Happy Christmas and Happy New Year!
Reflections: Christmas has twelve days from December 25th to January 5th. Christmas like 2019 is coming to a close sadly. I will be reflecting on Christmas and the year 2019 in review in this blog post. PLEASE do NOT take your Christmas Tree until January 5, 2020, January 6, 2020, January 7, 2020, or any other day after the 7th of January! Western Christmas is a 12 Day Festival filled with holy days and great Bible readings starting on Christmas Day (December 25th) and ending on the Twelfth Day of Christmas (January 5th).
The Feast of Epiphany is on January 6th, but Western Christians and Eastern Christians aka Orthodox Christians are divided on what to celebrate on the Feast of Epiphany. Western Christians celebrate the Wise Men aka the Magi aka the Three Kings on the Feast of Epiphany (January 6th) and Eastern Christians aka Orthodox Christians celebrate the Baptism of Jesus on the Feast of Epiphany (January 6th). Western Christians celebrate the Baptism of Jesus on the first Sunday following the Feast of Epiphany. Epiphany lasts until Ash Wednesday (February 26, 2020: this year). The old fashioned Eastern Christians aka old fashioned Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on January 7th, so you can leave your Christmas Tree and other decorations up a little while longer. However, your Santa Christmas decorations can come anytime now, since Christmas Eve is over. Santa kicks off the 12 Day Festival of Christmas. We shall examine Christmas a little more later on in this blog post and we shall have an Epiphany blog post in January 2020, if all goes well.
Before I forget, I would like to thank all of my readers, store managers, and shopkeepers for a successful year! All of you have been really great to me this year and I appreciate all of you. I will list all of my shop keepers here: Jennifer Garrett of Jen's Furniture and Collectibles (JFC) in St. Marys, Ohio, John Brunner of Brunner News Agency and Readmore Hallmark Stores in Lima, Ohio out at Eastgate Plaza and Elm Street, Wally Wagner of Wagner's IGA Grocery Store in Minster, Ohio, and Rita Daughtery of The Menagerie in St. Marys, Ohio. I will list my store managers here: Becky Shaw of the Eastgate Hallmark Store and Cindy of the Elm Street Hallmark Store. I will list of the event coordinators here: Amanda Kelly of the Waynesfield-Goshen Muchinippi Theatre (Waynesfield Winterfest 2019), Frank Ulrey of Waynesfield Lions' Club Festival 2019, Marie Warnecke of the Ottoville Rosary Altar Society's Annual Craft Show, Heather Dowell of Arts Place Inc. in St. Marys, Ohio (St. Marys Holiday Art Bizarre 2019), and Stephanie Foster of The Centre at Bluffton (Ohio) (Holiday Showcase Craft and Vendor Show 2019). I would also like to thank those shop keepers, who let me have a book signing at their stores during 2019: Collette Johnson aka Collette Ault of The Little House Specialty Shop in Lima, Ohio, Jennifer Brogee of Shop for Good Gifts and Boutique in Lima, Ohio, and Dan of The Dam Store Antique Shop in Columbus Grove, Ohio. And of course, thank you readers, because without you awesome readers, I would not be able to be the "Second Most Successful Local Author in Lima, Ohio and Allen County" (John Brunner 2016). Thank you! Please keep reading and I will keep writing and having book signings in the future.
Now on to Ohio Irish Lutheran Press' Year in Review; 2019! We read a lot of Holy Scripture in 2019 and we shall read even more in 2020. We celebrated holidays and holy days together and we shall celebrate them again next year. We celebrated love on St. Valentines' Days and we remembered, that there are two Main Christian Saints called Valentines. We celebrated St. Patrick's Ministry in Ireland, being Irish, and National Irish Heritage Month. We reflected on how St. Patrick pointed us to Jesus' Death, Burial, and Resurrection. Sadly people were confused with the covers of my Christian romance novels The Rising of The Moon Book 1: Changing Tides Part 1 and The Rising of The Moon Book 1: Changing Tides Part 2.
We mourned the Death of Jesus and we celebrated His Resurrection from the dead. There was a heated election for President of The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS). The Reverend Doctor Matthew Harrison, who was the incumbent, was challenged by the Reverend Doctor David Maier, President of the Michigan District of The LCMS, and Reverend Timothy Klinkenberg, Senior Pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Orange, California. It was a very heated and controversial religious election. The Religious Right in The LCMS were represented by both Reverend Harrison and Reverend Klinkenberg and the Religious Left in The LCMS was represented by Reverend Maier. Reverend Harrison and Reverend Klinkenberg both wanted The LCMS to remain a Conservative and Confessional Lutheran church body, but Reverend Maier wanted to soften the marriage teaching in The LCMS and Reverend Maier does not value the Lutheran Confessions, as he should being a Lutheran pastor. Reverend Maier's water-downed form of Lutheranism proved to be unpopular in The LCMS. Reverend Harrison beat both Reverend Maier and Reverend Klinkenberg in the 2019 LCMS Presidential Election in June 2019.
We mourned for the destruction of the flooding and tornadoes, which beat up St. Marys, Ohio and Celina, Ohio. The people in St. Marys and Celina had their world turned upside down. Their houses and/or their friends' or family members' houses were either severely damaged or were destroyed by the flooding and tornadoes. Grand Lake St. Marys is very beautiful, but like all water it can be devastating. People in St. Marys and Celina, who live along Grand Lake St. Marys, were rescued by boat. People literally pulled up in their boats to rescue family and friends from flooded houses. It was a tragedy, but St. Marys and Celina are on the road to recovery and many of the people had a Happy Christmas thanks to Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit sustaining them and bringing out of the little Hells of floods and tornadoes to the little Heaven of Christmas.
We looked at a few of the Lutheran church bodies, which make up the diversity of American Lutheranism. We celebrated Christmas in July! No, Christmas in July is not another excuse for stores to sell more stuff. Christmas in July is another day to celebrate the Virgin Birth of the Messiah. We looked at some of the themes in my Christian romance novels The Rising of The Moon Book 1: Changing Tides Part 1 and The Rising of The Moon Book 1: Changing Tides Part 2. We looked at the reasons, why I left St. Luke's Lutheran Church (ELCA) for Immanuel Lutheran Church (LCMS).
I remembered and celebrated my Holy Baptism and my new life in Christ, which started, when I experienced water Baptism. We talked about the importance of learning about the History of the Crusades and you can learn about the First, Second, and Third Crusades in my Christian romance novel The Rising of The Moon Book 1: Changing Tides Part 1. We celebrated Oktoberfest and traditional marriage. I endorsed Russ Holly for Shawnee Township Trustee and Derry Glenn for Lima Sixth Ward Councilman. We celebrated Martin Luther and the Lutheran Reformation. I complained about Thanksgiving and the Puritans.
We celebrated Christmas basically since October 17, 2019, when I wrote my first blog post about Holy Angels and my Green Irish Angel Statues, which are still available at Jen's Furniture and Collectibles (JFC). I published my fifth book The Rising of The Moon Book 2: Faith, Hope, and Love. The Rising of The Moon Book 2: Faith, Hope, and Love starts out as a Christmas novel, but then it shifts gears and turns into a Christian Saints History book.
We celebrated all Four Sundays of Advent. On the First Sunday of Advent, we celebrated Jesus' Triumphant Entry into the Holy City of Jerusalem and Jesus' Holy Crusade for your soul and spirit. On the Second Sunday of Advent, we celebrated St. John the Baptist pointing us to Jesus as the Messiah and the Lamb of the God. On the Third Sunday of Advent, we mourned the martyrdom of St. John the Baptist. On the Fourth Sunday of Advent, we celebrated the Nativity of Jesus. Then we talked more about Holy Angels and the Nativity of Jesus. Thank you for an awesome 2019 and I look forward to awesome 2020.
Book Signings: I wanted to have book signings in December 2019, but sadly I got two or three types of head and chest flu all at the same time. Being sick doesn't work very well during book signings. I plan on taking January 2019 off due to possible bad weather, but I should have two or three book signings in February 2020.
My Green Irish Angel Statues: My Green Irish Angel Statues are really cute! They are only $1 each and they make great gifts. I have three kinds: 1. Cross-Bearing Angels, 2. Praying Angels, and 3. Angels Holding Butterflies. I like the Cross-Bearing Angels the best, because they are carrying Crosses. Each one bearing a Cross reminds us, that Jesus died on the True Cross to save every single person from death, Hell, Satan, Satan's Demons, Original Sin from Adam and Eve, and their personal sins. They're available exclusively at Jen's Furniture and Collectibles (JFC) on the corner High Street and Chestnut Street in between Circle K Gas Station and Zion Lutheran Church (NALC) in St. Marys, Ohio.
Stores Carrying My Books: My books, which I’ve written and published, are also available at the following stores: Brunner News Agency on Flanders Avenue in Lima, Ohio, Jen’s Furniture and Collectibles (JFC) on High Street in St. Marys, Ohio, The Menagerie at 1178 Indiana Avenue in the St. Marys Business Complex in St. Marys, Ohio, Readmore Hallmark Stores out at Eastgate Plaza and on Elm Street in Lima, Ohio, Wagner’s IGA Grocery Store in Minster, Ohio, and in the Shop section of my website ohioirishlutheranpress.com .
Thank you, Happy Christmas, and Happy New Year!
James W. O’Flannery, President and Founder of Ohio Irish Lutheran Press (OIL Press)