Is it just me, or does Christmas
come just a little bit sooner with each passing year? Not that I’m
getting old or anything, mind you. Don’t let this gray hair fool you;
I’m still young at heart.
When I look in the mirror, I still see a
young, fit and trim, thirty-something-year-old version of myself. It is
only after I put on the reading glasses that come with these
fifty-something-year-old eyeballs that reality hits me.
With each year that
hurt in new places, adding to my ever-growing list of aches and pains.
Oh the joys of getting older. However, growing longer in the tooth has
its benefits. It took me a little longer than most folks, but I’ve
learned a few things as I’ve put on the years. I seem to be finally
learning from my mistakes and don’t appear to shoot myself in the foot
as often as I used to. Praise God for that—I made some big mistakes
when I was a young man.
As I sit here contemplating yet
another Christmas, I ask myself what I would wish for if I could have
anything. The answer came to mind without a moment’s hesitation. No, I
didn’t wish for a new home to replace the one that burned down last
What I want—what I really,
really want is a miracle for my
son with autism. In all of his seventeen years, I’ve never been able to
have a conversation with him. He’s never been able to tell me about his
hurts and pains, or what he dreams to be when he grows up. I don’t even
know what his concept of Jesus is, beyond our nightly routine bedtime
I don’t know what you might wish
for, but I can highly recommend two life-transforming novels with a
special Christmas theme. Both books are sure to make the perfect gift
for the loved ones on your Christmas list. While you are at it, be sure
to pick up an extra copy for yourself. You will be glad you did.
GuidepostsBooks (Oct 2009)
In the early days of
II in Italy, Anna, a young widow who runs a small orphanage, carefully
wraps her most cherished possessions—a dozen hand-blown, German-made,
Christmas ornaments, handed down by her mother—and sends them to a
cousin she hasn’t seen in years.
Anna is distressed to part with
her only tangible reminder of her mother, but she worries that the
ornaments will be lost or destroyed in the war, especially now that her
orphanage has begun to secretly shelter Jewish children. Anna’s young
cousin Filomena is married with two-year-old twins when she receives
the box of precious Christmas glass.
After the war, Filomena
immigrates to America, where the precious ornaments are passed down
through the generations. After more than forty years, twelve people
come to possess a piece of Christmas glass, some intimately connected
by family bonds, some connected only through the history of the
ornaments. As Christmas Day approaches, readers join each character on
a journey of laughter and tears, fractures and healings as Filomena,
now an eighty-four-year-old great-grandmother, brings them all to what
will be either a wondrous reunion or a disaster that may shatter them
all like the precious glass they cherish.
Christmas Lamp Zondervan (Oct 2009)
When the small town
of Nativity, Missouri, loses its much-needed seasonal business, more
than the economy suffers. Lifelong resident Roni Elliot clashes with
the new outside consultant Jake Brisco, whose drastic budget slashing
threatens the traditions and spirit of Nativity. However, as forgotten
joys rekindle and new traditions emerge, Christmas once again becomes a
season of hope.