Friday, December 21, 2012

Designed for Devotion

A couple of months ago, Dianne Neal Matthews was interviewed on this blog about being a writer for the devotional compilation, Mornings with Jesus 2013. Today I am reviewing her latest 365-day devotional, Designed for Devotion.

Dianne Neal Matthews has written her fourth book of daily devotionals and what a compilation of Biblical knowledge. The book is subtitled, "A 365-day journey from Genesis to Revelation," and she has penned at least one devotional from each book of the Bible. If you have a hunger for God’s Word, want to grow in your walk with God or are new in your Christian faith, this book will give you a substantial amount of truth and inspiration each day during the coming year.

A sentence from the back cover sums it up: "There is no better way to know God more intimately than to immerse yourself in his Word and Designed for Devotion helps you do just that."

Each day Matthews takes a portion of Scripture, explains it and then relates it to our daily lives. 

If you are looking for a 365-day devotional this is certainly one to consider.

Dianne Neal Matthews is a freelance writer and the author of four daily devotional books including The One Year Women of the Bible (Tyndale House) and Designed for Devotion: A 365-Day Journey from Genesis to Revelation (Baker Books). She also writes regularly for websites and blogs (such as and, contributes to compilations, and enjoys speaking and teaching at writers' conferences. Dianne is a 2006 CLASS graduate and a member of Advanced Writers & Speakers, Christian Authors Network, and Toastmasters International. She and her husband, Richard, currently live in Salt Lake City, which is too far away from their three grown children and two adorable grandchildren. To learn more, visit or connect with Dianne through FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Have You Changed Zip Codes?

Do you feel you have used those change of address forms too many times? Can you top twenty-two? Yes, twenty-two. That is how many times Carol Stratton has relocated. She is the author of Changing Zip Codes, Finding Community Wherever You’re Transplanted. This book of forty devotionals is a terrific guide to those who find themselves in the midst of transition.

            The book is divided into two sections: Preparing for the Move and Shifting to a New Community. With each devotional she shares a scripture to deal with the dilemma.

            She shares her fears, poor decisions and things that helped her assimilate into life at a new address. She uses examples from her own life and those of others who have moved.

            Stratton also understands the weariness, the fear of the unknown and the struggle to provide stability for children, as a majority of the moves have included her four children, in addition to her husband.

            As Christians we want to find a community of faith wherever we live. Stratton shares some of those triumphs and difficulties.

            Whether you have experienced a move of choice, a foreclosure, a family illness or whatever the reason, you will find a friend in the pages of this book.

You can find out more about Carol at:

Carol has written articles for The Grand Rapids Press, Zionsville Times Sentinel newspapers as well as Purpose, The Christian Communicator, Fandangle, In Touch, Women’s Touch, Your Church and Forsyth Woman magazines and has reviewed books for the Christian Book Previews. She won the 2005 Paper Cottage “Smart Women” Essay contest and has taught at the Write-to-Publish Conference and at the CLASS Christian Writers Conference

Friday, December 7, 2012

Inspirational Read

Although I am reviewing devotionals this month to inspire your spiritual growth, I am diverging for one post to share a book with you that is an inspiring read.

I had to keep a box of tissues close by as I read the book, Teaching Diamonds in the Tough by Cleo Lampos. This is an inspirational book of vignettes from the career of a 26-year veteran teacher who taught students from a tough neighborhood. If you love inspirational stories of how one person can make a difference or if you know a teacher who is discouraged in their profession, this would be the book to inspire them.

Many of her students knew what it was like to fear gangs and see people die in the streets. They would come to her classroom and Lampos would show them love and try to bring out the best in each one.

Although the book is only 120 pages, it is long on heart and impact. It reminds us who are not involved in education as a profession, what many teachers experience every day. At the end of each vignette, you will find scripture verses, quotes and a challenge.

If you want to be inspired, grab some tissues and begin to read how God used one woman to touch the lives of a group of students who needed to know someone cared.

To learn more about Cleo, go to

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Daily Guideposts

I interviewed a devotional writer on my last blog post, and since we are nearing the end of 2012 and looking forward to 2013 I thought some recommendations of daily devotional books might be in order. Over the next few weeks, I will share with you some of my favorite devotional books I have either used or would like to explore. Daily Guideposts is the first selection.

I have been reading Daily Guideposts for many years, but not on a regular basis. It is a daily devotional book written by over fifty various writers, some have written for the book for many years. Last year the publication celebrated thirty-five years.

Each day features an anecdote from one of the writer’s lives which they use to share a truth from the Bible. The devotional ends with a prayer and additional verses to dig deeper into Scripture. Some of the writers have written a special series of devotionals which might span a week or so with a continuing theme. Some of the series subjects this year are “Operation Thankfulness”; “A Mother’s Journey Through Grief”; and “Divine Abundance."

At the back of each book are pictures and bios of the writers, which I always find fun to read.

Above today's blog is a picture of the 2013 book and also a link which will give you further information.

Next week we’ll look at another devotional to assist you in your spiritual journey.