Monthly Archives: November 2017

The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible

The Beginner’s Gospel Story Book by Jared Kennedy (illustrator Trish Mahoney)

 

I’m so excited! Litfuse just sent me The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible by Jared Kennedy (illustrator Trish Mahoney) to review. As a grandma of preschoolers, I’m always looking for books that don’t just tell bible stories as “fairy tales” unrelated to anything else, but rather books that connect the whole story of redemption from start to finish. This is one of the latter. There are several reasons I love it.

Focus on Promise

This book focuses on promise, tracing God’s perfect promises in 52 stories from the Old and New Testaments. In each story, one key truth is highlighted in boldface type. It isn’t always at the end of the story, but can be found anywhere. This makes a fun game for the kids – find the promise! Each story ends with a question to discuss with the child, often a question focusing on Jesus–even in the Old Testament. Salvation and the Holy Spirit are frequent. The book skips those parts of the stories that kids might have a hard time understanding. For example, it doesn’t tell that Moses killed an Egyptian. It just says that Moses went away.

Gorgeous and Educational

In addition, vividly colorful illustrations and fun elements can teach colors, counting, opposites, patterns and object recognition. These are not obvious, so the reader can look for them or not, depending on the child’s interests and level. Each story is six to eight pages, with simple language, short sentences, and lots of action words and onomatopoeia. The paper is thick and glossy. It’s gorgeous! The book is large, boasting more than 300 pages (which may make it a little heavy for a preschooler to hold by herself). The stories are very abbreviated – perhaps too abbreviated for the target age. But most preschoolers will enjoy this book. I sure do!

 

Creating a Spiritual Heritage

A Spiritual Heritage: Connecting Kids and Grandkids to God and Family by Glen & Ellen Schuknecht

As a mom and grandma, one of my primary goals in life is to make sure that my kids and grandkids are not simply following Jesus, but really following Jesus. That they have a faith that sticks in times good and not so good. This seems to be more of a challenge with each passing year. Not only does the culture create increasing obstacles, but even defining what following Jesus means in today’s environment seems to be a moving target. Even more challenging is how we as older adults speak well into the lives of our adult kids and grandkids.

Glen and Ellen Schuknecht offer a plethora of good information in their new book, A Spiritual Heritage: Connecting Kids and Grandkids to God and Family. They are involved in discipleship and family ministries at Veritas Academy in Manchaca, Texas and have made a deliberate commitment to daily build a spiritual legacy in their family. This is done more by dozens of small actions and rituals rather than by one grand thing.

Glen says, “These little things are what allow your precious kids and grandkids to fall asleep safe in God’s arms and wake up knowing they are part of something big and special.” He encourages us “through careful prayer and intentional conversation,” to “build a legacy of faith that will sustain your kids, your grandkids, and all your future generations throughout their lives.” That’s a goal I can subscribe to.

But the Schuknecht’s don’t just spout platitudes and sanctimonious words. They offer practical tips and examples in every chapter. And while their family seems to be one of those Norman Rockwell paintings, they offer examples of other less idyllic families they’ve worked with using their conversational coaching RITE formula: Relate, Inspire, Teach, Equip. Finally, each chapter includes one or more “Quick Tips” sections that summarize their points.

While much of this book is common sense and while some who have been Christians a long time might say, “I knew that…,” I found enough good ideas to consider this book a good investment. For those who are new to the faith or who grew up without strong family bonds, it’s a must-have.

Thanks to Kregel Publications for inviting me to review this book.