This is a year-long devotional book written by probably the most well-known preacher in all the world, Billy Graham, which is what first drew me in to this book. Each day has about a one page message from Graham based on a selected passage from Scripture and concluded with a prayer. The title is not only taken from Psalm 121:1-2 but is also a reference to the hills of North Carolina where Graham calls home.
The publisher describes this as "Simple, direct, encouraging yet challenging, this book offers itself as a heartening companion for your daily walk in the valley. This collection is a gentle but constant reminder that we can find help for all our needs as long as we remember to look up . . . unto the hills but especially unto the Lord."
To be honest, I wasn't expecting much from this book. Billy Graham, while arguably a great evangelist, is not known for much theological depth. Yet, I wanted to give him a chance. Graham was one of the most hated figures in the fundamentalist circles I once traveled so I wanted to give him a fair shake for once. While I deeply appreciate his untiring work of bringing souls into the Kingdom, I can't say I really enjoyed this book.
If you are looking to start your morning off with some deep Biblical reflections that will keep your mind occupied for the rest of the day, this is not the book for you. Graham somewhat acknowledges this is his forward by calling this book "compiled thoughts from more than fifty years as a minister." The book is meant to help people "in the valley." However, people in need of help are more often more in need of sound Bible teaching and encouragement than they are the mere reflections in this book.
This is not to say this book is with any value. While the daily devotions themselves were light, the prayers at the end were not. Graham's prayers are reflections of the close, personal relationship he has with his Savior. They are certainly worth reading and meditating on in and of themselves.
If you are looking for a light read just to give you one or two inspirational thoughts for the day, this is a book you should consider. But I would urge you to use it as a launching pad rather than a final destination.
Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
Unto the Hills: A Daily Devotional by Billy Graham
May 25, 2011
I may be busy and may often forget to pray_ but that does not mean I do not crave for prayer time.
Unto the Hills is a wonderful daily devotional to help aid one's spiritual growth. Life sometimes seems too busy for one to find time to read the Bible readings on a daily basis. Whether we admit it or not, our schedules can greatly hinder our prayer life.
This devotional by Billy Graham is written in a manner that is very simple and easy to understand. It begins with a particular verse from scripture, and then leads into a short reflection related to the day's passage. Afterwards, it ends with a short yet relevant prayer.
You may opt to read one page everyday, or may also choose to read several pages at a time. What I particularly appreciate about Unto the Hills is that each reading for the day is labeled with the month and date (such as January 1, March 15, August 27) - and is not made for a particular year. This devotional is timeless as it allows you to read it for years to come - which I have every intention of doing. This book is perfect for your bedside because it will help you start your day (or even end your day) on a right note.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of BookSneeze, a book review bloggers program. Find out more at BookSneeze.com! :)
As a book reviewer for Thomas Nelson I recently received a copy of Unto the Hills-A Daily Devotional by Billy Graham. I selected this book to review because Billy Graham holds a special place in my heart. At the age of sixteen I asked the Lord into my life while watching a Billy Graham crusade on television. That was way back in 1973, and Billy has continued to faithfully preach the Word throughout his long life.
Devotionals can play an important part in our spiritual lives. With such busy schedules we often have little time for inspirational reading. Billy's devotions are short enough to be read quickly with plenty of time left to close our eyes and meditate on the message, claiming it for the day ahead. A devotional such as this also brings us into contact with portions from a variety of books of the Bible, which we might not see for quite some time in the course of our Bible reading. While I'm working my way through the gospels Billy will bring to my memory a scripture from Isaiah, Jeremiah or the Psalms. This makes it a wonderful addition to my regular Bible reading.
While reading this morning I was reminded that although Satan has obtained permission to sift Peter like wheat, Jesus had prayed for Peter so that his faith would not fail, and had admonished him to strengthen his brothers when he turned back again. How often we feel we're being sifted. I was reminded that Jesus is praying for me during these times and fully expects me to prevail and return to Him! Unto the Hills by Billy Graham is full of spiritual treasures to help us in our daily walk.
Unto the Hills by Billy Graham is a calming, soothing, and, at times, convicting devotional. The daily readings are well-balanced in their impact. The format starts with a Bible verse written in full at the top. There is an anecdote or some thoughts on the subject, many times with additional Bible verses in the main text. Each day's entry concludes with a prayer. I have particularly enjoyed the prayers at the end of each entry.
As an interesting aside, I actually like to look up the verses in my own Bible rather than having them printed out. I look them up and write them down in a notebook. But for someone who wants a devotional and the Bible reading together, it is handy to have the verses written out in full.
I highly recommend this devotional to others, especially for those seeking a guide for daily Bible readings.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneezeÂ® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255