Monday, August 17, 2009

Book Review: The Tender Words of God

The Tender Words of God

The Tender Words of God
by Ann Spangler

Hardback: 288 pages
Publisher: Zondervan
First Released: 2008

Author Website

Source: I bought from Books-A-Million

Back Cover Description:
Over the years, Ann Spangler has read through the Bible several times, plowing straight through from Genesis to Revelation. But like many people who tend to be self-critical, Ann found it easier to absorb the harsher-sounding passages in the Bible than those that speak of God’s love and compassion.

Then one day, Ann listened as her friend Joan talked about a time in her life when she became convinced of God’s love.

Ann expected her friend to reveal something complicated and difficult, a tragedy perhaps that God had brought her through.

But Joan had simply decided to set aside one month in which she would act as though God loved her.

And that settled it for her—for good.

In the months that followed, Ann decided to develop a remedial course in which she could reflect morning and evening on the most tender words of God in the Bible. She prayed that God’s penetrating Word would transform her as she hunted through Scripture for words of mercy, compassion, peace, and protection.

The Tender Words of God is the result of this process, offering ninety days of devotional readings on some of Scripture’s most encouraging words. While the core of the book is Scripture, each week contains reflections and daily prayers that chronicle Ann’s struggle to know God better. These are included not because she believes her quest is all that remarkable, but precisely because she knows it is ordinary, expressing as it does our common longing to love and be loved, especially by the One who made us.

Ann invites you to join her on this journey to know God better, to let his tender words become like guardians at the beginning and at the end of each day, convincing you once and for all of his faithful, committed love.

The Tender Words of God is a God-focused and Scripture-focused devotional. It takes a Hebrew word (or words) each week, looks at what it means, then looks at verses that use that word and what it means for us. (The words are compassion, forgiveness, peace, strength, protection, love & mercy, blessing & provision, guidance, faithfulness, hope & comfort, healing). The author also has a small section on how studying that week's word impacted her life and her view of God.

I bought this book for a male friend who thought God viewed him harshly, but I enjoyed reading it. It has some very good insights. The friend I got this for thanked me and said it helped him get a right view of God. So I'd highly recommend this devotional to anyone who thinks it sounds interesting.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Chapter One
God Speaks Words of Compassion

The Hebrew word raham, which means “compassion,” is intimately connected to the Hebrew word rehem, which means “womb.” Throughout the Scriptures, God reveals a kind of motherly compassion for his people.

In one of the Bible’s most moving passages, God reveals himself to Moses as “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:6).

Jesus, too, displays great compassion for those who are needy. In fact, his compassion moves him to act on behalf of the sick, the blind, the hungry, and those without a shepherd. He even raises a man from the dead after witnessing a mother’s sorrow. Compassion is an attribute of God, and it is closely related to mercy or pity. The Greek New Testament words for compassion are eleos and splanchnon.

Read the introduction and more of chapter one.

No comments: