by Marty Machowski
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An angry teen, a desperate mother, a missing father, and a shadow lurking in the background. Things were going from bad to worse for Nick and his family. Tempted to run away after yet another argument with his mom, Nick receives a handwritten, leather-bound copy of an old book—a family legend passed down to him from his great grandfather. The book, called Dragon Seed, leads Nick deep into his family’s history and introduces him to another angry young man who lived in the shadows (the shadows of the tombs). Like Nick, you’ll be shocked to discover where he fits in this story of epic proportions!
This page-turning, young adult fiction story invites older children and teens into the real-life struggles of Nick. But it also ushers them into an imaginative exploration of the life of the young man Jesus saved as he wandered through the tombs. Best-selling author Marty Machowski uses both stories to introduce the reality of spiritual warfare and how its shadows affect and change us.
Machowski, a trusted teacher for children of all ages, presents a thoroughly biblical view of spiritual warfare that emphasizes the importance of humility and dangers of pride. Middle-schoolers Teens will be drawn to the story of Nick and his struggles and will learn, as they read, to also identify the shadows in their own life and turn from them. While the biblical teaching is evident throughout the narrative of Dragon Seed, Machowski also includes a twelve-lesson Bible study at the end of the book to help teens ground their understanding of spiritual warfare on biblical principles. Dragon Seed is made up of two distinct parts. The first part, 24 chapters, is a fun-to-read, dramatic fiction story; the second part is a 12-lesson Bible study that explores the deeper spiritual themes from the story.
Youth pastors, leaders, Sunday school teachers, and parents will also want to explore with teens the small group study at the end of the book with its unique take on spiritual warfare that emphasizes the biblical theme of humility. This is a perfect book to read effectively as an individual or with a group to discuss together the implications of Nick’s struggles for their lives.
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.
“Dragon Seed unmasks and disarms the pride that so easily takes root in the heart. In the tradition of Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters, Machowski retells the ancient saga of our defeated Enemy, through one family’s spiritual battle. Between the page-turning plot and thought-provoking studies, teens and their parents will find much to discuss. It’s divine truth through good story—one might even say, diabolically good.”
Champ Thornton, Author of The Radical Book for Kids
“In Dragon Seed, Marty Machowski pulls back the curtain to give us a creative and sobering look at the ‘cosmic powers and spiritual forces of evil.’ While the story is aimed at teenagers, adults would do well to reflect on its pages and the insidious nature of pride. I hope that readers young and old will pick up a copy of Dragon Seed to help them prayerfully consider the pride at work in their own hearts and give thanks to the One who ransomed those stony hearts.”
John Perritt, Resource Coordinator at Reformed Youth Ministries; author of Your Days Are Numbered and What Would Judas Do?
“I gave my ten-year-old daughter a copy of Dragon Seed. Her mother caught her up an hour and a half past her bedtime still reading. When asked ‘Why are you still up?’ she replied, ‘I couldn’t put it down! I wanted to find out what happens next.’ Need I say more? Dragon Seed captivated my daughter’s imagination, as I’m sure it will with your own children.
In a day and age where Christian allegories are uncommon, Marty Machowski’s Dragon Seed is a very welcome addition to our library. If you have a teen who shows you attitude, disrespect, and disregard, then Dragon Seed will be a help you and your kid. We all need help with fighting pride and cultivating humility. So read Marty’s book along with your teen, so you can deal with the roots of pride taking over your own heart!”
Deepak Reju, Pastor of Biblical Counseling and Family Ministry, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, DC; author of On Guard: Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse at Church and Preparing for Fatherhood
“I recently read Dragon Seed together with three of my grandsons, Daniel (12), Silas (13), and Matthew (14). Through this fascinating story, the boys gained a renewed understanding of the gospel and the horror of pride. I strongly recommend Dragon Seed for teens and young adults.”
William Farley, Author of Gospel Powered Parenting
“My two boys and I loved Dragon Seed. Our imaginations and hearts have been stirred by its distinct message so creatively wrapped in a great story. It has led to significant conversations about the awfulness of rebellion against God and the dangers of letting the ‘seed’ take root in our hearts. Parents, don’t hesitate! Read this together with your adolescent . . . indeed, Nick’s struggles are familiar to all of us.”
Barry Joslin, Professor of Christian Theology, Boyce College, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY