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Living with Unmet Desires (and Congo Vignettes) by Shawn Lantz

When "Living with Unmet Desires" came with "exposing the many faces of jealousy" as the tag-line, to be honest about my completely lacking in humility and introspection at that moment, my first thought was "not me". I guess I am one of the ones Shawn referred to as "not recognizing jealousy's disguised face." I think it's safe to say that every mere human has to deal with jealousy's ugliness coming from them and sometimes directed at them, and that jealousy is usually lingering in the closet and around the corners of our lives.

Living with Unmet Desires is a 9 week (5 days of lessons per week) study about jealousy, always gleaning from scripture and making sure you open your Bible and delve in. I did a one sitting read through for this review, but very much want to give it the time it deserves in the future. Shawn starts with what she believes are the four core issues of a jealous heart, and after those introductory chapters each week's lesson follows the story of Saul and his jealousy-fuelled downward spiral.

It was ironic how often infertility was mentioned, incl. Hannah being brought up. So much for my thinking "not me" (I am childless not by choice). A quote I loved toward the end was, "But Hannah found triumph in her situation when she allowed the 'bitterness of her soul,' caused by her heartache, to propel her into the presence of God... she learned that the presence of God was better than the presents of God." It's hard to put into words everything I took from this book. Get a copy and you'll know what I mean. I look forward to re-immersing myself into this bible study this summer.

(and Congo Vignettes)

Congo Vignettes is the story of multiple generations of a missionary family to the Congo. The author is the granddaughter of Laban and Marcella Smith, after Laban was called to serve as a missionary not long after he accepted Christ himself. The author spent much of her childhood in the Congo, with very little materially, but surrounded by Jesus loving people. I found the story of Laban and Marcella, and that of their children and grandchildren, very fascinating. I read the book in one reading, and felt a deep connection to their family. I cried tears of joy at how the locals deep in the Congo received Christ in massive numbers. I cried at the tragic deaths of Laban and a couple of his descendants, and the troubled times when the family had to rely completely on Christ for courage (such as having a sick baby in the middle of nowhere and having local Christians pray over him in a language you can't understand!) I know there is a whole niche for readers of missionary biographies and autobiographies, and I would recommend the Smith family's story.

© Rachel


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