Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Esther Bible Study

Esther: Finding Yourself in Times of Trouble
Eugene Peterson
Tyndale House, 2017
English, 112 pgs

Color with Friends. Be Drawn In to Scripture. 
An unlikely queen. A murderous enemy. A miraculous turnaround. The story of Esther is breathtaking. Through study, coloring, and conversation, discover how to find your voice and grow your faith during times of trouble.

Deepen your friendships as you gather around Scripture for coloring and conversation. Drawn In offers simple four-week Bible studies―perfect for groups or personal devotions. Coloring quiets your heart and mind so you can enter fully into Scripture’s stories. The Bible’s passion and personality come through in The Message, surprising new and old Bible readers alike. Discover the delight of being Drawn In.

Within minutes of receiving the book and looking through it, I called our women's Bible study leader and told her "I've found our next study!" I love this for so many reasons.

First, it's a study of Esther. She has a story of quiet grace and strength and is one of my favorite females in the Bible. I could do every study on her and still look for the next one. There is always something new to learn from her. The questions (of which there are a lot for each session) are not the typical scribble-something-down-just-to-get-it-done type questions. They require a lot of thought and introspection. 

Second, it's a four session study, with a background introduction from the author. The scriptures are in the book for you. (I, of course, always recommend reading multiple versions when you're doing an in depth study.) I've found that shorter studies keep the other women interested. There is a lot to dig into between sessions and that may turn some off, but we do every two weeks so that gives you plenty of time to get the "homework" done. 

Third, each session has multiple parts to it. There is the scripture and questions, but there are also pages for coloring and doodling. At first, I thought it wasn't a good format for coloring, but I figured out that the spine of the book can be forced to lay flat, allowing you to get to the whole page for the coloring. I like that the scripture is broken into parts with the questions immediately following. There are also little bits from the author to help you understand some of the historical and cultural references. The end of each session has questions for reflection or additional consideration as well as a guided prayer.

This is a new and unique format for Bible study. I'm really excited about it and look forward to doing it with our group in the fall. There are also studies on Ruth and Mary in the series. (Yes, I'll be looking forward to those too!!)

I received a copy of the book in exchange for a review on this site and a commercial bookselling site. No additional compensation has been received, or is expected, and I was not required to write a positive review.

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