Seeking God with Butch and Boomer
Seeking God with Butch and Boomer – what could that be about, anyway?One glance at the cover offers an explanation. Butch and Boomer are two golden retrievers on the hunt for something. God.Really? How can dogs (my Furry Boys) be used in a family devotion book (Seeking God with Butch and Boomer) to provide spiritual insights for children and their parents, grandparents, and teachers? Here’s the scoop!
I was the director of a church children’s choir and bell choir, music and movement pre-school teacher, and a private music teacher. Ending our rehearsals with a brief scripture, devotion, and prayer was important to me but interesting material wasn’t as easy to find as it was when my boys were young. By 6:00 pm on weekdays the best of children are restless, hungry, and impatient. How could I provide biblical concepts to my students in a fun and relevant way? What a challenge!
One day the dogs did something that related to an early-school-year issue – making friends. At rehearsal’s end I related the story with a scripture and prayer. The usually restless group was hooked and pressing me for more Butch and Boomer stories. Every week we closed with a dog-inspired devotion. These became the impetus for Seeking God with Butch and Boomer.
The following year the choir members expected more Butch and Boomer adventures. I was ahead of them with a photo accompanying each story. In this way Seeking God with Butch and Boomer material expanded on a weekly basis. During Lent I took one of the devotions – “Empty Eggs” about the dogs’ Easter egg hunt – to preschool. Seeking God with Butch and Boomer became a hit there, too. More pre-school testing seemed prudent. I sat a three year old boy on my lap where he could see the picture accompanying the devotion and read it to him. The result? He amazingly asked for seven Seeking God with Butch and Boomer stories in a row!
Would parents and grandparents like the book? I passed around the manuscript. Pastor Ralph Hobratschk recommended it to the parents at Hope Lutheran Church. An early childhood educator pre-ordered several copies of Seeking God with Butch and Boomer. A past editor of Highlights for Children endorsed the book. Sunday School teachers wanted to use it. At book signings I became surprised to learn that Seeking God with Butch and Boomer was enjoyed by far more than the targeted families of preschool through early readers. Teens, young adults, singles, older adults, dog lovers all enjoyed the collection of Butch and Boomer’s escapades and challenges. Some folks wanted the book for their coffee tables; others to read to their children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. Seeking God with Butch and Boomer’s format of large photo, scripture, devotion, and prayer written in an interactive, conversational, relatable manner seems to be appreciated by a wide variety of people. Cross-indexedhttp://www.leslieannengle.com, by devotion title, subject and Bible verse keeps it extra easy to use.
What would my pragmatic husband think? Would he find the book an absurd idea, totally impractical, laughable? No. He was excited by the concept. “Only you could link the Golden Boys and a devotional book together,” was his conclusion. With his approval I decided to publish Seeking God with Butch and Boomer. One woman wanted to use it for a Christian book study. Honestly? “Yes,” she assured me. “The stories and concepts are wonderful discussion starters for adults, too. How about writing for adults?” I have and I will continue to do so as well as writing Seeking God with Butch and Boomer sequels: Finding God with Butch and Boomer, Following God with Butch and Boomer, and Spending the Day with Butch and Boomer (lessons of receiving God’s gifts and giving Him thanks). They are in progress now.
Seeking God with Butch and Boomer is available in print and in e-book form. It may be ordered at www.leslieannengle.com, www.inspiringvoices.com, www.B&N.com (Barnes and Noble), and other booksellers. Your comments are greatly appreciated.
By the way, what spiritual concepts would you like me to include in the sequels? With what issues are the children in your life wrestling? And how about you? What content in a devotional book is of interest to you?
Leslie Ann Engle,