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Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God Paperback – June 7, 2005

4.8 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"A fine work of drawing the reader into the historical and spiritual life of these early pioneer missionaries. Well worth reading as a family."
Lars and Elisabeth Gren (Elliot)

"Noël Piper tells the stories of five women whose lives declare something we have almost forgotten-what it means to be a Christian. May the influence of this book cause that awareness to burn brightly again in our generation!"
Ray and Jani Ortlund, Renewal Ministries

"I highly recommend this book as one of the great sagas of missionaries and Christian biography."
David M. Howard Jr., Professor of Old Testament, Bethel University, St. Paul, Minnesota

"We live in a Christian subculture that can intimidate women from stepping out in faithful risk-taking for God. Noël Piper challenges all of us to move away from intimidation to imitation: 'Remember your leaders . . . imitate their faith' (Hebrews 13:7)."
Dr. Rick and Fran LoveDr. Rick Love, Intl. Director, Frontiers, and Fran Love, editor of Longing to Call Them Sisters: Ministry to Muslim Women

About the Author

Noël Piper (BA, Wheaton College) and her husband, John, ministered at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota for over 30 years. She is the author of Treasuring God in Our Traditions and Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (June 7, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581346735
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581346732
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Website: http://noelpiper.com/

There is one passage of Scripture that Noël Piper finds a way to use almost every time she speaks--Deuteronomy 11:1-19.

You shall therefore love the LORD your God. . . . You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul. . . . You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

She sees this passage building a framework for a life that glorifies God.

Noël grew up in Georgia, the oldest of 10 children. Though her family was not perfect--in other words, they were normal--they laid a foundation that prepared her for faith in God through Jesus Christ.

Noël has been married to John Piper since 1968. They have 4 sons and a daughter, 4 daughters-in-law, and an increasing number of grandchildren. Their children grew up in Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, where John has been a pastor since 1980. Talitha, a teenager, is the only one still living at home with Mom and Dad.

Noël met John at Wheaton College, only a few months after making the definite pronouncement, "I will never marry a pastor!" This went right along with the assurance that, "I'm going to wait a long time to get married so I can see the world first." John was pre-med, so that was all right. Their wedding was a month before she finished college. Then God was very patient in preparing this rash young woman to become a pastor's wife 13 years later.

Now she travels for missions and speaking as often and as far as possible and she is steadily involved with ministries and activities of Joni and Friends, both locally and internationally. She smiles to think of the naiveté of the 19-year-old who assumed that nothing as good as seeing the world could ever happen after marriage.

Every year, she realizes more clearly when we trust in the LORD with all our heart, and do not lean on our own understanding--that when we acknowledge him in all our ways--he will make straight our path (Proverbs 3:5-6). And she prays for his Spirit to work in her that trust and that wholehearted acknowledgement of him.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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My mother is one of several people I know who eschews all of the Christian Living type of books that dominate the Christian publishing industry. Apart from her Bible (the most beat-up, ink-covered, personalized Bible you'll ever see) and a few commentaries, she reads only biographies. She feels that by reading about the lives of great Christians of the past, she will learn far more than what most of the Christian Living books can teach her. She may just be right.

Faithful Women & Their Extraordinary God is Noel Piper's second solo effort that is targetted at an adult audience (she has previously authored Treasuring God in Our Traditions and has written the children's book Most Of All, Jesus Loves You.). The book contains five short biographies of five faithful women: Sarah Edwards, Lilias Trotter, Gladys Aylward, Esther Ahn Kim and Helen Roseveare.

I particularly enjoy short biographies of this type as they provide only a glimpse of a person. If one of the people particularly intrigues me, I can seek out a more exhaustive biography. This book serves as an introduction to five particularly fascinating servants of the Lord - women who have in some way had a significant impact on the author. While the women are bound by a common thread, their zeal in serving the Lord, they represent several countries and hundreds of years of Christian history.
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I must admit that I've been hesitant to read this book. Not because I have anything against biography - I'm beginning to enjoy them more and more, especially at the urging of several people whose opinions I really trust. Not because I have anything against missionaries or Godly women. I am the first and am trusting God to produce in me the second. Not because I have anything against the Pipers. Exactly. My hesitation was something completely unrelated to the subject matter or specifically to the author herself: I was afraid that this was a marketing ploy. I've seen it before - an author writes a book that sells well, so the publisher gets the author's spouse to write a corresponding or even totally new book for the opposite sex. You know, "John Piper is so popular that we should get his wife to write a book because women will just eat. it. up." Well, let me tell you, I saw straight through it. No, sir, I would not be manipulated.

My hesitation led me to miss out for too long on a great book which is valuable at least three reasons:

Mrs. Piper chose wonderful women to profile. Only Sarah Edwards is really "intimidating," and I suspect that's just because her husband was Jonathan Edwards. The others are real enough that it's easy to imagine yourself in their shoes, responding (or rather, reacting) to a difficult situation the same way they did. It's that very approachability that helps you find your own hope in their hope, repentance in their repentance, joy in their joy. For instance, in the profile of Helen Roseveare, Mrs. Piper notes that at least twice she is rebuked for a wrong attitude toward circumstances or the people to whom she was called. I've seen that in myself, so Mrs.
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Noel Piper has done a beautiful job in compiling powerful, stunning, and humbling testimonies of a minister's wife, an artist, a parlor-maid, a music teacher and a medical doctor, spanning from colonial New England to World War II Korea, of whom, in my view, fall in the category of what the epistle to the Hebrews' Hall of Faith describes as "the world was not worthy," as they literally "wandered in deserts, mountains, caves and holes in the ground; destitute, persecuted and mistreated." I consider reading them a joyful and humbling privilege, whose unforgettably happy effects linger in my heart; to learn the accounts of holy courage of Esther Kim in the midst of a modern-day Nebuchadnezar-like regime, of the divine provision of hot water bottle for a dying baby and a dolly for her older sister under the ministry of Dr. Roseveare, of Gladys Aylwald leading 100 Chinese children, "each carrying his or her own blanket and bowl and chopsticks" crossing the Yellow River of China, of a beautiful friendship and perseverance in a true genuine Christian service; particularly to underprivileged women in Algeria, of Lilias Trotter and Blance Haworth; and last but not least, of Sarah Edwards, a living example of a Titus 2 woman. Reading them does three things to me. First, the life and ministry of these ladies point to the Lord Jesus Christ; the only cause worth living and dying for in this world. Secondly, it exposes my lukewarmness, worldliness, slothfulness, cowardice, hypocrisy and extreme lack of zeal for the gospel. And thirdly, it causes me to stop and think through the questions Noel poses at the end of Lilias Trotter's chapter, mainly, "What are true hindrances to following a call to some sort of ministry?" and "What are the required qualifications for following God's call?Read more ›
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