Cover Image: Heaven and Nature Sing

Heaven and Nature Sing

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

What a delightful addition to the Advent season!  The author invites us to slow down and contemplate the wider meanings of items that are often overlooked during the busyness of the season. This book allows us to slow down and reflect, refreshing us and sharpening our focus on Christ.
Was this review helpful?
Heaven and Nature Sing is 25 Advent reflections, journeying through the story of Scripture and of Christmas, with a lot of nature tidbits thrown in. Hannah Anderson opens with a discussion of Advent and our search for the warm and light of the holidays as a sign of our search for hope. 

Overall, there were a few really good chapters, but it wasn't as profound as I expect from Hannah Anderson and it didn't quite hit the searching for hope/longing for restoration chord as much as I had hoped it would. 

Still, it's a solid, thoughtful Advent devotional. 


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley.
Was this review helpful?
Push back against the darkness of this season by immersing your thoughts in the truth that Light has come into the world–and we celebrate redemption with all creation! Hannah Anderson has borrowed great news from an old carol that’s ever new, because Heaven and Nature Sing the greatness of our God, “the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Anderson comes alongside the reader as a friend, pointing at the evidence and whispering a gentle reminder of truth easily misplaced in a busy season.

These twenty-five meditations, designed to carry you through Advent, connect details of geography, topography, or nature from the Christmas story and lay them down beside spiritual truth with an eye fully attentive to the selective nature of redemptive history. Why did the Gospel writer include the lowly shepherds’ eye-witness status? “Supreme artist that he is, God is not about to miss an opportunity for symbolism. So when his Shepherd is finally born, he sends the news to… shepherds.”

Then, reaching beyond the traditional gospel accounts of Christ’s birth, Anderson has woven connections with relevant Old Testament passages and New Testament teaching that highlights the seamlessness of Scripture’s metanarrative. My favorite image from Heaven and Nature Sing makes the connection between Son of Adam and Son of God, for Jesus, the God-Man created us and also makes provision for us. “So instead of filling the manger with hay or corn, he fills it with himself.”

Worship is the invitation of this season, so prepare your heart to join in the celebration of God’s greatness by remembering the why behind Christ’s arrival and the blessed hope of his return.

Many thanks to NetGalley and B&H Publishing Group for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review, which is, of course, offered freely and with honesty.
Was this review helpful?
A walk through the Bible, from the beginning, feels just right for a walk through the Advent season. The emphasis on nature reminded me of authors Gayle Boss and Christie Purifoy. Plus, the bonus illustrations. A wonderful holiday offering all-around!
Was this review helpful?
This is, come to find out, the second book I've read by Hannah Anderson (the first being Turning of Days: Lessons from Nature, Season, and Spirit, which I equally loved).Both books are illustrated by her husband, too, and the pairing works just as well here as it does in _Turning of Days_.

I love the simplicity of the art; it foils the devotional text perfectly. (I'm also glad I switched to reading the NetGalley version rather than Kindle while reviewing, because the Kindle proof didn't include the art and I was going to be very disappointed! Seeing the art, where available, is half the fun!)

The devotional text itself is surprisingly deep, in a good way. It doesn't take long to read, nor is it "so deep only someone in seminary could read it"--but instead a good balance of incorporating examples from everyday life and drawing out theological application. I especially enjoyed the discussion of liturgy during the Advent season, and the power of silence. (Yes, partly because #introvertlife, lol.)

An enjoyable and refreshing Advent devotional.

I received an eARC of the book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
Heaven and Nature Sing takes a similar approach as Turning of Days, but focuses in on Advent. The book is made up of 25 Advent devotions and once again includes illustrations from the author’s husband (although since I was reading an arc I did not get to fully enjoy the illustrations). 

I thought the book benefitted from being focused on the themes and events of the Advent season. The connections made between the nature reflections and the biblical story seemed a lot stronger to me than in Turning of Days, and it gave me a chance to reflect on different aspects of the Christmas story and the events leading up to it. Maybe because I was reading Hannah Coulter at the same time, but I found Hannah Anderson’s love for and reflections on the places that have influenced her to stand out in this book. 

The intended audience is probably more older readers than being intended as a family or children’s advent book. I usually paired it with my daily Bible reading and the length of the reflections worked well with that.
Was this review helpful?
This was a book that will be great during Christmas time.
I love that it weaves nature in with the essay that is of that day.
the paintings are done by her husband and its beautifully done!
It is a book that will be used in he years to come.
Was this review helpful?
In 25 devotionals, Hannah Anderson invites readers to reread the advent stories of the Bible with new eyes. To take these stories out of the realm of repeated same old and really sit with them, to dig deeper, and ask why certain details are included. She reexamines the stories of angel visits and gifts of magi and messages to shepherds and while weaving in stories and examples from her own life helps uncover the ongoing relevance for our lives today, and just why the coming of Jesus was so special and is so worthy of celebration and a pause from the ordinary routine.

If the Christmas passages in the Bible are feeling a little dry, routine, or shallow, Anderson’s devotions invite you to dive deeper and see them in new ways. It’s a refreshing 25 days of 3-5 page devotionals that really made me see things in a new light, had me thinking about something I’ve read a couple 100 times and never paused to think about before, or just reminded me why Christmas is so important to celebrate. She continually redirects the focus not just on the birth, but back to his death and resurrection and why Jesus came. Because Christmas is a whole lot more powerful when you keep Easter in mind. If you are tired of all the glitz and glamor of Christmas, this will remind you of the most important bits. A refreshing advent devotional that doesn’t feel anything like any other advent devotional I’ve ever read. Highly recommended.

I received an ARC of this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Notes on content [based on the ARC]: One devotional is on “the birds and the bees” but talks more about God redeeming the way he makes bodies and is very clinical in the way it talks about bodily processes.
Was this review helpful?
(4/5) This is a beautiful advent devotional, great for a single reader (perhaps still doable for a group discussion, but I think it's more suited to personal reflection). Anderson balances the "already and the not yet" of the Advent season, reminding us that while weeping may last for a night, joy comes in the morning. I think in the Advent season, sometimes we gloss over the fact that it is a season of waiting, not just celebrating Christ's coming. Would recommend for your own Advent reading or as a gift to a friend or family member in preparation for the season! This book is out TODAY!
Was this review helpful?
Heaven and Nature Sing – 25 Advent Reflections to Bring Joy to the World by Hannah Anderson is a book I recently finished reading through! I so enjoy her writing, she has a way of connecting nature and God’s Word together that is full of truth, beauty, and goodness!! She joined together the biblical Christmas season and nature of the season. I also enjoy the advent season, and have a small collection of advent books and so this one is a great addition to my stack to read during the Advent season! Also, this isn’t the first book I have read by Hannah Anderson, so I knew before I read it, I was going to enjoy it and I certainly did!

She wrote the book inspired by the hymn Joy to the Word. A reminder of looking forward to the day when Jesus will return. The book will help you prepare your heart for Christmas by reading about why Jesus came to earth and why we long for His return. She writes, “I want to offer you hope – not by ignoring the brokenness but by looking it squarely in the face, knowing that your Redeemer has and will come. And I want to tell that story through the lens of the natural world, to consider how not just we, but all of creation, waits for our Creator King.”

This book is meant to be read once a day starting December 1st through the 25th, but I love that she shared “Feel free to begin this book with the best of intentions, get busy with holiday preparations, lose it among the gift wrap, find it two weeks later, and binge several readings in one sitting to catch up. This, too, will deliver you to Christmas, as I have never known the day to wait until I was ready for it.” So no guilt reading!

Here is a few sections from the book I highlighted, that will give you a feel for the daily readings, which are about 3-5 pages long.

“In Romans 8, the apostle Paul writes that “the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us” – that no matter what we’re currently going through, no matter the heartbreak, no matter the confusion, no matter the grief or loss, God’s goodness and glory await us. That deep, under the surface, out of sight, He is at work. That He always has been, and He always will be. To prove this, Paul turns our attention to the natural world:”

“The quite, steady work we do today – even if it’s as simple as celebrating the Promised Son during the season – will echo through the years. Until one day, we find ourselves gathered together with all those who have hoped in Him, with all who have found Him faithful from generation to generation.”

“And on the days when you feel too common for God to use, when you find yourself overrun, defiled, and desecrated, rest in this hope: the holiness of God never runs out, and His grace is as limitless as He is.”

This book is also put together beautifully, so one to have a hard-copy of, which is what I will be getting, as currently I have the eBook version.
Was this review helpful?
This book was positively lovely. I think it’s better for an individual devotional over one to do with a group, but it’s definitely a delightful read. It is great for those that like to connect with both their emotional side and logical side. Anderson’s writing encourages the reader to truly appreciate and reflect on many aspects of Christmas, without minimizing some of the melancholy and darkness that can come in life. I highly recommend this devotional.
Was this review helpful?
A truly beautiful and inspirational Advent devotional. I love the focus on the creation and all that is in it. The verse “let earth receive her King” has long held my imagination as I remember the verses in Romans 8 that creation groans and waits for His return. Each reflection, or chapter, takes you through a theme that presses deeper into this idea, and is well supported with Scripture to remind you of God’s love, care, and concern for ALL of His creation. The reflections inspire awe and worship, and I am thankful for the opportunity to have read this collection. 

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley and all opinions expressed are solely my own, freely given.
Was this review helpful?
Heaven and Nature Sing is a delightful advent inspirational reflections to stir your heart by author Hannah Anderson. This is such a beautiful book with many things to ponder. The author has a brilliant way of writing. It is inviting, warm, and easy to understand. In this advent devotion she blends Christmas effortlessly with the things of nature. Animals, plants, her family are among those that bring joy to the Christmas Season.

There are 25 reflections or devotions. The first one is entitled Wintering, and the last one is Christmas Morn. Scripture is woven throughout the stories. It really is uplifting and thought provoking.

I highly recommend this sweet book. It would be a perfect early Christmas gift. Readers would begin Day 1 on December 1st and end the 25th reflection on Christmas morning. It receives a 5 out of 5 stars rating from me. A copy was provided by NetGalley, but these are my honest words.
Was this review helpful?
Hannah Anderson is a fabulous writer and is one of those few authors whose books I still buy. With Heaven and Nature Sing, she has woven the things of Christmas beautifully with the things of nature, whether it be human nature, or wildlife, or botany or simply her family, her pets and her children.

The 25 chapters make for lovely Advent reading just before Christmas in a variety of ways. I enjoy her personal stories and the sense of joy, wonder and hope she manages to infuse in everything.

Adding to the delight are the sweet illustrations from her husband, Nathan.

5 full stars from me.
Was this review helpful?