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Showing 1-10 of 198 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 205 reviews
VINE VOICEon December 18, 2015
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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on October 7, 2013
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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on December 13, 2014
A lovely set of short stories about how different people acknowledge the presence of God in their lives. It reminds me if the whole concept of Jesus's life here in earth. The revelation of God's presence in our lives doesn't always cone while we are in church, but in the small daily tasks we set out to do. Maybe while driving down a highway, or sweeping off the front porch, watching birds at the bird feeder, or just sitting and listening to the sound of rain, hitting the roof and Windows, God's presence is all around us, all the time, we just have to be still and listen!
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on December 5, 2013
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

"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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on February 3, 2014
Finding Christmas: Stories of Startling Joy and Perfect Peace by James Calvin Schaap is an edgy Christmas read. This book of eight stories (seven chapters plus a story at the beginning) isn’t your typical Christmas collection, but I loved it! Each story is independent of the rest, and each features a surprise wrap-up. There’s a hint of sarcasm in Schaap’s style. It’s not snarky or unkind, and frankly, I liked that, too. I enjoyed the stories. They are thought provoking and inspirational. If you’re looking for a different kind of Christmas book with bite-sized stories, this is a good pick. If you are looking for hot chocolate with marshmallows, though, it isn’t. Schaap’s book is about social issues and love.
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on October 6, 2014
Each of the stories inside "Finding Christmas" is delightful and heartwarming, and features a moment in time when a character truly connected with the meaning of Christmas. I enjoyed Mr. Schaap's writing very much. He has created such a lovely set of short stories for the holiday season.

I think my favorite story in the whole collection was the very last, "Joy and Miracle", about a simple-yet-humbling experience in church.

Recommended for adults, although some stories may be enjoyed for family read-alouds.
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on December 3, 2013
This book is a compilation of fun and amusing stories that all end with a short and simple application relating to Christmas and the coming of Christ. If you are looking for fun, light reading for the holiday season, this is the book!
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on December 18, 2014
A professional actor was asked to be the narrator for the Christmas program. Everything was proceeding well until he saw the three girls playing with a string puzzle, giggling, seemingly totally uncaring of others, or of the message of the Christmas story. The situation seemed to him to be such a sacrilege that it totally distracted him for the rest of the evening. An elderly missionary gave him a kiss and a message that changed his attitude.
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on January 4, 2015
This is a collection of short stories with subtle various meanings. I believe the meaning of each one unique to the individual reader.
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on December 20, 2012
This was a wonderful collection of short stories about the Christmas miracles in different people's lives. They weren't the typical miracle stories, nothing sappy or hard to believe or that you think could never happen to you. Instead they show the often subtle way that God works in the messiness of life on earth and speaks to our stubborn hearts. Usually the miracle is a shift in perspective or a sudden realization that allows for joy and peace where they were once absent. The stories aren't always "happy" but leave you feeling hopeful, anticipating what more God will do in the lives of the people...and your own life.
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