Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Because Family Devotions Don't Have to Be a Drag * A Giveaway

Let's face it.  Family devotions can be a bit of a battle.

No matter what time of day or evening you choose to gather your kiddos for a few focused minutes with God, one or another is suddenly bored, restless, tired, cranky, distracted.

You'd think you were dragging them off to the dentist or something.

In this fast-paced culture with all technology's bells and whistles, sitting with the Bible or a devotional book can present a challenge.  Yet no matter how that technology evolves and sparkles, we continue to be invited by our Savior to spend quality time in His presence.

So that's why I'm a big believer in every family growing a go-to library of devotional books and various translations of the Bible and purposely choosing to get creative about switching up that quiet time routine from time to time.  {The same goes for us big people, too!}  God's Word is alive and vibrant, fresh and meaningful.  And those focused minutes we spend with Him should reflect that awesome truth!

How 'bout we choose the kids' best time of day, not when they're absolutely exhausted?  How 'bout we take them outside to explore and praise in the bounty of His creation?  Or do some freewheeling art projects celebrating who God is.  Maybe a bit of song ... or {gasp} dance?

The sky's the limit because He's a magnificent God!

And if we're truly enthusiastic about spending some creative time absorbed in His love, maybe they'll catch our joy.  I'm all for saying farewell to the term 'spiritual disciplines' and calling these precious opportunities what they are ...

Invitations to hang out with the One who loves us best of all!

I'm happy to present another option for your bookshelf ... the brand new ESV Family Devotional Bible.  At 1400+ pages, this $29.99 volume packs a punch with what might be a fresh translation for you, complete with full color illustrations and maps and helpful questions that just may kick off some kind of meaningful discussion.

I have a copy for a reader who leaves a comment on this post.  Please stop by and say 'hi' by Sunday evening, May 8th at 9 pm {eastern, US & Canada only} to be in the running.

Reading this on email?  Click here to get to the post to leave that comment.

No kids at home?  No problem!  This makes a great gift for a friend who's parenting, a Christian school, or your church library.  Or share with your pastor.  He'll know the perfect family to bless with your generosity.

*

You shall teach them to your children,
 talking of them when sitting in your house,
 and when you are walking by the way,
 and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Deuteronomy 11:19 {ESV}



*

linking with Lyli

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC's 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

34 comments:

  1. What a fun idea to teach youngsters about God. I would like to enter the competition please. But, because I live in the UK, and knowing the cost of postage, should I win I would like the prize to be donated to the very next person who comments here after me; assuming of course that they live in the USA.

    God bless.

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    1. You got it, Victor! Thanks for adding a bit of a spin on the giveaway!

      ;-}

      Delete
  2. My daughter was telling me about their devotion time together with the four kids now 7-1. They have sung the same song for months (the kids know the words and love it). One of the things I wish for is someone to share prayer time with--doesn't have to be of the opposite sex! Perhaps God will grant this request someday! It is a powerful and intimate thing to pray with another---stripping down who we are and admitting our dependence---I think a blog post might have just been born!
    I MUST one up Victor, and ask if I win the prize it be given to a family of your choice to bless their willingness to spend time with their children in seeking Him.
    Blessings, Friend!

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    1. Good idea Lulu. I wonder if we could somehow arrange for people to pray together online through Blogs.

      Now your comment follows mine you have two chances of winning the prize. But now I have commented again I have another chance to win and pass on the prize to Linda to choose a family of her choice.

      God bless.

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    2. Dear Lulu. Yes, yes. We believers were born to connect in prayer. I can't help thinking that there are some sisters who live real close by that are praying and wishing for the same.

      May God link you up in ways that surprise you, friend.

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    3. And Victor ... this whole giveaway thing is getting far too complicated!!!!

      ;=}

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    4. Does this response to Victor's response put me in the hat for a prize I want to pass on? Could you just shoot us, Linda? Hard to be serious at times with Victor!

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    5. I'm just SO totally confused!

      ;-}

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  3. My schedule as a pastor was so messed up that having family devos was a real chore. I hate to say it but it was non-existent and if I didn't do it, it wasn't going to get done. This would have been nice to have had.

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    1. Gosh, you pastors have so much pressure on you to be there for everyone, 24/7. Healthy boundaries are incredibly difficult to dream up and then maintain.

      Thank God for grace ...

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  4. We had family devotions growing up, and have continued them with our family when we can. Very special memories are had with family devotions, and it is amazing what kids can teach us with their questions and thoughts as we pray and read the Bible together. This sounds like a wonderful resource, thank you for the chance to win this!!! Hope you are having a lovely week :)

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    1. I'm delighted that this tradition has been such an joyful experience for your family. Thanks for the encouragement that these quiet times CAN work and CAN bless both kids and their parents ...

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  5. We have been looking for something new as my daughter can pretty well recite the current options in her sleep. This is not altogether bad but still...

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    1. There's so many wonderful options out there, Debbi. I do love Sarah Young's three -

      Jesus Calling for Little Ones

      Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids

      Jesus Today Devotions for Kids

      Enjoy the search for just the right book! I'd love to know what you discover ...

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  6. Oh, this would make an absolutely wonderful gift for my daughter's family! She and her husband have three girls, so they could really use this.
    Blessings, Linda!

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    1. Cool! Your name's in the hat, Martha!

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  7. Hi Linda! I really agree with choosing a time that's good for the kids. Nighttime before bed is a lovely, snuggly time, but if you're my grands, you are also scheming how to stay up later!
    I love to be in nature, it's so calming and overwhelming in the best way...I like to share that with my little ladies! We collect dandelions and impossibly small pieces of stone ("For my rock collection!"). What a perfect time to sing the glory of the Lord.
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. Sure sounds like you're finding joy in living out that Deuteronomy 11:19 passage, Ceil! I bet those little ones just love sharing life and His love with their grandmama.

      And yes, yes, yes ... let's hear it for calming activities!

      ;-}

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  8. Oh my! I could tell you some stories about how our "family devotions" were far from "devout!" Our boys fed off of each other and Gary would get so irritated by their banter and antics that it often led to some not-so-wonderful parental examples for them! Lol! I could handle the boy's fidgetiness and distraction a bit better than Gary, but it was always a challenge no matter who was reading or sharing! This book sounds like a great resource, Linda. As usual you point out some gems for us and I thank you for the "mining!" ;-)

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    1. 'Far from devout!'

      That's funny now, but I know that it wasn't all that humorous then, was it, Beth. I can just picture your boys and Gary wrangling back and forth.

      How did we survive?

      ;-}

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  9. Hi Linda
    This will be a blessing for a dear friend and her family who need something like this desperately. I cannot currently afford to get this for her but I know if God wants her to have this somehow He will provide it. Today is a national day of prayer. Please please stand up in prayer for your family friends church state nation and world. Prayer changes us because we begin to communicate with Jesus the lover of our souls. PTL and thank you.

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    1. Dear Corena, Thank you for putting the National Day of Prayer front and center here today. Yes and amen to these prayer requests for our relationship, country, and world needs.

      We are a needy people, for sure. Praise God that He hears and answers our prayers.

      I'm grateful you've dropped in today ...

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  10. As empty nesters it has been so good for our marriage to read scrpture and pray together each day. Currently we use Ligonier Ministries' TableTalk. This book you recommend here would be great for one of our kids who still have children in the home.

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    1. Don't you just love being a grandmama?

      ;-}

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  11. Thank you so much for offering this book giveaway, Linda. So thoughtful of you! I love the thought that instead of spiritual discipline, devotions can be described as "Invitations to hang out with the One who loves us best of all!" Blessings and hugs to you!

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    1. Invitations are so much more winsome and compelling, aren't they ...

      ;-}

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  12. Have you endured our family devotions? Just wondering, Linda, because your description seems pinpoint. :-) Sounds like a much-needed devotional Bible. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Endured. Ugh ... I hear you, Kristi!

      ;-{

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  13. Great thoughts here about family devotions! We tend to get far too rigid and miss the joy of it all! You're right! I change it up for myself with different translations, different journals, different devotional books, and sometimes different settings as well. This looks like a great book to add to a library! Blessings on you, friend!

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    1. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one restless for change in my time with God, Pam. I don't think that makes us lousy Christians. Maybe it tells us that we're hungry for deeper encounters with our Savior ...

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  14. Being one who loves to be outside, I like the idea of gathering the family together and doing a devotion in God's creation! I need to get more intentional with my grown kids, as well as grand-kids to spend time honoring God when together. I didn't grow up in that type of environment so it is quite out of my comfort zone!

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    1. Lynn, you bring up an excellent point about not growing up in that type of environment.

      I'm wondering if that could turn around and be a source of freedom for you! You delight in honoring God and you love His creation. I'd love to hear how you'd put those 2 non-negotiables together to create devotional times for you ... and with your family ... that are truly delightful and inspiring.

      And I KNOW that others would be quite interested in what works for you since many of us seem to have run out of steam in this vital area of our spiritual lives.

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  15. This looks like a fabulous resource, Linda! Thank you for sharing and HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

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    1. I hope your weekend has been serene, friend! I thought of you as I watched a mama robin feed her 3 little ones atop my mom's porch light today.

      Each year another bird seems to enjoy the ready-built nest. Home, sweet, home ...

      ;-}

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'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda