Highlights from my 2020 reading challenge

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Photo by Stefan Steinbauer on Unsplash

When I was a kid, the Two Rivers Public Library held a summer reading challenge every year. Readers scored a point for each book read and at the end of the summer, the one with the most points won a prize. While I remember racing my bike to the library repeatedly to participate every year, I don’t remember ever winning. But it’s all about the challenge. I love reading, so that became my challenge.

One 2020 New Year’s Resolution I kept was challenging myself to read 130 books in one year. I did not give myself many rules regarding those…


Disturbing foreshadowing fiction

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Publisher Image from Simon & Schuster

You know how some fiction is so creepy because of the thread of reality woven throughout? That’s what Mike Bockoven does in this thriller. I listened to the audiobook, which featured different voices from each character’s point of view. That made it even more surreal.

What is the book about?

Think of FantasticLand as Disney World’s competitor. An unexpectedly massive hurricane hits Florida, and the theme park gets cut off from civilization and rescue. They evacuated the patrons in time, but not the employees. …

You are not alone

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Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

I am here, evidence of God’s mercy and grace.

The Bible tells us to share what God has done in our lives, not to promote ourselves, but to glorify Him. Two remarkable young women recently reminded me of that. No matter what I think about it, my testimony is important and it does not belong to me, it belongs to God.

These same young women showed me we struggle with the same things. So here we are.

Testimony about God’s impact on our lives is too important to set aside. If I am honest with myself, fear feeds the procrastination…


Reflections on Orwell’s 1984

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Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash

The first time I read “1984” by George Orwell, I was a liberal feminist activist and President George W. Bush was the “bad guy.” Previews of Big Brother’s Ministry of Truth pervaded The Patriot Act — a terrifying piece of legislation wrapped with a noble name. National security was the buzzword, and people across the country were willing to give up their rights for the perception of safety embedded in the phrase “national security.”

As a liberal, I joined the voices in opposition to expanding the government’s power to spy on its own people. …

Dear sisters, join me in the fight against the darkness

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Joan of Arc Statue — Image from Wikimedia Commons.

The universe of Warhammer 40,000 is full of warriors engaged in a battle between good and evil represented through the Emperor of Mankind versus the forces of Chaos.

The universe is macabre and brutal; a well-constructed blend of futuristic space-traveling sci-fi combined with themes from medieval fantasy. Tons of war and gore. Not for the faint of heart, but curiously relevant to the world now if the truth of it were laid bare.

A spiritual battle rages and we need warriors.

Battle Sisters

The Adepta Sororitas (Sisters of Battle) fire me up.

The all-woman army is trained from a young age. Their…

High-five to “The Patriot”

Rap is not usually my thing. My connection to rap only lasted as long as the Young MC generation, but “The Patriot” got my attention.

Yesterday I was half-listening to The Benny Report on Newsmax and I heard an interview with Topher and The Marine Rapper about their song “The Patriot” being banned on music platforms despite topping the charts for weeks.

Flabbergasted by yet more conservatives canceled, intrigued by the Air Force and Marine veteran team-up, and curious about what angered people, I decided to give the song a listen.

I cried.

Topher — The Patriot (feat. The Marine…

It doesn’t matter who leads the world

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Photo by Konstantin Dyadyun on Unsplash

In Bible study earlier this week, I came across a soothing reminder. It centered me when I felt profound discontent.

Those who study the Bible often say that the Lord speaks to them through His Word. We can read the entire book several times and still come away with something new each time.

The words jumped out at me and practically slapped me in the face when I read them.

Allow me to set the stage.

The political and social climate in the United States disturbs me on many levels. This is not the place for that discussion, but a…

Book Reviews for Real People

A fascinating view of a complex country

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From Masih Alinejad’s website

I first saw Masih Alinejad as a guest on Fox News. Like many Americans, my knowledge of Iran comes from public discourse. I hear news snippets about Iran’s nuclear program, trade deals, and terrorism. These sound bytes break complex political issues down to whether the U.S. likes Iran or not. The book is promoted as a vehicle of the feminist movement, and it is. Much of her story is about securing equality for women in Iran, but her story is so much more than that.

What is the book about?

This memoir tells Ms. Alinejad’s personal story within a political and professional context. She describes…

Scripture Prompt

The Almighty alone offers rest

God is our refuge
God is our refuge
Image by Bruno /Germany from Pixabay

Trauma strips you so naked, it removes several layers of skin. Every nerve ending is sensitive, exhausted, and raw. Physical rest feels impossible. The mind frantically seeks meaning that remains out of reach.

The event that knocked you off your foundation leaves you spinning in a constant state of vertigo. Thoughts that made sense one day no longer do. Beliefs that formed the foundation of your values are revealed as baseless. Feelings with known causes become jumbled, sporadic, and unpredictable.

The tasks that gave life meaning no longer hold relevance. …

A vivid reminder to cling to a solid foundation

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Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

During my youth in Catholic school, we studied the lives of the saints. Most powerful in my memory is St. Agnes, the young woman who chose death rather than denying Christ. I remember her because she came from a wealthy family and she was only 13 when she died. I identified with her age and remember wanting to be as steadfast as she. In my young mind, she was the epitome of courage and strength and I wondered if I could ever be so bold.

The movie “Infidel” reminded me of her. The similarities between her story and the movie’s…

Trudi Griffin, MS, LPC

Shining light in the darkness with words ~ devoted to Jesus.

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