Thursday, January 7, 2010

Preparing for Jesus is an devotional for the Advent and Christmas Season. Readings begin December 1 and go through January 7, the day after Epiphany. Wangerin focuses on different characters from the Christmas story. Mary, Joseph, the Shepherds, the Angels, the Magi, Elizabeth, Zechariah, Simeon, Anna and of course Jesus allowing the reader to get a view of Christmas from the original event. It truly is at times like you are right there in Bethlehem. This is a wonderful way to get your heart in tune and focused on Jesus during a world centered time of year. I just found a copy on Paper Back Book Swap for my daughter so she can read along with me next year! I suggest looking for copies now while Christmas books are on sale.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Christmas Bus by Melody Carlson

What a fun book! I love reading Christmas novels during the holidays and got a bit of a late start this year. I had never heard of The Christmas Bus. I saw it on the Paperback Swap Site and thought it looked and sounded interesting. My library didn't have a copy, so I nabbed one off PBS (great site!)

Edith Ryan and her husband, Charles, live in the Pacific Northwest in a small town called Christmas Village. They own a bed and breakfast ... The Shepherd's Inn. Each year the Ryan's close down for the holidays to make room for their family to come visit, but things are different this year. None of the children are coming home and so they find themselves with no plans and a big empty house. Edith decides to open up for Christmas and prays that the Inn will be nice and full!

Her prayers are answered beyond what she imagined with a cast of characters that turn her world and Christmas Village upside down! And then the bus arrives. An old school bus wildly painted that is providing transportation and shelter for a young couple headed to California and greener pastures. There is no room for them in the Inn, but Charles and Edith see no trouble with allowing them to park there. The town, on the other hand, takes great issue with this.... after all, it doesn't look good.

But the Ryan's win out... the bus is broken down and waiting on parts, so not much can be done. And over time the hearts of the towns folk are softened as they come to see this young couple, with a wife who is great with child, in light of the blessings of Christmas.

Very sweet story.... very funny at times too! A true delight to read!