Alden-Tirrill, Anna. The Alabaster Jar: Deep Calls Unto Deep – Devotions for Women. Minneapolis: White Cottage Publishing, 2011. 324 pp. $19.95. Purchase at Amazon for less.
The Alabaster Jar is a devotional book for women edited by Anna Alden-Tirrill. Anna has written a few other books available at Amazon. She has also been heavily involved in various grassroots and governmental non-profit social service agencies and programs in the area of victimology, counseling and crisis intervention. She even developed a series of workshops for City residents on a wide array of women’s health and mental health issues. You can read more about Anna (and believe me, you would find her an interesting and inspiring woman) at her author page.
As stated above, this work is a devotional for women. What sets this apart from many other women’s devotionals, however, is that it is not one voice. Anna has compiled numerous Christian women from a wide range to offer encouragement and exhortation from those who have “been there and done that.” The list of women included in this devotional is long and includes the likes of Corrie ten Boom, Anne Graham Lotz, Elisabeth Elliot, Helen Keller, Joan of Arc, Kay Arthur and many more. You can read the complete list of women quoted here. There are over 280 one-page devotionals included.
Anna has divided this work into 18 chapters of varying length. Each chapter is accurately titled to give the reader an index of sorts when searching for a specific devotion to deal with a specific need. Each devotion begins with a bible verse.
Perhaps the only critique is that there should have been approximately 85 more pages thus making this a yearly devotional. The way it is set up now there are a few more devotionals than weekdays in a year. So, you could read one each week day and then some on the weekends and make it a yearly devotional in that manner.
As for a full-fledged review, I am a male and therefore would not be able to succinctly explain how these women in this devotional would speak to the women today. I can, however, tell you, that the daily devotions are inspiring and challenging and can readily be viewed as offering great encouragement. Anna split them up into 18 chapters which can help the mother of five (aka, my wife) turn quickly to a section when she is frazzled and needing encouragement. In the end, The Alabaster Jar will offer a much needed ointment for any woman at any stage in life.
As with any devotional book, never let it replace the daily intake of the Word of God!
Men, this resource would make a great gift for the women in your life. Women, you would definitely enjoy this work. Each devotion takes maybe 3 minutes to read but will have an overall accumulative effect on your heart, mind and soul.