Finding a Devotional for 2015

When I traveled I tore out the pages I needed and returned them to the book when I got home.

When I traveled I tore out the pages I needed and returned them to the book when I got home.

One of the challenges of following Christ for 40 years is a bad case of “been there, done that”.  It is easy to start reading something about a Bible passage and check out because I have heard it before. I wanted to mix up my morning routine and figure out a devotional habit I could stick with all year. Will Schwalbe mentioned a devotional his dying mother had by her bedside: Daily Strengths for Daily Needs, by Mary Tileston. I bought it and every day I read another entry. I sustained the practice and I have just one entry left.

It has been short enough to make it impossible NOT to read everyday even though a lot of the entries are in old fashioned language that is hard to comprehend. Here is an example of one of four parts of December 27: “Whatever we are–high or lowly, learned or unlearned, married or single, in a full house or alone, charged with many affairs or dwelling in quietness–we have our daily round of work, our duties of affection, obedience, love, mercy, industry, and the like. And, that which makes one man to differ from another is not so much what things he does, as his manner of doing them.” –Cardinal Henry Edward Manning.

I started searching for a replacement last week. Stephen Mattson mentioned Rob Bell’s “What is the Bible?” found on Rob Bell’s blog on Tumblr.  I checked it out and I love it. Posts are a perfect length. Enough to provide some inspiration or insight, not so much I have an time-limit excuse not to read. I have read 7 entries already because I love the perspectives.

If you are not part of the parallel universe of American Evangelical Church, Rob Bell is controversial. He wrote a terrific book called Love Wins that alienated him from the orthodox evangelical church. It must drive them crazy because he is a very gifted theologian, trained at Fuller Theological Seminary, and a great writer. He is a postmodern so he is approaching worship and following Christ differently. The main beef seems to be that he is not willing to condemn homosexuals to hell, or anyone really (hence Love Wins!).

I have read many Bible commentaries and devotions where I did not agree with everything the author wrote, so I do not mind exercising my discernment muscles. Plus I am more alienated from American Evangelicals and more aligned with Bell.

Most importantly it is reconnecting my intellect and my heart and the Holy Spirit.

2 thoughts on “Finding a Devotional for 2015

  1. Love you Julie … pray it’s a rich year of growing in the Lord.

    When, a few years ago, I felt like I was frozen in a “been there, done that” position, where my life parameters muted the voice of the Lord from ringing clearly through the Bible translation I’d been reading, a friend of mine suggested I start reading in another language. It was a really wonderful experience …

    Give that a try as well. It’s a double blessing … new metaphors, new cultural awareness on how Christ meets us all, and on top of it, it helps develop your second language skills. Good experience I can highly recommend!

  2. It is so darling of you friend to assume that I speak more than one language–or can read more than one language. While I have taken classes in Spanish, French, Russian, and te Reo Maori, the only language I can claim is English.

    Good suggestion though for the multi-lingual amongst us.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s