Sunday, May 21, 2017

Whispers of Rest by Bonnie Gray

I am impressed with the depth and honesty of these 40 devotions. They were initiated during a time when Gray was on a three year journey navigating the mysteries of her soul. She collected whispers from God as He healed her and restored her joy. She invites readers along on what has become her daily practice to listen to God and be refreshed. The devotions are not light nor fluffy but are opportunities for readers to investigate and express heart feelings. She suggests finding a quiet place and using a journal. She provides plenty of journal prompts.

The format of these devotions is unique and provides several ways for readers to respond. Gray has comments and then a related Bible passage. Next is an imagined message from God, a written prayer to Jesus and a few more comments from the author. Questions for reflection follow, then prompts for personal prayer on the topic. Last is a challenge for an activity related to the topic. I like those challenges. They provide a combination of spiritual practices and practical living ideas. We are encouraged to read Scripture slowly and then eat slowly as well. After instruction on listening to God we are encouraged to listen to the sounds of nature.

These are good devotions for people who are ready to grow and are willing to think about issues in their lives. Gray writes about the choices we make, about hurts and healing, about when our life doesn't match the dreams God has put in our hearts, and much more. She is honest in writing about her feelings and asks the same of us. These are not light devotions. They are probing, revealing and healing.

There are a few aspects of these devotionals with which I am uncomfortable. Gray includes whispers from God, imagined statements He makes to us. I get a little nervous when people presume to verbalize messages from God and that is the case here. Another area of concern is the use of Scripture passages. Can we take something God specifically said to Israel, for example, Isaiah 62:4-5 where God would name Israel “delight," and apply it to us today? Another example is applying Mark 1:11 to us when God was specifically speaking of Jesus.

With those reservations, I do recommend this devotional. The devotions are good and I really like the areas where Gray asks readers to respond. Working through the book would be a journey in self discovery and healing. There are additional resources available and you can find out more about the book at www.thebonniegray.com/whispersofrest .

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Bonnie Gray is an inspirational speaker, retreat leader, and the author of Finding Spiritual Whitespace. Her writing is featured on Relevant Magazine, Dayspring (in)courage, and Christianity Today. She lives in California with her husband and their two sons. You can find out more at http://thebonniegray.com/.

FaithWords, 400 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
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