…On Earth As It Is In Heaven: A Prayer

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Like many of you, I am glued to the news coming out of the Middle East. An ocean of virtual ink has been spilled this summer in debate over the Israel-Gaza war, the Israel-West Bank conflict, and the hard shift caliphate-building ISIS has brought as its taken hold across war-ravaged Syria and Iraq. And the reality is that heart-breaking recent events in Somalia, South Sudan and Ukraine are not disconnected from what is happening in the Middle East.I am writing from a comfortable home in a C … [Read more...]

Independence Day At A Central IL Cemetery

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A few weeks ago, I wrote a short post here about the graveyard that abuts the property on which our small townhome/apartment development was built. Every time I visit these strangers, I realize how much I want to visit the graves of my own family members. Some are buried in a swampy Jewish cemetery in south Florida. Some are in New York. And some are buried in Peoria, Illinois.My grandmother, Leah Cohen Marks, was found dead in her tiny tw0-bedroom home on Independence Avenue in Peoria on … [Read more...]

Blog Tour Redux: Week Deux

The blog tour for If Only: Letting Go Of Regret continued this past week, and will wrap up the middle of next week. Today, a recap of the sweet middle of this journey `round the web talking about regret, redemption and renewal. Check out these sweet links, including one that is hosting a way for you to win a copy of the book.If you've read the book, I'd be so grateful if you'd add a couple of lines of review at Amazon and/or Goodreads. July 1st is the official release date. Stay tuned, as … [Read more...]

Blog Tour Wrap-Up: Week 1

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It's been an honor and a lot of fun to watch the discussion about If Only: Letting Go Of Regret travel around the web this week. Below you'll find a wrap-up of the book-related posts - and a bonus. Yesterday, Ellen Painter Dollar shared a section of Chapter 9, entitled "When The Past Becomes The Present: Why Our History Still Tell Tales". Visit her blog to read part one. Part two is below.Monday: Part 1 of an excerpt from Chapter 1 at Melaniemakes.comTuesday: Part 2 of an excerpt … [Read more...]

The Collateral Damage From A Youth Pastor’s Sexual Sin

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Last week, Leadership Journal magazine posted an article penned by a youth pastor who groomed, then sexually abused a girl in his youth group. He is now in prison for his crimes. The anonymous article was saturated with a self-pitying tone,  some horrifying reframing of his sin (statutory rape is not an "affair"), and a stunning lack of concern for the young woman upon whom he preyed. It took a couple of very intense days of social media activity by those infuriated by the platform given to a … [Read more...]

Virtual Road Trip + A Quick School Update

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A book is meant to create a conversation between writer and reader. A good book can spark conversations that echo far beyond its pages. By nature of its form and function, a book with 40,000 or more words (Victor Hugo's Les Miserables clocks in at over 500,000 words) is an extended meditation on a subject or theme.The form and function of a blog post is an entirely different critter. Most blog posts are 500-1,000 words in length. They have pictures, hyperlinks, and most have comments … [Read more...]

Honoring The Dishonorable?

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This Sunday is Father's Day. For some of us, the day will be a sentimental one filled with the gifts of a construction paper card with a crayoned sentiment and a medium-rare steak on the grill. For others, the word "Father" is tied to abuse, neglect or abandonment, and June 15th will be just another day of painful memories.My friend Libby Buchanan, a survivor of the child pornography industry, has earned a spot in the latter category, but has worked hard to both integrate and move beyond her … [Read more...]


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