Marriage, A Stunning Perspective

You see 5 editors, on the cover. You turn the pages to the contributors’ page and find that 38 experts contributed to the 16 chapters which were divided into four sections. You take a deep sigh, close the cover, and turn to the back cover.

“What we believe about marriage reflects what we believe about God.”

Interesting perspective. I had never thought about marriage in this way.

I am so glad that I opened the book again and began to read. This book explores the depth, the intimacy, and the beauty of marriage from God’s perspective.

Marriage: Its Foundation, Theology, and Mission in a Changing World is a much-needed book that digs deeply into the soil of today’s marriages, pulls up the weeds, turns them over and upside down, and asks “Why?”

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If God is Good … Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil – A review

http://www.randomhouse.com/images/dyn/cover/?source=9781601425799&width=1000

If the Creator of the world is good, why is there evil? Randy Alcorn tackles an age-old question with unique insight and logic. I have asked “Why?”many times. Like Job, never an answer to the question, but a refocus on the greatness of God.  Alcorn writes:

Grace and forgiveness, both expressions of God’s eternal character, are moral goods, but without evil they wouldn’t have become clearly evident. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit don’t need compassion, mercy, grace, or forgiveness. These qualities could only be fully expressed to finite and fallen creatures.

Perhaps that is why the angels desire to look into the Gospel, 1 Peter 1:12,; the angels in Heaven have not sinned. They see God’s compassion, mercy, grace and forgiveness, and that prompts them to desire to look into the Gospel.

Alcorn also reminds readers that we cannot understand God’s ways or thoughts. He suggests that maybe an explanation from God for the reason of evil and suffering might lead to greater misunderstanding.

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9

I appreciated the pithy subtitles. I frequently reread them, highlighted them and tweeted them.

True-to-Scripture, If God is Good was filled with stories of people who suffered greatly and, yet, said that their faith in God was strengthened in their time of testing. For some of the people Alcorn wrote about, their great trial was over and they understood why they had gone through the trial. For others, there was no answer, but there will be an answer in heaven.

Alcorn claims that the “Health and Wealth Gospel” perverts our understanding of evil and suffering.  He acknowledges that God still miraculously heals people from sickness and that God uses doctors and medicine to heal people. Sometimes, God does not heal miraculously or through medicine. Sometimes, God has a better plan.

When you pray only for healing, what are you praying to miss out on? Christlikeness? Shouldn’t we learn to pray that our suffering causes growth, that God will give us little glimpses of Heaven as we seek to endure, and that He would use us?

When I had fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, I thought that I was to shine for God through my pain, and I believe that was my purpose in that season. Two years before God miraculously healed me, God impressed upon my husband and me that He would heal me. Two years of praying for the promised healing. Two years of consuming the Scriptures and Christian books on healing, all the while, asking what God had for us to learn.

My fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue were a gift from God. God’s healing was also a gift. God has given me little glimpses of Heaven through each of these gifts, directing this life’s path on an unexpected adventure that unfolds the great goodness of God.

Footnoted and hefty, If God is Good, is a resource for those who have endured suffering or evil and for those who are in the midst of suffering or evil … in other words, this is a resource for everyone who asks “Why?”

This book has been a great blessing to me … a gift from God.

Thank you, Randy Alcorn, for your diligence and commitment to this subject.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

For further information about Randy Alcorn and the book, you might want to visit these websites:

 My prayer for you

Father of Lights, thank You for revealing Your great goodness to us. We thank You for Your mercy, grace, and redemption. Thank You, for Randy Alcorn and his ministry. Bless him and give him greater glimpses of Heaven and of Yourself. Father, You are good; You are great; You are awesome.

The Sheep Walker’s Daughter … A reflection upon choices

The Sheep Walker's Daughter by Sydney Avey

Loss, secrets, history, meaning, and spirituality. The Sheep Walker’s Daughter intertwines Basque history, the landscape of Northern and Central California, and the Basque region of Spain.

Sydney Avey weaves gold and silver threads of mothers and daughters into a family tree, a tapestry of the Tree of Life.

Dee seemed to be on auto-pilot until her mother died and new people entered her life. With the new relationships, came questions about Dee’s choices, her mother’s choices, and her daughter’s choices.

As I read this book, I thought about the secrets still existing in my family history. I thought of the choices I have made, the choices my mother made, the choices her mother made, and how those choices influenced our families, our history.

With loss, comes reflection,

“The things we leave behind aren’t important. What’s important are the memories we carry forward and what we do because of them.”

With the revealing of the secrets, comes a blossoming of opportunities, freedom, and reflection.

What are you waiting for? An invitation? What am I waiting for? I’m waiting for something.”

The Sheep Walker’s Daughter is a great read that can be read for sheer enjoyment, AND it can catapult the reader into examining the choices she has made, the relationships she has nurtured, and the relationship she has with God.

I highly recommend this book.

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 for you:

Father, thank You for Sydney Avey and her thoughtful reflection upon the choices women make and how they impact our relationships with others and with You. May the readers of The Sheep Walker’s Daughter reflect upon their choices and be blessed.

May the Lord bless you and reveal the secrets of your family history and unfold the rich tapestry that you have woven.