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Book review – Sergei by Sergei Kourdakov

Sergei, an autobiography by Sergei Kourdakov, is a book that I read multiple times as a teenager. Sergei was a police squad leader whose job was to break up secret meetings of Christians, usually in a most violent way. As a young believer, close in age to some of the persecuted young people mentioned, this book left a massive impression on me, along with a fascination for Russia, her people and captivating history.

With Russia’s name once more popping up more frequently in the news, I decided to re-read this unforgettable true story. Published firstly in 1973 as Sergei, then in other editions as The Persecutor, and Forgive Me, Natasha, this is the life story of Sergei Kourdakov.READ MORE

What Age is the Search for Truth Series suitable for?

I’m told it’s a challenge finding appropriate books for children and young people and I often get asked what age the Search for Truth Series is suitable for. When the idea of writing a fiction novel first began to drift into my thoughts, the age group was one of the first things that I considered. As a child, I had a variety of good, wholesome books to read, and when I got older I was introduced to adult Christian fiction written by authors such as Janette Oke and Lori Wick. My younger brothers, however, had very few options. As teenagers, their Sunday school prizes were generally biographies of great preachers – worthwhile, but not light reading, in many cases. And apparently things haven’t changed very much since then. So, with that in mind, I decided to write for teens, making sure that it was something boys would want to read, though not excluding girls.READ MORE

When God Waits

Waiting. We all know what it’s like, whether simply standing in a queue in a supermarket, or waiting for a phone call, the bride’s arrival at a wedding, results of a medical test, acceptance to a school or job… On most occasions, we know that our waiting will, sooner or later, come to an end. Other times, we don’t know if what we’re waiting for will ever come to pass. We pray, crying to God day after day, but nothing happens. We don’t understand the delay. Wouldn’t what we’re praying for help us to live better lives for God?
A bigger house would mean we could serve others in a much fuller way.
Surely it would be easier to do certain things for God if I was married.
A miraculous cure to this chronic illness would show how great God is.
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Book review – Where we Belong by Lynn Austin

What kind of fiction novel appeals to you? I prefer something a little out of the ordinary, something in an unusual setting, whether in era, culture, country or occupation, than what tends to dominate the bookshop shelves. For this reason, I read romances set in Victorian times pretty sparingly – there’s only so much swooning over tall, dark, handsome gentlemen that I can take! Where We Belong, however, while it is set in Victorian times and contains some romance (although not the main theme of the story by any means), is full of those added elements that make me feel that I’ve not simply been entertained, but actually educated.

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Harry and the Lost Sheep – hardback release, behind-the-scenes and a giveaway!

Harry and the Lost Sheep was published in 2016 and was the first of the Harry books to be released. Quite a few parents have told me that their little ones love it, so I’m very excited that it has just been re-released in a hardback format, and I thought I’d give you a little look behind the scenes. I’m holding a giveaway as well, so read to the end to learn how you can enter.READ MORE

Teens making choices: Daniel – the pressure to conform

Being a teenager is hard! Home life can be hard – maybe you and your parents don’t quite see eye to eye on some issues. School life can be hard – all the exams and study, pressure from teachers, or maybe there’s a classmate who gives you a tough time. Social life can be hard – both online and in the real world – who doesn’t feel the pressure of wanting to fit in? And on top of it all, you’re having to make choices you’ve maybe never faced before.READ MORE

Children’s Bibles – reviews and recommendations

Visit a Christian bookshop, or google ‘children’s Bibles’ and you’ll be faced with a vast array of sizes, shapes and colours of books. How in the world is someone to choose? How can parents or grandparents find a scripturally-sound and easy-to-understand Bible story book to read with the children in their lives? To save you trawling through everything that’s available, I’ve asked some of my friends with young children for their favourite children’s Bibles.READ MORE

Post for teens – Who are you following?

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘follow’? The dictionary says that ‘to follow’ is ‘to go or come after.’ I suspect, however, that as teens and young people, you’re more likely to associate it with forms of social media like Snapchat and Instagram!

While I was researching for this post, I came across an article which listed celebrities who had the largest number of Instagram followers in 2017. Singers, reality TV personalities, and sports stars all made the list. At the top was the actress and singer Selena Gomez… with a cool 130 million followers! To put this into context, 130 million people is almost the whole population of Mexico! And for reference, the UK’s population is 66.5 million. Northern Ireland has a minuscule 1.8 million.READ MORE