Book Reviews: You Need Only to be Still
YOU NEED ONLY TO BE STILL
You Need Only to be Still is a book of daily devotions for the season of Lent, in which author Randy Jedele takes us on a journey through the Old Testament for Lent. A lay Christian Education minister in the United Church of Christ in Iowa, Randy Jedele has drawn on his strong Protestant and Congregationalist background to enliven the Hebrew Testament for us in new ways in these Lenten devotions.
In "You Need Only to be Still," each of the 40 days of Lent, starting with Ash Wednesday, feature a Hebrew Testament passage, followed by two questions for your consideration to bring the passage into our own lives. Then Randy provides his own "Thoughts for Meditating," a few paragraphs reflecting on the ancient Bible story in which he offers some background information where it is needed and his own thoughts on the two questions. On the right hand page for each day in Lent there is blank space for the reader to write his or her own "Personal Reflections," an opportunity for the reader to respond and record thoughts and feelings. Each day concludes with a prayer, a personal moment between the reader and God. For each Friday, Randy has chosen a passage from the Psalms.
The six Sundays of Lent in "You Need Only to be Still" have a very different format with two blank pages for each Sunday, one for "Reflections from the Past Week" and one for "Opportunities to Seek in the New Week." Randy writes, "I have chosen the Sunday format for a couple of reasons. First of all, I have chosen not to have a Scripture passage for Sundays because I did not want to interfere with the scripture passages used in the regular lectionary for the day. Secondly, it is my practice to do just as I have suggested on Sundays. I spend my devotional time on Sundays to reflect on the events of my past week and contemplate on opportunities that may lie before me in the new week. I think it is important for us to remind ourselves of the lessons we have learned, the joys we have known, and the pains that have pierced our hearts. It is also good for us to make plans for the days that come before us. Reflecting is truly a time of quiet meditation and being still before God."
The title, "You Need Only to be Still," comes from Exodus 14:13-14, "Moses answered the people, 'Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.'" Randy Jedele writes, in the Introduction, "Too often we Christians ignore the Hebrew Scriptures and build our relationships with God on the New Testament. However, as I have journeyed through the Hebrew Scriptures through the years, I have always marked passages that spoke to me. It has not surprised me to discover a wealth of spiritual wisdom throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. It is my hope and prayer that those who use this devotional as they journey through Lent will also discover the richness of the God of the Hebrew Scriptures. Truly, there is much to be learned as we discover the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of Hannah, Ruth, and Esther, a God who was a powerful source in the lives of those who learned to seek the presence of the living God and to live in the stillness of God's grace."
"Over and over, God calls us to be still, so that God can minister to our hearts and prepare us to journey each day as a new day. . . . I have envisioned that [this devotional] will mostly be a personally journey, a quiet time each day when the readers will, on their own, seek the stillness of God. . . . As you read, meditate, and pray through this devotional, may God bless and enrich your life. It is my prayer that each of you will find God in the stillness of your busy lives and that God will provide you with wisdom, fill you with peace, and shower you with love."
We know you will be blessed by this book of devotions for Lent, "You Need Only to be Still."
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