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Long Story Short: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God Paperback – November 3, 2010
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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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A year and a half later, my kids and I started this as a New Year's Resolution! We are 25 days in and we are enjoying it immensely. I better understand the layout this time and appreciate the walk through the Old Testament with a connection to Jesus in the New Testament and a Psalm or Proverb. It will last 78 weeks if you do 5 devotions each week. My kids are begging to do these now. Age 9 and 11. Definitely 5 stars now.
I know. There ARE a million "teach your kids the bible" books.
But I didn't want my kids to just know the bible stories. I wanted them to know and be reminded over and over WHY those stories are in the bible.
Have you ever thought about that why?
Well, it's because each story points toward the person who is the entire purpose for this whole thing: Jesus. When you study the bible with the goal of finding Jesus in its passages (not just the New Testament, the WHOLE bible), you are studying from a biblical theological perspective.
I want my kids to see Jesus' love and God's plan everywhere, and what better place to start than the Bible?
Marty Machowski approaches this Biblical Theological perspective for kids by breaking each biblical account down into 5 days. The first two days are spent starting the story and getting to know the people in it. Day three, you go to the passage that shows you how the story points forward to Jesus. Day four and you're back in the story again to find out what happens. Day five is a corresponding passage from the Psalms or prophets.
Each week begins with an illustrative example from the child's worldview which relates to that week's story. Each day the children begin by reading the passage for that day (if they can) out loud. After that, there are a series of questions designed to get them to think about the story in an analytical way. The lesson is finished with a guided prayer based on what was taught in that day's lesson.
Wow. What a comprehensive, thoughtful, Jesus-centered way to study the Bible. We are ALL learning when we do these studies.
Thank you Marty Machowski!!
There are many different outlines for family worship, but in case others are interested we integrate this book into our evening worship time as follows:
1) Gather together on couch before bedtime
2) I or my wife reads the scripture passage referenced in Long Story Short, asking questions and making commentary while reading to help with comprehension
3) Short summary review of what was just read and main take-away
4) Skim through the discussion presented in Long Story Short to see if there's anything I missed in my summary
5) Say, "Ready for questions?" Children (love to) respond, "Bring it on, Daddy!"
6) Ask the questions presented in Long Story Short. Typically, at this age, will have to assist the children with answers requiring more than one or two words (thinking versus memorization questions).
7) We each pray: Dad, 4yo, 2yo, Mom
8) We sing hymns/songs and the children will usually dance. This is the part our children enjoy the most, so we usually sing at least 4-5 songs of varying lengths, sometimes more. First the new hymn we are learning (same one until we learn it by heart), then the kids take turns going back and forth picking songs until we realize we've let them stay up too late again.
9) We close with everyone saying the Lord's Prayer together.
10) As soon as we say "Amen," they race to the bathroom to brush their teeth.
Again, this has been an invaluable resource in getting rid of the fear of starting and continuing our family worship time. I'm grateful it has been made available.
Oh, one last thing: ignore the 5-days a week component of the book. Just do the next day each time you do family worship. Otherwise, you'll stress yourself out when you skip family worship for whatever reason and have trouble getting yourself started again as you'll feel like a failure. Just ignore the "week" component of the book completely and take it day by day. If you miss a day or two or three or four, don't fret. Just start back up again where you left off and you're good to go!