Books

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Posted 9/13/17 at 2:11 PM | Audra Jennings

From overwhelmed by life to overwhelmed by God

Hayley DiMarco helps women trade in stress and worry for grace and love

Abingdon Press
A Woman Overwhelmed by Hayley DiMarco

The phrase “a woman overwhelmed” is one many women can relate to. Research reveals women are more likely to admit to being stressed and suffer from depression than men — yet there is hope. In A Woman Overwhelmed: Finding God in the Messes of Life (Abingdon Press/August 15, 2017/ISBN: 9781501840708/$16.99), best-selling author Hayley DiMarco shows readers what would happen if they could see the insanity in their pace and turn to embrace an overwhelming God.

Women are often overwhelmed by the demands and circumstances of life, resulting in stress, fear, worry, impatience, fatigue, frustration and even depression. The emotional tolls are great but often result in physical symptoms, such as weight gain, insomnia, headaches, anxiety attacks and digestive problems. “Women have a list of things to be overwhelmed with, but most of the time it comes down to their to-do list, which includes working, nurturing, loving, exercising, cleaning, cooking and more,” DiMarco explains. “We also tend to use comparison as a way of determining our value and our success. With all that has to be done, it would be much easier if everyone would do what we want them to do, but alas, our lack of being able to control others ends up overwhelming us as well.”

In A Woman Overwhelmed, DiMarco shares biblical insights and personal stories to show we were created to be overwhelmed, not by life, but by God. She offers a glimpse at the comedy of an overwhelmed life while encouraging readers to discover the depths and heights of God’s love and power. When we learn to be overwhelmed by God, the fruit in our lives goes from rotten (exhibiting selfishness, thanklessness, impatience, harshness, immorality, unfaithfulness or a lack of self-control) by focusing on the wrong things to fragrant (living with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control) by living focused on God.

“We were made to be overwhelmed by the goodness and grace of God. For that reason, our hearts search for something bigger than us. When our mission in life is to accomplish our own plans, dreams, hopes and desires, we are fertile ground for too much to do and not enough time or resources to do it. We naturally become overwhelmed with them,” writes DiMarco. “The Mission of Me is not a road to emotional or spiritual success because there will be difficult times and devastating failures. However, the Mission of God, though fraught with difficulty, sees success because God will not be frustrated. When we align our will and mission in life with His, we see life through different lenses, and suddenly everything that would have overwhelmed us is now a tool for our good.”

DiMarco hopes women will be empowered to find freedom in becoming overwhelmed with who God is. In addition to the book, she has written a companion six-week Bible study—A Woman Overwhelmed: A Bible Study on the Life of Mary, the Mother of Jesus—that walks through the story of Mary and digs into the Old and New Testaments to offer biblical and practical application related to aspects of life that can make us feel overwhelmed. Available components include a workbook, DVD, and leader guide, or a kit option.

Learn more about A Woman Overwhelmed and Hayley DiMarco at www.HayleyDiMarco.com. Readers can also follow her Facebook (hayley.dimarco) and Twitter (@hayleydimarco).

About the Author

Hayley DiMarco, author of A Woman Overwhelmed

Hayley DiMarco is the best-selling author of more than 40 books, including multiple books in the God Girl line, The Fruitful Wife, Obsessed, Die Young and Own It. Her latest release is A Woman Overwhelmed and its companion Bible study.

As the founder of Hungry Planet, a company intensely focused on feeding the world's appetite for truth, DiMarco speaks regularly for women’s groups and events, including Women of Faith, dotMOM, Precept National Women’s Convention and MOPS International.

Hayley and her pastor husband, Michael, live outside Nashville with their daughter and four dogs.

To learn more about DiMarco and her books, visit her online home www.HayleyDiMarco.com. She can also be found on Facebook (hayley.dimarco) and Twitter (@hayleydimarco).

Posted 9/12/17 at 11:48 PM |

Book for teen girls receives high honor from annual international award contest

Author, speaker and television host, Shannon Perry, garnered the Bronze Medal in the Christian Living category from the Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest for her third book, “Stand: Staying Balanced with Answers for Real Teen Life.” The Readers’ Favorite awards honor books in over 140 genres, with each genre judged separately. Past award winners and participants include New York Times bestsellers J.A. Jance, James Rollins, and #1 best-selling author Daniel Silva, as well as celebrity authors such as movie star Jim Carrey and actor Henry Winkler.

Perry wrote “Stand: Staying Balanced with Answers for Real Teen Life” after meeting with ten teen and tween girls in her home for over two months. The book delves into several difficult issues such as date rape, gender identity, bullying, suicide, cutting, drugs, and pre-marital sex, just to name a few. “Stand” also serves as an informational resource for Perry’s mother/teen daughter conference entitled In Her Shoes. Perry holds a Master’s Degree in Education and Counseling, and is a Certified Instructor in Parenting Classes and Crisis Counseling. FULL POST

Posted 9/12/17 at 11:45 AM | Audra Jennings

Author challenges women to pursue Biblical literacy

Choose Wisely, Live Fully points to Proverbs 1–9 for wisdom and truth

Abingdon Press
Choose Wisely, Live Fully by Donna Gaines

Fortune, fame and power mean nothing without Godly wisdom. King Solomon learned this in his day, and it is a truth that stands today. Author Donna Gaines’ new book, Choose Wisely, Live Fully: Lessons from Wisdom & Folly, the Two Women of Proverbs (Abingdon Press/August 15, 2017/ISBN: 9781501834240/$16.99), draws from the timeless wisdom of Proverbs 1–9 to help women apply the same principles in practical ways to the issues they face today.

Gaines harnesses her two passions, discipleship and literacy, to challenge women of all ages to become biblically literate. “God has not changed,” Gaines writes. “So why do we keep repeating the same behaviors even though we can see no one has been able to sidestep God’s laws or the consequences of breaking them? I am convinced the answer to that question is this: Most of us honestly don’t know what God has said in the first place. . . . Biblical illiteracy is rampant.”

The statistics support Gaines’ position. According to Lifeway Research findings, 20% of churchgoers reveal they never read the Bible (and the same percentage claim to read it daily), which leaves 80% who have, at best, a marginal understanding of its teachings. That deficiency makes us vulnerable to propaganda, political slant and other influences that do not represent biblical truth.

Choose Wisely, Live Fully responds to this need for biblical literacy by looking intently at the lives of Wisdom and Folly, the two women described in Proverbs 1–9, and their contrasting worldviews. By unpacking the topics covered in these early chapters of Proverbs — truth, wisdom, folly, courage and beauty, to name a few — Gaines seeks to awaken a perpetual hunger for firsthand biblical truth instead of relying on someone else’s interpretation of it.

Most importantly, Choose Wisely, Live Fully helps readers quickly identify that only God’s Word is the food that satisfies this hunger for truth and reminds us a daily portion is required to be nourished and equipped with a biblical worldview. Written with a built-in study guide, the book includes thought-provoking questions and exercises that may be used for personal study, small-group study or mentoring study.

Gaines examines the blessings and curses associated with the choices made by the two women in Proverbs and equips readers to:

  • discern the voice of God and follow His clear path between Wisdom and Folly.
  • experience the joy of wholehearted obedience.
  • let God help them mentor the lives of those around them in remarkable ways.
  • understand what it means to be a godly woman, wife and mother.
  • view mistakes as opportunities for growth.

A free downloadable resource on how to offer a mentoring program to help other women in their walk of faith is available at www.abingdonpress.com/donnagaines.

Donna Gaines, author of Choose Wisely, Live Fully

About the Author

Donna Gaines is a speaker and author of Choose Wisely, Live Fully, Seated: Living from Our Position in Christ and Leaving Ordinary: Encounter God Through Extraordinary Prayer.

Gaines is the founder of Arise2Read, a nonprofit organization that recruits churches to adopt and provide tutors for inner-city elementary schools. She also teaches Bible study at her home church, Memphis-area Bellevue Baptist Church, in which her husband, Steve Gaines, Southern Baptist Convention President, pastors.

She is the mother of four and “Nonna” to ten grandchildren.

Learn more at www.donnagaines.org and follow her on Twitter (@donnadgaines).

Posted 8/8/17 at 3:03 PM | Audra Jennings

God is at work in the mundane

Kari Patterson helps readers find freedom, purpose and joy in daily life

Kregel Pulblications
Sacred Mundane by Kari Patterson

Many women feel trapped in everyday drudgery and disappointment, in dull domestic duties and jobs that don’t offer fulfillment. The mundane day-in, day-out life seems like a far cry from the abundant, purposeful life they envisioned as Christians. In Sacred Mundane: How to Find Freedom, Purpose, and Joy (Kregel Publications/July 25, 2017/ISBN: 9780825444470/$15.99), author and blogger Kari Patterson helps readers find freedom, purpose and joy in the life they are living right now.

When life seems ordinary and unexciting, it is easy to slip into the mindset of being stuck and in need of a change. Patterson shows the reader the key to change is already in her hand once she realizes what is holding her back. “In 2 Kings, we read, ‘Naaman was a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper.’ He had so much going for him, but his leprosy threatened to steal it all,” explains Patterson. “I ask readers to consider their own lives and prayerfully simmer down their own life into a sentence. So often we’re vaguely aware of the areas we want to change, but we don’t take the time to narrow down and identify the one thing hindering us most. We feel overwhelmed or discouraged. Identifying the one thing helps us see more clearly how God wants to use our mundane to make us more like Him.”

Patterson points readers to the truth: In each unremarkable life lies an opportunity to see, know, love and be transformed by God, who meets everyone right where they are. Instead of stepping away from real life to find God, Patterson equips women with a six-step practice to move forward and meet Him in the humdrum moments of everyday existence. When inner change is achieved by the sacred, everything on the outside changes too. Once a decision is made to let Him in, it is time to:

  1. Look: see the world through the word
  2. Listen: discern His voice in daily life
  3. Engage: enter in
  4. Embrace: love the One
  5. Trust: live the blank
  6. Thank: find fulfillment

“The secret to true transformation, to a life of freedom, purpose and joy, is found in the ordinary life we already live,” Patterson explains. “Our mundane, the daily frustrations and the tedious tasks are working for us, producing supernatural strength in us, if we will let them. As we learn to go through each of the steps, we will find our ordinary transformed to extraordinary and our lives forever changed for the better.”

Through entertaining narrative, candid real-life stories, Bible study and practical instruction, Sacred Mundane leads readers to discover the beautiful sacredness in the lives they already lead. Women can learn to grow in God and make a real difference — big or small — in the world. The book also includes an outline for a nine-week study for individuals or groups.

At the author’s request, all royalties from the sales of the book will be donated to World Vision’s work with women and children in need.

Learn more about Sacred Mundane at www.karipatterson.com.

Kari Patterson, author of Sacred Mundane

About the Author

Kari Patterson (Kari rhymes with sorry, not scary) is a beloved daughter of God, and her life’s aim is to please her Father. She holds a master’s degree in pastoral studies from Multnomah Seminary and reaches thousands of women worldwide through speaking events and her popular blog, Sacred Mundane.

Patterson is a pastor’s wife, homeschool mom, Bible teacher, mentor and passionate seeker of truth. She and her husband, Jeff, have two children and lead a Christ-centered community called Renew Church in Beavercreek, OR.

Read Patterson’s Sacred Mundane blog at www.karipatterson.com. She is also active on Facebook (sacredmundane) and Twitter (@sacredmundane).


Posted 7/25/17 at 7:05 PM | Audra Jennings

A story of autism, faith and determined parenting

Karla Akins’ sons, her pair of miracles, are proof of what is possible through God

Kregel Publications
A Pair of Miracles by Karla Akins

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated one in 68 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Although a growing number of parents face similar circumstances, many still feel isolated and alone. In A Pair of Miracles: A Story of Autism, Faith, and Determined Parenting (Kregel Publications/July 25, 2017/ISBN: 9780825444845/$14.99), author Karla Akins, the mother of twin sons with autism, offers encouragement and reassurance.

It was not long after Akins and her husband brought their adopted sons home from the hospital they realized the boys were not behaving and developing as they should. A few months later they learned the boys were on the fetal alcohol disorders spectrum, and by the time they were four, they were diagnosed with autism. Twenty years ago, autism was not as prevalent as it is today, and Akins admits she knew nothing about it.

When she voiced her hopes her autistic sons could learn to read and function independently, doctors warned her those expectations would never be met. Despite those warnings, she set out to prove all things are possible through God.

Laced with humor and compassion, A Pair of Miracles is the heartwarming story of the Akins family’s journey of raising Isaac and Isaiah. However, the book is more than a moving biography from a mom on the front lines. It is a powerful tool, full of practical help for parents, educators and church members working with children who have intellectual disabilities, speech impairments and other limitations on the autism spectrum. It is also a challenge to the church to welcome and celebrate all of its members, no matter their abilities.

“I hope families and caregivers will be encouraged by reading about our journey and might gain a few ideas on how to work with their child,” shares Akins. “I also hope they will feel like they’re not alone in the struggle. I know I like to read books that validate what I’m feeling. It’s always good to know you’re not the only one in the trenches, fighting the good fight of day-to-day survival with autism.”

For parents seeking hope, answers and peace, Akins leads the way to all three down a path she’s already been. In addition to the inspiration, lessons learned and advice for becoming your child’s best advocate in all aspects of life given throughout the book, she includes appendices, offering: therapy and teaching strategies, listings of autism organizations and websites, skills checklists and suggestions for additional reading resources and online apps.

Thanks in large part to Akins’ determination, faith and unconditional love, her adult twins are now able to function independently in many ways, contrary to doctors’ predictions. They help their dad install pools, do carpentry work and serve in the church as ushers, sound engineers and children’s ministry workers. However, she warns, “Autism is different in every person. It’s a spectrum disorder, which means people fall on a wide spectrum. Remember all children are unique, no matter what their ability or diagnosis, and a diagnosis is not who they are. They are children and people first. They just happen to have a label.”


Karla Akins, author of A Pair of Miracles

About the Author

Karla Akins is the mother of five, including twin sons with autism. She has a bachelor’s in special education from Western Governors University and a doctorate in Christian education from Kingsway Theological Seminary. She has nearly four decades of teaching experience in homeschooling, private school and public education.

Akins has also served in ministry for more than 30 years and is co-minister at Christian Fellowship Church in North Manchester, Indiana, with her husband, Eddie. She is also a popular speaker at conferences and retreats.

In addition to A Pair of Miracles: A Story of Autism, Faith, and Determined Parenting, Akins is the author of four other books. Her first novel, The Pastor’s Wife Wears Biker Boots, featured a homeschool mom and a child with autism.

Akins enjoys riding her motorcycle, sipping chai lattes and snuggling with her three dogs and two cats.

Akins loves hearing from her readers. Her online home is www.KarlaAkins.com, and she is also on Facebook (KarlaKAkins) and Twitter (@KarlaAkins).


Posted 6/15/17 at 4:51 PM | Audra Jennings

Proceeds from book sales to help disabled children learn to ride bikes

Part 2 of an interview with Mike H. Mizrahi,

Author of The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race

Redemption Press
The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race by Mike H. Mizrahi

Mike Mizrahi’s The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race (Redemption Press) introduces readers to Anna Gaines, an insecure and introverted 19-year-old, who discovers she’s a natural on the “wheel” after a visit with her aunt in Brooklyn. Upon returning home to Chattanooga, she insists on the same rights men have to cycle in public. She becomes the first woman to ride the streets of Chattanooga, clad in the bloomers, the risqué apparel many New York women are wearing in 1895.

A firestorm ignites, pitting a few progressive thinkers against a city full of moralists intent on clinging to their post-Antebellum way of life. Anna finds herself in the middle of an explosive controversy she never envisioned. She is pitted against Peter Sawyer, the Cycle Club president who silently harbors a crush for her, in a five-mile bicycle race that will decide if women have the same capabilities as men to ride. FULL POST

Posted 6/15/17 at 4:49 PM | Audra Jennings

Mizrahi highlights how the bicycle paved the way for women’s rights

Part 1 of an interview with Mike H. Mizrahi,

Author of The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race

Mike H. Mizrahi, author of The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race

We live in a world where a device on our wrist can detect our every step and vital sign while our phones pop up with notifications telling us where we are, in case we did not already know. Too easily we take for granted the great inventions of the past that drastically changed the world at the time they were introduced. Take the bicycle, for example. In his debut novel, The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race (Redemption Press), author Mike H. Mizrahi tells the story of a woman who creates waves by not only riding a bicycle, but doing so in bloomers. A woman riding a bicycle in pants seems trivial to us now, but at the turn of the 20th century, it was a very big deal and played a part in the advancement of women’s rights. FULL POST

Posted 6/5/17 at 5:04 PM |

New York Times Best Seller Reveals the Truth about Hell to a Skeptical Generation

Q&A with Bill Wiese
Author of "23 Minutes in Hell" (10th Anniversary Edition)

Q: What content has been added to the 10th anniversary edition of "23 Minutes in Hell?"

A: We have added four chapters to the new edition. I have included answers to ten of the most difficult questions people ask in regard to hell, eternity and the afterlife. I also expound on my experience, giving additional Scriptures in support and sharing some feelings I sensed during the experience as well as describing a bit more about Jesus, His voice and such. I share over 30 emails including some personal encounters we have had with others in how the book has affected their lives over the past 10 years.

Q: Since your book was released, there have been church leaders and pastors who have summarily dismissed even the idea that a real hell exists. How do you respond to that claim? FULL POST

Posted 6/2/17 at 2:04 PM | Audra Jennings

When asking questions doesn’t work

Part 2 of an interview with Randy Newman,

Author of Questioning Evangelism

Kregel Publications
Questioning Evangelism by Randy Newman

Sometimes the best answer is a question. It's the way Jesus often talked with people as He led them into discussions about the issues that mattered most. In Questioning Evangelism: Engaging People’s Hearts the Way Jesus Did (Second Edition) (Kregel Publications), author Randy Newman provides practical insights to help Christians engage others in meaningful spiritual conversations. Asking questions, Newman suggests, doesn't tell unbelievers what to think but instead challenges how we think about people, their questions, and our message.

Q: The title of your book by itself may have people wondering if you have doubts about the need of telling others about Jesus, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Tell us a little bit about Questioning Evangelism. FULL POST

Posted 6/2/17 at 2:01 PM | Audra Jennings

Engaging people’s hearts the way Jesus did

Part 1 of an interview with Randy Newman,

Author of Questioning Evangelism

Randy Newman, author of Questioning Evangelism

When it comes to evangelism, do you feel pressured to know all the answers? What if you didn’t have to worry about having all the right answers but instead knew the right questions to ask in return? In Questioning Evangelism: Engaging People’s Hearts the Way Jesus Did (Second Edition) (Kregel Publications), author Randy Newman asks readers to look at evangelism in a different way. After all, Jesus asked questions; why don’t we?

Q: Why is it better to ask questions than to give answers when it comes to evangelism? What are some of the first questions you use to get a conversation started?

What does a question do that an answer doesn’t? (Yes, I know. I just answered your question with a question on purpose.) Doesn’t a question make you think and participate in the answering process? Doesn’t a question sometimes expose hidden or less-than-sincere motives? Don’t questions take away some of the anger? FULL POST

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