looked at the Bible the way you would a piece of literature, analyzing the Author's use of language to see what points He wanted to emphasize? What did you discover?


After leaving the corporate world to stay home with her children, C.J. Chase quickly learned she did not possess the housekeeping gene. She decided writing might provide the perfect excuse for letting the dust bunnies accumulate under the furniture. Her procrastination, er, hard work paid off in 2010 when she won the Golden Heart for Best Inspirational Manuscript and sold the novel to Love Inspired Historicals. Her current release, The Reluctant Earl, is now available at retailers such as Walmart and Kmart and in online bookstores. You can visit C.J.'s cyber-home (where the floors are always clean) at www.cjchasebooks.com 



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Flapper Slang


By Lisa Karon Richardson
It’s no secret that I’ve had a love affair with words my whole life. One of the most fascinating things about Shakespeare was that when he couldn’t find the word he wanted, he made it up. (If only I had that kind of chutzpah!) Language is ever evolving but sometimes rather than moseying along in slow progression, it seems to take a running leap and land in a place quite different than where it started. And if there’s any era that epitomized the speed with which the world and our vernacular can change, the roaring 20’s is it. There was something whimsical and infectious about the slang from that time period.


Check out this list of slang that’s the cat’s pajamas.

1. Fire Extinguisher-chaperone
2. Umbrella- young man any girl can borrow for the evening
3. Dapper-a flapper’s dad

4. Face stretcher-an old maid who tries to look young
5. Bimbo-a tough guy
6. Cake eater-a lady’s man
7. Floorflusher-an insatiable dancer
8. Gigolo-a dance partner
9. Mulligan-an Irish cop
10. Mrs. Grundy-a prude or killjoy
11. Owl-a person who stays out late
12. Jelly Bean-A flapper’s boyfriend
13. Cellar Smeller- a young man who always turns up where there’s free liquor to be had

14. Corn Shredder- young man who dances on a girl’s feet

15. Being Edisoned- getting asked a lot of boring questions

16. Finale Hopper- a young man who arrives after everything is paid for
17. Mustard Plaster- unwelcome guy who sticks around
18. Potato- a young man shy of brains

19. Rug Hopper- young man who never takes a girl out. A parlor hound.

If you could make any phrase a “Thing” what might it be? And please translate for us!

Influenced by books like The Secret Garden and The Little Princess, Lisa Karon Richardson’s early books were heavy on boarding schools and creepy houses. Now that she’s (mostly) all grown-up she still loves a healthy dash of adventure and excitement in any story she creates, even her real-life story. She’s been a missionary to the Seychelles and Gabon and now that she and her husband are back in America, they are tackling a brand new adventure, starting a daughter-work church in a new city. Her newest novel, The Magistrate’s Folly just released February 5th!