Awareness

Awareness is a wonderful thing. I think it’s great to see people come together for a common cause and try to bring change. But at the same time I find myself questioning whether most understand the issues they say they support. The ice bucket challenge is one of those instances where I think people have gotten caught up in the trendiness of the challenge without understanding what it is they are supporting.

I first noticed on my Facebook newsfeed that lots of individuals were videoing themselves having ice water dumped on them. In the beginning I didn’t even watch the videos because I figured it was just another crazy Facebook stunt that would quickly fade away. After several days, I finally became curious. I watched a video and although the person stated that they were doing the ice bucket challenge for ALS that was all the information they gave. Video after video I watched was much the same with no information about the disease so I finally became curious enought to start gathering my own information about ALS and was devastated by what I found.

ALS is a debilitating neurological disease that destroys the body’s ability to transmitt messages to the muscles of its victim. (This is my very elementary, simple definition.) The patient looses all muscle function and in the end they basically suffocate because their muscles atrophy to the point that the lungs cannot receive oxygen. They lose the ability to speak, eat, and do anything for themselves. The patient has a healthy mind trapped in a non-functioning body. It is a horrible disease and it breaks my heart that so many people suffer from its effects.

During my digging I found that the ALSA are doing research using human embryonic cells. That began to change my thinking on what I wanted to do to help this cause. As a Christian who believes that life begins at conception should I give money to help fund research that uses aborted babies to harvest stem cells? My decision was that I could not in good conscience do that. What about if the fetus had not been aborted but had been fertilized in a Petri dish for the purpose of creating stem cells? Was I okay with that option? Again, my personal conviction told me that it was morally wrong.

I am not trying to belittle the efforts of those who have done the challenge and I don’t stand in judgement of those who sent money to the ALS. These are simply my personal convictions. But, I also feel that there are many people just like me who are totally unaware of the practices of the ALS research being done. Just as those completing the challenge have the right to bring awareness to ALS I also have a right to bring awareness to how the ALS chooses to spend the funds being raised.

My family has chosen to make a contribution to an individual with ALS. Their medical costs are extreme and they struggle with not only the disease but the side effects of no income, medical costs, transportation costs, and many other things. There is more than one way to be a part of this cause. We simply choose to give on a personal level.

Our family knows the struggles of having a family member with a chronic medical condition. My youngest son has cerebral palsy which affects him in much the same way that ALS effects individuals. Thankfully, my son’s condition is not progressive but he has suffered with it since birth. He doesn’t know what it is to run and play like a typical child. He is very dependent on others for most everything. I understand what it is to live the life of a caregiver. There are hard days when you are exhausted both physically and mentally. My heart goes out to the families of ALS.

My son could possibly benefit from the same type research that an ALS patient could. Stem cell research is being done to try to lessen or eliminate the effect cerebral palsy has on a person. Even so, my family chooses not to support stem cell research done using embryonic cells of any kind. There are other types of stem cell research that have actually proven to be more promising that do not use embryonic cells.

I pray that my heart is heard from anyone who might come across this blog post. I have so much compassion for those suffering from ALS. I support community awareness and I pray that a cure or a treatment will be found. I simply chose to give in an alternative way that I feel makes a personal impact on an individual until such time that the current research practices change.

Long Time Coming

Long Time ComingLong Time Coming by Edie Claire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Long Time Coming is not a book I’d typically choose to read but I loaded my Kindle up with lots of free books and this one intrigued me enough to give it a try. I usually find it hard to read contemporary literature but this book kept my interest from the beginning. I enjoyed the mysterious addition to the book and found the plot very believable. I liked the characters and being from a small town myself had no problem believing that one small town could be home to so many quirky people. I loved the backstory and think the author did a good job leading the characters to a healthy acceptance of the past tragedy. I’m glad I gave this one a chance.

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Lady in the Mist

Lady in the Mist (The Midwives #1)Lady in the Mist by Laurie Alice Eakes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mystery of missing men, espionage, danger, and romance. This book is filled with everything. Laurie Alice Eakes is a masterful storyteller. Her ability to ignite your senses and put you right in the middle of the story is unbelievable. I loved her descriptive writing and found myself transplanted to the seaside in colonial America. The story had me guessing from the beginning to the end, trying to determine the good guys from the bad guys. The love triangle was nerve wrecking but wonderful. I would suggest this book to anyone who enjoys a good romance and historical fiction.

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Heir to the Everlasting

<img alt=”Heir To The Everlasting” border=”0″ src=”https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1347641386m/10475005.jpg” />Heir To The Everlasting by 2012 copyright/ Janice Daugharty

My rating: <a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/825945357″>4 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
Heir to the Everlasting is a book set in southern Georgia and spans the twentieth century. The main character is May Alexander and the book basically tells her life story in two parts. The first half of the book details May’s life and relationship with her maternal grandmother who is known as Pinky. Pinky is a high spirited,independent, non-traditional, take-charge woman. May is raised by her grandmother following her mother’s death and becomes like a little shadow always close at her grandmother’s heels, and so she is known as Little Pinky for much of her youth. The second half of the book surrounds the relationship of an adult May and her granddaughter Sara Ann, whom she is raising.

The first half of the book is filled with lots of characters and I found it hard to keep track of all of them and their relationships to others. At times the book was fast moving only to turn almost deathly slow in sections. The long time period the book spanned was another difficult thing to get used to but I found it interesting to see how the life of May changed so much in her lifetime of almost 100 years.

If you enjoy historical fiction or southern literature you should give this book a try. I found it to be a very unique read.
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His Love Endures Forever

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Title: His love Endures Forever
Author: Beth Wiseman
Publish Date: October 2, 2012
Post Date: October 2, 2012
Blog url: http://www.sweetpea0944.wordpress.com
Review link:

His Love Endures Forever is a wonderful story of forgiveness. Danielle is a troubled young English woman who is involved with two young Amish men. She has a close friendship with Levi and is romantically involved with Matthew who is planning to leave the Amish faith. After finding Danielle is pregnant Matthew leaves the Amish community and Danielle behind. Danielle turns to Levi and Levi turns to God for direction. Although Levi has always held firm to the Amish faith, he finds God leading him to marry Danielle and provide for her and her unborn child.

The couple meets with resistance from the Amish community and Levi’s interfering mother but they are determined to create a family and meet their struggles with grace. This is a book filled with love, forgiveness, and healing.

I loved this book and recommend it to anyone looking for an enjoyable read

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I have not been compensated in any way. The opinions stated in this review are my own and I give them freely without bias.

Book review

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Title: Sagebrush Knights
Author: Erica Vetsch
Publish Date: December 1, 2012
Post Date: November 15, 2012
Blog url: http://www.sweetpea0944.wordpress.com
Review link:

Sagebrush Knights is a set of four novellas about the Gerhard sisters who have recently lost their father and find themselves homeless because the home they live in belongs to the University where their father was employed. Desperate to stay together they decide to advertise as mail order brides in the Wyoming Territory.

I liked how each novella primarily focused on one sister while building on the overall story of all four. The setting was interesting and the individual struggles and personalities of each sister made for a very enjoyable read. I particularly liked the way each sister learned to face her difficulties with determination and honor.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I have not been compensated in any way. The opinions stated in this review are my own and I give them freely without bias.

You Can Only Sit on the Fence For So Long

Today has been a turning point for me. My pastor has been preaching a series on the book of Nehemiah over the last few weeks which he finished up today. Through these sermons God has shown me that I have allowed some of my protective walls to decay. I have let things come between me and my relationship with Christ. I have gradually become desensitized to sin in my life and those around me.

One of my favorite movie quotes comes from the movie Remember the Titans. When the team captain sees that one of his best friends purposefully stepped aside and refused to block for one
of his teammates he goes to the coach. One of this coach’s rules is that nobody who wants to play will be cut. When Gary, the team captain, speaks to the coach about cutting his friend Ray from the team the coach reminds Gary of his rule. Gary replies to Coach Boone, “Sometimes you gotta cut a man loose.” The coach replies, “You are the team captain. You make the call but remember you’ve got to stand behind your decision.”

I have had a lot of difficult decisions to make. I had to decide whether I was still playing on my old team or on my Daddy’s team. (the new coach calls himself that early in the movie) I struggled with trying to remain loyal to the old team while at the same time being loyal to my Daddy’s team. Jesus warned us that we would have to face tough choices sometimes. I have been straddling the fence for a while now and just decided it is past time I jump onto one side or the other. I found a photo that perfectly exemplifies how I have felt for a long time. Here it is, I hope you get a laugh out of it.
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35 For I have come to turn
“‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’[a]

37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me."

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