Stepping Stones through the Bible day by day compiled by Ian Rees; published 2008 by Precious Seed Publications; available from John Ritchie Ltd; 384 pages; price £15.00.
Stepping Stones is the latest arrival in the highly popular Day by Day series.
This beautifully produced book is specifically designed for families and children. It comes with the additional benefit of a free CD-ROM (Windows XP or Vista) in order to access all the readings from your computer if you so wish.
In the Foreword, Ian Rees states the purpose of Stepping Stones. His expressed desire is that the reader will not only gain a greater understanding of Gods dealings with the human race but will be drawn closer to God.
With this in view, Stepping Stones sets out to show that God wants us to know: what He is like, what we are like, and how to please Him. The Compiler observes, "So it is important to read the Bible regularly, that we may begin to know God, know ourselves, and know Gods will for us". Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version.
This is a very presentable book with a flexible laminated cover complete with headbands and tailbands and is beautifully illustrated throughout with full-colour drawings by Honor Ayers. A useful ribbon marker is also included.
Stepping Stones follows the time-line of the Bible. Each day commences with a daily reading passage, then a highlighted Bible verse is followed by relevant comments and practical applications.
A "prayer bubble" contains a prayer for each day. For example, "Thank God for your parents and ask Him to continue to give them help, wisdom and love for each other".
Stepping Stones is ideal for use at breakfast or before bed-time to give vital instruction from the Bible to children on a daily basis. "The Bible gives us good advice and a strong hope that what we teach our children now will remain with them forever Proverbs 22.6".
The Coat of Many Colours by David Craig; published 2008 by Gospel Folio Press; available from John Ritchie Ltd; 276 pages; price £11.99.
As the sub-title indicates, this book presents "a devotional study of the life of Joseph".
In the Foreword, the author relates how he shared in a gospel campaign with the late Mr Fred Bingham in Ballymena. During that period of rich blessing, David Craig preached nightly on episodes from the life of Joseph. It was these messages that formed the basis for this book.
David Craig never loses sight of the Lord. He states, "The end in view of this whole project is that He might be glorified, the affections of the Christian wrapped more firmly around Him, and that those who have not as yet owned Him as Saviour and Lord, will do so".
The book is divided into fifty-five chapters with titles such as: The Dreamer Becomes a Seeker; The Drama of Dothan; and Josephs Triumphant End. Each intriguing episode is shown to contain the contrasts of love and hatred; corruption and purity; humiliation and exaltation; denial and confession; retribution and forgiveness; famine and plenty.
In the chapter entitled "The Unexpected Interrogation", dealing with the meeting between Joseph and his brothers, the focus fixes upon the brothers. The author describes how, "Conscience was lashing them without mercy They were back at Dothan and the shrieks and cries of a terrified Joseph was thundering on the ears of their souls".
Drawing from a wealth of knowledge, David Craig uses relevant illustrations and verses of poetry throughout the book. There is also an extensive Scripture Index included to facilitate further study.
The author, relishing the enjoyment of his studies, concludes by saying, "It is with great reluctance I lay down my pen, and say farewell to The Coat of Many Colors. I pray that the lessons learned from him who wore it, will live with the Christian and produce a godliness of life and character that shall merit the Lords approval". This book is well worth reading and is a classic in its field.