Unexpected Love: God's heart revealed in Jesus' conversations by Julie Coleman, is a book that dissects conversations Jesus had with 9 different women throughout the bible. In each chapter the author takes an account from scripture where Jesus interacts with a woman. She retells the story in her own words, giving so much more detail. I will say, unless she has done countless research, I am going to assume some of the detail is given through inspiration of her imagination. Some scholars or theologians would probably devour such work, but really, this is all in speculation.You must take it with a grain of salt.
Being a fellow graduate of seminary, I did find myself wondering if "such detail" was actually accurate; however, I think seminary just scarred me in that sense. It taught me to challenge a lot concerning the context of scripture. This has it's pro's and con's. This would be no different than reading a commentary on a particular book of the bible. The author does it's best to give the context of the present time of that scripture. What's important is that we don't take away or add to the scripture or story. I don't think that happened here, but merely opinion of the account of the story was give.
The second chapter resignated in my soul as she retold the account of Jesus and the woman with the issue of blood. Julie is sure to state the obvious story given, but with revelation. I believe, she gives more possibilities that open your heart and mind to the Loving Characteristics of our Father in Heaven. For example, Jesus didn't just heal the woman when she touched his cloak, but he took time to acknowledge her and call her out in a crowd of people. The very same crowd who had socially banned her for 12 years. He not only called her, but gave her identity when He referred to her as "Daughter." Julie expounds on the true endearment He was showering upon her in that moment. As He gave identity, he not only healed her body, but healed her soul, and possibly healed her social status amongst the people. Men would not dare come near her, as she was considered, "unclean" but perhaps after this encounter, her re-installment into society, would now give her FULL healing, restoring her Body, Mind, Soul, and now LIFE to the fullest. As a reader, this resignated in my soul, giving me so much more understanding of who Jesus is. He not only wants to meet our needs, but He wants to restore us fully through His "unexpected love."
In the conclusion of the book, Julie reiterates how each story given reminds us that Jesus is SO interested in our lives! He cares about the details, and that is how we encounter His love.
Julie also goes the extra mile with giving us "Food For Thought" at the end of each chapter. These are questions that allow us to ponder the story even more and may even allow for discussion with a small group. She also includes a "Journaling" section at the end of each chapter. This allows the reader an opportunity to develop this "love relationship" with Jesus even more.
If you love hearing the bible retold in a story like manner (which this author is FABULOUS at), then I think you would enjoy this book, along with discovering a deeper love of Christ.
Julie Coleman loves to teach the Word of God! With contagious enthusiasm, she brings hope and encouragement to her audience through rich biblical teaching. Julie uses humor and personal stories to make her teaching entertaining as well as meaningful. Her warm and insightful messages make her an effective and well-received speaker.
During her 20 year teaching career, Julie received professional recognition including being named Anne Arundel County Teacher of the Year. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Biblical Studies from Capital Bible Seminary. Julie and her husband, Steve, have four grown children and make their home in the Annapolis, Maryland area.
To learn more about the author visit her homepage at www.JulieColeman.com
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free of charge from the publisher through the BookSneeze® book reviewer program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255