Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Last 24hrs!

You need to get in quick! This time tomorrow I will be packing away the 3 for 2 books and they will be back to full price. Make the most of the offer while you can... you'll be wishing you had next time you have a spare evening and you are dreaming of relaxing with a good book! Bunyan, Doddridge, Goodwin, Hawker, Piper, Sproul, Venning, Whyte and many more... Check the full list here...

Saturday, 25 April 2009

My head hurts :-(

css .dap .asp .sql vbs cgi ... mean anything to you? No, it doesn't mean much to me either, but this is what I have been filling my head with this afternoon and am now suffering the consequences! Basically, our website needs dragging into the 21st Century and it is these sorts of abbreviations I am having to wrestle with to try and get it there. When we launched our website back in 2002 it seemed very 'cutting edge' (we liked to think so anyway!), but the internet has moved on by leaps and bounds in the 7 years since, and we... well, we haven't.
So, I am interested in knowing what our customers like to see in a website. Many customers tell us that our website is easy to navigate and gives them the information they need. People also comment on the fact that they like to read the reviews or this blog to gain more subjective information about particular titles. We don't want to change this. And as a small family business, we like having direct and personal contact with each of our customers. So, we do not intend to upgrade to a flashy, impersonal website. However, we are always trying to improve the service that we give. Over to YOU... tell us what you like and don't like, do you want 'one-click' buying (like the infamous Amazon), or do you like the more personal touch, do pictures of book covers help or are you more interested in book descriptions... tell me more
By the way, if anyone reading this happens to be an expert in web design, especially database led sites... we would love to hear from you!

Monday, 20 April 2009

New Focus Conference 2009

Congratulations to Peter and Jill Meney for very successfully hosting another conference in Teesdale this year. We were delighted to be invited to take a bookstall to the event last Saturday. Our feelings were more mixed when Peter badgered us into accepting 2 x 10 minute slots for stand up book reviews! Not exactly our cup of tea being the world's worst marketing managers. But we were among friends (albeit around 60 of them) and it went off OK. Lorna particularly did a great plug for sound children's literature, singling out the 'History Lives' series for special praise. This was light relief after a Dr Ella paper on John Brine. Sorry George, but she's got a prettier face! Maybe I'm biased...
It was good to meet some longstanding mail order customers for the first time - one from the Isle of North Uist! And it felt great to be selling really good books to really appreciative people. Don Fortner was once again over from Danville, Kentucky and spoke well. I just hope that he hasn't packed too much into his UK itinerary after his health setback last year. I remain amazed that Evangelical Press appeared to snub him again, despite being (presumably) happy to have published around half a dozen of his books. There's nowt so queer as folk to use a good Yorkshire expression. Ken Cotty completed the line up and complemented it very well with a most gracious meditation of the Mount of Transfiguration.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Don't pass up the chance to get a free book!

I'm disappointed that we have had so little response to our 3 for 2 offer, so I've taken it up myself! Here's my choices...
My first one was definitely a 'female' choice! Beyond the Edge by Hazel Rolston is about the author's journey through post-natal depression and anxiety. I ended up reading this in one sitting, I just couldn't put it down (it was a late night that night!). Hazel's story is written very honestly and the reader is taken into the depths with her. She graphically describes her struggles with Despair (with a capital D) and suicidal thoughts, her battles with medication and the side-effects, her disappointment with the lack of support from the Church community and finally her gradual ascent from the depths of the pit. As she finds footholds out of the abyss she is able to see more clearly that her pleadings with the Lord were not in vain and He had not deserted her even when she was sure that He had. It is certainly an emotional story and perhaps because of it's honesty I'm not sure I would recommend it to anyone I knew had suffered post-natal depression - just a little too close to the bone maybe? I think it will be most useful to those who have not suffered post-natal depression - it gives a real insight into the depths that post-natal depression can take someone to and surely can only increase our understanding of the condition and show us how to deal kindly and sympathetically with sufferers of it.

My second book was rather different. Islam in our Backyard by Tony Payne is subtitled A Novel Argument and on first sight I wasn't entirely sure. But, I have finished the book a fan! Payne uses a fictional setting of two neighbours -one Christian the other 'non-religious' - to discuss Islam. The Christian wants to write a simple factual book on Islam and discusses the manuscripts with his neighbour who believes that religion is 'a personal thing and should be kept private'. There are short fictional sections describing the conversations and discussions between the two neighbours and there are longer factual sections (the manuscript) examining the beliefs and teachings of Islam. Payne also touches on bigger issues of tolerance and truth in a multicultural society. I think this unusual format works. It is a clear and concise analysis of Islam beginning with its historical roots through to its position in the world today and I would recommend it as an easy read .

What remains now is to choose my FREE book...
See our 3 for 2 flyer (pdf) for a full list of the books included in the offer

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Listening to Sermons

This little paperback caught my eye when it came in a few weeks back and I have finally managed to have a better look at it. The full title is 'The Family at Church. Listening to Sermons and attending Prayer Meetings'. The first part on listening to sermons is excellent (I haven't fully read the second part on Prayer Meetings yet, so I wouldn't like to wholeheartedly endorse it!). As it is a Saturday evening and many of us are looking forward to the Lord's Day tomorrow, I thought I would share some excerpts from the second chapter entitled 'Preparing for the Preached Word' ...
" 1. Before coming to God's house to hear His Word, prepare yourself and your family with prayer. The Puritans said we should dress our bodies for worship and our souls with prayer...
2. Come with a hearty appetite for the Word. A good appetite promotes good digestion and growth. Peter encouraged a spiritual appetite, saying, " As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby" (1 Peter 2:2)...
3. Meditate on the importance of the preached Word as you enter God's house... Since the Gospel is the Word of God, not the word of man, come to church looking for God. Though you should deeply appreciate your minister's efforts to faithfully bring you the Word of God, pray that you see "no man, save Jesus only" (Matthew 17:8)...
4. Remember as you enter the house of God that you are entering a battleground. Many enemies will oppose your listening... Satan opposes your listening to God's Word with might and main, knowing that if you truly hear it, he will lose you. So Satan tries to disturb you before the sermon begins, distracts you during the sermon, and dismisses the sermon from your mind as soon as it is finished... Pray repeatedly for strength to overcome all your enemies by listening well.
5. Finally, come with a loving, expectant faith (Psalm 62:1,5). Be swift to hear, slow to speak, and determined, like Mary, to ponder God's Word in your heart..."

The Family at Church, by Joel R Beeke, published by Reformation Heritage, £5.95

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Our April 3 for 2 Offer

We are doing the widely publicised IVP 3 for 2 offer, which finishes at the end of this month. But we have added some others to the list of books available on the offer. See our pdf file on our website at There's some great money saving bundles you can make up for yourselves here.
One book within this offer I have just read and would recommend is the one pictured here. I always knew the subject of this biography as John Wycliffe, but it seems Wicliffe is the spelling preferred by some experts. It is only a shortish 100 page booklet. However, although famous as the C14th English Bible translator, there is very little in print about him so far as I know. This is reprinted with illustrations from a C19th work by David Deane (anyone know of him?) It makes the most of the scanty personal information surviving from such an early period. It also very helpfully sets out the general historical scene of the time, as well as the state of things in the Church. I think this would be an ideal present for young people aged (roughly) 11 years upwards, and a good Sunday School prize. But this is not to pigeonhole it or detract from its general profit for all readers. We live in times when the state church is in little better state than the one he fearlessly opposed for its corrupt doctrine and practices. Once again the Bible is set aside and visual media exalted in its place 'to make the gospel more accessible' (!) The wandering friars of Wycliffe's day entertained the gullible people with idle stories in order to fill their purses. Does this sound rather familiar? 'The Morning Star of the Reformation' carries a pressing message for today - "Preach the word" (2 Timothy 4:2). We must do battle with it.
'John Wicliffe. The Morning Star of the Reformation' ISBN 9781880960431 is published by SMF International from St Louis in the USA and costs £3.95 from us.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

John Gill on Justification

A few years back the Gospel Standard Trust published an extract from John Gill's Body of Divinity. The aim was to make John Gill's rather complex writings more accessible to the layman. Gill's words and punctuation have not been changed but his extensive references to the original languages have mostly been omitted and the text has been broken up with sub-headings. To those who love the truths that John Gill stood for, but have never actually tried to read his writings, this little paperback is a real help. To those who slate John Gill's writings, but have never actually tried to read them, I suggest this as a good place to start.
This quote is taken from 'The effects of Justification'...

"Acceptance with God through Christ follows upon justification by his righteousness; there can be no acceptance with God upon the foot of a man's own righteousness, which cannot render him acceptable to God; but through the righteousness of Christ there is an acceptance both of persons and services; first of persons and then of services; as God had respect to Abel, and so to his offering, and accepted it; so he has respect to the persons of his justified ones, as considered in Christ; he has respect to him, and is well pleased with him, and with all that are in him; they are accepted of God in the beloved, being clothed with the robe of his righteousness, and the garments of his salvation; and their services being done in the strength of Christ, and through faith in him, and to the glory of God by him, and their spiritual sacrifices being offered up by him their great high-priest, they become acceptable to God through him."

At only £3.25, I don't think anyone could find an excuse not to read it.
Justification, Sinners Righteous in Christ by John Gill, published by Gospel Standard Trust Publications, £3.25

Friday, 3 April 2009

Good quote...

"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them."
- Mark Twain