Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Journey to New Books – The Friends We Keep: A Woman’s Quest for the Soul of Friendship and 40 Minute Bible Studies - From August 13, 2009

The title The Friends We Keep intrigued me. I thought something like, “I wonder if this will give answers, insights, and peace about my friendships.” I have had many friendships in my life, some are gone now due to many factors. The loss of friendship always saddens me, especially if I somehow played a part in the loss. I think the hardest thing for me is when the level of intimacy in a friendship changes, and you wander into the land of acquaintances once again.
Now that I’ve given you an overview of my thought process before reading this book, I’ll tell about the book. I read this book fairly quickly, even though it wasn’t quite what I expected. Sarah Zacharias Davis takes her reader on a journey through the different kinds of friendship, the different roles in friendship, the seasons of friendship, and so much more. She reveals stories from her own life and the lives of other women about aspects of their friendships. Chapter titles include: The Lesson of Lucy Van Pelt, Betrayal by Burger, and The Age of Friendship, just to name a few. The book is well-written, insightful, down-to-earth, and incredibly thought-provoking (especially if the subject of friendships is near and dear to your heart). You may come away from the book with more questions than answers, but you will also gain new understanding along the way as well. I would say that this would be a good book to read with a ladies’ group and then go over the discussion questions together. This would make a great read for your book club, your Bible study group, or your moms’ group.
The Friends We Keep is Sarah’s thoughtful account of her own story and the stories of other women about navigating friendship. With heartfelt, intelligent writing, Sarah explores the questions every woman asks about friendship and more with personal stories, cultural references and history, faith, and grace. In the process, she delivers wisdom for navigating the challenges, mysteries, and delights of friendship: why we need friendships with other women, what it means to be safe in relationship, and how to embrace what a friend has to offer, whether meager or generous. For more info on the book, head on over to WaterBrook Press.

I’d also like to tell you about a series of Bible study books called 40 Minute Bible Studies. The 40 Minute Bible Study series from beloved Bible teacher Kay Arthur and the teaching staff of Precept Ministries tackles important issues in brief, easy-to-grasp lessons you can use personally or for small-group discussion. Each book in the series includes six 40-minute studies designed to draw you into God’s Word through basic inductive Bible study. There are 16 titles in the series, with topics ranging from fasting and forgiveness to prayer and worship. With no homework required, everyone in the group can work through the lesson together at the same time. Let these respected Bible teachers lead you in a study that will transform your thinking—and your life.
I haven’t had a chance yet to do one of these studies, but they look like they’re easy to follow along with and have the Bible verses printed in them that go with the lessons. What a great idea! These books would be wonderful to use in your circle of friends for your next Bible study.

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