Book Review

Review: When Others Shuddered by Jamie Janosz

I’ve long admired missionaries. Most of them that I have met, have had such a heart for what they are doing, and I think it is great. It just isn’t something that I could do (I don’t think). My spiritual gift is definitely not evangelizing, and that’s okay. I am thrilled to hear about people getting saved, and if someone asks, I’m more than happy to share the Gospel with them. But going door-to-door or approaching people at a festival or something? My heart starts pounding, my stomach might roil a little bit, and my palms sweat, and I would probably stumble over my words when I talk.

While I know that I probably won’t ever be like any of the women in this book, I can still learn from them and admire them. One woman comes from wealth that I can’t even imagine, and a few others started out in a difficult life that I can’t comprehend. However, all of them had a heart sold out for Christ. I hope that at the end of my life, I can be recognized as sharing that trait with them.

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**I received a free copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest review**

When Others Shuddered: Eight Women Who Refused to Give Up is the story of eight women called to serve God and who, in doing so, changed the world. They lived at the turn-of-the-century, rubbing shoulders with the well-known men of their time like John Rockefeller, Marshall Field, and Dwight Lyman Moody. Each of these women was unique. They were single and married, black and white, wealthy and poor, beautiful and plain, mothers and childless. Yet, each felt called to make a difference and to do something – to meet a pressing need in her world. These women wanted to live lives less ordinary. Their stories inspire us to follow God’s calling in our own lives. They teach us that each individual person can make a difference. These eight women will show you how God can use your life to change the world.

This book was quite a bit different from what I was expecting. I was interested in reading about the women in this book. There were only a couple of names that I recognized, like Fanny Crosby for example, and I could hardly tell you anything about her beyond the fact that she wrote hymns.

Jamie Janosz blends between creative narration and writing out the facts about these women. Sometimes her approach comes across as a bit more of a story, and I really wish she would have stuck with that style a bit more than what she did. I was drawn in and more engaged with this novel when that happened. But often, she would take the reader to more of a bird’s eye view of these women’s lives, and summarizing them.

The layout was quite well done. Each woman had three chapters telling about her life. Most of the chapters spanned from birth or young child and ended with when she died. In between, Janosz wrote about her accomplishments and hardships, as well as some of the relationships, marital, friendships, or professional, each woman formed in her life. After every couple of women, there would be a short chapter discussing the affairs most prevalent to women of the time, things like education or suffrage.

At just under 200 pages, this book was a pretty quick read. The way it is broken up also makes it easy to put down and pick right back up. There are discussion questions in the back of the book that would help a small group utilize this book for a study.

I would love to hear from you! Who are some women that you admire?

For more on the author or this book, please check out the following links:

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6 thoughts on “Review: When Others Shuddered by Jamie Janosz

  1. This sounds like a really interesting read and so different from my normal.
    🙂 One of the most powerful things I’ve learned is that EVERYONE has that heart pounding, nervous feeling when they share truth with others. It’s not just you. I promise, even those that look calm on the outside are shaking on the inside. When I learned this, it allowed me to feel all the anxieties of fear and yet speak out anyways. I still feel scared and I often share the gospel door to door. I’ve shared my testimony about dealing with fear and sharing the gospel. You can find it on my website. It’s the “Sharing the Gospel” page. I encourage you to read through it when you have time if you haven’t already. You’re right, not everyone has the gift of evangelism….but fear often keeps would be witnesses quiet and we can’t let the Devil has his way, now can we? Lol

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    1. This book was overall interesting (I have to confess with some boredom with it) and it was different from what I typically read as well. I can still appreciate the book and appreciate the lives these women lived.

      You are right that fear often keeps us quiet when we should speak and share. I’m sure that happens to everyone at some point. It’s encouraging to know I;m not the only one that gets nervous :). That’s great that you share the gospel so much! We are all blessed with different gifts, and I think my gifts are more in the direction of administration and teaching. But all are just as important.

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      1. They are so important 🙂 I’m always in awe when I see God using the gifts He gave me. It always feels so natural to use His gifts, and yet I’m always so needy of Him while I’m using them. Lol It’s such a humble feeling. I’m not sure that evangelism is my gift, although it is a passion. When I first learned of Spiritual gifts, evangelism wasn’t on my list…wasn’t even near my list. Lol
        Fear still stands in my way from time to time, but nothing like it used to. I always feel like I need a disclaimer unless someone thinks I’m beyond failing in this area because that just isn’t true! 😉

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  2. Possibly. They are tough to spot sometimes. It’s amazing though, because you may not spot your gifts as easily as others around you can see it. If you’re being filled with the Spirit, as every Christian should, then it’s impossible not to use the gifts of the Spirit. And yet, it’s something that happens so naturally that we may not notice but others should. I tested this theory with a close friend of mine. After studying Spiritual gifts and learning what our gifts were personally, we took time to try to guess what each other’s gifts were before we revealed them. We both had some right and one or two guesses off. She was the first that suggested that evangelism was one of my gifts. I never considered it, but again, she could see things I couldn’t. She saw it as a gift, I saw it as breathing. 🙂
    Here’s an awesome link that we found when we were studying it a year ago. I know you said that you believed you knew what your gifts were so you may not need this link to “learn” what they are. But they’ve done a great job explaining them. It warms my heart to read about myself within the explanation of the gifts I was given. It fits like a glove, you know? It’s humbling and exciting at the same time to see God’s well laid plans and the tools that He gave each of us to serve Him with. Have fun!
    http://www.assessme.org/about/spiritual-gifts/

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    1. I might check it out. I’ve done some different “tests” before, and even reading through descriptions of the various gifts, I do tend to identify more in the administration and teaching (although that one might be up in the air a bit more). Those are what feel the most natural to me, and where I can best utilize my God-given talents.

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