A Writing Addict

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I have spent the last year and a half writing, my husband would say I’m addicted to writing, for when I sit down, my computer is in my lap and I am adding words to, or editing one of my novels.

Yes. I am writing novels. The first in my series of Ancient Matriarchs is Eve, First Matriarch. As the title suggests, I am writing about our first mother, Eve. I have had many questions over the years, especially since I first became a mother about 40 years ago, wondering how she managed those first births. Have you?

Other books in the Ancient Matriarch series are planned, two are in rough draft stage, and are finding form. As I wrote about Eve, I discovered a mystery that could only be answered by writing another series, Lost Children of the Prophets. The first book in this series has a beginning.

Of course, it is all fiction! How else could I tell a story about women whose names are not even recorded, let alone any information about their lives?

Would you like to follow the questions I have, find some of the answers, and learn what may be coming in the lives of the Ancient Matriarchs? Do you want to be first to know when the books are available for you to read?

Join me in my quest in my Weekly Musings. I write something new each week about what is going on in my writing, and I will share some of the insights I have gained.

Check out www.AngeliqueCongerAuthor.com for more information about my books, and the form to add your name to get all this, and more!

And, yes, please share with any friends you think may be interested.

Will We Accept Hatred or Will We Build Love?

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Our country is once more facing the sorrow of mass murder at the hands of a hateful, angry man. His hate has been expanded beyond the boundary of the church to discussions and conjectures from every corner of the nation.

One hateful, bigoted man has blown bigotry out of proportion, yet again. It was horrifying for a man to murder others in the midst of a prayer meeting, especially in the historic AME church.

It offers every politician a means to make a comment, a statement of disgust, return small donations from one who has been accused of racial hatred. Even President Obama has offered his opinion.

No, bias has not been eliminated, from any of the so-called races. Hatred and bias against others is a means of division, a way to encourage strife and war. Such bias has existed from near the beginning of time, since Cain slew Abel. Satan has used the weapon of bias and bigotry since then as a way to divide the children of Adam and Eve. It has become a favorite weapon in his arsenal.

Causing strife and hatred, leading to arguments and war, is one thing Satan pulls from his quiver frequently—much more often lately.  There has been war of some kind, somewhere for more than one hundred years. Even a small battle, the murder of nine people in a church, has a similar effect, especially in our day of immediate media and immediate reaction, resulting in agitation, unrest, and hate. It draws our hearts and minds from our love of others and our God down to hatred and despair.

We should abhor the murder of nine in prayer meeting. We should be aggrieved by the hateful actions of the murderer. However, our horror at his actions is no reason to further the hatred, increase the bias, or provide photo ops and sound bytes for politicians.

What is happening in the world beyond the furor over the Confederate flag? Surely there is something happening in the world beyond this current battle.

The media is so focused on one event, other larger, more despicable occurrences of hatred happen elsewhere, unmentioned by the press, unknown to the population of our country. How many were murdered in other countries today because they believe in Christ? Have others been lifted by the actions of others? Were there forces of nature affecting the lives of others beyond our borders? Who knows? The eyes of cameras focus on the Confederate flag controversy, or the latest killing of someone by the police. All horrid, unspeakable acts, to be true, but all sharing in the act of drawing Satan’s bow and directing pain and hatred into the population.

We are loved. There is much good in the world today. Much that can be shared to battle for right and beauty. Take a walk and enjoy nature. Sit in a park and watch little children at play. Drive in the country or the mountains. Enjoy the beauties of the world given to us by God.

What else can you do to move from hatred to joy and love? What ideas can you offer?

Show Kindness and Love

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In towns and cities across the United States, people are attacked, their businesses damaged and destroyed because they have admitted to homosexuality. Some people think it is necessary to show their disapproval for another person’s behavior in an open, violent manner. This is not right!

In all things Christ tells us to show love for others. He didn’t accept sin: he overturned the money changing tables in the temples. Still, he loved the sinner. He did not throw stones at the woman found in adultery, rather, offering the woman an opportunity to repent.

We aren’t required to support or participate in sin. We are required to accept the person and show kindness and love. Other actions are specifically not supported by the Savior or the Bible.

We have friends who participate in alternate life styles. Some of my friends find nothing wrong with an evening glass of wine, or an aperitif; others enjoy a cigarette or cigar; some friends participate in homosexual activities; while another may believe extramarital affairs are fine; and others may choose to drink coffee. I, personally, choose to avoid each of those activities. Not all are “sins,” but I choose not to engage in them. My friends have the right to participate if they choose. And, I maintain my friendship regardless of their choices.

I believe in the right of choice. All men and women have the right to choose actions, behaviors, and beliefs. Each can freely choose. However, with each choice comes unchangeable consequences, both positive and negative. The choice may be freely made, but the consequences cannot be changed. Hence, if I smoke, I can expect problems with my lungs.

At one time, laws entered administering consequences for behaviors contrary to those approved of by society. No longer. Standards have been lowered, behaviors once shunned are accepted.

I am certain Eve faced children who made choices she would rather they didn’t. She would want to force them to choose as Jehovah would want, but she knew that would draw her far from God’s plan. She allowed them to choose and face the consequences.

It wasn’t easy for her, it isn’t easy for us now. Even though she allowed them to make choices she would not have preferred, she continued to love her children and show them kindness. She didn’t join them in their bad choices, but that didn’t stop her from being kind and loving them.
Anger, violence, and hatred are not ways to show our disagreement with another’s choices. We, like Eve, need to find ways to stand for our standards and beliefs while still showing kindness and love. Certainly, ransacking a place of business or assaulting people who don’t fit our standards does not reveal the love and kindness required by those committed to obedience to God’s law.

Do We Remember and Honor Our Past?

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Living with a historian is different from living with men of other professions. My historian studies many eras and times, much of it entered into because of genealogical interest, but often focuses on World War II and its implications in our lives today. Any date of interest in that time period is accompanied by movies memorializing the efforts of men fighting for freedom.
Among his studies of the time is what some consider to be a fascination with the Jewish genocide. His claim is his interest is not so much a fascination, but a struggle to understand how people could behave as those men, and women, did—closing their eyes to the horrors inflicted on others, or participating, willingly or not. How could they?
This is a time to memorialize and remember those who gave their lives that we might be free, in all the wars men and women have fought. For many of us, these men and women are our fathers, grandfathers, and uncles, our ancestors. They held on to a belief that freedom of thought and enterprise encompasses great enough value to give a portion of their life, or their death to achieve. These men and women fought with words and weapons to provide that freedom for us, their descendants, and those who came to this beautiful country to find the peace this freedom brings.
As we remember those who gave their all, let us honor their sacrifice. Our lives honor them by doing all we can to maintain the freedom they gave us. Many today do not honor those efforts, those lives. Instead, they blithely give away our freedom to others who would destroy us. For what? Power? Wealth?
There is a faction in the world who desire to destroy us, fearful or jealous of our liberty, our opportunities, our abilities to choose our path. Some have not chosen wisely or well, giving away rights for safety.
Safety is not everything expected. It is good to want relief from danger. Yet, it is in the desire for safety that civilizations give away freedoms and rights. It is in the desire for safe prosperity that gives way to inhuman acts such as occurred in Germany during the second World War.
Have a care. Consider the desirability of the safety offered. Is it really something leading to a better world for all, or just a better world for a few. Too often, when all is said and done, when the effects of the act are truly made visible, laws made for safety and security have done more to destroy our independence and freedom than overt war.
What do you think? Share your opinions.

Ancient Matriarchs: Eve, First Matriarch coming soon.

Why Would Anyone Sacrifice?

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A favorite hymn in our church includes the line, “Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of Heaven.”[1] It seems a strange thing to think that sacrifice brings blessings.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines sacrifice as:

: the act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone

: an act of killing a person or animal in a religious ceremony as offering to please a god

: a person or animal that is killed in a sacrifice[2]

How will any of these kinds of sacrifice bring blessings of Heaven? Few religions demand a living sacrifice to be offered to please a god in today’s world. More frequently members of society will be found giving up something. Why would anyone give up something precious?

From the beginning of our world, sacrifice has been a part of life, even when it has not included the death of a person or animal. Eve, and then Adam, ate of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil, and were rejected from the Garden of Eden. They gave up a paradise for thorns, thistles, and problems. Because they did, they also gained the blessing of children and family,

Women today continue to sacrifice independence, sleep, relaxation, and often health to give birth to and raise children. Life is never the same after a child becomes part of the family, even before birth. Sacrifice of life and health for children brings blessings unknown by those who have none.

Men sacrifice time to participate in more enjoyable activities when they leave home and family for employment. Fathers often miss the sweet times in a child’s life as they grow. Taking on responsibility of wife and family often removes the opportunity to play or relax as they did when single.

If you look, you can find stories of people of all ages who have determined to help a person or an organization. They give time to help, work to raise money, and write letters and make phone calls to change laws. People sacrifice their time, their money, their good name, their influence, and their things to help a person or a cause.

No animals are sacrificed or burned to please God, but hearts, minds, and attitudes are freely given.

What do you sacrifice? Why would you do that?

[1] LDS Hymns, 27

[2] Mirriam-Webster Dictionary; on-line edition

Will Your Children Be Responsible Adults?

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A basic law of physics states “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” If you push on a something, it will move, or push back. A ball will roll; a wall will push back and hold you up.

The same law applies to interpersonal actions. If you do something, there will always be a response, maybe not something you expected, but there will be a reaction. No action occurs in a vacuum.

When dealing with people, our actions can sometimes be misread, with others feeling everything from humor to anger. It would be easy to suggest that we have no responsibility for the  reactions of others to our actions, but this is not so.

If you smile, you will often receive a smile back, but not always. Sometimes the person you smile at will frown at you or growl. Usually, though, you can expect a smile.

If you hit someone, you can expect two or three things to happen. The person who was hit may cry or curse or be startled. He may fall or wobble. Most likely, he will hit you back.

From the beginning of time, Adam and Eve were given the right to make choices, to act as they chose. They were also held responsible. They chose to eat the forbidden fruit and were not allowed to continue to live in Eden. Their lives were changed for themselves and all their posterity.

It has continued to be the same since then. People make choices and must be responsible for the consequences of those actions. Focus on seeking wealth at the expense of family will distance them until the love and closeness is gone. A choice to be honest in your actions and pay your bills allows one to have good credit and trust from others.

Children must be taught responsibility for their behaviors. Children who do not receive this instruction become difficult to live with. They believe the world owes them a living. Nothing is their responsibility, the fault belongs to others.

Children have a right to learn to be decent adults. Though difficult, parents are expected to ensure their children have opportunities to learn responsibility. If they are not taught, society will suffer from more adults who blame others and expect special attention. For some it is too late. Some may learn. Please teach your children.

How Long Do You Want to Live?

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Life extends easily into the eighth decade and it is not unusual to hear of one living past 100. Over our history, life expectancy has varied dramatically. In the recent history of the last two or three hundred year, men and women were lucky to live to be 50 or 60.

Women especially struggled to survive through the births of their many children, facing unsanitary conditions and the resulting infections and fevers. Men didn’t fare much better, facing hunting accidents and war injuries with less than sophisticated medical knowledge and technology.

Even in the last century, accidents were fatal. Stories of men or women burning to death from accidents resulting from kerosene lamps are not unusual, nor are stories of death and injury caused by other accidents.

The question is: how long do you really want to live?

In the far past, it was common for people to live much more than 100 years. Abraham lived 365 years; Methuselah was the longest lived man on record, living 969 years. Adam and Eve lived well into their ninth century. That is much longer than I want to live!

Our lives are easier than theirs; we have all the benefits of electricity and electronics. Easy travel and rapid communication join with near effortless work in the home, food production, and other occupations, especially in comparison to lives just a century ago.

Our lives are more difficult in some ways. Consider the intensity of the challenges of hate, immorality, and evil that inundate us. It is difficult to get through a day without facing scantily clad people caught up in fierce expressions of lust, unless you stay in bed with the television off. Violence, hatred, pornography, abuse, immorality, and many more symptoms of a failing society abound, throughout the world.

Ancient days were not much better. None of the modern conveniences were available. All the work we depend on electricity to do was done manually, often by servants or slaves. Cleanliness would have been difficult. Medical knowledge was adequate, but certainly unable for its practitioners to cure or prevent infections and diseases.

Worse, battles between men were hand-to-hand, face your enemy, and slash him to bits before being destroyed. Women whose husbands and sons went to war could only hope and pray theirs would be the lucky ones to return without injury, if they returned at all.

Women who lived in those early could expect to be attacked and raped without protection of husbands, fathers, or their hired guards. Most men in nearly all ages believed in their right to have sexual relations with about any woman, while holding their wives and daughters to a stricter standard of sexual purity.

Violence and evil of every kind surrounded these people—much like it does today.

Eve struggled in her time in learning to survive a new, uninhabited world. Everything was new requiring thought and effort to overcome the problems, often failing and needing to try many different solutions before finding one that worked. She, too, faced the grief too many of her children who listened and succumbed to the voice of evil.

No, living for multiple centuries is not enticing. Seventy or eighty years is more than enough for any of us!