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.