Fall devotional recommendations

Looking for a re-fresh in your devotional life this fall? Amy Pagliarella has some recommendations.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Following in the Way of Jesus: Theological Thoughts for Daily Living

Donald J. McKim
Cascade Books, 194 pages | Published June 13, 2023

As we might expect from a veteran pastor, academic and writer, Don McKim’s reflections on faithful living in Following in the Way of Jesus: Theological Thoughts for Daily Living are filled with references to the great Reformed theologians and sprinkled with descriptions of the PC(USA) world. The 52 devotions loosely follow the journey of faith, from belief, trusting and following, leading to service and prayer. These thoughtful reflections lift up the power of faith lived out within Christian churches, in community, and with the guidance of the saints who came before us.

Little Big Moments

Andrew Taylor-Troutman
Resource Publications, 128 pages | Published June 23, 2023

When I lead “spiritual parenting” retreats in churches, I try to offer a resource table with a wide array of books. I have consistently struggled to find books to offer fathers, and Little Big Moments now tops my (short) list. Andrew Taylor-Troutman reflects on faith within the day-to-day of family life, and his humor and wisdom shine through as he recalls everything from diapers and laundry to more poignant stories of gently passing the time with little ones. A great choice for dads (or anyone).

Sacred Belonging: A 40-Day Devotional on the Liberating Heart of Scripture

Kat Armas
Brazos Press, 208 pages | Publishing September 12, 2023

Cuban-American writer Kat Armas opens with a confession that she hasn’t read a devotional in years — she dislikes being made to feel like she needs to do better. In Sacred Belonging, she invites us to reimagine Scripture with new perspectives and by reading in close connection with Indigenous and other cultures. Stories of childbirth and bodily functions remind us that God is embodied, and Armas’ lush depictions of God as Spirit make this a welcome choice for those eager to experience God as fully present in their lives.

Soulfull: A Weekly Devotional to Nourish the Mind, Body, and Spirit

Farrell Mason
Convergent Books, 320 pages | Publishing October 24, 2023

Farrell Mason says that her hope is to “meet you where you are and fill up your unique soul,” and she does so by living into joy and hope. Mason is a writer, pastor and mother who makes meaning out of simple living and daily activities, and whose faith has seen her through miscarriages, sick children and more. The 52 chapters in Soulfull: A Weekly Devotional to Nourish the Mind, Body, and Spirit each include a Bible passage, reflection, prayer and practical suggestions — even a recipe or two. A good choice for busy folks eager to understand daily life as sacred liturgy.

Wake Up to Wonder: 22 Invitations to Amazement in the Everyday

Karen Wright Marsh
Brazos Press, 208 pages | Published July 11, 2023

Karen Wright Marsh calls her chapters “invitations” because they are not rules or a single system, and this is what makes Wake Up to Wonder so … inviting. Each chapter tells the story of a different spiritual guide (such as Thomas Merton or Fannie Lou Hamer) and suggests simple practices to follow in their way. A good choice for those seeking variety, exposure to unique activities, and the freedom to pick and choose.

Breathing Through Grief: A Devotional Journal for Seasons of Loss

Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young
Ink & Willow, 192 pages | Publish November 14, 2023

When her young husband died of cancer, Gilmore-Young found it difficult to breathe. She turned to her faith, ultimately experiencing God breathing new life into her, while still giving herself permission to lament. “Grief is like a tangled ball of yarn,” she writes. “It’s not linear.”  And so her devotional journal is loosely structured, inviting those experiencing loss to pick the entry that cares for their soul right where they are. Each entry references a Biblical story and includes a simple breath prayer, written prayer and inspirational quote — followed by questions and blank spaces for written journaling. The book is gorgeous; a tactile cover and stitched binding make it inviting to hold, while muted tones and gentle fonts encourage writers to fill its pages. While we might hope that we never need this journal, it’s a meaningful resource to offer a grieving friend or congregant.

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