It’s been awhile since I read a book in which daily readings are broken out by subject to draw one on a spiritual journey. So, I was curious when fellow Redbud member Keri Wyatt Kent sent me a copy of her newly released devotional, “Deeply Loved, 40 Ways in 40 Days to Experience the Heart of Jesus” (Abingdon Press, 2012).

Kent is a popular author and speaker who has taught and led groups at Willow Creek Community Church, a megachurch outside of Chicago with more than 22,000 members. This December I participated in a “blog hop” using Kent’s book as the inspiration for a series of posts on Advent.

While I didn’t read it in the prescribed forty days, I did enjoy Kent’s book for its straightforward, clear message about slowing down and paying attention to the many ways we can experience the love of Christ–whether through gratitude, rest, prayer, simplicity, service, or the other thirty-five ways Kent reveals.

Each daily lesson is guided by Scripture and weaves together Kent’s personal stories and experiences with those of classic Christian authors and ends with an assignment encouraging the reader to practice what she’s read.

A lesson on trust, for example, begins with the verse, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:27. After sharing her own struggles with trust, Kent  encourages the reader to list his or her worries and turn them into a prayer. At the end, there’s a little box to check off when you’re done.

This 193-page book would be fun to do in a small group or individually and is a great way to start the new year.

For a chance to win a copy of “Deeply Loved” post a comment on my web site any time before 5:00 EST on December 31st, and I will gladly enter you in my monthly giveaway. Let me know you’ve subscribed and you will automatically be entered in all my book giveaways. The winner will be announced on my author facebook page.

What makes you feel deeply loved by God? Or do you struggle with this?