Thursday, 20 February 2014

Seasons of the Heart

It may be nearly the end of February, but this daily devotional is still selling well.  Not only is the book produced as a lovely quality hardback but the content is quality too.  Each daily reading is taken from the writings of godly women of the past.  It is evident that these women lived through a variety of circumstances: singleness, widowhood, chronic illness and persecution being some of their trials.  Throughout all the challenges of their lives, they clung to the Lord their Saviour and spoke often of him.  They did not necessarily write for publication but for personal journals & letters. Some of the ladies you may have heard of, others are not so well known, but helpfully there is included a short biographical sketch of each one. They include, Ruth Bryan, Anne Dutton, Isabella Graham, Elizabeth Julia Hasell, Frances Ridley Havergal, Sarah Hawkes, Susan Huntington, Harriet Newell, Katherine Parr, Susannah Spurgeon, Anne Steele and Mary Winslow.
This is a book that is well worth the £12.99 price tag.  However, if this seems too much to stretch to, then surely the eBook at only £5.49 cannot be passed over.
Seasons of the Heart compiled by Donna Kelderman, published by Reformation Heritage Books. Available as a Hardback £12.99 or an eBook £5.49.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Quote of the Week - True Faith

True faith seeks Christ continually.  This is what we see in Song of Solomon 1 v 7: 'Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turnest aside by the flocks of thy companions?'
True faith is never self-confident and self-sufficient. It continually seeks Christ (Heb 12:1-4, Phil 3:7-14).  Faith is not only an act of life.  Faith is a way of life.  We seek him, not just what we might hope to get from him.  We seek him because we need him, because we know we must have him.  We seek him earnestly, continually, in the place where he has promised he will be found, in his Word, in his house, among his people.  And we seek him with this confidence: All who truly seek him shall find him (Jer 29:10-13).
Let us never seek to grow beyond simple, childlike faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. 'As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him' (Col 2:6).  This is the only way we can walk with him.  We must ever seek him and walk with him as sinners needing to be bathed in his blood, robed in his righteousness, and saved by his grace.  May God give us the grace to do so.

Extract from 'Discovering Christ in the Song of Solomon' by Don Fortner, Evangelical Press, £7.99

Thursday, 6 February 2014

John Newton + Barbara Duguid = Extravagant Grace!

I didn't get what I expected when I opened this book to scan its pages! I was pleasantly surprised and found myself being drawn again and again to it. Written by Barbara Duguid and subtitled 'God's Glory Displayed in Our Weakness' it takes a look at John Newton's writings on sin, grace and sanctification. To quote the author's preface, "This eighteenth-century pastor outlined a theology of sinful failure that humbles weak sinners, magnifies the finished work of Jesus Christ, and comforts people who just can't seem to stop sinning by pointing them to Christ in their worst moments of defeat".  Barbara weaves contemporary examples throughout whilst outlining and explaining John Newton's theology. As with most books, there were some parts that I skipped through but many sections of it were excellent: thought provoking and humbling. I have certainly finished it with an appetite to read more of John Newton's works.
To read a full and fair review see the Reformed Reader blog.
Extravagant Grace by Barbara Duguid, published by P & R, £9.99