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The Shepherds' Prayer: A Christmas Novel [Hardcover]

By Richard M. Barry (Author)
Our Price $ 11.01  
Retail Value $ 12.95  
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Item Number 66162  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   128
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.63" Width: 5.22" Height: 0.58"
Weight:   0.49 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 2006
ISBN  0976729059  
EAN  9780976729051  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Santa Claus. Beautifully wrapped gifts. Eating lots of good food with family and friends. For many, that's what Christmas is all about. But the author of a new book is determined to put the emphasis back where it belongs: on the birth of Jesus and how the Lord reinvigorates the lives of those who follow Him. His book, "The Shepherds' Prayer: A Christmas Novel," does just that. Author and publisher Richard Barry based his fictional tale on the real lives of a group of men we've all heard about but typically overlook -- the shepherds to whom the angel announced the birth of Jesus. Outside of our kid's school play, most of us have never given these important Biblical characters a second thought. Yet they were the first to hear the Good News. So what happened to them after that blessed first Christmas? Richard Barry's novel seeks to answer that thought-provoking question, and in a way that makes all of us appreciate the importance of Christ's Incarnation and how the seemingly insignificant birth of one baby in an obscure corner of the Roman Empire changed the world forever. In fact, Barry places the entire Christmas story into historical context in a way that few modern novels on the subject have done. He reminds us that there is a tragic component of the story, too -- the Slaughter of the Innocents. This was when the jealous King Herod ordered the murder of all the male babies in Bethlehem in an attempt to kill the Messiah, whom he saw as a rival. In "The Shepherds' Prayer," a young man who had been orphaned in this tragic massacre returns to Bethlehem thirty years later on a quest to discover his name and heritage. Having been raised in a culture where bloodlines mean everything, he seems forever condemned to live as an outsider on the fringes of society until he discovers his true identity. His only clue is a cryptic message on a lambskin blanket about a child born in a stable in Bethlehem. Who is this mysterious child? And what could such a child have to do with his own birth and destiny? Through a providential encounter with a small band of shepherds, the young man comes to realize that his quest has little to do with his genes -- and everything to do with his soul. This is a book that has the potential to become a Christmas classic because it is one of those rare novels that the entire family can enjoy. It focuses our attention on the life-changing power of faith during this special time of the year. Yes, decorating our Christmas trees and waiti

Publishers Description
For most of us, Christmas is a time of great joy, a warm and wonderful family celebration of the birth of our Savior. As we ponder the scene at the manger, however, I doubt many of us think about the impact that starry night had on those who were there. We don t often recall the slaughter of the innocents in Bethlehem and their parents cries of agony. We also probably don t consider the dramatically changed lives of those humble shepherds who heard the angel?'s good news and who heard the heavenly host singing, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, toward men of good will. How those words must have rung in their ears many years after. How that sight of the infant Messiah must have never left their imagination.These first believers are the subject of an imaginative Christmas novel by Richard M. Barry, titled The Shepherds Prayer. The book tells the story of an adopted son with a mysterious connection to the Messiah, who seeks the truth about his birth thirty years later. The man, Anam, travels to Bethlehem, where contempt is apparent on the faces of the townspeople when they hear the name Jesus. Anam also meets a band of shepherds who gather at Bethlehem each year to celebrate what they witnessed upon the birth of Christ.The Shepherds Prayer is a story that reminds us of two things. First, we remember that the humble will be lifted up and confound the wisdom of the wise. Secondly, Barry?'s novel reminds us of perhaps how we often react to the difficult and painful circumstances in our lives. The shepherds who first believed in Jesus likely faced oppression and were treated as outcasts. Like them, we must maintain our faith regardless of the world?'s reaction. And we must never water down the message of Christ?'s birth.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary   [79254  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Fiction & Poetry > Fiction   [6815  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Fiction > Biblical   [410  similar products]
4Historical   [0  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
a BEAUTIFUL meditation  Dec 26, 2007
I read this twice, one for the head and once for the heart. A great story for any time of year. Reinforces the biblical passages while taking the reader on a journey. Also a great story for anyone with adopted children or those who foster children.
A wonderful read for the whole family  Dec 5, 2007
The horror of screaming babies, hysterical mothers and grief ridden fathers turns a tranquil night in Bethlehem into utter chaos. Roman soldiers ride through the streets, stealing the lives of innocent babies - at the demand of a jealous king.

One mother, her son clutched to her chest, grabs a soldier's horse in an attempt to escape. But in the fight for her son's life, she loses her own. The horse rolls down an embankment, crushes her and orphans a lambskin-wrapped baby boy.

Thirty years later, Anam, whose name literally means No Name, is surrounded by the loving family who found him. His brothers are happily married and producing heirs and his father is enjoying the blessing of many grandchildren. But Aman's thoughts aren't focused on finding a wife and adding to the family. His heart is still searching for a place he feels whole.

The circumstances of his birth and family still linger in his mind along with the lambskin and the mysterious words written into the tanned hide, Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to men of good will, through Jesus Christ, who was born of Mary in a stable in Bethlehem and who, wrapped in swaddling clothes, was in a manger, he who is Savior of the world. Aman decides that it is time he found out what happened.

Through the story of Aman and his quest, I found myself drawn back in time to Bethlehem. I began to wonder what it must have been like for the people of Bethlehem during such a tragic time. What really happened after the slaughter? How did the town's people view the shepherd's who brought the news of Jesus birth and as a result, send Herod into a jealous rage? How did they view Christ?

Richard M. Barry does a wonderful job in creating a man looking for answers. A man who becomes one of the greatest names in Biblical history.

Gifts With No Return Receipt Required  Nov 29, 2007
Another Christmas approaches, even as I sense my own not completely suppressed bah humbug mood rising in response to all the bling and blare of this increasingly materialistic season. I've for some time now felt that we are losing sight of the spirit of Christmas, substituting a rat race for the biggest, gaudiest array of gifts for the quiet family gathering and meditation on the birth of a new spirit in each and every one of us, a reminder to give ourselves over into the hands of a higher power in gratitude and submission. Towards that goal, reversing this trend where Santa has become the god of the holiday rather than Christ, I welcome such a book as Richard M. Barry's "The Shepherd's Prayer."

We have so many versions of this biblical story of the birth of Christ. Surely it is nearly impossible to find a new angle, a fresh perspective - but Barry has achieved this. In a slim, gift-ready volume, he has brought the reader back to Bethlehem to revisit this timeless event and its consequences and repercussions. In the bright light of Christ's birth, I would guess that few have thoroughly considered what might have happened to the shepherds who witnessed the star over Bethlehem, were visited by an angel with the news of a birth, and how they may have been treated by others since that birth. Nor have we seen much material on the mass murder by Herod of the infant boys in the surrounding area in his effort to murder the son of God. Surely this was an earth-shattering trauma to that community and beyond...

Barry brings us to this scene and gives us a look around through the eyes of Anam, literally meaning No Name, who has grown up into a 30-year old man with the bloody history of being an escapee of this mass murder, raised by others after his own parents were killed. Like any person in any age, he longs to know his roots, but no one will speak to him of that time, everyone shies away, some quite rudely, when he shows a lambskin blanket with mysterious writing on it and the name "Jesus." He seems to inspire only anger and fear when he asks about the place and time in which he was born, not getting any answers to his questions from anyone.

Until Anam meets a group of shepherds, ostracized from the rest, gathered in remembrance of a great day long ago. They embrace him kindly and fill in the blanks, telling him his name and providing the history of the day which we now remember, or should, every Christmas.

This is a well-written Christmas novel, not preachy or overly predictable as so many in this genre can be, but everything a good story requires. And, it can serve to remind us what we seem to have forgotten: Christmas is not about gifts under a tree. There is a far greater gift awaiting all of us, there for the asking.

~Zinta Aistars for The Smoking Poet
Most Inspiring!  Jun 29, 2007
WOW!!! I drove to Wichita on Sunday so The Shepherds' Prayer on CD was my church this week. In case you weren't aware, it is difficult to drive at freeway speeds with eyes over-brimming with tears. John McDonough was a terrific choice as the reader. The total work was inspired and I thank you for it. It will certainly become part of our Christmas observances.

Simple. Sweet. Compelling.   Jun 26, 2007
THE SHEPHERD'S PRAYER tells the story of Jesus' birth from the viewpoint of nearby shepherds who were first-hand observers of the wondrous heavenly visitation surrounding the events of the day.

How would simple herdsmen have reacted to an angelic visit, heaven opening up and bursting forth upon the countryside and the Lord, Himself, lying as a vulnerable baby in a rude cattle stall? Herod's atrocities, the bitterness of the bereaved parents, the shunning of the Jews which would eventually cost Jesus his life, are all tenderly but faithfully depicted in this simple story.

There are a few contemporary Christian authors who have a gift for retelling familiar Bible stories from a different perspective and engaging the reader in a compelling, interesting, simple way: Gene Edwards, Philip Yancy, and now, Richard Barry are certainly among those.

SHEPHERD's PRAYER is also a reminder that all believers have a place in the royal lineage in the kingdom of God. Through Jesus to Abraham, today's faithful are partakers of this wonderful story and heirs to the stable as well as to the heavenly realm.

This is a sweet story for all ages.

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