Through the deep wilderness, where scarce the sun
Can cast his darts, along the winding path
The pioneer is treading.

                        An energy
A spirit that will not be shaken.

One of the first two settlers of Northumberland, New Hampshire, was Daniel Spaulding, who removed thither in the summer of 1767. On the way to his new home, with his wife and child, the last burnt himself so badly at Plymouth that the mother was obliged to remain and take care of him, while Mr. Spaulding proceeded to the end of the journey. She soon became uneasy, and, anxious to join her husband, started off with her child, twenty-one months old, to travel twenty-six miles through the wilderness. A friend who had agreed to accompany her the whole distance with a horse, returned after traveling about one third of the way. Undaunted and persevering, she pushed on, alone and on foot; waded through Baker’s river with her child in her arms; was overtaken by a heavy “thunder gust” in the afternoon, and thoroughly drenched; seated herself beside a tree when darkness appeared, and held her child in her lap through a long and sleepless night; resumed her journey early the next morning; waded through a small pond, with the water waist-high; pushed on to another river, which, though swollen by the rain of the preceding day and looking rapid and terrifying, she forded in safety; and at eleven o’clock that day, the second of her journey, she met her husband, who was on his way back with a horse for her accommodation.*

*The substance of this anecdote we find in the second number of the first volume of a periodical called “Historical Collections,” published nearly thirty years ago at Concord, New Hampshire, and edited by J. Farmer and J. B. Moore. The anecdote was communicated by Adino N. Brackett, Esq. of Lancaster, and appeared in the June number for 1822.

*This pioneer matron of northern New Hampshire, was living at Lancaster, in 1822, then in her eighty second year. She was a descendant, “in the third degree,” of Mrs. Dustin, the heroine of Penacook.


Excerpted from Noble Deeds of American Women
(Patriotic Series for Boys and Girls)
Edited by J. Clement
With an Introduction by Mrs. L. H. Sigourney
BOSTON: Lee and Shepard, Publishers
Entered by Act of Congress, in the year of 1851,
by E. H. Derby and Co., in the Clerk’s Office of the Northern District of New York


-Her pure and holy spirit now
Doth intercede at the eternal throne.
                                                Miss Landon.

The following anecdote strikingly illustrates the strength of maternal love, the beauty of faith, and the efficacy of prayer. It was related by a blind preacher:

“When I was about eighteen years of age, there was a dancing party in Middleboro, Massachusetts, which I was solicited to attend, and act, as usual, in the capacity of musician. I was fond of such scenes of amusements then, and I readily assented to the request. I had a pious mother; and she earnestly remonstrated against my going. But, at length, when all her expostulations and entreaties failed in changing my purpose, she said: ‘Well, my son, I shall not forbid your going, but remember, that all the time you spend in that gay company, I shall spend in praying for you at home.’ I went to the ball, but I was like the stricken deer, carrying an arrow in his side. I began to play; but my convictions sank deeper and deeper, and I felt miserable indeed. I thought I would have given the world to have been rid of that mother’s prayers. At one time I felt so wretched and so overwhelmed with my feelings, that I ceased playing and dropped my musical instrument from my hand. There was another young person there who refused to dance; and, as I learned, her refusal was owing to feelings similar to my own, and perhaps they arose from a similar cause. My mother’s prayers were not lost. That was the last ball I ever attended, except one, where I was invited to play again, but went and prayed and preached instead, till the place was converted into a Bochim, a place of weeping. The convictions of that wretched night never wholly left me, till they left me at the feet of Christ, and several of my young companions in sin ere long were led to believe and obey the gospel also.”


Excerpted from Noble Deeds of American Women
(Patriotic Series for Boys and Girls)
Edited by J. Clement
With an Introduction by Mrs. L. H. Sigourney
BOSTON: Lee and Shepard, Publishers
Entered by Act of Congress, in the year of 1851,
by E. H. Derby and Co., in the Clerk’s Office of the Northern District of New York

Get Face to Face with God

There is no substitute for one-on-one time with God, for uninterrupted, undistracted, face-to-face time with God. Yes, praying without ceasing, talking with Him as you walk through your day, is vital, but there must also be times when you literally set aside all else, look Him in the face, and speak heart to heart.

Why? Because it’s easy to “miss” what He’s saying, and the importance of what He’s saying, while you are busy with other things. It’s easy to accidentally overlook or even forget His point because… “Squirrel!”

You know it’s true. How many times, in general conversation, have you been distracted at a critical point? And have you been known to occasionally ignore a question you didn’t want to answer, behaving as if you didn’t hear it? How many times have you accidentally-on-purpose misunderstood something someone was saying? Such things happen easily when you and your companion are out and about. But when it’s just the two of you?

Whether it’s you and another person, or you and God, when you pull aside, get alone, and carry on a private, face-to-face conversation with no distractions, everything changes.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

Don’t Own It

At one point, I very much wanted a shirt that said, “Don’t own it!” and referenced 1 Peter 5:7.

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

1 Peter 5:7 KJV

Why did I want this shirt? Because I needed the reminder, of course!

I have had a tendency, in the past, to take on other people’s problems as if they were my own. Now, empathy is a good thing, a very good thing. Being consumed by others’ problems is not, and that’s what I would let happen.

So, sad to say, then I would flip. I put a wall around my heart so I could hear about other people’s issues yet stay totally separated from them. Needless to say, this was equally as bad. Yes, it “protected” me from being consumed by the other person’s pain, but it also meant I was petty much useless to them spiritually.

Both ends of the spectrum are demonic, in case you haven’t realized this already. God is in the balance one finds in the middle. So yes, when a need comes to your attention take it, but don’t keep it. Don’t own it. If you take ownership, refusing to hand it over to God (who is the only One capable of handling everything), you don’t help them and you harm yourself. Cast all cares on Him; He can handle it and it’s what He wants.

It’s a simple concept, but oh did it take me a while to learn to walk it out.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C


Honesty, even by itself, though making many adversaries
Whom prudence might have set aside, or charity have softened
Evermore will prosper at the last.

We have often read an interesting story of a stockbroker who, just before his death, laid a wager on parole with a Parisian capitalist; and a few weeks after his death, the latter visited the widow and gave her to understand that her late husband had lost a bet of sixteen thousand francs. She went to her secretary, took out her pocket-book, and counted bank notes to the stated amount, when the capitalist thus addressed her: “Madame, as you give such convincing proof that you consider the wager binding, I have to pay you sixteen thousand francs. Here is the sum, for I am the loser, and not your husband.”

An act that, in principle, matches the above, came to light not long since in Philadelphia. During the speculations of 1837-38, Mr. C., a young merchant of that city, possessed of a handsome fortune, caught the mania, entered largely into its operations, and for a time was considered immensely rich. But when the great revulsion occurred he was suddenly reduced to bankruptcy. His young wife immediately withdrew from the circles of wealth and fashion, and adapted her expenses, family and personal, to her altered circumstances.

At the time of Mr. C’s failure, his wife was in debt to Messrs. Stewart and Company, merchants of Philadelphia, about two hundred dollars for articles which she had used personally. This debt, she had no means of liquidating. It became barred by the statute of limitation, before Mr. C. became solvent, though his circumstances gradually improved. After the lapse of twelve years, and when the creditors had looked upon the debt as lost, Mrs. C. was able to take the principle, add to it twelve years’ interest, enclose the whole in a note and address it to Messrs. Stewart and Company.*

*Messrs. Stewart and Company, upon the receipt of the money, addressed a note in reply to Mrs. C, in which they requested her acceptance of the accompanying gift, as a slight testimonial of their high appreciation of an act so honorable and so rare as to call forth unqualified admiration. Accompanying the letter was sent a superb brocade silk dress, and some laces of exquisite texture and great value.

-[Philadelphia Enquirer.


Excerpted from Noble Deeds of American Women
(Patriotic Series for Boys and Girls)
Edited by J. Clement
With an Introduction by Mrs. L. H. Sigourney
BOSTON: Lee and Shepard, Publishers
Entered by Act of Congress, in the year of 1851,
by E. H. Derby and Co., in the Clerk’s Office of the Northern District of New York

Make God Your Refuge

I apologize.
This has been sitting in my drafts since we were working on the site move.

I greatly regret the delay!

Although the red flags, which had begun waving before our marriage, started becoming more obvious when we moved in with his parents after six months of marriage, things didn’t blow up for me until he had his first affair (that I knew of) some years later. The experience crushed me.

And that, being crushed, drove me deep into God’s arms.

It’s sad that it so often takes truly horrific experiences to send us to the one place we most need to be! As a pretty typical American Christian, I thought I was doing well. I attended church regularly, served, tithed, read my Bible (some), prayed (fairly often)… All of that was good, and it was a start, but we were created for exactly what Adam had in the garden – an intimate relationship with God, one where we spend regular, quality time with Him as our sole focus.

I had young children, so I was able to keep myself distracted from what my husband was doing during the day, but once the boys went to bed and he was with the other woman, ignoring my repeated calls (which he’d explain away as bad cell signal the next day), it was just me and a waiting God.

I don’t remember how long it took me to wake up and turn completely to Him, but at some point I did. I changed my own actions, choosing to spend those endless hours in prayer, worship, and His Word.

Psalm 91 is fantastic, containing powerful instructions and promises that I and many others pray and declare regularly. It was in this season that I learned the reality of verses 1 and 2.

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

Psalm 91:1-2 (NKJV)

In turning my focus entirely on God during those long nights, I opened a door to a whole new relationship with Him. In getting to know Him better and better, developing a truly intimate relationship and learning to more clearly hear and understand His voice, I came to that precious place.

In the midst of the worst days of my life to that point, I was living in God’s secret place, hidden under the shadow of His wings. I had run to Him as my refuge, found myself safe in the fortress that was my God, and I was confident that if everyone else failed me I would always be able to trust Him.

I kept prayer journals at the time and I clearly remember telling Him in both prayer and my prayer journal that I didn’t want to lose what I had found in Him, what we had developed in the middle of the fire I was walking through. I straight up said that, while I wanted out of the fire, I was afraid that I would lose my focus when I left, that I would lose that closeness that was so radically changing me.

In point of fact, I had a group of online friends who knew what was going on and were genuinely worried about me. I emailed them at one point, and shared what would later become a blog post entitled “The View from Inside the Furnace.” I had discovered I had much in common with Shadrach, Meshac, and Abednego who, while they obviously hadn’t wanted to be thrown into the fire, abruptly found themselves having private time with Jesus.

Like me, they suddenly were in no hurry to leave. Like me, they probably learned things in that time that changed their lives forever. Like me, they were perfectly safe while in the very midst of the flames. They didn’t leave the furnace until they were commanded to.

Like them, I walked out of that particular fire changed forever, freer than I had been when I was thrown in, and not smelling of smoke.

Admittedly, in years since this hellish season, I’ve had times of being more intentional and less intentional where my relationship with God is concerned, but I have never let myself walk away from my Refuge. It has always been God who has brought me through, and to this day I am grateful that I was driven so deeply into His arms during that time.

Understand that I could just as easily have run in a different direction. I could have stayed buried in the books I loved to read. I could have turned to drink or drugs as so many do. I could have let the fear and pain eat away at me until I landed in a hospital’s psychiatric ward. I didn’t.

I didn’t because I chose
to make God my refuge.

God is not only the only refuge you need, He is the only real refuge. We can try to do it on our own, but we aren’t meant to carry those kinds of burdens. His plan has always been for us to run to Him.

Make God your Refuge.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

One Thing About Technology

A few days ago, I had a conversation with someone I highly respect. He’s a fantastic husband and father, an astute businessman, and is actively involved in ministry. As we talked, we somehow got on the topic of technology and how, thanks to him essentially having a computer in his hand, he can work all the time.

More to the point, he explained that he has to fight the tendency to work all the time. It’s too easy to be answering a text message and then flip over for just a minute to respond to a work email…that turns into dealing with more work emails. He said he reaches a point where he has to literally put the phone down and walk away.

There are many studies out there showing how dangerous too much screen time is for young children and how hard it can be for many preteens and teens to interact in the real world because they’ve spent years primarily communicating via their phones. However, as our conversation revealed, the problem isn’t just with them.

I’m writing a book. I’ve been talking about it for a while, but after months of struggling I’m finally back to actively writing instead of just thinking about it. How? I put the laptop away and pulled out pen and paper.

As he shared his story with me, my own experience was running through my head, because I’d found myself with the same problem. I’d sit down to write, pull up Word, and get a notification from one of my apps. Or I’d want to clarify something I was referring to, google for information, and fall down a rabbit hole. I finally realized that, if I wanted to actually get the book written, I needed to take a few steps backwards.

Years ago, I was a regular writer for a homeschool magazine, and at one point I drafted an article while on a flight to meet with my editor. When she expressed interest in seeing the draft, I said, “Let me get my notebook.” She thought I was referring to a laptop, but I literally meant an old-fashioned, spiral-bound notebook. THAT is what I’ve gone back to: Paper and pen.

That one change is making all the difference. I don’t even write most of my blog posts on the computer anymore because paper and pen are so much more powerful. And for me to even type those words is ridiculous, because I’ve been endorsing the power of pen-and-paper journaling for years. I was just a little slow applying the same principles to my regular writing. There are so many benefits!

The biggest benefit for me is that putting ink on paper slows me down. I’ve mentioned before that my thoughts tend to run at warp speed sometimes, and writing them down instead of typing them out forces me to take the time to truly consider what I’m trying to say and how best to say it. Yes, I often need to confirm references, verify quotes, or whatever, but I try to wait until I’m finished to handle anything that might get me caught in the technology trap. In the meantime, I make margin notes or highlights or have a scratch pad beside me for notes about things I need to tweak later.

Obviously, I’ll eventually head back to the computer and get it all typed up, but the tradeoff of having to do what others might consider double the work is more than fair – because now the work is actually getting done instead of being set aside in favor of technology’s snare.

That’s one thing about technology that reminds me of my years of helping homeschoolers. I would tell them, “Curriculum is a tool for you to use. Don’t let it use you.” Likewise, today, I remind myself, “Technology is a tool for you to use.”

And I’m telling us both, “Don’t let it use you.”

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C


            What rhetoric didst thou use
To gain this mighty boon?

James M. Wilson was one of the unfortunate young men who engaged in the Cuban invasion, in 1851; and he was taken prisoner and sent to Spain. His mother petitioned for his release through President Fillmore, and so earnest, so full of the beauty of maternal love, and so touching was her appeal, that her request was granted, and the erring son was permitted to return to his mother’s embrace. The following is a copy of the letter which she addressed to the President. It is said to have called forth flattering commendation from the heads of State and the highest encomiums from the Majesty of Spain.

New Orleans, Sept. 25, 1851.

Dear Father of our Country: -To you I look for help. My dear son is one of the unfortunate prisoners to Spain. He is all the child I have; is only nineteen years old, not twenty-two, as stated. He was innocent and unsuspecting, and the more easily duped. He saw no means of making a support for himself and me, we being poor: he could get no employment; my health was bad; he therefore hoped to do something by going to Cuba. But, alas! I am worse than poor! Death would have been more welcome. His father died, when he was very young, in Texas, which makes him more dear to me. Oh! cruel fate, why have I lived to see this? Perhaps to suit some wise design. God’s will be done, not mine! I have prayed for his life from the time he left; it was spared. Dear President, will it be possible for you to do any thing? Can you comfort me? I am wearing away. Methinks I cannot bear up under the idea of ten years; perhaps executed, or detained for life, or the climate cause his death. I feel for all of them, and pray for all. It was not my will that he should go; he was seduced into it by others. Dear father of the land of my birth, can you do any thing? Will you ask for their release? Methinks you will, and it would be granted. Will you feel offended with me for appealing to you for comfort? If so, I beg pardon. My distress has stimulated me to venture to dare to address the President. To whom else could I look for comfort? If you could but see me, I know you would pity me. If any one knew I had approached you, they might think I presumed much. Perhaps I do. Yet methinks you will view it in charity.

With all due respect to your Excellency.



Excerpted from Noble Deeds of American Women
(Patriotic Series for Boys and Girls)
Edited by J. Clement
With an Introduction by Mrs. L. H. Sigourney
BOSTON: Lee and Shepard, Publishers
Entered by Act of Congress, in the year of 1851,
by E. H. Derby and Co., in the Clerk’s Office of the Northern District of New York

Young Me’s Library

Have you ever seen such a lame post title? Yeah, me neither.

I was just thinking, though, about reading during my childhood and early teen years. I was an avid reader from the start. There were never enough library visits and I resorted to reading anything I could get my hands on, much of which was theoretically beyond me. Reading wasn’t just a passion; it was an addiction, one that actually got me in trouble more than once.

So my greatest treasures were in my little library. My mom was a single mother for much of our childhood so, even though she and Daddy remarried before I went into 6th grade, actually owning books wasn’t a high budget priority. I had aunts, though, who knew just what I liked and occasionally slipped me books they believed I would enjoy. And I did – all of them. They were so good that I was still rereading some of them as an adult… until they were lost to mold.

I’m kind of sad my granddaughters will likely never read any of them. The books kids enjoy today are so very different. They’re not bad, or what I’ve seen aren’t. It’s just that genres and topics and tastes change.

For instance, one of my absolute favorites was my copy of Heidi, by Swiss author Johanna Spyri. It was originally written in German; I, of course, read an English translation. I loved reading about Heidi and her life with her grandfather in the Swiss Alps. I loved it so much that I eventually bought Heidi Grows Up and Heidi’s Children, by Charles Tritten, and I loved and reread them too. The lifestyle represented in these books was very different from what I knew, but that was part of the charm. Regarding my oldest granddaughter… Although I’d love to give her a copy, I just don’t know, especially since she just turned fourteen.

And then there was Eight Cousins, by Louisa May Alcott. I am definitely an Alcott fan, though I’ve not read everything she wrote. I probably read Eight Cousins fifty times, and when I found out there was a sequel (Rose in Bloom) and that I could learn more about Rose Campbell, I immediately headed to the only bookstore in town and then waited because it was a special order.

Being an Alcott fan, Little Women is a no brainer. I actually have a copy of it on my Kindle and at one point I had a goal of owning every Little Women movie that was ever made. The movie goal fell through (I’d much rather read than watch), but I almost know Little Women by heart. And then, of course, when I learned about Little Men I had to have it too.

And then there is Swiss Family Robinson, by Johann David Wyss, another Swiss author. I am well aware of the scientific impossibilities the book represents and to this day I don’t care. I absolutely loved that book! What I do care about is that there are different versions of the book out there. The original copy I had is long gone, and although I’ve read a couple of others the translations seemed…off. And that’s not even addressing the issue of abridged books (which I don’t like, of course).

Finally, or last for this list anyway, one of my summer traditions was to read my grandmother’s set of Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. For years, they really were a once-a-year read, but I did eventually get a set of my own and I read them so many times. In fact, I should really get them for my kindle too. And yes, I do know her works have come under fire because of Ma’s attitude towards Native Americans, but the fact is her attitude was not uncommon at the time, and I always knew instinctively that Ma was wrong. To eliminate her prejudice would be to incorrectly present an ugly reality of the past.

And, honestly, that’s one of the reasons I like these classic books. In reading them, I learned much about what to do and what not to do. I had high standards set that I instinctively strove to reach and, yes, what I read definitely affected the growth of my character without me knowing it.

Which is another reason they were treasures I wish I could share with my grandkids.

So much has changed in the past 50 years.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

Like a Bride

A friend’s recent Facebook post reminded me of a conversation I had with God some time back. She had been talking to God about the Rapture, and what He told her was so close to what He said to me that I had to come share, or share again if by some chance I’ve posted on the topic before.

I am excitedly looking forward to the Rapture! I watch as evil and deception grow more prevalent in the world, natural disasters become mind-numbingly common, and we seem to be nearing World War III and, though it pains me on the one hand, on the other hand I know it’s just more indication that Jesus is coming back very soon.

So why was I talking to God about this particular topic? Well, yet another person had said something to imply my focus was on the wrong thing. (Yes, I’m referring to the old slam about being “so heavenly minded you’re no earthly good.”) Keeping my focus on God and doing all He asks me to do is vitally important to me, so I went to Him with the question just to make sure I’m still on track. And do you know what He told me?

It would be unnatural
for a bride not
to look forward excitedly
to being united with her groom.

Needless to say, I stopped being worried about what others thought. I am excited, and I am excited for good reason, but my excitement doesn’t distract me from one of my primary purposes on this earth – telling people about Jesus and helping them grow closer to God. Rather, it drives me forward, especially as I see so many in the church, so many pastors even, completely ignoring the import of the book of Revelation.

Of course, you know my stance on the importance of reading and studying the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation. At least you do if you’ve read much of my work. I wrote Experiencing the Bible: A Guide and Journal specifically to help Christians who don’t know how to “get into the Word” come to a greater understanding of the Scriptures and a closer relationship with God. It’s obviously great for more mature Christians too, but the bottom line is that my focus is on expanding the Kingdom of God, which is right where it belongs.

And since I am not unnatural,
my excitement is right in line.

The Bride of Christ, the Church, is destined to be united with Jesus Himself and be with Him forever. This is HUGE! Yet it seems to me that the vast majority of Christians don’t even think about Eternity, much less the glaring neon signs all around us that indicate the church will be taken out of here very soon!

Ok, maybe you don’t know what I’m talking about. A quick web search will probably give you more information on the Rapture (including criticism) than you could imagine, but here’s a super condensed synopsis. In these Last Days, a day will come when those who are in Christ will be taken off the earth. We call it the Rapture. Rapture isn’t a word you’ll find in the Bible, but if you go back to original texts you’ll find the word “harpazo,” which means…

  1. to seize, carry off by force
  2. to seize on, claim for one’s self eagerly
  3. to snatch out or away

It has also been translated as “to rapture.”

If you do know this, then you probably also know Matthew 24:36 (NET): “But as for that day and hour no one knows it–not even the angels in heaven–except the Father alone.” This verse is another reason people like to avoid thinking about The Rapture. After all, if you can’t know the day or the hour, what’s the use?

The thing is, you CAN know the season, and we are in it.

In Matthew 24 and Luke 21, Jesus tells His disciples the parable of the fig tree. Throughout the Old Testament, the fig tree represents Israel as a nation, so we know this parable is about the nation of Israel. Jerusalem was devastated in 70AD and Israel was ripped apart by invaders, ceasing to be the nation the Jews had always known. The Jews were then scattered throughout the world (which had been prophesied) and Israel became a wasteland that no one wanted because she had nothing to offer.

It wasn’t until May of 1948 that Israel was, in essence, recreated as a nation/state by countries that determined reparation had to be made for the Holocaust, that the Jews must have a home. Last year, Israel celebrated 75 years as a nation. So let’s go back to Matthew 24.

“Learn this parable from the fig tree: Whenever its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also you, when you see all these things, know that he is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”

Matthew 24:32-35

No, no man can know the day or the hour; God hadn’t even told Jesus at that point. We can know this, however. My father’s generation saw the budding of the fig tree, the rebirth of the nation of Israel, and right here Jesus says that generation will not pass away. There are various opinions on just how long a generation is. I believe it’s 70 to 80 years, because that’s pretty much the average life span, but at the outside it could only be 70 to 100 years. Go out 100 years from 1948 and you have 2048, which is only 24 years away.

No matter how you look at it that’s not long, and every pre-rapture prophecy has been fulfilled, so the only thing holding Jesus back is The Father. God has a specific plan in mind and will fulfill it in His time. While we wait, we need to be getting ready for the wedding. It’s past time to get excited!

If you want an inexpensive and quick read
that will help you better understand what
I’ve shared today, grab a copy of
Amir Tsarfati’s little book, Any Day Now.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C