Mentoring 101 by John C. Maxwell

So I am officially 6 months in to my time working here at Carmel Christian Bookshop, it has been a great time, I suppose it is more than just working in a Bookshop as I work for a Church and am involved in running the Youth Ministry.

However I can not underplay the impact working in a bookshop has had, firstly I can exercise my passion for Business, ‘change’ and ‘communication’, from Uni being my most interested subjects.

So I guess it is no wonder that my favourite author is now John Maxwell. I loved ‘Everyone communicates, few connect’ it has altered my teaching style like nothing before.

The 101 Books are a must for any Maxwell fan and any newbies to leadership/Teamwork/Performance/Self Improvement reading/development, hence I have loaned a copy of Attitude 101 to my  18 year old volunteer Craig – he enjoyed ‘The Fred Factor’ (Mark Sanborn) So I am pushing him to go through these manageable 101 books. Thus adhering to the whole premise of the teaching of the book and man, to add to others and to give them what they need to grow.

He says…….

“My succeess can be acheived only with others

My lessons can only be learned from others

My weakness can only be strengthened by others

My servanthood can only be tested under others leadership

My inflence can only be focussed on others

My best can be given only to others

My legacy can be left only to others

So I should commit to and celebrate others!”

(From page 115)


Courageous Movie Review

Movie Review

So i was a little hesitant about getting too excited about this Movie, some Christian films havn’t been the best, I found the acting in Fireproof a little off putting. Not to mention Des my buddy from my Lifegroup telling me under no circumstances are we allowed to watch Courageous for a social night, he implied it would be cringy and too perfect!

To be honest it is the storyline that needs telling and the heart of the Gospel, that we as Fathers and Mothers are to stand up and love our children in to relationship not just with us as the parent but with their heavenly Father also, it …is really well portrayed. I was very very impressed with Courageous, it made me want to be Courageous and really grabbed my attention when during the fight seen I wanted to get up and beat the ‘crap’ out of the baddy (in a Godly way) But serious it made me want to go and do something about my skinny arms, about my lack of fight and enthusiasm I wanted to stand up for what is true – and that’s what it’s all about!

It seems some of the actors have had some extra classes now which made it so enjoyable to watch, the 2 main guys who I think were in Fireproof owned this performance they really wore their heart on their sleeve and Mel Norfolk I’ll even concede that a tear came to my eye too and on too many occasions actually! – so it’s not just Michael lol!

The Spanish couple were my fav’s they were hilarious to begin with. I thought they were gonna ruin the film with their funny accent but ‘Javi Rodriguez’ (if that is your real name?) became my favorite character.

So yeah it is well worth watching, these films are getting better and better!

Why the Kindle Can Be a Brick and Mortar Bookstore’s Best Friend

From a blog I read last night from Dave Almack (, a very good way at looking at these attacks on the bookshop – maybe there not attacks!

Recently there has been a lot of talk about the demise of the printed book and the disappearance of the brick and mortar bookstore.  As an avid reader myself and one who has read entire books on a Kindle now, I actually think the rise of the e-reader devices may be a boon to small independent brick and mortar bookstores if they can see the silver lining in the clouds ahead.  Here are some reasons that e-reader devices may actually benefit your favorite local bookstore:

1. E-reader owners read more books.  This can only be a good thing as more book reading should produce more book buying.  The most important marketing tool that any small business relies on is word of mouth.  If your best customers (avid book readers) are reading more, they will recommend more.  If they recommend more, people will be more likely to buy the books that are recommended in both an e-book and physical form.

2. E-reader owners buy more books.  The data now shows that e-reader owners not only read more books, they buy more books.  In many cases they are downloading books for free on their Kindles and then buying the “real” book in a bookstore or on-line if they actually like they book.  Why would they do this – both to have the book as a keep sake and to give away.

3. Avid book readers were not always a bookstore’s best customers anyway – contrary to popular opinion, some of my best friends that loved to read were not my best customers.  They often used the local library as their primary source of books because they could not afford to purchase as many books as they wanted to read.  When they found a book they really liked, they did buy it and made sure I knew so that I could consider keeping a few in stock.

4.  E-reader data can help with better inventory management of new titles – One of the biggest challenges in running a small independent bookstore is making bets on new books that are coming out.  With so many titles to choose from, it is easy to make a bad decision and get stuck with too many books on the shelf from an author you thought would sell well.  Now you can wait until a book comes out and watch the sales data on Amazon in both print and digital forms to see what is actually selling in real time and react accordingly.  Given the fact that we can get books within 24 hours in many cases, we have the ability to curate both our front and back lists much more effectively.

5. We can spend inventory dollars more effectively on core back list– our core back list titles that have been our bread and butter will only become even more important in this digital age.  E-reader owners, who are more likely to have been avid book readers in the first place, are prone to be the first to try new books and to have more diverse and even obscure tastes in books.  In the past we had to be sure to stock a wider selection of new books and a deeper selection of back list to keep these customers coming back to our stores.  As these folks switch more and more to a digital only reading habit, we can focus our limited resources on great books that continue to sell well every day and supplement them with new books that already have a proven track record on-line.

6.  The E-reading experience is actually reminding some people why they loved the physical book experience in the first place.  Some of the earliest adopters of the Kindle and other e-reader devices as now actually discontinuing their digital reading habits and switching back to physical books again.  This is not because e-readers are simply a fad (I do believe e-readers are here to stay), but because many of us that are avid readers also value the tactile experience of turning printed pages, enjoy the simplicity of turning off our latest gadget and have had enough of “screen time” in our daily lives.

As a bookstore guy, I am now encouraged more than ever that e-readers devices can be our friends and not just the enemy to be ignored, avoided or even castigated.  With every new technology challenge that we face, there will also be opportunities to exploit.  On-line retailers reminded us of our special role are curators of content and helped us to improve our unique in store selections.  Big Box stores reminded us that while a good selection of books is important, the right selection of books is even more important.  Mass Merchandisers like Wal-Mart reinforced the reality that our customers need good prices and helped us to become more price competitive and even innovate with bargain book sections and value priced books everyday.  This new e-book challenge will only do the same as we remind people daily that there is nothing quite like the feeling of holding, smelling, reading and enjoying a physical book and then giving one to a friend.

Why Christians Get Sick – Rev. George H. Malkmus

This seems to be the way I review a book, very much in note format, to address the main stand out points that attain to me or what I can teach at a later date….I hope you find it usable to take the best bits of what the book is saying and to read it yourself and be suitably inspired as I was – it was an ever endearing read!

Page 51- Traditional Reasons

-Poisons are added to our food while being grown, processing, to our drinking water,

Most of the nutrients in milk are destroyed during processing.

-Flour not only has the nutrients removed, but then it is bleached and has artificial nutrients added.

-Meat and eggs are tampered with.


Page 60- Drugs and the Medical Profession

-A drug says websters dictionary is a “substance other than food intended to affect the structure or function of the body”

-Health comes only when the body is provided with the proper materials to cleanse the poisons from the systems and rebuild new, living, strong, vital, vibrant cells.

-God made a body that is self-healing and will heal itself when given the opportunity!


Page 75- Other Drugs.

-Caffeine causes a multitude of problems, stimulant, effects are mental depression, nerve exhaustion, decreased muscular power, and damage to the liver and kidneys. Irritates the lining of the stomach, leading to ulcers, gastritis, even miscarriages etc.

-Sugar, sucrose very addictive and causes social problems, especially in children!

– Salt, we only need trace levels of salt, otherwise are body will try to get rid of it.


Page 83- Insufficient Exercise.

– Made to be active, physical hard work!

– Getting food was supposed to be work. Raise own food supply!

– Convenience food is killing us in two ways.

– Without daily, vigorous exercise, tissue cells lose their elasticity. Also lymph cannot move adequately to cleanse and feed body calls. Muscles atrophy (decrease in size or waste away!!!!!)


Page 93- Stress and Negative Emotions.

– Improving one’s physical health through diet and vigorous exercise will lead to more positive emotion.

– We become what we program in to our brain.

– Christians ought really to be the healthiest and happiest people on the face of the earth.


Page 101- The Violations of Gods Natural Law.

– Sickness is not natural but are the body’s efforts to cleanse and heal itself after natural laws have been violated.

– Each person is accountable for his or her own physical breakdowns.


Chapter 10- God’s Natural Laws for Health.

– Gods Moral Law

–  ignorance of Hods Natural Laws

– Pure Air

– Pure Water

– Pure Living Food

– Vigouros Exercise

– Abundant Sunshine

– Adequate rest

– Positive Thinking


Chapter 11 – It’s time to do something about it

– to avoid cancer…..

– Eat more high fibre foods such as fruit and veg and whole cereals.

– Dark green and deep yellow fruits and veg rich in vit a and c.

– Broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi and cauliflower.

– Moderate in salt cured, smoked, nitrate cured foods.

– Cut down total fat from animal sources and fats and oils.


Avoiding heart problems

– less meat more poultry and fish.

– nonfat milk instead of whole milk.

– less butterfat, egg, other high cholestral.

– Less sugar and salt.

The way of the Heart: Henri Nouwen

The book is split into 3 sections Solitude, Silence and Prayer, my favorite were the first two, so hear are some notes that I made about a book that was so absorbing I finished it within 24hrs……..


Anger: Pastors are angry at their leaders for not leading and at their followers for not following. They are angry at those who do not come to church for not coming and angry at those who do come for coming without enthusiasm. They are angry at their families, who make them feel guilty, and angry at themselves for not being who they want to be. This is not an open, blatant, roaring anger, but an anger hidden behind the smooth word, the smiling face, and the polite handshake. It is a frozen anger, an anger which settles into a biting resentment and slowly paralyses a generous heart. If there is anything that makes the ministry look grim and dull, it is this dark, insidious anger in the servants of Christ. Pg15

For us solitude most often mean privacy. We have come to the dubious conviction that we all have a right to privacy. Pg17

Without such a dessert we will lose our own soul while preaching the gospel to others. Pg21.


Too often our words are superfluous, inauthentic, and shallow. It is a good discipline to wonder in each new situation if people wouldn’t be better served by our silence than our words.

Silence is above all a quality of the heart that can stay with us even in our conversation with others. It is a portable cell that we carry with us wherever we go.

From it we speak to those in need and to it we return after our words have born fruit. Pg55

This years Reading List….


  • Today Matters – John Maxwell – Which started this whole mission of reading and growth!


  • Getting your kids through church – Rob Parsons
  • Getting fired for the glory of God – Mike Yaconelli


  • Why Christians get sick – George Malkmus
  • The way of the Heart – Henri Nouwen
  • Darkest England & the way back in – Gary Bishop
  • 5 Secrets Great Dads know – Paul Coughlin
  • Humility – The Journey Towards Holiness – Andrew Murray


  • Spiritual Leadership – Oswald Sanders

Vision for 2012 and beyond:

We know that we have been blessed by being birthed in the local Church and we have no desire to leave the loving arms of the Church. It is or belief that only bookstores in this environment will continue to exist. So the main thrust of our future would be in Bristol in establishing ourselves as an oasis of peace and hope in our city, to be able to pick up a book to strengthen you in your Christian walk and a place to be encouraged by what the Church at large is doing.

We want to open a Coffee Shop downstairs within the bookshop this year, so that people can stay and enjoy a longer experience within our company.  We also are looking for life groups to meet in our premises more and more this year, so that an environment of life and excitement will embody our space. Shamus and I are really looking forward to the out working of this vision, it really will be an awesome place to meet wether you are young or old, Christians need that place to be able to come and relate, to bond and exhort oneself and others, this is the uniqueness of our faith, that no matter what background or upbringing we are all ‘one’ in Christ and it is this that will be an encouragement to the dying society around us. We must rally together in our communities and know our position in Christ! We cannot let the convenience of the Internet destroy our Christian community!

On top of this we know that we have to embrace an online presence, it is not enough for us to close our attention to it and think it will go away, we will do the very opposite, we will embrace it and do all we can to be the best website one can possibly use, never to under mind the local bookshop but to give a viable option online to the more faceless alternatives of Amazon and Eden. The opportunity for the customer in choosing to use us, is that all of our profit, goes to the local Church, to benefiting our community and equipping the body to win souls for His Kingdom. We do not need to raise money for shareholders or managers we are run by the Church for the Church. We pray that our vision would be your vision in this and in this the Church would rise up and take its rightful place in the UK!

Thank you for reading, please pray for us.