A Daily Walk with God
by Marlene Burling
Author's Press

"There are no shortcuts to spiritual maturity. It takes time and effort."

A Christian writer offers her wisdom in the form of daily discourses. Her observations and advice center around the theme of taking a walk each day in which we try to see God’s purpose for us that day and in all the time we have on this earth. The book is formatted as an easily readable journal, with 365 offerings beginning on the first day of January.

Each entry points out a new, fresh way to approach our religious faith. For example, the author suggests that the table centerpiece for the Christmas celebration can remind us that God should be the center of our lives. Since her husband passed away on December 26, she uses that date as an opportunity to refer to the 23rd Psalm, a source a comfort, as she remarks, “Death is the last valley we have to go through.” On July 4th, she urges us to thank God for our nation and pray that it will turn back to Him, since, as she believes, a day of reckoning is imminent. Around the Thanksgiving holiday, she prods the reader to not let this be the only day on which to give thanks to the Lord. Almost any activity or idea can form the basis of the entries: shopping, travel, even using a paper shredder—which, Burling states, is not going to do any good “if we are trying to keep something from God.” On the last day of the year, we are fittingly encouraged to follow the Biblical injunction to “put off the old man” and “put on the new.”

When Burling began writing a series of mini-devotionals on Facebook, she was encouraged by friends to make them into a book. The author’s deep faith shines forth in messages that are based on her conviction that each day all of us can glean spiritual lessons as we walk with God. Her pleasantly formatted work includes a tasteful graphic—a double archway of branches graces the top of each page. Possibly to avoid distraction from the message, Burling has chosen to follow the standard format for Christian devotionals with each entry beginning with a title hinting at the day’s theme and followed by a short anecdote or sermonette. Then comes a relevant Bible verse and finally a prayer centered around the day’s issue.

Burling writes on a wide variety of subjects and includes both devout reflections and some enjoyable, positive humor. She shows her writing mastery in the creation of marvelous metaphors: Christian faith is like bread dough that doesn’t rise without interruption but needs some punching down and restarting to be successful; if you skimp on your housework, your shirking will be noticeable just as, if you skip your Bible reading, you will not get the slow deep cleansing that your soul requires; as in riding a bicycle, we need to learn to shift gears in our changing relationship with the Lord.

The author has created a new direction in life out of the sorrows of widowhood, using her talents as a writer and her thoughtfulness as a Christian to help other women, in particular, but presenting a heartfelt collection that could be of use to anyone sincerely dedicated to following the Christian path. As a daily guide, Burling’s book would also make a practical focus for an adult Bible study.

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