Encouragement for Today by Renee Swope, Lysa TerKeurst, and Samantha Evilsizer
Visit the Proverbs 31 webpage HERE
I received this book from the publisher via BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review. Buy the ebook for Kindle for $4.27!! (10/2/13)
With writers like this, one expects a lot. The cover sets quite the mood as well--relaxing, organized, peace, beauty. I am just not sure this devotional truly stands out. Don't get me wrong! It is a good devotional!
There are 100 devotionals, so essentially a 100 day commitment. Each devo starts with the day's Bible verse and then the devotional which are at most 2 pages long, but the majority are just a page long. That is easy to digest in five minutes for a busy mom. I liked the extra bits at the end most: a closing prayer, Remember (the day's takeaway), Reflect (a question to ponder), Respond (your 'activity'), and Power verses (for digging deeper). All are short and sweet and work to bring you deeper into the devotional. This is perhaps the best part of the book for me. Too many devotionals list a verse and a story and BAM. Done. Close book, move on with day. Spending time with God shouldn't be just another checklist item. Adding these 'R's to the devotional encourages us to move throughout our day with the Word on our mind.
Another thing that I truly enjoyed about the book is that although a devotional, it feels like a book that you can just pick up at anytime and read when you feel led. It does not list the devotions by date/day. You can read one a week, one a day, one an hour, the personalization is endless.
What I didn't like about the devotional, was that I was looking for it to go deeper. The devotionals themselves seem light, quick, blog like. I suppose I shouldn't hold that against them. The authors are from Proverbs 31 and each also have individual blogs as well. Thus they write much more personally, relationally. Perhaps I am just more used to devotionals that stick to Bible stories and expanding on the day's verse. Encouragement for Today authors will tell stories about their families and friends and relate it to the verse and God leaving me feeling as if I just read a great blog post.
This doesn't, by any means, indicate the book is bad or un-useful, just different. It will work for a lot of women with little time. The readings are five minute snippets, and you could stop there, or you could continue on a little deeper, maybe just the reflection question, ...again completely personalized. Mommy blogs and Christian women blogs are exploding across the Internet these days so this style of writing is obviously quite popular.
So...roundabout way of saying good for fans of blog-style writing and who could use devotionals that can be personalized for their lifestyle, but different than usual devotionals. Good writing, God is present, and takeaways to use throughout the day provide everything a woman needs. 4 stars from me!