The Worst Christmas Ever By Kathleen Long Bostrom

If your family has the tradition of wrapping up Christmas and reading one a day until Christmas day, you will want to add this one to your list! I really liked the illustrations. Not only are they colorful but the characters and their expressions are very appealing. I think their visual quality really added to the story.
Matthew thinks he will have the worst Christmas ever. His family has moved to California, new home, new school, no friends, a new church and no snow! I am assuming from his disappointment that there will be no snow, they have moved from a state with a much colder climate. Everything was different, too different. His family volunteers to be in their new church’s live nativity, not Matthew’s choice either. To make matters worse, his dog Jasper runs away! Many days without his faithful companion leaves Matthew feeling very low on Christmas Eve. The book ends in special surprise one that helps Matthew see Christmas isn’t about the physical trappings but something much more important. A unique and meaningful holiday book.

Stories behind the Songs and Hymns about Heaven By Ace Collins

No doubt about it I love hymns. They are not about entertainment but worship. This book was not only inspiring but so informative! There are the stories of 30 hymns included. All but 5 I have either sung as a special or in congregational singing. We sing hymns over and over in church. They have become familiar and a fabric of our song services, but we have little idea about their background. Each hymn has the scripture that it relates to its special story and how it can apply to us today. I appreciate the author’s attention to detail in researching these beautiful songs. Knowing the trials, heart aches and tests of faith that moved these men to pen these famous words definitely puts them in a different light to me. These were ordinary Christians reaching out to God from their hearts and spirits. I will never sing them again without thinking of their roots and deeper meaning. Their message to me will be much more than words on a page and the personal feelings they evoke. This would be a wonderful devotion book, study book, or something for the song leaders to share during the service.
I received this book from Baker Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated are my own.

The Coming Revolution in Church Economics By Mark Deymas

I can tell the author put a lot of thought and work into writing this book. He did an excellent job of that. Past that I cannot agree with him. First his approach of tithing in the New Testament is not biblically accurate. We live not under the law now but by grace. It still applies.
The concept of the church becoming involved as a worldly business to support itself is a sacrilege to me. The focus will be on money and possessions, not its true calling. The church is not building and assets, it is the people. Is it possible that some churches like individuals have stepped over the boundaries of what they can afford and now cannot maintain it? Yes the church needs an adequate building, classrooms, lights, heating, the basics but beyond that no. It is there to spread God’s Word and Christ’s sacrifice, not have all the latest technology, impressive decorations, etc. To say that God will not provide for the church’s NEEDS is offensive. Yes “needs”, not wants. God does and He will. My husband pastored a small church for 21 ½ years before he died and I still attend there. In number we are on the small side still, and no not all our member’s tithe, but the church has been functioning a alive for 36 years now. The miracles we have seen in God’s provision is nothing short of amazing. When I great need arises God has always miraculously provided, many times to the exact cent. It grieves me to think that God’s church would turn away from complete faith in His promises to take things into their own hands.
I received this book from Baker Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated are my own.