I AM: 40 Reasons to Trust God–Bible Stories, Devotions, and Prayers about the Names of God

IAMAdvance600x700What’s the first question we ask children about a new friend?

What’s his name?

What did Moses expect the Israelites to ask him when he told them about meeting God at the burning bush?

What’s His name?

Creator. Comforter. Healer. Friend. God’s names tell us who he is, what he is like, and what he does. My new book for children and families, I AM: 40 Reasons to Trust God, covers forty of the Bible’s many names and descriptive titles for God.

Jehovah Jireh. The Lord My Shepherd. Immanuel. Rabbi. I Am.

Through Bible stories, short devotions, and prayers, children discover the meaning of each name and how it relates to their lives. As they develop understanding of God’s character and His love for them, they will grow to know, love, and trust the great I Am more and more.

The editorial and design teams at Tommy Nelson have created another beautiful book! The cover literally sparkles! Diane Le Feyer, who illustrated Words to Dream On: Bedtime Bible Stories and Prayers, was chosen to be the artist for I AM too.

You can view a sampler here. Children will recognize many of the Bible characters portrayed in Words to Dream On in this new book! And they can illustrate some of the stories in the book with the free coloring pages you can download here.

“Those who know your name put their trust in you.” Psalm 9:10

“Effectively spotlights God’s names with appealing and age-appropriate Bible stories that take the reader on a journey from Genesis through Revelation. The result is a book that will become an indispensable tool to teach younger children the joys of knowing God by name. —Ava Pennington, author of Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional

The Fine Art of Faithfulness

I was recently taken aback one Sunday after church when a man in his early thirties said to me, “I’m so proud of you.”20141208_173217

“You are?”

I couldn’t fathom why he’d be proud of me. He was about the age of my own children. Shouldn’t I be saying that to him? I hadn’t seen him for well over a year, and only a handful of times in the last ten years.

“Yeah,” he replied. “I’m so proud of you and this church. You’re always here. It doesn’t matter what happens or how many people come and go, you’re still here.”

We laughed. But it made me think.

How often do we just keep showing up, doing our thing, thinking nobody notices? How many times have I wondered if what I do matters to anyone but me? So often it seems the results are lackluster.

That’s where the fine art of faithfulness shines brightest. When nothing noteworthy seems to be happening, when the status quo lasts much longer than expected, when you keep putting one foot in front of the other, when you keep believing that showing up to do what you do matters–that’s faithfulness. It isn’t shiny or sparkly. It’s ordinary and mundane.

And beautiful.


Everyone is faithful to something or someone. Most of us are faithful to a number of things, like our faith, marriage, or family. Whatever we devote ourselves to shows the deepest part of our hearts. It’s the seat of our passion, our greatest love. It’s the motivation to our faithfulness. We act out of that deep love by showing up time and time again.

Faithfulness is powerful. It cements marriages, garners respect, lays life foundations, sets an example. Surprisingly, it isn’t invisible. People see it and honor those who possess it. So never wonder if your faithfulness matters.

It does. And it’s life changing.

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Precious Love

 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Colossians 3:16 NKJV

With Valentines Day approaching, today I’m sharing some songs that reflect our God’s great love for us, and also the wonderful love of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. You can do this in your home or with your Sunday School class.

Have you ever sung this song?

God’s love is like a circle, Circle-300px
A circle, big and round,
And when you see a circle,
No ending can be found.
And so the love of Jesus,
Goes on eternally,
Forever and for always
I know that God loves me.

I learnt it to the tune of Puff the Magic Dragon, but if you go to this link here, it is played to the tune of Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus. A nice song whichever tune you decide to use!

Then of course there is this popular children’s hymn by Anna Bartlett Warner and composed by William Batchedor Bradbury who also added the well loved chorus:

Jesus loves me, this I knowBlack Bible
For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong,
They are weak but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me, He who died????????????????????????????
Heaven’s gate to open wide,
He will wash away my sin
Let His little child come in.

Jesus, take this heart of mine,
Make it pure and holy Thine,
On the cross, You died for me,
I will try to live for Thee.

After singing this song, it would then be a good time to play the Valentine’s Day Bible Game Carol McAdams Moore suggested on Saturday which you can read again here, where they find the love verses in the Bible. Galatians 2:20 would be a good one to add which is specifically about the love of Jesus. They can then not only sing that the Bible tells them so, but they can know it for themselves too!

Lots of different verses have been added over the years to the original hymn. I love the version which you can hear here sung by The Maranatha Kids! which has this verse:

I love Jesus, does He know? Child Praying
Have I ever told Him so?
Jesus likes to hear me say,
That I love Him every day.

Yes, I love Jesus!
Yes, I love Jesus!
Yes, I love Jesus!
In prayer I tell Him so.

Also, there is this favourite by C. Austin Miles. I don’t know when the second verse was added but it’s one I enjoyed singing as a child.

Wide, wide as the ocean,Ocean 1
High as the heavens above;
Deep, deep as the deepest sea
Is my Saviour’s love.
I, though so unworthy,
Still am a child of His care;
For His Word teaches me
That His love reaches me everywhere.

Sweet message of mercy,
“I will in no wise cast out!”Christ_on_the_Cross_silhouette
Jesus said, “Come unto me
And bid farewell to doubt.”
Love led Him to Calvary,
His life as a ransom He gave;
Now He’s in glory
And sweet is the story that Jesus saves!

Again, Carol’s game can be used this time using verses that teach us of His love being everywhere. Hebrews 13:5, Psalm 139 could be used here.

There are many others. There’s John Hardwick’s For God So Loved the World, I’m So Glad That My Father in Heaven, Jesus Love is Very Wonderful to name a few. The Love of God is a beautiful and moving hymn for teens to share.

Also these two I want to mention as they, like The Maranatha Kids! version I mentioned above they talk of our love for Him: I Love You, Lord by Laurie B Klein and My Jesus I Love Thee.

I hope you have a great time singing these songs together celebrating His love for us, as well as the ones that express our love for Him.

Which are your favourite songs to sing about His love for us? About our love for Him?

~ Wendy Sparkes ~

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