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Long Story Short: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God Paperback – November 3, 2010

131 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Long Story Short is the best material for family devotions I ve ever seen. If you re looking for something careful, creative, and Christ-centered without being corny, confusing, or condescending look no further. Pastors would be wise to buy this book by the boxful and get a copy into the hands of each family in their church. --Justin Taylor Blogger (Between Two Worlds); managing editor of the ESV Study Bible

Parents, you know that teaching your children God s Word especially with children of varying ages is never easy. But Marty Machowski has just made it easier. Long Story Short guides your family through Old Testament stories, each one highlighting the love and faithfulness of God and the hope of a Savior to come. To use this guide is to have an experienced father and pastor assisting you every night. These moments together, informed by Marty's book, will help your children understand and be amazed by the grace of God as revealed in the Old Testament. --C.J. Mahaney President, Sovereign Grace Ministries; author of many books, including The Cross Centered Life

This is simply an outstanding book, and Christian families need it right now. I have never seen a devotional book that is so well suited to family devotions and to children, even as it is faithful in relating biblical truth. This book will help any Christian parent lead family devotions that will be memorable, faithful, and practical for Christian living. I ll admit this too parents will find that they love the stories, illustrations, and learning suggestions along with their children. Marty Machowski has written a wonderful book. --R. Albert Mohler, Jr. President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

About the Author

Marty Machowski is the 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 and his wife Lois and their six children reside in West Chester Pennsylvania.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: New Growth Press; a edition (November 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935273817
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935273813
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Marty Machowski is the Family Life Pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, where he has served on the pastoral staff for twenty-six years. Marty leads Promise Kingdom, the children's ministry of Covenant Fellowship. He is the author of Long Story Short, Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God, The Gospel Story Sunday School Curriculum and the companion Gospel Story Children's Bible. He and his wife Lois and their six children reside in West Chester Pennsylvania.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By MadeNew on November 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a book to help you teach the Old Testament in a Gospel Saturated, God -Centered way you have found it! Each story points to Jesus!

The book is chronological, teaching 78 of the main stories and characters of the Old Testament. Each week one story / character is taught. 3 days are spent on the actual story, one day is spent seeing how this story points to Jesus, and the 5th day a different Bible passage is read with the purpose of seeing what it teaches about Jesus.

This book is appropriate for preschool - elementary children as written. It could be modified fairly easily for younger and older children so the whole family can learn together.

Each week starts with an object lesson of some type. This relates to the story for the week. There are (usually) short passages from the Bible to read each day. (This is important, we want children to hear God's Word.) Then, the author does a brief recap of what the Scripture says. I have found these recaps to be very accurate and worded in ways that will help children understand. Next there are a few focus questions to discuss the story. Finally there is a prayer suggestion. The book claims to be "Ten-Minute Devotions" and it is possible that it could be finished in 10 minutes. I believe that many parents and children will stretch the 10 minutes!

I love the way the author teaches great truths about God drawn from the story or character being studied.

The one weakness I see is that there are no pictures! The book is intended for adults to read to children, but many children will benefit from pictures to help them understand the story. A Bible story book is due out in about a year from the same author that will have pictures.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By N.A. on January 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
We picked this family devotional up at church on the recommendation of our Pastor. We have begun so many systems/books that the children can't stay with or can't wait to get through. Perhaps it is because our youngest three are boys, but they love the object lesson approach and having an active part in the discussion. The length of the daily readings and discussion seems to be just right and provides good discussion material throughout the week because we stick with the theme for the week. Thank you for this resource.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Armstrong on February 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
"Daddy, can we read from the blue book today?"

My oldest daughter asks this every night, which should tell you how much she enjoys going through Long Story Short: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God by Marty Machowski. Although we'd been consistent in reading stories from (more or less) age-appropriate storybook Bibles since Abigail was about 18 months old, we hadn't yet tried out "doing devotions" with her. I had no idea how to really get started and I really wasn't sure if she'd be interested at all. (At this point, our 2 year-old, Hannah, participate all that much, but still likes to hear the "Bible stowies.")

When I was first recommended Long Story Short I was intrigued. This devotional covers the entire Old Testament through 78 weekly lessons, showing how it all points to Jesus. The format of each week is simple: days one and two are spent in your primary passage, day three typically looks at a New Testament passage that directly relates to the main story, day four returns to the main story for its conclusion and day five is a reading from either the Prophets or Psalms that talks about Jesus. And like th doesn't e subtitle says, it really does take only about ten minutes a night to read the passage, go over the brief explanation provided in the book and wrap up with a few discussion questions.

Since November, this has been our family's practice at dinner time; so far, it's been a big hit. The content is solid, Abigail loves the discussion, and we're seeing real growth in our family's worship of Jesus in a couple of interesting ways.

First, our family devotions have caused us to begin to address some subjects that we might prefer to downplay or ignore to all of our detriment.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie on January 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
I love this book! I am both a parent and teacher, and I love it for a variety of reasons. It is very systematic and organized. Each week has a Bible story focus, and it is very user friendly, with a variety of activities/questions to be done in just ten minutes a night. I LOVE that each week is tied to Christ! It is so important that children see Christ in the whole Bible.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have used, read, and evaluated many, many children/family devotionals over the years, and this one ranks as my all time favorite! I cannot wait for the New Testament edition to be released in October 2012.

There are several reasons why this devotional is especially unique:
1. It is written from a God-Centered, Gospel-Centered, Christ-Centered foundation. God is Holy. Christ is Worthy. This is not a man-centered approach that leads the reader to believe that the Bible is "all about us", but instead leads the reader to know the truth: The Bible is all about God --and how He chose to redeem mankind to Him!
2. It asks the parent to actually read the Bible. Although there is a Story Bible by the same publisher (that is excellent), this resource actually has the parent read from actual Scripture. The Scripture selections are not long, but are sufficient for the story that is being taught.
3. The devotionals are short enough to hold the attnetion of small children (as young as 3), but thorough enough that the parents leading will also be challenged and taught.
4. There are 5 days of devotions for each week. On day 3, the devotion leads the family to look at how Christ fulfilled or is implicated in the Old Testament story. It shows that Christ was there with God from the beginning, and that the OT is a foreshadow of His coming redmeption. On day 5, the devotional leads the family to Psalms or Proverbs or one of the Prophets and also points towards Christ.
5. It isn't "light" on doctrine. Even though it is written for family devotions, this does not dumb down sound doctrine and leads the parent to teach foudational doctrinal truths.
6. Finally, each major "story" of the OT is given a full week of learning and study. For example, Week 22 is "Joeseph's Dream.
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