Tag Archive | Bible story






Magnificent Tales are rhyming Bible stories with clever art and clear lessons that the whole family will enjoy. The stories and illustrations are so engaging that you won’t grow tired of reading and rereading a Magnificent Tale night after night! From “The Salty Tale of Noah and the Ark” to “The Lasting Story of the Last Supper,” the rhyming tales in this book remind us that God loves his people—in the Bible and today!

  • Age Range: 4 – 8 years




What gifted artistry this gentleman uses to educate children four through eight about the Holy Bible.  Actually, it does not matter the reader level, child through adult.  This beautiful book will be a treasured storybook for years to come for each family fortunate enough to own a copy.  It appears that most of the reviews are written by much younger persons than I am.   My husband and I hold dear to us eighteen grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren (at last count), who we would enjoy sharing these stories.  Even though the grandchildren are grown I am sure they would want a copy of this book in their households for their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to come.  Just one glance at the animation on the cover of this book would convince anyone of enchantment between the covers.


The poetry is so musically rhythmical that I can imagine David playing his harp….and singing the stories into Psalms.  That might seem a bit farfetched, but the book touches me this way.   The story titles are very witty; the subtitles thought-provoking.  Several reviewers have pointed out what they deem to be a scriptural discrepancy and repetitive in rhyming.  I disagree with that.  Mr. Kelly Pulley did a remarkable job with this publication which is a delight to youngsters and adults alike.  The graphics are fun and appeal to children brightly and imaginatively.  I could not pick a favorite story; each one charmed me for different reasons.  In fact, I even picked up new information or something I had forgotten long ago.


Kelly Pulley has created an heirloom.  He talks about God’s love for all.  I pray this book will become as important to families as a book of regular nursery rhymes.  It definitely is a treasury of Bible stories, magnificent in every way.  God bless you, Mr. Pulley for your unique gift.  Many will become aware of God’s love for the very first time – no matter what age.  Hey, I just started my Christmas list – can you guess what I will be giving this year?!


Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.


Born and raised in Wabash, Indiana, a small and quaint Midwestern town surrounded by miles upon miles of corn and soybean fields. Kelly was brought up to love art and creating art along with his three older brothers and younger sister by their artistically talented mother, while their father, ex-WWII bomber pilot, fireman and electrician, worked multiple jobs to keep them all in new converse sneakers. 

While still in high school Kelly took a job at The Shirt Shed, a large local sportswear screen-printing company. He remained in that industry for seventeen years working his way up from Production Artist to Art Director. 

At age 24 Kelly gave his life to Jesus Christ at a Free Will Baptist revival, changing every aspect of his life including the direction that his career would eventually take.

In 1995 Kelly made his way to Tennessee to illustrate the Beginner’s Bible series of books for Performance Unlimited and later, Mission City Press. He has illustrated dozens of books, most notably the best-selling latest edition of the Beginner’s Bible, which has sold more than 1.5 million copies.

Kelly now works from his Middle Tennessee home where he writes and illustrates original children’s books and freelance illustrates for others.

His authorial debut was, Ten Unusual Features of Lulu McDunn, which was released in August 2010. His second book, The Cycling Wangdoos, was released in August 2011. 

October, 2012 was the release date for the first two books in the Magnificent Tales series of Bible stories by David C. Cook, which was followed by two more in February, 2013.

Member of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

Young Kelly Pulley

Children’s book author and illustrator.






Spunky Allison McClare is determined to be a fearless, independent woman. But when she takes a notion to explore the wild Barbary Coast, she quickly discovers she’s no match for the unsavory characters that haunt the dark streets.
Detective Nick Barone would rather do almost anything than teach this petite socialite self-defense, but it seems he has little choice. Sparks fly every time the two meet until a grudging friendship develops into something deeper. But is he just a fraud like all the rest of the men Allison’s cared for? Or is he the one who will let her dare to love again?
Award-winning author Julie Lessman brings the glamour of Gilded Age San Francisco to vibrant life in this journey to find a love that never fails.
“With memorable characters and an effervescent plot that’s as buoyant as it is entertaining, Dare to Love Again is Julie Lessman at her zestful best.”–Tamera Alexander, bestselling author of A Lasting Impression and To Whisper Her Name
“Nobody pens a more splendid romance than Julie! The expert on dazzling dialogue, engaging characters, and wonderful romantic plots with a twist wins my heart over every time.”–Maggie Brendan, author of Heart of the West and The Blue Willow Brides series
“Julie’s ability to thread romance and longing, deception and forgiveness, and lots of humor are unparalleled by anyone else in the Christian market today.”–Rachel McRae, LifeWay Stores


♥♥♥♥♥  FIVE STARS  ♥♥♥♥♥

Applause!  Applause!!  Applause!!!  Julie Lessman just keeps on writing a new favorite to replace an older favorite and a yet older favorite.  Personally, I hope it never ends!  My recent visit with the McClare family in 1903 San Francisco was so much fun even though we faced some fiercely intense moments sitting together in the parlor on Caitlyn’s loveseat praying and waiting for one crisis to subside before facing whatever came along next. Reading one of Julie’s novels is a marvelous release mechanism…..all my giggles over Lessman-style humor released endorphins that caused me to feel great; or releasing pent up emotions through easy tears that flowed along with Caitlyn’s.  All those tears caused an enormous pile of tissues for Rosie the housekeeper to sweep up with an audible “tsk tsk,” and slight shake of her head.

Dare to Love Again is the perfect title for this Julie Lessman novel.  The title is a story in itself, so to speak, because Allison, the eldest daughter of Caitlyn McClare, has been jilted and left disappointed four times causing a jaundiced eye toward romantic love.  The hunky lead hero Detective Nick Barone becomes the big dare for Allison.  Nick will not allow himself to dare fall in love with a rich Nob Hill debutante.  Both characters are well equipped with mixed emotions about each other and their sparring is comical and typical of independent personalities.  Brother-in-law Logan McClare continues to dare hope that his widowed sister-in-law Caitlyn would dare love him as she did in their youth and accept his proposal of marriage.  Will Nick and Logan dare to believe in God?  Ms. Lessman brings her characters so close to taking the dares and so far away again; that I do not attempt to dare guess what happens next.  

Julie Lessman stories encompass everything from romance, danger, bad guys, good guys, secrets, smells, tastes, vivid scenery, laughter, mystery, trauma to a fascinating script.  Most importantly being the lessons learned through human error, confession, forgiveness, and accepting God’s love.  Warm feelings among some characters occur where negative attitudes had been the mode.  Certain new personalities added to the story are quite endearing….fall in love with La-di-da, and Miss Penny.  Who gets nauseous riding the streetcar?  What do animal crackers have to do with anything?  Some shocking information is revealed about members of the McClare Clan in this second episode of The Heart of San Francisco series.  Historical facts and location research appear as a natural part of Ms. Lessman’s innate writing gift to render the beauty in words meaningful.  She writes page turners for avid readers who would not dare put her book down.  There is no less in Julie Lessman.  She owns it all where word art is involved.    

It is not this reviewer’s intent to detail excess information about the characters and subject matter, the back and front cover is capable of drawing reader interest.  Revealing too much might prevent one from an intriguing read and my intent is for curiosity to take the dare and enjoy my personal recommendation. Julie Lessman has caused me to fall in love with San Francisco all over again.  

Through her faith in our loving Abba, Julie Lessman dares to write as she does.  Dare I ask Julie why she has won many awards and trophies?  She will give our Lord all the credit.  Ok, the dares are dropped….anyone taking bets that Julie’s next story will be the most read yet?  My bet is yes, it will….and winner take all! Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.


Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 2009 ACFW Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long Inspirational, Julie is also the recipient of 14 Romance Writers of America awards and was voted by readers as “Borders Best of 2009 So Far: Your Favorite Fiction.”

Chosen as the #1 Romance Fiction Author of the Year in the Family Fiction magazine 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie was also awarded #1 Historical Fiction Author of the Year in that same poll and #3 Author of the Year, #4 Novel of the Year and #3 Series of the year. She resides in Missouri with her husband, daughter, son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter and is the author of “The Daughters of Boston” series—A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed, and A Passion Denied. Book 1 in her “Winds of Change” series A Hope Undaunted ranked #5 on Booklist’s Top 10 Inspirational Fiction for 2010.




Angi Griffis, gave me a great idea. You see, she’s currently reading Dare to Love Again and asked me if I had any pix of celebrities I had pegged to play Alli and Nick. And, OF COURSE, I do and can hardly believe I haven’t posted them before now! So … without further ado, here are the shots I pictured while writing the story.

Allison McClare:  Alli McClare is petite with curly black hair in the typical Gibson Girl style of the day, usually up, as indicated in the 2nd pic below. She has eyes that are a very deep green with creamy, porcelain skin. She is fun and adventurous and has a flair for drama. She wants to be an independent woman so she learns jiu-jitsu and carries a large hat pin to protect herself when she takes a notion to explore the Barbary Coast. She has a dry sense of humor, is down to earth and doesn’t trust men because she’s been engaged and brokenhearted by three men who were fortune hunters and frauds.

The first pic is what I sent to Revell of a model whose name I do not know, and the next four model pics are the model Revell hired who actually appears on the cover of the book.

Visit Julie’s  Journal Jots to see the pictures   http://www.julielessman.com/journal-jots1/

Next … we have Detective Nick Barone, or as Alli calls him, Mr. Ga-roan! Nick Barone is a six-foot-four Italian and 30 years old with green, almost hazel eyes and dark hair that tends to curl. I see him as a the unnamed model below or a younger George Clooney. He is a no-nonsense, hard-nosed plain-clothes detective with a hair-trigger temper and an axe to grind with the upper class. He’s smart, good-looking and a bit on the grouchy side, but ALWAYS has his shoes polished and animal crackers in his pocket (and on his breath).






Aram Haroutunian

ABOUT THE BOOK…….Seventy Four Children’s Sermons for all occasions. Pastors, homeschoolers, parents who often lead family devotions, or other storytellers will find these stories, along with comments about props and how to prepareand present them, to be an invaluable asset in reconnecting with the simplest, most profound truths of Scripture, and then to envision how best to communicate these so even a child can understand them.  

TheAnswerIsAlwasyJesus_300 Cover

ABOUT THE COVER…….This is the author with one of his favorite Palm Sunday “props,” “Firecracker,” who carried Aram down the aisle many times, to the delight of children and adults, alike.

FROM THE BOOK…….In “The Clockmaker” chapter, Aram describes bringing to the sermon the pieces of a clock in a shoebox, and then shaking it long and hard to see if the clock could put itself together. When it didn’t, he proposed shaking it harder, and longer. But the kids told him the clock needed a person to put it together. “Oh!” he said. “So what you’re telling me is that in order to have a clock, you need a clockmaker, right? Okay, so let me ask you this. How did this beautiful world come into existence? Did it ‘just happen’ by chance?” [No!, they shouted.] “Of course not! Just as a clock tells us that there must have been a clockmaker, so the world tells us that Someone must have made this – that it couldn’t have just ‘happened by chance.’ Who made the world? That’s right – the answer to every children’s sermon: JESUS!”


Aram Haroutunian’s creativity and compassion for expressing the Persons of the Trinity to children is like none I have heard or read.  His orations are disguised by humor, masquerade, dialogue and broad imagination.  The author believes the children’s sermon serves an important social, emotional, and theological purpose in the worship service.

Pastor Haroutunian explained that in his church community they often joke that the answer to every children’s sermon question is Jesus, thus the title of this book.   In my opinion, this author/pastor must be quite a hoot to be around.  “Hoot” being a term understood by children.  Dialogue with children can be quite risky, with children’s unpredictable responses, “which I find to be the best part of doing children’s sermons!” quoting the pastor.  He has shared some actual responses of children to his questions during the children’s sermon. “Their responses are often surprising, refreshing, profound, hilarious, innocent, challenging, and even piercing.”  Personally, I enjoyed many laughs while reading Aram Haroutunian’s chapters.  He owns a great sense of humor and often directs fun at himself to make a point.  This book could be a great advantage to Sunday school teachers and story tellers in general.

Each chapter or sermon is created through several basic premises keeping in mind the subject and scripture of the main worship sermon; the first being the BIG IDEA or the subject matter of the lesson.  CORRESPONDING SCRIPTURES are provided, to highlight the biblical concepts that the sermon is intending to convey. An OVERVIEW is offered, to develop and illustrate the New idea or thinking behind the children’s sermon. This can assist in developing a “way of thinking” about the implications of the New Covenant.  A list of MATERIALS IS GIVEN (INCLUDING OBJECTS OR PROPS.)  Of course these can be adapted for different settings and for when certain resources (such as audio-visual equipment) is not available. The ACTUAL SERMON is then written out. Included in some of the sermons are actual responses by children. These illustrate the importance of structuring the sermon in such a way as to elicit responses and dialogue from the kids – which, of course, brings joy to the sermon when preached. A CLOSING PRAYER is offered, which serves important purposes. The obvious importance is to offer the entire sermon to God, so that the Holy Spirit might seal the truths discussed in the minds and hearts of both the children and the adults. Yet the closing prayer also serves to recap or summarize the Big Idea, and can help pull it all together particularly for the adults, who will remain in the service.

Pastor Haroutunian describes some of the antics he has courageously performed like riding a donkey…or attempting to ride a donkey into the Palm Sunday service.  You might not believe what you are reading about the nervy feats he accomplished delivering the children’s moment.  Wild and weird to say the least!  One of my big questions was where he found some of the objects used, and how many trips he made from his vehicle to the altar with his various questionable props.  This gentleman has gone to faith-full lengths to bring out the answer “Jesus” to his questions.  I intended to tell you my favorite sermons in the book, and decided to leave it to you to get this helpful novel and pick your favorites.  Frequently I have done the children’s moments during worship.  I am so grateful to Pastor Aram’s sharing his perfect ideas of teaching “Jesus” to children – as well as to adults.  He is gracious and sensitive toward the teachings of Christ and I personally plan to pass on his children’s sermons to our children in worship.

FROM THE AUTHOR…….A New Covenant approach to life will be descriptive of Jesus rather than prescriptive. It is to embrace the incredible mystery and paradox of the Gospel (“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it” Luke 9:24).

Ironically, children are more able to grasp these concepts than are we adults. And yet, I have observed that of all places where the spirit of the New Covenant is violated most frequently, it is in children’s curricula and children’s sermons. “Do good things to others, and good things will happen to you.” “Live in a godly way, and things will turn out great for you.” We set our children up for disappointment by instilling in them (albeit unintentionally) a belief in a “push-button God.” And we’re as surprised as they are when their alleged faith crashes upon the rocks of harsh reality once they leave home.

We think we need to explain to them every mystery and paradox of God – that this will adequately equip their minds. But all the while – just like us – they’re longing to be captivated in their hearts by something bigger. They want to encounter Someone who can’t be reduced to a set of principles, Someone who promises to fulfill their young hearts’ desire for adventure and wonder.

ABOUT ARAM HAROUTUNIAN…….Aram Haroutunian earned a ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary (1987) and an MABC from Colorado Christian University (1994). He and his wife, Ellen, have been married since 1982, and they are the parents of two grown children. His previous writings, on topics ranging from the arts to theology, have appeared in The Mars Hill Review. They live in Colorado.

Morning Devotion – Mark 5:35-36

While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?” Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” (Mark 5:35-36)

This morning’s passage is the continuation of an encounter that began in vs. 22:  Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live. (Mark 5:22-23)

On His way to heal this little girl Jesus was delayed by a woman with a serious blood disease.  As a result He didn’t arrive at Jairus’ home in time.  The good news is, when Jesus did arrive, He took Jairus’ daughter by the hand and raised her from the dead!  His knowledge this was going to happen is why He said to Jairus’ men, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

The misinterpretation of this statement has been the cause of much spiritual mischief.  Perhaps you have known those who were suffering from a fatal disease and you have prayed for God to heal them.  You were doing a good thing.  God hears our prayers and intervenes in our lives to change our circumstances.

The problem comes when people treat the words “just believe” like a magic wand.  When we face insurmountable trials, it is only natural for us to try to control our environment.  This includes the tendency to control God with perceived promises He has given us.  The logic goes something like this: Since Jesus said “just believe”, and a little girl was raised from the dead, if we “just believe”, there is nothing we can’t convince God to do for us.

But this logic has some important weaknesses.  First, God never promised He would give us whatever we want if we just believe strongly enough.  Instead, He wanted us to have faith in His ability to do what we ask.  There is a difference.  The reason Jesus was often frustrated with His disciples is because their expectations were too low and they tried to manage too many things when the power of the universe was standing before them.

Secondly, this logic ignores one specific reality revealed in scripture: “Man is destined to die once.” (Hebrews 9:27)  This is why virtually every servant of God who has lived has died (with the exception of Enoch and Elijah who were taken up into heaven without dying a natural death).  Therefore, we should not assume something is wrong with our faith if someone we loves dies, because the Bible tells us this is inevitable, and God never promised He would change this reality if we just believe.

In the case of Jairus’ daughter, God had a plan, and He did choose to raise her from the dead to demonstrate the power of Jesus.  But just because this was the case here, doesn’t mean it is the case everywhere or at all times.  In fact, just as it is a sin to take matters into our own hands and ignore God’s power by refusing to ask for help, it is also a sin to do the same thing by trying to control God with belief.  Believing is how we step into God’s will, not a means of forcing our will on God.

Dear God, I believe.  Help me when in my unbelief.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Reprinted from stories of value, author Larry Jones:  About the Author:  Larry Jones is a Christian minister who enjoys writing parabolic stories.  His stories are written to engage and entertain children and youth, while convicting adults of timeless Biblical truths.  Every Story of Value focuses on a specific truth which calls the reader to action. Larry has also written  Morning Devotions for several years and loves sharing his thoughts with others. To receive an electronic copy of Morning Devotions, subscribe through the link to the right of this page.In addition, Larry invites you to meet his church family, the Northside Christian Church, Yorktown, Virginia.  For directions, times and other information about Northside visitwww.northsidecc.org.Larry and his wife Jane have two children, Nathan and Laura