REVIEW: Christmas selections to inspire, teach & entertain
Nov 19, 2012

JACKSONVILLE (FBW)—Just in time for Christmas is a wonderful assortment of books and videos from various publishers aimed to inspire, teach and entertain.

Gospel music lovers everywhere will enjoy The Gaither Homecoming Bible. It is the highly anticipated new project from Bill & Gloria Gaither, released in early October by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Presented in the New King James text, it features 75 hymns and gospel songs that fully describe their connection to Scripture, 230 exclusive devotionals from Homecoming artists, 20 original poems by Gloria Gaither, and a custom Gaither Homecoming Bible reading plan that will guide readers on a Homecoming journey through the Scriptures.  

“The early response to the Homecoming Bible is overwhelming,” says Gloria Gaither in a news release.  “To know that there is such excitement over this practical and useful edition of God’s Word, with its emphasis on the way believers over the years and to this very day have used music to sing our history with God, brings us such joy!  Each generation has to learn all over again how the Bible is light for its path and hope for its future.”

For more information about The Gaither Homecoming Bible, including pricing, bindings, and a free download of the book of Psalms, please visit

Families can celebrate Christmas together with The Sparkle Box: A Gift with the Power to Change Christmas, a new release by author Jill Hardie for Ideals Children’s Books, a division of Guideposts. 

In the story, young Sam participates in various acts of kindness and learns the sparkle box he anticipated opening on Christmas has recorded all of these acts as gifts for Jesus. In the midst of the anticipation of holiday gift giving and parties, Sam realizes Christmas is about much more than gifts and glitter.  

Each book comes with a beautiful sparkle box a family can fold to use as its own. Go to for more information.

For our little friends, Veggie Tales’ enduring stories are entertaining and good stocking stuffers as well. 

Star of Christmas DVD encourages kindness and reminds children God showed the greatest love when Jesus was born. “The Ultimate Christmas Collection” is a 2-disc collection which includes six holiday favorites and 25 Christmas songs on CD. The League of Incredible Vegetables, a new release, showcases all the classic Veggie Tale friends with enduring message of morality. For these and more, go to the Veggie Tales  website at or to a local LifeWay Christian Bookstore.

In The Conviction to Lead: 25 Principles for Leadership That Matters, Al Mohler asserts cultures and organizations do not change without strong leadership. 

Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, in his 224-page book, uses examples from his own experiences to cover aspects of leadership including the roles of passion, character and credibility. He discusses how to effectively deliver messages to the media and lead in a rapidly changing digital world while bringing a simple structure to decision making.   

Fred Barnes, executive editor of the Weekly Standard, called The Conviction to Lead, “A powerful book and gracefully written.”

For more information, go to or your local bookstore.

Written with a desire to see churches infused with greater Gospel awareness, Matt Chandler, Eric Geiger and Josh Patterson have coauthored Creature of the Word: The Jesus-Centered Church released by B&H Publishing Group. 

The book is sure to be a favorite for every pastor’s library.

“The Reformers viewed the Gospel as not merely one thing among many in the life of a church but rather the means by which the church exists. When the Gospel is rightly declared and applied to God’s people, the church becomes  ‘a creature of the Word,’” reads a description of the book on LifeWay’s website. “She understands, embraces, and lives out the reality of Christ’s birth, life, death, and resurrection in more than her doctrinal statement. The Gospel impacts all the church is and does.”

Available in paperback and e-book, for more information, go to

In Breakfast with Bonhoeffer: How I learned to Stop Being Religious So I could Follow Jesus, Jon Walker tells an altogether transparent tale of actively living out the Christian life dependent on God’s grace. It’s a book for every believer.

In a spiritual memoir that reads like a novel, but is based on reality, Walker convincingly shares about how God was faithful when he was laid off twice, lost his home and savings, was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder and his wife filed for divorce a few days before his twenty-fourth anniversary.

Walker is the author of Costly Grace, a book Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, has said, “may be one of the most important books publishing during this time of economic uncertainty and world turmoil.”

For more information on the 202-page book, go to or

In his usual no-nonsense way, Michael Catt, whose church operates the film company that produced Courageous, Fireproof, Facing the Giants and more, starts off his new book Upgrade: from Adequacy to Abundancy by asking readers the question, “What’s keeping you from your upgrade?”

Catt, pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga., outlines behaviors and mindsets of immature faith, and explains, in an easy-to-read paperback book, how God equips and empowers believers to live the Christ-filled life promised in the Epistles. 

“Catt challenges us to accept the upgrade offered to all Christians—not just an elite few—through the guidance of the Holy Spirit,” reads a description of the book.

For more information, go to:

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