Here are some fabulously interesting and stimulating gift suggestions, linking up some curious selections to make a very special stocking stuffer or gift set. We gift-wrap for free, too, so don’t hesitate to email or call us. We can still try to get this stuff under somebody’s tree, and bring a smile to your face as you give such interesting gifts. We appreciate your doing some last minute shopping with us. We don’t even think that Santa could top this!
Singin’ the Blues package $25.00
Getting the Blues: What Blues Music Teaches Us About Suffering and Salvation Stephen J. Nichols (Brazos; $17.99) Stephen is a local Lancaster guy, an amazing theologian who is now heading up a project on popular culture, even as he teaches theology. What other Bible college prof is as knowledgeable of Robert Johnson as he is Jonathan Edwards? I’m very, very happy to announce this, study of the redemptive insights of the blues, and think it would be quirky enough for a “hard to buy for” friend or loved one.
The Time I Spend With You CD Brooks Williams (Red Guitar Blue Music; $12.99) Brooks, you should know, is one of our all-time favorite live performers, truly one of the most talented (and acclaimed) guitar guys around, and a gracious thoughtful friend. His latest CD is nothing but the blues; some are old standards, a few rare classics, and a couple of originals. Nothing too gritty, nothing dirty, just jar-dropping playing, some uplifting tones amidst the slide guitar and resonator, bluesy feel. I think this is a perfect way to introduce this genre to folks, as it isn’t too heavy, not too dark. Wonderfully entertaining. Give it, tell your loved on to put it on as they read Steve Nichol’s survey and reflections on the Christian significance of this Americana music. (If you’d want, you could go with the somewhat less bluesy 2006 Williams’ release, which is mostly originals, Blues & Ballads.)
Let It Snow package $25.00
Winter: A Spiritual Biography of the Season Edited by Gary Schmidt & Susan Felch; illustrations by Barry Moser (Skylight Paths; $18.95) This is one volume in the glorious collection of poems, essays, articles and sermons on the four seasons. A truly beautiful collection, this explores the dormancy and difficulty of winter can be a time of spiritual preparation and transformation. Writers such as Annie Dillard, Barry Lopez, Jane Kenyon, Henry David Thoreau, etc.
December CD George Winston (Windham Hill; $12.99) His rambling, slow, solo-piano improvisations are legendary, and his lovely rendition here of variations on Pachelbel’s Canon is alone more than worth the price of this classic wintry CD. A great soundtrack for anything; coupled with the Schmidt/Felch book, it is genius. This re-issued comes enhanced with some bonus material not on the original. If you think your friend might already have it, we could substitute a Windham Hill Winter Solstice CD, with the same wintry photograph on the cover and the same mellow acoustic improvisations.
Green Bible Coffee Table package $50.00
The NRSV Green Bible (HarperOne; $29.95) You’ve heard of red-letter editions. This is, literally, a green letter edition! The more than 1000 Bible verses dealing with creation-care, the environment, and the beauty of God’s world are in green. There is an ecological topical index, a green Bible Trail Guide, and inspirational essays by Cal DeWitt, Barbara Brown Taylor, N.T. Wright, Desmond Tutu, Matthew Sleeth, Pope John Paul II, among others, and a frontispiece bit of poetry by Wendell Berry and a canticle by St. Francis of Assisi. All done on recycled paper with soy-based ink and a hemp-like, linen cover. This could be a life-changing gift for somebody…
The Spirituality of Nature Jim Kalnin (Northstone; $37.00) What a beautiful coffee table book, with lovely and inspiring (and very interesting) full-color photographs, and an extended essay on the glories of being more in tune with God’s good creation. Whether hiking or paddling, walking barefoot or tasting sumptuous food (or looking at books like this one) God has allowed us to enter into a great sensation of grace mediated by the real things of the beautiful world. Kalnin’s stories allow us to experience what living more alive to nature might be like. Northstone, by the way, is an imprint of a faith-based publishing venture from Canada, and this is part of a stunning Spirituality of…gift book series. Others include similar photo-graph rich, colorful, over-sized hardbacks on “the spirituality of” music, bread, wine, pets, grandparents, art. Each is very, very handsome.
Deep Thinking for Music Lovers package $40 (best bargain!)
Resounding Truth: Christian Wisdom in the World of Music Jeremy Begbie (Baker Academic; $22.99) This is the definitive serious study of a Christian philosophy of music, written by the world’s leading musician-theologian. We are pleased to suggest this, despite its weighty prose, as it is the sort of ground-breaking foundational work that can inform anyone serious about culture, the arts, or faithfully engaging the world of music.
The Spirituality of Music John Bird (Northstone; $35.00) This, like the Spirituality of Nature one shown above, is laden with vivid photographs of music being played all over the world. This is an exciting, pleasing coffee table book with thoughtful, inspiring text, amazing graphics, beautiful color. What a great gift for a practice room, a music studio, or for anyone interested in the world of music. We’re offering quite a savin
gs, too, and it will make Santa sing if he gets to share it with someone.
Green Bible Activist package $35.00
The NRSV Green Bible (HarperOne; $29.95) You’ve heard of red-letter editions, this is, literally, a green letter edition. The more than 1000 verses dealing with creation care, the environment, and the beauty of God’s world are in green. There is a green topic index, a Bible Trail Guide, and inspirational essays by Cal DeWitt, Barbara Brown Taylor, N.T. Wright, Desmond Tutu, Matthew Sleeth, Pope John Paul II, among others, and a frontispiece bit of poetry by Wendell Berry and a canticle by St. Francis of Assisi. All done on soy-based ink, recycled paper and a hemp-like linen cover.
Our Father’s World: Mobilizing the Church to Care for Creation Edward Brown (IVP; $15) One of the best recent books on why serious Christians should be involved in stewardly environmentalism and what we can do to nurture a “green” sort of discipleship. This is balanced and readable, and yet a passionate and inspiring call for God’s people to offer leadership in this urgent arena. Very nicely done and highly recommended.
Journal Your Way Through the Bible package $35.00
The 52 Greatest Stories of the Bible Ken Boa & John Alan Turner (Regal) $24.95 This is a really handsome hardback, a bit masculine looking, perhaps, perfect to hold, and great to give. More importantly, it will provide a year’s worth of insight into key stories, working on one major text a week. This jumpstarts your study of the whole Bible through one good lens, offering information, insight and inspiration. I really respect these two guys (they wrote a fabulous book on nurturing the Christian mind among children) and they are solid Bible scholars, without appearing highbrow or academic. Very highly recommended for beginners or long-time Bible readers.
Soulcare Journal (Bright Hope International; $19.99) We are delighted to recommend these hand-crafted large-sized journals lovingly made with recycled paper, created by women living in extreme poverty in Moradabad, India. These hand-bound books come in four colors, blue, green, dark red and brown. All have an earth-tone quality, with handsome design features, and includes an excellent small booklet on how and why to journal. Makes a very meaningful gift. Let us know what color, or we can choose for you.
Housework and the Sacredness in Everyday Life package $30.00
Keeping House: The Litany of Everyday Life Margaret Kim Peterson (Jossey Bass; $21.95) We have raved about this before, it is the most substantial theology of home-making and house-keeping that we know of. It is a lovely and insightful study offering a Christian perspective on everyday home-making.
Next To Godliness: Finding the Sacred in Housekeeping Edited by Alice Peck (Skylight Paths; $19.99.) There is a tiny problem, here: the homey sketch on the front of the paperback doesn’t capture the rich, literary, thoughtful, inter-faith musings that are contained in this extraordinary anthology. From personal narratives to poems, we have here everyone from Pablo Neruda to Mahatma Gandhi, Kathleen Norris to Billy Collins, Martin Luther King to Rumi, Brother Lawrence to Sue Bender. What an interesting collection!
The “Let Us Surprise You with a Fiction, Faith & Musical Soundtrack” package $25
Tell us briefly a bit about your loved one and we will pick a thoughtful Christian novel, something not too pushy and with a lovely look and feel, a good story, with a bit of a message. Perhaps if you tell us if you want the gift to be pretty basic writing, a bit more nuanced or something top shelf that is very well done. And, tell us if the one to whom you are giving this enjoys historical fiction, a contemporary thriller, mystery, chick-lit or a contemporary story. There are tons of great writers on evangelical publishing houses and many are quite good. Let us pick something out for you. We can be your Santa Claus.
The soundtrack to the story can be jazz, classical, acoustic instrumental or Christian pop or rock. We’ll find something that seems to fit the tone of the story or the time period, even. (How about an historical fiction novel from the colonial period, and some authentic period music? An international story with a CD of Patamayo world music? A moody contemporary romance story with a smooth jazz soundtrack? This could be fun but your going to have to trust us.)
Please let us know if you want us to gift-wrap these. Most typically, we’d gift wrap each separately and tie them together with one bright ribbon and bow. For shipping purposes, we may have to adjust that a bit…No extra charge. Let’s go!
We recommend that you call if you want the most prompt service or if we need to discuss any of these creative gift pack options. Our elves are standing by…