Joan Stark and Stacey Bieler, Strength for Your Soul: God’s Encouraging Words for Everyday Living  (tentative title)

These deceptively simple Bible studies from the Old and New Testament will help people find God’s strength and comfort in everyday living, joy and peace in His presence, and encouragement to follow His calling.

 

This Bible study guide has a number of special features that make it stand out from others:

1. No one needs to prepare to participate or lead the studies. Members can attend regularly or not. Each study is a separate entity.

2. The text of each study is usually one or two verses of Scripture and five or six thoughtful questions that act as catalysts for in-depth discussion and rich prayer time.

 

3. The reader is encouraged to use the manuscript method, interacting with the words by underlining, marking repeated words, seeing similarities and differences, etc., in order to meditate, and write reflections.

 

4. The readers are encouraged to make (and possibly decorate) “scripture cards,” and place them somewhere they can be reminded of God’s strength through the week.

 

The forty studies are divided into four sections: God is our Refuge and Strength, Be Strong and Courageous, You Have Given Me Wisdom and Power, and The Lord is My Strength and My Song.

 

Each short passage becomes a seed for spiritual growth.  The studies look simple, but they are surprisingly profound.

*We are hoping to find a publisher in 2021!

Reviews

Christa G., 33, former missionary in Africa, mother of four young children, IN

“It was good to spend time with the verses first. Being able to write on them helped me to slow down and really listen. I did think the card suggestions were helpful for emphasizing a take home point to remember. Audience?  Busy people who need help to slow down, meditate on scripture and reflect on their own lives. . . Possible Title: ”Slow Down, Drink Deeply, Reflect and Apply God’s Word.”

 

Thom S., 60, businessman, MI

“These studies have been a great encouragement... It’s amazing to me that God still breathes life into our souls through the work of His spirit through words found on the pages of scripture. “Experiencing God’s Presence and Power” – This is just what happened as I worked thru these studies . . . confronting the truth of the scriptures and daily transformation of my thoughts and heart towards Him. Possible Title: “Reshaping My Heart”

Endorsements

Steven Garber, author of Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good,

Senior Fellow for Vocation and the Common Good for M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

 

Read, mark, learn and inwardly digest, is the long instruction of the Book of Common Prayer. I cannot imagine a better way to work that out than stepping into the good work of Joan Stark and Stacey Bieler in Strength for Your Soul, looking over their shoulders and through their hearts as they lead us into knowing more of God, ourselves and the world. 

No time? Every study in this book is short. Tired of being preached at? These studies call you to get in touch with your own feelings. But they don't stop there. They connect your situation to God, noting what kind of God he is and what kinds of actions he takes. They root you in the Word, from the Psalms to Revelation, pointing out nuances.  Finally, they help you apply the Word to your own particular dilemmas, challenges, and opportunities. This book represents 40 days--or 40 weeks-- of God-breathed encouragement.

Miriam Adeney, author of Kingdom without Borders:  The Untold Story of Global Christianity

 Associate Professor of World Christian Studies, Seattle Pacific University