Are gifts really a necessity today? Well, if you are anything like us, then maybe yes. According to the book, Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, my husband and I fill our love tanks up with quality time and physical touch. However, when parents are busy washing dishes, doing laundry, and/or climbing the corporate ladder those “love languages” are hard to come by. So we have started to compensate here and there with gifts. Gifts that truly enhance and enrich our lives by showing love and support for our loved ones through gifts that bring them joy through encouragement, inspiration, and education.
Also, we give gifts for sentimental reasons ANY TIME of the year 🙂 Here are my top 20+ gift ideas for the faith-based, techy, non-techy, griller, and all-around sport-loving DAD in your life. I hope you find some inspiration and gift-giving ideas.
(P.S. Since I adore technology, faith, and family-based activities my gift ideas revolve around those ideas and what my actual husband would enjoy or already possesses.)
Faith Gift Ideas
Scripture for Faith-Based Fathers – Every day your loved one heads to work for a grinding 6-8 hours (maybe even more like mine) AWAY from his family. How can you help him stay focused on what matters most? How to keep his heart, mind, soul, and strength envigorated with love, peace, joy, and happiness as he manages the workday? An inspirational Coffe Mug!
My husband recently realized that it is more enjoyable to consume his coffee from a coffee mug vs the metal traveler mugs. DaySpring has so many wonderful options! Maybe you would like to encourage your man of the house with a matching picture frame of the family in addition to a very masculine mug. Check out this bundle that will be sure to put a smile on your husband’s face.
Also, my husband has really started deepening his faith through intentional Bible reading and books.
We both own and use this Bible . We love the NIV version and this one has amazing commentary including a side panel full of questions. It provides answers along with cross-references (please consider buying a used version to save you $$$).
More spiritual encouragement:
My husband listens to and reads books from multiple Biblical authors.
My husband also benefited from this Bible Study and moved through the different books such as Milk, Meat, and Bread, as he grew in his faith. (Not an affiliate, we just genuinely loved this series for the new believer.)
Tech Gift Ideas
Tech for Techy Fathers – Father’s climbing the corporate ladder and accomplishing goals need tools like efficient and reliable smartphones that enable them to conquer the day.
Speaking of the day, how about alarm clocks that energize you and your smartphones so you wake up more alert and energized! This alarm clock has a gradual light feature that mimics the rising sun along with natural sounds that are proven to help you wake more rested PLUS it has a USB outlet located on the back that charges your phone!
Sport Gift Ideas
Fitness and Sports Fans – In this household we do baseball and football! So let’s not rule out jerseys for your loved one’s favorite team and player. You may want to consider a course for them to become the best little league baseball coach in the county! (Not an affiliate link just a resource my husband was gifted.)
Also, with the coronavirus quarantine, men who enjoyed their gym time may be needing an outlet for fitness. Kettlebells are an amazing and versatile piece of equipment that builds strength. A TRX system is also very helpful and adjusts to YOUR fitness level. YouTube has had a flood of new tutorials that will help you find easy DIY exercises to use with kettlebells or the TRX.
Outdoor Gift Ideas
Outdoor Enthusiasts – The Summer months are upon us and the grill is open for business. Having a reliable meat thermometer means you will always have safe and edible meat to serve the family. Perhaps, you want to take the family for a beach vacation. I recommend a wagon (FYI, Aldi’s had one for $40) for the sandy shores, coolers for the tasty treats, and bluetooth speakers for music are always helpful for the fun-loving Dad.
If your man loves the outdoors and has a creative spin, he may enjoy a durable camera like a GoPro.
More of a leisure walker than a marathon runner? How about a bird-watching camera like this DSLR with a telephoto lens to capture the wildlife?
Happy Father’s Day FREE Activities
In summary, these are gift ideas that I have bought, used, and/or recommend. Happy Father’s Day!
Before you go!
Here are a few more ideas to celebrate the day with or without gifts!
Plan a picnic in the great outdoors. Bring fishing poles or a good book to enjoy the rest and solitude.
Maybe your special someone enjoys his space. Provide him with an afternoon free to nap, catch up on his hobby, or spend it whatever way he would like!
Family man? Create a family fun night! Pick his favorite family-friendly movie, popcorn, order pizza, and board games like “Risk” that will provide the whole family an evening to enjoy.
Create a scavenger hunt that challenges Dad and the kids to go outside and explore for hours! Make it even more interesting by using scriptures as the clues. It is a great game changer if you have teenagers who need that added level of intensity.
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WOW! We are in week ??? I can’t even remember! But definitely past 60 days in quarantine in Upstate NY. School for the academic year is canceled. We are moving into week six of distance learning. The warmth of summer is only just starting and the landscape is morphing into a beautiful, green, and lush scenery.
It has been a hard few weeks.
As a creative, I need to seek out the beauty. Let the LIGHT shine in the darkness all around me! Here is a glimpse into my heart, my work, and my ministry during quarantine.
Black and White Series
During these historical and unforeseen times, my eyes and heart have been drawn to capture the simplistic nature of black and white documentary photography. My desire is to capture the stark contrast of how we are all feeling. The light in the darkness. The darkness could overtake us with the fear and anxiety of not knowing when this pandemic will end. The darkness of losing all sense of our realities – what truly matters in the grand scheme of things? My Job? My health? My family? The vulnerable? Others? Self?
The darkness did not overtake the light. The light of hope. The light that we all should and can cling to in this darkness that this too shall pass. The light that we are doing our part in staying vigilant, disciplined, and obedient to ordinances put in place for the safety of ALL. The light that we have loved ones near and/or they are healthy (if we are lucky enough to still have our spouses and children home) for comfort and joy. The light that we have technology as a tool to unite us. The light of HIS word.
The start of the day without the rush of school dropoffs and packing backpacks has led to slower mornings that allow time to pause and enjoy one another. Allowing us time to enjoy the light of early sunshine. Watching the sunrise while holding a cup of coffee still wearing your pajamas. The kids ease into new routines and there is fewer issues. Fewer meltdowns, tantrums, chaos, and busyness.
I sit here this morning before the kids wake writing about hope while my heart aches for my children because they lost their first pet. Real darkness in their lives right now. Thankfully they will have time to mourn since this quarantine is yet ongoing providing time to pour light into their darkness.
Like many, during the first few weeks of the quarantine, it was a nice escape and relatively easy for us to continue doing activities we enjoyed previously. A challenge to stay active, engaged, and sharp. My goal was to continue reading my Bible daily but soon the hours and days started to mix and those habits are slowly fading away. The depression of being isolated and forced to stay inside coupled with cold weather during the summer months lays heavy on my heart. I am clinging to the truth in Psalms. HE is my stronghold and the refuge I need to run to with fear and anxiety. No matter the circumstances HE is my LIGHT.
At the beginning of March 2020, the idea of being home away from school was inviting – almost like summer vacation! Distance learning started like a game allowing the kids to pick and choose new educational outlets via mobile devices, printed worksheets from the internet, and art activities crafted by parents and YouTube. We were all-embracing to this new “normal” the best we could and expectant for a rapid end. Yet, in May 2020, we are still on a knife’s edge hoping and praying for this distance learning to end-and not become the new normal indefinitely.
Walking the aisles of supermarkets during the quarantine in March 2020. The documentation on doors, stickers on the floors, and new ‘protective’ gear around the essential workers made it very clear we were facing a new world. A world of darkness and fear that could overtake us if we didn’t let the light into our hearts and lives.
The sudden cough or sneeze made you weary or people immediately were apologizing for their allergies! Mothers with children were frantically trying to figure out how to go shopping with children with masks and stay six feet apart.
YET, I saw kindness and patience that wasn’t present before all of this. People were using manners in the aisles and not rushing about to get passed you and on their way. Even vehicles were at a slower pace on the road. Life had slowed down.
Finding the Light
Getting outside in the cold weather is hard for my southern roots. I welcome the warm even sweltering heat of the summer. Along with sunburns and sweat. Yet, here we are bundling ourselves up in coats, gloves, and hats in the month of MAY!
OH MY WORD!
I need the warmth of the sunshine to make this darkness disappear. The seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or winter depression was never something that plagued me. Years of living in south Georgia followed by a small-time in West Africa didn’t lend itself to short days combined with the bitter cold that leads to trapping oneself inside for months at a time. AND NOW, we are forced inside on orders by the government.
We were coming up on week five in the quarantine and my spirit started to deflate. The pressure of managing the home, teaching slash not teaching through distance learning with my children, and staying hopeful was getting to me. My priorities were all over the place!
I am a creative that is super flexible. I am also an obliger and INTJ that morphed into an ENSF – motherhood has a way of changing your heart and attitudes (I love personality tests by the way).
ALL of those traits lead to a person who doesn’t fare well with self-motivation and sticktoitiveness. I thrive in an environment of external motivators! I need deadlines, meetings, and other people to help hold me accountable. So yeah, the darkness was trying to creep in….
So as the weather started to warm up and the sun peeked through the clouds I started to get outside of my head and outside of my house.
I started running.
I started working out.
I started calling my friends.
I started establishing OUTSIDE communication.
I started being purposefully in reading my Bible.
I needed the Lord to restore my heart, mind, and soul. We all travel to dark places at times yet do we allow the darkness to overtake us? Do we linger there? Do we stay wallowed up in that place of misery?
I used to. I have struggled with fear, anxiety, and depression.
It is in my past and I have been redeemed by my heavenly Father. It is through going to Him on a daily basis, praying through His Word, and applying the discipline of many of the scriptures into my daily life that has brought joy and peace.
My marriage, my parenting, and my own creativity is dependant on God’s power within and through me provided by the Holy Spirit. His face SHINES on me so that I may be saved.
The second series of documentary photography is in color – bright, cheery, rainbow-tastic colors of hope and joy. Capturing the light pouring into our lives at times we didn’t think was possible. The soaking rays of sunshine pouring into my house casting gorgeous light flares around my children and our lives. His light shining into our darkness.
The joy of spending quality time with my girls during this quarantine is something that I am thankful for.
I am no baker yet the simplistic nature of making a cake – even from a box – was a great way to teach life lessons, use up some time, and make memories with my girls. I remember baking with my mother as a child. I was too afraid of our gas stove!!!! And now, I wouldn’t cook on anything else.
The Light dwells with Me
Like I said before, I used to stay in those deep and hidden places of depression. It was easier to just let my emotions dig deeper into hate and anger vs trying to find hope in any situation. I felt unloved and abandoned….
GOD still dwelled in that dark place. HE was there with me every step of the way! He REVEALED what was truly lying in the darkness. He has been slowly molding me into a new creation with each disciplined step I take into full obedience to HIM. Each step is another step in serving HIM, my husband, my children, and my community.
and the light dwells with me.
As the quarantine comes to an end, hopefully, I want to build my town aka my life on a hill with a light shining so bright that all will see.
A beacon of hope pouring out a message of peace to all who are hurting and suffering.
I am not perfect and make mistakes. God is still revealing the things in the deep dark places of my heart and teaching strength, perseverance, and diligence.
WE ARE THE LIGHT of hope, joy, and eternal peace. Let your light shine!
Finding light in the darkness took much dedication.
FOR ME, as a creative I have turned to my craft of photography and graphic design.
Using this website as a place to express myself through design. I have redesigned this website countless times during isolation. I have picked up my camera almost weekly and used my smartphone camera almost daily.
Every image on this blog post was captured with my PHONE!
In the image above, you see our fourth child. He is small, young, and unafraid. He sits in one of the most beautiful spots of light in our home. As the late afternoon sun dips down it shines through our front door casting a rainbow of colors onto the wall and floor. He has been provided more freedoms as he matures and now that very step where he sits used to be a protective boundary. You can still see the faint line to his right where a gate sat for over a year protecting him from the danger of going up and down the stairs. He was safe and my mind was at ease knowing he couldn’t go up without supervision.
Over time, we got relaxed in our home and his abilities but that didn’t stop him from growing, maturing, and testing boundaries. He seeked out opportunities to test his limits and quickly mastered the stairs with and without our supervision. And eventually, he wasn’t just crawling but walking up and down the stairs using the side rail as a helping hand – not mine!
The gate was removed and he confidently go up and down those stairs unassisted.
Does this mean the danger is gone? NO. Does this mean he will never fall? No. Does this mean I need to still hover and plan his steps? No.
The Lord is our gatekeeper. He is our shepherd. He guides us and nudges us back into the herd when we get out of line. Yet, he gives us room to grow. To have a teachable spirit that learns and matures by knowing His word. Applying His word.
Our son is young still and needs a guiding hand. I look to the Lord to keep nudging my heart through the spirit to stay alert and attentive to his needs. Though he may have mastered the stairs he still needs my guiding hand from time to time to do the most simple thing – walking.
He will do the same with your needs.
Walk in the light
The Lord used this time to reveal many different things to us all.
My spirit needed to be reminded of my responsibilities and how to prioritize my time. To slow down and enjoy my children at this tender age. That we are not meant to rush these years because danger still lies around each corner.
BUT, we are also not to let fear overtake us. Not let the darkness take us down into the deep.
Look to HIM and HIS Word to rescue us. We are safe in His arms.
In this time let HIS light shine into your hearts.
Before you go…
As a sweet reminder of HIS light, I have created three verse art images for you to print and enjoy around your home. They can be downloaded and printed using your home printer on regular 8.5×11 paper.
I hope you enjoyed these documentary photographs during COVID-19 along with the verses about light in the darkness. Drop a comment in the comment section below and tell me, what is the greatest light lesson that have you learned? 🙂Let’s start a discussion! Or better yet, bring this discussion to the Knitting Our Story Community!
The”Believing the Knitter” community is MORE than just a Christian Facebook group for women. It is a sisterhood of faith lovin’ women who JUST WANT to tear down the technological walls and talk shop – smartphones, cameras, smart home gadgets, bible topics, and parenting aka issues RELEVANT tomodern Christianmoms, grandmothers, and ministry-driven women today. Join in to participate in the open discussions we hold after a message with me 🙂 This is a place for the Christian woman who wants to be in a group that points them to Jesus — all while learning about their everyday tech (no question is too simple)!
I don’t know about you but sometimes I need to be reminded of the all-powerful PEACE that comes only from knowing and trusting in God. Finding my peace in God takes time and deliberate actions through reading His word, studying HIS word, meditating on HIS word, and applying HIS promises to my daily life. In one evening, I sat down and hashed out a quick devotional from all the TRUTHS God was sharing with me on finding PEACE in God.
During the year of 2019, I faced an almost insurmountable obstacle in the form of an uncontrollable and indiscriminate enemy known as CANCER.
This unknown and undetected evil took root in the center of my husband’s chest and shook us down to the core. The peace we had been learning to know, trust, and apply through our Bible studies were tested during these dark months.
I would be lying if I said there was no grief in my heart but my peace???
It was rock solid!
As was my husband’s faith after each and every test, he was smiling and sharing God’s Word with each person he came in contact with.
When disaster strikes where do YOU run to escape the storm?
If the unknown places fear in your heart how do you overcome it? If sickness makes you anxious how do you settle your nerves? If a loved one was stricken how would you compose yourself to provide him/her with love and support?
Coping mechanisms are different for each of us. We have chosen to root ourselves and our hearts in the everlasting love of our God. It is steadfast. It is unchanging.
Does that sound inviting? It is freely given to all who seek and ask.
Why go to God for peace?
The world has a way of creating noise around these hot topic words, such as peace, and twisting their meanings.
The world’s definition of peace left me feeling empty and wanting. It didn’t provide a quietness of wholeness deep inside of my heart, mind, and soul. It was a matter of fact definition that wasn’t fulfilling.
The BIBLE is MY compass for finding truth and meaning in words like peace, joy, grace, wisdom, understanding, knowledge, freedom, discipline, and life in general. It sharpens my heart by sanctifying it through creating a sturdy cornerstone to stand.
How would you define peace in your own words?
Finding Peace in God Devotion
To help YOU find PEACE rooted in God, I have created a simple and beautiful hand-crafted Bible Study devotional to aid you in digging deeper into HIS promises during difficult storms.
DOWNLOAD THE BIBLE STUDY PDF
BELOW, you will find an easy sign-up form. Provide your name and email THEN you will receive the devotional in your email inbox ALONG with the password to my vault of other handy-dandy handcrafted items – all for your pleasure!
#1 A Bible! You will need to be able to find all the verses referenced in the guide so a BIBLE is a necessity.
Verse Mapping is a fun and creative way to dig deeper into specific verses. In 2015, our women’s Bible study started using this method and it has become my go-to Bible Study method when I am feeling inspired. Instead of trying to build something myself, I have rounded up the best verse mapping resources that we used and hopefully aid you in starting this unique method.
Kristy Cambron at www.kristycambron.com created a perfect how-to guide that breaks down the process and provides a printable useful in starting this method. She also has new materials coming in 2021! She is passionate about this process and goes into depth about the subject. GREAT RESOURCE!
Samantha Jolicoeur has a YouTube channel dedicated to journaling and DIY crafts all geared towards diving deeper into God’s Word. In this video, she walks you through HOW to verse map using resources found on the internet.
FREE DEVOTIONAL from Knitting Our Story
Verse Mapping for Beginners – “Arabah Joy”
Arabah Joy walks you through how to conduct the verse mapping method with free resources AND why she used the specific verse. You get to walk hand-in-hand with her as she unlocks the truths inside of Psalm 34:5. I found it very helpful that she provided pictures and descriptions on each step as she mapped out the meaning deep within the context of this Psalm.
A Creative Way to Unlock More of the Bible – “Faith Spilling Over”
Betsy over at Faith Spilling Over uses a super simple approach when describing her verse mapping. Yet, I found her clean and straight to the point approach useful. Also, her example sheet was very well done and got the point across for my visual mind.
Let’s find the best Bible Reading applications in 2020 that works for you! With the rise of technology, there has been an abundance of smartphone applications created to access the Bible anytime, anywhere, on almost any device.
I know it can be overwhelming when you jump onto Google Play (or your App Center) to be bombarded with an unending list of Bible Reading applications.
Let’s break down the top choices of best Bible Reading applications that support the overall message of the Bible. The best Bible reading app that will provide the Bible version you enjoy reading and extras to explore God’s Word by diving deeper into the context and personal applications.
When researching Bible reading applications I came across quite a few that were just bloat applications that want to provide you with an essential resource at a cost – lots of ads! The organizations want to charge you for removing the ads which I considered a major pitfall when there are options out there that are made for YOU and are backed up with the same message that is inside the Bible – serve others by providing God’s word at no cost!
I decided to present the Bible Reading applications sorted by Ministries that are founded on sharing God’s word therefore if there is any cost you know exactly who you are founding and where that money is being spent – more applications, missions, ministry expenses, etc. I also reviewed them based on these criteria:
TRUTH: Bible Studies, commentary, and extra tools available to dive deeper
USER EXPERIENCE: How easy it is to use and find what you need
PRICE: Free or worth it to buy it at a budget friendly price
BONUS: Extra features like audio or video
The most used and frequented Bible Reading Application is owned and operated by YouVersion. It was created by Life.Church – you know that megachurch with Senior Pastor Craig Groeschel! Pretty Epic! I remember when the application used to say Life.Church but the application grew into a FULL ministry.
YouVersion has an official website at YouVersion.com where it outlines it’s mission and purpose behind their products.
This is MY go-to application for reading the Bible, following mini-Bible reading plans and devotionals. I can cross-reference the application on multiple devices with my sign-in credentials. It tracks your Bible reading habits, has a widget to add to your phone screen wallpaper, creates verse art, and now a prayer list option that allows you to see what prayer requests have been sent, prayed for, and answered!
After all the Bible reading you may be inspired to create a new shareable image that is Biblically-based. The application detects items and themes from your personal images and then suggests verses to match!
The separate app for verse art has more controls for customizing your shareable image than the Bible App. Give it a try! Here is my FULL review and tutorial for The Bible Lens.
Many organizations need to use a third-party platform for publishing reasons and it seems multiple Bible reading applications have used HarperCollins Christian Publishing as their developer and you can see why by their Mission and Core Values page.
Their determination to see God’s work magnified and Jesus exemplified places their applications on this list.
Service. By following the example of Jesus, we seek to serve others with humility. We serve our authors, retailers and readers to the best of our ability with products that inspire the world.
Olive Tree Bible Software: My second recommendation for decent Bible reading software would be the application available from Olive Tree Bible Software. It provides a multitude of Bible reading Versions packed with devotionals and reading resources. The application is published by HarperCollins Christian Publishing that stands behind a Christian message as well.
“Helping Millions of People Read & Study the Bible”
The Application is the same experience you get when using a Web browser at www.BibleGateway.com. It is the website I use for a fast reference when searching for verses on my computer and tablets.
she works HIS way
The ministry behind my number one go-to devotional Bible reading application is she works HIS way. It is a personal decision to use this application since I have made the choice to become a member of this great community of women sharpening one another for the kingdom.
The website provides plenty of FREE content via the blog and they provide their annual Bible reading plan as well. Currently (2020-2021), we are walking through the Bible in two years.
The devotional app is available for $2.99 and Monday-Friday you will receive a devotional that corresponds directly to what you should be reading that day.
The monthly membership offers much more but if that is too much of a commitment you can test it by buying the app, following them on social media, and signing up for their newsletter.
(Soon, I will be holding FREE local meetups for swHw members in my community and for anyone else who may be interested).
“We know it’s hard to find business training and personal development that aligns with what God’s Word says. At swHw, everything we do filters through our values to remain:
If you are ready to take your Bible reading to the next level and start researching the Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic meaning of the words used throughout the Bible along with multiple commentaries – this is the app for you!
It has been a great resource for me as I grow deeper in my relationship with Christ. It quickly identifies the number of times the word is used and the specific meaning!
For example, do a quick study of the word “love”.
Want to see an example of how to conduct your own word study, leave a comment below and I will make a post about it!
In summary, I am an advocate for supporting ministries whenever I can when it comes to studying God’s word and applying it to my life. Why reinvent the wheel when other people have already done the much hard work compiling great Bible Studies and commentaries?
I plan on updating this post regularly when I come across more great Bible Reading applications.
Do you have any apps not listed and know the driving force behind them? Leave a comment below.
If you like this content, share it – like it – pass it forward.
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