If you've been around this blog long enough, you know that I'm a very spiritual person. I believe I couldn't get through a day of my life on my own if it wasn't for God being by my side. I'm not into religion, but I'm absolutely in love with Jesus Christ. I believe He did not die so we could be religious, but rather, through Him, have a close, intimate, direct and personal relationship with God. I'm not a frequent church-goer (more often than not the sermons aren't even in English) and my church, I'm sorry to say, does more preaching and less teaching (at least that's how the words hit my ears). And for the kiddos, our Sunday School program focuses on teaching our ethnic culture and language rather than direct Bible verses. Despite this lack of formal church worship on my part, I do a lot (and I mean a lot) of Bible study on my own. I get many of my teachings from several sources and I take time to be with God.
When our son was little, it was very easy to take time each Sunday and have an informal Sunday School of our own. We'd go outside under a big tree, sit on a blanket, and read his Children's Bible, discuss the parables and find the morals. It was great and I'll cherish those times forever. But now, he's 10 years old and he needs more than just big print and colorful pictures of Jesus. And, he's too little to plop down a full-blown Bible into his lap and say, "Just read this." He's at an age where sowing the seeds of morality is critical if you want to reap a good harvest in the future.
So, I was on a quest, a mission to find the best (in my opinion) Devotional books for kids (and boys, in particular). I scoured the Internet, researched, asked around, and prayed, and this is what I came up with. Our order arrived yesterday and I am giddy to get started. I perused my selections last night and they look very promising. If it's a bust, I'll be sure to let you know.
Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids by Sarah Young
Seriously, it doesn't get any more precious than this book. The inside pages are colorful and inviting and the cover just screams "pick me, pick me". Each daily devotional provides a Bible verse, then it presents a devotional from Jesus' point of view. It's as if Jesus is speaking directly to your child. At the end it gives additional Bible verses on the same topic that can be looked up. My plan is to read one each day, together as a family, at meal time, and have a discussion.
The Ultimate Devo for Boys by Ed Strauss
This book is the coolest. Each daily devotional is written in a way that speaks the language of boys. References to video games and LEGOS intertwine with Bible verses and messages; it's brilliant, really. The messages are so clear, and so necessary for young boys stuck in-between the tween years and little boyhood. It embraces topics that ooze honing a good moral compass. And, I love that it broaches the subject of sex, drugs, tobacco, and alcohol in a non-preachy sort-of-way. I'll have my son read a devotional each night right before he goes to bed and have all those good teachings really soak into the brain while he sleeps.
Long Story Short by Marty Machowski
We will do the teachings and activities in this book as a family on Sunday mornings. It is meant to be a daily activity, but despite the claim that it only takes 10 minutes, it would be difficult for us to come together as a family each and every day and make the book work. For our family, we're trying a couple of activities every Sunday. This book is truly family-oriented and Volume 1 (the one I bought) focuses on the Old Testament, but gives clues on how events foretold the coming of Christ. Volume 2 (which I have not found, yet) teaches from the New Testament.
I hope my digging and seeking and researching help save you a lot of trouble if you're looking to get a little more of Jesus into your kids and family. This is homework you can copy. Happy praying!