Christmas Changes Everything
How the Birth of Jesus Brings Hope to the World
by Elisa Morgan
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Pub Date 04 Oct 2022 | Archive Date Not set
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Elisa Morgan is so refreshingly real that you immediately feel like you’ve found a friend who “gets'' you. This is more than just a nice Christmas book. It moves past icing and sugarplums to get to the realities of why we need a Savior, and why His love is the best thing that could ever happen to us. Christmas Changes Everything puts forward the true heart of Christmas (and the personalities behind it) in a beautiful, biblical way. I will be reading it for Christmases to come, and giving it again and again. —James Banks, author of Prayers for Prodigals
Elisa Morgan wraps her unique bundle of insights into this gift to us. She offers her rich blend of sharp biblical insights, vivid personal stories, and transformational questions I've come to expect since working with her on Discover the Word. All make Christmas Changes Everything unlike any other reflection on the arrival of Jesus Christ. Whether read to children, discussed in groups, or poured over alone, it is a gift that keeps on giving us meaning to celebrate—from the first Noel to this one! —Rasool Berry, host of Where Ya From? podcast
How can we, like the characters in the original nativity story, be changed by Christmas? With heart-warming and sometimes challenging stories, Elisa Morgan invites us to enter into the wonder of Christmas. We too can accept, yield, believe, wait, and rejoice—and be forever changed by our loving God. —Amy Boucher Pye, author, Celebrating Christmas
I love this book. The portraits of each of the biblical characters in the Christmas narrative are compelling all on their own, but the real heart-stopper for me is the "Change point" at the end of each story. Elisa Morgan ushers us gently yet firmly toward cracking our hearts open to the God who desires to be born there anew. I believe these stories can change everything!—Leslie Leyland Fields, author of Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 34 members
I received an ARC of, Christmas Changes Everything, by Elisa Morgan. I really enjoyed this book. How Christmas changed the author, the people, in the bible, and how it can change the reader.
This is a beautiful Christmas book told through the perspective of nine different characters of the nativity story. Each chapter teaches about a beautiful aspect of Christmas and the story of Christ's birth. It shows how Christmas can change and bless our lives. This is certainly one I will enjoy returning to each holiday season. Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the advanced copy of the book.
This is a sweet little book on Christmas. Although I didn’t relate to the authors personal stories, it was still nice to see how she related them to Christmas and Scripture. I really enjoyed learning more about Anna from the Bible! All in all, it would make a good gift this Christmas and I would recommend it.
A simple, precise and inspiring narrative, that goes quickly as a journey of reading, with one of the best contents I love to read: CHRISTMAS and it's meaning. I loved how the author made a correlation with main characters of the biblical story and How We can use their examples to allow God's purpose in our everyday lifes', all this keeping the heart of christmas alive all year! Well Done !
Throughout the course of this book, Elisa Morgan expertly tells the story of the impact of the first Christmas by focusing on the stories of various individuals in the Bible. From Mary to Anna to King Herod and more, the lessons we learn from each of these stories will help change our perspectives on the meaning of Christmas. This is a perfect book to read during the holiday season to refresh your memory on why we celebrate Christmas in the first place.
Is it ever too early to think about Christmas? I think not. :D LOL!
This release from Elisa Morgan absolutely gets me in the Christmas spirit--in the best way. I love how it focuses on each of the main characters in and around the traditional story...but also takes it to the next level, examining who they are, their characteristics, and even some of the original Greek language or history of the day/era.
I'll be curious with the final release whether there's any inner artwork included; the eARC was, to put it plainly (no pun intended) ... sparse. :D Simple presentation that surprised me a bit, with just the text included. But, sometimes that's just as well, allowing me to focus on the text without distraction--something I can always use in/around the Christmas season.
I received an eARC of the book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
"Christmas Changes Everything" by Elisa Morgan is about "How the Birth of Jesus Brings Hope to the World." In the Introduction, "When Christmas Becomes Christmas" gives us a real Christmas feeling. It captures the warmth and light of Christmas. As we read on, the deeper meaning of Christmas grows in our hearts and souls. We discover Someone greater, the glorious reality of Christ being born in our hearts to save us eternally. Oh, what a joyous hope! A growing wonder fills us to overflowing. Who is this baby Jesus? Why is He so special? There is no one like Him on earth. He is unique. He stands alone. Christmas becomes Christmas when Easter becomes Easter. When we face the ultimate sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, dying for our sins, we grasp the meaning of Christmas. Christ's death and His resurrection gives us a new understanding of Christ's birth in a manger. Christ is God's gift to us. Christ in us, the hope of glory. Christ was born at Christmas, lived on earth, died and was raised from the dead to save you and me for eternity. I respond with a heartfelt, resounding "Yes" to Jesus being born in my heart. A "Yes" that compels me to offer myself to serve others out of my love for Christ. What is the real meaning of Christmas to you? When Christmas truly becomes Christmas, it changes everything for you. Your perspective changes. Jesus is your reason for living! Christmas fills our hearts with joy and wonder. Read this awesome book to discover the true gift of Christmas - Jesus Christ. Your life will be rejuvenated for ever.
I want to thank Netgalley and the author for gifting me the ebook. I am really bummed out. I really wanted to finish this book and maybe I will but it was not available in ebook format for my Kindle. I had to download the file to my phone and my phone does. It save my place. It is really annoying that I have to write down my place and then go to it everytime I try and read it.
:(. It is making me not wanting to finish it.
In Christmas Changes Everything, author Elisa Morgan looks at all of the individual key players in the first Christmas, showing the tremendous upheaval and impact of the event on their lives. She also discusses others during the course of Jesus' life whose faith allowed them to immediately recognize him as the savior and redeemer they had been awaiting. The characteristics of these people and their faith are worthy of emulation to experience the power of Christmas; what it meant when it happened, and what it still means for us today.
My thanks to Our Daily Bread Publishing for permitting me to read an ARC of the book via NetGalley. Publication is scheduled for 10/4/22. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and are given freely.
Absolutely fascinating book on Christmas, where the author Elisa Morgan explores through different characters in the bible like Mary, Joseph, Zechariah, Elizabeth, The Shepherds, Simeon, Herod, Anna and the Magi how Christmas changed each of them. I actually enjoyed the part where the author says that other than decorations and presents and celebration and family and choirs and fun there is a deeper meaning to Christmas - Christmas became Christmas when she realized the true gift; God came as a baby who would grow up and live and die and be raised from the dead for everyone who believes. There is a lot of scriptures to ponder from the Luke and Mark and how Christmas became Christmas to each character and how their lives were changed through exploring how...
Mary was changed by Christmas from a Virgin to the mother of our savior who accepted God's invitation for her life. (Luke 1:46-49)
Joseph was changed from a fiancé who was grieving to a committed husband and the stepfather of Jesus who yielded his way to God's. Mathew 1:18-25; Luke 2:1-7
Zechariah was changed from a man who doubted to a father who believed in the faithfulness of God. Luke 1:5-25, 57-80
Elizabeth was changed from a disgraced, childless woman who wondered about her worth to a mother who is rejoicing who saw God's favor fulfilled in her life. Luke 1:5-17,24,39-45,57-58
Shepherds were changed from lowly workers watching over lambs to men called to worship the Lamb of God and share the good news of his arrival. Luke 2:8-20
Simeon was changed from a waiting man to a fulfilled follower. Luke 2:22-35
Anna was changed from a woman who worshiped in fervent hope to one who worshiped with experienced conviction. Luke 2:36-38
The Magi was changed from those seeking truth to those who discovered the Source of all truth. Mathew 2:1-12
Herod was changed from a man who could discover faith and find freedom to one who rejected learning and instead followed after fear. Mathew 2:13-23
I enjoyed reading this remarkable book on Christmas which helped me ponder through and meditate on the scriptures and the true meaning of Christmas. Christmas can change us when we accept Jesus and when we believe like these people those above mentioned from the bible.
I just reviewed the book, Christmas Changes Everything: How the Birth of Jesus Brings Hope to the World by Elisa Morgan. Thanks to Netgalley and Our Daily Bread Publishers for an advance copy for my honest review.
I absolutely loved this book! The author takes the people involved around Christs birth and reveals how it changed them. There are thought provoking questions at the end of each chapter relating to how Christmas can change us. This book should become part of a tradition to be read every year! A great coffee table book!
I really enjoyed the format of this book. It introduced a lot of biblical stories in an interesting, relatable way. The author did a good job of providing just enough personal information to ground the book in the modern world while still focusing primarily on imparting biblical wisdom. I especially liked the chapter on Zechariah and the author’s recognition of the human tendency to simultaneously pray to God while still doubting his faithfulness.
However, I definitely think this book is meant more for Christians who are new to the faith or haven’t read the Bible much, rather than for those who are very familiar with Bible stories. There wasn’t anything particularly new or unique about the book. I’m especially not a fan of the large chunks of Bible verses that were included. It always seems like cheating to me when authors pad their books with writings from other texts, rather than just referring the reader to the other work (i.e. the Bible, in this case). The writing style was also a bit too silly/childish/over-the-top for my taste.
Overall, this was a decent Christian book with some Christmas theming. I recommend it to those who are looking to learn more about the Christian faith.
*I received an ARC of this book. This is my complete and honest review.*
Let this Christmas change you! These words from author Elisa Morgan are perfectly written as a clue to the overall theme of the book. “Christmas Changes Everything” by Elisa Morgan is unlike any advent book or Christmas study book. It’s a well-crafted masterpiece.
One of the things I enjoyed most about this book is the tapestry of the characters. Elisa Morgan takes each person in the Christmas story and shows her readers how the characters are relevant today. Now when I think of the manger scene under my tree or the Christmas Village on my shelf, I am reminded of how the birth of Jesus changed these people. It’s a more beautiful scene than I first imagined.
Another thing I enjoyed about this book is the “change point” prompt at the end of each chapter. These reflection questions are helpful for today.
Finally, that last chapter was like unwrapping a beautiful gift. If you select a focus word for the year or decide to meditate on a specific keyword from Scripture, you’ll find a list waiting in the afterword chapter. It’s brilliant!
As a Christmas Bible study, read two chapters a week and you’ll have a 5-week study for your group. Most Christmas studies are 25-day Advent studies and so I like the depth and content of this character theme study. Each person has a place in the Christmas story- and so do you!
I just finished, Christmas Changes Everything by Elisa Morgan and I’m giving it a 5⭐️. And I’ll just tell you honestly that I’ve had a terrible time finding Christ centered Christmas reading. My husband and I usually do an Advent study every year but in general that’s all we’ve found.
So I was grateful to find this for Christmas.
About the book, the author brings to light some main characters of the Bible and shares their Christmas experiences. It’s done in an expository way with the full scripture shared on the page. It was relatable and caused me to identify with my relationship with God. I asked myself, what’s my role in all this? Each chapter ended with a change point. A healthy question to seriously ponder.
I thought the book helpful and comforting. If you love expository teaching then you’ll love this one. I highly recommend it for the CHRISTmas season.
Thanks Our Daily Bread Publishing via NetGalley.
Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this precious book. Furthermore, I liked the way the author shows the perspective of nine different characters of the nativity story. I love the holiday season because the real reason to celebrate.
Christmastime often has a certain “rush” about it. Between the activities and preparing for the gift-giving, people can often lose sight of its true meaning—even if some of the activities are around the true meaning.
This author takes the reader on a journey to restore perspective by not only examining the the various characters involved in the first Christmas, but by also sharing modern-day accounts to which readers may relate. Added to that is a section called “Change Point” at the end of each chapter that allows the reader and any others to reflect personally.
This book is excellent for both personal and group devotions and reflection. It would also make a great gift. Whoever reads this book may find themselves reflecting on characters they would not usually think about when discussing the first Christmas.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by the publisher and NetGalley but the thoughts expressed are my own.
I loved this book. If you don’t know much about the Bible and it’s stories and characters Elisa Morgan goes to the lengths needed to inform you. There’s back stories for each of the characters. If you do know the stories, then this book might be a little too simple for you. Either way there are some reflective questions and I will go back from time to time and reread them.
Christmas Changes Everything by Elisa Morgan examines the different characters in the Christmas story and how we can relate the lessons they learned to our own lives.
I enjoyed this book. The analysis of the Christmas story was presented in an easy to digest format. The anecdotes from the author's life were charming, poignant, and helped me better understand how to apply the lessons of the Christmas story into my life.
I felt like I had heard all of the analysis of the Christmas story included in this book before, but it is still always important to get a review of this important story. I would have preferred if the author had chosen to include quotes from the KJV Bible (in lieu of the NIV Bible), since I find the KJV Bible to use more precise diction.
I would highly recommend this quick, easy, engaging read to any person wanting to draw closer to their Savior this Christmas season!
I received a review copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review of this book.
Elisa Morgan takes us on the journey of how the birth of Christ changed those during His time and how it can change us also. Each of their stories gives us a look at how Christ' life impacted them. Even though they may have been going down a different path, Jesus changed their direction. The powerful stories show us the true meaning of the season. I received a copy through Netgalley. A review was not required.
This book focuses on the true meaning of the Christmas season: the birth of Jesus. Each chapter takes a look at one of the main biblical individuals involved in the Christmas story, and how that person was changed by his or her participation in the event. The chapters open with scripture verses, then guide the reader through focusing questions to analyze and describe the events portrayed in the verses. The author includes personal anecdotes and experiences, and ends each chapter with a reflection question for the reader.
For those readers desiring to more closely attune to the reason for Christmas, this book could be just the ticket. Both Christian readers and those seeking to find a deeper meaning to life will find plenty of opportunities for introspection and quiet meditation. This is a book to be taken slowly and read one chapter at a time, so as to leave space to ponder and reflect on the events described in each chapter.
I received this book from the publisher and from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
I really loved Christmas Changes Everything: How the Birth of Jesus Brings Hope to the World by Elisa Morgan! Christmas Changes Everything: How the Birth of Jesus Brings Hope to the World is a devotional that explores the main characters of the Christmas—from Mary to King Herod—and how Christmas changed for them—good or bad. I loved how Ms. Morgan explored each character individually and the points that were brought out. I also love the personal stories Ms. Morgan shared. Her writing paired Biblical and life applications together beautifully. I used Christmas Changes Everything: How the Birth of Jesus Brings Hope to the World as part of my personal devotion time and it helped me get into the Christmas Spirit and I learned things about the Christmas Story I never noticed before. I highly recommend Christmas Changes Everything: How the Birth of Jesus Brings Hope to the World and believe that it will help you focus on the Reason for the Season. Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read this book. My review is also on Goodreads.
Christmas Changes Everything: How the birth of Jesus Brings Hope to the World is an invitation to visit with Mary, Joseph, Zechariah, Elizabeth, the shepherds, Simeon, Anna, the Magi, and Herod. It is an opportunity to look at the events surrounding the birth of Jesus from very different perspectives.
I like the way the chapters are organized into sections. This enhances the reading experience and also could be an added help for discussion in a group setting.
Each chapter moves the reader closer to the conclusion that indeed Christmas does change everything! Reading this book will prompt you to think about your own response to the birth of Jesus.
Christmas Changes Everything: How the birth of Jesus Brings Hope to the World is a book to consider reading in the days approaching Christmas. Perfect to read during Advent but it would certainly also be good to read any time of the year.
Author Elisa Morgan takes an in-depth look at the characters from the Christmas story and how the birth of a Savior changed them and how it can change us too. This is a delightful little book that’s well-written and one that helped me to better understand what actually took place on the silent night over two thousand years ago. It enabled me to see firsthand how the birth of Jesus has impacted the lives of so many, including my own. If you’re looking for a book to help put you in the Christmas spirit, look no further.
Christmas changes everything - also for you?
According to Christianity Today Elisa Morgan is one of the top 50 women influencing today's church and culture. She is also a speaker and author of multiple books. She presents her book entitled "Christmas Changes Everything. How the Birth of Jesus Brings Hope to the World", published by Our Daily Bread Publishing. The book contains ten chapters where Morgan shows how Christmas changed some of the main characters that are known though the Christmas story of the Bible. In the introduction she engages her readers with the following statement: "When did Christmas become Christmas for you? When did it shift into more than Santa and stockings and presents? When did it convert into more than choirs and candles and carolers? When did Christmas morph into more than family? Perhaps you’re still on the edge of Christmas, wondering about its real meaning, longing for more than the window dressing offered in our world. When Christmas becomes Christmas, it changes everything! In the pages to follow, we’ll look at the central figures portrayed in the Christmas story in Scripture and discover how Christmas became Christmas to each . . . and how that discovery changed everything in their lives." Her wish is "May this be a Christmas when you both explore and receive the true change—the metamorphosis—of Christmas in your heart, in your home, and in your world!" (In Introduction).
This was the second book by this author which I read. I really appreciated her honest talk about her personal childhood experiences with Christmas. I also liked the fact that she presents the whole Bible text where a particular character is presented previous to the chapter where this character is discussed and it is shown how Christmas changed this character. She closes the chapters with "Change Point" - a question to the readers that challenges their reflection. There are also notes at the end of the book that help with further research and reflection. I highly recommend the book to readers who are open to reflect over Christmas, readers who do not want to live Christmas as a "Christian holiday" but who want to also be changed by Christmas.
The complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley free of charge. I was under no obligation to offer a positive review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
The title says it all! Christmas Changes Everything, How the Birth of Jesus Brings Hope to the World by Elisa Morgan. First of all, it is scripture based, which is great and truth. However, some may think that it will be dry, far from that. Instead, it is so very readable. In fact, it is a book that makes you think. It happened so easily that I began to put myself in place of the one studied in each chapter.
Looking closely at different people who were part of that first Christmas helped me to identify with each one, even Herod. He could have had and been so much more. A warning to me not just at Christmas but in my everyday faith. I especially like the question at the beginning of the chapter and the change point at the end. This is not an advent reading. No, it is so much more.
I have found that I can count on Our Daily Bread to always publishes quality books that are Biblical based. Christmas Changes Everything is truly one more excellent addition to their legacy.
The publisher through Net Galley provided a digital ARC. I have voluntarily decided to read and review, giving my personal opinions and thoughts.
I read this book before Christmas, taking my time to savor all the insights. The Scripture relating Christ's birth were presented, along with the historical context and the author's related experiences and questions for the reader. Accept, like Mary. Worship, like Anna. One of the most original insights was how King Harod refused to let Christ's birth change him. This man just pretended to be interested in learning of the Baby's birth, supposedly to worship Him, too, as he told the Wise Men. Instead, he had all baby boys under 2 years of age killed in the area. This book draws attention to the importance of Christmas in the place in history but deeper, into the lives of Christ-followers, as well as the readers' lives. '"Christmas Isn't Over'" so this book is appropriate to read all year, not limited to Christmas!
I have read Elisa Morgan's content before in Our Daily Bread (ODB) Ministries devotionals, so when I saw this Christmas book, I requested the ARC. She focused on some of the people mentioned in the first Christmas story and how that first Christmas impacted the lives of Mary, Joseph, Zechariah, Elizabeth, the shepherds, Simeon, Anna, the Magi, and Herod. She tells a personal story, or shares someone else’s story, and then moves into the Bible story about each person. The scriptures are in full in this book, something I've come to appreciate about the ODB devotionals.
I like the historical details Elisa presented the most. She noted that the angel Gabriel whose name means “hero of God” and “mighty one of God” is named in this account of Jesus’ birth several times. He first announced the birth of John and the coming Messiah to Zechariah, and then he announced the birth of Jesus to Mary. Before this account, Gabriel had appeared to Daniel twice.
I knew Mary, the mother of Jesus, could have been between 12 and 13 years old. I didn’t know that in Jewish culture back then marriages were arranged at birth. Joseph would have been 18, “the average age of betrothal for men.” Mary and Joseph were chosen because of their right-standing with God. Joseph also was part of David’s line, which fulfilled prophecy. Elisa said Mary would have been troubled about a virgin birth, yes, and the fact that betrothal meant the same as marriage does today. The penalties were severe. A person could have a nose cut off, an ear, or be stoned to death. But She also would have known that pregnancy could become dangerous. Babies often didn’t live past the first month. Fifty percent of children didn’t live past age 5.
Elisa employs a “sermon style” of writing. She starts with who each of these people were and then moves on to how that first Christmas impacted their lives. She starts with “Who was Mary?” “Who was Joseph?” “Who was Zechariah?” Her answers act as bullet points. She finishes each section with how Christmas changed that person, for better or worse, and what we as readers can learn from the study of this scriptural account. I did note some repetition of ideas that would make this a better audio book, or a book to be read aloud. Elisa ends with questions for the reader to answer. Those would make good journal prompts.
Elisa’s devotional is easy to read. I have learned new historical details I didn’t know before, so I recommend reading this book during the season…or any time you want to learn about Jesus’ birth. Thank you to Netgalley and Our Daily Bread Publishing for providing a free copy in exchange for my honest review of this book.
Loved this book! It takes scripture, the author's' personal story, and digs into the characters in the bible and how Christmas effected them. I learned some good things and also had that warm Christmas feeling. It was also a quick read which I like.
This is an excellent book with so many enligntening thoughts on how Christ's birth has affected our lives and all of civilization as a whole. I think the part I liked the best was getting to know Mother Mary and her feelings/emotions better. So much emphasis is placed on her Son, that we probably don't give her enough thought. I do wonder often how much she suffered having to watch His pain on the cross but haven't given that much time to how the pregnancy and birth affected her. Everyone should read this!
This devotional celebrates the true Christmas story by featuring all the main characters and the lessons one can learn from the Scriptures about them. With personal stories mixed into the lessons, it is easy to see where one can focus and continue growing through the Season of Christ's birth. This would be perfect for someone to read one day at a time for part of December every year.
A most enjoyable read, the first book i have read by Elisa Morgan but will definitely keep an eye out for any more in the future. V
It gave me a new perspective on Christmas. I saw myself in the Christmas story for the first time in my life.
Christmas Changes Everything would make a great Christmas gift. It would also make a great bible study to do in a group during the Christmas season or anytime. This book can be enjoyed every Christmas season. Christmas Changes Everything shows how Christmas can change our lives forever and bring us blessings every year when we celebrate.
Christmas Changes Everything is a beautiful Christmas book about the birth of Christ and how it brings hope to the world. The story is told through the perspective of nine different characters from before the birth, at the nativity and early in Jesus life. Each chapter teaches about an important aspect related to that character in the story of Christ's birth. An example is Chapter 8 - The Magi's Story - Seek.
This book is exactly what I’ve been looking for! I’ve searched for books like this that help the reader understand how to apply passages from the Bible to everyday life. I loved the understanding that I got between key figures in the Bible and how their stories are applicable to life today. I especially loved the story of Joseph and the explanation of his importance in Jesus’s life as a ‘stepparent’. I will definitely read this book again this Christmas season & will gift it to many of my friends and family. I am grateful for this book!
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