Welcome to The Heavens Declare

Bring the solar system within reach through a story! Read fun excerpts and reviews, and even leave your own review or comment. In the archives you can find articles about science, living books, etc.

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The Daily Page - new excerpt!

From “Girl Against the Blank Page”—

...Do you enjoy the written word? Do you desire to improve your writing skills and have the ability to write something meaningful? I would like to, firstly, share a simple extra-curricular way you can improve your own writing, and, secondly, give some practical ideas of ways to put your writing to use.

Write your daily page
It’s like exercising a muscle. The person who wants to gain strength exercises daily. In the same way, we improve our writing through daily practice. While it is crucial to understand the basics of good grammar and writing mechanics, there is no curriculum that can replace simply going through the writing process on a regular basis. Several years ago I made an effort to write one page of something each day. My writing skills improved as I strengthened my literary muscles through daily exercise.
In addition to improving my writing quality, the daily page began to shape the way I thought about the world around me. A particularly beautiful day would become a descriptive sentence in my head; a new skill would begin to arrange itself into clear, understandable instructions; and a person’s unique characteristics would be tucked away in my mind for future incorporation into a book character. Another direct result of the daily page improved my ability to write realistically: I learned to make the most ordinary things sparkle. I remember a day when I couldn’t think of anything particularly interesting about which to write. As I stared at what was in front of me, I saw a blank sheet of lined paper on a table, and two hands, the right one holding a pencil. Boring and mundane yellow pencil? Perhaps, but with a dose of semi-dramatic description and poetic language, it became a most interesting topic¬¬. The ability to convincingly and enjoyably reproduce the normal world was invaluable as I created engaging family warmth and humor in both books I have written.
You, too, can enjoy the fruits of writing a daily page. Sit down and begin since there’s nothing special required: just a blank sheet of lined paper, your hands, a pencil, and a topic idea. Topics can be found everywhere: in nature, in the kitchen, in the encyclopedia, on the road, at church, or in the cute toddler in your lap. Consider these six areas of important quality writing.

Descriptions- practice the art of making your readers picture and feel exactly what you want to communicate, using vivid, concrete words.
Narratives- briefly relate a story from your own life. Try to make even the most ordinary, mundane event captivating.
Characters- think of a fictional character, and write a vivid description of him. Try to describe what your five senses might perceive about him, as well as the fascinating dimension of his personality.
Instructions- experiment with describing a process. No matter the type of written communication that interests you, the ability to clearly explain the steps to achieving a goal will be a useful skill.
Persuasions- work to correctly and clearly present logical arguments in writing. The Lord may give you opportunities to write in defense of the Faith or lead others to follow Him and His word.
Letters- improve your letter-writing. The friendly letter can bless others and glorify the Lord, as well as enable long-distance friendships. Also cultivate the skill of writing clear and effective business letters.

Use your daily page
Put some of your fruitful, daily writing practice to good use! Publish a family newspaper, include your writing with a friendly letter, use a narrative as a journal entry, teach a younger sibling through an instructive piece, start a blog, share with others your instructions for a craft or skill, save a narrative of God’s goodness for future generations to remember.

From “Girl Against the Blank Page: a Young Author's (Hopefully) Helpful Journey" coming soon! Subscribe to our feed to receive an announcement when this book is released.

(C) Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved. Please feel free to share this excerpt, providing a link to http://www.lightoftheworldbook.net/ or http://www.heavensdeclare.info/.

11-year-old Missionary

The second Tuesday of each month, enjoy a free excerpt from "The Heavens Declare," "Light of the World," or a book not yet released!  Subscribe to our feed to have excerpts and articles sent directly to your e-mail inbox.  Read more exciting living science excerpts from "Light of the World" here.


From "Light of the World" Chapter Two: "The Missionary"—


…As the food was being served, Brian asked, "Mr. Johnson, how long have you been a missionary?"

            The man smiled and leaned his head to one side, calculating.  "I would say it's been right around 35 years."  Danielle looked up sharply, observing his mostly dark hair, his face showing only squint-lines at the corners of his eyes and smile lines around his mouth.  She expected a person who had been a missionary for 35 years to look much older.

            Mom also seemed to be wondering.  "Do you mean that you grew up in an overseas mission field?"

            Mr. Johnson shook his head.  "No," he said.  "I grew up in the Midwest in a small town called Blackcrow.  I first started sharing the gospel for Christ when I was 11 years old."

            "You did?" asked Andy.

            Chris found his voice for the first time since the missionary had come into their house.  "What do you mean?" he asked a little shyly.

            "Well, when I was growing up, I went to a little school where I had three good friends.  When I got saved at the age of 10, I began to wonder if these friends were Christians too.  The more I wondered, the more I worried about their salvation.  I wanted to make sure they knew the Lord and would go to heaven.  But, as I thought about sharing the gospel with them, I began to be afraid.  What if they laughed at me?  What if they didn't want to be my friends anymore?  What if, what if?  It took a year for the Lord to finally convince me, but I did begin to speak to my friends about Jesus."

            "What did they do?" Chris asked.

            "Well, they didn't laugh," said Mr. Johnson.  "But they didn't become Christians right away either.  For two of them, it took almost our entire time in school together before they finally accepted the Lord."

            "What about the third?" asked Dad…


Find out in "Light of the World," an exciting living science book about light, only $8.95 plus shipping and handling.


(C) Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved. Please feel free to share this excerpt, providing a link to www.lightoftheworldbook.net.

What Happened to Mr. Simmons?

The second Tuesday of each month, enjoy a free excerpt from "The Heavens Declare," "Light of the World," or a book not yet released!  Subscribe to our feed to have excerpts and articles sent directly to your e-mail inbox.  Read more exciting living science excerpts from "Light of the World" here.


From "Light of the World" Chapter Three: "Mr. Simmons"—


            "Is Dad going to stop by Grandma's on his way home from work today, Mom?" Danielle wondered as they walked along their neighborhood's already-hot sidewalk.

            "I think so," Mom said.  "He said he wants to see if there are any branches that need to be cleared from her yard after the storm."

            "Too bad I didn't go with him on his courier route today," said Brian.  "I could have helped at Grandma's house afterward."

            "Me too," Collin commented from the stroller.  "Gwamma!" he said lovingly.

            "He looks like the captain of a ship or something," Andy said, noticing the commanding way Collin rode in the stroller.  The rest had to agree it did look like he might be surveying the ocean waves before him.

            "Uh, oh," said the little boy, pointing to a garbage can lying sideways at the end of an empty driveway.

            "Oh," said Chris, looking at the house, "I think that family is on vacation.  They weren't here to pick up their garbage can when the storm knocked it over."  He paused; then said to Mom, "Can we pick it up for them?"

            "Sure, son," she replied with a smile.  "That is very kind of you."  In a moment, Brian had helped Chris right the can and drag it to the top of the driveway.

            "I wonder if anyone else needs help," said Brian, wiping the palms of his hands on his jeans.  He looked around.  Most of the mesquite trees in the neighborhood had already been firmly tied upright after previous storms had flattened them, and there was very little damage to be seen.

            Mom checked her watch and turned the stroller around.  "9 o'clock," she said, "let's head back to our house now."  The children were only too glad since the sun was already baking the neighborhood. 

            Brian was still looking for anyone who needed help repairing storm damage.  "Mom," he said, "it looks like Mr. Simmons' mesquite tree wasn't tied up; it's fallen over."  They were standing before a small house two doors down from their own.

            Chris looked around a little apprehensively, remembering the frowning elderly man who lived there.  One time when Dad had been teaching Chris and Andy to ride their bicycles, Andy had taken a pretty bad dive and landed right in the middle of the small grassed area of Mr. Simmons' front yard.  Although no real damage had been done to either the boy or the grass, the man had frowned grumpily and warned him to 'keep off' before turning his back and going inside.  Then there was the time they had gone Christmas caroling.  Most of the other neighbors had come out onto their porches to listen and say "Merry Christmas," but Mr. Simmons had only opened his door a tiny crack.  When they finished "Silent Night," he had grunted, "Hmm.  Very nice," in a disinterested, growling voice and closed the door.

            Now the Edwards children stood looking at one another and at the mesquite tree.  "Well," said Brian, drawing the word out, "Mom, can we see if Mr. Simmons would like us to tie up his tree?  We still have some stakes and rope."

            "Yes, we can only try to be friendly to him," she replied.  "Dad wants our family to get to know him, especially because he doesn't seem to have family of his own nearby."

            They all stood looking around for another moment until Brian finally said, "Well, to the door, then.  I'll knock."

            There was silence for a few long moments after Brian knocked.  They almost decided he was not at home.  Then they heard someone fumbling with the lock.  The door opened a small way, and they saw Mr. Simmons peering out at them from the darkness of his house.  He looked unusually old and exhausted.  He was trembling and hunched into a worn blue bathrobe.

            "Hello," Mom began.

            "You don't want to be here," the man said in a panting, trembling voice, shaking his head.  "I'm very sick.  All the youngsters will catch it."  His hand went to his stomach as he spoke.

            "Oh," said Mom.  "Is there anything we can do to help y—" 

            Mr. Simmons, clapping a hand over his mouth, retreated hastily into his house leaving his door creaking open behind him.  "Do you think he has the flu, Mom?" Danielle asked, her eyes wide.

            "I don't know," Mom replied, her hazel eyes looking worried.  The family stood, facing the open door, looking at one another.  This was one of the strangest things that had ever happened to them.  "Perhaps we'd better go now; we'll let Daddy know and maybe we can check on him later," Mom decided.  They turned the stroller and began to walk down the path leading from his porch. 

            Behind them they heard Mr. Simmons muttering, "Got to shut the door."  Then there was a groan, a strange thump, and silence…


Did something happen to Mr. Simmons?  Find out in "Light of the World," an exciting living science book about light, only $8.95 plus shipping and handling.


(C) Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved. Please feel free to share this excerpt, providing a link to www.lightoftheworldbook.net.

What are Your Favorite "Living Books"?

"Living books" can be terrific additions to any method of home education.  What is a "living book"?  


According to simplycharlottemason.com, living books are "… usually written by one person who has a passion for the subject and writes in conversational or narrative style. The books pull you into the subject and involve your emotions, so it's easy to remember the events and facts. Living books make the subject "come alive." They can be contrasted to dry writing, like what is found in most encyclopedias or textbooks, which basically lists informational facts in summary form…"



Think through your bookshelves: what living books do you own?  You may be reading and enjoying these gems without realizing it!


Leave a comment at www.lightoftheworldbook.net sharing the titles, authors, and brief synopses of your favorite living books.  Others will benefit from your favorites, and you can benefit from theirs!


Join us next Tuesday for a once-a-month excerpt from the new living book: "Light of the World."

Shuttle is Returning

From NASA News Services: "CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Space shuttle Endeavour is scheduled to return to Earth for the final time on Wednesday, June 1, completing a 16-day mission to outfit the International Space Station. If Endeavour lands Wednesday, it will have spent 299 days in space and traveled more than 122.8 million miles during its 25 flights."

Pray for our astronauts to arrive safely home and to be forever impacted by their journey.  May they each give God all the glory!

We Have Winners!

Congratulations to Misty and Rebekah, winners of the "Heavens Declare" and "Light of the World" giveaways.


Don't forget about our 15% discount on both books during the month of May: 5LNVH8DM