|Introducing fresh voices|
|Written by Production|
|Monday, 14 January 2013 03:43 PM America/New_York|
New Christian authors speak on issues from homelessness to history
ALAN R. BURT
Title: Blessings of the Burden: Reflections and Lessons in Helping the Homeless
Book description: Filled with personal stories from almost two decades of firsthand experience working with the homeless, Blessings of the Burden is a passionate plea for greater community involvement in confronting the social problem of homelessness. The book explores Burt’s own journey from apathy to advocacy, and includes an interview with a formerly homeless man who now directs an organization that fights homelessness in Cape Cod, Mass. Burt offers his analysis of the 12 main reasons why homelessness is such a problem and provides an example of how one community developed an innovative, cost-effective approach to the issue.
What makes this book stand apart from the crowd? This book emphasizes the importance of the homeless. Using the construct of Matt. 25, Burt claims that we can better understand and utilize the law of loving those most in need. In doing so, we become better human beings, better people of faith. Blessings aims to inspire readers to become involved with the homeless and advocate for their needs, making a difference in their communities.
Is the Christian retail store important to you as an author? If so, why? As a general trade book written for an audience of general Christian readers, congregations, social workers and church study groups, the Christian retail store is a very important market for this author.
Book description: Ellis was awarded a full scholarship all the way through her Ph.D. education, and the book reveals how she managed to get that kind of a scholarship offer. Raised by a single mother, Ellis appeared to have everything stacked against her with years of living below the poverty level, imperfect grades and sub-par SAT scores. Yet she discovered the secrets to effectively presenting herself as a unique and desirable scholarship candidate—and she shares her secrets for scholarship success.
What makes this book stand apart from the crowd? This first-time author and the incredible journey that led her to share these experiences with the next generation sets this book apart. When Ellis’ father lost his battle with cancer when she was only 7 years old, her family fell below the poverty line and struggled through years of emotional and financial turmoil. On the first day of high school, Ellis’ mom informed her that she could not financially support her after graduation; she needed to find her own way to pay for college. As a student with decent grades and average test scores, Kristina realized that she was going to have to sell herself to scholarship committees if she wanted to stand out from the crowd. That’s when she devised the plan that led to her receiving several of the most selective and prestigious scholarships and grants that paid for 100% of her education at a top-tier university.
Is the Christian retail store important to you as an author? If so, why? The Christian retail store is very important to me as an author. It represents a community of believers I’m thankful to be a part of and who are seeking growth both in their faith and everyday lives. ... Even though I’ve grown up in a digital world, I’ve been a frequent customer of my hometown’s Bible Book Store for years and I know how valuable physical Christian retail stores are to readers. The Christian retail store has the ability to influence every customer that walks through their door. You can’t pick up an e-book and feel its pages. You can, however, pick up a physical book in a store and directly experience the book with no need for any aiding device. Best of all, when you buy your book via a Christian retailer, there’s no wait on shipping or freight charges. I’ve noticed that local Christian retail stores are fighting hard to build and retail local loyalty, doing more events in their communities to drive awareness through author signings, good promotions and really connecting with their customers. The customer experience of purchasing through a Christian retailer is one that I have thoroughly enjoyed throughout my life, and one that is unmatched.
Title: Broken: 7 “Christian” Rules That Every Christian Ought to Break as Often as Possible
Book description: American Christianity today is broken. The devil has cooked up seven specific lies that are being passed off in many of our churches as truths. Broken examines these seven counterfeit “Christian” rules and helps readers, under the cross of Jesus, find the truth.
What makes this book stand apart from the crowd? Broken doesn’t just tell readers what the seven lies are. Rather, it walks them into the reader’s living room and demonstrates how they ruin lives. Honest and defining, the book stands on the foundation of Scripture and exposes the ways the devil twists hearts, minds and hands away from true theology. The lessons aren’t easy to learn, but are vital to the survival of the church.
Is the Christian retail store important to you as an author? If so, why? Absolutely! The Christian retail store is where people can go to pick up my book, get a feel for it in their hands, flip through the pages and see the marvelous artwork. It’s where the reader first connects with my book—and, therefore, with me.
Title: Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home
Book description: The day-to-day life of the average housewife is filled with countless tasks that can feel mundane and ordinary, causing women to wonder if they’re missing out on bigger and better things. Eager to encourage such struggling homemakers, Furman—pastor’s wife and mother of three—highlights the reality of God’s grace in all of life, especially those areas that often seem boring and unimportant. Filled with personal examples and anecdotes, this theological reflection on what it means to be a wife, mother and homemaker challenges readers to see and cherish the gospel’s extraordinary impact on ordinary life. Glimpses of Grace aims to inspire a renewed gospel-cheerfulness among women faithfully serving God in and through their homes.
What makes this book stand apart from the crowd? It reminds women of the gospel’s extraordinary power in ordinary life, helping homemakers see and savor the miraculous in the mundane.
Is the Christian retail store important to you as an author? If so, why? Where I live in the Middle East, the Christian retail store is close to nonexistent. That is why I have great joy in recommending one Christian retail store to my friends in our city. It’s my go-to source for Bibles, books and even music. I feel it may be impossible to underestimate the privilege it is to access a store dedicated to providing Christian resources.
Title: The Skinny Budget Diet: Weigh Less, Save Money, Look Great
Book description: The author shares the strategy that was created in the kitchen of a 300-pound wife and mother who couldn’t afford another expensive weight-loss plan. There was no more room in the family budget for ordering diet foods and supplements through the mail, no money to buy ongoing weekly support and no way to pay for a high-priced weight-loss surgery. Goff had to find a budget-friendly way to lose half of her body weight and keep it off for good, so The Skinny Budget Diet was born.
What makes this book stand apart from the crowd? It is about the direct connection between managing one’s finances and maintaining physical health.
Is the Christian retail store important to you as an author? If so, why? Yes, Christian retail is important to me because the reason we strive to maintain physical health is to worship God.
Title: Unholy Hunger
Book description: Evelyn Barrett wants to die. As long as her daughter’s murderer dies with her, she is ready to go. Why did this man—this stranger—destroy her family? Why has he not been brought to justice? Why is she forced to live a life of anger and grief? Amid a million questions she cannot answer, Evelyn knows one thing for sure: This murderer must be punished for his crime. Perhaps the harder lesson is this: the ultimate truth—of crime and verdict, of life and death—cannot be swayed by a mother’s revenge. In this first book of a new series, a woman will be brought to her limits before she finally recognizes the movement of the Holy Spirit and reconnects with the source of true peace.
What makes this book stand apart from the crowd? Unholy Hunger doesn’t espouse only one theme. It’s gritty, but uplifting; it’s heart-wrenching, but will also make readers laugh at times. The protagonist is crass, but tender. Since we often experience a myriad of emotions and thoughts in any given day, I wanted readers to experience the same during their journey of this particular read. I also believe this story stands out from others because in this day and age, when society is apt to point the blame at any number of circumstances when tragedy befalls us, I decided to point readers toward the origin of all tragedy and evil—the devil himself. I believe in calling things out for what they are. You can’t finish this book without seeing the world a bit differently, without having a better understanding of what we’re up against as we navigate our lives.
Is the Christian retail store important to you as an author? If so, why? Certainly. For the same reasons an all children’s-programming network is important to parents trying to protect the vulnerabilities of their children, the Christian retail store is important to protect the believer’s vulnerability from the plethora of sliding-scale fiction out there. I sometimes feel unsure when shopping for fiction, not knowing what I’ll be exposed to in secular stores. When I shop at Christian retail, I can take confidence that I won’t pick up anything that will make me have to scrub my brain afterward.
Title: The Heiress of Winterwood
Book description: In 1814 Darbury, England, Amelia Barrett, heiress to an ancestral estate nestled in the English moors, defies family expectations and promises to raise her dying friend’s infant baby. She’ll risk everything to keep her word—even to the point of proposing to the child’s father, Lucas, a sea captain she’s never met. Both must learn to accept God’s sovereignty and relinquish control so they can grasp the future He has for planned for them.
What makes this book stand apart from the crowd? The book is beautiful, poetic and captivating in its rich detail of historic England.
Is the Christian retail store important to you as an author? If so, why? Absolutely! The book has a strong Christian message, and it’s important for Christian retail to get behind it.
Title: Dirty God: Jesus in the Trenches
Book description: This is a book on the kindness and grittiness of Jesus through the theological lens of grace. It’s about the Jesus with dirt under His fingernails, the Jesus who dropped down to planet Earth like an atom bomb, and changed history from a manger. There’s one overarching point: “Having gotten grace from Jesus, we ought to give it to the world.”
What makes this book stand apart from the crowd? This book is a theologically accurate, and relevant, treatment of grace for a new generation. It’s non-emergent truth delivered in an emergent tone, and its strength is fivefold: (1) the message is simple: Having gotten grace, give it; (2) Jesus is presented in a way that emphasizes His humanity and every-day-ness; (3) it has a clear, visionary call to action: Live grace in the world; (4) it is filled with compelling stories; and (5) study guide questions are available to facilitate small group study.
Is the Christian retail store important to you as an author? If so, why? Absolutely. From my childhood, I’ve shopped in Christian retail. I used to ask my parents to drop me off in our local Christian bookstores, and I would spend hours poring over books. I believe in Christian retail because I think it beats to the heart of the local community.
MICHAEL K. REYNOLDS
Title: Flight of the Earls
Book description: The first in the “Heirs of Ireland” series, Flight of the Earls launches the reader into the heart-wrenching history of Irish immigration by opening up the fictional Hanley family’s struggles on a barren potato farm. The book is also a coming-of-age story about how God calls each person to serve in his or her own distinct way.
What makes this book stand apart from the crowd? Each book will be spiritually themed around a different person of the Trinity, although at a subtle and foundational level. Flight of the Earls is centered around fatherhood and explores the generational impact of earthly fathers and the desperate need for connection with the heavenly Father.
Is the Christian retail store important to you as an author? If so, why? On the publishing side, for a debut novelist there is so much to learn in terms of levels of professionalism, growing your craft and internal workings of the industry. But, you won’t hear me complaining! The journey is invigorating and thrilling at the same time, and I realize each day how blessed I am for this precious opportunity to serve God through my writing.
Title: Pocket Your Dollars: 5 Attitude Changes That Will Help You Pay Down Debt, Avoid Financial Stress, & Keep More of What You Make
What makes this book stand apart from the crowd? Taking a different approach to financial change, Pocket Your Dollars aims to make a lasting impact because it starts on the inside. The book identifies and helps change five underlying attitudes about money that sabotage good intentions. Although a quick Internet search will turn up thousands of free budget plans, more than 60% of U.S. households still live paycheck to paycheck—because most families have not yet addressed the issues underlying their debt.
Is the Christian retail store important to you as an author? If so, why? Yes, God has frequently used Christian retail stores in my life. From when I was a young Christian to more recently as a wife and mom, I’ve stepped into Christian retail stores with a heart’s desire to receive God’s wisdom in a particular area. Time and again He has connected me to a product—book, music or artwork—that speaks His truth to me. Now, as an author, I greatly value the personal touch and support they can bring to selling my book to those who enter their store.
CHRISTINE A. SMITH
Title: Beyond the Stained Glass Ceiling: Equipping and Encouraging Female Pastors
Book description: The reality of the stained glass ceiling is familiar to most women called to the pastorate. Despite being more likely to be seminary-educated than their male counterparts, female clergy occupy less than 10% of leading Protestant pastorates, and those who do hold such pastorates are generally paid less than male clergy. In light of such statistics, pastor Christine Smith explores how to overcome the challenges in breaking through the stained glass ceiling—and goes a step further. She shares lessons learned and best practices of the success stories—those women who are currently serving in solo or senior pastorates.
What makes this book stand apart from the crowd? Beyond the Stained Glass Ceiling gives voice to some of the unspoken hindrances to women becoming senior pastors. Furthermore, it provides insights and encouragement to women called to become pastors, as well as strategies to increase opportunities for those who want to support them.
Is the Christian retail store important to you as an author? If so, why? The Christian retail store is extremely important to me as an author because it opens the opportunity for a broader audience of Christian readers to learn about my book and read about an issue that directly impacts the church.
Title: Moms Raising Sons to Be Men
Book description: The mothers of boys have a special calling to shape future godly men. Speaker and mom to two sons, Stoppe shares relevant guidance, biblical examples and practical insights to help a mom partner with God as she communicates with, guides and nurtures her boy’s heart, mind and character.
What makes this book stand apart from the crowd? Understanding that moms are the architects of the future, Stoppe explains, with practical advice, the important role mothers play in boys’ lives. She considers the role of motherhood in sons’ lives an inspirational and special calling.
Is the Christian retail store important to you as an author? If so, why? As a pastor’s wife, Stoppe knows the value of finding quality resources to support ministry. A Christian retail store is absolutely necessary to supply these resources and get the right books into the right hands.