I was able to take part in an interesting online Bible study over the past few weeks. The study was called Her Restless Heart and put out by Abingdon Women which is part of Abingdon Press. What was unique about this study was that just as Jesus taught with parables, the author created this study to teach biblical truths via fiction.
Amish fiction is quite popular. In fact, it's one of my favorite genres to read. Now, don't misunderstand me, I enjoy my modern conveniences just a tad too much to give them up, but I still enjoy reading about it all the same. That's the joy of a good book.
In this series, the fictional book is optional. The study guide includes character sketches of all the main characters as well as a synopsis of the book. I opted not to buy the book this particular study was based on. If I were to do another one, I think it would be helpful to have the book. The synopsis is thorough, but I just like reading the book for myself.
The study lasted for six weeks. As the title suggested, it covers the restlessness that women, in general, struggle with. I know that this is a struggle for me and one of my daily prayers is to just be content with my circumstances. The Lord has really had me work on that for the last eight years when we were living in our small trailer and trying to live very frugally.
Each week had a theme which included scripture and excerpts from the book. The weeks are broken in to five days. Each day has a section to reflect on scripture pertaining to the lesson as well as a number of "reflect and respond" sections. I really liked the end of each day with the "As You Go" section. Here is where the author left you with things to ponder as you went about your day.
This series is set up to be done in a group setting. Abingdon created a Facebook event which allowed all the participants to interact with the author. A leader's guide and a DVD can be purchased separately. However, we were able to view the videos in the group setting online and interact with each other there once a week - just as if this were a regular Bible study.
Overall I really enjoyed this study. I liked the unique approach it took to combine a fictional story with a Bible study. It was extremely thorough and truly did make me think.