Friday, November 6, 2015

Devotional Book Review: 5 Minutes with Jesus: Making Today Matter by Sheila Walsh

As the holidays are around the corner, many of us may find our schedules becoming more full, with less time for things in our usual routine. We may find ourselves falling into bed each night, worn out from the day’s activities, with our focus on the things we value somehow skewed a bit.  Or perhaps we awake to a busy day, already bleary-eyed, thinking of all that has to be accomplished in the next 16 hours.  It’s in times like this that I find devotional books to be an excellent way to refocus and remember the important things in life. My all time favorite devotional, My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers is an excellent example of how short passages of Christian thought can truly influence one’s day or end one on a good note.  You may already have a lengthy, in-depth Bible study in which you’re involved, or you may be doing absolutely nothing for a quiet time with God.  In either case, a short devotional book can be very beneficial to you.

Meeting Sheila at Women of Faith

I recently took up the title 5 Minutes with Jesus: Making Today Matter by author/singer/speaker Sheila Walsh.  Her book Let Go was one of my very first book reviews back in 2009, and it had a great effect on me. I’ve enjoyed her talks at Women of Faith conferences, and had the opportunity to meet her for the first time last month.  This little book of devotions may not look like much, but it packs a punch for the few minutes the reader spends on each mini-chapter.  Each begins with a short anecdote, usually an episode from Sheila’s past which held a lesson of its own for her heart and mind.  It’s followed by a summarizing sentence, and concludes with several short passages of scripture.  It truly does take mere minutes to read.

5 Minutes with Jesus has been a blessing to me as I’ve been going through it for this review.  I’ve read it in the morning before starting a hectic day. I’ve grabbed it during times of overwhelming stress, as a way to re-focus and catch my breath. And it’s been there at the end of a long day, helping me to get perspective on it all, to remember that the Lord is in control of all the craziness around me.  When I met Sheila to have her sign my review copy of the book, I thanked her for all she did to put this little volume together.  It has been a gift to me, and I most certainly recommend it to anyone.

Here is a sample devotional entry, one that had a great impact on me:

No Stone Throwing Here! (p.70)

The first cool breeze of fall was in the air when I boarded my flight from Dallas to San Antonio. It’s such a short flight that by the time you have your Diet Coke in hand, it’s time to give it back.

That evening I would be speaking to a group of women about moving from rage to restoration, from unforgiveness to freedom. That was a lot to cover in one forty-five-minute message, but the more I thought and prayed about what to say, the clearer it became…which explained the weight of my one checked bag.

“Are you checking any bags?” the man at the ticket counter had asked.

“Just one,” I said. “This backpack.”

He put on the appropriate luggage tag and then bent over to pick it up and move it onto the conveyer belt that would take it down to the baggage handlers.

The weight of the bag caught him off guard. “What do you have in here?” he asked. “Rocks?”

“As a matter of fact, yes,” I replied.

He looked at me for a moment and then decided I was one of those women with whom one should keep conversation to a minimum.

I had six hundred and ten small river rocks tucked into my bag, a visual aid for the evening’s message on forgiveness.

Forgiveness can be one of the hardest things to do. How do you forgive a spouse who cheats on you? How do you forgive someone who slanders your name? How do you forgive the drunk driver who takes the life of your child? How do you forgive someone who’s not sorry? [emphasis mine] It’s a deeply spiritual issue that I don’t think we’ll ever understand this side of heaven. However, forgiveness is not a matter of reason; it’s a matter of obedience.

I carry a small stone with me everywhere I go. I have carried it for twenty-eight years, ever since God literally brought me to my knees over my reluctance to forgive someone who had devastated my life. When I finally surrendered to His command that I forgive that person, I realized that a stone was actually cutting into my knee. Now I carry that stone with me to cut into my heart and remind me of Jesus’ words: “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone” (John 8:7 NIV).

Make a pledge to live a life of forgiveness—and
find a stone to remind you of your promise.

Five Minutes in the Word
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  Matthew 6:14-15

Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”  John 8:6-7 NIV

O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help. Psalm 86:5

Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times? Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”  Matthew 18:21-22 NIV

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  Colossians 3:13 NIV


Blog Post Update:  I completely forgot that Icon Media Group sent me an extra copy of the book so that I might share it with my readers!  This will be a short giveaway period (1 week), so get your entries in below via the Rafflecopter.  Thanks to all who enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Sheila Walsh is a powerful Bible teacher and best-selling author from Scotland with over 5 million books sold.  Her international ministry has reached more than 5.5 million women by combining honesty, vulnerability, and humor with the transforming power of God's Word.  Calling Texas home, Sheila lives in Frisco with her husband, Barry, her son, Christian, and three little dogs.

Connect with Sheila

A sample copy of this title was provided by Icon Media Group for review purposes only.


  1. I have seen Sheila Walsh at Women of Faith and also read another of her books. I am sure I would like this devotional.

  2. I LOVE Sheila Walsh! She has a powerful testimony! Thanks for the giveaway. :)

  3. Never read one of Sheila Walsh's books but I will love to start.



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