Words of Worth

December 1st? Already?!?

December 1, 2012

imagesEven though Christmas seems to start earlier every year, with the tinsel and colored lights sharing shelf space with the Halloween candy (sigh…) we seem to always be so surprised when the calendar turns to December 1st.  Yesterday, I heard three different people exclaim, “December starts tomorrow!  How did that happen?” I had to resist the urge to respond, “Same way it always happens!”

But if the arrival of December 1st is shocking, then brace yourself:  tomorrow is December 2nd and that means it’s also the first Sunday in Advent.  Since Advent Sunday “moves around” every year, it is a little bit hard to keep track of the date to begin reading your Advent devotions and prepare your heart for Christmas.  So if you are one of the ones caught off guard this year, we have some instant and possibly overnight shipping options to the rescue.  No worries if you are reading this later that December 1st, grant yourself some charity – it’s never too late to focus on the “reason for the season”.  You can still order a book and catch up before the 25th!

We highly recommend the following Advent Books and tried to include a couple that are age appropriate if you are looking for a family devotional.

The first book is “God is in the Manger” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  Sheryl and I read this one last year and agreed that to read a devotional written during a treacherous time in history while Mr. Bonhoeffer was imprisoned gave an amazing perspective on the true meaning of Christmas.  It is available for your e-reader and you can find it here:

Free during the month of December at http://christianaudio.com/

or for a price at:

http://www.amazon.com/God-Manger-Reflections-Advent-Christmas/dp/0664238874/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1354376810&sr=1-5&keywords=dietrich+bonhoeffer

The ministry team at Desiring God did a “deep dive” into a reservoir of sermons and articles and is offering a FREE Advent devotional called “Good News of Great Joy” for your e-reader.  Both Sheryl and I  downloaded it onto our  iPads, but it can be downloaded to an e-reader.  Either way, this is a fantastic resource and you can’t beat the price!   Here’s the link:

http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/good-news-of-great-joy-free-advent-ebook

A longtime favorite in my household is “Jotham’s Journey” by Arnold Ytreeide.  We first discovered this historical fiction Advent story when someone gifted the book to us along with the appropriate candles and a wreath!  (No pressure though – we no longer use the candles!)  Your older children (age 8 and up) will be captivated by the adventures of Jotham as he makes his way to Bethlehem facing thieves, robbers and kidnappers along the way!  There are a few intense scenes that might be a bit much for younger children but my kids have loved following Jotham and his friends on his journey through Israel.   Note:  This is actually a series of books so you can be ready for the next three years.  I am also THRILLED to let you know they are available for your e-reader!  Hooray!  You can start on time!   Look for Jotham, Bartholomew, Tabitha and Amon here:

http://www.amazon.com/Jothams-Journey-A-Storybook-Advent/dp/0825441749/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1354377525&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=johthams+journey

Finally, for those of you will “littles”, there is a precious and tender devotional written just for them entitled  “Advent Storybook – 24 Stories to Share before Christmas”.   It is geared for little hearts and minds age 4 and up telling the sweet story of Benjamin Bear who is so impatient for Christmas to come.  Although it is not available in electronic format, Amazon assures me you can have it by December 3rd or it might be available at your local bookstore.  You can preview it here:

http://www.amazon.com/Advent-Storybook-Stories-Before-Christmas/dp/0735819637

We sure  hope these offerings will inspire you to set aside some time everyday this month in the Word of God asking Him to show you the true LOVE of Christmas.  Because words matter and God’s Word matters most…  (ct)

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…”   John 1:14

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