Very Best, Hands-On, Kinda Dangerous Family Devotions Book Review

Very Best, Hands-On, Kinda Dangerous Family Devotions by Tim Shoemaker is not your typical devotional book. It’s kid friendly, way cool, and a kinda dangerous fun way to share spiritual messages with kids of any age.

Pilot and I are fortunate to have first-hand experience with some of Tim’s devotions. Let me tell you, once you’ve seen him use a leaf blower to unroll toilet paper to prove a biblical point of walking in the Spirit versus living in our own power, your life will never be the same. Or a devotion using a dry ice frozen hot dog to teach about hard hearts.

I wish this book was around when Pie was growing up. I’d love to have used these devotions. Well. Maybe not the one using raw hamburger if you didn’t have the preferred fresh road kill. Or the one Tim admits setting paper on fire – twice – during the demonstration. Or electrocuting a pickle which came with six safety precautions. Maybe not those devotions.

Disclaimer. Pilot and I know Tim, so had to laugh while reading his caution warnings regarding certain devotions. Things like, “When I get a flame, I stop the microwave immediately, open the door, and blow it out. Kids love seeing the flame, but you don’t have to let it go that far.” With the additional reminder to keep a bucket of water handy. Don’t you love it?

If you have children, grandchildren or know a child, pick up a copy of Very Best, Hands-On, Kinda Dangerous Family Devotions for each of their families. You won’t regret it. Besides delivering unforgettable visual demonstrations, you’ll also deliver unforgettable Biblical truths through each devotion.

But don’t forget the safety goggles, sheets of thick plastic, and buckets of water. 🙂

Anyone up for launching baking potatoes through a PVC pipe to demonstrate the destructive effects of uncontrolled anger? Or dropping watermelons out a two-story window to show some things are worth holding onto?

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

I wish you well.


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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Feel Like a Smashed Tomato?

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

Besides writing his Code of Silence novels and newly released Super Husband, Super Dad, my writer-friend, Tim Shoemaker, wrote a book entitled, Smashed Tomatoes, Bottle Rockets and Other Outdoor Devotionals You Can Do With Your Kids.

Several years ago, at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, Tim gave a devotional talk based on smashed tomatoes.

Now, you need to understand, Tim doesn’t just speak his devotions. He demonstrates them, as well. Dry ice and hot dogs? Toilet paper and leaf blower?

So…if he is speaking about smashed tomatoes, you can bet there will be some ripe tomatoes that meet up with a mallet of some sort. 🙂

I’m going to loosely interpret Tim’s devotional in this post. It won’t be word for word, so you should check out his wonderful books to hear straight from him!

Tim compares our lives to smashed tomatoes. He points out that even though God is in control and has a plan for our lives, we mess up sometimes. That’s when we might feel like a smashed tomato.

Not good for a whole lot.

But even when we do mess up, God isn’t finished with us. He doesn’t throw us away like…well…a smashed tomato.

During his devotion, Tim challenged us to think of the different things we could make out of smashed tomatoes.

People mentioned salsa, tomato sauce, tomato juice…I’m sure you can come up with your own list of delicious things created from a few smashed tomatoes.

Those things require the tomatoes be rearranged. Broken. Re-purposed. Changed. Transformed.

You getting a picture here?

Tim pointed out that things such as salsa, don’t come ready-made. Lots of things had to fit into place before those ripe tomatoes become the salsa on our chips.

Same with our lives. In God’s hands, our smashed tomatoes can become something good.

Speaking as Sandy here, when we get smacked with the mallet of life, and our dreams are crushed, we make decisions we should never have made, our bodies are broken or our strength is almost gone, we would do well to reconsider our situation. We need to never lose sight of the fact God’s still in the middle of our muddle.

Despite what we may believe, in his loving, gracious eyes, to God we are worthy.

If we let him, Jesus can take the broken pieces and rearrange them. He can re-purpose them.

If we let him, Jesus can take our mess and make something useful out of it.

If we let him, he can transform us into someone he can use to complete his work here on this earth.

Feeling like a smashed tomato? Might I make a suggestion? Hand the pieces over to Jesus.

What are your thoughts on the subject?

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

I wish you well.


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One of my devotions will appear on Christian Devotions June 10, 2014. Please stop by.