Bargain books April 28, 2021

BookBub has a suggestion for us with one of our favorite authors.

Never Forget the Past: A Clean Romantic Suspense (The Men of Fire Beach Book 3) 

Amazon quote:

Could you let your family believe you were dead if you thought it was the only way to save them?

Five years ago, Billy “Bubba” Campbell had a different name, but after narrowly escaping an attempt on his life, he fakes his death and leaves town to keep his family safe. He’s adjusted to life in Fire Beach, but when Makenna re-enters his life, he is forced to make a gut-wrenching decision: Continue living his lie or return to his hometown to help her catch the killer.

Captain Makenna Drake believed she was saving Matt Fisher’s life when she convinced him to leave his life behind, but now the fires have started again. As the only victim to survive, she hopes seeing Matt will fluster the killer enough to make a mistake. But can she protect him this time or will the killer finish the job started five years ago?

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This next book was suggested yesterday and the suggester’s name escapes me. It’s definitely still a bargain.

Flying Fossils (Women of Fossil Ridge Book 1)

Amazon quote:

“Some women play bingo and go quietly into the night. My mother steals cars and breaks out of Alzheimer’s units.”

From USA TODAY bestselling Author Lynne Gentry comes this heartwarming peek inside a mother/daughter relationship turned upside down.

My aging mother is proof that not every southern woman is sweet tea and sympathy. Momma can’t remember which road to take when she has to drive from her ranch to the small town where she grew up. But she can recount every detail of the day I broke her heart. Her inability to forgive me has made her as crusty as the tiny fossils that cover the river’s limestone bluffs. After wasting twenty-five years trying to chip away this hurt, I finally decided it was just easier to stay away.

Then Momma fell and broke her hip. I flew home to try to mend fences with her one more time. Her refusal to let me take her back to Washington DC to convalesce left me no choice but to leave her in an assisted living center in Texas. I regret telling her that I thought her memory lapses meant it was time to sell the ranch. The moment she was strong enough to manipulate her walker, she stole a car and broke out of rehab. Just to prove me wrong. Again.

Now Momma is missing and I’m sandwiched between two impossible choices: stay in DC with my troubled teenager or go to Texas to find my demented mother. Either way, I feel like I’ve already lost.

The story of the Slocum women is the story many of us are facing. Navigating the care of an aging parent while parenting our own children is never easy. Some days you just have to laugh to keep from crying.

This series serves up a generous helping of laughs and hope. It’s a touching addition to your collection of southern small-town, generational authors like Ann B. Ross, Jan Karon, and Beth Hoffman.

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Currently I’m reading and enjoying an author new to me, it is still a bargain and so are books 1 & 3 in the series. This is definitely holding my interest.

Every Secret Thing (Acts of Valor, Book 2): Romantic Suspense

Amazon quote:

Former NFL Player Turned Navy SEAL Battles Life and Death for Love and Justice in the Christian Romantic Suspense, Every Secret Thing, by Rebecca Hartt

–Present Day, Virginia Beach, Virginia–

Navy SEAL Lt. Lucas Strong isn’t about to let his platoon leader, Lt. Mills, go to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. It’s their retiring commander who should face court-martial for amassing stolen weapons. With the evidence proving the commander’s guilt destroyed, and every witness dead, Lucas must find his only remaining hope, Charlotte Patterson, a gutsy NCIS intern with a photographic memory–missing but believed alive.

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Another interesting book showed up just when I thought I was done.

Copycat Killer (True Blue K-9 Unit: Brooklyn Book 1)

Amazon quote:

Murder strikes close to home for a new K-9 unit in Brooklyn

When a double homicide is strikingly familiar to a twenty-year-old cold case, Detective Nate Slater is rattled by the parallels. With a child as the only witness, he and his K-9 partner must protect little Lucy and her aunt, Willow Emery. Nate’s rough past means he always keeps an emotional distance…but in this case getting closer is the only way they’ll all survive.

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OK, I’m going to stop looking now.

If you have opinions on any of the authors shared here I would appreciate hearing about it. It would be help me make good choices, to know your likes and dislikes. I’m guessing on somethings and could be wrong. Please leave comments. Much appreciated.

Happy reading.

One thing led to another and here we are.

Podcasts. They have captured my attention and it would be safe to say I have been binge-watching often lately. Tonight was no exception and this is where the one-thing-lead-to-another comes in. And, in the end it led to books. I think that is quite awesome.

It’s no secret that there is abuse in my background. I’ve talked about it sparingly along the way and by the looks of it, will be sharing again.

As is often the case, the interviewee on the podcast has recently come out with a new book. Out of the six excellent videos watched tonight, the one to capture my interest the most was a story similar to mine. The ending in relation to her marriage was better than mine, aside from that though, the content was definitely helpful. Spoiler alert… the issue in the marriage was pornography, highly addictive and destructive. At the end of this post I’ll share the link for the podcast. Here is the book…

Choosing a Way Out: When the Bottom Isn’t the Bottom

Amazon quote:

Was it all a lie?

When the author heard her husband’s confession, it took her breath away. Looking back she realized her husband’s sin exposed the deception in her own life. This uninvited crisis proved to be the impetus for her ultimate healing.

Kirsten writes that for most of her adult life she believed:

• She wasn’t good enough, or pretty enough, or smart enough, or rich enough, or talented enough, or whatever enough.

She wasn’t a good person. She was too stubborn, opinionated, and direct.

She was a failure because she’d tried something bold and audacious and didn’t succeed like planned.

• She was invisible and forgettable.

In these pages, you’ll experience raw honesty and a clear path through the pain. You’ll realize that no depression is too dark and no lie too strong. Discover a powerful process where you exchange isolation for accountability and deception for deliverance. Today you can experience a way out, even in the bleakest of circumstances where the bottom doesn’t feel like the bottom. The truth is that God is greater than your pain.

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There’s more.

In the suggestion strip at the bottom of the screen there was a book that appears to apply to me. The longer I looked at it, the more familiar it felt. I checked. I have two copies of it, gifted years ago by a concerned friend. I have read it and taken copious notes, it was that helpful. I have it but will tell you about it again anyway.

The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Amazon quote:

For those who have experienced childhood sexual abuse and those who love and care for them, The Wounded Heart offers a tender, compassionate window into the psychological effects of abuse and the theological foundations for healing.

Thirty years ago, with great courage and vision, Dan Allender brought Christians to the table to acknowledge, understand, and help victims heal from their experience of the evil of sexual abuse. His work continues to help victims and those who love them to honestly acknowledge their abuse, understand the unique challenge of repentance for victims of abuse, and learn to love boldly in defiance of their trauma. Ultimately Dan offers the bold assurance to sexual abuse victims that even they can find their way to joy and hope in the comforting embrace of a good God.

The Wounded Heart has sold over 400,000 copies and has been the first book family, friends, counselors, pastors, and victims have turned to in search of Christian answers to the calamity of sexual abuse. With a new introduction reflecting on the ongoing importance of the book, and a companion workbook for personal and group recovery, The Wounded Heart continues to offer an urgently needed word of grace in a world ravaged by sexual abuse.

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So, further investigation led me to a newer book that I think is an updated version of The Wounded Heart. I think I need to read this one too.

Healing the Wounded Heart: The Heartache of Sexual Abuse and the Hope of Transformation 

Amazon quote:

First published in 1989, Dan Allender’s The Wounded Heart has helped hundreds of thousands of people come to terms with sexual abuse in their past. Now, more than twenty-five years later, Allender has written a brand-new book on the subject that takes into account recent discoveries about the lasting physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual ramifications of sexual abuse.

With great compassion Allender offers hope for victims of rape, date rape, incest, molestation, sexting, sexual bullying, unwanted advances, pornography, and more, exposing the raw wounds that are left behind and clearing the path toward wholeness and healing. Never minimizing victims’ pain or offering pat spiritual answers that don’t truly address the problem, he instead calls evil evil and lights the way to renewed joy.

Counselors, pastors, and friends of those who have suffered sexual harm will find in this book the deep spiritual guidance they need to effectively minister to the sexually broken around them. Victims themselves will find here a sympathetic friend to walk alongside them on the road to healing.

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One more for me from the suggestion strip.

For years I have been working on telling my story, looking for ways to express it more effectively. It’s important for several reasons. It’s therapeutic for me and affirming to those who hear it.

The percentages listed for those suffering as victims of abuse is high.

It looks like the numbers involved in addictions is even higher. Addicts leave victims, adding even more to the number of casualties. The importance of sharing our story is even greater now than it was when I started on this healing journey many years ago.

To Be Told: Know Your Story, Shape Your Future

Amazon quote:

God wants to reveal himself through your story. Discover how he has written your life so far, and how he is leading you into the rest of your story.

“This is a book worth reading. To make sense of your life. To discover the role God is giving you in his story.”—John Eldredge, bestselling author of Wild at Heart and Get Your Life Back

Everyone wants clearer guidance from God on what to do with their future. In this insightful book, therapist and professor Dan Allender shows you how to listen to the stories of your life and identify the themes that God has written there. As you begin to understand both the hope and the heartache, you will gain a clearer sense of the meaning that God has written into every detail of who you are. You’ll also see how he invites you to join him in coauthoring the rest of your story. God is your Author, and he is showing you how to follow him into the future.

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In the above blurb the book Wild at Heart is mentioned. Excellent book. I have read my copy and highly recommend it. It’s written for men but gives helpful insight to the women in their lives.

Wild at Heart Expanded Edition: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul

Amazon quote:

God did not create men to be nice boys. He created us to live a life of passion, freedom and adventure. To be dangerous men living in a really big story.

God designed men to be powerful. Simply look at the dreams and desires written in the heart of every boy: to be a hero, a warrior, to love a beauty, to live a life of adventure.

But sometime between boyhood and the struggles of yesterday, most men lose heart. All those passions, dreams, and desires get buried under deadlines, pressures, and disappointments. Christianity feels irrelevant to the recovery of their heart. No wonder most men leads lives of quiet resignation, meanwhile looking for a little “life” on the side. In this provocative book, Eldredge invites men to wholeheartedness by

  • recovering their true masculine hearts;
  • healing the wounds and trauma in their stories; and
  • delighting in the strength and wildness they were created to offer the world.

In this updated and expanded edition of the timeless, bestselling classic, John Eldredge calls men—and the women who love them—to discover the true secret of a man’s soul and embrace the danger, passion, and freedom God intended for every man.

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I didn’t plan for this post to go so long but it’s all good stuff.

As promised, here is the link for the podcast that started this ball rolling for me. The interview was in two parts and it was the second that impacted me the most. They were both good though.

It would probably be a good idea to watch part one first to give you context. Due to the length of this post I won’t include the link but it will show up for you when this one is opened.

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I hope this will be as helpful to you on your journey as it has been to me on mine.

All the best to you,

a fellow traveler.

This guy makes a lot of sense

No book suggestions so far this morning but I need to post. I’m falling down on keeping my daily post promise. and that is tragic.

I don’t have a book to talk about but I did watch a podcast yesterday that made a lot of sense to me. I’ve lived through stuff he’s talking about and know he’s on the right track. Government can never make things better for us. We have to take our lives into our own hands and work to make things better. My dad didn’t do it for himself (or us) but my brothers and I did. It hasn’t always been easy but life has been good to our families.

Enjoy this man’s wisdom and maybe I will have book things to say later on.

Actually, this man has written books. Check him out.

Cheers

It isn’t that I can’t, it’s that I can’t.

This is one of those just say something kind of days. You know, those days when it’s time to write a post and you have nothing.

So, this title is the thought that’s been rolling around in my head all day. It’s entirely true, and to my mind, it’s hilarious. I love a good play on words.

Probably the reason why this idea is lodged securely in my mind, like a silly song that stays with you all day, is because I lived it over the weekend.

Saturday afternoon was the time for our regular monthly writer’s group. We take turns chairing the meeting and February was supposed to be my turn. It’s bad enough when we meet in person and I can look around the table to see everyone; make it a Zoom meeting and it is confusing and worse. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do a good job and decided to look for a fill-in. I felt the group deserved to have a better experience than I could give them.

Some time after arranging my replacement I read and enjoyed a book featured in a previous blog post here. This added a new element to the meeting as I shared my enjoyment with the rest of the executive. With the help of several of our group members who knew her personally, I was able to contact the author. She would love to read an excerpt for us from her short story. Once this was all settled the agenda came out for the meeting and I was surprised to find I was still on it. In a smaller capacity but still. No one said a word, they just snuck it in there.

It all worked out ok. I was ready with my part mapped out in my head and it went smoothly. Probably because concern for my newly assigned task overshadowed every other worry.

In the end, I had the ability. It wasn’t like I couldn’t do it before but now I could.

The best way to describe why I couldn’t do it would be disability. Something crippling my ability

At this point I can hear one of our best writers saying “when you make statements like that I want to hear details”

I can tell you that I have complex PTSD from ongoing childhood abuse. It started before I was born and ended when I was twelve. I can’t give you details because I don’t have memories. They talk about abuse victims compartmentalizing as a coping mechanism. That’s what my mind did. Ninety-eight percent of my childhood memories are locked in a sealed vault and even though I’ve given myself permission to bring some of them out, for the most part, it’s not happening. I was describing it to my daughter the other day, It’s like watching a room with small windows… every now and then a shadow goes past. That’s the extent of it.

I’ve been in heavy denial about all of this for most of my life. Up until about fifteen years ago when one of my brothers insisted that I own it and admit the truth. This admission was the beginning of a new dimension in my healing journey

One discovery along the way was this: My disability comes not from memories but from triggers rising out of memories buried deep inside me. The deep place that will never forget.

In the past I refused to even think about the shadowy memories I did have.

It turned out there was a better way. I could stop and examine the shadows. Ask questions. Try to understand family dynamics and recognize what was behind abusive actions. There were many well-that-explains-a-lot moments once I allowed myself to question, to take a honest look.

So, I guess the question is, how does this affect my ability to do or not to do? It’s this way… my survival response is to shut down.

Freeze. Panic attacks.

I’ve had many theories about why this is.

A break through moment tells me it’s all about feeling safe.

Why don’t I feel safe? Honestly, aside from rooted in old memories, I have no idea.

I think it will take more than my lifetime to heal from this.

Maybe that’s not such a bad thing. At least I’m making progress.

Maybe can’t could even turn into can someday.

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One thing I know for sure, I’m not alone on this journey. Many others walk a similar path.

Sharing our stories is an effective way to add support to our fellow travelers.

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I will admit this started with a light heart but didn’t end that way. That’s not a bad thing. Honesty is the good thing.

Thoughts running through my mind.

There is one thought running through my mind at this moment. It’s not new, I’ve been visiting variations of this thought off and on for awhile now. This morning it took a different turn and I feel like I need to explore it.

I’ve been judiciously watching many news type podcasts lately. Judiciously, because my mental and emotional health is in trouble if I don’t.

With limited exposure I can’t be quoted on who thinks what or what they plan to do about it if they think it. I am no expert on any of it.

I hear snippets. That’s kind of what started my thinking this morning. Putting two and two together, forming an idea. My idea.

The world is a complicated place, always has been. We think a certain action will gain a certain result but it never holds true with humans. For every expected reaction it is possible there will be an unexpected reaction. Maybe not in equal number as, hopefully, good reactions will outweigh the not-so-good ones. Besides, in the course of your lifetime have you ever seen unanimous agreement happen more than once or twice? Never is more likely.

I’m saying all this to acknowledge the exceptions. What makes one person strong destroys another and it hurts when things go badly.

So, getting back to my original train of thought.

The last few days I’ve heard news people using the term Reset. A Global Reset. I didn’t stick around long enough to hear much but I can imagine what they were thinking and planning. My whole life, I have been hearing about one world government and it is a scary thought. It always sounded like the forces wanting to form this government did not have our best interests at heart. It was all about need for power.

At the beginning of the covid pandemic, watching the way life was changing for all of us, I was thinking reset too. I wasn’t alone with this observation, I’ve heard many others express the same idea.

As a society, life has been easy for us in so many ways and we have become used to taking it for granted, that’s one part.

The other part is disconnectedness. Electronic devices, and all facets of them, have consumed us and our time. We have become isolated from one another in real time. We share physical spaces, yet we are like ships passing in the night. Each living a life in solitary.

Covid has changed all of this. Isolation of a different sort has forced us together for prolonged periods of time. We are discovering in-person relationships, some for the first time. Most, but not all, are thriving and life is enriched with good experiences, making new memories and connections to last a lifetime.

Then there is the hardship of restrictions and the downturn on the economic side. We’ve lost many of the things we took for granted. It’s been a year and life does not look like it will be going back to normal anytime soon. In fact whatever it goes back to is guaranteed to look quite different after all this time. Necessity with all it’s changes will have made going back impossible.

Considering all of this, I view reset as involving our priorities, values, and connections. And it would be a good thing. I think we will be a stronger people for having survived this storm. We will develop a protective awareness we didn’t have before. We were caught by surprise with covid but we won’t be as unaware as we would have been, if it happened again.

If it turns out the World Reset attempt is a reality we will be better equipped to survive, having lived through the personal reset. And if the World Reset never comes, we will still be in a better position to thrive and survive life in general.

In the end, I think the most important reset will be personal. There is no denying … we are already a much stronger people because of it. It’s not over yet, just think of where we will be, strength-wise, a year from now.

This is what I’m thinking today.

As I reach this point in the discussion I find this thought pattern gives me hope.

I’m also pretty sure this won’t be the last time I think about all this.

What to say…

I’m at a loss for words. After missing several days in my daily blog I need to find something to say. I’m feeling emotionally wrung out, maybe that’s why my mind is empty. I’ll just have to start and see what happens. It will surprise me as much as it will you, guaranteed. It’s funny how one thing leads to another and rabbit holes appear out of nowhere…

Today was the day for our monthly writers group Zoom call. Since I’m part of the executive there is always a feeling of self inflicted pressure to be a good participant not just a passive observer. As an introvert, fly-on-the-wall is where I would rather be. I was trying to be rested and relaxed ready for the camera but it wasn’t working out all that well for me. I started out stressed, like it or not.

Going into the week, I didn’t have an active part in the meeting. That all changed when the agenda came out and I found I was down for a book review. In the end we had more than enough readers (to share stories that would be critiqued) and there was no time for the my contribution. It didn’t get used but it was good writing practice, working on the review was not a total waste.

It’s funny how things happen sometimes. I had been thinking several days ago about my style of writing and the type of critique I would like to have. The thing is, I’m often not sure if what I have to say makes sense. Feedback would be helpful. I think I assume people know certain things already and tend to write in note form with little detail. My first clue I do this is when, days later, I read what I’ve written. Sometimes I have no idea what exactly I was getting at. So, going back to the most recent review I’d posted I found myself with a chance to work on making sense.

The review definitely needed to be reworked and expanded. It was a good exercise in figuring out how much extra detail needed to be included. I’ll try to do better the next time I write something like a review or thoughts (like now maybe.)

So, getting back to today’s Zoom meeting. It did the heart good to see everyone again even though we couldn’t be in the same room together. Five members read their stories, each one personal and unique.

They were all good but the one I appreciated most tore us all apart. It was a very raw and real sharing of a lengthy journey with parkinsons. What she has been through, and will continue to go through, is heartbreaking. Yet she has such a positive outlook on life. We could see it cost her dearly to be honest with us. We felt honored to be trusted enough for the privilege of hearing her story.

Today was a day we will not soon forget.

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I’m going to pick up a fast food hamburger and then the mail (it’s been several weeks and I need to get out.) When I come back I’ll see if this still makes sense to me.

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Well, I’ve made changes. I’m not sure it’s enough but time’s getting away on me. At least I’ve finished supper, washed the pile of dishes waiting for me and played a few games on the computer while I was thinking.

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Tomorrow is story prompt day. The word is Resolution. Guess I’m not done thinking for the night quite yet.

A favorite episode from a favorite podcaster

I just have to share this podcast episode. I love it, it makes so much sense.

Patrick Lencioni on How to Discover Your Working Genius

There are two reasons:

Carey Nieuwhof has a gift for asking insightful questions and then listening intently with great follow-up questions. It seems every interview ends with him saying this has been so good. And it has been, every time.

Today’s topic is about giftings in relation to work life. This is one of my favorite topics in the world and it has been for decades. Not just for work but life in general. The more I understand about myself and others the better life goes for me. Today focuses on work life and it makes so much sense.

If you want to know more, Patrick Lencioni has a website with testing material available and he is even offering a discounted price on orders resulting from this podcast. I’ll let him give you the details at the end of the podcast.

So here it is: I hope you find it as helpful and I did.

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Connection – what is it?

Two things are on my mind today.

It’s story prompt day and the word is Time. My last post talked about a New Years resolution which basically acknowledged it was Time for change. The definition for connection (in relation to my friendship resolution) has been on my mind recently so I’m going to combine the two thoughts. To quote a blogger friend ” it’s my blog and I can do what I like” so I guess he won’t complain about my unusual treatment of his prompt.

The whole concept of connection has been percolating in my mind and heart for decades. Through the years many marriage related books found their way into our home but the first solid memory of a discussion centered on connection was a radio program called Love, Sex, and Relationships, with pastors John and Helen Burns. They had many good, practical things to say but one phrase standing out above all the rest was into-me-see. Connection requires intimacy and intimacy in practical terms is defined as into-me-see. Eyes without shutters are crucial.

Our first thought of intimacy is physical in relation to a significant other. In reality it is not physical and applies to every type of relationship. If we’ve built walls of protection, generally speaking, they will apply to all of our relationships to one degree or another.

By John and Helen Burns (and many other’s) definition into-me-see only happens through the eyes, the windows of our souls, the keeper of our secrets. Without the eyes there is no connection. I do know this. I wish I didn’t. (with a good relationship I would also have known this and been glad I did.) Physical intimacy becomes intimate on a whole new level when the eyes meet and hold.

The good news is that varying degrees of connection can be found in varying types of relationships. This is encouraging since we are made for connection. We shrivel without having it on some level and since many of us remain single it’s nice to know friends and acquaintances can fill the void. That will be the challenge.

Friends is where we most often encounter walls still firmly in place. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately in my quest to leave my hermitage behind. Connection is difficult to find. Friendships on a superficial level are easy. I have a number of friends who are willing and even eager to hear the details of my broken life but, it’s a one way street with little-to-no reciprocation. There is a lack of satisfaction in these friendships and I’ve been mediating on why that is. I recognize deep hurts they aren’t willing to share. Is it the not sharing that bothers me most?

No. It seems I’m good with people not telling me their story. It’s the walls that are the problem. Up or down, there is a different vibe. Walls-down there is a softness with approachability, walls-up there is a harshness with keep out signs. It’s harshness I find myself most often responding to.

I can remember how hard it was to let people in. I can also remember what a freeing experience it was and continues to be. I’ve learned that lowering my walls doesn’t mean I have to tell all to everyone. I can use discretion. The important thing is, it may only be one person I tell but I’ve stopped keeping secrets.

I don’t think I’m all that different from anyone else. We all need connection. Many of us have walls we struggle to bring down. It is not easy to find a good friend.

My New Years resolution: it’s time to be proactive with maintaining neglected friendships and make myself available for new ones. It’s time to stop hiding. Covid and it’s restrictions have caused a deeper need for connection. It takes more work under these conditions to find it.

Only time will tell how well I do with my resolution and whether or not I’m successful at finding connection.

Speaking what’s on my mind.

This is another just start writing day. I’m short on books so I’ve got nothing. There is much going on in my head but it’s all a big jumble. Maybe I’ll just jump in and see where it takes us. I’m sure it will be a surprise, to me anyway. When is it not.

This whole conversation has been going on in my head for decades. The chatter has evolved with experience and I’ve changed with age and maturity. Maybe now, at least more often anyway, with new wisdom I’m able to act rather than react to circumstances and events.

Something I heard once (not sure where, probably a book I read) was a game changer for me. Look at what they do not what they say. If you want to know the truth look at what they do, I’ve found this to be totally true and freeing.

Another game changer for me was Never make decisions when you are emotional. Wait until you can think rationally.

Recently there was another new thought to add to the list. It’s had a huge impact on my thinking. (I forget from where but I think it was a podcast) As the truth of this new idea dawned on me everything changed.

All my life I’d heard we weren’t to judge people (especially with first impressions.) My mind always equated judgment with negativism (you know, all the negative assumptions we can make about people based on their appearance and the car they drive or the house they live in, etc.) and I was under the impression that everyone else thought much the same way. Then I heard we aren’t supposed to judge (make assumptions about someone) for bad or for good.

The thought was expanded to say that it’s just as wrong to make a good assumption about someone as it is to make a bad one.

It’s true. How many times have we assumed good things about people only to discover they weren’t the truth.

It can be a very bad thing to assume good things. Abusers, scammers, and con-artists know how to sell themselves to make us believe they are wonderful and trustworthy. They know how to sell us lies to rob us of our life and our life savings. If we are not on guard and we make false assumptions about goodness we can find ourselves in deep trouble.

Right now we have a rich tycoon in jail for his involvement in sex trafficking for well over several decades. He had most of us fooled and he bullied into silence those who did know the truth. He was not a safe place for many and he had the freedom to keep on abusing.

It seems to be easy to believe the best about bad people and at the same time lay blame and guilt on good people. Have you ever noticed that? I have never really figured out why this is but I’ve seen it happen over and over again. The dishonest seem to know how to work the system. They shout real loud and make crazy demands. They know how to smoke screen and deflect and it seems we fall for it every time. They make us feel like they are the injured party and we should apologize; and we do. This isn’t a new observation – seeing the guilty go free while the innocent are condemned.

These days there are so many people with emotional opinions and responses to a wide array of people and situations and I’m tired of hearing it. The way it’s going the emotional responses bounce back and forth so fast the emotional high never morphs into rational thought on either side of the issue. (Don’t worry, I do tune them out and stop listening. The on/off switch is a wonderful thing)

I would love to offer a challenge but I doubt they would ever take me up on it, mainly because, right or wrong, their minds are already made up. The worst of it is they have beliefs born out of incomplete or inaccurate information. Either there is no more information to be had or they haven’t bothered to research for themselves to see what the truth could be.

In most cases I find that rational minds have quieter voices. Even if they know the truth, and the truth is not good, they may speak out but they aren’t yelling. Unless it’s a pep rally, then they’re yelling

Maybe loud voices are born out of uncertainty and fear. Maybe they think if they yell real loud people will agree with them and it (whatever it is) will all be true.

I wish people would look at what is done and not what is said. I wish they would lay down their emotions and allow themselves to think rationally, without preconceived ideas of what the truth could be. And I wish they would leave assumptions and opinions behind on who is good and who isn’t.

There is safety in truth. How many times have we dodged a bullet by knowing the truth.

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Well, I’m not sure if this whole thing is coherent enough to make much sense but I’m feeling talked out for the moment. I think about this whole subject often, mainly because I’ve needed to figure things out to have peace and safety in my own life. Avoiding unhealthy relationships was certainly one of the reasons to think all of this through.

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Tomorrow is story prompt day and the prompt is – Dance.

I’ve been working on being ready.

It will be a surprise, I’m pretty sure.

Story prompt – Fire

The first thing to pop into my head at this week’s word was “fire in my bones”

There is a picture in my mind of what this means but to be certain I looked up the meaning.

Two expressions were first up.

A driving enthusiasm that compelled action.

intense feeling or passion.

There was a bible verse coming up often in this fire in my bones search too. It’s Jeremiah chapter 20 verse 9. Maybe that’s where I first heard the phrase. In relation to this verse. I don’t really know, but I do have strong memories of feeling this passion in my teens. I have to admit it’s never really left me.

There are two things about this impactful phrase that have followed me all my life.

A passion to make my life count for something. The picture this thought drew in my head did not include great exploits or high positions and wealth. It was simply to make a difference in someone’s life. This thought could have been born out of gratefulness for those who were there for me in my childhood’s time of greatest need. I’ve no idea really. I just remember as a teenager this passion was highly important to me.

The other thing was a recognition of the ongoing need for enthusiasm. Through the years it became very clear to me … to be successful I needed to be passionate about whatever I attempted. I’ve had jobs I liked and some I didn’t. Enthusiasm was a big part of any success I gained.

The other day a friend and I were discussing changes and new requirements that just seem to keep on coming, relentlessly. I laughed and said, I guess it’s a good thing I don’t hate this. A love for what I do keeps me going in the hard places.

I was looking for a picture to go with this fire in my bones thought and did see some I really liked but this one seemed to fit best with the whole thing I’m trying to do here.

It’s a book. What could be more appropriate than that on a blog like mine.

I’ve Got to Write!: It’s Like Fire Shut Up in My Bones!

Amazon quote:

STORIES THAT INSPIRE Jeremiah 20:9 (NIV) But if I will not mention his word or speak any more in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire shut up in my bones. I’ve Got to Write! It’s Like Fire Shut Up in My Bones is a compilation of smoldering, heartfelt stories of love, compassion, faith, hope, forgiveness, and amazement inspired and told by members of the Chosen Pen Writers Group. For many of our authors, this is their first published work. Yet, the passion and resolve in bringing to light a story that was burning on their hearts can be found on the printed pages inside.

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I will admit I don’t have a fire in me to write. At least not in the most accepted sense of writing. My longing is to make a difference. I don’t feel compelled to be a writer.

Things pop into my mind that could be comforting or encouraging and I feel compelled to share them. I have to write to do that.

I feel compelled, in our world of non readers, to encourage others to become readers. To do this I share books I’ve found to be worth reading. I have to write, at least a little bit, to accomplish this.

This is the fire that keeps me posting often. To encourage.

Learning to write is a side effect of this activity.

It looks like it could be becoming a new passion though.

I guess that must be why I keep writing for this story prompt!

Newly emerging fire.

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Story Prompt is hosted by Confusing Middle’s – Sunday Scribblings