Written by Christine D. Johnson
Monday, 11 August 2014 11:23 AM EDT
John Eldredge and son Sam Eldredge invite young men and their fathers to a life journey in Killing Lions: A Guide Through the Trials Young Men Face (9781400206704, 208 pages, hardcover, $19.99). Releasing Sept. 9 from Thomas Nelson, the book was born out of a series of weekly phone calls between Sam, a young writer in his 20s, and his dad, best known for 2001’s Wild at Heart.
In Killing Lions, the Eldredges talk about topics key to learning how to become a man, including dealing with money, getting married, chasing dreams and finding a life of your own. With a title that refers to a Masai rite of passage into manhood, Killing Lions speaks to a searching generation and takes the pressure off young men who are trying to figure out life all on their own.
Mark Batterson has ventured into YA territory with the start of a new trilogy. The first book, Jack Staples and the Ring of Time, written with Joel N. Clark, sees an 11-year-old Irish boy awaken to a fantastical world. He is unwittingly drawn into a war that’s been raging since time before time. Encountering creatures beyond imagination, Jack must face his fears if he is to fulfill his destiny—to save the world and destroy it—and in the process, he discovers new and extraordinary abilities in his epic battle between good and evil. Published by David C Cook, the 240-page softcover book (9780781411073) retails for $9.99 and is available Sept. 1.
Fr. Dave Pivonka, T.O.R., and Deacon Ralph Poyo
Servant Books (Franciscan Media)
softcover, 144 pages, $14.99
Pivonka and Poyo offer guidance in Encounter Jesus to readers who want to learn to follow Jesus wherever He leads.
Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Mike Aquilina
hardcover, 224 pages, $23
Authors Wuerl and Aquilina examine the history and traditions behind the holidays, from favorite holidays such as Christmas to forgotten ones such as the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. Through the feasts, Christians learn the life of Christ, share it and come to imitate it. This book continues the work the authors begun in their books The Mass and The Church, exploring the basics of Catholic life. Each chapter of The Feasts uncovers the biblical origins and development of one of the great feasts or fasts.
THE WAY OF SERENITY
Father Jonathan Morris
HarperOne (HarperCollins Publishers)
hardcover, 240 pages, $24.99
FOX News religion analyst, program director of the Catholic Channel on SiriusXM radio and best-selling author Morris reveals how the Serenity Prayer offers a path to peace and fulfillment for everyone, not just those in recovery programs. Exploring the prayer phrase by phrase, Morris shows the hope that can be found by gaining a deeper spiritual understanding of its words and by practicing its message. The Way of Serenity includes narratives, historical anecdotes and biblical passages that demonstrate the power of the Serenity Prayer to help readers grow closer to God and find greater peace and happiness.
A GIFT FOR BABY’S DEDICATION
Lois Rock; illustrated by Sanja Rescek
Lion Hudson (Kregel Publications)
hardcover, 48 pages, $9.99
Uncomplicated prayers, traditional and modern, are collected in A Gift for Baby’s Dedication for a grown-up to say with a child. The prayers have been chosen to remind children of the promises made by their congregation and parents to help raise the child in the Christian faith. Accompanied by soft illustrations, this padded-cover gift book is decorated with foil titling.
CONRAD AND THE COWGIRL NEXT DOOR
Denette Fretz; illustrated by Gene Barretta
hardcover, 40 pages, $12.99
For children ages 4-8, Conrad and the Cowgirl Next Door follows the story of Conrad, a cautious kid who becomes concerned when he has a chance to visit his uncle’s ranch and learn the cowboy way of life. Conrad is concerned that he doesn’t know the rules and that it might be dangerous to be a cowboy, so he brings his Mega Ultimate Extreme First Aid Kit to the ranch. In this humorous tale about what it means to love your neighbor, Conrad encounters Imogene Louise, the know-it-all cowgirl who is happy to point out his shortcomings. Conrad is the second in “The Next Door” series.
GOD GAVE US ANGELS
Lisa Tawn Bergren; illustrated by Laura J. Bryant
softcover, 40 pages, $10.99
The newest title in Bergren’s best-selling “God Gave Us” series features the character of Little Cub as she considers why God gave us angels. This picture book for children ages 3 and up follows little Cub and Papa Bear as they wander their arctic neighborhood and discuss the questions young ones have about angels—what they do, how they look, why they’re here and how they help care for us.
PROMISES FOR GOD’S PRINCESSES
Tyndale House Publishers
softcover, 224 pages, $9.99
This devotional book is filled with Scriptures about God’s love, protection and promises. The diary-style book’s 100 devotions tie in the Scriptures to help young girls apply them to their lives.
WILD AND WACKY BIBLE ADVENTURES FOR KIDS
Harvest House Publishers
softcover, 144 pages, $8.99
Comical illustrations and up-to-date retellings of Bible stories in Wild and Wacky Bible Adventures for Kids are designed for kids ages 6-12. Writer-iillustrator Silverthorne pairs biblical accounts with contemporary culture, resulting in a humorous but informative blend of Bible lessons and modern-day applications. Stories are introduced with improbable questions that will stimulate young readers’ thinking.
BLESSED TO CALL YOU FRIEND
Harvest House Publishers
hardcover, 48 pages, $12.99
Blessed to Call You Friend invites readers to honor their friends and celebrate the joys they share together. Featuring LaPoint’s illustrations, this book is a collection of timeless quotes and Scripture verses.
FIRST PRAYERS FOR BABY
Sophie Piper; illustrated by Annabel Spenceley
Lion Hudson (Kregel Publications)
hardcover, 48 pages, $8.99
First Prayers for Baby is a book of simple prayers and blessings for a newborn child. Including traditional and modern prayers, it is a fitting gift for a baptism or dedication. Illustrated with pastel images of babies and their toys, the book is presented in a padded hardcover with a dedication page and space for a photo.
FRIENDS RULE THE ROOST
Harvest House Publishers
hardcover, 48 pages, $12.99
With Winget’s whimsical roosters, chickens and bright Provençal art throughout, this collection of friendship quotes and Scripture verses celebrates the blessing of close friends.
THE LESSER SUN
Living Ink (AMG Publishers)
softcover, 384 pages, $14.99
The Lesser Sun, the second title in “The Wandering,” opens almost three years after the collapse of Barra-Dohn. Kaden Omiir, once the crown prince of a mighty empire, is now an apprentice to the Amhuru, the nomadic keepers and protectors of the Golden Cord. He and his family and the others who survived the city’s fall with them are now traveling with Tchinchura—who bears the last Southland fragment of the Golden Cord that is still in Amhuru hands—in search of any information that will help them in their struggle against the Jin Dara.
THE LIFE: AN OUTREACH BIBLEZINE
New Living Translation
Tyndale House Publishers
112 pages, $4.99
Tyndale House appeals to teens who are curious about spiritual things with The Life: An Outreach Biblezine. Using the New Living Translation (NLT), this unconventional Bible was created in partnership with Youth for Christ. The Life moves teens beyond religion to an introduction to Jesus’ personal story and His Word.
THE MASTER SONG
352 pages, $15.99
The Master Song, the first of “Blue Time” series, is a high-fantasy fiction tale. The story revolves around five teens in Ireland who find themselves caught in a hidden world. They must learn to grow, trust, fight, sacrifice and love in order to find the first of seven lost jewels that contain the ancient “Verses of the Master Song.” With the Awakened—humanlike animals and plants—they will battle beasts, doppelgangers and an evil power nearly as ancient as creation.
Written by DeWayne Hamby
Monday, 11 August 2014 11:01 AM EDT
September releases include For King & Country’s highly anticipated sophomore disc
Integrity Music (Provident Distribution)
Banner is the newest release from New Life Church’s Desperation Band, recorded live in July in Colorado Springs, Colorado, before a crowd of 6,000 students and youth workers at the Desperation youth conference. The album’s title refers to God’s name Jehovah-Nissi, which means, “The Lord is my banner,” and aims to encourage younger generations to lift up the name of the Lord.
Known for songs such as “I Am Free,” “Overcome” and “My Savior Lives,” Desperation Band led by Jon Egan introduces new worship tracks and potential church classics such as “Break Open,” “Even Though” and “You Make a Way.”
RUN WILD. LIVE FREE. LOVE STRONG
For King & Country
Fervent Records (Word Distribution)
Brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone, also known as For King & Country, follow their top-selling debut release, Crave, with Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong. The album features the new songs “It’s Not Over Yet,” “Without You” and radio single “Fix My Eyes,” which made a strong debut on Christian AC/CHR format stations with more stations supporting the single than any song since 2007.
“This song is a true gift, and the message speaks of where we should place our focus,” the brothers said. “We wrote ‘Fix My Eyes’ in the midst of a very chaotic time in our lives so to feel the incredible embrace from Christian radio and have this song be warmly received is extremely humbling and inspiring.”
SYMPHONY OF WORSHIP
All Souls Orchestra
Integrity Music (Provident)
Billed as a blending of classical and contemporary musicians, All Souls Orchestra releases its live album, Symphony of Worship. Recorded at the Royal Albert Hall in London, the album features popular worship artists such as Paul Baloche, Martin Smith (Delirious) and Graham Kendrick along with a 400-voice choir gathered from across the United Kingdom. Together, they revisit classic worship songs such as “Majesty,” “Shine Jesus Shine,” “Above All” and “Open the Eyes of My Heart.” Also featured are renowned soprano Helen-Jane Howells and violinist Rebecca Eves.
Fair Trade Services (Provident)
Contemporary vocal group Veritas—comprising Jeff Anderson, James Berrian, Andrew Goodwin, Jordan Johnson and Lucas Scott—releases its self-titled debut this month. The group uses a pop-opera style to offer listeners fresh takes on popular songs such as “I Can Only Imagine,” “10,000 Reasons,” “Dare You to Move,” “The Lord’s Prayer” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
Veritas should appeal to fans of Il Divo, Josh Groban and Susan Boyle.
“The arts give us a chance to reflect the creativity of our Creator and express who He is in a way that all people can appreciate,” the group said.
Written by DeWayne Hamby
Monday, 11 August 2014 10:57 AM EDT
‘The Middle’ actress Patricia Heaton’s role spotlights challenges of the pastor’s wife
A night featuring a series of unfortunate events played to hilarious results is the basis for the faith-based comedy Mom’s Night Out, starring Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond, The Middle); Sarah Drew (Grey’s Anatomy); Sean Astin (The Goonies, “Lord of the Rings”); and country singer Trace Adkins.
Directed by the Erwin brothers (October Baby), the film from Affirm Films and Provident Films released to theaters in time for Mother’s Day and will be available for home viewing Sept. 2. The DVD is being promoted with a series of retailer exclusives, such as Blu-ray/DVD combo packs exclusive to Christian retail with bonus content such as blooper reels and special featurettes.
Heaton and her husband, David Hunt, served as executive producers of the film and offered script suggestions based on her research on the life of a pastor’s wife.
“When I did my research, one of the words that came up often to describe themselves is ‘lonely’,” she said. “It makes perfect sense because although they’re surrounded by people, they have to be careful about who they can confide in as a friend. So, we started finding places in the script to illustrate where we can spotlight pastor’s wife’s challenges.”
Heaton said the chance to “humanize” church goers was one of the concepts that drew her to the part of Sondra, the pastor’s wife.
“I think it was the first comedy in the faith-friendly area of movies,” she said. “I am a big believer in comedy. People talk about music breaking barriers and uniting people. I think comedy does the same thing. I was very excited that there was a comedy about people going to church. It makes them more human.”
The actress, who admitted that of all the moms she’s played in her roles, she’s the most like her current television persona, Frankie Heck from ABC’s The Middle, believes the ability for the church to show its softer side is a really good thing.
“I think G.K. Chesterton said, ‘Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly,’ ” Heaton said. “We should be able to laugh at our own unfortunate attempts at living a pious life. I think the world needs to see Christians having fun and laughing at themselves.”
To order the Mom’s Night Out DVD, visit thep.com.
Written by Leslie Santamaria
Monday, 07 July 2014 03:11 PM EDT
LATEST PROJECT: The Confession (9781401688868, $15.99, softcover, Aug. 5).
PUBLISHER: Thomas Nelson.
As a practicing attorney and best-selling author, how are you able to manage both professions?
I compartmentalize my time to fulfill competing responsibilities. Mothers do this on a daily basis! At this point in my legal career, I avoid cases that sap all my energy. I often leave the office early.
What type of law do you practice?
I am a disability lawyer and mediator. My mediator work involves assisting Christians in conflicts and disputes. This work is through a nonprofit organization called PeacePoint at PeacePoint.com. We offer a lot of free information via our website.
What sparked the idea for your new work, The Confession?
After writing several novels from the perspective of a defense lawyer, I wanted to explore the life of a prosecutor. And I thought it would be interesting to write about a prosecutor with a troubled past.
Your writing is often compared to that of John Grisham. How would you describe your writing, and who are some of your favorite authors and/or books?
Like Grisham, I strive for realism in portraying the legal world. I’ve met so many interesting people during 35 years of law practice that it’s not hard to populate my novels with intriguing characters. My writing is influenced by the thousands of depositions I’ve taken and hundreds of trial transcripts I’ve read. Also, like many modern writers, I’m influenced by Hemingway and his spare type of prose.
What type of character is Holt Douglas at the beginning of the novel?
Holt is an earnest young assistant [district attorney] performing public service law to assuage guilt over the death of a friend. He’s buried the past, but it is about to come out of the grave to confront him.
What topics do you explore in The Confession?
Obviously, the main theme relates to confession on several levels with more than one character. Confession is also connected with forgiveness.
Did you do any research for this title, or were you able to write completely from your law experience?
There was minimal research required for this book, mostly just a few legal nuances.
What message do you hope readers will take away from this book?
God will make a way for anyone willing to be honest and humble with him and others.
What else should Christian retailers know about The Confession?
This is a book in my wheelhouse—a legal suspense novel with plot twists and turns involving characters readers will care about.
Written by Leslie Santamaria
Monday, 07 July 2014 03:02 PM EDT
Latest project: When Heaven Seems Silent: How to Wait on God’s Promises Through Pain, Disappointment, and Doubt (9781621366614, $14.99, softcover, Charisma House).
In Randy Clark’s foreword to this book, he writes that you have been waiting “in faith for a promised creative miracle that has been twenty years in the making.” What was that creative miracle?
I (Mark) was born with a partially formed left shoulder, arm and only a small bud for a hand. We believe that God has promised to create a fully developed and functioning arm and hand.
You explain this miracle has been “persistently confirmed.” How so?
Through Scripture, through words of knowledge (1 Cor. 12:8) from various people, voice of the Holy Spirit, dreams and visions (mental impressions). There were three separate occasions that I (Mark) told God I wanted to give the promise back to Him because I was struggling intellectually and emotionally. After all, I didn’t need it in order to love Him and serve Him. Each of these three times, God dramatically intervened and graciously let me know He understood my struggle, but I was not to let His promise be surrendered.
What is the difference between a healing miracle and a creative miracle?
We define “creative miracles” as: God making or forming something that is missing or that was never there. We define “healing miracles” as: God fixing what is already there by restoring what is broken or not functioning properly.
Why did you choose to write this book?
One night I (Tammy) was asking the Lord what I could do to further contribute to our ministry, handofjesus.org. I heard in my mind, “Write a book.” That excited me because I enjoy writing. I then asked what I should write about. I felt the answer was, “Write about your promised creative miracle.” I didn’t feel excited about that reply. It felt way too vulnerable, too transparent, too exposing. I told Mark about this conversation, and he humbly agreed to pray with me about it. Eventually we decided we needed to be obedient to what we felt God spoke.
What are some of the challenges for the believer who is waiting on God?
To not be offended at God during the process. To maintain Him as first love. To not give up, trusting there is purpose in delay. Wrongly putting life on hold until “it” happens rather than moving forward.
What is one lesson you learned while waiting for God to fulfill His promise?
Running ahead of God’s timing comes from an incorrect confidence we have in ourselves that we are ready for the next step. This confidence arises from the fact that we’ve done our homework; we’ve prepared. If we have accomplished A, B and C, then it should logically follow that D, E and F will occur. And besides, our time here on Earth is limited and we need to get moving. It has become increasingly obvious in the 20 years we have been waiting for our promise that God does not buy in to our formulas. In fact, if we are of the opinion that we’ve accomplished anything apart from Him, then we have proven that we are not ready for the next step. We are setting ourselves up for disappointment or, even worse, for failure that could hurt the ones we love. We must trust His timing. God, our Heavenly Father, desires to walk with us through the process of receiving His promises!
Who would benefit from this book?
Those who are finding it difficult to hold onto hope as they wait for answers [and] individuals and couples who are navigating through their thoughts and emotions as they try to remain faithful to God.
How can Christian retailers promote this book?
When Heaven Seems Silent will leave readers saying, “Wow, did that really happen?” on some pages and, “That happens to me and now I understand why” on other pages. While most books are written after the promise is fulfilled, When Heaven Seems Silent is written in the midst of the wait. It is heart-wrenchingly honest about the process and difficulties of waiting while leaving you encouraged and restoring hope. We also can provide a four-minute video.
Written by Leslie Santamaria
Monday, 07 July 2014 02:54 PM EDT
One lesson God taught author and human trafficking activist Christine Caine was a dozen years in the making.
As a fan of the Olympic women’s relay race, Caine watched her favorite team, the Americans, lose in 2000, 2004 and 2008 after failing to pass batons well. When the American team won gold in 2012, Caine realized God wanted her to see something—that Christians worldwide run the most important race every day, “the divine relay,” and the exchange zones are critical for success.
Caine explains this lesson using stories from her life and the ministry she cofounded, The A21 Campaign, in her new book from Zondervan, Unstoppable: Running the Race You Were Born to Win (9780310341178, $15.99), releasing Aug. 26.
A21 fights human trafficking around the world, including sexual exploitation and forced slave labor. The examples in Unstoppable come from the frontlines of that battle. They show how each believer, regardless of present and past circumstances and limitations, when empowered by the Holy Spirit, can serve God in this generation. The book focuses on rallying believers to join the race and then to pass on batons effectively to others.
“The church needs champion runners who never give up, who persevere no matter what they encounter, who run to win—unstoppable, no matter the cost,” writes Caine. She debunks the things that threaten to hold back Christians, including fear, apathy, unforgiveness, shame and opposition from the devil. Referring to the seeming impossibilities biblical figures Moses, David and Mary faced, she writes: “Impossible is God’s starting point.”
While believers are tempted to falsely believe they cannot make a difference, Caine points out that as Christians put the broken pieces of their lives into God’s hands, He uses them to work wonders.
Caine refers to the race of faith not as an individual journey, but a team event. Mastering the handoff of responsibilities to fellow Christians means letting go of one thing to grasp another.
“Hand off the baton well and we represent God as big to the world around us,” Caine writes. “Hand off poorly (or worse yet, stop handing off at all) and we represent God as small to the world.”
Additionally, Caine stresses that the goal of the race is not to earn God’s favor, but to become more like Christ. The baton is the work of Christ in individuals and the world. And the finish line might not be visible on this side of eternity.
To order, call 800-727-1309.