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.

Do you call God Daddy?

Daddy

 

 

 

 

Daddy found his artistic abilities in his retirement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. Galations 4:4-7

Isn’t it marvelous that God has given us mothers and fathers? They nurture, cuddle, and carry us when we are babies. They teach, provide, and protect us when we are children and teens. They advise, babysit, and befriend us when we are adults.

Fathers are unique. When all is right, Christian fathers give us a glimpse of our Father in heaven. They provide for their families. They protect their families. They lead their families. They receive honor.

I called my father “Daddy.” Jesus called His Father, “Daddy – Abba.”

Paul writes to the Galations that “God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

We can call the God of the universe “Abba.”

My prayer for you

Abba, thank You for Your lovingkindness, Your provision, Your protection, Your leading. May Your love penetrate fathers today and work in families today. We honor You. We thank You, Abba, Father.

Have you called Almighty God, Daddy? Did that change your perspective of God?

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.

7 steps towards Job’s restoration

twisted branchesWhy did I not die at birth, Come forth from the womb and expire? Job 3:1

From wealth to poverty,
From family to dead children,
From health to near death,
From honor to judgment,
From joy to agony,
From expectation to hopelessness,
From God’s pride to Satan’s plunder,
Job blessed the name of the Lord.

In agony, Job grieved loss.
In pain, he scraped boils.
In patience, he endured friend’s chastening.
In love, he rebuked his wife.

In hopelessness, Job cried “Why?”

“Even today my complaint is rebellion;
His hand is heavy despite my groaning.
“Oh that I knew where I might find Him,
That I might come to His seat!
“I would present my case before Him
And fill my mouth with arguments.
“I would learn the words which He would answer,
And perceive what He would say to me. Job 23:2-5

In power and love, God spoke.

 “Now gird up your loins like a man,
And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding,” Job 38:3-4

“Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,
So that an abundance of water will cover you?
“Can you send forth lightnings that they may go
And say to you, ‘Here we are’?
“Who has put wisdom in the innermost being
Or given understanding to the mind?
“Who can count the clouds by wisdom,
Or tip the water jars of the heavens,
When the dust hardens into a mass
And the clods stick together? Job 38:33-38

In awe, Job repented.

Then Job answered the Lord and said,
“I know that You can do all things,
And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.
‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge? ’
Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”
‘Hear, now, and I will speak;
I will ask You, and You instruct me. ’
“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear;
But now my eye sees You;
Therefore I retract,
And I repent in dust and ashes.” Job:42:1-6

In mercy, God instructed.

It came about after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has. Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, and go to My servant Job, and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves, and My servant Job will pray for you. For I will accept him so that I may not do with you according to your folly, because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.” So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the Lord told them; and the Lord accepted Job. The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold. Job 42:7-10

7 steps towards restoration

  1. Loss. Wealth, children, and health were considered to be God’s blessings to the righteous. Job lost all of these, and he lost honor as a righteous follower of God. He thought that God had taken His blessings from Job. Yet, he said, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
  2. Helplessness. Although Job’s friends told him how he could work his way out of his tribulation, Job knew within himself that he was helpless to change his situation. He knew that the only answer was God.
  3. Why me? Job thought that God took everything away from him, and he questioned why it happened to him. He wanted God to answer to him. Job wanted God to justify why this happened to Job.
  4. Longing for God. Although Job’s friends sat beside him, he felt isolated. He longed for God to speak to him. From the pit of despair, Job turned his eyes up to God, longing for His Word.
  5. Focus on God’s magnificence. Job listened to God, focused on His creation, His power, his magnificence. When Job’s focus turned from his problems to the works of God, he lost sight of his small problems.
  6. Repentance and service. Job confessed that he had not understood God, and that he had misrepresented God. God instructed Job’s friends to offer a sacrifice and ask Job to pray for them, and Job prayed for them.
  7. Restoration. After Job prayed for his friends, God accepted Job. “Accepted” literally means that God “lifted up the face of” Job. Close your eyes and imagine God touching your chin with His finger and lifting your face toward His face. God also restored Job’s wealth, his family, and his health, not back to the way it was before, but twofold.

pine treeMy prayer for you:

Almighty God, You, alone, are worthy. You, alone, are Creator. You, alone, are in control of our lives. We long for Your Word, Your Presence, Your Son. Restore Your followers. We come before You in repentance and humility. We wait upon You, O Lord.