Thursday, 28 August 2008

Hope... the best of things

Joni Eareckson Tada is someone I enjoy reading, ok so I may not go along with her theology on everything, but she has a definite insight into suffering. I thought I would share a quote from a little booklet recently published called 'Hope... the best of things', in which she writes about hoping in Christ amidst the trials of life. Here is one of her comments on Luke 9:23 'If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me':
My wheelchair is not my cross to bear. Neither is your cane or walker your cross. Neither is your dead-end job or your irksome in-laws. Your cross to bear is not your migraine headaches, not your sinus infection, not your stiff joints. That is not your cross to bear. My cross is not my wheelchair; it is my attitude. Your cross is your attitude about your dead-end job and your in-laws. It is your attitude about your aches and pains. Any complaints, and grumblings, any disputings or murmurings, any anxieties, any worries, any resentments or anything that hints of a raging torrent of bitterness - these are the things God calls me to die to daily.
Hope... the Best of Things, by Joni Eareckson-Tada, published by Crossway, £2.99

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Christmas is coming...

Okay, so we're only just past the middle of the year, but I'm afraid I am already up to my ears in Christmas cards and 2009 Calendars. Most of my Christmas cards have now arrived plus we have just taken delivery of next year's AV Block Calendar. I enjoy looking through everything and reminding myself of what I ordered back in January/February, but I don't want to wish time away so they probably won't get anywhere near the shop floor until October. Having said that, I have already had one customer ask to see Christmas Cards, plus we have received our first order for 2009 calendars! It's an up-side-down year in the retail world!

Monday, 11 August 2008

Bible Alive Series

To complement the 6 books on the Life of Jesus in the Bible Alive series, Christian Focus Publications have just added 4 books on the life of Moses. Carine Mackenzie has (as always) written a biblically accurate set of books with just enough detail for the intended age group. This series is pitched at around 4-7 yr olds. I would recommend these to anyone who is looking for books for this age group.
Moses the Child, Kept by God
Moses the Shepherd, Chosen by God
Moses the Leader, Used by God
Moses the Traveller, Guided by God
£1.99 each

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

August Highlighted Books

Because of the Olympic Games during this month, I thought that it would be a good time to focus on books with the theme of Christians and sport. This immediately digs up the old bone to chew over again - should Christians be involved in sport? It is closely connected with considerations like use of time, and what constitutes worthy entertainment - if in fact such a thing exists. Is it OK to participate in sport, but not be a spectator? Or are both merely forms of modern idolatry? If you have a talent for a particular sport (or indeed any other natural gift, from playing the piano to lion taming) then should you see it as God-given to use anyway, or only if you can clearly see how it can be employed for his glory? So many questions! So many opinions!!
One book I have featured was blogged on by me when first published. 'Running the Race', a new biography of the Olympic legend Eric Liddell. It is pleasing to learn that a translation of it has been given the permission of the Chinese Government to be distributed in China during the period of the Beijing Games. Well done Evangelical Press!
Perhaps the worst development in sport is professionalism. It drives the win at all costs mentality. It may increase standards, but mostly reduces the concept of sportsmanship and healthy enjoyment. It also brings great pressure along with the crowds of spectators. So I have also featured a book called 'Stress: Sources and Solutions' from a Christian viewpoint by a former Consultant Psychiatrist. I haven't read it in detail, but it obviously deals with a whole range of reasons for stress. Like me trying to shoehorn in this blog to introduce my August choices between decorating the bedrooms at home and testing a new stock and invoicing system at the bookshop. Must dash to get the dust sheets off our bed before sleeping in it!