Monday, December 27, 2010

Murder on the Bride's Side

Murder on the Bride's Side: A MysteryToday is going to be the first of a three or four part series on a study of Psalm 119. Known as the longest chapter in the entire Bible, it runs a full 176 verses and in the original language is an acrostic poem. An acrostic poem is one where each verse begins with a certain letter to create a pattern. This psalm is divided into twenty-two parts, one of each letter of the Hebrew language, and every verse in a particular section begins with the same letter. Translated into English, it doesn't have the same effect, because it doesn't keep the acrostic form, but even in my language, there is still a remarkable power in this psalm that is focused on keeping God's Word, which throughout are also referred to as: laws, commandments, regulations, commands, and decrees. The theme is that when we begin reading His Word, we will fall in love with it and Him.

While reading through Psalm 119 the other night, I was struck by all of the benefits God promises us will come from reading, studying, obeying, and meditating on His Word. I started taking notes, and that's what I want to share with you over the next few days.

First, go read the Psalm here. If the NLT isn't your version, feel free to change it to your chosen translation, but please go read it before going any farther...

Done? If not, seriously, go read it! If you are finished, great! Here we go!

The writer of this Psalm (we don't know just who it was) was deeply in love with God's Word, and he gives a wonderful list of benefits that come from reading it:

  • It will make us joyful. This is the most popular promise, appearing in verses 2, 92, and 143.
  • It will help us remain pure. Verse 9
  • It will revive us. This promise also appears three times, in verses 25, 149, and 156.
  • It will encourage us. Verse 28
  • It will give us life. This is the last promise appearing three times: verses 37, 93, and 144
  • It will make us free. Verse 45
  • It gives comfort. Verse 52
  • It will fill us with delight. This promise appears twice: verses 77 and 174
  • It gives us understanding. Verse 104
  • It will give us light. Verse 130
  • It will give us great peace. Verse 165
  • It will give us help. Verse 175
  • It is where our happiness is found. Verse 35
  • It will keep us from stumbling. Verse 105
  • It will help us to answer those who seek to harm us. Verse 42
  • It is our only hope. Verse 43
  • It is our constant guide. Verse 98
  • It will be a lamp for our feet and a light for our path. Verse 105
  • It will be our treasure and heart's delight. Verse 111
  • It is our source of hope. Verse 114
  • It is a guide for our steps and will keep us from evil. Verse 133
Do you need those things in your life? Today alone, I can tell you that I need joy, encouragement, comfort, help, and peace. And that's just today! Who knows what my needs will be tomorrow? The Lord knows, and He has provided for all my needs right in His Word. I try to read my Bible every night, and when I skip it, I truly miss it. I'm always seeking to help people see the great value in reading the Bible, and in reading Psalm 119, I discovered all of the reasons I could never put into words, laid out before me. Read over that list again. What are you needing in your life today? I challenge you to pick up a Bible and start reading; see if you find what you are seeking there. I pray you will find your needs and desires and hurts all answered there. 

Tomorrow I will lay out why we can trust His Word, based again on Psalm 119.

Murder on the Bride's Side by Tracy Kiely is the follow-up to Murder at Longbourn, following the misadventures of Elizabeth Parker, who loves Jane Austen and has a bad habit of stumbling onto murders. It picks up on the eve of Elizabeth's best friend Bridget's wedding. The women have been friends since childhood, and Elizabeth treats her friend's family as her own. As maid of honor, she has many responsibilities on her plate, but she had no idea that solving Bridget's Aunt Roni's murder would be one of them! Roni was barely tolerated by the family, and her desire to get husband, Avery, to sell the family business has everyone up in arms. The murderer seems to have planted evidence to make Elizabeth appear guilty, so she needs to find the culprit in order to clear her own name, but can she keep her mind on the crime when she discovers that her boyfriend Peter used to date the wedding planner, Chloe, who doesn't even hide her intentions to win him back? Kiely uses the occasional Austenism as well as some characters remarkably similar to Austen's; Elsie shares a remarkable resemblance to Lady Catherine. Bridget and Elizabeth make for a charming and humorous team of crime-solvers, and it's their friendship that really carries the story. Their history and love for each other allows them to tease and know each other, making each come to life for the reader as well. The culprit is a definite surprise when revealed, and Kiely throws in a heart-breaking twist at the end. Elizabeth and Bridget will keep Kiely busy writing mysteries for awhile, much to readers' delight!

Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of this book for review.