Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Touching the Hem

I feel I need to start this post off with a disclaimer. Well, actually two.
#1- Elizabeth is a great friend and a great example to me. This may have influenced my opinion of her book, but, I don't think so.

#2-I received a free copy of this book in order to write a review. But, if you actually click on over to Amazon and buy a copy of this book, I will not be compensated in anyway.

Whew! I'm glad we got that out there in the open.

I have actually never met Elizabeth IRL, though I am going to be in her neck of the woods this fall for a blog conference, and I am hoping to be able to meet her then. Regardless, our relationship started about a year ago, when I joined her mastermind group for bloggers. I was immediately struck by her deep theological insights and by her joyful attitude in the face of chronic illness.

I have been excited to watch Elizabeth walk the steps of this publishing journey, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read and review her book.

The title, Touching the Hem, is based on the story in Mark 5, of the woman who had the issue of blood for 12 years, and was healed by touching the hem of Jesus Christ's robe. A long illness, no hope from physicians, and immediate healing by Jesus Christ.

In Touching the Hem, Elizabeth delves into Scripture to present what the Biblical response to suffering should be. She starts by laying a strong foundation of God's unchanging character and His works.

She then moves on to the idea of the inevitability of suffering because of sin, and how we should respond to suffering. She is very balanced in the ideas of the use of modern medicine and technology as well as faith. And she also broaches the subject of God's responses. Sometimes God heals and sometimes He doesn't.

Why should you read this book? At a slim 160 pages, Touching the Hem is an informative, challenging and encouraging quick read. It is a book that is especially applicable to chronic illness and physical suffering, but the verses, principles and ideas apply to all suffering. My favorite part was her clear descriptions of the attributes and works of God, with a lot of verses to support her thoughts. Elizabeth's unwavering trust in God is shouted through each page of this book.

I would suggest reading the book, and then possibly prayerfully handing it on to a friend who may glean encouragement from the Scriptures and Elizabeth's thoughts. Or, you can keep your copy, and purchase one for your friend too. Touching the Hem is available on Amazon in a paperback ($11.99) or Kindle ($2.99) format.

You really can't deny that is affordable and convenient. But, the corker is, Elizabeth also wrote a study guide that corresponds with the chapters in her book. It is available online (here). And the really cool news is that the study guide is FREE! So, essentially you are getting 2 books for the price of one. Her study guide contains thought and application questions plus hymn suggestions that go with each chapter.

As Elizabeth is my hero for actually getting a paper and ink book published (as opposed to an eBook), I asked her the question I put to all of you yesterday...

What did you find most daunting about the thought of writing a book?

"I was a little daunted by the need to be accurate and thorough in my explanation of Scripture. What if I mis-interpreted something? What if I left out some foundational truth, because I mistakenly assumed my readers would know it? We have a responsibility to rightly handle the Word of God, and I take that responsibility pretty seriously. I don't want to lead anyone astray or inadvertantly proclaim false doctrine. And honestly, I was nervous about doing that - even though I've studied the Bible for years. When you put something in print like that, it's going to be around for a while. And I don't want my own opinions to stick around like that, because they're not timeless or unchanging. But God's Word is.

The whole publishing process was kind of daunting too. I was actually excited to go through the revision process, and get some professional feedback on my writing. But the sheer amount of work that had to be done, to get from start to finish, was a little overwhelming at times. So many revisions, and proofs to evaluate, and decisions to be made, and more revisions, and more proofs, and trying to stay organized through it all... it's a whole lot of work, and kind of like running a marathon. You have to just take it step by step, or you'll easily get overwhelmed and stuck in the middle somewhere."

Wow! I think any editor would flip at the amount of times I use so, just and like in an average post. I am glad you stuck it through to the end.

And for the rest of you, I am going to give away one copy of Elizabeth's book, paperback or Kindle format-winner's choice.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a wonderful Tuesday, all!