The problem with books related to the Incarnation is that people tend to want to read them in the build up to Christmas. The problem with that is that an ideal Christmas present is therefore too late once Christmas arrives. Here are some ways around this great Christmas conundrum:
- Make plans now for pre-Christmas Bible study groups – Yesterday Victoria Fuller messaged me to say this: “I am introducing Pleased to Dwell to my Bible study groups next week. We will order in time to begin reading by December 1.”
- Make plans now for personal pre-Christmas reading – Pleased to Dwell is broken down into 24 easy to read chapters, making it ideal devotional material for the Advent season.
- Give an early Christmas present – Christmas day arrives and everyone opens loads of presents. Nothing says “I care about you” like giving a present to someone four or five weeks early 🙂 Why not give Pleased to Dwell to your family and friends – those who like to read, who enjoy the Bible, who are new to Christianity, who are maybe feeling a bit stale and have lost the wonder of who Christ is, or who are going to be preaching or teaching this Christmas season (lots of message ideas in the book!)
The Incarnation is a thrilling subject we should be amazed at every day of the year, but that doesn’t change the fact that Christmas is the season when we are more conscious of it. Thanks for helping get Pleased to Dwell out there this Christmas. Please let me know if you have any ideas to help spread the word. Also, if you read it last year, please send me a brief review that I can post on twitter or on here to help motivate others!
Here is a recent review from Dafydd Job on Goodreads:
It would be good to read any time of the year, but it is particularly helpful as a preparation for Christmas. . . . It will certainly be a blessing for those who want to prepare devotionally for celebrating the incarnation. It is warm and encouraging, and draws us back to Scripture constantly. It has a sermonic feel at times, probably because the author is primarily a preacher. This however adds to the value of the book, and turns it from dry theology into a heart warming feast. Maybe some chapters are not as convincing as others, but in the main this is a book that I would heartily recommend. Begin reading on December 1st, reading a chapter a day, and you’ll get to the conclusion on Christmas day (although I suspect that you will not be content with reading one chapter at a time!)
It may be July, but it is not too early to start thinking about Christmas season 2015! Pleased to Dwell is a great resource for churches and Bible study groups for a pre-Christmas study. 24 short chapters work really well for at home devotional reading. 4 sections of six chapters make for a great weekly study during Advent.
Could your church or Bible Study group use Pleased to Dwell this year? If you need to buy multiple copies, please comment and we can help you find the lowest price for getting the copies you need.
I recently finished Peter Mead’s deep and delightful Pleased to Dwell. The simple structure of the book is to stand before the Bible’s picture of Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man, incarnate as one of us. As we stand before this most beautiful portrait, we are shown the nuances of colour and texture that make up a deep and exciting image. This is a nativity scene, but one of striking grace and truth.
I am writing this review, and sending it to Peter, in the hope that it will encourage you to read Pleased to Dwell as I think the Spirit will use it to warm your heart with deeper love for him and also inform your mind with a greater grasp of why it is so important that God became man to perfectly save us in his death on the cross and raise us to real life with him. There are two particular ways that I would like to encourage you to read this book, though:
- As a daily study: With 24 short and stimulating chapters it is ideal material for reading daily, or at least three or four chapters a week. It would be a wonderful book to read during Advent, as you look forward to Christmas, but I wouldn’t limit it to then. If you do read it like this, find a friend or two to do it with, meet up and talk about it. Perhaps you’re an elder in a church. if so, then this would be a great way to read it as a church – if a load of people read this, met up and talked about it in twos and threes, there would be a good deal of rejoicing in Christ.
- As a small group study: Reading a couple of chapters a week together and then discussing Pleased to Dwell as a small group would work very well. It would fit into a term for many groups – Christmas term is obvious, but it would fit just as well after Christmas to ponder on the nature of the Lord who bore our sins on the cross. Again, there could be huge benefits in doing this across a church if this is how your small groups work.
Many books work well in these ways, but Pleased to Dwell would do so especially for a couple of reasons. The first is the structure. The chapters are short, but they are also self-contained, building on each other by layering up the picture of Christ as much as by flowing on one from another. This means they work well when discussed in isolation as well as together. The second is that the subject of Christ is one of such depth and significance that this book will serve to bless new believers and saints of many years (and would be a great entry point to considering Christ to those who do not know him in your groups as well).
However you read this book, I hope you enjoy it and are blessed by it as I was.
30 March 2015
A big thank you to Huw for this great review. For the full review, and to read more of Huw’s life and ministry in Italy, please click here.
Peter Mead’s “Pleased to Dwell” is proving to be a gem of a book. Twenty-four short chapters, each of which even I – a terribly slow reader – get through in under ten minutes forming a wonderful daily meditation for advent. (If you started on December 1st you’d be done by Christmas Eve, if you started next week you will easily catch up.)
This book is an easy read, in simple attractive language, but don’t let that make you think its theology is light – anyone who has heard Peter Mead teach knows he has the teacher’s gift of making rich theology easy to understand, and delightful to digest. There are many profound biblical insights here as he takes us on a powerful thematic overview of promise and fulfillment in terms of God’s promised Messiah from Genesis, through the rest of the Old Testament, zooming in on the birth narratives of Matthew and Luke and into the rest of the New Testament.
This would be a lovely book to read at any time of year, but I’d recommend you pick up a copy for the rest of advent. It’s a blessing of a book. Heartily recommended!
All authors appreciate positive reviews, of course. Pleased to Dwell has been helpfully reviewed on amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, goodreads.com and 10ofthose.com so far (it would be nice to get a good review or two on Christianbook.com). Anyway, here is one from Jennifer in Oregon that is really helpful. Why? Because it corrects a possible misunderstanding of the book and motivates people to read it. Needless to say, I appreciate this very much!
“I have been reading this book as a daily devotional and I love it. It challenges the way I have viewed certain passages and has made me want to dig deeper into the scriptures. I have even been reading it to others and having discussions about the topics in each chapter. This is something I can read over and over and learn new things each time.
It is like sitting down and having a conversation about God in everyday language. It is not like a college textbook, it is more like two friends sharing a new discovery about God and Christ.
I would recommend it to all ages and backgrounds.”
Jennifer, in Oregon, on Amazon.com
Thanks to D.R. for his review, which ends like this:
In Pleased To Dwell, Peter Mead skillfully takes you through the events of the creation, fall and restoration process, in a simplified fashion, so that anyone with the slightest interest in how we got where we are and how we can get back to where we were, can see and understand the whole picture. Pleased To Dwell weaves together a tapestry of time from Genesis to Revelation, in an easy to read and understand book. Peter puts just the right amount of meat on the bones so you will be compelled to reach for a Bible and do some in-depth follow-up as you delve into the Scripture references for yourself.
Pleased To Dwell… A Christmas Story about a Loving, Giving God whose love for his most precious element of creation, led Him to sacrifice Himself, as His most precious Son, so you and I can experience the Perfect Relationship with our Perfect and Loving God. Whether you are seeking for what to believe, or a new believer, or one who has for decades believed in God, but want to know how we got where we are and how we can get back to where we were… Please To Dwell is for you. It was for me.
Thank you to Felicity P for this very encouraging review on 10ofthose! Positive reviews on 10ofthose or Amazon or GoodReads are much appreciated as the book gets launched!
“This series of devotions follows the wonderful reality of God’s personal relationship with His people from the Garden of Eden through to the marriage of the New Creation. Mead traces the theme of God dwelling with His people throughout all of scripture in the space of 25 readings. With such an aim, I assumed it would be a passing glance at each stage of the story, but Mead allows his reader to grasp the depths of God’s promises throughout the Old Testament before dwelling on the climactic dwelling of God with his people through Jesus. Each chapter is rich in God’s word. He says that he wants to excite his reader to devour the bible as a result of being presented with the God who dwells with His people, and I think he succeeds. I loved having the Bible opened up for me in such a way that I could see God making and keeping His promises, not just as actions but as part of His character. Mead writes with a light touch that means it is a pleasure to read, while also allowing his obvious excitement at the intricacies of God’s revelation of himself to permeate the book. Mead pointed me to our glorious, loving God, to the glorious reality of Jesus Christ our king and prompted me to praise and delight. I will be recommending this book to many – those who have only just begun reading the bible, and those who have read from cover to cover many times over. It would be a lovely set of devotions to read in the build up to Christmas as we look to wonderful Emmanuel. A brilliant book which will prompt you to dwell on our God who was pleased to dwell.”