Searching for Good Devotionals

I wrote this letter to a R.U.F. pastor a few weeks ago.  And since it includes my ideas for kids’ devotionals, I thought I’d share it with you guys today.  Personally, I think the very best devotional is time spent in the word of God with your children.  (That’s one of the reasons I haven’t taken the time to read several of these devotionals.) But since this person asked, I’ve tried to answer as best I can.  Be sure to let me know what you think or if you know of better ones I could have recommended!

Hi! It was a pleasure to see you and your wife last weekend.  Always nice to be reminded that God is working in places beyond my field of vision!

You asked me last weekend if I could recommend a devotional book for girls similar to My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers.  I don’t have a perfect answer.  In my opinion, most children’s devotionals are too topical and don’t focus enough on Christ and good theology.  However, the ones out there that have a lot of meat to them are often visually off-putting and a little too adult.  Hard to find ones that treat kids respectfully without asking too much of them.

All that said, here are a few devotionals that you might want to check into further. 1) Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions For Kids*. I should start by saying I have NOT read most of this, but the few pages I’ve read seemed thoughtful and Christ-centered.  2) For younger girls (and boys), Leading Little Ones to God is a classic, which you’re probably aware of. Still, worth putting on the list; 3) God’s Names (Children Desiring God) seems to be a unique approach to studying Scripture for elementary kids by focusing on the names of God; and finally, 4) How God Used A Drought and An Umbrella (The Building on the Rock Series). This is great fireside or poolside reading, though to my mind it isn’t exactly devotional material since it doesn’t take Scripture as its beginning point. At any rate, though, it’s rich theological meat, and the stories are set in places and times that aren’t hip or particularly culturally relevant. They are entertaining nevertheless, and very spiritually relevant.

One other book you might look at is A Girl After God’s Own Heart: A Tween Adventure with Jesus. I am NOT recommending it because I have not even peeked at the contents inside. It seems to be more topically based and has the look of a girl magazine on the cover. That usually means I won’t like it. Still, it might be worth checking out….

Thanks!

Emily Whitten

www.facebook.com/redeemedreader

*Before purchasing, see comments on this post for Tim Challies’ insight into the book.  As I said above, I had not read much of Jesus Calling before writing this pastor.

Have you used any of these devotionals?  Do you know of any other good devotionals out there–especially for young girls? 

You can read my thoughts on sharing God’s word with your kids in Bible Stories and the Story of the Bible, as well as  Buying Your First Story Bible and The Whole Counsel of God: Complementing Your Story Bible.  Or you can check out my family blog www.liltinglilies.com–not intended to be commercial–to see how we’re using The Westminster Confession to organize our morning devotions.

And don’t forget our read-along that just got started with C.S. Lewis’s That Hideous Strength!

COMMENTS

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16 Responses to Searching for Good Devotionals

  1. emily August 15, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    Another interesting take on the subject: http://www.graceonlinelibrary.org/home-family/the-best-childrens-bible-study-books-bible-lessons-for-kids/

  2. emily August 15, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    Another interesting take on the subject: http://www.graceonlinelibrary.org/home-family/the-best-childrens-bible-study-books-bible-lessons-for-kids/

  3. Patricia August 9, 2011 at 6:51 am #

    We have used Leading Little Ones to God for many years. We also use Starr Meade’s Training Hearts, Teaching Minds during our catechism time. Another series we have used which is really more commentary than devotional is Herein Is Love by Nancy Ganz. None of these items replaces time actually spent reading the Bible with the family. Our Bible time does not fit neatly into one little time slot but is actually approached several times throughout the day in different ways.

  4. Patricia August 9, 2011 at 6:51 am #

    We have used Leading Little Ones to God for many years. We also use Starr Meade’s Training Hearts, Teaching Minds during our catechism time. Another series we have used which is really more commentary than devotional is Herein Is Love by Nancy Ganz. None of these items replaces time actually spent reading the Bible with the family. Our Bible time does not fit neatly into one little time slot but is actually approached several times throughout the day in different ways.

  5. Janie August 8, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    I just ordered Star Meade’s “Grandpa’s Box,” puyblished by Presbyterian &Reformed. I like it so far. Each chapter (42 in all) tells a different part of the Story of Redemption, symbolized by a different item in Grandpa’s box. I was planning to use it for a Sunday school class, but it would work for a family devotional. There’s an online study guide with scripture text and discussion questions.

  6. Janie August 8, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    I just ordered Star Meade’s “Grandpa’s Box,” puyblished by Presbyterian &Reformed. I like it so far. Each chapter (42 in all) tells a different part of the Story of Redemption, symbolized by a different item in Grandpa’s box. I was planning to use it for a Sunday school class, but it would work for a family devotional. There’s an online study guide with scripture text and discussion questions.

  7. emily August 8, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    Sylvia,

    I’ve reassigned the links, and they seem to be working now. Thanks so much for letting me know! You deserve the editor’s prize today for Worthy Contributions to Our Blog.

  8. emily August 8, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    Sylvia,

    I’ve reassigned the links, and they seem to be working now. Thanks so much for letting me know! You deserve the editor’s prize today for Worthy Contributions to Our Blog.

  9. Sylvia August 8, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    Emily, I don’t get a message when I click on your link to The Whole Counsel of God.

  10. Sylvia August 8, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    Emily, I don’t get a message when I click on your link to The Whole Counsel of God.

  11. Sylvia August 8, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    Small Talks on Big Questions was enjoyed by our family.

  12. Sylvia August 8, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    Small Talks on Big Questions was enjoyed by our family.

  13. emily August 8, 2011 at 10:11 am #

    I appreciate this link, Sylvia! As I said in my post, I haven’t looked through the book myself–this is just a recommendation based on some of the pages I browsed through in the store.

    Tim has a substantive criticism here, so maybe I’ll try to review it myself in the near future. I certainly wouldn’t want to encourage people to purchase something like Conversations with God aimed at kids. That said, I do think it’s Biblical to teach our kids to expect God to speak to them through Scripture. My questions are a) what exactly does she mean by claiming God has spoken to her? and b) what is the content of that revelation?

    These are probably questions worth investigating further. I’d love to hear other readers’ opinions as well….

  14. emily August 8, 2011 at 10:11 am #

    I appreciate this link, Sylvia! As I said in my post, I haven’t looked through the book myself–this is just a recommendation based on some of the pages I browsed through in the store.

    Tim has a substantive criticism here, so maybe I’ll try to review it myself in the near future. I certainly wouldn’t want to encourage people to purchase something like Conversations with God aimed at kids. That said, I do think it’s Biblical to teach our kids to expect God to speak to them through Scripture. My questions are a) what exactly does she mean by claiming God has spoken to her? and b) what is the content of that revelation?

    These are probably questions worth investigating further. I’d love to hear other readers’ opinions as well….

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