Ultimate Questions – New Format

By John Blanchard

Ultimate Questions (ESV Booklet Edition)Health, finance, family, the future – life is full of questions…….

There are deeper questions too.  Who am I?  Why am I here?  Where am I going?  Does life have any purpose?

But the ultimate questions are about God.  Does he exist?  What is he like?  Can I know him and experience His power in my life?  And if so, how?

This booklet tackles these vital questions head-on, and answers them simply, clearly and directly.  Read it carefully.  It could change your life ….. forever.

PRICE:  R20.00

Printed for the first time in South Africa.

PLEASE NOTE THAT SPECIAL PRICES CAN BE ARRANGED FOR BULK PURCHASES.

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Let’s Be Frank: Thought for the Day

Frank Retief 2

Frank Retief was pastor at St James Church Cape Town for 31 years, having planted the church in 1968 with his wife Beulah.  He became the Presiding Bishop of the Church of England in South Africa until he retired in 2010.  Frank remains active in ministry through preaching, teaching, pastoral work & writing, and has authored a number of books.

Where is Jesus when I need Him?

Mark 5:36 Jesus told the synagogue ruler: “Don’t be afraid just believe.”
The story in Mark 5:2-4 is full of interesting and mysterious things. Jesus is approached by a troubled and anxious father to heal his eleven year-old daughter. This man “Jairus” was neither an enemy nor a critic of our Lord. He was simply a father, although he had great standing in the community because he was one of the rulers of the local synagogue.We read that Jesus went with him but on the way he was delayed by another person with great personal needs. The woman who stopped him en route to the young girl had suffered for years with a bleeding condition. We can only imagine what this must have meant for her physically, psychologically and socially because she would have been considered unclean, and also conjugally – if she was married at all – her husband would most likely have disowned her. So Jesus stops to deal with her and help her.Meanwhile, imagine the family waiting for Jesus with great anxiety. Does he not know how serious their daughter’s condition is? Why does He not come at once? Why does He allow Himself to be delayed?
God is Enough
How often have we felt like that. Our personal circumstances have taken a bad turn and in desperation we have called out to the Lord. But nothing seems to happen. Then the news arrives that the girl had died. But Jesus ignores the messengers and urges the family to have faith! Faith in what? Faith in fate, or in medicine or in the unknown or what? No. It is faith in HIM. By trusting Him they are saying: “We believe that you come from God. We believe you have all power in Heaven and Earth. Although we do not understand all your ways we know you not only know best but will do what is right and in alignment with your purposes”As we know the story ends well. The young girl is healed and the family is comforted.Does this mean that there will always be healing for us? Or that every crisis will be resolved satisfactorily? NO! What this great story tells us is that there will come a day when Jesus will “wake” us all up from the grave and in that new world which he will bring with him there will be no more death, sickness and sorrow.
Prayer and the voice of God aOf course this story also tells us how compassionate our Lord is with us all here and now! We may certainly bring our sorrows and anxieties to Him. But remember the little girl died first before she was raised to live and so too with us. Our circumstances may not seem to change much outwardly, in fact they may even seem worse. In other words somehow for us it seems that the worst that can happen seems to happen first, with no intervention from the Lord.But He who has authority and power over all things seen and unseen is still in control of your circumstances if you belong to Him.
His Word to you is “Don’t be afraid. Just believe”. Believe not in the mystical power of faith, like many superstitious people do, but believe in Him, His love for you, proven by His death on the Cross, and believe that He is in control of your life and working all things out for the best, and for His own ultimate glory. So that whatever conclusion there is to your personal dilemma, sad or happy, you are never out of His hands, never cut off from His care and never outside of His purposes.Prayer:“Heavenly FatherI confess that my faith has often failed especially when my circumstances have been bad. I am very weak. Please strengthen me so that I may trust you and your love for me shown by your Son our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us and rose again so that we might have a brighter future. Amen”
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Book Review: All Is Grace

Author: Brennan Manning

All is Grace (Manning)This book was reviewed by Trevor Bradley : Rosebank Union Church, Sandton

Here is an invite to come into the closet and peek at the unfolding love story between creator and the created. The intimacy between the loved and the heart of the one who created the very act of love.   

The living out and unpacking of the most wonderful word in the English language - GRACE.

CS Lewis  was asked by one of his students,upon passing a table of debate at the university where he was a professor, what made Christianity different from all other religions? His immediate retort was GRACE..

Brennan was a recipient of it. Lived in the embrace of it. Abandoned himself to it for he knew in measure the scope of it ~ fail and feeble prodigal that he was and like we all are. We can never plunge it’s depths nor comprehend it’s enormity or begin to understand it’s scope. But we can fall down at the feet of the one who as the hymn writer says “were the whole realms of nature mine. This will be an offering far to small. Love so amazing so divine. Demands my life, my soul, my all.” We can worship HIM for his grace.

This is the story of Brennan Manning. A life lived in thanks to our Father for HIS amazing, awesome grace.

CBD Price : R250.00

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 BLOODLINES: 

BloodlinesGenocide. Terrorism. Hate crimes. In a world where racism is far from dead, is unity amidst diversities even remotely possible?

Sharing from his own experiences growing up in the segregated South, pastor John Piper thoughtfully exposes the unremitting problem of racism. Instead of turning finally to organizations, education, famous personalities, or government programs to address racial strife, Piper reveals the definitive source of hope—teaching how the good news about Jesus Christ actively undermines the sins that feed racial strife, and leads to a many-colored and many-cultured kingdom of God.

Learn to pursue ethnic harmony from a biblical perspective, and to relate to real people different from yourself, as you take part in the bloodline of Jesus that is comprised of “every tongue, tribe, and nation.”

CBD PRICE: R215.00

SPECIAL PRICE: R100.00

 

GOD IS GREAT: 

God is Great Bible StorybookIGod Is Great, Carolyn Larsen and illustrator Caron Turk provide a wonderful resource for children ages five and under by presenting seventeen Bible stories in an understandable and fun way. In simple language, Larsen describes what God has done in the story of our world, beginning with the creation account and moving through the Great Commission. As children learn about the ways in which God has shown his greatness in the past, they will also learn about his character and how he is still great today.

“God Makes Everything,” “God Protects Daniel,” “Jesus Feeds the 5,000,’ and ‘Jesus Dies, But Not Forever!” are only a few of the stories that will captivate young readers. Beautiful illustrations by veteran illustrator Caron Turk accompany each story. Parents, grandparents, and teachers will find God Is Great to be a valuable tool for teaching young children.

CBD PRICE: R90.00

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WITH CALVIN IN THE THEATRE OF GOD: 

John Calvin saw this world as God’s theater where his glory is always on display. The universe and history are not silent,  they tell the glory of God. With Calvin in the theater of GodReflecting on over 500 years of Calvin’s legacy, John Piper and this book’s other contributors invite us to join Calvin in the theater of God.

Stemming from the Desiring God 2009 National Conference, this volume includes chapters by Julius Kim, Douglas Wilson, Marvin Olasky, Mark Talbot, Sam Storms, and John Piper. It touches on topics such as Calvin’s life, the Christian meaning of public life, sin and suffering, the joy of the last resurrection, and Jesus Christ as the dénouement of God’s story.

Editors John Piper and David Mathis, along with the contributors, make John Calvin’s Christ-exalting perspective on the glory of God accessible to today’s readers. Both Calvinists and other evangelicals interested in the life and work of Calvin will find these essays refreshing and instructive, leading to a robust understanding of the world as the theater of God.

CBD PRICE: R115.00

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Moments with a Mom : How to raise your children as world changers (Part 1)

Candice

Candice is a busy wife to Matt and mom of Noah (5) and Tyler (3 going on 21). Candice also works part-time at our Rosebank Store of Christian Book Discounters. In her spare time Candice writes for her own blog and is a travel consultant. 

When you have a baby, just getting through one day without falling asleep in our cereal is the biggest achievement. As my two ninjas get older, I’m beginning to realise that raising kids, as much as possible to be Jesus kids, doesn’t just consist of trying to make it through the day in one piece, It's Apparent... You're a Parent!making sure that homework is done, ensuring that veggies are eaten and that naps are taken. God actually relies on me (and Matt) to give our kids character building lessons, to teach them Godly values and to show them how to be Jesus to people. Because we’re the closest people to them, we’re the first example they’ll know and see ~ ahem. The pressure is great.

Noah, my 5 year old, is at school in the mornings. At the start of the year, he was at another pre-school where he was bullied. It impacted him and his little self-confidence and character a lot. As his mommy, it was just the most heart breaking thing to have to walk through. Needless to say, he’s in a different school and loving it BUT even though Noah and I walked that path, and it was horrible, it gave him a chance to learn an important lesson. Because he knows that being ugly to other kids hurts, because he’s experienced it himself, he knows what it feels like. He identifies. So everyday when he gets out the car at school, and we walk into class, I say to him “Mr Noah, you be the little boy who makes another girl or boy smile today.” Look, he’s 5 ~ and he’s totally not into sharing at the moment and really is feisty so of course, he’s got his moments where he’s not even close to bringing a smile to someone else, but rather a flood of tears. But every morning as his mommy, I pray “Lord, help my baby help someone smile today” ~ and I try remind him at the start of every day as he heads into his classroom. He’s never come home and told me he’s been a smile-bringer but his teacher told me the other day that he prayed in class and this is how his prayer went “Dear Jesus. Thank you for our mommies and daddies and please help us to be kind to each other today. Jesus doesn’t like it when we’re ugly to each other. Amen.”

Candice Noah TylaI’m trying my best to teach my kids to bring and be joy to the people around them. By doing that, they’re demonstrating Jesus, even in the small things, like sharing Lego blocks or by asking another little girl or boy if they’re ok if they fall and helping them up ~ it’s a tough one to teach a little person who’s still trying to figure out what they want in life and who they are in life, never mind trying to be a light in someone else’s but we take it one day and one prayer at a time.

There’s also the practical side of things like trying to get my kids to be involved hands on with people who they wouldn’t normally get to interact with, to get them to see and be face to face with kids who don’t have as much as they do.

SUSPENDED COFFEE AND GROCERIES

I read up a couple of weeks ago about this idea of suspended coffee. I’d never heard of it, and its apparently an idea that’s in operation all over the USA but I was totally keen to try it.

Suspended coffee works in some coffee shops, where if you buy a coffee, you can say “One decaf to go and one suspended.” In essence, you’re paying for two coffees but one is suspended. Someone in need, for example, a homeless person, a family in need ~ when they come into the coffee shop, they know to ask for a suspended coffee and they receive a free one because of you, paying for one. Stunning idea and really just demonstrates an act of kindness and giving to those who can’t even afford a simple luxury of coffee in the morning.

Glimpses of GraceSo, because I’m not really a coffee drinker, I decided to rope my kids in when we do grocery shopping, in a kinda “Suspended Grocery Shopping” idea. When I take my two little ninjas in the trolley down the aisle at the grocery store, whatever they choose as a treat, they throw another one in the trolley for “a baby who doesn’t have one.” Living in South Africa, my kids come into contact with loads of kids who are less fortunate than they are so I pack the extra goodies in my car. It’s never anything big, maybe like a sucker, or a packet of chips, or a boxed juice, but my kids are slowly learning that things that they have, some kiddies aren’t fortunate to have themselves. When we come across a little girl or boy that is in need, we can dig into the stockpile we have and hand it out. Not only is it a blessing to the little kiddie in need, but it’s a HUGE blessing to my two babies to see how much joy they bring to someone by just sharing something they take for granted everyday. Again, it’s being someone’s smile, even just for a few moments.

Being only 3 and 5 years old, my children still have so much to learn. They are only just beginning to find out what they’re capable of, and just because they’re tiny, doesn’t mean they can’t change the world for good, for Jesus. My kids and I have this little line we always say. I say to them “I may be small” and they end it off with “But with God’s help, I can do big things.” Me, as their mommy ~ I have to show them now that even the smallest things now, make an eternal impact ~ and that’s not restricted to their age at all. I pray every day that my kids, starting now at 3 and 5 years old, will start to realise the kind of impact they can make on the world. 

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Book Review: Return to Me

Author: Lynn Austin

Book Reviewed by Candice Fourie: Staff member at CBD Rosebank Store

I can credit Lynn Austin with getting me into what’s called “biblical fiction.” She’s one of the most popular writers in this genre and since I picked up her Return to Mefirst book, Gods and Kings, I’ve been a really big fan of her writing.  Lynn Austin takes actual biblical events and creates a storyline and develops characters around the historical text and happenings. The Chronicles of the Kings series was her first novel series and in each book, she lists the text in the bible where she draws her inspiration from. You can check her as you’re going. For me, reading into a story written around an actual event in the Bible, opened up the text so much more for me. 

In her latest book, Return To Me, Lynn Austin starts off her new series called The Restoration Chronicles. The first book centers around the Jews who had been cast out of Jerusalem and exiled to Babylon. A new Persian king is brought into power and he decrees that they can return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. The two main characters are both serving in the priesthood ~ Iddo, married to Dinah and a survivor of the exile from Jerusalem and Zachariah, his grandson who by the end of the book is revealed as the Hebrew prophet who wrote the book of the same name in our Bible today.

You will follow their struggle and sacrifice as they leave Babylon after 70 years in exile, their trials and victories as, in obedience to God, they start the process of rebuilding the temple and their joy and elation as the temple is completed. All within Iddo’s lifetime, with him be able to see his grandson continue his legacy of serving God’s people in the temple and bringing them God’s word for His people. 

Let the books of Ezra and Nehemiah come alive to you with this compelling book. I would recommend it in a heartbeat – can’t wait for book 2.

CBD PRICE: R175.00

 

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Spotlight on China

Operation China: Introducing all the Peoples of China

Paul Hattaway (Author of best-selling title Operation World.

Operation ChinaOperation China introduces the minority peoples of China, made up of 490 groups and more than 100 million members. These diverse cultures, from the blue-eyed Muslims of Xinjiang to the tribal people of the jungles of Yunnan, are presented using brilliantly colored photographs, anthropological and geographical data, maps, statistics and a prayer calendar. Operation China is indexed with an extensive bibliography of English and Chinese-language publications.

If you have used Operation World to pray for peoples in the world, and you have a heart for the Chinese people — you need to buy this book as it will help you to understand the urgency of reaching those people groups and again shows you the heart of God — as illustrated in Luke 15, that He would go for the 1 lost sheep and leave the 99 behind. God loves those minority in China as well… no matter how small a group they might be, they”re still the 1 lost sheep to Him and He will go search for them until they are found. 

CBD PRICE: R 231.00

PROMOTION PRICE: R 185.00

 

Jesus in Beijing: How Christianity is Transforming China and Changing the Global Balance of Power

David Aikman : Former Beijing Bureau Chief for Time Magazine

Jesus in BeijingPolitics are being transformed by religion, namely in China—within the next thirty years, one-third of this potential superpower could be Christian.  If this religious transformation occurs, China would be one of the largest Christian nations in the world.  It is exciting to see how God is at work in China, causing rapid growth of the Church in spite of persecution that at times and at certain places has been tragically severe. The Chinese Church not only envisions– and is working toward- bringing all of China to faith in Jesus Christ, but is also working toward bringing the whole Muslim world to Christ. 

This book is a fascinating account of past history, present history being made, and a glimpse of the future Christian world. It is not only informative, but exciting and uplifting for a Christian to read this.

CBD PRICE: R 175.00

PROMOTION PRICE: R 160.00

 

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Throne of Grace

Hebrews 4 vs 14-16 : Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin.

Instrumental Worship 2 (CD) (Macalmon)Recently, we were watching an action packed thriller movie on DSTV.  As we are in the midst of Cape Town winter that brings loads of rain, the DSTV connection went out just minutes from the end of our movie due to yet another rain storm!  The only thing we were able to view was not the end of the movie but the words on the screen that read: “the decoder is attempting to re-establish connection.”

Well, needless to say, the rain storm continued, and we didn’t get to enjoy the movie ending.  We felt frustrated and unfulfilled. 

Transitioning to our spiritual lives, do you feel disconnected to God?  Do you feel frustrated and unfulfilled in your walk with the LORD?  Well, good news abounds.  “we can approach the throne of grace with confidence, so we may receive mercy and find grace to help us Worship God Live (CD)in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

 So what is the cure to feeling disconnected to the Lord due to the storms of life?

We can have the absolute confidence that when we pray through Jesus to the Father we trust that He hears us and cares for every one of our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.   I encourage you to take some time to call out to the LORD.  His mercy and grace are yours because of who you are “in Christ.”  And then share this good news of mercy and grace with a family member, friend, neighbor or co-worker.

Jesus is able to sympathize with every single one of our weaknesses!

 

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Equip Book of the Month: July

The Family : Jack & Judith Balswick

Family, TheA Christian Perspective on the Contemporary Home

Two respected senior professors in the marriage and family field cover every issue that affects family life, including marriage, parenting, sexuality, communication, social dynamics, and family life in modern society. This proven resource for studying the most established of human institutions has been in print for over twenty years, with over 80,000 copies sold. The fourth edition has been updated to address current family-related issues and refined to reflect teaching practices for the contemporary classroom, including updated references to online resources.

This is an excellent resource for marriage and family studies in the church and in academia.  Few texts come close to this one in blending the biblical ideal with the Contemporary scene.

CBD PRICE: R340.00

Equip Book of the Month Price : R250.00

 

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Church Resources from Lifeway Publishers

GLORIOUS RUIN : TULLIAN TCHIVIDJIAN

How suffering sets you free ………

Glorious Ruin (Workbook)In this world, one thing is certain: Everybody hurts. Suffering may take the form of tragedy, heartbreak, or addiction. Or it could be something more mundane (but no less real) like resentment, loneliness, or disappointment. But there’s unfortunately no such thing as a painless life. In Glorious Ruin, best-selling author Tullian Tchividjian takes an honest and refreshing look at the reality of suffering, the ways we tie ourselves in knots trying to deal with it, and the comfort of the gospel for those who can’t seem to fix themselves or others. 

This is not so much a study about Why God allows suffering or even How we should approach suffering – it is a study about the tremendously liberating and gloriously counter intuitive truth of a God who suffers with you and for you. It is a study, in other words, about the kind of hope that takes the shape of a cross.

Workbook – R115.00

DVD – R435.00 (6 sessions)

 

STRONGER : ANGELA THOMAS

Stronger (Workbook)Finding Hope in Fragile Places …..

Stronger: Finding Hope in Fragile Places – by Angela Thomas provides six weeks of personal study experience five days a week plus viewer guides for the 7 video sessions of this women’s Bible study. Through biblical teaching and real life application, this study teaches that believers do not have to live in weakness. God is stronger than every struggle you will ever face. All who receive Jesus Christ have been hidden in Him. We have been made alive in Him through the forgiveness of our sin, filled in Him with all the fullness given to Him, brought near to God in Him, and blessed with every spiritual blessing in Him.

Workbook – R115.00

DVD – R325.00 (7 sessions)

AVAILABLE AT OUR HEAD OFFICE AND ROSEBANK STORES

 

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Let’s be Frank: Thought for the Day

Frank Retief 2

Frank Retief was pastor at St James Church Cape Town for 31 years, having planted the church in 1968 with his wife Beulah.  He became the Presiding Bishop of the Church of England in South Africa until he retired in 2010.  Frank remains active in ministry through preaching, teaching, pastoral work & writing, and has authored a number of books.

Lying

Ephesians 4:25 “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbour, for we are all members of one body.”

Amongst the people of God there should be no lying or untruthfulness. We belong to the One who said: “I am the Truth” and truth and transparency Whiter Than Snowshould categorize everything we do.

Many of us will know the hurt, chaos and conflict that has been brought about by people telling other people lies. Perhaps you yourself have been the victim of some sort of deceit. You then will know how hurtful and shocking it can be.

We know of course that we live in a world of lies. Not only do our politicians and public figures often lie to us but we can hardly escape the falsehoods and deceptions contained in the small print of many of the documents we have to sign just to live in this world. Our TV shows are full of all the things that break our society. Just think of the titles of some of the soapies as you read this. They all speak to you of lies, deceit and unfaithfulness.

Proverbs 19:5 says: “A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who tells lies will not escape.” We all know that lies and half-truths all eventually get found out, but how sad to see the characters of young people often forged and formed by living in an environment where everyone lives by lying to each other.

Not so with us as Christians. We know by instinct that truthfulness should form and shape our lives. We know the truth of Proverbs 19:22 “…..it is better to be a poor man that a liar.” We remember the teaching of James chapter 3 about the power of the tongue and how it can set a great forest on fire with a small spark.

Let us avoid lying at all costs. We follow the Lord Jesus Christ in whose mouth no falsehood was found. Whatever others may do let’s always determine to tell the truth and people who are known to be trustworthy and dependable for Christ’s sake.

Prayer:

“Almighty God, How easily I fall into the sin of corrupt speech. Help me to rather emulate my Saviour and to remember that I am indwelt by the Spirit of truth. Please forgive my sinfulness and carelessness. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

Follow Frank Retief’s daily blog on http://frankretief.co.za/ 

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Book Review: Out of the Black Shadows

Author: Stephen Lungu

OUt of the Black ShadowsOut of the Black Shadows is the story of Stephen Lungu who was transformed from a street child, suffering in abject poverty in a township in Zimbabwe, and really how an intentional criminal act against a christian meeting became a turning point for him and began his life transformation to the life of a missionary, speaking to people all over the world and working for Africa Enterprise International.

This book is astonishing, firstly in the way that you just can not believe that someone’s life can be changed from literally groveling in the garbage for the next meal to a world renowned missionary. In this day and age, we like to think we are past the age of miracles, but the captivating story this book has to tell will get you to re-adjust that idea!!!

From a Street Kid (Lungu)Read more about this amazing man and his story in a review by Jenny Courtney

Also available is the teen version of this story called “From a Street Kid”, a riveting read for any child in your family.

Out of the Black Shadows: R147.00

From a Street Kid: R90.00

 

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