Tag Archives: christian newswire services

The Christians Merging Together Ministry

Pastors and Leaders Unity Day announced for July 30

FAITH NEWS SERVICEDaytona Beach, Florida, 21 April, 2022 – The Christians Merging Together Ministry (CMTM) and Volusia County have proclaimed July 30, 2022, to be Pastors and Leaders Unity Day. It is a time to come together as one people under God with the shared goal to reduce violence and let God in.

The in-person event will be held at Chuck Lennon Park, 5000 Greenfield Dairy Road, Deleon Springs, Florida. There will be speakers, singers and prayers, as well as food trucks and “love gift” give-aways. Live broadcast of Unity Day will be broadcast by Zoom across the country.

Over 100 pastors are expected to participate locally, and over 100 pastors from across the country plan to participate virtually.

“God said that this is the time for the people of our nation humble themselves,” said Pastor Sammy L. Jackson, Minister of CMTM. “Ask him for corrections, because correction is not rejection. But correction will make you a better person.”

With high-tension political friction across the country, Jackson believes it is time for people to return to their roots. He reminds Americans that their forefather founded the country on trust in God, and that the country can regain its strength by putting its trust back into the hands of God once again.

“It’s time to be about the business of our Father’s Kingdom, so I say to you today: follow God’s vision and accept his invitation let him in,” said Jackson. “Prayers matters – and your prayers matter – because when you stand fast and wait on God, your prayers will make change happen.”

CMTM urges an end to violence, which stems from divisions in society. The focus is on helping young people turn issues over to God rather than to violently take matters into their own hands. Community prayer can bring neighbors back closer together, so that people can become “our brother’s keeper” and bless each other daily.

Anybody with prayer requests is asked to send them to Pastor Sammy L. Jackson, Post Office Box. 10782, Daytona Beach, Florida, 32120 or to sammy050657@aol.com.

Participants are encouraged to bring fold up lawn chairs and wear their church’s logo tee shirts.

CMTM are now airing on Preach The Word Worldwide Network TV, All Nations TV and The NOW Television Network. Over the past weeks the Christian Television Network broadcast CMTM’s “Vision of God’s Invitation” to audiences in 83 countries. Any other broadcasters who want to bring the CMTM message to their audiences is invited to contact Minister Sammy Jackson

CONTACTS:
Sammy L. Jackson
Minister
Christian’s Merging Together Ministry Foundation
P.O. Box  10782
Daytona  Beach, Florida  32120
386-220-5395
sammy050657@aol.com
https://cmtmfoundation.org/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/pastor-sammy-jackson-617aaa8/
https://www.facebook.com/Daytona.cmtn

 

when god changed his mind

New Redemption Press book shares mother’s inspiring story of faith through son’s medical trauma

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – A brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is a tangle of abnormal blood vessels connecting arteries and veins in the brain.

Thirteen-year-old Isaiah Custodio was a victim, though not a casualty, of the most rare type of AVM, caused when a tangle of blood vessels rupture in the brain. An arteriovenous malformation can develop anywhere in your body but occurs most often in the brain or spine. Even so, brain AVMs are rare and affect less than 1 percent of the population. *

“Life changed for our family after I received a call that Isaiah had a headache,” said Christina Custodio, Isaiah’s mom. “Things deteriorated very quickly after that, and doctors determined Isaiah’s brain was filled with blood from a severe brain hemorrhage.”

Christina documents the emotional journey of mother and son in her new book, When God Changed His Mind. By her son’s side for the entire six-week hospital and rehab stay and during his subsequent recovery, Christina shares of the ups and downs of the exceedingly trying season.

“It was an extremely difficult time, yet it had many beautiful moments—bonding with my son, feeling the love of our community, trusting God, and experiencing joy in the midst of hardship.”

Readers will be moved by Christina’s dedication to her son and by her steadfast faith in God despite uncertain outcomes. She wrote When God Changed His Mind to inspire others to see Jesus and glorify Him in their own hardships and stories.

“Throughout the initial uncertainty for Isaiah’s life and then the ensuing challenges with his recovery, I had an amazing peace from God and trusted Him to provide what we needed,” Christina said. “If we look through the lens of Jesus, we can find joy in any circumstance.”

* https://www.mayoclinic.org › brain-avm › syc-20350260

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Christina Custodio is a gifted writer and speaker. With a degree in psychology and Christian counseling, she pursues many passions, including motivational speaking, blogging, photography, and teaching. She and her husband, Ozzy, live in South Carolina and are parents to Abrianna, Isaiah, and Olivia. For review copies and media interviews, contact:

Christina Custodio
Email: christinacustodiospeaks@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christinacustodiospeaks/
and https://www.facebook.com/coollikeisaiah/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/christina_custodio/

New Redemption Press release examines what it mans to be a follower of Jesus

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – A 2018 and 2019, a Pew Research study found that 65 percent of American adults identify themselves as Christian.* Another Pew study broke down practicing Christians versus nonpracticing Christians in western Europe, with the majority calling themselves nonpracticing.**

In response to the study’s breakdown of practicing versus nonpracticing Christians, Baylor seminary student Jaake Raabe said, “Christianity is not a series of beliefs one agrees or disagrees with. It is a vocation. The gospel of Christ is a free gift, but one that demands action in response.”

Three Simple Words author Ed Malone believes that too many people who identify as Christian have a lack of understanding of the commitment Jesus asks for. “Many claiming to be Christians know nothing of Jesus’s teachings, how he lived, or have any desire to live as he lived,” he said. “They think they are saved but are not getting to experience the fullness of life in Christ.”

Malone wrote Three Simple Words to help readers move from mere belief in Jesus to knowing him and experiencing his abundant life. The book provides a synopsis of the life and teachings of Christ, encouraging believers to live out the standards set in Scripture and providing guidance for implementing his life-giving principles.

“I wanted to write this book to point people to what Jesus makes available and to provide an understanding of the pathway to an abundant life, which only God can give,” Malone said. “It is my prayer that readers will go through the narrow gate pursuing what only a few take seriously and find worthy of their life.”

Malone’s background in expository preaching allows him the benefit of sharing the full scope of the biblical text, while his life on a farm as a herdsman provides him with a unique insight into the agricultural word pictures Jesus uses in his teachings.

* https://www.newsweek.com/christianity-decline-americans-religion-unaffiliated-pew-study-1466035

**https://www.baptiststandard.com/opinion/voices/what-is-non-practicing-christian/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ed Malone has been serving as a pastor for forty-eight years. Along with being a pastor, he enjoys raising Black Angus cattle, carpentry, and writing. Author of three Christian books, Ed earned a masters of divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary after graduating with an electrical engineering degree from the University of Tennessee. He lives out his faith by helping others and works as a lead carpenter for Habitat for Humanity, has been a counselor in a residential home for juvenile offenders, and has fostered children. He is a Vietnam veteran. Ed and his wife of fifty-four years, Gale, live on a farm in Tennessee and have two children and eight grandchildren.

For review copies and media interviews, contact:

Ed Malone

Email: edngale@frontiernet.net
Website: christcommunity.com

On 07.04.21 (Independence Day) Christian Churches Must Join Together to Begin Fixing America

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – There is great power in numbers. The voice of 170 million U.S. Christians joining together to save our country and our children will be hard to ignore.

We must go beyond our church walls and join with all churches in our towns and cities to fix our country. Our voices must be louder than the voices of the bad guys who now shape America.

If we create a country of children who have values and morals we will see great changes in our schools, on our streets, and our society.

070421.com is not an organization. We are a call to action. We are establishing a starting date for Christian churches to join together as one and begin fixing our country.

070421 is a starting point. It’s like when you say “I’m going to start dieting on Monday!”

It’s no coincidence that 070421 is a Sunday.

Visit www.070421.com and help fix America.

For more information:
Kenny Kiskis
937-765-1561
information@070421.com

Online Event Provides Motivation and Victory Amid Pandemic

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – Mesa AZ. – A local faith-based media ministry is getting ready to host an online event. This event seeks “To motivate our communities and other places we are called to be”.

Marcus King (M.King) Founder of M.King Media Inc. and host for the event aptly named ‘Motivate’ said, “In this time where you have people losing loved ones, bank accounts over drafting and people feeling like they have no hope. We want to come alongside them with God’s word and show them that God is at His strongest when we are at our weakest”.

The theme for this year’s event is victory. To be a part of this online experience streaming on September 26th head to www.mkingmedia.com/motivate

M.King Media INC. is a faith-based media organization founded in 2013, that has a passion “ To make various types of Creative Christian Media to point people toward the person of Jesus Christ.”

For more information please contact:

Marcus King (M.King)
Founder & President
marcus@mkingmedia.com

Building God’s Way Celebrates 900th Ministry Design

FAITH NEWS SERVICEBGW Architects (Building God’s Way) announced a milestone this week as the company recently began design work on its 900th ministry-based project. An industry-leader in faith-based architecture, BGW has worked almost exclusively with churches and Christian schools nationally since 1997. Since that time, BGW has helped ministry organizations across 47 U.S. states and 3 foreign countries to realize their God-given vision through innovative, stewardship-driven design.

From the firm’s first ministry design project for Lakeland Christian Academy in Winona Lake, Indiana to its 900th that is currently being completed for Crossroads Baptist Church in Elizabethtown, KY, BGW’s focus has been on delivering the highest level of stewardship, God-honoring relationships and intentional ministry focus.

Don Mahoney, President and Principal Architect, commented on the recent milestone, “In looking back over the 23 years since the inception of the BGW approach, we could never have dreamed of the places that God would take us or the number of ministries He would impact through us. We have been so blessed and have learned so much from the wisdom of our ministry clients and our great strategic partners along the way. We are excited about what the future holds as we set our sights on 1,000 designs!”.

The BGW concept originated from the personal mission of BGW Founder Emeritus Dan Cook and his calling to transform the broken “world’s way” of design and construction. Over the years, it has grown into a national movement with a network of strategic partners extending beyond architecture and construction, covering everything from mission and vision to building supplies, funding, for-profit business partners and more.

Now an employee-owned company headquartered in Ogden, Utah, BGW has experienced tremendous growth in the professional development of its staff in recent years, expanding from 2 licensed architects to 10. BGW Architects is also staffed with a team of highly trained designers, drafters, project managers, as well as personnel in the areas of business development, accounting, and administration.

For more information, visit bgwservices.com or call 800.552.7137.

Colleges and Universities Want Homeschool Graduates!

FAITH NEWSWIRE – Colleges and universities are turning to The Old Schoolhouse® to help them find the best students.

The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine exists to support homeschooling families, and that support continues beyond a student’s grade 12 graduation. There is a Higher Education Portal on The Old Schoolhouse® website that is helping homeschoolers make the transition from high school to the college and career phase of life. It features many articles that help families prepare for higher education, and a directory of more than fifty outstanding colleges, universities, and academies that have expressed a desire to enroll students who have been homeschooled.

Paul and Gena Suarez are the publishers of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. Gena explains why homeschooled students are in great demand by post-secondary institutions: “They are most often advanced academically and do well with independent study. They have a good work ethic, model exemplary character, and reflect well on the institutions they attend.”

Homeschool students generally score higher than average on the SAT test. In 2014, the mean scores of 13,549 homeschool seniors were 567 in critical reading, 521 in mathematics, and 535 in writing. The corresponding mean scores of all college-bound seniors were 497, 513, and 487 respectively (Brian D. Ray, PhD, NHERI.org, June 7, 2016). With these scores, it is no surprise that colleges are actively recruiting homeschool students (Ray, January 7, 2019). In fact, all eight Ivy League colleges do accept homeschoolers.

Paul and Gena are working hard to help facilitate connections between the best students and the best schools. “We encourage parents to check out the colleges and universities in our directory,” invites Paul. “They are listed there because they want your homeschoolers to attend. We also welcome schools that are looking for homeschool graduates to join our list.”

Articles in the portal include such topics as the preparation of high school transcripts, applying for college, adapting to college life, and choosing a career path.

The Higher Education Portal is one of the many ways that The Old Schoolhouse® company supports homeschooling families. Its famous trade publication, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, gives practical advice and encouragement in every quarterly issue. Its curriculum website, SchoolhouseTeachers.com, provides a full lineup of online courses for students from preschool to high school.

As homeschooling grows in popularity, more homeschool graduates are gracing the halls of higher education, and many have been helped along the way by The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.

About The Old Schoolhouse®

The Old Schoolhouse® (www.theoldschoolhouse.com) is a privately held corporation that publishes the industry-leading homeschool education print magazine, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, as well as hundreds of books and planning support tools for homeschooling families. SchoolhouseTeachers.com, a division of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, supports over 7,000 member families, with more than 400 courses for preschool through high school, as well as educational videos, World Book Online, transcripts, report cards, planning tools, and recordkeeping. Established in 2001, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine is focused on providing high-quality, encouraging, affordable solutions for homeschooling families.

Publishers Paul and Gena Suarez are available for radio interviews.

Contact: Paul and Gena Suarez 
888-718-4663
publisher@theoldschoolhouse.com

Pastor Marvin Winans & Perfecting Church Celebrates 30th Anniversary with Black Tie Gala | Friday, October 11

Grammy Award-Winning Recording Artists BeBe and CeCe Winans Shows Support for Perfecting Gala with Special Performances

Los Angeles, CA (August 21, 2019) – Pastor Marvin L. Winans and the Perfecting Church Choir shined brightly as musical guests at the recent Democratic Presidential Debates held at the Fox Theater in Detroit, Michigan. Winans created special arrangements of, “America the Beautiful” and the “National Anthem” that was performed and aired live on CNN’s domestic and international platforms.

White House correspondent April Ryan tweeted, “What an incredible rendition of “America the Beautiful,” it mixed both the classical choral styles with the soul of the Black church experience. Bravo!”

Pastor Winans has now turned his attention to the Perfecting Church 30 Year Celebration and Gala on Friday, October 11. The black tie affair is being held at the historic Henry Ford Museum 20900 Oakwood Blvd. located in Dearborn, Michigan. The gathering is open to the public and Winans welcomes the residents of Detroit to join the celebration; the deadline for RSVP and ticket confirmation is September 26. Visit www.perfectingchurch.org or call (313) 365-3787 for more information.

The reknown social activist, Bryan Stevenson, and former professor at the University of Michigan School of Law is making national headlines and appearances on television outlets such as: NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt; MSNBC; National Geographic with Katie Couric and a one-on one with OWN Founder and CEO, Oprah Winfrey. The author of New York Times best-seller Just Mercy is the guest speaker for the Perfecting Church’s big celebration. Since 1989, Stevenson has been executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a private, nonprofit law organization he founded that focuses on social justice and human rights in the context of criminal justice reform in the United States.

Pastor Marvin L. Winans says, “It is hard to believe that thirty-years have passed since Perfecting Church opened her doors. We are honored to have Social Activist, Bryan Stevenson as our special guest to lift us to a greater awareness of social justice. We will be entertained by the multiple Grammy Award winners BeBe Winans and CeCe Winans. Come and Celebrate with us!”

The evening of festivities begins at 6:30pm with special performances by hometown recording artists, BeBe Winans along with his sister, CeCe Winans. BeBe adds Author and Theatrical Producer to his title after touring the states with his award-winning play and book, Born for This, now headed to Broadway and the book is available for purchase online and via retail. Continuing to make her mark in music and ministry, CeCe recently collected her 12th Grammy Award for the release of Let Them Fall in Love CD, and enjoying her sixth year as Co-Pastor of Nashville Life Church with her husband Alvin Love. The extraordinary talent of these two siblings is unending and far-reaching as they move beyond their confront zone of singing.

The Detroit legacy of the Winans Family expands over several decades. The Patriarch David Winans, Sr. supported his large family as an employee at Ford Motor Company and a few side jobs. Through his example the Winans family learned the importance of community outreach and continues to honor the memory of their father with a very powerful community presence. In 1992, Pastor Winans founded the Perfecting Community Development Corporation (PCDC) which is home to: The Amelia Agnus Transitional Home for Women, The Winans Academy of Performing Arts, Perfecting Community Care Center, Hands of Hope, Camp Peace and SOAR.

A portion of the proceeds will help support the Perfecting Community Development Corporation (PCDC)

Mission Statement: https://perfectingcdc.org/programs-services/.

About Pastor Marvin Winans

Pastor Marvin Winans is a multiple GRAMMY®, Stellar, and Dove winning recording artist, as well as one-fourth of the legendary gospel quartet, The Winans, with whom he recorded such beloved hits as “Tomorrow”, “Ain’t No Need to Worry” and “It’s Time.” Marvin, Carvin, Michael and Ronald crossed formats and styles and stretched the creative boundaries to show the myriad shades and subtleties of love. Ronald, the eldest of the group, passed away in 2005, but The Winans’ distinctive sound and musical legacy blazed the trail for many gospel recording artists, including their younger siblings BeBe and CeCe Winans. The quartet’s tenth and final album was released on the Qwest/Warner Bros. Records label founded by Quincy Jones. They Winans recorded and performed with top music legends such as: Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, and countless others. Other highlights of their career comprise of performing for U.S. Presidents, Nelson Mandela and various diplomats. Winans is now the senior pastor of Perfecting Church in Detroit, Michigan and celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year. The church’s humble beginnings started with eight people in Winans’ home basement in 1989. Living by and building on the principle of Colossians 1:28, “Ministry Means People,” the church flourished to a membership of more than 4,500 who congregate weekly in an expansive, 165,000 square foot site facility.

For more information, please contact Erma Byrd at (213) 382-3656, or via email erma@ebyrdcom.com .

 

 

 

Designer shoes – a pastoral concern

Dallas, TX…Searching for worship music and sneakers on the internet, a young man started noticing a strange occurrence. Several Christian pastors wore rather expensive sneakers in the pictures on their church websites. The shoes ranged from $600 to $3,000. This trend alarmed him, and he asked a question, “What is OK as far as optics … as far as pastors wearing hype or designer clothing?”. His Instagram post started a blaze of comment from the Wall Street Journal to the New York Times and several other media outlets.

Public criticism is an occupational hazard of Christian leadership. It’s nearly as old as the poverty-modeling founder of the Christian faith, the one who had “no place to lay his head” (Matt. 8:20, NIV) but who also did not prohibit the “wasteful” spending of expensive perfume by a doting follower (Matt. 26:7-13) as justifiable preparation for his upcoming burial.

So where should we land on our evaluation of pastors and possessions? Since the matter is more than mere optics, concerned colleagues sent me the relevant links and suggested I provide applicable instruction.

Years ago, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) distributed an article I wrote on the matters of money and ministry. Current events prompt me to add to that guidance. I am an itinerant proclaimer of God’s Word who regularly must navigate between geographies of deprivation and opulence, and balance the optics for poor and well-endowed audiences across the world. I am sending off this article after lift off from Rwanda having just addressed well-to-do opinion leaders and economically deprived pastoral leaders. Whether I should even write on this somewhat superficial matter of “sneakers and preachers” after visiting the Kigali Genocide Museum this morning causes a heaviness of heart. How lightweight can insensitive leaders and heavy-handed their critics be?

And yet this newsy matter is noisy enough to share a few principles for level-of-lifestyle decisions among Christian leaders who receive their compensation from donors?

Your Audience’s Sensitivity

“God is not a respecter of persons,” a friend mentioned in passing, “but people are.” Therefore, I avoid judging by external appearance but recognize that the external does matter to most. I try not to embarrass my primary audiences, either by over or underdressing, or by indulging or rejecting luxury as intrinsically good or evil. Last Sunday, my Rwandese hosts preferred I wear a suit, white shirt and cravat to address a pre-Christ audience of government, military, and business professionals. I pay attention to what matters to them, so “by all means I may save some” (1 Cor. 9:22, NET). The rest of the week, while speaking to pastors, I left off the jacket in the mornings, and took off my tie in the afternoons.

Only those who serve a specific audience best know the sensitivities of that audience—no journalist or outsider does. Only we and God can truthfully answer if we use externals to initially impress others in order to reach them. So we must ask what God thinks of what we are doing. He knows if we are sincerely reaching out to people with our behavioral choices or stage-managing their public responses. He knows if we are serving psychological deficiencies in our self-view or social efficiencies for better communication.

Know your audience then. As you bear fruit in evangelizing and discipling them, be aware of their sensitivities, and adjust your lifestyle as you are able. Do not worry about self-authorizing faultfinders. Turn their projectiles into a spiritual advantage, as veteran missionary E. Stanley Jones remarked, “My critics are the unpaid guardians of my soul.” Only as you carry the cross of criticism in daily leadership, are you, like your Lord Jesus, being prepared for your burial and worthy of the extravagance any few might pour out. So consider what only you know with honest rigor: are critics pointing out the expense of the occasional alabaster perfume or the wretchedness of your hidden but constant mentality of entitlement?

Your Sense of Identity

Pay strong attention when those critics who normally disagree with each other agree on a matter against you. That agreement should tell you something is amiss in your assessment of external relevance. Perhaps you have developed a mistaken sense of the Self from a wrongly identified source of self-identity.

If you need luxury to feel better about yourself, then you are ignoring God’s unconditioned acceptance. And if you feel free to ignore everyone else’s opinion about your chosen lifestyle, then you have disregarded how to love your neighbor well.

Temper the truth of having nothing to prove to God with the reality that you do have to prove something to people. Don’t be overly concerned about your image; you are already accepted among the beloved. Do be concerned about your reputation; it reflects inner strength and affects God’s glory through you.

When it comes to money, possessions and lifestyle, always evaluate your levels of contentment and gratitude. The former is not passive. The latter is the strongest of all emotions. They will help you make better spending choices and deprecate any ownership claims over your belongings. Follow your Master’s sacrificial approach to ministry as you seek to discern (by all means with your spouse) your standard of living under God.

Not long ago, I visited the pastor of the world’s fastest growing, mega-church—100,000 people in five services in just a dozen years. He lives in a modest two-bedroom apartment attached to the stage of a massive arena. “God has cured me of desire for luxury,” he said, “I am missionary at heart and by practice.” Although high-living by a mega-church pastor could be tolerated or even reasonable, his choices show godly contentment. Do yours?

The apostle Paul notes that our hard work is worthy of double material honor (1 Tim. 5:17) from those who receive God’s Word from us (Gal. 6:6), but we shall never demand that deference. Why? Because we live off the voluntary generosity of others. This dependence on donors is both amazing and humbling. Like many of you, I have received beautiful gifts from God through friends to enjoy (I Tim. 6:17). It is also humiliating at times. No other profession I know feels more the conflict of keeping motives pure than those who wish to altruistically serve the very people on whose gifts they depend.

Spiritual maturity requires regular affection-management, of setting “your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Col. 3:2, ESV). Just because your income goes up, your lifestyle does not have to keep rising. Instead, your giving can.

Your Ministry Sensibility

Importantly, though often missed, these level-of-lifestyle decisions call for a ministry sensibility, a mixture of love, humility, wisdom and courage. They fall into the larger and deeper issue of “questionable” issues. God’s Word is clear on matters such as Gospel content and sexual immorality. Those issues may be questioned (what is not questioned these days?) but are not questionable. The Bible leaves other matters, such as styles of church buildings, worship music, and preaching shoes without clear prescription. The latter fall into the class of questionable issues.

While personally nauseous and culturally hideous, no biblical absolute governs preacher fondness for $600 sneakers. Rather the Bible expects that maturing believers will disagree about preferences in behavior with openness and without bitterness. Our tendencies toward legalism (behavior to gain favor with God) or license (the freedom of grace without denying ungodliness, Titus 2:13) factor into these penchants too. The only clear direction about any questionable matter, personal and public, is that we live by biblical values and faith-filled conviction toward our preferences.

Biblical values framing “questionable” issues exhort us to avoid becoming a stumbling block to a weaker believer (Rom. 14:21), or letting anything gain control of us (1 Cor. 6:12). God’s Word also requires a faith-filled conviction about our choices, since “whatever does not proceed from faith is sin” (Rom. 14:23, NRSV).

Although you might manage to rationalize anything you want, the more you find yourself defensive with God, Scripture and loved ones about a level-of-lifestyle choice, the more likely you are rationalizing your love of lavishness. I can convince myself to deserve anything I really want, yet the only thing I deserve is eternal damnation.

Shall we empty ourselves to follow Jesus’ unentitled, servant model, voluntarily releasing use of our rights so that we might seek and save the lost? In these ways, we will build rather than weaken the faith of others; we shall attract unbelievers (I Pet. 2:12) rather than repel them.

Oh, one more matter of audience sensitivity to consider: if freed in your self-identity to tie on those sneakers, ministry sensibility in some cultures obliges you to remove all footwear as you approach the podium to honor the greatness of the God you worship and represent. Indeed I submitted my free right to wear shoes for the joy of preaching at that fastest-growing, mega-church. Hearers were not distracted, new converts did not stumble, and mature believers all embraced God’s Word.

 

A theologian-evangelist, philosopher-expositor, educator and author, Dr. Richard holds a Th.D. from Dallas Theological Seminary and Ph.D. from the University of Delhi. In addition to serving as president of RREACH, he also serves as Professor of Global Theological Engagement and Pastoral Ministries at Dallas Theological Seminary. Dr. Richard travels throughout the world clarifying the message of the Bible through lectures and preaching. His audiences range from non-Christian intellectuals in major universities to poor pastors in rural areas, from gatherings of a few to crowds of a hundred thousand. RREACH is a global proclamation ministry. Through RREACH, he has trained thousands of church leaders in over 100 countries to preach, live, and think biblically.

******

This article can be duplicated.

You can click here to obtain a free downloadable pdf, Who Giveth the Increase? to find more of Dr. Richard’s “thoughts ,” on developing a biblical mindset on money, growth and ministry.

 

Contact: Tina Jacobson
tina@rreach.org
903-654-1319

To Call Greek Religious Art “Myth” Is a Profound Insult to the Ancient Sculptors and Artists

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ANCIENT GREEK RELIGIOUS TEMPLE AND VASE ART BOASTS OF THE TRIUMPH OF THE WAY OF CAIN (MAN AS THE MEASURE OF ALL THINGS) IN THE POST-FLOOD WORLD

To Call Greek Religious Art “Myth” Is a Profound Insult to the Ancient Sculptors and Artists

Author Robert Bowie Johnson, Jr. is pleased to announce that his latest book, the full-color “Genesis Characters and Events in Ancient Greek Art,” reveals for the first time the human Genesis identities of the key ancient Greek gods. Zeus and Hera, the first couple according to the Greeks, are the deified Adam and Eve of Genesis. Hephaistos, their eldest son, is the Cain of Genesis, the eldest son of Adam and Eve. Herakles is the Nimrod of Genesis, and Nereus (“the Wet One”) is the ancient Greek representation of Noah, and so on.

The key ancient Greek gods look just like people because they are people – exalted ancestors. The philosopher Socrates knew this quite well, referring in Plato’s Euthydemus (at 302d) to Zeus, Apollo and Athena as his “lords and ancestors.”

 

 

Mr. Johnson reinforces the truths revealed in his book in the following articles as well:

Garden of Eden Depicted in Ancient Greek Religious Art

Ancient Greek Vase Artists Painted Images of Biblical Figures Noah and Nimrod Over 2,000 Years Ago

Ancient Greek Vase Celebrates the Exaltation of Our Ancestors as Gods

The Hidden Identity of the Woman Glorified as Athena: Her Link to the Pre-Flood World

According to Mr. Johnson, “The Greeks believed the ancient serpent ‘enlightened’ rather than deluded the first couple in paradise.” He added, “In ancient Greek religious temple and vase art, we find the origin in this age of so-called progressivism – the idea that God should be pushed out of the picture, and mankind exalted instead.”

Mr. Johnson is also the author of “Noah in Ancient Greek Art” and “The Parthenon Code: Mankind’s History in Marble,” translated into French and Greek.

For more information, please contact the author at 410.757.4630, email rbowiej@comcast.net. Web Sites: www.genesisingreekart.com   www.solvinglight.com

 

 

The history of Christian music, compiled into one book

FAITH NEWSWIRE – If you’ve ever wanted to understand where Christian music originated from, then this is the perfect book for you.

Let the People Rejoice: An Interactive history of Christian Music is a remarkable book that has been put together by Mike Spencer, a New Zealander who now resides in Australia.

“I always wanted to tell the story of Christian music, so I jumped at the opportunity to lecture on the subject in my local church in New Zealand,” stated Mike. “Five years and 24 lectures later, I was still going strong! At that stage, I moved to Australia and concentrated on promoting my landmark Australian history book, One People, One Destiny: A Christian History of Australia. However, I felt that I shouldn’t waste all the research that I had done, so I started collating it into book form. Several years later, Let the People Rejoice is the end product of my endeavours.

“Because music is such a vital expression of our Christian faith, it has proved very controversial over the ages. Churches and congregations have often found it difficult to accept new forms and expressions of worship. This has culminated in the so-called ‘worship wars’ of recent years.

In personally growing up singing hymns and Gospel choruses, Mike passionately believed that worship leaders should be able to choose from the whole heritage of Christian music, and not just part of it.

“The book’s title comes from the Fanny Crosby song ‘To God Be the Glory,’ he continued. I use the word ‘Interactive’ in the title because I want readers to actually experience the music they are reading about. Music is by nature participative, so for that reason, I encourage readers to either access video clips of songs and musicians, or sing the songs for themselves.

“In this book, I delve into the history of music in the church, from Bible times right through to the present day. I look at the relationship between music and some of the great events in church history and examine the lives of some of the men and women of God who have contributed to our rich musical heritage.”

An extraordinary read for music lovers everywhere, Let the People Rejoice is now available globally.

Note to media: you can re-publish this article in full or in part.

Believe it – Eating, the Way God Intended, Can Stop Disease in Its Tracks!

FAITH NEWSWIRE – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada – January 2019 – Do you want to eat right but aren’t sure how to do it? Maybe you need some inspiration to cook the foods your body needs.  In Nine Servings of Vegetables: The Cookbook for the Nutritional Balancing Diet to Eliminate Toxic Metals, Balance Your Biochemistry, and Prevent Disease, by Josephine Zanetti (published, November 2018 www.josephinezanetti.com) you will find that, and more.

The goal of nutritional balancing is entirely different from that of other programs as it does not seek to return a person to a regular diet and lifestyle.  Instead, it seeks to drastically improve mental and physical health, providing complete restoration to the body. This requires a different type of diet and one that can keep you away from the doctor’s office.

We’re told from the time we could lift a fork, to eat our vegetables.  Little did we know how right our parents were.

The challenge we face is getting the recommended nine servings of vegetables each day.

Josephine removes that challenge in this book. She reaches deep-down drawing on her faith and encouraging you to do the same.  A suggestion of attending a 12-step program for addiction is also a wonderful tool for strengthening ones resolve to follow this new, healthy, way of eating.

This book has been written with great care and detail to include everything from purchasing your food, to cleaning, to storing and of course the preparation.

It includes lists of the best vegetables and proteins from maximum nutrition along with an explanation of “Nutritional Balancing.”  There are over 100 pages of ingredients for a nutritionally balanced diet. With more mouth-watering, easy to prepare, recipes than most traditional cookbooks.

There is also a three-week, three meals and two snacks a day, meal planner to help get you started.

This is a book that, if followed, will change your life – for the better.

JOSEPHINE ZANETTI holds a degree in culinary arts from the Dubrulle French Culinary School in Vancouver, B.C and certification in holistic nutrition from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. Let her be your guide in returning your body to its natural alignment through healthy cooking and eating.

Praise for Nine Servings of Vegetables

I got Josephine’s lovely book today and I have been reading it like a crazy person. I really do love it!!
It is different than I thought it would be. I had envisioned this book would be mostly vegetarian and I was pleasantly surprised that it covers, well…just about everything.
I love that Josephine has wonderful lists in the book of what to eat and what not to eat.  And it is all referenced as to what page the additional recipes for sauces can be found. It is very easy to navigate and I do like Josephine’s stories about the different foods, and stories from her family and her up-bringing.  It reads very well, and I am super impressed with it.
It is a comprehensive look at the diet we all have, the foods we all eat, or should be eating. 
WAY TO GO, JOSEPHINE!
Thank you for putting this one together for us all! We have needed this book! 

 —Kathy Scogna, CA, U.S.A 

Author of Junk DNA and several other books


Josephine’s Nine Servings Of Vegetables Is the most comprehensive book on nutrition I have ever read! 
Her eloquent style of communicating the benefits of nutrition, expertise, background, and great recipes, is a real treat to read and reference.
Every home should have a copy of this enjoyable, and comprehensive, nutritional guide to health- conscious lifestyle cooking.
Thank you Josephine, for publishing this great creative life influencing work!

—Jim Manegold, PA, USA
Certified SAF Practitioner

For More Reviews and Information go to: https://www.josephinezanetti.com

Family suicide leads author to express her journey from anguish to healing

FAITH NEWSWIRE – On a dark Tuesday night in June 2006, Debby Curreen’s youngest brother took his own life. Driving to his favourite beach, he parked his car and left this earth. Such was the anguish of this event in her life, Debby Curreen, the author of The Long Cold Nights of June, healed her pain through writing.

“I was notified by the police the following day and I had to go with them to make the formal identification of my little brother, whose body was now laying cold and silent at the local undertaker,” says Debby.

“That day, in an instant, my life cracked and I fell into a pit full of never-before imagined pain, and a frightening darkness of anguish and confusion. The grief overwhelmed me, and my journey back to a life that was now forever altered, seemed unending.

In talking to God, her brother, her dogs and herself, and struggling to make sense of suicide and a life that no longer had her beautiful brother in it, she would go home exhausted and sleep, then write her thoughts out.

The Long Cold Nights of June is the result of her heart being poured out in a remarkable poetry book.

“At times I feared I would never again see the light of another happy day,” she said, “but my hopes in God, and of course the fierce love I held for my family, became my sole purpose for living.
 It was at this time that I began to write again as I daily walked my brother’s two beautiful boxer dogs, who were now mine, along the roadside by our home.

“Gradually life began to settle down and time slowly healed my shattered heart and broken mind. Many dear friends pulled and pushed me through the darkest times of my life with their love and unceasing belief in me. I will be eternally grateful for them all.”

Debby agrees that grief is messy and unpredictable to manage. There is no right way to grieve and no magical timeframe where you suddenly emerge from a dark tunnel into bright and happy day.

“When a loved one dies through suicide,” she says, “it is unlike any other grief and is in fact, trauma. You have nightmares, you cry continually; sleep is elusive and your substance/s abuse becomes infinitely harder to control. I remember going from being a non-smoker to a chain-smoker overnight.

“My memory of those first six months is a time of continual chain-smoking and drinking coffee to stave off unpredictable bouts of crying and near screaming. At night I would drink enough wine or beer to fall asleep, only to wake in the middle of the night crying or gasping from the frightening nightmares that would wake me up.”

Debby’s hope in sharing her poems of grief, pain, denial, bargaining and hope is that people who have lost loved ones to suicide may be able to relate to her words and that they will help in some way to heal.

“Eventually, thank God, we do find acceptance and we do move on, but we never forget and we never stop missing our loved ones,” she continues. “All of these stages of grief fade with time and life slowly returns to a different ‘normal’, but a peaceful one where you can accept your darling’s fated decision to say goodbye on their terms.”

To order The Long Cold Nights of June, email the author on tlcnj2018@gmail.com, or connect with her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/milliepariri.writes.

Abortion is a Crime Against Humanity, Not a Fundamental Human Right

FAITH NEWSWIRE – On December 10, various liberal Democrats introduced a bill, the Reproductive Human Rights Act which would require the U.S. State Department to include abortion on demand and other reproductive rights in its annual Human Rights Report.

110,000 Americans believe that abortion is a crime against humanity, not a fundamental human right. See www.themoraloutcry.com. These Americans have signed a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court asking them to reverse its abortion cases. Allan Parker, Attorney for The Moral Outcry Petition, stated: “If you believe abortion is a crime against humanity, you can sign the Petition at www.themoraloutcry.com.”

These signers are calling upon the Supreme Court to reverse its abortion decisions because abortion is a crime against humanity just like the Dred Scott decision that African Americans could not be citizens under the Constitution was a crime against humanity. A crime against humanity occurs when the government withdraws legal protection from a class of human beings.

The petition drive is a part of a national campaign which has already filed two Amicus Curiae (Friend of the Court) Briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court and which ultimately provides a legal justification for reversing Roe v. Wade. The legal reasons in the Petition are based on the Law of Judicial Precedent, a book which was co-authored by Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch before they were placed on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Section 47(d) says that one of the reasons for overturning a Supreme Court decision is if it has been met with “severe criticism”. Obviously, Roe is one of the most severely criticized and controversial decisions in American history.

The five reasons in the Petition for reversing Roe are:

1. New Argument that Abortion is a Crime Against Humanity

2. New scientific evidence shows Life Begins at Conception

3. New scientific evidence and testimonies show Abortion Hurts Women

4. New, better alternative to abortion –Safe Haven Laws (www.nationalsafehavenalliance.org)

5. New – a million people are waiting to Adopt Healthy Newborn Infants

Contact: Allan E. Parker, Jr., J.D.
Tel. (210) 614-7157
info@txjf.org

The bodybuilding pastor and his extraordinary life

FAITH NEWSWIRE – When you think of a pastor and a bodybuilder, you don’t normally combine the two. Pastors read and are scholarly, while bodybuilders are thought of as being more about brawn than brains.

A generalization, yes, but at the same time it’s a unique situation for a pastor. One such pastor is Neil Emerson, the author of 16 Providence Road. His book tells the story of being a senior minister for thirty-two years in Wentworth Falls, an area in the far west of Australia’s largest city, Sydney. Providence Road has a two-fold meaning, and hence the title of the book.

“I grew up in Providence Road in the Sydney suburb of Ryde,” states Neil. “But for me personally, ‘Providence Road’ was not just a physical place, but it also became a spiritual journey. That is, I believe God’s love and care for me has guided and protected me always. It also led me to take on challenges that I never thought I would be able to navigate my way through.”

Through a series of comings and goings, Neil eventually ended up in Moore Theological College in Sydney’s Newtown to study for the ministry. “This was hard going for me,” he states, “for I always tended to lack confidence in the academic sphere. However, I got there in the end. The Lord brought me through and I was able to commence my ministry in various churches in the Sydney metropolitan area.

“I was even eventually able to complete a Ph.D, thus mastering my fear of academia once and for all. For me, this was like conquering Mt Everest. “

16 Providence Road tells the story of a long road and sometimes a very difficult road to take. Long ministries are often like that. In the final section, the book tells of the highs and lows along the way and pays tribute to those who supported the author and helped him the most, especially his wife.

“Throughout this time, I always maintained a sense of ‘call’ to the ministry, despite my battles with depression and various other tribulations and struggles,” he said. ”It is my hope that whoever reads the book will be inspired to take on challenges which they might previously have felt reluctant to pursue. All things are possible with God.

16 Providence Road is first and foremost a Christian book; the product of a Christian heart. But it contains a lot of humor, as well as a lot of serious pondering. I also try to give a little advice to any would-be ministers along the way, hoping they may benefit from my own experience.”

Part of Neil’s ability to cope with the pressure has been his love of bodybuilding. “I have always pursued the sport of bodybuilding and this has often been a good talking point in ministry ventures today,” he says.

“There are not many ministers around, I believe, who would take such a sport so seriously. Hopefully, many will exercise to keep themselves fit. But I was always a little further along the line in my pursuits with the sport than that. It continued on and off throughout my ministry years. I still train hard today.

“I have suffered from depression for most of my life, even though in early times the word ‘depression’ was never really mentioned much in family or friendship circles. I didn’t even know that I was suffering with depression in my late teens when it seemed to hit me hardest of all. No one seemed to know or understand much about this condition. But this has been part of my journey as well. God has been good to me and despite bouts of severe tiredness at times, I have always been able to keep my depression in check.

“The Christian life and Christian ministry is not without its struggles. There are struggles with sin and self-doubt and there are also struggles with situations and people you encounter along the way. To remain in the one place for so long and to see it grow and change throughout that time, despite the “downers” along the way, is a remarkable thing. It is a testimony to God’s character and grace. If he ‘calls’ you to do something, he also gives you the grace to carry it through. That is, he can do extraordinary stuff with ordinary people.”

16 Providence Road is available globally.

The author inspired to ‘smuggle’ Christian values into a secular novel

FAITH NEWSWIRE – Graham Leo is not your average fiction author. But then again, who and what is your ‘average fiction author?’

An author of five books, as well as a school principal for 20 years, Graham has just penned A Clear Dusk Settles, written due to what he believed is a lack of quality in the Christian marketplace for younger readers.

“I was tired of not being able to find a novel for young people that expressed hope and reflected good values,” he states. “Too many novels, especially for young people, are about depressing topics such as drugs, family breakdown, crime, or suicide. The only ones that did were soppy or unrealistic, or set in unrealistic religious settings.

“I wanted to write a novel for ordinary people that provided strong traditional values, while not preaching at them. I wanted to smuggle Christian values into a secular novel.”

That he has. In A Clear Dusk Settles, the main character is a young woman who is a university student at Britain’s Oxford University. Part of her family lore is that there is some family secret hidden in Tasmania, the small, rural island to the south of the Australian mainland. But details are sketchy. No-one knows the details. Deep inside herself, she nurses a desire to find her true home. Accordingly, she decides to go to Tasmania to try to find out the family secret and also perhaps to find herself.

In a culture where it is just normal for young people to experience serial sexual encounters as part of their social life, this book stands as a reminder that this is not the only way for young people to live. The author is careful to avoid any kind of ‘preachiness’, but he shows his heroine and several others in the novel thinking their way into loving relationships, rather than just plunging into yet another physical experience.

As Graham says, “They make choices based on good values, and preserve their humanity by doing so.” The effect is subtly achieved, and by the end the reader is deeply impressed with the power of love that has been thoughtfully but passionately engaged.

After completing his first novel, Graham is not done yet. He is in the process of writing another novel, as well as planning a new children’s series.

A Clear Dusk Settles is now available globally.

Facebook Silences Christian Music Festival, Labels Page as “Political Account”

FAITH NEWSWIRE – (TORONTO, ONTARIO) — Christian Music Festival, a Toronto-based ministry founded by Molly and Jay Banerjei, has joined a long list of Christian organizations being targeted by social media giant Facebook.

For several years, the Banerjeis have produced community events in the Toronto area, and they have frequently used Facebook to promote them on their page Christian Music Festival, with phenomenal results. But this year, that changed. Their attempts to boost October’s Christian Music Festival event failed, as did attempts to boost a GoFundMe page associated with the event. Assuming that it was a glitch, they reached out to Facebook. And the results were shocking.

In a series of emails from “Ryan” at Facebook, the Banerjeis were told that Christian Music Festival is a “political account.” The annual Christian Music Festival is not a political event. Instead it is a celebration of faith and freedom. Diverse and multi-ethnic Christian groups and musicians from a variety of churches and cultures participate in this event held at Nathan Phillips Square, a premier location. They come from different parts of Canada and the United States to express their freedom in music, drama and the arts.

Coincidentally, Gospel group Zion’s Joy was one of the featured performers at this year’s Christian Music Festival. The group made news headlines in July after Facebook flagged their music video as “political content” and blocked the video from the social media platform. Extensive media coverage followed, including interviews with the New York Times, Fox News Channel and TBN’s Huckabee, after which Facebook restored the video and apologized to the group in a written statement.

Facebook’s chat support insisted that the Banerjeis sign a non-discriminatory form even though they have never been accused of discriminating against anyone. They gladly signed the form, assuming that it would resolve the matter. But it did not. Facebook then asked for permission to access Molly’s account. She gave consent with the assumption that they were correcting the issue. But again, no resolution.

Facebook is also blocking promotion efforts for Christian Music Festival’s upcoming “I Stand With You” prayer vigil in support of the Jewish people, scheduled for Sunday, November 11. This is a community event in support of victims of the Pittsburgh massacre.

Additionally, attempts to promote Jay’s political page, Jay Banerjei for Scarborough Guildwood, are also being blocked. He’s currently running for public office as a Conservative Member of Parliament in Canada.

“We keep watching the news on how Christian ministries and the Conservatives are being targeted by Facebook,” says Molly. “I never thought this would ever happen to us. This has been frustrating and very disappointing.”

For more information, visit www.christianmusicfestival.org.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Brian Mayes
brian@nashvillepublicity.com
615-771-2040

Note: this release can be re-published in full.

New book details the journey of a Christian media company built debt-free

FAITH NEWSWIRE – A new book detailing the founding of Initiate Media is set to hit the global book market.

Not Business As Usual, published by Ark House Press, is the story of how one of the world’s most influential Christian media and marketing companies.

Matt Danswan and his wife Nicole founded the company in 2003 when they acquired Alive magazine, at the time Australia’s major monthly Christian publication. Founding a business is one thing, but building it debt-free is another, and Not Business As Usual details the story of how the company was built without debt.

“From the outset we have always purposely built an organization that was different,” explained Matt Danswan, the company’s current CEO.

“Neither my wife or I had any ambitions to be in the marketplace full-time. We thought we were business people who would contribute funds to the church and Kingdom, but God had other ideas. Even moving in to Christian media, we thought that Alive and other Christian media initiatives would just be a side business for us. I was running a few businesses, so I thought this was simply our contribution to the Kingdom.

“However this was His plan for our lives, and as such once we realised this was what we were called to do, we threw all caution to the wind. We had that inner confidence from the get go that we were going to do something that could really make a difference. It’s been a whirlwind, and has been a ride of absolute faith, which i detail in the book.

“Doing something out-of-the-box is not for the faint-hearted, but what an exciting way to live life. Every day for us is literally a new adventure and a new opportunity, and it would never had happened if we hadn’t accepted the call on our lives.”

Not Business As Usual is not just a business book, but rather an inspirational story for anyone keen to think outside the square; for those looking to get a God plan for their lives.

“We have never asked for a cent to start, fund and grow this business,” Matt said. “As all profits go back in to Initiate Media to fund the endless number of projects being worked on, it is hoped the book will act as a major fundraiser.”

Comedian Jeff Allen Co-Headlines CRTV’s ‘Make Comedy Great Again’ Tour

FAITH NEWSWIRE – Great comedy is back! Comedy legend, Jeff Allen, is co-headlining this fall’s Make Comedy Great Again Tour. Presented by CRTV and Stand-Up Global, the family-friendly comedy tour is playing theaters on the East Coast, and will be filmed for an upcoming special on CRTV. Jeff joins fellow comedians Ross Bennett, Earl David Reed, Tina Giorgi and Brad Upton (lineup subject to change) for the 100% politics-free stand-up comedy tour featuring some of the best clean comedians working today.

Jeff Allen is the best at what he does – making people laugh as hard as humanly possible. His Happy Wife, Happy Life® message of a marriage gone wrong and redeemed has given laughter and encouragement to millions of people. Jeff’s comedy drives home the humor in everyday family life and the joy derived from a healthy marriage.

For over four decades, Jeff has been performing in churches, theaters, on television and radio, and as a keynote for corporate functions and fundraisers around the world. His extensive television appearances include Showtime, TBN’s Huckabee, Comedy Central’s Premium Blend, VH1’s Standup Spotlight, TheBlaze TV’s Glenn Beck, and he starred in the syndicated comedy series, Bananas, and his own one-hour comedy special, Happy Wife, Happy Life, on Odyssey Channel and FamilyNet. He also produced and starred in his own PAX TV sitcom pilot, Happy Wife, Happy Life, and starred in the critically acclaimed film, Apostles of Comedy, and was featured in the Warner Bros. comedy film, Thou Shalt Laugh.

A live comedy favorite, Jeff has been featured at the Grand Ole Opry, the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, the Just for Laughs International Comedy Festival in Montreal, and the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Awards. He’s also been a featured performer on Bill Gaither’s popular Homecoming tours, the Presidential Inauguration of George W. Bush, and the National Prayer Breakfast. Always supporting the military, Jeff has also performed for American troops around the world, including in Bahrain and on ships in the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean.

Make Comedy Great Again Tour audiences are certain to appreciate the “conservative” language while feeling free to laugh “liberally” during this night of label-free comedy. CRTV and Stand-Up Global encourage everyone to leave their differences at the door and bring the family. Real comedy — GREAT comedy — is coming back in a big way this fall, and you do not want to miss it!

“I have been working my entire career for an opportunity like this,” says Jeff. “To work with great comedians in beautiful venues with no other agenda than to make people laugh. How cool is this going to be!”

 Jeff Allen Tour Dates:

October 19: Make Comedy Great Again — Colonial Theater — Pittsfield, MA

October 20: Make Comedy Great Again — Shubert Theater — New Haven, CT

October 26: Make Comedy Great Again — Patchogue Theater – Patchogue, NY

October 27: Make Comedy Great Again — State Theater — Easton, PA

October 29: Private Event — South Park, PA

November 2: Make Comedy Great Again — Tarrytown Music Hall — Tarrytown, NY (**This show will be taped for CRTV**)

November 3: Make Comedy Great Again — The Egg — Albany, NY

November 6: Landmark Baptist Church — Greenville, NC

November 8: Wake Chapel Christian Church — Fuquay-Varina, NC

December 1: Meadowview Convention Center — Kingsport, TN

January 12: Theatre Club at Trilogy — Gilbert, AZ

February 1: Make Comedy Great Again — Wood Theater — Glens Falls, NY

February 2: Make Comedy Great Again — Carrier Theater — Syracuse, NY

**More dates to be added!**

For more information on Jeff Allen:
Web: JeffAllenComedy.com
Facebook: @jeffallencomedy
Twitter: @jeffallencomedy
Instagram: @jallencomedy

For tickets and more information on the Make Comedy Great Again Tour:
Web: MakeComedyGreatAgain.com 
Facebook: @MakeComedyGreatAgainTour
Twitter: @MCGATour
Instagram: @MakeComedyGreatAgainTour

 

MEDIA CONTACT:
Brian Mayes
Nashville Publicity Group
brian@nashvillepublicity.com
615-771-2040

 

Acton Institute’s 2018 Novak Award winner Professor Lucas G. Freire to deliver Calihan Lecture in Grand Rapids

FAITH NEWSWIRE – GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (October 30, 2018) — Brazilian Professor Lucas G. Freire will deliver the 18th annual Calihan Lecture at the Acton Institute’s headquarters in Grand Rapids on the evening of Monday, November 5. Freire was awarded the 2018 Novak Award this past spring and will be the first of the recipients to give the lecture in Grand Rapids at the Acton Building. The lecture is part of the international two-day conference, Crisis in the Public Square: A Response from the Kuyperian Tradition. Advance registration is required to attend this free lecture, including dinner. The entire conference, including the Calihan Lecture, will be broadcast live online. More information at acton.org/kuyperconf.

Lucas G. Freire is an assistant professor at Mackenzie Presbyterian University in São Paulo, Brazil, and a fellow at the university’s new Center for Economic Freedom. He is also a postdoctoral fellow at North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa. He received his PhD in politics from the University of Exeter. Previously, he also served as a research associate with the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics in Cambridge, UK.

Prof. Freire has commented on political and economic issues drawing on Christian thinking in the Reformed tradition. He has published on political theory and philosophy in journals such as Philosophia Reformata and Acta Academica. His current research focuses on the connection between religion, politics and economics in the ancient Near East and the biblical world. He lives in São Paulo with his wife and two children.

Named after distinguished American theologian Michael Novak, this $15,000 award rewards new outstanding scholarly research concerning the relationship between religion, economic freedom, and the free and virtuous society.

The Novak Award recognizes those scholars early in their academic career who demonstrate outstanding intellectual merit in advancing the understanding of theology’s connection to human dignity, the importance of the rule of law, limited government, religious liberty, and freedom in economic life. Recipients of the Novak Award make a formal presentation on such questions at an annual public forum known as the Calihan Lecture.

The Novak Award is made possible by the generosity of Joseph L. Calihan and family and forms part of a range of academic grants and awards available from the Acton Institute that support those engaged in serious reflection and research on the relationship between theology, the free market, limited government, and the rule of law. Details of these academic grants and awards may be found at acton.org/grants-awards.

About the Acton Institute

The Acton Institute is a nonprofit, ecumenical think tank located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Institute works internationally to “promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles.” For more on the Acton Institute, please visit
www.acton.org.

Contact Charissa Reul at (616) 454-3080 or creul@acton.org for more information.

Note: this release can be re-published in full.

 

 

 

SWITCHFOOT announces new album and American tour

FAITH NEWSWIRE – GRAMMY award-winning rock band SWITCHFOOT expands on their trademark epic soundscapes and explores new themes and textures on Native Tongue, the group’s 11th full-length album set for release on January 18th (2019) via Fantasy Records. 

The band also announced the North American leg of the Native Tongue Tour, which kicks off in Asheville, N.C on February 14th. 

Tyson Motsenbocker will join SWITCHFOOT as supporting acts. 

Tickets are on sale now

Note to media: you are free to re-publish this article in full.

Inspired by the loss of a child, Kiwi author and reality TV star finds healing through writing

FAITH NEWSWIRE – Losing a young child would rate as one of the great tragedies that anyone would face in life. For Jeff Poole, losing his son had a devastating affect on his life.

However, the kind thoughts of a friend in giving him a blank journal to write down his thoughts allowed him to not only deal with his grief, but also led to him writing a book that would be able to help others.

Kissing You Goodbye is Jeff’s story of losing his son Xander. He says, “Xander’s Godmother and a dear friend wisely gave me a blank little book. She said if the desire arose, I should write down thoughts and feelings. I didn’t use it profusely, but I did write a number of little poems, bits of prose and thoughts. Some of these I have used in the book.

“As I went through the struggles of grief, I found that there was very little from men on the subject. Most were strangely silent on the matter of child loss. It would have been helpful to have had another father to talk to who had lost a child, but I didn’t come across any in both life connections or in authors.

“It is just a simple book but my hope is that it will help people who have experienced loss, either directly or indirectly. In losing our son, our children lost their brother, our parents lost their grandchild, our siblings lost a nephew and so it goes on. It touches everyone.”

Heartbreak, even loss of faith, can be natural for those experiencing such loss, but Jeff stated that, “It took me awhile to know that God was good and that He was for me. I didn’t lose my faith in Him, but I lost my confidence in His goodness. It took me years to work through, but over time, we saw God turn difficult things around.

“We nearly lost our marriage. We nearly lost everything we had through potential bankruptcy. We have been too poor to buy food. We have gone without, but He is good. He loves me. He loves each one of us. Ultimately losing Xander has brought me closer to God.

“Losing a child changes you forever. There is always a bit of a hole. Someone is missing. It was a difficult journey, but I have journeyed through and out the other side. A strange thought that helped me survive was that over the millennia, people have lived on this earth, multitudes have lost their children and survived. If they could, so could I. I have the hope and joy of seeing Xander in heaven when I get there. I have the confidence that God is with me in every moment of my life.”

Life has moved on, and Jeff is a part of the 2018 Great Kiwi Bakeoff, the British-born TV juggernaut. It’s an elimination cooking show that, in a reality-television landscape driven with cruelty, is actually nice to people.

“My wife suggested I have a go at auditioning,” said Jeff. I have always wanted to have a go at a cooking show. I see myself as a better cook than a baker, but the GKBO has a nice feel and a great bunch of people. It was a fellow Christian on the show who really encouraged me to put the book out there. She felt it would help people.

“After reading it, she messaged me, stating, ‘Wow, wow, wow Jeff, I am in a puddle of tears! This is so incredibly moving. Thank you for writing this and for sharing your most precious story ❤️ I absolutely think this is worth sharing, please do get it published! I can imagine it like the most healing, beautiful coffee table landscape style book. This is going to touch so many lives. Wow.’”

Kissing You Goodbye is now available globally.

From Muslim to Christian, and the price paid for faith

FAITH NEWSWIRE – When you think of becoming a Christian, it’s a pretty simple process. You believe in your heart, you pray a prayer, and with that, your life is transformed forever.

However, when a Muslim decides to convert to Christianity, it’s a whole different story.

Guryel Ali, the author of a new book titled Know Yourself Loved, has written his story in a compelling new book. He states that, “When you leave Islam for another religion, it’s important to note here the dilemma Muslim people are plunged into when they receive Jesus as Lord. It often comes with a great price tag.

“Even in Western secular societies, Apostasy in Islam is a grave matter. The religion takes this personally. It is considered a public shame for the family and community. Accepting Jesus is seen as rejecting their family and their faith. For seekers, this is a very real struggle and a heavy burden.

“In some Muslim countries, the sacrifice is even greater. They may not only lose their families, they may lose their friends, their jobs, their place in society, and in extreme cases, they may face punishment, retribution and perhaps even lose their lives.”

Ali became a Christian after having supernatural encounters. He notes that, “Many Muslims have dreams of a man in white, just like I did. Muslims revere the supernatural vision/dream, so this is a powerful witness. There is in fact a great move of God happening at the moment.

“When this happens in Muslim countries, there is an underground movement, where they become secret believers, just like there was in Communist China and Russia.”

This book is the result of 25 years of travelling in ministry singing and preaching. Whenever he shared his story, people kept asking where they could buy his book. “One of the reasons I wrote the book was to help Christians understand that Muslims are not atheists,” he adds. “On the contrary, they are children of Abraham. I go in to more detail in this in the book on this aspect and on how Christians can witness to Muslims.”

Know Yourself Loved is therefore a fascinating, true story of a Muslim born in London and raised in Australia. A powerful account of conversion from Islam to Christ, it involves a broken childhood, a teenage rebel, a dream/vision of Jesus, a search for the ‘Man in White’, uncanny coincidences and supernatural encounters along the road to find a Father.

Ali shares his extraordinary testimony with sincerity and humour. His book is one of hope and shows that, no matter the circumstances, God is within reach for anyone who is searching for Him.

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.”

 

 

There Is Hope for those with serious sickness

FAITH NEWSWIRE – With the re-publishing of Robert Hillman’s 1992 book There is Hope, people with serious illness and those who care for them have a new resource to help them cope.

Dr Coral Chamberlain, who collaborated with Dr Hillman on the 1992 edition, has produced the new edition in response to many requests that this book be made available again.

“In doing so, I have done my best to remain true to Robert Hillman’s original intent and his gift for connecting with his readers,” Dr Chamberlain said.

“My hope is that, through this new edition, Robert Hillman’s words of timeless wisdom, encouragement and hope will continue to provide inspiration and comfort.”

In There is Hope, Robert Hillman presents in a balanced and simple way an approach to dealing with illness that will help readers receive all the healing possible for them in every aspect of their lives – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social.

“My main reason for writing this book is to give you hope: to encourage you to see that serious illness need not be accompanied by a sense of despair,” Dr Hillman said.

“Indeed your illness may be the beginning of real life for you. It may open up to you such vast resources of healing and wholeness that, whether or not you are cured, you will find your true self,” he said.

The first edition of There is Hope (Anzea: Sydney) was released in February 1992, just 8 weeks before Robert Hillman died as a result of cancer that was diagnosed 10 years previously. The book was an instant success: 1500 copies of the first run of 4000 sold in the first month. An additional 4000 copies were printed the same year and also sold quickly. Many readers bore testament to the blessing and help they had received. However, because the publisher ceased operations, no more reprints were available. Interest in purchasing copies of this book persists to this day, prompting the decision to revise and re-publish with Ark House Press.

Robert J Hillman BA, BD, PhD was in full-time church ministry and a popular speaker for many years. Then came the diagnosis of non-curable cancer with subsequent radical medical treatment and enforced early retirement. But this did not keep him from being involved in a caring ministry, especially the care of those who were ill. He also devoted time to writing in his latter years, in the fervent hope that others might benefit from the insights he gained during his long journey with serious illness.

Coral Chamberlain MSc, PhD is a former biomedical researcher and a writer/editor. Her role has been to bring both the first edition and this new edition of There is Hope to publication.

 

There is Hope is now available from Amazon and Koorong.

Delving into the Mysteries of God

FAITH NEWSWIRE – There are many people, Christian and non-Christian who crave to know more about God and the depth of his being. This is part of our exciting journey along this sometimes, perilous path of life – to get to know God more intimately. But how can we get to know more about him? How can we delve deeper into the mysteries of the Creator?

The author, Pastor Jim Stevens, comes up with some good questions and answers in his book ‘Taping Over God’, published by Ark House Press. He brings challenges, enthusiasm and intrigue into his writing. The author takes us on a journey of discovery into the depths of God.

Most of the time our relationship with God is limited because of what we have been taught or maybe read. However Jim Stevens had some questions running through his mind at the time of contemplating writing his book. At first he was just content to go along with whatever was said to him in church. But the more he read and talked about God the more he realized there were many conflicting ideas about him. So he went on a voyage of unearthing some truths.

Jim says, “I think many people both within the church and out of it, are generally craving something deeper in life and are prepared to engage in conversations about God but they have often been presented a version of God that seems to be only for a few people and against most people and it seems that this God they heard about wants them to change everything about themselves before he’ll accept them. But this isn’t what we saw from Jesus at all.”

So how does Jim see God now after his exploring more of how big God is and writing his conclusions in his book? He admits, “I absolutely see God as bigger and more encompassing and more inclusive than ever before. I didn’t always feel that way. For a lot of years I thought people had to believe the same as me to be ok with God. But my own beliefs and understandings were unfolding and changing themselves, so how could I expect anyone else to keep up with my supposedly correct (in my mind) ideas?”

The author explains that it is so important to try and approach ideas about God without the pre-set limitations of what we already think we know. We all have a limited perception of God and his ways and the writer helps to address this.

In this book Jim challenges us to think ‘outside the box’ and re-examine our thoughts and ideas on Almighty God. Yes, he is Almighty, and we all need to start to think big and get our heads around this. This is where the writing of Jim Stevens comes to the forefront. To confront our limited views!

So why did the author decide to write this book – what was in his mind at the time? He states, “I remember hearing a speaker named Shane Willard who talked about God and the Bible from a more Jewish perspective, which I found to be far richer and deeper than how I had previously understood things. This really started me off on a journey of reading a wider variety of writers. I wanted to help people to not feel ostracized simply because they have questions.” What Jim was contemplating was it also made him realize that maybe there was much more to the picture of God/the Bible/life and how those three mix together more than he had previously thought.

“I remember being at school and hearing the teacher ask, ‘Does everyone understand?’ But if you feel like the only one who doesn’t understand there’s no way you’re putting your hand up because you feel too silly. Having questions can make us feel excluded and I want those with questions to feel safe enough to ask them and have the conversations without feeling like there is something wrong with them.”

The greatest message Jim Stevens wants to convey in his book is he hopes that those who read ‘Taping Over God’ can know that it’s ok to have questions and uncertainties when it comes to matters of faith and God. He points out, “It isn’t after we’ve wrestled with ideas that we find the correct answers but rather it’s within the wrestling that we experience and grow in understanding God better. We never arrive at the final conclusions about God because there is more to God than we can grasp.” He explains that asking questions can lead to a more robust and deeper faith.

“I want people to consider that God could be possibly better than their current understanding because with that kind of ‘searching’ approach there is potential to find a better understanding of God,” Jim says. “But when we’re certain we already know it all we restrict our own ability to learn something better.”

‘Taping Over God’ is a book that the author hopes will usher people into a deeper realm in God.

For media interviews visit www.jimstevens.com.au.

Note to media: you are free to re-publish this article in full.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daring To Living With Purpose

FAITH NEWSWIRE – It’s not until we realise where contentment comes from that we are able to live the most fulfilled, meaningful, and perhaps even daring life.

As a collection of thoughts and topics, ‘Satisfiction’ is a heartfelt conversation for young women who want to live with purpose and contentment in the season they’re in.

The author, Shelley Ward, believes there are many young women who are living unfulfilled lives. They are searching for contentment and purpose, expecting the world to give them these things. She has written her book to encourage women to be all they are meant to be in Christ. 

“I believe many lives are unfulfilled because people are searching for fulfillment in the wrong things,” Shelley says.  “This world is filled with so many things that give us a false sense of satisfaction or fulfillment. This false sense of satisfaction is what I like to call satisfiction. We believe that these things will fill us but it is only temporary and always leaves us craving something more.”

Fulfillment can only be found in Christ alone. It is the feeling of completeness – knowing that you have all you need. It is the quenching of desires and longings and it brings with it a sense of peace. This is what women are searching for, but not only women – the whole world!

Satisfiction’ talks about love, life and relationships. The author explains in her book that it is possible for women to find fulfillment in each of these areas by trusting God to write their story, aligning themselves with His ways and by understanding, that in all things, Christ is our contentment.

Shelley says, “On the topic of life, I want the readers to dream big, discover their purpose and identity, and to dig deeper into Him, with a focus on living for His Kingdom.

“With the topic of love, there is an emphasis on God’s immense love for us and on the value and righteousness He gives us as His daughters – no matter our shortcomings or weaknesses. He makes us new. And He is our strength.

“The topic of relationships is a major topic that is covered in Satisfiction. I dedicated much of this book to discussing this topic because I believe relationships is more often than not, where young women today are looking for their fulfillment. They believe that once they find and marry the perfect man, they will be satisfied and have a purpose. But the problem with this ideal is that there is no such thing as a perfect man. Only Christ meets the criteria of ‘perfect’. So once these young ladies find themselves in relationships, they become disillusioned. On the flipside, other girls settle into bad relationships because they don’t understand their precious worth as a daughter of the King.”

Satisfiction’ encourages girls to rethink the how and why of dating, encouraging them to shift their thinking to align with God’s Word and not the world.

The book contains many thoughts, questions and lessons conveyed through personal storytelling, biblical stories, and discussions. It covers a variety of topics and issues common to young women in a way that is relevant and light-hearted yet challenging.

The author explains that she believes women are missing out on living a truly fulfilled life because they are putting Christ on the sideline rather than centre-stage of their life. God’s ways are truly the best but sadly, so many young Christian women are falling into the patterns of the world instead.

The book ‘Satisfiction’ is an easy to read, conversational style of writing suited to young women. It’s written like the reader is conversing with their trusted sister or close friend who is sharing her experiences and what she’s learned in life and faith. It’s simply girls doing life together.

“This book lets the reader know that no matter our life’s story – no matter how extravagant, crazy, or simple we might perceive it. No matter our past, present, or future – we each have been made for a purpose. And that purpose is to glorify God with our lives. We each are capable of this and the uniqueness of our story and identity in fact glorifies God that much more.

Note to media: you are free to re-publish this article in full.

Making Retirement Work: Getting Old and Finishing Well

FAITH NEWSWIRE – The prospect of retirement can be daunting for many people. Some are concerned that they will be bored. Others worry that they will no longer have enough money on which to live comfortably. John Bradford, in his latest book, “Making Retirement Work: Getting Old and Finishing Well” answers these and many other questions asked by people entering the twilight of life. 

“People are living longer, as life expectancies increase rapidly, and many are retiring earlier,” states the author. “This is compounded by the fact that as the great 20th Century economist John Maynard Keynes suggested by 2030 mankind would be confronted with the greatest challenge it had ever faced: what to do with a sea of spare time when the working week by that time would be reduced to just 15 hours.”

John writers that, “Staying busy is one of the keys to continuing to enjoy life in retirement. Ideally that means having a plan for the transition. It’s important to stay active both physically and mentally and to continue to grow spiritually. However, when you retire perhaps the time for achieving is over. Now it’s time to consolidate and maybe it’s a time to focus on being rather than becoming.”

John admits that looking back there are things he might have or should have done differently but he has no regrets. “Regret is a harmful emotion,” he says. “Nostalgia is a natural and positive emotion.” John says he is blessed to have had a wonderful life. “I was most fortunate to marry somebody 35 years ago who shared my beliefs and passion for adventure. Soon after we were married we moved from Sydney to the Gold Coast with our then two baby children in tow! The best was yet to come.

“Then years later after I retired from the Australian Parliament, Judy agreed to us taking our three children out of school to go and live in Mongolia and work there for the Bible Society. Then we travelled around the world as missionaries for four years after that.” We only came home because our youngest child Lisa was ready to start high school.”

Asked about how the death of his son Tim from cancer in 2015 impacted on him and his wife Judy, John is philosophical: “Tim’s death is still very fresh and indeed painful. Even though we know he is in heaven we still miss him incredibly. He was only 31 when he died. Already I am 72. However, with the passage of time I have come to accept that I must get on with my life and “not grow weary or fainthearted” (Hebrews 12:3b). It’s a challenge I face every day.”

Making Retirement Work is full of advice and reflections based on John’s own experiences. “Many people may not be as fortunate as I have been, but hopefully it will encourage people to look forward to their own retirement and have a positive attitude and outlook on this new phase of life. In other words, I want people to ‘make retirement work for them’.”

 

Note to media: you are free to re-publish this article in full.

Delving into the Mysteries of God

FAITH NEWSWIRE – There are many people, Christian and non-Christian who crave to know more about God and the depth of his being. This is part of our exciting journey along this sometimes, perilous path of life – to get to know God more intimately. But how can we get to know more about him? How can we delve deeper into the mysteries of the Creator?

The author, Pastor Jim Stevens, comes up with some good questions and answers in his book ‘Taping Over God’, published by Ark House Press. He brings challenges, enthusiasm and intrigue into his writing. The author takes us on a journey of discovery into the depths of God.

Most of the time our relationship with God is limited because of what we have been taught or maybe read. However Jim Stevens had some questions running through his mind at the time of contemplating writing his book. At first he was just content to go along with whatever was said to him in church. But the more he read and talked about God the more he realized there were many conflicting ideas about him. So he went on a voyage of unearthing some truths.

Jim says, “I think many people both within the church and out of it, are generally craving something deeper in life and are prepared to engage in conversations about God but they have often been presented a version of God that seems to be only for a few people and against most people and it seems that this God they heard about wants them to change everything about themselves before he’ll accept them. But this isn’t what we saw from Jesus at all.”

So how does Jim see God now after his exploring more of how big God is and writing his conclusions in his book? He admits, “I absolutely see God as bigger and more encompassing and more inclusive than ever before. I didn’t always feel that way. For a lot of years I thought people had to believe the same as me to be ok with God. But my own beliefs and understandings were unfolding and changing themselves, so how could I expect anyone else to keep up with my supposedly correct (in my mind) ideas?”

The author explains that it is so important to try and approach ideas about God without the pre-set limitations of what we already think we know. We all have a limited perception of God and his ways and the writer helps to address this.

In this book Jim challenges us to think ‘outside the box’ and re-examine our thoughts and ideas on Almighty God. Yes, he is Almighty, and we all need to start to think big and get our heads around this. This is where the writing of Jim Stevens comes to the forefront. To confront our limited views!

So why did the author decide to write this book – what was in his mind at the time? He states, “I remember hearing a speaker named Shane Willard who talked about God and the Bible from a more Jewish perspective, which I found to be far richer and deeper than how I had previously understood things. This really started me off on a journey of reading a wider variety of writers. I wanted to help people to not feel ostracized simply because they have questions.” What Jim was contemplating was it also made him realize that maybe there was much more to the picture of God/the Bible/life and how those three mix together more than he had previously thought.

“I remember being at school and hearing the teacher ask, ‘Does everyone understand?’ But if you feel like the only one who doesn’t understand there’s no way you’re putting your hand up because you feel too silly. Having questions can make us feel excluded and I want those with questions to feel safe enough to ask them and have the conversations without feeling like there is something wrong with them.”

The greatest message Jim Stevens wants to convey in his book is he hopes that those who read ‘Taping Over God’ can know that it’s ok to have questions and uncertainties when it comes to matters of faith and God. He points out, “It isn’t after we’ve wrestled with ideas that we find the correct answers but rather it’s within the wrestling that we experience and grow in understanding God better. We never arrive at the final conclusions about God because there is more to God than we can grasp.” He explains that asking questions can lead to a more robust and deeper faith.

“I want people to consider that God could be possibly better than their current understanding because with that kind of ‘searching’ approach there is potential to find a better understanding of God,” Jim says. “But when we’re certain we already know it all we restrict our own ability to learn something better.”

‘Taping Over God’ is a book that the author hopes will usher people into a deeper realm in God. For more information visit www.jimstevens.com.au.

Ark House launches partner publishing

FAITH NEWSWIRE – Global Christian book publisher Ark House Press has launched a new partner publishing program.

The publisher, which specializes in working with a wide range of Christian authors, has made the announcement in light of the changes taking place in the retail marketplace.

Matt Danswan, the CEO of Initiate Media, the parent company of Ark House, said, “As we continue to see a breakdown in both the Christian retail and general bookseller marketplace, this is putting a lot of strain on publishers.

“With channels closing, getting physical books in front of readers is tougher than ever. Having said that, the opportunities have never been greater in that an author now has global exposure and distribution as people buy their books online. But at the same time, the net result is that it is a challenge to sell the same number of units in the new digital marketplace.”

Ark House’s co-publishing model works with authors who have solid content, but just don’t have the runs on the board in terms of previous sales, or they do not have a strong social media presence with which to promote their title to.

Partner publishing allows the author all of the benefits that a published author gets, but because they pay a small fee, they keep the rights to their title.

“Partner publishing, or as we call it, co-publishing, is an exciting new model for authors,” explains Matt. “It’s a hybrid of being with a credible traditional publisher, while at the same time keeping your rights and not having to go down the path of self publishing, which generally sees books published at a fairly low quality, de-valuing the author’s reputation and credibility.

“We are still committed to being a boutique publishing house, underwriting the publishing of authors who have the ability to sell a high number of units, but we simply cannot ignore the large volumes of inquiries from amazing authors who have huge talent, but just need someone to back them as they make their start.”

For more information visit www.arkhousepress.com.

Which Christian and Initiate Media join forces

FAITH NEWSWIRE – Initiate Media has announced a joint venture with whichchristian.com.au, Australia’s leading printed guides publisher.

Whichchristian.com.au has been in the Christian marketplace for 20 years. Its print guides have been the preeminent magazines for connecting Christians with Australian Christian schools, colleges and missions. However as the market moves away from print, whichchristian.com.au is re-directing its focus to online search.

Rod Heard, Managing Director of whichchristian.com.au, said: “Which Christian and Initiate Media have been active in the Christian space for many years. Although Matt and I have had a number of conversations about working together, it has not been until the last few days that the pieces have suddenly fallen into place.

“We’re looking forward to being able to combine to continue to publish information about Christian organizations very effectively online.”

Matt Danswan, CEO of Initiate Media, commented: “The publishing world is changing at record pace, and I believe the strong brand whichchristian.com.au possesses, coupled with the strong network of websites and traffic we can bring to the site, make this a perfect fit.

“Rod and I have had informal discussions over the last few years, and it has just been a matter of waiting for the right time to come together. The time is now, and so this is an exciting result for not only our advertisers, but also Australian Christians looking for quality Christian organisations.”

For more information visit www.whichchristian.com.au.

Initiate Media to launch new housesitting site

FAITH NEWSWIRE – Initiate Media has announced that it is launching a global site connecting Christians looking for like-minded house sitting services.

Christianhousesitting.com will be the first of its kind, connecting homeowners with those looking for short-term accommodation.

As the owners of christianhomeswap.com, Initiate Media is launching the site in response to homeowners specifically looking for trusted individuals who can mind their animals whilst traveling.

Initiate Media co-founder Nicole Danswan stated, “Christianhomeswap.com fills an amazing space in the marketplace by connecting Christians together and affording them free holiday accommodation.

“However, many have told us of the need to have their homes and/or pets minded while traveling. In addition to this, who you have stay in your home unattended is a big decision. It’s not only the personal assets within your home, but also the spiritual connotation that person brings.

“Sadly, there are also people in our community with no fixed address, and so this also bills a void for those who need short term accommodation. We are really confident that christianhousesitting.com is therefore going to be a perfect fit between home owner and those needing such accommodation.”

The site is due to launch in September 2018.

 

 

Initiate Media completes ownership of christianhomeswap.com

FAITH NEWSWIRE – Initiate Media has announced that it has acquired 100% of the popular website ChristianHomeswap.com. ChristianHomeSwap.com is an international community of house swappers located all around the world.

ChristianHomeswap.com has been in the marketplace since 2007. The website was originally started as a result of dissatisfaction with the cost of traditional accommodation, the prohibitive costs of travel making holidays difficult for many people.

Until recently, Initiate Media was a 60% owner of the website, with the remaining 40% owned by Australian company Pack Your Bags Pty Ltd.

ChristianHomeSwap.com provides an alternative form of travel, where friendly local and international travelers swap homes to enjoy free accommodation.

Matt Danswan, CEO of Initiate Media, said, “While we enjoyed a tremendous relationship with Pack Your Bags and its owners, Dave and Kirsty Utting, at the same time we are happy to announce that we have acquired the website in full.

“The Uttings were steering their business in a slightly different direction, and so as the majority shareholders, it was only natural that acquiring the full site was going to be a good fit for both parties.

They have done a tremendous job in building this website from a standing start, and we are confident that, as our platform continues to grow, that we can go on to build ChristianHomeSwap.com into an even more amazing website than it is today.”

For more information visit www.ChristianHomeswap.com.

Racism and Discrimination – one man’s journey

FAITH NEWSWIRE – Have you ever stopped and wondered what it would be like to be different – I mean of a different race and culture to the one you are living in? The many trials and suffering that are undergone because you don’t fit in and are not welcome in your community?

Leonard Young, the author of ‘The Man Who Rebelled Against God’ tells his story of an unforgiving society that wouldn’t accept him for who he was – a young Chinese living in Brisbane in the early 1940s. 

This is the story of a young Chinese man growing up in western society where racism was rife. This story is Leonard’s personal testimony of God’s forgiveness of his sin, and by trusting Jesus Christ.

The book is published by Ark House Press. 

The author explains his journey. “Some people who hear the call of God upon their lives respond immediately and never waver throughout their entire life. They grow closer to Him every day and never fail to obey His demands on their lives. They can look back over their lives with satisfaction knowing just how much God has blessed their service for Him”. 

“As for me I have struggled throughout much of my life to show a consistent walk with our Lord.” 

As a child Leonard was led into a life of delinquency and law breaking and was totally uncontrollable. His foster mother had a house of amoral boarders that gave him a poor role model. “Being Chinese in a completely white community I was ostracized and suffered from abuse from both adults and in my school,” he says. “On the other hand, a small Christian church gradually changed my life by patient and loving acceptance and brought knowledge of Christ to me.” 

Being fostered by an Irish mother in a completely white society Leonard was basically cut off from his Chinese community (apart from his school holidays). However, the language barrier with his father and his Chinese friends prevented any close connections between father and son. His Church became his only haven from the verbal abuse and isolation from outside in the general community. Christian men became his spiritual mentors and emotional support.

Having accepting Christ in his late teens and then rebelling against God through interpersonal relationships within the Christian community Leonard lived a life of wanton selfishness and sin. “I never at any time believed that God did not exist but felt that he had deprived me of my deepest desire,” Leonard went on to explain.

After a time, Leonard became marginally connected to the Christian community because, as he pointed out, he wanted his children to grow up to be law-abiding and morally upstanding citizens and to reject drugs and other pit-falls young people fall into. “However, with the death of my grandson I realized my life without Christ was empty and I desperately needed God’s love and comfort the world could not give me.” 

This is a story of a Chinese man born on the wrong side of life and the law who, as a young child, lived in a suburb of Brisbane just after World War 2. Although he experienced the psychological barbs of racism and discrimination and became bitter and rebellious, a small congregation of Christians eventually rescued him. 

Leonard Young inspires us with the account of his journey from childhood and teenage rebellion to finding God in the midst of his trials. 

This story begins in a period of our history when there have been many changes within the Australian community as well as its churches. Some of these transformations have been positive and beneficial while others are spiritually destructive. 

“Although the Church, in particular, is generally welcoming, there is again an increase in racial discrimination and verbal abuse,” Leonard strongly points out. “This is not helped by the atrocities and terrorism that has become a current occurrence nearly every day. My hope is that when their children grow up in our society they will gradually become more accepted.”   

“I believe this story of mine is also timely. We are now in a period when there is little sympathy for others in the world who are suffering persecution, social isolation, discrimination and even worse; innumerable deaths and acts of genocide. This is particularly so when they are considered not to have the same belief system, a common ethnic origin, social standing, or political preference. However, God sent Christ to die on the cross because of His great love for all humanity. 

Editor’s Note: this article may be re-produced, without requiring permission.

Poetry: The Reflection of God 

FAITH NEWSWIRE – The author, Dr Edwin Yip has composed some very meaningful poems in his book ‘Glorifying God Centred in Christ’. The purpose, he maintains, is to glorify God, through meditation on the poetry. Dr Edwin Yip’s goal is to help Christians grow in faith and to understand what it means to be a Christian.

But why poetry? “If you are a Christian, it does not really matter whether you like poetry or not,” the author explains. “For example, even if you do not like the literary styles in the book of Psalms, you can still study and learn from it. Of course, if you enjoy poetry then that’s a bonus. This book is more than a collection of poems. It has reflective questions and my own comments besides each poem. In other words, its main value is as a devotional tool.” 

Why the author decided to write down his inspiration for these poems is because he was sharing a personal poem he had written in front of others. He realised he wanted to share all his poetry and bring joy to his readers.

Dr Yip gives an overview of the time in his life when he felt he wanted to write his poetry. “Although I have written a few poems relating to my faith in the past, it was not enough to form a collection. During my brief missional trip to Tonga in 2016, I had the opportunity to share a personal poem I had written with other believers, and I was encouraged by the responses of those who heard it. 

“At the same time, I was inspired by one of the sisters who travelled with me. Her main role during the trip was to impart knowledge and wisdom and encouragement to caregivers and families looking after children with autism. This is made possible through her experience in bringing up her youngest child with autism. She also went on to write a book called ‘Mikey & Me’ which shares her personal journey. Her story has become a source of hope and blessing to others.

“I also wanted to write something that can inspire and help others, to cultivate and strengthen their spiritual growth. As I thought about what my spiritual gift(s) are and what I can do for Christ, the idea of writing and publishing a poetry collection was born.”

So how does the author believe his collection of poems can glorify God? “It’s personal,” he declares. “It’s a reflection of my gratitude to God and what he has done in my life. I hope others can appreciate what I have written even if they are not into poetry. Furthermore, I hope they are inspired to focus on their own gifts and passions to glorify God.” 

Editor’s Note: this article may be re-produced, without requiring permission.

A Mum Without Her Baby – A Father Without His Daughter

FAITH NEWSWIRE – “Time of death…” were the words the doctor spoke to Liz and Ray when their baby daughter went to heaven. Relive the gripping emotions and feelings the family encountered at the time of this great tragedy. It is a time in your life you will always remember when a loved one (and especially at such a young age) is taken from you.  

Alana’s Brief Season’ is the compelling story of the death of little six month-old Alana Bremer. This captivating book recounts the faith that brought Liz Bremer, the author, through the pain of losing her precious child.

The words uttered by the doctor came sometime in the afternoon, 29 December 1994. Liz knew it was the right decision but she was still stunned by their words. She had tried to revive her doing CPR, then the ambulance officers took over and finally the nurses at the hospital.

“Monitors were turned off, IV lines removed, the place tidied up and doctors and nurses left the room for Ray and I to be together alone with Alana,” Liz said. “In the last couple of hours so much of how I had reacted was due to my nursing training. Now I was a mum without my baby while Ray was a dad without his daughter. For a moment in time we were lost in our pain. There were no words, we just hugged each other and cried at the enormity of our loss. This was the worst moment of our lives.”

No words can describe this loss, but Liz and Ray had a great faith in their God and trusted Him. Yes, they hurt so much over their bereavement but Liz explained it beautifully.

“I did a lot of crying in the first few months,” Liz said. “Instead of running away from God I turned to Him daily on my own. I didn’t question what God had done and wouldn’t let myself linger on the ‘why’ or ‘if. For me Alana was gone, full stop, rule off’, end of story. Yet I was hurting and told God so. In fact I told Him everything, just as I learned to do many years ago when I understood that God is my Father and friend. I needed time to heal. God was everything He promised to be. My best friend was and is Jesus and together we went through the pain.”

Liz and Ray were numbed by the experience as they left the hospital. They just wanted to shut down and let the world go by.

 “We were physically and emotionally exhausted when we went to bed,” Liz goes on to say. “We all had a good night’s sleep and that has continued for many years. I’ve never had a dream / nightmare when Alana has been in it since that day.”

It was a blessing that they had family and friends around them from the day till just after Alana’s funeral. It felt like God carried them through this time with His energy to deal with everything.

Liz coped by taking time out writing to work through pain and for special days such as Alana’s birthday. The couple have had other children. However this was a great step of faith as this allowed them to be open that it all could go wrong again. 

God was everything to Liz. She had become a Christian at the age of 13 years and now 17 years later she was calling out to Him to get her through this, knowing He loved her and was in control.

“Alana’s death was like the winter of my world. It was a season of loss and death. Somehow my ability to make sense of this tragic event came from words of comfort and hope in the Bible. There’s the hope and power of the resurrection of Jesus because He’s gained victory over death. One day I will be forever with Jesus in heaven. Love, blood, death and resurrection power will get me there and keep me there forever along with Alana who I will see again and many millions more.

“This is my autobiography, not a self help book or written by a counsellor wanting to help others. It’s one of the worst experiences I’ve gone through. It took years for this wound to heal to become a scar.”

Time heals pain experienced in the first stage of bereavement, which is slowly turned into a permanent sense of loss according to Liz. “From the day Alana died to the time I felt a sense of closure was around five years. It was a journey I never thought would take so long.

“I end the book with my youngest daughter’s birth. Her name is Nicole and means victory while Alana’s name means beautiful and for a brief season we enjoyed her beauty.”

Editor’s Note: this article may be re-produced, without requiring permission.

From Religion to Intimacy with God

FAITH NEWSWIRE – A person’s life consists not of what we plan or achieve or dream about. It is not about our own purposes and ideas. It is whether we are prepared to recognise that God is in control. It depends on whether we are prepared to accept His control, or to reject it in favour of our own machinations.

The author of the book, ‘The Gardener’s Son’ details his sometimes torturous journey into submitting his life to Christ, completely. 

The book is published by Ark House Press.

 When this book is read, and mixed with faith, it will generate a new sense of purpose, vision and empowerment.  It will lift the discouraged out of their shallow dungeon and they will see the Cross and be drawn to Jesus who hung there for humanity. It is the intention of the author that readers will put their complete trust in God.

David Munns, the author, says, “Recognition often comes with hindsight. Whilst having been raised within a Christian environment, this does not necessarily mean that there is a spiritual qualification automatically conferred upon one in understanding what it is that God requires of one.”

David’s statement comes out of his childhood in the Plymouth Brethren. “Its doctrines are founded on the belief that they are the only people who God has chosen for salvation. Anyone outside of their group is unsaved, children of the devil and sold out to the world. To enhance this concept, they strictly enforce a ‘Doctrine of Separation’ by not permitting their people to interact with ‘outsiders’, either by speaking to, living with, or eating with their neighbours or having common walls between dwellings,” David explains.

In the late 50’s the world leader of the Brethren wanted greater control of the ‘church’. He applied the doctrine of separation. Children were being cut off from their families. Husbands and wives were being forced to not only separate, but to divorce, claiming through the legal system the husband’s assets, so that he was left with nothing. Young people having their belongings literally thrown out onto the street because they left the brethren. David could not tolerate this it was so traumatic and he looked for a way out.

David Munns became a member of the Royal Aero Club of Western Australia and learned to fly. This was entirely contrary to edicts of the Brethren. “But I managed to keep it quiet for a time until my photo appeared on the front page of the Daily Newspaper. The Brethren tried to pressure me into stopping after visiting me, but I refused and was dutifully withdrawn from the organisation.

“Life was hard for a time, as I was only 21, but I slowly found friendships both in my work and at the aero club. I have never danced and always avoid it at all costs. Some things remain and last a lifetime.”

David had a negative religious experience. It certainly was not one that gave him a personal and intimate relationship with Christ. 

Missionary Training College had been the organization where David had studied. He learned vital biblical truths and principles to live a life dedicated to God. He knew it all. 

But the reality of knowing God’s presence in his life came when his marriage failed. 

“At that time it seemed my prayers were unanswered,” David maintained. “My Christian friends deserted me; my church shunned me; my endeavours to compensate with social activities through my work, failed. It was when some faithful Christian friends from America took me under their wing, that I was able to understand that the truth of Hebrews 13:5 where He says, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’.”

Then David was unlawfully terminated from his work. This was restored through the legal system. He stood on God’s word and declared victory over the situation, which was achieved. It was God’s grace and mercy upon his life and more answers to prayer!

The author joined the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia and served there for three and a half decades. During this time he was faced with many dangerous and life-threatening challenges. He says, “I was able to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. I looked death in the face and was part of the miraculous restoration to life after the death of a baby. I also had the privilege of being asked to fly a new aircraft from Switzerland to Perth.” 

There are many stories from the author while flying, of near-death experiences, in-flight emergencies and tragedies avoided through the protection and faithfulness of God.

“I have written this book to share how God has worked in my life,” the author states. “I   suspect that most people have similar failures and successes without knowing that it is God who is working in their lives.  I have attempted to share my story, warts and all so that others may understand that the Christian pathway is not a complicated obstacle course, replete with rituals and traditions. But rather a simple hand in hand walk with Jesus each and every day. Most importantly, to believe that what He has promised He will fulfill.

“If my book can reach one person and change that person’s life, then I will have achieved something in history.” 

Read about David Munns’ incredible journey to find an intimate relationship with his Savior. 

Editor’s Note: this article may be re-produced, without requiring permission.

The Ordinary Made Extraordinary

FAITH NEWSWIRE – Rob Hawkes, the author of ‘Peter’s Song’ takes an exclusive look into the life of Peter, the disciple of Jesus. He has examined his humanness and looks at the humanity of the men Jesus chose to be His disciples. The very enlightening book deals with the tragedy and humour of the various situations scripture places them in.

‘Peter’s Song’ is published by Ark House Press.

The book looks at the unique celebration of the very ordinary made extraordinary by the hand of God. It brings some great insights into the life of the Apostle Peter as recorded in scripture. But it is seen through his eyes and those who may have witnessed the events with him.

What makes the author’s book intriguing and interesting to read? Rob explains, “There are a number of unique perspectives on familiar passages in the scriptures…at least I think they’re unique. For example: readers may be familiar with the accounts of the Last Supper in the upper room and when the Holy Spirit fell in power on those gathered there at Pentecost. But have you ever wondered what those events would have sounded like to those in the lower room? ‘Peter’s Song’ looks at that perspective. The book also dares to take a first person viewpoint of the Holy Spirit coming upon the disciples gathered in the room.”

The author also looks at the Gospel account of Peter’s reinstatement by Jesus on the shores of Galilee after His resurrection from the dead. It mentions Peter wrapping his outer garments about himself before leaping from the boat into the water to greet his Master on the shoreline. This is a beautiful illustration of the love that Peter had for Jesus.

“I have used this example of Peter and the others to highlight one of the qualities that may have singled out Peter as leadership material,” the author says. “It may be alien to our controlled, ordered western view of the world, but maybe there is something about allowing our love of Jesus freedom of expression that the rest of the world needs to see more. Even if we look a little foolish in the process!”

The book is unique as there is a touch of humor and it is not overly religious nor is it excessively theological in its approach. This may be a little unusual given its subject matter. The author hopes it is all the more accessible for a wider readership because of that.

‘Peter’s Song’ is a little unconventional in its perspective on familiar passages. The author explains, “It emphasizes the humanity of the ordinary men and women who met Jesus. It takes you into their company as they travel together, share meals and wrestle with the horrifying death of their beloved Rabbi, contemplate their future without Him, then share in the wonder of His resurrection. It explores their new relationships that developed now that Jesus was no longer (physically) with them.

“Peripheral figures in the Gospels like Mary, Martha and Lazarus take a more prominent role in the story. The disciples would have previously had a relationship with them because of their association with the renowned Jesus of Nazareth. Would this change following His death? Would they have any association with them in the future or would they have to establish their own relationship with each other, without Jesus in their midst?”

Rob Hawkes describes how he sees Peter as different from the other disciples. “His propensity to make very public mistakes.
The completely inappropriate violence he exhibited in the Garden of Gethsemane at the moment of Jesus’ arrest followed shortly after by his cowardice and rejection of Jesus in the courtyard of the house of Caiaphas, when confronted by a young servant girl. His eagerness to have a go. Jesus’ eagerness for him to succeed!

“To a greater or lesser extent I see these traits in my life and in the lives of some others who I know. I find him endearing because of them, not in spite of them. He’s the one who comes across as the most human and therefore the easiest for me to identify with, because all his failings are my own too. Peter was an ordinary, hardworking man. Someone who was prone to misunderstandings and making mistakes, even after meeting and living alongside Jesus throughout His ministry years.”

The book builds to a crescendo of hope brought about by the transforming work of the Holy Spirit working in and through them as they continue with the ministry Jesus started.

Editor’s Note: this article may be re-produced, without requiring permission.

Creating a new mindset with the Bible

FAITH NEWSWIRE – We all have many unanswered questions concerning God and what is written in the Bible. Why aren’t things so straightforward? Why are they quite complex, we may ask?

Malcolm Dunjey, the author of 136 Questions, published by Ark House Press, had the same questions, so he decided to put pen to paper on some topical and controversial subjects. Some of the discussions are formal, some casual – all focused on helping the reader understand some of the Bible’s many and great unanswered questions.

Malcolm has written his book to help readers understand the scriptures and to give them an overview of some of the unanswered questions that arise.

The author explains why it was so important to write this book. “I wanted to ask some questions which reflected on my varied background as a missionary, minister of the gospel and a medical doctor,” Malcolm told me.

“The need for a book to be free of denominations and theology. My thinking was the book should be one-of-a-kind and unique in its conception and range of topics.”

Christianity always provokes a number of questions and Malcolm discusses many topics that people are contemplating on a wide range of Biblical issues. In fact, 136 of them.

Some questions deal with eternity; what that actually means and what awaits us. The author also looks at who God is, as this is a question many people are thinking about.

His book covers articles on issues such as abortion, homosexuality, same sex marriage, the future or fate of Israel, the trustworthiness of the Bible and examines if there are any errors in these topics.

Malcolm also debates and examines what and where are heaven and hell, and the contentious issue of suffering, particularly relating to Christians. He also talks about Jesus, a blood sacrifice for sin.

“Many people are not sure if the devil even exists or if there is a second coming and how this will manifest,” the author explains. “There is also the question of how God is portrayed in the Old Testament and then in the New Testament, as there appears some differences in how God seems to handle humanity, and suffering.

“Is there sometimes the possibility of there being a hiatus between the Gods of the Old and New Testaments? Why did Jesus die? These subjects are often discussed and debated and often there are no finite answers.”

“I think my treatment of all these topics is ‘one of a kind’, almost unique,” Malcolm maintains. “The range of topics is wide, covering most of our beliefs, but the answers are brief, succinct and nearly complete within my self-imposed limit of a reasonably small and attractive book, without being academic or stuffy. Each topic is introduced

and peppered with searching and sometimes controversial questions, but I remain Evangelical in doctrine. I searched before I wrote but couldn’t find a similar work.”

If you have questions about God and what is written in the Bible then 136 Questions can help you and give some answers.

The book is available now globally.

Lynn Goldsmith

 

Editor’s Note: this article may be re-produced, without requiring permission.

 

 

 

 

Domestic violence and the grace to forgive a killer

FAITH NEWSWIRE – A story unfolds of a great tragedy, but it is also a story of forgiveness – sometimes a miracle in itself. There is a call to the judicial system to bring justice and righteousness in the midst of tragic circumstances.

Tragically in 2013 and at just 22, Rekiah Lee O’Donnell fell victim to domestic violence from her ice addict partner. Nelson Lai took a precious life from this world, a beautiful young woman who should still be alive. Someone who had the world at her feet.

The author, Kerryn Robertson, reveals her pain and heartbreak at the death of her daughter in her new book Rekiah’s Law, released by Ark House Press. Kerryn explains why it was so important to write about the tragic events. “Rekiah’s Law was written for a variety of reasons: both to help myself through writing and to help other people through the various topics covered in the book,” she said.

“When such a tragedy happens, particularly if it’s the death of a loved one, you have trouble making sense of it. I felt compelled to write Rekiah’s Law as part of my healing process, because to make any sense of Rekiah’s death I had to know that I was helping others, and that her death was not in vain.

“Because Rekiah died at the hands of her partner, I also wanted to write the book as a warning for others who might be experiencing domestic violence: to not only tell Rekiah’s story about where violence can lead, but to provide explanations of what domestic violence is and give information of where to go for help. My hope is that the book will also give understanding to family and friends of domestic violence victims, and to give examples of the warning signs to watch for.”

The heartbreaking murder occurred when Nelson shot Rekiah in the head at close range. In his statement to the police he maintained he loved his girlfriend, but admitted he used to punch and threaten to kill her, and frequently wrongly accused her of having affairs with a number of different males. He fervently maintained this happened only when he was coming off drugs. It was also discovered he had previous convictions for attacking his partner from a previous relationship, who was the mother of his two children.

When the matter went to court, Nelson, through his defence barrister, claimed he did not know the gun was loaded. He said he was not particularly aggressive towards Rekiah at the time and the gun was not pointed towards her. It was just a grave mistake that unfortunately ended in taking her life.

The ending of this court case resulted in Nelson being convicted of manslaughter and not murder. The family was totally heartbroken at this verdict, and the light prison sentence of a maximum of nine years and five months.

Kerryn explained, “The title Rekiah’s Law came about because of the injustice we believe we were served through the Victorian (Australia) justice system. One of the reasons for writing the book was not only for me to vent my frustrations at the legal system, but to create awareness of the injustices that occur in our court rooms and campaign to get laws changed for the benefit of victims and their families. I felt this was vital to bring to the attention of politicians, lawyers and families.”

However, there is another side to this tragedy – the grace that enabled Kerryn Robertson to forgive Nelson for killing her daughter. This was the miracle – it was, of course, an extremely difficult thing to do. Not many people would come to this place of forgiveness, but Kerryn found the strength to reach out into the darkness and bring God’s light into an evil and heartbreaking situation.

Because of her courage and faith the judge was immediately impressed, and commended Rekiah’s mother when she turned to Nelson during an earlier pre-sentence hearing and told him she forgave him. The judge did not think many people, including himself, could forgive their child’s killer.

The author said she had included writings from her journaling in the years that followed Rekiah’s death, as she wanted people who are grieving deeply, to know that anything they are going through is okay, and that grief and the healing process never follow the same pattern. Everyone’s journey is different and it’s okay to take as long as you need, because life is never quite normal again after the death of someone close, particularly if it is a child or a spouse.

Kerryn goes on to say, “From a faith perspective, I want to give readers a glimpse of what a relationship with God is like, and how faith is so important in giving you hope through the worst of times, and the peace that forgiveness can bring. I have said that losing a child is like losing a limb. Life will never be the same again, but you learn to live with it.

“I made a decision early on that I was not going to let Rekiah’s death ruin my life and the lives of those around me, particularly my other children’s lives. I want people to know through reading this book that no matter what happens, whether it is teenage rebellion, divorce, adversity, death, injustice… all of which I have had to endure, that there is still hope for a happy future.”

The book is available globally.

 

Editor’s Note: this article may be re-produced, without requiring permission.

The Battle Within to Fight the Enemy

FAITH NEWSWIRE – the substance of things believed for but not as yet seen. The promises God has made to us in His Word and for us personally that we are believing for and need to fight for.

Beryl Spencer, the author of the recently released And Then Came A Lion writes about the consuming faith and the battle we have to fight against the enemy to manifest all God has given us. The book, published by Ark House Press, is communicative and also contains teaching, particularly from the book of Ephesians.

A key theme in her book is ‘faith that shuts a lion’s mouth’ and is more than a hope that ‘it won’t bite’, according to Beryl. A lion is a wild animal and will bite and we can be prepared for an enemy who, though he thinks he is a roaring lion roaming about trying to destroy, in reality Jesus rendered him as dead when He died on the Cross.

“We need to learn to believe and live in that truth. Faith and fear cannot walk in tandem,” says Beryl.

The author encourages God’s people to stay in the Word of God, which gives such a strong foundation. She previously conferred to many readers on faith: AW Tozer, Andrew Murray and Watchman Nee and felt compelled to share her knowledge.

“As I was writing and preparing, I studied the lives of many of the great Generals in wartime and their strategies as well as other leaders,” Beryl explains. “There are powerful truths to be learned. I also read about the National Defence Systems (NMD) of places like the USA and Israel, who have the best in the world.

“We have our own PMD (personal missile defence). It is the tested Word and the Spirit positioned to disarm any missile the enemy cares to hurl at us.”

Beryl believed at one stage, like many people, that God would always protect His people. This is true to a certain extent, but there are actions we need to take. She discovered that we need to put on God’s armour, we need to stay in God’s Word and rise up in faith.

Her heart is very much for the youth and the author knew they would need strong faith to overcome life’s challenges. Although she had read many wonderful books, she felt the need to write a book that would ground the truths of God’s Word in their hearts. “But above all I knew there was quite a bit of ‘hyper-faith’ and presumption and I knew they could be led astray by that. I talk about presumption in the book,” she states.

“At the time I felt challenged to write And There Came A Lion I was leading a large country youth group and felt strongly they needed to have some foundations set in the Word. I started a series on Ephesians 6 based on ‘putting on the whole armour’. The youth loved it and I found some innovative ways to teach these Scriptures and I have incorporated these into my book.”

The book is written in a communicative way rather than straight teaching, though it does teach to a small extent.

“It actually grounds the Word of God in everyday life,” Beryl continues. “In His Word, God by His Spirit has given us all we need. It reaches out of the Word and into everyday life. God wants to direct us back to His Word for the answers. I wanted to share the authenticity of the Word and show God’s Word is alive and active and energising. It reminds us over and over that we can live victoriously in faith in the Word of God.”

The book is available globally.

 

Editor’s Note: this article may be re-produced, without requiring permission.

Author’s Story Shares Her Hope in Cancer, Death and Grief

FAITH NEWSWIRE – Every day around the world, thousands of women, hear those dreaded words: “I’m sorry, but you have breast cancer.” One in eight Australian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer before they reach the age of 85. Lois Thompson is one of those women.

When she heard those dreaded words: “Breast cancer,” for herself, what followed was a mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and nine months off work for treatment.

The foreboding, insidious force we call “Cancer” is on the increase. Most of us are affected by it in some way, either personally or watching someone who we know and love go through it. Our general reaction is: “it’s an enemy that must be fought.”

Praise God, cancer patients and their support network don’t fight this enemy alone. They’re supported by an army of medical professionals and researchers, who help in the battle to conquer this enemy.  Today, 89 out of 100 breast cancer patients are termed “Survivors.” They live beyond five years of diagnosis. Most never have a recurrence or suffer metastatic breast cancer.

In her book, Hope in Cancer, Death and Grief, Lois documents her own battle with breast cancer, and how facing death helped her to embrace life.

The stakes are high!

Most people want to live this life for as long as possible but we can become weary in battle.  When Lois’s eldest son died in a tragic car accident in 2002, in her grief, Lois just wanted to be reunited with him. But as she faced the reality of her own death, her heart and eyes were opened and for the first time, and she could see everything life and living had to offer. Cancer made her stop!  It forced her to decide and she decided to live. As she fought to defeat cancer, her enemy, Lois found cancer her friend! Lois is one of the many breast cancer hurdlers who say their life is richer, stronger and better for having jumped that hurdle.

Sadly, despite fighting cancer with all available spiritual and medical weapons, sometimes cancer, the enemy, wins. Lois again faced crippling grief, when her husband lost his battle against bowel cancer in 2011. Lois thought she had done enough grieving during her husband’s long battle with this old enemy. She had her Christian faith and family and seemed quite happy on the surface, but deep inside, she had once again lost the will to live. Lois lost sight of everyone and everything in her life. The pain of loss, we call grief, clouded her world.

But God led her through those clouds of grief. Her husband had a full life, loving and serving Jesus, after the Lord saved him from suicide and alcoholism. God spoke to them through his Word. He gave them the scripture, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith,” (2 Timothy 4:7). For Pat, death was “gain,” as written in Philippians 1:21. As he waited in hospital for six weeks, at times impatiently, to enter his glorious destiny (Psalm 73:24 NLT), cancer became his friend as it carried him to his Heavenly Home.

And then death was swallowed up by victory.

“O Death, where is your sting?” O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:55-57

You can read more of Lois Thompson’s story at: https://www.facebook.com/loisthompsonauthor

Publisher launches pastor publishing division

FAITH NEWSWIRE  – Global Christian book publisher Ark House Press has recently launched a new pastor publishing initiative.

Ark House Pastor Publishing is specifically aimed at pastors and speakers who have the platform for selling books as they speak, but want to avoid the costs and headache of lugging books all over their nation, or the world.

Just a few short years ago, the model for pastors as authors was to pay to print larger quantities in a country like China, and then have stock on hand to sell where the pastor was speaking. But with the costs of shipping books, carrying them on airlines, as well as to other countries, it quickly became apparent that the logistics outweighed the benefits.

Matt Danswan, CEO of Initiate Media, said: “With the advent of digital printing, printing short runs of books and having them shipped to where authors are speaking is the new model.

‘This used to be too expensive to achieve, but in this day and age, and with the volume of book printing we do at Ark House, we have been able to secure pricing low enough to make this entirely possible for pastors.

“Ark House offers its authors the full gamut of publishing services, but at the same time does not acquire the rights to a title. So pastors and speakers get all of our benefits, including global distribution, but at the same time they are not locked into a contract.”

Ark House prints in key locations around the world, including the US, UK, Singapore, India, South Africa and Australia, which then also services New Zealand.

So no matter where pastors reside, or are traveling to, stock is printed in the local market, as well as being delivered direct to venues.

“One of the great benefits to our authors also is the fact that authors’ books carry the Ark House imprint, which is a recognized, respected Christian publishing house,” Mr Danswan commented.

“And as our company supplies full e-book files as well, our pastors get all the benefits of being with a quality publishing house, but without signing away their rights.”

For information visit www.arkhousepress.com.

Digital agency re-launches

FAITH NEWSWIRE – One of the world’s leading Christian media companies has re-launched its creative agency for the Christian market.

Initiate Agency is the new agency of Initiate Media, publishers of My Christian Daily, among other media assets. Initiate Agency was launched with the sole aim of helping Christian organizations with a range of digital services.

Nicole Danswan, Art Director of Initiate Media, as well as Initiate Agency, said: “Over the years we have both developed and acquired a range of Christian products and services companies to help create a dynamic Christian marketplace.

“All of our own company’s work has been done in-house under our immensely skilful team, and now we feel it is the time to make our talented team available to the greater Christian marketplace.

“I am of the belief that many Christian organizations have the right message, but don’t package the message with the design required to engage their marketplace. In this competitive day and age, we need more than just a great message; we need to present it in a way that people will be open to it.

“So all good communication in any organization starts with exceptional design. Every website we own, every Ark House book we have published, every magazine we own and edition published have all designed by our team and under my leadership.

“The future is online, and many Christian organizations just don’t know who to partner with to really build a solid branding and subsequent digital presence. We aim to fill that gap.”

Initiate Agency will also utilize the executive team on hand at Initiate Media, with Ray Curle heading up the Agency as Business Development Manager.

For more information visit www.initiateagency.com.

Author puts out a call to evangelism

FAITH NEWSWIRE – Australia has a distinctly Christian heritage, but today, mention Jesus in a Queensland school and you could find yourself in hot water.

And earlier this year, Presbyterian pastor, Campbell Markham, and street preacher, David Gee, were hauled before Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination commissioner for preaching the gospel.

The latest Australian Census data shows a steady decline in the number of people professing a Christian faith and in an increasingly pluralistic society, it’s no wonder Christians are fearful about fulfilling the Great Commission.

Helen Devenish is a Street Evangelist in the same town where Campbell and David are still waiting on the outcome of their court case.  But she’s still reaching dozens of locals every week with the gospel message, simply by starting conversations in her local coffee shop, walking through the mall or while stopping to help a mother struggling with her pram [baby carriage].

Helen is an “evangelism expert” and she’s written a book about it called Let’s Go – Fearless Evangelism. In her book, Helen shares her experience of overcoming “Evangelism Anxiety” and some of the incredible stories of salvations and healings she has witnessed as she ministers to the homeless and the wealthy alike on the streets of Hobart.

In a world that’s increasingly hostile to the gospel, Helen has five tips to help you overcome “Evangelism Anxiety” and answer the call of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20).

1. What will other people think about me? Get over it! That’s fear of man and it’s a trap to stop you from being who God created you to be. You should be much more concerned about what God thinks of you. “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe” (Proverbs 29:25).

2. What if someone gets angry? It’s actually very rare for someone to get angry if you take a gentle, loving and kind approach. And most importantly, don’t be judgemental.

3. What if I can’t answer their questions? You might be surprised to hear that not knowing all the answers is a good thing! It shows that you’re not proud and arrogant or think you know everything. And it’s a great excuse to follow them up. Just say, “I don’t know the answer to that question. Let me find out and get back to you.”

4. How do I start a conversation with a stranger, without coming across as “weird?”Just be friendly. Say “hi” and ask a general question (ask God to give you a good conversation starter). Then gently, gradually find a way to bring up your faith in a general conversation. Look for a natural segue, rather than getting “straight into it.”

5. Does it matter what I say? Yes, it does. Don’t chase a “quick conversion” from someone who doesn’t really understand what they’re doing. A lot of the younger generation don’t even understand what sin is. Explain sin and explain the remedy — Jesus on the cross. Explain that repentance means turning away from your sin and asking God to help you stop. It’s going to mean change, so explain how good God is and how He can help them through the change.

 

Note: Helen Devenish is a Pastor, artist, evangelist, author and mother of 9. Find out more at www.lovehobart.com.

On-demand Christian movie platform launches

FAITH NEWSWIRE – On-demand TV company Channel C has announced the launch of a new video on demand movie platform.

Channel C Extra is a joint venture with Heritage HM, a global distributor of faith-based movies. Rod Hopping, Heritage HM Managing Director said, “We are so happy to partner with Initiate Media and their Channel C project to launch Channel C Extra.

“With Initiate Media’s traffic and Channel C brand, coupled with our extensive collection of faith-based films, this is a smart, strategic partnership. We are really looking forward to seeing where this ends up.

Matt Danswan, CEO of Initiate Media, said: “We have enormous respect for the team at Heritage HM, and together we hope to develop a Netflix-style platform for the faith film market.

“Their commitment to spreading the word via film is inspiring, and together we see a great future in online movie streaming.”

For more information on Channel C visit www.channelc.net. For more information on Channel C Extra visit www.channelcextra.com.

The Former Violent Drug Addict Whose Life Was Turned Around

FAITH NEWSWIRE – Just over 3 million Australians use illicit drugs each year*.

These statistics are disturbing and so is the reality of living with drug addiction.

Mark Johnston used to be one of these statistics. A childhood marred by physical and sexual abuse left him feeling hopeless and desperate for a panacea to dull the pain. Drugs became his escape from reality but only succeeded in making his reality so much more unbearable.

By 19, Mark had attempted suicide numerous times and was put into seven drug-induced comas. He was self-harming and prone to violent fits of rage. Helpless and afraid, Mark’s mother kicked him out of home and a family took him in.

As he slowly recovered from addiction, they invited him to church, but he refused again and again. Until his uncle also come to live with Mark’s adopted family to overcome his own addition, and he started sharing the gospel with Mark.

One day, Mark decided to open up a bible and as he read Psalm 72:14, he watched in amazement as the face of God looked up at him through the pages and said, “I’m going to rescue you from oppression, violence and fraud because your blood is precious in my sight.” From that moment, Mark picked up that bible like no other drug before, reading it with the same urgency and desire with which is used to inject drugs. It was the first book he had ever read in his entire life.

Soon after his encounter with God, Mark entered The Transformations Discipleship Program on the Gold Coast of Australia, which really turned his life around. He completed the program in a little over a year, becoming a staff member of the program in south-east Queensland, where he helped pioneer a new campus.

Today, Mark has a deep passion for discipleship, mentoring and recovery. He’s sober and clean from drugs. He has a Diploma in Ministry and he regularly shares his testimony in churches, prisons and schools. He’s also written a book, Marked by Mercy, to provide encouragement and hope to drug addicts like himself and their families.

He is a living testimony to God’s mercy and restoration power.

You can find out more about Mark at www.markcjohnston.com

*2016 NDSHS Key Findings: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/illicit-use-of-drugs/ndshs-2016-key-findings/data