Another Bible Study series that I've enjoyed is the "Coffee Cup Bible Study" series by Sandra Glahn. This one is designed more specifically for women's groups, and each book is coffee themed...which I absolutely love!
"Cappuccino With Colossians" is one of six titles released so far. Right from the beginning, I loved this book for more than just it's coffee theme: it has a spiral binding so it lays flat when you're reading or writing in it. As someone who does a lot of studies, this feature is HUGE to me!
Each book has an introduction with some practical anecdotal description as well as historical and geographical description to help the reader focus on more than just the text, but also the context. The intros are fairly in depth, with text box quotes from other sources imbeded in the text, so you get a real feel historically for the book you are studying.
The study on Colossians is broken down into weeks of study instead of days--this one has four weeks. So for a small group, that might be a challenge, but for personal study it's great. Each week is then broken down into daily readings and assignments, with some anecdotal reading and the entire book of Colossians printed in the study book for you.
I don't know if Sandra does this with every book she's written about, but I would guess that she does. And I like that. In a group, it keeps everyone on the same page (different translations can either help or hinder a group depending on how the study is designed--I personally like this idea). Plus, you can just grab and go with your study guide to a coffee shop to meet with a friend:-)
This study is fairly in depth...breaking down verses into words and phrases, and analyzing what some words actually mean (i.e., the word "apostle" gets over a page in discussion). There are questions about the actually text, then questions on personal application.
There are also sidebar notes and text boxes highlighting key points or giving extra background on particular topics (i.e., angels). Each section closes with a prayer and with a passage for memorization. This is a study that is rich, full, and deep.
The only complaint I have is minor: with the pages printed on cream paper and the text in a medium brown, it was a little hard on my eyes. But other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this study...and plan on making it my own personal study for the new year!
To read about other books in the "Coffee Cup Bible Study" series, click here. I give "Cappucino With Colossians" five out of five bookmarks with a coffee cup and a highlighter as charms. Now, I'm off to put the rest of these books on my Christmas wish list!