Friday, April 21, 2017

Ted and Leona's Autobiographies "Bundled" (5)

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL DUET 
Recently Reprinted--Now Available!




Follow the unlikely journeys of Ted and Leona Choy with ancestry from two very different parts of our Planet. They met as students at Wheaton College, Illinois after Ted's graduation from seminary and his service in the U.S. Marines. They were married in Leona's heartland hometown in Iowa in the intense heat of August 1947 where everyone in attendance remembers watching the wedding candles in church melting in mid-service (yes, it was before air conditioning days!).


Then they sailed off (literally) "on a slow boat to China” to fulfill their missionary calling in Hong Kong. The birth of four sons later, and the founding of a Chinese Church in the nation's capital, and co-founding of a university campus para-church ministry among Chinese students and professionals--and the rest, as they say, is history


Chronicled in both their biographies are forty-six years of marriage and ministry and parenting and grandparenting, and returning repeatedly to China to assist the persecuted underground churches until Ted left for Heaven in 1992.
If you don't find their true adventures to be page-turners,
you are welcome to take advantage of the publisher's money-back-guarantee! Seriously!

Single copies of Ted and Leona Choy's biographies
 $12.95 plus $4 s/h.
When both books are purchased at one time
the "bundled" price is discounted to 
only $22 plus $5 s/h. 
 
Ordering
leonachoy@gmail.com or 540-877-1813
Checks made payable to Leona Choy and sent to
497 Devland Dr. Winchester, VA 22603
Credit card payment paypal.me/LeonaChoy

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

SAGE and SELAH, A "Bundled Duet" (4)


Two of Leona Choy's most recent books are available as single copies or as a “bundled duet.”
Followers of Leona's popular blog: THE REST OF THE WAY, leonachoy.blogspot.com, urged her to compile the most popular of her blog posts into book form so they could enjoy them in a hands-on way anytime. Two of her new books pictured above, totaling nearly 500 pages together, are the result. 

The automatic tally of the average number of views per month for Leona's blog is between 2,000 and 3,000. Since viewers are able to read her posts in their own language with just the click of a finger on her Home Page, it doesn't matter whether they can read English or not. What she has written pops up in their own language whether they choose Swahili, Swedish, or the Shanghai dialect of Chinese! Oh, the marvels of technology! 

Leona used to travel the world in ministry with her late husband, Ted. Awesome, isn't it, that at her advanced age rather than booking a flight to Asia or parts unknown, and without leaving her writing studio and computer, she can reach Internet viewers worldwide?


Leona enhances each of her blog posts with appropriate photos or art work but in essence, “she paints with words.” (Sage Brushings) She has been a blogger for nearly 10 years and all of her posts remain accessible in the blog archives at leonachoy.blogspot.com—but now they are also available to the reader in book form as short, personal thought-reflections based on her life experiences. Her analogies are squarely based on relevant Scripture passages. She invites the reader to "press the PAUSE button" and think on these things. (Selah Reflections)

The short, pithy topics in these books may be described as savory word snacks in bite size, each taking less than five minutes to read. The subjects run the gamut of everyday life encounters and Leona's comments on them from a Christian world view are often presented with a dash of humor. Readers are welcome to pick up the books and read anyplace at anytime, as they are inclined. There is no particular sequence to the experiences and thoughts she presents. Each entry is meant to stand alone, to be enjoyed on its own terms.

Single copies of these two books are $12.95 plus $4 s/h.
When both books are purchased,

 the price is discounted to $22 plus $5 s/h. 

Order from:

leonachoy@gmail.com, or 540-877-1813

Checks made payable to Leona Choy
497 Devland Dr. Winchester, VA 22603

Credit card purchases through paypal.me/LeonaChoy
 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

SUMMIT YEARS TRILOGY "Bundled Discount" (3)

SUMMIT YEARS TRILOGY

At best it isn't easy to navigate one's vintage years.
 The calendar pages flip all too fast and you wonder,
"Where was I when all those years came and went?"
 
At whatever season of life we find ourselves, we still have time to redeem our days, live in the moment, polish up our attitude—yes, even AGE JOYFULLY. God will help us meet the CHALLENGES of the changes that life inevitably brings us. We can LIVE IT UP, keep growing, and climbing more spiritual mountains in our mature years. Aging doesn't need to be a downhill slide. We can live meaningfully and purposefully as we walk with God in our seasoned years.


Leona's classic book LIVING IT UP! contains over 280 pages of short daily devotional readings on relevant topics for "the mature reader" to draw the spirit UPward toward God. Its positive thoughts will stimulate meaningful living in one's seasoned years. The author's contemporary poems used on her radio broadcasts grace the pages. The topics in this book represent the most popular of her radio broadcasts in print format.


SPECIAL Bonus! 
While supplies last, Leona will include a CD of her choice with over one hour of her "live" radio station broadcasts (12-18 programs)

The other two companion books AGING JOYFULLY and AGING CHALLENGES focus on both the spiritual and practical issues related to advancing years and cover the gamut of topics to successfully navigate our vintage season.

The inspiration and practical suggestions provided in these three books will motivate you to maximize your mature years and make them count for God while giving you new horizons of faith to build you up spiritually.

Whether you are purchasing these books as gifts to encourage someone else in his or her prime time years or for yourself as you enter that untraveled summit stage of life, you will find new inspiration on every page.

  These books make meaningful retirement gifts and birthday gifts for parents and grandparents.
***** 


Single copies $12.95 plus $4 s/h
The "bundled" price for this TRILOGY including the CD 
 is only $35 plus $5 s/h.

 ORDER from
leonachoy@gmail.com, 540-877-1813.
Make checks payable to Leona Choy and mail to
497 Devland Dr. Winchester, VA 22603
Credit card purchases can now be made through paypal.me/LeonaChoy



JUMPING ILLNESS DISCOUNT BUNDLE (2)



JUMPING ILLNESS HURDLES
(Bundled Discount Offer


 Like it or not, some kind of medical or surgical event probably waits around the corner for you or your family. Leona's book HOSPITAL GOWNS is for first-timers who, like her, suddenly face cancer, a serious illness, accident or surgery. Also for graduate students in schools of pain and chronic illness.

Leona candidly shares her own fears and tears, trauma and drama, questions and apprehensions, learnings, doubt, and joyful shouts. She doesn't claim to have all the answers, but she puts on hospital slippers to walk with you through your illness adventure. The two of you will walk with God and try to find His purpose in your physical distress. In this book you will struggle together from the pre-op hurdles and “whys” through the O.R. experience, and you learn together to step carefully all the way through the recovery minefield.

Adding sparks of humor throughout the book is Miss Meow the nurse and GG the bunny who is also in charge of the reader's interactive opportunity through “Personal Workout” questions at the end of each chapter.

Bundled with the 314 page book HOSPITAL GOWNS Leona gives you 2 copies of the companion “A Taste Of...” book ARE YOU MAD AT ME, GOD? which duplicates the first 75 pages, (the first 5 chapters) of the HOSPITAL GOWNS book.

This smaller book is handy to give as a thoughtful caring gift to a friend who is facing an illness or entering the hospital. It whets the appetite for reading the larger, more inclusive book. This smaller book is also available in quantities on a contribution basis.

We all know people who are jumping illness hurdles. Buy Leona's books to help them through the process. Perhaps you are going through an illness trauma yourself!  

Single copies of Leona's book HOSPITAL GOWNS are $12.95 plus $4 s/h. 
  Jumping Illness Hurdles "Bundle Discount" includes:
 Leona's book HOSPITAL GOWNS, 2 companion books, plus a one hour CD of Leona informally reading paraphrased excerpts from the first couple of chapters of her book--all for $15.95 plus $5 s/h!

TO ORDER: leonachoy@gmail.com, 540-877-1813, checks to be sent to 497 Devland Dr. Winchester, VA 22603. Credit card payments available through paypal.me/LeonaChoy.

Monday, April 17, 2017

ENCOUNTERING LOSS "BUNDLED" DISCOUNT (1)


Featured "Bundled" Discount


ENCOUNTERING LOSS Trilogy:


1. SINGLED OUT FOR GOD'S ASSIGNMENT: 
          A Widow's Valley of Learning
2. THE WIDOW'S MIGHT:
         Strength From the Rock
3. NOT ALONE: 
         Travel Tips for Your Journey


In SINGLED OUT Leona Choy explores universal grief feelings from multiple directions drawing both on her own experience and moving stories of fellow travelers who have walked the single road. She anchors her insights squarely in the Scriptures and wrestles with the hard questions.


The WIDOW'S MIGHT offers 73 power-packed daily spiritual meditations in a user-friendly format guiding the reader through the often dark tunnel of grieving into the warm light of God's promises. Topics focus on might, strength, and power which a widow who is a Christian might have in short supply as she adjusts to her "new normal."


In NOT ALONE Leona has excerpted distilled gem-thoughts from her flagship book SINGLED OUT. It is an ideal first caring gift to someone who has suffered the loss of a loved one. Included in this book is a 50 page STUDY GUIDE for use individually or with a support group.

Every one of us knows friends or relatives 
who have experienced the loss of a loved one.
Purchase Leona's books as a gift for them!





Single copies are $12.95 plus $4 s/h. 
All 3 books for $35 plus $5 s/h

TO ORDER: leonachoy@gmail.com, 540-877-1813, 497 Devland Dr. 
Winchester, VA 22603
Credit card purchases may be made through paypal.me/LeonaChoy
****** 
Excerpts from newly published "Not Alone"
....I have been through a sudden emotional storm with the death of my spouse. It is natural to feel battered. The sun is not yet fully shining, but God has promised to bring me through. No storm lasts forever. With the songwriter I affirm, "Roses will bloom again, just wait and see. I don't know when, but roses will bloom again." The Lord watches over me, come what may. His promises will never fail....

....Often unexpectedly,sometimes over trivial household repairs, grief will rear its troublesome head. I will begin to indulge in self-pity. I realize that I'll have to learn to survive in an unfinished, unfixed, imperfect environment. Either I will have to start trying to fix things myself or learn patience as I wait for someone to rescue me....

....I can't hop into a plane called "Hope" and rise above normal, human feelings. Healthy grieving is a ground transportation experience. I must make my way over rough terrain, struggle uphill, sometimes coast back downhill. At times I end in ditches at the side of the road.  But God wants me to be patient with myself, as He is patient with me.... 

....My spouse has gone on ahead, but my Lord has further marching order for me. Perhaps renewed marching orders in the same direction, or different in some respects--or totally different. Whatever God's assignment, I will no longer carry it out as a married couple. Nevertheless, I will carry it out as a couple! There will still be two of us--God and me!....

....Healthy adjustment is an ongoing process and I'll never "arrive." I can't expect to learn to be single again overnight. As new situations arise, they require new adjustments, an alteration here and there. The Lord and I will be working together to make my new role fit so I can move on to live and please Him....


....If I am not careful, I could sentence myself to prison, even to solitary confinement. Others do not lock me in. I walk into that cell by my own choice and close the door. If I make excuses and decline invitations to accompany friends to activities, church, and leisure pursuits, I can vegetate unnecessarily. Balance in my life with sufficient time alone and also blocks of time with people enables me to take advantage of God's entire green pastureland. (John 10:9)


Friday, April 14, 2017

IF THE SHOE FITS....

Encore post by request at Easter
 
[The night Jesus was betrayed] "...they all left Him and fled. And a certain young man was following Him, wearing nothing but a linen sheet over his naked body; and they seized him. But he left the linen sheet behind, and escaped naked." Mark 14:50-52 

 Mark is the only Gospel writer who records this incident. Was he himself perchance that young follower of Jesus whose mother is identified as Mary of Jerusalem? Mark is referred to by historians as 'John Mark of Jerusalem'. His mother is known to have hosted Jesus and His disciples in her probably spacious home, which remained a gathering place for prayer for the early Christians. (Acts 12:12). She may have been one of the women who followed Jesus seeing to their collective material needs with their own resources.

Her home may have been the location of the Last Supper. (Mark 14:15) My pure speculation, but Mark may have been there that night assisting his mom with the hospitality. After they had sung the last hymn and headed off to the Mount of Olives, (Mark 14:26) young Mark might have been getting ready for bed when his mom got wind of something sinister about to happen to Jesus in a familiar location not far from their home. He might have taken off at a run to see for himself, neglecting to put his clothes back on. Could he have been "the young man wrapped in a sheet" who got scared and ran off after the soldiers arrested Jesus?

 From a Commentary: The early Church is practically unanimous in ascribing the Second Gospel to Mark, the cousin of Barnabas and associate of Paul and Peter. Thought to have been baptized by Peter, strong tradition also supports the assertion that in this Gospel he recorded the firsthand recollections and preaching of Peter, who calls Mark "my son" in 1 Peter 5:13. Mark was along on one of the early missionary journeys with Paul and Barnabas but dropped out and returned home to Jerusalem for unknown reasons. (Acts 13:13) This resulted in "a sharp disagreement" between Paul and Barnabas and a parting of their ways. (Acts 15:39) As John Mark, the unproven fledgling Christian, matured in his faith and became a steady, dependable disciple, he was restored into the good graces of Paul. (Colossians 4:10) After the death of Peter, historians say that John Mark became the first bishop of the Alexandrian Church.


HIS SANDALS
(An imagined scenario)
What happened to Jesus’ sandals?
Leona Choy

Soldiers jerked off His sandals
to nail His bare feet
to a rough-splintered cross
callously casting lots
for His seamless garment.
They tossed aside His filthy sandals
caked with mud
stained with blood
from His painful struggle
up Golgotha's hill
--not worth a throw of dice.

Then I noticed the sandals
hugged tightly under the arm
of a frightened youth.
They called him John Mark.
Where had I seen him before?
At the synagogue door?
Or helping his mother
hosting the Last Supper?
Perhaps in Gethsemane
running naked from the grasp
of Jesus' enemy?

What would that lad do
with those precious sandals?
Were they just a souvenir
of a grisly spectacle
that even in a later movie age
would surely be rated "R"
for violence and brutality?

Hiding alone in the shadows
on the fringes of the crowd
the boy watched the Man on the cross
suffering and dying.
Without Parental Guidance
to explain the meaning
of this atrocity
would he grasp the import
of this scandalous documentary?

Would this wide-eyed youth
understand the dreadful drama
he beheld that historic day
outside the city wall?
Would he realize that God 
had planned it all
from Eternity?

Would God provide a mentor
to relate the significance
of the death of this Man
who laid aside His sandals and robe
in the Upper Room
and stooped to wash
the grimy feet of His friends?

Would the boy wear those sandals?
Would he dare?
Would he be found worthy
and chosen eventually
to walk in the sandals
of that God-Man of Galilee?
Would they be to him
like the mantle of Elijah
enduing him doubly
with power for service?

Would he wear those very sandals
to take the Good News
one day far away
on missionary journeys?

YES! And he would write
a Gospel for those 
who weren't there
those scattered everywhere
down the corridors of time
to tell what he had witnessed
firsthand with his youthful eyes
at the Cross that terrible day
and received from the keen memory
of Peter the fisherman-disciple
who too had known
the beloved Christ of Galilee
and followed Him
in his own sandals!

JUST PASSING BY?

(Encore blog post by request at Easter)

Simon of Cyrene helped Jesus carry His cross. So? Wasn't he just a man in the wrong place at the wrong time, an insignificant, curious passer-by, as he was referred to in the Scripture, who was randomly picked from the crowd? What was so important about that event that all three synoptic gospel writers would record it? In one of the Stations of the Cross we commemorate it. There must be more here than meets the eye!

Where is Cyrene anyway? I was surprised to find that it is in North Africa not far from the modern day city of Benghazi in Libya which was so prominently in the news since the terrorist attack of September 11, 2012!

I searched for more information, I found that a condemned person was always forced to bear his own instrument of torture, in this case at least the heavy crossbeam of a cross. But the soldiers didn't want a prisoner to die on the way up the hill to his crucifixion because that would spare him from the planned cruel torture of a deliberately slow and painful execution. A criminal was deliberately crucified in a public place where it would serve as a warning and deterrent to would-be evildoers. Jesus was already staggering under the weight of the crossbeam and falling repeatedly from extreme weakness after his agonizing, prolonged scourging by the soldiers.

In various translations of this biblical passage Simon was said to have been “pressed into service” or “seized” or “compelled.” He obviously didn't volunteer; he had no choice; he was forced to do so at the point of a spear. 

Who was this Simon whom Mark so precisely identifies that he even records the names of his sons and that he had come to Jerusalem from “the country” or “the fields.”  Since Mark wrote his gospel for Jewish believers, it is likely that by the time he wrote the gospel story the inclusion of the names of his sons in Mark 15:21 may suggest that they were of some standing in the Early Christian community. Tradition says that Simon's sons Rufus and Alexander became missionaries of the gospel; It has also been suggested that the Rufus mentioned by Paul in Romans 16:13 is the son of Simon of Cyrene. 

Libya is separated from the Holy Land by Egypt. Simon would have had to cross Egypt by land or come by sea. Libya was under Roman rule at that time but there was a Greek colony in North Libya along the Mediterranean Sea with a large settlement of Judean Jews.  Most of Libya is covered by the Sahara desert except for that special long strip of Northern coastline where eighty percent of Libya's people live. Cyrene became an early center of Christianity in the centuries after the Church began to spread. Some also link Simon with the "men of Cyrene" in Acts 11:20 who preached the gospel to the Greeks—the Cyrenians would have known how to speak Greek. 

Why was Simon there in the crowd that was following Jesus to Golgotha? Were his sons with him? Were they adults or children? Was he a laborer or a wealthy foreign businessman? Was he a Jew from the diaspora or a dark-skinned Libyan native? Was Simon a believer in Jesus already when he carried Jesus' cross? Was he a devout Jew who was making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for Passover according to the requirement of Judaism?  Or was he only a curious pagan caught up in the drama of a Roman execution until he became part of what was a life-changing event for himself and his sons and perhaps his heritage for generations to come?

Simon, “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” Did you stay at the cross after you carried it up the hill for Jesus and watch salvation history unfold? Were your sons at the crucifixion with you?  “Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?” Did you become a Christian as a result of seeing Jesus die on the cross or perhaps hearing the witness of the disciples about Jesus' resurrection? (Someone ought to write a novel about this man!)

Simon, “Were you there when the Holy Spirit came?” Were you among the 120 in the Upper Room? In the biblical account of the birth of the Church on Pentecost in Acts chapter two in the list of places from which people were present at the event, “the districts of Libya near Cyrene” was noted. Simon, “Were you there?” We can only speculate.

What is the take-away insight for us from this special event? In His suffering humanity and to accomplish His mission from His Father, Jesus allowed Simon to help carry His cross. He could have called ten thousand angels to strengthen Him to carry the heavy cross, but He permitted and welcomed a mortal man to help Him. In His teaching before the crucifixion Jesus spoke about the necessity of taking up our cross and following Him. (Matthew 16:24) On the way to Golgotha Simon didn't carry his own cross; he carried Jesus' cross.

We can't do what Simon did. We can't carry Jesus' cross. Jesus gave His life once for all on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins and to obtain eternal life for us. So then, how can we bear Jesus' cross for Him now? Jesus declared that whatsoever we do for others or to others, we do as if we did it unto Him. The Lord receives it as literally done to Him! (Matthew 25:35-46) In practice then, we are to bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)

Each of us have unique personal crosses to bear as well as burdens, afflictions, and problems. There is a sense in which we must with courage and God's enabling accept and bear our own cross, the cross that God has given us in His love. By this we glorify Him and give witness to Him. However, there is a further sense in which we should reach out in love and compassion to help others shoulder their crosses as Simon of Cyrene did for Jesus. By so doing, we are privileged to partake in Jesus' suffering, “For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for His sake.” (Philippians 1:29)

YOUR UNIQUE CROSS

The everlasting God has, in His wisdom,
foreseen from eternity the cross
that He now presents to you
as a gift from His inmost heart.

This cross He now sends you
He has considered with His all-knowing eyes,
understood with His loving mind,
tested with His wise justice,
warmed with His loving arms,
and weighed with His own hands,
to see that it be not one inch too large
and not one ounce too heavy for you.

He has blessed it with His holy name,
anointed it with His grace,
perfumed it with His consolation,
taken one last glance at you and your courage,
and then sent it to you from Heaven,
a special greeting from God to you,
an alms of the all-merciful love of God.
Saint Francis de Sales
1567-1622