Tag Archives: veronica leigh

Queen Esther


“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14.

Queen Esther was born as Hadassah, in 5th century B.C.E., to a Hebrew family. Her family descended from the Tribe of Benjamin, her ancestors were among the Jewish people taken in the remnant exiled to Babylon. After seventy years of exile, some of the Jews returned to Israel, while Hadassah’s branch and many others remained in what became Persia. No one knows what became of Hadassah’s parents, but her cousin Mordecai took her under his wing and raised her. While she and Mordecai lived in a pagan land and associated with unbelievers, we can probably assume that Hadassah had a typical, observant upbringing. Neither she nor Mordecai could have known what lay ahead of her… or their people. Continue reading


Half Pint: The Adventures of Laura Ingalls Wilder


Since America’s beginning (before, really), strong, brave, and intelligent men and women forged their way westward to make new lives for themselves and their families. In the Little House series, Laura Ingalls Wilder chronicled her family’s journey from their home in Wisconsin through various states and territories to the Dakota Territory where they settled permanently. While some scholars now debate the authorship and consider some of the material to be fictional, the basic story is the same. The Laura Ingalls Wilder, the Ingalls family, and many of those she crossed paths with, were pioneers. Continue reading

Sadakeo & the Thousand Paper Cranes


Some stories you read or hear as a child stay with you for the rest of your life. Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes is one of them. I read it for the first time in Mrs. Jones’ second grade class. She assigned us the book. On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, we had an hour set aside for reading and for a week or so, I spent my time learning the story of Sadak—how she lived her short life and how she died. Though she lived in the 1940’s and 1950’s in Japan, it was easy to fall in love with this bright and beautiful girl. Continue reading

William Wilberforce


To call William Wilberforce a man of faith might be a bit of an understatement. Wilberforce was a force not to be reckoned with. Born in 1759, he was sent to live with his uncle and aunt after the death of his father, to receive a proper education and have a more privileged upbringing. In the late 18th century, the majority of English population belonged to the Church of England. However, more evangelical movements had begun to crop up, such as the Methodists and Quakers; even within the Anglican Church certain members became more evangelical. Influenced by George Whitefield, Wilberforce was initially drawn to the movement. His mortified family deterred him from becoming more devout in his faith. By the time he was at Cambridge, like many young men, he embraced a more worldly lifestyle. He adopted the customary gambling and drinking shenanigans that went hand in hand with life as a student. Wilberforce purportedly had an excellent singing voice and loved to entertain others. Even so, he remained a good and conscientious individual.

Following the deaths of his grandfather and uncle, Wilberforce became financially independent and though he could have lived the life of a gentleman, he was a thinker and at the age of twenty-one he became a member of parliament. As a wit, he became a great orator. His quick mind and sharp tongue cut his opponents down to size. His friend William Pitt the Younger (who would later become the Prime Minister of England) also entered the political arena and despite their inexperience, they were determined to make their mark on the world.

Wilberforce had one plan, God had another. The Lord began to draw Wilberforce back into the fold. It began with daily prayers, Scripture reading, church attendance and led to more dramatic statements of faith such as forsaking alcohol, dancing, and gambling. His spiritual awakening made him question his purpose; he wondered if he should leave politics and forsake public life. Perhaps the Lord could use him in a different manner. His friend William Pitt and John Newton (the same John Newton who had originally been involved in the slave trade, came to Christ and became a minister, and wrote the hymn “Amazing Grace”) convinced him that he was exactly where he needed to be and that God was using him and would continue to.

william2Wilberforce’s calling came when he met Thomas Clarkson. A radical abolitionist, Thomas showed Wilberforce the evidence of the evils of the slave trade and slavery. Wilberforce’s new Christian faith challenged him, leading him to believe that he had to oppose slavery and use his position as a politician to end it. He decided to target the slave trade itself, knowing that once that was abolished, slavery would eventually cease. Wilberforce and an eclectic group of evangelicals gathered firsthand accounts, evidence, they lobbied, made speeches, and enlisted the help of former slaves for a campaign against slavery. Thousands of signatures poured in, but that was not enough. The bill he put forth was defeated and thus was the beginning of Wilberforce’s unwavering commitment to the cause.

Every year that followed, Wilberforce would bring forth a bill to end the slave trade and every year he faced failure. During his crusade, Wilberforce battled with his own demons. He had a number of health problems, many gastrointestinal issues, which he treated with opium. Addiction was not understood in those days. It destroyed his eyesight and caused him debilitating depression. He later kicked the habit, likely from God’s health.

The French Revolution and its unrest affected politics overseas and there was a lull Wilberforce’s campaigning. It was during that time he was introduced to Barbara Spooner and their courtship lasted all of eight days. Always passionate, for Wilberforce that was enough, therefore he and Barbara married. It wasn’t long before they had children and he became a very devoted father.

Following the loss of his friend William Pitt the Younger, Wilberforce and his ragtag group of evangelicals resumed the campaign against slavery. In collaboration with many, a bill was put forth which would ban British subjects from aiding or participating in the slave trade to the French colonies. It passed with very little opposition. The slave trade petered out overnight.

Wilberforce never ceased fighting against slavery, and continued to support various causes, including children’s rights, reform for workers and animal rights. Everything he did, his actions and his crusades, stemmed from his faith in Christ. He resigned from politics in the 1820s and in 1830 lost much of his fortune via a business venture by his son. His last years were spent coping with ill health and staying with various friends on long visits. Wilberforce died in 1833, three days after hearing that the Bill for the Abolition passed.

One has to wonder would the world would have been like had Wilberforce not heard the call of God. But then again, everything happens for a reason.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Veronica Leigh has been published in several anthologies and her work has appeared on GoWorldTravel.com and the Artist Unleashed, and she has published a couple of fictional stories. She makes her home in Indiana with her family and her furbabies. To learn more about her, visit her blog.

Anna Karenina: Levin & Kitty


Leo Tolstoy wrote the multi-faceted novel, Anna Karenina as somewhat of a cautionary tale. The romance between Anna and her lover Vronsky was ill-fated from the start, yet since the novel was published, the passion between the two has been glorified as “true love.” Somehow committing adultery and abandoning your spouse and child and living in exile with a lover is romantic. There is a lesser-known story in Anna Karenina, the one of Levin and Kitty. Levin and Kitty plays second-fiddle to Anna and Vronsky, however, it’s their love that endures and survives. While their romance is smiled upon by society, maybe considered “boring” by the world’s standards, and has its ups and down, theirs embodies the notion of “true love” in its purest form. Continue reading

Exemplary Courage: Count von Stauffenberg



A devout Catholic nobleman and German patriot would be the least likely candidate to assassinate the world’s most evil dictator.

Born Claus Philipp Maria Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg in the eastern part of Swabia, his noble roots extended back many generations. Well educated, Claus adored literature, especially poetry. Poetry involving religious themes would later inspire him to act on his conscience. He followed his family’s tradition and entered the military. He married a loving woman named Nina, and they had five children. The future seemed bright for the young Stauffenberg family. Continue reading

North and South



Elizabeth Gaskell chose to write North and South inspired by her life in Manchester. The haughty Margaret Hale moves from southern England with her genteelly impoverished family to Milton, in northern England. Considered by some to be similar to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in themes, North and South takes it a step further, exploring the great divide of rich and poor, good breeding and bad, manners and customs of two different worlds that are united. Continue reading

Lydia, Seller of Purple



One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. ‘If you consider me a believer in the Lord,’ she said, ‘come and stay at my house.’ And she persuaded us. Continue reading

Judy Garland



Always be a first-rate version of yourself, rather than a second-rate version of somebody else!” – Judy Garland

We all have an idea of who Judy Garland was. For some, she is the girl wearing a blue gingham dress who skipped her way down the Yellow Brick Road in ruby slippers. For others, she is the queen of the musicals in old Hollywood. Still more remember her as the one who brought back vaudeville in the 1950’s and had one-woman shows that became her bread and butter. Alas, it is her problems with substance abuse, multiple marriages and erratic behavior that most remember her by. We tend to forget Judy the person, who wanted nothing more than to love and be loved. Continue reading

Katharine von Bora



Behind every great man is a great woman. Often enough these ladies go unnoticed or are forgotten. But even the smallest contributions leave their mark.

Katharine von Bora was born in 1499 and in all likelihood lost her parents at a young age. She was sent to the monastery, first for education, but then later became a nun. Years passed. Whispers of a new reformation reached even the convent she was interned at. Six miles away, Martin Luther was preaching to the common man straight from the Bible. Katharine was one of the nuns who soon came to believe that forgiveness, grace and salvation could only come directly from God. Soon she and nine other nuns no longer felt the call to serve God in a convent. They felt led to serve Him in a different capacity. Upon delivering a message to Martin Luther himself, he arranged for a rescue wagon to be sent to the convent. Continue reading