Audra Jennings is a publicist with Litfuse Publicity Group.
Posted 6/14/11 at 11:40 AM | Audra Jennings
Randy Singer is a highly regarded author, and his legal thrillers are often compared to those written by John Grisham. In fact, one of his books is in the running for the ABA Journal’s Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction along with novels by Michael Connelly and John Grisham. The Prize will be awarded in conjunction with the Library of Congress National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., in September.
Singer does not only want to entertain readers with the twists and turns of the story, but in the case of False Witness, he wants to inform readers about the challenges of Dalits in India. He believes that most Americans are unaware of the extreme persecution happening there. He is donating all of the proceeds from the sales of the book to the Dalit Freedom Network. FULL POST
Posted 6/13/11 at 11:14 AM | Audra Jennings
Effective June 1, 2011, David C Cook and Integrity Media reached an agreement whereby Integrity Music became part of the David C Cook family. The decision to acquire Integrity Music was motivated specifically by David C Cook's desire to expand its global impact in the area of worship. Per the agreement, David C Cook has acquired only those assets specific to Integrity Music. Integrity Media, based in Mobile, AL will still exist consisting of Integrity Direct, Integrity Worship Institute, and the international companies in the UK, South Africa and Singapore. Industry veteran C. Ryan Dunham, formerly David C Cook's senior vice president of sales and marketing, will serve as president of Integrity Music, effective immediately.
"At David C Cook we are committed to the Great Commission. Our mission is to 'Equip the Church with Christ-centered resources for making and teaching disciples who obediently transform today's generations.' We are delighted to have Integrity Music join the David C Cook family in serving the body of Christ," states Cris Doornbos, CEO of David C Cook.
"The acquisition of Integrity Music makes sense from both a ministry as well as a business standpoint. Both organizations are widely respected for their international reach and their worship music catalogs," states Ryan Dunham, Integrity Music president. "David C Cook is no newcomer to the worship music ministry. In 1993 Cook acquired Kingsway, a worship music company in Eastbourne, England, and partnered with EMI Christian Music Group to produce the Thank You Music song catalog. Kingsway artists include Matt Redman, Tim Hughes, Brenton Brown, The City Harmonic, and many others whose original songs are shaping the way a world-wide generation of Christians experiences worship," continues Dunham.
Integrity Music has profoundly influenced the worship music culture over the past 24 years. "Cris Doornbos and I share a deep passion for serving the global church and for the role worship music plays in making disciples around the world," says Integrity co-founder and CEO Michael Coleman. "As Integrity prepares to celebrate 25 years in ministry, I look forward to seeing the expanding impact of Integrity songs and products around the world."
The acquisition benefits David C Cook by adding an even greater variety of worship titles to the organization's current offering. It will also benefit Integrity worship artists and writers by providing a fresh perspective and an ownership structure as part of a nonprofit with an expanding realm of influence. Most importantly, it will provide the global church more options than ever for meaningful worship.
"I am honored that Michael Coleman, a man whom I highly respect and who has meant so much to the worship music movement, has chosen to entrust us with Integrity Music's worship catalog," Doornbos says. "Our vision for Integrity Music songs and recordings is to see them sung by people in their native languages in churches all over the world."
Integrity Music will operate independently within David C Cook as a Strategic Ministry Unit and be relocated to the company headquarters in Colorado Springs after a transition period of 3 months. Distribution of Integrity Music products in the U.S. will continue through Provident-Integrity Distribution and Columbia and Sony Music Distribution.
Since 1875, David C Cook continues to be a leading nonprofit global resource provider serving the Church with life transforming materials. Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Co, with offices in Elgin, Illinois, Paris, Ontario, Canada, and Eastbourne, UK, David C Cook resources are published in over 150 languages, distributed in more than 80 countries, and sold worldwide. The Kingsway music division produces over 30% of the top 500 praise and worship songs sung around the world. For more information, visit www.davidccook.com.
Posted 6/7/11 at 10:42 AM | Audra Jennings
You’re in for a Change
Evangelist Greg Laurie makes the case that real
Christian change moves us beyond the norm
Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX—The first-century believers who followed Jesus Christ were men and women who turned their worlds upside down to follow the Messiah, and they lived the Christian life as Jesus presented it to them personally. They didn’t have the luxury of a passive and lukewarm existence. Instead, they had to draw clear lines in the sand about what following Christ really looked like. The good news is that, even in our current culture, we too can participate in this kind of lifestyle.
In his new book, Let God Change Your Life: How to Know and Follow Jesus, evangelist Greg Laurie describes the factors that impact true life change in clear, practical, and thoroughly biblical terms. His conclusions will challenge Christians to trade in their passive preconceptions about God for an active faith that reflects the image of Christ. A call to shed the skin of cultural Christianity, Let God Change Your Life details the transformation that occurs when we take what Christ really said and live as if His words were actually true.
What we often perceive as the Christian life is, in many ways, not what the Bible teaches. Imagine what it would have been like to be a follower of Jesus; first-century Christians walked away from their old lives just to be where He was. What they learned, sitting at His feet, was discipleship. And when His work on earth was done, first-century Christians took His words and example and spread out, teaching the gospel to everyone.
We need to ask ourselves whether we are living the Christian life as Jesus meant for us to live it. Are our lives challenging? Exciting? Do they have purpose and direction? Or do we find ourselves depressed and afraid? If your Christian experience is dull, unfulfilling, or boring, then it’s time to seriously examine the statements of Jesus regarding discipleship. What you’ll find is that the call of Christ on your life was never meant to be half-hearted and partially powerful. The natural outworking of a Christ-transformed life is a vibrant and revolutionary desire to know God, learn His ways, and lead others to Him.
“Are you a laborer in the harvest?” Laurie asks. “The complainers are many. The observers are many. The spectators are many. The critics are many. But the laborers are few. We need laborers in the harvest. Will you become one?” Let God Change Your Life is a bold challenge to Christians everywhere to rethink their lives in terms of dynamic New Testament living.
About the Author: Best-selling author Greg Laurie (Gold Medallion winner for The Upside-Down Church, Lost Boy, and more) is senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, one of the largest churches in America. Founder of the Harvest Crusade, Laurie’s nationally syndicated radio program, A New Beginning, is broadcast on more than 500 radio outlets around the world. Along with his work at Harvest Ministries, Laurie serves on the board of directors of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, among others. For more about Pastor Greg, visit his personal homepage at www.greglaurie.com.
Let God Change Your Life: How to Know and Follow Jesus by Greg Laurie
David C Cook/June 2011
ISBN: 978-1434-70207-4/208 pages/paperback
Posted 6/7/11 at 10:34 AM | Audra Jennings
Maybe "I Do" Is Better than "Just Don't"
Ted Cunningham celebrates young love with wisdom and advice.
Early marriage might not be a problem; instead, it might just be a solution. In Young and in Love: Challenging the Unnecessary Delay of Marriage, Pastor Ted Cunningham boldly suggests that early marriage is not as harmful as many believe and even offers it as the solution to staying sexually pure. He guides young adults through the arguments against early marriage and then reveals the secrets to creating a healthy, successful and life-long relationship in early adulthood.
Over the last century, statistics show that the average age for marriage is increasing and many couples are choosing not to marry at all. According to Cunningham, the message being taught is to "delay marriage, be independent, finish college, build your career, save up your money and have sex outside of marriage." Couples are being told to wait until they have it all figured out, but they are paying the price of their purity with this delay.
Cunningham believes that young love should be celebrated, even promoted. Early marriages can be God's will and often provide the key to sexual purity. When young adults fall in love, they develop intense desires to be with one another emotionally, relationally and, yes, sexually. He validates this early relationship and chases the foxes that seek to delay or destroy the bud before it can turn into a blossoming marriage (Song of Solomon 2:15). He praises this budding love, calling family and friends to recognize it with a wedding, and challenges all unnecessary delays to marrying in one's early twenties.
Explaining where the arguments against young marriage often go wrong, Cunningham offers wisdom on how to know if you are making the right choice including the Four C's: Character, Chemistry, Competency and Calling. He'll help readers understand what it takes to be ready for marriage. And along the way he'll show that the answer to staying pure might be to prepare for marriage. Because it's often easier to say "Let's wait" when "I do" isn't so far away.
According to Cunningham, "Ultimately, Young and in Love honors marriage and encourages marriages in the making. This is not another purity book teaching you how to suppress any and all feelings of love. No way! I want you to express your love and then enjoy marriage. So, if you kissed dating goodbye, it's time to say hello! If you have kept true love waiting, I tell you now, wait no more. Get married!"
Young and in Love packs a mighty hard punch in a velvet glove of humor and wit. Readers will feel validated in their young love. They will be given the tools to make a wise commitment, and they will be challenged to not delay what God is knitting together. Plus parents and pastors who feel concerned about a relationship will be given wise counsel in order to help their young adults prepare for a godly marriage.
Young and in Love: Challenging the Unnecessary Delay of Marriage by Ted Cunningham
David C Cook/June 2011/ISBN: 978-0-7814-0447-1/224 pages/paperback/$14.99
www.davidccook.com ~ www.tedcunningham.com
Posted 6/7/11 at 10:06 AM | Audra Jennings
Some mistakes are just a part of the bigger plan
Can the lives of two strangers intertwine to influence the world?
Have you ever wondered if there is a bigger plan to your life or if everything just happens by chance? In his newest book, The Blackberry Bush,David Housholder will take you on a journey across two continents to discover that your life may be bigger than you think and that even the worst of mistakes can find redemption. While on this journey, he will also examine today’s youth cultures and their complex relationship with the Christian faith.
According to Housholder, “We are all products of an extensive root system, whether or not we believe it or acknowledge it.” The tapestries of our lives have been woven together using the pasts of our parents, grandparents and generations before who influenced who we will become. But we can take the mistakes from their pasts and weave them into something beautiful in our futures. We can be a product of generational blessings and generational curses, but it is up to us to sort it out.
The Blackberry Bush begins with two babies, Kati and Josh, who are born on opposite sides of the world at the very moment the Berlin Wall falls. You would think that such a potent freedom metaphor would become the soundtrack for their lives, but nothing could be further from the truth. They will follow a parallel path connected by a mistake their great grandparents made years before.
Despite his flawless image, Josh, an artistic and gifted Californian skateboarder and surfer, struggles to find his true role in the world. He fears that his growing aggression will eventually break him if he can’t find a way to accept his talent and the competition that comes along with it. Kati, a German with a penchant for classic Swiss watches and attic treasure-hunting, is crushed with the disappointment of never being “enough” for anyone—especially her mother. She wonders whether she will ever find the acceptance and love she craves and become comfortable in her own skin. Craving liberation, Kati and Josh seem destined to claim their birthright of freedom together. With the help of their loving grandparents, they will unlock the secrets of their pasts and find freedom and joy in their futures. Today, like Katie and Josh, our youth often fall into two different cultures. Josh is part of the “bro” culture which is outdoor-oriented, with sports as a focus, and generally more conservative. Whereas Kati is part of the “scene” culture which is more liberal and indoor-oriented, focusing on music. These cultures are apparent in the novel and can aid in a better understanding of the issues today’s 21st century youth are facing as well as the struggles they have in coming to faith.
“The Blackberry Bush is a beautifully written novel of two characters’ search for meaning and their powerful rescue from the relational and societal expectations that are crushing them. It’s the story our own hearts might tell from our journey through life,” says Debby Griffith, radio host of Everyday Matters. Housholder’s journey will take readers into the deepest recesses of the soul while pulling them from their own thorny thickets. And along the way we may just discover a life of redemption and meaning.
The Blackberry Bush by David Housholder
Summerside Press/June 2011
ISBN: 978-1-6093-6116-7/208 pages/paperback/$14.99
Visit David Housholder’s blog at http://robinwoodchurch.wordpress.com,
Posted 6/6/11 at 4:15 PM | Audra Jennings
It seems that each week another area of the country is hit with tragedy, leaving many hurting people struggling with loss. Whatever the situation or circumstance, author Margaret Wills offers readers hope and encouragement.
Is there sustaining comfort to be found for the suffering, perhaps flailing, faithful? Dr. Margaret Wills, Ed.D, asserts that there is, and in her book, Pressing into Thin Places (Brown Christian Press), she invites questioning, thinking, and hurting readers to recognize glimpses of wonder and to draw strength and find rest in the presence of a loving God.
Dr. Wills knows from her own experiences that life is not simple and that we all need encouraging words and reasons to hang on to hope. With transparency and refreshing gentleness, Wills tackles universal fears, disappointments, wounded relationships, and even death and beckons readers to pull aside the veil and to see into that “thin space,” as the Celtics called it, where all that separates heaven and earth becomes almost transparent.
Wills answers questions like, “How do we keep from falling into despair when pain and suffering weigh heavily upon us?” and answers honestly questions about doubt, mystery, and the experience of not knowing. Wills offers wisdom to cultivate a listening heart, encouragement for the downhearted, reassuring words for the faltering, and comfort and rest for those in any stage of their faith journey.
Q&A With Margaret Harrell Wills, Ed.D
Author of Pressing into Thin Places
Q: Your book is titled Pressing into Thin Places. What is a “thin place”?
In the Celtic tradition, a “thin place” is the place where the veil that separates heaven and earth is nearly transparent. It is a place where we experience a deep sense of God’s presence in our everyday world. A thin place is where, for a moment, the spiritual world and natural world intersect. It can be a sudden momentary awareness or profound unexplainable experience.
Q: Pressing into Thin Places is a collection of stories, experiences, and learned truths expressed through poetry and prose. How are you hoping that readers connect with the experiences shared and those “thin places”?
Through the book I wanted to share a few “thin place moments” and encourage readers to have eyes to see the gifts of thin places through their own experiences. There are moments when we do feel the divine breaking through into our world. We feel unified and connected with God. It is not an intellectual knowing; it is felt in the spirit. Every once in a while, God draws the curtain and lets us see. He gives us reminders that, though we are tethered to this earth, there is another realm of reality just as real. Every once in a while, He lifts the veil. He thins the space between heaven and earth. He lets us experience the “thin place.” Ultimately, He helps our faith.
Q: Pressing into Thin Places gives readers permission to be authentic and to acknowledge doubt, questions, even depression. Often we experience guilt over these sometimes realities, fearing they show a weak faith. But how can facing these circumstances or emotions actually strengthen faith and reveal the presence of God in our lives?
We all have ups and downs. We are emotional beings. This is part of life. But can we dial up different thoughts? Can we change our feelings? Many times, I believe we can. Not too long ago I came across a verse in 1 Samuel 30. The chapter talked about a time when David was defeated by his enemies, rejected by all those around him and discouraged to the core. In verse 6, it says, “And David strengthened himself in the Lord.” How do we strengthen ourselves in the Lord? I believe we do what a verse in Psalms suggests: “And then one day I went into your sanctuary and thought” (Ps. 73:17). We strengthen ourselves in the Lord by going into His presence and letting Him guide our thinking. Many of the Psalms tell us that David worshipped and meditated on the scriptures. This was no exception. He received new purpose, vision, and authority. He waited patiently to become king.
Q: Why do you think we fear admitting doubt or struggles with faith?
Fear wants to rise and speak to the bottom corners of our mind. It will remind us not to be vulnerable. We will remember what happens when we risk psychological safety or abandon feelings of superiority. We will remember our nakedness. We will feel the wash of old fears and the pull of old attitudes and the temptations of old behaviors. But our heart, where our choice and our spirit live, desires our Father and His Kingdom. And our Teacher taught us to pray.
Q: It seems that more and more we all encounter people who profess to believe that God exists, but the crisis of faith arises in God’s goodness. What do you say to the reader who struggles to believe that God is good and loving?
Jesus says we can trust our Heavenly Father. We are safe, we are protected, and we are guided when we cooperate with God’s purpose and God’s way of doing things. We become participants in the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of God’s grace on earth. Jesus reminds us over and over again that we must have faith. We must believe in the fact that we are safe and that “good” will result as we submit our will to His Way. This submission is powerful. It defragments our life and gives us spiritual significance and wholeness of soul. This submission results in the process of spiritual transformation. Along the way, we are rewarded by “faith surprises” as resources of the Kingdom of Heaven are available to make changes in us, in others, and in the way things are.
Q: What do you hope that readers will take away from Pressing into Thin Places?
At the crux of this message of greater connection with God is the gospel message. Jesus encourages us to see our short space of time on this earth in the light of eternity. He instructs us to remember that there are two realities: a physical reality and a spiritual reality. We are first and foremost spiritual beings called to follow Christ’s teachings.
Pressing into Thin Places: Encouraging the Heart toward God
by Dr. Margaret Harrell Wills, Ed.D
Brown Christian Press – May 2011
ISBN 978-1-934812-99-0/208 pages/hardcover/$16.95
Posted 6/6/11 at 3:58 PM | Audra Jennings
The Hidden Gifts of Helping explores the very personal story of author Stephen Post and his family’s difficult move—what turned out to be a journey of faith. Post also tells about their experience with the healing power of helping others, as well as his passion about how this simple activity—expressed in an infinite number of small or large ways—can help you survive and thrive despite the expected and unexpected challenges life presents.
Post’s story is a spiritual journey that we can all relate to at some time in our lives. Intertwined with supporting scientific research and spiritual understanding, the book demonstrates that by looking outside of ourselves we gain better well-being and strengthen our faith. This book can become your companion and guide to the power of giving, forgiving, and compassion in hard times.
In this moving book, Post helps us discover how we can make “helping” a lifetime activity. “We can be anywhere, so long as we are helping others and caring for them. This is probably the one source of stability in our lives that we can truly depend on, and so in the end we are never really out of place,” states Post.
Post hopes that his family’s story will help readers in the same way the stories of others have helped him. Keep reading for an excerpt from a section entitled “God-Winks and Grace Notes”.
Although the universe often seems random and meaningless, we always need to remember that life is a gift from God and that there is meaning and purpose behind it. One way we can remember that is through what I call “god-winds and grace notes”—those improbably yet perfect events in life that some call “just coincidence,” but that feel as if they could only be orchestrated from above. Many people want or need to feel that God is working in their lives, and particularly in times of some brokenness; that God’s love is absolute despite all their shortcomings that God has been working in their lives from the very beginning and all along the way to bring them closer. Those God-winks are reassuring.
One of the ironies of our move from Cleveland to Setauket was that although Mitsuko and I figured we would weather the storm fairly easily, we were terribly worried about how Andrew would adjust. What a harsh thing to move a youngster away from his lifelong friends! I didn’t know it then, but our worry was quite unfounded. This move would turn out to be a tremendous and positive growth experience for our son. Still, at the same time, I was dearly in need of a God-wink or tow. And, so as often happens, I had to wait for them.
A year-and-a-half after the move, I happened to be in New York City on business and stopped by the Church of St. Thomas on 53rd and Fifth because it is just so beautiful architecturally, and because my dad went there when he was a boy growing up on the upper east side of Manhattan. I stumbled into a noon communion service. After it was over, I approached the priest, Rev. Andrew Mead, and began to tell him about our move and our worries about our son. “Fourteen now,” he winced, “that’s a tough age.”
He told me that when he was that age, his family moved away from a place he liked a lot because his father had to take a new job. He remembered his mother’s words exactly: “Andrew, I know this hurts, but we have to do this for Dad.” He said that even today, fifty years later, the fact that he recalls such detail shows what a dramatic transition this was. Two Andrews moving hard at the same age! This was more than coincidence. It was maybe God winking at me, or so the mind is wired to think…
…I had wandered into this church and just felt the urge to talk to this stranger about all that was on my mind. And it so happened that he empathized deeply, because he had moved at about the same age as my son and shared the name Andrew. I took this as God’s gift, as an experience of God’s love through another person. Our national survey indicates that most Americans do have this sense that God’s love inspires other people to connect with us at times. The encounter with Rev. Andrew Mead was somewhat confirming of this move. People are wired to want that confirmation. People look for God-winks, little signs that God is with them behind the scenes.
The Hidden Gifts of Helping by Stephen G. Post
Jossey-Bass ~ February 22, 2011
ISBN 978-0470887813/Hardcover/224 Pages
Posted 6/6/11 at 2:48 PM | Audra Jennings
Protect yourself from the peril of false end-of-the-world prophecies
Written by Hon Hoh, author of The Trigger
The prophecy of 89 year-old televangelist Harold Camping last weekend created a few laughs for some and a few tears for others. It might have been more humorous had the thousands of ethnic Hmong in Vietnam not converged on northwestern Dien Bien province a few weeks ago after hearing broadcasts on Camping’s global religious broadcasting network, Family Radio, that Judgment Day would fall on May 21. False end-times prophecies can be perilous for those who take them seriously. And for those who don’t, there’s the risk of placing all prophecies– both true and false, in the same boat and thereby desensitizing themselves to the ones that are true. One day, the Lamb will surely return.
How do we protect ourselves from the peril of false doomsday prophecies? The short answer is: by knowing the truth. Of all the things that can be said, perhaps this is the simplest and most significant. If we know the truth that is found in God’s Word, we have nothing to fear concerning the lies of Satan.
But of course, the devil knows the Bible too, and understands it better than many believers. Anyone, even non-Christians, can and does quote the Scriptures, often out of context just to prove their own point. Satan used the Old Testament to his own advantage when crossing swords with Jesus in the wilderness. The Son of God won that contest and overcame the three temptations by rightly discerning the Word of God. So, the ability to quote verses by itself will not sufficiently protect us from prophetic deceptions.
We need to go further if we are to guard against false Judgment Day prophecies. We need to know the whole counsel of God regarding the Second Coming so that we can rightly interpret the word of truth, and when we do, we shall be able to boldly discern any “prophetic word” with compassion and confidence. More end-times predictions will likely be uttered as we approach December 21, 2012 and beyond, but Christians can gird their loins by digging in the Word concerning the last days.
About The Trigger and author Hon Hoh:
Do each of us play a role in the kingdom of God? Can the choices we make affect God’s timing of future events? Hon Hoh examines these questions while taking his readers on a riveting adventure in The Trigger: A Novel on the Revelation. Through twists and turns, readers will be led on a powerful journey.
Hon S. Hoh is a gifted teacher of the Word. He is a minister committed to the calling that God has placed on his life. He began studying the Book of Revelation in Bible college, and he is passionate about reaching people with the truth and love of Christ. Hoh’s mission for writing The Trigger is fourfold:
The Trigger: A Novel on the Revelation by Hon Hoh
Living Impact – May 2011
ISBN 978-0-578-07195-4/355 pages/paperback
Posted 5/20/11 at 2:40 PM | Audra Jennings
Ever been lost in a car on the way to an important event? If so, then you know that people are the only animals that speed up when they’re lost or confused. It’s only as a last resort that we’ll finally hit the brakes, put the car in park, and set about the humbling task of asking for directions. The sad truth is that many of us live our lives the same way: lost, directionless, and never slowing down enough to find the real answers we need. Unfortunately, slowing down and doing less are foreign solutions for today’s problems.
For readers who are finally ready to stop speeding along and start slowing down enough to find some answers, John Busacker’s new book, Fully Engaged: How to Do Less and Be More, offers practical advice on how to do just that. In a world full of countless options and disorienting decisions, we have to allow our internal GPS to stop and recalculate the direction of our life. As we do so, we’ll find greater abundance, contentment, and peace of mind. FULL POST
Posted 5/20/11 at 10:30 AM | Audra Jennings
The Importance of fathers in the lives of their sons
There is no denying the importance of a father’s role in the lives of their children. Fathers have an especially important role when it comes to raising their sons to grow up to be men of God. Without the loving support of their fathers, young men face the turbulent journey to manhood without knowing what that really means. But where do you start? That can be the hard part. Boys are faced with many different challenges, and it is the father's responsibility to help them navigate those and make wise decisions as they head into their next season of life.
“Your son is going to get his view of manhood from you or someone else. Dads must make sure they are giving their sons a clear definition of what it means to be a godly man. More importantly, dads need to model the practices and principles they are teaching their sons,” states Braxton Brady, author of Flight Plan: Your Mission to Become a Man. FULL POST