Beauty by the Book – A Review
Steph Nickel shares some of her recent resource discoveries, including “Beauty by the Book,” by Laurie Cole.
Beauty by the Book by Laurie Cole
Although I’ve listened to less than half of the sessions, I’m confident that I can recommend this series of videos and this book to women who are seeking to honour God in every area of their life.
When I was looking ahead to the new year, I felt the Lord was challenging me to recognize and set aside selfish and self-centred behaviours and attitudes, to deliberately seek to become more Christlike. While this is always His call on our lives, I believe He is narrowing the focus in my life. I’m seeing the reality of Hebrews 12:6. He really does discipline those He loves.
The Lord is bringing several resources across my path.
The pastors at our church provided Bible reading plans for 2019 and I’m seeking to read through the Scriptures at least once this year. And I may read through the New Testament a couple of times. I’ve been a Christian for decades but have to admit I’ve never read through the Bible in a year. Kudos to those of you who do so on a regular, even annual, basis!
Prayminder – A Prayer App
Because of an ongoing editing assignment I’ve taken on for a pastor in the States, I read that he downloaded a prayer app on his phone to remind him to pray throughout the day. I didn’t even know these apps existed. I downloaded Prayminder and appreciate the randomized reminders that appear on my phone. (The reminders come from the list I added. The list can be as personal or as general as the user chooses.)
That combined with a challenge I came across years ago to increase the amount of time I devote to prayer each day have helped me become more prayerful. Although I send up popcorn prayers throughout the day, this is an area that still needs more attention—lots of attention.
An Accountability Partner
Late last year a second friend asked me to meet with her regularly as a sort of accountability partner. She wants to get into God’s Word more faithfully. What a privilege! And what a responsibility! As we Bible journal together, with an emphasis on what the Lord is teaching us, not merely the creative aspect of journaling, we will both grow in our knowledge of the Scriptures and in our walk with Him.
As you can see, the Lord is challenging me to be more faithful in what we might call “the basics.” However, there are so many distractions all around that it’s easy to read our devotions, spend a little time in prayer, and get on with our day.
But as the author of Free of Me says repeatedly, “It’s not about you.” I have reminded myself of this repeatedly and will continue to do so.B
The Call of Beauty by the Book
Beauty by the Book is a call to become God-honouring women, to learn the beauty do’s and don’ts as put forward in the Bible.
When the author, Laurie Cole, felt God was directing her to write a book on true Christian beauty, she wondered if it was too trivial, too worldly a topic. But then she began to dig further into the biblical attributes of a truly beautiful woman.
Of course, we know that God looks at the heart while we, as humans, look at the outward appearance, as it says in 1 Samuel 16:7. Still, God created our bodies and has a plan for how we can use them to honour Him and bless others.
The author explores the characteristics and behaviours of the women who don’t honour the Lord: the immoral woman, the indiscreet woman, and the irritating woman. She explores these examples graciously while acknowledging how difficult it is to be the women God has called us to be. She points out how society has elevated these women as role models.
Challenged to Examine my Life
So far, as I’ve listened to the first few videos, I’ve been challenged to examine my own life, to be honest about what the Lord defines as godly womanhood and what He refers to as immoral, indiscreet, and irritating. It isn’t a matter of pointing fingers but first, recognizing these traits and tendencies in my own life.
Still, God doesn’t minimize sinful behaviour and we must be careful not to “round off the edges” either. Jesus spoke with the despised Samaritan woman who had been married several times and was living with a man who wasn’t her husband. Yet, she proclaimed the gospel to her fellow villagers and they came to believe in Him as well. Jesus told her, and many others, to “go and sin no more,” but He didn’t write her off as unredeemable.
We must keep this in mind while honestly evaluated the examples that influence us.
An Ideal Woman
The author goes on to discuss the captivating woman and the ideal woman. I have yet to listen to these teachings, but I’m sure I will be encouraged and challenged further.
We must recognize how society and our own sinfulness have influenced our view of beauty. We must be careful about the role models we follow and the negative influences we allow into our life and the lives of our children. But we must also remember that God is gracious and can—and does—redeem immoral, indiscreet, and irritating women and men.
We must also recognize that we are being refined on an ongoing basis. None of us are above falling into the “beauty don’ts,” as the author refers to them.
May we all grow more beautiful, from God’s perspective, in the year to come.
Stephanie is a freelance writer and a contributor to our Christian internet radio station, HopeStreamRadio. Read and hear more from Steph Nickel on the contributor’s page or at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests.
More Reviews From Steph
More Podcasts You May Enjoy:
Images courtesy of:
Lipstick – kaboompics
Beauty by the Book – PriorityBible
Group – Stocksnap