Books and Other Ideas
It's said that Santa is trimming his inventory due to the economy. Many shoppers will be trimming their shopping lists because many are out of jobs, broke this Christmas season. Those who have been naughty might get a bag of coal or nothing at all.
Each year I agonize, well, maybe fret is a better word, over what I will buy for my kids and family members. I wander aimlessly around stores seeking something I think they might like.
They have outgrown toys, gimmicks, and they don't need clothes, so what's left? Often as not, I wind up buying some gift cards.
This morning while browsing through Rev. Rick Warren's bestselling nonfiction book The Purpose Driven Life, I thought that might be a good choice. Books are the ideal gift for the reader in the family..The best seller has now sold 30 million copies worldwide. It claims to be the bestselling nonfiction hardback book in history.
Recently I listened to Rev. Warren on Meet the Press. He talked about his bestseller and about the development and growth of Saddleback Church where he is senior pastor. The congregation at the maga church numbers about 20,000 weekly at four campuses.and is located in Saddleback Valley in Lake Forest, California.
The church started as a small bible study in Rick and his wife Kay's home, along with one other family. It continued to grow and they held their first public service on Easter Sunday, 1980, with about 200 attending in a high school theater.
On meet the press, Warren told how his book earned him millions of dollars. He and Kay didn't know what to do with all that money. But money really hasn't changed them, he said.
Warren says today he drives a ten year old pickup and lives in the same house. He said his wrist watch came from Walmart
He said he stopped taking a salary from the church and added up the salaries he had been given in the previous 25 years, and gave it back to the church.
He said that years ago he and Kay, his wife of 30 years, gave a 10 percent tithe to the church. As they were able, they began to increase the tithe in increments, 11 percent, then 12, then 15 percent. Today they give 90 percent to the church and live on the other 10 percent.
The church has launched numerous worldwide projects including an initiative to bring education and awareness to churches and encourage involvement in the fight against HIV and AIDS.
The church, too, has established a massive ministry to train pastors in theology and to establish purpose driven churches around the world.
They have initiated programs to fight extreme poverty, disease, spiritual emptiness, self-serving leadership and illiteracy.
Warren says that God expects His servants to "do what you can, with what you have, wherever you are." At Saddleback Church, they practice the "good enough" principle: It doesn't have to be perfect for God to use and bless it.
Warren's book is not a self-help book. He calls it a guide to a 40-day spiritual journey.
It answers the question, "What on earth am I here for?"
The paperback book sells for $14.99 but on the Internet you can order the book for less than $10. At Thriftbooks the book sells for $4 postage free.
I bought mine about three years ago at a bookstore in TurtleCreek Mall, and I bought a second one as a gift for a friend.
When the interviewer asked about the Obama administration and policies, Warren said he believes the major focus should be jobs and getting people back to work.
If you recall, Obama requested that Rev. Warren give the invocation at the presidential inauguration in January, which he did.
That angered pro-choice advocates and gay rights advocates. Obama defended the decision, saying that although he disagreed with the minister's positions on abortion and same sex marriage, there would be room for dialogue on such difficult social issues.
Now back to Christmas ideas.
A book that interests me is The Christmas Sweater. I haven't read it yet but it is a true account of a man who had to fight his way up, after failing at life many times.
I suppose a CD of a family member's favorite artist or song might be a welcome Christmas gift..
Or maybe a classic DVD movie for kids or adults. Small children seem to never tire of watching the same movie over and over again.
Other practical gifts could be a compact purse size umbrella or warm houseshoes. A popular item with some women is a pretty
neck scarf that ties in a loose bow to complement a pullover top or sweater.
A couple of my friends like Nativity globes to showcase in their curio cabinets.
Some people would like one of those fancy cellular phones with a built in computer..
A few years ago at Christmastime my daughter gave me a beautiful maroon Holy Bible which I treasure.
While some of you have your Christmas shopping done, there are still plenty who are just now making out shopping lists.
It will be a dead heat to see who can beat Santa to the chimney..
So much to do, so little time.