Christian Retailing

PRODUCT NEWS
Product News
Helping couples navigate dating to lifelong marriage PDF Print E-mail
Written by Leslie Santamaria   
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 10:38 AM EST

Pastor Matt Chandler examines the wisdom of Solomon as a biblical model for relationships

TheMinglingOfSoulsPastor Matt Chandler is continually asked about how dating should work. The questions often reveal a desire for godly relationships, he says, but also a lack of wisdom and practical knowledge. His own courtship with his wife suffered early on, he admits, because he didn’t have a full biblical understanding of conflict.

Chandler leads The Village Church, a multi-campus congregation in Dallas with attendance topping 10,000. He is president of Acts 29, a network of churches planting churches, and author of several books, including The Explicit Gospel and To Live Is Christ, To Die Is Gain, both written with Jared C. Wilson.

Chandler and Wilson have partnered again on a book that David C Cook releases Jan. 1. The Mingling of Souls: God’s Design for Love, Sex, Marriage and Redemption is for singles and marrieds and relies on the wisdom in the Old Testament’s Song of Songs.

Solomon’s love story shows a couple pursuing romance, yet refraining from physical intimacy until marriage, then wholly celebrating their union and nurturing their relationship into old age. It is, Chandler asserts, a biblical model pointing to the hope of the gospel.

In The Mingling of Souls, Chandler states that love, marriage and sex were created and designed by God for His glory and our good.

“In a gospel-centered marriage, when two souls are mingled together with the Holy Spirit’s leading, we find confirmation after confirmation that grace is true, that grace is real—that we can be really, truly, deeply known and at the same time really, truly, deeply loved.”

Chandler warns against worldly approaches to dating, which, he says, seek to hide one’s true self and stir up love too soon. He believes “there are few things as damaging to the human soul as casual sexual encounters.”

Often, Chandler reminds readers that the God-given desire for physical intimacy is not inherently bad. However, he adds: “It must be held in check until marriage.”

He defines courtship as the stage where couples consider weightier issues. The point, he writes, is to determine “if the attraction is evidencing real love, the kind of selfless love the Bible calls married couples to embrace.” He stresses judging a prospective spouse’s character with help from godly counsel. Chandler also gives suggestions for conflict resolution, emphasizing forgiveness and the wisdom of responding rather than reacting.

Chandler speaks against all kinds of potentially abusive relationships—physical, verbal, sexual and spiritual—advising victims to “get out and get help.”

The final chapter of the book discusses fueling a healthy lifelong marriage. Chandler acknowledges that marriage often seems mysterious, yet adds: “What a great reassurance it is to know that God … knows exactly what he’s doing.”

To order, visit davidccook.com.

 
Practicing good stewardship PDF Print E-mail
Written by Deonne Lindsey   
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 09:31 AM EST

Readers of personal finance books find renewed focus in new year

YouCanAdoptWithoutDebt-Abingdon

 

With each new year comes a fresh start. The end of January also brings the first round of bills for Christmas purchases and the first set of tax documents from financial institutions and employers, all reminders of what’s already been done—and, in some cases, what we shouldn’t have done. In short, it’s the ideal time of year to set some financial resolutions or simply to push our financial restart button.

For customers looking for a new way forward with their finances, publishers are supplying a number of new titles in the category to help them chart a path to better stewardship.

 

CONQUERING DEBT

TheLeap-MoodyThe latest round of finance releases shows that authors who have personal experience—sometimes with understanding intimately how someone can end up having done it all wrong—appeal to the everyday reader.

One such author, Cheri Lowe, wrote Slaying the Debt Dragon (Tyndale Momentum/Tyndale House Publishers, January) after racking up more than $127,000 worth of debt, mostly in student loans, and then paying it all off.

Lowe, who blogs at queenoffree.net, shares that even though her family’s debt left them in a difficult situation, the experience of fighting for financial freedom together not only strengthened her marriage and taught her children money-management skills but also brought her family closer to each other and to God.

TheFinanciallyConfidentWoman-RevellMary Hunt’s The Financially Confident Woman will be re-released in January, and her classic Debt-Proof Living was re-released in July, both from the Revell imprint of Baker Publishing Group. Hunt says that for many women, limited financial knowledge is less the issue than a lack of confidence. As someone who also has first-hand experience getting out of debt and following a successful financial strategy for the future, Hunt is well-positioned to encourage readers.SlayingTheDebtDragon-Tyndale

Revell Executive Editor Vicki Crumpton says that personal experience, along with years of research and reader feedback through Hunt’s Debt-Proof Living company, are the factors that have given Hunt’s books a high profile in the marketplace.

“She knows how to explain finances in a way that everyone can understand,” Crumpton said. “But most importantly, she’s a coach and encourager, coming alongside her readers and saying, ‘You can do this! I’ll show you what to do, step by step. Now let’s get going.’ ”

Sandra Vander Zicht, associate publisher and executive editor of trade books at Zondervan, agreed that shifts in the category show a greater affinity among readers for books by authors who have lived the questions at hand.

“I do think there has been a movement away from financial entrepreneurs, such as Ron Blue (Master Your Money) and Larry Burkett (How to Manage Your Money) to books that have been birthed out of personal experience, such as Mary Hunt (Debt-Proof Living) and now to books by bloggers and others that were a response to the recent recession, such as Living Well, Spending Less by Ruth Soukup and The Money Saving Mom’s Budget by Crystal Paine,” Vander Zicht said.

The5MoneyConversations-WPublishing

The conversation about personal finance also has become broader, including many who have found themselves on far less secure economic footing than they thought they were when the recession hit—and that trend hasn’t escaped notice.

“Due to the changing economy over the last several years, many ordinary people who never anticipated financial worry to be part of their future have found themselves in the midst of it and are now speaking out to share how they made it through,” said Sarah Atkinson, associate acquisitions director for Tyndale Momentum.

 

 

LIVING FRUGALLY

Many financial experts have said that getting out of debt and becoming financially secure require some sacrifice. But with the economic difficulties that many families have been through in the last decade, a new attitude has emerged, particularly so among the rising corps of women bloggers. For these writers, living with less has become part art form and part spiritual practice.

Ruth Soukup’s Living Well, Spending Less (Zondervan, January) mirrors not only the author’s blog of the same name but also the growing trend among readers who are realizing that having it all is not only practically impossible but also mostly unnecessary. Instead, Soukup focuses on creative ideas and practical advice that empower moms to create a life where their homes and finances reflect their true personal goals. The readers she appeals to favor capsule wardrobes, meal planning and do-it-yourself refreshes rather than buying more.

Another of the early-in-the-year releases will be You Can Adopt Without Debt by Julie Gumm (Abingdon Press, January). Gumm knows the financial pressures that adoptive families face first-hand. She and her husband added two siblings from Ethiopia to their family of two biological children in 2008. With the large amount of money required by private adoption agencies, many families either give up discouraged or take out large loans, adding to their financial stress.

Yet, as the Gumms prove by their own example of adopting without debt, creative families can cover the cost by applying for grants, doing some strategic budgeting and even personal fundraising.

Marketing Manager Cat Hoort said that Abingdon plans to support the release with “exclusive content that includes checklists, worksheets, reference recommendations, workshops and unprecedented [author] access.”

In addition, they’ll be reaching out to adoption organizations, family ministries and church communities to create awareness for the book.

Authors Scott and Bethany Palmer realized early on through their work in the financial field that family dynamics are impacted greatly by money matters. The Palmers, each of whom has more than 20 years of experience in financial planning, began to realize that they were increasingly seeing marriages end in divorce because of money issues. This observation prompted them to develop The Money Personality Assessment and write The 5 Money Personalities (2013). At the end of December, the pair will release The 5 Money Conversations to Have With Your Kids at Every Age and Stage (W Publishing Group).

“We believe that Scott and Bethany Palmer provide a very important contribution to this genre because of their focus on personality alongside money management,” said Matt Baugher, senior vice president and publisher, W Publishing Group. “Finding these traits and managing them as we relate to others is just as important as the money management itself. And kids are no exception to the rule. In fact, as parents, we have a unique opportunity to identify a child’s money personality early on and then parent toward that personality, just as in every other area.”

As the kids get older and consider how to prepare for their careers, they and their parents will be hit with the reality that the world has changed. Robert Dickie, president of Crown Financial Ministries, advises the new generation in The Leap: Launching Your Full-Time Career in Our Part-Time Economy (Moody Publishers) on how to navigate an economy that no longer seems to encourage lifetime careers with one company. In this January release, he outlines seven proven strategies for operating in today’s job landscape, discussing the value of considering various education options, the creation of multiple income streams and compensation areas to negotiate, among other key topics.

 

RELEASING WEALTH

TheGreatTransferofWealthTwo January releases will be of particular interest to charismatic or Pentecostal readers. The latest from author C. Peter Wagner, The Great Transfer of Wealth (Whitaker House), focuses on the prophecy of Isaiah 60:11: “Your gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day or night, that men may bring to you the wealth of the Gentiles.”

Wagner tells readers that the Bible proclaims a coming day when God will release a great transfer of the world’s wealth into the hands of His people and shows how He will bring about a miraculous, worldwide financial transformation so that the Great Commission will be fulfilled and His kingdom will be established on Earth. He describes the proper uses of this wealth, the goals it is intended to achieve and how the newly financed church will use its “seven mountains of influence” to change the world.

C. Thomas Anderson also delivers the Harrison House book Becoming a Millionaire God’s Way, Part II, a follow-up to part one of the book of the same name from FaithWords.

“God has a plan for us to be prosperous so that His will can be done on earth as it is in heaven,” Anderson said.

Best-selling author and radio personality Dave Ramsey also brought a fresh perspective on wealth with his October release, The Legacy Journey, published by Ramsey Press and distributed by Thomas Nelson. Ramsey’s April release, Smart Money, Smart Kids, co-authored with daughter Rachel Cruze, has sold more than 100,000 copies. Known for his practical approach to getting out of debt, budgeting and investing, Ramsey heads a different direction with The Legacy Journey, examining what Scripture says about the financial legacy an individual leaves upon death.

Brian Hampton, senior vice president and publisher, Nelson Books, sees this as part of a trend in the category.

“In the future, we see potential for books that take readers to that next step—the significance level—by helping them understand how to use money to make a difference,” Hampton said.

 

DONATING MEANINGFULLY

Hampton also cites People Over Profit, the May 2015 book by Dale Partridge, founder of the socially conscious e-commerce company Sevenly.org, as part of the trend toward using money to make a difference. Partridge says that established corporations have begun re-evaluating the quality of their products, the ethics of their supply chain and how they can give back. Meanwhile, millions of entrepreneurs who want a more responsible and compassionate marketplace have launched a new breed of socially focused business models.

Partridge uncovers seven core beliefs behind this transformation, believing they are the secret to creating a sustainable world that values honesty over deception, transparency over secrecy, authenticity over hype and, ultimately, people over profit. In less than two years, Sevenly has donated more than $3 million to charities across the globe. He has been featured on the cover of Entrepreneur magazine, in INC magazine and on FOX News.

And with the church more aware of social justice, the biggest shift may be how Christians talk about and handle money-related decisions. In addition to discussing good saving, giving and investing habits, the conversation has grown to include a key question: “How much is enough?” While financial planning for retirement and future concerns is still important, the concept of stewardship is taking hold in a greater way.

 

MEETING NEEDS

Retailers can help meet the felt need for books in the category by similarly broadening their thinking. Rather than simply allowing best-sellers or books by known names to fill product displays at the first of the year, capitalize on fresh thinking by creating other clusters of books that speak to related topics such as living with less, handling everyday life on the cheap or developing better disciplines in several areas of life, including financial stewardship.

Books like Spiritually Strong by Kristen Feola (Zondervan, January) reflect that “wise financial stewardship is an act of surrender and worship, just as much as Bible study and prayer,” said Vander Zicht, the book’s acquiring editor.

Feola takes a whole-person approach that puts financial health in the context of all of the resources God gives.

Similarly, relatively recent books like Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine (Thomas Nelson, 2014), founder of moneysavingmom.com, tap into an audience familiar with her work and primed for larger discussions about developing better stewardship of not just money but, along with it, time and other resources.

In this social media era, stores also have the ability to connect customers with authors to share quotes or articles and then link them to books available in-store.

The Bookery Parable Christian Store in Mansfield, Ohio, makes good use of business relationships by hosting Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University classes taught by one of the financial-services companies they work with in the store’s conference room. The store’s marketing manager, Heather Stofer, said the classes have created a win-win situation by allowing the store to partner with another company to create an event with added customer value.

Alternatives for stores with less space might be working with business partners to host these types of classes and providing discount coupons for related resources. Christian retailers also might consider inviting speakers from the community to address specific topics just before or after regular store hours to maximize the number of people who can attend the event.

Steve Storey, music and book buyer at The Open Door in Terre Haute, Indiana, said his store has the most success with well-established authors like Dave Ramsey and Larry Burkett. The Blessed Life: Unlocking the Rewards of Generous Living by Robert Morris (Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group) also is selling well.  

As is common practice, The Open Door features finance books in January.  

“We do an endcap featuring titles about finance,” Storey said. “The titles that are featured in the Covenant catalog will also be featured on sale on our website.”

Overall, personal finance is a category that continues to get attention in the marketplace.

However, Hampton of Nelson Books sees the category as still largely belonging to the more established voices.

“It seems to us the category is a difficult one to crack for new authors—more difficult than many other categories we publish to,” he said. “Money issues are always important and often emotional. My sense is that readers demand not just sound advice and lots of inspiration, but also an author who has a long track record of helping people win in this area. They tend to return to authors such as Dave Ramsey again and again rather than seek out new voices.”

W Publishing Group’s Baugher, on the other hand, sees new authors in this genre as important and believes they should be welcomed.

“I believe that there will always be a place for strong content in this area because the principles of good stewardship apply to any generation at any time,” he said. “New voices are important because they allow us to see a particular issue in a fresh new way, and each author’s examples are unique to both them and the reader.”

 

 
Bringing hymns of the church to a new generation PDF Print E-mail
Written by DeWayne Hamby   
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 01:39 PM EDT

Newsboys merges traditional lyrics with modern sounds on November release

Hallelujah-NewsboysStill riding the energy of the breakout film God’s Not Dead, Christian pop group Newsboys continues to strive for fresh new ways of delivering timeless truth. For their latest album, band members found inspiration in the church hymnal.

Hallelujah for the Cross (612058638014, First Company Management/Capitol Christian Distribution), the group’s Nov. 4 release, delivers the message of traditional hymnody to the group’s younger listeners. Songs such as “Holy, Holy, Holy,” “I Surrender All,” “It Is Well” and “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name” are given the Newsboys’ treatment.

“There’s something about those old songs,” lead singer Michael Tait told Christian Retailing. “There’s a salvation and a freedom and some beautiful pain in the struggle and the awesome outcome because God’s Word does not return void. My idea was to bring back the old songs for the newcomers because kids don’t know where they came from. Respect where they came from. Don’t try to make them something they’re not, but put a little Newsboys ‘sauce’ to make it special for the next generation and get the Word of God at the same time.”

On “All Hail the Power,” Tait goes a capella, complete with high and low parts and vocal instrumentation.

“It took about four days to record it,” he said. “But it’s all me. It’s all Michael Tait.”

NewsboysThe new record is the fourth to feature Tait as the group’s lead singer, and he feels really good about the place the band is in now. With a string of hit albums, recent concerts that have seen triple the crowd numbers as normal and a blockbuster movie appearance (God’s Not Dead 2 is being discussed, Tait said), “Newsboys 2.0,” as they’ve dubbed this version of the band, has become the standard, and Tait’s voice guides most of the band’s more recognizable songs.

Tait said recently he read a tweet of a young teenage boy who posted a picture of the band’s previous incarnation featuring Peter Furler as frontman.

“He said, ‘Who’s the white guy and where’s Michael Tait, the lead singer?’ ”

Tait’s lighthearted response?

“That’s when you know I am captain of this ship now.”

Learn more about Hallelujah for the Cross at capitolchristiandistribution.com.

 
Max Lucado explores the miraculous in holiday film PDF Print E-mail
Written by DeWayne Hamby   
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 01:34 PM EDT

Cotswolds-based ‘The Christmas Candle’ story finds new life in EchoLight Studios home video

CC16 LD -089As the world becomes more complex, will modern technological advances cause miracles to cease to exist? That’s a question explored in the film version of Max Lucado’s The Christmas Candle (848957000281, $14.99, EchoLight Studios/Capitol Christian Distribution), which released to theaters last year and debuts on home video Nov. 11.

Set in the fictional 19th-century English village of Gladbury, the story centers on David Richmond, played by Hans Matheson (Clash of the Titans, Sherlock Holmes), a progressive young minister who arrives in the village and begins a quest of modernization. This puts him at odds with an old-world candlemaker, but Richmond finds an unlikely ally in local skeptic Emily Barstow, played by Samantha Barks (Les Miserables).

Legend has it that every 25 years an angel visits the village candlemaker and touches a single candle. Whoever lights this candle receives a miracle on Christmas Eve.

The Christmas Candle also features the acting debut of popular singer Susan Boyle (Britain’s Got Talent), who also contributes a song to the film, “Miracle Hymn.”

Directed by John Stephenson, The Christmas Candle was produced by Tom Newman of Impact Productions and Hannah Leader of Big Book Media. EchoLight Studios is the new venture of former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who serves the company as CEO.

“Surprisingly, a Christmas movie releasing for the holidays is a unique event, as there have been very few in recent years,” Santorum said. “This film hearkens back to the heartwarming and uplifting movies of yesteryear. The story inspires renewed hope in the miracle of Christmas and illustrates that this holiday is not just about reindeer and receiving gifts. The Christmas Candle will remind audiences of the spirit and sense of wonder of the season—something that is often lost in our modern era.”

Lucado is excited about the new life the film has given his holiday story.TheChristmasCandle

“This tale about a 19th-century village of simple people in the English Cotswolds in need of a miracle has lifted spirits for seven Christmases and now, thanks to producer Tom Newman and EchoLight Studios, the Candle story will touch a whole new generation,” he said. “I couldn’t be more pleased. What an honor to be a part of capturing a slice of this golden era of British history … the light of the candle still flickers.”

The Christmas Candle received a five-star recommendation from The Dove Foundation.

Learn more about the new DVD at capitolchristiandistribution.com.

 
FICTION FILE November 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Leslie Santamaria   
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 09:17 AM EDT

RonieKendig[ ASK THE AUTHOR ]Ronie Kendig

Latest Project: Hawk (9781624163180, $13.99, Nov. 1).

PUBLISHER:
Shiloh Run Press (Barbour Publishing).

How do you summarize the story of Hawk and how it relates to Raptor 6, the first book in this series?

Continuing the mission with Raptor team, Hawk pits these heroic special operators against the same terrorist who haunted their moves in Raptor 6—but he has since turned the game into a personal vendetta. Raptor’s communications expert, Staff Sergeant Brian “Hawk” Bledsoe, is struggling with his inner demons, leaving him on the verge of an “other than honorable” discharge. Plagued with corrupted Intel, Raptor team continues to track down the terrorist playing chess with their lives. Afghan pilot Fekiria Haidary is devastated when a systems glitch on her aircraft forces a weapons launch on a safe target. And when the deadly bombing separates Brian from the team, he must make an impossible choice: save his brothers-in-arms or save the woman and children depending on him to survive a brutal snowstorm.

What is the meaning of the series name, “The Quiet Professionals”?

It’s a nickname given to the soldiers of the U.S. Special Forces—the Green Berets. They’re known as the “quiet professionals” because they work mostly in secret. Often they go unnoticed and unrecognized as the best soldiers America has. But it is a well-earned moniker because, as the 20th Special Forces Group puts it, “the quiet men of Special Forces have no need to broadcast their deeds. Their record speaks for itself.”

Should readers read the first book of the series to understand Hawk?

Hawk“The Quiet Professionals” is unique to “Rapid-Fire Fiction” readers in that the books are continuous. A reader would be better prepared to enjoy Hawk if they have read its predecessor, Raptor 6, first. However, readers can read Hawk and after a little disorientation at the beginning, would probably survive the mission and help save the team by the story’s close.

What is Rapid-Fire Fiction?

Rapid-Fire Fiction has become my brand because across books and genres, I am a “tomboy” of a writer—while my stories have romance threads, my passion comes out writing action and fast-paced adventures. I’m not sure if I have a little bit of A.D.D. or what, but I bore easily, so in order to keep myself intrigued in my story, I keep things moving along at a pretty quick pace.

How do you ensure the military aspects of your stories are authentic?

With the ever-evolving nature of combat, it’s quite difficult to make sure what happens in my story is both relevant and accurate. Since writing Raptor 6 more than a year ago, one of the bases used in the series has been largely closed down, so I’ve had to adjust for that within the story. Writing military fiction for the last six years, I’ve developed contacts and resources that I keep close to my heart. They’ve shown me respect by helping me, and I will continue to respect their need and desire for privacy. It’s hard to be a female author who hasn’t served and asking for the help of these seasoned veterans. But they see my attempts to respect and honor their sacrifices and hard work, and that has opened doors.

What research did you do for this book?

Hawk explores many adventures—one of the most exciting was that my heroine is also a female Afghan pilot, inspired by 2nd Lieutenant Niloofar Rhmani, who in 2013 became Afghanistan’s first female pilot in three decades! So, I had to research the trek pilots took to earn their wings, then their advanced flight certification. Also, as with Raptor, the element of cyber terrorism continues to wreak havoc with the team, so I did some more digging into that field.

What else should Christian retailers know about Hawk?

One thing I am most proud of and pleased about regarding not only Hawk, but the whole “Quiet Professionals” series is that I campaigned and succeeded in making sure each guy featured on the cover wasn’t “just another pretty face”—they are all legitimate heroes who have served in our Armed Forces. The model for Raptor 6 has actually served as a Special Forces operator, just like the character he portrays. Hawk’s cover model is an Air Force veteran, and the model for Falcon (May 2015) is a Marine—and Purple Heart recipient!

 
BibleBeat November 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Leslie Santamaria   
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 09:13 AM EDT

ReformationHeritageKJVStudyBible

Emphasizing the revival of the 16th and 17th centuries, Reformation Heritage Books releases The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible this month. Articles are included about the faith, some of which were written by Reformers, Puritans and modern theologians in the reformed tradition. Each chapter offers thoughts for personal and family devotions. Introductions to each book of the Bible incorporate an overview of church history, creeds and catechisms. Study notes, cross-references, maps and a daily reading plan are some of the additional features. The hardcover retails for $40. Several leather and leatherlike editions are also available at various prices.

SpiritLedWomanBible-leatherlike

To help women grow stronger spiritually and be better prepared for spiritual warfare, Passio, an imprint of Charisma House, has published the MEV SpiritLed Woman Bible. The Modern English Version (MEV) is a word-for-word translation in the tradition of the King James Version that aims to maintain the beauty of the past while providing clarity for modern readers. Key features include daily inspirational thoughts, character profiles of biblical women, interactive study tools and deeper teaching on spiritual battle. This edition releases Nov. 4 in hardcover ($44.99) and leather-like ($64.99).

TheLifeRecoveryBible-KJV

The Life Recovery Bible from Tyndale House Publishers is available in the King James Version this month (hardcover, $39.99). Based on the Twelve Steps of recovery, more than 2 million copies have been sold in the New Living Translation. Recovery notes, devotionals and profiles are placed throughout from author Stephen Arterburn, founder of New Life Ministries, and David Stoop, author and director of The Center for Family Therapy in Newport Beach, California. Other features include a 12-step comparison chart.

 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Page 1 of 100

a