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The Kingdom Principles guiding the Storybook Advent Calendar are predominantly from the New Testament. The underlying theme is Matt 5:3-10 & Matt 25.
Additional themes come from: John 3:16. 1 Cor 13, Matt 25:35-40, Matt 22: 7-40, the entire book of Luke, Matt 2:1-14, Matt 5:28, Proverbs 23:21, Ephesians 4:19, Proverbs 15:1, 1 Peter 2: 1-2 Proverbs 16:18, Proverbs 6:16-19, Galatians 5:22, Exodus 20:2-17, Matt 6:10-14, Duet 11:19, Matt 28:19 and John 19:30.
The Universal Church
We've taken great care to keep the stories away from individual doctrine within various denominations and uphold the beliefs and traditions that have sustained us as a faith for over 2000 years. Knowing that each of us travels our own journey, the book is written and edited to appeal to Christians during all stages of their relationship with Christ. We know there are Christians who maybe haven't been as consistent in their worship as they'd like. Others are turned off by preaching and aggressive forms of evangelizing common today. Storybook Advent doesn't do that. However we've kept it faith focused enough for the more diligent devotees without being overbearing. The stories address the themes in which every Christian can agree by highlighting many Christ's key messages. We've also included a few stories to assist in your understanding of our sister faiths and some of the struggles Christians currently endure elsewhere in the world.
My prayer is this book will bring us, meaning mankind, together as a community by focusing on what we have in common, rather than what makes us different. Jesus was all about bringing people together, tearing down misconceptions and celebrating the good in each, despite the fact we are all works in progress and mired in sin. Jesus didn't say follow me when you are perfect. He invited the most flawed and despised of the time, the tax collectors, prostitutes and lepers, non-believers and others shunned by society and the Pharisees. Jesus knew through His love, even the most reviled could be transformed into the most righteous, that through Him all can be reborn.
The stories in Storybook Advent also support a passion of mine, education. Stories are from around the world and the many great authors. With the republished stories, we've included historical notations about the author, his/her other works and the year the story was published. This addition makes these bedtime stories and enjoyable experience for parents and adults.
I sincerely hope that reading these stories and those in the next books will become an advent tradition and a useful means for churches and non-profits to evangelize, celebrate Christmas and raise the much needed funds to carry out their mission.
In summary, the underlying beliefs that round out our Kingdom Principles and define our faith are:
The Bible – The Bible is the inspired, infallible word of God (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
The Trinity – God eternally exists as the perfect love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:1,26; Matthew 28:19; John 1:1,2; 4:24; Acts 5:3,4; Romans 1:20; Ephesians 4:5-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
Jesus Christ – Jesus is fully God and fully man. He came to earth, was conceived in the virgin Mary and lived a sinless life. He died and rose again to reconcile all people to God and to free them from the power of sin and the devil. (Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38; Romans 9:5; Titus 2:13).
The Fall of Humanity - Whether man or woman, Christian or other faith, we are all sinners and loved by God. Daily we engage in spiritual warfare and tests of our faith. (Genesis 1:26,27; 3:1,24; Romans 3:25; 5:12-18; 1 John 1:8).
The Holy Spirit – is part of the Trinity. The Holy Ghost is how God draws people in and how He works through others. (John 16:5-15; Romans 8:16, 23, 26, 27; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31)
Baptism and Communion – How we are reborn in Christ and how we Remember Him and God's final sacrifice for all mankind. (Acts 2:38-41; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 8:26-40; 10:47; 18:8; Romans 6:3-4. Communion: Acts 2:42-46; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29)
The One Universal Church – though we may call ourselves by different denominations, if we have a relationship with Christ, we are all Christians. (Romans 12:4-6; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; Ephesians 2:19-22; 4:12-16; Hebrews 10:24-25).
The final belief behind this book is that we only fear what we do not understand. Understanding unfolds with knowledge. The only people who fear knowledge are those profiting from ignorance.
"As Christians it is our duty to love our neighbor as ourselves in addition to loving God. The ministry I've been guided towards focuses on helping people, all people, understand and appreciate each other, to seek out what in common and celebrate our unique differences. I sincerely believe the Kingdom of Heaven Jesus speaks of looks like Jesus and that our battles are not to be fought with guns, hatred, lies, deceit and defamation. Our battles are spiritual and each day we are on the frontlines. The truth is our sword. Our enemy is not each other. Our enemy is evil. I believe when you see loving acts, compassion, charity, sacrifice, humility, understanding and collaboration you are seeing God at work. I also believe that when you witness murder, theft, destruction and deception, you see the devil at work. We live in a fallen world where evil abounds. But God through Jesus gave us the tools to overcome. Through faith and by emulating His teachings, we know in the end we shall win." --Laura D Lewis