Some of our friends have recommend a few titles to keep us engaged through lockdown and we wanted to share these with you. Have a look – if any appeal to you, it’s not too late to add them to your list…

We’re trying hard to shop local and independent. That might not always be possible where you live, so check out the new online, independent bookshop, which you can visit wherever you are. Browse their online bookshop here.

Wrestling with Rest

Busyness is a sickness of the soul that affects many today–and it is especially detrimental to young people, who are finding their identity shaped by ongoing resume-building, constant digital communication, and unceasing activity. The last thing they have time for is rest. But rest–Sabbath–is necessary for youth, not just because of who they are socially, emotionally, and physiologically, but because of who God has made them to be and wants them to be.

Nathan Stucky shows that rest challenges youth whose identities are rooted in productivity, efficiency, achievement, and accom­plishment. For them, the notion of Sabbath grace both appeals and disorients. Yet through the Sabbath, God invites young people into an identity rooted and grounded in the grace, life, and provision of God. Wrestling with Rest offers biblical and practical advice for helping youth to discover their God-given identity, in which they can truly find rest.

Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo

About six months ago I heard a snippet from Marie Forleo as she was interviewed on TV. She was talking about her philosophy (and new book) based on the premise that ‘everything is figureoutable.’ I misremembered the phrase, but found myself returning again and again to the idea that everything is figureoutable (or workoutable as I remembered it). I wrote the phrase on a chalkboard in the hall and have been thinking all year about the difference this makes to everyday tasks and personal issues. I recently bought the book and, although quite American cheerleading in style, the basic belief is sound and life enhancing. Working in the field of mental health, this simple mantra has potential to calm panic and reduce anxiety while encouraging trust in self and others.

Reviewed by Catherine Wallace (Diaconate Secretary)

The Possibility of Prayer by John Starke

During these last nine months we have been told repeatedly that we are living in ‘unprecedented times’. However, I’ve come to the realisation that a better description is that this has been an ‘unrelenting’ time. Therefore, it was incredibly refreshing to read ‘The Possibility of Prayer’ by John Starke as he encouraged me to stop, to pause and to pray. I was reminded that prayer isn’t always easy, but it is essential for every single follower of Jesus. It’s not only a book that taught me more, but also made me love God more and re-energised my own prayer life.

Reviewed by Andrew Rooney

Voices Out of Lockdown edited by Jan Sutch Pickard

I have reached for this short book on multiple occasions this year, when I’ve been searching for words to share in public worship, or for words of comfort and perspective in my own devotional life. In particular, the Haikus by Elaine Gisbourne, written out of her experience of being a Physiotherapist in a Hospice, have a rawness and a directness which I find compelling and moving. Meeting people in this book who can articulate the grief and yet also see the hope in the midst of the despair of lockdown has been a liberation for me. Highly recommended.

Reviewed by Ruth Harvey

Limitless: God's Creative Mandate for His Church by Charity Bowman Webb

God’s Kingdom continues to advance…. If you have ever walked through an armoury of the Spirit, the weapons may have surprised you. Amongst the classic swords and shields did anyone happen to see a song, a paint brush or a dancers shoe, a skilful spreadsheet, an architect’s plans or a business strategy? From the shelves of heaven the creative mandate is being dusted off and returned to the earth. Timely defining of our creative DNA lies in God’s outstretched hand. There are two directives: there is the general outpouring of Kingdom Creativity available to all believers to energize their lives and areas of influence producing new solution, strategy and innovation. There is also the calling of the Creative Warriors, the artisans who combine skill and anointing for specific reason. The hour strikes a wakeup call for both and their intertwining purposes in the nations. Strategic objectives in the times that lie ahead. This book seeks to unpack those directives, blowing away the foggy mists of forgotten purpose, revealing one of the greatest weapons bestowed upon the church, the creative power of God.

Reviewed by Hannah Sanderson

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