**This is not meant to be a “preachy” post. Sorry. It is a post for those who love to read, but who discern the contents of any collected writings. Enjoy!
The bible is one of the most popular, bestselling, beloved and hated book of all time.
Even so, people still worry over whether the book containing “Dead Sea Scrolls” is really the voice of God, or stories penned from wildly imaginative people trying to give others hope.
I remember one discussion with someone years ago who stated, “It is not right to read the bible from Genesis to Revelation because then you are treating it as you would any other book.”
I did not have a comeback for that because I questioned myself: “Lord, am I disrespecting you for reading the bible front to back?”
I love reading all kinds of books and the preferable start is at the beginning of a story. You get maximum entertainment that way(unless you are reading choose your own ending books). However, the bible is different.
Since that discussion, I have “bible dipped”, choosing to read chapters and verses I felt I needed to read or that God whispered to me to read.
Then one day, I felt an urge to begin at the…
From the garden of Eden to the lake of fire.
I had to do this because when a person just dips into the center of the bible often, there is a whole journey that could be missing. There are still books of the bible I am unfamiliar with!
One day, I may feel the need to read from Revelation to Genesis. That would be cool.
The point I am trying to make here is that it is impossible to read the bible as a fairy tale whether you begin at Genesis or elsewhere. Impossible. It is a collection of prophecy, history, and divine letters.
This is not a post to preach, but hopefully an encouraging word for those bookworms who are Believers and who may have had this discussion before. I have read maybe hundreds of books in my lifetime so far, and let me tell you, when you are about to begin a book with collected writings of over a thousand years, you can never just read it as you would any other book.
Because it is not any other book. Even those who are not Believers can attest to this.
Anyway, these are just my morning thoughts. I love being random like this.
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Tapping into the wisdom of God is a pretty big feat to accomplish. God is an unseen being, an intelligent Creator. One who sent his son Jesus to die for us all so how can we tap into His wisdom and allow it to order our steps? A.W. Tozer’s writings on this subject is quite simple but is easily recognizable and in some cases come off as extremely biased.
Tozer starts off describing what Wisdom is. Wisdom is an “afflatus”, a breath created by God and appears in the form of a woman in the biblical writings. Wisdom, also called Sophia, cries out to us. This divine breath. A.W. Tozer references throughout the work, is given freely. He cites the Wisdom of Solomon. A.W. Tozer repeatedly reminds us that the Wisdom of Solomon is not divinely inspired of God like the other 66 books of the bible, yet gives us a picture of what wisdom truly is.
That was a slight problem with this work. This could be because of my own personal stance on Christianity now as to why I am cautious of what I read and believe. Why isn’t the Wisdom of Solomon included in the 66 books of the bible and who deemed it so?
After learning about wisdom being a “divine lady breath”, Tozer begins to help us understand the activity of wisdom. Chapter by chapter he teaches us: “The Root of Divine Wisdom”, “The Benefits of Eternal Wisdom”, “The Practicality of God’s Wisdom”, and so on. Each chapter brings you closer to understanding the beauty of wisdom.
There is one teaching that really stuck to me though. In the section on pursuing wisdom, Tozer breaks down Proverbs 1:20-23’s meaning of the scorners, the fools, and simple ones. These are the ones Wisdom will “pour her spirit onto”.
“The point is, though he believes those things, he lives as if they were not so. The man who lives as if the truth were not true is as bad as the man who denies the truth.”(The Wisdom of God, Tozer, pg.108, 2017)
Some troubling areas which came off as biased(again, this could be because of my own feelings as of late about Christianity) stems from over-radical beliefs that is unproven.
For instance, Tozer says: “Millions are in hell because they simply could not resist imitating others”(pg.57) and who are these people in hell Tozer mentions? Smokers and drinkers are one of them. This part is very complex and odd because how do he know who is in hell and how does drinking and smoking land someone in hell? It is bad for health- but hell?
Also, when describing the “strange, evil woman” he calls her sophisticated and smart and “can’t remember when she last attended Sunday school”…? That was pretty low and what does being strange and evil have to do with sophistication unless she is using people and is conceited, I don’t see anything wrong with anyone being sophisticated and intelligent. Perhaps a better example could have been used.
Perhaps I can chalk it up to Tozer’s time period. He lived around 1897-1963 so his views on some things may seem myopic and biased but he is still one excellent theologian and writer.
Overall, the book had great insight and I advise readers to take note on some pages because understanding the wisdom of God is important for the Christian walk. That much I do agree with.
This book earns four hearts from me and was received for free from Bethany House.
I know I have an amazing book on my hands when I just can’t stop highlighting enlightening words and anecdotes. Kamaria G. Powell’s words feel as if they are bubbling from a pot of sincerity and love, as if a sister is trying to encourage you in your darkest hour.
WTF is Enlightenment is a clarion call and book of personal experiences, detailing just what the heck spirituality is and all it can be.
The really cool thing, is that Kamaria does not just tell us what enlightenment is, she reiterates over and over that we “have to embrace our own spirituality” and this can be difficult for many of us because who we are tend to be tied down to religion, passed down teachings, titles and material wealth.
“What I learned from my deep longing to be seen as a spiritual being, was that you don’t need anyone to knight you.”(WTF is Enlightenment, 2017)
How is it that we allow people outside of us to tell us who we are? That is impossible! Whatever the Creator of the universe has given us, was given by Him. If we need to make moves and make a change, we are already equipped to do so.
Kamaria even gives us some background on her own life story. She does not sugarcoat her mom’s mental illness or her dad’s incarceration, and her choosing to see the lessons and the light from that situation will encourage the reader too.
This book is a welcome fresh air that was not difficult to understand at all. As I said before, this book is a clarion call to be who you are. What can be more beautiful than that? Here are a few tidbits from the book that were precious gems to me:
Listen to patterns in your life.
You are the access to the Divine- everyone else is a guide.
Being spiritual does not require a specific text.
You are an expression of God.
Plus many more affirmations.
“You have the power to start thinking of your life as a science that you must study in order to discover your personal truths…”
After reading this wonderful book, I have become more aware and will definitely heed to the lessons Kamaria points out in the material.
If you’ve ever wanted a guide that was not boastful , yet intelligently and simply written. Please choose this one.
Her Secret Life by Tiffany L. Warren
Published by Dafina Books(2017)
ISBN: 978-1-4967-0872-4 Book received for free from Netgalley
Note: This book can be categorized as Christian Fiction but has a few disturbing scenes and language you may find distasteful.
Her Secret Life was actually a pretty good book. It had all the right ingredients.
Including the ingredient for annoyance.
Onika was born to a cracked out black mother and handsome Puerto Rican father/pimp.
Her grandmother, Earlene ends up raising her in a strict, religious home.
Every day Onika and her grandmother prayed for her mother to be healed by God and for years that never happens. Coupled with Earlene’s ornery attitude, Onika eventually gives up on Church and God completely and no one can blame her at this point.
Eventually, Onika earns a full scholarship to a prestigious college in Washington, D.C. where she meets a handsome guy at least ten years older than she and that is when things get really interesting…
She was Judy’s child. It was inevitable that she’d be addicted to something. [Quote from Her Secret Life, 2017]
She is not my favorite character at all.
The book itself is actually quite good. It kept me up reading very late, I talked my husband’s ears off about it, so yeah it was pretty good.
The author wrote in a way that makes me believe she actually knew these people. I think this is what made me dislike Onika all the way around.
Onika comes off as proud and even intelligent. Then she’d turn around and do something utterly dumb.
There were times in the story where I lost all pity for this girl and I feel bad because I knew people who have been in bad situations like her so she has every right to feel like she need to keep her life private.
But to lie to everyone…?
Then disrespect those helping you?
I could not take it anymore. When I lose connection to a character, the story is lost for me. I began rooting for Graham(Onika’s new love interest) and enjoying Charmagne’s(Onika’s benefactor) character. Even though Charmagne was a holy roller and attributes every single thing to God all the time, she had a Christ-like attitude and was refreshing to the story.
This book also touches on issues such as colorism, drugs, and Christianity/Churchianity.
Again, a very nice book, but I abhorred Onika’s character.
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-The Write Web
His hands crushed mine, not tenderly, but tender in love and fiercely. The honey brown orbs that were his eyes, pierced mine as he grabbed hold of me, already feeling me slip away.
I never seen my boyfriend cry before. But I am now. It hurts like no other pain.
Everything was growing blurry…two of him, twin tearing men. His white shirt, rumpled with a few paling brown coffee stains splattered on the front, probably from rushing into to see me in my final hour.
“NANINNNNNE! Don’t you dare leave ME!” He growled, his hands no longer felt tight on mine. Was I slipping from this world to the next so soon?
I said something, I think. My lips moved, a tear raced down my cheek as my truly handsome boyfriend stared in terror.
Did not matter how often we prepped for this moment.
All the prayers and all the research of my breast cancer. Late stage, lead us here. I guess, the Final Act cuts deep.
My grip suddenly felt ghost to me. Foreign. My hold loosened on it own as Eric leaned closer to me. My family were all crowded around me, their hands touching my legs, my stomach. Praying. Weeping.
A door slammed in the distance. Another reaction to my dying.
Adin’s warm breath reached my eyelids. My heart began a lub….DUB….lub…..so achingly slow. My lungs couldn’t catch up to any natural rhythm either. The pain meds wore off long ago.
“Nanine.” He slides his hand up the side of my arm. “Don’t. You. Leave. Me. I will chase you across worlds. Remember? I will-” My poor man choked up. I gather strength enough to look into his eyes.
What I saw shocked me.
Shocked me enough to make my heart hit a few beeps.
His eyes, pupils dilated, were deep pools of black. His full lips leaned down over me and my gaze stuck to his as his hot lips landed on mine sensuously in front of everyone.
Only Adin can make me feel this way. Even with my bald head, body nothing but bones from the chemo that ravaged my body, he made me feel sexy. Alive. Always have.
His hot gaze, fierce, determined, supremely angry, swallowed me whole. I believed for a full minute that he literally could chase my soaring soul to wherever.
Our connection have always been so strong.
After the kiss, he only moved an inch from my face and ran his hand down my cheek. “I will find you.”
Suddenly, I couldn’t chase air. My heart’s rhythm, a normal drum in my chest, ceased it’s beat.
I can’t! I can’t breathe! My heart won’t tick!
The room, Adin, my family their echoes of pain sounded so far away. I mentally clawed for life. Clawed for it.
Adin’s face of anguish, his honey eyes were the last things I saw before complete darkness overtook me.
My lips were kissing something wet and very cool. Smooth.
My eyes were drawn so tight, they felt like lead at this point and I was afraid to open them. My memory slipped from me. Where am I ?
I risked opening my eyes slowly, shocked at the clarity without my glasses. In clear, HD panoramic view, there were lush trees and bushes everywhere, birds chirping.
Some cherry blossoms, floated by me and landed near my face. My face was hovering above clear, beautiful liquid, too amazing to just call water.
My body felt so…clean and lightweight.
Staring at my reflection, I was shocked my skin seemed to glow whereas it was usually pale. It had a hint of gold to it, but the ripples in the water from my movement caused my shimmery glow to vanish.
I finally pushed myself up and on the bank, startling a small squirrel prancing around, chasing its own tail.
The squirrel seemed more orange than brown.
Where am I?
A deeply male, familiar voice made my heart race. I look down at my slightly sun kissed skin and was terrified at how I could see through hands, as though through a veil.
The male approached me.
He was as naked as I am. Shimmering like me. Barely solid, barely ghost.
Oddly familiar too.
His eyes were large, his body designed and perfected in some lab probably and his lips had to be fashioned in supreme love by God himself. I felt nervous, giddy, confused.
He approached me but kept a safe enough distance. “Welcome home, Nanine.”
He reached out to me with his hand. Feeling lost and so utterly confused, even with all the beauty surrounding me, I take his large hand.
“I told you I would chase you from one world to the next.”
Familiar words. Familiar face and lips. Those eyes.
Why did they look so familiar?
Why do I feel…connected to him somehow?
Stay tuned this week for the short conclusion to this love story!
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No more conscious of sins, is the theme here for such a wonderful, romantic filled story by one of my favorite writers today, Julie Lessman.
In Love Everlasting,Shannon O’Bryen is tasked with ensuring that playboy, heart throb Sam Cunningham, gets home safely after a night of him imbibing.
Shannon’s brother Jack warns her that Sam can charm anyone. In fact after reading this book I understand how he can charm the skin and fangs off a snake. With this fair warning, Shannon promises she won’t take the bait. However during Sam’s drunken state with him calling her Angel Eyes as she wipes him down clean and cook him food, Shannon already feels…something but even more importantly, Sam feels it too. On a major level. The question is, does he still love the sexy Jasmine, or will he give in to his warm feelings for the woman who rescued him? A woman who seems as pure and moral and untouchable as a saint?
Note: Feel Free to skip to the extended character review of Sam and Shannon!
If you have not read Book 1, I suggest you do, technically you have to read that one to understand the relationship dynamic among the people of Isle of Hope, Georgia. However in theory one could still read Love Everlasting and enjoy the work tremendously.
Seriously this book was fun, serious, and very romantic. The characters and the setting works for a very strong story here. Isle of Hope is a real place and is very beautiful with its Southern charm of lakes and greenery you can imagine the characters as real people walking down the Isle for a nice stroll or a swim.
Lessman’s creativity when it comes to characters is strong as well. Sam was well rounded. He is a doctor but comes from a troubled past. He knows what he needs and what he wants. Shannon is a quiet soul. She is like me. She is a writer, she loves God and is about marriage and family but even she has a secret that just may destroy whatever it is she wants with Sam.
Loved this book. You have to read it.
**I received this book for free. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
Wait! Here’s a Juicy Extended Character Review: What Makes a Great Romance 101
Love Everlasting is one of those books where character is everything. In fact in most books, that is what drives the story. I want to point out a few of the reasons why this book received five stars by focusing on the two main characters Shannon and Sam.
Successful children’s doctor.
Was once orphaned himself.
Very charming and intelligent.
Has swoon worthy looks and appeal.
Who can tame a playboy?
What I loved most about Sam is that he has a boyish side to him that only Shannon has seen. His temper tantrums or not wanting to share her. But he is such a poet and his words made me melt:
That’s because it’s not just a kiss,” he whispered bowing his head to touch his forehead to hers. “It’s the gift of my heart, Shan, all wrapped up.”(pg.220).
Now on to Shannon.
A believer in Christ.
Cleaned Sam after his vomit of liquor(so, she is caring).
Jack is Shannon’s brother.
Jack is also Sam’s good friend, soooo…
Shannon is off limits(or should be off limits) to Sam.
Yet, Shannon is not so squeaky clean. You see, Sam views Shannon as an angel, unmarred by sin.
He wants Jasmine back so bad that he enlists Shannon’s help to get her back and one of Shannon’s requirements is that he become a believer in God. But is Shannon herself perfect? After a while, Sam moves from head over heels for Shannon to an all out love for her and for Shannon that is good and not so good.
Wait until he learns her secret.
This book definitely deserves the five stars because anytime you have the Playboy Meets the Angel, sparks sure does fly!
Did you guys read the story too? What did you think?