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challenging devotional
 from Portsmouth, Ohio,  Sep 3, 2013

“What has God not done for me? What has He not been to me? I recommend Him to the world.” Commissioner Samuel Logan Brengle received his final promotion in 1936 but his ministry continues today through his writings. Award-winning writer Bob Hostetler has grasped the editorial pen to bring together selections from Brengle’s work into a new daily devotional entitled Take Time to Be Holy: 365 Daily Inspirations to Bring You Closer to God. Born amid the first rumblings of the American Civil War, Commissioner Brengle is regarded one of the foremost holiness teachers of the early 20th Century. As an officer in The Salvation Army, he travelled the globe carrying a burden for God’s people to be fully sanctified. At the forefront of his message is the plea for holiness of heart and dependence on the Holy Spirit. In Take Time to Be Holy, this message is clear. As you read each devotional entry, you will be challenged to live a sanctified life, empowered and enlivened by the Holy Spirit. Many will know of editor Bob Hostetler’s long connection to The Salvation Army and so it should come as no surprise that Commissioner Brengle’s writing played an important role in his spiritual formation. In bringing together excerpts from each of Brengle’s books, he maintains the sense of urgency and challenge that marked Brengle’s life and ministry. For those who have previously read Brengle’s work (or any religious writing from his time), you will be relieved to know that Hostetler has cleaned it up a little. In the forward, he explains that he has edited length, updated language, simplified sentence structure and provided appropriate references for quotations. You’ll be glad to know that scripture references have also been updated for the sake of clarity and enjoyment. The overall effect of this is to make Brengle more accessible for devotional reading. The modern reader will find that the language is clear and compelling, still speaking with the authority of that great teacher. Here’s an example of the kind of work that has been done on the text (original followed by devotional version): "If you, my brother, my sister, will look unto Jesus just now, trusting the merits of His blood, and receive the Holy Spirit into your heart, you shall be “made free from sin”; it “shall not have dominion over you.” Hallelujah! Under the fiery touch of His holy presence, your iniquity shall be taken away, and your sin shall be purged. And you yourself shall burn as did the bush on the mount of God which Moses saw; yet you, like the bush, shall not be consumed; and by this holy fire, this flame of love, that consumes sin, you shall be made proof against that unquenchable fire that consumes sinners." (When the Holy Ghost is Come) "If you will look unto Jesus just now and receive the Holy Spirit, you shall be made free from sin. It “will have no dominion over you” (Romans 6:14). And you will burn like the bush Moses saw, with holy fire." (Take Time to Be Holy) As a devotional, this book will challenge you daily. With themes such as secret prayer, consecration, public witnessing and rational faith, I found myself frequently putting down the book to get on my knees. Having studied and taught Brengle’s writing in my ministry as a Salvation Army officer, I will comfortably recommend this devotional to my friends and congregation. In fact, I’ll be using it with my family in 2014. Take Time to Be Holy delivers excellent devotional writing with spiritual power and authority. Take time each day to discover how personal holiness will change your life and change the world.

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