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Angels From the Realms of Glory


It  is a wonderful season of the year! There is excitement in the air as people prepare for family gatherings. This children’s excitement is very infectious! All of the wonder and anticipation that we see in their eyes makes this a very special time.  It is also a time when we hear more about peace on earth and good will toward men.

We all love the Christmas carols! It almost seems a shame that we only sing some of them at this time of the year. One beautiful hymn that expresses so well the meaning of Christmas is “Angels From the Realms of Glory”.  The composer James Montgomery gave us a beloved hymn to sing every year that pictures so well the birth of Jesus as told in the gospels of Matthew and Luke.

James Montgomery, the son of a Moravian minister was born at Irvine, Ayrshire, November 4, 1771. In 1776 his family moved to the county of Antrim. Two years later he was sent to the Fulneck Seminary in Yorkshire. When he left there he went to work at a retail shop. He composed poems but was unable to get them published. At the age of 23, James took over a newspaper, the Sheffield Registerand changed the name to Sheffield Iris where he continued as editor for thirty-one years. During this time he was able to publish his poems. He gave lectures on poetry at the Royal Institution in London. Mr. Montgomery was also a strong advocate of the Foreign Missions and Bible Society in many parts of England. He lived peacefully to the old age of 82 and died in his sleep. After his death in 1854 he was honored with a public funeral. A statue was erected in his memory and a stained glass window was made in his honor at the parish church. A Wesleyan chapel was also named in his honor. (Recall that Charles Wesley was also a composer of Christian music including another famous Christmas hymn “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” – see my post on December 21, 2016).

Henry T. Smart composed the tune for “Angels From the Realms of Glory” in 1866. It was originally written as the tune called “Regent Square”. It was first published in a Presbyterian hymnal for the Regent Square Church.


At Christmas we remember that Jesus was born in a stable. We can picture Mary and Joseph there. The shepherds came. The angels gathered in the skies singing praise to God! What beautiful pictures of love, peace, and joy.


We can read about the birth of Christ in Luke’s and Matthew’s gospels. The verses in the hymn “Angels From the Realms of Glory” proclaim the story in an awe-inspiring and majestic song!

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased. (Luke 2:13-14)

1 Angels from the realms of glory,
wing your flight through all the earth;
heralds of creation’s story
now proclaim Messiah’s birth!
Come and worship
Christ, the new-born king;
come and worship,
worship Christ the new-born king.

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “do not be afraid; for behold I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you; you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:8-12)

2 Shepherds in the fields abiding,
watching by your flocks at night,
God with us is now residing:
see, there shines the infant light!
Come and worship
Christ, the new-born king;
come and worship,
worship Christ the new-born king.

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have
come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.  Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet:

‘And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
Are by no means least among the leaders of Judah;
For out of you shall come forth a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”

Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.” After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.(Matthew 2:1-12)

 3 Wise men, leave your contemplations!
brighter visions shine afar;
seek in him the hope of nations,
you have seen his rising star:
Come and worship
Christ, the new-born king;
come and worship,
worship Christ the new-born king.

In the last verse we are given a picture of the glorious future for Christ and all those who love Him.

4 Though an infant now we view him,
He will share his Father’s throne,
gather all the nations to him;
every knee shall then bow down:
Come and worship
Christ, the new-born king;
come and worship,
worship Christ the new-born king.

God bless you all this Christmas! In all of the hustle and bustle take time out to remember that the best gift of all is the Lord Jesus Christ. May the true meaning of Christmas remain in your hearts forever.





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Dear Readers,

I am going to be taking a short break from the weekly posts. I am going to study for a Doctor of Ministry degree. The track is called, “Leadership in Global Perspectives”. I am really excited about this opportunity.

My doctoral dissertation will be about women in ministry. I would like to write a book – a devotional – that includes stories of women that God has used in Kingdom work. God has called His daughters to serve in the Kingdom all through history and from all parts of the globe – hence the appropriateness of the Global Perspectives’ track.

My blog posts include over 200 women now. I would like to research the stories of 165(6) more from Africa, Asia, South America, Australia, the Islands, and other minority ethnic groups in Europe and North America. This devotional should be a daily encouragement to women to answer their call from God as so many others have done before them.

An important reason for writing the book is to show that God does indeed use women in ministry. But equally important is a list of resources for women to use. I have been blessed by each and every book or article I have read. An important part of the devotional will be a bibliography in the back containing a list of the many books available. Other women will be blessed too as they read these inspiring stories.


So, I am off to London for 10 days with my colleagues. We will be studying global issues and how to minister more effectively to all cultures.   Christianity has always been a global religion, but now that the world has “shrunk” we have the opportunity to reach every nation with the Gospel.

There is only one place in the Scriptures that gives us an indication of when Christ will return. “The gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14) Now with technology, GPS, easy travel, more cooperation between some countries, and the many new Mission Organizations I believe that we can reach every nation. This is exciting for all of us who look for and love His appearing.

When I return, we will pick up with fourteenth-century Christian mystics. In the meantime, check out some of the books listed in the Reviews. They will give you much to think about.



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Here is a list of some sites that I visit regularly. I will add to this as time goes on.

Life Site News is updated daily with stories about Pro-life issues, Marriage and Family, and Political News.


For good information on Biblical Equality or Mutuality I visit Christians for Biblical Equality.


For historic and contemporary Christian history I visit The Christians.com. It respects all Christian traditions – Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox.


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For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)

As you spend time with family and friends this Christmas count the many blessings that you have been given. The most important blessing is Jesus. He came to earth to save us and reconcile us to God. Now we can have fellowship with God here on earth and forever with Him in Heaven. That is the most marvelous blessing of all!


Life is a precious gift. Most of us are thinking through the past and making New Year’s Resolutions for improving ourselves in the future. This is a fine thing to do. It is always a good thing to review our lives and seek to be a better person in the future.

But how many resolutions are centered in our own lives? A poll reveals that the most common resolutions are:

  1. Lose weight or get fit
  2. Quit smoking or drink less alcohol
  3. Get a better education or a better job
  4. Save money, manage debt better
  5. Reduce stress
  6. Go on a vacation

What do you notice about these resolutions? Where is a resolution to give up time or money or both to help others? Where does “helping others” fit into our plans? What about those who cannot help themselves? We must seek justice for the helpless as we follow in the steps of Jesus. Our focus should not just be on ourselves.

We have been so blessed in our country. Thankfully, we have access to good health care, doctors, gyms, and financial planners. All of the popular New Year’s resolutions are within our reach. We are blessed beyond belief. It is a good thing to want to improve our lives. But is our culture too selfish?

Each year over one million babies will not get the chance to live, let alone ever have a chance to make New Year’s resolutions. The problem seems so big and overwhelming but many people have worked hard in the last year to end the slaughter of babies. Here are a few victories to celebrate especially thanks to tireless Pro-life supporters:

  1. Live Action produced a video entitled “What is Human?” and put it on Facebook. The video went viral with millions of views. This video showed that beyond a doubt the little being in the womb is a human being. The abortion industry refuses to acknowledge the dignity and humanity of unborn children. If you or anyone you know is undecided on this issue watch the video. You will know the truth.Beauty of Life
  2. Young people are joining the ranks of the Pro-life movement in droves! This is great news and cause for much rejoicing! This is good news for the unborn in the future.young people for life
  3. Thanks to technology, Pro-lifers can share the beauty of life with their friends on the Internet. Organizations like Live Action, LifeSiteNews.com, and many others send out newsletters via email that are resent by hundreds of thousands of supporters daily.
  4. Planned Parenthood is continually being exposed as a fraudulent organization. PP pretends to be about women’s health, but is actually making millions of dollars off of abortions every year. And NO! Planned Parenthood does not have an ultrasound or mammogram machine in any clinic. PP is strictly about women’s so-called “rights” — this means the right to kill an unwanted baby. UNBORN women don’t count. Unborn women don’t have rights. What hypocrites the pro abortion supporters are!
  5. While we may get angry at the organization Planned Parenthood, we should pray for the individual workers there. Former workers at Planned Parenthood facilities are leaving the abortion giant continually. Once these women see an actual abortion they can no longer stay in the abortion industry.

Former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson says, “Friends, these workers are leaving the abortion industry because they are finally able to see that there is real help for them. They don’t leave because people have told them that they are “baby killers.” They certainly don’t leave because someone tells them they will “burn in hell” for working in the industry. They leave because we are now able to give them help and healing. They leave because they want something better for themselves. They leave because we are finally helping them see that we do genuinely care about them.”

(Note: the above mentioned video is one of many other things that is convincing these women about what an abortion really is – the death of a helpless human.)

Abby continues, “We always need to remember that these workers are not our enemy. Abortionists are not the enemy. Our enemy is sin. No matter how rude they are to us, no matter how much they ignore us, no matter how many times they tell us to “get a job” or something similar…they WILL eventually leave. But that will only happen if we BE Christ to them. We don’t have to preach to them. …

Pray. Be kind. Love them. And if you don’t think you can love them, then stay away from them. The only thing that will keep an abortion worker in the industry longer is a pro-lifer who condemns them.

What if you were the reason an abortion worker took a left instead of a right? You can be. I thank God every day of my life for the people who made me “change my route.”

I agree with Abby. Let’s make one of our New Year’s resolutions to try to win others with the love of Jesus.

2015 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION –save-babies

It is no longer politically incorrect to say that you are Pro-life. This year make it one of your resolutions to speak openly about the plight of the helpless unborn babies. The tide is turning. Pray for those who disagree with you. Give money and support to Pro-life organizations. Just pick one activity and get involved. Make 2015 the year that abortion is ended for good!



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Surrounded by my family at this time of the year I am thankful for the many blessings that God has given me. It is such a joy to have my children and grandchildren all around for a few days. It is wonderful to have a peaceful and genuinely happy time with all. So many families, though having many material blessings, do not have the true fun and fellowship that we have because they do not get along with each other. For them the holiday is a time to go and put on a fake smile, get indigestion eating a meal that they can barely get through without choking, collect their loot and head home. I feel really sorry for them.

Here in our home we celebrate Christ from the smallest to the oldest. Not all of our in-laws are Christians, but they still respect the real reason for Christmas. Some, even the most cantankerous, have admitted that we have something special in our home. We pray that every year they will realize that it is because of the Lord Jesus Christ that we have beautiful relationships with our children. We pray that they will want the peace and joy that we have so much that they will turn to the Lord themselves.

We are thankful for the many blessings that we still have in our country.
Only in America would people band together like they did in Wilmington, Ohio, and take care of each other. They refused the government’s “help” which always comes with a demand surrender your freedom. They have shown us that we can still be a nation of loving people, caring for each other. As the present administration’s insane policies continue to contribute to the high unemployment, I pray that more towns will follow the example of the courageous citizens of Wilmington.

Only in America will we find so many wonderful people volunteering to help the homeless, as Habitat for Humanity does. Since 1976, they have built or repaired 400,000 homes worldwide. This is because we are a Christian based nation. While many do not profess to follow Christ anymore, we still are living with the values that our forefathers brought to this land.

Thank God that in America people can still proclaim Christ in public, though we are fast losing this ability. As the Christmas season wanes, I pray that the courageous acts of those who put Christ forward will continue. I fear that it won’t.

It was very emotional for those of us who are Christians to see the group at a shopping mall who sang Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus to the delight of the onlookers. In the video that I saw on You Tube, there didn’t seem to be anyone who was offended. I believe that there is still lingering the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ in hearts in our country. One of my prayers for the New Year is that Christians and churches all over our land will be encouraged by these choruses and do it throughout the year. I am optimistic. We can still save our country.

At this time next year, I hope that the following is true:

a.  Christians everywhere will be able to speak about Christ openly in public places without being arrested for a “hate crime.”

b.  The “banksters” will be brought to justice for the crimes they have committed against all of the ordinary people in our country in order to just keep on enriching themselves. No, they are not too big to fail. Make them do business by the same rules that the rest of us do.

c.  All elected officials who have raised taxes, leading to horrific unemployment will be impeached. This is still the United States of America. We elect our officials and if they harm us, we can impeach them. Let us say “enough is enough” to leaders who put policies into practice that give them more power and money and impoverish the already overworked and overtaxed citizens. How many of these will be out of office at this time next year? Many, I hope.

e.  The TSA must be abandoned as it presently exists. They do not protect us; they only humiliate us. Let’s rid ourselves of these parasites. I will believe that the government really is interested in our safety when they ensure us of all of our second amendment rights. A responsible population, well educated, skilled, and equipped can protect itself.

f.  Unborn women will have the same rights as grown women.

g.  Government officials will stop trying to be our nannies. They will leave our small family farms alone. They will not tamper with our food supply.

h.  “Mallard Filmore” will be the one of the most widely read cartoons along with the other family friendly cartoons such as Family Circus.Thank you, Bruce Tinsley for your courage and for speaking for all of us. I do believe that most Americans are with YOU no matter what the liberals try to say!!

If we could have all of these things then it will be a VERY GOOD NEW YEAR!




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Books About Extraordinary Women

— Anderson, James, “Memorable Women of the Puritan Times”, (General Books, 2009) This book was originally published in 1862. This book contains the stories of Elizabeth Bunyan and many other women who lived during the time of the Reformation. This reprint is difficult to follow at times, but well worth it for the information and encouragement for Christian women.

—  Barton, David, (forward), Wives of the Signers: The Women Behind the Declaration of Independence (Wallbuilder Press, 1997)
Back Cover: “Great American men have always understood the importance of women. John Adams described them as “the most infallible barometer . . . of morality and virtue in a nation.
Wives of the Signers describes those women who, alongside their husbands experienced the trials and triumphs of the struggle for independence and the challenge of building a new nation. Who were they?
*  Abigail Smith Adams, wife of one president, mother of another, and perhaps the most influential woman of her day;
*  Annis Boudinot Stockton, wife of Richard Stockton, whose home was looted and burned during the savageries of war;
*  Deborah Scudder Hart, wife of John Hart, who suffered for months as her patriotic husband was hounded and hunted as a criminal;
*  . . .and many more.”
This book is excerpted from The Pioneer Mothers of America, originally published in 1912. Subtitled, “A Record of the More Notable Women of the Early Days of the Country, and Particularly of the Colonial and Revolutionary Periods” by Harry Clinton Green and Mary Wolcott Green, Volume Three.
The Wallbuilder book reprints the great stories about the women who made many sacrifices so that we may enjoy the freedom in our country that we have today. I highly recommend it. If you can find the entire three volume original set, it will be worth your while for encouraging, entertaining, and patriotic reading.

—  Cook, Faith, Lady Jane Grey: Nine Day Queen of England (Evangelical Press, Webster, New York, 2004)
Back Cover: “Kneeling down on the hard wooden scaffold Jane turned to Feckenham who stood by her. “Shall I say this Psalm?” she faltered. Overcome with emotion . . he simply said, “Yea”. Jane then began to repeat Psalm 51 in English, David’s great prayer of contrition. Jane recited all nineteen verses “in a most devout manner” and then both she and Feckenham rose to their feet. A deep silence rested over that sad scene, nothing could be heard except for the quiet sobbing of her lady attendants. Hardened soldiers who had witnessed brutality many times before stood without moving.”
. . . “Lady Jane called out in a clear voice. “Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” Then with a stroke, swift, sharp and terrible, Jane’s short life was ended. Like the Apostle Paul she had fought a good fight, finished the course and kept the faith. Henceforth there was laid up for her a crown of righteousness – a crown that none could take from her.”
This is the story of a remarkable young woman, living during the time of the Reformation. After the death of Edward VI, (son of Henry VIII) there was a struggle for the throne. Eventually, Mary, Henry’s eldest daughter would be crowned queen, and she would have her “rival” Lady Jane Grey executed by beheading.
Jane was not just a political pawn. She was incredibly intelligent, devout, kind, and courageous. Included in this book is the debate between her and Dr. John Feckenham, who was sent to interrogate her. It is worth the price of the whole book and must reading for anyone who would like to see how a woman of courage stands up to those who are stronger than herself in order to protect her own integrity and faith.

—  Kim, Esther Ahn, If I Perish (Moody Publishers, Chicago, 1977)
Back Cover:  “Ahn Ei Sook stood alone among thousands of kneeling people in bold defiance of the tyrannical command to bow to a pagan Japanese shrine. After months on the run, she was captured and condemned to a living death in the filth and degradation of a Japanese prison.
Although she was imprisoned and tormented for many years, her determination and fortitude never diminished. In spite of the brutality, oppression, and ruthlessness of her captors, Miss Ahn remained true to Christ and won many of her fellow prisoners to Him by her example. Her courageous activities in prison not only brought the light of the Gospel to many, but also resulted in a reduction of torture.”
This is the true story of a young Korean Christian school teacher who set out on a journey to Tokyo to make the Japanese leaders aware of the atrocities that were committed against Korean Christians. Many are not aware that during World War II, the Japanese controlled Korea. We have read a lot about the brutality of the Nazi’s and the Soviets, but there was much brutality occurring in the Eastern hemisphere as well.
Ahn’s story will encourage your heart. Her life is a testimony of the goodness of God towards His children.

—  MacDonald, Rose Mortimer Ellzey, Mrs. Robert E. Lee (American Foundation Publications, Stuarts Draft, Virginia, 1998)
Preface: “A daughter of Mrs. Lee’s, writing after her mother’s death, said, “I want the world to know how worthy she was of her husband. . .Her attitude and example during the entire period of the war were an inspiration not only to her husband but to all who came within the radius of her influence.”
Mary Custis Lee lived during a time when women were not supposed to allow their names to be printed in newspapers or in public. Fortunately for us, there is much correspondence between her and her husband, and her daughters and friends so that we can get to know how remarkable this woman was. For a picture of graciousness in womanhood, read this story.
A good companion story would be that of her husband. I recommend, Call of Duty: The Sterling Nobility of Robert E. Lee, by J. Steven Wilkins. (Cumberland House Publishing, Nashville, 1997).

—  Piper, Noel,  Faithful Women & Their Extraordinary God (Crossway, Wheaton, 2005)
Back Cover: “These are the stories of five ordinary women – Sarah Edwards, Lilias Trotter, Gladys Aylward, Esther Ahn Kim, and Helen Roseveare – who trusted in their extraordinary God as he led them to do great things for his kingdom.”
Readers may recognize the name of Gladys Aylward from the movie, “The Inn of the Sixth Happiness” starring Ingrid Bergman. The movie does a pretty good job of faithfully telling the story of this remarkable missionary to China; I would recommend seeing it.
The other stories will be an encouragement to you to be willing to trust and follow God where you believe He is leading you. Not very many women in our society today are willing to go against the tide. It is good for us to read these stories of women who were not afraid to follow God.

Stjerna, Kirsi, Women and the Reformation (Blackwell Publishing, Malden, Massachusetts, 2009)
Back Cover: “Women were critical participants in Christian life during the Reformations. Women and the Reformation gathers historical materials and personal accounts to provide a comprehensive and accessible look at the status and contributions of women as leaders in the sixteenth-century Protestant world.”
Kirsi Stjerna provides some background and introductory material to the period of the Reformation. She explains what the options were for women at that time, and then gives examples of women who would courageously step out and follow God using the gifts that He gave them as writers, wives of famous pastors, prophets, and leaders for the Protestant refugees.
Here are the courageous women whose stories are told in this volume:

Ursula Jost and her publisher, Margarethe Pruss
Katharina von Bora (Mrs. Luther)
Argula von Grumbach (Apologist and a Pamphleteer)
Elisabeth von Brandenburg, and Elisabeth von Braunschweig (Exiled Mothers, Reformation Leaders)
Katharina Schutz Zell (Writer, Pastoral Care giver)
Marie Dentiere (Reformer and Writer)
Marguerite de Navarre, and Jeanne d’Albret (French Reformers)
Renee de France (Friend and Protector of the Huguenots)
Olimpia Fulvia Morata (Italian Scholar)

—  Sultan, Wafa, A God Who Hates (St. Martin’s Press, New York, 2009)
Back Cover: “A searingly personal and deeply affecting indictment of the oppressing and life-destroying features of Islamic teachings and Islamic societies – and a moving testimony to the hope that America still offers to the world with its principles of freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and equality of rights of women and men (all of which are denied by Islamic law). Wafa Sultan is a great heroine of our time, willing to risk everything to stand up to these immense evils when most people are too fainthearted or politically correct to do so. I A God Who Hates should be read closely and studied by the president, European leaders, and all Western policy makers and opinion shapers – before it is too late.”
The only thing I would like to add to that, is that it should be read by all women who value their freedom. We need to pray for women who are being oppressed by Muslim societies. We need to pray that the Gospel would go forward in Muslim countries, bringing the freedom of Christ with it. We should thank God for Wafa’s testimony, and pray for her, too.

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Courage:  Most dictionaries merely define this as “bravery”. 

What does it mean to be brave? What characteristics does a brave or courageous woman have?

The women whose stories are in these pages display many exceptional traits. They are wise, dependable, thrifty, energetic, and unselfish. They are good wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends. Some will stand out in one or more of these areas, while others will shine in different areas. But there is one thing they all have in common: they were all very courageous.

How do these women show their courage? Many will exhibit grace under fire. They have a strong presence of mind. They are able to act decisively because they are sure of their convictions.
Strong women will inform themselves when there is a problem. They don’t just rant about problems. They will find solutions, and they will be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Besides being informed, courageous women are also clever and intelligent. They know how to connect the dots. They know how to share and are not afraid of criticism. When they find that they are wrong about something, they readily admit their error. In fact, they rejoice in learning so much that they are glad when someone points out their error so that they can grow and mature. A godly, courageous woman wants only to know God and know Him better. None of us knows everything. It is part of maturity to learn more and grow. A courageous woman can say, “I’m sorry,” and mean it. She is gracious.

Courageous women depend on God. They trust Him and accept His will in their lives. They are willing to accept what God gives them in their lives. When they perceive His will, they put their all into the tasks before them.

Brave women are willing to take a stand for what they believe. They will draw a line in the sand and not cross it. Unjust powers, no matter how fearsome, will not deter them from their righteous goals.
Courageous women also love others. They are unselfish. They put the needs of others ahead of their own. Their own self-esteem is high enough to free them to be able to act independently.

In every woman’s story that I tell, many of these characteristics will shine forth. Courage is the central theme to all of these stories. I am telling these stories so that we can have an example before us of how a victorious life can be lived. We are in uncertain times. Only the courageous woman will get through the perils holding her head up high.

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