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Tuesday, 26 July 2011
Tombstones and Banana Trees - A First Wild Card Book Review
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Book Reviews

I love books like this!

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Tombstones and Banana Trees

David C. Cook (July 1, 2011)

***Special thanks to Audra Jennings, The B&B Media Group, for sending me a review copy.***


Medad Birungi grew up in the war-torn country of Uganda in the 1960’s. He was born to a hateful father. And, after years of abuse, his father abandoned him, along with his mother and siblings, on the side of the road when he was only six years old. His life became increasingly difficult—his poverty increased, his hope evaporated and his future was nothing but decay. For the first twenty years of his life, he lived on a staple diet of anger and bitterness.

But God had his hand on Birungi’s life, and it would change beyond all recognition. Everything that was made ugly by pain and anger was turned to beauty by one incredibly simple yet revolutionary act: forgiveness. Though he started as a boy who begged to die by the side of the road, becoming a teenager angry enough to kill then a man broken and searching, he is now a testimony to God’s transforming power.

Currently Birungi is the coordinator for missions, evangelism and church planting in the Anglican Diocese of Kampala. He also lectures at the Kyambogo University. But one of his greatest passions is the charitable organization that he founded, World Shine Ministries. He is a father of nine children (five biological and four adopted). He and his wife Connie live with their children in Uganda.

Visit the author's website.


A Revolution of Forgiveness

Medad Birungi faced pain few imagine yet speaks of forgiveness all can experience

“My story changed beyond all recognition. Everything that was made ugly by pain and anger was turned to beauty by one simple, revolutionary thing—forgiveness.” Medad Birungi was once a boy who begged to die by the side of the road, a teenager angry enough to kill, a man broken and searching, yet today he is a testimony to God’s transforming power. In his life story, Tombstones and Banana Trees: A True Story of Revolutionary Forgiveness, Birungi charts his outrageous journey through suffering, abuse, despair and revenge to unexpected forgiveness and healing.

Birungi grew up with a violent father in the war-torn country of Uganda in the 1960’s. His childhood was scarred by extreme poverty, cruel suffering and unbearable sorrow that few of us can even imagine. Yet from that trauma came the lessons that we can all appreciate: the impoverishment of life without Christ, the redemption of the cross and the revolutionary power of forgiveness. His story deals in nothing less than pure, God-given transformation. Tombstones and Banana Trees has the dual quality of being both uniquely individual yet universally relevant, holding together the grandest of themes and the most intimate of testimonies. Birungi’s life is so comprehensively renewed that any reader sharing in his journey will feel the impact.

Through his story of healing, Birungi calls readers to find healing for their own emotional scars. He reminds them that when they forgive others they are doing something truly radical—changing relationships, communities and countries. They are welcoming God into the hidden corners of the human soul, where real revolution begins, inspiring others to start again and work for reconciliation. Birungi is “fascinated by forgiveness, drawn to it, compelled by it and delighted when anyone wants to join me. That is what revolutionary forgiveness becomes after a while—a passion. It draws us in, yet it does not overrule us. We must still make the choice to overcome our reservations.”

Tombstones and Banana Trees will take readers back to their own tombs and funerals and help them ask how God might turn them into new births and celebrations. Their eyes will be opened to the revolutionary change that God Himself has in store for all.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook (July 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0781405025
ISBN-13: 978-0781405027


The Power of the Family

Life is good and I laugh a lot. You need to know that about me before we make a start. You need to know that I think of myself as being blessed with so much of God’s grace—far more than I deserve.

You need to know that as I look at my life I see there is much that is beautiful and much that is good. You need to know all this because what comes next will probably remove the smile from your eyes.

This is a book about revolutionary forgiveness. And in order to write about forgiveness, you must have something to forgive. For there to be change, you must have something to leave behind. In order to know healing, you must first have received a wound.

I did not think I would ever experience such sorrow or despair as the day my father beat me down from the pickup trucks and abandoned us—my mother, my sisters, my brothers, and me—by the side of the road at Kashumuruzi. We had no food, no possessions, and no hope of a future. All we had was the smell of diesel from the aging pickup trucks loaded with possessions, retreating down the road possessions that, just minutes previously, had been our own.

All we could hear was the sound of rejoicing that came from the hands and mouths of the rest of my father’s wives and their children as they jeered from the trucks. All we could see were the villagers

slowly peeling away from the scene and returning to their tasks, now that the drama that had entertained them was over. All I knew was that my mother, my sisters, my brothers, and I were weeping into the dirt, hoping life would end soon.

I did not think life would ever get worse than this. I did not think there was worse to come.

Yet there was. Far worse. But those are other stories for later pages. Right now I need to explain about the road and the pickup trucks, and in order to do that, I must tell you about that day.

It had started the way many mornings did. I woke up to the sound of singing carried in and out of my home on the wind, like sunlight playing in and out of the clouds. The music was coming from the church or the school on the other side of the valley. They always started early. I had never really belonged to either of them.

I was a typical six-year-old boy from a typical village in western Uganda. I had no need for shoes, was naked from the waist down, and was beginning to be aware of making the transition from infant to child. That meant I was becoming more adventurous, starting to move away from the compound where we lived, and finding out what was on offer in the land that surrounded it. Out beyond the pressed, swept earth, I was learning how to use my hands to make things out of the broad leaves of the banana trees that flooded the valley where we lived. I would use the broadest, thickest ones as mats on which I would sledge down the muddied slopes toward the stream. The rocks added the element of danger, and our scarred and bruised buttocks were the scorecards, clearly showing how often our games ended in pain. Thinner leaves I would use to make slippers for my feet. They only ever lasted a day, but I felt like a man when I wore them.

I was getting stronger. That meant I was starting to join in with the older children in the twice-daily trips down to the stream to collect water. My clay pot was small, but even five liters was heavy enough to make the task of carrying it a challenge. Especially when there were consequences to arriving back at home with a less-thankfull load.

Our home was halfway up a steep hill at the north end of a wide open valley. Two generations ago there had been nothing in the area but forest; a sprawling forest that, if you saw it from the other side of the valley, looked like an ocean churned up by a storm. Up close you could see that the sides of the steep hills had created land at the bottom that was dark, musty, and alive with insects that fed on the rotting vegetation. That is what our village is called: Rwanjogori. It means maggots.

Why would anyone want to live in a place like this? Ask my grandfather—he was the one who first settled here, clearing back the forest and building the first home halfway up the hill away from the maggots that ruled the earth at the bottom. He had discovered it when he was looking for places to hide the cattle he stole from distant farms. He was the son of Bukumuura, son of Karumuna, of Bituura, of Ruhiiga, of Ngirane, of Kasigi, of Muntu. Every one of these men was a renowned polygamist, especially Ruhiiga, who had thirty-six wives. My grandfather’s name was Kasabaraara—and it means “one who grinds people who sleep in your house.” Yes, my grandfather was given the name of a killer and became a professional thief who colonized a land in which nobody would have dreamed of living. They say it is hard to get a clean bird from a dirty nest, that true change is difficult when you come from a difficult family background. I know there have been times in my life when I have wished the maggots would return and consume me for themselves.

The day my father abandoned us had started typically. The sound of children singing, cups of millet porridge to drink, a quick trip down the hill to collect the water that flowed out of the ground

when you poked it with a stick. But after that things changed. It was moving day, and we were leaving Rwanjogori forever.Or so we thought.

My father had been friendly ever since he had returned home after his year-and-a-half disappearance—which itself is another story that we will get to in good time. Of course, his warm smiles and happy chatter could not fool us, and we remained suspicious—even six-year-old me. But my father was full of talk of great plans and big changes, all told with wide eyes and grand gestures made by hands

that commanded the air. It did not take long for him to convince us that our overcrowding was a problem for which he had the perfect solution.

In Uganda, as in much of Africa, a home is made up of three elements: your house, the area immediately around it—often called your compound—and the land that you farm. My father owned a

large slice of land that ran down from the top of the hill, flowing through to the valley below as it flattened out. His father had planted hundreds of banana trees, some with black trunks that offered

matoke, or plantain, as you might call it—a savory type of banana high in carbohydrates, cooked and served with a groundnut sauce or red beans. The green-trunked banana trees grow smaller fruit, but

these little bananas are sweet and delicious. You have never tasted a real banana until you have pulled a handful from a tree and allowed their sugary sweetness to delight your taste buds.

Our house was made of mud that had been stuck onto a sturdy wooden frame. The walls were thick and the roof was thatched with dried grass from a nearby marsh. Because my mother was my father’s first wife, our house was the biggest, with three rooms: a bedroom for my parents, another for my sisters, and a main living area in which my brothers and I slept and where we all ate when it was too wet or cold outside.

Our compound stretched around our house, and in it could be found our goats, maybe the odd cow, a dog or two, as well as the charcoal fire where my mother would cook. The earth was hard and dark, flattened by the feet of so many people living there. A few meters along from our house was another, slightly smaller. In it were my father’s second wife and their children. Farther on still was another house and another wife and more children. And then another.

You could call our overcrowding a form of domestic congestion or an “overextended family,” but whichever words you use, the truth was simple: My father had taken too many wives. My mother was his first, but as his anger rose along with his drinking, so too did the number of wives. In one year he married five other women, and by the end of his life he had fathered a total of thirty-two children: twenty-six girls and six boys. So, yes, there were too many of us. Too many wives fighting for his attention, too many children desperate for a father, too many mouths left hungry by too little land. “I know how our poverty will be wiped clean,” said my father one day. On his travels away from us he had found a large piece of land, two hundred miles west, where we could all live in plenty. Each wife would have five acres of land, more than enough to feed us and keep hunger away.

So he had sold our home and the land we had been squeezed into. On the morning of our planned departure, every able body was loaded up with possessions and sent off down the hill, past the spring, through the banana trees, and out onto the valley bottom, passing by the unmarked boundary that signaled the edge of my father’s land. Once out on the valley floor we then carried our sleeping mats, cooking pots, animal skins, water jars, and low tables down the track for another mile to the village of Kashumuruzi.

Kashumuruzi was an exciting place. It was the link with the outside world. Where Rwanjogori was home to only a few families and nothing else, Kashumuruzi was different. Not only did it have a trading post—a shop that sold everything from home-brewed beer to pots and cloth—but its houses and compounds were all stuck on one side of a main road that, in one direction, ran to the distant local capital of Kabale, while the other way pointed to the waterfall of Kisiizi and, beyond that, the new land my father was taking us to.

At this time in my life I was not poor. True, all those extra wives and children had put a strain on our resources, so the move was something we all welcomed, even if we did so cautiously. But my father was a dealer in animal skins, and he was good at his job. He was a charismatic, attractive man. People listened when he spoke and readied themselves to follow when he led. We had status.

So there we were, sitting at the side of the road, our possessions piled high beneath the tall tree that gave a little shade in the gathering heat. It was a big day in the life of the local villages, and as the trucks arrived, so too did a small crowd of onlookers. My father spoke to the drivers as soon as they arrived, gave them instructions about where we were going and how to load the possessions. This was a side of him I had not seen much of before: commanding authority from other adults who seemed to lower their eyes and obey him quickly. I was used to seeing my siblings or my mother hurrying to obey his commands, avoiding eye contact and hoping to avoid his rage, but not other men. With the bystanders he was different: He seemed unusually happy, as if he was enjoying being the center of the show, like a magician preparing for a grand finale, smiling to himself at the knowledge that what was coming was sure to leave an impression for years to come on the minds of those watching.

We loaded everything we had onto the pickup trucks and then climbed on. We might not have been poor, but we were certainly not wealthy enough for me to have been in the back of a pickup truck before. We were certainly not that wealthy. As we prepared to drive through villages and even towns—yes, there would be towns on the journey!—I was excited beyond words, a six-year-old boy about to experience the most thrilling thing of all, on display for all to see as we made our way to our new life. To my mind this was already a very good day, what with all the excitement of carrying things down from our home and having so many people gathering to watch us. And it was about to get even better.

My mother was a kind woman, and a wise one too. She was also a woman of prayer. She knew how to pick her battles, and she had ushered my sisters and me up into the final pickup truck. Let the other wives fight for the status of riding in the first one with our father in the cab. It was probably best to keep a low profile anyway: My father had been acting strangely around my mother, my siblings, and me for months.

Before the engines started, my father got out and made his way back down the line. He stopped by our truck and looked at each of us in turn; my mother, me, my sisters, and my two brothers. Those wide eyes that had been sparkling and dancing for days were suddenly different. Darker. Narrowed. I did not want to look into them. “All of you,” he said. “Get down.”

I could not move. I had received so many beatings and scoldings from my father that panic was never far from my heart whenever he addressed me. Usually I would run or fight, but this time I remained still, frozen.

“You have been a problem to me. You fought against me, and I cannot migrate with problems.” He quickly stepped around the back of the vehicle, reached into the brush behind the tall tree, and pulled out a stick. He wielded the six-foot flexible weapon with skill, bringing it stinging through the air, lashing us across our cowed backs .I do not know whether I fell, jumped, or was pushed down from the truck, but it did not take long before we were facing the dirt, surrounding our mother, crying.

The beatings hurt, but they were nothing new. My father knew how to hurt us, and there had been plenty of occasions in the past when he had inflicted pain on us in cruel ways that left scars visible even today. But these beatings at the side of the road were not the main event; they were a warm-up to something big. He was merely tenderizing the meat so that we were truly ready for the fire to follow.

It had been six months since my father had returned from his self-imposed exile, and every day he had been back at home with us he had kept a particular bucket close by. Each morning he had filled it with ash from the fire, and my mother had always asked him, “What do you want this ash for?” He only ever gave the same reply: “One day you will see.”
As we crouched there, huddled around our mother, the tree towering above us, the hill stretching back behind, the trucks to our side, the road at our feet, and an increasingly large crowd watching from the other side, my father dropped his stick and reached down for the bucket that he had also hidden in the brush behind the tree. Suddenly he was not a raging father or a stick-wielding disciplinarian. He was an actor, playing to the crowd opposite, his body half turned so they could all see the bucket of ash swinging in his hand, hovering over our heads. His voice, loud and formal, rang across the road as he announced to everyone: “I am leaving my children with their inheritance.” With that he tipped the bucket upside down, the great cloud of ash getting caught on the wind before much of it settled on our bodies.
“My children,” he said, standing above us with an empty bucket swinging in his hand, “I am not leaving you with cows or property or anything else. This ash is your inheritance. And just as it has been blown away, may you, too, be blown away with your mother!”

I do not know precisely what happened after that. I saw my father’s feet carry him away, heard a truck door slam and three engines cough out their lungs like waking monsters that patrol a small boy’s nightmares. As the vehicles pulled away, his remaining wives and their children began to sing and drum their songs of celebration. They had our property. They had left us behind. They sounded happy.

We, meanwhile, started to weep. All of us—my mother, my three sisters, my two brothers, James and Robert, and I—wept with the pain of humiliation, of fear, of shock. But as the noise of the trucks

and the victorious wives diminished, another noise broke throughour sobs. The onlookers were laughing, cheering, and shouting their own abuses at us.
“Be careful, women: She will steal your own husbands! She’s a bad woman—she cannot be trusted.”

“Their time has come at last! She thought she was so superior all those years.”
“Typical Rwandese. Typical Tutsi: always bringing trouble with them.”
I was too young to understand all of their words, but I knew we were alone now.

My mother had fled neighboring Rwanda some years earlier, escaping the start of what would be a continuing campaign of genocide against her native Tutsi people at the hands of the Hutu. We had no family left to depend on, nowhere left to go. And now that our father had so publicly rejected us, we were utterly and completely alone. We were like dead dogs at the side of the road, devoid of rights, denied dignity, and completely worthless. The only difference was that we were still breathing. But what good was that doing us? In that moment it would have been better had we died right there and then.

Those trucks were carrying whatever was left of my own happiness. I was six years old—old enough to know that, as the oldest male in that heap of wretched bodies, it was my duty to do something to help us get out of the horror. For my father had taught me one lesson as he had brought his stick down fast upon me: When a man is consumed by anger and hatred, he can change the lives of those around him in an instant. Anger can rage like a volcanic eruption.

As our tears fell to the ground, it was as if they turned to blood. If you have ever been to Africa, you will understand what I mean when I say this. The soil in Africa is rich and red, stained by time and struggles. On this day, it was made darker by the tears of a small boy who wished he had enough anger and hatred within him to change the lives of his mother and siblings in an instant.

I wished things would change at that moment. I wished I did not have to look at the feet of the few villagers who remained nearby to watch us in our shame. Those feet seemed to taunt me, with their cracks and scars deeper and broader than my own. They had carried their owners through many struggles over many years. What hope could I have of surviving? What hope did I have of holding on to life? I could not even stay on a truck.

There is a saying that was written down by an African: “Time and bad conditions do not favor beauty.” It is true. For some of us, growing up in Africa has brought suffering and hardship, right up close, time after time. Life has been robbed of its beauty.

Yet is that really so different from the American family that is crippled by debt and held back by too many jobs that pay too little money? Or what about the child from the European inner city who grows up with his nose pressed against the window of privilege and opulence—who sees the cars and the money and the ease of living— and knows he can never achieve such wealth for himself? Africa does not have a monopoly on time and bad conditions, any more than the West has a monopoly on health and happiness. Beauty can be taken from us all.

My father had tried hard to take the beauty out of my life. As we crouched on the roadside, ash in our hair, tears leaving trails though the dust on our faces, we must have looked like the ugliest people on earth. Who would want us? Who would care for us? Who would rescue such miserable people? Surely we had been left to die. We were rejected, abandoned, disowned, and cursed. Our security, our self-worth, and our significance were crushed.

Eventually there were no more tears. We begged the ground to take us right there and then, but it did not. At that moment I wanted to die. I did not want any more of this life where one man could cause so much pain. I wanted the earth to become my tomb

If our lives are seen as stories, then this was the start of the chapter of bitterness that became my staple diet for twenty years. The poverty got worse, hope evaporated, the future was nothing but decay.

But my story did not stay that way forever. It changed beyond all recognition. Everything that was made ugly by pain and anger was turned to beauty by one incredibly simple yet unbelievably revolutionary thing: forgiveness.

These pages that you hold in your hand will show how a boy who begged to die by the side of the road grew to become a man who was able to forgive. These pages will take you and me back to our tombs

and our funerals and ask how God might turn them into maternity wards and celebrations. These pages, I hope, will open your eyes to the change that God Himself has in store for you.

Even today I remember that time at the roadside, beneath the tree, and wonder what God saw. Of course I know He saw our pain and our rejection. He saw the hatred that spilled over from our father and would continue to infect the lives of others in the village. He saw the rapid descent in our fortunes, from a family with a future to a collection of outcasts with no power, no voice, no potential.

But I also think He saw us stay with our mother. He saw us hold on tight to one another, remaining by one another, our tears and cries flowing together. It was a small step, and it did not feel as though there were any other choices on offer, but there is power in unity, power in the family. My father migrated and rejected, abandoned, disowned, and cursed us. But not Jesus. He is a caring God who stays closer than anyone else.

Our time at that tree by the side of the road did not last forever. Soon God brought a kind man to rescue us. Years later He would guide people to bring messages about His steadfast love to us in the midst of other periods of pain. And even after that, as an adult, I would one day descend from a bus at this very spot, my life having changed forever, forgiveness staging its dramatic revolution in every fiber of my body.

In time, everything would be different.

Copyright 2011 Medad Birungi. Tombstones and Banana Trees published by David C Cook. Publisher permission required to reproduce in any way. All rights reserved.  

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Tuesday, 7 June 2011
The Juice Lady's Living Foods Revolution - A First Wild Card Blog Tour Book
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Book Reviews

A month or so ago I signed up for this great looking book to review. Unfortunately I just received it Saturday and the review was supposed to be posted today. It seems that many of the reviewers just got their books, so we were told to post the review below then later, after we have had time to read the book and try some of the Juice recipes, write a "what we thought" review. I have briefly looked through it and it really does look like a great book. I'm looking forward to reading more and, as I said, trying some of the recipes.


It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

The Juice Lady's Living Foods Revolution: Eat your way to health, detoxification, and weight loss with delicious juices and raw foods

Siloam (June 7, 2011)

***Special thanks to Anna Coelho Silva | Publicity Coordinator, Charisma House | Charisma Media for sending me a review copy.***


Cherie Calbom, MS, is the author of The Juice Lady’s Turbo Diet and Juicing for Life, which has nearly two million books in print in the United States. Known as “The Juice Lady” for her work with juicing and health, her juice therapy and cleansing programs have been popular for more than a decade. Cherie has worked as a clinical nutritionist and has a master’s degree in nutrition from Bastyr University.

Visit the author's website.


Welcome to the Living Foods Revolution!

Research shows that live foods contain biophotons, which carry light energy into our bodies and help our cells communicate with each other. Cooking food kills these and leaves the body craving the energy and nutrients it needs to function at a healthy, vibrant level.

In The Juice Lady’s Living Foods Revolution, nutrition expert Cherie Calbom shows you how to enjoy the benefit of these essential nutrients simply by adding more raw foods to your diet. With 130 four-color recipes, shopping lists, menu plans, and other practical advice, Calbom presents a living foods lifestyle plan that will help you:

· Detoxify and lose weight
· Slow the aging process
· Conquer adrenal fatigue
· Bust candida and yeast infections
· Boost your immune system· Balance your thyroid function
· Become healthier and happier for life!

Product Details:

List Price: $17.99
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Siloam (June 7, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616383631
ISBN-13: 978-1616383633


The Living Foods Revolution
Eat food you love that loves you back… and you will find the love of your life!
—Raw Chef avi Dalene
Living foods. They’re foods that are alive—raw (not cooked) and filled with life. They’re also called raw foods or live foods. You can plant them, pick them, sprout them, or simply eat them. In each case—you get life! That’s because life comes from life. These foods are your “true north,” your path home to health in a jungle of dietary havoc, contaminated food, and abounding confusion about what and how to eat.

What constitutes human nourishment that blesses us with abundant health? Is it the antibiotic-laden, growth-hormone-laced flesh of stressed-out factory-farm animals? How about pasteurized milk products with their denatured protein and damaged fats? Is it cooked or processed vegetables saturated with pesticides and preservatives? Maybe it’s designer foods with “good health promises.” Perhaps it’s the long line of prescription pills coming out of the thunderous jaws of manufacturing plants.

My dear friends, we’ve been duped—completely led astray—by marketing campaigns. Good health is the result of consuming whole, unprocessed, clean food with a large percentage of that being raw and alive. These foods are chock-full of nutrients, water, and fiber that flush away toxins, waste, and “sludge” from our cells and intercellular fluids.

They help us prevent disease. They alkalize our body and help us restore our pH balance. And they give our cells vital light rays of energy to help them communicate more effectively.

How did we lose our way—from pure, whole food to processed, packaged, chemically sprayed industrialized fare—in such a short period of time, considering that for millions of years we ate whole and mostly living foods?

A stroll down memory lane reveals that ramped-up marketing campaigns, clever slogans, and interesting commercials hooked a nation more than half a century ago on money-making products that changed America’s thinking about food—forever.
The vegetable oil industry went into full swing during World War II when tropical oils, which were among the healthiest oils on Earth for cooking because they didn’t oxidize easily, couldn’t make it across the oceans. Well-crafted advertising campaigns touted the benefits of vegetable oil. Wesson cooking oil was recommended “for your heart’s sake.” They also ran an ad in a prominent medical journal describing it as “cholesterol depressant.” Mazola ads said, “Science finds corn oil important to your health.” And Dr. Frederick Stare, head of Harvard University’s Nutrition Department, encouraged Americans to consume corn oil—up to one cup a day—in his syndicated column.1

When the war ended, tropical oils were vilified so that the vegetable oil companies could retain their market share. Was this refined oil our answer to curing the increase in heart disease that followed the war? Research since then has exposed quite the opposite: consumption of those oils is one of the culprits behind heart disease. We now know that oils made from polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), such as corn, soy, safflower, and sunflower oil, actually contribute to heart disease because they oxidize easily and can cause plaque buildup in the arteries. It is insightful to note that the Wynn Institute for Metabolic Research in London studied people who died from heart disease and found that the fats responsible for clogging the arteries of these people were 26 percent saturated fat and 74 percent PUFAs. Rather than implicate saturated fats, they more accurately pointed to PUFAs—the fats found in polyunsaturated vegetable oils—as the primary suppliers to aortic plaque formation. This research group suggested that people avoid these oils completely.

A New Generation of Food and Beverage Products

Cooking oils weren’t the only thing to change during this time. Carbonated beverages were also first marketed to the American public shortly after World War II, and by the early 1960s dozens of companies like Coca-Cola were competing for shelf space for their diet and sugar-filled sodas. Marketers promoted their way into our homes with jingles such as, “Zing! Coca-Cola gives you that refreshing new feeling!” Their message? To be part of the hip new generation of young people, you must drink Coke. Chemical sugars such as calcium cyclamate, saccharin, and aspartame replaced white sugar in diet soda with the promise of weight loss. Diet sodas were promoted to diabetics as sugar-free options to popular sugar-packed sodas.
But wait. Do diet sodas really help us prevent weight gain or diabetes? Their promises fall short. The San Antonio Heart Study—a twenty-five-year community-based study carried out at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio—found the exact opposite to be true. Their research showed that the more diet sodas a person drinks, the greater their chance of becoming overweight or obese. Added weight is a strong risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes. Sharon Fowler, a faculty associate for the San Antonio Heart Study, put it this way: “On average, for each diet soft drink participants drank per day, they were 65 percent more likely to become overweight during the next seven to eight years, and 41 percent more likely to become obese.”3 On top of creating the opposite effect for weight loss and diabetes, these drinks are full of unhealthy chemicals so potent that they can rust nails.
The 1950s also saw the emergence of another new phenomenon in American eating habits: fast food. In 1955 Ray Kroc opened his first McDonald’s franchise in suburban Chicago. His advertising slogan—“The All American Meal.” It was a fifteen-cent hamburger (four cents extra for cheese), ten-cent fries, and a twenty-cent milk shake. This cheap, kid-friendly combo was served to families as a speedy, twenty-five-second meal-to-go. But was it the “all American” answer for something quick to eat?

What Morgan Spurlock’s 2004 film Super Size Me revealed was that these fast meals are anything but a healthy all-American choice or a meal to make you happy. For the month of February 2003 Spurlock ate only McDonald’s food for three meals a day. He also got no exercise. In the film he documents the dire effects this diet had on his physical and psychological well-being. Within five days Spurlock gained 10 pounds and experienced depression, headaches, and lethargy. By the time the monthlong binge was over, the thirty-two-year-old Spurlock had gained 24 pounds. His doctors warned him that he had done irreversible damage to his heart. It took him almost fifteen months to lose the weight he gained.4

Since the release of Spurlock’s film, McDonald’s has stopped super-sizing meals and has added some healthier fare to their menus. But some of the old favorites remain. A close look at the ingredients in their popular Chicken McNuggets—the only “chicken” some kids ever eat— reveals that not everything has been given a nutritional makeover. Here’s a complete list of the ingredients in a Chicken McNugget, as posted on the McDonald’s website:
White boneless chicken, water, food starch-modified, salt, seasoning [yeast extract, salt, wheat starch, natural flavoring (botanical source), safflower oil, dextrose, citric acid], sodium phosphate, natural flavor (botanical source). Battered and breaded with: water, enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), yellow corn flour, bleached wheat flour, food starch-modified, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, calcium lactate), spices, wheat starch, dextrose, corn starch. Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.
There’s obviously a lot more in a McNugget than breaded fried chicken. As this list of ingredients reveals, it also includes a mix of corn-derived fillers (most corn is genetically modified, which is abbreviated as GMO), natural flavorings (often a code word for MSG), leavening agents, dextrose (sugar), and chemicals such as TBHQ and dimethylpolysiloxane. Dimethylpolysiloxane is an anti-foaming agent, which is a type of silicone that is used in cosmetics and other goods like Silly Putty. And tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) is a synthetic antioxidant preservative that is a common ingredient in processed foods and chewing gum (one of the highest). It is also found in varnishes, lacquers, pesticides, cosmetics, and perfumes to reduce the evaporation rate and improve stability.6
A third change in the way Americans eat also came about during the postwar era: prepackaged breakfast cereals. Tony the Tiger made his debut in the 1950s and became an instant hit as the face and voice of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes. In 1957 a popular breakfast cereal ad read, “Wheaties may help you live longer.” And Cap’n Crunch and his crew generated mega-sales for Quaker Oats’ popular cereals.

Billions of boxes of dry cereal have been sold since such ads danced, sang, and talked their way into our lives. Children as well as adults— even many who are health conscious—eat boxed cereals thinking that they are healthy choices. But let’s consider some facts. These cereals are manufactured by means of a process called extrusion. First, a liquid mixture called a slurry is created with the grains. Then it’s put in an extruder—a machine that forces the slurry out of a little hole at high pressure and temperature. The shape of the hole turns the mixture into the various cereal shapes we’re all familiar with: little o’s, flakes, animals, shreds, or puffs.
Paul Stitt delves into the extrusion process in his book Fighting the Food Giants, explaining that this process destroys most of the nutrients in the grains, such as the fatty acids and even the synthetic vitamins added at the end. However, according to Stitt, the worst part is that extrusion turns the amino acids into toxic matter. The amino acid lysine is especially denatured during extrusion. Stitt also points out that this is how all boxed cereals are manufactured, even the ones sold in health food stores. One of the most alarming aspects of extrusion that Stitt warns about is that whole-grain extruded cereals are probably more dangerous than cereals that are not made from whole grains. Why? Because whole grains are higher in protein, and it is the proteins in these cereals that are the most compromised by this process.

You may remember this line: “Wonder bread helps build strong bodies eight ways.” (Later it became twelve ways.) In my opinion, the ad should have read, “Wonder Bread helps tear down bodies eight ways.” Wonder Bread and other smooth white breads get their soft texture from refined wheat flour. Refined wheat flour has had the natural fiber removed from it because whole grains go rancid rather quickly due to the high oil content in the bran. Refining makes bread that has an extended shelf life, but it no longer gives us much nutrition. And the breads have gotten fluffier and fluffier through the years with hybrid grains that have more and more gluten, created specifically for this purpose. (This is one reason so many people are gluten intolerant today.) These high-starch grains that are made into fluffy breads along with other refined flour products like pasta and pizza crust are targeted as one of the primary contributors, along with sugar, to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Unfortunately, there’s more from the 1950s to add to our list of unhealthy eating habits. It was 1954 when Swanson introduced the first TV dinner in an aluminum tray—turkey, cornbread stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, and peas. The American family moved from the dinner table to trays in front of the television and started watching TV families interact rather than talking with their own family members while they ate.

It permanently changed the way Americans ate. American families lost the treasure of eating, laughing, sharing the day’s events, and praying with the family. We also lost real, whole food made with human hands.

The TV dinner marketing slogans were all about convenience and ease. American women were encouraged to buy the dinners so they could: “Have dinner ready. Prepare yourself. Touch up your makeup. Put a ribbon in your hair.”9 More than 10 million TV dinners were sold in the first year.

Is the ease and convenience of frozen and packaged meals worth it? Many people now consider such meals very unhealthy—too much sodium, monosodium glutamate (MSG), additives, unhealthy fats, not enough vegetables, and no live food, along with aluminum that contributed to heavy metal toxicity (today it’s plastic toxicity). If it hadn’t been for Julia Child, we may have ended up in worse shape than we are today. Julia persuaded American women to go back to the kitchen and prepare real food.
The Green Revolution and Designer Foods

In 1960 we saw the introduction of “miracle seeds”—improved varieties of wheat, corn, and rice, which dramatically increased the crop yields of American farmers. Through the use of pesticides, irrigation, and genetic engineering, these miracle seeds doubled or tripled harvests on the same size plots as previous harvests. The seeds and growing practices quickly spread to farmers in other countries with the hope that they would help end world hunger.
This dramatic increase in crop production was called the “Green Revolution.” It was a revolution without a doubt, but far from green— which has come to mean buying organic, purchasing foods locally, and promoting sustainable farming and animal husbandry (compassionate care for domestic animals). The hybrid seeds and genetically engineered crops gave us wheat with more gluten so manufacturers could make fluffier bread as I just mentioned, which caused allergies and gastrointestinal problems like Crohn’s disease, colitis, and irritable bowl syndrome. Pesticides killed bugs, but it also killed songbirds; it’s wiping out our bee population, and it’s contributing to cancer and other diseases in humans. In the end, it has killed many of us. (Studies show there is an increased incidence of cancer among farmers, indicating the impact that pesticides have on the human body.11) And we must ask ourselves why birds and fish are mysteriously dying by the thousands. Are they the “canaries in the coal mine”? Are we next?

Then along came “designer foods” concocted by food scientists, promising specific health benefits, belched out by big factories, but most often devoid of life-promoting ingredients. They led us astray with their “good health promises” that didn’t deliver what they said. As a whole, people are sicker than ever before in history.

Well, this ends our stroll down memory lane. As you can see, we can’t trust the jingles, commercials, and marketing ads. They gave us slogans like “Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet!” And, “More doctors smoke Camels.” Here’s the truth: we’ve been the human guinea pigs for decades. We continue to learn, often too late, that many popular products have made us sick, caused deaths, and took our money to boot!

Do you want these people guiding your food choices?

There’s a little voice inside calling you home—away from the clamor and spin of the big companies with clever marketing slogans and foods designed to hook you to crave more unhealthy stuff—to the simple goodness of the earth, free of chemicals, genetic tampering, and the fluff that’s killing you. The voice is calling you to compassionate eating, sustainability, and supporting local organic farmers. It’s time to rethink your perception of food and to discover that you are not too busy to make the time to prepare whole, living foods. You’re too busy not to. It’s time for a revolution in the way you eat and the way you think about food. If you return to nature’s living bounty, you can heal your body and mind along with the earth.

Donna Experienced Positive Results in Four Days!

I experienced immediate results physically and mentally in just four days with Cherie’s diet. The first day I replaced my morning cup of coffee with white tea and a glass of The Morning Energizer juice. The flavors are amazing. I noticed my normal raging hunger and nausea from coffee on an empty stomach disappeared. I felt a little hungry later, but it was a much different and a very mild feeling. After the first day, I no longer had to take antacids daily and my stomach stopped bloating. I slept more peacefully than I have in a long time. I’m feeling more energy and am calmer than I can remember. When I went grocery shopping, I viewed rows of processed foods, coffees, creamers, cheeses, cookies, cakes, ice creams, and chips. The normal diet choices looked empty and terrible to me. I am simply thrilled with the new me, and I will never return to the diet that was quietly creating illness in me. Thank you with all my heart.
I Had a Dream
Dreams have often been my teacher. A few months ago I had an insightful sequence of images while sleeping. In the dream, I was in a room with a number of birds that had the freedom to fly and perch where they wished. I noticed they were all getting sick. So the first thing I checked was their food and water bowls. There was the culprit. The water was not clean, and their food bowls were full of only hulls—the life-giving nourishment had been removed from the seeds. I then saw a large bird make its way to a food bowl. It was weak and sick, and most of its feathers were gone. As soon as it started eating, a big bird flew in and began pecking on its back, drilling a hole in its flesh. I was horrified and tried to beat off the bird of prey with some papers in my hand. It was to no avail. I woke up— deeply disturbed. I knew this dream was significant; it portrayed the state of affairs for many people in our nation.

Americans eat food with little or no nourishment—burgers, fries, hot dogs, sodas, doughnuts, milk shakes, pizza, pasta, packaged foods, fluffy bread sandwiches, low-fat products, and frozen dinners. This food is less nourishing than the birds’ hulls in my dream. Then we get sick. We go to the doctor and complain about our ailments. Rarely does anyone ask us what we are eating and drinking. And would it matter? Many of the doctors and nurses seeing us are eating the same things. We go for early-detection tests for various diseases and call that prevention. (What about learning about the lifestyle that helps us to not get sick in the first place? That is true prevention.) When we complain about an ailment, rather than getting to the root cause, we’re given prescription drugs that often cause different symptoms, for which we’re given additional prescription drugs.
Eventually we get so weak and sick that we, like the sick bird in my dream, have holes drilled in our flesh through surgeries and procedures. To top if off, some of our prescription drugs are found to cause serious problems and even death. Lawyers file lawsuits against the drug companies that manufactured those drugs and win big settlements; most of the money goes to the attorneys. Those drugs are taken off the market and new ones replace them.
I looked with interest at the dream scene where I was trying to beat off the bird of prey with papers. I believe the papers represent my books. I keep writing to expose lies and herald truth. For those who never read my books, my message is to no avail, and the “birds of prey” in our society continue to victimize the weak and sick people and make them weaker, sicker, and more dependent on prescription drugs.

But you’re different. You bought this book and are learning truth. For those who have listened and acted in the past, their lives have been changed. I get e-mails and calls continually telling me wonderful stories of healing and hope regarding weight loss and health improvements—this represents thousands of people.

Weight Loss With Health Rewards
I want to share with you the great news! I have lost 11 pounds since starting the coconut-juicing plan three weeks ago. I am off the coffee and sugar addiction cycle and making new discoveries. I feel so good and healthy. My body and skin agree with the recipes. My mental focus is improving, and the dark circles under my eyes are disappearing! I have a good balance of natural energy and cannot believe the blessings in life that I am experiencing each day. I am beyond happy with my new habits and look forward to many more articles, books, classes, and your next adventures. Thank you so much for sharing.

What the Living Foods Revolution Can Do for You

The Juice Lady’s Living Foods Revolution is a book based on a lifestyle program I created that involves juicing every day and eating a large percentage of your food while it is still “living,” which means uncooked and unprocessed plant foods. These living foods “love you back” by giving you a plethora of life-giving nutrients. That equates to higher energy levels, weight loss, detoxification, mental clarity, increased vitality, and inner peace. But unlike most raw food programs, the Juice Lady’s living foods lifestyle program doesn’t toss out all cooked food. You can even include a few organic, pastured animal products if you wish. This lifestyle is about choosing pure, whole foods with an abundance of that fare being live—raw, juiced, blended, gently warmed, and dehydrated.

Raw green vegetables are emphasized because they have served as the basis of nearly all life on this planet. They’re key to our life. I’ve known this for a long time, but I couldn’t get enough of them into my diet to really make a big difference—until I started juicing about a quart a day that included lots of greens. I rotated a wide variety of greens such as Swiss chard, collards, curly kale, black dino kale, kohlrabi leaves, dandelion greens, romaine lettuce, parsley, and spinach, combined with cucumber, celery, lemon, and a carrot or two.

Juicing this wide variety of produce gives us a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytonutrients, and biophotons. These foods help to lower estrogen in a woman’s body and decrease the chance of contracting breast cancer—something I’ve always been concerned about since my mother died of breast cancer when I was six years old. Raw foods, which are rich in antioxidants, also help the body remove toxins, thus helping to keep us from getting ill.
Since the beginning of human life, mankind has eaten mostly raw, living foods in season. It is only in recent decades that we have begun eating highly cooked and processed stuff. When we look at other cultures whose people have continued eating their traditional diets, we do not see any significant incidence of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and morbid obesity that have become pervasive in Western society.
Transformation of Avi
While riding my bicycle to work on July 2, 2001, I was hit by a car. And even though I was wearing a helmet, I sustained a traumatic brain injury. I went through extensive therapies of various kinds, and while they all worked together to make me into the person I am now, [I believe] it is the organic, raw vegan cuisine and transformational super foods that have created and maintained the most healing I have experienced thus far. I have been raw a bit over four years now. Recently, alone at the beach by a fire pit with a box full of papers and memorabilia, I had the funeral for the old me. I left the beach with an empty container and a clean slate to create the life that is calling me.

—Raw Chef avi Dalene
In our super-sized society where cooked and processed food is served in abundance, living food is a wise choice because it’s hard to overeat raw foods. Fresh vegetable juice is amazing in that it offers us many nutrients that are so satisfying that most people lose their cravings.

There are some great benefits of a living foods lifestyle if you’re trying to drop a few pounds. Many people say they don’t get hungry for quite a while after they drink freshly made vegetable juices. A living foods diet may help you lose weight more quickly, and it can help stabilize your weight once you arrive at your desired goal so that you don’t end up gaining it all back. So, even if you consume the average three thousand plus calories per day, chances are you’ll just naturally consume fewer calories when you juice because you won’t be as hungry. And you can lose weight more quickly and keep those unwanted pounds off with the living foods lifestyle. But the best part is that many people report that weight loss is just secondary to all the other incredible health benefits they experience.

Living foods provide your body with high-energy fuel, so you don’t become fatigued throughout the day. Even if you eat a hearty-sized meal of living foods, you won’t feel like you need a nap afterward. Further, many people have found that having a glass of fresh veggie juice midmorning or midafternoon is an excellent pick-me-up to keep them mentally alert and energized for hours.

A diet that is made up of 60 to 80 percent raw foods is a live foods diet, because the majority of the foods are eaten in their natural state. Living foods are high in enzymes, which are important to the body because they help in converting vitamins and minerals to energy. Indeed, enzymes are needed for every chemical reaction that takes place in the body. No mineral, vitamin, or hormone can do its work without enzymes. Plant food enzymes work in the digestive system where they predigest foods and thus spare the pancreas and other digestive organs from having to work so hard to produce excess enzymes. Eating living foods, especially vegetables, sprouts, wild greens, fruits, nuts, and seeds, is the healthiest for the human body. Truly they can transform you from the inside out.
A Wonderful Journey of Restoring Health!

Your book is helping me start a wonderful journey of restoring health and stability. I am becoming more familiar with what is beneficial for my body and important foods that are high in alkalinity.

—Linda (not Real name)
What if certain diet modifications could increase your chance of living a healthy, youthful life—free from drugs and surgery—well into your eighties, nineties, and possibly beyond? Would it be worth trying?

By switching to a living foods diet, many people have helped their bodies heal from life-threatening diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. And many people have reversed the aging process and become trim and fit. Consuming plenty of raw foods re-creates your body inside out. It transforms even your face. Do you want a natural facelift? Eat lots of living foods (and take vitamin C). These are the keys to rejuvenated skin, supporting collagen, and your passport to vibrant health and high-level wellness! They assist your body right down to the DNA with the raw materials that fuel your cells. Lively cells construct a lively body. Healthy cells create vibrant health. They’ll help you live your life to your full potential.

The Abundant Lifestyle
Most Americans live a suboptimal existence—mediocre health, low energy, depression, lack of joy, poor memory, poor sleep, and a variety of aches, pains, and ailments. Good health and joyous living are your birthright. You can move toward this quality of life every day if you choose the right lifestyle.
Starting today, you can transition to the living foods lifestyle so you can live the abundant life. As I mentioned before, aim for 60 to 80 percent of your food raw, but even if you just make half of your diet raw, you’ve made a great improvement. Most live food programs are all or nothing. I’ve talked with many people who say, “I can’t go ‘all raw’ with my lifestyle.” So they forget the whole thing. But when you know that you can have some leeway, it’s encouraging to take steps, even baby steps, toward a healthy living foods lifestyle.

Here’s how a “living foods day” might look: Drink two 12- to 16-ounce glasses of raw vegetable juice, or make one glass of juice and have a green smoothie, preferably one in the morning to get you energized and one in the afternoon to keep you going. Eat one or two large salads or servings of raw veggies or a raw energy soup. You could choose a piece of low-sugar raw fruit or some raw veggies for a snack. To that you can add about a quarter of your food cooked. If you have an illness or disease, then it is recommended that a larger percentage of your food should be raw (juiced or blended if you have significant digestive issues) and that you occasionally spend a day or two just drinking fresh vegetable juice (juice fasting) to help detoxify your system.

Have you noticed that when you have a day where you eat mostly cooked foods, with very little live food, you want to eat more and more? I experienced that recently. I was served mostly cooked foods at two different events in one day—all whole foods, but about 90 percent of it cooked. At the end of the day I was still hungry. It was 9:00 p.m., and I wanted something else to eat. My body was craving live foods. A little glass of juice did the trick—the urge inside was gone. This is where fresh vegetable juice is so amazing. It’s very satisfying. When you feast on raw juices, you can experience the single most effective short-term antidote to cravings, fatigue, and stress available.

Many people call or e-mail to say they feel so much better since they have started on the Juice Lady’s living foods lifestyle. I recently received a call from a woman who said those exact words. She has noticed a tremendous amount of energy since starting the living foods and juice program a week before. Prior to that, there were times when she didn’t even want to leave the house for days because she was so fatigued. Now she feels like getting out and doing things all the time.

So what’s going on?
Raw juices and living foods are packed with a cornucopia of nutrients, including biophotons—those light rays of energy the plants get from the sun. When we cook food, those beautiful rays of energy are destroyed or shrink way down. Professor Fritz-Albert Popp and Dr. H. Niggli are two researchers who have found that the light energy in biophotons is an important aspect of food. The more light a food is able to store, the more beneficial the food. Naturally grown fruits and vegetables that are ripened in the sun are strong sources of light energy. Numerous minute particles of light—biophotons, the smallest units of light—make their way into our cells when we eat these foods. They provide our bodies with important information and control complex processes such as ordering and regulating our cells.12
When you drink a tall glass of fresh veggie juice and your day is focused on more live foods than cooked or processed fare, your whole internal environment changes. As you consume more living foods, you require fewer calories because biophotons help rev up the mitochondria of your cells—the little energy furnaces that pump out ATP (adenosine triphosphate, the energy that is used by cells). They also feed your DNA, which stores about 90 percent of the biophotons found in your cells. Because biophotons carry biological information of the plant into your body, it’s kind of like getting a software download or having a computer technician take over your computer remotely to fix things you can’t begin to correct. Just as the computer tech fixes errors on your computer, the biophotons help to fix errors that have taken place within the body.13

Voilà! You start feeling better, lighter, and more energized as time goes on. Your sleep improves, and you may need less of it. Your mind becomes more alert and creative. No longer will you find yourself in a disorganized fog because biophotons help your mind and body to come alive. You will experience more mental energy, and your creativity improves as well because of the electrical stimulation of the biophotons. (Could this be the boot for dementia or early Alzheimer’s disease?) Your metabolism also ramps up, and you burn more calories helping you get fit with greater ease. And in the process, your overall health improves. Symptoms of poor health, ailments, and chronic diseases begin to heal. Your whole life changes!
Juicing Helped When Nothing Else Worked

My husband is a medical doctor. I was an artist. We are very active in our faith and for years participated in foreign missions. We have been everywhere—from the slums of Mexico to the war-torn Congo. Being physically fit and active was and is necessary for such trips. I would carry about 30 pounds on my back and walk five hours into Ecuador’s Amazon rain forest to deliver school supplies to remote villages. I had to be able to handle the weight, heat, and terrain.

While in the Congo, even after taking all the precautions and shots, I was bitten by a bug, and my health was never the same. At first my husband thought I had malaria. Then I lost the use of my hands. Being a sculptor, that was devastating. I saw many doctors and spent thousands of dollars on tests. My symptoms escalated. I was tested for multiple sclerosis, Lyme disease, and many, many other things. During this time I lived either on the sofa or in my bed. Actually, I was not living. I was simply existing. Just the simple act of walking was extremely painful. My internist deducted that I had toxic levels of mercury (from old tooth fillings) and lead (from sculpting clay), chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, food allergies, and a liver that wasn’t functioning efficiently. I took twenty-five pills per day.

I endured IV chelation, colonics, and all sorts of painful and debilitating treatments without lasting improvement. I started seeking specialists in other states. One specialist said I had Candida albicans and multiple allergies. He recommended shots twice a week. Monthly I drove eight hours to see him. After that year, I could see no improvement but was suffering from adverse reactions to the medications. In talking with him about it, he told me I had to endure the reactions to gain the benefits. But I didn’t see any benefits, so I stopped the shots.

That drove me from the medical field to homeopathic medicine. I was told that I had parasites, so I did the parasitic cleanses that were recommended. That helped a little, but

I still wanted my life back. I started driving twelve hours one way to see a specialist who reported that my body still was not absorbing nutrients. I did the Master Cleanse and all sorts of other cleanses. I started eating organically. I was able to function and my pain subsided somewhat, but I remained hungry all the time.

Recently, a friend heard Cherie speak, and she recommended her juice book [The Juice Lady’s Turbo Diet]. Since getting her book, I’ve been juicing about two weeks, and it has already made a tremendous difference in my health. My pain has decreased. My brain is not as foggy. I don’t need as much sleep. And my skin has improved. Juicing has helped me more than anything I’ve tried. Thank you for helping me to live again!

What Living Foods Offer You
• Alkalinity. Most Americans are slightly acidic because most of the American diet (animal products, grains, sugar and sweets of all kinds, coffee, black tea, sodas, sports drinks, and junk food) is acidic or turns acidic when it’s digested. This causes a host of problems from weight gain to joint pain. The body tends to store acid in fat cells to protect delicate organs and tissues. It will hold on to fat cells, even make more fat cells, to protect you. But a living foods diet, which is dominated with fresh vegetables, vegetable juices, sprouts, seeds, and nuts, provides an abundance of alkalinity. This neutralizes the acids, and the body can let go of fat cells. Many people report that their body also got rid of pain—all sorts of pain throughout the body—when they began eating a living foods diet.
• Hydration. One of the things lost when you cook food is the water content. Our bodies are about 70 percent water. Live foods contain lots of water. Approximately 85 percent of many fruits and vegetables is water, so eating raw fresh produce is a wonderful way to obtain water. Plenty of water in our system equates to enzymes being able carry out their metabolic work, and the easier it is for vitamins and minerals to be assimilated into our cells. The more live energy the water holds in the form of biophotons, the better the individual cells function and the higher the quality of your health.

• Superior protein. Though not a complete protein, raw plants offer quality amino acids. Cooking denatures the proteins in our food—they coagulate, making them difficult to assimilate. The heat disorganizes their structure, leading to deficiencies of some of the essential amino acids, whereas eating live foods offers amino acids in their best state.

• Abundant vitamins. Many vitamins are destroyed when food is cooked or processed.
• Biophotons. Plants release biophotons, which can only be measured by special equipment developed by German researchers.14 These light rays of energy that plants take in from the sun energize our bodies and help our cells communicate more efficiently. Heat and processing destroy them.

• Greater strength, energy, and stamina. Dr. Karl Elmer experimented with a raw food diet for top athletes in Germany. He saw improvement in their performance when they changed to an entirely raw food diet.15 After eating raw food, rather than feeling fatigued or sleepy, most people feel energized. Also, most people eating a high raw food diet experience a more restful sleep and require less of it.

• Better mental performance. Your memory and concentration should be clearer. You should be more alert, more creative, and think more logically.

• More enzymes—improved digestion. Enzymes are important because they are the catalysts of nearly every chemical reaction in our bodies. Vitamins and hormones need enzymes to do optimal work. Live foods contain a good mix of enzymes, called food enzymes. But when food is heated above 105 degrees, enzymes are destroyed, which forces our digestive system to work harder than it should. This can result in partially digested fats, proteins, and starches.
• Reduced risk of disease. A diet rich in raw vegetables and fruit has been shown to lower your risk of cancer and other diseases. Also, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal, eating fresh produce on a daily basis has been shown to reduce your chance of death from heart attacks and related problems by as much as 24 percent.

Increase the Micro-Electric Potential of Your Cells

When we eat live foods, our entire bio-terrain operates in peak performance. Biological terrain is the system of a cell plus the surrounding environment. It’s comprised of fluids, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes, waste, and microorganisms. When our internal environment becomes overloaded with toxins, waste, and pathogens like fungi, molds, viruses, or bacteria, when it is deficient in essential nutrients or is too acidic or too alkaline, our cells’ vitality is diminished and our immune system is overworked. Then we become susceptible to fatigue, ailments, and diseases.
Raw foods and juices cleanse the body of stored wastes and toxins, which interfere with the proper functioning of the cells and organs. They provide an abundance of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytonutrients, biophotons, and antioxidants that increase the micro-electric potential of each cell. This improves the body’s use of oxygen so the muscles and brain are energized. A healthy, vibrant bio-terrain is fundamental to optimal health. This allows our cells, organs, and systems the best chance to do the jobs they were designed to do. A living foods lifestyle can help you achieve this vibrant interior. With a healthy biochemistry, our bodies can deal with stress and challenges far more effectively. It is only when we put congesting, nutrient-depleted, toxic food into our bodies that we tear them down and promote disease. A living foods diet leads to healing and vibrant health.

Live to Your Full Potential
Secretariat, also known as Big Red, was one of America’s heroes and a racing legend—winner of the Triple Crown. He set new race records in two of the three events in the series—the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes. They still stand today. He ran for the shear pleasure of running. But he lost the Wood Memorial. No one had noticed the abscess in Big Red’s mouth, which may have kept him from running to his full potential and from his stunning future.

What about you? Is there a physical condition that’s keeping you from being your best or living your full potential? There was for me. Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia had me sidelined—as you know if you read the introduction. Had I not found the juicing program that changed my life, I would not be writing my eighteenth book, presenting numerous classes and workshops, appearing on scores of television and radio shows, and accepting speaking engagements around the country for numerous groups and organizations.
Do you ever feel like you’re just going through the motions of life, existing rather than living out your dreams and purpose? That can change. You can be so supercharged with health that you live a life of joy and have clarity of mind, and peace of soul. When you care for your body well with the kind of diet recommended in my The Juice Lady’s Living Foods Revolution, you will have emotional stability and a stronger immune system. You’ll be able to deal with stress better than ever before because your nerves won’t be on edge with caffeine and sugar. And your willpower will strengthen—a weak body often equates to a weak will.

It may seem too simplistic—that what you eat could have such a profound impact on your health. Owners of thoroughbred racehorses know the importance of a superior diet—good hay and quality grains including oats, mineral salts, and vitamins. You wouldn’t catch a racehorse owner giving a horse even one little “treat” of bad food, if they’re smart. We’re not that different from racehorses. If we want to win the races of our lives, we need a great diet—one that provides quality and energy, one that will take us to the end of our course.

My friend Steve Cesari, former CEO of the $100 million company Trillium that created the Juiceman juicer, and the company where I became the Juice Lady, just released his book Clarity. He’s passionate about health and juicing. He juices every day. In Clarity he shares the story of a friend

that offers a great illustration for us about eating right. His friend was in a hurry to get to a soccer game. He needed gas on the way and had to stop quickly to fill the tank. But on his way home, the car broke down. As it turned out, he was in such a hurry that he didn’t even realize he’d put diesel fuel in his new Audi. This caused $6,000 worth of damage, and he had to replace the catalytic converter and a number of other parts.18
Unknowingly, many Americans put the “wrong fuel” in their bodies over and over again. It’s amazing that they can keep going as long as they do. It would be a blessing if it only cost people who “break down” $6,000 to repair the damages.
Remember, every journey begins with the first step. It takes more than a couple of weeks to see a profound difference, although many people report significant improvements in just a few days. Give the living foods lifestyle six months at least and then evaluate. If you haven’t noticed profound changes, then you’re the first one I’ve encountered to say that. You should be feeling so much better that you’ll never want to go back to your old lifestyle. And you can be on your way to living your potential to the fullest.

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Wednesday, 1 June 2011
The Power of Humility: Living Like Jesus - A First Wild Card Blog Tour Book
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Book Reviews

This book is something I really needed. Don't we all need a good reminder sometimes? Great book!


It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

The Power of Humility: Living like Jesus

Charisma House (May 3, 2011)

***Special thanks to Anna Coelho Silva | Publicity Coordinator, Charisma House | Charisma Media for sending me a review copy.***


R. T. Kendall is author of the best-selling title Total Forgiveness. Born in Ashland, Kentucky, he was educated at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Oxford University and was the pastor of Westminster Chapel in London, England, for twenty-five years. Known internationally as a speaker and teacher, Dr. Kendall is also the author of more than forty-five books, includingThe Sensitivity of the Spirit, The Thorn in the Flesh, Grace, Pure Joy, Imitating Christ, andThe Anointing: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.

Visit the author's website.


Written in the same style as his Jealousy—the Sin No One Talks About,Kendall tackles the problem of pride, bringing out into the open the challenges a majority of people face in overcoming the pride and self-righteousness that were introduced to mankind by the serpent in the Garden of Eden. He defines the various kinds of pride, including social, racial, financial, sexual, and spiritual pride, and teaches us how God uses the pride in our lives to reveal our need for Christlikeness. He demonstrates that pride lies behind the “blame game,” causing us to “pass the buck” rather than admit our guilt and thus interfering in our ability to draw closer in relationship to God.

Kendall outlines several Old Testament examples of pride. He shows how foolish pride governed most of Jacob’s life, led to King Saul becoming “yesterday’s man,” and filled Elijah’s life, even though he was a great prophet of God. Then he shows how pride surfaced in New Testament people: Peter’s pride in believing he loved Jesus most of all, the pride of the Pharisees, and the racial-religious pride that filled the Jews and was the reason they rejected Paul. Finally we take a closer look at Jesus—and Kendall teaches us the principles from the Sermon on the Mount that will lead us away from pride. He shows us that it is impossible to be Spirit-filled and self-righteous simultaneously, and he gives us biblical principles for overcoming pride and self-righteousness.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Charisma House (May 3, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616383488
ISBN-13: 978-1616383480


“I am the only one of the lord’s prophets left. . . . I have been very zealous for the lord God Almighty.” -1 Kings 18:22; 19:14

“There is no limit to how far a person can go as long as he doesn’t care who gets the credit for it.” -A plaque on President Ronald Reagan’s desk

The measure of pride is essential to our self-esteem, emotional well-being, and good mental health. It is what gives us a sense of self-worth and dignity— which God wants each of us to have. We need to take ourselves seriously to some extent. But pride can push this too far as when we begin to take ourselves too seriously. In chapter 2 we will look at the good side of pride—its advantages to us and why it is not always bad. In this chapter, however, we will examine pride as it is generally understood in the Bible. As I said above, the Bible has nothing good to say about pride. Pride in Scripture is always that which is suspect and to be avoided; it is disdained. It is assumed in the Bible as arrogance, haughtiness, smugness, a feeling of superiority over others, insolence, overbearingness, superciliousness, narcissism, vainglory, conceit, egotism, vanity, and self-importance.

Pride is the opposite of humility, modesty, and meekness. St. Augustine (a.d. 354–430) said that pride is the love of one’s own excellence. People like Aristotle (384–322 b.c.) and George Bernard Shaw (a.d. 1856–1950) saw pride as a profound virtue. “I often quote myself,” said Shaw. “It adds spice to my conversation.” He also said, “Few people think more than two or three times a year; I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week.”

Most religions of the world—certainly Christianity—see pride as a sin. There are two Greek words relevant here. Alazon (as in James 4:16; 1 John 2:16; Romans 1:30) refers to one who makes more of himself than reality justifies, ascribing to himself either more or better things than he has, or even what he does not possess at all; he promises what he cannot deliver. The other Greek word is huperephanos (as in Mark 7:22; James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5), which means arrogance. It refers to one who brags about his position, power, and wealth and despises others. In 2 Timothy 3:2 both alazon (boastful) and huperephanos (proud) are found beside each other.

We will see throughout this book that neither word for pride needs be used explicitly to describe a person’s proud behavior. For example, the writer of 1 Kings did not impute Elijah with pride. But that is what was going on. How dare Elijah say, “I am the only one of the Lord’s prophets left” (1 Kings 18:22; 19:14)—even if it were true! But it was absolutely false. Elijah had just been told that Obadiah the prophet had taken a hundred other prophets and hid them in caves (1 Kings 18:13). Elijah felt so superior to the other prophets of his day that he did not even acknowledge them as prophets of the Lord! That is sheer arrogance. Elijah is a perfect example of a person taking himself too seriously.

Could the revered and hallowed Elijah truly take himself too seriously? Yes. Is not Elijah regarded as one of the greatest men in the Old Testament? Yes. Did his prayer before all the people not result in fire coming down from heaven and exposing the folly of the prophets of Baal? Yes. Was it not Elijah who appeared with Moses when Jesus was transfigured before the disciples on the mountain (Matt. 17:3)? Yes. And when Elijah

said, “I am the only one of the Lord’s prophets left,” God could have aborted the whole procedure because Elijah misspoke (to put it mildly). But God didn’t do that.

This encourages me. James wanted his readers to know that Elijah was “a man with a nature like ours” (James 5:17, esv). The point is, if God could use Elijah—and if Elijah can get his prayers answered, so too with any of us! God can use those of us who take ourselves too seriously. In the final chapter of my book In Pursuit of His Glory, I listed five things I would hopefully do differently if I could turn the clock back after twenty-five years at Westminster Chapel. This list included that I should not take myself so seriously.

I therefore define pride essentially as taking oneself too seriously. Taking oneself too seriously is the common denominator in all proud people. It describes those who resent criticism, who are insecure, who cannot laugh at themselves, whose need of praise is constant, who see themselves as overly important, who fancy themselves as being very special to God (and think God bends the rules for them), who tend to blame others for their problems, who hate taking the blame, who cannot bear not getting the credit for the good they did, and who have an insatiable need to prove themselves.

Is that you? Take heart. I just described virtually every person whom God has ever used.

Categories of Pride

But pride takes many forms. Some try to prove they are not proud by trying to appear the very opposite. “Pride perceiving humility honorable often borrows her cloak,” said Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790). It goes down better with people if we seem humble. The motive is the same: we are concerned how we are perceived. Our self-esteem is at stake.

There are many kinds of pride. There is social pride (keeping up with the Joneses), spiritual pride (self-righteousness), financial pride (impressing others with one’s wealth), political pride (being sure to be politically correct), sexual pride (always needing to attract the opposite sex), cultural pride (impressing people with your love of the arts), pride of pedigree (placing importance on one’s background), educational pride (impressing with degrees), intellectual pride (always needing to prove how much you know and how intelligent you are), pride of your good looks (overly concerned with appearance, whether regarding dress, figure, or hair), national pride (sometimes being overly patriotic), or racial pride (proud of the color of your skin). There is even theological pride, when one feels superior because of their rightness of doctrine. Closely akin to this is prophetic pride, when one gloats over their prophetic successes.

God Hates Pride

What must never be forgotten is that God hates pride. “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes [‘a proud look’—kjv], a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet

that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers” (Prov. 6:16–19). Note that “haughty eyes” or “proud look” heads the list of things God hates. “Whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure” (Ps. 101:5). Have you ever seen someone with a proud look—haughty eyes? I have. Certain people literally come to my mind when I think of haughty eyes and an arrogant countenance. But who am I to judge? You and I look on the outward appearance; God looks at the heart (1 Sam. 16:7). So, have I too had the same outward

proud expression I have seen in some when in fact people have had the exact same perception of me? I don’t think I want to know the answer to that question.

When we consider how much God hates our being proud, it is enough to drive us to our knees. We should ask, “Lord, am I like this?” “You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty” (Ps. 18:27). “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Pet. 5:5). “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled” (Luke 14:11). “You rebuke the arrogant” (Ps. 119:21).

But when I consider that God was patient with Elijah, I feel there is hope for me. God could indeed have stepped in and interrupted the entire proceedings when Elijah openly said, “I am the only true prophet left.” But He didn’t. God took His time and later on called Elijah to one side, as if to say, “Oh, by the way, Elijah, I have seven thousand in Israel whose knees have not bowed down to Baal.” (See 1 Kings 19:18.) God has used me over the years and then later called me to one side and gently showed me faults and flaws others saw but I had been blind to. He is such a good and gracious God.

No Guilt Trip

I will have failed in this book if I give you a guilt trip as you read. My task is to show our pride and God’s hatred of it—but to show we are all in this together. But more than that, that we will equally see His mercy toward those who repent of this folly. The worst thing you and I can do in this connection is to be defensive. That will never do. But if God kindly points out our failures, it means we are loved (1 John 4:19)—and that there is hope for us. Repentance is a grace that God grants (Rom. 2:4; Acts 11:18; 2 Tim. 2:25). It is a gracious gift that we do not remotely deserve. The very real possibility of being unable to be renewed to repentance (Heb. 6:4–6) should be enough to humble all of us. But if in this book you are given to see what displeases the Lord and that you are sorry, I will give God the praise.

Even Ahab, one of the most wicked kings ever, saw his folly in a most heinous injustice he committed. But when he was reproved, he “tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and fasted. He lay in sackcloth and went around meekly.” God noticed it. He said to Elijah, “Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son” (1 Kings 21:27–29). This means there is hope for us all.

God rebukes us to bring us to our senses. He lets us save face. He does not chasten or discipline us to get even. God got even at the cross, when the Lord laid upon Jesus the iniquity of us all (Isa. 53:6). “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust” (Ps. 103:11–14). He sent the wind and the fish to swallow up Jonah not to punish him but, as Dr. Bruce Chesser put it, to save him (Jonah 1–2). How often God “saves us from ourselves,” as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones used to say.

Foolish Worry: What People Might Think of Us

Taking ourselves too seriously leads us foolishly to imagine what people might think about us. As if what they think is so important! But I will never forget a day—it was pivotal in my life—when two important men had to humble me. These two men were Dr. Barrie White, my supervisor at Oxford, and Dr.

J. I. Packer, who functioned as a second supervisor. I had been at Oxford for about a year at the time. What I thought was to be a leisurely lunch with them was interrupted by Jim Packer saying to Barrie White, “Shall you tell him, or shall I?” Dr. White motioned to Dr. Packer to start. “You need to minimize your liabilities,” Jim Packer graciously said to me, showing a mastery of British understatement—and trying to let me save face. “I know you have come to Oxford to do your DPhil. (doctorate of philosophy) on John Owen.” (He was referring to the great Puritan theologian John Owen [1616–1683], whose doctrine of the priestly work of Christ had motivated me to come to Oxford, something I had told everybody back in America I would do.) Jim continued, “But we don’t think you are able to do John Owen,” then shared what they thought I could do at Oxford to get the DPhil. I was devastated. I went home with the worst migraine headache of my whole life. I went to bed. Why? I worried what people would think. It was so silly. The truth is, these people would have thought absolutely nothing about it! But I could only think of my reputation among friends back in America. Taking myself too seriously literally put me to bed. What is more, the thesis I ended up doing (on John Calvin [1509–1564] and the English Puritans) was the best thing in that connection that ever happened to me. But at the time I was utterly governed by pride and what people would think, that friends back at my seminary in Louisville might discover I wasn’t cut out to do a doctorate on John Owen. And yet it reminds me of something my grandfather R. J. Kendall used to say: “Don’t worry over what people might be thinking of you; chances are, they are not thinking about you at all.” How true.

Building Monuments to Ourselves

Taking oneself too seriously is what makes people try to ensure they will be remembered by history. They have statues made and get buildings, streets, or highways named after them while they are still alive. The notion to “let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips” (Prov. 27:2) seems not to appear on their radar screen. And yet it reminds me of something President Harry S. Truman (1884– 1972) would say when refusing to let anybody sculpt a bust or statue of him. He said, “I don’t want people seeing my statue years later and asking, ‘Who was he?’”

I was disappointed when one of my heroes allowed a larger-than-life statue to be made of himself by America’s greatest sculptor while he was still alive—and was even present for its unveiling! It’s true! They had planned to put the statue outside in the open air. But the preacher stopped them. “No, please put it inside. I don’t want those pigeons defecating on my statue.” But here is something I think is rather funny. I decided sometime later to use this account as an illustration in a sermon, realizing nobody in the congregation at Westminster would remotely know whom I was talking about. My point in the sermon—on rewards—was that God might have to say to this great preacher at the judgment seat of Christ, “Sorry, My son, there is no reward laid up for you now; you got it all below with that statue you let them make of you.” So far, so good. But I was shocked to learn afterward that at least six people were present from this man’s church! By the way, he

was a great man indeed. Now in heaven, if anyone deserved a statue, he did. But after he was gone.

Those in Scripture who built monuments to themselves while they were alive, however, were tragic figures. I have always been gripped by this. In fact, there are two accounts in this connection that have deeply shaped my thinking. First, King Saul had a monument built to himself while he was still alive (1 Sam. 15:12). He had already become yesterday’s man when this happened. Second, years later Absalom stole the hearts of the people and forced his father, King David, to live in exile for a while. David was later restored to the kingship and will always be regarded as Israel’s greatest king. As for Absalom, during his lifetime he took a pillar “and erected it in the King’s Valley as a monument to himself, for he thought, ‘I have no son to carry on the memory of my name.’ He named the pillar after himself, and it is called Absalom’s Monument to this day” (2 Sam. 18:18).

What Matters Most of All

There is one thing—and one thing alone—that ultimately matters: God’s opinion of you and me. If His opinion doesn’t matter to you now, it will then. This opinion will be openly revealed at the judgment seat of Christ. You then will learn what God thinks of you. And you will see what He thinks of me. I can safely promise you that any accolade, humiliation, monument, criticism, put-down, compliment, praise, disappointment, lie, statue, honor, or prize here on this earth will mean nothing then. Nothing. Except how we handled such things—which will largely determine what God thinks of us. Why therefore should we ever want the praise of people here below? Why should it mean so much to us? I will come clean with you: I love compliments. A close friend (who knows me well) had a T-shirt made for my birthday that says “Compliments are in order.” But the thought of preempting what God Himself might say to me on the day—by amassing all the awards and compliments I can get below—scares me to death. I propose to live for that day—seeking no honor or praise but His.

The irony is, if the plaque on Ronald Reagan’s desk is correct—that there is no limit to how far a person can go as long as he doesn’t care who gets to the credit for it—we will accomplish more than ever in this life if we don’t take ourselves so seriously! The way up is down. He who humbles himself will be exalted (Luke 14:11). “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you” (1 Pet. 5:6, esv).

John speaks of worldliness as “the boasting of what [man] has and does” (1 John 2:16). The KJV calls it “pride of life,” and the ESV calls it “pride in possessions.” It refers to our effort to impress people with what we have accumulated. This could refer to material things, achievements, awards, antiques, pottery, photographs with important people, prestigious jobs, degrees, clothes, furniture, art, carpet, cars, framed commendations, or letters—all there to impress you! I fear there are people for whom these things matter more than anything in the world. How sad. I remember going to a home of some people in Rome many years ago. The main reason they wanted me to come to their home was to see their apartment and collection of bone china. It truly was impressive. But this was all they apparently had to bolster their self-esteem. It was as though their apartment and china gave people warrant to take them seriously. They seemed to feel I would take them truly seriously if I saw these possessions. It was all they lived for—to invite people to see their apartment and china collection.

We who are Christians sometimes forget we are going to heaven one day—and will be there a long time! Have you ever pondered the depth of these famous lines?

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,

Bright shining as the sun;

We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise

Than when we first begun.1

—John Newton (1725–1807)

Think about this. After we have been in heaven for ten thousand years, it will be like the first day. Do we really believe this? I do. Why ever do we live in this present world as though this present existence is all there is? It seems to me that the thought of going to heaven one day—to be there forever—should help us on our way not to take circumstances here below—or ourselves—so seriously.

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Wednesday, 25 May 2011
Fully Engaged - How to Do Less and Be More - A First Wild Card Blog Tour Book
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Book Reviews

My mom used to quote an old Pennsylvania Dutch saying, "The hurrier I go the behinder I get." You know, the more I think about it, the more I think that it's true. When we "run around like chickens with our heads cut off", hardly anything gets done. That's true in our everyday physical lives and in our spiritual life as well. That's what Fully Engaged addresses. I really like this book. What an awesome idea! Instead of hurrying up to get more things done - slow down. Check out the information below.

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Fully Engaged

Summerside Press (May 1, 2011)

***Special thanks to Audra Jennings, Senior Media Specialist, The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***


John Busacker is president of The Inventure Group, a global leadership-consulting firm, and founder of Life-Worth, LLC, a life planning creative resource. He is a member of the Duke Corporate Education Global Learning Resource Network and is on the faculty of the University of Minnesota Carlson School’s Executive Development Center.

In 2009, Busacker released his first book, 8 Questions God Can’t Answer, which unlocks the profound power of Jesus’ timeless questions. He annually teaches in a variety of emerging faith communities and supports the development needs of leaders in Africa through PLI-International.

John is an avid explorer, occasional marathoner, and novice cyclist. He and his wife, Carol, live in Minneapolis and have two adult sons, Brett and Joshua.

Visit the author's website.


Doing less is typically equated with laziness in our culture, but on a recent trip to the Serengeti plain, author John Busacker learned that doing less can actually be a very productive strategy for living. As Busacker and his family realized that they were lost in the wilds of Africa, their guide, Moses, stopped and waited for a new course to emerge. Within moments, the family was back on the right path. What John learned that day was the power of what can happen when he stopped DO-ing in order to focus on BE-ing found.

In the same way, says Busacker, we have to allow our internal GPS to stop and recalculate the direction of our life. As we do so, we’ll find greater abundance, contentment, and peace of mind. If you are like most people who feel lost on the road of life, Busacker’s new book, Fully Engaged: How to Do Less and Be More, is perfect for you. Fully Engaged encourages and equips us to move beyond what Busacker calls an “air guitar life”—a life of furious motion and considerable energy, but in the end one with no sound and little lasting impact. In a world filled with noise and fury, Busacker offers a measured and wise strategy for living that is marked by three key components: 1) Awareness, 2) Alignment, and 3) Action.

· Living with Awareness means that, instead of piecing together random moments, you begin to live intentionally. By doing so, you no longer measure your life worth by your pay check, but by your attitude.

· Living with Alignment ensures that what you have and what you do match what you really want out of life. It means that your job is not simply a means to make money, but a calling to be pursued with vigor.

· Living with Action compels you to move in directions that propel you toward an exhilarating future. This means that you’re not afraid to fail and that setbacks are to be celebrated as progressive steps on the journey of success.

John Busacker - Fully Engaged from John Hoel on Vimeo.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Hardcover: 144 pages
Publisher: Summerside Press (May 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1609361156
ISBN-13: 978-1609361150


Measure Your Worth

Your life is worth so much more than money.

It seemed like a good plan at the time.

Seven years ago, our family decided to spend spring break in Tanzania, East Africa. One night, we stayed in a quaint African lodge on the edge of the Serengeti Plain. The plan was to wake up at dawn, drive out into the vast national park at first light, and see who was eating whom for breakfast. By noon, we were to have made it to the gate of the Ngorongoro Crater, intending to venture down in for additional afternoon wildlife viewing.

Of course, nothing on an African safari goes exactly according to plan. It rained during the night, so what passes for roads quickly transformed to goo-filled ruts. Our guide, Moses, was forced to navigate by feel, having neither a map nor GPS.

It became increasingly clear that we were driving in circles, making no progress toward the Ngorongoro Crater. Not wanting to sound any alarms, as discreetly as I could I leaned forward and quietly inquired, “Moses, are we lost?”

What followed was a rapid-fire conversation between Moses and Ramos, our driver. Having limited Swahili vocabulary but reading the body language and urgency of tone, I was guessing that this was not good news!

After about a minute, Moses leaned back, looked straight at Carol, and delivered the verdict: “We could be.”

Carol, who is an intensive-care nurse by background and who values both having and then executing an orderly plan, began to envision our imminent death at the mouths of the same lions we had just observed eating a Grant’s gazelle for breakfast.

I knew what our older son, Brett, was thinking by the gleam in his eye. He who has never seen a 50-foot cliff he didn’t want to drop on a snowboard and authentically values adventure, especially accompanied by a little danger, was thinking, This is AWESOME! I’m the fastest guy in the car! So what do I have to worry about anyway?
Humans, it is said, are the only animals that speed up when lost. This is especially true of American humans.

Moses, our guide, did the exact opposite. Rather than speed up, he came to a complete stop and waited for someone else to catch up so he could determine where we were in the Serengeti and then chart a new course to our destination.

He stopped DO-ing in order to focus on BE-ing found.
What we needed that day on the Serengeti Plain was a GPS. What an amazing technological device. Using the broad perspective of three coordinates—latitude, longitude, and altitude—a GPS can find your car amongst the millions of cars on the planet, tell you exactly where you are, and then help you navigate to your desired destination…all in a soothing, patient voice too.

Humans, it is said, are the only animals that speed up when lost. This is especially true of American humans.

When you screw up or are too stubborn to heed its advice, it doesn’t bark, “You moron! Why don’t you ever listen?”
No, it simply says “Recalculating” and calmly charts and then gives you a new route. Now that’s grace!

So why don’t we apply the same broad perspective and grace to our own lives? Our tendency is to zero in on only one coordinate—money—and then ratchet up our speed at all costs to get more money or the stuff that more money can buy (like prestige or power).
Let’s be honest. Too often we value our stuff above our health, relationships, spiritual vitality, or life itself, don’t we? If you don’t think so, take a quick peek at your schedule right now…bet you just winced a bit, didn’t you?

It’s so easy for our personal GPS to get messed up— especially if we’re willing to let a single-minded pursuit of financial assets spin us in circles in the wilderness. After all, we believe, assets and liabilities determine our financial health and overall success…don’t they?
Net worth—what you have minus what you owe—has long been the key scorecard of prosperity and progress. Are you successful? on track? Check your net worth statement.

But is that really an accurate measure of a successful, fully engaged life?

An abundant life is that healthy but elusive blend of play, work, friendship, family, money, spiritual growth, and contribution.
Abundance creates contentment. Contentment inspires gratitude. Your peace of mind, sense of fulfillment, and joy are determined by how well you manage many life dimensions, not just your finances. Intimate relationships, deep spiritual life, right work, good health, a vibrant community, interesting hobbies, and active learning all impact your sense of engagement with life.

Life worth is the investment you make into and the return you receive from all of these dimensions. It is both internal (a deep personal sense of engagement and fulfillment) and external (the ability to bring joy and lasting value to others). And, like a GPS, it takes more than one coordinate to determine your location and direction.
You can be fully engaged with little or no net worth. Here’s what I mean.

Net worth: what you have minus what you owe.

Life worth: the investment you make into and the return you receive from all life dimensions.
The first time I visited Tanzania, I was amazed at how content the people seemed to be, even though they had next to nothing in possessions. I wondered, Is it because they are unencumbered by the shackles of “stuff” that they are fully able to connect with their families and friends? Is that why they are happily able to do the work required to live yet another day? Why they are content, even when they’re not sure sometimes where their next meal is coming from?
Upon further reflection, I couldn’t help but add to these thoughts: And why is this sense of joy sorely lacking in our affluent Western world?

The thought was sobering…and enlightening.

As Os Guinness says:

The trouble is that, as modern people, we have too much to live with, and too little to live for. In the midst of material plenty, we have spiritual poverty.1

Simply stated, material wealth is measured by net worth. Spiritual wealth and engagement are summed up by life worth. So let me ask you: What’s your life worth right now?

Many people decide they must build their net worth first in order to fund life worth later.

But putting life on hold for one more business deal, one more project, a pay increase, a hopeful inheritance upon a relative’s death, or an investment return ensnares the unsuspecting in its grip of “not quite enough.” It can slowly form habits of overwork and selfishness. The focal point is always on what’s next instead of what’s first.

Do you find yourself falling into the trap of thinking, Hey, I’ll just hang in there. What’s coming next has got to be better.
If so, you are in danger of driving in endless circles— and exhausting yourself in the process.

Don’t fall for that kind of thinking. Dreams delayed can become a life unlived. As American journalist and best-selling author Po Bronson put it:
It turns out that having the financial independence to walk away rarely triggers people to do just that. The reality is, making money is such hard work that it changes you. It takes twice as long as anyone plans for. It requires more sacrifice than anyone expects. You become so emotionally invested in that world—and psychologically adapted to it—that you don’t really want to ditch it.2
Dreams delayed can become a life unlived.

Always DO-ing more ultimately causes us to BE less— less of a friend, mother, partner, student, or son.
I know. I’ve experienced it firsthand. I spent 14 years in the financial services industry, sitting at the table with countless people as they discussed their life dreams and financial goals.
What moved me were the life stories of the people with whom I met. Embedded in the discussion of money were the hopes, dreams, fears, regrets, beliefs, and biases of each person. Asking the right questions and then listening with both head and heart got right to the core of the matter with most people. And it was always about so much more than money. Inevitably, meaning trumped money. Life worth always outweighed net worth.

Don’t wait until you have your own “lost in the Serengeti” experience—divorce, death, job loss, a failed semester, or a sick child—in order to enlarge your perspective. Choose to take an accurate reading of your life worth now so you can make a balanced investment in each of your key life dimensions.

To do this, you have to practice a “salmon perspective”—swimming upstream against a rushing torrent of marketing and messaging to the contrary. But nothing wonderful is ever gained by taking it easy. It requires commitment on your part. Let me share something with you. It’s worth it. Your life, thinking, and relationships will be transformed.
Jesus knew all about our natural inclination to fret about our finery and stew about our stuff—to live a one-coordinate life. That’s why He cautioned His closest friends:

Don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or if the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your inner life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the ravens, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, carefree in the care of God. And you count far more.3
Leading a fully engaged life begins with a multi-coordinate focus on your life worth—a realization that

Relationships matter more than anything.

Health determines your quality of life.

Work gives voice to your giftedness.

Hobbies engage your energy beyond work.

Learning animates your imagination.

And Faith gives all of your life purpose.

Nothing wonderful is ever gained by taking it easy. It requires commitment on your part.
To determine your current life worth, use the assessment that begins on the following page. There are 10 dimensions of life worth. Measure each one. Your life is worth so much more than money. Are you living like it?

DO less. BE more.

What Is Your Life Worth?

How satisfied are you with each life dimension listed below? How important are these life dimensions to you? Please rate each on a scale of 1–5 (1=low; 3=medium; 5=high).

Satisfied Important

HEALTH ______ _______

Regular routines that promote healthy energy and vitality
LEARNING ______ _______

People and environments that stimulate growth

FAMILY ______ _______

Interest and involvement in the lives of family members
WORK ______ _______

Work that expresses talents and passion

LOVE RELATIONSHIP ______ _______

Alignment with loved one’s values and dreams

SPIRITUAL LIFE ______ _______

Sense of purpose, relationship with God, and/or service to others

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Posted by tink38570 at 10:58 PM CDT
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Monday, 23 May 2011
False Witness - A First Wild Card Blog Tour Book
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Book Reviews

I've been reading a lot of good books lately. I'll tell you why in a coming post. Most, however, have been classics. Classics, of course, are notorious for grabbing your interest early, and keeping it until the end. You can't find a lot of good books like that any more. There are a lot of hum drum books that are okay, but are at times hard to get into.

Not this book! In False Witness, the author, Randy Singer, hooks you in the first chapter - really even before the first chapter Surprised, and keeps your attention all throughout the book. If you are one that loves mystery adventures, then this is a book for you! Check out more about it below.

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

False Witness

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.; Reprint edition (April 25, 2011)

***Special thanks to Audra Jennings, Senior Media Specialist, The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***


Randy Singer is a critically acclaimed author and veteran trial attorney. He has penned 10 legal thrillers, including his award-winning debut novel, Directed Verdict. Randy runs his own law practice and has been named to Virginia Business magazine's select list of "Legal Elite" litigation attorneys. In addition to his law practice and writing, Randy serves as teaching pastor for Trinity Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He calls it his "Jekyll and Hyde thing"—part lawyer, part pastor. He also teaches classes in advocacy and civil litigation at Regent Law School and, through his church, is involved with ministry opportunities in India. He and his wife, Rhonda, live in Virginia Beach. They have two grown children.

Visit the author's website.


Clark Shealy is a bail bondsman with the ultimate bounty on the line: his wife's life. He has forty-eight hours to find an Indian professor in possession of the Abacus Algorithm—an equation so powerful it could crack all Internet encryption.

Four years later, law student Jamie Brock is working in legal aid when a routine case takes a vicious twist: she and two colleagues learn that their clients, members of the witness protection program, are accused of defrauding the government and have the encrypted algorithm in their possession. After a life-changing trip to the professor's church in India, the couple also has the key to decode it.

Now they're on the run from federal agents and the Chinese mafia, who will do anything to get the algorithm. Caught in the middle, Jamie and her friends must protect their clients if they want to survive long enough to graduate.

An adrenaline-laced thrill ride, this retelling of one of Randy Singer's most critically acclaimed novels takes readers from the streets of Las Vegas to the halls of the American justice system and the inner sanctum of the growing church in India with all the trademark twists, turns, and the legal intrigue his fans have come to expect.

Product Details:

List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.; Reprint edition (April 25, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1414335695
ISBN-13: 978-1414335698



THE LONGEST THREE DAYS of Clark Shealy’s life began with an expired registration sticker.

That was Clark’s first clue, the reason he followed the jet-black Cadillac Escalade ESV yesterday. The reason he phoned his wife, his partner in both marriage and crime . . . well, not really crime but certainly the dark edge of legality. They were the Bonnie and Clyde of bounty hunters, of repo artists, of anything requiring sham credentials and bold-faced lies. Jessica’s quick search of DMV records, which led to a phone call to the title holder, a Los Angeles credit union, confirmed what Clark had already guessed. The owner wasn’t making payments. The credit union wanted to repo the vehicle but couldn’t find it. They were willing to pay.

“How much?” Clark asked Jessica.

“It’s not worth it,” she replied. “That’s not why you’re there.”
“Sure, honey. But just for grins, how much are we passing up?”
Jessica murmured something.

“You’re breaking up,” Clark said.

“They’d pay a third of Blue Book.”

“Which is?”

“About forty-eight four,” Jessica said softly.

“Love you, babe,” Clark replied, doing the math. Sixteen thousand dollars!
He ended the call. She called back. He hit Ignore.

Sixteen thousand dollars! Sure, it wasn’t the main reason he had come to Vegas. But a little bonus couldn’t hurt.

Unfortunately, the vehicle came equipped with the latest in theft protection devices, an electronically coded key supplied to the owner. The engine transmitted an electronic message that had to match the code programmed into the key, or the car wouldn’t turn over.

Clark learned this the hard way during the dead hours of the desert night, at about two thirty. He had broken into the Cadillac, disabled the standard alarm system, removed the cover of the steering column, and hot-wired the vehicle. But without the right key, the car wouldn’t start. Clark knew immediately that he had triggered a remote alarm. Using his hacksaw, he quickly sawed deep into the steering column, disabling the vehicle, and then sprinted down the drive and across the road


He heard a stream of cursing from the front steps of a nearby condo followed by the blast of a gun. To Clark’s trained ears, it sounded like a .350 Magnum, though he didn’t stay around long enough to confirm the make, model, and ATF serial number.


Six hours later, Clark came back.

He bluffed his way past the security guard at the entrance of the gated community and drove his borrowed tow truck into the elegant brick parking lot rimmed by manicured hedges. He parked sideways, immediately behind the Cadillac. These condos, some of Vegas’s finest, probably went for more than a million bucks each.

The Caddy fit right in, screaming elegance and privilege—custom twenty-inch rims, beautiful leather interior, enough leg room for the Lakers’ starting five, digital readouts on the dash, and an onboard computer that allowed its owner to customize all power functions in the vehicle. The surround-sound system, of course, could rattle the windows on a car three blocks away. Cadillac had pimped this ride out fresh from the factory, making it the vehicle of choice for men like Mortavius Johnson, men who lived on the west side of Vegas and supplied “escorts” for the city’s biggest gamblers.

Clark speed-dialed 1 before he stepped out of the tow truck.
“This is stupid, Clark.”

“Good morning to you, too. Are you ready?”

“All right. Let’s do it.” He slid the still-connected phone into a pocket of his coveralls. They were noticeably short, pulling at the crotch. He had bought the outfit on the spot from a mechanic at North Vegas Auto, the same garage where he borrowed the tow truck from the owner, a friend who had helped Clark in some prior repo schemes. A hundred and fifty bucks for the coveralls, complete with oil and grease stains. Clark had ripped off the name tag and rolled up the sleeves. It felt like junior high all over again, growing so fast the clothes couldn’t keep up with the boy.

He popped open the hood of the wrecker, smeared his fingers on some blackened oil grime, and rubbed a little grease on his forearms, with a dab to his face. He closed the hood and walked confidently to the front door of the condo, checking the paper in his hand as if looking for an address. He rang the bell.

Silence. . . . He rang it again.

Eventually, he heard heavy footsteps inside and then the clicking of a lock before the door slowly opened. Mortavius Johnson, looking like he had barely survived a rough night, filled the doorway. Clark was tall and slender—six-three, about one-ninety. But Mortavius was tall and bulky—a brooding presence who dwarfed Clark. He wore jeans and no shirt, exposing rock-solid pecs but also a good-size gut. He didn’t have a gun.
Clark glanced down at his paper while Mortavius surveyed him with bloodshot eyes.

“Are you Mortavius Johnson?”

“You call for a tow?”

Mortavius’s eyes narrowed suspiciously. The big man glanced at the pocket of Clark’s coveralls—no insignia—then around him at the tow truck. Clark had quickly spray-painted over the logo and wondered if Mortavius could tell.

Clark held his breath and considered his options. If the big man caught on, Clark would have to surprise Mortavius, Pearl Harbor–style, with a knee to the groin or a fist to the solar plexus. Even those blows would probably just stun the big man momentarily. Clark would sprint like a bandit to the tow truck, hoping Mortavius’s gun was more than arm’s length away. Clark might be able to outrun Mortavius, but not the man’s bullet.

“I left a message last night with the Cadillac dealer,” Mortavius said.
The Cadillac dealer. Clark was hoping for something a little more specific. “And the Cadillac dealer called me,” Clark said, loudly enough to be heard on the cell phone in his pocket. “You think they’ve got their own tow trucks at that place? It’s not like Caddies break down very often. If everybody could afford a Caddie, I’d go out of business.”
Clark smiled. Mortavius did not.

“What company you with?” he asked.

“Highway Auto Service,” Clark responded, louder still. He pulled out the cell phone, surreptitiously hit the End button with a thumb, then held it out to Mortavius. “You want to call my office? Speed dial 1.”
Mortavius frowned. He still looked groggy. “I’ll get the keys,” he said.
He disappeared from the doorway, and Clark let out a breath. He speed-dialed Jessica again and put the phone back in his pocket. He glanced over his shoulder, then did a double take.

Give me a break!

Another tow truck was pulling past the security guard and heading toward Mortavius’s condo. Things were getting a little dicey.

“I left some papers in the truck you’ll need to sign,” Clark called into the condo. But as soon as the words left Clark’s mouth, Mortavius reappeared in the doorway, keys in hand.

Unfortunately, he glanced past Clark, and his eyes locked on the other tow truck. A glint of understanding sparked, followed by a flash of anger. “Who sent you?” Mortavius demanded.

“I told you . . . the Cadillac place.”

“The Cadillac place,” Mortavius repeated sarcastically. “What Cadillac place?”

“Don’t remember. The name’s on the papers in my truck.”
Mortavius took a menacing step forward, and Clark felt the fear crawl up his neck. His fake sheriff’s ID was in the tow truck along with his gun. He was running out of options.

“Who sent you?” Mortavius demanded.

Clark stiffened, ready to dodge the big man’s blows. In that instant, Clark thought about the dental work the last incident like this had required. Jessica would shoot him—it wasn’t in the budget.
A hand shot out, and Clark ducked. He lunged forward and brought his knee up with all his might. But the other man was quick, and the knee hit rock-solid thigh, not groin. Clark felt himself being jerked by his collar into the foyer, the way a dog might be yanked inside by an angry owner. Before he could land a blow, Clark was up against the wall, Mortavius in his face, a knife poised against Clark’s stomach.

Where did that come from?

Mortavius kicked the door shut. “Talk fast, con man,” he hissed. “Intruders break into my home, I slice ’em up in self-defense.”
“I’m a deputy sheriff for Orange County, California,” Clark gasped. He tried to sound official, hoping that even Mortavius might think twice before killing a law enforcement officer. “In off hours, I repo vehicles.” He felt the point of the knife pressing against his gut, just below his navel, the perfect spot to start a vivisection.
“But you can keep yours,” Clark continued, talking fast. “I’m only authorized to repo if there’s no breach of the peace. Looks like this situation might not qualify.”

Mortavius inched closer. He shifted his grip from Clark’s collar to his neck, pinning Clark against the wall. “You try to gank my ride at night, then show up the next morning to tow it?”

“Something like that,” Clark admitted. The words came out whispered for lack of air.

“That takes guts,” Mortavius responded. A look that might have passed for admiration flashed across the dark eyes. “But no brains.”
“I’ve got a deal,” Clark whispered, frantic now for breath. His world was starting to cave in, stars and pyrotechnics clouding his vision.
The doorbell rang.

“Let’s hear it,” Mortavius said quietly, relaxing his stranglehold just enough so Clark could breathe.

“They’re paying me six Gs for the car,” Clark explained rapidly. He was thinking just clearly enough to fudge the numbers. “They know where you are now because I called them yesterday. Even if you kill me—” saying the words made Clark shudder a little, especially since Mortavius didn’t flinch—“they’re going to find the car. You let me tow it today and get it fixed. I’ll wire four thousand bucks into your bank account before I leave the Cadillac place. I make two thousand, and you’ve got four thousand for a down payment on your next set of wheels.”
The doorbell rang again, and Mortavius furrowed his brow. “Five Gs,” he said, scowling.

“Forty-five hundred,” Clark countered, “I’ve got a wife and—”
Ughh . . . Clark felt the wind flee his lungs as Mortavius slammed him against the wall. Pain shot from the back of his skull where it bounced off the drywall, probably leaving a dent.

“Five,” Mortavius snarled.

Clark nodded quickly.

The big man released Clark, answered the door, and chased away the other tow truck driver, explaining that there had been a mistake. As Mortavius and Clark finished negotiating deal points, Clark had another brilliant idea.

“Have you got any friends who aren’t making their payments?” he asked. “I could cut them in on the same type of deal. Say . . . fifty-fifty on the repo reward—they could use their cuts as down payments to trade up.”

“Get out of here before I hurt you,” Mortavius said.


Clark glanced at his watch as he left the parking lot. He had less than two hours to return the tow truck and make it to the plastic surgeon’s office. He speed-dialed Jessica.

“Highway Auto Service,” she responded.

“It didn’t work,” Clark said. “I got busted.”
“You okay?”

He loved hearing the concern in her voice. He hesitated a second, then, “Not a scratch on me.”

“I told you it was a dumb idea,” Jessica said, though she sounded more relieved than upset. “You never listen. Clark Shealy knows it all.”
And he wasn’t listening now. Instead, he was doing the math again in his head. Sixteen thousand, minus Mortavius’s cut and the repair bill, would leave about ten. He thought about the logistics of making the wire transfers into accounts that Jessica wouldn’t know about.
Pulling a con on pimps like Mortavius was one thing. Getting one by Jessica was quite another.

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Posted by tink38570 at 6:18 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, 23 May 2011 6:36 PM CDT
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