Mary: A Lesson for the Ages

 

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In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David.  The virgin’s name was Mary.  Upon arriving, the angel said to her: “Rejoice, O highly favored daughter!  The Lord is with you.  Blessed are you among women.”  She was deeply troubled by his words, and wondered what his greeting meant.  The angel went on to say, to her: “Do not fear, Mary.  You have found favor with God.  You shall conceive and bear a son and give him the name Jesus.  Great will be his dignity and he will be called Son of the Most High.  The Lord God will give him the throne of David his father.  He will rule over the house of Jacob forever and his reign will be without end.”

Mary said to the angel, “How can this be since I do not know man?”

The angel answered her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; hence, the holy offspring to be born will be called Son of God.  Know that Elizabeth your kinswoman has conceived a son in her old age; she who was thought to be sterile is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible with God.”

Mary said: “I am the servant of the Lord.  Let it be done to me as you say.” (Luke 1:26-38, NAB)

Mary was a teenager betrothed to an older man, Joseph.  Her life was all planned out, and then the Angel Gabriel visited her.  Mary didn’t believe she was anything special, so why would God chose her for this special job.  Besides, this news would destroy her well planned life.  Joseph wouldn’t want to marry her now.  But, Mary didn’t consider any of this.  Instead she responded in faith, and God guarded Mary’s reputation by sending an angel to Joseph.  Mary and Joseph quickly wed and did not have sexual relations until after the child was born.

 

After Jesus was born, for the next 30 years he lived with his family.  Jesus had a normal childhood, because Mary’s vision of his identity was clouded by God.  So Jesus grew up with a home and siblings provided by Mary and Joseph.  When he was old enough he even carried on his foster father’s carpentry trade.  When Jesus did finally begin God’s work, Mary and his siblings were puzzled and uncertain about His ministry, but Mary continued to live in her faith.

 

Everyone should have faith like Mary.  Through her faith she glorified God.  Mary’s simple faith and readiness to do God’s will was a testimony to her faith.  Each of us is given our own unique gifts that we are to use to glorify God.

 

Two necessary things are needed for doing great things for God.  The first is God’s responsibility.  It is a work he undertakes on your behalf.  “I repeat, it is owing to His favor that salvation is yours through faith.  This is not your own doing, it is God’s gift; neither is it a reward for anything you have accomplished, so let no one pride himself on it.  We are truly his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to lead the life of good deeds which God prepared for us in advance.” (Ephesians 2:8-10, NAB)  In Ephesians we are told our salvation is through the work of Christ and a gift from God.

 

The second requirement is a willingness to serve God in whatever way He chooses to call you.  Mary stepped out in faith in response to God, and experienced great joy and suffering because of it.  Her joy came in the birth and life of Jesus Christ.  Her greatest suffering came with the crucifixion of Jesus, but the joy returned with His resurrection.  She lived her life in the presence of Jesus.  Mary like many of us was an ordinary woman who had a commitment to her call, and because of her commitment God blessed her.

 

Questions to Ponder:

 

  1. What is my commitment to God like?
  2. Would I be willing to sacrifice my life to do God’s work?

Excerpted from Women of the Bible: A Study by Christina Weigand

 

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Buy Links

Amazon Print: https://www.amazon.com/Women-Bible-Study-Christina-Weigand/dp/1461042666/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1481034420&sr=8-3&keywords=Christina+Weigand

Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Women-Bible-Study-Christina-Weigand-ebook/dp/B00X19HRW6/ref=sr_1_4_twi_kin_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481034471&sr=8-4&keywords=Christina+Weigand

Barnes & Noble Print: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/women-of-the-bible-christina-weigand/1121859402?ean=9781461042662

News and Updates

11203056_1444953639148763_2136705268170045855_n (1)Women of the Bible: A Study

I released the print as well as the e-version through Create Space a little over a year ago and have consistently been selling one or two copies a month.

What can women who lived over 2000 years ago teach us about living in today’s hectic world? The answer to that question is; Lots, especially if you are looking to God for the answers. Through Eve, the Mother of all and of original sin. Sarah and Hagar tried to take matters into their own hands. Rachel and Leah are two sisters fighting for the love of one man. Delilah is an example of how we shouldn’t behave. Naomi and Ruth, a mother and her daughter-in-law, we see self sacrifice. Michal and Bathsheba show us the positive and negative side of forgiveness and tolerance. With Elizabeth, we see the willingness to look past her own triumphs while she seeks to help someone whose triumphs will eclipse her own. Mary, the mother of Jesus besides being an example for all mothers, gives us an example of totally giving oneself to God. Mary Magdalene will show us about finding love and satisfaction with God.
Through these women we can learn how to keep our faith and follow God’s path in even the most trying of times. They prove that God is always with us no matter how far we fall as long as we look to Him for forgiveness and love.
The lessons span the eons and these women still have lessons to teach us.

 

 

Palace of the Twelve Pillars Trilogy

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Not much new to report here. Palace of the Twelve Pillars: Book One celebrated it’s three year anniversary in April 2016. Here is a new review of it:

Palace of the Twelve Pillars
4 Stars

Palace of the Twelve Pillars by Christina Weigand is a good fantasy fiction story for young adults that kept me enthralled.  Though it is listed as a Christian story, I didn’t really see why.  In fact, the claim of it being a Christian story is confusing as monotheism does not appear within the plot.  There are dragons, magic, gods, healers, and even dream manipulation, which all lead to interesting plot concepts, but modern views of Christianity are lacking in my opinion.  Twin brothers, Brandan and Joachim, are princes in their kingdom.  Ultimately, the Palace of Twelve Pillars is a story of the battle between good and evil.  Weigand explores the balance of the dark and the light between the brothers as well as within themselves.  There is a lot of family drama at the core of this story.  It’s certainly held my interest, but I wanted more – more depth overall.

Christina Weigand focuses almost solely on the constant struggle between the two brothers.  In fact, it almost seemed like they never left the castle.  I wanted to know about the kindom and the delicate balance of light and dark that was happening outside the walls of the family castle.  The author does a good job of describing the story and the main characters, but I was confused at times by the supporting characters.  It was often too hard to tell if they were good or evil – what was their actual intent.  Palace of the Twelve Pillars also felt like a coming of age story alongside the delicate balance and sometimes the fullblown war between the dark side and the light side everyone has within.  An interesting story, it leaves you ready for Book Two, Palace of the Three Crosses.

Originally reviewed by Rob Alex of AuthorsTalkAboutIt.com.

Palace of the Three Crosses: Book Two will celebrate its third anniversary in September 2016. Here is a recent review of it:

Palace of the Three Crosses

4 Stars

Palace of the Three Crosses, written by Christina Weigand, is Book Two following up on Palace of the Twelve Pillars.  Again, I’m confused by the perception that this is a strongly Christian focused book.  In fact, the three crosses on the cover led me to believe it would have something to do with the crucifixtion, but the gods or spiritual beings mentioned included Ishtar and Asha not Jesus or God. Here’s the thing, I don’t want the that to stop you from reading Palace of the Three Crosses or on the other hand, perhaps, you’ll be more open to reading it knowing it isn’t heavily Christian focused.  So, is it medival fantasy for young adults?  Yes!

The battle between good and evil continue in the Palace of the Three Crosses.  Joachim and Brandan both marry and rule kingdoms, but Brandan’s castle is so filled with negative energy that when Joachim’s wife suffers complications during her first pregnancy the healers aren’t able to help her.  As time moves on, both Joachim and Brandan sire children, and the gods inform the dragons that all three children must be kept safe as one of them is the chosen one.  Weigand doesn’t go into what the chosen one is meant to do though.  Eventually, Brandan is banished from Joachim’s kingdom and is sent away in exile.  In fact, most of his powers have been stripped from him.  Christina Weigand does a nice job of leaving the reader anxiously anticipating the third book, Sanctuary of Nine Dragons.  Though I can’t say it was a page turner for me, Palace of the Three Crosses is quite an interesting story and held my interest.

Originally reviewed by Rob Alex of AuthorsTalkAboutIt.com.

 

Sanctuary of Nine Dragons: Book Three will celebrate its third anniversary in February 2017. Here is a recent review for it.

4 Stars

Christina Weigand’s Sanctuary of Nine Dragons, the third book in the Palace of The Twelve Pillars series, was the best book of the three.  The story continued around the two brothers, King Joachim and Brandan, and their families including King Joachim’s wife, Queen Maeve.  However, it had a strong focus on their children, two boys and a girl.  Joachim’s son was kidnapped right out of the cradle, and had not been found as of yet even though he was actually being raised by a close family friend.  At the same time, his twin sister, encountered struggles due to their father persistently searching for his heir to the throne.  Eventually, the king’s son was found though. There was a coming of age aspect to the story around Joachim and Brandan’s children as well as the continued battle of good and evil.  Even the dragons engaged in a battle of good and evil within themselves.

A good story, Sanctuary of Nine Dragons, had much more depth to the story than Palace of the Twelve Pillars or Palace of the Three Crosses.  It was well written, and author Christina Weigand did a nice job progressing the characters through the book.  She did a nice job of interweaving the story of the family as well as guardian dragons and the gods.  We all know there is a delicate balance of good and evil in the world, and Weigand’s mystical land was no different.  With all of the typical pieces in place, kings, queens, dragons, and a kidnapped heir to the throne, Sanctuary of Nine Dragons will take readers to another place and time while keeping their curiosity alit.  Weigand does not disappoint in this third book.  Well done.

Originally reviewed by Rob Alex of AuthorsTalkAboutIt.com.

ATAI Book Award 4 Stars

Last week I recorded a podcast with Rob and Janelle Alex where we talked about the books and other fun stuff. Stay tuned and I will post the air date for the podcast.

Myrria and the twins will be visiting Don Massenzio’s Blog on July 6 so you’ll want to be sure and check that out.

They will also be visiting the Catholic Underground over the next few months. Dates are TBA and I will let you know when they are going to happen.

 

Finally,  Sir E. Robert Smythe and the Galactic Safety Council series. I am in the process of finishing up the fourth book in the six book series. Sir E. Robert Smythe and the School Bully is under contract and set to release at the end of the year.SIRESCHOOLBULLY (1)

 

Sir E. Robert Smythe and the Lost Detective is under contract with a projected release date of end of 2016.

Sir E. Robert Smythe Goes Shopping is under contract  with a projected release date of Fall 2017.

Sir E. Robert Smythe Goes Back to School will be submitted to the publisher by the June 4.

The other two titles; Sir E. Robert Smythe and the Substitute Teacher and Sir E. Robert Smythe: Be a Good Sport are in progress and will be submitted to MuseItUp Publishing by the end of September, 2016.

Stay tuned for updates on all these projects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She Said Yes

51vK90XiXDL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_God tells a simple ordinary woman that she is to be the mother of the Son of God.  Thirty-three years later that same ordinary woman lets that son go to his grisly death.  Throughout Jesus’ life, Mary had many opportunities to deny her faith, to deny her God by refusing to do the things He asked of her.  Instead, each time she responded in faith, sacrificing her fears and dreams to do the will of God.

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph of the House of David. (Luke 1:26-27)

 

Read and ponder: Luke 1: 26-38

Instead of asking the expected questions of the angel, Mary responds from her humble faith

 

Mary said Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”  (Luke 1:38).

Questions to Ponder:

  1. What is the angel asking of Mary?
  2. What is Mary’s response?
  3. What are other ways Mary could have responded?
  4. What questions would I ask of the angel?
  5. Would I be able to step out in the faith Mary demonstrated?

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, make me more like your blessed Mother, Mary. Give me the courage to say, Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word. Luke 1:38 (NAB)

Blessed Christmas  to all.

Excerpted from Women of the Bible: A Study.

Available Amazon Print: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1461042666
Amaszon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00X19HRW6

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