A calendar of Christian affirmations.
In this conversational and extremely amiable work of Christian nonfiction, Corts (Sabbaticals for Leaders, 2012) takes his readers through a year, day by day, offering verses from Scripture, some personal anecdotes from his own life, and generous helpings of practical wisdom that he’s accumulated over the years. It’s a familiar template in Christian writing—one with a thousand-year history—but its longevity is a sign of its effectiveness, and Corts does it very, very well by stressing the human need for spiritual shots in the arm: “We know from our own personal relationships with family members, spouses, children or other loved ones,” he writes, “that we feel closer to a person some times and less close other times.” The main focus of these daily devotions is always God, however, and Corts always gently shapes his meditations to move readers closer to a personal relationship with the deity. This can be a challenge on a daily basis, as the author often acknowledges; the rampant materialism of the modern world, he notes, is a constant, eroding influence on Christian faith. “While our faith is in the unseen, we live our lives as believers in a world of reality that is very focused on the seen,” he writes. “Though we know it is fallacy, we live by the adage that ‘what you see is what you get!’ ” Some of Corts’ theological assertions are questionable, such as his frequent claim that the God of the Bible is slow to anger, which may dumbfound some readers. But the real strength of his book is his consistent presence as a character in his own narrative, relating his daily devotionals to incidents and periods in his own life. This autobiographical strand makes the whole enterprise extremely winning, and any Christian who’s ever had a rough day will be grateful to have its unfailingly friendly presence in easy reach.
A warm, encouraging reminder of faith throughout the year.