Today’s the day of the official release of my family devotion book, The Whole Story for the Whole Family. Release day is a little bit strange from an author’s perspective; on the one hand, it’s very significant. You’ve lived with this content for months, you’ve worked hard to develop it for months prior to that, and now it’s being officially set loose into the wild to be met with all kinds of reactions.
So on the one hand, it feels like a really big deal. But on the other hand, it’s Monday. It’s Monday for me, but also for everyone else in the world – and for everyone else, it’s just another day. Kind of strange to know that something significant is happening in your own life and yet know that everyone else is waking up for another normal week around you.
So from an author’s perspective, you wonder what you might say to cause people to want to interrupt their normal day to jump into yours – to actually pay money for something that you have created by God’s grace. So for today’s post, I wanted to share with you a few things I’d like you to know about this devotion book:
1. The book came from our family’s experience.
It took our family a long time to actually start having a daily devotion time together. But having done so pretty consistently for the last 10 years, it has played a major role in shaping who we are. As we have done this, we developed our own rhythm and I decided that perhaps other families might benefit from that same kind of rhythm. So I wrote the book in a pattern that fits what we have done.
2. Each daily devotion starts with an engaging activity.
This was honestly the most difficult part of the writing process. I wanted each day to begin with an object lesson, a game, or another simple activity to get the kids involved and thinking. It sounded like a great idea when I began to write, but it was truly, truly hard to come up with all those opening hooks. Are they all successful? You’ll have to be the judge.
3. You can finish each devotion in less than 20 minutes.
One of the reasons, I think, that families don’t pull the trigger on starting a devotion together is that it’s so intimidating. So in writing this, I wanted to make sure that each day was achievable; that parents wouldn’t feel overwhelmed. So each day is designed to spend less than five minutes in the opening activity, a few minutes reading the actual Bible text, then a few more minutes reading the explanatory paragraphs about the text.
4. The book is chronological in nature.
One of the things we wanted to do with this devotion guide was to give an overview of the storyline of the Bible. So as you work your way through it, you’ll be doing it in chronological order, hopefully seeing how and when events happened and how they relate to one another. After a year, I pray that both kids and adults will have a greater sense that the Bible is not a book of isolated stories, but that all these texts over hundreds of years really do fit together to tell the same story.
5. Jesus is the main character.
I had a professor that used to say, “The fingerprints of Jesus are on every page of the Bible. Sometimes you just have to dust for them a little bit.” What a beautiful statement of an even more beautiful truth – Jesus is the main character in all of Scripture. The devotion is meant to point out these significant moments through all Scripture when we see the echoes of Jesus Christ, moving kids to see that He is the constant presence in every part of the Bible.
So, on this release day, I hope you’l pick up a copy of the book either for you or for a family with children in your life. And I pray that in doing so the Lord would use this to help families embrace God’s Word together.