Friday, June 7, 2013
Book Review: Lessons from Life, by Dave Franklin.
Let me say a few words about the author, and then I will offer some reflections on Lessons from Life.
Pastor Dave is an interesting character! If you do not know him well, begin by picturing a guy who would fit right in on an episode of Duck Dynasty--long gray beard, camo pants, round-rimmed shades. Take that character, and educate him with several academic degrees (including two masters degrees; one from Reformed Theological Seminary). Give him ten lifetimes of experience both as a criminal investigator for the state of Florida, and as a local church pastor. Mix in years on a tree-stand in the woods. Put him on a motorcycle with a Bible under his arm, and you've got Dave.
Lessons from Life, is his magnum opus--365 daily devotions from the richness of his experiences, and the breadth of his Biblical knowledge. Each devotion takes about 5-minutes to read and comes with carefully selected Scripture references. Each reading focuses on the "real-life" aspects of the Christian walk: topics such as forgiveness, obedience, trusting, and stepping out in faith. As such, this is not a book on theology; it is a journey through the Christian life (as the title suggests).
Each devotion comes with three reflection questions to carry the reader further into the Scriptures and their own faith journey. Actually, this book reads just as smoothly aloud with a small group as it does while alone in one's room with God.
Personally, I could see its best application being used as a family devotional book. After dinner, families might read one passage per setting, grappling with the discussion questions together aloud. For fathers (or mothers) who would like to lead such devotions with their family--but perhaps don't know where to start--this book would be ideal.
The style, wording, and language are all very simple. Nothing here to bog the reader down--even if the reader is a teen or child. This work will probably stand the test of time, and remain a useful favorite for the families of our church and others for a long time to come.
Currently, Lessons from Life is available as an e-book from Amazon for $7.99. For the size of this book (well over 350 pages), that is a bargain. Print copies are also available upon request at Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
Matthew Everhard is the Senior Pastor of Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Brooksville, Florida.