Her Restless Heart By Barbara Cameron

I wasn’t sure about combining excerpts from a novel with a Bible study. I have to admit I was even a somewhat leery it might be a little bit sacrilegious. After reading this book I can honestly say it is a quality Bible study. It is the best of both worlds combining a study of God’s word and a Christian novel. I have read the questions at the end of many Christian fiction books and while they are great for group discussions, they are do not compare with this study. For years I have found spiritual lessons in many Christian novels I have read. I even sat up a file in Word where I type in the sentences or paragraphs that spoke to me and then added what spiritual truth I learned. This goes even deeper!
Before receiving this Bible study, I had not read the book the excerpts come from. I can truthfully say it did not affect my experience or hinder me in the study. I do believe if I had read the book, it would have further enhanced the story.
While I enjoy Bible studies of all types, this one was, well what can I say, fun. The beginning of the book shares a summary of the story, character sketches of the people, and a glossary of Amish words used, and their meanings. The book is divided in to a 6 week study, with 5 days of lessons for each week. Each week begins with a Scripture or Scriptures for that week. This not only prepares your for the heart for the lesson, but also could be used to memorize. Next is a paragraph named, “Setting the Stage” which tells you what the main idea of the lesson for the week will be. Then there is the excerpt from a chapter in the book, usually about 2 or 3 pages long. At the beginning of the daily lesson there is a verse to read. I personally like to read the entire chapter the verse is in. Following that is the “Reflect and Respond” section. This introduces concepts and ideas about the lesson. Thought provoking questions and lots of scripture references follow. I find that VERY important in a good study of the Word. The lesson ends with a prayer and a suggestion to apply what you have learned to your life.
The lessons were just the right length and very interesting. I also appreciated in the margins of some pages there were key ideas printed. As an added bonus at the end of the book the author shares Amish recipes! A delightful and enlightening study that would be great for individuals or groups.
I believe this is book is paving the way for a new type of Bible study, where the pleasure of reading Christian fiction can also be a part of spiritual growth.
I received this book free from Abingdon Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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