Inner Beauty Forever

just my thoughts on books and stuff :)

‘Sing For Joy’ Book Review December 9, 2012

imagesTitle: Sing For Joy: 6 Topical Bible Studies for Small Groups and Individuals

Author: Nathan Lovell

Date I Finished Reading: December 9,2012

My Rating: 4/5

The following is this books description from the publisher’s website:

Music and singing are wonderful gifts from God that seem strangely destined to cause frustration and grumbling in Christian churches around the globe. Why does something so good create such problems, and what does God have to say to us about our singing?

Sing for Joy is a set of six studies that look at what the Bible has to say about why we sing and how we sing as God’s forgiven people.

This book will help you to delve into the Scriptures to think about the nature of praise and worship and how to encourage each other as you sing together.

The final two studies are particularly targeted towards those in music ministry, to help them think through the implications of what the Bible has to say about music for their role in serving the body.

An ideal study book for individuals and small groups.

Singing. We all do it at some time or another. It is one of my personal favorite ways to praise God. But what about singing in church? Is this really necessary? Is there particular guidelines for us to follow? What genres of music should be used? In this resource, Nathan Lovell discusses congregational worship. He talks on why it is important, what our mindset/ heart should be in worship, and how we should approach it.

This resource was written with the intent for making it  excellent for both small groups and personal studies. I read it on my own, but I think that it would be even better for a group study and discussion, especially for a praise or worship team. It is divided into 6 studies, or chapters. Each one consists of the authors thoughts, scriptures, discussion questions, reflections/implications, and particular things to pray for concerning you and your church’s worship.

The studies discuss many different aspects and issues concerning worship. They discuss the heart of worship, such as what should motivate our worship and how we should mentally approach it. The author supports his facts with scripture, and the provided questions make you think of passages in a new light, or from a different perspective.

One particular fact that he discusses that I found interesting is the error in the mindset that praise or worship brings you into the presence of God. He explains how we are consistently and constantly in the presence of God, and that praise and worship either makes us more aware of his presence, or encourages us to act upon it.

As I read through this I was encouraged to think on and evaluate my mindset on worship, and my eyes were open to a few errors in my way of thinking. However, I do think that you would get MUCH more out of the study if you went through it with others, so that they could encourage more thoughts, and conversations concerning the topics.

Note: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. However, my opinions are my own.

You can find a copy of this resource here: http://www.matthiasmedia.com.au/sing-for-joy

 

‘One-To-One Bible Reading’ Book Review December 1, 2012

downloadTitle: One-To-One Bible Reading: a simple guide for every christian

Author: David Helm

Date I Finished Reading: November 30,2012

My Rating: 5/5

“Reading one-to-one is a variation on that most central Christian activity — reading the Bible– but done in the context of reading with someone else. It is something a Christian does with another person, on a regular basis, for a mutually agreed upon length of time, with  the intention of reading through and discussing a book or part of a book of the Bible,” (page 11). When I read this description of one-to-one Bible reading, I at first thought it sounded formal, perhaps uncomfortable, and maybe for someone with more knowledge of scripture that myself. However, as I read through this book, my thoughts quickly changed. By the time I was through I had been encouraged to seek out someone in my own life with whom to do this.

This book was pretty short. However, the content was great! The author discussed first why one-to-one Bible reading is beneficial, who it is beneficial for,  and how to go about doing it, and it does so in a very simple format. It wasn’t intimidating either, as I expected, in fact it was just the opposite! I was brought to the realization of just how simple, beneficial, and encouraging this process can be.

In this book Helm discusses how doing this type of Bible reading can benefit non-believers, new believers, and fellow mature believers alike. In doing so, he presents a common pattern/ form these meetings can take, although it may have to be slightly tweaked  depending on yourself and the person(s) that you are reading with. On top of that he also provides you with different passages of scripture that are good to begin with, and evaluation questions to get the most out of what is being read.

One detail of the book that I found helpful is how the author explains both effective methods for one-to-one Bible study, the COMA method and the Swedish method. He list the ups and downs, goods and bads, pros and cons of both, allowing you to choose which one would be best for your situation, and allowing the reading to be more effective.

The thing I liked the most about this book probably has to be chapter ten. In this chapter, Helm discusses each genre of scripture (from poetry to prophecy to the gospels), and provides evaluation questions that help you better observe the scripture, as well as to understand the context, meaning and application. The reason that I was so grateful for this is that it not only greatly enhances what you take away from one-to-one Bible reading, but it also helps you to better comprehend, appreciate and apply what you are reading in your own personal devotions and Bible time.

Overall, I thought that this was a great book. I mean, I have seen and been involved in Bible studies and programs that study the scriptures, which are all great! Yet there is something that seems very beautiful and beneficial about one-to-one reading that encouraged me to begin doing this with people in my own life. I would definitely recommend this book to you!

Note: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. However, my opinions are my own

You can find a copy of this book here : http://www.matthiasmedia.com.au/one-to-one-bible-reading