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Book review: The Measure of Success

| by Julie Tilman

Carolyn McCulley and Nora Shank have crafted a resource that is unlike any other. The Measure of Success: Uncovering the Biblical Perspective on Women, Work, & the Homehas the potential to reach women who are single or married, young or old, McCulley shares from the perspective of a single woman and Shank from the perspective of a wife and mom. Both authors share candidly about their struggles and successes in defining their roles as godly women and then succeeding in the placed God has chosen for them.

This is not a resource about women in the workplace, but instead, a guide for women to understand the work they do (regardless of location or vocation) and purpose God has in it for them. The book begins by allowing us a glimpse into the lives of the writers by sharing stories of why they even felt led to write this work. The Measure of Successthen guides the reader through:

• The story of work (What did work look like and what does it look like now?)

From what work looked like in ancient times to what work looks like today, McCulley and Shank guide the reader through a brief and interesting history of work.

• The theology of work

Through this section, the authors guide the reader through the purpose, rest, identity and ambition that is associated with work from a biblical perspective.

• The life cycle of work

Finally, from childhood to retirement McCulley and Shank discuss different stages of work in a woman’s life. They walk us through some very practical advice along with challenging encouragements.

This book systematically guides the reader through a definition of work through understanding the facets of why we work, logically, logistically and biblically.

Throughout The Measure of Success, the authors share stories from real women—stories of success and failure. Also, stories that highlight the different areas addressed in the book and more importantly, the different places we are in life. 

The Measure of Success is a thoughtfully written work that leaves the reader feeling a sense of purpose and value. It challenged me to be the best I could be in the place God has me right now. 

I would recommend this book to women of all ages and all walks of life. We all work. It may be at home or it may be in an office. Those we see from day to day may be preschool-aged or, they may be CEOs. Regardless, this book will encourage you, it will challenge you and will remind you of the purpose God has for you in this life.

Julie Tilman

Julie Tilman is the Executive Assistant to Dr. Ben Skaug, Co-Pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Highland, California. At age 8, she was drawn into a relationship with the Lord while helping pass out “Four Spiritual Laws” tracts for a church revival. Julie graduated from Gateway Seminary (then Golden Gate Seminary) in 2006. Exceeding 25 years’ experience in ministry, she has been published in more than 25 magazines and curriculum pieces. A native of southern California, Julie currently lives in Ontario, California.

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This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow.
Isaiah 48:17 (NLT)
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