Posts Tagged With: bible

Nice Girls Don’t Change the World by Lynne Hybels

This is a small, easy to read book by Lynne Hybels, a lady who is involved in Christian ministry alongside her husband Bill. This is the first Lynne Hybels book I have read, and I found it helpful and interesting.

Margaret Mead said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.” My version of that quote is: “Never doubt that a community of thoughtful, committed women, filled with the power and love of God, using gifts they have identified and developed, and pursuing passions planted in them by God – never doubt that these women can change the world.” – Lynne Hybels. Nice Girls are taught early that serving God means earning God’s love and sacrificing oneself to meet the needs of others. Unfortunately, after living a life she thought was what God demanded, her husband wanted, her kids needed, and her church expected, Lynne Hybels felt utterly lost – both to herself and to God. In this wise and tender book, Hybels tells of her struggle to stop living someone else’s life and to reclaim the unique gifts, strengths, and passions God gave her. And she reveals how turning away from her false view of God as a harsh and demanding taskmaster enabled her to rest at last in God’s sustaining love. As she explains, it’s never too late to discover that who you really are is exactly what delights God and what the world needs.

This book is only 96 pages long and has many pictures in it, however this was not a distract, it just added to the pleasantness of the book. Hybels is honest about her life, her old image of God and her depression. This was very refreshing. She is someone who is involved in a big world-wide ministry yet she has experienced horrible emotions just like me. It was nice to know I’m not alone, even women God uses all over the world can suffer too. It was inspiring to read about how she pulled herself out of her depression and how God is now using her.

Hybels teaches about how we have a loving God, not one who is grumpy and looking for perfection. We have a God who loves us as we are and looks after us if we let Him. When God broke through Lynne’s barriers I had a tear in my eye and hope in my heart. She teaches how we must conquer fear, take a step out and be all we can be. We are unique, loved by God and can be dangerous, strong, world changing women.

I found this book easy to read, with a positive message and feel affected by her writing. I now want to go out and be all I can be. Look out world, here I come, full of God’s love, glory and grace.

10/10

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The Triumph of Deborah by Eva Etzioni-Halevy

The twelve tribes of ancient Israel have been in the promised land for nearly a hundred years, but theirs is not a peaceful existence. The Canaanites have never ceased to harass the tribes, attacking small villages, stealing livestock and killing any Israelite they come across. The only safety is in numbers and the Israelites have retreated behind the walls of their towns.

The prophetess Deborah, a mother in her thirties, has been a powerful voice for the Israelites for years. She is known far and wide for her fair judgement and is a respected leader. She has received a vision that she must bring peace with the Canaanites. When her diplomatic efforts fail, she is forced to call the tribes together under a warrior who will lead them to victory. If the Canaanites will not agree to a truce, Israel must subdue them by force.

Barak is a young warrior who has been very successful in retaliatory raids against the Canaanites. He has built up quite a bit of wealth, is strong and a natural leader of men. He is Deborah’s choice to lead the Israelites. Unfortunately Barak has a reputation that precedes him. He is a lover of women, many women. This does not sit well with Lapidoth, Deborah’s husband. He does not trust Barak and does not want Deborah anywhere near him. They have a huge fight and Lapidoth’s anger and jealousy get the better of him, he divorces Deborah on the spot, after sixteen years of marriage.

Despite the problems in her personal life, Deborah agrees to accompany the army to the battle against the Canaanites. While the war is a resounding success, it creates further problems for Deborah, who has developed a bit of a crush on Barak. He demands sexual favors of her in return for his participation in the war and she surprises herself by enjoying their encounter. Then he manages to capture two of the Canaanite king’s daughters, Asherah and Nogah. Thus a love triangle (rectangle?) is born. Untangling the motivations and emotions of everyone involved will have a great impact on future events.

What a great premise for a novel, to take biblical women who have little known background information and breathe life into their stories. The author does it beautifully, creating the landscape of ancient Israel so that the reader can experience it. She then brings her characters to life with human needs and emotions so that they shake off the dust of history and can be related to as people, just as if they were living today. It’s the best kind of historical fiction and I recommend it!

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