When I heard that Nancy and her husband were co-authoring a book, I was so excited. I already loved the video that explained their love story on YouTube (see video below), but I really wanted to hear a more in-depth version of that story. I claimed a review copy* as soon as I could. When I finally sat down to read it, it was not quite what I was expecting, but I was not disappointed with the content. If anything, I loved the content even more than I thought I would. Not everything in this book is about their story, and that’s what I loved about it so much. They shared stories from people they knew (including one of my favorite authors, Bethany Beal, co-author of Girl Defined) and they also shared stories from stories in the Biblical narrative. That’s a huge part of what make the book work so well. It totally spoke to me in the season that I’m currently in, and I believe it will for you too ~ Bethel
The stories of our lives are filled with twists and turns. Some of those twists are happy, while many of those twists are difficult and painful in endure in the moment. Many of us have heard that God is the Master Storyteller. Those of us that have read Hebrews 12 know that Jesus is the “author and perfecter of our faith”, but we have a very hard time holding onto this truth in confidence that that God will work all things out for our good. Sometimes all we can see is the pain, and we push back, trying to find ways to write our own story, which often doesn’t work out very well. He sometimes reject His plan for us, and often end hurting those we love. It makes us ask the question: How can we embrace the story that God is writing?
In their first shared project, You Can Trust God to Write Your Story, couple Nancy and Robert Wolgemuth help us see that we can trust the Master Storyteller by embracing the mysteries of providence. It was originally intended to be the story of how Robert, a widower after forty-five years of marriage, and Nancy, a woman who have never been married in her fifties, fell in love and were married. But it became so much more than that. They found they didn’t want this book to be just about them. So although they share their personal stories throughout, there is only one chapter dedicated to that part of their story. The rest is meant to use the stories of others to illustrate the same lesson that they learned: God can be trusted to write our stories, even in the most difficult of chapters of our lives. Many of the stories shared are people they knew personally. But there are also many stories from the Biblical narrative that so clearly demonstrate God’s hand at work. Through all of this, we are reminded that even in the mist of the most difficult chapters of our lives, God is with us and for us, using the narrative you’re in for your redemption and His glory. It both part of the smaller story you’re in and the eternal story that He is writing, one of which you should feel blessed to be a part. What we need to do, like the old hymn tells us, is trust and obey. This book is incredible. The stories, both personal and biblical, were well-chosen and well-written. Powerful, compelling, and hope-filled, this is a book I recommend to practically anything. Get your copy today!
*I recieved a copy from the publisher for the purpose of this review
Check out some of my other reviews of Nancy's books by going to the Book Review Tab
This book has been on my wish list for a long time, but I didn’t know too much about it, other than it was all bestselling book about prayer. But as I have been trying to improve my personal prayer life, I decided to give this book a shot. I had it read a little over 24 hours after it arrived on my doorstep. I found this book to be insightful and a completely different approach to prayer than I had encountered before. Although I will probably not use all the methods he outlines in the book, I am definitely interested in utilizing some of them in my personal prayer life. This has also made me interested in reading more books by Mark Batterson in the future, as well as other books on prayer. I that is something that all Christians should do to improve their relationship with the Lord. If you haven’t, then you should start today ~ Bethel
We are so often afraid to pray for our greatest dreams. We struggle to have the faith to believe that the Lord a come through for us. Sometimes, it’s because we misunderstand the way God answers prayers. This often results in us putting an all-powerful God in a tiny box, limiting what He can and can’t do, which in turn limits how far we will go when asking God for our greatest dreams. Yet, many of us know that there is more to prayer. We read stories of those whose prayers virtually moved mountains, but don’t know how to get there. It makes us ask the questions: How can we pray for our biggest dreams when we aren’t sure how God will answer?
In his bestselling book, The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson walks us through what it means to pray circle around our biggest dreams, which is often give us victory over our biggest fears. We learn the story about Honi the circle marker, a Israelite man of the intertestamental period that drew a circle around himself during a drought and resolving to stay in the circle until God sent rain to quench the dry land. Mark concludes that most of us struggle with our prayer lives is that we don’t pray through – praying until we get to the miracle or the answer. Encouraging us through the example of Honi, as well as Elijah the prophet and the Israelites that marked around Jericho, we are encouraged to define our own prayer circles. The first circle is to dream big, realizing that God can handle our dreams, even when they seem insurmountable. The second circle is to pray hard, fully believing that the dreams we have in line will God’s will can and will be answered. The last circle is to think long, praying and living our lives in light of what will matter into eternity. Through it all, it seems that when we pray through, although things don’t always work out the way we hope, we are often changed by our own prayers. This book is engaging, compelling, and inspiring. It’s an great resource on prayer that it’s no wonder it became a bestseller. Get your copy today!
Personal Rating. I had two small criticisms of the book: 1) Although I understood the heart of his message, I think some people could misinterpret his writings to support the belief that God is like Santa Claus - if you’re good and do everything you’re supposed to, then God will give you everything you pray for. Although he does refute that line of thinking in the book, I still fear that Christians that are not as strong in their faith could be lead astray if they misinterpret it. 2) The stories about his church plant became pretty repetitive and kind of disjointed by the end of the book. I have a harder time when authors tell stories in a circular narrative (jumping back and forward in time) rather than a linear fashion. Other than that, this is a book I was personally challenged or inspired by. If you haven’t read it, you should!
I was both excited and nervous about reading this book. It’s true that Nancy has become one of my favorite authors, but that was the same reason I was nervous. Nancy has an incredible way of breaking down Scripture and biblical truth in such a way that you understand, which is what I needed after having been through several trials that left wounds inflicted by others’ choices. I knew that I needed it. When I started reading it, it was hard to stop, because I needed the message so badly. I found that although I had started to forgive those that hurt me, I still had some bitterness deep down that needed to be brought to the light. I was really able to see the heart of what forgiveness is and what it isn’t. It has become a significant tool in my own healing, as I believe anyone who reads this book will say too. Everyone will be hurt by the actions or words of others in this life, so I truly believe that this book that every single Christian needs to read. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone ~ Bethel
Forgive is a difficult word in our culture today. When we are offended, it is our nature tendency to become anger and bitter, wanting vengeance toward those that hurt us. We desire for those that hurt us to get their comeuppance. All the while, we often in this process take on the tracts that we hate in the person that hurt us and push us further and further from the Lord and the life He has planned for us. Although we want for them to pay for what they did, we are the ones that are held prisoners by our own anger and bitterness. When we are told we need to forgive, so many of us can’t even comprehend it, let alone take the necessary steps to forgive them. It makes us ask the question: How do I learn to forgive those that have hurt me when I have been so deeply hurt?
In her book, Choosing Forgiveness, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth [published under her maiden name, Nancy Leigh DeMoss] helps her readers break free from the pain and bitterness from those that hurt us by revealing that forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling. After helping her audience to see the consequences when we don’t forgive, Nancy walks us through the many facets of forgiveness through the lens of God’s Word, helping us to see what forgiveness is and what it isn’t. We are reminded that there is no magic words or secret formula to make it easy or automatic, but there are biblical principles that will allow us to find freedom and healing from the pain that comes from bitterness. Through examples in Scriptures as well as illustrations of real life people who experienced the healing power of forgiveness, you will be encouraged, challenged, and inspired to break the chains of holding on to anger or resentment. This book is powerful from cover to cover, theologically packed with truth, and a tool that every Christian should have in their library. Get your copy today!
To check out my review of Nancy's book, Adorned, click here
Having already read a few books by Nancy, I was already interested and curious about the book. But when I heard a local church was doing a women’s Bible study on this book, I was excited to have an excuse to read it. It was hard to find time to read this book this summer even during the first part of the Bible study, but I was determined to finish it before we started part 2 of the study. I read the majority of the book in about 3 days-time. It was so incredible rich with sound teaching and inspiring challenges. This book has furthered my belief that Nancy is in many ways a kindred spirit to myself, for so many of her books and writing speak so directly to me. The challenges to mentor younger women and be mentored by older women is something that can apply to any of us, regardless of what season of life you are in. I highly recommend this book ~ Bethel
Mentorship has become a lost concept in the church today. When we do think about it, we imagine a rigid relationship all about rule keeping and meeting for coffee weekly. That doesn’t really appeal to most of us, especially in the millennial generation. As a result of this picture in our heads, we often tend to stick with deeper friendships only with those who have similar life situations to our own, all the while neglecting the benefits of relationships with generations older and younger than us. Meanwhile, we struggle with facing everyday challenges in our spiritual lives but feel that we have no way to navigate them. This often leaves us feeling so alone in our struggles or turning to peers that don’t have the experience to help us through our struggles.
In her book, Adorned, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth shares through teachings from Titus 2 about the importance of women living out the gospel together by creating a culture of older women mentoring younger women. Beginning with the challenge of finding the courage to pursue both finding younger women to invest in as well as finding older women to invest in you, she begins to break down the heart of the doctrine of Titus 2, eventually breaking down each concept in the passage about what women, young and old, are supposed to be learning from each other. From reverence and abstaining from slander, to purity and self-control, Nancy spends individual chapters getting to heart of each concept and applying it to older and younger women alike. All the while, Nancy paints a powerful picture of how much better our lives would be and how much stronger the church would be if more women would take the challenge of living out the beauty of the gospel together. Her teaching is so theologically strong, but is understandable and accessible to everyone. This book is one that all adult women in the church need to read. This book is also an excellent Bible study option with a study guide and video curriculum available, one that I personally participated in. Get your copy today!
Singles Friendly Rating. Since Nancy was single until her mid-50’s, she is always intentional about including single in her writings. Even though topics related to marriage and motherhood sometimes seem irrelevant or far-off, Nancy writes in such a way as to inspire you where you are now, or to give you future knowledge for a future season of life.
This is a book I was not expecting to read, but it proved to be exactly what I needed. In fact, I was hesitant to read it at all. This is because I have read a few books on prayer, and none of them were all that helpful. Even the book written by the Kendrick brothers for the War Room movie did not prove to help me improve my prayer life or prayer strategies as I hoped it would. This book proved itself to be different than the rest. It was relevant and powerful in every way. I read it at a time that I had so many issues weighing down on my heart, I didn’t know how to begin to pray through them. This book changed the way that I understand prayer. It also introduced me to the Priscilla Shirer as an author. She has a great writing style that is honest and relevant. I would recommend this book to any woman who wants to learn more about strategic prayer. I also look forward to reading and reviewing more books by Priscilla in the future ~ Bethel
Prayer. It’s such a common word, but it is so common to misunderstand what this word can do. We often think of it as a conversation with God. It can often turn into a list of requests and tend to happened most consistently during times of trouble. It seldom happens consistently during times of normalcy and peace. We rarely see it as the weapon that it is, a weapon of defense against the forces of evil one, the one that seeks to destroy our faith by overwhelming us with the troubles of this life. We are often so burdened by these troubles that we fail to see the weapon that is right under our noses. But we also struggle with knowing where to start. It makes us ask the question: How can we learn ways to strategize our prayers to help us stand against the devil’s schemes?
In her book, Fervent, Priscilla Shirer shares with women how they can pray specifically and strategically. Instead of taking about the in’s and out’s of prayer, she shares about ways that we can make our prayers more intentional to the issues at the heart of our lives. Each chapter walks through different areas of our lives where it’s important to develop strategies, shares practical insights on how to develop your own personalized plan, and shares Scriptures to help shape your prayers. Priscilla also shares personal stories to illustrate how her life was shaped by her prayers or lack of prayer. Starting with prayers for passion in our spiritual zeal, she covers nine other categories, including prayers of focus on the real enemy, prayers for family, prayers for the past, and prayers for relationships. At the heart of all of it is to help each Christian woman become the warrior that God has enable her to be by surrendering all the things we struggle with and allowing God to do what only He can do. All of this is done in a writing style that is fresh and relatable. There are even tear out cards to help you start writing down your own prayer strategies. This book is an amazing tool that can be used by any woman, regardless of age or stage of life you are in. Get your copy today!