Wednesday Words [2]- How Many Times

{image mine}

how many times
has He wiped our slate clean
how many times
 has He called us redeemed
even though we 
will not ever be worthy
to even be called His slave
how many times
has He forgiven our sin
how many times
again and again
even though we
will not ever be worthy
to even be called His slave
how many times 
has He called us His child
how many times
has He given that title
even though we
will not ever be worthy
to even be called His slave-
He calls us His child instead
~written 3.25.17


I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you. // Isaiah 44:22

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight... // Ephesians 1:7-8

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. // Galatians 4:4-5


[ just a reminder #1 ] His Deep Deep Love


O the deep, deep love of Jesus, 
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free! 
Rolling as a mighty ocean 
In its fullness over me! 
Underneath me, all around me, 
Is the current of Thy love 
Leading onward, leading homeward 
To Thy glorious rest above! 

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, 
Spread His praise from shore to shore! 
How He loveth, ever loveth, 
Changeth never, nevermore! 
How He watches o'er His loved ones, 
Died to call them all His own; 
How for them He intercedeth, 
Watcheth o'er them from the throne!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, 
Love of every love the best! 
Tis an ocean vast of blessing, 
Tis a haven sweet of rest! 
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, 
Tis a heaven of heavens to me; 
And it lifts me up to glory, 
For it lifts me up to Thee!
~lyrics by Samuel T. Francis 


...so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. // Ephesians 3:17-19


Isolated Blog Tour

I'm so excited today to be able to participate in the blog tour for Isolated, Jordy Leigh's recently published debut novella! Jordy is a fantastic author with an amazing heart for God, and I was thrilled to be able to read and review Isolated recently in preparation for this blog tour, which will feature a selected portion of the novella in the spotlight as well as some of my reflections.


About the book:
Fourteen-year-old Louise Stella flees into the forest to escape an intruder who would take her hostage. But by the time she returns to her house, her country has broken out in war and her home island has become a military base. Sharing the land with enemy soldiers, Louise’s only goal is to stay alive one day at a time. Having no food or water, and little knowledge of how to survive in the forests of Quebec, her biggest adversary is “the Unknown”. Her pride crumbles and she realizes that she can’t sustain herself. She must depend on someone else... but Whom?

Isolated is a Young Adult suspense novella with uncertainty lurking at every turn. It will have you asking the big questions about life and death. Will you come to the same conclusion as Louise?


There are so many portions of Isolated that I could share, and I wish I could highlight all of them! Jordy has done a beautiful job of weaving Biblical, lifechanging truths with action-filled suspense that will keep you reading. {Warning: My thoughts and the excerpt below are slight spoilers}.
One of the main messages of the novella is that God will never give up on us- ever. Nothing that we can ever do, think, or say can change His plans, as Louise learns all too well!

....She knew everything there was to know about the Bible. But I don’t know God. And now she couldn’t help but feel that He was chasing her down; that He was after her soul. Will He ever give up? God, I don’t want to give you my life, so won’t You just stop… please? She threw her arms up in frustration.

Well, I’m not going to give up either. He can chase me down all He wants, but He won’t have me. Louise stuck out her bottom lip. She would show Him how fast she could run. Besides, He doesn’t know what I’m going through. Louise briefly considered the contradiction of her thoughts. How could a God Who didn’t know her situation chase her down so relentlessly. But in that moment of frustration, it was a detail she was willing to overlook. A few days ago, she didn’t even believe that God existed. It was much easier to resist Him then, but she could no longer deny Him.

This particular portion stuck out to me, as it reminded me of several Bible verses dealing with this very topic. Louise, although she is resistant to the things of God, feels like she is being "chased down" by Him- and she's right! God essentially"chases down" and brings to Himself everyone whom He has chosen. Romans 3:11 says "No one understands; no one seeks for God". It has nothing to do with us at all, as Ephesians 2:8-9 shows us. It has everything to do with God. John 6:65 explains: "....This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless it is granted to Him by the Father", and John 15:16 says "... You did not choose Me but I chose you...". 
It's pretty useless to argue with God, and I'm sure we're all quite glad that we don't always get what we think is best- becuase we usually have no idea what that is. As Louise is gradually learning throughout the novella, we can resist all we want but that changes nothing. God is always in control.
I think these paragraphs illustrate what a lot of people think about God -whether all the time or just occasionally. Also, knowing what the Bible says is not the same as knowing God, as Louise figures out at the beginning of the paragraph. Unfortunately, I think that's a common mistake that many make today. Knowing God is vital to knowing everything else we need to know!
Again, this is just one of many amazing parts of Isolated that encouraged, inspired, or really got me thinking. We need more books that do just that!


Isolated will be officially published on September 11, but there is plenty you can do in the meantime!

About the author:
From as young as seven years old, Jordy Leigh filled exercise booklets with stories until her hand hurt. She loves a good book, but ultimately she hopes that hers will offer something of greater value than short-lived entertainment. In reading them, may you learn more about the God of the Bible.

Jordy Leigh hopes that Isolated will at once quench your desire for compelling fiction and nourish your soul with wholesome truth.


I hope you enjoyed learning more about Jordy's new novella and that you'll take the time visit and follow her blog, read Isolated for yourself, or support this wonderful author and her commitment to writing God-honoring fiction in some other way.
Have you read Isolated? If so, what did you think about it? If not, does it sound like something you'd like to read?


The Hardest Thing

Okay. This post deserves a little bit of explanation. About a year ago, I came across this post from the blog On the Other Side of Reality. The author's most recent post was titled The Hardest Thing and described a deep, sad, picture of life and its end. As I read it, I realized that indeed, a lot of people believe that and live like that every day... and my heart felt so heavy for those, those who essentially have no hope.
The author has allowed me to write something based of off her original work, which is intended to show another "hardest thing"- in my opinion, the hardest thing that can happen to a believer in Christ.
Please understand- this post is in no way is intended to hold anything against or put down the the author, what she writes, or what she believes. Since she identifies as an agnostic, I would not agree with most of her beliefs, but in this case my point is not to disagree or argue anything- I only wanted to share my take on a heartfelt glimpse of what the future holds for a person. Again, go ahead and read the original post before reading my spinoff, and thanks again to the author for allowing me to share this.

{image mine}

....is when you know you could have done more, done better, done it well. You knew how to sing, to dance, to write, draw, and speak- but you didn't do it for the right reason. You had money and power, influence and skill, but what is left of you? What is there to show in the light of eternity? The only thing that just kept you going on- just barely hanging on, day after day- was that secret hope that one day you might find out the real reason for life. You didn't bother looking into it then, although it would have been the only thing that would have smoothed away the tears and stress and emptiness of life and let you see the world like it is.

And so you learned to live your life that way. You kept it all inside, but finally, nearly at the last minute, you found out. You gave in to what you knew must have existed all along- that gentle voice that tugged at your soul. And when you finally exited this world there was Someone on the other side to comfort you. However, there were no loving arms and gentle reassurances in this one as you slowly exited this life, there were no grave performances or dramatic memorials as you returned to the dust where you came. And you know it's all your own fault. All there is is Him- suddenly the only thing you ever knew was ever enough, as you are swept away for eternity. In that final moment, there is peace. There wasn't what you expected, though- no congratulations on your earthly accomplishments and successes, only Him and that overwhelming wave of remembrance of what you could have done with your life but didn't, and then everything else fading out and a new life beginning forever. 


If you are a believer in Christ, would you agree that the thought of a wasted life- with nothing left to give Him- is the hardest thing? Of course, we can never come to Christ "too late", as everything is in His timing, and we know that He alone is enough -that we can never do anything to earn heaven- but our love for Him in this life is proved by our actions. How sad to have nothing to show.
I would love to know your thoughts about this. What do you think is the hardest thing? 
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