Writing News: The Lonely Wish-Giver #grammowrimo

41ccARW1V+L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Last year, I contributed to a novel through Grammarly. I just received word that they have finished editing and putting together the entire novel. 750 authors, including myself, have contributed to this novel. All proceeds will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I have also done some affiliate linking. So if you decide to buy the novel, help out a starving writer, and click on the following link: The Lonely Wish-Giver: A GrammoWriMo Novel

My part is on Chapter 26 when Audra is having a dialogue with the boy and the compass is introduced. I am proud to be a part of this work. The folks at Grammarly did a great job in editing as far as I can tell.

Numb Review

Numb-Front-CoverA lot of people might be envious of Crusader’s numbness in Numb by John W. Otte. Crusader can get a lot done, perhaps though some not so ethical things like assassinating people, because he doesn’t feel anything. In battle, the laser guns tear through his flesh, but he can fight through his injuries like Hulk or Superman. Apply a bit of medical gel and those critical injuries heal themselves. Humankind in John W. Otte’s world lives in space.

Two distinctly different empire’s are in a cold war with each other: Ministrix and Preasidium. Crusader works for Ministrix–an organization that is modeled like the Jewish temple leaders; lots of rules and a Christ-figure that is accusing. Preasidium is secular, non-believing, but they don’t have any ethics or morals. A Toleration Act enacted by them to keep the peace between their empire and Ministrix makes any kind of faith illegal. In between, are the “catacombs”–an organization that teaches true faith in Christ and sends saved people out like missionaries into either empire. Crusader’s latest job is to assassinate Isolda Westin, an engineer on the Purim.

But the numbness breaks and Crusader is unable to kill the girl. Unfortunately, in his hesitation, he discovers Ministrix agents out to kill him, too. Crusader and Isolda run from Ministrix while both try to figure out the mystery of Ministrix’s plans to kill them both.

Numb is an excellent novel. The only problem I really had with it was part of the first chapter. To me, it was an eye-roller. A bit over-dramatic, I thought, in how the story broke, but the following chapters were much better. The following chapters with its descriptions and dialogue kept me reading as the struggle between Crusader and his “numb” increased with his attraction to Isolda. In the end, he has a choice to make when his real identity was revealed. The ending of the novel was perfect. I gave this novel four stars.

In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher (affiliate links). Other people participating:

Julie Bihn
Jennifer Bogart
Keanan Brand
Beckie Burnham
Pauline Creeden
Vicky DealSharingAunt
Carol Gehringer
Victor Gentile
Rebekah Gyger
Nikole Hahn
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Emileigh Latham
Rebekah Loper
Jennette Mbewe
Amber McCallister
Shannon McDermott
Shannon McNear
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Nissa
Faye Oygard
Writer Rani
Nathan Reimer
Jojo Sutis
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Shane Werlinger
Phyllis Wheeler
Nicole White

 

Forgive Our Country #222Prayers

According to the Dake Annotated Reference Bible-KJV-Large Print, there are 176 prayers in the Old Testament and 46 prayers in the New Testament. I first heard about this reference (found here) during a prayer meeting. For the next several Sundays I will post a prayer in regards to each section of scripture mentioned until I have gone through all 222 prayers.

Read 1 Kings 8:23-53

Lord,

Mission Drift Review: Why This Should be Mandatory Readng

Mission-Drift-cover

The threat of “terrorist activities or violence of any kind” took a back seat to the threat of the Gospel. Our culture is growing in its suspicion of anything faith-based–enough to rank “exposure” to the Good News as more dangerous than terrorism. - Mission Drift, 51% through book, in reference to a foundation who invited the author to apply for funding.

Mission Drift: The Unspoken Crisis Facing Leaders, Charities, and Churches by Peter Greer and Chris Horst is a book every Christian person and organization needs to read. We are all in danger of drifting from our mission whether through receiving funding from others who don’t share our beliefs, hiring people that don’t carry our vision, or on a more personal level, leaving our missional purpose slowly through every bad decision. Another drift mentioned were examples of leadership bending to the monster of political correctness when wealthy donors would ask a company to compromise just a little or allot on their Christian message.

Examples of companies who fell under the scrutiny of non-believers and have wandered far from their original message were mentioned in this book as well as examples of companies that have stayed Christian-strong for generations. I found it encouraging to read this book. For businesses who wish to leave behind a legacy, Mission Drift should be mandatory reading. It gives instructions by example how not to drift. At the time I was reading about WorldVision, they were in the news for compromising on their strong Christian beliefs. Mission Drift spoke about how WorldVision never wandered from its principles. The current news compared to when Mission Drift wrote about WorldVision tells me how easy it is to drift, even for a moment, in the face of public pressure. A believer in Christ must stay strong in the face of ridicule. It’s so rare to hear about people or companies standing for something. Those are usually accused of being judgmental or cold, even non-Christian, by some of our own Christians.

The stories of companies that, even today, stand for their Christian values urge me to stand firmer in mine. I gave this book four stars.

Disclosure of material connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase this item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I might use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Book given by publisher to review.

Are Recipe Books Going Out of Style?

Gift: Favorite Cookbook, worn, old, bruised, battered, loved

Gift: Favorite Cookbook, worn, old, bruised, battered, loved

A friend posted a picture on Facebook where she gets all her recipes. The point she made was this: Recipe books are diminishing.

Most of my recipes come from the Internet, like the Food Network. They have a great database of recipes. You can save recipes into categories under your sign-on. With smartphones, ipads, and laptops, you don’t have to print them out. You can bring your electronics into the kitchen and refer to them as you are cooking. No more pages sticking together because of grease splatter or dripping sauce. No more flour dusting the pages and falling into the binder to be found later. It’s efficient and clean.

What I do miss, however, are the memories attached to the actual books. In the photo above, my grandmother gave me that cook book. When she gave it to me, it looked like new though its copyright is whenever and unknown. After a number of years of using it, it looks like that now–papers falling out of the binder, pages stained and sticking together, and the front cover totally detached. Evidence of its use means my kitchen is well-occupied. But I do love the easiness of the electronics.

I put the laptop or smartphone on a table in my kitchen so its not near the cooking and baking areas. My hands are kept clean so as not to ruin my electronics when I tap the screen or touch the mouse pad. I get to see a photo of what it should look like, and read notes from other cooks who made adjustments. Trust me, when I say, how necessary that is because in a recipe book I made something that tasted awful. The struggle between using actual books or electronics will always be up for debate. But I don’t think one or the other will go out of style.

Negativity Grows Like a Weed

Drawn_wallpapers_Village_Church_018776_Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. - Philippians 4:8

In a women’s group I once led, I learned a lesson about negativity, how it can take seed and grow wild. First, one person plants the seed. It is watered by people commiserating with the situation by sharing their own negative experiences, and soon the topic changes from one of encouragement and growth to a bash-it-all which has no positive effect at all. It’s a weed, thorny and deep, in its root system, and difficult to unwind. People talk against Christians on a public forum, and like my women’s group, it can take seed and turn into something else, like a website I found which bothered me a little.

A website called, Sundays Are The Worst, leave me with mixed feelings. Do we really need one more website putting down Christians?  I do understand why this pastor and his church began the website.

Personally, I am tired of Christianity being put down on the outside and from the inside. I love my fellow believers, and I think we need to return accountability within the church. A shepherd needs to keep his congregation accountable to our Christian values through the individual relationships formed within a church body. A blog is a great way to teach, but the more appropriate response would have been to hold the offending person accountable to his or her actions. Make no mistake; I do emphathise with the servers.

After working in customer service most of my life, I did not discern between believer and unbeliever. Rude behavior is a human trait and comes from both sides. Some are unaware of it, like I have heard about the older generations. Some seniors are quite frugal with every dollar and may not realize their lack of generosity. I tip 20%, and no matter how bad the service, treat each server like a human. If the service is exceptionally bad, I do not tip at all, and do not return to that restaurant. This has only happened once.

In that instance, the restaurant was empty of all but I and maybe another table. The waiters and waitresses were hanging around the coffee pot, laughing and talking, not busy at all. Our coffee cups were never refilled. We tried to get their attention, but to no avail. This was a rare circumstance of bad service. If service is slow, I don’t complain. I go out to enjoy time with the people I love. If a spot is on my silverware, I say nothing. Bad behavior does exist in Christianity, because we all struggle with sin. Sin goes unchecked because churches and the church body are afraid to offend. It’s easier to broadly sweep accusations over an entire body than to confront a particular offender head on. Political correctness isn’t just in culture, but in our body of believers, too. Negativity is easy.

Learning the lessons of bad behavior is hard. It takes humility to approach a server or someone you offended to say, I’m sorry.  It takes strength to self-examine and repentance to turn a corner, reversing the bad habits we learned as humans. How about holding each other accountable?

I believe the creators of Sundays Are The Worst have good intentions. Good lessons can be learned, but remember, there are always two sides to every story. Negativity can grow like a weed. I am reminded about what Brandon Cox said:

It is not possible to concoct a story about the church that is better than what people actually experience in the real world, but it is possible to tell the right stories and to tell them well. Part of flooding the online space with God’s glory and with the gospel of Jesus is making sure the gospel is given a great deal of attention next to all the other stories being told. This has been our mission since the beginning, and we now have more tools than ever for getting it done. - Brandon Cox, How Social Media Can Save The Church’s Brand

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