Book Review: Under God by TobyMac and Michael Tait

Under God Cover

I just finished reading this book, and it is amazing!

Under God is a compilation of stories of sacrifice and faith from America’s history. From the American Revolution to the Civil War to the post-Civil-War segregation, this book is filled with touching and inspiring true stories. As TobyMac states in the book: “Knowing the past is crucial to dealing with the present.”

Along with awesome quotes…

Freedom is not an ideal, it is not even a protection, if it means nothing more than freedom to stagnate, to live without dreams, to have no greater aim than a second car and another television set.

-Adlai Stevenson, American Statesman

“Racism is not a skin problem; it’s a sin problem.”

-Nathel Tait, Michael Tait’s father

And touching stories like the Sand Creek Massacre, there are some great verses pointed out and wonderful commentary. I highly recommend this book. It was absolutely awesome.

Dear Child – A Letter From God

Obviously not really from God. Please enjoy, share, and comment.

Dear Child,

I have heard you.

I hear your cries when you are in pain or hurting. I hear your prayers when you need help or healing.

I know your struggles, your scars and your problems. I know the things you enjoy and the things that you hate. I know your pet peeves and I know the things that ignite a passionate fire within you.

Whether you’re happy or sad, or angry and hurting, I will always be there for you. I’ll be with you in the light of day and in the darkest nights. I’ll never leave you or forsake you. I’ll never abandon you, and you’ll never be alone. You are My child, and I am always with you. I will help you in your struggles and heal your heartache.

When you’re hurting, turn to Me. I can heal the broken heart and put shattered faith back together again. I can fix any problem if you only call out to Me.

Even when you’re lost and don’t know what to do, I will guide you. I formed you in your mother’s womb, and I had a plan for you and your life before you were even thought of by others. Nothing can change that plan. No mistake that you make can make Me give up on you. I can always fix your problems and forgive you. No mistake is too big for Me. You are always mine, no matter what.

It doesn’t matter how far you stray; I will welcome you back with open arms. You are My child, and I love you. No matter what.

Love,

God

Eric – Part One

This story was sooo much fun to write. Please let me know if you like it and provide feedback, and let me know if you can figure out the significance of Eric’s and Jeremiah’s names. 😀

“Eric!” a young woman called from the doorway of the small cottage. Her light brown hair was swept back into a bun, and her clear blue eyes searched the surrounding countryside with several other cottages scattered nearby. “Eric!” she called again. A laughing little boy only five years old came running around the edge of the house, his blue eyes sparkling in merriment. He ran up to the woman, the sun glinting off his golden hair. Another little boy ran around the corner of the house, stopping suddenly and watching the golden-haired boy. He had stunning red hair and green eyes. The lady turned to the golden-haired child.

“Who’s this, Eric?” she asked him.

“This is Jeremiah,” Eric replied.

The young woman turned to the other boy. “Did you just move to one of the cottages?” she asked.

Jeremiah nodded solemnly. “My parents couldn’t find work in the last town,” he told her. His voice was clear and strong, surprising for a young boy.

“Well, I’m glad the two of you have made friends with each other,” the woman said, smiling. “Eric, you need to get ready for dinner, though.”

Eric smiled up at her. “Yes, Mama,” he replied cheerfully. He skipped up to the door but turned in the doorway. “Bye, Jeremiah,” he called, waving to his friend. The little redhead smiled and waved back, then disappeared over a small hill. The young woman watched him depart and then turned back into the house.

~~~

“Hi, Jeremiah!” Eric exclaimed as he and his friend met in their usual spot almost a month later. Jeremiah smiled at his friend, but his face was sad. Eric frowned. “What’s wrong?” he asked.

“”We’re moving again,” Jeremiah told his friend.

“What?”

Jeremiah nodded. “My parents still haven’t been able to find work. They’ve decided that we should try another town.”

Eric’s eyes filled with tears. “But you’re my best friend!” he protested. “You can’t leave!”

Jeremiah’s eyes were sad. “I know, but I have to leave.” He hesitated. “I have two secrets I want to tell you first, and then I have to go.”

“Really?” Eric asked, leaning towards Jeremiah from his spot next to a tall tree.

“Yeah.” Jeremiah took a deep breath. “First: I’m adopted.”

Eric’s eyes widened. “Really?”

Jeremiah nodded. “My parents told me when I was four.”

“Whoa,” Eric whispered. He tilted his head to the side. “What’s the second secret?” he asked.

Jeremiah leaned forward. “Well, I have these dreams,” he whispered. “They always come true! One time, when I was little, I had a dream that I met a golden-haired boy with blue eyes named Eric.”

“Wow!” Eric exclaimed.

Jeremiah nodded. “I know. “Well, last night, I had a dream about you. You became a king!”

Eric’s eyes got even bigger. “Me?”

“Yes,” Jeremiah replied. He paused. “I just felt that I needed to tell you.”

“Thanks,” Eric said gratefully. “Although I don’t know if that dream will really come true.”

Jeremiah’s eyes twinkled, then became sad. “I have to go now,” he told his friend softly.

Tears filed Eric’s eyes once again. “Please don’t go,” he pleaded.

“I have to,” Jeremiah told him sorrowfully. He clasped his friend’s hand. “I’ll always remember you, Eric. We shall see each other again, my friend.” Jeremiah squeezed Eric’s hand one last time, and Eric watched his friend disappear into the forest.

~~~

Many years passed, and Eric found himself quite well off. Soon after Jeremiah left, Eric’s parents had begun to rise in both wealth and social status. They were able to pay for Eric to be schooled. His teacher soon discovered that he was quick and intelligent.

“He’s much wiser than most children his age,” she told his parents once. “He has an insight that’s hard to explain.”

Several years after that, Eric’s wisdom helped him. The king heard of Eric, and called him to the court. He asked Eric’s advice on several small, trivial matters to test him. Eric was soon appointed the king’s royal advisor.

Eric didn’t take advantage of his high position like many of the other officers. He was kind to everyone, and humble. His wise advice and kind spirit soon made him the second most powerful man in the kingdom. His life was full of happiness, including with his wife and children.

Then, one day, the king was pushed off his balcony by one of his servants. By the time the rest of the servants reached him, he was dead. Eric was horrified. He had become close to the king, and had even considered him a good friend, and now he was dead.

The former king had no heirs. Eric could never remember quite how it happened, but, somehow, it was decided that he should be the new king. The memories flooded back: a little red-haired boy sitting in the forest and a dream about Eric becoming a king. He remembered doubting the dream. Now it was coming true.

The preparations for the coronation ceremony proceeded frantically. Eric disliked the kingly clothes he was forced to wear, but he wore them anyway. He resented the extravagant decorations, but he approved them anyway. He didn’t believe that he should be king, but he felt that it was his duty to the people.

The coronation ceremony was beautiful, and Eric and his family settled into life in the castle. It seemed like it would be a happy life. The people respected Eric, and so did his advisors and officers. The country prospered, utilizing its natural resources in the most efficient way possible.

Then it happened: war. Two neighboring countries grew jealous of their prosperity and invaded quickly after they declared war. Eric was devastated, but he knew that he had to defend his country.

The army gathered and set off. King Eric and several of his advisors led the soldiers into battle.

The war dragged on. Weeks were spent fighting, and neither side gained an advantage. King Eric’s men were soon exhausted from the endless fighting.

Slowly but surely, the enemy began beating down King Eric’s army. New soldiers arrived for the enemy, and King Eric’s men were forced to flee. King Eric insisted that he and his advisors cover the retreat, to the dismay of his advisors.

One night, he and his advisors bedded down in a hidden clearing, taking turns keeping watch. King Eric fell asleep quickly. He awoke around midnight and found that his advisors had abandoned him, taking all of the weapons and supplies and leaving him with only the blanket he was sleeping on.

The Answer

“Please wake up, Betsy,” Alice whispered.

Alice gripped her sister’s hand as she listened to the heart monitor beep. She hadn’t slept in days while her sister was in the hospital, and her face was pale and drawn. Her sister’s white face looked so small on the pillow. Alice bowed her head in silent prayer.

“God, please, heal my sister,” she pleaded silently. “I need her so much. My parents told me when I was young that you listen to every prayer, and that you’ll answer. I know I haven’t been the most faithful,” she gulped back tears, “but I need you to heal Betsy.” Alice laid her head on the hospital bed, struggling to hold back tears. She drifted off to sleep, not noticing when the heart monitor’s beeping slowed and then, finally, stopped.

“Miss Alice?” a nurse asked softly, gently shaking Alice awake. Alice sat up, struggling to hold back a yawn. She looked down at her sister’s still figure. The hand she was still grasping was icy cold.

“I’m sorry, Miss Alice,” the nurse whispered sympathetically. “She-she died only a few minutes ago.

Later that day, Alice dragged her feet in through the autumn leaves that had fallen and covered the sidewalk. She looked up at the gray cloud-covered sky. A single raindrop fell and landed on the end of her nose. She wiped it away harshly.

“God, why didn’t you answer me? I asked you to heal Betsy, but you didn’t,” she whispered angrily.

A voice deep inside her soul whispered to her. I did answer. But I have something better in mind for both of you. Just trust Me.

With No Hope Left

Hi, everyone! I loved writing this little story. Almost made me cry. I hope reading this will start a fire of passion withing you, and inspire you to do something. Please reblog it and share it so others can feel that passion to do something, too! 😀 God bless!

The wind.

It’s such a beautiful noise, at night when you can’t fall asleep and you hear it howling through the trees.

Unless you’re the homeless man on the corner.

You know the one. You pass by him every day on the way to work or school. His thin clothes offer no protection from the cold. His head rests on his knees as he sleeps, his few belongings clutched to his chest.

He’s not a bad man, he’s just fallen on bad times. He had a wife, and two cute little girls. Had. He tried so hard to earn money, doing odd jobs here and there. His only joy had been coming home to his wife. And his two daughters, so little, such cute curls. Then the sickness had come.

He didn’t know why he didn’t die. Somehow he overcame the sickness. But those two little girls and his wife. They weren’t so lucky.

He lost his job. He lost his wife. He lost his daughters. He lost his house. He lost hope.

He was in an unfamiliar town, lost, with no way to go anywhere. So he stands by the road holding a cardboard sign. He doesn’t hope. No one stops for him. They find themselves purposefully avoiding his eyes, looking anywhere but where he is. You do the same. The two of you are in different worlds. After all, that homeless shelter a couple blocks away should be the one taking care of him. He could just go there if he wanted.

But he doesn’t know. You do.

The wind blows through the trees, and the homeless man’s toes and fingers grow numb in the dark of night. With no hope left.

Treasure

Treasure

A poker chip. A pair of dice. A screwdriver. A rock. All hidden in an old, rotten box shoved in an old, rotten tree.

The collection wasn’t much. Just a boy’s favorite treasures, dirty and smudged. The woman traced the A. H. carved on the lid of the box. A tear slipped down her cheek as she fondled each f her son’s precious memoirs.

“Goodbye, Alex,” she whispered softly, stroking the smooth rock. “I’ll take care of your treasures, and I’ll see you again in heaven someday.”

The little girl next to her looked down into the box.” I hope he’s got better treasures in heaven than he left us down here.”

———-

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

Matthew 6:19-20

Welcome to My World

Although I’m not exactly new to the blogosphere, this is a new blog for me. Obviously, since this is the first post.

I’ve created this blog to promote my writing and to get my writing out to the world, while freeing up my other blog for that which it was originally intended: to spread the Good News, the best news, of the salvation we have through Jesus Christ. Please check it out: proverbs31teen.wordpress.com.

I hope you enjoy what I write and that you’ll provide plenty of positive feedback. I mostly write young adult and middle grade fiction, although I don’t have a particular genre I write in as I like to experiment. Thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoy jumping into the World of the Writer.

KYLOREN1