Book Review: The God Who Satisfies

Title: The God Who Satisfies

Tagline: How Jesus seeks, saves, and sanctifies Samaritan women- like us

Author: Chris Anderson

Genre: nonfiction

Summary: Pastor Chris Anderson puts a new twist on the well-known Bible story of Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well (otherwise known as the Samaritan woman). Her life-changing meeting with Jesus, found in John 4, becomes the basis for a book designed to point readers to God’s great redemptive work.

Pastor Anderson emphasizes five ways Jesus works in peoples’ lives: He seeks sinners, He saves sinners, He satisfies sinners, He turns sinners into worshippers, and finally He turns sinners into missionaries.

None of these things would be possible apart from Jesus.

I also enjoyed the hymns sprinkled throughout. The author is a prolific hymn writer, and he makes frequent use of his own songs. These help to drive home his points and to further direct the reader’s focus toward God. It’s an interesting technique I’ve never come across in a book before.  

My Thoughts: A friend gave me this book for Christmas, but I didn’t read through it until recently. It sat by my chair for a long time, with other books always taking precedence. I’m so glad I finally read through The God Who Satisfies.

This book was straightforward and to the point; it was also very convicting. If you’re looking for a fluffy, happy book designed to make you feel good about yourself, it’s not going to be this one.

However, if you’re looking for a powerful book whose sole purpose is to direct the reader to Christ and help him or her grow as a Christian, this is the book for you.

The God Who Satisfies will cause readers to see Jesus’ amazing works in a new light. It’s easy to read the biblical account of the Samaritan woman and think, “Well, I’m sure not her. I’d never have five husbands! She really needed Jesus to save her.”

But Pastor Anderson repeatedly reminds his readers that we are all Samaritan women. We are all desperate, needy sinners, thirsty for the satisfaction only a relationship with God can give us.   

This book will help you see the woman at the well, and her Savior, in a whole new light. God did great things in her life, and He does in ours as well.  

Favorite Quotes: “This unnamed lady is representative of everybody. We all experience painful solitude. We all have skeletons in our closets. We all have more questions than answers. And we all have a deep thirst for something more- even if we don’t know what that ‘something” is.”

“Women were downcast- but not to our Lord. Throughout his ministry, He elevated them. He spoke to them. He defended them. He commended them. He forgave them. He healed at their requests. He made them heroes of His parables. He relied on them as some of His more faithful, courageous, and generous followers.”

“I didn’t understand that what Jesus calls me to is infinitely superior to what the world offers! He calls me to abundant life, to delight, to joy! And unlike the siren calls of the world, He actually delivers.”

The Best is Yet to Come

There I sat waiting with nervous excitement over the unknown before me.

I had a date.

I had heard other’s opinions of him, but I was excited to meet him face to face! 

I was determined to not presume things about him (good or bad) but let my date speak for himself and let the Holy Spirit inside me confirm the truth!

I glanced at my watch.  I was early, but it seemed like it was taking an eternity for him to arrive!

I straightened my dress nervously as if that would take up some time.

Tick. Tock.  Tick Tock.  Tick Tock.

Then, right on time he appeared. (Insert my heart beating fast.)

He approached and suddenly all of me was flooded with hope.

We both smiled at each other.  His smile was so reassuring that I felt glad and grateful that I had gone on this date!

As we got to know each other, I started to deeply appreciate and admire all that made him who he was!  It suddenly seemed quite silly that I had hesitations before this moment. I wanted to know him more.

In the midst of our conversation, he said that things were looking bright!  I grinned and asked him how he could be sure.  

His answer intrigued me and blessed me: He said it was looking bright because he’d been there, and God was present.

I didn’t quite understand, but I believed him.  I had this incredible sense that I could trust him.

It’s such an adventure meeting someone you’ve never met before, but there was something so strange and wonderfully familiar about my date, that I was immediately at ease. He made me feel like I could be completely me.  

It was almost as if God had told him about me.

I sensed a belonging with him and it made me anticipate the road to come with much joy!

It might seem kind of cheesy, but it felt as though who was sitting right in front of me was what the dreams of my heart were made of.

Today, I had a date with The Future.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped, the evidence of things not seen!”

– Hebrews 11:1

Grin.  Did I have you guessing as you read that?!  

Although I would have loved to have been telling you of an actual date I went on like that – this truly is exciting for me to share!  

Today, you have a date with the future.  

Such a true statement!  

God gave me that phrase yesterday and it really made me excited! 

The future is bright because God is there!!!! 

God has designed life so that each today meets with such glorious potential for the future! 

It’s something to be excited about – to anticipate with joy! Also, God is the Ultimate romantic.  He created love – He IS Love! He delights in the desires of our hearts and isn’t bound by time.  

He is with us in our present and future and HE’s excited about both – so we should be too! 😉

Just a fun, short little back story:
I had a very fleeting thought yesterday that went something like, “I wish I could write something.”  Lol.

I had meant as in like a poem or some sort of lyrics.  

Probably not even an hour later, God gave me that phrase and then the story form of it came! 

He had heard that little almost non-existent desire of mine and it was His pleasure to fulfill it for His glory!  

That was yesterday.  Today, (in the future as He had planned) I’m typing it as a blog post and smiling because, with God, the present and the future, are incredible!

With God the best is yet to come – always! (And that’s a non-expiring promise!).

Life with Him is my favorite.


*** You can read more about Bri on her blog or find her on Instagram @asinglescoopwithbri

What Does Your Story Say About God?

Singleness is often treated with sorrow or sympathy. People usually respond with surprise, saying things like, “I can’t believe you’re not dating someone.”

After that, they attempt to set me up on blind dates or make suggestions regarding online dating sites.

If all else fails, they remind me that God will send the right man at exactly the right time. I just have to be patient.

While all of these sentiments are well-meant, they’re not helpful. Or true, for that matter. These statements aren’t what single women need to hear.

Even better than that, these statements don’t actually reflect my life.

I know that married people, especially those who have been married for a long time, often struggle to understand what single life is like.  If they’re in happy marriages, they naturally want the same thing for me.  

But I don’t have to be married to have a happy and fulfilling life.

God is Good all the Time

Last week I had a conversation that helped me see things differently. A friend and I were talking about the challenges some of our married friends were facing, and how fortunate we were not to have to walk those same paths.

That led to us discussing the ways we had seen God work in our own lives. Neither of us is married, but that doesn’t mean He hasn’t shown up for us again and again.

We both agreed- Our stories show us, and you, that God is always good.

How do I know God is always good?

Let me share a few examples with you:

  • God lets me be the fun aunt

Last Friday night I attempted to sleep on a cramped couch in a stuffy living room. My tenuous grip on sleep was interrupted by my five-year-old niece, whispering frantically that she was “Sinking. Really sinking!”

Her air mattress had a hole in it. A hole that my brother-in-law assured me she wouldn’t notice.

As I groggily blew up the air mattress again, at 2:30 in the morning, I managed to be grateful even in my sleepless state.

I am so, so thankful for the two little girls sleeping (sort of) in the living room with me. I love our sleepovers, our “dates,” and all the crazy times we spend together. I’m equally thankful for the four other little people who hold a special place in my life.

Being the fun aunt is one of my favorite things. I don’t have children, but that DOES NOT mean I don’t know what it’s like to love a child.  

God has given that gift to me.

  • God meets all my needs

My friend and I were marveling at this last week. Neither one of us works in high-paying jobs, but we’ve never gone without, either. My needs, and many of my wants, have always been met.

There have been times when I’ve seen God work in amazing ways. He provides miracles, sometimes before I’ve even thought to ask for them. He is our Good Father, and He truly delights in giving us good things.  

Even in the times when God doesn’t work the way I would want Him to, I know He’s still good and I can always trust Him.

  • God gives me my own unique opportunities

There are so many good things in my life! I don’t have to be married to say that. And you don’t have to feel sorry for me because I’m single.

Singleness just means my life looks different, not less.

Volunteer opportunities

Peaceful, quiet evenings with a good book.

Staying up late and sleeping in

A small, zippy car. with the windows down and music up

Not having to cook every night

Travel, hiking, exploring, studying, and experiencing new things

All of these are available to me.

I couldn’t be more grateful.

You don’t need to feel sorry for me. I really don’t want you to.

Being single can be hard, but I’m learning to see all the ways it grows me, too.

It’s a major part of my story.

And what do I want my story to tell you?

God is always good.

Though my eyes can’t see,
You are always good, only good.

Looking back, I can see Your fingerprints
Upon my life, always seeking my best.
There were times when Your way would make no sense,
But as You said, You have never left.

You are always good, You are only good;
You are always good to me.
Though my eyes can’t see, help my heart believe
You are always, only good.

-Ron and Shelly Hamilton

This week, I’m thankful for so many things. Together, let’s celebrate every SINGLE blessing!

Does One Have to be the Loneliest Number?

 I love doing Zumba. As a Christian school teacher, I don’t get many opportunities to dance. Zumba, however, lets me unleash my inner salsa dancer and I can shake and shimmy to my heart’s content.

So when I saw that my library was hosting a Zumba class I was quick to sign up. On the appointed day I eagerly headed to the library’s basement, ready to swivel. The room, however, was empty except for the instructor.

No pulsing music.

No energetic women bouncing around.

Just an instructor sitting in a chair, checking her cellphone.

She looked up and said hello, telling me that it might just be her and me for the class.

Oh. Awkward. Do Zumba by yourself with the teacher watching you the whole time?

No, thank you.

I’m not proud of this, but I told her I’d left something in my car. Then I dashed out and drove away. I honestly didn’t know what else to do, but I sure as heck wasn’t Zumba-ing alone.

One is the loneliest number

In 1968, singer/ songwriter Harry Nilsson came out with the song, “One (Is the Loneliest Number).” The popularity of this song turned the first line into a catchphrase. More than fifty years later, people are still quick to remind each other, “One is the loneliest number.”

When you’re expected to Zumba in a large room by yourself that is absolutely true.  

One can feel very lonely.

But does one always have to feel like the loneliest number?

I did some internet research to see what other people had to say about this song and its famous phrase. For starters, there were a lot of really smart math people out there who went on about one not being lonely because it’s an integer in every number or something like that.

So not what I was looking for. You’re welcome to keep that information.

Here’s what I did find interesting- While the math people dealt with cold, hard facts, those who weren’t mathematicians all seemed to base their opinions on how they FELT.

The people who were struggling with being alone were the ones who felt lonely. They talked about how it felt to come home to an empty house, how it felt to eat dinner by themselves, and how it felt to attend social events on their own.

Their focus was entirely on their feelings, and I’m sure most of them would wholeheartedly agree that one is indeed the loneliest number.

Thoughts on loneliness have been rattling around in my head lately. See, I finished up school this week. I love teaching, but it eats up a lot of my time. I wake up at 5:30 and it’s pretty much “go, go, go” all day long. The busy days make it easy to stuff down feelings of loneliness.

Summer is different. I run a small day camp, but it’s a far more relaxed schedule, which means I have a lot more free time. Beautiful, glorious free time.

It’s great, but often the extra time seems to sing along with Harry Nilsson, “One is the loneliest number.”

I am frequently reminded- I am a “one.” As a single woman with no kids, there are a lot of summer activities that either pass me by or I have to do on my own.

It can be very easy to feel lonely and get down.

One doesn’t have to be the loneliest number!

Feelings are deceptive. They don’t tell us the truth. Instead, they feed off of our emotions and circumstances, and we all know how reliable our emotions are!

Single friends, we are not ruled by our emotions! This is something I need to remind myself of all the time, but it’s true! I do NOT have to base my point of view on how I feel, or on how others tell me I should feel.

I don’t want to waste my summer on feelings of sadness or loneliness. Instead, I want to continue to work on living with intentionality, to use my free time with purpose:

Reconnect with my neighbors

Spend more time on prayer and Scripture reading

Find ways to volunteer in my community

Work on getting healthier

Hang out with my nieces and nephews

Explore new places in my city

Finish the book that’s been sitting next to my chair since Christmas

I’ll probably avoid Zumba classes at the library, though.

It’s got the potential to be a great summer, and I’m looking forward to it. I hope you are, too. Don’t let your feelings dictate what you do or prevent you from having an exciting, meaningful summer. Talk truth to yourself instead and remember-  

One doesn’t have to be lonely at all.

This week, I’m thankful for the blessing of extra time. It does not have to feel lonely! Together, let’s celebrate every SINGLE blessing!

Refining Through the Storm

While on a mission trip in the Cayman Islands, I witnessed the devastating effects of hurricanes. Even though the last hurricane passed through ten months prior, crumbled buildings still lay where they’d fallen. People told us stories of storm shelters collapsing, forcing them to wade through waist-deep water to find safety.

Another hurricane struck the islands while we were there. Since the people on my team were ignorant college kids from the Midwest, we decided it would be neat to go out on the boat dock during the storm (not my best choice, I’ll admit).  The hurricane was considered “minor,” but I’ll never forget the power of the wind as it shoved us backward and flung patio furniture around. It was an experience that left a deep impression on me.  

More recently, while I was traveling in South Dakota, I collided with a big storm system. It was nerve-wracking driving across completely flat plains while dark clouds lowered ominously. Rain, hail, and sleet followed me as I drove across the state.

Not fun.

The storms of life are just as frightening and unpredictable.

They hover over us with the same dark menace, promising trouble and uncertainty.

Living in a sinful, fallen world means we are all going to have storms. As Christian women, though, we are also guaranteed that we are never alone in our trials. God walks with us and redeems even the worst moments.  

One biblical example of this was Ruth.  In the book of Ruth, chapter 1, we read about how she and her mother-in-law, Naomi, both lost their husbands. In biblical times, widowhood was about the most difficult situation a woman could find herself in. A poor widow in a foreign land, like Naomi, was in an even worse situation. Both these women faced a storm of epic proportions.

Despite this, we see God weave a beautiful story from the tragedy.

First, Ruth made the powerful choice to stay with Naomi-

But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”   Ruth 1:16, 17

Ruth’s very foundations were shaken, but these oft-quoted words show her to be a woman of grace, loyalty, and strength. She lost her husband, left her own family behind, and yet willingly assumed sole responsibility for her mother-in-law. God was clearly at work in Ruth’s heart.  

Chapter 2 continues with God leading Ruth to the fields of her kinsman-redeemer, Boaz.  Not only did He provide food for the two women, but He brought Ruth to the one man who could help them. Boaz noticed Ruth’s hard work and her care of her mother-in-law. He became first her protector and then her husband.

As for Naomi, God didn’t neglect her, either. He redeemed her story through the birth of Ruth’s first son.

Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” Ruth 4: 14, 15

God’s name is barely mentioned in the book of Ruth, but His handiwork is woven throughout. We can see that every aspect of their lives was perfectly directed by God. He didn’t allow their storms to tear Ruth and Naomi apart; instead, they accomplished God’s purposes and plans for them. He made their stories beautiful.  

The storms helped shape them into the women God meant them to be.

I wish I could promise you a happy ending just as wonderful as Ruth’s and Naomi’s. I would love to be able to tell you that every storm passes quickly and you will be able to resume normalcy. Some trials follow us through life, however.

Like Ruth, God is still at work in your life, carefully fashioning you into a woman after His own heart. He will take all your broken pieces and put you together again, stronger and more beautiful. He will refine you through the storm.

This week, I’m thankful for the blessing of a God who redeems our trials. He is the One who gives purpose to every aspect of our lives. Together, let’s celebrate every SINGLE blessing!