Masquerade By Nancy Moser

Have you  heard of the saying “When you make plans God laughs”? I am not sure where that saying came from but through out Masquerade by Nancy Moser I thought about that truism. When the story starts with Lottie a lady of class betrothed to a wealthy American and her maid Dora seeing to her every whim, you will think the book is another ho-hum historical fiction novel. Very soon into the story you will find this novel is anything but ho-hum.  Lottie and Dora make plans through out their adventure and God sends them in another direction. The girls leave England for 19th century New York looking for adventure, and adventure they found. Then the shift happens and Dora’s plans infuriate Lottie.Lottie’s self-centered plans take advantage of her friend Dora’s loyalty.   I can almost hear God’s laughter when their plans go wrong. This book is fun, full of  life lessons, and surprises. Anyone who likes a historical fiction  novel with a twist will love this book.

Crossroads

Crossroads are very interesting locations. You have some that are marked with nice clear sign posts that tell you if you take the road to the right you end up here. If you take the road to the left you will end up there.  Some crossroads have one sign. The other having been ripped off in a storm or removed by vandals. The question then becomes, what if the one sign has been moved to the other road and if you follow it you will not end up there but somewhere else entirely.  Tricky things, sign posts. What about the crossroads with no signs at all. For those you need a map; however, if the map is not marked or the map is labeled incorrectly, then you still have to make the decision. I know I hear you what about GPS, well, they are only as good as the map.

Life has no sign posts, maps or GPS. When you come to a crossroad in your life you must rely on other things to help you navigate in the right direction. You must be carefull weighing the pros and cons of each move you make. Trusting your gutt or instinct to make the right decision. Unfortunately, the only way to know if you have chosen the right road or not is to travel down it and see what happens, good or bad.

The Bible says God will direct our paths, guide our lives and instruct us on where to go. We only have to follow Him.  Once you decided to follow God and resolve that you are following Him anywhere He leads the hard part isn’t following. The hard part is knowing where to go, follow where He is leading, and  deciding what road to take.

When you come to a crossroad in your life you have to listen to God and follow His direction. If the sounds of the world are so loud that they drown out God’s voice in your heart, you must make it be quiet. You can not hear God when your mind is on work or family matters. You can not hear God when your mind is saying I this or I that. You can only hear God when you focus on Him and not your life, family, job or yourself. How do you make the world shut up and be quiet long enough for you to hear from God?

Find a quiet place, clear your mind and pray. Make a consciences effort to stop thinking about what is going on in your life. Tell your mind to be quiet.  Repeat over and over in your head, “I am listening for you God.” or “God speak, God speak.”  You can even say it out loud. Read stories in the Bible of others on journeys. Look up verses that deal with following God. The point is to focus all you have in your heart and mind in the direction of God

Once you are centered on God. Pray.Ask God for guidance. Ask Him where He wants you to go. What he wants you to do. THe be completely quite and listen.  God will speak to you.The first time you hear God the human response is to doubt what you are hearing. Dont’ do that. Your heart hears God in a plain, yet spiritual way. It is similar to listening to your own thoughts but it is usually something so foreign from what you would expect that it surprises you. It is sometimes an Ah Ha moment or a WOW moment. I can’t explain how it happens, it is a feeling yet more than a feeling. You just know that God has spoken and that you are to take that road.Trust God. Follow God. You will know it is right. Take that road, see how it works out and you then know, yes, God spoke and I followed. Hearing from God is something you will never forget and when you hear from Him again, it is easier. You come to  know His voice like you do a family member that you hear every day.

   If you listen and watch, God will leave a sign post in your life that will be just as clear and plain as the sign posts on the road you see while traveling this world.

The Book of Lost Things

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly is a fairy tale for grown ups. A small boy losses his mother and after her death he retreats into a world of unreal creatures.The little boy, David grows up before your eyes, yet you will want him to stay innocent.  If you like the bother’s Grim you will love John Connolly’s take on the stories. This book will twist your mind and make you believe the stories of your childhood are real. The nest time you see a shadow just outside your field of vision, your heart will flip and you will swear the crooked man is close by.

The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Reading Douglas Adams’ writing is like watching your moron friend do something stupid, like stepping on a rake and having the handle smack him in the head then  laughing at his pain. It is awesome! I have only read the first book in this multi volume edition and I can’t wait to read them all. The imagery keeps your brain busy while your gut aches with laughter over crazy characters. Look beyond that and there are metaphors of our own society with all it’s middle class issues. Just remember the answer is always 42.