Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A Lineage of Grace

by Francine Rivers

This one's a collection of five novels. Or maybe they were novellas. All I know is that they were originally published as individual books. Each book took a story from the Bible and retold it (with some embellishments) from the perspective of the story's heroine. I read the first two back when I was desperate for something to read and decided I wanted the first one on my shelf. Years later, I picked up this compendium and bit by bit read through them all. Of course, such a lengthy reading schedule makes for a lousy book review.

My opinions of the first two novellas didn't change after the second reading. I recall the third volume telling the story of Ruth, "Unshaken", as being the weakest of the lot. It seemed to import a lot of 20th Century American values into the tale. "Unspoken", the story of Bathsheba and her lust affair with David worked better. The stories from 1st and 2nd Samuel are some of my favorite from scripture and it was interesting to see that one fleshed out from Bathsheba's perspective. Ms. Rivers also didn't skimp on presenting sin, repentance, and forgiveness. Finally, "Unafraid", the story of Mary, gave an interesting take on what it's like to have a Messiah in the household. In the end, I'm glad I picked up the collection and took the time to read it.

It's on my shelf, worth checking out, and waiting room material.
LibraryThing link

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Thursday, October 05, 2017

The Executioner's Redemption

by Rev. Timothy R. Carter

One nice thing about being middle aged is that I've figured out a lot of the questions about life. Like the lyric goes, "fewer things puzzle me than when I was young". Of course, there's still things I haven't made up my mind about. One of the things I still waffle on is the death penalty. Is it a necessary evil? Sometimes I'm ready to say no, but then the doubts creep back in. Anyway, that's what lead me to pick up a copy of The Executioner's Redemption. To me, the question of capital punishment is merely academic. I don't really know anyone convicted of murder nor have any of my loved ones been murdered. Rev. Carter, on the other hand, spent the first part of his adult life as a prison guard on death row. I figured that I might learn a thing or two from reading his story.

In The Executioner's Redemption, Rev. Carter tells of his years within the prison system and how that intertwined with his reconnection with Christ and growth in faith. I found it to be a fascinating look into another world. More important, it was a reminder that the issues of the day, and in our lives, have a spiritual dimension. Rev. Carter makes no pronouncement on the death penalty, but rather demonstrates from the stories he shares that life and death is of secondary importance to one's relationship with God. And that relationship is formed through the process of living life and confrontations with death.

Keeping it on my shelf.
LibraryThing link

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