082Have you ever felt marginalized by your status, shut out because of your past?  Have you wondered how God could use a woman like you?  In Ann Spangler’s new book, Wicked Women of the Bible, you will find reassurance that our God is the God who creates and uses His creations in the most wondrous ways!  Your lack of qualifications, lack of status, lack of confidence, lack of good judgment; in all of your weakness, only give Him the perfect set up to be glorified!  The adventure is proven in the outcomes in these stories, finding unlikely women being used for His heavenly purposes.  You will see, just as these women of the Bible, that in every unique circumstance, God is able!  He has a plan far beyond your imagination!

This delightfully wicked portrayal of twenty women of the Bible comes through honest eyes of both scripture and human understanding, and proves God’s power and sheer goodness triumph over all, in every woman’s story.  This is good news for us, indeed!  Showing His love as the empowering force within the humanity of every woman, Wicked Women of the Bible, ministers hope to genuine people through the real life encounters of these real women.

Ann’s gift for storytelling flows easily with a rhythm that creates a sense of lovely anticipation in the heart of this reader. Digging deeper into the thoughts and feelings of these “wicked” and “wicked good” women, every woman will find herself in all of her vulnerability, fear, doubt, curiosity, faith, wisdom, and strength; drawing closer to the God who loves her just the way she is.  Ann reaches the emotions of these women in the true context of the story, and gives us deeper insight into ourselves.  While she imagines the feelings of each character, she draws you in to a place of understanding and identity with them.  Even the ‘wicked to the bone’ women have a lesson to share that is worth remembering.

A couple of helpful features for your study group include ‘The Times’ and ‘The Takeaway’ sections at the end of each chapter.  ‘The Times’ offers helpful background information, interesting footnotes, and more insight into the historical setting of each story.  We are offered a fuller context of the time, place, and biblical significance of each event.  In ‘The Takeaway’ section, we are given questions for reflection and discussion that enhance our individual application of the experiences that are highlighted.  These investigations are a perfect avenue to deeper study. My large study group is itching to get into this study in the month of October!

From Eve, in her terrible shame of disobeying God, to Sarah giving in to manipulation in her earnest desire for a child, to women without names; the Samaritan woman, the  medium of Endor, a real witch, to the beautiful devotion of the ‘possessed’ Mary Magdalene; the range of personalities of real women will touch your heart and remind you of the loving God you need to know in a closer, more intense and personal way.  My own tears fell hard while reading my favorite woman’s story. The prostitute who brings the alabaster box and wipes the feet of Jesus with her hair and tears moves my soul.  My heart overflows with love for her purity in worshiping him with all she has, at great cost, and with absolute abandon. Ann’s portrayal of her is especially precious.  I relate to her.  The revelation of so much forgiveness draws out unspeakable depths of love and worship.

Although I have read other studies of women in the bible, the shining thread that runs through this particular work is the intimacy and closeness with which we experience the character.  Up close and personal, I had a greater connection with these women than in any other study I have read.  Even across time, I felt like I was actually with them in the moment, experiencing the thoughts and concerns that are common among women of all kinds at various times in history.  Feeling loved, rejected, lost, afraid; manipulating our circumstances for perceived gain, trying to control our destiny, desiring to make things work out according to our own plans; all of these can be turned over to the God of Everything to make His work and His name known.

You will be moved and satisfied that you took the time to join Ann Spangler in getting to know these Wicked Women of the Bible.  I am grateful to have been afforded the opportunity to check this book out in advance of release, and am honored to be a part of Ann’s launch team for this wickedly wonderful project!

I do have a signed copy to give away!  If you would like a chance to win it, please share Godsip with your friends by inviting as many as you can to ‘like’ Godsip on Facebook, and to consider subscribing to the blog.  Then just comment on this post!  Thanks!

The winner will be announced October 3rd!

With love & belief, Jill