Monday, 31 December 2007

What Did You Last Read in 2007?

I am gasping for breath, straining to reach the sounds like Eric Liddell's Olympic Gold Medal winning 400m race, but instead it's just me trying to finish this fine book before the year is out!
My chosen Christmas reading would not appeal to anyone who has an aversion to athletics, but for me it has been gripping. The author is clearly an authority on Liddell (had an advisory input into the 'Chariots of Fire' movie) and has himself competed at a relatively advanced level. As a Presbyterian minister he very interestingly handles the question of whether sport can have a place in a Christian's life. The other issue which Liddell's case always raises is regarding the use of the Lord's day. These two matters in themselves are more than enough to handle on a full stomach, surrounded by the noise and debris of this time of year! But the book is otherwise a fairly easy read and has a number of photos in it, so £8.95 is a fair price. It has been adroitly brought out by Evangelical Press on the eve of Olympic year. I hope many people involved in sport will read it and be inspired like Eric Liddell to be first and foremost devoted to the Lord. A good resolution for the New Year.

Thursday, 20 December 2007


We are just starting to breathe more easily again - less of the dashing up and down stairs between the packing room and office and more of the sitting and eating mince-pies! Our last batch of parcels for a Christmas delivery went off with the courier this afternoon. For any late mail-orderers your only chance now of a Christmas delivery is Royal Mail Special Delivery. For our local customers, we will happily serve you in the shop up until midday on Christmas Eve. We then intend to shut down operations until the New Year. We're hoping to catch up on some reading (in between calming the boys down from all the excitement usually associated with the season). So watch this space - we might find some time for a few posts even while the shop is shut.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Read and Meditate

I'm really pleased that Banner of Truth have produced this book. Not all that they do now is of the quality of earlier days, but this book was a reprint project well worth doing. It is commended in the preface by the Bishop of Durham no less - when that position was held by Handley Moule. 'The Loveliness of Christ' is an apt title for extracts from the letters of Samuel Rutherford. It is diary sized, feels like nubuck (but officially softcover), costs £10 and would be ideal for reading on a train or bus journey. Read and meditate, read further and meditate further, and keep repeating the process - that's the way to go with this book. It feels good to the hand, and its contents are good food for the soul. It is so full of Christ, and he is the pearl of great price to be sought for, in contrast to the frantic consumerism of the Christmas period.
If you want to go further, you could upgrade to the classic collection of Rutherford's letters for an extra £8.50. But this is vastly greater in size, in a large hardback volume edited by Andrew Bonar and also reproduced by Banner last year.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Send It Gift Wrapped

For those of you who (like me) don't start Christmas shopping until the week before Christmas you may find our gift wrapping service a great solution. It is free! (and you don't get many free things in life) and we are quite happy to send to an address of your choice. Just don't forget the last inland posting dates (for Royal Mail) - second class is Monday 17th, first class is Thursday 20th and Special Delivery can be used right up to Saturday 22nd.
p.s. Don't worry, the gift wrapping isn't normally ripped open as on the photo -that's just a before and after shot!

Monday, 10 December 2007

In My Kitchen

What a nice surprise to receive a poem like this in the post (along with an invoice!) It certainly gave me a welcome minute or two of 'time-out' during a busy day in the shop.

When I am in my kitchen, I know the Lord is near,
I may be doing washing, or sitting in my chair,
Or maybe I am cooking, to make a dainty dish,
I ask His blessing on it, He kindly grants my wish.

As I take up my iron, to straighten out a crease,
He straightens out my problems, and gives me perfect peace.
Like when I put my clothes on, to cover up my skin,
His righteous robe He gives me, and takes away my sin.

For righteousness imputed, is what He wrought for me,
A life lived as my proxy, my substitute to be;
Not only by His living, but died upon the tree,
Bearing my sin, He suffered, then rose to set me free.

Sometimes he pays a visit, which is so real to me,
I could reach out to touch Him, though nothing I can see,
But He has touched my spirit, and set my soul on fire,
Renewing love within me, He meets my soul's desire.

His love passes all knowledge, an ocean all divine,
Which always is surrounding the isle of life that's mine,
And as I bathe within it, there is no shore or beach,
Its length, and breadth, and deepness, is far beyond my reach.

He said, I will be with you, to cheer you on your way,
That you may know my presence, throughout each passing day,
So, sitting in my kitchen, although I'm on my own,
I cannot be down-hearted, or feeling I'm alone.

So if you find my body, still sitting in my chair,
Don't grieve because you're finding my real me not there,
He's paid me His last visit; He'll visit me no more,
For I will visit His home, to worship and adore.

Then will be no more sorrow, no tears to wipe away,
No sin to cause me problem, no food to cook each day,
No clothes in need of washing, but clothed in garments white,
I'll see Him, and be like Him - And there, will be no night.

Written by an elderly gentleman who self-published books full of articles, anecdotes, pictures and poetry like this one. Titles include:
-Countryman's Heritage
-One Man's Furrow
-From Ploughboy to Pastor
by David Obbard, £4 each and we have them all in stock


Thursday, 6 December 2007

That Warm Winter Feeling

I've titled this shot 'The pedestrian's view (with blurred vision)'. It was taken on leaving the bookshop this evening. Dark nights, lighted windows and warm looking interiors filled with attractive goods just remind me of childhood Christmases. A touch of nostalgia overwhelms me... it must be age. Lorna has curtly reminded me that it is still only 6th December and although she has given way over trimming up the shop window it won't be taking place at home for some time yet! Basically the message is, there's a lot of work to be done between now and that unmentionable holiday season, and a lot of customers to serve.

Monday, 3 December 2007


Only £1
For less money than an advent calendar you can have from us something vastly more profitable. It is a only a booklet but it will easily see you through the advent season. It is simply titled 'Immanuel', being an extract from Archbishop Ussher in the Apples of Gold Series of reprints. Its contents are highly distilled, as you would expect from a Puritan writer. So just take it steadily with frequent meditation (on the scriptures referred to I need hardly add.) You will be delivered from Christmas sentimentality, and settled upon biblical foundations, and may sense again the mystery and the joy of the incarnation of the Son of God.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

The Work of His Fingers

Wow, Banner of Truth have really gone for something different this time! 'The Work of His Fingers' is essentially a children's picture book with a rhyme 'in praise of creation'. The artwork is fascinating and the rhyme is surprisingly informative, even scientific. This is certainly not another vaguely inane children's poetry book with stupidly unrealistic pictures. I used it for the boys' bedtime story this evening and discovered that it led to all sorts of topics of conversation - the rotation of the earth, the ozone layer, the planets and universe. This did make me wonder what age group the book is really aimed at. Obviously at 4 and 2 yrs (and of course our 11 month old was listening in too) our boys found the science a bit mind-boggling, although rhyming books always go down well. The large booklet format (A4ish) would be good if this book was used to read to a group of children, but I think A5 would perhaps have been a better size for more personal reading. All in all though, I think it's a lovely book and will no doubt be reading it many more times yet.
The Work of His Fingers, by Alison Brown, £3.50

Monday, 26 November 2007

Commenting and Commentaries

Perhaps you wouldn't think that a catalogue of some 1400 commentaries on books of the Bible would be something to jump at. But, being Spurgeon, it has become a classic, though just now reprinted after a gap of some years. It may be considered dated because of all that has been produced since his era, but still it remains true that much of the best had been done by then. Being a paperback it can be taken with you to secondhand bookshops for consultation - you might stumble across some hidden gem! Generally speaking Spurgeon displays a good and witty judgement in his brief assessment of each book. There is also a thought-provoking lecture 'On Commenting' at the beginning which gives direction on making practical use of his work when it comes to preaching/teaching. Maybe a good Christmas present for your pastor, if you dare! Costs £8.95

Friday, 23 November 2007

Presents for Children

If you're looking for suitable books for children this Christmas, look no further! We have recently updated our Young People page with better pictures and descriptions of the books to help you make a more informed choice. Don't forget we also have plenty of Reviews of the books on our site. PLUS, we are only a phone call away if you want to discuss any further details. We're always happy to help!

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Matt's recommendation

'My bestest book about Jesus'. This is the way Matt (age 4) describes his current favourite 'The Life of Jesus for the Very Young' by Isobel Tallach (Banner of Truth, £1.25). It's an A5 wire-bound booklet outlining the life of Jesus, from his birth, through some of his miracles and parables and ending with the gospel simply explained in his death and resurrection. The pictures are very stylised (no pictures of Jesus) but our boys find them fascinating. At only £1.25 it can't really be passed over.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

New Chapel

4pm and the Bookshop closes for the week as the new Chapel next door opens. The first service of any kind here was held today. It was a short prayer meeting just for the very regular church and congregation. There are still a number of details to finish off (including chairs & signage!), but it is so good to get in at last. Services will switch back to here from the Priory Lane Church Hall as of tomorrow. Normal times apply: 10.20am Prayer Meeting. Preaching services 11am & 6pm.

Friday, 16 November 2007

If It's Not Too Much Trouble

New out from Christian Focus is this book subtitled 'The Challenge of the Aged Parent'. In her usual easy manner Ann Benton writes about her experiences of looking after her father-in-law giving much practical and biblical instruction along the way. Here's an extract...
'Each one of us is made in God's image; each one is a living soul. To treat with tenderness and respect the ageing body of an elderly relative or neighbour is fitting because of what that body houses. Such a treatment is not borne of sentimentality, because the person concerned is 'a dear', although that may be the case. The motive for care and concern for elderly people is that each one is made in the image of God. And though time and wear and tear has made some of these folks unattractive or cantankerous, they are still worthy of respect because they remain God's creation and bear his image.
Every congregation of believers in Jesus Christ can demonstrate the grace of God in action by its treatment of and attention to the elderly. This is gospel work.
In an inhumane world the church is called upon not only to preach but also to adorn the gospel of Christ and draw attention to the fact that faith works. How can that be too much trouble?'

Tuesday, 13 November 2007


Christian Focus Publications have now brought out their popular Lightkeepers series in box sets. What a brilliant idea! For those who don't know the series there are 10 titles, 5 of 'Ten Girls Who...' and 5 of 'Ten Boys Who...', each has 10 short biographies of well known Christians written for approx 8-10 yr olds. If bought singly, these books are £4.99 each, however you can now buy them in box sets of 5 (a 'boys' set and a 'girls' set) for £19.99 - effectively one book free!
The series titles are:
Ten Girls/Boys who used their Talents
Ten Girls/Boys who changed the World
Ten Girls/Boys who made a Difference
Ten Girls/Boys who made History
Ten Girls/Boys who didn't Give In
They would make a great Christmas present!

Saturday, 10 November 2007


There is a proliferation of books on courtship & marriage, even divorce, but we have just one book in stock on singleness. One! and that one has been in the shop for 4 years. 4 years!! Why doesn't anyone buy books on singleness? I'm not saying there aren't many books being published on singleness - there may be dozens, but we find that this topic just does not sell well. Why? Is singleness a taboo subject? Okay, so I am married - you may think I am totally unqualified to waffle on this subject, but I would suggest that singleness for the Christian is something very different than singleness for the non-christian. Perhaps all those single Christians out there are actually very happy with their singleness and therefore don't feel the need to buy these books. If that is the case, great! But perhaps someone could help me out by buying this book and giving it to a single friend who isn't as happy as themselves.
'Fine China is for Single Women Too' by Lydia Brownback (published by P & R, £8.95) is a well presented small hardback that would be perfect as a gift for a good friend.
p.s. If you order it and leave a comment on the blog I'll let you have it for 6 quid.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Xmas Cards and Calendars

Back in the thick of it now, getting the buzz of life in a Christian Bookshop in the run up (it seems so long!) to Christmas. I have been ticked off twice now by customers for using the shorthand 'Xmas' instead of 'Christmas'. Apparently it takes the Christ out of Christmas and is from a secular mindset, but I maintain he was never in it anyway. The Bible is silent about celebrating 25th December, except that if we decide to observe a day or not, the principle is that we do it 'unto the Lord'. So, we sell cards to those who want to send greetings at this time of year, but just have no particular religious fervour in doing so.
Calendars are less contentious at least, although our AV Block Calendar has been slated for supposedly encouraging people to only look at one text of scripture a day! In fact it is intended to send readers to the Bible to look up the context, and we have received much positive feedback over the years to the profit people have found from it. It is selling steadily this year - down to our last 250 now. The message is clear: buy now before it's gone. For just £6.95 plus postage you get the condensed prayerful output of a year's worth of someone's Bible study. We always have to be about a year ahead in order to get it printed on time. The texts for 2009 are now just about ready for proof reading. It's like coping with 2 christmasses at once!

Saturday, 3 November 2007

The Child's Story Bible by C Vos

As part of our preparations for our evening event this week we wrote out numerous 'shelf-talkers' - recommendations for our favourite books. This one is a classic - written spontaneously by the son of one of our helpers when she asked him why he liked his favourite story bible. I don't know how anyone can resist the book when it has such a sincere recommendation!


Friday, 2 November 2007

Ladies Night - The Aftermath

I jolly well think it is 'OK to cry' for a man when you get an eyeful of this cake selection photographed at last night's women's only event! By all accounts it was a definite success - the whole evening, not just the cake. Careful planning was well rewarded. I noticed significant gaps on the shelves first thing this morning. Feedback from customers was along the lines of "It's so nice to be able to have a good look at the books without children fussing around" and "Lovely atmosphere" (I think referring to the mood lighting and friendly service) and "When are you going to do another of these evenings?" One on Sunday School / Bible study materials was specifically requested, so that is a measure in itself of how well things went, as well as a cue for the future. Lorna and her crew have been fantastic - here's a picture of her flanked by her expert advisers on the night, all exhausted but radiant!

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

1st November 2007 - Ladies Night

Well, what are men to make of a strictly ladies-only function at the bookshop? I feel left out: left to put the children to bed whilst they natter on about children's books (allegedly). No wonder rumblings of discontent have been heard from other quarters as well. Church leaders have even voiced suspicion, and this unrest has undoubtedly been increased by leaked details of the homemade cakes being provided. I can only hope that good sense will prevail amongst the men, and the ladies will not be forced into a lock-in situation! At least I should be well placed to get hold of leftovers next day, even if I have to hunt around the bookstands to find fragments...
Male griping aside, it promises to be a great evening. Bargains like 3 for 2 offers can't be passed over. If you're female, want to get your hands on quality children's books, and live north of Watford Gap, then 21 Queen Street, Ossett, WF5 8AS is the address to put in your Sat-Nav system to get to on Thursday evening from 7pm.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Books on offer

Grace & Truth Online Publications are a small publisher who are worthy of note. We stock all three of their titles, which are currently being sold at cut-down prices. Here they are, with the publisher's blurb...

Sovereign Grace: Past and Present, I Potts (ed), was £12, now £8.50
Collected writings from both past and present preachers of God's Gospel of Free and Sovereign Grace through Jesus Christ. Includes works by William Tiptaft, Tobias Crisp, William Huntington, William Gadsby, Robert Murray M'Cheyne, J.C. Philpot, John Kershaw, James Bourne, Eli Ashdown, Francis Covell, John Vinall, John Warburton, Don Fortner, Henry Mahan, Don Bell, Gary Shepard, Todd Nibert, Tom Harding, Peter Meney and Benjamin A. Ramsbottom.The book also includes an Introduction on 'Sovereign Grace', background information about each author and a useful appendix containing much information about other works written by or about the authors.These works are by authors whose lives span several hundred years, yet their message is the same - they proclaim the grace of God which brings salvation - because the One of whom they speak never changes, He is "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever".

The Fountain of Life, W Huntington, was £10.50, now £7.50
This publication contains six chapters taken from the works of William Huntington S.S. All the chapters are Christ-exalting and experimental as they set forth the true work of God in the salvation of sinners. We trust that this book will prove edifying and also provide a welcome introduction to the writings of Huntington to those who may be unfamiliar with the works of this man who was greatly used by God in his day and generation.

Christ the Sun of Righteousness, I Potts, was £6.95, now £4.50
This work sets forth pictures of Christ as He is revealed throughout scripture. The whole message of the Bible regards the person and work of Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God. He is to be found on every page of Holy Writ. He is the sum and substance of God’s message to lost mankind, the One through whom God reveals Himself to man, the One through whom God reconciles sinners to Himself, the One in whom all the blessings of God to His people are revealed. The Gospel of God concerns His Son, Jesus Christ, and the message of the Bible is of the salvation of sinners through Christ, by Free and Sovereign Grace.May the reader be pointed towards Christ, the Saviour, the “Sun of righteousness”.
If you want any further info, read these reviews on our site.
N.B. The sale won't last forever, so take advantage of it now!

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Caring for Life

What an incredible story 'The Deafening Sound of Silent Tears' tells. It is the story of Caring for Life and the work that they do among the homeless in Leeds. This book was lent to me by one of our regular customers but I intend to get it on our shelves asap. Caring for Life is a very practical Christian charity - no aggressive evangelism accompanies its work, but loving, practical support - for life. The people they help have often experienced years of unimaginable abuse and hardship, many of them with learning difficulties or mental health problems. The charity works to re-house them, teach daily living skills, provide therapeutic activities and in some cases jobs on the farm which is at the centre of the charity's work. Each person becomes a part of the Caring for Life 'family' and therefore experiences through example, the desire of every Christian to 'Love one another, as I have loved you'.
They hold regular open days at the farm, so for anyone local, I would recommend going along - I certainly intend to.
(check out

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Shop Repaint

External painting. I knew that it needed doing, but hoped it might go away if I ignored it. But on taking a closer examination of the state of the window sills, I realised that it wouldn't, and that because of my neglect more repair work was required than I had supposed. Thankfully a helping hand at just the right time has propelled us towards completion of the work within this week. I now just need to paint the door and it's job done thanks to the heroics of Lorna's Dad (who won't thank me for broadcasting his good deeds.) No vast change to the colour scheme though, so you'll still recognise us - a lighter grey all round, with a black (but hopefully not forbidding) door. We get so much dirt thrown up by the traffic on the road outside that even before the paint has chance to dry it looks dusty, hence the logic that grey shows it least! I admit a black door will show the dirt more, but we probably need to keep it cleaned more frequently anyway to give more welcoming signals out! Of course the shop will need to look spick and span inside and out for the ladies night coming up shortly - ask Lorna for details of how you could come and take advantage of superb deals on children's books.
We were granted a fine though cold day today, as you will see from the photo. Yes, the grey is the finished look and not another undercoat! Like it? Loathe it??

Saturday, 13 October 2007

C H Spurgeon

For all those who enjoy the writings of C H Spurgeon, we have just taken stock of another 4 titles of his...

The Complete John Ploughman combines John Ploughman's Talk and John Ploughman's Pictures. They give answers to common questions of the day on doctrine and behaviour as explained by a ploughman to his wayward audience. p/b, £7.99.

The Suffering Letters of Spurgeon give a unique insight into Spurgeon's life. p/b £6.95.

Devotional Thoughts on the Bible - The Pentateuch. Spurgeon's expositions of Scripture given as he read biblical passages before preaching are mini sermons in themselves and ideally suited to daily reading. Once published in one volume, they are now being republished as a series of paperbacks. £9.95.

Spurgeon's Sermons on Prayer. h/b, £11.95


Thursday, 11 October 2007

The Classic Original

No, I'm not referring to cars or clothing brands but a Bible range newly produced by the Trinitarian Bible Society, that most generous and faithful of Bible publishers in the English speaking world. The Classic Original Reference Bible is the new kid on the block - larger than the Pitt Minion, and of a size which will nicely lay out for reading comfortably. It is not too big though, only 22cm by 15cm cover dimensions by my measurements. The actual text is slightly larger than the Concord Reference, on which it has been based, and which it would seem logical for the TBS to phase out now. Although there is a hardback, this is geared towards leather bindings. It has been printed in Holland and bound by Cambridge University Press, so at least no sweatshop labour involved here in its production. Complete with glossary, concordance and 8 colour maps it is an attractive package. Particularly eye catching is the two tone stitched soft leather model. Have a look: This costs just £39.50.
The TBS are to be commended for refreshing and adding to their range. You won't get any hard sell from their Sales Department either.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

The Postal Strike

What a pain! Let's hope they sort themselves out v soon because we've got a shedful of parcels to go out. It's holding up the dispatch of our AV Block Calendars. But keep steady folks, it's still only early October, so you'll get them before Christmas abw. We do have a courier service available as a backstop, if Royal Mail fails to reach an agreement with the CWU. It has mainly been used for more expensive orders up to now, and those over 1.5kg in weight. However, it can be used for most orders on request, and provides a reliable next day delivery service.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007


I have to admit to being a bit of a Scrooge when it comes to Christmas. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with celebrating Christmas at Christmastime, but what I get rather annoyed about is the way Christmas starts earlier and earlier and becomes more and more commercialised. Because of this I always used to refuse to acknowledge Christmas in the shop until at least November. However, I have in more recent years bowed to customer pressure and as you will see in this photo, the Christmas stock hits the shop floor in early October.
So, for anyone that is interested you can check out our Christmas cards and 2008 calendars by following the links from our website home page . We specialise in sourcing Christmas cards with AV Scripture texts and we also produce a (very stylish) double-sided block calendar (see below) which we believe to be the only AV Block calendar available without any additional devotional writings. Lorna

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Caught on Camera

We thought things had been going missing lately! The hand will be in the till next...or has it already been in? £10 has gone astray.
Any alternative suggestions for a photo caption? By the way, this is Alex (No 3, 9 months old).

Friday, 28 September 2007

Christian Focus Publications

I've been taking a look at a new-ish Christian Focus Publication 'Trusting God' and once again I think they have proved that you don't have to be 'light' when writing for children. One thing I like about many of the children's titles that Christian Focus publish is their biblical detail. The 'Bibletime' and 'Biblewise' series (both series about bible characters) are biblically accurate and detailed but still simple enough to be read to a 2yr old. Officially the Bibletime series is aimed at 4-7yr olds and the Biblewise series at slightly older.
Anyway, back to 'Trusting God'. This book explains and applies the names of God - Jehovah Jireh, Jehovah Nissi, Jehovah Rohi, Jehovah Rophi, Jehovah Shalom, Jehovah Shammah, Jehovah Tsidkenu, Jehovah Maccaddeshem and Jehovah Sabaoth. Aimed at 6yrs+, it is interspersed with Think Spots, Thank Spots and Bible Searches (but no pronunciation guides!). Scripture quotes are AV. The only negative I have on this book is that the internal styling is rather crass compared to the stylish cover. However, that is very subjective and certainly no reason not to buy the book! Anyway, at only £4.99 you can't really go wrong.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Dr Jean Henri Merle D'Aubigne

Lorna mentioned Banner of Truth's new book 'Let Christ be Magnified' in a post on 07/09/07. Having now read it, I am in the main, enthusiastic about it. I am full of admiration for the man who was chosen to give an address to a gathering in Geneva 300 years after John Calvin's death, and yet avoided eulogising him. The subject was 'Calvin's teaching for today.' D'Aubigne quite quickly gets via Calvin to Christ, and to his glory under the headings: his Word, his Person, his Grace, and his Life. He lectured as one who knew the doctrines of grace called Calvinism for himself, by personal experience. Indeed, this comes out in the very useful publisher's preface about D'Aubigne himself. He was affected by listening to Robert Haldane speaking from the Epistle to the Romans on the corruption of human nature, and said to him afterwards, 'Now I see that doctrine in the Bible.' The retort was, 'Yes, but do you see it in your heart?' This led to his conversion. He went on to be a professor in Calvin's city, and his 'History of Protestantism in Europe in the time of Calvin' is said to be the most widely circulated book on church history in its English translations/derivatives. (Sadly not to me any further than to see it!)
Banner seem to be generally better with their 'new-old' publications these days, than with those that have contemporary authors.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Ladies Meetings

Is it sexist to advertise a 'Ladies Meeting'? This is a question I have been puzzling over whilst trying to organise a book evening for 'Carers of Children' (!). We are planning an open evening in the shop with a focus on children's books. It is really intended for ladies - Mum's, Aunts, Grandmas - anyone with an interest in buying children's books. Not necessarily Sunday School material (that will be another special open evening!). Jeremy feels that the atmosphere would subtly change if men were present. Hummm...
Can anyone help me with some wording that offends neither male or 'non child friendly' females, (but on the other hand excludes both)?

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

A busy bookshop?

Don't be fooled by the calm exterior. All is mayhem deep in the bowels of the shop. Our latest flyer has hit the doormat of many houses up and down the land, and the response has been great. After a quiet August, we're having to run to stand still this month. Please keep us running! (it maintains fitness levels as well, so we really do appreciate your custom all the more). If you haven't received a mailing/emailing from us and feel left out, we apologise and ask that you get in touch
Or just come on in through the door in the photo.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Apples of Gold

This series of booklets, published by Zoar Publications in the 1970's, are real gems. On many occasions we have had customers testify to the spiritual profit they have found in them. One local customer talked of finding one of these booklets in a little Christian Bookshop in the middle of nowhere in the US!
Indeed, when they were first published they were sent in good quantities all over the world. Jeremy remembers watching his Dad pack these booklets up in big boxes addressed to Kalamazoo (MI, USA). His father and Mr David Oldham formed Zoar Publications with a vision to publish puritan writings in small booklets making them accessible to many. Mr Oldham prepared and printed them, and his father distributed them. In total about 16 booklets were published, some of which are now out of print. They also published 2 bound volumes of which only Volume 1 is still available.
I recently read 'It is Well' by John Hill and found it very good. Hill writes clearly on the subject of submission to the will of God in a typically structured puritan style. He examines what submission is, what the foundations of submission are, the fruits of submission, faith and submission, and helps to submission. I would recommend this booklet, particularly to anyone who feels to be walking a difficult path. Although it is now out of print as an individual booklet, Volume 1 includes it and at only £6 it is a bargain at the price.
Volume 1 includes:
Mason's Sayings - John Mason
Everlasting Mercy - Thomas Adams (now out of print as an individual booklet)
It is Well - John Hill (ditto)
Honey Out of the Rock - Thomas Willcox
Divine Meditations - Richard Sibbes (ditto)
The Christian on Watch - Thomas Gataker
Heart Surgery - Robert Bolton
Christ's Pre-eminence - Tobias Crisp

To check which booklets are still available individually, go to Zoar Publications on our site.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

George Rose

I'm using a little booklet put together by Huntingtonian Press ('Altogether Lovely', £2.75) for some meditational reading at the moment. It contains a couple of sermons on the Song of Solomon by the late George Rose at Forest Fold Chapel, Crowborough in 1960. He preaches to the heart, and that is timeless. There is a beauty in Christ that he brings out from that Sacred Song which is altogether spiritual - not sentimental. I recommend it highly. Huntingtonian Press is only a very small publisher, but they have done a lot, particularly in the area of short selections of out of print material. I think our book selection would be very much the poorer without their contribution. They have an occasional Journal 'The Sinner Saved', which explains their raison d'etre as follows:
We consider that there is a need for what our fathers termed "Experimental Calvinism", the Calvinism which was preached by men such as (but not exclusively) William Huntington & Joseph Irons (Independent), Robert Hawker & David Doudney (Anglican), William Gadsby & J C Philpot (Baptist), and a host of other such witnesses of the truth. I wonder how many other - bigger - publishers have such a mission statement? At one end of the spectrum are not-for-profit Trusts which have money but no vision. At the other end are snappy Commercial outfits whose vision is money.
As a postscript on George Rose, Gospel Mission has already reproduced his autobiography 'Remembered Mercies Recorded' (£7.95)

Friday, 7 September 2007

New Banner of Truth Books

I was interested to see 'Raising Children God's Way' (p/b, £5.50) amongst the new Banner titles. This is an extract from Lloyd-Jones' popular Ephesians series. 'Life in the Spirit, in Marriage, Home and Work' is the sixth book in the series and covers Ephesians 5:18 to 6:9. It is a book I read a good few years ago and one I would highly recommend. This extract covers Ephesians 6:1-4 'Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.'

Walter Chantry is another author I have enjoyed reading in the past (His book 'The Shadow of the Cross' also published by Banner of Truth (£4.50) is an excellent little paperback on self denial) and therefore 'David: Man of Prayer, Man of War' (h/b, £12.50) is a book I am likely to be picking up sometime soon. Let me quote from the introduction to whet your appetite...

The one constant with David in every condition was expressed in Psalm 16:8: 'I have set the LORD always before me.' In all the rapid alterations of his life David thought of the Most High God and expressed his devout feelings toward his Maker and Redeemer. When he wept in shame for his loathsome sins, his tears were poured out before the Lord. When he felt the exhilaration of triumph, he shouted to the Lord who was his strength. Perhaps this most of all explains the vast variety of David's life experiences. The Lord made him into the Psalmist for all the saints in all subsequent ages. In his youth he knew a peaceful, tranquil walk with God; in later years he both walked upon the heights and fell into the depths, and thus was enabled to compose prayerful songs for every condition of life... We love this man for showing us how to pray from every point of life's compass. We love him for showing us how, in the midst of spiritual failure, we too can draw near to the Lord again in trust and devotion.

Also newly published are:

'The Life and Times of George Whitefield' by Robert Philip, £10. First published in 1837 this is a reprint of what is reckoned to be the best single volume biography of Whitefield and uses much of his own journals, letters and sermons.

'Let Christ be Magnified' by J H Merle D'Aubigne, £5.50. Another reprint, this was first published as 'Calvin's Teachings for the Present Day' in 1867. It includes a brief sketch of Calvin's life and work.


Tuesday, 4 September 2007

The Mailing Room

Our volunteers continue to do a sterling job with our current mailing. Young and old have been working well together. By the way, if you receive one of our flyers with a rather skewed stamp on the envelope you will perhaps understand why when you see these pictures...

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Three cheers for the volunteers!!!

They say one volunteer is worth ten pressed men. I agree absolutely. We are blessed with not one, but a handful of unassuming people who willingly and sacrificially give of their time and energies to support the bookshop. Their work is not glamorous, but they see it as a ministry to the Lord. You have them to thank for independent christian bookshops like ours still having a presence on the high street, as well as able to reach out much further afield. One lady here has personally folded no less than 1000 of our latest flyers and placed them in envelopes! These are an important way of informing people that we still exist, and have something to offer. (By the way, if you don't receive one this month just ask). Another lady is assembling the text blocks for next year's calendar, and soon will be tying on the hanger ribbon. This just shows the DIY nature of the production of the AV Calendar in its finishing stage. That means the price can be pegged back to last year's. (Those who know nothing about this daily tear-off text calendar of ours - please get the flyer!) Other people do admin, window displays, cleaning, baby-holding (a great favourite), and packing. I don't know what we'd do without them.

Friday, 24 August 2007

Making the Right Impression

21 fascinating accounts of British home educating families. Particularly interesting because most books of this type are written by American home educators with the inevitable cultural differences being quite apparent. The stories in this book cover a wide range of families -large & small, single parents, part schooling/part home ed, structured, flexible etc. For anyone interested in the subject of Home Education - whichever side of the fence they feel to be on - I would recommend this as a good starting point.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Tobias Crisp

I (amongst others) was quite taken aback to come across this edition of a spiritually valuable book, and most curious to find out its background. We already have the 4 volume Gospel Mission edition, but this is a new production altogether. On getting some in stock, I find that it is published by Diggory Press located in Cornwall. But there the trail becomes difficult to follow. They are a print on demand set up, and do all sorts of book genres, although they do claim to be a Christian Company. The book is a single volume paperback containing all 52 sermons along with the comments by John Gill - hence quite a slab of a book. The text has been completely re-typeset, so it is superior to the GM edition in that respect. I would be extremely interested to know who was behind this little project - how gratifying to think that there is someone out there coming at Crisp from a different direction to ourselves, and wanting to reprint him! Well, whoever wants to spread the true gospel of Christ, 'peace be on them' (Galatians 6 v 16).

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Wedding Bells

It seems to be that time of the year -weddings, weddings, weddings. Some big, some small. Some wet, some dry. Some awkward, some cosy. But always a new beginning.

There are many books to help those getting married to seriously consider the commitment they are making. From the Banner of Truth booklet 'Whom Shall I Marry?' (Andrew Swanson, £1.00), and the easy to read 'Don't they make a lovely couple' (John & Ann Benton, Christian Focus Publications, £4.99) through to useful study guides such as 'No Longer Two' (Brian & Barbara Edwards, Day One Publications, £8.00). 'The Exemplary Husband' (Stuart Scott, Focus Publishing, £10.99) and 'The Excellent Wife' (Martha Peace, Focus Publishing, £9.99) are heavier reading looking in depth at the roles of the husband and wife.
'Marriage, The Mystery of Christ and the Church' (David J Engelsma, RFPA, £18.00) goes further and studies the doctrine of marriage and its reflection of the relationship between Christ and His Church.
Don't worry if you have been married a while - it is never too late to improve (or perhaps just to confirm that you really are the perfect spouse!).

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Archbishop Ussher

Do you spell it Usher or Ussher? In any case I'm sure you know who I mean. Archbishop of Armagh in c17th, but most famous of all for dating the Creation at 4004BC. Also the stranger who replied "eleven" when catechised by Samuel Rutherford as to how many divine Commandments there are. His identity being discovered, he was constrained to preach the next day and did so from 'A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another.'
He also produced a valuable little piece on the deity-humanity of Christ, which was published by Zoar Publications in the Apples of Gold series of reprints, called 'Immanuel.' This has already been widely circulated but is still almost exclusively obtainable from us, and we still have a good number in stock. Price £1 plus £1 postage.
As can be seen on our website Ussher's major written work was his 'Body of Divinity.' This has been long out of print, but now is available again. I have seen that paperback versions are being sold, but really this is the sort of book that you consult for a lifetime, as well as being sizeable, so the hardback is best. It has been nicely produced with a dustjacket. Dr Crawford Gribben, who wrote 'James Ussher and the Irish Puritans' an Evangelical Press paperback which we stock, has prepared this edition and given an introduction to it. One notable and very useful feature of this particular body of divinity is that Ussher wrote it in a question and answer style throughout. This makes it more accessible for lesser mortals and anticipates many of the questions which all of us have on doctrine from time to time. Gribben goes as far as to claim for this book that it had the single most influence upon the Westminster Assembly, as it was well established and regarded by then and known to all the members of it. That's a big claim indeed. If your Articles of faith are based on the Westminster Confession then perhaps you need this book, or else you need to tell your pastor that he does and where to get it!

Thursday, 9 August 2007

China and the Climate

I was quite struck by a customer's account of his recent holiday in China. He said that in all the time he was there, visiting the usual tourist resorts across that vast country, the sun was never seen, except in Hong Kong (and that was unusual apparently). It was hot weather all the time. The reason quite simply was air pollution. The constant murky conditions were referred to only this week in the news, with it being one year away from the Olympic Games in Beijing. Despite radical Chinese plans to shut down industry altogether for the period of the Games, the IOC are saying even now that some events may be affected by poor air quality. China is probably the world's largest polluter now - see . However, as this article points out, the West cannot take any moral high ground on the subject because they have gradually moved their manufacturing base to China and the far east because of cheap labour costs. Hence less emissions here and more there. This movement is also noticeable in the book publishing market. I am reliably informed that all children's colour board books are now printed in the far east - things are so far gone that there is no Printer with the kit to do the job in this country now! Generally speaking the Christian publishers have already turned to follow the trend. 'We have to,' is the cry. 'People expect Christian books to be in the same price league with mainstream stuff... Printing costs in the UK are the highest in the world...' etc. I wonder if Christians would be more inclined to pay a little extra for a Christian book that they knew had been produced with the highest ethical and environmental standards. Or in a "World Village" is everyone satisfied to preach 'love thy neighbour', but at the same time flytip in his back garden?
IVP have produced (I trust cleanly!) some interesting books on the subject of Christians and the environment. I don't think I have found one which thinks the subject right through from a Reformed perspective yet, but there are gleanings here and there. Examples are 'When Enough is Enough' and 'The Care of Creation' both edited by R J Berry. Also 'L is for Lifestyle' by Ruth Valerio, although this is a bit wacky in places. However I'm sure we'll find an odd copy from under the counter for you if you ask.

Saturday, 4 August 2007

The Chapel

The slates are on, gutters finished and windows in. Work has now begun on the inside of the Chapel. There may not be a lot of external change from now on.