Written by DeWayne Hamby
Tuesday, 10 June 2014 09:21 AM EDT
Veteran group Hillsong Live employs talent of many producers as they issue album number 23
About a Mile
About a Mile
Word Records (Word Distribution)
About a Mile is comprised of three brothers—Adam, Levi and Luke Klutinoty—who embraced music early in life. Hailing from Butler, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh, the brothers offer a self-titled debut featuring production from Ian Eskelin (Hawk Nelson, Sidewalk Prophets, Francesca Battistelli) and Howard Benson (Skillet, Flyleaf, Daughtry).
Songs on About a Mile include first single “Satisfied,” “Who You Say You Are,” “Power of the Cross” and “S.O.S. (Hope Won’t Let Go).”
Regarding the band’s name, singer Adam Klutinoty said: “We learned from a study that Jesus carried His cross about a mile, and that’s where our band name comes from. When we felt called to play music for the rest of our life, there was never any doubt that we would do it for His glory and treat our ministry like He did when carrying the cross. He carried a cross that we deserved to be nailed to about a mile so He could die for us. We just want to serve others as best as we can and use all our strength and ability to honor God, carrying our cross as far as we possibly can.”
Order through worddistribution.com, or call 800-876-WORD (9673).
BEC Recordings (New Day Christian Distributors)
New BEC Recordings artist David Dunn honed his craft moonlighting as a singer-songwriter while studying at Texas Tech University. After releasing a full-length independent project, more than a year of humanitarian and mission work in Africa and appearing on NBC’s The Voice, Dunn releases his debut label EP, Crystal Clear, on July 15. The album features Dunn’s distinctive vocals with a backdrop of modern pop.
First single “Today Is Beautiful” released to radio in May. Additional tracks include “Have Everything” and “Waiting for Love.”
Order through newdaychristian.com or call 800-251-3633.
No Other Name
(Capitol Christian Distribution)
Hillsong Live will release this month No Other Name, recorded at the Hillsong Convention Center in Sydney, Australia. The project—the 23rd album from the group that aims to resource congregations worldwide with worship music—features 11 original songs, including “No Other Name,” “This I Believe (Creed),” “Calvary,” “My Story,” “Broken Vessels,” “Heaven and Earth” and “Thank You Jesus.”
No Other Name features the music production team of Joel Houston, Marty Sampson, Ben Fielding, Taya Smith, Reuben Morgan, Simon Kobler, Joel Hingston, Harrison Wood, David Ware, Jad Gillies and Ben Whincop, among others.
The album’s cover art shows New York City’s Times Square billboards proclaiming “No Other Name.”
Order by calling 800-877-4443 or go to capitolchristiandistribution.com.
Written by DeWayne Hamby
Tuesday, 10 June 2014 09:15 AM EDT
‘Awesome God’ singer-songwriter Rich Mullins’ life dramatized in new movie ‘Ragamuffin’
The music of singer-songwriter Rich Mullins continues to impact the world many years after his untimely death at age 41. Although already profiled in documentaries and books, The spiritual journey of the “Awesome God” songwriter and the Gospel Music Association’s Artist of the Year (1998) gets the big-screen treatment in Ragamuffin: The True Story of Rich Mullins (Millennium Entertainment/Capitol Christian Distribution), which also will be available on DVD at Christian retail July 8.
Actor David Leo Schultz, who co-wrote and directed the film, was one of the lives profoundly affected by Mullins’ music and philosophy. The idea for a full-length movie came to be in a meeting with Rich’s younger brother, David.
“I was merely an audience member to his life,” Schultz told Christian Retailing. “With the film, I want to give other people the opportunity for Rich to change their lives. [After I met David,] I started daydreaming about the movie, wondering what it would look like. I started imagining as I was listening to some of his music and old radio interviews.”
Schultz appears in a supporting role in the film, alongside Michael Koch as Rich. Schultz’s wife, Amy, also appears as singer Amy Grant. Also appearing are: Wolfgang Bodison as Bryan, James Kyson as Matt, Mel Fair as John Mullins (Rich’s father), Michelle Keller as Neva Mullins (Rich’s mother), Carson Aune as Justin, and Elizabeth Ann Roberts as Jess.
Being “honest” about the singer’s struggles with loneliness, alcohol and family issues was important, Schultz said, even though such portrayals may make some viewers uncomfortable.
“There’s this kind of thing in our storytelling, especially when it’s based on a true story, that says we shouldn’t talk about Christian struggles,” Schultz said. “But I thought that was the purpose of the testimony. For me, why would I not? Unless I was just trying to sell something to the Christian audience to make it more palatable. I think while it is a product that not only entertains, but challenges their faith, at the same time we had no desire to make something [that was] falsified to please the Christian audience.”
To promote the release, screenings of the film were held in churches across the country. Although Schultz was hopeful for positive responses, he said he was “overwhelmed” by the impact the film had on viewers.
“We didn’t expect the overwhelming positive response we’ve had,” he said. “There’s been a lot of cool God stories in people’s lives. We hoped for that, but we weren’t expecting that. God doesn’t need a movie, but we were really excited that He was using it to work in people’s hearts.”
To order, call 800-877-4443 or go to capitolchristiandistribution.com.
Written by Leslie Santamaria
Monday, 09 June 2014 04:15 PM EDT
LATEST PROJECT: The Family of Jesus (9781476707372, $19.99, July 1).
PUBLISHER: Howard Books.
What inspired you to write this collection of fictional stories of six relatives of Jesus?
God created me to be a storyteller. I’ve always seen my fiction as a way through the back door of the heart, a way to help a reader experience a deeper walk with God and maybe a better understanding of love and faith and family. At the same time, I have a deep love for Scripture, for the power and authority of the Bible in my life. The question became: What if I wrote a dramatic version of the stories of the family members of Jesus? These real-life characters paid a great price for their connection to the Savior. My goal was clear from the beginning—that I might use my storytelling to make people think deeper about the Bible and that in the process, they would find a greater love for Scripture.
What was your approach to writing The Family of Jesus?
Scripture is absolute and unshakable. I started with the verses that tell us all we know about the family members of Jesus. Those were the tent poles, but between those poles, I painted a storytelling fabric that could billow a bit. I would ask myself and the theologians I consulted whether a certain scenario was possible. Cultural relevancy, time period details all played a part. Then, where it was possible, I told a story. An example is this: Did Joseph bring Mary wild orchids? They did indeed grow in the valleys around Nazareth, so in my storytelling, that’s exactly what Joseph does. It’s fiction, anchored in Scripture.
Keep in mind, these were real, breathing people. People with heartaches and hopes and dreams. People who struggled like you and me. The Bible says in Acts 17:11 the Bereans were of more noble character because they examined the Scriptures. That’s what I pray this Bible study does, that it might take the reader deeper to a place where they truly examine the Scriptures.
What was it like to imagine the thoughts, feelings, words and actions of these relatives of Jesus?
Deeply emotional. I found myself crying through much of the writing of The Family of Jesus. I tried to imagine the desperation in Joseph when he heard Mary’s news, the angst in Zechariah when he couldn’t speak after the visit from the angel, Elizabeth’s heartache at her inability to have a child, John the Baptist’s discouragement in prison the days before he was beheaded, James’s confusion over his brother’s claims of being the Messiah, and of course, Mary’s devastation at the foot of the cross. It wasn’t easy. But in many ways we’ve all been through moments that make us feel this way. As I wrote and cried and grew to love these characters, I could only dream of how the story would affect everyone who would read.
How is the Weekly Application and Group Discussion Guide organized?
The guide assumes the reader may be working alone or with a reader group. It allows and directs discussion to help differentiate between my storytelling and the absolutes of Scripture. It is organized by daily questions and group discussion questions. It leaves the readers the chance to choose how to use it and how deep they want to go.
What other products will be available?
LifeWay has done a beautiful job with The Family of Jesus Bible Study workbook. This workbook will be available in a kit for church groups or home groups, and included will be six DVD teaching videos from me, all filmed before a live audience. Those are very special 30-minute sessions where I tell the story of the character and then talk about the Bible’s teaching.
What are the other upcoming titles in this “Heart of the Story” collection?
Next year will be The Friends of Jesus. The year after that I’ll have The Followers of Jesus, and the fourth book will be The First-Hand Encounters of Jesus.
What else would help retailers inform their customers about this book?
My favorite comments so far have come from my editor and the team at LifeWay who have spent their lives studying the Bible and reading Bible studies. Several times those close friends and co-workers came to me separately and said, “I cried as I read The Family of Jesus. And you know what? I’ve never loved Jesus more.” One LifeWay editor said, “We need this desperately. May everyone read it and fall in love with the Bible all over again.”
Written by Christine D. Johnson
Monday, 09 June 2014 01:22 PM EDT
Charisma Media introduces new word-for-word translation to Christian retailers at special launch event
Charisma Media invited more than 20 key independent and chain-based Christian retailers to its Lake Mary, Fla., headquarters May 22-23 for an event launching its new Modern English Version (MEV). Send The Light Distribution, Anchor Distributors and Ingram also were represented at the launch of the most modern translation produced in the King James Version (KJV) tradition in the last 30 years.
Releasing this fall under Charisma House Book Group’s Passio imprint, this word-for-word translation maintains the beauty of the KJV language, yet provides fresh clarity for a new generation of Bible readers.
Retailers will have ample opportunity to become acquainted further with the MEV at the June 22-25 International Christian Retail Show in Atlanta. Samplers of selected MEV passages also will be distributed.
Charisma Media plans a significant promotional campaign around the new Bible, including CBA store promotions; trade and consumer advertising in major magazines; product seeding to key pastors and ministry leaders; social media giveaways, blog tours; and drivetime Christian radio and TV spots promoting biblical literacy and engagement. Devotionals also will be delivered via email to more than 200,000 consumers, and an MEV mobile app will be created for users on the go.
Charisma Media also is involved in a strategic partnership with Bible Gateway, which will add the MEV to its online translations. Part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Bible Gateway reaches more than 14 million unique visitors per month.
Several MEV editions are coming out this fall, including the SpiritLed Woman Bible in printed casebound ($44.99) and lavender leatherlike ($64.99), releasing Nov. 4; the MEV Thinline Reference Bible in jacketed hardcover ($19.99), black and cranberry leatherlike ($29.99), releasing Sept. 2; and the KJV-MEV Parallel Bible in jacketed hardcover ($39.99), releasing Oct. 7.
Written by Leslie Santamaria
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 09:33 AM EDT
LATEST PROJECT: The Fight (9781414389493, $14.99, May).
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers.
What is the premise of your first novel, The Fight?
The story is about a teenage boy called Sam, who suffers a life-shattering family tragedy. As a result, he becomes incredibly angry, fighting everything and everyone around him. One day, a street fight leads him to a boxing club run by a Christian boxing trainer called Jerry, who has dedicated himself to helping kids like Sam. But Jerry quickly realizes that Sam’s fighting talent, fueled by his anger, sets him apart as a potential champion boxer, leaving Jerry with a cruel dilemma. He wants to help Sam overcome his anger issues and discover God’s peace, yet he knows Sam’s anger could propel them both to the stardom and riches that Jerry himself had missed out on. It’s a tough, yet inspiring story, and one that I think makes most of us question what we would truly do in the same circumstances.
What types of characters are Sam and Jerry?
Sam is a wounded, angry, yet talented young man—like so many disadvantaged kids in our inner cities. Jerry is a man of God trying to do the right thing, but is deeply flawed, like most of us. I love them both as characters.
What research did you conduct for this story?
I grew up just outside London, so am familiar with where the story is set. I spent my teenage years following boxing, which gave me a background knowledge of the sport. The editor of the main U.K. boxing magazine helped me ensure the final draft was authentic.
How long did it take you to write The Fight, and what was its journey before it was scheduled for release in the U.S.?
The Fight actually took me 10 years to complete! I started in 2002, writing the first half whilst traveling overseas. Then the book was put away for seven years before I got it out and finished it.
Partly inspired by The Shack [by William P. Young] and also wanting to support prison ministry in the U.K., I decided to self-publish The Fight in early 2012. It was critically well-received and reached No. 2 on a U.K. Christian best-seller chart. I was introduced to an agent, Chip MacGregor by the novelist Davis Bunn, who had picked up a copy of The Fight whilst in the U.K. A few months later, I signed a deal with Tyndale House Publishers to help bring The Fight to a wider audience.
What has been the reception of your book in the U.K.?
Incredible. The Christian/inspiration fiction market in the U.K. is tiny compared to the U.S., and sometimes not taken very seriously as a genre—strange considering our spiritual fiction heritage with C.S. Lewis and John Bunyan. But The Fight is very different to most of the available Christian fiction over here and seems to have captured the imagination. It has also been used widely as an evangelistic tool and as a home and men’s group resource, which is why I have written some discussion points in the back of this edition. It is exciting and humbling to see God use something I have written to challenge people spiritually.
Since both main characters are male, do you see this as a book for men only?
Although I wrote the book with men and teenage boys in mind and the subject matter is quite masculine, still most of my readers have been women! I’ve had plenty of feedback starting, “I bought this for my husband and would never normally read a book about boxing, but. … ”
I’ve also loved hearing stories about how sons and husbands who would never normally read a Christian [novel] have been so intrigued to see Mum glued to a book with a boxer on the front cover that they have lined up to read it after her!
I understand that the book has been used as a tool in prison ministry. How did that come about?
When I first finished The Fight, I gave it to a friend involved in prison work. He loved the book and pressed upon me how valuable it could be in prison ministry. So when I self-published, I sold the book on a “Buy One, Give One Free” principle, with the free book going to prison ministry. We’ve now distributed around 1,000 copies of The Fight to around 80 prisons in the U.K., and I have had some amazing feedback about how prisoners have enjoyed the story and it has helped them on their journey of faith. To date, I have spent all my proceeds from the book, including my advance from Tyndale House Publishers, on giving books and developing this prison book ministry.
I pray this latest launch is just another step in getting appropriate books, including other people’s titles, into prisons in the U.K., the U.S. and elsewhere. I hope to be publishing how we are going to do this and how in the future booksellers might participate through my website at lukewordley.com.
What other information might assist Christian retailers in getting the word out to their customers about The Fight?
Although they must receive thousands of books, I hope and pray Christian retailing staff will find the time to read The Fight for themselves. In the U.K., we found that when staff read the book, they immediately began recommending it to men and women (often to buy for their men folk!), and it became one of their best-selling books.
Fiction Releases: June
CHILD OF MINE
David and Beverly Lewis
Bethany House (Baker
hardcover, 416 pages, $19.99
Flight instructor Jack Livingston has been raising his 8-year-old adopted niece, Natalie, since the accident that took her parents’ lives. When he travels, Natalie is cared for by her Amish nanny, Laura Mast, who loves the little girl as her own.
Eight years ago, Kelly Maines’ baby was kidnapped. Determined to find her child, Kelly has tirelessly pursued every lead to its bitter end. And now, with the clock ticking, one last clue from a private investigator ignites a tiny flame of hope: Just a few miles away lives a young girl who matches the profile. Can this be, at long last, Kelly’s beloved daughter?
Child of Mine is also released simultaneously in softcover and large print.
softcover, 368 pages, $14.99
Seventeen-year-old Nyah Parks is a genius hacker who makes a living by cracking the firewalls of the world’s largest corporations. But when the biggest job of her life goes wrong, she’s plunged into a desperate situation with only one way out: one last hack that will either save her or kill her. So begins Hacker, a modern-day parable that examines the seen and the unseen, and reminds the reader that there is far more to who we are than meets the eye.
THE LAST QUEEN OF SHEBA
Jill Francis Hudson
softcover, 384 pages, $14.99
Against all odds, Makeda, daughter of an obscure African chieftain, is chosen as queen of Sheba. Recognizing her inexperience, her cousin Tamrin, a wealthy merchant and narrator of the novel, persuades her to visit Solomon, king of Israel. Solomon falls in love with her and tricks her into sleeping with him. She becomes pregnant and bears a son Later, when he visits his father, Solomon is a broken man, and Israel is no longer the nation of his youth.
Tyndale House Publishers
softcover, 400 pages, $14.99
Since the day Rhoda Mummau was baptized into the Old Order Mennonite Church and became the head midwife of Hopen Haus, she’s been torn between the needs of the unwed mothers under her care and her desire to conceal the secrets of her past. Contact with the outside world could provide medical advantages, but remaining secluded in the community gives her the anonymity she craves.
Graduate student Beth Winslow is on a path she never would have chosen. Heartbroken after surrendering a baby to adoption, she devotes herself to her studies until she becomes pregnant again—this time as a surrogate. But when early tests indicate possible abnormalities, Beth is unprepared for the parents’ decision to end the pregnancy—and for the love she feels for this unborn child. Desperate, she flees the city and seeks refuge at Hopen House.
Past and present collide when a young woman named Amelia arrives to the countryside bearing secrets of her own. As Amelia’s due date draws near, Rhoda must face her past and those she thought she had left behind in order for the healing power of love and forgiveness to set them all free.
Written by Leslie Santamaria
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 08:32 AM EDT
T.D. Jakes, New York Times best-selling author of more than 30 books, explains how to rediscover one’s God-inspired instinct to be fruitful and multiply in Instinct: The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive ($25). Drawing from personal, historical and biblical insights, the founder and senior pastor of The Potter’s House church outlines what is needed to live one’s life successfully according to God’s design. FaithWords releases Instinct in hardcover on May 6.
Kyle Froman and Billy Mauldin, leaders of Motor Racing Outreach, share lessons they’ve learned as part of the NASCAR community about being faithful to one’s personal mission in life in The Race: Living Life on Track. NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Darrell Waltrip has contributed anecdotes to the book, which give insights into his career and faith. The Race is available May 15, retailing at $15.99 in softcover from B&H Books.
The 16th book from best-selling author Frank Viola releases May 1 from David C Cook. Jesus Now: Unveiling the Present-Day Ministry of Christ ($14.99, softcover) examines the impact of Jesus’ ministry throughout history and in the world today. Reflecting on Jesus’ incarnation in the new book, Viola continues the conversation he began in Jesus: A Theography, which he co-authored with Leonard Sweet.
For 30 years, the foundation of Ron Phillips’ ministry at Central Baptist Church (now Abba’s House) in Chattanooga, Tenn., has been believers coming into agreement with one another and building strong relationships. Phillips and his son, Ronnie Phillips Jr, who is also a pastor at the church, describe the type of harmony and unity that brings forth God’s kingdom in The Power of Agreement: God’s Secret for Your Successful Relationships With Friends and Family and in the Workplace (Charisma House). This softcover book ($15.99) is available in stores May 6.
Edgar Harrell, USMC, is one of the last survivors of the USS Indianapolis, which was struck by Japanese torpedoes in 1945 and sank in the Pacific. In Out of the Depths: An Unforgettable WWII Story of Survival, Courage, and the Sinking of the USS Indianapolis, Harrell tells his story, co-written with his son, David Harrell. His memoir describes the four days of dehydration, exposure and shark attacks before he was rescued against all odds. Out of the Depths (Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group) retails for $16.99 and releases in May.
Based on more than seven years of research and investigative reporting, best-selling author Shaunti Feldhahn (with Tally Whitehead) asserts that what most Christians believe about the divorce rate and marital happiness is inaccurate and destructive to marriages. Feldhahn’s Multnomah Books title The Good News About Marriage: Debunking Discouraging Myths About Marriage and Divorce ($15, hardcover) presents rigorously supported facts to set the record straight and change the cultural mind-set about marriage.
Written by well-known pastor and author Matt Chandler and counselor Michael Snetzer, both from The Village Church in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Recovering Redemption: A Gospel-Saturated Perspective on How to Change (B&H Books) focuses readers squarely on the gospel not only for salvation, but also for sanctification and as the true means of personal change. The B&H Publishing Group title is available this month in softcover for $16.99.
Drew Dyck, managing editor of Leadership Journal and author, addresses the human hunger for transcendence in Yawning at Tigers (Thomas Nelson). Subtitled You Can’t Tame God, so Stop Trying, the book looks at the tendency to domesticate a holy, awe-inspiring God, but reveals that what people seek when they look for meaning in life is available by knowing and worshiping the dangerous God of Scripture. Releasing May 13, the book retails for $16.99.