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unshakable peace in an unsteady world

Unshakable Peace in an Unsteady World

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – Does the chaos of this world jump start your anxious thoughts? If there is anything the last few years have taught us all, it’s that we cannot control many circumstances in life.

In the midst of the chaos of this world and the fast pace of life, it is easy to let worry and fear overwhelm us and leave us stressed. In our ordinary daily lives anxious thoughts can leave us feeling we must be the only one who thinks like this. However, there is One who brings unshakeable peace in the midst of our trials and ever changing lives.

Four writers who had never met in person, took a risk and joined a writers mastermind via Zoom during the global pandemic. In the process of sharing their projects, they shared their successes, their losses, struggles, and lives with each other. After a season of quarantines, personal losses, milestone life changes and the desire to share the hope they have in Jesus, Unshakable Peace in an Unsteady World was birthed.

Filled with honest and beautiful storytelling, reflective questions for further processing, and anchored in Scripture, this devotional helps you take hold of of God’s Word and One who brings Unshakeable Peace in an Unsteady World. Join them in this 12 day devotional as they look at what Scripture teaches about lasting peace. They walk with you for 12 days and encourage you to dig deeper in your own personal study time to see what God has to say about the lasting peace He offers.

This book is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Walmart.

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Jess Carey is the award-winning author of Chart a Course – Taking a Journey With God at the Helm. Her writing has been featured in Christianparenting.org, focusonthefamily.com, and gritandvirtue.com. She is a wife of over 15 years and mother to two teenagers. From acting in New York to running an international business, she has had to overcome fear, insecurity, and perfectionism to pursue God’s divine plan. She is passionate about helping every person do the same. Connect with Jess on Instagram @jess_careyaz, or her website www.jessicacarey.co.

Jodi Kinasewitz lives in Mason, Ohio, with her husband of 20 years Matt, their four children, and their yellow lab, Max. She is an elementary-level reading specialist and a certified yoga instructor. She is passionate about leading Christian-inspired yoga classes, reading, and writing. She loves to travel with her family, and she spends any time she can outdoors. Jodi has had several articles published with various Christian platforms including gritandvirtue.com, mommentor.org, makemeavailable.com, and she was published in Milk & Honey Women Devotional Journal, Volume 1. Jodi’s hope is by sharing her story of struggle through a season of anxiety and depression her writing will shine a light on the importance of mental health while pointing others to Jesus. Find out more about Jodi on Instagram @jkinasewitz, Facebook – Jodi Kinasewitz.

Elise Daly Parker is a certified life coach passionate about empowering moms to savor and not just survive this busy season of life with clarity, confidence, and calm. She does this through one-on-one and group coaching, workshops (Vision Boards are a fave!), and her podcast MomVision. Elise shares practical tips and openly shares her experiences – the good, the bad, the ugly – of being the mom of four now-grown daughters, 37 years of marriage, and continuing to become the woman she is meant to be. Elise is on a mission to help moms unapologetically – and with no shame or guilt – know, love, and accept themselves today, with the hope and promise of moving towards their goals and dreams for tomorrow. Find her at EliseDalyParker.com, on the MomVision podcast, Instagram, and Facebook too.

Michele L. Wilbert is a writer, speaker, and entrepreneur who lives in California with her husband and son. An experienced marketing and public relations professional, she speaks to others about work as worship and finding your identity in Christ. She writes small group curriculum, devotions, and leadership development. She is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and finds joy teaching others to study God’s Word. Connect with her at www.michelelwilbert.com and on Instagram @michelelwilbert.

Contact:
Michele L. Wilbert
661-632-6651
michelewilbert1@gmail.com

New book unlocks Spiritual growth; explores 6 extraordinary Old Testament men

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – We know that Adam was made in the image and likeness of God, but how is he a type of the Messiah, and why is this significant?

What does Noah’s Ark, Moses’ Tabernacle and the Temple of Solomon all have in common with each other, which profoundly relates directly to Jesus as the Messiah?

Has your interest ever been sparked by the similarities between Joseph and Jesus? There are many similarities here to unearth, but which other Bible great also has similarities to Joseph?

Did Jesus deliberately mastermind His ministry to mirror all the Old Testament greats, or, did the Old Testament greats play out prophecy in anticipation of the coming of Jesus?

When we lay Christians read the Bible, there is so much that we do not know. Ian Kuhlmann’s new book, Unless Two Agree, however, helps Christians get a much better understanding and is designed to be a strategic companion to your Bible, providing useful insights that gives a depth to the Word that any Believer will appreciate.

“Initially, I had no intentions of writing this book,” said Ian. “This actually began as a collection of individual studies of various prominent people of the Bible. It was only afterwards when a few family and friends had a read of these studies that they encouraged me to take this study more seriously and to find a publisher. At first I thought nothing of their comments. I disregarded them, but family and friends persisted.

“This is not a type of book that one would normally read from front cover to back cover. Whilst it can be read this way, being a collection of six individual studies into the lives and ministries of six Old Testament heroes and how their lives “parallel” that of the life and ministry of Jesus, the reader can pick up the story line wherever they choose.

“I have found over the years in my travels that there is a growing disconnect that Christians have with the Old Testament. I have also noticed that this aspect hinders their spiritual growth. This book is more like a Bible study resource, a companion to everyone’s Bible. My aim in writing this book is to help Christians to improve their Bible literacy, to help them see the Bible stories through a Hebrew lens; that hopefully will bring a greater revelation to the reader of the Bible itself.

“Another aim is to assist and equip the reader with the right tools so they too can go on their own journey of discovery into the inexhaustible richness and depth that the Bible conceals.”

Being the youngest of three sons to Lutheran farmers in South Australia, Ian grew up loving the wide-open spaces and the pleasurable farm lifestyle. Ingrained into he and his three brothers was a high level work ethic that has served him well over the years. “Born again at age 14, I remember in those early years asking questions about the Bible that was ahead of my years,” he commented. “Even going to the extent of literally counting how many chapters and verses that there are in the Bible as no one I asked knew. Since then, a keen sense of exploration into many subjects of the Bible was developed that ebbed and flowed over the next three decades.

“In 1992 I undertook full time studies in Theology and Ministry at Christian Outreach Centre, passing with distinction. Since then, my involvement has been with several churches, participating within the various ministry groups that these churches offered. My passion is to share the richness and the depth of the Scriptures with other like-minded Christians, allowing the God given gifts to operate and to enrich the lives of those who come in contact with me.”

Unless Two Agree is very reader-friendly. It can be used as a personal devotional study companion with the Bible as well as for Bible study groups. Each study has various points of interest that will encourage the reader or Bible study group to investigate further, or bring about further meaningful discussions. It is ideal for new Christians as it looks at many aspects of the Bible through a Hebrew lens, tracing some points of interest back to the Jewish origins.

The book’s focus is upon a subject that gets very little recognition, but is integral in revealing the Divine authorship of the Bible.

So come and take an epic journey of discovery into the lives of six extraordinary great men of God. Here we shall examine a host of intriguing and surprising events and characteristics that occurred in their lives, and see how these events and characteristics are mirrored in the life and ministry of Jesus. This shall then reveal an amazing Biblical pattern that has significant ramifications upon the design and the writing of the very Scriptures themselves.

Unless Two Agree, published by Ark House, is now available globally.

You may have figured out Plan A, but What Is Your Plan B?

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – John Cronshaw is a remarkable man. Having been a Christian since 1960, he is the founding director of a group of tourism companies based in the Blue Mountains of Australia, which was initially established in 1974.

John regards his business as a ministry and part of his business is Christian Fellowship Tours, which takes Christians on vacations and pilgrimages throughout both Australia and the world.

As a coach captain, he has driven coaches Australia wide, including in one twelve month period touring to every Australian Capital city. In training other coach captains in his business, he states that “commentary is meant to educate, inform and entertain”, so research of local geography, history and geology to create an interesting commentary for passengers on tour means the delivered content needs to be easily understood and interesting.

He has taken this principle into his Coach Captain’s Commentary of the Bible in his new book ‘What Is Your Plan B?’ to present a very concise and readable summary of the story of the Bible from the beginning and leading to Jesus’ Crucifixion.

While his book is a great read for Christians, it is also ideal for a person who is interested in the Bible and is yet to decide whether “the Lord He is God”, or for people who need to get an understanding of how the parts of the Bible all fit together. Far from a heavy academic, theological style of book, it is instead a readable summary of what God’s Plan A was intended to be.

What is Your Plan B? was birthed in a small church in Melbourne where we were chatting about the time in the Garden of Gethsemane and Jesus found the disciples asleep ‘exhausted from sorrow,’” John stated. “Why were they exhausted from sorrow when the real drama was still to unfold with Jesus’ trial and crucifixion?

“The events of the few weeks prior must have had some major impact on them. So what were the events preceding the crucifixion? Where does the investigation end? Back in time I went in writing this book to Jesus’ birth. Why? Through the prophets. Why? And then back past the Exodus to Abraham.

“Just what is God’s Plan A? And for many of us, our plan A normally does not include God. A Coach captain’s Commentary of the Bible was born, in simple, non-technical jargon.”

Originally trained as a secondary school teacher responsible for teaching agriculture and biology, what was a hobby taking kids on school excursions grew into something bigger. After teaching for 11 years, John, along with a few other families, bought an old, run down tourist coach business in the Blue Mountains in 1974.

The business is still trading and has three parts to it: a secular coach arm called Fantastic Aussie Tours; a Double Decker fleet of buses that operate a hop-on-hop-off service in the Blue Mountains region, and an organized touring programme of Australian and international tours called Christian Fellowship Tours. John has been actively involved in this business since 1974 and to this day, he still conducts tours for Christian Fellowship Tours.

“The strength of my life is its ordinariness,” John stated. However, one thing is clear: he has a love for God and the Bible. “I qualified as a teacher, have a certificate in theology that does not accrue any university points, have driven coaches for the greater part of my life while also running the business, and have been an active lay person in my church and some other Christian and secular organizations.

“God’s Plan A as revealed in Jesus is something that existed before creation. This in itself is an amazing concept. To many, the Bible is complex because it is not a book you can read like a novel, and linking the bits and pieces together is something that is also seen as hard to undertake. In simple terms, I link the narrative together, outlining God’s Plan A, the pathway through the prophets to Jesus’ time on earth and then look into the Rest of Time.

“While some Bible references are listed, important passages are printed in the text so there is no need to go scrambling or putting off reading them because they are important things to read.

“The key selling feature is its readability. For someone interested in the deeper treatment and the theology of the Bible, this is not your book. It is instead designed for a Christian person who wants to get a good overview, or a non-Christian person who is interested in looking at what the Bible says about the Christian faith. I start with the premise ‘The Bible is what it says it is, and God is who He says he is in the Bible’. That’s a good starting point.”

This is not John’s first book. He has also written ‘Coached by God’, helping the successful Christian examine the conflict between the success manuals of the world with the text of Scripture. In this, he asks if Christianity and success are compatible?

‘Buspa’s Corner’ is a series of devotions styled from the devotions conduct while on tours, and ‘The Land of the Bible’ is a guide book useful for taking on tour when visiting Egypt, Jordan and Israel.

What Is Your Plan B?’ is now available globally.

Following the Firstborn – a multi-layered panorama that leads us towards the Celestial City

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – In this most unusual of years, where we have all spent a lot more time at home and in isolation than usual, Jim Ward found that he finally had the time to stop and review his creative writing folder, which contained a number of poems that he had written over the last fifty years.

As Jim reread them together as a whole – perhaps for the very first time – it suddenly became clear that there was a definite sequence of faith challenges embedded in the verse. Thinking that his collection may be of assistance to others, especially those starting their journey of faith, or just considering what it is like to walk alongside Jesus, Jim then made the final revisions of a small ‘ten steps of faith’ anthology and has now published his first book, Following the Firstborn.

“Poetry is not read widely these days, but because it can be performed, like the Psalms, it is a wonderful medium for conveying memorable thoughts and deep emotions,” Jim said. “The connotations of well-chosen words are very powerful. As I edited the poems, I became very conscious of God’s guiding Spirit helping me to get the language working well to focus on our great need to have Jesus as our friend and find that He can release us from the anxiety of the woes of the world – even in a year of debilitating Pandemic virus.”

Getting excited at the prospect of seeing 50 years of hard work start to come to fruition, Jim had the idea of using some of his travel photographs to pick up and expand the symbolism of the poetry so that it would appeal to as wide a range of readers as possible. Following this came the thought of adding a reflection guide for both individuals and groups to use. This focuses on crucial questions and starter resources to take every reader much further in considering and preparing for the great challenge of a lifetime “pilgrim’s progress”.

“The photograph essays connected to each poem establish vibrant symbols that reinforce the powerful life challenges of the poems,” Jim continued. “Wisdom, which perhaps is only glimpsed enticingly in the poetry, is brought into satisfying focus that provokes deep personal thought and application. This is both confronting and exciting. The book pinpoints and illuminates ten key questions about our faith and life following the Firstborn – Jesus.

“The audience is not left to flounder in the wake of daunting questions, however. A detailed reflection guide underlines disparate aspects of the questions to explore further. Together with some starter “backpack resources” for this great heavenly hike, the tribulations facing every pilgrim can be prepared for and overcome.

“Another refreshing feature of this work is its lifetime panorama, derived from its contextual origins in Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress. The poetry and questions build a rhythm of life towards eternity and present a big picture framework with which to put our journey into perspective. This makes good sense of our toils and troubles and builds hope and resilience.”

Jim Ward was born to missionary parents in Hong Kong in 1953 and a few weeks later, settled with them in East Malaysia, where the Sandakan death march ended just 8 years earlier, with only 6 survivors out of 1787 Australians. He told me that he has always been thankful that he was not born into that generation and has been challenged constantly not to waste his chance at life that these people never had.

On his family’s return to reside in Australia, they moved to the southern city of Melbourne, then settling in Townsville, Northern Queensland as his father became the inaugural Professor of Physics at James Cook University. Jim also ended up working in education and after a long career, he took up a deputy position at the new Thomas Hassall Anglican College in the western suburbs of Sydney, where he continues to work today.

Jim’s lifetime of work has a key mission for its readers: to tune in to the key faith navigation way points that are essential if we are going to complete our ‘mission impossible’ and experience the joy that the ‘Firstborn from the dead’ has prepared for His wonderful family.

“And so God has blessed this little book and thankfully moved the Ark House publishing company to produce it tastefully and get it printed in a convenient format,” Jim stated. “I believe that, although the concept of this book is unusual and multi-modal, that God will use it to lead others to faith in Him. Hopefully many will be encouraged on the great mission that is quite possible – that of Following the Firstborn home to an eternity of joy and secure peace, from which all evil has been banished forever.

“Much contemporary Christian literature is so issues-based that it must fixate on the treacherous track of the moment, as it traverses the enemy occupied territory of a world bent out of its beautiful shape by evil. Alert for every dangerous slip or slide in the mud, our eyes, quite rightfully, focus invariably on our boots. Following the Firstborn gives us some luxurious rest from this, so that we can look at the view of crucial route waypoints behind and ahead and check our progress. Our soul is fed and we can rise above the mire as an eagle soaring home by faith.”

Following the Firstborn is now available globally.

New book tells the story of an Australian nurse as a missionary in Africa

A new book has hit the global marketplace, outlining the fascinating life of an Australian missionary in Tanzania.

Guided – A True Story is the autobiography of Jo Brennan, an Australian nurse who worked in Tanzania, East Africa, with the Christian Missionary Society, before moving on to Liberia, West Africa. Her book is aimed at inspiring younger readers to do something great for God.

Guided is the author’s own story about herself, recording events both tragic and funny that happened during both her childhood and in Africa. Her own sketches of some of the incidents that occur will amuse the reader. Her story has been published previously in a title called The Heavens Declare, however it was written for adult readers.

Being a missionary in Africa is not for the feint-hearted, but the author’s story is one of absolute trust in Jesus Christ. Her missionary journey starts with first hearing God’s call to serve Him as a nurse with CMS in Tanzania, before moving on to Liberia in West Africa, this time with another Christian group, SIM. When civil war broke out, she ended up moving on to Sri Lanka to look after street children with the Colombo City Mission.

“It was an amazing experience, said Jo. “One of the exciting things that happened in Africa was when I was sleeping in a little church in the Rift Valley and I woke up with my heart thudding with fear. I was sleeping in the open doorway to get the breeze and had a thorn-bush barrier to protect me. Shining my torch around I could not see anything to have awakened me in fear but I moved my bed up inside the church away from the doorway. Next morning I heard that a leopard had been around and had jumped the thorn-barrier of a nearby house and carried off a goat.

“Included in the story is a twelve year old missionary kid whose parents worked in a remote village in Liberia and as a nurse I treated his 12 year old African friend for a tropical ulcer. The boy Warwick is now grown up and he and his wife Lauren and three daughters serve God with SIM in West Africa to this day.

“It really is an inspiring story for both adults and children alike to do something great for God.

Guided – A True Story (published by Ark House) is available now.

God’s Love, Grace and Healing Through Nature

FAITH NEWSWIRE – ‘Monarch Wonders’ is a book that is sensitively and delicately written. The inspirational words written will bring comfort and peace to readers.

The author states, “I regret not doing a dedication page for the book. It would be dedicated to my brother David, cousins and others who have died before their time. David passed away soon after I was drawn to the Monarch. It spoke of new Life we can have in Christ now, and more importantly, eternally. I had heard many times how the emerging butterfly gave hope and comfort to others going through grief. It now did this for me as well as much more.”

The story of the Monarch has enthralled young and old alike. The aim of this book is to help us find great beauty and healing in nature – God’s creation. Marion Robinson, the author certainly did and she wants to share her wonderful experiences in her own growth and healing.

Marion explains, “Following a serious head injury I was stopped in my tracks. I was unable to drive for a couple of years and the cognitive process had taken a battering. My sense of balance was impaired and noise, especially in shops was a problem. Every aspect of living had slowed right down.”

Hence the offshoot of this accident was Marion started paying attention to her surroundings and the life she was living. This brought to her attention the Monarchs in her garden and wherever she went. They were like a light to her, enthralling her in nature that God had created. She brought the newly laid eggs inside her home to observe their life cycle. All this drew her more towards God and she felt Him speaking clearly to her.

The author was so enthralled by what she was observing that she decided to photograph these events and began researching more about their life cycle and their beauty. However because of her injury her concentration was quite limited so most of the images and insights came over a four year period.

“So began the process of putting it together in a book form,” the author says. “First as an e-book, but it is only now, a few years later, that I have revisited it when asked to speak to a group on the Monarch Life Cycle. This led to other sharing opportunities to different audiences with the responses being very humbling. Since I believe that this is of God I should not be amazed. Hence I am now having the book published in a hard copy.”

The author maintains that the head injury was the best thing that happened to her and can only make this statement because of her close relationship to Christ. She has always been drawn to nature, as it is where she has always felt more prayerful and alive and photographing these moments has enriched this so much more.

“Capturing a seemingly fleeting moment allowed me to ponder and be awestruck at what had taken place. No more so than in the story of the Monarch Butterfly. It brought healing and new growth.”

A negative has truly been turned into a big positive for Marion. “I doubt very much that I would have slowed down so much and therefore I would have missed so many wonderful life changing moments.”

So, what inspiring revelations does the author hope that her readers will learn from reading this book? “My hope is that it is not just a book that is read once, but one that God will use to speak individually into anyone’s life as the reader reflects, ponders the amazing process that takes place and sees much of it in the images. Thus allowing God to bring hope and healing for whatever they may need at that time.

“I am truly grateful for all God has done, and continues to do in my life.”