Amos

I just read through Amos and I was struck by a few things:

1. God really has ridiculous unfathomable power. I think we forget that sometimes because we don’t have to physically rely on Him 24/7 (even though we should).
2. Although He loves, He is also just and His righteousness is an unstoppable force:
“But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream.” Amos 5:24
3. How on earth could Israel not pay attention to this? God had used prophets before, and they had been proven right, so it’s a little different than someone today yelling on the sidewalk.
4. I think there’s something to be said for shepherds. Amos was a shepherd, as was David. I feel like this reinforces the point that God does not see rank, but sees everyone as His children, each of us having specific roles in His Story.
5. The charges here are serious: Judgement on Israel’s neighbors, judgement on Israel for ignoring God despite His faithfulness to that people group, and further description of Israel’s offenses. They are not repentant, they continue to sin, and yet God calls them back. He lets them know the consequences of what they are doing and assures that He will follow through. It’s terrifying what He describes. He even relates it in simple images such as locusts, fire, and a plumb line, and a basket of ripe fruit. Finally, God says Israel will be destroyed for their unrepentant hearts… yet even after all of that, God promises renewal. He promises a future.

This book reminded me that God is faithful. Although there are consequences to sin and to not seeing the error in sinning, God demonstrates His love by promising to destroy our “self” that gets in the way of loving God completely. I look at my own life, and I’ve seen this played out so many times. God doesn’t love me any less for struggling, but He cares about where my heart is at. As long as I’m truly repentant and make actions not to repeat the same sin over and over again, He will accept me. Additionally, if I continue to be stubborn, I can bet that there will be consequences because God wants me to live in a right relationship with Him, and loves me enough to correct me. I want to learn how to live in agreement with God on a deeper level. I am SO thankful He wants me to have that and can show us His character through the Bible.

Book Review: The Time Traveler’s Wife

Niffenegger, Audrey. The Time Traveler’s Wife. New York: Harcourt, Inc., 2003.

Henry DeTamble is not an ordinary man. He has what a geneticist later describes as a kind of defect that makes it so that he inadvertently time travels. It leaves him in all sorts of predicaments, having to find clothes after each episode (which he describes almost as epileptic in nature) as he never can take a stitch of clothing or anything with him when it happens. A young girl named Clare encounters an older Henry when she is 6, and he convinces her he is a time traveler who stumbles by chance upon her. Over the years, she comes to know and love this older Henry… whose older self knows that eventually she will be his wife. He leaves her dates that he will appear because, although Clare lives her life chronologically, Henry is not bound by time. The book is pretty much the story of both of their lives, of the chaos of being an uncontrolled time traveler, and yet the classic story of how love overcomes all things. 

It was beautiful. For all its constant time and perspective changes, it reads very well. It’s somewhat like science fiction, but not quite. The characters are deep, and fully dimensional, the details incredibly real unlike some of the shallowly drawn fiction we commonly accept. It is pain and beauty- the bittersweet of reality married to fiction. My only criticism is that it contains a lot of graphic detail when it comes to numerous sex scenes. It’s not that they aren’t well written or don’t add to the depth of the love between the two main characters, but it’s just something I’d rather not read. This book is deep and well-educated, rich with allusions, details, and a well-constructed plot. I liked it overall. It leaves me a bit sad and wistful for my own love… but only the best really do that.