Jan 23, 2014

Redeeming Love / Prologue & Chapters 1-3

This will be my third time going through Redeeming Love.  My first time with friends and...I'm so pleased about this...with my two eldest daughters.  I pray that the Lord would soften hearts...expose lies and fill us with hope and a peace that surpasses all understanding during this journey.

If you are so led...please leave your remarks in the comment section of each post.  I trust the Lord will speak through each of you what He wants the others to hear. 

Love, Dawn 

First thing that hit me...the Shakespeare quote at the start of the Prologue...

..."The prince of darkness is a gentleman."

*  Isn't it the truth?  The enemy of our souls hardly ever shows up as an ugly beast.  Right?  Not at first...at least.  Whatever he has to offer is wrapped in paper that glitters.

Think back to a time in your own life when the prince of darkness attempted to entice you.  Was he successful?   Why was he able to succeed?  If yes...why do you think?  If no...why wasn't he?

*  I was struck by Sarah's/Angel's  discernment.  As a child...she quickly works through the confusion she has about her "beautiful" birth father and comes to a place of heartbreaking realization.   With her mother as well.  With Cleo...with Merrick...with Rab...with Duke...it's as if she is given insightful eyes to see. 

"Sarah thought it was the most fearsome sound she had ever heard.  The wind howled in the trees like a wild beast searching for warm-blooded prey, and when the door to the Four Winds opened, she heard loud laughter and men shouting.  Sarah drew back sharply, not wanting to go inside."

After reading this passage....I thought to myself...the Lord is giving Sarah a glimpse behind the curtain.  It is being drawn back for her.  She is witnessing the heavenly realms...where spiritual battles are being waged.

Has there ever been a time in your life where the Lord has given you a very obvious RED FLAG?  Where you feel as if you've been given eyes to see beyond the curtain?  

"Moonlight flowed over the flower garden and Sarah saw her mother kneeling in her thin white nightgown.  She was ripping all the flowers out.  handful by handful, she yanked the plants up and flung them in all directions, weeping and talking to herself as she did.  She picked up a knife and came to her feet.  She went down again on her knees besides her beloved rose bushes.  One after another, she cut the roots.  Every last one of them."

What do you think Mae's garden represented?  Why did she destroy it?

*  And oh the heartbreak when Mae's earthly father fails her.  When he fails Sarah.  Personally, I feel as if Mae's mother should have done more.  I'm wondering now if I'm awfully rebellious?  I would absolutely struggle with submissiveness in an instance like this. 

*  At the end of Chapter One  Angel says, "I don't look back, and I don't look forward."  "Now doesn't exist."

Have you ever been in this place?  Numb?   Merely surviving.  Alive but not really. 

* At the end of Chapter Two Michael Hosea is faced with something that makes no earthly sense at all.

"Lord, "  he said heavily.  " Lord, this isn't exactly what I had in mind."  But he knew he was going to marry that girl anyway. 

Think back to a time when the Lord impressed something upon your heart that seemed ridiculous at the time.  Can you laugh about it now?  Does it make you cry?  Did it grow your faith?  Convince you of His sovereignty?  His goodness?  His provision?

*  The William Walsh quote that Chapter Three opens with kills me cuz I've experienced a thought like it.

"I can endure my own despair, but not another's hope."

Can you relate?

*  And at the end of the chapter Angel more or less tells Michael that he wouldn't be able to handle the truth when she says... "Mister, five minutes and you'd run like the devil."  

Have you ever felt like if others knew the full truth about you...the whole truth...the ugly truth...that they'd run?  Does anybody know you?  Really know you?

Let's read Chapters 4-10 and be ready to ponder with one another by next Friday...January 31st.


singandrejoice said...

This is my fourth time reading the book and through your comments it's fresh and new and though provoking on a whole different level!

Shelley said...

This is my second time through this book. I didn’t like it very much the first time, some of the scenes and writing was uncomfortable for me. I loved your comments and questions and am really looking forward to going through the book with you all.

"The prince of darkness is a gentleman."

I was struck by this quote as well. It made me think of how even the good and right things I want can so easily turn into an idol. It’s so easy to justify because it isn’t a sinful desire but when it consumes my thoughts and I’m willing to sin to get it or sin if I don’t get it I know I’ve placed it on the throne of my heart.

“I was struck by Sarah's/Angel's discernment.”

I didn’t catch that but once you brought it to my attention I was also struck at how little discernment Mae, Cleo and Rab had and how that lack of discernment as adults and their resulting choices put a vulnerable child at risk and in danger.

“What do you think Mae's garden represented? Why did she destroy it?”

Great question and I’d love to know your thoughts on this. I’m thinking her garden represented hope and when Alex left for good all the hope Mae placed in him was lost which is why she destroyed the garden.

"I can endure my own despair, but not another's hope."

Can you relate? Sadly, yes…..I have just come through a particularly difficult season where this was a struggle for me.


Naommm said...

All done with that, can't put the book down so I may re-read lots Love it, Interesting how I needed to be reminded about unconditional love and to shut-up sometimes ! Lol

Cara Renee said...

So I typed a novel...no joke and then it disappears...for some reason I was the only person meant to read my words.

Ginger said...

The first quote "The prince of darkness is a gentleman" struck so profoundly and I had read the words before and I just didn't put it all together until now. I am not sure why. So true. this has happened to me and he had a foothold on me due to bitterness and a feeling I was not getting what I deserved out of a relationship. He succeeded in some areas but a red flag went up (Holy Spirit) and I realized what was happening and stopped the behavior. I had to ask for forgiveness from the Lord and change my thought on what I was suppose to expect from the relationship.

So enjoying reading this book again

Kim Thompson said...

I am in! I will comment later tonight as I am getting ready for a party tonight at my house! I have read the chapters though and am excited to participate!! xo

familygregg said...

Although I have discernment and pick up on red flags rather quickly...I am also a diehard optimist....so that has gotten me into some relationship struggles over the years. It's like I see someone for who they are....beyond the glittering wrapping....but hope hope hope that the actuality will not manifest itself. When it does...I'm always like .."Lord, you gave me a warning." There have been a handful of times when I have had a physical reaction in opposition to someone. There is no earthly explanation for it. And the Lord has always confirmed them to be problem people.


Oh...Mae's garden. Sigh. It represents the loss of hope.

I am so hopeful...friends would say ridiculously so...but I am also a realist and sometimes I can be super steady in the acceptance of reality. It's very hard to see somebody hope when you yourself are at a place of coming to grips with the knowledge that things may never turn out the way they are hoped for.

Thank God...this place is not our home.



familygregg said...

I'm sort of in a numb place right now...regarding a relationship w/someone. I don't have any feelings. The disappointment isn't there anymore. The hurt. The anger...not there. It's not good.

I do still have hope...but there isn't any emotion attached to it.



Anonymous said...

(1.)I Believe that the garden represented hope. She was destroying the garden because she didn't think there was any hope left.

(2.)Sometimes after weeks of waking up and doing the same routine I feel like I am going through the motions. I wake, do some work, and go to sleep. I do feel numb and not alive.

(3.) The Lord impressed upon my heart that being a fashion designer was not my dream but opening up an online vintage store. I feel like it is a ridiculous and a weird passion but I love vintage clothing and I also love that there is a story behind every article of clothing.

(4.) I struggle with being transparent with my emotions. I do feel like people know me. Including my mom...she actually knows me very well and I am so thankful she does. I don't know why I don't choose to be transparent...I don't believe its because I am afraid of people knowing the truth.

Anonymous said...

I remember a time when I was like the prince of darkness and it didn't turn out to being a success that I thought it would be, and I got caught.

The Lord has shown me that others should have a red flag about me because I sometimes am jealous and angry behind the curtain.

Mae's garden was a sign of hope. I think she destroyed her garden of a broken heart and having to leave the cottage and garden behind.

I have had a time in my life when I felt totally and completely numb and thinking upon it now, Ive wasted so much time. And as of now just before the new year began, I've began to change that, I have disappointment in the consequences for it, but I'm slowly learning.

Not exactly, but I had the hope of my great great aunt choosing life over death, and I can't help but cry over the feelings I had because it is sad that she was troubled and had no hopes.


Anonymous said...

I forgot one,

People do know me because of the help of my mom. I am struggling with being open about myself, and hopefully I'll grow more to be transparent through this book club.


singandrejoice said...

Does anyone really know the truth about me? Probably only God. And he loves me anyway!? That blows my mind. It's so easy these days to "hide"- hide behind what we are involved in, hide behind the computer screen and paint a picture of our life that doesn't exactly match up to reality, hide behind past accomplishments, etc. To be real and transparent is rare these days. We are afraid of letting people see the real us?? And why do we think other people have it "more together" than we do? Maybe it's a pride thing. All I know is the Angel, for all her shortcomings, was the REAL DEAL. She didn't hide who she was. She didn't pretend to be something she wasn't. I think we'd feel a degree of freedom if we were more like her in that respect. Just stop pretending - be thankful for the grace God extends to us - let others in so we can lock arms and encourage each other.