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Posted 6/9/16 at 10:31 AM | Audra Jennings

Men tend to suffer in silence, but they need to share their stories

Part 2 of an interview with Andrew J. Schmutzer
Co-Author of Naming Our Abuse: God's Pathways to Healing for Male Sexual Abuse Survivors

Male sexual abuse is increasingly in the news, from scandals in the Catholic Church to exploitations at Penn State. Yet books and programs about healing are still overwhelmingly oriented toward the female survivor of abuse. As men who experienced childhood abuse, Andrew J. Schmutzer, Daniel A. Gorski and David Carlson, authors of Naming Our Abuse: God's Pathways to Healing for Male Sexual Abuse Survivors (Kregel Publications) are uniquely qualified to address the healing process of male survivors.

In the book, each author shares his story, modeling for men how telling --- and writing --- their stories can play a significant role in recovery. "Writing helps the brain process the significance of what happened, not just the fact that it happened," Schmutzer explains. "Dignity is recaptured by remembering rightly, honestly and deeply. Writing honors pain by putting it in black and white." FULL POST

Posted 6/7/16 at 2:58 PM | Audra Jennings

Author shares essential steps to recovery

Part 2 of an interview with Crystal M. Sutherland,
Author of Journey to Heal

Survivors of childhood sexual abuse often feel like the walking wounded. They feel alone and afraid, unsure of where to start in their search for lasting healing. It becomes far too easy to believe lies that say they're worthless and true recovery is impossible.

Crystal Sutherland --- a survivor herself --- knows that a simple formula for healing from such a painful past doesn't exist. But that doesn't mean it isn't possible. For adult female survivors who want to progress from simply coping to living abundantly, Journey to Heal (Kregel Publications) guides readers through essential steps to recovery found in Scripture. Though candid and open about her personal journey, Sutherland avoids triggering descriptions. Instead, she offers stories of hope form other survivors and practical wisdom to lead you down a new path toward discovering the life of wholeness God desires for you. FULL POST

Posted 6/3/16 at 3:04 PM | Audra Jennings

Sarah Sundin explores the dangers of prejudice in new WWII novel

An interview with Sarah Sundin, Author of
Anchor in the Storm

Male and female stereotypes have always existed. World War II brought major changes to the status quo in America as necessity challenged traditional male/female roles and opportunities. Sarah Sundin delves into these dynamics in the second installment in her Waves of Freedom series, Anchor in the Storm (Revell/May 3, 2016/ISBN: 9780800723439/ $14.99). As the needs of a nation brought millions of women into the workforce, some for the first time, ladies were suddenly finding new strengths and facing new tests, including Lillian Avery.

Q: Anchor in the Storm is the second release in your Waves of Freedom series, set in the romantic yet tumultuous World War II period. Tell us a little about this story and how the series ties together.

For plucky Lillian Avery, America's entry into World War II means a chance to prove herself as a pharmacist in Boston. She loves the wartime challenges of her new job but spurns the attention of society boy Ensign Archer Vandenberg. As Arch's destroyer battles U-boats along the East Coast, Lillian uncovers a black market drug ring. Arch and Lillian work together on the investigation, but he wonders if he can ever earn her trust and affection. FULL POST

Posted 6/2/16 at 2:07 PM | Audra Jennings

The grand narrative of God's redemptive work

Part 1 of an interview with Erik Guzman,
Author of The Seed: A True Myth

We’ve all had the feeling that something’s not quite right with our lives. It’s bigger than any specific failure or disappointment. It’s bigger than any person. No matter what you achieve or how much you drink or sleep, you can’t shake it. It haunts you—night and day—and propels you to do something. So you build. You build and build the maze that is your exhausting life. Sound vaguely familiar?

Erik Guzman’s The Seed: A True Myth (New Growth Press) is a journey into the personal labyrinths we create to protect ourselves and those we love from the pain of living in a broken world. Guzman’s “true myth” takes the reader on an unforgettable journey that is, in essence, the grand narrative of God’s redemptive work in the world. This page-turning Christian fantasy tale is packed with mystery and drama, and readers will feel the weight and power of redemption as they journey alongside Guzman’s characters in their epic battle. The Seed deftly communicates the heart of Trinitarian theology through story—without using theological language or Christian terms—and reinforces biblical themes such as God’s character and man’s true identity and calling. FULL POST

Posted 5/31/16 at 4:48 PM | Audra Jennings

You have a hidden agenda and may not realize it

Part 1 of an interview with Steve Brown,
Author of Hidden Agendas: Dropping the Masks that Keep Us Apart

It's easy to imagine high-powered executives and egotistical politicians having hidden agendas. What may not be so simple to accept is that deep down, all have a secret plan for getting themselves from where they are to where they want to be. As author and radio host Steve Brown has written in Hidden Agendas: Dropping the Masks that Keep Us Apart (New Growth Press/May 16, 2016), people, especially Christians, wear disguises to make it easier to accomplish these concealed plans. These masks might be religion, appearance or power, and the pressure of keeping it all together can be overwhelming. For most, though, it will be a cold day in a hot place before they are fully honest with anyone else about their fears, struggles and sins.

Q: You open Hidden Agendas by saying you have "lived long enough and sinned big enough" to be able to write this book. Explain what you mean by that. FULL POST

Posted 5/26/16 at 1:42 PM | Audra Jennings

Dig through the darkness to find the light

Part 2 of an interview with Nika Maples,
Author of Hunting Hope

Hope is not an accident. Sometimes it has to be hunted, and hunting it takes courage.

Hope hunters know how to excavate hope from hardship. There is dirt underneath their fingernails and sweat on their shirts. They rake through the rubble of an unwanted situation, digging into difficult circumstances because they have come to expect that adversity will produce good. They believe that light always triumphs over darkness. They have learned to walk through winter with their eyes on spring.

Nika Maples, the author of Hunting Hope: Dig Through the Darkness to Find the Light
(Worthy Inspired), became a hope hunter after suffering a massive brainstem stroke that left her quadriplegic in her twenties. Doctors warned that she had as little as 48 hours to live, and-if she lived at all-she would never walk or talk again. There was no hope on the horizon. So Nika started to hunt for it. Today, she not only walks, but she speaks to audiences everywhere about the power of hunting hope when a situation appears hopeless. She says hope remains camouflaged in the daily mundane. If we are not looking for it, we will miss it, though it is right before our eyes. FULL POST

Posted 5/23/16 at 11:10 AM | Audra Jennings

The staggering statistics on childhood sexual abuse

Part 1 of an interview with Andrew J. Schmutzer
Co-Author of Naming Our Abuse: God's Pathways to Healing for Male Sexual Abuse Survivors

From Penn State to the Catholic Church scandal, stories of sexual abuse are covered in the national media, but news reports do not reveal all the facts of how prevalent abuse is among males. "The standard statistic is that one in six boys is sexually abused before the age of 18 ( However, Male Survivor recently reported one in four men has been sexually abused," Andrew J. Schmutzer, co-author of Naming Our Abuse: God's Pathways to Healing for Male Sexual Abuse Survivors (Kregel Publications), explains. "One thing to understand about these statistics is that they are largely based on self-reporting, so they have been historically hard to come by. As specialists know, men don't readily talk about their abuse." FULL POST

Posted 5/20/16 at 12:59 PM | Audra Jennings

Abuse survivor leads women on a journey to heal

Part 1 of an interview with Crystal M. Sutherland,
Author of Journey to Heal

A woman who was sexually abused as a child can wrestle her whole adult life with questions such as, Am I worthless? How can I move past the hurt? Do I matter to God? This internal turbulence can carve a deep hole in an already wounded soul. Crystal M. Sutherland's own experiences as a child led her to write Journey to Heal: Seven Essential Steps of Recovery for Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse (Kregel Publications).

Q: Your book, Journey to Heal, addresses an especially sensitive subject. How prevalent is child sexual abuse in our country?

The prevalence of childhood sexual abuse in our country is one of the best-kept secrets of our culture today. It is a crime perpetuated in silence and secrecy, and often children who may attempt to tell an adult are ignored, dismissed or misunderstood. Based on recorded cases, it is estimated there are more than 42 million adult survivors of sexual abuse today. Current statistics also reveal approximately one in 10 children will be sexually abused before they reach the age of 18. That breaks down to about one in seven girls and one in 25 boys. These statistics are based solely on reported cases; it is very difficult to obtain accurate data because this crime is severely underreported. From the research I have read, this appears to be especially true among boys. FULL POST

Posted 5/19/16 at 12:42 PM | Audra Jennings

Hope isn't always easy to find --- sometimes you have to hunt

Part 1 of an interview with Nika Maples,
Author of Hunting Hope

Finding hope in dark times is not an accident. Sometimes it has to be hunted, and that chase takes great strength. Author Nika Maples wants to help others find the fierce bravery required to excavate hope from hardship with her new book, Hunting Hope: Dig Through the Darkness to Find the Light (Worthy Inspired).

Maples warns those who have the opportunity to observe Hope Hunters not to be fooled by the light in their eyes and the smile on their faces. If bystanders look a little closer, they'll notice the dirt under their fingernails and the sweat on their shirts. These pursuers of light rake through the rubble of unwanted situations and dig into difficult circumstances, because they know enough about God to make them confident adversity can produce good in their lives. This is not the delusion of the eternal optimist. The Hope Hunter acknowledges things are as bad as they seem, but they understand they can still search for --- and find --- God in the midst of it all. FULL POST

Posted 5/17/16 at 4:01 PM | Audra Jennings

God's grand narrative --- the only "true myth"

God’s grand narrative — the only ‘true myth’
Author’s debut novel is rich in Christian theology and symbolic imagery

Seattle: At some point everyone will have a moment where they simply know something is missing in their lives. Attempts to fill, ignore or dull this void are never successful and only end up leaving them exhausted, confused and alone. These are themes explored by author Erik Guzman in his debut release, The Seed: A True Myth (New Growth Press/May 16, 2016/ISBN: 978-1942572794/$17.99). This parable uses symbolism and vivid imagery to help readers think critically about the great lengths they go to in order to avoid the pain of living in a broken world, rather than accepting the peace and freedom the Gospel offers. FULL POST

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