Category Archives: Christian

Blaze of Light: The Inspiring True Story of Green Beret Medic Gary Beikirch, Medal of Honor Recipient

Blaze of Light: The Inspiring True Story of Green Beret Medic Gary Beikirch, Medal of Honor Recipient by Marcus Brotherton is a book I couldn’t wait to read! I am an emeritus flight medic, and I love stories about special ops and Vietnam (especially helicopter pilots and medics). This book sounded right up my alley! I figured it would be one of those books that I couldn’t put down and finish in one day.

Unfortunately, I was wrong. The author managed to take a riveting story and make it drag. Still, I’m grateful I read it.

Gary Beikirch has a truly remarkable story to tell. He had an amazing experience in Vietnam among the indigenous Montagnard people. He was one of 12 special forces troops, along with 400 Montagnard fighters, tasked with defending 2,300 women and children inside the village of Dak Seang when it came under siege by 1000 enemy soldiers. This siege was brutal, protracted, and bloody.

Gary personifies the courage and fortitude of the special operations fighters trained by our military. Add to that his love for the Montagnard people he had lived among for many months, and you see a picture of a fierce fighter and a loyal man who would not quit when there were wounded to be tended to — even after his own grave injury!

One of the additional heroes of Blaze of Light was Gary’s Montagnard soldier bodyguard, Deo. Deo (pronounced “day-oh”), the Latin word for God and a name that can mean “god-like”, was a fitting name. Deo was 15 years old, but he had the loyalty and bravery that exceeds most mortals. He truly deserved a posthumous Medal of Honor (if that were possible for a foreign ally fighter). He literally dragged a partially paralyzed Gary around from patient to patient so that Gary could treat the wounded. Ultimately, Deo sacrificed his life shielding Gary from an enemy rocket. The loss of Deo was one of the most moving and heart-wrenching moments in the book for me. So young and so brave.

Gary’s adjustment to civilian life was not easy. Vietnam veterans were routinely harassed as ‘baby killers’ and vilified, especially among young people at colleges and universities (who had, ironically, in all likelihood, gotten out of being drafted by being privileged enough to be enrolled in a post-secondary school). He had PTSD (though they didn’t have that name for it back then). His marriage was marred by behaviors resulting from his PTSD (his wife deserves a medal for sticking with him through those ugly years).

God was truly with Gary throughout his life, and he has gone on to share the love he was shown.

The downside to the story isn’t the STORY — at all. It was the writing. The author managed to take a riveting story and make it dull in the telling. I’ve read many memoirs of special forces operators and this was by far the dullest and hardest to get through for me. This makes me very sad, because the story deserved to be told in such a way that the reader really got a sense of what Gary’s experiences were — like they were there witnessing it, or watching a movie. This didn’t give me that experience.

The author made stupid mistakes like saying “Gary heard the explosion, then saw a flash of light” (For those who might not understand why this bothered me…you see the flash long before you hear the boom. The speed of sound in air is ~ 343 m/s and the speed of light is 3×1010 m/s.). It may seem petty to point that out, but it jerked me out of the suspension of real life I had begun to achieve and planted me firmly back onto the page of a book (when a book is really good, I forget I’m reading…I’m in the story).

To Gary Beikirch I would say: Thank you, Sir, for your brave service to our country, and for the character that you have shown throughout your life. Your story is truly one of bravery and perseverance. May you be blessed.

***I was given a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.***

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Filed under Action-adventure, biography, Christian, Non-Fiction

Eat Live Thrive Diet

Eat Live Thrive Diet: A Lifestyle Plan to Rev Up Your Midlife Metabolism

Most women who are 45 or older struggle to keep their weight under control, or at the very least struggle with “middle age spread” around their waist. I’ve done a lot of reading on intermittent fasting and, from my experience, and the experiences of friends, there’s really something to it! It works!

Eat Live Thrive Diet incorporates intermittent fasting with carbohydrate reduction and food sensitivity screening, among other things. The authors assert that some women gain more weight from certain categories of food (dairy, grains, etc.). These recommendations make a LOT of sense to me. While the experience of an elimination diet is complicated and difficult, it seems a worthwhile pursuit for women who are struggling to lose weight.

The authors also recommend a “cleansing” component which consists of a vinegar/lemon juice drink, and a cranberry drink (unsweetened pure cranberry juice, water, and stevia or other non-caloric natural sweetener), along with fiber and vitamin/mineral supplements.

Although I’m currently following a low-carb diet coupled with intermittent fasting, I’m not seeing results as fast as I’d like to. I thought I would try the recommendations of the Eat Live Thrive Diet to see if they’d help boost my weight loss however, the more I read, the more complicated the regimen sounded and the more overwhelmed I felt. I’ve decided that the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle was the best approach for me, so I’m still using low-carb coupled with intermittent fasting. I’m OK with weight loss of 5 pounds a month (although it would just be nice to lose all the weight I want to lose in 4 weeks and go into “maintenance”).

Having tried every diet under the sun since I was a preteen, and after doing a lot of research on intermittent fasting and the role insulin plays in gaining weight, I’m convinced that fasting to lower my insulin resistance, and fasting to maintain low insulin levels going forward, is the only workable plan to achieving and maintaining weight loss. For me, a simple plan that has lots of flexibility is the way to go right now. Sadly, Eat Live Thrive Diet doesn’t fit that paradigm. Maybe when life is less complicated…

**I received a complementary copy of Eat Live Thrive Diet from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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Filed under Christian, healthy living, Non-Fiction, Self-help, women

Inspire Catholic Bible NLT


The Inspire Catholic Bible NLT published by Tyndale is a beautiful addition to their Inspire line. Meant for note taking, journaling, color-coding, and illustrating, the Inspire Bibles are a beautiful addition to any Christian woman’s library. The Inspire Catholic Bible NLT is no exception!

The NLT translation is accessible for even the most inexperienced scriptorian.  The cover is a beautiful, pearlized pink. The Bible has a placemarker (elastic band) and the pages are edged with really pretty flowers and butterflies. Inside, the pages have lines or templates for illustrating on the outside margin.  I just love this Bible! Although I’m not Catholic, my daughter is, so I plan on giving it to her for Christmas (shhh! Don’t tell!)

This would be a great addition to your Christmas list for any Catholic friends (they have protestant versions, as well).

 Inspire Catholic Bible NLT by Tyndale
Inside there are lines on some pages and templates for illustration on others.
The edges are so pretty!
This is a really nice gift for yourself or someone you love!

I received a complementary copy of this Bible in exchange for my honest review.

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Filed under Bibles, Christian, Non-Fiction, women