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Choices are endless for gifts of faith

By Staff
GIFTS WITH MEANING Susan Hill of Fishes and Loaves arranges a display featuring crosses, a popular gift item. A wide variety of inspirational gifts are available at local Christian and book stores for those in search of gifts with a deeper meaning. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star.
By Ida Brown/The Meridian Star
Nov. 24, 2001
Need some inspiration on your holiday gifts of faith?
Divine intervention isn't necessary to find gifts with a deeper meaning. From key rings inscribed with inspirational messages to study Bibles and books, the choices are endless.
Following are some suggestions from merchants of local Christian and book stores.
Bible Bookstore
Bibles continue to be a popular gift of faith item, according to Chrissy Wright, manager of the downtown Bible Bookstore. And a wide selection in various texts and print size is available.
While the King James Version remains the most popular text, others, such as the New Living Translation, are in more demand.
One item that has garnered much attention from local shoppers is the CD-ROM "Nelson's Electronic Bible Reference Library." The disc includes four versions of the Bible and 15 reference books. Even more appealing is the price.
A gift line from the "Prayer of Jabez" series also is popular. The line includes books, mugs, T-shirts, key rings, bracelets, lapel pins and more. Prices start at $2.99.
A new gift item recommended by Wright is called "The Stocking For Jesus," a red velvet stocking with the word "Jesus." The stocking is displayed on a mantle. And instead of gifts it is filled with notes of good deeds performed for others during the holiday season. They stocking is available in two sizes: Small, $7.99 and large, $17.99.
The gift of music is another favorite item and in addition to Christian titles, new releases of holiday-themed music by many of today's popular Christian artists are available.
New releases include: "It Feels Like Christmas Again" by Jeff and Sheri Easter, "The Christmas Shoes" by Newsong, "A Christmas Worship Down Under" by The Hillsongs, "Christmas Wish" by Stacie Orrico" and "Christmas" by Jaci Valequez. "Christmas: A Time for Joy," by The Gaithers is available on video, CD and cassette tape.
And for the avid reader, a wide selection of Christian-based books are available. New titles include "The Desecration" by Tim LaHaye of the "Left Behind" series, "Traveling Light" by Max Lucado, "Bringing Up Boys" and "Night Light: A Devotional for Couples" by Dr. James Dobson. Wright also recommends a family Bible study series by The Heritage Builders and books from the Christian-based fitness program "First Place."
For children, a variety of educational books, toys and games are available.
Christian-based board games for kids and families also are available. They include "Bible Charades," "Bible Brainstorm," "Bibleland," "Bible Baseball" and "Bible Trivia."
In keeping with the country's renewed patriotism, items such as flags, music, gift bags and lapel pins are available. Calendars desktop and wall bath products, Bible covers, coffee mugs, stationery, jewelry and ties also are suggested gift items.
The Bible Bookstore is located at two locations, 820 23rd Ave. and 1010 Bonita Lakes Circle.
Fishes and Loaves
Among early Christmas shoppers, books, music and jewelry have been popular inspirational gift items.
These include books from Tim LaHaye's "Left Behind" series, as well as Max Lucado and Dobson.
Music lovers will be happy to hear new music from their favorite Christian artists, including "Declaration" by Steven Curtis Chapman," "Worship," by Michael W. Smith and "Songs For Worship," a two CD-set of praise and worship songs by various artists from the Time-Life Series.
Hill has noticed an increase in demand for crosses.
Christmas books for children also have been in great demand, as well as stocking stuffer games. Other popular inspirational gifts include frames (including those inscribed with Bible verses), church cookbooks and jewelry, especially charms, which start at $1.50.
Fishes and Loaves is at 4820 Poplar Springs Drive.
Books-A-Million
A wide selection of inspirational books and music, as well as novelty gift items are for the choosing at Books-A-Million.
New versions have become popular and Harp noted more demand for Catholic Bibles.
Many of the store's selection of Bibles and best-selling books are currently on sale. Among the most popular inspirational books are those by authors Tim LaHaye ("Left Behind" series) and Max Lucado.
Harp also noted a wide selection of kids books, particularly by artist Thomas Kincaid.
For teens, Harp recommends inspirational books from the "Jesus Freaks" series, as well as "Narrow Roads."
Holiday music by Christian and popular artists are available. Prices start at $3.99. Gift items include crosses, plaques, calendars and honor books (wallet size) also are available.
Books-A-Million is located at 1187 Bonita Lakes Circle.

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