Ransomed Dreams, Defenders of Hope Series #1Ransomed Dreams, Defenders of Hope Series #1
Amy Wallace
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Interview, Excerpt

Gracie Ann Lane is being watched by a man who will stop at nothing to hide the truth from her. Having lost the only man she ever loved and the children who were her world, the truth is all Gracie wants, an explanation for what really happened. She longs to move forward but is bound by chains of fear. Then she meets Steven Kessler, an FBI agent assigned to uncover an international plot to kidnap the British Ambassador s daughter. Steven awakens more than memories; he revives the possibility of a life Gracie desires. A life where healing and peace crowd out the nightmares. But his case and her past are dangerously connected. Suddenly, Gracie must decide if she's able, let alone willing to pay the required ransom to redeem dreams and restore hope.



 Ransomed Dreams Discussion Questions: By Amy Wallace


1. Gracie struggled with feeling helpless and allowed that to drive her life in many areas, trying to prove she wasn’t powerless. What lies do you struggle with? How do they keep you from living? Or drive you so hard you don’t enjoy the life you have?


2. Another common lie we believe is “I’m not good enough.” How did Steven handle this lie and find freedom? What helped him decide others’ opinions don’t define him? If what other people think about us doesn’t define us, then what does?


3. When you read Jeremiah 31:3 about God’s everlasting love, what does that stir up in you? If we lived like we believed this verse, how would our actions show it?


4. What do Isaiah 43:1; Zephaniah 3:17; John 13:34; and Ephesians 5:1 say about how God thinks about you? Is it difficult to believe God really feels this way? Why?


5. It can be so hard to trust God and believe that He loves us when life screams differently. Read Psalm 91 and John 16:33. How do those Scriptures go together?


6. How does Philippians 4:6–7 help us to believe that even when life is hard, God is still good?


7. One huge thing Steven struggled with was the question why? He fumed at Clint about why children die and why marriages fail—even when people pray. He turned away from God because of his hurt and unanswered questions. Can you relate to Steven or do you know someone who does? How?


8. Is it okay to fume at God and ask why? I love the book of Job because Job gets real with God and demands an answer from the Almighty concerning his heartache. What does he receive? Job 38:1 says God answered. What was Job’s response? Read Job 40:3–5.


9. While there are no easy answers, here are a few verses to ponder and discuss with regard to the deep-seated “why” questions in our lives: Jeremiah 31:18; Romans 5:1–5; 2 Corinthians 1:3–6; 7:10; 1 Peter 2:19–24; 4:12–19. How do these verses impact your “why” questions?


10. Sometimes we won’t find or understand the answers to our “why” questions. It seems life would be better if we had no trouble (or at least less trouble) and that the Christian life should guarantee fewer problems. Consider Joseph, King David, Job, Daniel, and Paul. More often than not, they didn’t have complete answers to the trials they endured. How did they respond? Read Genesis 50:19–20; 2 Samuel 12; Job 13:15; Daniel 6; and 2 Corinthians 12:9. How did they benefit from their responses? How have we benefited from their examples?


11. What did you think about Gracie’s picture of forgiveness? How did emotionally keeping her hand around the neck of the one who’d hurt her cause her more pain?


12. Forgiving those who have hurt us is a painful and difficult choice. But to live in unforgiveness is far worse. Matthew 18:23–33 shows some very painful consequences of unforgiveness and not receiving God’s forgiveness for ourselves. How did Gracie and Steven suffer for choosing not to forgive?


13. What does it mean to forgive from your heart? Gracie found she could truly forgive only after she’d taken her lies about herself to God and heard His truth. First Peter 1:22 talks about being cleansed by obeying the truth, then loving deeply from the heart. How do you think it would help you to forgive if you took your hurt and lies to God first and allowed Him to cleanse you and speak truth?


14. Who is harder to forgive—yourself or others? Why?


15. As Gracie became aware of the need to deal with her lies and forgive, she described what her parents provided as heart-chocolate. My definition of that phrase is: “words that wrap around the heart and bring excitement, comfort, and an expanded perspective of how awesome God is.” Can you think of some heart-chocolate in your own life, a moment when you experienced God and it encouraged you? How can you share that same type of encouragement with others?



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 Discussion Questions Shop
Discussion Question Index


 • Abigail: Jill Eileen Smith
 • Abigail's New Hope: Mary Ellis
 • Against All Odds: Irene Hannon
 • Against the Tide: Elizabeth Camden
 • Almost Forever: Deborah Raney


 • Blue Moon Promise: Colleen Coble
 • Blue Widow Brides: Maggie Brendan
 • Breach of Trust: DiAnn Mills
 • (The) Bridesmaid: Beverly Lewis
 • (The) Bridge: Karen Kingsbury
 • Brigid of Ireland: Cindy Thomson
 • Burn: Ted Dekker


 • (The) Calling: Suzanne Woods Fisher
 • (The) Chance: Karen Kingsbury
 • Chasing Mona Lisa: Tricia Goyer & Mike Yorkey
 • Chasing the Sun: Tracie Peterson
 • Choices of the Heart: Laurie Alice Eakes
 • Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate: Diana Wallis Taylor
 • Critical Care: Candace Calvert
 • Crossing Oceans: Gina Holmes


 • (The) Dance: Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley
 • Deadline: Randy Alcorn
 • Deadly Devotion: Sandra Orchard
 • Deadly Ties: Vicki Hinze
 • Deception: Randy Alcorn
 • (The) Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow: Olivia Newport
 • (The) Discovery: Dan Walsh
 •  Dolled Up to Die: Lorena McCourtney
 • Demon: A Memoir: Tosca Lee
 • Digitalis: Ronie Kendig
 • Dogwood: Chris Fabry
 • Double Minds: Terri Blackstock
 • Dying to Read: Lorena McCourtney


 • Fair Is the Rose: Liz Curtis Higgs
 • Freefall: Kristen Heitzmann
 • Frontiersman's Daughter: Laura Frantz


 • Gift of Grace: Amy Clipston
 • Gone South: Meg Mosley
 • Grace: Shelley Shepard Gray


 • Havah; The Story of Eve: Tosca Lee
 • Heart's Safe Passage: Laurie Alice Eakes
 • Highland Sanctuary: Jennifer Hudson Taylor
 • Hope of Refuge: Cindy Woodsmall


 • Intervention: Terri Blackstock
 • Into the Whirlwind: Elizabeth Camden
 • Invisible: Ginny Yttrup
 • Iscariot: Tosca Lee


 • (The) Jewel of His Heart: Maggie Brendan
 • June Bug: Chris Fabry


 • Katie's Way: Marta Perry
 • Killer Among Us: Lynette Eason


 • Lady in the Mist: Laurie Alice Eakes
 • Lady of Bolton Hill: Elizabeth Camden
 • Lady of Milkweed Manor: Julie Klassen
 • (A) Lasting Impression: Tamera Alexander
 • Leah's Choice: Marta Perry
 • The Lesson: Suzanne Woods Fisher
 • Lethal Remedy: Richard Mabry
 • Life in Defiance: MaryLu Tyndall
 • Like Dandelion Dust: Karen Kingsbury
 • Lonestar Sanctuary: Colleen Coble
 • Lonestar Secrets: Colleen Coble
 • Love Amid the Ashes: Mesu Andrews
 • Love at Any Cost: By Julie Lessman
 • Love Calls: Lorna Sielstad
 • Love in a Broken Vessel: Mesu Andrews


 • Making Waves: Lorna Sielstad
 • (A) Memory Between Us: Sarah Sundin
 • Moon in the Mango Tree: Pamela Ewen
 • Moonlight Masquerade: Ruth Axtell
 • (A) Most Peculiar Circumstance: Jen Turano
 • My Heart Remembers: Kim Vogel Sawyer


 • Naomi's Gift: Amy Clipston
 • Never Far From Home: Mary Ellis
 • Nightshade: by Ronie Kendig
 • No Place for a Lady: Maggie Brendan
 • (A) Noble Groom: Jody Hedlund



 • Paper Roses, by Amanda Cabot
 • Plain Jayne, by Hillary Manton Lodge
 • Preacher's Bride: Jody Hedlund
 • Promise of an Angel: Ruth Reid


 • Rebekah: by Jill Eileen Smith
 • Redeeming Love: Francine Rivers
 • Redemption: Karen Kingsbury & Gary Smalley
 • (A) Reluctant Queen: Joan Wolf
 • Remember to Forget: Deborah Raney
 • Remembered: Tamera Alexander


 • Sarah's Gift: Marta Perry
 • Shadows of the Past: Patricia Bradley
 • Simple Choices: Nancy Mehl
 • Simple Deceit: Nancy Mehl
 • Slow Moon Rising: Eva Marie Everson
 • Someone to Blame: Susanne Lakin
 • A Sound Among the Trees: Susan Meissner
 • The Sweetest Thing: Elizabeth Musser


 • Tailor Made Bride: Karen Witemeyer
 • That Certain Summer: Irene Hannon