With Thanksgiving imminent and Christmas a few short weeks away, it’s time to consider devotionals and devotional journals to start the New Year with. Either one of these devotionals would make an exceptional gift for a friend or loved one. The two featured in this review are new additions to the popular Fresh Life series, written by women for women.
Award-winning writers, Lenya Heitzig and Penny Rose’s new Bible studies are for time-challenged readers who seek greater intimacy with God and a better understanding of Bible truth, for busy women who can spare “20-minutes a day.”
Short reviews follow indented titles below.
- ‘Live Tastefully: Savoring Encounters with Jesus’ by Lenya Heitzig, David C. Cook, 2012, 320 Pages, ISBN 0781405947, $17.99
Lenya focuses on hospitality and meals in Live Tastefully since much of Jesus’s ministry began with “Let’s eat.” She features ten meals Jesus shared with others, from a traveler on the Road to Emmaus to an outcast tax collector among others. Such encounters with Jesus changed those He dined with, just as Jesus can change those who spend time with Him.
Scripture stories are divided into five days and consist of five elements. “Lift up” asks God for the blessing of spiritual insight. “Look at” correlates Scripture with personal experience in a Q&A format. “Learn about” includes informational sidebars about the culture and word meanings. “Live out” contains questions and exercises for personal application while “Listen to” are inspirational quotes from other believers.
Lessons end with prayer and savory Middle Eastern recipes such as “Barley Cake, “Hummus” “Baklava” and more.
The devotional’s well-laid out design and lesson plans are useful for small groups or individual study, whether beginner or more advanced.
Back Cover Copy of “Live Tastefully:”
Twenty minutes a day to feast with Jesus
A wedding reception. A loaf of bread. A cup of water. Its remarkable how many of Jesus’s miracles, conversations, and relationships began with one idea: “Let’s eat!”
Living Tastefully looks at ten meals that Jesus shared with others: travelers on the road to Emmaus, a spiritually dehydrated woman at a well, self-satisfied religious men, outcast tax collectors, and humble peasants. In each encounter, Jesus changed those He was with—and He can change us as we give and receive hospitality as well.
2. ‘Live Beautifully: A Study in the Books of Ruth and Esther’ by Lenya Heitzig, Penny Rose, David C. Cook, 2012, 320 Pages, ISBN-13: 978-0781406123, $17.99
Lenya and Penny merge their talents to write Live Beautifully where they explore the Bible stories of Ruth, a widow woman who made a scandalous choice and Esther who rescued her people from annihilation.
As in Live Tastefully, lessons are divided into five parts that can be completed in “20-minutes a day.” This book also includes five segments of “Lift up,” start with prayer. “Look at,” Scripture reading. “Learn about,” concise sidebars of cultural times, word meanings and cultural differences. “Live out,” for personal application and “Listen to,” comprised of encouraging quotes from other believers.
Lessons end with prayers. However, unlike Live Tastefully this devotional does not include recipes. If you’re looking for increased Bible knowledge, better understanding and greater intimacy with the Lord, this insightful, well-formatted devotional should be considered. It would also make an excellent Christmas gift for friend or loved one.
Back Cover Copy:
Twenty minutes a day to discover the abundance of God’s riches
What kind of beauty does God honor? It doesn’t have to do with being a size six. Of course, you might know that in your head already. But how can the truth sink into your heart?
Live Beautifully explores the stories of Ruth and Esther, two women who lived out true beauty. Ruth was a foreigner who made a scandalous choice that brought God’s favor. Esther was a Jewish orphan in a foreign land whose risky decision saved an entire nation.
God saw beauty in Ruth’s and Esther’s lives—just as he sees radiant beauty in you. Come embrace that truth through the lessons in Live Beautifully. Each twenty-minute lesson is structured in five parts:
- Lift up (prayer)
- Look at (God’s Word)
- Learn about (new insights)
- Live out (application)
- Listen to (quotes from other believers).
The Fresh Life series was created by women, for women—women who crave a profound experience of God’s Word without an overwhelming commitment of time. With each lesson, you will come to a deeper understanding of the truths of the Bible and develop a deeper intimacy with God.
Lenya Heitzig is an award-winning author and Bible teacher. She and her husband, Skip, founded Calvary of Albuquerque, and Lenya has served as director of the Ministries since 1984.
Penny Rose is also the award-winning author of numerous books and Bible studies. Penny and Lenya lead a Bible study at Calvary for a thousand women every week.
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