Sunday, June 9, 2013

Revealing Jesus- A 365 Day Devotional by Darlene Zschech

Revealing Jesus- A 365 Day Devotional by Darlene Zschech, a beautifully designed hardcover book looks like a piece of art. A high relief embossed like cover on a green, aged like foil background makes this book visually appealing. The antique like graphics and use of bold color in the interior makes this devotional book inviting to read.  It makes the reader want to read this book.  In contrast to the numbers of Christian devotional books, the visual presentation is sure to set this volume apart from the rest of the devotional genre.

Yet the content is what constitutes makes a book, not simply its cover. This devotional is pretty standard in that it is divided by the calendar year- 12 months and one devotional per day.  Each devotional is quick- a few short paragraphs based on the theme.  A selected verse is highlighted and the daily devotional text is beneath- which is also the common format in most yearly devotional books as well.  The devotional styles are varied in that one day, there might be the text of a well known hymn/ psalm and the next a quick spiritual tidbit. The devotionals are spiritually refreshing and very simple.  There is no heavy theology like you would find with Spurgeon, C.S. Lewis or Billy Grahm. This is good in that the information is easily digested no matter where the reader may be in his or her walk with God- just beginning or advanced.  Simple daily topics such as leadership, gracious giving, worship, temptation, financial debt, false gospels and spiritual gifts are just a sampling of what is covered.  Pretty much after 365 days, a lot of material is covered- and every reader will find at least some of the material directly applicable.  Zschech writes with the busy, time pressed reader in mind- a reader whose busy schedule might not allow for a lot of time to read. She speaks directly to the reader.  In contrast to many female writers, Darlene's devotional will have a broad appeal for men and woman alike.  I can not find any segment of the population that might find themselves alienated, excluded or offended.  This book is general enough to appeal to all readers, and thankfully, the author does not rely on her own personal anecdotes as a springboard to begin each day.  Often, especially with women writers, their books and devotionals are often based on their own experiences and stories which they share with the reader. It is so easy to lose interest in writers who base their works on their own personal stories.  Its often a chore to trudge through someone's personal anecdotes and I find they usually alienate those readers whose lives differ and can not relate to the specific experience.  Darlene leaves out the personal anecdotes to her credit which is a big plus!  I found the material varied enough to keep any reader's  interest as there were devotionals based on Christian day to day living, passaged based on biblical personalities, bible events, and focus on psalms and hymns.  This devotional book is certainly not monotonous. I can see how a reader may be tempted to read large chunks of this book in one sitting rather than simply one devotional per day for an entire year.  Overall, I found the regal presentation worthy of the devotionals presented.  As a blogger I received this book published by Bethany House for the purpose of writing this review.

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