Book Review – Breaking the Fear Cycle: How to Find Peace for your Anxious Heart by Mina R Raulston

I am so grateful to Revell Books for the ability to participate in their Blogger Book Review program. They provide me with a list of books to choose from and I write an honest review of those books. Most of the time I can give a positive review. Unfortunately, I cannot do that with this book.

The author, Maria Furlough, speaks about fear from her personal experiences. She has evidently lived a life overwhelmed with the spirit of fear, a fear that grew from simple worry to outright panic. It was also compounded by the diagnosis of her unborn child with a syndrome that would cause his death within minutes or hours after his birth. I can’t imagine the pain she endured during her pregnancy and delivery, followed by his death.

But, I do know that her method of fighting fear is not workable for me. She searches countless scriptures about fear, which is fine by itself. But her battle tactic is to read the scriptures to herself and journal her fears in detail. I was taught to fight the devil and his minions with the Word of God directly. When Jesus was in the wilderness and Satan taunted him and tempted him Jesus set the example for how to fight the devil off. He spoke the Word of God back to him. An example is in Matthew 4.

In II Timothy 1:7 it says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Then, in James 4:7 it says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

I grew up with a mother who was the embodiment of the spirit of fear. If I had given voice to my fears through journaling and speaking about them I would have been overtaken by them. But by learning to rebuke the devil and the spirit of fear I have been able to overcome that fear. Does it still attempt to attack me? Yes, on occasion. But, then the Holy Spirit reminds me of the full Armor of God and how to fight the devil with the Sword of the Spirit.

If this battle tactic works for Mrs. Furlough then I pray she becomes adept at it. I would never tell someone to stop fighting in a way that helps them. I just know the more direct approach works for me.

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Adamant – Book Review by Mina R Raulston

I have read Lisa Bevere’s books for many years. Her Bible studies are insightful and challenging for women of all ages. Her current book, Adamant is no exception. The subtitle, Finding Truth in a Universe of Opinions, gives a hint as to the content of the book. The definition of adamant means immoveable and unyielding, among other things. In ancient times it was believed to be a stone that hadn’t been discovered yet and for a time was compared to a diamond in its hard and impervious substance. In her book, Ms. Bevere teaches that adamant was not a rock yet to be discovered, but Jesus who is the stone that the builder rejected our cornerstone. Her study is in-depth while at the same time she comes across as personable and vulnerable. I would encourage any woman seeking a serious study of the word to take advantage of Adamant, Finding Truth in a Universe of Opinions.

Oath of Honor Book Review

Author Lynette Eason weaves wonderful, suspenseful stories with strong characters who always seek to bring about justice. For Oath of Honor, the first book in her new series Blue Justice, she does not disappoint. Izzy St. John lives a life that is the definition of suspense. She comes from a law enforcement family. She and her siblings grew up with her partner Kevin and his brother Ryan are also law enforcement. When her partner is killed unexpectedly, she and his brother team up to find his killer and solve some major crimes in their city that have baffled the police long term. Enjoy the read while you try to solve the crimes right along with Izzy. Experience the twists and turns, the unexpected solutions and surprises along the way as Eason begins her new series.

Disclaimer: My thanks to the publisher Revell for providing the book to me in exchange for an honest book review.

Dangerous Illusions Book Review

I really enjoy Irene Hannon’s books. They each tell a riveting story with surprises all the way to end. And Dangerous Illusions does not disappoint. Step into the life of Trish Bailey, daughter of wealthy parents who chooses to become an art teacher in an inner-city school. She is struggling to deal with the sudden passing of her critically ill mother, only to be told by the police that the death is suspicious and she is the main suspect. Enter Detective Colin Flynn whose job is to learn the truth of whether the woman’s death was an accident or worse. Join them in the intense investigation, with all its unexpected twists and turns, to the final conclusion. An exciting read from beginning to end.

Disclosure: I am pleased to receive free books from the publisher Revell Books in exchange for posting an honest review of the book.

Book Review

As a mother and grandmother, I am always on the lookout for a good devotional for mothers. I found just that in, Praying for Girls, Asking God for the Things They Need Most, by Teri Lynne Underwood. She offers a devotional and prayers for a daughter’s identity, heart, mind, relationships, and her purpose. She then speaks a little wisdom to mom for herself and how to speak to her daughter whether she’s a little girl, middle girl, and older girl. She finishes it off with two special sections just for Mom, something many devotionals don’t consider. I’ll be gifting this book to my own daughter and her little girl.

Public Speaking

Public speaking is said to be one of the greatest fears of the average person, more so than even fear of heights. But, part of the fear of public speaking comes from not knowing how to put words together in a manner that will get and keep the audience’s attention. Some speakers are talented writers and prefer to write their own speeches. Some are talented writers but may not have the time required to write their speeches amid their other responsibilities. Others may be charismatic speakers but they are not experienced writers.

Regardless of where you fit in this description, you can rest in knowing there are talented speech writers who can provide you with the words you need, in the manner you need them, in a timely manner, at a reasonable cost. Giving a speech is telling a story. There are several ways you can tell the same story. A speech writer’s job is to take the facts you provide and create a story that will evoke a desired response in the audience.

I have been a freelance writer for more than twenty years and specifically a freelance speech writer for more than four years. I have written speeches for weddings, memorials, retirement, graduation, birthdays, business presentations, and keynote speeches. I have written speeches for clients in the United States and around the world.

Contact me at my email address m_raulston@hotmail.com or call me at 614-507-7893 to request more information about hiring me to write your upcoming speech.

The Abuse Over Time

Growing up as I did in such an isolated family life I had little experience to draw from when it came to working out a relationship with a spouse. For that reason I sort of took things one day at a time, figuring that we would learn how to live together just as every married couple learns how to live together. I was wrong in so many ways.

From the beginning he was critical, controlling, and moody, nothing like he was while we dated. Nothing I did seemed to satisfy him. He criticized my mode of dress; he criticized my work schedule; he criticized the roughness of my hands caused by my job. All these may seem small alone, but the incidences built up until they were a daily occurrence. The first physical incident occurred on the night before our first Christmas Eve, a little more than six months after we got married.

I came home late from work and he was already in bed, being an early person. Since I had to unwind for a while after working late, I used the time to begin my Christmas baking. I figured it would be ok since the kitchen was at the other end of our narrow apartment. After a little bit, I heard my husband slam open the sliding door to the bedroom and come storming through the apartment, raging at me for making noise while he tried to sleep. Before I could respond he began throwing around my cooking bowls and utensils, smashing whatever he could, and ruining all my hard work. Then he grabbed me, ripped my shirt and shoved me to the floor and upturned an empty 30-gallon trash can on top of me. Then he stormed back to bed, leaving me in shock.

I had never experienced violence before and I had no idea what had really triggered it or how to react to it. A few minutes later I heard him having a severe asthma attack and when I checked on him he was struggling to breathe. I called the emergency squad and they took him to the hospital where he was admitted into ICU. So, in less than an hour I went from arriving home exhausted from a day at work and trying to unwind with a pleasant activity, to being beaten and tossed around, to spending the night before our first Christmas Eve in the ICU with my new husband. Honestly, my mind, heart, and soul didn’t know how to shift gears in so many directions so fast in so short a time. And since he was the one in the hospital my feelings seemed to get lost in all the confusion. It was all about him and his illness.

That is the way the next fourteen years played out. He would be nice and even sweet for a time. Then he would get sick and would develop severe mood swings that would eventually erupt into violence. Sometimes the cycle would be a few weeks or months. Sometimes the cycle might last a year or two. We did have a few good times or I wouldn’t have stayed for fourteen years and had two children with him. I was told by at least one doctor that he was sick and couldn’t help himself and I had to just understand. That was the same thing people told me about my mother’s mental illness. Somehow no matter who the person was, all the responsibility fell to me. I just kept praying, asking God to work it all out. And, I did everything I knew in the natural to be a good wife and make things work out. It wasn’t until near the end of the marriage that I realized he had a predictable cycle of violence, and it wasn’t getting better it was getting worse.

In my next entry I’ll explain the cycle of violence and tell you how I finally escaped.