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Seven-Day Practical Faith Blog: Using Devotionals to Enhance Your Faith


As we live a seven-day practical faith, we must realize that the energy, inspiration, and Spirit connection we need to live each day in faith cannot come from Sundays alone. Instead, we must constantly replenish ourselves if we are to constantly give of ourselves.


One hybrid spiritual discipline that combines meditation, prayer, and scripture is called the devotional. Devotionals are short messages consumed within a few minutes; their forms may include reading, viewing, or listening. Their purpose is to give us a focused thought, tied to scripture, that can illuminate and rejuvenate our faith life.


In my own experience, I used to religiously read The Upper Room, a daily devotional guide. I have also used Guideposts (my grandmother Eunice's favorite) from time to time.


Over the course of my life, I have varied from reading devotionals daily to skipping the practice for years. But now I find myself drawn to them more and more.


Right now I'm reading a devotional book by Lori Hatcher (one of my author mentors) called "A Word for Your Day: 66 Devotions to Refresh Your Mind." I've told Lori that I wish I had come up with the concept for this work. She selects one keyword from each book of the Bible and builds a devotional around it. Sometimes the word is a clear term ("pardon," "promise," "pride"), but occasionally the word is surprising ("foxes" from the Song of Songs).


I can also recommend Tracy Crump's "Health, Healing, and Wholeness: Devotions of Hope in the Midst of Illness." Based on her experiences as a nurse, Crump skillfully weaves stories of medical situations, unclear diagnoses, and miraculous healing as she reveals God's presence in every circumstance.


I have not yet read much of "Seeking Joy through the Gospel of Luke," an Advent devotional book by Christine Trimpe, but the book has won some prestigious awards. This book emerged from a difficult season during which Trimpe followed the Spirit's urge to find joy despite tribulation. I'll pick it up again during Advent.


Aside from books, a number of websites can assist your regular devotional study. Inspirations Ministries (Inspiration.org, to which I contribute) offers a daily devotional, as does the famous Our Daily Bread website (odb.org) and a site I am just discovering that looks promising, ChristianDevotions.us. Many more sites are available for you to try.


Cecil Taylor Ministries also offers devotionals. Each Wednesday, I post a devotional on CecilTaylorMinistries.com/blog and re-post it on the Cecil Taylor Ministries Facebook page and on LinkedIn.


If you have visited my website, you have surely seen the free offer for "30 Minutes over 30 Days," a one-minute per day devotional reading to use over a month. I will soon be retiring this free gift, so please visit my website to get your copy before it rotates into the vault.


Devotionals seem to fit our modern lifestyle well. They only require a small amount of time to connect us to God and to our faith life, offering concise nuggets that we can carry into our seven-day practical faith.

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