Christian Retailing

Bookbeat May 2014 Print Email
Written by Leslie Santamaria   
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 09:32 AM America/New_York

InstinctT.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.




TheRaceKyle 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.




JesusNowThe 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.




ThePowerOfAgreementFor 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.




OutOfTheDepths 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.




GoodNewsAboutMarriageBased 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.




RecoveringRedemptionWritten 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.




YawningAtTigersDrew 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.

Brain Surgeon Chronicles Iraq War Experiences Print Email
Written by Leslie Santamaria   
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 09:13 AM America/New_York

NoPlaceToHideBefore the U.S. Air Force deployed neurosurgeon W. Lee Warren to the largest theater hospital of the Iraq war, he was already burdened by heartbreaking personal struggles. In No Place to Hide: A Brain Surgeon’s Long Journey Home From the Iraq War, Warren recounts his experiences operating on soldiers, civilians and terrorists alike in a tent hospital with limited supplies, surviving more than 100 mortar attacks and finding meaning amidst the ravages of war.

Each day he treated numerous massive injuries, sometimes performing surgeries around the clock, whereas in his practice in the U.S., he might treat only a handful of such complex cases in a month. The job he had to do and the conditions in which he had to survive and save lives were impossible for him to imagine before going to Iraq.
In the book’s afterword, author Philip Yancey writes that Warren’s story is distinctive, offering the unique perspective of “a specialist who, devoted to healing, found himself plunked down in the vortex of destruction.”

Yet, early in his deployment, despite his habit of self-sufficiency, God began to change him.

“The war had taught me more about life in one week than I’d learned in thirty-five years before it,” he writes.

Warren chronicled his days and sent his writings via email to what started out as a small mailing list but which grew to thousands of readers each day. His book includes several of these emails.

The conditions wore on Warren: the never-ending stream of broken bodies, little sleep, nightmares and the constant barrage of mortar and rocket attacks.

Through assisting in the worship band on base and through his encounters with a variety of people along the way—both Christians and non-Christians—he felt something shifting inside and he knew he would never be the same.

“I began to see outside my own problems, outside myself,” he writes.

Toward the end of his 120 days in the war zone, he was caught crouched near a wall, unprotected and completely vulnerable during a particularly aggressive attack. It was a pivotal point in his spiritual development as he was learning to relinquish control and trust God.

Warren returned home with his faith strengthened to face not only the problems he had left behind, but also the re-entry into daily life and the demons of post-traumatic stress. Still, his story demonstrates how,  through Christ, he moved from loss and despair to courage and victory.

To order, call 800-727-1309, or visit

Meet the Artist: Michael W. Smith Print Email
Written by DeWayne Hamby   
Tuesday, 13 May 2014 02:27 PM America/New_York

Sovereign-MichaelWSmithIconic artist Michael W. Smith brings his musical gifting to Sovereign, a collection of fresh worship songs, as well as a deluxe version CD-DVD with a concert featuring Kari Jobe and Leeland Mooring. Sparrow Records (Capitol Christian Distribution) releases both titles May 13. Smith recently told Christian Retailing about the process of putting the new record together.

When did you decide Sovereign would be a collection of original songs?

The plan was to do a record of worship around the world. I’ve been literally on five continents in the past few years. The favor of God blows my mind. I said to my team, “We have to record all these shows.” We captured some stunning moments, people worshipping, people in Brazil breaking into “Agnus Dei” in Portugese. That was what I was putting together with Capitol. I was working this song called “Miracle” with Chris York and said, “Maybe the ‘Worship Around the World’ record is for another time. Maybe we do an album of new songs.” He started flipping out. It’s not live, like what I’ve done in the past, and it’s not all corporate. Half of it is kind of anthemic.

Did having a new label change how you approached this record?

I think it was much more of a team record. I’ve always wanted to work with Bill Hearn at the people at Capitol. I felt like I needed to change it up. I talked to every major label and ended up at Capitol. I remember being in the room and saying, “Guys, let’s do this together. I don’t need a bunch of ‘yes men.’ I need some pushback.” I got out of my comfort zone and started writing with all these kids. I completely went the other direction and took a lot of risks. My faith had to increase a bit. We went through almost 120 songs to listen to, and it took that many to get to 12.

Who did you collaborate with for Sovereign?

“Miracle,” I wrote with Kyle Lee and Seth Moseley. It was a great collaboration, still one of my favorite songs on the album. We let that be the bar. It’s got to hit at least there. That’s just the beginning of it. I’m a little too close to it because I’ve been listening to it over and over again in the studio. You just want to go to an island and deflate a bit. “You Won’t Let Go” is another song with Seth Moseley. We were working on “Miracle,” and I said, “Let me hear what you’re writing. You got any ideas?” He played me the track and I picked up an acoustic guitar and started writing the melody. The song reminds me of Romans 8, “Nothing can separate.” We pulled Mia Fields in who’s a great songwriter. She came in and we bashed it out, and we all got excited.

With more Christian films releasing, any chance you will get in front of the camera again soon?

I’ve read so many scripts. I feel like there’s another film for me as an actor. It’s got to be the right story. I haven’t found anything. It’ll have to be right thing for me.

Funny woman Anita Renfroe delivers high-seas laughs Print Email
Written by DeWayne Hamby   
Tuesday, 13 May 2014 02:25 PM America/New_York

Latest comedy DVD recorded live during a cruise

ImNotHighMaintenanceBest-selling author and speaker Anita Renfroe offers her humorous observations on topics such as kids, vacations and accidental cell-phone dialing in her upcoming home-video release, I’m Not High Maintenance, Just Low Tolerance (622306019397, $14.99) available June 24 from Crown Entertainment.

The release was recorded live in a crowded theater on a cruise ship event, offering a unique setting, but also presenting its own particular circumstances. 

“Although the sea was calm during the first part of taping, occasionally, during the second half, I had to take a step back,” Renfroe told Christian Retailing. “You could see the curtains moving a bit.” 

The location provided a chance for Renfroe to discuss taking vacations with family and the difference in the way men and women pack for a trip. 

“Guys always talk about women packing, but we have a lot of different options to consider, like what color we might feel like on a given day,” she said. “Guys don’t pack emotionally.” 

Although not limited in her appeal to women, Renfroe admits her comedy is flavored from personal experiences. She hopes that all viewers will appreciate the observations she makes. 

“My comedy is female-slanted because I’m female,” she said. “I would rather people laugh because I’m talking about something familiar to them, not because they think I’m clever or hip or happening. I love the fact that laughter allows us to unite rather than highlight our differences.”

On the new release, Renfroe also offers an updated version of her hit “The Mom Song,” complete with rapping, and other songs about topics as diverse as fiber and the Psalms of David. 

The Psalms tune is “about this fictional company, House of David Publishing, where I talk about how David, when he wrote the psalms, didn’t realize he would be ripped off by all these worship leaders,” she said. 

Renfroe draws inspiration from her own life experiences, which she fleshes out before sharing with audiences. 

“Most of the time, a one-liner turns into five minutes of comedy when I think about it,” she said. “These are things that just keep happening in life. Humor is universal.” 

To order I’m Not High Maintenance, visit or call 866-791-0504.

‘Duck Dynasty’ star recalls life lessons Print Email
Written by Production   
Monday, 12 May 2014 04:02 PM America/New_York

Jase Robertson credits his relationship with Jesus for his ‘carefree attitude and joy for life’ in new book

GoodCallFans of the popular A&E TV show Duck Dynasty have shown at the cash wrap that they’re still voting for the Robertson family. This month a new book from the second-oldest son in the Robertson family, Jase Robertson, joins the growing number of works others in the family have written. Howard Books adds to the stable of titles with Good Call: Reflections on Faith, Family, and Fowl, which offers a similar blend of antics, humor and philosophy show viewers have come to expect, though Good Call explores Robertson’s faith in greater depth.

Known for his dry humor and competitiveness, not to mention his signature beard, Robertson explains what he considers to be some of the good calls he has made in life, and he’s not referring only to the duck calls he builds for his family’s business. Each chapter in the book describes an aspect of Robertson’s life such as his first hunt and the birth of his children, as well as related spiritual insights.

“I hope that by reading this book you discover that my carefree attitude and joy for life come from what I have found in Jesus Christ,” he writes.

He goes to explain that his belief system “does not come from a religious denomination or creed. It comes from the Bible,” and he refers to Scripture often.

Throughout the book are contributions from Robertson’s wife, Missy, and an abundance of hunting and fishing tales. On his second date with Missy, she helped load heavy tubs of days-old fish heads into his truck, and he had an inkling that their relationship might work. Through the years, she has been tolerant of his long hours hunting and fishing and his frog cleaning in the kitchen sink, which is important given that Robertson loves frog hunting so much he skipped his high school graduation for it. 

Robertson also opens up about his early childhood when his father, Phil Robertson, drank heavily and about the dramatic change in his family after the patriarch became a Christian. When the family moved to their current home, and Robertson spent his days hunting, playing hard with his brothers, attending church and enjoying his mother’s cooking. The family was not materially wealthy, but Robertson writes: “Once we moved to the banks of the Ouachita River, I wouldn’t have traded my childhood for anything.”

At 14, Robertson accepted Christ as his Savior. Although he was shy at that age, he talked about salvation before large groups of teens. Then, after high school, he attended seminary. In their first year of marriage, he and Missy baptized more than 100 people, and they continue to share the gospel liberally.

Regarding his family’s fame, Robertson writes: “In my opinion, fame is not about being recognized. It’s about recognizing that the God who made you makes us all famous.”

Robertson’s writing partner, Mark Schlabach, also has coauthored other books with the family members, including Happy, Happy, Happy; Si-cology 1; and The Duck Commander Family, all New York Times best-sellers.

To order Good Call, contact Howard Books at 800-858-4109. Learn more at

Finding freedom through forgiveness after tragedy Print Email
Written by Leslie Santamaria   
Tuesday, 11 March 2014 12:49 PM America/New_York

Grandmother of Oklahoma City bombing victims tells story of befriending co-conspirator Terry Nichols

NowYouSeeMeKathy Sanders’ life was turned upside down April 19, 1995, when a bomb destroyed the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Okla. She tells her story of truth, tragedy and triumph in Now You See Me: How I Forgave the Unforgivable (FaithWords, $25), releasing in hardcover April 8.

Minutes earlier she and her daughter, Edye Lucas, had dropped off her grandsons, Chase and Colton, in the daycare center of the Federal Building. The two were working one block away when they heard and felt the explosion. 

Bolting down the street, they were some of the first civilians on scene, but were unable to find the babies. After hours of searching and holding vigil at the hospital, they received the unwanted confirmation. Both boys had lost their lives in the bombing that killed 168, including 19 children. By day’s end, Sanders and Edye drove home with empty car seats to an empty house.

“The silence was suffocating,” Sanders writes.

In the following weeks, she struggled through grief and despair, even contemplating suicide. After questioning God’s existence, she decided to turn to Him and chose life. 

Sanders began to believe that the whole truth about the bombing hadn’t yet come out to the public. She launched her own investigation, which took her into dangerous places, including a federal prison and a compound of the Aryan Nation. 

Most importantly, her search led her to forgive those who had hurt her.

“I never made a conscious decision to forgive. … It just happened,” she writes.

She attributes her ability to forgive to her long relationship with Christ and “God’s mysterious and majestic process of transforming hate and revenge into love and forgiveness.”

While in court one day, she noticed defendant Terry Nichols’ mother looking “hopelessly out of place,” she writes.

Realizing they were both victims of the bombing—each had lost loved ones that day, one to death and the other to prison—she decided the mother was not guilty just because her son was being tried. So, Sanders introduced herself and expressed sympathy.

This was the first of many olive branches she extended to demonstrate God’s love and to seek help uncovering the truth. She also reached out to all of Nichols’ family and to Nichols himself, as well as to co-conspirator Timothy McVeigh and his sister. McVeigh never consented to contact with Sanders, but others did, including Nichols. An unlikely relationship then forged. 

Sanders showed forgiveness and kindness to Nichols and his family. In turn, Nichols demonstrated trust and confided in Sanders. Now You See Me includes never-before-published letters between the two, reveals new information and underscores the freedom found in the exercise of forgiveness.

To order, call Hachette Book Group at 800-759-0190.