When I attended Ozark Christian College, I had to take a lot of Bible classes. Some of my classes were incredibly memorable and some were much less memorable. One of the classes that I remember most clearly was Hebrews with Chad Ragsdale. While I had memorized Hebrews 11 in the eighth grade, I had otherwise not paid much attention to Hebrews before then. However, this class changed all that. I began to see how this book helps modern Christians see some incredible connections between the Old and New Testament and teaches many relevant lessons on faith, trust, endurance, and community. So when I heard that he had published a book about Hebrews, I was excited to read it. It reminded me of some of the illustrations and applications we discussed in class and how they still apply to our lives today. It’s definitely worth the read ~ Bethel
In his book Holy Grit, Chad Ragsdale walks through the practical application of the book of Hebrews chapter by chapter to help his readers discover how to develop a faith that lasts. Instead of approaching the text as a commentary, this book focuses largely on making sense of confusing concepts and how the truths from the book of Hebrews apply to our lives today. We discover how the original audience was also struggling with their faith when things got difficult and even with moving forward in their spiritual maturity, which are struggles Christians still face today. While some of the Old Testament references are considered to be confusing by many, this book helps clarify much of the confusion surrounding these metaphors and how the elements of the old covenant made way for the new. Throughout all of this, we see how we can cultivate a faithful resilience, which Ragsdale calls “holy grit”, which will allow us to stand firm and hold fast to faith and hope when life becomes difficult or uncertain. As it does in the book of Hebrews itself, each chapter of Holy Grit builds on the hope and endurance it gives its audience to live out faithful resilience, both individually and in the context of community with each other. With personal stories throughout and discussion guides at the end of each chapter, this book is a great resource of knowledge and wisdom from one of the New Testament's most mysterious books. This is one I highly recommend.
Personal Rating. My only criticism is that I think that the book got slightly confusing in some places. Because this book was largely applicational, it sometimes got confusing to track where the narrative of each chapter was going in comparison with the text from Hebrews. However, most of this can be resolved by reading Hebrews with each corresponding chapter of the book. Aside from this minor issue, I enjoyed this book very much and would highly recommend it.
To read my review of Chad Ragsdale's book,
Christian Convictions, click here
I was excited to hear that Dannah Gresh was going to be releasing another True Girl Bible Study. But when I found out that it was going to be about Mary’s faithfulness, I was all the more interested in reading it. When I finally did, I was not disappointed. This Bible study is an incredible resource for tween girls as they learn how to study God’s word and what it means to live in faithfulness to God. This is one I highly recommend for tween girls, their moms, or their youth leaders ~ Bethel
Faithfulness is a virtue that we struggle to find in our culture today. While we want to have it in our lives and relationships, we struggle to find it and often struggle even more with practicing it. We want to trust and be trusted, but we also want to do things our own way or have felt the string of betrayal or rejection, which makes us unable to trust others fully. This is especially true when it comes to pre-teen girls. It makes them ask the question: how can I live a life of faithfulness?
In her tween girl Bible study Mary: Becoming a Girl of Faithfulness, author Dannah Gresh teaches girls how to live a life of faithfulness by looking to the example of Mary, mother of Jesus. Through this 6 week study on the story of Mary, girls learn how faithfulness begins with trusting God’s plan, no matter what happens. Through all the difficulties, uncertainties, and even pain Mary experienced, she trusted God and obeyed what he asked her to do. Even in the moments when her life was ordinary, she continued to trust God, which allowed her to rely on Him when difficult times came her way. This knowledge is what gave her the ability to worship when things were uncertain and believe that God could provide when natural resources had been exhausted. And it was by this incredible faithfulness to Him that God used Mary to fulfill his plan to save us from our sins through His son, Jesus. All these powerful truths and more are shared in the context of a Bible study that is geared to tween girls (between 7-12 years old).
Including fill-in-the-blanks, places to highlight Scripture, and interactive puzzles and prompts, this book will be engaging and impactful to any tween girl that reads it. It would also be a great resource for the moms of tween girls or youth leaders looking for a Bible study for this unique age group. Get your copy today!
* I received an copy of this book from the author's ministry for the purpose of this review
This was a book that I needed. Like many of us, I struggle with finding peace when circumstances are not ideal or things don’t go according to plan. I was considering a few different books on peace or anxiety and landed on this one. This book ended being exactly what I needed and more. It connected the dots between many subjects and many obstacles to finding peace in a way that I had never considered. It revealed that the true key is to choose contentment in all the areas of our lives and surrender our uncertainties to Him. If you are a woman who struggles with anxiety, fear, or discontentment, then this is the book for you ~ Bethel
Contentment is something that Christian women want but often struggle to find. We know Paul’s declaration that he found contentment by doing all things in Christ’s strength, but wonder how that is even achievable. We tend to get caught up in the disappointments and fears that result when life doesn’t go the way we planned it. Uncertainty fills our hearts and gives way to other struggles, such as discontentment, grumpiness, bitterness, and even anxiety. We wonder if we will ever find our peace. It makes us ask the question: How do I find contentment in all circumstances?
In her book Calm My Anxious Heart, author Linda Dillow walks women through the biblical and practical tools they need to find contentment and overcome struggles with anxiety. She acknowledges that every woman deals with worries and “what-ifs” that threaten to still our joy and contentment. However, when we learn how to see our difficulties through the lens of trusting God with what He’s given you, it allows you to find peace in situations you never thought possible. You will discover the areas of your life that may be holding you back from contentment, such as body-image, self-image, bitterness, and even the questions “what-if”, “if only” and “why”. It’s when we get these areas in order when we learn to lay our burdens at the foot of the cross and be content with who we are and what we have.
I only have one minor criticism of this book. She frequently uses the phrase “Blessed Controller” to talk how we should trust that God is in control of our circumstances. While I understand what she was trying to communicate, I am not fond of this description of God. I think it can be misinterpreted to imply that God somehow takes away our free will when we surrender to Him, which is not the way He works. I wish she had chosen a different phrase to help us grasp God’s sovereignty and how our choice to trust Him completely can help us find contentment.
Linda speaks with strength and wisdom to the heart of every woman’s struggles with finding peace and contentment. With many Scriptures to study, stories to inspire, and a study guide to help you dig deeper, this book is a great Bible study for any woman who struggles with discontentment or anxiety. Aside from these issues, this is a book that I highly recommend.
Singles Friendly Rating. While this book relies heavily on illustrations applicable to married women, it also does a great job at addressing contentment in singleness. Chapter 4 specifically addressing being content with your current role, including single, married, and even widowed. Even the illustrations using married women feel relatable to singles. Definitely a worthwhile read for single women.
To read my review of Linda Dillow and Juli Slattery's book, Surprised by the Healer, click here
After reviewing Ruth, I was so excited to hear that Dannah was continuing this series. Her Bible studies are always well done, and this was no exception. I appreciate all the work that her ministry True Girl does to help tween girls navigate their journey to adulthood in a God-honoring way. While I do have one disagreement with one of the teachings in the book, I do still feel that this book is a great Bible study resource for tween girls ~ Bethel
Courage is a word that we say often but many of us struggle to understand. While many of us want it, we also are unsure of exactly what it is and how we obtain it. This can be especially true for pre-teen girls on the road to becoming young women. They often find themselves facing fears they don’t know how to overcome and feel they can never face them head-on. It makes them ask the question: how can I learn to be a courageous girl?
In the Bible study Miriam: Becoming a Girl of Courage, author Dannah Gresh breaks down and walks through the life of Miriam and her brother Moses to help tween girls see how they can become courageous young women in our world today. Through this five-week study, pre-teen girls will take a look at how stories from the life of Miriam illustrate aspects of courage. Within the content of the clever use of graphics, fill-in-the-blanks, space for underlining Scripture, puzzles, and relevant illustrations, girls will be drawn into the story of Miriam, since it is presented in a way that is palatable to their age. Through it all, they will learn that the true mark for courage is not the absence of fear, but instead is choosing to do the right thing even when it’s hard.
However, there was one minor biblical discrepancy. When discussing Hebrews 11:25, which states that Moses “chose to be mistreated with the people of God,” (NIV), Dannah concluded that Moses must have chosen to give up his royalty to become a slave, and that it was while he was a slave himself that he killed the Egyptian. But there is nothing in either the Old or New Testament that supports this interpretation. In fact, Exodus 2:11 states that it was while Moses was watching his people in their hard labor that he noticed the Egyptian beating on the Hebrew. While I can see how someone could jump to the same conclusion as Dannah by reading that verse out of context, a simple examination of the original narrative in Exodus quickly disproves this interpretation.
Aside from this biblical discrepancy, I still think that this is a great Bible study for pre-teen girls. Get your copy today
* I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review
I was quite excited and curious when I read about this Bible study. Not long after I did, the church I was attending had a ladies Bible study through this book. The premise of addressing a topic that many Christians struggle with (trusting God) and using a portion of biblical history that some Christians don’t know much about (the divided kingdom) was an interesting combination that drew me in from the start. I enjoyed participating in this study (although I initially forgot to review after I finished it) and would recommend it as a great resource for a group Bible study ~ Bethel
“Trust” can be a scary word. It means that you are willing to give up some control of your life to follow the lead of someone else. This is often hard for us to do, because many of us have experienced betrayal when we trusted the wrong person. Many of us bring those experiences into our relationships with others, including God. While we know in our heads that God is not like any of the people who have betrayed us, our hearts cannot help but remember the hurts of betrayal from the past. This means that we shut God out and try to use our own methods for running our lives. It makes us ask the question: “How can I learn to trust God?”
In her Bible study Trustworthy, Lysa Terkeurst uses the stories in 1 and 2 Kings to help us see that God is trustworthy, as well as what can happen when we don’t learn to trust him. Through 6 weeks of weekly videos on DVD filmed on location in Israel and 5 days of personal reading and reflection in the study book, Lysa guides participants to understand the sometimes confusing narrative of Israel’s history during the divided kingdom and well as helping them understand how a lack of obedience and trust in God is what led to many of the problems these kings faced. From their example, we can learn how avoiding trusting in God can have devastating consequences so that we can make the choice to avoid their mistakes. The book, full of illustrative graphics, places to write, and a leader’s guide, and the DVD, full of beautiful visuals to illustrate these truths, are great resources if you are looking for your next group Bible study. Get your copy today!
Personal Rating. My only criticism is that I am not a fan of book studies with daily homework because I prefer to read a book straight through. Despite my personal taste, this is very well done for this type of study. I loved the breakdown of the often confusing part of biblical narrative. If you like that type of study, I would highly recommend this book.
Lion's Eyes Reviews is a blog dedicated to reviews of Christian books, most of which are non-fiction, but may also occasionally review movies and musicals. It will also feature the work Bethel does to help launch and promote the works of Christian authors.
The name is derived from one of Bethel's favorite books, Through the Eyes of a Lion by Levi Lusko. Through these reviews, Bethel hope to give Christians the tools they need to look at the world "through the eyes of a lion" so they can find the courage to "run toward the roar".
To find the detailed archives of these reviews, you can check them out here:
Books In Review
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Bethel Grove is a Christian young woman who loves to read and write, eat Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Blizzards, and disciple teen girls as a youth leader. What started as a hobby of writing book reviews and doing deep biblical studies eventually led her down the path of self-publishing and helping other Christian authors launch their books. She hopes to someday be a vocational youth minister and well-known author.
Author Bethel Grove
Simple Youth Ministry
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