New Hope Publishers
During December, those who enjoy a daily devotional time will appreciate the focus of Pursuing the Christ: 31 Morning and Evening Prayers for Christmastime by Jennifer Kennedy Dean. Each day in December is provided two distinctive devotions, and all have a Christmas theme. Some devotions talk of the joy of any child being born, and how that was amplified by the birth of a Savior. Others talk about the spirit of worship and gratitude that Christmas reminds us to have, knowing that Jesus came willingly into a sinful world to pay our price of redemption. Still others talk about stories related to Christmas, such as the miracle of Elizabeth's late in life pregnancy with John the Baptist or the predictions in Isaiah of the coming of the Messiah.
Each of the pairs of 31 devotions is separated by a "Thought for the Day" that is a one line prayer to Christ, such as "Let me look beyond the glitter of the holiday and see the glory of Your presence." Each devotion begins with Scripture verses, primarily from the New Testament relating to the birth of Jesus.
Not all of the material found in this book is original. Dean often quotes prayers, songs, devotions, and parts of sermons by William Law, James Stewart Bell, St. Augustine, Philip Yancey, Peter Chrysologus, Chad Cates, and Rachel Holley.
My favorite devotion is written for December 7 with the theme of "Let silence speak." Dean points out that the whole account of the actual birth of Jesus is summarized in two short sentences: "The time came for her to give birth. Then she gave birth to her first born son, and she wrapped him snugly in cloth and laid him in a feeding trough--for there was no room for them in the inn" (Luke 2:6-7). It's succinct, to the point, and precise. Dean feels that our communication should be likewise, focused on the Savior and without praise for anything about ourselves. She quotes Ecclesiastes 5:2, "God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few." That is a thought that could benefit anyone at Christmas, or any other time of year, for that matter.
Though only 140 pages, this small book is rich with Scripture, lessons, observations, and challenges. It keeps Christmas in its rightful perspective and enables the mind and heart to be obedient to the Lord at the start and finish of each day of the holiday season. -- Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
With the hustle of the holiday season come multiple distractionsódistractions that keep you from focusing on Christ. Beloved prayer author and speaker Jennifer Kennedy Dean, in her first Christmas release, Pursuing the Christ, helps you see the distractions of Christmas in a new way. Pursuing the Christ is a 31-day devotional and prayer guide based on themes of Advent, such as hope, peace, and joy. This guide, with its beautiful and poetic divider pages and easy-to-use format,  leads you through the weeks of Advent, providing familiar Christmas verses and some possibly not-so-familiar Messianic passages from the Prophets and Psalms. Warm your heart this holiday season as you seek to bring Christ into view.