Thursday, January 1, 2015

Always on my Mind by Susan May Warren

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Well, now doesn't that look like the typical romance book, Christian romance of course.  And you would be correct in drawing that conclusion, but I do really like this series of books.  It's the fourth in a series about the Christiansen family and this book deals a lot with love and forgiveness and overcoming past mistakes and being able to move forward.  I'm really not going to give a lot of the story line behind the book except to say that Casper is the middle child with the need to save the world.  He wants to find the lost treasure, he wants to heal the hurting lady, he wants to prove himself to his family that he isn't just a failure.  So he first runs away to dig for pirate's treasure, but then comes back home and tries to forget the woman he fell in love with who happens to have a past that kicks him in the gut.  Interested yet?

But here's what I really want to focus in on-- some advice that John, Casper's father gave to him.  Listen to a few lines pulled from the book: "See, I was my own worst enemy back then. My pride told me I deserved better.  A bigger life. But my dad figured it out--there is no life bigger than the one lived, every day, in awe of God. God showing up in our lives to love us despite ourselves. That is a treasure we can find every single day....How do you keep loving someone who doesn't love you back? Like Jesus did, Son. Faithfully praying, faithfully abiding, faithfully loving anyway.....You don't think Jesus sees our choices, our decisions, and wants to run out in front of us with semaphores? He does, in fact warn us over and over of the ways we're destroying ourselves. But we don't listen. And what does love do? Forgives, Comforts. Protects. Saves. Renews. Loves.....If what we call love doesn't take us beyond ourselves, require more of us than we ever dreamed, then it's not the unconditional, divine love God intends for us. God's love is not cautious, not wise, not sensible, and not remotely conservative. In fact, loving another person the way God loves them is the greatest adventure we can have. The greatest treasure we can find."

This speaks to me: we all have people in our lives we don't understand, we struggle to get along with or we have completely broken relationships with them.  Our first step must be to pray for them and then to love them irregardless.  This is not humanly possible. This backs us up to the first quote, the one that says there is no life bigger than the lived every day in the awe of God.  God loves me despite my shortcomings; how can I do anything but love the next person despite his or hers?  This is my goal, this is my resolutions for the year 2015 and this might be worthy of posting on my refrigerator.

This book was given me by Tyndale House for the purpose of reading and writing a review on it.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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