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Friday, August 10, 2018

Five Minute Friday: Woman

*Occasionally I will participate in Five Minute Friday, a weekly linkup where we free write for five minutes flat about a specific topic. I veered a little from the no editing part this week, but I am pretty sure my actual writing was close to 5 minutes.  This week's topic is: Woman.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.-Genesis 1:26-27

In the very first chapter of Genesis, we see where God created woman.  If you go on to Genesis 2, you can see a more detailed explanation about how she was created.  But, in Genesis 1, we see that God created her in his image.  

Later, in Genesis 1, God gives both the man and the woman the same commands.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.-Genesis 1:28-30

Then at the end of Genesis 1, God calls everything he made good, including both the man and the woman.

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.-Genesis 1:31

Woman is not this inferior, lesser creation, made of a different design than man.  She is equal in the way she was created, in her purpose, and in her quality.  God called her good.  This, in Genesis 1, is all of God's original intent for man and woman.

The woman was  good.  She was supposed to bear children and increase.  She was to have dominion over the creatures in the earth.  

After the fall, it seemed like her position changed. Pain came in.  But still we see women holding places of authority through the Old Testament.  When Jesus came, it seemed He restored the woman back to her place in the Kingdom.  To learn more about that, see my series, Women in the Life of Jesus.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Thief of Corinth by Tessa Afshar

"Bah," Paul said, waving a hand. "Physicians. They are only men, after all. What is to them an unsolvable case is to God a simple matter.  We shall ask Jesus to touch your father."  He gave me a lopsided smile full of mischief. I wanted to grin back, like a carefree child, as if I were not carrying a millstone around my neck."
-Ariadne, Thief of Corinth

"First-century Corinth is a city teeming with commerce and charm. It’s also filled with danger and corruption—the perfect setting for Ariadne’s greatest adventure.

After years spent living with her mother and oppressive grandfather in Athens, Ariadne runs away to her father’s home in Corinth, only to discover the perilous secret that destroyed his marriage: though a Greek of high birth, Galenos is the infamous thief who has been robbing the city’s corrupt of their ill-gotten gains.

Desperate to keep him safe, Ariadne risks her good name, her freedom, and the love of the man she adores to become her father’s apprentice. As her unusual athletic ability leads her into dangerous exploits, Ariadne discovers that she secretly revels in playing with fire. But when the wrong person discovers their secret, Ariadne and her father find their future—and very lives—hanging in the balance.

When they befriend a Jewish rabbi named Paul, they realize that his radical message challenges everything they’ve fought to build, yet offers something neither dared hope for.

Be transported back in time by this gripping tale of adventure, bravery, and redemption, and discover why Debbie Macomber says, “No one brings the Bible to life like Tessa Afshar."

-Book Description, Tyndale House Publishers

I really enjoy Biblical fiction, and it is safe to say that it is my favorite genre.  In the story, Thief of Corinth, Tessa Afshar's latest Biblical fiction novel, she has created a plausible story using a fictional character, Ariadne, and places her in a Biblical setting surrounded by other people that are found in the Bible. She uses descriptive detail about the time period, and the setting of Corinth and Athens to draw you into the story.  Lovers of this genre and stories of the Bible will enjoy the way the author weaves well known, and not so well known persons of the Bible into the story, and gives them a voice. I won't share their names because it will be fun to be surprised!

I enjoyed Thief of Corinth.  The first half of the book was the back story of Ariadne and her family, created from the author's own imagination. We do see one person from her family, during the back story, that is mentioned in the Bible, Dionysius, found in Acts 17.

But some people joined him and believed, including Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others who were with them.-Acts 17:34

My favorite parts in Thief of Corinth were when we got to people actually found in the Bible, and she started connecting the dots in Corinth. Dionysius was the one Biblical figure that existed from beginning of the story,  but then she gets to Paul and we see many more people found in Acts 17 & 18.

One thing I need to mention is that because of the setting in Corinth and Athens, there are some references to different kinds of sexual immorality, because it was prevalent in that city, during that time. The majority of it is discreet with the exception of a rape at the beginning of the book.  It was not extremely explicit, and we do not go through the rape itself, but the aftermath contains some descriptive wording about the condition of the woman after.  I thought it was necessary to mention that, well, because it is there, and it might bother some people.  I myself did not enjoy reading that part. I would have liked to have seen her redeem the situation and the girl involved, to bring the healing God has for people who have had their innocence disturbed.

Overall this was an intriguing novel, that I feel like readers of Biblical fiction will appreciate. Thief of Corinth is a story of redemption, complete with the overwhelming love of God and is picturesque of what I believe will be many stories we hear when Jesus returns. Many blessings to you as you live out your own story of redemption,


Disclosure Statement:  I received an advanced copy from the publisher in exchange for my review.  I was not required to give a favorable review.  The thoughts and opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

To learn more about the author, visit her at

To hear Tessa's testimony watch this 700 Club interview. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Praying the Will of God

When you pray, you are partnering with the will of God. To know His will, you have to look in His Word. If you see something He did through Jesus for others, you know that He can and will do it for you too. And you can come alongside in agreement, in prayer with that.

"And this is the confidence that we have before Him: If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we already possess what we have asked of Him."-1John 5:14-15

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Abundance of Grace

For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive an abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!-Romans 5:17 (Berean Study Bible)

Definition of abundance: superfluity, comprehensively all-around, what exceeds normal expectations, superfluously.

The people during Jesus' earthly ministry received a ridiculous, overflowing, abundant amount of grace. Think about the woman of Samaria, or about the woman with the issue of blood, or the sinful woman who anointed Jesus feet and wiped them with her tears. Think about Peter who denied Jesus moments before He would die for him, and all of mankind.

That is the same grace that we receive as Believers, a ridiculous, superfluous, overflowing amount!! And it is free! A gift.

And that overflowing, superfluous, abounding, abundant grace combined with the free gift of righteousness (right standing with God) is what causes us to reign in this life