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.

Book Giveaway!

I went out on a limb recently. I agreed to read and help promote a book for someone I don’t know. The author belongs to the literary agency I’m blessed to be a part of. I firmly believe you reap what you sow and I believe in serving my fellow authors. Someday, when I’m in the process of launching a book, I will need many willing readers to review and share it with all their closest friends (hint, hint). So I jumped at this opportunity.

And then it hit me. . .

What if I don’t like the book? That would put me in an especially sticky predicament. But I’d already said yes.

Days later, my copy of the book arrived and I dove in.

Guess what, friends? I didn’t like the book.

I loved the book. Whew! And I think you’re going to love it too.

A Mary Like Me: Flawed Yet Called by author Andy Lee looks into the hearts of five different Marys in the Bible juxtaposing their imperfections with their divine purpose. This book isn’t simply a study resource but a tool for women to consider their own hang ups and dreams, and how God might use both for His greater kingdom purposes.

FBbanner_marylikemeAs Andy visits the Marys of the Bible and describes their interactions with Jesus, she doesn’t tell us what happens. She takes us into what happens, engaging the reader with five-sense descriptions and vivid details. Chapter after chapter, readers will be transported to:

  • a road outside of Bethany where grief-stricken Mary (Martha’s sister) throws herself at Jesus’ feet after her Lord delayed his visit two days past her brother Lazarus’ death
  • the tomb of Jesus at the very moment He speaks Mary Magdalene’s name and she recognizes her risen Savior and Lord
  • Zechariah’s doorstep, where pregnant Mary of Nazareth greets her pregnant cousin, Elizabeth. Readers look on as Elizabeth’s baby leaping even before Mary’s lips burst with the angel Gabriel’s good news that she was pregnant with the long awaited Messiah
  • and more!

Through the effective use of probing questions, Andy wonders (not wanders) through each Mary-Jesus interaction:

  • I wonder how Mary sitting at Jesus’s feet, while Martha toiled away, could be useful?
  • I wonder why five men divorced the woman at the well and the sixth refused to marry her?
  • I wonder if it ever slipped Mary of Nazareth’s mind—given that Jesus had become very much her son—that Jesus was also God?

Girl holding bookAs I wondered right along with the author, Andy dug deep into the original Greek or Hebrew (and sometimes even Aramaic) words that acquaint us with the Marys and lend depth to their thoughts and interactions. Her relentless inquisition of the text, creative imagery, and strong Biblical foundation made this book a stunning read. (It’s no wonder. Andy has her ministerial certificate degree from Eastern Nazarene University and has taught Bible studies for over twenty years.) Line by line, her experience and depth of biblical wisdom lend weight, wisdom , and wonder to the reader.

Also included in A Mary Like Me are:

  • Discussion questions following each chapter
  • Topical journal prompts to create dialogue between the reader and Jesus
  • Appendices: a Bible study resource guide, intercession guide for ministering to women suffering from depression/mental illness, and steps for leading a Mary study/discussion group

cherry-and-chocolateThe cherry on top of my Mary Like Me sundae was when Andy got personal. I didn’t expect God to use this book in my life. I set out wanting to bless a writing colleague. But in His boundless grace and wisdom, God had other plans. As Andy uncovered the human frailty of these women, I began to catch glimpses of myself. The Holy Spirit whispered to me about my flaws, my dreams, and my calling, and reminded me of His grace, His faithfulness, and His favor.

Joyful tears stained my cheeks as God used A Mary Like Me to remind me of buried dreams and boost my passion to pursue current ones. God has a habit of doing that. He begins by inviting us to bless others and He finishes by blessing our socks off.

One more thing about this book—make that one more word. It’s a word I use rarely and selectively.

Andy’s writing is anointed.

I believe it is touched by the Holy Spirit. I think it no coincidence that it took a total of seven years for her to write and publish this book and seven is the heavenly number of completion.

writer stuffI wonder if God might use this deep and colorful examination of God’s flawed-yet-called Marys to speak to you. Enter a comment below and one week from today I will randomly choose a winner to receive a free copy of A Mary Like Me.