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
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
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
Q: Talk a little about your family, how you came to Christ and your faith journey.
A: I am a Kentucky-raised girl currently living in the Sunshine State of Florida. Jamie is my amazingly supportive husband of eight years, and we have a two- year old son, Landon, who is the absolute joy of our lives. I grew up in church where my dad was the pianist and my mom sang on the praise team. In fact, I made my debut performance as a singer at age 3 in front of roughly 1,000 church members when the pastor handed me the microphone and I gave my best rendition of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” I grew up heavily involved in church, especially the music team where I sang and played keyboard. Even though I have been saved most of my life, I didn’t always follow Christ like I should. After “searching” during my college years, I discovered God had a greater plan for my life than I could imagine and turned over my dreams and desires to Him. FULL POST
Pelican Book Group is offering a free download of a 40-day devotional book entitled “I Thirst,” based on the Book of Psalms. The devotional features entries from 33 authors and staff of the Pelican imprint. Editor in Chief Nicola Martinez wanted to offer readers a unique book for the Lenten season.
"Each year, Lent is a meant to be a journey to discovering Christ as we await Easter,” says Martinez, “and I like to offer something special to people during this time. Last year, I felt compelled to offer the entire e-book catalogue free during the season of Lent. This year, I wasn't quite sure how to follow that up! And then it came to me when a colleague wrote an article about her favorite psalm. I hope that meditating on the 40 Scripture references in ‘I Thirst’ will help people to grow closer to Christ this Lenten season."
Pelican continues to offer quality Christ-centered fiction to readers, releasing three new novels and two novellas between now and Easter including a romantic suspense novel entitled “From Scratch” by C.E. Hilbert, a historical romance called “Northern Light” by Annette O’Hare, a contemporary romance novel by Deborah Pierson entitled “Not So Far Away”, and the next two installments in Clare Revell’s “Flowers Can Be Fatal” series—a romantic suspense for every month of the year. FULL POST
Q: What makes your new book, Evangelpreneur, different from other financial books?
A: Most books concerning faith and finances focus mainly on either getting out of debt, saving money (which we falsely believe is stewardship), tithing, or they address how money isn't important and should not be something we strive to generate beyond what is perceived as ‘enough.’ This approach, while popular in the past, has created a massive amount of damage. Four out of five people are one paycheck away from poverty, one in two don't have $500 dollars, 7,000 churches per year get foreclosed on, more people will file bankruptcy this year than graduate college, and suicide because of financial stress will claim more lives than traffic accidents. This is most literally becoming a matter of life and death. Evangelpreneur is the first book of its kind in generations that teaches people that entrepreneurship, not employment, is God's plan for his people. It instructs people on not only what God says about it, but also how to go about putting these principles into practice. The book destroys the lies (Called in the book; 'lies of the Devil') such as ‘it takes money to make money,’ ‘just do what you love,’ ‘not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur,’ and a number of other lies that stop people from earning money the way God designed. It also addresses how it is the responsibility of every pastor and church to teach people how to make money, not just what to do with it. We also look at the fact that this issue alone is the number one missed opportunity in the Western world to spread the Gospel and save souls. This shocking statement is true and takes many readers by surprise as they realize how millions of Christians are overlooking it. FULL POST
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