Each year, I try to accumulate a series of excellent gift giving guides and suggestions for Christmas. It’s right around the corner, after all. And this list may have that special something for that person you have a hard time shopping for. So this edition of Coffee Break is dedicated to gathering and listing some great shopping lists, all in one place. Some of these links are curated lists from other blogs and sources, some are my own recommendations. Hopefully, you’ll find it helpful as you shop for those you love.
Gifts For Men – These links are all on sites that are designed for men. However, there is also a great guide to selecting the right gift or stocking stuffer for the woman in your life.
Gadgets – A pretty comprehensive gift guide can be found at The Verge. Not all of the items on this list are recommended, however, there are a few that I found interesting. You can also check out this list at Mental Floss.
The last few verses of 1 Peter are the final greetings that Peter gives to his readers. He begins by giving credit to Silas for his help. Take a look at 1 Peter 5:12.
Just who is this guy that Peter is talking about, and how was he such a help to Peter?
In the original language, Peter uses the name Silvanus. Many of the modern translations, such as the NIV, use Silas, and they do so based on a couple of specific thoughts. First of all, that this Silvanus was the same one mentioned in the letter of 2 Corinthians, as a coworker of Paul and Timothy. Second, that Silvanus is the man named Silas in Acts, who was sent to Antioch by the Jerusalem church leaders, and then joined Paul on his second missionary journey.
Silas is a Greek name, while Silvanus is Latin, and in the case of Paul’s mention of Silvanus, and Luke’s person named Silas, it is possible that they are the same person. If so, then it is also likely that this is the same person to which Peter is referring to as well. Based on what we know of Silas/Silvanus, his efforts with Paul and now possibly with Peter make him a “faithful brother,” and a great help in ministry to Peter.
I have stated before that I am a history nut, and that I love reading history, especially early American history. One of my current projects, in fact, is reading biographies of each president, chronologically. So when I saw Jefferson’s America, I was immediately intrigued and grabbed a copy.
However, I was not as impressed as I had hoped to be. While the period covered was one of perhaps the most fascinating times in American history, I found Fenster’s recounting of these times and events to be somewhat dull and academic in nature. I was disappointed by that. In an age where our imagination is easily captured by the next thing, and the next thing, and the next thing, this account of early American history could have been presented in a better way as to captivate and hold the attention of most readers more completely.
The back cover states boldly that “history comes alive in this entertaining account.” I could only wish this were true. This book took me longer to read than most do, simply because I found it the exact opposite of it’s claims. Make no mistake, the events recounted within were accurate and detailed. They just weren’t told in a way that held my attention for very long. I found it hard to finish this book.
Because it was accurate and detailed, I will recommend it, with reservation, as long as you know going into it that it is academic and dry. If you are looking for a more sensational reading of American history, this is not the book for you.
It’s December, and the Christmas season has officially begun! For the next few weeks, enjoy Christmas related links, videos and shopping guides. And, if you find any great ideas that you would like to share, please do! In the meantime, enjoy the season, and have a Merry Christmas!
AeroPress Coffee Maker Tutorial – This one of my favorite ways to make coffee. It’s simple to use, and it’s lightweight and travels easily. You need to add this to your Christmas list this year, or give one to that coffee lover in your family. Grab one from Amazon.com.
As Peter wraps up this last section of his letter, and before his closing remarks, he inserts a brief doxology. Take a look at it in 1 Peter 5:10-11.
This brief exhortation of praise is typical throughout the New Testament, and is used frequently, especially in Paul’s letters. Peter follows suit here and offers a brief doxology, and gives some final encouragement to his readers while doing so.
In this brief statement, Peter revisits three of his central themes, those of grace, salvation and suffering.
First, Peter calls God the “God of all grace.” This is in keeping with his theme of the grace of God that runs through this entire letter. Peter continually emphasizes God’s grace over and over to his readers, and has done so in places like 1:2, 1:10, 3:7, 4:10, and 5:5, just to name a few.
Second, Peter again emphasizes that God has called his readers to new life, a thought he has addressed in 1:2, 1:15, 2:9 and 3:9.
Of all the things we wear, our expressions are the most important.