Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Notorious Sinner

All is Grace by Brennan Manning, is on one level a very ordinary biography of a christian "personality". But on a much more important level, it is a life long tribute to God's grace - in spite of alcoholism, divorce, and many other obstacles. 

Beginning with a difficult, love-deprived childhood, moving through military service to catholic seminary and into an amazing ministry, Brennan is a living, breathing testimony to the reality that God gifts and uses flawed and sinful people. In fact,  he called his support group for the final years the "Notorious Sinners"....a tribute to their desire to support each other in spite of "the sin that easily besets us". ~~Rick

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bibles Bibles Bibles

The most recent issue of National Geographic celebrates the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. What perfect timing as we celebrate the first coming of the One who is spoken of in those Scriptures. 

In more "Bible" news, it was tremendously encouraging to read in Joel Rosenberg's latest email that  Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will soon be hosting a weekly Bible study in his home. Wow. I could hardly believe my eyes. After all these years, the Bible is still revered, read, studied and followed, even by folks who would not call themselves "Christians". 

At our last staff meeting, Rick, who works in our Bible Reference Dept., highlighted two Bibles that you will want to know more about.  The first was the English Standard Version (ESV)  Student Study Bible.  One of the many preachers who recommends the ESV is Mark Driscoll.  I watched him preach from it last Sunday.  He has been preparing sermons from the book of Luke for the last 2 years and says that the ESV Study Bible is the best out there.  

Rick says, "For many people the ESV Study Bible represents the "highwater mark" in study Bibles. Experts like John Piper have called it the "best study Bible ever". However it is massive -- two million words, 2700 pages -- enough weight to make it a chore to carry around. It is also more comprehensive than many people want or need.  But.... the ESV Student Study Bible is a great alternative! It is shorter, more fun and basically an edited version of the notes that made the ESV Study Bible the incredible source that it is.  For people who want a good study Bible, don't let the word "student" throw you....shouldn't we all be students of the Word?"

The second version Rick told us about was the recently updated New International Version (NIV).  "Zondervan recently revamped the NIV translation, and they have used this opportunity to expand and revamp their study Bible as well. It is now more colourful, laid out better and more attractive. Don't assume that it is the old NIV Study Bible in a new cover. Check it out!"

Full colour maps and illustrations give this well loved and much used version a whole new look and voice.  Hear Professor Douglas Moo, Chair of the Committee on Bible Translation share his perspective.

A new Bible makes a wonderful gift at Christmas time. Come and see what we have for yourself.
~~Becky

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Book Discovery!

It has been awhile since we have posted on this blog.  Life here at the store has sped up as the season of Christ's birth has approached.  We are happy to resume letting you know about books we love and recommend.  The following is from Lando's daughter Aimee. Lando and his wife Kathy own the store and have obviously passed on their love of books to their family.

Today while I was at my parents' bookstore I made a great children's book discovery.

If you've ever read Brennan Manning, then the theme in this book will come as no surprise to you.  It is about God's wide reaching, all encompassing love and how nothing we can do can separate us from it.  The story is set in Mexico with a beautiful couple playfully engaging with neighbourhood children, asking them questions, making food together, laughing.

The children in the story learn that God is the giver of all good things and that he cares about every part of their lives.  I love the illustrations, the setting, the way the couple relates so respectfully to children, and how God is portrayed.

Probably the thing I want most for Anders, Elijah and Eva is that they would know that they are surrounded by God's love. Always. I'm grateful to have found this book to help remind them.

This book will be a Christmas gift for our kids, but I can hardly wait to give it to them.

If you're interested too, you can buy this book, Smack-Dab in the Middle of God's Love by Brennan Manning from my dad's store -they do mail order: House of James

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Imagine Your Life Without Fear

 

Frankly, I can't. And I'm not alone! Driving to work yesterday, the top news story on the radio was, "People are afraid, stressed, depressed and angry!  Are we facing another recession?"  That seems to be the main worry fueling the fear. What will happen to my savings? Will I still have a job? Can I make my house payments? How can I make my grocery dollars stretch? When will I be able to buy my son the glasses he needs?  What am I supposed to do about the overdue bills on my kitchen counter? Will there be any money for retirement?

My own night terrors are different but the pounding heart feels the same!  What will happen when my husband has his upcoming open heart surgery?   Will my daughter's home in Thailand be flooded? Should my dad be in a care home or in his own home? What will happen if I get too far behind at work? WHY WON'T MY HEART STOP POUNDING?

I pulled a book off of the New Releases shelf last week. The very act of taking it off the shelf had a calming effect. Okay, I'm acknowledging that there is a problem. Oh look, other people are in the same boat.

Angie Smith, wife of Todd Smith (lead singer of Selah), has written What Women Fear: Walking in Faith That Transforms for those of us that, like her, grapple with crippling fear.  I knew I was in good hands when I read, "Maybe you don't worry about dying, but you get sick thinking about the fact that you might fail."  She freely admits that fear has been her constant companion since childhood.  She reminds us that we are not alone in our fears and that we aren't a bad person because of them.
"I so desperately want to be able to...give you a solution that will replace your fear with faith.  I have heard that so many times...trade your fear for faith...and yes, I do believe faith replaces fear. But I guess, in my mind, it just isn't as black and white as some people have made it sound.  It is more of a balancing act, where we deliberately lean into Him and away from our fear."
Love that  - lean into Him and away from our fear. I know that this book will be helpful to many of us. Angie Smith has also written I Will Carry You,  in which she chronicles her family's journey through unthinkable grief.

As I have walked through our store the past few days other titles have caught my eye - Fearless by Max Lucado, Letting Go of Worry by Dr Linda Mintle, Moving from Fear to Freedom by Grace Fox, Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow and of course, the Word of God.

Zephaniah 3:17 in the New Living Translation says, "For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs."

~~Becky

Don't forget that you can order any of the above books through our website:  www.houseofjames.com