Greetings

Thank you for stopping by my blog. May this blog be a blessing to you in whatever situation you are experiencing in life. I appreciate my visitors, so please make sure to leave a comment. Don't forget to view past posts as well. Use the search box at the top to search through this site. May God Bless You!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Dreams of Rebuking Satan: When the War is Over

A few years ago I wrote a post about my experiences with spiritual warfare and dreams. At the time, I was having some pretty horrible nightmares. These weren't your typical nightmares. They were awful. They were so terrible that I would wake up and cower in my bed, while rebuking Satan over and over. I could sense evil all around me. Literally. I could feel it in the room with me, and it was one of the most terrifying times in my life, to by lying there in bed in the midst of some kind of attack that you can't even see. 

This almost sounds like a scene out of a horror movie, doesn't it? However, it's not. It's real. The battle for dominion over a person's soul happens every day. Even as I type this, it's happening right now in someone's life. 

And it often happens when a person is asleep, a time when they are at their most vulnerable. 

Since writing that post in 2012, a lot of things have changed. I'm no longer plagued by those terrible nightmares, praise God. But as I look back and reflect over the last several years, I wonder what changed?

At the time, I was in my spiritual peak. Many of you who are believers know what I'm talking about. It's that time when you're riding the wave of your faith at its highest. It's that wonderful, joyful feeling you get when the Holy Spirit is unleashed inside of you. 

While I was going through that, I was also going through a terrible personal tragedy. What a feeling that was, to be the closest to God I've ever been, while at the same time going through something so awful. It was a complete contradiction. 

I was also doing a lot of work for the Lord here on this Earth. God rarely left my thoughts. I was literally living for the Lord. 

The Bible talks about Jesus being tested. He fasted for forty days and nights, and eventually Satan tested him by offering Jesus everything the average man would have wanted. Can you imagine how terrible that would have been had Jesus fallen? 

But Jesus didn't. He stood strong in his faith, in his knowledge, of what he knew about God, his father. Everything rested on that one moment and how Jesus would respond.

Looking back now, was that my moment? Was that my temptation after my own forty days, so to speak?

All I know is this. When people are attacked in the middle of the night in their dreams, this is terrifying. It's not your typical nightmare. It's so much worse. I'm not sure I can even put it into words how frightening it truly is when Satan is attacking your dreams. I think you actually have to go through it for yourself to understand the seriousness of it. 

What amazes me is how many people have gone through it, judging by the comments on my other post. 

Having lived through this myself, the only advice I can give you is to persevere. Continue to pray and keep the lines open to God. Read your Bible daily, as this will give you an even greater understanding of everything holy. 

If you're one of those people that can sleep with background noise, get the audio version of the Bible and set it to play throughout the night. I'm not one of those people that can sleep with noise in the background, but I'm going to tell you something. When I was in the middle of that spiritual attack, I learned how to be one. It was so frightening that I played the Bible throughout the night, and there was a time or two I had some really weird experiences with this. Namely, waking up to find the audio stopped, etc. It's enough to make your skin crawl, believe me.

Scared you, yet? I'm not trying to. I never would have believed these things for myself if I hadn't lived through it. 

So what causes this? I think it must have something to do with when a person is standing on the edge of fully committing themselves to God. I mean FULLY giving yourself over. I believe the attacks strengthen when someone is standing at the crossroads of that one moment in life when you are really and fully committing yourself to God for the rest of your life.

I think it can also happen when you're about to find yourself in a situation that will be detrimental to you one day becoming a Christian yourself... or when you're about to play a part in situation that will eventually lead to someone else finding their own faith. 

The Bible tells us that battles are fought all the time in the supernatural realm. I believe this. Do you? So if it's happening there, it has to be affecting us here on Earth, too. 

So I wanted to return back to this post and let you know that you can get through this. Eventually, it will pass. For most people, there is only a window of time before we make a real and true commitment to God. Once this has passed and the decision has been made, I believe that this is when the attacks are over... at least for a while. 

Even the most dedicated are still attacked by the enemy. However, I have to say I haven't been attacked through my dreams in his type of horrible manner in a long time. But although I say this, that's not to say I am not still attacked. I am. Every Christian will be. Every Christian is. 

If the dreams are really bad, you are right in the heart of it. Use the suggestions I gave you above. If you need to, sleep with a nightlight or hallway light on. If you wake up and you're in the midst of attack, rebuke it in the name of Jesus, as we all know it is by his power and authority that we are able to rebuke demons. Call out to God and ask him to send his angels down to protect you. I even ask for protection of my yard and house, and it's a wonderful feeling to know that an angel is watching over you, even if you can't see them!

Readers, now it is your turn. I want to hear your stories of spiritual attack below. Tell me how it's happening and what you're doing to overcome these attacks. Please share your experiences for others to read. We are believers, and as believers we need to support one another. 

May God keep you at peace, even in the midst of spiritual attacks.

 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Author Interview with Mathias B. Freese & Spotlight on I Truly Lament (Holocaust Fiction)

Interview With Mathias B. Freese
Mathias was kind enough to let me interview him. After reading the interview, make sure to scroll down and see the book, which is available on Amazon! 

How did you get inspired to write I Truly Lament?
I am not usually inspired to write anything. I sense a feeling or a constellation of felt-truths, often a gift, and I am serious about this, from my unconscious mind. What we do each day is really a thin patina that covers the engine that drives us. I count upon these surreptitious feelings I get and then I move on to express them. I have done this with all of my books. Having been a psychotherapist also comforts me in that to write is to express the inner self.



What was your writing process like? Did you need to do a lot of research?  

Sometimes I garner facts like a rolling stone. At 74 that is a life time of collection. If I don’t know the name of a movie star, of course, I look that up. In the pride I have I try to accomplish what I have to say by falling back – deeply so – on who I am. I have written stories about the concentration camps and survivors of those camps. What can you fall back upon except one’s compassion, sensibility and intuitive sense, the writer’s palette if you will. Facts are only appurtenances. I once wrote that fearlessness leads to authenticity in writing. I struggle to take no prisoners, to be graphic, honest, blunt if need be to advance the story I am working on.

If you were describing this book to a friend, what would you say  

Feel it rather than shy away from whatever truths I could manage to compose. I see too much of Holocaust aversion on the part of reviewers, as if the Holocaust is a hot coal. Like the Odyssey, the Holocaust should be read by each generation, for it is mankind’s newly minted original sin. Read the book knowing it is the author’s attempt to comprehend the ineffable.

Can you tell us a little bit about the man behind the book?  

Like Freud who said he was a godless Jew, I subscribe to that; the impact of being Jewish has been intense for me. I have worked as a teacher, and I practiced as a psychotherapist and while all that was going on, I wrote when I could. It took me thirty years to have a book of short stories published, Down to a Sunless Sea. I think of myself as the tortoise in Aesop’s fable. I don’t quit and redeem myself through perseverance. I did not go to school to write; I put in my 10,000 hours. I follow no rules, mostly breaking rules.

How long have you been writing?  

46 years. I have paid my dues. So the man goes to the green and plays his rounds. What does he remember? His swing, his birdies. I can’t comprehend that. I write not for posterity, except for my children. I write for personal clarity. Like Kazantzaki’s epitaph, “I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free.” I struggle for that existential experience.

What's next for you?  

TESSESRAE, now being edited, a memoir of two summers, ’68,’69 , in Woodstock, describing how a man-child became a man by opening myself to feelings and relationships.

Out of this entire book, what is your favorite paragraph?

“Slave”: The most appalling defeat in the camps was the absence of beauty. Regimentation was all, an artist without a palette.

Animal life had fled. Occasionally an errant bird chirped tis creed and flew away. Butterflies stayed away, no flora to cling to. If you think rats, vermin, maggots, and roaches are beautiful, it was Eden. Uniformity in everything was the rule. Barracks laid out in grids, barbed wire in rectangular enclosures. Even the circle was barred from the camp, for it was elusive to the German mind. Everything was squared off, nothing rounded. We lined up for morning roll calls, the appell (italics). The guttural voices of the German guards barked out the same repetitive orders. Geometry was God, diversity Satan’s whore, opinion a mother’s bastard, and questions a whore’s tease. Order above all. To my ears, the German gutturals obeyed in aural allegiance the mind-set of their speakers. When I fill the ice cube tray, I pause, knowing how well the Germans viewed us, frozen cubes all lined up.




https://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/holocaust-fiction-book-tour-giveaway-i-truly-lament-by-mathias-b-freese-12314-123114/


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 12/3/14 – 12/31/14
Genres: Literary Fiction, Holocaust Fiction, Short Stories










Blurb:
“…Freese’s haunting lament might best be explained (at least to me) by something Nathaniel Hawthorn wrote about Herman Melville’s endless search for answers to questions that perplexed him all his adult life. Melville was incessantly obsessed with what one might call the why of it all — life, death, metaphysical mysteries. Similar to Freese, Melville was repeatedly afflicted with a dark and depressive state of mind.” –Duff Brenna, Professor Emeritus, CSU, San Marcos

Praise for I Truly Lament:
I have read many books about the Holocaust as I find the subject very interesting from a psychological standpoint. I have to say though, that Mr. Freese has placed an entirely new twist on the subject. I will admit to being perplexed at first, having expected something a bit different. As the collection unfolded, I was drawn into the raw emotion. I particularly enjoyed the story, “Cantor Matyas Balogh.” Matyas found love so late in life, only to have it ripped from him. Freese does not just tell a tale, he creates a basis for reflection. I believe that he is completely correct when he states that someone can never truly understand the Holocaust. We can write about it, but the lasting impact on the people that survived can never be put into words. I Truly Lament is a remarkable collection that will leave the reader speechless. – Heather Osborne for Readers’ Favorite


Excerpt:
At a social distance from me now, as exact and
regulatory as a geometric theorem, I see the Jew as a
thing rather than entity. He is foreign to me.

The Disenchanted Golem

IN MY LATEST INCARNATION I was a golem for a few months in
Poland. Invoked by the mumbo-jumbo Kabalistic rites of a Hasidic
tzaddik, I was raised from nothing. Of course, Jews have no idea where
I come from or how I exist when not on call. They know nothing
of the fabric of my being. They believe, or at least this Hasid did,
that prayer—and demands—bring me forth. Rubbish! My directive
comes from a different source and one that’s not accountable to me.
I cannot explain my existence. I’m in the dark much like the rabbi.
And when I wake to a call and go about my tasks, which are often to
tear out legs and arms of Poles, in this instance, I find it a necessary
evil of which I’m a significant part. I’d rather rest in soil from which
I come, or at least that is the matter that forms my lumpish shape.
Going way back to 1492, Señor Torquemada, the Grand Inquisitor
who was of Jewish descent, cursed me for dismembering a fellow
priest whom I’d beaten with a candelabrum until he curled up in a ball
and died. Spry Torquemada fled from my presence and I lumbered
after him, finally grabbing the wily old bastard by his caftan. I can’t
speak, which is problematic, for I’ve seen or experienced so much
about death and dying that I’ve a lot to say. Sometimes I would like
interrogate the victim to see how he responds not only to his imminent
death but to my physical presence: which is more terrifying?
Anyway, I scared the shit out of the Grand Inquisitor but let him
live. I really don’t know why. Before I left his home I peed in his
private chapel, the piss laced with mud and twigs, an earthy aroma
to it, like asparagus, essentially all the parts of my makeup. Basically
I am mud.
I like to do a good job. Different golems act differently. We’re all
of the same construction. Quite simply, as a golem I need no compass
for finding a malicious Gentile. I just know his whereabouts and I
intuitively seek him out—unnerving, if you’re a Gentile. Jews mistakenly
think I act for them; well, yes and no, basically more no than yes.
I’m an independent slayer, like the angel of death. I definitely don’t
act out of religious reasons or because Jews need me at this time or
another. It’s all so complicated as to my origins and purposes.

Buy Links:
Amazon Kindle
Amazon Paperback
Wheatmark




About the Author:
MATHIAS B. FREESE is a writer, teacher, and psychotherapist. His recent collection of essays, This Mobius Strip of Ifs, was the winner of the National Indie Excellence Award of 2012 in general non-fiction and a 2012 Global Ebook Award finalist. His I Truly Lament: Working Through the Holocaust was one of three finalists chosen in the 2012 Leapfrog Press Fiction Contest out of 424 submissions.

Connect With The Author:
Website
Linkedin

Giveaway:
Win a print copy of I Truly Lament by Mathias B. Freese on the tour and giveaway! This giveaway will run – 1/1/15. Open to residents of Canada, Australia, Great Britain, and the USA. Enter at Goodreads

Thursday, July 10, 2014

I Will Never Forget by Elaine C. Pereira Aging Memoir Book Tour/Giveaway & Guest Post

http://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/non-fiction-book-tour-giveaway-i-will-never-forget-a-daughters-story-of-her-mothers-arduous-and-humorous-journey-through-dementia-by-elaine-c-pereira-62314-72114/

Virtual Book Tour Dates: 6/23/14 – 7/21/14

Genres:  Non-Fiction; Memoir; Aging








Blurb:
I Will Never Forget is the incredible true story of the author’s talented mother’s poignant and often humorous journey through the mystifying haze of Dementia. Through superb stories of Elaine’s childhood, from her controversial name, tales of smoking’ dragons and the feisty teenage years, her mother Betty Ward’s wonderful character is revealed.
Over time, as their relationship evolves and a new paradigm is formed, Betty begins to exhibit goofy actions, uncharacteristic verbal assaults and bizarre thinking. Although clearly mystified by her mother’s irrational behaviors, Elaine does not appreciate the extent of Betty’s mental decline. Her amazing ability to mask the truth clouds Elaine’s vision and prolongs her denial until one cataclysmic explosion of reality over an innocuous drapery rod launches a waterfall of destructive events.
As her mother’s brilliant mind is steadily destroyed by Dementia’s insatiable appetite for brain cells, Elaine accompanies her mother on her journey. She witnesses Betty’s fascinating visions of her own mother, masterful Houdini-like disappearances and finally a stunning rally to take control of her own destiny.
I Will Never Forget is a heartwarming, humorous, honest and deeply moving story pertinent to everyone touched by the insidious effects of Dementia. Learn from Elaine’s unwitting mistakes as she weaves her way through her mother’s unpredictable disease to capture insightful and effective intervention strategies.

Chapter 28: The Ugly Truth:

But as the adult, the nebulous abyss of being a parent to your parent is a delicate responsibility. Balancing respect and autonomy and naturally expecting them to be accurate when they tell you, I’ll be fine is a daunting challenge. Somewhere deep down, you know it’s not true. They are no longer fine.


Connect With The Author:


Elaine Pereira retired as a school Occupational Therapist with more than 30 years experience in pediatrics and a decade in adult home care. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Wayne State University in OT and her Master’s in Liberal Arts. Pereira maintains her OT licensure and holds Certifications as a Dementia Caregiver and Practitioner. She and her husband Joseph live in southeastern Michigan with their two big dogs Bailey and Maddee and Snoopy the cat. Together they have five adult children, Elaine’s twin daughters and Joe’s three sons and five grandchildren.
I Will Never Forget-A Daughter’s Story of Her Mother’s Arduous and Humorous Journey Through Dementia is Elaine’s first book, a memoir in tribute to her amazingly talented mother. Pereira writes for MariaShriver.com, Alzheimer’s Reading Room, Endear For Alzheimer’s and a variety of guest blog posts. She has been featured in four television spots, Fox 2 Detroit, Living Dayton and Fox 45 Dayton and The Best of Aging magazine, April 2013 edition.
Her hobbies include golf, sewing, hand-craft projects and gardening. She has traveled extensively throughout the United States and world wide including Europe; Madeira, Portugal; Australia; Seoul and Hong Kong.
Now she networks extensively to advance Alzheimer’s awareness and donates from each book sold to Alzheimer’s research.


Author Links:

Giveaway:
Win one of thirty print copies of I Will Never Forget. Entry is restricted to the USA! Enter through Goodreads.



   

    Goodreads Book Giveaway  

   
        I Will Never Forget by Elaine C. Pereira    
   
     

          I Will Never Forget      

     

          by Elaine C. Pereira      

     
         
            Giveaway ends July 21, 2014.          
         
            See the giveaway details             at Goodreads.          
     
   
   
      Enter to win


Guest Post by Elaine C. Pereira:


Welcome Readers,

Thank you for your interest in me, Elaine Pereira, and my memoir I Will Never Forget.

My mother’s was a story that needed to be told and in tribute to her and others who also have incredible journeys especially through Dementia, I did.

Born Elizabeth Ann Oberle in Lafayette Indiana, Mom was the fourth of six children. She was five years old when The Great Depression hit, thrusting hers and all families into financial chaos. No doubt it was their strong Catholic faith and my grandparents creative resiliency that pulled them trough.

Decades later my parents, but especially Mom, practiced the hard learned Depression survival lessons of recycle, reduce and reuse. What has resurfaced today as a new socially responsible practice was born out of need decades earlier.

From I Will Never Forget

There were three baskets—actually, a wastepaper basket, a metal bin, and a paper bag—in which items were to be disposed of, sorted into garbage, trash, and waste…

I got the distinctions among paper, glass, and recyclable plastic, but my mom’s system would have stymied even Webster. Paper didn’t actually go into the wastepaper basket; it went in the paper bag. Used Kleenexes, for example, went into the wastepaper basket, but scrap paper didn’t. Food scraps such as banana peels and apple cores went into the garbage bin, but since it was outside, they went into a basket inside first. It was confusing, but global warming is not my mom’s fault.

Wicked Alzheimer’s

As my mother was spiraling deeper under Alzheimer’s deadly control, “her mind chipped and chiseled away (by dementia’s) insatiable appetite for brain cells” I reflected on her amazing life and stellar accomplishments. Without fanfare she had attained some of the most remarkable achievements in life.

Mom earned a Bachelor’s Degree in chemistry, a remarkable success for anyone, but especially notable as a woman and in the shadows of post World War II 1945. As single women she and a girlfriend uprooted from Lafayette, IN to Kalamazoo, MI to work for Upjohn Co. She met my dad on a blind date; they married and had three children. Mom went back for her Masters in education and taught high school math including calculus!

Post retirement she doted on my kids, her granddaughters. Very petite she never had a powerful golf swing but learned how to master a deadly accurate short game, techniques I use today that I learned from her.

I inherited her drive to be the best you can, but not her patience and kind demeanor; those improvements in my personality I have had to work on, like really hard and I still am.

In every sense of the word, Mom was a Christian. She always made room for another’s point of view even if she didn’t agree with it. She embraced that her kids live their own lives; make and take responsibility for their own mistakes and successes!

I was not the easy kid to raise; that would have been my brother. But as Mom slid down, I gratefully stepped up to give back to the woman who gave so much!

I hope you enjoy I Will Never Forget, a multi-award winning and best selling memoir. Despite the subject, it is not morose, but a story of love that “reads more like a novel”.

I keeping with my Mom’s wishes that her private life not be disclosed unless it is to help others, I donate from every book sold to Alzheimer’s Association local programs and research.

Help Me Help Others. Buy a Book!



Healing Prayers For The Dying - Asking For Spiritual Protection and Miracles

One of the scariest and most traumatic events is facing death - be it your own or watching someone you love go through it. 

As Christians, our hopes are focused on the eternal life after we leave this world, and that is what separates us from those that believe that life ends when we die here on this earth. Even knowing this doesn't often ease the grief or the pain, God has made us complete with feelings and emotions and it's impossible to say goodbye to those that we love without hurting. 

Sometimes, though, I've seen miracles in people that doctors and hospitals have given up on. Medical tests, procedures, and science doesn't know it all, although a lot of people rely on these. I've seen people in comas and considered to be in the dying process make miraculous recoveries, but I've also seen people pass away, despite the prayers of the faithful. In the end God's will will be done.

You never know when God is creating a testimony, and this holds true even in the throes of serious illness. I believe when a group of people are all praying for something with true faith and dedication that even the largest problems can often be turned around. I don't believe that one can ever have too much prayer, especially during these hard times. 

When it comes to prayers for the severely ill and dying I believe it's important for a church family to come together and pray. Many hospitals have chaplains, don't be afraid to ask them to come pray for your family member. I also encourage people to read verse from the Bible to the patient as they can often hear this, even while in a coma. Pray when you're home and pray when you are in the hospital, and ask the Lord to rebuke the illness. Stand in faith and proclaim the healing verses - inserting the patient's name in as needed. But don't promise things that might not be fulfilled. For example, don't promise a testimony if the Lord will heal you if you don't fully intend to testify His goodness to anyone that will listen. And be careful promising a testimony on behalf of someone ill, unless you are positive that the patient will honor this vow. 


Isaiah 38 New International Version (NIV)
Hezekiah’s Illness

38 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”

2 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 3 “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

4 Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: 5 “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life. 6 And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city.



In the above verse you can see that the Lord extended Hezekiah's life when he reminded him of his faithfulness. 

I also think it's important to repent of your sins, or stand in for the person that is ill and repent of their sins. This allows a person a greater access to God and closes the door to the enemy. Ask God to rebuke the evil that is surrounding the illness and place a shield of protection around the patient. In God's light miracles can and do happen, if we ask for them. 

Also be wary of the doubts and bitterness that often creeps in through family members. When a person becomes ill it often opens the door to feuding, accusations, and bitterness within a family, and with this comes the enemy. 

And remember that God's miracles don't always come instantly. More often than not I've seen then come about at a later point. Sometimes it takes a day, sometimes longer. Even when it seems like things are at their worst, this might not be the case. The Lord can be working miracles inside of the patient through medicines or treatments. Pray for the doctor's wisdom in deciding how to treat the illness and give God time to work. To often those expect a person to recuperate in a day or two, and it doesn't always quite work that way. God truly does work in mysterious ways, and he often doesn't work on our timetable.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Money Tree - Children's Blog Tour & Giveaway


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 1/20/14 - 2/17/14
Genre: Children

Blurb:

Follow Tyler on his adventure to get enough money for a cool new toy, without the help of his parents. A witty and fun story with upbeat text for your young child with a valuable lesson about working hard and saving money to get something they really want! The clear text and playful illustrations aim to simplify financial concepts like earning, saving, interest, the difference between needs and wants, and the joy of running one’s own business. To make the otherwise boring topic interesting, the concepts have been explained through small anecdotes accompanied with colorful illustrations to stimulate children and ignite a love of saving.









About the Author:


LaDonna N. Smith is a certified financial educator whose goal is to educate youth from all walks of life on how to find their path to financial empowerment. LaDonna draws inspiration for her book ideas from several typical parenting routines; watching her children play or argue, overhearing them sing or talk, and listening to all the amazing ideas, concerns, & request that they come up with. The Money Tree, is the first, but her children have inspired many more literary surprises already in the works! LaDonna and her husband reside in New York and have four wonderful children, all with intriguing and different personalities, like the characters she creates in her storybooks.

Enter the giveaway below for your chance to win a print copy of The Money Tree by LaDonna N. Smith!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Money Tree by Ladonna N Smith

The Money Tree

by Ladonna N Smith

Giveaway ends February 17, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

What is the Biblical Definition of Poverty?

This is going to be a rather stern post, but as time passes, it really breaks my heart about how far people have strayed. It seems like morals and values are almost a thing of the past, especially in the younger generations. And when I say younger, I'm not talking about children. I'm taking about the 20 - 30 year old generation.

Be it that I hear this from others, see it in a publication like a magazine, or just see it for myself, it's not uncommon to hear many that believe they are able to do better for themselves by simply not working. I've heard several say that they get far more in food stamps by not working, and that it's better for them financially to simply be unemployed. 

It's not just the food stamps, it's the public assistance that they get with utilities, medial expenses, food banks, and more.

What kind of message is our society sending? Do we really want to encourage our younger generation to rely on these things? What happens when food stamps or the medical card simply runs out because more and more people are getting assistance rather than working?

I remember in days long gone, where people believed in working and taking care of their own... I can't believe how far things have fallen. 

When I see these things, and the laziness of many (I'm not talking about the ones that are truly disabled!), I have to wonder what God thinks. Recently, I know of a younger man that went on disability because his knee sometimes hurts. But this same young man can still do all the fun things in life and spend his time socializing. Yet, he's unable to hold down even a part-time job? 

Hearing and seeing all these things make me wonder what the Biblical definition of poverty really is? Let's look at some verses:


2 Thessalonians 3:10 ESV

For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.
Proverbs 10:4 ESV

A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.

2 Timothy 4:2-4 ESV / 14 helpful votes
Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
 
And then I really love the following:
 
"When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless and the widow. When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless and the widow." Deuteronomy 24:19-21  

In this day and age, who would be there to collect it? How many people actually get out there and try to grow their own food, or take action to provide for themselves? In Biblical days, there would have been grateful hands to pick those olives... Now, everyone just waits for their next assistance.

This is a tough post, I know it is. I don't have the answers about correcting it, but I do believe that they can all be found within the pages of a Bible. Empower people to work.... Don't just give them handouts and make them reliant on the fruits of others labors. The people that still believe in work and working hard are the ones that are paying for those that believe they come out ahead by simply doing nothing.


Monday, January 6, 2014

Living Separate Lives - A Christian Fiction Book Tour


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 1/6/14 – 1/20/14
Genre: Christian Fiction

ASIN: B00GLF5BW0

ISBN: 978-0989969109

Publisher: Thy Word Publishing (November 10, 2013)





Four Friends, One Secret and The Weekend That Changed Their Destiny
Candace Walker, Kaylan Smith, Jordan Tate, and Tiffany Thomas have their share of sorrows, but neither of them realizes how deep the sorrow goes. What happens when they agree to meet for a weekend of relaxation in beautiful Napa County? Which one will leave the same or worse?
For Candace Walker, life has left her battered and bruised. Kaylan Smith has struggled with prejudice from her in-laws. After fifteen years of marriage, bitterness is trying to raise its ugly head for Jordan Tate, whose husband wants to call it quits. And for Tiffany Thomas, dealing with rejection has never been one of her greatest feats.
Although they have been friends for years, they thought they knew each other well. But will a secret destroy their relationship and bring the sisterhood to a complete halt? Will they be able to forgive and allow God to mend that which might be torn? 

Excerpt:
“Who cares anyway if I die? I hate my life; I curse the day I was born,” said Candace as she rolled out of her twin bed to face yet another day of sheer disappointments. Her feet landed on the beige, shaggy, dirty carpet that had seen better days. As she sat on the edge of her bed, she looked around the small apartment as though she was expecting to see something different, but nothing had changed.
“Lord, can I get a break? Can something good happen in my life?” she cried as her head collapsed in her hands. She knew within herself that today would be like all the rest: gloomy, sad, and most of all, lonely. After all she had experienced in life, how could she think today would be any different?
Candace lived in a small studio apartment off of School Street in the city of Pittsburg, California, a city surrounded by the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area. Her apartment had enough room for only one dresser and a nightstand, which she got at the neighborhood Goodwill store.
The walls of her apartment were dirty from years of cigarette smoke that didn’t escape out of the window. Her kitchen table was made of plywood, which she covered with a red tablecloth. The table was encompassed by two chairs, one for her and the other one she had hoped would be occupied by someone who genuinely wanted to be with her. The blue and cream décor in her kitchen came from visiting the neighborhood garage sales. Her neighbors knew her so well because of the frequent visits she made to their sales. Although Candace always had a roof over her head, she did not like the environment in which she lived. After looking intently at her dwelling place, she lay back on her bed and stared at the ceiling. Her thoughts shifted from her disappointing apartment to her anger about the issues she had to deal with, problems that had been with her for years, issues with her family.
Since high school, life was hard for Candace. Almost every decision she made never retuned a good dividend. The men in her life came and went, except for Derrick. He stayed the longest, but his bout with kidney failure ended whatever dreams she had of getting out of what she called the “ghetto.” Derrick was her sure ticket to a better life, she’d hoped. The only consolation to his memory was the pictures on the stained walls and a locket she wore around her neck.
Candace grew up with both parents and two siblings. Her sister, Monique, was three years younger than her; her brother, Zach, was two years younger. Candace always felt that she got the worse end of the stick when it came to Monique. Monique was light-skinned with long, black, wavy hair, which belonged to her, by the way. Candace’s skin tone was a few shades darker than Monique’s. She was short in stature, five feet, three inches tall, to be exact. She wore her hair down and straight, although it mostly contained black hair extensions, which she bought from the neighborhood beauty supply store.
Monique was the image of her mother, minus a few inches of hair. She stood five feet, eleven inches with a small frame; she could have been chosen as America’s Next Top Model. But Monique decided to study law, passing the bar on her first attempt; she then started her own practice and moved it to Los Angeles. Monique and her parents could not figure out why Candace didn’t make more of herself. To them, Candace was merely existing and taking up space. They wrote Candace off years ago. 

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About Paulette Harper:

 
 Paulette Harper is an award-winning and best-selling author. She is the owner of Write Now Literary Virtual Book Tours and is passionate about helping authors succeed in publishing and marketing their books. Paulette has been writing and publishing books since 2008. Paulette is the author of That Was Then, This is Now, Completely Whole and The Sanctuary. Her articles have appeared on-line and in print. 

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