Refining Fire: A Novella (Refining Fires Book 1)

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Within its pages are all the upheaval, suspense, heartache, and romance that make the American Patriot Series unforgettable. The scope of Revolutionary War era history in this book alone is sweeping, from Europe to the Colonies to the Native nations. If you are a fan of Rev War novels, 18th century history, or gripping good storytelling, start at the beginning with Daughter of Liberty.

You have a lot of great reading in store and memorable characters to meet. Hochstetler once again takes readers deep into the turbulent days of the American Revolution, bringing to life the battles, the spies, and the intrigue that belong solely to our forefathers and their struggle for our burgeoning country.

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Hochstetler's rich description, strong and unique characters, and impeccable attention to historical detail leaves readers wonderfully satisfied yet longing for more. Fans of historical fiction will adore this newest installment in the American Patriot Series. It is rare to read a series with the intensity of historical understanding that you will find within the pages of the American Patriot Series.

From every vantage point—the Native Americans, to the British, to the Colonial Americans—the complexity of the political and cultural ramifications brings a greater depth of understanding to the bigger picture than you will find in most historical novels.

A series well worth mentally devouring. Separated from one another. Can the captives find their way back? In this deeply moving conclusion to the Northkill Amish Series, Joseph and Christian are adopted into separate Delaware clans and families and gradually reconcile to their new lives. But even if he can get away, could he survive a harrowing journey over the hundreds of miles of rugged terrain that lie between him and his Northkill community? Does home still exist?

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Are his older son and daughter, Johannes and Barbara, still alive? Will he ever find his boys and bring them home? It guides the readers through their own beliefs by exploring the minds and emotions of each of these fictional characters. This book continues to deliver well written descriptions and dialogue that make the setting and times come alive in the mind of the reader. This book forces readers to grapple with the morality of hard decisions that do not have simple yes or no answers.

It looks at issues from varied perspectives, showing the reader multiple interpretations of individual dilemmas. This book also highlights the idea that God has a plan in the end; no matter what happens, He can be trusted. Hughes, professional writing major, Taylor University. I have read the Book of Mormon many times.

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Usually it was for a class-seminary, religion class at college, teaching a primary class. After I had children the reading was slower as I read with little ones.

Earlier this year I decided to read it straight through like a novel. I was amazed by how many things were in there that I had missed over the years. So I did it again. Still more treasures were found. Now, with your thoughts on Nephi and Jacob being concerned with converts, I will re-read those chapters with new eyes. That is just one of the things I love about your writing, the ability to help the reader see things in a new way, ways never thought of before. Thank you.


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Post a Comment. Top Of The Morning. Thursday, August 07, The Refiners Fire. Woolley sheds his bloggish sensibilities and delves into the research and inspiration behind the characters and story lines of his Book of Mormon Promised Land Historical Fiction Series. This week it's ancient blacksmithing. The refiners fire. Its a metaphor so deeply rooted in the ancient world of blacksmithing that it appears in scripture see Malachi In this picture, one of very few from the ancient world, a blacksmith holds a crucible over hot fires, watching for the moment when his reflection appears and the silver is purified.

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No wonder ancient prophets liked the metaphor. Spiritual refinement of Godly attributes are often reflected in your countenance, your choices, and in your discipleship. The first labor unions were formed among ancient Phoenician blacksmiths who united themselves into guilds to protect their secrets.

Of all the smiths in the ancient world, none were more acclaimed for their secrets than the Phoenicians living along the northeast coast of the Mediterranean Sea in what is now Lebanon. Phoenician blacksmiths refined the art of steel making, a secret they kept closely guarded and one that garnered them a great deal of wealth. King Solomon hired blacksmiths from Sidon, a famous port city along the Mediterranean coast, to assist him in building the temple in Jerusalem William J. Hamblin, "Sacred Writings on Bronze Plates in the Ancient Mediterranean" The refining of ore reveals more about the wealth, industry, and advancing technologically of ancient cultures than any other single archaeological artifact except a written record.

A rolled silver scroll excavated from a Jerusalem tomb.


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A copper plating on an alter in Mesoamerica. Iron nails. Steel swords. Brass buttons. All products of the refiners fire from one of the most secretive trades in the history of the world. In the Promised Land Series , Jonathan the Blacksmith was an anomaly, a Jew who learned his trade among expert Phoenician smiths in the port city of Sidon before migrating to Jerusalem. Oaths of secrecy bound blacksmiths to never reveal their art. That may be why little is recorded in the written record and even less depicted in the artwork of the ancient past. Blacksmiths, at least the ones who understood the arts of refining silver, gold, and the most coveted of all, steel, performed their work in the secrecy of their shops.

No wonder Nephi was impressed by Laban's sword. Its fine steel workmanship was the product of a secret art. Among ancient blacksmiths there were two secrets that allowed for the smelting of high-quality steel. The first was the purifying of fuel. Pieces of hard coal, or what modern steelmakers call ingots, burn at higher temperature than black coal allowing ancient smiths to heat their smelting ovens to temperatures hot enough to refine iron ore into steel.

To prepare the ingots, blacksmiths burned the impurities out of coal until only hard ingots remained. The purified hard coal fuel did not catch fire quickly, but once lit, it burned at extremely high temperatures. The other secret was black ash. Iron ore was full of carbon, but in far too great a quantity to form strong bonds in the metal.

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Refining Fire (Brides of Seattle Series #2)

The smelting process burned away virtually all the carbon, but by adding just the right amount back into the molten ore, the correct molecular bonds formed during the cooling process. The ancient blacksmith may not have understood the science of his art, but by trial and error he discovered the secrets that allowed him to smith the most prized metal of the ancient world. Blacksmithing was also a diplomatic tool.

If you were an outsider hoping to integrate into ancient Jerusalem society, mastering the art of refining metals provided instant credibility. It may have been an even more powerful integrator among peoples in the New World. Ancient Mesoamerican communities welcomed outsiders, gave them land, helped them learn the new language and assisted them in becoming fully integrated members of society, sometimes even offering them governing status, if they brought with them new technologies.

Chief among them was the art of blacksmithing.

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Take Kaminaljuyu. An ancient archaeological site within the limits of Guatemala City. Nearly every Book of Mormon scholar agrees Kaminaljuyu is the most likely site for the City of Nephi. Sometime around BC an outside kin group immigrated to this highland Guatemalan valley and introduced to the already existing kinfolk tribes a written language, irrigation technology, crop cultivation, new religious practices and, most compelling to the largest segment of locals, metals. These cultural innovations led archaeologists to name Kaminaljuyu as the the birthplace of Mesoamerican civilization.

The thousand year span beginning about BC and extending to about AD is considered the pre-classic period when kinfolk tribes began adopting the technologies and cultural ideas which ultimately led to a shared Mesoamerican culture known scientifically as the Mayan civilization. They continued to war among each other, spoke over a hundred different language dialects, and paid allegiance to local kin group kings. But a shared acceptance of written language, inter-tribal commerce, shared religious beliefs, and the establishment, from time to time, of a fragile regional government bound tribes together into what scholars call the most advanced civilization of any ancient people in all of the Americas.

No other group, except the Incas many centuries later, came close to rivaling the Mayan culture. And not even the Incas developed the skill of writing. Nephi and his people likely intermingled with the already existing peoples living in the cool, agriculturally rich highlands sometime around BC. Nephi organized a city on available lands, introduced an advanced agriculture, and shared his understanding of blacksmithing which made friends and likely many religious converts to the Law of Moses. The major writings of Nephi and of his brother Jacob see 2 Nephi and Jacob during the City of Nephi period may have been focused primarily on concerns over how to deal with converts.

Once the dilema is resolved the subject is never mentioned throughout the remainder of the Book of Mormon. Jacob includes the allegory of the Olive Tree detailing the grafting-in of new adherents.


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