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Louie Giglio - Waiting Here For You: An Advent Journey Of Hope [Book Review]

Louie Giglio - Waiting Here For You: An Advent Journey Of Hope [Book Review]

By Jolie Ozbun on December 18, 2014

With the busy season of Christmas upon us, it is so hard to keep our minds focused on the most pivotal moment in history, the birth of Christ. I enjoy all the festivities surrounding the holidays: winter concerts, church musicals, parties with friends; but Christmas should also be a special time of reflection on the Advent. Louie Giglio offers us this daily reflection in his latest book, Waiting Here For You: An Advent Journey Of Hope. He is a widely known pastor (Passion City Church), author, and speaker, who has also presented some amazing videos capturing the vastness of our universe in "Indescribable" and "How Great is Our God."  In Waiting Here For You, Giglio reminds us to cast our gaze on the North Star, a vivid reminder in the night sky of when God came down in the flesh to give hope to a fallen world.

Over the years during the Christmas season, our family has greatly anticipated our tradition of gathering around our Advent wreath and lighting candles on the four Sundays leading up to Advent. That is why I was so moved by Giglio's daily devotional Advent book of scriptural reflections, Christmas songs, and spiritual prayers. My daughter said, "With so much going on during Christmas, I look forward to Advent, because it gives me more of the Christmas spirit." I like that, and I know Giglio's devotional will also be a nice supplement to our tradition. Giglio put it nicely as he stated his hope that, "This Advent devotion will encourage and fortify your faith so hope may bloom again."

The book begins with a story of Christmas grace, a heartwarming story that touches the heart. As I read through to the end, the message became clear that God is working in each of us as we wait for His promises. Giglio writes, "The season of Advent is a celebration of hope, and Waiting Here For You is filled with hope for everyone who is waiting: waiting on a solution, a diagnosis, a relationship, a breakthrough, a rescue."

The book is divided into the four weeks of advent, with each section having the underlying theme of waiting and preparation. Some beautiful illustrations are included as well, which add a meditative quality of peace and calm in the heart of the hustle and bustle of city life. Each devotional has a message that coincides with it bringing to us a wellspring of hope for the Christian. It begins with Christ's gift of redemption to the lost ones as they find their way to His amazing grace, and then continues in the devotional, "Goodbye Condemnation," taken from the passage in Romans 8:1-4. Giglio brings us to the place where God has set us free from the accuser, and asks us to remind him of what the redeemer has done and say to him, "Goodbye condemnation."

As a music enthusiast, I also enjoyed the songs as they went along quite well with the reflections. The devotional titled, "Where Our Songs Come From," included one of my favorite songs, "Oh Holy Night." Here Giglio helps us realize that worship and salvation are indeed interlinked. He says, "We wouldn't have a song to lift up without God's mercy setting us free." It definitely brought the message to a new light as I read through each devotional, and then read through the familiar song that followed.

In the midst of the chaos of Christmas, I focus my attention to the brightest star in the sky tonight in celebration of Advent. Here in the waiting, God promises He is with us and has great plans for us. Giglio encourages us by saying, "Waiting is not wasting when you're waiting on the Lord." Just like the Israelites of long ago who saw their promise fulfilled in the coming of the Messiah, we also can experience joy as we wait for God's promises to be fulfilled in our own lives knowing that His promises are true.

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Jolie Ozbun

Jolie Ozbun

Jolie has served in the church most of her life performing in worship teams, at church retreats and conferences. She has also served as a youth Sunday school teacher and a children's/youth choir leader.  She has ministered outside the church for Save-A-Life as a music leader and counselor, and has performed for nursing homes, shelters, and other churches. She earned her degree in English with a minor in music from Bob Jones University. Currently, she works as an adult reading teacher, and spends her spare time singing, songwriting, playing guitar, and enjoying family. She lives in Tallahassee, Florida with her husband Greg and their three children.