When Rebecca Cooper’s husband Charles died suddenly eight years ago, she admittedly stopped praying to God. Two days after his 58th birthday, her husband suffered a thoracic aortic dissection – the same medical condition that killed actor John Ritter. Prayers went up on her husband’s behalf for two weeks to no avail. After 39 years of marriage, Cooper was alone, and consumed by grief and despair. Then she heard voices—they were in her head, but very clear. She wondered if she was going crazy, but then she listened…
“Hey, God?” “Yes, Charles.
”I’m worried about Becky. She’s running on adrenaline, not eating, crying. She needs me.”
She,” God proclaimed, “has Me.”
She grabbed a piece of paper, compelled to write down what she had heard. She continued to overhear conversations, and continued to chronicle them. Over time, there were hundreds of small sheets of paper all around the house. She shared several with others who were grieving. A friend suggested she gather the papers together and put them in a notebook for her children and grandchildren. Cooper’s very personal writings were discovered by a publisher and have now become a book entitled, “Hey, God? Yes, Charles: Conversations on Life, Loss, and Love” (Turner Publishing Co.). FULL POST
Rossling Publishers has announced that a free downloadable study guide for their critically-acclaimed novel, The Academy is now available on the website http://www.academythebook.com. The book has been called “brilliantly written” and “as influential as The Shack” by numerous reviewers. Co-authors Ryan Mix and J.T. Payne wanted to provide the study guide in order to go a little deeper into the book’s numerous plot lines, which include topics such as suicide, abortion, and evolution. Divided into nine lessons, The Academy study guide is meant to be used along with the novel to open up discussions on the numerous “real-life” situations that are presented in the book.
“Our goal for the novel has always been to get people to think,” says Mix, “and engaging readers with a thought-provoking and captivating storyline was one of the best ways to accomplish that. The study guide takes it one step further by pulling the characters and situations off the pages so readers can experience an even stronger and more meaningful connection with them.” FULL POST
A coalition of some of the top Bible ministries are partnering to promote International Day of the Bible on Monday, November 23. The National Bible Association, the American Bible Society, Bibles For The World, YouVersion, and Bible Gateway are inviting people across the globe to participate by creatively expressing their appreciation of the Bible via social media.
“We’re thrilled with the reception to the launch of International Day of the Bible,” says Richard Glickstein, President of the National Bible Association and the founder of this one day celebration. “We encourage everyone from faith groups to performing artists as well as business, sports, community and religious leaders to participate. People can share their appreciation of God’s Word via social media or in public at noon in their local time zones. Honoring God’s Word and asking Him to bless our nations and bring peace to the world is particularly apt in this period of great turmoil." FULL POST
by Jennifer Shaw
October is Sensory Awareness Month. The following is an editorial from Jennifer Shaw whose son was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder at an early age. Jennifer is a Telly Award winning performer, Billboard Top 40 singer/songwriter, and author of the book Life Not Typical: How Special Needs Parenting Changed My Faith and My Song, an official resource of Autism Speaks. Visit her online at www.jennifershaw.com.
Last month my son Toby turned 11. He had a party with pizza and cake and ice cream, and a sleepover afterwards with all his friends. Sounds pretty typical, but it was actually a miracle. There was a time when Toby could not dream of eating any of those things, a time when we never thought he would be able to leave our home to attend school, let alone have a party and friends who loved playing flashlight tag with him in our backyard. In fact, there was a time I didn’t think Toby would ever walk on grass. FULL POST
Corbin Bernsen most recently starred as Henry Spencer on USA Network’s hit original series Psych. First catapulted to stardom during the 1980s by the hit NBC TV series, L.A. Law, he was nominated twice for both an Emmy® Award and a Golden Globe Award®. Along the way, he hosted Saturday Night Live, and guest starred on Seinfeld and Star Trek to name a few notable television appearances. In the feature film arena, he starred in the comedy Hello Again, followed by other critically-acclaimed roles in Disorganized Crime, Wolfgang Peterson’s Shattered, The Great White Hype, and as the Cleveland Indians’ third baseman-turned-owner Roger Dorn in the extremely popular Major League series of films. With the film Rust, Bernsen shifted his focus to family-friendly movies and formed Home Theater Films. Bernsen’s latest film project, Christian Mingle, was released in January 2015 by Capitol. Bernsen lives in Los Angeles with his wife of 26 years, actress Amanda Pays, and their four sons. His new novel from Pelican Book Group is based on his film of the same name, Rust. FULL POST
Q: You actually had ten teenage girls help with the contents of this book. Talk about that process.
A: I was so honored when the teen girls I approached agreed to help write the content for the book because they are all remarkable young ladies. For eight weeks, we met in my home for three hours each week and I had a topic prepared that we would discuss. One week we would talk about boys (which was ALWAYS interesting), and another week we would talk about communicating with parents effectively. The girls’ ages ranged from 12-18, so they would divide into groups by ages and discuss the questions I gave them for that topic. Then, we would all come together as a group and share. That was always interesting because the younger ones were often more graphic than the older ones! They know so much, so it was never awkward for the younger and older ones to talk about the topics and they all learned a lot from one another. I know I learned the most! One of the greatest parts for me was hearing their stories, and they asked me to be sure to include some of those in the book. They also gave me some marketing advice by saying, “Ms. Shannon, girls our age will buy this book if you have a cute cover on the book, good stories inside, and they know you’re not preaching to them.” :) FULL POST
A recent Barna research study confirmed that Americans are becoming more inclined to dismiss the concept of a Creator. The study showed that one in four un-churched adults are either atheists or agnostics. Twenty years ago, 18 percent of skeptics were under 30 years old. Today that proportion has nearly doubled to 34 percent—nearly one-quarter of the total U.S. population. Christians are increasingly exposed to greater antagonism and arguments against faith in Christ and Scripture. In his new book, God The Reason: How Infinite Excellence Gives Unbreakable Faith, theologian Craig Biehl offers Christians a definitive guide on how to grow in faith and answer the most sophisticated arguments of unbelievers.
“Barna’s findings confirm what pastors and parents have known for some time,” says Dr. Biehl, who earned his PhD from Westminster Theological Seminary. “The influence of Christianity on our culture is diminishing. But to blame unbelief on a lack of effective arguments for Christianity would be too simplistic. Many of the crowds who witnessed Christ’s miracles had plenty of evidence and arguments, yet shouted for His death. All people live in a sea of compelling evidence, but deny the clear display of God’s power and genius from a refusal to bow the knee to their Creator. Nonetheless, increasing skepticism not only calls Christians to a more authentic and Christ-like life, but to a greater understanding of the faith assumptions of unbelief, the defensibility of Christian belief, and the infinite excellence of the God of Scripture. Too often our lack of faith and understanding of key issues of faith and unbelief serve to reinforce the rejection of Christ and Christianity.” FULL POST
Popular radio show host Shellie Nichol has released her first book entitled Destination: Hope –A Guide Through Life’s Unexpected Journeys (Clovercroft Publishing/STL Distribution). Nichol opens up about the most difficult moments of her life including being physically and mentally abused as a child, molested, bullied, going through two divorces, fighting cervical cancer, losing a child, suffering from an eating disorder, experiencing debilitating panic and anxiety, ADD, OCD, and a doctor pronouncing a death sentence for her first-born child. But though the trials have at times felt “Job-like,” Nichol admits she has also found the secret to surviving -- hope.
“The one thing I can tell people who go through terrible circumstances is never allow despair inside your soul, no matter how hard it is to resist,” says Nichol.” “Look at your situation as a chance to grow. View it as an incredible movie -- thrilling, dramatic, and a real nail-biter --that in the end will be inspirational because you and God did it together and you will be an amazing overcomer.” FULL POST
E-Squared Media Network will host a free, one hour webinar on Tuesday, September 15 at 11:00 amPacific/2:00 pm Eastern time called “Effectively Equipping Our Churches.” The seminar will feature several podcasters from the E-Squared Media Network including Dave Murrow, Jana Doughty, Matt Tague, along with special guest, Joel Weldon. The webinar will be live via www.E2MediatNetwork.com, Twitter @e2medianetwork, and www.Facebook.com/e2network. The webinar is free, but registration is required at http://e2medianetwork.com/webcast-registration.
The webinar will include discussions about millennials and the church—are they leaving and are their parents the problem? Worship styles, including using masculine and feminine music/imagery, will be part of the conversation, along with men’s ministry challenges and male vs. female leadership. Additionally, small church vs. mega-church trends and concerns will also be a topic. FULL POST
Pastor, counselor and author Bruce S. Campbell has penned a new novel that was inspired by a modern-day miracle. The Beginning: Prelude to the Apocalypse (Carpenter’s Son Publishing/STL Distribution) came about after Campbell’s church had begun a season of miraculous healings.
“I was the pastor of a church and we had a woman who was dying of cancer,” says Campbell, who received his Master’s Degree in Divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. “The doctors had given her little hope and basically, sent her home to die. We laid hands on her and prayed for a complete recovery. A couple of weeks later, she was told there was an experimental treatment so she went to the hospital for tests. That day her son called me in tears, and I thought she had passed away. What he told me was that the doctors could no longer locate the cancer at all. It was completely gone. This sent shock waves through our church, and we began to see God move in miraculous ways. My associate pastor and I began to talk about how the New Testament was coming alive before us, and we began to discuss biblical characters. We started talking about the two witnesses in Revelation – who they would be, what they would say, will they be just regular guys – and that was the germination of the idea behind the book. What will the two witnesses tell us when they arrive? And are they already here?” FULL POST