Wednesday, December 20, 2006

"The Longing Season" too short-so good

I was leary, on one hand, to begin Christine Schaub's second book in the series "Music of the Heart". It is rare that a second in any series be as good as the first. I had high expectations following "Finding Anna". I shouldn't have given it a second thought. The "Longing Season" was just as entertaining, just as thought provoking, just as captivating as "Finding Anna".

John Newton is asked a direct question: "So you can not imagine a life lived as the Jesuits recommend-in imitation of Christ?" He answers "Who would want to imitate Christ? Womanless, homeless, at the end-friendless, dead at 33."

"And yet, a thousand years later, you know him by name". Onya leaned forward on her stool. "A thousand years from now, who will remember a womanizer, a destroyer of families and homes, a slave trader on the coast of Africa? Who will remember your name, John Newton?"

By all appearances, John Newton could not be converted. He had everything he could ever want in Africa. He worked hard to obtain a reputation as a slave trader. He enjoyed his concubines and fine foods he feasted on. He needed nothing. Until on that fated day, a ship pulled into port and a conversation ended with John Newton leaving everything he worked hard for to board the ship. En route to see the only woman he ever respected enough to consider marrying, he finds out that no one is unreachable. He learns about God's grace.

Back at home, Mary is unaware that John is coming back to her. Her parents and family have forced her to move on. But has she? She faces a decision of the heart that only those that listen to God's direction can make.

Schaub weaves a tale of love, commitment and hope as no one else can. This true story of how the hymn Amazing Grace was written will make you realize that God provides for all of our needs. If we will trust him, he will work behind the scenes and design a plan for our great benefit. All things really do work together for good. I read this book in literally 2 sittings. Far more captivating than I had anticipated, and I had high expectations to begin with.

**Quotes taken from book