Audra Jennings is a publicist with Litfuse Publicity Group.
Posted 10/1/10 at 9:57 AM | Audra Jennings
An excerpt from Soul Custody by Stephen W. Smith
©2010 Cook Communications Ministries. Used with permission. May not be further reproduced. All rights reserved.
Exploring the Violence Done to Your Soul
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”
“The violence done us by others is often less painful than that which we do to ourselves.”
—François de la Rochefoucauld
We’re in trouble. We need help. The American dream has turned into an all-too-real nightmare that sears our minds as we try to sleep. Life is not working as we think it should. FULL POST
Posted 10/1/10 at 9:45 AM | Audra Jennings
Dr. Fred R. Lybrand
Have you seen the commercials for Jerry Springer’s new show on the Game Show Network? Maybe you’ve even stopped by to see what it is all about. Springer’s new show is called, “Baggage.” The show starts like the “Dating Game” of the 1960’s in that one “dater” chooses between three contestants as potential dates. Instead of answering questions, each contestant reveals three secrets or hidden flaws that usually aren’t talked about on a first date; each revelation is bigger than the one before. The idea is that everyone brings “baggage” into a relationship, and some secrets are just too big to overlook.
I have to admit, it is actually pretty interesting to see contestants work on a decision to go on a first date as they learn a few secret flaws in one another. I also confess I haven’t been much of a fan of Springer in the past, and I don’t know that “Baggage” will win me over. I’ve always thought we should have a bumper sticker based on Springer’s original show. The sticker would simply say, “Dysfunction is not a competition.” FULL POST
Posted 9/22/10 at 9:57 AM | Audra Jennings
As Halloween approaches, and the latest Twilight DVD hits stores this fall, Travis Thrasher is available to talk about young people’s fascination with tales of darkness, and his new Christian release for this audience.
Travis Thrasher is an author who knows how to tap into the fear that lurks within the human heart, and his latest novel invites teens to enjoy his terrifying tales. Thrasher builds on the broken, hurting hearts of his characters to create a tale that will keep them up at night in hopes that the people within the story survive until the end of the book! He also understands the power of redemption and flawlessly blends hope into the darkness that his characters must battle against in order to survive. The remote town of Solitary, North Carolina, provides the perfect setting for this tale and reveals that the most frightening things in this world reside within the human heart. Told from the perspective of a sixteen-year-old boy experiencing love for the first time, Thrasher’s Solitary will have readers leaving their lights on and making sure that they don’t spend too much time alone! FULL POST
Posted 9/22/10 at 9:47 AM | Audra Jennings
Really? You think?
In Nudge, author Leonard Sweet sets out to revolutionize our understanding of evangelism. He defines evangelism as “nudge”—awakening each other to the God who is already there. Sweet’s revolution promises to affect your encounters with others, and shake the very roots of your own faith.
Interacting fully with Jesus and the Kingdom of God goes beyond using your voice. Find out how using your five senses is all a part of nudge “sensing.”
Do you give ear to God?
Do you have a stomach for the kingdom?
Do you have a vision for the kingdom?
Do you have a touch for the kingdom? FULL POST
Posted 9/22/10 at 9:40 AM | Audra Jennings
Beyond the Brady Bunch
An excerpt from Beyond the Brady Bunch by Ray and Debbie Alsdorf.
©2010 Cook Communications Ministries. Used with permission. May not be further reproduced. All rights reserved.
It is ludicrous to believe our lives won’t be touched by blended families. We need to take their needs seriously. They are in our workplaces, our churches, and our neighborhoods. They are our friends.
—Hugh Downs, 20/20
Because you have picked up this book, you or someone you love is probably in a blended family and trying to figure out how to live happily ever after again. Most likely there is loss in the backdrop of the story. In that, we have much in common. We wrote this book because we know the pain, confusion, frustration, and hopelessness that can occur in a blended family, and we want to encourage people toward a commitment to making this new family work—no matter how hard it seems at times. FULL POST
Posted 9/20/10 at 4:59 PM | Audra Jennings
Dr. Warren Wiersbe’s BE series offers simple but not simplistic knowledge
The Old Testament contains vast riches of spiritual knowledge, and Dr. Warren Wiersbe mines the depths of that wisdom with straightforward clarity in David C Cook’s latest updates to the “BE” commentary series. Wiersbe carefully examines many aspects of the Old Testament and makes spiritual applications as Christians explore the lives of the Jewish people. The lives of God’s chosen people paint a picture of courage and bravery, despite their tendency to disobey, and the rulers and prophets of this time played a vital role in bringing God’s message to His people. Throughout these commentaries, God’s faithfulness to respond to cries of repentance provides strong examples of how He continues to lovingly lead His people.
Dr. Warren Wiersbe has devoted his life to the deep examination of God’s Word. He is an internationally known Bible teacher, former pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago, and the author of more than 150 books. The “BE” series is comprised of fifty titles and, with more than four million copies in print, has helped countless numbers of readers to better understand and apply God’s Word to their daily lives. Dr. Wiersbe’s commentaries combine historical explanations and thought-provoking questions with the unchanging truth of Scripture in such a way that Christians can easily grasp the relevance of the Old Testament. FULL POST
Posted 9/20/10 at 4:29 PM | Audra Jennings
Simon Ponsonby gives fresh perspective to God’s invitation to “be holy as I am holy”
Can a godless society be expected to become godly without seeing what godliness is? Are Christians today willing to live their lives in such a way that they reflect God’s holiness? Simon Ponsonby’s The Pursuit of the Holy: A Divine Invitation tells the story of a holy God seeking friends among the unholy and bringing life to those who, left to themselves, would miss out completely on the joy of His promises. Ponsonby begins by looking at God’s essential and unique holiness and what it means for us as sinful human beings. He states, “When we learn that God is actually moving towards us and not away from us, the command to ‘be holy as I am holy’ becomes reachable.”
First, we need to understand what it means to be holy. The Bible uses the word holy in context with other words such as cleanliness, purity, blamelessness, glory, righteousness, godliness, and trustworthiness. These words provide a starting point for Christ-followers to understand the invitation to reflect God’s holiness and the fullness of what it means in our relationship with God. Ponsonby states that holiness is a way of behaving that is determined by the being of God—a life that becomes like the God who possesses holiness. FULL POST
Posted 9/20/10 at 4:13 PM | Audra Jennings
Rachel Olsen reveals divine truths every woman should know.
Have you ever known a woman who always seems to be at peace and wondered: What does she know that I don’t know? What’s her secret?
Meanwhile, your attempts at mastering life are hindered by an exhausting schedule, unpaid bills, relational conflicts, and a growing to-do list.
Rachel Olsen’s book It’s No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know offers candid answers for the busy, fragmented, surface-level lives of women longing to live well and love deeply. What they’re longing for, Olsen insists, is life in God’s Kingdom. With a combination of wit and wisdom, Olsen reveals twelve truths in It’s No Secret that will cultivate more meaningful relationships with others and a richer connection with God.
Olsen begins by uncovering the secret to understanding the teachings of God’s Word—a personal relationship with Christ. Christ alone can open our eyes, ears, and hearts to Himself, and once we commit to following Him, He takes us on grand adventures we scarcely could imagine. FULL POST
Posted 9/20/10 at 3:07 PM | Audra Jennings
Exploring the values of morally responsible investing
Even with a few signs of economic recovery recently, there are still plenty of reasons to be concerned when it comes to investments. Investing can be a daunting endeavor, especially for those who strive to invest with professional ethics and personal moral dignity. Still, the most fundamental questions for any investor are often overlooked: What does it really mean to be an investor? When you make your monthly contribution to your 401k or take a chance on a hyped stock pick, where is your money really going? What kind of activities are the companies involved in?
Chartered Investment Counselor George P. Schwartz, CFA, encourages his clients to pursue a portfolio that reflects their values. “When you buy stock in a company, you are not just holding a piece of paper. You become part owner of that company, and that role includes some rights and responsibilities,” says Schwartz. “Your financial investment is supporting something, and you need to do the research to ensure that you are not supporting or tacitly agreeing to activities that are morally abhorrent to you.”
For forty-three years Schwartz has been an investment counselor, analyst, and portfolio manager. He is president, CEO, and CIO (Chief Investment Officer) of Schwartz Investment Counsel, Inc., a registered investment adviser headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, MI, that specializes in morally responsible investing. Schwartz’s approach to investing is quickly gaining ground. Schwartz has been able to destroy the myth that profitability suffers when investors and advisors screen out corporations that do not measure up to the investor’s personal moral standards. His firm manages the Ave Maria Mutual Funds, the largest family of Catholic funds in America, with over 25,000 investors. The Ave Maria Growth Fund claimed the prestigious 2009 Lipper Award for outperforming the more than six hundred other funds in its category over a three-year period.
Schwartz’s recent release, Good Returns: Making Money by Morally Responsible Investing (Geodi Publishing/ISBN: 978-0-9844042-0-9/191 pages/hardcover/$25.00), explains the important distinction between the pop culture notion of socially responsible investing and the narrower and more exacting demands of morally responsible investing. While socially responsible investments tend to screen out companies according to left-leaning causes like environmentalism, gay rights, and a broad (and often loosely defined) range of social justice issues, morally responsible investments screen out companies according to a clear set of criteria: those who support or service the abortion industry, producers and distributors of pornography, and companies involved in embryonic stem cell research.
With a foreword by NCAA coaching legend Lou Holtz, Good Returns has drawn endorsements from a veritable “who’s who” among pro-life leaders and influential conservatives, including marriage and family advocate Phyllis Schlafly, nationally syndicated radio host Laura Ingraham, national director of Priests for Life Father Frank Pavone, and host of CNBC’s The Kudlow Report Larry Kudlow.
Good Returns offers time-tested wisdom on the complexities of the investment process, demonstrating why moral people make good investors and morally upright companies can be profitable investments. Schwartz also offers insightful commentary on the current political policies affecting the country’s financial condition. He points out that, even in an unfriendly political climate, morally responsible investing is a way that people can make a real and positive impact.
“While the moral picture of modern American society has become somewhat clouded, most people in the USA still accept the idea that there are distinctions between right and wrong,” says Schwartz. “This gives me enormous hope for the potential impact of morally responsible investing as a lever of ethical change.”
Schwartz has been featured on ETWN’s The World Over, Ave Maria Radio’s Kresta in the Afternoons and American Family Radio. He has also been used as an investment resource for Reuters and has been on CNBC’s The Kudlow Report and Fox News Channel’s Your World with Neil Cavuto.
George Schwartz is available as a resource on investing, covering topics such as:
To hear an interview with George Schwartz on investing, visit www.uReadBooks.com/schwartz.
Posted 9/14/10 at 10:48 AM | Audra Jennings
Floyd McClung Examines What It Really Means to Follow Jesus
Author Floyd McClung believes it’s time to get back to the basics: Jesus wants relationship, not religion. An international church planter and missionary, McClung is convinced that the simplicity and truth of biblical discipleship has become lost and confused within the post-modern church.His provocative new book, Follow: A Simple and Profound Call to Live Like Jesus, compellingly captures what it means to become authentic followers of Jesus as it also exposes the idolatrous hype and religious nonsense that is often passed off in the name of discipleship.
A manifesto for discipleship the Jesus-way, Follow is intended to challenge and inspire readers of all ages to live a life of wholehearted devotion that will draw others to a life of following Jesus. Though McClungdoesn’t hide the costly nature of discipleship, he does invite readers to critique and even challenge much of what they’ve been taught that reduces following Jesus to simplistic programs that require little or no sacrifice. “Jesus did not allow His culture to hold him captive, nor should we,” says McClung. “Instead, Jesus established an upside-down kingdom that leads to radical opportunities for every believer.” FULL POST