The Alabaster Jar


Anna Alden-Tirrill

book cover: The Alabaster Jar by Anna Alden-Tirrill

The tease on the back cover tells us “The purpose of this book is to help women of today deal with the stresses and challenges of our modern-day world.” The reader who sits down with this book, The Alabaster Jar, as she might with her favorite tea or coffee to start her day unhurriedly or to end her day peacefully will discover layers of flavor on each page.

The author, Anna Alden-Tirrill, fills each of 307 pages of essays, complete on a page, with quotes from Scripture, quotes from other women authors both from the past and the present, and her own thoughtful insights. I timed how long it took me to read one page: about one and a half minutes. But the encouragement, the exhortation, and the instruction given on each page is well worth spending as much time as you have available to explore. Each one is like a mini-sermon.

It is important to read the context of scriptures that are quoted in any article or book. If the scripture is being used in a correct way, the context will add to your understanding of the author’s propositions. If the scripture is pulled so far out of context that the proposition is faulty, you will be able to safeguard yourself from error.

For example: On page eleven 2 Kings 4:4 is quoted “You shall shut the door behind you.” The article is proposing “shutting the door and leaving behind the world outside” to spend time with God. This is a biblical proposition. For instance, Jesus taught his disciples to find a solitary place for prayer. However, the story out of which this scripture is pulled is not directly about prayer. Even so, I found it intriguing to think about this account from this perspective.

At the time of this writing, I have only read through page 77, but I intend to continue to read the book through to the end. Ideally, this needs to be read as a daily devotional and take a year to read each brief essay to get the most out of the book.

Anna Alden-Tirrill has written with clarity and obvious devotion to becoming closer to God and with desire to encourage other women to do so also. In her last essay on Page 307 she wrote: “Jesus continues to pour out His love and blessings on us in such abundance. As we have received His poured-out life, let us pour our life, our heart, and our love out for Him, by pouring our lives out for others. May our mouths pour forth His praise with thanksgiving, for He is worthy.”

I love the way she uses the jar analogy to illustrate the way God’s blessings flow from him to us and through us to others. This book is not a doctrinal treatise. But the words that are in agreement with the Word of God can show us the way to “deal with the stresses and challenges” of our lives.

Editor's Note: This book was given to Women in Christ for review. For more information on the book and its author, please go to


Book Review
By Scarlett Stough
Title: The Alabaster Jar
Author: Anna Alden-Tirrill
Publisher: White Cottage Publishing Company, Copyright 2011
ISBN: 9781885831330

Volume 10 Issue 3 | Notes from Nancy | Women in Christ Commentary | Bible Study Guide | Abundance of the Heart | Exhortation | Book Review

Current Issue | Archives
Custom Search