Tag Archives: historical christian fiction

A Powerful Trip to CANDLES Holocaust Museum


I dreaded history in school. Too many names, dates, and complex events that I didn’t care enough to understand. It all felt like a world away. Insignificant. Boring.

Imagine my surprise when, decades later, historical fiction began calling to me. Not only to read, but to write. As I began researching for a manuscript I was working on, all of a sudden history came alive. It mattered. The boring names were suddenly humans with real personalities and reasons for doing the things they did.

I hope everyone comes to understand just how important history is, for the purposes of knowing where we came from and where we’re going; knowing what to do, what not to do; when to take a stand, and when to let things blow over. We can only discern these things and work together to benefit our families and country when we know how it has all played out before.


I recently visited CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Terre Haute, Indiana. CANDLES stands for: Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiments, and the Center was started by Holocaust survivor Eva Kor, who lived most of her adult life in Indiana. She passed away in 2019, but spent the last thirty years of her life campaigning for forgiveness and hope.

It’s hard to fathom, but true: In Eva’s later life, she officially declared her forgiveness of Hitler—the one responsible for her horrendous childhood. She forgave the Nazis—those who killed most of her family in gas chambers. And more directly, she forgave Dr. Mengele—the Nazi doctor known for performing medical experiments on twin children in the Auschwitz concentration camp. He performed horrific and often deadly experiments on nearly 1,500 sets of twins, including Eva and her twin sister Miriam, when they were nine years old.

The Holocaust should never have happened, and yet it did. Why? Because Hitler understood how to systematically get people to abandon their core beliefs in favor of what he was convincing them to believe. Much of the public gladly went along with his ideas, as you can see in the image below, taken with permission from CANDLES Museum.

And once Hitler had his followers, it was simple to band together and carry out his goal of purging the human race of those he believed to be inferiors: Jews, homosexuals, Roma, disabled, or anyone else deemed an “asocial”. In the image below, also from the museum, you can see the specific, calculated steps involved in accomplishing the goal.

That intense level of dehumanization and trauma affects each Holocaust survivor uniquely, and many live the rest of their lives with unforgiveness in their hearts. I can’t say I blame them.


But Eva chose a different path. Eva chose forgiveness. See below to read what forgiveness meant to her:

Maybe we haven’t been traumatized like the Holocaust victims, but we probably all have someone who takes negative residence in our minds and hearts. Someone who makes our anger rise just by thinking about them. We encounter situations time and again that require us to either forgive or live with the frustration that comes with withholding forgiveness.

When we face a person or situation that seems too big to move past, we would all do well to remember Eva, the nine-year-old girl who lived through nightmarish situations most of us can’t even begin to comprehend…and the grown woman who decided enough was enough and finally released the hate, anger, and bitterness in exchange for personal freedom and hope.

We can endeavor to move forward from wherever we feel stuck toward a place of peace and hope. With God’s help, that is. God is the master of forgiveness and fresh starts, and his power resides in us, giving us supernatural strength to do the seemingly impossible—like forgive.


I love the famous quote by George Santayana that says: “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” If each of us educates ourselves on history, we will be strengthened and empowered to stand up against whatever the world may throw at us next, and together we can keep history from daring to repeat itself. We can also be empowered to forgive when the world does us harm. This is my prayer for each of us.


One way I love to engage with history is through historical fiction—it makes past events come alive. Let me recommend two favorites.

Until Leaves Fall in Paris by Sarah Sundin is historical romance that tells of the underground resistance in Paris during the Nazi takeover. It’s an incredible story that I highly recommend.

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom is a true story and offers lots of awe-inspiring details regarding how her family helped Jews hide out and escape the Nazis, and how Corrie herself survived a concentration camp seeing God’s hand everywhere she looked. This is a remarkable book I wish everyone would read.

And I’d love to share my free WW2 ebook novella, Love on a Whim, with you. You’ll dive into Yvonne’s life on a unique part of the homefront, working at a Canteen, feeding hungry soldiers as they pass through. As she struggles to see where God is leading, a friend’s quick decision just might change her life forever. Just follow the link above, enter your email, and the ebook will arrive in your inbox.

Thanks for reading, and let me know in the comments your thoughts, questions, or what historical fiction book YOU recommend!

Thank God & Take Courage: An Exciting Journey of Faith


Isn’t it exciting to suddenly see something old in a new light? I’ve read through the Bible a handful of times, but when I read Acts 27 last week, something new struck me. The story was no longer telling me facts about Paul’s journey; the story was showing me how to face life’s difficulties with faith and assurance. Let me show you what I mean.

To start, here’s a summary of Acts 27: Paul has been in prison for years for no good reason. On board a ship with 275 others, he sails toward Italy for his trial, and their two-week journey is comprised of terrifying, unrelenting, violent storms.


All hope of being saved was abandoned by most, yet Paul encouraged the crew to keep up their courage, telling of an angel who had come to him and assured him that God would grant safety to all on board.

Let’s pause here for just a second. Have you ever gone through something hard? Something so difficult it hardly seemed possible to come through on the other side? If so, have you been able to muster your faith and hold tight to Jesus as he helps you through?

OR, have you ever held onto faith on behalf of a friend or family member who was suffering—speaking faith, encouragement, and hope into their difficult situation?

I’d venture to guess many of you have, and kudos to you—faith in the storm is a challenge every time, but Paul gives us an excellent example to follow.

And to conclude the summary…The sailors know they’re getting close to an island, and there is much rejoicing. Paul is probably thinking, Yep, it’s just how God said it would be; I’m not surprised. And then…

WHAM! The ship runs into a reef.

Although land is in sight, the ship is still far off from shore, and is now immoveable and being broken to pieces by the force of the waves.


What might Paul have been thinking now? Maybe something along the lines of, What’s going on, God?? We were so close to safety!! (Maybe his faith never wavered, but I personally don’t think that’s the natural human gut response.)

In the end, everyone from the ship is able to swim or float to shore and no lives are lost, as God had assured Paul from the start. The island natives even welcome the weary sailors.

But we’re not done… They build a fire for a much-needed meal, and before Paul knows what hit him, a deadly snake bites him. Everyone pauses, expecting him to drop dead, but surprise—the venom doesn’t even affect him, and life goes on.

There’s no question about it—while Paul’s circumstances were certainly bigger than what most of us have experienced, it doesn’t diminish the fact that life often throws challenge after challenge upon us.

How do we respond to a pile-up of difficulties?

Imagine being Paul.

Really, God? I’m in jail for following Jesus?

Really, God? Nonstop, terrifying storms on the open sea for fourteen days?

Really, God? Land is finally in sight and now I’m stuck on a reef?

Really, God? I haven’t even caught my breath, and now a snake bite?

We often praise God when the shore is within sight and shake our fists at him when our boat suddenly gets stuck on an unexpected reef.

But Paul never sits and licks his wounds. In fact, one of the first things he does on the island is heal the father of the man who welcomed them. You certainly need faith for an act of healing. Three months later, Paul meets up with fellow believers in Rome. Acts 28:15b tells us that “on seeing them, Paul thanked God and took courage.”


Paul held tight to his faith during a pileup of challenges, surrounded by others who didn’t understand his steadfastness. He faithfully kept trusting in God to the point where other people probably thought he was ridiculous.

I love how the Bible tells us that Paul “thanked God and took courage” upon meeting up with other believers.

Paul is an incredible example for all of us. We can do life faithfully without the support of other Christ followers, but God uses other Christians to bring us extra doses of courage and faith. Doing life with other believers is like taking our vitamins when we feel a cold coming on. If we can blast our cold with enough vitamin c and zinc, we just might not get knocked down. If we have other Christians to stand with us in faith, we might just make it to the other side of our difficult situation.

This is one big reason why meeting together in church is so important. Although we can and should connect personally with God whenever and wherever we are (his presence is not confined to a church building, thank goodness), we can connect with God on a deeper level through the faith and encouragement of other people.


Do you find yourself stuck on a reef right now when you thought you were almost out of the boat?

If you have a Christian circle, give a friend or pastor a call. Even just a quick chat and prayer with a Christian friend can help courage rise up so you can face tomorrow with faith.

If you don’t have a Christian circle, try to find one. Try a new church, Christian group, or even online group. Be bold and reach out to start developing encouraging relationships.

And then…

Thank God and Take Courage. This Christian faith journey is not for the weak-hearted, but it can be an exciting, wonderful experience to learn to draw near to God’s goodness and mercy in ways you never would have expected.

Comment below with your thoughts or if you need prayer for any reason! I would love to connect with you. And if you haven’t already, be sure to sign up with your email address to receive future posts and exciting email updates from me—you’ll get a free downloadable prayer guide as a thank-you gift!

Also, if you know a middle-schooler who is going through a challenging time like we talked about above, my first novel, POWER UP, might just contain the encouragement they need to keep holding on to Jesus.

QUICK UPDATE on my writing journey: I’m excited to announce that I’m participating in a Christmas romance anthology, which will release from Elk Lake Publishing in November! Seven sweet Christmas romance novelettes in one book—it doesn’t get much better than that for the holidays! Can’t wait to share it with you in a few months.

Also, the literary agency I work with is still a bit backed up, so while my historical romance manuscripts have not yet been shopped around to publishers, they will be in the coming months. Prayers for a great publishing home would be appreciated! Meanwhile, I’m shoulder-deep in writing the third, which takes place in the 60s, so at least I’m never bored! 😊