War Room: Prayer Is A Powerful Weapon by Chris Fabry

War Room

 

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Juggling motherhood and her job as a real-estate agent, Elizabeth Jordan wishes her husband could help more around the house. But Tony’s rising career as a pharmaceutical salesman demands more and more of his time. With a nice home in the suburbs and a lovely young daughter, they appear to have it all—yet they can’t seem to spend time together without fighting.

Hoping for a new listing, Elizabeth visits the home of Clara Williams, an elderly widow, and is both amused and uncomfortable when Clara starts asking pointed questions about her marriage and faith. But it’s Clara’s secret prayer room, with its walls covered in requests and answers, that has Elizabeth most intrigued . . . even if she’s not ready to take Clara’s suggestion that she create a prayer room of her own. As tensions at home escalate, though, Elizabeth begins to realize that her family is worth fighting for, and she can’t win this battle on her own. Stepping out in blind faith, putting her prayers for her family and their future in God’s hands, might be her only chance at regaining the life she was meant for.

 

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Yea, I know that I am late to the “party” because the book and movie were released a few years ago, but right now was the right time for me to dive into War Room. I can openly admit that I was nowhere near being in the correct frame of mind to not only read but to buy into what the book was about when it was released. I was angry at everyone: folks I felt wronged me, myself, and even God.

I kept hearing from folks that either the book or the movie had a very powerful effect on their life so I had very high expectations once I decided to open my copy. I was pulled in at the very beginning when they mentioned the most stressful things in life are moving, divorce and death and those three things are what my life has been about for the last four years. I was drawn in and was intrigued to find out how the story played out. I completely forgot I was reading a work of fiction.

And, see that’s the funny thing about how God works. He will find a way to reach you. He knows what is in your heart and what He needs to do to get your attention. War Room definitely got my attention and it held me captive over the past few days because when I was not reading it, I was thinking about it. I was talking about it. I was posting about it. War Room is a life changer. The book alone forces you to look within and see if you are really dealing with the goat in the mirror.

I recommend this book to anyone that is not only interested in developing a closer relationship with God, but if they want to really want to be the best version of their self. War Room through the use of realistic characters and situations made me examine my own life and I must say that my outlook on the power and importance of prayer has changed and my life will never be the same.

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BLOG TOUR: A Southern Place by Elaine Drennon Little

Paperback:  294 Pages

Publisher:  WiDo Publishing (August 6, 2013)

ISBN-10:  1937178390

Twitter hashtag: #ASPLittle

A southern place

synopsis

A Southern Place is a moving book that is expertly written! Mary Jane Hatcher–everyone calls her Mojo–is beat up bad. She’s in the ICU of Phoebe Putney, the largest hospital in South Georgia, barely able to talk. How Mojo goes from being that skinny little girl in Nolan, a small forgotten town along the Flint River, to the young woman now fighting for her life, is where this story begins and ends.

Mojo, her mama Delores and her Uncle Calvin Mullinax, like most folks in Nolan, have just tried to make the best of it. Of course, people aren’t always what they seem, and Phil Foster–the handsome, spoiled son of the richest man in the county–is no exception.

As the story of the Mullinax family unfolds, Mojo discovers a family’s legacy can be many things: a piece of earth, a familiar dwelling, a shared bond. And although she doesn’t know why she feels such a bond with Phil Foster, it is there all the same, family or not. And she likes to think we all have us a fresh start. Like her mama always said, the past is all just water under the bridge. Mojo, after going to hell and back, finally comes to understand what that means.

A Southern Place is available as a print and e- book at Amazon

meettheauthor

Elaine Drennon

 

Adopted at birth, Elaine lived her first twenty years on her parents’ agricultural farm in rural southern Georgia.  She was a public school music teacher for twenty-seven years, and continued to dabble with sideline interests in spite of her paid profession.  Playing in her first band at age fourteen, she seemed to almost always be involved in at least one band or another.  Elaine’s writing began in high school, publishing in local newspapers, then educational journals, then later in online fiction journals.  In 2008 she enrolled in the MFA program at Spalding University in Louisville, where upon graduation finished her second novel manuscript. Recently retiring after eleven years as a high school chorus and drama director, Elaine now lives in north Georgia with her husband, an ever-growing library of used books, and many adopted animals.

guest

The Arts Education Network has the following sentence at the top of their website: Learning and participation in music, dance, theater, and the visual arts are vital to the development of our children and our communities. This topic is paramount to me as an educator, but also as a student of the arts.

 

I was one of those nerdy kids who was always the last chosen for sports teams; I often feigned illness on “field day.” However, my chorus classes were the one place that I could truly feel like a rock star. My friends, mostly nerds like me, were all blown away when at fifteen, I was asked to come “sit in” with a band, a group of older “unbelievably cool” guys who could have sat beside me for a year and never known my name. But they were musicians; they saw how the teacher moved me from one section to another to help people learn their parts, then switched me to accompanist when she need to conduct. By age sixteen I was playing for money every weekend—my lone artistic outlet in my small high school gave me my first chance to see what I could do and who I could be.

 

As a teacher, I felt it was an honor and privilege to help guide and instruct young people. Every year we’d hear war stories of how football, soccer, track—whatever sport was in season—saved this kid or that one from the streets and turned them into the great citizens of tomorrow. I’d grit my teeth and bear it because I had to; it was the athletes that drew the crowds, made the papers, gave our school bragging rights, but I knew the other stories. I knew kids who got up every morning and got themselves to school when no coach was filling their heads with dreams of glory days.

 

In every school in the country, there are smart, talented kids who keep coming to school only for that one hour of band, chorus, visual art, drama, musical theatre—whatever creative outlet gives them a reason to live.  In my little AA division (less than 1000 students) alone, every graduating class featured college-bound students in all these areas, many with partial to full-ride scholarships. I retired from teaching two years ago, but my facebook page is highly active with former students pursuing the arts in colleges, grad schools, indie bands, equity theatre groups, and (prideful drumroll here) now working as teachers and mentors of the arts for the coming generation.

 

Arts in the schools is a project that never stops giving. Aside from my artsy, tree-hugging rant, the research has been done and the results are conclusive. Middle and high school students involved in the creative arts score higher on academic tests; they are also less likely to have registered emotional problems. Unlike many individual athletic endeavors, the arts provide creative outlets that can be actively followed for a lifetime. Several years ago the Georgia Institute of Technology, a world-class academic institution, became concerned about the climbing suicide rate in their numbers of high-functioning scientific scholars. One of the many actions that they hoped would combat this was to add two a cappella choirs with a highly acclaimed director to their offerings. Guess how many subsequent episodes have occurred among these brainiac singers—that’s right—NONE! Brain research has shown that when a body is actively engaged in difficult musical pursuit, blood pressure lowers and the stress level is sufficiently lowered as well.

 

Both visual and theatre arts are often a part of institutional treatment for severe emotional disorders. I like to believe that, by making such offerings a part of the school curriculum, we are helping to prevent disorders before they happen. A child who finds his/her passion in a particular art form can use this as a coping mechanism for anxiety and stress forever.

 

There is, of course, another important plus to arts in the schools: Another Jackson Pollack, Leonard Bernstein, or Chita Rivera may exist but never rise to fruition if those talents are not cultivated. Bringing fine arts into the public school system makes the fostering of artistry accessible to all, not just those in affluent communities or able to afford private lessons. In the true spirit of the American dream, the next “household name” artist should come from Anywhere, USA. With fine arts in all schools, this can really happen.

 

Today, arts programs are most often the first to be terminated when budget issues become outstanding. I’m starting to worry about those college arts majors I mentioned earlier: Where will they go? What will they do? More importantly than this, I worry about the generations of children, pushed to live for test scores with no creative outlet to keep them centered and self-fulfilled.

 

The often-heard adage “music has charms to calm the savage breast” is often misquoted, using “beast” in place of “breast.” When thinking of the plight of arts in the schools, I can see how such a mistake could have started.  Music calms the soul and lowers the blood pressure. Art forms in general give us all a creative outlet that calms and nurtures us without drugs, psychoanalysis, or other expensive therapies.  Arts in the schools are slowly being taken away, leaving us with angry, anxious, unsettled students and teachers trying to find their way in an unstable environment.

 

If we don’t find a way to remedy this, soon, we could be looking at a few beasts… I know that educational funds are lacking in all areas, and it would take many pages more to address these deficits and their possible solutions. However, cutting arts funding hurts all and helps none. The arts reach out to all students, across the board, awarding the opportunity for input (from all) to the greater good (of all.)

 

“Just do it,” advises Nike, but without funding, the “athletes” of the arts will not be allowed to “do their thing” along with their classmates.

 

What should these singers, dancers, actors, painters, dreamers-of-dreams “just do?”

links

Author blog: http://elainedrennonlittle.wordpress.com/

Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/elaine.d.little