Remember – Poem

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I wrote this poem a couple of days ago. It has been a long time since I have taken the time to express myself this way.  These are sins I struggle with it, and may it be understood that these are not the only ones, but the biggest ones at the moment. There are many of our past brothers and sisters who have insisted that the Christian ought to be preaching the Gospel to themselves. And this is what this poem is about. The salvation of a believer is a mysterious and beautiful thing that we should never tire of. It should shake our very core that God chose to save us and lead us into a gladness unheard of. I hope this poem encourages you and reminds you that when in any doubt regarding your faith, always go back to Gospel and the miracle of  our salvation. Blessings.

 

Remember

There are days when I am too busy to open up and read Your word.

When I don’t want to hear from you because it all seems absurd.

I become haughty, full of myself and full of pride;

Forgetting of my Savior of who for me He died.

When I lose my way like this, Oh Lord, let there be no hesitation;

May I remember, always remember Your meritless salvation.

 

There are moments when my familiar sin has lead me into darkness.

The temporary pleasure I seemed to have wanted keeps me in a harness.

I then hate myself for my weakness and for my lack of volition.

I want to hide and let no one see my disgraceful condition.

When I am hidden because of the shame of my instant gratification;

May I remember, always remember, the grace of Your salvation.

 

Some days I am tired and the sadness overtakes my mind.

I think of better days, of how things used to be, of what I’ve left behind.

I seem to have forgotten how to laugh and the tears never stop to flow.

I feel so all alone, and it seems that no one cares or even knows.

When everywhere is better except for where I am in my habitation;

May I remember, always remember the joy of Your salvation.

 

There are times when I feel so lost and it feels I have lost my way.

Am I even saved, how could You want me, have I been lead astray?

The desire to pray, the desire to serve, and even the desire to worship is distant.

I worry about Your anger, am full of despair and the fear of Your fury is constant.

When I am afraid of Your wrath and all I seem to see is my own contamination,

May I remember, always remember the peace of Your salvation.

 

For You ask me to remember, always remember the things that You have done;

For only those things are worthy and were fulfilled in Your Son.

May I never forget that You saved a wretch like me.

That I did nothing for my salvation and was for a long time Your enemy.

I do not know why You redeemed me, I may never comprehend

That You sought me and have promised to preserve me until the very end.

May I remember, always remember the miracle of Your salvation

Even when the enemy bombards me with his manipulation.

For he is the father of lies and You are the Truth and the Light;

Give me strength to remember those things and continue the fight.

 

I will be crushed and bruised, but I will never be broken.

This is all true, for Your word of this has spoken.

That You will sustain me and nothing can snatch me from the palm of Your hand,

And not one will You lose to hell, this I have to understand.

“I am saved, I am saved, I am saved” may this be my anthem and song!

May I remember this when I have done so much wrong.

So, when I am prone to wander, or in any other ugly situation

May remember, always remember the beauty of Your salvation.

 

 

 

Written by Anna Tobey

Circe – Book Review

Circe is a beautifully written book by Madeline Miller. This is the second book I have read by this author. It is another book set in the times of Greek mythology and like Song of Achilles, the words in this book are so descriptive that I felt I was there on Aeaea with Circe. I didn’t know much about this goddess, but that is what made the book more intriguing for me. This book is a very female book and deals with all things (painful and joyful) that are important to us as women. We walk with Circe as she learns more about her power and how she wields it do damage and to do good.

The book is full of love, betrayal and pain – what Greek story isn’t?! The gods are absolutely horrid and there were many times I was thankful that my God is nothing like Zeus or Helios. The struggles that faced Circe and the shear meanness of her parents and siblings were shocking. The book also helped explain a little more the tension between the Titans and the gods.

The ending of the book was interesting and wasn’t expected. I am not sure how I feel about it, but in the end Circe did what she thought best. She is a very interesting and profound character.  The story is “spellbinding”.

As a Christian, I am so thankful that these are not my gods. That my God is not an emotional wreck and He is constant and full of compassion and mercy. I just kept finding it surprising how infantile all them can behave. Even the goddesses. Helios, the god of the sun, and the father of Circe was unbelievably cruel to her and is nothing close to what I would want in a father or my husband to be to our children. These kinds of books are good to read because comparing religions is important. It not only strengthens the reality that Christianity is unique, but it also exposes the flaws of these other religions. I left this book relieved that I serve such a different God, who is strong, but under control. Who is just but merciful. Who is perfect, but forgiving. Who is vengeful, but longsuffering. Who is love, but also righteously wrathful. The qualities of God destroy and obliterate the tantrums of these little gods, and I am grateful to serve Him.

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I recommend this book to any lover of mythology. This book will probably be liked more by females than males.  I would wait until my daughters were 18 before I allowed them to read this due to the graphic nature of the book and the sexuality in it. None of my boys would like this book.

The book does contain a rape scene. There are other several love scenes that are very short and not graphic. There are other places in the book with severe gore and were hard to read due to the violence and how vividly they were portrayed. Ms. Miller is an excellent author and you feel the pain and loss of those who suffer. There are also strong cuss words throughout the book.

You can buy this book here. I heard this book through audible and the reader is splendid!

The Gospel Comes with a House Key – Book Review

Rosaria Butterfield has become one of my most favorite authors.  Her writing style, her vulnerability and her sincerity in her books creates a paradox in me of wanting to greedily gobble up her books and slowly relish them at the same time. Her latest book is no exception. She challenges the Christian to reach out to the hurting and lonely and be a beacon of refuge and hope to a dying world.

The book is mainly about the lost practice of Christian hospitality and how vital it is in this post-Christian society, because it is in homes where believers and unbelievers can let down guards and shatter assumptions and be together. She reminds the reader that “God’s people were strangers once” and that we should not be “told on the Lord’s Day that we are part of the family of God, but then limp along throughout the rest of the long week like an orphan begging bread”.

She challenged me to ask the very serious question: When was the last time a stranger was in my home? Thankfully, due to her previous books, I can admit it was last week, but it really has to be an effort on my part. I can not expect strangers to come visit me, or to initiate conversations with me, I have to seek them out; just as Christ sought me. How quickly I forget that I once was lost, that I once was a stranger, that I once was an enemy and outside the fold. Rosaria’s book is a gentle but firm reminder of our mandate to practice “radically ordinary hospitality” and see “strangers become neighbors and neighbors become family of God.”

In her book she shares her life with us. Her ordinary life. She shares the beautiful stories of doing life together with Christians, and also the very ugly details of the pain that sin causes. Just like any family, there is dirty laundry to be handled, BUT we, as Christians, have something strictly biological families lack, and that is the ultimate purifier and cleaner, Christ Himself and the sweet smelling aroma of grace.

Rosaria practices what she teaches and like always she brings new perspective and vitality to my faith. She is also a foster parent that truthfully exposes the insecurities and blessings of foster care. And as a foster parent myself, her compassionate words of wisdom were a balm to my aching soul. Foster care and radical hospitality are difficult, but Rosaria is able to beautifully orchestrate the Gospel around these practices making these hardships worthwhile and brave.

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I strongly recommend this book to all Christians. This book will change your life if you haven’t read any of Rosaria’s books already.  It will challenge us to be the hands, feet and voice of Jesus. It will encourage us to see the equal dignity and humanity bestowed on fellow Image bearers. It will saturate you with the Gospel and the eternal hope we have as a family in Christ. I also recommend it if you are a foster parent, or know of any foster parents that may need encouragement, this book would be a good gift.

You can order the book here.

Here is a short video of her.       https://youtu.be/8XXHXWrh-Rg

Words in quotations come directly from “The Gospel Come with a House Key”

 

 

Hereditary – Movie Review

I saw this movie with my two older sons at 10:30 p.m.! In preparation for it, I took a nap during the afternoon because I can no longer hang with the young kids it seems. I also prefer not to watch horror movies because of my over active imagination, but a las, there we were.

This review contains no spoilers.

Summary: The movie is about a family and their struggles with loss, pain and death. The mother of the main character, Annie (Toni Collette) has just passed away and very slowly the story unfolds of her evil and obscure past. This past ends up affecting the entire family in very horrible ways. The movie ends with an unexpected twist and leaves the viewer thinking a little about the plot.

My take: The movie was very slow and I didn’t like it. The acting was phenomenal though and the tension of the family was very much felt. Even the cinematography was very well done, but it was just so slow. There were some frightening scenes, but nothing about what all the hype was about. I read so many great reviews about this movie. I read that it was the scariest movie of our time, that it left the viewer unnerved. I really didn’t leave feeling that way, and I am a wuss with this genre. I still scare myself in dark bathrooms afraid of seeing Samara from The Ring! The plot was somewhat interesting, but I really didn’t think it was executed well. They really had a good story line, but it fell short in accomplishing the gravity of the situation. The ending felt silly to me, and the last scene did absolutely nothing in leaving me unnerved. It was very anti-climactic.

Recommendation: I really don’t recommend this movie. There are about two unexpected twists throughout the movie, and if that makes you curious then watch it. I would describe it as an intellectual horror movie, but nothing that stays with you. If you like fast paced slasher, jump scare, type of horror movies, this movie isn’t for you.

There are several shots of non-sexual nudity that makes the movie awkward, and watching it with two young men, the giggles were many. There is profane language throughout the movie. There is also teenage drug use. There are several intense scenes of gore also. The movie is rated R.