Author Archives: Fortify My Life

DONATING BOOKS TO REHABS, PRISONS, SHELTERS, HOSPITALS, & LIBRARIES

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PLEASE HELP ME DONATE BOOKS to REHABS, PRISONS, SHELTERS, HOSPITALS, & LIBRARIES (AND PLEASE SHARE THIS in your social media and emails….. everywhere~!). I am going to be donating a nice, big pile of the book I wrote (FORTIFY YOUR SOUL) to REHABS, PRISONS, SHELTERS, HOSPITALS, & LIBRARIES. I am looking for contacts and addresses for these rehabs, prisons, shelters, hospitals, and libraries. If you have INSTITUTIONS you’d like to see blessed, please send me the full contact info. (This is not for me to send them to your friends and family, but to make donations to legitimate institutions).

A partial list of places where we have donated books: Truth for Women Center, Northampton County Prison, Sarasota County Jail, Self Help Movement, Books Through Bars,  Sussex Correctional Institution, Eagleville Hospital, Lakeside Academy, Daytop, Steered Straight, Inc., MOTHERS IN CHARGE, COVENANT HOUSE, ANCORA PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL, LITERACY VOLUNTEERS ASSOCIATION, GILDAS CLUB OF SOUTH JERSEY, Susannah’s House, Hope All Day Foundation, Salvation Army Drug Program…. and more to come. Just tell us where to send a copy.

Optional Additional Help: The shipping of these books will get expensive, as each book weighs 1lb. So, if anyone would like to help me out by offering non-tax-deductable donations to help with the shipping, that would be very wonderful~! Actually, if anyone would like to help me pay for the donation books, too, that will make the pile I plan to donate grow even bigger. I’ll gladly accept any help, but mostly I am seeking contacts and addresses to donate books.

Thanks for your support~!

Fortify Your Soul Cover

Fortify Your Soul Cover

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If you would like to read the diverse endorsements and learn more about this book, follow these links: https://fortifymylife.wordpress.com/books/ and https://fortifymylife.wordpress.com/category/book-updates-for-my-book/

To read more about me, follow this link: https://fortifymylife.wordpress.com/about/

To see the book on amazon, follow this link, but I’d rather you get it directly from me, so I can be the one who makes the money~! Publishing this was VERY expensive~! www.amazon.com/Fortify-Your-Soul-Letters-Friends

To follow the blog and receive updates with blog posts, go to the top right corner of the page, where it says “Follow this Blog”.

Read the Fortify Your Soul Introduction:

One of the most precious people in my life called to tell me that he was heading off to a 28-day recovery program. He was going to be turning 40 during this period of time. I told this marvelous man that 40 is the perfect age to get his life together. It is never too late for a brand-new lease on life! I went on to explain that the number 40 shows up a lot in the Bible. We discussed a whole bunch of fabulous Bible stories that include the number 40. We couldn’t stay on the phone forever, but he said he would like to hear more. I started to write my dear Dude a collection of letters.

This dear friend decided to stay at the recovery facility for an additional three months. I was glad to hear this, for two reasons: (1) he was being serious about his recovery, (2) I was having a great time writing him letters. Now I had extra time to keep writing. He was a “captive” audience! He had never heard the stories of the Bible put in such a way that they were interesting or relevant to him. He had always felt out of the loop, and that didn’t bother him at all. But now something was different. “Dude” was loving these letters, and he actually gathered a group of people in the recovery program each time a new letter arrived. He read the letter out loud to a group of men, few of whom were normally interested in the Bible, and they would have a discussion on the topic of the letter.

This growing audience would call this time “Bible study.” I was touched and amazed that this tough crowd was enjoying these letters. That really spurred me on. I thought it would be wonderful to end up with a collection of 40 letters based on the number 40. It is this completed collection of 40 letters, 40 stories written to my buddy that have been adapted into this book.

Now why on earth would that be interesting to anyone else? Because the biblical use of the number 40 is amazing, encouraging, refreshing, and fortifying. How many times do you hear the expression “40 days and 40 nights”? Which kings ruled for 40 years? Why 40? It is beyond coincidence that this number appears over and over! I discovered that when I encountered the number 40 in the Bible, there would often be an intriguing lesson. There was typically a time of trial with a relevant revelation and a positive outcome. As I studied the Bible to develop the 40 stories, I would come away with fresh thoughts and a renewed perspective. I discovered cool ideas and strategies that I could apply to my own life and share with others.

As I wrote about Noah, Jonah, King David, Peter, and many others being released to their assignments and destinies, paths would open so I could follow their testimonies to destinations of new beginnings, higher levels of victories, and heart-thriving revelations. This is what I shared in the “Dear Dude” letters. God loves us and He is excited about our fruitful destinies! God rocks!

These great Bible stories are told from my own perspective. They are recounted as a sister would casually tell them to a brother who has never really heard them, while eating chicken wings and pickles. The tone is informal and familiar. There are plenty of quirky jokes and inspiring insights. This is a voice that has clearly not been groomed by the Christian marketplace. For the book, I have added a section to each chapter that is meant to churn up questions, thoughts, and feelings. These contemplations will lead you to consider the content of the Bible more deeply, how it applies to life’s circumstances. You will finish this book having a lot more information about Christianity. I suspect that Fortify Your Soul will make most readers hungrier for the things of God. Fortunately, there are many resources included to assist you in heading out on a path of discovery and adventure with God.

OK, ready? Roll up your sleeves, this could get messy (in a good way)!

A FUN BOOK REVIEW FOR MY BOOK

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Emerging LightI spoke with someone today who gave me some really great feedback about my new book, Fortify Your Soul, which is only in the pre-release phase at the moment. I wish I could word his thoughts exactly as he did, he said it better than I will as I try to capture the essence of his review.

This man, a family member, laughed and told me how proud he was… and how blown away he was by how much I knew about the Bible. Then started the fun comparisons~!  He felt Fortify Your Soul was “Micheneresque”. (Coming from Doylestown, PA, where the author James Michener grew up, that is a high compliment.) Well, I didn’t know what he meant by that. He went on to clarify the statement. Michener, he said, would start with a simple theme (Hawaii, or the Chesapeake) and then put together a work of astounding magnitude and complexity in which the characters add life and depth to the now no-longer-simple theme.

This man went on to say that he had gone to church as a child, pretty much against his will, and was bored while there. He never read the Bible and that was fine with him and everyone else. But, he had what he called a “comic book” knowledge of a few Bible stories. I’m guessing he had a visual image in his imagination, drawn like a children’s book illustration, of Noah and Jonah. Those are the 2 Bible characters he named. I get it. As a kid I could add Daniel to that list, and that just about exhausted my Bible familiarity. He was impressed and entertained as so many Bible stories came to life in Fortify Your Soul. He said he tried to make himself read more slowly, because he wanted to race through the book. He read it in 15 hours over the course of 3 days. I told him he’d have been better off reading a chapter or 2 per day over a longer period of time. He agreed.

But, the most fun part of his review was this. He said it was like watching the Steve Martin movie The Three Amigos... which he set up as the comic equivalent of The Three Musketeers. His point? Something classic and timeless was made very approachable and friendly, reaching a new audience~!  And.. several times he commented on how much he enjoyed my brilliant use of slang. (Yup, I write like I talk, ‘n’ all~!) He said it was just so FUN, he is going back in and re-reading stories that he especially enjoyed.

I did it~! I did it~!

I did it…. I made the Bible read in such a way that someone who would not ordinarily read it had a blast getting to know Bible characters and some of the timeless, useful lessons conveyed in the book. Well, I just wanted to share that. Made me feel good.

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To read a blurb about the book and see the other endorsements, click here:
Here are some updates about the book along the way, the introduction, the cover design, and more:

My Book is HERE~! It is HERE~!

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HEY…. a quick update: My book has arrived~! Oh my gosh, Oh my gosh… it is here~!

I now have 2000 pounds worth of books sitting in my garage waiting to get incorporated into the corners of my house. I will be getting an ebay listing together so they can be purchased individually or by the box. They will also be available on Amazon.com. But I checked and they aren’t up on Amazon just yet. I’ll write an update and send links soon. Meanwhile, I am excited and just a bit overwhelmed, too. Can’t wait to share this book and start getting feedback. (Scroll down for a few links to see the cover, the endorsements, and read the intro~!)

IMG_6712Follow this link to read a description and the endorsements: https://fortifymylife.wordpress.com/books/

Follow this link to read my introduction: https://fortifymylife.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/fortify-your-soul-read-the-introduction/

Follow this link to see a close-up of the cover: https://fortifymylife.wordpress.com/category/book-updates-for-my-book/

Fortify Your Soul – Read the Introduction

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Amazing, encouraging, refreshing, and fortifying……

Fortify Your Soul Introduction,

               by Laurie Hayden Bergey

One of the most precious people in my life called to tell me that he was heading off to a 28-day recovery program. He was going to be turning 40 during this period of time. I told this marvelous man that 40 is the perfect age to get his life together. It is never too late for a brand-new lease on life! I went on to explain that the number 40 shows up a lot in the Bible. We discussed a whole bunch of fabulous Bible stories that include the number 40. We couldn’t stay on the phone forever, but he said he would like to hear more. I started to write my dear Dude a collection of letters.

This dear friend decided to stay at the recovery facility for an additional three months. I was glad to hear this, for two reasons: (1) he was being serious about his recovery, (2) I was having a great time writing him letters. Now I had extra time to keep writing. He was a “captive” audience! He had never heard the stories of the Bible put in such a way that they were interesting or relevant to him. He had always felt out of the loop, and that didn’t bother him at all. But now something was different. “Dude” was loving these letters, and he actually gathered a group of people in the recovery program each time a new letter arrived. He read the letter out loud to a group of men, few of whom were normally interested in the Bible, and they would have a discussion on the topic of the letter.

This growing audience would call this time “Bible study.” I was touched and amazed that this tough crowd was enjoying these letters. That really spurred me on. I thought it would be wonderful to end up with a collection of 40 letters based on the number 40. It is this completed collection of 40 letters, 40 stories written to my buddy that have been adapted into this book.

Now why on earth would that be interesting to anyone else? Because the biblical use of the number 40 is amazing, encouraging, refreshing, and fortifying. How many times do you hear the expression “40 days and 40 nights”? Which kings ruled for 40 years? Why 40? It is beyond coincidence that this number appears over and over! I discovered that when I encountered the number 40 in the Bible, there would often be an intriguing lesson. There was typically a time of trial with a relevant revelation and a positive outcome. As I studied the Bible to develop the 40 stories, I would come away with fresh thoughts and a renewed perspective. I discovered cool ideas and strategies that I could apply to my own life and share with others.

As I wrote about Noah, Jonah, King David, Peter, and many others being released to their assignments and destinies, paths would open so I could follow their testimonies to destinations of new beginnings, higher levels of victories, and heart-thriving revelations. This is what I shared in the “Dear Dude” letters. God loves us and He is excited about our fruitful destinies!

God rocks!

These great Bible stories are told from my own perspective. They are recounted as a sister would casually tell them to a brother who has never really heard them, while eating chicken wings and pickles. The tone is informal and familiar. There are plenty of quirky jokes and inspiring insights. This is a voice that has clearly not been groomed by the Christian marketplace. For the book, I have added a section to each chapter that is meant to churn up questions, thoughts, and feelings. These contemplations will lead you to consider the content of the Bible more deeply, how it applies to life’s circumstances. You will finish this book having a lot more information about Christianity. I suspect that Fortify Your Soul will make most readers hungrier for the things of God. Fortunately, there are many resources included to assist you in heading out on a path of discovery and adventure with God.

OK, ready? Roll up your sleeves, this could get messy (in a good way)!

——-

That is the introduction to Fortify Your Soul as it appears in the book, but I have added the bold emphases just for the blog post.

And if you would like to read the diverse endorsements, follow this link: https://fortifymylife.wordpress.com/books/

To read more about me, follow this link: https://fortifymylife.wordpress.com/about/

To follow the blog and receive updates with blog posts, got to the top right corner of the page, where it says “Follow this Blog“.

Hundreds of Gift Wrapping Ideas for the Holidays

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Well, the time has come to get the gifts wrapped. I have recently moved, so I am not as inspired to wrap gifts as I could be. But, maybe this will help us all~! This link is for one of our MOST POPULAR blog posts from the last year. It literally has: Hundreds of Gift Wrapping Ideas for the Holidays. And so many gorgeous pictures to get us excited to wrap them up real nicely.

Merry Christmas~!

Click this link for SO MANY MORE:

Hundreds of Gift Wrapping Ideas for the Holidays.

The Full Cover Layout for My Book, Fortify Your Soul

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I have received the full cover layout (front, back, spine and all) of my upcoming book, Fortify Your Soul. After hitting some speed bumps with the publishing process and with some unexpected twists in my life (which I may get into in another post), we are getting very close to having this book published~! 

Forty Your Soul Cover Layout

In case you have trouble reading the cover, the following is the text from the back of the book:

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO DISCOVER YOUR PURPOSE IN LIFE

Do you want to live a more meaningful life?

Unfortunately, something so simple can get complicated…really fast. With thousands of books and seminars available—all trying to give you the secrets to a more purposeful life—you might be asking: Is it really this hard to know who I am and what I have been put on Earth to do?

No, it’s not!

In Fortify Your Soul, Laurie Hayden Bergey takes you on an inspirational journey that is often humorous, always relatable, and consistently encouraging.

You’ll discover…

• Spiritual growth that makes sense and gives purpose to your everyday life

• That there is actually a written blueprint to direct you toward who you were designed to be

• That you can transform your thoughts and attitudes in positive ways

• How you can be a catalyst for transformation…wherever you are, whatever you do

Laurie shares 40 entertaining and down-to-earth devotional stories of people who triumphed over adversity, overcame personal challenges, and fulfilled their destinies. Each story will give you new keys to unlock your purpose and supply you with tools and fortification for this great adventure, the life you were created to live!

Laurie Hayden Bergey and her husband, Brook, are the founders of Miracle Waters Ministries and The Gift List. Laurie has her Masters in Practical Ministry. She also serves as an ordained deacon at New Covenant Christian Community Church in Bethlehem, PA. Her creative passions include being a glass jewelry master craftsman, and an amateur chocolatier. Laurie has also served in the United States Peace Corps in Niger, West Africa. Visit the author’s ministry website: miraclewaters.org. Visit the author’s blog: fortifymylife.wordpress.com.

Here is a description of the book’s content. Click this link.

To read some of the past updates about this book, click this link~!

Relationships are like Gardens…..

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Relationships are like gardens. If you tend to them, they tend to give you beautiful gifts in return.” -MFB “Relationships are like gardens. If you tend to them, they tend to give you beautiful gifts in return.” -MFB

My friend Frank wrote:

“Ok, I keep getting opportunities to say this quote I made up myself so I’m going to share it again on FB so you can say it too:“Children are like gardens, if you tend to them they tend to give you beautiful gifts in return.” -MFB
You can reverse children and gardens or use the word “friends” to replace either one and its still true.I guess I need to find a great picture I took of children playing in a garden and put that quote on it and repost it …unless YOUR motivated, feel free…Hey, let’s have a contest! See who can make the coolest version of a quote photo and lets go viral with it!”

GAME ON FRANK…….

 

Click here to see more of these beautiful inspirational quotes that I like to create.

Editing My Book on an Exquisite Island

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I have heard legendary tales of “real authors” who get to go on great retreats to wonderful get-away places to write amazing works. I didn’t get to do something like that when I was writing “Fortify Your Soul”. But, it just so happened that I got to review the editors notes while I was spending a lingering month on an island in the Gulf of Mexico. (Some photos below.)

Look at this stunning clear Gulf Coast Water in Boca Grande, FL~!

Look at this stunning clear Gulf Coast Water in Boca Grande, FL~!

This is not the kind of vacation that Brook and I normally get to take. A whole month~! We are self-employed, and we don’t get “paid vacation days”. If we don’t work, we don’t make money. So, it has been quite some time since we’ve taken a break from our normal, everyday life. My Mom has a lovely home on the coveted island of Boca Grande/ Gasparilla Island, and she has been inviting us down all the while. Finally, we packed up the bikes, the dogs, and loaded up for a good, long break.

That's me and my bike. Boca Grande, FL.

That’s me and my bike. Boca Grande, FL.

 

Brook riding his hand-cycle by what we've been calling Pelican Pier of Boca Grande, FL.

Brook riding his hand-cycle by what we’ve been calling Pelican Pier on Boca Grande, FL.

Pelicans on a Pier in Boca Grande FL.

Pelicans on a Pier in Boca Grande FL.

While there, I spent 10 days rereading “Fortify Your Soul” and poring over the editor’s revised text. During those same days, Brook and I went out for bike rides and explored. I swam in the 80-something degree Gulf of Mexico. And Brook and I were able to spend  a wonderful amount of time with my Mom and Jim.

mom's back porch, overlooking the lagoon

Mom’s back porch, overlooking the lagoon. This is where we would hang out the most. And there is our dog Boaz. He loved it out there.

The view from my bedroom in Boca Grande, FL.

The view from my bedroom in Boca Grande, FL. Many mornings we looked out to see manatees swimming in the lagoon.

Turquoise water in Boca Grande, FL.

Turquoise blue water in Boca Grande, FL. Truly a mind blowing color. I was in awe.

Laurie Hayden Bergey on Banyan Street, Boca Grande, FL.

Laurie Hayden Bergey on Banyan Street, Boca Grande, FL. The street is lined on both sides with these crazy-cool walking trees. There were always people there exploring and taking pictures (like us~!). I don’t think I’d want to live on Banyan Street~!

My beach in Boca Grande... I'm not telling you where it is~! I want it to stay this empty~!My beach in Boca Grande… I’m not telling you where it is~! I want it to stay this empty~!

The view from the water while swimming on my beach, Boca Grande, FL.

This was the view from the water while swimming on “my beach” in Boca Grande, FL. I walked out into the water, amazed at how warm it was… so warm that even I could wade right into the water~! I turned around to look back at the shore, and this is what I saw. This became my favorite beach.

What is Enough to be Happy?

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“If one thinks that one is happy,

that is enough to be happy.”

Madame de la Fayette

“If one thinks that one is happy, that is enough to be happy."
- Madame de la Fayette

 

Please leave comments~!

Click here to see more of these beautiful inspirational quotes that I like to create.

Click here to get updates on my new book~!

HELP… Please Vote on the COVER Samples for My Book

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My publisher has sent me four sample covers for the Book~! I want your feedback. Please tell me – What do you think? Be harsh; be specific. Which will sell the best to a 50% male and 50% female audience? What else would you like to say? Say it~! I want to hear in now, before we go to print~!

Fortify Your Soul - Lighthouse Cover

Fortify Your Soul – Lighthouse Cover

Fortify Your Soul - Sailboat Cover

Fortify Your Soul – Sailboat Cover

Fortify Your Soul - Bird Cover

Fortify Your Soul – Bird Cover

Fortify Your Soul - Key & Notebook Cover

Fortify Your Soul – Key & Notebook Cover

PLEASE VOTE AND COMMENT~!

Which do you like the most and why? The winner will still be tweaked a bit, but I’d like to get some feedback…. please, please, please~!

Here is a description of the book’s content. Click this link.

To read some of the past updates about this book, click this link~!