Category Archives: Faith / Spiritual / Religion / Bible / Christianity

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

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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:

The Strength of Temptation and a Way Out – C. S. Lewis Quote

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“No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good… Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is."
- C.S. Lewis

“No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good… Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is.”
C.S. Lewis

The good news is this, the Bible is very clear that we are all equipped to handle temptation. Though it is strong, we are stronger. God is faithful and will help us find a way out if we’re willing to follow it.

1 Corinthians 10:13-14 (NIV) – No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

 

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

Our Destinies are Rooted in God’s Desires for Us

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“Our destinies are tricky things, because they are rooted in God’s desires for us based on what HE knows about us – and that just so happens to be knowledge that we typically aren’t privy to yet.” ~Darren Wilson, Finding God in the Bible“Our destinies are tricky things, because they are rooted in God’s desires for us based on what He knows about us -  and that just so happens to be knowledge that we typically aren’t privy to yet.”   Darren WilsonI’m reading a book right now that has a pretty fun title: Finding God in the Bible: What Crazy Prophets, Fickle Followers and Dangerous Outlaws Reveal about Friendship with God. I got a chuckle out of the quote I have embedded into the pretty picture/ inspirational image above. 

In the chapter I was reading, God and Moses are hanging out, and God tells Moses about the mission he is about the send him on to free Israel from slavery in Egypt. Moses is like Nuh-uh, and God is Like Yuh-huh. And back and forth for a while until God ends up getting mad, and Moses never Nuh-uh’s Him again. God assures Moses that he is up to the task… and that’s that. The way Darren writes is very approachable, but not as informal as I am being here. In any case, his point is well made. Moses is afraid to go on a mission that he is clearly unqualified for. Moses is not wrong, either. But, that said, God was more right. Moses DID pull it off in the end.

See, when God calls us to certain tasks that seem particularly big and scary, He has more information than we do. He actually knows what we are capable of, especially when He is with us. 

All this to say, if you have a distinct impression that you are supposed to do something that feels too big for you, and you are scared, move toward it anyway. If you are being invited to try something that you don’t feel qualified for, maybe you are more qualified than you realize~! Maybe walk like you would on a tightrope. One step at a time… Use a balance bar and a safety net.

My husband and I were asked to play very prominent acting roles in a play recently. We have never acted, and it was outside of our comfort zone. But, we decided to say yes because we felt like we were supposed to, for reasons that had nothing to do with acting. The audience was large, and we may have made fools of ourselves overacting the roles. But, it was exhilarating, and we got tons of laughs and encouraging comments. I never thought I would do something like that~! Moving to Africa for 2 years was a much bigger and scarier risk.  One small risk, one large. Both were amazing and rewarding.

Pray and listen, and take the next step toward your destiny~!

Finding God in the Bible

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

The photo inside of image above is courtesy of Desktop Nexus. A gallery of computer desktop images.

PS – Please leave comments~!

Hope is on Clearance Sale? Isn’t HOPE Supposed to be FREE?

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OH LOOK…  Hope is on Clearance Sale at Walgreen’s~? A friend of mine captured this classic American snap shot. I cracked up. Look at it~! How funny is this photo?~! (Thanks Kristen~!)

Although it is a really funny observation, it also got me thinking about HOPE. There are SO many directions that this post could take. But to keep it simple and obtainable, I wanted to remind people that hope really isn’t expensive at all. 

Hope is a free gift from God,

and we get to give it away.

Hope is on clearance sale at the drugstore! Thank God!

I am supposed to be a beacon of light, and a bringer of hope. You are too~! It is possible that people overcomplicate this. Catch this….. keep it simple:

Look up… Make eye contact…

Smile, and Say Hello~!

Not too hard really. Also, a few kind words will work wonders. The Bible says,  “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4) 

A short story: Last Thursday my husband and I went to the supermarket. The woman behind me in the checkout line looked a bit stern, maybe even mean. Meanwhile, Brook and I chattered away to the cashier. We know most of the supermarket cashiers by now. We try to give them a moment of fun, a joke, or a story to entertain and engage them as they shuffle our things into bags.

Well, something we had said brought a glance from that woman behind me. Eye contact~! I turned and asked her, “SO…. how are YOU today?”

Surprise.. she smiled.

That stern lady had a magnificent smile. And I made it my business to tell her so, and suggested that she should smile ALL THE TIME~! I turned back to the other conversation. About a minute later, she put her hand on my arm. She told me that many, many years ago she used to laugh and smile all the time. Since that time, she had married a very serious man, and she found she didn’t smile very much anymore. I think that is a bit sad. But, she was smiling as she told me her story.

Then, as we left the supermarket, she was actively laughing in our wake. She and the cashier were extending the moment of sunshine that we had introduced. It took so little effort on our part. We were just being ourselves in public.

Another short story: A customer of ours had bought a pair of cuff links. We shipped them and sent her the tracking information. The next day she wrote to tell us that her boyfriend had broken up with her…. with mere days left before Christmas.

She didn’t want to be any trouble, she said. But asked if she could send those cufflinks back. Well…. of course she could~! I told her my real concern was going to be how it would make her feel to receive that package, her boyfriend’s gift. We wrote a few notes back and forth. I told her how glad I was not to have married a few of the people I had dated and loved. Once my amazing husband came into my life, it was very clear why the other relationships had not worked out.

She thanked me…. literally for bringing her HOPE. Now we are friends on facebook~!

Look at this Joyce Meyer quote~! “The world is desperate for hope. We need to be light in a dark place.”  It is so very true. Give HOPE away! Do it today… make it a habit. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Let’s not make people go out and dig around for the dusty discounted version of it that they might find in a discount bin at the drugstore.

HOPE IS FREE~!

The world is desperate for hope. We need to be light in a dark place.  - Joyce Meyer

Click here to see more of these inspirational quotes images that I like to create and post.

ALSO…. SHARE THIS POST ON EMAIL, FACEBOOK OR TWITTER (ETC.) TO PASS ALONG SOME FREE HOPE TO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY~!

Thoughts on Entertaining Angels

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Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing  some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:2 

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing  some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:2  Fortify My Life Blog

My friend Olga has been working on a series of photos of “angels in nature”. I loved this photo, and decided it would make a nice inspirational image for the blog. I also want to use this glorious photograph as a jumping in point for us ALL to be more intentional about trying to find and entertain these angels in disguise.

A few tips on how to entertain angels unawares:

1- Look up and smile. Can it BE more simple? This almost forces someone to smile back. Our brains are wired that way. Just by generating a warm smile, and making eye contact, you have a seriously good chance of making someone else smile. And THAT feels really good~!

2- Say ‘hello” and greet someone verbally. Look into their eyes. It is amazingly simple to have a 30 second interaction that makes someone feel welcomed and acknowledged rather than invisible and insignificant.

3- Random generosity – Buy a stranger their coffee, their dinner at a restaurant, or their groceries. This is really FUN. It blows people’s minds~! We do this pretty often, and have heard stories later about people having prayed that last prayer to God, asking for a sign that will bring them hope…. and WE are the answer to the prayer. You can be, too.

4- Feed and clothe the homeless – This can be as simple as a power bar, or a scarf. (I have heard that homeless people do appreciate clean socks, and nutritious food more than rags and leftovers. Isn’t it crazy that someone who is starving can be a picky eater? But put yourself in their shoes, and you’ll “get it”.) (Places to donate: The Gift List. This is one of our ministries.)

5- Donate to Orphans, or actively get involved. People need good role models, and frankly, they also need more money. Dollar power and man power are both needed to help the motherless and fatherless multitudes. (Places to donate: The Gift List. This is one of our ministries.)

6 , 7, 8, etc. – YOU ADD THIS…. please leave a comment on how you entertain angels unawares~!

A final thought: Be embracing to EVERYONE you encounter…. Because you never know~!

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

Fortify My Life Blog

The World is Our Pulpit

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the world is our pulpit“The world is our pulpit, and our actions are our sermon. We should consider what we are actually saying in the way we conduct our lives day in and day out.”

– Laurie Hayden Bergey

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

God’s Glory

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Leif Hetland and Lightning“The goal of creation is to “glorify God” (see Ps 86:9, John 12:28; 17:1). God’s glory is the radiant display of the divine nature. As God’s life is poured into individuals and flows through individuals to other people, we individually and collectively “image” God…”   ~Leif Hetland, Seeing Through Heaven’s Eyes

What a great quote. I get the simple concept, but this is really much bigger than it looks. I just started reading Seeing Through Heaven’s Eyes last night. This quote made me pause. I’ve reread the quote about 5 times, and I’m not done yet. This is something I’ll have to chew on. I love it~! Leif Hetland blows my mind. Hearing him speak years ago set a fire in my spirit that has not gone out.

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

(On another topic, if anyone knows who the photographer was for this photograph, I would love to give him/her photo credits~! Let me know~! Thanks.)

Passion – Prayer – Intelligence

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il_570xN.132905368I read the Bible before going to sleep every night. (By the way, I’ve never had a nightmare since I’ve been doing this~!) At bed time I read in a translation of the Bible called “The Message”. It is a very clear translation, easy to understand and digest. I mean let’s face it, I don’t want to get into heavy thinking right before bed. But, I do want something that is peaceful to accompany my subconscious into the sleep state.

Last night I was reading in Matthew. I really like the way this section is translated~! The context: Jesus is being challenged by 2 religious sects who don’t normally get along, but are coming against Him together trying to trip Him up. The “passion and prayer and intelligence” part really jumps out at me. I’ve been re-reading this section for a few days now. I’d like to love God with passion,  and with prayer,  and with intelligence. With my spirit, my head, and my heart~! Loving others as I love myself is a challenge. I’ll have to keep at it, as I’ve not arrived yet.

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The Most Important Command (From Matthew 22: 34-40)

When the Pharisees heard how he (Jesus) had bested the Sadducees, they gathered their forces for an assault. One of their religion scholars spoke for them, posing a question they hoped would show him up: “Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?”

Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”

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 “Water Dreams” Photo from Etsy Shop Magnesina, Link here. I have used this image because as we love God and love others well, there is a ripple effect~!

Who Will Write the Forward for Fortify My Life?

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sand castleI am excited to announce who will be writing the forward for Fortify My Life~! From the time when I first realized I was writing a book, and not just a big pile of letters to “Dude”, I started to wonder about the fun details that go into completing a book: the dedication, the epigraph, the endorsements, and a REAL biggie, the forward.

Now, here I am with a publisher and a completed manuscript, and I have dreams for this creation. As long as I can dream as big as I want, I figured I would think about the very best people to write the forward, trusting God will help me complete what we started. I came up with three “dream” options in my mind. They were all equally and uniquely perfect, but one of them I really don’t know personally (though I would love to, maybe some day~!). The other 2 options felt like possibilities, but still maybe too good to come true.

But, which of these options to ask? Hmnnnn. I couldn’t decide. Somewhere along the line, I have seen a book with 2 forwards. Is that an anomaly, or does that happen often? I don’t know. But, inspired by that vague recollection, I threw chance into the air, and decided not to decide. I would ask BOTH, and see what God brings back to me. Well, I think you are already guessing. BOTH said YES~! I’m so blessed~! So? Who are they?

The first to get back to me are Trish and Jack Groblewski. To my great delight, these guys are the pastors of my home church, New Covenant Christian Communinty Church (AKA: NC4), in Bethlehem, PA. NC4 is a vibrant growing church with a diverse body. Jack and Trish are internationally apostolic, and speak on other continents on a regular basis.  I think of Pastor Jack as being a leader to leaders, a pastor to pastors. He is genius smart with mind boggling discernment. He is also crazy-funny and quotes rock-n-roll from the altar~! The messages we get at New Covenant are spiritual steak~! I am seriously spoiled to get to go to such a smart and fun church. Trish is prophetic and has a heart for healing. She is uninhibited with God, and has sparkling eyes that can’t hide her secret wild side. These two were praying for me when I received the Holy Spirit, back in 2000. Click this link to see them being interviewed by Pat Huber. The topic of the interview is Trish’s diagnosis and healing of breast cancer, 2011. Here is a link to the New Covenant messages, where you can hear them each speak in our home church setting, and you can learn more about NC4.

The other forward writer is Leif Hetland. This guy is a world changer with a worldwide ministry. He is as bold as Apostle Paul. My mouth drops when I hear about his travels to other nations. Leif is roughly our age, but Brook and I think of him as a “spiritual father” to us. He spoke at a conference at our church when we were very near a church-burn-out phase. Leif’s messages (love, healing, identity, dignity, dreams, passion) lit a fire in our souls that has continued to burn hot for 7 years now. He has prayed with us about some very important topics, and there has been a spiritual shift.  Leif on youtube –  This is a powerful video with Leif talking about being abused as a child, and then recovering from addiction, only to have an unpleasant time living as an international minister (always trying to work work work for God’s approval). THEN, the great break-through: how God filled his heart with love, and he no longer felt like God’s orphan, but His legitimate son with a power message about Father God.   Click this link to go to Leif’s “Global Mission Awareness” Website where you can buy his books, and check out his ministry and speaking schedule .

See how much God loves me~! He is spoiling me with two powerful forwards from people I can hardly believe I have the honor to know~! I haven’t seen the forwards yet. They aren’t even written yet. Oh my goodness, it feels like the anticipation of Christmas~!