Tag Archives: Inspiration

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:

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“.

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.

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~!

Embrace Your Inner-Caterpillar – Both Stages are Stunning

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Riddle me this?

Why is the butterfly getting all the glory?

The caterpillar is cool~!

If the caterpillar were not an essential stage in development, God would have skipped right over it, right? Sooo….. I’m saying, embrace your inner caterpillar, and press on toward the butterfly. Love yourself as a caterpillar, knowing you are on a journey, and will one day grow wings, as it were. Life is a process. If you were to begin at the end, you’d miss the adventure~! Be encouraged at this very stage of your life, and live it intentionally.

Now for the pictures~! I can’t help at marvel at God’s awesome creatures~! So, I am including some wonderful photos of crazy caterpillars and beautiful butterflies. These should inspire us to be proud of both of these phases, caterpillar AND butterfly~!

“God believes in our butterfly, hopes for our butterfly, loves us as butterflies”

~ Peter Kreeft

Top 10 Most Beautiful Caterpillars | SciencerayColorful Blue Morpho butterflyBeautiful Macro Insect PhotoPapilio machaon -- by claudiodelfuocochenilleeuropean peacock butterfly ~wow~

Sycamore Moth (Acronicta aceris) Caterpillar by forbesimages, via Flickr: Hard to believe that it turns into a plain colored moth. #Photography #Sycamore_Moth_Caterpillar #forbesimagesRare butterfly In the AndesStinging Rose CaterpillarButterflyPrettyButterflyMoth Caterpillar | by John Horstman

Peacock Pansy Butterfly (Junionia almana)

Electric caterpillarNature at its best

Peacock Bristle Worm (Chloeia flava), by Mat.Tauriello 毛虫beautifulTussock Moth Caterpillar (Lymantriinae) ~ By John Horstman

Yellow Butterfly

Caterpillar

"God believes in our butterfly, hopes for our butterfly, loves us as butterflies"  Peter Kreeft Fortify My Life Blog

Oh…. but maybe you think you’re just a moth?

Moths are quite wonderful, too.

So, none of that comparing butterflies to moths and feeling short changed~!

Look at these guys~!

Luna MothRosy Maple MothShowpieceGarden Tiger MothMadagascan Sunset MothTo link to 300 more amazing caterpillar & butterfly photos on my pinterest page, click this link~!

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

PS – Please leave comments~! If you have received this as an email, feel free to forward it to friends. And friends, feel free to follow this blog and have some fun and inspirational emails sent to you. Link: Fortify My Life Blog

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~!

The True Secret of Happiness in our Daily Life

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“The true secret of happiness lies in the taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.” 

~ William Morris

"The true secret of happiness lies in the taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life."  ~ William MorrisI LOVE this quote. I have to say that William Morris is a person who has influenced the way I live, creatively. He supported the arts, and liked to have beautiful things around him. It was his believe that things didn’t have to be merely functional, but interesting to look at and interact with as well.  A serving spoon can be a work of art~! 

Beyond that, we can look up, look around, and find beauty all around us. Compare the color of a tree trunk to the sky behind it. Take a closer look at the inside of a flower. There are often sparkly stones inside of concrete. A drop of water can contain a whole miniature world~! When light shines through leaves, they look like stained glass. What an amazing world we live in~! It is important to our health to observe the world around us using as many of our senses as we can.

BE INSPIRED~!

Look up, Look around…

Be Happier in your Daily Life~!

What do you see that is amazing in what many think of as the ordinary world? Teach us to see something new in our surroundings. Please leave comments~!

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

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~!