Review: When Dreams Come True

When Dreams Come TrueWhen Dreams Come True by Eric Ludy and Leslie Ludy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book so much! I’ve had this book for a while, but was saving it until close to Valentines’s Day. It didn’t disappoint! It was hard to put down. I loved their writing styles.

“And amazingly, through it all, there was a God watching me fall, watching me break His heart, and loving me still…” – Leslie

“The next hour passed like a hiccup attack in the middle of a wedding ceremony.” – Eric

(Those two sentences are from different parts of the book, by the way.) It pulled me right in.  I didn’t expect the book to have much conviction in it since it was a love story, but I was pleasantly surprised. Here are just a few:

“Eric, God doesn’t care about you accomplishing things, He cares about you obeying. When you obey, it’s truly amazing what you can accomplish!” – Eric’s mom

“I was in pre-med, and doing what I had always dreamed of,” he shared animately, “but I realized that, even though I’d been a Christian since I was five, I had never asked God what He wanted to do with my life.” – Eric

And there are also plenty of gems for the single Christian (like me):

“And as I had slowly learned to trust Him completely as the Lord of every area of my life, I had felt His gentle challenge to my heart, I have someone special for you, My precious child. Wait patiently for that man, set yourself aside for him in complete purity and faithfulness. I will bring him into your life in a way more beautiful than anything you can imagine. But wait for My perfect timing. Use this time of your life to focus on Me instead of chasing after foolish, short-term pleasure.” – Leslie

This book was such an enjoyable read, and I loved how Eric and Leslie respected their future spouses without even knowing them yet. It was beautiful.  It truly is a love story that only God could write. ❤

* Also, if you read the book, it advertises their music in the back. Leslie Ludy allows you to listen and download a few tracks for free on her website, Set Apart Girl, which are AMAZING.

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A Somber Lullaby

When Sonny and Lion couldn’t decide who got my lap, they decided to compromise and share… 😅

Life is a like ballad
Every melody has a story
The endings are at times sad
But that is how it must be

It pulls at the heartstrings
Creating a somber lullaby
All of the melancholy things
Like saying forever goodbye

I remember the notes, his singing
Every tone touched the heart
And with his story completing
He slowly pulled mine apart

 


 

I was browsing my old poems and stumbled upon this one that I wrote in 2015 for a gorgeous yellow tabby cat that I named Sonny. He died that year from either feline leukemia or some sort of feline aids, the vet wasn’t sure and said it wasn’t worth it to do the testing to find out because it wouldn’t make any difference. Anyway, we had many beautiful years together, and it was heartbreaking when it came to an end.

Sonny, sleeping in his “playing dead” position, which was his favorite

And later that year, another, a wonderful yellow long hair I called Lion ended up with the same thing and within a couple of months, was gone as well.

Lion, on my coat

My heart is feeling the same way now for Rabbit and Radar that it did for Sonny and Lion back then, so I thought, why not share this old poem for all of the beloved pets that have departed?

Thank you all for the prayers! ❤ I’m slowly trying to catch up on your wonderful posts and the lovely comments you’ve left me. 🙂 Hope that you are having a great week so far!

Review: Hinds’ Feet on High Places

Hinds' Feet On High PlacesHinds’ Feet On High Places by Hannah Hurnard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Much-Afraid, who lived in the village of Much-Trembling, desired to serve the Chief Shepherd with her whole heart, but she feared that she fell short of ever pleasing Him. Her feet were deformed which made walking difficult, and her face was disfigured, and more than anything she wanted to be free from things that she felt were holding her back.

But those are not the only things holding her back. Her relatives, the Family of Fearings, were always lurking in the Valley…

Mrs. Dismal Forebodings, her aunt, raised her along with her two cousins Gloomy and Spiteful and their brother Craven Fear, of who mistreated her horribly on a regular basis.

When Craven Fear and his family try to force her to marry him, she flees to the pool where the Chief Shepherd is waiting, and she explains all to Him. He tells her that she can come to the Kingdom of Love if she allows Him to make her feet into hinds’ feet – and He would have to change her name because a Much-Afraid cannot enter the Kingdom. And in addition to that, she would have to allow Him to plant the seed of Love into her heart…

He chose two guides to help her on her journey: Sorrow and Suffering, and she is as scared as her name suggests. Will she allow Him to work in her life so she can enter the Kingdom of Love, or will Old Lord Fearing have his way?


This story was so gripping. A friend gave this to me in August 2016, and it sure didn’t disappoint!

Hannah Hurnard’s writing style pulled me right in. The names of everyone and everything was so cute. (In addition to the ones I mentioned above, there was Pride, Bitterness, Self-Pity, and a little flower named Acceptance-with-Joy.) The symbolism and allegories were fantastic. Also, this book managed to expand my vocabulary with words such as estuary and hoary; I always appreciate when a book makes me use my dictionary.

The poems make me so happy and are based on Scripture. Here is one of my favorite ones from the book:

“I am the Rose of Sharon, a wild anemone.
As lily ‘mong the thorn trees, so is my love to me.

An apple tree ‘mong wild trees, my Love is in my sight,
I sit down in his shadow, his fruit is my delight.

He brought me to his palace, and to the banquet hall,
To share with me his greatness, I, who am least of all.

Oh, give me help and comfort, for I am sick with shame,
Unfit, to be his consort, unfit to bear his Name.

I charge you, o ye daughters, ye roses among the trees,
Stir not my sleeping loved one, to love me e’er he please.”

I believe this is based on Song of Solomon, chapter two.


I did find one error: “You will give me a new name when I get to the top?” quavered Much-Afraid, who all of a sudden seemed to have become deaf to the music who all of a sudden seemed deaf to the music around her and to be full of fears and forebodings again.

I reread that sentence so many times. But in hind-sight (oh, bad pun!), it wasn’t that big of a deal.


Spoiler-y stuff (in white text – highlight to read):

I loved how when Much-Afraid reached a milestone, she took a literal stone as a reminder – this reminded me of the rocks in Joshua 4 where the Lord ordered 12 large stones be taken out of the Jordan in remembrance of what the Lord had done for them, so that their children would see and ask about them and they could be told the stories of how God parted the river for them. Anyway. At the end of this book, the rocks Much-Afraid picked up were turned to jewels!

And her new name. LOVE.

And when she reflects upon her journey, it was so touching.

The end of Act One left me almost speechless. So emotional. So wonderful. And heart-wrenching.

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Wolf To Sheep

Wolf to Sheep

I had heard stories about wolves in sheep’s clothing
I tried to beware of such things, but seeing nothing

One day whilst I was busy nitpicking,
By keeping an eye out for ill-fitting,

Undeniable Truth struck me down,
My eyes up opened and I found…

I was one of them.

I stripped the fake wool from me,
Fell to my knees, asking for mercy

God, change me from my evil wolfish ways
I want to be a sheep for all of the rest of my days

In that moment, His grace alighted upon my wolf skin
He had changed it to white wool, no longer a slave to sin

 


 

Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. (Luke 10:3)

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. (Acts 20:29)

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. (Matthew 10:16)

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (Matthew 7:15)

 


 

A little background on this one – someone on WordPress spoke about a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and then I remembered how Paul started out which led to writing this. For some reason, I had previously read the verses about being sent out as sheep among wolves as a type of warning, like be on guard for the tricky wolves, but then it occurred to me that Paul started out as a wolf, and yet, God struck him down on the road to Damascus and used Him to do so much. So yes, we should wear the armor of God (Ephesians 6:11) to protect ourselves from the wolves, yet, keep in mind that wolves can change – and that’s why God sends sheep among wolves. So that packs of wolves will have the opportunity to become flocks of sheep – because He loves them too. ❤

Also… whoever created that image on Pixabay was a genius. 😂

“Thy Sins Are Forgiven, thee.”

If you read my post Humility – Jesus In The Wilderness, then you know I have been studying the Gospels and Andrew Murray’s book, Humility. Since that post, I’ve also posted Humility – Simon Peter And The Fish, but you don’t have to read either of those before reading this one. These are a few notes I made while in Luke 5. 🙂

Luke 5:17 – 26: And it came to pass on a certain day, as He was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them. And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before Him. And when they could not find by what way they might bring Him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus.

Now that is faith.

And when He saw their faith, He said unto him, “Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.”

Jesus didn’t heal the man when he was lowered; He forgave his sins. Jesus was focused on his soul, not his flesh. This implies that the condition of his soul for eternity was more important than his physical body being healed. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” saith the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the Earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?”

But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answering said unto them, “What reason ye in your hearts? Whether is easier, to say, ‘Thy sins be forgiven thee;’ or to say, ‘Rise up and walk?’ But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (He said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, ‘Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.’ ”

“So that you know that the Son of man has the power on earth to forgive sins…” Jesus healed the man to show Who He is…

And immediately he rose up before them and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.

All to glorify the Father in Heaven!

And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen strange things today.”

And this led to the multitude glorifying God as well. How wonderful it must have been, to witness this scene! All for His glory!

“We have seen strange things today…” REALLY, PEOPLE??? Strange? You witnessed Jesus heal someone. Strange? What about marvelous? Wonderful? I can think of so many other words to use in the place of strange. What about thankful? Not only for Jesus healing the man but for Him forgiving us of our sins? That Jesus has the power to forgive sins? That Jesus became the reason that we can be forgiven for sins?

Thankful.

May we be thankful to Him on this day. ❤

Chopping Down Idols

Acts 7:41: And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.

My first thought when reading this was, “People don’t make idols anymore like they did back in those days.” But then I really started thinking about this, a lot – and began to see idolatry in a new way.

Leviticus 26:1: “Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God.”

I take away several things from this verse, but the main one is this. “Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image…” This implies that not all idols are a graven image or image of stone. Therefore I had to ask myself, what kind of idols is it talking about then? Are there things that I sacrifice too much time to, when I should be giving it to God? It can be anything that is put before God. The tricky thing is, there isn’t anything wrong with these examples in normal circumstances: television, social media, money, computer games, food, etc. But they can become problems if they become idols. If they are made into idols.

This certainly put a new perspective on things.

A couple of days ago, my Internet went out for 10 hours, and I was a wreck. How would I talk to my friends? How would I check my email? How would I check who has posted on WordPress? How would I do research for my novel? I was much more frantic than I should have been, and in every activity I tried to immerse myself in, my thoughts came back to it.

Why couldn’t I think about Jesus this much?

I cringed inwardly and was so convicted.

I knew I really enjoyed being online, but I hadn’t realized how much of an idol it had become, getting in the way of studying the Bible and being with family.

First Corinthians 10:14: Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

I’m also reminded of Daniel 3:16-18, where Nebuchadnezzar decreed that all would worship the golden image: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”

They were thrown into a fiery furnace that was heated seven times hotter than usual (Daniel 3:19) because they refused to bow down to an idol. They didn’t fear burning or dying for their God. (Even though He saved them, they didn’t know that before going in.)

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)

I have to ask myself… if I was there with the three of them that day, would I have done the same thing they did? I’d like to think so, but then the conviction hits… when faced with a similar scenario of an idol without an image or a face, would I do the same thing?

They can creep in without us realizing it sometimes, and once they are seen for what they are, they cannot remain. The graven image has to fall. With that being said, I’m going to take a short blogging break to chop down the idol. I plan to return at the end of the month with poems, photos, a Liebster Award acceptance post, and more if things go well. 🙂 Jesus must be the only God in my life, for He is King of kings, Lord of lords, and God of gods.

I’ll miss you guys! I love you all, and I hope that you have a lovely October! ❤

Following Him,
Grace 🌸

 


 

P.S.: I don’t know what the little black wooden figure is supposed to be; I got it at a flea market many years ago (it was in a big box labeled “free”) when I was in my dark Gothic phase, and at the time I thought it was really cool. Now I find it to be really creepy. I am curious about what it is, and what it represents, but there’s another part of me that is unsure of if I want to know… But I thought it might make a good “idol” for this post, anyway. 😅

Love Can Be Fleeting

Love can be fleeting
Coming and going as the tide –
The flawed kind of love, anyhow.
As a dragonfly is here now,
Then “See ya on the flip-side!”
Leaving a broken heart beating.

Sometimes love stings
Like a wasp or a bee.
Love can really hurt,
Throwing hearts in the dirt,
So it is hard to see
The beauty love can bring.

From the post, “Bee On A Wildflower

But there is a perfect love
That casts out all kinds of fear;
For He cares so much for us
That He sent his Son Jesus,
So that we may be near
Our Father in Heaven above.