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5 Stars Out Of 5
Advent Foretold - a faith building devotional!
December 19, 2014
By Gary and Wanda Sanseri
Our whole family looks forward to the days leading up to Christmas. We made the Advent Calendar and read the companion study, Advent Foretold by Gary and Wanda Sanseri . This year will be our 11th year using this study.
The Advent Foretold and the Advent Calendar patterns are easy to set up and simple to use. When we lived in Europe we often saw Advent calendars that had a chocolate treat for each day leading up to Christmas. This calendar takes that idea and restores its original meaning with each day revealing a picture that foretells of the coming Messiah and the fulfillment of these prophecies. The companion book, Advent Foretold expands upon the picture with activities like readings, reflections, and song.
We spend about half an hour per day in December on the one page study in Advent Foretold. With this small amount of time it is truly remarkable how much the children learn each year.
I recommend you also purchase the Advent Calendar Pattern to go along with this study. There is a picture panel that goes with each page on the devotional. I made each panel of unbleached muslin and included a pocket for the Bible verse of the day and a small treat for each child. I had my kids help me paint one picture at a time using acrylic paint and high quality brushes. They signed their name by each picture they painted and enjoyed keeping track of who painted what!
We also started using the Advent Foretold study as a December Journal of the days events. We write very small at the top of the page a few happenings for that day. And we look back on our notes to see what we were doing last year on this date as a family.
I wrote a song this year - based on the opening verse on December 1st. I'm the only one singing it . so far. But maybe it will be like one of those pop tunes and others in the family will pick it up! :)
December 1st verse:
Isaiah 46: 9 - 10
Remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
Declaring the end from the beginning;
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all My purpose
I hope you will have a chance to build your childrens faith with this excellent study.
My family is using Advent Foretold this year for the first time. We all love it! I have 3 boys ages 4, 8 and 12 and they are participating and learning so many wonderful things. What a blessing to celebrate Advent and focus on all the promises the Lord has fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
Our family's search for a Christian alternative to a secular society's celebration of Christmas ended here in 1998. We never looked back. This in-depth, yet easy to use study has become our family tradition. Our three-ring binder holds eleven years of beautiful, multidimentional memories. We added an advent wreath with candles that were lit by a different child each evening. Over the years, each child colored a picture that goes with each study (some turned into full blown art projects). I added personal journal pages on notebook paper, when time allowed. We tried to have a simple dessert each evening. We sang the hymns together. All were stuffed into this ring binder that will hopefully become the first generation of a more Christ centered family Christmas heritage. Most importantly, we all have a clear understanding of the prophecy of Christ and the fulfillment of Christ. That is what Christmas is about, isn't it?
We spent a long time looking for an advent devotional. Something to read each night through the advent season, that would be more than just an "inspirational" reading - something that would challenge us and be significant. We've loved this, and the only negative is a large number of typos and other silly mistakes that an editor should have caught. Content wise, it's probably the best thing out there. I'd give it fewer stars because of this, but as far as advent material goes, nothing else we've seen comes even close.
I can't remember when we started using this devotional, but it's something I always associate with adolescence. Coming back to it now, at 29 even without kids I have to say it holds out very well. I so appreciate how they walk through all the prophecies before getting into the parts of the story we probably know best. On top of that, it's a wonderful, month-long journey through the core of the Biblical story and the gospel. Highly recommended.