- Clari Dees
- I'm a librarian by day, a writer by night, and a reader and amateur photographer in between. I love to share books and other things that interest me. My own book - The Marshal Meets His Match - released January 2013. You can also find me at www.facebook.com/ClariDees
Thursday, January 24, 2013
If you haven't grabbed this book yet, you're missing out on a a wonderful read. I thoroughly enjoy it when a writer incorporates our rich history into a story, and Tamera Alexander makes this time period come alive. I loved learning about this plantation in Nashville. But even if you're not a big fan of history, I know you'll enjoy this story. The characters come alive and walk off the pages, and before too many chapters have passed, they feel like old friends.
Ridley Cooper is a hero to fall in love with. His gentle persistence in storming the defenses Olivia has surrounding her heart is beautiful to watch. And the secondary characters... I wanted to sit down in the kitchen for beaten biscuits with them, ride the horses with them, go to church with them...
This is a book well worth your time and hard-earned dollars. But you don't have to take my word for it. Even my senior-in-college brother loved it. :-)
And to whet your appetite, here are some more videos from Belle Meade Plantation; the location for To Whisper Her Name.
Saturday, January 5, 2013
I don't know about you, but I don't like trouble. I don't like pain. I don't like uncertainty. Unfortunately, my opinion doesn't change the fact that "man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward." (Job 5:7) And around my house lately, the troubles keep piling up. I'll spare you the details, because as troubles go, I'm sure you have plenty of your own. However, these troubles have robbed me of peace and joy and twisted my stomach into knots of worry.
I find myself getting frustrated at God and saying things like "Father, we're trying to follow your leading and do what you would have us to do, so why are you allowing us to be knocked down again and again? Why aren't you providing for these things that keep hitting us?"
Yes. I'm whining. I sound like the Israelites I've been studying about in Exodus through Deuteronomy as God led them through the wilderness.
God proved over and over again that where He led them, He would provide what they needed. Whether it was water and food for over two million people and their animals, a path cleared through seas and rivers, walled cities destroyed without firing a shot, giants removed... God took care of them.
Yet each time another obstacle arrived, what did they do? They whined, they complained, they threatened to stone Moses and Aaron, they wished for their old life back. The old life of slavery and bondage to a sadistic ruler.
Instead of resting on the promises of God to provide, instead of resting on remembrances of past deliverance, instead of saying, "Cool! Another opportunity for God to show Himself strong," they worked themselves into a lather of worry and sin.
(Sigh) Sounds like me lately. Instead of trusting, I've been fainting. Instead of hoping, I've been despairing.
But God is so good. Because those verses that shine a light on my own failings also shine The Light of hope into my dark despair.
"But if from thence though shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice,
(For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;)
he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them."
Deuteronomy 4:29-31 (emphasis is mine)
For the LORD thy God is a merciful God.
Or in the Hebrew, El Rachum or El Rechem.
(According to one commentator, the word rechem means womb which suggests the compassion a mother has for her child.)
El Rachum - God is Merciful. He has compassion on me, His child. He hasn't changed. He's still the merciful God who provided for His children throughout all the Bible, throughout all of history. And he will provide for me, too.
It's so easy to focus on the storm around me. So easy to take my eyes off The One who can calm the storm with one word, and suddenly, I'm drowning in panic and worry. But God, with great compassion and mercy, stretches out His hand, lifts me up, and gently reminds me that He has never failed to care for my needs in the past.
When I refocus my eyes on Him, the storm doesn't seem so strong. The winds and waves are still raging, but the promises of God - He will not forsake me, He will not destroy me - whisper peace through the storm in my heart.
"Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.
Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.
The LORD preserveth the simple; I was brought low, and he helped me. Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.
For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling." Psalm 116:4-8
There it is again. El Rachum. God is merciful.
So, I'll keep holding His hand and strive to keep my eyes on Him. I choose to focus on His promises, His attributes, as He walks with me through the hard things. And I'll thank Him for His mercy. For not giving up on me when I wallow in sin of worry and self-pity.
I will trust in the God who is merciful. He takes care of me.
I Can Trust Jesus - The Collingsworth Family