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Topic: The Lord is My Shepherd by Debbie Viguie

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Subject: The Lord is My Shepherd by Debbie Viguie
Date Posted: 4/16/2010 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2008
Posts: 8,552
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Here's a place to discuss the new release The Lord Is My Sheperd (Psalm 23 Mysteries).

This discussion is likely to contain spoilers so don't read this before you read the book.

My first comment is that the word "Shepherd" is spelled incorrectly in the PBS listing (see above).  Can someone report that so it can be fixed?  It really bothers me - and may hinder searches for the book.

Share your reactions to the book.  I loved it; it's been quite some time since I carried a book everywhere I went just so I could read a page or two when time permitted, even in traffic!

Do you think it's appropriate to classify it as Christian fiction?

Were you surprised (like me) to learn that the author's previous books were young adult titles about witch craft?



Last Edited on: 4/16/10 1:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/16/2010 2:35 PM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
Posts: 15,093
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I enjoyed reading the book and even searched to see if the 2nd one is listed on PBS yet for WL but didn't find it.

I have no problem with it being classified as Christian Fiction even though the most religious description seemed to center around Jewish customs and celebrations.  I thought that they were very informative about the Seder is celebrated and all those goes with getting ready for it.

The thing that irritated me the most about the book was how often Cindy (the heroine) would break down and start crying.  That is just a pet peeve with me as I like to read about strong women and how they handle their selves.  At the end of the book though, she seemed to do a bit better.

ETA:  I just looked again and book 2 is there now.  Have submitted an edit to add desc and picture

I Shall Not Want :: Debbie Viguie



Last Edited on: 4/16/10 2:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/16/2010 2:58 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2007
Posts: 3,773
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i have the book, but it's in my TBR pile.

the author also has a christian fiction  YA series...The Sweet Seasons series

Lisa N. (LDN) - ,
Date Posted: 4/16/2010 5:44 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 11,086
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I also immediately wishlisted book 2.  And, I was okay with it being CF, but I was disgusted at some of the behavior among the church staffs, especially the church staff at Cindy's church.  This is the first book I've read by this author so I knew nothing about previous books.

Valerie suggested that I list the questions from the discussion guide in the back to kind of keep the discussion flowing.  So, I'll list 1 now and then when it seems we need another jump start to our discussion I'll post the next one.

Question 1: At the heart of this book is the question of what is safe.  In the first chapter Cindy thinks "no one is ever safe."  Has anything happened to you that robbed you of your ability to feel safe?  What did you do about it?

Date Posted: 4/17/2010 9:03 AM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
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I'm skipping over all the other posts just to say that I've been wanting this book, but now you've really got my curiosity up!  Hope I get it soon!

Lisa N. (LDN) - ,
Date Posted: 4/17/2010 9:40 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 11,086
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I'm using it for a swap or I would have posted my copy to you.  I hope you get it soon too Christa.

At the heart of this book is the question of what is safe.  In the first chapter Cindy thinks "no one is ever safe."  Has anything happened to you that robbed you of your ability to feel safe?  What did you do about it?

This question is kind of hard for me.  I certainly have never had my sense of security shaken as much as Cindy seemed to, but that may be more a function of my basic personality than from a profound sense of trust in the Lord's protection.  I've always (even before I knew Christ) been kind of a "what will be will be" person.  I'm not a worrier, even sometimes when I should worry I don't.  I do remember once when my car got broken into and some things stolen out of it.  I didn't really feel so much unsafe though as violated.  As for what I did about it - I just chose not to dwell on it and to move forward.
 
I'll give this question a day or so and if it doesn't generate discussion, I'll post the next question in the discussion guide.
Date Posted: 4/17/2010 10:28 AM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
Posts: 15,093
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but I was disgusted at some of the behavior among the church staffs

It's funny what hits people different ways.  This part didn't really bother me at all, maybe because I am on a church staff.  LOL! 

I know what you mean though and she may have exaggerated  but people don't really realize the biggest part of the time what your church staff is really like when you don't see them except for Sundays and Wednesdays.  I know when I first started working at the church, it surprised me about things and we only have 3 that work full time - me, the pastor and the min of music.  We're all human and we all have differences of opinions and character traits.

The part that I had the biggest problem with was using the different parts of the Easter story as murder scenes.

As far as your question Lisa - I don't think about it a lot.  Anything basically can happen at any time and there is no  point on dwelling on it.  I remember when I was divorced, my mother would tell me that I shouldn't do this or do that because something could happen but I wasn't going to live my life in fear.  Be watchful and careful yes but not let fear control me.

Lisa N. (LDN) - ,
Date Posted: 4/17/2010 10:38 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 11,086
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Be watchful and careful yes but not let fear control me.

I think that is a good summation of what God expects from us.  We do need to take appropriate precautions, but ultimately we are to trust His care for us.

people don't really realize the biggest part of the time what your church staff is really like when you don't see them except for Sundays and Wednesdays

I know that is true.  I have a friend that is a church secretary and I know she says that in many ways it is no different than working at any other job.  I guess it's human nature though to hope that our leaders are doing it better somehow than the average church member.

The Easter theme really didn't bother me.  The high body count did a little bit though.

Lisa N. (LDN) - ,
Date Posted: 4/18/2010 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 11,086
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Okay, let's try another question from the discussion guide:


At their first meeting (chapter 2) and throughout the book, the detective refers to Jeremiah as a Good Samaritan.  What was the story of the Good Samaritan and why does Jeremiah object to the title?

Lisa N. (LDN) - ,
Date Posted: 4/20/2010 5:53 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 11,086
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Didn't like that question?  Here's something from the web that tells about the Samaritans.  Based on this, I'd say Jeremiah objected to the title because as a Jew he knew this history and felt it was an insult to him.  He was focused on the term Samaritan race rather than on the good deed part of that story.

Samaritans The people settled by the Assyrians in the district of Samaria (according to 2 Kgs. 17: 29) and who were alleged by Jews to practise a form of Hebrew worship contaminated by combination with their previous cult. However, the evidence is rather that there was no one decisive event which established the breach. The characteristic beliefs and conservative customs were consolidated from the 3rd century BCE after the campaigns of Alexander the Great had created new political conditions throughout the Near East. In NT times Samaritans were despised by Jews as foreigners (Luke 17: 18) though in fact they still had much in common with Jews. While the Samaritan Bible consisted only of the Pentateuch, the group claimed to observe it more strictly than the Jews, especially in the regulations for the Sabbath. The Samaritan temple on Mount Gerizim was destroyed by Jews in 128 BCE and thereafter the priests conducted the Passover sacrifices on the site (John 4: 20). In 6 CE some Samaritans crept into the Jerusalem Temple and scattered human bones in it. After the uproar and other subsequent disturbances Pontius Pilate ordered a massacre on Mount Gerizim, which led to the Samaritans' demand for his deposition in 37 CE. The common heritage of Jews and Samaritans combined with the history of friction and dissent adds to the piquancy of Jesus' friendliness towards them (Luke 17: 18; John 4: 7) and the astonishing anti-racism of the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 33). In the expansion of the Church from Jerusalem to Rome, the Samaritans occupy a midway position between the evangelization of Palestinian Jews and Hellenistic Jews on the one hand, and Gentiles on the other (Acts 8: 12). In spite of persecution and the political and military upheavals of Palestine, a small Samaritan community has survived to modern times.

Lisa N. (LDN) - ,
Date Posted: 4/20/2010 5:57 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 11,086
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Let's see if you like question 3:

Was there a time when you were a Good Samaritan?  Was there a time when someone else was one for you?  How did you feel either time?

or question 4:

There is the reality of being a Christian and there is the perception of the outside world to being a Christian.  How do these two differ in your life?  Are there things you do like Cindy's card playing (chapter 1) that some people wouldn't expect of a Christian?  How do you educate nonbelievers about the reality of being a Christian as opposed to the stereotype?

Date Posted: 4/20/2010 3:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
Posts: 15,093
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Sorry- forgot about checking in here!  I need to watch it.

Question 3 - I have had occasion to be a Good Samaritan to others, maybe not to a large degree but in smaller things.  I like being able to pass on the blessings that I have received. 

As far as being on the receiving end - it makes you feel good that someone has noticed that you have a need and that God is watching over me.

Question 4 - I've got to thing about that one a bit.  I know what you mean but not sure exactly how to answer.

Date Posted: 4/20/2010 4:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2008
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I didn't mean to "abandon" this discussion - sorry!  Thanks to Lisa for posting the discussion questions and to Lisa and Cynthia for answering them.

I really enjoy helping people (probably why I work at a non-profit and volunteer for many organizations) but rarely have an impact as significant as in the Good Samaratin story.  As a type A first-born, it's much harder for me to accept help from others - I need to work on being a gracious receiver.

Lisa N. (LDN) - ,
Date Posted: 4/22/2010 8:16 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 11,086
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Here's another question to try to jumpstart our discussion.

Q5.  In the opening moments of the first chapter, it is revealed that while Cindy is a Christian and works at a church she still struggles with understanding her place in the church and even what is and isn't church-like behavior.  Have you ever felt you didn't fit into a church because people worshiped differently or had different expectations of church than you?  What did you do?

Lisa N. (LDN) - ,
Date Posted: 4/22/2010 8:21 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 11,086
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Now I'll take a stab at the question.  Truly the only times I felt like I didn't fit into a church was when the Lord was moving me out of that church.  I got saved within a very legalistic denomination and I stayed in that denomination for several years.  However, I came to a point where I felt that all the legalism was really keeping people from God, not showing them Christ.  As the Lord dealt with me around that issue He also prepared me to leave that church and move to a non-denominational congregation.  I guess that's what I did - moved to a different church.

Not directly the question, but I really hate the phrasing "church-like behavior."  I think our aim should be Christ-like behavior both inside and outside the formal church.  I understand the point the author was making with the question, but just typing out church-like behavior kind of stirred up my spirit to say "that's soooo NOT what it is about."

Date Posted: 4/24/2010 2:57 PM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
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That is actually a good question because so many people have ideas what makes up "correct church-like behavior".  You ought to dress so and so, you should talk a certain way (and I don't mean using vulgar language), etc.

I always went to traditional Baptist or Methodist churches (parents were one of each) and then several years ago I went to a non-denominational church that was just getting started so where I joined the praise team (even though they didn't call it that then).  All of the others were very free in their worship, raising hands, singing in the spirit, etc. but not me.  Nobody ever said anything to me but I felt pressured to be like them and that just wasn't me.  It worked out and I stayed there 3 years but I have always remembered that feeling. 

While at the same church, I had several women talk to me about liking not having to worry about their clothes.  At other churches they had been to, the way they dressed had been looked down on and they never felt welcomed because they didn't dress up.  They didn't have the clothes to.

Some of that is still around I think, especially with congregations that have a lot of older members.  There is a man in our church now that doesn't believe women should wear pants to church, even though his daughters wear strapless dresses. Go figure.

Lisa N. (LDN) - ,
Date Posted: 4/24/2010 6:27 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 11,086
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I'll post a couple more questions for us to think about.  And, jic anyone is wondering why I'm doing all this question posting in Valerie's thread, it's because she doesn't actually have the book anymore and I do.

Q6. Two of Cindy's coworkers, the pastor and the music director, can't get along, and their squabbles hurt the rest of the staff (chapter 8).  Are you involved in a dispute with a coworker or fellow church member that is hurting other people?  If so, what can you do about it?

Q7. What is Passover?  How does it relate to Christianity?  What part of the Jewish Seders did you find most intriguing or relate to most strongly?

I'll think about them and come back later to post.  Right now I'm going to go get ready for a dinner date with my DH.  :)

Date Posted: 4/24/2010 11:46 PM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
Posts: 15,093
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Q6 - I;m not in a dispute right now but it did make me think of a situation at church.  We have one  man a deacon, that has decided he is the spiritual guardian of anything going on at church.  The problem is, he has a very narrow viewpoint and is causing a lot of tension and strife with the min of music and other deacons.  The biggest thing I can do for this is prayer as I'm sure he would have a fit to know how much I am aware of.

Q7 - Passover - when Moses was trying to get Pharoah to let the Israelites go, the angel of death was going to come and the Israelites were to put the blood of the lamb on their doorposts so that their homes would be Passed over.

The thing that intrigued me the most when they were talking about the Seder was the extensive cleaning that they had to do.  I thought that was really interesting.

Lisa N. (LDN) - ,
Date Posted: 4/25/2010 6:51 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 11,086
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The thing that intrigued me the most when they were talking about the Seder was the extensive cleaning that they had to do.

I thought that was pretty impressive too.

Just to expand on Cynthia's answer to #7 and say how it applies to Christianity - Jesus is our Passover Lamb.  His sacrifice causes us to be passed over at God's judgement.  His blood covers us in the same way it was on the door posts of the Israelites homes and when God looks at us he sees the blood of Christ and passes over us.

Date Posted: 4/26/2010 2:25 PM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
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Thanks Lisa!  Good addition - I totally forgot about that part of the question.

Lisa N. (LDN) - ,
Date Posted: 5/7/2010 1:49 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 11,086
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Last Edited on: 5/7/10 1:50 AM ET - Total times edited: 1