3 out of 4 stars
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In the Old Testament book bearing his name, Nehemiah is called from exile in Babylon to return to Jerusalem for an important purpose. That purpose is to rebuild the walls of the city and restore the gates that were destroyed during years of attacks and neglect. In Crushed to Restored, by Feyi Obamehinti, readers will find an in-depth study of the book of Nehemiah focusing on restoration and, among other things, the symbolic meanings of the gates of Jerusalem. Just like them, parts of our lives sometimes fall prey to attack and neglect. The book is an excellent interactive guide to restoration and emotional healing through reflection and Christian Biblical standards. It is written for use either as a group or individual study, and directions are given for both.
Each chapter starts with an overview, in which Obamehinti introduces the Biblical truth that will be discussed. The author uses the study method of Hear-Believe-Apply. In the Hear section, she gives a scripture from the segment of Nehemiah being studied, allowing readers to “hear” the word of God. The next part is Believe, where readers are encouraged to grow their faith based on scripture they just heard. In Apply, the author encourages action toward restoration. Each of the Hear-Believe-Apply sections end with two questions (and space provided for answers) to be used for journaling. Questions are probing and thought-provoking, allowing readers to uncover areas where they may need healing.
After the main lesson in each chapter are inclusions of Closing Thoughts and a Sample Prayer. In Closing Thoughts, the author openly shares pieces of her testimony that demonstrate the spiritual ideas discussed in the sections. With this, Obamehinti is giving an example of the application of faith in “everyday life.” Sample Prayers focus on the current topic and encourage readers to go to God with needs and requests.
There are many, many things I like about Crushed to Restored. Not far into the book, I could tell that the author is a woman of God who is gifted in teaching and wisdom. I like that she presents the outline of her study method and the chapter overview early in the book, allowing readers to follow more easily. Obamehinti talks about the importance of prayer, spiritual warfare, and the word of God. Early on, she includes charts to help readers measure their types of loss, allowing them to understand how these losses are affecting them. For visual learners like me, there is also a map of Jerusalem and the gates that are so integral in the book of Nehemiah. She includes chapter notes and other resources at the end of the book, offering other possible sources for further restoration. Finally, the author includes a personal touch in the chapter notes, adding family photographs and discussing how God worked in her life during the time the photos were taken.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. The sole reason I am deducting a star is that I found several grammatical and formatting errors, most of which can be easily fixed with another round of editing. The only other problem I have with the book is that occasionally the Closing Thoughts are a little too long, which I believe takes away from the focus on the reader. I recommend this book to Christians who want to explore the effects life losses have had on them. I also recommend it to those with an open mind and spirit who would be interested in a study that provides tools for introspection and healing using a book of the Bible as a guide. But, more than that, I believe that this book is so well done and so helpful that if I had ten copies of it, I would hand them out to friends.
Crushed to Restored
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