Books

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Posted 10/14/16 at 2:40 PM | Audra Jennings

New book offers hope for overwhelmed parents

New Book Offers Hope for Overwhelmed Parents
Author and Bible Teacher Melissa Spoelstra provides practical steps to making disciples at home.

In a culture where we're all under the public eye, from everyday scrutiny on Facebook and the school pickup line, to media stories of affluenza teens and zoo trips gone wrong, the pressure to be a perfect parent is high, especially for Christians. Fortunately, God doesn't demand parents to be perfect or to raise perfect children; instead He calls for faithfulness to Him. Christian parents are instructed to train and lead their children to Jesus, but kids are not a parenting report card. That truth can give the freedom to parent with love and patience, trusting God to do the rest. Many parents desire that kind of relationship with their children, but don't know where to begin. In Total Family Makeover: 8 Practical Steps to Making Disciples at Home (Abingdon Press/ September 20, 2016/ISBN 978-1501820656/$16.99), Melissa Spoelstra gives parents easy-to-follow steps to help disciple their children to be true Jesus followers. FULL POST

Posted 10/13/16 at 3:21 PM | Audra Jennings

How One Abandoned Baby Inspired Linda Znachko to Say Yes to God

Part 1 of an interview with Linda Znachko,
Author of He Knows Your Name

When the evening news reported an abandoned baby had been found dead in a local dumpster, Linda Znachko's comfortable life changed. She was suddenly convicted, knowing God wanted her to provide a dignified burial for this tiny lost child. She obeyed, having no idea where that first small yes would lead. He Knows Your Name: How One Abandoned Baby Inspired Me to Say Yes to God (Kregel Publications) chronicles Znachko's journey and challenges the reader to say yes to the Holy Spirit's leading, no matter how insignificant or strange it may seem.

Q: While anyone who watched the news or read the story of the abandoned would have certainly found it to be a terrible situation, you were struck on a deeper level. What was it about this baby that called you to action? FULL POST

Posted 10/12/16 at 12:59 PM | Audra Jennings

God's names speak to His character

Part 2 of an Interview with Sheryl Giesbrecht,
Author of Experiencing God Through His Names

Understanding that each of God's names reveals something about His character opens our spiritual eyes to see His perfect purposes and to recognize His commitment to us. If we can grasp the meanings of His names, we can know God more intimately. In Experiencing God Through His Names, Sheryl Giesbrecht not only covers some of the well-known titles, such as Father, Ancient of Days and "El Shaddai," but some of the lesser-used designations, including "El Bethel," "Jehovah Sabaoth" and "Jehovah Maozi."

Experiencing God Through His Names invites readers to interact with God about the truth behind His names by studying one each day for 31 days.

Q: Why is it so important for believers to know God's various names? FULL POST

Posted 10/11/16 at 1:30 PM | Audra Jennings

Inspiration for Today's Renaissance Mom

Part 1 of an interview with Wendy Speake and Kelli Stuart,
authors of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today's Renaissance Mom

Creative moms often feel as though they must lay their passions down once the kids arrive, if for no other reason than there is no time. But God has something special in mind for creative women during this intense season of mothering. In Life Creative: Inspiration for Today's Renaissance Mom (Kregel Publications) authors Wendy Speake and Kelli Stuart show that "a mother's natural bent toward imagination doesn't just wither and die with thebirth of a child. This core component remains part of her intricate design."

Q: Life Creative is a book written to encourage moms, but it is not your average parenting book on raising kids. Tell us about your new book and how its message is different. FULL POST

Posted 10/7/16 at 1:16 PM | Audra Jennings

If your loved one has seen war, he or she has PTSD at some level

Part 1 of an interview with Welby O'Brien, author of
Love Our Vets: Restoring Hope for Families of Veterans with PTSD

Affecting millions in the U.S. alone, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is rampant and escalating at an alarming rate. For the sufferer facing this disorder, life is fraught with stress, anxiety, difficulties and heartache. However, for every one person struggling with PTSD, there are many more friends and family members who are also deeply and profoundly impacted. Author Welby O'Brien offers help and hope to families of PTSD sufferers in Love Our Vets: Restoring Hope for Families of Veterans with PTSD (Deep River Books).

Q: We hear a lot about post-traumatic stress disorder (or PTSD) but may not really understand what it is and how it affects those who have it. Can you help us grasp a basic understanding of what PTSD is? FULL POST

Posted 10/4/16 at 4:23 PM | Audra Jennings

Practical steps for making disciples at home

Part 1 of an interview with Melissa Spoelstra,
Author of Total Family Makeover

God doesn't demand parents raise perfect children; He calls for faithfulness to Him. Christian parents are instructed to train and lead their children to Jesus, but kids are not a parenting report card. That truth can give the freedom to parent with love and patience, trusting God to do the rest. Many parents desire that kind of relationship with their children, but don't know where to begin. In Total Family Makeover: 8 Practical Steps to Making Disciples at Home (Abingdon Press), Melissa Spoelstra gives parents practical, easy-to-follow steps to help disciple their children to be true Jesus followers.

Q: What makes The Total Family Makeover unique from other parenting books on the market?

It is different from other parenting books in that it gives parents a place to start and a track to run on when it comes to discipling their children. Each step builds on the previous one as parents find practical tools they can implement in their own families right away. The Total Family Makeover isn't focused on getting kids to respond; rather it's a challenge for parents to be intentional in showing their children what it looks like to follow Jesus. All too often, parents view their kids' behavior as a report card. When their kids get awards or make good decisions, they feel like A+ parents. When their children get in trouble or struggle with moral issues, they see a big red F at the top of the page. FULL POST

Posted 9/28/16 at 12:36 PM | Audra Jennings

Being a mom doesn't mean you can't live Life Creative

Being a mom doesn’t mean you can’t live a Life Creative
A celebration of motherhood, creativity and the faith that binds them

Creative moms often feel as though they must lay their passions down once the kids arrive, if for no other reason than there is no time. But God has something special in mind for creative women during this intense season of mothering. In Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom (Kregel Publications/September 27, 2016/ISBN 978-0-8254-4410-4/$14.99) authors Wendy Speake and Kelli Stuart show that “a mother’s natural bent toward imagination doesn’t just wither and die with the birth of a child. This core component remains part of her intricate design.”

In our social media age of handcrafted children’s parties, artistic Instagram photos, tutorials for renovating old furniture into new treasures and blogs filled with poetry, prose and other expression, clearly a brand-new generation of inspired women is rising up. It is a renaissance born not in Italian cathedrals or Harlem jazz clubs, but in kitchens, nurseries and living rooms around the world. However, when Christian women become mothers, they often feel expected to give up their creative pursuits to parent properly. FULL POST

Posted 9/27/16 at 1:46 PM | Audra Jennings

Giving Children a Name in Life, Dignity in Death

Giving children a name in life, dignity in death
Linda Znachko’s small “yes” changed her life — and her community — forever

When the evening news reported an abandoned baby had been found dead in a local dumpster, Linda Znachko’s comfortable life changed. She was suddenly convicted, knowing God wanted her to provide a dignified burial for this tiny lost child. She obeyed, having no idea where that first small yes would lead. He Knows Your Name: How One Abandoned Baby Inspired Me to Say Yes to God (Kregel Publications/ September 27, 2016/ISBN: 9780825444043/$14.99) chronicles Znachko’s journey and challenges the reader to say yes to the Holy Spirit’s leading, no matter how insignificant or strange it may seem.

As she continued to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, Znachko found herself in places she never dreamed she would be: at the graveside of the child of an abused mother, by the side of a mother fighting for her lost child and at the funeral of a Texas stripper who died two days before her baptism but left a legacy of love behind. “God’s Spirit was prompting me to step into a stranger’s deepest pain,” Znachko recalls. “Had I declined, no one around me would have been the wiser.” Despite her reservations, God began opening her heart to sense and respond to His leading in a fresh, new way. FULL POST

Posted 9/20/16 at 4:04 PM | Audra Jennings

Experiencing God Through His Names

Part 1 of an Interview with Sheryl Giesbrecht,
Author of Experiencing God Through His Names

What's in a name? Names are more than groups of letters that represent a person or identify objects. Names are powerful. A person's character and destiny can be influenced by his or her name. When it comes to God, His attributes and personality support His unique and distinct names. In Experiencing God Through His Names (Bold Vision Books), author Sheryl Giesbrecht leads readers in a study to discover truths about God's character by a study of His various titles and names.

Q: You wrote Experiencing God Through His Names after some very personal encounters. Please share what led you to explore the different names for God.

I was a stressed-out pastor's wife, working a full-time job outside of our home, mothering a preschooler and kindergartener, exhausted from the demands of family and ministry. I was full of fear with one child in a public school and the other with a daycare provider. I needed the connection of women friendships but was afraid of rejection and how I might fit in since I was a working mother. I wanted to learn how to trust God in a practical way. I joined a Moms in Touch group (now known as Moms In Prayer International) to pray for my child in school. Through this amazing group of women, I learned how to pray specifically for my own needs and the needs of my family by understanding the names of God. Added bonuses were learning to worship using the names of God and drawing near to God by calling on His specific names. FULL POST

Posted 9/14/16 at 9:17 AM |

New book helps believers overcome "spiritual vertigo"

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

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