Valley of Vision by Arthur Bennett (Book Recommendation)

Valley of Vision, compiled by Arthur Bennett, is a collection of Puritan prayers. Its aim is not simply to supply the reader with sample prayers but to prompt and encourage the Christian as he or she follows the path of others who have gone before. Draw upon the inspiration of the elegant prayers of such Puritans as John Bunyan, Isaac Watts, David Brainerd, Augustus Toplady, and Charles Spurgeon. Learn from and enter into their prayers as you foster and grow your own prayer life.

God’s Bible Picture: Tracing the Storyline of the Bible by Vaughan Roberts (Recommended Book)

Sixty-six books written by forty or so people over nearly 2,000 years, in two languages and several different genres. Does the Bible sometimes seem like a confusing jumble of books, authors, and stories? How can you begin to read and understand it as a whole? In this excellent overview, Roberts takes a wide-angle view of Scripture, showing how the various parts of the Bible consolidate into one united theme, the kingdom of God, and center on one supreme subject, Jesus Christ and the salvation God offers through him. With this encouraging tool guiding you, you’ll be able to read God’s Word with new confidence and understanding.

Christmas Playlist (Spotify)

Linked below is a playlist of Christmas music I created on Spotify. It’s your guide to some of the — in my opinion — best Christmas music, free of the not-so-great sentimental hymns, as well as the incarnationally void “holiday songs” like Jingle Bells and Let It Snow (…not that there’s anything wrong with that #Seinfeld).

Let’s cut to the chase though: there’s a lot of really good Christmas songs out there (which frankly I’d sing year round); but there’s also a lot of not-so-great Christmas stuff. And then, of course, there’s all the whatev- non-religious festive-type songs, which are at best occasionally sentimental and nice, but at worse annualized overkill and cumulatively annoying.

This playlist avoids the host of non-religous holiday songs, to give a pure Advent-themed playlist, but also cuts out all those — in my opinion — mediocre Christmas hymns. (If I didn’t include your favorite song, I’ll take suggestions; but if denied, #SorryNotSorry). What can I say? I’m kind of a Christmas song snob…

Most of the songs here are hymns, or the more “traditional” Christmas songs, although occasionally I’ll include something written more recently. Most of the stuff though is performed in a more contemporary fashion, with even some occasional modified renditions.

So… without further ado, here is your Kirk Miller approved Spotify Christmas playlist.