Children's Non-Fiction

Through the Bible Devotions by Mark Littleton

You cannot walk into a store this time of year without being taunted by those pastel packages of miniature candy. I immediately go into a candy stupor, just like when I was a little girl. Still to this day, I cannot fathom why my mom would load up our Easter baskets with giant chocolate bunnies and jelly beans and then spend the rest of the day trying to keep us from bouncing off the walls. Not only do we refrain from inundating our children with candy but we also make a concerted effort to dispense with the bunny. If you are looking for a Christ-centered non-candy Easter basket addition then I would like to recommend “Through the Bible Devotions” by Mark Littleton.

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What caught my eye in Lifeway was the orange circle on the front cover that reads “From Genesis to Revelation in 365 Days.” My children are young (5 & 8 years old) and up until that point we had jumped around in the bible reading favorite bible stories, stories about heroes, or following reading plans that corresponded with the holidays. I wanted to be deliberate about reading through the entire bible with our children.

This devotion is written for pre-teens.

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PROS: We have been using this devotional for going on 10 weeks. The weeks are marked but they are not dated so it makes a good gift no matter what time of year it is (it’s not necessarily a New Year devotional). Every day there is a theme, in the example above the theme is True Loyalty, which is supported by the main reading for the day. To truly cover the entire bible you will have to read the optional reading as well. I find that the devotions are age appropriate, applicable to social situations that our kids may face, and spark good conversation with the children. There is a one sentence prayers at the bottom of each lesson that we expand on as part of our bedtime prayers. In our reading we have covered the topics of: prayer, obedience to parents and God, misusing God’s name, idols, dealing with criticism, fear, forgiveness, loyalty and more.

CONS (for younger children): Because I am using this with my kindergartner we omitted the word “idiot” from the week 9 devotional. On another day Week 7: Wednesday [Speaking about rebellious children] “Sometimes young people start doing far worse things than coming home late or telling a little lie. Sometimes they get into drugs, drinking, sex, and many other things…,” I skipped the second sentence. Despite our families need for these small adjustments I award this book 4.5 stars.

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About the Author: Mark Littleton

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Mark Littleton is a graduate of Colgate University and Dallas Theological Seminary, and is a former youth pastor and pastor. He is the author of more than 2000 articles in such magazines as Discipleship Journal, Reader’s Digest, Christianity Today, Focus on the Family, Preaching, Group, and many others. He has had more than 98 books published, several of them bestsellers, including the NIRV Kids’ Devotional, the Edge Devotional Bible for Kids, the Sports Heroes Series, and the “Up” series for teens. He has been nominated three times and been in the final round for the Gold Medallion Award of the ECPA. He has won Campus Life Magazine’s “Book of the Year” Award twice.

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