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Off the Shelf – Bible Answers by Derek Prime

9781857929348

Many people want to know what the Bible has to say about God and other pressing issues. To meet that need, Derek Prime has provided a helpful guide that anyone can use. If you have ever wondered what the Bible really says about a topic then this is where to start.

The book is in 2 parts. The first deals with the 50 bible questions and answers. The second part is headed ‘Bible Guidelines’ and has 5 further helpful sections:

  1. The ten commandments
  1. Subjects arising, directly or indirectly, from the ten commandments
  1. The desires and works of the sinful nature
  1. Christian Character (The fruit of the Spirit)
  1. Commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ and the gospel

Praise for Bible Answers:

“I have worn out more than one copy. Simple enough for the beginner and comprehensive enough for the serious student, this updated version should sit beside the Bible of every eager learner.”

Alistair Begg, Senior Pastor, Parkside Church, Chagrin Falls, Ohio

“Derek Prime addresses crucial questions concisely, practically and, most of all, biblically. This is one of the best books to help us ground our faith in the solid truths of God’s Word.”

John Benton, Managing Editor, Evangelicals Now

About the Author:

Derek Prime has devoted himself to an itinerant ministry and to writing since 1987, after 30 years of pastoral service to churches in the UK.

Derek-Prime

Where to Buy:

Bible Answers: Questions About the Christian Faith & Life 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:

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Let the Children Worship

The following extract is taken from Let the Children Worship by Jason Helopoulos, new at Christian Focus Publications. Jason encourages the church to embrace the important part children play in the life of the church and unfolds the enormous blessings to be found in having them present in the worship services of the congregation. He points out how the struggles are temporary – whereas the blessings can be eternal.

9781781919095

Wisdom for Parents

Let’s face it, bringing our children into corporate worship is not always easy. Squirming kids, rustling papers, the eyes of others, and a host of other problems often accompany children in worship. Unfortunately, some parents identify Sunday mornings with the most difficult part of their week. I understand. As a family, we have lived it. In no way do I want to dismiss the challenge and at times frustration, but I hope you will see the struggle is well worth it. As Christian parents, we desire above all else that our children would know, love, delight-in, serve, and honor Christ. The more they encounter Him through the means of grace, the more likely we will witness this blessed outcome. Corporate worship, as we detailed in chapter two, is above all else a meeting with God in the person of Christ by His Word and by the Spirit. Including our children in this weekly encounter can’t help but be a good thing for their souls.

Real challenges confront us as we bring our children into corporate worship, but they are not insurmountable. I want to offer some practical and “Mom-tested” tips as you attempt to do so.

Treasure the Lord’s Day

God knew our need for rest. In the very act of creation, He ordains one in seven days for rest and worship (Exod. 20:8-11). This day highlights our week. As Christians, we live from Lord’s Day to Lord’s Day. And the highpoint of the Lord’s Day is gathering together with His people to offer holy worship. Help your children by focusing on this moment throughout the week. Talk about Sunday morning worship all week long. Help your children to see that each week begins with this privilege (Acts 20:7; Heb. 10:24-25). And when the day arrives, model excitement about it. If Mom and Dad reluctantly go to church, then the children will reluctantly go as well. If Mom and Dad criticize the preacher, sermon, or others in the church, then the children will most likely criticize as well.

Cultivate a spirit of joy on Sunday mornings in your home. If this is the highlight of our week, then let’s act like it. Talk about how wonderful the day promises to be, wake the kids up with excitement, turn on good Christian music for the whole family to listen to, and put a smile on your face. It’s o.k. to smile on Sunday mornings!

Prepare Appropriately

Many of our problems on Sunday morning stem from issues before we even arrive at church. Tired children and tired parents create fertile ground for cranky worshippers. Be boring on Saturday nights. Send your entire family to bed early. Friday nights can be filled with late-night activity, but Saturday nights should routinely be safeguarded. Sleepy heads make for drowsy worshippers. Lay out Sunday morning clothes the night before, so there aren’t complications with finding an outfit that fits well, looks right, or is ironed. This is especially helpful with teenage daughters!

On Sunday mornings, wake your family up with plenty of time to spare. Try not to arrive late or even a few minutes before the service. Rushing out the door at home and rushing in the door at church has discombobulated many children and stymied many worshippers.

On the car-ride to church talk about the passage that you will hear preached, sing a hymn together, and converse about the things of God. This helps to prepare the way for worship. If a visiting missionary is scheduled to share or the Lord’s Table is going to be observed or any other unique moment is scheduled to occur in the service, take time in the car-ride to discuss it. This sets the mood and helps them understand and appreciate moments in the service. I practice this with my children, who love the personal interaction and it has the added benefit of not only helping them to prepare for worship, but also helps me.

Implement Family Worship at Home

A family that worships together at home finds it much easier to worship together in corporate worship. A child will find it natural to hear and read the Word of God, sing hymns, confess their sins, and pray. It also helps our children learn to sit still, understand the importance of worship, and focus during prayer. For too many children, worship at church seems foreign, because worship at home is absent.

Many churches preach expositional sermons. This means that you know what you will hear read and preached in the week’s service—the next passage. Other churches may preach topically but publish in advance the passages on which the preaching will focus. Some families find it helpful to read the upcoming sermon passage during the week. Read and converse about it around the dinner table and during family worship. The children will then possess a familiarity with the text the pastor plans on preaching. This knowledge will give them some things to listen for in the sermon. My son, when five and six years old, always delighted in expressing his “knowledge” about the Sunday sermon text. He would often lean over during the service with that kind of child “whisper-scream,” “I know that story! I know about that!” It delighted this Father’s heart, as if I didn’t know and hadn’t led him through it earlier in the week for that very reason.

Start Early

Many believe it is more challenging to introduce a three-year-old to corporate worship then a twelve-year-old, but this is simply not true. A three-year-old is in the formative years of training. They are not yet “set in their ways” and remain quite teachable. They want to please Mom and Dad, though at times it does not seem like it! A twelve-year-old possesses his or her own thoughts on what should be expected and “endured.” This creates far more challenging issues than wrestling with a three-year-old to sit still. All this to say: it is far easier to begin with small children, so start early. Keep reminding yourself that a few months of struggling with a three or four-year-old teaching them how to sit still in corporate worship yields benefits for the rest of their lives.

Some of us came to this conviction late. Our children may have already reached their teenage years and we regret they weren’t in corporate worship with us earlier. If you find yourself in this place, keep reminding your heart and mind that God’s grace is sufficient. Do not be “hard” on yourself. You didn’t ruin your children and this doesn’t make you a “bad parent.” Yet, I would remind you, if your children still reside in your home, it is not too late to start. Don’t wait. Begin now and seize the years remaining … Buy a copy of Let the Children Worship, for more gems of wisdom for parents.


“In Let the Children Worship, Jason Helopoulos instills a sense of anticipation of what will happen as children are not only blessed by their presence among the body of Christ but also bless us with their presence.”

Nancy Guthrie, Bible teacher and author of Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament series


About the Author: 

Jason Helopoulos is assistant pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan, and a guest blogger at The Gospel Coalition. He and his wife, Leah, are parents of two young children, Gracen and Ethan. Jason is also author of A Neglected Grace: Family Worship in the Christian Home

Jason Helopoulos

Where to Buy:
Let the Children Worship 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:

Buy Now:

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Her-Story – A daily walk with Christian women from across the centuries

her-story

 

  • A Year’s Daily Readings

  • Lessons from Christian women of the past and present

  • Beautifully presented in hardback format

Women were an integral part of Jesus’ life and ministry as described in all four Gospels, and they are integral to the life of the church wherever Christianity has spread. In whatever position they found themselves, whether queens or slaves, they lived for their Saviour and sought to bring others to Him.

Her-Story brings together well-known names, such as Fanny Crosby and Joni Eareckson Tada, to lesser-known Christians from across the centuries in 366 devotions. The recurring theme – their love for Jesus.

Her-Story_Cloth Versions 2

Praise for Her-Story:

“Beautifully-written, a reader (woman or man!) will daily read, worship, and learn about many Christians, both well-known and lesser known. I highly recommend Diana Severance’s new book, published by Christian Focus.”

Denise George, Author, teacher, speaker www.denisegeorge.org

“Read this for new insight into church history, fresh gratitude for God’s glory in women’s lives, and strong motivation to aspire to the levels of faith, love, sacrifice, and service on display in these fascinating vignettes.”

Robert W. Yarbrough, Professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri

“Arising from the stage of history with the inspiring legacy of personal faith, each woman leaps from the page to encourage and motivate all of us who read these daily devotionals penned by a church historian who knows our hearts and has tasted our trials.”

Dorothy K. Patterson, Professor of Theology in Women’s Studies, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Forth Worth, Texas

About the Author:

Diana Lynn Severance has broad experience teaching history in universities and seminaries. She is a Director of the Dunham Bible Museum at Houston Baptist University and is the author of Feminine Threads: Women in the Tapestry of Christian History.

Where to Buy:

Her-Story: 366 Devotions from 21 Centuries of the Christian Church 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:

Buy Now:

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Christian Focus Author Presented Golden Scroll Award

Pat Ennis 1God is my Strength 

Christian Focus Publications congratulates Patricia Ennis, recipient of a Golden Scroll Merit Award for Nonfiction from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) for her book God Is My Strength: Fifty Biblical Responses to Issues Facing Women Today.

As a college and seminary professor for many years, Ennis has compiled a list of 50 questions that women frequently pose.  It is her passion, she tells the reader, to share responses “that would challenge you to become theologically sound (Titus 2:1-5) as well as a ‘doer of the word’ (James 1:22) in the critical areas of your life: Your God, Yourself, Your Relationships, Your Home, Your World.”

Catherine Mackenzie, editor for Christian Focus, says,

“Pat Ennis is a great addition to our writing team. She has a wealth of experience that consists not only of knowledge but of practical skills and theological expertise. These are gifts you just can’t buy – you can only gain them through life. And here we have someone who knows them, lives them and can write about them!  You often hear the phrase that to prove your knowledge on a subject you have to be able to teach it. Pat has done that, not only in the classroom at Southwestern Seminary, but between the pages of this excellent book: God Is My Strength. It’s a delight to see Pat’s passion for the home, God’s Word and women believers being given the recognition it deserves through AWSA.”

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Author Profile – Trisha Wilkerson

Trisha Wilkerson & Family

Trisha Wilkerson & Family

Trisha Wilkerson is a blogger for The Resurgence, a volunteer biblical counselor, homeschooler, and women’s leader at Mars Hill Church. She is the wife of Pastor Mike Wilkerson who oversees Redemption Groups at Mars Hill. Trisha and Mike are the parents of four young children and make their home in Seattle, Washington.

Places to find Trisha online:

Books by Trisha Wilkerson:
Everyday Worship Our Work Heart and Jesus by Trisha Wilkerson

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Author Profile – Richard P. Belcher, Jr.

Richard P. Belcher, Jr.Dr. Richard P. Belcher, Jr., author of Genesis: The Beginning of God’s Plan of Salvation (Focus on the Bible) teaches Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary. He is an ordained minister in the PCA and pastored an urban nondenominational church in Rochester, NY for ten years before pursuing the Ph. D. This pastoral experience in an unusual and challenging setting gives him great insight into the practical, modern issues that will be faced by future pastors studying with him at RTS. He graduated from Covenant College and received his M. Div from Covenant Seminary. He also received an S.T.M. from Concordia Theological Seminary, and his Ph. D. is from Westminster Theological Seminary. He has served as stated supply for numerous churches in the area since coming to RTS Charlotte in 1995. Dr. Belcher was recently appointed as academic dean for RTS/Charlotte.

Books by Richard P. Belcher, Jr.:
Genesis: The Beginning of God's Plan of Salvation (Focus on the Bible) by Richard P. Belcher, Jr.Messiah & the Psalms: Preaching Christ from all the Psalms by Richard P. Belcher, Jr.

 

*Dr. Belcher’s bio was adapted from his faculty page at www.rts.edu.

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Author Profile – Thabiti Anyabwile

Thabiti Anyabwile

Thabiti Anyabwile is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. He is the happy husband of Kristie and the adoring father of two daughters, Afiya and Eden, and son, Titus. He began serving as elder/senior pastor in August 2006. He served previously as an elder/assistant pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church (Washington, DC) and as an elder at Church on the Rock (Raleigh, NC). Thabiti is a council member of The Gospel Coalition. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in psychology from North Carolina State University. A former high school basketball coach and bookstore owner, he enjoys preaching, reading, and sports.

Thabiti is active in social media. You can follow him on his Pure Church blog and on Twitter (@ThabitiAnyabwil).

(Biographical profile adapted from www.fbc.org.ky/our_people/staff)

Books by Thabiti Anyabwile:
The Life of God in the Soul of the Church by Thabiti Anyabwile

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Author Profile – Michael Milton

Michael MiltonMichael Milton is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America. He is the Chancellor/CEO Elect of Reformed Theological Seminary where he also holds the James M. Baird Jr. Chair of Pastoral Theology. Prior to that appointment on September 2, 2010, he served the seminary as the President at Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, North Carolina.

A seminary leader, preacher, pastor, Army Reserve chaplain, singer-songwriter and author, he refers to himself as “a blasphemer and shameful prodigal saved by grace and called to preach the unsearchable riches I once blasphemed. I have but one identity and that is it.”

Dr. and Mrs. Milton live with their son in the Charlotte area.

Michael blogs at MichaelMilton.org, where he shares random thoughts on theology, life, and more.

(Biographical profile adapted from  MichaelMilton.org/about)

Books by Michael Milton:

What God Starts God Completes by Michael Milton

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Author Profile – Ian J. Shaw

Ian J. ShawIan J. Shaw is currently the Director of Langham Scholarship programme in the UK. He previously served as Lecturer in Church History at International Christian College, Glasgow. Prior to this, he was a pastor of an Independent Evangelical Church in an area of urban deprivation in Manchester. He completed a Ph.D in Church History at Manchester University. He has written a number of books and articles on the history of Evangelicalism.

Books by Ian J. Shaw:

Churches, Revolutions And Empires by Ian J Shaw

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Author Interview – Melissa B. Kruger

Melissa B. KrugerMelissa B. Kruger is author of The Envy of Eve: Finding Contentment in a Covetous World (Christian Focus, 2012). We’re excited to welcome her to the Christian Focus Booknotes blog for this brief interview.

Q: Melissa, welcome to the Christian Focus Booknotes blog. Please tell our readers about yourself.

A: I grew up in a wonderful family in North Carolina. I was blessed to grow up in church and was familiar with Christian traditions and the Bible. However, it was during my freshman year of high school that I came to truly understand the gospel and my need for Christ through the ministry of FCA. From that point on, I was always involved in Christian ministries, as well as encouraged to grow personally through daily time in God’s word and prayer. During my years in college at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, I met my husband, Michael Kruger. He is currently a professor of New Testament, as well as Academic Dean, at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC. We also both work part time at Uptown Church. While we both love our jobs and the opportunity to serve in the church, our favorite moments are spent raising our three children, Emma (11), John (8) and Kate (5).

Q: How’d you get started in writing?

A: Truthfully, I’ve never thought of myself as a “writer.” In fact, my undergraduate degree at UNC-Chapel Hill was in mathematics. However, as I look back, I realize that two things led to my interest in writing. First, my mother instilled in me a love for reading. All throughout my childhood, I would read everything I could get into my hands. Even now, I always have something to read – I feel a bit lost if I don’t have a book with me. Second, for the past twenty-five years I have devoted myself to regular journaling. Writing out my daily concerns, requests, and prayers helps me to focus in the midst of a busy life. This naturally led to writing on scriptural themes and eventually I began to write Bible studies for women.

Q: What’s the story behind your recent book The Envy of Eve: Finding Contentment in a Covetous World?

A: A number of years ago, while doing a study on the book of Joshua, I noticed the pattern of “see, covet, take and hide” in Achan’s story. As I began to explore this pattern in Scripture, I realized that it goes all the way back to the original sin of Eve in the garden. It became clear that the sin of “coveting” was no minor problem, but one that was at the core of our rebellion against God. But, this issue of coveting was not just an academic one—it was one I faced in my own life as I wrestled with unmet expectations, difficulties and trials. The breakthrough came when I began to realize that God’s commands for thanksgiving and joy were rooted in the Lord’s sovereignty and goodness, not the specific circumstances of my life. My problem was a failure to believe something, not a failure to possess something. I found that coveting was most often a right desire for a good thing that had soured in the waiting process. This awareness drove me deep into God’s word in search of Biblical ways to combat covetous tendencies. Five years after that initial study on the book of Joshua, The Envy of Eve was complete.

Q: What do you hope readers will take away from your book?

A: The central idea that I hope my readers will take away from The Envy of Eve is that discontentment is not a circumstantial problem, but a heart problem. Our lack of joy, impatience, discontentment, or irritability have much more to do with a failure to believe something about the Lord than with what is actually happening on a particular day. Rather than living life always wondering, “Why isn’t God giving me what I desire?”, my hope is that we would start asking, “What does God desire of me as I walk through the circumstances He has providentially planned for me today?” Truthfully, it changes everything to believe that love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are available for each day as we abide in Jesus and walk by His Spirit.

Q: Is The Envy of Eve for women only or will men find something of value in your book as well?

A: When we consider that the command against coveting is found within the 10 Commandments, we realize that it is clearly an equal opportunity sin struggle for both men and women! In fact, I think it is one of the most important commandments because it speaks to what is happening inside our hearts, not just our external actions. If anyone thought they had fulfilled the law by their outward actions, this command digs deep into the soul and exposes one’s need for the gospel in a particular way. While the examples I use are often directed towards women, the Biblical stories that expose prevalence of this sin pattern are beneficial for both men and women to consider. God’s truths are relevant for everyone, even if the particular desires they battle against are different. We can all benefit from considering carefully what we desire and the effects that might have upon ourselves, the church, and the world around us.

Where to Buy:
The Envy of Eve: Finding Contentment in a Covetous World 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:

The Envy of Eve: Finding Contentment in a Covetous World by Melissa B. Kruger Buy Now:

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