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A Classic Devotional Worth Rediscovering

July 10, 2019

In 1982 Michael R. Phillips published the first of 18  updated language abridgments of George MacDonald’s Scottish novels. This resulted in a strong resurgence in interest in MacDonald’s writings which I fear is waning in the over 30 years since the publishing of The Fisherman’s Lady. That is why I was so delighted to recently find a copy of A Time To Grow: Inspiring Devotional Selections from the Writings of George MacDonald Compiled and Edited by Michael Phillips (Bethany House Publishers, 1991) This 128 page devotional book contains some of the strongest passages culled from the pages of MacDonald’s most interesting characters. Every page is a gold mine of insight but my favorite by far is found on pages 58-59 titled WE MUST BE BEFORE WE CAN DO which is taken from the books The Gentleman’s Choice and the Unspoken Sermons. Hester is reflecting on on her life and thinks, “God seems to take pleasure in working by degrees…It is the being that is precious. Being is the the mother to all little doings as well as the grown up deeds and the mighty heroic sacrifices”. “He knows that we can try and that in our trying and failing He will be able to help you , until at last you will do God’s will …He takes the will in the imperfect deed and makes the deed at last perfect. The most correct notions without obedience are worthless,  The doing of the will of God is the way to oneness with God” In addition to the prose portions MacDonald’s poetry is also feature as on page 83 with a poem taken from Diary of an Old Soul. This book has something for everyone seeking to be introduced to the genus of George MacDonald or those seeking to reconnect with wisdom of an older and more mature friend and mentor yet again. Highly Recommended!!

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