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Ava PenningtonGender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Customize Your Family Devotions!June 23, 2017Ava PenningtonGender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 5Karen Whitings newest devotional, 52 Weekly Devotions for Busy Families, can easily be re-titled 52 Weekly Devotions for the _____ (fill in your family name) Family. The key to this creative resource is its flexibility. The many ideas and activities enable every family to customize use of the devotional based on the age of your children, the time you have available, your familys style, and your familys interests.
Each weeks devotions include a Family Beatitude, Focus, and Weekly Bible Verse. Related activity options are provided, followed by a read-aloud devotion. Whiting also offers a Bible Story Connection, Chat Prompts, Scrapbook/Prayer Journal options, a Closing Prayer, and a Wrap Up suggestion.
In addition to the variety of creative choices offered each week, Whiting also provides advice, suggestions, and practical tips for effective family devotional times. Whether devotions have been a frequent family activity or you are starting family devotions for the first time, this book will become a valuable resource as you tailor its use to become your family devotional.
tswinnettAtlanta, GAAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Great Family Devotional ResourceMarch 24, 2017tswinnettAtlanta, GAAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0Family devotionals are tough. We all have the best of intentions, but it seems like most of us accomplish family devotionals sporadically at best. One of the problems is keeping it interesting for kids and easy for parents. So, I'm always on the lookout for family devotional resources to help.
Recently, I was offered the opportunity to review 52 Weekly Devotionals For Busy Families by Karen Whiting. This great devotional guide is brand new and could provide just what you have been wanting. For me, the best part is that it is divided into weekly devotionals, but not daily ones within that framework. Which means you can stay on track - and not become discouraged - if you have a crazy week and only one devotional or a more normal week when you have five or six devotionals.
Within each devotional, the reader is given a theme verse for the week and a longer scripture reference of about a chapter or less. The longer scripture is usually connected to a Bible story. Whiting provides a short devotional reading similar to what you are familiar with in other devotional books. What I really appreciate though is that she took the effort to add three or more activity ideas, two or more ideas for creating a family devotional journal or scrapbook and three or more discussion prompts.
The author also provides a weekly family "beatitude" along the lines of "Happy is the family..." underscoring the theme for the week. In case you are still confused, she provides the focus in a separate spot. There is also a "wrap-up" and she provides a written prayer.
What I really appreciated is that at the beginning of the book, she didn't jump right into the devotionals, but addressed some important areas which can cause issues. One of my favorites were her tips for families with a parent who travels a lot on business (frankly in many cases her tips would also work with a parent stuck at the office during devotional time). I love the idea of including the "absent" parent for both the parents and the kids. She also provides some tips on getting your kids excited about the idea of family devotionals.
The topics vary widely and fall into what I think are two main categories. The first are the devotionals which encourage healthy family habits like listening to each other, having family goals, showing affection, etc. The other devotionals encourage healthy spiritual family habits like prayer, forgiveness and having a biblical worldview.
The lessons and activities are structured to appeal to a wide range of ages. Because you have so many choices, you can choose the things that appeal to your family or that you have the time for that particular week. There is no pressure to do everything under each devotional entry.
I'm sure the idea of journalling or scrapbooking your family devotionals may seem over the top to some. I love it though. I think it's a great way to capture family memories and faith moments to look back on later. I would say though if you have more than one child, this could be uncomfortable later as your kids fight over "custody" as adults. Do yourself a favor and buy a inexpensive journal or scrapbook for each child. If they can write, let them each record the answers, etc. so you aren't writing the same thing multiple times. For younger ones, capture an important sentence or two and let them draw an illustration of what they learned/understood, etc.
My only negatives are so minor they almost aren't worth mentioning - except for one. At one point, the author mentions something about keeping track of which prayers God answers. She sort of corrects that impression another week, but I think it needs to be made crystal clear to children that God always answers the prayers of His people. They need to understand God can say "No" and "Wait", but those are also answers from God. (I will let her slide on the fact that she believes people still have answering machines and kids know what they are!)
Over all, this is one of my favorite family devotional books. I only saw the e-book version, so I can't tell you much about the esthetics of the actual book. The electronic version is easy on the eyes and would travel well on family vacations. I think if any devotional book can improve your family devotional life, this may be the one.
A copy of this book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review.
Chris B5 Stars Out Of 5Excellent resource for busy familiesFebruary 7, 2017Chris BQuality: 5Value: 4Meets Expectations: 5Perfect for families desiring to grow closer to God and each other. Easy for parents to plan and prepare, fun and engaging for everyone. Starts a great tradition of memory keeping and valuing time spent together. Detailed Table of Contents is very helpful when you have a specific topic you to stress with the family. Very clear and simple instructions on how to use the devotions, with plenty of ideas to personalize each to your own family. My daughter and I both like creating a scrapbook and illustrated prayer journal to document our devotion time. My son likes using a Bible app to look up verses and enjoys the physical activities that can go along with a topic. Devotions are flexible so you can shorten or lengthen based on the amount of time you have. Geared toward families with younger children but very easy to make more applicable to tweens & teens. Illustrations are cutesy but not overly so. Devotions are well written and really did spark conversation. I was provided a copy of this book in pdf format and all opinions are 100% my own.
a busy mom5 Stars Out Of 5Add this to your family timeJanuary 9, 2017a busy momQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0This is one family devotional that you will actually want to use as it is adaptable and full of good ideas. The stories that the author uses aren't cheesy and are good for all ages. I was impressed with the many different ways to incorporate the weekly theme with lots of activities and suggestions to choose from. The topics were relatable with the chat prompts making discussion times more productive. The scrapbook/prayer journal options had great ideas to add into each week. It isn't always easy to get kids, or parents for that matter, excited about 'doing devotions' but these weekly devotions are so workable and down to earth that the family will want to grab the book and dig in to God's word and God's ways to have happy families.
Ann5 Stars Out Of 5Very adaptableOctober 6, 2016AnnQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This devotional was very intriguing to me because my daughters family is fostering two children. With two boys of their own they could use the flexibility to work around their busy schedules. The colorful border down the side or across the bottom of the pages will be inviting for the kids to look at during the devotional time. The multicultural children on the pages are important since one of the girls is bi-racial. It will comfort to have different races represented in the book. The memory verses are adaptable and can be shortened for the younger child. My favorite is the scrapbook and journaling options. Plenty of chat prompts can promote conversations among the family members. The bible story connection lasts only two minutes but it brings in biblical truths that are important for todays youth. It was insightful of the author to include a read aloud story concerning children with food allergies. My nieces child is usually forgotten because parents bring party items that she cannot eat. It can be hurtful to be left out. This book has fifty-two weeks of devotions suited to holidays and seasons. It is not necessary to wait until New Years Day to start the book. Just count the weeks of the calendar and jump right in. A free PDF of this book was provided by Rose Publishing for my honest review.
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