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Giving Good Gifts

     If you hit the Black Friday sales, shopped 'til you dropped, and still came home wondering what to buy for your family and friends, we can help you out.  Here are some fun Christmas gift ideas that won’t just be enjoyable, they’ll point others to Christ.

For the movie lover:

October Baby (DVD):  When college freshman, Hannah Lawson collapses on stage, she begins to question her physical health and spiritual issues, as well.  This leads her on a path to discovering the story of her birth.  This movie is more than just a film about the abortion industry or a pro-life banner.  It's an engaging story of forgiveness and the search for truth.  You can learn more about the film at Focus on The Family's site: Plugged In.

For the Reader:

The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? by Rick Warren:  It's been 10 years since Rick Warren first published The Purpose Drivcen Life.  That means a whole new generation of Christians may be asking the question, "What on Earth Am I Here For?"  Others who read the book originally may enjoy re-reading this classic work on discovering our purpose, building Spiritual disciplines and ministering within the body of Christ.  The anniversary edition includes the original 40 short chapters (meant to be read one-a-day) and two bonus chapters on the most common traps that keep you from purpose-filled living.  Warren also includes easily accessible audio and video teachings that accompany each chapter.

One Thousand Gifts Devotional: Reflections on Finding Everyday Graces Ann Voskamp's
bestselling book, One Thousand Gifts, is a life-changing read.  I spent two days curled up on the couch with her book and barely breathed until it was over.  She calls us to a life of stillness rather than urgency and busyness and rushing.  She quiets are hearts and opens our eyes to the glory of God and the way to live a life of continual thanksgiving and gratitude.  This Devotional work holds both new and old thoughts from Ann written with her signature poetic style.  There is room for you to keep your own list of 1000 gifts at the end also.  This would make a beautiful gift for any friend, mother, sister, wife, or adult daughter---and might need to go on your own Christmas list, as well!

For Kids:

Veggie Tales: The Penniless Princess:Loosely based on the classic story, A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, this sweet Veggie Tales movie reminds kids that their true worth isn't about what possessions they have or how much money they own or what they look like---it's about being children of God.  There are also lessons on forgiveness, friendship, and maintaining a grateful heart even in difficult circumstances.

The Action Bible: I have three daughters, but several of my mom friends have all sons and this is a Bible I've heard them recommend over and over again.  It's stories, told in chronological order to help kids follow the story thread of Scripture, are told with engaging and eye-catching illustrations, drawn by artist, Sergio Cariello, who has worked for both Mavel Comics and DC Comics. 

The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name :  This is another Mom-recommended selection for the kids in your life.  The stories are captivating to children and make Scripture come alive.  One of the beautiful things about this story Bible is that every Biblical event points to Jesus, showing how God has been weaving a plan for the redemption of man since the beginning and showing how Jesus fulfilled the promises and prophecies of the Old Testament.


90 Devotions for Kids (Adventures in Odyssey):  I'm an Adventures in Odyssey fan from way back and now my kids are fans of this Focus on the Family radio series.  This devotional book is great for families to do together, with readings, activities, and extras like Bible memory verses and application ideas.  It covers all of the basic foundations of our faith---from salvation, to the Bible, prayer, worship and service.  I also love their emphasis on not teaching Scripture as a series of Bible "stories" that sound mythical and fictional, but instead as Biblical events or accounts, reminding kids that God's Word is true and trustworthy.

Princess Stories: Real Bible Stories of God's PrincessesThis is one of the favorite books in our house!  Carolyn Larsen collected 29 stories of women in the Bible, including both well-known and not-so-well known "princesses."  Each story emphasizes a particular Godly character trait and is accompanied by beautifully colorful illustrations.

Buck Denver Asks: What's in the Bible? Volume One - In the Beginning (DVD): Phil Vischer, well-known creator of the Vegge Tales, has made a new series for kids called What's In the Bible?  Funny and full of truth, these movies are a great way to make learning about the Bible fun and relevant for children.  There is an emphasis on answering the real questions of real kids about lessons we tend to gloss over all the time in Sunday School curricula.  The DVD on Christmas covers questions like how do we know exactly when Jesus was born, why we call it "Christmas" and the significance of many of our Christmas traditions.  Parents will probably learn a lot from these DVDs, too!


For the Music Fan:

Christmas In Diverse City by TobyMac:  My kids are huge TobyMac fans and his Christmas song from this album, Christmas This Year (featuring Leigh Nash) was an Operation Christmas Child theme song for 2012.  It's catchy and energetic, just like you'd expect from TobyMac.  The other songs on this CD include traditional carols and some very non-traditional new songs, which might not be your favorite Christmas tune, but might give your tween or teens some fun.

Music Inspired By The Storyfeaturing various artists:  A friend of mine went to see The Story Live in concert last year and brought me the CD as a gift.  I fell in love, absolute, total, can't play anything else in my CD player, love.  Many artists contribute to this epic walk through Scripture in song---Jeremy Camp, Third Day, Bart Millard of Mercy Me, Selah, Natalie Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, Mandisa, Peter Furler, Michael Tait and more.  It's expansive and it's captivating, somehow managing to capture the very heart of the story for Adam and Eve, Daniel, Esther, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, the thief on the cross, the disciples, and Mary.  It's been a year since I was first given this CD and I still play it as often as I can grab control of the CD player from my kids!


For the Person Who Has Everything:

And how about making gift-giving this year have more impact than ever?  Both Samaritan's Purse and World Vision, two amazing organizations that have world-wide impact on poverty and share the Gospel message in practical ways, have gift catalogs.  Instead of adding to a colletion of unnecessary stuff, why not give a card saying you bought ducks or chickens, medical supplies, classroom materials, mosquito nets and more for families in need?  Just be sure to do so with appropriate etiquette, making sure the person will truly appreciate this "gift."  This could be an amazing way to teach your kids about giving to others, about true need, about being the hands and feet of Christ, and about the world being so much larger than our small communities.

I hope you have a great time shopping for the perfect gift for the loved ones on your list.  After all, Christ gave us the most perfect present of all and we can use this time of year to let others know about "God's indescribable gift!"

To read devotional thoughts from Heather King, check out her blog here: http://heathercking.wordpress.com/

Copyright © 2008-2015 Heather King

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