Interview with Di Allen

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in churches! My parents and grandparents and family were all involved. When I was too old to go to Sunday school I started teaching Sunday school (we only have Sunday school for children in Australia). That's just what you did in those days.
For most of the next 40+ years I was involved in children's ministry. (Of course I can't really be that old??)
Part of that time was as the wife of a small church pastor, so I appreciate the need for good, inexpensive material.
As the mother of four and grandmother of nine, I understand the advantages of good solid Christian foundations.
We all want our kids to turn out well, don’t we? How can we best help them along the path of life?
Exactly how many stories have your written now? How many books?
There are 24 books each with four stories, and 2 books with two stories. This makes a total of 100 stories!
Well, actually they're not stories, they're cases. We're detectives you know! We're spying on God.
There's also a booklet on what it means to be a Christian.
Explain this detectives bit please.
In each of the 100 cases we examine the evidence (the Bible story).
Shh, don't tell anyone! We're spies. We're spying on God!
Have you ever thought about God? What’s he like? Is he real?
Don’t just go by what others have told you. Why not investigate for yourself?
I Spy GI club members are investigators.
Our equipment is the God Investigator series of eBooks (I Spy GI).
Read the evidence.
Interview characters who might have been eye witnesses.
Take up a challenge. Make some video clips.
Enjoy activities with friends.
Learn truths to help in life. Stories, interviews, video clips, life apps.
Will you take up an I Spy GI challenge?
Have fun as you learn.
How did you start writing ebooks?
Two years ago I'd never even thought of writing a book, let alone an ebook. To tell the truth, I didn't have any idea how ebooks were written.
With so many books now, including 100 different stories, something obviously happened! What changed?
This is how it happened. Someone said they were going to publish some children's Bible stories that they used to tell their children. Their children loved the stories, and wanted them printed for their own children, as well as others, to enjoy. Their idea was to print regular books, and the suggestion was made that they might be accompanied by a cassette or CD - you know, turn the page when the 'ding' sounds.
I remembered my own children having such books, and I thought of my grandchildren and all their electronic gadgets (and 2 year olds who can find their way round an iPad!!)
I wondered how eBooks were published. I got on the internet and checked it out!
What did you find?
The best thing I found was Smashwords! It gave me all the information I needed to know. It told me how to set up my own word documents. It told me how to upload and sell them. And what's more, there were no publishing expenses. It was (and is) entirely free!
If a grandma can do it, anyone can do it, if they put their mind to it.
Have you got a book or two inside you? Try it!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The thought came to me that I too had lots of stories to tell, and lots of experience from hunting down suitable activities to go along with the stories. Why not try?
My aim was to create an enjoyable experience for children - to interact and learn from the Bible the things that will be of benefit to them for their whole life.
My philosophy is to get together and have fun. What could be better than having the children enjoy learning from God’s word?
What is your writing process?
Each book has four stories on a theme or a Bible character. I have the outlines all saved, ready to add the different parts needed.
As I do the dishes, do the ironing, make the bed, do the normal every day things, my mind is ticking over. What are suitable activities? What have I used in the past? Who could we interview? How can we make this fun? What can we learn?
Some of the games and puzzles I make up myself. Others are improvised from similar activities. Many are things I've used myself with groups of children over the years.
Actually, some of the ideas come in the night. Some mornings I just have to get up and type it all up before I forget it.
It's really a full time process.
What would you like to say to people?
Use the books!
Download the free samples and give them a try.
Buy the others, one at a time as you need them, or whatever suits you best.
There's a suggested order on our club web site (links in each book).
In the near future they'll be available in sets of three books, you'll get three for the price of two!
If you use them weekly they will last you the best part of two years (100 sessions!).
That's not bad for the price!
Children enjoy them, and, don't tell anyone, some adults enjoy them too!
Here are a couple of recommendations:
"Another very good read, the children enjoy going through them. Well done."
"I have been using the I Spy GI Series this year as part of our schooling. The stories are written for all ages, and are easily understood by even the youngest of children. We enjoy reading the stories, based on the Bible, and always have fun doing the activities. By learning one bible scripture each book, the children have found it easy to memorize each verse – and remember it! We would highly recommend this series for any family, Sunday school or children’s group as a wonderful, easy, fun and enjoyable way to learn more about Jesus and the Bible." Brisbane (Au) Mum
What are you working on next?
I've done all I can for now, so I'm in retirement.
I must say I miss it though!
Published 2013-08-27.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

I Spy GI Free Gift
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Series: God Investigator Series 2 (I Spy GI), Book 19 · God Investigator Series 1 (I Spy GI), Book 19 · God Investigator Group (I Spy GI), Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 15,520. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2013. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General
The God Investigator Series (I Spy GI) has 100 Bible stories available. As a gift to you Dead Man Lives and Mary’s Baby are yours to enjoy - so you can see the sort of format the books take. Enjoy the stories and activities. They are the same format as all the other books. The only difference is that there are only four I Spy GI cases (stories) instead of the twelve in the other group books.
I Spy GI Series 2 Group 4
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Series: God Investigator Series 2 (I Spy GI), Book 18 · God Investigator Group (I Spy GI), Book 9. Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 30,740. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2013. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General
Series 2, Group 4 includes: Shipwreck! & other stories about Paul, I'm healed! & other stories about Elisha and Missing! & other stories Jesus told. We all want to see our children succeed in life. These books are good for individual reading, family devotions, or small group ministry. Includes stories, interviews, activities, memory verse activities, life applications, challenges and more.
I Spy GI Series 2 Group 3
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Series: God Investigator Series 2 (I Spy GI), Book 17 · God Investigator Group (I Spy GI), Book 8. Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 33,240. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2013. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General
Series 2, Group 3 includes: Walk on Water & other stories about Jesus' power , Help! – More stories about Moses and Secret Strength & other stories from Judges and Ruth. We all want to see our children succeed in life. These books are good for individual reading, family devotions, or small group ministry. Includes stories, interviews, activities, memory verse activities and life applications.
I Spy GI Series 2 Group 2
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Series: God Investigator Series 2 (I Spy GI), Book 16 · God Investigator Group (I Spy GI), Book 7. Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 34,450. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2013. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General
Series 2, Group 2 includes: Coming Again & other stories about heaven, Promises & other stories about Abraham and Isaac and Stairway to heaven & other stories about Jacob. We all want to see our children succeed in life. These books are good for individual reading, family devotions, or small group ministry. Includes stories, interviews, activities, memory verse activities, life applications.
I Spy GI Series 2 Group 1
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Series: God Investigator Series 2 (I Spy GI), Book 15 · God Investigator Group (I Spy GI), Book 6. Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 35,340. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2013. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General
Series 2, Group 1 includes: Build a What? & other stories from the beginning of time, The King is Coming & other stories leading up to Easter, and Do you love me? & other stories around Easter. We all want to see our children succeed in life. These books are good for individual reading, family devotions, or small group ministry. Includes stories, interviews, activities, memory verse activities.
I Spy GI Series 1 Group 4
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Series: God Investigator Series 1 (I Spy GI), Book 18 · God Investigator Group (I Spy GI), Book 5. Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 32,930. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2013. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General
Series 1, Group 4 includes: No worries! and other Elijah stories, Roar! & other Daniel & Jonah stories and Sorry, NO vacancy and other Christmas stories. We all want to see our children succeed in life. These books are good for individual reading, family devotions, or small group ministry. Includes stories, interviews, activities, memory verse activities, life applications, challenges and more.
I Spy GI Series 1 Group 3
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Series: God Investigator Series 1 (I Spy GI), Book 17 · God Investigator Group (I Spy GI), Book 4. Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 35,680. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2013. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General
Series 1, Group 3 includes Get God Out! & other stories from Samuel, One small stone & other David stories and Let’s Party! &other stories Jesus told. We all want to see our children succeed in life. These books are good for individual reading, family devotions, or small group ministry. Includes stories, interviews, activities, memory verse activities, life applications, challenges and more.
I Spy GI Series 1 Group 2
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Series: God Investigator Series 1 (I Spy GI), Book 16 · God Investigator Group (I Spy GI), Book 3. Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 33,790. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2013. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General
Series 1, Group 2 includes: Prison Break and other stories about Peter, Shout! and other stories about Joshua and Who Me? and other follow me stories. We all want to see our children succeed in life. These books are good for individual reading, family devotions, or small group ministry. Includes stories, interviews, activities, memory verse activities, life applications, challenges and more.
I Spy GI Series 1 Group 1
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Series: God Investigator Series 1 (I Spy GI), Book 15 · God Investigator Group (I Spy GI), Book 2. Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 34,700. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2013. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General
Series 1, Group 1 includes Cast Away and other Jesus heals stories, Forgiven! & other Joseph stories and Baby Alive and other stories about Moses. We all want to see our children succeed in life. These books are good for individual reading, family devotions, or small group ministry. Includes stories, interviews, activities, memory verse activities, life applications, challenges and more.
I'm Healed!
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Series: God Investigator Series 2 (I Spy GI). Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 13,520. Language: English. Published: August 3, 2013. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religious / Christian / Games & Activities
I’m healed! “I was mad, mad, mad. Who did he think he was? Elisha didn’t even bother to come out to see me! I turned around, and set off for home. The whole thing was ridiculous.” Elisha was a man of God, find out some of the things he did. Four of the 100 stories in I Spy GI series. Discover Bible truths that help us live life to the full. Great for children. Fun activities included. Enjoy
Shipwreck!
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Series: God Investigator Series 2 (I Spy GI). Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 12,730. Language: English. Published: July 7, 2013. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General
Shipwreck! “They didn’t see the moon or stars for many nights. They had no idea where they were. They were lost at sea. They thought they would all end up drowned.” Is being a Christian supposed to be easy? Read what happened to Paul! Four more stories from the I Spy GI series. Activities and fun with each story. Don’t miss out. Read it yourself, or use with family or small groups. Enjoy!
Secret Strength
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Series: God Investigator Series 2 (I Spy GI). Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 13,990. Language: English. Published: June 30, 2013. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General
Secret Strength “The Philistines ran at him. They were all shouting at him. Once again, the power of the Lord suddenly made Samson strong.” Find out how you can get this secret strength too! Four more adventures in the I Spy GI series. Stories, games, activities. All you need to have fun. Read it yourself, or get a few friends together. Also good for small group activities, or family fun.
Help!
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Series: God Investigator Series 2 (I Spy GI). Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 15,650. Language: English. Published: June 16, 2013. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General
Help! “The people of Israel looked back. They saw all the horses and chariots coming. They saw the whole Egyptian army marching after them. They were trapped!” Follow the adventures of Moses and the people of Israel after they leave Egypt. Four more stories from the I Spy GI series. Activities and fun. Suitable for individual reading, small group activities or family fun times together.
Walk On Water
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Series: God Investigator Series 2 (I Spy GI). Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 13,300. Language: English. Published: June 16, 2013. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General
Walk On Water “All at once they started screaming. It wasn’t because of the wind and the waves. It was because they thought they saw a ghost!” Four more stories from the I Spy GI series. Investigate for yourself. Was there any limit to what Jesus could do? Suitable for individual reading, small group activities or family fun times together.
Stairway To Heaven
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Series: God Investigator Series 2 (I Spy GI). Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 14,750. Language: English. Published: June 16, 2013. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General
Stairway To Heaven “Jacob was a cheat. Jacob was a liar. Jacob had to get away because Esau planned to kill him. But Jacob was in for a surprise meeting on the way.” Enjoy another I Spy GI series book. Follow the adventures of Jacob in the four stories in this book. Suitable for individual reading, small group activities or family fun times together. Have fun as you investigate. Enjoy it.
Promises
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Series: God Investigator Series 2 (I Spy GI). Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 13,490. Language: English. Published: January 27, 2013. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General
“Abraham bowed down, but he began to laugh. How could he become a father when he was a hundred years old, and Sarah was ninety?” Promises - God had some big promises because he had some big plans. Who are the promises for, and what are they? What has it got to do with us? Bible stories simply told, with activities and games to go with each story. Part of the 100 story God Investigator series.
Coming Again
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Series: God Investigator Series 2 (I Spy GI). Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 15,900. Language: English. Published: December 7, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General
“One day Jesus was telling them he’d be going soon. But he told them everything was under control, they didn’t have to worry.” Do you want to have a peep into heaven? Do you want to know how to get there? Is Jesus really coming again? Are you ready? Bible stories simply told, with activities and games to go with each story. Part of the 100 story God Investigator series.
Do You Love Me?
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Series: God Investigator Series 2 (I Spy GI). Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 14,900. Language: English. Published: November 23, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General
“What were they supposed to do next? Peter, and six of the others, decided they would go fishing. Gramps likes to go fishing too, do you?” Is Jesus alive? Really? Shh, don't tell anyone! We're spies. We're spying on God! Have you ever thought about God? What’s he like? Is he real? Don’t just go by what others have told you. Why not investigate for yourself? Do You Love Me? - try it. Enjoy!
The King Is Coming
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Series: God Investigator Series 2 (I Spy GI). Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 14,170. Language: English. Published: November 23, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General
“Some of the religious leaders were cross. They didn’t believe Jesus was the king. They told Jesus to tell the people to be quiet.” Just a few days before he died Jesus was cheered by all the people. What happened? Investigate for yourself. Another great book in the God Investigator Series (I Spy GI). Fun activities and games for each story. Don't miss it. The King Is Coming!
Build A What?
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Series: God Investigator Series 2 (I Spy GI). Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 15,940. Language: English. Published: November 20, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General
“They thought that this was a bit of a joke. I’m sure they gave Noah a hard time. Build A What? How did God make the world? What went wrong? Stories about Adam and Eve, and stories about Noah. Four more adventures in the I Spy GI series. Stories, games, activities. All you need to have fun. Read it yourself, or get a few friends together. Also good for small group activities, or family fun.
Missing!
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Series: God Investigator Series 2 (I Spy GI). Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 14,220. Language: English. Published: November 1, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General
“He went over the hills, and down in the valleys. Everywhere they’d been, the shepherd searched. He looked here, he looked there. Why did Jesus tell so many stories? What’s really important in this life? Find out for yourself. Four more adventures in the I Spy GI series. Stories, games, activities. All you need to have fun. Read it yourself, or get a few friends together.
Mary's Baby
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Series: God Investigator Series 2 (I Spy GI). Price: Free! Words: 10,450. Language: English. Published: October 21, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Christianity
“I’ve been to a stable. It was plain, and dark, - and guess what? It was smelly. Not really the place where a king would be born! What do you think?” Stories you might hear at Christmas time. This book isn’t just for reading, it's for having fun and being part of a team as we discover Bible truths that will help us live life to the full. Kids enjoy these books – and so do some adults!! It's FREE!
Get God Out!
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Series: God Investigator Series 1 (I Spy GI). Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 15,140. Language: English. Published: November 10, 2011. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion and Spirituality
“And then to make matters worse God sent a whole lot of rats, yuck! Rats were everywhere! All the people said “Get God out!” Four more stories from the I Spy GI series. Activities and fun with each story. Don’t miss out. Read it yourself, or use with family or small groups. Enjoy!
One Small Stone
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Series: God Investigator Series 1 (I Spy GI). Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 15,670. Language: English. Published: November 10, 2011. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion and Spirituality
“Come on you weaklings, - send someone to fight me. If you win we will all be your slaves – but if I win you will all be our slaves.” Four more adventures in the I Spy GI series. Stories, games, activities. All you need to have fun. Read it yourself, or get a few friends together. Also good for small group activities, or family fun.
Prison Break
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Series: God Investigator Series 1 (I Spy GI). Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 14,780. Language: English. Published: November 10, 2011. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion and Spirituality
“Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. The angel had to thump Peter on the side a few times to wake him up.” Four more of the 100 stories in I Spy GI series. Discover Bible truths that help us live life to the full. Great for children. Fun activities included. Enjoy
Who Me?
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Series: God Investigator Series 1 (I Spy GI). Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 14,020. Language: English. Published: November 10, 2011. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion and Spirituality
“Zacchaeus couldn’t believe it. Jesus was talking to him. No one talked to Zacchaeus! No one even liked him!” Enjoy another I Spy GI series book. Suitable for individual reading, small group activities or family fun times together. Have fun as you investigate. Enjoy it.
Shout!
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Series: God Investigator Series 1 (I Spy GI). Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 14,000. Language: English. Published: November 9, 2011. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion and Spirituality
“God told them that when they heard the horns sound a long blast everyone had to give a loud war cry. They had to SHOUT!” Follow the adventures of Joshua. Four of the one hundred I Spy GI stories, all with activities for you to enjoy. Learn valuable life lessons and have fun at the same time. Good for individual reading, or use in small groups, or for family devotions. Don't miss out!
Cast Away
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Series: God Investigator Series 1 (I Spy GI). Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 13,550. Language: English. Published: November 9, 2011. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General
“I’ll bet they wished that he would heal them so they could go back to their families. Well that’s what I’d be hoping, wouldn’t you?” What do lepers, a blind man, a paraplegic and a wild man have in common? Jesus healed them all. To others they had no value, they were Cast Away! Another four stories from the I Spy GI Series. Have fun while you learn valuable life lessons.
I Want To Be A Christian - Now What?
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Series: God Investigator Series 1 (I Spy GI) · God Investigator Series 2 (I Spy GI) · God Investigator Group (I Spy GI), Book 10. Price: Free! Words: 4,590. Language: English. Published: November 7, 2011. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion and Spirituality
Are you thinking about, or do you want to become a Christian (a follower of Jesus)? If that’s you, you might be wondering how to go about it and what comes next. We hope this will help you.
Baby Alive
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Series: God Investigator Series 1 (I Spy GI). Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 16,050. Language: English. Published: October 13, 2011. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Christianity
“One mum and dad had a baby boy and they tried to hide him. They didn’t want any Egyptian to see him, because he’d be taken away and drowned.” Moses was rescued by a princess, witnessed a bush fire that didn’t burn, challenged a very stubborn king and saw God win the day. Learn Bible truths to help in life.
Forgiven!
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Series: God Investigator Series 1 (I Spy GI). Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 14,440. Language: English. Published: October 13, 2011. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / General
“Joseph pretended they were strangers and spoke harshly to them. He accused them of being spies!” Joseph went through some rough patches - mean brothers, sold as a slave, unjustly thrown into prison. He also had success - he was made ruler of Egypt, and he was reunited with his family. Learn Bible truths to help in life. Another book in the God Investigator series (I Spy GI). Includes activities.
Let's Party!
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Series: God Investigator Series 1 (I Spy GI). Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 14,510. Language: English. Published: September 30, 2011. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion and Spirituality
“The king said that those who turned down the invitation didn’t deserve to be there anyway. They would miss out big time.” There’s going to be a party in heaven, and you’re invited. What did Jesus say? Learn more about it. 4 more stories from the God Investigator Series (I Spy GI). Stories, interviews, video clips, life apps. Don't miss out!
No Worries!
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Series: God Investigator Series 1 (I Spy GI). Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 14,090. Language: English. Published: September 30, 2011. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion and Spirituality
“It was a sad day. The mother looked at the jar of flour, and she looked at the jug of oil. There was just about enough for one more meal." Are you a worrier? No worries! tells how God provided for Elijah and others in extreme circumstances. Can we trust God? No Worries! Good for children, and adults too!
Roar!
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Series: God Investigator Series 1 (I Spy GI). Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 13,330. Language: English. Published: September 30, 2011. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion and Spirituality
“What do you think lions do if they’re hungry and people are put in their cage? They gobble them up for dinner.” Don’t miss the exciting adventures of Daniel and his friends, and Jonah too. 4 of the 100 stories from the God Investigator Series (I Spy GI). Read the evidence. Interview characters who might have been eye witnesses. Includes fun activities. Enjoy!
Sorry, NO Vacancy
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Series: God Investigator Series 1 (I Spy GI). Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 15,170. Language: English. Published: September 30, 2011. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion and Spirituality
“We were just about to hang out our No Vacancy sign last week when this young couple turned up.” All the action before and after Christmas! Have you ever thought about God? What’s he like? Is he real? Don’t just go by what others have told you. Why not investigate for yourself? 4 more stories from the God Investigator (I Spy GI) series. Includes activities and much more. Try it!
Dead Man Lives!
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Series: God Investigator Series 1 (I Spy GI). Price: Free! Words: 9,900. Language: English. Published: August 9, 2011. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion and Spirituality
“A large crowd of soldiers turned up to arrest Jesus. They carried clubs and spears in case he got violent.” Shh, don't tell anyone! We're spies. We're spying on God! Have you ever thought about God? What’s he like? Is he real? Don’t just go by what others have told you. Why not investigate for yourself? Dead Man Lives! - try it, Enjoy!