books
Book Reviews 






 

Book Review by Christine Seabridge

 

The Shed That fed A Million Children
By Mangnus MacFarlane-Barrow

 

 

This book tells the story of Mary’s Meals (a charity supported by our Ladies’ Friendship Group). The author was originally a fish farmer in Scotland who set up a charity called Scottish International Relief which later became Mary’s Meals.

Run from a leaning shed on his father’s farm and Retreat Centre, Magnus organized his first parcels of aid to Bosnia Herzogovina, which changed his life. The charity took clothes, food, toiletries and medical equipment.

Years later in Malawi, the author met a fourteen year old boy whose answer to the question as to what his hopes and ambitions were, was pivotal to the future of the charity – “I would like to have enough food to eat and I would like to go to school one day”.

Over the years, in many poor countries throughout the world it was found that children were too weak from lack of food to attend what random schooling there was.  In countries such as Bosnia, Africa, India, Haiti to name but a few, the same story emerged of extreme poverty, failed crops and sickness.  Once the children received their 1 meal of “Porridge”, their energy levels improved enough for them to attend school. 

Magnus encountered very many people, sent by God to help him and the charity in time of need.  His work was always guided by his faith.

There is now an updated version of this book entitled The Shed that fed 2 Million Children.  Mary’s Meals now serve nourishing food in 19 countries world-wide and look forward to continue fulfilling the need wherever it arises.

Written in a straightforward style, his original book is a compelling read and is available in the Church Library. 

 

 

All Things New  by  Peter Hughes

 

Pete Hughes, together with his wife Bee, leads Kings Cross Church in Central London.  He is also an inspirational speaker at festivals and conferences.

This book is written with the passionate certainty that God is absolutely making all things new. Kings Cross Church (KXC) was planted in 2010 in that expectancy.
 In compelling, fresh and page-turning style Pete takes us through the Bible, in 6 parts, using the themes of Creation, through De-Creation to Re-Creation starting at Genesis and ending at Revelation. These 3 themes are used many times as a very effective way to illustrate his writing. The first example is Humanity (at the beginning of Creation), the Fall into Sin (De-Creation, separating earth and heaven) and the ministry of Jesus uniting what has been divided (Re-Creation) The book reinforces our part in this story in that God is present in all aspects of our lives.
Kings Cross Church was launched at a time of financial crisis amid many personal and financial challenges but Pete held on to the promise “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion” (Phil 1:6).  The story of the people of Israel is used as an example of mankind’s story fulfilled in the life and death of Jesus thus fulfilling the Old Testament prophesies. Pete felt that God positioned KXC to bring hope for His people in the community.
The author emphasizes that God’s doing shapes our being by coming to suffer and have compassion on His people.  If our lives mirror the story of Jesus’ life, we should be also become compassionate, courageous and creative.  This book tells of a Biblical drama we can all take part in, wherever we are. With positive enthusiasm for immersion in the Scriptures, Pete once more states that God announces in Rev 21:22 “I am making everything new”, bringing hope to people looking for an alternative life story. Re-Creation. 
 

Dirty Glory         Pete Grieg

 
 

 

September 7th this year saw the 21st anniversary of the 24-7 movement.  This book follows on from Pete Grieg’s Red Moon Rising.  In page turning fashion Pete recounts the movement’s adventures in some of the challenging, dangerous places in the world, facing frightening situations.  At the time this book was written, 24-7 had impacted 12,000 locations and millions of people.
 
Maintaining that Christianity is not about religion but a real prayerful relationship with God, many examples are given of God’s miraculous provision in dire situations as a direct result of prayer.
 
One of the most striking facts that comes through in this account is that 24-7 always said “yes” to whatever God asked them to do; even at times when it made no sense practically or financially, relying on their absolute faith in Him.
 
Despite the international success of 24-7, Pete still opines that “there is much hard work still to be done when the majority of people in our generation are turning their backs on Jesus”.
 
Powerfully written, the honesty of this book encourages the reader to be part of the excitement of acknowledging the relevance of God in everyday life in our modern world.