Sunday, October 23, 2016

I Want to be like Daniel, I Want to be like Ruth

I think they forgot how to sing this one.

I Want to be Like Daniel,
I Want to be Like Ruth

(Boys) I want to be like Daniel…
(Girls) I want to be like Ruth…
(Boys) I want to be like Daniel…
(Girls) I want to be like Ruth…

(Girls) For Ruth was so, so, sweet and kind
(Boys) And Daniel was a mighty man
(Boys) I want to be like Daniel.

(Girls) I want to be like Ruth.

Friday, October 21, 2016

40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood: Devotions and Coloring Book to Nourish Mom

Do you ever wish mothering came with a concrete set of instructions—an easy recipe to follow? Take a spiritual and creative breather from motherhood and invest ten minutes daily into the devotions found in Sarah Humphrey’s 40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood. In a modern society where moms often have a full and busy plate, these devotions focus on six key topics of motherhood. In addition to the devotions, the beautiful pages are adorned with handmade illustrations to help you refresh from long days or even occasional sleepless nights. So, grab your colors and a little quiet time for yourself while doodling at the kitchen table. You will be grateful you did!


(Abingdon Press, August 2016)

Nourishment for a mother’s soul through 40 days of devotion and . . . doodling!
Wouldn’t it be marvelous if mothering came with a concrete set of instructions—an easy recipe we could follow? Instead, motherhood challenges women to find their faith, their true selves, and their family through daily doses of trial and error. It is a brilliant and healing time of life that is full of joy, pain, and beauty with a small side of crisis (and humor). What mothers do not know, they learn. And through this lifelong process of learning, they nurture and care for the most precious gifts on earth: children. In a modern society where moms often have a full and busy plate, these 10 minute daily devotions focus on six key topics of motherhood:
—Reconciling with grief, hope and expectations
In addition to the devotions, these beautiful pages are adorned with handmade illustrations to help you refresh from long days or even occasional sleepless nights. So, grab your colors and a little quiet time for yourself while doodling at the kitchen table. You will be grateful you did!

Sarah Humphrey


Often considered a dreamer and silly heart, Sarah Humphrey uses inspiration from her most beloved career, motherhood, to fuel her passion for writing, creative movement and teaching. She has and is authoring several books and children’s books. Sarah currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and three beautiful, bouncy kids.
Find out more about Sarah at

Thursday, October 20, 2016

How One Abandoned Baby Inspired Linda Znachko to Say Yes to God

Part 1 of an interview with Linda Znachko,
Author of He Knows Your Name

When the evening news reported an abandoned baby had been found dead in a local dumpster, Linda Znachko’s comfortable life changed. She was suddenly convicted, knowing God wanted her to provide a dignified burial for this tiny lost child. She obeyed, having no idea where that first small yes would lead. He Knows Your Name: How One Abandoned Baby Inspired Me to Say Yes to God (Kregel Publications) chronicles Znachko’s journey and challenges the reader to say yes to the Holy Spirit’s leading, no matter how insignificant or strange it may seem.

Q: While anyone who watched the news or read the story of the abandoned would have certainly found it to be a terrible situation, you were struck on a deeper level. What was it about this baby that called you to action?

My mother died four months prior to this child’s abandonment. I was responsible for planning her funeral, which meant I ordered her headstone, helped choose her burial clothes, delivered them to the funeral home and planned her funeral service. I felt compelled to honor this child in the same way I had honored my mother. I wanted to be family for this child who was orphaned in death.

Q: Were your family and friends supportive of your mission to provide a funeral and burial for the baby? How did your husband react?

My husband was supportive right away. When I told him about the child in the news and about the conversations I had with the coroner’s office, he understood my need to advocate for the baby. We talked a lot about the uncharted waters I was entering into, and he encouraged me to press into the unknowns. My friends were a bit speechless about my relentless pursuit of justice. They wondered about my qualifications to meet with government officials and talk with the detectives about the case. When I said I wasn’t technically qualified but was finding many open doors to my quest, they were very supportive.

Q: How did the painful experience of losing your mother while dealing with your daughter’s life-threatening illness prepare you for what God was asking you to do?

I was on my face daily in prayer with a deep desperation that allowed me to hear the voice of God very clearly. Walking with God when life and death were hanging in the balance meant my priorities were uncluttered. I was an advocate for my mother throughout her battle with cancer, and I was an advocate for my daughter during her illness. God had prepared me to be an advocate in hard places, so it really wasn’t a big leap to advocate for the baby. The awkward part was the how.

Q: Why was it so important to give the child a name? Can you explain how the ministry and book name came to be?

Names give legitimacy to life. A name gives purpose, identify and meaning to a child who otherwise would be hidden. God Himself has named us. We are written on the palms of His hands. God’s character attributes are named because it brings fullness to who He is. A child’s name gives definition to his or her existence.

When Alfie first asked me about my organization, I asked God about this in my heart of hearts, and He clearly directed me to see He was birthing a ministry. I knew then I needed to have a name. He Knows Your Name came to me like a song, and it felt like a covering over me. It has been confirmed so many times that anointing is on the name of my ministry. People respond to it all the time without knowing anything about it. I have had several people stop me in the airport when they see it on my phone case, and they say, "I love that!” or, “I know He does!” It opens many opportunities for conversations with strangers about what it means to them to be known by God.

From the beginning I thought it made sense to have the title of this book be He Knows Your Name. It captures the heart of God for His children and reminds us we are all His precious ones.

Q: How did you involve your husband and children in what God was leading you to do?

Sharing these amazing families and their stories with my husband and family has captured all of their hearts. Our kingdom value for sharing the gospel of Jesus by bringing light to the darkness of injustice has been a part of the fabric of our lives for a long time. My husband’s ministry to Mission to Ukraine, our family’s commitment to Safe Families of Indiana and many other opportunities have allowed us to serve together by engaging in the world around us. I have enjoyed watching each one use their unique gifts to love their neighbor by being available relationally. Their presence at my events show how much they care. My son recently moved back to be the senior pastor with Antioch Indy, and he has jumped in to the many opportunities to come alongside me, offering prayer, leadership and community to hurting families.

Q: How were you able to teach your children to engage in honoring these precious lives and providing dignity in their death, while protecting them from details they weren’t ready to handle?

My youngest daughter, Caroline, was a sophomore in high school when I adopted Zachary (the first child we actually buried). I didn’t feel she was too young to attend the funeral or understand the need I was acting upon. Many of her friends’ moms supported us at the funeral and took the group of girlfriends out of school to attend. They provided the balloons with scripture verses on cards attached to the end of the strings. They handed out the balloons, and their participation was a gift to all of us. There is no better way to have honest conversations about hard things than at a grave. Talking with the girls about the value of every life was memorable and priceless!

Q: What advice can you offer those who have friends or family walking through the devastating loss of a child? Are some things more helpful or hurtful than others?

I have found the fewer words, the better. Sit, listen and provide for basic needs. At the time of a tragic loss it is best not to share your own personal story. The depth of crisis is also not the time to say, “Something good will come from this loss” or “God needs another angel in heaven.” It is helpful to field phone calls and help manage the media if it is necessary. Generally, families need to assign close friends with tasks so the family doesn’t have to make too many decisions or talk with too many people. Helping make travel and other arrangements for out-of-town family is a big relief. Encouraging family to rely on hospital personnel for bereavement resources can be a terrific emotional support.

Q: What are a few ways believers can fulfill God’s command to care for the widows and orphans in their community?

A wonderful way to support widows and orphans is simply with your time. You can also do so by spending time with the families of widows and adoptive families. Time is of so much more value than just sending a check, and it is a great way to make a difference in the life of a lonely person. Asking questions about their needs, such as, “What do you need from me?” is a good first step. Find out if Safe Families operates in your state. If not, start a local chapter!

Orphans need spiritual families as well, not just “forever families.” Be a mother or father, or a sister or brother to a lost child who needs transportation, tutoring or a fan at their athletic games!

Q: How can people find out more about He Knows Your Name Ministry, especially families suffering the loss of a child and are in need of assistance?

My website is the best way to connect with me. I have connections in many parts of the country I would love to share with under-resourced families. Facebook messenger is also an effective way to send me a story and need. There are great resources for bereavement in most hospitals, and I recommend families reach out to their local hospital for support and counseling. Sadly, grief counseling is not always a strength of the local church.

Learn more about more about He Knows Your Name and Linda Znachko at, on Facebook (HeKnowsYourNameMinistry) and via Twitter (@LindaZnachko).

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Sister's Wish and An Amish Family Christmas

Don’t miss books three (A Sister’s Wish) and four (An Amish Family Christmas) in Shelley Shepard Gray’s Charmed Amish Life series. In A Sister’s Wish, when Amelia gets hurt, it sets off a chain of events that forces Amelia and Simon to consider their future together—and face their past mistakes. There’s a chance for love . . . but only if Simon dares to trust Amelia with the secrets of his past. In An Amish Family Christmas, Christmas is a time for family, and as the holiday draws closer, Julia and Levi will have to face their pasts together . . . in order to find the healing, support and love they so desperately desire.
Enter to win a book pack (a copy of A Sister’s Wish and a copy of An Amish Family Christmas) from Shelley. Five winners will be chosen! Click the image below to enter to win. The winners will be announced November 7th on Shelley’s blog!


(Avon Inspire, September 2016)
In Shelley Shepard Gray’s third book in her Charmed Amish Life series, a respectable young woman finds herself falling for an Amish man from the wrong side of the tracks.
Amelia Kinsinger is the perfect Amish woman—at least according to her neighbors. And while Amelia takes pride in her role as homemaker, she’s also harboring a secret: She’s been in love with bad boy Simon Hochstetler for as long as she can remember. Too bad he’s about as far from “perfect” as an Amish man could get… but that’s exactly why she’s so drawn to him.
Life hasn’t been kind to Simon. He ran away from an abusive home at fifteen and things went downhill from there. Eventually, Simon landed in prison. But the experience changed him. Now back in Charm as a grown man, he’s determined to make a new life for himself and not think too much about his wild past…unless it pertains to Amelia.
He’s loved Amelia for years. To him, she represents everything good and kind in the world. When he realizes that she returns his affections, he starts calling on her in secret, even though her older brother Lukas—who just happens to be Simon’s best friend—has made it perfectly clear that Amelia deserves better. Simon disagrees and believes he’s the only one who can truly make her happy.
But when Amelia gets hurt, it sets off a chain of events that forces them to consider their future together—and face their past mistakes. There’s a chance for love… but only if Simon dares to trust Amelia with the secrets of his past.


(Avon Inspire, October 2016)
In Shelley Shepard Gray’s fourth book in her Charmed Amish Life series, an unlikely Amish romance reveals that Christmas is a time for family, miracles—and love.
Ever since his father died in a tragic fire, Levi Kinsinger has felt adrift. Newly returned to Charm, Ohio, Levi is trying to fit into his old life, only to discover he seems to have outgrown it.
But when Julia, his young widowed neighbor, asks for his help with a Christmas project, Levi finds a sense of purpose for the first time in months. She and her daughter are new to Charm and could use a friend, a job Levi takes personally. Soon enough, friendship grows into attraction, but Levi can’t help having doubts. There’s something about Julia that doesn’t ring quite true…
Like Levi, Julia Kemps has survived her fair share of hardships—but only by hiding the truth of her past. Being an unmarried mother in an Amish community was unthinkable. Feeling hopeless, Julia did the only thing she could do: she moved to a new town and pretended to be a widow. But meeting Levi, she’s hopeful for the first time. Little by little, she begins to imagine telling him her darkest secret, and eventually…perhaps even sharing her life with him.
Christmas is a time for family, and as the holiday draws closer, Julia and Levi will have to face their pasts together…in order to find the healing, support and love they so desperately desire.
Shelley Shepard Gray


Shelley Shepard Gray is a “New York Times” and “USA Today” bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.
Find out more about Shelley at

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Practical steps for making disciples at home

 Part 1 of an interview with Melissa Spoelstra,
Author of Total Family Makeover

God doesn’t demand parents raise perfect children; He calls for faithfulness to Him. Christian parents are instructed to train and lead their children to Jesus, but kids are not a parenting report card. That truth can give the freedom to parent with love and patience, trusting God to do the rest. Many parents desire that kind of relationship with their children, but don’t know where to begin. In Total Family Makeover: 8 Practical Steps to Making Disciples at Home (Abingdon Press), Melissa Spoelstra gives parents practical, easy-to-follow steps to help disciple their children to be true Jesus followers.

Q: What makes The Total Family Makeover unique from other parenting books on the market?

It is different from other parenting books in that it gives parents a place to start and a track to run on when it comes to discipling their children. Each step builds on the previous one as parents find practical tools they can implement in their own families right away. The Total Family Makeover isn’t focused on getting kids to respond; rather it’s a challenge for parents to be intentional in showing their children what it looks like to follow Jesus. All too often, parents view their kids’ behavior as a report card. When their kids get awards or make good decisions, they feel like A+ parents. When their children get in trouble or struggle with moral issues, they see a big red F at the top of the page.

God was the perfect parent, and his kids still rebelled. By looking at the way Jesus lived alongside and trained his disciples, the Total Family Makeover shifts our focus from grading ourselves based on our kids’ behavior to pursuing God wholeheartedly. Many times parents expend more energy and effort in planning birthday parties and vacations than they do making plans to teach their children to pray, read the Bible, serve, etc. The Total Family Makeover gives parents encouragement from Scripture and practical tools to make small changes that will bring lasting spiritual impact in their families.

Q: You talk about the book giving parents a track to run on. Explain what you mean by that.

Throughout the years while looking for guidance and ideas, I’ve read many parenting books. At times the many concepts and good ideas overwhelmed me or made me feel defeated. Total Family Makeover offers simple, easy-to-implement steps that give parents a place to start and a track to run on. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by all they need to “do” to accomplish all aspects of discipleship at once, parents can find a starting point and follow practical ideas one at a time. For example, a reader can start with teaching his or her child about prayer and then move on to a next step of sharing truths he or she is learning from the Bible. Small changes yield big results throughout time, leading to a total family makeover! 

Q: What are some of your favorite verses that keep you inspired in your role as a parent?

“Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me — everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:9

Parenting can often be anything but peaceful — but Paul says if we keep putting spiritual rhythms into practice, we will have peace. Paul said this to his spiritual children at Philippi. He also told the Corinthians to imitate him. A total family makeover starts in the hearts of parents who follow Jesus in way that they can say to their kids, “Follow me. Do what I do!”

Q: Can you tell us a little about the challenges you’ve encountered with your daughter’s health and how that has made you a stronger parent or changed your view on parenting techniques?

Through the years we’ve had several health challenges with our kids. When Sara was five, she was in the hospital for more than 15 days on a ventilator, fighting for her life from lung issues, and later with a life-threatening blood clot. When her identical twin sister, Abby, was 12, she began losing all her hair from an autoimmune disorder called alopecia. Sara’s battle was acute and scary, but her health was totally restored over time. Abby’s struggle is long and slow and brings unique parenting challenges.

Understanding our children’s worlds — their pain, the influences they face, the world of social media — helps us connect with them on deeper levels. I’ve learned that every child is different, and the need to apply grace or consequences isn’t always clear cut. By looking at the example of Jesus in the gospels, we see how He modeled everything he asked his disciples to do. He prayed, studied, served, etc. Then he explicitly taught them using stories and Scriptures. He also sent them out on their own and allowed them to learn through failure. He invited, trained and loved. As parents, we can follow his example as we love our kids deeply right where they are at. We can’t do it alone. We need the Holy Spirit to guide us, especially when our kids are experiencing pain and difficulty.

Q: What can we expect to find in Total Family Makeover that will help parents practically?

In John 14:23, “Jesus replied, ‘All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.’” God wants to make His home with us. He wants us to know Him and have a rich relationship with us. Yet for our very concrete-thinking children, the concept of knowing a God we can’t see or touch can be tough to understand. To help guide them practically, we will want to define which practices and spiritual disciplines will help them down the path of loving God.

At times it can be overwhelming because I’m not always sure where to begin and wonder if I’ll forget something important. Sometimes we want to bury our heads in the sand when we realize we need to teach our kids about prayer, Bible study, mentoring, church, serving, rest, generosity and sharing their faith. Instead of hoping grandparents or the church will do all this for us, we need to find a place to start.

While no perfect formula exists, I’ve found great success in other areas of life through having a place to start and a track to run on. This book will provide a roadmap and hands-on activities parents can implement right away. Each step builds on the other. After learning to pray and read God’s Word, your child has a resource to use in identifying mentors. With a mentor, our children have others they can talk to about where to serve and more.

For more about Melissa Spoelstra and Total Family Makeover, visit You can also follow her on Facebook (AuthorMelissaSpolestra) and Twitter (@MelSpoelstra)

Monday, October 17, 2016

J. Warner Wallace and Susie Wallace’s ‘Cold-Case Christianity for Kids’ Blog Tour and Giveaway

At the crucial age between 8 and 12, many kids begin to wonder if Christianity and the Bible are true. Help your kids become truth-seeking detectives with the help of J. Warner and Susie Wallace's Cold-Case Christianity for Kids. Detective Wallace gets kids excited about testing witnesses, examining the evidence, and investigating the case for Christianity. The book includes author illustrations and links to a website where kids can download activities, fill in case notes, and earn a certificate of merit.

Encourage your kids to investigate the case for Christianity by entering to win a faith examination kit and a copy of J. Warner and Susie's new book.


One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on November 4. The winner will be announced November 7 on the Litfuse blog.



(David C. Cook, October 2016)
Between the ages of 8 and 12, kids often start to wonder if Christianity is true.
In Cold-Case Christianity for Kids, detective J. Warner Wallace draws readers into the thrill of high-stakes investigation by showing them how to think rather than telling them what to think. In this children’s companion to the bestselling Cold-Case Christianity, detective Wallace gets kids excited about testing witnesses, examining the evidence, and investigating the case for Christianity. Includes author illustrations and links to a website where kids can download activities, fill in case notes, and earn a certificate of merit.

J. Warner and Susie Wallace


J. Warner and Susie Wallace have been training young people in the church setting for over a decade. J. Warner is a cold-case homicide detective who has been featured on Dateline, FOX News, Court TV and other crime-related television shows. A former atheist, he is the author of Cold-Case Christianity: God’s Crime Scene and Forensic Faith. He has a master’s degree in theology and is the founder of Susie has a master’s degree in speech pathology and co-writes (and edits) all the kids books in this series. J. Warner and Susie have four children and live in southern California.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Booster, Booster, be a Booster

This is what happens when you give into the kids picking out a song primarily sung at VBS. They act like chickens!


Booster, booster
Be a booster
Don’t be grouchy
Like a rooster
Booster, booster
Be a booster
And boost our Bible school

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Finally, a really good event

After a couple of disappointing events, including a really long weekend in Canton a couple of weeks ago, we started this weekend off right!

This weekend, The Crafty Dad and Daughter are set up at Arlington Martin High School for the Baseball Boosters' Craft Show. We went last year hearing of the grandeur, but it was a slower than normal year. With a new location and more people, it was definitely better than Canton. Plus we didn't have to direct anyone to the restrooms! This year it was what we expected when we heard the hoopla before we went last year. 

A special shoutout to Angie and Rakia for coming along with me to set up on Friday night. The preference for the event was a Friday night move in, and it would have made for a very early morning and extremely long day if we had not set up until Saturday morning. 

I did miss out on a family event in order to set up. That's why Mom and Dad didn't make it. If I told you what I was unable to attend, some of you would think I am horrible. Others wouldn't at all. In the end my parents were so very thankful to walk in on Saturday and everything (except one box of items and some balls on Christmas trees) be set and ready to go. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

God’s names speak to his character

Part 2 of an Interview with Sheryl Giesbrecht,
Author of Experiencing God Through His Names

Understanding that each of God’s names reveals something about His character opens our spiritual eyes to see His perfect purposes and to recognize His commitment to us. If we can grasp the meanings of His names, we can know God more intimately.  In Experiencing God Through His Names, Sheryl Giesbrecht not only covers some of the well-known titles, such as Father, Ancient of Days and “El Shaddai,” but some of the lesser-used designations, including “El Bethel,” “Jehovah Sabaoth” and “Jehovah Maozi.”

Experiencing God Through His Names invites readers to interact with God about the truth behind His names by studying one each day for 31 days.

Q: Why is it so important for believers to know God’s various names?

Believers must know God’s names to understand His character, faithfulness, love and provision better. When we grasp the impact of God’s love and sensitivity by studying His nature in this way, we can apply this truth to all areas of our lives — parenting, marriage, marketplace and personal communication.

Q: How can meditating on each of the characteristics of God deepen a believer’s walk with Him?

A believer’s walk with God is strengthened by meditating on God’s characteristics because God wants us to know Him better. God does not hide from us, yet He waits for us to seek Him. Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” At the times we do not know what to do next, if we doubt God cares or wants to help, we must remind ourselves in prayer from Psalm 9:10: “Those who know Your name will put their trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.”

Q: Sometimes the problems of life seem bigger than we can handle, and we can’t see a solution. How can believers put these “giants” into perspective?

In our study of God by examining His names, we are exposed to a personal view of God as we get acquainted with Him. This brings us to a close encounter of a sacred kind with Him as we never have experienced before. A few examples are:

  • He is our “Elohim” (Creator). God made man and woman in His image. We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).
  • He is “Jehovah Sabaoth” (the Lord of Heaven’s armies). As a victorious warrior and leader of the heavenly host, He is a sure victor to win the battles raging in our lives (I Samuel 17:45).
  • He is the King, “Jehovah Hamelech,” righteous ruler over all mankind. Even in situations that seem chaotic, His plan is fulfilled as we look forward to His coming kingdom (Revelation 21:1-4).

God is greater than our problems. We can remind ourselves of this when we affirm God’s supremacy, authority and power. We commit ourselves to surrender our issues to His will be done. Our “giants” then take their proper place, minimized to manageable proportions under the shadow of God’s presence, power and purpose.

Q: One of the names you focus on is “Jehovah Maozi,” meaning rock or fortress. How has God been a very real fortress for you during difficult circumstances?

Once a stage four cancer patient, after six months I was finally finished with my final chemotherapy treatment. A few days later, I entered our Sunday school class and was met with concerned friends’ unkind comments. I wanted to run away physically from the pain of their harsh words. I thought of the name of God, “Jehovah Maozi” (Fortress), and prayed, “Help, Lord.” I remembered a song I taught my own children: “The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run to it and are safe.” “Jehovah Maozi” provided a safe haven for me that day; I found emotional relief and spiritual strength in the protection of His peace and comfort during my time of immediate need.

Learn more about more about Experiencing God Through His Names and Sheryl Giesbrecht at, or follow her on Facebook (AuthorSherylGiesbrecht) and Twitter (SGiesbrecht).

Thursday, October 13, 2016

If your loved one has seen war, he or she has PTSD at some level

Part 1 of an interview with Welby O’Brien, author of
Love Our Vets: Restoring Hope for Families of Veterans with PTSD

Affecting millions in the U.S. alone, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is rampant and escalating at an alarming rate. For the sufferer facing this disorder, life is fraught with stress, anxiety, difficulties and heartache. However, for every one person struggling with PTSD, there are many more friends and family members who are also deeply and profoundly impacted. Author Welby O’Brien offers help and hope to families of PTSD sufferers in Love Our Vets: Restoring Hope for Families of Veterans with PTSD (Deep River Books).

Q: We hear a lot about post-traumatic stress disorder (or PTSD) but may not really understand what it is and how it affects those who have it. Can you help us grasp a basic understanding of what PTSD is?

Post-traumatic stress disorder can affect anyone, and it results from exposure to an experience that is horrific or life-threatening. They become locked into emergency mode (fight, flight or freeze survival) and will stay permanently programmed in that emergency mode at some level for the rest of their lives. They live 24/7 as if the trauma or an impending crisis could reoccur at any moment. It totally overwhelms their ability to cope, so when something triggers them back into survival mode, they have no reserve with which to handle it.

Q: How many people suffer from PTSD? What percentage of veterans have some form of PTSD? 

According to the National Center for PTSD, about eight million adults in the U.S. alone struggle with PTSD. Most people do not realize it also profoundly impacts all of those around them as well. Researchers have a hard time pinning down the actual numbers of just who and how many have PTSD because anyone can experience trauma and also because, sadly, only about half of those who need help actually reach out for it. 

Chances are that if your loved one has seen war, he or she has PTSD at some level.

Q: In Love Our Vets, you explain that PTSD can affect anyone, not just veterans. Who is at risk for it?

Since PTSD is a result of exposure to a horrific or traumatic experience, anyone who has been — or will ever be — exposed to trauma is at risk. The trauma could be a single event or continue over a long period of time. It could be abuse, a tragic loss, an accident, a serious illness, a terrorist attack, a severe storm, an earthquake or anything where your life feels threatened. 

Q: Your book, Love Our Vets, is divided into three parts: reaffirm, replenish and reflect. Can you tell us more about how the book is set up?

I wanted Love Our Vets to be user-friendly in that it is not necessary to read from cover to cover because some areas may not be applicable to every reader. The first section, Reaffirm: Our Questions, includes more than 60 questions and answers that are unique to loved ones of those with PTSD. Readers can glance at the Table of Contents and go right to the page that addresses their concern.

The second section, Replenish: Our Needs, is all about self-care. It is set up in a checklist format so readers can see how they are doing in twenty-one specific areas and find ways to grow personally.

The third section is Reflect: Our Wisdom. This is a treasure chest of advice, helpful quotes, encouraging words and testimonials from many others who also love their vets.

And the last part of the book is a collection of various appendices offering more help and hope for PTSD warriors and their loved ones, including “A Prayer a Day,” which are short prayers for each day of the month.

Q: What are some of the most frequently asked questions about PTSD you answer in the “reaffirm” section?

(As PTSD affects both men and women, he/she can be interchangeable.)
  • How do I get him to “come back” to me when he is withdrawn or shuts himself off?
  • As parents of a veteran, how do we know what to do and when to just back off?
  • I have a terrible time trying to sleep with him because of his nightmares and thrashing, etc. How can I help him sleep better so I can sleep better?
  • How can I get friends and family to understand?
  • Why is he unable to handle conflict like “normal” couples? Just what are the rules for conflict when PTSD is a factor?
  • Sometimes I feel like I’m married to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Is that typical, and how do I manage with those extreme and unpredictable behaviors?
  • I don’t know how much longer I can keep doing this. How do I know when to say I’m done?

Q: How do patriotic holidays such as Fourth of July and Veterans’ Day affect those with PTSD?

Anything taking them back to the original trauma can stir things up. What may be a trigger for some might not bother others. Some typical triggers are crowds, parades, loud noises, bright lights and fireworks especially. The unexpected loud booms send most of them right back into the battlefield.

There was a local patriotic event here recently honoring Vietnam veterans, and unfortunately some of them were severely triggered by the surprise Huey helicopter that landed in the stadium.

It is good for veterans and their loved ones to be aware ahead of time about what might be a problem for them and to take special steps to avoid it or not be affected by it if possible. And always have that lifeline of good peer support around you.

Q: How can people help change the stigma surrounding PTSD?

Change happens one person at a time. For many people, just learning more about PTSD or someone who struggles with it will make a difference. I encourage people to visit our website ( to glean a wealth of helpful information and to share it with others.

One tool we have developed that has been a huge hit is “PTSD Basics.” It is a simple graphic that can be shared on social media, downloaded and printed out or sent to you in a 5x7 glossy card. I share what PTSD is and what it is not. It also includes what not to do or say to someone with PTSD as well as what we can do that is helpful. 

Q: There is no cure for PTSD, but what can be done to ease the symptoms?

Trauma and its indelible impact cannot be erased, and therefore PTSD cannot be totally fixed. However, it can be helped. That is what Love Our Vets (the book and support network) is all about: We can live happy, fulfilled lives in spite of PTSD.

The good news is there are more beneficial therapies available today than ever before. Since each person and their situation are unique, the best thing to do is research the options, talk with others and take that first step toward getting the help you need. A good place to start is our website under Resource Links.

Q: Although you are a Christian and wrote the book from that perspective, readers will not find scripture references in Love Our Vets. Can you share more about why you approached the book that way?

Many veterans and others with PTSD often avoid things that are clearly “religious.” Although I do talk about faith and love and include a “Prayer a Day” for those who would like to use that section, Love Our Vets was not meant to be an obviously Christian book; rather it is meant to serve as a doorway, inviting people to connect with others and to explore our website, which offers a wealth of faith-based resources.

We want Love Our Vets to be received by anyone, regardless of their faith, so it is purposely intended to be a crossover book. As a result, it is able to be used by Veterans Affairs groups and other non-religious organizations.

Love Our Vets offers plenty of wisdom and practical help for those who may go no further and an invitation to explore more for those who are open.

Q: What faith-based resources will readers be able to find on your website,

Some of the things we offer are a short gospel video for veterans and loved ones and tips on how to minister to those with PTSD. There are also links to organizations offering retreats or in-patient PTSD treatment, support groups for veterans and for loved ones and local military-friendly churches. We also have an awesome evangelical veteran Chaplain and his wife available by phone or e-mail 24/7.

Learn more about more about Love Our Vets and Welby O’Brien at or on Facebook (LoveOurVetsPtsdFamilySupport).