Each year for the past ‘who knows how many?’, right around Christmas time, I go through an annual process of selecting a devotional for the following calendar year. Looking back over the collection, I can see that the different points in my life can be seen reflected in my annual choices. This is not something I consciously set out to do; but that, indeed, is the result.
This year, my perspective changed, because, as a First Look Reviewer, I was exposed to a wide range of “niche type” devotionals, covering a broad band of subjects.
My experience as a devotional reader has shown me that our choices in devotional content are very personal, and very significant to us as individuals. Consequently, they become fixtures of our own personal taste.
Richard Exley is an institution. Longtime pastor, missionary, broadcaster, and author. I remember those nights, 30+ years ago, when the silky, calming and re-assuring voice sliced through the nighttime quietness to bring us the latest “Straight From the Heart”. Since then, Exley has been somewhat of an unsung, yet elusive, hero of mine.
I say all this to tell you that Exley’s devotional isn’t one of the “trendy” mass produced devotionals. It is one that lives up to its title, as it is indeed “authentic” and “deliberate”. In just a few lines each day, the passages elicit a mental and spiritual pause as one reads along. That pause causes a deeper pattern of thought and consideration. It may cause a question, or three, to bubble up inside.
But, what you get in this little annual package is a tool that will bless you, raise questions, raise doubts, raise challenges, and ultimately make you feel just a little warmer, cozier and safer wrapped in the Savior’s arms. For that reason, “Authentic Living” easily makes the list for devotions I should consider for 2017 and/or beyond.
I received an advanced readers copy of this wonderful book from the publisher, Worthy Publishing, in exchange for an honest and timely review. No other expectations extend beyond that point.
Therefore, I provide a very favorable recommendation that you go to your local Christian Bookstore and thumb through a copy. I believe that you will be glad that you did.
Happy Reading and Happy New Year.