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on September 24, 2010
I was hoping this devotional book would be a little more age appropriate for my five-year-old, because it is very hard to find "deeper" stuff for beginning readers. I'd say this book is more for older elementary school aged children, or perhaps even middle-schoolers. It would depend on the maturity level and spiritual depth of the child.

Each devotion (one for every day of the calendar year) has a scripture verse at the top and then a few paragraphs to illustrate, explain or apply the verse. At the bottom there is a small "Read on your own" bubble with more scripture for further reading. I liked the themes I read: casting worries on God, praising in the midst of a hard day, dreaming big but realizing God's plans are even bigger, etc. The devotions seem to be a little more personal, a little deeper, than many I've seen for children. I really like this about it. But one way in which this was accomplished was by writing the devotion from God, in first person.

Let me be clear: I believe God can and does speak to and through people all the time. And I think someone writing a devotional book for people of any age should be inspired to do so. I also found nothing questionable or in disagreement with scripture in Sarah Young's content. And truth be told, as far as interpretation of Scripture goes I'm not very conservative. But I still struggle with the implied authority her words achieved by writing as if it is God speaking. I think it might be confusing for kids to discern between scripture and devotion. It also reminds me a bit of something like "Conversations with God," and I am just not comfortable with people writing what they hear God speak to them and publishing it for others. Even if their word from God really was just that, it was THEIRS. Again, everything Ms. Young writes is solid, scripture-inspired and true, and she writes in her introduction that "the Bible is the only perfect word of God." I do not think it is her intention to put words in God's mouth or speak with God's authority, but rather to help kids to hear "Jesus Calling" in their own lives, speaking directly to them. My concern is that kids might be confused by this, especially if another book comes along not as thoughtful or scriptural as Ms. Young's.

I'm debating whether or not I'm going to hang on to this book for when my girls get older. I really like the messages, but I'd definitely have to be sure they understood who (or Who) wrote which parts. I want my girls to grow up with a love for God, His Word, and people. And I want them to question things and understand (eventually) that we don't all agree and that there are many people out there saying stuff for Jesus that I don't think He would ever say. I pray they learn to discern the difference and to find wise people and writings to help them grow, to seek Him and to try to live lives abiding in and sharing His love.
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VINE VOICEon December 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a book of 365 devotions, one for each day of the year. Each devotion is wonderful - they deal with things such as trusting God, not people-pleasing, knowing you're good enough, being thankful, God's comfort, God's promises, spending time with God, just to name a few.

This book is wonderful, because of all the negative impact and discouragement we all get in the world, we need to be reminded Who loves us and keeps us taken care of. There are Bible verses to back up each devotion.

Even though this book says "for kids", I feel that adults can also benefit from it. Even adults need encouragement, sometimes even more so than kids. Adults are the ones who have to worry about certain things that kids don't. And the way a lot of "adult" inpirational books are written, a lot of adults don't have the time or energy to read them. But this one is written in such a way that does not require a lot of time or energy. And, I don't think it is written all that "kiddy". An adult (or a kid) can read it at their leisure, take as many or as few "days" each day. Even if you only read one "day" a day, it will only take you a year to read the book, and get a lot of encouragement along the way, being reminded that God loves you, and you don't have to worry about anything but Him.

I love this whole book, and I could actually say that all the "days" are my favorites. But one "day" in particular that I consider one of my favorites, is September 7: "I Set You Free", in which we are encouraged to free ourselves from the guilt of our past mistakes/sins.

In this time of discouragement and evil, this book is refreshing and encouraging, regardless of your age. Kids and adults, I highly recommend this book.
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on October 19, 2010
This devotional book for kids is filled with a year's worth of devotions--one each day! They are dated with the day of the year, but not the day of the week--so it can be used year after year (a great thing, in my opinion because God speaks to us in new ways from the same passage, many times!)

The devotions contain a short scripture printed at the top and a one page message taken from the theme verse. Scripture references follow for further study--a great thing for older children, especially! I used the devotional book with my own four children and found the short verse and message appropriate for the kids aged five through ten (my three year old's attention span was much too short!) I, as an adult, also really appreciated the messages and often found God speaking to my heart through them!

The one thing I disliked about this book is that it is written from the first person--as if Jesus himself is speaking the words in the devotional thought. This was really confusing for my kids, who kept asking if Jesus wrote this or said this. It was difficult to explain that it was a woman who wrote it from the perspective of Jesus. I ended up changing it to read from the third person point of view instead and this seemed to be much better understood (and I felt more comfortable with it, too, since they really are not the words of Jesus!)

Overall, I enjoyed this book that Booksneeze sent to me for free to review!
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on September 30, 2010
The habit of spending time with the Lord on a daily basis cannot be formed too early. For children who need a good place to start, Tama Fortner's adaptation of Sarah Young's Jesus Calling may be the perfect book.

Jesus Calling is a 365 day devotional for kids. Each devotion begins with a verse followed by commentary written in first person, as if Jesus were speaking directly to the child:

"Talk to Me about your struggles, about the times when you feel that you just aren't good enough. Little by little, I will take those struggles and turn them to strengths."

Each devotion also includes suggested Scripture passages for further reading.

Young's writings are comforting, full of practical help, and promote worship. Jesus is often presented as a friend--"I am your best Friend--pour out your heart to Me,"--but He is also presented as the Sovereign King. This adaptation by Tama Fortner strikes the perfect balance for children.

Jesus Calling is probably most suitable for children between the ages of 6 and 12. Older children will also benefit from it, but it may be too advanced for younger children. We have started using it during our family devotional time. It makes a great addition.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through the Thomas Nelson Booksneeze program.
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VINE VOICEon January 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
If you've ever read "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young, then you know that the version for kids will be a treasure. And it is. Each devotional powerfully brings the heart of God into words and conveys messages of hope, peace, and joy. Each devotional is based on a Scripture and enables the child to understand more fully what God is trying to say through each reading. The first night I read a devotional from the book to my two boys, they were captured and amazed that they could so easily hear God speaking to them in such a direct way. There are some devotionals that speak a little above the age group of 13 year olds. I would not recommend the book for children under 8. Any child over the age of 8 would be able to read and grasp the messages of each devotional.

The book itself is a wonderful weathered hard cover and the pages are artistically created. I can't think of a better devotional to get your own child or for another as a gift! This is a MUST BUY!
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on September 30, 2010
I have been reading this devotional, Jesus Calling, to my 5 year old. Each daily devotion in this book starts out with a key verse and then application. I don't like that the words are written as though Jesus is saying them directly to the reader. I have to keep inserting "Jesus" where it says "I". Jesus Calling is not laking in depth though! It has some great words to teach our children. You can even follow the devotion with added scripture to read on your own.

The book looks as if it is an "old" book, timeless I guess. I disagree with the chosen target age group of 4-8. I believe that this devotional would be much better for upper elementary and middle school children. The devotions do not contain stories. They are more vague with deep thoughts and follow a year full of devotions specific to the time of year. I appreciate getting this book from Book Sneeze to read with my daughter, I just don't think it is applicable for a 5 year old yet. When she is a bit older we will come back to it and see if it will work for us.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
When I was walking through the room the other day, my 12 year old daughter came up to me and said,"Please make sure to tell the Amazon people that this book is really really good- I want other kids like me to have a chance to read it."

It was when I saw the book laying on the table as a reminder that I realized how special this book had become to my daughter. She has had it held captive in her room since the day I opened the box when it came in the mail.

Jesus Calling is presented in a very simple style. Each page is trimmed in orange red with writing in a blackened teal blue color writing. There is a page for every day of the year and a ribbon marker to keep your place. Yes, there is even a write up for February 29th!

Each page contains
-the date
-title of the day's inspiration
-Bible verse
-two or three paragraph encouragement written in first person with Jesus talking directly to the reader
-Bible verse to look up and read on your own

I have to say that the simplicity of this book with its very personal tone has not only given my daughter many days of encouragement and pleasure, but on occasion, my husband has walked up to me when I was having a very difficult day and handed me the devotional for that day and I have found myself feeling refreshed and encouraged.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to give their child a personal wink from Jesus and help them feel in touch with His love and individual caring in a very interactive way. If I had a book like this when I was 12, I would have read it every single day. It is just enough to be encouraging, but not too much to be overwhelming.
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on October 9, 2010
"Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids" offers a short devotional for children to read on their own each day. Each page contains a Bible verse, a devotional written as if God is speaking to the child, and suggested additional Bible reading.
While it has some good, well-written thoughts in it I am uncomfortable with it being written as if Jesus is speaking. I would prefer to hear "God" and "Jesus" emphasized more. I am afraid a child might lose that focus. I also am disappointed that there are no prayers or suggestions to pray included in the devotional.

"Booksneeze" provided me with a copy of this book to review.
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VINE VOICEon January 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've been reading this to my 6 year old son beginning on the first of the year. My son does ask me to continue reading it to him each night at bedtime, but they all sound so similar to me, it's hard for me not feel like I am reading the same thing every day. The book is organized with one page to read for each day of the year. There is a simply a month and day date , not a year, so you can beginning reading it at any time of the year and read it for many years to come.
Each begins with a verse and then a sort of reflection on that verse and a request from the reader to do something. Finally there is a suggestion for additional bible reading to do in addition to the devotion.
The book is written as if in the first person by Jesus himself which seems presumptuous on the author's part. The paragraph or two says things like trust me, or let me take care of things, but I found it more ridiculous than spiritual.
Also the book is written to be read at the beginning of the day, like you should reflect on this writing all day. Unfortunately we don't have time to read this on school mornings, and read it at night, so some of the intent is lost on us.
I think there are things about this book that can appeal to some, and my son enjoys listening to them each day, but I think there must be better options out there.
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on March 2, 2015
I have my children read this daily devotion aloud in the car on the way to school each morning. After about a week my middle-schooler told me it sets the tone for her day. She says it helps her deal with middle school situations with a clearer head and helps her avoid certain pressures from her peers. We are not avid church going people so to hear her say that made me glad I made this litte investment to purchase this book.
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