Fostering love of good reading in the children & adults (& college students!) of Gracepoint Berkeley Church and Davis, Austin, Minneapolis, San Diego, Riverside, Hsinchu, Los Angeles, Irvine, Santa Barbara, Seattle!
Category: Christian Books
Find recommendations and reviews of Christian books, past and present!
Hey, Gracepoint Berkeley church and beyond! You probably forgot about this here blog. I confess I kind of did too…until my *mom* mentioned to me that I hadn’t posted since last October. (Shout out to Mrs. Kim for reminding me to keep spreading the love of reading!)
I don’t want to make any promises, but I realize I should just write some posts about the books I most often recommend to people. Today I’ll start with a relatively new book from the super popular Action Bible franchise. As many of you who have read and love The Action Bible know, there are some intense parts (Valley of Dry Bones, anyone?). It might not be appropriate for younger kids, but at the same time, it’s a great way to get kids excited about reading the Bible. It’s awesome to see kiddos who come to Bibliopolis devouring The Action Bible, and reading it cover to cover multiple times.
I have one testimonial from a mom of a kindergarten boy here at Gracepoint Berkeley who said that her son asks to read it each day! There are questions to stop and talk about at the end of each section, so it can become a devotional type of experience for you and your child(ren) to share together.
So if you’re looking for a good book to go through with your child, or a good gift to get for the child of a friend or relative, I recommend it! We are carrying a limited number in our bookstore now. 🙂
Do you have an Action Storybook Bible testimonial to share?
With their permission, I am featuring our youngest finishers and their mini-reviews. I hope you’ll be inspired to pick up some more books!
Hi, my name is Julia. I’m 9 years old and in 4th grade. The heroes of faith book I liked the most is about William Wilberforce. I liked that book the most because when he really starts to understand the true meaning of what it is like to be a Christian, lots of people are asking him to present a bill against slavery to Parliament. After like a week he finally decides that he will present the bill. He decided to do that because this guy named Thomas gave him a copy of his essay to read. After he read all those words he started studying slavery. He learned all of these crucial facts about what people were doing to slaves, and that is what led him to the point when he presented the bill to the others.
Throughout half of his life he fought for others to have their freedom even though people kept on rejecting the bill. He still persevered, he brought up the bill several times, and had lots of supporters too. He eventually succeeded and it became a law officially.
This inspired me because he was a really bad person before. He would never study and his tutor would make fun of him if he studied or went to church or even read the Bible, so William would just gamble away and drink a lot. But when he met his old friend Isaac, he turned into a Christian and wanted to help all slaves get their freedom. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.
Wesley is 8 years old and in 3rd grade. Here is his mini-review of his favorite book from the challenge:
My favorite Christian Heroes book I read is about Jacob Deshazer because he was stuck in jail for many years and then he told a lot of people about God in China. When he was in jail for many years, he got to read books and one of them was the Bible. He read it 15 times before he gave it to someone else. This is how he became a Christian. I also thought it was cool that he was part of the Doolittle Raiders who first attacked Japan with a B25 bomber.
Sunday at Gracepoint Berkeley church‘s college worship service, Pastor Ed Kang gave some suggestions for ways to make the most of the precious gift of winter break that college students have. When I was in college, I definitely did not appreciate and consider the reality that the time in college is the ONLY time I would ever have this gift of a month-long vacation!
Here’s Kaylin, one of the juniors in Klesis at Berkeley, with another plug for the wonderful children’s books:
This was one of the most memorable life group times. I was struck afresh by how the gospel is so simple that it can be presented in a children’s book, while I often make the gospel unnecessarily complicated. I found the Wemmicks and Punchinello’s story to be true to our own world, and was able to draw wisdom that achievements and material possessions are just stars, dots, boxes, and balls. Their story reaffirmed that I am not special because of anything I do, but the fact that I am the Maker’s. The gospel was so clear to me as I was reading the book and I was warmed by Eli’s love towards Punchinello. These books are so good; they are truly layered and deep! After life group, I went on amazon to find the whole collection to read to my baby cousins. 🙂
A limited quantity of the entire collection will be available at the bookstore soon! Perfect gifts for the holidays.
As the holidays draw near, people have been sending me emails asking about book recommendations for this relative, or that aged friend or coworker. So I hope that a series of posts on good books will be helpful for those of you at our churches in Gracepoint Ministries and beyond!
For those of you looking for good children’s books, I highly recommend any of Max Lucado’s Wemmicks books. I confess I’ve had a couple of them in the library for awhile, but didn’t read them until recently. And I was pleasantly surprised and ministered to by the books for their deep truths about our source of worth that comes from our relationship with God our Father and Creator.
I’ve been reading and rereading the books with different groups during our Bibliopolis reading time, and have been making adults who walk by read them as well!
In fact, here is a short testimonial from Alexandria Shen from Gracepoint Berkeley church, who read four of them in succession on a study break. 🙂
I just read four of these books and cried! They are moving and delightful reads reminding us of God’s love. You’ll likely find yourself identifying deeply with Punch and the Wemmicks (read the books if you don’t know what a Wemmick is). If I had kids, I would definitely read these to them. For now, I think I might just read them with my life group!
As you can see, the Wemmicks books are great for children of any age! So they will make great gifts for children or the adults who will read them aloud for them.
My personal favorite out of the six is Best of All. Which one of the Wemmicks books do you like the best?
For the month of December, I will try to post as many book recommendations as possible, since many people are looking for good books to buy for people, as well as to read during the colder, perfect-reading-weather days.
Today’s recommendation comes from Susanna, from Gracepoint Berkeley church. She has two recommendations for books to help with intercessory prayer. As a pioneer of many prayer workshops, I for one am going to take her recommendation seriously!
I would like to recommend the following book to help you pray scriptural prayers as you intercede for those who are far from God:
This prayer book is written by a pastor who had two prodigal children, one of whom struggled with substance abuse for 7 years but is now a minister of the Gospel. Although it is written to pray for prodigal children, I found this book to be helpful to pray for anyone who is a prodigal, may it be a parent, sibling, relative, friend, or someone you are reaching out to. You just need to insert your loved one’s name in the prayer. I have been using this book to intercede for some people, and it has given me so much hope, strength, and confidence in God’s promises, especially when you feel weak and heartbroken.
The following prayer book is for parents, children’s ministers, and youth ministers:
Again, the prayers are scripture-based, and based on Biblical themes. It’s a wonderful springboard to pray and claim promises of God daily for your children (of any age). Although this is written for parents, it is a helpful resource to pray for children or youth that you are ministering to over the themes of purity, protection, faithfulness, fruitfulness, etc.
I will end with an inspiring quote from James Banks:
“We have a God-given responsibility to pray for them as long as we live. And we have the comfort of knowing that because of God’s kindness our prayers can even outlive us, finding their answers years after our own lives on this earth are done.”
Both of these books are readily available for purchase at online booksellers, and in the HB bookstore!
Blotch was a very entertaining read and definitely a good conversation starter for young readers with spiritual questions. The story about the boy looking for a way to get rid of the stains on his skin is a very relatable one, and touches on the different ways that people try to hide their sins. The main character in the story, named Blotch, gives a clear picture of the humble seeker, who gets to experience the truth that no matter how much you try to put away the “stains”, or sins of your life, they are always still there. I personally found it fun to read about how the author presented each character in ways I would never imagine. It’s an exciting adventure, filled with creative illustrations, that draws attention and gives much insight to problems many people don’t know how to face, and is definitely a recommended read to young and old readers alike.
Addis includes discussion guides at the end of each chapter. This parable was designed for parents or older readers to have conversations with children about the gospel and to make connections to their own lives. It would be a great book to read aloud during family times. I know Bibliopolis will be buying a copy today!
Here is a video trailer for the book:
Have you read Blotch? Share your experience reading this for yourself, or with a child in your life!