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Finding Christmas: Stories of Startling Joy and Perfect Peace by [Schaap, James Calvin]
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Finding Christmas: Stories of Startling Joy and Perfect Peace Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 204 customer reviews

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Length: 160 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

That I wholeheartedly agree with Kathy Simpson about oversentimentalizing Christmas does not change the fact that Ms. Simpson is not my favorite human being. She gets her way by sheer force of character. She's great to have on your team. Oppose her, and you lose.

"There's an awful lot of silliness connected to Christmas celebrations already, and we don't want to add to them," she said. She held forth at the end of Christmas pageant practice, and she had all the kids--shepherds, wise men, Mary and Joseph, the whole works--in the first two pews for her address. "Animals singing and all of that? It only sentimentalizes the real story: that Jesus came for us, for sinners." She barely paused for breath. "Did he cry? Well, of course he did. He was human. Humans cry. Case closed. So this foolish little line, 'No crying he made,' is just ridiculous, sentimental hooey."

I knew how my daughter would take that remark. For most of her thirteen years, Angela has considered The Lion King the greatest story ever told.

"Jesus was born in a barn because, quite literally, there was no room in town." Kathy pointed in the air. "Have any of you ever not found a motel? It's awful. Jesse and I were in Athens, Ohio, once, years ago, and we couldn't find a thing, but that's another story."

Thank goodness, I thought.

--from "First Cry in a Stable"

From the Back Cover

Christmas is everywhere . . . even where you least expect it.

Join award-winning author and storyteller James Calvin Schaap as he uncovers the grace, joy, and love of the season through seven heartwarming tales of miracle moments in a messy world. This beautiful and inspiring collection of contemporary Christmas stories will remind you what grace looks like--and where to find it.


"Jim Schaap knows our lives. He re-fires our memories. He draws us into settings familiar. He causes us to inhabit the worlds of plain folk struggling with the problems of an ordinary life--and he makes it all so very, very important. . . . Schaap writes sacred mystery into our common lives."--from the foreword by Walter Wangerin Jr.

Product Details

  • File Size: 412 KB
  • Print Length: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (September 1, 2009)
  • Publication Date: September 1, 2009
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B85ADVM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #583,978 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
You might think that this will be just like every sweet Christmas story you've read. It's not. This collection of short stories about Christmas, in my opinion, is very out of the ordinary. I loved it, but I want to share a few things with you so you can be prepared for a startling book that is worth reading.

Often when I read a Christian fiction or "inspirational" fiction book, my husband will see it sitting around and roll his eyes at me (good naturedly). This book defies what typical Christian fiction is like. There is a realism and honesty to how Schaap writes about the human heart, about the characters in each story. The lack of such honesty and realism is why my husband often rolls his eyes at other books. But, back to Finding Christmas...often, I would say, the tone of the short stories is cynical--but that is the way our society is today though you don't often find that cynicism in Christian fiction. As you read the stories, you may be prone to a critical spirit towards the characters--"How could they feel that way? How could they act that way? How could they be that way?" But, when we really face the sinfulness in our hearts, we are all that way (maybe not all of us--but I know there have been times when I have struggled and thought a few of the things some of the characters in the stories thought.) Yet, amidst that sin, is Christ. The startling joy of Christmas. He came to save us from our sins. That is the very best gift of Christmas and it is the gift that James Schaap shares in this book with those who choose to read it. I hope you will...

One last note, I think this is an unusual book that both men and women would enjoy reading.
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Format: Hardcover
Finding Christmas by Jacob Calvin Schaap is a collection of short stories that display the real meaning of Christmas in surprising ways. Schaap finds the Christmas spirit in unusual places: a talkative cowgirl bus driver, a teenage daughter's unexpected pregnancy, and a church pageant so hardcore it has manure! The stories are filled with humor and real human emotion: expectation, fear, frustration, and sadness. Readers will find themselves laughing and crying as the characters find Jesus in places surprising and heart-breaking. It's a quick read to help get your heart in the right place this holiday season.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a great collection of short stories about the true meaning of Christmas. I got it last year when it was offered for free but would gladly have paid for it had I known how good it would be. I must admit that I was expecting a novel vs individual short stories bit it proved very well written with each chapter giving us a different aspect of the true meaning of christmas. Highly recommended!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is just the perfect read to get into the CHRISTmas spirit. It's lovely for men,women, children, young readers. I'd love to read it to my nieces and nephews children. They would love it as much as I do. It's given me several ideas for this Advent season! :)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What we celebrate at Christmas is about many things, and one of those things is grace, that outpouring of God’s love where it is often most undeserved – us.

The stories in “Finding Christmas: Stories of Startling Joy and Perfect Peace” by James Calvin Schaap are about that – underserved grace, grace falling on the undeserving, the people dealing with the brokenness in their lives and in the lives of those they love.

Finding Christmas is comprised of seven stories, each with both a title and a subtitle. In “The Baby / Forgetting Jesus,” an eighth grader playing Mary in a Sunday school Christmas play has to find a doll to play the Baby Jesus. In “The Party: Facts of Life,” a grandmother hungers to touch the granddaughter she’s not allowed to talk with. In “The Gifts / She’ll Love It,” a mother wrestles with believing she may have loved one daughter too much and the second a teenager pregnant and wanting to keep the baby.

“The Church / Finding Something,” a mother despairs of her professionally successful daughter who’s lost all interest in the church of her youth. “The Pageant / First Cry in the Stable” has a child learning a lesson about animals and living on a farm. In “The Afterglow / Merry Madness,” a worker in a home for abandoned children discovers grace on New Year’s Eve. And in “the Snowfall / Joy and Miracle,” a man discovers that Jesus came for all of the needy, including the educated, sophisticated elitists like himself.

James Schaap in an emeritus professor of literature and writing at Dordt College in Sioux City, Iowa. He’s a novelist and short story writer, and has also written several devotional books. His most recent book is “Reading Mother Teresa: A Calvinist looks lovingly at “the little bride of Christ.”

These stories of everyday, recognizable people – children, cafeteria workers, an actor, a pregnant teenager, mothers and grandmothers – are exactly what Christmas is about.
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By Arlena on December 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Title: Finding Christmas: Stories of Startling Joy and Perfect Peace
Author: James Calvin Schaap
Published: Fleming H. Revell Company
Age Recommended: New Adult - Adult
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: 5
Review:

"Finding Christmas: Stories of Startling Joy and Perfect Peace" by James Calvin Schaap was quite some holiday read. This author did a wonderful job with presenting the reader with seven elements that are generally found in ones Christmas: 'A gift, The Baby, The pageant, The parties, The Worship, The afterglow and The story' where you will find that each story are very different and will leave you with some thoughts of how we have come to think of that day. These short stories really are there to inspire any Christmas holiday read to really see and know what this holiday is all about...yes the real meaning of Christmas. These reads give you a little of it all...happiness, humor, raw and real emotions, fear, laughing out loud, sadness and maybe even crying. Be ready all the emotions are there in the reads. What I found most unusual was how the author says in 'A Foreword..... Most of the stories in this book end at beginnings.' Now what that means .... I will just say you must pick up the amazing read to find out. The characters all seemed very believable and so real...just like someone you may even know. If you are looking for a quick read that will definitely remind you the real reason for the season, you have come to the right place and I would recommend to you this novel: "Finding Christmas: Stories of Startling Joy and Perfect Peace" as a good read.
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