I have so thoroughly enjoyed this series. It has everything. Humor, heartache, quirky characters, and forgiveness. This last book in the “Elderberry Croft” series finally tells us the whole story of Willow Goodhope’s past. A great book about redemption and restoration. I can recommend this book for Jr. High and up, though it will probably appeal most to adult. Most of the characters are senior citizens and the main character in her 30’s. I will definitely be reading more from Becky Doughty. Good job! I give it 5 stars!
This is one of the best books I have read this year. I loved it. If possible I would give it 6 stars. A charming book about a ten year old girl who spends the summers on an island with her quirky family and some fun characters. It made me remember some of our own shenanigans when I was young. Will definitely be reading the rest of AJ’s story. New favorite author. Great for kids and up. Good Christian moral story, told in a non-preachy real life way. I had a hard time laughing quietly while reading in bed, so as not to wake my hardworking husband! So many funny parts, but still some serious things as well. Good lessons on life and fun reminiscing.
We tend to set up camp at the cross, when that was never the Father’s intention. We have come to the cross to confess our sin, accepting Jesus’ atonement…and then stayed there. Some even worship the cross. We have to go beyond the cross. The work of the cross is finished. How do I know that? Because Jesus said, “it is finished!” If it wasn’t, he wouldn’t have said it. Notice he didn’t say, “it is being finished”, “the work of the cross is continual,” no he said FINISHED. Period. We respect and reverence what Jesus did there, the price he paid, the blood he shed there, but we can’t live there, can’t stay there. We have to move past. Jesus said that he was the door-we don’t stand in doors, we go through. Jesus was the door to the Father.
So what’s on the other side of the cross? The cross is the door to the Kingdom. The Kingdom of God is on the other side-the throne room. Jesus sits on that throne; he isn’t hanging on a cross. The cross couldn’t hold him, hell and the grave couldn’t hold him. He was destined, before the foundation of the world to sit on that throne. We are seated there with him, those of us who have accepted the finished work of the cross (Ephesians 2:5). Who sits on a throne? A king. Who has authority in that Kingdom? The king. The King of Kings sits on his throne in Heaven ruling his Kingdom and what does he call us? “Kings and Priests” (Revelations 5:10). What is the job of a king? To rule and reign, to use their authority to prosper the Kingdom.
I am learning-and trying to walk in this authority. It isn’t something new to me. Our Senior Pastor always talks about “A King, a Kingdom and a Royal Family.” But the word says that “Faith comes by hearing, and continuing to hear, the Word of God.” So sometimes we have to hear it over and over to get it from our heads into our hearts. Faith never takes place in our heads, always in our hearts. What our heads can’t comprehend our heart can believe. We don’t have to understand it all, just believe it all. Even the little Revelation I have received on this subject, I sometimes forget. I go back to the cross…habit, and to be honest I love to remember the love of the cross. Through some classes last week on healing and the Kingdom, some of those wrong thinking patterns were broken. So some of what I am sharing is from those classes. I hope it frees you up the way it has me.
Jesus didn’t “plead the blood”. He never said, “By the stripes on my back you are healed.” He didn’t ask his Father to heal. He prayed often, frequently all through the night, but he didn’t pray for God to heal. He hadn’t shed his blood; the cross was still in his future. But that didn’t stop him from doing his Father’s work. He healed the sick, cast out demons, cleansed lepers the list is endless. He did all of this as a man, not God. Through the power of the Holy Spirit and obedience to God’s will, motivated by their love, he did these mighty works. He knew his position, knew who he was. He didn’t let the fact that he was here as a man stop him. He knew who his Father was and that all power and authority came from the Father. “I only do what I see my Father do, I only say what he says.” He continually told the Religious people of the day that his power came from the Father.
Now, he did die, hang on that cross, shed his blood, went to Hell, took the Keys, stripped Satan of his power, and was resurrected. All of that is true, and wonderful! But he also ascended into heaven where he sits on his Throne of Power and Authority. Before he left he told us to do what he did. He told us to preach. Preach what? The cross? No the Kingdom. The Kingdom is the love of the Father that wants to see his children blessed, set free, stand and walk in their authority. To be on the offensive not just defend. Take territory; don’t just try to protect the little we have. He wants his family to grow! He told us to heal the sick. We do it, through the Holy Spirit working in us. Cast out demons. Not pray them out, cast them out. Tell them to leave. They have no authority. You do.
I know some religious toes have been stepped on and some sacred cows slaughtered. But religion stinks! It’s a set of do’s and don’ts that can only dictate how to behave. It never changes a heart. Relationship with the Father, now that changes our hearts and life’s. Now we do his work out of love for him. I swallowed hard at least a dozen times over the course of this class. I kept hearing this word ‘but’ in my head. Look at it this way, the cross, the beatings, the stripes and the blood, they were all to get us to the Throne of Grace. Important, necessary and wonderful? Yes, of course. The cross was the means to an end. The work of the cross tells us ‘how’ we got in the family of God, ‘why’ we are able to be healed, delivered and saved. ‘Why’ we have our authority. It the reason we can say to the sick, “be healed,” say to those in bondage to sin and the devil, “be free.” His stripes did heal us. His blood did cleanse us. So we are healed and clean. We don’t have to ask God to do these things, they are done. Accept it. Live like its true!
When we keep going back to the cross, it’s as if we crucify him again. Wasn’t once enough? God’s word tells us it was “once for all.” Just think about that for a minute…
Can you hear him calling you from the Throne of Grace?
So maybe you screwed up yesterday, you fell away, stumbled into some old sin…so what? There is Grace in the Throne room of God. Turn from the sin. That’s all repentance is, really. It’s already under that blood. It’s already been forgiven. When we live in the Kingdom, we become his ambassadors. We find that we don’t mess up as often, we stumble less. We are, like Jesus, only doing what the Father said and saying what he told us to say. We are part of that Royal Family sharing the goodness of the King. Who wouldn’t want to come out of the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light with us? If you are one of those who declare themselves “a sinner saved by Grace,” stop it! God said not to call unclean the things he has made clean. Jesus’ blood cleansed us; we are clean, no more sinners but saints, Sons no longer servants. God said, he never lies.
God made it all, including you! Every speck, every square inch of matter. He spoke it all into existence. Why did He create it? For you! For me. He made everything that was made for a purpose and that purpose was love. I don’t pretend to know why He made some things (there are some nasty, creepy critters out there). And I do know that since the fall things have gone considerable downhill. I was pondering on all of this the other day and the enemy quoted scripture to me, “He said He made it all for His pleasure.” Same old lie from the Garden. Just as quickly the Holy Spirit replied, “True! It always pleases the Father to bless those He loves!” He finds pleasure in giving us everything. He gave us His Son. He gave us His Kingdom. What more could we ever want or need? What more could the world, or Satan ever do for us? They would both shed OUR blood, but never pour out their own! So look past the twisted, fallen state of things the way they are now under Satan’s rule, see the original beauty of creation. You can still see glimpses in the Rocky Mountains, the pictures sent back from Hubble, a baby’s smile, a flower, it’s there. Next time you see a sunset, a rainbow, pure white snow-covered landscape, thank Him for making it all for you.
How can we honor God and His gift? Walk in the authority and dominion that He gave us. Sure Adam sold out to the enemy, but Jesus paid a great price to purchase it, legally, back again! Then He left it to us as our inheritance when He died. He didn’t stop there; He rose again, and sent us His Spirit to give us the strength and to lead us on this path of victory. Don’t let Satan steel back what God has purchased! Take what God has given, with a thankful heart! It’s yours
This was a good Christian mystery. Loved the relationship part, the witness of the murder victim and the suspense. Would recomend it. There is an honesty in the story, could really happen. I found it very refreshing. Will be looking for more by this author. I give this book 4 stars and would recommend it to anyone who like a mystery. Not a chick-book, but I think a good read for women as well.