Grace & Truth Books is a family business run by Dennis and Naomi Gundersen, and their four boys all of whom have an active hand in it. In 1993, they came across some wonderful books from the 1800’s, and decided to become a distributor. The business snowballed, and today, they not only have a thriving book store online, but they’ve also published almost 80 books. The name, Grace & Truth Books comes from John 1:17: “grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ”. I love that!
We had several books to choose from for our reviews, and I chose With the Children on Sundays by Sylvanus Stall. The book only has a limited number of copies in print with no one currently printing it. I’ve had a strong desire to make our Sundays a special day unique from our other days, so I found myself drawn to this title.
This gem, first published in 1893, is a facsimile (exact copy) of the original. It’s an over-sized 7″x10″ book containing 52 chapters and 330 pages full of wonderful family readings, illustrations, and photos. Sylvanus Stall originally wrote the book to be a series of children’s sermons. It can be used as a weekly tool for family worship or a Sunday school curriculum for children ages 5-11. The readings could be used daily, but I think using it once a week will help them ponder each reading a little deeper.
Stall observed that Sundays tended to be dreary days dreaded by children rather than a day to be looked forward to with great anticipation. He set out to remedy this, and to help parents breath life into their Sundays. He stresses the importance of corporate worship on Sunday mornings, but contends that ‘playing church’ at home in the afternoons is a wonderful opportunity to impress spiritual truths on the hearts and minds of children.
The book has ten pages of suggestions for parents as they use this book ranging from ideas on how to play church to activities that grow their knowledge and understanding. He even includes a list of questions with answers for quizzing the children. There are a lot of ideas to make Sundays a wonderful faith-filled family day. I imagine the activities would spill over into other days. There is a lot here.
Each chapter reading contains an object lesson to help illustrate the spiritual truth being taught. At the beginning of each chapter, Stall gives ideas to the parent for the object lesson, then we move into the actual reading. At the end of each chapter, he includes questions to help facilitate discussions. He encourages the parents to add their own questions. Another neat addition is a full size photo that can be copied and colored by the children.
I love the stories and how he ties in the everyday object with biblical truths. For example, one of the stories is called The Magnet – Jesus the Great Drawing Power. Another one is The Polished Stone – Perfection Through Suffering. I won’t give away the stories, but you can well imagine how they might go. Such simple illustrations to show children the wonder of God.
I would encourage you to first read through the ideas at the beginning of the book, and write down or mark the ones you’d like to use in your family. You may not want to fully act out church (from the ride to the sermon), but you may want to try it at least once. Or act out one part of the sermon here and there. If your children are young, this is a great opportunity to teach them how to behave in the service and to develop reverence for worshiping God.
Again, I feel that keeping the readings to once a week gives the children time to ponder what they’ve learned that Sunday, and to give opportunities to discuss it through the week. You’ll be amazed at how many times God will bring teachable moments related to what you’re learning with your children.
With the Children on Sundays is available for $17.50, but please remember their is a limited number of copies available as no one is printing them at the moment. This book is a wonderful addition to the family library for character building and biblical truth imparting.
Grace & Truth Books has an awesome selection of books built on the criteria of “what will glorify God, strengthen His people in their walk, and call all peoples to find joy in knowing His gospel and following Him”. You’ll find more classics, audios, ebooks, DVDs, bibles, etc. to inspire your family, your own walk, and your homeschooling.
Disclosure: I received this free book to review. All information was correct to the best of my knowledge at the time this review was written. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. You can read my full disclosure policy here.