Tuesday, January 25, 2011

‘Pause for Power: A 365-Day Journey Through the Scriptures’ by Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe – Book Review

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I am always on the lookout for a good devotional. When I heard about the one from Dr. Warren Wiersbe, ‘Pause for Power: A 365-Day Journey Through the Scriptures,’ I knew that it would be worthwhile.

Here is the synopsis of this book:

Experience An Unforgettable Year of Spiritual Growth. We all long to read more of God’s Word. Yet our world never seems to give us time for a quiet moment with Scripture.
Pause for Power: A 365-Day Journey through the Scriptures is a topical, daily devotional designed for how you live. In just a few minutes each day, you’ll explore biblical truths on themes such as love, peace, and ministry. This devotional is filled with wisdom and insights that can improve your life.
Each day you’ll encounter:
·         Select Scripture readings that explore practical, everyday topics
·         Themed commentary from Dr. Wiersbe’s popular “BE” series
·         Thoughtful questions that prompt personal reflection
Topical. Relevant. Inspiring. Take a journey through Pause for Power, and experience an unforgettable year of spiritual growth and discovery.

Here is the author’s biography:

Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe is an internationally known Bible teacher and the former pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago.  For ten years he was associated with the Back to the Bible radio broadcast, first as Bible teacher and then as general director. He has written more than 160 books, including the “BE” series of Bible commentaries (of which ‘Be Authentic’ is one), which have sold more than four million copies. He and his wife, Betty, live in Lincoln, Nebraska. 

At the beginning of the book, Dr. Wiersbe explains how to use his devotional:

In the pages that follow, you’ll hear Isaiah’s invitation to wayward hearts, wrestle with Job’s dilemma, examine what Hebrews says about the breathtaking work of Christ, and listen in as Paul writes letters to infant churches. Such a task might seem daunting at first, but with the help of Pause for Power, it will take you only a few minutes a day. And here’s the best part: Over the course of a year, you’ll have read fifteen books of the Bible.

The devotions are undated, so you can start any day of the year. They’re also blended, so you can enjoy a variety of biblical voices and themes each week. One day you might contemplate Paul’s letter to the Philippians, and the next you might consider a wise saying from Ecclesiastes.

To get started, simply turn to Day 1, read the associated Bible passage in your favorite translation, spend time with the devotion, then ponder the question of the day. Repeat daily. In twelve months, you’ll have studied Job, Ecclesiastes, Isaiah, Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, and 1 John. But more importantly, you’ll have gained insight into God’s Word – insight that will bring you closer to the Author Himself. (p. 3)

When I review devotionals, I usually focus on my birthday and my husband Fred’s birthday. Being that the days are not dated in this one, I have to count off the day. Mine is Day 52, which is entitled ‘When Hope Becomes Hopeless.’ The featured Scripture is Ecclesiastes 9:5-10. I found both of those items to be interesting, as hope has been a little topic of focus for me of late, and because Ecclesiastes is one of my favorite books in the Bible! This verse is included in the book:

The living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even the memory of them is forgotten.
                                        Ecclesiastes 9:5 (p. 55)

Here is part of Dr. Wiersbe’s devotion for that day:

What Solomon wrote about the dead can be reversed and applied to the living. The dead do not know what is happening on earth, but the living know and can respond to it. The dead cannot add anything to their reward or their reputation, but the living can. Solomon was emphasizing the importance of seizing opportunities while we live, rather than blindly hoping for something better in the future….

We endure because we hope, but “hope in hope” (like “faith in faith”) is too often only a kind of self-hypnosis that keeps us from facing life honestly. While patients may be better off with an optimistic attitude, it is dangerous for them to follow a false hope that may keep them from preparing for death. That kind of hope is hopeless. When the end comes, the patients’ outlook may be cheerful, but the outcome will be tragic. (p. 55)

Each day includes ‘Something to Ponder.’ Here is the one for Day 52:

What is your definition of hope? How does your hope keep your faith strong? (p. 55)

Fred’s birthdate is Day 163, which is entitled ‘In Search of Good Samaritans.’ The Scripture passage is Philippians 2:19-21. Here is the Scripture included in the book:

I have no one else like [Timothy], who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.
                                        Philippians 2:20-21 (p. 166)  

Here is part of that day’s devotion:

Is it possible to be a Good Samaritan today? Must we harden our hearts in order to protect ourselves? Perhaps sacrifice and service are ancient virtues that somehow do not fit into our so-called modern civilization. It is worth nothing that even in Paul’s day, mutual concern was not a popular virtue. The Christians at Rome were not too interested in the problems at Philippi; Paul could not find one person among them willing to go to Philippi. Times haven’t changed much. (p. 166)

And here is ‘Something to Ponder’ for Day 163:

What are some ways you’ve looked out for your own interests and not those of Jesus Christ? (p. 166)

Personally, that is a convicting point to ponder….

This book is a beautiful hardcover book that is compact in size, and includes a ribbon to keep track of the page where you left off. This book will be added to the nightstand where our devotional books are easily accessible before it is time to retire for the evening. 

As always, I highly recommend using resources from Dr. Wiersbe; our Life Group worked through the study of the book of Galatians, ‘Be Free: Exchange Legalism for True Spirituality.’ I have reviewed other Dr. Wiersbe’s books on my blog: Be Authentic: Exhibiting Real Faith in the Real Worldhttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=ponderings03-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=1434766306,’ reviewing the lives of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (you can read my review here), The Wiersbe Bible Study Series: It’s Always Too Soon to Quit! – 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon’ (you can read my review here) and Be Available: Accepting the Challenge to Confront the Enemy’ (Judges – OT Commentary) (you can read my review here). I hold Dr. Wiersbe in high esteem – and it is a pleasure to attend church with one of his daughters! 

You can order this book here.

This book was published by David C. Cook and provided by the B&B Media Group, Inc. for review purposes. 

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