Joseph of the Old Testament is my favorite Bible character so I couldn't wait to dig into With Joseph in the University of Adversity.
Author Jerry L. Parks, Th.D crammed thirty-two lessons/chapters into just over 200 pages. Each lesson features a principle for effective living from the life of Joseph. Topics range from envy and finances, to forgiveness and leadership. Each chapter begins with scripture, a slice of Joseph's life, and a lifestyle principle. A handful of points are followed by thought provoking questions (How do you think Joseph felt about Potiphar as he sat in jail for committing no crime? Why did Joseph choose Simeon as the one to keep in Egypt?), a reflection section, and an assignment for the reader's personal growth journal. Sprinkled throughout are inspiring quotes such as John Ruskin's words, "The highest reward of a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it."
I would have liked more information on the term Mizraim that appears in the title beyond "Mizraim. The Land of Egypt." I also would have appreciated reference information on the "Psalm of praise to his God by Zephenath-Paneah," that the author used to close the book.
With Joseph in the University of Adversity is a mixed bag of solid, meaty information that would benefit from better packaging. Pages of solid type are daunting. Sections need to be broken into paragraphs. For instance, chapter one covers, "The Principle of Effective Parenting." I mean it really covers the topic but reading huge blocks of solid type, I had to come up for air. But I never once thought I wasn't getting my money's worth.
Long paragraphs and occasional typos were distracting as was the quote on page 17 attributed to Mary that was Elizabeth's (Luke 1:43). These things caused me to wonder who Parks' editor was. In fact, With Joseph in the University of Adversity was self-published with iUniverse, Inc.
The information in Parks' book is strong and helpful and those of us Joseph fans will stick with it. It's a real meat and potatos read with unlimited application value. Readers from dysfunctional families will find a compass in Joseph's example. Parks has obviously spent a great deal of time studying and teaching on the life of Joseph and I hope to see With Joseph in the University of Adversity republished under the expertise of a fine editor who will polish this diamond in the rough. – PeggySue Wells, Christian Book Previews.com
The University of Adversity presents thirty-two timeless and life changing lessons for successful living, drawn from the discouragements and hardships of Joseph the Hebrew in Egypt (Mizraim). These principles cover topics such as effective parenting, money-management, personal relationships and prayer.
The University of Adversity is a 'how to' manual for practical living in a sinful world. These principles have been tried, tested and proven effective for nearly three thousand years, and are just as relevant today as they were in the life of Joseph. What worked for Joseph will work today.