I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tell me where that name came from (Part 1)

Delores E. Topliff
Researching and now writing historic novels, I love learning stories behind the words, rhymes, etc., that are now part of our everyday world. For example, the tongue twister, “She sells sea shells down by the seashore” comes from historic fact, but not about seashells. Mary Anning, born in 1799 in Dorset, England, was the eldest daughter in a family that supplemented income by digging up fossils near the sea to sell to tourists. She had little education but excelled in fossils and filled in many blanks for science. I wish I’d known the gal and you can read more about her at http://www.littlethings.com/she-sells-seashells-meaning

There are two fascinating explanations for Orange Marmalade's invention and name. One is that Mary, Queen of Scots, got a bad chill while riding horseback through a rainy night to meet her lover, Bothwell. Her French chef boiled orange peel with juice and sugar to cure her and she liked it so much she then kept it at her bedside always.

The second is that a French king had a young daughter also named Marie who was so sick and near death who would not take nourishment. Her desperate dad decreed that whoever could create a food to tempt her to eat and live would be handsomely rewarded. Supposedly, a poor but bright young man boiled oranges crushed in sugar, which she loved, and began her return to health. That story ends with the young man receiving gold plus becoming her husband (and probably starting a Marmalade factory). In French, the words for, Marie is sick are Marie est malade, close enough in sound there must be some basis in fact. 

Which version do you vote for? Tell us the background of any fascinating word origin you know and enjoy.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

When Faith Gets Down in the Dirt

What exactly is Faith? I could give you a trite definition. Faith is believing when you can’t see.

Or a more Biblical one: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  Hebrews 11:1

Or even a dictionary definition. “Belief that is not based on proof.”

I can toss out synonyms: belief, confidence, trust and conviction.

We have a whole list of people who exhibited faith in Hebrews 11.

  • Noah building the ark
  • Abraham obeying God to travel without knowing where he was going
  • Moses leading the people of God out of Egypt
  • David going out to fight the giant

But for some reason faith doesn’t seem to get real until it gets personal. What if God puts some unexpected twists in your road like He did mine?

  • He sends you from Texas to Canada to work in a tiny Christian publishing company with little pay
  • He calls you to be a missionary in Bolivia, a country you've never seen
  • He withholds the natural children you longed for
  • He allows an aneurism that leaves your brain reeling for a while

This is when faith gets down in the dirt, sometimes leaving us without a reason to trust…except…well, except God. Sometimes we can wait a long time to until that faith comes to fruition. Sometimes we may not see it until we get to heaven. In the meantime, that “hanging in there” and that “waiting what seems like forever” shines to others around you as a modern day example of faith.  No answers yet.  Just trust.

And for the record, here’s my list of a few blessings that came from the “hanging in there”.

  • When I got to Canada I met the young man I would marry! And I fell in love with a whole beautiful new country
  • When I went to Bolivia, I saw many people come to know Christ as their Savior. I also received the surprise of my life when God opened the way for us to adopt 3 beautiful and wonderful children!
  • The major illness opened the way for me to be with my parents and take care of them in their weakness until God called them home.

I still have unanswered questions and things I wonder about. But that’s the precious thing about faith. We can rest and leave these in the capable hands of our Savior. When we get to heaven, we can ask God all our hard questions. I know He’ll answer them to our perfect satisfaction.

How has faith had an impact in your life? Please share!

(By Teri Smith)