Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Abolishing Abortion by Rev. Frank Pavone

This book is a rousing call to the American Church and specifically to Catholics, to literally end abortion. Its focus lies in entering the public square with the "prolife message." This book begins with an introduction that sets the tone for this book, giving us the flavor of what is to come. Arranged in twelve chapters, the book is dedicated to the unborn as "our unborn brothers and sisters." Following Chapter 12, the book provides an appendix that is a written transcript of a prolife address by Rev. Derek King, nephew of Martin Luther King Jr.. This is followed by acknowledgments of those who have made this book possible. The book ends with a section of Notes of sources used by the author, and ends with his bio. This author, Rev. Frank Pavone, is the President of the National Pro-Life Religious Council and is the national director of Priests for Life. He is the national pastoral director of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and of Rachel's Vineyard, the world's largest ministry of Priests healing after abortion. This book is endorsed by many prominent conservative political and religious leaders.

I was definitely challenged by this book. From the very beginning, I was under no illusion that I was being called to be willing and ready to sacrifice my comfort, my reputation, my freedom and even my life, for this prolife cause and to try to end abortion. As a non-Catholic, parts of this strongly Catholic book did not speak to me, especially the parts about Catholic traditions in reference to the prolife cause. I only reluctantly agreed with the author that none of us, me included, has done enough to try to end abortion. I found myself frustrated that the author gave so few practical tips for involvement, but his assumption is that readers alreadyn know what to do and either fear the fight, or don't care. Realistically, I had tried to step up my involvement in this cause in the past, but had had a bad experience when I had sought to volunteer with an area crisis pregnancy center. I found myself getting bored and having to force myself through the chapters of the book, addressed to pastors and focused on the legalities of speaking openly about abortion. During my reading of this book I found myself visiting this author's website for information and for resources to use in online advocacy. Even as people are focused on de-funding Planned Parenthood, it seems to me that this alone would not end abortion. To truly help women and save their unborn children, the funds should be re-allocated to life-affirming women's services where abortions are not done. This book's focus on prolife advocacy in the public square and in politics, is only one part of the puzzle. I feel, and many others agree, that unless we try to find common ground with the other side and work toward what we agree on (like better adoption laws, preventing pregnancies, and better laws for single parent families and low-income families, we can make abortion illegal and pull funds out of Planned Parenthood. However, women and their partners will still remain abortion-minded unless we all work together, privately and publicly, to make it so that alternatives to abortion will look more attractive and abortion less attractive.

I recommend this book for every pastor in every congregation. This book gives them re-assurance about how far they can go in speaking openly about abortion and advocate for the unborn, without breaking laws and risk losing tax-exempt status. I recommend this book for all Christian leaders at all levels. I recommend this book for all those who are passionate about ending abortions. I do not recommend this book for people for who have experienced abortions, unless they have experienced a good manner of healing. This book's impassioned rhetoric can be very triggering for such persons. For the very same reason, people, even those in the Christian community, who call themselves progressive or liberal, will probably be turned off by this book. This book is not for everyone.

I have received this book free of charge from Book Look Bloggers, in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a favorable review of this book.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

To Any and All Who May Want An Abortion

Dear Reader:

I appeal to you if you are young, afraid, feel unsupported and feel that abortion is your only option.

I appeal to you if you find yourself pregnant and no one in your family wants you so.

I appeal to you if you have a girlfriend or wife in an unplanned pregnancy to which abortion seems the only solution.

I appeal to you if your family is full but you are, again, unhappily pregnant.

I appeal to you if you have a daughter or son who is now faced with a crisis pregnancy.

I appeal to you if you are happy in your career and find a pregnancy has interrupted it.

I appeal to you, male or female, who have no money, home or job but are dealing with a pregnancy.

I appeal to you if others are making you get an unwanted abortion, especially parents or your partner.

I appeal to you if you suffered rape or incest and see no option but abortion.

I appeal to you if the unborn child you are carrying, in testing, was found to have a "birth defect."

I appeal to you if you are dealing with an unwanted pregnancy for any reason or under any circumstances.

I know that culture is declaring that the solution to end your distress. Yes, I know it is legal. I know that, at least in the short run, it seems to be the solution. I know that many among us in the Christian community have shouted that it is wrong and are busy defending the humanity of the child in the unwanted pregnancy, but often we offer no more. That is why so many facing crisis pregnancies have made the choices they have, because they saw abortion as their only option. They may have been bullied into it, shamed into it, or talked into it. In many cases, we have failed to show love and compassion and give such people the help and support that they needed, to carry their babies to full term. On behalf of us in the Christian community, I apologize for our actions. We can and should do better, so that abortion will become unthinkable and so that other options will look more attractive to those of you for whom this post is intended.

You may have heard that it is your body and that it is a private matter, between you and God. I agree that your choice is between you and God What you do may seen only at a clinic, by a few staff and by you. But it will also be seen by God. I know that abortion may seem to "end" your distress over a crisis that you may desperately want out of your life. But it will create another set of problems. It will leave you with a sense of guilt that you have ended a human life, an innocent human life. Many who have experienced abortion may suppress or repress this guilt, and will not express any sorrow over their children lost to abortion. This culture forbids such grief. But if you turn to abortion, you will likely experience this grief that this culture will not approve of you expressing. Do you want that?

Whatever sort of crisis pregnancy you are dealing with and the circumstances facing you, there is help available for you. Please do not do anything rash or that you will forever regret and be unable to do over. The child inside you is a child created by God, with purposes, gifts and a destiny. Whatever your circumstances, God planned your child. You, your loved ones, and most of all, your child, deserve better than abortion. Please choose life. It will not be easy. But your child will appreciate you choosing life for him or her. What if your mom had not chosen life?

Please Visit Right Here To Find Help Now

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Bravery, Bullies, and Blowheads, by Lorna Stremcha

This book is based on a true story and is based on the true life experiences of Lorna Stremcha, the author. She is an award-winning educator and coach. She is an advocate against all forms of bullying, whether in schools or in the workplace. She is listed as a speaker for Bullying Police USA and is one of the first 13 individuals to co-author the healthy workplace bullying act in the United States. Currently working with young adults, this author shares her life lessons with others in order to help them live healthier lives in the aftermath of bullying and sexual harassment. Most names in this book have been changed for privacy reasons. This book begins with endorsements by other educators and advocates against bullying and abuse. It opens with a brief acknowledgment to the author's editor, whom she calls friend. It begins with an "About the Book" by an unnamed individual, an "Author's Note" explaining what the book is all about, and a the author's Preface giving an overview of the problem facing schools. She tells her story in 12 chapter, using Chapter 12 to sum up the lessons she has learned. She provides a brief segment "Helpful Information and Vocabulary," a short segment of legal terms for bullying, and provides a section profiling who engages in bullying behaviors, identifying traits, and identifying PTSD in victims. The author wraps all this up with a short "Works Cited" section and "Recommendations" of what to further read about bullying.

I did not find this book light, entertaining reading. It showed what explains, but in no way excuses, why schools so often not only tolerate bullying, but actually cover it up and protect the bullies. It gave me "the inside scoop" of what really goes on from the perspective of educators. I could see why the author gave fictitious names to so many people, because of the nature of her story. She did the right thing in seeking to expose bullying among her co-workers and among students, but found herself being opposed until she lost her position. I was enlightened as to why, when I was growing up and experienced intense bullying, especially in 9th grade, the bullies were protected and I, the victim, was sent away to a school system that not only taught me little in the way of academics, but less in the way of life skills. I felt that I was always treated like I was "the problem." At the beginning of this book, the author tells her story of being terrorized and bullied by a young man whom she knew to have grown up in special education. Because I also grew up in a similar educational setting, this brought up bad memories. Despite the author's bad childhood, she ended up becoming hugely successful in the worldly sense, as this book shows. While I am glad for her and that she escaped, I know that many who grew up like her, remain trapped and adopt lives of not attaining their God-given potentials or worse, take up lives of crime and take out their rage on our society. The author speaks highly of her family and of how they stood by her through her ordeal, but I would have liked to know more about who paved the way for her own success. People do not become successes on their own; they have help along the way. But as this is focused on her experiences in teaching, I knew there would be little about other parts of her life.

I recommend this book for all teachers, school guidance counselors, and all educators. They need to be aware that bullying should not be tolerated or covered up. What it did to the author and to her family can show them why they should protect whistleblowers, not the wrongdoers. Parents should read this to get a look into how teachers think and what they experience, and may gain more understanding of how to handle school problems. People who grew up bullied, abused, in special education settings or in the foster care system, may find this book triggering and it may bring up bad memories. The author provides a disclaimer about this at the beginning of this book.

I received a complimentary editor's proof of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not asked to give this book a positive review.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Facebook Is Hiding Me From You!

Dear Readers:

I am addressing this to all of those among you who are Facebook users and who in my Facebook networks. These include the following networks:

My Facebook Profile

AutismAffectsUsAll Facebook Group

Pray For Christians Who Are Persecuted Worldwide Facebook Group

Missing Adults Facebook Page

Missing Children Facebook Page

AwarenessForMissingUnidentifiedCrimeVictims Facebook Page

My Prayer Page Facebook Page

LifeLoveAndTruth Facebook Page

AutismAffectsUsAllPleaseSign&KeepSharingThePetition Facebook Page

No one needs to go visit the above networks, unless you wish to. But Facebook has changed its settings so that, whether we are talking about profiles, groups or pages, your ability to see any pages are limited by some factors. Facebook has changed its settings so that you will see only the posts of friends, "liked" pages" and "Joined" groups that you engage with, whether by "likes," "shares," or comments. If you do not engage posts on Facebook pages, groups, or friends' profiles, you will no longer see them unless you see them in your News Ticker (unless that has not been disabled for some reason). Now, if you want a post seen by all your friends or "fans," you have to place an ad on Facebook. Not all of us can afford to place ads for the posts we really want everyone to see.

If you want to show me that you see my posts, I have a couple options for you to show me you are seeing me. Please SIGN this petition, if you have not yet done so. If you have already SIGNED it, please SHARE it. Thank you!

Here is a second option. If you agree with me that we need to share our surplus supply of Bibles with those who have a need of them, you can help by visiting and visit here to give or to share the campaign. Thank You!

Thank You!

Lisa DeSherlia

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Messy Grace by Caleb Kaltenbach

This book is written by a pastor who grew up as the son of LGBT parents. As a youngster, with his parents, he participated in LGBT events and experienced, firsthand, the hatred and lack of grace from individuals in the Christian community.This book is a combination of memoir and a guide for relating to diverse people, specifically with LGBT people, with grace and truth. This author is senior pastor of Discovery Church, in Sim Valley, CA. He speaks widely on LGBT issues, sexual differences, and faith to people regardless of where they stand in this debate. This book contains a forward by Kyle Idleman, author of NOT A FAN. The book contains twelve chapters, many with subheadings. Kaltenbach ends MESSY GRACE with A Final Word to wrap up his points. He provides acknowledgements of those who made this book possible and provides notes to cite sources that his research is based on. He ends it all by listing suggested books for further reading.

I devoured this book, reading it in three days. It was a rough ride emotionally, though it was very readable in a literary sense. It hurt to read about how people who professed Christ as Savior treated the parents of the author, in blatant and in subtle ways. I found that I was triggered emotionally by stories in the book that were not mainly about LGBT issues. The author reserves his strongest words of rebuke for "conservative Christians" who are devoted to advocacy for traditional Christian values, and he includes many stories from the LGBT community, from his own life and from the lives of others, that show that LGBT people have long felt rejection, mean-spiritedness, bullying and plain coldness from the Christian community. This hurt, as I am identified with this community. My feeling is that much of this is that many pastors, famous Christian leaders and Bible teachers, and conservative-leaning media, such as one national TV Network, are complicit in this, in inciting and encouraging such attitudes in churchgoers by their own examples. I have LGBT people in my own life. They are all such caring, decent people that it is tough for me to view them as people who have adopted lifestyles that displease God. A family members said, the other day, "Gay parents take excellent care of their children." My first remembered account of encountering an openly gay individual is when I went to college. This person was an outspoken, strong advocate for the LGBT community. Most of those in the Christian community, whom in know, are silent on this issue and fear "to go there." I wish the author had addressed the reality that more and more whole denominations are formally approving homosexuality as morally acceptable for followers of Jesus, ordaining gay pastors, and marrying gay couples--and how this causes the Christian community to compromise with the culture. He did not discuss that, except to put out questions for local church fellowships to discuss. I like how he left room for disagreement with him, unlike many authors who are opinionated in their presentations. It was sad how this author grew up hating the Christian community and that it was through searching the Bible, not through encounters with the Christian community, that he changed his mind about LGBT issues. I got the sense that he saw, as the greater sin, as the tendency to speak truth without enough grace, than speaking grace without enough truth. This is a compelling book and this author has a unique story.

I recommend this book for every pastor and lay leader in every local church fellowship, whether conservative or progressive. It will give them the tools to preach on this topic with an equal balance of truth and grace. I know that many pastors do not feel equipped to discuss this controversial topic ans so they remain silent on it. I do not recommend this book for followers of Jesus who are new to the faith, for they they need to get grounded in basic truths before tackling this controversial issue and being sound enough in faith to reach out to those who are seen as radically unlike us. I do not recommend this book for LGBT people who are bent on pursuing that lifestyle and have no interest in spiritual things. I do recommend this book strongly for all LGBT people who are interested in spiritual things or are reconsidering their beliefs or may be confused by them. I also strongly recommend this book for any Christian who struggles with same-sex desires. I strongly recommend this book for all Christians who want to know how to relate to the LGBT community. I think he should write a version for young people, as this is very much an issue and many LGBT young people are victims of homophobic bullying.

I received a complimentary, advanced reading copy of this book (which is not scheduled for release until October 2015) through Blogging For Books, in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to give a positive review of this book.

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