Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Spiritually Uplifting Gifts for Grown-ups

Last week we gave you a holiday gift-giving guide for the children in your life.  This week we'd like to share some ideas for your more seasoned friends and family, from youth on up.  Remember, these presents are the kinds that will encourage your loved ones to live out Philippians 4:8 and think on things that are true, honorable, just, and lovely. 

Women: These are books for the ladies in your life, whether they be mothers, daughters, sisters, or friends. 

  • Heart to Heart Devotional: Thoughts for Women  -- This is a compilation that Heather Pryor put together of devotional articles, quizzes, poems, Bible verses, and even recipes.  They all came from a bulletin she put out for the ladies at her church, and her purpose in writing them has been to encourage women to have a closer relationship with the Lord.  
  • Let Me Be a Woman  -- This classic by Elisabeth Elliot teaches women that we are at our strongest when living within the guidelines God created us for. Reviewed here
  • Woman to Woman  -- This very practical book gives women ideas for how to be the best leader of other women in the church that they can, from teaching Ladies' Bible Class to encouraging one another to outreach. Reviewed here.
  • Casandra Martin's Women Opening the Word series  (Purchase here) -   Think Beth Moore without the splashy videos.  These 13 week Bible study books are wonderful to do alone or as part of a ladies' class. Reviewed here.
Young Adult: These books aren't necessarily aimed primarily at teenagers or young adults, but they are perfect for that age when young people begin to own their faith.
  • Convicted  - If you've ever wanted all the apologetics information you could want in one place, this is the book for you.  This would be an invaluable resource for young people just going to college. Reviewed here.
  • Mere Christianity  -- I consider C.S. Lewis's classic on Christian evidences and Christian virtues a must read for all young people.  
  • The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life -- An older title, written by a Quaker woman in 1870, this book helps the busy young woman see how she can do kingdom work with more joy an less drudgery. Reviewed here.
  • Cold Case Christianity -- Another apologetics book, this one examines the evidence for Christ in the same way a cold case detective studies the evidence in a crime.  Reviewed here.
  • The Gift of Purity -- If you have a teenage or college age girl in your life, this book is an excellent way to discuss sexual purity in a non- condescending and spiritual way. Reviewed here.
  • The Me I Want to Be -- Suitable for a teen or young Christian, this book is a encouragement on how to become the person you and God want you to be. Reviewed here.
Bibles: I have never been disappointed in receiving the gift of Scripture.  These Bibles are special in that they help the reader study for themselves.
  • New Inductive Study Bible -- This Bible is a study method and Bible all in one package.  Package this gift with a box of colored pencils, and your loved one will be all set to begin studying the Bible in a deeper way. Reviewed here.
  • Journaling Bible -- Each page of this style Bible has the text in one column and a wide blank margin; your artistic or note-taking friend will be able to study the Bible without needing an extra notebook. 

Christian Living: These are resources we have read and learned from in our 2+ years of blogging.  While we may not agree with every word of every book, we have found good nuggets of truth in each one.
  • The Life You've Always Wanted -- In accessible and interesting language, John Ortberg talks about the spiritual disciplines and how they can be worked into our ordinary lives.  Reviewed here
  • Crazy Love -- A challenging and heart-rending look at what our lives would be like if we loved God the way he deserves.  Reviewed here.
  • Think -- A subscription to this magazine would give your loved one 12 months of articles that look at current issues with a Christian view. Reviewed here.
  • After You Believe -- In an intellectual and fascinating book, N.T. Wright explains how virtue is a long journey of disciplined living that engages both the heart and mind of the Christian.  Reviewed here.
Family: I feel I should include a warning here. Some of these books are on parenting.  While we enjoyed each one of them, and some were even given to us as gifts, you want to be careful in giving a parenting book.  You don't want to imply that your loved one is a bad parent!
  • Holding Your Family Together -- This book suggests a wonderful, spiritual bedtime routine that our family still follows every night, from sharing, to Bible reading, to blessing. Reviewed here
  • Parenting by the Book -- This is a parenting book that seeks to eliminate mommy guilt by treating bad behavior as a sin problem. Reviewed here.
  • Holy Parenting -- Benjamin Kerns takes a refreshing look at the way busy young parents can practice spiritual discipline without adding one more impossible task to the day's schedule. Reviewed here.
  • Setting Their Hope in God - This book contains hundreds of prayers we can pray for our children, most of them taken directly from Scripture.  Reviewed here.
Christian Fiction: We'll admit that in general, Christian fiction is not our favorite genre.  I know there is a wealth of Christian romance out there, but that really isn't our cup of tea.  However, we have read a few fiction books over the past few years for the novel junkie in your life.
  • Cast of Stones -- A Christian fantasy book that examines sin in the character of a young man in a deep, well played allegory. Reviewed here.
  • Gods and Kings -- This series of books by Lynn Austin are fictionalized accounts of Biblical events in the Old Testament.  They really help make Biblical accounts come alive. First book reviewed here
  • Light of Eidon -- Another Christian fantasy novel that has a story of faith and evangelism written in alongside slavery, gladiators, and magic. Reviewed here.
Biography: Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy --  Eric Metaxes writes a biography of Nazi-era theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, which will be enjoyed by the amateur historians/theologians or the novel-lovers on your list.  Reviewed here.

We hope this list is helpful to you for buying last minute gifts for anyone in your life who enjoys reading and listening to spiritually uplifting

Helene & Melissa

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