Long Story Short: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God

Marty Machowski
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Family Bible study doesn't have to be complicated. Best-selling children's book author Marty Machowski helps busy parents share the gospel story with their kids through Long Story Short, an outstanding devotional book full of stories, illustrations, and applicable learning suggestions.

For active families, reading the Bible together can feel overwhelming. Long Story Short is designed to explain God's plan of salvation through the Old Testament, focusing on the hero of Scripture and important biblical truths without being corny, confusing, or condescending.

As a creative and Christ-centered family devotional, Long Story Short equips parents to make disciples in their homes by breaking down the Bible story in shorter, easy-to-understand sections. Both practical and simple, this beautifully designed book is faithful and interactive to Scripture. Machowski guides families through the Old Testament stories, drawing on his experience as a father of six and family life pastor.

Christian parents know the importance of passing the gospel story on to their children, yet we live in a busy world filled with distractions. Schedules collide, homework and laundry and soccer practice await, and before you know it, it's easy to miss God's Word.

With just ten minutes a day, five days a week, parents have enough time to pass on the most valuable treasure the world has ever known. Long Story Short is a family devotional program designed to cultivate honest and powerful discussion about the Bible, which is the catalyst for change in children's lives.

Long Story Short is a companion resource to the Gospel Story Curriculum, The Gospel Story Bible, Old Story New, the Old Testament Gospel Story for Kids Coloring Book, and the New Testament Gospel Story for Kids Coloring Book. Each week of devotions corresponds to a lesson in the Gospel Story Curriculum and a story in The Gospel Story Bible.


Marty Machowski is a Family Life Pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, where he has served on the pastoral staff for over thirty years. He is the author of The Gospel Story Bible, Long Story Short, Old Story New, the Gospel Story Curriculum, the Prepare Him Room advent devotional and curriculum, Wise Up family devotional and curriculum, Listen Up family devotional and curriculum, Dragon Seed, and The Ology. He and his wife Lois have six children and two grandchildren, and they reside in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

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"Long Story Short is the best material for family devotions I've ever seen. If you're looking for something careful, creative, and Christ-centered without being corny, confusing, or condescending, look no further. Pastors would be wise to buy this book by the boxful and get a copy into the hands of each family in their church."
Justin Taylor, Blogger at The Gospel Coalition; managing editor of the ESV Study Bible

"This is simply an outstanding book, and Christian families need it right now. I have never seen a devotional book that is so well suited to family devotions and to children, even as it is faithful in relating biblical truth. This book will help any Christian parent lead family devotions that will be memorable, faithful, and practical for Christian living. I'll admit this too, parents will find that they love the stories, illustrations, and learning suggestions along with their children. Marty Machowski has written a wonderful book."
R. Albert Mohler Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"I love the simplicity and practicality of Long Story Short. Marty Machowski gives parents a valuable resource to make disciples in our homes by highlighting the gospel story and the Hero of Scripture. I plan to strongly encourage the use of this book throughout our entire network of churches."
Scott Thomas, Pastor of Pastoral Development at The Journey Church

"In Long Story Short, Marty Machowski provides what my wife and I needed when we were struggling to find good tools to disciple our young children. We got by, but this resource would have helped us so much. I envy the parents who will have it available to them. It is simple, interactive, and faithful to Scripture. It avoids the pitfalls of moralism that is prevalent in much of the children's Bible literature today. Marty insists that you and your children meet Jesus and see the gospel of grace in every story. I can't recommend this resource enough."
Timothy S. Lane, Former Executive Director, Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation; coauthor of How People Change and Relationships: A Mess Worth Making

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22 Reviews

  • 5
    Long Story Short

    Posted by Wayne Gerhardt on 09 12 2022

    First of all, I am a retired children's minister having served God and children for 31 years. I have also written children's Bible curriculum for 15 years. I think I know what I am talking about. Our church, Bridgepoint Bible Church, recently started your 3 year curriculum. When I found out that you also publish The Gospel Story Bible and a family Long Story Shorty devotional book that accompany the curriculum, I was blown away. This is BIG. Now it is easy for the children's teachers at church and the parents to join together and work each week to guide the spiritual development of children. The children will truly be blessed because of what you have done in preparing a Bible study curriculum, a children's Bible, and a weekly family devotional book. Thank you.

  • 4
    Take-Home option

    Posted by KELLY HAANEN on 07 06 2019

    I have used this book with my own children as well as recommending it to parents as our Children's Ministry Director. I really appreciate the church-home connection that this book offers. However, I would love if this could be condensed into a one-page take-home option as well. We have liked the Gospel Story Curriculum, but I wish there was something simple created to better fill the gap between home and church.

  • 5
    Wonderful devotiona book!

    Posted by Eli on 09 28 2018

    This devotional is written to present a biblical gospel from cover to cover. It is intended to aid you in passing this treasure on to your children . . . passing on the truth of God's Word is our unique responsibility as parents._ (Page 1)_The goal of this devotional is to . . . pass on a clear gospel message showing our children how every story in the Bible points forward or back to the gospel of Jesus Christ and God's story of salvation. (Page 2) The target audience is parents of younger aged children (i.e., parents who have children ranging from toddler age to young teenager years). The content is directed toward the children. Marty Machowski does a broad overview the entire Old Testament in his work. He also ties in the central theme throughout the entire Bible that it speaks of GodÕs redemptive plan and points to Jesus as the ScripturesÕ fulfillment (John 5:39). Long Story Short is biblically well

  • 5
    Great book for family devotion

    Posted by Daniel R on 09 28 2018

    Really liked how the chapters are short enough to keep attention of the young ones but detailed enough to be a challenging reflection on Gods Word

  • 5
    Great Jesus-centered devotional for the family.

    Posted by Danielle Ludwick on 09 28 2018

    My family and I are through the first week of this devotional and I love it. I love how it guides me as the parent to ask thought provoking questions centered around the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I would highly recommend it.

  • 5
    The one I've finally been looking for!

    Posted by D Couse on 09 28 2018

    "After many attempts at finding a devotional that our entire family (2 kids one a teenager and one almost a teenager) can get into, we have found the one. Most were too cutesy and wouldn't keep the interest of our teenage son. This one however, provokes thought and when you ask the questions in front of you, you can have a cute answer for the younger crowd, but also draw out a more serious answer from the older kids. This is a fantastic devotional and I won't hesitate to buy the other editions (there is reference to a 2nd one covering the NT)."

  • 4
    Something For All Ages

    Posted by Carrie on 09 28 2018

    We bought this book at the recommendation of our pastor. It's a short devotional that really only takes a few minutes every night. I really love it because it's fast and easy to use. It's also good for all ages. You kind of can adjust it to fit young and older children.

  • 5
    Thanks Marty Machowski!!!

    Posted by Calvin Harris on 09 28 2018

    My two oldest and I are 95% of the way through this book. The amount of time required on a daily basis is just right for us. Once we complete Long Story Short, we'll be moving to Old Story New.

  • 5
    The structure of this book is phenomenal!

    Posted by C. Champaigne on 09 28 2018

    The structure of this book is phenomenal! I was drawn to it because I wanted something to hold my 5 year old's attention long enough so he can start his foundation but not to long where he gets bored. This book does just that. The prayers at the end are a great summery of what was discussed. I thought I would have to do a lot of simplifying for my son to grasp the point but once again the author delivers and does that also! I would recommend this book to anyone. It helps brings my family together every night.

  • 5
    Great for family devotionals!

    Posted by Bryson on 09 28 2018

    Great for family devotionals! Love how easy it is to follow along and my kids enjoy it also. Get this, you won't regret it.

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