This is a blog about books but …

This blog is about books, fiction books mostly, regular stories, nothing too heavy. Except for every now and then. Today’s featured book is a heavy topic and is to be read with caution. The authors stress this in the interview.

I’ve read many heavy topic books but don’t always share them, or if I do I do it quietly. This one I think should be shared a little more openly. I’m sure there is someone out there who needs to read it.

I’m including the link to an hour long interview podcast introducing you to this book and it’s authors. I found it very helpful to have background information before I read the book.

Mark Lowry has a way of asking insightful questions, keeping the interview moving along. The hour doesn’t drag or feel like it’s too long.

Brad Jersak pastored a small community church, meeting in the gym of my teenagers school a few decades ago when we lived in Abbotsford BC. I’ve never met him in person but knew of him. Over the years I’ve seen other interviews with him as he’s written a number of books.

Paul Young is author of one of my favorite books The Shack. I’ve followed him through the years as well.

Brad and Paul are friends and collaborated to produce The Pastor: A Crisis

This story is purely fiction and it’s been written to bring hope and healing to a desperate place where there’s little hope. With this type of subject it would be wrong to tell true stories.

The Pastor: A Crisis 

A weary fundamentalist pastor is stuck in a psychiatric ward, staring into the abyss of his own secret shame. Before he can be free, he must confront his demons and find Grace. But will he let go? Will he allow himself to be healed?

The Pastor explores the perilous human journey from self-will and striving through defeat and despair to hope and the redemption found only through surrender.

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This book resonates with me, the adult child of an alcoholic sex addict.

I have my own personal journey with denial and triggers. Recognizing and acknowledging the event behind my trigger and facing it head on has taken the steam out. It’s been a healing experience though not an easy one.

I can relate to this book in a limited way because it was written for men. To me it feels like reading a foreign language where I only know a few words. It doesn’t matter if I get it as long as men do.

If you feel drawn to this book I hope you will read it and begin a journey to find healing.

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I’ve forgiven my father and I’m working on forgiving you too. I can’t honestly ask you to read this book and heal if I’m unwilling to forgive.

More importantly: There’s nothing God can’t forgive if you truly want it.

It seems we have to soundly hit bottom before we are ready for surrender.

I’m praying that if you need to read this book you will.

God’s forgiveness and healing is amazing.

Sunday Scribbling’s prompt – Code

Who knew code could be a big deal.

Sunday Scribblings  is hosted by Peckapalooza: The Confusing Middle.  This weeks prompt is

Code

Wow, I didn’t realize until I started taking stock; code has been a huge part of my life, all of my life. I’ll bet you’ll find it has been a large part of your’s too. Count up all the ways if you don’t believe me.

So here we go. Counting the ways.

Area code: my first full time job was telephone operator back in the day before direct dialing. We had to use route codes and area codes to connect you to your favorite aunt in New York city. Direct dialing (or maybe I should say partial direct dialing) did come in soon after I started this job. One or two of us (depending on traffic) would sit at a table with a key pad and when a bee-beep sounded in our headset we would say Number Please. looking for the number they were calling from. We were often tempted to say Rubber Knees. just to see if anyone actually listened.

Banking codes: My second full time job was bank teller, also back in the day. We were on the cusp of computerized bank branches but when I started things still had to be done manually. Accuracy was a big deal and we had to know the codes and get it right, every time. It was good training for future experiences, I’ll tell you that. I did like the job but motherhood (and a move to a different city) cut my working days short.

Invoicing codes: I won’t even try to list all the ways these have affected my life over the years, both from the employee aspect and the consumer aspect. Small print and codes – very important. I shy away from grocery store self check out. I can never find the codes for avacados and green bell peppers.

Computer code: another back in the day story. Back when personal computers were a new thing and you had to be able to write simple code to accomplish anything with it. Luckily, I had a young son who knew more than I did about such things. That, and it wasn’t long before software became a thing. These days – my son writes computer code for a living, I’m grateful for software and Google.

10 Codes – Ambulance: my third paid occupation was in a small town where the unit chief recruited me because of my flexible availability. Ambulance was not on the list of things I might like to be one day. I did get to like code 3 – lights and sirens, especially if I was driving. 10-7 was nice when we could stop for lunch after a long transfer and a hospital drop off or 10-19 going home. I did come to love the job I thought I would hate.

Codes, codes and more codes: my fourth, fifth and sixth occupations all proved to be challenging but rewarding when it came to codes. Post office/retail, printing/manufacturing, and administrative/with client interaction. I’ve enjoy all of my jobs but this sixth one has lasted the longest. Thirteen years and counting. In this electronic age things keep changing and it never gets boring.

Genetic code (DNA): of all the codes, this one has had the greatest impact on my life. Both from without and within. Family dynamics on the outside, and the way I cope with the aftermath of those dynamics on the inside. Hopefully I’m learning to live a more positive and healthy life no matter what my code says.

Code. Who would have thought…

It has definitely made life interesting!

Story Prompt – Wizard

This is week ten in the Sunday Scribblings  prompt hosted by Peckapalooza: TheConfusing Middle. 

Unfortunately, I don’t remember the comic book related Wizard Magazine Aaron (the originator) thinks of with this prompt but the word Wizard does inspire a lot of pleasant memories for me. Going back almost two decades.

The strangest memory I have is related to a fun gathering at my son’s house way back before the appearance of grandkids. Our family used to have game nights whenever we were all together but babies and little kids changed the dynamics. It’s hard to focus on the game with little people demanding attention.  By the time the kids were old enough to entertain themselves the family had scattered in all directions and game times were a thing of the past.

That night, though, it was a table filled with my sons friends with a little room left for us to squeeze in and play along. This was our first introduction to the game and we ended up loving it even though one of the guys there that night was fiercely competitive and a less than gracious loser. We loved it despite the crazy guy but I don’t think I will ever forget that evening.

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Picture courtesy of Amazon.

Wizard has been a family favorite over the years and now is played as often as I can rope someone into playing with me. These days it’s usually my grandson’s and we’ve even hooked their other grandma on the game. The more the merrier.

Amazon quote product description:

  • In this ultimate game of Trump, winning tricks is the easy part
  • To score points, players must win the exact number of tricks they bid
  • Contents: 60-card deck, special custom scorepad keeps track of bids and points, and instructions.
  • BOARD GAMES

 

 

 

 

Slow but good day.

It’s been a slow day for book suggestions but it was a good day for blogging suggestions. A fellow blogger always has funny, entertaining, and sometimes, even wise things to say. (I’m kidding, he often has wise things to say.) Today was no exception. It’s his seventh blog anniversary. If you aren’t following him you should be. Check out his birthday blog post, you will be glad you did. Paul, The Captain’s Speech

I took to heart one piece of advice he had in regard to blogging. Say something even when you have nothing. Even if it’s only one line. So that’s what I’m doing.

The usual sources of book suggestions were bare today. On top of that I was busier than usual with my day job. (A pleasant state of affairs.)

I normally spend time browsing Amazon but warm weather was calling me. I had a deadline to clean some flower beds before the tree man comes to remove old stumps. I need them gone so I can replace the less than healthy bushes I cut down last fall.

It was a pleasure working warm but not too hot and 3 1/2 – 4 hours was good for progress.

I’m stiff after all the bending and squatting but I’m happy. Clean looks good and I’ll sleep well tonight, guaranteed.

Well, there you have it. One line turned into more somehow.

Story prompt Skin

Disclaimer: Please do not read this post if difficult personal story is not your cup of tea, or if it could trigger or offend you.

This is week six in the Sunday Scribblings  prompt hosted by Peckapalooza: The Confusing Middle.

Normally I hook these challenges together to create an ongoing chapter story. It pleases me to get as much mileage as possible out of my writing attempts. I did have a plan in mind to work this week’s prompt into today’s chapter (6) while advancing my story. At least I did until yesterday’s post with reference to Father’s Day. Plans have changed.

I consider myself thick skinned when it comes to my personal history. Much of the time I can talk about most of it matter-of-factly while minimizing the truth of our abusive family life. No big deal.

Yesterday I made reference to abusive relationships because, just like there are many who find Mother’s Day traumatic, there are many who find Father’s Day a traumatic experience. The reasons are different but still painful.

Now, working my way emotionally through the aftermath of yesterday, I realize trauma related to Father’s day goes deeper than first thought. Generally, the deeper the trauma the less likely we are to speak about it. Many are vocal every year about their negative experiences surrounding Mother’s Day. Today for the first time, I realize we are hearing a complete lack of corresponding comments surrounding Father’s Day. The silence speaks loudly, if we happen to be listening.

Yesterday I wanted to acknowledge mostly-forgotten hurting hearts. To be seen and understood means a lot to those living with unimaginable pain. It felt like the right thing to do, to offer support and encouragement.

It’s no surprise to find, once again, my conscious mind can’t handle the truth of my own life. It has deeply buried the negative and bought into the never-happened, no-big-deal lies. My brothers insist I need to face the uncomfortable truth. I find I don’t want to/can’t remember. Inappropriate (not fitting the situation) triggered responses are the only evidence of truth.

The triggered reaction arising out of yesterday’s sharing was a shock to my system. The emotional upheaval I woke up to this morning was a shock too. As a result this has been a recovery day. As the day wears on I’m starting to feel better.

My skin appears to be thinner than I believe it is.

I’m sharing all this now because I feel compelled. Partly because I know the power of story to comfort and help others. Partly because I know the value of expression to release pent up emotions. I’m trusting that life will be incrementally better after acknowledging another sliver of truth. So far it always has been and I have great expectations for now too.

May life be better for you too, as you acknowledge the truth (as you are able) of your situation.

Next week will be soon enough for anther installment in my continued story about Carly, an exposed woman in Witness Protection.

Hoping this all made sense…

Janette

 

Another FREE book February 13, 2020

I missed one, BookRunes had a FREE suggestion this morning too.

Maybe it’s a good thing I missed it. It heads off in a much different direction from the rest of this morning’s offerings. Maybe it deserves the attention of it’s own post.

Beggars Daughter is a true story based on one woman’s life, sharing her struggle with a difficult but very real subject.

Beggars Daughter

Amazon quote:

If you think pornography is just a “guy thing” you would be wrong.

Jessica Harris was 13 years old when she was exposed to pornography. After four years, her use was out of control and when she went to find help, it became apparent that this wasn’t a thing many women do. All of the resources were for men, and when she got caught, she was told “Women don’t have this problem.” That sent her on a downward spiral and nearly landed her in the adult industry.

Spoiler alert: that didn’t happen. Instead, she found freedom, hope, healing and worth in the love and grace of God.

Beggar’s Daughter is a candid look into her story, how she struggled and eventually how God set her free. It is a narrative on grace suitable for the women who struggle and those who want to understand them. Through it all, the message is that no woman is ever beyond the grace of God.

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Free and bargain books January 28, 2020

BookRunes has a FREE suggestion for us this morning.

Paper Roses, book 5 in Serenity’s Plain Secrets. An Amish Mystery series appearing in my reading list since 2015. All five books have been read and enjoyed by me, and hopefully others too.

Paper Roses

Amazon quote:

Some Amish communities aren’t so cozy.

Paper Roses is the electrifying new addition to the Serenity’s Plain Secrets’ mystery/crime thriller series.

While an archeological team digs up Blood Rock’s sinister past, a forbidden romance begins, and Serenity races to stop a serial killer before he strikes again.

When the mutilated corpse of a young Amish woman is discovered in Blood Rock, Sheriff Serenity Adams embarks on her most terrifying case yet, facing a killer unlike anything she’s seen before. Law enforcement and the Amish join forces to unravel the truth and find the person terrorizing the community, and just when Serenity thinks she’s solved the case, she finds out that the nightmare is far from over.

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BookBub has a bargain suggestion ($0.99) from frequently appearing, prolific author, Joy Ohagwu,

The After (Books 1-3) Christian Inspirational Series

The After books 1-3

Amazon quote:

After – Series Book 1

All she had was a stunning voice, but he plotted her downfall and the loss of her faith. Will she let shame win or fight back with the faith he despised?

Sixty thousand people watched as Candace Rodriguez literally fell off the stage while performing the national anthem, wrecking more than her self-esteem. Is her music career over? Now, weighing 350 pounds and jilted by her fiancé after the shame of her public fall, can she find another chance at true love? Will her new Christian faith anchor her future hopes?

Former highbrow stock trader, “JB” Patrickson has had enough of life making mockery of his best laid-out future plans. His father insisted he’d never make it more than selling ” chickn” stock in Kentucky. Proving him wrong, JB succeeded at the NY Stock Exchange, becoming one of the best US traders…until the market crashed in 2008. Seven years later and mired in debt, he can’t shake the urge that God is leading him down a different path. Has he fallen low enough to toil with his hands to eke out a single meal? What future could God plan for him on a farm?

AFTER 2 – Series Book 2

I almost drowned…then I lived.

Blossom Daniels lost her job moments after she reported to work, because she couldn’t climb the stairs for mail delivery, thanks to a permanently broken down elevator. Her day was only beginning. Little did she know, before it ended, she’d be fighting for her life in the chilly grip of the Potomac. 

Josh Miller was running late to his sister’s baby shower–a shower she pressured him to attend, refusing to hear his complaints of, “men don’t attend that sort of event.” But after a slew of traffic mishaps, neither his sister’s baby shower nor the traffic comprised his agenda. He was diving into the depths of the Potomac River to save a person he’d never met. 

Blossom knew her weight would challenge anyone attempting to save her. She prayed desperately, “God, if you save me, I will lose this weight!” First, she must overcome the rough waves determined to sink her. 

AFTER 3 – Series Book 3

After she reached her limit, she stumbled into a miracle.

As far as former supermodel Rachel Song was concerned, her best modeling days–and the good cash it brought along–were over, thanks to her age and a medical condition beyond her control. Stuck with debt, and working a low-paying job, she finds herself doubting an opportunity to revisit her modeling days, was from God. Will she follow through on her promise to be part of this new venture, or will the rejections she’d suffered impact her obedience to God?

Since the day his late fiancee died, New York Times bestselling author, Al Dove had kept one promise to himself–to keep breathing until he died too–and to do nothing more. He was no longer interested in anything life had to offer him beyond breathing, eating and sleeping. 

When a knock at the door, and a sharp awakening led him to revisit his decision, he attempts to pick up the pieces of his life from shambles. Can he see a possible future with God and the people around him in it, or will he remain blinded by grief?

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One more bargain at $1.31. from another award winning author, Christy Barritt.

Clean Break (Squeaky Clean Mysteries book 15)

(I know… it says three on the cover but fifteen in the product description. I haven’t discovered why yet, so we’ll just go with it. It does work to search this way.)

Clean Break

Amazon quote:

Gabby and the Cold Case Squad tackle their most personal case yet.

Evie Manson’s foster mom vanished six weeks ago on a trip to Pennsylvania. The mystery surrounding her disappearance haunts Evie. Was it a blind date gone bad? Is she injured somewhere all alone? Why hasn’t anyone heard from her since?

With not a clue in sight, Gabby and the Cold Case Squad travel to Shady Valley to investigate. When no one will answer their questions and hostility abounds around every corner, the crew determines something is definitely shady in the valley.

News of a dead body found in the local park intensifies the search for Evie’s missing mother. Just what is the town hiding? Is Evie’s foster mom even still alive? Gabby and her team need to catch a break before time runs out. But will obstacles at every turn stop them?

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My current read is Gone to Texas

Gone to Texas

Happy Reading! Have a good day.

Podcasts, vlogs, and blogs

Podcasts and live videos have been capturing my attention lately and I am hooked. There is something about live interaction that makes the dissemination of information so much more attractive – at least to me anyway.

Podcasts

Carey Nieuwhof is one of the podcasters I’ve been following lately.    http://careynieuwhof.com/mypodcast/

Carey’s specialty is leadership training and everything he does revolves around that.  He has the gift of finding interesting guests and insightful questions for his podcasts. Every one I’ve listened to so far has been worthwhile and inspiring; even more interesting  than the titles suggested to this non-leader type  person. I examine the subject title and wonder how it could relate to me. It’s a surprise to find there is always something to catch my interest and keep me listening. Most of the interviewees have recently written a book and that’s always part of the conversation as well.

Today’s podcast was to be about organizing your calendar in a way that would make it possible to accomplish a daunting list of tasks without spending mega hours in the office. This guest is a busy man with an overwhelming mountain of responsibility  but somehow he manages to streamline his day and get it all done.  They discussed his methods for a while and then switched to the topic of his new book. It’s called The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self Discovery, by guest Ian Morgan Cron. It’s based on an old psychological system with nine personality types. That’s a higher number than some of today’s more popular systems use, which makes it different before we even get started. They touched briefly on each of them in the hour long podcast. Carey had read the book and applied the test to himself so the informed discussion was enlightening.

The first order of business at the end of the podcast was to purchase my own  copy from Amazon. I’m always interested to see what I can learn about myself with any of these tools. I haven’t started reading the book yet but I’m sure I’ll be talking about it when I do.

Video Podcasts (Vlogs)

Anglican Unscripted is a video podcast/vlog I’ve been following for a year or so. They do a journalism show in live video. The subject is always news as it relates to the Anglican church and happens once or twice a week. I’m not Anglican, (although I am ecumenical –  does anyone even use that word anymore?) but I find their discussions interesting. It appeals to me because I like to have a feel for what is going on in the world.

There are three main participants in the show; Kevin Kallsun and George Conger in the US, (Connecticut and Florida) and Gavin Ashenden in the UK. The link to check them out is AnglicanTV Ministries – YouTube.

Gavin used to be chaplain to the Queen but parted ways with the Anglican Church over doctrinal issues. He is highly educated and has a wise way of expressing himself. George is an Episcopal priest and while he agrees with Gavin, most of the time, he has his own slant on things. I enjoy watching them discuss the issues of the day. Once in a while, we even hear interviews from Australia, Israel, Africa, or several other places.

This week Anglican Unscripted/Anglican TV shared six videos that captured my interest enough  to watch all of them three times. The speakers were polished, knowledgeable, and inspiring; workshop leaders at an Anglican’s For Life Conference in Washington DC. The conference was in conjunction with a Right to Life march happening there that weekend.

The speakers did touch on the subject of abortion, but only one spoke to it in depth. The others spoke on topics like terminal illness and its affect on both the patient and the family; the needs  that stem from this hurting community and how they can be met. Up to ninety percent of a persons support systems fall away after cancer diagnosis, mostly because as a society we don’t know how to deal with the issue and tend to run away from it. The challenge from each speaker was to step up and learn what we can do to be there for these people in our lives. They talked about post abortion devastation and the grief process that is being endured hopelessly, in silence, and about bringing hope to the elderly – their life isn’t over, it still has meaning and purpose, if they look for it.

On the surface the subjects sound depressing but each speaker dealt with their segment in a way that brought hope for a better future.

I found the speakers compelling and know I will be contemplating their thoughts for some time to come. If you would like to hear more, the videos are on YouTube on the Anglican TV channel. It would be well worth your time if you have a heart for hurting people.

The speakers I liked the best were Georgette Forney, Rick Berge, David Bereit, Aveda King (related to Martin Luther King Jr.), Ryan T Anderson, and Cathie Young.

Blogs

Last but not least, I have been following Dr. Perry’s blog at  makeitultrapsychology.wordpress.com.  I recommend his site if you are looking for safe and helpful input in your life. Check out his bio for a clearer idea of what his site is all about.

This time it was an excellent and helpful post about empathy; but what really caught my attention was a comment on the post. A reader mentioned a book she found helpful, by Alan Alda, one of my favorite actors in the old Mash TV series.

Alan is an intelligent, educated, and well-read man interested in all things science. He hosted a science show for over a decade and has followed some of his own ideas with an obsession. Communication is dear to his heart and he’s put much effort into testing and understanding his ideas for improvement. Empathy forms a large part of his strategy for good communication and he has a light-hearted way of sharing serious information so that it sticks. He’s written a book called If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?  I’m half way through it and I have to tell you; he has a lot to say. This book is the literary equivalent of a well packed suitcase that must be sat on to be closed successfully.

Empathy is connection with another person. You learn how to notice what they are thinking and feeling. This takes communication, and relationships, to a whole new level. Empathy improves not only verbal exchanges but written ones as well. We can become better writers if we practice empathy. And practice is exactly what’s needed. the more we do it the better we become and our work will improve to show it.

If I understood you

There is so much more that could be said about each and every one of these examples but I wanted only to give you a taste, hoping you would explore these sites for yourself, and be enticed to follow them too.

Happy hunting.