Yay! We’ve made to Day 5 of our Kids Bible Devotional Jesse Tree series! If you (or you and your kids) are following along with us, we hope you’re enjoying it as much as we are. I really feel like the chance to hit the highlights of God’s story over this period of advent really helps cement into my children’s hearts and minds the idea that God always, always, always wants us to be with Him; to be a part of His story. I don’t understand why God made human beings in the first place (it’s the number one question on my list!), but I believe wholeheartedly that He did and that He has loved us from the beginning and will love us to the end. He loves us with a never changing, unending love that we can’t possibly fully understand. He wants us to have a chance to be redeemed and restored to Him. From the very first time that people chose to disobey Him, He has had a plan to win us back. While that plan doesn’t end with Jesus’ birth, taking the time this month to walk through the Old Testament and into the New and see how God fulfills promise after promise, how He uses the smallest and most insignificant characters in important ways to accomplish His purposes, and how He loves us . . . really LOVES us, is so precious. Our children could cover all those same lessons in a Sunday Bible class, and probably have, but reading and listening to them one day after another helps them to see the pattern of love and care that God has woven so delicately into His story.
By the way, if you’re looking for a Bible Storybook to use with younger children, I cannot recommend the Jesus Storybook Bible enough. While I am THRILLED that my children are now both reading well enough to read an actual Bible on their own (see comment below about the CEB version that our family enjoys using), we used the Jesus Storybook Bible for our devotional time (sporadic though it was) last year and it is wonderful on SO many levels. I had thought my children were getting a little old for a storybook Bible when I happened to see a copy of the Jesus Storybook Bible with audio CDs on sale at one of the booths at our local homeschool convention. We love to listen to audio books around here, so I decided to go ahead and purchase it just to have those to add to our listening collection. I’m so very glad that I did! The narrator on the CDs is WONDERFUL and the illustrations in the Storybook Bible are just really beautiful. It’s called the Jesus Storybook Bible because it shows the story of Jesus all through the Bible and it does a lovely and touching job of doing so. One of my favorite stories in it is “The Girl No One Wanted,” which is the story of Jacob, Rachel and Leah. I don’t think I’ve ever read the story of Leah in another Bible Storybook and it is handled in such a wonderful way in this one, that I came to better understand and appreciate her story myself. I want to give every new mom I know a copy of this beautiful book (along with the CDs!). There are also videos and and a DVD now. Some of the videos from the DVD are available for viewing on the publisher’s youtube channel.
So, I’ll say again what I’ve said before: don’t worry if you’re joining the Kids’ Bible Devotional Jesse Tree series in progress . . . just jump on in and start wherever you’d like! If you’d like access to all the podcasts, devotional guides, and ornaments from the beginning, you can click on the “Podcasts” heading up on the menu. That’s also where you’ll find the link to subscribe directly to the podcast via iTunes, if you’d like to do that. The latest podcast is at the bottom of this post. You can download the devotional guide and printable ornament for Day 5 by clicking the image to the right (or here: Day-5-Timing.pdf (542 downloads) ).
Note: Our kiddos are going to be reading from the Common English Bible (CEB). We love this version because, while it’s a translation and not a paraphrase, it uses language that is approachable and more easily understood by our children. My husband and I like the translation for ourselves as well, and we enjoy all being able to open our Bibles (hard copies and iPad versions) and read from the same translation.
Today’s Kids’ Bible Devotional Jesse Tree, Day 5 Podcast: