Useful books ((a review))

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Do you like to read? Most people do. Books can do so much good in our lives. They encourage us, cause us to think, teach us things, help us be transported to another time/place…we all have reasons to read! Personally, my husband and I like to read non-fiction books. Specifically ones that spur us on in our relationship with Christ and teach us Biblical truth about serving, marriage, parenting,and the Christian life in general. Today, I have a few of my personal favorites to share with you! And if you have someone on your Christmas list who likes to read, hopefully this helps you find something they might enjoy reading!

I’m always on the look out for books that will help us discuss biblical truth with our kids and give us avenues for practical life application. If you (or someone you know) is looking for that type of reading material, here’s a few we’ve enjoyed lately!

The kids (who are 4) and I read one “lesson” from “Get Wisdom” every day at lunch time. Some of their real-life examples are geared towards older kids (referencing homework, etc.), but I just change the words or scenarios that would apply to my kids. We are now going through the book for the second time. They really like talking about each topic and how it applies to real-life. I also like how each lesson somehow references the gospel and what/how Jesus modeled the particular character for us. This isn’t just a little book of rules or how to be “good”, these are examples of how Jesus lived and made decisions. I also love that we read each lesson and then later when situation arises I can ask my son or daughter questions like, “are you showing mercy right now?” “is interrupting a wise habit?” “when I ask you to pick up toys and you play instead, are you being a diligent worker?” It gets them thinking and searching their hearts instead of me telling them the answer. Also, each lesson includes a little picture, which for young kids, helps them remember the lesson. For instance, for the lesson on contentment, there is a picture of cat sitting happily. So I can reference the cat “do you remember the content cat in our lesson? When you are grabbing for toys and complaining, do you feel content like that cat looked?” Anything that helps us dialog about truth, how we treat others, and how Jesus showed us the right way is always something I’m on the look out for. I highly recommend this book. I think 3 or 4 is the youngest age a child could begin to understand things the book discusses, but it’s never too early to read truth to your kids! And I can see us using this book through middle school. Maybe not using all the little kid pictures or scenarios, but the verses and purposes still apply. Hey, even I get something out of each lesson!

“The Jesus Storybook Bible” is something we have enjoyed for a couple years now. At first I used it to help keep the kids focused on eating their lunch instead of throwing it fooling around. It did the job of keeping them quiet and focused. Of course they didn’t “understand” most things at their age, (they were only about 2 1/2 when I started reading it), but they loved listening to stories so it served it’s purpose. Now, they are beginning to ask questions about the stories. And beware…these stories may make you, the reader, cry. And your kids will look at you like a.) they did something wrong or b.) like you have 15 heads. Oh well. Just more to talk about, am I right?! These classic Bible stories always tie into the gospel and are written in a way to hold a child’s attention. We are big fans of “The Jesus Storybook Bible”!

“Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing” is written by the same author who wrote “The Jesus Storybook Bible”. She takes verses or short passages of scripture and writes short poems or stories to tie into the verses. If you need some short and sweet truths, this is a great book.

This year, we are doing Christmas presents a little differently then we have in the past. I will be talking about that in a future post, but both our kids will be getting one gift to help further their relationship with Jesus. We chose the “God’s Mighty Warrior Devotional Bible” for our son’s gift. We obviously haven’t read the entire book yet, and my son hasn’t seen it of course…but from what I’ve read/seen, I’m excited to give it to him. God created our little boys with a desire inside themselves to conquer. I want my son to be a mighty warrior in God’s army and I want him to realize how important he is to God and how useful he can be to advancing His Kingdom. My prayer is this little book is a good tool to start him down a path of courage, bravery and integrity for the glory of God.

This is the book my daughter will be getting for Christmas. She has had a hard time adjusting to our moving away from our home in Washington/friends/grandparents. So many people just have a hard time with change and have a hard time expressing how they are feeling about it. We are praying the truth in this book speaks to her little heart and reminds her of the best truth of all: God doesn’t change and when we trust in Him, there is no room for fear. She loves animals and plants…so any book that includes both of those things is a win for her.

We are pretty excited for December 1st to come so we can start this book! Ann Voskamp has such a way with words and the pictures are beautiful. I’m always looking for new Christmas traditions to start as a family, and I think this one will be a staple in our advent celebration. Do you have a special advent book or special advent plans? You should pick up this book. And you don’t have to have kids to read it! These Bible stories and truths are for all ages! My husband and I have enjoyed flipping through this book anticipating reading it to the kids.

Along with reading “Unwrapping the Greatest Gift”, we will be using these advent ornaments. Each ornament is a little book. I doubt we will read each little book since we are reading the AnnVoskamp book, but it’s always fun to have some kind of activity to countdown the days until Christmas. And I know these ornaments are not theologically accurate, but it gives the kids a visual of how much was going on at the time of Jesus’ birth and how awesome God is to plan it all the way He did. Stories are great, but visuals do help too 🙂

 

Those are some of the tools we have been using lately, or will be using soon to talk about truth “as we go”. What are some books or tools that you use to talk to your kids about Jesus? I’m always on the search for new material! Also, I have more of our favorite books/products in my aStore! Check it out!

Happy reading! Press on!

Jaimi S.

“You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 19 You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 20 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, 21 that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.” Deut. 11:18-21 ESV

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