Devotional: God is Good

God is good.

Remember this in the midst of trials, celebrations, fun, and sorrow.  Despite it all, God is good.

The Notorious Benedict Arnold

The Notorious Benedict Arnold by Steve Sheinkin

The Notorious Benedict Arnold by Steve Sheinkin (the same author who wrote Bomb) is a kids book about the rise and fall of America’s most notorious traitor, Benedict Arnold.  Most people just know he’s a traitor.  Most don’t know why he betrayed his country when he fought for it so hard.  This book explains it all.

We start at the beginning as most biographies do with Arnold’s childhood. The son of a prosperous merchant in Norwich, CT, Arnold was known as a daredevil and a prankster.  When Arnold was a teenager, his father’s business began to fail as the shipping business took a downturn.  Once one of the richest families, his father couldn’t pay his debts.  Yellow fever took two of his sister’s lives and his father began to drink more and more.

His father died when Benedict was 21.  Determined to prove himself, he “longed for action, craved attention, and made his own rules when it suited him.”  He was reckless and eager to win back the family’s name and fortune.  This would explain many of his actions as an adult.

Sheinkin goes into details about Benedict’s battles and actions.  He marched overland to take Quebec in freezing temperatures, undo hardships, and starvation.  He dealt the British a crushing blow in the Battle of Valcour Island in 1776, and managed to escape with his men.  The hero of the Battle of Saratoga, which was the turning point in the war and the first major victory in the American Revolution which convinced the French to enter on our side, Arnold was injured and suffered a limp the rest of this life.  Recovery was slow and Benedict hating being out of action.

But with a character like Benedict, he made enemies.  He stole others’ thunder.  He made no apologies for his boldness.  He was not good at playing politics and only had in mind the good of the country.

Arnold’s goal all along had been to win the war.  However, he was passed up for promotions by Congress who wanted control over Washington.  He was not acknowledged for his roles in the various battle of the Revolution. Accused of making money off the Revolution, he faced a court marshal.  And throw in he needed money and Arnold’s character began to see a way out.

Arnold’s plan was to gain command of West Point, an army base at the time at a strategic location on the Hudson River, hand it over to the British, and get paid millions of dollars in today’s money for doing so.  Never one to take blame, Arnold had convinced himself this was for the good of the country.

Through an uncanny series of fortuitous events and many see as only the hand of Providence, Arnold’s plan failed.  Washington, Arnold’s biggest supporter, was shocked.  Effigies burned of Arnold in all major cities.  Attempts were made by the Americans to capture him and bring him to justice but all failed.

Major Andre, the British liaison for this betrayal, ended up the one hanged.  Arnold ended up in Britain but was shunned.  He died at the age of 60 in London.

Sheinkin writes “If Arnold had died from his wounds at the Battle of Saratoga, we would think of him today as one of the all-time great American heroes.  Aside from Washington, we’d say, he did more to win our Revolution than one one.  We’d celebrate his life as one of the best action stories we have–Washington never did anything half as exciting as the march to Quebec or the Battle of Valcour Island.  We don’t say any of that, and it’s all Arnold’s fault.”

Great historical read on one of the America’s most misunderstood figures.  Fascinating how Arnold’s plot failed literally by yards.  Scary to think how the War would have played out if Arnold had succeeded.  Highly recommended.

What Christmas is All About…

Hustle and bustle.

Presents and wrap.

Parties and gatherings.

Oh, what a trap!

Christmas is not

About you and me

It’s about the King in heaven

The gift of a baby.

Remember God

Today and forever

He is there always

An omnipresent treasure.

Merry Christmas!!

 

End-of-Year Giving…

Hey all!

Christmas is such a time of joy and celebration.  It’s a time of reflection and family and quality time together.

However, this is also a depressing time of year for many.  Loss of a loved one or downtrodden financially or health issues amongst other reasons make the end of year hard.

In this time of need, I’d like to encourage you to give to the needy in your community.  We as Americans are so very blessed to live in this country at this time.  All those in the developed world are blessed.  All around us are needs that are often unspoken and unnoticed.

I would just like to encourage you to remember to make the most of your end of year giving.  Whether it’s to the local animal shelter, the homeless, your church, your neighbor, your colleague, your family, etc.  We are all blessed to have breath in our bodies, to have God in our hearts, to have His mission and purpose guiding us, to lead the lives we are leading.

On that note, I would appreciate any donations as well to my blog.  It keeps me doing what I do and helps my family as well.  Just use the donation button on my sidebar.  I thank you in advance.

I know a lot of us do struggle with finances.  But there’s always something we can do.  Everything counts.  Everything matters.  No matter how little.  Consider giving your time and energy instead of money.  Often times a smiling face and a kind word are all someone needs to make it through the day.

God bless you all.  I’m so grateful you are in my life.  I hope you all remain so.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Inspirational Quotes: Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do not go where the path may lead.  Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Inspirational Quotes: Dr Martin Luther King, Jr

“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole stairway.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Calling all AtoZMom Subscribers & Readers!!! This Blog Needs Your Input!!

Hey all!

I believe God has put upon my heart to grow this forum and reach more for Him.

Some of you may have noticed a few changes.  Lissette Trahan was added as a contributor with her amazing, God-inspired poetry.  I’ve started a Saturday Snippet column with sage words of advice.

Now I’m wondering what’s next?

So I’m asking you, my amazing and gifted readers and subscribers what would you like to see?  Guest authors?  More contributors?  A different area of ministry?  Affiliate groups with book suggestions?  Some kind of event postings?  An advertising forum for your business?  Some kind of question and answers feedback on the lessons or any area of spirituality you are struggling with?

These are just some ideas I’m having.  I would LOVE to hear your thoughts, ideas, suggestions for this site.

I would also like to invite feedback on how this site is doing.  Helping?  Hurting?  What can I do better?  What am I doing right?  Wrong?  Lay it all out!

You can either leave me a comment below or email me at atozmom.wordpress@gmail.com

Any ideas are appreciated!  This is your blog as much as mine, and I want to serve you!  I look forward to hearing from you all.

God bless and have a blessed and merry weekend!

Inspirational Quotes: All Praise to God

All praise to God.

You might say “Duh” to this one.  But do you give ALL praise to the Lord?  When you accomplish a goal, do you take credit?  God does it all.  Period.  NO MATTER WHAT.  Always and forever.