Monthly Archives: January 2013

New in the Trailblazers Series – John Knox: The Sharpened Sword

John Knox: The Sharpened Sword by Catherine MacKenzieJohn Knox: The Sharpened Sword is the latest addition to CF4K’s Trailblazers series. This book presents a great opportunity to introduce your children and grandchildren to the exciting life and world of John Knox. Here’s a sample from the first chapter:

“Nobody saw fit to write down the date of his birth. Perhaps John’s birthday became a day that the Knox family chose to forget. There may have been too many heartbreaking memories attached to a time that changed their lives so drastically.

However, the baby whose birthday was forgotten grew up to become one of the most important people of his era. Hundreds of years after his death the ordinary people of Scotland would look back on John Knox as a man to whom they personally owed a great debt … and not only the people of Scotland. His influence spread across the whole of the Western World.

John Knox came into a world where education was a privilege for the rich and well off; where the Roman Catholic Church owned half of Scotland’s wealth and where democracy was pretty much unheard of. In fact, the Roman Catholic Church at that time was eighteen times more wealthy than the Scottish monarchy. However, it is because of Knox’s influence that Scotland brought free education to all its children. Two hundred years after Knox’s death, the American declaration of independence was signed – a document greatly influenced by Knox’s heart and pen. One passionate Scottish preacher has so influenced the world we inhabit today, that we can thank him and his God for many of our liberties in education, government and religion.

This man who is portrayed today, 500 years after his birth, as dour, bitter and hypocritical couldn’t be further from that deceptive description. He was strong, fearless, passionate and full of surprises. Let’s find out about the first surprise – John Knox the bodyguard.”

About the Author:
Catherine Mackenzie has written several biographies for young teens in the Trailblazers series as well as other titles for younger children. She lives in Scotland and has several nieces and nephews – a perfect practice audience!

A full list of Catherine’s books is available here:  LINK.

Where to Buy:
John Knox: The Sharpened Sword is available at any good  Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

John Knox: The Sharpened Sword by Catherine MacKenzie Buy Now:

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January Book Giveaway – God Redeeming His Bride by Robert K. Cheong

Terms and Conditions:
The giveaway is limited to residents of the continental United States and the United Kingdom.

Praise for God Redeeming His Bride:

“a wonderfully practical and refreshingly gracious treatment of the topic. Even those who don’t subscribe to everything Cheong says will find this book to be a significant help.”
-Thomas R. Schreiner ~ James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky

“It is one thing to believe, in theory, in what God says in the Bible about the necessity of church discipline. It is another thing altogether to know how to navigate the process in the case of an unrepentant, falling church member. In this book, Robert Cheong, with biblical brilliance and pastoral compassion, provides a model for churches and leaders.”
-Russell D. Moore ~ Dean of the School of Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky

“a treasure-trove of grace, wisdom, and gospel truths regarding the difficult topic of church discipline, drawn from a pastor’s hard-earned experience with the reality of sin and the power of the gospel.”
Justin Holcomb ~ Executive director of the Resurgence, lead pastor of Mars Hill Church | U-District, Seattle, Washington, & adjunct professor at Reformed Theological Seminary

About the Book:
Church discipline is a term that is fraught with problems for the church today. However from the Biblical witness it is clear that it is an essential component of a healthy, God-honoring church – a church where Christians grow and mature in grace and develop solid foundations with which they can, with the help of the Spirit, withstand the storms of life.

With many years of pastoral experience, Robert K. Cheong has faced this issue many times. Additionally he interviewed over 30 pastors from different countries and a wide variety of church settings.

Robert K. CheongAbout the Author:
Robert Cheong is the pastor responsible for Care and Counselling at Sojourn Community Church, Louisville, Kentucky. He is married to Karen and they have three grown children.

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Christian Focus Publications Appoints New Sales & Marketing Manager

Donnie MorrisonChristian Focus Publications is pleased to announce that Donnie Morrison has joined our team as Sales & Marketing Manager.  We asked Donnie to do a brief interview for the blog. Here’s a bit of what he had to say:

Q: Donnie, tell us a bit about yourself.

A: My full title is Donald John Morrison, Donnie for short or Domhnall Iain in Gaelic. I can still just about speak it even after 12 years on the Mainland.

I am one of five, I have four sisters all younger than me, so I never did a stroke of work in the house growing up, my wife Katie will testify that nothing has changed there. My mother and father are still fit and well and living in the small village where I was brought up, called Crossbost in the Parish of Lochs. It has just about 200 people I think and is located 10 miles south of Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis.

I am married to Katie who is from a very, very small village called Cluer (about 10 people!) on the Isle of Harris. We don’t have any family ourselves, except for two Beagle dogs called Amy and Louis. We are both Christians and attend Smithton Free Church in Inverness. Katie was converted three years ago and two years ago for me. Although brought up in an extended Christian family, prior to seeking the Lord about 5 years ago I led a very materialistic and worldly life.

I went to the Nicolson Institute then Lews Castle College both in Stornoway where I did an HND in business studies then onto Robert Gordon’s University in Aberdeen where I finished up with a B.A in the subject.

I just sort of fell into sales, it paid well and there was usually some travel involved which I also quite liked. Sales are usually the best paid job in a company and I was very driven by money in previous employments. I always had the best car and a top salary. I’ve sold Training Services, Insurance, Lawn mowers, Engineering services, Lobster pots and for the last 12 years capital equipment for Aquaculture: anchors, chains, ropes and feed barges.

But after conversion my focus on life changed and I felt ill at ease in the “money is king” environment that I was in, but could not possibly see how my only talent (selling) could be put to the Lord’s work. Until that is I saw this post advertised. A Prayer was truly answered.

Q: Do you have a favorite Christian book or author?

A: My favourite book tended to be the last one, or the one I am reading at the moment (but I am reading about four at a time since starting at Christian Focus). But I do like Tim Keller and his book A Reason For God. The “Christian Pockets Guide to– “ are a series that I had been following long before coming to Christian Focus,  because I found them informative and easy to read, offering a basic understanding of both issues in Christianity and some understanding of other peoples beliefs without having to trawl through huge tomes. There were so many things that happened recently in my life that just seem to have led me to this point and this post that I knew that this job was for me as soon as I saw the advert. I pray that I can be a faithful servant to the Lord in it and an asset to CFP and I would like to thank William and Willie for giving me this opportunity.

We’ll close the interview with a few interesting facts about Donnie:

  • I support Glasgow Celtic F.C but have been to watch both Ross County and Caley Thistle and want them to do well.
  • Love hats of all kinds from baseball caps to Fedoras, I have many and wear them when Katie will let me.
  • Don’t have a lucky number as there is no such thing.
  • Interested in Scottish history
  • Like the colour red

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Christian Focus Across the Web – 1/25/2013

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

Puritan Portraits by J. I. PackerFinishing Up the Puritan Portraits Blog Tour – We’ve been enjoying all of the reviews coming in this week for the Puritan Portraits blog tour. Here are a few excerpts:

“If you are new to the Puritans and want to learn more, I would encourage you to start here. J. I. Packer and the Puritans, how can you go wrong!”
Alex Houston (reformed-at-last.blogspot.com)

“Packer is at his best when he is talking up the Puritans.”
Stephen Barton (reformedchristianuk.blogspot.co.uk)

“If you want an introduction or a guide to the Puritans – their theology, lives and relevance – you would be hard pressed to find a better qualified or more able guide than Jim Packer and he demonstrates that yet again in this collection.”
John Brand (www.cuttingitstraight.co.uk)

Links and excerpts for all of the reviews are available here: LINK.

Feminine Threads: Women in the Tapestry of Christian History by Diana Lynn SeveranceCarolyn McCulley recommends Feminine Threads – Be sure to pay a visit to Carolyn McCulley’s Radical Womanhood blog. Here’s a bit of what she had to see in a blog post titled After Darkness Light:

“One woman’s name is also included at that monument (seen in this film). Her name is Marie Dentière. I read about her life in the book, Feminine Threads, which I highly recommend for an understanding of Christian women in history.”

The full blog post is available here: LINK.

Last day to take advantage of our current e-book sale – 

18 Words by J. I. PackerSale Price:  $2.99/£1.91 Connected Christianity by Arturo G. AzurdiaSale Price:  $2.99/£1.91 Magnify The Lord by Martyn Lloyd-JonesSale Price:  $2.99/£1.91 His Blood Works by Alan StibbsSale Price:  $0.99/£0.77
Kindle - US
Kindle - UK
Nook
iBooks
Kindle - US
Kindle - UK
Nook
iBooks
Kindle - US
Kindle - UK
Nook
iBooks
Kindle - US
Kindle - UK
Nook
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Mez McConnell Shares His Testimony

[vimeo 57561798 w=500 h=281]

Mez McConnell’s Testimony from 20 Schemes on Vimeo.

Visit www.20schemes.com to learn more about the ongoing work of building healthy gospel centered churches in some of Scotland’s poorest communities. If you’d like to read more of Mez’s story, his biography is currently on sale for Kindle, Nook and iPad.

Is There Anybody Out There? - Second Edition A Journey from Despair to Hope by Mez McConnell Kindle - US
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Puritan Portraits Blog Tour

Puritan Portraits by J. I. PackerThis week we have several bloggers participating in a book review blog tour for Puritan Portraits by J. I. Packer. Links to the reviews will appear below as they are available:

“I agree with J.I. Packer that we would do well to recover the Puritan pastoral ideal, and I recommend the book “Puritan Portraits” as both a primer for those who are unfamiliar with the Puritans, and a guidebook to Pastoral Theology for those already acquainted with them.”
Timothy Harris (www.pursuingthefruit.blogspot.com)

Puritan Portraits will take many Christians who know little or nothing of these men or this wonderful era of history and tempt them to go and read more.”
David Bissett (thebreadline.wordpress.com)

“I found this book great at whetting my appetite to read more of the Puritans.”
Chris Kidd (chriskidd.co.uk)

“It seems then that this book has served its intended purpose well because it has inspired me to read a little more from the pens of the Puritans.”
Steve Brand (www.gegraptai.com)

“These portraits really are worth reading. And then they’ll make you want to read the classics they introduce.”
Alan Davey (daveys2france.blogspot.fr)

“In the opinion of this reviewer, this book is a treasure. The humor of the 86 year-old theologian comes through as he paints nine wonderful portraits of key Puritan figures. Furthermore, I believe this work is an important corrector to those critics of the Puritan era.”
Clint Letterman (pastpresentblog.com)

“If we aren’t familiar with those who’ve come before us, we can’t learn from their example… Puritan Portraits is a good starting point to understanding this and will hopefully be a valuable resource leading to greater study.”
Aaron Armstrong (www.bloggingtheologically.com)

“If you’ve been curious about Puritan writings but too intimidated to read them, this book would be a good introduction.”
Staci Eastin (writingandliving.net)

“The Puritans felt that reading should encourage our spiritual growth. I believe Packer’s work in this book does just that. After reading Puritan Portraits, I have resolved to read more from the Puritans and more from Packer as well.”
Melissa Jackson (breathoflifeministries.blogspot.com)

“If you’re tired of living in a Christianity that is only an inch thick, J. I. Packer’s admonition is for you. Read the Puritans…”
Coralie Cowan (lifemoreabundant.me)

“Worthwhile reading? Without a doubt, particularly for those who’ve not yet been introduced to the Puritans, or who are simply hungry for something more substantial and serious than most of what’s out there.”
David Hodges (piouseye.com)

“I highly recommend this book. If you have never read the Puritans, grab a copy of this book and a copy of any of the works that are summarized and get ready for a treat.”
Roger Leonhardt (reformedreader.blogspot.com)

“Reading “Puritan Portraits” made me want to read more Puritan works this year, and their works will definitely be part of my reading diet. It also made me realise that the preachers who have been most influential in my spiritual life have all been readers of the Puritans.”
Emmanuel Durand (www.erdurand.com)

“If you want an introduction or a guide to the Puritans – their theology, lives and relevance – you would be hard pressed to find a better qualified or more able guide than Jim Packer and he demonstrates that yet again in this collection.”
John Brand (www.cuttingitstraight.co.uk)

“informative and interesting… It was enough to whet my appetite to want to read more about [the Puritans].”
Angela Parsley (refreshmysoulblog.blogspot.com)

“Packer is at his best when he is talking up the Puritans.”
Stephen Barton (reformedchristianuk.blogspot.co.uk)

“If the word ‘Puritan’ for you has become synonymous with Christian Pharisaism, then I encourage you to pick up this book and get a fresh understanding of what the Puritans were about, how ‘pastoral’ they in fact were, and how serious each of them approached their relationship with a living Savior.”
Ryan Rickard (declinationblog.wordpress.com)

“If you are new to the Puritans and want to learn more, I would encourage you to start here. J. I. Packer and the Puritans, how can you go wrong!”
Alex Houston (reformed-at-last.blogspot.com)

“If you haven’t read anything by the Puritans, I would recommend starting here. Packer will give you a taste of what you can expect. And if you’re then interested in reading the Puritans I would recommend reading the books these portraits go along with…”
Matthew Sims (grace4sinners.blogspot.com)

About the Book:
Here one of the leading authorities on the Puritans, J. I. Packer introduces us to their rich theology and deep spirituality. Packer gives us profiles of John Flavel, Thomas Boston, John Bunyan, Matthew Henry, Henry Scougal, John Owen and Stephen Charnock and two closer portraits of William Perkins and Richard Baxter. The writings of the Puritans continue to profoundly reward readers and here J. I. Packer brings them alive in an inspiring way to encourage a new generation to experience their delights.

J. I. PackerAbout the Author:
Jim Packer is named by Time Magazine as one of the 25 most influential evangelicals alive. He is the Board of Governor’s Professor of Theology at Regent College, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Where to Buy:
 Puritan Portraits is available at any good  Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

Puritan Portraits by J. I. Packer Buy Now:

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E-books On Sale Through 1/25/2013

The following e-books are on sale through January 25th:

18 Words by J. I. PackerSale Price:  $2.99/£1.91 Connected Christianity by Arturo G. AzurdiaSale Price:  $2.99/£1.91 Magnify The Lord by Martyn Lloyd-JonesSale Price:  $2.99/£1.91 His Blood Works by Alan StibbsSale Price:  $0.99/£0.77
Kindle - US
Kindle - UK
Nook
iBooks
Kindle - US
Kindle - UK
Nook
iBooks
Kindle - US
Kindle - UK
Nook
iBooks
Kindle - US
Kindle - UK
Nook
iBooks

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Christian Focus Across the Web – January 18, 2013

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

 

Robert Cheong Interviewed on The Janet Mefferd Show – This past Wednesday, Robert Cheong was interviewed on The Janet Meffered Show about his new book God Redeeming His Bride: A Handbook for Church Discipline. The interview is now available to stream or download at JanetMefferd.com. God Redeeming His Bride: A Handbook for Church Discipline by Robert K. Cheong
Richard P. Belcher Jr. Interviewed on Reformed Cast – Richard P. Belcher Jr. was recently interviewed on ReformedCast about his new book Genesis: The Beginning of God’s Plan of Salvation, a great addition to our Focus on the Bible commentary series. The interview is now available to stream or download at www.reformedcast.com. Genesis: The Beginning of God's Plan of Salvation (Focus on the Bible) by Richard P. Belcher, Jr.
Catherine Mackenzie Interviewed on Author Talks – Catherine Mackenzie was recently interviewed for the Author Talks Podcast. In the interview she talks about her dual role as editor and author at Christian Focus Publications. She also talks about some of her recent books including John Knox: The Sharpened Sword (Trailblazers) and How to Be a Bible Princess. The interview is now available to stream or download at BibleGeekGoneWild.com.  John Knox: The Sharpened Sword by Catherine MacKenzie

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Hear Robert Cheong Live on The Janet Mefferd Show – 1/16/2013 @ 2:00 PM CT

Robert K. CheongChristian Focus author Robert Cheong will be interviewed live Wednesday January 16, 2013 at 2:00 PM CT on The Janet Mefferd Show to discuss his book God Redeeming His Bride: A Handbook for Church Discipline. You can tune in to the live broadcast at www.thewordfm.com or www.janetmefferd.com.

The archive of Robert’s interview is now available: LINK.

About the Book:
Church discipline is a term that is fraught with problems for the church today. However from the Biblical witness it is clear that it is an essential component of a healthy, God-honoring church – a church where Christians grow and mature in grace and develop solid foundations with which they can, with the help of the Spirit, withstand the storms of life.

With many years of pastoral experience, Robert K. Cheong has faced this issue many times. Additionally he interviewed over 30 pastors from different countries and a wide variety of church settings.

About the Author:
Robert Cheong is the pastor responsible for Care and Counselling at Sojourn Community Church, Louisville, Kentucky. He is married to Karen and they have three grown children.

Where to Buy:
God Redeeming His Bride: A Handbook for Church Discipline is available at any good  Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

God Redeeming His Bride Buy Now:

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Filed under Interview, Janet Mefferd, Radio Interview

New From CF4K – January/February 2013

CF4K New Releases

Love Is: Loving Others God’s Way by Laura Martin – Do you think that sometimes the whole world seems to be singing about love – yet nobody really knows what it’s all about? Love can be a complicated emotion – but that’s only when humans are in charge. To find out what love really is and its true beauty we need to find out about the One who is love and who gave it to us in the first place. What is Love? God is Love. That’s the answer. Based on 1 Corinthians 13 this book is a month’s worth of daily readings and devotions on the theme of God’s Love.
Commanded – Your Mission: Loving Others God’s Way by L. H. Martin – Everywhere around us the clock is ticking. Everyone has a mission they are trying to achieve. Some are exciting – climb mountains, wrestle animals, train serpents. Some are important – cure cancer, translate languages, capture criminals. Some are, well, boring – make beds, wash dishes, pull weeds. And then some are commanded. Commanded? Yes, commanded. If we are Christians – if we have put our trust in the Lord, repented from our sins and given our lives to Him – we have a mission of our own. Your Mission is written in God’s Word – The Bible. It is not all about you though – it’s about honouring God by the way you live.
God’s Special Tent by Jean Stapleton – Do you like tents? Perhaps you’ve gone camping,staying in one place and then moving to another. God’s people the Israelites lived in tents in the wilderness as they moved from Egypt to the Promised Land. God gave them instructions about how to make a special tent – where He could be present among His people. Find out about how they made this tent and what special furniture and curtains were placed inside it. How did they build the tent and how did they carry it from one place to another? The priests made sacrifices to atone for the sin of the people, but the tabernacle or tent of meeting was a place that taught the people about the one who was going to save them from their sin for good – Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah. His sacrifice would mean that no other sacrifices were needed and that people could worship God all around the world.
Jesus Christ to the Rescue by Catherine Mackenzie – Jesus Christ came into the world to find his people and to save them from sin. He wanted to help them know God his Father. Jesus Christ has come to the rescue – he’s not just a hero – he’s more than that. He’s a Saviour and he has come to the rescue for children just like you.
John Knox – The Sharpened Sword by Catherine Mackenzie (Trailblazers) – John Knox spent his life with a sword in one hand and a Bible in the other and he wasn’t afraid to use either. He began his theological life as a body guard to George Wishart – and it was when that young man was put to death by the religious authorities that John Knox was finally persuaded of the need to awaken his country from the death of injustice and spiritual poverty that afflicted it.

He was never built for a quiet life and when he ran from one danger, he often found himself headed straight for another. Escaping from the authorities brought him straight into a castle siege and from there he ended up as a galley slave on a French frigate. No wonder he appreciated liberty when he had felt the grasp of slavery’s chains and the cut of the enemy’s whip. But his thirst for true freedom came from his longing for God’s Word to be preached. John knew that true liberty only came from being in service to God and his Kingdom.

Many stood against him and they still do today… but he gave much to his country and to his God and the church and Scotland owe John Knox – they owe him thanks as they owe the God he served thanks for calling such men to be his preachers.

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