Saturday, July 26, 2014

Review: Joseph, Beyond the Coat of Many Colors

Joseph, Beyond the Coat of Many Colors
By Mary Englund Murphy
Following God Bible Study Series
AMG Publishers, 2011


Perhaps more than any other biblical narrative, Joseph's life is a down-to-earth model for everyday relationships. Joseph was a lonely little boy--ignored by his brothers yet coddled by his parents. Feel his fear in the pit; follow his caravan to Egypt; stand with him on the slave auction block. You will experience his struggle for sexual purity, go with him to the dungeons of Egypt, rejoice in his rise to power, weep as he forgives the hurt and betrayal of his brothers.

This interactive workbook study will detail each aspect of Joseph's life and show readers how to relate it to their own temptations and struggles with envy, disappointment, betrayal, purity, power, and forgiveness--for to one degree or another, each of us is living a Joseph life.

Go beyond the Sunday school story and see Joseph as never before: the lonely little boy ignored by his brothers, yet coddled by his parents; feel his fear in the pit; follow his caravan to Egypt; experience his struggle for sexual purity; go with him to the dungeons of Egypt; rejoice in his rise to power; weep as he forgives the hurt and betrayal of his brothers.

Joseph is an eight week interactive Bible study offering hope, encouragement, and practical answers to life’s problems. It is a blueprint for understanding blended families with broken and betrayed relationships; serves as a leadership manual for churches and businesses; a handbook for employees and employers; a guidebook for resisting negative peer pressure and instituting moral purity, grace and forgiveness.

My thoughts

Joseph, Beyond the Coat of Many Colors, part of the Following God series by AMG Publishers, is an eight-week Bible study that takes an in-depth look at the life of Joseph, beginning with his ancestors, Abraham and Sarah. Each week's study is divided into five days and follows a specific time period or event in Joseph's life. All that is needed for the study is this workbook and your Bible. It also works well for either personal or group study. The Following God series is excellent, and Mary Englund Murphy's Joseph is no exception.

Numerous books and studies have been written on the life of Joseph - so why this particular one? That's easy . . . Mary is a good teacher and communicator; she sends you straight to the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. But one thing I particularly like about this study, as well as all of the Following God series, is that it works well for both the mature believer and new Christian alike. These studies point us to God's Word so that we can apply its truths to our own lives.

For someone who has grown up in the church, like me, the story of Joseph is very familiar. But through his humility, wisdom, willingness to extend forgiveness to those who harmed him, and acceptance of his small part in God's big picture, there is so much richness to be reminded of and continually apply to my daily life. This is something at which Mary excels. We all have to deal with life's trials, and this study gives a deeper understanding of how important my attitude is and how I can grow personally through these trials.

Quotes really speak to me - they are quick to get my attention, make me think, and are easily remembered. These are just a few of my favorites from the workbook:

"A half-truth is a whole lie."

"Where would you be if God lost His patience with you?"

"Becoming a good leader first requires becoming a good servant."

"We don't always need to know God's purpose; we only need to know He has a purpose."

"Let go of the past, walk in the present, let God hold the future."

"When you say you can't forgive, you're saying your standard for forgiveness is higher than God's."

Joseph, Beyond the Coat of Many Colors is a Bible study which will increase your understanding of a familiar story and from which you will grow spiritually. Highly recommended for personal or group use.

Joseph Beyond the Coat of Many Colors can be purchased online at CBD, DeeperShopping, B&N, and Amazon.

Mary Englund Murphy

        Mary Englund Murphy was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota into a blended, broken, and dysfunctional family. Born with a rare form cancer, she underwent major surgery at only four months. At the age of nine (after her parents divorced and both married new partners), Mary moved to the Florida Keys but spent summers in Minnesota with her father and his new family. During her teen years, her parents both divorced and married yet again.
        Mary now lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her husband Bill and travels throughout the U.S. sharing her unique story of survival.

Meet Mary online at Looking Glass Ministries, Facebook, and Twitter.

Thank you to for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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