Confession: I’m Not a Fan of Devotions

Soul H2O Launch Team

My love-hate relationship with devotions started in college. It was my first time immersed in a Christianese culture. I didn’t know much about Jesus, and I didn’t care about the Gospel. I just wanted to be a good person and prove myself worthy to the God I didn’t understand.

In waltzed a dorm-mate one day, announcing she was about to do her “devos.” The word weirded me out.

Since those early days and eventually getting to know Jesus as my Savior, devotions still aren’t my thing.

For me, many devotionals are frustrating because they: 

  • Preach Christian psychology or self-help instead of the Scripture I need
  • Tackle huge topics that get me thinking, but offer no resolution or practical application
  • Are super wordy, in which case just give me a whole book
  • Build day by day, and I’m not that regimented
  • Are bulky, funky, hard covers that I’m too lazy to haul around with me for daily time
  • Tempt me to worship the devotional habit instead of worshipping God

My list says a lot about me and my shortcomings.

But it also speaks volumes about one of the rare devotionals I enjoy!


I love this devotional book- it’s the exception to most of my “anti-devotional” issues.

Soul H2O, by Sherry Stahl, is a Biblical, digestible, concise companion for straight-up Bible studying and for ordinary life.

Each devotion is 1-2 short pages. The book is soft cover, and it fits in purses, backpacks, and my car’s glovebox. You don’t have to read it every day to keep up.


Best of all, each devotion is simple. Instead of overwhelming me, Sherry’s words just refresh. They function like the title suggests: to quench thirst for good news from the Lord.

For example, devotional #4 refers to taking “every thought captive” to Christ.

Sherry then goes on to exhort: “Choose today which thoughts you’ll play on the record player of your mind.” The devotion centers on how our thoughts repeat. The thought is simple, Biblical, and gave me practical encouragement to walk with the Lord that day.


Each of the devotions begins with a Bible verse. Short paragraphs with brief relatable anecdotes and simple life-applicable points about the verse follow. Sherry concludes with a brief prayer and references for additional verses if you’d like to study the Word yourself.

What I appreciate most about Soul H2O is its focus:

Instead of being about big life changes and heavy topics, Soul H2O offers basic life sustenance.

Such a simple blessing, but so important. That’s why this devotion has so blessed me. It’s a cool drink to refresh my Spirit and remind me of the simple vitality the Lord offers us day by day.


All that to say, I’m grateful to have been part of Sherry’s launch team. It is a joy to recommend Soul H2O to you. Whether you love devotionals or can’t stand them, this one is for you. Soul H2O will refresh your spirit, make you smile, and bring you to praise.

To find a copy of Soul H2O, visit Sherry’s website here.

** I received this book free from the publisher, Word Alive Press, when I joined Sherry’s launch team. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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0 Replies to “Confession: I’m Not a Fan of Devotions

  1. My all-time favorite devotional is Streams In The Desert. It is the deepest devotional book I have ever discovered. I have a copy that used to belong to my Papaw, that he just about wore out, then it was passed on to my dear Mom, who nearly wore it the rest of the way out, and now, it is in my possession. I cherish it…not only because it was theirs, but because of the spiritual depths in it. I am not one for shallow devotionals, so I can understand your feelings! I am thankful you found one you like! God bless you, sweet friend!

      1. Lois, I should have read your reply before I replied to Cheryl! Maybe read my reply to her 🙂
        ~Sherry Stahl

    1. Cheryl, That’s so funny that you mention the book Streams in The Desert. My first book is a devotional with a pretty intense Study Guide at the back. Bethany, I’m not sure you’d be a fan 🙂 The funny thing is that I had never heard of the famous devotional Streams in The Desert until I published my first book titled WATER IN THE DESERT!!! I think I grew up under a rock. If you like a deeper Study then you might want to check out my first book. As you can see, God has me on this water theme! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
      Be Blessed and Refreshed!
      ~Sherry Stahl

    2. Glad you understand, Cheryl! What a precious gift to have that love of His Word and deep faith passed down and well worn!!

      I’ll have to look into Streams in the Desert, I know I’ve heard about its depth before. Maybe if I read it like a book instead of a devotional? : )

      My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers is one of the other “rare few” on my list of my beloved devotionals. Sherry’s reminds me of it in a modern way- insightful, but digestible!

      God Bless you too, sweet Cheryl!

  2. Sounds like a wonderful devotional, Bethany. I enjoyed reading your “anti-devotional” thoughts too.🙂 I’ve used a bunch throughout my life, but these days, my read-through-the-Bible-in-two-years plan (which last time took me two years and eight months) is the “quiet time” (speaking of Christianese) tool that fuels my soul. Have a good day, my friend!

    1. It definitely is, Lois! Haha- I’m glad my silly rant was enjoyable!

      Hmmm…what’s that two year plan?? I’m working on a long series of studies that include reading the whole Bible for each one. I’m approaching 6 months and I’m only up to the end of Numbers!!

      You have a good day too! : )

  3. Gosh, I love your honesty here! I’m the same, I can’t handle too much at once first thing in the morning… but Sherry Stahl has this natural ability to bring quick and instant refreshing insight to life and to His Word. I am loving her book! And loving having you on the launch team as well!

  4. Bethany,
    I <3 your honesty! You've been such a great part of the Launch Team I had no clue of your aversion to Devos! Had to throw that Christianese in there 🙂 I am again OVERwhelmed by your words. I am so thankful that you have been refreshed by my book and pray that every reader has this same experience. It really is my desire to help people to like reading their Bible and to see how it relates to our everyday life. Thanks for refreshing my life with your words!
    Praying you're abundantly refreshed and blessed!
    Much love,
    ~Sherry Stahl

    1. Thanks, Sherry! I’m so grateful to be part of the team! If nothing else, God answered your prayer in my reading Soul H2O. Although I’m not huge on devos usually, I do spend a ton of time soaking up the Bible itself, along with lots of heavy non fiction. But too much of the intense stuff is tiring, not refreshing. I just adore how SOUL H2O related the Bible and simple lessons to my life in a revitalizing way!! Praying for more and more people to be blessed by this “devo” of yours : ) Haha!

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