By Phoebe Farag Mikhail
It’s time again for my collection of book and gift recommendations, coupon codes and SEVEN giveaways! I am so excited to share these items with you. In order to enter the giveaway and get a chance at the item you want, you must subscribe to the Being in Community email newsletter AND comment below to tell me which giveaway you would like to be entered for. (Current subscribers need only to comment). Choose up to three of the below items. The chance to enter will close on Friday, December 8, at 11:59 pm EST, so don’t wait!
Philo and the SuperHolies (Volume 1) and Philo and the Patience SuperHoly (Volume 2). My children, especially my eight year old son, are huge fans of this book series, “Philo and the Superholies.” The series uses “Superholies” to describe the Fruit of the Spirit as superpowers that children can draw on. The first book is about kindness, and the second about patience. Each story is beautifully illustrated, with relevant life situations for grade school children, like playground bullies and feeling restless during long church services. My son goes back to the books all the time to read on his own. A third book in the series is coming soon, and I can’t wait to buy it! The author, Mirielle Mishriky has graciously offered one of my readers with a SIGNED copy of both books in the series. To enter to win this set, subscribe to my email newsletter and comment below! US and Canada addresses only, please.
Look! A Child’s Guide to Advent and Christmas by Laura Alary is a wonderful book to begin the Advent season with. This book is a little bit longer, and on the quiet side, making it perfect for a bedtime story. Like her bestseller for children on Lent, Make Room (which I review here), Alary clearly portrays the depth of our waiting for Christ’s Incarnation in a way that is accessible to children. My children enjoyed hearing about some of the Advent traditions we pa
rticipate in, like baking cookies for our neighbors, as well as Advent traditions from other churches, like Advent candles. I am in love with the illustrations in this book, especially the one with St. Mary holding the Baby Jesus. I could not stop looking at that picture! Paraclete Press provided me a review copy for my review, and is also offering one of my readers a giveaway copy of this book! To enter to win this book, subscribe to my email newsletter and comment below! US addresses only, please. In addition, Paraclete Press is running an Advent book sale on its website this week. Save 30% on all Advent devotionals and Christmas books and music, and free shipping on all orders over $50 using campaign code ADVENT17.
That Baby in the Manger by Anne Neuberger is a heartwarming story about Jesus’ love for everyone. Perhaps the best testament that this book delivers this message effectively is my eight year old son’s response to my question about what he thinks the book is about. “It’s about how God loves all of us no matter what we look like.” In this book, a church creche is missing the baby Jesus, which all the children remember has “blonde curls and blue eyes.” An elderly gentleman remembers his daughter getting a doll for Christmas that looked more like her, with dark hair and dark eyes, and spending the whole day cradling the doll and calling it “baby Jesus.” When he finds this doll and places it in the creche with a note to the priest, the priest comes up with an idea to ensure all the children in his church feel like baby Jesus is theirs as well. The watercolor illustrations in this book are colorful and breathtaking. Paraclete Press provided me a review copy for my review, and is also offering one of my readers a giveaway copy of this book! To enter to win this book, subscribe to my email newsletter and comment below! US addresses only, please. In addition, Paraclete Press is running an Advent book sale on its website this week. Save 30% on all Advent devotionals and Christmas books and music, and free shipping on all orders over $50 using campaign code ADVENT17.
Adult and Young Adult Books
Anastasis: the Harrowing of Hades is a graphic novel imagining a lesser known period in Christ’s life – the three days between His death and Resurrection, when tradition holds that He went down into Hades to break the shackles of death. Using the Bible, church tradition, and the sayings of the Church Fathers, Creative Orthodox draws a captivating story that portrays what may have happened – and what it means for the salvation of all humankind. The illustrations and dialogue capture the emotion and depth of the time, and are typical of Creative Orthodox’s engaging style. This book is perfect for adults and young adults alike. Creative Orthodox is offering one SIGNED copy as a giveaway to one of my readers! To enter to win this book, subscribe to my email newsletter and comment below! US and Canada addresses only please.
Icon: A Novel by Georgia Briggs is a gripping novel for young adults that I could not put down until I finished it. It imagines a dystopia where Christianity, especially the Orthodox kind, is outlawed, and what that means for one young woman who wants to hold on to her faith. Despite the modern-day setting, I could hear echoes of life in first century Christianity, when Christians had to be secretive about meeting for liturgy and faced terrible torture if they refused to worship the pagan gods. The book now also includes discussion questions for book groups and classrooms. Ancient Faith Publishing is offering one giveaway copy of this popular book to one of my readers! To enter to win this book, subscribe to my email newsletter and comment below! US addresses only please.
Whatever, God by Fr. Anthony Messeh is the perfect book to bring in the New Year. Fr. Anthony makes a case for fully surrendering our lives to God so that we can experience His goodness, graciousness, and relevance. He uses personal and accessible examples to help readers understand how God can work if we are willing to cooperate with Him and allow the Holy Spirit to work in us. Written in his trademark conversational style, readers will feel like Fr. Anthony is speaking to them personally. Some of his examples and illustrations are ones I will go back to. One of my favorite quotes explains the Biblical story of the feeding of the five thousand with five loaves and two fish: “God doesn’t want us to limit ourselves to only what we have in our hands, but He also doesn’t want us to neglect what we have in our hands. He wants us to OFFER what we have into His Hands.” Fr. Anthony is kindly offering one SIGNED giveaway copy of his book to one of my readers! To enter to win this signed book, subscribe to my email newsletter and comment below! US and Canada addresses only, please.
30 Days to Joy: A One Month Creative Journal. This little journal is a lovely gift. In it are pages with prompts for drawing and writing about joy, as well as Bible verses and quotes about joy. One of the prompts asks, “Who are the people who bring you joy and brighten your day,” while another asks, “We often work hard to appear happy even when we’re struggling on the inside. Think of ways you try to feign happiness. When you see your friends and loved ones doing the same, how can you reach out to show them love and bring them joy?” My favorite aspect of the journal comes at the end, where there are reflection questions to look back at the writing and drawing over the past month, such as “What have I learned about myself?” and “Where do I go from here?” Another 30 Day Journal in this series is 30 Days to Peace. I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review, and I have one copy of this book to give away! To enter to win this journal, subscribe to my email newsletter and comment below! US and Canada addresses only, please.
Nativity Advent Calendar. If you celebrate Christmas on January 7th according to the Julian Calendar (as Coptic Orthodox Christians do), this wonderful Nativity Advent Calendar set counts down from December 25 to January 7. This will be the fourth year I have used it with my children, and they are already asking me this year, “When are we going to start the countdown?” Each day on the countdown is represented in a small drawstring bag with a card inside that tells one part of the Christmas story, until on the last day, we read about the birth of Christ. The bags are suspended on a rope that can be hung over a mantle or, in my case, over the bay window. Printable coloring pages that match each day’s theme are also available. Readers of Being in Community can use the exclusive coupon code COMMUNITY2017 (valid until December 8th) to get 20% off their set. Click here to buy the set.
Mamma’s Liquid Love Breastmilk Jewelry. If you are still a nursing mother or know a nursing mother, breastmilk jewelry is a beautiful way to commemorate this challenging but also special and fleeting time. To create these gorgeous pieces, my friend at Mamma’s Liquid Love takes a 1 to 3 oz sample of frozen pumped breastmilk (i.e., liquid gold) and converts it into small pearls that are set in silver or gold necklaces, pendants, or rings. I just received my ring and LOVE it. For my readers, Mamma’s Liquid Love has created two exclusive coupon codes. Use THANKFUL for 20% off silver jewelry and THANKFUL10 for 10% off gold jewelry. Click here to browse the designs and learn how to place an order.
I love reading your comments! In addition to sharing which item you want to enter for the giveaway, please share your gift recommendations below!
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