Thursday, 24 October 2019

Joy in the Sorrow

Suffering.... No-one is immune to it, but everyone reacts differently to it. Joy in the Sorrow is a collection of stories from Christians who have suffered. Matt Chandler, pastor of a large American church, introduces the book and includes his own experience of having a brain tumour. But then the remainder of the book is written by various members of his own congregation. Not well known Christians, but 'normal' everyday Church members who have walked through deep trials and have learnt to rejoice through them. These stories show the greatness and goodness of God in his gracious, personal dealings with each believer. From the death of a young child, to the death of a young spouse; from chronic physical illness, to long-term mental health issues; from family breakdown, to childlessness. Each story is a clear testament to a God who sanctifies suffering, who walks with his people through trials; who teaches, guides and directs in these difficult pathways.
This is a moving read, but well worth it.

Joy in the Sorrow - How a Thriving Church (and its Pastor) Learned to Suffer Well by Matt Chandler, published by Good Book Company, £8.99.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

The Fruitful Home

It is always a pleasure to read an Ann Benton book. Her style is down-to-earth and practical when writing on family matters, whether it is caring for young children or elderly parents. Her latest offering is no exception.  'The Fruitful Home' is based on her many years of parenting and running parenting courses.  She writes according to the principle given in the letter to Titus - as an older woman teaching the younger. The emphasis of the book is that of the importance of creating a gospel culture in the Christian home, and the necessity of weaving our faith into every aspect of our lives.  This may seem obvious but Ann shows how the current culture or trends can creep in and subtly squeeze out Biblical principles in the busyness of everyday life.
Beginning with Psalm 128, Ann shows the importance of a sound Biblical ethos to undergird all of life in the Christian home. Whatever mistakes are made, if the gospel essentials are there then the home will flourish.  This is the basic premise.  Ann then digs into the foundations to look at the building blocks of the home; the Structure, the Substance and the Story. With these sound foundations in place, Ann then continues on to look at the furnishings, the day to day living out of Sorrow, Sympathy, Service, Sharing and Sojourn.
This is a helpful little book, not an onerous read, and when read with thought, one that will give much profit. For Christian parents, those who truly love and fear the Lord, this book is a gentle reminder to maintain the Gospel culture in the home and stand against the worldly culture that frequently knocks at the door.

The Fruitful Home by Ann Benton, £4.99

Monday, 5 August 2019

A Holiday Attraction in Yorkshire

Last Saturday I paid another visit to the National Coal Mining Museum (www.ncm.org.uk), which has a splendid visitor centre and attracts a good tourist interest, if the numbers I saw then are anything to go by. However I was disappointed by the paucity of books on sale in the gift shop. The few there looked dry and uninspiring, and it seemed to me that they are missing a great opportunity. Surely there must be many more books on and around the mining industry and its social history for adults and children. And not only non-fiction but quality fiction too. I'm convinced it would add great value to the gift shop.
But it struck me that the NCM's location near Wakefield is only 4 miles away from the bookshop by road - we are on its doorstep, as it were. Hence a visit to the museum could be comfortably combined and enhanced with a visit here on the same day! And to continue the mining theme of the day, amongst our great range of titles, we have a little gem of a book for children called 'Pitfall!'

This is a wonderfully evocative book set in the industrial revolution with a lovely story of disaster and salvation - well told in a modern style. What makes it stand out are the abundant illustrations. The stark black and white artwork perfectly captures the grimness and grime of the times, and of the hard lot of children then. And the imagination is as powerfully stirred also by the depiction of the light of God's grace shining in a dark place.
As you may have gathered by now, I highly recommend it! Especially at £2.95.
So add the NCM + bookshop combination to your list of holiday must-sees when in Yorkshire, and you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Summer Reading Club - Staff Recommendations

If you follow us on our social media sites you will notice that we are regularly posting 'staff recommendations' for your summer reading.  Our latest recommendation came from Jeremy and was for Patrick of Ireland - His Life & Impact by Michael Haykin. Here is a repost of Jeremy's original review when the book was first published in 2014...

Of the Early Church Fathers perhaps none is so remembered in the secular world than (St) Patrick, and few so neglected by evangelical Christians!  It is therefore a joy to discover anew this beacon of Celtic Christianity, reclaimed from outrageous legend and Romish gloss by Michael Haykin.  Whilst it would be going too far to claim the true Patrick (died c. AD 460) as an evangelical - indeed anachronistic - yet his faith seems sound, and certainly orthodox.
Haykin treats as suspect almost all historical data apart from the two different documents definitely ascribed to Patrick - his 'confessions' and a letter to a British chief.  From these we learn that although Ireland was the backdrop for the most significant features of Patrick's spiritual life, he was in fact from Britain.  He was carried captive to Ireland by pirates while a youth, converted during this time, and then managed to escape back to his homeland.  Later he made the momentous and courageous decision to go back to Ireland, now freely as a missionary to bring the gospel of Christ to those who had once been his captors.
Patrick was not some superstitious monk, but a humbly educated man with an intense devotion to his Old Latin Bible.  Haykin provides an assessment of Patrick's belief in the inerrancy of scripture and of its place in the development of his thinking about ministry, mission and doctrine.  Another chapter helpfully discusses Patrick's theology, particularly his Trinitarian creed.  Today's evangelical, who perhaps assumes the Trinity and gives scant thought to it, would be shamed by the fervent commitment of Patrick to the correct understanding of God's nature and being.  Celtic Christians like him were certainly not primitive or doctrinally flabby!  This is recommended reading.  One criticism would be that there is some repetition of material due to the way in which the book is arranged, with Patrick's life and times followed by more detailed specific studies of his thought.
This is the first in a new series edited by Michael A G Haykin called 'Early Church Fathers'.

Don't forget that you can take advantage of our Summer Reading Club to get 25% off all your purchases over the summer - all you have to do is spend an initial £15! The club covers secondhand books as well as new books so you could pick up some real bargains. Click Summer Reading Club to see all the details and more staff recommendations.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Author Visit - Douglas Bond

This time last week we were welcoming Douglas Bond to the shop. It was a busy afternoon of book signing, book selling, history talking and cake eating!
 If you weren't able to make it this time, we very much hope there will be another opportunity in years to come... we will let you know! In the meantime, there are plenty of Douglas Bond books to read.  Doug writes gripping historical fiction for both adults and children. But he is not just a fiction writer - he writes solid biographies too, plus a few books on theology and Christian living. He also has a particular interest in hymnology. Take a look at this list of his titles that we stock, many of which we have personally reviewed...




Monday, 17 June 2019

AV Calendar Distribution in Zambia


It has been a great relief to us to hear from Duwen Musaka, our contact in Zambia, at last. We were concerned to have some feedback to learn how our AV calendars had been received, on behalf of those who had so generously sponsored them.
Apparently getting the Zambian postal service to freely release the boxes was a marathon in itself for him to begin with, as corruption is so rife.
From then on distribution was made gradually made as he visited various churches in and around Kabwe, where he is based, and also the rural areas further afield. This is in the Copperbelt region of Zambia.

Duwen is a very busy man and his report was delayed, but it is here at last, and this is an extract from it:-


















Here are some more accompanying photos of  Duwen handing out the calendars, and some ready recipients:-






Saturday, 8 June 2019

Summer Reading Club


June is here and so is our Summer Reading Club! Join our club and get a whopping 25% discount on all your book purchases throughout the summer months of June, July and August. All you have to do is spend at least £15 on full price books and we will sign you up for your 25% discount on all your subsequent purchases.  Our club even includes all our secondhand books so don't hold back, get yourself some bargains to read over the summer!
Keep an eye on our social media sites for our staff recommendations...