Twitterature – Advent Edition {Books & Music}

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I have loved linking up with the fabulous Anne of Modern Mrs. Darcy this year with the lovely Twitterature linkup.  I decided to do a special version this month.  One of my favorite things to do during the Christmas season is to go through an Advent reader, soI’d like to share my favorite Advent resources ‘twitterature style’ {think a short, casual review snippet  with enough characters for a twitter feed…or maybe just a tad longer, since I’m long-winded like that.}  I’ve also shared a quote from each book, as I feel the author’s words can speak for their books better than I ever can.  I’m happy to be including some favorite musical finds– a 2-song playlist and a free Noisetrade download {don’t forget to leave a tip for the artists!}  for Advent & the Christmas season–Enjoy!

 

Books

Watch For the Light: Readings For Advent & Christmas  Various Authors

This is a collection of writings for Advent & Christmas from the most profound of writers–including C. S. Lewis, Thomas Merton,  Annie Dillard, Madeleine L’Engle, Kathleen Norris–and the list goes on from there.   There is an essay to read each day from November 24th through January 7th.  Don’t be fooled, however, by this small book – it’s weighty and dense and rich with insight–these essays aren’t for the faint of heart.  Its a book you’ll come back to year after year–sure to glean new wisdom from its pages.    #someofmyfavoriteauthors #opulentwriting

As a Christian I believe that we live in parallel worlds.

One world consists of hills and lakes and barns and politicians and shepherds watching their flocks by night.  The other consists of angels and sinister forces and somewhere out there places called heaven and hell.

One night in the cold, in the dark, among the wrinkled hills of Bethlehem, those two worlds came together at a dramatic point of intersection.   God, who knows no before or after, entered time and space.  God, who knows no boundaries, took on the shocking confines of a baby’s skin, the ominous restraints of mortality…

Never again need we wonder whether what happens on this dirty little tennis ball of a planet matters to the rest of the universe.  Little wonder a choir of angels broke out in spontaneous song, disturbing not only a few shepherds, but the entire universe.

~Philip Yancey

 

The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas by Ann Voskamp

I, along with throngs of other folk, have been devouring Ann Voskamp’s new book this Christmas season – an Advent reader centered around the Jesse tree. Broken down into daily readings of  a Scripture passage, Ann’s glorious prosetry and questions for reflection at the end of each entry – this is fast becoming my favorite Advent reader to date.  Don’t miss this one!  #thesewordssing  #amustread

The answer to deep anxiety is the deep adoration of God.

And the greatest gift we can give our great God is to let His love make us glad.

Christmas begins here.  The Christmas story, this love story–the whole blue marble of the world spinning right now on the Cross-beam axis of Love.

~Ann Voskamp

 

 

Advent & Christmas Wisdom from Henri Nouwen – compiled by Redemptorist Pastoral Publication

I went through this book for the first time last year.  A collection of Nouwen’s writing to be read through Advent and the Christmas season, there is such rich depth and feeling in these wise pages.  A slim must-read.  #ihighlightedlikemad  #forthenouwenfan

This morning I thought the day was completely free and open for prayer.  Now it is evening, and I don’t know where the time went.  Somehow the externals of Christmas–presents, decorations, short visits–took over the day and drained away like water through a poorly built dike.  How hard it is to remember…the difference between the urgent and the important!

~Henri Nouwen

 

Wintersong: Christmas Readings by Madeleine L’Engle & Luci Shaw

This collection of writings from two of my favorite authors is arranged by seasons, which I love–from early winter, through Advent, Epiphany, the New Year & late winter.  Taken both from published books, as well as obscure articles and journal publications, there’s a little something for every reading taste here.  #poemsbyluci&madeleine  #wisdominthesepages

He came, quietly impossible
Out of a young girl’s womb,
A love as amazingly marvelous
As his bursting from the tomb.

This child was fully human,
this child was wholly God.
The hands of All Love fashioned him
Of mortal flesh and bone and blood,

the ordinary so extraordinary
the star shook in the sky
As the Lord of all the universe
Was born to live, to love, to die.

He came, quietly impossible:
Nothing will ever be the same:
Jesus, the Light of every heart–
The God we know by name.

~Madeleine L’Engle

 

Preparing For Christmas: Daily Reflections for Advent by Richard Rohr

This slim volume is packed with no-nonsense wisdom and questions for reflection.  This is my first year reading this book, and one I’ll come back to again and again.   #readit 

 We tend to manage life more than just live it.  We are all overstimulated and drowning in options.  We are trained to be managers, to organize life, to make things happen.

We can’t manage, maneuver or manipulate spiritual energy.  It is a matter of letting go and receiving what is being given freely.  It is the gradual emptying of our attachment to our small self so that there is room for a new conception and a new birth…  Whatever God gives is always experienced as totally unearned grace, and never as a salary, a reward or a merit badge of any sort.

Mary does not manage, fix, control or “perform” in any way.  She just says “yes!” and brings forth the abundance that Isaiah promises.

~Richard Rohr

 Music

 

1. Advent – Brian Mann {see album link below}

2. O Magnum Mysterium – Sacred Treasures IV

These two songs are full of such beauty & reverence.  I’ve kept Brian Mann’s Christmas album on repeat this year.  O Magnum Mysterium is one of my favorite choral pieces – both to hear and to sing.  Advent–and this music–is truly full of  The Great Mystery.  #ogreatmysteryofadvent  #Godsbeautyinmusic

 

A Not-To-Be-Missed Christmas Album:

Brian Mann – A Simple Christmas

A Free Noisetrade download

The Oh Hello’s’ Family Christmas Album

This is a unique Christmas album, composed of only 4 tracks/movements.  It’s a melding of  traditional Christmas carols in a contemporary acoustic setting {think the style of Sufjan Stevens…sorta.}  Try to listen to the album all at once, as the tracks are made to meld together.    #unique&fantastic   #thinkindieacousticChristmascantata

{as always, affiliate links used support this blog – thanks!}

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 As a gal who grew up in the Baptist/Protestant world, I didn’t discover the joys of Advent until a few years ago.   I hope those of you who are discovering the beauty and gifts that this season gives to your soul and spirit this year find a resource or two here that draws you closer to the Christ child…that the waiting becomes a gift to your spirit and Christ’s love draws you close in ways you’ve never experienced before.

 

One comment on “Twitterature – Advent Edition {Books & Music}

  1. This sounds like a great list! Ann Voskamp’s book is on my list for next year. I love an advent book called Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus. And the Oh Hellos are faves of mine. Their Christmas stuff is awesome! They have a NYE concert here, but I don’t think we’ll be able to go 🙁

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