Bible Scholar or Theologian? Yes

Another great blog post from my friend over at The W.onderful W.orld of W.adholms.  Man, I miss this family!

Bible Scholar or Theologian? Yes.

Advertisements

Book Review: King by RJ Larson

King by RJ Larson was a fantastic 3rd book in the Books of the Infinite Trilogy.

The third book follows the decisions that the king or Akabe is making.  Akabe is frustrated because the Infinite is silent and so instead of waiting in patience, Akabe starts making decisions based on what he thinks the Infinite wants…not on what the Infinite actually wants.  Akabe flounders and makes tons of mistakes.  There’s a lot of espionage afoot, assassination attempts and general unrest in may different areas of his life and Akabe feels alone.

We can see the direct parallels between Akabe and how the Kings of the Bible must have felt and their trials and tribulations.  Rebuilding when everything has been destroyed with enemies at all sides, it’s no wonder they sometimes made huge blunders!  I sometimes have a hard time deciding what we are going to have for supper…so I cannot imagine the magnitude of pressure these great men must have gone through.  Whole nations rested on their shoulders.

RJ Larson introduces us to a new character, Akabes Queen, who at times I feel equal parts pity and anger.  She irritates me because she is steadfast in her ignorance.  But then after reading about her life with her family, her mistrust is understandable.  I don’t actually get to like her until the very end.

The plot is fast-moving and I would say the only challenge a reader would have is that if they did not read either Prophet (Book 1) or Judge (Book 2) they might get a little lost.  A lot of the book comes from prior knowledge of what happened in the first two books.  I don’t think it would be necessary to read the first two books, though I highly recommend it, to be able to get the gist of the story, but if you were to pick up this book without prior knowledge, I think the reader would get a little lost.

Ella and Kein are perfect in their own way.  Kein has matured so much and would be a person I would like to call friend.  He exemplifies meekness and humility while Ella is the picture of pure obedience, even though she doesn’t want to she does.  I can totally commiserate with Ella.  And even in fear, she rests in the Creator, the Infinite to get her through.

All in all, King was a well written end to an amazing trilogy.  It was fast paced, action packed and exciting.  There are things that made me happy (FINALLY!!! but I won’t tell you Gentle Reader what happens) and there are things that made me irritated with the wilfulness of the characters.

I was sent this book by Bethany House Publishers and I am not required to give a favorable review, but I liked it, so I did.

The Lord’s Prayer Revisited

I sometimes have a challenge going to sleep at night.  My mind races.  My heart quickens and I start to slide into worry.  I have learned that breathing helps…counting backward from 300 by 3’s helps…but nothing works as well as when I contemplate The Lord’s Prayer.  Last night, as I tried to get my mind to rest…these were the thoughts I was thinking before I fell asleep.  I hope, gentle reader…that you enjoy my ramblings…and next time you say the Lords Prayer, you contemplate the commitment you are making.  God’s Blessing Be on you today…and every day!

“Our Father…”

He is Our Father.  He is my father.  He is the father of all.  Wait.  He is My Father.  HE is MY Father?  Wait.  HE IS MY FATHER!  I have a heavenly inheritance from the MOST HIGH GOD.  He says He formed me in my mother’s womb.  He knew me (HE KNEW ME?!) before I was born.  He knows the plans He has for me.  And His plans, are so much greater than what I know…or can even imagine for myself.  And He is MY Father.  He loves me.  He made me fearfully and wonderfully!  What an amazing inheritance!  I am a child of the Most High God.  Hallelujah!

“For you created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. [14] I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139: 13-14

“‘For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. [12] Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. [13] You will see me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’ Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)

“Who Art in Heaven…”

Your resting place, Your home is in heaven.  It is more than what I can see or even imagine.  And You have promised me a room in Your heavenly kingdom.  This is part of my inheritance!  Amen!

“He said:

“[3]Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  [4]Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.  [5]Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.  [6]Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.  [7]Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.  [8]Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.  [9]Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.  [10]Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew 5: 3-10 (NIV)

“Hallowed be Thy Name…”

Your name is SO powerful.  You are “El Shaddai” God Almighty, “Elohim” Creator, “Jehovah Jirah” God will Provide, “Jehovah Rapha” God who Heals, “Abba” Father.  Your name is to be revered and meant as blessing, a praising, not a curse.  Never to be taken in a funny or distasteful or ugly way.  Father God, I ask that You forgive me for ever thinking that Your name was just something to say.  It is SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT!  I call upon you in times of strife and abundance and I thank You all the days of my life…because I woke up this morning.  I have a family.  We are healthy and happy.  Thank You Father God for this wonderful crazy plan You have for me.

“Thy Kingdom Come…”

I am waiting.  I want to be there.  I will be there.  But Lord, You know my fickle heart.  I want to see my children grow old.  I want to hold my grandchildren.  Can You please make that happen?  Can You be so kind as to grant us, Your ungrateful children, some more time?  I cannot promise that we will be better as humans.  In fact, You know the spiritual warfare everyone on earth is facing…but we are fighting.  With Your word, and Your love and Your Spirit…we are fighting the good fight.  We love You, Father God.

“Thy Will be Done…”

Your will is so plain.  You gave us Your son, Yourself…and told us how to behave.

Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. [38] This is the first and greatest commandment. [39] And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’. [40] All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV)

“On Earth as it is in Heaven”

What would happen if, we as humans, behaved like our angelic hosts in heaven?  From what I have read…from folks who have gone to heaven and then returned…there is only Love.  There is only music and light.  There is no illness, no anger, no fear.  Just pure love and light.  We CAN emulate that here on earth.  We could if we wanted to.  How difficult would it be to be nice and courteous?  Oh, but our flesh is weak.  And so we sow seeds of discontent and allow others to sow those seeds in our lives.  Let’s be thankful.  Let’s be grateful.  That we can inherit the kingdom of heaven.  I can imagine what Eden was like…Heaven on Earth.  No death, no sin, no envy or anger or fear.  We had it here…and we, lowly humans that we are, decided to throw it away.  Sigh.

“Give Us This Day…”

Every single day is new.  You created this beautiful world for me and mine.  And every single day is a blessing, a covenant.  It holds something NEW every single day.  How great You are, Father God.  You make beauty from ashes.  And You gave this all to us.  Thank You for waking this morning.  Thank You for the breath that fills my body, unimpeded.  Thank You that live in this nation, on this earth.  How can I serve You better, Lord?  How can I be what You want me to be?  Show me…speak to me…

“Our Daily Bread…”

You word.  Every single day.  Write it on our hearts.  And in our minds.  You already have.  That was the new covenant that You made with us.  Instead of being written on stone and being unattainable, Your wrote it on our hearts and want to have a personal relationship with us.  Thank You.  We just need to take the effort to pick up the scripture and make it a daily habit.  Like drinking coffee which wakes my body up, Your word is a precious balm to my world-weary, heart sore, soul.

“And Forgive Us our Trespasses”

You have promised to forgive us.  When Your Son, Jesus, died upon the cross and then was resurrected…it was your covenant with us that our sins would be forgiven.  Oh, Lord…I am so unworthy of that great love.  How great Your love for us, that held your Son upon that lonely tree.  How great the gift!  How great the Love!  That He would DIE for even me. (Lyrics-How Great the Love)

“Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. [9] He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. [10] All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of his covenant. [11] For the sake of your name, Lord, forgive my iniquity, though it is great.” Psalm 25: 8-11 (NIV)

“As We Forgive those Who Trespass Against Us”

We are commanded to forgive others because is we cannot give those folks the grace that our Good Lord showed us…then we are lost.

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. [15] But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV)

He forgives our iniquity, our greed, our slovenly behavior, our lust…all those things that the flesh fights against.  Confess with your mouth and you will be forgiven.  Turn away from the sin…and you will be forgiven.  He is so good to us and we do not deserve his graciousness.

“And Lead Us Not into Temptation”

Would the Lord, our Father God lead us into temptation?  This could be argued, I suppose…since God did make us.  He gave us the ability to have free will.  I do not think he intended for us to be tempted…but there is the great tempter, Lucifer, who wants us to be less than him.  Remember, gentle reader…we were given free will, while the Angels in heaven were not.  How jealous and angry do you think some of the Angels were when they found this out?  Pretty mad I would say.  And now, thanks to the devil…we have sin.  We have all these things.  And he still wants us to turn our backs against God.  By telling us lies…by making us believe there is no God…when ALL of creation (and ironically, even the devil himself was formed by God) was formed by God’s own hands.  You ARE SO MUCH MORE THAN THE SUM OF YOUR PARTS, dear one.  And Father God, He wants all of you!  Take your ugly to Him.  He, who heals…who loves…who forgives.  He wants You!

“But Deliver Us from Evil, Amen.”

Thank You, Father God.  From keeping us from despair.  For giving us life and hope and light.  You are amazing and I am so grateful that you believe in us lowly humans.  We can never do enough for you.  And the worst thing would be to be separated from you forever and ever.  I know my place is in heaven.  I know I have a room in Your magnificent palace.  A home…a heavenly home.  Filled with love, and joy and light.  Thank You.

Review: Judge by RJ Larson

I am a litte late getting this post out since I read Judge by RJ Larson back in November.  It’s been a hectic season, to say the least.

I absolutely loved this book by Ms. Larson.  Judge is the second in her “Prophets of Parne” series following the story of Ela Roeh, Kein Lantec and their adventures in the world in which they live.

We meet up with Kien Lantec at the beginning of this story, which is rather interesting.  Usually, sequels keep with the main character, but Ela seems to take a bit of a back seat to what is going on with Kien and how the Infinite decides to use him.  And use him, He does.  Now, please gentle reader, do not worry…Ela is still a driving force in this book…but her character development is well established, Kien not so much.

Judge is action packed, a bit gorier than the last book and the characters become even more well rounded than before.  It’s nice to pick up a book, find the characters you love and still learn new things about them.  They are not stuck in their proverbial “character” ruts.

The parallels between the prophet stories of the Bible and what happens to our main characters is amazing.  And it makes you think.  I mean, really think.  And after you read what happens to Kien, you will know what I mean.  YUCK!

Both my daughter (she’s 13) and I have fallen in love with these books and we are waiting with bated breath for the third book in this series to come out, called “King”.

Judge is action packed, full of good plot lines and engaging.  I love it when a book makes me THINK!!!  And it is totally amazing to be able to share this with my daughter and we get to discuss this story line, the Bible and how God can use everyday people to bring glory to Him.  But, and even if you have never read the Bible, you can easily fall in love with these characters without drawing any sort of parallel.  I guess what I am trying to say is that YOU DO NOT NEED to be well versed on Bible stories to get into these books. 

Blessed reading, brother’s and sister’s!

Breaking a momma’s heart

I happened to walk outside the other day onto our patio.  I don’t know what led me out there…maybe an inkling that something was not quite right.  I didn’t hear the kids playing outside like I normally do.

That’s when I saw it.  My son.  Standing outside his friend’s house looking through the window, while the friend and another neighborhood boy were playing inside.  The crestfallen look on my boy’s face, broke this momma’s heart.

There he stood, in his hand me down Tae-kwon-Do uniform.  He likes to pretend he’s Luke SkyWalker, so he can be like the other boys and play StarWars.  He really likes to play Transformers, but one of the boys doesn’t like that, so they play what he wants to play.  My boy doesn’t care…as long as he gets to play.

“Boy!” I say.  “What are you doing?”

He turns and looks at me, his big brown eyes sad, with tears shimmering on the surface.  “Nothing.”

“Where are the other two?”  I ask.

His head drops a bit and he looks back through the window.  “Inside.”

“Why are you not inside too?”

He shrugs non-committally.  “I don’t know.”  he hangs his head again and scuffs his foot into the dirt.  “They didn’t ask me to.”

I can feel the rapid pulse in my chest and the constriction.  Ah, dear sweet boy…kids can be cruel.  I tell him to come home, but he refuses.  I cannot stand to see him there, looking forlornly through the window as the boys inside literally play right where he can see them.  I order him to come talk to me in the front of our house.

As he starts to leave, the boys try to sneak out of their house so they can run to the upstairs portion and go back inside.  My boy sees them and the tears come in earnest.  He even starts to walk to me, then walks over to the other portion of the house and looks through the window again.

“Come home, son.”  I tell him.  He’s bawling by the time he reaches me.

I hold him tenderly in my arms and tell him to stop crying.  It’s not worth crying over.  He’s only 5 years old and doesn’t get why his “friends” who are 3 years older than him, don’t want to let him play with them. 

Then I remind him to remember what “this” feels like…and to never do it to someone else.  It’s a hard lesson for him to learn.  Kids are mean.  They are rude and they don’t care…unless YOU as the parent, make them care.

The situation reminds me of my own childhood.  I was that kid standing outside my “friends” house…looking in the window, waiting for the other kids to invite me inside.  They never did.  I was good enough to play with when the other kids were not home, but I was not good enough when they did come home.

I remember my mother telling me to forget about it; to just go play by myself; to find someone else to play with.  Who?  I would think.  Who else is there?  I would hide for days in my room after my chores were done…not playing with anyone…until the vicious cycle started again.  I would ride my bike by myself…get lost in the woods and play in the creek, pretending to be a lost princess without a home or friends or family.  Yes, I learned to create something out of nothing…but I didn’t want to.

I wanted to belong…sigh…I still do.

My son is tender-hearted.  I don’t want him to lose that…but…I don’t want him to be a doormat either.  As he gets older, I want him to be empathetic, but I also want him to not compromise his faith or beliefs just to fit in.  We have certain rules…we are given certain rules by our Creator.  I think it is best said in the Wisdom of Ben Sira Chapter 6:7-8 (New American Bible)

“When you gain friends, gain them through testing, and do not be quick to trust them.  For there are friends when it suits them, but they will not be around in time of trouble.”

Oh sweet boy…you have so much to learn…as do I.

Speak to My Heart

I want to hear God speak to my heart.  I want Him to tell me where I am supposed to go and what I am supposed to do.  Screw free will.  Just tell me so I can follow the path that is pleasing to You, oh Lord.  It’s a bit lazy and self serving…but I get tired of getting it wrong and starting all over again.  I don’t know if you can relate, gentle reader…but this lady would like some reassurance that what she is doing is right.

Isn’t it funny that we go through half our lives pleasing only ourselves and not caring about what other’s think…but when we finally come to the realization…or we just come to the end of ourselves and hit rock bottom…it’s then that we find our true saving Grace…and His name is Jesus.

When I think about the Love God had for me I can become overwhelmed.  My poor fellow church goers probably thought I was having an anxiety attack during Good Friday services because I was so overcome.  I mean, snot flowing, crying-snorting-overcome.  Not pretty to say the least.  It is so extremely gratifying to know that God loved me so much, He sent His son to be Sin, so that I may be forgiven.  Jesus became a sacrifice for you and for me.  His blood was shed so no other sacrifices needed to be made to atone for our sins to God.  Amazing!  What an incredible gift.

Still…I want God to speak to my heart.  Tell me where He wants me to be.  And it is such a selfish want and need.  Tell God the desires of your heart and He will provide.  I know this is true.  I longed to get back into ice skating…and He provided an amazing opportunity for me to be able to get back on the ice, with a new pair of skates no less…and it was marvelous.  I look forward with anticipation to the winter months (even when it’s -9 outside and even colder in the rink) when I can once again glide across the frozen water.  Heaven!

My heart and mind cries out.  How may I serve You, oh Lord?  How can I help bring about Your Glory and Grace.  And I can hear Him…speaking into that still small place in my heart…and He says…Be Still Child, and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)

So Thank You, Father God.  I know You are my heavenly Father.  You guide my steps and light my path.  You are the author and the finisher.  I will praise You all the days of my life.  Hallelujah and Amen!

Peace be with you, brothers and sisters.  May the light of our Lord and Savior shine upon you today and give you divine inspiration, intervention, inclination…whatever your need may be today.  I pray our Heavenly Father speaks into your heart and lets loose your dream.  I ask for this in Jesus name, Amen.