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ldumont999
06-23-2005, 06:01 PM
I'm curious as to how many of you read devotionals. If you do read them...

What type of devotional do you prefer?
Devotionals that deal with one subject matter?
Story-like devotionals?
Short or long?
Heavy, theological devotionals?
Do you ever give a devotional as a gift?
When humor is incorporated in a devotional, do you enjoy it or do you consider that irreverent?

Louise Bergmann DuMont
Author of: Grace by the Cup :Coffee: AND Faith-Dipped Chocolate:Clap:
www.njcwg.blogspot.com (http://www.njcwg.blogspot.com/)
www.louisedumont.com (http://www.louisedumont.com/)
www.cafemochalight.blogspot.com (http://www.cafemochalight.blogspot.com/)

DrRita
06-23-2005, 07:21 PM
The only devotional I've read consistently for over fifteen years (I've worn out three books!) is My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. His writings tend to be more spiritual but not necessarily theological. I've been helped more by his book than any other book except for the Bible. If you would like to check out his writings (in case your're not familiar with them) here's the website:

http://www.rbc.org/utmost/


I whole heartedly recommend his daily devotional.

Pat~
06-23-2005, 07:33 PM
I'm curious as to how many of you read devotionals. If you do read them...

What type of devotional do you prefer?
Devotionals that deal with one subject matter?
Story-like devotionals?
Short or long?
Heavy, theological devotionals?
Do you ever give a devotional as a gift?
When humor is incorporated in a devotional, do you enjoy it or do you consider that irreverent?


I love the older, classical writers of Christian devotion. I have an anthology of works starting with the ante-Nicean Fathers (Origen, etc.) all the way up through the 20th century (Evelyn Underhill, A.W.Tozer, etc.). Most of these are referred to as Christian mystics (not heretical, but emphasizing personal communion with God in their writings). I also like the devotionals put out by David Hazard featuring these writers (Augustine, Teresa of Avila, etc.).

I'm probably not into modern-day devotionals as much, with the stories, etc., though I do write them for Upper Room, The Quiet Hour, etc.

Inspired
06-23-2005, 08:24 PM
I'm curious as to how many of you read devotionals. If you do read them...

What type of devotional do you prefer?
Devotionals that deal with one subject matter?
Story-like devotionals?
Short or long?
Heavy, theological devotionals?
Do you ever give a devotional as a gift?
When humor is incorporated in a devotional, do you enjoy it or do you consider that irreverent?



I like meaty devotionals. I don't like light, fluffy, cute stuff. I usually read things from Lutheran theologians, but have really enjoyed Max Lucado and Liz Curtis Higgs (some of hers are too light, though.)

I don't like them to be too long. Each one should focus on just one thing, something I can think about throughout the day.

I do give devotionals as gifts (wedding and for older adults, especially, but also for new moms and grieving people.)

I like some humor, but it's got to stick to the subject. I really don't enjoy sermons where the pastor tells jokes just to make you laugh - stay on the subject, please!

ldumont999
06-24-2005, 05:52 AM
Thanks for your posts. I love Oswald Chambers but the two books I've had published read more like creative non-fiction than devotionals. When I tour or do signings, I bill both books as a selection of short stories or gift books and I target the marginal Christian audience (churched but not not necessarily firmly entrenched in their belief). Your feedback confirms something I've noticed from other writing lists that I belong to -- Christian writers seem to seek out the meatier devotionals.

Thanks again.

Louise Bergmann DuMont:Coffee:
www.njcwg.blogspot.com (http://www.njcwg.blogspot.com)
www.cafemochalight.blogspot.com (http://www.cafemochalight.blogspot.com)

trebuchet
06-24-2005, 11:30 PM
I love the older, classical writers of Christian devotion. I have an anthology of works starting with the ante-Nicean Fathers (Origen, etc.) all the way up through the 20th century (Evelyn Underhill, A.W.Tozer, etc.). Most of these are referred to as Christian mystics (not heretical, but emphasizing personal communion with God in their writings). I also like the devotionals put out by David Hazard featuring these writers (Augustine, Teresa of Avila, etc.).

This sounds really good. I'm going to check some of these out. I'm not into the modern stuff much either. Thanks for the suggestions!

Pat~
06-26-2005, 05:31 AM
This sounds really good. I'm going to check some of these out. I'm not into the modern stuff much either. Thanks for the suggestions!

You're welcome! Here are some more names I'd suggest:

Fenelon--Meditations on the Heart of God (and any other you can find)
Thomas Kelly--A Testament of Devotion
Jean-Pierre de Caussade--Sacrament of the Present Moment
Brother Lawrence--Practicing the Presence of God
Thomas a Kempis--The Imitation of Christ

Homesar Runner
06-26-2005, 06:34 AM
What type of devotional do you prefer?
I usually don't prefer devotionals, at least stuff traditionally billed that way.

Devotionals that deal with one subject matter?

Not really. If I'm going to read something short in the "devotional" category, I'd prefer it to be theological/exegetical.

Story-like devotionals?

Not really, unless it's a reflection on some story in the Bible.

Short or long?
Something that might take me five to ten minutes to read, at a leisurely pace. That would be approximately 500 to 1000 words.

Heavy, theological devotionals?

Yes, though heavy is perhaps not the kindest word. Meaty, yes. Theological, yes, though they're more difficult to write, I'm sure.

Do you ever give a devotional as a gift?

Not really. I don't know where to find what I would prefer, and I don't like to give books I wouldn't read.

When humor is incorporated in a devotional, do you enjoy it or do you consider that irreverent?

Depends. Fr. Patrick Reardon (an Orthodox priest who writes devotionals for Touchstone Magazine often delivers a very dry, droll meditation on Biblical episodes. "Abimelech in Love" was a classic of this sort, and another on Delilah (don't recall the title) was quietly witty. But, his purpose is never to entertain, per se.

Homesar

Ralyks
06-26-2005, 08:42 PM
I usually don't care for "devotionals," because I find them overly simplistic, rah-rah-rah-yeah-Jesus type stuff that rather bores me. But I do like reading devotional-quality nonfiction books--personal journeys or reflections like Merton's Seven Storey Mountain, John Neuhaus's Death on a Friday Afternoon, Paul Johnson's Quest for God, St. Augustine's Confessions, or C.S. Lewis's A Grief Observed. I also enjoy reading the sermons of John Donne and some other older preachers.

The only "daily devotional" type book I have ever really been able to read without growing bored or feeling I was being condescended to is a book called the Daily Poetry Devotional. A different Christian-themed poem from a great poet (like Donne, Herbert, Tennyson, Byron, etc.) is selected for each day, with a short reflection/explication of the poem. I've been through it once, though, and once was enough. I just don't find modern devotionals to be substantial. I want food for my mind as well as for my soul.

Doyle
06-27-2005, 01:35 AM
RBC's Daily Bread. But not for the devotionals, but for the scripture. I found that God was able to use the scripture readings to speak to my immediate needs at the time. The "commentary" was/is a bit syrupy, but I would often use it as a jumping off place when witnessing to new believers. For what they do, I believe RBC has done a wonderful job of moving believers around in scripture.

trebuchet
06-28-2005, 07:44 AM
skylarburris -

Not exactly a devotional, but I have to tell you I was blown away by some of the stuff in Ancient Paths.

Betty W01
06-28-2005, 07:55 AM
I seldom read devotionals, but I must say my late daughter loved Oswald Chamber's My Utmost for His Highest; when she died, we ended up with three copies of it! I usually prefer Bible studies. If I do read devotionals, I like ones that make me see God in nature, life situations, etc. or that deal with a particular scripture. Humor is OK if it fits and isn't just for the sake of humor. (Louise's Grace by the Cup include several of the type I really like...) Syrupy or hackneyed ones don't cut it for me, nor do ones that bend a situation or quote or whatever to make it fit the day's verse. (I'm not good at only reading the day's devotion, anyway - I hate to put a book down until I'm finished with it!)

InspiredWriter
04-06-2006, 09:14 AM
I was browsing the older posts and found this one on devotionals and wanted to say, "Wow, thanks!" I am in the process of writing a devotional and writing a book proposal for the devotional and found this thread very encouraging. My devotionals are meaty, the way I like them and I was a little concerned that they might need to be a little lighter. I believe I am on the right track, the posts in this thread confirmed my thoughts.

Anyone else working on devotionals, either for a book or periodicals?

Inspired
04-06-2006, 01:58 PM
I'm not very active with my devotionals right now, but I do have a few for kids and a couple for adults (those need some editing!) I really would like to write a devotional book or two in the future. I figured I'd write them as I write other things and eventually accumulate enough to publish a book.

Robin Bayne
04-06-2006, 08:10 PM
Read them and write them.

Right now reading daily from LB Cowman's "Streams in the Desert," which is wonderful. Also like Chambers. And " A Year with CS Lewis."

I agree that Lucado, which I once read a lot, now seems "light." But that's probably because I'm taking an online theology class, which is anything but light. http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/smile.gif

Ralyks
04-09-2006, 11:39 PM
skylarburris -

Not exactly a devotional, but I have to tell you I was blown away by some of the stuff in Ancient Paths.

Thanks! I'm glad you enjoy the magazine.

HoosierCowgirl
04-10-2006, 11:23 PM
I've sold a few to a weekly published by our sister denomination. I noticed short ones sold the easiest so tried to hover around 500 words, usually an anecdote that reminded me of Scripture. I feel I have to be a good steward of the story ideas that come along and that's one outlet for them.

regards ...
Ann

Betty W01
04-11-2006, 12:52 AM
We had a workshop on writing them, at a recent retreat I attended. I may try doing a few this summer, once Real Life backs off and gives me more time to write.