Friday, November 29, 2013

Bible Study: Jesus' Intoxicating Love For His Bride - Song of Solonon - Chapter 8

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the Song of Songs (also known as Song of Solomon), although they are a bit better formatted than former efforts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. I’m not sure of the condition of the world at the time of this publication. But at the time of its writing, late spring 2010, things are looking increasingly bleak with the economy, health care and unemployment, there are allegations of racial profiling in Arizona and a major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Are these the first stages of birth pains? The last? God only knows. And He is very busy these days. Seek His wisdom. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming to deliver His people and judge the wicked…

Stacey


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 8 of the Song of Solomon. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

8 – the commitment phase. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

What aspect of relationship with Christ does this relate to? This is when you come to the place that, regardless of what you are called to endure, you are committed to Jesus! You have been through trials that have deepened your faith, and experienced the greatest joys you could ever hope to know because of Him. You recognize that the safest place to be is in His will. He is your all-in-all.

8:1 – Public displays of affection between married people was forbidden in this culture.

8:2 – lead you to my mother’s house - ?

Give you spiced wine – kisses?

Nectar of my pomegranates - ?

Other delights of love?

Intoxicating juices?

They are enjoying each other.

8:3 – the fondling position. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

8:4 – Why would she tell the women not to awaken love until it pleases at this point? Is she giving advice? Now that she knows from personal experience, she advises well.

8:5 – apple – tree of love. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

under the apple tree…gave you birth – you were born to be with me, (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

coming up from the desert?

Leaning on her lover – have they been through some sort of trial?

And come through it together.

8:6 – seal over your heart – protection?

Seal on your arm - ?

Love is as strong as death - ?

Jealousy unyielding as the grave – ?

Fire – Love is passionate.

8:7 – many waters – what cannot quench love?

Giving all of your wealth for love = scorn – what?

8:8 – The friends ask advice for their young sister.

8:9 – a wall – moral, pure. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

build towers – will be blessed. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

a door – immoral. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

The beloved says that she was fortified.

Breasts like towers?

Her lover sees her as a tower. Watching, protecting herself for him.

8:10 – a wall – fortress – no one will touch me sexually.

8:11 – see Song of Songs 1:6. She worked in Solomon’s vineyard. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

What is the significance of the production and profit of Solomon’s vineyard?

8:12 – She refers to herself as a vineyard that is hers to give. She is his profit?

8:13 – Solomon wants to hear her voice?

8:14 – She wants Solomon to come away with her. This is true romance.

Does your spouse feel this from you? Does Jesus? What can you do to make sure they BOTH feel your desire for them?


• The Song of Solomon illustrates the love relationship between a man and woman which can mirror God’s intoxicating love for His bride (the church). How have you seen God’s love at work in this chapter of scripture? How can you apply it to your marriage? How will you apply it to your relationship with Jesus this week?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Ephesians: Discovering Your Identity and Purpose in Christ – Week Three


Sit Down to Walk

Sit down to walk?  What?  In a nutshell, am I “doing” under my own power or God’s?  If I’ve been transformed by God, why do I sometimes revert back to old behavior patterns?  Who is winning the spiritual battle in me?  What is the believers’ vantage point of spiritual battles?  Since we are seated with Christ in the heavenlies, we have an aerial view of the battle – and it’s won!

God loves us so much!  He gave us life.  He raised us up.  He gives us grace.  I recently heard the term “grace” as an acronym:  God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.  Awesome.  Accurate.

I can’t earn my salvation.  But God planned for me to do good works.  If those works aren’t payment for my salvation, what is their purpose?  According to Matthew 5:16, John 9:1-3, Ephesians 1:12, 2:10 and Titus 3:8, those good works are so those who see them being done will praise God.  They are also meant to display the work of God and to glorify God.  What good works are on display in your life.

Memorize:  Ephesians 2:8-9

Friday, November 22, 2013

Bible Study: Jesus' Intoxicating Love For His Bride - Song of Solonon - Chapter 7

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the Song of Songs (also known as Song of Solomon), although they are a bit better formatted than former efforts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. I’m not sure of the condition of the world at the time of this publication. But at the time of its writing, late spring 2010, things are looking increasingly bleak with the economy, health care and unemployment, there are allegations of racial profiling in Arizona and a major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Are these the first stages of birth pains? The last? God only knows. And He is very busy these days. Seek His wisdom. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming to deliver His people and judge the wicked…

Stacey


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 7 of the Song of Solomon. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

7 – the romance phase. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

His exaltation of her deepens. She began as a dove and is now a princess! (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

What aspect of relationship with Christ does this relate to? Does it seem possible that Christ’s adoration of you could deepen? Well your adoration of Him certainly does at this stage! He continues to encourage you in relationship with Him. He reveals even more of Himself to you. You cannot go a single day without being in His presence.

7:1 – how beautiful your sandaled feet – Solomon’s knowledge of her. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

Your graceful legs – Solomon praises her. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

In Bible times, it was customary for a servant to take off the shoes of the master or mistress of a home and then to bathe the person’s feet in a basin of water. Wealthy homes and palaces, such as Solomon’s, were carpeted with beautiful handmade carpets, large and small, often layered for added softness. One generally went barefoot in such a home. Solomon was serving his wife just as a servant might have…Sandals were worn by those who were trusted to leave the confines of a home or palace. Slaves were kept barefoot, and so were the women in the harems of wealthy or powerful men. Solomon trusted his wife explicitly to come and go from his presence. He neither controlled nor confined her. He had total faith that she would behave in an honorable manner when she was away from their home, and that she would return to him. He trusted her to appear publicly without him, knowing he could rely on her to be loyal to him and to bring honor to his name. As Proverbs 31:11 tells us, “The heart of her husband safely trusts her.” (Song of Solomon Devotional – Tommy Nelson)

Solomon calls her feet beautiful.

She is the daughter of a prince?

Her legs are so shapely, they are appear to be crafted.

7:2 – speaks of appreciation. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

wine – spring crop. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

wheat – fall crop. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

He appreciates her year-round.

He is appreciating her navel and her slender waist.

7:3-6 – He treats her like he did on the honeymoon. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

7:3 – He loves her breasts.

7:4 – He loves her neck and her eyes and her nose. He is getting more detailed in his descriptions, noticing more. Probably because he knows her much better.

7:5 – He admires her hair.

7:6 – He tells her that she is beautiful and she pleases him.

7:7-8 – her body is an oasis to him. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

7:7 – She is tall?

He comments on her breasts again.

7:8 – “climb the palm tree” – is this referring to her height?

She has fresh breath.

Some scholars believe this refers to the fact that he is drawn to her beauty.

7:9 – Her mouth is intoxicating to him.

She agrees, and desires the intoxication of another Hebrew kiss?

7:10 – She declares that she belongs to him.

7:11 – She wants to be with him.

Spend the night in the villages?

Come with me?

7:12 – Go to the vineyard? She will give her love to him there.

7:13 – mandrakes – an aphrodisiac that resembled the male organ in appearance.



• The Song of Solomon illustrates the love relationship between a man and woman which can mirror God’s intoxicating love for His bride (the church). How have you seen God’s love at work in this chapter of scripture? How can you apply it to your marriage? How will you apply it to your relationship with Jesus this week?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ephesians: Discovering Your Identity and Purpose in Christ – Week Two


Sit and Pray

This week it’s time to sit and pray.  The Bible teaches us to live in an attitude of prayer.  That can be easier said than done on many days.  How often do you “really” pray?  Are you like me and find yourself praying so you can check that activity off of your “to do” list for the day?  Or maybe you pray because you know it’s expected, not because you want to encounter the Lord?  I’ve been there, too.  What keeps you from living the life of prayer God intended for you?

Knowing God is the greatest treasure.  This was one of Paul’s top prayers for the Ephesians.  What do you pray for your siblings in Christ?  How well do you know God?  How has prayer helped you to know Him?

Being filled with God’s fullness is to have all that God makes available to us so that He can show off His power on earth.

God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to His power that is at work in us.  This is limitless power.  This is resurrection power.  This power is described by the Greek word for dynamite, energy, mighty and strong.  This is the power we have to overcome, to forgive, to love and to deal with difficult stuff.  When you think of it like that, it really sends the point home that, when we don’t forgive and love as we’re instructed in Scripture, it’s not because we can’t.  It’s because we don’t want to.  How will you be changing how you live today?

Memorize:  Ephesians 3:17b-19

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What the Old Testament Authors Really Cared About: A Survey of Jesus’ Bible edited by Jason DeRouchie


First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Jason DeRouchie and his publisher for sending me a copy of "What the Old Testament Authors Really Cared About:  A Survey of Jesus’ Bible" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.
What the Old Testament Authors Really Cared About:  A Survey of Jesus’ Bible edited by Jason DeRouchie is a full-color textbook housing valuable insight into the Scriptures of the Old Testament.  Shining the light of the gospel message onto Jewish traditions and the Law given to mankind in the earliest  Scriptures reveals the blueprint of God’s original plan for His people.  This book illuminates the shadow that is the Old Testament, refreshing these books for the palate of the New Testament student.

This book is visually engaging and formatted for ease of use.  Digestible like a college textbook, “What the OT Authors Really Cared About” gives the Christian believer a love for the foundation of the faith.  I can easily recommend this book be added to the reference library of any believer who is serious about studying Old Testament Scripture.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Bible Study: Jesus' Intoxicating Love For His Bride - Song of Solonon - Chapter 6

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the Song of Songs (also known as Song of Solomon), although they are a bit better formatted than former efforts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. I’m not sure of the condition of the world at the time of this publication. But at the time of its writing, late spring 2010, things are looking increasingly bleak with the economy, health care and unemployment, there are allegations of racial profiling in Arizona and a major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Are these the first stages of birth pains? The last? God only knows. And He is very busy these days. Seek His wisdom. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming to deliver His people and judge the wicked…

Stacey


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 6 of the Song of Solomon. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

6 – What aspect of relationship with Christ does this relate to? Isn’t it wonderful to come through a conflict with the one you love and have intimacy. In fact, the intimacy feels more solid, more real, more intense because of the struggle you survived. The same is true in your relationship to Christ. A shared struggle increases intimacy.

Can you find other passages of scripture where there has been a struggle with God that changed the relationship between God and that person for the better?

6:1 – The friends offer to help the woman look for her lover.

6:2 – He’s gone down to his garden - She is his garden.


Beds of spices - These are her attributes.

To gather lilies - Enjoying intimacy.

These are terms he used to describe their lovemaking - Is he with her? They survived their conflict.

She knows where he is because of who he is. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

6:3 – They belong to each other.

He browses among the lilies – another metaphor for intimacy.

6:4 – darling – rayah – the woman of my dreams. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

He declares her beauty.

Tirzah – Its name means “Pleasure beauty”.

Lovely as Jerusalem – Another reference to beauty.

Majestic as troops with banners – She possessed noble beauty that inspired almost patriotic feelings.

6:5 – When she looks at him, he is overcome.

He begins to vocalize his appreciation of her again, beginning with her hair.

6:6 – He is working his way down and remarks about her teeth.

6:7 – He loves her cheeks and skin.

6:8 – Is this phrase meaning that he already has many wives and concubines?

6:9 – But his beloved is singled out among them all.

6:9b – the maidens saw her… - public homage. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

6:10 – The friends ask who is this radiant creature?

6:11 – Solomon states that he went to check on the growth in the vineyard – is this literal?

6:12 – Before he realized, he was in town – what? Absentmindedness?

6:13 – Shulammite – a feminine form of Solomon. His nickname for her. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

Nickname says she is part of him.

The friends are calling the bride back – where did she go?

Not sure of the reference, but this could be the same city mentioned in 2 Samuel 2:8.

6:14 – Solomon asks why they would look at her – huh? Why wouldn’t they if she is so lovely?

Mahanaim – Two camps, two armies, two hosts; also a place near Jabbok. Perhaps the dance refers to intimate contact between these two people.



• The Song of Solomon illustrates the love relationship between a man and woman which can mirror God’s intoxicating love for His bride (the church). How have you seen God’s love at work in this chapter of scripture? How can you apply it to your marriage? How will you apply it to your relationship with Jesus this week?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ephesians: Discovering Your Identity and Purpose in Christ – Week One


Learn To Sit

The epistle of Paul to the Ephesian church is an appropriate study for any Christian, whether brand new to the faith or seasoned over years.  This New Testament book not only teaches the basics of the Christian life, it is the quintessential spiritual warfare handbook.  Sue Edwards has based this Bible study on three postures.  In this first week of study, we begin by learning to sit.

Are you aware that we are seated in Christ RIGHT NOW?  That’s what Scripture teaches us.  The Christian life only works when we rest in Him.  That is how He works through us.  Everything else is done under our own power.

Resting in Christ brings us to several conclusions.  The believer’s identity in Christ blows my mind!

·         We’re blessed with every spiritual blessing

·         We were chosen before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless

·         We were predestined to be adopted as sons

·         God’s grace is lavished on us

·         We have redemption through Jesus’ blood

·         We have forgiveness of our sins

·         We have wisdom and understanding

·         We can know God’s will

·         We are included in Christ

·         We are marked and sealed with the Holy Spirit

To me, this means that I belong to God.  I am His possession!  Hallelujah!

Memorize:  Ephesians 1:3

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Saving Grace by Lesley Ann McDaniel

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 27, 2013)

***Special thanks to Lesley Ann McDaniel for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

LESLEY ANN MCDANIEL is a lifelong lover of words, and theatre. While earning a degree in acting, she fell in love with theatrical costuming, and pursued that as a career while nurturing her passion for writing on the side. Through God's guidance, she has shifted her focus to honing her skills as a writer of women's fiction. She is a member of the Northwest Christian Writers Association and of a wonderful critique group. A native Montanan and a Big Sky girl at heart, Lesley now resides in the Seattle area.

Visit the author's website.


SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

What happens when a New York City opera singer flees to a small town in Montana to escape a stalker? Tracy Fontaine is about to find out.

When an obsessive fan forces Tracy to change her name to Grace Addison and go into hiding, the last thing she wants is to get to know the locals. Now, not one but two men have worked their way into her daily routine, much to the chagrin of jealous local girl Sophia, who insists on prying into Grace’s past and stirring up deadly trouble.

Will Grace find love in Madison Falls…or will her stalker find her?

Madison Falls. Home of faith, love, peach pie…and a dollop of danger.

Product Details:
List Price: $14.99
Series: Madison Falls
Paperback: 278 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 27, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1491056908
ISBN-13: 978-1491056905


AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:

Warm air prickled the back of Grace’s neck. The porch creaked under her feet as she stole a glance over her shoulder at the dark street. Nothing.
“...excited to have you here ....”
The real estate agent’s lilting voice hummed in Grace’s ear. She turned, marveling not only at the whiteness of the agent’s slacks, but at the boldness of that fashion choice for a woman whose figure resembled that of a snowman.
“...cab ride even longer than your flight.”
Something pinged against the wooden planks. Grace jolted, dizzied by days of wakefulness. The agent dipped down gracefully as her plump fingers extended.
Just a dropped key.
“I know you’ll fall in love with this adorable house. The pictures on our website don’t do it justice.”
Her chipper tone set Grace’s tired nerves on edge. Why couldn’t the woman move a little faster? Casting a wary eye down the shadowy street, Grace eased the strap of her computer bag off the tense spot on her shoulder. Her over-worked adrenal glands pulsed as the agent—what was her name...Cookie? No. Spritz. Spritz Cole, that was it. As Spritz righted herself and lifted the rescued key toward the mahogany Craftsman door.
“Of course,” Spritz lobbed her an encouraging smile. “Most people want to actually see a house first before signing the papers. You must be anxious to start out fresh.”
“Yes.” Grace coerced a steady tone. “This place just felt right.”
An air of confidence spread over Spritz’s carefully made-up face. “You won’t be disappointed.” She clicked the key, and the deadbolt gave an obliging swoosh. Pushing the door open, she took a theatrical step back. “Welcome home.”
Grace’s heart made a thump that could have come from the score to a Hitchcock movie. She peered in. Her lungs filled with paint-infused air as she took a careful step across the doorsill and into the foyer.
She blinked away welling emotion, plunking her suitcase down on the polished wood floor of the vacant bungalow. Her chest ached as she perused the living room, which looked bigger than her entire studio apartment back home. Its white walls stared at her like a vast canvas.
“Well?” Spritz’s voice glistened with just enough gusto to instill consumer confidence without falling into phoniness.
Grace forced a step further into the house which now bore her name on the title—or rather her chosen name. She found it impossible to whip up much enthusiasm when all she really wanted was her life back. “It’s...adorable. Just like you said.”
The door ka-thunked shut, sending Grace’s heart into her throat.
Spritz let out a pleased breath. “You were smart to snap it up. Houses like this don’t come on the market very often. Why, folks in Madison Falls tend to stay put till they die.”
Grace shot her a fretful glance. Was she being funny or merely factual?
Apparently oblivious to Grace’s unease, Spritz breezed into the living room. “Let me just give you a quick tour.”
Exhaustion jabbed at Grace like a maestro’s baton. “No, you don’t have to—”
“You’ve come all this way,” Spritz cajoled. “I can’t just abandon you at the door. I don’t mind at all.”
Too weary to argue, Grace ran a jittery hand through her hair. Startled once again by the shortness of her cut, she flinched. “Alright then.”
As Spritz took center stage with a clearing of her throat, Grace backed up just enough to secure the deadbolt. She forced attentiveness, though frankly her only architectural concern was the structure’s ability to keep danger at bay.
Spritz stepped seamlessly into tour guide mode. “The key feature of this cozy room is of course the striking Craftsman brick fireplace.” She recited the painstakingly penned text of her own website.
Feeling like a reluctant audience to a friend’s baby-picture-slideshow, Grace swallowed her protest and stepped into the living room.
“...loads of light from this generous picture window.” Spritz pulled a cord, sending the front blinds clattering upward.
Grace shrank back, feeling the same vulnerability as she did whenever someone burst into her dressing room unannounced. The darkness outside chilled her. Why hadn’t she planned for a day-lit arrival?
“...cut glass...original to the house.” Spritz dropped the cord. Her arm extended toward the smaller windows above the built-in bookcases which flanked the fireplace.
Keeping a polite focus on her guide, Grace slid toward the picture window. She felt for the cold metal of the latch, breathing easier at its firmness. She gave the cord to the blinds a quick yank then twisted the wand to smooth the slats.
“...1920’s charm.” Spritz clasped her hands in front of her, clearly moved by her own narrative of the home’s features. A well-rehearsed pause, then a twirl toward the dining room.
Forcing her tired eyes to stay focused, Grace pulled shut the blinds on the smaller windows. 1920’s charm, indeed. Feigning cheerful interest, she crossed under the wide arch which separated this room from the next.
Spritz drew her arm with a flourish in the direction of a built-in china hutch. “This room is perfect for entertaining.”
Grace huffed at the suggestion that she would actually invite people over. Spritz’s eyes narrowed.
“I...I...” Grace stuttered, dismayed that fatigue had wiped out her ability to self-censor. “I just never had my own dining room before. I didn’t know I needed one.”
Spritz’s face lit like a make-up mirror. “Our neighborhood progressive dinner is coming up. I’ll be sure to add you to the circuit.”
Grace shivered, giving in to a long blink. Just what she needed. An invitation to the biggest event of the Mayberry social season.
Spritz swung open a double-hinged door, taking a calculated step through it as she spoke. “I just love the charm of this vintage style kitchen.”
Grace cast a polite look through the doorway. Vintage style? Was that real estate lingo for badly-in-need-of-an-update?
“Cute.” Too bad she couldn’t cook. All those years of dorm food and take-out had made that skill superfluous. At least she knew how to make coffee.
Thoughts of a comforting beverage warmed her momentarily, then vanished as her inaugural step into the kitchen almost sent her plummeting.
Spritz let out a yelp, catching her by the elbow. “Sweetie! Are you okay?”
Her heart racing, Grace clutched Spritz’s arm as her feet surfed for solid flooring. “I… I’m fine. Thanks.” She let go, testing the tiles using the care of a person treading through a minefield. One tile near the door had a definite trampoline-like quality. Funny that hadn’t made the web site’s list of fancy features.
Spritz gave the floor a healthy stomp with the heel of her Easy Spirit pump. “I really had no idea there was a problem here.” She patted Grace’s bicep. “Not to worry. We’ve got a wonderful handyman in town who’ll fix it for a song.”
Grace’s stomach fluttered. The last thing she needed was some strange man in her house expecting her to sing. “I’m sure I can take care of it myself.”
“Oh, a DIY girl, huh?” She looked impressed. “Why not let Sam handle this, and put your energy into the fun projects?”
With a decisive nod, Spritz stepped over the aberrant flooring to the rectangle of a hallway. Grace followed, anxious to finish the tour and get on with her plan. All she needed was to be left alone, to let down her guard at last, and fall into a deep sleep.
“Storage closet. Linen closet. Basement.” Spritz flung open each door in turn. “The floor is original to the house, but it’s been refinished. Let me show you the back bedroom.” She disappeared, rattling off facts as if her audience still needed convincing.
Grace’s body followed her eyes to the cracked-open bathroom door. A golden trail of light across the floor taunted her. Flashes of that last moment before her life had changed for good. She looked intently at the light—an eerie implication that someone else had recently been in the house. Be strong. What other choice did she have?
She reached out. A light touch to the crystal doorknob. Good grief, it’s only a bathroom. Wouldn’t be practical to avoid it indefinitely.
Shoving the heavy door with one hand while instinctively clenching the other, her own breath threatened to choke her.
The bathtub held a dead body.
No! Reflexively, her hands shielded her eyes. Then through parted fingers, she forced a second look. It was just a bathtub. Clean, white...and empty.
It had been more than two years now, but the image of the blood splattered porcelain still haunted her.
“Don’t you just love the claw foot tub?”
Grace sucked in a sharp breath, jolted by the perky voice from behind. She shook off the memory. Why couldn’t the place just have a shower, like her apartment?
“Let’s take a look at the front bedroom,” Spritz chirped with an air of unruffled confidence. She stepped into the room to her left, flicking a switch to illuminate it.
Grace followed, heavy with fatigue. She hovered in the doorway of the big white box that would be her bedroom, piqued by Spritz’s unnecessary perkiness.
Spritz beamed with professional pride. “The bedrooms are the same square footage, so it really depends on which view you prefer.”
Grace heaved an anxious sigh. She had already decided she’d sleep in this room. Best to keep track of the world out front—as if anything would happen in a town this size. Yawning, she lifted her wrist slightly, shocked at the hour—nearly eleven. One o’clock in the morning back home. Her eyelids felt like they had stage weights in them.
“Where’s my head?” Spritz crossed toward her, hands outstretched. “You flew all the way from Seattle, then had that long cab ride from Missoula. You must be dead on your feet.”
Grace’s stomach pitched at the ill-chosen words, but she coerced a smile. Spritz had shown such kindness without even knowing how much Grace had needed it. She allowed the realtor to enclose both her hands in a solid, warm grasp.
“I’ll see myself out.” Spritz gave Grace’s hands an extra squeeze. “You just call if you need anything.” She turned for the door, speaking over her shoulder as she walked. “Or stop by my office. It’s on Main, right across from the park. You can’t miss it.”
Grace chuckled to herself. As if finding anything in this town would require the use of MapQuest.
Grateful for her long-awaited solitude, she bolted the door after Spritz’s exit and lowered the blinds over its small cut glass pane. Talk about impractical. Why would anyone want a window in their front door?
Looking around the quiet house, she surrendered to a welcome yawn. She hadn’t been this tired in a very long time. All she needed was a refreshing night’s sleep to plan her next step for surviving this ordeal.
She dragged her feet back to the bedroom and stopped. Looking down at the hard wood of the floor, she let out a throaty moan. Where had her head been? She had always prided herself on her ability to think things through down to the minutest detail. How could she have neglected to arrange for a bed?
She sat down with a thud and buried her face in her hands, not knowing if she would burst out in laughter or sobs.
“Good grief, Grace Addison.” A quiet laugh escorted her words. “Or whatever your name is. Get your act together, would you?”


Here is my review of this enjoyable novel:

Although the novel had a slow start and the characters were difficult to get to know because of the cryptic manner in which they were introduced, this technique was integral to the plot of the story and added a mysterious flavor to our leading lady, Grace, and her backstory.  This made me want to continue reading.

Grace has just relocated to a small town where she feels she can disappear for a while.  But Grace is used to the fame and bright lights that come with being a stage actress, and it appears that - even in a small town - Grace will be unable to escape her calling.

"Saving Grace" by Lesley Ann McDaniel is an overall enjoyable mystery lightly peppered with romance and loaded with quirky small town characters.  The story has a thread of spirituality woven through it with authenticity.  The life lessons this novel contains almost make it seem devotional in nature.  The ending was a bit busy and convoluted with a lot of explaining to make the plot work, but the hours I spent reading this book were worth it overall.

I would like to thank Lesley Ann McDaniel for sending me a copy of "Saving Grace" to review.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Bible Study: Jesus' Intoxicating Love For His Bride - Song of Solonon - Chapter 5

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the Song of Songs (also known as Song of Solomon), although they are a bit better formatted than former efforts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. I’m not sure of the condition of the world at the time of this publication. But at the time of its writing, late spring 2010, things are looking increasingly bleak with the economy, health care and unemployment, there are allegations of racial profiling in Arizona and a major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Are these the first stages of birth pains? The last? God only knows. And He is very busy these days. Seek His wisdom. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming to deliver His people and judge the wicked…

Stacey


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 5 of the Song of Solomon. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

5 – the conflict phase. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

What aspect of relationship with Christ does this relate to? Now that you have a relationship with Christ and a foundation in the Word, you grow more spiritually. You try to apply deep spiritual truths to your life. You struggle with some passages and have come to the point that you realize you can struggle with Jesus in prayer. In fact, such struggle with Him helps you grow.

5:1 – I have come into my garden…I have…I have – tense changes. Sex act is done. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

Eat…drink your fill – enjoy it. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

gathered my myrrh and my spice?

Eaten my honeycomb and honey – their love was sweet?

Drunk my wine and milk?

The friends encourage the newlyweds to enjoy each other.

Metaphors for physical intimacy.

5:2 – I slept but my heart was awake – anxious? Excited?

The lover knocks, asking his beloved to let him in.

Head drenched with dew? Hair damp with the night? – has he been out all night without her?

Has she been sweating in her sleep? Tossing and turning? Nightmares?

5:3 – Is she keeping him out of the bedroom because he’s been out all night?

We shouldn’t deprive each other of physical intimacy as punishment.

“I have a headache”. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

Does she deny him entry into her chamber because she’s not fully awake?

5:4 – He persists in trying to get in and she becomes excited at the attempt.

5:5 – She jumps up to let him in and find that he has put myrrh on the door handle.

Solomon put myrrh on the handles to signify, “I love you.” (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

5:6 – She also discovers that he is gone. He’s given up. Her heart sinks because we all want to be pursued by our lover.

When was the last time you did the pursuing of your mate? Of Jesus?

She looked for him but couldn’t find him.

5:7 – the watchmen found her and punished her – why?

the watchmen – God. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

They beat her, bruised her and took her robe. What other scriptures can you find regarding the significance of robes? Why might the robe have been taken from Solomon’s bride? Can the robe be taken from Christ’s bride? Explain.

5:8 – She charges the women to tell Solomon that she loves him if they happen to see him.

5:9 – Her friends ask her what makes him so special. These are good friends. By thinking about what she loves about him, she falls in love with him all over again. Seek out friends like this.

5:10-16 – this is how we will see Christ. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

This is how we should see our husband if we are handling conflict properly. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

She appraises him as he did her on their wedding night. See chapter 4. I wonder if he taught her how to appreciate him like this. I can almost envision her reliving his appraisal of her as she voices what she loves about him to her friends.

I challenge you to tell your mate about the physical and personality traits you love about them. Take time to write it out so you can assemble your thoughts. Give them a copy of your list and/or tell them what you appreciate. Keep a copy of your list and add to it as the years pass. Pull this list out when you get upset and need a reminder of what you love about your mate.

5:10 – She says that he’s the best.

5:11 – divine leadership over woman. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

She loves his hair.

5:12 – blessing, peace. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

She loves his eyes.

5:13 – She loves his cheeks and his lips.

5:14 – She loves his arms and body.

5:15 – She loves his legs and overall appearance.

5:16 – She mentions his mouth, again.



• The Song of Solomon illustrates the love relationship between a man and woman which can mirror God’s intoxicating love for His bride (the church). How have you seen God’s love at work in this chapter of scripture? How can you apply it to your marriage? How will you apply it to your relationship with Jesus this week?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Our God Comes by Antioch


First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Antioch for sending me a copy of "Our God Comes" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

“Our God Comes” is a terrific worshipful CD by the worship team at Antioch Church in Waco, Texas.  The live album gets the blood pumping and the heart engaged through all 14 praise tracks.  The uplifting first offering, “Come”, will have you dancing, clapping and singing along with the band.  “God and King” inspires the redeemed to glorify our heavenly Father.  “One Hundred Three” is a slower song that encourages worship of the Savior.  There are messages of hope, wonderful instrumentals featuring piano and guitar.  The CD also contains three instrumental tracks that enhance meditation or present an opportunity to sing yourself.

I’ve been playing this CD in my car almost non-stop since I received it.  The music is lovely, the lyrics are inspiring.  There is a booklet included with the lyrics to help you learn the songs so you can sing along.  I wouldn’t advise studying the words while driving, but listening to this CD while driving puts your focus on the Lord and can potentially eliminate road rage as well as encourage more considerate driving habits.
I will have to introduce our music Pastor to these songs so that maybe I’ll be singing them in my church as well as in my car!

Big Sky Bachelor by Lesley Ann McDaniel

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

Love Inspired (October 1, 2013)

***Special thanks to Lesley Ann McDaniel for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


LESLEY ANN MCDANIEL is a lifelong lover of words, and theatre. While earning a degree in acting, she fell in love with theatrical costuming, and pursued that as a career while nurturing her passion for writing on the side. Through God's guidance, she has shifted her focus to honing her skills as a writer of women's fiction. She is a member of the Northwest Christian Writers Association and of a wonderful critique group. A native Montanan and a Big Sky girl at heart, Lesley now resides in the Seattle area.

Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Janessa Greene is leaving Thornton Springs

All she's ever wanted is to attend cooking school in Seattle. But when a big-shot rodeo rider comes to work on her family's Montana ranch, Janessa's determined not to let the cowboy distract her from her goal no matter how charming he is.

Micah was a rodeo star, but he's been trampled by one bull too many. While he's deciding his next move, he gets sidetracked by a pretty cowgirl who's headed out of town. Can Micah convince her to take a chance on a cowboy ready to put down roots?



Product Details:
List Price: $4.99
Series: Heartsong Presents (Book 1068)
Mass Market Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Love Inspired (October 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0373486790
ISBN-13: 978-0373486793:


AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:

But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6:14



Chapter 1

Janessa Greene could have sworn her old hatchback lost a little more oomph with each passing day. As she pulled off the highway and through the Bar-G Ranch gate, she sent up a prayer. No way could she spend money on her car right now—not with all the expenses she had coming up. Both she and her car would have to go the extra mile for just a while longer.

As she gunned down the long stretch toward the house, the sight of twenty or so impatient-looking parents standing outside their horse trailers made her stomach buckle. She checked the clock on the dash and grimaced. Why did they all have to be so prompt on the days when she was running behind?

She clattered to a halt between the house and the barn, then gathered up her work bag and purse. Leaping out of the car, she gave the parents a quick wave. “I’ll only be a sec!”

A grating mixture of grumbles and moans followed her as she ran toward the front porch steps. She winced. Those folks had paid good money to have her teach their kids to ride this summer, and they had every right to expect her to deliver her best. She had tried to get there on time. If only the restaurant would stop being so busy on her class days.

She scurried inside, slowing only to push the door shut and to gather up the mail from the table next to it. Flipping through the stack as she bounded across the foyer, she held her breath. Today had to be the day.

“Argh!” She tossed the pile of pure disappointment onto the bench at the base of the staircase, gripped the bannister, and charged up. It was July already. Shouldn’t she have heard by now?

Reaching the top step in record time, she darted across the hall and into her room. She kicked the door closed, dropped her bags on the bed, and tore off her grease-splattered tee, then grabbed a plaid cotton western shirt from the back of her desk chair. As she yanked it on, a rap on the door gave her a jolt.

“Ness, it’s Courtney.”

Her fingers found the shirt buttons as she searched the floor for a pair of jeans. “I’ll be right out.”

“I can go down and get the kids started if you want.”

“Really?” Relief surged as she retrieved some decently-clean Levis off the window seat. “That would make you my favorite sister-in-law.”

Courtney’s laugh sounded through the door. “I’m your only sister-in-law. Besides, you know I love those kids.”

Janessa breathed a little easier. The parents would feel better seeing Courtney, but she’d still have to hustle.

As she fumbled with her cuff button, her focus fixed on the poster over the desk. A plain chef’s jacket hung on a fancy wire hanger with the words ‘Le Cordon Bleu—L’Art Culinaire’ above, and the logo of the school below.

Leaving her second cuff undone, she tugged at the laces on her white SlipGrips—great for the kitchen but definitely not for the arena—and allowed her thoughts to stray. Le Cordon Bleu had been her dream ever since she’d realized she wanted to be a chef. Not only was it a great school, but they had a location in Seattle, not far from Thornton Springs. She bit her lip and yanked at the second lace. Okay, not too far to drive home for holidays and an occasional weekend, anyway. Montana only seemed like a million miles away from everything truly exciting in the world.

She kicked off the shoes. For as long as she could remember, all she’d wanted was to get out of Thornton Springs. Now that she had finally graduated from high school and worked for a year to save up money, her plans were just about to jell.

Flinging herself onto the bed, she quickly replaced her white Dockers with the jeans. She rolled onto her belly to reach under the bed, pulling out one boot, then a second.

She maneuvered into a sitting position, then yanked on the boots and scanned the immediate vicinity for her belt. Her eyes flicked across the framed photo that sat on her bedside table, momentarily sidetracking her with the familiar combination of comfort and sorrow that always accompanied it. Absentmindedly fingering the ever-present heart-shaped diamond necklace at her throat, she wondered for the zillionth time how different her life would be if her dad was still here. He had her heart, even after being gone for so many years.

Forcing her thoughts back to the task at hand, she plucked up her floral-shammed pillow from the head of the bed and let out a mini-cry of victory. She dove for a large gold buckle that peeked out from under her sloppily-placed duvet, then swung her legs around and clamored to her feet. She quickly looped the belt into her jeans and grabbed a hair band off her bedside table, then dug through the pile of hats on the chair next to the door. She paused, running her hand over her Le Cordon Bleu ball cap. Her mind latched onto the one problem with her plan, the magnitude of which grew with each passing day.

What if the school didn’t accept her?

Shoving away the thought, she snapped up her favorite white cowgirl hat and plunked it onto her head. She just couldn’t let herself think that way. It was only July. There was still plenty of time for her to hear from them. Besides, if she didn’t get in, they’d send a rejection letter. No news didn’t necessarily mean bad news.

She darted back out into the hallway and took the stairs two at a time, awkwardly yanking her hair into a ponytail as she flew.

Making her way across the drive, she saw that Courtney had gotten the class started preparing their horses. A few parents lingered along the outside of the fence, but most of them had left, probably furious at her for cutting short their hour to go get things done.

Rushing into the barn, she grabbed a curry comb off its hook on the wall and greeted her horse. “Hey, Miss Molly.” As she ran the comb quickly across Molly’s back, she mumbled to herself. She’d have to do a better job of grooming her later on.

Tossing down the comb, she took up the brush. “Sorry, baby. You deserve better than this.” Moving around to the horse’s other side, she realized she’d left her second cuff undone. She fumbled with the button as she continued to brush Molly, but since she actually needed both hands to accomplish each task, she succeeded only in scratching her wrist with the bristles.

“Youch!” She jumped back, pulling up her sleeve to examine the scratch.

“Works better if you use the brush on the horse.”

The confident baritone behind her nearly startled her out of her skin. She whipped around to see a guy hoisting a saddle up onto the rack on the wall, glancing over his shoulder and smirking like the feline friend of the recently departed canary.

“What in the…?” Her tone came out a little more venomous than she’d intended, but he looked like a guy who could handle it. She’d been standing there talking to her horse. Why hadn’t he made his presence known?

“Hey, I noticed that mare has some weeds stuck in her mane.” Speaking without even looking at her now, he secured the saddle. “You know, if you don’t have time to groom your horse correctly, you don’t have time to own a horse.”

Her jaw went slack. She’d been riding her whole life. This was her horse and her barn, and this guy—whoever he was—had no right to admonish her. Questions swirled in her brain, and she spit out the first one she could latch onto. “Who are you?”

Chuckling lightly as he finally turned to face her, he radiated an air of belonging that implied she was the outsider here, not him. His lack of a swift answer to her question gave the impression that he thought she should somehow already know who he was—like he was some kind of celebrity or something.

“Well…?” She seethed. Not only had he made her even later by springing up behind her like that, but he had implied that she wasn’t properly caring for her horse. And now he wouldn’t even identify himself.

Flashing a gleaming white smile that dented a dimple in his cheek, he ambled toward her. He pushed up the brim of his well-worn tan Stetson, revealing tousled blond hair and a pair of eyes so clear and blue they conjured an instant image of Flathead Lake on a hot summer day.

She gulped. As much as she hated to admit it, this guy was the best looking thing to hit Thornton Springs since Jeffrey Mark Caulfield came to town to make that movie last year.

“Name’s Micah.” Stepping confidently close to her, he held out a hand. “I started work here this morning.”

Oh. Of course. She’d forgotten all about the new ranch hand her brother Adam had hired.

Twisting her mouth in irritation at his obvious lack of first day self-consciousness, she reached out for a quick shake. “I’m Janessa.” Hoping to convey a lack of interest in further conversation, she returned to brushing Molly. Time was wasting.

“Pleasure to meet you, Janessa.” After a long moment of studying her the way you would an auction horse you were considering bidding on, he dipped the brim of his hat and strode out of the barn.

Her hand slowed on Molly’s back as she furtively witnessed his exit. She gave herself a mental shake. What was the matter with her? Standing there gawking like a schoolgirl when she needed to get to her class.

Irritation swelled in her gut. Just what she didn’t need, another pointless distraction from what really mattered—making the money to escape Thornton Springs and get her life off the ground.

As she hurried over to fetch her tack, her gaze again drifted to the doorway, but he had moved out of view. Guys. That was one thing she just couldn’t waste time thinking about right now.

She clicked her tongue. Of course, not thinking about them would be a whole lot easier if God didn’t make some of them so all-fired nice to look at.

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Lesley Ann McDaniel and her publisher for sending me a copy of "Big Sky Bachelor" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

In “Big Sky Bachelor” by Lesley Ann McDaniel, Janessa wants to leave Thornton Springs, Montana to enroll in cooking school in Washington State so she can realize her dream of becoming a chef.  Micah is a newly hired hand on her brother’s ranch who is making a habit of getting under Janessa’s skin.  Would taking a chance on love be worth giving up on a dream?  As Janessa’s plans slowly unravel, it seems like she will be forced to discover the answer to that question.

This is a well-written, fun novel with some down-to-earth life lessons.  The characters – you may remember them from “Lights, Cowboy, Action” – are very likable.  The town of Thornton Springs is a place I’d like to get lost in for a few hours – or a weekend.  This book is another  quick read with a happy ending.

Revelation: Discovering Life for Today and Eternity – Week Nine


Our Eternal Home:  Revelation 21-22

What a breathtaking picture of our future!  God dwells with men!  He will wipe away every tear from our eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain.  Heaven will be brilliant and colorful!  There will be no need for a temple because the Lord and the Lamb are the temple!  There will be no other light source because they are the light!

There will be no more curse…no more pain…no more man ruling over man…no more hard labor…no more thorns and thistles…no more death.  There will be no manipulation or bullying, just honest interaction.  Life will be all about celebrating and worshiping God!  We will serve God and the Lamb.  We will see His face.  We will reign with Him for eternity.

How are you fulfilling the final command in the Bible?  We are told to worship God.  Time is short.  Come quickly, Lord Jesus, and teach me to wait well while I am living on this earth.

This week’s video teaching posed several questions that I’ve asked myself and now present to you as we close:  What do you think of when you think of heaven?  What questions do you need to ask yourself to more fully appreciate your inheritance?  What’s standing in the way of you devoting yourself to God’s purposes?

Memorize:  Revelation 21:6-7

This amazing Bible study may be over, but our journey with Jesus is only beginning!  I invite you to come back next week because we are beginning another wonderful Bible study by Sue Edwards on the book of Ephesians that you won’t want to miss!

Friday, November 01, 2013

Bible Study: Jesus' Intoxicating Love For His Bride - Song of Solonon - Chapter 4

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the Song of Songs (also known as Song of Solomon), although they are a bit better formatted than former efforts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. I’m not sure of the condition of the world at the time of this publication. But at the time of its writing, late spring 2010, things are looking increasingly bleak with the economy, health care and unemployment, there are allegations of racial profiling in Arizona and a major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Are these the first stages of birth pains? The last? God only knows. And He is very busy these days. Seek His wisdom. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming to deliver His people and judge the wicked…

Stacey


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 4 of the Song of Solomon. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

4 – The Honeymoon - Alone At Last. This is a very intimate scene as the king undresses and caresses his bride. Solomon is taking the time to appreciate his beautiful wife by feasting his eyes and telling her what he loves about what he sees.

When was the last time you articulated your appreciation to your mate about his or her physical appearance?

What aspect of relationship with Christ does this relate to? You begin to see yourself as He sees you. You feel loved and appreciated and cherished and treasured. Knowing Him and being with Him brings out the most beautiful parts of you. Being with Him is the best part of your day. You can’t wait to spend time with Him. You allow yourself to be vulnerable because you know He won’t take advantage of you.

4:1 – darling – rayah – the woman of my dreams. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

he loves her eyes and her hair.

4:2 – He loves her teeth. Look at what he notices.

coming up from the washing – clean teeth. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

Each has it’s twin – they’re straight. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

Not one of them is alone – none are missing. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

4:3 – He loves her lips.

Your temples…like…a pomegranate – rosy cheeks. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

4:4 – He admires her neck – long slender and elegant.

1000 shields – necklace? Kisses?

4:5 – He admires her breasts and comments on their youthfulness.

Browse among the lilies? Again, a metaphor for how Solomon enjoys her. Only now, there is no need to restrain himself because they are married.

4:6 – all night…

Mountain of myrrh? Hill of incense ? an abundance of pleasantness.

Metaphors for physical intimacy.

4:7 – He is completely captivated by her beauty.

darling – rayah – the woman of my dreams. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

4:8 – Lebanon? Crest of Amana? Top of Senir? Summit of Hermon? Lion’s den? Haunt of leopards? To mountain peaks from desolate places. Can you explain how Christ has taken you from the desert to the highest mountains?

These are all terms referring to physical fulfillment.

4:9 – Solomon is completely in love.

4:10 – He enjoys being with her.

4:11 – Your lips drip sweetness? Speaking of love, kisses.

Milk and honey under the tongue – (French Hebrew) kiss. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

Fragrance of garments – what garments?

4:12 – A garden locked up, a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain – she is a virgin.

4:13-14 – this is what they kept the little foxes from. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)

What they are enjoying: orchard, choice fruits, henna, nard, saffron, calamus, cinnamon, incense, myrrh, aloes, finest spices.

4:15 – Garden fountain. Well of flowing water.

Refreshing. She is aroused.

4:16 – She is ready to be with Solomon. “Awake”, she says, inviting him to enjoy their love.

Don’t awaken love until it pleases. (Song of Solomon – Tommy Nelson)



• The Song of Solomon illustrates the love relationship between a man and woman which can mirror God’s intoxicating love for His bride (the church). How have you seen God’s love at work in this chapter of scripture? How can you apply it to your marriage? How will you apply it to your relationship with Jesus this week?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?