Act justly, love mercy, walk humbly

Book Review: THE BLESSING OF HUMILITY by Jerry Bridges

humilityThe Blessing of Humility is a book that truly follows the teachings of Christ. As Jerry Bridges quotes at the beginning of the first chapter, “the Bible is meant to be applied in your everyday life.”

Being humble does not come naturally. Most people think that being humble or meek is to be kicked around or taken advantage of, but Jerry shows the reader that the definitions of these things in the Bible are not exactly what we have come to believe they mean in the twenty-first century.

I grew up going to church and studying the Bible, but knowing what Christ taught and living it out are two very different things, and the author manages to convey the meaning of Jesus’ teachings with a profound clarity that convicts the soul. Each chapter is another aspect of following Christ’s words and living humbly. To be poor in spirit, meek, merciful, a peacemaker, etc…

If you’re looking for a topical book that is easy to understand and written with spiritual insight that is simple yet profound, check it out. It would make a great book for a Bible Study group as well. There is a discussion guide at the end for such use.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.

Thanks for stopping!

Barbara

Barbara is the author of the Fredrickson Winery Novels, the award winning thriller, Split Sense, The Second Chances series, The Amish Bloodsuckers Trilogy, and The Double Barrel Mysteries, Roadkill and Much Ado About Murder. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and pups.

Barbara is the author of the Fredrickson Winery Novels, the award winning thriller, Split Sense, The Second Chances series, The Amish Bloodsuckers Trilogy, and The Double Barrel Mysteries, Roadkill and Much Ado About Murder. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and pups.

 

Review: Saving My Assassin by Virginia Prodan

SavingMyAssassinI don’t read a lot of memoirs, but I want to share a book I just finished – Saving My Assassin – an extraordinary memoir filled with courtroom drama, political intrigue, persecution, suspense and danger. Set in Romania during the brutal communist regime of President Nicolae Ceausescu, Virginia Prodan’s story is both frightening and inspirational.

Romania didn’t lose their freedoms overnight, but slowly the government took everything of value from their citizens until they were left only with fear and desperation. Some spied on their own neighbors and families in order to remain in favor with corrupt government officials and to get a few comforts of life like extra food, clothes, or a vacation. Others kept their mouths shut, heads down, and eyes closed to the horrors around them, hoping the securitate (secret police) wouldn’t take notice and they would stay alive.

It’s hard to believe much of this story took place less than three short decades ago. In America we take freedom for granted but once you read this book you may have a hard time taking anything for granted again. It all seems so frighteningly possible in the political and social climate we’ve been living the past few years.

Virginia Prodan grew up in what you might call a dysfunctional family, without any or very little real affection shown her. She was treated differently than the other children, more like a slave in fact, and didn’t know why. She must have been a tough little girl because she turned out to be quite a resilient young woman.

As a teenager, Virginia realized that truth was a commodity that rarely existed in her world. It had gone the way of freedom, liberty, and the Dodo bird. Nevertheless, she had a thirst for truth and justice and thought that if she became a lawyer she’d be able to find that for others. Little did she understand that having laws on the books to protect Romanian citizens was no more than a ruse to stay in the good graces of the West, and lawyers were expected to ignore them in favor of whatever their dictator ordained.

Virginia’s conversion to Christianity as a young lawyer turned her world upside down. Freedom in Christ was a wonderful new reality and she was infused with a strength and boldness she never knew before. But it was not without danger. In the early 1980s, Romanian Christians were arrested, beaten, and imprisoned for owning a Bible or going to church. Church buildings were even bull-dozed and their land confiscated. Freedom of religion did not exist. President Nicolae Ceausescu set himself up as a god and expected Romanians to worship him alone. Those who refused were punished and oftentimes murdered.

Virginia was arrested multiple times, beaten and threatened. She was told over and over that her life was in their hands and they would kill her. But knowing for a certainty that her life was actually in God’s hands, she refused to live in fear of what men could do to her.

“I should be dead. Buried in an unmarked grave in Romania. Obviously, I am not. God had other plans.” Virginia Prodan

Saving My Assassin is a wonderful story of the redeeming love of Christ. It’s also a timely reminder that freedom is a precious commodity and so easily lost when people forget why truth matters and are willing to let go of certain unalienable rights in favor of empty promises.

Virginia’s courage and faith in the face of such evil is truly inspiring and well worth the read. I encourage you to pick up a copy!

Purchase here> Amazon  B&N  ChristianBook

Virginia Prodan
Virginia Prodan

Virginia Prodan is an international human rights attorney, an Allied Attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom, and a sought-after speaker. Exiled from Romania since 1988, Virginia currently resides in Dallas, TX. She has two daughters, Anca and Andreea, and a son, Emanuel. Visit her on twitter @virginiaprodan,  Facebook and on LinkedIn.

*I received a complimentary copy of Saving My Assassin from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.

Thanks for stopping. Leave a comment or question below.

Barbara

Barbara is the author of the Fredrickson Winery Novels, the award winning thriller, Split Sense, The Second Chances series, The Amish Bloodsuckers Trilogy, and The Double Barrel Mysteries, Roadkill and Much Ado About Murder. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and pups.

Barbara is the author of the Fredrickson Winery Novels, the award winning thriller, Split Sense, The Second Chances series, The Amish Bloodsuckers Trilogy, and The Double Barrel Mysteries, Roadkill and Much Ado About Murder. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and pups.

Segway phobia

balltower

If you are married to a techie kind of guy who works on computers all day number crunching, and comes home to relax with a computer and cell phone in his lap while he watches the SciFi channel, you might understand my predicament.

meMissionMy husband and I went on a short trip to visit Santa Fe recently, and so my taller half did a little research on “things to do” while we were there.

Apparently, Segway tours are popular in some cities. And Santa Fe is no exception.

Personally, I find the thought of riding around on one of those machines only slightly less nerdy than wearing a pocket protector and knowing all the dialogue from Lord of the Rings.

RiverWalkme

Now to be clear, I have no problem riding motorcycles, bicycles, or even going the easy route and mowing with a riding lawnmower – if we owned one – but a Segway? Standing up and looking like you’re on your way to visit Darth Vader at the other end of the Death Star?

Okay, truthfully, those things also scare me a bit. They look like a very tippy, unstable sort of machine. And if I’m going to die I’d rather not do it by being thrown off a Segway into busy traffic, and/or launched into a city runoff pond where I’ll drown in sludge. That sort of death just begs for a stand-up routine at the funeral.

I don’t want to be the butt of the jokes at my own funeral.

Yeah, she just Segwayed right into eternity!

That Segway tour vaulted her career. Now she’s swimming with the leaches.

Sadly, we did not find time to take the Segway tour. Perhaps next year…

LCockrellTheatre

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Thanks for stopping! Ever take a Segway tour? Leave a comment and let us know how it went.

Barbara

Barbara is the author of the Fredrickson Winery Novels, the award winning thriller, Split Sense, The Second Chances series, The Amish Bloodsuckers Trilogy, and The Double Barrel Mysteries, Roadkill and Much Ado About Murder. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and pups.

Barbara is the author of the Fredrickson Winery Novels, the award winning thriller, Split Sense, The Second Chances series, The Amish Bloodsuckers Trilogy, and The Double Barrel Mysteries, Roadkill and Much Ado About Murder. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and pups.

Indie Author Bonanza!

IMG_2703I’ve been an Indie author for quite some time now and I have to say that regardless of the downsides of self-publishing, there are many upsides. And in fact, I’m willing to call it a bonanza of bonuses!

“Going it alone” usually means you are either a maverick or an idiot. Perhaps both. To be self-employed, you have to be self-motivated and willing to do more than what you signed up for. I’m a writer, but now I’m also in charge of editing, cover design, promotion, and formatting. I need to learn how to get my book on different book sites, peek the interest of readers with an attractive cover, blurb, and one-liner tweets.

If you do your research and find a group of friends who are paddling a similar one-person kayak in this very over-populated river of wanna-be writers, you can do what only huge publishing houses once did with endless money and a full roster of employees… take a book from conception to birth and actually make enough to pay your editor and cover designer. If you’re really successful you might even be able to pay your car payment.

It wasn’t very many days ago that the Indie author was looked down upon, and in many cases, is still seen as a second-class citizen in the publishing world. As an Indie you have to be willing to learn and grow to navigate the ever-changing current. You also have to be able to ignore the snide comments and/or reactions you get from people who have no idea the work you’ve put in or the many hats you wear in order to self-publish.

Self-published was once synonymous with “lacking enough talent to get published traditionally.” Ironically, there are many well-known, traditionally published writers going the self-published route these days. They may have veered off the traditional path in order to make a better living, have more say over the final outcome of their books, or because it’s now “hip to be square” for all I know. I do know that with all the writing competition out there, and the lower and lower number of actual readers, this career choice is sink or swim. Here’s hoping I can keep my head above the waves.

Regardless of the sharks in the water and other writerly trials, I am counting my blessings that I can still do what I love and love what I do.

Bonanzas:

I can sleep in and don’t have to catch a bus to work.

I can wear sweats and t-shirts or pajamas. Nobody is here to care.

My desk is comfortably situated in my home office and not in a cubicle.

My computer runs on Barbara time and not a company clock.

I write the stories I want to write and don’t have to continue writing a series if I no longer feel the inspiration or desire.

I can hire whomever I want to help with editing, cover design, etc, and have complete control over every aspect of my book.

I set my own deadlines and change them without asking permission.

I have met many other self-published authors and have found some great friends with common interests.

I’m not a starving artist with a publisher doling out a small percentage of my book’s earnings like breadcrumbs. I’m now a semi starving artist with a whole lot bigger cut of the earnings and a very small overhead.

My books are never found in the clearance bargain bin.

I’m proud to be Indie and think this is as good a place as any to remind you to pick up myImbedMuchAdo2 latest published masterpiece. MUCH ADO ABOUT MURDER (Double Barrel Mysteries #2) You can find it at these online stores:  Amazon   Barnes & Noble   iTunes   kobo  Smashwords

Thanks for stopping! If you love reading Indie or are an Indie writer, leave a comment below.

Barbara

Barbara is the author of the Fredrickson Winery Novels, the award winning thriller, Split Sense, The Second Chances series, The Amish Bloodsuckers Trilogy, and The Double Barrel Mysteries, Roadkill and Much Ado About Murder. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and pups.

Barbara is the author of the Fredrickson Winery Novels, the award winning thriller, Split Sense, The Second Chances series, The Amish Bloodsuckers Trilogy, and The Double Barrel Mysteries, Roadkill and Much Ado About Murder. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and pups.

 

Roadkill giveaway!

No, I’m not giving away dead squirrels or turtles that failed to get across the highway quick enough to avoid an early demise. That’s a completely different kind of road kill.

roadkillcoverImbedI’m giving away 5 signed copies of ROADKILL (Double Barrel Mysteries) book #1 at Goodreads! Starting May 6th, you can sign up for the giveaway at Goodreads and maybe you will be one of the lucky winners of an autographed paperback of ROADKILL.

This giveaway ends May 22nd, coincidentally the exact day book #2, MUCH ADO ABOUT MURDER (Double Barrel Mysteries), hits the ebook shelves everywhere!

So, sign up now!

You can use the link over in the sidebar>>>

Or click here and go directly to Goodreads.

 

If you’ve already read Roadkill, leave a comment and tell me what character you’re hoping ImbedMuchAdo2will make an appearance in book #2! Don’t forget to preorder MUCH ADO ABOUT MURDER! >

Thanks for stopping!

Barbara

Barbara is the author of the Fredrickson Winery Novels, the award winning thriller, Split Sense, The Second Chances series, The Amish Bloodsuckers Trilogy, and The Double Barrel Mysteries, Roadkill and Much Ado About Murder. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and pups.

Barbara is the author of the Fredrickson Winery Novels, the award winning thriller, Split Sense, The Second Chances series, The Amish Bloodsuckers Trilogy, and The Double Barrel Mysteries, Roadkill and Much Ado About Murder. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and pups.