NEW RELEASE — Blood Moon Redemption

Blood Moon Redemption launches October 31, 2018. Publisher Ambassador International stated that this book is “gripping and memorable from start to finish”. It won Honorable Mention in Mystery/Suspense at the 2018 Florida Christian Writers Conference. It’s available for pre-order on Amazon.

An ancient relic, a puzzling prophesy, a young woman . . . tied together through the ages . . .

Throughout history, blood moons have always been surrounded by persecution and provision, great trials and triumphs. The first blood moons in 1493-1494 provided a new world for the Jewish people. The second in 1949-1950 gave them Israel, and the third in 1967-1969 presented the Jewish people with Jerusalem. Now, a fourth set of blood moons is on the horizon, and Tassie’s mother is certain they will bring about great change.
Tassie, a young Jewish lawyer named for a lost religious relic, has her sights set on her career and love, and she doesn’t have time for silly children’s stories. Dismissing the blood moons as circumstance, her unbelief threatens to keep her from her destiny. When Tassie finds herself in the center of worldwide turmoil and a terrorist plot, can she accept her family history and fulfill her place in the future of Israel? Or will the country of her heritage finally fall to its many enemies?

Blood Moon Redemption is an end-times thriller that will keep you riveted until the very last moonrise.

A review by Karen Muhling Curzon:
I had the privilege to read an advance copy of Judy DuCharme’s newest book, to be released in a few weeks, “Blood Moon Redemption” and – oh, goodness. It’s fiction and uses history, science, politics and intrigue with a healthy fill of faith and heritage to spin a fascinating story. I didn’t want to stop reading, and I wasn’t ready for it to be over when it was.
The storyline itself is fascinating, and the characters are easy to keep up with but well-written and believable, not flat or one-dimensional. The main character’s life is dramatically changed thanks to a prophecy – about her – from over 500 years earlier. The story moves back and forth among different eras and generations as it lays out the chain of events. It was great fun, from the science to the history to the reminders of God’s dazzling, infinite and unfailing love. All of it. I recognized some people and thought I recognized others or at least their personalities or histories, that was fun.
I felt refreshed in my faith, and am more eager to share it than ever. There were a few things that this book made me examine a little deeper than I have before, and it shed light on some things that I’d not thought about at all, just never on my radar… Have I used the words “fascinating” and “interesting” too many times?
I realized again, for the millionth time, that though I’ve been in the church my whole life, others can always offer perspectives that I simply never thought about before and Blood Moon Redemption (need to remind you of the title, you’ll want to read it) was terrific.

An endorsement from Dr. Craig von Buseck, Editor of Inspiration.org and author of “I Am Cyrus: Harry S. Truman and the Rebirth of Israel”

While the Bible makes it clear that no one knows the hour of Jesus’ return, it also gives us signs of His coming and tells us to be prepared. In “Blood Moon Redemption,” Judy DuCharme weaves together the biblical signs of the coming of Jesus with today’s news headlines to craft a page-turning tale of mystery and suspense. At the same time she delicately tells the story of a modern-day Jewish family grappling with the question of the Messiah, while interacting with Christians, Muslims, and Jews along the journey. With unexpected turns along the way, this story will surprise and delight, while inviting you to view today’s news headlines in a whole new light.

Construction Zone Living in Paradise

Yes, we winter in Paradise. Hurricane Irma wrought havoc with many places not far from here. Amazingly the place we rent on an island in the inter-coastal of the Gulf sustained little damage. At least that’s what we thought – there were only a few issues, but no devastation. Enter the necessary corrections. Life is full of necessary corrections. Now, this isn’t to get your sympathies. We have not experienced the devastation that many did nor are we dealing with catastrophic problems . . . just those annoying noises and awful smells and messes that seem to last forever. You can grumble, or endure, or laugh, or a little of all three. I know those who remain in the north dealing with way too much snow, cold, ice, slush, full time jobs with way too many demands, kids with way too many activities and sicknesses may well be thinking nasty thoughts already about my ‘complaints’, but I’d prefer you laugh and maybe even find a bit of relief. Did you ever hear two cranes go beep, beep, beep for several hours—it’s really nice when they quit.

Now, I’m not from Perfect Country, but Fun Country is in my ancestry, and when fun gets poked at by annoying things, well, it’s just annoying. Stress comes in all forms and as a Bible believer, I strive to follow the admonitions my Lord has given me: Cast all your care on Him for He cares for you. Be anxious for nothing, but by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. Peace I give you. Do not fret, it leads only to evil doing. He will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are stayed on Him. I know these verses intimately and believe them wholeheartedly. There’s also the caveat of obedience. If you obey, all these blessings follow you (and they are great blessings – check out Deuteronomy 28). Stress is an area in which I sometimes struggle. I do trust the Lord with my life and that of my family and pray earnestly for them and others daily. But those deadlines and those interruptions that keep you from the deadlines or those little things that make a short job take way too much time. . . aaah! I see you guys on facebook and I know they bug you too. But stress is awful for your health, so we really need to heed the verses about trusting rather than stressing.

I’m retired and spending three months in Florida. But in many ways I’m not truly retired. I’m no longer teaching, but now I’m an author. Five of my book have been published, a sixth is scheduled for release this summer. One other is complete and I’m hoping it will be published. Two books are in progress and I want to complete them and see them published. Plus, I do some writing for Guideposts Magazine and I need to keep up with that. But, guess what . . . after the signing of contracts followed by all the rejoicing and jumping up and down in excitement, the editing process arrives and it may be awful or wonderful or both. Then the book is released – it’s amazing and so exciting. My first grandchild will be born this summer – I’ll find out probably that book launches are not as wonderful as grandchildren.

But, after a book is released, the writer is to be the marketer. Some authors are naturals or easy learners on that front. Somehow I missed the gifting, so I must work at it. So anyway, I’m retired but not really. However, I am in Florida for three months and get to walk the beach every day – please, put down the snowballs, and really, don’t spit. Dolphins swim right next to the seawall and our view from the eighth floor is magnificent. We can’t complain, but if we look down there are two huge dumpsters, a porta potty, and the big smelly cooker that heats the tar for the roof repair. The crane rolls back and forth right outside our window and balcony. For some reason when I look in our bedroom bathroom mirror and see the crane going back and forth with tar, debris, and air conditioners I get a little dizzy, but the view past that is marvelous so no complaining . . . things will be great when it’s all done.

So back to the entrance of the necessary corrections. The elevators were damaged by the hurricane. For two months plus, there has been one elevator working at a time, and so much stuff around that area . . . barriers, tools, workers, noise . . . but repair was getting done. Noisy, a little smelly, sometimes a longer wait. Just this week we have two elevators and the doors are clean again, the lobby is almost clean, although the elevator floors are still really a mess. Elevator Two is good except it won’t stop at floor 2 going up, only down, but hey, we have two elevators. Those bugs will get worked out, and the workers have been great.

Now the carports had most of their metal roofs ripped off. Those took just a few weeks to replace, but have you ever heard three or four people pounding rivets into metal I-beams for six hours a day – it’s quite a noise. But hey, we all have carports again.

The roof – well, that’s involved. First they have to move the air conditioners . . . 96 of them. Many residents had to get new ones. Those had to be delivered, dollied in, physically lifted from the 8th floor through a closet size opening up a ladder – painful to watch. Soon they took them up on the crane. Of course the old ones had to be removed. Then the roof repair needed lots of tar – ever smell hot asphalt. . . it’s bad. The cooker is just outside in one of the parking areas and it’s strong awful sickening smell is carried by the wind up to all the balconies with the beautiful view. No sitting outside when the wind blows your way. Now for some, their air conditioners were off while roof repair was going on and the temperature was in the mid to high 80’s. Because of the smell, though, they couldn’t have their windows open . . . construction in paradise.

When I taught, I had all the fifth grade science classes. I loved doing the chemical experiments. However, when I moved the chemical substances in their sealed containers around in the closet, there was one that made my tongue and lips tingle – literally. All I did was pick it up and move it and I could feel it affect me. I have a hard time going down the detergent and cleaning supplies aisle in a store because of the smells . . . that tar smell made my head hurt.

So in the midst of all this we’re having a big baby shower in our condo for our daughter and son-in-law who will have their first child, a boy, our first grandchild. I am over the top excited and as is my personality, which reveals just a bit of Control Country ancestry, I’m totally focused on having everything ready for this party. The plan is for it to be perfect and fun . . . no wiggle room. Bethany and GC are flying down from Washington DC on a Friday. Bethany texts me Thursday to pray as there is a wind warning . . . 50 plus mph winds for Friday. Bethany and GC have experienced lots of delays when flying, so we’re praying for favor and protection and getting out on time. Thank God they did – later on Friday and Saturday hundreds of flights in the northeast were canceled and delayed.

While they were en route we were notified that our ac is being turned off. Not the following Monday, but today – Friday. At least it was no longer in the mid 80s but the low 70s – we’d be fine without ac. No problem. The kids arrive. There is no construction on the weekend so no smell, no noise, just beauty and no ac. One elevator, lobby full of air conditioner boxes, but we’re good.

Saturday morning. Kids sleeping in and Lee going for a run. I’m finishing up things and starting food. Lee comes back. The elevator is out, not working. We’re on the 8th floor. 25 people coming to our condo. Not all of them can do stairs. Several of them are bringing food. There’s no elevator. Lee starts making contingency plans. Can we go down to the library on the first floor – it’s such a pretty area and socials are often held there. Oh, wait, it’s full of ac boxes. Okay, we may have to transfer everything to Lee’s sister’s condo on the third floor.

What is my thinking  . . .that the elevator needs fixing! Have they called the repairmen? Where are they? Don’t they know I’m having a party? Lee keeps making plan B. I’m gripping tightly to plan A and praying. I have food and tables and decorations – I have spent days getting it all ready. Well, deep breath, calm down. Okay, I’d better let people know that we may have a problem. I’ll assure them it’ll be fixed, but don’t try to come early. Now I must mention I’d suggested everyone come a little early since it was likely they’d sit for a half hour on the mile-long causeway due to the heavy traffic going into the huge state park that takes up most of the island. The two previous Saturdays and Sundays traffic had taken almost an hour to travel the causeway. But now, it was cooler, so maybe there wouldn’t be such a backup, so no need to be early unless it takes time to walk up eight flights of stairs.

11 AM the elevator works! Thank you Lord!! Judy is breathing and rejoicing – see, I knew all along. Everything is good. Parking maybe tricky for those coming, as the parking lot is full of dumpsters, huge cooker, porta potty, and crane, but it’ll be okay.

Everybody made it. All the food made it. The party turned out well. It was great fun. The food was good. Everyone had a good time. I was happy and thankful as were the mom and dad-to-be.

The kids flew home Sunday – with delays, but only a few hours. They still got a good night’s sleep before work on Monday. I was a little tired on Monday – maybe a bit burned out. The workers returned, worked on the roof and the elevator, the cooker smoked up that smelly tar, but it was a pretty day. Got my walk in. Thank you Lord – all went well for the shower . . . didn’t really need ac and today the wind blew the nasty smells away from us.

Tuesday was the day to get back to my writing deadlines. I’d been so focused on the shower that I wasn’t even sure what my deadlines were. I needed to go over all my to-do lists and just get my head once more wrapped around writing and marketing, promotions and social media.

First on Tuesday, before the workers fired up the cooker and the crane rose in front of me and the hammers and pounding on the roof began, I sat on the balcony with my Bible, praying. Actually they were already on the roof and really hammering, but that was so much better than the hideous tar smell. I thanked God for a great weekend with the kids and all the family on both sides, thanked Him for the beautiful view, and the blessing of being in Paradise, and I asked Him to help me focus on my writing, have ability in marketing, and stamina to do my necessary work.

That’s when Lee called to me to come help, grab some towels, for the kitchen floor was flooding. Whaaat? Or, maybe, Well, of course, why wouldn’t that happen. We had ceiling leaks when we first arrived, had to put buckets in the living room when it rained. Why shouldn’t the kitchen flood? I’m laughing now – I mean, thank you Lord it didn’t happen on Friday before the shower. Lee turned off the water, we mopped up with the towels. Lee got a fan on the hallway carpet where it spilled out of the kitchen. We called Craig who’s in charge of many of the construction issues and he called the plumber. The plumber arrived an hour later . . . that was quick. He and Lee and Craig discuss the situation. I laugh.

He checked to see if it was the dishwasher. It wasn’t, so it went back in – but not quite right, so it began to leak the next day and the little seeps were kind of sneaky. We almost missed it, but the carpet wouldn’t dry. The plumber returned a few days later and that was fixed. But our problem this day was this old, old pipe that was put in years ago to provide water to wash the garbage chute that stood right by our kitchen window. The roofers had discovered the one at the other end of the building but hadn’t located the one at our end. Guess what – we found it. I laughed . . . can’t seem to quit laughing. But to get to it they had to jack-hammer . . . yes, jack-hammer into our cinder-block wall in the kitchen until they found the hidden pipe. Did I mention that I’m laughing? They found it, cut it and capped it off. They’ll fix the hole in the wall when everything on the roof is done and they’re sure there are no more leaks. . . this summer, maybe mid-spring. Can you hear me laughing?

So, we’ll be here a couple more weeks. The cooker is still there, but they haven’t fired it up for several days. We have two elevators as of a few days ago, and when they tested them they had to set off the fire alarms to make sure the elevators respond accordingly. The buzzer for the fire alarm is attached to the outside of the garbage chute – outside our kitchen window. Of course it is. The fire alarm works quite well . . quite loud, quite long. It’s ability to work well is obvious when it goes off every few minutes. There’s a lot of pounding still on the roof. It only bothers me when it’s the same tap, same rhythm for ten minutes at a time right above where I’m writing. Other than that, the intermittent constant noise is just background . . . well, sort of.

Friday they brought two more cranes, another dumpster and another porta potty into the parking area next to the building. Oh, but wait, two more arrived and so there were four . . . the cranes of Paradise . . . the ones that go beep, beep, beep, for a couple hours at a time. Is it illegal to disconnect that beep beep, beep? Some have told me it is. I’m praying I won’t have men in a crane basket outside my window and balcony scraping shingles and nails for our last days here – that would interfere with the beautiful view. But, alas, they’re there today. I can always walk on the beach or go watch the dolphins – they like to hear me laugh.

Christmas Ivy

Product Details

Christmas Ivy a heartwarming Christmas story with a twist of how God provides published by Prism Book Group in November 2016. It is available as an ebook at Amazon.

How can one visit alleviate the trials of the past few years? How can one quilt reveal truths never before realized?
It had to be a dream…
Her grandparents passed away a few years earlier, but here in the family kitchen on the dawn of Christmas morning, they greet her with the same love and sage advice she grew up with. Their presence captivates reality and brings Ivy to complete confusion.

Could this strange visit truly be the provision for which Ivy longed?

Excerpt: The sizzle of bacon cooking brought Ivy to an upright position out of sound sleep. The smoky flavor tantalized her nostrils as the fog in her mind slowly lifted. Her hands flew to her face. It’s Christmas! The words rose within her, not with joy, but with panic. How could she have slept so late!? Mama will have my head. I should be making breakfast. But wait. It’s Christmas! Mama must have let me sleep. A wonderful gift, to sleep past dawn. Ivy heard a gentle snoring and looked to see the cat curled next to her legs.

 

Run With the Wind

Product Details

Run With the Wind is part of a Christmas Cowboy novella series, published by Prism Book Group in November 2016. It is an ebook available at Amazon.

Linney Merritt loves her life in the Florida scrub where she assists her Pa in raising and taking cattle to market. The new cowman, Cyrus John, appreciates the chance to start over. Marrying holds no interest for either, but they can’t help but be drawn to each other. And then, just before Christmas, they find themselves fighting together to save the life of a calf, all while discovering the One who can remove fears and provide forgiveness.

Life changed for the world in a stable one Christmas. Could it also begin for Linney and Cy in this stable?

Excerpt: Nellie moaned, and Linney pulled. The emerging calf licked her face. “We better hurry, Pa. He just done licked me. Don’t want him thinkin’ I’m his mama.”

“You’ll make a good one someday.”

“That ain’t happenin’. Why would anyone want to go through this?”

Pa looked around Nellie’s bulk. His eyes found Linney’s. “For the likes of you, girl. It’s  worth it.”

 

Godly Grandeur — Perpetual Creation

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If you haven’t taken a walk in the woods this season, now would be the time. The beauty and continuous life seen there is breath-taking. The hush of the breeze, the variety of shape and size, the colors that wash over you represent the trueness of God. Even with the death process that is ongoing and the destruction that occasionally attacks, life is perpetual. . . like the first law of motion, that which is in motion tends to stay in motion.

Here in the woods, the motion of creation is displayed wonderfully. Creation is life. Yes,301 death and destruction attack and destroy, but life keeps going. To believe that God created this in six days is not hard to believe. To think that all this just happened is hard to believe. We have the saying ‘Life goes on’, and how true it is. We cry out against that saying when we have experienced evil and loss. That life goes on seems wrong and unfair. But, be thankful that it does. Look at the plants that grow unaided by human intervention . . . the trilliums, the lady-slippers, the forget-me-nots. A multitude of plants keep on growing, trees grow out of dead trees and through rock. God is life continuing.

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We say destruction is from God, we rail against God allowing evil and therefore conclude He doesn’t care. But life is what God does. Life keeps going perpetually. Think of the thousands of years that life has kept going. We think that accidents are God. An unwanted pregnancy may be an accident, yet is is precipitated by the law of sowing seed . . . you sow seed, you reap life. And think about the infant growing in the womb, the wonder of giving birth, the growth of that baby into someone with a totally unique personality, able to talk and walk and create and think brilliantly. Yes, a birth defect is an accident, not God’s original plan, and I know about that.  Yet, considering all that could possibly go wrong in the growing of an infant, because so much goes into that growing, it is amazing that the majority of births are defect free . . . that’s life continuing, God’s plan.

We know the agony of a young person dying at an early age, truly an accident, crying out against all that is right. Truly tragic as it is, it shows God’s plan is for life — for we correctly don’t think of early death as a right thing. We do take note and find comfort in the good that may come of it, but that again reveals that God’s purpose, His grandeur, is life, not death. He will help us go on . . . and it’s right that we do so, allowing His healing and comforting hand to work in us. Life does and must go on.

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We see evil in the world, but it is not from God — it comes from without. Even the word evil in English is live backwards. It’s a wrong direction, going against God’s purpose. 

Sometimes we worship what man does, his creative brilliant mind, the many inventions and commodities he has made. But where did that intelligence come from? God began it all with creating a world that perpetually continues, that demonstrates life.  We marvel at science, yet the laws that we use to create are the laws that God placed in the world. The law of lift, gravity, laws of motion, of thermodynamics. All of it we discovered in the world that God created. All the abilities of language, of communication, of intervention, came from the creative mind of God. He created a world that is logistically amazing and interdependent on its working parts.

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Even the simplest cell has over 60,000 proteins and thousands of interdependent parts . . . not simple at all . . . except that it is simply magnificent. Some say evolution is true because of similar systems in all animals. Yet, when we find a work of art, or pieces of writing, we identify the creator by the similar patterns. God has similar patterns throughout all living things, but the most marvelous variety you can imagine. We want to call it mother nature, but it’s Father God, who loves us and gave life that continues.

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So go outside and find a place where you can consider what God has done, what He is doing, and what He will continue to do. His heart for you is life, continual, restorative life. No matter what has attacked you, what lies have been told to you, God is a life-giving God. His Godly grandeur is perpetual life. Feel free to tap into it.

 

Guideposts Writers Workshop Contest

2014 was the year I entered the Guideposts Workshop Contest with thousands. Along with eleven others, I won and was sent to New York for an amazing week of training. In the March 2015 issue, the harrowing story of my niece who spent the night in the ocean was published. Here it is:

Clare Louis story Guideposts

If you have a story to write, the deadline for this year’s contest is June 10, 2016. Go to this site for all the information you need:  https://www.guideposts.org/enter-the-guideposts-writers-workshop-contest

 

All Eyes on September . . . A Perfect Storm?

Today is 9/11, the 14th anniversary of the terrible terrorist attack in New York. 3000 people lost their lives and we remember them with honor.

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This next week also holds significant dates. Could it be a perfect storm of economy, astronomy, and Biblical prophecy?

Sunday, September 13th is the 29th of Alul on the Israeli calendar. It begins the holiest time in the Hebrew calendar. The 14th, the beginning of the month of Tishri is Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the year on the Israeli civil calendar. Tishri is the seventh month of the sacred calendar.

Ten days pass from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, Sept. 23, the Day of Atonement. These days are High Holy Days, called the Days of Awe and the Days of Teshuvah (turning or repentance). It is said that on Rosh Hashanah, God’s assessment of a person or a nation is set. The ten days that follow provide the opportunity to change that by what you do. You can ask forgiveness of God and others, getting things right, and forgive those that have wronged you. It is also a time to pray for the nations.

On September 27/28 we will see the last blood moon of the current tetrad. Blood Moons are lunar eclipses that occur on Israeli feast days. In the last 600 years there have been four of these tetrads (grouping of four), with three sets occurring in the last 70 years. There will not be another for hundreds of years.

Lunar eclipses occur fairly often, but the ones that occur consecutively on Feast Days, hold great significance for Israel. Each tetrad of blood moons signaled great trouble followed by great triumph for the Jewish people. 1493-94, right after the Spanish Inquisition, Jews were murdered and kicked out of Spain, but made their way to a new world via Christopher Columbus. 1949-50 was immediately after the Holocaust and the Jews gaining Israel. 1967-68 was the time when all the surrounding Arab countries went after Israel and Israel triumphed and received Jerusalem back. We are now in the 2014-15 tetrad, and there has been no lack of evil pressure on Israel. I’ve written a novel about all of this entitled Blood Moon Redemption that incorporates the history of the blood moons and current events into a political thriller.  It is not published yet, although publishers and agents are looking at it.

The blood moon this month will also be a Super Moon, when the moon is in perigee – closest to Earth in its orbit. (http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/life/2015/09/10/rare-supermoon-light-up-night-sky/72001486/). Super Moons occur about every 18 years. That day begins Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles which continues for seven days.

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Overlaying these events is the end of the Shemitah year on Sept. 13. Shemitah means release. Just as the Sabbath was designed to be a day of rest, so Shemitah is to be a year of rest every seven years. The ground was to lay fallow and what grew of its own accord was for the poor. Debts owed were to be forgiven. In the years that Israel followed this pattern, abundant crops grew before and after the shemitah year. However, when this was not followed, the month of Tishri became a time of financial upheaval. You can read more about this at http://www.hopeoftheworld.org/.

It seems our economic cycle follows this same seven year pattern.  If you study stock market crashes, you’ll see most of them occur every seven years, and this autumn is that time. Perhaps we would do well to heed the ten days of repentance and prayer, asking forgiveness of God and others, getting things right in our lives, and forgiving those that have wronged us. Let’s ask God’s mercy, wisdom, and protection for our nation, and pray as well for the nations of this world.

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It seems the perfect storm of economy, astronomy, and Biblical prophecy may be here. Let’s remember that 1 Peter 5:6,7 says, “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” John 10:10 says, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” And Jeremiah 29:13 says, “And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” In these perilous times we need to actively trust Him.

Forgiveness — Let It Go

There it was again. I was out walking, enjoying the day, and my mind reached down and pulled up that hurtful memory like a cow pulling up its cud to chew. And chew I did. I was there again. I rehearsed what they said, what they did. It was simply wrong. It wasn’t true or right. I saw their expression. It hurt. It made me mad. My body tensed. All the words I should have said coursed through me.

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Finally, I said to myself, “That was five years ago! WHY am I thinking about that now? I thought I forgot that.” Obviously I had not. As I settled down and focused on why I was remembering so vividly rather than what I was remembering, I had the thought, ‘perhaps I need to forgive’.

The word forgive comes from the Greek word aphiemi which means to release or send away. Bottom line it means ‘let it go’.

Unforgiveness puts us in a prison of torment. They say it’s like preparing poison for the person you haven’t forgiven and then drinking it yourself, not understanding why they don’t change. You live with tormenting thoughts day and night of what they said or did. Those thoughts can exhaust you and dominate everything and anything you need to do.

Unforgiveness makes us ugly. We think we are unaffected because we are sure we are right. The truth is we become difficult to be around. Perhaps we are always the victim, promoting the poor me attitude. Perhaps we put up a wall so no one else can hurt us or deceive us. We also may go on the aggressive, just to make sure no one has the opportunity to do anything against us.

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Forgiveness sets us free. Most of us think forgiveness lets the other person off the hook. Not so. It does not deny what they did or that it was wrong. They will have to answer to God, to themselves, and perhaps the civil/criminal court of law. But we can be free of their sin’s control over us. That person may not even know anyone was offended. It’s possible their comment or action was inadvertent. And, certainly, it may have been on purpose, mean-spirited, and downright evil. Either way, forgiveness sets us free from those chains.

Forgiveness is the highest order of life.  If you forgive constantly, if you make a habit of letting things go, life is a joy.  Forgiveness destroys the stumbling blocks of anger, frustration, resentment, bitterness, and wariness that seem to place themselves right in your path. You have opportunity every day to take offense, but it will be poison in your veins.  Forgiveness cleanses you, protects you, and so blesses others. Why not begin developing the habit? As with any habit, you will have to practice. Sometimes you may need to forgive the same thing many times, but it becomes easier and easier.

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I spent a whole summer walking and forgiving.  It seemed all those things that had festered below the surface were brought up to my mind, like the cream rising to top so it could be skimmed away. I learned to let it go, to skim it away. Some were easier than others, but I began to develop a pattern, and I began to learn to recognize the poison for what it was. Looking back, a lot of good doors opened after that summer. I think when those ugly thoughts aren’t dominating our thinking that we are open to hear God’s thoughts and good plans for us. I still have to work at it at times, but life is so much better when I let it go.

Blood Moon Time

In the early morning hours of Wednesday, October 8, there will be the second total lunar eclipse in a set of four.  Because of the refraction of the sun’s light passing through earth’s atmosphere as the earth slides between the moon and the sun, the moon appears red, hence the name Blood Moon.

lunar eclipse, moon, space

I love these things because I loved teaching fifth grade science, and delighted in informing the students that a lunar eclipse was viewing earth’s shadow passing over the moon.  Imagine seeing the earth’s shadow! How exciting! And refraction, the bending of light, as it passes through a substance, creates colors. How cool is that! Science is so much fun.

But these Blood Moons carry a much greater significance.  This is a series of four consecutive Blood Moons, that began April 14, 2014, and will continue to next September, each of them falling on a Jewish high holy day.  The spring ones occur on Passover and the autumn ones on the first day of Sukkoth, the Feast of Tabernacles.  Rabbinical teachings indicate that Blood Moons hold great significance for Israel.

Let me give you some background.  Although there can be as many as 7 lunar eclipses in any year, there have only been a few times in history when 4 in a row occurred on Jewish holy days.  The next time this will happen is a few hundred years from now.

There was a blood moon tetrad in 1493-94. The Spanish Inquisition required all Jews to be out of the country by July 31, 1492.  It was a terrible time for Jews.  Christopher Columbus sailed on August 3 of that year. Not too many know that Columbus was part Jewish.  He was a provision for the Jews in a time of great persecution.  They were given a whole new world to live in.

The next blood moon tetrad was in 1949-50. The Jews had such tragedy with the holocaust and then great triumph in obtaining their own country, Israel.  1967-68 was the next tetrad.  All the countries surrounding Israel wanted their annihilation, but Israel won the Six-Day War and regained Jerusalem.

Now Hamas has been pounding Israel with rockets and ISIS is decimating the Middle East. And we are in another set of Blood Moons.  What will be the provision for Israel? What will be their triumph this time? Doubtless, God will help and bless Israel.

John Hagee and Mark Biltz have written informational books about all of this. They will increase your understanding.  I have written a political thriller novel about this entitled Blood Moon Redemption. I have not yet secured a publisher, but I hope to soon.

So be sure to rise early Wednesday morning and watch the second Blood Moon of this holy day tetrad. Know that you are watching your planet’s shadow. Know also that God has set the sun and moon in the sky for signals and ask God what He would have you do.

Take the Plunge

It seemed unlikely. Thousands of people would have entered. But then, there’s always God’s favor.  Yes, and probably every person that entered prayed for God’s favor.  Who am I? But I knew my niece’s story should be told.  BJ Taylor had presented a short workshop on how to write a good entry and had even given me  a critique. Still . . . it took her four times, and they only held the contest every two years.  Mid-August came and seemed to have gone.  It was August 20. I’d prayed again that morning. “It’s OK, why would they select me, but Lord you know, and Clare’s story should be told. And it would look nice on my resume. And I would learn so much.  It would be so cool. I praise you, Lord.”

The phone rang about 2PM. I didn’t recognize the number, but was focused on something on the computer. “Hello.”

“This is Guideposts Magazine calling.” A flutter, dropped mouth, excitement, disbelief. I was one of 12 who had won the 2014 Guideposts Workshop Contest. I would be flying to Rye, New York in October to be trained in the art of inspirational storytelling. Clare’s story would be told.

My first words were “Are you kidding?” Seriously, Self, would they randomly call the non-winners and tell them they won? I was simply stunned.  Then I was so excited, I don’t know what else I said.  I quickly texted and then called my niece. “I won, you won, we won!”

My niece had fallen off a boat a few years ago and subsequently spent 7 hours alone in the ocean overnight.  God gave her such peace and strength. It was difficult, but she survived, and I was given the privilege to write her story. Hopefully you can read it soon in Guideposts Magazine.

I will have so many opportunities to tell so many stories. The last few weeks so many stories from my past and from other people are stirring in my heart and mind.  What opportunities this workshop provides.

I still am somewhat flabbergasted (isn’t that a great word), as are the other winners.  We have met through email and on facebook.  We have met several that are already a part of the Guideposts family as well. What a kind and welcoming group. The workshop begins two weeks from today.

So, if God has given you a nudge to proceed in a certain venture that seems unlikely of success because of the sheer volume of competitors, go ahead and step out.  You’ll not get there if you never start. It may take a while and you may have to do a lot of do-overs, but you’ll be the better for it, and it will put you in a place to see the next step and the next opportunity. At first, for me, this seemed a whim, then it seemed an assignment from God, then it seemed a calling, a purpose.  I’m not quite sure what doors this will open for me, but I think there will be connections and open doors that I never would have experienced if I didn’t take time and try.