During the US Senatorial Campaign in Missouri, a politician stated that if a woman was involved in a situation of “legitimate rape” the body knew how to reject the products of conception and she wouldn’t get pregnant. This raised a huge issue, as it should have. Starting with the concept of legitimate rape, implying that there are situations of non-consensual sex that are not considered rape. Why am I bringing this up now? Recently, NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” aired an episode dealing with this issue and brought it back to my mind.
I don’t agree with the biology of this concept and I know a lot of people were outraged by the insinuation. But then it became an issue of faith when the Bible was misquoted insinuating that God approved of Rape. These were some of the scriptures utilized.
- Deuteronomy 22:28-29- This scriptures talks about pre-marital sex not rape and how a man who was already engaged to this woman should marry her after having sex with her.
- Deuteronomy 21:10-14 This scripture talks about marrying a prisoner of war women, not rape. Now historically no woman had a choice in the men they married in those times. Within that logic every woman before the 19th century was raped and we know that’s not true.
- Zechariah 14:1-2 This scripture is describing the situation going on, not asking for women to be raped.
Personally I couldn’t serve a God who believe in rape, but I know this is far from the truth. I know how he has healed me from situations that were not His will but someone else’s misuse of free will. Taking the Word out of context is a old trick from the enemy to distract us from the healing that God has for those who have been hurt.
If you have been sexually assaulted, I know that you are hurting. Do not believe this is your fault. Do not believe that this was God’s will. This was the misuse of someone’s free will and God wants to free and heal you.
Now this is what Jesus has asked us to do with each other and it shows the Truth of God’s heart:
John 13:34 says “”A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” NIV
We also read in
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” NIV
Jesus said that when Moses was giving the law, he allowed certain things because of the hard hearts of men. Although he said that in relations to divorce, I can see that translating to other subjects. God has not approved for women to be hurt. If we love others, we would not hurt others and that’s the True command.
Until then, be blessed.
“This book certainly held my interest straight through to the very emotional ending. ”Mary Anne Benedetto
Have you ever been in a competition where Christians discuss their denominational differences almost like football fans? I think what we miss as believers is that our differences are really as the many ways of making white rice. What do I mean?
Growing up I learned that to make white rice I had to place oil, water and salt, bring it to a boil then pour the rice. Some people use butter instead of oil, some add garlic powder. At the end of the day you get in your plate the same thing: white rice
The Word of God tells us in John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
I believe that our particular rituals work for us in our humanity. Just like music is a matter of taste, but at the end of the day is the message of the Word of God that we are called to live by. I also believe that our discrepancies are used by the enemy to distract us from our real purpose which is to spread the Good News to others. So when you find yourself and those around you that we are ALL here to do the work of the kingdom and not for our purposes. I also invite you to use that opportunity to come together and do something for the kingdom that all of those in the conversation can agree. You will see that you have way more in common than you imagine.
Until next time, be blessed!
“This book certainly held my interest straight through to the very emotional ending. ”Mary Anne Benedetto
I’ve read that women’s intuition is a real thing—it stems from a woman’s ability to keep an eye on the periphery, store what she observes on a subconscious level, and then make connections with that information that a man’s more linear thinking can’t do.
It’s a gift. A talent.
And we know what God asks us to do with our gifts. We need to invest them to bring back a profit to the master. The servant in the parable of the talents who buried his talent to keep it safe, was not his master’s favorite. God wants a return on what he has invested in us.
When we writers hit a wall, get blocked, or just don’t know what to do next with our story, we tend to turn to others for help. It’s good to check your story line against a solid framework, like Bell’s Plot and Structure, and it’s great to let trusted friends have a read and give feedback, but don’t dismiss your intuition. God gave it to you so that you would use it.
Is your writers block presenting as a terrible blank first page? Let your intuition help you start out. Ignore the nagging voice that keeps asking if your idea will sell, and focus on what you love. Do you have a great character in mind? What places does that character naturally fit? Do you have a great setting you’ve always wanted to write about? Who would you naturally see there? Your answers will be all you own, springing up from your deep memory. Flesh out your people and your world and see what kind of stories build from there.
Not a seat of pants writer? It’s okay. Neither am I. Once you have a background built, feel free to plot with as much care and structure as your heart desires.
Do you have a great start on a story but you’ve hit a wall? Try this: Write a scene from sometime in your character’s past. Pick a time of transition or stress for your character: his wedding, her graduation, moving to a new school, losing a parent. Seat of pants this one for me. Don’t plot it out, just let your intuition carry the scene. What happens and how your character reacts to it should open up new connections in that subconscious of yours, where you have been storing little details about your story, but didn’t realize it. Of course, this scene won’t go into your book, but knowing your character better should help you move your story forward.
I secretly think all writers have women’s intuition, even the men. How else could we draw whole worlds out of our minds? Well, whatever you call it, intuition, imagination, inspiration, or just plain paying attention, don’t let this gift from God go to waste. Let your mind wander, to unstuck your work in progress.
Traci Tyne Hilton’s newest story, “Cupid’s Cappucino” is available just in time for Valentine’s Day! Find it in the romance collection. Heart Bouquets at amazon.com!
Traci Tyne Hilton is the author of The Mitzy Neuhaus Mystery Series, and one of the authors in the The Tangle Saga series of science fiction novellas. She was the Mystery/Suspense Category winner for the 2012 Christian Writers of the West Phoenix Rattler Contest, a finalist for Speculative Fiction in the same contest, and has a Drammy from the Portland Civic Theatre Guild. Traci serves as the Vice President of the Portland chapter of the American Christian Fiction Writers Association.
Traci earned a degree in History from Portland State University and still lives in the rainiest part of the Pacific Northwest with her husband the mandolin playing funeral director, their two daughters, and their dog, Dr. Watson.
More of Traci’s work can be found at http://www.tracihilton.com
Now that all the presents have been opened, the food has been eaten. We were able to enjoy our holidays or able to survive our most beloved relatives. The point is that Christmas is over, but not the celebration. In the natural world we still have one more holiday to prepare for. In a few days we will be ending the year 2012, and what a year has it been.
In the US, we had to elect a president. We faced with the pain of several inexplicable acts that resulted in the loss of many innocents. And just as the year ends we’re still waiting to see how much more our finances may be depending on the decision of those we’ve given the power to rule over our country.
Although most of us laughed, the reality is that we were all on the edge of our seats to see if something was to happen on the 21st. So for the tenth time in our lifetime we have survived another announcement of the end of the world.
In summary is time to analyze what has been of this year in our lives: financially, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Join me in starting this journey this weekend and on Monday I will share the results of my evaluation of 2012.
The most important part is that God was with me and I know he was with each and every one of you through every milestone of this year. Let’s praise the Lord and meditate in his word so that he can show us the lessons learned in 2012
By Pooh Bear
Last week was a tough one, not only for me but for the whole nation. Thursday night I received a phone call from a very close friend in tears. Her nephew had just committed suicide. I obviously jumped in the car to provide my support. Then the next morning, while I’m trying to shake the emotions from that event, I walked into the break room of my job and saw on the television the news from Connecticut.
I could relate not only at the human level, but at the personal level of the pain and confusion that others were feeling. I could understand how parents felt about answering questions to confused children about the events they witnessed or were made aware of, because the night before I was approached by my friend’s young children with similar questions.
Our children should not have to worry about why someone decides to take their life or someone else’s. Our children should not need to understand the pain of losing a teacher, a brother, a father, a mother or a friend; especially under these horrible circumstances.
We are all looking for a silver lining within the grief. I’ve come to the conclusion that hopelessness is part of the pain of those who commit these acts. They feel like there’s no way to end their pain than to leave this earth and/or hurt others. This has motivated me to continue to do what God has called me to do, to write more and more about the good news of redemption and hope. That there’s always a way out and a solution that doesn’t include more pain.
This has also been a wake up call for me and for so many others of how our lives can change in an instant unexpectedly. It has reminded me to express my gratitude, my appreciation and my love to those around me before it’s too late.
I know the recent events have not only made the children aware of an evil world. It has even place awareness of concern in adults as well. Where are we safe? Thinking as far back as Columbine, I can recall a movie theater, a college campus, several churches, a gym, a mall, several workplaces and now an elementary school, and that’s just off the top of my head. But let’s stand on the Word of God that tells us:
- Zechariah 2:5 :And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will be its glory within.’”
- Psalm 34:7 “The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.”
- Psalm 91:2 “I will say [a] of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
- Psalm 91:4-5 “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,”
I ask you today to pray for my friend’s nephew who left behind a wife and two small children. Also pray for all the victims in Connecticut; for those parents, siblings, for the whole community. But also remember to pray for the family of the perpetrator. He left behind a father who lost a son, and a young man who lost his brother and mother. Let’s also pray that God gives our authorities the wisdom to do what needs to be done to avoid these things, whatever that may be.
Hug each other a little tighter today. I appreciate all of you. Be safe. Be blessed.
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Today is a day where we show our privileged to democracy. Today we get to exercise our right to elect those who will be making our government decisions for the next four years. Do not fret on this decision, just go out and vote. Regardless of the results God is our provider and our benefactor, but we need to do our part.
America is time to vote! Wrimos in the US stop your writing for a little while and go vote. The lines are long so just take your laptops with you; you’ll have tons of interrupted time standing in line.
1 Chronicles 29:12
Riches and honor come from you alone, and you are the ruler of all mankind. Your hands control power and might, and it is at your discretion that men are made great and given strength.
The 4th of July is one of those celebrations marked with family and friend gatherings, BBQ’s and fireworks. Do we really know what we are celebrating beyond having a day off and the opportunity to have fun?
I’ll make the history lesson as short as I can. On July 4th 1776, Americans became independent from the sovereignty of Britain and were not only declared an independent nation but founded this nation on some principles that in 2012 we seem to take for granted. If you want to read the whole document you can do it here. But today I would like to point out the one that stood out for me.
All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
2012 is an election year
Let’s pray that this country makes the right decision. Let’s pray that we elect someone who will uphold the rights in which this nation was founded. But as believers, let’s make the commitment that whoever ends up being elected, we will continue to pray for his protection and wisdom, in steering this nation.
This is my prayer:
That for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.(1 Timothy 2:2)
For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. (Proverbs 2:10)
Let’s not forget who is really in control. “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matthew 28:18)
Happy Independence Day!
Whoever pursues righteousness and love
finds life, prosperityand honor.
Today we thank you (all military active, veterans, those we have lost in combat and their families) for your sacrifice, for your pursue of righteousness and freedom for all of us. We will never forget.
May God Bless you,
Happy Memorial Day!
Our last guest for 2011 is Historical Fiction Writer Phillip Bryant. This is a new side of fiction we’ve never explored at the Rising Muse, so for those history buffs out there, here’s a treat…
“Sometimes a good story can miss the mark when we lack the minutia of details that can transport the reader or give our plot realism. Sometimes these details are elusive unless time has been spent living the life we wish to portray. Although a brief article on civil war or military parlance can’t make up for having lived it, I will outlay some things that I hope will be helpful in creating realistic scenes, dialogue, plots, and character arcs.
I have always been a military history buff, the American Civil War being my favorite area of research but most periods of wars have drawn my interest. I’ve also been both a Civil War and WWII reenactor for over ten years.
One thing, no matter what period one is writing about, it was probably an era of conflict. What we see in movies and television is often inaccurate or cliché. Until the Second World War introduced a large and permanent standing army, our wars were fought by volunteer armies raised from state levees and disbanded as soon as peace was achieved. This brings the type of movie character we are familiar with, the fatherly sergeant, the young and inexperienced privates, into conflict with a very real dynamic that existed between soldiers and the command structure used at the time. For the Civil War time period, picking one or two published journals like Hardtack and Coffee by John Billings or Company Aytch by Samuel Watkins will give you an idea of soldier life. Another great resource is The Life of Billy Yank and The Life of Johnny Reb by Bell Irvin Wiley.
Do not assume that the army organization and functionality has remained static. Organization and how armies were used changed with tactics and wars. Here’s a quick guide to the basic elements of an army unit. These exist in any branch of the army (cavalry, artillery).
For Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican American War, Civil War, and Spanish American War the basic element was the company. The reason for this is that fire is massed in a tight formation, two ranks. The smallest element in the company was the comrades in arms, a group of four men who made up a skirmish group.
The next formation up was the battalion, a grouping of companies under the second in command of a regiment. It is rare that this unit is separated from the regiment but a battalion could be sent off on a small mission where it is not expected to run into much resistance. Picket (a string of vedettes along a long line like on a river bank separating forces or spread out along a line of miles whose purpose is to be an early warning for the larger force behind it) and garrison duty would be the only reason a battalion might be separated from their regiment.
The primary unit of all of these time periods was the regiment, made up of 10 companies that march, bivouac, and fight together. Volunteer regiments (as opposed to regular army regiments) were raised by the states and federalized for national service. They retained their state designation and the governor of each state had the power to grant commissioned officers. Volunteers were raised from each county in the state, sometimes from specific counties in the state and the volunteers being formed into companies from those who volunteered from that county, so that one served with men one knew already. This was a consistent practice up to WWII. Officers and noncommissioned officers would be elected after the formation of each company or the captaincy of each company would be commissioned by the governor and other commissioned officers by the same process. When writing about soldiers in these time periods, it was the regiment that held their allegiance most and governed their daily lives.
The next unit of note was the brigade, made up of between three to four regiments. When reading about these various wars and battles, one often runs into the brigade being mentioned most as tactics governed the movements of brigade sized units about the battlefield.
The third and fourth unit was the division (made up of three to four brigades) and the corps (made up of three to four divisions). These are forces made up of thousands of men and controlled by the commander of the army.
The last organization is the army, a grouping together in a geographical theater of operations (a term meaning anything from a state to a region to an entire continent). An army was usually comprised of a variety of organizational schemes. For instance, as the civil war progressed and the need to control the vast armies grew, army commanders used a variety of methods to group regiments and brigades together. Up until 1862 the largest designation was the division or, as at Fredericksburg, Right, Center, and Left Grand Divisions made up of several divisions. After the Union disaster of Fredericksburg, Corps were formed and Union armies kept these designations and organization for the duration of the war. The Confederate forces used different means of organizing itself and never adopted the Corps structure.”
Phillip M. Bryant Attended the University of New Mexico and earned his bachelor’s degree in history and with a minor in American studies. He has been active in local New Mexico reenacting and on the national level is a member of the 23rd SNY as part of the Army of the Pacific, 1st Federal Division. He has been researching the American Civil War for over 25 years. His sources have included diary accounts, autobiographies, historical monographs and first-hand reports on the actions taken 150 ago published in the War of the Rebellion battle reports and War Department communications. Phillip lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife of 18 years, is a deacon, an IT administrator, served in the Army National Guard for 15 years, and is a long time history buff. His first novel is out and he’s working on the sequel now.
Phillip’s novel They Met at Shiloh is now available on Amazon!
This is our last Reader’s Choice post for 2011. I want to start by thanking those who participated in. I will be sending you a little surprise on your e-mails, be on the lookout.
The question and very fitting for the holiday we are celebrating this week is, how did the Thanksgiving festivities evolved from the original festivities to what we do today? We were taught in school that pilgrims and Indians sat together with turkey and pumpkin pies and had a friendly meal together. History says it wasn’t quite like that.
So how did it happen?
It is said that the very first harvest feast between Indians and colonist was celebrated in 1621. The colonist arrived in the Mayflower the prior year. Not having the survival skills to whether the winter they stayed in the ship, but many were very sick and malnourished. The Indians (Squanto, a returned slaved who knew English and others) taught them how to cultivate corn, avoid poisonous plants and help them forge an alliance with a local tribe for their survival. So when everything the Indians taught them proved to be true and beneficial the colonist decided to celebrate a three day feast.
And they ate turkey?
Yeah, not quite; the exact menu is unknown. We know there were lobsters,
seals, swans and wild turkeys amongst the meats of choice. Personally I’m upset that we kept up with the turkey and not the lobster, nothing against the turkey, I love it…just a preference.
What it is known is that there were not all those pies that we currently eat. First of all the Native American didn’t eat much sugar and the sugar supply from the Mayflower had dwindled down by then, so no dessert.
So how did we get to the point where we are now?
From History.com “In 1817, New York became the first of several states to officially adopt an annual Thanksgiving holiday; each celebrated it on a different day, however, and the American South remained largely unfamiliar with the tradition. In 1827, the noted magazine editor and prolific writer Sarah Josepha Hale—author, among countless other things, of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”—launched a campaign to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday. For 36 years, she published numerous editorials and sent scores of letters to governors, senators, presidents and other politicians. Abraham Lincoln finally heeded her request in 1863, at the height of the Civil War, in a proclamation entreating all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” He scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November, and it was celebrated on that day every year until 1939, when Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retail sales during the Great Depression. Roosevelt’s plan, known derisively as Franksgiving, was met with passionate opposition, and in 1941 the president reluctantly signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.”
The bottom line is that currently we use Thanksgiving as the designated day to gather with family and friends, to remember the things that we are thankful for. It’s a good time to do inventory of all our blessings and realize that we have way more than we acknowledge some times.
For me, I’m grateful to be loved by the Creator of the Universe, the Alpha and the Omega, the Lord of Lord, the King of Kings, my beautiful Jesus. I’m grateful for the family He has given me, for my gifts and talents. I thank Him for my friends and for the special people in my life. I am grateful for all my experiences, the good and the bad that have made me who I am. I’m grateful for my readers who have become my friends and source of inspiration. And of course for the four-legged child that’s curled up on my feet as I write this post, she’s my daily joy and reminder of what unconditional love looks like.
As always I love to hear from you. What things are you grateful for this year? What little and big blessings make your life meaningful?
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