I am a huge fan of Christian fiction. I believe it can change lives and makes you think about situations possibly even better than a self-help book. So when asked to review Anita's new devotional I was very intrigued. In this devotional she tells a well-known Bible story and brings it to life by expounding on the story.
Having been raised in church it is nice to have a new look into some old Bible stories. I love that after telling a more detailed account of the Bible story she backs it up with the direct account in the Bible. The scripture is included in each day's devotional story. I also enjoyed the questions at the end of each devotion; it gave me something to chew on throughout my day.
The author also includes examples of things or situations that are different from then and now. I liked this part as it really brings the Bible stories full circle for me. It also reminded me that these stories are of real people with real struggles.
As a mom I really like that the devotions were short but filled with truth. I actually looked forward to reading the next day and it has brought life back into deep-rooted Bible stories.
I think this devotional book would especially appeal to the type of person that doesn't really gravitate to devotionals but enjoys Christian fiction.
Each chapter or daily devotional centres around one biblical character. First Anita creates a fictionalized version of the biblical account that brings the character to life in a way that only fiction can. Then Higman provides the story straight from the Bible in The Story from God's Word. Next, she provides insight into the character's life and the event she chose to focus on, and some things we can learn from them in The Story - from Then to Now. And, finally, in The Story - Questions to Think About, Anita provides questions for personal reflection - some easily answered, and some requiring deeper thought.
I have never read a devotional book quite like this one and I really enjoyed it. It's definitely a well rounded devotional - it draws you into the biblical account, lets you realize how much we actually have in common with biblical characters and what they could have been thinking and feeling, makes you think about how God was working in their lives and how you can relate it to your life, and makes you realize how very personal our God is. I also love how Higman included both well known characters (such as Leah, Esther and John the Baptist) and more obscure ones (such as Noah's wife, Pontius Pilate's wife and Puah - bet you have to look up Puah in order to even know who she is!), as well as both males (Paul, Lazarus) and females (Queen of Sheba, Eve).
I have always been a big user of devotionals, but it isn't very often that I find one that really stands out from the others, but "Where God Finds You" is totally unique in that it each devotion is a retelling of forty stories of various characters from the Bible. Told in such a way that allowed me to relate to the characters on a whole new level. Ms. Higman shares her own insights in a down to earth very relatable manner that brings each character to life. I actually felt as if I was stepping right into the lives of each of the characters. Instead of reading this devotional from cover to cover I used the handy table of contents to read about some of my favorite Bible characters and actually read Ruth's story first because she is one of my favorite women in the Bible.
Each devotion opens up with a scripture verse then a retelling of the Bible characters story followed up with the story from God's word which is the actual verses in which the story appears in the Bible. Then there is a segment titled The Story-from then to now which is the authors personal impression of how the story fits into today's world. Questions to Think About was perfect for me to reflect and think about what I had read.
Overall, I think this devotional would be perfect for not only women, but men as well, would make a wonderful group study, but can also easily be used as a personal devotional,perfect for gift giving. I enjoyed how the author allowed the Bible to come to life in a whole new way for me.
I don't know about you, but I tend to have trouble with devotionals. I've purchased some wonderful devotionals that I start off reading each night and slowly become bored and finally give up on them. I like to be engaged and sometimes, after a long day at work or dealing with cranky kids, I don't have the mental capacity to truly meditate on the devotions as they were intended. This leads to feelings of guilt and I become so overwhelmed that the devotional sits on my side table, never to be opened again.
Where God Finds You by Anita Higman is a true solution to the problem of boring devotionals! Open up this devotional and you will find Bible stories for adults. Each character of the Bible receives a name and background story even when the Bible does not supply it. Higman combines background information about Biblical characters, Bible texts, and a little imagination, and creates a devotional that pulls the ancient text into the modern world and is sure to please.
The reason I have fallen so hard for this devotional is because of the creativity of writing Bible stories for the adult reader. I am a very creative person and I find that most devotionals are one-dimensional and often call for the reader to have quite an extensive background in Bible reading where this devotional is appropriate for the new Christian to the life-long Jesus-follower. There are questions at the end of each devotion to take the reader further and this book is perfect for reading during quiet snatches of time for the busy mom, student, or anyone who is interested in growing in his or her understanding of the historical figures in the Bible.
This book (and the Giveaway copy!) were provided to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review.
Where God Finds You is forty chapters of devotionals from the stories of the great men and women of the Bible. Each chapter begins with a narrative of the story written in the first person, followed by the literal story from the Bible, then a brief devotion written by the author, at the end of each chapter are a few questions for further thought.
In the authors introduction she expresses that she "likes to talk to God" and she anticipates His voice speaking to her "in love." Where God Finds You is a Biblical history of God speaking to and dealing with His people "in love". We too are God's people and He speaks to us "in love." He desires to have a relationship with us, and the primary way He speaks to us is in and through His Word. His Word shapes us, ministers to us, gives us hope and encouragement. His Word teaches us. His Word convicts us. His Word tells us that He hears us and is constantly working in our life, even when we feel as if we are all alone.
I loved reading this devotional!
The layout and arrangement of the chapters were easy to follow and digest. Each chapter only took a few moments.
A personal story is given at the beginning of each devotion. The personal story written in the first person narrative, gave intimacy. The intimacy led me to identify more with some of the characters.
The author expressed through rich meaningful words that stirred in me a feeling of compassion, loving support, humility, hope, and encouragement. I felt ministered to. Several of the stories spoke to my heart, ministering to me at an exact issue afflicting me.
Foundational truths are given. God does not leave me, He is faithful. God loves me. God has created me for a purpose.
I've not found any negative points. I loved everything about this devotional book.
I will state that the devotional on Bible characters does not follow the time line of chronological events in the Bible. This was not a problem for me, I loved this devotional.
"Funny thing about humans-we tend not to let people know we're injured. We turn the hurt inward." page 15.
"Throughout the Bible God used ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things." I promise you that whatever he's commissioned you to do, he'll give you the tools and the stamina and the heart to accomplish it." page 27.
"He knows well that this life is full of many trials. He lived through our earthly trials, more than you or I will ever experience in our lifetimes, but he also overcame the world. He went through that horrendous gauntlet of suffering just for you, and just for me. So, when you pass through the black flood of trials, know that God is full of compassion. He weeps for us. And beyond that emotional compassion, he promises never to leave us or forsake us." page 56.
Thank you to Anita Higman and Buoyancy Public Relations for my free review copy in exchange for an honest review!