Friday, October 12, 2012
Looking for a family devotional?
Old Story New makes it easy for families to focus
on the Gospel with 10 minute daily devotions
Who can resist a story filled with adventure, suspense, drama and mystery? A story with these elements easily captures our attention, no matter how old or young we may be. However, we often forget that the gospel story has all these characteristics, and it’s a true story that has the power to save. Longtime children’s ministry leader Marty Machowski brings the entire family together to rediscover the excitement of the gospel by taking a deep biblical truth and presenting it in an easy-to-understand weekly devotion in his latest release, Old Story New: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God (New Growth Press, October 2012, ISBN 978-1-936768-66-0, $19.99).
As adults, we often struggle to figure out when to do our own devotions and where to start, so regular devotionals for family Bible study can seem especially daunting. Machowski frees parents from the pressure by giving them everything they need for five daily devotions per week, focusing on a weekly story and covering the entire New Testament in a year and a half (78 lessons). Each week’s gospel-centered lesson helps children understand and remember Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, as well as the beginning of the church. The devotional program is designed to explain God’s plan of salvation throughout the New Testament. Every lesson asks the question, “where is the gospel?”
Old Story New walks children through the great truths of the Christian faith through New Testament stories and offers simple discussion questions (and answers) for each day’s devotion. By focusing the family for only 10 minutes, parents can keep the attention of their young children and reign in their busy teenagers. Machowski even offers parents suggestions of how to make the gospel-centered devotionals relevant for all grade levels, and the lessons are suitable for children from preschool through high school. These kids Bible materials are perfect for morning routines, after dinner discussions, or bedtime rituals.
“Each week starts off with a creative activity, exercise, or bit of trivia to introduce the passage,” explains Machowski. “On days one through four you review a portion of the week’s Scripture passage. Special attention is given on day three to connect the current passage to the gospel. On day four we’ve added a question for your older children to ask you, and on day five you and your family will investigate a Bible passage from the book of Psalms or an excerpt from one of the prophets to discover how the passage points forward to Christ.”
Although Old Story New can be used as a standalone devotional, the stories coordinate with each New Testament story from The Gospel Story Bible (released last December) and the entire line of Gospel Story for Kids Bible curriculum. Long Story Short, the first volume in Machowski’s family Bible study series covering the Old Testament, was one of the 6 finalists for the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) 2012 Christian Book Awards in the Inspiration category. Using the two books together, families can go through the entire Bible in three years and gain a better understanding of the whole storyline of redemption.
The Gospel Story Curriculum for churches and Christian schools is now available for the Old Testament, and the New Testament portion will release in January 2013. When used in coordination with the church curriculum, Old Story New is a wonderful tool for families to follow-up on each week’s Sunday school lesson.
About the Author
Marty Machowski is a 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 more than twenty years. As leader of their children’s ministry, Promise Kingdom, he has worked for many years to develop kids Bible curriculum and devotional material that connect church and home. His passion is equipping families to understand the Bible as one gospel story and help them share that with their children.
“We get to tell God’s story to our children—the mighty life-transforming message of the gospel,” says Machowski. “We are sowers who plant the seeds of faith each time we speak the truth of God’s story to our children. Like a farmer sprinkling the newly planted seed with his watering can, we send our prayers to God while we keep our eyes fixed upon the soil of their lives, waiting to rejoice with the first sprouting leaves. Even then, though we’ve sown the seeds of the gospel, we still marvel and wonder about how they sprouted. That is where I hope Old Story New can help make sharing the Bible with your children a whole lot easier.”
Machowski is the author of The Gospel Story for Kids series including:
· The Gospel Story Bible
· Long Story Short: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God (OT)
· The Gospel Story Curriculum: Finding Jesus in the Old Testament
· Old Story New: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God (NT)
· Gospel Story Curriculum: Following Jesus in the New Testament (coming in January 2013)
Marty and his wife Lois and their six children reside in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
Visit http://gospelstoryforkids.com, for more information about the Gospel Story for Kids series and curriculum. The website is also home to Marty’s blog on family, children’s ministry and more.