Friday, March 30, 2012

Walk the Land by Judith Galblum Pex


These are two very different books, except that they both touch on the Middle East. And both stories tell what happened when the author walked the path of obedience to God. They both describe a life that is transformed by the presence and power of Christ. 

The second book for this week:
Book Description:
Come with John and Judy Pex as they hike the 600-mile Israel National Trail from the Egyptian to the Lebanese borders. During 42 days of trekking through spectacular scenery, Arab towns and villages, past Jewish, Muslim, Druze, and Christian holy sites, they discover: + Sights seldom seen by tourists + Physical challenges and spiritual tests + Cultural encounters and historical insights + Lessons about peace, faith, and endurance. This book will appeal to: 1) Students of the Bible 2) Middle-agers who want vigorous role models and new challenges 3) Christian believers seeking creative ways to test and share their faith 4) Young adults pursuing the great hiking trails of the world 5) Readers interested in Israel. Illustrated with (color) photos of scenes and people from the Trail.

Ordering Info :
176 pages
Price: $14.99
Available through and other online retailers, or through bookstores anywhere.

The Amazon Kindle version is FREE March 29 - April 2 here .

Review Quotes:
"I wholeheartedly recommend this book for its glimpses of the people, history, and beauty of the land, and for the author's spiritual insights." - Jeremiah Greenberg, The Messianic Times, Jan/Feb 2008

"For thirty years I have had the incredible experience of traveling the land given to Israel by God -- from Dan to Beersheba to Eilat. However, 'walking the land' with my friends Judy and John [by reading this book] has brought a whole new dimension and depth to my understanding of Israel and its people. I know you'll be enriched spiritually through Judy's story of the insights given her by her God on this journey of a lifetime." - Kay Arthur, Precept Ministries International

About the Author:
In their fifties, Judith and John Pex, who run a hostel in Israel, felt the need for renewal and decided to walk the 600-mile Israel National Trail. In WALK THE LAND, Judith shares what they discovered about God, themselves, and the history and people of Israel, and how their love for the land opened doors to share their faith in Yeshuah (Jesus).

Interview with Judith Galblum Pex:
You have traveled much of the world. What are your favorite cities/places to visit?
Usually the latest place I've been becomes my favorite, though I prefer the more remote locations over large cities. One incredible experience was going with Galit, who is like an adopted daughter for us, back to the village in Gondar, Ethiopia where she was born. She had left there with her mother twenty years previously as a young girl and walked to Sudan from where they were air-lifted to Israel with Operation Moses.

For people who have not yet read your book: What drew you to Israel?
I was traveling around the world, searching for a purpose in life. After hitchhiking alone through Europe for a year, my goal was to reach India, where I thought I would find a guru. I decided to stop in Israel on the way. I'm Jewish and have relatives here, so I thought it would be a comfortable place to rest before the big trip East. I never dreamed that Israel would become my home.

What were the biggest challenges and rewards in raising four children in Israel?
Our oldest son was born our first year in this country, and I had no family and no fellowship of believers in Eilat. I think that raising children in a different culture than the one you grew up in is always a challenge. But, on the other hand, raising children anywhere isn't easy. All four of our children served in the Israeli Defense Forces which also presented challenges. I am thankful to have raised them in an international, multicultural environment. They feel very Israeli, but have three passports and are citizens of the world. The best part is seeing them develop into independent adults whom I enjoy being with.

How did you and John get started running a hostel?
There are several reasons. Both of us had traveled a lot and felt that we understood what kind of place backpackers were looking for. At the time, no such hostel existed in Eilat. When we started the Shelter we had three children and couldn't travel as we used to, so a hostel enabled us to keep meeting people without leaving home. Furthermore, we have always opened up our home to guests and we really needed a hostel just to accommodate all the folks who were staying with us!

Did you know you wanted to write a book about your journey on the Israel Trail before you hiked it, or was it a decision you made afterward?
Before we walked the Israel Trail I had started a book about our experience in running the Shelter Hostel. So writing a book was on my mind. I thought that our journey on the Trail would be a good subject for a book, so I kept a diary of our walk for that purpose.

You find many parallels between your walk on the Shvil Israel (the Israel Trail) and your spiritual walk.
I love maps and when I'm hiking I enjoy checking the map often. That way, even if I get off the path, I can't stray too far. I make sure I read my Bible every day also to keep me on the right path for my life. Another lesson I thought of is that sometimes on a hike we come to a crossroads and have to make a decision about which way to go. Once we've chosen a particular trail, I try to be satisfied and appreciate it. Even if it isn't what I'd thought, I can always enjoy and learn something from it.

Which languages do you speak?
Besides English, I speak Hebrew and Dutch (John is from Holland), fluently, and some French, which I studied in school.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse?
I have many favorites, but there's one special chapter -- Isaiah 53. In verse 6 is the key: "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all." It is amazing how clearly Isaiah speaks about the Messiah here, 700 years before Yeshua, Jesus, was born. Many Israelis, when they read this chapter for the first time, think they are reading a portion of the New Testament.

What would readers be surprised to know about you?
When people meet me today they are often surprised to hear I was a hippie/traveler and that I lived for three years in Alaska in an Eskimo village above the Arctic Circle.

Margie's Comments: When I first received the books to review this month for Cladach Publishing, this was the first book that got my attention. What a wonderful read for someone who has never been to Israel but would dearly love to someday. The experiences Judith shares are thought-provoking, entertaining, and full of wonderful people and history. I was challenged and encouraged in my walk with Christ as the places and events of the Bible came alive to me. I highly recommend Walk the Land.

Storm Tossed by Jake Porter

These are two very different books, except that they both touch on the Middle East. And both stories tell what happened when the author walked the path of obedience to God. They both describe a life that is transformed by the presence and power of Christ. 

The first book:
  Book Description :By the time Jake was nineteen he was feeding an insatiable lust that was looking for opportunities to act out. He found those opportunities in Mediterranean ports while serving as an aviation ordnanceman aboard the Naval aircraft carrier, USS America. At a time when the Gulf War was unfolding, Jake should have been totally committed to God and country. However, the seedy world of pornography and prostitution sabotaged his Christian life and made his commitment to the Navy a low priority. Even later, as a church-going civilian, his sins came back to haunt him. The author doesn't pull any punches in this hard-hitting story that takes the reader from the Persian Gulf War zone and the gritty underworld of prostitution to the glorious rapture of God's saving, delivering grace.

Ordering Info :
172 pages
Price: $12.99
Available through and other online retailers, or through bookstores anywhere.

The Amazon Kindle version is FREE March 29 - April 2 here .

Review Quote:
"An inspirational and engaging read from beginning to end." ~ Midwest Book Review

About the Author:
The life experiences of Jake Porter include being shot at a bank ATM, while working as an armored-vehicle driver; serving in the U.S. Navy during Desert Storm; and living in California, Montana, and Arizona, where he now resides with his wife. They have two young adult children, just leaving the nest.
Interview with Jake Porter:
STORM TOSSED deals with a sensitive topic. Why is your story and message needed today?
The content of this book is an honest account of my personal struggle with pornography and sexual addiction. Lust is a sin most Christian men battle against, but it is the one area in our lives we don't want to discuss. For the most part, the church and its leaders are silent on the topic. It's too dirty and too uncomfortable to address for most of us; but shying away from it isn't going to help us defeat this powerful weapon of Satan. STORM TOSSED doesn't pull any punches by tiptoeing around the subject matter.

Help us understand how a "Christian" who has grown up in the church might become a "sex addict."
Addictions are used to fill a void in our lives. Instead of turning to Christ, we may fill that hole by turning to drugs, alcohol, gambling, or overeating. In my case, I soothed my loneliness and feelings of failure with pornography and prostitutes. It didn't take long for me to be consumed with those activities. Even after I was aware of the problem, I couldn't stop. I felt ashamed, and thought I was the only one in the world who struggled with it. The problem only worsened and it began to eat away at my sanity.

My book will show readers that the roots of sexual sin are similar to idolatry and witchcraft. There is no distinction between obsessively looking at pornographic photos and kneeling before a graven image. The pornographers of the world are out to hook men and boys - and increasingly women - with their product just like a drug dealer does. One taste and they're hooked. Today, the Internet has made sex/porn addiction even more widespread.

(As a side note: The Bush Administration got some laws passed that forbid U.S. military personnel and civilians from engaging in activities overseas that would be illegal in the States. This includes visiting places that deal in human trafficking and child prostitution.) How well it is enforced, I don't know.

What hope is there?
When I cried out to God for help, He answered me. My story offers no guarantee of how to overcome sexual addiction, but it does candidly discuss what worked for me. Unless we men are free from this disabling sin, we can never be the husbands and fathers God has called us to be.

 Margie's comments: This was difficult for me to read, mostly because of the subject matter. However it is a story of God's forgiveness, grace, and redemption. Well worth the read as this is a topic most would like to avoid talking about. I appreciate the author's candid and honest testimony throughout the story he's lived.

The second memoir is in a separate post.