Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Year With God: A Review

I have been taking my time reading through a devotional called, A Year With God, by R.P. Nettelhorst. It has been nice having a new way to spend time in devotions each day.

From the back: Are there any words more powerful than God's? Through his words, the world came into creation and all life into being. God spoke to his first people, Adam and Eve, and he spoke to Noah and Abraham, to Moses, to the kings of Judah and Israel, and to the prophets. 

And he speaks to you today.

God's words are real, and they are full of his love, wisdom, and direction.  A Year With God is a 365-day revelation of God's divine character through his actual words, along with reflections and insights to increase your understanding. You'll discover the context of God's words spoken in the Old Testament--and what they mean for you and your life.

The pros: 
- Each devotion is numbered instead of being arranged by date. This allows the reader to begin at any time and not feel distracted or tied to the date on the page. If I skip a day, I don't worry about it because I don't feel behind. 
-Each devotion is one page long. About half of that page is scripture. This is nice because many devotionals only tend to give one or two scriptures. Sometimes I feel that I am not getting the verse in its full context. However, Nettlehorst's devotional puts the scripture into context and I feel that I am getting to the meat of the scripture. 
-The devotions are organized into juxtaposed categories. These categories include hope and fear, love and hate, perseverance and quitting, faith and doubt, loyalty and betrayal, and many more. Each category has more than 20 devotions in it. By the end of the section, a clear picture of each category has been portrayed and I really get a glimpse of how these traits are portrayed in the Bible.

The cons:
-There isn't an author bio. When I read a book, especially a book that is giving advice of any sort, I want to know credentials. The book contains no author bio. When I googled him, there wasn't much information on him either. 
-Sometimes the devotions end abruptly. Perhaps I am supposed to spend more time in reflection, but more than once I have found myself saying, "huh?" 
-He is not consistent with his choice of scripture translation. Although he makes it clear which translation is being used, the lack of consistency bugs me. Sometimes he uses NLT, then the next day he uses MSG, then NRSV, and then MSG again. If I understood why he chose each translation, perhaps I wouldn't be so critical of it. 

Overall, despite its quirks, I am enjoying this devotional. It has caused me to think about a few things differently. It has a lot of substance and really delves into the Old Testament, which is a section of scripture that is sometimes ignored or just used as a history lesson.

I give it 3.5 stars. 

I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own

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