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Yes, Mike, I'm all for your suggested type of gift giving! Or vice versa - how about asking for those gifts when people ask if there's anything they can get us for our birthday/ Christmas?

Oxfam have a similar gift giving scheme. (See www.oxfamunwrapped.com.) Last year someone in our office organised that instead of spending money on Christmas cards for each other, we'd donate our £2 to Oxfam, and we ended up being able to buy a few goats and a cow and some chickens. I thought it was a great idea.

This year I think I might order alternative gifts to help "fight Bible poverty", eg the Bible in audio, on a Megavoice player for a blind person, or Bible story books for Sunday School children in Russia. I have a catalogue from Bible Society, www.bibleresources.org.uk There are some good ideas, if you want an alternative to giving a goat! (UK)

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Strange image in Lamentations 4:3

"...my people have become heartless
like ostriches in the desert." (TNIV)

I wonder what it meant to the writer.

I guess ostriches in the desert become mean, heartless, (maybe dangerous) creatures through lack of food and water.

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