Friday, December 23, 2016

The Crazy for Christmas Tour--And Giveaway!

Enter Here!

By the time you finish my "tour" you'll probably agree--I'm crazy for Christmas! Leave a comment following the post to enter the giveaway.  

Front Porch


A little hokey--I try different things every year. (Not all are successful--ha!)

(I forgot to put a huge bow at the stair post)

The stockings don't go up until Christmas Eve

Close up

Santa's beard (right) is missing--my doggie ate it off.

My mother is a quilter. I hang this over a Monet print every December.

My youngest--caught eating in the livingroom!

Kitty--who isn't supposed to hang out up here--but always does.

Close up--I like to hide little surprises in the greenery

Another little surprise!

She's suffered a few chips over the years, but I keep this
Christmas angel. I love angels!

No piece of furniture is "safe" from a Christmas touch!

Our Nativity--pieces from three sets. (Chalk it up to raising five kids!)

I live outside of a town loaded with antique shops. Found this vintage window cling there. (It's on the fridge.)

On facebook people ask, "Do you decorate for Christmas in your bathrooms?"

Crazy for Christmas!

That's not quite everything, but I believe you've got the gist of it!
Why am I crazy for Christmas? Because it's the time of year when we are reminded of the Incarnation--God coming to earth in human form. God with us.

Coming to know Christ changed my life completely, eternally, and in ways I could never have imagined. I pray and wish that all would come to know him and the joy that is found only in him.

From my house to yours,

With warmest blessings for a happy and healthy New Year! 

PS: Was this crazy enough for you? Do you go all out when it comes to Christmas? What's your favorite decoration? Leave a comment and let me know. I'll choose one commenter to win a copy of one of my books.

All photographs copyrighted by law. 2016 Linore Rose Burkard.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

The Continental Divide (Why You Must Vote!)

This is urgently important to watch if you don't plan on voting, or not voting for the Conservative platform. From Denton Bible Media Ministry. Please share with your friends and family!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Thoughts About Being an Out-Spoken Christian

I keep hearing that authors shouldn't speak out on political issues on Facebook or other social media;  that posting views on controversial issues could alienate people, maybe even make them hate you—and that's not what we're called to do.  I'd like to examine the usual reasons given for us to keep our mouths shut and offer a different viewpoint:

 Argument: It could alienate readers/make them hate you.

The Response:  If my politics alienates anyone they wouldn't like my books, anyway. My books are strongly Christian and staunchly conservative. Also, did Jesus care if he alienated people? Lots of people hated Jesus for telling them like it is. When I share political stuff, I'm not just spouting opinions—but links to articles that I believe are telling it like it is.     

Argument: We're called to write, not get into politics.  

The Bible says the ungodly "suppress the truth in unrighteousness." If the ungodly suppress the truth, doesn't it stand to reason that the godly should do the opposite? Broadcast it? I post headlines and links to things mainstream media purposely suppresses. Why should I join them in silent collusion when I can do what they're not doing and help spread truth?

 It isn't "nice" to talk politics.

That may be true at a family dinner or reunion, but on places like Facebook there is no captive audience. I don't make it a habit to tag people, or post to their pages—I stick to my own turf. No one has to put up with it if they don't want to. And we as a church are so busy being "nice" and guarding the front door that the wolves have been coming in the back. We need to stop playing nice, and get real. (We've been so nice, historically, that society has fallen to its current level. Society can only fall as low as the church will allow.)

As writers, our job is to entertain, not cause possible strife.

 That may be true for some writers, but personally I try to imbue my work with much more than entertainment. If I wanted to simply entertain people I'd be a stand-up comic.  My job is to be authentic, a Jesus follower in view of the world.  I feel strongly about the issues of the day, and I am being authentically me not only when I share my faith, but when I share how that faith engages with social issues—and that includes political things.

If you're not an expert on the issue, you're not qualified to share your opinions about it.

Having the right to discuss issues does mean running the risk of being wrong on occasion; so what?  Few of us have time to exhaustively research every matter—but that doesn't preclude the need or right to discuss them. (It sure as heck doesn't stop the progressives from sharing their opinions. )Social media is an open forum—many people recognize this and share their thoughts if they disagree with a post, or think you're mistaken on an issue.  And that's just fine.

Don't share it if it doesn't have eternal value.

This sounds strangely like "if you have nothing good to say, don't say anything at all." That's great advice when you're talking about mom's dinner, but it's not great advice when the wolves are at the door and you need to tell them to keep out.  I make no claims that my political posts have eternal value—but do other posts get this stringent requirement? If I put a picture of my beautiful backyard roses online, does it have eternal value? Must it have eternal value to have any value? If we all stuck to this requirement, the only thing we could talk about would be God and scripture.

It comes across as negativity.

That's exactly what the Pharisees thought when Jesus pronounced woe on them. Some people don't like posts that imply abortion is murder, or that sodomy is still sin, or that traditional marriage is the only real marriage.  To them, it's negativity.  In fact, I'm not trying to offend people, but in truth, they're offended with God, not me. He made the rules! As for purely political posts, many see that as negativity, too, for all the above reasons. But for people who are like-minded, these posts are encouraging. They know they're not the only ones who care.  And many people really are ignorant of God's views on issues, and need to be told.

Christians should spread love, not hate.

The most loving thing to do for people other than pray and witness the gospel is to be honest with them. If I keep silent on social issues in order not to offend some, I am also failing to offend the ones who need to be offended. Yes, you heard that right. Sometimes we need to be offended—with our sin. Coming to God requires the acknowledgment of sin, yet we are told to avoid discussing social issues that the Bible calls sin. Why? Because it makes people uncomfortable?  Sometimes discomfort is the path to faith. And we are the church—who else will call out abortion for being murder, or homosexuality as an abomination to God?  You don't have to be ordained or stand at a pulpit to stand firm on God's Word. People need to know that God has definite views on these issues. Perhaps this knowledge could lead to repentance!   It is not unloving to administer truth.

You won't win any popularity contests by being opinionated.

To paraphrase a famous line of fiction: "Frankly, Scarlett, I don't give a darn."  Would you tell a Bonhoeffer to keep quiet?  Or Luther not to pin his 99 articles to the door at Wittenburg? Thankfully, we don't have to be a Bonhoeffer or a Luther to stand up against ungodliness; or to share what we feel is right, politically. All we need is a place to be heard. And a willingness to ignore those who only want us  to play nice. 

In the end, Jesus' commitment to sharing truth got him crucified. Which was, of course, God's plan from all eternity, for our blessing and salvation.  Jesus knew the end from the beginning. He knew exactly what his destiny was and stayed true to his calling.  Calling out sin got John the Baptist beheaded. For us, being willing to stand counter-culture in the cause of righteousness may end up bringing persecution our way, too. But that's no reason to remain silent.  It identifies us as light-bearers, people who swim the other way in this sea of fish, who stand against the tide when the tide is going in the wrong direction. 
Some fish are going to knock into us and tell us to get out of the way. All I can say, (and I hope you'll say it with me) is, "Here I stand. I can do no other."  
Do you agree? Still think Christians ought to keep our mouths shut? Tell me why in a comment.    


Linore Rose Burkard grew up in NY and graduated from CUNY (City University ) with a magna cum laude degree in English Literature.  Linore  wrote a trilogy of genuine regency romances for the Christian market before there were any regencies for the Christian market. Published with Harvest House, her books opened up the genre for the CBA. She also writes YA Suspense/Apocalyptic fiction as L.R. Burkard. Married with five children, she home-schools her youngest daughter, preferably with coffee in one hand and an iPad in the other. Her latest  PULSE EFFEX SERIES, takes readers into a "chilling possible future for America."

Friday, October 21, 2016

'Tis the Season--For Renaissance Festivals!

by Linore Rose Burkard

One of the perks of Autumn is the Renaissance Festival. Here in southwestern Ohio, we have a medieval-style fair grounds replete with "Olde"  English buildings, church, and even a jousting area, but it lies sadly vacant all year--until the Renaissance Festival returns each fall.

You've always wanted to be greeted by a Knight in shining armor, right?

When I mentioned to a friend that we had spent a day at the festival, she said, "Last time I went it was fantasy/renaissance. I didn't care for it at all. It was just weird. Was the one you went to just Renaissance?"

Well--the rest of today's post is my answer to her question. I took scads of photos and notes, which, perhaps because I'm a writer, seemed  like the natural thing to do.  

Weird--or Wonderful. You Be the Judge

People love to show off their costumes, and the Renaissance Fair was a golden opportunity. There was goth, wizard outfits, other time periods, and just plain punk stuff.  I took photos of some of the best.  [Click the photo to see the pictures better!] 
Just beautiful! (Notice the wooden stein. They were for sale there.) 
An Archer. 
A Puppeteer (poor photo, sorry)
Crusaders, perhaps? (But the cross is missing.)
Forsooth, another fellow. 
A band of hearty pirates, matey.  

The cloak/coat, left, gets five stars!    
A Red Knight
There were loads of people and loads of shops. The girl in the skirt, ahead, is my daughter.

Stage performances were not all created equal, but this one included fire-eating! 
And voila! He really did it--more than once, ouch.  
The "Fool Hearty" Duo. (They get an A for great costumes.) 
The quintessential magic act, "Cut the girl in two!" 

A truly funny performer. This act included knife-throwing and juggling, besides the tongue-in-cheek humor. Best part of the day!
The second half of the two-man knife-throwing/juggling act. 
Robin Hood and Maid Marion. Family friendly fun.

The husband picture didn't make it, but this lady is the wife in an act that could be called a Medieval-style battle of the sexes. Included some derring-do and swordplay. Fun!  

The shops ran the gamut from neat leather goods to occult weird stuff. There was a wonderful quilt shop and it even had a couple of Christian themed quilts. Animal pelts galore, medieval clothing, jewelry, crystals, pottery, weaving, and more. 
The Sign says: Large Stainless Steel Rings $50.00 - $65.00. 

Wares for sale: 
  • Wood and clay mugs, pottery
  • Staffs, anklets, shields
  • Viking Helmets
  • Garlands, sashes, hair bands
  • Essential oils and incense, candles
  • Walking sticks, wood carvings
  • rings, puzzle rings, necklaces, key chain charms
  • bicornes and tricornes
  • fabric purses
  • knives, axes, old-fashioned pistols
  • fox tails, leather whips, animal pelts
  • swords and scabbards, some hand-forged
  • gemstone wind-chimes
  • chain-mail
  • leather boots, 1/2 boots, moccasins
  • masks, magic wands
  • stained glass hangings
  • dragon eggs (crystals)
  • small stone sculptures
  • rope sandals, flags, archery quivers
  • medieval outfits, children's outfits
  • ladies' corsets, bodices, etc. ("Damsel in This Dress")
  • Elf ears
  • Ye Olde Quilt Shoppe 
  • pictures, artwork
  • "Souvenirs, Gifts and Wares"
  • Wood Shoppe
  • Book Shoppe
Beautiful craftsmanship. Stones come from US rivers.

Food: (The setting may be Renaissance, but they're feeding millennials and they know it!)
  • "turkey legges" (This year's batch was cured like ham and unsatisfactory, in my humble opinion. I like a turkey leg that tastes like turkey.)
  • ale and beer, other alcoholic beverages
  • "Fat Friar's" (Funnel cakes. What kind of fair would be complete without them?)
  • The "Jerusalem CafĂ©"--middle eastern
  • Burgers and fries 
  • Soft serve ice cream
  • "Roadhouse BBQ" and "Fool's Pub"
  • Corn-on-the-cob
  • "Pot Roast Sundae"
  • "Mac and Cheese Cupcake"
  • Steak Sandwich
  • Pizza, bratwurst, hot dogs, Chicken fingers, etc.etc.
  • Hair braiding
  • Gypsy face painting
  • Henna
A Medieval-style Southern Belle Costume? 
For Sale 

The Entertainment:
Audience participation was de rigueur. (When they ask for volunteers, this is when the wise judiciously avoid eye contact at all costs.) Some of the entertainment was not included with admission, which was about $22 per head. (We went on the buy one/get one admission weekend!)
  • Magic Shows
  • Axe-throwing, Archery. George and the Dragon (Perfect dress-up and play for the kiddies)
  • Stocks (usually empty)
  • A Castle with Dungeon
  • "Fool Hearty"
  • Jousting 
  • Knife-Throwing Comedy Show (the best act we saw)\
  • A medieval cemetery (small but effective)
  • A Maze
  • Horse or Pony Rides
  • Camel ride (A smaller camel, but perhaps it's safer that way)
  • Archery
  • "Drench the Wench"
  • Merry-Go-Round
  • "Test of Strength"
  • Other kiddie rides
  • Live Music
  • And More
Epitaph-cum-Classified Ad?
 "Here Lies Buried the body of Mr. Jared Smith who Died April 23, 1502 in his 73rd year. His widow aged 23 years who Mourns as one who can be comforted lives on Drury Lane in this Village and possesses every Qualification for a Loving Wife."

    Finally, arriving with some pomp at the jousting event, which usually ends the day for us, was good ol' Queen Bess, Queen Elizabeth, that is, in beautiful array.
    "Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth" 
    The Queen with courtiers, at the Joust 

    Do you attend Renaissance Festivals? If so, do you dress in Renaissance style, or what is your favorite feature? 
    This post published first on Heroes,Heroines and History Blog.

    Linore Rose Burkard is best known for historical romance novels with Harvest House Publishers, and now writes YA/Apocalyptic Suspense as L.R.Burkard. Linore teaches workshops for writers in Ohio, is a mother of five, and still homeschools her youngest daughter. Subscribers to her ezine are automatically entered in a drawing for a chance to win a free copy of one of her books, awarded monthly.  Sign up here!