Category Holiday

Killing Jesus

Killing Jesus: The Unknown Conspiracy Behind the World's Most Famous ExecutionKilling Jesus
By Stephen Mansfield
Worthy Publishing
Retail Price $22.99
Amazon Price: $16.22

Book Description: 

“The execution of Jesus was a crime born of the streets, the barracks, the enclaves of the privileged, and the smoke-filled back rooms of religious and political power brokers. Its meaning lives in these places still.”

It is the most fiercely debated murder of all time. Its symbol is worn by billions of people worldwide. Its spiritual meaning is invoked daily in time-honored rituals. In Killing Jesus, New York Times best-selling author Stephen Mansfield masterfully recounts the corrupt trial and grisly execution of Jesus more than two thousand years ago.

Approaching the story at its most human level, Mansfield uses both secular sources and biblical accounts to bring fresh perspective to the human drama, political intrigue, and criminal network behind the killing of the world’s most famous man.

Review

Even in an increasing ungodly world, the crucifixion of Jesus goes almost undisputed.  This book brings a fresh look at the death of Christ from an historical perspective.  The author goes into the horrific details of what a crucifixion entails and just what Jesus had to endure.  Along with he also researches the prophecies that were fulfilled, examines the betrayals Jesus faced, and reminds us of the hope we now can have because of His sacrifice.  It was an excellent book giving much background and bringing to life the Easter story.

~Reviewed by David H.

    Where Treetops Glisten

    Where Treetops Glisten: Three Stories of Heartwarming Courage and Christmas Romance During World War IIWhere Treetops Glisten
    by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman and Sarah Sundin
    Waterbrook
    Retail Price $14.99
    Amazon Price: $11.24

    Book Description:

    The crunch of newly fallen snow, the weight of wartime

    Siblings forging new paths and finding love in three stories,
    filled with the wonder of Christmas

    Turn back the clock to a different time, listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America’s involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana.

    In Cara Putman’s White Christmas, Abigail Turner is holding down the Home Front as a college student and a part-time employee at a one-of-a-kind candy shop. Loss of a beau to the war has Abigail skittish about romantic entanglements—until a hard-working young man with a serious problem needs her help.

    Abigail’s brother Pete is a fighter pilot hero returned from the European Theater in Sarah Sundin’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas, trying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded. But when he encounters a precocious little girl in need of Pete’s friendship, can he convince her widowed mother that he’s no longer the bully she once knew?

    In Tricia Goyer’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner, “Merry” to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that’s precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart.

    The Turner family believes in God’s providence during such a tumultuous time. Can they absorb the miracle of Christ’s birth and His plan for a future?

    Review

    This is a collection of Christmas novellas set in the WWII era.  Each story is well-researched so that it is authentic to the time period and all three are well-written and interesting.  This collection is a winner for anyone who loves novels set in WWII, have a touch of romance and is looking for a holiday read. Instead of separate novels, this is more like a collaboration as each story is related, as the main characters are all part of the Turner family.  While the storylines are separate, they interconnected and it makes reading each novella especially meaningful and interesting as you transition from one to another.

    ~Reviewed by Jan M.

      Mr. Miracle

      Mr. Miracle
      by Debbie Macomber
      Ballantine Books
      Retail Price $18.00
      Amazon Price: $11.88

      Book Description: 

      Harry Mills is a guardian angel on a mission: help twenty-four-year-old Addie Folsom get her life back on track—and, if the right moment strikes, help her find love. Posing as a teacher at a local college in Tacoma, Washington, Harry is up to the task, but not even he can predict the surprises that lay in store.

      After trying to make it on her own, Addie has returned home to Tacoma for the holidays, but this time she plans to stay for good, enrolling in the local community college to earn her degree. What she doesn’t plan to do is run into Erich Simmons.

      Addie and her next-door neighbor, Erich, are like night and day. Growing up, he was popular and outgoing while she was rebellious and headstrong, and he never missed an opportunity to tease her. Now she intends to avoid him entirely, yet when they’re suddenly forced to spend Christmas together, Addie braces for trouble.

      Perhaps it’s the spirit of the season or the magic of mistletoe, but Addie and Erich soon find they have more in common than they thought—and that two people who seem so wrong for each other may actually be just right. With a little prompting from a certain angelic teacher, the two are in for a holiday miracle they’ll never forget.

      Review

      I am a big Debbie Macomber fan and I have loved all her “Mrs. Miracle” and other Christmas books.  This new book was no exception.  The book was about an angel named Harry who was sent to help two young adults find happiness – both separately and together.  It may sound easy, but even with his angelic powers, this didn’t prove to an easy assignment!  While this book is not very deep, it is a light Christmas romance that was very enjoyable and helps you to get into the Holiday spirit!

      ~Reviewed by Allie B.

        Nora Bonesteel’s Christmas Past

        Nora Bonesteel’s Christmas Past
        By Sharyn McCrumb
        Abingdon  
        Retail Price $24.99
        Amazon Price: $18.62

        Book Description: 

        When someone buys the old Honeycutt house, Nora Bonesteel is glad to see some life brought back to the old mansion, even if it is by summer people. But when they decide to stay through Christmas, they find more than old memories in the walls.On Christmas Eve, Sheriff Spencer Arrowood and Deputy Joe LeDonne find themselves on an unwelcome call to arrest an elderly man for a minor offense. As they attempt to do their duty, while doing the right thing for a neighbor, it begins to look like they may all spend Christmas away from home.In a story of spirits, memories, and angels unaware, Sharyn McCrumb revisits her most loved characters who know there is more to this world than the eye can see, especially at Christmastime.

        Review

         

        During the holidays I am a voracious reader and I like to find special holiday reads to make the season brighter. I took a gamble on this book as I have never read the author before, but the title and cover caught my eye so I decided to give it a try.  I am so glad I did!   Imagine my happiness when the book turned out to be a wonderful heartwarming story that makes you feel all warm and toasty inside!  It was a sweet holiday story about what is important at Christmas. I will be recommending this one to my book club!

        ~Reviewed by Allie B.

          Unwrapping the Greatest Gift

          Unwrapping the Greatest Gift
          byAnn Voskamp
          Tyndale
          Retail Price $24.99
          Amazon Price: $15.18

          Book Description: 

          Based on the overwhelming success of The Greatest Gift, Ann Voskamp has expanded her presentation of the timeless Advent tradition of the Jesse Tree so families can celebrate together. Each day, families can read the provided Scripture passage (in connection with the original book), engage with a specially written devotion to help children of all ages understand the Advent theme for the day, and participate in suggested activities to apply the theme.

          This special edition is beautifully illustrated. It can serve as a precious guide to help recapture the sacredness of the Advent season and to help the entire family understand and celebrate the epic pageantry of humankind from Adam to the Messiah.

          Review

          I have enjoyed celebrating Advent with my children through the years and now that they’re grown and married and having families of their own,  I am trying to find new Advent books to share with them.  That is how I came across this title.  A colorful, oversized book, this is perfect for sharing with your entire family.  It begins on December 1 and goes until Christmas, sharing appropriate Scripture, photos, illustrations, and discussion and activity starters.  The author shares the story of Christmas from Isaiah to Luke, giving the Advent season much meaning.  Unwrapping the Greatest Gift is an excellent addition to your holiday preparations, especially if you have children.

          ~Reviewed by Rosie B.