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Our 24 Family Ways Review by Heidi StrawserClay Clarkson
Whole Heart Press
P.O. Box 3445
Monument, CO 80132
Our 24 Family Ways is a family devotional guide. This one book contains everything that you need to complete 24 weeks' worth of quality family devotions (all that you need to add is your Bible). Each week's devotion focuses on a specific "way" - these ways are statements that are based on Scriptural principles and are useful things to teach your children (and remind yourself). There are 4 "ways" for each of the following categories: Authorities, Relationships, Possessions, Work, Attitudes, and Choices.
In order to better explain the concept of the book, I will share an example from the first family way. The way for week 1 is "We Love and obey our Lord, Jesus Christ, with wholehearted devotion." Each day of the week (5 total) is broken down into 4 sections, using the acronym, ARTS. "A" stands for "ask a question" - the goal of these questions is to get your children thinking and to create an interest in what is going to be discussed. These questions are open-ended, meaning that there is no right or wrong answer; so they are great conversation starters and encourage participation. "R" stands for "read the Bible" - there is a Scripture passage to be read each day, along with a brief explanation of the passage. These Scriptures have been chosen as the perfect complement to your lead-in questions and should (if read properly) heighten the interest of your children. "T" stands for "talk about it" - these are more probing questions, directly related to the Scripture passage. These questions are useful in leading your children through a "mini-inductive study of the passage" and will help them to dig deeper as well as apply the Scripture to their daily life. "S" stands for "speak to God" - this section offers specific examples of things to pray for that directly relate to the topic being studied and discussed.
Each weekly way/lesson also includes a "learning the way" page. This page includes commentary on the way, a description of the character trait associated with the particular way, suggested Scripture memory verses for the week (given in three Scripture translations - NIV, NASB, and NKJV - but you can certainly use whatever translation you prefer), and a story starter.
This study, though it is designed to cover 24 weeks, will be used long after those 24 weeks are finished. The 24 Family Ways is designed to be something that your family will commit to memory and use over and over again. Though not necessary for the completion of the course, there is also an Our 24 Family Ways Color-in book for Kids, which would make a great supplement for families with younger children.
I am extremely impressed with this course! In addition to its originally intended use for families, I can see so much more potential here. The course could be used as part of a weekly co-op Bible class, or structured to work with a children's Sunday School class. The Our 24 Family Ways book could be used as a teacher's guide, and individual coloring books could be purchased for each student.
I would very much recommend this book to any family who is looking for a devotional that is "meaty" and worth their time to use. There is no fluff here; each way presented is an important Biblical concept that everyone will do well to commit to memory and life application. At a cost of just $14.95, this devotional guide will be worth its weight in gold. The coloring book costs only $4.95, so will make a very affordable addition to your study, and one that will certainly keep your younger children interested in the program.