Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition

A truly wonderful devotional

This Christmas, I found myself searching for a new devotional for our son, who is nearly a teenager. He has always enjoyed having one and is much better than me about reading his consistently. He has a very good teen devotional (Thrive), but it's shorter than most and he was ready for something different and daily.

Themessage_solo My searching led me to this, Solo: The Uncommon Devotional. The book is designed for both adults and students, and neither will feel out of place. It is by Eugene Patterson and uses his Message Bible (here's a very nice edition if you don't already have one). I bought a copy, skimmed through it when it arrived, and then we gave it to Ben on Christmas morning. Within the next day, it was clear that this is the best devotional we have ever found.

Solo was released in August and it is fantastic. Ben started reading it immediately and every day since and loves it. What's more impressive though, is that Lori became intrigued, read a few pages, and is now reading it daily. Not wanting to be left out, I did the same and am now enjoying it more than I have enjoyed a devotional before (and more consistently, too).

The book covers an entire year and you can easily begin anywhere and at anytime. It begins in Genesis and ends in Revelation, but it's a subtle rhythm that you're only vaguely aware of. In other words, it doesn't feel like a one-year Bible. Here's how the book describes its approach:

This innovative devotional is designed to change how you interact with God's Word. The Message//REMIX: Solo revolves around lectio divina, or "divine reading," an ancient approach to exploring Scripture updated for today's students. Each devotion delivers a unique, contemplative study that will encourage you to:

Read > Uncover biblical wisdom and revelations as you learn to read without the typical limitations that often cut Bible reading short. Think >Immerse yourself in the passage as you place yourself in the story or meditate on words and phrases. Pray >  Connect with him through listening prayer and praise as you encounter new ways to communicate with God. Live > Rest, reflect, or do as you discover how to take the Word with you throughout the day.

Each day takes just 10-15 minutes, but what I particularly enjoy is that most of that time is spent interacting with the text; reflecting on it, praying, sometimes writing or reading it out loud. Like the Message itself, it's written conversationally and is just a pleasure to spend time with. Solo is exactly what all three of us have been looking for in a devotional, and was easily the best $10 we spent at Christmas. Whether for yourself or a student in your life, I (well, we, actually) highly recommend it.