Monday, April 29, 2019


Change is always with us. I began this blog nine years ago on April 6th and wrote then about Change. Today I’m making another Change. I’m taking a long vacation from my blog - probably a permanent vacation. I need to simplify my life and this step will help. It’s a hard decision as I have enjoyed writing my blog and knowing that a few people at least were gaining ideas or even help from the information I shared. 

Nine years is a long time. My life on earth is probably going to end before April 6th of 2030. I’m looking forward to winding up my days here in meaningful ways and I’m looking forward to eternity in heaven! It will be amazing to spend eternity in the presence of almighty God. If you don’t believe so see my book reviews on books about heaven! (Click on the word heaven in LABELS to the right of this.) Also you can pick any topic any time to read more. The blog will stay on line for another decade I would think!

I hope that my blogs have been true to the heart and mind of God in Christ Jesus. I pray that all who have read my blog will continue to seek God, deepen their faith in Christ and follow his guidance. Don’t miss the blessings of knowing and loving Him.

“This same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches which have been given to us by Christ Jesus.” Phillippians 4:19

Blessings, Dottie

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Resurrection Doubt? No, He's Alive!

Christ the Lord has risen! He's alive! Do we believe this? The disciples spent three years with Jesus, living and learning from Him. They saw the healings and miracles and knew He was the Messiah. But they didn't expect Him to die. They witnessed His arrest, trial, and crucifixion, though some ran away and hid. Some helped bury Him. Then they hid together and grieved.
Three days later they saw Him! Can you grasp the surprise, amazement, and yet belief in their voices?  
Mary said, "I have seen the Lord! (John 20:18) She knew it was Him!     
The two men on the road to Emmaus did not recognize Him until He broke the bread and revealed Himself to them. They said, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?" (Luke 24:32) Their hearts burned within them even before they recognized Him. Does your heart burn within you in His presence?
Thomas wouldn't believe the reports of the other disciples until he saw Jesus a week later. Then he said, "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28) I imagine he said this with a hushed and humble voice. He may have even bowed before him. Wouldn't you? Do you now?
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most essential doctrine of the church. Any who don't believe this truth are denying Jesus, Christianity and Scripture.  He said He was the Son of God. (Luke 22:70) He said He would rise from the dead. (Luke 18:33) And He did. He said He would return and He will. (Matthew 24:30) What a marvelous faith we have.  
Blessings, Dottie

Monday, April 15, 2019

The Events of Holy Week

We will be blessed if we read, study, meditate and pray about the events of this Holy Week as recorded in Scripture. I’m listing the events of Sunday through Friday. Meditate on His life as you read through these events.

Jesus “Triumphal Entry” into Jerusalem occurred on Sunday with Jesus riding on a donkey fulfilling Zechariah 9:9’s prophesy. “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See your king comes to you, righteous and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” See Matt 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:29-44, John 12:12-19.

On Monday Jesus is anointed (for burial) at Bethany (John 12:1-9) and he clears the temple of the money changers. (Matthew 21:12-13, Mark 11:15-18, Luke 19:45-48)

On Tuesday His authority is questioned. Matt. 21:23-27, Mark 11:27-33, Luke 20:1-8. And Jesus teaches in the temple. Matt. 21:28-23:39, Mark 12:1-44, Luke 20:9-21:4.

On Wednesday Judas plots against Jesus. Matt. 26:14-16, Mark 14:10-11, Luke 22:3-6

On Thursday Jesus and His disciples eat the Passover meal, the Last Supper, the first Communion. Matt. 26:17-29, Mark 14:12-25, Luke 22:7-38, John 13:1-38. Jesus says to his disciples “This is my body, broken for you, do this in remembrance of me.” In John 14:1-16:33, He comforts the disciples, and in John 17:1-26 He gives His high priestly prayer, praying for them and for us – for our unity in Him.

In the garden of Gethsemane Jesus sweat blood and tears. Matt. 26:36-46, Mark 14:32-42, Luke 22:40-46 He prayed “Let this cup pass from me, nevertheless, not my will but yours be done.”

Then he’s arrested and tried – Matthew 26:47-27:26, Mark 14:43-15:15, Luke 22:47-23:25, John 18:2-19:16. Pilate said, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.” Luke 23:4

On Friday he’s crucified – Matt. 27:27-56, Mark 15:16-41, Luke 23:26-49, John 19:17-37. Jesus prayed, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34  And He’s buried – Matt. 27:57-66, Mark 15:42-47, Luke 23:50-56, John 19:38-42 Joseph of Arimathea went to Pilate and asked for Jesus body. “Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock.” Luke 23:53

This is a holy week with much to ponder about Jesus, our Lord and Savior.

Blessings in Christ, Dottie

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Life After Death: The Evidence

This book seems fitting for all of us to read during this lenten season

Life After Death: The Evidence 
by Dinesh D’Souza

This is an amazing book. Dinesh D’Souza explores in detail near death experiences, modern physics, biology/evolution, neuroscience, philosophy, morality, and practical reason to show that death is not the end of life. The chapter on neuroscience interested me especially. It showed that “the realm of subjective experience lies outside its domain and outside the domain of objective science altogether. Two features of the mind – consciousness and free will – define the human soul. These features seem to operate outside the laws of nature and therefore are not subject to the laws governing the mortality of the body. The body dies but the soul lives on.” Pg.270 

Each chapter is fascinating and detailed. The final chapters of the book present clear reasons to show that the resurrection of Jesus was real and true and changed history in its tracks. D’Souza also explains the choice between hell and heaven which we all must make. Read this book and learn there is life after death! And seek him if you do not know him.

"I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and eveyone who lives and believes in me will never die." John 11:25-26

Blessings, Dottie

Monday, March 25, 2019


Seeking the Presence of God
Do we sense the presence of God as we journey through this Lenten season? Do we seek his presence more? Does the Presence of God dwell in your church? Do you sense His Presence during times of corporate prayer? The Presence is most likely to show up when we pray together. When, we, the church body unite in prayer and worship, praising him, humbling ourselves before him - His Presence comes.   

        Terry Teykl, pastor and author of The Presence Based Church says:  
"As the body of Christ, we desperately need the Presence of God. We are nothing without it. His Presence, unrivaled in any aspect of beauty, power, fame or majesty, is our provision and glory. It should be the thing that holds us up and sets us apart. One moment in the Presence can do more than a lifetime of church services without it."

Do we believe this? Do we then, seek His face? Is worship a top priority? We won't sense His presence if our hearts are closed to Him or if we're holding a grudge against someone. We must prepare for worship, let go of unforgiveness, repent of our own sin or wrong doing - then we will be open to His Spirit.
Scriptures on the Presence of God say:
"One thing I have asked of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)

"In thy presence there is fullness of joy, in thy right hand are pleasures forever more. (Psalm 16:11)

In my book, Changing Churches, I write:  
"Worship connects us with the Presence of God. True worship, opening our hearts to God and praising Him, is fearful and astonishing. It changes us. Worship is as vital to our faith as breathing is to our bodies. We bow in adoration, devotion, respect, and awe. God is holy and eternal. We are finite. We humble ourselves in this holy encounter. We meet God weekly in corporate worship, as a church body. The fragrant aroma of His Presence in us and in the church increases in proportion to our prayer and worship."

Time in His Presence changes us. Perhaps this is why we don't seek Him. He changes us when we draw near to Him. Our flesh resists change. Change is scary. But it is worth it. Knowing Him personally is worth everything.

Terkyl says:  
"I love the local church. It is God's hope for transformation of lives, the expression of His glory in the earth, and His chosen bride for the Son. If someone today wants to sense and experience the real and manifested Presence of God, he shouldn't have to go any further than the local church...."

Is your church seeking God's Presence? Are you?

Blessings, Dottie

Monday, March 18, 2019


Q. I believe people of faith are healthier and live longer than those who don’t believe in God. I also think prayer heals. A few people in my church were healed when it seemed there was no hope for them. My husband says these ideas are nonsense. He said if I could prove that church attendance, prayer or faith could heal a person or make anyone live longer he would start going to church with me. Is there any scientific proof that faith heals?

A. There is scientific evidence that faith heals. Hundreds of studies have demonstrated the healing power of prayer. In a 1995 issue of The Mind/Body Medicine Newsletter a feature article cited a study by Thomas Oxman of Dartmouth Medical School, New Hampshire. He investigated the role religion plays in the health of elderly people. Oxman’s study involved 232 patients who had open heart surgery. He found that the patients who gained strength and comfort from their religious beliefs were three times more likely to survive than those who had no comfort from religious faith.
In addition, those who participated in social and community groups had three times the survival rate of those who didn’t take part in any organized activity. Those who had both protective factors - religious and social support - had a ten fold increase in survival.
The researchers don’t understand why or how religious feeling can extend life. They speculate that having faith is physiologically calming and thus prevents problems during recovery. In other words, it boosts our immune system.They also suggest that having faith gives meaning to life which is medically helpful. In contrast, the person without faith leads a more stressful life due to the lack of purpose he attributes to life. These researchers believe that the social and religious factors in heart disease survival may be as significant as well known risks such as smoking or high blood pressure.

In addition to the above study, Larry Dossey, M.D., in his book Healing Words cites impressive scientific evidence that prayer heals. He says that studies have shown that prayer positively affected high blood pressure, wounds, heart attacks, headaches and anxiety. Dossey cites a double-blind controlled study conducted by cardiologist Randolph Byrd, formerly a professor at the University of California. In this study 393 patients were assigned to two groups. 192 patients were prayed for and 201 patients were not prayed for. The results were dramatic. 

The group that was prayed for were five times less likely to require antibiotics and three times less likely to develop pulmonary edema. He says “It is simply a fact that patients sometimes improve dramatically following prayer.” 
A Columbia University study reported in the New York Times Magazine, December 9, 2001, had startling findings about prayer. The study found that women in a fertility clinic were almost twice as likely to get pregnant when, without their knowledge, strangers were praying for them to conceive. Women in the prayed for group had a pregnancy rate of 50 percent versus 26 percent for women in the control group. 
Many studies show that social ties are good for our health and isolation shortens our life. Since our social support systems often decline as we age, involvement in a church can meet the social as well as the faith needs especially of senior citizens and can help all of us live healthier, happier and longer lives.
Hopefully your husband will accept this evidence and give faith and church a chance. Those of us who have experienced the healing power of prayer are not surprised by these findings. We know that faith, hope and love are healing! We know that Jesus Christ is Lord of all!

“The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from their troubles. Psalm 34:17 NLT

Blessings, Dottie

Monday, March 11, 2019


Killing Jesus: A History
By Bill O’Reilly

O’Reilly writes a gripping and detailed historical account of the trials, scourging and crucifixion of Jesus. The book is well researched and gives valuable information about Caesar Augustus, Herod the Great, and Pontius Pilate. It also explains the concerns of the Roman officials and the Jewish religious authorities in power at that time. Jesus ministry is touched on briefly and only to explain the outraged response of the religious authorities. The book describes the last week of Jesus’ life in depth, giving vivid and brutal details about his treatment from the time of his arrest to the crucifixion, burial and empty tomb.

The author leaves out much. The birth of Jesus in a manger is omitted but the book tells of Herod having all babies killed due to the report that a prophesied king had been born in Bethlehem. He also leaves out the voice of God “This is my son in whom I am well pleased”, but not the dove at Jesus Baptism. There is scant mention of his miracles, his teaching and his resurrection. He notes that women were treated very well by Jesus and his disciples – something not common at that time.

Though O’Reilly writes this as a secular history it is a worthwhile book for Christians to read. In addition it may well give pause to nonbelievers who want to learn more about Jesus. O’Reilly clearly states the worldwide impact of Jesus which continues to this day.

God’s Grace from Ground Zero
Seeking God’s Heart for the Future of Our World
By Jim Cymbala

God’s Grace at Ground Zero is a powerful book about the impact of the 911 disaster on New York in particular and on the United States as well. The Brooklyn Tabernacle opened their church doors to minister to those who walked by covered with soot and in shock. As time passed four members of the congregation were still missing. This is a gripping account of two who died and one who lived and how “God longs for us to place our faith in him, to trust him, no matter what happens.” Cymbala also says that many people who doubted God’s existence before 911 now are seeking him. This is a powerful book that can help us make sense of the tragedies and difficulties in life.

Edge of Eternity 
by Randy Alcorn

Edge of Eternity is an amazing novel written by Randy Alcorn in 1998. The story is about a business man, Nick Seagate, whose life is a wreck. Suddenly he finds himself in another world in which he faces many torments and trials but also meets and makes friends with fellow travelers as they attempt to reach the city of Light. There are many twists and turns to the plot. The writing is full of beautiful and profound words. Early in the book Nick walks with the Woodsman who tells him about a King. He tells Nick: The King is the fountain of life…The King is a rose full of beauty but also thorns…The King is the true vine, the tree of life, the giver of grain…The King is light…The King is a singer and a song and more. Pg 43 This is a very special book full of wisdom with word pictures of our journey in life with the God of the universe.

“I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.” John 11:25

Blessings, Dottie

Thursday, March 7, 2019


Yesterday - March 6th - was Ash Wednesday, a special day celebrated in many Christian churches. Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, the beginning of the 40 weekdays before Easter. Lent is observed in many Christian churches as a period of prayer, fasting, confession, repentance, and self-denial. It echoes the 40 days in the wilderness Jesus spent fasting and overcoming temptation. It also assists Christians in focusing on Jesus resolute journey leading to his crucifixion and resurrection. We learn to identify with his unwavering obedience. We recognize the price he paid for us.

Our faith journey, described in Changing Churches, began in a United Methodist Church - a church that observes Ash Wednesday. Throughout our years there, Ash Wednesday marked the beginning of a solemn and holy time of reflection. While searching for a church in 2008 we attended an Ash Wednesday service at another Methodist Church. I noted in my journal:
We sang six verses of "Just as I Am" and "There is a Fountain Filled with Blood." The hymns, responsive readings, confession, and pastor's message, touched and filled us. We received ashes in the shape of the cross on our foreheads and took Communion - opening and recommitting ourselves to Him. What a sacred event!

Prayer Journaling
In 2004 the teacher of my ladies Bible class mentioned journaling Psalm 51 (about David's sin), one phrase at a time, for the forty days of Lent. This proved to be a sobering but valuable exercise. In order to build up the church, Christians must change and grow. We must face our own sin and repent. The next forty days are a good time to focus on this in prayer.

Understanding the Church Calendar
For those not in a liturgical church, Mark Galli's explanation from his book Beyond Smells and Bells, may help you appreciate the emphasis on the church calendar. He writes:
The church calendar aims at nothing less than to change the way we experience time and perceive reality. . . . Advent signals the new year. For the church, the annual rhythm is not winter, spring, summer and fall, but Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter and Pentecost. . . . The church calendar is not about the cycle of life - school or sports or harvest time - but about the movement of history toward a glorious goal. We celebrate the past events of history not merely to remember them, but note how they infuse the present with meaning and power, and point us to our future hope.

Let this be a Holy season for all Christians to ponder and pray and deepen our faith.

Blessings, Dottie

Monday, February 25, 2019

Psych Info: IT’S NOT MY FAULT!

Q. I’m always being blamed and criticized. My childhood was difficult, we were poor, and I was abused. I’ve tried to overcome all this and live a good life but I don’t get any help from my family, friends or employer. They gripe and complain about things I do or don’t do. I’m sick of it. What can I do to get love and approval from others?

A. In order to get love and approval from others you must honestly face your faults. Most of us deny we have anything to do with the negative experiences we have in life. We yearn for others to change and act kindly toward us. We react with defensiveness to criticism or fault finding. This is typical of mankind. In the Bible, Adam and Eve blamed each other, God and the devil! They evaded all responsibility for their actions.
Our culture encourages us to excuse ourselves and blame others. Our culture supports us in our self-focus. We say for example, “If I hadn’t been abused as a child I wouldn’t get angry so easily.”  “If my husband helped me more I wouldn’t be so tired and irritable.” “If my boss was nicer, I wouldn’t make mistakes and I’d get more done.”  “If my children would listen to me I wouldn’t yell at them so much.” We’re full of “ifs” which we use to blame or excuse our negative behavior on the basis of what others do to us.
The childhood reasons you give for your behavior may have been the original causes for your anger, frustration and unhappiness. You did have a hard life as a child.  But when you use this as an excuse for your behavior today you remain stuck. What kind of a person do you want to be now?  Do you want to be a mother who yells, a wife who is irritable or an inept employee?  You can’t change the past but you can change your attitudes and behavior now and in the future.

If you want to get love and acceptance from others you first need to work on changing yourself. Changing yourself is not an easy task but since it’s impossible to change anyone but yourself it must be your focus.
Begin by facing yourself honestly. Don’t defend yourself when you’re criticized or blamed by someone else. Instead, stop and consider whether there is any truth to the criticism. If there is, acknowledge this at least to yourself and start making changes in yourself. If there’s no truth to the criticism you can just forget it without defending yourself.
Admit to yourself your angry and hurt feelings toward those who mistreated you as a child or as an adult. Feelings are OK. It’s what we do with them that can hurt us and others. Write your feelings in a journal or pour them out to God in prayer. This will help you let go of resentment and anger.
The most difficult step is to admit the many ways in which you have wronged or hurt others. Make of list of your faults and then confess these to God, to a pastor or a counselor, or even to the person you wronged. Facing the truth about ourselves is painful and difficult. We don’t want to admit our own flaws or faults. We don’t want to take responsibility for our own behavior and attitudes. 
Be patient with yourself in taking these steps. Being totally honest with yourself and others will free you. You will then be able to forgive yourself and love and accept yourself. When you have reached this point your inner acceptance and God’s acceptance will be all that matters. The change in you will draw the love and acceptance of others. You will enjoy this but will no longer need it.

“Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.” Psalm 34:5

Blessings, Dottie

Monday, February 18, 2019


Q. I’m in my seventies and I’m healthy and active but sometimes forgetful.  Many of my friends say they are also unable to remember things as well as they could in the past.  What can we do to exercise our brains so we can remain mentally sharp as we grow older? 

A. There are many things we can do to exercise our brains and keep them sharp. It will help to understand a little about how the brain works. The left side of the brain controls logical thinking and the right side involves creative and intuitive thinking. The two sides of the brain think in totally different ways. The left brain thinks in words. The right brain thinks in pictures.

We develop the various functions of our brains when we use them. Thus, we develop our right brain when we paint a picture, listen to music, play a musical instrument or sing. We develop our left brain when we read, write, study or discuss something. 

To keep our brains sharp we need to use our brains in new and creative ways. We need to stretch our brains just as we need to stretch our bodies.  People who are artistic or musical will have well developed right brains.  However, most of us have focused our education on the left brain activities of reading, writing and arithmetic.

We can develop the more neglected side of our brains by being aware of the images in our minds. We have visual images in our minds more often then most of us realize. We can use this imaging ability consciously to help us in many ways. For example, to remember Angela Green’s name you might picture a green angel when you first hear her name. This will help you recall it later.
Athletes visualize perfect athletic performances.  These images enable them to improve their own performance. Even our bodily functions are affected by visual images. It’s possible for some people to raise the temperature of their hands just by visualizing touching a hot stove.  Similarly, an image of running to catch a train can produce an increased pulse rate.
The images in the right brain affect how we function in life. Often negative emotions result from negative images in our minds. We can use mental images to overcome negative emotions. Begin to notice the images that accompany your thoughts. This will take practice and awareness.  Replace each negative thought with a positive image of a peaceful scene or a positive picture of yourself and your situation. 
To keep your brain sharp and make it sharper do some of the following:  

1. Take a class that requires some study on your part and some opportunity to express and discuss ideas. Learning a foreign language increases the capacity of the language centers of the brain. The more we use our brains, the more we stretch them. 

2. Picture in your mind doing a task before you do it. This will exercise your right brain’s visualizing ability.

3. Change your routines. For example, take a different route to the shopping center or to church. Our brains get lazy unless we challenge them to work.

4. Work crossword puzzles or other games that make your brain work.  Many people enjoy these puzzles without realizing they are beneficial.

5. Listen to music, take up a musical instrument, join a choir, or take a painting class. It’s never too late to learn. 

6. Meditate and pray. This calms our bodies and our brains, reducing stress.  It also exercises and develops a serene center of the mind and connects us with God. 

“Love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, MIND, and strength." Mark 12:30

Blessings, Dottie

Monday, February 11, 2019


Q.  My husband and I have been married for twenty years. We get along well with each other most of the time.  However, I often am disappointed in my husband’s lack of affection. He doesn’t like to say “I love you.” He also “forgets” to buy me a valentine or to remember my birthday. He says he shows me love by earning a living. I know I can’t change him but I’m hungry for more words of love from him.  What do you suggest?

A. All of us need to both give and receive love. Some of us deny this need by acting self-sufficient, distant or aloof. But the need is there. There are a number of styles of loving which we use without thought; ways in which we express love to our husband or wife. We learn some of these styles of loving in childhood. They are the ways we have been shown love. We may also long for some expression of love that we never received as a child. 

In marriage there are often misunderstandings about our styles of loving. We grow up in different families and learn different ways to show love. Most of us have one or two love languages that we prefer. The trick is to learn what our partner’s styles of loving are and then meet his or her needs by giving in these ways.

Here are some of the love languages we use:
1. Affirming words. When we speak kind words to our mate we’re showing love. Notice moods or concerns and comment with empathy about whatever your partner is going through. Affirming words also include giving compliments, expressing our appreciation and praising the person for what truly pleases us about them. Be specific and positive when giving affirmations and don’t tack on anything negative or the affirmation will be lost.

2. Spending time together. How often do we give our partner our undivided attention? This is difficult in today’s fast paced world but it is essential in order to really connect and show love. Turning off the TV for fifteen minutes each evening, can make a difference. Talk about you inner hopes, dreams and fears. Sharing from the heart connects us. We also feel loved when we are involved in an activity together and when we go out on a “date” or get away overnight together.

3. Giving and receiving gifts. Love is also expressed by giving gifts. Special dates which are remembered with a gift can touch us deeply. Spontaneous small gifts for no reason also are meaningful.

4. Serving each other. When we volunteer to help our partner with a difficult project or a needed errand, we’re showing our love. Helping with routine chores also says love. Flexibility in this is helpful. For example, we can occasionally do a chore our partner usually does as a surprise or because we know they’re unusually busy. 

5. Affectionate touch. Physical expressions of love including holding hands, hugging, kissing, pats on the back, cuddling and sex are essential to our health and well being and they mean love. Take time to touch every day.

Most of us have one or two styles of loving that we prefer. Show your husband this blog post and ask him which are his favorite ways to be shown love. Then tell him what your favorites are. Most of us show love to our partner in the ways we need to be shown love. Broaden your styles of showing him love and he may do the same. Women often have to lead the way in teaching men about close relationships. The happiest marriages include all five styles of loving.

“Let love and faithfulness never leave you.” Proverbs 3:3a
Blessings, Dottie                                                       

Monday, February 4, 2019


Here are book reviews of four good books. Enjoy! 

Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews who escaped the Nazis and Returned with the U. S. Army to Fight Hitler
By Bruce Henderson

Sons and Soldiers is a New York Times best seller for good reason. It is a truly amazing history about World War II but with a twist – a story never told before. Many German Jews sent their children to the United States to save them from the Nazi’s slaughter. As adults many were drafted to fight in the war – and they were eager to do so. After basic training the Army selected new recruits proficient in German to join a special unit. They were then trained to interrogate prisoners and were sent to the front lines to help us win the war. The book is spell binding, describing in detail each individual’s experiences in battle just behind the lines and in great danger. Their methods of interrogation are also fascinating. The atrocities of the Nazi’s are awful but we need to remember them.

Dreamers and Deceivers: True Stories of the Heroes and Villains who made America
By Glenn Beck

Dreamers and Deceivers is a fascinating book describing many unknown tales behind a variety of famous or not so famous people in recent history. There are ten chapters each offering a gripping account of ingenious little known people and well known people– one who launched the radio and another the tech age of computers. Two presidents are in the mix – Grover Cleveland and his mysterious disappearance and Woodrow Wilson’s deception. In addition we learn about Ponzi and his deceptive scheme and the genius and flaws of Desi Arnez. This is a very interesting book.

Strength in What Remains
by Tracy Kidder  

This is an amazing though disturbing book. It tells the true story of a medical student, Deo, who escaped from the devastating civil war and genocide in Burundi and came to the United States. The author details the traumas he encounters both in his home country and as an immigrant who doesn’t speak English. The story is told with a number of flashbacks and flash forwards which give almost agonizing detail about his trials and his pain through all this. Deo is amazingly persistent and determined to complete his medical training and to help his people heal. Deo should inspire all of us to overcome our troubles and pursue difficult goals in life.

7 Women and the Secret of Their Greatness
By Eric Metaxas

The stories of seven amazing women are featured in this best selling book. Each chapter describes a woman who has changed the course of history.  These women lived difficult lives yet boldly and courageously changed the world. The women are Joan of Arc, Susanna Wesley, Hanna More, Saint Maria of Paris, Corrie ten Boom, Rosa Parks, and Mother Teresa. Hanna More played a role in the abolition of slavery in Great Britain; Saint Maria of Paris was a hero of the Greek Orthodox Church. I knew nothing about these two before reading this book. Each woman lived an amazing life of influence and integrity. The chapter on Rosa Parks gave me more appreciation of her story. The chapter on Mother Teresa inspired and challenged me. She lived a truly holy life ministering to all.  Each chapter is well researched and beautifully written with brilliant insight into these role models of greatness. I highly recommend this book.

Blessings, Dottie

Monday, January 28, 2019


Q. My husband and I are both retired and starting to feel our age. Our eyesight and hearing aren’t as good as they used to be and we tire more quickly. We have aches and pains but so far our doctor has found nothing major wrong. Some times we feel life is almost over. Some times we’re bored and lonely. We don’t want to give up on life as we know this can affect us physically as well as mentally. What can we do to stay young at heart.

A. Physical aging is inevitable for all of us but a positive attitude does slow down this process and can make our aging years more enjoyable. In addition to keeping our bodies healthy with proper diet, exercise and medical care, we need to learn how to stay young at heart. Here are ten ideas that can help us stay young.

1. Don’t let your age get in the way of your activities. Life is for living. Do the things you enjoy. We live in an age when even the physically handicapped can stay involved in many activities.

2. Keep on learning. Our minds and hearts stay young when we’re actively engaged in something of interest to us. Join an adult education class, an art class, an interest group or a Bible class. 

3. Laugh and have fun. Look for humor in the daily events of life. Play games with friends, children or grandchildren. Spend time with a four year old and laugh every time they laugh.

4. Volunteer to help someone in need. We all have something to contribute. We can visit a shut in. We can help a single parent with repairs or errands or baby-sitting.  We can volunteer at a hospital or a food pantry. When we contribute our time, our attention and our abilities to others we help ourselves as well as our community. When we give of ourselves we feel young at heart. 

5. Make your relationships a high priority. Reach out to family members and stay connected. Plan reunions with siblings, cousins, and other relatives.  E-mail makes it possible to keep in touch with family and friends across long distances. 

6. Take care of unfinished business. Let go of grudges or resentments. Forgive those who have hurt you and ask those you have hurt to forgive you. Hanging onto resentment hurts us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. If you have trouble letting go of past hurts or traumas get help from a counselor or pastor. 

7. Expect change and learn to accept it. The longer we live the more things will change, especially in this day and age. Our tendency is to resist change even when it’s a change for the better. Change stretches us and can keep us young if we learn from it or view it positively.

8. Be open to making new friends. Join church groups or interest groups where this can happen. As we grow older we will lose many friends as a result of moves or death. Loneliness and isolation are primary causes of depression and illness among the elderly. We need to stay connected with others.

9. Learn to just be. Most of our life we’re busy doing. We think we’re only valuable for what we do; for what we contribute. In our later years we have the luxury of relaxing. It’s O.K. to just be. You are valuable as a person just for who you are.

10. Deepen your relationship with God. Faith is a miracle cure for many ills! You now have time for prayer, Bible study and worship. God will comfort you in times of despair and will bring joy to your heart as well.

“Seek his will in all you do and he will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:6 NLT

Blessings, Dottie