Epic Fail

A youth asked this question on an online  discussion board recently, “Why do I laugh at other people’s misfortunes?”  The best answer: “Because you’re glad it’s not happened to you.”

I noticed the other day some of the fastest growing blogs and websites are the ones that focus on “epic fails”.  For those of you not familiar with that vernacular, it basically alludes to someone (or something) who has attempted something (rather simple) and it has gone horribly, horribly wrong.  Things like learning how to ski for the first time and face-planting in the snow, or jumping on a bed and hitting your head on the ceiling.  What about the viral video of a little boy putting his finger into his baby brother’s mouth, only to have his face contort in pain when baby brother chomps down hard?  “Owwww, Charlie, that hurts!”  Hysterical!  Another prime example is years ago when President Ford unexpectedly tumbled  down the steps of Air Force One.  When it comes to “fails” it would appear no one, not even a president, is immune to these types of humourous, yet slightly embarrassing pratfalls,.. and we laugh because we’re just happy it hasn’t happened to us….yet.

“Epic” is also when someone purposely decides to skateboard down a flight of stairs, or snowboards off a cliff, or tries to wrestle an alligator, knowing that failure may take them out of the gene pool, but success will instantly elevate them to epic “stardom”.  I call it “people doing incredibly stupid things, with usually expected painful consequences”.  I am constantly amazed by people who actually want to be filmed in the act of doing something that is sure to end badly.  Their pain becomes our gain as we watch their escapades with such perverse pleasure, that we laugh ourselves silly at their misguided misfortune.

My children often make fun of my pratfalls, mostly done quite inadvertently I might add.  I seem to be an endless source of amusement to my kids.  It’s not that they delight in my pain, but they can’t help but laugh if I should trip over the dog, or walk into a door or nose-dive on the ice.  Usually I laugh along with them because all I bruise is my ego.  However, there is a distinct difference in laughing with someone than laughing at someone.

I remember one soccer match in high school where I was carried from the field, not once, but twice because I foolishly tried to impede the progress of a girl on the opposing team who was two times my height and weight.  The laws of physics were stacked against me.  I don’t remember the impact(s) so much as the derisive laughter afterwards…especially from the opposing team!

Why is it that we have such a strange obsession watching others hurt themselves?  The Germans even coined a word for it: Schadenfreude – which translates literally as “joy from adversity”.  The popularity of shows like America’s Funniest Home Videos, Wipeout, as well as Bloopers and some Reality T.V. indicate that people love to see other people trip, nose dive, face plant, fall down, tumble, splat, crash, splatter, etc. etc.   It is considered ‘slapstick humour’ but now we call it “epic fails”.

A recent video I watched showed a thief caught in the act of trying to throw a brick through a window in order to rob a store.  Unfortunately the brick bounced off the glass and knocked the thief senseless until the police came and carted him away.  I must admit, it’s funny to watch a “bad guy” get his comeuppance!

It’s easy to laugh at other people’s misfortune when we consider the person a “bad guy” or if we don’t know the person.  It’s not as funny when we’re the one being laughed at.  When bad things happen to us either inadvertently or by our own foolishness, it’s not funny.

Epic Fails are not limited to physical pain either.  It would appear we take as much or more delight in watching someone else fail in a relationship, or fail in moral character or destroy their good reputation because of sin.  We are rather heartless here.  As an audience, we may point and laugh at the fallen, all the while thinking: “Glad that’s never happened to me”….yet.

Scripture says: “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice, for the Lord will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from him.”  Proverbs 24: 17-18

The next time you watch an epic fail video, or laugh at someone elses misfortune, do so with this in mind: “there but for the grace of God, go I”.

Epic Fails come when we least expect them!

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Marks of Ownership

My husband calls them “marks of ownership”.  The most notable one runs from his right ear and along his jaw line.  The scar shows where the surgeons practically knit his broken jaw together, weaving wires in and around and through the bone after it was shattered.  This was years before I met Charles.  He was a young military officer with the regular forces, barely nineteen, who was studying to be an aeronautical engineer.  He had a love of fast cars and fast motorcycles.  I have heard all of his “easy rider” stories from that time, along with some of his more death defying stunts.  He would love to own another motorcycle but I only need to look at the long scar on his face and I cringe at the idea.

He had just bought this new bike.  He was still getting used to it in some ways.  It was by far the most powerful of all the motorcycles he had owned before, however on that rainy night in Victoria, B.C., he wasn’t interested in breaking any land-speed records with it, he just wanted to get home and get into some dry clothes.  He didn’t much care for riding his  new bike in the pouring rain.  Charles had been out with his friend, Pat that evening who decided he would follow behind Charles in his Honda Civic while Charles rode ahead on his bike.  The rain was pelting down as they cautiously started home.  Charles doesn’t remember exactly what happened as he rounded that fateful corner in the road, but he says that the telephone pole just “jumped out at him”.  He vaguely recalls the front tire of the motorcycle hitting some loose gravel by the side of the road and then the bike going into a wobble.  As the bike tilted sideways and started to go down, the gas tank must have hit a larger rock and at the same time Charles’ face impacted with the telephone pole.  The helmet he was wearing likely saved his life although for several days doctors were not sure he would recover fully from his injuries.  He had shattered his jawbone and much of his face and broken his wrist.  Pat saw the entire accident happen, and though horror-struck at witnessing the crash, he was able to flag down help quickly as his friend lay bleeding and unconscious in the ditch.  Had Pat not been there, Charles may not have been found for hours, and would likely have bled to death, since the road was pitch dark and the driving rain made the accident scene nearly invisible to passing motorists.

Charles’ parents were called immediately after the accident and rushed to his side.  When his mother saw her son in the hospital, she was so overcome with shock at seeing the severity of his injuries that she became physically ill.  For the next several days, Charles remained in critical condition.  Doctors set his wrist, but it was broken so badly that weeks later it had to be reset again.  Doctors were not sure he would ever have the full use of his arm again.  The jaw was problematic as well.  The surgeons had wired the bone together the best they could.  He would have to have more surgeries in the weeks following.  Not being able to open his mouth for months after the accident, he subsisted on a liquid diet that he sucked through a straw.  His weight and muscle mass dropped significantly and he experienced nerve damage and numbness in his face and chin.  He later discovered that somehow due to the accident he had lost his sense of smell.

In a couples Bible Study we attended a couple of years after we were married, Charles was relating this horrific accident to members of the group.  To this day I shudder when he talks about the accident because the reality is he could have been killed that night.  I would never have met the love of my life, I might never have become a Christian (because it was he that led me to the Lord), our three beautiful children would never have been born….  It is frightening to think about the “what ifs”, but there is another “what if” that may have resulted in equally similar results had the accident never happened.

Charles is the first one to admit that he was walking as far away from the Lord in those days as he could possibly be.  He had become a Christian as a young boy, he grew up in a loving Christian home.  However once he moved away from home to pursue his military career, going to church and building a relationship with God was more or less forgotten.

After the accident, as he lay recovering in a hospital bed, God took hold of Charles again.  As he went through the painful process of healing physically, God healed Charles spiritually as well.  Charles had ample time to think about his life and where it was heading before the accident but now he was forced to rethink his priorities in life.  God had given him a second chance.

His recovery was long and when he finally was able to return to his studies at school he had missed just too much class time to pass the courses.  The Canadian forces, who were paying for his tuition at the time, determined that Charles’ marks were too poor to continue to fund his schooling.  His dreams of becoming an aeronautical engineer were over as was his career with the Canadian regular forces.  Instead, he joined the Canadian reserves and it was there that we met.

He completed his science degree at the University of Victoria and became a professional geophysicist that eventually led him to Calgary to work in the oil patch there, his young wife in tow.  The rest, so they say, is history.

Now, I am not saying God caused that accident to happen to get Charles’ attention.  Although Charles has joked that he probably needed a good “knock on the head” to turn his life around.  No, we think instead, God used the accident and the subsequent scars to place His “mark of ownership” on Charles.  The scars are a visual reminder of Whom Charles belongs to.  Without them, Charles would not be the man he is today.  We would not be the family we are today.  When God marked him, he marked our entire family and I am forever grateful.

Happy 145th Birthday, Canada!

July 1st marks Canada’s 145th Birthday.  I thought as we remember Canada’s Birthday on Sunday with celebration and fireworks, we also remember its heritage and history.  Canada was (and hopefully will continue) to be a nation founded under God.

‘O Canada’ was proclaimed Canada’s national anthem on July 1, 1980, 100 years after it was first sung on June 24, 1880.  The music was composed by Calixa Lavallee, and French lyrics to accompany the music were written by Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier.  Many English versions have appeared over the years in fact in 1901 a Toronto doctor, Dr. Thomas Bedford Richardson penned these lyrics:

“O Canada! Our fathers’ land of old Thy brow is crown’d with leaves of red and gold. Beneath the shade of the Holy Cross Thy children own their birth No stains thy glorious annals gloss Since valour shield thy hearth. Almighty God! On thee we call Defend our rights, forfend this nation’s thrall, Defend our rights, forfend this nation’s thrall.”

(Notice the prayer…)

In 1908 Mercy E Powell McCulloch won a competition with these lyrics to go with Lavallee’s music:

” O Canada! in praise of thee we sing; From echoing hills our anthems proudly ring. With fertile plains and mountains grand With lakes and rivers clear, Eternal beauty, thos dost stand Throughout the changing year. Lord God of Hosts! We now implore Bless our dear land this day and evermore, Bless our dear land this day and evermore.”

(Again, notice the prayer…)

However in 1908, the lyrics by Robert Stanley Weir, a lawyer in Montreal, after a few minor amendments, the first verse of Weir’s poem was finally proclaimed as the official English version of ‘O Canada’ in 1980:

“O Canada! Our home and native land! True patriot love in all thy sons command. With glowing hearts we see thee rise, The True North, strong and free! From far and wide, O Canada, We stand on guard for thee. God keep our land glorious and free ! O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.”

I don’t know if many Canadians realize that there are several more verses to ‘O Canada’.  I particularly want to draw attention to the last verse.  It leaves no doubt that ‘O Canada’ is more than a national anthem, it is our nation’s heartfelt prayer to God every time we stand to sing it.  Here is the original poem of 1908 by Stanley Weir:

“O Canada! Our home and native land! True patriot love thou dost in us command. We see thee rising fair, dear land, The True North, strong and free; And stand on guard, O Canada, We stand on guard for thee.

Refrain O Canada! O Canada! O Canada! We stand on guard for thee. O Canada! We stand on guard for thee.

O Canada! Where pines and maples grow. Great prairies spread and lordly rivers flow. How dear to us thy broad domain, From East to Western Sea, Thou land of hope for all who toil! Thou True North, strong and free!

Refrain O Canada! O Canada! etc.

O Canada! Beneath thy shining skies May stalwart sons and gentle maidens rise, To keep thee steadfast through the years From East to Western Sea, Our own beloved native land! Our True North, strong and free!

Refrain O Canada! O Canada! etc.

Ruler supreme, who hearest humble prayer, Hold our dominion within thy loving care; Help us to find, O God, in thee A lasting, rich reward, As waiting for the Better Day, We ever stand on guard.

Refrain O Canada! O Canada! etc.”

Amen.

http://www.pch.gc.ca/pgm/ceem-cced/symbl/anthem-eng.cfm

Today I pray that God will indeed “keep our land strong and free”!  He is our Sovereign, even though many in this land choose to ignore that fact.

The Wounded Trilogy – Love the Wounded by Lynn Dove

Love the Wounded” by Lynn Dove is the final and dramatic conclusion to her brilliant Wounded Trilogy series that has followed the lives of teenagers Jake, Leigh, Mike, Dylan and Tim as they come to terms with a series of tragedies and events that have made each of them question why God allows “bad things to happen to good people”.
Leigh does not know who to choose…her heart tells her she will always love Jake, but he has changed so much since the death of their friend, Ronnie, and with his mother going through breast cancer, he has totally closed himself off from her emotionally. Now she is dating Dylan and try as she might to accept him for who he is, she can’t stop thinking about Jake! Dylan has never gotten over the loss of his father and little sister, killed by a drunk driver when he was just a young boy.
After a horrific accident that has put both Tim and his little brother, Evan in the hospital, everyone knows that not only is he being bullied at school; he cuts himself to cope with it all. But meeting Cassidy has given him the courage to stand up to the bullies and at the same time give her what she so desperately needs…a life-giving bone marrow transplant. Jake’s mother keeps telling him that “God works all things out for good” but with all the things going on in his life and with his friends, he’s just not sure anymore. It is only after Mike is paralyzed in a car accident that Jake was partially responsible for that all the families and friends will be brought back together, not by coincidence, but by God’s design and then Jake will finally believe that God truly does “Love the Wounded”.
“A life of working with youth has inspired Lynn Dove, a Cochrane mother to turn her experiences into a book trilogy…(the Wounded Trilogy) series that parallels the struggles of students…(and) covers the angst of some of the real serious issues that teenagers face today, particularly with bullying and gossip. ” -Rocky View Weekly-
Exerpt from the book:

Brad Evans, Shane Banister, and Cole Smith surrounded him the moment he stepped outside. He tried to dodge them, but they blocked his escape and Brad hipchecked Tim into the side of the school building while at the same time slamming his head against the brick. Tim grunted as the air was knocked out of him.

“Freak!” Brad spat at Tim. “You’ll always be a freak!”

Cole knocked Tim’s backpack out of his hand and Shane kicked it like a football into a snowbank.

Tim cringed as Brad raised a fist to strike him again in the face. He closed his eyes, expecting the punch to land, when suddenly he heard a deep voice snarl, “Not on my watch, mister!”

(p. 152 Love the Wounded by Lynn Dove)

About the Author: Winner of a Canadian Christian Writing Award in 2011, Lynn Dove’s debut novel, Shoot the Wounded, written for teens and young adults was a finalist in the 2010 Readers Favorite Book Awards. Heal the Wounded, released in 2010, the second book in this series won the Bronze Medal in the 2011 Readers Favorite Book Awards in the Young Adult – Coming of Age category. Love the Wounded is the final book in the “Wounded Trilogy.”

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The Wounded Trilogy – Heal the Wounded by Lynn Dove

Heal the Wounded was a finalist in the 2011 Readers Favorite Book Awards in the Christian – General Fiction Category and WINNER of the Bronze Medal in the Young Adult (Coming of Age) category!

The second book in the “Wounded Trilogy

Heal the Wounded is the much-anticipated sequel to Lynn Dove’s brilliant debut novel, Shoot the Wounded.

After the death of their friend, Ronnie (in Shoot the Wounded), Leigh and Jake are trying to come to terms with the aftermath of Ronnie’s death. As their love grows for one another, Leigh and Jake must face a series of devastating, life-changing events that will challenge their love and their relationship with God.

Tim, Ronnie’s brother, a bitter and tormented young man after the death of his sister, becomes the target of bullies at his school. Feeling hopeless and alone, he cuts himself to find that emotional release to let go of the pain he deals with everyday.

Trying to embrace his newfound faith, Mike, Jake’s best friend, lives in his own private nightmare dealing with the consequences of his parent’s constant arguing and his father’s alcoholism.

Exerpt from the book:

“You don‘t get it, Dylan! Ronnie was absolutely beautiful, smart, fun to be around – “

“And you‘re not, is that what you‘re saying, Leigh?” Dylan stopped and spun her around. “Did Jake ever say he liked Ronnie more than you?”

“He didn‘t need to say it, I just knew…” Leigh would not look Dylan in the eyes.

“You‘ve got a huge chip on your shoulder, Leigh.” Leigh was hurt by the tone of his voice, but she had to admit that he was right.

“I don‘t usually like to go to the movies with girls who think of themselves as ugly and stupid. In fact, of all the ugly stupid girls I have gone out with in the past, I wouldn‘t even list you among the top ten,” Dylan teased.

“Whaaa…?” Leigh frowned.

“I guess I said it wrong,” he said, then laughed good-naturedly. “What I mean is, I think you are beautiful, smart, fun to be around, and I want to get to know you better—but only if you start to think of yourself the same way. I‘m not into girls who have low self-esteem. I‘m into girls who are confident about themselves and their abilities. I can‘t stand girls who need their egos stroked all the time, but I also can‘t stand girls who don‘t think they‘re good enough for me or anyone else. I hate doormats. Do you hear what I‘m saying?”

Leigh nodded, still a little unsure of herself. Dylan smiled and gave her a hug. “Look, don‘t put yourself down—ever—at least not around me. I think maybe it was my baby sister who showed me how to admire girls who don‘t take any crap from anyone. She was stubbornly pig-headed… remember my tattoo?” Leigh nodded. “Maybe that‘s what Jake liked about Ronnie. She sounds like a girl who didn‘t care what the rest of the world thought of her. She did her thing anyway. Not saying she made all the right choices, but hey…” Dylan did not finish the sentence. He refused to make a judgement about the way Ronnie had lived her life. “I‘m not too sure about this Jake guy, though. I‘m worried that, when he realizes how dumb he was to let you go and comes back for you, you‘ll dump me… but then again…” He paused and looked deeply into Leigh‘s eyes. “But maybe not. Give me a chance, okay?”

Before Leigh could react, Dylan leaned down and kissed her warmly on the lips. His eyelashes fluttered against her cheek. His lips were soft and she felt herself kissing him back. He lingered there for what seemed to Leigh an eternity and then, when he released her, she thought her knees would buckle. Dylan looked at her, grinned, and then said self-assuredly, “Bet that Jake guy never kissed you like that.”

Leigh had to agree.

(pages 83- 84, Heal the Wounded by Lynn Dove)

Heal the Wounded, like Shoot the Wounded, delves even deeper into the real world of teenagers trying to live out their faith in the midst of upset and struggle.

Will these youth find God’s healing and hope in the middle of hurt and heartache?

Brilliantly written, poignantly told, readers who loved Shoot the Wounded will not be disappointed with Heal the Wounded‘s powerful message and the on-the-edge-of-your-seat storyline.”

Heal the Wounded is available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, on Lynn’s website and wherever fine books are sold!

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The Wounded Trilogy – Shoot the Wounded by Lynn Dove

BREAKING NEWS!!!!!! Just heard that Shoot The Wounded won “Indie Book of the Day” TODAY!!

SHOOT THE WOUNDED is a contemporary Christian novel that deals with relevant social issues such as teen pregnancy and family violence. Set in the small fictional town of Maplewood, in southern Alberta, best friends Leigh and Ronnie find their friendship and faith challenged when Jake, a good looking Christian boy, moves into their neighborhood. Leigh is especially delighted that Jake is paying more attention to her than any other girl at school or church, but what she does not know is that despite his bold declaration of being a follower of Christ, he’s carrying a dark secret from his past that has the potential to destroy his integrity and have his friends question the legitimacy of his faith.

Exerpt from the book:

In church, the youth were visibly cool towards Jake, as were the adult members of the congregation. Jake noticed that people would almost appear hostile towards him even in church, and he was confused as to the reason. He only guessed that it was because he had chosen to befriend Ronnie and support her through the pregnancy rather than be judgmental of her. He determined that people did not want to become involved in anything scandalous, so they distanced themselves from the entire situation and were in essence disassociating themselves not only from the Webbers, but also with anyone who had contact with Ronnie Webber. It was a shunning of sorts, and he felt angry and confused by it all.

The Webbers rarely made it to Sunday services anymore. They feared leaving Ronnie by herself, but more so they too felt excluded from the close bond of fellowship they had once experienced in the church. Jake couldn’t blame them for staying away. He was disappointed by people’s reactions to the situation and blurted out his frustration one day as he passed some of the youth who were mingling after worship one day. He overheard someone snicker and say Ronnie’s name. The giggling that followed infuriated him.

“Why don’t you shoot the wounded?” he said as he passed them. By their puzzled expressions, he explained. “Shoot the wounded…

Always exciting to see my books in the hands of young readers!

kick her while she’s down, why don’t you? She can’t even defend herself!” He stormed past them, and could feel their eyes glaring into his back. Driving home from church that day, he wondered if he would stop attending the church and find another one with more compassion and sensitivity. Then he thought, No. The families he knew in the church and in the community at large were for the most part good, decent people. They were quite capable of coming to the immediate assistance of refugees in Africa, or collecting clothes for the poor, or giving money to support local worthwhile charities, but they were at a complete loss when one of their own messed up badly. This hit too close to home. There was an awkwardness in knowing what to do or say. It was uncomfortable. It was messy. It was easier to ignore than to respond. Jake had expected his church family in particular to rally around Ronnie and her family and surround them with unconditional love and support.

He wasn’t expecting the reaction from some members of the congregation. The families he thought would lend physical, spiritual, and emotional comfort for Ronnie and her family were the most distant. The families he thought would be supportive were not, and the ones he hadn’t thought would be supportive, were. He was especially disappointed by the Douglases. Of all people, he had hoped the Douglases would look beyond Ronnie’s indiscretions and allow God to intervene for good. It bewildered Jake that they even seemed to include him in their silence. When he tried to phone or talk to Leigh, the conversations were short and stilted…

(Pages 82-83 – Shoot the Wounded by Lynn Dove)

Shoot the Wounded, the first book in the Wounded Trilogy was a finalist in the 2010 Readers Favorite Book Awards in the Young Adult category.

PURCHASE YOUR COPY TODAY!

Shoot the Wounded, the first book in the “Wounded Trilogy“ is written for youth and young adults, addresses how lies and gossip destroy a person’s spirit. It speaks to the heart of relevant themes such as bullying, teen pregnancy and family violence all the while pointing the characters and ultimately the reader, to hope in Jesus Christ.

is currently being carried in most major Christian Bookstores across Canada and is available at Amazon.com, Amazon.ca or order from www.shootthewounded.org

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The Wounded Trilogy by Lynn Dove

To celebrate the release of the third and final book of The Wounded TrilogyLove the Wounded, I am doing an online self-promotion of all three of my award-winning books June 24th (today) through June 27th, 2012.

ABOUT THE WOUNDED TRILOGY

Someone asked me the other day what motivated me to write the “Wounded Trilogy”.  Easy answer:  I wanted to make sure that every young person and adult that read my books would know that God loves them, He cares for them and no matter what circumstance in life they may find themselves, they are not alone.  My books deal frankly with the subjects of bullying, gossip, cancer and other social issues that teens and adults face daily.  I want to get the message out especially with regards to bullying that they need not remain victims any longer. This is why my books are listed as resources on one of the world’s largest anti-bullying websites in the world: www.bullying.org

What others are saying about The Wounded Trilogy:

“(These books) dig deep into the lives of youth,…I feel every parent and teenager should sit down and read (these books) together.” – ReadersFavorite.com

“Lynn’s first book, Shoot the Wounded, is of the same calibre as Janette Oke’s first book, Love Comes Softly—the book that sold millions and propelled her into the reading public’s heart like a rocket.  Shoot the Wounded is a book that will keep you up reading all night whether you are a teen or a 50-something grammy like me!  You’ll be buying copies for every teen you love.”  -Connie Cavanaugh,  International speaker and Author of From Faking It to Finding Grace

“…should be read by anyone who works closely with Christian teenagers, and of course, by teenagers themselves…”  – Goodreads Review

“5 – Stars all the way for this moving yet delightful peek into the life of teenagers…”  – Ellen C. Maze, Author of Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider

“I loved reading Shoot the Wounded.  What a great message!” -  J. Huffman, Principal, Bearspaw Christian School, Calgary, Alberta.

“Excellent book…am already anticipating book 2 in the series!”  – B. Kelly, Teacher.

“…The characters are believable and the story line engaging…”  – S. Booth, Adjunct Professor, Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary, Cochrane, Alberta.

“This book was amazing…I loved the way the characters mirrored real-life situations, misunderstandings, friendships and families,…This could be a great start to changing the way youth, and even adults treat one another, especially within the church…”  – A. Higgins, College Student

“…This is a gripping book….This is a great read for teens.”  – Novel Teen Review

“…Shoot the Wounded, is aimed at young adult Christian audiences, but its topic is universal no matter your age or faith…”  – Cochrane Eagle

“A life of working with youth has inspired a Cochrane mother to turn her experiences into a book trilogy…(the “Wounded”) series parallels the struggles of students…(and) covers some of the angst of some real serious issues, particularly with bullying and gossip.”  – Rocky View Weekly

“A personal story of honest truth – offer(s) an uplifting and spiritual message.”  – Cochrane Times

“This was a gripping book (Shoot the Wounded)….a great read for teens.” – Jill Williamson – author – Blood of Kings Trilogy

“Although these books were written for Young Adults the lessons learned in these books can be applied to anyone….Lynn addresses the unique challenges that teens and young adults will inevitably face.  As adults sometimes we forget what it was like during our teen years and find it hard to relate to our teen children.  Lynn has found a way to do just that through her books.  If you have a teenager or know of someone who is in their teen years then this is a must-have book to give to them as a gift.” – Deborah Malone – author – Death in Dahlonega

“As a contemporary Christian novel for youth, Shoot the Wounded delivers the gospel with enough angst that it is sure to meet with the approval of today’s teen.  It delves into relevant topics such as teen pregnancy and family violence, mixed with the usual boy-girl relationships and coming of age themes common to YA fiction.  In this book we see that being a Christian isn’t easy, and it certainly doesn’t mean you are perfect.  Shoot the Wounded is the first in a trilogy by Canadian author Lynn Dove and sets the stage for its equaling engrossing sequel, Heal the Wounded.  This is a set that should be in every school, church and public library” – Tracy Krauss – author- My Mother the Man-Eater

“I ADORED this book (Shoot the Wounded).  As a teenager it really spoke to me.  Readers will be engaged into Dove’s tale from page one.  This book hits so close to home for teenagers and adults alike.  This tale spins through the emotions of teenagers, Ronnie, Leigh and Jake and everyone can find a bit of themselves in the characters.  This story is a must read for youth groups, Christian teenagers and even for non-believers and will inspire and captivate audiences for years to come.  It is an emotionally liberating novel and a very well written piece of literature.  Dove’s talent with words allows the audience to connect more completely with the emotional ride this book takes them on.  Five stars! – Kristin F. (18 yrs. old)

“Wow!!! …  I recommend (these books) to any young teenager who is looking for a great book. These books are so addictive,… at school I couldn’t wait for the class to end so I could read… Favorite book series ! <3” – Hayley R. (14 yrs. old)

“The messages within (the books) apply to LIFE.  Lynn Dove did a great job capturing the mindset of a teenage boy and a teenage girl, as well as their parents. – Stacy Padula – author- Montgomery Lake High series

Shoot the Wounded!”  I love it! This book dives head first into the many different difficulties experienced by teenagers today. Problems such as jealousy, lies, bullying, and so many other evil ways in which Satan tries to needle his way into their lives.  In a world that is slowly trying to push God out, it’s no wonder that kids don’t know where to turn to for help. This book gives vision that He is still here now, always has been, and always will be. He has the answers that they seek. Just ask!” – Jay A. Miller – author -  Sal and Sally

“(Shoot the Wounded) and (Heal the Wounded) are both really good books that actually choose to address stuff that teenagers have to deal with, as opposed to stuff adults think we deal with…Read them!” – Vicki M. (16 yrs. old)

Heal the Wounded” was more than just another book to me.  This book was more of a personal encounter….it’s one of those books that I just couldn’t put down!!!!” – Breann R.  (17 yrs. old)

“Each character fights to hold onto his faith in the midst of upsets and trials.  Not only is this book (Heal the Wounded) for teens but also for adults.  In today’s world, it’s such a busy life that parents seem to ignore the warning signs of their teenagers.  I recommend parents and child alike read this book.” – Readers Favorite

Shoot the Wounded – finalist in the 2010 Reader’s Favorite Book Awards (Young Adult Category)

Heal the Wounded – Bronze Medal Winner in the 2011 Reader’s Favorite Book Awards (Young Adult – Coming of Age Category) and finalist in the Christian – General Fiction category.

Love the Wounded - 5 Star Review on Readers Favorite (June 2012) – “Love the Wounded” continues the story of Jake, Leigh, Mike Tim and Dylan whom we met in the first two books of this series. It seems all four of these young adults are still struggling with difficulties that life has brought their way. Tim is still trying to come to terms with losing his sister; Dylan will never let go of the anger and bitterness of his dad and sister being killed by a drunk driver; Leigh has just dumped Jake and decides to start dating Dylan within two weeks; and Mike struggles every day because of his dad’s drinking problem. But no one was expecting the accident that leaves Mike fighting for his life, all because of foolish jealously, and all because Leigh can’t decide which guy she likes the best, Dylan or Jake. What a dramatic ending to a wonderful series about five teenagers and their families who are struggling through life, miserable because of anger and bitterness! But the walls started to break down for all of them after the horrible accident that involved Jake, Dylan and Mike.

Lynn Dove has created a cast of teenage characters we grow to love over this three book series, and as I read “Love the Wounded” I couldn’t put the book down until the end because I couldn’t wait to find out what was happening next. I grew to love these five young people, and even though Dylan got on my nerves sometimes, he ended up finding a special place in my heart. I appreciate the way Lynn shows her readers how God loves us, and can heal the hurt and take away the anger and bitterness, no matter how deep it is. I encourage you to not only read this book yourself, but purchase it for your teenager too. It is a wonderful, good, clean book with twists and turns about issues on a young adult level that they will enjoy reading.”

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Being a “Thriver” (9)

Psalm 119: 67, 71, 92, and 93 I’ll run together to describe how God ministered to me through His Word as I battled Breast Cancer.

“Before I was afflicted I went astray; but now I obey your word….It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn Your decrees….If your law had not been my delight I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.”

One thing that I had to come to terms with was my own mortality. I had to completely relinquish any control I thought I had, and give myself over to God. He was the only One Who would determine whether I lived or died and I had to come to the place where I accepted either scenario and say, “It is well with my soul.”

I am what the medical profession calls a “survivor”. I suppose to the world at large I am, but I reject that term in many ways because it suggests that I have fought the battle against breast cancer myself and that it is on my strength alone that the victory was won. That is not the case at all. I had a team of fantastic medical professionals, I had an incredibly supportive family and church family who loved on me daily and I had the prayers of many, the promises of Scripture, and the peace that surpasses understanding envelope me throughout those two years. If I could I would instead change the word “survived” to “thrived”. Survival is one thing, but to thrive means that the only One who deserves any credit for that is Jesus Christ. If I showed any strength it was because I had His strong shoulders to cry upon, I had His strong arms to wrap around me and hold me up, I had His comforting Words to soothe away my fears, I had His assurance that He was completely in control every step of the way.

I wish to share a poem that was sent to me by one of my best friend’s only hours before my first surgery.  Let it be a constant reminder what it means to THRIVE every single day, no matter your circumstances!

A STRONG WOMAN VERSUS A WOMAN OF STRENGTH

A strong woman works out every day to keep her body in shape…

But a woman of strength kneels in prayer to keep her soul in shape.

A strong woman isn’t afraid of anything…

But a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of her fear.

A strong woman won’t let anyone get the best of her…

But a woman of strength gives the best of her to everyone.

A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future…

A woman of strength realizes life’s mistakes can also be God’s blessings and capitalizes on them.

A strong woman walks sure-footedly…

But a woman of strength knows God will catch her when she falls.

A strong woman wears the look of confidence on her face…

But a woman of strength wears grace.

A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey…

But a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong.

Author’s Note:  June 2012 marks eleven years cancer-free!  Praise God!

Being a “Thriver” (8)

God commands us to have joy in all our circumstances.

Let’s look at Phil. 4:4…”Rejoice in the Lord always.” It does not say rejoice sometimes, or rejoice only when we feel like it, it says “rejoice in the Lord always.” (In the Lord) means in His fellowship, in His love and grace and in the knowledge of His dominion over our lives and His rule over all our destiny.) In other words, the Lord has EVERYTHING under control.

If it is a command, it is also a choice. Many times I was faced with the choice to laugh or cry. I chose to laugh.

I made every effort to be as positive as I could be about my prognosis and to believe that through this whole experience I could be used by God. I was not disappointed. I had opportunity to pray with my doctors and nurses before and after surgeries. I was able to talk with my roommates about God and I have been privileged to meet other women and share my “hope in Jesus” with them as they too struggle in battling breast cancer. I have written several articles that were published in HomeLife about my cancer experience and I have been able to share my testimony with many through my books and through my blog.

After my last chemo treatment in June of 2001, I came home to a huge poster taped to my front door

reading: “Praise the Lord, the Chemo is done! Way to go Lynn!  Continued prayers and blessings unto you and the family!” It was an amazing note of encouragement from my church family. As I started to heal and regain my strength through the next half year, my friends and family continued to pray and love me. I still have friends who continue to pray for me, particularly for my health, knowing that once diagnosed with cancer, the fear of reoccurrence is always there. I don’t dwell on it, but I know too that every day is a gift.

In January 2002 I underwent a prophylactic mastectomy of the left breast followed by immediate reconstruction surgery of both breasts. It may sound strange, but that surgery was actually my “reward” after Breast Cancer. Many women who are diagnosed with breast cancer opt to have immediate reconstruction after their initial surgery. I did not have that option because my oncologist wanted me to start chemotherapy as soon as I had recovered from my initial surgery. If I had opted for reconstruction, I would have had to wait with chemo until I had healed sufficiently. As it was, this gave me nearly a year to think about my options and since breast cancer runs in our family (my mother passed away from the disease in 1990), I opted to have the other breast removed followed by reconstruction of both breasts later in what is called a Tram Flap operation that sees tissue taken from the stomach and used to make brand new breasts with microscopic surgery to connect blood vessels. It means a tummy tuck…bonus!…and then later the cosmetic surgeon can make nipples and add tattoos to finish the look.

Unfortunately the 15 hour reconstructive surgery resulted in my developing a blood clot in my leg so I spent most of February 2002 in the hospital recovering from the extensive surgery, but now I look back on that particular surgery and I am very pleased with the results and despite the risks then, I would not have done anything differently. Reconstruction allowed me to look and feel normal again and for me that was part of my healing process…and I didn’t have to worry about my prosthetic tumbling out of my shirt at an inopportune moment :) .

It is true that persons who have experienced a life-threatening illness, see life very differently than they ever did before the illness. It may seem strange to say, but “cancer” actually gave me back my life. I had been in a deep spiritual valley prior to my diagnosis. I know we all may go through that every once in a while but in my case, I was probably as low as I could go in my faith walk. I had been a Christian for over 20 years, and I had served in my church for years and attended services each Sunday, but I was leading a hollow, empty existence with no joy when it came to my faith walk. I am not suggesting God brought on my cancer to shake me from the spiritual doldrums I was in, but He used my cancer to reveal Himself to me in ways I would never have known had I not journeyed down cancer’s road.

 

Being a “Thriver” (7)

Laughter is the best medicine!

A man walks into the lingerie department of Sears and walks up to the woman behind the counter and whispers in embarrassment: “I want to buy a bra for my wife.”

“What type of bra?” asks the clerk.

“Type?” inquires the man. “There is more than one type?”

“Look around,” says the saleslady, and like Vanna White moves her arms in a long sweeping motion showing off a sea of bras in every shape, size, colour and material.

“Actually, Sir, even with all this variety, there are really only three types of bras, “ replies the sales clerk.

Confused the man asks, “Oh, and what are they?”

The saleslady says, “The Catholic type, the Salvation Army type and the Baptist type. Which one do you need?”

Still confused the man asks, “What’s the difference between them?”

The lady responds, “It is all really quite simple. The Catholic type supports the masses, the Salvation Army type lifts up the fallen, and the Baptist type makes mountains out of molehills.”

Another humourous story I can share was when my daughter, Laurelle, was proof-reading a poignant email I was getting ready to send to a friend just prior to my first surgery. I had written,

“Just as Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemene, I too wish to have this “cup” taken from me…”

Of course my meaning was that I would not have to go through this cancer journey at all, but Laurelle started laughing after reading that line.

“Mom, think about what you just wrote,” she said, “have this “cup” taken from you…breast cancer?…cup….get it??”

We rolled on the floor laughing.

I never want to diminish the seriousness of cancer. I don’t make light of the disease at all, however, for me it became a choice of whether I wanted to wallow in self-pity, curl up in a tight ball and give up, which I would have done if I had counted on my own strength to get through the day…or I could use every method of ammunition afforded me by God to fight this terrible disease. One powerful weapon in my arsenal was laughter.