St. Matthew by Frans Hals
Have you ever wondered what happened to the Apostles after the book of Acts? For the next few weeks, we'll be looking at each of the apostles and what became of them.
*Note, I'm saying this as nicely as possible, but many of these great men died the death of a martyr, and is therefore violent content.
Matthew the Tax Collector
Matthew was born at Nazareth, the same village that Mary and Joseph were from, however his tax booth was located in Capernaum. Some say that he originally wrote his account of the Gospel in Hebrew and it was later translated into Greek by James the less. Matthew stayed in Judea for a time, sharing the good news of the Messiah, but later he traveled to Parthia and Ethiopia evangelizing and ministering to the people there. Around 60 AD in the Ethiopian city of Nadabah, Matthew was beheaded for his faith.
Traditional Painting of St. Mark
Mark (the Disciple)
Mark was of the tribe of Levi. It is supposed that he was converted by Peter. Mark served as Peter's scribe and writing down the gospel in Greek from what Peter saw and experienced. The Gospel of Mark is different from the others in that he portrays Christ more by what he does than by what He says. It has a vivid and direct style that leaves the impression of a familiarity with the original events. In Alexandria around the year of 63 AD, the heathens of the city became enraged at the success of the spreading of the Gospel causing people to turn away from their pagan gods. The people attacked Mark and was "dragged to pieces...ending his life under their merciless hands."
St. Luke by James Tissot
Luke the Physician
Luke the Evangelist traveled with Paul through various countries. Though Luke was not a firsthand witness of the life of Jesus, he had the opportunity to speak with many witnesses such as Mary (Jesus' earthly mother) and many others. Luke was a skilled writer. It is interesting to note that his account of the Gospel is considered to be the "highest literary quality" of all four Gospels. Luke also recorded the Acts of the Apostles from his own experience and firsthand testimonies. It is said that Luke was hanged on an olive tree by the idolatrous priests of Greece.
Had you heard about these stories before?
Which of the Gospels is your favorite?
Leave me a comment and let me know! I'd love to hear your opinion.
Cathrine the Great
This week I thought I would share a God Moment from my own family history.
The story begins when Cathrine the Great wed Peter III, who later died, leaving Cathrine the Empress of Russia. Catherine encouraged Germans to immigrate to Russia. She promised better circumstances, more rights, religious freedom and the moon and stars to go with it. When my ancestors made it to Russia, however, it was not what they expected. They struggled to survive in this strange new land.
One day, a summons came from America calling for a Joseph Zimmerman with twelve children from the small, remote town that my g-g-g-g-grandfather lived in. The description fit my ancestor's family, except that some of their children had died in infancy. The excited family made the trip to America, pre-paid by the gentleman in America who had sent for them.
When the Zimmerman family arrived, they went to the address indicated and knocked on the door. The gentleman opened the door to see a German man with his wife and children standing at his threshold.
It was the wrong Joseph Zimmerman. With twelve children. From the same little town.
Talk about a God moment!
My grandfather begged the man not to send them back, but allow them to stay here in America and promised to pay back every penny that it cost to get his family here. He worked the rest of his life to pay off the debt, but finally did so.
Do you have any God moments in your family history?
I'd love to hear them! Please leave a comment with the story!
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At one point, we decided to make a home video for the Foolish Princess. We were going to frame it as a babysitter telling this bedtime story to two little girls. Here's some behind the scenes photos from the first (and only) shoot. We never finished the movie.
Kathleen L. Maher
Today I am honored to have a special guest on the HIStory blog! Please help me welcome Kathleen L. Maher.
Welcome Kathleen! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a stay at home mom of two Middle schoolers, I am married to my soul mate, and we have three rescued dogs and a tuxedo cat who rules the roost. I write Christian historical fiction, occasionally paint, love to garden, and hope to one day grow all our own food.
Wow! That's a worthy goal. How did you discover your calling to be a writer?
I’ve always loved books and story. I would dream such vivid dreams that I would immediately try to capture them on the page. And then, when I learned about the local history here in upstate NY, how we have ties to Civil War, Revolutionary War, and so much more, I was hooked with historical writing.
What books have influenced your life most?
One of my most memorable moments was watching Gone with the Wind as a preteen with my mom and actually liking it. I read it for the first time in 7th grade, and twice since. It brought history to life, made me feel the universal conflict of unrequited love depicted between Scarlett and Ashley, Rhett and Scarlett. I related to Scarlett’s determination to survive, being a child of a struggling single mom. And It made me determined to appreciate the people and things in my life and not pine for the ones I couldn’t have.
A few nonfiction books gave me great hope in times of trial. Bruce Wilkinson’s The Dream Giver took me on an allegorical journey to fulfilling the calling on one Ordinary Man’s life. Captivating by Staci Eldredge helped me understand the strength in Godly femininity and the ways the world has tried to put blockades on the path of living the life God intended.
That's very interesting. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
My critique partner Debbie Lynne Costello, represented by Tamela Hancock Murray, has been my go-to gal for five years. She is incredibly good at plotting, characterization, research, all the things that a great historical writer is. And Carrie Fancett Pagels has gone out of her way to help me on several instances. She is a very gifted writer aside from being a kind and generous person and brilliant at networking. Both of these ladies’ edits on my debut novella, Bachelor Buttons, have been invaluable.
I've met Carrie on facebook, and you're right. She is a sweet, wonderful person. She also has a book in the Cry of Freedom Series. What is your favorite time in History?
The American Civil War. It staggers the mind to think that in one battle, more American men died than in the entirety of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq combined. And boys as young as 12 participated. . . it is a conflict full of drama and nuance and strange and fascinating facts.
It's my favorite time period as well! What was the most outstanding thing you learned while researching for this novella?
Bachelor Buttons is about the Draft Riots in Manhattan after Lincoln called for mandatory conscription in 1863. Some Irish set fires to the draft offices in protest, and committed some pretty heinous acts, but many Irish were also very heroic and selfless during this time, too. When a black orphanage was set on fire, it was Irish firemen that fought the blaze, and when mobs took over the city, it was Irish soldiers and police that restored order. It really brought to life the sights and sounds that I had always heard about in family stories about my great, great grandmother.
Have you enjoyed being a part of a historical series? Tell us a little about the Cry of Freedom Series.
It’s been a great experience. Murray Pura is our brilliant and energetic leader, and I love his vision to commemorate the 150 year anniversary of battles such as Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Chancellorsville, and Chickamauga. Bringing together 15 different writers to provide unique perspectives on the year 1863 has been a rich learning opportunity. I’ve made some wonderful friends and read some great stories from my fellow contributors.
Please tell us about your book Bachelor Buttons.
I have based my heroine, Rose Meehan on my great, great grandmother Katherine Meehan, who lived in Manhattan in the 1860’s. Rose is a feisty and resourceful Irish lass with two suitors, a poor violin instructor who is hoping for his big break on the stage, and an Irish doctor who would offer Rose a comfortable life. She must choose the man she will marry, and meanwhile Manhattan erupts in chaos and violence. Through heroism and character one man emerges as her clear choice.
I read the novella and enjoyed it very much. I really appreciated you kept the romance clean and moral. What do you want readers to take away from Bachelor Buttons?
I hope they see the role of faith and prayer in times of crisis to take a person through to a better outcome than we could even think to ask for ourselves.
Amen. I know I've experienced that in my life. Any fun behind the scenes tidbits you'd like to share with us?
My g-g grandmother really did court both a violin teacher and a doctor, and the men ran a foot race to see which one she would marry.
A foot race! I'll have to think about using that one. What is the next project you're working on?
I can’t say too much about it, but it is a combination of Princess Bride and Silver Linings Playbook. J
Intriguing! Can't wait to hear more. How can readers find you on the internet?
I am on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mahereenie?ref=tn_tnmn
Blogs I contribute to:
Thank you for taking the time to stop by today, Kathleen! This has been a great time.
Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Amber! You are a blessing.
As thanks, I’d like to offer an e-copy of my novella Bachelor Buttons to one lucky commenter. If you’ll leave your email addy and a comment, I’ll draw one name via random.org and send you either a kindle or nook copy, your choice.
Wow! That's very generous of you. Well, ya'll heard the lady! Leave a comment with your email address for a chance to win a copy of this great book.
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Kathleen L. Maher’s novella Bachelor Buttons released through Helping Hands Press in May, 2013 as part of a Civil War sesquicentennial collection. Her manuscript Closer than a Brother won the historical category of ACFW’s Genesis contest in 2012. Her work has finaled in several writing contest since 2009. She is represented by Terry Burns of Hartline Literary Agency.
Kathleen blogs about New York State history and enjoys reading and writing reviews for historical CBA releases. She and her husband live in a 100-year-old farmhouse in upstate NY with their three children. Two rescued Newfoundland dogs and a tuxedo cat complete their family.
York on the hill where he earned his metals.
This week we're going to stray from the Civil War a little bit and take a look at one of America's great heroes.
Alvin York was drafted into World War One after his miraculous conversion to Christ (which is a different story). His past life as a drunk and violent man caused York to be completely against violence after his conversion, which presented a problem when he was drafted. He was expected to go kill the enemy, but he didn't believe in killing. After much study and prayer, York finally decided that he would go to war prepared to give his life for his country, but he wouldn't kill. It was this providential incident that changed his mind. During the conflict of the Muesse-Argonne offensive, York's unit was ordered to infiltrate behind German lines to take out machine guns. They had succeeded and captured a large group of German soldiers when suddenly more machine gun fire peppered their unit killing six of their men and wounding three others, including the officers in command.
Seeing that something had to be done or all of them would be killed, York then took an action that surprised all of his superior officers. While the rest of his men remained under cover, York worked his way across the ridge, without cover, in order to pick off the German gunners.
Despite direct fire from pistols and machine guns, York, killed twenty-eight German soldiers before the rest of them surrendered. He and his men marched One Hundred Thirty-Two German prisoners back to American lines.
When asked about this amazing incident, York replied: "A higher power than man power guided and watched over me and told me what to do."
This is a clip from the movie made about his exploits. One of our family favorites.
Next week we're going to have a special guest author with giveaways and interviews!
Rev Dr. Robert Ryland
During my research of the Prayer Meeting Revival, I came across this letter from the pen of Reverend Dr. Robert Ryland which he wrote to his son upon his joining the Confederate army. It contains so many interesting and powerful statements that I had to share some highlights with you!
At Home, July 17, 1861
My Dear Son:
It may have seemed strange to you that a professing Christian father so freely gave you, a Christian son, to enlist in the volunteer service. My reason was that I regarded this as a purely defensive war. Not only did the Southern Confederacy propose to adjust the pending difficulties by peaceful and equitable negotiations, but Virginia used again and again the most earnest and noble efforts to prevent a resport to the sword. These overtures being proudly spurned, and our beloved South having been threatened with invasion and subjugation, it seemed to me that nothing was left us but stern resistance or abject submission to unconstitutional power.
After going on to further explain his reasons for joining the cause, he proceeds to give his son a few pointers about his life in the army. Firstly, he told him to take special care of his health. Second, that he should obey his authority promptly and unquestioningly. His next point is a beautiful illustration of the usual perception (or rather condition) of the military. He continues:
3. Try to maintain your Christian profession among your comrades. I need not caution you against strong drink as useless and hurtful, nor against profanity, so common among soldiers. Both these practices you abhor. Aim to take at once a decided stand for God. If practicable, have prayers regularly in your tent, or unite with your fellow-disciples in prayer-meetings in the camp. Should preaching be accessible, always be a hearer. Let the world know that you are a Christian. Read a chapter in the New Testament which your mother gave you, every morning and evening when you can, and engage in secret prayer to God for his Holy Spirit to guide and sustain you. I would rather hear of your death than of the shipwreck of your faith and good conscience.
What great advice! There are a lot of other great tidbits in the letter, which I might include in a future post. But from this letter you can see the wickedness that the army was known for and how adamantly this father is exhorting his son not to fall prey to its vices.
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Amber Schamel was born in Littleton, CO and has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and the Holy Land. She was raised in a family of 11 children, home-schooled through education and currently works with their 10 family businesses. Amber is a multi-published author and currently lives with her family outside of Colorado Springs, CO..
(c) 2013 Amber Schamel