Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Book Review: When Others Shuddered


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

When I first heard that Jamie Janosz was writing a book, I was immediately excited to read it. Mrs. Janosz, as I know her, was one of my favorite communications professors in college at Moody Bible Institute. After I learned what the book she was writing, "When Others Shuddered: Eight Women Who Refused to Give Up," was about I knew I had to get a copy to read and review.

Many of us who have grown up in the Christian church know about the great men of our faith. Men who did amazing things for the cause of Christ. But I feel like less of us know about the great women of our faith, who often because of social structures, served behind the scenes. We don't share their stories as much, which is why I treasure this book. It highlights eight ordinary, yet extraordinary, women who had personal relationships with Jesus and because of that, felt drawn to serve and help those around them.

In "When Others Shuddered" we meet Fanny Crosby, Emma Dryer, Nettie McCormick, Sarah Dunn Clarke, Amanda Smith, Virginia Asher, Evangeline Booth, and Mary McLeod Bethune. These women's stories span the mid-1800s to mid-1900s, a time when life was quickly changing America. Many of the featured women had ties to Chicago, which was growing rapidly, as well as experiencing the setback of the Great Chicago Fire.

In each woman's story there is a need which is witnessed and met, whether it's for education, disaster aid, gender equality, or the gospel. Each woman decided in her heart to step into an important, much-needed role, one that involved serving those around her and sharing the love of Jesus. And while now we look at them as great women of the faith, in their time they simply viewed themselves as everyday, ordinary women.

"When Others Shuddered" is an encouraging, inspiring book about what women can do when they don't back down. It not only serves as a reminder of what has been done, but also of what can be done, by any ordinary woman. Any one of us can leave a legacy of faithful service to God, and touch many lives around us, if we simply persevere. This book helps show that, and challenge readers to not simply read but to do.

I would encourage anyone--male or female--to read "When Others Shuddered." It is a quick, easy read filled with rich history, moments of triumph, and important stories everyone should know. It tells of the beginnings of the Salvation Army, Pacific Garden Mission, and Moody Bible Institute. You will learn who wrote some of the greatest hymns of all time, who stood up to a notorious gangster and the KKK, and who went to the White House to help break down racial barriers.

"When Others Shuddered" is well worth the read and I am so thankful that Mrs. Janosz wrote this book. It has encouraged me personally to continue the cause and "be that kind of woman."

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