Monthly Archives: February 2012

New Release – Following God by Carine Mackenzie

If you were standing underneath a plum tree you wouldn’t expect to see bananas hanging there. If you reached up into the leaves of an apple tree you wouldn’t pull down a coconut on top of your head. That just wouldn’t happen. You know what sort of tree it is by its fruit and the Bible says that you know if someone is a Christian or not by the fruit of their lives. What sort of fruit is that?… well there is one fruit that is produced in a Christian and that is the Fruit of the Spirit.

In Following God, Carine Mackenzie uses Bible characters to illustrate how we can see the fruit of the Spirit in a person’s life. As children read the stories and work through the quizes, they will get better acquainted with the different parts of this fruit, including love, joy, peace, long-suffering, and much more. Following God is a great resource to share with you children and grandchildren ages 8-12.

Following God is available at your local Christian book store. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you can purchase it from an online retailer, including those listed below:

About the Author:

Carine Mackenzie’s talent for retelling Bible stories has meant that children from all over the world have been given the opportunity to discover Jesus Christ for themselves. The first title written in the kitchen with the assistance of a basin of water has inspired the production of many other books. Carine now has more than 150 different titles in print.

Recent CF4K books by Carine Mackenzie:

The Life of Jesus by Carine MacKenzie

You can see a full list of Carine’s books published by Christian Focus here:  LINK.

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Remembering John Pollock

John Pollock was a Cambridge-educated clergyman and award-winning author. His flair for telling a dramatic story came to life in his more than thirty books. Author of many biographies, he was the official biographer of Billy Graham. John was a board member of the John Newton Project along with the late John Stott, Timothy George, Alec Motyer, and others. In addition to his writing, John enjoyed filing his time with managing woodlands, gardening, family history, music, and travelling. John was taken ill on a walking holiday in Scotland and passed away after a short illness on January 6, 2012. John and his wife, Anne, were long time residents of Devon, England.

Christian Focus Titles by John Pollock:

Hudson Taylor And Maria: A match made in heaven by John PollockGordon of Khartoum: An Extraordinary Soldier by John PollockD.L. Moody: Moody Without Sankey by John PollockGeorge Whitefield: The Evangelist by John PollockThe Way to Glory: Major General Sir Henry Havelock by John PollockThe Cambridge Seven: The true story of ordinary men used in no ordinary way by John Pollock

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Christian Focus Across the Web – February 24, 2012

Christian Focus Across the Web highlights important news and blog posts related to our books. This week’s highlights are below:

Just the Way I Am reviewed by TWilson9608 – TWilson9608 is a stay at home mother of 3, whose youngest daughter Vada has Down syndrome. Her Making the Most of Today blog focuses on letting the world know that Down syndrome has not ended their lives, but has only enriched it. Here is a bit of what she had to say in her review:

“This book is a celebration of “disability” or as I like to say everyone’s own unique abilities.
It is a book that should reach far beyond families who have a special needs child. For it shares an amazing message that everyone should know and learn and that message is simply that God loves us all and He has a purpose for each of His children.”

You can read Twilson9608’s review of Just the Way I Am: God’s Good Design in Disability in its entirety here:  LINK. You can add Just the Way I Am: God’s good Design in Disability to your own library for 1/2 price through 2/29/2012. Visit WTS Books to take advantage of this special offer.

Theology Night with Sinclair Ferguson & R.C. Sproul – On January 20, 2012, Christian Focus authors R.C. Sproul and Sinclair Ferguson answered questions submitted by online viewers and those present at Saint Andrew’s. During this relaxed and informative evening, these two notable theologians and pastors addressed topics such as the doctrines of grace, when to leave a local church, Tim Tebow, dispensationalism, free will, and the peccability or impeccability of Jesus. About midway through the video, Dr. Ferguson makes mention of Edward Fisher’s The Marrow of Modern Divinity in answer to a question from the audience about limited atonement.


If you are unable to see the video, click here.

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New Release – Just the Way I Am by Krista Horning

Praise for Just the Way I Am:

“For the people in this book, the sovereignty and goodness of God have become a sanctuary for the soul in a life they did not expect to live. When they affirm the goodness and wisdom of God in creating them for short-term disability and eternal super-ability, they do not do so without tears. There is no glib trifling with pain. They are learning the paradox of “sorrowful yet always rejoicing.” They are learning how to be brought low and how to abound. They believe that in this fallen age, God’s loved ones groan along with the whole creation, waiting for the fullness of adoption, the redemption of their bodies.

They find more hope in God’s unsearchable wisdom and power and purpose than in the vagaries of natural processes or the assaults of Satan. They believe that God did not spare his own Son but gave him up for their complete renewal-spiritually and physically. This healing is as sure as Jesus is precious-infinitely precious. It is only a matter of time, a vapor’s breath, and they will be whole. Because of the grace of God, these lives and this book exist for the glory of God.”
-John Piper ~ Senior Pastor, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Just the Way I Am is a unique and valuable resource for parents and pastors who get asked the honest questions from children with disabilities.”
-C. J. Mahaney ~ President, Sovereign Grace Ministries

“Knowing Krista as I do, I can almost hear her gentle voice on every page, assuring each special-needs child that God genuinely cares… that he’s in control… and he had something very special in mind when he created them.”
-Joni Eareckson Tada ~ World Famous Author & Conference Speaker

Krista HorningAbout the Author:
Krista Horning lives near Minneapolis, Minnesota where she works at a clinic that meets the needs of children with disabilities. She enjoys reading, writing and helping people.

Where to Buy:
Just the Way I Am is available at your local Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing it from one of the online book retailers, including those listed below:

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New Release – Table Grace by Douglas Webster

In the 21st century, the art of hospitality seems to be one of those lost art forms. As we move along at a frenzied pace, we feel like we barely have time to stop by McDonald’s, let alone invite people into our home. However, when we fail to invite others into our home, we miss out on many great opportunities for Christian fellowship. When we as Christians open our homes to friends and strangers, set the table, put on a meal, and break bread together, we invite God’s blessing. This pattern of hospitality is at the heart of the gospel. Food for the body and food for the soul can and does belong together.

Table fellowship fits into the New Testament narrative so unobtrusively that we can almost miss it. Jesus used simple hospitality and meal time conversations to share some of the most profound truths of the gospel. Our Faith is often squeezed into a corner of life reserved for church services and Bible study groups. But God desires to be at the center of our ordinary, every-day life together and never more so than in a home open to others.

Praise for Table Grace:

“A biblical tapestry of hospitality, revealing its connection to worship, prayer, and the renewal of the church today. A wonderful introduction to a major theme of Scripture. Readable, wise, and engaging.”
-Timothy and Denise George ~ Beeson Divinity School, Birmingham, Alabama

“…a thoughtful and biblical explanation of the value of hospitality and the importance of ‘table grace’. The relevant questions that conclude each chapter help the reader understand why meals with meaning matter. We warmly commend this timely book.”
-Ian and Ruth Coffey ~ Moorlands College

Douglas WebsterAbout the Author:
Douglas Webster mentors future pastors at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama. He has a Ph.D. from the University of St. Michael’s College, Toronto School of Theology. Douglas and his wife, Virginia, have three adult children and one grandchild. You can find Douglas on the web at his homepage (douglasdwebster.com) and on Facebook.

Where to Buy:

Table Grace: The Role of Hospitality in the Christian Life is available at your local Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing it from one of the online book retailers, including those listed below:

Buy Now:

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Announcing our First E-book Book Review Blog Tour – From the Resurrection to His Return by D. A. Carson

From the Resurrection to His Return E-bookNow that many of our titles available as e-books, we will offer E-book Book Review Blog Tours from time to time. This first time around we are offering From the Resurrection to His Return: Living Faithfully in the Last Days by D. A. Carson for review.

About the Book:
This is not another book on what view to hold about the reality of Jesus’ return but it is about how to live in the light of his imminent return. D. A. Carson accurately determines that the Christian church has always lived in what the bible terms ‘the last days’…the period between his ascension to his Father in heaven and his return on the clouds of heaven.

Based on Paul’s teaching in 2 Timothy 3, D. A. Carson gives wise counsel to today’s church to avoid false teaching and to seek good mentors, those who will lead us in truth. He shows that to rely on worldly wisdom is folly, that the world is utterly sinful, but rather to cling to the Bible as the source of our counsel and guidance and help. But more than that he shows us that it is in holding the Bible out to a needy world we take its message to where it is needed the most.

To live in the last days is not to hang on in quiet desperation but to boldly take the word of God and apply it to every situation knowing that it will meet every need just as it has throughout the two millennia since Jesus promised to return again. That is how to live in the last days!

About the Author:
D. A. Carson is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He has been at Trinity since 1978.

Blog Tour Details:
The From the Resurrection to His Return E-book Book Review Blog Tour will run March 12th through the 16th. Participants must be willing to post a review of the book on their personal blog and at least one internet retailer of their choice such as Amazon.com.

A limited number of entries will be selected via the form below:

This blog tour is now full. Thank you for your interest.

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New Release – Love Oliver by Andy and Jennifer Gill

Love Oliver by Andy & Jennifer GillAndy and Jennifer Gill from Fife in Scotland tell the story of their “gorgeous boy” Oliver who was with them for five and half months from July 10th to Christmas Day 2010. In his short life he had gathered 2400 friends on Facebook alone. Oliver was born with a rare and an aggressive form of cancer – Congenital Rhabdoid Tumour yet he bravely faced cancer with a gorgeous smile. For mum and dad, family and friends this was indeed a deeply traumatic time but also it brought many blessings as so many people of all ages from across the world prayed. Oliver had made a lasting impression on people through his courageous smile. The book follows the journey of the joys and the sorrows acknowledging that there is an all-powerful and loving God who is in control, even in such circumstances.

The Gills have set up LoveOliver, a charity in memory of their son Oliver to help to fund research into childhood cancer and to provide practical support to families affected by it. Learn more at any of the following websites:

Praise for Love Oliver:

“It was, and still is, a source of amazement at how well Andy and Jennifer managed during those difficult months. They are a testimony to the sustaining grace of God, and my hope is that others will be encouraged, helped and supported as they share ‘Love Oliver’.”
-David Robertson, Pastor of St Peter’s Free Church of Scotland, Dundee

“Andy and Jennifer have faced their worst nightmare. They lost their beautiful son Oliver to cancer before he was six months old. Here they open their hearts about the passion with which they fought for Oliver’s life. They also speak with compelling honesty about the nightmare of losing their darling, little boy. This book communicates the wisdom, humour, courage and love with which they faced these battles. Above all this is a book about holding onto hope when our dreams are shattered. That makes it a great book”.
-Neil MacMillan, Mission Development Officer, Free Church of Scotland, Edinburgh

“I feel incredibly privileged to have been part of this journey, and trust that you will find this story immensely thought provoking, up-lifting and, indeed, truly inspirational.”
-Mark Brougham ~ Consultant Paediatric Oncologist, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh

“Love pervades every page, the reality and comfort of knowing God’s presence, grace and peace in even the most tragic circumstances of life are affirmed and the incredible faith expressed by his Christian parents in both their words and actions throughout bring honour and glory to the Lord they both love and trust.”
-Kevan Leckie ~ Church in Community Advisor for Tearfund Scotland

“a beautifully written, moving and thought-provoking testimony to authentic Christian commitment amidst the harsh realities of a broken world.”
-Andy Bathgate ~ Chief Executive, Scripture Union, Scotland.

About the Authors:
Andy and Jennifer Gill were recently blessed with the arrival of their second son Micah. The Gills continue to keep alive the memory of their first son Oliver through their LoveOliver charity, which funds research into childhood cancer and provides practical support to families affected by it.

Where to Buy:

Look for Love Oliver at your local Christian Bookstore.  Below are a few of the retail websites where you can find it online.

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Author Profile – Sean Michael Lucas

Sean Michael Lucas is the Senior Minister of First Presbyterian Church, Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Prior to this, he served as Chief Academic Officer and associate professor of church history at Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri. He received BA and MA degrees from Bob Jones University and his PhD degree from Westminster Theological Seminary.

Follow Sean on the Web:

Books by Sean Michael Lucas:
All for Jesus: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Covenant Theological Seminary by Sean Michael Lucas (Editor), Robert Peterson (Editor)

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New Release – Daniel: Trusting the True Hero by Sean Michael Lucas

If we hearken back to our Sunday School days and think about what we remember best from the book of Daniel, most of us would recall Daniel’s trip to the lion’s den and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s ordeal in the fiery furnace. While all four of these men were heroic in their actions, the true hero of the Old Testament book of Daniel is not any of these men, but their God. In the Preface below, author Sean Michael Lucas invites readers to join him on a literary journey to learn more about Daniel’s God and the full range of His character as found in the book of Daniel.

Preface

People tend to come to the Old Testament book that Daniel wrote for two reasons. One is because they are looking for a moral example to inspire them to stand for God in a godless world. These Christians hum the chorus to the Philip Bliss hymn, “Dare to be a Daniel! Dare to stand alone! Dare to have a purpose firm! Dare to make it known!” Or maybe, if they are from my generation, it might not be Bliss’s song, but the Christian musician Russ Taff’s “Not Gonna Bow.” Both generations’ songs express the idea that the world is evil and that Christians need to be moral leaders for their generation. In order to do so, there would be no greater example or hero than Daniel.

Another reason some people study Daniel is to find out more data about the end of time. At the Christian college that I attended, the Bible class that covered Daniel paired it with the book of Revelation; clearly, the reason to study Daniel, according to the way the curriculum was developed, was to consider its prophetic materials and to understand what will happen at the end of the world. And many Christians have spent a great deal of time thinking about Daniel 2, Daniel 7, and Daniel 9:24-27, and about how those texts fit into charts and graphs that explain the return of Christ, the tribulation, and the new heavens and earth.

However, neither reason – either moral example or biblical eschatology – is a good one for studying Daniel’s book. The reason why Christians throughout the world should study Daniel’s book is that Daniel teaches us a great deal about Daniel’s God. As we learn the various God-centered lessons that Daniel offers, we learn to trust God as our True and Only Hero. And our heroic God is presented in the full range of his character in Daniel: we see him as faithful and wise; as a Savior and a Sovereign; a God of judgment and power; a God who rules and who orders everything for his glory; a God of forgiveness and a God who fights for us. Above all, in each chapter, we will see that our God is a God of hope.

After all, our hope is not grounded in the fact that we can dare to be like Daniel. Our hope is grounded in the character of our great God who triumphs over all his and our enemies and who orders everything for our salvation. And this God’s character is displayed most clearly in his Son, Jesus, to whom Daniel, along with the rest of the Old Testament, points. As we take our hearts to the God who has come near to us in Jesus, we take our hearts to the only one who can save us, the only one who can satisfy us, the only one who can be our hero.

Thus, my prayer is that all those who study Daniel along with me will grow in faith, hope, and love as our eyes are raised to see how great and glorious and beautiful our God is.

Excerpted from Daniel: Trusting the True Hero by Sean Michael Lucas (Christian Focus, 2012)

Praise for Daniel: Trusting the True Hero:

“the skillful hands and pastoral heart of Sean Lucas graciously lead you to a different understanding of this book and its hero, an understanding of the mysterious and marvelous goodness of God and grace of Christ, the true hero. That’s where we can put our trust”.
-Stephen J Nichols ~ Research Professor of Christianity and culture, Lancaster Bible College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

“What can you expect from this book? Well, God-centered, Christ-focused, gospel-infused exposition for starters. In addition: textually driven, careful exposition based on a belief that every word of Scripture is Spirit-breathed; illustrative material that opens windows to fresh air and light; and passion – that those who read it will become aware of the riches of the gospel and the Spirit-filled, Jesus shaped lives that ought to be the pattern of all who, like Daniel, love the gospel and live as though they do”
-Derek Thomas ~ Minister of Preaching and Teaching, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, South Carolina

“Sean Lucas’ Daniel: Trusting the True Hero is a wonderful, engaging, God-centered treatment of the book of Daniel. His strong redemptive-historical approach keeps God’s character and un-folding plan for His people central throughout. In both the narrative portions and the prophetic portions Sean helps the reader see the greatness of God and our need to trust Him in every circumstance we encounter. The focus on God as the true hero lifts the eyes of the reader beyond a great story and complicated prophecy to a personal encounter with the living God that is both accessible and devotional. I highly recommend this book for everyone from those studying Daniel for the first time to Bible study groups to long-term students of the book of Daniel.”
-Mark L. Dalbey ~ VP of Academics & Faculty Development, Covenant Theological Seminary, St Louis, Missouri

About the Author:
Sean Lucas is the Senior Minister of First Presbyterian Church, Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Prior to this, he was Chief Academic Officer and associate professor of church history at Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri. He received BA and MA degrees from Bob Jones University and the PhD degree from Westminster Theological Seminary. Sean is active in social media, follow him on Twitter  and Facebook.

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TnT Training Event – March 3, 2012 in Edinburgh

TnT Ministries

TnT Ministries who writes our On the Way Sunday school curriculum for 3-9 year olds as well as several other resource books are having a training day in Edinburgh on the 3rd of March. Full details are available if you follow this link: http://www.tntministries.org.uk/downloads/REAL-1.pdf.

These events are worth their weight in sunday-school-teacher-gold! I attended an evening event in a local church last year and everyone who was there wanted to have the full day or more of training organised for next year. One of my friends had never been to a training event like this before and came away with a real spring in her step. Her confidence shot up and she realised that her job was important! As well as the great teaching from the front, events like the TnT training days are fantastic ways to have fellowship with other Sunday school teachers and youth workers. It’s somewhere to encourage others and to be encouraged yourself – in the really important work that is teaching children the Word of God.

One of the unique features about The On the Way material is that it is written for teachers, by teachers. It’s not about spoon feeding someone who is willing to baby sit for an hour or so. It’s about helping committed teachers to teach themselves and then to teach others. It’s about a church family teaching its next generation of members.

TnT material is an excellent resource for churches who want to put real biblical teaching into the next generation. Incidentally – look at the figures and you’ll find it makes financial sense too. The material is undated and photocopiable. One book per teacher is all you need.

As well as age specific material for 3-9 year olds there is curriculum for 9-11 year olds and 11-14 year olds. There is a new series of bible study books for 14+ called The Junction as well as three books for children aged 2-3. Four games books supplment the material as well as four holiday bible/vacation bible  club books. Our full listing of TnT material can be found here:  LINK.

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