Jesus Today: Devotions for Kids {Review & Giveaway}

Finding the right devotional can be difficult.  Oftentimes, friends make recommendations but usually for me, the devotional I choose meets me right where I am during a particular season in my life.  Can you relate?

For many years, I used the Jesus Calling as my daily devotional.  I loved it for many reasons but one was the tone in which it was written.  Sometimes, the words seemed to be the very thing that my soul needed to hear.  It drew me in and created in me a desire to just sit in the presence of the Lord.

As a parent and ministry leader, I am always on the lookout for the same type of resource for kids.  I believe that part of my role is to put good resources into the hands of parents to help them disciple their children at home.  I was so excited to see that Sarah Young, author of the Jesus Calling, had written a new devotional for kids.

 

Jesus Today: Devotions for Kids {Review & Giveaway}

 

 

 

About Jesus Today: Devotions for Kids
Jesus is the Friend who is always with you.  Jesus Today: Devotions for Kids will pour this powerful truth into your children’s hearts as they learn that He knows everything about them and loves them more than they can imagine.  Each devotion is based on Scripture and is written as though Jesus is speaking directly to you, assuring that He is in control, that He is good, and that an amazing future awaits all who put their hope in Him.  Adapted from the ECPA 2013 Christian Book of the Year-winner Jesus Today, this devotional has the same themes as the adult version, as well as written-out scriptures.  It is a great choice for families to read and discuss during devotional time together.
Hardcover: 368 pages
Age Range: 6-10 years 
About Sarah Young: 
Sarah Young’s devotional writings are personal reflections from her daily quiet time of Bible reading, praying and writing in prayer journals.  With sales of more than 14 million books worldwide, Jesus Calling has appeared on all major bestseller lists.  Sarah’s writings include Jesus CallingJesus TodayJesus LivesDear JesusJesus Calling for Little OnesJesus Calling Bible StorybookJesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids, and Peace in His Presence — each encouraging readers in their journey toward intimacy with Christ.  Sarah and her husband were missionaries in Japan and Australia for many years.  They currently live in the United States.
My Thoughts
The book contains 150 devotions that elementary-aged children can read alone or with a grown up.  The devotions are just a few short paragraphs long but they pack a powerful punch.  The language is kid-friendly and simple, making it easy for young children to process.  Because they’re written as if Jesus were speaking, the devotions can capture the heart of both children who have already asked Jesus to be their Savior and children who might not be 100% sure what they believe.
Each devotion is followed up by 2 or 3 bible verses that relate to that day’s theme.  The book also has various quotes sprinkled throughout that break up the content a bit.
I also absolutely loved the Scripture Index in the back of the book.  Each verse mentioned in the book is listed in order and lists the page numbers where that verse is discussed.  Also, I loved the texture of the pages.  They were glossy and smooth, which will make it more durable for little hands.
If you have an elementary-aged child in your life or home, this is a resource you’ll want to take a look at.
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
SOCIAL • CORNER
Enter to win a copy of Jesus Today: Devotions for Kids
I am giving away one copy of Jesus Today: Devotions for Kids to one of my readers.
Simply email me at kidminspiration@gmail.com and tell me who you’d love to share this resource with.
The deadline to enter is 11:59 pm on Monday, February 8th.
The winner will be announced on our Facebook Page on Tuesday, February 9th.

Galaxy Buck: Mission to Sector 9 {Review & Giveaway}

I recently took a sneak peek at Phil Vischer’s new movie for kids, Galaxy Buck: Mission to Sector 9.  It had my attention from the very first scene!  Keep reading to find out more and how you can win a free DVD copy of the movie, which releases tomorrow, October 20th.

Galaxy Buck: Mission to Sector 9 is a must-see for all ages, from VeggieTales creator PHIL VISCHER! Kids will enjoy Buck Denver’s latest adventure with his friends from What’s In the Bible? and parents will appreciate the humorous nods to Star Wars and Star Trek.  More importantly, Phil Vischer’s gifted teaching delivers a clear message to kids and adults about God’s love and purpose for our lives.  Galaxy Buck communicates important Biblical truths that will add to everyone’s faith foundation, whether a life-long Christian or a new creation in Christ.

Galaxy Buck
About the movie:
Buck Denver has a simple dream – to save the galaxy.  Working for the Galactic Mission Board, Buck dreams of carrying God’s love to every corner of the Milky Way!  Except he doesn’t have a starship.  Or a crew.  Or even a captain’s license.  He just needs a chance.  But when that chance comes and Buck finds himself leading a real mission into deep space, things don’t go at ALL like he imagined!  If he’s doing what God wants him to do, why is everything going wrong?  From VeggieTales® and What’s in the Bible? creator Phil Vischer, Galaxy Buck: Mission to Sector 9 is a wild, galactic adventure that teaches kids a powerful lesson about trusting God with everything – even our dreams!
Run time: Approximately 40 minutes
My thoughts:

I am always amazed at how simple messages designed for children often speak to me as an adult.  There are too many spiritual lessons and will be a great foundation for really good family (or ministry discussion).  From a visual perspective, while I thought the graphics were awesome (it was really top notch), some characters might frighten younger viewers.  I’d recommend the movie for kids ages 7 & up – they won’t be as frightened and will definitely enjoy the movie’s humor.

My favorite line in the movie:

“God doesn’t want you to DO anything.  He just wants YOU!”

Enter to win a copy of this family-friendly DVD in one of three ways:

  1. Leave me a comment below, telling me who you’ll enjoy the movie with (either at home or in a ministry setting).
  2. Leave me a message on my Facebook page, telling me who you’ll enjoy the movie with (either at home or in a ministry setting).
  3. Tweet about the giveaway to your Twitter followers.

Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on Wednesday, October 21.  Winner will be announced on my Facebook page.  Happy entering!

:::::::::::::::::::::::::
SOCIAL • CORNER 
 
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

{Book Review}: “The Biggest Story”

Recently, I received a copy of a new bible story book for children.  I love taking a look a those types of story books, particularly ones that take a different approach to traditional ones.  However, this one, in my opinion, just didn’t sit well with me.

the biggest story - cover
 About the book:
Hardcover: 132 pages
Publisher: Crossway (August 31, 2015)
In The Biggest Story, Kevin DeYoung – a best-selling author and father of six – leads kids and parents alike on an exciting journey through the Bible, connecting the dots from the garden of Eden to Christ’s death on the cross to the new heaven and new earth.  With powerful illustrations by award-winning artist Don Clark, this imaginative retelling of the Bible’s core message-how the Snake Crusher brings us back to the garden-will draw children into the biblical story, teaching them that God’s promises are even bigger and better than we think.
the biggest story - inside1
About Kevin DeYoung:
Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan.  He blogs at the Gospel Coalition and has authored or coauthored numerous well-known books, including Just Do SomethingThe Hole in Our HolinessCrazy Busy, and Taking God At His Word.  He lives with his wife and their 6 children in Central Michigan.
About Don Clark:
Don Clark is an artist and the cofounder of Invisible Creature, a widely respected and award-winning design studio in Seattle that has worked with clients such as Target, Nike, LEGO, and WIRED magazine.  He lives with his wife and their 3 children, 4 goats, 12 chickens, and 1 crazy dog on a farm just outside the city limits.
::::::::::::::::::
 
S O C I A L • C O R N E R
 

 

What I Didn’t Like:

In the beginning of the book, I was surprised to see that the word ‘snake’ had an uppercase “S”.  That was too close to making the evil one equal to God in my opinion.  Unfortunately, the book didn’t get any better.  I didn’t like some of the wording used.  Maybe it was used to be more relevant?  I’m not sure.  Some examples that stood out include:

  • “Noah was ‘just as foul’ as everybody else.”
  • “Abraham was ‘a bit of a scaredy-cat’.”
  • “God is God, so he gets to pick.”

The images were also a bit scary, so it’s definitely designed for older children.  One of the most disturbing things (and one that I showed my husband to make sure that I wasn’t seeing things) was a depiction of a skull and crossbones.  I’m not sure where that fit in to anything mentioned in the book.

I was also disappointed that there was not one reference to scripture anywhere in the book, which was a bit odd and puzzling.  It made no reference that these events took place in the bible.  It read more like fiction than a bible storybook, which was also disappointing.

My Recommendation:

This book had so much wrong with it that I cannot recommend it.

Have you seen this book?  If so, what are your thoughts?

{Book Review and Giveaway}: “Talk Now and Later”

brian dollar

Children today carry so many burdens and sometimes parents are ill-equipped to tackle those issues.  Recently, I received a copy of Brian Dollar’s new book “Talk Now and Later: How to Lead Kids Through Life’s Tough Topics” and I was looking forward to reading its contents.

Book Description: It’s a challenge to be a parent today.  It’s an even greater challenge to be a Christian parent.  Brian Dollar’s book provides insight and answers to the questions about how to influence our children for Christ.  He reminds us that we are not parenting alone – we can rely on God’s wisdom.

Here are the 10 tough topics covered in the book:

  • God
  • Death and Tragedy
  • Sex
  • Self-Image
  • Making Wise Choices
  • Divorce
  • Friendships
  • Money
  • Bullying
  • Restoring Broken Relationships

I found the book to be filled with practical tips and insights not only for parents but for anyone who walks through life with a child.  It was an easy read and I think you’ll enjoy it!  You’ll glean so many nuggets of wisdom to help you not only understand these issues but how to address them head on.  You will come back to it time and time again.

I am giving away an autographed copy of this great book!

Enter to win by emailing me at kidminspiration@gmail.com no later than 11:59pm EST on Sunday, September 13, 2015.  Winner will be announced on my Facebook Page on Monday, September 14, 2015.

Be sure to connect with Brian on Twitter or Facebook.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.