If you were to sit down with a group Christian moms and dads and ask them to identify the top three challenges they’re up against when it comes to discipling their children, most if not all of them would put consistency in family devotions and Bible reading on their list. When you take into consideration the rapid pace at which we try to live our lives and the fact that many of us didn’t have this modeled for us when we were growing up, this is tough stuff. To he honest, this was a constant frustration in our family until about a year ago. Things started to change when we got ahold of a copy of The Gospel Story Bible: Discovering Jesus in the Old and New Testaments (New Growth Press, 2011). The Gospel Story Bible is now a constant companion at our dining room table. Our older children take turns reading one lesson at each meal. The “Let’s Talk About It” follow up questions have led to many a lively discussion with our kids ranging in age from toddler to teenager. Quite simply, our family has been very blessed by The Gospel Story Bible.
Lately, we have been looking for an additional resource to take us beyond our dinner table readings. New Growth Press has come to our rescue once again with a brand new book by Marty Machowski titled Old Story New: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God. Old Story New (New Testament) in conjunction with its predecessor Long Story Short (Old Testament) is a three year family devotional program that shows how God’s plan of salvation runs all the way through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Each lesson tries to drive home a consistent message, always coming back to a very specific question. In the case of Long Story Short it’s “How does this passage point forward to Jesus?” and in Old Story new it’s “Where is the gospel?” Here’s how each week’s lesson breaks down:
- The week begins with a bit of trivia, a creative activity, or exercise to introduce your kids into this week’s passage.
- Days 1-4: Review a part of the week’s passage
- Day 3: Emphasis is placed on considering how the week’s passage connects to the gospel
- Day 4: Older children are encouraged to ask their parents a questions.
- Day 5: Investigate a passage from Psalms or the prophets to see how it points forward to Christ
If like me you have some kids still in diapers and others who will be driving in a few years, you may wonder if this book will work with older kids too. My answer to that question is a resounding yes. Marty offers some great tips on how to use the book with preschoolers, grade schoolers (elementary) and young teens in the introduction.
Our family is excited to be incorporating Old Story New into our weekly family devotions regimen. Here are the things that I appreciate about the book:
- Each lesson can be completed in 10 minutes or less.
- It can be used in conjunction with The Gospel Story Bible.
- Each week, you are encouraged to read aloud a significant portion of scripture.
- Each lesson includes three well-written discussion questions.
- Each lesson ends with a topic to pray about.
The only negative thing I have to say related to Old Story New is that I really missed out when I failed to get a copy of its predecessor, Long Story Short. I know my family would have greatly benefited by me introducing them to this series much sooner. As the saying goes, better late than never. For now, we’ll continue working our way through Old Story New and will pick up with Long Story Short afterwards.
My overall rating for Old Story New is 5 out of 5 stars.
If you’re a pastor or are involved in children’s education at your church, you should consider taking a look at the Gospel Story Curriculum. It is aligned with Long Story Short, Old Story New, and The Gospel Story Bible. If you get those great resources into the hands of your students’ parents, there is great potential for what the kids learn on Sunday to be reinforced all week long. Learn more at GospelStoryForKids.com.
About the Author:
Marty Machowski is a Family Life Pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church, a Sovereign Grace Ministries church in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, where he has served on the pastoral staff for twenty-two years. Marty leads Promise Kingdom, the children’s ministry of Covenant Fellowship. He is the author of The Gospel Story Bible; The Gospel Story Curriculum (OT); and Long Story Short, the Old Testament companion devotional to Old Story New. He and his wife Lois and their six children reside in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
This book was provided by New Growth Press. The reviewer was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
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