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Posted in Interesting Thoughts Helen Thorne|9:38 AM EDT|September 15th 2014

If you go to a church where the teaching is sound then you will know some great truths about God. You will be able to articulate something of his love, his mercy, his grace, his sovereignty and his immense kindness and provision towards humans in general and you in particular. And amen to that! What a privilege to know such amazing facts.

However, if you are like many other Christians, these facts don't always make it from your head to your heart. They certainly don't always make that 7 inch drop in my life...

Yes, the doctrine of God's sovereignty is exciting but when a job is lost, a relative dies, accidents happen, then a deep sense of life feeling out of control creeps in. And, if we're honest, it doesn't always need to be something that major to engender those feelings ... a bad day at work can do it. Or kids that just wont obey the curfew or do their homework.

It's easy to sing of God's love on a Sunday. But when human relationships fall apart, illness hits, stress piles up, money-worries bite, it's not always easy to feel loved. Or even to believe whole-heartedly that his love is real and unconditional ... It's hard to believe that God can actually accept us, the messy sinners that we are.

All too often we lack confidence in God's character and promises. And that has an impact on our behaviour. When we're unconvinced that God loves us unconditionally, we're much more likely to think that others are judging us and be concerned about their opinions. When we wonder if God has dropped the ball and let something outside of his plan happen to us we can feel anger towards him, which comes out as anger towards others. When we allow ourselves to think that we have to prove ourselves to God because he can't possibly accept us as we are, we become driven and overly concerned with the need to be right or to have others think well of us.

Of course, the flipside is true too. And I was struck, while reading Tim Chester's The Ordinary Hero earlier this week, what liberation is found in being utterly convinced of God's nature. In that book, Tim reminds us of 5 great facts (p42):

  1. If you're confident that God loves you, then you'll love other people
  2. If you're confident that God's accepted you, then you'll accept other people
  3. If you're confident that God died for you, then you'll lay down your life for other people
  4. If you're confident that God loved you while you were still his enemy, then you'll not complain when other people let you down
  5. If you're confident that God's gracious to you, then you'll be gracious to other people

Doesn't that sound great?

So this week, why not let your prayer and pursuit be this: Lord, please increase my confidence in you. And, little by little, we can look forward to enjoying the fruit of answered prayer.

This blog post was originally posted on The Good Book Blog on February 13th 2013.

Posted in Fighting the Monday Feeling Rachel Jones|4:14 AM EDT|September 15th 2014

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Saviour,
who daily bears our burdens.

Our God is a God who saves;
from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death.

Psalm 68:19-20

Posted in Relevant News Tim Thornborough|8:53 AM EDT|September 11th 2014
This infographic summarises some of the findings from the Church Growth Research Programme funded by the Church of England. It makes interesting reading - both for what it says, and for what it does not say.

Here's your chance you number crunching CofE people, and anyone else who wants to wade in - what is your take on these findings? Is it discerning? Is it far-sighted? Or have they missed something important? Offer your thoughts below and we'll share our thoughts next week on this issue... Full report details HERE.

Posted in Interesting Thoughts Brad Byrd|4:40 AM EDT|September 10th 2014

Hot summer days have given way to crisp early mornings. Big yellow buses, shoulder pads & pig skin, along with the changing colors of the leaves means that the 2014 fall is kicking off with some exciting projects, titles and growth.

The US staff team has grown from two to three with the addition of Matt in Customer Service and Angela in Administration. We have hit the ground running and are planning to attend six events before the end of the year, hold a week of filming for The Gospel Coalition’s new curriculum (to be launched in early 2015), as well as launching a new children’s imprint for The Good Book Company.

As the Lord brings us to mind, here are a few things that might be helpful in focusing your prayers for us:

  • Pray that we will grow together as an effective team, supporting one another and the work of the gospel through our time in the office
  • Pray that we are effective in getting the message of Opening Up the Bible out to those who have not yet heard of The Good Book Company
  • Pray that we can see growth in our sales in the US as that is one of the greatest indicators that we impacting people with good resources
  • Pray that our witness as a company will be a good one in the marketplace and that we will steward our financial resources to the glory of God
  • Pray that we have wisdom in how to present new titles to new readers, pastors and ministries.
  • Pray that we would continue to grow in our relationships with our UK colleagues as they support our work here in North America.
Posted in On to a Good Thing Phil Grout|11:43 AM EDT|September 9th 2014

1. Workers for the Harvest Field just £1.99 till midday Thursday!

Get the ebook version of Workers for the Harvest Field for just £1.99!

2. Bible Study Struggles

Paul Tripp shares three things to remember when studying the Bible becomes boring.

3. 8 Questions To Help Guard Your Heart

Some questions to help “guard your heart” (Proverbs 4:23).

4. And finally...

Our video of the week, the Putting Parenting to Bed Promotional Trailer:

 

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 Relevant News Helen Thorne|9:32 AM EDT|September 8th 2014

Do you have a bucket-list? I wrote one once - I'm not alone - Barack Obama has one too. He ticked off "visit Stonehenge" last week and why not? The world in all its beauty and history is a fascinating place.

Since the US President's trawl around the stones, the web has been awash with bucket-list ideas. There's even now a "Great British Bucket-List" - I've done 14 out of the 50 - clearly I still have plenty to do on my days off in the coming years!

It's all very well to have hope and dreams - personally, I would love to bottle-feed a baby panther and I make no apology for that - but there's a danger that we can get so focused on the here and now that we forget what's truly important. Visiting the Giant's Causeway, climbing Ben Nevis and eating a deep-fried Mars bar may all bring a smile to our face but they pale into insignificance when compared with the glory of knowing Christ, the privilege of serving Christ and wonder of going to be with Christ in eternal bliss.

Which all got me thinking ... what would a Christ-centred spiritual bucket list look like? What do I long to do in him before I die?

  1. Get ever more excited about Jesus' work on the cross
  2. Tell all my friends the gospel
  3. Conquer my ongoing struggles with pride
  4. Learn to tame my tongue in ways that honour my Lord
  5. Come to forgive - wholeheartedly - all those who have hurt me in the past
  6. Actually study Lamentations properly so I really understand it
  7. Get better at loving my neighbours - especially those who are different to me
  8. Become more familiar with church history - there's so much to learn from believers of the past
  9. Cultivate an attitude of thankfulness that helps me be ever-mindful of how blessed I am

It's not compulsory to have one. But it's an interesting way to spend a few moments. Why not ponder it now. And maybe even share a thought or two ...

Posted in Fighting the Monday Feeling Rachel Jones|4:08 AM EDT|September 8th 2014

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

1 Peter 2:9-10

Posted in Relevant News Helen Thorne|10:29 AM EDT|September 5th 2014

It was a sad day yesterday as we said farewell to Timmy Barker. Timmy has been an outstanding print buyer at The Good Book Company over recent years and his efficiency, servant-heartedness, quirky t-shirts and stunning ability to consume mountainous burgers will be sorely missed ...

Praying for you, brother, as you head to pastures new!

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