Arla Caraboolad MFT
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About Arla Caraboolad MFT
Arla Caraboolad's new series, Love's Playbook, is the Bible told as a story from a female, family-systems, cosmic-war, good-God perspective. Why? The Bible was written by men, who use few words, were mostly warriors, and who focus on facts with little or no emotion or explanation. She believes God's story could engage us and make us want to keep reading! After 30 years as a family therapist she understands that everyone sees through filters, even allowing for inspiration. Translation is not an exact science!
Beginning with episode one, God decides to go ahead with our creation even though it has been long delayed by a cosmic war between good and evil, and this little book ends with a detailed account of our creation. Then follow two books on the stories of Genesis, then Job, a simplified version of the oldest and most celebrated literary work. Next is Exodus, a new look at Moses' own story; book 6, Cosmic Crisis, goes through Deuteronomy and says God's laws keep us! If you have wanted to read the Bible but got bogged down, couldn't understand, or it scared you, (like it did her) this series is for you! It's full of carefully researched backstory, along with imagination to reveal the truth of an all-good God in a fun and easy-to-read story version. Give it a try. You can always check out the facts, most of them are in the notes. Enjoy falling in love with a new picture of God. Book 7, My Laws Will Keep You, is one of her favorite because of the story of Ruth, a wonderful presentation of the good news about God. To date book 10--Solomon through Elisha--is out!
Her first job after college was teaching high school English and math at the women's prison in California (1972). There, the question she heard most, "If there is a loving God, why did He allow what happened to me as a child?" begin 40 years of research about why we suffer, had culminated in her first book, The Worst Evil--Losing Yourself (2011).
Arla's adventure, after marriage, motherhood, and divorce, continued with going back to graduate school and becoming a Family Systems Therapist in 1987. Her goal is to make huge, difficult topics simple, and to help people find their true selves and an authentic relationship with God, who by the way, is all good.
Born in Minnesota, Arla married there in 1978, and had her daughter. This was after being transplanted in Southern California in 1972, from Lincoln, Nebraska, where she grew up and graduated from college.
While in Minnesota she owned a natural foods restaurant from 1976-79. Health had become another passion, leading to publishing a children's book Tommy Tortoise, and recently both an ebook and workbook version of Love Losing. A vegan cookbook that changes your focus from your looks to your health--reasonably--but it takes commitment to do the work of facing your triggers. (That's how she lost 30 lbs. and never thought about weight again. That plus exercise--she exercised on a mini trampoline for 25 years until she shattered her ankle in a car accident! And says, anyone can walk on a mini-trampoline for 5 min. a day. Now she uses a body ball.)
Arla moved back to California with her daughter in 1982 after a divorce. She says, "That was when I really learned to trust God, living as a single parent on $200 a month!" She went back to school at Loma Linda University and earned a Masters degree in Family Life Education.
She remarried Richard and became a step-mom to two more children. More education. She was licensed as an MFT in California in 1992. And now celebrates nine grandchildren!
She keeps up with a blog that posts here and her website--the life of Jesus in a year--called Know God in a Year, God-in-Box--Your Inbox from http://Godhelps.net and invites you to check it out.
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Before writing this I have been known to say, "Pain is inevitable on this planet; suffering is optional." More Buddhist than Christian, it is a valid earmark for attitude or perspective. I won't tell you what I think, because I haven't fully finished formulating it. This is a book that requires careful consideration of all the factors involved. Writing it held some big surprises for my point of view--and this is very familiar territory for me. Looking through a family systems lens was helpful to understanding but not necessarily to how I felt.
This is the record that begins with the split kingdoms of Judah and Israel. In approximately one hundred years Israel will not exist. Then Jonah the prophet has his hour on the stage learning what he needs to learn. He grew up in fear of the Syrians and Assyrians who were and still are ravaging and pillaging from Egypt to Chaldea. A succession of kings and prophets lead from Jonah, Amos and Hosea through Isaiah and Jeremiah. Great men with difficult missions. Some of the kings were responsive and had thrilling rescues; some had tantrums and killed the prophets. Finally and sadly Jerusalem is burned.
Full-disclosure, I struggled writing this part of the Bible even Isaiah, which is my favorite book and partially included here. I have loved Isaiah's symbols and prophecies which helped make sense of the question of evil allowed by a good God. Enjoy these stories, good, sad, and ugly. The bit of researched back-story added is true to Spirit.
In this episode (Exodus 24--Deuteronomy) one can see that God’s laws and rules all come from parental love! Israel had just come out of slavery and functioned on a reward and punishment level of development--their mindset needed high structure and high nurture which Adonai gave them. He carefully spelled out all of His expectations for them. The problem was they didn't all want to obey. Just like children, they always pushed the boundaries and complained at any lack. They were very susceptible to the suggestions of the dark side, believing and acting out most of them, and making it very difficult for God to do what He wanted to do for them.
It isn’t always easy to understand God’s voice or actions unless you understand this huge backstory of a universal war, and all the little ones interconnecting with it. God's minor voice is His preferred will. His major voice is His allowed will.
Arla hopes to get people reading scripture again, enjoying it, understanding it, and falling in love with God. She would love for people to see that God's law is really just love--the character of all three Abba, Adonai and Ruach--and will keep us safe and happy until this war between good and evil is over. "His laws will keep us!" as it says in the Greek interlinear translation of John 14:15.
It’s true, the easiest way to lose weight is to stop thinking about food. But if food has become what you look forward to, your comfort, or your reward, that is difficult.
Sometimes education is helpful, especially if you have never learned how to be healthy, or how to eat healthy. But education can only take you so far without motivation. And willpower is so easy to override.
Eating is emotional.
That’s why Love Losing is here—to stir up your “want to” to give a common-sense, holistic definition to “healthy,” to discover, face, and heal the things that keep you stuck, and finally to help with your plan, menus, and recipes.
Being healthy is NOT just about food. And losing is not about starving.
Health starts with the way you think and feel about yourself.
Are you hard on yourself? Indulgent? Or just mindless? Being healthy is too much work?
Make it an adventure, tweak your focus, and learn what your body wants and needs. Then see how it gives back in energy, vitality and weight loss without you focusing on it.
Choose your way to a new healthy you!
Joshua doesn’t say anything. He is grieving Moses, and is feeling completely inadequate to take Moses’ place, and lead this huge throng of people. He’s thinking I can’t do this! I’m not Moses!
And so Adonai says, “It’s time to let Moses go. I’m their real leader and I will be with you just like I was with him. Follow My ways, and don’t veer right or left. My ways will insure success.” Joshua feels overwhelmed because he doesn’t know the law well enough. So God tells him, “Don’t be afraid, just be mindful and meditate on them. My laws will keep you.” (Jesus also says that in the Greek of John 14:15!)
Then Joshua takes on his leadership, to the point that he makes big mistakes because he forgets to ask Adonai for direction!
Can you relate? We seem to easily slide into one ditch or the other. By the end of the book, Joshua “gets it”—God’s laws are just relationship! But he worries that those under him don’t know that. And he is right. Even so Joshua was a great leader and a friend of God because he was teachable, another word for humble.
Here are the Biblical accounts of Joshua and Ruth with the gaps filled in to make an easy-to-read engaging story true to God’s heart, which is all good even if the people aren’t. Ruth is a beautiful love-story with the same message, this time to outsiders! It makes a point of noting the other two foreign women in the lineage of Messiah. Tamar’s story is in episode 3, and Rahab’s is here in Joshua’s story, and decidedly linked to Ruth’s. Enjoy!
Many say this story is just myth because there is no archaeological evidence. However, there is an amazing amount of precise and weighty evidence if you look at the right time--the time given for the exodus in 1 Kings 6:1. Archaeologists are looking 200 years too late. One word, “Ramses”, has thrown off the whole research world because Ramses renamed Tanis to his name when he became Pharaoh, so a late copyist of the sacred writings updated the name of Tanis to Ramses, for geographic understanding. Most probably he never dreamed he would throw the world off. But there was a mastermind behind it—an enemy who didn’t want Exodus to have historical validation. Why? It would validate God’s presence and actions in history, our world. There are cosmic beings and people who don’t want that, so the war of good and evil continues.
Filmmaker Timothy Mahoney was obsessed with knowing the truth, and has uncovered massive archaeological and historical evidence of the exodus. You can take his ten-year journey with him in about two hours in his film Patterns of Evidence Exodus. It is eye-opening, disturbing, confirming, confronting and comforting all at the same time!
Whether you watch Mahoney’s film first, or read the book first, it doesn’t matter, you will be blessed and enlightened by a God who is powerful, loving, relational, and most of all present! And so the cosmic Chess continues that started in Love’s Playbook, episode one.
Most people who believe in Him would say yes. But still they worry, and are afraid. When bad things happen, they ask "Why God?" It usually means, "Why did you let this happen?" It's a valid question. If God is all powerful and all good, why does He let bad things happen?
This question has stumped devotees of His since time began, and yet they insist that God is good. Is there a reason? Is it reasonable to believe in a good God? One that scripture describes as all good, with "no darkness in Him at all"?
If you have ever wondered why we suffer, and how suffering makes sense in the face of a loving God, this is your book--your series of books. It turns the Bible into a story for adults, a love story, but also a story of war and loss, of incredible risks and freedom. God took the risks because He believes so much in love; and only in freedom is love real. My friend calls it the back story. This series fills in the back story of the Bible, being as true to research and the Spirit of the Bible as possible.
If you've ever tried to read the Bible.and failed, this is written for you, and for anyone who would like to understand many things that don't make sense in that book. There are many things that don't seem right. Hopefully the characters will come to life and you can walk a while with them, and understand the back story.Be prepared for some surprises. This is the Bible like you've never read it!
If God is all good and all powerful, why would He
allow these? Does any of this pain and suffering have meaning? How?
Sacred writings speak of a war between good and
evil--giving insights into why it started. Love’s Playbook is a spiritual fantasy built on the
outline given--the bare bones fleshed out and given breath.
Read and fall in love with a God so good and so powerful that evil is allowed to exist and thrive. Get the big-picture perspective. Read and understand why we suffer, and draw your own conclusions. This is the first book in a new series.
As the author I think the most poignant point of the book is that most of the Israelites didn't know what they were missing. The majority never knew what God was like personally. My mind goes back to episode 2 and Abraham who has a true friendship with God, and episode 5 where Moses also has a friendship with the Mighty Adonai.
In this volume there is also Esther the orphan who God makes the Queen of Persia to save the Jews, and Ezra who wants to understand God's law and falls in love with Them. Also Nehemiah the steady, skilled and faith-filled project manager for Ruach who loses it on the people when they turn from God. They all had strong friendships with Elohim.
Their people could have had it all: love, friendship, protection. But we have to want it. They didn't as a whole. God tried so hard. Were they scared of God? Or did they just want what they wanted?
What we want is never as good as what God wants for us! And if this series makes anyone want that intimate friendship with the all-good Abba, Adonai, and Ruach, writing this Bible with backstory has been worth all the effort! Enjoy.
David the main character in this book and the greatest king of Israel. He wasn't perfect--in fact he was very human, and made some huge mistakes, but he knew God as few others have.
Being a king taxes even the purest commitment to God. The things men desire--wealth, power, ease--are the biggest test of character. And of course Satan asks for that test. The difference trusting God makes is vividly seen in the stories of Saul and David. One continually justified himself; the other immediately saw himself and admitted his faults. And that teachability allowed God to bless David with honor and success. But the blessings along with peace almost took him out. He became complacent, perhaps jaded.
Walk a while with the first two kings of Israel complete with emotion and backstory filled in, yet true to the history and to the heart of a God who is all good. See for yourself the cosmic difference God makes.