Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A TOS Review: If He Had Not Come

So I don't know if this is happening in your town, but Monday morning I was flipping through the radio stations in my car and heard this familiar song. 

Just hear those sleigh bells jingling,

Ring-ting-tingling too,
Come on, it's lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you,
Outside the snow is falling
And friends are calling, "Yoo hoo",
Come on, it's lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you.
What? I don't know if I'm quite ready for Christmas music 24/7. We've not even had our Turkey and dressing yet. However, I have to admit that the Christmas spirit is sneaking up on me. I do have a secret Pinterest board I created for handmade Christmas gifts that I've been busily browsing through.

We love Christmas at our house. It's the "most wonderful time of the year "(I'm on a Christmas jingle roll!)

Part of my preparations every year include setting aside special studies or books to read for the Christmas season. We have our favorite Christmas booksthat we bring out every year. It is so important for my husband and I to make sure that our celebrations are not only magical, but emphasis the true meaning of Christmas. 

I love it when I find a product (in this case a book) that fits so snuggly into our desire to put Christmas first and foremost during the season...and frankly, all year long. 

Josiah and I had the privilege of being able to review If He Had Not Come just in time for this special season.

If He Had Not Come was originally penned by Nan Weeks back in the 1930's. It has been reintroduced to the modern world by David Nicholson. The story of how this book came to be is precious. Mr. Nicholson heard this story in Sunday School years ago. He decided then that he would read it to his family every year at Christmas time. His desire to share this story with his family year after year has resulted in the publication of this lovely book. 

I was not familiar with the original story. It must have been one that didn't cross my radar. 

The story starts as a young boy Bobby ends his Christmas Eve with his father reading the Bible. One passage of Scripture, John 15:22, makes an impression on Bobby. As he begins his Christmas Eve slumber the a portion of the verse plays over and over in his mind. 

If I had not come.....

Bobby starts to dream. In his dream he wakes up to a very different world. There is no evidence of Christmas celebrations. There are no churches, no shelters for those in need...the New Testament has even disappeared. 

Everywhere Bobby looks there are the words, "If I had not come...." 

I won't tell you the 'rest of the story.' There has to be some mystery in life,but it does have a happy ending.   

Josiah and I were both thoroughly enchanted with this book. The message aside it was one Josiah could easily manage himself. He is dyslexic and crowding the page is often hard for him to navigate.

It is a beautifully illustrated story (kudos to the illustrator Charles Jaskiewicz!). The illustrations only enhance the message. This is one we will read over and over again. 

I like that the story made Josiah think. I know he enjoyed the fact that it featured a boy. I also know that he is at an age that he can think beyond what is just in front of his face. I think we call that introspection. 

If He Had Not Come doesn't just end with the story. There are a host of bonus activities in the back of the book. The Interactive Topics are for families and teachers. I can tell you that some of the questions really make one think. 

For example, one of the questions dealt with store closings on Christmas Day. During the story Bobby found all the stores open. It was supposed to be Christmas Day. This surprised Bobby. During our day and age many stores are open on Sundays. There are a few that stay open for Christmas. We've had many discussions about Sundays being just another busy day with a church service thrown in for good measure. Hmm. 

It is also made all of us think. Do I live like He did not come? 

There is an excellent "Going Deeper" section written by Josh Mulvihill. I really appreciated the including of the ABC's of Salvation. I thought it so fitting. 

A couple of thoughts. 

I am our Children's and Youth Director at church. I plan on using this book and the resources during the Christmas Season. I think it will make an excellent study for our young people. 

I also think it would be a fabulous gift to give. The book is just precious. And the message is one that is lasting.

You can purchase If He Had Not Come for $18.95. The age recommended for the book is 6 and up. 

You can also find If He Had not Come on Facebook! Click on the banner to read more reviews. 

Christmas Book Review

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