Monday, 28 June 2010

Anne Bradstreet

This is the most recent book I have read, and one which we are promoting on an offer price of just £6.00 (RRP £7.99) until the end of this week! (03/07/10)
You can just sense the empathy Faith Cook has with the subject of this her latest biography, Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672). Anne was a woman of literary talent, along with a sense of family and public duty. There are questions as to the boundaries of a Christian woman’s role even today, but this is nothing compared to the received opinion in the 1600s. A Bunyan might be allowed to write a classic, but not a Bradstreet. They were both persecuted nonconformists, whose suffering sharpened their quills, but his work was readily published whilst hers only reached the press via a series of acts of providence. Nonetheless she has the remarkable distinction of being America’s first published poet of either sex! Quite amazing! Anne is regarded as American, because she left England with her family at just 18 years old in search of freedom – part of a mass migration of Puritans. In the tough New World she reflected the ethos of a culture already beginning to diverge from the mother country in hundreds of lines of rhyming couplets. But above all, her faith shines out through her verse. Fear, danger and death were never far away in the New England colonies, and all were sanctified to Anne. She viewed her life as a pilgrimage to glory. Beware, this book will cause some serious heart-searching. Take this sample:

Why should I live but to thy praise?
My life is hid with thee.
O Lord, no longer be my days
Than I may fruitful be.


Wednesday, 16 June 2010


"In spite of Satan, pray; spend hours in prayer; rather neglect friends than not pray; rather fast, and lose breakfast, dinner, tea and supper - and sleep too - than not pray.  And we must not only talk about prayer; we must pray in right earnest.  The Lord is near.  He comes softly while the virgins slumber."
Andrew Bonar

Quoted in Contagious Christian Living by Joel Beeke, Bryntirion & RHB, £6.99

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Reading Together

Those of you who receive our monthly bulletins will be aware of our plans to set up a reading club.  This is now up and running - we have a new blog called 'Reading Together' which is limited to subscribed members only.  Initially the club is also limited only to ladies - sorry chaps.  This is essentially because I am facilitating it and not Jeremy.  If our gentlemen customers would be interested in joining a reading club they need to pester Jeremy and he may be persuaded to set one up. 
The first book we have chosen to read together is 'The Great Gain of Godliness' by Thomas Watson in the Puritan Paperback series.  This is subtitled 'practical notes on Malachi 3:16-18'.  The aim is to read a planned portion of the book over a 2 week period and make comments and discussion points on the blog.  Our vision is that this will encourage a discipline of regular reading of books at a higher level than 'easy-reading', at the same time as being supportive and edifying to each involved. Another plus is that you get a discount on the book being read if you buy it from us! 
I for one am excited to be getting going on my copy of the book and am hoping that lots of you will join us (first come, first served - the blog is limited to 100 members!).
Drop me a line if you want to know more,

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Ossett Chapel Anniversary Service

Our little garden at the chapel may be small, but as you can see it's got a beautiful silver pear tree in the midst of it. No, it's not Eden - although the old serpent is still on the attack! But there is another tree I think of - the tree of life, sustained by the river of water of life, and fruitful (Revelation 22:2). May the church meeting in the chapel next door be just like it, supplied with grace to reflect God's praise. Certainly we have much to thank him for after another year, as well as much to still seek him for. You are welcome to join our little gathering for our anniversary service at 3pm next Saturday, 19th June, when our pastor Norman Roe will preach, God willing. A tea will be provided afterwards, and of course the bookshop will be open beforehand.

Are you contagious?

This little book compiles Joel Beeke's 4 addresses at the Aberystwyth Evangelical Movement of Wales conference in 2009.  They are typical Joel Beeke style, easy to read but punchy. Entitled Contagious Christian Living, each address focuses on one Bible character and draws out a 'contagious' aspect of their living. Jephthah's daughter is highlighted as an example of Sacrificial Submission, Bartimaeus for his Christ-centred living, Jacob for his Perseverance, Prayer and Penitence, and Daniel for his Consistent Integrity. 
Although perhaps a little too much poetic licence has been used at times, the book is peppered with applications for contemporary Christian living, many very pointed and thought provoking.  How much are we prepared to truly submit to the Lord's will for us?  Is our daily walk and talk God-honouring? At times of darkness do we wrestle with and cling to the Lord so that like Jacob we say 'I will not let thee go, except thou bless me'? With worldliness and temptation all around us, are we able to be consistent in our walk by faith?  Certainly none of this can be done without sustaining grace freely given by God. What a reminder therefore to persevere in prayer 'Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you' (James 4:8).
Contagious Christian Living by Joel Beeke, jointly published by Bryntirion Press & Reformation Heritage Books, £6.99

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Declension in Love

A decay of love to the saints of God, is a strong evidence of a decay of love to God himself. If we love God with a sincere and deepening affection, we must love his image wherever we find it. It is true, the picture may be but an imperfect copy, the outline may be but faintly drawn; there may be shades we cannot approve of; yet, recognizing in the work the hand of the Spirit, and in the outline some resemblance to Him whom our souls admire and love, we must feel a drawing out of our holiest affections towards the object; we shall not pause before the surrender is made, to inquire to what section of the church of Christ he belongs, what name he bears, or what the colour of his uniform; but, discovering the man of God, the meek and lowly follower of Jesus, our heart and our hand are freely offered.

This quote taken from 'Personal Declension and Revival of Religion in the Soul' by Octavius Winslow, made me stop and think when I came across it today. I pray that as many of us meet with our brothers & sisters on the Lord's Day and throughout each week, we remember that 'This commandment have we from him, that he who loveth God, love his brother also' 1 John 4:21
Personal Declension and Revival of Religion in the Soul, Octavius Winslow, published by Banner of Truth, £5.50

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Afterwards I Knew

I enjoyed this book. A collection of short stories, fictional but based around historical events and facts they are gripping and each carry a subtle spiritual message. Often the stories finish abruptly or on a cliffhanger leaving you to contemplate what might have been and leading you to reflect on the underlying spiritual implications. The book is aimed at 13+yr olds - I think I come into that category!
Afterwards I Knew: Short Stories from the First and Second World Wars by Christine Farenhorst, published by Christian Focus, £5.99