Her Secret Weapon (A Year of Loving Dangerously, Book 4)

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When Politico was started a decade ago, the aim was to pull back the curtain on politics. Yet it still feels as if the media is missing something big in the coverage. Instead, we get character sketches of two untrustworthy and unlikable candidates. She was scathing and smart like Dowd, but circumspect in a way that made her readers think harder, and try harder to make sense of it all.

Dowd surely captures the theater of our politics better than anyone else: The Clintons. The Trumps. The Obamas. The Bushes.

Her Secret Weapon by Beverly Barton

She has been in their heads as long as they have been on our minds. Otherwise, it may be too much and too little too soon. Jim VandeHei is a co-founder and the former chief executive of Politico. He is starting a new media company, beginning next year.

One day, Glen Johnson, the pastor of the church, drove up to see a giant sign out front featuring a single word in big letters: SEX. Inside, he found John and Michelle onstage, answering texts from parishioners on a range of explicit topics: What about sex toys? What about anal sex?

By , barely a decade after it opened, Living Hope had over 2, members—the threshold for being considered a mega-church. Outreach Magazine, a Christian publication that tracks American ministries, ranked it as the seventh-fasting-growing church in the country. Bishop moved his growing congregation into a former department store in a mega-mall, with even more room for theatrical productions. He brought in a broken Cessna and surrounded it with palm trees for a sermon based on the TV show Lost. During the show, as the beast lumbered past him onstage, Bishop reached out to pet it—something he had specifically been warned not to do.

Suddenly, the cat reared up on its hind legs, slashing its thick paws at Bishop. With a faint smile, he watched as the trainer pulled Sundar back on his chain. Then Bishop spoke to the congregation as calmly as ever.


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Unlike a restaurant chain, Bishop measured his success in the number of souls he saved. But running a mega-church also provided a decent living—enough to afford a 5,square-foot home with a three-car garage, as well as a three-bedroom vacation home in a gated community in Cabo San Lucas. During one trip to Mexico, Bishop decided to set up shop in an old synagogue. Dubbed Laguna Cabo, the church held services for local merchants in a makeshift tent on the beach. For eight months, as he built the church, he traveled back and forth to Cabo. Then, one night, the danger came to him. Answering a knock at his door, Bishop was confronted by a well-dressed Mexican man with a scruffy beard.

Taking a seat, he took out a nine-millimeter Glock and placed it on the table. Why do you fly out every Thursday and come back every Monday? Did I do something wrong? Bishop later learned that his visitor was a feared hitman for New Generation, the powerful local drug cartel. Two weeks later, his inquiries completed, the man returned to let Bishop off the hook. Then he took out a small bag of cocaine. The man snorted his share, but let Bishop get away with rubbing some coke on his teeth.

As soon as the man left, Bishop raced to the bathroom and washed out his mouth. His year-old son, David, had been experimenting with drugs and courting trouble with the law since age 13, when he was busted for breaking into a store to steal cigarettes. After high school, his parents convinced him to join the Navy to straighten out. But David, who says he was sexually assaulted by a group of sailors, returned home with P. His father tried to help, in part, by turning Living Hope into a beacon for others struggling with addiction.

His clientele were the very same homeless people and addicts his father was trying to save. John Bishop arrives for his sentencing at the federal courthouse in San Diego on September 21, In fact, as he struggled to keep up with the demands of his fast-growing ministry, he was on the verge of his own fall from grace.

Year of living dangerously: 8 ways the world became more dangerous in 2017

The Bible is full of epic tales about fortunate men who screw up: Adam eating the apple, Moses killing a slave overseer, King David breaking every commandment in sight. Overweight and middle-aged, he began popping painkillers after a double knee replacement. He also started drinking—a Grey Goose on the rocks here, another there—until it overtook him as it had his father years before. He was also, she learned, having an affair. One day, a group of women at the church confronted Michelle, telling her that Bishop had slept with a church employee.

Board members at the church were furious.

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In November , Bishop was fired as pastor, as was the rest of his family. Suddenly, everything he had worked so hard for was gone. The man who had attracted the unchurched in record numbers was now unchurched himself. After sobering up at a rehab facility in Malibu, Bishop tried to reconcile with Michelle. As angry as she felt, she believed in forgiveness, and was struggling to keep their marriage together. He decided to find out. But I got to go into the ditch to know how to pull you out.

Late one night at home, Bishop found David and a friend in the garage bay he had converted into a library lined with 7, books, most of them on Christianity and religion. David, who had just shot up, was nodding off, his works spread out beside him. Bishop turned to the friend. Telling him to lean his head back, she used a syringe to squirt several drops of heroin into his eye.

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It was like being drunk times He stumbled into the bathroom to throw up for what seemed like an hour. The next morning, David chastised his friend for getting his father high. But Bishop insisted it was his choice. I have nothing to lose. Nothing to gain.

Maybe I should be a drug addict. David, for his part, was desperate to reconnect. So father and son set out on a road trip to Cabo.

They slept in crappy motels, listened to Eminem, ate greasy burgers at fast food joints, and took heroin and meth. The more drugs they did together, the closer they felt. Bishop tried his hand at selling timeshares in Cabo. But without his church and his marriage, he felt lost.

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There was a bar in Cabo that let people fight for kicks, as others egged them on, just as his uncles had done when he was a kid. Bishop started going there every night, stumbling home bloodied and broken. His son, meanwhile, began to introduce Bishop to the ways of the street. Paranormal foresight is both a gift and a curse for Syssi, a mortal seeress. In her dreams, she sees a mysterious stranger both alluring yet dangerous. When she is hired at a neuroscience lab, her life changes forever.

Then, Syssi meets Kian, and she recognizes him as the stranger from her dreams. He lets her live if she agrees to train at the Institute of the Shadow Fae. The heat turns all the way up between Arianna and Ruadan, but Arianna will have to make choices that could change it all. When Emma moves to the small town of Astoria, Oregon, she is told not to fraternize with the elites, especially her bad-boy neighbor, Lexen Darken.

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Emeline McAra has a tender heart but her tough side is growing with her anger. Being together could mean a war and total devastation, but they need each other in more ways they ever could have predicted. Makarios of Kronos is a rebel smuggler who gets captured by the Hive. When he manages to escape to another type of prison, the Colony, he has a chance at freedom. Regina Woodward, a fierce fox shifter, has just about given up on love until her best friend Nessa has the wild idea to set her up with Oscar Torres.

Oscar is a brick wall emotionally, not willing to let Regina in.