Thursday, January 24, 2013

Unglued Devotional

Unglued Devotional: 60 Days of Imperfect progress by Lysa Terkeurst is a new pocket sized 60 day devotional book based on the author's original book Unglued.  Regardless of whether you read the original book, Unglued, this independent devotional book can be appreciated and enjoyed.  Over the course of 60 days, the author sets realistic goals and offers practical biblical advice for the modern woman in today's world. 

Terkeurst's personal and friendly conversational tone is certain to draw in many readers.  To her credit, she acknowledges that women face different circumstances and are in different phases of life.  Her audience is broad and includes mothers, wives, grandmothers, and independent career women, students and singles. She also recognizes the variety of experiences women face- ranging from the trivial day to day issues to intense pain and grief.  I believe it is important that she recognize the varied life circumstances so as not to alienate a large portion of the female readership.

 Nevertheless as the devotional days progress, the reader find that Terkeurst draws heavily on her own personal experience and anecdotes.  While this is not a problem of course,  this may alienate some readers whose personal or financial lives are less than ideal- as these readers may not be able to relate to her circumstances or stories. The reader finds the author's life is heavily into modern, worldly convenience and commercialism. The backdrop for many of the daily reading and lessons are based on her family anecdotes and personal stories.  For example, married upperclass mothers will certainly be able to relate to the holiday shopping at 3am and the embarrassment of having a credit card declined due to a bank error.  There will be a host of readers nevertheless who cannot relate.  For example, readers who are too impoverished to be able to holiday shop and don't have the luxury of dining out after a hectic day of intense shopping.   For them, humiliation comes in the form of ragged clothing, broken down cars, and not being able to buy their children Christmas gifts as the worldly society dictates.  She also makes reference to her pastor's wife, Holly, who "loves her fashion" and is heavily into fashion magazines.  Personally I feel that is a major flaw to be so into worldly commercialism.  A brief glance at any fashion magazine shows hedonistic images of greedy, materialistic women in expensive, luxurious clothing and jewelry. The bible admonishes to build our treasures in heaven and not on earth. To me that is a misplaced priority especially for a pastors wife! What believer has any business in reading spiritually devoid fashion magazines that celebrate every manner and form of greed, explicit sin and pride and wealth. 

To the author's credit, she is aware of the fact that many of the issues she faces aren't really hardships and they do not even begin to compare to the hardships and grief that many women in the world face.  This gives the author an attitude of thankfulness and appreciation that everyone would do well to emulate. If you can get past the author's references about her carefree, and comfortable personal world view, you will find some meaningful and relevant spiritual  lessons.  For example, the author shared her dissapointment and anger to find that her special jewelry was suddenly gone from its drawer! Apparently it had been robbed, but rather than react with anger or despair, she purposely refocused to direct her thoughts on everything she had to be thankful for. Such a reaction took faith and dependence on God. 
Personally I feel this book is a perfect outreach in order to draw in the modern middleclass- upperclass woman to integrating biblical principles into her day.  This book teaches an attitude of thankfulness and appreciation- traits that are often overlooked in modern privileged society. The bible says that it is harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven than it is for a camel to crawl through the eye of a needle!  Oftentimes, its upperclass privileged society that needs to hear the gospel too as often their financial stability and prosperity erroneously lead them to believe that they do not need God in their lives.   In general, I feel this is an empowering book as it addresses the special and unique emotional needs of women.  Any reader who meditates on the author's messgaes will find better coping techniques in accordance with biblical teaching.
As a blogger  for Booksneeze I received this book from Zondervan publishers for the purpose of writing this review,

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