I want to thank P&R Publishing for providing me with a copy of The Great Escape: 40 Faith-Building Lessons from History in return for my honest opinion.
Every weekday morning, my boys and I start our day by reading from the Bible together and doing Bible Road Trip activities, before reading from some kind of devotional book. We don’t always use books designated as devotionals (right now I’m reading Pilgrim’s Progress to them, which has plenty of discussion material), but I love finding solid devotionals that really make them think, that ask good questions, and that are engaging.
The Great Escape: 40 Faith-Building Lessons from History by Christine Farenhorst (P&R Publishing, 2002) totally fits the bill. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and I can’t wait to read it to my boys (right after Christian reaches the Celestial City)…..
Christine Farenhorst has taken stories from history, sometimes using several historical anecdotes in one devotion. The stories are fascinating and well told. Each devotion also includes a passage of Scripture conveniently printed in the New International Version in a shaded sidebar, a message, and two devotional questions.
I love the fact that the stories are thoroughly engaging, that I couldn’t usually tell what the “moral” of the story was immediately, and that the devotional questions were deep, sometimes confrontational. I also loved the fact that many of the stories were unknown to me, coming from lesser known points in history. While Ms. Farenhorst uses stories from Christian history in the devotions, she also uses stories from history that have nothing to do with Christian biographies, like true tales of hot air ballooning and counterfitting. Really, the stories are fascinating, and I loved to see how at the end she would gently guide the story into a biblically-based moral.
Each story is about four pages long. It seems to me the devotional is perfect for families with children ages 6 or 7 to about 14. High school students will likely not mind listening in to these engaging stories along with the rest of the clan.
Christine Farenhorst wrote a second volume, Amazing Stories From Times Past: Devotions for Children and Families, that I can’t wait to read!
Purchase The Great Escape: 40 Faith-Building Lessons from History
Purchase the Sequel, Amazing Stories from Times Past: Devotions for Children and Families
More Devotional Books Reviewed at Thinking Kids
- 52 Spurgeon Stories: How a Spider Saved a Man’s Life and 51 Other Great Stories by Tony Hutter
- 40 Days 40 Bites: A Family Guide to Pray for the World by Trudi Parkes
- Family Time: 82 Devotional Lessons and Simple Prayers by Andrew Brannigan
- Tough Questions About the Bible by Joel R. Beeke
- The Lighted Way by Cousin Bessie
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~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), Wonderfully Made (CF4K, 2016), and Bible Road Trip. Her work has been featured in internationally-recognized children's magazines over 150 times.