It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas (Reads) GIVEAWAY: A Sanctuary In Our Midst (+ guest post)

Posted December 18, 2019 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Christian, Christmas, giveaway, It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (Reads) 2019, Karen L. Straszheim, nonfiction / 8 Comments

today’s book: a sanctuary in our midst by karen l. straszheim

Christmas is only ONE WEEK AWAY (in case you weren’t paying attention to today’s earlier post) according to Google, BUT now ’tis the season when I start craving cozy Christmas reads. (Okay – I crave them all year round but now’s when I can get away with talking about them LOL) This year I’m continuing my annual blog series spotlighting new and recently-released Christmas reads, and I’m super excited! Christmas books make me happy!

So… snuggle in, grab your fave hot beverage and comfiest blanket, turn on some Christmas tunes and start your own bookish Christmas list! Oh… and did I mention there are GIVEAWAYS with EACH POST in this series??!! (Because authors are awesome!)

Today’s featured book is a devotional with an emphasis on rest + the author shares a reminder to show – and receive – God’s kindness this season.

GENRE: Christmas Devotional
PUBLISHER: Ambassador International
RELEASE DATE: November 12, 2019

Amidst the checklists and social engagements for the Christmas season, Karen Straszheim writes for the weary Christian who gets lost in the holiday madness.

By placing a strong emphasis on spiritual rest, Straszheim’s Christmas devotional is divided into eleven chapters that collectively call for the Christian to put their shopping bags down and just rest in the Scriptures. A Sanctuary in Our Midst: Christmas Reflections on Jesus is deeply enriched with Scripture references throughout to exemplify how the Old and New Testament compliment each other, and how we can understand the Bible.

A Sanctuary in Our Midst is perfect for studying in a group or individually: the discussion questions could be talked about all together over hot cocoa or be used to quietly reflect in one’s own time. Either way, this devotional is a sanctuary in and of itself.


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In the week before Thanksgiving, I went to the grocery store to buy food for the guests we would have on Thanksgiving Day. Turkey, potatoes, ingredients for stuffing, all the usual went into the grocery cart. With it went a second turkey breast, cans of green beans and corn, gravy mix and other add water only food needed for another family who was less accustomed to cooking at home. The family of five that would be the recipient of our annual Thanksgiving box had been struggling financially and needed encouragement.

There were many cars on the streets in town that day, along with pedestrians shopping for the holidays. As someone crossed the street in front of my car, I reminded myself to slow down for that person, allowing them plenty of time to cross the street. Also while mailing an early Christmas package at the post office, I decided to say a word of thanks to the workers there for the many long hours they would be putting in in the next month.

One of the passages from the Bible I try to follow is from the life of King David when he asked “Is there not yet anyone… to whom I may show the kindness of God?” (2 Samuel 9:3) There are many ways, large and small, to show God’s kindness to people during the holidays. As someone who has understood the kindness of God, I have something valuable to offer others when I do this.

One of the main ideas in A Sanctuary in Our Midst is that God is more kind, compassionate and merciful than we possibly know. God is supremely above us but He is also Immanuel, God with us. Jesus is one who came to serve. His kindness can be seen in our lives, in ways that help us understand who He is. I encourage you, this holiday, to look for Him and the ways He would like to show His kindness to you.

Karen L. Straszheim is a wife, mother, and missionary to the Czech Republic. She has been a Christian for 42 years, and studied Bible and Theology at Western Conservative Baptist Seminary in Portland, Oregon. She lives in Story City, Iowa, with her husband of 10 years and attends Stavanger Free Lutheran Church in Garden City, Iowa. Karen enjoys helping others understand the Bible, composing music for the church, quilting, and gardening.

Karen L. Straszheim is offering one of my readers a print copy of A Sanctuary In Our Midst! (US only) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? What interests you most about A Sanctuary In Our Midst? Has someone shown God’s kindness to you this Christmas season?

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8 responses to “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas (Reads) GIVEAWAY: A Sanctuary In Our Midst (+ guest post)

  1. Lori Byrd

    I love Christmas stories. I’ve been shown so much kindness 2 Christmas ago after 7 years of no Christmas due to the death of my 2 daughters. It made me live again.

  2. Brandi

    I think we all find inspiration to show extra grace and kindness to others during the Christmas season. What is often missing is the ability to truly rest in the midst of it all. I would be curious to see her thoughts and comments on this much needed admonition in our culture today.

  3. Martha Troxel

    This book looks like it would be great! I also live in Iowa and know two women who have been or currently are missionaries in the Czech Republic.

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