Stratton has created a devotional for the first quarter of the year. The devotionals are good, general encouragement to life the Christian life. He writes about what it means to be a saint, being adopted into God's family, going the extra mile for others, having internal quietness, expressing the fruit of the Spirit and other positive character traits, as well as many other topics of spiritual growth. His devotions are good as he helps us understand the necessity of admitting our sins, how to have good relationships, and even appreciate the role of doubt.
While the devotions are good, I was disappointed in the “chuckles” that begin each day's reading. Many are not very funny at all. Some are just inappropriate. Some may elicit humor but at the expense of godly relationships, such as the chuckle about the woman who used her husband's toothbrush to clean the toilet bowl. For example, the chuckle for February 6: “When you don't know what to do, walk fast and look worried!” (79) Not only is that ungodly, Stratton has a devotional on April 21 informing us that worrying is wrong. The chuckle for February 5: “Adam said to his wife, 'Eve, I wear the plants in this family!'” (77) That's not very funny when I consider the immense impact of the Fall and why Adam was wearing the leaves. And then, a minor point, but the same chuckle appears on February 28 and April 14. Stratton says in one of his devotionals, “'Fun' to a Christian describes those wholesome actions that please God and bring us joy and pleasure.” (222) I thought many of his chuckles did not fall into that good definition and were not fun at all.
The devotionals are good. They reflect the wisdom and insight that comes from a lifetime of Christian living. Statements such as, “Storms provide the true test of our relationship with God,” are a result of trusting God for decades. (77) So I recommend the devotional. If you're like me, you may just want to skip the chuckles.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Jerry Stratton grew up in the beautiful mountains of Northwest Arkansas. He is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University and Baylor University. He served in the U. S. Army for 30 years and retired in 1984. He sensed God's call and in the 28 years of ministry has served as minister of education and administration, director of missions, pastor, and interim pastor. He and his wife have been married for 61 years, have two adult children and six grandchildren.
Armonia Publishing, 249 pages.
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through The Book Club Network for the purpose of an independent and honest review.