Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock – Relatable & Heartwarming

Terri Blackstock is on my list of writers, that when they write a new book, I want to read it.  I’m so glad I had the opportunity to read her newest book Catching Christmas.

This story is a little different than most of Terri’s books.  The book centers around three people, Finn, Sydney and Callie, who don’t have a lot in common.  But circumstances have a way of creating some unusual bonds, especially around Christmas.

Take Finn for example, he’s a cab driver and for him, time is money.  His life is about to get more complicated when he picks up his next fare.  Callie, an older woman in a wheelchair, seems to be taking a little nap when Finn arrives and she needs transportation to a doctor’s appointment.  Who in the world sends their grandmother to the doctor via a cab?  Meet Sydney, Callie’s granddaughter, who is burning the candle at both ends and just trying to keep her new job, thus the cab for her grandmother.

Terri has way of making her characters very relatable and real.  My favorite character was Finn, a little gruff on the outside, but deep down he has a tender heart, a guilty conscience and wants to get it right this time.  Callie reminds me of my mom in her latter years.  Only with Callie…I could laugh at some of the embarrassing uncomfortable moments.  I related to Sydney too and felt like I had walked in her shoes.

The Christian faith is talked about some in this book.  Callie is a Christian and she loves Jesus and talks to Him and about Him to others.

Catching Christmas is a heartwarming book to read for the Christmas holiday season.  It’s a short book, so even if your schedule is busy, you’ll be able to find time to read Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock.

I would like to thank BookLook and Thomas Nelson Publishers for the opportunity to read Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock in exchange for an honest review.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

Advertisements

Christ Jesus – A to Z

Advocate
Bread of Life
Chief Cornerstone
David’s Son
Everlasting Father
Friend of sinners
Great High Priest
Holy One
Immanuel…God with us
Jesus Christ
King of the Jews
Lamb of God
Messiah
Nazarene
Only Begotten of the Father
Prince of Peace
Quickening Spirit
Redeemer
Savior
Truth
Upholder of all things
Victorious One
Wonderful Counselor
EXact Representation of His nature
Yahweh
Zion’s Hope

Try as I might to find a name of Christ Jesus that begins with X in English, Hebrew or Greek…I didn’t find any.

This was a great way to think about Christ and who He is and what He did in His life, death and resurrection, and what He is doing seated at the right hand of the Father. There were a number of letters that it was easy to come up with multiple names or titles.

#EverThineHome
#HisSaviorNames

Ever Thine Home

Christmas Past

Christmas 2014

Can it only be a few minutes since you’ve departed
It feels like it’s been such a very long time

I can’t quite imagine
What Christmas would have been like without you

You filled a big house on a hill
With warmth, fun, love and laughter

For just a few days
I got to forget how lonely I’ve been

I was able to spend time with someone filled with grace
Who overlooks my faults and loves me anyway

This Christmas, I truly realized
A house is not a home without love

To Ron and Carol…thank you for a wonderful Christmas!

by Susan Wachtel
December 28, 2014

You Shall Call Him Jesus

Mary, a virgin conceived a Child
By the power of the Holy Spirit

Joseph a righteous and compassionate man
Decided to end their betrothal privately

Then an angel of the Lord appeared 
Commanded Joseph to fear not

Take Mary as your wife
That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit

She shall bring forth a Son, you shall call Him Jesus 
For He shall save His people from their sins

In this, the Lord fulfilled the prophesy of old
Isaiah 7:14

A virgin shall conceive a child, and bear a Son
His name shall be called Immanuel, God with us

Then Joseph awaken
Did as the Lord commanded 

He took Mary as his wife and did not know her
Until after the birth of her firstborn 

The virgin born Son, conceived of the Holy Spirit
His name is Jesus for He shall save His people from their sin


By Susan Wachtel
December 21, 2011

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.  19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.  20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.  21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” 


22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:  23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” 


24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife,  25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son.   And he called His name JESUS. – Matthew 1:18-25

Last Christmas



If I would have known last Christmas was to be your last

What would I have done different



Would I have spent the whole day by your side

Would I have hugged you a little tighter



Would I have held your hands

As we watched the movies of old



Truly believed in my heart

That it is a wonderful life…in spite of all the messes



Would I have gone to the ends of the earth

Found just the right present to bring you a smile



Would I have shared the good news of Christmas

Ensured that you received God’s gift of the Savior



Susan Bunts Wachtel

December 17, 2008



Dedicated to Gayle Merriam Johnson Bunts Lorenat…my mother who died on April 29, 2008.

No Room

It wasn’t a fiery sermon preached from the pulpit, but instead a verse from the precious Christmas hymn, “Away in a Manger”. The words stopped in my throat…and I could only whisper them…mouth the words as tears filled my eyes.

“Away in a manger, no crib for a bed”

Those words brought me up short and I realized I had gotten it all wrong. It was Christmas and I hadn’t made room for Jesus.

Oh there was time to decorate and attend Christmas festivities. I made time to make a list and check it twice…and shop for just the right gifts. I slipped in some Christmas concerts and even a party on the sparkling waters of Newport Beach.

But I didn’t make time for my Savior.

I enjoyed Christmas lights…but didn’t delight in the Light of the world.

Oh I attended church and Bible study and even prayed. But I didn’t seek special time to spend with Jesus…to thank Him for what He has done for me. In all the hustle and bustle of the season…I didn’t share the Good News of Gospel with someone who is overwhelmed or hurting or alone for the first time.

I didn’t spend time reading the story of Jesus’ most miraculous birth as God became man. He who is fully God and fully man…this One who was born to die. Willing to submit Himself unto the Father’s plan…in order to redeem me, buy me back and save me from my sin.

Everything I have…everything I am comes from Him. And I didn’t give Him the one thing I can offer…my time.

When I look at the gifts I received and the things I most treasure from this Christmas…it was time spent with friends…just chatting. Sometimes about important things…more often than not…it was just about stuff. Nothing earth shaking…but just time spent caring for one another.

If that’s what I enjoyed the most…why would I think my Lord and Savior wouldn’t love that too?

What I missed the most…was spending time with friends…talking and catching up…or getting away for a while from the hustle and bustle and demands that never end. Focusing on another…listening and carrying their burdens for a while.

Jesus gave His life so that I might live…He bore the penalty for my sins upon His body. He gave His all…and didn’t even give Him my time.

My foolish investment of time and energy made what is so precious…devoid of real meaning. If only I had focused on Christ…how might the rest of time and relationships have been during this season? Christ centered, peaceful, joyful, walking in love, mindful of the real reason behind the celebration. Walking in manner worthy of my high calling…and aiming to please my Savior…to bring Him joy.

When I really love someone…don’t I find great joy and happiness in pleasing them and making them happy? Won’t it be more so when I please Jesus?

Oh Jesus…I’m sorry I made no room for You this Christmas. Jesus I ask You, please don’t let me do this again…to walk so foolishly. May I be ever mindful of the treasure You are…and hold onto You and value You…and never let You go.