There is no greater joy for me as a parent than sharing Jesus with my children. I am humbled and challenged and blessed {and even entertained sometimes} by the conversations we have about God and Jesus and sin and heaven and all that comes along with our faith.

We have been blessed to read a variety of children’s Bibles and story Bibles and family devotionals, each with unique qualities we have enjoyed. Some have become a bedtime standard and some are part of our holiday traditions.

This year, we’re trying something a little different! Have you heard of The Story? I hadn’t until late last year, but apparently a lot of people have already discovered this telling of the Bible in story form. I’m a little late to the party, but better late than never!

Well, I got all excited about The Story because there is a version for everyone in the family: adults, teens, children, and preschoolers! And each version has the same number of chapters, so as you each read through your own book, you are reading the same story as the rest of your family in a way that is age-appropriate!

The adult version is actually selections from the NIV translation, arranged in chronological order, with short transitions added to connect the story.

There are timelines throughout the book to help the reader see the events unfold in time. Discussion questions for each chapter are at the end of the book, along with short bios of important people, and a list of the charts included in the book.

I may be 31 years old, but can I just admit I kind of like the teen edition? The selections from the NIV are the same, but there is extra information in the transitions, plus two features I think are totally awesome:

Timeline tabs – Along the sides of the pages, you will find tabs that help you remember where you are in the story, with sections including “First Families,” The Promised Land,” “The Early Kings,” and “Jesus,” just to name a few. I really like “big picture” things so knowing where I am in the grand scheme of the story is something I really like!

Flip feature – In the lower right hand corner of each page, there are little drawings. When you flip through the book quickly from front to back, you will see The Story unfold in picture form! IT. IS. SO. COOL.

There are four different sets of pictures that change throughout the book and I just love this for all of the visual learners of the world! Ok, I think everyone will love it!

There is also a DVD curriculum available for churches to use for both adults and teens!

Now for the kids…

As I said before, The Story for Children {with selections from the NIrV} is divided up into the same chapters as the adult and teen versions, but some longer chapters have been broken down into smaller sections {to go along with shorter attention spans, I’m sure!} and beautiful illustrations have been added. Each section within the chapter ends with “God’s Message,” a great way to wrap up what God is speaking through His Word for the children!

The Story for Children is intended for ages 4-8, while The Story for Little Ones is a more abbreviated picture story Bible and meant for children ages 2-5. The Story for Kids is laid out like a chapter book and it is the version you will want for 9-12 year olds!

The Deluxe Edition of The Story for Children also comes with audio CDs read by Max Lucado! I love the audio option for road trips or even longer drives across town! My friend Amanda also told me about The Story Trading Cards! I think the boys will be getting those for Easter this year – how fun and a great way to reinforce stories and Bible verses!

I know I’m going on and on here, but I am just loving all of these coordinating resources for the whole family! I’m almost done – I promise!

ZonderKidz has also published two little extras for kids to go along with The Story materials!

The Story of Jesus for Kids tells of Jesus’ life as one continuous story in seven chapters. This short book is very inexpensive and would be great to go through with kids leading up to Easter!

God’s Messages for Little Ones is a sweet set of 31 devotions made for the youngest kiddos in your family. Each devotion has a short verse, lesson, and message from God. The book also includes a salvation prayer and an ABCs of Salvation section!

I would love to tell you that I have a plan all drawn up for reading through The Story as family this year, but I don’t. There are 31 chapters and plenty of weeks left in 2013! We haven’t read through this before, so I want to just let it unfold and see how it goes! I’m just excited to spend time reading and discussing the great story of God’s love for us in this format TOGETHER!


Have you read The Story? What are your favorite Bibles or devotionals for family Bible time? Are you trying anything new this year?


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