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LIVING ON THE ROCK brings together Colin Buchanan and Karen Pang for the first time, singing a crazy collection of songs speaking about the walk of following Jesus, of trust and belief and obedience, of comfort and wisdom, of facing temptation and seeing the richness of righteousness, the deceit of sin and the wonders of knowing and being known by God. A must for kids!CBD PRICE: R140SPECIAL PROMO: R125
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A timely book to encourage our men this Father’s Day.
Real Valor is classic Steve Farrar. It’s punchy, masculine, and peppered with little-known or quirky scenarios to flesh out his premise. This book is the third in the Bold Men of God series written to encourage men to rise up and shepherd their families.
Essentially, Farrar looks at the life of Boaz and how his responses to the pressures of a tough world ensured that the new family in his life, Ruth and Naomi, were blessed. Ultimately, thanks to his principled decision-making, his actions led to the Messiah coming through his lineage.
Farrar looks at how Ruth and Naomi were initially cursed with the results of Elimelech’s poor choices. As Naomi’s husband, his bad decisions took them out of God’s blessing and into the rewards of disobedience. Boaz, on the other hand, based his decisions on God’s revealed principles and reaped His blessings. He faced the same pressures that Elimelech did (think drought, famine), yet didn’t try to escape them.
As usual, Farrar frequently illustrates from his own life and experiences. It makes for highly accessible and engaging reading. I recommend this book for those wanting to encourage their husbands and dads to stand strong.
In our times of extreme moral decline, our men need all the encouragement they can get, and Farrar shoots straight.
What the bible really says about love Written by: John Bloom
Jesus said, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you” (Matthew 7:1–2).
This teaching of Jesus is widely misunderstood. A common reduction we often hear is, “Don’t judge me.” What’s interesting is that this reduction is the inverse application of Jesus’s lesson. Jesus is not telling others not to judge us; he’s telling us not to judge others. What others do is not our primary concern; what we do is our primary concern. Our biggest problem is not how others judge us, but how we judge others.
Caution: Judge at your own risk:-
Actually, when Jesus says, “Judge not,” he’s not really issuing a prohibition on judging others; he’s issuing a serious warning to take great care how we judge others. We know this because Jesus goes on to say,
“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3–5)
It’s not wrong to lovingly help our brother remove a harmful speck from his eye. It’s wrong to self-righteously point out a speck in our brother’s eye when we ignore, as no big deal, the ridiculous log protruding from our own.
So, Jesus is placing, as it were, a neon-red-blinking sign over others that tells us, “Caution: judge at your own risk.” It is meant to give us serious pause and examine ourselves before saying anything. Our fallen nature is profoundly selfish and proud and often hypocritical, judging ourselves indulgently and others severely. We are quick to strain gnats and swallow camels (Matthew 23:24), quick to take tweezers to another’s eye when we need a forklift for our own. It is better to “judge not” than to judge like this, since we will be judged in the same way we judge others.
Jesus takes judgment very seriously. He is the righteous judge (2 Timothy 4:8), who is full of grace and truth (John 1:14). He does not judge by appearances, but judges with right judgment (John 7:24). Every judgment he pronounces issues from his core loving nature (1 John 4:8).
Therefore, when we judge, and Scripture instructs Christians to judge at times (1 Corinthians 5:12), we must take great care that our judgment, like Christ’s, is always charitable.
Capturing God by Rico Tice Review by Sarah Cameron
Being a mum with 3 little kids, I wasn’t sure when I’d be able to fit in reading and reflecting on this a book. But when it arrived in the post, not only did I devour it’s 60 pages in one short sitting, I found myself rereading bits and excitedly texting them to a friend. I also felt compelled to pray for opportunities to give this to a few people who I think would benefit from reading it.
Capturing God is centred around imagining a picture of God. What would it look like to capture everything God wants to reveal about himself? I wonder how you’d answer that question. Tice has a relaxed style of writing that helps make this book accessible and engaging. He weaves sections of Luke’s Gospel together with personal stories and anecdotes. And he discusses four key characteristics that God reveals about himself in the person of Jesus Christ, and specifically through his death and resurrection. They are:
Capturing God is a great book to read if you’re a new Christian or if you’ve been a Christian for a long time. We never graduate from needing to remember what Jesus did on the cross, and why it matters. One quote I’m going to print and stick on our fridge is “God did not hang on the cross to tell us to earn life” (p37).
It’s also a great book to give to non Christians, especially someone who is keen to investigate the claims of Christianity. Tice has thought about this, and on the Good Book Company website you’ll find some extra resources to help you use this book well as an evangelistic tool. Maybe your church could give this to visitors?
Capturing God is a short and easy read, about big and important topics. Tice helps to remind us of the great truths of the gospel, that “God has offered you one picture of himself, that captures his essence. His integrity. His plan. His welcome. His justice. His forgiveness. God is offering you peace with him and power from him. He’s the God who you need, and he’s the God who is there” (p62).
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There is in each of us a dangerous temptation toward hypocrisy, to be one thing but to pretend to be another. There are many within the church who are hypocrites, people who claim to be Christians but who are, in fact, unbelievers attempting to convince others (and perhaps themselves) that they are followers of Jesus Christ. They are people who do not practice true virtue but who instead offer counterfeit versions of it. Jude compares them to clouds without water in that they seem to be full of the Spirit but are actually devoid of true goodness.
Here are five solemn warnings to those who only pretend to be godly:
Hypocrisy angers God.
God hates hypocrisy and hypocrites because hypocrisy misuses religion, taking advantage of its laws and decrees for self-advancement. The hypocrite wants religion—even the Christian faith—only for the advantages he gains from it. He fails to truly turn his heart to God and do good to God’s people. He carries Christ in his Bible, but not in his heart. He serves the devil while wearing the uniform of Christ. He will be condemned by God.
One couple’s story of hope and healing among the poor.
Tich Smith grew up in a middle class home, where he played rugby and cricket Kwa-Zulu Natal, and went on to represent South Africa in the cricket arena. His sports career derailed at the age of 35 due to alcoholism and a gambling addiction. Joan had recently lost her husband. Their lives were at rock bottom when grace showed up and inspired the to move past the racial prejudices of thme Apartheid era and launch a ministry together.
The result was Lungisisa Indlela village (LIV), the legendary residential facility that rescues children, restores lives, and raises young leaders in South Africa. This is the story of transformed lives – both theirs and the orphans – as a country begins to embrace grace and love others as Christ loves the church.
It has been five hundred years since Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Luther’s theses called for the reform of the church and served as the catalyst for the Protestant Reformation. Its impact is still felt today. Today we learn about some of the Reformation Heroes.
The Reformation did not happen instantaneously; it was something God patiently arranged over a number of years.
As you read this book, you will learn how the Lord used some people to plant the seeds of church reform long before October 31, 1517, when Martin Luther published his ninety-five theses. Luther’s story is well-known; we trust you will find it interesting and instructive to read about him and about forty others (John Knox, Peter Martyr Vermigli, Zacharias Ursinus, Willem Teellinck, etc.) who contributed to the Reformation – some well known and others not so – most of whom are Reformation heroes.
To provide a more full picture of the many sided Reformation, chapters are also included on the Anabaptist and Counter Reformation movements. The illustrated overview for older Children and Teens concludes with a brief summary of the influence of the Reformation in different areas of life.
At some point today, someone will probably compliment or praise something you do or say. If not today, it will happen tomorrow, or sometime next week. How will you respond? How do you typically respond?
How we respond to praise from others, especially over time, reveals how highly we really think of ourselves. I’m not talking about every specific email or conversation or social-media update, but about the trends in our emails and conversations and social media. Is our default reaction — our gut heart-level response — to give God credit and glory for our gifts and achievements at work, at home, and in ministry? Or, are we more likely to privately savor that moment for ourselves, to turn the praise over and over slowly in our minds, like a piece of caramel in our mouths?
Every compliment or commendation we receive comes charged with potential for worship. When we quietly, even politely, enjoy affirmation or praise without even thinking to acknowledge God, we’re not only missing an opportunity to worship him (and to call others to worship him), but also robbing God of the glory he deserves for every gift we receive and everything we achieve.
Kristen and Sarah have walked through, and are walking in, difficult times. So these thirty biblical reflections are full of realism about the hurts of life—yet overwhelmingly full of hope about the God who gives life.
This book will gently encourage and greatly help any woman who is struggling with suffering—whether physical, emotional or psychological, and whether for a season or for longer. It is a book to buy for yourself, or to buy for a member of your church or friend. For anyone who is hurting, this book will give hope, not just for life beyond the suffering, but for life in the suffering.
Each chapter contains a biblical reflection, with questions and prayers, and a space for journaling.
Can we talk about Islam? by Review by Annabel Nixey – Equip Bookclub
Here are three reasons to read this book:
It’s short This book is short. Super short. Don’t get me wrong – it is good to read long books. But sometimes life means a short book is in order. And at 54 pages this one still packs a punch. If we gave books a value-per-page score, ‘Can we talk about Islam?’ would be 9.5/10.
It’s about Islam (and how to talk about it)
I am no expert on Islam. To be honest (to my shame) this is the first book I’ve read specifically on how to talk about Islam. And it was so clear and so helpful! In his third chapter Tony Payne summarizes the key teachings of Islam, comparing them to Christianity. For example, in Christianity, the problem is our rebellion against God (sin) and hence the solution is atonement to restore a personal relationship with God. Yet in Islam the problem is ignorance or weakness and so the solution is guidance through the prophets (particularly Muhammad) in order to enable submission to Allah. There’s also a really helpful summary of the diverse strands of Islam. It left me feeling much better equipped to avoid caricatures which depict extremist groups like ISIS as either representative of all of Islam or none of it.
It’s not just about Islam
The hidden gem of this book is chapter two – ‘Why don’t secular humanists want to talk?’ Don’t know what a secular humanist is? As Payne points out, chances are they are your neighbour, boss, dentist and cousin. Secular humanism is the air we breathe. This chapter is an incredibly helpful discussion of what secular humanism is and why secular humanists don’t want to talk about religion – because to them ‘whatever religious belief you have is a matter of personally chosen faith and values and opinion’ (p12). Payne explores and explains why they think this using a really clear illustration (involving a disappearing staircase!) which he admits to nicking from Francis Schaeffer. Well hats off to Mr Schaeffer because it’s a really helpful illustration! I read this chapter thinking – ‘that is what my friends think…ahhhh….that makes sense of why they think that’. It also was also helpful to see ways that I also can slip into a secular humanist mindset.
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The other morning I woke up while my children were still sleeping and began to pray. I started thinking about my identity. What am I? Who am I? As I settled into my prayer time I began to rejoice at the thought that I am a mother. It is part of who I am. To my children it is my name: Mom.
The modern mom doesn’t always like to be identified as a mother. We are “liberated.” We have names and identities of much greater significance. Even the Christian mommy would prefer to keep her mom identity in check. “I am a Christian first and foremost,” we might say. This is so true and so good. We are first and foremost identified as united to Christ. He has redeemed us and therefore our identities are wrapped up in his righteousness. But this doesn’t mean we have to deny the significance of being a mother as we embrace who we are in Jesus.
Maybe what we need is not to shed our mommy title, rather see the true significance of it. One great example can be found in the biblical account of Timothy. Timothy was the son of a Jewish woman who was also a believer, Eunice, and a Greek father (Acts 16:1, 2). Though we don’t seem to know much about his father, we get some crucial information about his mother.