All for Anna by Nicole Deese

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Victoria, the main character of the book, suffers with PTSD from an auto accident that took the life of young girl named Anna.  Victoria must learn to forgive herself and find a way to live in the world.

The story is interesting, but some of the scenarios drag on for way to long and makes the book seem a bit boring.  Also, some of the characters lack depth.  They are extremely one sided and it felt unnatural.

I did not love or hate the book.  I just thought it was okay.

 

Learning From Joseph (Matthew 1:18-24)

Mary was engaged to Joseph, but he found out she was pregnant and wanted to call off the wedding.  Joseph was a good man, he could have Mary arrested on charges of fornication and adultery.  However, he didn’t want to put her through such a humiliating experience.  Joseph decided to call off the wedding and not do anything that would bring shame to Mary.

While Joseph was considering his options, an angel appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (ESV)

Joseph listened and obeyed the angel’s instructions.  What can we learn from Joseph’s character in this section of the Bible?

  • Joseph did not seek vengeance or retribution.  Instead, Joseph showed mercy and was willing to forgive Mary.
  • Joseph listened to the word of the Lord, as spoken by the angel, and he obeyed God’s word.  Joseph was willing to be obedient, despite the circumstances.

We would all do well to learn from Joseph’s example and implant these character traits in our own lives.

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Gospel Distortion

Last Sunday, I went to The Brook church.  The pastor, Brian Mayfeild, is preaching a series on the book of Galatians.  The first chapter of Galatians is a warning to believers.  Paul tells the church to avoid those that preach Gospel distortion.

The main points of the sermon were:

  • Distortion of the truth leads to perversion.  Ultimately, perversion leads to death.
  • In the Gospel, we find forgiveness and freedom.
  • To reject the salvation Christ offers is to reject Christ.

I enjoyed the sermon, but I have a question.

There are so many denominations and cults that use the Bible, how can you be sure you are not being deceived?  How do you know if you are being taught a distortion?  These groups can look at the exact same scripture and come up with completely different interpretations.  It all seems so confusing.

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Thoughts on Forgiveness

People will wrong you in life.  It may have been done by accident or the person may have done something to deliberately take advantage of you or harm you.

A willingness to forgive the wrong doer, can help you heal from the emotional harm done by the perpetrator.

However, forgiving is not the same as forgetting.

Once someone has deliberately deceived you or harmed you, do not trust them in the future.  To do so would only invite further deception.

Forgiveness may be freely given, but trust and respect must be earned.

Forgivness is also not an automatic pardon.  Forgiving someone does not take away the need for punishment or restitution, especially if a crime was committed.

Forgiveness is more about helping yourself heal, then it is about helping the other person.