Miracle in a Dry Season    Dangerous Passage

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Why A Manger? by Bodie and Brock Thoene

Reviewed by April Gardner

"Impacting and profound, Why a Crown? will draw the believer closer to his or her Savior."

As the holiday season fast approaches, Americans of all walks will pull out their nativity scenes and fondly display them, but will they fully understand the meaning behind each piece? Will they know why Mary wears such a look of peace and adoration? Will they understand why Joseph stands protectively over the manger? Will they grasp the deep significance of the occasion, of the Infant lying in the straw?

In Why a Manger?, Bodie and Brock Thoene have captivatingly drawn a picture of Bethlehem simple enough to convict the lost yet deep enough to awe theologians. Using Scripture and historical fact, they have set about to answer several very important questions.

Why Jesus? Who is Jesus and why is His birth so important?

Why a baby? Thousands of years before the baby in the manger, there was another miraculous birth…another promised son. They make a precious comparison between Isaac and Jesus. Both were promises fulfilled, both were born miraculously, both were led to Mount Moriah to be sacrificed, but only One shed redemptive blood.

Why Mary? The angel’s words would change everything about Mary’s life, but only she could choose how to respond. Then they poignantly place one more question upon the reader. How will you respond? Like Mary, receiving God’s gift of life with open arms and a believing heart?

Why Joseph? He was an ordinary carpenter with a pregnant wife-to-be. To marry her, he would have to break all of society’s rules. But could his dreams about the baby be true? Joseph’s life is proof that God uses ordinary people to accomplish His plans. What mighty plans God may be accomplishing in your life at this very moment!

Why Bethlehem? Why would the greatest King of all choose this humble, out-of-the-way village—populated by shepherds, their families, and noisy, smelly sheep—to be his birthplace? Why not? King David was born there as well as every lamb that was destined for the Temple sacrifices. Where else would “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29) have to be born if not Bethlehem, among the sacred Temple Flocks?

Why a Manger? The fragile Lamb of God lying in the straw would pay the ultimate cost for our redemption. Bodie flashes back in time to 1985 and her own lambing barn. It was here that God symbolically showed her how Jesus, the Lamb of God, by His own death covers our sin and makes us acceptable to our heavenly Father.

Throughout Why a Manger?, the Thoenes intersperse an abundance of prophetic Scripture with mesmerizing excerpts from their novels, as well as eye-opening explanations that will prayerfully move the unsaved to repentance. The motivation to worship the Savior is not lost on the Christian that takes the time to read this little book.

Why a Manger? is a wonderfully clear witnessing tool that not only explains how one can have a personal relationship with the Lord, but also guides the next few steps of those who have made that life-changing decision.

Affordable and small, it fits easily into a plate of holiday treats for co-workers and neighbors, or as a stocking stuffer for family. Why a Manger? is a must-have for every believer who knows someone that needs the Lord…and that includes all of us.

(Excerpts from Why a Manger? are noted in italics.)

April GardnerApril W Gardner writes adult and middle grade historical fiction. Her first novel, Wounded Spirits, releases with Vintage Romance Publishing in November of this year. She is a member of ACFW and reviews for Title Trakk, At Home With Christian Fiction, and FIRST Wild Card Blog Tours. A military spouse, April has performed the art of homemaking all over the world. Currently, she lives in Georgia with her darling Hubby. A homeschool mom, she fills her mornings talking fractions and phonics with her two sweet kiddos. In her free time, April enjoys reading, gardening, and DIY. In no particular order, she dreams of owning a horse, visiting all the national parks, and speaking Italian. Visit April's Website or her blog, A Writer's Journey. You can also get to know April on Facebook and Twitter.