Monthly Archives: December 2022

start it

Start It: What Time is Left? will motivate you to start living the life you want – now

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – The dreams, ideas, Visions and goals not hatched are beginning to rot away because the bearers are habitual procrastinators. They have placed hope on a tomorrow that is far away, and forgotten about today, which is already here. They forget that very soon today will be yesterday and tomorrow will be today. How time flies.

What time is left to live the life that you have always wanted to live, and to achieve all that you have always wanted to achieve .

In Start It: What Time is Left?, this quick read by Franklin Ichella is intended to motivate you to start doing all that you have always dreamed of doing.

Through this book, you will also discover what to do to have victory over what is resisting or delaying the manifestation of your dreams and destiny.

There is greatness in you. Manifest it. Start It: What Time is Left? is available now through Amazon.

Franklin Ichella has always been passionate about individual and organizational growth. He is a motivational speaker, and also an anointed pastor with a prophetic mandate to bring restoration to God’s people.

Franklin Ichella is the president and founder of Many Thanks Church Inc. He currently resides in Florida.

best christian workplaces

Best Christian Workplaces Announces Revitalized Brand, New Website and Expanded Services

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – (Mercer Island, WA)—Best Christian Workplaces is excited to announce expanded services, a brand refresh, and the launch of a new website —

Best Christian Workplaces is the new, streamlined organizational name. The word “Institute” has been dropped from the name to elevate the emphasis on the vision, which is that Christian-led workplaces set the standard as the best, most effective places to work in the world. While the name has changed, the solid foundation of research remains intact. Best Christian Workplaces has the most comprehensive database of employee engagement data that exists in the Christian realm. BCW will continue to use this professional expertise as they serve more Christian-led organizations.

Jay Bransford, CEO, shares his enthusiasm for the direction of Best Christian Workplaces: “These changes will help us communicate the value of Best Christian Workplaces to more people. We are now poised to come alongside the current and next generation of leaders, to meet their unique challenges. In the past, our ministry partners have used our Employee Engagement Survey but haven’t always been aware of how BCW can serve them in additional ways. With a new, dedicated emphasis on sales and marketing, ministry partners will now be fully aware of all the BCW resources. Having Robert Wachter, Global Marketing Director, in place allows us to focus on providing a top-notch experience for our ministry partners.” is the new, easy to navigate website. It clearly explains how Best Christian Workplaces can come alongside organizations and help them on their journey to flourishing. The new website simplifies access to BCW professional services and provides resources to equip leaders to use the proven three phrase process: Discover, Build, and Grow.

The road to flourishing starts with the Discovery phase. Becoming a thriving workplace begins with evaluating and measuring the current level of organizational, leadership, and team health. BCW supports the discovery phase through the Employee Engagement Survey and Leadership 360 assessment. Clear and actionable data is the foundation to building a flourishing workplace culture.

In the Build phase, BCW has professional consultants ready to help identify key focus areas for cultural growth and create winning action plans. The consultants are specially trained to conduct Discovery Groups, provide HR consulting, and support overall team development.

In the Grow phase, BCW provides resources that allow leaders to continually nurture their workplace culture. A robust library of tools keeps progress on track—including Flourish Guides, specialized Toolkits, and many free resources full of key insights to help build engagement.

Robert Wachter, Global Marketing Director, sums up the impetus for changes at Best Christian Workplaces: “We care about everything that impacts your workplace and ministry, as we serve a growing number of churches, nonprofits, educational institutions, and Christian-led businesses. Best Christian Workplaces is expanding to encompass a full range of services that will increase employee wellbeing. Empowering healthy workplace cultures enables the organizations we serve to flourish and ultimately have a bigger kingdom impact.”

Visit to see the next steps on the road to flourishing.


Media Contact
Robert Wachter
Global Marketing Director


About Best Christian Workplaces
We equip and inspire Christian leaders to build an engaged, flourishing workplace. We believe that Christian-led workplaces can set the standard as the best, most effective places to work in the world. Our proven three phase process of Discover, Build, and Grow takes the guesswork out of building a flourishing workplace culture. Best Christian Workplaces is organized as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and was founded in 2002.

Best Christian Workplaces

9311 SE 36th Street, Suite 202, Mercer Island, WA 98040


automation worx

“Write the vision and make it plain” with the Automation Workz Life Culture Audit App

FAITH NEWS SERVICEEcclesiastes 10:19 and John 10:10 states,” money answereth all things” and that I am come that they might have life and life more abundantly.

DETROIT, Mich. Tired of living paycheck to paycheck? Tired of financial struggles and endless emergencies? Envision a life of plenty with the Life Culture Audit app. “As we began to admit learners to our tech programs, we noticed 78% of our learners were spiritual, yet struggled with a plan to achieve Godly abundance,” states Ida Byrd-Hill CEO Automation Workz.

“I discovered the power of vision boarding and goal setting, while I lived in a Flint HUD housing community during my high school years. I always wanted to be like Richie Rich, the comic character, despite the poverty-stricken environment I was living in.” At the age of 15, I read the Bible cover to cover to learn about Ecclesiastes 10:19 and John 10:10 that states,” money answereth all things” and that I am come that they might have life and life more abundantly.

Ironically, I rarely heard anyone preach Ecclesiastes 10:19 to escape poverty nor Write the vision and make it plain”. These scriptures, vision board and Godly wisdom led me to a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, an abundant lifestyle and a peaceful mindset.”

A vision board allows one to visualize abundance and see “all things are possible with God who strengthens me.” Mobile app users select a photo of their goal, give it a title and a detailed description. The Life Culture Audit App populates all goal photos on one page, where users can rearrange, reduce or enlarge photos based on goal priority. Daily review of this vision board provides energy in motion to execute actions to achieve desired goals.

Automation Workz has been utilizing the Life Culture Audit App to select front-liners for its workforce development network engineering and cybersecurity training. Automation Workz has achieved a 75% learner completion with an average placement salary of $67,250. Front-liners, mainly low-income African and Hispanic Americans, who normally would not have matriculated to tech careers, are mastering rigorous tech training.

Looking for a higher-paying career and an abundant lifestyle? “Write your vision and make it plain!” Join the movement to a better life. Download the Life Culture Audit app from either the Apple App Store or Google Play, today.

About Ida Byrd-Hill
Ida Byrd-Hill is a futurist, an urban economist, and CEO of Automation Workz. Automation Workz is a reskilling firm preparing employees to migrate into technology training specialties – network engineering, cybersecurity, software programming and data analytics.

Ida has 30+ years of professional business experience in HR, Executive Search, Finance, Social Responsibility, Technology and Wealth Management, having grown sales amongst diverse populations. She grew her wealth management firm from 0 to 620 million in assets under management and a mortgage portfolio to 40 million annually during an economic crisis. She is author of 8 books, including Invisible Talent Market-Solving the Talent Shortage Without Outsourcing and Visas.

Ida Byrd-Hill is a graduate of University of Michigan – Ann Arbor with a BA Economics and Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University with an MBA specializing in People Management/Strategy.

Contact: (313) 444-4885;





From living in a home for neglected children, to life as a pastor, Unexpected is a moving autobiography

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – Arriving at a home for neglected children on the rural outskirts of the Australian city of Melbourne, Edmond Smith had no idea as a young child that the Sutherland Home was where he would live for the next eleven years.

As a very small and fearful boy in the institution in the mid 1940’s, he would never know the love of his mother and father, and a home life that so many of us have enjoyed. He was a virtual orphan.

In his late teens he became bent on burning a gifted Bible, but God surprised him with the joy of the Gospel. Edmond expected to become a schoolteacher, but little does he know that the powers that be believe he is not fit to become one. Yet, God goes to work, even though he is troubled by the stigma of having had an institutional upbringing. Upon leaving the Sutherland Homes at the age of 18, he moves in with Christians, all the while seeking to hide his past.

How far could he go with his sensitivity while he sought to gain dignity? God grants his desire, and Edmond served as a teacher for six years before he felt God calling him to church ministry. Edmond became an ordained church pastor, changing life’s direction.

As the years passed, he became a seasoned disciple of Christ, with a rich understanding of how other people can suffer from the trauma of their early years. Providence led to learning where his gifts lay as a pastor through a well-respected national figure of his domination ­ –  and this is instrumental in the kind of ministry that leads to less exasperation and better prospects in what he was trying to achieve.

Much of what became unexpected was found in his experience as a pastor, but not all of it was good. One such occasion finds him surprised by a troubled thing that happened in life forty years before. He had to seek Christian psychological help when “the sleeping giant” had awakened. Yet God was at work once more so that the torment of such a memory was erased.

Towards the end of the same year, his sister, who was also institutionalized in early days as a child, found out she had the deadly ovarian cancer. To worsen matters, he and his sister had been grappling with the discovery of a chronic schizophrenic brother, as well as the still possible existence of their mother, who had even a worse case of chronic schizophrenia than their new-found brother. He and his sister had to come face to face with the hard reality of the past of ‘Ararat’s Lunatic Asylum,’ where both their mother and brother were inmates.

Upon reflecting deeply on such sad history, Edmond took to writing out his boyhood life in the institution. The sheer writing was somewhat soothing; some consolation for his troubled soul. At this stage, Edmond had no thought of getting his memoirs published, until his wife encouraged him that his story was unique and was worth being published. The Silver Poplar was born, and went on to win the Caleb Prize for the top autobiography in 2012.

Its publication left him less sensitive about what happened as a bewildered boy. If anything, he was tempted to be proud to have a unique story to tell, but God’s grace kept him humble.

Humility and gratitude marked his first ever visit to see the now forsaken Aradale, the great building complex of “the lunatic asylum” that still sits over-looking the city of Ararat below. Edmond gained a great insight there of the history of the treatment of mental illness at Aradale over one hundred and fifty years before. It is harrowing to read and yet if has a brighter side to its story. Readers will in part be entertained by what occurred in Ararat.

Edmond Smith is a retired Baptist pastor and the author of four other books: A Tree By a Stream, The Silver Poplar, Mirrors in Mark and The Scandal of God’s Forgiveness. His new book, Unexpected, tells his remarkable life story. He belongs to that line of Christians whose witness and influence originates in the gospel that powerfully transformed him in his teenage years.

This compelling autobiography documents the events that shaped an “unexpected” life from inauspicious beginnings in a children’s home in Melbourne to become an ordained Baptist pastor.

It is a candid and sometimes raw account of how God, in His mysterious providence, uses both the good and even the really bad to bring us to a mature faith in Him. Unexpected, the sequel to the award-winning The Silver Poplar, is now available globally.

together for a purpose

Amazon Best Seller Together for a Purpose: Love and Mission in Marriage and Ministry is Free for Download One More Day

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – United States—Sunday, December 4, 2022

Ross and Athena Holtz will capture Christian audiences with their newest book, Together for a Purpose: Love and Mission in Marriage and Ministry maintains best seller status.

Ross and Athena wrote Together for a Purpose to encourage couples in both marriage and ministry to be faithful in their relationships—even through the struggles—and to find God’s purpose for their everyday lives.

A unique true marriage story of two seasoned travelers who find each other and marry later in life is told from two viewpoints with openness and candor. This engaging and often humorous narrative written by a high-powered Christian woman publisher and a ready-for-retirement widowed pastor offers a much needed marriage book for women and men while navigating change and criticism, blended families, issues of compatibility, and meshing as a couple. More than just a love story, this growing-in-faith story touches on what we all long for—belonging, being loved for who we are, and finding a place of service to God and purpose in our everyday lives.

Ross and Athena Holt’s Together for a Purpose is free and available for download on Amazon through December 4, 2022. Together for a Purpose is rated 5 stars by those who have purchased the book. Here’s what some of the reviewers have said:

Mrs Custodio – 5 stars
Wonderful Story Guide
Reviewed in the United States on November 30, 2022
Verified Purchase

“Together For a Purpose is not only a beautiful story of love and redemption but also a wonderful guide on how to navigate our own relationships/marriages. It addresses who we are as individuals brought together in a unique union of two. I loved the story of their courtship and they dealt with struggles. I was inspired to make some changes in my own marriage.”

Jill Esau, Northwest Christian Writers Association – 5 stars
This book is better than I expected
Reviewed in the United States on November 29, 2022
Verified Purchase

“I have read my share of marriage/counseling/personal growth types of books. I love them. There is usually at least one nugget of wisdom I can use in every recommended volume I purchase. But TOGETHER FOR A PURPOSE offers an extra kick. It combines an intimate delve into the lives of two extremely accomplished and tender folks who found a deep love at an unexpected time in their lives, then decided to share their challenges with us (me!) in a way that allows for tons of application, reflection, and hope. I read it on Kindle, but will buy several copies for gifts when it is released in hard copy form. The dual recounting of situations by Athena and Ross invite the reader into their virtual living room to not only observe, but to actually learn from their experiences over six decades. Then they top off the chapters with specific questions for us to ponder throughout the day. I learned as much about myself as I did about this remarkable couple. Very clever and effective tools have been organized in this short honest exercise in processing disappointment and grabbing the good in front of us. I highly recommend TOGETHER FOR A PURPOSE if you need a fresh look at life.”

For More Information: For more questions or to schedule an interview about this press release please contact Athena Holtz at 210-620-4900 or email at

About the Authors
Dr. Geoffrey Ross Holtz was the founding and senior pastor of The Summit, Enumclaw, Washington. He holds a Masters of Religious Studies, a Doctor of Ministries, and a Doctor of Divinity degree from Columbia Evangelical Seminary, is ordained with the Evangelical Free Church of America, and is the author of Are You in the Game or in the Way? A Question for Pastors and Men’s Ministry Leaders.

Athena Dean Holtz is the founder and publisher of the hybrid Redemption Press in Enumclaw, Washington. Named Best Female Podcast Host of the year in 2021 by the national Spark Media for her All Things podcast, she is the author of Full Circle: Coming Home to the Faithfulness of God, and the founder of She Writes for Him writers’ online and in-person events and the Redeemed & Restored video broadcast/podcast.

press on in hope

New book inspires Christians to press on in hope, despite the darkness surrounding us

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – To walk calmly through a world in chaos and cross confidently to the other side may sound a little like a Sci Fi movie plot. Many strident voices promise a pathway through the rising waters, but exactly where is that pathway leading?

In the midst of the above author Carol Goode carves a path of hope using Biblical Scriptures and personal illustrations drawn from her life’s experiences in her powerful new book, Press On In Hope.

Press On In Hope offers good news. It aims to encourage us to walk confidently with the One who has already successfully crossed, and now stands victorious, on the other side.

In God alone we find strength and direction as we align ourselves to His plan. Through the guidance of the Holy spirit and His written Word, a safe passage is guaranteed. However, it is a passage not without its challenges. Indeed, the rising waters may give cause for fear and uncertainty but, He promises to carry us through when our own strength is failing.

Carol’s Theological training, along with her counselling and life’s experiences, move like a thread through her own lessons in life, including both her failures and successes. These are shared with humor and honesty while deftly tied off with the challenge to both watch and wait until He returns, as the book of Matthew explains.

“The tension between being ‘religious’ and ‘ Spirit led’ challenges the reader to press into God’s promises and press on in hope, ensuring we are not deceived,” says Carol. “How easy to become distracted and ignore the still small voice. To walk and work for Him instead of with Him.

“Perhaps God is stirring your heart to get rid of fear and walk in faith? The very first step is to get out of the boat! The Lord of the storm bids us focus on Him and not the waves.”

Carol warns the reader of the creeping New World view bent on drip-feeding us with fear and fake. She exhorts us to be more than spectators.

“To fight the good fight in the arena of faith takes courage,” she says. “The clock cannot be turned back. We are now in fast forward. As the world gets darker, Christians must walk in the light as He is in the light-while yet that light still shines-is our greatest challenge. To recognize we are saved by grace and grace alone humbles and strengthens us in the face of opposition.

“Be encouraged. The good shepherd of our souls has already gone before. He knows the path. More importantly He knows us by name and promises that all who call upon His name will be guided safely to the other side to be with Him forever.”

The themes grace and hope in Carol’s aptly titled book Press On In Hope will both challenge and encourage the reader to settle for nothing less than God’s best. Press On In Hope, published by Ark House, is now available globally.