Tag Archives: devotional

Dwelling Places: Words to Live in Every Season

Dwelling Places: Words to Live in Every Season by Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Dwelling Places: Words to Live in Every Season by Lucinda Secrest McDowell

I was excited to be invited to review this book by Lucinda Secrest McDowell. I usually like her writing and I was ready for a new devotional. This book takes an interesting approach. First, it is organized by season, with a theme for each – dwell for fall, shine for advent, renew for Lent, and grow for summer. Then within each section, each day focuses on one word, finding the word in a Scripture verse. Interesting approach. Good potential. The layout is typical devotional: bible verse, narrative, prayer. The narrative usually offers a brief story or anecdote,  followed by some discussion of that theme.

Sadly, the book disappointed at every level. First, it’s unreadable and looks self-published even though it’s published by Abingdon. I know their goal – small format with each devotional contained on two facing pages. So the book measures 5” x 7” – a nice, portable size. But to accomplish the goal, they used what looks like about an 8-point font with 3/8 inch margins. Definitely not a book for anyone over 40! The paper is common newsprint.

Reviewers were asked to select a season to review. I chose Summer (grow). I love summer – gardens, vacations, family, leisure… Some of the words chosen fit the summer theme, but several were a reach. With few exceptions, I also found the narratives to be ho-humm. Not bad, but not underlinable.

All in all, this book was a disappointment. Look elsewhere for your new devotional.

Lucinda is sponsoring a drawing for some really fine prizes. Enter at https://promosimple.com/ps/9d4a by July 5. Winners drawn July 6.

The Christmas Story in 40 Days

The Christmas Story in 40 Days

The Christmas Story in 40 Days

Although I’m a little late for this year, if you’re looking for a Christmas devotional, this might be the one. The Christmas Story in 40 Days is a simple little book that slows down the familiar story and bridges the gap between the past and the present.

Each day begins with four to five verses, followed by a text box with a comment or a historical note. On the facing page is a devotional thought and often a couple of interpretive questions, and then space for your personal thoughts.

I especially like the historical notes. The story is so familiar, but the notes sometimes added a new dimension for me. On the other hand, I found the book quite simplistic. It seems to be written at about a sixth grade reading level, and there are few deep concepts. However, that would make it a good book for a high school group or perhaps new Christians.

Aneko Press has provided a copy of The Christmas Story in 40 Days for me to give away. If you would like to win a free copy, leave a comment below. I’ll select a winner on Wednesday and ship it out to you right away.