Monday, February 25, 2013

Unexpected Love

Julie Coleman's book, Unexpected Love, was an unexpected surprise for me. One reason is because I don't think the title reflected the main theme of the book. It would have better used as a subtitle. The other reason the book was an unexpected surprise is because I really didn't think I had much more to learn about some of the nine women that make up the "characters" of this book. The author wrote explaining with great insight, and from well-documented research their encounters with Jesus. Using the Scripture as her springboard, she took her own ideas about what happened in each encounter based on her study of commentaries and the Greek text to reveal the heart of Jesus toward women. As she points out all them different with one common need---the need of Jesus as their Savior.

I especially liked the insight and biblical history she gave when she wrote about the women brought to Jesus who had been caught in the act of adultery---where Jesus wrote in the sand and sent her away to "sin no more."

I did a read through of the book but there are questions at the end of each chapter that I think would be great for a book study or club. She provides, with the questions, Scripture references to look up and to dig deeper. I will say the further into the book I read, the better I understood what the author was teaching and I began to appreciate her study and her point of view more and more.

There is also the opportunity to apply what you have read about concerning Jesus' encounters with other women and the circumstances of their lives to those of the reader through a journaling prompt included at the end of each chapter.

Julie Coleman is a teacher at heart. I think she used her gift beautifully in her book. As a women's ministry leader, I see myself coming back to this book as a reference and a refresher on just how Jesus turned the world upside down for women in his encounter and relationships with them.

I reviewed this book for the Booksneeze bloggers program for Thomas Nelson. The book was given to me in e-format. My review expresses my own opinions and the positive review is not given in turn for receipt of the book.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Yours Is The Day, Lord, ----Yours Is the Night
Compiled by: Jeanie and David Gushee

With full disclosure I will say have not read every prayer in this morning and evening prayer book since I am not reading it like a regular book. I have enjoyed the morning and evening prayers although I will admit that I read both the morning and evening prayer for the day at the same time. I am using the book daily as the it is intended and have been for several months.

This is a great collection of prayers. I don't believe in rote prayer but I do believe that prayers lifted by others continue to be a fragrance before the throne of God. No prayer goes unanswered. The prayers that Jeanie and David Gushee have collected are important prayers expressed from ages past to ages recent. Often they comfort me and are jumping off places for my own prayers. What a privilege to be able to speak from the heart to Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, to have taken on the privilege as one saved by the gospel of Christ to be one of the priests in the great Kingdom of God.

An aside: this is a light-weight book for it's size (almost 400 pages). I think it would be a good gift for the elderly who might be unable to hold a heavy book. And although the print is not large, it is a quite nice size font for easy reading in even dim light.

I received this book from Booksneeze bloggers program by Thomas Nelson Publishers. The positive review is my own and I was not compensated for it.