Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Knowing God By Name by Jaynes, Smith, & Southerland

Knowing God By Name is designed to be an 8-week devotional.  Each week contains 5 devotions that each highlight a name of God.  That is followed by a "Now It's Your Turn" section on Day 6 which can be used for personal study/reflection or in a small group setting.  The purpose is not to list every name of God, but to provide insight and opportunities to reflect on who God is and grow closer to Him.

The three authors take turns in presenting the names of God.  In each reading we learn the Hebrew or Greek name and what it means, where we see it used in the Bible, and what that name has meant to the author.  It is followed by a prayer.  I thought the presentation was very good and helped me to focus on that one attribute of God each day.  I would have liked the pronunciation to be provided for each name within the chapter.  While that wasn't done, there is a pronunciation guide in the back of the book.  There is just something cool about praying each name in the original language.

Day 6 for each week is more in-depth.  There is a section entitled "Time for Reflection" that would be perfect for a small group.  There are verses to look up and questions to answer related to that weeks readings.  There are also links to worship songs and a page or two for journaling your thoughts.  Another group resource can be found on the Girlfriends in God website...free brief videos by the authors to introduce you to each week of readings.

While anyone can benefit from this devotional, I think it will have the most impact if done in a group setting. So get your girlfriends together and get started!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Multnomah Books in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Little Book of Great Dates

My husband and I have been married for 13 years.  While we have several date nights in a month, we typically do the same things.  I decided to take a peek at this little book to see what kind of ideas I could get for varying our dating routine. 

Greg and Erin Smalley have put together 52 ideas for great dates.  Each entry consists of a few paragraphs explaining a theme (such as listening, traditions, simple gifts, and trust), followed by a suggested activity and conversation starter questions.  There are also ideas for Valentines Day, Anniversary, and other special occasions.

Many of the activities are fairly typical date suggestions.  Living in a small town somewhat limits what is available for us to do.  I did find a few new ideas such as picking out a new recipe and cooking something together, or playing hide and seek in a mall and texting your spouse clues to find you.  The thing I like most is focusing on a theme for the date and having questions to discuss over dinner.  It will be a nice way to keep conversation focused on our relationship.

So if you need some date ideas, or even just some topics for conversation, give this little book a try!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for an honest review.