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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name

Dear friends,

I love stories and I love the Bible, so it would stand to reason that I love Bible story books.  That's true.... sometimes!  Since I have 10 kids, we've bought at least a dozen different Bible story anthologies over the past 23 years.  Some of them are too stuffy and dry, others too silly or dumbed down.  Others have been downright inaccurate or misleading.  Sigh...

Yet there is one I turn to most often when I want to read to my kiddos.  It's The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones.  Granted, the illustrations by Jago are sometimes a little bizarre for my tastes, but there is nothing really wrong with them and the kids love them.  The strength of this particular storybook is hinted at by the subtitle: "Every Story Whispers His Name."  No, this isn't just a book of New Testament stories.  Every story, starting with Genesis, tells us something about Jesus.  It's foreshadowing for kids, and it's done very well, very poetically (not rhyming, but profound), very humorously, and very appealing even to young children.  It is not an early reader's Bible, so don't try to use it to teach your child to read.  It is, however, designed to kindle your child's sense of wonder about Jesus.  It sure kindles mine, too.

A couple of weeks ago, I finished up reading Genesis to my kids from the real Bible.  (We read at least a chapter a day; now we're well into Exodus.)  I wanted to spice things up for my younger kids, so I also pulled out The Jesus Storybook Bible and read the story of Joseph, called "The Forgiving Prince."  In this story, Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, accused of wrongdoing by his master, and sent to prison.  Later, he interpreted Pharoah's dream, saved the entire region from famine, and then was reunited with his unsuspecting brothers, whom he reminded of God's sovereignty in using this evil for good purposes.  The story ends this way, looking forward to Jesus: "One day, God would send another Prince, a young Prince whose heart would break.  Like Joseph, he would leave his home and his Father.  His brothers would hate him and want him dead.  He would be sold for pieces of silver.  He would be punished even though he had done nothing wrong.  But God would use everything that happened to this young Prince -- even the bad things -- to do something good to forgive the sins of the whole world."
I had never before quite seen the story of Jesus in the life of Joseph, but I love the comparison.   Or how about the ram that Abraham caught when he had intended to sacrifice Isaac? 

I can't quite do this book justice in my brief descriptions, but fortunately you can see a whole lot more right here at the official web site: http://www.jesusstorybookbible.com/  Each week, they feature a short video of a different story from the book.  The book is also available in Spanish or in audio format.

Download free sample PDF stories and MP3 audios here: http://www.jesusstorybookbible.com/index.php?option=com_downloads

Don't miss the interview with the author here: http://www.zondervan.com/m/kidz/JONES.pdf

Christmas is coming, friends, and The Jesus Storybook Bible makes an excellent Christ-centered gift for any child ages 4 and up!  You can order it for only $9.99 (which is 41% off list price) at Christian Book Distributors here: The Jesus Storybook Bible.

"A Bible like no other, this book invites children to join in the greatest of all adventures, to discover for themselves that Jesus is at the center of God's great story of salvation--and at the center of their story too." (from CBD's web site)

Blessings,
Virginia Knowles
http://www.startwellhomeschool.blogspot.com/

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