Two weeks before her 40th birthday, Lynette receives distressing news from her doctor. Already feeling despondent over turning 40, this sends her into a whirlwind of all sorts of negative emotions. Her loving, supportive husband Robert, knowing she needs his love, support, and understanding now more than ever, is determined to give it all to her. However, in the midst of worrying that she may lose a vital part of what makes her a woman, Lynette discovers something she has been longing for all of her life. As the friction between her and Robert continues to increase and the pain of the past closes in on her, she wonders if her faith is enough to help her endure.
By any onlookers standards, Lynnette and Robert are an ideal couple. The two have been together for 21 years, have a beautiful home and two teenaged children that would make any parent proud. In addition, they both have their own small businesses, Lynnette is an interior designer and store owner. Robert has his own construction business, and he frequently works with his wife. When Lynnette gets what she considers to be devastating news regarding her health, life as she knows it begins to change. Her once stable marriage is suddenly shaky and less fulfilling. Many of the things she once considered top priorities no longer seem important. As the story progresses, the family tries to adjust to the tumultuousness that the changes in Lynnette bring and just when they seem to reach a turning point, the family is slammed with even more shocking news.
A MEASURE OF FAITH is a somewhat predictable story and it lacks the powerful spiritual message that is the hallmark of Christian Fiction. The characters attend church and occasionally refer to God or Christianity but this was more of an afterthought instead of being central to the story being told. I found it difficult to relate to and feel for Lynette, she came across as overly whiney and self-centered. I think the author did a reasonable job developing the character of Lynette and working in enough about her past so that readers could understand her better. However, some of the other characters in the book were one-dimensional and I would have liked to have seen more character development so that I could understand what made them tick. Despite these limitations A MEASURE OF FAITH is a light, pleasant read that is a noble freshman effort by Maxine Billings.
Reviewed by Stacey Seay
of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
Lynette and her husband, Robert, had come a long way since they first met twenty-one years ago. Together they had constructed a beautiful house—and made two beautiful children—in Robert's home state of Georgia.
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What if I don’t have any experience in any clubs, organizations, or groups? What are three groups I can join to start building that experience?
Letters of Recommendation
There are some things you can do to help your letter stand out. Most young people (at the last minute, before a job or scholarship application is due) say “Hey, can you write me a letter of recommendation? I know it’s last minute, but my stuff is all due tomorrow.” Don’t be that person. Imagine the type of letter you are going to get.
A week before Mother died, she told me a story about a conversation she had with her grandmother a week before her grandmother died. Mother looked at me in a way I knew meant that she needed me to really listen and told me the story. This how the story went:
She said, “My grandmother knew she didn’t have long to live from her stage-four breast cancer when she looked at me and asked, ‘What would you like from me when I die to show you that there is more to life once you pass?’ I felt shocked but responded, ‘I would like one of your red flowers to show up the day you die.’”
Mother continued, “A week passed and I went outside to the back patio to water plants and in a pot that had an old tree, a red flower had appeared as red and as perfect as could be, just like the one I had asked my grandmother for. I later found out that my grandmother had passed away around the same time that flower appeared.”
Mother then asked me, “Now, what would you like from me when I die to let you know there is more to life once I am gone?”
I knew my mother had been fighting a rare blood cancer for years, but she often talked about dying so it did not come as a surprise that we were even having this conversation.
I replied, “I want a red flower, too.”
Mother smirked and replied, “You do not even like flowers. You are not a ‘flower-type girl.’ You would like something different — you do like chocolate. I know! Chocolate flowers!” Mother said with a big, proud grin.
I looked at Mother, shocked, and knew there was no way she could arrange chocolate flowers. I just replied, “Sure, that sounds like me all right.” I smiled and looked at her — there she was with such a genuine grin and twinkle in her eyes. I kissed my mother on her forehead and took a long look in to her hazel eyes. I wondered when I would have the next chance to see her and whispered, “I love you.”
Mother didn’t respond. She didn’t look well — she had a tint of green and yellow to her skin and her thinning hair was a dull salt and pepper color, cut extra short and clinging to her scalp. She had no makeup on, which told me she just had no more energy. I began to walk out of her room and turned to look at her. I wanted to run up to her, shake her, and beg her to tell me she loved me and was proud of me. But when I looked at her, she was already sleeping.
A week passed, and I was busy working at my real estate office. One of my office phones rang, which was a surprise because I normally don’t give that number out. I answered it, and it was a man asking for Jori. I told him that I was Jori.
He replied, “I am at your home, and there is no answer. I have a floral delivery for you.”
I told him I was 20 minutes from my home and to leave them on the porch.
He said, “I need your signature.”
I said, “Just sign my name, and I’ll come right home.”
He replied, “I can’t leave them out; it’s a hot day, and they are chocolate flowers. I’ll go see if one of your neighbors are home.”
I hung up the phone and grabbed my purse when that same phone rang again. I answered it, and it was my stepdad. He sounded upset.
I asked, “Did Mom die?”
“Yes.” He sounded shocked.
“I will meet you at your house, Dad.”
I grabbed my purse, my cell phone, and yelled to my coworkers, “My mom just died. I am going to go help my dad!” I got into my silver Honda and drove home. I felt a dumb shock but was anxious to get my chocolate flowers while I wondered how my mother arranged a chocolate floral delivery at the exact time she passed as promised. I arrived home to the note on my door to go to the neighbor on the right. I knocked on the door and a grouchy, older man answered. Without saying a word, he went to his refrigerator, opened i t, and said, “I think these are for you.”
He handed me this large bouquet of fruits all cut like flowers and dipped in chocolate.
“It looks like chocolate flowers,” he said with a grin, adding “I had a few, and they are great.”
I held my delivery. I opened the small envelope and read the card:
I appreciate you showing us homes and although it has been months, I woke up this morning with a thought that we should do something nice for you today. I hope you remember us. The Johnsons.
This was a previous client who is a pastor. He never knew I had a mother who had cancer nor did I ever mention the conversation about the chocolate flowers. It had been several months since I had heard from this couple who were considering purchasing a home. I called the client, whom I hadn’t even spoken to for such a long time. I was confused and wanted to know what made him decide to send me chocolate flowers, and why that day, of all days? He said he woke up and told his wife that they should do something nice for someone. He thought of me. His wife was the one who thought of sending me chocolate flowers.
“Do you believe in God?” I asked Dad when I met with him at home and handed him the chocolate flowers. He was so hungry from being at the hospital with my
mom all day that he hadn’t even thought of eating. He sat and ate the entire bouquet by himself without saying a word. At that moment, I knew that the chocolate flowers were for my dad, and at that time I did not know then what I know now:
Chocolate Flowers “the book” was for me.
The book – Speak Up and Stay Alive, a patient advocate hospital survival guide, is the result of several years of research and interviews in addition to real life mishaps. A trip to the hospital can be dangerous. Every year hospital errors claim roughly 450,000 lives.
Heart attacks are misdiagnosed 47 percent of the time. Why are women the common victims?
Hospital death rates increase up to 34% in July.
Why do these things happen? What can you do about them? How can you be safe? The book tells all.
Listed on the recommended reading list of the U.S. Army Medical Department.
If you're pregnant for the first time, the thought of birthing your child may be rather frightening. You've seen the movies and heard the horrific birthing stories - women screaming and cursing the men who impregnated them. Will that really be what you’ll go through?
Natural birth stories don’t have to look like that, which is why Angel Leya decided to share her experience. Learning how to face childbirth without fear, she was able to overcome the difficulties of labor, birthing naturally not once, but twice. My Natural Birth Story is not only a testimony and touching experience, but a natural childbirth guide for women looking to go natural for the first time. There are links to a plethora of helpful information – from diet and exercise tips, to preparing for various tests that doctors require of pregnant women.
Although not her preference, her experience with natural childbirth in a hospital gave her a unique perspective, which she’s more than happy to share. She hopes you’ll enjoy reading her story as much as she enjoyed sharing it.
Plotless, senseless, with little or no redeeming social value, Resumes That Work satirizes the seemingly endless stream of “How to get a job” psychobabble foisted on the weary job seeker through books, websites, conferences, and workshops each year.
This irrational little tome turns the basic job-search concept on its head working off the assumption that job hunters would really rather do anything but grovel for work.
That being the case, fictitious author Dave Doolittle outlines strategies to embarrass, infuriate, and alienate human resources, interviewers, and bosses, thereby insuring the reader will both avoid gainful employment and have a great time doing it.
Sections are included on writing resumes and cover letters, how to behave at interviews, what to do if you already have a job, and testimonials from satisfied customers. Both text and absurd illustrations – which are a mix of cartoon and reality – are littered with allusions to literature, film, art, and popular culture, adding a further dimension for those who like to puzzle such things out.
A new model for etiquette –that goes beyond traditional etiquette –is needed to keep our public-behavior-wheels turning smoothly. Without it, daily life will continue to be a mine-field where people stumble culturally-- creating the impression that they are ‘culturally clueless’. In The Don't Get Me Started! Toolkit Strategies for a Culturally-Challenged World we offer a toolkit of skills for skillfully assessing and responding to the many challenging situations you may encounter in this rapidly changing world. So whether you are playing games online, using a ‘gender-free’ restroom, sharing a picture on Facebook, conversing with friends in a café, applying in person for a new job or hosting an intergenerational event – you will be able to determine how the rules have changed and act in a manner that assures more successful outcomes. Being ‘culturally-clueless’ may not land you in jail…but it could very well make you less competitive in the job marketplace, less admired among your peers and less respected within your family
SIMPLE SECRETS TO SUCCESS AND BETTER RELATIONSHIPS.
“Over the years authors have written similar things in similar ways. This is the first time anyone has written a great guide to improving relationships in all areas of our lives, and using just One Rule. It is definitely a page turner.”
Follow the One Rule and you will have confidence in yourself, and everything you are doing in your life.”
Not everybody believes in rules. “One Rule” will help you to establish the basic foundation and guidelines upon which you can build and maintain better personal and business relationships and reach the goals you establish for yourself. It will help you to better understand your spouse or partner, your friends and associates, and most importantly, yourself.
The secrets to success are based on the author’s extensive business career and international life experience. It is a book for all ages because we are never too young or too old to redirect ourselves. Learn how to take yourself out of the equation, in order to more clearly see the best direction to take. “One Rule” will open your eyes to answers you never dreamed were so simple.
There are important chapters on relationships, why they are so important, and how to structure them properly. An informative question/answer section is included from many who participated. You will find a helpful relationship quiz that lets you measure yourself, and how your partner views you. It will help you live a full life, while keeping life simple, and teach how to correct mistakes instead of living with them.
One segment is titled “Rules and Relationship Resolutions,” and there is a compatibility quiz and an extensive “Question and Answer” section that touches on everything from dating, marriage, sex and intimacy to aging, faith and religion.
One Rule will improve your self-esteem, your self-worth, and open the doors to the opportunities in the world. It may be the best personal investment that you have ever made. Isn’t it time you got started?
Relevant and Timely Encouragements!
As your church service approaches the same time every week, are you struggling to make time for spiritual preparation? Does worship sometimes feel more like a task than an expression? Do you often feel alone in your pursuits as a leader or worshiper?
This well organized and timely book delivers tried and tested wisdom that can strengthen your leadership and encourage your team. It will save you time as it puts succinct, season-specific devotionals in ONE easy-to-access place.
Whether you’re a worship leader or a church attending Christian, you have experienced worship as warfare, spiritually and sometimes physically, mentally, and emotionally. At the frontline of battle, there is limited time; valuable time that could be saved by having supplemental resources, proper tools and weapons, and a tested battle plan.
As someone who has studied worship of the Christian God for more than 10 years, I’ve been your shoes! I’ve been the curious onlooker bewildered by other’s expressions. I’ve been the congregant who wanted to grow in worship. I’ve led worship in a small group and a stadium. I’ve been there, and I know it can be a battle. Instead of battling alone, come alongside me and other worship soldiers as we fight together.
There are many great books on the theology of worship, but they often require the spiritual maturity of Martin Luther or New Testament Paul himself and months to read and digest.
As We Fight only takes about 5 minutes to read each week:
-52 weeks link modern church culture to specific times of the year.
-Increase your leadership equity with team members.
-Positively challenge your worship by giving fresh, measured perspectives.
Directly and immediately apply these up to date references and practical challenges to your worship experiences.
Following along with these devotionals will give you a better sense of your worship culture and help you adjust to better lead and participate. You will also learn more about deciphering truth from God versus lies from the enemy. Don’t let the enemy push you away from the truths waiting in these pages!
What’s stopping you from…
-standing prepared with better tools, weapons, and battle plans;
-gaining a deeper knowledge;
-reading one of these well-timed, thoughtfully prepared encouragements for yourself or your team THIS weekend?
Travel with Beth on a journey through machine guns & mafia, romance & heartbreak, dreams & struggles and find keys to unlock your destiny all along the way. "Beth Olson is a great friend of mine. I know her well. In her new book, you can follow a life story of difficult decisions she made in following her passion, knowing God intimately. You'll also learn how to apply what she learned for practical use in your own journey.
I wish the world had more than just one Beth Olson in it." -Bob Phillips, Former Pastor with David Wilkerson at Times Square Church, Teaching Pastor and Director of Academy for Cultural Transformation at Heartland Church "Diary of a Missionary Kid by Beth Olson is a must read for anyone who desires to live a wide eyed adventure with God. The journey of Beth Olson is the ripe fruit of a life courageously and honestly lived." -Leif Hetland, Founder and President of Global Mission Awareness, Author of Seeing Through Heaven's Eyes
A short story about Jacob who gets physically and mentally abused by his mother and her new boyfriend after his father leaves the family home. His mother then puts Jacob into a children's home with his older sister in Wales. Jacob and his sister runaway on a number of occasions to get back home to Liverpool. His father has no knowledge of his children in the care system but soon finds out.
Chat with Authors
As a boy I read Somerset Maugham... I imagined myself on a hill in the Mediterranean writing a great novel... I do write on a...
I was an awkward, lonely, little girl. Books were my company. I started reading early, and began making up fantastical stories when I was quite...
My grandfather. For as long as I can remember, my Papa has told stories. I knew I wanted to tell stories too, just like my...
Reading books and listening to song lyrics from a young age inspired me, and like all writers, I write on the backs of every author...
Hop on Lenka's List Bandwagon
Welcome to this edition of Words For Thought , the blog on wordrefiner.com . Like many of the previous blogs we are looking at homophones.
https://www.gofundme.com/teamfistbump Note: All underlined words are links to the sites I am currently discussing. Team Fist Bump (#teamfistbump) is on a mission: These journals are
Periodically, ForeignCorrespondent participates in virtual book tours that allow authors to showcase their books to a broader audience. Today I am hosting fellow RRBC/RWISA author