The Good Book Company

 
Posted in Relevant News Alison Mitchell|2:17 PM BST|August 27th 2014

Porn in unexpected places

I walked down the office carrying a pile of pornography. I'd wrapped it in two bags so my colleagues wouldn't see it, but I still worried. What if I tripped and broke my neck? After failing to resucitate me, the first thing people would discover was my pile of porn. 

Thankfully, it wasn't as bad as it sounds, but is a salutary tale nonetheless.

It started on my ride to work. The subway under the A3 always collects litter - usually crisp packets, coke cans and the odd condom. Not cards. Not a full pack of playing cards. And certainly not pornographic cards. I glanced down as I wheeled the bike through the tunnel, wondering who'd dropped their playing cards, to be faced with umpteen nude women. I was slightly shocked, but late for work so kept on going.

I did try to keep going, I really did. I cycled half-way up the road. But I couldn't do it; I couldn't leave them. I thought about the nursery children who use that subway every day. I thought of the teens who'd be delighted to collect some free porn. And I had to go back.

Picking up the cards was horrible - they were so dirty (and I don't just mean the mud). I was amazed at my strong reaction. I felt sullied even touching them. (And worried that someone would see me and assume the cards were mine.) I wrapped them in two bags before I could even bear to put them in my bike panniers. And when I got to work, I carried them down the office and buried them as deeply as I could in the kitchen bin.

I'd like to claim I'm always that disgusted by porn, but like many of us, I've had to learn which books and magazines to avoid, and to be wary of late-night TV. But the tale of the playing cards has reminded me that we can be faced with it at unexpected times and places. And maybe that's when we especially need to be asking God to keep the promise he makes us in 1 Corinthians 10 v 13: "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."

And maybe also get one of these two helpful new books - A man's greatest challenge and Purity is possible being released in mid-September.

Posted in Interesting Thoughts Tim Thornborough|9:12 AM BST|August 27th 2014

We're conscious, here at The Good Book Company, of our need for prayer. We want to be working in God's strength - for God's glory - in God's Kingdom not just pottering about doing what we think is good and right. If you could remembers us in your prayers occasionally, that would be so much appreciated. To that end, this Wednesday we're continuing to pop up some prayer requests - asking you to pray for us department by department. This week, the creative team:

At our end of the office there are seven of us, who select and initiate publishing projects, who encourage and interact with authors, who edit, design proofread and nurse those books to the point where they are ready to be printed and deployed to edify, encourage and challenge. We sometimes even write whole resources ourselves!

 

  • Please pray for our personal walk with Christ. We want to be professional and produce excellent books. But we also want to work as those who love Christ and his gospel and are walking in fellowship with him day by day.
  • Please pray that we would know our Bibles. It is a huge privilege to be working day by day on materials that help grow the Kingdom of God. But we are very aware of our role in promoting and defending truth, and refuting error. We need God's help not to get that the wrong way round!
  • Pray that we would continue to be innovative in the ways we present the gospel. It is, of course the same unchanging Gospel: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. But our culture changes, and the ways in which people hear change. We want to be responsive to that, but without getting gimmicky. So pray we would serve the Lord and his people with new materials that help bring Jesus to the next generation in fresh and engaging ways.
  • Pray for wise choices: Scripture warns us that "of the making of many books there is no end". A typical new manuscripts meeting for us will have us making decisions about maybe a dozen books - of which we may only realistically be able to produce three or four. We want to give ourselves to the things that will be most effective in building God's Kingdom, but not at the expense of serving some "niche needs" that would otherwise not be met. We need the wisdom that comes from heaven to make these decisions.

 

And finally, do pray for us by name: Tim, Jackie, Carl, Rachel, Ann, Alison and Andre are all real people engaged in local church ministry, and dealing with busy and stressful family lives at the same time as working at The Good Book Company. Be our partners as we seek to bring glory to Christ in our personal lives, as well as through our publishing ministry.

Posted in On to a Good Thing Dex Fletcher|3:44 PM BST|August 26th 2014

1. Six ways your iPhone is changing you

Own an iPhone? Love it? Tim Chester helpfully gives us 6 things to think about...

2. On Coming Out

In the wake of Vicky Beeching's recent announcment that she is gay, here are 4 articles that shed some interesting light on the issue.

3. Struggling to organise your prayers?

PrayerMate is a Christian prayer app that seeks to help you actually pray for all the people and causes you care about.

4. 10 greatest Hymns of All time

Well, according to Tim Challies anyway. Here are his 10 favourite.

5. Time to get back into your Quiet Times?

Our video of the week this week is an encouragment, with the holidays ending, to get into new habits of reading the Bible. We think Explore Bible reading notes will help with that:

 

 

Found something that you think should make it on to the On to a Good Thing round-up? Send it to: ontoagoodthing@thegoodbook.co.uk

 

 

Posted in Useful Resources Dean Faulkner|10:00 AM BST|August 26th 2014

How often do you hear someone (and I don't just mean politicians) say politics and faith don't mix? Or that the Church has no place in government?

Throughout history people have been divided: does our faith mix with social action and intervention? Where do evangelism and practical ministry come together?

People like Wilberforce and Carey to name but a couple of individuals over the years say the two do surely need to come together. And in more modern times try telling Mez McConnell in the poorest parts of Edinburgh or Dai Hankey in the valleys of South Wales that the Church should stay away from helping the needy.

Tim Chester argues passionately in his book Good News to the Poor, that evangelism and social action are inseparable as two arms of the church's mission. He presents a biblical case for truly evangelical social action that is shaped and inspired by the gospel. He urges conservatives not to marginalize those who uphold the cause of the oppressed, and those involved in social action not to neglect the preaching of the Word.

Get the ebook for half price (£4.99) until midday on Thursday by using the code poor0814 at the checkout.

Posted in Useful Resources Helen Thorne|3:00 PM BST|August 25th 2014

God is a generous God. He gives us life, salvation, hope and a whole host of gifts so we can serve him and each other in the local church.

We don't deserve the gifts God gives us but we can make sure we use them well - humbly, lovingly, enthusiastically and for his glory. And we can make sure we hone them, so we learn more about what the Bible says on teaching, caring, administrating, encouraging, welcoming, evangelising as the years go on and become more aligned to God's desires.

That's where some structured studying can help.

In the busyness of preparing talks and craft activities, it can be easy to lose sight of what it means to teach the whole counsel of God to the children in our care. Beneath the piles of paperwork, we can forget just how missional administration truly is. Amid the texts and calls from hurting friends, we can let our eyes shift away from the pastorally liberating words of truth found within the pages of Scripture. Setting aside some time to study can help put all those things back on the map.

So this term, whether you're interested in Administration, Mission and Ministry, Pastoral Care, Women's Ministry or Youth and Children's Work, why not set aside some time to do one of The Good Book College's short courses?

Biblical, accessible and practical, these distance-learning courses will inspire you to read God's word and encourage you to serve God's people. All in the comfort of your own home without the pressure of fixed deadlines.

For more details and to enrol online, click HERE.

Posted in Fighting the Monday Feeling Rachel Jones|7:00 AM BST|August 25th 2014

The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty;
the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength;
indeed, the world is established, firm and secure.

Your throne was established long ago;
you are from all eternity.

The seas have lifted up, Lord,
the seas have lifted up their voice;
the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.
Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
mightier than the breakers of the sea –
the Lord on high is mighty.
Your statutes, Lord, stand firm;
holiness adorns your house
for endless days.

Psalm 93

Posted in Relevant News Carl Laferton|1:23 PM BST|August 22nd 2014

Whenever we talk about abortion, it's important, as Christians, to say three things:

  1. God is a God who gives life in the womb
  2. God is a God who punishes those who injure or end life, which is, one way or another, all of us, but which includes any part we play in terminating an unborn life
  3. God is, wonderfully, a God who comes in the person of Jesus to bear that punishment himself, taking all our guilt if we ask him to, so that we can enjoy life with him, his way. Whatever you may have done in your past, there is mercy, if you will ask for it. There is forgiveness beyond measure.

But for those in society who don't agree with those statements ... Dawkins is right.

Here’s why.

If you don’t think that abortion is wrong, then why is abortion for one particular reason or another wrong? If you believe in a woman’s right to choose, then, as Dawkins says on his blog:

“What I was saying simply follows logically from the ordinary pro-choice stance that most of us, I presume, espouse.”

In other words: if you are pro-choice, how can you have a problem with a woman making her choice on the grounds of her child not being the one that she wanted? If you oppose abortion on the grounds of health, then you’re not pro-choice; you’re just pro-some-choice (and do you really want to be pro the choice of the woman who just doesn’t want a child full stop, healthy or not, while being anti the choice of the woman who doesn’t want a child that has a chromosomic abnormality)?

The problem with Dawkins (or, perhaps, the joy of Dawkins) is that he will keep pushing a position to its logical conclusion. That’s what he’s done here, with a pro-choice position. Now, if you’re pro-life, of course you take huge issue with his position, and feel deep sadness about those children who weren’t given the chance to live, either because they had Down’s Syndrome, or because they suffered from being inconvenient to their mother.

(By the way, notice that Dawkins uses the word immoral. He does seem unable to push his atheism to its logical conclusion; that he has no basis for morality, indeed that he has no reason even to talk in the categories of morality and immorality; and that he has no reason or right to go advising others on the basis of his own opinions anyway. But that’s for another day).

Put simply, if you’re pro-choice, and don’t like Dawkins’ remarks, it’s because you don’t like your own position.

So here’s the prayer: that many people will see the logical outcome of the pro-choice argument, and will think again about the whole issue. The prayer should be that God would delight in using Dawkins to cause a whole load of people to think again about what it is that he is knitting together in the womb, and to defend those babies’ right to life.

Posted in Best Buy Friday Dean Faulkner|10:23 AM BST|August 22nd 2014

How often do we see a high profile politician, sporting personality or celebrity let us down? They have done or said something that tarnishes (or worse) their apparent good reputation. Lies, theft, deceit and more can cause people's downfall.

And the same can happen to us as Christians. We aren't above it and not immune to the same stuff everyone else is. But whether we are dealing with failures, trying to cope with financial matters or personal weaknesses, we need to focus on gospel-truths and priorities to work things through.

And help is at hand. In his book Integrity, Jonathan Lamb examines the disciplines and priorities that enable us to live a life of Christian integrity.

Read more HERE and get the book for half price until midday on Monday. Please use code int0814 at the checkout.

Posted in Interesting Thoughts Helen Thorne|9:09 AM BST|August 21st 2014

Summer camps can be great times of growth. Young people seeing Jesus for the first time... Teenagers getting equipped to be faithful witnesses at school or college ... Sins being addressed and lifestyles turning around ... Leaders sharpening their teaching gift as they handle tough questions from curious minds ... But once summer draws to a close, the excitement (along with the exhaustion) of Bible camps can begin to disappear. And as our excitement dissipates, so our prayers can drift into oblivion too.

So, how can we keep praying for our young people and fellow leaders? Here are five ideas - to put into action before we all forget!

1. Apply

You're going to hear a lot of talks over the next year. Hopefully you'll have a lot of quiet times too. When you look at a passage, as well as asking yourself "how does this apply to me now?", ask "how does this apply to (selected) members of my camp?". Once you've answered that question, actively pray those things home. Maybe putting a note on your Bible will help you to remember to do that.

2. Build

Put photos from camp above your desk (you can go collage crazy if you like) or make a scatter-diagram in vibrant colours / a bullet-point list of all the prayer needs of which you are aware and put it somewhere obvious (though discreet!). The more you see the people / their needs, the more likely you are to pray for them.

3. Chat

Tell two other people what the highs (and lows) of camp have been this year. Arrange to meet up with them to pray and praise God for those things in 3 months time.

4. Diarise

Pick a day - any day - and once a week put a reminder on your phone to pray for the camp you've been involved in (or know something about). There are some great prayer apps around for the more technologically minded ...

5. Encourage

Send emails to selected people on your camp asking them to send you prayer requests throughout the year. Obviously, it's important to comply with whatever your camp's guidelines are on how to contact camp members but there's no reason why you can't encourage prayer requests from other leaders at least. When the responses arrive, you'll be encouraged to pray.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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