Tag Archives: responsibility

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/


A New Book in a New Month

I have been swamped the past weeks writing, editing, and preparing for the launch of my newest book, Ancient Matriarchs Book Four, Moving into Light: Zehira, Wife of Enoch. Now, it is available on Amazon for Pre-Sale. It would be an understatement to say I am excited!
I’m doing more to share this book than I have the others. Thursday, throughout the day, I’ll be checking in promoting it on a Live Facebook Event, Moving into Light Book Launch Party. I have games and questions, stories to tell, and excerpts to read. I think it’ll take most of the day, so check in when you have time. Everyone who responds with a comment, likes, shares, or participates in a game, will be put into “the hat” for one of the prizes I’m offering. (Watch the event page for the list.)
Go ahead and start sharing now, I’m collecting names of those who do and putting them into my “hat” to be considered for prizes.
I hope you choose to join me sometime during the day.

In other news, I am participating in a Book Funnel Giveaway: October Historical Fiction. Along with other authors, we are sharing a variety of fiction with historical fiction as the connector. Some are romance, others mystery, there are 18 authors and 19 books. See if you can find mine. You can find the Giveaway here.
Happy Reading.


Should Kaepernick Kneel?

20150914_185748Last week the news was filled with outrage that Colin Kaepernick would choose not to stand for the National Anthem at the beginning of football games. He stated that he refused to “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” In my city, many were outraged at his lack of respect.

Today, another sports figure chose to take a knee during the National Anthem in solidarity with Kaepernick. I’m certain the outrage will continue.

I do not agree with his reasons for not standing. I admit there continues to be some bias towards people of color. The media has highlighted excessive force, especially that force directed toward black people.

Excessive force is not appropriate, no matter who the offender is, no matter the color of their skin. Unfortunately, it happens to offenders of all nationalities. Though some say that the best way to avoid excessive force is to obey the laws, that is not always true. Some are treated badly, regardless of their actions.

I suspect refusing to stand for the National Anthem is a more responsible action than targeting random police officers for murder or participating in riots and destroying property belonging to others.

One of the benefits of living in the United States is the right to choose. We cannot choose which laws to obey or disregard, but we do have freedom of thought and freedom of expression. We all have the right to choose to stand,or not stand, for the Pledge of Allegiance or the National Anthem. Kaepernick has a right to show his frustration by not standing.

Eve and Adam carefully protected the rights of their children to choose, even when those children chose things they did not like. As I wrote about their struggle with this, Eve and Adam discussed what they could do.

Though they wanted to insist, to force their children to obey the commands they were given when leaving Eden, they could not. Forcing them would be acting like the Destroyer, taking away their rights to choose. In order to allow agency, they had to accept alternate choices.

In the case of Kaepernick, we must allow him the same opportunity, to choose a behavior many of us would p


Olympic Swimmers Example for Selfishness

[Note: Multiple levels of chaos in my home have prevented me from writing for the last several weeks. If you looked for something new from me in these weeks, I apologize.]

The 2016 Rio Olympics are coming to a close. We have watched Ryan Phelps swim like a Merman, Usain Bolt race across the track with fleetest feet, and Simone Biles twist and turn in gymnastics in ways no human body normally moves on her way to Gold. Even beach volley ball and soccer left us in awe of the abilities of the many athletes.

Not all gold medal winners left us with feelings of awe. The men’s swimming 4x100m relay was magnificent to watch, as Ryan Lochte and his team mates swam to win the gold medal. Unfortunately, their drunken celebration led to problems at a Rio gas station, a false police report, and trouble with the police. Ryan skipped back to the U.S. out of reach of the Brazilian courts, leaving his three team mates to face the judge.

The behavior of this swimming team casts the United States in a poor light when we should be able to shine and feel proud of our athletes and their Olympic performance. It is beyond sad that the selfishness of four has hurt the respectability of hundreds of other athletes.

This behavior is symptomatic of the behavior of too many people, not only in the United States, but throughout the world. Too many people put their selfish wants and desires above those of others. I see it daily on the roads and freeways as drivers weave through traffic, putting everyone else in danger, to get down the road faster. Families are denied housing because of their financial status, regardless of their ability to pay. People help themselves to their employers financial accounts, enriching themselves at other’s expense. Others take with little thought of gratitude, expecting what is not even theirs by right.

Businesses are no better. I have seen banks take money from small account holders, attempt to steal homes using false claims of non-payment, and destroy individuals and companies as they manipulate their accounts. Other businesses compete with banks in their lack of treating people humanely.

This week in California, homes were burned along the San Bernadino mountains, and while the owners of the homes at risk for burning were forcibly evacuated, looters entered their home and stole their things, using the truck of the home owner to transport the stolen items. I haven’t heard of looters in the Louisiana flooding, but I am sure some selfish people have looted homes evacuated due to the flooding.

What is it about our world today that makes so many people so incredibly selfish? How is it that so many consider only personal wants without thinking how their actions may affect others, sometimes lots of others?

In almost every facet of life in the United States, selfishness rules. I can think of few places where altruism and free gifting of one’s self is the rule, rather than the exception. Some individuals and groups try, though none have succeeded completely.

I believe there are individuals and families who seek to be more giving and less selfish. I also believe that goodness will grow and perpetuate as the few good people work to be examples of unselfishness to the many who are unselfish.

It is a personal decision. On which side will you stand? Will you choose to stand against selfishness, showing kindness for cruelty, goodness for selfishness? Or will you choose to be a part of the problem? You cannot stand on the line, it is too thin. You must be part of the problem or part of the solution.

How do you stand against selfishness and cruelty? What will you do to be part of the solution? Perhaps you can seek to be a little less selfish, a little more grateful? I look forward to hearing how you plan to stand up for goodness.


Must We Accept the Hatred That is Reigning?

It is easy to succumb to the hatred that rages across the Earth today, especially in light of the political conventions held last week and this. No wonder—almost every day news reaches us of another shooting or terror attack. No country is immune to the terror. Whether internal or external, hatred brings violence and terror.

Some people feel compelled to express their hatred by shouting bad things about others. Others express their hatred in murdering members of an opposing culture, religion, or country. Often, the story of murdered Christians, or Muslims, or other religious sects in far away countries becomes lost in the arguments of politics or violence at home. Men, women, and children are at risk, for the hatred of others leads to violence, terror, and murder.

What can be done? How can we, as individuals, combat this trend of raging hatred? One cannot battle the large numbers of haters. However, one can set examples to others, can have an effect on those in our smaller circle. What is the answer? Love, simple love.

Love, as exemplified by the Savior of the world, accepts each person, In a Worldregardless of that person’s political beliefs, their religious beliefs, their sexual activity, their gender, or their so-called race. All are sons and daughters of God. All have redeeming qualities. He cares about us and wants us to return to His presence. His love is unconditional.

Can our love be like His? Can you love someone who is different from you? Someone who behaves in a way you do not like or believe in? Someone who has hurt you?

I believe you can. Loving the person does not mean loving a behavior. I have friends who participate in behaviors I do not agree with. I have had my trust broken and been hurt by those close to me. I have learned that I can love these people as long as I remember who they are, children of God, not the behavior that I disagree with or that hurt me.

I am working to be more charitable, to have love for others, regardless of their actions and beliefs. It is difficult, but as I think at them as Christ would, I can succeed.

What has all this to do with Eve and the books I am writing? Much. For I believe the things she told me about their lives. She and Adam looked forward to the coming of Christ in the meridian of time. She knew Christ’s love, though she called Him Jehovah. She knew of His willingness to forgive. She, more than any, knew we are all His children, and all her children. Eve continues to weep for our actions and our hatred for others.

Will you join me in my personal challenge to learn to love others for who they are, not what they do? We can change the world, one person at a time as we love those around us.

I’d love to hear your stories of love for those you thought unlovable. Please share.


Independence Day, How Will You Celebrate?

20150914_185748Independence Day is next Monday. Will you go to a party, swim, or shoot off fireworks? Will you watch a parade or join in community picnics and celebrations? All of these are great ways to celebrate.

We celebrate Independence Day on July 4th, in remembrance of the great men and women who declared independence from England in 1776, and then fought to secure that independence. They argued about their beliefs and finally compromised, creating the Constitution. These documents allow us the freedoms, 240 years later, to live in the way we would choose.

Unfortunately, politicians, foreign influencers, and citizens argue that safety is only found in giving up the freedoms our ancestors fought so hard to acquire. Each time there is a disaster or a terrorist attack, more freedoms erode. Those of us who argue for basic freedoms are chastised and criticized.

One of these basic freedoms is the freedom of religion, not just the right to worship as we please, but to freely exercise our religion in our daily life. One leader who stands for religious freedom spoke this week in a Freedom Festival Patriotic Service. He said, “There are concerted efforts to shame and intimidate believers who have traditional moral values and to suppress religious viewpoints and practices regarding marriage, family, gender and sexuality. Worst of all, government sometimes joins in these efforts.” (Elder D. Todd Christofferson, Apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

We are all entitled to freedom of speech, both believers and non-believers. We have the right to stand for the things we believe in, without being taunted by those who don’t believe as we do. Each of the other rights guaranteed in the Constitution are important to fight for.

As you celebrate Independence Day next week, decide what you can do to support our freedoms. What can you do as an individual? What can you do as a small group? We may be few, but we can do something to support and defend our freedoms. What will you do?


Only We, the People, Can Solve This Problem

Over the past years, we have seen things become acceptable after losing favor in the intervening years. I wore saddle shoes as a kid to help my feet stay straight. Fifteen years later, the black and white (or brown and white) oxford became the shoe to wear, though it no longer had the strength to hold an ankle straight. They come into favor every few years.

Skirt lengths have gone up and down the leg over the last hundred years, sometimes raising as high as it modesty (or not modestly) allows it to crawl.Others years, skirts fall to the floor—and all the intervening lengths between.

Hats, too, come and go. There was a time no one went out without a hat, and no man would enter a house, let alone sit at a table, without removing it. The hat has blown away, though men routinely enter homes and sit at restaurant tables with their ball cap firmly stuck to their head.

There is a meme going around my face book feed.

It says a lot about our society, when a public longing for loyalty and morals makes the rounds of social media—a lot that is not good.

In my lifetime, I have seen a decline in both loyalty and morals. Time was when presidents and government were held to a higher standard of honor and loyalty—to the country and their spouses. NOT any more. Now, people hardly raise an eyebrow in the event the press comment on some government official’s lack of loyalty to a spouse. Lack of loyalty to the country causes a few groans, but little more.

There was a time when a couple cared about the one they married, children came into their lives nine months or more later. Anything earlier was a cause for deep embarrassment, for themselves and their families. This changed with the “Peace and Love” generation, who lived together and had children. But, these were the minority. Slowly, living together, one night stands, and single parenthood became normal.

Not so long ago, those who leaned toward anything but hetero-sex stayed in the closet, rather than admit to perverted sexual behavior. It was safer that way, for the penalty was death. Not so now. If I don’t condone their actions, I am “biased,” “narrow minded,” or “intolerant.” Young men claim to be girls so they can win in a girl’s race. The national argument over bathrooms continues, supported by people who should want to protect their daughters.

Imagine what Eve would think about our world today. For me, it would not take much imagination. I believe Adam saw the events of this earth past our time in it. I think Eve joined him in sorrowing for our behaviors. Some think other times were worse than ours, pointing to the days of Noah, when God saw fit to baptize the earth and wash it of the wicked, adulterous, and disloyal. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah burned, destroying the sodomites. I have read prophets say our time is worse than either of these. Surely, Eve cried when she saw what would happen to her daughters and sons.

When I saw the meme, my first thought was, “No kidding. A change is needed.” Then I thought about it again.

Loyalty and Morals, and a number of other good qualities, will only return to this country, and this world, when we, of loyalty and morality, determine to be examples of those qualities and live them.

We must band together, become leaders of the movement. We must be personally loyal and moral. We must demand that others around us be loyal and moral. We must expect loyalty and morality from our government.

What do you think about our loss of loyalty and morals? How can we turn it around? Is there another way? I don’t believe new laws will help, it must come from we, the people.


The Puzzle of Inhumanity

When I was little, we raised chickens. The bigger chicks pecked the smallest one to death, because it was different. How sad for the chick, but are humans any better? News stories abound of children who could not take the bullying another minute and have taken their own life.

I live with an historian who has studied the holocaust and World War II in order to understand the inhumane treatment of others. He hasn’t yet. Whether it was the murder of Jews, Gypsies, or the different in the holocaust, or the Japanese who mistreated American prisoners of war, or slavery, seeing photos or re-enactments of the inhumanity brings tears to my eyes. How can people treat others so badly?

Throughout history, people have identified others as “different” and taken them as slaves or used their “differences” as excuses for abuse. Whether it is gender, skin or eye color, religious beliefs, or disabilities, both physical and mental, the different person is singled out for abuse.

What about the small, the more intelligent, or the different that causes a group to perceive they are worthy only of maltreatment and persecution? From the barnyard to the schoolyard to civilized countries, it occurs.

I don’t understand it. Why would people mistreat others? Are they so unhappy or unsure of themselves they feel compelled to hurt others?

What can we do? Is it too big for the individual?

I think not.

Each time we stand up to the bullies, refuse to join the mob, or treat someone who is different better than the crowd, you stand up against inhumanity. You make a stand for goodness.

My challenge to you: Find someone this week who needs someone to stand up for them, and do it! If you find yourself in a situation where others mistreat the small or different, remove yourself from the situation or, better yet, stand up for them. See if you feel better about the situation.

Report back. Make my day.


Remembering Our Mothers

IMG_0679 (1)Mother’s Day is Sunday. I hope you plan to do something special for your mom. Not necessarily something expensive. I love it when my children remember to call me. For me, that is enough.

Mothers love to be remembered. It is nice that children remember the woman who spent 9 months carrying them withing their bodies. As the child grows, love grows. We moms spend those 9 months waiting to meet the baby. We knew you will be that amazing child we hoped for, regardless of any challenges you bring with you. I have yet to meet a mom of a disabled or challenged child who is not in love with that child.

When I think of mothers, after my own, I think of our first mother, Eve. She gave up Eden, a true paradise, to have a family. We know of two commandments given to her and her sweet husband—1) to multiply and replenish the earth and 2) to avoid eating the fruit on the tree of knowledge of good and evil. These seemed to be competing commands, as she could not have children in Eden, nor could she leave Eden to have children without eating that fruit and receiving the change brought about it. I don’t believe she understood this problem, as she and Adam were innocent.

No one knows how long they were in Eden. It doesn’t matter. Ultimately, she made the choice to eat the fruit, which allowed her body to make the necessary changes to have children and multiply. It was their decision to leave, to be ejected, so they could have children.

Children were important to this world, and they still are. We, as a people who love our earth, must stand for our children. We want them to be happy, to have good educations, to have a good life. These have been desired and hoped for through all of time, since Eve. We have to do all we can to help them achieve these things.

Unseen forces fight to destroy our children. They are evidenced by abortions, same sex marriages, loss of educator ability to meet the needs of our children in the classroom, addictions, and our depressed economy. We as parents and grandparents should do all we can to support our children against these challenges. Support your teachers as they try to teach your children in a way that will best meet their needs. Hope for, and do all you can, to help our country get out of the financial and employment depression. Be watchful for addictive behaviors. Help our children.

Things today are bad, and have been throughout the history of this earth. All those problems seem to be multiplying and compounding. Each year is like an earthquake in its scale of intensity where each decimal point doubles the intensity. Challenges and problems our children face, including addictions, intensify in a similar manner.

What can we do? Is there a way you can support the children and others in your life? Hold them close, love them, and remember your mothers.


How is Yours?

The news is filled with sadness. Good men and women are killed. A police officer was shot and killed when he showed up to investigate an automobile accident. Homes are invaded, robbing and killing the occupants. Angry people decide the only way to solve a problem is with a weapon. Those who are involved in taking the life of another have allowed their soul to become dark somewhere along the way.

20150810_210057Do you know someone with a darkening soul? Someone you fear to be near for very long?

I am rereading my current work in progress, a spin-off book from the original series called Lost Children of the Prophet. As I read, I found a selection I’d like to share.

A short set up: Two young women, teenagers, are discussing a man at a recent party.

       “His soul is black as the crow sitting out there on the tree          branch.”

       Tawna  felt herself shiver and leaned back in her chair. “He seems so nice, spoke to father, asked to be introduced. We even danced—and he kept his hands to himself. No grasping or groping. It was a pleasure to dance without all that. And you say his soul is black?”

         “It’s a show,” Ziv said. “He wants something and act a way to conceal his real intentions.”

Many years ago, in Gibraltar, we met a man we later learned was a murderer. Even our little daughter could tell he had a black soul. I try to stay from that kind of darkness. Better, still, I have felt light in the souls of many others.

Sometimes we have a “gut reaction” to another, immediately loving them, or knowing to be on guard. Is that the color of their soul?

Some people, men and women, have ulterior motives, act nice to your face, while saying nasty things to your back. Politicians are like that, say what they think you want to hear to get your vote. After they are elected, they change, most often, significantly. Do you recognize their darkening souls?

Others souls, too, darken because of their business activities, choosing to pursue success and gain. Forgetting to be of service to others, they do all they can to “climb to the top,” regardless of who is hurt.

Eve’s soul was filled with light, as was her beloved husband, Adam. In contrast, Cain, their son, found his soul darkening as he listened to the destroyer. It blackened, even more, when he chose to kill his brother.

Beware of your own soul. Are you doing something that may darken it? Who have you met with a darker soul? Who do you know who has a soul filled with light? How is yours?