Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Book Reviews - Christian {Bible Studies}

Face-to-Face with Lois and Eunice -- 
Nuturing Faith in Your Family... by Janet Thompson

Book description from the publisher:

Lois and Eunice followed the numerous Scriptures instructing one generation to pass on its faith to the next generation, and young Timothy grew up to be a second-generation leader of the early church.
Often mentoring focuses on reaching out to others; but as parents and grandparents the first line of mentoring should be within your own family, a concept repeated throughout the Bible. The Bible has many devastating examples of parents who were poor role models or didn't rear their children to know God, as well good and faithful parents whose children wandered away from God.
Face-to-Face with Lois and Eunice focuses on how women today can be grandmothers, mothers, aunts, and mentors whose faith takes root in the next generation.

Face-to-Face with Sarah, Rachel, and Hannah -- Pleading with God ...by Janet Thompson

Book description from the publisher:

At some time in life we all beg God to perform in a way we think is best. Even a woman of strong faith can experience a crisis of faith when life doesn't turn out as she expects and she knows God could intervene on her behalf.
Sarah, Rachel, and Hannah thought God should provide a child and pleaded with Him to honor their hearts' desire. In different ways, each woman took matters into her own hands when God's timing didn't match her timetable.
Face-to-Face with Sarah, Rachel, and Hannah explores various issues in women's lives that lead to pleading with God. Janet examines ways they react when He doesn't immediately respond or they don't like His answer and guides women to learn to rest in God's sovereignty and wait on His timing.

My review {for both books combined}:

Each of these Bible Study books are divided into five sessions – which are each broken down into five “days” per session. Each day’s worth of reading/studying is a manageable amount for personal study. Within each session there are quotes (some from different books), On Your Own sections (with Bible verses and personal questions), M&M’s (which deals with mentors/mentees), “Face-to-Face Reflections”, Personal Parables (“real-life” stories that pertain to the Bible study), and Mentoring Moments.
At the end of each book there is a guide for leading a group Bible Study on the book, which I thought were laid out really nicely.

Face-to-Face with Lois and Eunice deals with family relationships and the importance of passing on our beliefs to our children/grandchildren. It also has a session on dealing with our “prodigals” – how to pray for them, and learning to forgive them and “leave it to God”. It also teaches us how to mentor to the younger generation (our own children, and others that may look up to us as a mentor.)

Face-to-Face with Sarah, Rachel, and Hannah is about how we handle ourselves and our relationship with God when we want something {really bad} and God doesn’t come through {either never, or “in His own time”.} This book leads us though studies (based on Sarah, Rachel and Hannah) about how to get through the following “problems” we may have: doing things “our way” versus “God’s way” & bargaining with God … and then proceeds to deal with learning to have patience (waiting on God) and making peace with God (and what His will for us may be.)

I really thought both of these Bible studies would be good to use individually as well as in a group study. The small questions, etc. geared towards the Mentor/Mentee relationship (in my opinion) seemed a little “awkward” and just seemed to be “thrown in there” sometimes – but as a whole, did not detract from the books. I thought there were plenty of really good verses to look up, and lots of great questions included in each session. The only other thing that I didn’t care for (again, this is just my personal opinion, you may think differently) was the amount of references to the author’s other books that were included. It was almost like advertisements to go buy her other books (which are probably really good books, and worth reading…but I still found the references to be sort of annoying.) But…in the author’s defense, the quotes that were from her other books and included in these 2 books were relevant to the Bible studies. (And there were plenty of quotes from other books/authors, as well.)

Overall, I think these 2 Bible Study books are good, and would recommend that you try them out! I would rate them both at a “3.5 out of 5 stars”.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an e-book edition of this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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