Tag Archives: family

Is the Problem Guns or God?

The world seems to be falling apart, a city at a time. This last few weeks, there has been hurricanes, fires, shooting in Las Vegas, shootings in other towns and cities, and this Sunday a shooting that killed 1/10 of the population the small town, mostly children.
What is going on?
The pastor from the church shot up on Sunday and a fellow pastor from down the road suggest the problem is a turning away from God. God is not invited into our universities and schools or our courts, and is driven from many of our families.
Governments pray at the beginning of a session, then turn their backs on God while they “grind on the faces of the poor” and take bribes from big corporations. How is God welcome in halls of government? The hypocrisy of these so-called leaders is disgusting.
Once again, the call for increased and tougher gun laws is heard from men and women of government who would not leave their homes without armed guards. The purchase of weapons by some is a problem. Men and women who have violent mental illnesses and those who have violent crimes in their past should not have access to fire arms of any kind. Further, no one needs automatic weapons, or the “bump stock” that turns a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic weapon.
It is common knowledge that criminals don’t go through legal channels to purchase their guns. Most home invasion robbers are seeking legally purchased guns. They don’t go down to the local gun store and have their backgrounds checked, like legal purchasers.
Guns are not the problem. If someone wants to create havoc, they can. Remember Timothy McVea? The problem, as the preachers from the small town in Texas said, is our distance from God.

Eve, First Matriarch is currently available for $0.99. Now would be a good time to check it out. Additionally, I am participating in two book promotions.
The first available for FREE, and you can find other great books about gods and goddesses (my Avenging Angel is one of these). Of course, Avenging Angel includes our God, Jehovah. Other books are mythological or science-fantasy. I know of at least one on that list that is a fun book to read—Redemption by Tora Moon.
These books are available until November 12th and can be found at http://goo.gl/pb8Rnk

Instafreebie Fall Gods Big Square

The second book promotion I am participating in is the Freedom to Read Promotion. All these books are written by women and are about women. Most genres are represented. All these are clean, meaning you won’t be surprised by language. Eve, First Matriarch is among these books. All are available for $0.99. These books are also available until November 12. You can find them at https://rachellechristensen.com/freedomtoreadbooksale/

Independence Day Celebration

We decided to start Independence Day right, sharing the community breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs, and sausage. It tasted … good, considering it had to be cooked earlier and kept as warm as possible outside. After that, we sat next to the street on folding chairs to watch the small-town parade. The horses were beautiful. The floats were mostly advertisements, but they threw candy to the children. We enjoyed watching the children scrambling to gather the candy into their bags. The little ones were cute.

After a rest and some card games with my family, we walked to the end of the street and watched the fireworks. Everything else was small town. Not the fireworks. They were great, flinging them into the sky in ones, twos, and sometimes sevens or eights, for nearly 20 minutes. We didn’t hear the “Ohs and Ahs” because we stood far away from where they shot them off. We didn’t need them to enjoy the display.

On the 6th, we climbed into the air conditioned car and drove to Zions National Park. We boarded the tram that takes visitors through the most popular part of the canyon, where private autos aren’t allowed. The tram was not air conditioned, and it was close to 105! As always, we still loved the rugged mountains, the clear streams, and the green trees. We drank all the water we brought with us, and still felt over-heated.

Even with the excessive heat, the views were amazing, as always. We decided to wait to go there again until … maybe October, or next March, when it’s cooler.


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And on another note, Finding Peace: Rebecca, Wife of Enos is available for your reading pleasure Friday, July 7—tomorrow. I think you will enjoy it!

What did you do to celebrate this summer?

Thoughts of Mother’s Day

For all you mothers, I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day is always interesting in our home. In the early days of our marriage, we didn’t have children, though we wanted them. In those days, I spent a lot of time crying when the little children sang to their moms and talks were given honoring mothers. It filled me with despair, believing this would never be my joy.

After four years, and three miscarriages, I brought our first-born to church, gladly listening to the children and the speeches of honor given to mothers. Other years of songs and addresses followed, usually wrestling our little children. Five young children were not easy to handle in a long meeting on my own. My sweet husband spent many of those years on the stand, conducting the meetings, leaving me to deal with the children on my own. By child number 3, though, our oldest son and daughter were more of a help. For that, I was grateful. Each year became easier, until one day, they were gone.

Now, I am the grandmother, sitting with my husband with no children in church, again. My children and grandchildren live elsewhere and don’t come to my church building. One Mother’s Day in the future, we’ll all be together again. (A mom can always hope.)

This year, we left the next morning for Arizona to visit our youngest son and his family, including our youngest grandchild, a little guy not yet 2. We reveled in his joyous play, and spent time as adults together. We enjoyed a baseball game together—my first “big league” game.

Soon, we leave to visit the grandchildren north of us. It will be a time of love and joy. We’ll enjoy a couple more games there, a Little League baseball game and a softball game that our grandson and granddaughter will play in. I’m certain those games will be more fun than the professional game.

Over the past week and into the next, we will have seen all five of our children and seven of our nine grandchildren, plus all of our foster grandchildren. These times with the children and grandchildren are the best gift I receive from my family—time to love the little ones and share time and love with our children. I can’t think of anything better.

What did you do for Mother’s Day? Did you take the time to visit with your mother? I hope you spent a happy weekend together with your children and mother.

The Consequences of our Actions

It’s funny how people do stupid things and expect to get away with them and yet if that same thing is done to them, they scream for justice.

We passed a driver on a busy freeway who was texting while driving. We’ve all seen the advertisements about the dangers of this. If this person caused an accident, she would have wanted to find a way to avoid all consequences. However, if she had been the recipient of an accident because another person was texting, you can be certain she would press a suit for as much compensation as possible.

A story recently made the rounds on Facebook about a young teen boy who put on a set of brass knuckles and decided to hit a smaller, younger boy. He didn’t want to face the legal results of such stupidity. But you can bet he would be crying for protection if a man, bigger and stronger than him, beat him up with brass knuckles.

In his laws of motion, Newton said something like, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” This fits well when considering personal actions. I think a better saying would be:

For every action there is a consequence, not always equal, not always immediately visible.

Recently I announced the pre-sale of my second book in my Ancient Matriarchs series, Into the Storms: Ganet Wife of Seth. A friend asked me “What are you most excited about writing this one?”

After some thought, I responded.

“There were some things about in this book that reminded me that choice and accountability for those choices are important to remember. Sometimes we have to face the consequences for the choices others make. Others times, we are accountable for our own choices. Regardless of who made the choice, how we respond to the consequences makes all the difference in our lives.

I have made some decisions and choices that have been good, and others bad. I’ve had to live with the consequences of other’s actions. It helps to remember my ultimate goal to understand and respond well.”

In Into the Storms, Ganet learns to be responsible for her choices and live with the consequences of other’s decisions and actions.

When have you made choices that led to consequences you were required to face and respond to? How did it go for you? How have you moved through the consequences of these choices?

I look forward to hearing from you.

I Give Thanks for You

img_1661Thanksgiving is almost here. I can almost smell the turkey and the pumpkin pie. I’m looking forward to gathering with my family to eat good food and thank our God for all our wondrous blessings this year. We have been abundantly blessed.
For the last few years, I participated in National Novel Writers Month (NaNoWriMo). In those years I wrote the rough drafts (or most of them) for three books. This year, however, I’ve spent my November working on editing and polishing the draft for my second book and getting those things done that are required for my first book. It has been just as busy as working to write 50,000 words toward a new one.
Book 1 in my first series, Ancient Matriarch, is almost ready. I plan to publish Eve: First Matriarch in January. I am grateful to have it this close. Only a few, very important things, left to be done. Book 2, Ganet: Wife of Seth, was sent to my editor this week, and my short story is almost ready to be sent to the valuable readers of my newsletter. (If you would like to read it, or know someone who would like a free short story, sign up for my newsletter—found on the upper right corner of this page.) Keep an eye on your email for it. It should be soon!
I hope you enjoy your turkey sits well with you and you don’t gain lots of weight. As you meet with family and friends, remember your blessings. I am grateful for you. What are you grateful for?

Just Another Sales Day to Shop?

Do you plan to barbecue this weekend? Picnic? Go shopping? (Stores hope you do.) Swim? It’s a holiday weekend, isn’t it? Why do we really participate in this holiday?

Wikipedia states that Memorial Day is a day to remember the people who died in service to our country as members of the Armed Forces. It originated as Decoration Day in 1868, after the Civil War. In the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate traditions were combined, creating our current day Memorial Day.

In the Memorial Days of my youth. School ended the Friday before. We remembered family members who passed on, decorating their graves with flowers. Even then, the point was not to remember those members of the military who gave their lives for us, though many of the graves we decorated were of service members. It was a day to remember our loved ones—and then go on a picnic and celebrate summer. But, I live in the west.

As the wife of a retired sailor, I think of it differently, now. I try to Memorial Day Flagsconsider those in my family’s past who gave their lives for our country. This goes back to the beginning of our country. There were family members in every conflict the United States participated in. No, not all died in the wars. But each gave a portion of their life to the battlefields. I honor them.

I challenge you to look to your personal family history. Find one, or more, who fought to maintain freedom. Next Monday, among all the other long weekend activities, spend a moment to remember that family member. Offer them a word of thanks.

I will.

A Time to be Creative

283A couple weeks ago, I spent a special hour with my dad. I asked him to help me make something for a daughter-in-law. We went into the garage together and I watched him move from one place to another to manufacture a simple exercise machine.

He found a pulley, some metal to cut and bend, a heavy wire he turned and cut to look like an ‘s’, and some thin rope. He moved back and forth around his shop, out to his shed and back. In about an hour he had created the machine I requested.

All this is especially amazing, considering he’ll be 88 years old next month. His feet hurt, forcing him to walk carefully, but his mind is sharp, his ability to create something from nearly nothing continues.

I spent many years as a child watching him build and create. He built a house and a special kitchen for my mom in older homes three times. Each a kitchen of beauty and filled with the latest, and sometimes only, designs to make it a great place to cook.

Not every girl, of any age—even mine—is able to watch and share in the creation of something. I feel exceptionally blessed.

Creation of something from a little bit of something runs in our family. Dad builds. Mom quilts, writes, sews, and crochets. My brother writes and builds. My sister crochets, creates jewelry, and writes. I sew, crochet, and now I write. Yes, only dad doesn’t write. We are a blessed family.

In my writing about Eve, much of the early drafts focused on creating ways to survive in a new world. I have developed a respect for her and her beloved Adam. Together, they worked to learn and create ways to feed, clothe, and house themselves and their children. I’m not sure I could manage as well as they did.

How have you shown your creativity lately? I’d love to hear.

Don’t Let This Happen to You

20150810_210057It’s amazing how things can change for you in seconds. I woke up in the middle of the night and bumped my arm on my nightstand drawer. No big deal. Because I have the thin skin of a hundred year old, I bled. I stumbled into the bathroom an covered it with bandages.

The tiny gouges were infected two days later, my arm swelling and red two days later. Now, after a second trip to the ER, I’m admitted to the hospital to receive IV antibiotics. Difficult for me, as I’m allergic to many antibiotics. (This is a poor excuse for a late blog.)

As I think of my silly little injury, that could be life threatening, I think of the people who have gone about their lives, attending concerts, Christmas parties, eating in restaurants, and other common events, only to have their lives disrupted by crazed people seeking infamy in deaths of others. I wonder if those who died remembered to kiss their loved ones good-bye as they left that day. Did they leave for work with an argument on their lips?

Eve’s life changed in moments when she chose to marry Adam and live on this earth—yes, I believe she had that choice. That time was a time of challenges and joys. Later, her life changed again when Cain killed Abel, this was not a happy change. Each time she was required to decide to make the best of the changes.

We never know when our lives will be changed suddenly. Though it may be difficult, remember to leave your loved ones with love rather than in anger. Don’t be the one to mourn if your life changes suddenly.

I’d love for you to share your tales of sudden life changing events. Please share, here in the comments section, or direct to my email: AngeliqueCongerAuthor@gmail.com

Some Have Dogs, Others Have Cats, I Have Turtles

Last week was National Dog Day. We haven’t had a dog for many years, in fact we liv20150819_232158e in an apartment that does not allow dogs, which is fine with us. We like dogs, in other people’s houses. We have turtles and I love them.

One turtle is a male Red Eared Slider we got as a tiny, two inch little thing. The other is a female Mississippi Map we inherited when a friend needed a new home for her. We’ve had them for more than five years. They have been swimming together happily for more than five years in their hundred gallon fish tank. The male swims to the end of the tank to wat20150819_232230ch television with us, as he has since he was tiny.

Each day, when I feed them, I offer him a few sticks of turtle food to eat from my fingers. He almost always takes them from me. Sometimes the female does, as well. Once in a while, he misses the food and catches my finger! Then, he is lifted out of the water a ways until he lets go and falls back into the water. He never really hurts me, just a little pinch. I think we are both surprised.

Last week I got another surprise, the female laid an egg! Sadly, it was damaged, there was a broken spot on it. No baby turtle for us. Even damaged, the male s20150826_111945wam guard, ensuring it was not bothered by any human hand until after it broke completely. He wanted to be a good daddy.

Early in my book, Eve, First Matriarch, I included a short scene with
turtles. You may see my turtles in it.

I hope you enjoy your pets. Tell me what kind of pet you have.

Coming soon: Ancient Matriarchs: Eve, First Matriarch.

Why Would Anyone Sacrifice?

A favorite hymn in our church includes the line, “Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of Heaven.”[1] It seems a strange thing to think that sacrifice brings blessings.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines sacrifice as:

: the act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone

: an act of killing a person or animal in a religious ceremony as offering to please a god

: a person or animal that is killed in a sacrifice[2]

How will any of these kinds of sacrifice bring blessings of Heaven? Few religions demand a living sacrifice to be offered to please a god in today’s world. More frequently members of society will be found giving up something. Why would anyone give up something precious?

From the beginning of our world, sacrifice has been a part of life, even when it has not included the death of a person or animal. Eve, and then Adam, ate of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil, and were rejected from the Garden of Eden. They gave up a paradise for thorns, thistles, and problems. Because they did, they also gained the blessing of children and family,

Women today continue to sacrifice independence, sleep, relaxation, and often health to give birth to and raise children. Life is never the same after a child becomes part of the family, even before birth. Sacrifice of life and health for children brings blessings unknown by those who have none.

Men sacrifice time to participate in more enjoyable activities when they leave home and family for employment. Fathers often miss the sweet times in a child’s life as they grow. Taking on responsibility of wife and family often removes the opportunity to play or relax as they did when single.

If you look, you can find stories of people of all ages who have determined to help a person or an organization. They give time to help, work to raise money, and write letters and make phone calls to change laws. People sacrifice their time, their money, their good name, their influence, and their things to help a person or a cause.

No animals are sacrificed or burned to please God, but hearts, minds, and attitudes are freely given.

What do you sacrifice? Why would you do that?

[1] LDS Hymns, 27

[2] Mirriam-Webster Dictionary; on-line edition