Margaret Best Author Newsletter
The Book Expo 2023
The History Behind Cupid
Cupid, the cute little angel-like cherub who shoots arrows into human hearts, causing them to “fall in love,” is a relatively modern rendition of Eros, the ancient god of love and desire who hung around with Aphrodite, the ancient Goddess of love and lust. First thought of as a teenage man, Greek, and Roman philosophers viewed Eros as a god capable of love and war, like many marriages today. He looks like an angel, but he is not.
The Greek poet Hesiod, born between 750 and 700 BCE, mentions, in his Theogony, the god Eros as a mischievous god hovering around Aphrodite, shooting a lethal weapon (arrows) into unsuspecting humans, sometimes causing love and often leading to war.
As years rolled into the Middle Ages, artists depicted this same god as a young child mischievously sending arrows into individual hearts, causing lust, love, and chaos. Although this cute little imp is not an angel, he is depicted as one.
Saint Valentine’s Day has little to do with any saint named Valentine. At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day. At the time, pagans being accepted into the Christian faith celebrated Lupercalia. Lupercalia included killing one or more goats, soaking their hides with a concoction of blood and milk, stripping the hides into rope fiber, and making whips from the hide. Chosen men ran the countryside, scourging people and the land to purify it.
Three different saints had been named Valentine or Valentinus, but little is known about them. Of the several legends about the saints Valentine, I like the one about cupid. It seems that the emperor had decreed no young soldier may marry. Valentine was a Roman priest who performed wedding ceremonies for soldiers; The priest wore a ring with the cupid symbol. He also handed out cards of cut-out hearts—the first valentine cards.
In 1383 a poem by Geoffrey Chaucer was considered the start of modern-day Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day,removed from the Christian liturgical calendar in 1969, is still celebrated by local people worldwide.
When many of us attended school in the ’30s, 40, and ’50s, we celebrated Abraham Lincoln’s and George Washington’s birthdays. Whether we were dismissed from school, those days was up to the local school district. Because children remembered those two days and their presidents, the rest of our executive officers’ study was overlooked. It amazes me how many native-born Americans, when asked to name the presidents of the United States, only recall these two.
President’s Day is a federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February, which in 2023 is Monday, February 20. Created in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington, the name changed to President’s Day when we recognize all forty-six past presidents of the United States. In 1971 the Uniform Monday Holiday Act changed the dates to create more three-day weekends for our nation’s workers.
Newsletter February tidbits
- There are 28 days in February 2023.
- February 2, 2023 is Groundhog Day.
- February 14, 2023 is Valentine’s Day.
- February 12, 1809 was Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.
- February 20, 2023 is President’s Day.
- February 22, 1732 was George Washington’s birthday.
- Mardi Gras begins on February 21, 2023 in New Orleans.
- Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent is February 22, 2023.
The Creation of Angels
By Margaret Best
I sat on the side of my child’s bed, listening to her prayers while looking at the photo of a child walking across the bridge, protected by her guardian angel. My mother-in-law had given the picture to my daughter years before. “Mommy,” my little angel asked. “Was my guardian angel created at the same time I was?”
“I’m not sure,” I responded. I kissed my daughter on the forehead. We both said, “Amen.” I left her room, clicked off the light, and thought about her question. “When did God create the angels?”
The first verse of scripture in the Bible states Genesis Chapter 1 verse 1, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” God created every being in our universe, including those seen and unseen. Scripture does not say when exactly God created the angels; however, in talking with Job, God says, Job Chapter 38 verses 4,7, “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me if you understand. . . .While the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?” If angels shouted for joy at the creation of the earth’s foundation, then God created angels sometime before he created man.
The Book of Genesis Chapter 2, verses 1, 2 says, “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day, God had finished the work he had been doing; so, on the seventh day, he rested from all his work.” Does this mean God created the angels before he started making everything else in the universe?
Enter the Apostle Paul, who wrote from prison to the church in Colosse (Turkey) when false teachers perverted the Christian teaching by leading people to worship angels and to follow particular rules and ceremonies. The Book of Colossians Chapter 1, verse 16, “For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.” God created angels before he created anything else. Divine creation dates back to before the creation of man or anything else.
Every culture throughout human history believes in spiritual beings that are unseen yet working within our lives—for good or bad. The Bible does not say precisely when or if all angels were made simultaneously.
Back to my daughter’s question: “Was my guardian angel created at the same time I was?” Again, I don’t know. The Bible doesn’t answer the question, only that God created all things.
Stewart, Don. “When Were Angels Created?.“ Blue Letter Bible. 24 Apr 2007. Web. 8 Jan 2023. <https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_6.cfm>.
My Angel Experience
When I think of the times I have heard, felt, or seen angels, I remember the many different circumstances. The first sighting of angels came in 1970. Three weeks after my grandfather’s death, my baby was born. My baby died after six months of gestation. The doctor called it a natural abortion, but I knew differently. My baby had been born alive.
I felt sad but did not cry. Instead, I dreamed of my grandfather. I saw grandpa wearing his customary suit and tie, standing on the brown earth, holding a bundle, and looking down at it smiling. He looked at me and nodded his head, then handed the bundle to a short angel with wings standing on a step, who then gave the bundle to another angel standing on the next step of the ladder until the child progressed from angel to angel up the ladder to an opening above. An angel holding my son walked into the brightly lit opening directly into Heaven. I was not sad knowing the baby would grow up in Heaven.
People say this incident was born from a mother’s grief, but God sent the vision to comfort me. One purpose of angels is to comfort believers going through stressful situations.
If you’ve had a similar experience, and would like to share, please Email me.
Easter baskets, stuffed Easter rabbits, chocolate bunny ears, Cadbury eggs, Mardi Gras beads, and peeps appear in all stores. Why? Well Easter is coming soon. This year, 2023, the Easter Bunny shows up with his baskets full of toys and goodies on April ninth. That’s two months away. Why think about Easter now?
People all over the world, especially in New Orleans and Rio De Janeiro celebrate carnival, often termed Mardi Gras during the week before Ash Wednesday which in 2023 in February 22. Carnival is a time when Christians party and begin their preparations for the church season of Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday.
Lent, for the devout, is forty days of preparation for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, their savior. Those who wish to study the Bible more in depth during this season can use the book He Lives, The Easter Story by Margaret Best available on Amazon.com.
Book Of The Month
This unique Bible Study contains three books in one. Book one takes the reader through the 40 days of temptation. Each essay shows a picture, the story retold, and recipes and activities as well as prayers.
Book Two takes the reader through the Holy Week with Bible lessons, devotions, and recipes.
Book Three takes the reader through the weeks after His resurrection with letters retold by disciples for today’s life followed by crafts and recipes.