Full of interesting history; needed more Scripture
March 23, 2013
Age: Under 18
I enjoyed this Devotional because I learned about many different things from this book, including care packs and adoption. I liked the history behind some of the devotionals, and some of the stories were downright funny (thieves' antics, translation mess-ups, etc). The topics of World War II, music, and the Olympics were very enthralling for me.
I wasn't impressed with the movie guide because it had movies I have never heard of and some I don't watch. The devotional seemed more public-school centered, and I am home-schooled. There seemed to be a lot of Bible versions which left me wondering why they couldn't just stay with one version instead of a whole bunch. The confusion of which version this verse or that verse was from led us to using our own Bibles.
Here is my Dad's view of the Devotional:
I would like to see more scripture with each entry that would assist with the context. I prefer us to look the scripture up in the Bible rather than read from the devotion because it seems to paraphrased. I like the content of the daily readings which includes some interesting tidbits of history. The length is appropriate for the daily readings. I enjoy being purposeful about our devotion time, and we have easily adapted it to read with our entire family in the evenings.
Our family has done devotions together every morning before school since our oldest daughter started kindergarten in 1998. We feel it is important to start the day with God being foremost in our minds. I was excited to see a devotional designed specifically for fathers and daughters, since we have all girls.
The devotion section is 2 to 4 paragraphs long. It uses an interesting story, fact or anecdote related to the verse for the day. There is a discussion/question section, called Daddy-Daughter Time, for the parent and child to talk about/do together. It involves more in-depth talking, thinking, and/or activities.
We all do the devotion section in the morning. I personally like devotions that deal with actual stories from the Bible but I find these devotions interesting. The problem is that they don't stick in my mind throughout the day. Our high school age daughters don't seem interested in this devotional. It is geared for ages 10 -14 years old so that makes sense. But our 9 and 11 year old daughters don't seemed interested either. My husband and daughters haven't done any of the discussion/question section activities yet. I was hoping my family would enjoy this devotional more.
I like that this devotional is helping grow the father-daughter relationship. While it didn't hit the mark for us, it doesn't mean that another family won't enjoy it.
I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.
Good resource for starting discussion w/daughters.
January 2, 2013
This reviewer has been a dad for 12 years now and yet I have consistently struggled in finding the right time, place and devotional content for my daughters (ages: 12, 9). This is the primary reason why I took the opportunity to review, The One Year Father -Daughter Devotions.
Each day begins with a title and 2-3 paragraphs of interesting facts and/or appealing anecdotes, which relates to the verse of the day. The author's uses of entertaining and original facts are vital to grabbing the daily interest of the female progeny. Surprisingly, the authors never reveal the intended ages of their audience, but I would assert daughters from the ages of 6-12 would find it relevant.
Another element is the use of creative, hands-on ideas in the section called Daddy-Daughter Time. This part of the devotional is normally used for applicational questions, but frequently the authors used it to conduct science experiments (April 29th), culinary moments (Feb. 27th) or encourage a movie night (March 29th). Their fresh approach to application is helpful, especially for dads like me who lack a creative gene.
Finally, this book provides two appendixes in the final pages of the devotional. In appendix #1, the authors do a sufficient job offering movie suggestions and also correlating discussion questions that can infuse a spiritual element in a mundane activity. Appendix #2 offers not only innovative ideas for "daddy-daughter" dates, but gives 14 reasons why fathers should make "dating" their daughters a priority.
There is no doubt the authors build their devotional foundation on a daily verse or verses, but I was confused why the verse itself was located at the bottom of the page under the title What's the Word? Most fathers will naturally begin reading at the top and then work their way to the bottom of the page. Therefore, this organizational pattern prevents the listening audience to hear or meditate on the verse until the end of the devotional, which is counter-intuitive, in my opinion.
The other disappointing aspect is the author's occasional laxity in the area of hermeneutics. The title of July 23rd is Treating Precious Things Well and the text is Matthew 7:6, "Don't waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don't throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you." Regarding the interpretation of the text, the author states,
"Jesus is mainly talking about holy teachings that the world often doesn't understand. But you could also take it to mean not to share the treasures God gives youâ€”including your bodyâ€”with those who would only abuse them."
Here the author clearly blurs the difference between interpretation and application and therefore, violates the timeless hermeneutical maxim, "One interpretation, many applications". In my opinion, the author seems to be forcing an interpretation upon the text that is unwarranted, instead of simply placing it in the category of application.
The second example of this interpretative looseness in found on August 28th. The text is Genesis 37:5, "One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever." The author uses Martin Luther King as a contemporary example of someone who "had a dream" and God blessed this dream. The author concludes,
"Indeed, even the noblest dreams will face challenges. But God wants you to dream big anyways, knowing that if He is the author of your dreams, no force on earth can keep them from coming true."
There are three problems here: 1) The author gives no scriptural evidence that God still speaks through dreams today; 2) the author gives no advice on how to discern if God is the author of the dream and 3) the author employs a proof text that gives no proof.
This One Year Father-Daughter devotional is to be applauded for its desire to encourage dads to lead their daughters, specifically exposing them to the truthfulness and authority of God's word. Though this reviewer prefers a more robust and scripturally-precise devotional, I appreciate the author's desire to meet "fathers where they are" in their journey to spiritual leadership. My advice: Fathers, if you are going to use this devotional, make sure you explore the text yourself. Use it as a reference point, not a crutch.
As a father, I want my children to grow up with a vibrant and life-changing faith. I want them to be smart about the way they engage culture and come to know Jesus in very real and relevant ways.
As a father to a girl growing up all too quickly, I want her to know that boys (all of them) are terrible human beings. She should never, under any circumstances, talk to them, look at them or even know they exist.*
I received a copy of the One Year Father/Daughter Devotions from my blogging work with Tyndale. I looked through this devotional as a father that can already see the importance of instilling strong spiritual discipline and vibrancy in my daughter.
But as I looked through this devotional (designed for Fathers and their pre-teen or early teen daughters) I wondered how any of this information would help them grow up in their faith. While many of their examples are practical, they miss the intended target audience (teenage).
Here is an example (from December 2):
The world's population has surpassed seven billion. That's a lot of people. According to the United States Census Bureau, more than 350,000 people are born each day. If you do the math, that means 14,709 babies are born every hour, 245 babies come into the world every minute, and 4 arrive every second.
Can you count to four in just one second? Get a watch and try. One, two, three, four! Wow, that's fast.
The information (and staggering statistic) is helpful. It connects well to the Bible verse of the day (Jeremiah 1:5 - I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.) I even like how they draw on God's intimate knowledge of each of us in the midst of that rapid expansion.
But I just can't see how the example of counting to four strengthens the case for building a relationship with my teenage daughter. Trying to see how fast you can count is a game I play with my daughter...but she's three.
Later the authors say, "It's hard to imagine that God sees everything and is intimately involved with every life, but that's the truth." They then move on to something else, almost killing the chance for a child to ask a question that might really prompt faith growth. They move on too quickly and seem to ignore the tough questions that might be asked in favor of easy answers and standard directions for quick one-minute devotions.
The shallow questions are strung throughout this devotional.
May 7 - Does rain make you happy or sad?
May 9 - Have you ever been frustrated by technology?
September 13 - Did you ever notice your tongue was bumpy and strange?
November 22 - When you were little, did you have one special doll or stuffed animal?
As a father, I would that by the time my daughter is 13 I would know what she thinks about rain, that she has discovered her tongue and that she loved a stuffed animal. Some of these questions come across as though an absentee father suddenly comes back into his daughter's life and is trying to make up for lost time.
And while I would applaud a father for doing that, that isn't their target audience. They are targeting a strong father-daughter relationship that is changing as she becomes a young woman. These sorts of questions just don't seem to get at a deep enough level to strengthen that relationship.
I think I'm so disappointed and frustrated with this book because it seems to be a negative reaction to children growing up and leaving the faith.
"Oh no! Children are leaving the faith as they head off to college and discover the sciences. If we could only indoctrinate them early enough they wouldn't want to go away! Hey! I've got it! A devotional!"
I think that there are other (more positive) examples that could have been done. Emphasize mission. Teach your children about social justice, caring for others, God's plan to restore all things or raise them in a missional community. While the authors do a little bit of this in the book, it is not nearly enough.
That (rather harsh) critique being offered, I do want to say again that their connection and application attempts. The Bible verse are one that would be encouraging to teenage daughters and the prompts at the back of the book for both movie discussions and father/daughter dates can be a nice building block to help a child navigate the waters of life and faith.
My takeaway: A nice attempt but it comes across as too childish for the targeted audience of teenager.
Disclaimer: I reviewed a free copy of this book through the Tyndale Blog Network program offered by Tyndale Press. I was in no way compensated for this review and all views are solely and completely my own. I was not required to offer a positive review either through the publisher or author.
*It's a joke. I don't think this at all, please lighten up.