New book: Isaiah for You

Every September I would ask The Good Book Company if I could write Isaiah for You in their God’s Word for You series. The time wasn’t right, but they never quite said No. So I would ask again the following year. Eventually they said Yes, and here it is.

The book covers the whole of Isaiah in 13 chapters. Each chapter gives an overview of a discrete section, though most chapters then focus on one particular passage that exemplifies the message of the section. There’s also a “reader’s guide” with a paragraph on each chapter of Isaiah to give a bit guidance to those who are reading through Isaiah chapter-by-chapter.

Here’s the publisher’s blurb:

Isaiah can seem intimidating. It’s a big book covering an extended timescale, full of unfamiliar names and places. You may be familiar with Isaiah’s vision of God’s holiness in chapter 6 or his description of the cross in chapter 53. But large sections can feel like alien territory.

But the book of Isaiah is full of good news. Forming a kind of bridge between the Old Testament and the New Testament, Isaiah enlarges our view of God, sharpens our understanding of salvation and illuminates our Bible reading. It points forward to Jesus and fuels our vision for the church and our mission. This is good news worth shouting about!

This expository guide by pastor and author Tim Chester takes you verse by verse through the text in a digestible and applied way. Each chapter focuses on a key text and shows how its themes play out in the surrounding passages, helping you to drill down into the details while also seeing the big picture. You’ll find ideas and challenges for application throughout, plus a helpful glossary at the back.

It is less academic than a traditional commentary and includes lots of application. It can be read from cover to cover, used in personal devotions, used to lead small group studies, or used for sermon preparation.

There is an accompanying Good Book Guide available.

And here’s a link to an extract.

It’s available here from The Good Book Company and all good book stores!

New books: Bitesize biographies

Just published by Evangelical Press are a set of short bitesize biographies that I’ve written. They look at the lives of six inspiring and interesting men and women from across the centuries. Each book is designed to be read in just an hour or two. The people covered are:

  • Aidan of Lindisfarne
  • John Wycliffe
  • Lady Jane Grey
  • Mary Jones
  • Thomas Cranmer
  • William Tyndale

Here’s an endorsements from Michael Haykin, Professor of Church History at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary:

“The stories of the lives of God’s people are central to his work in history. As the many mini-biographies and numerous names in Scripture testify, God is interested in the men and women and children his hands have created, their lives and their aspirations, and he longs for them each to know him and live for his glory. Little wonder, then, that God has used the writing and reading of such biographies for the edification of his people and the furtherance of his kingdom and the promotion of his glory. Here we have six such mini-biographies: their lives run over the course of a thousand years in differing worlds and with differing personalities, but all six of them saints and each of them a monument to divine grace. Read, and be blessed!”

The biographies are available from 10ofThose and Amazon.

They would make a great Christmas present!

New children’s song: Jesus is the resurrection

Michael J Tinker has a new song out called “Jesus is the resurrection” for which I wrote the lyrics …

 

Now Martha knew the Lord could heal –
he was the only one.
But he came late to save his mate
and now her hope was gone.
Her brother Lazarus had died
and where was Christ her Lord?
She had no clue what he could do
through his almighty word.

     Jesus is the resurrection,
     Jesus is the, Jesus is the life.

When Mary came to meet the Lord,
her cheeks were wet with tears.
Her clothes were torn, her face forlorn,
her mind was filled with fears.
When Jesus saw her without hope
his heart was deeply stirred:
she had no clue what he could do
through his almighty word.

When Jesus stood before the grave
he gave a mighty shout.
And from the gloom within the tomb
the dead man wandered out!
And everyone was blown away
by what just had occurred:
for now they knew what he could do
through his almighty word.

You can buy it from Michael’s website: michaeljtinker.com/shop

or any of the following …

Bandcamp: https://michaeljtinker.bandcamp.com/…/jesus-is-the…

iTunes: https://music.apple.com/…/jesus-is-the…/1558491813

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jesus…/dp/B08Z2QGWNY/

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/63WuyqJIyCt4aOf0uuGfp3…

And here’s a song-along lyrics video …

New song: A Fountain from the Crucified

Here’s a new song which I wrote with Phil Moore and Glen Scrivener. It’s loosely based on themes from John 4:13-14 and 4:34-38 (with a dash of Jeremiah 2:13).

Phil has recorded it for an Easter collection of songs on a CD with readings and a short talk by Glen. It’s been produced with 10ofThose and is designed to be given away to friends and neighbours as a way to share the gospel, especially among those who are unable to attend meetings. A CD costs £2.99 or you can buy multiple copies for as little as £1. It’s available here.

 

New Psalter: Psalms for the Church

New PsalterI was delighted to receive a copy of the New Psalter last week courtesy of Dan Kreider and Grace Music. It’s a collection of musical settings of the Psalms with at least one setting for every Psalm (including one for every section of Psalm 119). It comes in cloth bound and spiral bound versions as well as an online version (which presumably you can use under your CCLI licence).

My first impression on opening the parcel was that this is a thing of beauty – stitched and bound in red cloth with silver writing. It’s a delight to hold it and read it. It’s not the most important thing, perhaps, but I appreciate these things, especially in a book I’ll use on a regular basis. It’s a mystery to me how they can sell this for just $13.

The New Psalter is a great mix of old and new settings, ranging from strict metrical settings to freer settings – or, to put it another way, from the Scottish Psalter to the Gettys. There’s also a mix of new and familiar tunes – tunes most congregations will already know. Even the new tunes are mostly hymns with a regular metre that people should be able to pick up quickly.

Over the past few years we’ve included a Psalm (or more often a portion of the Psalm) in our Sunday gathering in some form. That might be in the call to worship or to preface our corporate confession. The New Psalter significantly expands those options, enabling congregations to sing the set Psalm each week. And what I love most about the New Psalter is that it offers a genuinely and readily sing-able version of every Psalm. It does deliver on the promise implicit in the subtitle: “Psalms for the Church”. In many cases the tune will already be familiar to a congregation.

I’ve also been using it in my personal devotions. I usually read a Psalm each morning and evening, and over the past few days I’ve been using the New Psalter to mix this up by singing some of them.

The spiral bound version has guitar chords (for those of us used to playing from lead sheets), though not the cloth bound version. The online version also offers the option of a PDF with guitar chords.

The good news is that Grace Music recently has started shipping to the UK (though it’s not cheap for small orders).

Finally, one bit of trivia. Every Psalm has at least one setting. Some have two or three, and few have more. But which Psalm do you think has the largest number of settings in this collection? Answer: Psalms 91 – with seven separate versions.

For more information go to: https://gracemusic.us/psalter/.