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Where I Buy My Books And How
As you may or may not know, I like to read books frequently. I aim at a bare minimum to read one full book a month. From time to time I may add an additional eBook to go alongside. This keeps the mind ticking, it keeps me progressing to where I want to get to and finally is a high valued hobby of mine. I don’t just buy books from anywhere and I always look for the best deals. Time and time again I find that Amazon is the place to go to get my books (later in the article I will tell you how I buy from Amazon).
Usually once a month I go to Amazon and purchase the book I will read for a future month. I purchased a few books a few months back, So I am basically set for the rest of the year. Starting next year I may just buy 12 books in advance and have the reading set out already. What I would then do is purchase books also throughout the year and read them as I please. Some of you may be thinking by now Amazon isn’t nothing special, give me something new. For those of you thinking this way, we will now look at how I buy my books from Amazon. And I will use a few real life examples I have come across.
I have spoken in recent articles about how important recommendation is in today’s world. Many books I read have been recommended from others or by the books I have read. When I want to purchase a book I go to Amazon and search for the book. After finding the book (maybe one time I haven’t found the book). I click on the book and observe the price. What I then do if I haven’t checked reviews prior is read through reviews (good and bad). I want to see what people think about it. Some bad reviews may not be valid for me and vice versa with good reviews. After I have fully decided to buy the book, I immediately click on “USED.” No typo, yes the used section. And scout the price difference. What you will find is, usually the prices are dramatically different (remember I will show you real life examples below). I then look for the book which has a “Like new” or “Very good” next to it and this is my book. What you will find is these two types of descriptive books are just as good as the new copy you would have bought for sometimes 5x the price. You will begin to save loads of money and ultimately this is money you will pay for all your future books. Find my live examples below.
I purchased “The Millionaire Next Door – Thomas J Stanley” earlier this year for £0.63. With postage it ended up less than £3.50. This was a hardcover book which was “Like new” and looked like it had never been touched when I opened the envelope. To purchase the book “New” would have cost me £15 upwards from Amazon. I could buy 5 copies basically for the price of this one new book. The four other books will be the next four months (think about it).
I bought “Today Matters – John C Maxwell” for £1.58. Including postage it came to less than £4.50. This again was hardcover format. What I saw on Amazon’s site when I checked for a new copy can’t be right. For a new copy of the book, it would cost over £30 to purchase it. These are just two examples and I have more like this. The point is, you could be saving loads of money.
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew [their] strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary;
[and] they shall walk, and not faint.
The Art of Searching
When I think of the word quest, the art of searching is not something I think of. I wouldn’t consider a quest an art, this did make me think however. An art is something which is close to you, something you dedicate yourself too. An art is something you continually develop to increase skill and final product. I realised that we do not have many quests in life. There is a difference between looking and searching. When you lose your keys, you look all over the house for them. When you lose something much deeper however like a life, you delve much deeper into a search.
How many of you can say you’ve really experienced a quest in life? The more I think about this definition, the more I realise many haven’t experienced this. To really seek something out. In Psalms 42 we read “My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” A desire to meet God is present, the Man of God was seeking to know when the time of visitation was. A wavering thought for God is much less personal than a soul who is hungry for an encounter. The word art is important here as it really identifies for us how much effort must be placed upon the activity. I recently saw an advert about people who were seen in the public for specific reasons (Sports, Athletics etc). I started thinking to myself, do you think these people only work on the day they come on TV? Substantial effort is put in, far long before we ever see them on TV. The disciples didn’t just get the boldness to start acting from the beginning of Acts, they were training throughout the Gospels to ready themselves for what was ahead.
How far does your quest go? Is the quest your on in life subject to the place where you are born? Are you willing to move far away from all you have known to continue your quest. My brother lives in America, on pursuit of a dream, he decided to take his quest to the next level, by leaving his society and going somewhere new. A quest is shaped by the hard decisions in life, to go or not go? The decision many make daily. So how far does your quest stem?
Our father Abraham decided to leave his society, on pursuit of a relationship with Yah. The Bible says “when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11:8-10).” Not willing to be subject to his environment, he left his whole family in the end, to start a new family. While his name was yet Abram, he left and became Abraham: which is the beginning of a multitude, or the father of many people.
A decision is what distinguishes the searchers and the onlookers, and we see this clearly from the book of Ezra. We see in the scriptures that “Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments. (Ezra 7:10)”
Make the decision!
Feed The Five Thousand (Nine Thousand) – You Can Do It
Reading through the scriptures this morning, I read through two accounts of Jesus feeding thousands and came up with the title “You can do it – feed the five thousand.” Both accounts came in back to back chapters of the Bible (Matthew 14 & 15). Both encounters pretty much started the same way, Jesus asking his disciples what they had and his disciples swiftly returning words back to him about how there was not enough. Mixed in between these two encounters we find the disciple Peter walking on water.
Feed The Five Thousand: What Actually Happened?
Jesus had separated himself from the multitude after hearing word of John the Baptist’s death. He was then sought for by the multitudes who he then fellowshiped with. He healed their sick and fed them for good measure. While he gave his disciples the opportunity to feed the five thousand men, they did not take up his proposal. While you can clearly see from the text, Jesus said things such as “They need not depart; give ye them to eat.” It was only when his disciples declined that he said the following… “Bring them hither to me.” (Matthew 14:15-18). After this Jesus immediately tells his disciples to leave and this encounter is over. When I first read this text years ago, I missed many things and I probably still miss things today, this is the greatness of the Bible.
Conclusion of operation feed the five thousand?
Five thousand men were fed (not including women and children, this figure could easily be doubled). A number of people were healed which is not known and 12 baskets full of food were taken away.
Matthew 15 –
Feed the five thousand – Feed the four thousand…
Next chapter (maybe not the same day or the next day) we see a similar situation unfolding. Perhaps why I missed this in my early years of being a born again believer. Jesus Is in the mountains and people come to him, just like in chapter 14, where we saw him feed the five thousand. He also again healed these sick people and again had compassion on the multitude. His disciples not remembering the other occurrence again doubt and wonder how these men will be fed. Jesus asked “How many loaves have ye?” They told him and then just like before, he urged for them to be sat down. Just like when Jesus fed the five thousand he again break, gave thanks to God and distributed it out to the thousands. This time seven baskets full remained after and they all departed their ways.
Such a similar situation with similar outcomes, both situations I believe Jesus wanted his disciples to do something, instead of him needing to. Again this is four thousand men and not including women or children. This again could easily be doubled if not more. Jesus could have fed twenty thousand people between these two examples easily. The lesson I take from this scripture reading is Jesus telling me “You can do it – feed the five thousand.”
So can you…
The past week has seen me going back to the beginning and relearning the creation. I found myself muddling up certain days and just guessing on occasions, what happened on day three, or what happened on day four. I wanted to be more sure of myself…I went back to the scriptures. When we want to develop, we have to put in the necessary effort, to receive the necessary results.I started to go through the first verses of the Bible and it started to become refreshed. On top of this refreshing, I was opened up to new truths. New things God had opened my understanding to. The reason I can learn more from things studied previously, is because God rewards people who are diligent towards him. Those who desire to search for the Gold, find the gold. Jesus said in Matthew six, we should search for the kingdom and all the righteousness that it entails, this would conclude with all other things being added to us that we need. Hebrews six concurring, God rewards those who seek him diligently. When the believer decides to search for His presence and desires relations, God is moved…God is moved by our faith.
Paul noted the Bereans as a people who were more noble than those in Thessalonica because they received the word, studied the word and then made there conclusions. We should know that we owe a duty to God, not be deceived so easily, this scripture shows that we should owe an obligation to ourselves also. You owe it to yourself to be better and learned in the scripture. If you feel this is beyond you, ask for help and God will grant you. Jesus said ask!
Last year I did some writing on the birth of Jesus and surrounding stories. It was a chance for me to share some of the insights I had from God. I once thought to myself, “let me take the story of Christmas, and biblicize it. I want to take the story and find where everything came from in the Bible.” The 25th, the presents, the tree (decked in jewellery), the three wise men and many other things we follow today. As I delved into my study, it started to become apparent that many of the stereotypical things Christmas brought about were not biblical. This may be a shock for you if you have never come across this, this may be another of the many times you’ve heard this, whatever the case, analyse the text.
Firstly, the scripture never tells us that there were three wise men, the scripture talks of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh but never says three men came. Go to Matthew 2 and read down as I make these claims, and remember don’t take my word for it or believe what I say alone, pick up the Bible and see for yourself. If I came to your house with two friends, brought two gifts and you relayed the story to someone else, the hearers who went on to state two gifts were given from your visitors, would be a misjudgement for those to then say two friends came. The point I am making is simple, if we do not have facts we cant make assumption fact. However many wise men were present that is unknown, what we do know is that gifts were exchanged. The next thing I want to assess is the concept of giving gifts on the 25th December, these men did not see Jesus on the day of the Lord’s birth. Let me ask you a simple question, where was Jesus born? In a manger right? When you read Matthew 2 (verse 11), what is the first word that starts with h? This is not a manger. Adding to this point, by this verse Jesus had been described as a young child. As you keep on through the scripture, many references to young child occurs. Search what that phrase means in the Greek. Go to Luke 2, read the information given to us about the shepherds (verse 12), they were to find him in the manger. These men saw Jesus on his birth but the wise men did not.
To have a meeting with a king, then to travel to another city in the space of a few hours doesn’t make much sense. Reading Luke 2 and Matthew 2 simultaneously gives us good insight into what happened on Jesus’ birth. Finishing off this article, I want to close with the truth that no where mentions December 25th as the day the Lord was made flesh. This date when studied, highlights dates of false gods and other things like that but study for yourself.
Pick up your Bible and search out the scriptures daily!
Scriptures of interest: Matthew 2 – Wise men Luke 2 – Shepherds Jeremiah 10 – Tree decked in gold Acts 17 – The Berean.