From Nightmares to a Nightmare 11-14

Angel woke up Dreaming about Duke.

“You can’t get away from the Duke, the Alpha and Omega.  Four thousand miles was far enough, yet here I am”

Had it really been a year?  Seemed like only yesterday.  She knew he was still looking for his property.  For now it is only in her dreams that Duke finds her.

Michael took her up to the place high on his property to see the stars.  Like the night sky, full of bright shiny stars against black velvet,  her reality would soon fade as the night sky turned back to day and the stars would fade.  Bright hope would fade as daylight returned to her life.

No matter how hard you try, you can’t escape the truth.  She was guilty of being born.

Four months and she was still walking wounded.  That’s what Michael said as Angel moved about.  She had seen the stars, he was offering her hope for the future but she was “walking wounded”.

I think I have “walked wounded”, unable to move on past the pain and hurt.  I think it has taken me years, lots of therapy, love from my husband, many self-help books to finally see all I really need was to allow God to work in me and forgive myself.  God has already redeemed me just like He is redeeming Angel but if you don’t walk in the Spirit you might be walking wounded.

Michael was not only hearing  God’s voice but he was starting to hear a dark and powerful one.

Angel didn’t like the emotions that Michael was stirring up in her.  She had never been treated like this before in her life.  He complimented and encouraged her.  He had a sense of humor and made her comfortable with her mistakes.  HE GAVE HER HOPE.

Yet the same dark and powerful voice Michael heard was talking to Angel.

You have to go back to Pair-a-Dice, get your gold, get a place of your own.  Oh sure you can repay Michael first with chores and help him around the farm, but you must go back”

Michael could see some softening even though they had a huge fight, she was finally opening up some.  Letting him in a little.  He gave her another name now.  Amanda, softer and happier name.

Finally admitted on that terrible last night at the Palace, she had wanted to die and Michael ruined it for her by saving her life.  Now she was trapped as his wife.

Michael wanted desperately to show her the love between a husband and a wife.  Finally with God’s help he did. Some unknown and unwelcome emotion opened deep inside Angel.  Something hard and tight began to soften and uncurl. As it did, the dark voice arose.

Get away from this man, Angel.  You’ve got to get out of here!  Save yourself and flee!

Paul is home.  Michael’s brother-in-law.

I can’t believe how he treats Angel.  Michael was a little naïve thinking he would accept Amanda, knowing the odds were good that Paul would have been to the Palace himself.  Like a tattling little brother he runs to tell Michael all about the woman he loves and how she is no good for him.  Michael wasn’t having it.  I am glad.  He should have hit him a few more times.

Michael forgave Paul but sent him on his way.  Little did Michael know that Amanda would catch up with Paul and ask for a ride back to Pair-a-Dice.  Hell more like it.

Paul didn’t think Angel was good enough for Michael.  But he got his price for the ride.  Then informed her she wasn’t worth more than two bits.

I loved her reply:

“I know what I am. I never pretended to be anything else. Not once. Not ever!.”

“Here you are, borrowing Michaels wagon and horses and his gold and using his wife….And what do you call yourself?  His brother

 

 

God’s Will

Michael talked with God often. They seemed to have a good relationship until this point in Chapter 5 and now in 6 when he started questioning God and doubting himself.

“Lord, you said to do Your Will and I am trying. But does it have to hurt much?”

I know how Michael feels. I can’t tell you the times when I definitely know I am in God’s Will. Often with it comes painful humbling, resentful repentance, not sure why, If He loved me; would He make me crawl like this?

I did it but wasn’t always happy about it.

Michael left Angel in Pair-a-Dice physically but he couldn’t get her off his mind.

That’s how it feels when God is asking you to step up and do what He says. You know in your heart He never lets you down and it always works out when you follow His Will. Yet you hold back, you rebel, you postpone. I have anyway, how about you?

He was hesitant to go back but He followed God’s Will.

I am so glad Michael went back and listened to God’s nudging. Michael said to Angel as he carried her out of her room at the Palace: broken, black and blue, barely alive:

 “I want to marry you before we get out of town.”  What choice did she have?   Angel said,  ” I would marry Satan himself if that will get me out of the Palace…   By the way, my name isn’t Mara. It’s Angel.”

His face hardened.

“Angel was a prostitute in Pair-a-Dice, she doesn’t exist anymore. You are my Wife .”

Ever wanted to change your name?

Sometimes my friends and I would change our names but more to escape. But here in our story, Angel is getting a new chance at a new life if only she could see it. Right now she still hurts and needs Michael help to do things but soon she will get her own place and get out of the business.

Michael had left all of Angels things when they left. She had nothing. He said he would provide all she needed. Our heavenly Father tells us that. Are we satisfied knowing that?

Are we like Angel as we say with a forced smile,

“I will forever be grateful for this bounty” mocking Michael as he gives her his sisters old clothes to wear.

Angel doesn’t know a thing about Michael, farming, doing chores or cooking. Michael with such patience is trying to teach her. I just can’t help seeing over and over the Fathers Love for us as Michael loves the wife God gave him.

How sad that Angel thought the only think “right” she could do was offer pleasure to satisfy Michael. That was all she knew how to do. It wasn’t working though.

Yet Michael was in love with her without a sexual component.

I have been there. Being the life of the party I was very popular in more ways than I care to share. I eventually realized that they only wanted me in the bedroom not to take home to mom or go on nice places. It took me several years to figure that out. All my teenage life actually.

I hope Angel sees Michaels true love for her and God as we read the next 5 chapters together.

Don’t forget to “Follow” me so you won’t miss out on a post and reply with your comments too, as we continue to read Redeeming Love.

ps. thanks for your patience as I have finally worked most of the bugs out on this blog.

Am I going too fast or too slow?  Let me know where you are in the book.

Redeeming Israel

Hosea 2:
14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Bring her into the wilderness
And speak kindly to her.
15 “Then I will give her her vineyards from there,
And the valley of Achor as a door of hope.
And she will sing there as in the days of her youth,
As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.
16 “It will come about in that day,” declares the Lord,
“That you will call Me Ishi
And will no longer call Me Baali.
17 “For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth,
So that they will be mentioned by their names no more.
18 “In that day I will also make a covenant for them
With the beasts of the field,
The birds of the sky
And the creeping things of the ground.
And I will abolish the bow, the sword and war from the land,
And will make them lie down in safety.
19 “I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice,
In lovingkindness and in compassion,
20 And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness.
Then you will know the Lord.
21 “It will come about in that day that I will respond,” declares the Lord.
“I will respond to the heavens, and they will respond to the earth,
22 And the earth will respond to the grain, to the new wine and to the oil,
And they will respond to Jezreel.
23 “I will sow her for Myself in the land.
I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion,
And I will say to those who were not My people,
‘You are My people!’
And they will say, ‘You are my God!’ ”

Defiance One to Five

rebellious generation morguefile1850 Pair-a-Dice in the Mother Lode of California

Smiling cynically, Angel saw on one corner a man preaching salvation while on the other his brother, hat in hand, fleeced the godforsaken. Everywhere she looked, there were desperate men, exiled from home and family, seeking escape from the purgatory forged by their own decaying hopes for a future.

These same fools sought solace where they were most assured of finding none-from her.
The things that happen to little Sarah in the prologue was horrific. I imagine she is wondering where God is, why her dad didn’t want her, why God and her mom hadn’t protected her with Cloe.

Where was God when mom died? How could God let such a little innocent child of 8 become Dukes new property?

How do we reconcile God’s character as it is revealed in Scripture with the fact that horrible things happen to the innocent?

From 8 to 18 we can only imagine what a life Sarah endured. We get a quick glimpse of a lover who helped her escape the likes of Duke but only to soon lose hope and was on her own again.

Along and with no hope. Angel hated her life. She hated Pair-a-Dice, Duchess, Magowan, and she even hated her own wretched helplessness. Most of all she hated men and the relentless quest for pleasure.

She remember the words Cloe spoke to her about God’s Truth,

“All men want to do is use you. When you give them your heart, they tear it to shreds.”

An even stronger force than the hatred that feasted on her was the weariness that sucked her soul dry.

At eighteen, she was tired of living and resigned to fact that nothing would ever change. She wondered why she was even born.

For this she was born, take it or leave it. God’s Truth. Only way out was to kill herself.
Her courage failed her over and over.

No hope for Angel,

“I don’t look back, and I don’t look forward and now doesn’t exist”

Michael Hosea

“Lord, this isn’t exactly what I had in mind.”

I don’t think Angel had Michael in her mind either. But Michael knew he was going to marry that girl anyway. It was God’s Will for Michael.

All Angel knew was that this is all there was to life and if Magowan had his way her life would be over sooner than later. All Michael knew was that God had provide a wife for him. They were both in disbelief.

“I’m not here for sex.” Michael told Angel

“No? You’re her for Bible Study”

Little did she know God was at work with Michael and Angel answering prayers!

It is clear in our story that Michael and Angel both heard God and Satan speaking to them. How do you distinguish between the two voices that call you?

The only way I can silence Satan is with Gods’ Word in my heart and in my mind and in my soul daily, sometime minute by minute.

God was answering Michael Hosea’s prayers. Only not the way Michael had planned. Angel was not the wife he had prayed for. Consider the Jews and their fervent prayers for a Messiah-and how that prayer was answered through Jesus. Was He what they expected?

Angel was listening to Satan. He had managed to wipe all her hopes and dreams away. Michael was hearing God clearly but was not convinced He was right. Could God really want This Woman as his wife?

Angel was angered over the name Mara Michael gave her. He didn’t know her and what her life was like. How dare he assume things?

“You just came on one of my bad nights” Angel justified her anger but more than anger was stirring up in her.

What was it about this stubborn man that just wanted to talk? He stirred up emotions she had buried.

He spoke of a new life, one with hope. Not for her.

Hope was torment; Hope was an enemy. And this man was a thorn in her side.

Night after night Michael returned, Angel treating him like all the rest. She knew he was no different.

Or was he? Hosea’s personal questions echoed in her mind. What was keeping her here? Why didn’t she just walk out the door?

Angel decided to leave after all. But on her own with her own Gold she had made, but she had to convince Duchess and Magowan to let her leave. They were not so easily convinced and Angel soon found out the wrath of Magowan was her way out of this life. Push him far enough and he will end it all for her and she won’t need any courage. He will kill her quickly and this life will all be over shortly.

After the fourth blow, all Angel heard was the beast roaring in her ears.

Child of Darkness 1835, God’s Truth

Let get started with the Child of Darkness, Prologue in New England, 1835 as young Sarah meets her Dad for the first time.

So eager and anxious to please her handsome Daddy. Then when he isn’t pleased, she is sure it was her fault and mama was so sad.

It gets very dark as mama, who was distant for months all of a sudden is on top of the world sends poor Sarah on a trip with Cloe to the Seaside.

How sad is that? Mom chooses the Man.

Confused and worried Sarah knows that the Man she had once called Dad is coming back to visit mama and NOT Sarah. Mama’s so happy that she is willing to send her sweet child away with the likes of her maid, Cloe.

Cloe showed her true colors as she returns to a life she had left of drunkenness and bar room life when Merrick took her and used her once again, leaving young sweet innocent Sarah out in the hall vulnerable to a very scary way of life.

I was so upset and cried for her that she was left and forgotten out there all alone. Leaving there having not even seen the ocean, she was forever a changed young girl.

Her eyes were opened by Cloe telling her God’s truth.

“All men want to do is use you. When you give them your heart, they tear it to shreds. None of them care. Take your fine papa. Does he care about your mother? “

Arriving home Sarah discovered that Cloe was right once again.

Her and mama were leaving the grand home that Alex had provided and heading to a new way of life. Mama was beyond heartbroken and having to crawl back home to her parents was the last thing she had hope for.

Arriving at her grandparents’ home, humbled and in despair, it was made clear that Mama and Sarah weren’t welcome there.

Sarah finds out real quick what poor and lonely life you have without someone who loves you.

Oh, Mama tries to love Sarah and provide for her but in the end Sarah sees how Cloe was right about God’s truth once again.

At only 8 years old Sarah is all alone and without love from anyone. Heart breaking isn’t?

Moving in to the Dukes home, now orphaned, she was told things would be grand and she would be loved again and safe.

By morning, Sarah knew that Cleo had told her God’s truth about everything.

Once again God’s Truth was revealed to her in ways we aren’t even told. We are only left with our imagination of what life was like with the Duke.

I cried and cried when Rad foolishly thought he was doing the right thing.

I know this first start of the book is dark and hard to imagine yet we all know how true it can be.

I promise if you stay with it the next part “Defiance” isn’t as dark.  It will still be sad as we come to know Angel, a hard, tough, women who has come to know God’s truth to be very real.

As an  18 year old adult now in 1850, she has made sure no one can enter her life or heart.

She has only one defense and that is to never feel love again.

Because she had seen and lived what is God’s truth.

  1. Why do you think Angel’s mother stayed in a relationship that was damaging to both her and her daughter?
  2. What kept her there? Are there beliefs or attitudes that you struggle with, that you know are damaging to yourself or others? Why hold on to them?
  3. Read Psalm 116:16-17; 118:5; 119:45; 142:7; Romans 6-21-23; and Colossians 1:21-23.

Continue to read on to Defiance. Feel free to add your comments or like this post if you want.

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

My friend Janie had loaned me my first Francine Rivers book when I started taking Precept Classes with Debbie Harris at Shadow Mountain. I think that was 2003.  Janie and her mom had read several so every few weeks I would bring one back and trade it for another. I cannot recall all of the names of the books that first year or two that I swapped with them but I bet it was 10 or more books.

I can say I came to love anything Rivers wrote. I could see something or relate to something that all of her characters were living or doing or had endured or were facing. I have read well over 20 of her books and now rereading them again.

She is my favorite author. She writes Christian Fiction like no other. Bringing God and how He works in others’ lives that gives HOPE to the character and to the reader. Her characters are so real you will end a book missing them, wanting to be with them again, like a sister or mother. You are part of the story.

If this is your first time reading FR you are in for a real treat, a journey you will take with Sarah first, then Angel & Mara and Michael. If you are rereading it again I am sure you will remember the story but now the second time or third time you will be more in tune to details and feeling of the characters and why they chose the paths that they did. You will see more of how God was in it all along the way.

I first read Redeeming Love in January 2005 and am eager to read it again with you. Well I hope I have whet your appetite just enough to get you started.

Some of you had to purchase your book and I hope by now all of you have it in hand.

I am so happy you want to join me in this new adventure I am taking. With a break from my Precept class I felt I wanted to try blogging so here is my first attempt as I hopefully inspire you and encourage you to read along with me and a few others.

I hope you will also join in by commenting and replying to others as we do this as a community.

Feel free to share with you daughters, sisters, moms, girlfriends that might like to read along with us. That will make all the more rewarding as we all talk about how the story goes or how it affects us.

I for one can tell you that I can relate to Sarah as a child, less to Angel and Mara in her days at the Palace, but then again as a new wife a way from all family and friends with a man I had only known for two weeks when we became partners. So feel free to share your thought as we go.

Why blog and Why Redeeming Love?

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

I am taking a Precept Class coming in September 2016 on the Book of Hosea.  It is about a prophet that God requires to marry a prostitute.  In preparation for doing this study I am once again going to read Francine Rivers Redeeming Love.

I read Redeeming Love first back in 2005. I mentioned to friends if any them wanted to read it also this summer then I would be willing to open up a dialog on it and we could all benefit from each other as we read.  This is my first attempt again to blogging.  I hope you will join me in my new adventure.

I hope you will enjoy reading Redeeming Love with me and some friends.  I plan on posting weekly as we go through it together.  I will often ask some thought provoking questions in hopes for some dialog from the others following along.  I might give a testimony along the way sometimes.

As I mentioned this is my first attempt at this so please forgive me in advance for the stumbles along the way.  Feel free to remake and comment on the book or any other questions you might have.

After we read this book I have another planned for the summer but later on I will blog other kinds of things, like book reviews maybe devotions that were moving or touched me.

I don’t know where this will led me but I am following God’s nudges and pray for His Will over this adventure.  I give all I offer here to the Glory of God.  I take no credit for any wisdom or knowledge without first giving God the Praises for using me and changing me to who I am today.

I am His, now and forever and am very grateful for all He has done in my life.  More of that will show up in my blogs.

Well let’s get started.  Welcome and thanks for following me.