I recently received an email asking how to get one's bread to rise. I am not a bread-making expert, but I will give you the information that I know and have found useful.
You must make sure that when you are using water to dissolve your yeast, that it is not too hot. If it calls for you to dissolve the yeast in warm water, the desired temperature of the water would be 110-115 degrees. If you get it too hot, the yeast will die.
In order to be sure that your yeast is effective, you can proof your yeast. Here is a website that gives step-by-step instructions on proofing your yeast before you begin your bread making.
This site also has simple tips and instructions for baking your own bread.
Happy bread baking, Friends!