A New Year: Goals + Giveaway


(Giveaway is now closed)

Reading-Oriented New Year’s Goals

I’m one of those folks who enjoy making New Year’s Resolutions. I prefer the term “goal” to “resolution” because goals are usually more specific (and therefore more likely to get achieved). An avid reader (surprise, surprise), I am making a few New Year’s Goals specifically targeted towards my reading habits this year. I’d like to encourage you, our fellow Redeemed Readers, to consider doing the same. Here are mine:

  1. For every children’s novel I read, I want to read an essay from Leland Ryken’s The Christian Imagination. This is a thought-provoking series of essays by professing Christians on all different types of literature and reading. I’ve read a few, but I would like to balance my recreational reading this year with more thoughtful, critical reading resources.
  2. I plan to read the following nonfiction titlesThe Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction by Alan Jacobs (read our RR interview with Jacobs), Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges (I’m a fan of his other books), Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick (my husband really enjoyed this one), and Bible Study by Kathleen Nielson (wife of a former Covenant College president). Since I actually own each of these books, this should be attainable :-).
  3. I want to have a fun reading-centered activity at least once a month with the kids. I’ve gotten out of the habit of such well-beloved kid favorites as Poet-Teas and the like.
  4. I plan to make it through an entire story Bible this year with the kids (we’re really good at picking and choosing, but I’d like to actually go through an entire one cover to cover for a good overview). For the story Bible we’re choosing, see below! If you’d like to listen to the entire Bible this year, there’s a free download of the ESV translation in audio for January only! There are also LOTS of Bible-reading plans available.
  5. To weed my home library collection (gasp! Then again, there some easy ones: we have four copies of The Westminster Confession of Faith for example…). I plan to eliminate at least 50% of the books currently hanging out in the attic as well as some of the household titles. Thankfully, I have my trusty friend Megan to give me good pointers.

And, now for our Giveaway!  ***GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED***

New Children's BibleThe New Children’s Bible by Anne de Vries and illustrated by Fred Apps. Christian Focus Publications, Ltd., 2005.

This may be an unfamiliar story Bible to some of you. That’s because it’s published in the United Kingdom! My former pastor’s wife gave me this Bible when my boys were born with the following endorsement, “This is a really good one.” Now, I respect that lady immensely, but I put this one on the shelf at the time. It’s wordier than many on the market today, and I knew that my kids would need to be older than toddlers/preschoolers to sit through the stories. So, why are we coming back to it this year?

It’s not technically the “best,” because I think there is no better Bible than, um, the Bible itself. Story Bibles are good for giving overviews, helping give kids more familiarity with basic Biblical literacy, and the like. Here are the features that make The New Children’s Bible our story Bible of choice this year (I have two 6 1/2-year-old boys and one 8-year-old daughter):

  • illustrations are outstanding. Different perspectives than many story Bible pictures, very good depictions of the Biblical time period, and realistic (i.e. respectful). The illustrations are there to simply enrich the text, but the text remains prominent. (Worth noting: there are no pictures of Jesus in this story Bible)
  • Each story lists the Biblical passage so that parent and/or kids can read the “real” story
  • Slightly different phrasings here and there keep this from sounding like the same old, same old. Our kids have been raised in church/SS/Christian home and sometimes, I think they start to tune out the familiar phrases.
  • An index of characters and a list of “virtues/values/truth”–this latter will be a helpful reference for us since my kids are in prime character developing years.
  • Reasonable number of stories to get through in half a year (51 OT, 50 NT)

Any negatives?

Yes, actually, but that’s the case with all story Bibles. For this Bible, it’s worth noting there is some editorializing. For the stories we’ve read, it’s not been major (i.e. “Mary and Joseph were very much in love and wanted to get married”). Still, it’s certainly worth noting, and I’m sure there will be instances where we will editorialize on the editorializing! There are not very many New Testament stories after the Great Commission, but my children are old enough to start studying some of the Epistles and the book of Acts when we finish reading through this story Bible. All in all, it’s a good fit for the ages of my children and a concise overview of the Bible. We hope to transition to a devotional like one of the ones Janie reviewed for next school year, so I wanted a story Bible we could cover manageably in about 6-7 months. (See Janie’s extensive story Bible reviews for more suggestions.)


We actually have a copy of this children’s Bible to giveaway thanks to the publisher! If you are interested, leave us a comment with a reading-oriented New Year’s Goal of your own by midnight, Friday (January 10).


11 Responses to A New Year: Goals + Giveaway

  1. Carole January 10, 2014 at 10:36 am #

    My husband is against showing our children pictures of Jesus, so this Bible would be perfect! :) Some of the books on my reading list for this year are: Exalted by Douglas Goodin, The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson, Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, Feeding Your Soul by Jean Fleming.

  2. Erin January 10, 2014 at 8:14 am #

    I have some reading goals too – a book list for myself and my 3 girls, plus all the reading aloud, of course! We would love to read this one together and it would make a great addition to our homeschool library. Thanks for the giveaway – love the blog and reviews!

  3. Charles January 7, 2014 at 9:16 am #

    My goal this year is to read some of the unread books that have stacked up on my shelf. I would also like to go through all of our books and get rid of some that we don’t need or want, don’t anticipate ever reading again.

  4. F. Green January 6, 2014 at 7:54 pm #

    Loved your goals. Reading through Give them Grace is a goal of mine also for this year along with reading my sons literature books also: they include the Illiad and the Odyssey for starters. Hoping to stick with it.

  5. Betsy January 6, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

    I love reading about everyone’s goals! And thanks, Loren, for the affirmation of The Christian Imagination. I’m really looking forward to digging in.

  6. Joey E January 6, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

    I read 12 non-fiction books last year, and hope to do the same!

  7. Heather S January 6, 2014 at 1:03 pm #

    My goal is to read more WITH my kiddos :)

  8. Kristy B January 6, 2014 at 11:11 am #

    My goals are to continue reading through the YWAM missionary series with my Children and introduce a tea time with read aloud in the afternoon.
    My goal is to read intentionally about the Spiritual Disciplines

  9. Marijo Taverne January 6, 2014 at 10:22 am #

    I realized I neglected to plan any reading out loud in our home school. How did I let that happen? Anyway, I plan to fix that starting today.

  10. Jenny January 6, 2014 at 8:54 am #

    My goal would be to go through our library and purge the books that are not a good example for the kids to read. This sounds like a good Childrens Bible to add to the library!

  11. Loren Eaton January 6, 2014 at 8:28 am #

    The Christian Imagination is positively wonderful. I can think of no other volume on Christianity and the arts with its scope, fidelity, and seriousness.

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