Saturday, 29 December 2012

Taking a break!

 I forgot to mention in my last post that the shop is closed between Christmas and the New Year. Don't worry, we are checking online orders and phone calls so if you have an urgent query we can sort it (within reason!) We're are hoping to start back in the New Year rejuvenated and brimful of energy and ideas. We look forward to continuing to serve you in 2013.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012


So you received an eReader  for Christmas? (iPad, Nook, Kobo - it doesn't have to be a Kindle!) Don't think that we bookshops are the last people that want to hear about it.  In fact research suggests that people who buy eBooks still tend to buy printed books too (a bibliophile after all does love books!) If you are new to eBooks and aren't sure where to start, have a read of this article that Jeremy helpfully wrote when we launched eBooks on our website earlier this year.  This will give you information about eBooks in general as well as how to download them from our website.
We have a growing number of eBooks available on our website and are regularly updating this.  We aim to be a bookshop where you can be sure of obtaining good quality sovereign grace literature in both the printed form and for your eReader.  Please have a browse of our eBook catalogue.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

The Printed Page

I just found this old CLC bookmark in a secondhand book. I love it! (especially the bit about books not answering back!)

Monday, 17 December 2012

The Thunder - A Novel on John Knox

Douglas Bond's fiction is for the 21st Century what G A Henty's was for the Victorian era.  Only, Bond is directly Reformed in his underlying theology, whereas Henty went no further than good, clean morality.  But both are similar in attention to detail when it comes to history, so much so that the storyline and fictional characters are not given the depth of treatment that a 'mere' novelist would do.  This however turns into a virtue rather than a vice, in that it allows the history to percolate through very easily and clearly.  Bond is particularly good in this book on John Knox and the Scots Reformation at weaving verbatim material from sermons and letters etc into the story.  Knox shows up here (from the beatific depiction on the front cover onwards!) as a bold and fearless man.  But also, contrary to legend, we learn that he was physically unimposing and pastorally tender to his beloved countrymen.  Whether loved or hated, he cannot be ignored in understanding not only the Reformation in Scotland, but in England also because of his contact with Edward VI and Hugh Latimer. The influence of John Calvin on him when in exile at Geneva was marked, but he had come to deeply 'calvinistic' doctrines before that, under God's teaching, and proclaimed them.
This is profitable holiday reading by my reckoning, and Bond builds an interesting gospel analogy into the plot which is a bonus.
The Thunder - A novel on John Knox, by Douglas Bond.
Published by P & R, p/b £9.99
Read a sample chapter

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Still pondering presents?

If you are, like me, still thinking about what gifts to get certain people in your life I have a suggestion...
This book looks lovely, feels lovely and reads lovely! With a daily reading from a Puritan for each day of the year you are sure to enjoy a pithy meditation packed with doctrinal truths each morning (or evening). All Scripture readings are AV.
You can read a sample here 
Daily Readings - The Puritans edited by Randall J Pederson, Published by Christian Focus Publications, priced £12.99

Monday, 3 December 2012

The Three Forms of Unity

This is a really lovely quality set of books for children telling the stories behind each of the Confessions of Faith within the Three Forms of Unity. 
The background to the Belgic Confession is related in the first book Faithfulness under Fire: The Story of Guido de Bres.  Simply written but with enough detail to give a correct understanding of the events of the time, plus very striking illustrations this book is suitable for a range of ages and is a good reference book to keep on the shelf to be returned to again and again.  I read this book to a group of children who ranged in age from 3 to 11 and they were spell-bound (at least that was how it seemed to me!).
The second book The Quest for Comfort: The Story of the Heidelberg Catechism covers the story of the connection between  Olevianus, Ursinus and Federick III and their desire to see a 'simple, personal and more peaceful' outline of their doctrinal position. The book very simply describes the themes around which this catechism is based.
The third book The Glory of Grace: The Story of the Canons of Dort describes the troubled times in the Netherlands with the preaching of Arminius and the following that he gained.  The 5 points of Arminianism are briefly explained along with the events involving the Prince of Orange & the English King James I which led to a synod of leaders from Holland, Germany, Switzerland and England to discuss a unified doctrinal position.  The resulting Canons of Dort (or the 5 points of Calvinism) are explained in some detail.
Each book has a section at the end designed to give parents further information about the doctrinal points raised.  In an easy and compelling style, these books describe some difficult doctrines and put them in their historical context.  I think they do an excellent job of filling a gap in a child's understanding of these early expressions of the Reformed faith which have been foundational to any subsequent Confessions.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Some Welsh Ministers

From Howell Harris to Christmas Evans. In fact six key figures from the century of revivals from the 1730s onwards are covered in this book of short biographical studies. They vary in the space given to each - Harris probably gets most attention, but a loving share is reserved for William Williams, the hymn writer of the revival. His hymns have endured longer than the many chapels of Calvinistic Methodism that Wales became famous for. But this is not a denominationally minded book. It is informative in a small package, and there are some devotionally rich veins to be found, eg. Of controversy, Howell Harris said 'the humble address succeeds best in the school of Christ.' I hope it will stimulate interest in men like Christmas Evans and his ministry in Anglesey and the Lleyn Peninsula, now tourist destinations. He was behind getting John Gill's Commentary translated into Welsh as an aid for young preachers, after Thomas Charles had been instrumental in gaining a Welsh bible.
Published by Gospel Standard Publications. £5 paperback.

Friday, 23 November 2012


After a frustrating day of technological disasters and a distinct feeling of '1 step forward, 2 back', this book just published by Reformation Heritage Books has got to be part of my weekend reading.  I have just opened at the introduction and read this...
In today's hectic and distressing world, we need to recapture the concept of daily rest.  Demands and distractions agitate our spirits.  Disasters trigger anxiety.  Diseases generate pain.  Despair creeps into our hearts. These influences displace our peace and pull us from resting in God and His Word. The reflections in A Month of Sundays: 31 Meditations on Resting in God pause our spinning thoughts and calm our fluctuating feelings.  Real rest is impossible apart from belief in the triune God... Our souls find rest when we truly trust a sovereign God, who is also our loving Father, and walk in His ways every day of our lives.

It's a good start & I'm looking forward to reading more.
A Month of Sundays: 31 Meditations on Resting in God, by Glenda Mathes, published by Reformation Heritage Books, priced £6.25

Thursday, 22 November 2012

It's Cosier Inside

Come in it's Christmas! Cards, calendars and the all elusive book presents are all here waiting. Reserve in advance by phone - it will come through to my mobile out of hours - or order online. Gift wrap and mail order (free post over £25) is all part of the service package as well.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Rare John Calvin Commentary

A first sight of the oldest book we have ever had! The first English translation of Calvin's commentary on 1 John & Jude. It is undated but the British Library officially say c. 1580. It also has a letter written by Calvin from Geneva printed with it at the back. A bibliophile's delight! I love it, but mustn't get too attached, as it may soon be wanted.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Sibbes Quote...

Can't argue with this principle!

It would be a good contest amongst Christians, one to labour to give no offence, and the other to labour to take none.

Taken from Chapter 4 of The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes, the current book of our virtual reading club. If you fancy joining the club, just drop me an email.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

To send or not to send?

My question this morning is - will you be cutting down your Christmas card list?  With the price of postage costs rocketing I made the assumption that Joe Bloggs would send fewer Christmas cards this year. Sensibly (or so I thought) I slightly reduced my stock level of Christmas cards so that I wouldn't have hundreds left over after Christmas.  Well, it seems to me that Joe Bloggs has decided his friends are worth the extra postage pennies and he is continuing to buy his Christmas cards at a rate of knots.  Consequently here we are in mid November & I am already running low on stock of Christmas cards.  For those customers out there who haven't already bought their cards I am interested to know if you intend to or not!  I have some lovely card suppliers who are perfectly willing to top up my stock of Christmas cards, so don't worry, the cards will be here if you want them.  But if you don't, I want to save some money too!
Let me know...

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Late Night Shopping

If you can get here on Monday 12th November, we are holding our annual Christmas evening at the shop.  Enjoy a relaxed shopping experience with coffee and cakes while you browse (now you don't get that in many shops in the run up to Christmas!).  We're looking forward to officially unveiling our refurbished secondhand department and as always there will be plenty of extra discounts on both new and secondhand books to help you with your budget!

Thursday, 1 November 2012


Another fine book from Aaron Armstrong.  He doesn't try to be too trendy and flash, but he is contemporary and clear.  Although dealing mainly with Jude v3, and what it means to 'contend for the faith', you realise that he has virtually managed to walk you through the epistle by the end! The subtitle 'Defending the faith in a fallen world' would suggest a book on apologetics, but if that sounds remote and academic it is misleading.
This is his premise:
'Contending must be understood and exercised as an act of mercy toward those who doubt and those who have been deceived, regardless of whether they claim faith in Christ'. 
Not in a supercilious way, but in humility.  Nevertheless it is active, not passive, determined to give glory to God.  Pastors have a particular responsibility, but doing battle is unavoidable for every Christian.

Read this book if you are not sure what is worth contending for, (does everything come under the umbrella of 'the faith'?) and also if you are, so that you might be reinvigorated to go on 'speaking the truth in love'.
Contend. Aaron Armstrong. Cruciform Press. £6.50, p/b.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Rebels Rescued

This new book is subtitled 'A Student's Guide to Reformed Theology,' but I feel it could as easily be treated as a Beginner's Guide. Something to consider giving to a person enquiring about Calvinism from a position of ignorance, albeit rather 'hip'! But Brian Cosby really deals very faithfully and unflinchingly with his subject. He litters it with many illustrations, and anecdotes which are mainly US orientated, but this does not blunt the essential thrust of his points. He goes over the '5 Solas' and through the TULIP acrostic and leaves reflection questions at the end of each short chapter. I was more impressed by this little book than I expected to be.
'Rebels Rescued' by Brian Cosby. Published by Christian Focus Publications. £5.99 p/b.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

How God Changes People

How God Changes People is a selection of conversion stories from the Bible. Carine Mackenzie has once again written a book for young children (5yrs ish), not shying away from theological content and with plenty of accurate detail.  In her simple but direct style she writes about some of the well known and not so well known Bible characters whose conversion stories were wide and varying.  She is very clear about the work of the Spirit in each individual case and the God-given gifts of repentance and faith.  These truths and others are simply applied in a way that is relevant to children. The book also has a presentation page which makes it great for a gift. Recommended.
How God Changes People by Carine Mackenzie, published by Christian Focus Publications, £6.99

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Calling all ladies!

Our online ladies reading club is about to start a new book, so now would be a really good time to join!
The club started back in the summer of 2010 with a vision to help and encourage a discipline of regular reading amongst those who struggle to get through a book (maybe because of time constraints or motivation). We wanted to push readers beyond the 'easy reading' level to read books that they wouldn't normally pick up.  The idea was that through discussion and feedback via the club, a book could be worked through at a gentle pace.
Well, that was the original plan!  Here we are 2 years and 3 books later (yes, only 3 books - it is a gentle pace!) and I can certainly say that I have read 3 books I probably wouldn't have stuck with if it hadn't been for the club.  We started off with the Puritan Thomas Watson and read 'Great Gain of Godliness', then we moved forward a few hundred years to Dr D Martyn Lloyd-Jones on 'The All-sufficient God', we followed that by retreating into the Reformation era and have just finished Martin Luther's 'Commentary on Galatians'.
For our next challenge we are heading back to the Puritans.  'The Bruised Reed' was written in 1630 by Richard Sibbes and is a highly regarded treatise on Isaiah 42:3 'A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth'. I was convinced that this was the book for us when I read this recommendation by Lloyd-Jones:

I shall never cease to be grateful to Richard Sibbes who was balm to my soul at a period in my life when I was overworked and badly overtired, and therefore subject in an unusual manner to the onslaughts of the devil... I found at that time that Richard Sibbes, who was known in London in the early seventeenth century as the 'Heavenly Doctor Sibbes' was an unfailing remedy... The Bruised Reed quieted, soothed, comforted, encouraged and healed me.

I am sure that many of us often feel 'overworked and badly overtired' so I pray that this book will also be a profitable remedy to us too.
If you fancy joining, just drop me an email & I will register you on the blog.  The club is run on a members only blog so our comments and discussions can remain known only to us and there should be no concern about unwanted interference!
Another bonus is that you get a 15% discount on each reading club book...

Friday, 28 September 2012

Busy month!

There has been a desperate lack of posts this month.  As always, there are plenty of reasons/excuses but apologies must also be made for not keeping you all up to date.

Firstly a lot of refurbishment work has been going on in the shop & you really can't go any further without checking out all the photos on our facebook page (or click here to go directly to the photos - no you don't have to be a member of facebook to view them).  Our secondhand department is now a much more cosy 'reading room' with re-sorted books (still ongoing) and a comfy window seat.  If you are ever heading up the M1, we are just a few minutes from Junct 40 and would make a perfect 'service station' for you to relax - we are happy to provide you with refreshments for free and you don't get that at many service stations!  The new books department was also in need of maintenance work & we are now enjoying condensation free windows along with a fresh lick of paint internally. 

Amongst the clutter of refurbishment we have been receiving boxes & boxes of Christmas stock.  This is finally sorted & on the website you will find the Christmas cards are all listed along with 2013 calendars & diaries.  If you prefer to browse these via a pdf file (as on these photos) have a look here. The AV Block Calendar is already selling well so make sure you don't miss out.


Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Awaiting a Savior

I don't know anything about the author, but I would go so far as to recommend this as the first book to read on the theme of social responsibility. Aaron Armstrong's approach is just so right, starting with sin and its effects. Once there was no such thing as poverty - now it can never be eradicated. Note that poverty is a state of spiritual loss involving all Adam's descendants before it is an economic or relational one. A true christian is a person who has had a deep felt need, and found it met by God's grace through Jesus Christ. Grace given so freely, yet so incredibly undeserved! Never can such a person sit in judgement on the deservings or undeservings of his fellow men, whether down the street or on the other side of the globe. Compassion, kindness and generosity are foundational to a true christian. He must do as he has been divinely done by. Armstrong makes a careful distinction between this peculiarly christian ethic and that which drives other well meant but ultimately worldly initiatives. Christians are realists - there will never be a human led solution to human need, whatever resources are put into it. Such understanding avoids the common guilt trip response. However cynicism ('What can I do about it?') is thereby also overturned. How many opportunities there are and always will be to help the destitute, because they will always be here!
The theology is thus soundly set out - in fact it occupies most of the book, with satisfying biblical backup. And this is necessary because so many go astray at the very start. Legalism (the 'default setting' of the fallen mind) in particular is a major danger. Hence in making his applications, including offering detailed thoughts on the subject of giving, Armstrong strongly emphasises the 'willing mind' acting out of love to God.
I am pleased to have this book from Cruciform Press in stock now at £6.50, along with other titles from their ever increasing range.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Holiday time

I'm afraid it's time for us to take a little break.  We're heading off to Wales for a few days next week & will be having a 'technical time out' (or as I saw on BBC Online today a 'digital detox' or 'personal reboot'!).  Please be assured that we have a wonderful army of helpers keeping the shop open for us (9:30am-5:00pm) who will be happy to help you out in person or by phone.  We plan to be back in harness after the bank holiday & will look foward to catching up with you all then.

Please be warned that during the bank holiday week we have some shop fitters booked in so the shop will be closed for most if not all of the week (keep an eye on our facebook page for regular updates on this).  We will however be digital again, so our mail order side should not be affected.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, 17 August 2012

Perfect Timing!

I'm really chuffed that we have just received our new stock of Cruciform Press books - just in time for me to add them to my holiday reading pile! 
In this batch of books we have added 3 new titles to our Cruciform Press stock - this is in response to direct requests from our customers so we hope you will enjoy them. 

Servanthood as Worship - The privilege of life in a local Church by Nate Palmer. 
This is a book which looks not at leadership in the church but at the role of the 'normal' member and their calling to serve within their local church setting.

Intentional Parenting - Family discipleship by Design by Ted Thompson.  The blurb says...

Many books involving family life and child training are well worth reading.  This is not one of these books.  This book will allow you to take what you have read, and all the sermons, teachings, and exhortations you have received on family discipleship, and make sense of it.

This sounds like just the book for me!

Awaiting a Saviour - The gospel, the new creation and the end of poverty by Aaron Armstrong.
This one looks to be an interesting read about the opportunities and limitations of ministry to the poor.  Pastor Dave Kraft writes...

Awaiting a Saviour brings a fresh approach to the world-wide problem of poverty.  It is gospel-driven, Jesus-centred, and gets at the real but often overlooked cause of poverty... it is a solid theological treatment of what poverty really stems from and how to see it within a biblical framework.

See our complete stock of Cruciform Press titles

All I need now is to head off to Wales & find a cosy caravan to hole up in with my pile of books.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Secondhand books

The secondhand book listing has been updated on the site today.  It now contains nearly 4000 titles - so plenty to browse through! This is a fully searchable spreadsheet done in Microsoft Excel, which most people will have bought with their computer, be it PC or Mac. But it can also be opened in freely available programs such as OpenOffice. We have inherited a huge variety of secondhand plus antiquarian books, and we would not like to vouch for each one, but it will certainly repay a look.

Perfect Holiday Reading!

Those of you who received our August Bulletin have obviously been impressed by our recommended holiday reading for this year because we have now sold out of all the Pocket Puritans we had on offer! 
Read the full bulletin here if you haven't already seen it (the trailblazers are still available).
So, to compensate for those who feel they may have missed out, I have rooted around and found some more Pocket Puritans that don't look in tip top condition.  These can go at the bargain price of £2 too!

Repent and Believe! by Thomas Brooks (1 copy available)
Pastoral Ministry by Richard Baxter (1 copy available)
A Way to Pray by Matthew Henry (2 copies available)
Binge Drinking by John Flavel (3 copies available)

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Martin Luther

I just noticed this Martin Luther quote on my calendar
'We no more earn heaven by good works than babies earn their food and drink by crying and howling'
It sounds like classic 'no beating about the bush' Luther to me & made me smile because I have just spent the last hour immersed in Luther's commentary on Galatians and it is full of comments like this. Our online ladies reading club is coming to the end of this commentary on Galatians, it has taken us over a year to steadily work through, but I for one have enjoyed getting to grips with this incredible author who went through so much in his efforts to reform the church. He is amazingly easy to read so don't be put off trying him out.  If you fancy joining our reading club please let me know... we will shortly be choosing a new book to tackle so this would be a good point to get involved.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Ladies Night

No sooner is one event done, than another one is being planned!  This time we are working towards a ladies evening event (next week Thursday 16th, from 7:30pm for anyone wanting to join us) and I'm reading up on lots of 'ladies' books.  I don't really approve of dividing books up into ladies & mens, but I also can't really ignore the fact that certain books are much more often purchased by women rather than men.  It seems that publishers are becoming wise to this too. 

So here's a preview of some of the books I have been reading.  I couldn't possibly give away what I think of them... you'll have to turn up next week to find that out!

Monday, 23 July 2012

A Catechism for Today

In the 'open minded' evangelical churches of today catechisms have become all but extinct.  For many they conjure up images of children forced into repeating questions and answers parrot fashion without understanding a word.  But does it have to be like this?  Catechisms are carefully developed expressions of 'the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.'  They are helpful guides, going well beyond the instruction of children to the building up of believers, who are often receiving very little solid doctrinal teaching at church.  For this reason I recommend Gadsby's Catechism, and we are now halfway through its 109 questions with our children.  We don't drive it too hard, and take time to look up the Bible references, and endeavour to simply explain it to them.  So we all benefit.
William Gadsby built on previous Baptist catechisms when devising this one for his thriving congregation and Sunday School in Manchester, but he gave particular emphasis to points on which it differs from the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith.  This is not stated as such, for it is a very positive expression of the Faith.  But for instance, it is good on the different meanings of sanctification in the Bible, and also on the Gospel.  This latter Gadsby defines in the answer to Q.75 as "Glad tidings of great joy, or a free proclamation of rich mercy, without money and without price, to poor, sin-burdened sinners; with the glorious invitations, doctrines and promises of God's everlasting love, and the blessings these truths contain."  He then gets on to its connection with the church - an institution unknown in the Old Testament:
Q. 76 What is meant by the gospel in a more extensive sense?
A. 76 The above things [in the answer to Q. 75], together with the precepts and ordinances enjoined on the church by Christ and His apostles, and the things connected therewith.
Thus a rule for distinctly Christian living is laid down, and this is built upon in the 6 questions that follow.  Though Gadsby died in 1844 these truths are new to every succeeding generation.  For me, this is a living catechism - and it is still printed by Gospel Standard Trust Publications for £1.50, available from us, although not yet as an eBook I'm afraid!
Jeremy (see also my blog on 15/07/2010)

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

It's Olympic Month!

Olympic month has finally arrived and whatever you think of its pagan roots (?!) we can't avoid it this summer in the UK!  We have just emailed out our July Bulletin with offers on books about a true Olympic hero.  Eric Liddell was an Olympic star who considered his service to the Lord a much greater privilege than all his sporting achievements.  He is a true example indeed.
We could also do with your help this month as we have used a different method for sending out our monthly bulletins and would be very grateful if you could let us know if you have any problems viewing the email. (If you don't normally receive our Bulletin and would like to, please let us know -
Any customers who spend the year enjoying our AV Block calendar will have pulled off a voucher at the end of last month for money off any purchases during July.  Don't forget to make use of this before your time is up - it's a great opportunity to pick up some holiday reading.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

International Short Story Day

There seems to be a 'day' for pretty much everything now, but I thought I should make the most of International Short Story Day today to highlight some great Christian short stories! 
I read these two books quite a while back but I was gripped by them.  Each book focuses on a different historical age & the short stories are all very different, some are spine tinglers, some are weepies, some cliff hangers, but all have a message to tell about eternal truths learnt & trusted.  Geoff Thomas writes a great recommendation...
"Christine Farenhorst writes short stories with a pace, characterization, dialogue and subtlety that is quite outstanding.  She is a true writer and restores a delight in the gift of reading.  Children can read these stories, but I think they might have to tear them from the hands of their parents."
To which I say 'hear, hear!'
'Afterwards I Knew - Stories from the first and second world wars' and 'The Merciful Eye - stories from the Middle Ages' are both in our 11+ age category, and both cost £5.99

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

More eBooks

Slowly but surely our eBook catalogue is growing.  We are being selective in our choice of eBooks to reflect our particular niche of Free Grace writings (as with our hard copy books) .  We are working hard with some of the best publishers to supply their eBooks & are happy to announce that we are now an official eBook supplier of Gospel Standard Publications.  These eBooks are being loaded to our website as they become available, and the first batch is now ready for download (including the recently reviewed Bible Doctrines Simply Explained).  Please check our eBook catalogue for full availability.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

We're not slacking - honest!

Big apologies for the lack of posts lately.  I won't list reasons, but suffice to say, 24hrs each day doesn't seem to be enough at the moment!

I took at least 4 books with me when I was on Jury service a few weeks back having been assured by many people that Jury service involves a lot of sitting around.  I did get through a few chapters of 'Keeping the Heart' by John Flavel (new reprint by Christian Focus) and was finding it very good, but then was kept too busy in court to get it finished.

We have an influx of new books too. Jeremy thrust into my hand today a new Crossway title 'A Woman's Wisdom - How the book of Proverbs speaks to everything' by Lydia Brownback.  It has a promising start in the first part 'What, exactly, is wisdom?' as Brownback explains that 'real wisdom is found only in Christ. Wisdom is the realization that he is everything.' This is a book I am planning to finish - one day!

I should also mention a new publisher that we have recently started stocking. Corner Pillar Press have published a few titles, mostly works by women - Susannah Spurgeon, Sarah Edwards, Ann Judson - names that are familiar to us because of their better known husbands.  Have a look at the titles on our site for more info.  Ann Judson is another book I have started & so far it is an incredible read - to think of the things these missionary wives had to cope with.  They were tough women indeed!

Now, here's to some proper reading over the Jubilee weekend... (or is that wishful thinking?)

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Bible Doctrines Simply Explained

This book has been around for donkey's years (I remember reading it as a child!) but I picked it up recently for a re-read, and what a refreshing read it has been!  Mr Ramsbottom in his own inimitable style makes the hardest of doctrines simple to understand. His language is clear, his approach is conversational and he peppers each chapter with illustrations.  Bible Doctrines Simply Explained covers the basics about God, the Bible, Creation and Man, then moves on to harder topics of Election, Redemption, Sanctification and Providence with many other essential subjects covered inbetween. Each chapter ends with suggested Scripture readings.  This is a book that is neither too highbrow for a child nor too patronizing for a questioning adult and I would be just as happy to recommend this to my children as to a casual acquaintance who is interested to know more.
Please don't judge this book by its cover - it's a lot better than that!
Bible Doctrines Simply Explained, B A Ramsbottom, published by Gospel Standard Publications, £1.95

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Cruciform Press

Our stock of Cruciform Press books is disappearing fast & we are starting to think about restocking them.  Last time we carefully picked a selection of 6 titles which we thought would suit the UK market & these have mostly proved popular (see more details in this post). 

We have recently been asked if we will be stocking Aaron Armstrong's title 'Awaiting a Savior' and we're wondering which other titles our customers (yes, you!) would be interested in us stocking. Have a look at their selection and let us know.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Reflections on the New Focus Conference 2012

I've only just caught my breath after last weekend's conference.  Sales were very good, and it was particularly thrilling to have such enthusiastic and discerning purchasers.  Our choice selection of secondhand books went down well - something to bear in mind for future events.  I just don't know of another conference in the UK where, for instance, Gill's 'Cause of God and Truth' and 'Body of Divinity' would sell.  Shame on us!  There seems to have been some shameful propaganda aimed against the conference as well, with people being warned against attending.  But the folk of Beds and Herts who stayed away missed some good gospel ministry.  I thought Allan Jellett, pastor of the host - Knebworth Grace Church was excellent.  You can hear him on  Don Fortner was just, well, Don... 
The hospitality with a hot dinner included was fantastic.  And so a long Saturday, up at 5am and back at midnight, was well rewarded with satisfaction both in body and soul.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

The Ship of Dreams

Anyone who is glued to all the reports in the media of the sinking of the Titanic will be interested to know about this little book. Titanic the Ship of Dreams is a fascinating account of the minister John Harper and his concern for the souls of the doomed on that terrible day 100 years ago. Intended for children (10+ ish) this is written in the style of a fictionalised biography but is an easy and interesting read for any adult too.
We had fun at our recent children's activity morning making models of the Titanic, those that weren't taken home are now displayed in our childrens corner of the shop...
Have a look at our facebook page to see what else we got up to at our Activity Morning.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Chosen Daughters

I think historical fiction is a great way for children (and adults) to learn about life in certain cultures and time periods and am really pleased to have found another series that I can recommend.  The Chosen Daughters series is written by various authors and is intended to focus in on 'ordinary' women who through God's grace were able to stand firm in difficult times. Each woman shines as an example to us of real living faith. I recently read 'Weight of a Flame: The Passion of Olympia Morata' which is about a lesser known character in Italy who lived during the time of the Reformation. I really enjoyed it. The historical detail was there but not overpowering, the fictional content was gripping but not too fanciful and the spiritual application was sound. Particularly helpful was the list of characters & details about them, plus a map & also an author's note about roughly which parts were true & which were fictional.
For anyone looking for reading material for children, I would place this between Beth Coombe Harris (easier storylines) and Deborah Alcock (more complex historically).
It was fascinating to find out a bit more about the author Simonetta Carr in this interview on the 'RedeemedReader' blog.
'Weight of a Flame' by S Carr, published by P & R, £8.99

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Slashing Prices!

Slashing Prices, Big Deals, Great Offers, Price Cutting, Saving you Money - we may not be a supermarket, but whatever you want to call it, we've done it!  All our books published by Evangelical Press, Carey Publications and Grace Publications have been reduced by up to 20%.  Permanently.  Yes, that even includes their newest titles like John Blanchard's Major Points from the Minor Prophets.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Best Mother's Day Buy!

With no apologies for being repetitive I am going to mention again a book that I think would make a great Mother's Day present.  Wrestling with an Angel by Greg Lucas.  New in from Cruciform Press (see my previous post) I really enjoyed this book & have now lent it to 2 friends who are both as enthusiastic about it as me!  This is a book about a family which includes a child with a disability.  It is written with raw & honest emotion, but not overwhelmingly so.  The trials & struggles of this one family are used as the backdrop to a book on God's amazing grace to each of us.  Through a father's anecdotes we see clearly the biblical lessons learnt through tribulation when sanctified by the Spirit.  It is the kind of book that grips you from start to finish & then you sit back, take a deep breath and say 'wow'!  Actually friend number 1 rang me & said 'that book... it has so much to say to everyone, you can apply these lessons to any situation you are struggling with'. Friend number 2 particularly mentioned how the book brings out God's individual dealings with each of his people - whether young or old, healthy or disabled, we are each taught by the Spirit in a way that is suitable to our case.  I heartily recommend this book!
I can't blog on Mother's Day without also mentioning another book from Cruciform Press - The Organised Heart, a Woman's Guide to Conquering Chaos by Staci Eastin. An amused 'huh' has probably escaped your lips by now, but don't worry, this is a serious book & asks some serious questions.  The author's analysis of disorganisation is that it is a form of idolatry - are you disorganised because of perfectionism? Busyness? Possessions? Do we have our priorities right? Have we remembered that God is sovereign & in control of all things?  This is a book with many valid points & a useful reminder that we need to commit ALL our way to the Lord.
And if these two don't whet your appetite, I could mention some new historical fiction books we have just stocked up on... but I won't get started now!