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In Trouble and in Joy: Four Women Who Lived for God Paperback – November 1, 2004
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Sharon James devotes a chapter to each of these women and the chapters are broken up into sections. She starts each chapter by giving the setting, then giving the story or the biography, then she talks of the woman's character and significance and then the last part gives selections from their writings. I especially appreciated the substantial amount of source material that the author includes in her book. Another thing I really appreciated was the map at the beginning of each chapter labeling some of the cities associated with these women. This is a seriously researched book and that shows.
What I didn't like was the author's repetitiveness. There were several times where she said the same thing at least four times. I think part of it was the way the chapters were broken up and the same thing would fall under different headings, but sometimes she repeated herself several times even in one heading. It probably wasn't a big deal but I found it annoying.
Overall I enjoyed learning about these women and was encouraged by their examples. I learned personal lessons from their lives and was motivated by their zeal for the things of God to live more wholeheartedly. I also found a new favorite hymn included in Frances Havergal's selections, I Could Not Do without Thee.
Here is one favorite quote from the book: "Frances set herself to 'live for the moment': to serve others cheerfully in little ways and regard the trivial duties of each day as sent from God. This gave significance to what would otherwise have been a disjointed existence."