At the beginning of the year I outlined a few guideposts that I hope to follow for 2009. One of the ‘big’ guideposts (and really, they all fall into the ‘big’ category) is to develop a deeper relationship with the Lord.
So the way I see it, in 2009 I’ll be spending some quality time reading the bible. To help me with this endeavour, I purchased the One Year Chronological Bible. I already have a great NIV study bible, but I’m very excited to read the bible in the order that events occurred, rather than the order of the “books” of the bible. (If you didn’t realize that the bible isn’t laid out in chronological order, don’t sweat it. While I won’t admit to how recently I discovered this tidbit, it was recent-ish.)
But enough about growing my faith. You just have to be wondering how I plan on teaching my kiddos more about Jesus in the new year. So I decided to set a “guidepost” in the new year for Henry (nothing like a resolution for a three year old) to spend a bit of time reading the bible with mom or dad.
However, I wasn’t sure what our best options were for a preschool bible. We already have a preschooler bible that Henry loves to read, but the stories are simple (with no scriptures included) causing Henry to ask way more questions than this tired mom can handle at bedtime. (Hey – if anything I’m honest.)
I decided that a good alternative for our bible reading time might be a daily devotional for preschoolers. That’s where the One Year Devotions for Preschoolers has come in handy. And since I think my Henry is so advanced (doesn’t every mom think this about their little ones?) I thought we should also check out the One Year Children’s Bible (for kiddos ages 9 – 12.) So what’s the consensus thus far? I’d say that Henry has enjoyed his devotional time. The stories are short and to the point and each day a prayer and memory verse is included. I’m especially fond of the prayers as they are great examples for Henry of all the different ways to pray and talk with the Lord. The pictures are age-appropriate, and Henry seems to relate to the characters that share the Bible stories. So far, so good.
Since the bible stories are so short, (they are devotionals after all) I’m hoping to consistently read the preschool devotionals at the dinner table each night and save our various storybooks for bedtime. Sharing a devotional time at dinner seems like the perfect fit for our family. We are all together, seated, and my mind still seems to be functioning for the many questions I know that Henry will have. And without a doubt there are some interesting topics that come up when reading the bible. You know – subjects that are easy to explain to a three year old – like death, resurrection, and the holy spirit. But the thing is, I love it. It makes me want to “brush up” even more on my own biblical knowledge so that I can answer the questions Henry has for me. Plus, I think it’s important to discuss those topics together as a family.
And if I’m really honest, I secretly like the One Year Children’s Bible – for myself. Nothing like breaking it down in crayons to get the point across. Henry enjoys it too, but there aren’t many pictures and I think the level of detail may be a bit over his head for now. So for now we will put that book up on the shelf and pull it down in a few years and keep the One Year Devotional for Preschoolers out and ready.
If you want to check out the two devotionals that we have for the boys, you can read more about them on the Tyndale website. They have direct links to a host of online retailers. And to kick-off the new year they are also hosting a book give-away contest that is worth checking out.