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Customer Reviews for Thomas Nelson Unexpected Love: God's Heart Revealed in Jesus' Conversations with Women

Thomas Nelson Unexpected Love: God's Heart Revealed in Jesus' Conversations with Women

Unexpected Love is an essential read for anyone eager to understand Jesus Christ's true heart for women. We ache for a satisfying relationship with him and crave his healing touch. So did the women of the first century. Each approached him with something they wanted. They left with more than they could have imagined.

Writer and teacher Julie Coleman carefully walks readers through the gospel narratives, offering evidence of a perceptive Savior deeply concerned about the women he met. Through vivid descriptions, thoughtful questions, and empowering applications, she brings a fresh perspective to these sometimes puzzling stories.

Unexpected Love offers a compelling vision of a Savior who meets us where we are and will take us where we need to go. Discover his passion for women. What you read will impact your own relationship with him. You will fall in love with the dynamic, beautiful, and unexpectedly personal Jesus.
Average Customer Rating:
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(12 Reviews) 12
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11 out of 1292%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Unexpected Love: God's Heart Revealed in Jesus' Conversations with Women
Review 1 for Unexpected Love: God's Heart Revealed in Jesus' Conversations with Women
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great insight to the character of God

Date:May 15, 2013
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my blessed life
Location:Hopkinsville, KY
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Ever on the lookout for a great new book, I was intrigued by the subtitle of this book: Unexpected Love, God's Heart Revealed in Jesus' Conversations With Women. In a world that didn't (and doesn't) offer equality for women, Jesus always did--and does. So I was curious to read this closer look at what this author had to say about this.
"God has revealed all we need to know about him in his Word.
We need to make it our business to find out what that is.
When we know of his power, his goodness, his wisdom,
his patience, and his justice, we have a reason to put our trust in him.
And we will not be disappointed when our trust is based on truth."
Julie Zine Coleman takes an in-depth look at nine different women in the Bible and their encounters with Christ. Each chapter shares the relevant Scripture passage and then the author elaborates on the scenario, taking into account the culture and setting and takes us on a little fictional journey about what could have been going on in the thoughts and actions of those from that passage. She writes this in a very tasteful and accurate way, not embellishing too much. After placing the reader squarely in the mind frame of that particular setting, she then brings application "for today's woman". Finally each chapter is wrapped up with "food for thought" and a journaling section which gives the reader questions to ask themselves and also more Scripture passages to look up and dig deeper into the topic at hand.
"God's grace is lavish.
It accomplishes what our most sincere and stringent
efforts never could. The scope of its magnitude is beyond what
we could ever do that might threaten its effectiveness.
It is given, not in remuneration, but in spite of what we've done.
Extravagant is a perfect word to sum up the width, depth,
and height of the grace of God."
This book is a very good read, full of nuggets of wisdom. It would even make a wonderful Bible study for women. I have very much enjoyed reading it, each chapter revealing new insight to me about the character of God.
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Review 2 for Unexpected Love: God's Heart Revealed in Jesus' Conversations with Women
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Nice format for devotions or study

Date:April 2, 2013
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kimberjoy
Location:Tucson, AZ
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
I was intrigued by the title of Unexpected Love: God’s Heart Revealed in Jesus’ Conversations With Women. It’s often difficult to understand exactly what we should take from various Bible stories because of our extreme cultural and historical differences from that place and time, so I hoped this would help clear that up some. I didn’t hear much in the way of new insights (from previous books, sermons, and articles examining these characters) and was not real comfortable with some of the conjecture that took place as the author tried to breathe new life into “old” stories. ie I was reading some aloud to my daughters and found myself stopping to say “well we don’t know if he or she REALLY thought (or said or did) that”.
But on the other hand, I did like the format of the book very much. After the brief reiteration of the story, we are given a bit more historical and theological information, an application section entitled "For Today's Woman", then some questions to think about, and finally some journaling prompts. My favorite part was the application section, especially the one on Martha. It zeroed in on what Jesus was truly admonishing her for—not her actions or busyness, but her attitude. It was her critical spirit, her focus on self, and her need to control things that got her into so much trouble. And yet Jesus loved her and extended grace to her at each interaction, gently drawing her into deeper relationship with Himself.
Unexpected Love makes a great devotional book, particularly if you invest plenty of time on the journaling section, but it would also be good for Bible study or discussion groups.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
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Review 3 for Unexpected Love: God's Heart Revealed in Jesus' Conversations with Women
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Provoking read!

Date:March 13, 2013
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From the Prairies
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I had the pleasure of reviewing the book Unexpected Love by Julie Zine Coleman and I read it really fast, for me, and gobbled it up! This book was all about God's heart revealed in Jesus' conversations with women. Through 9 chapters, Julie takes you on a journey through different passages of Scripture in which Jesus interacted with and had a conversations with women. Julie starts with fleshing out the story, making the reader feel connected to the woman and her situation. Then, she explores the historical and Biblical contexts, digging deeper through addressing a number of questions that were different for each chapter. Next, she made it applicable to women today in the part For Today's Woman and ending each chapter with some questions to work through and suggestions on ideas to journal.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it interesting, provoking and I just kept wanting to read more! Julie definitely held my attention and the content of this book made me think, process and pray through what I was learning. I enjoyed the way the book was laid out and feel that it covered great information, provoked my heart and gave me practical suggestions to diving deeper into these Scriptures and God's heart on women. I would absolutely recommend this book to others, especially the awesome women I know. I brought this book along to a women's group I'm a part of and it contributed to our dialogue in a great way, provoking the hearts of my girlfriends. They all want to get their hands on a copy!
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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Review 4 for Unexpected Love: God's Heart Revealed in Jesus' Conversations with Women
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

You matter because of who he is

Date:March 9, 2013
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luv2readjen
Location:Lisle, IL
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This is a book about the Gospels, about how Jesus interacted with the women he encountered while on earth. It is a book about the heart of our Savior, about his desire to build the Kingdom – and to not exclude half the world while He did. While it has much to say about God’s heart to women, it is also about God’s heart generally – that is, what God says to women is not exclusively for them, either.
Julie Coleman does a really wonderful job of highlighting the mission of Jesus, through his encounters with women. She highlights some important truths: Jesus is interested in all of us, Jesus is crazy about us. He wasn’t peripherally spiritual – He was engaged, committed, and impactful. To quote the conclusion “His concern does not depend on how spiritual I might be or how important I might seem in human eyes. It is not dependent on my performance or even my good intentions. I matter to him not because of who I am or what I do. I matter because of who he is” (page 205).
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with their worth. You are important to Jesus. He wants you for his own. The details of his interactions with women in the Gospels are one way that is demonstrated, and Julie Coleman’s book does a great job of making that point. It is not the only way to understand Jesus and his heart for the people he created and came to save, of course, but it is one that deserves the attention it receives here.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
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Review 5 for Unexpected Love: God's Heart Revealed in Jesus' Conversations with Women
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

very informative

Date:February 17, 2013
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Beth
Location:St. Louis, MO
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
This book has SO much specific content on each passage presented, each women discussed and most interestingly the historical information that helps the reader to gain a deeper understanding of the specifics surrounding each relationship discussed.
Coleman takes the reader through a variety of different women who all have very specific encounters with Jesus. Some encounters were years long, others were simple one time conversations. Each encounter shows us a consistency in Jesus, he was caring and respectful towards women.
I appreciated the authors thoughts on some of the unanswered questions, mainly the "whys" and I also appreciated the authors attention to detail regarding the historical details of the days these encounters occurred.
I would recommend this book as a book study/Bible study, or for someone who really wants to dig deeper into a Jesus conversations with women.
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Review 6 for Unexpected Love: God's Heart Revealed in Jesus' Conversations with Women
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Good but with Reservations

Date:February 15, 2013
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MIMom
Age:25-34
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
"Unexpected Love" is a book written primarily for women by Julie Zine Coleman, with the intent to reveal the concern and love God has for each of us through an in-depth study of Christ's conversation with nine different women. These women include: Mary the mother of Jesus, the hemorrhaging woman who touched His garment, the sinful woman who anointed Him with oil, the Syrophoenician, the adulterer, Martha, the Samaritan at the well, Salome, and Mary Magdalene.
Each chapter is broken into six sections; it begins with the story from Scripture, followed by the author's imagined story of what may have taken place, which helps to draw a more emotional response from the reader. The "Digging Deeper" section asks questions and then answers them with more background information and insight pertaining to the culture of that day. The final three sections are applicable parts for the reader: "For Today's Woman" is the take home points, "Food for Thought" asks self-analyzing questions, and finally there is a section for journaling.
I found this book to be a quick read. Being one of an academic mindset, I felt that although this book had an extensive notes and bibliographical section, it tread lightly on the information and research. Putting Biblical references and further information in the notes section allowed for a smoother read, but I found myself constantly flipping to the back of the book to read this information. I was also a bit disheartened to see a reference to the apocrypha in it that is given credence similar to the Tanakh in the minds of the Pharisees, as although the book may be included in the Roman Catholic scripture, it was written in Greek (unlike the Hebrew texts of Daniel), was not considered true by the Jews and it's date of origin is debated.
Although this book is well written, I'm not sure I would recommend it without reservations, nor do I consider it to be a "must read"; I do think it could be helpful for some people. I think it is beneficial in reminding women that God is interested in us, no matter our background or current circumstances. Just like these women, He meets us where we are and is intentional about transforming us and developing a relationship with us.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze® book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
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Review 7 for Unexpected Love: God's Heart Revealed in Jesus' Conversations with Women
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great understanding of Jesus' heart toward women

Date:February 13, 2013
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Patti Creek
Location:Comanche, TX
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
In biblical times, women were thought of as "second class" citizens. Men would not even be caught talking to women on the street for fear they would be caught up in her "seductions". In this book, it records conversations between Jesus and several different women. He treated women with respect, love and dignity.
It helped me to read this in a light as though I was there listening to the conversation, and then someone going into more detail.
It is so interesting! It not only talks about the conversations with the different women, but gets deeper with sections like "Digging Deeper", "Food for Thought", and even how it would be relevant "For Today's Woman", and a place for Journaling.
I would recommend this book to any woman who wants a closer relationship with Christ, as well as those who just would like to have a better understanding of Jesus' relationship with the women of His time.
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Review 8 for Unexpected Love: God's Heart Revealed in Jesus' Conversations with Women
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

If you wonder how God feels about women...

Date:February 2, 2013
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Melinda
Age:35-44
Gender:female
We're all looking for something when we come to Jesus. The women who came to Him when He walked on earth were no different. From our 21st-century perspective, it can be difficult to understand His interactions with them. Without an understanding of the culture, and indepth Scripture study, we may even be offended.
If you wonder how God feels about women, especially if you struggle with doubt that He understands and cherishes you, Julie Zine Coleman's examination of Jesus' conversations with women will help you see God's heart and know that He loves you. He loves you enough to meet you where you are, and, even better, loves you enough to not leave you there. He knows what You want, but desires to give you what He knows you need.
Julie Zine Coleman guides readers into a fresh perspective on Jesus' conversations with nine women, including His mother. Each chapter begins with the Scriptural account of a conversation Jesus had with a woman, followed by a creative retelling. Next is a “Digging Deeper” section in which the author explains the Biblical accounts and her interpretations by putting them in both their historical and Scriptural contexts. She then gives readers ideas for practical application by first relating the freshly-understood truth to Christ-following women today, and then providing opportunities for deeper understanding through other Scripture passages, questions, and journaling prompts.
Unexpected Love is a well-written, well-researched book.
The author's desire to seek and share God's love and Biblical truth is obvious. I appreciate the new understanding I have of God's heart and recommend this book!
I received a free digital copy of this book from Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze program for an honest review.
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Review 9 for Unexpected Love: God's Heart Revealed in Jesus' Conversations with Women
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Jesus gives women significance

Date:January 14, 2013
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bookwomanjoan
Location:Oak Harbor, WA
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The attitude toward women at the time of Christ was one of subjection. They were thought inferior, fickle, contentious, and indecisive. They had no legal rights and lived under the control of their father and then husband.
“God did not originally intend this for women,” Julie writes. God created Adam and Eve as an equal partnership. The idea of authority and dominion would come after the fall.
“But Jesus came to set them free.” His redemption sets us free from the condemnation of sin. “We are also delivered from the consequences of sin.” Christ removed the curse. “He intended to restore women to the glory they had at creation.”
Julie looks at nine women who had interactions with Jesus. They all needed Jesus. And Jesus was interested in them. In a culture that devalued women, Jesus showed intentional interest in them. He gave them significance.
Julie covers each of the interactions within its cultural context, revealing a purposeful Jesus. “He wanted to transform their lives.”
I was impressed with how Julie dealt with the biblical stories. She first gives the Scripture passage then retells the story in her own words, adding lots of interesting details. She has a section on “digging deeper.” I could tell Julie has done lots of research. She brought out facts about the time period I had never seen before. She then includes a section applying the story's lessons to women today.
Each chapter ends with questions and suggestions for journaling. These could be used for personal or group discussions. This book would make a fine study for a woman's Bible study group.
Free resources, including handouts and lesson plan suggestions, are available for groups using Unexpected Love at the associated website.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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Review 10 for Unexpected Love: God's Heart Revealed in Jesus' Conversations with Women
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Julie Zine Coleman is a master storyteller

Date:January 21, 2013
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DebeTighe
Location:Bowie, MD
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
In her newest publication, Unexpected Love: What the Gospels Reveal About God’s Heart for Women, Julie Zine Coleman has packaged many bookstore aisles into one book, which includes historical and present-day lessons, women’s interests, small group study, devotions, scripture and reference, and even psychological self-help. This book reveals critical, valuable truths, and explains why faith is so important to how we connect to God. It offers women of today a myriad of opportunities to see themselves in the lives of others – women and men, from scholars and disciples to the author’s friends and, ultimately, Christ Himself. And to say that this book is only for women would be a disservice, as anyone with a desire to know God more would benefit from the lessons it reveals.
Coleman’s advantage as a writer is her ability to think broadly (no pun intended) and consider many of the questions one might ask when reading familiar biblical teachings. Take the story of Mary and Martha, for example. What woman hasn’t taken an internal fact-checking quiz to determine which of the duo they are? Unexpected Love offers a fresh viewpoint in understanding and seeing the bottom line of it all, boiling situations down to their actual problems – worry, anxiety, reputation, anger, and perfectionism. Coleman asks specific questions that the women themselves might be thinking, and that the reader might wonder, too. can place yourself in their sandals easily. Coleman seems like she can place herself into the sandals of all of these women – how does she do this!? She is a master at investigating points via critical thinking, historical and cultural viewpoints, explaining biblical context, and asking the hard questions up front. What was especially helpful to this reader was the “For Today’s Woman” section of each chapter, which raised many of the same questions and thoughts for me as a 21st century female, and gave me the time to not only “know about God, but to know God” better. Coleman’s “Digging Deeper,” “Food for Thought,” and “Journaling” components also provide multiple examples of Christ’s love and the foundational truth that faith is key to how we interact with our Creator.
Coleman is especially good at finding parallel events in the Bible to reinforce her well-educated and thoughtful discussions, and she is adept at using stories from her own life and today’s cultural exchange to broaden our thinking of just how God’s love can change the world – one woman at a time. There was one line in the book that I wrote down and posted on the wall of my office in the cube farm I share with another woman – Coleman states “There is no need to control if you have confidence in the one who holds all things together.” For women who need this reminder – to have confidence in Him – and to remember that he calls us daughter for a reason (because He loves us so!), this book is filled with similar OMG moments to which you will relate.
If you are looking for a book that will help you get closer to God, or to simply learn more about Him (and yourself), Unexpected Love is a well-researched, thorough study that will enrich your soul. It has many components that allow you to choose how deeply to delve into the topics, so it is perfect for anyone at any stage of their Christian journey. Unexpected Love: What the Gospels Reveal About God’s Heart for Women, reminds us all that we are children of the Father, and He absolutely loves us.
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Review 11 for Unexpected Love: God's Heart Revealed in Jesus' Conversations with Women
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

For spiritual insight and personal growth.....

Date:January 18, 2013
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rozieN
Location:Elizabeth City, NC
Age:55-65
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The author’s empathy for women, encountered by Jesus - then changed forever, will draw seekers, skeptics, and seasoned followers into God’s “unexpected love.” In readable straight-forward language she sensitively developed the details with their historical significance of each narrative making them come alive and placing the reader (me) in the position of conversing with Jesus. Yes, Coleman enabled me to step into the shoes of these women and know God Himself more deeply.
The book’s format develops the cultural context with the narratives of the women, followed by sub-headings entitled “Digging Deeper,” “For Today’s Woman,” “Food for Thought,” and “Journaling.” The “Food for Thought” section provides related Scripture references along with opportunities for self-questioning and making personal applications. Numerous examples broaden the readers’ understanding of specific terminology. Jesus’ conversations with these women magnify Bible truths and God the Father alongside Coleman’s sprinkling of personal anecdotes of people in her life. Personally I love the revelations of Jesus’ sense of humor and personality.
I recommend the book for anyone, not just women – the lessons may be universally applied! The book could easily be a study guide/conversation starter for small group discussion.
For spiritual insight and personal growth, the book is worthy of 5 stars. Thank you, Julie Coleman, for using your gift of teaching to share the person of Jesus Christ with others
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Review 12 for Unexpected Love: God's Heart Revealed in Jesus' Conversations with Women
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A women's book not just for women!

Date:October 4, 2012
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Davey
Location:Chesapeake Beach, MD
Age:25-34
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I don’t make it a habit to read books that are geared for, and marketed to, women. In fact, I believe this would be the first. After all, last I checked, I didn’t... um... fit the part! That being said, when I received a copy of Unexpected Love, I was challenged and captivated, and the Word of God was clarified and complemented.
Julie visits nine episodes in the Gospels where Jesus has direct and poignant interaction with women:
1. his mother, Mary (John 2)
2. the hemorrhaging woman (Mark 5)
3. the woman who washed His feet (Luke 7)
4. the woman with the demon-possessed daughter (Matthew 15)
5. the woman caught in adultery (John 8)
6. Martha (Luke 10)
7. the woman at the well (John 4)
8. Salome (Matthew 20)
9. Mary Magdalene (John 20)
Throughout each of the nine chapters, Julie proves herself to be a master storyteller, retelling the Biblical narrative while respectfully embellishing such details as internal dialogue, facial expressions, and gestures.
As a seminary graduate, Julie knows well that for any maxim or saying to impact our lives, it must be based solidly on Scripture. That is best achieved once the student of the Word has dug deep, seeing the passage through the lens of first century thought and the original languages. For this reason, before she delved into the application, she first dug deeper into the passage. Asking (and answering!) questions such as:
Was Jesus being disrespectful of Mary in the way He spoke to her?
What was the hemorrhaging woman’s medical problem?
Why did the Gospel writers intertwine the hemorrhaging woman’s story with the Jairus account?
What is a Pharisee?
And those are just representative of the first three chapters!
Finally, in a section entitled “For Today’s Woman,” Julie then connects the Word to our world – and it’s not *just* for today’s woman! Most of the chapters I found myself having to set the book down and go to God in prayer, whether it was thanking Him for His grace, or asking forgiveness for poor attitudes and motivations! As if that section was insufficient, she then gives some other questions and journaling prompts for the reader’s further reflection. Just in terms of value, this book gives you much bang for your buck!
I was blown away by the amount of Scripture references and footnotes detailing the customs and traditions of the first century world. Julie is never one to shy away from depth, yet does it such a manner that it is immediately accessible.
I would highly recommend this book for your women’s small group, for your own personal devotional time, or even to the Bible college or seminary student that wishes to augment their knowledge of the Four Gospels and Jesus’ ministry.
Davey Ermold
B.S. in Bible; Th.M. in Theology
Adjunct Professor, Washington Bible College/Capital Bible Seminary
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