Xmasclock.com exists to give you the exact amount of time remaining, down to the second, until Christmas.  This isn’t a blog post about the word Xmas.  I don’t care much for the word, but Jim told me that the letter “X” is really the Greek symbol for Chi, meaning Christ.  Xmas means Christmas – but I like the whole word.  I love Christmas, I always have.  That is why I write an Advent book each year for our ministry.

I began writing the annual book for our ministry because Christmas was such a busy time for Jim.  Besides, he writes the Lenten book each year.  I took the book that has about 25 days, Jim writes the book that has more than 40 days.  Jim writes the Cultural Commentary every weekday, Craig is writing 365 days of First15 and I write my blog twice a week.  I like to refer to myself as the “underachiever” in the family!

The Advent and Lenten books were originally a way for us to thank our donors.  We send every donor these books each year and we will continue to do that.  We have had a lot of requests, however, from people who would like to order them for friends.  We want to make certain we print enough, but not too many.  So, we are taking orders until October 15th, when the book goes to print.   

This year’s Advent book is titled Let Heaven and Nature Sing.  The devotional is inspired by the lyrics of Christmas hymns and the words of Mary’s song from the Gospel of Luke.  I have always enjoyed the depth of meaning in the great hymns and it was fun to research the background and inspiration for those hymns.  Mary’s song from Luke, chapter 1, is her response to God’s miraculous intervention in her life when she learned that she would conceive and give birth to Jesus.  Her praise and the praise of the great hymn writers will inspire us to think of the glories of the season in the midst of what our culture has created for the holiday.

Our goal in writing and producing an Advent book is to help our readers spend time with the Christ of Christmas each day.  We want the holiday that is about his birth to be filled with his presence and power.  Christmas is a perfect time to share our faith, which is why December has become a season filled with spending, rushing, stress and exhaustion.  Satan wants us to make Christmas a holiday instead of a holy day.  The Advent book is written to help Christians remember our reason to celebrate.

Our donors will receive a copy Mid-November with our note of thanks.  If you would like to order a copy for you or your friends and family, you can do that in our bookstore.

I titled this blog post “A deadline is quickly approaching.”  I write the Advent book each summer and I always wonder if people will get to read it.  One Christmas will be our last Christmas.  One day, the trumpet will sound and all of us will see Jesus enter the world again.  That day he will not enter the world as a baby in a manger – he will be our triumphant King, returning for his bride.

I hope you will celebrate a Christ focused Christmas but our greater joy will be celebrating his return, when we will be with Christ forever.  A deadline is approaching.  I hope the Advent book will help all of us be ready!

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