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Archive for February, 2010

a kiss for cade

A Kiss for Cade by Lori Copeland 

A Kiss for Cade by Lori Copeland is an old west novel complete with town sheriff, a bounty hunter and outlaws, and nosey, yet kind, neighbors. 

A young Cade Kolby leaves home in the hopes of helping his struggling family by sending money back to them.  He goes after the big money, rather than safe money, by becoming a bounty hunter and finds that he is quite good at the job.  However, the sacrifices involved with his choice are sometimes greater than he had anticipated.

Zoe Bradshaw has experienced many consequences of those sacrifices.  Zoe bravely exemplifies a hearty western personality in the style of Laura Ingalls’ Wilder women:  “strong, able-bodied pioneers that contribute considerably to the survival of their families.”  Zoe has chosen to hold on to a secret that affects her relationship to Cade and influences her decisions regarding his orphaned nieces and nephews.

A Kiss for Cade is a good, quick read if you just want a happy ending.  A number of lively situations and several interesting characters will keep you guessing about what’s going to happen next.  I particularly enjoyed the “Bud” character and Cade’s evolving relationship with him.

That said, I find that I am disappointed in how some of the conflicts were settled.  In retaining her secret, Zoe develops anger and resentment that is eventually exposed but a biblical reconciliation doesn’t appear in the scene.  I felt the issues were deeper and more entrenched than the offered resolution.  Dealing with unwed pregnancy, desertion, miscarriage, and grief demands more than a set of boxing gloves. 

I find that I lack sympathy for Cade as it appears that he made his choices for mostly selfish reasons.  His family did need income, but his choice of profession was anathema to them.  The author indicates that early in his career he could have left it and turned to something else that would allow him to be with his family.  However, he remained a bounty hunter and finally encountered that “point of no return.”  In the end, his chosen profession has placed him in a nearly impossible position to do the right thing. 

Forgiveness is a key issue in this story.  Cade seems to understand how essential it is for Zoe to forgive, allowing her to move on toward growth.  The sad thing is that Cade expected to be forgiven, but he never humbled himself and asked for it.  I believe that we should require more from our literary heroes.

I applaud the town people in their efforts on behalf of the children.  It is apparent that they want the best option for the children and are willing to make their own sacrifices to secure it.  I do believe that the deception that they’ve set up will result in heartache for someone.  While for now it appears to be the only choice, it throws the story back into a sequence of events manipulated by the characters rather than the characters seeking God’s solution for the problem.

Quote from:  http://www.literarytraveler.com/literary_articles/laura_ingalls_wilder.aspx

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backwards

Catherine Martin has written a great book that our women’s class is working through, “Trusting in the Names of God.”  So far it has been different from other books on this same topic as I expected her to list names and do a study on each of them. 

Rather, this book, though I haven’t finished it yet, seems to be leading us to study the names for ourselves and then will be providing supporting evidence on just why we can trust in the name of the Lord.   I’m sure I’ll have more to say when I’ve actually completed the book.  But don’t hold your breath.  While it’s meant to be a 30 day book, our class is taking it much slower than that. 

What has caused me to pause this week is the following statement that she makes on page 80:  “When the Old Testament people of  God made their declaration to God, their heart commitment influenced their relationship with the Lord, leading them to trust and obedience.”

What I am currently most interested in is the phrase: “their heart commitment influenced their relationship with the Lord”.  This is very revealing as you study the relationship and the significance of a personal commitment. 

Because they had made the commitment to Him, they were irrevocably bound into a relationship with Him.  That makes perfect sense to us, right?  Isn’t that the way it is now?  Hmm, is it?

Saying we’re His is easy to do.  But what about when the toilet backs up, or your car breaks down, or your seasonal work has expired, or when your economic situation has led you to despair? 

Or for some, what about when all the bills are paid, or you’ve just found out that you are the heiress to a large fortune, or business is booming?

Are your circumstances controlling your relationship with the Lord?  When things are bad, have you decided that the Lord has forsaken you and therefore you avoid Him?  When times are good, have you fallen prey to believing that you don’t need Him?  Do events, people, or economics influence your relationship with the Lord?

Or, as in the quoted statement, does your heart commitment influence your relationship with the Lord?  Have you, have I, decided that no matter what–good times or bad–my relationship with the Lord is most important?  This is, honestly, a difficult thing to write because I find myself falling short of that level of commitment.  I do find my relationship influenced by other things.  Things like how I feel physically, who hurt my feelings, my schedule, economics and the list can go on.  Perhaps you even have your own list.

With no foundation for the relationship, meaning a firm commitment, how then can I progress to the next part, “trust and obedience”? 

Too many of us are playing with the relationship part, looking for the warm fuzzy, without a firm and unmoveable heart commitment.

What I’m seeking to articulate may be helped as we look a human relationships.  Consider  a couple who know each other on a surface basis, they flirt and joke and have a pretty good time when they happen to meet.  But they have not commited their hearts to one another, so any real relationship is not happening.  Just shallow bantering. 

Compared with a couple who has made a heart commitment to one another who also flirts and has a fun relationship.  What is the difference?  The second couple trusts one another and the relationship is much richer and fuller and has substance incomparable to that of the first couple.

How different things could be if I were able to maintain my firm heart commitment, never wavering.  But many of us get it backwards sometimes.  We forget that a rich full relationship has to start with the commitment to belong.  It has to have a foundation that declares that all parties invloved are bound together, no matter what. 

God has made that declaration very clear.  Now, have I?

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?

Am not sure why my scheduled posts don’t automatically post…I’ll keep working on it.

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the rest of that day

This posting continues the story of graduation at Lackland AFB-through the category of AF-FYI.

After the airman run, most of the men were released to base liberty.

But this is also when the honors ceremony is held.  So our airman took us into the building for the ceremeony.  Having felt the disappointment of not making it into a good position for the orientation meeting, when I saw the second row was empty I made a bee-line for it.  The way things were going, though, it appeared that it was reserved because other families just walked right by.  As I looked down the long row and saw one lone woman, Iasked if we could sit there and she smiled and invited us to join her.  It appeared that no one had plans to sit on the very front row;  Yippee!  Unimpaired vision!

The ceremony was not unnecessarily long or pretentious; but it was sobering and an honor to those airmen who had worked so hard to excel in the program!

After the ceremony, these airmen, too were released for base liberty.  For us that meant BURGER KING at the mini-mall.   Titus loves Burger King…as much as a guy can love fast food! 

I cannot imagine the torture my son endured for eight weeks going in and out of that mini-mall for supplies and even living nearly next door to Burger King.  Smelling but never tasting.  Is that a Narnia experience, or what?

Savor.  That’s what I saw Titus do.  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him do that.  What amazing pleasure and delight shined on his face as he enjoyed that meal!  This was not a rushed event, by any means.  He’d endured eight weeks of shoving sustenance down the pipe.  This was definitely going to be a different experience.

Afterward we went bowling on base, had opportunity to just talk and hang out.  And finally, he returned to his dorm.

What an amazing day!

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

General information:  There are a couple of mini-malls on base that have fast food restaurants, there is a stand-alone Burger King, and another restaurant (I think it was a chicken place.)  The BX on the other side of the base, which you are definitely allowed to go to has a pizza place, subs, Starbucks, Cinnabon, oriental.

So we walked to the mini-mall.  Get used to it, walking is the best way to get around on the training side of the base.  It’s all your airman has done for the past eight weeks, you can endure a little bit of it.

In fact, though your airman has been here for eight weeks, you may find that he does not know his way around.  They have had very specific destinations and were allowed no sight seeing on the march to the destination (well other than the sights on the back of the head in front of them.)

And on your walking tours, be aware that your airman will be uncomfortable taking a small shortcut or stepping on the grass.  It seems extreme to us, but it is important that you follow their lead and not press them to do something that seems “normal” — they have their orders to be followed at all times!

Just because your airman is released for base liberty, doesn’t mean he’s at liberty.  They called a meeting for a particular group on this day and Titus had to go to it.  I think it was about two hours.  During this time, we stayed in the snack shop and played cards.  By the way, bringing something to do like cards or another easily portable game could be a “life saver” for you, too.

It is interesting and heartbreaking to watch the incoming trainees during your free time.  Imagine seven or eight weeks ago, when that was your son or brother, and you will be overwhelmed with compassion.  These young people endure a total culture change via somewhat harsh means and they come out proud and shining.  For many this is the only significant thing they have ever done so far in their lives.  Be proud of our troops.

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