Saturday, November 26, 2011

What Surprised Me about Helping Mogama's Refugee War Journal

Mogama, Refugee Was My Name
Jean Purcell
Twitter @opinaripeople

I have been wary in the past about helping personal narrative writing projects. So it surprised me when I agreed to take a serious look at a recommended author's personal story of life as a refugee.
     It became a life-affecting experience to let down my editorial guard of doubts and to enter into another writer's life experience once again. 
    I knew about refugee needs and issues when we started working together, because my husband has been involved for decades in this area. I began to think that God, in His great Providence, might truly have been part of bringing Mogama and me together as collaborators. 
   The more I realized that the time seemed right for the author and as I began to trust his character, then his personality and faith helped me relax, pray, and trust. 
   That kept me going with a long and testing process for a marvelous writer. Mogama loves his homeland of Liberia, and from the U. S. he keeps up with events there and is now helping with a new mission undertaking. 
    In the process of over two years, Mogama's patience and graciousness helped me. My personal and family considerations drew me away from our work for a while, as my dear mother-in-law was ending her life in home hospice with my husband and our family. The steady patience and caring that Mogama showed helped me there, as well. 
     In the situation of continuing to work with Mogama, I found an author of Christian discipline able to work toward a meeting of minds and frank discussion. I began to want our families to meet, as well.  
     It is about lives, in the end. Does this mean that I will work on another personal narrative book with another author? I have no idea. I leave that in God's hands. He will show the way.  
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Friday, November 25, 2011

Bea Gaddy Changed Baltimore


"Bea Gaddy, 68; City Councilwoman Fought for Poor, Homeless"

Bea Gaddy, 68, a former housekeeper who rose from poverty to become Baltimore's leading advocate for the homeless and poor, died Wednesday of breast cancer at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Gaddy, a member of the Baltimore City Council, organized Thanksgiving feasts that served thousands of the city's homeless for more than 20 years.

Using fewer than 70 words, the L. A. Times began its obituary of October 11, 2001 for Bea Gaddy and covered the essence of one lady's huge impact upon a complex American city. This Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2011, marked the 30th Anniversary of Mrs. Gaddy's now famous Thanksgiving Day dinner for the poor in and around Baltimore, Maryland. "Whosoever will may come," has been the invitation, and many have come with numbers growing through every year.
     Those blessed by Bea Gaddy and her home-cooked Thanksgiving meals in the beginning years and those eating the meals cooked in later years by volunteers have been the poor of Baltimore. Also fed, in other ways, have been those who volunteer every year to cook and to serve. "People care about you," the meal says to the overlooked poor of Baltimore at least once a year. In the other times, the Bea Gaddy Center reaches out to the poor of the city.  
     One woman with a huge compassion for others became a byword for gracious service and compassionate sharing. She served the poorest every Thanksgiving and more, from her limited personal means. The harvest grew like the proverbial tree that flowers from the tiny mustard seed.  

Jean Purcell
Copyright (c) 2011 Author Support

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Reality: Reader Comment about Christian books today

Karlskirche - Old Testament
(Photo credit: laz3rphea)

Twitter @OpinariPeople and @OpineBookCafe

I heard or read this provocative comment: "I think that there needs to be more realistic Christian work from authors who are perhaps failing and trying to get better with their faith..."

The operative word in that thought is...realistic or faith? Faith can be a trying or tormenting word that seems to escape adequate definition or description. How can we dive into the depths of faith?
     And what do we think of as "realistic" in matters of faith and other spiritual matters?

What is "realistic Christian work"? 

I wonder if the commenter meant "believable because true and without embellishment or coverage. The Bible is an example of unvarnished stories, recounting human flaws in sometimes stark terms. Hebrews 11 contains lots of names, laying out that these were people of faith. To lay out their falls or foibles, we must go to the Old Testament record of their lives. "Realistic" Christian work avoids Hagiographa, or haloed writing of human lives. The full record of our lives includes flaws. Struggles with God and faith are real.   

Copyright (c) 2011 Jean Purcell-post revised
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Friday, November 11, 2011

Christian books, small press niche for The Web

World wide webImage via Wikipedia
Dear book likers and lovers, 

I am preparing a new and special Christian small press niche eStore Books Opine, History, China, others on The Web.
The eStore will feature books, authors, and a book review blog.    

eStore now up, running, growing
This eStore offers what we think is an appealing experience with a roomy, uncrowded, fast, easy, and enjoyable book-shopping experience. 
Plus, a blog will have frequent book reviews--
books in or not in the news. 

Categories [books and ebooks] available to buy would be numerous, growing week by week. This niche will appeal to readers, buyers, and givers that look beyond the latest bestseller, as well as buying a few of those from time to time.
It will reach Christian groups and organizations, plus free Book Review blog, with free subscriber option. 

Your thoughts? See comment box below and share.Welcome!. 

This message is from:
Jean Purcell
Author Support blog manager

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Friday, November 4, 2011

Think, Reason, Believe...Pray

(Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
prayer.. (Photo credit: aronki)

Jean Purcell
Follow on Twitter @opinaripeople
and @OpineBookCafe

The Latin word opinari means "to think, to reason, to believe." It is the root of the English word "opine," a favorite of Sherlock Holmes. Opine is the word my husband and I chose to name a place we once had, where we went to reflect, read, and discuss..."Little Opine." At Little Opine we mainly worked on the overgrown land, made repairs and trips there to take trash-bins-on-wheels to the end of the drive for pickup days.

We visited Little Opine on weekends for a couple of years. In winters, we made wood fires in its little alpine stove. Little Opine is where I started to plan for the first book of our start-up publishing company, named Opine Publishing. Exhausted Rapunzel by Deirdre Reilly became our first full-length book, a humor book by a newspaper columnist we know very well.* 

Opinari, being the root of our name and ideas, continues to resonate with us. Think, reason, believe. Those words lead me to think pray. Writers of books for thinking readers need a life of prayer. The Psalms are a good start for those not yet practicing this.

I agree with the view that when one can hardly think, reason, or pray, we still believe. Faith remains because love remains. The times when we lean intensely into prayer for strength, steadiness, and love...are the times when it is most difficult to pray. Here is also where selected psalms can help us to pray. We can read and pray anywhere, sitting or kneeling, walking, enjoying the outdoors...

Everything done through Opine Publishing has been covered in prayer. We are human and Opine is a small publishing house. The new eStore features other publishing houses' books as well as our own. "And crown our efforts with success"...the pleasures, insights, and refreshment of memorable books.    

Not All Roads Lead Home/UK/original edition/Study Guide(out of print)/2000

Not All Roads Lead Home by Jane Bullard/UK/original edition/1996 

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