Daughters Of The King Bible Study

Daughters Of The King Bible Study

Today, I’m honored to introduce you to a royal treat: The brand-spanking-new ladies Bible study, Daughters of the King, written by my friend and fellow blogger, Melissa Deming of Hive Resources.

Daughters of the King: Finding Your Place in the Biblical Story. is a 10-lesson Bible study in eBook format for either a small group or an individual. I love how this study focuses on the big picture, helping you connect the dots between your story and God’s story for the world — transforming how you view your purpose and personal identity as a chosen and cherished Daughter of the King.

Daughters of the King looks at how the Bible is arranged around the topic of God’s kingdom. It also discusses how God’s kingdom applies to women today and follows the Scriptures by their canonical divisions – the Law (Torah), the Prophets and the Writings, the History Books, the Gospels, Acts, the Epistles, and the book of Revelation.

Here’s a sampling from the first chapter:

God has given us his story. It’s his Word, but we often treat his Word like a collection of books on a dusty bookshelf. We take one off the shelf without any consideration for how it relates to the other books that are left behind.

Worse still, when we open one of those books, we read it in the strangest ways – one page at a time. You wouldn’t consider ripping one page out of a library book, checking it out and taking it home to read would you? …

But this is how we often treat the biblical story. No wonder we have trouble applying God’s Word to our lives. No wonder we have trouble figuring out where our story fits into God’s story. The Bible is intended to be one, unified story. Yes, we often read the books of the Bible separately. …

In Daughters of the King we will look at that central theme of the Bible so that wherever you are in the biblical text, you will be able to pick out the central meaning and better apply it to your life. And for those who haven’t spent much time studying or reading the Bible, I hope this book helps you discern and understand the importance of the Bible’s overarching message: that a good King created a good world, and although it was corrupted by sin, he is at work to completely restore it through his Son, Jesus Christ. <—-Click to Tweet!

If you’d like to purchase the eBook, Melissa is offering 30% off with the code FALL13 through September 3O. Simply click here to get your own copy. She’s also hosting a giveaway on her blog. You can click here for all the details. {There’s also a linkup for bloggy types and an affiliate program.}

For more inspiration, be sure to check out the Daughters of the King Facebook and Pinterest pages.

Happy reading, friends.

This post contains an affiliate link, which means that if you click on the link and make a purchase, I will get a small percentage of the sale. It’s clicks like this that help keep this blog up and running, so thanks!

{Guest Post: Eva Piper} A Walk In The Dark

{Guest Post: Eva Piper} A Walk In The Dark

Today I’m honored to host guest Eva Piper, wife of ordained minister and bestelling author Don Piper (of 90 Minutes in Heaven fame). She’s recently released A Walk Through the Dark: How My Husband’s 90 Minutes in Heaven Deepened My Faith for a Lifetime.

When my husband Don was in the hospital after being hit head-on by an 18-wheeler, I found myself trying to do it all. Many of our church friends and family would offer their help, but I steadfastly declined. I was one of those people who felt I had to be strong enough and independent enough to take care of everything.

One day a dear friend came to me. After a bit of conversation, she asked if I needed anything. I pulled out my standard reply: “No, I’m fine, just keep praying.” She took a moment, and then she grasped my hand: “You know, when you don’t let people help you, you’re robbing them of the chance to minister to you.”

That took me off guard, but her next statement was even more powerful. “You can’t take care of Don if you don’t take care of yourself.”

Both of her statements proved to be two of the most valuable lessons I learned during Don’s long hospital stay and recovery.

When you’re in the midst of caregiving, you have so many things coming at you —  medical, legal, financial, and relationship issues. It’s stressful and exhausting. And, as I learned, when you’re tired, you’re not at your best to think. I had to let others help me, so that I could take time to refresh and recharge.

That may mean just a brief walk down the hall or the street while someone else sits with your loved one. For me I found great release when I was driving home. When visiting hours were over,  I’d get in my car, drive out of the parking garage, and head onto the highway. Then I’d turn on the radio full blast, roll the windows down, and sing at the top of my lungs. When I was singing, I didn’t have to think.

Other times, I’d find a quiet place to read my Bible, or just sit, soaking up the quiet. As time went by, friends would come to stay with Don, so I could do simple errands, like go grocery shopping or visit the post office. While those may seem like mundane things to many people, for those who are walking a dark path, the escape to the dry cleaners can feel like a trip to Hawaii.

“No man is an island,” wrote John Donne. Yet, for so many who find themselves in the caregiver role, we insist on walking that road alone. 

I think we do this for two reasons:

  • First, when someone says, “Just let me know if you need anything,” we simply have no idea what we need. Our focus is on the needs of our loved one, not ourselves.
  • Second, most of us don’t want to impose on anyone. We realize life is busy, so instead of asking for help, we try to go it alone.

One of the greatest blessings to come out of Don’s accident was the help we received from family and friends. And, I’m so grateful my friend stepped in to urge me to accept those blessings openly.

You see, that’s the way the Bible wants us to behave. Paul referred to the church as a human body on several occasions. He said that each member is important, and if one part hurts, the whole body suffers. For more than a year, I saw the constant flow of the spiritual body of Jesus Christ trying to take away our pain.

Our friends provided a much needed respite from the rigors of hospital life, allowing me the opportunity to rest and relax, so I was in a better position to care for Don. They provided large doses of light during that dark time.

Now I try to provide breaks for those I know who are walking their own dark path. God blessed my life with our dear friends — now it’s my turn to shine a light for someone else.

Eva-Piper

Eva Piper is a speaker and author with a unique insight into the trials of heartache and the triumph of overcoming. The wife of best-selling author Don Piper, Eva was the glue that held her broken husband and her family together. Don’s story, recounted in the New York Times bestseller, 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Life and Death, is Eva’s story too. A teacher of 34 years, she and Don now live in Pasadena, Texas. You can find Eva online at evapiper.com and also on Twitter and Facebook.

Eva has been kind enough to offer a copy of her new book for a giveaway! Leave a comment about how Don and Eva’s story has touched you, or about how you’ve found solace during trials. The giveaway will close by end of day Thursday, August 8.

This post may contain affiliate links, which simply means that if you click on the link and make a purchase, I will get a small percentage of the sale. It’s clicks like this that help keep this blog up and running, so thanks!

{Book Review:} The Bible Savvy Series

{Book Review:} The Bible Savvy Series

As I mentioned a few weeks agoI recently joined up with several Christian publishers to review books. My first review was fiction; today I’m taking a look at a new nonfiction series.

I jumped at the chance to review The Bible Savvy Series by Jim Nicodem because I’ve been wanting to improve my Bible knowledge, and just didn’t know where to start. Turns out, this series is perfect for me.

Though I attended Sunday School as a young child, as I got older, our family had a hard time finding a church home. We eventually ended up at the one-room church a mile from our rural home, which had such a small congregation, we didn’t even have a full-time pastor.

My Dad volunteered to teach adult Sunday School, and my mom taught the kids in the foyer to the church. Since I was a teen by then, I became a helper — but our simplistic approach to basic Bible stories for little kids didn’t teach me much about the big picture.

I have to admit throughout college and young adulthood, Bible learning wasn’t really on my radar. By the time I realized the gap in my Biblical knowledge, I was a mom, and being actively recruited to teach kids again. This year I said a hard no to Sunday School teaching and started attending the adult class for the first time. And, that’s where I began to realize I needed to commit to real Bible study.

This Bible Savvy series fits the bill for a fledgling learner like me. Though I’m sure a pastor or theologian would find it overly simplified, Jim’s clear, down-to-earth, straight-talking approach kept me engaged. As a mom of three young kids, who’s always doing about ten things at once, I really appreciated that the books were broken up into four small volumes {a handy size to tuck into a purse}, which made them feel accessible.

Here are the four books and what they teach:

  • Epic: The Storyline of the Bible unveils the single theme that ties all the various parts of scripture together: redemption.
  • Foundation: The Trustworthiness of the Bible explains that the Bible is God’s book, not merely man made, and why it can be wholly trusted.
  • Context: How to Understand the Bible shows readers how to read the different parts of the Bible as they were meant to be read and how they fit together.
  • Walk: How to Apply the Bible helps readers put their greater understanding of the text into practice and how to draw real-life applications from it.

I’ve learned a lot already about the Bible’s big picture, and I’ve been inspired by this series to dig deeper and learn more. I feel like these books will continue to be a resource to me as I delve into God’s word. I’ve marked up my Bible’s table of contents, as Jim instructs readers in Epic, so I won’t forget — for example — what books in the Old Testament are the Books of the Law and which New Testament books are Epistles. I’ve purchased a new study Bible. And, I’m going to download Jim’s four-year Bible reading plan, since I always seem to fall behind as soon I get started on the one-year plans.

And, I’m feeling well-equipped, for perhaps the first time, to really pull forth a new level of meaning from God’s word.

So, what’s the bottom line?

Would I buy a copy of this set? Yes.
Would I check it out from the library? Yes. 
Would I recommend it to a friend? Yes.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes from Moody Publishers. This post also contains affiliate links, which means if you click through and make a purchase, I will receive a small percentage, which helps keep this site up and running… so, thank you!

From Idea to eBook Online Course

{Book Review:} The Outcast

{Book Review:} The Outcast

As I mentioned in my last post, I recently found several great ways to get and read books – for free – and one of those is joining up with publishers to review books. Today’s post is my first book review.

The Outcast by Jolina Petersheim — a retelling of the Scarlet Letter – takes the Nathaniel Hawthorne classic and re-imagines it in the modern-day setting of an Old Order Mennonite community. The story unfolds through the voices of dual narrators — Rachel, the unwed, young mother, and Amos, the deceased father of Rachel’s brother-in-law.

Rachel refuses to name the partner in her sin, but most discerning readers will almost immediately suspect who the father is – which was a bit of a disappointment to me, who wished the identity of the father would have been handled with a lighter hand, so we could have had that mystery to relish for a bit longer.

outcast 2

The story’s central tension revolves around Rachel and her twin sister, Leah – as well as Leah’s husband, Tobias, who obviously holds Rachel in great disdain, and Tobias’ younger brother, Judah, who’s been in love with Rachel since they played together as children. As Rachel leaves the community that’s shunned her, she makes her way in the outside world, forming new connections and friendships outside cloistered Copper Creek, but she also finds out that the life of her son, Eli, is in danger.

So, here’s what I liked about the book:

• It was an easy, summer read – a beach book. I realize that the subject matter is “heavy,” but the writing style was light.

• I liked the whole idea of re-thinking the Scarlet Letter in a modern-day Mennonite community. I thought that was perfectly suited to the classic’s storyline, and I enjoyed the behind-the-scenes perspective. {As someone who grew up on a farm bought from an Amish family and lived in a community that included a small Amish population, I do have a personal interest in the Amish and Mennonites I remembered – not as curiosities to stare at, but as everyday people who were my friends and neighbors – growing up.}

• The longer the book went on, I thought the author really found her groove and showed the use of rich, descriptive language.

outcast 3{{Above, you can see the results of a little mishap with some coffee!}}

Here’s what I didn’t like:

• The book was very confusing at the beginning, and for some readers, they wouldn’t get past that and keep reading. Let me give you an example. The book opens at a funeral and is narrated by Rachel. By the third paragraph, though, we are already in a flashback in Rachel’s mind, taking us back to her childhood days. This flashback lasts about two pages until we go to another flashback – one where Rachel’s mom comes to Rachel when she is disgraced. Then, that turns into a musing of when Leah got married, during yet another timeframe. Then, by the ninth page, we are in the company of the book’s second narrator, Amos, that man whose funeral the book opened with. Confused yet? I was.

• I was never really sold on Amos {Rachel’s brother-in-law’s father} as the second narrator. I understand that he provided an interesting viewpoint, but that viewpoint could have been achieved by a third-person narrative, which wouldn’t have seemed so forced.

• As I mentioned earlier, I felt the father of Rachel’s child was too obvious too soon. Perhaps that was the author’s intent, but I would have preferred a bit of mystery to entice me to keep reading. There were several other plot twists that occurred later in the book, and I appreciated those, but the paternity question could have sustained the momentum of the early part of the book better.

So, the bottom line:

Would I buy a copy of this book? No.
Would I check it out from the library? Yes.
Would I recommend it to a friend? Depends. {It would be a no for my more literary friends.}

Fun fact: My dad was at my house babysitting one evening, and the rest of us were gone for about five hours. This book had just arrived in the mail and was sitting on the coffee table. He read most of it that night, and finished it up the next morning!

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes from Tyndale House.