Saturday, June 24, 2017

Shattered - Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign – Informative and Intriguing – A Must Read for Political Junkies

I’m not a Hillary Clinton fan, but after hearing authors Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes interviewed about their book Shattered – Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign, I knew I wanted to read this book. 

After following the crazy 2016 Presidential election, with all the twists and turns that left heads spinning, I couldn’t resist learning about Hillary’s campaign from those who knew her best.  How is it that this woman, who spent her lifetime striving for the opportunity to be the first woman President, lost and had to watch her dream slip through her fingers once again?  Only to have the most unlikely candidate, President Donald J. Trump, win the election? 

The authors were given unprecedented access to the Clinton campaign and people at all levels.  As a result, readers are given insight into the actions and decisions Hillary and her campaign workers made.  Shattered is not light reading.  Even though I was familiar with events in this book, I found it interesting because I was seeing the events through the eyes of Hillary and her people. 

One can’t help but wonder if the campaign had been run different, would we now have Hillary Clinton as President?  How did the people who were guarded, controlling and on a personal power trip effect Hillary’s campaign?  Were they there to help Hillary win or to try and ensure they had a job in the next administration?  If Hillary had been open to honest criticism instead of surrounding herself with yes men and women would she have run a more effective strategic campaign?  Why did Hillary rely on her people to put into words why she was running for President?  Why couldn’t she say it in her own words?  If Hillary had been humble, took responsibility for her own bad decisions and genuinely apologized would it have positively impacted her campaign? 

The 2016 Presidential election was a circus and Hillary’s campaign was surprisingly ineffectively run.  This book provides some insight into the key players that impacted this election and Hillary’s campaign.  There were a couple of scenes in this book that helped me to see Hillary in a more personal light and I felt some compassion for her.  I didn’t expect that. 

I thought authors Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes did a good job in staying out of the story and instead reflect Hillary, her key players and the campaign as it unfolded.  I tried to figure out their own political leanings.  They are definitely not Trump supporters.  Based on their respect and reverential manner in how they wrote about President Obama, I believe they are likely liberals.  I couldn’t really tell if they were Hillary fans.  If so they weren’t afraid to honestly and accurately portray Hillary and her supporters. 

Shattered – Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign gives keen insight into Hillary’s campaign and the one of the craziest elections in recent years.  It also helps readers to see where the continued all-out attack on President Trump started and the ongoing narrative that is currently unfolding in newspapers and the media today. 

I would like to thank Blogging for Books and the Crown Publishing Group for the opportunity to read Shattered – Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign.  This was an excellent book and it accurately captures Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the surprising upset.  I found it informative and recommend it to folks, both conservative and liberal, who want to better understand the 2016 Presidential election.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A 58-Year-Old Secret


I don’t think I will ever forget her voice.  She sounded so sweet and so kind.  She reminded me of some of the older ladies at church that we love so much.  Will I ever hear from her again?

It’s not quite as easy as it looks on Long Lost Family.  Back in March when I sent a request form to Colorado to get a copy of my original pre-adoption birth certificate, I had no idea how things would turn out. 

I was expecting that it would take a month to get the birth certificate.  The check had been cashed.  Every day I would go to the mail box with the hope that it was finally here.  After two months, my patience was wearing thin so I decided to call Colorado’s Vital Check offices. 

After a couple of phone calls, I finally talked to someone live, instead of a recording.  The person acknowledged receiving my request and could see that they had been paid, but couldn’t tell me where they were at in the process.  She took my name and number and said someone would call me back. 

When the phone didn’t ring, I called again the next day.  Don’t ask me how come, but they couldn’t find my request form.  But at least I got a person who was able to help me.  She requested that I fill out a new form and email it to her, which I did right away.

A week later, I was holding a copy of my original birth certificate in my hand.  On it, was the name of my birth mother and biological father.  Now, I had some solid information to go by and could start fleshing out a biological family tree. 

On Ancestry, I started doing a search by her name, with very little other identifying information.  Perhaps it would be enough.  I had her name, her age, the state where she was born and the county and state where she resided when I was born.

It was just enough to help me narrow down to the person who might be my birth mother.  There were somethings in her life that made it seem like was the right person. 

On Memorial Day, I received an email from Ancestry letting me know my DNA results were back.  So cool!  The results weren’t what I expected.  I had been told my birth parents background was English, German, Swedish and Norwegian, flip flopped from my parents who adopted me. 

Instead, my family background included 78% Great Britain, 9% Irish (who knew), and 6% Europe West.  Kind of exciting and cool to learn that information.  Better than that was the DNA matches to people on Ancestry.  One of whom was a close family member to my birth mother.  So that confirmed the direction I was going with the family tree.

An internet searched showed an address where my birth mother lives.  I handwrote a brief letter to her.  I kept it vague and didn’t come right out and say, “Hi Mom, how are you doing?”  Since I didn’t know her current state and if her family might be caring for her, I gave some basic information and asked her to contact me if she knew anything about my birth.

Three weeks later I still hadn’t heard anything.  Not a phone call, email or letter.  I decided to put another letter in the mail.  This time I shared more details and included a copy of my birth certificate.  I explained how I determined she was likely my birth mother and the DNA test showed that I was close match to someone she was related to.

I sent that letter a week ago.  I think my husband, Chris has been more anxious than I have been.  I didn’t know if I would be contacted, but at least it was worth a try. 

Today, when the phone rang and displayed the city and state where my birth mother lives I knew it might be her.  Or one of her children.  Wow!

I picked up the phone and it was my birth mother.  She sounded very sweet and caring.  We didn’t talk long, but it was enough.  Well…mostly.  She thanked me for being discrete in my communication with her.  She confirmed that she was my birth mother.  She said that my birth was a secret and that her family didn’t know about it.  She’s had a good life and a loving family and her health is good. 

I had written a little bit about my life and family.  She asked a few questions and I asked about my biological father.  She didn’t have a lot of information about him.  So hopefully my DNA test result may help point me in the right direction. 

In my letter and on the phone, I shared about my faith in Christ.  Praise God, she too is a Christian.  So, if I don’t hear from her again, I have the promise of seeing her and getting to know her in heaven. 

When the phone call ended, I told her to feel free to call me any time.  I don’t know if she will do that.  Since my birth is 58-year-old secret, I may not hear from her again.  On the other hand, perhaps the Lord will be at work in her life and she may choose to share the news with her family and children.  That’s out of my control…but not outside the Lord’s control. 

As I ended the phone call, I knew it might be the only time I get to speak with her.  But she sounded like sweet, loving and caring woman.  I wish I could get to know her.  But for now, I choose to be satisfied with what the Lord has provided. 

Apart from getting my original birth certificate and the DNA tests…I don’t think I would have ever been able to find my birth mother.  I am so grateful for the support and encouragement from my husband Chris.  He didn’t hesitate and encouraged me to try. 

Next, I will try to see if I can find out who my biological father is, but I’ll have to rely heavily on DNA information for that part of my search. 

So, if any of you is curious on your family background, I encourage you to see what you can find.  Perhaps you just want to know the genetic background and the DNA test will help answer some of those questions.  Or maybe you are searching for your biological parents.  I was fortunate because the State of Colorado has recently opened up their adoption records.  Do what you can and have realistic expectations.

While I was hopeful, I would be able to make contact with my birth mother, I knew that might not happen.  I’m so grateful the Lord surprised me and I got to speak to her.  I hope I always remember her voice. 


Friday, June 16, 2017

Is Hell a Laughing Matter

One of the emails I receive on a regular basis is from One Million Moms, a group that notifies mothers and families when there is immorality, profanity, vulgarity, and violence promoted in the media.  They pass along links so people can contact companies to let them know their concerns. 

Today, I received a notification that TGI Friday’s has a new ad campaign in which use profanity in their advertisement to promote appetizers customers can get during their happy hour. 

I wasn’t able to send an email communication to Friday’s via their website.  So instead, I left a message on TGI Friday’s Facebook page.  I let Friday’s know that I didn’t appreciate their use of profanity in their commercial.  I asked them to please pull the ad and said that if didn’t we would no longer be customers. 

A short time later, a man left rude response and called me a hypocrite.  He had gone to my blog and found instances in which I had used the word hell.  My first inclination was to leave a comment back with a disparaging remark.  Am I a sinner and a hypocrite…yes I am.  But I’m not a hypocrite about this. 

Obviously, the person who left the comment calling me a hypocrite didn’t’ seem to be exercising discernment.  He didn’t acknowledge the difference between a company using profanity to promote their company and someone writing about hell to warn people about the realities of hell.

Am I just being uptight?  Should I just loosen up and not worry when companies use profanity and make a joke out or the word hell?

Well I could do that.  I’m sure there’s been times when I’ve buried my head in the sand and ignored something that wasn’t right.

But on this one…on a company casually using the word hell to promote happy hour…I’m glad I spoke up because I know about the realities of hell.

Hell is a real place.  It’s a place of eternal punishment, suffering and torment for those who refuse to acknowledge and repent of the sins.  Hell is for those who reject Christ Jesus.  Or for those who think they can get into heaven based on their good deeds.  They know they are not perfect…but they are better than the next guy.  Hell will have people who didn’t believe in God.  Those who didn’t realize that they will have to give an account for their lives.

So what does the Bible say about hell?

·       But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.  Revelation 21:8

·       They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.  2 Thessalonians 1:9

·       Hell is a place where the fire never goes out.  Mark 9:43

·       They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Matthew 13:42 

·       ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’  Mark 9:8

Hell is a real place.  A place unimaginable suffering that does not end.  I have loved ones who were sinners just like me.  But they died rejecting Christ or didn’t believe in God and recognize they will give an account for their lives.

When you know the realities of hell…it’s not a joke.  It’s not something to take casually.  It’s not a laughing matter. 

I’m a sinner…there is nothing good in me that deserves to go heaven.  I don’t deserve forgiveness.  I can’t be good enough to earn my way to heaven.  But through grace of God alone, I have been forgiven of my sin because of Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death on the cross. 

That promise of forgiveness is available for all who put their faith and trust in Christ Jesus the Lord. 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. – John 3:16-18

If you would like to know what the Bible says about hell and about how you can be forgiven of your sin…click on this link and read these Scriptures: 



Friday, June 09, 2017

Steadfast Faith


Lord grant me a faith
That remains steadfast in the face of trials
Faith that does not wither or fade
But one that looks beyond this present trial
To find joy in the greater work You will accomplish
Mature and grow my faith and trust in You

When I don’t know what to do or what step to take
In faith, let wisdom be my plea
Instead of deliverance from this trial
May I ask with confidence
Knowing that God who is all wise
Gives wisdom generously to those who ask in faith

Let me not doubt You
Or turn back, only to resort to my own sinful ways
Like Christ, give me a single-minded focus
Be not double-minded and tossed around like a wave
Driven by the wind of this stormy trial
But firmly believe God as revealed in Scripture

May I trust God with confidence and unquenchable faith
Know there is a crown of life that awaits me
All because Christ bore a crown of thorns
Was crucified and died for my sin
The One who rose victorious
Will help me steadfastly persevere under trials


By Susan Wachtel

June 9, 2017

Crisis Shot by Janice Cantore – If you like mysteries and police novels, give it a try.

I had previously read a novel by Janice Cantore and was looking forward to her new book Crisis Shot . The story starts out with Lon...