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 Finish Line / A Peek Ahead

The final posts from the epic If Only journey `round the web are below:Aleah Marsden offers a review, a remembrance and a reflection - all in one witty post at And wise friend Judy Allen reviews If Only at Leslie Sholly is running a give-away in conjunction with her thoughts about her if only's at Life In Every Limb.You can check out the earlier pit stops on this virtual road trip here and here.A huge thanks to Rachel and team at … [Read more...]

It’s not a give-away, it’s a “gift away”

flat cover IF ONLY

You know that "Five Love Languages" thing? Those books and seminars that tell you how you and those you know are wired to demonstrate and receive love? Well, according to the little quiz in the back of the very first book written in the series, one of my primary love languages is gift giving.I'll buy that.Today is the release date of If Only: Letting Go Of Regret. It's been available for a few weeks (here, here, and here for starters), but now it's really, truly, officially available. … [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...]

The Jewish Roots of Christian Sabbath

Where I come from, Shabbat begins at dusk on Friday nights, and ends when the first three stars become visible on Saturday evening. The twenty-five or so hours from Friday evening through Saturday evening are meant to be a time of restorative rest and reconnection with God, family and faith community, I grew up in a fairly secular Jewish home in a predominately Jewish neighborhood, and understood that the Sabbath was a core part of our Jewish identity, even if few in our neighborhood observed it … [Read more...]

Blog Tour Wrap-Up: Week 1


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...]

Tied Up In Our Own Preferences

While the contemporary ability to determine one's family size is heralded as a mark of Western progress, that freedom carries with it moral and spiritual responsibility. Some branches of Christendom (most notably, the Catholic Church) have well-documented doctrinal positions about issues of reproductive technology and artificial means of birth control, many in the evangelical world default to silence on the issue of permanent sterilization.When Hobby Lobby and others made headlines for … [Read more...]