Friday, December 30, 2011

Bible Study: The Acts of the Holy Spirit - A Study of the book of Acts - Chapter 12


Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Acts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. Stay strong. Live in the Spirit. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming…

Stacey


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 12 of the book of Acts. Read it with the thought in mind that this is the first display of the power of the Holy Spirit working through man – aside from Christ, that is. Imagine what the Spirit can do through you if you let Him! Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

12:2 – “The next martyr we meet with, according to St. Luke, in the History of the Apostles' Acts, was James the son of Zebedee, the elder brother of John, and a relative of our Lord; for his mother Salome was cousin-german to the Virgin Mary. It was not until ten years after the death of Stephen that the second martyrdom took place; for no sooner had Herod Agrippa been appointed governor of Judea, than, with a view to ingratiate himself with them, he raised a sharp persecution against the Christians, and determined to make an effectual blow, by striking at their leaders. The account given us by an eminent primitive writer, Clemens Alexandrinus, ought not to be overlooked; that, as James was led to the place of martyrdom, his accuser was brought to repent of his conduct by the apostle's extraordinary courage and undauntedness, and fell down at his feet to request his pardon, professing himself a Christian, and resolving that James should not receive the crown of martyrdom alone. Hence they were both beheaded at the same time. Thus did the first apostolic martyr cheerfully and resolutely receive that cup, which he had told our Savior he was ready to drink. Timon and Parmenas suffered martyrdom about the same time; the one at Philippi, and the other in Macedonia. These events took place A.D. 44.” (Fox’s Book of Martyrs)





• The book of Acts teaches us much about what the Holy Spirit is capable of doing through a mortal life. What have you learned about how He wants to work through you today? What will you do to give up a bit of control to Him?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Bible Study: The Acts of the Holy Spirit - A Study of the book of Acts - Chapter 11


Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Acts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. Stay strong. Live in the Spirit. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming…

Stacey


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapters 10 & 11 of the book of Acts. Read it with the thought in mind that this is the first display of the power of the Holy Spirit working through man – aside from Christ, that is. Imagine what the Spirit can do through you if you let Him! Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…


11:1-3 – Peter was being criticized for ministering to uncircumcised gentiles.

11:4-8 – God made all animals clean for eating. Previously, He declared certain animals unclean. See Leviticus 11. Making all animals clean enabled Jews to share meals with gentiles and increased opportunities to minister.

11:4-14 – Peter shared what God taught him with others by giving his testimony.

11:10 – Why did Peter see the vision 3 times? The symbolic meaning of the number 3 is holiness.

11:11-14 – God provided confirmation of what He showed Peter in the earlier vision.

11:15-18 – God gave the gift of the Holy Spirit to the gentiles, also. The Jews listening to Peter praised God for this.

11:19-22 – How would the Jerusalem church react to the news about the increase of believers in Antioch? Why would they send Barnabas, an encourager, to the new believers since the Lord’s hand was on them and their numbers were increasing?

11:19 – the scattering brought the message to the places God wanted His message delivered to.

At this point, the disciples were still only delivering the gospel to the Jews.

11:20 – what is the Good News? Can you articulate what you believe to share your faith with others. Take a moment to contemplate, and perhaps write out, what you would say.

11:23-24 – Barnabas’ ministry of encouragement added large numbers to the believers in Antioch.

11:25 – Barnabas went looking for Saul. So, Saul was already known among the believers as a believer. Since Barnabas was full of the Holy Spirit, he may have seen Saul’s spiritual potential and wanted to encourage it.

11:26 – Barnabas brought Saul to Antioch and they taught the believers together for a year. They probably taught them how to live and share their faith. For the first time, believers are called Christians. It’s a nickname. How do we receive nicknames? How do we create them for others? What do you think this particular nickname said about the people who were called Christians?

11:27-28 – Agabus was a prophet from Jerusalem who accurately predicted that there would be a famine throughout the Roman world.

11:27 – You always come “down” from Jerusalem regardless of the direction you are traveling because Jerusalem is a city on a hill. Conversely, to get there, you always go “up”.

11:29-30 – Because of Agabus’ prediction, Saul and Barnabas assumed the ministry of delivering donations to the brothers in Judea for famine relief.

11:29 – a concern for the welfare of others is a mark of Christian maturity.

Notice that the mere prediction of famine was enough to motivate the disciples to help.

Notice also that their aid was targeted to other believers. How can we put this example into practice in our own lives? Should we ignore the needs of non-believers?





• The book of Acts teaches us much about what the Holy Spirit is capable of doing through a mortal life. What have you learned about how He wants to work through you today? What will you do to give up a bit of control to Him?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

“Waiting for Dawn” by Susan May Warren

Here is my review of this incredible novella:

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Susan May Warren and her publisher for sending me an electronic copy of "Waiting For Dawn" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity.

Susan May Warren’s novella “Waiting for Dawn” is the prequel to her fabulous first novel in the Team Hope Series, “Flee the Night”. In this incredible back story, Jim Micah has been captured behind enemy lines and is awaiting rescue while encouraging scriptures and thoughts about how he would behave differently if he ever again got the opportunity to see the woman he loves. Lacey Galloway works for the Department of Defense, so she has access to information that leads her to believe she knows where to look for her long-time friend and Green Beret. So she takes a leave of absence and jumps on a plain to elicit help to rescue Micah – help from Micah’s best friend and Lacey’s former beau, John Montgomery.

This action- and romance-packed short novel is a brilliant primer to tantalize the reader with strong, likeable characters and thrilling situations. I haven’t read the Team Hope Series in several years, but I believe I will have to pull those novels off the shelf and enjoy them once again.

Friday, December 16, 2011

“Everyday Spiritual Warfare” by Amy Barkman

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card author is:




and the book:



Everyday Spiritual Warfare


Next Step Books (September 8, 2011)

***Special thanks to Christy Delliskave of Next Step Books for sending me a review copy.***


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Amy Barkman is the Director of Voice of Joy Ministries, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and the pastor of Mortonsville United Methodist church. She and her husband Gary live in Danville, KY and together have seven children, thirteen grandchildren, and one great grandson. Amy loves to read and to travel.

Visit the author's website.


SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Everyday Spiritual Warfare gives practical knowledge for victorious living in a fallen world. Rev. Barkman has shared this wisdom in workshops, retreats, and sermons in several states over the past few decades. Both new and mature Christians have found the material very helpful in their walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.

“This is a helpful manual that reminds the Body of Christ of the tremendous responsibility and awesome power we have through the Holy Spirit. Enjoy this book from Amy Barkman and be empowered to step out and up in Faith.” - Dr. Stephen and Kellie Swisher, Kenneth Copeland Ministries

Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 246 pages
Publisher: Next Step Books (September 8, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1937671003
ISBN-13: 978-1937671006

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:



Spiritual Warfare Principles I


Praise the Lord for His mercy endureth forever.

II Chronicles 20:21


I came up out of the baptismal waters with eager anticipation. Rising to newness of life - what a relief. But as soon as I got to the changing room it was obvious that my extra twenty pounds rose with me. And the straight auburn hair I’d longed for all my life had not replaced my curly brown tresses. Within an hour there was no question about the desire to smoke a cigarette passing away; it didn’t. By the end of the month the blood test proved that my triglyceride level was still as high as ever. “Hey God, what happened? I thought you said all things would be made new.”

There’s a story in the Bible that reminds me of the way I felt after my baptism.

The Nation of Judah settled in the land that God promised them. And most of their enemies were destroyed in battle. But one day three armies showed up to surround them.

King Jehoshaphat called a fast and they all went to God in prayer. They said, in essence, “Hey, God, what happened? Here are three armies come to destroy us. They are from the three tribes you wouldn’t let us destroy when we came into this land. We don’t have any power against them so we’re looking to you. You do something!”

One day, many years after my disappointing baptismal experience, I was reading this story and the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “Look up the meaning of the names of those three armies.” So I did. The three armies are Moab, Ammon, and Mt. Seir.

Moab means “of the father,” Ammon means “tribal,” and Mt. Seir means “goat or devil.” Light dawned into my mind concerning the plight of the reborn, new creature in Christ that is the true Church.

We who accept Jesus Christ as our savior are born again. We begin a brand new life – the promised land. And just by that act of receiving Jesus as Savior, we defeat more enemies than we can imagine. But there are three enemies that are left in our promised land. Three armies that come against us to destroy.

Moab, “of the father," is symbolic of the genetic conditions we inherit in our bodies and personalities. When we are born again we do not get a new body but are stuck with the DNA given to us.

Ammon, “tribal,” is symbolic of the cultural situation into which we are born.

When we are born again, we are not transported into a perfect society but are bombarded all our lives with the evils in the world around us.

Mt. Seir, “goat or devil,” is symbolic of the forces of the devil who comes to kill, steal, and destroy. When we are born again, we are not automatically placed out of reach of the enemy.

We are born again children of God with the new life He promised but these three armies want to destroy us. And here they are – right in the promised land – genetic inheritance, cultural surroundings, and the devil with his destructive forces.

You may ask, “Why doesn’t God get rid of these enemies for us?” The answer is simple. He will. God did not leave these three enemy armies here so they could destroy us. He says to us, just as He said to His chosen people centuries ago, “… Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (II Chronicles 20:15).

His plan is to overcome them.

Paul wrote “… we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Romans 8:37).

What does it mean to be more than a conqueror? The Greek word means preeminently victorious, or a winner before you even enter the battle. Wow! That’s good news indeed. And that is what God wants us to understand and practice.

But the way of winning battles through God is not the way of the world. “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” (II Cor. 10:4). There are some basic principles of spiritual warfare and we have to learn them if we are going to be winners in life. The first, and most important, principle is:

ONLY GOD CAN SUCCESSFULLY DEFEAT EVIL

This doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do. God’s Instruction Book, the Bible, is full of exhortations such as, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7) and “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). You are to resist the devil and stand against his schemes.

But did you notice? When your battle against the devil is mentioned, your relationship with God is also mentioned. You can’t win against evil in your own strength. But God won’t win in this physical realm without your cooperation.

When the nation of Judah sought the Lord for help against the armies that came to destroy them, they were told to present themselves but not to fight. Their response was to put a group of singers in the forefront of the army. Order of presentation was a way of protection in ancient times. The strong men, who were trained and able to fight, were at the forefront when meeting an opposing force, with the women, children, elderly and weak at the rear in the place of protection.

This time, however, the strong fighting men were among those being protected and the singers and praisers, which may have included women and children, went out first. We are told that when they began to sing and to praise God for His mercy, the Lord Himself caused the three armies to be defeated.

This story illustrates several principles of spiritual warfare. The first is evident and stated above … only God can successfully defeat evil.

“Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies” (Psalm 108:13).

The second basic principle of spiritual warfare is:

PRAISING GOD BRINGS HIM ON THE SCENE

This principle is illustrated in the story we just examined. When the tribe of Judah praised God for His mercy to them, He showed no mercy to their enemies but caused them to be destroyed. “And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten” (II Chronicles 20:22).

King David, from an earlier time in the history of God’s people, mentioned this principle in several of his songs. He sang, “I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High. When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence” (Psalm 9: 2, 3). When David sang praises to the name of God, He showed up in person.

What does it mean to sing praises to the Name of God? In today’s society, we have largely lost the understanding of names. When ancient men talked about the name of something or someone, they were talking about its or their essential nature or character.

God revealed Himself to Israel throughout the centuries by His Names through His actions. He revealed Himself, His essential nature, His character, as

Jehovah Jireh – the Lord your Provider

Jehovah Rapha – the Lord your Healer

Jehovah Tsidkenu- the Lord your

Righteousness

Jehovah Rohi – the Lord your Shepherd

Jehovah Shalom – the Lord your Peace



He revealed other aspects of Himself through names and eventually revealed Himself as Jesus – the Lord your Salvation.

When we praise His name, we are to be praising that aspect of Himself that we need to see active in our situation. Jesus quoted Psalm 8: 2, “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings has thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.” He quoted it on the occasion that we know as Palm Sunday when the chief priests and scribes were upset because the children were crying out, “Hosanna to the son of David” (Matthew 21: 15,16).

Hosanna is a word which means “Save.” By shouting out that word to Him, the children were recognizing Jesus as the Messiah, the Savior - and the religious people didn’t like it. Jesus then quoted Psalm 8, but instead of saying, “out of the mouths of children you have ordained strength”, He said, “out of the mouths of children you have ordained praise.” Jesus equated strength and praise, validating this principle that your battles are won by God as you praise Him for His mercy toward you in that area.

Some people say “Praise the Lord!” a lot. And there is certainly nothing wrong with saying that, but think about it. If you are going to praise a family member or friend, you don’t just say “Praise Richard!” or “Praise Tracy!” You say “Richard has a wonderful sense of humor.” Or “Tracy is very generous and kind.” So it should be with God. To truly praise Him is to announce gratitude for His specific acts and attributes. And most often it will be as the army of Judah proclaimed, “Praise the Lord for His mercy endures forever.”

One problem in our society that keeps us from understanding this principle is our picture of God as separate from us, doling out punishment or reward from outside our world. Many see God as an old man sitting on a throne pointing a finger downward toward earth and shooting lightning bolts to affect the physical realm. We can’t praise Him if we don’t really understand what He is like.

The apostle John opens his gospel by giving us the true nature of God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). God is Spirit, Jesus tells us in John 4:24. He is Person who defines Himself by concepts and ideas. The very meaning of the word Word is “thought expressed.” WORD becomes flesh and has ever since God defined and spoke the physical universe into existence with the concept “Light!” Light energy is the basic component for all physical existence. God and His Word are the source of all Life. When we understand that, we can praise Him for being the ongoing Creator.

This concept of God as Spirit and Word is too big for our finite minds to understand completely all at once. But when we plant the seed of understanding and let it grow, we will one day know why Jesus told us that the parable of the sower sowing the Word was necessary for understanding all He teaches (Mark 4:13, 24). God is Spirit and He defines Himself in words. Those spoken words change our circumstances. To praise Him for specific actions and attributes is to bring those actions and attributes into the physical realm. “It is the spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).

We need to recognize that the devil and his followers are also spirit – evil spirits. They convey evil concepts - ideas and concepts that are contrary to the thoughts that God expresses to you through His Word. Just as we know God is not an old man sitting on a throne, the devil is not a man in a red suit holding a pitchfork, and evil spirits are not gargoyles. The Spirit realm, both good and evil, wants to affect the physical realm.

The more we understand God’s nature, the more we will praise Him, and the more we praise Him, the more we will see Him active in our lives.

The story of Jehoshaphat and the battle against the three armies illustrates a third principle.

EVIL ATTACKS ON THREE FRONTS

We’ve already looked at those three fronts in the account described in II Chronicles 20. Remember that in the Bible, names are very important because a name designates the nature of something. We often miss a lot of information that God wants to convey to us in His Word by not discovering what a person or group or place symbolizes.

The first thing I noticed the day the Lord was teaching me from this passage was that the third army is not mentioned at the beginning. “It came to pass after this also that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle” (II Chronicles 20:1).

Moab, representing our genetic inheritance, and Ammon, representing our cultural situation are identified right away. The third army is only mentioned as “and with them, other besides.” The group that came along with the first two armies isn’t named until verse 10.

“And now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom thou would not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of Egypt …” Mount Seir comes along with those things that attack us through our birth and cultural situations in life. As we saw earlier, the name Mount Seir means “goat or devil” and represents evil spirits, devils, demons, messengers of the enemy.

Spiritual enemies, evil spirits or devils, cannot just attack you physically – they have no bodies; they come in with the inherited and cultural enemies of your perfect happiness and your perfect good. When something has been established in you through your family heritage or cultural situation, then spiritual evil comes along with it to create and insure a stronghold.

My father’s family has a history of blood lipid disorder so out of balance that it was reported in medical journals. My brother and sister and I were the subjects of experimental research to develop drugs to reduce blood lipids. I inherited this disorder as extremely high triglycerides. With medication and moderate obedience to dietary good sense, my triglycerides stay at a healthy level, for me. Without medication and eating right, I get very sick.

The proclivity to high triglycerides is a genetic thing (Moab); the wrong diet is a cultural thing (Ammon); and the enemy (Mount Seir) comes along with those things to kill, steal, and destroy my life and the ministry that the Lord Jesus wants to accomplish through me. But when I praise Him for His mercy and thank Him that He is my life and my health, I receive His health and restoration, even when I have been unwise.

When the people of Judah went to God with their plea for help, they reminded Him that He would not let them invade and destroy these three armies at the time they entered the promised land. He left these possible enemies in the land.

In the same way, when you became a Christian you did not get a new body with a new genetic makeup. You were not translated into a perfect society with perfect cultural habits.

You were left with your genetic and cultural situation in a place where evil spirits operate through these things to kill, steal, and destroy all that God has promised you. In other words, you are in a war against the flesh, the world, and the devil. And you can’t win.

But God can.




THINGS TO REMEMBER



Principles of Spiritual Warfare

Only God can successfully defeat evil.

Praising God brings Him on the scene.

Evil attacks on three fronts.


Scripture Truths
“Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” II Chronicles 20:15
“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” John 1:1

“And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord sat ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.” II Chronicles 20:22



“Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings has thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.” Psalm 8:2

“I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High. When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence.” Psalm 9:2,3
HE SENT HIS WORD AND HEALED THEM AND DELIVERED THEM FROM THEIR DESTRUCTIONS.



Everyday Spiritual Warfare

© 2011 by Amy Barkman

Published by Next Step Books, P.O. Box 70271, West Valley City, Utah 84170
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise – without written permission of the author, except for brief quotations in printed reviews.

All Scripture quotations are from the King James Version.

Barkman, Amy

Everyday Spiritual Warfare



ISBN-13: 978-1937671006

ISBN-10: 1937671003


Here is my review of this incredible non-fiction book:

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Amy Barkman and her publisher for sending me a copy of "Everyday Spiritual Warfare" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

“Everyday Spiritual Warfare” by Amy Barkman is brilliantly broken down into topics so that you can go straight to a specific chapter that deals with the area where you are currently experiencing defeat. Each chapter is peppered with scripture. They contain personal stories of the author’s experience. They’re loaded with encouragement. There are lists of “Things to Remember” for each topic and more scripture truths close each chapter.

There are also incredible appendix helps for how to pray through each chapter of the book. The lists of study questions make this an ideal selection for a book club or small group Bible study.

Bible Study: The Acts of the Holy Spirit - A Study of the book of Acts - Chapter 10


Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Acts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. Stay strong. Live in the Spirit. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming…

Stacey


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 10 of the book of Acts. Read it with the thought in mind that this is the first display of the power of the Holy Spirit working through man – aside from Christ, that is. Imagine what the Spirit can do through you if you let Him! Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

10:1 – centurion – commander of a unit of at least 100 soldiers.

10:2 – Although not a Jew, Cornelius believed in the Jewish teaching that there is one God.

10:6 – Peter was staying with a tanner. Jews weren’t supposed to associate with those who touched dead things. He is overcoming many prejudices.

10:11-15 – see 10:28; 10:34-35.




• The book of Acts teaches us much about what the Holy Spirit is capable of doing through a mortal life. What have you learned about how He wants to work through you today? What will you do to give up a bit of control to Him?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

Friday, December 09, 2011

Bible Study: The Acts of the Holy Spirit - A Study of the book of Acts - Chapter 9


Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Acts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. Stay strong. Live in the Spirit. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming…

Stacey


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 9 of the book of Acts. Read it with the thought in mind that this is the first display of the power of the Holy Spirit working through man – aside from Christ, that is. Imagine what the Spirit can do through you if you let Him! Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

9:1-9 – Paul shares his testimony of this event in Acts 26:9-18 and Galatians 1:11-18.

9:1-2 – Saul was deeply committed to the persecution of Jesus’ followers.

9:3-6 – Saul needed a dramatic conversion because he was so bent on the destruction of the church. Nothing less would have turned him.

9:4 – whatever happens to the disciples, Jesus takes personally.

9:5 – Saul immediately recognizes the voice from heaven as God!

9:7-8 – Saul’s companions’ purpose was to lead the blind Saul to Damascus. This calling was important.

9:8 – Saul arrived in Damascus.

9:9 – Saul was fasting.

9:15-16 – Jesus tells Ananias that Saul is chosen to spread the gospel to the gentiles, their kings and then the Jews and that he will suffer for His name.

9:17 – Ananias submitted to Jesus and went to Saul to heal his eyes despite his fear of Saul. He even calls Saul “brother”, an indication of Saul’s acceptance into God’s family. Saul is filled with the Holy Spirit so that he will have the power and strength to do God’s work and endure suffering.

9:18 – scales fall from Saul’s eyes, representing his old life and the way he used to see things.

9:19-20 – Saul learned from the disciples he was planning to arrest! Then, he immediately began to preach in the synagogue.

9:20 – imagine the believers’ first response to Saul’s arrival. Would they run and hide? Stare open-mouthed in disbelief?

9:21 – these people were astonished because they knew Saul’s reputation and never expected to hear him preach.

9:23-25 – Saul learned of a plot by the Jews to kill him. Which Jews? Those he had persecuted? Probably not. He had been preaching here for three years (see Galatians 1:17-18). More than likely, they now trusted he was a genuine believer. This plot was political. See 2 Corinthians 11:32. The governor wanted Saul arrested. So, Saul’s followers lowered him over the gate in a basket.

9:23 – Saul’s persecution by the Jews solidified his witness.

9:26-28 – Saul went to Jerusalem and spent 15 days with Peter (and James). See Galatians 1:18-19.

9:26-27 – Barnabas had to vouch for Saul since the apostles didn’t believe in his motives. I want to be a Barnabas – one who doesn’t hold someone’s past against them or treat others suspiciously.

9:27 – for an introduction to Barnabas, see Acts 4:36-37.

9:29-30 – Saul talked with the Grecian (Hellenistic) Jews, who tried to kill him, so the disciples took Saul to Caesarea and shipped him off to Tarsus. These Grecian Jews may have been the same men who made accusations against Stephen. Saul may have sought them out thinking that he may be able to get through to them because of his former behavior.





• The book of Acts teaches us much about what the Holy Spirit is capable of doing through a mortal life. What have you learned about how He wants to work through you today? What will you do to give up a bit of control to Him?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The Common English Bible

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to the Editors and their publisher for sending me a copy of "The Common English Bible" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

Recently, I had the privilege of reading the Common English Bible for the purpose of review. This translation is the result of a cross-denominational translation project. I received the Thinline Bible DecoTone Tan/Brick Red, and I really like the size. It’s about the same as a trade paperback. And it feels like soft, supple leather in my hand. Personally, I adore reading a Bible I like to hold. The 9 pt. font size is easy to read, and I am beginning to need magnifying glasses for my compact size translations.

This would be a wonderful Bible for personal reading when you don’t want to be distracted by commentary notes and references. While visiting the website, I learned that this Bible is also very affordable. The only drawback I’ve found is that the words of Christ are not printed in red.

Here are some of the verses I checked out:



John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.



John 8:58 “I assure you,” Jesus replied, “before Abraham was, I Am.”


Psalm 1:1-3 The truly happy person doesn’t follow wicked advice, doesn’t stand on the road of sinners, and doesn’t sit with the disrespectful. Instead of doing those things, these persons love the LORD ’s Instruction, and they recite God’s Instruction day and night! They are like a tree replanted by streams of water, which bears fruit at just the right time and whose leaves don’t fade. Whatever they do succeeds.

“On the Path with God” by Erwin W. Lutzer

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


On the Path with God

Harvest House Publishers (July 1, 2011)

***Special thanks to Karri | Marketing Assistant, Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR and PHOTOGRAPHERS:


Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer, Senior Pastor of The Moody Church since 1980, is an award-winning author of more than 20 books including Walking with God. He’s a celebrated international conference speaker and the featured speaker on three radio programs that are heard around the world. He and his wife, Rebecca, have been married for 35 years. They live in the Chicago area and are the parents of three married children.

Visit the author's website.

John and Debora Scanlan are partners in life and in creating Scanlan Windows to the World™ Fine Art Photography. They are internationally renowned for capturing the beauty, intrigue, and romance of the world while presenting the essence of every scene. Their work is featured in galleries, special exhibitions and juried art shows, on numerous products including cards and calendars, and in their breathtaking fine art photography book Windows to the World.

Visit the photographers' website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:



Inspiring meditations from the heart of popular pastor and author Dr. Erwin Lutzer join breathtaking photographs of winding country paths and cobblestone streets and invite readers to take time to walk with God. The joy-filled promises of faith await those who treasure an enriched journey with the Creator.



Product Details:

List Price: $15.99
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (July 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736939369
ISBN-13: 978-0736939362

AND NOW...THE FIRST FEW PAGES (The images were scanned so that you may see what this delightful book looks like, but the words were placed here from these scanned images, so that you may read and be blessed.) Please click on the images to see them larger:




Why Walk with God?

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world.

Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12



A tour through a cemetery can be beneficial and educational. I like to read epitaphs because they often say something interesting about the person who is finished with this life and has gone on to the next. Maybe epitaphs should be required reading for everyone once a year. They are a reminder that life is short and that eternity is near.

Most epitaphs are serious, some are tragic, and yes, there are at least a few that are funny. I’m told that this poem is found on the tombstone of a lady named Anna Wallace in England:

The children of Israel wanted bread.

The Lord sent them manna.

Old clerk Wallace wanted a wife.

The devil sent him Anna.

Here is a poem I learned in grade school, though I doubt it is on a tombstone—it could be. It contains an important message about automobile safety:
Here lies the body of William Jay,

Who died while maintaining his right of way.

He was right, completely right as he sped along,

But he’s just as dead as if he’d been wrong!

My favorite epitaph is found in the Bible, embedded in a long list of genealogies in the fifth chapter of Genesis. To read these verses is like walking though a cemetery. The names are difficult to pronounce and we are left to guess what life was like so many centuries ago. Like the tolling of a bell, every tombstone bears the same message; six times we read the simple phrase “and he died.”



Then unexpectedly we discover that there was a man who did not die! His name was Enoch, and of him we read in verse 24, “Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.” Twice we are told that Enoch “walked with God.” In fact, He walked with God right into heaven!

This epitaph is perhaps one of the most beautiful phrases in the entire Bible. If it could be said of you and me that we “walked with God,” nothing more need be said. Those few words contain an eternity of meaning.

An Invitation to the Journey

Walking with God is both difficult and simple. Difficult because it takes thought, discipline, and commitment; simple because the same characteristics that apply to walking with a close friend or a loved one apply to walking with God.

Enoch walked with God in the midst of a society filled with temptations and obstacles just like those we face. He is a powerful reminder that we can be faithful to walk with God in our day as well. When we accept the invitation to begin the journey, trials and distractions need not keep us from our time with the Almighty.



Interestingly, Enoch was motivated to begin this journey after his first son Methuselah was born. Maybe he felt a new sense of responsibility as he held the baby boy in his arms. Perhaps as the child reached out to touch the stubble of his father’s beard Enoch said to himself, “I need to reorder my priorities and begin to take God more seriously.” Evidently he realized that the greatest contribution he could make in life was to guide his family on the right path.

Spend some moments reflecting on what motivates your heart to walk with the Lord today. Have you faced a trial and found yourself ready to give your sorrow to God? Do you long to leave a legacy of faith for your children? Maybe you’ve been in fellowship with the Lord for many years and you are ready for refreshment. Together we can explore how to walk with God and embrace the meaningful, remarkable, and abundant life He has planned for you. Let’s take a step forward toward the light of life.

You have declared this day that the LORD is your God

and that you will walk in his ways, that you will keep his decrees,

commands and laws, and that you will obey him.

And the LORD has declared this day that you are his people,

his treasured possession as he promised, and that

you are to keep all his commands.

Deuteronomy 26:17-18



Help for the Journey

I’ve often thought about what others might say of me after I die. I don’t mean the beautiful eulogies often given at funerals. Instead, I wonder what people will really think—what they will really remember about the impact for good or ill I have had in their lives. God of course, will give the final evaluation, but imagine our legacy if it could be said that we “walked with God.”



If an epitaph were written for you today, what would it be? Are you satisfied with that? What do you hope you will be remembered for?

Consider Jesus’ simple invitation to brothers Simon and Andrew referenced below. Think about how wonderful it feels to have Jesus call to you today in the same, simple way. What is your response to Jesus as He waves to you and says, “Come, follow me?”

As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men” (Mark 1:16-17).
God provides what you need each step of the way. What worries or weaknesses do you want to give to God—need to give to God—in exchange for His hope and renewing strength?


Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:30-31
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

Psalm 119:105



Here is my review of this beautiful gift book:

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Erwin Lutzer and his publisher for sending me a copy of "On The Path With God" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

“On the Path with God” by Erwin W. Lutzer is an incredibly beautiful, full-color gift book. It is filled with encouraging scripture verses and breathtaking photographs by John and Debora Scanlan. The challenging, informative and enlightening commentary uplifts the reader as it lauds the benefits of walking with the Lord. It also provides suggestions for having a more satisfying journey.

I was most impressed with the tiny details of this overwhelming visual feast! The watermarks on the pages are lovely bits of maps and cartographic symbols, fitting in perfectly with the theme detailing the Christian’s journey with God. This is one gift book I will not only review frequently, but will give often.

REVIEW: A Wedding Blunder In The Black Hills by Kim O'Brien

“A Wedding Blunder in the Black Hills” by Kim O’Brien is a wonderfully twisting romance that tickles the funny bone and deals sensitively with some important issues. Millie Hogan is a woman with a dream and a reputation. Never able to cut the apron strings and leave home, she wants a career in acting that will take her away from her meddlesome mother and the reputation she can’t outrun. David Denvers is also from Deer Park, South Dakota, but he is returning home after having made a life for himself in California. Taking over his father’s dental practice and moving home with his son, Bart, after the death of his wife, David finds himself at the clutches of his own matchmaking mom.

In a clever plot to “non-date,” Millie and David come up with a brilliant plan to keep their mothers off of their backs. After all, Millie doesn’t deserve a great guy like David and David is long over his high school crush on Millie. The plan is pretend to date until after the winter carnival. By then, David’s stalker, Cynthia, may have moved on. But David and Millie didn’t plan to fall in love for real.

In the midst of sled races, lots of great food and bullies, Millie, David and Bart become a family. This is a beautifully entertaining book. It would be a wonderful holiday read.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Bible Study: The Acts of the Holy Spirit - A Study of the book of Acts - Chapter 8


Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Acts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. Stay strong. Live in the Spirit. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming…

Stacey


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 8 of the book of Acts. Read it with the thought in mind that this is the first display of the power of the Holy Spirit working through man – aside from Christ, that is. Imagine what the Spirit can do through you if you let Him! Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…


8:1-3 – was this experience the thorn in Paul’s flesh? This was the beginning of his career as a persecutor of Christians.

8:5 – When Philip escaped persecution in Jerusalem (see verse 1), he went to Samaria to preach. Remember how Jews felt about Samaritans. They were considered half-breeds, outcasts, detestable. And Philip brought them the gospel. Sounds a bit like Jonah and the Ninevites. How have you been asked to serve God in such a situation?

8:6 – Philip performed signs.

8:7 – Philip drove out unclean spirits and healed the lame and paralyzed.

8:8 – Philip’s actions brought great joy to the city. How did Samaritans feel about Jews?

8:9 – Simon Magus was an arch-heretic of the church and is recognized as the father of Gnostic teaching. His sorceries probably included healing, astrology and magic tricks.

8:10 – Simon claimed to be either God or His representative. Some scholars say he claimed to be the Messiah!

8:12-13 – Philip wasn’t intimidated by Simon. He first preached to, and made believers of, Simon’s followers.

8:16-17 – see Luke 9:54. John finally got to rain fire down on the Samaritans!

8:18-24 – Simon tried to buy the ability to bestow the Holy Spirit at the laying on of hands, proving that his proclaimed belief in the gospel was false. Perhaps he simply wanted this ability to improve his act.

8:26 – God used an angel to communicate with Philip.

God gave Philip only one piece of information at a time to retain communication and dependence on Him.

8:27 – Candace – mother of Pharaoh. She ran the country.

8:29 – God used the Spirit to talk to Philip.

8:30 – Philip ran to the chariot in obedience. Then he listened to discover how to share with the Ethiopian eunuch.

The Ethiopian eunuch was “damaged goods”. see Leviticus 21:20; Matthew 19:11-12.

8:32-33 – see Isaiah 53:7-8; 56:3-5: 54:1…

8:34-35 – this is how the Gospel got to Africa.

8:39 – the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away – same word used in Thessalonians to describe rapture.




• The book of Acts teaches us much about what the Holy Spirit is capable of doing through a mortal life. What have you learned about how He wants to work through you today? What will you do to give up a bit of control to Him?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Names of God Bible





Open the door to a more intimate relationship with God

Discover the Hebrew names of God within the biblical text
Encounter God through prayers, promises, and devotional readings
Experience God's character more deeply by studying his names
One of the best ways to get to know God on a deeper level is to know his names and titles as revealed in Scripture. Now the bestselling author of Praying the Names of God and Praying the Names of Jesus uncovers the richness of God's character and love found in his names right within the Bible text.

The Names of God Bible restores more than 10,000 occurrences of specific names of God--like Yahweh, El Shadday, El Elyon, and Adonay--to help readers connect with the Hebrew roots of their Christian faith and experience a deeper understanding of God's character. Perfect for personal study, prayer, and reflection, The Names of God Bible includes these special features:

More than 10,000 names and titles of God restored to their Hebrew equivalent and printed in brown ink to stand out within the biblical text

Names of God reading paths lead readers to the next reference of the name so they can pray and study the names of God throughout Scripture

Name Pages feature

background information associated with the most important names and titles of God
key Scripture passages in which the name is revealed
devotional readings for each of the featured names
specific Bible promises connected to each of the featured names
Calling God by Name sidebars shed light on the relationship between biblical people and the specific names they called God


What People Are Saying about GOD'S WORD Translation

"An easy-to-understand Bible. . . . It is a wonderful version."--Rev. Billy Graham

"A remarkably fresh, accurate, and readable translation that communicates well the original text for modern readers. An outstanding achievement."--Dr. David Dockery

"The Bible is the means God has chosen to reach out in human language, reveal the essence of his relational heart, and relate the Good News of his redemptive plan. GOD'S WORD Translation presents that message in a way that makes sense to readers of all ages."--Josh McDowell

"Even if the rather prolific output of modern translations, paraphrases, and versions of Scripture should increase, this particular linguistic achievement, GOD'S WORD, will rank among the top contenders with the Bible-reading public."--Dr. D. James Kennedy

"GOD'S WORD is very possibly the most accurate English translation of the original text available today. A must-read for twenty-first century Christians."--Dr. Larry Richards


Here is my review of this wonderful Bible:

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Ann Spangler and her publisher for sending me a copy of "The Names of God Bible" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

“The Names of God Bible” in God’s Word Translation is amazing. Peppered with Ann Spangler’s writings on the Names of God, this easy-to-understand version of scripture is a joy to read. It doesn’t contain the number of references that you will find in a reference or study Bible, but what it does contain is a powerful prayer resource and a valuable way to know God.

This Bible showcases 71 names of God, their meanings, the promises associated with each name, and a devotional reading on praying to God as identified by that name. The introduction to each book identifies the key name(s) of God used in that book and the meaning of the name(s). Within the text, the names of God are printed in brown to set them apart. The reader’s eye is really drawn to the names.

Other helps include a chart showing the first appearance of each name in scripture and another showing the number of appearances of each name. There is also a valuable pronunciation guide, a topical prayer guide and several reading plans. Key scriptures are highlighted for reflection and memorization. This is a wonderful prayer tool that will draw the reader into a deeper, broader relationship with God as they get to know Him by His names.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Bible Study: The Acts of the Holy Spirit - A Study of the book of Acts - Chapter 7


Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Acts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. Stay strong. Live in the Spirit. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming…

Stacey


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 7 of the book of Acts. Read it with the thought in mind that this is the first display of the power of the Holy Spirit working through man – aside from Christ, that is. Imagine what the Spirit can do through you if you let Him! Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

7:1-53 – Stephen delivers a clear and concise speech beginning with Abraham that was designed to convict the listeners of their sins. This led to his execution. He is giving the Sanhedrin a lesson of the history they have obviously forgotten.

7:51-53 – Stephen took an offensive rather than a defensive posture at his trial.

7:54-60 – Stephen met earthly circumstances with heavenly responses.

“St. Stephen suffered the next in order. His death was occasioned by the faithful manner in which he preached the Gospel to the betrayers and murderers of Christ. To such a degree of madness were they excited, that they cast him out of the city and stoned him to death. The time when he suffered is generally supposed to have been at the passover which succeeded to that of our Lord's crucifixion, and to the era of his ascension, in the following spring.

“Upon this a great persecution was raised against all who professed their belief in Christ as the Messiah, or as a prophet. We are immediately told by St. Luke, that "there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem;" and that "they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles."

“About two thousand Christians, with Nicanor, one of the seven deacons, suffered martyrdom during the "persecution that arose about Stephen."” (Fox’s Book of Martyrs)

7:55 – Stephen saw God’s glory and Christ at God’s side before he was executed because he was full of the Holy Spirit.

7:58 – The mob stoned Stephen, but the Sanhedrin didn’t stop them.

Saul, an eye-witness, may have told this account to Luke, the author.

7:59-60 – forgiveness.

7:59 – “receive my spirit” is based on Psalm 31:5, a prayer Jewish children would say at bedtime.

7:60 – fell asleep – died.




• The book of Acts teaches us much about what the Holy Spirit is capable of doing through a mortal life. What have you learned about how He wants to work through you today? What will you do to give up a bit of control to Him?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Live Abundantly and Live Reflectively

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card authors are:


and the books:


Live Reflectively: Lessons from the Watershed Moments of Moses

David C. Cook (November 1, 2011)

and

Live Abundantly: A Study in the Book of Ephesians

David C. Cook; 2 edition (November 1, 2011)

***Special thanks to Audra Jennings, Senior Media Specialist, The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Lenya Heitzig is an award-winning author and popular Bible teacher. She and her husband founded Calvary Church of Albuquerque—one of the fastest-growing churches worldwide. She is the author of Holy Moments: Recognizing God’s Fingerprints on Your Life and also contributed to the best-selling New Women’s Devotional Bible. Heitzig serves as Executive Director of She Ministries of Albuquerque, overseeing weekly Bible studies and yearly retreats. She and her husband Skip live in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Penny Rose is the award-winning author of numerous books. Penny thrives on teaching at conferences and retreats nationwide. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her husband, Kerry, a pastor at Calvary of Albuquerque.

Visit the authors' website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

The Fresh Life series was created for women who crave a profound experience of God’s Word without an overwhelming time commitment. Bible teachers Lenya Heitzig and Penny Rose challenge readers to dig deep into Scripture by using a directed study method that only requires twenty minutes a day. With a fresh approach to studying Scripture that gives newcomers as well as seasoned students deep insight into God’s Word, the latest two additions in the series explore the life of Moses and the riches in the book of Ephesians.

Live Reflectively: Lessons from the Watershed Moments of Moses (Heitzig) is an engaging Bible study on the life of Moses. He was saved from death on the Nile and raised as an Egyptian prince. He met his wife at a Midianite well, witnessed the birth of a nation as the Red Sea parted and watched water gush from a rock with one touch of his rod. He died overlooking the Jordan River. Through viewing the water moments of Moses’ life, readers will be encouraged to consider the moments in their own lives that shape who they are and who they are becoming.

Live Abundantly: A Study in the Book of Ephesians (Heitzig and Rose) challenges readers to dig deep into the book of Ephesians to find the spiritual treasure God has for them. The book of Ephesians is God’s “last will and testament” that bequeaths his spiritual treasures to His beloved children. Covering topics such as living in God’s will and receiving peace no matter the circumstances, it reveals the magnitude of every Christian’s inheritance—a gift “exceedingly abundantly above” what you could ever ask for.

The Fresh Life series teaches readers to:
· Lift up...a prayer
· Look at…God’s Word (answering questions concerning what the passage says)
· Learn about…what the passage means (sidebars define words and profice background information)
· Live out…what they have learned (personalizing the text and learning how it can impact their daily life)
· Listen to…quotes from well-known figures to build on the truths uncovered in Scripture

Readers will develop a deeper intimacy with the Lord and walk away feeling inspired to move forward in their walks of faith. Live Abundantly and Live Reflectively continue the rich biblical tradition of the Fresh Life series. They offer wisdom that will leave readers encouraged in their present situations and hopeful for the spiritual journey ahead.

Product Details:

Live Reflectively: Lessons from the Watershed Moments of Moses

List Price: $17.99
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook (November 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0781405939
ISBN-13: 978-0781405935

Product Details:

Live Abundantly: A Study in the Book of Ephesians

List Price: $17.99
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook; 2 edition (November 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1434703304
ISBN-13: 978-1434703309

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER (Click on images to expand):


Live Reflectively: Lessons from the Watershed Moments of Moses

































Live Abundantly: A Study in the Book of Ephesians (Click on images to expand)



























Here is my review of these engaging Bible study workbooks:

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to AUTHOR and his/her publisher for sending me a copy of "NOVEL" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

These two incredible Bible studies would be incredible for personal or small group use. Both studies are user-friendly with intriguing activities and questions designed to draw truth from scripture and assist the student with life application. Each study contains lots of sidebars that teach truths about culture during Biblical times to add perspective to the content of scripture.

“Live Abundantly: A Study in the Book of Ephesians” by Lenya Heitzig and Penny Rose is a vibrant look at the New Testament letter penned by the Apostle Paul. Part of the Fresh Life Bible Study Series, “Live Abundantly” encourages the student over the course of 12 weeks in a five-day homework format. The study claims that each day’s lesson takes 20 minutes to complete, but the student can certainly spend more time poring over the passages of scripture to glean additional truths, if desired.

“Live Reflectively: Lessons from the Watershed Moments of Moses” by Lenya Heitzig is a ten-week study of the life of Moses. Each of the five daily lessons will encourage the study to develop the habit of remembering what God has done so that we may grow in relationship with Him.

I highly recommend both studies.