Wednesday, September 29, 2010

More Reasons

I told you that I was going to finish the list of top 10 reasons to visit our store this fall in my next post, but I actually have 11.

#11 We are in the middle of a 4 day sale which ends on Saturday Oct 2. There are some marvelous books on sale for electrifying prices.

Heaven by Randy Alcorn is only $8.99. We have sold hundreds of this book, ever since a 17 year old who worked on staff years ago told me that it was the best book he had ever read. And it's thick!

66 Love Letters by Dr. Larry Crabb is $9.99. Use it as a companion to your daily Scripture reading. The book is described as a conversation with God that invites you into His story.

Have a New Husband by Friday
& Have a New Kid by Friday $9.99 each.
Author Dr. Kevin Leman is a pretty funny guy. He says that you don't actually have to wait until Friday. You can probably have a new one by Wednesday. I'm pretty happy with the husband and kids that I have, but judging by the way these books are flying out of the store, quite a few of us wouldn't mind some changes!

e Away My Beloved by Frances Roberts is a very classy edition of a 30 year old devotional book. I think you should know that Amazon sells it for $10.19 but WE have it on sale for $3.99!!!

Now, back to the last 5 reasons to come and visit us this fall:

#6 Serendipity
Do you love to browse at bookstores? We believe books can be tools of the Holy Spirit. We know that books can change lives. Come and see what is on the shelf for you and for those you love.

#7 Selection
We offer the best selection of Christian books, music, Bibles and gifts around. Our books run wide and deep. Our music provides a positive alternative for youth and aids us in the praise and worship of our Lord. Our giftware and art become enduring messages in homes and offices. Our greeting cards celebrate and comfort. Our Christmas cards even refer to the birth of Christ. We love our products.

#8 We're a meeting place
We cut across denominational lines. We are diverse. We are common ground. People from different backgrounds, churches and theological leanings come together in our stores.

#9 We know what we're doing
We are specialty stores providing specialty products. On purpose. We read our books, listen to our music and buy our gifts for friends and family. We know we're not perfect. We make the occasional mistake! But our best days happen when just the right product for you, at just the right time, is on our shelves. If it isn't, we'll go the extra mile to find it.

#10 Community support
We support church and para-church ministries and fundraisers as much and as often as we can. We're pleased to sell tickets and to put up posters in support of local events. Say...have any of the online giants come to your event lately with people or product to provide a book table or donated to your silent auction? You are our community and together we hope to make a difference.

Thank you for being our customer!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Top 10 Reasons

to come and see us this Fall:

#1 Serving you is what matters most.
It is our privilege to serve you. Your experience in our store matters
personally to us. You are the centerpiece of the work we have been given and we truly hope we can provide something of value to you. We will always do our very best to find what you need! ("Reasons" taken from the current flyer and written by Margo Smith.)

#2 The Real Thing!
Do you love the touch and feel of a real book as much as we do? Do yo
u want them to live on? Online shopping is here to stay and e-books have their appeal but independent, local bookstores with real people selling real books can be part of the future too.

#3 We are Christians.
We don't sell Christian because it's hot. We sell Christian even when it'
s not. We focus on being Christian in everything we do. We would like to think that together we are playing a part in what God is doing in our community.

#4 Independent, local business matters.
Shopping locally provides local employment and contributes to the local economy. We are an independent, local business which sells a wide range of products at fair, competitive prices. We're also a business which encourages Christian devotion and culture in the workplace.

#5 Where we spend our money matters.
Simply by shopping at our store, you are saying you think Christian bookstores and the products we sell matter. We hope we offer a positive shopping alternative amongst a dizzyng array of options. You are the reason our mission continues. Thank you!

You can read the rest of the 10 reasons to come and see us this Fall in our next post. We look forward to seeing you soon!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mark Driscoll + Hipster Christianity

Cool + Christ = Hipster Faith is the feature article in the current issue of the magazine Christianity Today. Having 3 kids in the relevant generation, I found the article absorbing .Dozens of traditional Christian icons are repudiated by this new wave of Jesus followers. End-time hysteria, Adventures in Odyssey, the Ten Commandments in courtrooms and tract distribution are among the new pariahs. Passionate concern for social justice, organic meals, church liturgy and outings to microbreweries are the new normals. (To learn more about this phenomenon? movement? fad? wave? read Brett McCracken's Hipster Christianity).

Shock jock Mark Driscoll, described in the article as "the polarizing Howard Stern of neo-Calvinist Christianity" is in with this gang.
Matthew, a former staff member at the store, just graduated from Regent College in Vancouver. In his mid-20s, well-educated, thoughtful, he was a perfect choice for a review of Mark Driscoll's latest book, Doctrine - What Christians Should Believe. You can imagine my astonishment when I read his scathing post. Far from affirming, Mat blasts Driscoll's scholarship and conclusions. Here we go.

I was asked to read Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears and provide my reflections on its content. I have read some of Driscoll’s previous works, and was impressed with them. However, this was not the case with Doctrine. Both the publisher and the authors make bold claims about the book’s credentials. First, they claim scholarly pedigree. The suggestion is that this book is worthy of serious, even academic, study; rather than for merely devotional purposes. This is a goal worthy of commendation, since it is a necessary and important one.

Second, it
claims to be an accurate representation of what genuine and normative Christian beliefs must look like. I believe both these claims are false, and from reading it, I am convinced that this book lacks the credibility to make them.

makes claim of how the text should be used, yet does not follow this itself. It minimizes scholars because they have a different view on various issues, without naming them or presenting argumentation. It misrepresents translation theory, and naively minimizes the role and function of the Septuagint. Christian doctrine, it must be remembered, rests entirely on God’s revelation. The Bible is the surest record of this. If one misuses it everything collapses. Since Doctrine misuses the Bible, why should I trust anything they say?

Even though Doctrine makes many good points,
is filled with great truth, and portrays many elements Christians should believe, I cannot be certain these claims hold water because they are built on a faulty foundation. This book is not meaty, but Tofu; not universally Christian, but Driscollian Christian.

Doctrine, and the sermon series from which it evolved, is a
prerequisite for membership at Mars Hill Church. This will be the impact of the book. If you are not a fan of Driscoll, it is doubtful Doctrine will change your mind. If you are a fan, and agree theologically with him, Doctrine will go far to cement your worldview. For those who are indifferent to Driscoll, I see nothing in this book that lives up to its claims, or any reason to read this in order to understand Christian doctrine. If you read to challenge your mind, Doctrine will fail you. If you read to probe your heart, it will fail you as well. In a nut shell there are better books than this one to present Christian doctrine. For full review see....


Monday, September 20, 2010

We all need it

I have a tendency to gush when I'm excited about something so brace yourself. Every morning before we open the store, we take 5 minutes to read a little bit of the Bible or another book and pray. I love that part of the day because it gives us a chance to take a breath, share prayer requests, and prepare ourselves for what we hope will be a busy day.

When it is my turn to read, I often just randomly pull a book off of the shelf. My litmus test of excellence is that I can open it anywhere and find a piece of gold.
I am VERY happy to tell you about a new book that just came in a few days ago. The title is The One Year Book of Encouragement and although we have just read a couple of days worth of devotionals, I am a fan. The sub-title is: 365 Days of Inspiration and Wisdom for Your Spiritual Journey and there are contributions from dozens of my favourite authors: Amy Carmichael, Nancy Guthrie, Joni Eareckson Tada, Jill Briscoe, A.W. Tozer, C.S. Lewis, George MacDonald, J.I. Packer, just to mention a few.

Our reading this morning featured Philip Yancey. He reminded us to shoot "arrow prayers" throughout the day. These are short prayers sent heavenward during "the spaces". Instead of wasting the moments while we are lying awake, waiting for our computer to come to life or standing in line, we can maximize those lull times by bringing ourselves into God's presence.

Each day's reading includes thoughts from an author as well as a prayer and a verse. The prayer for today was, "Heavenly Father, I get all caught up in the pace of the day, and my mind is often far from you. Please help me to constantly connect with you."

I can guarantee you that this book will be under the Christmas tree of a few folks on my list this year. I can't think of one single person who doesn't value encouragement and this wonderful devotional is brimming with gold.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Chick-Lit (not)

In a previous post I mentioned that it leaves me cold - light romantic fiction for women that is. Now, some followers of this blog may look at the following review and wonder, but truly, this series by Neta Jackson is unusual and outstanding. Book One in the Yada Yada House of Hope novels is entitled Where Do I Go? The titles of the 4 books in the series are taken from the song :"I Go to the Rock" by Dottie Rambo.

Set in Chicago, we follow the life and times of Gabby. The fun-loving, impetuous, red-headed mother of two is about to follow her instincts once too often. When s
he brings a filthy street person home to their penthouse apartment, her husband is not pleased, but he completely loses it when Gabby invites her mother + dog to stay with them. Gabby, her mother, the dog AND her two sons end up at Manna House, a shelter for homeless women. We will get to know Gabby, her sons and many other memorable characters very well in the following two books (4th and last due next year).

I read another Yada Yada book years ago and had forgotten how powerful they are! The Yada Yadas are a group of women who pray together and do life together in downtown Chicago. The author herself lives in Chicago so the voice feels authentic.

The characters are real women with real challenges, growth spurts, weaknesses and joys. Before reading the first book in the series, I was terribly hesitant about opening my home to a stranger. It seemed scary and impossible. But when a young girl came to us needing a temporary home, we did it. And what a huge blessing it has turned out to be! Neta Jackson's character Jodi showed me what it can look like, and it gave me the needed courage.

It really is a marvelous set of books to have in your personal or church library. The four titl
es are, in order: Where Do I Go?, Who Do I Talk To?, Who Do I Lean On? and Who Is My Shelter? (coming March 2011)

I love to look up favourite authors on the internet and it is neat to find out a little bit more about these folks. Dave and Neta Jackson's website is:


Thursday, September 2, 2010

New on the Shelf!

This is a gr
eat fall for new books. Some have already arrived, and some are still on the way. I can't resist letting you know about what I am seeing on the New Arrivals Shelf.

The Skin Map by Stephen Lawhead - Already half way through and enjoying it thoroughl
y. I always have a secret wish that his fantasies were actually based on fact... Oh ho! After reading the essay by Lawhead himself at the very end of this first in the series, maybe they are!

g to See by Mary Beth Chapman - A reader tells me that this one is a "pillow soaker". Just looking through the pictures in the center is enough to start me off.

The Devil in Pew Number Seven by Rebecca Nichols Alonzo. When I first saw the title and the cover, I thought this was a novel. I wish it was, but unfortunately, this a true account of ministry and murder and forgiveness.

A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain and God's Sovereignty by Joni Eareckson Tada. Just released yesterday and I was already able to recommend it to a customer well acquainted with suffering. What thoughts do we think when we are daily reminded of our travailing world? We acknowledge the trustworthiness of our Creator and Saviour but still continue to live out life surrounded by imponderables. Joni has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. All I can say is that God has given her quite the platform.

Spiritual Rhythm by Canadian (B.C.!) author Mark Buchanan. Sub-titled "Being with Jesus Every Season of Your Soul". I like that.

Come on by the store, grab a cappuccino and peruse some of these newly arrived treasures.


Courageously Soft by Charaia Rush

  Courageously Soft: Daring to Keep a Tender Heart in a Tough World …. as I picked up Charaia Rush’s beautiful new book, the subtitle caug...