I might as well get this out of the way. You are going to want your own copy of Amazed and Confused. In my experience, it really doesn’t matter what Heather Zempel is writing about or talking about…I want to read it again or hear it again. That’s just always been my experience. And this time is no exception. Beyond that, you’re going to think of small groups that really need to do this study!
Heather Zempel is the discipleship pastor at National Community Church in Washington DC where she oversees small groups, directs leadership development training and serves on the weekend teaching team. With a background that includes a masters degree in biological engineering and a stint as a policy consultant on energy and the environment in the United States Senate, her writing and teaching is always packed with incredibly memorable examples.
Amazed and Confused: When God’s Actions Collide with Our Expectations is a fascinating look at the Old Testament book of Habakkuk. If you find it hard to believe that an exploration of Habakkuk could be fascinating, you are not alone. One of the more minor minor prophets, I didn’t know a lot about him or his season as a prophet when I cracked open the book. Now? Amazed and Confused opened my eyes to some powerful truths about God. I think more importantly, I discovered a story that the people in our small groups need to know.
An important aspect of Amazed and Confused is that every chapter ends with a great set of small group discussion questions. Heather’s writing style is very engaging, so group members will find themselves pulled along. And the questions are the sort that an experienced curriculum writer would design. Very well done!
When I opened the book, I thought what I would enjoy most about the book was the way profound truths were unveiled, illustrated with classically memorable Zempel tales (there was a doozy involving a sinkhole). What I ended up appreciating the most? Without a doubt, what I appreciated the most was the sense that I had just heard the story of Habakkuk from someone who knew him cover to cover.
Whether you’re just looking for a book that will encourage you personally, or you’re on the lookout for a book study that your small groups would find helpful and engaging, I highly recommend Amazed and Confused. I loved it and I think you will too!