Review: Morning Coffee with James

Morning Coffee with JamesMorning Coffee with James
Renae Brumbaugh
Chalice Press
September 15, 2009
ISBN: 978-0827223363
Paperback, 113 pages, $12.99
Nonfiction: Christian

I have been a big fan of Renae Brumgbaugh’s blog Morning Coffee with Renae for a long time. Morning Coffee with James started life as a series of blog posts, so I knew the book would be wonderful. As soon as I heard about the coming publication, I invited Renae to visit here.

She will be here on Tuesday, November 24, and you’ll learn more about her and her book. Please come back to meet Renae if you aren’t already a fan or say hello if you follow her blog. Renae will be giving away an autographed copy of Morning Coffee with James to a commenter, so be sure to leave a comment.

In the meantime, I wanted to share my thoughts on Morning Coffee with James. The book is a combination devotional and Bible study. Each devotional covers a few verses of the Book of James with comments about what James was saying to the receipients of his letter and what he is saying to us today. Then comes a thought-provoking question, a prayer, cross-references, and a concluding quote.

I loved everything about the book except the random coffee facts and recipes scattered through the book. It may be because I’m not a coffee aficionado. Perhaps it was because I read the book in a few sittings rather than reading each devotional separately. Or maybe it was because I was reading a Word document rather than the actual book—the formatting of the book might have made a difference. However, the bits about coffee only distracted me. Coffee lovers will probably find them fascinating, and if you read the devotionals individually from the book, the effect might be totally different.

Renae’s faith and personality come through strongly in her writing voice. You feel like you’re sitting down with her over a cup of coffee discussing the words of the brother of Jesus. Yet her warm friendliness doesn’t stop her from challenging us by pointing out how James’ words apply to us personally. How does she know about my selfishness and jealousy and other sins? She makes the reader feel that she knows because she’s been there. She doesn’t set herself her as the teacher telling us sinners what we’re doing wrong. She writes as a sinner herself saved by grace and struggling to live out her beliefs in her daily life.

Other Christians who are following the same path will find Morning Coffee with James a worthwhile addition to their devotions.

Be sure to come back for Renae’s interview on November 24th.

Disclosure: I received an electronic advance reading copy of the manuscript from the author, and I will be receiving a copy of the published book. I have not accepted any compensation for this review and made no commitment to give a favorable review. The links to are affiliate links.

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