Tag Archives: persecution

Can You Change? Will You Change? — Post by Mary C. Findley

canyouchangewillyouchange

We love books. But we live in a semi truck. Yes. We live there, full-time, hubby and I. It’s not one of those with a motor home setup. It has small storage spaces here and there, but we have to have clothes, food, tools, personal care supplies ,,, Not a lot of room for books. We have perhaps a dozen books, if that many, in the truck, and they fill an entire cupboard. They are reference books that only exist in print, or samples of some of the books we have written in print format.

We also have a Kindle Keyboard, a Kindle Fire, and a tablet. Among all three, we may have 2000 books. Not sure. But it’s probable that we have more than you do in your whole house.

Do you read ebooks? More and more people say they do. It’s still kind of like a novelty, reading ebooks as opposed to print books. Some get them on their phones, their tablets, or even own an ereader especially for books. Some claim they buy a lot of books there, or take advantage of the free ones that are EVERYWHERE online. You can certainly save a ton of money, in most cases, by buying ebooks versus print books.

But many people still prefer “real” books. They want to hold them in their hands, and they have bookshelves filled with them. Why not? Books are nice. Hardcover books are substantial, and last a long time. They can even become valuable. For thousands of years, people have valued physical reading material, be it clay tablets, scrolls, parchment, or paper books. They are treasures, and can be ornaments to a home. Beautiful scroll cases. Ornate bookshelves.

But what happens when you no longer have a home? You say that won’t happen? It has happened to many people, for many reasons. I’m just going to focus on just two reasons, though. I’m not necessarily talking about homelessness. That’s a different issue, for another time.

One reason for not having a home is the need to be mobile, like our current need. Our work requires constant travel. Go where a load is, pick it up, go where it needs to deliver. We have some stuff in storage, but that’s mostly more books, which are kind of becoming a burden, because storage has to be cared for and paid for.

Another reason for travel is to make personal appearances. Many sales jobs require that. Public speakers of all kinds have to do that. We are trying to segue into that, to be teachers and to promote our books by making appearances at conferences and conventions. Go where the people are, to tell them about what you want them to buy from you. But even people who do that usually have a home base — a place they keep coming back to. Normally that’s a home, with books and bookshelves.And they sell physical books at these appearances.

But there’s a third reason for constant travel. It’s called persecution. People have suffered that for thousands of years, too. Elijah in the Scriptures is an excellent example. Where did he come from? Where did he live? We have no idea. But we know of two incidences in his short career where he had to pick up and move out, fast. He predicted no rain for around three years and then God told him to run and hide. After the drought ended with that spectacular sacrifice on Carmel, he ran again. Pretty sure he didn’t take his book collection with him. Maybe, you’ll say, he didn’t have to make that second move. He just did it because he was scared. He still did it, fast, and likely didn’t take a lot of baggage.

The point is that we as believers are too rooted in our homes and our stuff. What if we had to move, suddenly? What would happen to our books? How would we study, learn, teach, and even amuse or distract ourselves and those we care about? Don’t give me the excuse that earlier believers didn’t have electronic devices. We do, but we’re relegating them to the toy department. It’s time to realize they are tools God has given us.

Apocalyptic stories drill home the mantra that we will be at a mere survival level. We will trudge, and kill the enemy, whatever it is, and trudge some more, and scrounge for food, and hide, and become hardened and tough, and nothing else will matter, until we reach that refuge, however elusive it is. One day we will get home again, and start accumulating stuff again.

But what about the people in the Scriptures who wandered in sheepskins and goatskins? What if we never have a regular home again? What will we do for books then? How will we teach our children?

I haven’t seen the movie The Book of Eli, but I understand that Eli listened to recordings for most of the movie as he traveled. That’s one way to “read,” and necessary for him. It sounds like a great idea that he had to barter for power sources to recharge his listening device. A nifty, practical concern.

Still, the movie, to me, seems to have had a rather silly point — fighting and struggling and killing and nearly dying to possess or preserve a physical book. When are we going to realize that digital books can live forever, go anywhere, come to us easily, instantly? They take up almost no physical space. They can have beautiful, color illustrations. They can have sounds, even be listened to rather than just read. These things are treasures in the aether. They can flee persecution with us, in our pocket or our backpack.

Christ said to the disciples to go to the ends of the world, sharing the Good News. But we won’t go, because we won’t leave our stuff, and some of that stuff is physical books. Print Bibles, concordances, study guides, devotionals. Homeschoolers even have tons of paper to teach their children, with the best of intentions. Maybe the disciples wouldn’t leave their stuff, either, and that’s why persecution came. When it did, they went everywhere, preaching.

Most of us still haven’t got the message that anyone can go and tell the Good News, because we’re stuck to our stuff. We can’t even answer a question out on the street without going home and looking it up in our paper Bible. What if your Bible was right with you, in your phone? What if, instead of your kid using his handheld device to play games or check Instagram, he had his Bible, his schoolbooks, wondrous, edifying pleasure reading, right there in his hands?

When there’s a fire or a tornado or some other disaster, we have to pick up and move fast. What do people grab first? Their phones. Sometimes nothing else.

When we are persecuted (and we will be) we will have to move fast and travel light. Many people already are fleeing death for their faith. What will you be able to take? Not those bookshelves of Bibles and homeschool curriculum and reference books. Probably not any of your physical books. But what if your tablet or phone is also your book shelf? What treasures can you take, and preserve, and share?

Just think about it.

Images from Pixabay.com

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Filed under Bible Teaching, Current Issues, Education, Everyday observations, History, Humor, Publishing, Travel

New Release — Alana Terry’s Torn Asunder

Torn Asunder by Alana Terry 

Torn Asunder is the newest suspense novel from award-winning author Alana Terry. Torn Asunder is the story of Hannah and Simon, two North Korean refugees who sneak back into their country to serve as underground missionaries. In this world of spies, secret police, and informants, Simon and Hannah learn that staying together won’t just compromise their ministry. It could cost them both their lives.

Torn Asunder launches today for just 99 cents, and all book sale proceeds today support the work of Liberty in North Korea, an organization that runs an underground railroad for North Korean refugees. You can get the paperback or the ebook for 99 cents for a limited time only. And remember the best news ~ Your purchase will help save a North Korean refugee!

Excerpt from Torn Asunder:


Simon gritted his teeth. His head felt like it was sinking. The general kept his voice level and pleasant as he slipped the device over Simon’s pinky. “Now, you just tell me who you delivered your Bibles to, and I’ll let you leave here with everything intact.”

Simon tried to swallow. His whole jaw was swollen from his scuffle in the woods. He shut his eyes and hoped the general couldn’t feel him tremble.

General Sin chuckled to himself. “Silly me. I forgot.” He slid the device off Simon’s finger. “This kind of tool won’t work on a big, strong man like you.” He strode over to Hannah and yanked her hand before Simon could even cry out. He jammed her ring finger into the opening.

Simon struggled against his iron restraints. “Let her go!”

Hannah sucked in her breath. General Sin still glared at Simon. “This is your last chance. Give me the names, and I’ll release her unharmed.”

Simon’s field of vision blurred over. He wanted to scream. The metal from his handcuffs sliced open his wrists. He pictured himself breaking free and tackling the general to the ground.

“Better talk.” General Sin yawned. “I hate getting my uniform messy.”

Hannah’s hand trembled, but she didn’t make a noise.

“Three …”

Simon clenched his jaw, unable to tear his face away from Hannah’s wide, terrified eyes.

“Two …”





Want more? Buy Torn Asunder on amazon now. And remember, all book sales today will be donated directly to Liberty in North Korea, a group committed to seeing North Koreans achieve their freedom in THIS GENERATION.

Want to help spread the word? See below to click and tweet, or share this image on your timeline. Then be sure to scroll down to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a $100 gift card, surprise grab bag ($60 retail), great CD from Cherie Norquay, and free prizes to everyone who enters! And don’t forget to leave a comment and tell us what you think of Hannah and Simon and those like them who sneak into hostile mission fields to share the gospel.

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Are you on twitter? Just click to tweet ~

Tweet: Buy a book. Save a refugee. Torn Asunder by Alana Terry. All proceeds today to @libertyinNK. #99cents #suspense http://ctt.ec/QjI3D+

Tweet: New release Torn Asunder, Christian #suspense set in #NorthKorea. All proceeds today donated to @libertyinNK #99cents http://ctt.ec/6io3Z+

Or copy and paste into an email or Facebook status: Torn Asunder is a new Christian suspense novel by Alana Terry about two North Koreans who serve as undercover missionaries. It’s on sale for only 99 cents, and all book proceeds today will be donated to Liberty in North Korea’s underground railroad for North Korean refugees.

Did you help spread the word? Click below to claim your prizes!

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Filed under Current Issues, Writing, Writing, Reviewing, Publishing, and about Blogging

Review of Beloved Daughter by Alana Terry

Beloved Daughter is on sale now for only 99 cents!

About the Book —

In a small North Korean village, a young girl struggles to survive. It is her father’s faith, not the famine of North Hamyong Province, that most threatens Chung-Cha’s well-being.
“The Beloved Daughter” follows Chung-Cha into one of the most notorious prison camps the contemporary free world has known. Her crime? Being the daughter of a Christian.
“The Beloved Daughter” is Alana Terry’s debut Christian novel and has won multiple awards, including the Women of Faith writing contest and the Book of the Month award from The Book Club Network.

My Review —

“I Want to Know More About Moses!”

Alana Terry presents such a gripping and realistic picture of life in North Korea. The mentality of the Korean prison system becomes chillingly clear. Overtones of George Orwell’s 1984 ripple through this book. The determination to break spirits, destroy loyalties and humanity, and snuff out hope is everywhere. But faith is really the only answer, the only hope, in this visionary work, no matter what goes wrong, no matter how flawed or pressured God’s servants may be. God will do His work and prepare His servants.

About Alana —

When Alana isn’t writing, it’s likely that she’s on the floor wrestling with her kids. Or playing outside with her kids. Or chauffeuring her kids. Or trying some random science experiment with her kids. But she’s probably not cooking or cleaning.

Alana is a homeschooling mother of three who loves to write, hates to cook, and enjoys reading a good book almost as much as she enjoys writing one.

Alana won the Women of Faith writing contest for “The Beloved Daughter,” her debut inspirational novel. “What, No Sushi?” is Alana’s first book in a chapter-book series for kids published by Do Life Right, Inc.

Image of Alana Terry

The Beloved Daughter has won awards from the Book Club Network and the Women of Faith writing contest. It is also currently one of the nominations for Book of the Year at bookfun.org.

The Beloved Daughter will be on sale for just $0.99 (regularly $3.99) from the amazon kindle store from December 26-30. As a special Christmas bonus, if you are one of the first three people to comment on this blog, you can win your own free kindle copy today! And if you’re feeling especially lucky, enter this giveaway for a $25 amazon gift card!

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Filed under Current Issues, Politics, Writing, Reviewing, Publishing, and about Blogging

The War on Christmas

nativity wood bkgrd

Christmas originated in the Roman Empire when Christians gathered together to worship Jesus during the feast of Saturnalia. Since most Christians were poor or slaves, when the pagan majority celebrated Saturnalia, Christians were given the freedom, for that one day, to do whatever they wanted. They had “the day off.”

So when their masters, neighbors and friends went to drunken orgies to worship their gods, Christians gathered in purity to worship the true God. For almost two thousand years, very little has changed. As Christians attempt to exalt the God of Heaven and turn every heart to Him, unbelievers use every possible excuse to hearts away from Him.

“The Christmas season” has become an endless string of time consuming and expensive distractions. The purpose of Christmas has become making children happy or pleasing family members or helping poor people or anything else to divert our attention and energies from pleasing the God of Heaven.

That does not mean that we should not help the poor, or spend time with family members, or make children happy. It means, as Jesus said, “these things you should do and not leave the others undone.”

So what is a Christian’s responsibility to Christmas, since it is not even a Christian holiday? First, exalt the Lord Jesus Christ. Second do all to the glory of God. Do not allow others, events, traditions or even job responsibilities drive or distract you. Third, do not look down on the decisions other people make.
Let your moderation be made known to all.

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Filed under Bible Teaching, Current Issues, Politics

You HAVE to Know What Happens To The Lemon Tree

The Lemon Tree

A Review of The Lemon Tree by Ilil Arbel

This book was a gift from the author but don’t wait until she offers you one! Buy it, get it, read it somehow. You have to know this family, the Wissotzkys. You have to get your frostbitten nose rubbed with snow and fat in Siberia. That’s how immediate and real Ida’s experiences are. You have to experience how a childhood disease, one my own brother had, can devastate and yet produce a symbol of hope that will cost you some tears.

The book has beautiful old snapshots and that’s how the child Ida captures life, even terrifying, degrading, hopeless moments, in her mental camera that fills your mind with her childish wonder. Clearly her strong, loving family made the journey from Russia to China to Egypt more than bearable.

Drink in their strength and share tea from their Samovar, both the old one and the new one. Ride a different kind of ship with Ida and see “coincidences” that to me, even as a Christian reader, affirm that God still loves and looks out for His people. And don’t forget, you have to know what happens to the Lemon Tree.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Lemon-Tree-Ilil-Arbel/dp/0595339824

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Review of the Huguenot Sword by Shawn Lamb

I am interested in church history, especially regarding Protestants, and as soon as I saw this book I wanted to read it. I got the Amazon Kindle version on a 99 cent Cyber Monday sale after a heads-up from the author on Goodreads. It deals mostly with young adult characters and includes a number of well-known historical figures. For those who don’t know, Huguenots were Protestants who tried to obtain the right to live as citizens and practice their faith in Catholic France but were severely persecuted, especially under Cardinal Richelieu.

Shawn Lamb has created a great study of how ordinary people look at and practice their beliefs, and how those beliefs affect their own lives and conduct, and their interactions with others. If you like the Three Musketeers, the Scarlet Pimpernell, and Zorro, you will like this story. Adventure, disguises, intrigues, court life, expectations of family, arranged marriage, and elements of romance and temptation all enter into the plot and storyline.

Three young men try to live by their motto, “For Friendship, for Faith, and for Freedom,” while aiding the Huguenot Resistance in France. Shawn Lamb provides plenty of swordfighting, pursuits and escapes, and, most importantly, insight into how young people view faith as they mature and make decisions about what they really believe and how it will shape their conduct.

Though I enjoyed the story and characters very much, I found the book contained some technical imperfections. The author was kind enough to share her process of writing and “vetting” a book and her many years of experience with different ways of bringing a book to print. She graciously promised to take my comments about the book into consideration in her future writing.

So, take it all together, the Huguenot Sword was an exciting, satisfying read, a tribute to faith and its struggles to grow, and an opportunity for me to learn firsthand something about how an author gets a book out of her head and into print, or into my Kindle, in this case.  I gave it four out of five stars on Goodreads and Amazon.

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Filed under Writing, Reviewing, Publishing, and about Blogging