Foreword to the Kids Color Me Bible from Carey Kinsolving
I hope the Kids Color Me Bible will become a keepsake for your family. It’s designed to motivate your children to interact with Bible stories by writing and drawing. You can print each chapter in a high-resolution PDF file. Please click on the link entitled "Create a Keepsake Book" in the table of contents to learn how to create a keepsake book that features your children’s answers to Bible questions and drawings of Bible stories.
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Although “Carey Kinsolving & Friends” is the byline on this book’s cover, “Friends” should be in bold type because I’m blessed to have so many. Without the participation of hundreds of children and a few visionary adults, this book would never have become a reality.
I would like to dedicate this book to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ and to the memory of two special friends who have gone home. I never met the Lipscomb sisters, Rainey, 10, and Lacey, 8, but the testimony of their love for the Lord and his Word endures.
A few months before the tragic train wreck that ended their journey on Earth and began their glorious adventure in heaven, Rainey wrote: “I really don’t know why some people die before others, but the important thing is not what age you are when you die; it’s whether Jesus lives in your heart. If he does, you will live with Him in heaven forever.”
At the time, Rainey thought she was answering a question for the Kids Talk About God syndicated newspaper column. She didn’t realize that her statement would become a prophetic epitaph that would minister to so many about the brevity of Earth’s journey and the eternal reality of life with the Lord Jesus.
You can see a special commemorative print of Rainey’s testimony and artwork authorized by her parents as the last entry of the Kids Talk About God online art gallery at www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org. You may print this picture as a high-resolution PDF file and place it in a 4” x 6” frame as a reminder of our resurrection hope in the Lord Jesus.
Now for my many other friends who have contributed to this book, I must start with Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis. In the fall of 1997, I walked into Principal Carol Roebuck’s office with an idea. Carol caught the vision of featuring children’s answers about God and the Bible in a newspaper column. With a lot of encouragement and hard work from librarian Susan Adkins and the teachers and students, the Kids Talk About God column began. Soon thereafter, Southern Baptist Educational Center came on board. Many thanks to my good friend Eric Alfrey for his leadership in making the KTAG Question of the Week a part of the SBEC curriculum. Another key school has been Parkview Baptist in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Thank you, Debra Parker.
Many art teachers, teachers and principals at other schools are responsible for the art in this book. They include Jane Hester (Briarcrest), Mike Carter (Westminster Academy), Marilyn Wray (Evangelical Christian School), Kay Wakab (First Assembly Christian School), Cheryl Bryant (Christ Methodist Day School), Pam Keith (Donaldson Christian Academy), Susan Chaney (Charlotte Christian School), Darla Linerode-Henson (Presbyterian Day School), Phyllis Brown (SBEC) and Vivian Cole (Central Day School). Thank you Valerie Rose Richardson for your work and insight as the Kids Color Me BibleTM art editor.
Every writer needs great editors. I’ve been blessed with Mark Wade and Deb Strubel as editors for my column. I’m happy to call both of them good friends as well as great editors. They consistently saved me from myself. I’m grateful. Then there was Valerie Valdez, Katherine Searcy and Ashley Daley at Creators Syndicate. Also, many thanks to Rick Newcombe and the Creators team for syndicating Kids Talk About God. Finally, I must thank Elizabeth Anderson at Universal Press Syndicate for her many encouraging words and insights.
Some creative people at Nelson Bibles have played a major role in nurturing this book along until it finally became a reality. Their vision for a more interactive, kid-friendly storybook Bible helped me greatly. I would like to thank Libbie Lide, John Eames, Craig Featherstone and Bob Sanford. They were the team at Nelson Bibles in October of 2000 when it had the rights to publish this book in print form. But a strange thing happened on the way to the press, which I now see as providential. An internal policy decision at Thomas Nelson Publishers gave another division of this large publishing house the exclusive rights to publish children’s storybook Bibles.
To make a long story short, the rights to this book reverted back to me after 18 months. Thank you Doc Heatherley for your wise and godly counsel in all book-related matters. If it weren’t for you, I might not have the rights to publish the Kids Color Me Bible.
By the way, if there are any acquisition editors from major publishing houses reading this foreword, please know that there are a lot of kids and parents who would like to purchase a print version of this book. Although I’m committed to keeping the online version available without charge for all to print, I don’t believe it will cut into the sales of a hardcover book. In fact, I have good reasons to believe it will only enhance the demand. In addition to inquiries from publishers, I welcome inquiries from investors who would like to see the hardcover version of this book available in bookstores. To inquire, please use our Contact Us form: www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org/Contact.aspx.
A special thanks to Doris Rikkers who brought her many years of expertise as a vice president of Zondervan Bible Publishers to the rewriting of my commentaries to make them kid-palatable. Nelson Bibles brought Doris in as a consultant on this project, and she quickly became its chief cheerleader. When Doris starts cheering and sometimes prodding, things begin to happen. Her unbridled enthusiasm for the book helped all of us to see the potential in it. Although Doris contributed a lot to the commentaries, I take full responsibility for the views expressed in them. In many of the chapters, I’ve added more commentary.
I’m so pleased to feature the Easy-to-Read Version (ERV) of the Holy Bible in the Kids Color Me Bible. This is not a paraphrase of the Bible, but an accurate translation that children can understand. Thanks to the generosity of Bible League International and its supporters, this amazing Bible translation is available to you and your children. Please note that publication of any work that uses the ERV requires written permission for use of the ERV text. ERV is a registered trademark of Bible League International.
Special people make things happen. John Andersen, Global Publisher for Bible League International, immediately saw how many families could be blessed by reading the ERV in the Kids Color Me Bible. With the blessing of BLI president Gary L. Bishop and the wise counsel of attorney Carl W. Dobrowolski, it happened.
Thank you Grace Marie Phillips, 11, for drawing the art featured on the Kids Color Me Bible cover.
My list of special people would be incomplete if I didn’t mention the one and only Steve Doyle. I don’t think I’ve ever worked with anyone who so consistently surpassed my expectations on all web-related matters. From design to technology, Steve can do it all. He is responsible for the online design of the Kids Color Me Bible and the functionality of the book. I discovered Steve through my mother, Melba Huber, who has been my chief cheerleader, insightful brainstormer and generous supporter.
Finally, the Bible says that a man who finds a wife finds a good thing. On April 2, 2005, the Lord blessed me with my beloved Lisa. She is both loving and talented. For her editing skills, I call her the “eagle eye.” She has brought much to the Kids Color Me Bible and a lot of encouraging words along the way.