In His Hands, I Am Healed by Laura J. Weber is a touching biographical nonfiction book about the author’s four-and-a-half year battle with cancer. Written from a devout Christian perspective, the book details the difficulty of Laura’s journey through multiple surgeries and radiation treatments for recurring cancer and her experience of God’s miraculous healing which removed a final outbreak of cancer from her body. Pinioned on the story of David and Goliath, which is a theme returned to frequently as a cornerstone of the book, and punctuated by “Laura’s Journey Lessons” sprinkled through the chapters to highlight the primary topics, it’s an inspirational and sincere journal that will help anyone needing God’s guidance to overcome a tough situation in their lives.
In His Hands, I Am Healed walks us through every step of one woman’s amazing experience so that all can share it with her and apply it to what they are going through. I found it went far beyond the subject matter of cancer by paralleling spiritual growth with each step of the medical journey in an uplifting and challenging way. Laura J. Weber is upfront about the impatience and fear that comes with big struggles in life and her good attitude and heartfelt decisions to choose faith and hope at every turn when she could have chosen bitterness or anger makes this great reading for someone in a hard time. With a helpful list of Christian books that she found encouraging, real posts made throughout her illness on her private Facebook group, and amazing encouragers like the F.R.O.G button that inspired her (Fully Rely on God), Laura has pieced together her story into one that gave me a lot to think about and blessed me tremendously.
It’s All About Grace: Insights from the Word for Women of Koinonia (A 10-Week Course for Group or Individual Study) by Shirley Kiger Connolly is a really good, immersive, practical Bible course. It guides women in an understanding of their Christian walk as friendly vessels that reach out to others. There are a lot of skilled, imaginative interactive exercises to aid in the learning process—such as the Potter section, in which women envision themselves as a piece of clay being molded in all the steps, including being fired in a kiln. With five overarching themes--Women of God in Times of Adversity,” “The Woman God Wants Her to Be,” “God Doesn’t Make Mistakes,” “Finding Grace in Her Garden,” and “How Will She Sail Her Ship?”— this course has a lot of wisdom in it.
It’s All About Grace: Insights from the Word for Ladies of Koinonia stands out for the hands-on way it deals with hard times in people’s lives. I enjoyed the realistic approach. Instead of offering an unabated cheerful tone on God’s abundant plan, words like adversity, refining, dry times, pruning, sickness, and melancholy recur constantly and a rich and thorough tapestry of examples from the Bible and from the author’s own life thread the book with proof that God actually uses tough experiences to shape people. Shirley Kiger Connolly delves deep into the human beings of the Bible to show that God worked with them in the same way he does with us today. From a great detailed comparison of a godly woman’s life to the complexity of year-round gardening to an opportunity to draw your own little boat (should God tell you to build one like Noah) there’s something for everyone. Recommended.
God of the Brooks: A Story of Extreme Survival by Bruce Hamilton is a unique tale of toughing it against the wilderness, told from a Christian perspective. The first-person account, fictional but pieced together from incidents throughout the author’s life, records a gritty tale of a man’s walk with God as a plane crash strands him in the arctic winter of Alaska. In the midst of a gripping saga of nature’s harshness and human resourcefulness, he approaches God with a closeness he’s never before experienced and learns his journey across Alaska in winter is the perfect forge for God to shape him into a wise and humble servant.
Few Christian books can wring your heart and soul like this, let alone leave you filled with such an awe for God. The inspiring authenticity of Bruce Hamilton’s account has a heart-pounding pull of complete honesty as every step of the hero’s journey from bleeding on a desolate mountain cliff to building shelters and gathering food for himself is brought before the reader’s eyes to enforce God’s complexity and wisdom. When a hunting trip gone wrong, a friend’s death, and a trek home that defies Frodo and Sam’s journey to Mordor in its intensity engulf the hero and the reader, that’s just as much a part of God’s character as the loving response to human need that He also continually exhibits throughout the story. As each day presents a new physical hardship and ingenuity with only one goal—to get home at last—God shines forth as the true hero of the story. With ice, snow, grizzlies, and a lot of prayer, God of the Brooks puts a spotlight on the Creator and that’s where it should be.
This is the companion for Sarah Scheele's newsletter blog. In it I share reviews for books I'd recommend/are similar to my own.