Articles for the Month of July 2020

Why People LOVE GOD but HATE CHURCH? by Marnell W. Love Ph.D. Ed.D MDiv.

An insightful look into people’s perception of the church and worship.

The author of this book, Minister Marnell Wicks Love, has drawn upon his vast experience of more than forty years in church administration, accounting, financial management, and ministry, along with thorough research to write this insightful book.

After recovering from a serious illness in 2007 he decided to launch Love-to-Help Accounting and Financial Management, providing help to struggling churches in Chicago and surrounding areas, non-profits, and helping small businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic. However, at the present time Minister Love primarily dedicates his ministry to those who cannot attend church because of health reasons, such as those in hospices and safe shelters for women and children escaping abusive households, he is dedicating a portion of book sales to the latter.

His career of caring for the financial, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing of people has given him a unique awareness of not only the modern-day role of the ministers in looking after their congregation, but also that of the churches. However, to ensure a complete picture when compiling this study he also carried out personal interviews, sent out questionnaires, and obtained written statements from church members and leaders.

The title of this enlightening book ‘Why People Love God and Hate Church’ was his unexpected finding. He discovered that although people were falling out of love with going to church, they still loved God, studied his words, and prayed, they just did not attend church to worship him.

So what can the church do to change this? Well, the many reasons for the change in attitudes towards the church and its ministry are revealed and explained.  There are many reasons, just a few examples being the attitudes of the ministers and their congregation to their community and newcomers, racial demographics, and the increased political role the church has. Candidly, Minister Love looks at the problems and gives examples of his, or other’s experiences with that problem, then he offers unprejudiced ideas for change. The problems he unveils and his propositions for change are thought-provoking and, indeed I suspect many of the readers who are members and leaders of the church and its congregations will have pause for thought, and may well re-examine their lives, attitudes, and behavior.

In conclusion: Bravely written, honest and frank, this extremely interesting book should be read by anyone, whether they go to church or not. Its insightful pages, and the author’s sermons, which he has included, will encourage any Christian to reassess themselves and their lifestyle.

About the Book:

This book is a summary of my dissertation research on why church attendance has declined over the last 40 years. My research included personal interviews, questionnaires using SurveyMonkey, and written statements from church members and leaders, those who stopped going to church, as well as people who never went to church and will not join a church. Various reasons were indicated as to why people did not go to church, but an unexpected finding from my research was that people still loved God, studied the Word of God, prayed often, and developed alternative methods of worship and spending time with God outside of traditional church services. The purpose of the 3-staged study was to determine if there are causes and effects that compel people to stop attending church services. In this book you will discover ways to help reverse the trend of empty seats in Christian churches on Sunday, improve perceptions about Christians among the general population, and save souls for Christ.

Available from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Why-People-Love-Hate-Church/dp/1631296582/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1595234543&sr=1-1

African Migrants (Novel) by Lang Fafa Dampha

An unparalleled insight into Africa and its people.

The author of this interesting and thought-provoking book, Lang Fafa Dampa was born in the Gambia in 1965. In Paris, he earned a B.A. in English Language and Literature, and a Ph.D. in English Studies (Society and Culture). Whilst there he also taught Legal English (Law and Politics – UK/USA) and Economic English, for two years.  In November 2009 he returned to Africa and he worked as a Senior Research and Programme Officer at the African Union office (the African Academy of Languages) in Bamako, Mali, from November 2009 to July 2015, and as Acting Executive Secretary from August 2015 to December 2018, and from then to now as Executive Secretary of the same institution.

In this book Lang Fafa Dampa, through his incredibly descriptive writing, relives the experiences of the main character/protagonist fleeing Africa, in search of a brighter future in Europe. He travelled through Dakar to Bamako, and then Niamey, crossing the cruel Sahara Desert into Libya, where he spent six months. Then along with thousands of others, he had to cross the Mediterranean, as a ‘boat migrant.’ Here he recounts shocking stories of the cruelty he observed being dealt out by the traffickers who treated the migrants terribly, with no regard for their lives, and no humanity. The horrific images of this voyage were etched into the author’s young mind, and will stay with him forever…

He managed to smuggle himself into France and lived in Metropolitan Paris, where he discovered a different world. Quickly he realised that both the African and white people lived in disdain of the ‘boat people,’ and he learned to stay very quiet about the fact that he had been one. However,  this disdain caused him great pain, because he realised that they had no comprehension of the cruelty and suffering these people had to endure and had no concept of the desperate driving force which compels the youth of Africa to risk everything, (including their lives,) to better themselves in Europe.

In this new world, he found himself becoming a quiet observer of human nature, and through listening to conversations and witnessing events, he discovered a lot about the attitudes of the African immigrants he lived with, both to their wives, families, friends, their adopted countries and Africa. Countless times he found himself witness to the Alien combative Attitude Africans have, and asked himself, “Where is African civilisation? Where are Africans wisdom and bravery? Where is the great pre-colonial African civilisation that historians talk about?”

Well, the protagonist believes the answers lie in finding a way to establish the African people’s self-respect and confidence in themselves. He reflects that Africans are destructively jealous, to their detriment, and a brighter future can be achieved by future generations regenerating Africa and changing the current combatant attitude. He suggests they look for examples to other countries who work together in competing to achieve goals, not by fighting but uniting cohesively.   

The passion the author feels for Africa and his people shine through in this book. He gives his readers, through the eyes of the protagonist, unparalleled insights into Africa, its people, and the struggles they face. Highly recommended!

About the Author:

Born in the Gambia, Lang Fafa Dampha lived and worked in Paris between 1989 and 2009. He has obtained a B.A. in English Language and Literature at the University of Paris 7 Jussieu, and a Ph.D. in English Studies (Society and Culture) at the University of Paris IV Sorbonne. Lang Fafa taught Legal English (Law and Politics – UK/USA) at the University of Paris 2 – Panthéon Assas, and Economic English (introduction to banking and finance, and the history of economic thought) at the University of Paris 8, Saint Denis, for two and a half years. He returned to Africa in November 2009 and is now working as Executive Secretary at the African Academy of Languages (ACALAN), in Bamako, Mali, which is the African Union’s specialised institution mandated to develop and promote African languages so that they could be used in all spheres of life in Africa.

Website: https://acalan-au.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/African-Academy-of-Languages-Acalan-1976775255951086/?modal=admin_todo_tour

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AcademyAcalan

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/acalan-au-441522180/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/africanacademyoflanguages/

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/acalan/

About the Book:

A young Gambian immigrant gives an account of the hardship he encountered through the Sahara Desert, in Libya and the Mediterranean before smuggling himself from Italy to France. In Paris, while hiding his identity as a “boat-migrant”, he lived the contrasting philosophies of his fellows with regard to African reconstruction: hard Pan-Africanism versus staunch pro-Western. The story manifests the triviality and purposelessness of the attitude of most Africans with regards to African socio-economic rehabilitation. This story presents a world of tragedy, terror and futility, tempered by the voice of reason.

Available from:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/African-Migrants-Novel-Lang-Dampha/dp/1515333833/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/african-migrants-lang-fafa-dampha/1123179003?ean=9781515333838

SEARCHING for FAMILY and TRADITIONS at the FRENCH TABLE BOOK TWO Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Normandy, Brittany, Loire Valley, and Auvergne by Carole Bumpus

A French culinary extravaganza!

I have eagerly awaited this, the second part of Carole Bumpus’ culinary tour searching for family and traditions at the French table, and I was not disappointed.

Carole and her good French Californian friend and translator Josiane Selvage begin this adventure by heading to the Somme, a now beautiful area which was the site of some of the most horrendous battles in WWI and WWII, and indeed even now, dotted throughout the countryside and coastal towns are the remains of the wartime bunkers, along with the memorials to the thousands who died there.

Then they carry on through the Nord-Pas-de-Calais to Dunkirk to meet with an old friend Veronique, and her mother, and thus their culinary journey begins as they discover the delights of cuisine pauvre or peasant food of France.

For those of us who love France and also who have a deep respect and interest in the tales of the older generations, this book is a real gem. Carole and Josiane are invited into many households on their travels, and they provide wonderful snapshots of the families, their history and that of the regions. The book is overflowing with descriptions of the wonderful regional produce and tales of times gone by.

Following the coast, the pair travel west, driving through Normandy and catching up with old friends. Near Mont St. Michel they stop off at the Manoir and are lucky enough to obtain an interesting interview with M. Barreaux, its owner and head chef. It is there that they are able to savor the delicacy of pré-salé d’agneau. These lambs (agneau) graze by the bay, consuming the salt-encrusted marsh grasses, and this is what gives their meat its unique flavor. Just one of the many exceptional local products they are lucky enough to sample on this amazing journey as they travel on through picturesque Brittany, with its breath-taking coastal views, wonderful architecture, and of course the delicious cuisine, before heading down to the Pays de la Loire.

The Pays de la Loire and the Loire Valley hold a special place in my heart because it has been my home for the last 16 years. Sampling its wonders is a daily pleasure, and I have enjoyed visiting the tuffeau cave homes, and the mushroom caves, in the area, taking home their produce to cook. However, I was fascinated to read about the truffle farms, with their truffle dogs (and pig,) and discover some of the uses of this world-renowned delicacy. The majestic chateaux and beautiful landscape of woods and vineyards truly comes alive through the author’s wonderfully descriptive writing, and it is no wonder that this incredible area steeped in history is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

However France has a diverse landscape and soon the pair find themselves noticing that it has changed, first to rolling hills, and then more mountainous, as they arrive in the Auvergne region, the Massif Central. Here, as in all over France local produce is celebrated, from the scallops and oysters of the coast to the Auvergne’s Fête du Cochon where each year a pig is slaughtered and is the center of celebrations, as this is an important time of the year and a traditional part of village life.

This book captures the French people, their love of family and friends, their generosity, and their passion for sharing good quality fresh local food. The author has generously ended the book with a collection of some of the wonderful recipes for us to enjoy making in our kitchens, whilst embracing the flavors and traditions of French family life.

Throughout it, however, the devastating effect the World Wars have reeked on families, and communities is heart-breaking. Yet despite this these people have survived and carried on with fortitude. The tragedies have given strength to this nation, emboldened them with incredible comradeship, and inspired the bravery of the resistance.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend this excellent book, and I am sure it will be enjoyed by anyone loving, France, cooking, traditions, and history.

About the Author:

A retired family therapist, Carole Bumpus began writing a culinary travel series when she stumbled upon the amazing stories of women, recipes and war in France. Her historical novel, A Cup of Redemption, was based on the poignant story of a French woman she had met and interviewed. It was published October 2014. Her unique companion cookbook, Recipes for Redemption: A Companion Cookbook to A Cup of Redemption was released August 2015 with the recipes from all the foods savored in the novel.

In addition to the cookbook, she is completing her original series of culinary travel books, Savoring the Olde Ways. The first of this series, Searching for Family and Traditions at the French Table, Book One, is to be published August 27, 2019. The second of the series will follow in one year completing the original French tour. The third book, Searching for Family and Traditions at the Italian Table is scheduled for April 2021.

She has also had three short stories published in the California Writers Club – Fault Zone anthologies: Words from the Edge; Stepping up to the Edge and Over the Edge. She has received numerous writing awards including: Honorable Mention in fiction and also Runner-Up in cookbooks in the London Book Festival – 2015; Honorable Mention in fiction for A Cup of Redemption – Paris Book Festival – 2016; Bronze Medal – IPPY Award – Cover Design of A Cup of Redemption – 2016; Finalist – International Book Awards – A Cup of Redemption – Historical Fiction – 2016; Finalist – International Cookbook Awards – Recipe for Redemption – 2016 – www.carolebumpus.com

About the Book:

Join Carole Bumpus as she continues the culinary journey of Book One in Searching for Family and Traditions at the French Table, with her incomparable guide, Josiane, as they head north from Paris to Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Normandy, and Brittany, then drop into the Loire Valley before ending in the Auvergne.

Sample family favorites and regional delights such as Flemish Potjevlesh, Algerian-influenced chicken tagine, moules (mussels) in cider and cream, salt-encrusted Lamb Grevin, Far Brêton, and Pâté de Pomme de Terre. Enjoy the music and antics of local festivals like La Bande de Pecheur (Gang of Fisherman), Feast of St. John, and the Blessing of the Fleet. Discover the wonder of troglodyte caves, wineries, and truffle farms in the Loire Valley. Then travel to Josiane’s family home, where you, too, can discover why food and family time are considered sacred in the Auvergne. And, all along the route, witness the impact WWI and WWII on the families profiled. Even seventy-five years later, the legacy of war remains―and yet, incredibly, the gift that each generation has handed down has been gratitude and a deep understanding of the importance of family.

A compilation of personal stories, memorable moments, family secrets, and mouth-watering recipes, this French culinary travelogue is sure to find a prized place on the bookshelf of readers who love France―its food, its people, and its history.

Release Date: 20th August – available to pre-order on amazon now https://www.amazon.com/Searching-Family-Traditions-Nord-Pas-Calais/dp/1631528963/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1594906704&sr=1-2


Kelly and the Pirates (Kelly Winchester) by Alex J Alex

James Bond move over Kelly Winchester has arrived!

If you’re looking for a hot sexy adventure which gives Clive Cussler a run for his money, well this is the book for you! Lieutenant Commander Kelly Winchester is an incredibly sexy vixen of a woman who makes Ian Fleming’s cool suave James Bond look like a kitten. As she warns an adversary, “I’m your worst nightmare. I’m a homicidal maniac, and my government keeps me around just so I can take care of little problems like this. I’m meaner and tougher than any man you’ve ever known. You’re just a bunch of lazy pansies compared to some of the characters I’ve run into.” Trust me she’s not exaggerating, this is one formidable woman!

This is the third book in the series, however, it easily stands alone. Kelly is beautiful and strong, and together with her adoring husband Jim they make a force to be reckoned with. In this thrilling adventure they are sent with another couple, Moretti and Kozlowski on a mission to Mogadishu in Somalia, their target the criminal Jalili, (which means Almighty in Swahili.) This shadowy character is a disgraced religious figure, with a reputation as a torturer, who leads a gang of thugs who hijack ships for ransom.

However, this time, the mission doesn’t go as planned. Kelly and Jim find themselves held for ransom by Jalili, who is incensed at the loss of so many of his men, even if it was at the hands of the notorious Winchester woman. Criminal to some, a savior to others, Kelly’s past deeds have made her a legend, and as news of her capture spreads and the jackals draw in for the kill. Each one hoping they will have her at their mercy. However, fate intervenes…

So, the adventure continues for Kelly and Jim, and what an adventure it is, as it isn’t long before they discover their enemies are catching up with them and their safety is compromised. To return they must flee across the perilous Tibetan landscape. However separated from her husband, Kelly has only the companionship of a wise Buddhist monk to see her through, and she must summon all her strength and courage to overcome adversity and survive!

Reading this gripping story, I found myself compulsively turning the pages, desperate to know what happens yet, yet dreading getting to the end. If you love a fast-paced exciting adventure with danger at every turn, wonderfully vibrant characters, and sexy scenes, then this is the book for you!

Available from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Kelly-Pirates-Winchester-Alex-J/dp/1487421109/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=kelly+and+the+pirates&qid=1594388859&sr=8-1

Arcadia’s Children 3: Pushley’s Escape by Andrew R. Williams

Enter the world of Arcadia and read a spell-binding sci-fi adventure.

The author of this exciting science-fiction story, Andrew R. Williams’  ‘day job’ is a Chartered surveyor, however, by night this mild-mannered English author can be seen with his wife Geraldine staring up at the sky, watching the stars, and plotting his exciting space adventures.

Pushley’s Escape is the third book in the Arcadia’s Children series and from the very first page, the reader is hooked. As in the previous two books, the main characters are Mick Tarmy, Claire Hyndman, and Nonie Tomio. We learn that Ed Pushley is an archaeologist whose mind has been taken over by a spettro Mick Tarmy nicknamed Irrelevant. However Irrelevant has died and their minds have fused giving Ed Pushley incredible psychic powers.

Pushley has been taken captive by Alton Mygael and desperately wants to escape, and with determination, he manages to free himself from the isolation helmet. However, once free a high priest appears and announces that the Great Ones want to speak to him. These are the same beings who had condemned Irrelevant to death in the past and understandably Irrelevant’s soul is indignant. He gets Pushley to ask, why a slave now free would want to go back into bondage.  The cleric’s response is to explain that the Great Ones want to offer a genuine partnership, and he then goes on to remind him of a past event, and show him images. What will Pushley do, and what will his future hold? To tell you more would spoil the story…

This author’s imagination is beyond belief, he weaves a clever story and takes his readers on an exciting adventure as they find themselves in another world. A world which comes alive for them through his amazing penmanship which paints vivid scenes, exciting scenarios, and wonderful settings.

I highly recommend this book to lovers of science-fiction. As a fan, I couldn’t wait to read this story and I was not disappointed! This author has written a real page turner, with excitement galore, a storyline full of twists and turns and incredible characters. It is sci-fi heaven, beaming you into another world with mind control, aliens, transporters, and everything you could wish for! Oh, and if Steven Spielberg reads this, yes, it would make a wonderful movie!

About the Author:

By day mild mannered Andrew R. Williams is a chartered surveyor…. but after twilight falls, he snatches up his pen and the writing takes control. Jim’s Revenge has now been published. The Arcadia’s Children series will very shortly have a third installment. When he isn’t writing, or surveying , Andrew spends time with his wife Geraldine, staring up at the stars, and plotting eventual world domination. Don’t let that calm demeanour and easy smile fool you, oh no.

Author’s Website: https://www.arcadiaschildren.com/

Available from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Arcadias-Children-3-Pushleys-Escape/dp/B08C8YKDPS/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=