Debut author Sherri Gragg encourages readers to "linger in the Savior's presence" in her new release Arms Open Wide, where she portrays the "beautiful Jewish roots of her Christian faith." She discovered that Jewish reality in the course of her trip to Israel where she learned to view "Jesus' teachings through a Middle Eastern cultural lens." It's there she found Jesus the Messiah to be the "incarnation of God Himself."
Yet that isn't how she always knew Jesus, even though, at age four, she "padded barefoot down the hall to her parents' bedroom" and asked to give her heart to Christ. She never saw God as a loving Father, instead she saw Him as a vengeful, "harsh judge" due to a powerful Sunday school lesson by a well-intentioned teacher.
It wasn't until her trip to Israel at age forty-one that "scriptures started to come to life for her" and she could see the "infancy of her faith" was founded on a "flawed" view of God. It was there she realized that "Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever," like Hebrews 13:8 says. There she found the loving God who created the universe and "poured out His life," not just for her, but for all of humanity.
Sherri Gragg fulfills all the writing potential that earned her fourth place in the 2012 Writer's Digest Competition with this debut compilation of powerful devotions. Where she mixes biblical research and history with scripture and creative narrative. She guides readers into the life and times of Jesus through short-story style devotions that begin with suggested scripture readings and end with scripture and prayer.
Join the crowds surrounding Jesus in any one of these fictionalized devotions and witness miraculous healings or experience Jesus commanding the roaring winds and pounding waves to "Quiet! Be still" in Mark 4: 39. Or see the faith of the "untouchable" woman who stretched out her hand to touch the hem of Jesus' robe in the crowds only to hear Him say, "Your faith has healed you. Go in peace" found in Luke 8:48.
Sherri's well-researched, fictionalized format brings memorable biblical accounts to life and leaves readers touched and spiritually blessed, equipped to see Jesus through the settings and cultural lens of the times He lived. Her prayer for readers—to see Jesus "stands with arms open wide to welcome you into His Father's kingdom just as you are."
It's obvious Sherri is a gifted storyteller and I recommend her book to anyone looking for a good devotional.
"Arms Open Wide" by Sherri Gragg, Thomas Nelson—5-16-2014, 224 Pages, 978-1400323463, $16.99
Midwest Book Reviews: April 2014
"Arms Open Wide" by Sherri Gragg
Come near. Stop striving. The Master of the banquet has raised His glass to welcome you as His dear child.
So often Christians view Christ as someone who’s far away and can’t be approached until they have their lives in order. In Arms Open Wide, author Sherri Gragg proves that Christ is a kinder, more tender, more loving Savior than many understand Him to be.
Sherri writes in fictional narrative form while mixing biblical history with scripture, creating a setting that transforms readers back in time and places them right in Jesus’ presence. For thirty-five days readers walk with the Savior to witness miraculous healings and events, and give fresh insight into His power by thinking and feeling with people whose lives became instantly transformed by His love and grace. Readers journey with Jesus and His disciples in the most important time in history.
Hearts will be stirred and lives will be changed as readers draw near and walk with the Savior as never before.
Features & Benefits:
• Helps readers experience the kindness and grace of Jesus
• Instills a deep, lasting impression about the love and forgiveness our Savior offers
• Will transform readers as they engage in a first-person experience of what it might have been like to walk with Jesus when He was on the earth
• Brings to life biblical traditions and customs while helping readers experience Jesus’ life and the miracles He performed
Daily Light: Morning and Evening Devotional
Let God’s Word light your way.
One of the most beloved devotionals of all time! For over two hundred years, Samuel Bagster’s classic and timeless Daily Light on the Daily Path has encouraged and strengthened readers with the words of Scripture. The devotional gathers what the Bible has to say on issues such as worry, hope, wisdom, and peace and arranges them so that the Bible speaks directly to felt needs. This beautifully packaged landmark devotional is Scripture only—simple, straightforward, and always relevant.
A quick read perfect for busy people who love the Word, this compilation of related verses based on a daily theme will light readers' paths each morning and evening!
HeavenWord Daily, by David Savant
HeavenWord Daily guides you through the New Testament following a unique reading plan that will make your daily devotions even more interesting and enriching. HeavenWord Daily is not a fluff devotional, but rather a "motivational do-votional," full of insight and inspiration.
Unto the Hills: A Daily Devotional, by Billy Graham
For peace, for strength, for courage and inspiration, look UNTO THE HILLS
Day by day, you can join the nation’s most beloved spiritual leader for a moment of quiet and reflection — a Scripture, a thought, and a prayer.
Billy Graham draws from his lifetime of study and ministry to offer this devotional classic, featuring 365 meditations to calm you and point you toward the One who can always help.
One Thousand Gifts Devotional: Reflections on Finding Everyday Graces, by Ann Voskamp
Following the New York Times Bestseller, One Thousand Gifts -- a guide to giving thanks and finding joy in all aspects of life -- Ann Voskamp returns with this companion One Thousand Gifts Devotional.
How in the world do we find real joy and experience grace in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama, and all these daily duties? These sixty reflections, each one like a singular tree, invite you to take wing into a forest of graces. Glimpses of grace that will lead you into your own lifestyle of Christ-focus and communion. Into how your desperate need of Him every moment is wildly met with His extravagant love for you. As practical as profound, this devotional offers real life transformation with intentional space to begin the radical habit of thanking God for your own one thousand gifts.
The endless grace of our overflowing God, it's meant to be experienced directly. The most important thing is simply to begin. Pick up a pen and this book -- and change your life. Take the dare to fully live! God's just waiting to bless you with the greatest gift of all---more and more of Himself....
The Duck Commander Devotional, by Alan Robertson
With the Robertson clan’s flair for down-home wisdom and their wholesome family values, this 365-day devotional re¬veals the heart and faith of this much-loved family from A&E’s hit show Duck Dynasty.
Loyal fans of the Duck Dynasty family will relish this col¬lection of inspirational messages for each day of the year. From patriarch Phil and matriarch Kay to their four sons—Willie, Jase, Jep, and Alan—and their beautiful wives and children, the entire Robertson clan contributes to this heartening guide. You’ll also hear from Martin, Godwin, and Mountain Man as they share their faith and their personal lives to encourage and inspire readers.
Compiled by the newest addition to Duck Dynasty—the oldest son and former pastor, Al—each devotional contains a brief message, a passage from Scripture, and a prayer. Not only are the messages motivational, but they are also laced with the characters’ trademark wit and revelations of their personal faith journeys. An ideal companion for Duck Dynasty fans, outdoor enthusiasts, and those who want to grow in their faith, The Duck Commander Devotional is certain to inspire you in your own faith journey.
Power Thoughts Devotional: 365 Daily Inspirations for Winning the Battle of the Mind, by Joyce Meyer
Based on Joyce Meyer's New York Times bestseller Power Thoughts, this devotional includes 365 opportunities to tap into God's power in your daily life by thinking and speaking His way. The POWER THOUGHTS DEVOTIONAL will provide you with life-changing declarations of truth, directly from God's Word, to think and speak over your life every day of the year.
Proverbs 18:21 says, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue." Simply put, words are containers for power--positive or negative, creative or destructive. Therefore, it is imperative that you learn to think and speak on purpose, using the life-giving wisdom in God's Word. When you do, your life will never be the same!
If you struggle with being negative, critical, or judgmental of people and situations, don't be discouraged. God wants to help you renew your mind to think and speak as He would. It won't happen overnight--but each day you will make progress as you choose power thoughts to be more like Jesus.
It's time for you to experience and enjoy the life God created you to live, and Joyce wants to help you get there. You can do it with this devotional by learning how to think and speak power thoughts daily.
Night Light: A Devotional for Couples, by James and Shirley Dobson
The challenge of sustaining an intimate, faith-based marriage in today's “hurry-up” society has never been greater. Now Night Light, the couples' devotional from Focus on the Family ministry founder Dr. James Dobson and his wife, Shirley, brings spouses together each evening, helping them stay connected with each other and their Lord. Stories that strike an emotional chord, Scripture readings, provocative questions, prayers, and personal commentary from the Dobsons encourage men and women in their homes and spiritual lives. More than just another devotional, Night Light is a practical, uplifting guide for every couple who longs to experience the joyous, intimate, “three-person” marriage covenant God intended.
Just Like Jesus Devotional: A Thirty-Day Walk with the Savior, by Max Lucado
God wants to give you a heart just like Jesus.
Jesus felt no guilt; God wants you to feel no guilt.
Jesus had no bad habits; God wants to do away with yours.
Jesus had no fears; God wants the same for you.
Jesus had no anxiety about death; you needn't either.
God's desire, his plan, his ultimate goal is to make you into the image of Christ.
This is your invitation to spend thirty intimate days with the Savior learning how to become more like Jesus. Can you think of a better offer?
Kingdom Man Devotional, by Tony Evans
Kingdom Man Devotional is based on the principles and concepts presented in the book Kingdom Man. For the man who wants to be the leader that God has called him to be, this 90-day devotional will help him explore the scriptural mandate to exercise dominion and take responsibility over the various areas of his life. This devotional will challenge and encourage men to embrace their role of provider, protector, cultivator, champion, visionary, and leader, discipling them in the areas of responsibility and spiritual authority.
Kingdom Man Devotional challenges and equips men to fully understand their position under God and their position over what God has given them, while challenging them to initiate the practical implementation of leadership principles.