Author: Marcia Schwartz

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 978-1-4327-8284-9

In the Bible, Philippians 3:13b – 14 states “… but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” In Apples for the Soul – A Book of Meditations, evangelical Christian Maria Schwartz reminds us to stop dwelling on the past or what we are doing, concentrate more fully on God and let Him show us what to do.

This one hundred and forty six page paperback book has colorful red and green apples against a green background on the front cover. Inside are seventy three meditations spread out between two pages so any page one turns to in the book, the introspection can be read in its entirety. Each thought out topic starts with an apropos Bible verse, has a two or three paragraph story or discussion and ends with one to three sentences of prayer. The book seems to be targeted toward Christian women, but can be enjoyed by both sexes. There is no profanity, questionable themes or unacceptable topics.

Being a retired school teacher, Schwartz knows how to engage her readers and make them pay attention to the Almighty God through reverence, respect and resources. After each Bible verse, her stories are sometimes endearing or charming as she gently persuades us to concentrate on God instead of ourselves. Some of the stories are taken directly out of the Bible or from other individuals yet some are written through her own thoughts and experiences.

If it is not a discussion built around a famous person’s comments like those taken from John Newton’s “Amazing Grace,” Robert Nathan’s “Portrait of Jenny,” “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens or the Biblical Jonah, David or Solomon, it could be a simple story about old items, pennies, puzzles, weeds, working out at the gym, an airplane pilot or when her child was five years old. The author effortlessly relates and blends a Bible verse into topic or words of famous people, places or herself and molds them to building and encouraging a growing relationship with God through prayer and reflection.

With the main focal point being to meditate on God to produce a truer personal relationship with Him, Schwartz writes an easy to read, easy to concentrate and easy to repeat quick prayer devotional to keep in better touch with our Lord and Savior.

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