By Catherine Ulrich Brakefield

“If I straighten the pictures on the walls of your home, I am committing no sin, am I? But suppose that your house were afire, and I still went calmly about straightening pictures, what would you say? Would you think me merely stupid or very wicked? . . . The world today is on fire. What are you doing to extinguish the fire?”   Corrie ten Boom, Amazing Love

Corrie ten Boom lived in Haarlem, Holland. For generations, the ten Boom’s were well-recognized watchmakers. Little did this contented spinster dream God would beckon her during her senior years into a worldwide ministry—speaking to sixty-four countries for over thirty years. 

Most Christians have heard of Corrie ten Boom. The sweet elderly woman who spoke of God’s redeeming love and forgiveness—even for her German captors. She was more! She and her family were stout-hearted warriors. As fearless as Joshua battling the Amorites, as bold was Daniel in the lion’s den and just as prophetic.  

In the Preface of The Hiding Place, (July 1971) John and Elizabeth Sherrill write:

“…we had the extraordinary feeling that we were not looking into the past but into the future. As though these people and places were speaking to us not about things that had already happened but about the world that lay ahead of us…we found ourselves actually putting into practice how-to’s we learned from her about: Handling separation, getting along with less, security in the midst of insecurity, forgiveness, how God can use weakness, facing death, dealing with difficult people, how to love your enemies, what to do when evil wins.”

        John and Elizabeth told Corrie of the practicalness of everything she recalled, “But,” she replied, “this is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.”

Corrie, in her fifties, was arrested and went to Ravensbruck Concentration Camp. She and her family were imprisoned by the Nazis during World War II because they chose to obey God and disobeyed the ruling government. They became a part of the Dutch Underground Resistance and oversaw a network that smuggled Jews to a safe place. It is estimated that they saved around 800 lives.

As early as 1927 Corrie’s older brother, Willem, who was at the time studying to become a minister of the Dutch Reform Church, wrote his doctoral thesis, on Germany, “that a terrible evil was taking root in that land…seeds were being planted of a contempt for human life such as the world had never seen. The few who had read his paper had laughed.” The Hiding Place 

By 1937, it was clear to the world what Germany desired. Most of the Dutch people were not alarmed. The queen would keep them neutral, as Holland had been during the Great War (World War I).

Many merchants did business with Germany, their stock came from Germany. And a war would put them out of business. People like Willem warned that the war was Holland’s tragedy too. Saying in one of his sermons, “Europe and the world were changing, no matter which side won, a way of life was gone forever.”

So, the neighbor to the east of Holland, geared up for war. The ten Booms oftentimes heard a voice coming over their radio from German, screaming. Soon letters to Jewish suppliers in Germany came back, “Address Unknown”. Then came the invasion of Holland. The queen fled and German tanks roared down Haarlem’s narrow streets. Curfews were enacted and strictly adhered to. Radios confiscated; telephones disconnected. Identity cards were issued to each citizen. These were small folders that had your photo and fingerprints and you kept them hanging around your neck, sort of like a noose. Newspapers no longer carried news, and ration cards were issued.

The ten Booms kept their big, more powerful radio, hiding it. Corrie lied to the Germans, when she handed in their portable radio, saying that was all the ten Booms owned. The first year of occupation wasn’t bad, an occasional rock thrown at a Jewish shop, hate words written across their storefronts, only minor attacks.

Corrie writes in The Hiding Place, “It was as though they were trying us, testing the temper of the country. How many Dutchmen would go along with them? And the answer, to our shame, was many. The National Socialist Bond…grew larger and bolder.” Those who joined received more ration cards, the best jobs, and housing. Soon signs popped up in shop windows, Jews will not be served. Synagogues were burned. The fire trucks would come—but only to keep the flames from spreading! Then the bright stars appeared on Jewish coats. And then the disappearances. “I pity the poor Germans, Corrie—” her father said, “‘They have touched the apple of God’s eye.'”

So, what did the ten Booms do? Lock their doors and cover their windows against the awful truth? It was a bone-chilling November morning in 1941, a year and a half after the invasion, when they asked Willem about his connections with farms in rural areas where he sent his Jews because there were few German troops there. The ten Booms knew there was an underground in Holland—who else could be behind the sabotage? A train carrying political prisoners stopped and seven, or seventeen, or seventy had somehow escaped? Corrie explains in The Hiding Place that rumors abounded, and always featured things Christians believed wrong in God’s sight—stealing, lying, murder. Was this what God wanted? When evil ruled—how should a Christian act?

By May 10, 1942, the occupation grew harsher, restrictions numerous. Only police and Gestapo drove cars, and Jews no longer got ration cards. Christian clerks, postmen, doctors, nurses, all did their part in saving the Jews. The underground was growing. With the help of architects, the ten Booms house became a haven for the oppressed. They built false walls. Carting in bricks, mortar, paint to build a secret room to hide God’s Jews during the raids—all carried into the house piece by piece in a briefcase, a folded newspaper, even the case of an old grandfather’s clock!

Corrie drilled her expanding household, and drilled again, with rigid precision for the unexpected. First to know, would sound the buzzer if the always-vindictive Gestapo should bust in.

Not every Christian jumped to the challenge of risking their lives. To this, the finest watch repairman in Holland who often forgot to send a bill for his services, told Corrie, “Just because a mouse lives in the cookie jar, doesn’t make him a cookie.”

These were awful times. Corrie was frightened—what if they were caught? Death haunted her heels, and if anything should happen to her father, what would they do?

“When you and I go to Amsterdam, when do I give you your ticket?”

“Just before we get on the train.”

“So it is with death. When the time comes, our wise heavenly Father will give you all the strength you need.”(The Hiding Place.)

 The Gestapo engineered a plan to trick the ten Booms. A stranger came to their door in need of money for his friend to flee the Germans. Unknowingly, Corrie was conned! Betsie spotted them coming down the road, she hit the buzzer. Everyone dropped what they were doing—and ran. Corrie, at the time, was sick with influenza. She heard the buzzer, it sent her head throbbing, heard the hurried feet of their Jewish friends running past her bed to the secret room. Her head swirling, the realization came in a burst of energy. She stumbled out of bed and sealed the room a split second before the soldiers busted into her bedroom. The Jews safe, she faced the enemy. The hour had come.

At the interrogation station—the Nazi officer asked her father, “Ten Boom, give me your word you will behave yourself, and you can die in your bed old man, where you belong.

“If I stay behind, I will open my door to anyone who knocks for help.”

Betsie’s last words to Corrie were, “…must tell people what we have learned here. We must tell them that there is no pit is so deep that He is not deeper still. They will listen to us, Corrie, because we have been there.” (The Hiding Place)

Due to a clerical error, Corrie was released two weeks after Betsie’s death. Only God never makes errors. She returned to Holland, and in May 1945 was there to see the Allies liberate her homeland.   

Many citizens, like Martin Niemöller, a leader of the Confessing Church, voted for the Nazi Party in 1933 and realized later that looking the other way either for material or social gain will end up hurting you most.

What Corrie wrote in The Hiding Place is true today, “What I spent, I had; what I saved, I lost; what I gave, I have.”

By 1938, Niemöller, like other apathetic citizens, found themselves in a concentration camp. After the war, Niemöller said, “In Germany, the Nazis came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak for me.” (US Holocaust Memorial Museum)

 “The world today is on fire. What are you doing to extinguish the fire?”  Corrie ten Boom

New Yorker Ruth Jessup and Amish-bred Joshua Stutzman live in different worlds. But their lives collide into catastrophic proportions battling wits against a psychopath and The New World Order…

Catherine is the award-winning author of Wilted Dandelions, Swept into Destiny, Destiny’s Whirlwind, Destiny of Heart, and Waltz with Destiny. Her newest book is Love’s Final Sunrise. She’s been published by Guideposts Books, CrossRiver Media, Revell Books, and Bethany House Publishers. Catherine and her husband have two adult children, four grandchildren, four Arabian horses, two dogs, five cats, seven chickens, and five bunnies!



By: Catherine Ulrich Brakefield

“We have staked the whole future of our new nation, not upon the power of government; far from it. We have staked the future of all our political constitutions upon the capacity of each of ourselves to govern ourselves according to the moral principles of the Ten Commandments.” – James Madison

James Madison, the fourth president of the United States is recognized as being the “Father of the Constitution.” However, he contributes his wisdom to his reliance on God and His laws as he writes:

“Our Constitution represents the work of the finger of Almighty God.”

Throughout the course of American history, God provided America with stout-hearted men who stood up for their beliefs because of their beliefs in a finite power.

Madison did not sit back and expect God to perform His miracles. Madison undertook an extensive study of other world governments. His incessant delving in his search for the best government for this newly formed government caused him to see that America needed a strong federal government. One that would help regulate the state legislatures and help raise federal money for their failing army.

It would be a system of checks and balances to ensure no branch had greater power over the other. He suggested that governors and judges have roles in local government to help manage the state legislatures because they were more capable of knowing how a nation established under Christian principles should be run.

 Madison said, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”

The framers of our constitution were aware of this. They were realists pertaining to the dark nature of man, especially when the Holy Spirit of Christ wasn’t present. They anticipated the worst possibilities in any civil government, and so the system of checks and balances was implemented. Madison said:

“…the primary political motive of man was self-interest, and that men, whether acting individually or collectively, were selfish and only imperfectly rational.” 

The constitution completed, it needed ratification by nine of the thirteen states. Some governors and people of those states weren’t enthusiastic about handing over their rights to a young, newly formed republic. Madison understood, explaining the checks and balances this way. 

“The people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived.”

After numerous debates, the United States Constitution was signed in September 1787. The document was ratified by the states in 1788 and finally, after twelve long years, the United States of America had a constitution that would uphold Christian values and God-ordained inalienable rights!

“Americans have the right and advantage of being armed—unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”

Madison repeated his belief that the constitution of this United States was designed for the citizen first and foremost.

“Americans need not fear the federal government because they enjoy the advantage of being armed, which you possess over the people of almost every other nation.”

For Madison and his constituents, their confidence in their fellow Americans was endless.

“If a man is not fit to govern himself, how can he be fit to govern someone else,” Madison often said.

Madison and the framers of the constitution felt that education was the key to lasting freedom, yet, felt without God’s wisdom, destruction of what America stood for could shake the very foundation of this new country. Madison’s warning continues to ring in the ears of every conscientious American to this twenty-first century day.

“Cursed be all that learning that is contrary to the cross of Christ,” Madison said.

The American citizen’s future was firmly placed into the benevolent hands of God. Understanding this theme should encourage every American.

“The future and success of America is not in this Constitution, but in the laws of God upon which this Constitution is founded.”

During the presidential election of 1808, Madison was elected as the fourth chief executive. But if he thought his presidency would be smooth sailing, he was wrong.

Britain and France bullied American ships bringing their merchandise across the foaming seas to American ports. Britain captured American sailors for its own navy and encouraged American Indians to battle our western settlers!

To the loyal Madison who pictured every American person as a brother, this was not to be endured. Madison declared war against Britain in 1812. Congress was furious. Where was the funding going to come from? Many states would not support “Mr. Madison’s War” or allow their militias to join the campaign. When the White House glowed in a heap of embers from British cannons in 1814, it looked like the end to the American Dream. Outraged Americans weren’t about to surrender, like Andrew Jackson in the battle for New Orleans, victory was swift and decisive!

 America’s bullies were put in their place, and Madison was hailed a hero in the eyes of every American. Madison humbly writes: 

“If our nation is ever taken over, it will be taken over from within.”

The founders of our constitution respected the people, they had high ideals pertaining to the American’s know-how and moral compass, having the capacity to govern themselves according to the moral principles of the Ten Commandments. Lest we forget, it is our moral obligation to uphold Madison’s and our forefathers’ love for God and brotherhood. I include the Ten Commandment our forefathers established our constitution upon: 

1.   I am the LORD your God…You shall have no other gods before me.

2.   You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything…not bow down to them or serve them. For I, the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

3.   You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.

4.   Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

5.   Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land…

6.   You shall not murder.

7.   You shall not commit adultery.

8.   You shall not steal.

9.   You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

10.        You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife…   (Exodus 20:1-17 NKJV)

Ben McConnell is a proud Irish immigrant who is determined not to give up despite hunger and deprivation. He clings to his mustard seed faith believing—nothing is impossible.

Maggie Gatlan is a rebel disguised as a Southern belle. Bens and Maggie’s journeys delve deeply into the truth about faith and devotion.

“… Brakefield’s flowing descriptions pull you into Swept into Destiny and keep immersed in the world of the Antebellum southThis isn’t just a world of beaus, belles, and balls, but of moral ambiguity and searches for truth…” L.H. Reader

An award-winning author, Catherine’s inspirational historical romances include Wilted Dandelions, her faith-based Destiny series Swept into Destiny, Destiny’s Whirlwind, Destiny of Heart, and Waltz with Destiny. 

She lives with her husband of 49 years and their Arabian horses in Addison Township, Michigan. Her children are grown, Catherine loves spoiling her two handsome grandsons and two beautiful granddaughters! For more information: See 

Posted by Catherine Ulrich Brakefield at 1:30 AM  

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Connie R.March 16, 2022 at 8:41 AM

Thank you for this eloquent post. There is nothing to add. God, hear our prayers.


Catherine Ulrich BrakefieldMarch 16, 2022 at 9:05 PM

Connie R. Amen! Pray our generation does not let Our Lord and people like Madison down.

On This Day in 1812

By Catherine Ulrich Brakefield

Today, August 16, 2021 the Taliban took over Kabul, Afghanistan without a fight. What few people know is that on August 16, 1812 this happened to Detroit.

The city of Detroit is located on the original site of Fort Detroit, founded by French officer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac in 1701. 

Somewhere around 1710, Cadillac was removed from his post when his fellow constituents felt he had used his position for his own gain. Alphonse de Tonty became the new fort commandant. 

The British gained control over Fort Detroit after the French and Indian war. However, early in the War of 1812, Americans gained control of Fort Detroit.

But then on August 16, General William Hull surrendered Fort Detroit without a fight to the British. 

Why did General Hull surrender his 2,000-man army, most being militiamen? Michigan, for much of the war, remained under British rule.

         General Hull was fifty-nine years old at the time and a veteran of the American Revolution. However, later history would say that Hull, seeing the English and Indian forces gathering beneath the wooden-wall fort lost hope of defending the settlement. However, the general was very concerned about his daughter and grandchildren who were inside the fort with him.

         British General Isaac Brock allowed the 2,000 militiamen to return to their homes on the frontier. But the United States Army troops became Brock’s prisoners and were taken to Canada.

         This was a painful blow to militiamen’s morale. They returned to their homes, knowing the Shawnee chief Tecumseh would increase his raids against the Americans in Michigan’s frontier now a part of Great Britain. 

 It didn’t help US Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry either. The British now gained naval supremacy over Lake Erie.

A British flotilla blockaded the shipbuilding areas surrounding the waters of Lake Erie, and only a sandbar and a few American cannons stopped the British ships from defeating the newly built American squadron.

The surrendering of Fort Detroit on August 16 took the sails out of many stout-hearted men yearning for freedom from British tyranny.

Commandant Perry wasn’t about to allow the dream of American independence to end on his watch. He was determined to see Lake Erie and Fort Detroit back into the hands of the Americans; now all he needed was prayer and a plan.

On September 10, 1813, Perry came up with one. Though British ships were equipped with longer range cannons, Perry figured they lacked the firepower of the American vessels.

Perry ordered the USS Niagara and the USS Lawrence, the two largest ships they had, to set full sail and go straight into the British ships.

Well, the captain of the Niagara wasn’t so keen about charging through the waters ducking beneath the volley of British cannonballs, so he hightailed it to a safe distance. This left Commandant Perry on the Lawrence to go alone into the cannon fires.

Despite all Perry’s maneuvers, the cannons aboard the Lawrence did not have the destructive capability he hoped for. The Lawrence was directly hit by two British vessels, and it was only a matter of time before she went down. Perry snatched up the Lawrence flag, and he and his crew evacuated the burning vessel, departing on small rowboats.

Perry miraculously escaped unscathed, thanks to the brave actions of Cyrus Tiffany, a free African-American who had placed his body in harm’s way to shield Perry from debris and gunfire.

Perry could smell the fire on his clothing; he’d come close to death that day. Ahh, but he could taste the pungent spice of victory upon his lips, too.

He jumped onto the Niagara and took command of the ship, encouraging his men with words of gratitude and faith. After all, their cannons damaged the British fleet, and Perry, with the help of God Almighty Himself, wasn’t ready to admit defeat.

Suddenly, the limp white sails billowed with gust after gust of wind. Yes! The wind had come just at the appropriate hour.  

He knew for certain now that they had the favor of God on their side. The men, encouraged, set their sails for a victory.

With the strong favorable wind and sails billowing overhead, they watched as their intended goal grew forever larger. Two smaller gunboats and schooners followed their brave leader toward the British ships. It was the story of David and Goliath upon the wind-tossed waves of the Erie. Perry gave the signal and they opened fire.

The British saw the American ships and the billowing sails reaching heavenward and panicked. Perry had only retreated to bring another fleet to defeat them. In two of the British ships, their riggings were entangled from the previous battle. The crewmen were exhausted and disheartened. They had little fight left in them. The British flotilla surrendered at 3:00 P.M.

This Lake Erie victory secured more naval vessels for America. Perry nearly busted his buttons, seeing his fleet expand and repaired the British vessels. They soon proudly waved the red, white, and blue colors of the US flag amidst sun-kissed waters. Without a navy, Great Brittan was forced to evacuate Fort Detroit.

William Henry Harrison pursued the fleeing British out of Fort Detroit and by September 18, 1813, the British had fled across Burlington Heights and into Ontario.

One man’s cowardice caused the fall of Fort Detroit. And one man’s courage caused not only Fort Detroit, but also Lake Erie and the British fleet that reigned the lake to fall into America’s hands.

Fort Detroit and Lake Erie continued to fly the American flag throughout the War of 1812. This prevented any possible British invasion of Ohio or Pennsylvania from Canada.   

         Because of William Hull’s cowardice and neglect of duty in surrendering Fort Detroit, in 1814 Hull faced court-martial charges and he was sentenced to die. However, President James Madison commuted the sentence because of his service in the revolution.

Detroit became a city in 1815 and is located on the north bank of the Detroit River and nestled between Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie.

Detroit became recognized as the key to the transformational hub. Manufacturing industries sprung up like giant mushrooms throughout the city’s decades of shipping, shipbuilding, and carriage trade.

Then in 1899 Henry Ford built his first automobile factory, and Dearborn and Detroit soon became known as the world’s car capital. 

Detroit became the throbbing heartbeat of the new industrial age in America. It was a time like no other, with new industries and new wealth springing up upon this newly sown mechanical field, feeding the multitudes.

It all began on this day, August 16 some two hundred years ago. And the same analogy that caused William Hull to fail in 1812 plagues Americans today and those who do not know the power of our God and Savior.

Peter Marshall said it best, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” God tells us to “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58 NKJV).

Often fear can motivate our decisions. Did you know that “fear not” is found in the Bible 365 times? Don’t let fear keep you from your God-ordained calling. “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10 NKJV).

Destiny of Heart: Fear haunted Ruby McConnell while she cared for her ill husband, nursed a newborn, and prepared to leave the prairies of Colorado and their little cabin for a future unknown.

 Civil unrest, an incurable sickness, and lost love, plunge the McConnells into a battle for survival.

“…through the lives of characters and families so beautifully detailed, you become emotionally immersed in every page, every struggle, every triumph. ‘God can’t wipe away a person’s past…But He can help us rewrite the ending.’” L. S.

 Catherine says, “My readers inspire my writing!” She is an award-winning author. Her inspirational historical romances include Wilted Dandelions, her faith-based Destiny series Swept into Destiny, Destiny’s Whirlwind, Destiny of Heart, and Waltz with Destiny.

She has written two pictorial history books. Images of America: The Lapeer Areaand Images of America: Eastern Lapeer County

Her short stories have been published in Guidepost Books, Baker BooksRevell, CrossRiver Media Publishers, and Bethany Book House Publishers.

She and lives with her husband of 48 years and their Arabian horses in the picturesque hills of Addison Township, Michigan. Catherine loves spoiling her two handsome grandsons and two beautiful granddaughters!

My Irish-American Friends

By Catherine Ulrich Brakefield

Five times more Irish-Americans are living in the United States than there are living in Ireland. 

Americans who are full or have part-Irish ancestry are usually very proud of their Irish heritage. Mainly during St. Patrick’s Day, where everyone wears a spark of green, eats corned beef and cabbage, and toasts—either with green beer or green milkshakes. 

Yes, it is all things Irish on St. Patrick’s Day with pints of Guinness and bagpipers playing in the local pubs and streets as dancers and marching bands parade down Main Street. 

There is new evidence that St. Augustine, Florida, could have hosted the first St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Historian Michael Francis discovered this while researching Spanish gunpower expenditure logs and found records that indicate cannon blasts of gunfire used to honored St. Patrick in 1600. An Irish priest who lived there could have started this tradition.

The Bostonians had long claimed the first St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the American colonies back in 1737. The two dozen homesick Presbyterians who emigrated from the north of Ireland to America always gathered together to honor St. Patrick. 

It wasn’t until the 19th Century that the Irish lost their acceptable niche into America’s society. During the mid-1800s, Irish Catholics came by the thousands to the teaming shores of America’s harbors seeking refuge from starvation when Ireland’s potato crop failed.  

The tide brought decadence and started discord as shop owners posted signs saying, “No Irish Need Apply.” New York tenant slums of lower Manhattan emerged. Tens of thousands of Irish refugees found no work, little food, and desecrating persecution. 

Irish poverty got so bad in America that when ships drew up into the South Street Seaport, returning from the tea trade in China, the Irish women would run down with their baskets and plead for any leftover salted beef they could confiscate from the ship’s cook. The price for these leftovers—a penny a pound.

The meal that would become the staple diet of the improvised Irish. The corned beef was an American-Irish innovation and replaced the ham they had used in Ireland and the traditional ham and cabbage diet.

Mike McCormack, the national historian for the Ancient Order of Hibernians, says, “It was the cheapest meat they could find. The Irish boil the beef three times—the last time with cabbage—to remove some of the brine.”

 It wasn’t until 1861 that the Irish made an indelible mark upon their new country with the onset of the Civil War. Shrugging into their coats of blue, soon, the ear-splitting notes of the cannon replaced their bagpipes. Hospital wards overflowed with a need for more beds, and the color of blood red and not emerald green was everywhere.        More than 150,000 Irishmen volunteered for service when Civil War broke out and enlisted in the Union Army. Most were recent immigrants and not yet United States citizens.

Though American life was hard for the Irish, they were fiercely loyal to their new homeland. An Irish unit was established which they called the “Irish Brigade”. An Army captain named Thomas Francis Meagher became the Brigadier General of the Irish Brigade in February 1862. There were three Union divisions, and to the south, there would be two Confederate Divisions that would form. Many times, as I wrote in Swept into Destiny, father and son sported opposing viewpoints and fought in opposing uniforms.

Because of the Irishman’s bravery and toughness, The Irish Brigade led the Union charge at the Battle of Antietam in September 1862. Almost 600 men died in battle. At the Battle of Fredericksburg, 545 of the Irish’s 1,200 men were killed or wounded. One soldier wrote these words, “Irish blood and Irish bones covered that terrible field today…We are slaughtered like sheep.”
The Battle of Gettysburg would test both their bravery and gallantry. It was in July 1863 where 320 of the Irish Brigade’s remaining 530 soldiers died.
The soldiers who fought in the all-Irish units that made up the “Irish Brigade” were well-known for their courage, ferocity, and toughness in battle.
Their heroic Civil War exploits could not be ignored. On July 2,1888, a monument standing 19’6” was dedicated to the Irish Brigade and gently graces a hill at Gettysburg. It is a Celtic cross supported by a granite base. On the front of the cross are the numbers of the three New York regiments and a harp flanked by eagles. At the cross’s base lies a statue of an Irish wolfhound, a symbol of honor and fidelity—a fitting monument to the Irish Brigade’s valor and their love for their Savior.

In 1861 the Irish marched down Main Street as detested immigrants. Who’s lives were worth little. They returned as heroes.

As the years progressed, so came more Irish heroes and heroines, winning over the American people with their tenacity, wit, and intelligence.  

To name a few: George M. Cohen the composer of “Yankee Doodle Dandy”, “Over There”, “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” and many, many more songs too numerous to list. Cohen won the Congressional Medal of Honor for his patriotic lyrics. 

  Maureen O’Hara, Dublin born and bred. Despite being nicknamed ‘Baby Elephant’ as a toddler, O’Hara said of herself that she

is a “self-confessed tomboy.”  She gave the red-headed Irish woman a completely new identity with her fiery wit and humor. 

John F. Kennedy was the first Irish-Catholic President of the United States. His family traveled to the United States to seek their destiny during the poverty-worn Ireland and sought their fortune in America. Little did they know that part of their fortune would land an Irishman into the White House.  Though he was born in the USA, Bruce Springsteen’s ancestry is in Emerald Isle from the Gerrity family in County Kildare and Springsteen’s great-great-great-grandfather was a survivor of The Great Famine who fled Ireland for America.

 Is it any wonder that St. Patrick’s Day is a “Made in America Day”? With Celtic folk dancers adorned in their festive clothes and sweet-sounding bagpipes playing the refraining tunes of Amazing Grace and Danny Boy parading down the streets of American towns? Everyone wearin’ the green, eating corned beef and cabbage, and toasting pints of Guinness beer or green milkshakes celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. 

         In Ireland, there were no parades, no celebrations for their Patron Saint of Ireland. Green beer, or green milkshakes, and wearin’ of the green. Ireland’s traditional color for their patron saint was blue and NOT green prior to the 1798 Irish Rebellion.

 The Connaught Telegraph reported on March 17, 1952, “St. Patrick’s Day was very much like any other day, only duller.”

Irish laws prohibited pubs from being open on holy days. March 17 was a holy day honoring their patron saint who brought to the island the knowledge of Jesus Christ and gave them freedom from sin and damnation through accepting Jesus, through the analogy of the three-leaf clover, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The only legal place in Ireland to get a drink was the Royal Dublin Dog Show. On March 17, you would be amazed at how many gentlemen found a sudden attraction to that canine interest.

With the arrival of television, Ireland became privy to the fun the Irish-Americans had across the sparkling sea. In 1996 Dublin launched St. Patrick’s Day Festival, which attracts one million people each year.

Ah, but with more than thirty million Irish-Americans living in the United States—five times the population of Ireland, Irish-Americans still rule! So, on March 17, wear your green proudly, my Irish-American friends.

Swept into Destiny  One brave decision leads to serious consequences.

A new republic looms on the horizon as Maggie secretly educates the slaves at Spirit Wind Manor. With the fires of civil war glowing on the horizon, Maggie is swept into its embers. 

The handsome Irish immigrant Ben McConnell joins the Union Army, and Maggie is forced to call him her enemy…

As the battle between North and South rages, Maggie wonders if Ben is right. Had the Irishman perceived the truth of what God had predestined for America?

Catherine says, “My readers inspire me to write.” She is an award-winning author of inspirational historical romances Wilted Dandelions, Destiny of Heart, and Waltz with Destiny. Her popular Destiny series include: Swept into Destiny, Destiny’s Whirlwind, Destiny of Heart, and Waltz with Destiny.

Catherine lives with her husband of 45 years, has two adult children and four grandchildren. See for more information about her books. 

References:’s%20Day%20traditions%20were%20born%20in%20the%20United%20States.&text=Every%20March%2017%2C%20the%20United,and%20grits%20appear%20on%20menus.Posted by Catherine Ulrich Brakefield at 1:30 AM Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest


  1. Connie R.March 16, 2021 at 8:42 AMThanks for the post, and the information about St Patrick’s Day. I find it interesting that Ireland took the celebration aspect of it from America!ReplyReplies
    1. Catherine Ulrich BrakefieldMarch 16, 2021 at 6:06 PMConnie R. I know, but when you remember that in Ireland they were honoring a Saint, and in America, we made it into a party time. I’m not so sure I like what Americans did with St. Patrick’s Day. Anyway, I found it interesting that there were so many Irish Americans living in America that they outnumbered Ireland.Delete
    2. Connie R.March 17, 2021 at 7:50 AMPoint taken! So many holidays have turned into something different than originally intended but that’s a story for a different post, right? The Irish have always fascinated me, but I don’t think I have a single bit of Irish in me.
    3. Catherine Ulrich BrakefieldMarch 17, 2021 at 8:12 AMCorrect! Irish-American Friends focuses on the fact that the Irish were not accepted as American citizens easily. It was through perseverance, faith in their Savior, not afraid to shed their blood fighting for freedom, and a desire to embrace the values of America that the Irish became a valued people in American society.

A Valentine Gift to Cherish

Your Special Valentine Needs Something that is as Special as They Are!
 God’s Words Prospers the Reader!
“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11

This 2021 Valentine’s Day will hold more meaning to many than any other time in our history after this 2020 pandemic. Valentine’s Day is an excellent time of the year to remember that special someone, be it wife, husband, child, or sweetheart.

We often take for granted our loved ones. What a great way to say, “You’re not forgotten.” By giving that special someone a box of candy, flowers, or an excellent book to educate, explore and enjoy!

I came across some articles. Literary Works was one of them: Why Read? Reason #6: Knowledge is Power but Imagination is More Valuable. Another was in Psychology Today, written by Christopher Bergland. “Reading Fiction Improves Brain Connectivity and Function: Reading a novel has the power to reshape your brain and improve theory of mind. Posted January 4, 2014.

Bergland went on to say: “Neuroscientists have discovered that reading a novel can improve brain function on a variety of levels. A recent study on the benefits of reading fiction on the brain was conducted at Emory University. The study titled, “Short- and Long-Term Effects of a Novel on Connectivity in the Brain,” was recently published in the journal Brain Connectivity.

“The researchers found that becoming engrossed in a novel enhances connectivity in the brain and improves brain function. Interestingly, reading fiction was found to improve the reader’s ability to put themselves in another person’s shoes and flex the imagination in a way that is similar to the visualization of a muscle memory in sports. ”Here are some of the facts scientists discovered about the boost that reading novels give your brain.

Detaching from your own life by entering a fictional one DECREASES STRESS LEVELS.

How many of us know this is true, surviving the pandemic in 2020? One of my lovely readers wrote me this during the Coronavirus:

“I keep remembering your Destiny Series and how your characters overcame numerous obstacles.

”With reading novels, readers have less mental decline when they grow older.

I found this very accurate for people buying my books for Christmas presents for their senior citizen housing friends. My caring customers were buying for seniors as old as ninety-years-old, who still enjoyed romance! Yet, my caring customers told me some seniors as young as sixty-year-old who only watched television all day could no longer read or carry on an intelligent conversation.

Reading lets you see the world at large and your own life from a NEW PERSPECTIVE.

This review from an Amazon Reader about Wilted Dandelions says this well: “I loved this quote from the heroine in the story: “I’m still a babe in Christ. Will I ever stop seeking my desires and reasoning that it is God’s will that I satisfy my own whims?’ Can you relate?…you will have to read it—if you want to know what wilted dandelions have to do with a missionary journey.”

Reading novels help to activate the regions of your brain responsible for EMPATHY.

In Destiny’s Whirlwind, Collina was just a teenage girl when she promised her father that she would manage Shushan.

My novels are clean, historically correct, and the perfect gift for a teenage girl or boy. My books could help them ace their history classes, encourage and equip them to get the edge over their present-day problems.

Fiction often addresses social and moral issues; it tends to make people more tolerant.

My characters are flawed, so this helps you see the truth in your relationships. You might even see yourselves in a few of my characters, cry and rejoice with others!

Throughout history’s timeless halls, our ancestors forged insurmountable hardships to reach their destinies. At the end of my Wilted and Destiny Series, you will be encouraged to face your next challenge!

Reading books are a great source of happiness, and happiness is good for morale.

There’s a happy ending for you, just a page away! I sprinkle Bible verses through my stories like you sprinkle salt on food.

My grandmother always said, “The Word adds just the right flavor!” My characters are true-to-life, inspired by people I knew. So, if the generations past survived sicknesses, war, depressions, and civil unrest—we can too!

If you would like an autographed copy of one of my novels, plus a special gift for Valentine’s Day, please join me at the following locations;

On February 13, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. I will be at Dixieland located at 2045 Dixie Hwy., Waterford Twp. MI.

I will also be signing my books at the Spring Fling at the Hilton Garden Inn located at 31800 Smith Rd. in Romulus, MI. on March 13. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  I hope to see you there! God Bless you one and all!

Learn more about History
NOTE: My history blog is on the 16th of every month. If you miss it, you can check it out on my just click on the Hopes, Hearts & Hoofbeats blog button! Or view it on


Note: This article first appeared in Heroes, Heroines and History on October 16th.

By Catherine Ulrich Brakefield 

“Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.” (Taken from Ronald Reagan Gubernatorial Inaugural Address, January 5, 1967)

This November’s election will have monumental importance. President Reagan’s words ring out truer today than at any other time in our history for Christians to vote the Bible or liberty to be lost into a sea of regret. “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17 NKJV).

In the 2016 election, according to Christianity Daily, it is estimated that 61 percent of evangelicals voted. Where were the other 40 percent?

We Christians will be the culprit if America loses its freedoms. Charles Finney, (1792-1875), the most celebrated revivalist of the Second Great Awakening, says: 

“Almighty God, we make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy Holy protection, and wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation.”

“The time has come that Christians must vote for honest men and take consistent ground in politics, or the Lord will curse them…God cannot sustain this free and blessed country, which we love and pray for, unless the church will take right ground. Politics are a part of religion in such a country as this, and Christians must do their duty to the country as a part of their duty to God.” 

When General George Washington resigned his commission from the army in 1783, he sent to the governors of the thirteen states a letter that concluded with this prayer:

His words became prophetic when the Civil War ripped our country in two. Hardly a “happy nation.” Abraham Lincoln quoted Matthew 12:25 upon being elected as the Republic Party’s candidate: “…A house divided against itself cannot stand…” Upon his election as the United States sixteenth president, and deep into the woes of the Civil War, Lincoln begged Americans to fast and pray. “Pray to the Supreme Government of God.” Lincoln sent out this proclamation on the 12th day of August 1861:

“And whereas it is fit and becoming in all people, at all times, to acknowledge and revere the Supreme Government of God; to bow in humble submission to his chastisements; to confess and deplore their sins and transgressions in the full conviction that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and to pray, with all fervency and contrition, for the pardon of their past offences, and for a blessing upon their present and prospective action:

“And whereas, when our own beloved Country, once, by the blessing of God, united, prosperous and happy, is now afflicted with faction and civil war, it is peculiarly fit for us to recognize the hand of God in this terrible visitation, and in sorrowful remembrance of our own faults and crimes as a nation and as individuals, to humble ourselves before Him, and to pray for His mercy,— to pray that we may be spared further punishment, though most justly deserved; that our arms may be blessed and made effectual for the re-establishment of law, order and peace, throughout the wide extent of our country; and that the inestimable boon of civil and religious liberty, earned under His guidance and blessing, by the labors and sufferings of our fathers, may be restored in all its original excellence.”

Throughout our nation’s history, God blessed us with the leaders, we needed to spur freedom and liberty forward.

Josiah Gilbert Holland (1819-1881) was a doctor, an educator, and a popular author. He assumed the role of editor of the Springfield Republican in his native Massachusetts and became the founding editor and co-owner of Scribner’s in 1870. He wrote these immortal words:

“God, give us men! A time like this demands. Strong minds, great hearts and ready hands;

Men whom the lust of office does not kill; Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;

Men who possess opinions and a will; Men who have honor; men who will not lie;

Men who can stand before a demagogue and damn His Treacherous flatteries without winking!

Tall men, sun-crowned who live above the fog In public duty and in private thinking.”

Peter Marshall often quoted Holland’s poem from the pulpit at his New York Avenue Presbyterian Church. Marshall in 1937 was appointed twice as the United States Senate Chaplain. Here are just a few of his famous prayers:

“Lord, give to us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for — because unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything.”

“Lord, may we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.”

Our forefathers weren’t perfect—but they knew where to go when anarchy loomed on the horizon of our nation’s freedoms.

American households were fed on the Word of God, and cradled in the arms of their Savior, Christ Jesus. God heard their prayers. Men and women answered the call; strong-minded, big-hearted, faithful, with ready and honorable hands. Men and women with integrity. Tall, sun-crowned people who lived above the fog of delusion and hypocrisy willing to do God’s bidding no matter the cost.

God directs this scripture to just Christians in 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

America’s prayers did not go unanswered. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Charles Finney, Josiah Holland, William McKinley, and Ronald Reagan were keenly aware that Christians must take a forefront, and if called to do so, an active role in the governance of the United States.

Through pestilences, economic depressions, and wars attacking the moral fiber of our nation throughout history’s corridors, every generation bore their burden, either with pitchforks, guns, or—the voting booths.

William McKinley, the 25th President of the United States, says it best in his speech before the Christian Endeavor’s International Convention in Cleveland in 1894 as he exclaimed about the staunch, foreboding, indivisible hand of praying Christians:

“There is no currency in this world that passes at such a premium anywhere as good Christian character…The time has gone by when the young man or the young woman in the United States has to apologize for being a follower of Christ…No cause but one could have brought together so many people, and that is the cause of our Master.”

Can that be said of us today?

YES! More so than ever before in our nation’s history. Our God has brought America’s Christians together for such a time as this. 

Let the truth ring out across our nation about our generation for the world to hear in the immortal words of William McKinley, “No cause but one could have brought together so many people, and that is the cause of our Master!”

On page 279 of Destiny’s Whirlwind, I included my poem that won me entrance into the 1976 Billy Graham’s Writer Conference. The theme: 2 Corinthians 3:17:

Upon the flames of falling embers Fell their wrath upon December;

But not a foe could waver America’s joy for God and Savior,

Then beside flames and falling embers, I pondered, Beside those trusting souls, I wondered,

“How did it come to be? This nation ‘Under God’ still free?”

Cold and hard fell the sting of evil’s plight. It chilled, yet burned of flint’s delight

Upon the barren and treeless rows, Of faceless crosses and nameless souls,

Thousands filed out upon those hardened hills now stone, Yet, silently, each faced their foe alone.

“How could it ever be,” I mused. “How could it come to be, This nation ‘Under God’ still free?”

Then strongly pealed the chapel bells, Again, again, throughout the hills,

Unshackled and unshaken bound, Freely did their joy resound,

And tall white domes stood boldly staunch Against the flint of evil’s doom,

Against the stagnate, stench of death, Against the smothering walls of dread.

And rows and rows of crosses lined Those molded hills of time,

Those rows on rows of faith unmoved, Those undaunted wills so free and true.

“Oh tell me,” I implored above, “how did it come to be? “Was it a nation that proved to thee?

“Or they that proved to a nation, “That You could win them victory?”

The November 3 election will have monumental importance, more so then throughout the many portals of our American history. Pray, fast, and VOTE THE BIBLE. America and our Almighty God is counting on you—to guide the next generation to God’s Truth.

Destiny’s Whirlwind: A death-bed promise, a dashing Rough Rider, the parable of the sower take on unimaginable consequences as Ben’s daughter, Collina fights to keep her father’s legacy of Shushan alive. Destiny’s Whirlwind by Catherine Brakefield is a beautiful inspirational love story that will reel you in and win your heart…The story is beautifully written and filled with triumph and heartbreak. I couldn’t put it down…” LS

She has written Images of America; The Lapeer Area, and Images of America: Eastern Lapeer County.

Her short stories have been published in Guidepost Books, Baker Books, Revell, CrossRiver Media, and Bethany House Publishers.

She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), President of the Great Lakes Chapter (ACFW GLC). Catherine lives with her husband of 45 years, has two adult children, and four grandchildren.

See for more information about her books.

The quotes of George Washington were taken from: The Glory of America by Peter Marshall & David Manuel, 1991, Published by Garborg’s Heart N Home, Inc.,have%20never%20known%20it%20again.

Charles Finney:

Josiah Gilbert Holland


The History Place – Abraham Lincoln: Proclamation of a Day of Fasting.

Ronald Reagan A life in Photographs, by David Elliot Cohen, 2010 Published by Sterling Publishing Co.

Destiny’s Whirlwind 2018 by Catherine Ulrich Brakefield, published by CrossRiver Media GroupPosted by Catherine Ulrich Brakefield at 2:30 AM Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest


  1. Debbie Lynne CostelloOctober 16, 2020 at 11:43 AMWhat a great article Catherine! Thanks for sharing. It is timely!!ReplyReplies
    1. Catherine Ulrich BrakefieldOctober 17, 2020 at 10:01 AMDebbie, thank you a bunch for commenting! I pray more people will read this and know that our generation must do their part like our ancestors did. God Bless!Delete
  2. Connie R.October 16, 2020 at 12:14 PMI so appreciated this article, both for its’ scope and timeliness! Thank you so much!ReplyReplies
    1. Catherine Ulrich BrakefieldOctober 17, 2020 at 10:02 AMThank you Connie for taking time to read and comment. That helps others see the article. Pray with me that Christians vote the Bible in this turning point of our American history!Delete

A Story and a By-Word

(This Article first appeared in Heroes, Heroines & History:A Story and a By-Word on Sunday, August 16th)

The offspring of the Great Depression, who had peddled papers and sold apples on street corners of the 1930s, awakened to a new era in the 1940s. They gaily glided into the eloquent ballrooms that mirrored the starlight and splendors of the Aztecs. They cashed their first paycheck, kissed their first sweetheart, and bought their first car. 

The American dream awakened our youth to education, jobs, and prosperity. But across the ocean, Hitler awakened his youth to the idea of a Master Race.
Germany’s youth were awarded an opportunity to be part of a selected aristocratic ideal. So, instead of looking to jobs, they looked to the swastikas and a special privilege for themselves—that of becoming the Master Race. 
Their physical appearance and ancestry were important. A young man had to choose his wife with great care. Oh, the excitement of being included in this special aristocratic majority who would make the world a better place for all.Like a rattler slithers across the ground and stirs up the dust before it strikes, the subtle seduction of Nazism wove its deadly poison into the hearts and minds of the people. 

The World War I defeat in 1918 threw the German people into a mind of disillusionment. The monarchy was replaced by a republic and enemies of this new democracy grabbed their chance to blame this new republic for just about everything that went wrong in the struggling postwar Germany.
The enemies of this new democracy grabbed at the chance to play the blame game. Claiming the army wasn’t defeated by the Allies—but forced to surrender because the Jews lacked the will to fight and the patriotism needed to win. Some blamed the socialists in Germany.
Hitler appeared to be the only one who could save them from their skyrocketing economic ruin and—communism. During the 1930s Hitler and his Nazi party grew in popularity. 
By a few votes more than his opponent, Hitler became chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933. He quickly made plans to rebuild the military. Germany’s youth was his top priority. He outlawed all rival political parties, arrested their leaders, and shoved them into prison.
In 1935, compulsory military training began and in 1936, he remilitarized the Rhineland. Distorting history for his political gain, truth for a lie, new textbooks were written for Germany’s school-age children.
I doubt anyone has not seen Robers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music. This musical depicts the element of Hitler’s military strategy very well. It was in March of 1938, little Austria was brought into this snake’s grasp and indoctrinated into Hitler’s scheme of world domination. 

In the spring of 1940, while our youth were dancing to the tunes of Glenn Miller, Jimmy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, and Benny Goodman, Hitler’s youth took Denmark, Norway, Belgium, and The Netherlands.
Germany’s youth swallowed Hitler’s lies. Gleefully they tore down the honored archives of Germany’s forefathers to be part of this ideal race. A new generation was born and the German life, as Germans once knew it, was replaced with a Marxist government. 

Why didn’t the German people stop Hitler? Why did they embrace the concept of becoming a Master Race?
Reinhard Spitzy remembers: “I personally was in the SS. ’Selected people shall be the future aristocratic spinebone of the German nation.’ I felt myself very much flattered by being chosen for this. And then the uniform was very beautiful—black. Of course, we like the uniform and boots and all that.”
So it was that during the twilight of August 1941 a changing wind blew against America’s shorelines. Before the autumn moon could chill the summer breezes, you could smell the stench of death.
As the lash of Hitler’s Third Reich fell upon Europe, the world looked to America, looked to our happy and fun-loving boys.
They, too, had faced deprivation, hunger, and the prejudices of the 1930s and 1940s. Yes, they heard the communist parties spout their agendas and Charles Lindbergh’s speeches praising the new German regime, but they were busy.
Busy helping their parents put food on the table for their younger siblings. Then after graduating from high school, they were busy working eight to ten hours a day at jobs and putting themselves through night school.
Then Japan bombed Hawaii and America entered World War II. But many of our youth had been raised on a solid Judeo-Christian diet from their parents and grandparents, and they had trouble—killing their fellow man. 

Our government understood. They asked songwriters for inspirational songs and lots of morale boosters. Frank Loesser wrote “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition,” and Kay Kyser and his orchestra played it all the way to being the Number 2 song in October 1942! Here’s the fifth stanza:
“Shouting Praise the Lord, we’re on a mighty mission
All aboard, we ain’t a-goin’ fishin’
Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition
And we’ll all stay free.”
Our American youth of the 1940s understood the plight of sinful man. They believed, thought, prayed, and died on the battlefields of World War II muttering their faith and beliefs with their last breaths.
It took one generation of youths unaware of the repercussions of following a new ideal, a new order like Nazism, to change a country. Its morals, beliefs, and—conscience.
Many Germans turned their heads away from the atrocities their country instigated. After all, it was none of their business.  
Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan often cited Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden…” they were referring to the sermon of Puritan pilgrim John Winthrop.

In 1630, aboard a ship bound for Massachusetts Bay, Winthrop delivered his sermon “A Model of Christian Charity.” In it, he said, “For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world.” 

A story-book romance swirls into a battle for survival—. Ruby’s daughter, Esther, meets her adventuresome match as World War II slams American’s shoreline.
When the men and women of World War II marched off to war, they didn’t know what lay ahead. They only knew that upon their young and inexperienced shoulders rested the plight of the free world.
As far as Germany and Japan were concerned, America had produced a carefree generation that couldn’t rescue themselves from a windstorm, let alone the world from a dictatorship.
Guys like Eric Erhardt remember those days vividly. “The outside world all thought Americans were too soft, and not much more than playboys, and we wouldn’t be able to fight—man, did we show them!”
 “…I loved the suspenseful and well-crafted twists, turns, and vivid war scenes. They left me reading nonstop while biting my nails. Catherine’s lovely prose, sense of humor, and historical accuracy deliver an unmistakable wow factor…” Deb Gardner Allard AKA Taylor Jaxon, author of Before the Apocalypse

Catherine says, “My readers inspire my writing!”  Catherine is an award-winning author of the inspirational historical romances, Wilted Dandelions, and Destiny of Heart. Her popular Destiny series includes: Swept into Destiny, Destiny’s Whirlwind, Destiny of Heart, and Waltz with Destiny.
She has written Images of America; The Lapeer Area, and Images of America: Eastern Lapeer County. Her short stories have been published in Guidepost Books, Baker BooksRevell, CrossRiver Media, and Bethany House Publishers.She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), President of the Great Lakes Chapter (ACFW GLC).Catherine lives with her husband of 45 years, has two adult children, and four grandchildren.
See for more information about her books.
Posted by Catherine Ulrich Brakefield at 12:30 AM Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest


  1. Rory LemondAugust 16, 2020 at 2:30 PMIt was a shame what Hitler tried to accomplish your book which I read was really a fantastic read.Reply
  2. Catherine Ulrich BrakefieldAugust 16, 2020 at 4:54 PMYes, what I believe Hitler did was demonic.

    Thank you Rory Lemond! I am so glad to hear you enjoyed Waltz with Destiny! I know I had to really “sell” my war scenes to my editor. She was afraid It might be too much for a Historical Romance audience.ReplyDelete
  3. Connie R.August 17, 2020 at 8:56 AMThanks for your post!ReplyReplies
    1. Catherine Ulrich BrakefieldAugust 23, 2020 at 5:23 PMThank you Connie R. I am so happy to know that you liked it!

What do Books and Boats Have in Common?

Let’s get back to giving thanks and worshiping God! Enjoy a spirit-filled time by the lake Sunday, August 9th at Lakepoint Church located at 1550 W. Drahner Rd., Oxford, MI. Plenty of room for social distancing and absorbing the Word of God!

The service begins at 10 a.m. Booksigning at 11 a.m.

The Bible and History are more important to you and your loved ones today than any other time in our nation’s history! My inspirational historical novels make great birthday, anniversary, and graduation presents. A stylus pen with a flashlight and a pocket Bible is included with each purchase.

See what my readers are saying about these books:

Wilted Dandelions: God doesn’t create coincidences—he designs possibilities Rachael agrees to a marriage of convenience with an obnoxious doctor.  “…one gripping, compelling read. Wilted Dandelions by Ms. Brakefield had me eagerly turning pages and sighing over the love story premise as well as taking comfort in the spiritual message…” ES

Swept into Destiny:   One conscionable act… Ben McConnell, a handsome Irish immigrant, and a gutsy Southern belle unite in a common cause during the Civil War.  “Catherine Ulrich Brakefield’s flowing descriptions pull you into Swept into Destiny and keep immersed in the world of the Antebellum south…This isn’t just a world of beaus, belles, and balls, but of moral ambiguity and searches for truth…”   L.H. Amazon Reader

Destiny’s Whirlwind: A death-bed promise, a dashing Rough Rider, the parable of the sower take on unimaginable consequences as Ben’s daughter, Collina, fights to keep her father’s legacy of Shushan alive. Destiny’s Whirlwind by Catherine Brakefield is a beautiful inspirational love story that will reel you in and win your heart…The story is beautifully written and filled with triumph and heartbreak. I couldn’t put it down…”      VV Amazon

Destiny of Heart: Collina battles insurmountable odds to rescue Shushan—. Ruby McConnell Meir leaves for the prairies of Colorado. The Roaring Twenties dive like a wounded eagle into the Great Depression.  “…Brakefield carefully weaves in historical events from 1917-1932, through the lives of characters and families so beautifully detailed, you become emotionally immersed in every page, every struggle, every triumph. ‘God can’t wipe away a person’s past…But He can help us rewrite the ending.’” Amazon Reader

Waltz with Destiny: A story-book romance swirls into a battle for survival—. Ruby’s daughter, Esther, meets her adventuresome match as World War II slams American’s shoreline. Can Eric persevere through the shadow of death?  “…I loved the suspenseful and well-crafted twists, turns, and vivid war scenes. They left me reading nonstop while biting my nails. Catherine’s lovely prose, sense of humor, and historical accuracy deliver an unmistakable wow factor…” Deb Gardner Allard AKA Taylor Jaxon, author of Before the Apocalypse


The Common Good of History

The Common Good of History

Since the Declaration of Independence formation in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776, many modern-day Americans take for granted the history that our founding fathers gave to future generations. Continental Congress 1

“We have people who want to destroy our history… rewrite our history…and get rid of law and order…,” Ben Carson said during a television interview with Hannity on June 22 concerning the rioters tearing down historical monuments and burning buildings.

Why is American history important to know for the next generation?

In our nation’s capital, just off the rotunda, is a room always open to members of Congress, the focal point of which is a stained-glass window showing George Washington kneeling in prayer with the words of Psalm 16:1: George Washington nation's Capitol

“Preserve me, O God, for in Thee do I put my trust.”

Riots and rioters are not something new to America’s shores. Back in the 1770s, the Stamp Act, the Molasses Tax, the Paper, Lead, Glass, and then the Tea Tax had finally lit the match and fueled the indignant colonists into tossing one of their few luxuries off the side of a ship.

Samuel Adams said it this way, “It is not the pence (money) but the principle.”  The colonist endured taxation without representation. They resented being ruled unjustly with no hopes of ever being ruled fairly.

The British Crown ordered Boston’s port closed. That would mean starvation for the Boston citizens. King George III ordered that the Boston men were no longer free to meet or speak together as a group.

Virginia declared fasting and prayer for the Boston inhabitants. Benjamin Franklin left immediately for London, seeking to address King George III and Parliament as to the colonists’ rights. The king ignored Franklin’s pleas.

The First Continental Congress was formed in Philadelphia in September 1774. Patrick Henry, George Washington, John Adams, Samuel Adams, and others united. Free-thinking colonists hoped their Continental Congress might again attempt to address the King of England, declaring its loyalty to the Crown, however, insisting the enacted punishment could not be obeyed.

King George’s response was to send British General Gage out to arrest Samuel Adams and John Hancock and hang them for treason in London. It would be only a matter of time before the rest of the Continental Congress would face a similar demise.

There was no reasoning with the king, no hope of unleashing the chains of injustice for the colonists, and total folly for any colonists to fight against this powerful nation of that time—Britain.

American Minuteman World Book 1In the shadowed mist of the new dawn, about fifty Minutemen awaited the British regiment at Lexington. The surprised British officer ordered the farmers and merchants to lay down their arms and go back to their homes.

Maybe there was still hope that a confrontation with the British Army could be halted. Captain Parker, leader of the Minutemen, yelled, “Don’t fire unless fired upon.” Then pausing said, “If they mean to have war—let it begin here.”

It was at Concord that the Minutemen won their first battle and turned the British back at the old North Bridge over Concord River.

In the city of Concord, this famous verse written by Ralph Waldo Emerson is engraved upon a statue of a Minuteman:

“By the rude bridge that arched the flood,

Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,

Here once the embattled farmer stood,

And fired the shot heard round the world.”

George WashingtonThe winter at Valley Forge nearly defeated Washington’s Continental Army. His starving and ragged band of soldiers had given all they had. Their well-dressed and well-fed opponent appeared undefeatable. What was George Washington to do? To whom could he turn to for aid?

Humbly kneeling in the snow at Valley Forge, Washington prayed for strength and guidance. With fortitude and perseverance, he led his tired Continental Army to independence and freedom from the most powerful nation of that time.

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress was no longer made up of colonies; they were now the United States of America!

The preamble to the Declaration of Independence reads: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The Declaration ends with these words:

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

Proved by our forefathers’ deeds, these were not idle words scratched hastily upon the parchment. John Adams’ comment would go down in history as to how to commemorate the Fourth of July, “…as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”

“We have got to stand up now.” Ben Carson continues during his television interview with Hannity on June 22, 2020, “…these people are not lovers of George Floyd… they are anarchists! What do you with anarchists, you have to control them, they are bullies…if you leave them alone they will just grow and grow. We have got to stand up now or else it will be too late.” American Ben Carlson 1

Ben Carson feels our American history is worth preserving, worth standing up “For the values and principles that made this into a wonderful country. The Judeo-Christian principals of love and caring and the family, all these things—we are just throwing them out, and we are letting these radicals dictate to us…  It is time for Americans to speak up… for our children and grandchildren…it’s our responsibility to keep it.”

The American Minutemen pledged to take up arms at a minute’s notice. Oftentimes, they came ill-equipped to fight the well-armed British soldier. The Minutemen lived on little sleep and scant rations, yet, they were ready to lay down their lives for freedom’s cause. They did it for their families and their children’s children.

What is your opinion? Do you agree with Ben Carlson? Are Americans taking for granted the history that our founding fathers gave to future generations will continue without our sacrifice?


One Nation, Under God

One Nation, Under God

Heroes, Heroines, and History By Catherine Ulrich Brakefield

Flag with soldier 1Did you know that on Flag Day, June 14, 1954, President Eisenhower added “under God” to our Pledge of Allegiance?

Flag Day is commemorated on June 14 in memory of the day in 1777 when the Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of The United States.

Flag Day 1President Woodrow Wilson established Flag Day as an annual national celebration in his proclamation issued on May 30, 1916.

Our Pledge of Allegiance was inspired in 1891 by Francis Bellamy, the son of a Baptist minister and a former preacher.

Bellamy aspired to create a patriotic program for school children for the dedication of the Columbia Exposition in October 1892, the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the New World. He felt compelled to incorporate an allegiance for the youngsters in his charge, especially living in the shadows of the Civil War. According to the, Pledge of Allegiance, Bellamy’s original pledge read:

“I Pledge Allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Waltz WW 2 Pearl Harbor ww2-07Then along came Hitler and Mussolini who decided to stomp the nations of the world to their will and their allegiance. After winning that brutal world war, in stepped Rev. George Docherty.

The Reverend Docherty was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1911. He came to the United States in 1950 to become pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, located in downtown Washington D.C.

One day, Rev. Docherty heard his young son recite the American Pledge of Allegiance. He felt this needed God in it.

Docherty’s sermons began to ring with this characteristic. In Scotland, “God save our gracious queen,” is a standard saying, and he’d mention the need to insert “under God” into the Pledge of Allegiance.

There is no doubt Docherty felt led by God to promote his mission to grace America’s Pledge of Allegiance with “under God.” He acquired his chance to add fuel to his flaming desire when in February 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower attended Docherty’s service in honor of Lincoln’s birthday.

After the horrific years of World War II and facing the ever-looming threat of Communism, American hearts burned with gratitude to God and their Lord who had heard their prayers and brought their sons, daughters, husbands, and brothers’ home. Four-star General Dwight D. Eisenhower knew that all too well. Now as president, he worried about the communist threat to America’s peace looming on the horizon.

Rev. Docherty didn’t appear to be worried in the least. From his high pulpit in that high peaked-shaped centennial church where once the famous Scottish Preacher Peter Marshall once spoke, Docherty declared, “To omit the words ‘under God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance is to omit the definitive factor in the American way of life.”

No waste of words for him. “An atheistic American is a contradiction in terms,” Docherty continued. “If you deny the Christian ethic, you fall short of the American ideal of life.”

Rev. Docherty and Pres. Eisenhower 1The parishioners voiced their favor through calls and letters. The Knights of Columbus and veteran organizations wholeheartedly agreed.

A bill was proposed in Congress to add the phrase, ‘under God’, and Eisenhower signed the act into law on our beloved Flag Day — June 14, 1954.

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Reverend Docherty’s statement above about omitting “under God” from the pledge is to “omit the definitive factor in the American way of life” brings a lump to my throat and concern to my heart. If Docherty came to America’s shores in 2020, would he say this of us today?

Continental Congress 1From the first landing of Christopher Columbus to America’s shores, to the Delegates of the First Continental Congress praying for guidance and establishing our Flag in 1777. From the Tipperary’s of World War I to the Caissons of World War II, Americans have always stepped up to the plate to do their part to make America’s history sing out strongly of our allegiance to the God who never failed us. Pray Americans continue to remain faithful to the God who made this nation great.

Destiny’s WhirlwindBook 2 of the Destiny Series: A death-bed promise, a dashing Rough Rider, the parable of the sower take on unimaginable consequences as Ben’s daughter, Collina, fights to keep her father’s legacy of Shushan alive. “Destiny’s Whirlwind by Catherine Brakefield is a beautiful inspirational love story that will reel you in and win your heart…The story is beautifully written and filled with triumph and heartbreak. I couldn’t put it down…”      VV Amazon

Cathy holding Destiny's WhirlwindCatherine is an award-winning author of the inspirational historical romance Wilted Dandelions. Destiny series: Swept into Destiny, Destiny’s Whirlwind, Destiny of Heart, and Waltz with Destiny.

She has written Images of America; The Lapeer Area, and Images of America: Eastern Lapeer County.

Her short stories have been published in Guidepost Books, Baker BooksRevell, CrossRiver Media, and Bethany House Publishers.

She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), President of the Great Lakes Chapter (ACFW GLC). Catherine lives with her husband of 45 years, has two adult children, and four grandchildren.

See for more information about her books.

Posted by Catherine Ulrich Brakefield at 12:30 AM  

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  1. Connie R.June 16, 2020 at 7:28 AMReply
  2. Thanks for the post! A very timely topic for the days we are facing, for sure.
  3. Replies
  4. Catherine Ulrich BrakefieldJune 19, 2020 at 8:30 AMDelete
  5. Thank you Connie R., I am often amazed by the courage of our Christian ancestors and pray Christians of today will show the same fortitude.
  6. Reply

  7. Linda MatchettJune 16, 2020 at 8:02 AMReply
  8. Very interesting. I didn’t know anything about flag day nor realize “under God” was added later through legislation. Thanks for sharing.
  9. Replies
  10. Catherine Ulrich BrakefieldJune 19, 2020 at 8:30 AMDelete
  11. Linda Matchett, thank you for responding!
  12. Reply

  13. Melissa HendersonJune 16, 2020 at 10:42 AMReply
  14. Thank you for this information. Too often, we neglect to learn the history of the flag.
  15. Replies
  16. Catherine Ulrich BrakefieldJune 19, 2020 at 8:32 AMDelete
  17. Melissa Henderson, I try to write in my novels little-known facts regarding the wonderful heritage our ancestors have left us!
  18. Reply

  19. Martha W. RogersJune 16, 2020 at 9:54 PMReply
  20. Even though I remember President Eisenhower adding those words when I was 17, it seems that is always the way I remember it. Our flag is so important and has brought us through so much turmoil. My prayer is for us to return to the dream of our forefathers and and restore our nation to that “one nation under God” country we have been in the past. Thank you for the reminder.
  21. Catherine Ulrich BrakefieldJune 19, 2020 at 8:34 AM
  22. Martha W. Rogers I will join with you praying that our nation exemplifies Christian values and remembers 1 Chronicles 7:14 which is so vitally important for our nation today!