Empowered by Catherine Parks–Book Review

This book of short biographical sketches would be ideal for teaching youngsters about some of the heroines of the faith.  The author begins by telling us:

“Not one woman in this book planned to become famous or change the world.”

Parker has chosen women of different eras, with different talents and passions, to illustrate how God can work through each of us to glorify Him and do His work in the world.  These women had one big thing in common — they truly knew God and had a desire to follow His will for their lives.  Some of them will be familiar to most Christians (Elisabeth Elliot, Fanny Crosby) while others were less well known (Pandita Ramabai, Phillis Wheatley).  They faced obstacles of different sorts, and overcame them with the help of Christ.

Each sketch emphasizes a different quality such as strength, obedience, kindness or faithfulness, demonstrating how it was lived out by a particular woman.  At the end of the sketch there an explanation of the quality, discussion questions and a Bible verse. This would be an excellent Christian book club choice for older elementary school or middle school students.

VERDICT:  5 stars.  If you work with tweens, especially girls, you’ll want a copy.

For ordering information, follow this link:


The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in return for an honest and fair review – Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR Part 255


Phillis Wheatley–Free in Christ

I’m reading a book called Empowered which contains eleven short biographical sketches of women used by God (I’ll review the book on a later post).  This morning I was particularly impressed by the life of Phillis Wheatley.  Why have I, a former English major, never heard about this amazing woman?  We don’t know Phillis’s real name because she was a slave, purchased in 1761 by the Wheatley family in Boston.  In a time when many women, much less slaves could not even read and write, Phillis became not only educated, but a poetess.   Her master decided to have her writing published and eventually she was freed.  Much of her writing had to do with her faith in God and the freedom only He can bring.  Below is her poem, On Being Brought From Africa to America:

‘Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land,
Taught my benighted soul to understand
That there’s a God, that there’s a Saviour too:Complete Writings by [Wheatley, Phillis]
Once I redemption neither sought nor knew.
Some view our sable race with scornful eye,
“Their colour is a diabolic die.”
Remember, Christians, Negros, black as Cain,
May be refin’d, and join th’ angelic train.
Her writing is somewhat controversial today, as she seems to accept her lot as a slave.  We must remember that she was a person of her own time, with her own experiences and worldview.  Above all,  Phillis is a shining example of how God can use us to glorify Him in every circumstance.  She should be an inspiration for women and for all Christian writers.