Last Sunday I urged you to spend your Sundays well – delighting in the Lord and His work in the world, rather than in the distractions and toils of everyday life. Sunday is meant to be something of a weekly slice of heaven, brought down to earth! And one of the ways we can spend it well is by reading – reading the Bible; and reading good Christian books that will encourage us in the Lord. I do hope and pray that many of us will, more and more, become readers! With that in mind, we have a whole slew of newly arrived materials on the PRBC Resource Rack in the church foyer. If you're local, check out these 20+ new books and booklets … and some videos for kids, too!
Additionally, I thought this might be a good time and place to recommend some other books to you as well. And, since we have recently been thinking about the persecuted church; and since I also mentioned, last Sunday, the need to help our children “call the sabbath a delight” as well … this list will have a slant in those two directions.
So then, here are some books worth checking out at the local library, purchasing online*, or ordering through your local Christian bookstore:
The Crown and Covenant series by Douglas Bond (P&R Publishing). These books, written for pre-teens (but excellent for adults, too) follow the adventures, trials, and faith of a fictional Scottish family (the M’Kethe’s) living in the very real period of persecution in the late 17th century in Britain. Each of the three books focuses on a young boy who learns, as the story unfolds, what it means to trust God in trying times, and how to stand for Christ under pressure. Great for family read aloud times!
Fair Sunshine by Jock Purves (Banner of Truth). A gathering together of the true stories of several great saints who lived during (and some who died because of) the great persecution of the Scottish Covenanters (mentioned in the previous paragraph).
The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. Written (from prison) during the aforementioned times of trial in Britain, Bunyan’s classic novel is an allegory on the often trying process of coming to Christ, and on following the narrow path in allegiance to Him. One of the great books (Christian or secular) ever written … and available in some abridged versions for smaller children, too.
John G. Paton: Missionary to the New Hebrides (Banner of Truth). This missionary autobiography will whet your appetite for the beauty of the Christian family, the glory of the cause of missions, and the goodness of a God who is sovereign over all life’s twists and turns. Along the way, it will also give you good perspective on the suffering of God’s people – particularly on the mission field. This book is available in the “biography” section of our church library, but is currently checked out!
Singing in the Fire by Faith Cook (Banner of Truth). A gathering together of several mini-biographies of historic Christians who struggled and suffered while (and sometimes for) following Jesus. Several moving accounts of the faithfulness of God are re-told in this excellent little book.
Huguenot Garden by Douglas Jones (Canon Press). Another historical fiction book, in the same vein as the Crown and Covenant series mentioned above … following the story of two young girls and their family during a time of great opposition to the Protestant churches and Christians in 17th century France. I haven’t read this one yet, but hope to have it in hand soon, and to read it aloud together as a family.
The Crook in the Lot by Thomas Boston, my historical hero. This is one of only two books in the list that are not either history or biography (can you tell I love church history?). The Crook in the Lot is, rather, a series of sermons on Ecclesiastes 7.13 (KJV): “Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?” Boston expertly works the reader through appropriate, biblical ways to deal with the various sufferings that God allows in our lives.
The Building on the Rock series by Joel Beeke, Diana Kleyn, and Jeff Anderson (CF4K). This series of five children’s books contains roughly 2-3 dozen brief, real-life stories per book, each of which teaches lessons of faith, courage, obedience, God’s faithfulness, the gospel of Jesus, and so on. These stories are great for children’s own personal reading, and for family read aloud times as well … and each contains a suggested corresponding Scripture reading, and two questions for discussion.
So there you have it. Just a few suggestions for how you and your children might warm your hearts and stir your souls on Lord’s Day afternoons and evenings (and on any other day of the week, too!). May these books and others make for happy, helpful reading!
*Please do remember that, while online retailers do not always collect state and local sales tax, you are still required to pay any applicable state and local tax on internet, through-the-mail, and other purchases for which tax is not collected by the retailer. In Ohio, this can be done by following the instructions connected with the “use tax” line on your state income tax return. For residents of other states, consult your state tax office for details. Matthew 22.21.