Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
I Can Learn the Bible: The Joshua Code for Kids: 52 Devotions and Scriptures for Kids Hardcover – November 11, 2014
|New from||Used from|
From timeless classics to new favorites, find children's books for every age and stage. See more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
About the Author
Holly Shivers is the author of I Can Learn the Bible and I Can Learn to Pray. Holly has served as a staff wife for over a decade at Prestonwood Baptist Church, where she stays involved in women's and children's ministries. She received her Master’s degree in counseling. Holly enjoys contributing to various writing projects and ministry blogs but is most passionate about writing to kids. Some of her favorite things are Dr. Pepper, rainy days, family time, and especially those Dallas Cowboys! Holly lives in Texas with her husband and four kids.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
What I don't like is that most of the verses are not in a commonly known translation that the children might run across in other settings; they are from the International Children's Bible which, to my knowledge, is not a very common translation. Yet, the forward in the beginning of the book quotes a verse in the NIV translation. If only the entire book could have followed suit...or at least if different translation options were available to purchase. I also don't like the content of the one devotional that states, "God gives us keys to a happy life. Really, He does!" (203). I know God promises us "joy" in His Word, but I think stating that God's plan is for us to be happy is very misleading and, to be quite honest, kind of dangerous. However, perhaps the author simply mistakenly used "happy" for a synonym for "joy," a word that kids might not understand as well. That was a little bit of a theological concern on my part, though. Christians might not always be happy, but they can certainly experience His joy no matter what is going on in their lives.
So, for this book, I would give it a 3 out of 5. I think it could have had a lot of potential. While some families may find that it meets their needs, I feel that others will not find it usable due to the choice of translation.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
The one thing I am not a fan of with this devotional is that it paraphrases the Bible verse instead of giving the actual Bible verse. With my daughters I pull out my Bible and teach them the actual verse and use this book as the devotional to go along with it. I feel that by teaching them a modified/paraphrased verse they won't be quote actual scripture as they continue to grow in their walk with the Lord. I do love that the weekly devotion explains why it is important to know the verse. I feel that is something lacking when simply teaching kids memorization so I appreciate that the authors put this together :)
I've not read The Joshua Code, so I can't comment on how much of Shivers' exposition is her original insight or thoughts adapted from her father's book. However, I liked the way she explained Romans 8:28 by comparing God's working all things for good to cooking up a batch of homemade biscuits. While individual ingredients, such as baking powder or flour would taste awful by themselves, Shivers explains, "Like those yucky ingredients, some things in life 'taste' bad to us or make us very sad" (31). I thought this was clever, and my 6-year-old was held by the metaphor. Other deep yet kid-friendly moments included Shiver's use of "Opposite Day" to describe God's Kingdom, in which the King is a servant, the greatest shall be the least and the first last. In week 17, Shivers presents the Bible's famous shortest verse, "Jesus cried." She explains that Christ's tears were not because he was sad that Lazarus died, after all, he could easily resurrect him. Instead, Jesus was feeling empathy for his friend's bitterly grieving sisters. This opened up a moment for me to ask Stephen whether he'd ever cried when someone else was very sad. My son couldn't relate to this, but quickly came up with his own example of how he laughs when his friend laughs or feels happy when those he cares about are happy.
As much as I liked Shiver's treatment of the Lazarus story, I couldn't completely rely on the text to enlighten my children. The book's illustrations are in a quirky, whimsical style and employ a mix of animal and human characters. Because "Jesus Wept" is accompanied by a cat crying a puddle of tears, my 3-year-old innocently asked, "Is that Jesus?" We all got a good belly laugh out of that. Additionally, the second part of the devotion shifts to talking about Psalm 56:8, in which God keeps our tears in his bottle. At this, my oldest shouts, "His bottle?! Does God drink our tears?" In my own reading of the psalms, I've always found this wording a little bit weird and figured something must be lost in the translation. So I told Stephen that the psalm also says God writes our cares in his book, an idea that is a little easier for him to grasp and conveys the spirit of the verse without conjuring up Alice in Wonderland scenes.
I didn't read the entire book to my boys, but read through it myself--something I recommend doing for all devotionals parents plan to read to their kids! There are a few other weeks I might skip or verbally rewrite when I do get a chance to share them with my boys. For example, week 26 features God looking at our hearts rather than external appearance in 1 Samuel 16:7. I think this an entirely appropriate topic for children, however Shivers writes that, "You might think things like, I am too short, I am too skinny, or My hair is ugly" (116). This gave me pause. Many children between the ages 4-8 are still blissfully unaware of their physical appearance. My 6-year-old has always been at least a head shorter than his classmates, but only recently realized it and doesn't see it as a flaw. For some children, hearing that they might think these negative thoughts would actually be their first introduction to these thoughts. As a side note, this is why it's so important that we as parents don't practice negative self-talk in earshot of our kids. Other parents may have kids who have already expressed discontentment with their physical appearance, and this would be a perfect devotion to read with them.
My final critique is Shivers' exposition of "God's phone number," Jeremiah 33:3. The verse reads, "Pray to me, and I will answer you. I will tell you important secrets. You have never heard these things before" (54). Despite the obvious emphasis on God speaking and, presumably, the praying person listening, the entire devotion emphasizes that we can talk to God and tell him everything and get things off our chest, and thank him when we're done. She writes, "When you are talking to a friend, one of you is talking and the other is listening. That is the way communications works. Well, prayer is the talking part of our relationship with God" (55). She also implies that God's answer is simply that He picks up the "phone" and will always be ready to listen to us whenever we pray. I don't dispute any of this, of course. But Shivers implies that we do all the talking. And, if I'm honest, many of my prayers are one-sided conversations. This is why I've been intentional about encouraging my son to listen for God's still small voice. To hear God's answers to his questions, and to even, like Samuel, hear God's speaking when he hasn't asked for an answer.
In conclusion, I plan to continue using I Can Learn the Bible with my sons because it is a book that opens up space to talk about God's word with simple metaphors and playful images. However, this book, like all children's bibles, requires that I tune into God's moment-by-moment rhema word to be able to flesh out some of the devotions and trim others to best meet my children's needs.
*Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.*
As a Christian educator with an emphasis on children's ministry, "I Can Learn the Bible" is a rare find; a wonderful combination of Scripture and easy-to-understand application. Formatted for weekly devotional use as a family, its practical approach to memorizing God's Word is unique and refreshing!
Based on God's words to Joshua prior to entering the Promised Land, "Always remember what is written in the Book of the Teachings. Study it day and night. Then you will be sure to obey everything that is written there. If you do this, you will be wise and successful in everything." (Joshua 1:8), the author has given parents an easy tool to use with a wide variety of ages.