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'Rise: Devotions to Fuel Your First Year of College'

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"wrap your arms around college bound students with these practical, inspiring devotions."

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As school draws to a close and summer begins college bound students prepare to enter the adult world away from family and friends in the fall. CollegeView.com staff writer, Hannah Purnell penned Ten Things Every College Student Should Know in their freshman year from an academic perspective.

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It's also a season church family's "wrap their arms around high-school graduates one last time before they're sent off to face the future," writes compiler Christi Brooks. She invited authors to "put fingers to keyboards" with words of wisdom and encouragement from a Christian perspective for "graduates they will never meet."

Among them were three authors from Washington State, Bronwyn Worthington, Spokane, Heather Alexander, Olympia and Lydia Harris from Seattle who have one or more devotions in Rise: 32 Weeks of College Devotions.

One of Bronwyn's devotions features the blessings of friendship developed and refined through the shared challenges, successes and failures of college life. Such close friendships, she writes, equip students to carry one another's burdens like Galatians 6:2 advises. Whether studying for tests, struggling with depression over the loss of a relationship or helping a friend recover, friendships deepen and strengthen as "the cup of suffering" is shared.

Heather's devotion, "Sweet Selfishness," made me pause until I understood she meant for college students to "focus on God's plan for their lives," and not be enticed by friends distractions and suggested detours. That's one of the rare instances selfishness is a good attribute. Instead she encourages undergrads to stay focused on the Lord and His plan for their life. Proverbs 3: 5-6.

Lydia's "College Game Plan," from Jeremiah 33:3 targets college freshmen and women. "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." The devotion begins, "Study as if you didn't pray, and pray as if you didn't study." She found that "winning combination" equipped her to become an honors graduate with advanced degrees. Her "tip sheet" for before, during and after exams along with prayer suggestions for study times is simple and easy to implement.

An author's index and author biographies complete the book with author contact information. Not only do I recommend the book because the readings speak to so many issues first-time college students face, I purchased copies for my college-age granddaughters. If you would like to connect with or ask questions of the authors contact them on FaceBook

'Rise: 32 Weeks of Inspiring Devotions to Fuel Your First Year of College,' compiled by Christi Brooks, Chaplain Publishing, LLC, 2014, 186 Pages, 9781941549018, $10.99

Midwest Book Reviews—"Gail's Bookshelf:" June 2014

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