The Ultimate Guide to Christmas Specials

Christmas TV specials, limited series and movies are bigger than ever these days from now until the New Year, you’ll be able to find some festive yule-tide programming every night of the week. From the traditional viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life, the different versions of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, to baking shows and live music specials, we’ve got them all listed on the new Christmas TV Specials page. (Since not all of the networks list their specials early, this list will be updated throughout the coming weeks, so check back often for new additions!)

Guest Review: Soul's Gate

Book: Soul's Gate
Author: James L. Rubart
Reviewer: Donna Totey (My beautiful wife!)

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”  - Galatians 5:1
One of the main characters, Reece Roth, learned long ago how to enter another person’s soul with God’s help.  He also had a prophecy from God about four people who would someday be able to do the same and help set people free.  But after tragedy struck, Reece withdrew for many years and never found the others.  When God urges him to work towards fulfilling the prophecy, the four are chosen to undergo some spiritual training at Reece’s ranch.  Reece shows them how to really see things in the spiritual realm, how to dig deep inside themselves, let God reveal hidden pain and bondage, and to rely on God for strength.  Then they’ll have to walk out everything they learned while facing real spiritual battles. We know from reading the Bible that there are unseen forces out there battling for our souls.  We have an enemy that wants to kill, steal and destroy.  And we have a Savior that wants us to experience His freedom.  In his latest novel, Soul’s Gate, James L. Rubart shows us what that battle might look like.
It may seem like this is mainly a story about the supernatural realm, and it is to a small extent.  The characters see visions of what’s going on spiritually in several situations (of course, with God’s help.) But those pictures really only serve to show how things enslave us.  Soul’s Gate is really more about the freedom that God desires each of us to have.  The characters in the book each have their own form of bondage that keeps them paralyzed.  When they allow the others to enter their souls and really see what is there, they find self-protective walls and guards to keep people out.  When those walls are torn down, only then does healing begin.  After that, they find is peace and freedom from the chains that have bound them for so long.
While reading Soul’s Gate, I couldn’t help but examine my own heart to see what was hidden there, just like the characters.  We each have things that we’ve pushed down because they’re too painful to look at.  But the book illustrates how God loves us so much that He wants us to experience a release from those things.  And I’ve got to say that this book actually calmed my fears about taking those things out and looking at them and letting God heal those places.
I also love how the characters in this book also modeled how to pray more deeply for ourselves and for others.  Rubart shows the characters relying on God to help them and guide them and show them things they could never see on their own.  And while Reece is showing the four, step-by-step, how to hear God and how to pray, we, the readers, get to learn, too.
At the end of the book, make sure you don’t skip reading the author’s note.  In it, Rubart explains his goal in writing the book is to see people healed and set free from their fears. He writes, “In the end, I hope the story entertained you, made you press deeper into Jesus, and gave you a glimpse into the vastness of his love.”  I say, mission accomplished.
You can read more of Donna's reviews here.

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