I have a tendency to gush when I'm excited about something so brace yourself. Every morning before we open the store, we take 5 minutes to read a little bit of the Bible or another book and pray. I love that part of the day because it gives us a chance to take a breath, share prayer requests, and prepare ourselves for what we hope will be a busy day.
When it is my turn to read, I often just randomly pull a book off of the shelf. My litmus test of excellence is that I can open it anywhere and find a piece of gold. I am VERY happy to tell you about a new book that just came in a few days ago. The title is The One Year Book of Encouragement and although we have just read a couple of days worth of devotionals, I am a fan. The sub-title is: 365 Days of Inspiration and Wisdom for Your Spiritual Journey and there are contributions from dozens of my favourite authors: Amy Carmichael, Nancy Guthrie, Joni Eareckson Tada, Jill Briscoe, A.W. Tozer, C.S. Lewis, George MacDonald, J.I. Packer, just to mention a few.
Our reading this morning featured Philip Yancey. He reminded us to shoot "arrow prayers" throughout the day. These are short prayers sent heavenward during "the spaces". Instead of wasting the moments while we are lying awake, waiting for our computer to come to life or standing in line, we can maximize those lull times by bringing ourselves into God's presence.
Each day's reading includes thoughts from an author as well as a prayer and a verse. The prayer for today was, "Heavenly Father, I get all caught up in the pace of the day, and my mind is often far from you. Please help me to constantly connect with you."
I can guarantee you that this book will be under the Christmas tree of a few folks on my list this year. I can't think of one single person who doesn't value encouragement and this wonderful devotional is brimming with gold.