Books, Faith

Devotional Books for 2018

For better or worse, 2018 is right around the corner. That means it is time to start thinking about what devotional book (s) to use next year. Every morning I sit down and read devotions and say a prayer. Sometimes the prayers are long and sometimes they are short.

The following are the books I am using in my morning devotions this year.

A New Classic

The Psalms of Jesus: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Psalms, Timothy Keller with Kathy Keller. (Tim is founding pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City.)


I saw his book at my local Barnes and Noble last fall and decided this would be my main devotional this year. (I sometimes read shorter devotional books in addition to a year-long one).

Each day consists of a Psalm or part of a psalm, Keller’s explanation and a prayer based on the Psalm.

Today’s reading was Psalm 116:1-11 

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
    he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
    I will call on him as long as I live.

The cords of death entangled me,
    the anguish of the grave came over me;
    I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
    Lord, save me!”

The Lord is gracious and righteous;
    our God is full of compassion.
The Lord protects the unwary;
    when I was brought low, he saved me.

Return to your rest, my soul,
    for the Lord has been good to you.

For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
    my eyes from tears,
    my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the Lord
    in the land of the living.

10 I trusted in the Lord when I said,
    “I am greatly afflicted”;
11 in my alarm I said,
    “Everyone is a liar.”

These verses are about:

  • calling on God even when your emotions are out of control,
  • spending your life calling on him, which means trusting in him and nothing else for your salvation,
  • orienting your whole life to prayer, worship and living consciously of God at all times.

The prayer Keller wrote is about admitting we can’t handle life and the sooner we admit it, the sooner we will know peace by calling on God.

My Highlights From Today’s Devotion

The following words or sentences are what I highlighted in my book:

  • “…but he trusted God even when his emotions were out of control.”
  • ‘”I will call on him as long as I live.”‘
  • “…-to trust in him and nothing else for your salvation”
  • “…orient your whole life to prayer and worship.”
  • “This means to live conscious of him at all time”
  • “Love the Lord, for he listens.”
  • “I can’t handle this life.”

I am excited to finish the book as it means I will have FINALLY read through an entire book of the Bible. At my age, that is not good but I guess better late than never.

Songs of Jesus will give you a better understanding of the Psalms – one day at a time. You will not regret reading this book.

A Classic Devotional

The other devotional book I am using is the classic Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings, L.B. Cowman, Edited by Jim Reimann (Editor of My Utmost For His Highest) Updated Edition


I’ve read this book before but it has never spoken to me like it has this time.

Each day has a scripture and then a reading written by numerous of authors. These devotions make me think. They are not light and fluffy.

Some the daily readings contain poetry:

A little bird I am, 

Shut from the fields of air, 

An in my cage I sit and sing

To Him who place me there;

Well please a prisoner to be, 

Because, My God, it pleases Thee. 


My cage confines me round, 

Freely I can not fly, 

But though my wings are closely bound, 

My soul is at liberty;

For prison walls cannot control

The flight or freedom of the soul. 

(From October 12th Devotion)

Streams In The Desert was originally published in 1925 and has enriched the faith of millions of people, including me.

I highly recommend both books for your use in your devotional reading for next year, and the next, and so on and so on.  As you can see, they have become victims of my sticky notes. There are the usual pen and highlighter in the books as well.



Oops…I cut off the sticky notes sticking out of the top of Tim Keller’s book.


Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while working as a call center team leader, facilitating a grief support group and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, lover of golden retrievers and an amateur photographer.