24 April 2018

Listen Up by Marty Machowski Book Review

Everyone loves a good story, and children are no exception. Who better to tell those stories than Jesus? Listen Up, by bestselling author Marty Machowski, delves into some of Jesus’s best-known stories in a two-part discipleship resource fashioned to help children explore the parables of Jesus and learn the biblical truths they convey.

Listen Up offers two separate discipleship tools. The first product, a twelve-week curriculum and companion music album is designed to help children understand the gospel and the kingdom of God through Bible reading, discussion questions, object lessons, puppet skits, and art activities. Included in this curriculum is the Sovereign Grace Listen Up music CD, which reinforces the themes of the lessons in a catchy, easy-to-learn format. This curriculum includes three learning levels—preschool and kindergarten (ages 4–6), elementary (ages 6–9), and middle school (ages 10–12).

Also available in this series is the companion family devotional, Listen Up: Ten-Minute Family Devotions on the Parables, which will further reinforce the surprising truths of Jesus’s parables and explore how they are relevant and meaningful today. This family devotional can function as either a stand-alone resource for families or serve as reinforcement to the curriculum content learned at church. The ten-minute lessons for each week include Bible passages, short commentaries on the meaning of the verses, as well as discussion questions. “Fun facts” are also included to break up more serious teachings, and each lesson closes with a prayer suggestion. Through the stories that Jesus himself used, parents have a unique opportunity to help their children “listen up” to the good news of the Kingdom of God.

My Thoughts:

Most devotionals are written for individuals and age groups. Listen Up is unique as it’s written for the entire family based off the Parables. It’s so important as a family to study the word together.

Listen Up has thirteen weeks of study and five individual devotions for each week. The author recommends that you preview the lesson prior to each topic. You start out with the “Get Ready “ which is going to give you a brief synopsis of the study.  The “Get Ready “portion is also going to give you an action word. Some of the actions words could be build, believe, and give is a few examples of the words. This action word of the week is going to be the theme to help your child apply the word to the week’s devotions.

“Get Set” is what I like to call the hands on learning portion to ingrain the study in their minds. This is another reason you should preview the lessons for the week prior to presenting it to your child. You may need to gather some simple supplies. One week you are making cookies or it could be a Sticky Note Pad for the lesson. This is going to relate to the parable you are learning about along with some good information to read.

The scriptures from the ESV are already included in the devotional. This portion is the “Listen Up.”

Next is, “Think about it “is what I like to consider a life application of the parable as it’s something in today’s world that can be related to. 

“Talk about it” is a set of three questions to open up dialogue with your child. (the answers are also provided for you.) It’s also your chance to see if they comprehend the parable.  The devotional ends with a suggested prayer. If you have older kids there is a “Going Deeper” which will let you expand and challenge older kids in seeking our Lord and His word.

There is also a companion music CD that you can purchase separately. 

It’s a unique devotional. I like the layout and the lessons that are taught in this. I love that everything you need is packed in this book. It has the scriptures already in it. You don’t have to worry about losing attention while you’re searching for the scripture verses. All the hands on activities are simple and meaningful. Most of them are also items that you should already have on hand our can purchase easily.

Yes, it’s very particle to say that these are 10 minute devotions that are heart-felt. I have always been super impressed by what Marty Machowski has written. The love of our Savior Jesus just shines through the pages with his material. 

I received a free copy of this product from New Growth Press in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this information accordance with the FTC Regulations.


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