Category Archives: Equip Book Club

Equip Book of the Month: August

 Together Through the Storm, by Sally Sims

In our fallen world, episodes of sickness, suffering, and other trials are all too common. And the Bible’s clear call for us to show Christian love and care means we know we shouldn’t sit idly by while people around us go through these tough times.

Yet our genuine concern for others is often hindered by valid fears—the fear of not knowing Together Through the Stormwhat to do or what to say; the fear of putting our foot in it and making things worse; or the fear that involvement may take us beyond our own personal resources.

In Together Through the Storm, Sally Sims helps us overcome these fears by setting out clear biblical foundations and very practical guidance for Christian care that is based in the word of God and in Christian hope.

Sally brings a tremendously useful mix of life experiences to this important book, including training and practice as a nurse, study in pastoral care and chaplaincy, extensive reading and research, years of coordinating and providing pastoral care in her church, and, of course, personally persevering through her own times of trial.

Reading Together Through the Storm will help any Christian to develop in their ability to care for others, but it also provides a useful foundation for training a ‘care team’ in your church.

“It is a book for every congregation member, as it so practically charts a pathway of how we should all care for each other in church life.
At Moore College we seek to teach our students the elements of pastoral care. This book will certainly become part of our set reading, as it is one of the best books on the topic as well as being such a joy to read.”
Archie Poulos
Head, Ministry Department, Moore College, Sydney

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Equip Book of the Month: July

Rhinestone Jesus, by Kristen Welch

In high school, Kristen Welch wore a big, sparkly rhinestone “Jesus” pin to school every dayRhinestone Jesus and carried her Bible wherever she went.

Yes, she was that girl…

But she didn’t realize her faith, though sincere, was shallow; much like her artificial accessories, it would one day tarnish, no longer a true fit for who she was. As real life catapulted Kristen into places and situations she’d never imagined, there came a day when she stood – shocked in the slums of Africa – and realized in one desperate moment that Jesus wasn’t enough for her.

At least . . . she wasn’t living like He was. On the brink of a risk bigger than any she’d ever taken, Kristen knew she didn’t stand a chance—unless she was willing to put aside the rhinestones and get branded by the real thing.

Rhinestone Jesus is the story of one woman’s journey from comfortably living a safe, “good-girl” faith that didn’t cost much, to realizing that God was daring her to say yes to a bolder, more authentic, more dangerous way. This story of spiritual adventure throws the doors wide open for any woman who’s ever thought of herself as “just a mom.”

Kristen will inspire and empower you to say yes to God right where you are—and stand amazed at how your life will shine.

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Equip Book of the Month: May

Can we talk about islam slider

Can we talk about Islam? by                           Review by Annabel Nixey – Equip Bookclub

Here are three reasons to read this book:

It’s short
Can We Talk about Islam?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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Equip Book of the Month: February

Word-Filled women’s ministry – Loving and serving the Church
By Gloria Furman

Word-Filled Women's MinistryThe Bible is clear that women as well as men are created in God’s image and intended to serve him with their lives. But what does this look like for women in the church?

Helping church leaders think through what a Bible-centered women’s ministry looks like, this collection of essays by respected Bible teachers and authors such as Gloria Furman, Nancy Guthrie, and Susan Hunt addresses a variety of topics relevant to women. Whether exploring the importance of intergenerational relationships, the Bible’s teaching on sexuality, or women’s roles in the church and the home, this book of wise teaching and practical instruction will become a must-have resource for anyone interested in bolstering the health and vitality of the local church.  This book is part of The Gospel Coalition Series & is also available in e-book format.

“There is no question that the women in your churches will be discipled. The only question is whether they will be discipled by the world or the Word. That’s why I’m so excited about Word-Filled Women’s Ministry. It’s more than a book. These contributors represent a movement of teachers guiding women to find hope and freedom and salvation in the gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed in his Word. I couldn’t more highly esteem these writers, and I pray that you will take up their charge to take up the Word.”
Collin Hansen, Editorial Director, The Gospel Coalition; author, Blind Spots

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Equip Book of the Month: October

Nine Day Queen of England – Lady Jane Grey
Written by Faith Cook

Nine Day Queen of England (PB)“Lady Jane called out in a clear voice. “Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” Then with a stroke, swift, sharp and terrible, Jane’s short life was ended. Like the Apostle Paul she had fought a good fight, finished the course and kept the faith. Henceforth there was laid up for her a crown of righteousness – a crown that none could take from her.”

Lady Jane Grey has often been called the ‘Tudor Pawn’ but to see her as one whose life was simply moved around by others is totally inadequate. This is no simplistic life and death of a sixteen-year-old girl.  In order to understand the full tragedy and triumph of her life it is vital to grasp the far-reaching political and religious changes that were shaking England at that time. The Reformation touched the whole population; from palace to university; from emerging town to peasant cottage.

Like the pieces of a jigsaw, the pieces come together to give a picture of a girl with outstanding natural abilities, whose strength of character and remarkable faith shine out despite the darkness that often surrounded her. Executed at age 16, Jane paid an awful price for a throne she did not seek.

‘Faith Cook writes in a very readable manner. Here is a sympathetic but realistic treatment of Lady Jane, coupled with a helpful study of this vital period of history.’ – Mignon Goswell, Presbyterian Theological College, Melbourne

Normal CBD Price: R160.00                    EQUIP PRICE: R120.00

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Equip Book of the Month: August

Freedom of self-forgetfulnessFreedom of Self-Forgetfulness: Timothy Keller

“What are the marks of a supernaturally changed heart?”  This is one of the questions the Apostle Paul addresses as he writes to the church in Corinth. He s not after some superficial outward tinkering, but instead a deep rooted, life altering change that takes place on the inside. In an age where pleasing people, puffing up your ego and building your résumé are seen as the methods to make it , the Apostle Paul calls us to find true rest in blessed self forgetfulness.

In this short and punchy book, best selling author Timothy Keller, shows that gospel humility means we can stop connecting every experience, every conversation with ourselves and can thus be free from self condemnation. A truly gospel humble person is not a self hating person or a self loving person, but a self forgetful person. This freedom can be yours too…


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Equip Book of the Month: July

Pure JoyPure Joy By Christopher Ash

Conscience is the Cinderella of the contemporary world. We hardly speak or think about our conscience. She is left behind while we get on with the party of life, untroubled by any serious self-examination. And yet conscience is a God-given part of being human, with tremendous potential for good – if it is cleansed and kept clean – or for harm – if it becomes hardened or calloused.

‘This book is about the joy of a clear conscience in every day of living and in the day of death,” enthuses Christopher Ash.

‘With a clear conscience, we can enjoy not just the stuff we think of as “spiritual”, but all sorts of things like sleep, sport, friendship and holidays. With a good conscience none of these things ever leaves a sour taste in our mouths.’

Christopher is eager to get all of us thinking about conscience again: ‘I want you to take your conscience out of the cupboard, dust it down, bring it back into daily life and discover its power to do you good.’

BREAKING NEWS: Don’t miss Christopher Ash’s visit to Cape Town and Johannesburg from 15th September – 3rd October 2016.  More details to follow.

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Equip Book of the Month: June

True By Sarah Bradley.  Reviewed by Di Warren

TrueCall me superficial, but I first picked up True because I liked the cover. Through I noticed recently that the Good Book Company has republished it with a slightly different cover!

It’s a great little book. Especially written for girls 10-14, it aims to help teenage girls be excited about living for Jesus in every relationship in their lives. I don’t think there’s anything like it on the market.  It’s a lovely mix of the Bible and earthy illustrations. Each chapter explores one Bible passage, and then finishes with seven practical ideas, a real-life testimony and a Bible study. 

True is a super easy read, but it deals with deep issues. You can tell that Sarah Bradley is very experienced in youth ministry as she politely gets right inside a teenage girl’s head. The material on body image, which it opens with, is insightful and grounded. I loved reading it with my daughter, as it was very easy to chat through.


True is perfect for Mums and daughters to read together, but it’s also a great gift for a niece or a friend’s daughter. It can be used in a girls’ bible study group or even youth group.   Written primarily for Christians, it’s also very accessible for interested unbelievers.

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Equip Book of the month: May

Ordinary: Michael Horton


Radical. Crazy. Transformative and restless. Every word we read these days seems to suggest there’s a “next-best-thing,” if only we would change our comfortable, compromising lives. In fact, the greatest fear most Christians have is boredom—the sense that they are missing out on the radical life Jesus promised. One thing is certain. No one wants to be “ordinary.”

Yet pastor and author Michael Horton believes that our attempts to measure our spiritual growth by our experiences, constantly seeking after the next big breakthrough, have left many Christians disillusioned and disappointed. There’s nothing wrong with an energetic faith; the danger is that we can burn ourselves out on restless anxieties and unrealistic expectations. What’s needed is not another program or a fresh approach to spiritual growth; it’s a renewed appreciation for the commonplace.

Far from a call to low expectations and passivity, Horton invites readers to recover their sense of joy in the ordinary. He provides a guide to a sustainable discipleship that happens over the long haul—not a quick fix that leaves readers empty with unfulfilled promises. Convicting and ultimately empowering, Ordinary is not a call to do less; it’s an invitation to experience the elusive joy of the ordinary Christian life.

I commend Ordinary to everyone who can afford it. Pastors, seminarians, laypeople—let everyone who can get this book and profit from it. Horton is always worth reading, and this book will help to push evangelicalism in exactly the direction it should go: a confessional one. The church needs thick faith of biblical stuff to survive—and not only this, to thrive.” Owen Strachan, Gospel Coalition 

Maybe if we discover the opportunities of the ordinary, a fondness for the familiar, and marvel again at the mundane, we will be radical after all.” Tim Challies

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Equip Book of the month: April

Purity is PossiblePurity is Possible by Helen Thorne

One in five Christian women use pornography. One in three visitors to a porn site is a woman. Many, many more women read explicit books like Fifty Shades of Grey. Even more than that write their own pornography—not on paper for publication, but in their heads for their own use. Helen Thorne knows all this because she’s done it. But no one talks about it. Our churches are silent on it. There are very few books about it. It is the unspoken struggle of thousands of Christian women—perhaps you, and probably someone you know. But no more. In this refreshingly honest, resolutely hope-filled and gospel-soaked book, Helen speaks the unspoken. In doing so, she shows how purity is better and more satisfying than fantasy—and that, whoever you are and whatever your struggles, purity is possible.

“Lust is not only an issue men struggle with. This book will help many women admit their struggle, battle their sin, and find true victory over it.”  Tim Challies, Blogger & Author

“Honest, real, realistic—all of which makes the hope that it offers truly hopeful.” Tim Chester, Director of Porterbrook Seminary; author of “Captured by a Better Vision: Living Porn Free”

NORMAL CBD Price: R120.00          Equip Price: R80.00

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Equip Book of the Month: March

Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss

Stepping Heavenward (Purple Bnd Lthr)“How dreadfully old I am getting! Sixteen!”.  So begins ‘Stepping Heavenward’ by Elizabeth Prentiss, the journal-like account of a nineteenth century girl who learns, on the path to womanhood, that true happiness can be found in giving oneself for others.

This book was first published in 1869, and tells the story of Kate and her quest to live a better life. By watching her godly mother (with whom she becomes easily irritated at times), Kate learns about striving for excellence.  The author writes with a no-nonsense approach to Christian living and employs good humor, all the while leading the reader to ponder deeper, eternal matters. The diary of Kate reveals innocence coupled with an acute awareness of her naturally human tendencies to selfishness.  Readers will learn that small things really do matter, as Kate matures into a young woman with true depth of character. There is humor, seriousness, and some sadness as Kate progresses through the stages of life. But through it all, author Elizabeth Prentiss displays an astounding ability to put the struggles faced by all men and women who desire to live for Christ yet are confronted by their flawed humanity, into words.  Both Mothers and daughters will enjoy this book.

“This book is a treasure of both Godly and womanly wisdom told with disarming candour and humility, yet revealing a deep heart’s desire to know God,” says noted Christian speaker Elisabeth Elliot. “I do not hesitate to recommend it to men, who need to understand the wives they live with, and to any woman who wants to walk with God.”

CBD PRICE:  R195.00                     EQUIP PRICE: R150.00  (leather bound journal)

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Equip Book of the Month: February

Holiness JC RyleHoliness by J.C. Ryle

JC Ryle wrote this timeless classic on holiness over a hundred years ago, yet how poignant his words still are for us today. Sadly, we all know how easy it is to appear godly in public, while behind closed doors to continue in our own sin.

This modern English version will challenge a new generation of readers to live a Christ–like life. Ryle’s timeless wisdom reminds us that holiness shouldn’t be cold, distant and unobtainable, but that Christ himself is the root of our godliness. Be exhorted not to simply settle for half–hearted holiness, but to strive to be holy in every area of our lives. Holiness, Ryle argued, was not simply a matter of believing and feeling, but of doing.


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