Book Review: 5 Minutes With Jesus

5 Minutes With Jesus:  A Fresh Infusion Of Joy

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge by BookLook/Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.]

In many ways it is a shame that this book, like so many books I happen to read, is written by women for women [1]. This is a shame because the book is in fact of the sort of material that would be of interest to a larger audience. It’s somewhat upsetting that just because a book is written by someone with an interest in the emotional side of faith that the assumption is that only women will find it of interest. The author shows herself to be a person of considerable interest–apparently she is a foreign immigrant who became an American citizen during the 1980s, and she shows herself to be well-read in authors like Henri Nouwen [2], Nick Vujicic [3], and others. As someone who has read many of the books referenced by the author, I found this to be quite worthy of interest as well. When the work of an author can be recognized as being informed by worthwhile sources, that improves one’s view of the book as a whole.

The contents of this book are basically a collection of blog entries with thoughtful biblical verses at the end. The devotionals, which are not numbered, but are instead named, are fairly short, only a few hundred words apiece, filled with short paragraphs and quotations. The prose is short to the point of fragments, but perhaps that is something that readers will appreciate more than the long sentences stuffed full of clauses to the point of run-ons that some writers are better known for. The essays themselves often tug at the heart with entries involving a woman who forgave her son’s murderer and adopted him as a son of her own, comments on healing and speculations on heaven, as well as discussions of the love between parents and children. The stories are mixed between well-known people and more obscure stories of people with obviously emotional stories of interest to the author. The result is a book that gives joy and encouragement as well as thoughtful scriptural reading in small chunks of verses. This is not a book that is a meaty and challenging read, but if one is looking for short and encouraging devotionals, this is certainly a worthwhile resource.

This book is a classic example of a book with modest aims. Is a work that aims at a modest target, namely providing brief infusions of joy and encouragement for a female audience with scripture as well as life stories something to appreciate? Clearly there is a market for devotionals, given that I read so many of them [4]. And in that light, this book is certainly a worthwhile example of its genre, even if its genre represents relatively light reading that is aimed far more strongly at the heart than at the head, although it makes no claims otherwise. The main area of fault that can be found in this book is that it seems to sell its potential audience a bit short. There are likely far more people who would read this if it was assumed that the Christian thinkers and ordinary believers discussed in this book would be of general interest rather than the smaller audience the author assumes. Aside from that, and the problem that the grammar of this book is so rudimentary that complete sentences are occasionally lacking, this is a solid devotional that achieves its target at inspiring readers and encouraging with the example of other believers.

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2016/08/10/book-review-grieving-the-loss-of-a-loved-one/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2016/01/22/book-review-grieving-the-child-i-never-knew/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2015/10/30/book-review-wicked-women-of-the-bible/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2015/09/17/book-review-7-women/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/book-review-the-secret-place-of-the-most-high-for-women/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/09/14/book-review-wounded-women-of-the-bible/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/08/03/book-review-what-about-women/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/book-review-every-bitter-thing-is-sweet/

[2] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2016/06/08/book-review-henri-nouwen-a-book-of-hours/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/book-review-home-tonight/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2016/06/08/book-review-turn-my-mourning-into-dancing/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2016/05/27/book-review-the-return-of-the-prodigal-son/

[3] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/book-review-unstoppable/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/book-review-limitless/

[4] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2016/09/04/book-review-with-all-due-respect/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2016/09/03/book-review-25000-mornings/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2016/08/28/book-review-gratitude/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2016/05/04/book-review-imitation-of-christ/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2016/04/27/book-review-living-a-mighty-faith/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2016/01/31/book-review-if-my-people/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2015/12/17/book-review-the-james-code/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/book-review-the-christmas-story-in-40-days/

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About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Bible, Book Reviews, Christianity and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Book Review: 5 Minutes With Jesus

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