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Christy Catherine Marshall

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December 6, 2007

Jotham's Journey: A Storybook for Advent (Jotham's Journey Trilogy)

Thank you so much to Tina who commented in my Advent post that Arnold Ytreeide’s Advent books are coming back in print, thanks to the great folks at Kregel!

Tina gave me Arnold Ytreeide’s website, Jotham’s Journey, which I visited and read this wonderful news:

In October 2007, author Arnold Ytreeide signed a contract with Kregel Publications of Grand Rapids, Michigan, for the re-printing of Jotham’s Journey. It is Kregel’s intention to have the books available for the 2008 Christmas season.

Depending on sales of Jotham, the other books may also be re-printed in subsequent years. But if Kregel decides to end their involvement after Jotham, another publisher is already interested, so there’s still hope that Bartholomew, Tabitha and other books will follow.

In the meantime, watch for Jotham beginning in the summer of 2008 at major on-line booksellers as well as most Christian distributors. You can also watch for it on Kregel’s site.

We’d like to say a huge “Thanks!” to the thousands of people who have written, called, and even visited over the last several years as Jotham was looking for a new home. We appreciate so much the suggestions, praise, and encouragement. Finding a publisher for a book is not an easy task — every book is a huge risk for a publisher, so they’re very careful in selecting books for publication. Your letters and emails helped keep Jotham alive!

When these books are back in print, everybody go out and buy them so they’ll STAY in print! It is so awesome to have Advent stories like these that draw families together. As a mom with five children ranging in age from 2 to 11, we love having these books to help teach our kids about the true meaning of Christmas in new and interesting ways.

Tabitha's Travels: A Family Story for Advent (Jotham's Journey Trilogy)

This year, we’re going to be reading Tabitha’s Travels, and I can’t WAIT to get started. I’m being honest here and telling you that we haven’t begun our 2007 Advent storytime yet. Our weeknights have been so busy and exhausting that we’re going to wait until this weekend.

But I DID go to Hobby Lobby a few days ago to pick up pink, purple, and white Advent candles, and I’ve got the Advent wreath set up. I’m looking forward to starting this new journey with Tabitha. I would love to hear what materials you’re using to help celebrate the joy of Christmas with your family this year.

I would never have heard of Jotham’s Journey if another mom in my hometown hadn’t shared it with me.

By: Heather Ivester in: Books,Children's Books,Education,Faith,Family,Parenting | Permalink | Comments Off on Jotham’s Journey Coming Back in Print

December 1, 2007

We had a blast this week discussing the homework. We all cracked up about Beth’s “gnat in the lip gloss” story.

She said she was leaving her house one day with serious ministry matters on her mind when a gnat landed smack dab on her lip gloss. “For a minute I thought I’d have to go back in the house for a spoon to dig it out,” she writes.

It’s true that trivial things can distract us from what’s important — and sometimes we just need to stop and pray! For us moms in the study, we talked about how the little distractions of daily life can get in the way of our main purpose of teaching and training our children to become more like Christ.

This week’s lesson focused on Daniel’s prayer in the 9th chapter of the book of Daniel. Wow — reading through that chapter several times reminded me what urgency there is to Daniel’s praying. He ends with, “O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name” (Daniel 9:19 NIV).

After studying and discussing this, I realized that in my own life, prayer often comes as a last resort, after I’ve mulled over a problem, worried for days about it, written in my journal, whined and complained to others about it — THEN I remember, “Oh yeah! I think I’ll pray about it!”

This lesson showed me brilliantly how I must pray FIRST.

How incredible that in the midst of Daniel’s prayer, the angel Gabriel appears to him and says, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed” (Daniel 9:22,23).

Wouldn’t you love it if a messenger from heaven would come tell you right away the insight you’re longing for in your prayers? Sometimes, when we pray, we can almost instantly feel in our hearts the answer is “yes” or “no,” yet other times, we can do nothing but wait. It may seem like God isn’t listening, and that our prayers are merely bouncing off the ceiling.

But God is listening! He chose to answer Daniel’s prayer right away through a direct message from Gabriel. And He’ll speak to our hearts too, if we do not give up.

Do you write your prayers down? Sometimes we pray so hard about something, but if it’s not written down, we can quickly forget the anguish our souls went through as we waited for God’s answer. I’ve kept journals for years, and it’s amusing to look back and see how hard I prayed for certain things (like a husband!). If my prayers weren’t written down, it would be easy for me to forget how God is the True Giver of all Good Gifts.

What are your prayers today? If you’re not going through this study with us, I encourage you to read through the 9th chapter of the book of Daniel and see how this earthly man who was “highly esteemed” in heaven prayed — and how God chose to answer his prayers.

Dear Lord, teach us how to pray! Our faith is so small at times, yet you’re always there, waiting patiently for us to come to you and share our concerns. Thank you that you listen to us. You know what’s best for us, even though we may not like what we’re suffering through at the moment. Thank you for the example Daniel gives us, in showing us how to pray with power and conviction. Amen.