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Saturday, 11 March 2006

Devotional and Bible Reading

This year I have been working through two different devotional readings; In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez and Everyday for Everyman by Stephen Arterburn.

In Conversation With God
By: Francis Fernandez
7 Volume Set
Scepter Press
ISBN: 0906138191

This is an amazing Catholic meditation and daily reflection series. The seven volumes have daily readings for each day of the church year as well as volume 6 & 7 being special Feast Days. The readings draw heavily upon the writings of Josemaria Escriva the founder of Opus Dei, Pope John Paul II, and the daily readings from the common liturgy for that day. The Sundays have three sets of readings depending on if we are in year A, B, or C in the church readings. These devotions are all about 6 pages long and divided into 3 sections. They can be read all as a lump or part in the morning, midday and evening. I find that with every day there is so much meat in these devotions that I am already planning on reading them again next year.

"We have a duty to rest. Resting in order to serve God and other people better.
We should learn to rest. If we can avoid becoming totally exhausted we should not fail to do so. God wants us to look after our health, and to know how to recover our strength. It is part of the fifth commandment. We need to rest in order to be fit, to restore lost energy, and so that our work may be all the more effective. Above all, we need it so as to serve God and other people better."
Francis Fernandez
In Conversation With God Volume #3 p.217

"For this reason asking advice about reading is an important part of the virtue of prudence, very especially if it is a question of theological or philosophical books, which can radically affect our formation and even our faith itself. How important it is to be right about books! It is still more important to consult our spiritual director about books specifically destined to aid the formation of our soul."
Francis Fernandez
In Conversation With God - Volume #3 p.117

Are but two samplings of what I have already copied out into my journal this year. There is a complete subject, and biblical reference index in volume 7, unfortunately the earlier volumes indexes only go as far as that volume #. The indexes are subject, and reference quoted by church Fathers, Popes and Saints. These books will draw anyone deeper into a faith and a life of action based upon that faith.

The 7 Volume's are:
Volume #1 Advent and Christmastide
Volume #2 Lent and Eastertide
Volume #3 Ordinary Time Weeks 1-12
Volume #4 Ordinary Time Weeks 13-23
Volume #5 Ordinary Time Weeks 24-34
Volume #6 Special Feasts January-June
Volume #7 Special Feats July -December

Complete Set 7 Volumes



Everyday for Everyman:
365 Readings for Those Engaged in the Battle

By: Arterburn, Stoeker, Luck and Yorkey
WaterBrook Press
ISBN: 1400071690

This book is very different from the series above. There is a page or less per day. Every page is an excerpt from one of the many books in the ‘Everyman’s’ series. The list of books drawn from is:

Every Man’s Battle
Every Heart Restored
Every Man’s Challenge
Every Man, God’s Man
Every Man’s Marriage
Every Young Man’s Battle

Each of these readings is specifically geared towards a man who is desiring to be growing and becoming the man God has called him to be, in area’s of love and service to his wife and children, work, self control … These readings though small will provoke thought and challenge one to step up and make changes in their lives for the better.

Strive: TNIV Bible for Men
Harper Collins / Zondervan
ISBN: 0310921015

This is the bible I am currently reading the most. It was a gift last year for my birthday. The TNIV - Today’s New International Version It has some great study notes and like the Everyman’s devotional it is focused on men and what men need. The historical notes, and ‘myths’ features focus on area’s like: Fulfillment, Sex, Work, Marriage, Pride, Pornography, Anger, Faith, Money, Family and Church. There are also ‘downshifts’ little asides that ask probing questions based on the passages read. There are also biography’s of key biblical man throughout the book. The single column layout makes it a nice easy to read bible.

Metal Bible: Identified
New Living Translation
Tyndale House Publishers
ISBN: 0842342591

This is the other bible I am currently reading, this is the one I carry in my backpack. It has a very study metal shell, thus it’s name, it has a magnetic clasp to keep it closed. I pretty much killed a bible about every year to year and a half by carrying it around in my backpack every day. This bible solves that problem. It is small, compact, and very durable. The metal Bible comes in a variety of colors and designs I have this green one with the dog tags and my wife had my initials engraved in the dog tag before giving it to me as a gift a few summers ago. There are currently, 2 Silver designs, black, orange, red and hot pink. The NLT – New Living Translation is also a great reading edition, both this and the TNIV are newer translations based on modern scholarship and are very accessible to today’s readers.


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