Everyone Wins!

This morning, Michele Howe’s review of The Gospel of Ruth (which she posted on FaceBook) jump-started my day! It is so gratifying to an author when a reviewer truly gets what their book is about.

Michele gets it!

So I asked her permission (and she graciously gave it) to re-post it here on WhitbyForum.

I don’t mind saying that, if you haven’t read this book yet, you are missing out. When I first heard what scholars were unearthing in this powerful story, I couldn’t stand it that this message hadn’t reached the pews.

Finally (!) with The Gospel of Ruth that has happened, and women, like Michele, and not a few men are reading it.

What I’ve learned from Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz has been a game-changer for me. It presents a total paradigm shift.

Naomi’s story is a gift to those who suffer loss and will be finding Christmas difficult this year. Ruth’s story gives backbone to those who are up against the odds and short on courage when facing battles God places in our path. And Boaz stands tall among men and deserves to be admired for all the right reasons. The trio give us one of the best examples of the Blessed Alliance that we have in Scripture. The ancient book of Ruth demonstrates it’s a win-win when both men and women are strong together for God’s purposes.

If you haven’t read this book yet, add it to your Christmas wish list.

If you’re not convinced yet, and reading Michele’s review doesn’t finish the job, my wonderful unbiased husband Frank has gone public on FaceBook with this astonishing offer:

Ladies and Gentlemen; Brothers and Sisters; Boys and Girls, Elect and Non-Elect, please take a moment to read the review of Carolyn Custis James’ marvelous book “The Gospel of Ruth” by Michelle Howe. I am recommending Michele for Sainthood for her wonderful review AND I am recommending that everyone else purchase The Gospel of Ruth for Christmas. If you purchase The Gospel of Ruth and “Half the Church,” I will recommend YOU for Sainthood too.

Go Frank!

So here’s Michele’s review:

Everyone wins when courage fills a woman’s soul 

Michele Howe

When it comes to helping others, some people stop at nothing.


Not every book photo accurately depicts what’s to be found inside the cover of the text. In this case, it does.

If you’re peering closely at this photo, let me explain.

This black and white cover photo reveals a woman holding tightly to stalks of wheat. Her fist grasping the grain with all her might. And the book designer couldn’t have chosen a better way to introduce readers to this topic.

This photo depicts:


Author Carolyn Custis James wrote The Gospel of Ruth: Loving God Enough to Break the Rules, in 2008. I was one of the happy reviewers that devoured this text (and have reread it about a dozen times since.)

If I had a short list of favorite books…this one would be on it.

I’ve long wanted to write about the message of this book because I think it’s so important for women (and men) to grasp.

But, like anything (or anyone) I hold in high esteem…there’s a little niggling fear that I won’t do the work (message) justice.

Finally, I decided I can’t do it justice…but at the least, I can tell other people about the book so they can read it for themselves.

As a reviewer, I’m always reading something. Always.

But in the twenty-some years working as a reviewer, I’d say there are about twenty books I keep handy (and keep referring to)…this is one of them.

Whenever I travel, I always have a bag full of books at my side…and this book makes the cut every time.

So enough of that….why should you read this book?

Because James does something I’ve rarely seen other authors do…find a way to communicate the value of relationship (partnership) between strong women and strong men.

Almost always we see either/or….either a strong woman leads and every man in her vicinity quakes in fear.

Or…we see a strong man and every woman in his vicinity quakes in fear.

Not here.

James reveals how both women and men can be strong, work together, and accomplish much.

Not exactly the typical screenplay of today where it’s almost always one sex dominating the other.

I love it!

Women and men sharing equally in whatever task they’re called to…and in a world as dangerous as ours…we need our girls to grow up to be strong women for their sake and society’s.

I know I can’t do this message justice…so I’m stopping here…ending with one of my favorite quotes from James’ book where she describes the two main characters’ relationship with each other.

In the end, there is deep respect, mutual submission, and a powerful partnership that rocks their community (for good.)

Like the title of this post starts off….everyone wins…who reads this book…

About carolyncustisjames

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2 Responses to Everyone Wins!

  1. Rosanne says:

    Dear Carolyn, (may I call you Carolyn?)
    I have indeed bought and read Half the Church. In fact, I loaned out my first copy, hated to ask for it back, and bought a second copy so I could lead a Bible study with a group of ladies from church. I am now in the process of teaching a 3-month Sunday School class on Image-bearing and Identity, in large part due to your influence in my life through your books. Soon after reading Half the Church last year I bought When Life and Beliefs Collide – it was wonderful. And within the last month I bought and read both Lost Women of the Bible and The Gospel of Ruth. I cannot tell you how powerful these books have been for me. So I say “Thank You!” from the bottom of my heart!


  2. Carolyn says:

    Thank you for your encouraging words. It means a lot to me to hear that the truths that are helping me are also helping others.

    Oh, and I guess this means Frank will recommend you for sainthood too!



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