Dark Glass Ponderings

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. -1 Corinthians 13:12

This summer has been a waiting and learning summer in so many ways for us.  Memorial Day weekend, we were sent to the emergency room to find my gallbladder was so filled with stones it looked like a golf ball.  Labor Day is thought of as the traditional last hurrah of the summer.  We've come full circle this weekend with my husband just finishing his first week at a job he neither applied nor looked for.  In between has been the waiting on many, many other things.  Waiting...is not a strong point for me.

"Those who wait on the Lord soar with wings like eagles; those who wait on us get chomped."  This is the strange, rhythmic cheer the 5 and 6 year olds chant before every soccer practice.  Their name is the Green Alligators.

"But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it." -Romans 8:25

Is all our earthly waiting reminding us that we have a heavenly hope?  What are we waiting on?  I like Liz's cheer, it reminds me if we wait on the world we will be defeated. Its when I'm not filled to overflowing with his spirit, I'm more likely to "show my teeth."  Maybe not on the outside but on the inside.

I think of Jesus actions towards Judas.  The fact that he walked where Jesus walked (at least physically) for three years.  How Jesus washed his feet.  I think of how John and Peter reclined against their Lord's chest in loving affection.  I see Jesus showing the same affection to a man he knew would betray him.  Had Judas given Jesus a "kiss" a hundred times before that moment, Jesus looking on sadly grieved for Judas' soul yet never loving one bit less.  When Jesus looked on Judas, only love was there.  I don't understand it.

I truly believe we are living in the end times and one of the primary signs the Bible talks about is that our love has grown cold.

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. -Matthew 24:12

Lord, please empty us of all the garbage of the world so we have room to be filled fully with your Spirit. Let us pour out a love that might witness to the outside world in these last days.  Let us truly live the words we confess with our tongues.

The fireplace was easily one of the selling features of our home to me.  Adjacent to the fireplace is a nice cozy chair for reading my Bible, or sitting wtih my laptop and writing.  Or even better, snuggling up with the hubby or one of my children.

I know, just what you wanted to talk about in the middle of August...scorching heat, right?

But there's another kind of fire.  No its not much fun to talk about that kind either is it.

In the book of Daniel, it was a literal fire. 

And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.-Daniel 3:27, KJV

No smell of the fire!  Will we beg for the heat to be turned down or will we allow God's refining process.  Today in my time with God, I read Daniel 11.  In verse 35 he says that the wise will be "refined," "purified" and "made white."

Isaiah 48:10 says "Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace  of affliction."
I recently read a life-changing book about a Chinese brother in the Lord, The Heavenly Man.  Brother Yun isn't perfect but he is an example of weathering persecution for the Lord.  I know none of the "fires" in my life can compare to Brother Yun's repeated prison stints and torture.  In each prison he was in he witnessed by his life and words to prisoners and guards alike.  Many lives were changed.

Who might be watching you while the heat is on?  What will they say about the living God as they watch you?  Will we allow God to burn off the dross of the world sticking to our body?  Are we going to cry out for the Lord to turn it down, willing to miss the opportunity to be refined? 

The winner of the Amazon $15 gift card is:

Sable Lexi

I'll be sending that out to you via email.




And I'm over here today....talking about one of my favorite "coming of age" movies...and what it taught me about writing:

First Rate Characters of Secondhand Lions

Hi, did I get your attention?  I hope so.

I've been thinking about this blog a fair amount over the last few months.  I've decided to change the way I do blogging a bit.

Over at The Writers Alley I post every other Tuesday with what I'm learning about the writing craft.  And I'm still over at Title Trakk sharing my reviews on a semi-regular basis.  I love writing about craft and I love reviewing books.

I'm sure you'll find a bit about my writing journey here and the occasional book review.  However, instead of reviewing books for tours and such, I would like to share some of my favorites with you. 

But mainly when I started this blog I was looking for a place of reflection.  To share what I'm learning on my journey, not because my journey is special but exactly because its not.  In hopes that our footsteps can meet at the end of this life maze.  In hopes that God may use words to refresh our parched souls together.  Because I thirst.  I thirst for Him and I hope we can meet at the well to gulp living water together. 

So you may find more devotional type posts here in the coming months.  Possibly written in poetry because sometimes my soul doesn't know how to form together the word structure so the words flow line by line. 

I hope in the comments you will feel free to share prayer requests and praises so that this blog can become a safe community where we lift up each other.

Between now and August 8th to honor my most faithful reader, my mother, on her birthday I would like to give away a $15 Amazon gift card.

Be sure to leave your email address in this form:

whoever (at) wherever (dot) com

Thank you to all those who have made contact and wondered how I was doing and hoped I was going to continue blogging.  It means a lot to me and know that you are a blessing in my life.

Oh, and the first commenter gets an extra entry!

Prepare for an adrenaline rush!

Nonstop action, believable characters, and an intriguing plotline make False Witness a winner for fans of the Christian suspense genre. 

Singer's characters are quirky from Jamie, the law student seeking justice after her mother's murder whose best friend is an adorable dog to Clark Shealy, a bail bondsman fighting for his wife's life.  Clark increases his likeability throughout the book as he comes to know Christ.

My initial interest in this book was sparked by the topic of the Indian church and giving Dalit children an education.  I was pleased that Singer is addressing this subject, although at times I felt it was inserted in the plot and I would have liked to have seen this subject covered more deeply in the novel.  Maybe that's just because I have a personal interest in the topic.

This book has interesting twists throughout that are clearly designed to keep the reader turning pages and Singer succeeded in his goal. 

I am glad to have a backlist of Singer's books to keep me occupied until his next release.

**Special thanks to B and B Media Group for providing a copy of this book for review.**

I apologize for the plethora of reviews coming to you at once.  I would prefer to spread out the dates, however, I have an upcoming medical procedure this week and need to make sure all the links to my reviews are sent on in time.

The Fine Art of Insincerity is a deep, emotionally impacting read that spans a variety of themes.

Hunt's book is based around three sisters who couldn't be more different (or do they have more in common than they think?) who travel to beautiful St. Simon's island to "unload" their late grandmother's house and end up clearing out their own "baggage" in the process.

Grandmother George also had six other last names.  Yet each of these sisters also faces monumental challenges in relationships.

Ginger struggles with her husband's infidelity, Rosemary struggles with suicidal thoughts, and Pennyroyal contemplates leaving her third husband. 

It is a story of the facade of perfection and the pride of trying to hold it all together.  Ultimately its about the relationship between two sisters who can't bear to be in each other's presence and the God who can reconcile them to each other.  As the sisters embrace brokenness, God unveils His second chances. 

Its also a novel about the grieving process not only for grandmother but over lost marriages, second chances.  I highly recommend this book to all fans of women's fiction looking for a great summer read with emotional depth.  Hunt has once again proven herself queen of women's fiction.

**Thanks to Glass Roads PR for sending a copy of this book in exchange for a review.**

I had been praying for the right Bible for a new reader and just days later received this book in the mail as part of the Crossway Books review program for homeschoolers.  It is a great fit!  In fact I have waited to write about this Bible for so long because it was not sitting in my review stack.  My 6-year-old daughter brings it everywhere.

I received an ESV Study Bible for Christmas.  I find it a great study resource and I appreciate the philosophy behind the translation of this particular Bible.  I still love my King James Bible though.

Colorful pictures add interest, especially in the age bracket where there are many beginning readers.  I agree with some bloggers that the intended age level of 5-8 may be low but this is a wonderful read-aloud Bible with great study features.  At this age, it is great to read to your child and be present for any questions.

This is the closest I've seen to an in-depth study Bible for kids.  I like the fact that this Bible asks key questions helping the child to gain a clearer understanding, another feature that is great for family Bible times. 

There are tons of maps and a Bible dictionary included. Every book has a full page introduction.  I also love the fact that this Bible includes memory verses for kids to focus on throughout the text. 

In short this is a wonderful Bible to add to your collection, in my opinion, if you have children in the 5-10 age range.

**Special thanks to Crossway homeschool review program for providing a copy of this book in exchange for a review.**


Julia M. Reffner

About Me

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Christ-loving bookworm & homeschool mom of 2 stealing the rare quiet moments to pursue that all elusive writing dream. I also write book reviews for Title Trakk and The Historical Novel Society.

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