Thursday, April 26, 2018

First Line Friday: The Apostle Paul Edition


First Line Friday is brought to you by Hoarding Books.

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"The Apostle Paul is one of a handful of people from the ancient world whose words still have the capacity to leap off the page and confront us."

Ain't that the truth!

Paul and I are not always in agreement on issues and I do still struggle with the idea that before he became one of The Guys, he was a persecutor of the very people who he would eventually lead. I mean, yes I know, he was called specifically by Jesus, but he endorsed the murder of Stephen, the first Christian Martyr, holding the coats of the stone-throwers. How does Jesus choose THAT guy? And honestly, I do know and understand, but sometimes that part of me that is very un-Christian when thinking about earthly justice just gets kind of annoyed. But, I have also never claimed to be a very mature Christian in all regards and I am a work in progress.

Plus, I enjoyed what I have read by N.T. Wright so far and this was the last copy on the shelf, so I had to snag it. My pastor believes it will help me look at Paul with fresh eyes.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.
Happy Reading!
Sarah

34 comments:

  1. It can be a struggle for sure. I know for myself I sometimes expect these guys to be paragons after they were called, and in reality they were still flawed and made mistakes I'm sure, even with the Holy Spirit guiding them. Hope it's a good book!

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    1. Right. I really do sometimes have difficulty reconciling Saul and Paul, and their drastically different purposes in life before and after being called. But, I am looking forward to this one and will be sure to review it - if my brain is not mush by the time I am done!

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  2. Interesting. Paul IS the perfect example of how God can change anyone and how no one is too far for God to reach. Certainly an intriguing first line!
    The book I'm sharing on my blog is Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate, but the book I'll share here is the one I am currently reading called Chateau of Secrets by Melanie Dobson: "Candlelight flickered on the medieval walls as Gisele Duchant stepped into the warmth of the nave." Hope you have a great weekend! :)

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    1. He really is and I am anxious to get into the book. So much to read, so little time! Thanks for coming by, happy Friday!

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  3. The more I read the Bible, the more I marvel at the people God DID choose to accomplish His will. His ways truly are too deep for me to comprehend! But Paul is such a wonderful example of the truth that NO person is irredeemable!

    I'm featuring 'No Less Days' by Amanda G. Stevens on my blog today, but right now I'm reading 'Presumption and Partiality' by Rebekah Jones--a Pride & Prejudice retelling set in 1930s Arizona!

    The sun beat down cheerfully on that last day of August in the year 1932.

    Have a great weekend :-)

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    1. Right, and He chose so many who seemed so flawed - because they were. He changed them and made them into who He had intended them to be all along. Happy Friday!

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  4. Hi, Sarah! :-) I've never read NT Wright's biography, but John Pollock's was really excellent - It did open my eyes to see Paul in a new light. May God blessing your reading and desire to understand!

    I'm featuring As Bright as Heaven on my blog today, but I'll share the first line from another on my TBR pile here, Quo Vadis: "Petronius woke only about midday, and as usual greatly wearied."

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    1. I've added Pollock's book to my TBR, thank you for the suggestion. I appreciate the prayers, they are always welcome and so helpful. It's a good thing my pastors are patient, I ask A LOT of questions. Happy Friday!

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    2. Asking questions is how you learn things! Thankfully you have a patient pastor who no doubt knows he's lucky to have someone so interested in her faith.

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    3. I am very lucky indeed - Eleanor and I both are. I've learned so much in just the last couple years and it has helped my faith grow so much.

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  5. Aren't we all works in progress? That, to me, is what's so amazing about God's grace! None of us deserves it.

    My too-large TBR pile includes The Theory of Happily Ever After by Kristin Billerbeck. The first line: "Life is filled with irony."

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    1. Too fitting that you should say that we do not deserve it - I am absolutely in love with 'Reckless Love' by Cory Asbury right now and that is a line in the song. I had to buy the cd, and luckily the whole thing is pretty good so far. But take a listen if you have not heard the song, my daughter and I play it on repeat in the car. Happy Friday!

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  6. Over on my blog I'm sharing the first line from Becky Wade's Falling for You. I'll share with you here the first line from a book I recently read and enjoyed "Amongst the Roses" by Meghan M. Gorecki
    "Papa's Home!" A nameless shiver of dread worked its way up Margaret Bryant's spine, causing her fingers to shake as she checked the chatelaine watch at her waist."

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    1. Hey Trisha, thanks for coming by, happy Friday. Have a lovely weekend!

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  7. Oh, we are *all* works in progress! Don't sweat it....

    My first line(s):

    "The millenarian expectations aroused by the ending of the Cold War first surfaced in December 1988 when the Soviet Communist Party general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev addressed the United Nations General Assembly. Dramatically announcing deep unilateral cuts to troop numbers along the borders of the USSR, he called for a 'new world order' in which ideological differences would melt away".

    Governing the World: The History of an Idea by Mark Mazower.

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    1. Good to know others feel it too, regardless of where they are in their lives or what they are doing or planning or creating. Thanks for sharing your line, happy Friday!

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  8. I love that you're being transparent and vulnerable when you mention that it's grasp to comprehend how God chooses some of the people we would never imagine. Paul is one of the most incredible examples of how God changes lives.


    I'm featuring "Beneath a Prairie Moon" by Kim Vogel Sawyer on the blog today, but I'm going to share about the book I'm currently reading called "The Story Peddler" by Lindsay A. Franklin.

    Colored ribbons of light poured from my fingers. One strand broke free and soared above the crowd's head, glowing golden in the afternoon sun.

    Have a great weekend and happy reading! :)

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    1. Thank you, sometimes I am too honest and people don't like that. I was away from the church for a long time and came back six months after my daughter was born. I feel like I am so far behind others my age, who continued going to church and growing in their faith throughout their twenties; I did not. But I am so very blessed to have two amazing pastors who will answer literally any question I ask when I am getting all worked up about something (We've gone round about Judas, LGBT rights/issues, and so much more!) and they never dismiss something I ask as trivial.

      Glad to see you around again, happy Friday!

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    2. I think it's healthy to try to understand any questions you have. It helps to strengthen your faith. It's awesome to hear that your pastors are great at helping you figure out what you believe as well. It sounds like you are eager to learn and that's very important in the Christian walk. :)

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    3. I think asking questions is important too. And I personally would be far more concerned about people who discourage questioning anything, than those who ask about (especially) controversial topics.

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  9. Love your first line!

    Happy Friday!!!! I'm so excited for the weekend.

    I'm sharing the first line from The Weaver's Daughter by Sarah E. Ladd over on my blog today. Here, I will post the first line from a YA novel I teach to my 9th Honors English students -- Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin,

    "The end came quickly, and there wasn't any pain."

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    1. Thanks Nicole - I hope the whole book is as good as the first line. I have a feeling it will be.

      I will have to take a look at Elsewhere, I've heard of it but do not remember what it is about. Happy Friday - I am so excited too. And we are down to 19 school days left (with an additional 3 work days/room cleaning days). Summer is sooooooo close!

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  10. Have you seen the commercials for a new movie about Paul? I remember watching The Bible on TV--the one that Roma Downey was a part of--and it was so good. Paul was one of the characters in that series. Happy Friday!

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    1. I have not (though truthfully it is because I do not watch much television. We have an HD antennae and Netflix, and that is it!) I do want to see The Bible series, I think it was on NBC? Happy Friday!

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    1. Right??!! He definitely is good at the 'confronting' part. Happy Friday!

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  12. Happy Friday! My first line is from Miss Wilton's Waltz by Josi S. Kilpack, which will be released May 1st:

    "As a vicar's daughter, Lenora knew that doing the right thing was not always easy, in fact it was rarely so."

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    1. Happy Friday Becky, thank you for coming by!

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  13. That's absolutely true! Paul's inspired words have reached countless people over the ages and will continue to do so until Jesus returns. What a gift he gave us! I'm so glad he decided to write. :) On my blog, I am featuring Mail-Order Revenge by Angela K. Couch. Here I will share the first line of chapter five from the book I'm currently reading, His Substitute Wife by Dorothy Clark. "'Thank you.' Blake looked up and snagged Audrey's gaze with his. 'It feels odd, having you pour my coffee.'" Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

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    1. Our whole church has been reading The Story in various small groups and all the sermons since August have been based on a chapter each week. I have really enjoyed the last two weeks getting deeper into the letters Paul wrote and understanding the make-up of the different churches he wrote to. It has been such an enlightening experience to go through the Bible in this way and I highly recommend it in conjunction with actual Bible reading. Happy Friday!

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  14. Yes, Paul is definitely the confronting type! Sometime I just wish his letters had been a bit longer, so he could have explained himself better and we wouldn't have so many different interpretations of his words.

    Over on my blog I'm sharing from Where Hope Begins by Catherine West ... which I finished about four hours after starting it.

    I'm now reading A Daring Venture by Elizabeth Camden. Here's the first line of the Prologue:

    "You and your brother are to go to the music room, close the door, and don't come out until I say you can."

    Have a great weekend!

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    1. I agree on that point for sure. My pastor made an interesting point in our group on Wednesday that in reading Luke's writings, he is one of the only ones who actually seems to grasp the concept that he is writing the Bible, that it will become something read for centuries after his death. With so many of the others, they don't go into a lot of detail because they assume whoever is reading their work knows what they are referencing, and many did not think long-term. Conversations with my pastors are always enlightening. Happy Friday!

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  15. That's a good first line! I’m sharing from my current read, The Backcountry Brides Romance Collection from Barbour Books, on my blog today. So here is the first line from the prologue of a book I plan to read soon, The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron:

    “Crumbling walls were rare, beautiful things.”

    Have a great weekend!

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    1. They really are beautiful - I have been fortunate to see many castles in the UK and by far my faves were the ruins. Thanks for coming by, Happy Reading!

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