A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Baker Book Bloggers. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.
Published by Baker Books on October 17th 2017
Source: Baker Book Bloggers
Genres: Christian, Church History, Non-Fiction
Among Christian devotional works, My Utmost for His Highest stands head and shoulders above the rest, with more than 13 million copies sold. But most readers have no idea that Oswald Chambers's most famous work was not published until ten years after his death. The remarkable person behind its compilation and publication was his wife, Biddy. And her story of living her utmost for God's highest is one without parallel.
Bestselling novelist Michelle Ule brings Biddy's story to life as she traces her upbringing in Victorian England to her experiences in a WWI YMCA camp in Egypt. Readers will marvel at this young woman's strength as she returns to post-war Britain a destitute widow with a toddler in tow. Refusing personal payment, Biddy proceeds to publish not just My Utmost for His Highest, but also 29 other books with her husband's name on the covers. All the while she raises a child alone, provides hospitality to a never-ending stream of visitors and missionaries, and nearly loses everything in the London Blitz during WWII.
The inspiring story of a devoted woman ahead of her times will quickly become a favorite of those who love true stories of overcoming incredible odds, making a life out of nothing, and serving God's kingdom.
Oswald and Biddy Chambers are two historical figures that I am not very well acquainted with. But, I was interested in learning more. I find that I can learn so much from the men and women of faith that have gone on before me. That is why I chose to pick up this book. I had high hopes but was unfortunately disappointed.
I found this book incredibly dull. People were pulled into the story without an explanation of who they were. Maybe I think too much like a fiction reader. It is true, I mostly read fiction. But, I want to know who a person is and to understand why they’re being mentioned. I don’t want to know if someone dined with Katherine if I have no idea who Katherine is. Perhaps authors assume biographies are only read by people already familiar with the person and their circle of friends. This is simply not the case.
I felt nothing for Biddy or for Oswald. From an outside view, I didn’t understand her. I couldn’t understand her aversion to taking money for a job to earn their own way. Now, I definitely think the church should support missions but even when Biddy had the opportunity, she refused all money except for donations for her personal upkeep? Meaning, she relied fully on others to pay her food, house, and rent. How does that even make sense? I don’t mean any disrespect to the actual people, I’ve read this book and still feel as if I know nothing of them or their character. Were they the early version of Jill and Derek Duggar—the type that rushes off to a war zone (with a baby) on the donations of others and never work for anything themselves? Was there something more to their call that just fell flat for me in this book?
Further, I was put off by Biddy basically preaching to the men in the camp. I don’t even want to open this can of worms other than to say I couldn’t agree with it.
Last, this book was largely one big information dump. I still know very little about these two.
Honestly, I have no clue whether I’m practicing blasphemy for how I feel because this is my only reference that I have to go by thus far.
This book just wasn’t for me. I think I’m going to have to look into Oswald and Biddy Chambers and come up with my own opinions or perhaps ask my pastor for his thoughts.