I have to be honest, and you can start your BOOING now—I’m not an Ohio State fan. Actually, I pretty much despise the BIG 10…It’s S-E-C, S-E-C, S-E-C, Baby! Living in the South makes me a bit biased. And I’m especially still bitter that Solomon Thomas didn’t start his suspension ahead of the 2011 Sugar Bowl, where his interception sealed the loss for my Arkansas Razorbacks.
BUT, I read Del Duduit’s 40-day devotional, Buckeye Believer—and I loved it!
I was already a Jesus believer, but on completing this devotional book, I almost became a—Buckeye believer. (Don’t tell any of my family and friends!) I’ll share more of this later, but I want to talk about the most important part of the book which is the spiritual insight provided in the daily devotionals.
Del acts as a color commentator taking us into the game and its significance, and then he ties it into our spiritual lives.
Again, I absolutely loved this devotional book. In my 20 years of pastoring and now working with churches across the nation, I have come to feel the best tool for someone’s spiritual growth and daily walk with Christ is a concentrated and focused devotional. I found that focus in Buckeye Believer and along with that focus in the daily applications, I was delighted to find a driving progression moving through the sequence of days that serves as a great gut-check of one’s faith.Bu
Each day’s devotion provides touching inspiration for the day, but the overall flow of the spiritual implications each day walked me through a person’s complete spiritual journey. I felt as if I was reliving my salvation, initial growth, subsequent steps of faith, continued growth, and my struggle to serve. I was refreshed through the biblical applications each day as they helped me see how God had worked in my life in the past and currently now. They also encouraged me to walk closer with Him in the present.
The dual benefit I received from Buckeye Believer is that this book is for new believers and long-time believers. This is not an easy feat which reflects on Del’s writing ability and spiritual insight. If you are a new believer, this book will challenge you to grow in your faith, and if you are a mature believer, you will enjoy the refreshing look at where you’ve come from and where the Lord is continuing to lead you.
If you are a Christian and an OSU fan, you MUST have this book. In days of old, it was said that every Bible had a copy of Pilgrim’s Progress next to it. Every Buckeye fan’s bookshelf must have this devotional book. It would definitely make a great gift. It motivated me in my personal walk with Christ.
So, I said the devotional almost made me a Buckeye believer…
As I hinted earlier about my affinity with the far superior college football conference located in the southeastern part of the country—I’m a huge football fan. When I picked up the book, I cringed in expectation of a love fest for the Ohio State greats and unique quirks that only Yankee, BIG 10 fans would understand, BUT that was not what I found. I found a sports devotional book by someone who loved sports, who respected the game and was far more than just being a homer. Each of the 40 days begins with the story of a past Ohio State game, and then Del transitions the reader into spiritual insight and applications that connect with a takeaway from that game.
While I read the stories of these games from throughout college football history, I was drawn to them just as I am when I find an old college football game on ESPN Classic. The stories are told in a way that any football fan can enjoy and appreciate. Del acts as a color commentator taking us into the game and its significance, and then he ties it into our spiritual lives. You can’t beat that—enjoying your favorite sport and learning the Word at the same time.
And if you happen to find yourself liking that team that had to lure a coach away from the SEC to compete with the SEC, you will treasure this book even more.
(Editor’s note: Jake, you are forgiven. God has to be a Buckeye fan!)
About the Author
Jake McCandless is the Executive Director and lead speaker for Prophecy Simplified. An award-winning author, he writes for several publications. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Bible from Central Baptist College and an Advanced Masters of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Previously, he spent 12 years at Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, Arkansas, as a lead pastor and directed a seminary extension center. Before that, he served as a student pastor and youth evangelist. He is married to Amanda, an elementary school teacher, and they have two daughters Andrea and Addison. Jake enjoys time with family, ministry, hunting, bass fishing, coffee, and college football. Learn more about Jake and follow his writings at www.jakemccandless.com.