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When God Calls the Heart - Devotions from Hope Valley Review by Carol Emmert and Kelly BurgessBrian Bird and Michelle Cox
Broadstreet Publishing Group, LLC
8646 Eagle Creek Circle, Suite 210
Savage, MN 55378
When God Calls the Heart is a new 40-day devotional book from BroadStreet Publishing Group based upon the Hallmark Channel’s original series When Calls the Heart. The book is written by Brian Bird, Executive Producer of the TV series, and Michelle Cox. This 176-page hardcover devotional would make a lovely gift for both fans of the When Calls the Heart TV series or any Mom who needs a little more encouragement to face her day.
Each of the daily readings includes a Scripture verse, a quote from one of the show’s characters, and the devotional reading that helps the reader look deeper at the ways in which God works in our lives. The end of each daily section includes a Prayer from the Heart to read and three questions to meditate upon as you go about your day.
Having been a big Janette Oke fan for many years, I was encouraged to read the Foreword she wrote for this small yet powerful book. When the TV series first began I wanted to see if other people imagined her townspeople interacting the same ways that I had. This devotional book covers a variety of situations the characters faced during the first four seasons of the show. I appreciated that it included challenging situations with many of the townspeople, not just the principle characters.
Two main themes stick out while reading When God Calls the Heart. First, that adversity is not what defines us, but rather our relationship with God defines us, and secondly, that all of life boils down to loving God and loving our neighbors. There are thousands and thousands of fans of the TV series, known as Hearties, and as each one of them is drawn to something about Hope Valley, they keep coming back to watch another episode. This small devotional book continues along that same path, offering hope to readers that God is bigger than their problems, and that He uses our friends and neighbors to support us through our struggles.
These short devotionals are a challenging way to start each day, and since they only take 3-5 minutes to read, they make an excellent breakfast companion. Having a Scripture verse to think about throughout the day should encourage us to find time for a deeper study of God’s Word in the evenings. If you have been struggling to fit daily Bible reading into your life, I encourage you to start with reading When God Calls the Heart. Getting into the habit of a daily devotional can make the transition to daily time spent in God’s Word easier. For those who prefer digital to print, When God Calls the Heart is also available in an e-book format.
-Product review by Carol Emmert, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June, 2018
Another Reviewer Perspective:
When God Calls the Heart - Devotions from Hope Valley
Brian Bird & Michelle Cox
When God Calls the Heart is a lovely, two hundred sixty-six page, full-color book that relates touching scenes from the Hallmark Channel original TV series When Calls the Heart. Each story provides a summary of a relatable event that conveys a moral lesson. The characters wade their way through life’s challenges, and in turn, we look introspectively at what we might do in a similar situation. This book is a bit of realistic fiction mixed with a daily devotional. But don’t worry if you’ve never seen or even heard of this television show. It’s not necessary to be familiar with it in order to enjoy what this book has to offer!
Each of the forty chapters begins with a scripture verse, a photo from the scene in the show, and a notable quote from one of the characters. This is followed by a two-page summary of the challenge or difficulty incurred in the scene and a description of the moral lesson it conveys. The next page provides a heartfelt prayer and some questions for self-reflection about how the lesson relates to your own life experiences.
I have never seen the television show, but I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The stories are so heartwarming, and each tragic event that the characters experience leaves you with a feeling of hope and determination to see things through! Despite the unexpected bumps in the road, God provides joy in the morning, and that’s just the kind of encouragement you’ll find in these pages. It addresses all matters of the heart, including expectations, disappointment, love, grief, forgiveness, self-doubt, frustration, and relationships with others.
I also love the small size of this hardcover book, which makes it easy to slip into my bag and carry along when I’m going to be waiting somewhere with my kids. It has a beautiful embossed cover in shades of peach with a matching peach ribbon page marker built in, which is so convenient for saving my place. I enjoy reading this during my quiet time of the day, and I sometimes go back and re-read stories I’ve read before. This is the the kind of book you could easily read again and again for inspiration and encouragement. It would make a lovely gift for a friend or to set out for guests in your guest room.
-Product review by Kelly Burgess, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June, 2018