I joined Paperbackswap.com about a year ago, and I have been reaping the benefits ever since. I don’t think I would’ve found this book if it weren’t for that site – I had never heard of Jesus Wants All of Me by Phil Smouse before, but when it popped up on the recently posted books, I was intrigued…
Jesus Wants All of Me is a version of My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers that has been revised and edited to reach children ages 3 to 7. Each day has a reading, a Bible verse (NKJV), and an illustration drawn by Smouse. There are several different versions of this book available, but I think the one I received from Paperbackswap.com was an early version – the cover is blue instead of yellow.
I was kind of afraid that the book would not be able to keep the kernels of Chambers’ wisdom intact – the depth of Chambers’ original is amazing, and it has been a regular in my devotional book rotation for years… but that is exactly what is left intact – the little kernels that are central to each of Chambers’ daily readings. When I compared Chambers’ version to Smouse’s edited version day-by-day, I was impressed with how took the essence of the original and phrased it so children could understand it. And, ehem… parents, too. As much as I love the original, sometimes it’s a bit… over my head… in places. It’s been great reading through Jesus Wants All of Me with Elias, because I get a basic review, too.
And Elias’ reaction? He loves the book! If we go a couple days without reading it, he always brings it back to my attention. He listens to each of the readings and the Bible verses, and because it’s basic (and includes some repetition), I love the fact that he is hearing truth on a daily basis. He loves looking at the pictures, and he asks me about the illustrations… in fact, while some reviewers on Amazon didn’t like the illustrations because many do not directly correspond with the readings, I kind of like the challenge of finding how the pictures connect with the readings. It’s like I’m reading another little story to Elias with the picture alone.
Now, some of the readings address things that I don’t think Elias needs to hear right now – I’m not excited about introducing to him new things to worry about or new ways to disobey (some of the readings talk about what others are doing or ways they are sorry they have disobeyed) – so we just skip those pages or just look at the pictures and read the Bible verse. But it’s a good thing to remember that this book is meant for kids up to age 7, who might be facing the things mentioned in the book. This just means we can keep this one in rotation for a while! And the sentences are simple – I think that when the time comes, Elias will be able to read these devotionals by himself.
The verdict? I’m so glad this popped up on my radar – I love the simplicity and the heart of this book. We’ll keep going with this one, and I’ve got some up my sleeve to give as gifts, too (new ones – don’t worry!).