Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pump Up Your Book Promotion Tour and Review: World War II Heroes of Southern Delaware by James Diehl

World War II

Join James Diehl, author of the historical nonfiction book, World War II Heroes of Southern Delaware (The DNB Group, November ‘09), as he virtually tours the blogosphere in November and December on his first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!

Thank you to the author and Pump Up Your Book Promotion for my copy  of World War II Heroes of Southern Delaware for reading and review.

My Review:
Both of my Grandfathers served in WWII along with many great-uncles and others in the family.  I recently became fascinated with this period of time.  I thankfully did get to talk some with my maternal grandfather some about his service in the Pacific before his passing 3 years ago.  I never got to talk with my other grandfather as he passed long before I was born.  As the author mentions in the beginning of this book, we are reaching a time where these stories are starting to disappear and I agree that is vital that these stories are told.  This was a very important time in history and these men (and women) who sacrificed for their country are heroes, even if they don't consider themselves heroes.

James Diehl does a wonderful job telling the stories of 48 men and 2 women who served this country during WWII.  I hope there are more projects like this one in the future for other states.  It was fascinating reading - a first hand look from those that were there.  I'm not a huge history buff, but I loved this book.  My husband will be reading it next as he is a huge history buff.

Each story is just a few pages long, but give you a good look at each person.  I wanted to know more, but each story was very self-contained and interesting.  I loved reading each one and felt I got to know a little bit about each person and got their very personal insight into WWII.

It's wonderfully written for history buffs and for people just interested in the human side of the war.  I think everyone would really enjoy this book, and take something away from it.

About James Diehl

James Diehl 6
James Diehl is an award-winning journalist who has covered Sussex County, Delaware for various media outlets since 1998. Since 2007, he has owned and operated a freelance writing company based in Seaford, Delaware and is also a partner in a Lewes, Delaware-based public relations and marketing firm. He is the author of one other work of non-fiction – “Remembering Sussex County, from Zwaanendael to King Chicken,” published in 2009 by The History Press. James lives in Seaford, Delaware, with his wife and two daughters. You can visit his website at

About World War II Heroes of Southern Delaware

Heroes-Final-Cover World War II Heroes of Southern Delaware is a book unlike any other ever written. In its pages are profiles of 50 ordinary Americans who did extraordinary things during a time unlike any other in American history.
These are men and women who today call southern Delaware home. In the 1940s, these brave Americans put their lives on hold to fight for freedom and democracy against the horrific threat imposed on the world by Emperor Hirohito of Japan and German Fuhrer Adolph Hitler.
When Imperial Japan attacked the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1941, the world changed forever. These men and women were a big part of that change; they fought to protect our freedom and our way of life.
Among the amazing stories you’ll read in “World War II Heroes of Southern Delaware” are:
  • A United States Marine who was a part of the 1945 attack on the Japanese island of Iwo Jima. He was one of 17 members of his company who survived, a company that numbered more than 300 at the beginning of the attack.
  • An Army soldier who was responsible for uncovering Adolph Hitler’s enormous, and illegally gained, fortune toward the end of World War II.
  • An Army navigator who led a group of 500 B-29s over Tokyo Bay on Sept. 2, 1945, the day the Japanese surrendered to the United States.
  • A United States Navy machinist’s mate who narrowly survived a Japanese kamikaze attack.
  • A United States Marine who witnessed the horrific attack on Pearl Harbor from the deck of a nearby ship.
  • Men who survived German prisoner of war camps.
  • First–hand accounts from the beaches of Normandy during the D-Day invasion.
  • Two black soldiers who served their country with pride during World War II.
  • Men who liberated German concentration camps.
  • A woman who served her country by becoming a part of the “Rosie the Riveter” movement.
  • And much, much more.
Readers of World War II Heroes of Southern Delaware will also receive a bonus section on Fort Miles, the immense, heavily fortified military facility built to protect the mouth of the Delaware Bay and the city of Philadelphia from an attack by the German navy. Today, the fort is being renovated and will soon become one of the largest World War II museums in the country.

Read the Excerpt!

Ed Roberts will never forget the day American tanks rolled into Moosburg, Germany – more specifically into “the hole” the Germans called Stalag 7-A, a prisoner of war camp where the Pennsylvania native spent nine months as a guest of the German government during World War II. It was, as a fellow prisoner later penned in his memoirs, a day when he saw 10,000 men cry. “You just can’t imagine the joy we felt after almost a year of making do under all kinds of situations,” Roberts says.
When American tanks rolled into the compound and started distributing K-rations, Roberts – who at the time was down to a mere 135 pounds – and his fellow prisoners started gobbling them down like they were candy.
“But after all that time, nothing tasted good,” he remembers.
As a prisoner of war in Germany, Roberts and his fellow captives called themselves kriegies – short for the German word kriegsgefangenan, which appropriately translates to “prisoner of war.”
As a kriegie, Roberts essentially had no rights. But when the American flag was raised over Moosburg in April, 1945, he realized his time in “German hell” was over.
Decades ago, former kriegies started the “Kriegie Klarion,” a monthly newsletter for those who suffered in German prisoner of war camps during World War II. Vernon L. Burda, who was in Stalag 7-A with Roberts, penned the following passage after the camp was liberated by American soldiers on April 29, 1945.
It still rings true to Roberts today.
“…for no apparent reason, a hush fell over the compound and all eyes turned toward the town in which stood two high church steeples. [More than] 20,000 eyes saw machine gun bullets splatter against the steeples – a period of quiet – and then it occurred. [It was] a scene, the happening of which brought tears streaming down the face of every single American prisoner of war there, and a sob from every throat.”
The passage continues: “We saw the greatest sight – the most emotional minute that we would probably ever witness. Raised before our eyes and flying defiantly above one of the church steeples was the symbol of our beloved land. The American flag!”
It was an emotional end to a fantastic journey that saw Roberts leave Pennsylvania State University and transverse the American landscape while training to become a fighter pilot. Joining the U.S. Army Air Corps on Nov. 11, 1942, all he ever wanted to do was fly.
“That was always my interest,” he says simply. “I took all kinds of physical and mental tests and, after that period, people in charge would say if you should be a pilot or a bombardier, or whatever. My classification was a fighter pilot.”
Roberts spent time training across the South, including stops at military facilities in Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Virginia and Florida. He even spent about a month flying P-47 Thunderbolts at Dover Army Airfield, now Dover Air Force Base. Finally, in the summer of 1944, he was sent to England and assigned to the 412th Squadron of the 373rd Fighter Group.
His unit was based on the beaches of Normandy following the D-Day invasion – Roberts says he’ll never forget the first time he flew over the famed beachhead.
“After the invasion, the Americans stayed in one place and they brought in all kinds of supplies,” says Roberts, who missed participating in the D-Day invasion by just two weeks. “Every free space on that beach was loaded down with supplies. It’s hard for people to understand the enormity of the whole thing. All we could see when flying over was hundreds of ships in the water and lots of supplies on the beaches.”
Taking off from Normandy to the south, Roberts says he would only be in the air for 400 to 500 yards before he was over enemy lines and, thus, taking enemy fire. He flew four missions before being shot down and taken prisoner – he still remembers it as if it was yesterday.

World War II Heroes of Southern Delaware Tour Schedule

Monday, Nov. 2
Interviewed at Talking Virtual Book Tours
Tuesday, Nov. 3
Book Spotlight at Examiner
Wednesday, Nov. 4
Interviewed at Beyond the Books
Thursday, Nov. 5
Interviewed at American Chronicle
Friday, Nov. 6
Interviewed on Kim Smith’s Introducing Writers Radio Show (8:30 eastern; adjust to your time zone)
Monday, Nov. 9
Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book!
Tuesday, Nov. 10
Guest Blogging at Beth’s Book Review Blog
Wednesday, Nov. 11
Guest Blogging at Market My Novel
Thursday, Nov. 12
Book Spotlight at The Writer’s Life
Friday, Nov. 13
Interviewed at The Writer’s Life
Monday, Nov. 16
Interviewed at Blogcritics
Tuesday, Nov. 17
Interviewed at Broowaha
Wednesday, Nov. 18
Interviewed at In My Youth
Thursday, Nov. 19
Book Spotlight at As the Pages Turn
Friday, Nov. 20
Interviewed at As the Pages Turn
Monday, Nov. 23
Interviewed at Divine Caroline
Tuesday, Nov. 24
Book Review at Reading to Know
Wednesday, Nov. 25
Interviewed at Review From Here
Friday, Nov. 27
Guest Blogging at Blogging Authors
Tuesday, Dec. 1
Book reviewed at 4 the Love of Books
Book spotlighted at Between the Covers

James Diehl’s WORLD WAR II HEROES OF SOUTHERN DELAWARE VIRTUAL BLOG TOUR ‘09 will officially begin on Nov. 2 and end on Dec. 16. You can visit James’ blog stops at during the month of November and December to find out more about this great book and its talented author. If you would like to host James’, contact Dorothy Thompson at before Oct. 31. Thank you!


Waiting on Wednesday - December 9

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week it's another one of my favorite authors whose third book in a quartet is coming out mid next year.  I haven't read Bed of Roses yet, but I'm on my library's reserve list for it.  I loved Vision in White and look forward to hearing more from the four friends and their wedding business.

Savour the Moment by Nora Roberts (Book 3 in Bride Quartet)

Release: May 2010

Childhood friends Mackensie, Parker, Laurel and Emmaline have formed a very successful wedding-planning business together but, despite helping thousands of happy couples organise the biggest day of their lives, all four women are unlucky in love. Chef Laurel McBane has worked hard all her life to secure her dream ? to be an award-winning baker. Now, her wedding cakes are as close as anyone can get to edible perfection ? stunning creations that complement Mac's beautiful photographs and Emmaline's floral bouquets. Because Laurel has worked so hard to overcome her tough upbringing, she is wary about letting anything, or anyone, get in the way of her work. But a slowly simmering chemistry with Parker's brother Del has suddenly become too hot to ignore ...
So what are you waiting on this week?

FIRST Wild Card Tour and Review: I Run To The Hills by C. Maggie Woychick

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Port Yonder Press (September 23, 2009)

***Special thanks to C. Maggie Woychik for sending me a review copy.***

My Review:

Beautifully written, I love how Ms. Woychik uses travel to illustrate our journey with Christ.  I enjoyed reading through this book and reading of her journey. The prose is amazing and it took me away to the feelings the author had on her journey.  Each chapter is a reflection to be savored and enjoyed, like a daily devotion.  Each chapter builds more on Ms. Wychik's experiences and shows the reader the way they can go.  I finished the chapters feeling invigorated and inspired in my walk, and has given me hope and a vigor for deepening my walk with Christ.  It's a wonderful, inspiring book.


C. Maggie's articles have appeared in numerous magazines since 1995. She is a prolific writer and blogger, and has a special appreciation for the home education movement. The author loves nature in all its wonder, and enjoys the mountains almost as much as the sea. She lives with her husband in the midwest. This is her debut title.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $8.99
Paperback: 136 pages
Publisher: Port Yonder Press (September 23, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0984169407
ISBN-13: 978-0984169405



In His hand are the deep places of the earth; the strength of the hills is His also.

Psalm 95:4

Faith for some is like being rescued from drowning. For others, it’s simply yielding to the Master Helmsman when offered a cruise on His one-way vessel to paradise. It’s a far less harrowing experience to surrender willingly – and early on – especially since we face such a determinedly loving Captain.

I knew, as so many of us do, that if I yelled loudly enough when the flood waters were imminent, He would hear and most likely come to my aid. (I dismissed the idea that He might not choose to rescue me from my folly.) I also knew that calling out to Him meant I would owe Him my all thereafter. The only other option was to drown, which wasn’t an appealing notion.

In other words, in my mind I was rescued not by Someone who loved me, as much as by the only One strong enough to do the job. I turned to Him out of desperation, not truth or love or any other high and lofty ideal.

He dragged me to the safety of the shallow water then picked me up and carried me farther up the sandy beach. Laying me down on the warm, white sand, He began the resuscitation process, breath upon breath, heart massage upon gentle heart massage – and I revived. The rescue was instantaneous, my appreciation for my Rescuer great. Still I did not love Him as I would learn to love Him later. He was only my Savior. My life was His, yet my love was bound in a selfish and worldly heart and it would take years to manage it loose.

But He never gave up, never faltered. Year after year, He held and pressed and moved and worked. He knew how I felt: I would always serve Him. He wanted me to love Him.

The transition from rescue, to learning His truths, to knowing and loving Him as Friend, is illustrated in the story that follows. I have chosen the mountain and (to a lesser extent) the sea as vehicles of expression.

I hope you, too, will come to see that a life lived with Jesus Christ is an adventure of love, no matter how it is told, or by whom. And even more so, that His greatest desire is for each of His children to not merely serve Him, but to love Him with all their being. It always takes time; He’s willing to wait.



Sojourners all begin their trek somewhere at the base;

In time a few will dare to roam out of their slotted place.

Noble souls, they boldly choose to go against the grain

Of earthly desert wanderings that very soon prove vain.

Instead, they scale the alpine path, a narrow way and long,

And chance the hazards on their way to sing the alpine song.

The journey

Every journey starts from where you are. For the complacent or fearful, it ends there, too. But for those who seek treasures beyond Here and Now, no cost is too great, no sacrifice too unreasonable, to commence the search. The course is set, the way determined: they must find that which they lost – or never had. Whatever “it” is, for they may not know what to call it, it must be found. And if it is indeed immortal treasure they long for, they will find it.

Journey begun, the noble seeker will proceed down one of two paths. Either he will be ecstatic with his life-discoveries, even to the point of tossing bits of newfound gold to those around him, or he will turn away in disgust and chide himself back down the mountain for wasting his precious time on something as intangible and unsatisfying as “it” was.

That’s the game and every sojourner must play, or stay home and miss out completely.

Here is where my trek begins. Travel with me as I muse on the alpine path, for “In His hand are the deep places of the earth; the strength of the hills is His also.”

You see, travel and reflection must come in that order: we roam a great while on our earthly journey thinking of nothing – absolutely nothing. Then for some usually undefined reason we actually begin to think, to reflect, on what we see, hear, and feel, and as most would admit, traveling takes precedence over reflection far too frequently along the way.

But one cannot journey far without an occasional glance around, then it’s there! – that which He said would first point us to Himself: His unmistakable fingerprint in what has been made, revealing the reason for our being and Object of our praise.

I am able, then, to resume my travels, more sure of my direction, more confident of the path ahead, knowing Who guides, urges, and pleads me to think, to reason, and then to seek Him whom I can no longer deny.

Finding answers

A journey never starts at the end, but the beginning. In the case of our alpine travels, though, it must of necessity begin at the end: the end of self: self-knowledge, self-satisfaction, self-worship. And the end comes only through the discovery of something, Someone, outside of self. Discovery of a world outside our cocoon of inwardness is the first step of meaningful discovery, the first bit of truth that may eventually lead to ultimate Truth – God Himself.

In finding answers, how assuring it is to know that truth-discovery does not demand intellect, only desire. A babe in intellect may know truth. But for a reasoned, seasoned faith, intellect must be engaged. Genuine intellect may not always have the right answer, but it will never ignore solid evidence. For where human reasoning and discernment are present, so is the capacity for human error and misjudgment.

Intellect draped with integrity, though, will always listen, learn, and attempt to find a viable solution to the inquiry at hand. Existing evidence for or against a specific question may not bring all the answers, it may even require a degree of faith to embrace, but solid evidence cannot be ignored or minimized as one might ignore a hungry cat at the back door, calling for sustenance and attention.

I must not fear to have more questions than answers, but to have more answers than questions. For when the questions stop, previous answers may not have been satisfactory. Or, maybe they have. There, too, comes a time to rest from questioning; a time to relax and let the answers, the lessons, permeate the soul. A time for peace.

In a journey of discovery, experience is but a tangible substitute for intangible truth. But truth combined with the experiencing of it is the reason we exist. Experiencing truth is the undeniable answer that speaks beyond “seeing” to “knowing”. It speaks to the “why” questions we all ask at some point in our pilgrimage. Finding not just answers, but truth, and fulfillment in that truth – the experiencing of that truth -- is God’s intent for His creation.

Any answer, conclusion, or theory a person comes by through self-discovery or the teaching of another, though, is not to be unthinkingly accepted without question, but questioned for the sake of discovery. Even the seemingly easy and traditional answers – on God, faith, love – may be handily received in the mind, but Spirit of Discernment must have free reign as He matches concept spoken with concept written in the Rule Book for all God-seekers.

Of musing

The thought, the muse, invades the mental process, imposing and confident. One, dull of heart and slow of mind, acknowledges the flash but credits it to nature’s course, a sort of cerebral lightning, an electrical storm in the passage of life. He is amused, albeit, bored. Or, maybe, distracted by the touchability of “real” life surrounding him.

Across the way, or pew, or book, another realizes he has just privileged a glimpse through the curtain of status quo into the arena of Truth. Scrawled across the dividing shroud are the words:


And he does.

And he is never the same.

In Greek Mythology, the Muse referred to any of nine goddesses who presided over literature, the arts and sciences: Calliope, Clio, Euterpe, Melpomene, Terpsichore, Erato, Polyhymnia, Urania, Thalia.

“Musing” involves engaging our innate sense of inspiration or genius. But today, musing – thinking deeply and at length for the purpose of discovery – is an almost forgotten concept. Time is too scarce in our hustle and bustle society to allow for questionable extravagances such as … musing.

Who has time to think deeply and at length? But it’s only as I take time to ponder written revealed Truth – the Christian Scriptures – in a more than cursory fashion, that its meaning becomes clear and its message becomes real. Romans 12:2 refers to this as the “renewing of the mind” concept, and fallen mind needs renewing! The Psalms call this God-ordained “meditation”.

I can expect difficulty with this truth-musing or internalization process, for embracing ideas – especially God-ideas, which react so violently against my darkened understanding (the reason He gave us the Spirit of Truth who bears witness to His Word) – is more than mere mental assent of truth or a brain-filling storage of facts; it encompasses the entire process of chewing, swallowing, digesting and incorporating that truth into our spiritual cell structure.

Truths are for digesting, not just consuming. Undigested truth is like a lunch that’s been packed and taken along on a journey but never eaten. It begins to rot. And stink.

So, when bits and pieces of truth are uncovered, a discovery made, we are called to be Berean-ish as in Acts 17:11. Firmly clasp the piece of Light – catch it; then slowly release your fingers, using care not to allow it to slip away or be snatched by the cunning Truth-Robber. Once command has been established, begin to turn it this way and that, viewing and re-viewing, neglecting no angles. Let nothing rush you; you are in the process of unraveling an eternal, unchangeable maxim from the mind of the Infinite Creator. No trifling with details here, only grappling with Divine Utterance.

Remember, there are no fast food spiritual truths. Quick fixes are few. Genies in bottles, like Greek mythology, make for good fairy tales, but poor theology. Sovereignty condescended to provide our senseless lives with meaning – and abundance. The act of salvation is instantaneous, but real heart-deep growth takes time. Musing – thinking deeply and at length – of the Word God has revealed, against the backdrop of the world He has made, is one of God’s provisions for growth, fullness of life, and a faith that is so integrated into our spiritual cell structure that we can live it out in our daily lives for all to see, for God’s ultimate glory.

With King David, let us proclaim, “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Thy works; I muse on the work of Thy hands. I stretch forth my hands unto Thee: my soul thirsteth after Thee, as a thirsty land.”

A pathway through

So again, we question not for the sake of questioning, but to discover. The trek of discovery, however simple, is not easy and not to be underestimated. Fraught with adversity at every turn, old paths must be unearthed, the conventional and well-worn surrendered. For though there are many passages leading into the valley of the Forest of Deep Shadows, where opportunities for true discovery abound, only one leads out to a better, higher place. It is the path from Here and Now to Then and There.

To the left of the entry to the grove, you will notice a large, hand-crafted sign which reads “Everyman’s Land.” As we proceed down the great thoroughfare there appears another, smaller sign, partially obscured by moss and fallen leaves, obviously neglected and seldom accounted for. It reads: “CAUTION - Travelers be advised: Take up your scythe, with cutting edge sharp and keen, before embarking on your unearthly journey!” Through the bleakness and tangle of treetops, a stream of sunlight shines directly onto the little sign and clearly illuminates it. Its words show forth as a beacon at night.

Traveling on, we eventually reach a Cross-Road – the first of many encounters for some, and at least the once for all. The question is posed, “Here, now, what?”

Slip into the shadows for a moment with me and observe the procession to follow. Many, as you will see, have no heart for discovery. Truth-musing is foreign to them and they offer no apology.

UnPrepared is startled by the suddenness of his Cross-Road meeting. He shrinks away from the much-too-illuminated lane and plods along his dreary, weary way. Unmoved and unmovable, he is settled, secure and too happy to need either adventure or advantage. The comfort of conventionality suits him; he suffices with a measure of peaceful existence. He is Here and Now with no thought or care of Then and There.

Next, Self-Confident boldly approaches the insistent thoroughfare. Undaunted, he assesses present and future cost. He determines greatest value in waiting, in returning to this passage at the eclipse of his life-tour. Sights and sounds of existing surroundings press him and he cannot refuse. There is, he insists, much time to reevaluate and ford, if necessary, intervening bogs on his later trip to Then and There. He assures himself the signs will be in place, the back-trekking unhindered. He has little concern or time to ponder deep forest mysteries. He progresses on his carefree, confident way.

Book in hand, Reasoned Philosopher broaches the junction as if in a duel, rationale flying and doubts whipping the air. “Where can one find significant scientific and experiential evidence to even consider Then and There? Can man embrace a belief of this magnitude and maintain allegiance to critical thinking?” Reasoner reflects, only too little, and rejects.

The line of wayfarers continues for many days. For eventually all sojourners must visit this sun-dappled, opaque land, and travel the well-trod path that lies before them. Now it intersects with and forms a Cross-Road. At a later, indeterminate time, it will be the sole trail out of the forest, when dawn will break. For some.

But first, all must confront the Forest Keeper. Trembling at the radiance of his face, all will bow, and listen, while their quests are addressed. With fury as fire and love as light, Keeper will reveal the unseen and reward the unashamed.

Indifferent, Lazy, and UnPrepared disgrace knowing they unwisely used the Forest Map entrusted to them. They had directions within their grasp (made available to them at their first Cross-Road encounter) but deemed map-savvying unworthy of their effort, unnecessary to attain their destination. They were right. One doesn’t need a map to stay lost.

Self-Made falls on bended knee as the shadow of that very Cross-Road reveals not a monument to self, but a memorial to selflessness. The vertical path that flows from the mountain steeps where Then and There dwells, back to the valley of the darksome forest, intersects with the horizontal path of Here and Now. All becomes transparent; self-confidence melts, only too late.

Doubtful, Shrewd, and Reasoner stand gazing upward as faithless rationale and dubious intellect are whirled heavenward, consumed as if by a devouring beast, then ejected as ignoble fodder not worthy of royal domain.

Each now has their answer – answers tossed away at an earlier juncture. Each is reminded of the placard that began their journey: “Take up your scythe....” In front of them the Forest Keeper holds a rolled papyrus which, the instant it is gazed upon, turns into a great, metallic, keen-edged weapon of war. For some, it is a victor’s saber; for others, the blade of a guillotine.

And ringing within the ears of many as they are marched back into the Forest of Deep Shadows, now become the Forest of Destruction, is the chilling reminder that centuries ago it was said, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”

And the Forest Keeper wept for sadness – then joy, as his pathfinders worshipped Him. And among that number I stood with great awe and gladness. After what seemed like hours, I turned and began to walk the road that led from there.

Others had preceded me; the path was noticeably trampled and worn. Trailblazers! – etching edges, clarifying boundaries, determining direction. Even so, I realized each traveler must tread the way himself, and I did.

The voice of love

“I wonder what Your voice will sound like, Lord, when I hear it for the first time. These many days You have loved me, whispered to my heart, at times reproved me, but never audibly; always in quietness.

“Never in a train sweeping by but in the peace which follows the last car rumbling into the distance. Never in a din of voices clamoring to be heard but in the solitude and stillness after the crowd has dispersed. And never in frantic attempts to accomplish or succeed in my own strength but in fully resting in You.

“Then You speak softly, gently, with assurance and great affection.

“But what does the voice of love sound like? I listen to people speak, and think, ‘Does Jesus sound like that? Will His voice have that steady, calm air that brings repose and comfort?’ I’m sure it will be all that and more, Lord. And for whatever it will be that I can’t imagine, I know it will be the Voice of Love.”

Just then, I was startled to find Him walking beside me, smiling. “Well, what do you think? Does My voice fulfill your expectations?”

“Ever so much,” I said, trembling. Kind and soothing, yet constant and courageous, it was all I had dreamt of and more. He continued, “Keep firmly in mind what you have learned thus far. You’ll need it later as you begin your trek up the mountain. You will, at times, lose sight of Me, but I am aware of all that happens. I am only a thought, a word, a desire away. I can promise you that.”

And then He walked toward the sunlight and bade me follow. He led me out of the valley of the Forest of Deep Shadows to the base of the Mount of the Lord and said He must journey another way.

“But, remember My Words, young one, and you’ll scale the heights in safety.”

Waving farewell, I began to walk. I opened the Parchment He had given me in the forest and began to read from a book called Isaiah.