Sunday, October 2, 2016

Newton and Polly: A Novel of Amazing Grace by Jody Hedlund, © 2016

Only God can change the intent of a heart yielded to Him. John Newton's direction is sporadic as he repeatedly tries to follow his inclinations that turn sour and not what he had envisioned happening. Setting out alone, he attempts to circumvent outcomes of peril. Swayed by brawn and exaggerated feats of time, Newton is dissuaded from finding an obstacle to his ventures. Always assuring himself that he will be taken out of his disaster, his vision is narrowed to see factual circumstances; a little bit better than it could be. He wants to do right, to regain the man he could be, but seemingly always faltering. How can an open heart be closed off by others? How can a building love be sequenced and locked away, but longing remain even stronger? To be free, to be truly free, unencumbered by chance.
Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and said,
“Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?
And this was a small thing in your eyes, O God. You have also spoken of your servant’s house for a great while to come, and have shown me future generations, O Lord God!
1 Chronicles 17:16-17
Author Jody Hedlund has portrayed a man reaching to fulfill his soul's desire to be seen for who he is. Alive, worthy, protected. Never seeming to measure up, he stretches forward to an unknown newness waiting for him. Peace. Love. Honor. Bereft without God, longing for a turning point solacing a heart.

Amazing Grace
John Newton (1779)

Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils, and snares,
I have already come;
'Tis grace that brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be for ever mine.

Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

This story is very well written and demonstrates deep researching into lives that we may benefit from their example. In fact, in any generation could be viewed character building or degeneration by whom we choice to pattern our life after. An encouragement to go forward with God's amazing grace.

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Jody Hedlund is the bestselling author of over a dozen novels, including Luther and Katharina, winner of the 2016 Christian Book Award. She received a bachelor’s from Taylor University and a master’s from the University of Wisconsin, both in social work.
Jody enjoys bringing forgotten historic women to life. Her first novel, The Preacher's Bride, won the Reader's Choice Award with Romance Writers of America (RWA). She and her husband and their five children live in central Michigan.

***Thank you author Jody Hedlund for this novel of Amazing Grace! and to WaterBrook for sending me a review copy. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***

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