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Category Archives: Books by Carine Mackenzie

Countdown to Christmas – 25!


Well I set myself the aim of blogging about 25 different kids books from Christian Focus – now that I’m here I’m just not sure what my 25th should be?

… but I think I do.

It’s an old one but a good one…

The Promised Child by Carine Mackenzie

The story of the birth, that ended with a death, that went on to bring life – eternal life.

The birth of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World.

You may be thinking of different family traditions that you’ve kept over the years, or that you want to start for the future. May I suggest that you make some of your family traditions at Christmas about Christ. Read the story in several ways and at different times – it doesn’t have to be in December either.

Celebrate his birth, be thankful for his death, rejoice at his resurrection.



Stocking Fillers

Are you still looking for children’s Christmas presents? Here are a few of my books that would make a good stocking filler/christmas gift :
Jesus Christ: The Best King of All
The Very First Christmas:
The Greatest Gift
And here are some of my mum’s
Jesus the Promised Child:
The Christmas Story:
365 Great Bible Stories:
Also look out for Sinclair Ferguson’s excellent christmas book:

The Christmas Story: The Bible Version


When you read the title and subtitle of this book it might seem strange to you. I understand if it does. But you could have been reading quite the wrong story all your life. Certainly your kids have been cast in starring roles in someone’s re-imagining of Christ’s birth.

We can’t exactly blame Hollywood for the inaccuracies that have crept in because, frankly, the version that gets retold as the story of the birth of Christ has been miss-told for generations.

Not only are there definite errors but there are huge gaps too!

Where we’re wrong:

1. The Wise Men. There might have been three – there could have easily have been six, or eight.The story of three wise men has been developed simply because of the presence of three gifts. I think it’s a bit of a leap, but we can agree to disagree on that one. And I know that somehow Three Wise Men rolls off the tongue easily. It’s just that the Bible doesn’t say one way or the other. In the scheme of things though it’s not a biggy.

2. The Wise Men and the Shepherds. These two groups of men were not in the story at the same time. The Wise Men appear some time later than the Shepherds in the biblical narrative and they are described as worshiping the child Jesus in a house. So the images we’ve seen for years on Christmas cards depicting shepherds and exotic travelers gathered around the manger is not a scene described in the Bible.

3. When the Wise Men come to worship Jesus, He is described as a child. So we’re looking at what probably is at least a gap of a year, maybe more, between the visit of the Shepherds and the visit of the Wise Men.

However, I think one of the most important reasons for describing this Christmas story book as the Bible Version is not simply because it corrects the mistakes – it’s because of the material it includes. And this is material that is often excluded from the story of the nativity.

The Christmas Story: The Bible Version begins at the beginning in the Garden of Eden, when mankind sinned. Why start there? Well that’s where we first find Jesus. Through the sin of our first parents we see the beginning of our own sinful natures. Then the punishment that we all deserve, death, raises it’s ugly head for the first time. However, not is all lost as in the promise of God we discover that there is a plan of salvation. There is a Savior. There is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It’s in the Garden of Eden and throughout the Old Testament that we see God revealing his plan of redemption. We see how Christ fulfills the prophecies of Genesis, Isaiah and Micah. And then we go on to see that the story of Christmas doesn’t just stop at Christ’s birth. Of course it doesn’t! A birth is only ever a beginning – and Jesus’ birth is a promise of greater things to come. Yes, there will be tears – but it’s a sadness to end sadness. Yes, there is a death – but it’s a death to end death. The true story of Jesus’ birth takes us us to the truth of Christ’s words in John 3: ‘You must be born again’. The story of Christ’s birth, his death, his resurrection must take us all to to that point where we are presented with the truth that sinners need saved, that we need to trust and obey God’s Word that we find in the Bible.

I hope you enjoy reading this book and sharing it with a child as much as I enjoyed working on it and Carine Mackenzie enjoyed writing it.

And here’s a thought – take out your Bible afterwards and read it to double-check!

New Title: Samson

9781781913284Samson had many faults yet before he was born he was described as ‘the one who would begin to save Israel’. Even as a sinful man, God used him in the fight against the enemy.
God has provided us with a perfect Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will conquer all his and our enemies. He died on the cross to save his people from sin. He has fully accomplished this great salvation.

The story of Samson serves as an example of the power of our great God, and how he uses the lives of sinners for his own purposes and glory. It serves as a warning to to a generation of young children who are growing up in a culture where temptation is rife and where it is easy to give in and fit in rather than stand in the gap as God’s witness.

New Title: Job


I love it when children’s bible story books go beyond the normal selection of characters… this month at Christian Focus we have two characters that are too often forgotten in children’s bible story material. The first character is Job:

Job lost his family, his property and his health, but he did not complain or blame God. Trusting in God made a huge difference in Job’s life. When we trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as our Friend and Redeemer, that makes a big difference for us too. God will give us patience and he gives us all we need for every day, especially the forgiveness of sin through Jesus Christ, who gave his life so that those who trust in him would have eternal life.

Perhaps you have fallen into the trap of thinking that characters like Job are not appropriate for young readers… but children suffer, they experience loss and they need the message of the book of Job, ‘I know that my redeemer lives.’


New Title: The Bible Explorer

9781781913017Are you ready to go on an adventure – an adventure with God? His Word is all you need to tackle this journey that we are all on – the journey of life. Read his instructions and then discover God’s rescue plan for the world through his Son Jesus Christ.  When you’re exploring God’s Word – get ready for the ride of your life!

My favourite points about this book:

* I love the way this retelling of God’s Word is God centred – not child centred… but is also just at the right level for a young reader.

* It doesn’t patronise the reader and with realistic illustrations this is a book that backs up the real adventure that is the Word of God.

* From Genesis to Revelation we see God at work through his Word and Christ at the centre of Scripture

Mission Partners: Blythswood – Joseph Bible Wise

josephThis year when you’re making up your shoe box Blythswood will also be adding to it a copy of The Bible Wise title: Joseph God’s Dreamer.

You can see this book in English by clicking on the link above.

The Eastern European languages that this book will be published in are:






and Russian