"Is there an idea or a dream that is lingering in the back of your mind this Christmas season?" asks the Reverend Robert H. Schuller in Joy to the World: Inspirational Christmas Messages from America's Preachers.
"Is there some long-lost hope that you just cannot forget? God often comes through these thoughts. It is God at work in you."
"Track what we call our good fortune and we shall see God clearly in our lives," says the Reverend Gardner C. Taylor in his message. He asked the question "Did you ever sit among your family and, strangely, feel a thankfulness which made you somewhat shamefacedly brush a tear away? You heard the angels sing!"
"Christmas is a time of establishing and celebrating many traditions," begins the Reverend Paula White in her reflection.
This is but a sampling of dozens of messages on the true meaning of Christmas included in this first book to celebrate the spirituality of Christmas by bringing together a diverse collection of messages from Christian leaders from across the country.
Contributors to this collection represent congregations from Hawaii to New York to Atlanta and all the regions surrounding and in between. These inspirational words are from men and women who minister to and console young and old from all walks of life and who reflect the range of ethnicities and Christian religious traditions that characterizes America today.
This timeless treasure trove of inspiration and teaching has something for everyone and is the perfect gift for the season of giving. Joy to the World shares the spirit of Christmas throughout the year.
The Reverend Olivia M. Cloud, editor of this groundbreaking book, has worked with a number of ministers, turning sermons into books. The daughter of a minister, she has devoted more than two decades to the ministry of Christian education through publishing. Her varied work in Christian publishing includes a decade as product development coordinator for the world's largest denominational publishing house, LifeWay Christian Resources. Her company, Guardian Angel Communications Services, provides editorial and publishing services to Christian authors and businesses.
Before she began her ministry as a writer, editor, and publisher, she served as executive director of Capitol Area Ministries, an ecumenical ministry serving children and adults in downtown Atlanta.
She is associate minister at Berean Baptist Church in Nashville, where she was licensed and ordained as a minister of the Gospel. She is also a certified volunteer chaplain with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department. A popular speaker at conferences, she is Tennessee state chaplain for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
She earned a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from the University of Kentucky (Lexington) and a master's in religious education from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, Kentucky).
Reverend Cloud is the author of six books and currently serves as director of publishing for the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.