Category Archives: Non-Fiction

Bible Promises for parents of children with SPECIAL NEEDS

BiblePromisesSNK

There are lots of “Bible Promises for…” books out there. This one is the same — and different. Like many (most) this has a table of contents with different issues that might by faced by a parent of a child (or children) with special needs, such as:

  • Advice (when you don’t know how to evaluate all the advice you’re getting from others)
  • Decisions (when it feels as if you have no options) (when you need God’s direction moment by moment) (when you’re making a major decision)
  • Fun (when there’s no time for fun) (when you have something to celebrate) (when it’s hard to relax) (when you long to have fun as a family)
  • Joy (when you’re searching for joy) (when you wish someone would take joy in you) (when you fear you’ll never smile again) (when your cup overflows)

Amy Mason cites verses you can look to for encouragement, sympathy, love…all things our Heavenly Father wants to express to us based on our need. Then at the end of each section, Ms. Mason writes a little summary about that topic. For example, the one for the entry on joy says:

God created you to have feelings, so don’t be surprised when you experience emotional highs and lows. However lasting joy and contentment run much deeper than momentary emotions. Lasting joy is like a strong current that runs deep beneath the stormy surface of your feelings….It is the peace of knowing that God accepts you and wants you to be with him forever…

The author is a mother of two boys, one with special needs, so she knows the rollercoaster of emotions that pass through the life of all parents, let alone the ones with children who have special needs. She writes from a place of understanding.

As a mother of three (now adult) children with special needs, I’ve dealt with most of the doubts, fears, hopes, disappointments, and yes, even joys that come with parenting these special children. I love that this book is small enough to carry with me, or place on my nightstand, where I can look to the word of God when I am faced with an emotion I don’t quite know what to do with.

*I received a complementary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review.*

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Filed under children, Christian, disability, Non-Fiction, Parenting, Uncategorized

In the Company of Heroes

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I’m a former air medical (helicopter emergency medical services) crew member, so I love helicopters and have met and flown with some outstanding helicopter pilots. One of them recommended some books about the 160th SOAR, a U.S. Army special operations unit who fly helicopters in support of special operations forces. I started by reading The Night Stalkers: Top Secret Missions of the U. S. Army’s Special Operations Aviation Regiment, then I read Roberts Ridge. Both were really good, but I think In the Company of Heroes may be the best written Night Stalkers account yet.

Chief Warrant Officer Michael Durant (ret.) was involved in operation Gothic Serpent in Somalia (the operation that gave rise to the book – and movie by the same name – Blackhawk Down). His helicopter was shot down, he was seriously injured, and he was taken prisoner by the Somali National Alliance. He was held hostage for 11 days.

In the Company of Heroes does a great job of telling Durant’s story while filling in details of the Night Stalkers unit history and detailing other missions Durant was involved in (like Panama). It is well written and very readable.

I like reading books like this because they teach me lessons about perseverance, loyalty, and bravery. The Night Stalkers’ motto is “Night Stalkers Don’t Quit” (NSDQ), and that’s a great motto for life.

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Filed under Action-adventure, Non-Fiction

Deep Under Cover My Secret Life and Tangled Allegiances as a KGB Spy in America

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Jack Barsky died at the age of ten. The REAL Jack Barsky, that is. Albrecht Dittrich assumed the identity of Jack Barsky as a spy for the Soviet Union, and thus another Jack Barsky was ‘born’.

Albrecht Dittrich was an incredibly intelligent and capable young man, attending the university in Jena (East) Germany, when he was recruited by the KGB in the 1970s. His training and career eventually led him to the United States where he worked as a bike messenger before earning a degree and becoming an IT specialist and executive at a major American company…all while being a spy.

His personal life was no less convoluted. He fathered a child out of wedlock, and also married and had another child in Germany, all while living a double life in the United States. Eventually, a marriage of convenience (yes, he was a bigamist) in the U.S. gave Jack Barsky two more children.

Shockingly, when he was called to ‘go home’ by the Soviets (“You must come home, or else you’re dead”) a twist of fate, combined with the love of his infant daughter, compelled him to find a way to unilaterally end his career as a spy and stay in the United States, forging a life for himself and his family pursuing the American Dream.

He succeeded at living a ‘normal’ life until the FBI caught up with him 9 years later. Through another series of miracles, Jack Barsky once again ‘started over’.

Now a U.S. citizen, a relatively new Christian, husband to a young wife, and father to a five-year-old child, Jack Barsky has finally REALLY found the American Dream.

A page-turner with surprising twists, Deep Under Cover is a well-written and fascinating read. Jack Barsky is a living, breathing miracle who has reinvented himself several times and, in the process, seems to have found his genuine SELF.  His is a story of grace, second (third, fourth, and fifth) chances, redemption and, ultimately, love.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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Filed under Action-adventure, Autobiography, Non-Fiction