Christian Retailing

'Fasting' author confronts fear and anxiety Print Email
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Monday, 09 November 2009 09:20 AM America/New_York

Fear-FightersIn a world of anxiety, pastor and best-selling author Jentezen Franklin offers keys to dealing with fear in Fear Fighters: How To Live With Confidence in a World Driven By Fear (978-1-599-79762-5, $21.99, Charisma House/Strang Book Group), which released Nov. 3.

Explaining that fear and anxiety are issues everyone has to face, Franklin encourages readers to confront and overcome such obstacles.

"Overcoming fear is something we all face when we endeavor to do new things, such as take a new job, fall in love, create a new product line, or start a business," Franklin writes in the first chapter.

"For example, when we consider where to invest money, we must face the fear of failure. In short, there can be no progress in life without taking risks. You cannot succeed in life if you give in to fear," he adds.

Franklin uses personal stories to illustrate his points, such as a time when his plane had to make an emergency landing. Additionally, he gives point-by-point scriptural lessons, Bible verse Fear Fighters reminders and note-taking pages for personal reflection and interaction.

"You have to decide to take the Word of God and His promises, believing His great love for you, and go to war with those fear fighters," he writes. "He will give you the courage if you choose to overcome your fear and fight for your victory, for your family's victory, and for whatever 'unequal' fight the enemy has designed against you."

Charisma House will promote Fear Fighters with a national media marketing plan in addition to the book being featured on Franklin's weekly television program, Kingdom Connection.

For more information, visit To order, call Strang Book Group at 800-283-8494.

'Purpose Driven' author returns with 'Hope' Print Email
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Monday, 09 November 2009 09:19 AM America/New_York
Warren's long-awaited follow-up centers on lessons from the Lord's prayer

TheHopeYouNeedRick Warren, author of the mega best-seller The Purpose Driven Life (Zondervan), returns with The Hope You Need, releasing next month. The Purpose Driven Life, published in 2002, became the No. 1 all-time best-selling hardcover nonfiction book in publishing history.

"My motivation as an author has always been the message, not the market, and I have been waiting for the right time, until I had something to say that would speak to the personal and societal problems we all face," Warren said. "With unemployment in some parts of the country running as high as 15%, many individuals—including my own congregation—are feeling the pinch of this recession, and are in need of hope."

The Hope You Need was inspired by an eight-part sermon series Warren preached at his Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., and focuses on the power in the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples. Warren explains each phrase of the prayer, offering encouragement and inspiration for readers.

"Look around and you quickly find broken hearts, broken dreams, broken homes, broken economies, broken systems and broken people," Warren said. "I'm broken in many places, and you are, too, but we all hate to admit it. So we spend enormous amounts of time, energy and resources trying to cover up, hide and deny our human brokenness. Every so often, we run out of steam, get tired and discouragement rushes in. This book is about what to do when that happens."

The Lord's prayer "is profound, yet simple," said Warren. "Not a single word is wasted. ... The message of hope needs no promotion, just distribution. You don't have to promote water to people dying of thirst. You just need to tell them where to get it."

Zondervan's national media campaign in support of the release will include media appearances and viral marketing through social networks and the book's Web site,

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


Editor's note: The Hope You Need has been delayed to 2010. Zondervan is now anticipating a first quarter 2010 release.

Bonus Web Review: Finding Purpose Beyond Our Pain Print Email
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Wednesday, 21 October 2009 12:00 AM America/New_York
Written to address the problem of suffering, Finding Purpose Beyond Our Pain gives advice for facing pain directly. The authors, psychiatrists Meir and Henderson, classify types of suffering into seven categories—injustice, discipline, failure, death, rejection, loneliness and loss—and examine how each can bring their "gifts" into a person’s life.
Written by Staff   
Friday, 09 October 2009 10:09 AM America/New_York

Andy Serkis, who played Gollum in the "Lord of the Rings" movies, leads a star cast in the Focus on the Family Radio Theatre/Tyndale House Publishers audio book adaptation of C.S. Lewis' 1942 classic The Screwtape Letters.

Christian Retailing talked with award-winning adapter/director Paul McCusker about the project, released this month as a four-CD set with a bonus, behind-the-scenes DVD.

Why do The Screwtape Letters remain so popular today?
I think because they're timeless. The "advice" from one demon to the other gets to the heart of our humanity, our rationalizations, our fallen-ness and the spiritual warfare going on around us. No matter what period of history we're in, the essence of what Lewis has written remains true.

The letters seem like a natural fit for audio; why has it taken so long for such a project to be realized?
There have been "readings" of the letters over the past 30 years but, to my knowledge, no dramatization. I don't know why others haven't tried it before now. But it's always been on our wish-list of projects to do.

What was the greatest challenge in bringing the letters to life for audio?
One challenge was to figure out how to dramatize the letters without seriously damaging or changing Lewis' words. I think we figured that out, by employing everything we've learned about audio drama over the past 20 years. I think only two of the "letters" are actually handled as letters. The rest are dramatic scenes, with interaction between the various characters. The other challenge was to find the right actors-which I think we did in our cast, led by Andy Serkis as Screwtape.

Yancey's writing featured in new devotional Print Email
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Monday, 12 October 2009 02:33 PM America/New_York

GraceNotesThe works of best-selling author Philip Yancey are mined for 366 daily readings in the new devotional release Grace Notes: Daily Readings With a Fellow Pilgrim (978-0-310-287728, $19.99) from Zondervan.

Drawn from Yancey's writings, the book includes articles the author has contributed to magazines as well as material from his best-selling books What's So Amazing About Grace?, The Jesus I Never Knew, Disappointment With God and Where Is God When It Hurts? Twelve of Yancey's books have received the Gold Medallion Award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA), and two have been designated ECPA Book of the Year.

"I have been writing full-time for three decades, long enough for a publisher to propose this book of readings drawn from twenty-some books and numerous articles," Yancey writes in the book's preface. "As I read through them, I feel a bit like Rip Van Winkle, going over experiences and thoughts from as long as twenty or thirty years ago. I've doubted, believed, doubted again, changed, grown."

Yancey said he considers his works "his children," which have taken on a life of their own.

"This book pulls together selections from my 'children' written over several decades, appearing in twenty-two books and forty-five different articles as well as a few unpublished selections," he writes. "Reviewing them, I give thanks for the privilege of working with words and for the unlikely linkages they made possible."

Grace Notes concludes with a short bibliography, an index of selections by their sources and a descriptive bibliography of Yancey's books, with personal thoughts and commentary.

Zondervan is planning a national media campaign to launch the devotional, including print and electronic media, a blog tour, online advertising and consumer advertising in targeted periodicals.

For more information or to order, call Zondervan at 800-727-1309, or visit

It's high 'time' for hope and good news Print Email
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Wednesday, 23 September 2009 02:31 PM America/New_York
Osteen's new message is intended for those going through hard times

Its-Your-TimeIn It's Your Time, Joel Osteen's follow-up to his 2007 Become a Better You, the best-selling author delivers a message of encouragement for readers struggling in an uncertain economic climate.

Osteen, pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, said his new book has been influenced by people he has encountered at church and around the country.

"People need hope and inspiration more than principles right now," he told Christian Retailing. "The purpose of this book is to jumpstart your faith and get us to believing again."

Combating what he sees as "so much negativity in the world today," Osteen said It's Your Time is a little different than his previous release, focusing more on encouraging stories than "principles and how-tos." The new book is intended to "let people know that new seasons are coming. God will take care of us in the midst of difficult times."

Osteen began working on the book two years ago, doing a "little bit on it each week" while addressing the subject in sermons and lessons.

Although intended to provide hope for those struggling, the author also believes the book will be a help to others.

"It's not just for the type of people that are really down and out, but I think it could help anybody," he said. "(It's for people who need to say,) 'I think I will see more of God's favor when I believe, when I trust, just do some simple things.' "

Osteen has also contributed to The Hope for Today Bible (Free Press/Simon & Schuster), which was released in March. The Bible's launch was successful, he said, and he believes it was a good starting point for new readers of the Scriptures.

"It's been really well-received," he said. "I felt like it was the right thing to do. So many of the people that watch us, they weren't raised in church like me and they ask, 'How do I read the Bible?' I like that the NLT (New Living Translation) is easy to understand, and it really has taken off."

To promote It's Your Time, Osteen is changing the name of Lakewood's traveling tour, currently The Night of Hope, to the It's Your Time Tour, which will hit various U.S. cities this year and next. In addition to extensive mainstream media promotion, the book will also be featured on Lakewood's podcasts, 60 million of which are released every year.

For more information or to order, contact Simon & Schuster at 800-732-9576, or visit