January – March 2023
About the Book
Brain-talk Meets God-talk is a story that begins in Egypt’s Eastern Desert.
In Part 1, it’s the year AD 356, and a wise old Christian fights his last spiritual battle in the darkness of the desert. Then time-leap forward to this decade in the United States and observe a Christian in Iowa fighting clinical depression.
Discover the connection between the men. Get ready for the hope found in a gift that links them, though they are 1,600 years apart in time and thousands of miles distant in culture and country. They both find serenity and climb out of despair.
Brain-talk Meets God-talk is primarily an instruction manual.
Part 2 is the majority of the book with step-by-step teaching of how to find serenity with a new type of Christian meditation that counters depression and anxiety.
Included are 19 illustrations that show HOW to meditate.
There are 18 Daily Focus meditations with Scriptures that focus on the attributes of God, and each Daily Focus can be used twice to give the reader 36 consecutive days to develop new neural paths and override old and erroneous thinking about God.
There are no controversial doctrines nor does it borrow techniques from Eastern religions. There is a clear focus to honor the Trinity as the reader purposefully and safely makes changes in the brain to experience neuroplasticity.
Steps 1-5 teach the method.
- Follow clear step-by-step directions.
- Merge neurology and theology.
- Enjoy over 30 days of Daily Focus scripts for meditation.
- Cultivate serenity for 20 minutes every day to begin a lifetime of health for the brain.
Great Christian Meditation Tool!
If you’ve been looking for a great meditation tool, this could be it!
Brain-Talk Meets God-Talk enlightened me on the connection between most current meditation practices and Eastern religions, and gave me a very good alternative.
I read this book and started using the meditation practice it teaches while dealing with long-lingering post-concussion syndrome. Because I lost ground in so many of what I considered to be my strongest abilities, and have had a very slow healing process, depression and anxiety have plagued me at times.
This book and its method helped me to refocus my thoughts on my Creator and tap into that connection with Him to refill my mind with peace and hope. I find it to be a very unique and cathartic combination of meditation, worship, and prayer.
This book also has a unique format, which may be confusing to some. The beginning of the book is made up of a series of historical fiction vignettes, which are interesting and give context to this guided meditation practice–but are not necessary to understand or use it.
The second half of the book is the part that actually teaches you about the factual history of the practice and how to do it, explains about the beads and their purpose, and gives you a series of meditations based on Bible verses.
A set of Anglican prayer beads is used as a focus tool for this practice. The meditations can definitely be done without the beads, but the beads do help me to keep my place and keep my mind from wandering. If you like creating bead jewelry, making your own set will be a snap for you. I enjoyed it and made a few different sets! There are structural guidelines for this in the book, but if you’d like a written or video tutorial, let me know!
If you don’t want to make your own, you can click the buttons to find a set on Amazon or use the other referral links provided by the author on his page.
One last note: you may find the Kindle/ebook version of this book the most useful in practice–I always have to either take a picture of the meditation with my iPad, or stick the top half of the book under something to keep it open while I do the meditations. When the second book of meditations comes out, I will be buying the Kindle version from the start.
Enjoy! If you benefit from this book, I’d love to hear about it! If you’d like to see additional resources (like visual adaptations of the meditations, or a “how-to”), please email me and let me know!
About the Books
Teach writing skills using this innovative new approach that has been proven to work in classrooms just like yours. This revised and updated edition of the book also includes an enhanced CD filled with additional Four Square examples, activities, and writing exercises.
The Four Square method can be used with all forms of writing and will fit any reading or language arts program. This step-by-step approach is built around a simple graphic organizer that first shows students how to collect ideas and then helps them use those ideas to create clear and polished prose.
Open-ended reproducibles make the technique accessible to writers of all ability ranges. Also great for content area writing.
Simple, Easy to Use, Flexible!
This is an excellent series! The books do not have any “fluff;” they are filled with well-scaffolded exercises. Learners start from the very basics of identifying things that do and do not belong in the same category (or main idea/topic) — using pictures — and work toward much more complex paragraph and essay-writing skills.
What I loved about the Four Square Writing Method the most was its ability to flex and be used for just about any kind of writing (including stories). No need to have or learn multiple organizers for each new kind of writing! It’s also easy to remember and create one on a piece of scratch paper if needed.
I was able to modify this method for use with students qualifying for alternate assessment in writing. I put together a laminated choice folder with several velcro strips on each side, labeled baggies of many generic and reading-related choices with words and pictures (individually and together), and a laminated folder with a 4 Square organizer with velcro strips in each box on one side, and velcro “sentence strips” for use on the other side. Using this setup, and combining it with plastic magnetic letters or a choice of markers, students who had never written anything resembling a sentence later learned to write not only sentences, but paragraphs, with very little (or no) prompting to make choices! I also developed similar modifications using electronic choices in an iPad app.
A third way I adapted this organizer during my twelve years as a special education teacher was for students with dysgraphia. I made an electronic version with form fields that could be filled out using dictation, and then the “first draft” copied and pasted from the organizer to a new document for further revision and editing. These can be used independently by most verbal students with just a little training and patience on the dictation part — using either an iPad or a computer (or both). If you’re interested in this accommodation, click the button to download your chosen version (Word, PDF, or Google Doc) for free, as well as some additional instructions about how to use it!
About the Book
In 3019, biological and spiritual purity equal survival.
As Dean of Security, Shaan believes she’s walking the True Path … but is she? She feels unworthy of the prophecy that saved her from the cryogenic Blessing she now imparts on others. Every day Shaan seeks to bury her indelible biological stains under more devoted service to God and Xianova. She and her two enormous canine lieutenants are feared and revered for hunting Impures.
When Shaan is offered the opportunity to beta test the new Transparency of Thought upgrade, she eagerly accepts. Then, while freezing Impures, she comes mind-to-mind with a young boy whose abilities push her to put everything on the line–her family, her faith, and her life–to track down the Truth.
Christian Dystopian Sci-Fi
Since my review of my own work would probably seem a little biased, I will instead share a couple Goodreads reviews here. There are, of course, more reviews to be had on both Amazon and Goodreads.
“The imagination of the author is mind-blowing. I was skeptical of a sci-fi Christian book, but it was very well written and made you think. I look forward to the next one!”
Julie Kreun, of Sioux Center Public Library, said:
Jen Porter is incredibly creative. This book is such a thought-provoking book. She came to do an author visit at the Sioux Center Library in July ’22, and it was very unusual, as it was an interactive presentation. The participants were given trait cards and based on their traits, would be “frozen” for 200 years. It was a scary read because just like in Star Trek, things predicted in the future sometimes do come true. If you enjoy science fiction, I would definitely recommend the book. I feel it’s for ages 13+ as it can be a little disturbing.
I don’t normally read science fiction books but I would recommend this one. Another thing I appreciated is the list of characters in the back for reference as you do encounter quite a few with some unusual names. I feel this could be a good book club discussion because the main characters enountered some very difficult choices.