Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women

Carolyn Custis James wrote Half the Church in an easy to read, story-like fashion. The book is fairly engaging and frequently challenging. I did at times feel the plight of today’s global woman and felt compelled to do something if only I really knew what.

James discussed girls (and boys) from around the world who are involved in sex trafficking or  abused regularly in terribly brutal ways and the societies who not only stand by but actively participate. Her central message is that we as women (and men) as half the church have an obligation to do something because of our relationship with Christ, because we are His image bearers.

Half the Church is book full of anecdotes detailing the terrible place the world is for so many girls and women. She uses current and biblical examples. She talks about a woman’s value in modern society. She talks about the mundane things we involve ourselves in when there are so many more important and challenging situations in which we could make a very real difference. She discusses the works of Amy Carmichael, a woman James obviously admires, as well as Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. Kristoff and WuDunn wrote Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. Glancing at this book, it is clear that Half the Church picks up their theme.

While the book is full of anguishing tales of girls who could find no help or escape, there are also some stories of people who helped and made a difference. Since this is a book full of anecdotes, that makes it much shorter on solutions and I would have liked to have seen more. The discussion questions at the end of each chapter were particularly good and kept taking the message of help back to us being image bearers for Christ. This book probably would have been more meaningful if I’d read it in a discussion group setting where we could have brainstormed interventions and solutions.

Thanks to Mason Slater and Jesse Hillman from Zondervan for this review copy.

Book Giveaway

Zondervan was kind enough to send me two copies of this book. If you’d like one, then let me know in a comment below. If I get more than one request, I’ll draw a name from a hat! Deadline is 4/16/11 at midnight ET.


Hand of Fate by Lis Wiehl

Ms. Wiehl wrote this book with April Henry. Thanks so much to Thomas Nelson for this review copy!

Hand of Fate is the second book in a trilogy – missed the first one. Book centers around three gals in their early thirties. Cassidy, Nicole and Allison went to high school together and hooked back up due to their interest in crime. Nicole is FBI, Allison is with a federal prosecutor and Cassidy is a local reporter. Allison and her husband are Christians as is Nicole’s mom. The others treat anything related with skepticism.

Story starts with Jim Fate, a syndicated radio personality, being killed in the studio by a mysterious gas. Downtown is in a panic as word gets out that it might be Sarin gas. Cassidy has a former relationship with Fate (as do many other women in the city) which complicates the investigation.

Story is an easy read and a page turner if not especially deep. Ending was a bit of a surprise although the set up for it was certainly there. The relationship between the three women seems a little superficial but genuine with ups and downs that naturally occur with friends.

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The stack of books on my desk

I purposely removed all books from my desk (pre-Christmas) except for those that I need to review. OK, I left one out for my next class which has something to do with research in library sciences, but I am sure that I would not have cracked it open until necessary. I could tell you what they are, but neither my computer nor I have seen the desk for days. One is on Ruth and Naomi, mmmmm one is a piece of fiction, one is on waiting. That one I actually started and it is very good, well written with pertinent biblical examples.

Maybe this is part of my lesson in waiting.

The tallest of smalls by Max Lucado

Thanks to Thomas Nelson for this charming book based off of Lucado’s Fearless which I reviewed not too long ago.

From Amazon:

  • Reading level: Ages 4-8
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (November 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140031514X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400315147

Poor little Ollie! He is a have-not desperately wanting what the haves possess! Stilts. When he gets them, he finds out they aren’t all they appear. Lucado weaves this short tale in a catchy rhyme that I found myself enjoying greatly. Wonderful lesson for children (and even a parent or two!).

Surprise books!

New Hope sent me books that I didn’t know were coming! Now that’s a nice surprise when you get home. I was even more surprised because I haven’t finished any of the reviews for the other books they’ve sent me. AND to top it off, I got two copies of each, so I can have a giveaway with the reviews!

The Family God Uses by Tom & Kim Blackaby

Set Apart a 6-week study of the beatitudes by Jennifer Kennedy Dean

Here is information about New Hope’s blogger review program.