Lenny Duncan – Dear Church

This is possibly one of the most passionate books I’ve read in a long time – the subtitle was “A love letter from a black preacher to the whitest denomination in the U.S.”, and that’s exactly what it felt like – a love letter. A book that raises as many potentially ‘controversial’ points as this one could easily be seen as provocative and argument-starting, but the whole book is written from a...

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Colin Marshall & Tony Payne – The Trellis and the Vine

I picked up this book on the recommendation of a few people from Church. As is clearly obvious, things are not normal at the moment and of course Church has been affected by that. Almost every activity we do has been cancelled or materially altered in some way, and as we start to look to ‘the new normal’, it’s the perfect opportunity to take a deep breath and evaluate what and how we’re doing. As I’m sure it did...

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She Reads Truth – Daniel

During lockdown, I thought I’d have so much more time for doing things like reading and digging deeper into the Bible. But I’m sorry to say that I’ve completely lacked any kind of motivation and have struggled to either start or finish any of my She Reads Truth books for the last 5 months. So I was pretty made up to be able to find the time each day to sit down and read the book of Daniel. I was particularly motivated...

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Naomi Graham – Love Surpassing Knowledge

Having seen people I know have to leave a church due to a lack of inclusion and acceptance, I was interested to read this book to figure out what we should be doing better. As the book blurb says “Accessibility is so much more than ramps and physical access”. “When we see someone who is different to us, do we choose to look away to walk away and disengage because we are fearful of what might happen or of what they might say...

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John Mark Comer – The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry

I’ve had this book on my shelf for ages, and having read it, I really wish I’d picked it up so much earlier (at the start of lockdown, but ideally way before that), as it has taught me so much about myself. Just a heads up (I finished writing and had to come back to add this), this review feels a bit more like therapy than an actual review, but I just had to write about how much I personally connected to this book, so feel free to...

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David Runcorn – Love Means Love

An insightful and clear unpicking of the ‘issue’ of same-sex marriage that has caused (and continues to cause) friction in the church. It’s a divisive issue and one that is probably not talked about enough because of the potential for upset. This book unpicks the common objections for same sex relationships and gay marriage and thoroughly and overwhelmingly shows you why these objections are not biblical in...

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Healthy Faith and the Coronavirus

I was so impressed with how quickly this book was released when Coronavirus first hit and we all went into lockdown. I’m not so impressed with how long it’s taken me to read it, but that’s entirely my fault and not a reflection of the book! As you would guess from the title, the book talks us through how to correlate our faith with the coronavirus pandemic in a healthy way, when the atmosphere around is is the complete...

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Ben Lindsay – We Need To Talk About Race

I picked this book up to educate myself as Black Lives Matter came to a more global stage in the last few weeks. I always thought that I was a good person, that I wasn’t racist, but I realised that may not be true. And even if it is true, it’s not enough. I needed to learn more about black experiences, so that I could be part of the solution and not part of the problem. What I realised through reading this book, is that I have...

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Graham B. Usher – The Way Under Our Feet

This book felt like it was perfectly aimed at me, tying together two of my favourite things, faith and walking. I’ve got into walking a lot this year, but I never really considered that walking has a spiritual side (apart from giving me time to listen to podcast sermons while I’m out and about). In this book, we start off with a chapter titled ‘Movement’, describing how walking works, the mechanics of it and how it...

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Madeleine Davies – Lights for the Path

I received this book as an advance reading copy from NetGalley, and I’m so glad I requested it. I only wish that this book had been around for me a few years ago. Although aimed primarily at teenagers who have experienced loss, I think this book is valuable for any age range, I certainly found it so helpful to think about the ways I’ve been experiencing and ‘dealing with’ my grief over the last few years, and I think...

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She Reads Truth – Promises of God

I feel like this book was so needed during these completely uncertain times. We’ve been in lockdown for a couple of months now and it’s really easy to start feeling lost and alone, given that I haven’t seen my family for over a month now. But this book was the perfect reminder that among God’s promises is the promise that he will be with us always. At the end of each SRT book, there’s the question “What...

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John Smed – Journey in Prayer

Requested as an advance reading copy from NetGalley, this book is sub-titled 7 Days of Praying With Jesus. I didn’t really know what to expect, and my initial judgements on the cover didn’t really match with what I got inside, if I’m honest I found the cover a little boring, and what was inside was anything but. Each of the 7 days of the book covers a different section of the Lord’s prayer, breaking it down and...

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She Reads Truth – 1, 2 & 3 John

Another fantastic study book from the lovely people at She Reads Truth. As usual, the book was beautifully laid out with imagery that really complimented what was being read. The study book takes you through the books of 1 John, 2 John and 3 John, which are all fairly short but pack a punch. Like the last study, these are books that I’ve not really read much before, and I really appreciated how the readings for each day were tied back...

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Phil Callaway – Laugh Like a Kid Again

We are in some weird times right now and life doesn’t feel easy, so when I spotted this book title on NetGalley, I immediately requested it – the little cereal smile on the cover definitely drew me in too! As the author says: “…how can we laugh when times are hard and people disappoint? How can we lighten up when storms threaten and anxiety reigns? May these stories remind us that we are loved unreasonably, that we...

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Skye Jethani – What if Jesus Was Serious?

This book was requested as an advanced-review copy from NetGalley. I’ve not read anything by this author before, so I had no idea what to expect, but the cover and the title instantly drew me in. The book is written as a series of devotions based around the sermon on the mount, and although I read this book in a few sittings, I think it would probably have benefited from being read more slowly to give me more time to absorb and ponder...

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She Reads Truth – His Love Endures

Another fab study from the ladies at She Reads Truth. Not gonna lie – this one was slightly daunting – the study book was almost 300 pages long, and Jeremiah is definitely the longest book of the Bible I’ve ever studied in full. And I’m not gonna lie, by the end, I was ready for it to be over – the book is heavy. BUT – I’m so glad that I got to spend Lent of this year reading through Jeremiah...

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Joe Warton – 1 Peter: Confidence in a Complex World

We read this book as a Church life group for our lent study, and I thought it was great. The discussion questions were perfectly crafted for getting conversation started and then diving deeper into the text, and referencing other relevant Bible passages too. We had some fantastic discussions in our group using this material, until Coronavirus meant we had to stop meeting, and I actually did the last couple of sessions alone. To me, this...

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Esther Ahmad – Unveiled

I requested this book on a whim from NetGalley, I’m not sure what drew me to it, I think it was the cover, but I genuinely didn’t know what to expect. What I got was a heart-rending story of true bravery. A woman who left her devoutly Muslim family after Jesus appeared to her in a dream to tell her he was ‘the way, the truth, and the life’. At this point in the author’s life, she was just about to go off to...

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Elaine Storkey – Women in a Patriarchal World

“The stories of people in Scripture are case histories of God’s relationship with human-kind” Throughout this book, we are introduced to 25 case histories of women in the Bible. Some well known like Mary Magdalene, others lesser known like the five daughters of Zelophehad, but all notable for being included in the history of what is undoubtedly a patriarchal society – and clearly showing what value God places on women...

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Vicky Beeching – Undivided

I’ve read many books with a quote on the cover which says “This book is a must-read”, but I think this is one of the first where I can whole-heartedly agree that it’s true. I’m not going to lie, this isn’t an easy book to read, but then it isn’t an easy life that Vicky has lived, and her bravery in writing this book is astounding. I cried multiple times while reading this, thinking of all that...

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She Reads Truth – Philippians

Philippians – the Epistle of Joy – and this shines through in this book, even from the very front cover – what joy! Philippians is a book of the Bible that I thought I knew quite well – it’s very quotable and has lots of verses which can be a huge encouragement. But I don’t think I’ve ever read the book as a whole – as it was intended – a letter. So I really appreciated having a couple...

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