Advent and Christmas

Books for the seasons of Advent and Christmas.For groups and for individuals.
First Sunday in Advent : 27th November 2011

The Innkeeper



by John Piper


First published in 1998, now reprinted with new cover and new art.
This is fiction but deserves careful consideration and thought.
In John Piperís imagination Jesus has returned to the place of his birth, to meet the innkeeper who gave shelter to Mary and Joseph and to hear from the innkeepers lips what happened after the holy family escaped to Egypt.
Written as a poem, with sympathetic art work the story holds your attention from the first. How many of us give a thought to the innkeeper and his family after the first heady days of Christmas. Couldnít it very easily have played out just as John Piper has imagined it? A sobering thought, but one well worth pondering on.

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Review by Mary Bartholomew  (02/12/11)
Jacket
Hardback
Price: £9.99
Publisher: Crossway Books from IVP
Published: 16 September 2011
ISBN: 978-1-433-53025-8

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Christmas Stories

- Heartwarming Classics of Angels, A Manger and the Birth of Hope

by Max Lucado


Lucado pens in such a distinctive fashion. Here comes a compilation of Christmas stories by the prolific Max Lucado celebrating the joy and wonder of the Christmas season. Some of these titles have been previously published, but are well worth a re-read. They are sweet, indeed at times very sweet!
Max Lucado does write powerfully and with inspiration. It's no literary classic and yet it is engaging and emotionally a tear-jerker! Jacob's Gift was my personal favourite of the novellas amidst this brief tour. Pithy and of value, but alas it might have been so much more.

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Review by Johnny Douglas  (19/11/11)
Jacket
Paperback
Price: £11.99
Publisher: Thomas Nelson from Trust Media Distribution
Published: August 2011
ISBN: 978-1-401-68543-0

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Preparing the Way

- Cover to Cover - 31 Days for Advent

by Derek Tidball


Preparing the Way is another book in CWR's Cover to Cover series of study guides. Covering the whole of December Preparing the Way looks at the prophecies that pointed to Jesus coming as a baby, and also the many people who were players in the Christmas story. Even reading the book in October I found Tidball's comments and explanations thought provoking, and having passed the book around church the number of people who are ordering Preparing the Way for their own advent meditations tells the story for how good this book is. My only problem is that, while the book covers the whole of December with meditations up to New Years Eve it does not cover either the whole of Advent (starting on November 27th this year) or the whole of the Christmas season. Even so this is a great book for those wanting something to prepare the way in their hearts and minds this Christmas.

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Review by Phelim McIntyre  (27/10/11)
Jacket
Stapled booklet
Price: £6.99
Publisher: CWR (Crusade for World Revival)
Published: August 2011
ISBN: 978-1-853-45613-8

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The Incredible Journey: Christmas from Genesis to Jesus

- BRF Advent Book 2011

by Steve Brady


I am a fan of BRF Advent books and warmed to the theme of this one as soon as I started to read.
December 1st to January 6th split into seven day periods, makes five sections plus two days. These are designated as Starting out: Crashing badly: Detouring often: Arriving on time: Journeying on and Homeward bound. Does that sound a familiar pattern in your life? It does in mine!
Steve Brady has used passages from Genesis to start with, followed by mostly Old Testament readings with a few appropriate New Testament readings interspersed. There is a satisfyingly long passage from scripture at the start of each day, followed by Steveís related thoughts and a final reflection. These reflections are sometimes prayers but more often points to ponder and use in our own prayers.
Excellent and highly recommended

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Review by Mary Bartholomew  (10/10/11)
Jacket
Paperback
Price: £7.99
Publisher: BRF (Bible Reading Fellowship)
Published: September 2011
ISBN: 978-0-857-46003-5

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Whatís the Point of Christmas?



by J.John


Oft re-printed since its first publication in 1988 this little booklet, reaches out each year to yet more people who do not understand what Christmas is all about, or maybe have very wrong ideas. J.John explains the origin of some of our customs, for instance the Christmas tree, and then tells about the birth of Jesus, who he is, and what his coming to earth means for us all - without exception.
As the publisher points out this booklet also includes Christmas carols and colour photographs and illustrations, still at the price of £1.99 - an ideal stocking filler.

50 copy outreach packs are available for churches at a special discount price.

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Review by Mary Bartholomew  (30/09/11)
Jacket
Booklet
Price: £1.99
Publisher: Lion
Published: 23 September 2011
ISBN: 978-0-745-95560-5

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Daily Thoughts for the Advent Journey

- Radio Reflections

by Niall Ahern


A broadcast 'Thought for the Day' slot is a coveted, but daunting, task. Father Ahern has learned the technique very well. The best way to appreciate these Advent meditations, originally delivered on local radio, is to read them out loud.
He acknowledges that his reflections are based on Tom Cox's Scripture Thoughts from Intercom. Each one begins, 'Advent is about.....' (e.g.) 'a journey', 'putting Herod back into Christmas', 'preparation' and 'giving right of way to God'. These starting points are sometimes obvious, sometimes not so. Each ends with a personal question, or an encouragement to do something - and 'Amen', which indicates we are at prayer, not just mentally pondering; it is a reminder to let the 'Thought' affect our lives, and those of others.
There is a 'Foreword', 'Introduction' and 'Advent Prayer', which could be part of the daily meditation. 'Thoughts' for the days of Advent follow, concluding with 'The Blessing of the Manger on Christmas Eve', 'Christmas Day' and 'New Year's Day'.
It is suitable for the committed Christian, as a non-threatening early Christmas present for someone who has wandered away from God and for younger people.
These 'Thoughts' make excellent companions for the always over-full Advent Season. This reviewer wonders whether Father Ahern has composed 'Thoughts' for other seasonal journeys. Hopefully, he has - or will.

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Review by J.Nicholas Latham  (16/06/11)
Jacket
Paperback
Price: £4.99
Publisher: Columba Press
Published: October 2010
ISBN: 978-1-856-07719-4

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Ready Steady....Slow

- An Advent Calendar to Unwind With

Contributors include Nick Baines, Dave Bookless, Stephen Cottrell, Paula Gooder etc.

ISBN: 978-0-715-14221-9
Price: £4.99

Published: October 2010
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Journeying Towards Jesus in Advent



by Denis McBride

ISBN: 978-0-852-31382-4
Price: £10.95

Published: Spring 2010
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The Advent of Peace

- A Gospel Journey to Christmas

by Mary C. Grey

ISBN: 978-0-281-06232-4
Price: £9.99

Published: 19 August 2010
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Praying Advent

- Three Minute Reflections on Peace, Faithfulness Joy and Light

by Joan Mueller

ISBN: 978-1-565-48358-3
Price: £5.95

Published: Spring 2010
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When He Comes

- Cover to Cover: 31 days for Advent

by Graham and Molly Dow

ISBN: 978-1-853-45566-7
Price: £7.50

Published: August 2010
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Pilgrims to the Manger

- Exploring the Wonder of God With Us

by Naomi Starkey

ISBN: 978-1-841-01709-9
Price: £7.99

Published: September 2010
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Words for Advent

- Bible readings on the Theme of Our Time

Edited by Nicola Slee

ISBN: 978-1-905-89343-0
Price: £3.99

Published: 01 September 2010
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Shock and Awe

- Tasting Godís Outrageous Grace Ė BRF Advent Book

by Ian Coffey

ISBN: 978-1-841-01641-2
Price: £6.99

Published: 2009
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Pocket Prayers for Advent & Christmas



Compiled by Jan McFarlane

ISBN: 978-0-715-14196-0
Price: £5.99

Published: Autumn 2009
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Joyful Christianity

- Finding Jesus in the World

by Cally Hammond

ISBN: 978-0-281-06087-0
Price: £8.99

Published: 2009
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Advent, Christmas and Epiphany

- Stories and Reflections on the Daily Readings

by Megan McKenna

ISBN: 978-1-565-48301-9
Price: £14.95

Published: Autumn 2009
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Advent, Christmas and Epiphany

- Stories and Reflections on the Sunday Readings

by Megan McKenna

ISBN: 978-1-565-48300-2
Price: £14.95

Published: Autumn 2009
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The Light of the World: 31 Days For Advent

- Cover to Cover

by Beryl Adamsbaum

ISBN: 978-1-853-45525-4
Price: £6.99

Published: August 2009
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Christmas Unwrapped



by Philo Trust - The Ministry of J.John

ISBN: 501-4-182-05529-6
Price: £9.99 (incl VAT)

Published: 2009
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