Book Review: "God Loves Me More Than That"

I recently had the opportunity to review the book, God Loves Me More Than That, by Dandi Daley Mackall. The book was provided for me by Waterbook Press in exchange for blogging my thoughts about it! So here goes:

The book's stated purpose is to " your children grasp the great love God through comparisons and descriptions they can easily understand." Did it? I had mixed thoughts. First, let's hear from the other critics.

My review panel included 5yo Happiness and 4yo Sweetness. They were both extremely interested in our new book and eagerly sat down with me to read. Once I finished it, I turned to each of them and asked for opinions.

Happiness: "It's got nice pictures. I like it."

Sweetness: "I like the pictures too, especially the one with the sneezing cat. But I thought it was boring."

As the third member of the review panel, I had to agree with both my budding literary critics. The pictures WERE wonderful!  Lively, engaging illustration perfectly complemented the text. I loved some of the unusual angles at which the artist chose to depict the scenes, such as looking up from deep inside a wishing well as a little boy drops coins down towards you.

As to the text, I had mixed emotions. The author used poetic, gentle cadence to communicate the truth of God's love. Her choice of verbiage is colorful and interesting, ie Wider than a prairie where cowboys ride. God loves me wider than that!

But I found some of the comparisons to be too abstract and strange for my more literal children. Talking about how much the Lord's love weighed or how loud God's care for us is seemed too, well, unclear. I can see how you could use some of these more abstruse thoughts to springboard into a discussion of the "softness" or "heaviness" of God's love, but for just a casual read, I would have preferred more concrete, Biblical terms.

Also, we did find the book a little bit boring, but I think we approached it more with a "storytime" attitude than gearing ourselves for a devotional book. I think this book's perfect usage would be in family devotions with little ones, affording plenty of opportunity to talk more about God's amazing love for us.

An advent failure...

So. I was planning on doing an in-depth, fun advent devotion every day with my kids and then posting it here. Has it happened? Nope. Between being sick and life, advent has fallen by the wayside. We're doing devos about every other day, but posting on here hasn't happened. Every year, I plan on sharing my advent plans and every year it doesn't happen. I guess this falls under the category of having lots of little children and not enough time. Sorry about that for anyone who wanted to do advent along with us! Maybe we'll try again next year...

Advent Devotions, Lesson 1

Day One: The Advent Calendar
  • Memory:Begin memorzing Isa. 9:6
  • Read 1 Peter 1:10-12 in NLT
  • Talk about how the prophets were eagerly awaiting Jesus’ birth because of how special it was!
  • We are eagerly awaiting Christmas too, so we’ll make a Christmas countdown calendar using rings and number!
  • Make a Christmas Countdown Chain together!

Firm Foundations 9:4

Theme: Because of sin, we are God's enemies

Scripture Memory: Review Romans 6:23.

Scripture memorization tip from Central Presbyterian: Make flash cards with Scripture on one side and the book, chapter, and verse on the other. If your child is too young to read still use the card to help yourself and for future review. Take the cards with you when you go out so that you can review the verse at different times of the day (in the car while you are at a light, waiting in line at the grocery store, etc.). You can put a sticker on the card when the child has successfully memorized the verse. He/she will be encouraged by the accumulated cards. - Read more tips from Central Presbyterian Church on helping your children memorize the Bible.

Catechism Q&A: Q. What did God require of Adam? A. To obey Him perfectly.

Enemy Combatants: Read Ephesians 2:1-3. Without Christ, we are God's enemies, opposing His will and ruining His creation. Write down a list with some of you and your children's failings.  Next, read Revelation 20:11-15. Someday God will sit as Judge, and will give us what we deserve for our actions. Bring up your list and talk about what kind of punishment should be received for each one. Then point out that the punishment God says we'll receive is to be separated from Him forever in the lake of fire.  But wait! There's someone to rescue you!

Depending on your children's interest level and reaction, this might be a great time to give a simple Gospel presentation, such as the bridge illustration.

Notebook: Use one of the pictures from the bridge illustration to remind your children of how we are separated from God because of our sins.
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