advent, Bible, Blog Tour, Book Review, Books, Christian Writer, christmas, Glorifying Jesus, Jesus, Rachel Yarworth, The Word of God


Graphic with the cover of The Jesse Tree Anthology, alongside a list of dates and names for the Blog Tour

I am thrilled to be able to take part in the Blog Tour for this exciting new Advent Resource. Especially thrilled because I have the joy of being one of the contributors! So this review is not biased in any way, honest!

A Good God idea

Many months ago, Rachel Yarworth had an idea, and shared it with a group known as the Association of Christian Writers. She wasn’t sure if it was a good idea, but it so happens that quite a few other people thought it was actually an excellent idea, as they readily signed up to be involved. I believe that Rachel’s good idea was a God idea, and one that has resulted in this really beautiful book.

The Jesse Tree

What was her idea? Well she had the vision for producing a family friendly devotional style book, that could be used during Advent. It would be based on the idea of the Jesse Tree – traditionally a pictorial or physical  representation of a tree with its branches that helps to tell the story of the Bible from creation right up until to the nativity of Christ. Although Jesse was a direct ancestor of Jesus, the Jesse Tree is more than just the physical lineage of Jesus. It is a study of how the people and the events of the Old Testament all point towards His coming.

Image shows the full front and back cover of The Jesse Tree Anthology

25 Fabulous Writers

But Rachel did not want to do this on her own and so asked if people would be willing to contribute to one of the 25 daily studies that would make up the whole. Before long she had 25 fabulous Christian Writers* keen to take part. The result is a wonderful collection of different voices, telling different stories, and adding their own insights and flavour to them. Every one of the contributors love Jesus, and that is so obvious in their writing.

Family friendly

 The daily thoughts are short, and written in accessible language, so they are great for family use, and for those new to, or just exploring the Christian faith. After each story are some thoughtful questions to ponder and discuss together. And then to top it all there are beautiful stained glass images to colour and cut out so that families can make their own Jesse Trees. If you don’t want to cut up the book these Jesse Tree decorations can also be downloaded from Rachel’s Website here.

Graphic with examples of the colourful decorations for making your own Jesse Tree, alongside the image of the front cover.

God’s Extraordinary Plan

What does Noah’s ark have to do with Jesus? Or Abraham and Isaac? Or Jacob’s ladder, or Rahab’s scarlet rope? Why did God give the prophets things to say that didn’t make sense at the time they were living? Or use the most unlikely people to become the physical ancestors of Jesus? The Jesse Tree Anthology takes us in a wonderful journey from creation to Christmas, and opens our eyes to God’s extraordinary extravagantly detailed plan to bring Salvation to the world in the person of Jesus.

A Valuable Resource

Rachel has done a fabulous job of drawing the Anthology together and getting it published. The themes, the questions, the artwork and the glorious cover are all due to her hard work and commitment to her original vision. I can so heartily recommend The Jesse Tree Anthology to you. It is far more than a book; it is a valuable resource that can be used over and over again, and will bring Jesus into the centre of Christmas for families everywhere.

The Jesse Tree Anthology  ISBN 978-1739257712 RRP £8.99 can be purchased via Amazon or direct from Rachel’s website at

I will also have a few signed copies available to sell myself. Contact me if you are interested.

*Contributors include: Liz Carter, Maressa Mortimer, Natasha Woodcraft, Jocelyn-Anne Harvey, Rob Seabrook, Emily Owen, Claire Musters. Sheelagh Aston, Joanna Watson, Shaoan Hazel, Liz Manning, Matt McChlery, Lesley Crawford, Alex Banwell, Olusola Sophia Anyanwu, Joy Margetts, Joy Vee, Ruth Leigh, Jonathon Bugden, Jo Acharya, Anne Calver, Jenny Sanders, Fay Rowlands, Rowena Cross, Rachel Yarworth

Joy Margetts is a published author and blogger. Her books are works of Christian Historical fiction. Set in medieval Wales against the backdrop of Cistercian abbey life, they tell stories of faith, hope and God’s redemptive power. Her debut novel ‘The Healing‘ was published by Instant Apostle on 19 March 2021. The Pilgrim‘, her second full length novel, was published by Instant Apostle on 22 July 2022, and her third novel The Bride’ will be published on 20th October 2023. She also has her first non-fiction book, an Advent Devotional called Christ Illuminated, being published by Kevin Mayhew this autumn.

More information on Joy, and her books can be found here

Book Review, Books, Christian Writer, God's faithfulness, Rachel Yarworth



Front cover of the book 'Friend of God' featuring a woman in silhouette, standing on a hill gazing at a night sky, with a purple background.

Friend of God is subtitled ‘The miraculous life of an ordinary person’. What brave debut author Rachel Yarworth has done has poured herself into the pages of this book. It is her own story of a life of friendship with God. Written in response to what she describes as a call on her life to ‘make God known’. Her desire in writing this book is to describe the ‘incredible love, goodness, kindness and amazing friendship of God’ to her readers. To show through her life stories what an incredible God He is.

The book does that. Searingly honest in places, it is not all miracles and blessings, Rachel has been through some difficult things too. Where God hasn’t worked the miracle in an instant, but has proved faithful in His presence and provision. But then there are the miracles that inspire our faith. The supernatural, unexplainable protection of her and her infant son during an incident that could have killed them both. The babies born naturally after years of infertility. The healings seen and experienced.


Rachel’s story begins with a simple encounter with God in her childhood. Her understanding of God was naïve  – she did not grow up in a home where He was known. It was only after difficult teenage years, marked with rebellion and the desperate search for acceptance, and as she entered young adulthood, that she met other Christians. Then her understanding blossomed into accepting that the Father God who loved her was also her Saviour. And He wanted her whole life, which she gave willingly.


Each chapter of the book is a glimpse into Rachel’s life journey with God. I love that each chapter is ended with a ‘But God’ statement. These are sometimes celebratory

‘The doctors said we could not have babies naturally…

But God gave them to us supernaturally’

And sometimes heart-breaking and yet faith affirming,

‘I was completely devastated…

But God healed my broken heart in an instant’

These ‘But God’ statements resonated with me, as they reflect my own journey with God. We often mess up, or find ourselves in situations beyond out control. Or in places of confusion and pain. But God is always there, always faithful, always merciful and compassionate. And when we look back at our lives, as Rachel has, we can see over and over how God has come through for us.


Image of back cover of the book 'Friend of God' with blurb

There is pain as well as joy in the pages of this book. I was particularly touched by how God ministered to Rachel after the loss of her babies. The first time the grief was played out over many, many months, but in a process that deepened Rachel’s reliance on God, and her understanding of His love for her. The second time the healing process happened almost instantly after she received prayer. She rejoices in both. And this spoke to me. How often we want the instant healing, the immediate relief, when God wants us to journey it through with us. To teach us more about Himself and His heart towards us. To deepen our friendship with Him.

I enjoyed this book and was pleased to be able to review it for Rachel. She has done a very brave thing as a debut author in publishing her own story, and I really do hope it reaches the people God wants it to. If I have one, very small apprehension about the book, it is that Rachel talks a lot about hearing directly from God, which may be something some readers struggle to relate to. I believe it is possible to hear God speak personally to us, but His written Word is the failsafe we always need to go back to, to test what we have heard. God never contradicts Himself.

All in all Friend of God is a lovely faith building book. If you want to be encouraged, go get yourself a copy! Thank you Rachel for sharing your life with God, with us.

I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.

John 15:15 NLT

Image of the author, Rachel Yarworth

‘Friend of God’ by Rachel Yarworth, ISBN 978-1739257705 RRP £8.99 Paperback, £ 2.99 Kindle (free on KU) available to purchase through AMAZON here

For more from Rachel, visit her personal blog here

Joy Margetts is a published author and blogger. Her books are works of Christian Historical fiction. Set in medieval Wales against the backdrop of Cistercian abbey life, they tell stories of faith, hope and God’s redemptive power. Her debut novel ‘The Healing‘ was published by Instant Apostle on 19 March 2021. Joy has also self- published a short novella, ‘The Beloved‘ as both a companion to ‘The Healing‘, and as an easy to read standalone story, which is available to buy on Amazon Kindle.

The Pilgrim‘, her second full length novel, was published by Instant Apostle on 22 July 2022

More information on Joy, and her books can be found here