Friday, July 12, 2013

Book Review- Sapphire Ice, Greater than Rubies by Hallee Bridgeman


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Sapphire Ice
Robin Bartlett grew up under the harshest conditions imaginable. At eighteen, she started working as a server in a club. She also worked nights at a tavern connected to a restaurant. She kept this pace six days a week, to put her two younger sisters, Maxine and Sarah, through college. But, someone enters her live who appears to be everything she is not. Will this work out as she wants or as he wants?
Hallee Bridgeman has written a delightful Christian romance story. In it we meet a young woman who is trying to survive her past. She made a vow to not be dependent on any man. She works long hours to insure that her two younger sisters have the skills and education to be also not be dependent on a man.
This novel, the first of the Jewel trilogy, lets us see Robin as she changes her heart as she comes to know Antonio “Tony” Viscolli. Tony introduces Robin to his Lord and to his friends. Someone from Robin’s and her sister’s forgotten past enters their lives.

Greater than Rubies
Robin Bartlett plans her wedding. But she has qualms that she might not be good enough to be Tony’s wife. Her long-absent father has found the Lord and is awaiting a court date to do the right thing about what happened a long time ago. She gets nightmares that terrify her. Tony patiently waits while Robin decides that she wants to marry him.
Greater than Rubies shows the anxiety of a young woman who sees what lies ahead for her and is scared of how she will be perceived by others. A reporter from one of the newspapers wreaks havoc in his first interview with her. This adds to her angst about not feeling good enough to marry Tony.
Hallee Bridgeman writes this novella with a surprise in the ending that seems to come out of nowhere. I believe that anyone who likes Christian Romance stories will enjoy these two stories.
These two stories are a part of the Jewel Trilogy. Greater that Rubies is a novella inspired by the trilogy.

Disclaimer: I was given this book by the author, through The Book Club Network. All I was asked to do was read the two stories and give an unbiased review.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Renewal




“Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices, and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” Colossians 3:9-10 (NIV)

Paul writes to the faithful believers at Colosse. He admonishes the brothers and sisters not to lie to one another, giving them a reason to refrain from deception. They have removed the old self with its evil, conceited ways and have replaced it with a new self. The Holy Spirit renews that new self each day.
In looking at this passage, I notice that the Holy Spirit works to renew us as we approach Jesus in prayer, ask His forgiveness for, and repent from our falling short of what He has planned for us.

This renewal of self may be instantaneous. We sense a lightening of our spirit. Our burden is lifted and our hearts are free. Or we continue our daily lives but notice events appear affect us differently, we respond to those scenes more gently. We finally realize that God had performed what we have asked Him.

Because we have abandoned our old self and allowed Christ to remake our personas, we will resemble Jesus to others.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Confession, Healing




 “Therefore confess your sins to each other so that you may be healed.
    The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
James 5:16 (NIV)



James advises his readers to confess their shortcomings to each other. At one time, certain holiness denominations had ‘class’ meetings in which the leader would ask questions of the members to see if they were living as close to the Lord as they could. As time progressed, at least one of the denominations got away from the practice.
Several years ago, I taught a teen Sunday school class. I kept hearing words of two of the young boys. My response to what I heard was that God holds us responsible for any casual words we have used. One of the younger boys replied that what they were saying wasn't bad. Our younger generations don’t seem to know what sin is. On another occasion, one of the young teens used a word that I find offensive. I chose to ask one of the older boys to explain to the younger boy why I found the word choice inappropriate.

This is s a complete turnaround from my teen years in church. I remember our youth group discussing “What is Sin?” Of course, we never quite got it right.(Hmm, that sounds like Job’s friends.) I believe I will mention this memory to our pastor and his assistant to see what they think would happen if our teens would be asked this question.
We ask God to heal our land, as He has promised in 2 Chronicles 7:14. But we have to do what He tells us before He tells us what He will complete the work. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

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Heirs Because of Hope

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