Wednesday, February 27, 2013

FIRST Wild Card Tour: Beyond the Rapids by Evelyn Puerto

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:

Pleasant Word-A Division of WinePress Publishing; First Edition edition (May 25, 2010)

***Special thanks to Evelyn Puerto for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Evelyn Puerto left a career in health care planning to serve as a missionary for seven years in Russia. During those years, she met and was inspired by the Brynza family, whose story she tells in Beyond the Rapids. After her return from the mission field, she got married, inheriting three stepdaughters, two stepgrandsons and a cat.


Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:


Imagine that you are a believer living in a communist country. You live with the knowledge that at any time you could be imprisoned, tortured or killed simply because you are a Christian.

Award-winning Beyond the Rapids is the true story of Ukrainian pastor Alexei Brynza and his wife, Valentina, who endured persecution in a culture that was hostile to their faith as they struggled to raise their children as believers. The Brynzas children were tempted by ambition, wealth, love and popularity as they struggled with the choice between embracing the communist system or believing in God. Beyond the Rapids is an inspiring story of God's grace and faithfulness in all circumstances.




Product Details:
List Price: $19.99
Paperback: 348 pages
Publisher: Pleasant Word-A Division of WinePress Publishing; First Edition edition (May 25, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1414116055
ISBN-13: 978-1414116051

My Review:
Wow...what an inspirational true story! I really enjoyed reading this book. I laughed...I cried...I pondered! The story was told by the Brynzas' grown children (one daughter and three sons) and by their son-in-law and one of the daughters-in-law. As you read the book, you can clearly see God's fingerprints on their lives over and over again. I cannot imagine how hard it must be to live under such an oppressive government that was so determined to destroy Christianity and make Christians' lives absolutely miserable. By God's grace, this family faithfully persevered under constant persecution and served God tirelessly. Their children had to make a choice individually whether to live for God or to live for success, acceptance, wealth, and worldly pleasures. Each chapter starts with 2 contrary quotes, one from the Bible (Biblical worldview) and the other from the Communist's worldview.

Faith. Prayers. God's faithfulness. God's provision. God's protection. God's power. Horror of Communism. Injustice. Folly of atheism and lies of atheists. Suffering. Worldly temptations. Struggles. Pressure to conform. Parenting. Courtship. Surrender to God's will. Miracles. And much much more. I highly recommend this wonderful book full of beautiful & powerful testimonies!


"As we grew older, we began to see that God didn't help everyone in the same way. Some were saved by miracles; others endured, trusting God for the next day, the next step, the next breath. During the famine and the terror, some were saved from arrest, or found food when they needed it--while others did not. Yet, even those dying of starvation or tortured in a prison camp, received a peace that couldn't be explained in human terms. For those who had faith, God gave the comfort of knowing that even if they didn't survive the current crisis, they would have eternity with Him in heaven. They understood that all things come to them through God's hands, so that they could know Him and His love for them in a much deeper way, to help them become more like Christ, and so that many would see His glory. If their suffering brought others to God, they rejoiced that God used them." (p.57)


"The knowledge of the never-ending love of Christ, and the victory over circumstances that He brings was what Papa wanted to pass down to his own children, and what the government was doing all it could to prevent." (p.98)


"Confronting the witchdoctor taught me that the miracles God did for others in the past, for the people in the Bible and Lena's relatives, were not gifts for another generation. God's power flows through the life of any obedient believer. This power sometimes shows itself through an amazing rescue, sometimes it reveals itself through changed hearts and lives, and sometimes in the rise and fall of governments." (p.281)


AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Beyond the Rapids

One Family’s Triumph over Religious Persecution in Communist Ukraine


Chapter 1


Grandpa and the Firing Squad


Stone walls do not a prisone [sic] make.1

George Bernard Shaw



Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

John 8:32



As told by Lena

My parents didn’t allow my three brothers and me to play with the other children in the neighborhood. They built a wood fence around the yard and installed a gate, which Mama locked every morning after Papa left for work. Then she let us amuse ourselves in the yard while she was cooking or planting potatoes or taking care of the goats. We often stood at the gate, peeking through the bars, stretching our hands into the air, rejoicing that our hands were free, even if we were not, waving at the neighbors passing by, neighbors who laughed at us, remarking we were like prisoners in jail.

Maybe the neighbors were joking; maybe they remembered that our grandfather had been imprisoned during the Great Patriotic War. Many Ukrainians rejoiced when our country was invaded. Some greeted the German army with bread and salt, the traditional symbols of welcome, hoping the Nazis would rule more humanely than the iron-fisted communists. After two years of German occupation, the Soviet Army drove the Nazis out, fighting so fiercely around Zaporozhe that the Dniepr River ran red with the blood of the dead.

The Soviet Army rounded up all the men who survived the occupation to take to the front. My grandfather, Gavril, was among them. He refused to fight. The Baptist church left decisions about participating in war or bearing arms to each person’s conscience. For Grandpa, it was clear. “I am a Christian,” he said, “and I will not kill anyone.”

To the Soviet authorities, this was traitorous. How could any citizen shirk his duty to defend the Motherland from the fascist invaders? The Nazis treacherously attacked our country, plundered wantonly, slaughtered millions of people, and carried off thousands more to slavery in Germany. Maybe my grandfather would have been more willing to help a regime that had not been so cruel to believers. He certainly wasn’t going to compromise his principles to help the Communist Party complete its Five Year Plan. He would remain true to his faith and convictions no matter what.

For many years the authorities sought reasons to arrest Grandpa for his faith; now they had grounds to execute him. He was tried, sentenced to death by firing squad, and flung into the death cell with others condemned to die. There he sat for an entire month. The guards distributed almost no food and offered no medical care of any kind to these prisoners, reasoning that the inmates were going to die anyway. Why waste good food or medicine on traitors and criminals?

Every morning, as the pale winter sun peaked through the tiny window high up in the wall of the unheated cell, the cell’s door grated open and a guard would appear. As he probed the faces of the condemned with his flashlight, the prisoners waited, resigned, knowing what was about to happen—one of their number would be called out never to return, and each one hoped to be spared one more day. But the guard’s light would finally settle on one weary face. “You. Let’s go.”

One morning the light drilled into Grandpa’s face. He calmly said good-bye to his cellmates. After a month in the death cell he still wasn’t sure why he had been arrested. Was it for refusing to fight in the army, refusing to kill another human being? Or was it simply for his faith? Now his sentence was about to be fulfilled; it didn’t matter why he was to die. He staggered to his feet, lightheaded from hunger, stiff from inactivity.

The weak light of the winter sun pierced Grandpa’s eyes when he left the cell. Each step was a struggle, every muscle protesting, pain shooting through his feet as he walked to certain death, his heart at peace. He knew that in a few minutes he would be rewarded for his faith and enjoy eternal life with God. The guards marched Grandpa along the muddy streets of the camp. As they passed the headquarters, an officer came out. “Where are you taking this man?” he asked.

“To the firing squad.”

“What has he done?”

“He’s a Baptist leech who won’t fight.”

“My mother was a Baptist,” said the officer. “I can’t allow you to kill him. Give him another trial.” At the second trial they sentenced Grandpa to ten years hard labor in a concentration camp in Siberia. Grandpa’s suffering was only beginning.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Book Review: Fear, Faith and a Fistful of Chocolate Plus Kindle Fire Giveaway and 3/7 Facebook party


About Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate

Are you ready to strip fear's power over you and become the confident woman you were meant to be? Have you found that tolerating your personal fear monsters only makes them growl louder?

Okay, sister - take my hand and let's boldly step up and yank the masks off those shadow-lurking, anxiety-churning, worry-generating beasts.
With her own brand of off-beat wit and wisdom, inspirational humorist Debora Coty addresses heart needs of women worn down by everyday fears - financial, health, relationships, loss, pain, the unknown, the what ifs ...
With fresh spiritual insight, Debora shares hope, true life stories, scriptural lifelines, and a few LOL's along with simple, practical tips for sidestepping fear with faith. And a fistful of chocolate!


Meet Debora:  

Debora Coty is an occupational therapist, a piano teacher, and a freelance writer. She's also involved in the children's ministry at her church and is an avid tennis player. Debora began writing to fill the void when her last child left for college, and it has since become a passion. Debora has a real knack for getting across sound biblical concepts with a refreshing lightheartedness as attested in her monthly newspaper column entitled "Grace Notes: God's Grace for Everyday Living."

My Review:
"Fear" is not "funny" and you would not expect to associate one with the other. However, Debora Coty managed to do so :). Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate is a small book but is packed with Biblical truths, witty insights, and practical advice that will help you combat your fears while laughing (or at least smiling) all the way. The book covers internal fears (humiliation, rejection, guilt, and loneliness), external fears (worry, anxiety, obsessions, risks, aging), and faceless fears (money, death, negative self-talk, the unknown, and loss of loved ones), based on what t
he survey says... The author conducted a survey of 500 random women with ages ranging from 18 to 80 and addressed the top ten fears in this book. The book also offers tools for fighting your fears such as gratitude, compassion, forgiveness, perseverance, grace, and God's Word. You will also find several personal heartfelt stories from the author and others. Each chapter ends with 5 reflection questions. I love Debora's writing style which includes word play, alliteration, and acronyms.

I personally don't really struggle with any fears or anxiety. I know...I'm so very thankful for that! However, I still enjoyed reading this encouraging book and I will use what I learn from it to help people who struggle with these issues. I even learned some new words such as "grumplitude" and "fearified" :). Friends, fight your fears with faith and find freedom!

"Fear is passion in a negative direction." (page 19)
"I've come to realize worrying is a form of self-centeredness--it keeps us focused on getting rather than giving, and keeps our eyes on ourselves instead of others. Worriers are preoccupied with protecting themselves." (page 56)

"But the thing is, God's sovereignty is innately mysterious; He has the right to be unexplainable and unfathomable. He is God." (page 213)


~I received a copy of this book for free via Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange of my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Celebrate the release of Fear, Faith and a Fistful of Chocolate with Debora Coty by entering her Kindle Fire Giveaway and RSVPing to the March 7th Author Chat Party on Facebook!


Fear-Faith-Giveaway-300
One "sweet" winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • A Debora Coty Library (Fear, Faith and a Fistful of Chocolate, More Beauty, Less Beast, Too Blessed To Be Stressed, and Everyday Hope)
  • Chocolate (Every good thing begins with chocolate!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 3/6/13. Winner will be announced at Debora's "Fear, Faith and a Fistful of Chocolate" Facebook Party on 3/7. Debora will be hosting an evening of chat, fun trivia, laughter, and encouragement - bring your friends! She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, and a book club prize pack! (Ten copies of the book for your small group or book club and a live chat with Debora via Skype.)

So grab your copy of Fear, Faith and a Fistful of Chocolate and join Debora and friends on the evening of March 7th for an evening of fun. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 7th!

FIRST Wild Card Tour: The Emotionally Healthy Woman by Geri Scazzero

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:

Zondervan (January 2, 2013)

***Special thanks to Rick Roberson for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Geri Scazzero is a teaching pastor and director of Marriage Ministry at New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, New York City, a multiracial, international church with over sixty-five countries represented. She is coauthor of The Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Workbook for small groups and also speaks regularly to pastors, leaders, and their spouses.


Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:


Geri Scazzero knew something was wrong with her life and her ministry. After having spent 17 years trying unsuccessfully to fit into the traditional mold of "perfect pastor's wife," she finally threw in the proverbial towel. Making the painful decision to leave her husband's thriving church, she stopped pretending everything was "fine" and embarked upon a solitary journey of faith. Her emotional and spiritual trek not only established a revolutionary new paradigm in her life, but it also led her to a beautifully transformed life, marriage and ministry.

Within the pages of her latest book, author and popular conference speaker Scazzero shares deeply out of her own life, offering a seasoned and radical message for Christian women today. According to author Geri Scazzero, becoming an emotionally healthy woman begins by quitting eight unhealthy ways of relating. When you stop pretending everything is fine and summon the courage to quit that which does not belong to Jesus' kingdom, you will be launched on a powerful journey---one that will bring you true peace and freedom.
.Genre: RELIGION/Christian Living

Product Details:
List Price: $14.99
Reading level: Ages 18 and up
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Zondervan (January 2, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310320011
ISBN-13: 978-0310320012


AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


When You Can’t Take It Anymore



This is a book about following Jesus and summoning the courage to quit anything that does not belong to his kingdom or fall under his rule.



Traditionally, the Christian community hasn’t placed much value on quitting. In fact, just the opposite is true; it is endurance and perseverance we most esteem .For many of us, the notion of quitting is completely foreign. When I was growing up, quitters were considered weak, bad sports, and babies. I never quit any of the groups or teams I was part of. I do remember briefly quitting the Girl Scouts, but I soon rejoined. Quitting is not a quality we admire— in ourselves or in others.



The kind of quitting I’m talking about isn’t about weakness or giving up in despair . It is about strength and choosing to live in the truth. This requires the death of illusions. It means ceasing to pretend that everything is fine when it is not. Perpetuating illusions is a universal problem in marriages, families, friendships, and work places. Tragically, pretending everything is fine when it’s not also happens at church, the very place where truth and love are meant to shine most brightly.



Biblical quitting goes hand in hand with choosing. When we quit those things that are damaging to our souls or the souls of others, we are freed up to choose other ways of being and relating that are rooted in love and lead to life.



For example . . .

When we quit fear of what others think, we choose freedom .

When we quit lies, we choose truth.

When we quit blaming, we choose to take responsibility.

When we quit faulty thinking, we choose to live in reality.



Quitting is a way of putting off what Scripture calls falsehood and the old self . As the apostle Paul writes, “Put off your old self . . . and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore each of you must put off falsehood” (Ephesians 4:22 – 25). When we quit for the right reasons, we are changed. Something breaks inside of us when we finally say, “No more.” The Holy Spirit births a new resolve within us. We rise above our fears and defensiveness. The hard soil of our heart becomes soft and ready to receive new growth and possibilities .



The Bible teaches that there is a time and season for everything under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1). That includes quitting. But it must be done for the right reasons, at the right time, and in the right way. That’s what this book is about.



Cutting the Rope



In 1985, Simon Yates and his climbing partner, Joe Simpson, had just reached the top of a 21,000-foot peak in Peru when disaster struck. Simpson fell and shattered his leg. As the sky grew dark and a blizzard raged, Yates tried to lower his injured friend to safety. At a certain point, however, he accidently lowered Simpson over an ice cliff, where he hung helplessly. Straining to hold his partner’s body in midair, Yates was faced with choosing life or death for his friend.

When he could hang on no longer, Yates had to make a hellish decision: cut the rope and save his own life, sending his partner plummeting down to certain death, or face certain death trying to save him.

Yates later related those painful moments, “There was nothing I could do. I was just there. This went on for an hour and a half. My position was getting desperate . . . I was literally going down the mountain in little jerky stages on this soft sugary snow that collapsed beneath me. Then I remembered I had a penknife. I made the decision pretty quickly really. To me it just seemed like the right thing to do under the circumstances. There was no way I could maintain where I was. Sooner or later I was going to be pulled off the mountain. I pulled the penknife out.”



Yates cut the rope moments before he would have been pulled to his own death.



Certain that his partner was dead, Yates returned to base camp, consumed with grief and guilt over cutting the rope. Miraculously, however, Simpson survived the fall, crawled over the cliffs and canyons, and reached base camp only hours before Yates had planned to leave. In describing his decision to cut the rope, Yates articulates the core inner struggle for each of us in doing I Quit!



I had never felt so wretchedly alone . . . If I hadn’t cut the rope, I would certainly have died. No one cuts the rope! It could never have been that bad! Why didn’t you do this or try that? I could hear the questions, and see the doubts in the eyes of those who accepted my story. It was bizarre and it was cruel . . . However many times I persuaded myself that I had no choice but to cut the rope, a nagging thought said otherwise . It seemed like a blasphemy to have done such a thing. It went against every instinct: even against self-preservation. I could listen to no rational arguments against the feelings of guilt and cowardice . . . I resigned myself to punishment. It seemed right to be punished; to atone for leaving him dead as if simply surviving had been a crime in itself.



Quitting can feel like we are severing a lifeline, that someone, possibly even ourselves, is going to die. For this reason quitting is unthinkable to many, especially in the church. It appears “bizarre” and “cruel.” Who wants to be unpopular and rock the boat or disrupt things? I sure didn’t.



But there comes a point when we cross a threshold and we can’t take it anymore. Like Yates, we know we will die spiritually, emotionally, or otherwise unless we quit and choose to do something differently. We finally step over our fears into the great unknown territory that lies before us.



Yates was criticized by some in the mountain-climbing community for violating a sacred rule of never abandoning one’s partner — even if both died in the process. Joe Simpson himself passionately defended Yates’ choice. Ultimately, Yates’s decision to cut the rope saved both their lives.



The “Unfree” Christian



When I fell in love with Christ, I fell hard. As a nineteen- year-old college student, the enormity of God’s love over- whelmed me. I immediately began a passionate quest to know this living Jesus, and I was willing to do whatever it took to please him.



I eagerly structured my life around key spiritual disciplines such as reading and memorizing Scripture, prayer, fellowship, worship, fasting, giving financially, serving, silence and solitude, and sharing my faith with others. In my pursuit of Christlikeness, I absorbed books about the importance of spiritual disciplines by such authors as Richard Foster, J . I . Packer, and John Stott. They were helpful in broadening my understanding of Christianity and inspiring me to keep Christ at the center of my life. However, I failed to grasp the truth that a healthy spiritual life includes a careful balance between serving other people’s needs and desires and valuing my own needs and desires. Instead, I put most of my efforts into caring for others at the expense of my own soul.



The accumulated pain and resentment of this imbalance led to my first big “quit” at age thirty-seven. After seventeen years of being a committed Christian, I came to realize that excessive self-denial had led me to a joyless, guilt-ridden existence. Jesus invited me into the Christian life to enjoy a rich banquet at his table. Instead, it often felt like I was a galley slave, laboring to serve everyone else at the feast rather than enjoying it myself. In my relation- ship with Jesus, I’d gone from the great joy of feeling over- whelmed by his love to bitter resentment at feeling overwhelmed by his demands.



My identity had been swallowed up in putting others before myself. I constantly thought of the needs of our four small daughters. I worried about Pete’s responsibilities. I filled in wherever needed to help our growing church. These are all potentially good things, but my love had become a “have to,” a “should” rather than a gift freely given. I mistakenly believed I didn’t have a choice.



A renewed understanding of my own dignity and human limits enabled me to place loving boundaries around myself. I soon realized this was central to offering a sincere and genuine gift of love to others. Like God’s love to us, it must be free. And the extent to which I valued and loved myself was the extent to which I was capable of loving others well.



Dying to Live



Quitting is about dying to the things that are not of God. Make no mistake, it is one of the hardest things we do for Christ. But the good news is that quitting itself isn’t just an end; it is also a beginning. Biblical quitting is God’s path for new things to come forth in our lives, for resurrection. And yet, the path that leads to resurrection is never easy.



Internal voices alarm us with fears of quitting.



“What will people think?”

“I’m being selfish and not Christlike.”

“I will mess everything up.”

“People will get hurt.”

“Everything will fall apart around me.”

“I will jeopardize my marriage.”



Everything inside us resists the pain associated with dying — the nonnegotiable prerequisite for resurrection. As a result, we often cave in to our fears as a short-term anxiety-relief strategy. Sadly, this usually leads to painful long-term consequences — ongoing inner turmoil, joyless- ness, and festering resentments. As a result, we become stuck and ineffective in bearing genuine fruit for Christ. In my case, it resulted in a shrinking heart that sought to avoid people rather than love them.



Yet, it is only through dying that we can truly live. In the words of Jesus, “who- ever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it” (Mark 8:35). And that was what happened when I quit — I got my life back. And what followed were even more transformations that not only changed me but also brought new life to Pete, our marriage, our children, our church, and to countless others .



Quitting has purified my heart. It has demanded I admit truths about myself that I preferred to bury and avoid. Facing flaws and shortcomings in my character, my marriage, my parenting, and my relationships has been scary. At times, I felt like I was cutting the rope that kept me safely tethered to the side of a mountain. But God has used each free fall to purge my heart and to give me a more intimate experience of his mercy and grace. Thus, along with a deeper awareness of my sinfulness, I have become increasingly captured by God’s passionate and undeterred love for me.



Quitting has led me to a dream-come-true marriage with Pete. Over time, as we began to eliminate unhealthy ways of relating and practice new emotionally healthy skills, our marriage has become a sign and experience of Christ’s love for his bride, the church. And quitting impacted the rest of our relationships as well, including our relationship with our children, our extended families, and the larger community of New Life Fellowship Church.



Quitting has taught me to be loyal to the right things. Although “I quit” might sound like it’s only about leaving something, I actually gained a renewed commitment to persevere for the right things. I learned how to serve others sincerely rather than begrudgingly. The apostle Paul offers this vivid description of the paradox of quitting:



What happens when we live God’s way [when we quit]? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard — things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. (Galatians 5:22 – 23 MSG, emphasis added)



I never dreamed quitting would lead to this kind of freedom and fruit. I used to try to produce, through my own efforts, the fruit of the Holy Spirit. But I found out that when we do life God’s way, fruit simply appears in the orchard. It is a marvel to behold. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. What I ultimately discovered when I quit was a path into the true purpose of my life — to be transformed by the love of God and, by the Holy Spirit, to slowly become that love for others .







The pages that follow explore eight specific “I Quits.” While they do build on one another and are meant to be read in order, each chapter also stands alone. You may wish to begin with a chapter that speaks most urgently to your present circumstance. Once you’ve read that chapter, I encourage you to return to the beginning and read how that content fits into the larger whole .



We don’t make the decision to quit just once; each “I Quit” is a lifelong journey. One never really finishes with any of them. I wrote I Quit! to prepare you to walk through this new journey for the rest of your life. As you continue your journey of quitting, know that you don’t have to figure out everything by yourself. I encourage you to find and rely on wise, experienced mentors to guide you through the complexities of quitting well. Knowing when and when not to quit are equally important!

Let us now begin to explore the first “I Quit” — quit being afraid of what others think.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Book Review: Revelation: Discovering Life for Today and Eternity by Sue Edwards

About Discover Together Bible Study: 
 Women need Bible study to keep balanced, focused and Christ-centered in their busy worlds. However, many find it difficult to set aside the time and discipline needed for an in-depth study. The Discover Together studies offer tiered questions to allow readers to choose a depth of study that fits with their individual lifestyles or schedules, even if they vary by the week, month or season


Meet Sue:  

  Sue Edwards (MA, Dallas Theological Seminary; D.Min., Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) teaches full-time in the Christian Education Department at Dallas Theological Seminary. She has more than twenty-five years of experience teaching, pastoring, and directing women's ministries. In addition, Sue speaks at retreats, conferences, and seminars across the country. She is the coauthor of Women's Retreats and New Doors in Ministry to Women, and the author of the new Sue Edwards Inductive Bible Study series.

My Review:
I've always found Revelation to be both fascinating and difficult to understand. I'm really excited to be using this Revelation Bible study book by Sue Edwards. The format is simple yet helpful. This book is an inductive study of Revelation filled with great insights and thought-provoking questions. There are 9 lessons which cover Chapters 1, 2, 3, 21, and 22 of Revelation. I wish the book would include every chapter of Revelation but I've still learned a lot from what the book offers. The questions following each lesson allow readers to examine various relevant Biblical passages and evaluate their understanding and application of God's Word. There are also "Digging Deeper" questions for those who desire to investigate the text more deeply in details and to learn more about the history, culture, and geography related to the Scriptures. I love these!

This Bible study series is designed for both individual use and group use. You can find free downloadable leader's guides for each study and tips for leading small groups at www.discoverytogetherseries.com. The videos available via QR codes in this series can also be found at the same website. I've enjoyed studying this book on my own as well as participating in discussion on Facebook (see details below). Check this book out and be challenged to grow in your faith and discover fresh understanding & appreciation of Revelation!


Revelation: Discovering Life for Today and Eternity. 


RevelationBibleStudyButton
Join the online Bible study (2/4 - 4/8) with Sue Edwards! And  invite your friends to join you. 

Sue will be posting weekly on the Year of Discovery Facebook Page and interacting with groups and individuals around the country going through the study at the same time. Women will be able to discuss the study with each other and ask questions via Facebook. Once readers complete the Revelation study, Edwards will be going through the Ephesians study in the same way. (An April 11 Facebook launch party will be followed by an April 15 – June 17 online study.)
Completing each lesson requires about one-and-a-half hours. Readers still receive in-depth Bible study but with a minimum time commitment. For those who desire a more thorough study, including an opportunity to learn more about the history, culture and geography related to the Bible, Edwards has provided “Digging Deeper” questions. Answering these questions may require outside resources such as an atlas, Bible dictionary or concordance and challenge readers to examine complex theological issues and differing views more closely.

More about the Revelation study: Edwards and Kregel are especially excited about the new Revelation study that has been added to the series. “I have focused on five special chapters—the first three and the last two—passages that I believe are most pertinent for Christians today,” writes Edwards. “I find a thorough investigation of these five chapters the most beneficial as we consider how God wants us to prepare for the end.” “The first three chapters paint a glorious picture of the resurrected Christ and record his seven letters to first-century churches. These early churches represent the different kinds of churches that have existed through the ages. The letters both commend and point out deficiencies in these churches, providing lessons to help us get ready for our future,” Edwards continues. “The last two chapters unfold with unspeakable energy, beauty and promise, as John describes what Jesus shows him: a new Eden, redemption’s climax and our eternal home. Walk with me through these incredible pages, and experience the blessing that God promised to all who read and heed.”

Purchase a copy of Revelation and join the on-line Bible study today.



If you join the Revelation Bible Study - add this button to your blog: (just copy the code and paste it into a blog post or your blog sidebar)

Suggested title: "Revelation" Online Bible Study - JOIN ME!

 <center></b><a href="http://www.facebook.com/DiscoverTogetherSeries"> <img alt="Kregel Sue Edwards Revelation Bible study" src="http://litfusegroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/RevelationBibleStudyButton.png" height="200" width="200" /> </a></center>

~I received a copy of this book for free via Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange of my honest review. All opinions are my own.