Alan Danielson and his friend Darren Currin have written a new Advent/Christmas eBook, The Best Christmas Ever, that releases November 26 and is available for preorder now. It’s a devotional eBook that is designed to help people truly experience Christmas differently this year.

The Best Christmas Ever provides practical steps to find more joys and fewer pressures this advent season. This contemporary look at Advent is not for the feint of heart. In it you will be challenged to accomplish a task each week:

  • Create margin in your holiday schedule. 
  • Spend a week NOT shopping for gifts.
  • Avoid asking for any presents.
  • Make a gift for someone (Don’t worry, this is NOT an arts and crafts project…unless you want it to be).

Does that sound weird? Let’s face it, Christmas in our modern culture is too busy, too stressful, too expensive, and sometimes just too much! Worse yet, we’ve come to accept these things as normal. Maybe we should take some strange steps this season. Maybe it’s time to be a little weird because “normal” is pretty broken. Be weird with us and make this The Best Christmas Ever!

To give you a taste for this book, here’s an excerpt:

The world is a mess: militant religious terrorists, school shootings, wars, natural disasters, politics and healthcare problems seem to make up headlines every day. All of these things hit too close to home. Then there are the things that actually do hit us at home: divorce, parent-teen skirmishes, illness, financial pressures, nosey neighbors, things that need to be repaired, personality conflicts at work and much more. Top off those things with the added stresses of the Christmas season: work parties, church events, school musicals, shopping, cooking, planning, mailing cards, decorating….Aaaaarrrrrggghhh! Is your heart rate elevated yet? 

God said something profound to His people when they were stressed: 

   “Be still, and know that I am God!
   I will be honored by every nation.
   I will be honored throughout the world.” 

              -Psalms 46:10 (NLT)

Be still. When life seems out of control, the solution is to be still. Only in stillness are we truly able to take in the sense that God is truly in control. We never feel a sense of peace in God when we are busy and stressed about everything that’s going on.

To make this The Best Christmas Ever take a breath this week. In fact take a few. Find God’s peace in the middle of the chaos by being still.

I know what you’re thinking, “I have too much to do. I can’t even slow down, let alone be still, because there’s not enough time!” Breath for a second and consider that statement: “there’s no time.” Consider the possibility that the previous statement may simply be untrue.

Each of us all has the same amount of time as everyone else. The difference between those who are “rich in time” and those who are “poor in time” is only a matter of how they choose to spend their time. Think about it: there’s only one thing we can do with time: spend it. We all get an allowance of 24 hours each day and we all spend every one of those hours. How are you spending them?

Being still doesn’t require more time, it requires a conscious decision to spend time differently…


Here are a couple ideas for using this book:

  1. Buy a single copy for yourself or buy as many as you need as gifts.  Here’s the link:   http://ow.ly/EqpBm
  2. If you are involved in a church, business, or non-profit, you can buy a bulk “Distribution License” and give the book away to parishioners, clients, customers, and supporters.  Bulk prices are deeply discounted. The more books purchased, the deeper the discount.  Here’s the link detailing the bulk “distribution license” purchases:   http://ow.ly/EqsFB  By the way, if you lead a small group ministry, this could be a great Christmas gift for all your leaders! 

FOR YOUR GROUP: The Christmas Experience

If you and your group are looking to dive deeper into the Christmas story this year and to experience the Christmas season in a new way, I recommend using The Christmas Experience video-driven study featuring Kyle Idleman from City on a Hill. I had the honor of writing the leader’s and study guides. I think you’ll like it. 

MORE CHRISTMAS POSTS

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Michael Mack has led Small Group Leadership full-time since 2012, but has been involved in small group ministry for more than 25 years. He lives in Pewee Valley, Kentucky (just outside Louisville), with his wife Heidi. Their family small group, which includes their four young adult children, has much potential (and much anticipation) for future growth and multiplication. Michael enjoys mountain and road biking with a group of great friends who participate together in various charity rides. See the "About Michael Mack" page under About Us for more about him.

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