Not that I am a fan or anything, but I understand that Oprah Winfrey just did her annual “Oprah’s Favorite Things” episode for 2007. Like I said, not that I am a fan of the show or anything, but I do like the concept. Oprah talks about her favorite things, and gives one of everything to all in attendance. So, I am going to do the same thing this year for BibleDude, and since no one is actually in attendance in my office with me while I write this, then nobody gets anything, but you do all get to see what some of my favorite things are this year. I hope that this list of cool stuff inspires you this Christmas season, and may you find many riches in these “favorite things”….
Before I list all of the cool things that we can get for ourselves, we must remember that it is much better to give than to receive. Therefore, here are some of my favorite ways of giving back to those who are not as fortunate as us, and doing it for the sake of the Gospel…
Samaritan’s Purse Gift Catalog
These guys are much more than “Operation Christmas Child”, the familiar shoebox stuffing campaign people. You can also “order” special Christmas gifts for people all around the world, and this is life changing stuff… for example, you can equip a missionary doctor to save lives, or stock a pond with fish so that many can eat for years to come. There are many different gifts, in all sorts of price ranges.
America’s Second Harvest
Have you ever been hungry and not known where your next meal is going to come from? This group is the largest hunger-relief organization in the country. You can participate in national efforts, or drop in your zip code to find out how you can help end hunger in your very own backyard. Don’t let someone go hungry this year while you are celebrating the birth of our Saviour.
Homes For The Homeless
This group is the nation’s largest provider of residential, education and employment training centers—serving over 630 homeless families and over 1,200 homeless children each day at five separate sites across New York City. The key here is the education and employment training. Many people struggle to break through poverty because they simply don’t have the skills, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have dreams for a great life like you and I do.
Looking for something a little more local? Ask around in your own community, and you may find a gem like Second Chance, Last Opportunity here in Sarasota, FL who does a great job of training people, and helping them pick themselves up and land on a strong foundation.
Now the fun stuff…
One INCREDIBLE Movie…
Amazing Grace, DVD
Amazing Grace, from acclaimed director, Michael Apted, tells the inspiring story of how one man’s passion and perseverance changed the world. Based on the true-life story of William Wilberforce (Gruffudd), a leader of the British abolition movement, the film chronicles his epic struggle to pass a law to end the slave trade in the late 18th century. Along the way, Wilberforce meets intense opposition from members of Parliament who feel the slave trade is tied to the stability of the British Empire. Several friends, including Wilberforce’s minister, John Newton (Finney), a reformed slave ship captain who penned the beloved hymn Amazing Grace, urge him to see the cause through. Rated PG. Approx. 111 Minutes.
One JAMMIN’ CD
Portable Sounds CD
On the heels of his highly successful Diverse City, tobyMac returns with his third studio album, thirteen fresh songs featuring his trademark pop, rock, rap style. Infused with a healthy dose of fun party vibes, Portable Sounds includes the smash hit single “Made to Love” as well as “Ignition,” “Feelin’ So Fly,” and “Hype Man,” featuring his son and studio mate TruDog.
One MUST READ book…
They Like Jesus but Not the Church: Insights from Emerging Generations
By Dan Kimball
Ask today’s generation what they think of Jesus and chances are you’ll get a glowing response. Ask their opinion of organized religion and the reply will probably be less favorable. Kimball delineates six common objections people have to the church and offers a wake-up call of critical insights for both faith leaders and non-Christians. 208 pages, softcover from Zondervan.
And, one TOTALLY SWEET treasure…
The Geneva Bible: 1560 Edition, hardcover The Bible of the Protestant Reformation
The Geneva Bible was a monumental achievement in the history of Protestant Bible translation. Born in a time of religious and political upheaval it helped foster scripture literacy among the common people of England.
The first English Bible to be fully translated from the original languages, the Geneva Bible was the product of some of the finest biblical scholars of its day. It was the first to feature many innovations in the field of Bible publishing:
- Text printed in readable roman type
- Division of the text into numbered verses
- Italic type used for words not in the original languages
- Marks placed over the accented syllables to aid in pronouncing proper names
- Extensive textual and explanatory commentary placed in the margins
- Words/phrases displayed at the heads of pages to promote scripture memorization
- Maps and woodcuts illustrating biblical scenes included
- Sold in a variety of sizes so many people could afford a household Bible
English settlers that voyaged to the New World favored the Geneva Bible. It is probable that the Geneva Bible came to America in 1607 and was used in the Jamestown colony. Thirteen years later the Pilgrims brought it with them on the Mayflower’s perilous voyage to religious freedom.
- Facsimile of the University of Wisconsin Press edition of the 1560 Geneva Bible
- Features clear, legible type throughout (marginal commentary is in smaller type)
- Complete, original marginal commentary, maps and woodcut illustrations
- Authoritative introduction to the Geneva Bible by Lloyd E. Berry
Check out some of these favorite things this holiday season, and I assure you that you will be blessed. And if you hook up with something from this list, then please feel free to leave a comment here about what you think about what you’ve just done… then continue to move on through the list.
Warning: These “favorite things” are not necessarily endorsed by Oprah, but then again this site does not necessarily endorse her either.