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
Rossling Publishers has announced that a portion of proceeds of sales of the new fiction novel, The Academy will help fight human trafficking both here in the states and abroad. Co-author Ryan Mix just returned from Iraq where he served as videographer for an upcoming documentary on the human trafficking that is being conducted by ISIS, which is now the largest buyer and seller of human beings in the world.
“My trip to Iraq was an eye-opening experience about the devastation human beings can inflict on one another,” says Mix. “We traveled with a well-organized and trained security team comprised of former U.S. Navy SEALS, Army Rangers and intelligence agents watching our movements. Our main objective was to interview and capture stories of refugees who have escaped from ISIS, specifically those who were taken for sex-trade. With their stories, we will be able to clearly illustrate to the world what is really going on and how people can help. ISIS makes over one million dollars per day through human trafficking, making it one of their largest revenue streams. As they overtake a village, they kill all the men who do not convert to Islam, and kidnap women and girls who they can enslave to do domestic chores or to sell for sex.” FULL POST
Author with Ph.D. in Clinical Christian Counseling shares her personal story of divorce and infidelity in new book
As prominent pastors continue to fall into sexual sin, the headlines betray the reality that many church leaders refuse to acknowledge. According to Barna Research, nearly one-third of born-again Christians admit to having extramarital affairs. A Christianity Today survey found that 23% of pastors admitted to sexually-inappropriate behaviors with someone other than their wives. On the Ashley Madison website, which introduces people who are already married or in relationships to other people, nearly 48% of the membership is made up of people who identify as “born-again” Christians or as Protestants. These are statistics that Dr. Carol Erb knows all too well, both professionally and personally. But in her home, the percentage was 100%. FULL POST
Pelican Book Group donates enough proceeds to Food for the Poor to pay for clean water pump for poor community, food and education
Even before it releases in August, the new fiction book from Pelican Book Group entitled Summer’s Flame, has already made its mark internationally. Pelican is donating proceeds from the sale of the new novel to Food for the Poor, the largest international relief and development organization in the United States which serves the poorest of the poor in 17 countries throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. Through pre-sales alone of Summer’s Flame, Pelican has already been able to pay for a new clean water pump for a community, feed one child for a year, as well as send a child to school for a year. Pelican’s editor-in-chief, Nicola Martinez, says the venture has been consistent with the goals of the publishing company.
“As a publisher of Christian fiction, I’m privileged to provide readers with entertainment that instills hope and joy through the Gospel message,” says Martinez. "It’s a privilege and a responsibility to feed readers spiritually, to help bring someone to faith or to bolster the faith of a believer. But I ask myself often: is it enough? The book of James is very clear that faith and action go hand-in-hand by saying, ‘If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it?’ (James 2:15-16 NAB) It would be easy for me to say that publishing is the action behind my faith—and on one level it is, because at Pelican Book Group, we’re helping to spread the gospel through fiction—but if I say my responsibility ends there, then I fear I am kidding myself. Books can’t quell a physical hunger, can’t warm a cold and trembling body, cannot quench a physical thirst, so it became clear to me that we needed to do more.” FULL POST
First-time authors Ryan Mix and J.T. Payne held nothing back from their initial endeavor into Christian fiction with the new book, The Academy, releasing from Rossling Publishers and distributed by Ingram. Abortion, drugs, suicide, evolution, and death are just a few of the concepts the main character encounters at a fictitious Christian school. The Academy has a suspense element that both Mix and Payne wanted to create to keep readers on their toes. They admit to intentionally making “75% of the book anti-Christian,” but they had a good reason for doing so.
“We tried to take a bold new approach,” says Mix. “We wanted to build tension for Christians reading the book by flipping stereotypes and clichés on their heads so readers cannot assume anything and are forced to question what is coming next. But we also wanted to offer a storyline that might draw in non-Christians as well. Jesus taught in parables all the time in order to get people to think about spiritual things." FULL POST
Author draws a definitive parallel to today’s persecution of Christians in the Middle East
The current persecution of Christians in the Mideast has its echo in the religious cleansing that swept Asia Minor early in the last century. Over the course of ten years beginning in 1912, three million Christians were slaughtered. It was the first genocide of the 20th century. Smyrna was a majority-Christian city inside the mostly Islamic Ottoman Empire, and its destruction was the final episode of the genocide. A small-town minister whose faith in God gave him the strength to save hundreds of thousands of lives during the Armenian genocide is at the center of a new book, THE GREAT FIRE: One American's Mission to Rescue Victims of the 20th Century's First Genocide (HarperCollins), written by critically-acclaimed author Lou Ureneck.
The book tells the story of Reverend Asa K. Jennings who arranged the evacuation of the city of Smyrna (Turkey) after it was burned and a slaughter of its Christian inhabitants was begun by the Turkish army in September 1922. The arson and slaughter at Smyrna occurred as the navies of the great powers – the United States, Great Britain, France and Italy -- stood by as neutrals. The deaths of hundreds of thousands of helpless people seemed inevitable until an American minister came forward to stage a bold rescue with the help of a courageous U.S. Naval officer. FULL POST