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Berean Alum's New Book Published for Advent Season

Berean Alum's New Book Published for Advent Season

Bethany Cseh, a Berean Christian High School graduate from the class of 1998 has published a new book about Advent. Stepping Into Advent: Making Space to Recognize the Nearness of God is a series of devotional letters to a friend encouraging the reader to set a slower pace for the Advent season. Cseh’s book is a reminder that for Christians, Advent is meant to be a time for reflection as we look back on the promise that God kept by sending his only son, Jesus, to earth. At the same time, Advent is a season for anticipation as we look forward to the promise of Christ’s return.

You won’t find any mention of advent in the Bible, but it is an important part of the annual rhythm of a Christian life. It comes from a Latin word that means “coming”. Christ, Emmanuel, the Messiah is coming. The Advent season is marked by the four Sundays that lead up to Christmas Day. On that day, we remember God’s incredible act of generosity and humility when, as author Bethany Cseh says, “God slipped into human skin to be near us.” She says this is the time for all of us to feel how near God is to us.

Bethany Cseh graduated from Berean Christian High School in 1998. She remembers how much she appreciated the integration of faith and education at Berean. She remembers that she loved being part of the drama department led by Mrs. TenPas. Today, Cseh is a pastor. She started a church with her husband in their Redwood community in Northern California.

Before Berean, Bethany had been home schooled. She says that it was not easy for her to make friends at Berean and her book is part of her wrestling with how to help people feel like they are not alone.

“I find that anyone can be a friend,” says Cseh. “And friendship can go beyond places and spaces.”

Cseh says she is a nine on the Enneagram. Nines are peacemakers, according to the Enneagram Institute. Nines yearn for connection with God and with other people. That’s why Cseh wrote the book as a series of letters to a friend. She begins every devotional in her book with, Dear Friend… Unlike many books written with the goal of telling a story or dispensing information, Cseh’s book is written directly to the reader. She doesn’t want anyone to feel that they are alone.

Like so many of us, Cseh has felt that the Christmas season has become too crowded with sales, parties, programs, and distractions from the real anticipation of celebrating Jesus’ birth. We need to slow down, and that is what Into Advent aims to help us do.

“It was a spiritual discipline for me,” she says. “Advent is a reminder that God’s presence is with us even when we’re moving too fast.”

That nearness of God is a prominent theme in Cseh’s book. She is fascinated by our God, the God of the universe who has repeatedly demonstrated that he longs to be near human beings. Jesus was not born in a palace. He was born into poverty, she says, in the dust and the struggle that all of us have felt at times in our lives.

During Advent, Bethany Cseh wants to help us still the noises and distractions around us and remember that God is near.

Stepping Into Advent is available now in Kindle and paperback formats. You can learn more about Bethany Cseh and her work at www.withbethany.com.



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