Thursday, May 3, 2012

Belated Blog Christening

I was reformatting my blog today {thanks to some lovely malware issues - it's all resolved, folks} when I realized that I had never christened my blog with that traditional "First Blog Post Explaining the Inspiration Behind My Blog Title."
Yes, these post-types are a bit cliche, and not to mention that as mine is coming one year late, it is also anticlimatic.

But as the ancient men and poets of lore say, "Better late than never."

I wrote the following in September of last year. It seems to echo my thoughts behind my blog.

And because it was so beautiful, it set me longing, always longing. Somewhere else there must be more of it. It almost hurt me. The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing to find the Place where all the beauty came from. - C.S. Lewis in Till We Have Faces
      I had just spent an evening with family. Family that I loved dearly and saw rarely.  I am blessed with an extended family that shares the bond of salvation through Jesus Christ – that timeless bond with ties deeper than flesh and blood, uniting generations.  
      I was night-sky watching. Bewitched by the moon and her star-bright entourage, I thought and reflected and was burdened. A haunting sadness, a desperate longing, overwhelmed my heart. The emotion hurt, both numbing and burning. The hollow in my chest - where my heart beats and soul watches - felt pain. An intense yearning.  A sense of solitude – unadulterated aloneness – pulled at my heartstrings.
      I had just spent a lovely evening with some of my favorite people in the world, and yet something lacked. I had come up short.  I felt cheated. Because though I had glimpsed into the love of Christ and fellowship of His people that evening through the interaction of family, I knew, knew with all my heart, that there was more.  Beyond this life. There was Something dearer, purer, lovelier. Someone far more radiant. There had to be. The persistent longing said so.
      My soul wasn’t satisfied. It was starving. Ravaged with hunger. I had felt the community of Christ, but it was a far cry from heaven. It was but a taste, and that only whetted my appetite. I was no longer content with the shadows.  I burned to see the Bright Day. To see Truth. To see Beauty. To see Reality. To come face to face and hand in hand with Unconditional Love.  I wanted to see perfection with a perfect perspective.  All I saw, felt, or knew, was just a foreshadowing of the Glory that one Day I will gaze upon with utmost delight and incredible awe.
      There was beauty in that family gathering. The beauty of broken and dirty souls redeemed by the Son of God.  The radiance of believers fellowshipping and loving one another.  But, even so, my spirit ached to know where that beauty came from. I hurt to see the Source of that beauty.  "I felt like a bird in cage, when the other birds of its kind are flying home.”  There was pain in that longing, and there was joy. 
      Years later that throbbing desire still occupies my soul. In this dry and weary land, where there is no water, my soul longs to be satisfied. I long for the Day when I shall awaken and be fully satisfied, beholding the face of my God, and having sweet communion with Him – on that Day, my quest will end. I will then see with my own eyes, where all the beauty came from. I shall be face to face with Love.

May we always be idyllically occupied with desiring Christ. Yearning. Thirsting. Hungering. For Him. May we always be idyllically occupied and serenely content with longing to know where all the beauty comes from. May it be the sweetest thing in each of our lives.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

This Thing of Ours:

How Faith Saved My Marriage
by Cammy Franzese

Cammy Franzese was a lower-class girl. The oldest of seven. The daughter of a Chicano rights activist. She lived in the L.A. suburbs. She danced. And she married a mobster - a Mafia-Man.

This is Cammy's story of her young life, her courtship with big-time movie director {and highly sought-after criminal} Michael Franzese, her marriage to him, and the years of havoc that threatened to break her marriage vows asunder.

Cammy marries Michael, unaware of his criminal background. Beforelong, she finds herself in the midst of federal trials and FBI raids. On the weekends she and her young kids make the long drive to visit her husband in prison. For years this is her story. Her life. Her mundane day-to-day existence. But despite the bleakness all around, Cammy clings to her faith - the Christian beliefs that her mother instilled in her as a child.

This Thing of Ours is an true-life story of God's provision and conviction. It makes for an interesting read, however, Cammy's writing is sub-par. She also jumps around from short story to short story without smooth transitions, but with a few bunny trails thrown in for good measure. I would give this book a 3 1/2 stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255