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Who Is My Shelter?

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Gabby knows God is the God of second chances.

But can she give one to the man who betrayed her?

When she was thrown out of the penthouse she shared with her husband and their sons, Gabby didn’t know if she’d ever find a soft place to land. But after seeking refuge at the shelter where she works, extraordinary things happen as she is reintroduced to God.

From the ashes of her marriage comes the House of Hope—a safe haven for homeless moms and their children.

But now those ashes of her destroyed marriage are being stirred again. When her long-gone husband’s life hits rock bottom, he reappears and asks for one more chance. And Gabby faces what feels like an impossible choice. Take him back. Or keep moving forward without him. Toward someone new who hasn’t betrayed her.

Is God redeeming what Gabby thought was gone forever? Or is He leading her down a different path and giving her something—and someone—new?

Reading Guides

Reading Group Guide

  1. If you've read the previous novels in the House of Hope series, what were the questions or situations you hoped might be resolved in Who Is My Shelter? Did you have expectations for how things would (should) turn out with Philip? With Lee? For Lucy? For Gabby? Were you disappointed? Surprised? Pleased? In what ways?
     
  2. Philip Fairbanks seems to be the "jerk husband we all love to hate." At what point did you begin to have some empathy for him as a person, even with all his faults? If not, what factors stood in your way?
     
  3. Will Nissan is a new character in this novel who befriends Philip. In what way(s) does his friendship with Philip complicate things for Gabby? In what way(s) is his friendship a gift to Philip?
     
  4. In Chapter 4, Gabby admits she resents having to deal with all the mess Philip's in--just when the fledgling House of Hope needs her time and attention to get up and running on a solid footing. Have you experienced a crunch between "family needs" and "ministry needs" that pulled you in different directions? How can we tell when Satan's just distracting us from doing the Lord's work, versus needing to reset or readjust our priorities?
     
  5. The House of Hope residents decide a regular "house meeting" is important to deal with kinks that need to get worked out, relationship issues, and infractions of the rules--as well as to plan celebrations and give encouragement. Some families schedule a regular "family meeting" for the same reasons! If you've tried something like that in your family, what were the benefits? How might "family meetings" help solve some of the everyday problems in your family?
     
  6. As things get more complicated with Philip--he's in debt, he's in trouble, he's in danger--Gabby struggles with what it would mean to forgive him (see Chapters 4, 16, 17, 18). If you had had a chance to counsel Gabby, what cautions would you give her? Advice? Encouragement? Scriptures? What "experience" with forgiveness could you share with her from your own life and relationships?
     
  7. Even though Gabby found physical shelter at Manna House when she was homeless and now has a home of her own, emotionally she "still needed a shelter, a safe place for my broken heart to be mended"--a longing for "a man's arms around me . . . making me feel he would protect me from any storm . . ." (see Chapter 18). Many of us can identify with that natural longing, that human need. And yet, why do you think the Voice [the Holy Spirit] in her spirit said, "Wait, Gabby. Let Me be your everything"?
     
  8. Gabby and Edesa use Jodi Baxter's idea of the meaning of names to bless the shelter women on their Fall Getaway. Do you know the meaning of your name? Check out these Scriptures to learn just how important our names are to God: Isaiah 43:1; Isaiah 49:1; and Isaiah 49:14-16--especially if you put both the NIV and NLT translations of verse 16 together.
     
  9. Throughout the House of Hope series, Gabby has been learning that God is the One we can go to when we have no place to go. God is the one we can talk to, when no one else seems to be listening. God is the one we can lean on, when even well-meaning people fail us. God is the unmovable ROCK of our salvation, the shelter we need when the storms of life rage around us. And yet . . . God uses people, too, to be His hands, His feet, His ears, His presence. In Chapter 20, when the Baxter family surrounded Philip and the boys with their presence and protection so Gabby could take the shelter ladies on their Fall Getaway, she thought: "God's peace in skin is what it felt like." Has someone been "God's peace in skin" for you lately? Is there someone for whom you could be "God's peace in skin" this week?
     
  10. Feeling caught between the two men in her life, and not even sure what she really wants or needs or feels (see Chapter 31), Gabby turns often to the verses in Proverbs 3:5, 6: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight" (NIV). How do these verses help Gabby navigate her relationship with Lee Boyer? With Philip? Do you think the outcome would have been different if she'd followed her "natural" inclinations? Why or why not? For better or worse?
     
  11. What does it mean to you to "trust God with all your heart" instead of trusting (leaning on) your own understanding of things? What does it mean to "acknowledge Him" in all your ways? Are you facing a situation in your own life where you need to apply this Scripture and claim its promise?
     
  12. Why do you think Gabby had a hard time responding to Philip's letter, even though he admitted he had hurt her deeply, that he was wrong, and wanted her to know he was "desperately sorry"? (Chapter 32) What made a difference at their "family dinner" before Philip left for Virginia that allowed Gabby to finally respond, to finally forgive? (Chapter 36) Do you think it was a good thing for Gabby to ask Philip to forgive her as well for her failings in the marriage? Or did that stick in your craw, like comparing a chilly breeze to a raging hurricane? Explain your reaction to that conversation.
     
  13. Why do you think Lucy disappeared again on Thanksgiving Day--just when it looked as if she would have a chance to be reconciled with her family and finally get off the street? If you were going to write Lucy's life story, what in her past do you think triggers her disappearing acts? (Have fun with this! No wrong answers. In fact, maybe there's a book idea here!)
     
  14. In the last chapter, Philip asked Gabby if he could "court" her as a way of starting over. Does that seem like a promising concept to you after the ugly breakdown in their marriage? Why or why not? What pitfalls might be ahead? What would be the benefits?
     
  15. Has God been nudging you, your prayer group, or your church to ask, "How can we make a difference for homeless men and women in our community?" If so, a great resource is a new book, The Invisible: What the Church Can Do to Find and Serve the Least of These, by Arloa Sutter, director of Breakthrough Ministries. (Breakthrough's shelters for homeless men and women in Chicago were the inspiration for the Yada Yada House of Hope series.) Check it out on our web site: www.daveneta.com.
     

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Who Is My Shelter?, Neta Jackson
  • Who Is My Shelter?, Neta Jackson

Details

Gabby knows God is the God of second chances.

But can she give one to the man who betrayed her?

When she was thrown out of the penthouse she shared with her husband and their sons, Gabby didn’t know if she’d ever find a soft place to land. But after seeking refuge at the shelter where she works, extraordinary things happen as she is reintroduced to God.

From the ashes of her marriage comes the House of Hope—a safe haven for homeless moms and their children.

But now those ashes of her destroyed marriage are being stirred again. When her long-gone husband’s life hits rock bottom, he reappears and asks for one more chance. And Gabby faces what feels like an impossible choice. Take him back. Or keep moving forward without him. Toward someone new who hasn’t betrayed her.

Is God redeeming what Gabby thought was gone forever? Or is He leading her down a different path and giving her something—and someone—new?

More Information

Length 432 Pages
Series A Yada Yada House of Hope Novel
Publication Date March 1, 2011
Company
  • Thomas Nelson
ISBN-10 1595548637
ISBN-13 9781595548634
Height 8.2"
Width 5.4"