We've noticed the red words in the gospels. We might overlook them because they are so familiar to us. Keith reminds us, “these words were meant to teach, inspire, and challenge us to live radically different lives from the world around us.” (162)
These devotionals are different from what I expected. Rather than the commands of Jesus, Keith focuses on His sayings that become comforting words. Her writing is quite personal. We find that she has multiple sclerosis. She struggled with the diagnosis but then decided her life was not over, just different. She realized she needed to rely on God. “My very disease was proof that He was present.” (116)
An example of her writing is the devotional on the lost sheep. It is about herself. Her childhood had left her in pieces but there was a boy in a Boston hat who pursued her, no matter how many times she hurt him. She speaks of God who pursues, of our willingness to let others in, and if we know someone who is hard to reach.
Her devotion on Mark 9:23 speaks to days that change our lives. They begin like any other day, perhaps just one more in a long line of ordinary days. We've given up on the extraordinary. We don't anticipate that the God of miracles is about to do something.
Keith has added thoughtful questions at the end of each devotion. Sometimes we are asked to look inside ourselves, sometimes they suggest possibilities, sometimes they challenge our behavior. She concludes the reading with a Daily Dare, a call to action.
I liked these forty days of reflection on Jesus' words. The book is encouraging and challenging. It would make a good choice for Lenten or Advent reading, allowing your life to be changed by the words in red.
Brooke Keith is the author of several books and writer for ministries around the world. She and her husband have five children. Follow her blog and get a good idea of her writing style at http://laurabrookekeith.wordpress.com/.
Warner Press, 162 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.