Devotional Book Project
The Women's Ministries devotional book, a daily devotional for women by women, is a project of the Department of Women's Ministries, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. The purpose is to provide spiritual growth and encouragement and to furnish funds for scholarships for women.
Among Friends, the first annual women's devotional book, was published for daily readings in 1993. Since then profits have funded scholarships to help Adventist women obtain higher education. However, the amount of money for each division has remained the same. Presently, at least half the women seeking assistance are turned down. With your help we can change more lives!
2018 Women's Devotional Book : Notes of Joy
Did you know that God delights in you? That at the very thought of you, He rejoices over you with singing? Notes of Joy is full of stories that celebrate the beautiful bond shared between the heavenly Father and you, His precious daughter. God's Word promises us that, through His Son, our safety is guaranteed, our provision is sure. In the face of such abundant life, why do we allow the enemy to steal our joy?
Do you need encouragement today? To experience the joy of His presence? This daily devotional book for women shares that lasting joy is only found through Christ and through the avenues He provides for us--families, friendships, mentors, creation, and yes, even challenges and trials. Listen to His Notes of Joy today.
To order online, go to www.adventistbookcenter.com.
The God-inspired devotional book project began in 1992 as a one-time idea to raise funds for Women’s Ministries scholarships, but that book was so well received, and so many blessings flowed from it, that the books just kept coming—and kept blessing. Not only are book readers blessed, but every writer and scholarship recipient is blessed. And blessings continue through the service these amazing women provide.
You can give a blessing.
- Buy a book for yourself.
- Buy extra copies; they make wonderful gifts.
- Write a devotional to be included in a future book.
- Apply for Women’s Ministries scholarship.
- Tell a deserving woman how to apply for Women’s Ministries scholarship.
- Make a financial contribution to the scholarship fund.
The devotional book is a blessing in at least four ways: the women who write for it are greatly blessed; the women who read the book receive a spiritual blessing (making this the perfect gift for any woman in your life); the women who receive the scholarships receive a life-changing blessing; and the donors receive a financial blessing when giving to the scholarship fund.
2020 Devotional Book
Submissions are now being accepted for the 2020 devotional book.
See below for devotional guidelines and the editor's list of writer's techniques designed to help you craft your best devotional submission.
Devotional Book Guidelines
About Your Contributions
We solicit contributions from women on a wide variety of spiritual topics. Each devotional should be based on a personal experience of God’s involvement in the life of a woman and show how this experience demonstrates a Biblical principle which readers can apply everyday life. Please, no sermons or doctrinal studies. This book will be marketed to Christians of all denominations; therefore, terminology should be used that can be understood by all Christians. We encourage global participation which contributes a varied cultural and ethnic flavor to each book.
Those who contribute to this project agree that all royalties of the devotional books will go to the General Conference Women’s Ministries Scholarship Fund. They further agree that they will receive no payment for any contributions submitted or accepted for publication. However, each author will receive a complimentary copy of the book from Pacific Press Publishing Association as well as an authori's discount on additional book purchases.
Authors are encouraged to submit no more than two devotionals in any one year unless notified otherwise. If you have been notified that a devotional of your was not accepted, please do not resubmit it unless you have made significant changes which more accurately reflect the devotional book guidelines. All submissions become the property of the General Conference Women’s Ministries Department. Unused manuscripts cannot be returned.
If your devotional has previously been published elsewhere, you must notify us of this for copyright purposes. If your submission is accepted for the Women's Ministries devotional book, it cannot be used in another publication without written permission from Pacific Press Publishing Association.
Pacific Press Publishing Association
P.O. Box 5353
Nampa, ID 83653-5353
THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION IS October 1 of each year for the book published three years later, but submissions are accepted at any time.
Format each submission as follows (flush left):
Title of your devotional
Bible text and the Bible version you use (this is very important!)
The devotional should follow this format:
—Typed, paragraphs indented
—1.5 line spacing
—Between 375 and 425 words (longer is better than shorter)
At the end of your submission, please provide the following:
Biographical sketch (no longer than four lines)
SORRY, NO poems will be accepted; pseudonyms are NOT permitted.
If you quote from another source [not including the Bible or Ellen G. White writings], please include written permission to use the quoted material as well as a copy of the original source.
Please include a biographical sketch about yourself, no longer than four lines, including information such as state or country where you live, occupation, church or civic involvement, other articles/books published, hobbies, personal accomplishments.
How do you want your name to appear in the book? Please be certain your name appears in exactly the same form in all places in your submission and biographical sketch.
Notify Us of Any Changes
Your devotional may be submitted in one of the following ways:
1. By e-mail:
Submit your devotionals to: [email protected]
We will send you a preliminary notice by e-mail that your submission has been received. Please do NOT also send the devotional by hard copy or fax unless you have not heard from us by e-mail.
Do NOT use font styles such as italics, bold, or all caps. These make it difficult to edit your devotional.
2. By postal mail:
You may submit on a computer disk saved in Word format; include a hard copy. Please name your file(s) with your last name and devotional title as follows: lastname-title [Smith-Rescued].
Or, you may mail a typed copy. Our mailing address is as follows:
GC Women's Ministries Devotional Book; General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists; 12501 Old Columbia Pike; Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600
3. By fax: (301) 680-6600
When you mail or fax a devotional, you will receive a letter by mail to let you know that your submission has been received. This will usually be sent within two weeks upon receipt.
To download a .pdf of the Devotional Book guidelines, click here.
From Scholarship Recipients:
I would like to show my deep and sincere appreciation to you for extending to me your arm of fellowship through your scholarship program and to all the women...who have contributed their time and resouces toward helping the less priveleged like me. It is my sincere prayer that one day I will be part of the contributors of this scholarship program. My prayer also is that the Lord Jesus whom we all serve will reward you bountifully and you will know no lack in Jesus name. - Nigeria
At first I would like to thank our almighty God because He has given me a nice opportunity to continue my study. I am so happy becuase of your helping hand. - Bangladesh
I want to thank the Department of Women's Ministries for the financial help, and hope the Lord will continue to bless you so you can bless other female students. Your letter congratulating me on this scholarship gave me so much hope. This money came when I had nowhere to turn for my next dollar - USA
I still remember when I applied for the Women's Ministries Scholarship program....With many prayers, I waited. One week later I got the answer: five applicants were accepted. Mine was one of them. What a blessing for someone in need! What a miracle for someone in prayer! --Peru
Quotes about the Book
I have enjoyed and appreciated each book in this project throughout the years! They furnish minutes and hours of joy! —North Amerian Division
Thank you for all you do to help create this beautiful book each year....May God bless you for the way these books touch the hearts and spirits of so many women.—Trans-European Division
I'm having a great time using the devotional books as gifts. One woman to whom I gave a copy of the latest book at Christmas has just purchased 8 of them herself to use as gifts—all for non-church members, by the way. I'm so grateful that the tenor of the books is "spiritual" rather than "religious" so we can use it so effectively in this manner. —North Amercian Division
God bless you all as you bring comfort and encouragement to the women of the world.—South Pacific Division
It is a privilege to contribute to a book that is so encouraging and such a benefit to others....I am happy to be a small part of contributing to the scholarships for young women in need. May the dear Lord continue to bless you and your staff in the fine work you're doing.— North American Division
How You Can Help
- Continue to submit material for the devotional book.
- Share your devotional Book Guidelines with other women and encourage your friends who write to submit to the devotional book as well.
- Give our website address to another woman interested in writing so she can refer to our Devotional Book Guidelines. The URL address is women.adventist.org
- Buy devotional books for yourself and family and friends, too. These books make excellent birthday, Mother's Day, and Christmas gifts for any woman and are greatly appreciated as hostess and thank-you gifts.
- Make sure your church is aware of the books and scholarships.
Pointers for Writing Devotionals
That Touch—and Challenge—Your Readers' Hearts
By Carolyn Rathbun Sutton, editor, Women's Devotional Book
The following simple, but critical, aspects of devotional writing are addressed briefly below:
1. Topic Selection
2. Tone of your devotional
3. Title selection
4. Transition techniques (from an anecdote to the spiritual teaching)
5. Ending techniques that make for a strong reader take-away
1. Topic Selection
- Read the General Conference Women’s Ministries (GCWM) writer’s guidelines.
- Within these parameters, prayerfully decide on a topic that focuses on elements that contribute to the whole person.
- The devotional should build on a specific area of need in a woman’s life or an ongoing interest (e. g. health, children, one’s devotional experience, outreach, relationships, the power of prayer).
2. The Tone of Your Devotional
- Be real. Be authentic.
- Be one with the reader. Example: Occasionally we need . . . .
- Avoid condescenion (e. g. suggesting that the author is superior in lifestyle, Bible knowledge, morals).
- Avoid patronization (e. g. the author “talks down” to readers of perceived inferior understanding).
- Avoid judgmentalism (e.g. avoid scolding, lecturing, or “preaching” to the reader).
3. Title Selection
- Don’t reveal your main point or punchline in the title. This quickly dampens curiosity in the reader’s mind and takes away her motivation for reading your devotional through to the end—because you’ve already revealed the ending.
- The title is not a sermon. Use your title as a hook to reel in the reader.
- Keep the title “punchy.” Let it jump out at the reader.
- Craft your title to hold a “promise.” Pique the reader’s curiosity. A devotional entitled “Holiday Hold-up” or “The Three Keys to Prayer” will snag a reader’s attention much more quickly than one entitled, “Truly Our God Answers Prayer in Everyday Life.”
4. Transition techniques (from an anecdote to the spiritual teaching)
Here are nine transition techniques, with examples, to get the reader from your opening anecdote/story to the spiritual teaching contained in your devotional.
- This incident led me to think about . . . .
- Years ago . . . .
- Some time back . . . .
- Five centuries ago . . . .
- What is true in Olympic competition is also true in the spiritual life . . . .
- In many ways, our spiritual walk is like a hike toward a mountain destination . . . .
- In a sport or in every day life, it’s important to . . . .
- This may be true about baking a cake, but when it comes to our walk with God . . . .
- Unlike helpless birds in a nest, we can have the strength to . . . .
- Judas sold his soul for 30 pieces of silver. On the other hand, Peter . . . .
- Too often people, after one or two failures, are tempted to give up trying.
- Sometimes, midst trials and temptations, we forget how much God wants to be involved in our lives—daily. [Editor's note: But after a generalization such as this, be sure to focus on a specific thought, example, or word picture to which you readers can relate in daily life.]
Logical progression of thought
- This incident/text/tale reminds me of a woman/story/incident in the Bible that . . . .
Question about everyday life
- Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people were always thoughtful and kind? But they aren’t, are they! So what will your response be—and mine—to uncourteous treatment?
Question based on preceding anecdote/Bible teaching
- So what does it look like, in this day and age, to overcome evil with good? To heap coals of fire on an enemy’s head?
- Joseph’s faith in God didn’t depend on his quick release from prison. Rather . . . .
- As I recall that long-ago day, I . . . .
5. Ending techniques that make for a strong reader take-away
Your closing paragraph, ending sentence, and wrap-up thought all reinforce the spiritual lesson in your devotional and also focus on the reader’s practical application in her life.
Since your closing thought can make or break the impact of your devotional, spend time rereading what you have written. Check everything for biblical accuracy, for logic, and for a smooth, progressive flow of all your ideas. Then craft a closing thought that reinforces the main idea and theme text.
Let your final thought appeal both to the reader’s heart (touching her emotions) and to her higher desires (challenging her to take some type of positive action that day).
Important reminder: No matter what method you use to provide a strong clincher to your devotional, make sure it points (obviously, as in these next examples) to Jesus and the reader’s relationship with Him (or more subltely, as in the examples beyond).
Point to Jesus
- Life experiences can’t give us all the answers to life’s problems, but Jesus can.
- Physicians may not be able to treat all our diseases, but Jesus can.
- I may not be able to “feel” forgiveness for someone, but, at my invitation and through my heart, Jesus can.
- This world cannot give me peace, but Jesus can.
Admission of Limitations
- We must admit that we don’t have all the answers. However, God does. So . . . .
Admonition/warning (kindly phrased)
- Let’s be careful to let our words build up the Body of Christ, rather than tear it down.
- What we need is . . . .
- Don’t let unforgiveness or a spirit of bitterness keep you from experiencing God’s fullness of joy and His pleasures forevermore [this also reinforces the theme text].
Affirmation from Scripture
- God has begun a good work in us, so . . . .
Acknowledge lack of closure as part of life on this earth
- This week we may be subjected to gossip, criticism, or falsehood. Yet if we are hidden in Christ, what God speaks about us will be true, faithful, and eternal. And it is His opinion of us that truly matters.
Amplification of a Bible text (similar to, but not the same as, the devotional’s theme text)
- David wrote, “Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous laws (Ps. 119:164, NIV). That’s how God wants us to praise Him—continually.
Biblical example of Christ-centered living
- Mary chose to show her love to Christ in the presence of others. We can do the same by/when/while . . . .
Blessing from a Bible text (or paraphrase of one)
- May He who began a good work continue it to completion until Jesus comes to take us all home (based on Phil. 1:6).
Call to deeper faith (made personal and practical)
- What we need is . . . .
- God can . . . .
- So that we will be able to . . . .
Call to introspection
- How long as it been since you . . . ?
- When was the last time that you . . .?
- Think about . . . .
Challenge to practice one’s theology in everyday life
- This Bible promise can also be our prayer . . . .
- As Jesus said to the paralytic, He says to us right now: “Pick up your mat and walk.” What will following this command look like in your life today?
- Even more necessary than our daily bread—from the supermarket—is the daily bread we need from God, His Word of life. The divine bread that will nourish us at every level, strengthening us to make it through our day on His behalf.
- God doesn’t force the will. It is we who can choose whether or not to trust His promises and then to act on them.
- Because of God’s grace, we can . . . .
- Your mission now, despite failures in the past, is to . . . .
- “Having faith in your abilities is just as important as faith in God because He made you. He gave you those abilities, and He doesn’t make mistakes. If you try, you might fail, but never fail to try.” (from Andrew Holmes, God Moments for Men, “Failure,” Christian Art Gifts, p. 91).
- Forgiving is easier when . . . .
- Ask God to help you . . . .
- “There is no perfect mate. (I’m including you, by the way. And me!) . . . . Live to bless and honor your [spouse]. Regardless.” (from Andrew Holmes, God Moments for Men, “Stay Commited,” Christian Art Gifts, p. 79).
Identify with the reader’s feelings before offering comfort
- Sometimes it feels as if God has “stepped away from the phone for a few minutes” as I heard on someone’s voicemail message when the person I was calling didn’t pick up the phone. I’m sure you have felt that way too when . . . .
Identify with the reader’s failures (through your own—thus avoiding judgmentalism) before offering encouragement
- “The head shaken in reproach is a common response to public sin. More helpful is the head that nods, ‘Yes, I am capable of that,’ then bows in prayer for the one who has fallen and the one who thinks he stands” (Daily Bread, January 19).
Invitation to a fresh start with God
- If you’ve slipped away from God as you’ve tried to balance a plate full of responsibilities, why not take a moment now to reconnect with Him. He’s just been waiting for you to say something.
- How will you respond?
- We know Gideon chose to trust in God’s word. What will you choose?
Showing the outcomes between contrasting choices
- As with the choice made in this story—as well as the biblical principles that clearly support it—choosing God’s way over personal inclination will always bring peace both now and eternally.
Specific personal application
- If you are feeling overstressed right now, take steps to . . . , at the same time asking God for . . . .
Suggestions (not commands) for readers . . .
- If we will just slow down and give God a minute . . . .
- Remember that . . . .
- Why not spend more time . . . .
- We can pray that/for . . . .
Pointers for Writing Devotionals, updated 9/8/14 @ 6:15 p.m. CST