New Advent links for Christian Resource Institute (CRIVoice)

November 29, 2015

I’m sure I’ve posted DOZENS of links over the years to the great resources at Christian Resource Institute / CRIVoice

It appeares they’ve changed their website domain, and old links will probably not work.

Here’s their new website address:

Here are some of their great Advent links:

Overview: The Season of Advent

A table of Daily Scripture Readings for Advent 2015

Jesse Tree links & Resources

A list of traditional Songs for Advent

All About the Advent Wreath

Responsive Readings for Advent

“Chrismon” ornament patterns

Idea for Jesse Tree ornaments (Wood burning)

December 2, 2014

Anyone in your family into wood burning?  Here’s a really nice set of Jesse Tree ornaments that could be a good craft activity for an older child…

Jesse Tree resources are always EXTREMELY popular at Lent & Beyond.  Our “All About Jesee Trees” post has nearly 40,000 page views!

You can find all our Jesse Tree resources using the Jesse Tree tag


Resources for Advent – Jesse Tree audio devotions (Redeemer Radio)

December 2, 2014

Redeemer Radio is a Catholic Radio station serving Northern Indiana and Ohio.

They have an AUDIO Jesse Tree devotional (with accompanying ornaments you can print)

Learn more about a member of Jesus’ family tree and about salvation history!

Each day there is an ornament that you hang on your own Jesse tree, seen the links for each day below, or you can download the Ornaments all on one page!

Here is a listing of all their Advent resources.

More Good Advent 2014 Resources for Children and Families

December 2, 2014

From the Diocese of Bath & Wells in the UK– A number of good resources for Advent.  I particularly like the “A is for Advent” poem and the Advent Alphabet ideas

They also have a very good Jesse Tree page – each day of Advent there is a new symbol and accompanying short devotional (including a Scripture verse and prayer) that is posted.

“My Jesse Tree – the Ultimate Guide” and “Bible Characters for Advent” storybook

November 12, 2014

One of our commenters, Theresa, has created a fantastic site all about Jesse Trees:

This is a fantastic guide for making a Jesse tree with your family. It is clear, beautifully laid out with wonderful pictures and organized into 5 sections.  The readings and the pictures that accompany each day’s story are AWESOME.

  1. What is a Jesse Tree
  2. How to Choose Your Tree
  3. Jesse Tree Symbols
  4. Jesse Tree Ornaments
  5. Jesse Tree Readings


The authors (husband and wife) are Franciscans.  The site includes several levels / types of ornaments  (crafts & printables & coloring sheets), awesome pictures and instructions, and readings with full color pictures go along with each ornament.

Note: the readings can be used for free, but they are excerpted from a longer children’s story book:  Bible Characters for Advent, which has a 5-star rating at Amazon!  (There are 20 5-star reviews as of the time I’m writing this.)

ABSOLUTELY WORTH CHECKING OUT the Jesse Tree site and the eBook Bible Characters for Advent

Here are a few of the ornaments:


In case you need MORE Jesse tree info (e.g. for an older age group), here is our Jesse Tree Category with lots more helpful resources.  See especially our All About Jesse Trees entry.

Excellent roundup of Advent activities for Families and Children

November 11, 2014

Christine Sine at Godspace has done a really nice job in her roundup post of suggestions for family Advent Activities.

Need I say more than, go check it out?!?!?

Still neeed more ideas for Family & Children’s Advent activities and crafts?? Here’s the link to all we’ve posted over the years in our Advent: Family & Children category


Update:  Our commenter Theresa has created a site which has a fantastic guide for making a Jesse tree with your family.  Several types of ornaments  (crafts & printables), awesome pictures and instructions, and readings to go along with each ornament.  ABSOLUTELY WORTH CHECKING OUT!!


Advent books – links and recommendations

November 6, 2014

I’m working on compiling a list of recommended books to read during Advent, and would love readers to chime in with books you’d recommend.  These could be devotional books for adults, or for children and families…; prayer books, activity books… PLEASE SHARE YOUR FAVORITES IN THE COMMENTS!!!


1.  Here are a few books I personally can recommend, having read them in the past 1 – 2 years.

  • Ann Voskamp:  The Greatest Gift  Recommended for women, especially.  I found this a wonderful meditation on the theme of grace, and very helpful in terms of giving me practical ideas for how to S-L-O-W D-O-W-N in Advent and really keep Jesus at the center of my days.

Note: It looks like John Piper has a new Advent Devotional out for 2014, but I’m not yet sure if the content has changed, or merely the date listed for each day’s reading…  (The PDF version is free at Desiring God).  I’ll check it out and will post more about this separately.  (I’m a big John Piper fan… He’s a “Baptist who gets Advent!”)

  • Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas – 40 essays and poems from theological writers such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Dorothy Day, Madeleine L’Engle, Martin Luther, Kathleen Norris, Henri Nouwen, Philip Yancey, Karl Barth and Síren Kierkegaard.   – Very meaty stuff.  Not light fluffy Advent reading.  Several of the essays are truly profound.
  • Truth in the Tinsel:  A guide for celebrating Advent with young children (excellent for Sunday school activities, etc.)


2. Here are a few books I’ve bookmarked and am thinking about for Advent this year… This is a VERY varied list.  I may buy one or two of these books for myself, and others as gifts for friends and colleagues…

Note;  in addition to the books listed below, I’ve recently  posted entries on three other family Advent devotional books which look very worthwhile:


Three books on Jesse Trees that might be of interest  (I’ve not read these personally)


Advent Devotional Books (mostly for Adults) that have caught my attention:

  • Billy Graham: The Cradle, Cross and Crown.   A Brand New 64 page Advent devotional from Billy Graham, includes original poetry from his late wife, Ruth Bell Graham.  [Having looked at this a bit more closely, I’d suggest it might make a better devotional for the Christmas season, in terms of its themes…, but I love the poems!!]
  • Max Lucado: Celebrating Christmas with Jesus, an Advent Devotional.  Short excerpts from various of Max Lucado’s devotionals focusing on various individuals’ encounters with Jesus as recorded in the Gospels.  Not really all that “Advent-y” but daily readings from passages in the Gospels and good short reflections that might be helpful to some in keeping their hearts centered on Christ and the wonder of His love and mercy during a busy Advent and Christmas season.
  • R. Scott Hurd – Daily Devotions for Advent 2014 (The Living Gospel) – 99 cents for the Kindle edition.  This is a 64 page “classic style” devotional booklet, with a short opening prayer from the Psalms, a Scripture reading, a short reflection, an application / action, and a closing prayer.  Fairly basic.  The author was an Episcopalian and is now a Roman Catholic priest.


3.  Here are some places you can find lists of good Advent-themed books


You can find all our posts from recent years about ADVENT BOOKS here.

 All our Advent 2014 entries are here.

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