There have been two occasions in the last few weeks where I have just ‘popped in’ to my local Christian bookshop, and then found that the heavy rain has trapped me there for some time. On neither of those days was I particularly irritated, being happy to browse the magazines, music, Bibles, commentaries, books on Christian living, children’s material, DVDs and finding much more there than I could afford to purchase.
Our local Christian bookshop keeps its website up to date, and is worth a visit even if you’re not a resident of our town, as it is very well-stocked and has such a range of resources. Now that I am a father, I know that there are children’s Bible story books and children’s Bible story books – yes, some are much better than others. Recently I have been thinking that Veggie Tales might well be a good way of introducing Bible stories in a fun way to a five year-old, and they’re on DVD now. I have noticed, over the years of visiting the shop, that the DVD selection has indeed now grown and there is a wide range of exciting film productions, as well as a burgeoning section on Christian fiction.
Someone said a few months ago that a clear sign of revival in a location is the number of Christian books that are being read; when we experience personal revival, we know how desperate we become for direction. An intentional visit somewhere with Christian resources, rather than popping in again to Smiths or to Waterstones when you have some time for browsing, is so much more likely to help bring fruit in your life and someone else’s.
For example, in a Christian bookshop you can usually find daily reading notes, tracts for non-Christians, the most recent worship CDs, very good value cards for all occasions, pens and stickers with Christian messages, a wide range of Bibles from children’s to teenage to Study Bibles, guides for leading small groups and Bible studies tailored for them, collections of prayers, music editions of songbooks for musicians, books on evangelism, on preaching, on family life and dealing with difficult issues, as well as quite possibly secondhand books when you are not flush enough to invest in a new one. Why not drop in when it’s raining? At the very least you can bless and encourage the person working there, who will be a Christian!