Redwood Falls Gazette
Finding the sacred in everyday life
15 must-read devotionals
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Marketta Gregory never meant to be a columnist. \x34I trained to be a newspaper reporter -- one who tried to her best to be objective. I covered religion for a few years and felt like it was the best job a curious woman like me could ever have. ...
Simply Faithful
Marketta Gregory never meant to be a columnist. I trained to be a newspaper reporter -- one who tried to her best to be objective. I covered religion for a few years and felt like it was the best job a curious woman like me could ever have. Every day I got to listen as people told me about the things that were most important to them, the things that were sacred. But the newspaper industry was changing and few papers could afford to have an army of speciality reporters. So, I moved to cover the suburbs where, as luck would have it, they have plenty of religion, too. Eventually, children came into the picture. One by birth and another two months later by foster care/adoption. I struggled to chase breaking news and be home at a decent hour, so I made the move to what we journalists call the dark side: I took a job in public relations. (Don't worry. I work for a great non-profit, so it's not dark at all.) When I gave my notice at the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle, the executive editor asked me to consider writing a column on a freelance basis. She didn't want the newspaper to lose touch with its religious sources, and she still wanted consistent faith coverage. I was terrified. It took me about 10 months to get back to her with a solid plan and some sample columns. And so it began, this journey of opening up my heart to strangers.
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By simplyfaithful
April 17, 2013 12:01 a.m.

Looking for a great devotional? Well, let us help you. I asked friends and book publishers what they would recommend (and I tossed in some of my favorites, too) to create this list of 15 must-read devotionals.
May you be blessed and may you come back around May 15 for a list of summer must-reads. Enjoy!
A few I love:
  • Whit’s End Mealtime Devotions: 90 Faith-Building Ideas Your Kids Will Eat Up!by John Avery Whittaker
  • Lord Renew My Hope by Sandra Fox
  • 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker. Technically, this is not a devotional but I really want more of my friends to read this so we can discuss it. Many, many lessons. Love this: “What would the early church think if they walked into some of our buildings today… Would they observe orphan statistics with disbelief since Christians outnumber orphans 7 to 1? Would they be stunned most of us don’t feed the hungry, visit the prisoner, care for the sick, or protect the widow?… I’m not sure they could reconcile the suffering happening on our watch while we’re living in excess.”
  • My friends recommend:
  • Simple Faith: Moving Beyond Religion as you Know it to Grow in your Relationship with God by Margaret Silf (A recent gift to me. Clearly it is worth reading because of the title alone!)
  • Trusting God Day by Day: 365 Daily Devotions by Joyce Meyer
  • Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul: Heartwarming Stories that Celebrate the Joys of Motherhood by Jack Canfield
  • A Call to Die: A 40 Day Journey of Fasting from the World & Feasting on God by David Nasser
  • Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young
  • May I Have This Dance?: An Invitation to Faithful Prayer Throughout the Year by Joyce Rupp
  • The Cup of Our Life: A Guide to Spiritual Growth by Joyce Rupp
  • My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers
  • Jesus CEO: Using Ancient Wisdom for Visionary Leadership by Laurie Beth Jones
  • How to Act Like a Grown-up: Practical Wisdom for Every Age by Mark DuPre. Again, technically not a devotional in the sense that there are no scriptures and questions to answer, but plenty of useful lessons.
  • Publishers suggest upcoming books:
  • The One Year Devos for Teen Girls by Dannah Gresh and Suzy Weibel (available summer 2013). I especially like the action steps at the end of each day’s entry. I like to write as much as the next person, but these action steps go beyond journaling — in a good way.
  • Known & Loved: 52 Devotions from the Psalms by Caryn Rivadeneira (available spring 2013). These devotions are written for moms who wrestle with who they are at their core and — through the psalms — women come to see themselves as God sees them.
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