Friday, February 27, 2009

Tears of Joy

In chapter 32 and till the end I have tears streaming down my face as I read through it. Yes I am a crier! We see Paul and Miriam now married but still arguing over Angel. And we get to see the beauty of Angel accepting Christ into her life. Now Angel is trying to figure out where she goes from here. Susanna shows her a great way she keeps up with her prayers in the hatbox and I think that it is good advice for us too. Or you can keep a prayer journal as you give things over to God and make notes when they have been answered. Angel’s prayers for what to do with her life are soon answered as she realizes her calling is to help other prostitutes leave that kind of life once and for all. I know we all have dreams of things we want to do with our lives but God has his plans too and we just need to learn to be patient sometimes.

In Chapter 33, Paul is going to find Angel. He finds her and finally is able to let go of all his hate and let God heal him as he finds out the truth about Angel. He lets Angel know about Miriam and him and all that has been going on back at home. They get everything out in the open and Paul is able to forgive her and himself for their past together. I cry with Paul and Angel as they get everything out in the open and God heals their wounds. And I am bursting with joy at the end when Angel tells Susanna that she is going home. I have another question from for this part: What did you think when Angel forgave Paul? Has someone hurt or mistreated you as Paul did Angel? Read Matthew 6:12–15; Luke 6:37; and Colossians 3:13. In light of these Scriptures, how important is it that we be willing to forgive? How can we take steps to forgive, especially if a hurt is long-standing?

I cried the first time reading this book and thought surely I will be fine the second time but in this last chapter and through the prologue I am still crying. Haha! I wonder if I will cry the next time I read this book? Hmm. We come to the end of this wonderful story with Angel returning to Michael. It is so beautiful the way she comes to him shedding her clothing along with all her past. He accepts her graciously right back into his arms. She finally reveals to Michael her true name, Sarah. I think that this touches Michael more than anything at this moment of her coming back just by her telling him this he knows that she is healed. I thought it was interesting the way Michael catches on quickly when he finds out Sarah’s name and what it means in the bible. I would love to read all about Sarah telling Michael what has happened to her but I already know how he would react. He would be overcome with thankfulness to God and love for her. I appreciate how the author gave us the prologue at the end of the story so that we can see what happened to all our beloved characters. What a blessing for Sarah and Michael to be able to have children of their own after all.

I especially like the ending of the last chapter which sums up what this book is all about: “Love the Lord your God, and love one another. Love one another as he loves. Love with strength and purpose and passion and no matter what comes against you. Don’t weaken. Stand against the darkness, and love. That’s the way back into Eden. That’s the way back to life.” What a wonderful reminder of the redeeming love God has for each and every one of us. I know from feedback that most of you enjoyed the book. And I know that it will be hard to find something to top it for a little while but please give other books you read next a chance! Haha! Remember as great as this book is, it’s still not the word of God. Go back to your Bible and read the book of Hosea and watch it come alive in your heart.

To see a full list of the questions from follow this link:
There are about 5 more questions that I didn’t post on here that you may want to ponder over since you have finished the book now. Hopefully in the future we will be able to find some books similar to this one. I pray you enjoyed your time reading and that it touched your heart as you were reminded of the love God has for you.

I look forward to our 2nd meeting tomorrow morning. I know we have had a tremendous response in those of you that have read the book and those trying to read it! I know several of you who can't make it to the meeting but please post comments on the blog if you completed it so others may know how you felt about it. We will have another raffle for March’s book as well as door prizes again. I hope you can make it. Bring a friend! Thank you to all of you who read the book and made comments throughout the month. I appreciate your encouragement. See you tomorrow!

To comment on this post click on "comments" Type in your comment then where it has the drop down box click on "Name/URL" Type in your name, you do not have to have a URL. Then you can preview and post your comment.

March Extraordinary Women Night

The March Ewomen night is coming up soon. It will be held March 6th at 6:00 p.m. in our church sanctuary. Our March Ewomen Night lesson will be “A woman’s Soul: Self-Concept, Identity, and fulfillment” with Sandy Wilson. A brief description of the DVD is as follows:

“Finding fulfillment in life is dependent on a woman knowing who she is in Christ. Most women’s self-concept is shaped by important relationships while growing up – which may be affirming or hurtful. Learn how women can transform their lives by allowing God to transform their self-concept. Learn to recognize a wounded soul (in seven areas of life) and how to help healing begin and continue. Sandy Wilson is a Marriage and Family Therapist, best-selling author, speaker and seminar leader.”

We will watch the DVD in the sanctuary followed by discussion with coffee and desserts in the fellowship hall. This is open to all women, please feel free to bring a friend. You can e-mail me at if you need any further information or have quesitons.

If you are interested in donating a dessert or a jug of tea, please let me know. I hope to see you there!


To comment on this post click on "comments" Type in your comment then where it has the drop down box click on "Name/URL" Type in your name, you do not have to have a URL. Then you can preview and post your comment.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Blast from the past

We last left off where Angel left Michael again and this time he is not coming after her. Michael knows that God does not want him to go after her this time and he realizes why in chapter 29. Instead of allowing God to come into her heart she has made Michael a god in her eyes. She needs to get away to realize that Michael is not her savior and never will be; only the God of Heaven can save her. This is something we can all struggle with at times. We become so dependent or wrapped up in a person that we let them become our life and God second. Nothing and no one will ever fulfill us the way God's love can. And God helps Michael to realize that this is what Angel needs help with now. So Angel makes her way to San Francisco and is able to resist going to a brothel. With God’s urging she finds a good job in a café. Sadly her happiness as a cook is short lived as a fire burns down the café where she was working. Angel isn’t sure what she is going to do now for work or food and as she contemplates this she gets an unwanted blast from her past…..Duke.

Back at home Michael is still aching for Angel and what she must be going through. Miriam finally opens Paul’s eyes to her love for him and that she only loves Michael as a brother. Paul thinks he needs to leave to get away from his love for her so that she and Michael can be together. Miriam takes charge of the relationship and finally Paul caves in and confesses his love for her and soon they will be married.

In chapter 30 & 31, Duke takes Angel back to where he thinks she belongs. Angel has a stronger will now than she did as a child and let’s Duke know this is not the life she wants. While at Duke’s brothel Angel has a vivid dream of Jesus coming to her and the emotions from the dream go straight to her heart. Meanwhile Duke is preparing to take Angel back into her old life and she would rather die than be a prostitute again. God speaks to Angel’s spirit again right when she needs him most. He gives her the strength, guidance and help she needs to get away from Duke and help the other young girls in the brothel. This is the part where we meet the stranger Jonathan Axle, he helps Angel and the other girls get away. Jonathan feels God’s urging and responds which brings him to the brothel to help Angel. Angel can’t understand how a stranger would care to help and finds out that he is a Christian himself. I have another question from that goes well with Jonathan Axle as we find out what made him go in the brothel: God used Jonathan Axle, a total stranger, to help set Angel free from her past. Have you ever felt God nudging you to speak to or help someone you didn’t know? How did you know it was God? How did you react?

How does Angel react finding out how nice Jonathan Axle and his family are? I think God is finally reaching her heart as the story unravels to find out how Jonathan came to the brothel.

To comment on this post click on "comments" Type in your comment then where it has the drop down box click on "Name/URL" Type in your name, you do not have to have a URL. Then you can preview and post your comment.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sacrificial Love

In chapters 24-28 we enjoy reading about Angel’s time getting to know the Altman’s more and spending time with Michael. We also get a little more of a personal look at Paul and it is so sad the way he feels. He misses his wife, he thinks so terribly of Angel and he constantly hurts Miriam’s feelings. He is to wrapped up in his hatred that he misses what is right in front of his face. These chapters definitely make me not like Paul very much but again I have to remember none of us are perfect. If only they would all talk would they realize that Miriam and Michael do not look at each other in a romantic way; this would save so much heartache. Elizabeth asks Angel to help deliver her baby and she agrees. Angel does a great job with the baby and she is glad to help but she is torn inside because she knows she can’t give Michael the children he wants and deserves. We know it is hard for Michael knowing he won’t be able to have children with Angel but he loves her just the same. If only she would understand and believe him.

God speaks to Angel’s spirit throughout these chapters and fills her with confusion. She doesn’t recognize his voice and is scared of it. And what his voice tells her she doesn’t understand. Angel decides she has to leave for Michael to be happy. She plans everything perfectly the night before she leaves. She loves him so much but can’t bear the thought of him not having all he deserves in a wife. She dances for him and he realizes this time what she is doing. God speaks to Michael’s spirit and he realizes he has to let her go this time. As much as he doesn’t want to he has to let her go. Angel thinks that if she would just get out of the picture everything will be better. She doesn’t think about the feelings of the others and that they really do love her and she will be hurting them terribly. Angel still needs to realize that those who love her are sincere and love her just the way she is.

We are left at the end of chapter 28 where Angel has left and basically told Miriam why. This is not what Miriam had in mind at all and is completely crushed by Angel. Paul finally starts to recognize his feelings for Miriam but isn’t smart enough to act on it or realize that what Miriam and Michael have for each other is nothing more than a brother/sister relationship.

We are on the homestretch of the book and another question I found on seems good for what we have learned about Angel in the past chapters: What finally draws Angel to Michael? What is it that finally breaks down the walls she’s put up around her heart? What does that teach us about sacrificial love?

Sometimes we may not understand God’s calling or what he is planning to do but we have to have the faith to trust him. It is very hard for Michael to let her go again and not go after her but he does. He trusts God to do what is right for him and her. The theme of sacrificial love runs through this whole part. Miriam and Michael's sacrificial love for Angel, Angel's sacrificial love for Miriam and Michael, Paul's sacrificial love for Michael & Miriam, Elizabeth's sacrificial love for her newborn child and God's sacrificial love for all. Do you ever have trouble trusting when it’s not something that is easy for you to do? Have you ever had to sacrifice your love to do what is right?

To comment on this post click on "comments" Type in your comment then where it has the drop down box click on "Name/URL" Type in your name, you do not have to have a URL. Then you can preview and post your comment.

Discounted March Book

I went to Books-a-million today to pick up a copy of our March book so we can raffle it off for a $1.00 at the February meeting. They happened to have our March selection on sale. The price for the book is $14.99 and then 50% off for card members and 45% for non-members. The price of the book was a little over $8.00. They were not easy to find because they were on a cart. I guess they were doing some rearranging so you might need help finding them. They only had about six copies left after I took one. Just in case you are unable to do the pre-order with Kathy I just wanted to give you a head's up about that. Plus don't forget about the raffle at the February meeting for a chance to win a copy!

Also if you wanted a copy of Redeeming Love but you weren't able to find one, I walked by that section and they have restocked that book double. Haha! I guess we cleaned them out! I hope you are having a great day!

To comment on this post click on "comments" Type in your comment then where it has the drop down box click on "Name/URL" Type in your name, you do not have to have a URL. Then you can preview and post your comment.

Relentless Love

In chapter 22 Angel has run away again. After a beautiful night with Michael she is so afraid of turning into her mother she runs. She has not realized that she is not her mother and Michael is not Alex Stafford. She is fortunate that she meets Sam Teal on the road and runs into Joseph’s store. I think it helps give her a little bit of confidence that maybe there is more that she could do besides sell her body. I’m proud of her that she didn’t end up back in a brothel. I’m glad that Joseph’s wife and mother are so nice to Angel. It is definitely something she needs at this time. I have another question from that goes with this chapter: On p. 302, Angel comments that love doesn’t last. And Meribah replies, “Sometimes it does. If it’s the right kind.” What kind of love do you think Meribah was talking about? How can we know this kind of love?

I’m surprised Angel doesn’t figure out sooner that of course Joseph would send for Michael the first chance he gets. Michael arrives just in time before Angel tries to run again. I’m glad that Michael is determined to make her see and realize how much they are both in love with each other. In chapter 23 Michael takes Angel back home. Angel finally seems comfortable and happy with Michael but it is short-lived. Thoughts of Paul are brought back to her and she remembers her feelings that she will never be good enough for Michael. She hears from God and it gives her chills. It makes her nervous because she doesn’t think she is good enough for God to love her. Do you or someone you know have this problem? Do you think you are beyond God’s love? His love has no boundaries; it is endless. Just as Michael is relentless in his love for Angel so is God's love relentless for you. He is always there offering his love to you. Remember that as you continue to read.

To comment on this post click on "comments" Type in your comment then where it has the drop down box click on "Name/URL" Type in your name, you do not have to have a URL. Then you can preview and post your comment.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

March Reading Selection

What in the world could I possibly choose for March when we read such an amazing book for February. I have had this dreaded feeling because anything we read right after Redeeming Love will seem so poor in comparisson even if it is a good book. So I am not even trying to top it. I chose a book that we would be reading at some point that I thought was good and we get to mix it up a little with a true story. I know not everyone will like it because of the high we are coming off of from Redeeming Love, but I am asking you to give it a chance. The March Selection for our book club will be a non-fiction novel written by two authors. The book we will be reading is Same kind of different as me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore.

A dangerous, homeless drifter who grew up picking cotton in virtual slavery. An upscale art dealer accustomed to the world of Armani and Chanel. A gutsy woman with a stubborn dream. A story so incredible no novelist would dare dream it. It begins outside a burning plantation hut in Louisiana... and an East Texas honky-tonk.... and, without a doubt, in the heart of God. It unfolds in a Hollywood hacienda... an upscale New York gallery.... a downtown dumpster.... a Texas ranch. Gritty with pain and betrayal and brutality, it also shines with an unexpected, life-changing love. (The above is from the back of the book cover.)

I read this book this past fall when a friend recommended it and it was also one of the books suggested to read at our Jan. meeting. I found a review of the book online that is a good pre-view of the book. It was by Jennifer Bogart and I felt it was a well written description of what I want you to know before you read it. Here is a portion of what she wrote:

"While God’s importance in this work is never minimized, no clear presentation of the gospel is present. There are also some experiences related that some readers might feel uncomfortable with; spirit visitations and visions are clearly a part of who Denver Moore is and his understanding of God. While these may appear as superstitious to many, it’s likely that these beliefs are common to those with Denver’s upbringing. That being said, books like these aren’t read to inform your theological position. Read it to see the joy and fruit of being Jesus’ hands and feet in this world. Read it to learn about striving to serve Him with love and spreading that love to those who have fallen through the cracks. Read it to experience the deep love between a husband and wife, the power of God to soften and change hearts and His ability to take grief and use it as a seed that will grow, flower and touch the lives of many. A beautiful story that warms and wrenches the heart; you’ll want tissues on hand for this one. When asked if they had any additional thoughts on the book the authors responded:

“Ron: Most of our thoughts were included and the book was never meant to be a self-help or instructional book. Ours is merely a story about how a Godly woman with a dream followed it to the point where a city was changed. Denver and I are not preachers or teachers, but sinners with a story to tell.

Denver: I didn’t have any thoughts for this book, I just told my story. I just want to encourage folks to be more like Miss Debbie.”

To read the full review you can go to

You can find this book at the local libraries and Books-a-million. Kathy will be doing a pre-order of the March book on Thursday February 19th. The price for the book is $10.19. She will order the books and have them for pick up at our February Meeting. If you are interested in the pre-order please contact Kathy so she can order one for you and you can give her your money.

I look forward to our February meeting and reading the March selection with you. Please as always remember to post questions or thoughts. I look forward to seeing you soon. I'm so pleased everyone has enjoyed Redeeming Love so much. Don't forget to check out the monthly polls I am posting on the right hand side of the blog. Go and Rate Traveling Light and Redeeming Love!

To comment on this post click on "comments" Type in your comment then where it has the drop down box click on "Name/URL" Type in your name, you do not have to have a URL. Then you can preview and post your comment.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Walls come falling down

In chapter 18 Michael shares some of his past with Angel. Something inside her stirs and she is sad for him. She is beginning to let a couple of walls down and Michael notices it. On their journey home from Sacramento they meet a family who needs help. Michael helps them of course and Angel is very uneasy about the whole situation. She immediately lets them know she was a prostitute when the conversation arises and she thinks it will scare them away, but it doesn’t. She doesn’t want to like these nice people so she tries to push them away. The Altman’s are not like the people Angel is used to. Angel doesn’t understand how these people can like her when they don’t even know her or what she’s done. She’s never had someone like Miriam want to be friends with her. Have you ever felt unworthy of someone’s love or friendship? Is this feeling holding you back from accepting the grace and love that God is offering you? Michael invites the Altman’s to stay with them for a while at their cabin and this makes Angel even more skeptical of how everything will work out for her for good. The youngest child Ruth takes to Angel very quickly and it makes Angel uneasy. Duke had made sure when she was younger that she wouldn’t ever get pregnant again. At Michael’s mention of them having one of their own she is saddened. Michael doesn’t know yet that she can’t have children and what he will think when he finds out scares her.

In chapter’s 19 & 20 we get to know the Altman’s. Angel begins to love them and they love her. She continues to think it is all too good to be true. She doesn’t believe people can be so nice without wanting something back in return. Do you accept gifts freely or do you feel like you always have to repay someone? Do you feel like if someone gives you a gift then you “owe” them something? Angel has mixed feelings it seems when the Altman’s decide to stay. I think deep down she is glad but she is still trying to push them away because she is convinced the friendships won’t last. She finally admits to herself that she is falling in love with Michael. I love reading about her feelings towards Michael in these chapters and what she thinks when she looks at him. She is still very scared of these feelings inside of her and thinks they will be used against her if she shares them.

In chapter 21 she is convinced to tell Michael all the skeletons in her closet. She thinks that then it will finally prove her right that his love won’t last. Michael’s description of her being the bird trying to get back in the cage after she has been freed at the end of chapter 20 is exactly what she is doing. She tells him her awful past hoping to push him away so that she won’t be hurt anymore and really all she does is draw him closer. Michael feels such heartache and pain for her. He loves her and wants her to know that nothing she can do is beyond the love that God gives to her freely. He makes her the wind chime in such a beautiful act of forgiveness and grace. He does exactly the opposite of what she expects changing all her pre-conceived notions about men. She fully acknowledges now that she loves him but won’t admit it to him. I feel that Michael has a sense at this point what she is feeling on the inside though and that is why he chooses to make love to her again finally. He can tell she is finally ready. It is beautiful what happens between them here at the end where Angel is finally able to shed a tear. Chapter 21 ends with Angel leaving and we have to read on to Chapter 22 to see what happens next. It is somewhat expected because of her behavior in the past that as soon as Michael breaks down more walls she gets scared and runs away. Have you ever felt like you were to much of a sinner to be forgiven? Have you ever thought, “Well you just don’t know what I’ve done, then you would understand that God doesn’t care about me?” If you have felt this way I hope this book helps you to realize that nothing you can do is beyond the redeeming love our God in heaven has for you.

To comment on this post click on "comments" Type in your comment then where it has the drop down box click on "Name/URL" Type in your name, you do not have to have a URL. Then you can preview and post your comment.


Please note I have added a poll on the right hand side of the blog for you to rate the books we read every month. I added Traveling Light, our January selection, as well as Redeeming Love. I will continue to post a new one every month and after they are closed I will post the results. It’s easy and anonymous! Please vote!!!

To comment on this post click on "comments" Type in your comment then where it has the drop down box click on "Name/URL" Type in your name, you do not have to have a URL. Then you can preview and post your comment.


In chapter 16 Angel and Michael are back home again. Angel doesn’t think that there is anyway he could still love her or forgive her. She tries to “wash” away what she just did to Michael after she finds him in the barn crying. She doesn’t feel worthy to be with him and feels terrible about what she did even though she can’t even say she is sorry. Michael truly has to draw all his strength from God not to say or do anything terrible to her. As he holds her in his arms in the cabin after she has been to the creek, I have such admiration for him. He is so sweet and forgiving.

In chapter 17, Angel thinks she needs to work to pay back Michael for all she did to him. Michael sees how she is working and is not fooled by it. He loves her so tenderly and wishes she could accept what he is offering her. He offers her his love and the Grace of God to accept. But she can't accept this. He decides to take her to Sacramento to get some fabric for clothing at Joseph’s store. Joseph notices the difference in Angel from when he saw her before in pair-a-dice. He acknowledges it’s not a woman in love but something else. I think that the fire of feelings building inside of Angel that she keeps trying to suppress is beginning to show on the outside even if she doesn’t realize it. Have you ever felt like Angel? That you have to hurt yourself or work to earn forgiveness? Christ gives it freely, he already paid the penalty for us on the cross. All we have to do is accept it.

To comment on this post click on "comments" Type in your comment then where it has the drop down box click on "Name/URL" Type in your name, you do not have to have a URL. Then you can preview and post your comment.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Wow does my heart go out to Angel a/k/a Amanda in chapters 13, 14 & 15. It is so sad that she can’t accept the love Michael has for her and the feelings she has for him. It is amazing how forgiving and sweet Michael is to her after the first time she tries to run away. Most of us would have thrown it in our spouse’s face how right we were and give a big fat, “I told you so.” The dream she has the night before Paul comes home I think is a good description to what is happening to her. Her stone wall is crumbling with the tremendous love of Christ that Michael is sharing with her.

It’s upsetting the way Paul acts when he comes home. But at the same time I can see where most people would be like…. “WHAT you married a prostitute? You’re joking right?” I know that is what my first reaction would be. We have to remember that Paul does not know the whole story like we do so Paul’s reaction is normal especially when he’s not as strong in his faith to trust in God like Michael. After all Michael said to him he still thinks it would be better to help Angel get away. And then what happens on the trip to Pair-a-dice… oh it just makes me so mad at him, how could he do that to his brother. Poor Angel, how sad her self-esteem is that she has to do this to her and Michael. As Angel and Paul get back on their way in the wagon she definitely gets him good with her remarks. But really neither of them won or is better than the other. It’s also important for us (me included) to remember that we aren’t better than them either no matter how mad we may get at someone. Yes it is terrible what is going on but neither you nor I are perfect. Even though it is so easy to cast judgment on Paul and Angel’s actions, it’s still not our job to be the judge. My heart goes out to both of them and the real people in this world that have been in these types of situations.

Poor…..Poor Angel. She’s back in Pair-a-dice with what she thinks is no hope of a future and goes back to her old ways. I hate what she is doing to Michael but she honestly just doesn’t get it and doesn’t know any better. She is so scorned by her past that she can’t believe what Michael offers her is real. The moment Michael comes in the room and rips that man off her you would think that he would hurt both of them. But amazingly he keeps his cool with her, even when she fights him down the road at the wagon. There is so much heartache for Michael and for her and what they are going through at this point in the book. I feel bad for both of them. What do you think of Angel and Michael at this point in the book? What do you think of Paul?

To comment on this post click on "comments" Type in your comment then where it has the drop down box click on "Name/URL" Type in your name, you do not have to have a URL. Then you can preview and post your comment.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mixed Emotions

What a read in Chapter 12! So much happens in this chapter between Angel and Michael that it leaves you almost breathless till the end. We are beginning to see even more in this chapter with the voices of good and evil and their impact on our characters. The voice of God is in italics bold and the voice of Satan is in plain bold. I found some criticism about the book where some people do not agree with the way the author portrayed these voices. They believe the two voices were not properly distinguished from one another but I find it pretty obvious which is which. Do you have an opinion on this? I found a question that goes along with this off of “It was clear the characters, especially Michael and Angel, heard both God and Satan speaking to them through the story. Have you ever felt you heard God speaking to you? How about Satan? How can we distinguish between the two voices that call us?”

This imagery comes to my mind that is so often portrayed in cartoons, with the little devil on one side and the little angel on the other, trying to get someone to come to their side. It’s a tug of war and in this chapter Michael and Angel are trying to figure out what to do or not do. Michael battles with his physical emotions for Angel. While Angel battles with her unwanted feelings of affection for Michael. Angel has convinced herself that she needs to go back to get her money and for some reason thinks that the outcome at Pair-a-dice would be so much better than staying with Michael. She is so sure it isn’t possible for him to love her that she is scared and thinks she needs to get away.

I haven’t ever read any romance novels but I thought the author portrayed the last part of the chapter very tastefully. Something beautiful happens between Michael and Angel as they make love for the first time. Sadly Angel can’t understand the love he is trying to give her so she is afraid of it. She is afraid of the emotions she is feeling as he makes love to her and she says his name. She is afraid that being vulnerable will be used against her in the future just like it was in the past. Most times in life we are afraid of the unknown. When we have been so used to a certain way of things and anything new comes along it can be scary at first. That is when we have to learn to have trust and faith in God.

At the end of the chapter I have mixed emotions. I thought Michael was going to wait to show her his love physically but I understand why he finally chose to go ahead. I am glad that Michael was able to be a gentleman the way he went about this. It makes a lot of sense the way he is thinking; because how will she know that love making is more than a job unless he shows her. She doesn't know any other way. On the other hand I feel so sad at the whole situation. I am happy and sad thinking about poor Angel unable to enjoy this beautiful moment with her husband who loves her dearly. She is to busy fighting off emotions coming alive inside of her. Poor Michael who doesn’t have the love coming back to him that he is giving out. What are your thoughts on this part? Do you think the author did a good job showing us both perspectives of Angel and Michael? What did you feel for Angel and Michael at the end of the chapter?

To comment on this post click on "comments" Type in your comment then where it has the drop down box click on "Name/URL" Type in your name, you do not have to have a URL. Then you can preview and post your comment.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Just let it go

Angel is starting to get up and move around some in chapters 9 & 10. She is starting to feel a little better since her beating from Magowen. Her physical wounds are starting to heal but the wounds in her soul are far from it. Angel is unable to start a fire and make a stew and this makes her severely angry. She is mad that she can’t do it, that she has to do this and that she is there in the first place. Have you ever been as frustrated and angry as Angel is feeling right now? It can be over something big or something minimal but sometimes it can be easy to get so mad, so fast.

I know first hand from this morning how easy it can be. I was trying to get the car seat out of the car so I could leave it at the daycare for later. And those great but annoying safety latches are down in the seat SOOO tight. I was struggling and getting so frustrated that it was so tight and I couldn’t do it and my hand was hurting plus I don’t want to be late getting my son to school and to me it felt like this was taking forever!!! I get so frustrated and think forget it I will just deal with this somehow later. I’m all mad and slam the car door and go join the kids inside. I calm down come back out to the car and decide to try one more time. I go in there and I am able to finally get the car seat out. It still hurt my hand but it was done and I realized how silly I was to get so frustrated over something so little. Writing about it now makes me sound even sillier but I write as a reminder that we all have moments like these sometimes and it’s important for us to just let it go and acknowledge how silly we are. Someone wise always says you have to know how to pick your battles; and fighting with the car seat is definitely not worth it. How appropriate God had that lesson to impress upon me today as I read through Angel’s frustration.

At the end of chapter 9 is where Angel first hears a voice in her mind and she rebels against it. She holds on to her anger and lashes it out at Michael. It is amazing how calm Michael can be with how she throws her body at him in chapter 10. Of course Michael does have help from the faith he has in his Father. He has the self-discipline to walk away from her when she is fighting him with her body. I think as Michael tells the story of Hosea from the Bible to Angel, something stirs inside of her because deep down she is beginning to care for Michael but she won’t acknowledge or recognize those feelings. Angel can barely even recognize the romantic gesture that Michael does for her in Chapter 11. He takes her and shows her a gorgeous sunrise, just the two of them in God’s great creation. As I read along I am thinking about how romantic it is and Angel is thinking about leaving. She is always thinking about leaving. It just makes my heart ache for her because of all her past she can’t give in to the love he has for her and is trying to give her. What is true for so many people is the same for Angel; to receive love they must first love themselves. And Angel does not love herself. She thinks she is incapable of receiving love because of what she has been brought up to think and feel. If you feel similar to Angel because of things in your past, I’m sorry. It doesn’t have to be that way though, God will help you let it go. You have a God in heaven that loves you with a redeeming love and wants you to have it. All you have to do is accept it. I hope as you read through this book you are able.

To comment on this post click on "comments" Type in your comment then where it has the drop down box click on "Name/URL" Type in your name, you do not have to have a URL. Then you can preview and post your comment.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Extraordinary Women Night (Ewomen)

It occurred to me over the weekend that I probably should have posted information about this before it actually happened..... Sorry. The information will continue to be in the bulletin and on the church website. I will start updating you on here about our Ewomen nights as well,with just a reminder for when one is coming up!

Anyways... we had our first meeting this past Friday night and watched a DVD by Thelma Wells,( titled, "Unity in the Church." We had a good turnout and everyone seemed to really enjoy the video and the discussion afterwards with desserts. Ewomen nights will be held once a month on the first Friday night of every month at 6:00. Ewomen nights are for ALL women of the church of all ages; although depending on the subject can sometimes depend on the age group that actually comes. We will watch a DVD in the sanctuary by a Christian Women Speaker and have discussion and desserts afterwards in the fellowship hall. Every month we will feature a new speaker with new topic. Not all topics will apply to you so just come to the ones that do! There is no charge or homework or anything! Just bring yourself and a friend! I will update you on here when we have the information ready for our March night. Hope you are having a great day!

Thank you to those of you who helped make Friday night possible, You KNOW who you are!

To comment on this post click on "comments" Type in your comment then where it has the drop down box click on "Name/URL" Type in your name, you do not have to have a URL. Then you can preview and post your comment.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Open your eyes

In chapters 5 & 6, Angel has decided to try again to get out of the trapped life she is leading in the brothel. First she tries to leave reasonably or so she thinks; so then she comes to the conclusion again that only death will help her escape. A person is in a terrible place inside if they feel that the only escape is being beat to death. She gives in to the darkness. She thinks that Michael Hosea, her last chance, is gone like most men would be and won’t come back again. We see that God is working in Michael’s heart and Michael trying to ignore God’s calling doesn’t work. He decides to go back for Angel right when she needs him most. Have you ever finally decided to answer God’s urging and it was, “right in time”? Did you feel a weight lifted off your chest?

Michael and Angel are married and together at Michael’s cabin in chapters 7 & 8. They are beginning to get to know each other a little more. She feels trapped; like she still has to keep pretending just in a different role. Angel wishes she had never married and for some strange reason wishes it had been any man other than him. She is scared of him; she is scared of everything actually working out okay because she doesn’t think it will last. Even this early in their relationship, I think she is falling in love with him and just doesn’t know how to recognize it. She sadly can’t even believe in something working out with a man because of all the trauma of her life. While Angel is so busy trying to figure out what Michael wants from her she is blind to the fact that everything he wants from her, he tells her. Thankfully Michael has help from God in the patience department.

I think we all act the way she is at times. Sometimes we are so set in our way of thinking that we stop being open to God or others showing us something new. Have you ever been so wrapped up in a thought or way of thinking that you completely miss what is right in front of your face? I’m sure we have all had our moments wanting to scream at someone, “Open up your eyes!” and other times we are the ones being yelled at silently. Do you think sometimes God feels that way about us? He just wants to shout and say, “Open your eyes! I’m right here and I just want to love you and have you love me back!”

To comment on this post click on "comments" Type in your comment then where it has the drop down box click on "Name/URL" Type in your name, you do not have to have a URL. Then you can preview and post your comment.

Unexpected Answers

In chapter 1 we get to meet Angel as an adult. She carries around so much hate inside of her and we can easily understand why. After everything she went through as a child she finally escapes and is right back in the middle of what she ran away from. It is very easy to see why she doesn’t have hope and doesn’t want to feel anything for anyone anymore. Is there a time in your life when you have felt hopeless? Maybe you have sat and thought, “__________ won’t make a difference anyway, so why bother.”

In chapter 2 we meet Michael Hosea right as he gets his first glimpse of Angel. And God instantly speaks to his heart, “This one, beloved.” At this moment he is excited and feels like the LORD is answering his prayers… but then he realizes what she is. He questions himself for a minute… surely he didn’t hear right. Here are some questions I found on about this part in the book that I thought was good: Michael Hosea prayed all his adult life for God to send him the right woman, the woman worth waiting for. And God sent him Angel. Have you had a fervent prayer answered in a way you didn’t expect? Consider the story of Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22:1–19). Now consider the Jews and their fervent prayers for a Messiah—and how that prayer was answered through Jesus. Was He what they expected? What does all of this teach you about prayer? About God’s character?

On to chapters 3 & 4 and we get to see Michael and Angel really meet for the first time. Were you surprised at the way she treated him? I think the author foreshadowed this when she described about how cold and hard Angel was to everyone. It is an eye opener for Michael; he has to ask himself what he could do to show her that he is different from all the other men. When we have been through something as traumatic as Angel it is so much easier to generalize and not trust anyone. I like the way the author shows us what each character is thinking and feeling and how they are getting to each other but the one doesn’t want the other to know it. How common that is in life; we realize we are wrong or feel sorry about something but our pride and fear stand in the way of reconciling with someone.

Michael finally gives up and leaves Angel there in the brothel. He decides that this can’t be what God has planned for him and goes against what God is speaking to his heart. Angel thinks that she wants him gone but deep down inside she isn’t sure. All these new emotions stirring inside of Angel have her thinking death is the only way out. I think even in these early chapters, Angel doesn’t believe she deserves Michael so another part of her pushes him away. Has there been a time in your life when God was speaking to your heart and you tried to ignore him? Did it work? As we continue to read we will see if it worked for Michael and Angel to ignore God.

To comment on this post click on "comments" Type in your comment then where it has the drop down box click on "Name/URL" Type in your name, you do not have to have a URL. Then you can preview and post your comment.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sarah's childhood

What a start to our book in the epilogue! Can you imagine what Sara felt like as a child? Have you ever felt the way Sarah felt as a little girl during the glimpse we are shown of her childhood? I haven’t ever been in the exact situation that is going on in this story but I do connect with some of the emotions that Sarah is feeling from my own childhood. Several of you have already read this part and commented on how much it made you want to just go spend time with your children and love on them. Especially right at the end and she is alone with Duke.... your heart just aches like crazy. Francine Rivers does a great job of telling a story. As I read through I can easily paint a picture in my mind of what’s going on and what Sarah must be going through. I found some discussion questions online at I thought they were better than anything I could come up with and they come with some verses to look up.

1. Why did Angel’s mother stay in a relationship that was damaging to both her and her daughter? What kept her there? Are there beliefs or attitudes that you struggle with, that you know are damaging to yourself or others? Why do you hold on to them? Read Psalm 116:16–17; 118:5; 119:45; 142:7; Romans 6:21–23; and Colossians 1:21–23. What is one step you can take to let go of damaging beliefs or attitudes?

2. The things that happened to little Sarah in the prologue were horrific—and happen all too often in real life. Many, in the face of such things, wonder where God is, why He doesn’t protect His children. Have you ever wondered these things? Where is God when such things happen?

3. Scripture tells us God is all-powerful and all-knowing. It talks about God’s loving kindness, His compassion and mercy, His love of children. It tells us God is love. So why doesn’t He stop terrible things from happening? How do you reconcile God’s character as it’s revealed in Scripture with the fact that horrible things happen to the innocent?

If you have felt the way Sarah did or been in similar situations, I’m sorry. I hope this book helps heal a part of your heart as you read along.

Let me know what you think of the book so far, comment on some of the above questions. I probably won’t be posting quite as much as I did for January’s book and I figure my posting will vary from month to month just depending on what we are reading. If you have something that you have written that you would like me to post for you as an entry, please let me know. I would be glad to do it.

To comment on this post click on "comments" Type in your comment then where it has the drop down box click on "Name/URL" Type in your name, you do not have to have a URL. Then you can preview and post your comment.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Great start!

Our first meeting was this past Saturday and we had a good turnout of 14 people. Judging from the feedback I received, everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves and learn alot. Kathy Menk won our raffle copy of Redeeming Love; Congratulations Kathy! Everyone seemed to enjoy the door prizes and in the future if you would like to donate something for a door prize, please do so! Many thanks go out to our lovely hostesses at Beacon of Life Ministries, they did an excellent job and we look forward to having our next meeting there. If you read Traveling Light by Max Lucado and were unable to attend the meeting please post some feedback when you finish the book so we know if you enjoyed it or not. At the meeting we used the rating scale of 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest and among those at the meeting the book scored a 3 or higher with everyone. Many readers were happy to learn so much about the 23rd Psalm and enjoyed the light refreshing writing of Max Lucado. We missed those of you that could not make it to the meeting and hope that you can join us this next month!

As previously announced, our February selection is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. This book is approximately 479 pages. The book has a note from the publisher, a prologue, 34 chapters, an epilogue, a note from the author and a study guide. If you would like to pace yourself through the month a suggested guide is as follows:
Week 1 = Publisher's note, Prologue, Chapters 1-9
Week 2 = Chapters 10-18
Week 3 = Chapters 19-27
Week 4 = Chapters 28-34, Epilogue and note from author
Many of you have already read Redeeming Love and look forward to reading it again with us. And many of you have already started and I am getting great feedback. I know this book is a little long for such a short month but please try to make the time to read it. It is well worth it.

Please, as always post any comments or questions. I will be blogging according to the above guide. Invite your friends and family, the more the better. I look forward to reading along with you! Happy Reading!

To comment on this post click on "comments" Type in your comment then where it has the drop down box click on "Name/URL" Type in your name, you do not have to have a URL. Then you can preview and post your comment.