Unclaimed Legacy: Deborah Heal


Unclaimed Legacy

Deborah Heal

 

( This is a great YA BOOK)

Promises to young children should never be broken and Merrideth learns once more the true meaning of loyalty, friendship and love as we revisit Miles Station and learn more about the computer program that brought her closer to her tutor, Abby in Time and Again by author Deborah Heal. As Merri is feeling left out when Abby begins dating John Roberts little does she expect to be invited on their date to lunch and to explore the town of Alton. As the story opens we meet both Abby and Merri and they discuss their relationship, John arrives and the three leave for a leisurely lunch that does not turn out as Abby would have liked or expected. But, when Merri is excited that her father is going to join her for lunch and Abby agrees to take her to the restaurant. Resilient to a point yet almost 12 years old, Merri is once again let down by her so-called father. A short text message stating he could not make it is all she receives but when John shows up with a friend they forge ahead to try and convince him that the program on her computer can take them back in time and his skepticism unfounded if his friend can fix it hoping to learn more about Charlotte from Miles Station. The program Beautiful Home invites the visitor to take a virtual tour of the old homes and go back in time to visit and get to know the residents who lived there and experience some of the events of events in their lives. Did someone infect the program with a virus, was caused by the storm or just a simple malfunction? But, John is not sure if this program really exists and his friend offers to fix it but cannot. Just how will they reconnect with Charlotte and what happens you will have to read by review of Unclaimed Legacy to find out. But, another idea comes about and Michael reenters the story and we meet Lucy who is a speech therapist who is willing to help Michael overcome his speech problems and work with him with her special dog Dr. Bob. But, having to leave for a lecture she enlists, John, Abby and Merri to take over some of the duties needed in her house and that is where the real story is about to begin as we meet Eulah and Beulah Edwards two twins whose story will definitely intrigue the reader. The computer program to learn more about Charlotte might be gone but what happens when they bring the laptop to Lucy’s house and fire it up you won’t believe. The program might not work in Merri’s house but it renews itself in Lucy’s and the house on the screen is the one they are staying in or Lucy’s house and the people they see are the Old Dears or the twins in the 40’s and we learn more about their lives, the time period and an ancestor that was quite colorful to say the least. Added to that these two women are quite strange, eccentric and what they cook or bake is definitely not what you or anyone should eat. Staying overnight in Lucy’s house would not only ignite the program for Beautiful House but it would reveal more about the residences and its history. Time travel even if virtual can really be exciting, educational and a great way to keep Merri on the right path. Added in is the fact that she is quite intelligent, wants to be accepted, is trying to lose weight, definitely looks better and her attitude about school and learning has improved thanks to Abby.

 

The program cannot be fixed but the end result will definitely surprise the reader as Abby, John and Merri refuse to give up on their quest to help the Old Dears and what happens when they bring the laptop to Lucy’s house is totally amazing. In order to help the Old Dears with their family tree they need to do some research and going to the library, the Lewis and Clark Museum and going through many books helps them uncover some of the names of the relatives on the tree but not all. But, with one click of the wrist the program comes back to life and what they see will definitely give them more than just pause for thought. This program works and displays the house that the resident is in at that time. Whatever house they are researching and if you are in it the program will work and help you uncover what you want to know. But, will it help them to learn everything? What about what happened to Charlotte? Let’s go back in time and take this second trip with them and find out what they learn about Eulah and Beulah and a secret that Beulah does not ever want revealed. Entering the home of the two sisters we see Beulah sitting at the piano that belongs to her sister playing my favorite piece Fur Elise. Eulah inherited the piano and the Yellow House too where this part of our story in virtual reality time takes place. Although the sisters are close one had no trouble finding a husband and the other did not. When Carl, Eulah’s husband returns from War and enters the Yellow House he thinks he is greeting his wife. You have to read and picture what happens. Is it mistaken identity or just one sister wanting what the other one has even if it is just for a little while? As they learn more about their family tree they uncover someone named Priscilla but their visit is cut short since she is quite ill. Finding a Bible they learn about Frances Edwards their grandmother and then the story really heats up. Delving further they learn the true history of where they live and the fact that they are related to the first governor but there is much more. Bertram White and he was anything but wonderful to her as they witness an incident that if they could have stopped it he might have wound up anywhere but where he was. The author brings to light that spousal abuse is not something just relevant to the 21st century. We learn more about a man named Reuben Buchanan and his relationship to the sisters and to Frances. What they learn will cause them to look further as an article in the paper relates that he was arrested and tried for murder and arson. His young son was brought up by his grandparents and the family tree is still lopsided unless they can learn more about Reuben and find out if he really did commit the crime of killing Bertram White’s wife or did he?

 

 

What they learn and uncover about the fire will definitely spark more than just interest as they learn about how Franny tried to help Mrs. White learn about the Bible and understand its true meaning. But, her husband had other ideas and then the fire broke out and she was killed. But, was Reuben really there? How can they clear his name after so many years? Added in is Merri’s dad is arrested at lunch and she learns why her mother took her away and much more.  But, when Abby actually learns the truth and what happened she falls apart.

 

The history behind the Lewis and Clark expedition is added; Merri’s essay is completed but the link between the sisters and the Buchanan’s you have to read for yourself. The end result and whether they clear Ruben you won’t get from me. Some research you have to do on your own to learn just how exciting one computer program can be, the knowledge you can impart to kids, adults and just how interesting it can be to create a family tree. One ending you won’t expect and a family that just might surprise you.

 

Fran Lewis: reviewer

 

 

 

 

 

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John’s Gospel: The Way it Happened: Lee Harmon: FIVE GOLDEN STARS


John’s Gospel: Lee Harmon

 

The story begins with Matthew and John discussing Jesus as the Messiah and Matthew’s skepticism and disbelief that Jesus was the promised savior. As the story continues Ruth, a Gentile, comes into the scene and offers to pen the Gospel story for John. The matter is discussed and the decision to allow her to pen it is made. Ruth returns with a scroll and a quill to record the story. Part One introduces Jesus and his impending trip to Galilee.

 

John’s Gospel is not the same as the other three in the New Testament. John’s Gospel was called the “Spiritual Gospel,” because it relates the story of Jesus in symbolic ways, which differ from Matthew, Mark and Luke. John requests that Ruth sing a hymn (the prologue to John’s Gospel) and he explains the meaning for Matthew and the reader. He explains the phrase on page 22 beginning with “There came a man sent from God whose name was John.” The man he refers to is The Baptizer. “He prepared people to see the light.” As Ruth continues with the hymn and realizing within the hymn as he interprets it for us, that according to Matthew’s understanding that “God’s own did not receive him.” “You say,” he states, “that God gave them the right to become children of God…to be born of God. We Jews have looked for to this day for hundreds of years.” The different interpretations of The Spirit of Christ are discussed on page 23. The discussion centers on Jesus as the word of God. “The bringer of life.” He is the Logos, which is explained on pages 25-28. Logos translated mean, “ the mind of God controlling the world, the force changing it form chaos, to order.” The discussion continues as Ruth sings the rest of the hymn and the author begins Chapter 2 Christ’s descent with more of an explanation about John the Baptist and how he knew the Messiah. Explaining quite clearly that God inscribed the Laws upon Moses’ stone tablet but God spoke directly through Jesus. Adding through Ruth that the Baptizer was getting Israel ready for “someone greater than he.” As Ruth continues with the hymn she questions John regarding whom the prophet in the hymn refers to. The answer is forthcoming in his story beginning on page 31 as he explains, “The Glory of the Lord,” as Matthew doubts him and his words. Author Lee Harmon takes us on a journey back in time to learn along with Matthew the story of John’s Gospel. As the story of Jesus begins in Bethany the author will relate John’s story and explain the many differences between his and the other three gospels. The story includes the fact that Jesus served as a disciple to the Baptizer. John the Baptizer identifies himself as being the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. Jesus begins baptizing and the Baptizer rejoices knowing that Jesus is the Son of God and has fulfilled the prophecy. Matthew still has some doubts and his interpretations are discussed. As on page 33 John’s vision is revealed. Jesus, he states, came to atone for our sins, not overthrow the sinners. Matthew’s views are stated on page 33 quite strongly. Ruth continues by stating that John was there the day the Spirit arrived and he responds that he will only allow her to write about what he heard and not what he did not hear. John was the only one that was with Jesus from the beginning until the end and he relates what really happens on pages 36-37. It begins with a description of the Mystery of the identity of Jesus. It is filled with information about his divinity. John takes the reader inside Jesus’ ministry to understand and learn to believe in him. The author continues with the Formation of the New Israel, Interlude II who wrote John’s Gospel and the Wedding Feast where John’s story begins. Jesus and his disciples are in Galilee and attend a wedding where he performs a miracle changing water into wine. The wedding scene sets the platform or stage for the Gospel. But first the author discusses some of the themes from the Revelation. I learned quite a bit from reading this book and would like to highlight for the reader what I learned and as you read you might find that there is so much knowledge that you will gain too.

 

I learned that Jesus turned water into wine. But, I listened when Matthew questioned John about whether water or wine was served at the wedding. John explains that “Living water doesn’t arrive until the end of days.” John was trying to teach him about Jesus. Next, he explains in detail Dionysus, God of Wine followed by a story that I have heard so many times on my holiday: Passover. For those that do not know the story the Passover feast celebrates the day all of “Egyptian firstborn were slain, while Israelites were passed over by the killing angel.” There is much more to learn in Chapter 5 The New Temple. Chapter 8 was quite interesting and in this chapter I learned that John the Baptizer died before Jesus and that John came before the Kingdom and was not in the Kingdom of God when he died. I also learned that John the Baptizer was the world’s final prophet. But, Ruth asks John as she pens the story a pointed question, “ The Baptizer was the world’s final prophet? Then where does that leave you John? Did you not prophesy also of the coming kingdom?” This question did not set well with John. His response on page 86 followed by the fact that Ruth (the one in the Old Testament) was from Moab and was an ancestor of King David, which makes his descendants, including Jesus, not pure Jews. The story is retold on pages 89- 91. It continues with the Groom in the next chapter.

 

Next I learned that the Samaritans believed in him and that Christ is the Messiah that was prophesied in the Jewish Scriptures. I learned that when he returns to Galilee he cures a boy at death’s door. Then when he is in Jerusalem for a festival he cures a sick man at the pool of Bethesda.

 

The Great Sabbath is the next chapter and the setting as is stated is an unknown festival. The author explains that there are three feasts that Jews are required to observe: Passover, Tabernacles and Pentecost. This chapter focuses on Pentecost, which I did not know happens 50 days after Passover and it celebrates the wheat harvest. The ceremony and prayers are related on page 104. Then on page 108 he relates Christian Pentecost and the New Sabbath. Continuing I learned that Pentecost is the “feast of the harvest of the firstfruits.” Chapter 13 goes back to the Passover story and he discusses what he relates as the central miracle of Jesus’ career. Feeding the multitude the author states is the only miracle that all four Gospels agree upon. Read Chapter 13. Using the symbol of bread I learned as Jesus explains that belief in him and in God, his father, will give eternal life. Read Chapter 15 to learn more as I did.

 

One of my favorite times of the year is celebrating Sukkoth. At the Feast of Booths, during this holiday Jesus returns I learned to Jerusalem with the pilgrims. He then begins preaching in the temple. Sukkoth as many may not know or many do is The Festival of Tabernacles, and is sometimes called the Feast of the Nations or the Festival of Ingathering as stated by the author. I never knew and now I do that any reference to just “the festival,” in the Scripture refers to Sukkoth. It is the happiest time of the year and read Chapter 16 to learn more. Next we learn about the mystery of birth, Sin and Judgment and then Chapter 20 focuses on The Eternal I AM. In this chapter he discusses Cain and Abel and Satan. He continues to discuss that Jesus was not a Samaritan but he would never deny being one. Jesus as John states befriended everyone. Race and beliefs don’t seem to matter. This frustrates Matthew, who says: “Jesus has no standards at all,” which is quite a strong statement. Page 166-168 answers this question: Who are the Jews? Chapters 21 and 22 focus on He Is God and The Blindness of the Jews. He presents the story of Jesus the Miracle Worker and then The Anointing where he goes back to the story of Passover and explains the Passover lamb’s unveiling and John’s main feast theme, which the author spends most of the rest of the Gospel on. This feast as many of us know joined with the Feast of Unleavened Bread and was celebrated together for one week. The story that follows in the Gospel now relates and backs up and retells the story of the Messiah coming to Jerusalem. Read pages 212- 236 to learn more. The final chapters deal with the “Farewell discourse,” a five-chapter interlude of special instructions given to the 12.

The final chapters of John’s Gospel explains the trial, the capture, the death and the resurrection of Jesus the Son of God. The focus in on the Son of God who came here to do the Father’s will and to perform the Father’s work and return back to the Father. The final chapter relates the information about The Tomb Of Jesus and The Lord’s Day, which follows the weeklong Feast of Unleavened Bread. On this day the priests “presented the first grains of barely harvest each year to God in the Temple.” To learn more and to read the story as John tells it, the references to the different scriptures, John’s chapters and to find out just what Ruth penned in her scroll you need to read John’s Gospel the Way It Happened for yourself.

 

This is a very informative, interesting and highly researched book that people of all faiths and religions should read.

 

Fran Lewis: reviewer