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Discovering Advent: How to Experience the Power of Waiting on God at Christmastime Kindle Edition

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Kindle, Kindle eBook, November 7, 2011
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Length: 49 pages

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dr. David P. Craig TOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 10, 2011
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I've been a pastor for over twenty years in primarily non-liturgical settings. In recent years I've become more interested in celebrating Holy Days by using some of the traditions of different denominations to enhance my personal worship of the Lord Jesus Christ (and corporate worship as well). This little book offers a good case for, and practical suggestions of how to enhance one's worship of the coming of Christ as we celebrate the Christmas and Advent season.

Dr. Robert's concern isn't necessarily the various methods of how we celebrate Advent, but he argues that the main point of Advent is, "growing into a deeper, truer relationship with God. It's sharing our yearning and hope with our community of faith. It's getting in touch with our need for a Savior and our yearning for the kingdom of God. In Advent, by putting ourselves in the place of those who centuries ago, longed for a Messiah to set them free, we get our hearts ready to be renewed by the good news of Christmas: `Joy to the world, the Lord has come!'"

Mark Roberts includes the explanations of some traditions to enhance and appreciate Advent and Christmas, as well as various resources and liturgies to enhance your worship with prayers, Scripture readings, and songs. I like the tenure of this little book - he's not dogmatic and doesn't take anything away from whatever traditions we already celebrate - he simply gives some good reasons for and ideas of how we can enhance our celebration of Christ during December and the beginning of January.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tod Bolsinger on December 3, 2011
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Mark D. Roberts is known for his biblical reflections, commentaries and a daily devotional that is read by tens of thousands around the world. He is an evangelical firmly out of the bible-teaching tradition that a generation ago would have written off Advent as being way too "Catholic." But through his own personal reflection, humility and allowing the church that he pastored to help him grow in his own spiritual life, Mark discovered the deep wisdom of the historical church and it's liturgical life.

Here, in this brief introduction, Mark helps the wary protestant (or better yet, the way-too-consumeristic-Christian-Christmas-Celebrator) to find wisdom that makes both the holidays and life more simple, more spiritual and more sane.

This is a little book to treasure.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jackie on November 15, 2011
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Mark D. Roberts, a former presbyterian, shares an encounter of God's Mercy and discovers Advent.

His "December Miracle" happened while waiting in a crowded line at Costco during the busiest time of the year. Like a lot of us who are impatient , he never liked waiting . He explains how the certain family tradition that christians have always enjoyed can have a lasting impact but we have to discover it for ourselves . Discovering Advent: How to Experience the Power of Waiting on God at Christmastime is an interesting piece on advent that will help prepare to receive Jesus Christ into our hearts and allow us to live the meaning of Christmas more deeply .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jason G on December 13, 2011
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Mark Roberts, a PC USA teaching elder, has made a strong case for the observance for a liturgical Advent, along with a plan that families and churches can use, in their celebration of the season. This work has several strong points that need to be considered, which all aim to convince individuals to reorient their December's to a traditional, Biblical observance of waiting for the arrival of Christ, rather than a month long, secular holiday of winter Christmas.

The largest negative I found in Robert's work was the ease with which he wiped away concerns about observing a non - Biblical celebration, building a bit of a straw man in his argument. I realize his concern to offer pastoral advice, and not being able to say all things to all concerns, but coming out of the Reformed tradition, I do wish he had been a bit more nuanced in how he made his case here.

Largely, his hope is to convince those of either low church, Reformed, or non - liturgical traditions to observe Advent. By doing so, he hopes, in part, to diffuse many of the culture wars over Christmas, by being Biblically counter cultural with his focus on Advent before Christmas.

His actual helps, towards the last third of this book, are a useful introduction for families and other church groups to appreciate the Biblical longing and hoping for the coming of Christ. This last section is pastorally written and direct in its application of the gospel message for the coming of Christ.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven R. Norris on November 27, 2011
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Can we find Christmas Peace in line at Costco? What about those little Advent calendars with the little windows for each day we remember Mom having when we were kids? As Charlie Brown asked plaintively, "is there anyone who can tell me what Christmas is all about?". Today's culture yearns for something far more than cliche Christmas music and the ads of national retailers. We long to find the Christ in Christmas. Is He there?

Mark Roberts leads us on a helpful and pragmatic review of the Season of Advent. Practical, real, and contemporary, this guide will help you understand and follow an ancient tradition, one of the great celebrations of the Christian Faith. I highly recommend this book!
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