Food for the Soul

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Posted 9/27/16 at 1:46 PM | Audra Jennings

Giving Children a Name in Life, Dignity in Death

Giving children a name in life, dignity in death
Linda Znachko’s small “yes” changed her life — and her community — forever

When the evening news reported an abandoned baby had been found dead in a local dumpster, Linda Znachko’s comfortable life changed. She was suddenly convicted, knowing God wanted her to provide a dignified burial for this tiny lost child. She obeyed, having no idea where that first small yes would lead. He Knows Your Name: How One Abandoned Baby Inspired Me to Say Yes to God (Kregel Publications/ September 27, 2016/ISBN: 9780825444043/$14.99) chronicles Znachko’s journey and challenges the reader to say yes to the Holy Spirit’s leading, no matter how insignificant or strange it may seem.

As she continued to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, Znachko found herself in places she never dreamed she would be: at the graveside of the child of an abused mother, by the side of a mother fighting for her lost child and at the funeral of a Texas stripper who died two days before her baptism but left a legacy of love behind. “God’s Spirit was prompting me to step into a stranger’s deepest pain,” Znachko recalls. “Had I declined, no one around me would have been the wiser.” Despite her reservations, God began opening her heart to sense and respond to His leading in a fresh, new way. FULL POST

Posted 9/20/16 at 4:04 PM | Audra Jennings

Experiencing God Through His Names

Part 1 of an Interview with Sheryl Giesbrecht,
Author of Experiencing God Through His Names

What's in a name? Names are more than groups of letters that represent a person or identify objects. Names are powerful. A person's character and destiny can be influenced by his or her name. When it comes to God, His attributes and personality support His unique and distinct names. In Experiencing God Through His Names (Bold Vision Books), author Sheryl Giesbrecht leads readers in a study to discover truths about God's character by a study of His various titles and names.

Q: You wrote Experiencing God Through His Names after some very personal encounters. Please share what led you to explore the different names for God.

I was a stressed-out pastor's wife, working a full-time job outside of our home, mothering a preschooler and kindergartener, exhausted from the demands of family and ministry. I was full of fear with one child in a public school and the other with a daycare provider. I needed the connection of women friendships but was afraid of rejection and how I might fit in since I was a working mother. I wanted to learn how to trust God in a practical way. I joined a Moms in Touch group (now known as Moms In Prayer International) to pray for my child in school. Through this amazing group of women, I learned how to pray specifically for my own needs and the needs of my family by understanding the names of God. Added bonuses were learning to worship using the names of God and drawing near to God by calling on His specific names. FULL POST

Posted 9/14/16 at 9:17 AM |

New book helps believers overcome "spiritual vertigo"

In his new book, “Overcoming Spiritual Vertigo” (CLC Publications), Dr. Dwayne Mercer points out that, according to recent research, only 13% of the millennial generation consider any type of spirituality to be important in their lives. Mercer says this is a symptom of a larger problem—what he describes as a disconnect between what people have been taught about God and the experiences they are having in their lives.

“Physical vertigo is a condition where your brain cannot process what your eyes are seeing,” says Mercer. “Spiritual vertigo is a state where your faith cannot process what you see, hear, or experience. You know what the Bible says, but real life seems to contradict what you believe.”

Recommended by leaders such as Dr. Johnny Hunt, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention as well as Michael Catt, Executive Producer of Sherwood Pictures, “Overcoming Spiritual Vertigo” addresses central issues where Christians struggle with faith, and often, give up their faith altogether. Using examples from his own life, Mercer helps identify factors that lead people to lose their faith, offering them tools to regain an understanding of what true Christianity is all about. FULL POST

Posted 9/8/16 at 6:06 PM | Audra Jennings

You Are the Perfect Mom for Your Kids

Part 2 of an interview with Hettie Brittz,
Author of (un)Natural Mom

While motherhood seems to come naturally to some, many women struggle with feelings of failure and inadequacy, believing if they could only be like that mom over there, their lives and families would be much better off. Rather than wallow in guilt and "shoulds," renowned South African speaker, TV presenter and author, Hettie Brittz, wants moms to find hope and encouragement in (un)Natural Mom: Why You Are the Perfect Mom for Your Kids (David C Cook).

Q: In your new book, you describe yourself as an (un)Natural mom. What is an (un)Natural mom, and doesn't every mom feel that way at some time or another?

Absolutely. I am an (un)natural Mom because even though I wanted and planned to have children, when they arrived, I often doubted my abilities and made many serious mistakes that made me wonder if perhaps I should never have had children or if my children should have had a different mother. Nurturing instincts, the joy of breastfeeding and many other indicators of the so-called "Natural Mom" just passed me by. It took a while to notice I was not alone. Every mom wants to be able to admit some aspect of motherhood did not come naturally and not all motherhood duties brought her fulfilment, but society - even our church community - frowns on this confession. The (un)Natural Mom book gives you permission to admit this and to find what you ARE natural at! FULL POST

Posted 9/1/16 at 1:02 PM | Audra Jennings

Restoring hope for families of veterans with PTSD

Restoring hope for families of veterans with PTSD
Welby O'Brien offers practical wisdom for families facing the daily challenges of PTSD

Affecting millions in the U.S. alone, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is rampant and escalating at an alarming rate. For the sufferer facing this disorder, life is fraught with stress, anxiety, difficulties and heartache. However, for every one person struggling with PTSD, there are many more friends and family members who are also deeply and profoundly impacted. Author Welby O'Brien offers help and hope to families of PTSD sufferers in Love Our Vets: Restoring Hope for Families of Veterans with PTSD.

Misconceptions and stigmas abound --- many people believe PTSD is "all in their head," or have misinformation regarding the seriousness of the condition. However, Love Our Vets reveals anyone who has been involved in a traumatic event can be affected by the disorder, and if someone has seen war, he or she probably has some level of PTSD. While others may not have PTSD themselves, if they are living with someone who does, they are, in fact, suffering from it as well. FULL POST

Posted 8/31/16 at 1:36 PM | Audra Jennings

Experience more of God's power and presence

Experience more of God's power and presence
Sheryl Giesbrecht leads readers to explore God's character through His names

What's in a name? Names are more than groups of letters that represent a person or identify objects. Names are powerful. A person's character and destiny can be influenced by his or her name. When it comes to God, His attributes and personality support His unique and distinct names. In Experiencing God Through His Names (Bold Vision Books/June 17, 2016/ISBN: 978-0692743010/$12.99), author Sheryl Giesbrecht leads readers in a study to discover truths about God's character by a study of His various titles and names.

Understanding that each of God's names reveals something about His character opens our spiritual eyes to see His perfect purposes and to recognize His commitment to us. If we can grasp the meanings of His names, we can know God more intimately. Giesbrecht not only covers some of the well-known titles, such as Father, Ancient of Days and "El Shaddai," but some of the lesser-used designations, including "El Bethel," "Jehovah Sabaoth" and "Jehovah Maozi." FULL POST

Posted 8/18/16 at 4:35 PM | Audra Jennings

What kind of mom are you?

Part 1 of an interview with Hettie Brittz,
Author of (un)Natural Mom

Countless women get bogged down in the Pinterest-perfect image of what a mother should be. They feel guilt for failing at cloth diapers, dreading school plays and missing the days of going to the bathroom by themselves, and as a result feel they aren't a "natural mom." Brittz, however, shows readers the idea of a "natural mother" is a myth and explores four primary parenting styles, guiding them to discover the strengths they already possess. In fact, Brittz believes each mother's "imperfections" are exactly what makes her the perfect mother for her children.

Drawing from her years of experience working with children as a speech pathologist and adapting homeschooling to fit her own children, Brittz developed the Tall Trees Parenting Profile. Readers can take the free online test to discover their own unique Tree Types and begin to understand that they already are the mothers they were meant to be. Each type of mother is compared to a type of tree --- a palm tree, rose bush, pine tree or boxwood --- based on qualities the mother and tree have in common. By taking the assessment, readers can discover what chapters of the book to focus on. In the stories taken from Brittz's own experiences and the in-depth looks at "a day in the life" of four real-world Tree Types, moms have the opportunity to see themselves honestly and clearly and to find hope and grace. FULL POST

Posted 8/10/16 at 1:41 PM | Audra Jennings

There's no such thing as a natural mom

There is no such thing as a natural mom
Hettie Brittz helps moms understand they are the moms they were meant to be

While motherhood seems to come naturally to some, many women struggle with feelings of failure and inadequacy, believing if they could only be like that mom over there, their lives and families would be much better off. Rather than wallow in guilt and "shoulds," renowned South African speaker, TV presenter and author Hettie Brittz wants moms to find hope and encouragement in (un)Natural Mom: Why You Are the Perfect Mom for Your Kids (David C Cook/August 1, 2016/ISBN: 978-0434710284/$16.99). "Every mom wants to be able to admit some aspect of motherhood does not come naturally and not all motherhood duties bring her fulfillment," Brittz recognizes. "The (un)Natural Mom book gives you permission to admit this and to find what you are natural at!" FULL POST

Posted 8/9/16 at 4:45 PM |

Former P.O.D. guitarist to release new instrumental CD

Former P.O.D. guitarist Jason Truby has released a new instrumental CD entitled "Hymns.". Renowned for his innovative finger-style guitar techniques, Truby says the project was specifically produced with the purpose to help people who are going through trauma or sickness, and was originally his wife’s idea.

“I have performed finger-style covers of hymns in my live sets over the years,” says Truby, “and one day my wife mentioned the idea of a therapy-type album. I know that suffering can consume a lot of thought and energy, so this album was arranged with peace and healing in mind. We started with the idea of distributing it to cancer patients, and now want to make it available to anyone who may be going through grief, recovery, divorce or any other difficulties.”

Truby was a member of the rock band P.O.D. from 2002 to 2006, writing songs for the band’s self-titled album which quickly went to Platinum sales status. Truby also penned the title song for the “Matrix Reloaded” movie as well as a song for the Dove Award-winning soundtrack for “The Passion of the Christ.” Truby later teamed up with acclaimed guitarist, Phil Keaggy, for several solo albums, as well as played on a finger-style guitar album with the legendary instrumentalist, Chet Atkins, and classical guitarist, John Williams. Truby also produced the Grafted compilation CD to benefit Project Zero, a non-profit foundation specializing in adoption and foster care. Grafted included various artists from all genres including Tiffany Thornton, star of Disney's "So Random" and "Sonny with a Chance;” Caitlin Evanson, violin player for Taylor Swift; Keaggy; and Stu Garrard from Delirious, among several others. FULL POST

Posted 8/9/16 at 4:32 PM |

Dayton area church receives national recognition

Fairhaven Church in Centerville, Ohio has been named one of the Best Christian Workplaces in America, one of only 48 churches in the U.S. to earn the designation. The church was founded 52 years ago with twelve families holding service at a local YMCA. Today, the church has three campuses in Centerville, Springboro, and Clayton with approximately 7000 attendees, and a staff of 80 serving the entire Dayton, Ohio area. Dr. David Smith is the current pastor, only the third lead pastor in the church’s long-standing history.

“It is easy to think or say that a church is healthy,” says Smith, “but when you invite an outside group to come in and access and then tell you that you are in the top 50 healthiest churches in America…I feel humbled that I get to work with our staff and leaders who have made it so! We believe that team is everything and that the success of other staff members is our individual priority.”

Fairhaven has been twice listed as one of the Fastest Growing churches in the country by Outreach Magazine. Smith says he believes there are three qualities of his membership and staff that drive their continued growth. FULL POST

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