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Book Reviews: A Simple Christmas

A Simple Christmas by Mike Huckabee (Penguin)

This book is not solely about the story of that first Christmas, even though the title may lead to that conclusion. In reality, beginning with the birth of Jesus Christ with his humble but sincere beginning of the gift that God gave the world, the chapters in this book relate stories from the life of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. These experiences, from his childhood to the present day, are written in a quite unique way centering around these key words—patience, loneliness, family, traditions, crisis, hope, stability, limitations, transitions, faith and rewards.

There is no doubt readers will readily relate to the emphasis and stories included because they are so down to earth and similar to many people’s Christmas experiences. While being a short book, it is an easy but very enjoyable read. It would make a great gift, especially for a Christian family.

Ed Spann, retired dean

College of Fine Arts

Dallas Baptist University

 

Three Wise Cats: A Christmas Story by Harold M. Konstantelos and Terri Jenkins-Brady (Berkley Books)


Cat lovers Harold Konstantelos and Terri Jenkins-Brady, who between them own 10 of the furry pets, have spun a tale from the feline point of view. In Three Wise Cats: A Christmas Story, wise Ptolemy sees a bright star in the night. The astronomer’s cat remembers prophecies he heard as a kitten and summons Abishag, Kezia and Ira. 

The elderly Siamese explains that the tabby and two black cats must travel far and follow the star to meet the King of Kings. He teaches them to navigate using the heavens and sends them to fulfill the prophecy of “the three finding the one.”

The evil rat Asmodeus sneaks out to follow the bold Ira and the females—steady Abishag and kind but vain Kezia. On their journey to see the Messiah, the small band encounters danger, disaster, excitement and the unexpected. Magi Kaspar, Melchior and Balthazar become their traveling companions.

The three cats at last find the Christ Child and give the only gift they have. The King of Kings touches them and forever changes their lives and their futures. To tell more would ruin the surprise and the joy of a book that cleverly weaves the Christmas story with life lessons.

Kathy Robinson Hillman, former president

Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas, Waco

 

One Simple Act: Discovering the Power of Generosity by Debbie Macomber (Simon & Schuster)


Many readers recognize Debbie Macomber as a master storyteller and best-selling author. Others remember her from the 2009 Hallmark Channel Christmas movie Mrs. Miracle starring Doris Roberts and James Van Der Beek. But in One Simple Act: Discovering the Power of Generosity, she ventures into new territory—nonfiction.

Macomber moves beyond fictional stories of ordinary women in small towns to true stories of the power of generous living. She freely shares lessons learned and ideas for doing small things that matter. Each of the 17 chapters begins with Scripture, offers stories built around a central concept such as “The Art of Listening” or “The Practice of Hospitality,” continues with a discovery, and concludes with a list of simple acts related to the theme. The book ends with questions for the reader and descriptions of the author’s favorite charities.

Macomber manages to include a myriad of concrete and creative ideas appropriate for various ages and stages in life. For example, one elderly widow played hymns by phone to the “sick and despondent.” Any reader would benefit from One Simple Act, but Christians who seek to live a missional lifestyle can turn Macomber’s suggestions into opportunities to share their faith.

Kathy Robinson Hillman, former president

Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas, Waco

 

 

       
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