GIVEAWAY: Unwrapping the Names of Jesus

Gwen Smith Blog, Giveaways 225 Comments

HAPPY FRIDAY! I’m super excited because it’s GIVEAWAY DAY! Today I’m honored to introduce you to my precious friend ASHERITAH CIUCIU and her wonderful book Unwrapping the Names of Jesus: An Advent Devotional. This sweet, young momma is something special and so is her message! She’s a gentle soul with depth beyond her years and a tenderness that makes you trust her immediately and want to be her girlfriend.

FUN STORY… Asheritah and her family live in the same area where my Smith crew and I lived in Ohio before we moved away 17 years ago… and she and HER young family go to the SAME CHURCH where Brad and I got married and were actively involved for more than 10 years! {Small world. BIG God!} Enjoy this guest post and enter to win a FREE copy!

The Advent of Christmas Joy

I first encountered this idea of Advent as a young college student.

What’s with all the candles? I wondered, sitting back in the pew as I watched a child light purple pillar candles in an evergreen wreath at the front of the church. Besides being a clear fire hazard, this little ritual was accompanied by dry readings of obscure passages that did little to warm my heart.

But over the years that followed, Advent seemed to pop up all over the place. Perhaps it was my own heightened awareness, but I was intrigued, so I did a little digging to find out more.

Advent means “coming,” from the Latin word adventus, and demarks a season (usually the four weeks leading up to Christmas) of expectantly preparing to celebrate the first coming of Jesus while also anticipating His second coming. It’s been practiced by the worldwide church for centuries.

Gradually, I began incorporating Advent into my own spiritual preparation. One year, as I reflected on the names of Jesus that appear in Christmas carols, I realized that I need to worship Jesus for who He is in the privacy of my home before I can fully celebrate His birth in the company of His congregation.

We all suffer from soul amnesia, forgetting who God is and what He has done for us from one day to the next. Like you, I too must remind myself each year who Jesus is and why His birth is so miraculous—not because my mind doesn’t know but because my heart ceases to be amazed. As the old saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt, and sadly, my own heart loses that sense of wonder.

This practice of meditating on a different name each day, while not an Advent tradition per se, taught me to worship Jesus in a way I’d never learned before. Like twirling a brilliant-cut diamond in sunlight, meditating on Jesus’ names led me to admire the many facets of His character, each beautiful on its own, but when put together comprise a breathtaking picture of the Son of God made man for us. As the days of Advent passed, I found myself, like David, gazing upon the beauty of the Lord day by day, delighting in Him and dwelling in His presence (Ps. 27:4).

I unwrapped His names one at a time, excitement and anticipation building for the arrival of Christmas Eve. Presents and parties and pastries faded into the background as the drama of Christ’s birth took center stage.

I walked into the candle-lit service on Christmas Eve, my heart soaring at the sight of the manger. This was the moment I had been waiting for. This was what Advent had prepared me for. This was the meaning of Christmas. This beautiful, profound, majestic scene of the eternal God entering time and space for you and for me.

I sat on the edge of my seat in the pew, eyes glued on the manger, waiting for the service to begin so I could release the praise and adoration that were bursting in my heart.

And I want that for you, too.

May you grow into a greater sense of awe and wonder at who Jesus is. I encourage you to join me in preparing our hearts so that when we admire the live nativity scene, when we sit in the candlelight service, and when we wake up Christmas morning, we can join the faithful who have gone before us and sing from the bottom of our hearts, “O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!”

Alongside you in the journey of Christmas joy,

Asheritah

Congratulations to our giveaway winners:
Cynthia S and Mary Gladfelter!

Asheritah is giving away two copies of Unwrapping the Names of Jesus: An Advent Devotional. That’s right, two people will win a copy this week!

You simply need to LEAVE A COMMENT to enter to win by CLICKING HERE.

That’s it! Once you leave a comment, your name will be entered into the random drawing. Be sure to tell your friends so they can sign up too. The drawing will take place on Monday, November 20th, so don’t delay! {Contest is limited to US and Canada readers only.}

Asheritah Ciuciu is the author of Full: Food, Jesus, and the Battle for Satisfaction and a popular blogger and speaker. She grew up in Romania as a missionary kid and studied English and Women’s Ministry at Cedarville University in Ohio. Her passion is leading women deeper with Jesus through daily devotions and spiritual disciplines, both in her local church and around the world through digital discipleship at www.onethingalone.com. Asheritah is married to Flaviu, her childhood sweetheart, and together they raise their spunky children in northeast Ohio.

 

 

 

 

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Comments 225

  1. Wow what a wonderful way to celebrate the Advent season. I think that is awesome and I’m going to do the same. I feel it is so important to stay focused on the reason we celebrate Christmas is because the birth of our Savior and what better way than this. Thank you for sharing your story with us

  2. This looks like an excellent Advent book. What a joy it would be to share this with my Bible Study friends as we prepare for the most holy season. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

  3. I’m an empty nester, seeing how most traditions have been replaced. I would like to start a new tradition, for me. This advent book sounds perfect!

  4. What a wonderful way to remind ourselves daily of who Jesus is and how His grace and mercy touch our lives. And a perfect time of year to celebrate it.

  5. To me this is just an new spin on an old idea….the Advent calendar. Advent is just a time of preparation for the Greatest Gift ever given and this book would help to delve even deeper in to that precious gift. Keeping the real meaning of Christmas alive in my heart.

  6. I’m so looking forward to the Advent Season this year. I have been looking on Amazon, and there are so many to choose from.. After going to your website and looking around, this book is definitely at the top of my list! 🤗 Thank you for the opportunity to win!

  7. So blessed by this devotional. I’m from Mauritius and have been a Christian all my life but I never heard of “advent”. That’s not a common practice to Christians here. But I’d love to learn more and hope before Christmas we’ll be blessed with other similar deviotionals. God bless you

  8. This sounds so beautiful! This would be a great book to set out next to a advent wreath so everyone could benefit! I am so going too find this book and check it out!

  9. I have been a Christian for a long time, but have never heard anything about the real meaning of Advent at any of my churches… we have lit candles each Sunday, but it was never explained. I love the idea of this because I love Christmas, and this gives a way to focus on Jesus every day leading up to His day.

  10. The excerpt from her book has me ready to start Advent! My 3 year old is getting ready for Jesus’s birthday and we are going to do some devotionals together too.

  11. I gave my life to the Lord at the early age of 9 years old. But my faith has really been put to the test in the last few years. My husband has a anti-immune disease that will eventually leave him in a wheelchair, unable to do things for himself. I have lost a niece and 2 cousins in the last year to cancer. I have lost a nephew and a cousin in the last 2 months to suicide. I sure could use a daily devotional to help me get back to that daily walk that I need to have with the Lord.

  12. I would love to have a copy of this book. I have been lax in my efforts for my faith and truly need to turn that around.

  13. I absolutely love that you took the adoration and love that is so deeply rooted in your heart for our Lord Jesus Christ & amazingly was able to put it into words in this blessing in the form of a book! Truly an amazing gift from your heart to any & all followers of Christ’s hearts!

  14. This sounds like a great idea for Advent! Thanks so much for sharing. I have always liked studying the Names of Jesus and our Father God. May God continue to bless you richly!

  15. I would love to have this book to use during this precious season of celebrating God’s gift for us. I would use it personally and with my ladies bible study group that I co-lead. This would be a wonderful addition to our Advent season.

  16. I’ve been looking for a Christmas devotion, meaning to research Advent more, and the names of Jesus. This book sounds perfect!

  17. What a wonderful way to prepare for the celebration of our Savior’s birth . This reminded me of a difficult time our family experienced several years ago. My little girl and i used the name Emmanuel to remind each other that no matter what “God was with us.”

  18. This book sounds great. I am always looking for fresh ideas to share Advent with our people at our Southern Baptist church.
    God’s blessings on you.

  19. I think this is such a great idea for getting our minds right during the busy holiday season. I will be purchasing this for some of the important women in my life as a pre holiday gift and maybe receiving an extra copy via your give away. I am thankful to woman like you who help us to keep Jesus Christ at the center of our lives.

  20. I would Love a copy of the book, I enjoy bringing back to mind and teaching our younger generation about Christ being born and the true meaning of
    Christmas and the gift we received and how we should give back.

  21. 🙏 Amen.
    And thank you everyone for your posts.-especially to Maggie
    We often forget about the greatest gift 🎁 We have already been given His ❤️.
    Amen?!

  22. When reading this devotion, I realized that I have been focusing on the coming of Christmas by thinking of what gifts I have left to buy, or what foods I want to make. I was totally convicted and realize my focus is misplaced.

  23. I want so much for Jesus to be much, much more of my focus this season. Asheritah’s words are an encouraging reminder that what we pay attention to is what our heart focuses on. Let it be JESUS for all of us this year!!!

  24. This book sounds amazing!
    I would be thrilled to be a blessed winner of one of these books! Thank you for giving us a chance to be a part of this. ❤️

  25. I love Gwen’s writing and read and share them every day; am glad she highlighted and shared her friend with us. would love to be able to read her work as well.

  26. I thank God for Christian women like Asheritah and Gwen who bring our Heavenly Father closer to us each day though their timely God-filled messages.

  27. This struck a chord with me when sharing about “soul amnesia.” How often do any of us step too far from wonder and amazement of God’s grace, love, and faithfulness. We know it in our heads, but our hearts often don’t beat in it’s rhythm. Thank you for sharing!

  28. Oh how I desire to continue to “grow into a greater sense of awe and wonder at who Jesus is’ !! GIG and the posts you all post always touch my heart so much…always so very timely in my life! Blessings!

  29. As the busyness of Christmas is here again I see retailers trying to get us to buy the the latest and greatest gadgets, decorations and lights,trees, etc. I cried out to God yesterday, “ God this is not the way it is supposed to be, Christmas is supposed to be all about you!! Please help me to keep my heart on you this Christmas God!!!!
    This devotional would definitely help keep my heart on God remembering Jesus is the only reason for the season!!
    Thank you for the opportunity to win your devotional!!
    God bless and Merry Christmas!!

  30. This sounds like an amazing way to prepare our hearts for. Christmas! Would love to receive a copy for myself and then pass along to my family.

  31. I want to experience Christmas like never before by meditating on all the names of Jesus and seeing how these names apply to His relationship with me, thus deepening my relationship with Him.

  32. I look forward to the advent season. I think that this book would be a wonderful addition to the special season around Christ’s birth.

  33. Reading about the Lord and getting to have a more personal relationship with Him has made me a stronger person. Thank you for writing and sharing your story so that we can grow with our Lord. God Bless you and your family.

  34. Yes! This! For several years I struggled to find the deep joy and wonder of the season I knew as a child and a young adult. The daily advent devotions I used to do faded to the background as I raised kids and got lost in the “busyness” of life. Thank you for re-discovering what I have been missing!!

  35. It’s so true, how our hearts are so excited at first about everything that Jesus had done for us, then life happens and our souls get weighed down. I WANT to be excited all the time, never taking for granted what God did for us. This book is such a beautiful way of remembering!

  36. I love that you help bring Advent to life through this devotional! I have an Advent wreath at my office to help celebrate the “reason for the season” with my co-workers.

  37. I would love a copy of “Unwrapping the Names of Jesus: An Advent Devotional”. Sounds like a beautiful book. Thank you. I hope you have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving.

  38. What a wonderful way to prepare our hearts as a family for celebrating Christ’s birth. A new tradition, delving into the names of Jesus in worship (finding true joy) instead of searching for the “things” which give temporary happiness. This is a must for my bookshelf!

  39. Love the thought of “unwrapping” the names of Jesus. Would love to adopt this for myself and my family. Blessings to you!

    Kim

  40. This is so true, “not because my mind doesn’t know but because my heart ceases to be amazed”, May this season I unwrap more of the true meaning. Thank you for the reminder and the chance to win this wonderful book!

  41. We have an Advent wreath that we put out every year. What a great addition to our preparation of Christmas this would be. Would love to win it. Thanks for the opportunity.

  42. I would Treasure the Opportunity to win this Book and Start my Christmas this year by Reading The Unwrapping of Jesus Names.
    It’s just my husband I together at Christmas this year. It would be Special. Thank you for Sharing. God Bless.

    1. Sounds wonderful Tammy. I too think the devotional would be awesome to have. I am blind and would have to have somebody to read it to me but I am sure that can be arranged. bless you all!

  43. I would love to have this devotional to enhance my preparation for celebrating the coming of our Lord. Thank you for the chance to participate…God bless

  44. Who do men say I am, he is the King of glory.Amen thank you for the reminder of who he is and why we must not let our hearts forget.

  45. Can’t wait to experience what this book and Asheritah have to give and share with others. It has become to easy to take the season for granted.

    God Bless!

  46. Thank you for giving us a new way to prepare for the joyous season ahead of us. This sounds like a great devotional to share not only with my family to prepare our hearts for the season but my Wednesday night time at my church with my Second and Third graders. This would be a great book to win.
    May God bless you and your family I’m all that you do for taking the time to glorify Him and impacting the world
    Merry Christmas

  47. Great heart preparations for the glorious advent of our Lord and Savior! Love this time of year to focus on how truly AMAZING the birth of Jesus is! God bless you for this book. I would love to read it!

  48. This really got to me thinking about God sending his Son as a baby. His son into the hands of humans to nurture him and to love him as their own. God sent his own son to save us! Amazing. I can’t wrap my brain around this. Thank you my Heavenly Father.

  49. I love digging deeper into who Jesus was, is and is to come. This sounds like a fascinating read. Thanks for sharing this excerpt. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families!!

  50. Praise the Lord, I would love to own this devotional not only for myself but also for my 21 year old daughter, we enjoy reading scripture together and we have our own little Momma & Daughter Bible Studies. We just got done reading Fervent A Womans battle for serious specific and strategic prayer, Unwrapping the Name of Jesus would be a wonderful blessing to begin reading and sharing with my daughter.

  51. I have always treasured the details leading up to the Celebration of Christ’s Birth! Advent is very important and I would love to have this book to share with others, in hopes they, too, will see the importance and apply to their own lives! Thank you, for offering this treasure!

  52. I am in a season of growing closer to Jesus than ever before, hungering for all I can absorb! I would love to have this to make Christmas all it is meant to be for me and my family.

  53. What a wonderful way to focus on our Lord and Savior during this coming Christmas Season. I would love to read this devotional.

  54. I would love to prepare my heart by reflecting on the Names of Jesus! I so need to read this devotional. Bless you both!

  55. This sounds awesome! I said I was going to participate in Advent this year. I have been looking for and trying to decide on a Advent calendar.
    I would love to read this book! Thanks for the giveaway!

  56. Now I am already trying to remember the names of Jesus…what a wonderful way to celebrate the birth of our Savior, to focus on His names…look forward to r adding this book.

  57. Our daily Advent readings will consist of one more person this year- my mom. She moved in with us in July. She is on dialysis three days a week. And when I think about dialysis being what is keeping her alive, I thank God every single day for the gift of life. We like to do our Advent reading in the evening after long and busy days. I would love to have this book to share with my family. Thank you for using your gift and sharing it with us. God bless you!

  58. How fitting for this book right now. I make my own Christmas cards, and the stamp I bought this year has all the names of Jesus on it. I would love to read the book, in order to learn more about the meani,g of the names.

  59. I have always loved advent as the way to prepare for Christmas. The constant reminder of the special day coming. A few years back I found an advent calendar that celebrated the names of God. It just adds to the “magic” of the season.

  60. Beautiful…. This book is just the thing I need for this years celebration…. It’s been a horrid 2017 and I can’t wait for it to be over. I know my trials are growing my faith….but I’m so tired of being down….I need to find God’s glory again and I’m struggling! Thank you for your inspiration!!

  61. It’s hard to find spiritual support in today’s world. It can be hard at times for me to keep my focus on Jesus. This seems like a good book to glean from and find help on our journeys!☺️💕

  62. Such a beautiful reminder that Jesus is a Gift to each of us. Even if someone chooses to not unwrap the Gift, Jesus still loves everyone. Can’t wait to read!!

  63. Would love the devotional to further a faith walk in more praise and adoration for what God laid out for us in His Son’s birth

  64. I would love to have a copy of this book for Advent. The names of Jesus have always fascinated me and I love the idea of studying them as we lead up to His birth.

  65. Love this Christmas season and the amazing truth that Jesús came down just for us!! Jesús is doing he Christmas miracle 🌲

  66. I would love this new book! What a beautiful thing to read during the season of advent I would love to unwrap our Saviour and become closer to him.

  67. My church does not use the candles to mark Advent and although the message is preparing us the thought of studying the names of Jesus in preparation seems like a good way to give my study a focus for this season.

  68. I am a Canadian resident currently living in Belize. I would love this book but instead of sending to me please send to my friend in Canada who is a new Christian. This book would help her to learn more about Jesus and how awesome and amazing Jesus is and can be in her life. Thanks for the opportunity to enter. Blessings on your ministry and the amazing talent God has given to you.

  69. I needed this. I have been struggling with the lose of my daughter. I love when God shows up to give me a message to stay focused on Him. I am not alone He knows I am hurting but, yet, He is here with me. So I will try really hard to focus on Him as I enter the season to celebrate His birth… Thank you for the message

  70. I am a fan of yours. I follow you on Facebook. I am profoundly deaf and love your style of writing. I hope to get your book to delve more into who Jesus is, and why he came down to earth. God bless you.

  71. I never before thought of all these things! Thank you for bringing them to my attention – no, THANK GOD that He had you bring them to my attention!! Bless you and yours.

  72. What a great way to prepare for Christmas. I would love to have this devotional to enhance my preparation for celebrating the coming of our Lord. Thank you for sharing your written word.

  73. I am new to diving into The Word. In recent weeks, I began attending a Bible study in church. Learning the names of our Lord would be an amazing addition as I dig deeper into this beautiful journey. Learning about the life we were given by The Lord is a necessity for me. Thank you for gifting your book in time for The Advent season. Blessings.

  74. YES I TOO WANT TO KNOW ALL THE NAMES THAT JESUS IS SO I CAN WORSHIP HIM FOR ALL THE TIME EVEN AFTER CHRISTMAS AND FOREVER THANK YOU OF THIS AS IT WILL HELP OUR CHRISTMAS TO COME ALIVE TO US ALL

  75. Our church always observes the Advent Season with a weekly reading and candle lighting. When I was child my mother also did this in our home. Reading this book about Jesus, our greatest gift would be a good way to prepare my heart for Christmas!

  76. It has been on my heart that in order to really know Jesus more that I need to study what He commanded and promised in the Word. This book would be a lovely addition to that, thank you for giving away two books, that is so generous.

    Blessings!

    Alicia

  77. This is a beautiful idea. Over the years, I have purchased books on the names of Jesus and the names of God before. But this seems like a perfect way to have some direction to help me (any reader) focus on the birth of the King.

    I live with chronic unrelenting pain due to three spinal surgeries in 6 years. It is hard for me to stay diligent and intentional in what I am reading.

  78. What a great way to move passed the hustle and bustle and refocus on the reason for the season! Thank you for the reminder🤗🙏

  79. I love worshipping the LORD my calling upon Him by name. This book would be such a joy to do just that together with my family during the upcoming Advent season. Bless you and your family!

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