11.24.2011

A Year With Jesus: Book Review

The book you want to give AND keep for yourself for the New Year!

Happy Thanksgiving, friends! This time of year is such a wonderful time for me. Regardless of what has happened during the year, I start to hunker down and count my blessings as I prepare, with my family, for the season of good will towards men, great tidings of comfort and joy, and the wonder of all wonders, the miraculous birth of the baby Savior who came in a manger. So, it seemed like the perfect time for me to share with you a book that you will want to have for the season and beyond, as you begin (or finish - you organized planning types) your Christmas and holiday shopping. Although, I might add, this book would be a perfect gift for any friend or family member you want to know Jesus better in a very tangible, approachable manner- at any time of the year.

In "A Year with Jesus: Daily Readings On Jesus' Own Words", R.P. Nettelhorst delivers a book that is both devotional in style and rich in context. It is a perfect book by design for a daily quiet time with reflection. Some devotionals can be to light and fluffy for my taste. There is enough "meat" and depth here to ponder, as well as springboard some further research for inquisitive minds. Since I am pretty fussy when it comes to devotionals, I hesitate to commit to most. There has to be something almost intangible to put into words to inspire me to commit to someone else's thoughts and conclusions about my Savior in a devotional format. Nettelhorst won me over by delivering what I like to say is a "well turned out word", a variety of scriptural translations for the diversity my palate desires and enough depth to satisfy my appetite.
Sounds a bit like Thanksgiving dinner!

This book opens with a William Barclay quote, " Jesus is not a figure in a book; He is a living presence."
That reflects nicely the flavor of this title. This book is set up as a an undated daily read, so you can begin any time. This is nice for those who favor reading in a less structured manner such as: every other day, weekly or jumping around based on their topical interest. The book is sectioned off further into ten parts with the following titles: Love and Hate, Truths and Lies, Arrogance and Humility, Friends and Enemies, Belief and Disbelief, Patience and Impatience, Deserved and Undeserved, Good and Evil, Fidelity and Treachery, Life and Death. In each reading there is a scriptural passage from various translations of the Bible. I really appreciate that each reading included a different translation as I often will compare with a Comparative Study Bible or by an online source myself. As the title states, these are the words of Jesus, which means the readings themselves are from the New Testament. I remember when I was a New Believer, a wise woman gave me this advice: "No matter what else you read or do, make sure to read Jesus' words every day." She was earnest in her appeal, and a believer in the faith for many years, wanting to impart some spiritual gift to me with her sage like directive. I came to realize after many years how valuable this advice truly is. Nettelhorst addresses the "why" well in Day 212. "After Jesus healed the first Blind man, people were amazed. After the hundredth, it probably didn't feel so remarkable anymore. How many demon expulsions happened before the disciples started yawning?" and  "It is easy for us to grow so familiar with Jesus that we lose sight of how marvelous He is. Every day, lives are saved, homes restored, sins forgiven, relationships mended. One person's miracle is much like another. The blessings of God surround us. Don't lose sight of them!" Yes, I have a lot of pen marks and highlights as I scoured for quotable worthy quotes. Nettelhorst stands before us as scholar, sharing some specific historical detail that enriches the readings. He also comes alongside us, as encouraging coach, reminding us to fight the good fight and keep our eyes on the prize! He stands beside us as friend, in conversation with us and the words of Jesus, sharing light and truth with timely wisdom - Just like my wise friend, did back in the early days of my walk with my Lord. The last page concludes with two quotes: The first by W.H. Griffith Thomas, "Christ's words are of permanent value because of His person; they endure because He endures." and the second by the writer of  Hebrews, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever." My conclusion is, that this book is a valuable, useful resource and supplement for your personal, ministry or family devotional time.
The one downside of reading this book for me was the hurry to review! This is a book to be savored slowly.
So my gift of advice to you is, buy it for yourself, or for a friend, or both. What better gift for the season!
Please let me know if I gave you enough information to make a decision about this book, or feedback on how I can be a better reviewer for you! Thank you, friends!


I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.



Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!

I am thankful today for being able to partake in the receiving of free books for the purpose of review with the wonderful Booksneeze program.

I review for BookSneeze®

2 comments:

  1. Dawn, what a great review. It occured to me when I saw this book on Book Sneeze that it might be difficult to review a devotional, but you made it look effortless. I, too, am choosey when it comes to devotionals. There are just SO many out there. Your friend's sage advice -- "No matter what else you read or do, make sure to read Jesus' words every day" -- was similar to something a good friend told me some years back and it is true. Besides 'Jesus Calling,' this would be a devotional I would definitely consider buying as a gift for friends...and for me!

    Again, thank you, my dear....and a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

    Grace & peace,
    Pam

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  2. I have been back tracking and reading your reviews, you are a very talented writer and your reviews are great!

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