Category Archives: overcoming worry

Review of A.D. 30 by Ted Dekker

I love when I find a book that really moves me to the core, that stays with me. I love a book that I cannot put down. I love learning more about the times and people that lived in the time of Jesus of Nazareth. Ted Dekker’s book, A.D.30 was all that and more.

On a road trip with my parents this past weekend, I took along this book and found I could not put it down. When it got dark in the car on our way home, I pulled out a flashlight from my purse, in spite of feeling ill with a bout of bronchitis. It was that good. It helped me see another picture of our glorious Savior and His ways and dealings with people just like you and me, only that they lived in a different time and place.

Published in 2014 by Center Street of Hachette Book Group, A.D. 30 is followed with a sequel, A.D. 33, which only came out at the beginning of October. I will definitely be reading it soon!

Maviah, a rejected daughter of a Bedu king, is the main character  and suffers a tremendous loss. Because of this, she is sent on a mission to avenge her loss and restore the honor of her father (who has been defeated and rendered speechless)  by the Thamud with a sword of Varus. She goes on a long and dangerous journey to see Herod, the Jewish king in the time of Jesus. Two slaves of her father Rami are appointed to go with her: Saba and Judah. Together they cross a valley of death, the Nafud desert. Sandstorms and the loss of camels are only the beginning of their problems.

Fear and hatred imprison Maviah and it seems she is destined to never live up to what she really is: a daughter of a Bedu king and royalty. But that changes when she meets the Man everyone is talking about in the land of Judea: a so called mystic named Yeshua. The very minute she lays her eyes upon Him, Maviah is drawn to the Savior of the world.

There are many twists and turns in the plot and it kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved how the author instilled both deep meaning and a desire to read to the very end. Some of the book’s quotes about how Maviah’s thinking changed completely were amazing.

As the characters discuss the increasing threats to Yeshua, one of them says:

” ‘Yeshua finds no threat in this rumor!’ he proclaimed…’You will see, he holds no grievance. So then, we too must hold none. Rome only does what Rome knows. Herod only does what Herod knows. But we must offer them no judgment. All grievance comes from fear of harm. To release grievance is to believe in God and the one he has sent. Do only this to be saved. This is the way, you will see.’ ” 

page 318, AD 30

I marked that page with a piece of Kleenex. What wisdom! The world cannot do other than what it does. How many years has it taken me to realize that the ways of God are totally foreign to the ways of this world? When we are not afraid, we are living in His perfect love. (I John 4:18)

Mr. Dekker painted with words a beautiful picture of our Savior, and that for us to know Him is to no longer be afraid.  A quotation from Jesus’s teachings in the Bible begins each chapter of this book. In the end, an appendix provides references for the Bible verses that are used.

Mixed in with the fiction, the events matched what was recorded by ancient historians, for example, the divorce of Herod from his first wife, Phasa, the imprisonment of John the Baptist, and the calming of the storm on the sea.

Ted Dekker is known for writing Christian thrillers, but this is the first time I have ever read one of his books. In his prologue, Mr. Dekker, the son of missionaries, told how writing this story opened up for him a whole new way of thinking and living before His Savior. At the end of the prologue, he states:

“So enter the story if you like and see if you can see what Maviah saw. It may change the way you understand your Father, your Master, yourself, and your world.”

page X of Prologue

For me, the story of Maviah did just that. Thank you, Ted Dekker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Bible, Biblical fiction, book lovers, overcoming worry, Uncategorized

Review of Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow

Talk100_1293  about living in anxious times! Finding this wonderful book by this trusted Christian author was a real treat for me the other day. Many years ago, when I was a new wife and mother to be, a lady at our Bible Baptist church stood up at our young mother’s class and give a book review of another book by Linda Dillow. (That one was called Creative Counterpart,and it was my first taste of the concept of the wife’s role of godly submission to her husband.) Since then, I have been blessed to know other godly ladies who have helped teach me my Biblical role as wife and mother, and I view Mrs. Dillow as one of the pioneers of the movement.

Linda Dillow is a mother, a grandmother, the wife of a theologian (Dr. Jody Dillow- Grace School of Theology) and missionary who spent time behind the Iron Curtain with her husband and family when Communism was still the mode of government in Poland and Romania. She and her family risked their lives to teach people who had so little by American standards. But in many ways they were richer than us, because they knew that all they needed was Jesus.

I am guessing Linda Dillow wrote this book because she knew of our tendency as women to worry. If you know me, one of my biggest challenges in life is overcoming my tendency to worry and become anxious about things. The one thing about worry is that once you give in to one thing it seems to give way to five more things to worry and fret about. It can debilitate your entire life. It has mine at times in the past. That is why I am so glad that Scripture tells us in Philippians 4 that we don’t have to worry about even one thing. But the only way we can do that is if we get to know our God and how trustworthy and reliable He is, and bring every worry and concern to Him constantly.

This book gives practical encouragement from her own life and how God got her through many dangerous and tremendous trials with her children and facing dangers as a missionary, tests with misunderstandings with others, staying underground from the Communist government while ministering in Eastern Europe, etc. As I read the book, I felt like she was a friend chatting with me from her heart to mine. The book includes practical suggestions for dealing with “what if” thoughts and “if only” thoughts. Those are just the kind of thoughts that get me caught in the worry game.

My copy was originally published in 1998 but updated in 2007. There are 12 chapters in the book and at the end is a study guide that could be used for a small group of women. One thing I really liked about each chapter: at the conclusion of each she gave a character sketch of different women she met while ministering through the years. Some of these women’s testimonies were amazing.

For example, Mrs. Dillow described a woman named Eva from Communist Poland. This Christian woman was used to living practically as a gypsy with nothing wandering from place to place for years. She even washed her baby daughter’s diapers by hand. One day, she came to visit the missionary at her apartment and refused to use her modern conveniences when she did so. Eva said that Western women have “so many things that they don’t need God.” (page 84, Calm My Anxious Heart)

I felt deeply convicted after reading that. How easy to forget Him when we have everything. But through the trials we go through, He draws us back to Himself. This book offers wise counsel from an older woman to a younger woman (as in the verses in Titus 2:3-5) on how to grow close to God when situations come that tempt our hearts and minds to become anxious.

I highly recommend this book for women of all ages.

Leave a comment

Filed under awareness of the poor, Bible, Bible instruction, family relationships, grandmothers, missionaries, mothers, overcoming worry, Titus 2:3-5