Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review: 31 Days to Happiness by David Jeremiah

Thanks to the folks at Booksneeze, I received a copy of  31 Days to Happiness How to Find What Really Matters in Life by David Jeremiah.

In this volume, Dr. Jeremiah examines the Word of God as penned by the wisest man who lived: Solomon. As the Dr. works his way through the book of Ecclesiastes, he divides the readings into 31 chapters for closer examination. Each chapter ranges from 8-14 pages, and begins with a quote or story from current events and draws the parallel with the questions and pondering of Solomon to our present day struggles. Each chapter examines a new topic that fits with each and every part of our lives: from discontentment to financial gain, from careers to governments, from justice to wisdom. Jeremiah intertwines quotes from present day authors with his own observations, and the book reads like his easily relate-able sermons. As he moves through the book of Ecclesiastes from front to back, he never strays from the Scripture to make a private point. The book finds a delicate harmony between the words of Solomon and the crisis of our present times.

I was so excited to receive this book that I quickly recommended it to my book club, and we all read through it together and met over dinner to discuss it. Over pasta and dessert we each talked about what we liked best and what we didn't like. Namely, the title of the book was the biggest dislike. We felt it sounded like a fix-it course or a self-help book, rather than the reflection on life and the wonderful wisdom of Scripture applied. We each found something applicable in the insights and examples given, showing that with "then" and "now" compared, there really is "nothing new under the sun" (Eccl. 1:9).  We found encouragement for this life and gaining an "above the sun" perspective on it. So many of the quotes from the Scripture were well applied, and the quotes from other literature were well documented in the back of the book. I could tell Dr. Jeremiah shares my fondness for C.S. Lewis, and quoted him often.

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone. It's not a speed read, but a chapter a day is quite do-able. It would be even better enjoyed, one chapter a week, taking time to ruminate over the concepts. I attempted to use it as a nightly devotional with my kids. My 5th and 6th graders were interested, but my younger ones were not. In the end, it became my own nightly bedside reading.

I hope you get a chance to read this book. If you enjoy the teaching of Dr. David Jeremiah, or if you just need a fresh perspective on life, from the oldest book around, you will enjoy this read.

*I received a free copy of this book ( a $15.99 value) for my review, even so, all opinions are my own. Please see the disclaimer above for more information about my reviews.*

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