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PEACE MAKING WOMEN
Biblical Hope For Resolving Conflict

Tara Klena Barthel & Judy Dabler
Baker Books
Christian Living/Counseling
ISBN: 0801064953

Conflict is an inevitable fact of life, and while a small segment of people thrive on perpetuating it, others seek to avoid it at all costs. Neither extreme provides healthy, lasting relationships. The answer lies in resolving conflicts. Without the proper tools, however, this could lead to one side simply "giving in" only to harbor a resentment, keeping handy to use when the next conflict arises. PEACE MAKING WOMEN does an excellent and thorough job of providing not only the necessary tools but the Biblical rationale behind them as well.

God's senses of humor and irony are demonstrated as the authors confess the conflicts they faced while writing this book. Many will recognize this phenomenon that seems to happen whenever we start to teach on a certain topic. It seems that God allows us to experience the problem firsthand, which definitely lends authenticity to our work. Perhaps it is His gentle way of reminding us that He, not we, has all the answers.

In this case, the authors were able to demonstrate that the tools they were advocating really do work; that God's principles and truths are practical, useful and indispensable. Despite unrelenting pain and circumstances that threatened to scuttle the book and their friendship, God remained true. And, out of the ashes of their dead relationship, He brought new life. He created not only a better, stronger friendship but enhanced the lives of two individuals by filling them with love and grace based on the foundation of His love.

Tara Barthel and Judy Dabler describe how this incredible process begins with a peaceful relationship with God Himself. For many that will be a quantum leap that has never been taken. How does one presume to have a personal relationship with the awesome, omniscient Creator God? As in any relationship, you get to know Him. He reveals His character through His words, the words that are written down for all to study in the Bible. And, despite the seemingly complex nature of the Bible, it is simply captured in the greatest commandment of all: Love one another, even as I have loved you. Is there a more profound mantra anywhere?

PEACE MAKING WOMEN is not a little self-help book to be perused for quick fixes. Rather it is a key that allows you to enter a place where you can gather the tools you need to live a richer, more peaceful and fulfilled life. Just as peace is not merely the absence of war, a peace-filled life is not merely one with the absence of conflict. It is one filled with love, kindness, trust and compassion. What a wonderful Bible study it would make, complete with thought-provoking questions at the end of each segment.

   --- Reviewed by Maggie Harding, a substance abuse counselor in Phoenix, AZ who wanted to be Brenda Starr before life intervened. She reviews for www.bookreporter.com and www.womenonwriting.com. To contact Maggie, email Magster2@cox.net.

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