When we desire to have a closer relationship with God, the best way to do so is through the practice of spiritual disciplines. The practice of spiritual disciplines helps us grow in the knowledge of God, his teachings, and how to live life, pleasing in His sight. It is through studying God’s Word that we receive instructions in righteousness that allows us to be transformed by the renewing of minds. (2 Timothy 3:16; Romans 12:2) There is a multitude of resources and tools available to assist us with the understanding of the Scriptures. Sorting through the numerous resources and tools to obtain the basic knowledge of Bible can be a daunting task and disheartening to some who are new to Bible Study.
Christopher D. Hudson has written a plain, user-friendly companion resource book entitled, “Self-Guided Tour of the Bible.” This book is designed to be used with the Bible. As the name implies, it allows one to study at his/her own pace. It is written using real-world scenarios and modern day examples to illustrate different concepts in the Bible. It features maps, timelines, overviews, and charts all full-colored and reproducible for classrooms or small group studies. There are 242 pages. Hudson cleverly uses a museum analogy to feature and highlight the various components of this companion guide. Each chapter acts as an “Exhibit Hall.” Each “Exhibit Hall” provides a description of content featured.
This book serves well as a quick reference guide with multiple maps, charts, overviews, and timelines at your fingertips. It would be great for new theologians beginning the journey of discovery of God’s Word. It is ideal for teaching biblical foundation training and teaching in a small group setting and for individual study. I would definitely recommend this as a resource that should be a part of your arsenal.
Gregory L. Jantz, Ph.D., author of “Five Keys to Dealing with Depression,” creates a framework for the reader to identify the key indicators of depression in laymen’s terms. He also provides a list along with an explanation of how certain medical and health conditions can make one susceptible to depression or depression-like symptoms. Jantz employs a “whole person” approach recovery methodology. This approach consist of five aspects: intellectual, emotional, relational, spiritual, and physical. As each aspect of the “whole person” approach is explored, the contrast between balance and unbalance is emphasized.
Throughout this publication, there are sidebars that contain Bible passages with an insert of reassurance of God’s love and promises. Some of these sidebars are used to remind the reader of God’s commandments regarding our conduct as Christians. Scenario based examples are utilized to illuminate patterns, behaviors, frequency, and severity. Jantz suggests a variety of activities to counteract the imbalances. He does not suggest that medication is not an option, but remarks that studies reveal the healing process improves significantly when therapy is accompanied with medication.
I believe the book serves well from a self-awareness perspective. I was disappointed that the sidebars were not expounded upon more. This book is primarily focused on depression and its symptoms with common suggestions to counteract negative behavior. It is not a book on how to deal with depression from a scriptural viewpoint. Any spiritual content utilized is more of a sidebar or afterthought. I believe I would appreciate the book more if there was a marriage of godly principles and common counteractive methods interwoven throughout the book.
This book is ideal for those who may show signs of depression and is useful in identifying key indicators of depression. Because it offers helpful insight it could be used as a resource for supporting those exhibiting behavioral patterns of depression.
Rose Publishing has distributed a pamphlet entitled, “Evidence for the Resurrection.” It is a 14 page pamphlet (with 12 pages of actual content) that responds to seven objections and addresses four theories raised by skeptics. Skeptics question the deity of Jesus Christ and produce arguments that the accounts of Jesus Christ is that of a mythological figure or a mortal man and His ministry is folklore.
This publication denotes prominent Scriptures to illustrate biblical truths relating to Jesus’ resurrection. However, it also identifies archaeology and historical discoveries that supports the reliability of the Bible. Although I appreciate the attempt, I believe that there needs to be more information provided from the archaeology and historical points that coincide with the Scriptures. If this document acts as an apologetic writing then there needs to be more balance. Typically, skeptics will reject biblical truths because the Bible is the source.
I believe those that have questions relating to the resurrection but believe that Jesus is God would find the information compelling read. Also, I believe that Christians who are actively evangelizing would benefit from the information in this publication. It would also be a conversation opening for small groups, Bible Study, or Sunday school.
The newly release pamphlet entitled, “Life of Samson” published by Rose Publishing is a “must-have.” As the title suggest, this pamphlet provides an account of Samson’s life. It provides a vivid image of how God operates in the darkest of times, shows God’s love for His people, and illustrates God’s mercy and redeeming power.
Throughout the Book of Judges, there is a cyclical pattern of behavior that Israel demonstrates. From their disobedience to oppression followed by their cries for mercy, God provides a liberator that delivers Israel bring the nation to peaceful state. The peaceful states is short-lived and the cycle begins again. The pattern is broken in Chapter 13 because Israel has resolved to their state of oppression and are hopeless. God intervenes and shows compassion by consecrating Samson from the womb to be Israel’s liberator from the Philistines.
This account of Samson’s life allows us to see how God is able to use us despite our shortcomings. In this story, God’s grace, forgiveness, and empathy are evident. God used Samson’s weaknesses and selfish acts to His benefit. This story provides a perfect example of how God can use “perfectly imperfect” people to fulfill a divine purpose. God not only uses our talents, gifts, and strengths. God utilizes our weaknesses, and our limitations.
I believe that you will be inspired and enlighten. This is an incredible resource for personal, Sunday School, or Bible Study.
The purpose of practicing spiritual disciplines is to increase the development of our inner being as Christians. When we employ the practice of spiritual disciplines we are engaging in training to produce spiritual patterns of behavior. It allows us to draw closer to God, rely on His provision, and seek His guidance. Fasting is a spiritual discipline that requires abstaining something essential in our daily lives for spiritual purpose.
This pamphlet highlights the four spiritual benefits for fasting. Fasting facilitates deeper intimacy with God. (Matthew 5:6, Hebrews 11:6) Fasting reveals our weaknesses resulting in more reliance on God. (1 Peter 5:7, Philippians 4:19) Fasting is another form of worship. (Acts 13:2) Fasting is another method we can employ to ask God to move more powerfully in our lives. (Ezra 8:23) It emphasizes the importance of prayer, proper attitude, and behaviors to avoid while fasting.
This publication also explores four different types of fasting. Three of these types involve sustaining from food including the Daniel Fast, total no food or drink fast, or simply no food. The fourth fast is non-food fast explained as withdrawing from other things or activities. There are additional biblical fasting methods that are not mentioned in this publication. For example, marital sex (1 Corinthians 7:1-5) and refraining from sleep (2 Corinthians 11:27).
Overall, I believe that this pamphlet provides a comprehensible outline of fasting and the proper way to do it. I would recommend this pamphlet for small group, Sunday School, or personal study.
Our teens are faced with peer pressure and ideologies that conflict with what they learn in school. It is critical that we provide them with biblical foundations that will keep them rooted in their faith and respond to the various dogmas that they are inundated with continuously. As I endeavored to identify biblical resources for our teens at our church, I had the opportunity to review “Answers to Evolution” issued by Rose Publishing.
This pamphlet provides sixteen questions about evolution and the origins of life. Both scientific and scriptural perspectives are examined. Specifically, it addresses the numerous scientific theories highlighting the erroneous points that conflict with the Bible. It offers additional resources for a more in-depth study on the topics. This is definitely a conversation starter that will aid in discussion of sciences versus God.
I believe that the pamphlet is balanced. It will aid teenagers who are navigating through science classes that are introduced to conflicting accounts on body development, evolution of life forms, and origins of life. It will give teenagers the opportunity to perform more research into these theories and the Scriptures. I am hopeful that Rose Publishing will produce a more in depth book to address these issues. I would recommend this pamphlet to Sunday School teachers or parents that have children questioning the accuracy of the Scriptures relating to creation.
The Believer’s Baptism pamphlet issued by Rose Publishing is an invaluable resource for New Believers who desire to make a public proclamation of their faith in Jesus Christ. The Believer’s Baptism is an important sacrament to all Believers and symbolizes our new identify with Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection thus unifies us with the Body of Christ. In addition, it provides guidelines for those considering rededicating their lives to Christ and some of the circumstances in which people may consider
New Believers can expect to receive an overview of the history to this special sacrament, general information on what to expect during the sacrament, and answers to frequently asked questions. Not only will this prove instrumental to educating on the sacrament, but it with provide a synopsis on the Apostle’s Creed that summarizes the teachings of the apostles passed on to Believers. The pamphlet covers most concern and is a good conversation starter for addressing additional concerns. It is well written in a non-denomination yet biblical sound fashion allowing room for leaders to add emphasis on any unique elements that are specific to their beliefs or local assembly. I would encourage New Membership Class Leaders to utilize this pamphlet as a tool to educate New Believers or those considering being baptized again.