Tag Archives: Personal / Thoughts / Stories



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.


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~!



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/

Two Outrageous Endorsements from the UK~!



I have gotten a few more endorsements for my book. They are so cool~! Both of them come from leaders in worldwide organizations which are having a tremendous impact on seeing peoples’ lives restored. Both of these endorsement rocked my world, as I respect these leaders so tremendously.

The first one is so well written that I wrote back and asked, “SO when is YOUR book coming out~?” It is from Kent & Mary Alice Martin. These are missionaries our church helps send to England to be the directors of Betel UK. Betel is a worldwide recovery program that has extremely high success rates, in the world of recovery places. Kent & Mary Alice live shoulder to shoulder with recovering addicts. Their stories will make you explode with hope, and some can break your heart.  “Betel UK is dedicated to continue offering hope and hospitality free of charge to the neediest men and women of Great Britain–at no additional cost to government social services or families.” Click Link to see Kent & Mary Alice’s webpage. Kent & Mary Alice are some of my real life heroes~!

The second quote is from Nicky Gumbel of The Alpha Program. The Alpha Program is near and dear to my heart, as it was the informational presentation that encouraged me to make the intellectual  and emotional investment of my heart and mind into the Kingdom of God. I confidently became a follower of Jesus in Alpha. Nicky is smart, and cool, and so funny. I adored the videos in this course and had the privilege to see them many times, as Brook and I helped out on the Alpha staff at our church as small group leaders. I never got tired of these videos, and picked up new stuff each time I watched them.  Click here to link to Alpha clips. And…  Here’s a good 3 minute clip of Nicky~! Man, I love this guy~! Literally, my heart expands when I hear him talk. He wrote a very nice letter to Brook and me, and it really made my day when I opened that envelope.

The Endorsements:

In the life-restoring ministry of Betel (described in these pages), we’re always looking for modern story tellers, writers who can demystify ancient truths to make scripture accessible to the hardest heart or most unbelieving 21st-century mind. Fortify My Life does that. It’s non-threatening, easy and relaxed, like a coffee-table book for the hungry soul, satisfying so many tastes at once. It’s a volume of personal letters, a thought-provoking journal, an inspiring devotional book, and a Bible-study guide all in one. Forty sacred stories, all but forgotten by this generation, are retold with the crisp wit and seeming intimacy of a close friend who understands the disbelief of a “Christophobic” world. Laurie asks as many honest, jargon-free questions of the Bible as she answers. She cleverly draws out the pithy essence of these timeless accounts, simultaneously provoking a curiosity to understand them deeper–and the God who stars in them. How quickly can I get copies of this book for the hundreds of broken, recovering Betel men and women who need it?

Kent & Mary Alice Martin

Directors, Betel UK


“I am delighted to hear of Laurie Hayden Bergey’s fascinating book project and wish her every success.”

Reverend Nicky Gumbel, The Alpha Program, Holy Trinity Brompton, London, UK

Two More Wonderful Endorsements for My Book~!


flowers paintingI have received two more wonderful endorsements for my book, Fortify My Life~! These are both from amazing women whom I have the honor to know in my personal life. Smart compassionate women. Hard working, motivated, and very strong, but with kind hearts. I am so blessed to know these fabulous creatures. YAY~!


Motivated by her strong faith and a deep love, Laurie began to write a series of letters to dear “Dude” to entertain and encourage him as he was living through a very changing life experience.  “Dude” told me that a group of his friends would gather around to hear him read the letters he received from Laurie.  These thought-provoking letters were touching the lives of an unlikely group of people. 

I was honored to be there at the beginning to hear the first letters and am so excited to see these turned into a book that will touch many lives. Fortify My Life is a must read!!!

Patricia L. Chapman

Breeder/Owner of Smarty Jones, Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner in 2004


Thank you to Laurie Hayden Bergey for writing an empowering, challenging, life-changing book that is so necessary. From my experience as a counseling psychologist, I can tell you that Christians and non-Christians, alike, are crying out to know their place in the world, wondering why life can be so hard, and what all this heartache is for. They want to change but need help to do so.  FORTIFY MY LIFE provides the structure to work through these challenges and will leave the reader with a stronger sense of their own identity, potential and greatness.

Jennifer Crall, Ph.D. / Counseling Psychologist


Follow this link to read more about my writing updates~!

Passion – Prayer – Intelligence


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.


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.”


 “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~!

The Value of Placebo Pills – Funny and True



What is the Value of Placebo Pills?


I have just had so much fun reading about the quirky and fascinating placebo effect. “The Placebo Effect is one of the strangest and least understood phenomenons found in human physiology and psychology. Most of us know a thing or two about it, namely that we can essentially cure ourselves of maladies simply because we believe we are being cured of them. In other words we trick ourselves back into health, proving that the brain is an extremely powerful entity“(1). Here are some of the funny and informational things I read:

***Placebos help you play golf better, do more push ups, and even take away your cough.

***A placebo doesn’t require manipulation to work. In a recent Harvard study, a bottle with pills labeled PLACEBO worked just as well as the best medication.

***”Approximately half the drugs that fail in late stage trials fail because they simply can’t out-perform placebos”.

***People can get “placebo drunk” on non-alcoholic beer, complete with lower IQ and impaired judgement. There is a youtube video showing a frat party that served up an alcohol free keg. I didn’t watch it. You can link to it from the listverse link below.

***Another placebo effect is called “Nocebo”. This is funny~! People can also get the “side effects” of the thing that is being “placeboed”….. like irritable bowels or erectile dysfunction.

**Placebo effect also occurs with dogs, and other animals like lab mice.

***Some high profile studies are showing that placebos can be as effective as anti-depressants (probably more effective since anxiety is a side-effect of some anti-depressants).

***Placebo pill color matters: “Researchers have learned that yellow placebo pills are the most effective at treating depression while red pills cause the patient to be more alert and awake. Green pills help ease anxiety while white pills soothe stomach issues such as ulcers.”

***”Fake surgeries can be just as effective as the real thing, taking the placebo effect to the next level.”

***”The more placebo pills taken the better, with those taken four times a day more effective than those taken twice daily. Pills that have a “brand name” stamped on them also work better than pills that have nothing written on them. It appears that we humans are superficial even when it comes to the fake drugs we ingest.”

***We can’t (typically) will our way toward recovery, but need to take a pill. In essence, we need some sort of “external influence” to initiate the sequence of events that lead to the placebo effect.



Placebo pills are for sale by the pound on amazon.com (hilarious reviews!). Knowing that they are available makes me feel so much better~!  No more headaches, sore throats, flu, etc….. the whole family will now be healthy forever~! Another source of placebo pills, and more in depth placebo stats and facts: click here to go to placebo.com. These guys are goofing off, and making some money having a good laugh. Their motto: NOTHING WORKS BETTER ! I get a chuckle that they are going for it, packaging and selling placebos in a bottle labelled placebo~! Why not~!?

(1) Listverse.com (quoted above) has more crazy-fun in-depth placebo information. I like to keep my blog posts short because people are more apt to read short blog posts~! Link to listverse.com placebo list: 10 Crazy Facts About the Placebo Effect.

“There is a website, Placeboeffect.com, which holds itself up as ‘The Official Placebo Effect Resource‘ (whatever ‘official’ means in the world of placebos!) Here you can access classes, essays, an ebook and other resources on the phenomenon, though not placebos themselves.” (Roughly quoted from placebo.com.)

Feel free to re-blog or share this on facebook and other social media, as it is informational and funny~! Please do~!

Who Will Write the Forward for Fortify My Life?


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~!

And the day you find out why…

I am re-blogging today, a 1st for me. I like the basic concept of Everyday Power’s blog post. I also believe people are born for a purpose, probably many layers and stages of purpose along the way. But, it seems like folks can get stuck in the rut of wondering what that purpose might be, feel like they are being ineffective, and then become inactive and discouraged. While I don’t believe we always need to find out exactly why we are here in “specific detail”, that sure can be an encouraging bonus~!  (Hint: love God, and imitate God.)
We can actually have more influence than we’re aware of, sometimes by accident, and even by a random occurrence. Brook and I have had the “what are we doing in Bethlehem” talk a number of times. We’ve found out repeatedly, and often years later, that we have had a positive affect on many people along the way, and we didn’t have any idea that we had made any difference at the time. Brook and I ride bikes, and wave to people a lot. We’ve had people stop us and thank us for waving to them on a day when they felt lonely. We made them smile and got them through a hard day. We have sometimes bought peoples’ groceries at the supermarket. We found out months later that one of these people had gotten a cancer diagnosis and had prayed for a sign that God still cared. We were the answer God sent, and had no idea. So, I agree with Jeff in suggesting that we should “do something”. In our case, “doing something” has proven to be a valued service to others, and that has an importance more far reaching than we will ever know. If you are living well,  you are probably also being effective beyond your knowledge. Be godly, and you will make a difference.

Funny Tooth Fairy Notes


tooth fairy noteI have seen some really cute tooth fairy notes on facebook. Here are some of my favorites. I hope you will laugh like I did~! The first has wonderful details. I love the hearts in the top corners. It is adorable how the girl’s name and other words are divided into 2 lines. It looks like Trinity was going to be sleeping in her brother’s room and was afraid the tooth fairy would not be able to find her. My favorite part is the bottom right corner. Trinity asks the tooth fairy to “write back”. I asked her parents if the tooth fairy was faithful to correspond. Yes~! I am glad to report that she did~!

In this second note, it seems as if the tooth fairy missed a stop. I don’t remember why. I happen to know that the tooth fairy in this zip-code is amazing. She has great attention to detail, and I am in awe of her. I love that the girl’s mother put this note onto her facebook page. I’m sure her heart was breaking a bit (the inner cringe) as she encouraged Angelica to write this note. I think it shows that even the most stellar tooth fairies can have bumps in their road.  Maybe you have to know how nearly perfect this one is to fully appreciate the note…. to me she became even cooler than before I saw the note. I love when people can go public with something like this. I admire her~!

tooth fairy note

This third one has me baffled but amused. Bacon? I might have considered asking for chocolate. But, I am guessing that the money has a higher value per tooth than the price of bacon. I don’t actually know the going price for a tooth these days.

tooth fairy bacon note

Now for the funny note FROM the tooth fairy.  This mom put her sassy note on her facebook page, and thought a few friends and family would get a chuckle. She now has a fan page with over 5000 “likes. Not everyone thought it was funny. But, the room has been kept cleaner~! I like it~! I laughed~! (non-stopmom.blogspot.com., facebook.com/nonstopmom)

Tooth Fairy Note

OH PLEASE ADD COMMENTS~! I love comments~!

Another Publisher Likes My Book


sunset rays

A quick update on FORTIFY MY LIFE :

When I sent my book proposal to publishers, I gave my “favorite” publishing house a 1 week head start to accept or reject FORTIFY MY LIFE. One week later, I sent the manuscript to my second choice publisher, a VERY fine and reputable publishing house. I had mentioned in my last post about the book that it is typical to have to wait 6 to 8 weeks to hear back from a publisher. Well as I had also said, Destiny Image got back to me super fast, within a day of sending in the 2nd proposal. So, I started moving forward with them, looking at the contract, talking about cover design, and ultimately signing a contract. Then, on the morning of the big money day, when I was preparing to order 2000 copies of the upcoming book, the second book company wrote me a note saying they would like to publish FORTIFY MY LIFE.

I have to say, this was an exciting and confusing moment. Of course I already knew that I would be publishing with Destiny Image’s Ambient Press label. I had already signed the contract. But, a contract offer from Creation House is very precious. It was such an honor to get the “acceptance letter”. Brook and I sat at breakfast discussing how it is a shame I can’t publish with both of them~! What a fine compliment to get that note today, and bitter-sweet to send the “regrets” reply. So, there it is: I’ve had 100% positive responses from publishing houses with regards to FORTIFY MY LIFE~! I’m glad that both of these wonderful publishers have deemed this book worth publishing.  That makes my heart flutter~!

I am now waiting to find out what the production schedule looks like for FORTIFY MY LIFE. I’m guessing it won’t get printed until next March, or even later. In the meantime, I will start talking to pastors, authors, and ministry leaders about writing endorsements. This is a bit out of my comfort zone, so say a prayer for me~!

Follow this link to read more about my writing updates~!