A Highland Love ~ Spotlight


Author Brenda B. Taylor presents the fifth book in the Highland Treasures series, A Highland Love. The novella is a sequel to A Highland Bride and continues the love story of Davina and Alistair. You will be excited about the couple’s wedding and adventures during the first days of their marriage. Crucial decisions must be made including whether or not they will remain together.

Plot Summary:

Alistair must choose between giving up his son for Davina, or trying to rescue his wife and keep his son. Does he love Blane enough to fight for him? He loves Davina too much to let her go.

 Roy Patillo, Castle Fàrdach’s accountant, and his wife, Ina, participate in Alistair’s and Davina’s wedding. Roy invites the couple to his home for a feast and to spend their wedding night in his guest chamber. The meal is interrupted by a messenger from Fàrdach Castle with the news Lady Maidie Munro is in labor with her bairn and requests the couple’s return to the castle. Maidie is the widow of recently deceased Clan Munro chief, Andrew Dubh Munro.

After the child’s birth, Alistair is called away to pursue reivers of the clan’s cattle. He is gone for several days. Davina stays in prayer for her husband’s safe return. She keeps busy with Maidie’s children and assists in tending the new bairn. On Alistair’s return, the couple spend their wedding night together in the chief’s chamber at Fàrdach Castle.

Bridget, Alistair’s first wife, will not let him call on their son, or allow Blane to visit Alistair at Fàrdach Castle. The chief decides to kidnap his son. Struan Sutherland, Bridget’s husband, has Davina taken in return and held hostage. Struan plans to exchange Davina for Blane. While the child, Alistair’s heir, is under the Sutherland’s control, he has guardianship over the chief’s vast land holdings and Castle of Contullich.

Kidnappers take Davina to a steading first, then a cave high on the braeside of Ben Wyvis. They attempt to go over the mountain into Sutherland territory, but the winter snows slow them down. Davina almost loses her life during the journey.

Alistair pursues the outlaws, but will he rescue his beloved Davina in time?

Excerpt:

Davina felt safe with her husband riding close by. He stayed at her side until the road conditions demanded they ride single file, then he moved in front. Roy placed Ina in back of Davina, then he and a his guard, Jock, brought up the rear. The men kept a lookout for any unusual sound or movement. The sure-footed garrons picked their way through the mud. Alistair’s steud attempted to dance around the puddles, but had no trouble wading through them with his powerful flanks rippling in the effort. Brody’s training and strength would be needed if a fight ensued on the road.

As Davina watched Alistair’s broad back and powerful legs guiding his great steud, a surge of love coursed from her heart to the tip of her toes. Goose bumps rose on her arms. She pondered the change of her heart in the last few miossince returning from London. She still missed her friends and social life in the great city, but with this handsome knight at her side, she would become accustomed to the quiet solitude of the Scottish Highlands. Looking around, she took in the snow covered bens and braes, the great wooded glens now glistening white in feasgarsunlight, and realized her homeland was indeed beautiful. Peace invaded her soul. She laid to rest the great raging battle of her heart between returning to London and staying in the Highlands. The lovely Highlands with Alistair won.

Buy Links:

Pre-Order for the reduced price of $2.99

Amazon

About Author Brenda B. Taylor:

Author Brenda B. Taylor

The desire to write historical fiction has long been a passion with Brenda B. Taylor. Since elementary school, she has written stories in her spare time. Brenda earned three degrees: a BSE from Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas; a MEd from Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas; and an EdD from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; then worked as a teacher and administrator in the Texas Public School system. Only after retirement could she fulfill the dream of publication. 

Brenda and her husband make their home in beautiful East Texas where they enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling, and working in Bethabara Faith Ministry, Inc. She crafts stories about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people in her favorite place overlooking bird feeders, bird houses, and a variety of blooming trees and flowers. She sincerely thanks all who purchase and read her books. Her desire is that the message in each book will touch the heart of the reader as it did hers in the writing.

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Posted in A Highland Love, historical heartbeats, Inspirational Romance, Scotland, Scottish historical romance | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

ACFW New Releases ~ July

July 2019 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Contemporary Romance:

Hometown Hope by Laurel Blount — In the three years since her mother’s death, widower Hoyt Bradley’s daughter, Jess, hasn’t spoken—until she suddenly begs him to save her favorite bookstore from closing. Hoyt is desperate to hear his daughter’s voice again, but he and the bookstore’s pretty owner, Anna Delaney, share a less-than-friendly past. Working together is complicated enough…but can they avoid falling in love? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

A Heart Surrendered by Joy K. Massenburge — Since her teens, pastor’s daughter Sharonda Peterson devoted her life to church service and solitude after the one night she gave Carl Ray Everhart everything. Sobered by a near-death experience, prodigal Carl returns home from an acting and singing career to serve as the worship leader at Sheronda’s church, and she finds that it takes every ounce of her resolve to resist his pursuits … not to mention memories that threaten to overturn the delicate balance she’s created. Can she finally surrender the one thing she’s tried all these years to protect: her heart? (Contemporary Romance from Harambee Press [Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas])

Starting Anew by Melanie D. Snitker — He’s afraid to trust. She has a secret that could change everything between them. Will they let go of their fear, or allow it to rob them of their chance at happiness? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Historical:

Underestimating Miss Cecilia by Carolyn Miller — Can shy, sweet Cecilia overcome her family’s prejudice to see a future with the recently returned prodigal son from next door? (Historical from Kregel Publications)

Benaiah: Might Man of God by PH Thompson — A novel of Biblical, historical fiction about Benaiah, one of King David’s mighty men, examining the premise: What happens when the king’s most obedient soldier is issued a wicked command? (Historical/Biblical from Word Alive Press)

Historical Romance:

Waltz with Destiny by Catherine Ulrich Brakefield — When the men and women of World War II marched off to war, they didn’t know what lay ahead. All they knew was that upon their young and inexperienced shoulders rested the plight of the free world. (Historical Romance from CrossRiver Media Group)

Thimbles and Threads by Mary Davis, Grace Hitchcock, Suzanne Norquist, and Liz Tolsma — Enjoy four historical romances that celebrate the arts of sewing and quilting. When Tilly, a schoolteacher; Alice, a bridal shop owner; Sarah, a seamstress; and Melissa, a rag doll designer, put needle and thread to fabric, will their talents lead to the surprising gift of love? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Refiner’s Fire by J.M. Hochstetler
Will the promise their hearts cling to finally find joyful fulfillment, or will war’s refining fire separate them forever? (Historical Romance from Sheaf House Publishers)

Where Dandelions Bloom by Tara Johnson — To escape an arranged marriage, Cassie Kendrick enlists in the Union army as a man, taking the name Thomas Turner. On the battlefields of the Civil War, keeping her identity a secret is only the beginning of her problems, especially after she meets Gabriel Avery, a handsome young photographer. Anxious to make his mark on the world and to erase past guilt, Gabriel works with renowned photographer Matthew Brady to capture images from the front lines of the war. As Gabriel forges friendships along the way, he wonders what the courageous, unpredictable Thomas Turner is hiding. Battling betrayal, their own personal demons, and a country torn apart by war, can Cassie and Gabriel forgive themselves and trust their futures to the God who births hope and healing in the darkest places? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

The Express Bride by Kimberly Woodhouse — Jacqueline Rivers manages a Pony Express station in 1860 Utah territory after her father’s death. There are daily stresses placed on her in this unconventional role—and now a government official is asking her to sniff out counterfeiters. When Elijah Johnson passes through on the stage while on an exhausting quest to find his boss’s heir, he doesn’t want to leave the beguiling station manager. In fact, he may never leave when caught in the crossfire of the territory’s criminal activities. Can she remain strong when secrets of the past and present are finally unearthed? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Romantic Suspense:

Legacy Rejected by Robin Patchen — She’s not giving up her home, no matter what threats come against her. Realtor Ginny Lamont’s family has abandoned her, leaving her with nothing but a warning that she’s in danger. But Ginny’s built a home in New Hampshire. After a childhood of nomadic living, she’s not running again, certainly not because of some nameless, baseless threat. Real estate developer Kade Powers is thrilled to go out with Nutfield’s beautiful new real estate agent. But the prowler they surprise after their first date offers a glimpse into Ginny’s past and the legacy of lies her parents left her with. She brings a mystery, one he’s determined to help her solve. With Kade’s help, Ginny searches for the truth of her parents’ criminal activity while her enemies close in. When mobsters show up in her quaint New England town, will she find a way to bring them down, or will she lose the home—and the man—she’s come to love? (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)

Suspense:

Storm Rising by Ronie Kendig — Mentioned in the pages of the Old Testament but lost to history, the Book of the Wars has resurfaced, and its pages hold secrets–and dangers–never before seen on earth. Tasked with capturing the ancient text, former Navy SEAL Leif Metcalfe is once more given command of his own team. But their best efforts are ruined when a notorious Bulgarian operative known as Viorica snatches the volume right out from under them. Iskra “Viorica” Todorova is determined to use the book to secure the thing that matters most–freedom. But a series of strange storms erupts around the globe, and the coming dangers foretold in the text threaten crops, lives, and entire nations. Though both are haunted by secrets of their past and neither trusts the other, Leif and Iskra must form an uneasy alliance to thwart impending disaster. However, the truth hidden in centuries-old words could unleash a storm of their own destruction. (Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])

Speculative:

The Story Raider by Lindsay A. Franklin — Deceiving an empire is a treacherous game. Tanwen and the Corsyth weavers race to collect the strands of an ancient cure that might save Gryfelle. But Tanwen has a secret–Gryfelle isn’t the only one afflicted by the weaver’s curse. As Queen Braith struggles to assert her rule, a new arrival throws her tenuous claim to the Tirian throne into question. Braith’s heart is turned upside down, and she’s not sure she can trust anyone–least of all herself. The puppet master behind Gareth’s rise to power has designs on Tanwen and the story weavers, and will stop at nothing to reclaim the throne. A plot to incite the angry peasants of Tir takes shape, and those dearest to Tanwen will be caught in the crossfire. As the fight for Tir consumes the realm, no one can remain innocent. (Speculative from Enclave Publishing)

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Celebrating Independence Day

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Independence Day, July 4th. On July 4, 1776, we claimed our independence from Britain and Democracy was born. Every day thousands leave their homeland to come to the “land of the free and the home of the brave” so they can begin their American Dream. The United States is truly a diverse nation made up of dynamic people.

Independence Day of the United States, also referred to as the Fourth of July or July Fourth in the U.S., is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, by the Continental Congress declaring that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and no longer part of the British Empire. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the National Day of the United States.

Many brave patriots fought and died, sacrificing their all so future generations of Americans could be free to govern themselves under a government comprised of representatives elected by the people. The founding fathers based the new government on Judo-Christian values, and trust in God. Your responsibility as a citizen of this great nation is to preserve the freedom secured by the great patriots of the past and those who will continue to sacrifice for you.

“You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31b-32. NLT

Jesus also gave His all, sacrificing Himself so you can be free. The freedom He gives is a spiritual kind. He took your sins and nailed them to a cross. His sacrifice gives you eternal life and you will live with Him in complete freedom forever.

“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36 NLT

Celebrate the freedom our Declaration of Independence gives, but also celebrate the spiritual freedom Jesus gives. You can only gain His victory over sin and death by accepting Him as your savior. Jesus will loosen the shackles binding you from the abundant life only He can give.

“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” John 10:10 NLT

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A Highland Love ~ Spotlight

A Highland Love
A Highland Love

Plot Summary:

Alistair must choose between giving up his son for Davina, or trying to rescue his wife and keep his son. Does he love Blane enough to fight for him? He loves Davina too much to let her go.

 Roy Patillo, Castle Fàrdach’s accountant, and his wife, Ina, participate in Alistair’s and Davina’s wedding. Roy invites the couple to his home for a feast and to spend their wedding night in his guest chamber. The meal is interrupted by a messenger from Fàrdach Castle with the news Lady Maidie Munro is in labor with her bairn and requests the couple’s return to the castle. Maidie is the widow of recently deceased Clan Munro chief, Andrew Dubh Munro.

After the child’s birth, Alistair is called away to pursue reivers of the clan’s cattle. He is gone for several days. Davina stays in prayer for her husband’s safe return. She keeps busy with Maidie’s children and assists in tending the new bairn. On Alistair’s return, the couple spend their wedding night together in the chief’s chamber at Fàrdach Castle.

Bridget, Alistair’s first wife, will not let him call on their son, or allow Blane to visit Alistair at Fàrdach Castle. The chief decides to kidnap his son. Struan Sutherland, Bridget’s husband, has Davina taken in return and held hostage. Struan plans to exchange Davina for Blane. While the child, Alistair’s heir, is under the Sutherland’s control, he has guardianship over the chief’s vast land holdings and Castle of Contullich.

Kidnappers take Davina to a steading first, then a cave high on the braeside of Ben Wyvis. They attempt to go over the mountain into Sutherland territory, but the winter snows slow them down. Davina almost loses her life during the journey.

Alistair pursues the outlaws, but will he rescue his beloved Davina in time?

Excerpt:

Davina felt safe with her husband riding close by. He stayed at her side until the road conditions demanded they ride single file, then he moved in front. Roy placed Ina in back of Davina, then he and a his guard, Jock, brought up the rear. The men kept a lookout for any unusual sound or movement. The sure-footed garrons picked their way through the mud. Alistair’s steud attempted to dance around the puddles, but had no trouble wading through them with his powerful flanks rippling in the effort. Brody’s training and strength would be needed if a fight ensued on the road.

As Davina watched Alistair’s broad back and powerful legs guiding his great steud, a surge of love coursed from her heart to the tip of her toes. Goose bumps rose on her arms. She pondered the change of her heart in the last few miossince returning from London. She still missed her friends and social life in the great city, but with this handsome knight at her side, she would become accustomed to the quiet solitude of the Scottish Highlands. Looking around, she took in the snow covered bens and braes, the great wooded glens now glistening white in feasgarsunlight, and realized her homeland was indeed beautiful. Peace invaded her soul. She laid to rest the great raging battle of her heart between returning to London and staying in the Highlands. The lovely Highlands with Alistair won.

Buy Links:

Pre-Order for the reduced price of $2.99

Amazon

About Author Brenda B. Taylor:

Author Brenda B. Taylor

The desire to write historical fiction has long been a passion with Brenda B. Taylor. Since elementary school, she has written stories in her spare time. Brenda earned three degrees: a BSE from Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas; a MEd from Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas; and an EdD from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; then worked as a teacher and administrator in the Texas Public School system. Only after retirement could she fulfill the dream of publication. 

Brenda and her husband make their home in beautiful East Texas where they enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling, and working in Bethabara Faith Ministry, Inc. She crafts stories about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people in her favorite place overlooking bird feeders, bird houses, and a variety of blooming trees and flowers. She sincerely thanks all who purchase and read her books. Her desire is that the message in each book will touch the heart of the reader as it did hers in the writing.

Author Contact Information:

Historical Heartbeats

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ACFW New Releases ~ June

June 2019 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Contemporary Romance:

The Art of Rivers by Janet Ferguson — Can a woman whose life has been damaged by addiction trust her heart to a man in recovery? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Cross My Heart by Robin Lee Hatcher — Horse rescue farmer Ashley helps Ben start an equine therapy barn on his great-great grandfather’s farm. When they consider a relationship together, her bitter experience with her opioid addict brother reins in any hope for a future with Ben, who is five years in recovery from alcoholism. Ben knows that with God, all things are possible—but will Ashley find it within herself to give love a chance? (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Risking Love by Toni Shiloh — Nikki lives with a perfect trifecta of noes. No guys. No dates. No way. After years of keeping men at bay, Nikki Gordon has it down to a science. No one, not even sweet, hunky Shorty Smalls can change her mind. Period. So if she’s got it all figured out, why does her heart sink to her toes when she sees Shorty with another woman? (Contemporary Romance from Celebrate Lit)

General:

Uncharted Destiny by Keely Brooke Keith — When Bailey sets out to rescue her lost friend in the Land’s dangerous mountain terrain, she discovers more about the Land—and herself—than she bargained for. (General from Edenbrooke Press)

Six Houses Down by Kari Rimbey — Two days after Sharon Webster’s distant husband returns for a surprise visit, their autistic son slips out of the house and is lost in historic Washington D. C. As they search for their boy, Sharon is forced to rely on the husband she believes no longer loves her. An elderly black couple down the street seems to understand her unspoken hurts. Has God sent them to help her find trust again? (General Contemporary, Independently Published)

Historical:

In the Shadow of the King by Melissa Rosenberger — Beset by doubts and jealousy about prophecies spoken over her brother Yeshua, Hannah struggles to see the truth before her eyes until it is too late…or is it? (Historical from Carpenter’s Son Publishing)

Historical Romance:

This Healing Journey by Misty M. Beller — An adventure-seeking wilderness girl and an ex-cavalryman looking to settle down fall in love while caring for a wounded Indian child that shows up in his barn. Will their differences keep them apart or become their greatest strengths? (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Cameo Courtships by Susanne Dietze, Debra E. Marvin, Jennifer Uhlarik, and Kathleen Y’Barbo — In 1851, a special cameo is gifted by Queen Victoria to Letitia Newton, who though considered an old maid, meets the perfect gentleman minutes after donning. Told by the Queen the cameo is to be shared, Letitia gifts the “Victoria Cameo” to a woman in her family, hoping adventure and romance will follow each of its subsequent wearers. Adventure indeed follows two competing journalists, one of whom carries the cameo while looking to expose a smuggler, a trouser-wearing frontierswoman and a reverend who are on a mission to ransom the cameo from a manipulative brothel owner, two Pinkertons who are charged with the care of the cameo but must rely on one another when the cameo is once again stolen, and a young woman who doubts the cameo can help her when a handsome Scottish library administrator ruins her dream of overseeing the new Carnegie Library children’s department and keeps a social chasm between himself and her father. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Mail-Order Refuge by Cindy Regnier — Carly Blair from Baltimore buys a train ticket to Kansas where she will become the wife of a man she’s never met. She must leave Baltimore to escape the evil plans her ex-fiance has for using her artistic talents for a counterfeit operation. Rand Stafford, Kansas cattle rancher is looking after his two orphaned nieces, but knows they need a mother. He’s not interested in love since being left at the altar so he advertises for a mail-order bride, willing to do whatever it takes to give Mary Jo and Jenna a proper home and upbringing. Can Carly and Rand find love where they least expect it, or will the shadows of the past dash their hopes for the future? (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

No Ocean Too Wide by Carrie Turansky — Between the years of 1869 to 1939 more than 100,000 poor British children were sent across the ocean to Canada with the promise of a better life. Those who took them in to work as farm laborers or household servants were told they were orphans—but was that the truth? (Historical Romance from Waterbrook/Multnomah [Random House])

Romantic Suspense:

Darkwater Truth by Robin Caroll — Adelaide Fountaine, general manager, is enthusiastically renovating parts of the Darkwater Inn. Her intentions come to a screeching halt when a skeleton is found behind a makeshift wall—an axe beside it. As Adelaide works alongside owner Dimitri Pampalon and Detective Beau Savoie, the two men who have been pursuing her heart, she learns the eerie death has tentacles that reach deep into the seedy past of both the Darkwater Inn and the evil underground of New Orleans. The past and the present collide as the stakes are upped—not only for Adelaide’s heart, but for her very life and her father’s life as well. The threats are deadly, the coils of evil are tightening around everyone involved, and they are more powerful than anyone could have ever imagined. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)

Over the Line by Kelly Irvin — Gabriela’s brother is missing, he’s a suspect in a murder, and she’s in the cross hairs of a criminal organization. The only person who can help her is the one man she can’t trust. Will Gabby & Eli find her brother before it’s too late? (Romantic Suspense from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Long Walk Home by DiAnn Mills — As an Arab Christian pilot for a relief organization, Paul Farid feels called to bring supplies to his war-torn countrymen in southern Sudan. But with constant attacks from Khartoum’s Islamic government, the villagers have plenty of reasons to distrust Paul, and he wonders if the risks he’s taking are really worth his mission. American doctor Larson Kerr started working with the Sudanese people out of a sense of duty and has grown to love them all, especially Rachel Alier, her young assistant. But despite the years she’s spent caring for them, her life feels unfulfilled. It’s a void noticed both by Paul and by Rachel’s older brother, Colonel Ben Alier of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army. When Rachel is abducted, Paul, Ben, and Larson agree to set aside their differences to form an unlikely alliance and execute a daring rescue. Their faith and beliefs tested, each must find the strength to walk the path God has laid before them, to find their way home. (Romantic Suspense from Tyndale House)

The Last Chaplain by Carl M. White — At the request of Pastor John Grant, the last chaplain of the United States Senate, Lisa Smithy embarks on the adventure of a lifetime: find a former Senate staff member and convince him to reveal to a DC reporter the plot that led to Dr. Grant’s removal and the discrediting of his best friend, a United States Senator. From the South, to the West, to the Midwest, evil men are desperate to stop her, and romance surprisingly finds her. Can she bring together the former Senate staffer who knows all and the Washington reporter who can tell all, while eluding the men who would end it all? (Romantic Suspense from Austin Brothers Publishers)

Posted in ACFW New Releases, contemporary romance, General, Historical, historical heartbeats, Historical Romance, Romantic Suspense | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Holy Wells and Springs

St. Bridget’s Well in Ireland

Wells and springs are found all over Britain, Scotland, Ireland and France where ancient Celtic gods and/or goddesses were honored. After the coming of Christianity, wells were made part of Christian observances through the blessings of a Saint. In Ireland and Scotland, people still visit wells or springs and sip water between their two hands then leave a gift or offering.

Two thousand years ago, offerings were impressive—swords, shields, jewelry, etc. Pilgrims would offer their most prized possession to the god or goddess, hoping to obtain the deity’s favor. For the last several centuries the offerings have been extremely modest—bent pins, nails, spools, corks, coins, keys, rags, etc. At Munlochy, near Inverness in Scotland, there is a rag well which has become unsightly. The town council was asked to clean up the site a few years ago, but couldn’t find anyone willing to take down the rags. However, the trees have grown up, and people leave their offerings out of sight of the road for the most part.*

A Highland Ruby

A sacred well is found in Cromarty Scotland. Cromarty is located in the territory of the ancient Picts who worshiped at the well. Following is an excerpt of a passage from the the book by Brenda B. Taylor, AHighland Ruby, that explains the legend of the holy well. In the story, the water was used for healing. The belief is, if a person drinks from the well or the water of the well, they will be healed of illness and disease.

“I have some water from the lion’s mouth well in the kirk yard for ye to drink. It has healing powers.” She bent to retrieve the goblet from the floor then filled it with clear water. “We keep a supply here for the injured and sick.

“I can see why you would need healing water in this place.” Gavin recalled the red healing water Flora offered him in the dream. He rubbed the large lump on his head then took a long drink of the cool, sweet water. “I’ve heard of the Cromarty well, but have no’ drunk of its waters ‘til now.”

“The story says two boys were friends and both got consumption,” the lass said as he drank. “One died. Uilliam, the friend left livin’, was gettin’ worse when he had a dream. A large bumble bee, his dead friend you ken, buzzed about his head and told him to go dig in a certain bank and drink. Uilliam ventured to the bank, pulled a large sod from it, and a stream of clear water burst forth. He drank from the stream and was made weel. Later the kirk built beside the bank, enclosed the stream, and put a lion’s mouth over the flow. ‘Tis holy water, you ken, and has healing power.” The pretty pink lips turned up in a smile. “Pilgrims come from afar to drink the waters.”

“’Tis quite a story. Thanks for givin’ me a drink, but I also pray to the Lord for healin’. He helps more than any water.” Gavin handed the goblet back to the lass.

A Highland Ruby

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*Taken from information by Shelia Curry in Celtic Mythology, 2015.

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Celebrating Memorial Day

We are celebrating Memorial Day, a special time set aside to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. So many have fallen and will fall defending the freedoms we hold so dear. Freedom is not free. This time of remembrance brings us to a closer understanding of what the Savior experienced when he purchased our freedom with his life.

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13 NLT)

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The average age of the military man is 19 years. He is a short-haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country. He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father’s, but he has never collected unemployment either.

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He’s a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten-year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away. He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and a 155mm howitzer.

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He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk. He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must.

He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional. He can march until he is told to stop, or stop until he is told to march. He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity. He is self-sufficient.

He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry. He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts. If you’re thirsty, he’ll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food. He’ll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.

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He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands. He can save your life – or take it, because that is his job. He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay, and still find ironic humor in it all. He has seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime. He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat, and is unashamed.

He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to’ square-away’ those around him who haven’t bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking. In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful.

Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom. Beardless or not, he is not a boy. He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years.

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He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding. Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood.

And now we even have women over there in danger, doing their part in this tradition of going to War when our nation calls us to do so. As you go to bed tonight, remember this shot… A short lull, a little shade and a picture of loved ones in their helmets.

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When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our ground troops, sailors on ships, and airmen in the air, and for those in Iraq, Afghanistan and all foreign countries.

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Of all the gifts you could give an US Soldier, Sailor, Coastguardsman, Marine, or Airman, prayer is the very best one.

 

Posted in Brenda B. Taylor, Christian, Devotional, Memorial Day | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment