abortion

An Open Book (February 2017)

Carolyn Astfalk has a first Wednesday of the month book review linkup!

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 Sabbath Rest Book Talk will return in March!

Sabbath Rest Book Talk: a monthly live interactive event where we talk about the value of fiction in developing compassion, empathy, and healthy relationships

There will be a few changes–good ones! First of all, I’ll be adding a few co-hosts.  Both Carolyn Astfalk and Rebecca Willen will be joining me for March 5th’s SRBT.  Also, we’ll be hosting the event over on my YouTube Channel as a YouTube Live Event.  You can still comment and play along, of course.  Lastly, I’ll be announcing the book selections and focus ahead of time, so you can read along and join the discussion a little more easily and thoughtfully.  To keep on top of each month’s SRBT selections, do sign up for my monthly newsletter.

While we’re here, here are the selections for SRBT for March, focusing on JUSTICE:

An Open Book Linkup: Dying for Revenge (murder mystery)

mikemulligancover Sabbath Rest Book Talk: Where Fiction Is Good For You! March 2017 will focus on JUSTICE

 

Meanwhile, I’m still reading.

HER ROYAL SPYNESS SOLVES HER FIRST CASE, Review by Erin McCole Cupp for #OpenBook Wednesday

Her Royal Spyness Solves Her First Case by Rhys Bowen.  

Oh, this was a rip-roaring fun thing to read. I initially picked it up because it’s been on my mind for a while to start this series, and Bowen’s latest (I think the latest?) was mentioned the 2016 list of Agatha Award nominees. The Agatha Awards are, “Loosely defined as ‘mysteries which contain no explicit sex or excessive gore or violence,’ the Agatha Award salutes the books best typified by the works of Agatha Christie.” There’s a little too much racy talk in there for me to feel comfortable sharing this with my tween-readers. There are not, however, any actual sex scenes or horrifically detailed murders, etc. It was adult-funny, cleverly plotted, and peopled with fully-fleshed characters in spite of the fact that there were so many. I’ll be looking for more Royal Spyness.

Review of IN THE PLEASURE GROOVE by John Taylor (yes, that John Taylor) by Erin McCole Cupp for #OpenBook WednesdayIn the Pleasure Groove by (Nigel, ahem) John Taylor

In the Pleasure Groove was everything you’d expect from JT. It was compelling, entertaining, slick, sexy, jet-setty… and flavored with a sad undercurrent of, well, narcissism. Still. Even in his chapters on facing down his drug and alcohol addictions. Don’t get me wrong: I am super glad the guy is working so hard health in all its dimensions, so invested in being a good father and husband. I’m concerned, though, that as long as he stays his own Higher Power, it might not last. In the end, that made the book unsatisfying. Still, if you’re recovering from or still a hardcore Duran Duran addict, I can’t not recommend In the Pleasure Groove. There’s a bit of depth for the reader in it, even if the author himself may have missed it.

An Open Book book review linkup hosted by Carolyn Astfalk: get your recs here!Nutureshock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman

One of the most influential books about children ever published, Nurture Shock offers a revolutionary new perspective on children that upends a library’s worth of conventional wisdom. With impeccable storytelling and razor-sharp analysis, the authors demonstrate that many of modern society’s strategies for nurturing children are in fact backfiring–because key twists in the science have been overlooked. Nothing like a parenting manual, NurtureShock gets to the core of how we grow, learn and live.

It’s amazing how actual science works and how easy it is for us to turn our backs on factual reality when it doesn’t fit what makes us feel good about ourselves, isn’t it?  Long story short: NurtureShock confirms the value of common sense parenting in the face of everything from participation awards to gifted class placement tests to fat shaming and schedule-cramming.  I got a lot of validation out of this book and some ideas for modifying my own parenting choices as well.

Get your recs here: An Open Book monthly book review linkup hosted by Carolyn Astfalk Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Yeah, totally embarrassing that this is the first Agatha Christie novel I’ve ever read in my whole life.  To my credit, I was in And Then There Were None in freshman year of high school (Ethel the maid–first one offed, but I got to scream really loud, so that was cool).

Anyway, quick read, clean enough, tight plotting, and even I forgot about one of the big clues at the beginning so that the end was a well-timed surprise.  That said, the end was a bit… unsatisfying in a moral sense, if you get what I mean.  As an investigator, Poirot was warmer than Sherlock Holmes and in that sense more enjoyable from a human perspective; Holmes quirks my eyebrows at both his brilliance and his awkwardness, but Poirot brings me along for the ride.

You Carried Me: A Daughter’s Memoir by Melissa Ohden

You Carried Me : A Daughter's Memoir is an experience of tragedy, pain, hope, healing and triumph, told by an abortion survivor. Don't miss this book!What do you do when you find out you were not supposed to live?  Would you want the find the birthmother who, according to all medical records, wanted you dead? And how do you hold onto a voice in a culture that calls you a liar and silences you at any available opportunity… because your very existence challenges the culture’s most cherished ideas?  This is the story of a woman who survived an abortion in 1977 then went on to search for her birthparents.  The pain, healing and triumph of her experience is one that every human should read.  I give You Carried Me both five stars (would give a sixth if Amazon would let me) and a Four Kleenex Warning. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.   I am honestly confident in giving this book the highest recommendation.  Look for an upcoming in-depth review and giveaway in the next few days.

That’s it for February!  While we’re here, gentle reminder: To keep on top of each month’s SRBT selections, do sign up for my monthly newsletter.

What’s your #OpenBook?

Don’t forget to link up YOUR #OpenBook reviews over at Carolyn’s!

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Stand up for the unborn? I can’t even stand up for myself! {7QT}

Seven Quick Takes Linkup

It’s that time again: Seven Quick Takes Friday over at This Ain’t the Lyceum

-1-

It’s the 43rd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Decision.

-2-

Within the past 12 hours I’ve found myself in a situation where I either need to stand up for myself or lose a significant amount of money (money we paid to support a family member in an artistic endeavor when we could’ve spent it on, you know, replacing a couple of bald tires) in order to avoid having to rub elbows with my primary abuser for four-ish hours.

-3-

One of the reasons I think abortion is still a thing is because we women keep being told, “You can’t do that.  It’s too hard.”

-4-

Stand up to my abuser and tell her to leave me alone? Again? Because the first several times and some help from the police didn’t take?

I don’t understand why I have to.

In other words… I can’t do that.  It’s too hard.

-5-

If you’re inclined to say, “I could never _____” [have an abortion, steal a car, go bungee jumping, eat sushi, whathaveyou], then there’s some part of your heart that is hardened against mercy towards those who could.

Seeing someone through the eyes of mercy is not the same as condoning sin, however great that sin might be.

Seeing someone through the eyes of mercy is how God sees each one of us.

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 I did nothing to put myself in my current conundrum other than maintain contact with someone who doesn’t really care about keeping me safe.

I feel alone, trapped, and helpless.  Again.

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Alone, trapped, and helpless is how women facing unplanned pregnancies feel.

It’s an old Method Acting trick, but I think it’s one we could all use as we walk the boards of real life:

  1. See another character experiencing something you’ve never experienced, never understood.
  2. Identify the underlying feelings that character is experiencing.
  3. Identify a time in your own life when you experienced those same emotions.

And walk forth with mercy.

I wish someone would stand up for me, say they’ll fight my demons for me.

I’m sure women considering abortion wish someone would stand up for them.

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Why don’t people see that that’s what happens at the March for Life? Any time someone posts a pro-life meme on social media? Any time someone offers abortion workers a way out? Women a way out? Any time someone stands outside a clinic and prays for her to be braver than she ever thought she could?  Any time someone says, “Hey, you know all those chemicals and all that debris you’re putting into your body to make it malfunction? Maybe there’s a less self-destructive way to handle that.

I never very rarely put stuff like this on my blog.  Or anywhere.  You know why? Because I’ve been taught through experience that nobody listens to me.  That nobody cares if I’ve been hurt, because that’ll make the people who hurt me feel uncomfortable.  You know what I grew up with?

“Ouch! That hurts!”

“No, it doesn’t.”

 

Satan has put a lot of energy and destroyed a lot of lives to convince me that I’m not credible enough to stand up for anyone–especially myself.

Then again… Jesus didn’t stand up for himself.

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He asks others to stand up for Him by standing up for the least of these.  

He asks us to stand up for each other.  

Please pray that I can receive the courage to stand up for those who need me.

Please pray that those who need it would receive the courage to stand up for me.

And I will pray for you to have the courage to stand up where you are called and for you to walk in the mercy you need to stand up with compassion as well.