After Jesus was born in Bethlehem, wise guys rode into Jerusalem from the east asking questions, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We carry his star in our hearts and we have travelled all this way just to worship him.” – Matthew 2, author paraphrase
It may only be early in November, but already I’m starting to see advertisements for books, study guides, and curriculum ideas for Advent (the four weeks of preparation leading up to Christmas). There’s some good stuff out there, and I’m a strong advocate of anything that helps people approach the holiday season in the right spirit. Lord knows there are enough of the wrong messages being launched our way and we could all use some help to keep on track.
However, as I reviewed what is current and available, I have to conclude that my favorite “classic” Advent study is still the absolute best option if we are interested in arriving at December 25 with our “reason for the season” in focus, on point, and intact.
In My Heart I Carry A Star remains one of my most popular books, and I absolutely guarantee you will enjoy it. If it’s already on your bookshelf then please think about getting a copy as a gift for family or friends. The book also works well as a small group study, a class, or a devotional exercise with one or two people.
The blurb on the back of the book sets the stage:
- “Very often, starting around the day before the night before Christmas, otherwise dark people begin to light up from the inside. Something changes – something fundamental…”
- “It’s a tree, what’s it doing in the living room?”
- “The roof of the house was lit up like the main runway at Tampa International Airport!”
- “Deep inside me,” the troubled child had written, “I carry a star. A light sometimes only I can see…”
Some bloggers carry advertising to cover their costs. Some take a few dollars for product placement. Some allow pop-ups. As for me, once in a while I’m going to (shamelessly) point you to my book list. Today I’m recommending In My Heart I Carry A Star. I believe it will easily be the most effective use of a few dollars you will find between now and Christmas.
I mean, who wouldn’t want 2018 to be the absolute best Christmas ever? Christmas how you have always dreamed it could be, because your heart is in tune and the way you prepare for the coming of Jesus simply makes your spirit sing and your life resonate with peace.
Hope, Peace, Love, & Joy – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.