Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A New Bible Study by Jen Wilkin, Sermon on the Mount

Publication Date: July 1, 2014.
Publisher: Lifeway Christian Resources.
Genre: Bible Study of the Sermon on the Mount.
Pages: 144.

(Review) Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds by Jen Wilkin

Publication Date: July 31, 2014.
Publisher: Crossway.
Genre: Teaching women to read and study the Bible.
Pages: 160.
Source: Self-purchase.
Rating: 5 Stars for excellent.

To read an excerpt: Crossway. 

"As a disciple of Christ, you and I are called to learn, and learning requires effort." Page 23.
Women are known for multi-tasking. Juggling the demands of a job, home, family, and surprise tasks that creep into our days is our norm. It's difficult to carve-out a spot in our day to read, much less study the Bible. We understand we should read and study the Bible and feel guilty because we don't. Further, we don't even know where to start. It's easy to depend on other people to tell us what the Bible says. But would we really know if someone told us something that was false? How can we expect to "grow up into salvation" if we are not reading God's Word?
Jen Wilkin, in nine chapters, teaches women how to read and study the Bible in order to understand Scripture.

My Thoughts:
Jen Wilkin teaches us how to read and study the Bible, but finding the time must be arranged by us. It is an effort. It is difficult. But it is of eternal importance.

Examples of chapters:
"The Case for Bible Literacy"
"Study with Purpose"
"Study with Perspective"
"Study with Prayer"

Example of important questions to ask when reading the Bible:
"What is the original meaning of the passage?"
"Why was it written?"

I loved everything about this book. Several of Jen's points I've learned over the years. From watching my parents prepare to teach Bible classes, to my own adventure in Bible studies, small groups, teaching, and personal devotional time. Bible Study Fellowship is where I first learned to be diligent and disciplined in studying the Bible. Years later Precept classes taught me to dig deeper. I have studied the Bible verse by verse and studied the Bible in a broad over-all view. I have also studied the Bible in a topical format. Wilkin emphasizes studying the Bible itself and not in using a topical format or focus. She believes less is learned from a topical study. I agree with her to a point. A teacher's task is to teach the student by bringing out nuggets of knowledge from the Bible. Even if the study is topical, an inductive approach can be used. A good teacher will take whatever material is at hand and develop it to meet the needs of the students.
I love hard questions. Questions that make me reflect and I'm not able to answer quick. There were several questions in the book that I wrote down and have been journaling.
Wilkin states "...we must learn to think deeply about God." Amen. I love this quote and have written it in my Bible.

Jen Wilkin is a speaker, writer, and teacher of women’s Bible studies. During her fifteen years of teaching, she has organized and led studies for women in home, church, and parachurch contexts. Jen and her family are members of the Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas. She is the author ofWomen of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds. Courtesy of Crossway website. 

An interview from Bible Gateway. 
Book is available at Amazon.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Bible Reading Update

Today is the first Bible reading update for 2015. During the month of December I took a long break. Unfortunately the break began with a fourteen day illness.
The last Bible reading update posted was on November 13, 2014.
When a new year begins and I start a new round of reading through the Bible I'm excited. The excitement does not wane through the year because I love God's Word. Most days I read the Bible. Sometimes a brief section is read and sometimes it's a large chunk. I do not read the Bible by following a particular plan. I don't read from Genesis straight through to Revelation. Early in the year the books of Job, Ezekiel, Lamentations, Leviticus, Song of Solomon are read. Reading these books later in the year especially during the holiday season can be tough. I take notes while reading the Bible---including writing in the margins of the pages. I have 2 new Bibles, both ESV translations. One is portable, easy to carry, a beautiful burgundy color of imitation leather. The 2nd Bible is a Journaling Bible. I've fallen in love with art journaling. If you are interested Pinterest, Iconosquare/Instagram, and Facebook have groups about art journaling/Bible journaling.
I am no longer linked to Facebook. When a review is posted it will not post on Facebook. I have deleted the Networked Blog, Bloglovin, and Booklike accounts. I still have a presence on Google+, Twitter, and Goodreads. 


Since January 1, the following Scriptures have been read:
Genesis chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.
Leviticus chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. 
Job chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30. 
2 Corinthians chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. (2 Corinthians will be read 12 times in 12 different translations in 2015.)
All the above Scriptures were read from the ESV.

Links of interest:
What Is Heaven Like? By Dr. Ray Pritchard. 
Top Ten Bible Translations, 2014. From Thom, S. Rainer
He Hears Your Prayer by Max Lucado. From Precept Ministries. 
What is the Big Picture of the Book of Beginnings? by Mel Lawrenz, from Bible Gateway. 
Why Study the Book of Romans by Jared Wilson, from Crossway.
How To Take Notes While Reading The Bible by Jeff Randleman.
Read The Entire Bible in 2015 from The Village Church. 
Why We Have Different Bible Translations from Reasonable Theology.
New Testament Manuscripts by Daniel Wallace, from The Gospel Coalition.
Things You May Not Know About Bible Paper, from Crossway. 
Bible Reading Plans for 2015, from Ligonier Ministries.
Science Increasingly Makes The Case for God by Eric Metaxas, from the Wall Street Journal. 
A Chronological Bible Reading Plan from Jenifer Jernigan.

All Scripture links are courtesy of Bible Gateway. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

End of the Year Wrap-up

I read a total of 160 books in 2014. I have 2 blogs where I write book reviews. On this blog, I reviewed 25 Christian fiction books and 37 Christian non-fiction books. At Impressions In Ink, I reviewed 42 fiction books and 42 nonfiction books. A total of 14 books I chose not to write reviews.

Total Christian fiction books read: 25.
1. The Painted Table by Susanne Field
2. The Headmistress of Rosemere by Sarah E. Ladd 
3. The Sinner's Garden by William Sirls 
4. For Such a Time by Kate Breslin
5. Rules of Murder by Julianna Deering
6. Sweet Mercy by Ann Tatlock
7. Daisies are Forever by Liz Tolsma
8. Edwin: High King of Britain by Edoardo Albert
9. Stranger Things by Erin Healy
10. Where Courage Calls by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan
11. Critical Reaction by Todd M. Johnson
12. Man in the Blue Moon by Michael Morris
13. I, Saul by Jerry B. Jenkins with James S. MacDonald
14. A Beauty Rare by Tamera Alexander
15. Return To Me, The Restoration Chronicles, Book One by Lynn Austin
16. Pontius Pilate by Paul L. Maier
17. The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron
18. Ismeni by Tosca Lee
19. The Legend of Sheba by Tosca Lee
20. Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas
21. To Everything a Season by Lauraine Snelling
22. The Flames of Rome by Paul L. Maier
23. Hidden Places by Lynn Austin
24. All She Ever Wanted by Lynn Austin
25. An Amish Second Christmas, 4 Novellas by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Ruth Reid, Tricia Goyer. 

Total Christian nonfiction books read: 37.
1. The IVP Concise Atlas of Bible History by Paul Lawrence
2. Case For Christ For Kids: A 90 Day Devotional by Lee Strobel
3. Melissa: A Father's Lessons from a Daughter's Suicide by Frank Page with Lawrence Kimbrough
4. Holy is the Day: Living in the Gift of the Present by Carolyn Weber
5. Jonathan Edwards on True Christianity: The Essential Edwards Collection by Owen Strachan and Doug Sweeney
Part One Review and Reflections
Part Two Review and Reflections
6. The Final Days of Jesus: The Most Important Week Of The Most Important Person Who Ever Lived by Andreas J. Kostenberger and Justin Taylor, with Alexander Stewart
7. The A-Z of C. S. Lewis: an encyclopedia of his life, thoughts and writings by Colin Duriez 
8. Highway To Hell by Matt Roper and foreword by Dean Brody 
9. NIV Hope in the Mourning Bible, Devotional Editor Timothy Beals
10. Holman Study Bible NKJV Edition
11. In Search of Deep Faith by Jim Belcher
12. Popcultured: Thinking Christianly About Style, Media and Entertainment by Steve Turner
13. Undone: When Coming Apart Puts You Back Together Again by Laura Sumner Truax
14. Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers by Leslie Leyland Fields and Dr. Jill Hubbard
15. Blood Moon Rising: Bible Prophecy, Israel, and The Four Blood Moons by Mark Hitchcock
16. Wounded Tiger by T Martin Bennett
17. Embraced by Holiness by Kathy Howard
18. Recovering Redemption by Matt Chandler
19. A Spiritual Life, Harriet Beecher Stowe by Nancy Koester
20. Dispatches From The Front: Stories of Gospel Advance In The World's Difficult Places by Tim Keesee
21. Love Letters from the Edge by Shelly Beach and Wanda Sanchez
22. Autopsy of a Deceased Church: 12 Ways To Keep Yours Alive by Thom S. Rainer
23. I Am A Church Member: Discovering the Attitude that Makes the Difference by Thom S. Rainer
24. Psalms: A 12-Week Study Series by Douglas Sean O'Donnell
25. Truth in a Culture of Doubt by Andreas J. Kostenberger, Darrell L. Bock, and Josh D Chatraw
26. The Psalms, ESV from Crossway
27. Before Amen by Max Lucado
28. Seeing Through The Fog by Ed Dobson
29. Rare Bird by Anna Whiston-Donaldson
30. 50 Things You Need To Know About Stan and Demons by Mark H. Muska
31. NKJV Study Bible by Thomas Nelson
32. The Search for Significance by Robert S. McGee
33. The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts
34. The Insanity of Obedience by Nik Ripken
35. Surviving The Holidays Without You by Gary Roe
36. No Greater Valor by Jerome Corsi

37. The Sweet Side of Suffering by M. Esther Lovejoy

Thursday, December 25, 2014

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14. NKJV. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

(Review) An Amish Second Christmas-Four Novellas by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Ruth Reid, and Tricia Goyer

Publisher: HarperCollins Christian Publishing/Thomas Nelson, October 14, 2014.
Genre: Amish love story, novella.
Format: Paperback.
Pages: 419.
Rating: 4 stars for very good.
Source: Library.

Link for the book @ Amazon. 

When Christmas Comes Again by Beth Wiseman
Katherine Zook and her children are working through the grieving process since Elias Zook died. A mysterious man brings a surprising twist to the untold story.

Her Christmas Pen Pal by Ruth Reid
A stranger in town visits the bakery where Joy works. The first anniversary of her parents death is approaching. An expectation from a beau proceeds a change in direction for life.

A Gift For Anne Marie by Kathleen Fuller
A family coming to terms with their mother's choice.

The Christmas Apron by Tricia Goyer
Ammon Schwartz is preoccupied in caring for his mother. His large family has recently moved to Montana. Esther Glick's delicious pie was auctioned and bought by Ammon. Their friendship leads to helping each other understand a "right" way of thinking.

Amish recipes are included in the back of the book.

My Thoughts:
I'm not a fan of Amish stories. I have read Amish stories over the years, but they are not a favorite genre. On a recent visit to the public library, I decided to read out of my usual element. Reading several short Christmas Amish stories appealed to me. During the rush of the busy season, it feels good to read simple stories that carry me away from my harried life.
Of the four novellas, my two favorites were, The Christmas Apron and When Christmas Comes Again. 
When Christmas Comes Again had an unexpected story-line. The family is grieving, and this alone is an important story. I can relate to missing loved ones at Christmas time. I can relate to the family's steps of grieving. The mystery man brought at least two additional stories. One brought closure for the family.
The Christmas Apron, is the story of two young people. In addition, it is a teaching story. The young couple shows the right kind of mind-set a child of God has.