Wednesday, January 8, 2020

2020, the 400th Anniversary of America's Covenant with God

by Elva Cobb Martin


This year, 2020, is the 400th  Anniversary of America’s Mayflower Compact with God. And that’s exactly what it was, a covenant with God for a new godly nation.

September, 1620 one hundred and two passengers set sail on the Mayflower with the blessings of their pastor, John Robinson.  Their 66-day journey of 2,750 miles encountered terrible storms. One youth, John Howland, was swept overboard  by a freezing wave but they were able to rescue him. And I’m so glad they did.

His descendants include Ralph Waldo Emerson, Humphrey Bogart, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and George W. Bush.

During the pilgrims’ voyage, one man died and a mother gave birth. Intending to land in Virginia, they were blown off course and landed in Massachusetts which they named Plymouth Rock after their port of Plymouth they departed from in England.

Before disembarking from the Mayflower, William Bradford, wrote up what we now call the Mayflower Compact in November of 1620:

“In the name of God. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King and Defender of the faith. Having undertaken for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith, and the honor of King and Country a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts... do solemnly covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body politick...”

One signer is Steven Hopkins—an ancestor of Dr. Mark Hopkins!

Then the Pilgrims disembarked from the Mayflower. Gov. Wm Bradford wrote to describe this: “Being thus arrived in  a good harbor and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of heaven.

Many are praying that in 2020, the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower Compact, God will revisit America with a Great Awakening. I certainly agree with that prayer.

How does the Jamestown settlement (1607) compare with the Plymouth colony's godly goals?

The Jamestown settlement in the Colony of Virginia was the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. It was located on the northeast bank of the James River about 2.5 mi southwest of the center of modern Williamsburg. I've visited this area several times.

Jamestown was established by the Virginia Company of London in 1607. The colony was sponsored by the Virginia Company investors who hoped to profit from the venture. Making money for the investors, even hoping to find gold, was the main goal of this Jamestown settlement. This was quite a different goal than that of the Puritans at Plymouth whose hope was the furtherance of the gospel of Jesus' Christ.

These two vastly different streams of motivation and goals--love of money and living out the gospel of Jesus Christ--still flow in America to day.

They flow in politics, business, religion, and yes, even in writing. 

I am part of the the American Christian Fiction Writers, the premier organization in the US for the training and celebration of Christian fiction. (acfw.com) We have a double job and opportunity—to write exciting fiction that people will want to read and to plant nuggets of God’s truth that can impact lives with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Here's a prayer I lift up for you today and this new year of 2020:

Prayer: Jewish Blessing from Numbers 6:24-26
The lord bless and keep you this coming new year.
The lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

AND, IF YOU'RE A WRITER, I PRAY HE GIVE YOU GREAT WRITING, GOOD CRITIQUE PARTNERS, GOOD CONTRACTS, AND GREAT SALES. Amen

Elva

PS One good way to get constructive critiques if you are a writer, is to join our SC Chapter of ACFW of which I am current president. We meet the 4th Saturdays of each month at North Anderson Baptist Church, Anderson, SC. Visitors are welcome.  Check out our chapter blog at http://scwritersacfw.blogspot.com  or if you'd like to be added to our chapter email list for meeting announcements contact me through my web site contact page at http://www.elvamartin.com   We'd be delighted to keep you posted of the great plans we have in store for writers this new year. Check out the calendar on the chapter blog I'm getting ready to update with speakers for Jan - May.

Elva Cobb Martin is 2020 President of the SC Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has three inspirational novels published, Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and two historical romances, In a Pirate’s Debt, and Marisol, Book 1 in a new Charleston Brides series for  Wild Heart Books. All three novels have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the  believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. She and her husband Dwayne are retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site http://www.elvamartin.com, Twitter www.twitter.com/ElvaCobbMartin; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/elvacobbmartin;  and Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/elvacobbmartin  
 Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works 
on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pOgVHI 
 




Monday, December 23, 2019

Story of the Tablecloth- Miracles Can Happen at Christmas Time!


Story of the tablecloth:“Miracles Can Happen at Christmas Time” 
(copied and shared with joy!)

A few days before Christmas a number of years ago a terrible storm hit a suburb in Brooklyn, NY.   A driving rain hit the area and lasted for two days.

On Dec. 21 a pastor went over to his church which was an old building and his heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster to fall off the wall just behind the pulpit.  The whole front of the church looked terrible. 

After cleaning up the mess as best he could, he thought about postponing the Christmas Eve service.  On the way home he noticed a local business having a flea market sale for charity and he stopped in.

One of the items for sale was a lovely ivory colored hand crocheted table cloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross embroidered right in the center.   It was just the right size to cover up the hole in the plaster, so the minister bought it and headed back to the church.    By this time it had started to snow and he noticed an older woman standing on the corner who had missed the bus.   He invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus forty-five minutes later.

She sat in the pew and paid no attention to him as he got a ladder and hung the table cloth up on the wall behind the pulpit.   The minister couldn’t believe how lovely it looked.  It covered up the whole problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle, her face white as snow.

“Sir,” she asked, “where did you get that tablecloth?”

The minister explained.  Then the woman asked him to check the lower right corner and see if the initials EBG were crocheted into it.   They were.   They were the initials of the woman who had made that tablecloth thirty-five years earlier in Austria.

Then she explained that before WWII she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria.  When the Nazis came she was forced to leave.  Her husband was going to follow her the next week.  But she was captured, sent to prison and never saw her husband or home again and was able to get to America after the war.

The minister wanted to give her the tablecloth but, she made him keep it for the church
The minister insisted on driving her home which was on the other side of Staten Island
She had only been in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job.

 On Christmas Eve the church had a wonderful service.  The building was almost filled.
At the end of the service, an older man continued to sit in the pew after others had left.
He asked the minister where he’d gotten the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one his wife had made in Austria before the war.   He told the minister how he forced his wife to flee for safety and he was supposed to follow her but he got arrested and put in prison.  He never saw her or his home again, but finally made it to America.

The minister asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride.  They drove to Staten Island and a certain apartment the minister had visited earlier.  There the minister witnessed the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine.
                                                              ***


Have a blessed Christmas and EXPECT a miracle in your life and family!

Elva Cobb Martin

Elva Cobb Martin is 2020 President of the SC Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has three inspirational novels published, Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and two historical romances, In a Pirate’s Debt, and Marisol. All three have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the  believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. She and her husband Dwayne are retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site http://www.elvamartin.com, Twitter www.twitter.com/ElvaCobbMartin; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/elvacobbmartin;  and Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/elvacobbmartin  
 Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works 
on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pOgVHI 
 

Friday, December 20, 2019

Bookbub Review of Marisol by Reader Mike Whitworth


I so appreciate this review for my latest release, Marisol, by Mike Whitworth on Bookbub!


A terrible wrong, blood stained hands, a life changed forever. Marisol could be a heroine for the ages, or she could tumble into the abyss. Ethan could be a hero for just such a time as this, if he can climb out of the darkness that's dragged him from the light. Can love be born from a maelstrom of tragedy? This book's pace is swift, so widen your stance and hold on tight as you crash through wave after wave on this dangerous voyage of passion and redemption.

Mike Whitworth






Thank you, Mike!

Do you enjoy writing reviews for books you like?  Be a blessing this Christmas season and write a review on Amazon or Bookbub for one of your fave authors and book. They will greatly appreciate it. 

Have a Blessed Christmas,
Elva Martin

Elva Cobb Martin is Vice President of the SC Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has three inspirational novels published, Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and two historical romances, In a Pirate’s Debt, and Marisol.  All three have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the  believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. She and her husband Dwayne are retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site http://www.elvamartin.com, Twitter www.twitter.com/ElvaCobbMartin; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/elvacobbmartin;  and Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/elvacobbmartin  
 Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works 
on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pOgVHI 


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Obscure Facts about the Pilgrims & Thanksgiving by Bill Federer, Guest blogger


American Minute with Bill Federer
Pilgrims' Thanksgiving to Almighty God
On NOVEMBER 21, 1620 (NS), the Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact and began their Plymouth Colony.
Of the 102 Pilgrims, only 47 survived till Spring.

At one point, only a half dozen were healthy enough to care for the rest.
In the Spring of 1621, the Indian Squanto came among them, and showed them how to catch fish, plant corn, trap beaver, and was their interpreter with the other Indian tribes.

Governor William Bradford described Squanto as "a special instrument sent of God for their good beyond their expectation."
Bradford added:

"The settlers ... began to plant their corn, in which service Squanto stood them in good stead, showing them how to plant it and cultivate it.

He also told them that unless they got fish to manure this exhausted old soil, it would come to nothing ... In the middle of April plenty of fish would come up the brook ... and (he) taught them how to catch it."
Pilgrim Edward Winslow recorded in Mourt's Relation that in the Fall of 1621:

"Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors.

They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week.
... At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted,

and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others.

And although it be not always so plentiful, as it was at this time, with us, yet by goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."
Bradford described the same event:

"And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc.

Besides, they had about a peck a meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion."
The idea of a Fall day of thanksgiving may have come to the Pilgrims after they moved to Leiden, Holland, in 1609.

Dutch citizens there annually gave thanks to God for William of Orange, in 1574, ending the bloody Spanish Furies, where Spain's "Iron Duke" of Alba had butchered tens of thousands.
Dutch historian Jeremy Dupertuis Bangs (Ph.D. Leiden, 1976), in his article "1621: A Historian Looks Anew at Thanksgiving," documented that Jan Orlers, a friend of Pilgrim elder William Brewster, wrote of Leiden's Thanksgiving:

"Every year throughout the city a General Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving ... held and celebrated on the Third of October, to thank and praise God Almighty that he so mercifully had saved the city from her enemies."
Also in Leiden was a community of Jews who had been driven out of Spain.

At the University of Leiden, a rabbi taught students Hebrew, Aramaic and Syriac, just as the Pilgrim elder William Brewster taught students English.
Pilgrims would have seen Jews celebrating the annual Thanksgiving Feast of Tabernacles or "Sukkot" in September–October.
Pilgrims identified with Jews, who fled from Pharaoh across the Red Sea in search of their Promised Land, as the Pilgrims fled from the King of England across the sea in search of their Promised Land.

The Israelites had self-government, called the Hebrew Republic, for four hundred years before the asked for a king. This was an example to the Puritan Reformers and to the Pilgrim separatists.
When Harvard and Yale were founded in New England, Hebrew was taught.
Historian Jeremy Dupertuis Bangs explained how Pilgrims thank God:

"Our knowledge of the 1621 Thanksgiving comes from Winslow and Bradford.

Winslow's choice of words, understood by his contemporaries, implies to us that the Pilgrims gave thanks to God for their preservation and for the plenty that gave hope for the future.

Winslow specifically tells us that the colonists sat down with their Native neighbors and enjoyed several days of peaceful rejoicing together. It is a history with potent symbolism, and it needs neither apology nor distortion ..."
Bangs added:

"When Winslow described the Pilgrims' intention, 'after a more special manner to rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruit of our labors,' he was alluding to John 4: 36 and to Psalm 33.

The first is, 'And he that reapeth, receiveth wages, & gathereth fruit unto life eternal, that both he that soweth, & he that reapeth, might rejoice together.'"
On November 9, 1621, 37 more Pilgrims arrived on the ship Fortune.

The joy of greeting this second group of Pilgrims was quickly dampened when it was discovered they brought with them no food or supplies.
This resulted in the second winter having a "starving time," where at one point, each person was rationed just five kernels of corn a day.
Attempting to repay the "merchant adventurers" who financed their trip, the Pilgrims filled the Fortune with £500 worth of furs, but tragically the ship was captured by French pirates, leaving the Pilgrims in greater debt.
In 1622, the friendly Indian Chief Massasoit became ill. Pilgrim leader Edward Winslow visited and doctored him. He thankfully regained health, which contributed to a peace which lasted over 50 years.

Edward Winslow was especially grateful, because the Indian tradition was, if a person doctored a chief and the chief died, that person died too.
Two years after the Pilgrim landing, there was a drought in 1623. Edward Winslow recorded in Alexander Young’s Chronicles of the Pilgrims (Boston, 1841):

"Drought and the like considerations moved not only every good man privately to enter into examination with his own estate between God and his conscience, and so to humiliation before Him, but also to humble ourselves together before the Lord by Fasting and Prayer."
                                          ***

Hope you enjoyed this Thanksgiving article with little known facts as much as I have. I give full credit and thanks to Bill Federer and his American Minute blog!

Please share on your social media by clicking the small icons below.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving,
Elva


Elva Cobb Martin,  a mother and grandmother, lives in South Carolina with her husband and a senior mini-dachshund named Lucy, and a sea green bird named Atticus. She is the upcoming 2020 president of her state chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers, a retired teacher, minister, and now calls herself a full-time writer. Better make that rewriter. A life-long student of history, her favorite city, Charleston, inspires her stories of romance and adventure. She desires to share exciting love stories of courageous characters and communicate truths of the Christian faith to bring hope and encouragement. Link to her three novels and one Bible Study on Amazon.  http://amzn.to/2pOgVHI
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