Author: Sarah J. Sover
Narrator: Christopher J. Dusky
Length: 9 hours 10 minutes
Publisher: The Parliament House
Released: May 26, 2020
Genre: Fantasy; Humor
– CHAPTER 1 –
“TOP 10” LIST
Merry Christmas! Put your holiday thinking caps on, because we’re warming up with two fun challenges. First, I’m going to give you three sets of lyrics. Your job is to see how much of each song you can remember. If you feel like singing out loud, be my guest. Ready?
Now, let’s get into the Christmas spirit with our final exercise: when I say “go,” quickly list the top ten things you associate with the Christmas season. You may include past memories or present-day traditions; anything related to Christmas, and there are no wrong answers. This exercise is about the first things that pop into your mind, so complete your list as quickly as you can. You can use the space provided below or get your own sheet of paper, but please don’t skip this brief exercise, as you’ll want to reference your list later!
When you’re done, we’ll continue on the next page. Ready… Set… Go!
Here are a few popular answers: Jingle Bells, cutting out paper snowflakes, snowball fights, writing letters to Santa Claus, vacation from school, mistletoe, sitting by a warm fireplace on a cold night, trimming the Christmas tree, hanging stockings, setting out cookies and milk for Santa Claus, candlelight mass, Christmas lights on houses, and family reunions… Some of our fondest memories circulate around this time of year!
I once asked a woman named Lisa to do this exercise out loud, and she did an amazing job of listing a large number of family-related activities. However, not one thing she listed had any correlation with Jesus, His birth, worship, angels announcing Jesus’ birth, or a manger scene. Now, Lisa loves the Lord, but I asked her why she had so many other thoughts come to mind before Jesus—and her answer unveiled the perfect premise for this book (thank you, Lisa). She said, “I guess we’re all just conditioned to think that way.” So now I ask, if we’ve really been conditioned… what condition are Christians in during Christmas?
What did your top ten list look like? Did Jesus make the cut? Now, let’s add another layer to this “top 10” list exercise. When you see your kids or any immediate family member today, ask them to take the same challenge. Their answers may astonish you (partly because they do not have the chance to read the introduction of this book beforehand). Their responses should be wonderfully raw.
As you compare other people’s responses, where did Jesus get put in the order? Was He first? Was He in the middle? Was He in the back? Or was He left out altogether? If you found anywhere through the results of your own experiment that Jesus did not dominate or top your list, or those of your friends and family members, then let’s examine why together.
You will find that there are a variety of different views among people about Christmas and its traditions. We’ve all heard phrases like:
Some in the body of Christ regard Christmas as a pagan holiday, believing we should not observe it at all. Many contend that Christmas was created to honor baby Jesus and it’s very important to keep this tradition so we can worship Him. Others still will point out that Christmas has now become so commercialized that we just need to get back to what is really important.
So, what is the real reason for the Christmas season? How did Christmas celebrations begin? How does God want us to use Christmas to worship and honor His Son? These are some great questions, and that is what we are going to cover in this book.
When Lisa suggested so appropriately that we have been “conditioned,” it simply implies that your surroundings, history, and family traditions have trained you to think a certain way. Truth be told, you were probably born into family traditions and influenced greatly as a child by your surroundings to put presents, the Christmas tree, or Santa first, all the while letting God and Jesus share the spotlight every now and then. In doing so, you may find that Jesus, over time, inadvertently moved out of the first priority position because of conditioned habits during this season.
But don’t lose heart—conditioned does not mean permanent. God tells us that through Him, we can renew our minds! And with a renewed mind comes an overflow of blessings.
So, sit back and enjoy while we study “The Christian Christmas Condition.”
Scott Rankin graduated with a degree in music education and spent his 20’s and 30’s as a successful music director, visual designer for marching groups, and a professional clinician for high school and college music programs.
Date Published: June 2020
Publisher: Hearts Afire Publishing
USA Today bestselling author Magda Alexander brings you a tale of heartbreak and love, loss and redemption in this Hollywood meets small town summer romance.
An actor who’s lost his soul
There is nothing studios won’t give for my name in their movie, whether
it’s money, women, or fame. But fame bores me. Money? I have more than
enough. And women? Not interested in the Hollywood types. The one thing I
crave they can’t give me. The redemption of my soul. For you see, I
committed the ultimate sin, one I can’t take back. I can’t find absolution.
No matter how hard I try. Until I land in a small beach town for a summer
production and meet a waitress with a heart of gold.
A down-on-her-luck waitress
The last thing I want is another man in my life. The last one stole every
penny from me. Money I’d been saving to go back to school. If I work double
shifts at the diner, I just might earn enough. But only if I keep my eye on
the ball. Only if I’m not sidelined by distractions.
A summer they won’t forget
But when a stranger stumbles into my diner one stormy night looking for a
meal and a place to stay, I offer the unthinkable–shelter in my home. When
he’s gone in the morning, I think that’s the end. But I’m wrong. Dead
wrong. Because the stranger returns, and this time he wants much more than
my couch. He wants me in his bed.
If Tomorrow Ever Comes is a standalone romance with a guaranteed HEA, smexy
times, and lots of pies.
About the Author
Magda Alexander loves piña coladas and walks in the rain. Okay,
enough of that. Rewind.
Magda loves reading steamy romances which she’s been doing since she was ten. Ummm, that’s not quite true. Steamy romances did not exist when she was ten, and if they had, she’s pretty sure her mother would not have allowed her to read them. She did read the hand-holding, longing-glances kind, along with her catechism, which got her into trouble more than once. Let’s just say Mother Superior was not amused.
As soon as sexy romances came into existence, thank you Rosemary Rogers,
she’s been lapping them up. So when it came time to write one, guess
what she wrote. A no-brainer, right?
Magda, a lifelong learner, graduated from the University of Maryland where
she majored in Business Administration (because her family had to eat) and
minored in English (because she needed to dream). She’s lived in
Maryland most of her life and now resides close to the Catoctin Mountains in
a city whose history dates back to colonial times.
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