Adam&Eve Shamed by Michael, the Angel illustration by Gail Ingis in “Seeking Paradise” by Deborah Galiley

Ever think about how the Bible is written? Is it character driven? What does it mean to be character driven? Well, if you know Michael Hague’s HERO’S JOURNEY (example: Finding Nemo),

Father Finding Nemo

you know about character driven. You must choose when writing fiction, especially romance. You must have a main character, maybe two, with secondary characters.

So how do you choose one or two characters in the Bible with so many to choose from. Adam and Eve and their kids? Imagine what drove them and how it all turned out. Who are those two brothers? Cain and Abel. A story could be written about either one, and the emotions that drove them. Imagine hating your brother so much that you dispose of him. In the days of the great sacrifice, Abel was the keeper of the flocks and Cain the tiller of the ground.

Cain & Abel offerings

Cain’s offering to the Lord was the fruit of the ground, but the Lord had greater regard for Abel’s offering of the firstlings of his flock and their fat portions and no regard for Cain’s offering. Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. The Lord asked Cain, “Why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, it shall be lifted up.” A bloodless offering was perfectly acceptable, but it was Cain’s attitude of unbelief and his denial of the murder of his brother that displeased the Lord.

Genesis 4:9 And the LORD said to Cain, Where is Abel your brother? And he said I know not, Am I my brother’s keeper? (A blatant lie, did Cain think he could hide from the Lord?)

What did Cain gain by getting rid of his brother? In the end, the Lord banished him, the murder was pervasive, horror followed him everywhere. He was a broken man. If you are broken, everything and everyone will be broken.

Who are your characters? What drives them?  Pretty big story, this Cain and Abel. Can you begin to piece it all together and see what some of the details of Cain’s life might have been? There was no HEA in his life. Did he change as a result of this tragedy? I can’t find anything in the Bible to say that he did. Cain had no Lord in his life, but he did have tragedy, and lots and lots and lots of children.

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Gail's Christmas angel on her angel tree

Twinkling lights hung on fragrant boughs, laced with golden antiquities; garlands strung from the mantle, framing a glowing fire of crackling pinecones, the family Bible prominently displayed on a table, opened to the greatest story ever told. Walking from room to room, the heavenly scents of fir, pine, hemlock, sweet spices of cinnamon, cranberry, and apple fill the air. Windows are frosted and the walls faintly shudder with the howl of the snow-laden winds outside. Guests filter in and leave their calling cards at the foyer desk, each one a brightly decorated token of the season.

Fireplace in the dining room at the Biltmore

Names are crisply spelled out in fine script, surrounded by pictures and designs in bright, cheery colors. The mail basket is overflowing with cards lavishly printed with the lithographs of Currier & Ives and Louis Prang.  A scrapbook in the parlor, another in the children’s playroom, announce with appropriately selected pages, that Christmas is here in all its spectrum and splendor.

Currier & Ives winter scene

When we celebrate Christmas with family and friends, we have the Victorians to thank for many of its joyful festivities and delightful customs. They revived old traditions, such as caroling, and invented new ones such as sending Christmas cards.

The Victorians also promoted church-going, gift-giving, and charity to the poor as essential parts of the holiday. They transformed the folk figures of Father Christmas and Santa Claus into symbols of holiday generosity, and they greatly popularized Germany’s traditional Christmas tree or Christbaum.

A Christmas Carol

Most of all, the Victorians made Christmas a family celebration, with its primary focus on the Christ Child and children. A Victorian Christmas entailed the exchange of gifts between parents and children; attendance together at Church services; a multi-course family dinner; and visits with friends, relatives, and other families.

Lockwood Mathews Mansion Museum Victorian Christmas


Christmas was certainly celebrated in this Victorian Mansion. Lockwood Mathews Mansion Museum welcomes guests to enjoy the decor of a true Victorian Christmas. For hours and information please go to: Those of us involved with the mansion are working towards complete restoration. Will you get involved?

Pine tree aromas pine cones all around

From our house to yours-Greetings of the Season







Christmas evening on the grounds at The Biltmore - I could not pass this image up, it is too beautiful.

The Christmas Tree

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