Major Beverly Ivany woke up at midnight, strongly sensing God was speaking to her. She soon realized why: she needed to change her perspective on Priscilla and Aquila, a married couple involved in New Testament ministry (see Acts 18).
“That night, God reminded me that Priscilla is a married woman and the Apostle Paul often placed her name in front of Aquila’s when writing about them,” says Major Ivany, the new author of Words of Life, a book of daily devotional readings produced by The Salvation Army internationally.
“I felt God telling me to adjust what I had written to emphasize the significance of the married team and the importance of women to him. I don’t think I would have noticed these aspects on my own. It is at times like this when I feel it’s the Lord guiding me and we’re in this together.”
A new issue of Words of Life is published every four months. Each daily reading includes a portion of Scripture and a short devotional thought, such as the one on Priscilla and Aquila. Over the next three years, every book of the Bible will be covered under the overarching themes of faith, hope and love.
“The purpose of Words of Life is to inspire and encourage Christians through Scripture,” says Major Ivany. “The readings are not cumbersome. They’re simply an opportunity for people to get into the habit of starting their day with God.”
Words of Life is available in Salvation Army trade department stores as well as certain Christian bookstores. Because of the international audience, Major Ivany needs to avoid North American terminology or anecdotes when writing her devotional messages.
“The books also have guest writers who represent a variety of countries as we try to relate to people around the world,” Major Ivany notes. “The benefit of it being an international publication is that on any given day, you know that other Salvationists and Christians are reading the same words as you and sharing in that intimate way with God. That connects and unifies us.”
A Journey with God
Major Ivany comes to her appointment having written more than 100 articles for Salvation Army publications and three books: Kid Talk, Teen Talk and Mentorship: A Guide for Developing Healthy Mentoring Relationships.
“I’ve always enjoyed writing but have never done it as a full-time appointment,” Major Ivany shares. “It is an extension of my thought life and spiritual life—it’s important for me to put down in words what is going on in my head and heart. I rely on the Lord for my writing, which has deepened my relationship with him.”
As noted on the back cover, Major Ivany wants to encourage people to “take time with the Father daily as you meditate upon his Word. Ask Jesus to interpret his Word and speak to your heart. And open yourself to the Spirit as he brings inspiration.”
Words of Life is available from supplies and purchasing in store or online at salvationarmy.ca/store.