Engaging Boys

active boysI have a new book releasing. It’s for boys and I wanted to write it for ever so long. I have three sons and five grandsons so I love their energy, enthusiasm, and curiosity. I know they can be noisy, gross, and run wild, but that shows they are alive. They enjoy being active and discovering something new, including weird facts.

Many people complain that boys don’t read. I find that they are very willing to read if you provide something that interests them.

All boys don’t like the same reading material and that’s okay. One of my sons liked nonfiction and fiction as long as it involved animals or aliens. Another son preferred nonfiction but liked mysteries and when he grew up he liked sci-fi. Another son liked adventure stories and when he grew up liked a wider variety of books. Most boys like something that makes them laugh.

Ask boys what they like and see if you can think of books that match their interests.

I co-authored my newest book The One Year Devotions for Active Boys. Jesse Florea is the other author. He’s the editor of Clubhouse Magazine at FOF (he does more than that). The book offers a variety both in the devotional stories and activities. Each day includes a puzzle, experiment, weird facts, check off list, quiz, secret code, or hands on fun activity. The stories include true stories, amazing facts related to a Bible passage, humorous fictional interviews of Bible characters, and stories about real kids. Humor is woven in to many of the devotions.

A book that offers variety and something to do can engage guys and get them excited to see what comes next.



  • What do you like to do?
  • What games do you enjoy?
  • What animals do you like?
  • What is your favorite book?
  • What do you want to learn about?
  • What makes you laugh?







Posted in Bible, Prayer | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Shared Bible Journals

Remember how excited your child was when he first learned to read? He probably read to anyone and anything that would hold still. Some beginning readers have been known to read to themselves in a mirror or even to the family pet.

As children progress in their reading skills, shared reading is a common practice. It is a you-read-page, I’ll-read-a-page kind of activity. Often, shared reading is used with children who are beginning to read independently, but may not be confident or motivated enough to keep reading without encouragement.

Ironically, this happens at the age when some children are becoming more and more concerned about peers. Often with this age group, interest in Bible stories can begin to fade a little. It happens as children approach middle school or junior high.

shared Bible journal

The great news is that kids still long for time with their parents.

Why not use your child’s longing for time with you for shared Bible reading?

  1. Find a Bible translation that fits your child’s reading skills. Getting ready for shared Bible reading is a great time to visit your Christian bookstore to find a Bible with just the right cover for your 10-12 year old to want to take to church with his peers.
  2. Choose a routine time and place. Following a routine will increase the chances of the shared reading happening on an on-going basis.
  3. Share the Bible reading. Maybe you can read one day and your child can read the next. Or, maybe you can switch off reading at the paragraphs.
  4. Create a shared Bible journal. Haul out one of the back-to-school-special notebooks or create something unique. With each reading, add to the journal. Possibilities include drawings or notes that represent the passage.
  5. Pray with your child about what you have read.
  6. Insert special snack time here!
  7. Repeat the next day.

Have you done shared reading with your 10-12 year old? What other ways have you encouraged your son or daughter to read the Bible?



Posted in Devotions, Family activities, Memory Maker | 1 Comment

Remember This When You Feel Small

bug2Do you ever wonder if your mothering matters? If your grandparenting has influence? If your ministry has impact?

The diapers and discipline, the prayers you pray for your grandchildren, the people you serve as you fund raise or teach or write or show hospitality … do your efforts seem small? Do the tasks seem unimportant?

They are not.

For years I’ve been part of a women’s group that reads through the Bible in a year. Our discussions are free wheeling. Once, as we discussed First Samuel, Lynn wondered how David knew exactly what was going to happen when he fought Goliath–he called it just like it happened.

Linda suggested that perhaps God had told him ahead of time.

I said I wasn’t sure about that. Maybe David knew a stone to the head might knock Goliath down and out but not necessarily kill him. And cutting off the head of one’s enemy seems not to have been uncommon.

But Goliath losing his head is not the point of me telling you this story.

There was a bit of quiet. Then Linda said, “You know, David had all of Saul’s heavy armor at first, and then he went with just those few stones. It made me think of the feeding of the five thousand. Where Andrew found the little boy with the few loaves and fishes, and then he said, ‘But what good is that with this huge crowd?’ ” (John 6:9).

She went on: “With Jesus, that little bit of food was enough. With God, David’s few stones–just one was enough.”

I’ve been thinking about this. How shocked the disciples must have been when those loaves and fishes just kept multiplying. How convinced David was that he was facing off with Goliath in God’s power and for God’s reputation.

I have often felt “not enough.” Small. Others are smarter, wiser, more clever, more financially stable, making more of a contribution.

But our expectations can deceive and derail us if they aren’t God’s expectations. The disciples’ expectations on that grassy hillside were all wrong. And the expectations of the noisy, notice-me crowd around us will cheerfully chomp us to pieces. Goliath certainly thought he’d devour David.

So I want to remember this the next time I feel small: God works with small offerings and firm faith.

I’ve got those.

And I’m betting you do too.

© 2014, Diane Stortz

LoveLettersI’m doing a giveaway over at my blog! Enter to win a copy of a beautiful new book by Glenys Nellist, illustrated by Sophie Allsopp, Love Letters from God–a collection of 18 Bible stories told with wit and fun. CCA contributor Crystal Bowman reviewed the book here. Children will love opening the lift-the-flap letter that goes with each story! To enter, just hop over to DianeStortz.com!

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Posted in Encouragement | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments