faithcounts

Following God One Step at a Time

The War in Syria

WarinSyria

I am combining my Monday and Friday posts today into one, because I have granddaughters coming for a visit this week.  The Monday topic is truth.  Tuesday, June 20 is World Refugee Day.  The Friday book review is “Under the Wire” by Paul Conroy.

This is not a Christian book, but it gives us important information about truth.  Truth is often difficult to hear, but truth is important to know.  Truth is so important that some people are willing to risk their lives to get the truth out to the world.  This book is the true story of people just like that.  Brave people, many who died because they wanted the world to know what was happening in Syria.

This book is about several news reporters, and how they got into the war zone, what they found there, how they lived there, and how they got out, and how some of them died. Paul Conroy, a news photographer, is the author.  He witnessed what has been happening in Syria to the citizens living there.

The people of Syria have been under attack by President Assad for years.  Their homes have been bombed to ruins.  Their children have been shot or blown up.  They have little food and water.  They live under the constant shooting and bombing that threatens their lives and shreds their nerves.

Why don’t they leave?  Many do escape, but it is dangerous.  Many are shot and killed trying to escape.  The military is not letting them leave.  The government wants to kill them all.

Why are the news reporters there? They want to get proof of what is really happening in Syria.  They want to get back to their home countries and tell and show everyone what is truly going on in Syria.  It is a horrible truth, but we need to know.  Then we need to decide what we will do about it.

Will we help the people who do escape? They are refugees now with no home.  Right now, few countries are willing to help them.  Will we provide medical care to the injured?  Or will we turn our backs and allow them all to be killed?

These are tough questions, but we need to know the truth to answer them.  People like Paul Conroy and other news correspondents, and the Syrian people, are risking their lives to get the truth out.  If it is that important to them, to risk their lives so we will know the truth, then we should read the truth.

This is why I picked up this book at a book sale, to read the truth.  It is a difficult story to read.  It is important to read.  It is important to decide what we will do to help the people of Syria.

Will we donate to charities that are helping the refugees and the injured?  

Will we encourage our governments to provide a place for refugees to live?  

At the very least, will we read their story and hear their witness of the truth?

Lies need to be challenged with the truth.

>Click here to find ways to help.

Jump here to get the book —

 

Leave a comment »

Forgotten Girls

ChildBrides001aChild brides with their husbands

I picked up this book  “Forgotten Girls” at a book sale.  It tells the stories of girls caught in slavery, so they won’t be forgotten anymore.  Kay Marshall Strom and Michele Rickett wrote this book for just that reason.  The stories are sad and scary, but there is hope for these girls, who are no longer forgotten.

Michele Rickett is the founder and president of “She is Safe”.  This is a charity that rescues girls caught in slavery, and also educates girls and their families to prevent other girls from ending up there.  Girls are the key to a better future for their families.

There are over 4 million victims of enforced slavery every year.  They and their parents are usually uneducated, illiterate, and live in poverty.  Girls are often seen as a burden, so they are abandoned or sold into slavery.  These are the girls “She is Safe” wants to help before they end up in slavery.

In some countries it is allowed to force a girl to marry temporarily.  The husband can have sex with her, and then abandon her in a few months, all legally.  It does not matter what age the girl is.  Abandoned and no longer a virgin, she typically ends up in the sex trade for the rest of her short life.  In other countries it is quite common for the men in a family to sexually abuse the girls.  It could be an uncle, grandfather, or cousin. The girl is expected to stay quiet about it.

It is hard to read the stories in this book, but is important to read their stories, so they are no longer forgotten.  We can help them through prayers and with donations to organizations like “She is Safe”.  “She is Safe” works in some of the poorest areas of the world: India, Mali, the Middle East, northern Africa, Sudan, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Nepal.

>HELP save a girl from slavery …

>WATCH this video 

>Get the book “Forgotten Girls”

Leave a comment »

Mist of Midnight

MistofMidnight SandraByrd

The title suggests mystery and dark secrets…

And you will be pleased to find them in this intriguing historical novel —

>Mist of Midnightby Sandra Byrd.

I love historical novels, but have never read a book by Sandra Byrd before.  Other book bloggers gave her books good reviews, so I decided to give this one a try.

I loved this book!  It kept my interest throughout.  It combines two cultures — India and England, which helps add to the mystery.

The main character is Rebecca, the daughter of missionaries who are killed in India.  Alone in the world, will she be penniless? Who will help her?  Will English society welcome her home?  Will she be charged with a crime? Who is guilty?

This would make a great book to read this weekend!

>Touch THIS to get a copy.  

“Mist of Midnight” is part of a trilogy — Daughters of Hampshire.

The other 2 books in the series are —

>”Bride of a Distant Isle” and “A Lady in Disguise.

I got my copy at the library.  I plan to read “A Lady in Disguise” too.

Let me know how you like the books!

 

 

Leave a comment »

The Big Picture Interactive Bible

BigPictureBible Cover

So this week I am reviewing a new children’s Bible that is different in that it uses technology, making it interactive with the reader.  There is an app to download to your mobile device.  Throughout the Bible are full-color pictures that when scanned tell a story.  A narrator explains the activity happening in the picture.

BigPicture Bible

I recommend that most children will get more out of this Bible if a parent or teacher goes through it with them.  The text is written at adult or at least 6th grade level.  The interactive pictures must be viewed on the phone or mobile device while looking down onto the Bible.  If you pull the phone away, the voice and picture stops.  Children under 6th grade will probably need help with that.

Also throughout the Bible are “Big Questions” that ask a question that Bible readers might have, and gives the answer.  There are also sections called “Christ Connection” that explain how that verse in the Bible refers to Jesus.  These sections are written for kids to understand.  Parents can use these sections to give their children more background or insight on those verses in the Bible.

This is generally not a Bible you would buy and give to your child, unless you give it to a child in 6th to 8th grade.  In my opinion children older than 8th grade would not be interested in this Bible.  This is a thick, heavy Bible with small print and uses vocabulary of 6th grade or above.  I believe this Bible was designed with the idea that a parent would read sections of this Bible with their children, certainly for younger children.

If you are looking for a way to bring the Bible to life for your child, and to find sections to explain or highlight important verses, then this could be a good Bible for you to consider.  This Bible is in the CSB, Christian Standard Bible translation.

>Click HERE to get more information or to purchase.

>Look HERE to read a sample in the Bible.  This will let you see the vocabulary and reading level of the text by clicking on the cover that says “look inside”.

I did receive a free copy of this Bible from Lifeway.com in order to write a review. The opinions I give here are my own, and I had input from my husband, a retired minister, who teaches 4th and 5th grade Sunday School.

Leave a comment »

Let It Go

LettingGo

Ok, we know the popular Disney song “Let It Go”.  

But do we know how to let it go?

I just finished reading the book “The Way of Letting Go” by Wilma Derksen.  Wilma is an expert in letting go!  All I can say is “Wow”! 

This book is so real, so honest, so true.  This book is about letting go, and about living life in an imperfect world.  Wilma Derksen has lived what no one should have to live through, but she did it, and did it well.  What is the “The Way of Letting Go”?  It is about facing tragedy and finding forgiveness by letting go.

Don’t turn away from forgiveness.  You may want to, but don’t.  Forgiveness is the way to healing.  Forgiveness is the way to peace.  If you have struggled through difficulties and pain in your life, then read this book.  It will help you let go, live your life, forgive, and move on.  It will help you find hope for a better day tomorrow.

The author was not born knowing how to forgive.  She did not get a degree at college on forgiveness.  Forgiveness is not taught in school.  Wilma learned how to forgive by experiencing tragedy and not having any other way to cope and survive. She learned how to forgive in “the school of hard knocks”, real life.

I went through six years of battling cancer.  I used forgiveness to help me heal.  I can relate to some of the chapters in this book — Letting go of fear; letting go of the happy ending; letting go of the old me; letting go of my expectation of fairness. Other types of letting go that I didn’t know, that is where this book taught me the most.  Letting go of guilt and blame; letting go of my ego; letting go of closure.

This letting go process is very healing.  Some of it is difficult.  It doesn’t need to be done in any specific order. It shouldn’t be done in a hurry. Letting go is a process that brings forgiveness.  Forgiveness brings peace and healing and allows us to move forward with our life.  

If you are stuck in blaming someone; or feeling life has not been fair to you; or you keep searching for a happy ending, then maybe you need to read this book.  

Look for it  >HERE.  Read a bit of it online just click the book cover >HERE.

If every time you think about moving forward, doing something new, you say — “Yeah but…”, then you need to do some letting go.

If you can’t stop crying, you need to do some letting go.

I am going to re-read this book, at least some of the chapters, so I can make more progress toward real forgiveness.  Wilma is a great role model to follow.  Read her book slowly, don’t rush it.  This is not a book to speed read.  It is full of useful information.  Wilma uses her own life to explain how to let go, so you can forgive.

This is a really good book.  It made me yearn for more forgiveness in me.  It gave me a better understanding of what victims of crime go through.  Wilma is good at sharing that.  I don’t want to spoil the impact of the book, so I won’t tell you the details here.

If you read it, you will be surprised what you learn.

Buy the book HERE.

 

(I did receive a free copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers, so I could write an honest review.  Everything you read in this book review is my own opinion.)

Leave a comment »

Hidden Figures Book and Movie

HiddenFigures Book

“Hidden Figures” by Margot Lee Shetterly is the book behind the movie.

(I did read the adult version of the book, but it had this picture on it, instead of the movie picture, so I used this cover pic since it showed the real women not actors.)

Did you see the movie “Hidden Figures”?  I did, and it was great!  I enjoyed learning about the history behind the space race.  The situations of the lady “computers” were sometimes funny and sometimes gut-wrenching.  If you didn’t see it, I recommend it!  It was an exciting time in our American history.

After seeing the movie, I knew there must be a lot more to the story, so I decided to read the book.  I got on a wait list at my local library.  I was 48th on the list! It was very popular.  I finally got it last week, and finished reading it pretty quickly, since I wanted to review it for you.  I was right; there is a huge amount of information not included in the movie.  That said, the book may have delved into all the details more than necessary.  It is still a very interesting book.

It is a biography of 4 African American ladies in the west computing section of NACA (the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics), which later became NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration).  The book and the movie tell the true history of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden.

I am glad I saw the movie first, because it gave me a better idea of what the book was about.  It is a complicated history, because it involves so many people, several towns, many schools, and the politics of the time.  If you enjoy learning about history, then the book is definitely worth reading!

The movie made NASA the main reason for having all these women mathematicians, but really it was airplanes and WWII. It was NACA that hired the women.  Because of the war, there simply was not enough qualified men to fill the jobs. The government wanted many more airplanes and wanted them to fly faster.  So Black women started working at Langley Aeronautical Lab in Hampton, Virginia, in 1942.  The space race didn’t start until 1958, and boomed in the 1960s.

The movie also didn’t explain the beginnings that made it possible for NACA to hire so many mathematicians, engineers and physicists.  Many black families wanted their children to have a better life than they had.  They believed that education would get them there.  This was very shrewd planning.  As a result there were many black men and women studying and teaching math and science.  These were good jobs and they enjoyed teaching; however, they were educated and smart enough to work as engineers, mathematicians, researchers and physicists.  Because they were black, they had been overlooked for the better jobs before, but when Langley needed to hire hundreds more employees that had the education of engineers, mathematicians and physicists, they found them by looking at high school teachers and new college graduates at Black schools.

Many African Americans were hired at Langley, and they were accepted, but some segregation was still apparent, as with the colored bathrooms and colored lunch table.  The riveting scene when Kevin Costner knocks down the colored bathroom sign with a sledge-hammer, does not happen in the book.  But over time, many of these types of prejudices did gradually stop, at least at Langley.

I want to end my review by giving kudos to one of the ladies in the book.  Her name is Katherine Johnson, the most famous of the group.  In 2015 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama!  This is our country’s highest civilian award, the same award given to Astronaut John Glenn.  Ladies of Langley, we owe you a debt of gratitude for your service to this country!

>View HERE the 1 minute video of the presentation!

>Click HERE to buy the book.

2 Comments »

Break Out and Go

BookCover BreakOutwww.jedsbook.com

It is not very often that I can say it was such a joy to read and exciting to share the review of any book.  But that is how I feel about today’s book –

— “Break Out” by Jed Lindstrom!

“Break Out” is the story of Jed’s life, beginning with his childhood, then following him into drugs, robbery, and prison.  It is a true story of how evil can take over a young person’s life.  It is unfortunately true of many young people in the world.  Drug addiction has ruined the lives of millions of people.

Thankfully, Jed’s story does not end there.

While in prison, Jed is led to Jesus.  He gives his heart to the Lord, and his life begins to change.

When he gets out of prison, he is determined to follow Jesus.  He starts a ministry of leading others who are down and out to Jesus.  He does this in the most unusual places!  He talks to anyone who is desperate enough to listen on the streets and on the subway of New York, in Los Angeles, and on the bus in Minneapolis.  Yes he really did what he called “subway church”, telling his testimony to the people in the subway cars and praying with them.  You can read about how he did this in the book.

If you meet Jed, you will see that he loves people.  He genuinely cares.  Most of all, he loves Jesus with his whole heart and mind and strength.  Nothing keeps him from sharing Jesus with people. I was lucky enough to have met him earlier this month.

It was only a few years after prison, when he started his official full-time Christian ministry –>“Let’s Go Ministry”.  Which tells what he does himself, be willing to go to the no go places to reach people for Jesus.  Jed’s story may seem like fiction, but it is real life.

The book tells the true story of Jed Lindstrom. 

He was lost in darkness, in a pit from drug addiction, and locked in prison, but God reached him there.  God can reach anyone, no matter your circumstances.  If you have a friend or family member who is in a dark pit of drug addiction, pray for them, and don’t stop.  Prayer has the power to release God into any situation to reach the person you are praying for.  It will take time, but don’t give up.  Ask others to pray too.  I have seen prayer work a great healing and free a person from despair and drugs.  Jed’s mom prayed for him, and she did not stop.

This book tells a powerful true testimony about the love and grace of God. God loves each of us with a love that overcomes any pit of darkness.  God loves you no matter what you did, no matter what you do, God wants to heal you, and He wants you to love Him the same way He loves you.

This book can be the inspiration that changes your life, or the life of your friend or family member.  Read this book, then give it to someone else who needs it.  Can you tell I love this book?

Share this blog post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram …. Help get this book in the hands of everyone who needs to make a change in their life! 

There are people praying for every person who reads this book!  

kneeling Prayer

Yes they are praying for you, and every person who even begins to read this book!  We know that this book will pick people up out of a pit, and turn people around.  Many people will give their heart to Jesus.  This book will inspire anyone to seek God’s help and change their life.

The quickest and cheapest way to get this book is to order the Kindle version –

–>Click HERE to download it now for less than $4.

If you want to hand the book to someone else, then order the paperback version –

–>Jump on IT, to order “Break Out” paperback expanded edition.

You can also read part of the book >HERE, just click on the book cover on Amazon.

Write a review on Amazon to encourage people to read this book.

It’s easy!  (On the book page, click on “Write a customer review”.) After you —

–>Click THIS to leave a review on the book page.  

To find out more about Jed’s story –

–>Go to Let’s Go Ministry.com

Where are you going tomorrow? 

Do you need to make a change? 

Don’t wait. Read this book!

LET’S GO!!  A better future is waiting for you.

You can —>follow Jed on Facebook HERE.

Leave a comment »

Free Book

booksOpen-2241631__340

Ok this is not my usual post for Monday!  

I have an offer for you — Update– the free book offer is over…But you can buy the Kindle version for less than $4! —>Go HERE!

Jed Lindstrom’s life story in a nutshell, was recently on the 700 club.  

To get the whole story, you can read his book Free!

We just ask that you write an Amazon.com review as soon as you can, and if you have a blog, please post a book review in May.

You can download the Kindle version of “Break Out” by Jed Lindstrom free today through May 10.  The official book launch on the ground is May 9.

Will you help us get this book to as many people as possible?

If you are ready —>Get your freeunder $4 book HERE!  

Or read more below…

I just jumped on to this project a few days ago, when I found out about the book launch.  I have met Jed and he is awesome!  His book is amazing! It reads like an adventure novel.  You will be inspired by his true story!

Jed ended up addicted to drugs as a kid.  He was in federal prison for selling drugs and robbery, when his life was changed.  He was led to Jesus.  When he got out of prison, he started a full-time Christian ministry.  –>www.LetsGoMinistry.com 

Now he spreads the love of Jesus and leads many people to give their life to Jesus both here in the U.S. and in Colombia.  His book helps get God’s message to other addicts, and to the family and friends of addicts.  There is another way to live.  

Live for Jesus, instead of drugs!  

You can watch the 8 minute video about Jed that aired on the 700 Club —

>Click to see the video HERE!

–>Grab the free Kindle version of “Break Out” HERE!

In the comments below, let me know when you post a review on your blog, so I can share it on my social media!  (I will also follow you if I don’t already.)

Additional offer —

If you have a blog, and you are willing to write a book review and post it on your blog, Jed will send you a paperback copy of his book.  Supply is limited.  For this option, email me your name, address, phone, and blog website to FaithCountsBlog@aol.com

Please share this on Twitter or Facebook.  Buttons are below!

Leave a comment »

Unfriended Oh No

OhNo 340

Actually go ahead and unfriend me.  Whatever.

Never Unfriended” by Lisa-Jo Baker is an unusual book.  Right from the start, the author Lisa-Jo says that you don’t need to read the whole book!  She suggests you read the chapters that relate to you, and then read the last couple chapters that give you tips on how to be a good friend to yourself and others.

Since I was going to write a book review, I read the whole book.  Now I love to read books!  I love to learn new things!  This book, however, I did not like.  There were times I cringed at Lisa-Jo’s description of friendships.  The friendships she is telling us we need, are too icky-sticky for me! 

Some people could find this book helpful.  If you are familiar with the Christian Enneagram of 9 Personality Types, but even if not, you will probably recognize these personalities.

Women who would probably enjoy this book –

Peacemakers (9), Enthusiasts (7) who are spontaneous and adventurous, Romantics (4) who are creative and moody with over-sized feelings, and Helpers (2).  I suspect that at least some Loyalists would also (6).  I am not any of those personality types!  By the way, if you are a perfectionist, run from this book!  It will probably drive you crazy.  I am guessing that Lisa-Jo is a romantic (based on her stories about her life).  (See the description above.)  I could be wrong.  Me, I am an Investigator (5), which is why I love to read and write book reviews!

Interested in learning your personality type?  ->Take the free quiz!

Many of the chapters in the book had me thinking, ok been there, done that, all good.  I didn’t learn anything from those chapters.  I suspect that is because of my age.  I think this book is mostly relevant to women in their 30’s and 40’s.  I have already been through that stage.  It also seems that this book is mostly talking to women with kids under-21.  I don’t.

So, if you are similar to any of the personality types listed above, and are the right age, and have kids, or will soon, then you may enjoy this book, and get a lot from it! 

So if you are, and you want to read it (remember Lisa-Jo says you don’t have to read the whole book), –>Click HERE

I did get some good advice from the book, like “give friends the benefit of the doubt”.  There certainly are some good tips on friendship in the book.

I don’t think we all enjoy the same types of friends.  Some people like doing activities together.  Some people like just talking.  Others want to talk through all their emotional turmoil.  Some people want to party a lot.  Lisa-Jo seems to be saying, accept them all and realize you can’t have it your way. She says never unfriend them for any reason!   I’d rather have friends that I enjoy spending time with.  I like more boundaries than Lisa-Jo.  I want time limits, like Bible study 2 hours one evening each week.  How about an afternoon at the beach?  I don’t want somebody who is texting me in the middle of the night.  If it’s an emergency, and I can help, call me!  If it’s not an emergency and you just want to stress out, let me sleep.

So my apologies to Lisa-Jo, but your idea of friendship does not work for everybody.  I don’t agree that Jesus tells us to have friendships like you describe.  I think we are mostly supposed to run to Jesus with our stresses and problems first, not our friends.  If our every problem becomes our friend’s problem, you threaten the relationship.  Jesus never will leave us, and will never stop loving us.  Friends do sometimes.  It happens.  

->From Romans 8:38-39, “…nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Hey, if you disagree with me about friendship or about the book, leave your comments below.  I would love to listen!

Leave a comment »

Bible Study for You

ComputerPlusCoffee

I just finished the Bible study “Entrusted”, on my own, and I wanted to share how I did that.  Yes, I did a whole Bible study by myself!

The current Bible Study by Beth Moore is “Entrusted” (a study of 2nd Timothy). I rarely do reviews on Bible studies, but I want to share with you how I did the study by myself.  I know that not everyone has a women’s Bible study group to go to, so –

Fear not – You can do this Bible study for yourself!

How? 

1) Purchase the “Entrusted” Bible study book, just like I did, online. (My whole cost for everything was less than $37.)

–>Click THIS for Complete information on the “Entrusted” Bible study

–>Hit on IT to buy the Bible Study book from Lifeway

–>Jump on THIS to buy at Amazon  with free-shipping if you are a Prime member.

2) Purchase each video lesson, download to watch on your computer, or audio only. 

–>Click on IT for Audio only downloads (mp3) (cheapest option for Beth’s sessions)

–>or Push THIS for renting the videos

–>or Click HERE for the most fun, download Beth’s videos (mp4)

3) Watch the videos or listen to the audio for each session 1-6 whenever you want. 

4) Read the corresponding 5 days of Bible study lessons in the book for each of the 6 sessions and answer the questions.  Hey don’t worry if you can’t answer every question.  Do your best.

Here is a great tip!  Do you find it hard to listen to Beth’s videos and get all the blanks filled in on the page?  Well you can find the answers for each of the 6 video sessions online. 

–>Click HERE for those answers!   (Sorry, but there are no answers given for the lesson questions.  Those are for your own personal study and answers.)

Since you now have all the answers to fill in the blanks, you can listen to Beth as you walk the dog.  You can download it to any device that will take mp3 audio files.  

What is great about doing the Bible study by yourself, is you can take as long as you need to finish it!  In a group you will be doing the study for 6 weeks in a row.  On your own, you can skip a week when you are too busy, and pick the study up again the next week.  It is all at your speed, and on your schedule.

So many times ladies in Bible study groups complain that they can’t get all the week’s lessons done in one week.  Some people don’t even join the group because it is on a bad night, or they always work late. 

So don’t give up on Bible studies! Do it on your own.  I did it! 

How long did I take to finish the “Entrusted” Bible study?

I ordered it last November, and I just finished it this week, April 28!  So I did not get it done in 6 weeks.  I finished it in 5 months!  But that is ok.  I got it done.  I learned a lot.  And I am proud that I finished!

You can do it too!  Just follow the links above and get started learning a bunch about Paul and Timothy and the early Christian church.

So many women want answers and encouragement and hope.  You can find these in Bible study!  I find Beth’s Bible studies so encouraging! 

Why this Bible study? 

Entrusted” has something new in it. — Beth asked hundreds of women online what question they would like to ask her if we could sit down with her over a cup of coffee.  Beth picked some of those questions and answered them in the margins of the “Entrusted” study book!  It was so interesting to read what other women asked, and especially to read Beth’s answers!  Beth has been writing Bible studies and teaching the Bible for over 25 years.  She has tons of experience, and lots of good advice.

I will give you one nugget from the study. — Beth wrote that this much I know… persistence will carry you where talent and skill cannot.  When your prayers seem wasted, Heaven has not forgotten you.  No prayer is ever wasted.  There is life in God’s Word! Persist! Keep trying.  Keep learning.

I hope this encourages you to pick up a Bible study

and let God’s Word work in you!

If you have any questions, just use the comment section below.  I will do my best to answer you.

P.S. This fall, Beth Moore has a new Bible study coming out, “The Quest”.  It should be awesome!  I plan on doing that study on my own too.

Leave a comment »