Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Shelter of God's Promises Delivers on It's Promise

The Shelter of God's Promises by Shelia Walsh is the best personal Bible study/book that I have read in a long time.  Too often personal studies are difficult to stay with--most studies are best suited in a group setting.  However, this reads like a book with commentary/study aspects that make it something that can naturally fold into an individual woman's schedule.

This excerpt from the chapter on Strength captures Walsh's gift for pairing reality and spiritual truth.

She begins with a spiritual truth:  "True strength invites us to live with an open heart and soul, knowing that Christ has a good, strong hold on us."

Then,  she honestly discloses the reality of her personal depression, concluding:   "Depression is only one of myriad isolating realities.  I think of the woman who has just been told that she cannot have children, the nursery door slams in her face and she will remain an outsider.  To the one whose husband looking in her eyes,  after twenty years of marriage and tells her, 'I don't love you anymore, I'm not sure I ever did.'  Or the woman who looks in the mirror after the landscape of her femininity has been ravaged by breast cancer, 'pull yourself together, you have so much to be thankful for!'   To those who are in the eye of the storm, that is like saying to a child with a crushed leg, 'get up and walk.'"

That is truth:  life truth, Biblical truth.  The lives of faithful people are not tidy.

Shelter is not sentimental, not afraid to capture life--but does stay true to its focus on the many  promises of God.  Walsh grabs scripture, real life and sound application in every chapter, presenting the promises of God in a relevant and inspiring way.  No small trick.

So often promises of God are packaged in a Name It, Claim It formula or like fortune cookie encouragements--Walsh never engages those common traps, and writes a substantive and tender look at the power and importance of those promises.

She enhances her work with many quotes from others writers (such as C.S. Lewis) and regular scriptural references, including conxtext and transliteration from Hebrew or Greek, so the reader really experiences this subject through solid study methods--but again, it can be a nighttime read, not requiring the kind of attention of traditional studies.

The Shelted of God's Promises delivers on it's promise to teach and encourage.

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Roswell, GA
Loves to find the answers to three questions of a sound Bible study: what does it say, what does it mean, what difference does it make?