Devo for the Rest of Us is a new Devotional written by a pastor from Las Vegas. It is very down to earth and light to read. I appreciated the personal stories as they often brought biblical ideas into the perspective of present day.
I’m always interested in reading new devotionals. I also admit that I’m very cautious when reading them. I think authors have a great responsibility when it comes to guiding others in what God is saying to us through Scripture. I was unfortunately very disappointed with this particular book. for several reasons.
The first is the seemingly light treatment of sin. While I appreciate those who are willing to admit they are not perfect, I do not think very highly of individuals who relish or even seem to take pride in actions which are dishonoring to God. There were a handful of incidents of this used as examples in this devotional. The seriousness of sin should never be diminished and anyone who does so makes me very nervous about the rest of their perspective on Scripture.
I see the trend in many of the popular speakers and books becoming a flaunting of sin and a lack of reverence. I see many of the most sought after teachers parading their trespasses as badges of honor and it breaks my heart. While we should never resort to an attitude that becomes holier-than-thou, holiness is our aim. Scripture teaches us this, and any action which draws us away from the holiness of God should be mourned, not applauded.
Another reason I was disappointed in this devotional was the abrupt writing style. Now this is just a personal preference, but I like to read devotionals which encourage me to think and with thoughtful writing. The simplistic style of this devotional did not really appeal to me.
The latter complaint is really just my preference in devotionals. My first issue, however, is serious enough I cannot recommend this book to anyone.
Disclaimer: I received a e-book copy of Devos for he Rest of Us from Tyndale Publishers as part of the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review and did not receive any other compensation.
One of my favorite things as a pre-teen and teenager was my Brio magazine. Did any of you read that? This sweet devotional reminds me a lot of that magazine and all the reasons I loved it. Within the pages of this 60-day devotional is encouragement which feels relevant for girls of this generation.
Each devotional in More for Girls Only! Devotions by Carolyn Larsen from Tyndale Publishers has a story and Scripture to engage young girls. I am having both my 8-year-old (Beth) and 10-year-old (Rose) use this book. While Beth does like it, I think she may be a little on the young end. There is nothing inappropriate at all but my girls are still very much little girls and not growing up as quickly as some of their peers are. I love that about my girls. Either way the content would be appropriate for all little girls considered preteens.
Carolyn Larsen is a new author for me and I appreciate her easy style of writing. As I read through some of the stories and devotionals I felt as if this was the kind of woman I would love to have in the girl’s life as a mentor. My daughters are so very blessed to have many women in their life who care about their spiritual growth. While I’ll probably never meet the author in person I have a feeling she is the kind who looks for opportunities to mentor young girls with whom she is in contact. Her stories and Scriptural application are both relevant and engaging.
Both of my daughters really like the layout of this devotional. In addition to the opening story and Scripture there is a quiz, extra verses, biblical application, and challenges. All of the topics are age appropriate. Even the topic on purity does not delve into the sexual aspects of purity but rather what it means to have a pure heart.
This is an excellent devotional that a young girl desiring to grow in her faith will enjoy!
Disclaimer: I received a paperback copy of More for Girls Only! Devotions from Tyndale Publishers as part of the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review and did not receive any other compensation.
Ever since my oldest daughter was just an infant we have made an effort to teach our children biblical truth. Rose was barely old enough to sit on her own when we started having family devotions with her. I remember clearly the sweet little board book devotional I picked out from a Christian Bookstore which was going out of business. It had just a few sentences on each page and a song to go with each of the devotions. It was great for tiny tots and we enjoyed starting out with this. We also have multiple children’s Bibles with pictures and stories and questions that we have used as they grew.
I have loved these previous resources, but I am ready for something more. Each of my girls has professed their faith in Christ and I have wanted something for our devotional time as a family which addressed more areas of discipleship.
I was so very excited to have the opportunity to review I Can Learn the Bible by Holly Hawkins Shivers. This children’s version of the Joshua Code has been exactly what my husband and I have been looking for to use with our girls. The cover of the book struck me as being adorable, but I wasn’t sure if it was going to really challenge my girls or grow them further in their relationship with Christ. They already know most of the Bible history by heart and I really wanted them to begin to engage more personally with Scripture. This sweet cover does not even begin to express the depth of truth my girls are gaining from it!
Subjects ranging from world view to your purpose as Christian are covered in a very real, yet understandable way for elementary children. Many of the topics were not ones I had really thought about addressing with my daughters who are 9, 7, and 5. I love answering their questions, but with this devotional we have been able to have a more direct, proactive approach to discussing certain topics. A key Scripture verse is included for each week as well as discussion questions and challenges for you as a family. It also ends with a suggested prayer to help you guide your children to know how to pray about what they are learning.
We are at war with our culture for the hearts of our children. I need as many weapons, both defensive and offensive as possible. Through resources like this we are more prepared for the battle and are preparing these sweet little hearts to know how to live godly lives.
Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook.com® <http://BookLook.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Rose has loved this book and will continue to use it. After just one day she asked me, “Is there another book after this one is done I can get?” I hope the author is planning a volume two!
Forgiveness is hard whether you are extending it or receiving it. Forgiveness is one of the most difficult graces from God to respond to appropriately. We don’t feel others deserve it from us. We are hesitant to ask for forgiveness, especially when we don’t think we did anything wrong. We can’t imagine God actually giving it to us. We should feel blessed God knew this would be an issue and gave us so many verses to help us in Scripture. While I would encourage anyone to start with Scripture, sometimes hearing others’ stories of forgiveness is helpful.
Matthew West is known for beautiful music which speaks to the soul. Several years ago he asked for stories. He wanted to hear stories from real people about forgiveness. He has collected several of these stories in his book, Forgiveness. Each story is followed by thoughts from Matthew West about each story. I really appreciated these insights after each story.
It is divided into four sections: Forgiving Others, Asking Forgiveness, Forgiving Yourself, and Accepting God’s Forgiveness. I appreciate they are categorized this way because there are so many different facets to forgiveness. Matthew West’s responses are grounded in Scripture. He has spent significant time studying God’s Word as he gives incredible insight for each story presented.
This light read will get you thinking deeply. Although it is a short book it is not one to be read in one sitting. The way to get the most out of this is to read it thoughtfully one section at a time in order to let it rest in your heart and mind. Whether you feel you are struggling with forgiveness or just want to explore the theology behind it, this is an excelling devotional to get you started.
Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
As a homeschooling mother of three girls ages 8, 6, and 4 my mornings are unpredictable more often than not. I know how I would like my mornings to go, but I can count on one hand how many times it has actually gone this way! This has been a wonderful opportunity for me to center myself on Christ first thing while being able to meet my girls’ needs as they come up first thing in the morning.
One night a few years ago as I was up for the fifth time with one of my daughters. Sleep seemed more than elusive for our household!
My oldest daughter pitched a fit worthy of an academy award the previous night night when we announced bedtime. We are used to getting the usual chorus of, “I don’t want to go to bed!” However that night seemed to reach a new level. I reminded her that fits don’t help; they only cause more problems, but it didn’t seem to help very much!
My middle daughter (three-years-old at the time) went to sleep okay, but struggled to remain there. She was up no less than five times within two hours, which conveniently started just as we were heading to bed. I suspect it might have something to do with the restless older sister who made the top bunk squeak. She was inconsolable unless either my husband or I were in the room with her. She kept peeking to make sure we didn’t leave.
The littlest one (she was about one) had the unfortunate problem of 3 teeth trying to break through. For the past two evenings she has fussed on and off every hour or two throughout the evening. The worst part is when we went in to try and comfort her she would push us away and didn’t even want us around. I suspected she was a little bit angry we couldn’t fix her problem and make the pain go away.
How often do we treat God the same way? We pitch a fit and do our best to get out of the things He wants us to do, all the time knowing we will have to submit and are just making matters worse. Sometimes we are so nervous about doing new things we are terrified God won’t be there with us. We want something tangible to give us comfort. Then there are the times when God doesn’t do what we expect Him to and we get upset. We’d rather He just leave us alone if He isn’t going to fix what we want Him to fix or how we think it should be done.
Many Scriptures talk about God as our Father and how much better are the things He gives to us than we, who are lowly sinners, give to our kids. I don’t believe this is necessarily talking about tangible gifts. I love my kids and want what is best for them even when they don’t always want to accept it. Not giving in to their every want is a gift. Providing for their basic needs is a gift. Teaching biblical truths is a gift. Loving them unconditionally is a gift. These are things I aim for, yet my human flesh often gets in the way. Our heavenly Father does each of these perfectly, without blemish.