Non-fiction books

Advent, which begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve, is a season to look back at Jesus’ birth while also looking forward with expectation to His next coming. Historically it includes moments of reflection, slowing down, and focusing on a relationship with God, but it can also include celebration and anticipation.

Until the Son of God Appears: Meditations and Practices for Advent attempts to walk readers through a season of contemplation and celebration. The meditations include a two-page spread for each day of Advent, filled with verses, short thoughts, and thought-provoking full-color images related to daily Advent themes. The practices include journal questions, deeper Bible study, ideas for home décor and service projects, and spiritual disciplines—biblical habits meant to draw one into further intimacy with Christ.

Whether you like to stay active or prefer seasons of silence and spiritual growth, this little book has enough content for many years of Advent celebration.

Still and Quiet is a collection of fourteen visual prayers and readings, one for morning and one for evening for each day of the week. Loosely based on Old Testament names of God, each prayer includes silent moments for reflection, prayers of thanksgiving in the morning and confession in the evening, a Psalm or partial Psalm, a passage from the Gospels, a short prayer of petition, a canticle (a lyrical non-Psalm section of scripture), and lyrics to a well-known hymn. Hymns can be sung, read, or listened to—an internet link to hear all the hymns online is in the back of this book as well as the full written lyrics of each hymn. The background images are meant to help readers focus, slow down, and think through the passages.

 

The short readings in this book—each prayer session takes fifteen minutes or less—take their cues from ancient liturgies while including the visual elements so beloved in our culture. The vast majority of the words come straight from the Bible, with heavy emphasis on the Psalms and Gospel words of Jesus. Along with the readings, space is included in each prayer for silent prayer for each participant to speak to God about specific needs from his own heart and mind. Meant for individuals, families, or small groups, Still and Quiet is a comforting way to begin and end each day in conversation with God.