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A Year with God

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  • Posted November 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Year with God - Seems a long time

    By and large, I found the comments for each day interesting and often quite stimulating, though I would differ with his observation on the rainbow's original appearance. The take on Ham's sin was interesting, as well. You will need to purchase or borrow the book to see what he says!

    I obviously didnt spend a year reading this, but chose instead to read a sampling of devotions from different days.As with most devotionals Ive encountered, this one lacked the meat that growing Christians long for in their study. This by no means should be used for a serious growing Christian solely as their only source of spiritual time for the day. The content just isn't there, but if you're looking for occasional encouragement and light reading, this will do

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  • Posted March 1, 2011

    It's pretty good for a devotional

    I'm not a huge devotional book fan, so I honestly don't know why I agreed to review this. And I'll admit that I didn't read the entire book yet, because, well... it's a year with God. Three-hundred-sixty-five days with God.

    I liked that the author choses various translations (CEV, Holman, Message, NAS, NIV, NKJ, NLT and NRSV) each day. It was nice that he selected the one that fit the tone of the devotion. At the same time, the inconsistency makes it hard to go to my Bible and highlight exact passages, since I use an NIV Bible all the time. (Yes, the passages are the same, but the wording is different.)

    The year is divided into topics (Hope and Fear, Love and Hate, Perseverance and Quitting, Faith and Doubt, Loyalty and Betrayal, Companionship and Isolation, Mercy and Judgment, Forgiveness and Anger, Joy and Sadness, Peace and Conflict). This makes for a nice change of pace each day, or lets you pick a topic based on your mood.

    Another nice thing is that A Year with God doesn't stick to a calendar plan. Most devotionals start with January 1, which means that if you purchase the book in July, you're starting halfway through the book. This devotional starts with Day 1 so you can pick up the book at any time and start reading. And if you miss a few days, you don't have to skip devotions to catch back up.

    All that said, this book only focuses on the Old Testament. And while the New Testament doesn't overrule the theology of the Old Testament, there are just things that you can't talk about without thinking about Jesus. One glaring example is sin. Had this devotional thrown some New Testament in, we'd be able to see that God hates sin, BUT we have the good news that Jesus died for our sins. I definitely would love to see the author quote Scripture from the Old and New Testament.

    Overall, I'd give this book three stars. I just realized, however, that I've never read a devotional that I truly loved. So, three stars from me for a devotional is pretty good.

    In accordance with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission,I am required to mention that Thomas Nelson Publishers, Inc. has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of writing a review. Sending me a free copy in no way is compensation for, or a guarantee of, a positive review.

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  • Posted January 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Bible Heros Devotional

    Title: A Year With God
    Author: R.P. Nettelhorst

    Likes: This devotional makes Bible Heros come to life, but it also portrays their humanness and how God uses everything for his glory. The book is broken up into various sections -
    -Hope and Fear
    -Love and Hate
    -Perseverance and Quitting
    -Faith and Doubt
    -Loyalty and Betrayal
    -Companionship and Isolation
    -Mercy and Judgment
    -Forgiveness and Anger
    -Joy and Sadness
    -Peace and Conflict

    to give the reader a point to focus on that may have more significance in his or her own life. It also digs out little bits of information on this story that perhaps were not the main focus, but would offer some encouragement.

    Dislikes: In my opinion this devotional book is more geared for a newer Christian or someone who is interested in finding out more about the Christian faith, but does not have a Bible background. Seasoned devotional readers will be left looking for the "meat" in this missive. Daily summaries, often point out obvious lessons and seem like Bible lite.

    Overall Thought: I enjoyed reading through some of these stories again, but it fell flat as a daily devotional for me. Nice reference book to have around, however, in the event I am searching for something in one of the topical veins or as resource to use with my children.

    5 Star Rating: 3 Stars

    <em>Note: I received this book for review in the Booksneeze program. The opinions offer, are my own.</em>

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  • Posted December 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Get to know the Old Testament

    A Year With God by R.P.Nettelhorst is a daily reading devotional book providing an overview of God at work in the Old Testament.

    Compiled into sections highlighting facets of God's character (such as love, forgiveness, mercy, faith.), each reading begins with a passage from the Old Testament followed by a brief, devotional commentary. Sometimes the commentary expounds the Scripture cited for that day's reading; other times the author points to other relevant passages that add clarity.

    This book is a great tool for those who'd like to grow in their understanding of the Old Testament. I wouldn't, however, recommend it for new converts and babes in Christ because it's hard reading.
    My criticism of the book would be in the following areas: * The use of different Bible translations is distracting. * There are a number of serious editing mistakes including mixing up Bible characters. * There's no bio. (Many readers want to know what makes the author an expert on their subject before they'll believe a book's content.)

    Overall, though, this book is a great daily read to help you know God more deeply via the Old Testament.

    As a Booksneeze blogger I received this book courtesy of Thomas Nelson publishers.

    Janey L. DeMeo M.A.


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  • Posted December 20, 2010

    Over Promises, Under Delivers

    If you're looking for a daily devotional to accompany you through the Old Testament, perhaps you're considering A Year With God by R.P. Nettlehorst. This book contains 365 passages from the Old Testament designed to provide God's perspective on ten topics: Hope and Fear Love and Hate Perseverance and Quitting Faith and Doubt Loyalty and Betrayal Companionship and Isolation Mercy and Judgment Forgiveness and Anger Joy and Sadness Peace and Conflict Each day, Nettlehorst selects a passage from a different translation of Scripture based on the topic he is addressing and presents his insights on the passage. When read as a traditional devotional, his commentary is on par with others on the market and informative regarding historical facts pertaining to the passage. Unfortunately, the book has two major flaws. First, the author fails to provide readers interested in its topical approach with an over-arching summary of what God says on the specific topics presented. Second, the author fails to engage his readers in a heartfelt way. By writing from his head rather than from his heart, Nettlehorst falls short of the books self-stated goal of helping readers to "connect your heart with God's and become more like him every day". As a result, many readers will be left feeling that the book over promises and under delivers. I think that readers looking for a devotional that focuses strictly on select passages from the Old Testament or who prefer straightforward commentary with one good takeaway might like and benefit from this book. But, if you prefer a more engaging, emotive writing style, or if you are expecting a topical study focused on the topics presented, I recommend a different selection.

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  • Posted November 15, 2010

    OK for new Christians, but not much for those seeking deepening and growth

    I recently received A Year With God by R.P. Nettlehorst, a daily, non-date specific devotional. There were a few aspects which I enjoyed about this devotional and several I did not enjoy. Firstly, the devotional - as I've already said - isn't delineated as January through December; which I appreciate greatly. It means I don't feel restricted to only one reading per day and it also doesn't make me feel guilty if I get a few days behind. The entries are easy to read, written at a common level (not full of Christianese) and rather quick to digest.

    However, I found that the passage provided as reference to the short devotional itself was often hard to benefit from without context. I also found myself wanting to read multiple days because a) the entries were short and b) I found them to be somewhat lacking in actual, spiritual content. I found many of the devotionals falling flat - for me at least - and feeling a bit trite and upbeat with no real encouragement or challenge for me.

    This may be a good devotional for someone relatively unfamiliar with God and the Bible, but I don't think this is suited for a more mature Christian seeking spiritual growth and support.

    Full disclosure: Thomas Nelson provided me with a free review copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. I was not required to give a positive review.

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  • Posted November 1, 2010

    A dynamic 365 days!

    When I first picked up this book, I thought to myself, "oh yet another daily devotional...." But as I started reading A Year with God, I realized that it was different. Instead of the days being marked as "January 1st" "January 2nd" and so on, the days are listed as being "Day 1" "Day 2" etc. This is convenient in a multitude of ways. The reader is able to start the devotional at the beginning of the book regardless of the time of year that they receive it. Also, while I don't encourage this in a daily devotional, if one misses a few days they can just pick it up and keep reading a page a day instead of having to read several in one sitting to catch back up. The book also has a topical index at the beginning, so if you are looking for insight on one particular matter you can look that up. For example lets say you have just finished watching the Hallmark movie of the night in your empty apartment. You can look at the index, under "Companionship and Isolation" and find that Day 185 is about never being alone. This index allows the book to not only be a daily devotional but also to be a bible reference book. Each daily entry starts off with a complete bible passage, allowing the reader to not have to look it up in their own bible as some devotions do. The translations vary daily, which would seem to show the most concise version of what the entry is about. However some skeptics would say that this is a way of the author taking the bible out of context and bending it to his own whims. I do not agree with this however but I encourage any reader of this book to look up the daily passage under multiple translations for the most complete experience. The other half of each daily passage is the author's writing on the topic. All in all I think that this book makes an excellent devotional for someone wanting a new devotional, and it also would make an excellent gift for a friend. The eloquent entries make one feel good about themselves and their faith, helping them to grow in their faith as well. At the beginning of the book there is a quote by John Wesley, "The best of all, God is with us." While one is reading this book they will feel the truth in this quote as God is with them.

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