Dark Glass Ponderings

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. -1 Corinthians 13:12

Title: Texas Roads
Author: Cathy Bryant
Publication Date: 2010
Publisher: WordVessel Press

**Special thanks to Cathy Bryant for providing a review copy of this book.**

My Rating: 4.5/5

I've been heading to Word Vessel for quite a while.  I first heard about her site and its giveaways (Cathy is very generous).  After visiting Cathy's website for a few weeks, I began to love Cathy's blog because of the depth of her posts and the heart that shines through them.  God has used Cathy's devotions to speak into my life, particularly her recent series on Hearing God's Voice.  I encourage you to stop by, I believe you'll be blessed.

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review Cathy's book!  I devoured Texas Roads in giant mouthfuls.  Cathy's book will appeal to readers in a variety of different genres.  Its a beautiful romance not only between a Texas cowboy and a schoolteacher, but at a deeper level the romance between a hurting young lady and the God that courts us so tenderly.  Its a novel about the hurts that cut us deeply and the Savior that tenderly patches  us all, leaving us better than new.

Each character is painted with the most masterful of brushstrokes. As a result as I put down the novel I felt as though the characters had become friends.  Just as real as any other character in the novel is the Texas landscape reflected as clear as a photograph in my mind from Cathy's words. The only drawback to the realism of this novel's characters is that at times I found myself devastated at the pain the characters went through in the novel.

Beautiful description, poignant characters, chuckle-worthy humor, and a heart-healing message make Texas Roads a not-to-be missed read

As a bonus, Cathy has graciously granted me permission to reprint one of her recent devotions.  I pray it
speaks to your heart and I hope you will head on over to WordVessel for more to whet your spiritual appetite.

Hearing God's Voice, Part I
Posted by Cathy Bryant at 5/30/2010 06:00:00 AM

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." ~John 10:27 (NIV)

Our last series about knowing and doing God's will opened another door of Bible study for me on hearing God's voice. After all, if we don't hear His voice, how are we supposed to know how to live a life that pleases Him and stays in the center of His will?

My own personal issue with all of this is that while I trust God's ability to speak to me, I often mistrust my ability to hear Him correctly (which I'm convinced is yet another tactic of the enemy). So I hope you'll join me during this study of hearing God's voice and add your insights. I always learn from you.

Listening Through His Spirit

"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come." ~John 16:12-13 (NIV)

Each of us believers are filled with God's Spirit. That Spirit within us is God's voice. The Spirit speaks what God speaks and tells us what is to come. The problem comes with the other voices that clamor for our attention: the world, our own sin nature, the enemy, sometimes even well-meaning, but misinformed, friends.

Listening Through His Word

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. ~Psalm 119:105 (NIV)

For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. ~Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My Words will never pass away." ~Matthew 24:35 (NIV)

I know I shouldn't be, but I'm constantly amazed at how God's Word speaks to me. Sometimes a verse I've read a million times will jump out at me with truth and relevance to a particular season in my life. Praise God for His living and active Word that never passes away!

Faulty Hearing?

"He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God." ~John 8:47 (NIV)

These heart-chilling words spoken by Jesus were directed at the Pharisees, but they also serve as a warning to us. The word "hear" has with it the implication of obeying what is heard (James 1:22, Luke 7:46). If a person continually closes their ears to what God says they don't belong to God.

The scary part of this verse is that the Pharisees believed they were serving God, and not only serving Him, but acting as His agents on the earth. This shows that it's possible to believe you're working for God, but be totally opposed to Him and His work. (John 16:2) Organized religion is not a substitute for being a part of the body of Christ; be aware of the difference.

If you are reading this and unsure of where you stand with God, I plead with you to search the sidebar for the red "Ready?" button. Also feel free to contact me at catbry1 at yahoo dot com. I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Heavenly Father, How blessed we are to be Your children, to be the recipients of Your grace and guidance. Thank You that You don't leave us to wander through this earthly maze alone, but give us Your Spirit and Your Word as living, active agents in our lives so that we might live lives worthy of You. May we be so tuned in to Your voice that all other voices become a mere whimper. In Jesus' Name, Amen 

Disclosure: I received this book free from the author in exchange for a review, but the opinions expressed are my own.


Julia, I'm so blessed by your kind words about the story. You have a beautiful way with words, and they make me want to read the book all over again. (And trust me when I say that I've read it so many times I was ready to chunk it there for a while.) =)

Thanks again for taking the time to read and review Texas Roads. I'm so glad you enjoyed the story.

Thank you, Cathy. As I said I can't wait to read more fiction and devotionals from you :).

I'm really interested in picking up Hearing God's voice. Are the books only available through word vessel? I'm going to hop over now.

T. Anne: Cathy's book Texas Roads is available at her site and Amazon, I think. She hasn't published any devotionals yet, but I told her I can't wait until she does :).

What a beautifully written review! I can tell you really enjoyed the book.

Thanks, Amy! Yes, I did! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

This is such a great debut book!

Have you or your followers, Julia checked out Cathy's summer splash contest? Be sure and visit her blog now through July 31st, it is great fun with some wonderful prizes!! :)

Thanks for posting about Cathy's contest. So glad to have found Cathy on the net...and you, too, Casey :).

Thanks so much for the great post, Julia! I'm a Cathy fan, that's for sure:) Not only does she do awesome giveaways but her thoughts/devotional posts about walking with Christ are so heartfelt and deep.
Thinking of you, Julia at this busy family time. I admire you for all that you do in the midst of being a mom and all else. I know how challenging that can be and unexpected things crop up every day. Praying for you. Bless you all!

Laura, Yes, I LOVE Cathy's devotions. Thanks so much for your kind words and prayers. I know we serve a powerful God.

Julia M. Reffner

About Me

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Christ-loving bookworm & homeschool mom of 2 stealing the rare quiet moments to pursue that all elusive writing dream. I also write book reviews for Title Trakk and The Historical Novel Society.


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