Tag Archives: Liz Curtis Higgs

Secrets Behind Fig Leaves

Adam and Eve tried to hide from the Lord behind fig leaves. Fig leaves eventually wither away leaving you naked, sin out in the open. The truth always finds a way out from behind the fig leaves we use to hide it.

The best relationships include telling the truth no matter how it hurts you or someone else. Lies divide until truth is forced out. Like Adam and Eve hiding in the garden, God knew where to find them. He knows where we hide. More importantly, He knows what we hide.

The great news about Jesus is how He allows U-turns. Just repent and He gives us fresh clothes from the dryer.

Reading: Bad Girls of the Bible: And What We Can Learn from Them by Liz Curtis Higgs

Reference Verses: Psalm 32:5, 1 John 1:9, Proverbs 28:13

 

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Not Merely Memorizing Verses

We aren’t being obedient to God, if we believe and do the things of the world. It is about treating God as a holy God and living differently than the world. Not expecting God to compromise His values for us, as He already gave us the greatest Gift, but for us to humble ourselves before God. The fruit of belief is action, not merely memorizing verses.

Reading: Bad Girls of the Bible: And What We Can Learn from Them by Liz Curtis Higgs

Reference Verses: 1 John 1:8-9, Luke 16:15

How do you humble yourself before God?

  1. Repent.
  2. Grace and mercy to others.
  3. Letting go of selfish desires.
  4. Recognizing that what you did before was not justified or okay no matter what the world accepted.

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Book Review: A Wreath of Snow

A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs, author of Mine is the Night and other fine novels and books, is a simple Christmas story of redemption. Unlike her past novels, this novel didn’t have the complexity or depth I expected.

It’s a nice novel and beautiful in its hard bound edition. In this story of reconciliation, the novel opens with Meg Campbell shivering in the cold and in a hurry to leave her home. Her brother, Alan entombed in his pain, has pushed her away yet again and made another Christmas miserable. Meg leaves abruptly to board a train back to her town home in Edinburgh. She is a teacher in 1894 and once her father held her as an example to Alan. Then, drunk Gordon Shaw accidentally causes Alan to become paralyzed in a curling accident on the ice. Gordon leaves town in shame, unforgiven by Meg’s parents and Alan.

Gordon Shaw has returned to the town accidentally this night and is also on the same train as Meg. But many years had passed since that night of his youth and Meg doesn’t recognize Gordon. He’s sitting across from her, but he recognizes her and struggles with how to tell her the truth. After the train becomes blocked by snow with it’s rails iced over, the passengers of the train must hike three miles back to the train station. Meg is forced to return home, but this time with Gordon. She knows by now Gordon’s identity and this begins a struggle between them on when or if they should tell her parents and Alan the truth of his identity. They know him as Mr. Gordon.

The end of the novel felt too simple. For anyone who loves Hallmark movies, this story is right up your alley. In the Author Notes, Higgs explains the meaning of the title, “A Wreath of Snow:”

“Like many stories, this one began with a book—World Railways of the Nineteenth Century—picked up for a song at a used-book shop, then devoured for months until steam came pouring out. How I do love trains! As for the novella’s title, a wreath is not only something displayed during the festive season; it’s also the Scot’s word for ‘a bank of drift of snow.’”

I gave this book four stars.

*book given by publisher to review.

Book Review: Mine Is The Night

This is the third book I have reviewed for Liz Curtis Higgs. You can read my review of the last book in this series, “Here Burns My Candle” and my review of her study, “Bad Girls of The Bible.”

From “Here Burns My Candle,” Elisabeth Kerr, now a widow, must make her life in a town of her mother-in-law’s home. Both her mother-in-law and Elisabeth must barge in on distant cousin for shelter. The story continues to mimic The Book of Ruth in “Mine is The Night.”

Elisabeth is a talented seamstress and at first you think a romance might bud between her and the local tailor. True to Higg’s usual writing style, she tricks you and leads you in another unexpected direction—that of a house on Bell Hill owned by a rich Baron loyal to King George.

In trying to mimic the Book of Ruth however, there was one part toward the end where Marjorie Kerr mentions that the Reverend discovered a distant, ancestral link between the Kerr relatives and that of Lord Buchanan. In my opinion, that part of the story felt forced as if to stay as close as possible to the biblical story of Ruth rather than flow naturally with the plot at hand. Also, the part where Elisabeth curls at the Lord’s feet in order to tell him she was no longer in mourning felt unnecessary to the story. I wasn’t sure where that all fit in the broader picture. It could have been cut and I wouldn’t have missed it. Elisabeth could have simply arrived at the ball in the lavender dress to declare her end of mourning.

In spite of these small details, I absolutely loved the book and it kept me reading even when I should have begun working on other things that day.

*book given by publisher to review.

Book Review: Bad Girls of the Bible (And What We Can Learn From Them)

This book reminds me of those soft centered chocolates where you get a pleasant surprise after you bite into them. It begins like a novel. In fact, each chapter begins with a short story. Each story illustrates a Bad Girl for us to understand in our time and then goes into the good stuff. It’s surprisingly deep.

She (Eve) stopped looking to God for the truth. She stopped looking to her husband for shared counsel. She stopped looking at the good, wholesome fruit already available to her. She even stopped looking to the serpent for direction. Notice: The serpent never said another word. He didn’t have to. His temptation was complete. The seeds of deception had fallen on fertile ground.” – Pg. 30

Higgs writes with humor. I’m not familiar with many of her books except for a novel I reviewed previously here. Her humor becomes a surprise—the whispers of a best friend at a girl’s get-away. It’s cozy and intimate. We learn that Higgs had a rough past that she said raised eyebrows from “good” church-going women. She wrote this book with these reasons in mind:

I had four kinds of readers in mind while I wrote: (1) Former Bad Girls who have given up their old lives for new ones in Christ and are struggling to figure out how and where they “fit” in God’s family; (2) Temporary Bad Girls who grew up in church, put aside their devotion to God at some point, and now fear they can’t ever be truly forgiven; (3) Veteran Good Girls who want to grow in understanding and compassion for the women around them who weren’t “cradle Christians”; and (4) Aspiring Good Girls who keep thinking there must be something more to life but aren’t sure where to look.” – Pg. 7

I learned so much from reading this book. I am giving it away at my next Praise and Coffee meeting in October because I think others can glean much wisdom from Higgs pages. I gave this book five stars because it is written in an entertaining way, easy to read, and like Mary Poppins says, “a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.” Indeed. Higgs dishes out the truth with a spoonful of sugar.

Waterbrook-Multinomah furnished this book to review for free. All reviews are objective.

Book Review: Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs

Elisabeth lifted her gaze to the High Street window where she often stood on the sixth day of the moon, hand pressed to the glass, beseeching the Nameless One. Thou moon of moons. Aye, she still recalled the simple rituals and sacred words her mother had taught her. What Elisabeth no longer remembered was why they mattered. – Pg. 16

The Book of Ruth is one of my favorite books of the Bible. Here Burns My Candle cloaks the story of The Book of Ruth in the Kerr Family.

It is 1745 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Lady Elisabeth Kerr, a secret Jacobite and a Highlander, lives in a house with her mother-in-law, Lady Marjorie Kerr and her sister-in-law, Lady Janet Kerr. Lord Donald Kerr, favorite son of Marjorie and adored husband of Elisabeth, has an addiction to sex. Elisabeth worships the moon in secret as her Scottish ancestors had done in years past. Lady Marjorie hoards her gold beneath the floor boards following her late husband’s habits of not trusting banks. Janet married the second son—a man fraught with health problems—and she competes with Elisabeth to get a son or a daughter, a first-born and is after Marjorie’s fortune. Elisabeth is barren. She loves her husband and struggles with his infidelity. The family is loyal to King George for a little while until Elisabeth’s thoughts and ideas influence them.

The characters are complex. Elisabeth becomes the light shining during their difficulty as loyalties clash and wars reign and riches dwindle. Through death and hardship character is born and two people become believers. The sign of a good book are the lack of cookie cutout characters. These characters begin proud and later become broken. Following along the lines of The Book of Ruth a fragmented family of varied personalities grow closer. The book does not end, but the ending is unexpected, a bright outlook into a new unknown world. There is a second book that follows the life of the Kerrs and I can’t wait to read it. The middle and end surprised me. I did not expect that the plot would unfold the way it did and actually thumbed a few pages ahead to confirm to my horror. Overall, I loved the book. Liz Curtis Higgs wrote twenty-seven books, but this is my first sampling of her work.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. You can read sample chapters here.