OSFGroup focus studies are available as self-printed booklets for individual use. Click on an image for more information. Each priced as marked, plus book rate shipping.
$8 – Near the end of the book of Psalms is a set of fifteen of song-poems known as the Songs of Ascent. Some people think that the priests at the Temple of YHWH sang one song at a time while climbing each of the fifteen steps up to the altar. Others say that these were songs Hebrew pilgrims sang as they traveled to Jerusalem for Pesach (Passover), Shavuot (Feast of Weeks or Pentecost), and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles)—kind of like the playlist for a road trip, only the travelers sang all the songs themselves. Maybe it was both. Regardless of the original use, these Psalms have something to say to spiritual pilgrims like us. If we listen, we may even learn to sing along.
$10 – John—the man and his books—are all about Jesus. At the end of his Gospel he says, “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). This purpose fueled John’s entire life … In six weeks of study together, we may begin to see why. The emphasis of this study is not on dispensing information or promoting social or political agendas, but on interacting directly and personally with the written Word of God in order to draw closer to the living Word of God, Jesus Christ.
$10 – All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. —Shakespeare, As You Like It What if, indeed, you and I and everyone else we know—and don’t know—are involved in a drama? What if it’s great drama—not the kind that earn us titles like “drama queen,” but a story that really matters and where maybe, in fact, we are kings and queens of a sort, or meant to become them? What if it’s a story where “all the men and women” are so much more pivotal to the story than “mere players,” and yet none of us is the main character? What if it’s a tale where the villain is literally diabolical, but he doesn’t have a hope or a prayer of winning? What if it’s an epic where the hero and the author are the same Person, who has a particularly vested interest in the rest of the characters? Is there a script for this thing? The following focus study is not that script, but it gives us a sense of who’s onstage (and backstage) with us. We may have preferred to have the set instructions before we got halfway through our acts, but perhaps now is better than never.