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Sunday, August 23, 2015

5 Life Lessons from the Ashley Madison Scandal

        These days, you don't have to be a would-be cheater to have heard of AshleyMadison. The name reminds me of a New England prep school or a line of women's purses. But go to the site, and you will read their motto: "Life is short; have an affair."

       Thanks to some outraged hackers who wanted to close down this affair dating site, the names of all 36 million users of the site were leaked online.
        At this moment, reporters and divorce lawyers are digging through the massive files for career gain. Several websites have even made searchable databases where you can type in an email address and see if it was listed on If a cheater was smart enough to create a throwaway email account, they're safe for a few days more. But the names and addresses on the credit card used to pay for the affair account were also hacked. So it's only a matter of time until that database becomes searchable too.
        Here are my takeaways from the situation.

1. Your Sin Will Find You Out
         Even those who would rather eat live insects than crack a Bible, have been quoting Moses command to the Israelites. Numbers 32:23 "But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the LORD; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out." (Num 32:23) Or in an American boxer's immortal words: "You can run, but you can't hide." Anyone who's planning something dastardly right now, should probably think about that.

2. The Internet Is NOT Your Journal
          Remember back in the day when a teenage girl's worst nightmare was that her little brother might sneak into her room and open up her journal? I bet all the cheaters and would-be cheaters on AshleyMadison are wishing they'd tried paper valentines or a homing-pigeon to communicate with their one-night-stand.
        Word to the wise, be careful what you put online.

3. If You Want to Preach, Listen First
           I won't say that Josh Duggar's "family values ministry" was ruined by AshleyMadison. That one already lay in tatters thanks to the sibling molestation scandal. But Sam Rader, a Christian vlogger whose pregnancy announcement to his wife (and her later miscarriage) went viral, was just outed as an AshleyMadison user. If you're cheating on your wife (or doing other horrible things to people in your life), the proper place for you is the counselor's office, not the pulpit.

4. It's Ok to Be Gleeful
        Many publications are criticizing how gleeful everyone is about this data dump. The hackers broke the law and may yet spend time behind bars for it. (Vigilante hacker-wannabes beware.) Thirty-six, well actually seventy-two including the unwitting spouses, million people have been living a lie for numerous years now. Here's hoping this revelation allows each cheater and his or her spouse to re-examine their lives and think about how they want to live out their remaining years.

5. Presidential Candidates Beware
        There are what, twenty, fifty, seventy-five candidates running for the highest office of the land? And we already know some of them enjoy having an affair. (*cough* The Donald's second wife. *cough*). If you're running for president and have ever used, I would suggest telling your teleprompters to get started on that resignation speech.

What lessons would you draw from this scandal?

Monday, August 17, 2015

Like Biblical fiction? ENTER TO WIN Caryl McAdoo's Post-Diluvian release

Like Biblical fiction? Check out Caryl McAdoo's latest release that retells the dramatic story of Noah and his family re-entering a post-flood earth where the entire geography of their planet is changed. Enter to WIN a copy by commenting below.

God always has a good plan for the righteous. Sin fills the world with violence, but faith carries Noah and his family above the flood through the storm. In the harshness of Mount Ararat where they disembark, nothing compares to the lushness of Adam’s Valley—their home left behind. And troubles surviving the thirteen months on the Ark can’t match the struggles they face to forge new lives in a hard land where the mist no longer rises up every evening…where instead of a protective covering cloud of water above, the brutal sun beats down and unpredictable storms batter the inhabitants. Still, the Lord has given the sons of Noah a mandate.  Replenish the Earth. 

Noah studied Shem’s wife until she realized it and offered a weak smile.
“Daughter, is something troubling you?”
She ducked her chin and shook her head.
Her husband put his arm around her shoulder. “The Lord showed her Nod last night in a vision.”
She looked up, her head still shaking a short, rapid no or as though trying to rid the images from her mind’s eye. “Oh, Father, it was horrible. They were climbing over each other, trying to get to higher ground. The strong pulled the weak back down, stepping over the women and babies. I don’t know why….” Her eyes brimmed full, and a tear rolled down her cheek.
“Sweet Jemri, I’m so sorry.” Mother hurried to her and hugged the girl from behind.
“I am, too, but also, I’m thankful the Lord brought us here, saved us from the flood.” She managed a weak smile. “Before I saw Nod, I dreamed of the giant who saved Varsi and me.” She glanced across the table to her twin. “Friend goes by Centurion. He’s an angel of the host, and has great wings.” She held her arms up and out. “Twice this big. He took me up high into the sky and through a sparkling blue circle of light that opened when he sang three notes. It opened to a place where the angels war with songs.”
“Grandfather Enoch spoke of it being the second heaven.” Noah held a hand out to his beloved.

Caryl McAdoo has retold the familiar Genesis flood account with clarity and sensitivity. While remaining faithful to the King James Version, the human story beneath the print page comes alive drawing the reader into the pathos and joys of real breathing people faced with the most devastating natural disaster ever known in human history, one which survives in the mythology of every culture and race, but which is most fully and literally told in the pages of the Bible. This reviewer loved this segment of The Generations Series and heartily recommends the whole work.     
--Cass Wessel, multi-published author of devotionals

Replenish the Earth is the third installment in The Generations series, and I loved it just as much as I did the first two. Caryl has taken the story of Noah and the flood and written it in such a way to capture the emotions and feelings of Noah and his family that leaves the reader feeling as if you are living the story with them and experiencing first hand their trials and victories and the working of God in their lives. This book is a wonderful addition to an excellent series that I definitely recommend. This is an amazing series that has really enabled readers to see these stories in a new and wonderful light. Caryl has really brought them to life.
        --Ann Ellis, Texas reader

Enter to WIN a copy by commenting below: Deadline--9/15/2015

Bio: Caryl McAdoo currently writes three series: the historical Christian ‘Texas Romance’; a contemporary ‘Red River Romance’; and The Generations, her Biblical fiction. The best-selling 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 sixteen 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 with two grandsons, Christian and Benjamen.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

5 Things I Learned about San Diego Beaches

I grew up on East Coast Beaches. With my three siblings, I splashed in the Atlantic Ocean off the Del-Mar-Va Pennisula throughout my childhood. Here's a picture of me at the beach with my little sister.

Last week though, my husband and I went on an anniversary vacation (sans kiddo :)) to the San Diego Beaches. Here are FIVE ways San Diego beach are different than East Coast one.

1. In place of seagulls, you have sea lions.
        Growing up going to Ocean City, MD, I remember being swarmed by hordes of ravenous seagulls. At La Jolla Cove, where we stayed, I saw all of about three seagulls. But there were HUNDREDS of sea lions.

2. Beaches Are NOT Flat in San Diego. 
       Growing up, I remember the miles and miles of flat sand on the Atlantic coast. The hilliest sections sported a three-foot-high sand dune. At La Jolla Cove, you have to literally climb down a precipice to get to the beach.
        On the positive side, the elevation probably gives you some protection from tsunamis. (Pacific Beach and Mission Beach were a little flatter, but nothing like the East Coast.)

3. Inn-N-Out is an obligatory stop in San Diego
       Ever been to an Inn-N-Out burger chain? Growing up in Maryland, I'd never had. But throughout four years of college, every Westerner at school raved about them non-stop.
        The cafeteria was serving paninis? I was happy to wait in a half-hour long line to get one. But the California-area college students spent the entire half-hour monologuing about how much better Inn-N-Out was than any other culinary expression consumed by mere mortals on the East Coast.

           I'm really not convinced the burgers live up to the hype. But they are pretty good.

4. Back to those sea lions. They STINK. East Coast beaches have laws keeping your dog and cats off the beach. But you can't exactly make a leash law for a sea lion. Those picturesque rocks the sea lions grouped on?--they smell like dog kennels.

5. San Diego beaches have cooler history than the Del-Mar-Va peninsula. I mean you have St. Mary's City in Maryland with some awesome reenactors. 

           But the San Diego missions, built by the Spaniards in mainly the 1700s and used by various orders of monks, are enough to make one want to convert to Catholicism.

      I mean seriously, where on the Maryland beaches do they have a statue of a ROMAN soldier. (Yes I'm a Greco-Roman-phile. :)

       And that's all about La Jolla Cove. I loved it. And now I want to take "Joe-Joe" there next year.