Now that you’ve read the book, discover how those fictional characters and situations can apply to your own life.
- In chapter 3, Emily Payne is told by her guardian that she needs to begin building trust with him by keeping her word and being completely honest. Of course we should always speak the truth, but are “little white lies” permissible, especially those that would keep the hearer from becoming hurt?
Read Ephesians 4:15, 25 and Zechariah 8:16
When was the last time you were tempted to tell a little white lie?
- In chapter 4, Jenny Brentwood tells her brother Nicholas that she’s “dandy and grand,” her trademark response when asked how she’s feeling though she’s dying of tuberculosis. What circumstances tempt you to give in to self-pity?
Read Philippians 4:8 and Proverbs 17:22
Do you know someone who has a great attitude despite life’s challenges? Take the time to write them an encouraging note today.
- In chapter 9, Wren (Lauren) Hunt, tells Emily, “Only by losing everything could I gain the one thing I would’ve overlooked. Need.” Why would she see need as a gain instead of a detriment?
Read Psalm 34:18 and Romans 8:28
What tragic circumstance has happened in your life that may be considered a blessing in disguise?
- In chapter 11, when Nicholas Brentwood makes a visit to the morgue, he reflects that “God should so bless everyone with a visit to the dead house.” Why in the world would looking at corpses be a blessing?
Read Psalm 90:12 and Psalm 39:4-6
When is the last time you took a moment to meditate on the brevity of life? Now might be a good time.
- In chapter 24, Mrs. Hunt is credited with the sage advice that extraordinary situations call for extraordinary measures. What unexpected situation have you faced that called for drastic measures?
Read Exodus 14:5-31
What does this story say about the character of God?
- Which character in Brentwood’s Ward did you relate to the most and why?
- Historically, the English people were skittish about having an organized police force. They felt it impinged upon their privacy. At what point does a government-run organization cross the line into privacy invasion?
A HEART DECEIVED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1. When Miri is first committed to the asylum, she struggles to believe that God even cares about her. Have you ever had a time in your life when you felt like God didn’t care or felt distant? Jesus says in Luke 12:7…
Why even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Why is it so easy to fall into the wrong thinking that God cares about bigger issues than us?
2. Ethan tells Miri that, “if you could see and know the every movement of God, then I daresay you would have no need of faith.” When was a time you struggled with your faith? Hebrews 11:1 says…
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
What’s something you’re certain of that you don’t currently see?
3. Reverend John Newton tells Ethan, “God works powerfully, lad, but for the most part gradually and gently.” Was there a time in your life you wished God would’ve moved faster? Read Proverbs 3:5-6…
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Is there a timeframe in which God will “straighten” your path?
4. Nigel Thorne has an elephant he rubs for luck. Have you ever had a lucky charm? What do you think about luck? Is there such a thing as good or bad luck? Proverbs 16:9 says…
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
Is it comforting or stifling for you to know that God establishes your steps?
5. Duffy says in Chapter 29 that “Some souls ain’t worth the savin’.” Is anyone beyond God’s saving grace? Read Acts 9:1-19. Take a moment to pray for someone that you think will take a “Red Sea Miracle” to save.
6. Many characters’ names display an aspect of their character. Can you identify why each of the following characters have a particular surname?
UNDERCURRENT DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1. Ragnar is mocked for his faith, even to the point of physical disfigurement. Yet he forgives, whether he’s asked to or not. Are you holding on to any unforgiving feelings in your own life? Read Matthew 18:21-22.1.
Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven.”
What is the timeframe for forgiveness?
2. Throughout much of the story, Cassie struggles with pride (the excessive belief in one’s own abilities). Is it wrong to have a lot of confidence in yourself? Why or why not? Read 1 Corinthians 4:7.
For what gives you the right to make such a judgment? What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift?
Why is pride sinful?
3. Alarik finds it hard to believe in anything, just like many people today. Read 1 John 5:10.
All who believe in the Son of God know in their hearts that this testimony is true. Those who don’t believe this are actually calling God a liar because they don’t believe what God has testified about his Son.
Why is unbelief an insult to a holy God?
4. Signy is astounded that someone would take the blame for a wrong she clearly committed. Read Isaiah 53:5-7.
But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid upon him the sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth.
How can justice possibly be served by an innocent man bearing the sentence for a guilty person?
5. Magnus says, “A God friend never turns away. He sees good when there is much bad.” Who are your God friends? Read Mark 9:35.
He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.”
What’s one tangible way you can serve your God friend this week?
1. Jess is running from God because she’s angry her husband was killed. Is there a time in your life that you’ve been angry with God? Read Job chapters 38 & 39. Are we ever justified in blaming God?
2. Tarne is greedy for power and seeks it via the occult, defined as: any practice to do with the supernatural that is forbidden in the Bible or is self-evidently evil. Have you or do you know anyone who has dabbled with the occult? Read Deuteronomy 4:19, 18:9-14 and Isaiah 47:13,14. How might Ouiji boards, Tarot cards, and horoscopes fit in to the occult?
3. Colwyn struggles to believe that he can be forgiven after the many wrongs he’s committed. Is there anything you’ve ever done that cannot be forgiven? Read 1 John 1:9, 1 Peter 3:18, Isaiah 43:25, Psalm 103:8-12. How does God’s forgiveness of us relate to us forgiving others?
4. Faulk and Traline are faithful friends to Colwyn. Who’s your most faithful friend? Read Ecclesiastes 4:9,10, Proverbs 18:24 and 27:5,6, John 15:12-15. Why are faithful friends an important part of our life?
5. Tagg never knew his parents, yet he harbors no bitterness. Do you feel bitter over anything that happened to you in your past? Read Ephesians 4:32, Matthew 18:21,22, Colossians 3:13, Romans 12:19-21. How are bitterness, pride and forgiveness related?
6. Geoffrey has shared his faith with Colwyn for years, but doesn’t see results right away. Are you persevering without results? What burden do you carry? Read Matthew 7:3-5 and Luke 13:14,15. How do our words and actions mesh? Are you happy with the results of this mesh in your life? What could you change?
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