The day before my youngest turned 18 I found out I was going to be a grandma.
It seemed fitting.
The end of an era. The beginning of an era.
My son and daughter-in-law are having a girl.
My grand-daughter is going to need some presents from her grandparents. Every Christmas and birthday for the next 18 years. That’s thirty-six special occasions. What if end up with 4 grandkids or ten?
That’s 360 gift giving opportunities.
What can I give her that’s meaningful? That will encourage her spiritual life? There’s a lot of negative influences on kids today.
A customer at the bookstore today told me her mother passed away. Her mother was a regular customer at the store. She bought a Seaside Bible with a zipper for each grandchild when they turned 7. Now that she was gone, her daughter was carrying on the tradition for the grandchildren who were turning 7.
I like that.
I like that it has meaning, that everyone knows and that the tradition continues after Grandma’s gone.
I like that she had an age picked out.
I like that they all got the same thing.
There’s something comforting about traditions.
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I want my grandkids to know God and love Him.
I will be giving books. That’s what I do.
Which ones will I give?
I don’t know for sure, but right now here’s my top picks for each age group:
The Beginner’s Bible
The Beginner’s Bible has become a classic. It’s simple. It’s great for reading aloud, which of course, is the only option at this age. It stays faithful to the biblical text.
The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones
I recommend the Jesus Storybook Bible with one caveat. Okay, maybe two.
First of all, I don’t care for the illustrations, but that’s a personal preference.
Secondly, and more importantly, I feel the author has taken some artistic liberties that have resulted in some minor inaccuracies in the stories compared to the Bible.
In spite of that, I feel this book accomplishes something I’ve never seen before in a Bible storybook. Instead of recounting disjointed, individual stories from the Bible, it weaves the big themes of the Bible into the individual accounts.
The plan of salvation and the incarnation of Jesus is highlighted and put into simple language for children.
Tying together a unifying theme of the Bible is huge.
If children can grasp these critical concepts, it’s a gigantic leap forward in their spiritual growth and understanding. Effective communication of these truths is priceless.
NIRV Adventure Bible
The New International Readers Version is written at a third grade reading level. It uses an easier vocabulary.
I tell customers that if they are planning to memorize verses from it or follow along in church with the pastor, they should be aware that it won’t line up exactly with the NIV.
But, for beginning or struggling readers, this version could be helpful. Alongside the entire text of the Bible are explanations and commentary to help kids understand the Bible.
The NIV Adventure Bible
This Bible contains the entire text of the New International Version Bible. It includes explanations and commentary geared toward 9 to 12 year olds.
The snap closure protects pages and comes in a boys edition and a girl’s edition.
Ages 13 and up
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
Jesus Calling is a daily devotional written from the perspective of Jesus talking to you.
There is a teen edition of Jesus Calling, but I give teens the original version which they can go through year after year.
I wrote about the secret of the success of Jesus Calling here.
So, those are my top picks for helping kids grow spiritually.
Which resources would you recommend?