Sunday, March 3, 2013

Review: Women's Bible Studies

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Disclaimer:  There are parts of these devotionals that do not align with my theological beliefs.  As with all books, I encourage you to read each sentence using the Bible as your guide for truth.  If questions arise, I advise you study the subject for yourself by doing a word study.

In God Loves Moms: Twelve Lessons about God's Mercy, author Christina Hergenrader introduces the reader to twelve Bible moms.  I say “introduces” because there is so much more to these women than our typical first glance.  We see each of these women with their faults and then how God uses these faults for His Kingdom.

The author opens each section with a personal draw to each of the woman through a personal story or application.  Then she shares Biblical information about each woman.   A few scripture references are given to guide the discussion.  Throughout, questions are provided to make the learning personal and to check for understanding.  Unlike most studies, answers to the questions are given at the end of the study.  These questions could be used for group discussion.

In each of these lessons, I was able to leave with at least one point.  Something that I hadn't thought of before or something that I needed reminded of.  I enjoyed getting to know each of the "ladies" on a deeper level. This is not an intense study but one on the lighter side.  Personally, I would have liked to see more scripture used to reference the points brought out by the author. 

Whether for a group or personal study, this study will open your eyes to these twelve women in the Bible.  You will see them as women who could be in your circle instead of women who are one dimensional.


Pew Sisters.  Those women with whom we worship, live life, celebrate, and share tears.  You probably have images of these women right now.  For me, these are the women in my Bible study and those in my tight circle of sisters.

Author Katie Schuemann, shares stories of twelve women.  Their stories of God's faithfulness weaved through the core of their lives.   Each chapter begins with a section of verses followed by a real story of struggle and reconciliation.  Next are questions to make the stories personal.  Some of the questions involve scripture.  Following is a summary, hymn stanza, and prayer.

In this devo, you will read short stories covering topics of postpartum depression to going blind to worry and anxiety.  Each of these stories are ones that we have lived, are living, or know someone similar to the women in the stories.  Because of this, we can easily pick out nuggets of truth seeing God's faithfulness. 

This study could be done with a group or individually.  As a group, there would be very little prep time needed as each section is very short.

In the introduction, the author Donna Pyle says it so elliquently.
Suffering causes us to forget our blessings and look only to our circumstances.  ...It creates distaste for the present.  Dissatisfaction with the past.  Distrust of the future.  ...Hurt blinds us to yesterday's blessing. causes indifference to today's opportunities, and creates insecurity regarding tomorrow's provision.
And if you are in the mist of a trial, you understand how true this is.

God of All Comfort
contains eight lesson about the hope that we have in Christ. Hope that is available to us during times of pain and discouragement. 

This final study was my favorite of the three listed in this review.  Maybe because it contained the most scripture.  And maybe because it talked about struggles in life. The interrupted expectations which I am living intently right now.

Each chapter is divided into five lessons and one small-group discussion.  Ms. Pyle uses real-life stories to introduce and carry each topic.  In the journaling sections, the author isn't afraid to ask the hard questions.  Scripture references are frequently provided to help the reader find hope through the promises of God. 

Donna Pyle shares four "disciplines" that she uses to daily spend time with God.

1.  Follow a daily Bible reading program. 
She suggests using an app that automatically uploads a portion of scripture.  In past posts, I have suggested the The Daily Walk Bible (New Living Translation)Read more...

2.  Write out a Psalms a day.
This was new to me but I really like it.  Each morning, Ms. Pyle writes a Psalm in her journal.  When she finishes with Psalm 150, she begins the process again.  You could do the same with Proverbs or section of James as well (as we are currently doing with the Beth Moore's James group study).

3.  Pray
Daily pray and don't let anything distract you from this important time.

4.  Keep a personal journal.
This activity is one that I emphasize a lot in my ebook "A Quiet Time, Worth the Time."  Ms. Pyle agrees with the power of journaling!

What Bible study would you suggest to others?

Thank you to Concordia Press for allowing me to review this books.

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