Thursday, July 4, 2013

30 Days of Giveaways! ~ Day 4

And the winner of the Day 3 Ring of Secrets is:

Andrea Schultz!

There are two more days to rack up those entries for the rest of the week's books and the $15 Bath & Body Works gift card, so keep 'em coming! Saturday morning I'll post the new bonus prize for next week, and you're going to LOVE it. =)

Now, Thursdays at Writing Roseanna are when I get thoughtful. And since today's a day of reflection and celebration, this Thursday is (it gets a little long, and you could just scroll to the bottom to see my question to you today--but I hope you'll think through Freedom with me!):

Thoughtful About . . . Free Indeed
The actual Star Spangled Banner from Ft. McHenry
I'm sure I thought about freedom over the years. I've always loved my country. After 9/11, Patriotism surged in my chest like it did in my neighbors', and I looked at the world through new eyes.

But I can say in complete honesty that nothing has made me appreciate the land in which I live, the freedoms my countrymen have fought and died for, more than writing the Culper Ring Series. Through it I've had to give hours of thought to what it really means to be free. I don't usually fill the blog with quotes from my book, but these are my thoughts. And on this day when I celebrate the years America has been free, I thought it would be fun to share them.

Freedom...sometimes it felt like an illusion. One for which men like Percy were willing to risk a flogging, one for which men like Father were willing to leave their family.
She hadn’t understood that then, when Mother had first fallen ill and she had just wanted Father there, beside her, making it all well. She had resented his cause, his conviction, his duty to country above kin.
But his words had burned into her mind as they were consumed in the flames, haunting her as she sat by her mother’s deathbed, as she waited for the arrival of the grandparents she had never met. As they brought her here, forced their wills upon her, and made her wonder if she would ever again be free to live how she wanted.
That was when she realized freedom and faith were so inexplicably linked. The Lord had granted mankind an amazing gift when He allowed them to choose for themselves how they would live. He had surpassed even that when He freely offered forgiveness for choosing wrongly.
How could they who loved Him and His precepts not want to extend that right of freedom to everyone? To their children and their neighbors?

                                                                        ~ Ring of Secrets
While writing Whispers from the Shadows, I was so inspired to see how, toward the end of the War of 1812, the people who had been neglectful and unconcerned during much of the war finally roused from their stupor and banded together...and won the day.

I saw so much of our world today in that world I studied from 200 years ago! How the people turned a blind eye to the danger marching toward them, until it was so near they could deny it no longer. But then, oh the lessons I learned in what determined people can achieve! In August of 1814, the city of Baltimore put aside all daily life. Every man, slave or free, put shoulder to shovel to prepare the city for the arrival of the British. Differences were put aside, causes were united. For those weeks, they saw what was really important, they remembered what their parents had fought for: the freedom to live on their own terms, to make their own laws.

And then in the third book I just finished, I entered the Civil War. Freedom took on whole new meaning then, didn't it? At one point, a secondary character questions my heroine on whether she had prayed for freedom from the bonds of the sins she'd been forgiven for. My heroine answers that it is too loaded a word for her to have tossed about so casually.

But I'd been thinking about it. Largely because at inauguration time (in the present that is, LOL), we were flipping past MSNBC one night and caught a few minutes of one of the commentators ranting about how unfair it is to expect President Obama to be sworn in with his hand on a Bible. The Bible, this guy said, did not once condemn slavery, the institution that had held African Americans against their will for centuries. He had checked! he said. Not once did it condemn it.

He's right--it doesn't. And in considering why, I realized something. God doesn't often tell us how society as a whole should behave. He set out His Law, but if a nation doesn't obey it...what then?

That's what most of the Bible is about. It's about the what then. It's about how we, as those who follow Him, should behave in whatever society we belong to. It's about us. Individuals. People. Not nations, not societies, not cultures. Us. God, in His amazing compassion, knew that while physical freedom was something everyone yearned for, the really important thing was freedom of the soul.

Freedom from sin. That's where hope lies. That's where joy resides. That's were we can find our rest.

I started reading Genesis again the other day, and you know what struck me? That bit about God saying that if Adam ate of the forbidden fruit "surely in that day you shall die." That day. That makes critics yell, doesn't it?

But it's true. Adam did die that day. Because he sinned. He was separated from God. And that is the true death. But forgiveness...that frees us from sin. Frees us from those terrible consequences.

I'm proud to be an American. I'm prouder still to be a Christian. And I'll wave my flag today knowing that those who were willing to risk it all to make this country independent understood that in ways I'm still discovering.

My question to you today:

If you could send a message to a random soldier in the Revolution,
what would it say?

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  1. You are making a difference. What you are doing and fighting for will literally change the world forever. Thank you!

  2. Roseanna--you are making these questions really hard--making us have to think about it and earn our way into the contest! ;-)
    OK, here's mine: I think I would tell them thank you for giving us the freedom we now have & remember that they are fighting for the greatest country around! And to always remember who their protector is--God is and always will be there protecting them. Ask Him for guidance and trust that He knows best.

  3. This is a really cool question! Here's my message:
    You are a hero. You may think you are just one tiny particle that doesn't matter but in truth you are so very important. Because of the battles and the trials you are facing today millions of people in the future are blissfully living their lives in a free country. Sadly many of us take that fact for granted and forget about the sacrifices that were made so long ago. And I'm sorry for that. On this day when we nationally celebrate the success of the battles you are fighting I want to just take a moment to say, Thank you. Thank you for all you've done and are going to do. You are changing the world.

  4. One day a nation will be grateful. Truly grateful for your courage and sacrifice.

  5. Wow, guys. I was half-expecting 20 comments that just said "thanks." What beautiful messages! You all inspire me.

  6. I just want to say thank you because if it was not for our our country would not be what it is today. We would not have been able to enjoy the many freedoms that we have. Thank you for your sacrifices and stay safe.

    Here is my facebook link as well:

    griperang at embarqmail dot com

  7. We are celebrating 237 years of independence this year! Thanks for your hard work and sacrifice!!

  8. BTW - thanks to Roseanna and for the win! <3

  9. Even though you may feel that your life doesn't matter, it truly does. You have sacrificed so much for our country and for our independence. Today we commemorate you and all others who fought for our freedom. Thank you for all you have you done.

  10. Along with a thank you note, I think I would want to send the Exodus Song (from the film Exodus) complete with full orchestration, since music is so inspirational. It's a beautiful song that speaks of love for one's land, a vision of freedom, and the help of God to see us through, much like what the American soldiers were fighting for at the time.

  11. Apparently my original comment didn't go through, so we'll try this again:

    Besides a great many thanks, I would want to send a fully orchestrated "Exodus Song" from the movie "Exodus," as it is such a beautiful, inspirational piece of music that speaks of love for the land, hope of freedom, and strength from God, all of which would speak to the hearts of Americans at the time and still today.

  12. Wow! great question. I would say, no matter how bleak or dark the road seem ahead of you remember you are doing the right thing and when doubts arise just know that we support you, we love you and we thank you for fighting for our freedom. Just remember that Jesus is the answer.

  13. Great question, Roseanna! If I were writing to a soldier in the Revolution, I would have to say:

    My prayers are with you. Keep your chin up when the going gets rough, for God is watching over you.

    I would hope the soldier would find comfort in my words.


  14. What do you want to eat?

  15. I would write to a Union Soldier and thank him for what he was doing and let him know that I was praying for him and all military maen and for a quick end to the war.


  16. Thank you for fighting for my freedom - trust the Lord to guide you in all that you do!


  17. Your dedication to your country and to the freedom that we all hope will come to pass warms my heart and encourages my soul. Please know that you have the support from many who are keeping watch from back home.