Thanks so much for the opportunity to review. However, I am no longer interested in pursuing titles on this subject.
I really enjoyed how the author took each character from the Bible and then applied the principles to her own life!
Christmas Changes Everything: How the Birth of Jesus Brings Hope to the World by Elisa Morgan is a lovely book that really brings perspective. This book is so much for than just another advent book. Here, the author carefully examines the historical lives Jesus touched and how he changed everything for them. Then, she looks at how He changes our lives similarly. And Christmas doesn’t just end— this impact is lasting. This is a book to read again and again. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.
"God's death and resurrection at Easter transported me back in His story to a new understanding of God's birth in a manger. Christmas became Christmas when I realized the true gift: God came as a bay who would grow up and live and die and be raised from the dead for me. I responded with a heartfelt yes! A yes that became an offering of my own gifts to others at Christmas out of my love for Him."
The cast of characters portrayed in this book are not surprising. Most who have read through the chapters in Matthew and Luke that tell about Jesus' birth will recognize these names. Two of them (Zechariah and Elizabeth) provide the prequel. Two of them (Anna and Simeon) follow in Luke. All of these real-life people were impacted by the birth of Christ.
This book does contain a portrayal of the story that started Christmas. Bible passages are included. Each section includes a devotional as well as an explanation about how each person was changed by Christmas. I feel like the author did an excellent job of adding understanding into familiar stories. Even though I have ready the selected passages hundreds of times, I still pondered new ideas.
I liked the fact that she ended the book with a chapter entitled, "our stories." We also have the opportunity to be impacted by the event that happened over 2,000 years ago. Our paths can also be changed by Christmas.
As for the author, I became a fan of Elisa Morgan's writings when I was introduced to her through MOPS where she was CEO for a time. As a mother of a preschoolers, her thoughts on parenting encouraged me. So I love the fact that she has continued to write. I want to read more of her titles.
I read this book through NetGalley. I wanted to read it. All opinions are my own.
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!
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.
It gave me a new perspective on Christmas. I saw myself in the Christmas story for the first time in my life.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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: 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.
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.
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.
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.