The Girl's Still Got It by Liz Curtis Higgs has set a new, remarkably high, precedent in Bible Study. Despite my preconceived notions that Liz would lean too far in the direction of reciting history and referring to research or sway too loosely into imaginative or speculative concepts in order to keep reader's interest, she did neither. Now I can see why she's a best-selling author! You can click here to read the introduction and first chapter and see for yourself.
Liz takes the book of Ruth, verse by verse, and enacts through detailed imagery and backed with research of historical context what this story in the Bible reveals to us about Ruth, Naomi, Boaz, our loving Father and Savior, and ourselves. I gained leaps and bounds of respect for Liz's writing before even getting to the first chapter. There's a little nugget in the introduction (Titled "Before We Dive In: Which Girl's Still Got It?") that immediately caught my eye and spoke to my heart. Liz writes, "However fitting it may be that this book of the Bible has Ruth's name on it, make no mistake: this is the Lord's story, and he alone claims center stage. . . . Our desire as believers isn't to be more like Ruth; it's to be more like Jesus. With each admirable thing Ruth does, we'll see the Lord's hand at work." Amen, Liz! Thank you for keeping focus even when we can clearly see how much research on Ruth & Naomi you've done.
I also want to express gratitude for the fact that Liz includes 2 wonderful resources in the back of this book: Discussion questions (for if you want to discuss the entire book with others in one sitting or for yourself to dig deeper as you try to wrap your mind around all that you've just learned) and a Study Guide (with refreshingly unique questions for each chapter that are sure to spark authentic conversations and form bonds between any who are courageous enough to honestly participate). This is no small generosity that Liz has done to include these. I've attended Bible Studies where we all purchase the book, then we have to purchase the separate "study guide" and a lot of times the questions are blah-zay (no clue how to spell that one so you'll have to sound it out, lol). Not so with this book!
There is one thing I should warn you about though- well, maybe a couple. First, you will want to BUY this book. Sure, you can borrow it from a friend or the library, but you will want to own your own copy. It's just that good. Second, if you find yourself trying to write a review of this book (as I am now), you will have a VERY hard time not singing praises for it till the cows come home.... or until your fingers are exausted or you nod off onto your keyboard or.... you get the picture.
On that note, I am only going to share ONE more thought before closing this review and blog entry: If you are at all a fan of Beth Moore, then I think you will like Liz Curtis Higgs. One thing that at first I wasn't sure what to think of about Beth Moore's preaching and writing is that she refers to her readers as "Beloved." It just was odd. Nice. Polite, but strangely too intimate for a reference to strangers, or so I thought at first. Now, it is like a little gem every time I hear Beth say it or read it in her work. It reminds me of the abundance of love God feels for me and, equally importantly, it reminds me that He desires me. That I am delightful to Him. Something I need to be reminded of. Similarly, Liz refers to her readers as "sister" or "sis." Again, I was put off. Just indifferent to this at the beginning of the book. By the end of the book, it was natural and brought a smile to my face. Like Beth Moore, Liz doesn't preach at us, she learns with us, a godly quality.
***In the spirit of full disclosure, I received a copy of this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.*** I'll have to pay for all the copies I buy to give out as gifts!! ;-)