Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Children's Devotional Review - Children's Life Journal

At our church's women's retreat about a month ago, the speaker (Carol Rischer - phenomenal!) brought along some Life Journals in case anybody wanted to buy some. They have ones for adults, teens and children.

I purchased the Children's Life Journal for Emma. She loves it!

The journal had a reading plan for different ages. Kids age 8 and under read the first (pink) column of Scripture (usually 2 or 3 verse), kids age 9 & 10 read both the first and second (yellow) columns of Scripture (about 6 verses) and kids 11 & 12 read all three columns (purple is #3) and that's around 15 - 20 verses long. And of course, they can read beyond their age group if they want to!

The Journal contains clear instructions on how to use the book.

Step 1: Find the Scripture for the day in the Bible Reading program.
Step 2: Read the passage. They recommend a Children's translation - we have a New Reader's Version, so we use that. It's definitely easier for them to understand.
Step 3: Here is where they use SOAPY.

S - Scripture - the kids can pick one verse (or even part of a verse) that they want to focus on. They write it down in the S section.
O - Observe - here they write what the scripture means
A - Apply - here they write what God has just said to them through His Word, how this verse applies to their life
P - Pray - they write out a prayer to God
Y - Yes! I will be different today because of what I have just learned!

They also write in today's date and give their lesson a title.

Step 4: They go to their Table of Contents and write in the entry by date, Scripture, title and page#. This way they can easily find the lessons they learned by topic.

Step 5: Turn to the Prayer List and write in a prayer and then pray for what they've written.

Emma is really enjoying doing this journal. The first week she did it all by herself every night. Since then, I've been trying to do it with her every night, to make sure she's understanding the scripture correctly. I let her do the apply and pray parts herself (sometimes giving her suggestions if she needs). I love some of the things she's written. Here are a few of her entries...

Scripture - Matthew 22:37 Jesus replied "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
Observe - Love God at all times and think about God at all times.
Apply - I'm going to get out there and sing HALLELUJAH to the Lord.
Pray - Dear God Help me to remember that your alweez there to love me and help me. Help me to love you more.

Scripture: 2 Thess 3:3b God will guard you from the evil one.
Observe - God will protect us from Satan (bad old Satan)
Apply - it's a good thing God's around. I'm sticking with Him. He's my bodyguard.
Pray - Dear God, Thank you for protecting us from the evil one. Amen

The teen version is similar, it just has a larger scripture passage in the reading plan.

The adult one is also the same and is available in black, green, blue & teal colours. This scripture reading plan will take you through the entire Bible in one year. It also comes with 12 perforated scripture memory cards.

They have one for new believers as well - the reading plan is streamlined for those just getting familiar with the Bible.

I am still on target with my reading through the bible in one year plan, but I definitely plan on getting this journal for myself for next year. I think journalling at the same time will have huge benefits.

Consider part of the answer to this question on their websites FAQ's list.

Why Is It So Important to Do Devotions Every Day?

What would the people in your church look like if they snacked on meager food morsels during the week and ate only one good meal on the weekend? You know the answer, don't you? You'd find yourself surrounded by emaciated, gaunt people in desperate need of nutrition.

And how would these undernourished believers fare against a demonic adversary? Can you imagine how this army would look? You'd see threadbare skeletons with hollow cheeks and sunken eye-sockets, lined up like phantoms. Weakened by famine, that shriveled militia could barely stand at attention; each would struggle to find the strength to keep his or her bony frame upright.

Could this "army" conquer an opposing force?

No way. No earthly general would send them out to fight.

Well, then, how about the army of the Lord? What of those who gather on Sunday mornings? Are they spiritually nourished to fight the battles ahead? Considering what most members of God's army subsist on—an occasional tidy snack from a devotional book and perhaps an average-sized meal on Sundays to satiate conscience—you'd have to conclude that God's fighting force has some serious training to do.

Have you ever wondered why marriages seemingly crumble overnight, and—out of the blue—Christians leaders fall to luring temptations?

The truth is, no marriage instantly disintegrates, and no one suddenly falls away from Christ. For that matter, no one dies from an eating disorder after missing a day or two of meals.

It could better be described as a slow decline—gradual spiritual starvation, barely even discernible to the outside observer. The malnourishment of God's sons and daughters happens over time, as they eat less and less. Then, in their weakness, they do something that shocks everyone, finally revealing what was really going on in their spiritual lives.

Did you know that more than 80 percent of those who call themselves Christians read their Bibles only once a week? And that's usually on Sundays, at church. They come to church to get their spiritual fill, and then snack on devotional tidbits for the rest of the week (if even that).

I wish for just one day God would change the way our eyes work, so we would see ourselves spiritually. We'd see most American churches filled with skeletal, hollow-eyed saints, looking as if a gust of wind would blow them away like tumbleweeds.

Which is why, when some new trend floods America and pushes our nation further away from God, further away from our spiritual roots, the church is unable to withstand the tide. We simply don't have the strength.

So what's the solution? ....

If we eat only once a week, it's no wonder the church is weak and struggling. But daily fresh bread can change all of that. Regularly dining on fresh bread makes for a stalwart, strong, developed army—the only kind of force that will always make a difference in this world.


ValleyGirl said...

Sounds like a great devotional tool as well. It's awesome to find there's so much out there to help us help our kids seek God!

And I LOVE that excerpt! VERY powerful! (mind if I reprint it at some point on my blog?)

Pamela said...

Thanks for posting this. It looks like a wonderful devotion book and something I think my kids would enjoy doing.


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