Friends! I pray this post finds you skipping and singing, altho’ by the looks of some shoppers at the mall yesterday, several Scrooges were spotted. Sigh…
Good news is if you need a couple of last minute things, I’ve got three ideas for you. One devotional for, say teens to centenarians, another for wee ones, plus a very cool way to help you and your friends get your face in the Word every day. (And in a perfect world, perhaps memorize a Scripture or two. Hey, no groaning now, it’s Christmas time!)
First up, allow me to give you a glimpse of a gorgeous coffee table book that’s also a lovely devotional. Artist and author Ruth Chou Simons’ book, Gracelaced—Discovering Timeless Truths Through Seasons of the Heart will bless the socks off you and anyone else you happen to give it to.
From its’ beautiful cover and on into the book, you’ll be met with splendid artwork and photographs divided into the four seasons of the year. Each season has eight words/entries for you to pour over, including extra Scriptures to look up to help you “delve deeper” as well as a section at the end with questions to help you consider how you’ll respond once you’ve read it.
For example, in the Winter section, Ruth shows us what resting in God’s character looks like, “reminding us that true rest comes when we rest in Him.” The next eight entries help us:
“Rest in God our Refuge,
Rest in God’s Faithfulness,(two different times)
Rest in Christ’s Sufficient Grace,
Rest in God’s Nearness,
Rest in God’s Wisdom,
Rest in God’s Mercy, and
Rest in God’s Power.”
I was stunned to discover Ruth and her husband, Troy, have quite the full quiver: SIX BOYS. After raising three, I can only imagine TWO three-ring circuses!!!
Ruth’s down to earth writing style is relatable and she tells on herself more than once. She gifts readers with the courage to press on.
Don’t miss her website. She includes opportunities to order her artwork in the form of printables, notecards, journals, along with some fun recipes. Go to her Shoppe and see what’s available!
Second idea is a devotional for wee ones entitled Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing by Sally Lloyd-Jones. My friend, Aletia, gifted me with this when our first granddaughter, Claire, was born. While it’s for children, I’m enjoying reading it before Claire’s old enough to understand it!
There are 101 thoughts on faith which include spiritual truths straight out of the Bible. One of many favorites is “Bless You!”. Sally teaches, “When God promises to bless you, He is saying,’I’m going to make you into everything I ever meant for you to be!’ It means God is taking every day and every single thing that happens in it—good or bad—to make you stronger, to mend whatever is broken inside, to change you into the person you were always meant to be.”
Tim Keller wrote the Foreword saying this book “may be the best, first introduction for children to have their own time with Jesus which has long been a missing piece that has direct effect on whether a child grows up with a balanced spiritual life or one that is dangerously one sided.”
Many of you know Sally from her infamous Jesus Storybook Bible. Jago did the illustrations for both of these books. I learned of this book from our middle son, Gordy, when he was in college. Campus Outreach leaders introduced the kids to it. When he asked for a copy I bought one for us too. Kathy Keller, Tim’s wife, says she gives college students and many visitors to their church copies as it’s so easy to understand.
Sally has also written other numerous children’s books, my favorite being Skip to the Loo, My Darling! Grand for potty training your kiddos and it’s illustrated by Anita Jeram who also illustrated Guess How Much I Love You. The book is beyond clever. Whether you’re successful at potty training or not, you’ll find yourself howling.
I’ve caught Sally on the Eric Metaxas show several times. They’re good friends and are hilarious in each of the interviews they’ve done. Many times she’ll read one of her children’s books which is delightful getting to hear her British accent. (www.metaxastalk.net)
Checkout Sally’s website to see all the books she’s written:
The third gift idea was discovered at a store here in Louisville called Lulubelle’s in Norton Commons, thanks to our daughter-in-love, LT. It’s called “Small Squares with Mighty Words…” I bought all they had(!!!), but LT tells me they’re getting more in. I gave these to my friends at our Favorite Things party, plus got more for stocking stuffers, and well, figured I could use one too.
I found two of a few color options in these little square boxes. You get 50 multi-colored cards with Scripture verses on the front and back. (You math geniuses have already figured out you’ll get to read 100 verses.)
The white box includes a clear acrylic stand, with Scripture cards in muted, pastel colors, packaged as “Small Squares with Mighty Words of Love.” The brown box includes a brown, wooden stand with primary colored cards.
I’ve placed mine on my bathroom vanity where I’ll see it every morning. Others have put theirs in their kitchen window or by the kitchen sink.
Finally, while I’ve talked about gifts all month, the fact is we’re fast approaching Christmas and the birth of our Savior… Here’s your killer question to keep you focused in the midst of the mayhem (I heard this on the radio and it stopped me in my tracks.):
What are YOU giving YOUR KING this year for His birthday? (Share your answer with friends and family.)
May you and your family and friends have a most blessed Merry Christmas as you savor the season and have a lovely, healthy, Happy New Year as well!
‘Til next time!
FYI: This computer and its’ operator (Moi) are shutting down for a couple of weeks…on purpose. We’ll do a fun series come the second week of January on starting the New Year off slowly. No stress allowed!