Skip to main content

Touching Wonder: Recapturing the Awe of Christmas by John Blase

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


Touching Wonder: Recapturing the Awe of Christmas

David C. Cook; New edition (September 1, 2009)

***Special thanks to Audra Jennings of the The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




John Blase’s work includes Living the Questions and Living the Letters Bible-study series, the Worldviews reference book (TH1NK), Real Life Stuff for Couples, and The Message Children’s Bible. A former pastor, John currently edits by day and writes by night. He and his wife, Meredith, have three children and make their home in Colorado.


Visit the author's website.




Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition (September 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1434764656
ISBN-13: 978-1434764652

AND NOW...an excerpt:


Three

Angelic Visitor


Luke 1.26–38


In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to the Galilean village of Nazareth to a virgin engaged to be married to a man descended from David. His name was Joseph, and the virgin’s name, Mary. Upon entering, Gabriel greeted her:


Good morning!

You’re beautiful with God’s beauty,

Beautiful inside and out!

God be with you.


She was thoroughly shaken, wondering what was behind a greeting like that. But the angel assured her, “Mary, you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son and call his name Jesus.


He will be great,

be called ‘Son of the Highest.’

The Lord God will give him

the throne of his father David;

He will rule Jacob’s house forever—

no end, ever, to his kingdom.”


Mary said to the angel, “But how? I’ve never slept with a man.”


The angel answered,


The Holy Spirit will come upon you,

the power of the Highest hover over you;

Therefore, the child you bring to birth

will be called Holy, Son of God.


“And did you know that your cousin Elizabeth conceived a son, old as she is? Everyone called her barren, and here she is six months pregnant! Nothing, you see, is impossible with God.”


And Mary said,


Yes, I see it all now:

I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve.

Let it be with me

just as you say.


Then the angel left her.


Gabriel


The theologians have rendered us mindless God-slaves, wisps of cloudy wings, doing nothing but the bidding of the Mighty One. Theologians. There is so much they do not know.


I found her just as He said she would be found: sitting on her bedding, barefooted, knees pulled up to her chest, arms wrapped tightly around them, chin resting on her knee-tops. I saw why she had gained the favor of the Mighty One. I liked this daughter-of-Eve-to-bethe-mother-of-God.


“But how? I’ve never slept with a man.”


I expected this. But unlike that old priest’s, hers was not the doubting of a skeptic but rather the wondering of a child.


“But how? I can’t see it.”


“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, the power of the Highest hover over you. Mary, you have nothing to fear.” The Mighty One had expressly said, “Herald the news, Gabriel. Don’t report it.” I would have liked to elaborate further, but Mary would have to live out the details of my news in days to come. Truths unlived are not truths.


Then she paused and looked away. I have spoken to many of God’s children, and their eyes are always transfixed on me. They should be. I am Gabriel, the sentinel of God. But Mary’s gaze wandered for a moment. But what I initially took for a distracted mind was rather a devoted heart.


Her eyes returned to me. “Let it be with me.” Ah, the Mighty One had chosen well. Her words were not

resigned, but faith-full. The faith of a child. Of such is the Mighty One’s kingdom.


“Cousin Elizabeth? Really? Old Elizabeth? But how?”


I laughed.


“Nothing, you see, is impossible with God. Mary, you have nothing to fear. I have told you all you need to know for now. You are more ready than you realize, stronger than you know. God is with you. Now I must go.”


But I did not want to go. Faith is rare, at least true faith. Yes, the word is often used, but the reality is hard

to find. Yet here I found it, in an earthen vessel surrounded by an earthen room. I liked Mary.


I left her just as He said I would: barefooted, sitting on her bedding, knees pulled up to her chest, arms

wrapped tightly around them, chin resting on her kneetops. She looked older now. Human eyes would not

recognize this, but mine have seen much.


The Mighty One had revealed glimpses to me, what days ahead would hold for this glorious girl. Her cousin’s leaping womb. Joseph’s broad shoulders. The back of a borrowed burro. Herod’s jealous-red face. The cries of the innocent. The breath of stable animals. The agony of pushing the Mighty One out into this world.


I found myself praying for the favored one. Mary had so much to carry.


©2009 Cook Communications Ministries. Touching Wonder by John Blase. Used with permission. May not be further reproduced. All rights reserved.


First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to John Blase and his publisher for sending me a copy of "Touching Wonder: Recapturing the Awe of Christmas" to review for them. I have always been grateful for this generosity, and I am trying to improve at being consistent in taking the time to thank these wonderfully giving individuals in a public forum. I really appreciate your time, effort and expense in making a reviewer copy available to me.

“Touching Wonder: Recapturing the Awe of Christmas” by John Blase is an unexpected surprise. Twelve chapters that are formatted like devotional reading will draw you completely into the wonder of Christmas at any time of the year. Scripture from The Message translation of the Bible meticulously sets the stage for the heart-felt interpretation of the scene by the author. Frankly, I was surprised at the depth of emotion in Mr. Blase’s writing – not just in the commentary, but also in the prayers he includes at the end of each chapter.

This is a wonderful book that will grip the heart and woo the reader back to the manger where God entered the world in human form because He wanted humanity to feel His touch. Nothing takes the place of the Bible, but this book will help you to feel that touch of God.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Homiletics Training: Content

Homiletics .   By definition, “homiletic” is the art of preaching or writing sermons.   I think we would all agree that our pastors study the Bible thoroughly to deliver sermons every Sunday to their congregations.   The beautiful news is that every child of God can use this discipline to study the Bible for themselves. As a member of Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) Leadership, part of my required preparation each week is to prepare homiletics for the passage we are studying.   BSF offers an engaging seminar on how to use this method to study the Scriptures.   I’ve taken the seminar several times under two different leaders and I’ve learned something new every time I’ve attended.   I’ve also been doing the process of homiletics for over ten years and I can say that there is no better teacher than the Holy Spirit in this process!   So keep practicing.   Keep sharing and discussing.   I’ve been posting my homiletics on this blog for quite a while, now.   And I would like to share wit

Homiletics Genesis 27-28

26 February 2013 Contents: 1 27:1-4 When Isaac was old, he called Esau to hunt and make food so Isaac could bless him. 2 27:5-10 Rebekah heard and told Jacob to bring 2 goats she would cook so Isaac would bless him. 3 27:11-17 Jacob feared a curse but Rebekah dressed him in Esau’s clothes and goat skins and made the food. 4 27:18-23 Jacob went to Isaac and Isaac questioned his hunting success, felt him and blessed him. 5 27:24-29 Isaac ate and drank, smelled his son and blessed him with God’s abundance and the servitude of family and nations. 6 27:30-33 Jacob barely left when Esau came asking for the blessing; Isaac trembled asking who he blessed. 7 27:34-37 Esau begged for blessing but Isaac said Jacob took it, that Esau will serve Jacob and Isaac can do nothing. 8 27:38-40 Esau said, “bless me” and wept so Isaac “blessed” hi

Homiletics Genesis 32-33

12 March 2013 Contents:             Where?                   Mahanaim, Succoth, Shechem                                  Who?   Jacob and caravan, Esau 1 32:1-5 Jacob names Mahanaim when he sees angels and sends messengers to meet Esau that Jacob might find favor in his sight. 2 32:6-8 Messengers tell Jacob Esau is coming and Jacob is afraid and divides caravan into 2 companies so one might escape if they’re attacked. 3 32:9-12 Jacob prayed God would deliver him from Esau and reminded God of promises to prosper him and make descendants numerous. 4 32:13-21 Jacob slept, selected a gift for Esau, instructed his servants about greeting Esau and slept again. 5 32:22-24 He rose, moved his family and possessions across the stream, then wrestled with a man until daybreak. 6 32:25-27 The man dislocated Jacob’s thigh but Jacob wouldn’t let go till the man blessed him.