Author Archives: possesshispromises

The lyre and the lambs … A review

 

Lyre & Lambs

Sydney Avey’s sequel to The Sheepwalker’s Daughter masterfully walks the reader through the winding path of relationships, faith, and discovery. Set in the sixties, tradition clashes with modernity in one neighborhood. Difference erupted in opposition.

Dee’s mother’s home burned to the ground in The Sheepwalker’s Daughter. Tradition burned.

Dee’s daughter, Valerie, built a modern glass house in its place. After it was built, Dee and her husband, Roger, moved in with Valerie and Andy; two couples living in a glass house. Difference crystalized.

Soon, Father Mike asked the couples if his  “sensitivity group” of at-risk young men could meet in the glass house. Neighbors paced their dogs by and peered through the glass at the boys in their circles during the “sensitvity” meetings.

Then, one-by-one young relatives make their home in the glass house. One from New York. Another from Navarre, a Spanish province. The third from Israel.

Two couples … two generations; three young people … three very different cultures … all living in one very modern house that the neighborhood glared into. Mix with that regular gatherings of noisy young men, and the neighborhood erupts in anger; demands from a City Councilman, angry town hall meetings, and threats become the norm.

Why did we kill Christ? He offered something good, but we couldn’t get past the challenge to be different. If I understood why people are so dead set against what looks different, I might understand what’s behind our neighbors’ opposition to everything we do.

With these clashes, Dee examines her traditional thinking and her judgments of her neighbors, her mother, her daughter, Father Mike, one young man, and herself. The “what if” questions bombard her mind.

One day, a body is found in glass house’s backyard, and life in the glass house unravels.

Lord, I can’t imagine how this will all work out, but You are good. I will watch you work these disasters together for our good, in the way that only You can. Give me courage to face this day.

With the letting go, comes freedom.

The Lyre and the Lambs is an enjoyable read for pleasure and for an insightful look at how we sometimes judge differences.

Avey has included thoughtful discussion questions at the end of the novel as well as resources for parents and concerned friends.

I will incline my ear to a proverb;
I will solve my riddle to the music of the lyre. Psalm 49:4

I finished reading and stopped to reflect upon the book’s particularly poignant title. Insightful.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from HopeSprings Books, an imprint of Chalfont House Publishing, in exchange for my honest review.

My prayer

Our Great Shepherd, thank You for leading Sydney Avey as she walked us through the sixties, turmoil on one street, and the growth of Christians as they dealt with their storms in their lives. Bless Sydney with many more books that glorify You. Bless the readers who encounter Sydney’s books, and give them the insight that You would have them glean from Sydney’s writings. Thank You for The Lyre and the Lambs, dear Lord.

Is God working in your life … for good?

Bird

 

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

I’ve used this verse many times to “comfort” myself and others during dark times giving them hope that everything would be all right in the end. I listened to David Jeremiah today on the radio and he pointed out that maybe not everything would end up all right on this side of heaven.

And we know that God causes …

Because of our past experiences with God, because the Bible tells us that God works in our lives and others,
we trust that God causes …

all things to work together for good …

God is good; anything He causes is good. The good and the bad work together, like a cake mix. I love chocolate. Yet, cocoa is bitter until it is mixed with sugar, honey or a fruit. The chocolate works with the sweetener to form a new taste.

When I had fibromyalgia, I trusted God that He would work it for good. However, I did not know what that “good” looked like. I just knew that in the end, it would be a sweet fragrance to His glory. Indeed, the fragrance came in 2010 with a miraculous healing. God has used that healing to give others hope.

for those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

This promise is conditional. You can claim this promise if you love God. If you love God, you are called according to His purpose.

Is God working all things together for good in your life? Won’t you share what God is doing in your life?

My prayer for you

Father, Thank You for this promise-filled verse. You are the One who causes all things to work together for good. Thank You for Your work in us. Thank You for the Bible, for hope, for Your promises. We honor You and praise You for who You are and for Your love.

Who do you need to forgive?

“Please forgive, I beg you, the transgression of your brothers and their sin, for they did you wrong.”’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him. …

 

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. Genesis 50:17-20

Dreamed of the future

Thrown into a pit

Sold in slavery

Accused of rape

Forgotten in prison

Remembered in the palace

Advised because of the dream

Elevated to authority

Destined for preservation

Forgave in love

Healing in family

Foreordained by God.

When your life seems out of control, think of Joseph and thank God that He is in control. Like Joseph, through your trials, you may preserve the life of one or the lives of many. Only God knows now.

My prayer for you

Father, thank You for Your plans for our lives. Thank You for using our troubles to work good for others. Thank You that in our weaknesses, Your power is manifested. Give us the grace to forgive others as You have forgiven us. We love You Lord!

 

 

 

 

Are you looking into the Gospel like the angels, or are you all in?

Parakeet Peering

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look. 1 Peter 1:10-12

I’ve always wondered why the angels long to look into the Gospel. This implies that they don’t comprehend the Gospel.  I’m sure that they can recite the Gospel message. The angels who serve God are holy. They have never broken the Law of God.

I have broken the Law of God. I am a sinner. I have stood ashamed before God. I understand my helpless state. Like Paul, I do what I don’t want to do and neglect acting the way I want to act.

The price for sin is death. Separation from God. Hell.

I deserve eternity in hell.

knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. 1 Peter 1:18-21

From the foundation of the world, Jesus knew that I could not keep the Law. He knew that I could not earn my way to eternity with Him.

From before the creation of the world, Jesus decided that he would pay the price for my sins. For your sins.

That price cost Jesus everything. He shed His glory and entered the world as a baby of poor parents. Forever, Jesus became a man. Jesus roamed this earth for a short season teaching, preaching, healing, and serving.

In darkness He was seized. By firelight, He was denied. In courts, He was illegally tried. In silence, He bore the spittle, beatings, the cursings. In judgment, He was nailed to the cross, pierced through.  In agony, He took on my sins, your sins, my sicknesses, your sicknesses. In relief, He declared “It is finished!”

In hopelessness, His followers buried Jesus.

In victory, Jesus rose from the dead.

In Jesus, the price is paid for my sin, your sin.

In Jesus, I choose to live.

Parakeet in

Are you safe in Him?

My prayer for you:

Father, thank You that we can look into the meaning of the Gospel and understand to a small extent the price You paid to give Your Son to the world, so that we might live eternally with You. Thank You, Jesus, for becoming a man forever and then taking on the world’s sin. You who never knew sin, became sin. Oh, what an eternal price You paid! Thank You. Praise God, Wonderous LOVE!

Biblical Healing and Deliverance … A review

Cover Art

 

 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities,  against powers, and rulers of the darkness of the world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:11-12

Satan doesn’t want Christians to make an impact on the world, and he wants to oppress us any way he can. Chester and Betsy Kylstra have developed an integrated approach to consider when demonic oppression is suspected.

They begin with generational sins and curses, the sins of the fathers mentioned in Exodus 20:1-6. Since Jesus died for my sins, I had not thought that the generational sins and curses applied to present-day Christians. However, the authors define “curses” as patterns of sins in families. They claim that the ancestors’ sins are “like an ‘outstanding’ debt … impacting the man’s descendants (and most likely also others) until it is addressed through confession and cleared out. … The “confessor” is effectively ‘standing in the gap,’ identifying with the family and confessing on its behalf.”

Christians are then to “appropriate” what the work of Jesus on the cross accomplished.

The Kylstras are quick to point out that Christians aren’t forced to sin because of the sins of the fathers and that we choose to sin. However, there is a tendency to certain sins.  Parents teach their children through their good and bad choices. I can see a trend in my family as well as in the Biblical stories.

“Families are belief-shapers without even realizing this truth!”

Once the sins of the fathers and our present-day sins are dealt with, the Kylstras recommend that ungodly beliefs be addressed. These beliefs can range from lies about the nature of God to negative self-talk. For example, “I will always be lonely.” The authors point out that Jesus is always with believers.

Internal soul/spiritual hurts need to be mended through going “inside the memory” and “waiting upon The Lord” to bring healing and to hear from the Holy Spirit.

A hefty 67 pages were spent on demonic oppression. Demons of “shock,” “trauma,” “depression,” “accident” and even one demon named “Workout,” as in “pumping iron,” were mentioned. While I believe that we are oppressed by messengers of Satan as Paul was buffeted, I don’t believe that there is a demon of “accident” or “workout.”

The authors wrote of numerous demons coming out of the believers who they ministered to. They were quick to point out that Christians cannot be possessed by demons, but that they can be oppressed by demons.

As with any book on Christianity, we are to search the Scriptures and weigh what we are reading by the whole counsel of God. Many Scriptures were listed, and there was much to think about in this book. Also, there were Scriptures taken out of context or referenced but not written within the text.

We do have ungodly beliefs that we need to correct. We do learn from our parents. We do have emotional hurts that only God can heal. We are oppressed by Satan’s messengers during periods in our lives.

When Peter stepped out onto the water, his eyes were on Jesus. When Peter’s eyes looked at the storm, he sank.

When I looked at the pain of my fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, I defined myself by that pain and distress. When I looked at the promises of God and told Him that I wanted more of Him, whether or not He healed me, He gave me more of Him AND healing, almost four years ago.

Instead of dwelling on the negative, ourselves and our terrible plight, we need to dwell on the power of God, the beauty of God,
the promises of God and possess His great and precious promises for us.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Chosen Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my honest review.

My prayer for you:

Thank you, Lord, for the Kylstras and their ministry to You and to Your people. Holy Spirit, lead them in Your perfect wisdom. Protect them and fill them with a double portion of Your Spirit. Guide us all in Your wisdom and bless us we pray. We love You, Lord, and give our bodies, our minds, our spirits to You to renew and transform. Thank You for saving us through Your own dear Son while we were still sinners and helpless to do any good work.

 

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