The LST Bookshop reopened today (24th April) after the Easter break. It was good to be back in College and good to see the students back on campus. It was also a busy day trying to do some book stock-taking, but it was all finished in the afternoon.
Jan says "I took this book to read on a retreat weekend before a conference and devoured it! With a multiplicity of authors you might expect such a compilation to be disjointed, but with the flow of the chapters and the style almost conversational, content was primary and the author secondary. It is a book I want to read again but slower, to savour the experiences and hard learnt lessons of these well-known authors and pastors. It was a mentoring experience with two overriding thoughts leaving their impression; as a church we must prioritise cultivating people of spiritual depth and to work effectively we must set aside space and time to hone our souls. Gordon Macdonald has a great illustration of farmers in the Alps using scythes. After ten minutes of cutting they would then spend five minutes sharpening the blade. Research has indicated that reading a physical book can create a deeper experience and lasting impression and if you were at CRT you may just have heard me enthusing about this book."
I would really recommend Malcolm Duncan's Risk Takers. Malcolm warns of two dangers: One is that we get easily swallowed by the culture of the church such that we tend to be more defined by what we don't do than by what we do.The Second is that we can get swallowed by society and driven by its standards and morals. We walk both in society and in church so the challenge is to not dwell in the past but to take a step of faith forward - to be risk takers for the gospel. So Malcolm uses Paul's friend Epaphroditus to show how he was someone who risked all for God. His life showed courage, faith, determination, hope, boldness, expectaion and risk.
I've only recently got around to reading this book by Jeff Lucas. It's a very interesting book with a different style of writing. Jeff tackles the difficult character of Samson - womaniser, hothead, vengeful, cruel - and yet used by God to bring about His wider judgement. The writing style uses blocks of short sentances and paragraphs that build upon each other to bring out the point. Jeff shows that our 'superhuman' body builder image of Samson is not one reflected in the text. Samson was strong because he was empowered by the Holy Spirit and not because of his own muscles. As such, there is hope for us because if we are truly dedicated to God (in Samson's case it was because of his mothers Nazarite Vow) then we are nothing and God is everything. He can take our feebleness and weakness and empower us with His Holy Spirit - the same power that brought the whole universe into being..
Rick Warren, R. C. Sproul, Al Mohler, Thabiti Anyabwile, Francis Chan and John Piper challenge us to pursue holistic Christianity. They want us to be thinkers, very engaged and serious thinkers, and more. To be feelers, with a great passion for Jesus and his gospel, and more. And doers, endeavouring to do great acts of love for others, and more.