21 July 2022

'Reflections': A coffee table book to help you talk about faith

Emily Bright interviews Major Mal Davies

Front cover of the Reflections book
'Reflections' is available to buy from SP&S
Editor-in-Chief Major Mal Davies tells Emily Bright why he’s written Reflections, a devotional book inspired by the back pages of the War Cry.

It all began with the striking quotes and pictures featured each week on the back cover of the War Cry. Pinned up on corps noticeboards, office walls and home fridges, these Bible verses and quotes about Christianity have become a treasured part of the paper.

‘There are many people who will pick up the War Cry and immediately turn to the back page to see what it features,’ says Mal. ‘And in talking to War Cry editor Major Andrew Stone, he seemed to be of the same opinion. The back pages were always something to look forward to.’

Mal decided to assemble a collection of the War Cry’s most inspiring and encouraging covers, with a devotional thought accompanying each.

‘It’s a light reflection or a prompt for people to think a little further,’ explains Mal. ‘Something that’s easily dipped in and out of.

‘We live in an era when it’s become easier to get an idea quickly. Therefore, the notion of looking at a page with just a handful of words on it is attractive. Through that marriage of text and image, each page of Reflections delivers a clear message about the Christian faith.’

A selection of back pages of the War Cry

Mal hopes that the coffee table book will provide an opening for people to talk with non-Christians about faith.

‘It’s great to put somewhere very visible,’ he says. ‘It also serves as a really easy form of evangelism, as people start to invite friends, family and neighbours into their homes again. It can be as simple as making this book visible on your coffee table, and having visitors say, “Oh, what’s that?” They can just flip it open and glance at a page or two when they have a spare minute.

‘It’s also a great gift book to buy and I would encourage people to buy it for non-Christians, friends, family and neighbours.’

Mal suggests that bolder readers could also distribute the book to places in their communities where people congregate, if they have permission from the proprietors.

‘I’d love to see this book in waiting rooms at the dentist and doctor’s,’ he enthuses, ‘or in the pile of magazines at the hairdresser. It could be a really easy way to get people looking at a Christian message while they’re waiting.’

Major Mal Davies

Mal hopes that readers will be ‘encouraged and inspired’ by the book and that it might ‘put a smile on their face’.

‘There’s a lot of negative news around these days, so I think the idea of opening a book and reading something that offers a word of encouragement is appealing,’ he elaborates. ‘It reminds us that there is hope, there is still joy in the world, and that there is something lighter and brighter happening.’

Writing the book gave Mal his own opportunity to reflect: ‘When you get to a certain age, there are a lot of anecdotes that come to mind. So when I read each quote, straightaway I’d think of something that happened, something that was said to me or something I’d read in a book that would inspire each entry.’

Mal believes that these anecdotes will help the devotional book to be relatable to all readers.

‘There are stories in here of real people,’ he says. ‘And I think that makes it applicable and allows people to say, “This is something someone’s lived through.” If someone else had that problem, addressed it and came out of it well, maybe they can too.’

Interview by

Emily Bright

Emily Bright

Promotions and Marketing Co-ordinator, Publishing Department

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