I've been looking for a new devotional book, and thought this would be a good choice because I really love the perspective of Charles Stanley. I understand what he's saying during his Sunday sermons, and tend to mull over those thoughts during the rest of my week.
This devotional begins with January 1st, and has one page dedicated for each day of the year. There is a themed title, a passage of scripture noted, and a key verse for that day. Unless your memory of the Word is superb, you'll need your Bible to look up the scripture readings. While not an absolute necessity, I've found beginning with the Bible verses has helped me soak up the daily devotions.
Following the scripture readings are three to four paragraphs that pertain to the verses above it. I immediately connected with Charles Stanleys' words and could hear his voice as I read the passage. Sometimes it's a historical reference, and other times he may use a Sunday school anecdote. The last line or two is a prayer. I like that I can finish with this prayer, or if I feel compelled, I can use it as the beginning of a longer chat with God. The format of this book is definitely easy to read. You could use this devotional for yourself or in a group setting. Right now, we're using it for our family devotion. With children ages 12, 10, and 7, we haven't come across any devotion that is above their heads.
The back of the book contains lined pages for your personal notes. This could be used for anything from prayer requests, answers from God, or even scripture that has stood out to you. All in all, I'm pleased with this devotional. I like its size (about 5x8), print, and hardbound cover.
I Lift Up My Soul would make a great gift at Christmas, or really anytime, as you can open it to the current date and start reading. And even though the subtitle states "Devotions to Start Your Day with God", you can definitely read the daily passages at any time of day. We use ours at night before the children go to bed. If you're looking to enhance your quiet time with God, or wanting to draw your family closer while discussing your faith, I highly recommend this book. Happy Reading! :o)
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