on Jan. 22, 2013 :
"If I had a mind to brag a little, I could probably do it without looking ridiculous, and I’d still be speaking plain truth all the way. But I’ll spare you. I don’t want anyone imagining me as anything other than the fool you’d encounter if you saw me on the street or heard me talk. Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness." (written by the Apostle Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians, chapter 12 verses 6-10, The Message) Paul's description of God's Grace is a good corroborating testimonial to this excellent compilation of inspiring stories of seven women who faced significant challenges in life but in the Spirit of God became more than overcomers through God who loves us so. I highly recommend this book to anyone facing or who has faced tribulation, distress,abuse and danger and know that God helps us to be more than conquerors by His Spirit of Grace and Mercy. So thank you Diana, Karen, Eunice, Carolyn, Amber and Melody for the courage to bare your souls to us and testifying of God's miraculous healing and transformation. Thank you Doctor Debra for your own story and putting it together with these women to create the beautiful strand of pearls to glorify God.
(reviewed 8 days after purchase)
on Feb. 29, 2012 :
This is an excellent read for anyone going through a hard spot in life. So many times a person is tempted to shake a fist at God and demand, "Where were You when I needed You?" Or, "If my life is Your idea of a joke, You have a sick sense of humor!" These women found the strength to NOT do that, but to reframe the hard things. They hung onto the scripture that says all things work together for the good of those who love God." ALL THINGS!! And they endured some pretty horrendous things.
These are glory stories--every one giving glory to God. Without Him each story would have been tragically different. So I really encourage any reader who is in a difficult/horrific spot to read it. No one can say that these women do not understand--they do! And they know for a fact that God can lead you through and out of the place you are in. You are not alone. God is your best bet. Turn your life's irritants into pearls!
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)
on Feb. 18, 2012 :
A book that opens with, “No one begins his or her life thinking, ‘When I grow up, I want to be an alcoholic,’ or, ‘I want to be a homosexual,’” is going to make you want to keep reading. And certainly this book makes for compulsive – if somewhat sombre, though ultimately inspiring – reading.
It is a collection of quite powerful testimonies from women who have suffered a range of torments, yet, through the redeeming power of Jesus Christ, have emerged strong, proud and with a renewed faith.
The writing is raw and uncompromising. Many of the women suffered at the hands of abusive husbands or partners. Alcohol, drugs, masturbation, soft-core porn and lesbianism are discussed.
Yet the women do not exude a sense of victimhood. There is no self-pity. Several discuss how they made bad choices. There is much to learn from them, and, in fact, this book is described as a collection of wisdom stories.
Ultimately, though, this excellent and highly recommended book is about that inexpressible love that our God has for each of His children, carrying us through the torments to victory.
In the words of one of the writers:
“The message of my life is that no matter how thoroughly you may believe you have destroyed your future, it can be salvaged. No matter how many mistakes you have made, there is redemption. No matter how much you feel like ‘damaged goods,’ there is salvation. Jesus can take a sow’s ear and make it into a silk purse because He is supernatural, and He loves and cares about us enough to do it. So don’t give up; hang in there! There are reasons for the pain and suffering you are experiencing; you just don’t know them yet. Have faith, don’t try to figure everything out, and depend on God.”
(reviewed 11 days after purchase)
Body and Soul Publishing
on Feb. 7, 2012 :
A Strand of Pearls is a moving demonstration of the power of Christ to bring healing to broken lives. As the contributors shared raw accounts of their lives, I appreciated their honesty, openness and vulnerability. It helps me to know that I'm not alone in my struggles. And yet they also shared the hope they found in Christ and gave the glory to Him for their changed lives...very encouraging! I highly recommend this book!
(reviewed the day of purchase)