“Journey to Gracepoint Book Tables” – Episode 2

Over at Gracepoint Berkeley church, when I meet new college students, they often say, “Oh, you’re the bookstore lady” or the “Bibliopolis lady.” To which I say, yup, because I am. 🙂 For those of you who joined our previous episode of “Journey to Gracepoint Book Tables,” you know that some of our churches have book store guys. Today, we journey down the Pacific Coast Highway to lovely Gracepoint Santa Barbara church, whose book table guy this past year has a very Bibliopolis-worthy name.

Kenneth “Biblibalibalopolis” Balibalos is beaming because he sold the most number of books on the Sunday when they launched the Bibliopolis Summer Reading Bingo Challenge! (Do you see anything unusual about this photo?)

While the masculine decor of the book table might not win in the aesthetics department, SB’s book table wins for the most mellifluous/alliterative/tongue-twistery name ever!

Join us for our next episode of Journey to Gracepoint Book Tables!

Recommended Read: 31 Days of Praise

Today’s recommendation comes from Alice of Gracepoint Minneapolis church. She just so happens to be the mom of Mr. Sketch — remember her wonder-ful book review last year? Here is Alice’s recommendation and review of 31 Days of Praise: Enjoying God Anew by Ruth Myers:

I and some sisters on our team have been praying through a book called “31 Days of Praise” by Ruth Myers and wanted to share about how it has been really helping my times of prayer. There are 31 days of prayers specifically praising God, teaching us to give thanks to God literally in all circumstances. What’s been helpful about these prayers is that the wordings of the prayer is down to earth and helps articulate what’s in my heart into words that sometimes I can’t find myself.

So borrowing the words of these prayers that are also based on various scripture and quotes from different Christian authors, has been helping me gain fresh perspectives on who God is, who I am, and just life itself. What’s also been neat is to find that some of these prayers of praise are very timely to what I happened to be facing day to day.

Learning to give praise to God in all circumstances has been helping me keep my eyes off of myself and upon God more than anything. So I just wanted to recommend this prayer book that I think can help many of us deepen a life of thanksgiving and praise to God.

By the way, the author Ruth Myers, was a native of Minnesota and served as a staff for Navigators in Asia for almost 50 years (she passed away in 2010).

Here is a small sample from one of the prayers that I was impacted by today from Day 24:

“Thank You, my loving and sovereign God, that my failures and mistakes are part of the “all things” You work together for good…I rejoice that these things keep reminding me to depend on You with all my heart…that they prompt me to trust in Your love, Your forgiveness, Your power, Your sufficiency, Your ability to overrule, and Your transforming presence within me.  Thank You for the ways that my shortcomings and failures bring pressure on me to open myself to You more fully, and the way they let You show me deep and hidden needs:  griefs and hurts that I’ve never poured out before You, that I’ve never exposed to Your healing touch, and sins that I’ve never faced and acknowledged.  How grateful I am for Your constant cleansing as I confess each sin You make me aware of, and then turn back to You as my Lord.”

Great news for folks at Gracepoint Berkeley church — new and used copies of the book are en route to the bookstore at this very moment, so be on the lookout!  They will be in our Prayer section in the display shelves.

Faith Essentials: A Chinese Book Recommendation

For those of you at Gracepoint Berkeley church, you’ve been getting my book recommendations and email updates when we stock new books in the bookstore. And people have been spreading the word, but I realized those of you at our other Gracepoint ministries might find it useful to hear about some recommendations here.

Going forward, I am going to post those reader recommendations from the bookstore here. And you’ll be able to find them all in the Christian Books category. In the meantime, I will do some retroactive recommendations!

First up, a Chinese language recommendation for what is being referred to as the “little blue book.” The proper title is 信仰要道, which translates to Faith Essentials or Basic ChristianityIt comes highly recommended by Vincent Hu, from Gracepoint Berkeley:

The booklet is made up of 117 short “lessons” that are about 2-4 pages long each. The book covers a wide range of Christian topics like basic biblical beliefs of God, Creation, sin, and salvation, Christian living, apologetics, and answers to some tough sayings presented in the Bible. It’s a great reference to have when you find yourself in need of presenting certain aspects of Christianity in a clear, succinct, and winsome way to Chinese people. It’s also a great resource for new Christians since each lesson is very short and easy to read, and the wide spectrum of topics can really help someone gain a basic biblical worldview rather quickly.

faith essentials or basic christianity

A play on another little book? Perhaps. But it really is little and blue, though some people have told me it’s green. 🙂

Since we have stocked and restocked it in our bookstore, they have been flying off the shelves. If you have an experience using this booklet, please share about it in the comments below!