Monday, March 30, 2009

This Is Your Brain On Joy

The Blurb:

In this breakthrough book, Dr,. Earl Henslin reveals how the study of brain imaging turned his practice of psychotherapy upside down— with remarkably positive results. He shares answers to puzzling questions, such as:

Why isn't my faith in God enough to erase my blue moods?
Why haven't I been able to conquer my anger? 
Why can't I pray away my fear and worry?
Why can't I find freedom from secret obsessions and addictions?

Excerpt from page 151:

Old Testament saints like Moses, Elijah, Job and Jeremiah suffered from depression, often to the point of being suicidal. Elijah's miraculous victory over the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18 is followed in the next chapter with Elijah being despondent and trembling fear: "And he was afraid and arose and ran for his life . . . and sat down under a juniper tree; and he requested fro himself that he might die" (1 Kings 19- 3—4 NASB)

Though preachers and some less-than-understanding Christians have a tender and practical response: "And the angel of the LORD came again a second time and touched him and said, 'Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you' " (19:17 NASB). Far from being critical, God comforted his weary child. Comforting his kids is the business God is in, even when, during a 'dark night of the soul" (or chemical brain imbalance), you may not feel him there. God never promised a sparrow would not fall to the ground, or that his children would never suffer, but he did promise his presence. Most often, God's presence shows up in my life in the form of another kindhearted and compassionate person.

What Others Say:

What a great find! My wife has struggled with ADD and me being a highly-driven and results-oriented person, it is often difficult for me to understand her actions. Not only has This is Your Brain on Joy helped me to understand the symptoms, Dr Henslin has also gone into some possible causes as well as treatments. 

One of the points that I really appreciated most is that Dr. Henslin is a Christian doctor and knows the Scriptures and has a strong faith, yet tries to drive home the point that one must be willing to take an active approach to overcome personal issues. As Christians, many rely on God to heal them through prayer, yet do not do a single thing to move towards such a recovery. This book will help many that struggle with certain things to learn how to overcome them. This in addition to prayer is something God will use to deliver his people. 

There is a very useful test to determine what issues one may be struggling with and therefore which parts of the book will be most useful to the reader. For me, it was like a eureka moment. I had heard my wife talk about her ADD for years, but seeing it in print and connecting the issues she has with ADD through taking the test with her really helped me gain some clarity. 

Henslin breaks down the different parts of the brain and isolates conditions that occur in those areas--such as ADD being associated with the prefrontal cortex--and then delivers the treatments specific to them. It's much more than getting a prescription for Ridalin; it's a full regimen of actions, herbal remedies, thoughts, etc. There are even key Bible verses and prayers offered as a way to connect this program with faith and to put trust in God to heal through our active participation. 

This is Your Brain on Joy has been a tremendous blessing in our home. I am so grateful for the work of Dr Henslin and his willingness to share his research and wisdom with the world through this book. ~~Dave Ingland ~~Sacramento, CA
**********

Do you know someone with ADD, ADHD, PTSD, or any other learning or emotional disorder? If so, you have to tell them about this book. The techniques and treatments described in the book have led to breakthroughs for many people suffering from a wide spectrum of brain disorders, from brain injuries to chemical imbalances. Unfortunately, the treatment is currently available only on the West Coast and in the D. C. area. However, if it is as promising as it appears to be, it shouldn't be long before it becomes available in other areas. 

I've read several books written by health professionals, and this is the first one that wasn't a struggle to read. Although there is plenty of scientific information, Dr. Henslin manages to impart his knowledge without resorting to medical-speak. He mixes anecdotes with information in a manner that holds your attention. He also includes plenty of sources of additional information. And---he communicates his message with a thoroughly Christian worldview. He relates stories of Christian people struggling with emotional and behavioral problems who thought they had spiritual problems. What a relief to know that their struggles were caused by abnormalities in their brains! 

I chose to review this book because I was attracted by the title, This Is Your Brain on Joy. It reminded me of the award-winning TV commercial: "This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?" In addition, who isn't attracted to the word "joy?" 

The subtitle is as provocative: "A Revolutionary Program for Balancing Mood, Restoring Brain Health, and Nurturing Spiritual Growth." Dr. Daniel G. Amen, who developed the medical tests and treatments described in the book, wrote the foreword. Not often can I say that a book lives up to its title, but this one does. The doctor is so happy to be able to help people with their seemingly insurmountable problems that he just exudes joy as he presents the material. My favorite story was that of one of the research subjects in the appendix, "The Day I Had My Head Examined." She describes her experience candidly and with humor. ~~Antie Em~~ Union City, TN

My Take:

I was positively thrilled with this book. This is not a one-size-fits-all solution to depression or anxiety, or personality disorder. The book is easy to read and the diagrams help the reader see what the good doctor is trying to explain.

I took the test inclosed in the text and immediately went to the section I needed the most. And then I went back and read the rest of the book. (the good doctor says this is common) 

I was especially intrigued by the test that show how prayer changes the brain of the person praying and that it also changes the one prayed for, even when the prayer subject does not know about the prayer. The confirmation that prayer does change things covered me with peace.

I am recommending this to my friends, my pastor and my doctor. A must read for anyone who has suffered sadness and for those who live with them.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Day God Dropped the Paint Box.

Oh Lord, My God
When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds your hands have made.
Your Power
Through all the universe
Displayed

We live in an awesome world. 
Make it an awesome day.
Peace To All and May God Bless You 
Live simply. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

GOD LIVES UNDER THE BED

GOD LIVES UNDER THE BED  AUTHOR UNKNOWN


 I envy Kevin. My brother, Kevin, thinks God lives under his bed. At least that's what I heard him say one night.


 He was praying out loud in his dark bedroom, and I stopped to listen, 'Are you there, God?' he said. 'Where are you? Oh, I see. Under the bed...'


 I giggled softly and tiptoed off to my own room. Kevin's unique perspectives are often a source of amusement. But that night something else lingered long after the humor.  I realized for the first time the very different world Kevin lives in.

He was born 30 years ago, mentally disabled as a result of difficulties during labor. Apart from his size (he's 6-foot-2), there are few ways in which he is an adult.


 He reasons and communicates with the capabilities of a 7-year-old, and he always will. He will probably always believe that God lives under his bed, that Santa Claus is the one who fills the space under our tree every Christmas and that airplanes stay up in the sky because angels carry them.


 I remember wondering if Kevin realizes he is different. Is he ever dissatisfied with his monotonous life?

Up before dawn each day, off to work at a workshop for the disabled, home to walk our cocker spaniel, return to eat his favorite macaroni-and-cheese for dinner, and later to bed.


 The only variation in the entire scheme is laundry, when he hovers excitedly over the washing machine like a mother with her newborn child.

He does not seem dissatisfied.

He lopes out to the bus every morning at 7:05, eager for a day of simple work.


He wrings his hands excitedly while the water boils on the stove before dinner, and he stays up late twice a week to gather our dirty laundry for his next day's laundry chores.

And Saturdays - oh, the bliss of Saturdays! That's the day my Dad takes Kevin to the airport to have a soft drink, watch the planes land, and speculate loudly on the destination of each passenger inside. 'That one's goin' to Chi-car-go! ' Kevin shouts as he claps his hands.

His anticipation is so great he can hardly sleep on Friday nights.

And so goes his world of daily rituals and weekend field trips.

He doesn't know what it means to be discontent.

His life is simple.

 

He will never know the entanglements of wealth of power, and he does not care what brand of clothing he wears or what kind of food he eats. His needs have always been met, and he never worries that one day they may not be.

His hands are diligent. Kevin is never so happy as when he is working.. When he unloads the dishwasher or vacuums the carpet, his heart is completely in it.

He does not shrink from a job when it is begun, and he does not leave a job until it is finished. But when his tasks are done, Kevin knows how to relax.

He is not obsessed with his work or the work of others. His heart is pure.


He still believes everyone tells the truth, promises must be kept, and when you are wrong, you apologize instead of argue.


Free from pride and unconcerned with appearances, Kevin is not afraid to cry when he is hurt, angry or sorry. He is always transparent, always sincere. And he trusts God.


Not confined by intellectual reasoning, when he comes to Christ, he comes as a child.. Kevin seems to know God - to really be friends with Him in a way that is difficult for an 'educated' person to grasp. God seems like his closest companion.

In my moments of doubt and frustrations with my Christianity, I envy the security Kevin has in his simple faith.

It is then that I am most willing to admit that he has some divine knowledge that rises above my mortal questions.

It is then I realize that perhaps he is not the one with the handicap.. I am. My obligations, my fear, my pride, my circumstances - they all become disabilities when I do not trust them to God's care.

Who knows if Kevin comprehends things I can never learn? After all, he has spent his whole life in that kind of innocence, praying after dark and soaking up the goodness and love of God.

And one day, when the mysteries of heaven are opened, and we are all amazed at how close God really is to our hearts, I'll realize that God heard the simple prayers of a boy who believed that God lived under his bed.

Kevin won't be surprised at all!

FRIENDS ARE ANGELS WHO LIFT US TO OUR FEET WHEN OUR WINGS HAVE TROUBLE REMEMBERING HOW TO FLY

Monday, March 23, 2009

Brigid of Ireland

Cindy Thomson is a member of ACFW and our chapter is ACFWOhio. 
This picture is in the shuttle from the airport going to the ACFW Conference in Sept 2008.  As you can see Cindy sat in the front of the bus. Rosanna and I sat in the middle section.

Cindy is a former kindergarten teacher and avid historian. Her strong Irish roots are revealed with the telling of Brigid's story

The Blurb:
A luminour story of the young slave who became a national heroine.

Brigid is born in 5th century pagan-dominated Ireland, the daughter of a slave woman and a slave herself to her brutal father. Torn from her mother, desperately seeking love and acceptance, Brigid comforts to the new religion popularized by the traveling preacher Patrick— and the miracles start.

Bot so does the opposition, from rulers and sorcerers opposed to her faith and growing fame. The Irish people cling to superstitions and fears. Can she overcome then— and face her hatred for her father? Can she find the mother she misses so acutely? Has she truly been called by god?

What Others Say:

This novel had me hooked from the beginning! I was not familiar with St. Brigid before I read this book, but now she seems as real to me as an old friend. Cindy Thomson does an amazing job of bringing Brigid and ancient Ireland to life. There are both struggles and miracles along her faith journey, and this book helped to remind me that both are important in everyone's life. I highly recommend this extraordinary story of a remarkable young woman named Brigid!~ Emily Adams

It's hard to believe this is a first novel. Cindy Thomson did a fabulous job of researching her topic, capturing even small details about ancient Ireland to bring this story to life. The book is so well written you feel transported to another time and place--and it's easy to get lost in Brigid's story. The unexpected ending is both beautiful and unforgettable. From start to finish, this book is a wonderful read.~ Ann Tatlock - "Author"

For years, I've dreamed of visiting Ireland. Thanks to Cindy's rich description an
d historical detail, I got to journey to 5th century Ireland, meet a few unforgettable characters, and learn some history along the way. And what a trip it was--I was sorry to have it end.~ Dianne N. Matthews "Author"

My Take:
Reading is a passion of mine, and as I read this book the question came to me: Why do I read books? I want to feel good during and after the reading experience. 

Cindy grabbed me with the first words: "Does it bother ye? Being a slave, I mean?" I was drawn into Bridgid's world. I sympathized  with her anguish over her lack of fatherly love. I felt her longing for her mother who had been snatched from her. And I rejoiced with her as God blessed her faithfulness. I enjoyed this little taste of Ireland.

This novel reveals the God of all comfort and how when at times we can't feel His presence He uses other people to comfort us, if we will let Him.  

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona

By Annon~~

You all remember Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona , who painted the jail cells pink and made the inmates wear pink prison garb. Well.........

SHERIFF JOE IS AT IT AGAIN!

Oh, there's MUCH more to know about Sheriff Joe!

Maricopa County was spending approx. $18 million dollars a year on stray animals, like cats and dogs. Sheriff Joe offered to take the department over, and the County Supervisors said okay .

The animal shelters are now all staffed and operated by prisoners. They feed and care for the strays. Every animal in his care is taken out and walked twice daily. He now has prisoners who are experts in animal nutrition and behavior. They give great classes for anyone who'd like to adopt an animal. He has literally taken stray dogs off the street, given them to the care of prisoners, and had them place in dog shows.

The best part? His budget for the entire department is now under $3 million. My friend adopted a Weimaraner from a Maricopa County shelter two years ago. He was neutered, and current on all shots, in great  health, and even had a microchip inserted the day we got him. Cost them $78.

The prisoners get the benefit of about $0.28 an hour for working, but most would work for free, just to be out of their cells for the day. Most of his budget is for utilities, building maintenance, etc. He pays the prisoners out of the fees collected for adopted animals.

I have long wondered when the rest of the country would take a look at the way he runs the jail system, and copy some of his ideas. He has a huge farm, donated to the county years ago, where inmates can work, and they grow most of their own fresh vegetables and food, doing all the work and harvesting by hand. He has a pretty good sized hog farm, which provides meat, and fertilizer. It fertilizes the Christmas tree nursery, where prisoners work, and you can buy a living Christmas tree for $6 - $8 for the Holidays, and plant it later. We have six trees in our yard from the Prison.

Yup, he was reelected last year with 83% of the vote.

Now he's in trouble with the ACLU again. He painted all his buses and vehicles with a mural, that has a special hotline phone number painted on it, where you can call and report suspected illegal aliens. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement wasn't doing enough in his eyes, so he had 40 deputies trained specifically for enforcing immigration laws, started up his hotline, and bought 4 new buses just for hauling folks back to the border. He's kind of a 'Git-R Dun' kind of Sheriff.

 

TO THOSE OF YOU NOT FAMILIAR WITH JOE ARPAIO

HE IS THE MARICOPA ARIZONA COUNTY SHERIFF

AND HE KEEPS GETTING ELECTED OVER AND OVER

THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY:

 

Sheriff Joe Arpaio (In Arizona ) who created the ' Tent City Jail':

He has jail meals down to 40 cents a serving and charges the  inmates for them.

He stopped smoking and porno magazines in the jails. Took away their weights Cut off all but 'G' movies.

He started chain gangs so the inmates could do free work on county and city projects.

Then He Started Chain Gangs For Women So He Wouldn't Get Sued For Discrimination.

He took away cable TV Until he found out there was A Federal Court Order that Required Cable TV For Jails So He Hooked Up The Cable TV Again Only Let In The Disney Channel And The Weather Channel.

When  asked why the weather channel He Replied, So They Will Know How Hot It's Gonna Be While They Are Working

ON My Chain Gangs.

He Cut Off Coffee Since It Has Zero Nutritional Value.

When the inmates complained, he told them, 'This Isn't The Ritz/Carlton.....If You Don't Like It, Don't Come Back.'

He bought Newt Gingrich's lecture series on videotape that he pipes into the jails.

When asked by a reporter if he had any lecture series by a Democrat, he replied that a democratic lecture series might explain why a lot of the inmates were in his jails in the first place.

More On The Arizona Sheriff:

With Temperatures Being Even Hotter Than Usual In Phoenix (116 Degrees Just Set A New Record), the Associated Press Reports:

About 2,000 Inmates Living In A Barbed-Wire-Surrounded Tent Encampment At The Maricopa County Jail Have Been Given Permission To Strip Down To Their Government-Issued Pink Boxer Shorts.

On Wednesday, hundreds of men wearing boxers were either curled up on their bunk beds or chatted in the tents, which reached138 Degrees Inside The Week Before.

Many Were Also Swathed In Wet, Pink Towels As Sweat Collected On Their Chests  And Dripped Down To Their PINK SOCKS.

'It Feels Like We Are In A Furnace,' Said James Zanzot, An Inmate Who Has Lived In The TENTS for 1 year. 'It's Inhumane.'

Joe Arpaio, the tough-guy sheriff who created the tent city and long ago started making his prisoners wear pink, and eat bologna sandwiches, is not one bit sympathetic. He said Wednesday that he told all of the inmates: 'It's 120 Degrees In Iraq And Our Soldiers Are Living In Tents Too, And They Have To Wear Full Battle Gear,

But They Didn't Commit Any Crimes,So Shut Your Mouths!'

Way To Go, Sheriff!

Maybe if all prisons were like this one there would be a lot less crime and/or repeat offenders. Criminals should be punished for their crimes - not live in luxury until it's time for their parole, only to go out and commit another crime so they can get back in to live on taxpayers money and enjoy things taxpayers can't afford to have for themselves.

Sheriff Joe IS still Sheriff in Maricopa County , Arizon

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

BEING THANKFUL

I AM THANKFUL:

FOR THE WIFE
WHO SAYS IT'S HOT DOGs TONIGHT,
BECAUSE SHE IS HOME WITH ME, AND NOT OUT WITH SOMEONE ELSE.


FOR THE HUSBAND 
WHO IS ON THE SOFA BEING A COUCH POTATO, 
BECAUSE HE IS HOME WITH ME AND NOT OUT AT THE BARS.


FOR THE TEENAGER 
WHO IS COMPLAINING ABOUT DOING DISHES 
BECAUSE IT MEANS SHE IS AT HOME, NOT ON THE STREETS.


FOR THE TAXES I PAY

BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM EMPLOYED
.



FOR THE MESS TO CLEAN AFTER A PARTY 
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE BEEN SURROUNDED BY FRIENDS.


FOR THE CLOTHES THAT FIT A LITTLE TOO SNUG

BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE ENOUGH TO EAT.




FOR MY SHADOW THAT WATCHES ME WORK

BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM OUT IN THE SUNSHINE




FOR A LAWN THAT NEEDS MOWING, WINDOWS THAT NEED CLEANING, AND GUTTERS THAT NEED FIXING

BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE A HOME



FOR ALL THE COMPLAINING I HEAR ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT

BECAUSE IT MEANS WE HAVE FREEDOM OF SPEECH.



FOR THE PARKING SPOT I FIND AT THE FAR END OF THE PARKING LOT 
BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM CAPABLE OF WALKING AND I HAVE BEEN BLESSED WITH TRANSPORTATION .


FOR MY HUGE HEATING BILL
 
BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM WARM.


FOR THE LADY BEHIND ME IN CHURCH WHO SINGS OFF KEY

BECAUSE IT MEANS I CAN HEAR.




FOR THE PILE OF LAUNDRY AND IRONING

BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE CLOTHES TO WEAR.



FOR WEARINESS AND ACHING MUSCLES AT THE END OF THE DAY

BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE BEEN CAPABLE OF WORKING HARD.




FOR THE ALARM THAT GOES OFF
IN THE EARLY MORNING HOURS

BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM ALIVE.



AND
I AM THANKFUL:
FOR THE crazy people I work with

BECAUSE they make work interesting and fun!


AND FINALLY, FOR TOO MUCH E-MAIL


BECAUSE
IT MEANS
I HAVE FRIENDS WHO ARE THINKING OF ME.


 Live well, Laugh often, & Love with all of your heart!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Daisy Chain


Mary DeMuth's testimony:

I grew up in a world full of deep wounds, both inside my family and outside. 

When I was five, the cane-shaking lady next door sprayed her blackberry bushes with poison so the neighborhood kids wouldn't eat the renegade berries that spilled over her fence into the common alley. I didn't understand that as I popped a huge handful into my mouth.

“You're going to die! You're going to die!” she screamed at me after seeing my purple stained cheeks.

I shook and cried, flailing myself on my bed. I obviously lived, but the fear of death took root in my heart. At ten, my biological father died. Knowing he'd passed to the other side made me feel more vulnerable to the grave's icy grip.

During junior high, life felt unbearable and I considered killing myself. My mom's third marriage disintegrated and I frequently broke down at school, wracked with tears.

Then came hope!

My freshman year of high school, a friend invited me to Young Life. Every time the speaker said, "Jesus," my heart pounded. The leader ended one of his talks by asking, "What kind of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” (Matthew 8:27) 

The question echoed through my mind throughout the summer before my sophomore year. By the time I went to a Young Life weekend camp in the fall of that next school year, my heart longed to know this Jesus. When the camp speaker spoke of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, I knew I wanted to follow Him the rest of my life. 

I sat under an evergreen tree that evening and looked up into the star-pocked night, searching for the face of God. In that moment I gave Him my heart, life, past, pains, countless tears, and wounds of my childhood to the Father who would never leave me, to the God who conquered death. 

I've sought after him ever since.

My prayer as a writer? That in the pages of my books, you'll meet this same Jesus who can take your deepest wounds, and darkest trials, and turn them into the most stunning triumphs.

The Blurb:

Dusk cast long uneven shadows into the church like misshapen skyscrapers.

"Daisy, You here?"

His voice echoed off the walls. A bee buzzed nearby. A crow cawed good-night from outside. Jed wiped sweat from his forehead.

"Daisy?"

He turned to leave. He tripped over a shoe. Daisy's shoe.

What Others Say:

I'll be honest. This was a hard, hard book to read. It is not a feel-good happy book. It's gritty and raw in places. It hurts. It is sad. 

When I first finished this book, all I felt was angry. I was angry at the situations and events presented in the book, because I know that things like this might have actually happened to someone. 

(And in truth, I was a little upset with Mary! But because I've read some of her other books and I've followed her blog now for a couple of years, I feel as if I know a bit of her heart. And she would not do this just for sensationalism's sake, or just to sell books. She's telling the stories God has given her to tell.) 

I felt so terrible for Jed and Sissy. I loved them and my mama heart wanted them to come and live with me in my loving ministry home. To tell them not all preachers hit their children and wives. 

On the plus side: The imagery is absolutely amazing. Her gritty descriptions of summer in Texas made me actually thirsty--and I was reading this during a February below-zero cold snap and snow fest in the northern plains! 

I also adored the characters of Bald Muriel and Hixon. They were truly the body of Christ, the "Jesus with skin on" for Jed and for Sissy. I also loved how Mary wove in the beauty of working together in the body of Christ, church differences aside. The more I grow up (and at 39 I'm not done yet!), the more I realize this is what Jesus had in mind for His Church. 

As you can see, I'm torn on this book. It's a tough read. It made me sad. It hurt my heart. Yet it is a beautifully-written book, full of characters capable of evoking a strong emotional response and vivid imagery.~~Fresh Brewed Writer~~ Grand Forks, ND

My confession: I usually don't read fiction but when I started this book, I couldn't put it down. The writing pulls in the reader right away and you connect deeply with the characters. Even if you are not a fiction reader, a writer will learn from Mary Demuth's great writ
ing style. 

The abrupt disappearance of young Daisy Chance from a small Texas town in 1973 spins three lives out of control-Jed, whose guilt over not protecting his friend Daisy strangles him; Emory Chance, who blames her own choices for her daughter's demise; and Ouisie Pepper, who is plagued by headaches while pierced by the shattered pieces of a family in crisis. 
The characters are raw, real and troubling. You will feel the terror of the unknown as a child goes missing. 

Daisy Chain is an achingly beautiful story. It offers a haunting yet hopeful backdrop for human depravity and beauty, for terrible secrets and God's surprising redemption.~~ Jean Wise ~~ Edon, OH

My Take:

This book really moved me. It's full of family secrets. And when I finished I sat in my chair unable to move for several minutes. I came to love these characters. Mary DeMuth makes her characters come alive on the page. And the little girl really did die. And I didn't like that much.

And the pastor who the whole town looked up too, was not able to relate on a meaningful level. But most of all it reinforces my belief that telling people with problems not to talk about it, is wrong. Most of the time keeping family secrets is wrong.



I am thankful that this is a trilogy and I eagerly
 await the next book in the series:  

A Slow Burn

Friday, March 13, 2009

ADVICE FROM MAXINE

I've always enjoyed Maxine & this is different than any I've seen before!






Wednesday, March 11, 2009

GOD SAID NO

I asked God to take away my habit.

God said, "No.
It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up."
I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.

God said, "No. Her spirit is whole,
her body is only temporary."
I asked God to grant me patience.
God said, "No. Patience is a byproduct of tribulations;
 it isn't granted, it is learned."

I asked God to give me happiness.
God said, "No.  I give you blessings; happiness is up to you."

I asked God to spare me pain.
God said, "No. Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares
 and brings you closer to me."
I asked God to make my spirit grow.

God said, "No. You must grow on your own
 but I will prune you to make you fruitful."

I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life.

God said, "No.  I will give you life,
 so that you may enjoy all things."

I asked God to help me LOVE others, 
as much as He loves me.

God said, "Ahhhh, finally you have the idea."

To the world you might be one person,
 but to one person you just might be the world"

"May the Lord Bless you and keep you,
May the Lord Make his face shine upon you,
 and give you Peace...Forever"

"Good friends are like stars...
You don't always see them,
 but you know they are always there."

May God Bless You.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Java Pump

Jacki McGuyer is a wife, a mother of four, and a grandmother of nine. She is one of my ACFW critique partners. I always enjoy putting in a plug for Americian Christian Fiction Writers. www.acfw.com  

In her words: I have a little dog that loves me no matter what I do or say--he doesn't even care what I look like. I have a God who loves me exactly the same way. Amazing.

I'm passionate about writing, that's where God put my heart. With every book I write, it is my ambition to grow and be faithful to my readers. I aspire to give them an entertaining story that will dazzle and provide honest and thoughtful information to keep them coming back for more. Above all, I am a Christian writer, and my faith guides my pen. 

The Back Cover:

In 1928, on their way to begin their honeymoon, a young couple stops to gas up their car. Two bootleggers jump from an old truck and spray bullets into the owner of the station. The blast still ringing in his ears, the young man looks down into his wife s lifeless green eyes. He sees only a flash as the gun fires again. He drops beside his bride in a river of blood and gasoline. Eighty years later, a family buys the corner and converts the old filling station into The Java Pump, a coffeehouse, complete with two ghosts. They have a mission to clear a man s name and find the $500,000 hidden by the bootleggers in 1928. Cooney Boutin, a recovering alcoholic who frequents The Java Pump, is not surprised he s able to see the resident ghosts, Jade and Scooter Underhill. However, he is a little stunned to find out he has a key role to play in their assignment.

The Blurb:

Welcome to the Java Pump, a magical place where people come and go, but always come again!

The Java Pump is a coffeehouse where movers and shakers interact with scoundrels and reprobates as though there were no difference in their lifestyles. Pastors, rabbis, and priests commune with atheists and agnostics, and walk away friends, until a day when things change. All the time watching, are Scooter and Jade Underhill. They stay in the old 1928 gas station turned coffeehouse, and have since 1928. On their way to begin their honeymoon, they stopped to gas up their car when two bootleggers sprayed bullets into the owner of the station, killing Jade and Scooter in the crossfire. Can these two still touch other lives eighty years later?

My Take:

I don't know why, but I like ghost stories, as long as they are not Horror stories. So I sat down to read the Java Pump. First we are introduced to the ghosts of Scooter and Jade Underhill. Forever young. Then I fell in love with the main contemporary characters, Lucy Haggerty and her daughters and we watch them turn the old gas station into their dream, a coffee house. They have no trouble with customers as the whole town is curious. And once they stop at the Java Pump they are sure to come back for the great coffee and treats.

Then someone starts snooping. What is this person looking for? Is it a threat to the Underhills and their coffee house?

This book is a compelling read. Jacqueline McGuyer has spun a tale full of mystery, humor and the love of God. I could not put the book down until I had read every page.