Book Review: The Fruitful Vine: a Celebration of Biblical Womanhood

Book Review: The Fruitful Vine: a Celebration of Biblical Womanhood
By: Warren Henderson

“Books like this by a present day author are few and far between, written in a refreshingly clear way, and with a clear directive contrary to that in which the feminist movement has taken society. Because it is all too easy for believers to be swayed in their thinking by this movement and its prevalence in the western world, this treatise on womanhood as taught in the Scriptures is essential reading for today’s women and men.

The author skilfully explores the different roles of women, whether single (by choice or by circumstance) or married, mothers or grandmothers, widows young or old. Sound scriptural advice is given for each situation. Using the figure of the Fruitful Vine (Ps 128.3, with cognate verses from The Song of Solomon), the beauty and honour of marriage is described, from the industrious to the intimate, from the everyday things to the special occasions which family life contains. Whilst focused on the role of the wife, the role of the husband is constantly called into the foreground, for it is (correctly) argued that the one cannot be fulfilled without the other.

In the Preface, the position is taken that biblical manhood advocates biblical womanhood; or put in more everyday terms, “an ideal wife is any woman who has an ideal husband”. The treatment of this subject is both doctrinally sound and practically orientated. The permanence of the marriage bond, the truth of headship and its consequences in the home and in the assembly, the necessity for complete fidelity and confidentiality in marriage are each stressed.

Problem areas like marital satisfaction and how to promote it, disagreements and how to resolve them, love and how to keep it fresh, gossip and how to avoid it (the author calls it sin), are all explored in detail, as is some very practical advice about the smooth, economical, responsible running of the home which is where the woman’s best influence lies. Readers outside of the USA where the book originated may find some of the details less appropriate, but the overall message is very important and applies everywhere.

Sin has invaded every realm of society, marriage included, but its effects can be controlled by the application of the Word of God, which is what this book successfully attempts to do. If read and its message heeded, it will be an asset in every young believer’s marriage, and every older one’s too. The men as well as the women should read it.”

~ This book review originally published in Believer’s Magazine Feb 2007 , written by RWC

Book Review: Passing The Torch

Book Review: Passing The Torch
By: Warren Henderson

“Subtitled Mentoring the Next Generation for Christ, the subject of this book is clear although the word mentoring may be less familiar to UK readers. It focuses on the importance of what Paul wrote to Timothy long ago about “teaching others also” (2 Tim 2.2), and it does this very well indeed.

The first chapter uses the familiar Olympic torch idea: “passing the torch” means to transfer responsibility to someone else. Every Christian is to be a beacon of truth during their lifetime, and all are also called to pass the torch to the next generation. But “how does one motivate younger believers, especially our own children, to catch the vision and be sold out for Christ?”

The latter half of the book tackles this question in a clear, inspiring and very readable way. Stimulating younger people, especially teenagers, Bible study and resources to help, training in godliness, and participation in all assembly activities are each described with good examples given. Responsibilities of both the mentor and the mentee (unusual word? but you get its meaning!) are well set out: for the mentor – be available, be willing, be accountable, be an example; the case of Elisha with Elijah is used to make some excellent points for the mentee to heed.

The earlier half of the book describes in some detail what is to be passed on, and why. In its own right this is worth reading and heeding, very relevant to the needs of assemblies today, totally Scriptural, absolutely clear, and a good reminder to us all. Here are some subheadings: divine truth is immutable; grace and truth are inseparable; meeting with believers is essential. The church has a threefold ministry: exaltation of the Lord, edification of believers, evangelism of the lost. A chapter called “A Pattern to Follow” describes both the expression and the distortion of salient NT truths such as – Christ the Head of the church; unity of all believers; priesthood of all believers; plurality of leadership; sanctity of the genders; the great commission.

Near the end of this highly recommended book is a challenge: “The church needs … those with ability and discernment to shun the limelight in order to invest time with those who need to learn sound doctrine, and to become aware of their calling in Christ”.”

~ This book review originally by Believer’s Magazine : February 2015 – written by RC

Book Review: Hallowed Be Thy Name

Hallowed Be Thy NameBook Review: Hallowed Be Thy Name
By: Warren Henderson

“This book focuses on the subject of “revering Christ in a casual world”. The first chapter addresses the question, “What’s in a Name?”. The author stresses the significance attached to personal names in the Bible since “a name reveals not just the identity of a person but also their features and character”.

The various names and titles of God, as found in the Scriptures, are considered. This is followed by an examination of the third commandment, where the reader is reminded of just how serious an offence it is to God when His name is used lightly.

The question is then asked, “Can a Christian blaspheme God?”. An in-depth study of the word “blasphemy” is conducted and it is claimed that “in one form or another, we often unconsciously demean God’s name”. Not only does the author urge us not to speak blasphemy but “not to live blasphemy either (Jas 2.7)”. He appeals that all conduct which would cause others to blaspheme the name of the Lord, be avoided. “Loss of reverence for the Lord’s name has degraded the name of Christ throughout the world”.

Having highlighted the dangers of treating the Lord’s name with disrespect, instruction is then given as to a right use of the Lord’s name. In the chapter entitled, “The Blessings of the Lord’s Name”, the following pertinent points are developed: To pray in His Name; To proclaim His Name; To suffer for His Name; To gather in His Name. This is only a selection. You can relish the rest when you purchase the book!

Hallowed Be Thy Name concludes with six practical suggestions as to how a believer can sanctify the Lord’s great name. Advice is also given on how to respond when the Lord’s name is blasphemed and there is an extensive sixteen page appendix of “Names and Titles of Christ”.

If you are seeking guidance as to how you can glorify the precious name of the Lord Jesus Christ in daily living, this book will certainly provide both challenge and encouragement that will prompt you to exclaim, “Hallowed be Thy Name!”.”

~ This book review originally by Believer’s Magazine : October 2007 – written by AC

Gospel Folio Press is Celebrating 95 years!

Article: Lost at Sea, Found In Heaven: The Arthur Taylor Story

Lost at Sea Found in Heaven (Arthur Taylor Story)Lost at Sea, Found In Heaven: The Arthur Taylor Story
As told by Bob Cretney

“It is always fascinating to read of the ways of God in the life of an individual and this book is no exception. The simple account of the life of Arthur Taylor, his salvation, call, and work for the Welland Canal Mission is told with freshness that communicates the zeal of the man and yet with the humility that befits a truly dependent servant.

From the tragedy of his father’s death at sea and his struggles at school, Arthur meets Judy who becomes instrumental in his salvation. For someone for whom Easter ‘only meant chocolate eggs and bunnies’, the transformation was significant – ‘I sensed an urgent need to get this good news out immediately to those that I knew’. His early forays into spreading the gospel are recounted with honesty: mistaking a Japanese cook for a Chinese led to him being chased out of the galley; his fumbling attempt at French causing offence; and the ‘hard lesson’ learned when another commitment took him away from an enquiring sailor who was killed that night. Yet, against that background it is clear that God used Arthur Taylor in leading sinners to Christ. However, as he acknowledges, ‘I’m left amazed that God delights to use me in His mighty work of reaching lost souls’.

This is a book that will enrich and enlighten the reader.”

~ Article originally published by Precious Seed (2008, Volume 63 Issue 2)

The History of the Choice Gleanings Daily Calendar

Now available for 50%! Get your copy today!

“This morning, as believers around the globe lift up their hearts to God to begin their day, a familiar component of that process will be the Choice Gleanings calendar. The history of this much loved day-by-day devotional calendar is an interesting one and a testimony to the faithfulness of the Lord. It began in 1922, when the Lord burdened young William J. Pell of Grand Rapids, Michigan, to begin a ministry of printing quality Christian literature. He started in his mother’s parlour with a John 3:16 verse card, but soon moved to the basement of the building next door, printing gospel tracts and Sunday School curriculum. He called the print shop gospel folio Press, assuming it would only ever produce a little folio of four pages.

Gospel Folio Press had been functioning for almost twenty years when William became exercised about producing a daily devotional calendar. In the home of his parents hung a believers’ calendar printed in the Netherlands by the Voorhowven brothers. For many years William’s mother, who emigrated from the Netherlands at age eleven, made sure such a calendar was sent to her. Seeing the effects that the devotional calendar had on his mother gave William a strong desire to compile one of his own for the Lord’s people.

In spite of discouraging remarks from some who said it wasn’t feasible in North America, the calendar (initially named The Remembrancer but soon changed to Choice Gleanings) was launched in 1940. It was decided to print 800 the first year, as William figured he had that many friends to give them to if the sales did not go well. He need not have worried, as the calendar was an immediate success. Within a few years, the workers at gospel folio Press found themselves with the mammoth undertaking of producing 40,000 calendars annually.

The process of production did not vary for many years. Selecting the devotionals and finding coordinating poetry was the first step. The next job was planning which meditations would be used on which date. This ‘distribution’ of the devotionals throughout the calendar involved much thought and prayer as the goal was to ensure that the readers would receive a balance of comfort, challenge, doctrine, and encouragement throughout the year. Once placed in the calendar, the meditations were edited and then after several rounds of proofreading, came the typesetting, printing and assembly.

Originally material for the calendars was gleaned from books, but as time went by Mr. Pell began asking more brethren to contribute short devotionals and eventually the calendar included more original writing than ‘gleanings’. Today, almost sixty writers from around the world contribute meditations to the Choice Gleanings calendar.

When William went home to heaven in 1970, his sister Grace stepped into the role of editor. Grace carried the responsibility for about ten years with the help of her sisters and Jabe Nicholson. Since he was a teen Jabe had been helping at gospel folio Press and under his leadership the calendar continued through the 1980’s.

During the 1990’s, he worked closely with Sandy McEachern, not only selecting, arranging, and editing the devotions but passing on the vision and passion for the work that Jabe had learned first from William and later from the Pell sisters. By the end of the decade, the Choice Gleanings legacy was passed into Sandy McEachern’s care.

In 2001, gospel folio Press moved to Port Colborne, Ontario. The production of the calendar has evolved from mountains of paper to hundreds of electronic files exchanged via cyberspace. Contributors email their documents, which are maintained in a database throughout the year and arranged in a desktop publishing program. From here, the calendar is edited, proofread, and corrections entered. The workers rarely see each other face to face, but are bound by a shared dedication to this work for the Lord.”

~ This is an excerpt from the article by Keith Clayton in Precious Seed (2004, Vol.59, Issue 4)

Book Review: The Life of David Brainerd

Life of David Brainerd CLASSIC BIOGRAPHY SERIESThe Life of David Brainerd
By: Jesse Page

“Why did John Wesley say “Let every preacher read carefully over the life of David Brainerd”? The reader of this addition to the Classic Biography Series will quickly discover the answer to this question.

David Brainerd was often depressed and downcast, and seldom, if ever, happy with his own spiritual state. He constantly battled severe ill health and loneliness. It was among the Indians of Crossweeksung (now Crosswicks, New Jersey) that he first saw his prayers answered in a way that simply amazed him. He was astounded to find that the “hearts of these Indians were melted by the love of Jesus” rather than the terrors of judgment. Converts were gathered to form a local church of which he said “I know of no assembly of Christians where there seems to be so much of the presence of God, where brotherly love so much prevails, and where I should so much delight in the public worship of God, in general, as in my own congregation; although not more than nine months ago, they were worshipping devils and dumb idols under the power of pagan darkness and superstition. Amazing change this! Effected by nothing less than divine power and grace!” By the end of 1747, 29 years of age and less than four years after his life’s work began, David Brainerd was called Home, a victim of tuberculosis. His last words were “I shall soon be in glory, I shall soon glorify God with the angels!”

Every Christian who, conscious of weakness, desires to serve God more effectively, should heed John Wesley’s counsel.”

~ Book review originally published by Believer’s Bookshelf (June 2017) and written by Alan Wilson

Book Review: Escape from the Island of Occupation

Escape from the Island of Occupation (Children Fiction)Escape from the Island of Occupation
By: Robert Plant

Set in the island of Jersey during the early days of World War II, the story centres around a plot to capture Hitler on his first visit to the island after the German occupation. A young lad called Jerry, and his female accomplice, learn of this and decide to inform the British authorities 100 miles away across the Channel in the hope of ending the misery of the war and its effects on the island – but how? Some older people are enlisted to help with a boat and its equipment, there is an old outboard motor involved which eventually fails, a shipwreck, and a near-fatal landing on a mined beach, followed by a journey to Whitehall to brief the top brass, then an anticlimax! At times it is breathtaking, and you want to read on!

The story is well written in a style suitable for 7-11 year olds, but perhaps it matches better the interests of early teens; indeed, adults too will find it an absorbing and enjoyable read. The author makes good use of his knowledge of the geography of Jersey and its people, but the best thing about this book, from a Christian viewpoint, is how the Gospel message is so effectively woven into the story, seamlessly and gradually. Starting from a base of unfamiliarity with the Bible and no awareness of God, the storyline introduces the need for salvation and how it can be found through faith in Christ alone.

~ Book review Originally Published by Believer’s Bookshelf (June 2017) and written by Bert Cargill

** Also available: Return to the Island of Occupation

2018 Missionary Prayer Handbook now here!

ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!

The 2018 Missionary Prayer Handbook 

The 2018 Missionary Prayer Handbook features 49 new missionaries, two new country listings and a new missionary section.

To facilitate fervent prayer and communication, this vital tool lists about 700 missionaries commended from U.S. and Canadian assemblies and includes a description of their ministries and contact information. A new Handbook is printed each year.

Only $6 USD or $8 CAD!

Gift Editions of One Day At A Time!

One Day At A Time by William MacDonald

Now available in Paperback and Hardcover!

Order as a gift or for yourself today!

That’s the way you have to live life – one day at a time. But it is how you live each day that makes all the difference. One way to ensure that our days on earth count for God is to fill our minds and hearts with the “engrafted Word” that we might grow by it. For this reason we take pleasure in issuing this book of invigorating meditations on the Word of God from the crisp, Christ-exalting writings of William MacDonald. And there’s no better way to start the day than with an encouraging portion from God’s Word. Each daily meditation is just a page long, but with each scripture presented in a fresh way, William MacDonald stirs your heart to practical devotedness to the Lord. These devotionals are not intended to replace the reading of the Word, but to stimulate your thinking on Scripture, and, by God’s grace, to help you apply the truth to your daily walk.