Book Giveaway: 66 Ways God Loves You by Jennifer Rothschild

Perhaps you’ve heard it said that the Bible is God’s love letter to us. In Jennifer Rothschild’s book, 66 Ways God Loves You, we are given 66 summaries of God’s individual love messages in each book. That’s right! Every book—even Lamentations.

Take the book of Ezekiel, for example. At a time when most thought the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem meant that God had abandoned his people, Ezekiel’s message is one of hope; God’s promise to rebuild His chosen nation of Israel. Jennifer’s writings help personalize that hope. She encourages us to apply Ezekiel’s message to our own personal valley of dry bones. She writes:

“Sometimes we look at the landscape of our lives and see only a valley of dry bones. We look at dead dreams, lifeless hopes, and ruined relationships, and with Ezekiel, we wonder, Can these bones live? Can all this really come back to life? Can hope be restored? Can God breathe life into these dry bones? We all face times when everything seems dry and dead. We can only summon a weak, “Lord, You alone know the answer.”

God’s promise to us today is, ‘I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD ( Ezekiel 37:6).’

Open your spiritual eyes today to see that God, and God alone, can turn your valley of dry bones into a wellspring of hope. Then ask Him to breathe new life into you.”

I don’t know about you, but that makes me want to stop, reflect, and invite God to breathe life into some dead zones of my life. Jennifer has a way of doing just that chapter, after chapter in this book.

Jennifer’s ability to draw out truth and help readers apply it sets this book apart from other gift books. Through poignant but never gushy language, she engages her readers to not only read God’s love letters, but to put them into practice in specific areas of our lives.

Speaking of the practical, the format of this 6”x 7” book is both lovely and practical. A perfect gift book, with short two-paged chapters, the ideas are deep enough to take away life changing truth, but simple enough that anyone can learn from them.

66w-4Each chapter has a short title summary of God’s message of love:

  • In Leviticus, God Grants Me Access to Him
  • In Proverbs, God Offers Me Wisdom, More Precious Than Rubies
  • In Zephaniah, The Mighty God Sings Over Me with Great Joy
  • In 1 Peter, God Gives me Victory over Suffering

I’d recommend 66 Ways as a wonderful teaching tool for Bible study leaders, Sunday school teachers, and small group leaders who’d like a fresh perspective on God’s cover-to-cover message of love.

Thank you for reading my book review! To enter the giveaway, simply share a comment. A winner will be randomly drawn on Tuesday, November 1.

Guinea Pigs and Other Minor Inconveniences

I like to keep things real. Here’s a true confession: along my pebble-throwing journey I’ve discovered that loving others can sometimes be unpleasant and inconvenient.

It was late summer, a week or two before my daughter’s launch from our nest to begin her college years. Shopping for clothes in a heatwave had left my mom, daughter and I parched. When the coffee shop barista prepared an extra iced coffee the sweaty, shoeless man we’d passed a few stores back flashed into my mind. I grabbed the drink, dove back into the wall of heat and humidity and headed down the street.

I found him with eyes closed, stretched out on the bench in front of the upscale downtown shops.

iced-coffee“I’m not sure if you even like cold coffee,” I extended the drink to him, “but the Starbucks lady made us an extra. Would you like it?”

He opened his eyes and smiled. “Thank you ma’am. Yeah, I’ll take it. It’s not really my thing but I’ll drink it.”

I blessed him and went on my way hoping it would raise his spirits and lower his core temperature in the midst of the brutal August humidity. It made me feel good but didn’t really cost me a thing.

Days later, while rushing to get out the door to a morning meeting, I sweat bullets as I dressed. I threw a clip in my hair and fanned my perspiring face. Then it hit me—my neighbor’s late night text.

“My A/C is out. I may need to borrow your fan in the morning.”

She also needed a place for her guinea pig to hide out from the heat.

At the risk of subjecting myself to hate mail from all the animal lovers reading this, I admit that I’m not an animal person. And I’m definitely not a rodent person.

no-ratsI didn’t want my neighbor’s guinea pig in my house. I didn’t want to stop my already rushed morning routine and risk being late for my meeting. (I detest being late; just ask my kids.) I didn’t want to negotiate this minor inconvenience. But I knew what I needed to do. I texted her a quick note to check in.

Yes, she needed the fan and yes, she was bringing her guinea pig over right away.


She came. We got her roden… ahem, I mean her pet set up in my bedroom. She said her goodbyes and I tried not to look at my watch. She left. I wiped my brow, rushed to my car, and zipped out of my neighborhood.

On the way to church, it nearly gagged me. My selfishness.

A knot rose in my throat as I listened to the Holy Spirit. Serving others isn’t about how we feel. It’s a choice. Serving often involves inconvenient choices and laying down our very lives. Laying down what is inconvenient and hard and comfortable and logical.

It wasn’t logical for Jesus to wash His disciples feet. That was dirty servant work. Stinky work. Not pleasant and surely not Jesus’ first choice of how to spend his time.

And certainly, dying on a cross was the furthest thing from convenient. And was it ever costly. It cost Jesus everything.

Unlike the coffee I gave to my homeless friend that cost me absolutely nothing.

Maybe when God prompted me to help my neighbor, He was upping the ante to draw out my reaction and expose a dark place in my heart. My reaction wasn’t what I’d hoped. But my Heavenly Father isn’t only a God of second chances. He’s a God of new daily mercies and compassion. A Father who is gentle and more than willing to teach his selfish, stumbling children how to wash stinky feet with all their heart.

I pray that as He sends more homeless people to love, neighbors to serve, and feet to wash that I’ll learn the holy art of being inconvenienced for Jesus’ sake.

How about you? Join the conversation by sharing the uncomfortable, inconvenient things God might be asking you to do.