Friday, October 19, 2012

Book Review: Breaking Free From Fear by Kay Arthur

This is the second book from this 40 minute Bible Studies series that I have worked through and you can see the first book I reviewed here.  As I have stated in my previous review, I am not a huge fan of all the "doodling" Arthur makes you do with all of the Scripture.  All of the Scripture is listed right in the book, but underlining, circling, drawing pictures, and all the other things you are supposed to do - well, I just find it distracting.  I am sure it works great for some people- it probably just depends on your learning style.  Anyway, I gave it a chance, and did that stuff at first, but then I just kept working through the Bible study and ignored all the suggested markings. 
One of the things I like about Kay Arthur is that she likes to let Scripture speak for itself.  She provides thought-provoking questions to keep the discussion moving making it great material for your small-group or Sunday school class.  One thing I wish it had was an answer key in the back.  I didn't have this issue with the last book, but with this particular study there were several times that I was just plain stumped by a question.  It would have been helpful to have had the author's answer somewhere to figure out those parts where you are just not sure what is being asked.
One other thing I would note is the 40 minute time frame.  This particular study, I am sure, would take a good bit longer than 40 minutes to finish each week.  If you have a group that can keep moving at a good clip - then this will be fine.  But if you have a group like mine that will want to discuss many of the questions in greater detail, then be prepared for the lessons to take longer than 40 minutes. 
In all, this is a good study that probably will not work for my particular group, but I am sure many will find this a great resource.
5 out of 5 stars.
I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Press in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Book Review: 90 Devotions for Kids

The thing I like about material from Adventures in Odyssey is that you know what you are getting.  The Bible principles found in this book are solid and exactly the kinds of things I think kids need to be learning.  The book itself is formatted nicely with lots of pictures, puzzles, and special ideas to make the devotions interactive for the whole family.

Each devotion is about 2 pages in length and teaches a Biblical principle with the help of Whit and the rest of the characters your kids know well from AIO.  A verse from Scripture is included daily and often additional passages are listed for you to look up as time/interest allows. 
This is, however, a devotional book aimed at helping kids learn Scriptural principles.  It is not particularly deep and does not contain a ton of Scripture.  I would say the age range for this book is the same as the AIO radio program, approximately middle school aged kids. Probably the best use of this book would probably be to get your family started with family devotions. 
5 out of 5 stars
I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

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