Reynolds: Man up; Get Healthy

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Steve Reynolds and MG Ellis.  2012.  Get Off the Couch:  6 Motivators to Help You Lose Weight and Start Living.  Ventura:  Regal.

Review by Stephen W. Hiemstra

Death is personal. At one point as a chaplain intern I ministered to a 400-pound man in the emergency room.  His arms were covered with Band-Aids. The best nurses in the department took turns trying to insert a catheter, but could not find a vein—he was just too fat.  Obesity kills, but before it does, it robs one of all dignity.  There are old people and there are fat people, but there are no old, fat people (71).

Pastor Steve Reynolds is an interesting guy [1].  At one point in his 40s he weighed 340 pounds and was diagnosed with diabetes (15).  It scared him into action.  As a pastor, he turned to his bible for answers and looked up passages dealing with the body.  For example, the Apostle Paul writes:

do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Cor 6:19-20; 40)

Likewise, the Apostle John writes:

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. (3 John 1:2; 39)

Pastor Steve also noted that the very first sin in the bible had to do with Satan tempting Eve with food (Gen 3:1-6).  If our forbearers were first tempted with food and over-eating pollutes the body—trashing the temple of God—raising the prospects for an early death, then is it any wonder that Saint Thomas Aquinas referred to gluttony as a mortal sin? [2]

Pastor Steve ended up losing more than 100 pounds.

People noticed.  His congregation asked him to preach on his biblical approach to weight-loss.  A woman in his congregation wrote an article for the Washington Post [3]  and he became an instant media celebrity as the anti-fat pastor (@AntiFatPastor).  Books followed.

Pastor Steve’s most recent book, Get Off the Couch:  6 Motivators to Help You Lose Weight and Start Living, focuses on men.  Because men generally do not read (especially not self-help books), this is curiously what you call a pass-through book—a book purchased by one person for another.  In other words, wives seriously concerned about their couch-potato husbands are an important target audience because, like football, healthy living is a team effort.

Unlike most book focused on weight-loss, Get Off the Couch provides a strategy for achieving the goal that goes beyond changes in diet.  Pastor Steve focuses on an acronym:  ACTION.  “A” is for Aware; “C” is for Commit; “T” is for Transform; “I” is for Incorporate; “O” is for Organize; and “N” is for Navigate.  ACTION is not only a strategy; the 12-chapters of the book are organized around ACTION as well:

Aware (1. Get in the Game; 2.Your Body Matters to God;)

Commit (3. You Gotta Play by the Playbook; 4.  Winning Over Temptation; )

Transform (5. Get Your Head in the Game; 6. Progress, Not Perfection;)

Incorporate (7. Get Buff, not Buffeted; 8. No Pain, No Gain!)

Organize (9. Stronger Together; 10. Drafting Your Team;) and

Navigate (11. Make Your Dash Count; 12. Your Game Plan for Health).

These 12 chapters are preceded by multiple forwards and followed by multiple appendices.  Pastor Steve is as serious about your succeeding in improving your health in a Godly manner as he is about football.

Get Off the Couch is full of testimonials of men who have succeeded in turning their lives around and living healthy.  The book has numerous before and after photographs of these men.  Two-thirds of us, Americans, need to lose weight (26).  We are addicted to inactivity and food.  We need to exercise more and eat less (49). Pastor Steve provides a great playbook for getting started.

Footnotes

[1] www.capitalbaptist.org/pastorsteve.html.

[2] Thomas Aquina’s 7 deadly sin are often described using their Latin names. Those are superbia (pride), invidia (envy), ira (anger), gula (gluttony), luxuria (lust), avarita (greed), and accidia (sloth).  Henry Henry. 2006. The Seven Deadly Sins Today (Orig Pub 1978). Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press. page iv.

[3] Jacqueline L. Salmon. “Calling the Flock to God, Away From the Fridge” Washington Post, January 22, 2007 (http://wapo.st/SkJ4V9).

Reynolds: Man up; Get Healthy

Also see:

Books, Films, and Ministry

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net,

Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

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Shalom: Monday Monologues (podcast) August 3, 2020

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Stephen W. Hiemstra 2020 (Ken Burtram Photography)

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

This morning I will share a prayer and reflect on shalom. After listening, please click here to take a brief listener survey (10 questions).

To listen, click on this link.

Hear the words; Walk the steps; Experience the joy!

Shalom: Monday Monologues (podcast) August 3, 2020

Also see:

Monday Monologue On March 26, 2018 

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net,

Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

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Autumn Prayer

Life_in_Tension_revision_front_20200101By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Compassionate Father,

I give thanks for the walks that we have shared through summer days of my youth: the forest trails that we journeyed together; the mountain peaks that you showed me; the sandy beaches that went on and on. You held my hand, but let me lead and comforted me throughout—I worried only about the getting too much sun or avoiding the rain or just how best to have fun—thank you. As the years went by, you never left me—thank you. Teach me now how to take walks again in the autumn of my days: to travel paths yet untraveled with young hands eager for the journey; to offer peace and security and comfort and hospitality at odds with my nature but not with yours.

Be ever near through the power of your Holy Spirit and in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Autumn Prayer

Also see:

Believer’s Prayer

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Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net

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Oración de Otoño

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Por Stephen W. Hiemstra

Padre compasivo,

Doy gracias por los paseos que hemos compartido durante los días de verano de mi juventud: los senderos del bosque que recorrimos juntos; los picos de las montañas que me mostraste; las playas de arena que seguían y seguían. Me cogiste de la mano, pero me dejaste guiar y me consoló todo el tiempo. Me preocupaba el sol excesivo o la lluvia, o la mejor manera de divertirme—gracias. A medida que pasaron los años, nunca me dejaste—gracias. Enséñame ahora a caminar de nuevo en el otoño de mis días: recorrer caminos aún sin recorrer con manos jóvenes ansiosas por el viaje; para ofrecer paz y seguridad, comodidad y hospitalidad en desacuerdo con mi naturaleza pero no con la tuya. 

Estar siempre cerca a través del poder de tu Espíritu Santo y en el nombre de Jesús, Amén.

Oración de Otoño

Ver también:

Oración del Creyente

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Sitio del autor: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net,

Sitio del editor: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

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Make Peace—Embody Shalom

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Honored are the peacemakers, 

for they shall be called sons of God. 

(Matt 5:9)

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

The Garden of Eden begins as a picture of God’s shalom whose harmony was shattered when Satan tempted Adam and Eve to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When Adam and Eve responded by eating from the tree, they displayed more trust in Satan than in God. This broken trust shattered their intimate relationship with God and God cursed Satan saying:

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel. (Gen 3:15)

God then expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:24). Adam and Eve’s sin in Eden thus originated our tension with God—“enmity” sounds like a 50-cent word for tension.

The need for peacemaking followed in the first post-Eden generation, when we read:

So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The LORD said to Cain, Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it. (Gen 4:5-7)

God saw Cain angry at his brother, Abel, and counseled Cain to avoid sin by controlling his anger (Gen 4:6–7). Unable to control his anger, Cain ignored God’s counsel and murdered Abel, displaying tension within himself, with God and with his brother. Jesus recounts this story in the Sermon on the Mount where he links anger with murder (Matt 5:21–26).

In the story of Cain and Abel, God models peacemaking, a divine attribute and messianic title (Isa 9:6–7) by advising self-control, avoiding sin, and helping others. In doing so, God embodies shalom (Guelich 1982, 92). The Hebrew word, shalom,  means “completeness, soundness, welfare, peace” (BDB 10002). The Greek word for shalom has a similar scope, but more often it focuses on “concord, peace, harmony” (BDAG 2285). The English word, “peace”, is almost exclusively focused on the absence of war and requires extension to encompass shalom, which mitigates all three dimensions of tension. For example, we might talk about inner peace or peace and well-being, but peace itself is too narrow to compare with shalom.

Peacemaking is a major motif in the Sermon on the Mount. Peacemaking anticipates the next two Beatitudes and provides a context for later teaching on love, where Jesus commands:

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matt 5:44-48)

Note the parallel here between loving your enemy and peacemaking and that God models both activities. Other applications of shalom appear in Jesus’ teaching, as found in Matthew 10:

1. And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. (Matt 10:13)

2. Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. (Matt 10:34)

In Hebrew, “shalom” is used to say both hello and goodbye, but the idea of taking it with you suggests something more like hospitality. Divine hospitality, the idea of peace on earth, suggests a more political interpretation—peace as a the absence of conflict among nations—where peacemaking can be positive or negative depending on its object. In first century Israel, for example, Pax Romana (translated as Roman peace) promised tranquility but delivered via a brutal occupation, not what we normally associate with peace. The key is to ask what is the object of the peace: justice, wholeness, or maintenance of privilege? (Neyrey 1998, 184)

The context of peacemaking is important in understanding the transformational potential of tension. Listen for the tension in Jesus’ words to the disciples:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (John 14:27)

Jesus comforted to his disciples following his crucifixion in the midst of fear and uncertainty by offering them shalom. But, he went even further. In Christ’s atoning death on the cross, he defeated sin and offered us peace with God.

References

BibleWorks. 2011. Norfolk, VA: BibleWorks, LLC. <BibleWorks v.9>.

Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius (BDB). 1905. Hebrew-English Lexicon, unabridged. (BibleWorks)

Guelich, Robert. 1982. The Sermon on the Mount: A Foundation for Understanding. Dallas: Word Publishing.

Neyrey, Jerome H. 1998. Honor and Shame in the Gospel of Matthew. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press.

Also see:

Preface to a Life in Tension

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Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net

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Haz la Paz—Encarna a Shalom

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Honrados los que procuran la paz, 

pues ellos serán llamados hijos de Dios. 

(Matt 5:9)

Por Stephen W. Hiemstra

La Jardín de Eden empieza como una pintura del shalom de Dios cuya armonía se hizo añicos cuando Satanás  tentó a Adán y Eva a comer del árbol del conocimiento del bien y del mal. Cuando Adán y Eva a respondieron por comer del árbol, mostraron más confianza en Satanás que en Dios. Esta confianza rota destrozó su relación íntima con Dios y Dios maldijo a Satanás diciendo:

Pondré enemistad Entre tú y la mujer, Y entre tu simiente y su simiente; él te herirá en la cabeza, y tú lo herirás en el talón. (Gen. 3:15)

Dios luego expulsó a Adán y Eva de la Jardín de Eden (Gen 3:24). El pecado de Adán y Eva en Eden originó nuestra tensión con Dios— enemistad parece como una palabra de tensión de 50 centavos.

La necesidad de hacer la paz siguió en la primera generación posterior al Edén, cuando leemos:

Caín se enojó mucho y su semblante se demudó. Entonces el SEÑOR dijo a Caín: ¿Por qué estás enojado, y por qué se ha demudado tu semblante? Si haces bien, ¿no serás aceptado? Pero si no haces bien, el pecado yace a la puerta y te codicia, pero tú debes dominarlo. (Gen 4:5-7)

Dios vio a Caín enojado con su hermano, Abel, y le aconsejó que evitara el pecado controlando su ira (Gen 4:6–7). Incapaz de controlar su ira, Cain ignoró el consejo de Dios y asesinó a Abel, mostrando tensión dentro de sí mismo, con Dios, y con su hermano. Jesús cita esta historia en el Sermón de la Monte donde vincula ira con asesinato (Matt 5:21–26).

En la historia de Caín y Abel, Dios modela el hacer de paz, un atributo divino y titulo mesiánico (Isa 9:6–7) aconsejar el autocontrol, evitar pecado, y ayudar los demás. Al hacerlo, Dios encarna shalom (Guelich 1982, 92). La palabra hebrea, shalom, significa “integridad, solidez, bienestar, paz” (BDB 10002).  La palabra griego para shalom tiene un alcance similar, pero más a menudo se centra en “concordia, paz, armonía” (BDAG 2285). La palabra paz en ingles es casi exclusivamente centrado en la ausencia de guerra y require extensión a abarcar  shalom, lo que mitigata todas tres dimensiones de tensión. Por ejemplo, podemos hablar sobre paz interior y bienestar, pero la paz en sí misma es demasiado estrecha para compararla con shalom.

Hacer paz es un motivo importante en el Sermón de la Monte. Hacer paz anticipa las dos Bienaventuranzas siguientes y proporciona un contexto para la enseñanza posterior sobre el amor, donde Jesús ordena:

Pero Yo les digo: amen a sus enemigos y oren por los que los persiguen, para que ustedes sean hijos de su Padre que está en los cielos; porque El hace salir Su sol sobre malos y buenos, y llover sobre justos e injustos. Porque si ustedes aman a los que los aman, ¿qué recompensa tienen? ¿No hacen también lo mismo los recaudadores de impuestos? Y si saludan solamente a sus hermanos, ¿qué hacen más que otros? ¿No hacen también lo mismo los Gentiles (los paganos)? Por tanto, sean ustedes perfectos como su Padre celestial es perfecto. (Matt 5:44-48)

Nota el paralelo aqui entre amen a sus enemigos y hacer paz y que Dios modela ambas actividades. Otras aplicaciones de shalom aparecen en la enseñanza de Jesús, como se encuentró en Mateo 10:

1. Y si la casa es digna, que su saludo de paz venga sobre ella; pero si no es digna, que su saludo de paz se vuelva a ustedes. (Matt. 10:13)

2. No piensen que vine a traer paz a la tierra; no vine a traer paz, sino espada. (Matt 10:34)

En hebreo, shalom se usa a decir tanto hola como adiós, pero la idea de llevarlo junto contigo sugiere algo más como hospitalidad. La hospitalidad divina, la idea de paz en la tierra, sugiere una interpretación más política—paz como una ausencia de conflicto entre naciones—donde hacer paz puede ser positivo o negativo dependiente sobre el objetivo de ello. En el primer siglo de Israel, por ejemplo, Pax Romana (traducido como paz romana) prometió tranquilidad pero se entregó a través de una ocupación brutal, no lo que normalmente asociamos con la paz. La clave es preguntar cuál es el objeto de la paz: ¿justicia, integridad o mantenimiento de privilegios? (Neyrey 1998, 184)

El contexto de hacer paz es importante para comprender la potenticia transformational de tensión. Escuche para la tensión en las palabras de Jesús a los discípulos:

La paz les dejo, Mi paz les doy; no se la doy a ustedes como el mundo la da. No se turbe su corazón ni tenga miedo. (John 14:27)

Jesús consueló a sus discípulos después de su crucifixión en medio del miedo y la incertidumbre ofreciéndoles shalom. Pero, él fue aún más lejos. En la muerte expiatoria de Cristo en la cruz, derrotó al pecado y nos ofreció paz con Dios.

Referencias

BibleWorks. 2011. Norfolk, VA: BibleWorks, LLC. <BibleWorks v.9>.

Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius (BDB). 1905. Hebrew-English Lexicon, unabridged. (BibleWorks)

Guelich, Robert. 1982. The Sermon on the Mount: A Foundation for Understanding. Dallas: Word Publishing.

Neyrey, Jerome H. 1998. Honor and Shame in the Gospel of Matthew. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press.

Haz la Paz—Encarna a Shalo

Ver también:

Gospel as Divine Template

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Remembering Billie Hiemstra

OurFamily

Obituary

Internment program

Mom’s favorite Bible passage was: (Deut. 6:4-5)

Mom’s Bible highlights this psalm of David: (Ps. 27:1-14)

Another of Mom’s favorite psalms is: (Ps. 121:1-8)

The final reading today is taken from the Gospel of John, which records the resurrection:

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, Woman, why are you weeping? She said to them, They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him. Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking? Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus said to her, Mary. She turned and said to him in Aramaic, Rabboni! (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God. Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, I have seen the Lord—and that he had said these things to her. (John 20:11-18 ESV)

The Gospel Story

The Gospel story is the story of Jesus’ birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection. This story is the focus of the four Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—in the New Testament, and of faith statements, like the Apostle’s Creed.

Christianity began in a graveyard with the resurrection. The resurrection could not have occurred without Jesus’ crucifixion and death which was, in turn, associated with his life and ministry. Because Jesus’ life and ministry was chronicled looking back from the resurrection, each sentence in the New Testament should be prefaced with these words: Jesus rose from the dead, therefore . . . Jesus’ life, ministry, suffering, death, and resurrection are the Gospel story.

Christians, like Mary Magdalene, are the ones running from the cemetery to tell the rest of the world that Jesus lives (Matt 28:8). Why? Because the future is in Christ; death is only a transition, not the final word. This is why the Gospel message is described as the Good News.

Hazel Fern Hiemstra

My mother, Hazel Fern Hiemstra, was known to her friends as Billie. Billie liked to have fun, which we know because Billie was her stage name when she sang popular music in the early 1950s. We also know that she met the love of her life, my father, out roller skating with her friends. Mom and Dad were married roughly a year later on September 13, 1952.

Mom also had a serious side. Her entire life she wanted to become a missionary. Caring for this family was her primary mission field (2X).

If you do not believe me, consider how she cared for Dad these past few years. Dad’s Alzheimer’s rendered him unable to manage his finances in October 2013. Mom cared for Dad without assistance until she had hip surgery in January 2018—a total of five years. After that point, she required the assistance of professional caregivers. Even then, Mom never complained.

Mom’s interest in missions was not something new. Her mother, Marietta Salter Deacon, set an example for her at a young age working in missions in Guelph, Ontario already in the 1930s. Marietta died of cancer in 1941 when Mom was only about eleven years old. From that point forward, Mom cared for her younger siblings—a job normally reserved for adults.

Following in her mother’s footsteps, Mom and Dad both volunteered for work with the Billy Graham Evangelistic campaigns in California while Dad was finishing his doctoral degree at the University of California at Berkley. When the family moved to Northern Virginia in 1960, Mom soon began volunteer work at the Central Union Mission in Washington DC helping provide for the homeless and alcoholics.

In this year of racial sensitivity, let me end with one more Mom story. Back in the early 1960s when racial segregation was still the norm, permanent press was unknown and women normally spent an entire day each week doing laundry and ironing to keep their families presentable.  Working at Central Union Mission downtown in Washington DC, Mom met an unemployed black woman named Rose and decided to help her find work. Together with other women in the neighborhood she set up a coop to employ Rose doing ironing for different families each one day every other week. Rose continued to work ironing for us for years and she was the first black person that I ever met. At the time, Mom was still in her thirties—not much older that the Hiemstra grandchildren here today.

Mom believed that she could make a difference in people’s lives. She always wanted to be a missionary and she was.

Remembering Billie Hiemstra

Also see:

Water Cooler Observations, June 24, 2020

Interview about the Corona Life in English and Spanish with Stephen W. Hiemstra, April 24, 2020

Managing Change 

Believer’s Prayer

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net

Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter: https://bit.ly/HangHome_2020

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Homemaker Hazel Hiemstra of Falls Church, Virginia passes at age 89

 

Hazel Fern Hiemstra 1952

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Also Remembering Billie Hiemstra

Hazel Fern [Deacon] Hiemstra, known to her friends as Billie, was born October 10, 1930 in Guelph, Ontario Canada and passed into the glory of our Lord July 25, 2020. Up until her hospitalization for cancer on July 13th, she lived at her home in Falls Church, Virginia. She was the daughter of Richard Henry and Marietta [Salter] Deacon of Guelph.

She Is survived by her husband, Dr. Stephen James Hiemstra and three of her four children: Stephen Wayne, Karen Lee [Reed], and John David. Her four child, Diane Sue, passed on February 12, 2007.

Hazel also has grandchildren: Christine Nousheen, Marjolijn Narsis, and Stephen Reza Arash, children of Stephen Wayne and Maryam [Hajatpour] Hiemstra. William Brandts, son of Diane Sue and Hugo Brandts. Alexander James Reed son of Karen Lee Reed and Brian Malvan. Frank Henry, Jessica Anne, John Robert, and Lauren Nicole children of John David and Julie [Oweis] Hiemstra.

Mom met the love of her life, Dad, roller skating in Guelph. They were married a year later on September 13, 1952. The following year while Dad served in the Air Force in Korea, Mom lived with his family on farm near Oskaloosa, Iowa. Later, Mom became a naturalized, U.S. citizen.

Billie was Hazel’s stage name from her days of singing with an orchestra as a young person. Among her children she was known to play popular songs taken from musicals like Oklahoma and South Pacific and hymns, especially those made famous by George Beverly Shea, who sang for the Billy Graham Crusades. When Dad was a doctoral student at University of California at Berkley, Mom and Dad volunteered for the California crusades. Our pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Berkley was Robert Boyd Munger who later joined the faculty at Fuller Theological Seminary and was made famous for a sermon: My Heart-Christ’s Home.

Mom spent her entire life caring for family, supporting Dad in his career, and being active in her church, most recently Lewinsville Presbyterian Church in McLean, Virginia. Mom was proud of her mission work in Washington DC when we were young and as a nurse’s assistant at Vinson Hall Retirement Center in McLean, Virginia when we were older.  She would also frequently recount the different fellowship groups that she founded in the church over the years.

In view of the corona virus pandemic, a brief outdoor internment service for local family members is planned at the church. Details are being handled by Murphy Funeral Home in Falls Church, Virginia. A memorial service will be held next year once the pandemic has passed.

Mom’s favorite bible passage is also known as the Shema:

 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (Deut 6:4-5 ESV)

In Judaism, the Shema, which in Hebrew means name, is used as a daily prayer. Mom was raised as a Baptist, but became a Presbyterian in marriage.

The details of my Mom and Dad’s life are chronicled in Dad’s memoir: My Travel Through Life: Memoir of Family Life and Federal Service, which is available online.

Homemaker Hazel Hiemstra of Falls Church, Virginia Passes at age 89

Also see:

Water Cooler Observations, June 24, 2020

Interview about the Corona Life in English and Spanish with Stephen W. Hiemstra, April 24, 2020

Managing Change 

Believer’s Prayer

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net

Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter: https://bit.ly/HangHome_2020

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Penn Reveals Audio Secrets

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Joanna Penn. 2020. Audio for Authors: Audiobooks, Podcasting, and Voice Technologies. Bath, UK: Curl Up Press.[1]

Review by Stephen W. Hiemstra

In 2018 I listened to several podcasts by Joanna Penn, purchased a MacBook Pro and Yeti microphone, and began recording a weekly podcast. It was very basic. I simply created am MP3 file on my Mac with Garageband and uploaded the file to my blog. In early 2020, I ran out of space on the blog host and started using PodBean to host my podcast. My blog traffic has basically doubled each year since being my podcast. When I learned that Joanna published a book, Audio for Authors, I was all ears.

Introduction

Joanna Penn’s book, Audio for Authors, begins with a call to action:

“This book is intended to push you out of your comfort zone, because the world is changing, and there are more ways to reach readers through audio than ever before. The time is now for embracing audio, so I hope you will in me on the journey.” (6)

While I am more of a monk than an audiophile, audio is a way to reach more readers, especially young readers, which has to be attractive to any author. As a Christian author, however, I am leery of both audio and video both because of their addictive qualities and because unstructured time to reflect is fundamental to the Christian faith. The Koran makes this point mostly clearly when it describes Christians as the people of the book. Still, audio is a tool that can have both holy and profane uses.

Background

For those of you that do not know Joanna, she is a former technology expert who decided to change careers to become author, writing both fiction and nonfiction. She has more than a decade of podcasting experience and has written more books than you can shake a stick at. What makes her interesting to self-publishers is that she is one of the rare few who has a way to make money doing these things. Check out her website (www.TheCreativePenn.com) for more details.’

Organization

Penn divides this how-to book into three parts: Audiobooks, Podcasting, and Voice Technologies. If you want details and recommendations, she’s got details and recommendations. I was pleasantly surprised that she also uses a MacBook and a Yeti microphone, but I wondered why she skipped over mention of Garageband, because it is built into the Mac.

Assessment

Joanna Penn’s Audio for Authors is a timely resource for writers thinking about starting a podcast or recording an audio book, but do not know where to begin.

Footnotes

[1] https://CurlUpPress.com.

Penn Reveals Audio Secrets

Also see:

Books, Films, and Ministry

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net,

Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter: https://bit.ly/Obituary_HFH

 

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Living: Monday Monologues (podcast) July 27, 2020

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Stephen W. Hiemstra 2020 (Ken Burtram Photography)

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

This morning I will share a prayer and reflect on Living into our Call. After listening, please click here to take a brief listener survey (10 questions).

To listen, click on this link.

Hear the words; Walk the steps; Experience the joy!

Living: Monday Monologues (podcast) July 27, 2020

Also see:

Monday Monologue On March 26, 2018 

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net,

Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter: https://bit.ly/HangHome_2020

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