Free Audiobook

Compelling InterestChristianAudio.com is giving away free downloads of Roger Resler’s Compelling Interest through the entire month of January.

Roger Resler is an author, media producer and researcher. Roger’s background is in radio and audio production. He has been an announcer, DJ, news, producer, production director, account executive and station manager for several radio stations in three states. He was also an audio editor for Focus On the Family.

From ChristainAudio’s site,

In Compelling Interest, author Roger Resler draws on original sources, including the actual transcripts for oral arguments, the majority and minority opinions, and comments by the lawyers and others involved to take a careful look at the real story behind the historic Roe v. Wade decision.

Resler includes conversations with experts, including sociology professor Dr. William Brennan, the late Dr. Mildred Jefferson and Dr. Carolyn Gerster who co-founded the National Right to Life Committee, prolific author and speaker Randy Alcorn, bioethics professor Dr. Gerard Magill, perinatologist Dr. James Thorp, and photojournalist Michael Clancy.

MACP Audio Now Online

Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary has now made the audio of this year’s Mid-America Conference on Preaching available for free download.

The conference theme for this year was “The Mystery of Christ: God’s Glory among the Gentiles.” The online resources include MP3 audio files of all general sessions and workshops, along with PDF files of all workshop notes. Presentations cover two primary areas: (1) Dispensational-Theological Issues; and (2) Preaching-Church Ministry Issues. Digital resources from previous conferences are also available online.

Free Jerry Bridges E-Book

Amazon is giving away free downloads of Jerry Bridges’ new book, True Community: The Biblical Practice of Koinonia (NavPress 2012). The free download is a kindle edition, but you can read it on your PC or tablet with amazon’s free software. Here’s what the back cover has to say:

Fellowship among believers is more than just talking over coffee after church service. Biblical fellowship in New Testament times—or koinonia—had rich and varied meanings, including covenant relationship, partnership in the gospel, communion with God and others, and the sharing of earthly possessions.

In True Community, best-selling author Jerry Bridges (The Pursuit of Holiness, Respectable Sins, Trusting God) explores koinonia and the practical implications it has for today’s church. With discussion questions at the end of each chapter, this book will help you dig deeper into what Christian community in the twenty-first century should look like. You will come away with a new appreciation for fellowship, the church, and what God intended the body of Christ to be.

I haven’t read my copy yet, but I expect it to be an interesting and edifying read. Get yours while it’s free.

 

How to Buy Children’s Books

Children’s books can be expensive, and many are age appropriate for only a few years. If you want shelves full of brand-new books for your children to read, you had better be ready to spend some serious dough. Many parents decide to buy children’s books used because–as with children’s clothes–they are quickly outgrown. Unfortunately, even when bought used, children’s books can still be expensive.

Erasmus said, “When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.” Hopefully, these tips will ensure you always have enough money to buy your kids books…and food.

1. Find Bulk Deals on Books

While you can get great deals on books at thrift stores and yard sales, you can get even better deals if you buy in bulk. See a box of gently used children’s books at a yard sale? Instead of picking out a few at fifty cents apiece, offer them five dollars for the box. Check with your local library to see when they have their annual book sale. Often you can fill up a whole bag for a few bucks. Also check thrift stores in your area or when traveling. Many will offer bag deals that will allow you to get as many books as you can fit in a plastic grocery bag for $3-7 dollars. Even if such a deal isn’t posted, ask if they ever hold such a sale.

2. Buy Books to Use and Trade

So you’ve found a bag sale. Make the most of it. Start with getting your bag. Not all bags are created equal. If the sale has a box of bags for you to serve yourself, take a couple seconds (not minutes) to look through the box. Plastic bags from restaurants and clothing stores are bigger. If the sale offers you a large paper bag for a couple bucks more, the paper is usually a much better deal. Grab two bags and start filling.

There are a lot of great children’s books out there. You can afford to be picky. However, at a bag sale, it is unlikely that you will be able to fill your bag with books you want. I rarely find more than five books I want to keep. So what to do with the rest of the space in your bag? Buy books that other people will want.

Start with the children’s section because that’s what you came there for anyway. Look for anything in reasonably good condition by Disney, Boynton, Carle, Curious George, Beginner Books (Cat in the Hat logo on spine), or anything with a Movie/TV connection. Look also for board books in good condition, especially if they have some unusual (and undamaged) feature.

Skip the young adult for the time being and head for the paperbacks. Fiction works tend to hold their value better in paperback than in hardcover. Look for popular authors. Trade paperbacks are more valuable. Romance novels are generally worthless unless they are about Amish people (I don’t know why, but there seems to be a big market for them. Personally, however, I avoid romance entirely). If an author is super-popular like John Grisham, get only his most recent stuff and perhaps some older stuff if they have new covers. Never buy books with clipped corners or stamped “not for resale” as a bookstore probably gave them away for free at some point.

In the hardcovers, don’t buy anything without a dust jacket in reasonably good shape. Also, don’t buy anything that is a book club edition. These editions are slightly smaller and virtually worthless (however, some authors like Nicholas Sparks write shorter works that are always published in this size). As a general rule, never buy a book that was withdrawn from library circulation (contrary to popular opinion, library sales are usually comprised mostly of donated books rather than withdrawn books). Nonfiction hardcovers will generally be your most valuable finds, but there’s a fickle art to picking out the right ones.

Young adult books tend not to hold much value. However, you might consider picking up books with Movie/TV connections and popular series like Choose Your Own Adventure, Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, and Hardy Boys. Remember that your child will one day be old enough for these, so you might want to keep some.

Remember I said to pick up two bags? Once both bags are loosely filled. Take out all the books and stack them according to their size. Place the two largest stacks in the bag and fill in around the sides. Stretch the bag to its limit and then double bag. Believe me, you can fit an amazing number of books in a single bag.

3. Trade the Books You Don’t Want

Take your unwanted books to a used bookstore. Since most towns have more than one, go to the one with the nicest selection first. They probably won’t take all the books you bring them. Take the rejected ones to the next nicest etc.

This year I’ve bought four bags of books at a cost of $16 (two for $3 each, two for $5 each). In the four bags, I got about twenty books I wanted (at less than a dollar per book). In addition, I got about $100 worth of trade credit at local bookstores.

Of course, most towns also have well stocked public library, but a personal children’s library can be a great help in teaching your children to love reading.

Have any tips for buying books or reading to your children? Let me know!

Free Audio Bible

Amazon is giving away a Free ESV New Testament Audio Bible. The Bible is in MP3 format which will allow you to listen to it on most personal media players.

I’m a big fan of audio books and especially audio Bibles. While an audio Bible will not allow you to easily read a passage over and over to meditate on it, the audio format will allow you to hear the book as a whole and grasp the big picture.

There are two downsides to Amazon’s free version. First, it is dramatized with somewhat annoying electronically generated music in the background. Second, the reading talent isn’t quite on par with what you would expect from professional audiobooks. However, since it’s free, you really can’t beat the price, and if the shortcomings of this version get on your nerves, you can always go out and buy something better.

Also, if you prefer the King James Version, Amazon has both the Old and New Testaments for free download as well as a number of other translations and versions.

Free Monthly Magazine

The Institute for Creation Research (ICR) publishes a free monthly magazine called Acts and Facts. Each issue is full-color and contains scholarly yet accessible articles about science and the Bible.

ICR has been a long-time advocate for taking the Genesis 1-2 creation account to mean that God created the world in six literal twenty-four hour days and the Genesis 6-8 narrative as referring to a worldwide flood.

Free Christian Audiobook

ChristianAudio is offering Eric Liddell’s The Disciplines of the Christian Life for free this month. Liddell was a Scottish athlete, rugby union international player, and missionary to China. He is perhaps most well known as the subject of the 1981 Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire, which depicted his experiences training and racing in the Olympics and the religious convictions that influenced him. In his book about spiritual disciplines, he outlines his own pattern for living which has as its foundation a daily Bible reading plan.