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Thursday, July 23, 2015

What Do You Do to People Who Disagree With You?

    In America, the most bigoted among us pretty much accept that if you choose to follow a religion we dislike, the most we can do is call you "stupid." If a young person turns away from the faith of his parents (be that faith Christian, Hindu, or Wiccan), the biggest persecution he encounters will be angry conversations at the Thanksgiving table or being uninvited from the family reunion.

     This casual acceptance of religious differences is not present in most of the world. In some parts of the world, turning away from the faith of your parents, or the faith of your countrymen carries a death sentence. And to people in those countries, that's normal.
     Islamic Sharia law in particular teaches that any blasphemy against the Muslim religion should be punished with death.
      In the next few months, I'll be bringing you the stories of some people (Christians, Hindus, Atheists, and even a few Muslims) that are currently imprisoned because of what they believe (or don't believe) about religion.

         Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five, was sentenced to death five years ago in Pakistan. She continues to remain imprisoned on death-row as lawyers appeal the sentence. Her crime?

        Drinking out of a water jar at work that was only for Muslims. Her co-workers said that this water-drinking constituted blasphemy, which is punishable by death in Pakistan.

          Can you imagine segregating drinking water by religion in America? "I'm sorry this is the Christian drinking fountain. You must sign our statement of faith before you can take a drink out of here."
          Pretty sure that would violate every constitutional right an American has. (As well as Jesus' commandments. Matt 5:42-44)
          And can you imagine if death was the penalty for blasphemy in America? Every actor on South Park and Saturday Night Live would be sent to the electric chair.

        So here's a quick poll for you (write your answer in a comment below): If death was the penalty for saying blasphemy against ANY religion or lack thereof (islam, hindu, wiccan, Christian, atheistic humanism, buddhism, Latter Day Saints, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc.) in your country, would you be in jail yet?

My answer: Yes, definitely.

Believe in freedom of religion? Take thirty seconds and sign this petition to save Asia Bibi's life.
And like her the Facebook Page for the "Save Asia Bibi" movement.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

4 Ways President Obama Failed Americans This Week

              Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 was a historic day. President Obama finalized negotiations with Iran for a nuclear treaty. And the President completely failed to mention the four Americans that Iran is currently imprisoning, beating, and torturing.
One of the imprisoned Americans, Saeed Abedini, particularly captured my attention. This thirty-five-year-old dad of two hasn’t seen his wife or two young children since 2012.
As a military spouse, I know a little of what it’s like to be separated. This is my family.

Three years ago, my husband deployed to the Middle East for a year. It was hard. I couldn’t bear to see each of our son’s milestones go by, first word, first step, first haircut, without my husband there. I worried about my husband over there in a combat zone. But he was with his buddies with the force of a fully-equipped battalion looking out for him. I spoke to him on the phone most days.
Now look at this American family.

That’s Saeed, his wife Naghmeni, and their two children, Jacob (now 7), and Rebekka (now 8). They’ve been separated for almost three years now. Saeed’s in an Iranian prison merely because he helped some Iranian orphans and spoke about his faith in Christ. Saeed has no American battle buddies looking out for him, nor the fire power of a U.S. battalion behind him. He’s not warm and dry and fed. He’s in a jail cell being beaten and tortured so bad that he’s been hospitalized on multiple occasions.
Saeed’s kids are getting older. He’s missing milestones: first bike ride, first day at school, first words read. And there’s no coming home date in sight. Iran first said they’d imprison him for eight years, and now they’re talking about extending that.
His kids have released heartbreaking videos and pictures asking for their daddy to come home. Yet the years tick by as Saeed’s wife posts birthday pictures without “Daddy.” Christmas pictures without “Daddy.” Father’s Day pictures without “Daddy.” Saeed and Neghmeni’s 10th anniversary passed last year. They should have been able to go on a getaway to Florida, a cruise to the Bahamas. Instead, they cried even more. And it’s not just that they’re separated. Saeed is being actively beaten and tortured. As he wrote to his son when the little boy sent “Daddy” an invitation for his 7th birthday party: I want to be there, but “my chains are keeping me from you.” Can you imagine how it feels to know your loved one is in chains, being tortured? Tortured.
 Naghmeni has traveled the U.S. and abroad pleading with diplomats, government officials, and anyone who will listen to “free her husband.” Yet, Saeed remains imprisoned.
And Saeed’s not the only falsely imprisoned American in Iran. There are three more. Thirty-one year old Amir Hekmati has been rotting in Iranian jail for four long years. The former marine who served four years right after 9/11 and deployed to Iraq is remembered fondly for his athletic ability. Now in prison, he has lost thirty pounds and his family fears he may have contracted tuberculosis. President Obama waxes eloquent about his desire for all U.S. citizens to have proper health insurance and medical care.
Does President Obama not care that Amir is wasting away in an Iranian jail with no medical coverage at all? Why doesn’t the President act to free Amir?
There’s been a lot of talk about how our vets aren’t receiving proper services post-discharge. Here’s one vet that would jump at the opportunity to be unemployed and have no healthcare benefits rather than what he’s been offered post-discharge—a foreign jail. Is that how America honors her vets? Meanwhile, Amir’s dad is dying of brain cancer, and his only wish is to see his son one last time before he dies.
President Obama’s dad opted out of his life almost completely. Does that mean President Obama thinks it’s ok that Amir‘s father won’t get to see his son once more before brain cancer claims his life?
Like Saeed, President Obama also has two kids and a loving wife. Has he no heart? How could he sit down at that negotiating table and not say: “Hey, Supreme Leader Ali Khameni. Send my countrymen home.”
President Obama’s administration has made it clear that he believes nuclear negotiations are a separate issue from these four American lives, so he had no obligation to mention those four in Vienna this week.
If these were President Obama’s children, siblings, or parents imprisoned, do you think he’d be espousing that line of reasoning? President Obama has the power to free these four Americans. Who cares what’s separate from what?
Use your power, President Obama, and free these citizens who are relying on you as America’s Commander-in-Chief.
After all, President Obama saved Bowe Berghdal. He’s fully capable of getting these four American citizens out. But he doesn’t. This is utterly unacceptable.

Take action: Sign the petition asking President Obama to free these U.S. citizens immediately.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Love Contemporary Romance Stories? Try This Book About a Dallas Weather Girl & A Texas Ranger Pitcher

       Ever get tired of the depressing cycle of disasters on the news? What better way to enjoy your summer, then to curl up by the pool with a romance novel? Read more about this Christian contemporary romance by a friend of mine, Caryl McAdoo, below. Comment for a chance to win a free copy! (Deadline for giveaway July 25th, 2015).

        God can pull a fish out of water and make that thang smell like a rose. One and Done is an unlikely love story born of prophesy, nurtured in full view of the probing public eye, and seemingly doomed at its inception.  
      In this love story for men and women with a Texas Ranger baseball backdrop and strong pitcher/batter hero, Samantha Danielle, cutest weather girl on Dallas TV, only dreams of sports reporting. Then her station sends her to scoop an interview with a pitcher Rangers’ management is hot after. George Herman Walter Johnson is undeniably a phenomenon on the mound. His charm and debonair bowls her over, but turns out, he’s such a goody two-shoes, she can’t even get him to first base.
       Conflict flies as the wealthy ex-poker player, oldest Ranger rookie ever lays everything on the line in his quest to win her heart. She remains wary of his resistance. Will her bunt snag the man of her dreams...or his homerun drive her home? Can his faith that she is God’s woman for him carry them through to their happily-ever-after?

Faster than a major league outfielder pulling down a popup fly ball, Caryl McAdoo’s romance is guaranteed to snag baseball lovers and romance readers alike. This Christian story is written with wit, verve and Caryl McAdoo’s usual flare for dialect and spicy dialogue. Be warned. Those readers searching for a saccharine, man-meets-woman story will soon discover this is no sanitized romantic fairy tale.
From the beginning, the reader will identify with real people who live clearly in the mind, so much so, that a person can almost smell locker room sweat or the mouthwatering scent of spicy Mexican food. Identification with the hero and heroine is nearly immediate. With so much to rave about, this review cannot begin to cover all the delightful surprises, so the reader simply must buy “One and Done” to see for themselves.
--Cassandra Wessel, a Pennsylvania reader

Caryl has done it again.  Another wonderful story with characters and a story line that had me hooked from the first pages.  The author also gives a fun glimpse into the world of professional baseball and the players.  It was enjoyable reading about G. H., a ball player, and Sammi, a TV reporter, and following their ups and downs in their spiritual journeys as they discover their love for each other.  I was given a copy of this book in return for an honest review, and it is another one"" from this author that I definitely recommend."
--Ann Ellis, a Texas Reader

Excerpt from Once and Done :
“Your passport up to date?”
Passport? She nodded as a tsunami slammed her backwards. No box seats, no sports position, but a stupid storm. Bologna! She hated covering hurricanes. “Yes, sir.” She hadn’t meant for that to sound so dejected. “Where do you need me to go?”
    He stuck out the envelope. “Take what’s her name from the bullpen with you. This might be good. Joe caught wind of a rookie phenom the Rangers are hot after. He’s pitching tomorrow night in Mexico City. Be there. Get ahead of this story for us.”
    She took the offering. “Yes, sir, whatever you say, sir. But… Why me? I’m the weather girl.”
    “I know who you are, but your numbers are trending.” He backed toward his office. “You want to go, or not?”
    “Yes, of course. Very much so, sir. Thank you. I mean for thinking of me. Woo! I am plenty excited about this, I can tell you.” Oh why couldn’t she just shut up?
    He didn’t even crack a smile. What a geezer!
    “There’s a Visa in there.” He pointed to the packet. “But best be wary of the sharks in accounting.”
    A company card! What a wonderful old, generous geezer. “Yes, sir. And thank you for your confidence in me. I won’t let you down, Mr. Yancy.”
    He waved her off like getting a shot at sports meant nothing and retreated to his office. Must be nice being general manger of DFW’s biggest television station. She spun around then turned back. What’s her name in the bullpen? Okay, that left her choices wide open. Hmm, who’d be the most fun camera girl to fly south with? Or should she choose a guy?
    Exactly six hours and forty-seven minutes later, Sammi Dan flopped down on one of the Hilton’s double beds as though a kid again. Wow, she could hardly believe how fast it all happened. But there she was in Mexico City!
April What’s-her-name Meadows stood in front of the dresser and smirked unpacking her suitcase into the drawers. “Shouldn’t we hurry up and get ready and go back downstairs? Aren’t we running out of time?”
“Oh, girlfriend, lighten up for the sake of the team, will you? You’re not being any fun.” Sammi Dan pointed to the little refrigerator. “See what they’ve got to drink in there. And if there’s any chocolate.”
Her camera girl slash producer slash assistant shook her head. “You’re unbelievable. I’ve already made arrangements for you to do a preliminary with this G.H. Johnson guy in exactly…” She slid her phone open. “Fifty-two minutes in the lobby.”
“Heavens to Mergatroid, girl, that’s almost an hour away. Why the rush?”
“Whatever. You’re supposed to be the talent here, Sam. Don’t you want to freshen up, get downstairs early for a lay of the lobby—choose the perfect shot for your interview? Or do you plan on lounging there sucking up the AC and drinking tequila with your chocolate truffles?”
Sammi Dan sat up and exhaled slowly. Logical April was right of course, but she sure knew how to spoil a perfectly great trip south of the border. Should have asked Christie, she wouldn’t be such a party popper. Sammi got up and riffled through her bag.
“I don’t know why you’re unpacking. What’s the point when we’re only spending one night? We do leave tomorrow after the game on the redeye, right? They could’ve let us fly home the next morning, but no, the sharks in accounting didn’t want to spring for two nights. Tightwads.”
G.H.  Johnson showed early, but Sammi Dan had gotten there earlier. She loved that. Her chosen place for her first ever sport’s interview offered a lovely tropical backdrop of palm trees, ferns, and falling water. She stood and stuck out her hand. “Good afternoon, Mr. Johnson, and thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me. I’m Samantha Danielle Davenport from KBTL in Dallas. Won’t you have a seat?”   
“I know who you are.” He grinned.
He did? How in the world?

Don't forget to enter to win a copy by commenting below! 

Caryl McAdoo currently writes three series: the historical Christian ‘Texas Romance’; a contemporary ‘Red River Romance’; and The Generations, her Biblical fiction. The novelist loves singing new songs the Lord gives her, and she paints. In 2008, she and her high school sweetheart-husband Ron moved from the DFW area—home for fifty-five years—to the woods of Red River County. Caryl counts four children and fourteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings believing all good things come from God. Praying her story gives God glory, she hopes each one will also minister His love, mercy, and grace to its readers. Caryl and Ron live in Clarksville, the county seat, in the far northeast corner of the Lone Star State.

One and Done
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