Voracious Bible study readers, women purchase Bible studies more than do men by a ratio of five-to-one—and Gallup reports that 14 percent of Americans belong to a Bible-study group. This summer, David C Cook will release two new books in the Fresh Life series, their easy-to-use series of Bible studies for women and about women.
With strong endorsements from well-known Christian leaders like Kay Arthur and Ruth Graham Bell, two up-and-coming female authors, Lenya Heitzig and Penny Pierce Rose, have created the Fresh Life Bible study series published by David C Cook. Perfect for every age, appropriate for groups or individual study, and intended for today’s on-the-go woman, the Fresh Life series requires just 20 minutes a day for a meaningful contemplation of God’s Word. The next two books in the series are Live Relationally and Live Deeply (David C Cook, June 2009). (The first two books, Live Intimately and Live Fearlessly, were released in the summer of 2008.)
Live Relationally offers a fresh look at the important women of Genesis. Though women in the Bible are sometimes overlooked or downplayed, this fascinating Bible study curriculum reminds readers that women are central to God’s story—and His plan. Genesis alone is peopled with women who experience death, marriage, divorce, rape, and family tragedy. And if that sounds like something out of Desperate Housewives, it just goes to show that the Bible has a message for women—today.
With probing questions, insightful sidebars, and meaningful life-application exercises, Live Relationally offers the vivid lessons and rich wisdom of Israel’s founding mothers. From the complicated Tamar to the often oversimplified Eve, they are wives and mothers, slaves and owners, sinners and saints … and each woman’s story will touch hearts for God.
Live Deeply is for anyone who has ever read one of Jesus’ parables and asked, “What is He talking about?” Now women—alone or with a small group—can dig deeper into the meaning of these parables to uncover their important meaning for their walks with Christ. Designed with today’s busy woman in mind, each lesson can be completed in as little as 20 minutes per day, but will leave her with a lifetime of valuable insights.
Based on the inductive Bible study method, each lesson conjures vivid imagery of the sights and sounds of Ancient Israel alongside poignant application questions for today. The Fresh Life Bible study series offers something for Christian women of all shapes and sizes; everyone will leave with a more profound understanding of the important women of Genesis and Christ’s amazing parables.
Live Relationally: Lessons from the Women of Genesis
and Live Deeply: A Study of the Parables of Jesus
by Lenya Heitzig and Penny Pierce Rose
David C Cook June 2009
ISBN: 978-1-434767-48-6/288 pages/softcover/$14.99
ISBN: 978-1-434799-86-9/304 pages/softcover/$14.99
REVIEW: Promises of a “profound experience of God’s word without an overwhelming commitment of time” caught my attention when Audra Jennings of The B&B Media Group emailed me about these books. As a busy mom, that’s what I want. Deep stuff. Not much time. It’s what we all want, right? We live in a drive-thru, instant culture, so the more efficient and fast we can be, the better.
The problem? Building a relationship takes time, commitment, and investment. There are no shortcuts to relationships and true Bible study. Twenty minutes a day is more study than I’m currently doing (or could do, being a mom of a young child), but I set myself up for disappointment by thinking I could find an instant answer to achieve a deep relationship with Jesus.
So with that as a disclaimer, I DO think these studies are good. They provide a good jumping off point. I appreciate the digging into Scripture and not just their opinions. The layout is visually appealing. And the study itself really did only take about twenty minutes. And as a stay-at-home mom, I recognize this may be exactly what I need right now to engage with the Scripture. I’ll get even more out of it if I meditate on the verses studies and really think through the reflection questions. But that’s on me to choose to engage deeper. As they say, you’ll get out of these studies what you put into them (which is true for any study, right?)
Don’t undertake any of these studies hoping for a magic bullet to bring you depth and profound life-change, but they are indeed full of potential. Check them out for yourself. They would make for great group studies.