Not just a hearer but a doer by Yolanda Shanks (Book Review)

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Not Just a Hearer but a Doer – Deliberately Living Life Devotional Study by Yolanda Shanks is the first volume in a series of devotionals that will help you find calls to action within scripture … and then act upon them. I enjoyed the study as I reviewed Yolanda’s book and am delighted to share my review here as a member of the CWA Review Crew.

About the Author

Yolanda Shanks, Author

Multi-published author, speaker, blogger, teacher, wife, grandmother—Yolanda Shanks wears many hats, but the one she most resonates with is her role as an advocate for living life to its fullest.

Shanks’ award-winning first book, Destined to Live, Despite Me, continues to be a source of hope for those battling effects from a prior suicide attempt. It garnered an enthusiastic Kirkus review, which stated the book was “a commendable guide for finding meaning after considering suicide.”

Her second book, Not Just a Hearer but a Doer (released June 2012) challenges the body of Christ to act upon scripture. In the Fall of 2012, she released a third project, entitled Destined to Live, Despite Me – A Cause to Be Thankful.

Connect with Yolanda:

Website: Destined to Live, Despite Me | Yolanda on Facebook | Yolanda on Twitter

Book Review

As I opened the cover of Not Just a Hearer but a Doer – Deliberately Living Life Devotional Study by Yolanda Shanks, I was immediately excited to see that she used the King James Version of the Bible for this devotional study. While other versions of the Bible might be used, I am always most comfortable with KJV and so my time of study was already off to a great start. This is a book that requires you to not just read (hear) but also to think about what you have read each day and then act upon it (do). Of course, when I chose this book to review the verse that popped into my head was that of James:

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. ~ James 1:22

I received the book just a little over three weeks ago so I did a couple devotions on some days in order to finish the book and present my review here — although it should be noted that this is meant to be a daily devotional. I find that this devotional causes you to be a doer right from the start. It begins with some thoughtful quotes by the late great R.C. Sproul and Matthew Henry. Yolanda reminds us that as Christians, we are under the authority of God to His glory. I have always promoted the fact that spending time daily in the word is an essential element of our relationship with our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus. How can we say that we know Him if we do not spend time with Him daily?

I really like how Yolanda used a simple format throughout the book and as you open it each day you know exactly what to expect. She begins with a simple opening paragraph to introduce you to the daily theme and then she breaks it down into:

Observation (this is your daily Scripture text)

Background (this sets the context of what you just read in the daily passage)

Interpretation (this defines key elements that you just read in the daily passage)

Application (this offers advice on how you can apply it to your life today)

Additional Scriptures and Memory Scriptures  (although not found in every day, Yolanda shares some cross reference Scriptures; some to read and some to memorize)

Personalize Today’s Scripture Text (this gives you the opportunity to “DO” — make it personal and then act upon it)

I found this to be a very comfortable devotional book and even one that made me think about every text that I read. Yolanda’s style of writing draws you into her world — by about day 10 you will be looking forward to studying with her every day. It seems that she has purposefully worked to keep this as a devotional that can be used by men and women alike.

Favorite quote

On day 23 I found myself really reflecting on Yolanda’s question (in the Application section), she says: “Oftentimes we wonder why we must go through so many struggles. Have you ever considered that the storms of life are ensuring that we have been quality tested?” (p. 100)  And then I meditated upon Romans 5:1-5 … this is a great passage to commit to memory. Look it up and think on it.

Overall Recommendation

If you are looking for a great devotional book that you may use to cultivate your relationship with the Lord for an entire month, do not hesitate to get Not Just a Hearer but a Doer – Deliberately Living Life Devotional Study by Yolanda Shanks. In addition to using it for your own personal study, it would work well in a small group study. It is appropriate for men and women and I dare say that even young men and women will benefit from this well written daily devotional. I am looking forward to Volume Two in this series and pray that you will be as blessed as I am as I continue in this daily devotional.

You can purchase Not Just a Hearer but a Doer – Deliberately Living Life Devotional Study by Yolanda Shanks at the Amazon link below:

ISBN: 978-0985361600 | List Price: $12.95 | Format: Softcover | Page Count: 144

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Pamela Rose Williams

Pamela Rose Williams is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She and her husband, Dr. Michael L. Williams, have served in Christian ministry since 2001. She has a bachelor's Degree in Christian Education and spends most of her time as a professional editor and writer, working with many Christian authors and artists. Additionally, she works with her husband using their extensive experience in information technology to provide Christ-centered teaching and resources to people all over the world. To learn more about Pamela visit her About page.