Friday, July 1, 2011

Family Devotions: Children's Commentary

Since we have children ranging from 9-18 years of age, finding a good book for family devotions that everyone can truly benefit from and feel challenged by is hard to track down. But once in a while my husband or I find a gem that's worth the hunt. Recently, he brought home just such a commentary on Genesis for our breakfast devotions.

Nancy Ganz's Herein Is Love series is a commentary for children but it's certainly not in the "light weight" category! Nancy artfully weaves heavy theological truth with words that even an 8 year old can understand. Older audiences will quickly realize her use of alliteration is specifically designed to snag the attention of the younger crowd, but it's easy to overlook her slight overuse of repetitive sounds because Nancy is such a master at connecting the dots throughout scripture, leading the reader to see how God has had an eternal plan from the beginning of time and fulfilled much of it through Christ's life, death, resurrection, and second coming. By bringing in scriptures from throughout the entire Bible, Nancy helps the reader to see the relationship of events from Genesis all the way to Revelation.

And she's quite the storyteller! Her ability to retell the events in Genesis are interesting, but in no way would I say she was dumbing down the lesson or making it seem contrived. Her insights are wonderful, and I confess that I've learned a new thing or two myself at the breakfast table!

I should mention that we have not finished the commentary at this point, but only once can I recall something that was incorrect and I suspect was actually a misprint. And she does take a few liberties in talking about how various Bible characters must have been feeling, but nothing has been out of line by going too far; at least in my opinion and my husband's. He has enjoyed it immensely and more than once, moved to tears!

If you'd like to know more about this book and the rest of the series, you can find out more at Shepherd Press. Also, you can read the introduction and first two lessons to get an idea if it might be a good fit for your family. Finally, there is a Teacher's Guide to help you expand the lesson to include scripture memory, visual aids, crafts, field trip ideas, prayer, review questions, and singing which is based on the Psalter "The Book of Psalms for Singing" (published by the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, 1973). At this point, she has completed Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. I only wish she could do the entire Bible!

I'd love to hear feedback from anyone else regarding her commentaries!


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