In the Philippines, we have such a huge selection of daily devotional guides to choose from, both local and foreign, printed and digital, that seeks to lead us to a path that will allow us to love the Word—God’s Word, deeper. One such daily devotional guides are the Tanglaw (2016 Filipino version) and Light to My Path (2017 English version) published by the Scripture Union.
They recently blessed me with a copy each of the devotional guides to review.
I love printed books, and the Tanglaw and Light To My Path guides are thick (they are for 365 days after all) and you would not worry about easily tearing them up (they intend you to read this every day). I’m sure for the daily reader these books will endure.
I believe that the main purpose of the books is to be easily read and the reason why its size (8-1/4” by 5-1/5”) allows its text to be set in what appears to be 12 point type although I find Tanglaw easier to read than Light To My Path because of the font selection. Tanglaw’s layout is also easier on the eyes because of the white space around it and the use of just one ink.
Enough about the design, what about the content?
The books were written by seasoned and accomplished writers. I know a few of them, having met them at various events and meetings staged by OMF Literature and the Christian Writers’ Fellowship.
As I read the foreword in Light My Path, I discovered that the Scripture Union had the note writers attend theological classes. According to the Chairman, Dr. Billy Goco that the purpose of the exercise is to, “equip their note writers with discernment in maintaining the balance between religious inspiration and deep biblical content.” I found that wise. Good job Scripture Union!
The daily devotions are short. I timed one of the articles and read it in 59.12 seconds. Perfect for the millennials! But not so fast. At the start of Light to My Path, a few pages before Day 1, there is an important note for the reader to…read. They call it the Scripture Union Method of Meeting God Daily. It’s thought to have its roots in Contemplative Bible Reading or Lectio Divina, as its commonly called. Ok, don’t be afraid if there’s this two Latin words here. It’s because the practice was started by 12th Century monks that begin with a selected Bible passage, and moves on to meditating, praying and contemplating on what God is revealing in the Bible…and Latin was spoken during those times.
Then I read one of them. And it spoke of something that God has been calling me into, something that I keep procrastinating on…over 10 years already!
So even if the contents of each page are short, you have a few more things to do before running off to the rat race: Pray, Read, Meditate and Respond. Get the devotional if you wish to know the details.
But does it “work”?
Ok, let me be honest, I asked for the books so you know…I can have books. I love receiving new books. Then, out of commitment, I started to scan the pages. Then I read one of them. And it spoke of something that God has been calling me into, something that I keep procrastinating on…over 10 years already! After reading this, I got in touch with a group that I promised I will help with a few things and made a solemn commitment to fulfill my promise. That group is in Thailand. I’m going by the end of May 2017. Because God is calling me to do mission work. And the devotion I read after scanning the pages was about when will I start on my missionary adventure. Isn’t God amazing? 😎
The devotional guides, with their thickness and design, is not the benchmark if the contents are good. Its how you read them, meditate on them, and respond to what you read will determine the value of the books. But don’t get me wrong. The devotionals were written well.
SU’s devotionals can be ordered directly from the SU office at Tel. 741-8756 at 225 per copy. Bulk discounts are given for churches and church groups.
The Philippine publisher has no website but you can LIKE their Facebook page at https://facebook.com/scriptureunion.lighttomypath/