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Crossway has published a wonderful edition of Pilgrim’s Progress.  CJ Lovik excellently edited Bunyan’s classic and Mike Wimmer produced beautiful illustrations.  If you are looking for a family gift this Advent season and you do not own Pilgrim’s Progress, or you do not have an edition that is easily accessible to young readers and listeners, this would make a perfect addition to your library.

If you are looking for ideas for your younger children’s stocking, Christian Focus has published a few little books that would be excellent gifts.  For 1-3 year olds, they have a series called ‘Bible Art‘.  They are coloring books dealing with the biblical topics of creation, holiness, redemption, repentance and salvation.  There are also ‘Color the Bible’ books that take your children through books of Bible.

For 4-7 year olds, they have the ‘My First…‘ series. I gave Grace three of these that I really found helpful:

Justin Taylor linked to this post by Erik Raymond. Stevie Johnson, a Buffalo Bills wide receiver, and his tweet are the talk of the town. Even one of our staff pastors’ mother told us about Stevie blaming God for dropping a game-winning touchdown pass!  But there is only one problem… Stevie didn’t blame God, as clarified in a later tweet:

“And No I Did Not Blame God People! Seriously??!? CMon! I Simply Cried Out And Asked Why? Jus Like yal did wen sumthin went wrong n ur life!”

I don’t blame Erik for jumping on this. While hosting SportsCenter, ESPN’s Mike & Mike commented on the tweet and declared that blaming God for dropping a pass is something that you probably don’t want to do. However, I would hope that fellow Christians would be quick to listen and slow to tweet and blog. Stevie’s original tweet sounds eerily similar to many psalms of lament. He even ends it with thanksgiving! With only 140 characters, one can hardly jump to any conclusions about someone’s entire life trajectory or theological foundations and one can hardly be absolutely sure Stevie was being flippantly idolatrous and thinking God owes him something. In the midst of turmoil, Stevie lamented. Those of us who have gone through tough circumstances have wondered “Why?”. Sure it’s football, and dropping a TD pass is obviously nothing like Job went through and other personal struggles of family, health, life and death. But where did Stevie turn? And it seems the church should be there to help people land where the psalmists and, seemingly, Stevie landed after asking the question:

“Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” Psalm 43:5