Sunday, October 20, 2013

Take Time to be Holy by Samuel Logan Brengle

Take Time to be Holy by Samuel Logan Brengle, edited by Bob Hostetler is a new pocket sized 365 day daily devotional book.  Despite its small size, it contains hefty spiritual food with the classic inspirational  daily tid-bits featuring the writings of Samuel Logan Brengle of the Salvation Army.

Unlike other niche devotional books in the saturated devotional genre- these writings will have a broad appeal to all readers without alienating any socio-economic sector.  The devotionals are timeless- not dated in contrast to an ever-growing number of devotional books whose audience is
either women or younger readers.  The modern pop culture and media references, which serve to alienate many older readers or less prosperous readers- are left out of this volume, thankfully. This book will not disappoint you when you are expecting encouragement in times of distress or even everyday life. This book helps those who are enduring really difficult times, to endure and persevere as well as those facing day to day life.   But, if you find you are bellyaching because you burned your husband's dinner, or the grass stain won't come out of the soccer uniform, or if missed an appointment for your pedicure, or your favorite coach bag sold out before you reached the mall, then this book might not hold your attention as this author does not commiserate with your trivial issues.  What you need is a fluffy, superficial, condescending, feel- good, women's devotional book with an image of an overpriced latte or a photo of a quaint Martha Stuart-esque vase of garden blooms. You won't find daily devotionals focused on spilled latte, long black Friday lines, or finding time to tote kids to soccer or cracked iphone screen related woes.  The anecdotes and stories are either based on scripture or are more classic in nature.  At most a personal anecdote takes 2 or 3 sentences- and is usually broad enough as to not alienate any readers.  For example, Brengle uses a brief one liner personal anecdote as a springboard to communicate a spiritual truth when he explains "When my friend in New York sails for Liverpool, how do I know that he has arrived safely? I know it by the cablegram he sends back to me", and likewise he is aware of the presence of Jesus by the Holy Spirit sent to all believers.  As can be seen in the daily entry- the anecdote is quick and to the point.  Unlike many modern devotional writers, the author does not drone on an on for paragraphs, about a personal anecdote, such as a family vacation, dinnertime stress, blackfriday shopping stress or some other "stress" that simply serves to reinforce that the reader's circumstances may be less than ideal by comparison. 

As with other modern devotional books, this book is simple and easy to read.  Each daily devotional is one small page with a few very short paragraphs around a verse and a theme.  This quick approach makes this book easy even for a busy lifestyle or for those too overwhelmed or burdened to devote to a more lengthy devotional.  Topics include faith, Christian life and lifestyle and other timeless topics that still hold true today as they did in bible times as well as the 1800s and early 1900s of Brengle's lifetime.  The padded cover and the format of this book is peaceful and simple, and suitable for a bedside table or even a purse. That pages are thick and sturdy suitable too stand up to daily use.I found this cover to be reminiscent of the ever popular modern classic "Jesus Calling" published by Thomas Nelson.  As a blogger for Tydale I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review. 

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