Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Book Review: 52 Weekly Devotions for Families Called to Serve

One thing I say often is, “God bless the nurses!”  I mean it with all of my heart because they do a masterful job of serving us in times of illness and crisis. 

Where would we be without those who serve us? 

Think about what your community would be like without policemen, firemen, doctors, nurses and other first responders.

And now, imagine a country without a strong military for protection.

Rabbis and pastors are also our servants.  They are first responders in times of crisis, illness, and death.

It’s important to recognize the dedication and sacrifice of these people who serve us so faithfully.  They deserve our honor, recognition, and gratitude. 

Their families deserve our gratitude, too.  They're a part of their loved one’s calling and face great challenges due to long hours, extended periods of service during emergencies, and many times have to spend long periods of time away from their loved ones.

Karen Whiting’s book, 52 Weekly Devotions for Families Called to Serve is a great resource if your family is called to serve.  But – it’s not just for those families.  The book is valuable for parents, grandparents, and synagogue and church libraries. 

The book helps children understand why their family is called to serve and teaches lessons to help the family bond and support each other through the special challenges they face.  But it can be used by any family, synagogue, or church to understand and appreciate their first responders and their families.

Karen uses Bible verses, stories, and tactile activities such as arts and crafts, charts, scrap-booking, and letter writing to help those lessons stick. I love the fun, colorful illustrations, too.

The book is divided into fifty-two weekly sections.  Each section focuses on a particular aspect of service. For example, the lesson for week six, Time for Family, centers on enjoying family togetherness.  Every family needs this lesson, right?

Each lesson has:
·        a family beatitude
·        a weekly Bible verse
·        suggested activities to reinforce the lesson
·        a short story that includes the lesson (2 minutes)
·        a Bible story connection to the lesson (3-4 minutes)
·        chat prompts (these are great to get children to talk about the lesson)
·        scrapbook/prayer journal options (I love these)
·        frontline tips (example: send care packages to absent family members)
·        prayer
·        Wrap-up (example: talk about what you do to stay connected as a family)

Families can pick and choose what options to include as time allows.  

The book is being added to our synagogue’s collection of resources for parents.  I highly recommend it as a gift for families of first responders and for every family with children.  I say this because the book’s will assist in developing a closeness to God, to family, and to the community.

You can read a short portion of the book (free) at this LINK and then purchase it from

You can also purchase Karen's book on at this LINK

Karen Whiting has written twenty-six books. Be sure to visit her website  to see them.

Her blog, Family Faith and Food has a wealth of resources, tips, and encouragement for your family,  Be sure to visit.

You can also find Karen Whiting on:


1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much. I'm glad you enjoy the book. I'm happy to answer any questions.


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