The Value of Devotions by Karen Whiting {GIVEAWAY}

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Devotions with little ones formed the framework of my mothering years. I am still seeing the benefits of taking time in God’s Word with my five little ones who are now grown. For that reason I am passionate about devotions for children, especially preschoolers.

The devotions gave us a sense of purpose, and I made sure days revolved around what we read and also made sure we’d do one each day. If we didn’t get a devotion done before bed, then we skipped desert, as I’d say, “If we don’t have time for the sweet Word of God, we don’t have time for other sweets.” That really helped my children remind me to have some of God’s sweet words!

Benefits

Let’s mention some benefits. It’s easy to realize it helps children get into a habit of reading the Bible and communicating with God to nurture their spirit. However it surprised my husband and me to realize how it also gave them a jump-start on learning. Listening and talking about a Scripture increases a child’s listening comprehension, and that promotes great reading comprehension. We also noticed they could talk with us about any topic through the years because the devotions touched on all aspects of life. They more easily conversed with adults. The Scriptures also increased their vocabulary. Thus, devotions promote cognitive skills.

In activity-oriented devotions like My Princess Devotions, the themes cultivate character development and promote motor development. I placed hospitality in May as part of a theme of tea parties. Planning and hosting teas help little girls learn to greet people, be gracious hosts, and serve others and also helps foster good manners. Other months include generosity, compassion, trust, honesty, and cheerfulness.

The gross motor development comes with activities such as praise walks, dancing, and exercises that are part of various daily devotions. I planned to emphasize using a different body part each month (i.e. feet in October, hands in February). Small motor development is promoted with craft and cooking activities in other devotions. A variety of activities help children realize God cares about all aspects of their lives and helps develop various learning styles.

Tips on doing devotions

  1. Be open-minded. Open hearts to God’s guidance and children’s thoughts. If children stray from the meaning, reread God’s Word or look at another passage on the same topic to enlighten them!
  2. Be consistent by setting up a routine and time for devotions. Choose the best time: early in the morning, after school, or in the evening.
  3. Be enthusiastic. It’s catchy! Praise your child for participating.
  4. Avoid distractions. No eating, no phone calls or TV during devotions.
  5. Plan a reasonable time limit. Ten minutes is good for growing children. When the time is too short to cover the lesson, carry it over to next time!
  6. Don’t be afraid of silence as you wait for your child to respond to a question you ask.
  7. Make Dad a part of the devotions. Choose a time Dad can participate in person or by phone/ internet call.
  8. If Dad travels often or is deployed in the military consider buying a digital copy for him to read along.

Devotions and Your Child’s Personality

Children are different and respond according to their temperaments. An outgoing child likes to act out Bible scenes and share what they learn. A shy child may prefer to do devotions in an intimate setting and will like to journal or draw but may not want to share verbally as much.

Set the stage for success by responding to your child’s personality. For the outgoing child, make it a fun time that can include visiting friends. For a child who is a natural born leader and likes to take charge, let your little one help choose the place and time to do them and also let your child have extra time to discuss the topic. For a little one who is more relaxed and would rather sit and not do things use some encouragement and follow devotions with a snack or reading another book. For the shy child, make it a special parent-child time alone and be patient to wait for the child to think and answer questions.

If you want to do devotions as a family, make sure to include everyone in discussions. A talking stick might help where you pass the stick around for each person to have a time to talk.

Results

I believe that making God part of daily life fosters a sense of purpose and helps children mature. It may not change their IQ, but I thank the Lord that my children are kind, considerate, and serve others. They have remained close to one another and to the Lord. That’s what we want the most as parents.

We can still talk about anything. I am also thankful that one son who experienced twelve years of a 24/7 migraine was able to cling to Scriptures with hope. The Lord healed him last November so we are also thankful for that.

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GIVEAWAY

We have five copies of Karen Whiting’s book The One Year My Princess Devotions to give away here at ParentLife Online. Enter using Rafflecopter below.

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Giveaway: Dear Son by Dave Bruskas

DearSonToday’s culture doesn’t encourage men to grow up. Everyone from pastors to op-ed columnists have described a crisis of masculinity, fostered by a media culture that uniformly make men the butts of jokes. Men are much more likely to give up on life than women. One indicator of this is the large gender difference in suicide rates — men are four times more likely than women to drop out of life. This points to a profound lack of effective mentoring of men, especially in the church.

Dave Bruskas seeks to fill in this gap with his book Dear Son. Two decades ago, Dave lost his only infant son to a congenital heart defect. That devastating loss fueled his desire to provide effective mentoring to young men. Dear Son contains the guidance and insights Dave would have given his son if he had lived through the milestones of growing up: from first dates to first jobs, from weddings to births, from friendships to funerals. Dear Son contains heartfelt wisdom for life’s journey, especially for guys — and for those who want to strengthen them.

ParentLife has five copies of Dear Son to give away! To enter, simply leave a comment below. But hurry … this giveaway ends on Friday, June 27th!

Giveaway! Explore the Bible

etb-logoThis just in! LifeWay is giving away one year of their new Explore the Bible series! Have you heard about this great new small group product? Keep reading … and be sure to enter to win below!

Explore the Bible is a book-by-book Bible study for small groups and Sunday School classes of all ages that takes participants deep into the context of God’s Word and challenges them to live it out in their own context. From preschool to adults, Explore the Bible presents a rich, age-appropriate study experience that pursues biblical context through:

♦ A balanced study plan

♦ Archaeological and historical background

♦ In-depth Bible commentary

♦ “Context passage” that reveals larger biblical context

♦ Engaging group discussion questions for every book of the Bible

Explore the Bible also challenges participants to live out biblical truths in their own context through clear application points in each session and shared memory verses for groups and families in each session

Visit the website to watch a trailer and get more information as well as to preview one month for free. Be sure to stop by the Explore the Bible: Kids page to see more age-specific information!

Click here for your chance to win one year of Explore the Bible for your church!

Giveaway: The Jesus Film

Have you ever seen, The Jesus Film? Billions of people all over the world have! Did you know that it’s the most-watched film in history and has been translated into 1,197 different languages? Check out this trailer!

Maybe you’ve thought about watching the movie as a family, but you were afraid it would be too graphic for your kids. Great news! The movie shares a biblical version of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection in a kid-friendly way, suitable for all ages. It shows an accurate portrayal of Christ’s death, but in a way that is appropriate for a younger audience, which the film’s G rating reflects.

In honor of the movie’s 35th anniversary, it has been remastered in high definition with a new musical score and is being released on DVD and Blu-Ray on April 1st  (that’s tomorrow)!

We actually have three copies of The Jesus Film to give away! Use the form below to enter for your chance to win! 

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Giveaway: Teen Slimline Bible

TeenSlimline

The slimline New Living Translation text Bible is the perfect size for busy teens to carry with them wherever they go—now available in new trendy TuTone designs. Classic reference features include a dictionary/concordance, end-of-Bible helps, full-color maps, a ribbon marker, presentation page, and gilded page edges.

ParentLife readers have the chance to win one of five copies! Enter through the form below (giveaway only open to residents of the U.S.)

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Giveaway: Bible Drill App

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See information for giveaway at the bottom of the post!

A new Bible Drill app has been developed by the Georgia Baptist Convention which will help students and their leaders study God’s Word on their tablets or smartphones.

Developed as a general discipleship tool for children, students, adults, and families, the app allows drillers to review books of the Bible and current verses through different activity and study options, according to Maria Brannen, State Missionary in Discipleship/Spiritual Renewal.

“Kids are digital natives and this is a great way for them to have an opportunity for study at home during the week,” Brannen said.
The app provides a tool for children, youth, and high school drillers to study in a variety of styles the Scriptures they are memorizing. It includes options such as a bubble game, flash cards, a Scripture memory game, and pick-a-verse. The app is pre-loaded with three translations used by Bible Drillers—King James Version, Holman Christian Standard Version, and English Standard Version. Students and adults also have the option to share a verse they are learning via social media.

Because it is not specific to Georgia’s Bible Drillers, anyone can download the app for 99 cents in the iTunes store. “It’s a great home study tool where students can learn even if no one else is around,” Brannen commented. “We hope to have a whole new generation of children who will have a passion for studying God’s Word.”

Brannen said that the app can also be used by Christian parents who want their children to memorize Scripture, facilitating a faith connection at home where activities can be done as a family. The app can also be used as a learning activity on an iPad in Bible Drill classrooms at church.

We have three of these to giveaway to ParentLife readers! Leave a comment on this post to be entered to win. Giveaway will end on Friday December 20th!

Giveaway: My Mama and Me

My mama and me

One of a mother’s most important jobs is to share her faith with her children. Mother-and-daughter team Crystal Bowman and Teri McKinley provide a perfect way for moms with young children (ages 0–5) to share their faith through the gift of reading with the release of their new book, My Mama and Me, from Tyndale Kids.

My Mama and Me features delightful illustrations and 25 devotions that are designed to answer four questions:
• Can you tell me about God?
• Can you tell me about Jesus?
• What does God think about me?
• How can I show God I love him?

Each devotion includes a rhyming story that teaches children about God, a Scripture verse, a prayer, and a fun activity that reinforces the theme. The book ends with a touching prayer every mother will want to pray for her children.

My Mama and Me encourages mothers to grow closer to God and to their children as they spend time together. The book is a companion to Bowman’s My Grandma and Me, which was a resource for grandmothers to pass their faith on to their grandchildren.

ParentLife has 5 copies of this great book to giveaway to our readers! Enter through the form below (only open to U.S. residents).

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Giveaway: The One Year Book of Bible Trivia for Kids

Trivia

What kind of fruit did Eve take from the tree of knowledge of good and evil? A. pear; B. apple; C. we don’t know.

What did Jesus serve the disciples for breakfast? A. fruit and cereal, B. fish and bread; C. manna and quail.

Learn a little Bible trivia while learning more about God’s message within the Bible. This One Year book features 365 trivia questions that lead into meaningful devotions about the questions. Each devotion also includes a For You section, which gives a simple application to kid’s lives. And the answer to the opening question wraps up the devotion and gives readers biblical references to read.

This book will keep curious kids on their toes and give them a reason to open their devotional and Bible daily. They can also use their knowledge to test family members each day. [The answers to the questions above are C. we don’t know and B. fish and bread.]

If you would like to win a copy for your family, enter through the form below (contest only open to residents of the U.S.).

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Giveaway: My Time With Grandma

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Turn ho-hum story time into an amazing experience for inspiring your grandchildren to discover and celebrate God’s love for them! My Time with Grandma Bible Storybook is a wonderful way to treasure your moments together while sharing your faith and helping your grandchildren understand challenging concepts such as salvation, God’s plan for our lives, and what it means to be forgiven. Each story includes a powerful Love Note from God that kids can memorize and hide in their hearts forever. There’s also a sweet Love Note from Grandma that you can read to your grandchildren to help remind them of how much they are treasured and loved.

And you are in luck! We are giving away 5 copies to ParentLife readers. Please enter through the form below. (Giveaway only open to residents of the U.S.)
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Giveaway: The One Year My Princess Devotions by Karen Whiting

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Whiting believes that children are capable of being both listeners and doers of God’s Word (James 1:22). Appealing to various learning styles, Whiting challenges girls to know God and build character through reading Royal Words (a Bible verse), Princess Thoughts (a short devotion), Prayer, and becoming a Princess-in-Action (an activity related to the devotion).

Following Whiting’s devotions, girls will develop the following Princess skills:
Praise God and Pray
Remember God’s Word
Improve Her Mind
Nourish her spirit
Cultivate a healthy body image (and character)
Experience God’s love
Share her faith
Serve God and others

And 5 lucky ParentLife readers will win a copy of The One Year My Princess Devotions by Karen Whiting (open only to residents of the US). Enter through the form below.

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