Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mortal by Ted Dekker and Tocsa Lee

Mortal is the second book in the Books of Mortals trilogy where we see the story of Rom Sebastian continue to unfold and deepen. This story is not only about Rom, but about the story of all of the dead who accepted Jonathan's blood and became Mortals.  This is the story of their coming to life through the blood of one who could reverse a terrible virus that stripped mankind of every emotion but fear as a pretense to stopping war and violence against each other.  This is the story of their deliverance from fear and Order – the rules they live their lives by in order to pass into Bliss after their death.
Nine year after Forbidden, we see that Jonathan is now just days away from becoming eighteen, which will then thrust him into the seat of Sovereign of the entire world. The purpose of this is to bring out a new world. A world where the dead shall become alive once again and Jonathan will provide the life giving blood for this purpose. In those same nine years, Rom has devoted his life to not only keeping Jonathan safe but ensuring that he takes the seat of Sovereign in just mere days. He has spent every waking hour working to this purpose. 
Of course even the best laid plans can easily become undone. Rom’s plans are no exception. Saric, the half-brother of Feyn, the last Sovereign who laid down her life to allow Jonathan to rule and bring about life to all that are dead, has other plans. He thwarts Rom’s plans at every turn and brings great evil to bar the way to Jonathan’s rule. He has created a massive army whose purpose is to destroy Jonathan and all those who stand with him. 
As this story unfolded before me, I was struck by the passion, the intensity, and the struggle that dripped from each page. There was no break from the mounting anticipation throughout this book. Instead you were quickly plunged into the tumultuous waves that whipped you from side to side, drowning you in the depths of evil and despair and then tossing you up above the crest of those same waves into the peace and pleasure of brief glimpses of Heaven.
I could see many parallels between this story and that of the Circle Series which embodies the journey of our deliverance from the grip of evil. I was very pleased to feel the similarities of those two stories. While we may view that journey in many ways and from many eyes, it is always the same. Love came to us, love offered us life, and then love sacrificed all for us to be able to have a choice. Only we can decide to what choice to make – Him or evil.
Ted and Tocsa performed such a graceful and beautiful dance of the life of love. It brought me to tears in places and lifted my heart when I didn’t think it was possible. These master story tellers wove a majestic pattern that resulted in the most beautiful tapestry then one could have imagined. It blinds me at times and at other times it makes me want to hide in shame and yet it continues to draw me in deeper and further into the story. It beckons me to follow in order to discover the next part of the story. It leaves me unsettled, uncomfortable, and yearning for more, so I wait in quiet anticipation for the last part of this simple yet overwhelming story of love, grace, and redemption.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

To Heaven and Back by Mary C Neal, M.D.

While I don't normally read non-fiction books, I decided to stretch myself and find out what this book had to offer. I was pleasantly surprised to find a heart-warming and faith-stirring true story of a woman who died, went to Heaven, and then came back to continue her life here on Earth. Her story encouraged me that no matter how alone, busy, or somewhere in-between we feel, God is always there for us. He is watching us, helping us, guiding us, and loving us when we need Him and especially when we don't deserve it. He knows what our future holds for us, and He is very much concerned about our family and how they will be impacted by it. The primary reason this lady was sent back to Earth was to help her family in their most desperate times in the years to come and to be a life changer to friends just be going through her death and resurrection. God cares for us more then we can ever imagine. He created us and He loves each of us with no exceptions or strings attached or conditions.

God doesn't need us to perform miracles to lead others to Him. Most times He just need us to be willing to let Him use us. He will then take us and work the miracles out through us in the most simplest of ways.We don't need to become martyrs of the days of old, or great speakers or motivators, we just need to be a willing clay vessel that He made us to be.

Through her experience, her own faith was strengthen and all of her doubts were washed away never to return. This experience helped her to deal with life altering experiences with grace and faith that she would  not otherwise have had to lean on. In the book, she asks Jesus why he doesn't appear to more people, and His reply was "You believed because you have seen, but blessed are those who believe but have not seen". So take heart if you don't experience a real life, physical experience like this, for God will give us that which we need to complete our journey on this Earth. He doesn't love you or I less, but He just knows that we all need something very different to encourage and prepare us for what lies ahead. For each of us has to walk the road on which He has set our feet upon, and He will walk beside us each day, hour, minute, and second. On our hardest day, you will no doubt find him carrying you as I have found Him carrying me on the days when my heart has been broken, my hands have become raw, and my feet can no longer take another step.

Through it all, He is with us, and He will always be with us.