"Reliant: A 28-day Journey to Draw Closer to God" by Kellyann Bowman (Crossbow books) is a very short (114 pages) and simple devotional narrative concerning one woman's current walk with God, and each chapter has a blank Journal section at the end for readers to make notes.
The preface advises the reader that the author commenced her journey with Christ when she was 14 years old, but it was not until her 40's that she really became a disciple. After many years of sadness, suffering and alcoholism; years of turning away from God because of her pain and anguish, she finally turned toward God and commenced a new life.
The book is not set out as a 'testimony' or 'theological teaching session,' but it is full of Scripture from which she personally has drawn comfort, inspiration and strength. The beauty of the book is in its honest simplicity, and for me personally, this was so well and truly demonstrated on page 44 when she wrote: "Because I think God has a sense of humor, I'm sure each 'I love you' was followed by 'Duh.'"
Throughout the book the author encourages the reader to rely on God as she learned to do and relates many issues of importance in getting one's life back on track. Issues such as: Changing thought and habit patterns; understanding that the process of transformation requires work; learning to trust and surrender to God; not fearing failure and pain; remembering that God is able even if you are not; not fearing a bruised ego; realizing that many great Biblical figures also lived their lives in what appeared to be chaos; remembering that you are made in the image of God and letting the image of God reflect on your face and above all, trusting that God knows best.
Basically the book provides practical advice for real situations and refers the reader back to the author and finisher of Life itself. Her straightforward narrative style recognizes the realities of life and human emotions and while offering good advice, does not attempt to gloss over the difficulties of the process of "overcoming" that each Christian must endure.
I feel that the narrative and scriptural content provide far more help, encouragement and support for struggling Christians than many of those 'oh so edifying' preaching sessions that one might sit through which tend to direct you into some sort of personal struggle with the Devil, rather than help you to trust that God is in control and that he is able to help you through your personal hell. Most problems and failures are not caused by the devil but by ordinary human frailty which can be transformed into the power of Christ.
M. Wallace Johnson
Kellyann Bowman is an active Christian leader within her church. Her greatest desire is to serve God and shine His light brightly in everything she does. She currently resides in Seattle.
By Kellyann Bowman
Softcover retail price: $11.99
Hardcover retail price: $28.95