Monday, October 31, 2011

Melody Carlson Guest Blog Post - 'Teens and Their Supernatural Pursuits'

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Melody Carlson is one of the most prolific and popular authors in the Christian genre. I have the privilege to share a blog post from her today, Halloween, a day where the dark side of spirituality is often emphasized. Melody's latest book, 'Moon White,' focuses on those aspects, and how they impact teenagers. Please enjoy this post - and be enlightened and educated.


Teens and Their Supernatural Pursuits

By Melody Carlson

Have you even wondered why some teens are drawn toward things like Ouija boards or psychics? Or why séances are still popular at sleepovers? Does it just have to do with Halloween and that spine-chilling need for a good scare? Or could it be something more? And, as a Christian, should you be concerned?

Those questions, as well as some confused reader letters, prompted me to tackle the “supernatural” in one of my teen novels (Moon White, TrueColors, Nav Press). And whenever I write an issues-based novel, I’m forced to research—and often in some dark places. So I began scouring websites, learning more about Wicca and the occult, trying to grasp what was really going on with today’s teens—and how I could write about it in a helpful and relevant way.

But, as usual, when I write a teen book, I go back to my own adolescence...trying to connect with my inner teen...and I suddenly remembered a short era when a friend and I got very interested in witchcraft. I had honestly forgotten about this time and was fascinated to recall how we scoured some witchcraft stores on a local campus—I think we even purchased a few things. Fortunately, this interest was short-lived and I became a Christian not long afterward.

However, as I reconnected with my inner teen, I had to ask myself—why had I looked into witchcraft back then? Why do teens dabble with it now? Suddenly the answer became crystal clear. I was searching. I’d been calling myself an atheist for several years by then, but I was spiritually hungry—starving in fact. Consequently I was looking for spiritual answers—something that would fill that empty void within me. I wanted a supernatural force in my life and I didn’t even care where it came from. I needed something bigger than me, more powerful than me, something to hold onto. I had no idea at the time that I was really searching for God.

This realization changed the way I viewed my research. Instead of feeling disgusted and dismayed by the witchcraft/Wicca sites (which are not particularly enjoyable) I began to recognize that these people (mostly girls) were simply searching too. They wanted a power source in their lives just like I wanted one in mine. They just hadn’t found God yet.

This led to another discovery. A girl who’s attracted to a religion like Wicca is usually seeking to gain some control over her life. Something is wrong and she wants to change it. To do so, she’s often enticed to purchase something—like “magical herbs”—to create a potion that will give her some control over her situation. Unfortunately, she doesn’t even realize she’s being tricked.
But think about it, wouldn’t you love to have control over a bad situation sometimes? Wouldn’t you love to be able to change the circumstances that make your life unpleasant? So what if someone offered you the “power” to do just that? Perhaps if you’re fifteen, you wouldn’t see that person as a charlatan and you would fall for it.

Which brings me to another important factor in understanding this generation’s attraction to the supernatural. Follow the money. The more I researched, the more it became painfully obvious that Wicca and witchcraft and the occult are money-making enterprises. Thanks to the internet, these savvy distributors sell anything imaginable—and many things you can’t. That leads to some serious motivation—these marketers want to hook their unsuspecting young customers and reel them in. Of course, these potions and trinkets and how-to books don’t come with a money back guaranty. Nor are they approved by the FDA. Yet they are a multi-million dollar industry.

So, in a way, it’s a perfect storm. Teens that are insecure, lost, unhappy, and up with an unregulated industry that offers supernatural answers and power and control...for a price. And, oh yeah, I never even mentioned how this opens a door for Satan to slip in and wreak havoc. For’ll have to read the book.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

‘Zombie Church: Breathing Life Back Into the Body of Christ’ by Tyler Edwards – Book Review

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It is not every day that a book is published that addresses the apathy of the Church of Jesus Christ. But the latest book on my list, ‘Zombie Church: Breathing LifeBack Into the Body of Christ’ does just that – by comparing today’s Christians to zombies from horror movies. The perfect book for the Halloween season, where the contrast between good and evil is prevalent in society at large.

Here is the synopsis of this book:

There Are Zombies Among Us. Liars. Hypocrites. Men, women, and children who attend church because it’s what they are supposed to do. Just going through the motions. These are the undead – people who are disconnected from the Spirit of God – who are spreading a virus of passivity, or worse. No one is completely immune.
Zombies can live. But they will have to fight. Fight for their lives.
In this challenging, culturally relevant book, Tyler Edwards spotlights the very real but often ignored lackluster attitude of today’s believers. An attitude that can infect an entire church. Using examples from popular zombie movies, Edwards will help you recognize the symptoms and show what you can do to awaken the undead. Your mission is to take life to a dying world by demonstrating what it means to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30 NIV).
The bride of Christ isn’t dead. But she is terribly sick. Zombie Church offers the keys to survival.

Here is the biography of the author:

Tyler Edwards is the lead minister of Cornerstone Christian Church in Joplin, Missouri. He graduated from Ozark Christian College in 2006 with dual degrees in Biblical Literature and Christian Ministries, and in 2007 married Erica, a journalism and broadcasting instructor at Pitt State University.
A speaker for retreats and men’s groups, Tyler taught a class on the life of Christ to local pastors in Mbale, Uganda. He works with Rapha House, a nonprofit organization that fights child slavery and works to help victims of sexual exploitation get the healing and help they need to live a free life. He was also on the board of directors for a video company that sought to create a global awareness of sex trafficking issues.
Tyler’s hope is to see the church regain an exclusively Christ-centered focus and learn to rise above its differences for the sake of the progression of the kingdom of God.

I love this reasoning in the Introduction explaining the use of zombie in this book:

Zombies do not produce anything. They do not accomplish anything. All they do is wander around aimlessly, consuming everything in their path (including non-zombies). They are a corrupt and destructive force that taints all they come in contact with. Zombies act like they are alive, but they are dead. They just don’t know it yet.
Yes, there are zombies in our churches. Not only that, but this seems to be a growing trend. The doors are open, the people show up faithfully, the songs are sung. But that’s it. So many American churches today are filled with people whose spiritual lives consist of little more than showing up to church on Sunday morning and, for the superspiritual, maybe once in the middle of the week. We have become experts at going through the motions, but these motions are all we go through. I can’t help but wonder if God didn’t have something more in mind for His church. It seems that something is missing. (pp. 13-14)

In the final chapter, entitled ‘Searching for the Cure,’ Pastor Edwards takes this important point about today’s church:

The church has focused its attention on a lot of things. It has jumped from rules to doctrines to causes and each time has come up short of the dynamic life-changing entity it was created to be. The biggest problem in the church is that we focus on lots of things that are not Jesus. There is only one Jesus and He should always be the focal point, the centerpiece, the gravitational center of life, the foundation of the church – which is good news for churches struggling with lifelessness, because getting back to life is as simple as making the focus of your life and everything you do Jesus. (pp. 208-209)

I found this book to be really interesting – not to mention extremely convicting. I am not necessarily a fan of the horror movie or book genre, but I am familiar enough with the concepts, having lived in the United States my entire life. It is hard not to have some familiarity with zombies and the comparable ilk. Although I do tend to avoid that genre of entertainment (due to the fact that it accentuates the demonic and the dark side of the spiritual battle we all are enduring on this earth), I was fascinated by the way in which Pastor Edwards uses it for the Glory of God. I certainly see elements of the zombie in my actions at times. ‘Zombie Church’ awakened me to my apathy, and for that, I am grateful!

You can order this book here.

This book was published by Kregel Publications and provided by the LitFuse Publicity Group. I am pleased to be part of the blog tour with these esteemed bloggers.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

We Have a Winner of Stephanie Shott's Ecclesiastes Study!

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The Random Number Generator has done its thing again, and chose a winner of Stephanie Shott's 'Ecclesiastes: Understanding What Matters' (Following God Through the Bible series). That blessed person is......


Congratulations, Meredith! I will be sending you an email to get your contact information so I can forward it to Stephanie, who will send you a personally autographed copy! I'd love to hear what you think of the study after you do it; please come back here and comment, letting us know!

Thanks again to Stephanie for sharing her heart - and her book - with us!

You can order this book here.

Please come back soon for more posts and giveaways! Thanks! 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Guest Blog Post – ‘Life Lessons from The Help: Pain Happens in a Broken World’ by Poppy Smith

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A lovely woman with whom I have just become acquainted (virtually, anyway!) is Poppy Smith. I wanted to introduce you to her today (for those of you who have not made her acquaintance!).

Here is Poppy’s biography:

With her fun personality and passion for communicating life-changing truths, Poppy Smith inspires believers to thrive spiritually and personally. Poppy’s practical how-to messages (in print or in person) uses colorful examples from her own struggles to be more like Jesus. She encourages women (and men, at times) to grow in every kind of situation—whether joyful or painful! Poppy is British, married to an American, and has lived in many countries. She brings an international flair seasoned with humorous honesty as she illustrates Bible truths. A former Bible Study Fellowship Lecturer, Poppy’s teaching challenges women to look at their choices, attitudes and self-talk. As a result, God’s speaks, changing hearts, changing minds, and changing lives.

And here is a video of Poppy speaking at a Navigator’s Conference; I am including it because I think it is valuable to get to know a person better by seeing and hearing that person, and also because I have a weakness for the English accent (my grandmother was born there)!:

And, now, here’s Poppy’s guest post:

Life Lessons from The Help: Pain Happens in a Broken World

Have you read or seen the movie, THE HELPIf you have, you know it is a story about racism and the treatment of black maids who worked for white people in the South. People’s reactions range from outrage at the humiliation blacks have often received, to charges that it was biased and untrue.

I came out of the movie grieving. I not only felt wretched at the pain racism causes, but also at the hurt and suffering that comes when people mistreat others. Pain Happens in a Broken World. Being cruel to others, whether by actions or words, happens in every culture for many reasons: because individuals think they are superior for some reason due to their skin color, gender, position in society, wealth, or education. Whatever the reasons, they all flow from a sinful heart.

Have you been hurt?

·  Have you known what it is like to be looked down on, dismissed as unimportant, or made to feel unwanted? Have you experienced cruelty of some kind? How did it make you feel?

·  Have you wrestled with anger, wanting to get revenge, or feeling crushed and of no worth? In The Help, one of the poorly treated maids gets her revenge in a startling way. But revenge is God’s prerogative, and not ours to take (Romans 12:19).

·  Your pain might have come from someone you work with, live next to, or go to school with. Its source could be a relative or close family. Even fellow believers hurt others when operating in the flesh and not the Spirit. But no matter where your pain originated, it is something God wants to heal.

·  God Cares About You. Why should He care? Why does He call you to forgive those who have harmed you? Because He loves you and wants the appalling power of bitterness, hatred, and inner rage to stop poisoning your heart and your life.

·  God’s Path to Healing. How can you and I, followers of the Lord Jesus, indwelt by His Mighty and All-powerful Spirit, find freedom from pain? Only by forgiving the one, or many, who caused our pain.

Three necessary principles for dealing with pain:

·  Reject blame and bitterness. It doesn’t move you forward. It chains you to the past.

·  Pray for willingness to forgive. It is a process that often requires time to work through.

·  Forgive the offender. Be willing to release that person from your desire for revenge, or even for an apology. Realize they most likely have moved on and forgotten the incident. Remembering is only hurting you. Let it go. 

Remember something else: the Lord is our Healer. He wants you to experience joy, no matter how much pain you have experienced. He wants you to THRIVE in every aspect of your life. And He has provided a way for this to happen! Will you walk in it?


Wonderful and Godly wisdom; thanks for sharing, Mrs. Smith!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Guest Blog Post - 'Tomorrow Had Come' by Jessica Kirkland

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Every once in a while, I have the opportunity to share a guest blog post here on my blog. Today is another one of those blessed occasions! Please enjoy this one by Jessica Kirkland.

Here is the biography of Jessica:

Jessica Kirkland lives in Southeast Texas with her husband, Robb, and five-year-old triplets. She is an author and speaker whose greatest passion in life is to see young families grow deeper in their walk with God. She has recently launched Christian Apps 4 Kids. The Sounds of Night is a beautifully illustrated children's book that teaches that God is our protector from the things we fear. Jessica's newest adventure includes launching Christian Apps 4 Kids, which seeks to draw kids closer to Christ one app at a time. A recent release is a book app that addresses fear and scary nighttime sounds called The Sounds of Night, designed for kids ages 2-8. It is currently available on iPad, iPhone and all Android devices. When Jessica isn't writing, you can find her cheering her boys on at the soccer field, or watching her little girl at the dance studio. To find out more about her current writing projects, connect with her at: or on her personal blog:

I had never heard of apps for children! The Sounds of Night seems like the perfect way for the technologically gifted children of this generation to learn that God is our protector from the things we fear.  

Jessica has an amazing testimony. I would highly recommend that you have tissues nearby as you read! 

‘Tomorrow Had Come’

In every season of life, the Enemy would whisper the lie that I would “never make it” to the next. I believed it. Time and time again, I thought his words held power. As a young child, I never thought I would live to see my school years. Once I entered school, I never thought I would live to see the next day, next grade, or milestone in life. I listened to a very real enemy, even though I didn’t want to. Even though I came from a strong, Christian family, I felt powerless to stop the lies. Fear gripped me, stole from me, and taunted every careful step I took.
I gave my heart to Christ at six years old, yet fear still held me tight. Though I had renewed hope, the whispers and lies continued to flow and drown out truth through every season. When, I heard the words that burned a hole straight through, I was nose-to-nose with what appeared to be the sum of all my fears. 
“Mrs. Kirkland, you have congestive heart failure. If your babies are born now, they will probably not live or be severely impaired.” 
I was twenty-six weeks pregnant with triplets. In the beginning, I had been pregnant with quads, but had lost one child at 14 weeks. I never imagined we might all go meet Jesus on the same day. I mourned the thought of my husband walking through life alone. I grieved for the children that would either die, be disabled on this earth, or grow up motherless. And I burned with anger, not just because of the oxygen mask strapped to my face as I struggled for breath and life, but for twenty-five years of allowing Satan to tell me that I would never make it to tomorrow. 
Tomorrow had come.

As nurses whirled around me, I prayed Acts 17:25 out loud, “…You give life and breath to everything, and satisfy every need.” I pleaded with the God I personally knew through a relationship with His Son, Jesus. I knew He had a plan for my life that was good according to Jeremiah 29:11. In my humanity, I struggled with the thought that death might be His plan for us on that day.

Today, we are parents to three healthy five-year-olds. You would never know they were born nine weeks premature. The joy that Satan has stolen from me in 30 years, through a spirit of fear, is great. I imagine if you strung each lying sentence end-to-end, they might wrap the globe. Yet, I have promised to tell others of God’s miracles in my life and do my part in setting captives free. Tomorrow had come, but so had Jesus, and it is He who has defeated the grave.

“For God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Meet Jim Wysong, author of ‘The Neutering of the American Male: Unraveling the Human Experience’

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One of the most intriguing book titles I have ever heard is the one written by Jim Wysong – ‘The Neutering of the American Male’! The concept garners attention – and well it should!

Here is the synopsis of this book:

What Determines How You See Yourself? Whether you are a man or a woman, The Neutering of the American Male is a must read. Over the last hundred years many changes have taken place that have altered how men and women relate to each other. Those are often felt, but not seen clearly, or understood, which makes them difficult to remedy. As a result, confusion, frustration, and aggravation reign in the lives of many. And those raise questions that seem impossible to answer.

As a young man, Jim Wysong had questions that appeared to have no answers. For over thirty years he has been seeking the answers to those questions. Contained within these pages are insights into aspects of the human experience that are easily missed.

Men and women are complex beings. Jim addresses the key aspects that exist within both men and women and explains how those elements inter-relate and influence each other.

This book’s insights can assist you in understanding yourself and others in a way that you never thought possible. 

Here is the biography of this author (as shared on Jim’s website). It provides insight into the man and the motivation behind the book:

Jim Wysong is a husband, father, businessman, author, life coach, and speaker. Like many of us, growing up he had a lot of questions about life and why people do what they do. Rather than throwing up his hands and saying that's simply how it is, he kept searching for the motivating factors behind what people do. Without realizing it, he began a journey of over thirty years that has resulted in discoveries that have enabled people to make changes in their lives that previously they could only dream about.

Jim spent many years of his life in the building trades where it became evident that when one thing was changed, it could result in a multitude of other things being affected. Often some or all of the ripple effect changes that resulted were not visible on the surface but rather affected the unseen systems that were essential for things to work as they should. 

Over the years Jim realized that people were affected similarly. In life, one change often results in other unseen changes that, if not understood, can be quite confusing and painful. The Neutering of the American Male is a pioneering book in that it examines and explains how people are affected by internal elements that most people do not realize exist.

In his ground breaking book, Jim explains many of the overlapping aspects of men and women which have caused confusion and frustration for both sexes. In doing so, he brings aspects of life into clear focus, which until now have been difficult to grasp. In a step by step fashion, he shows how people operate on many different levels. Then he explains how each of these elements that exist in us, operate individually and in conjunction with each other. 

Imagine how challenging it would be if you were playing a game of chess but you had no idea that chess pieces moved differently than checker pieces. Life can be just like that. Often people are perplexed and confused because they do not understand how aspects of life interrelate to and affect each other. 

Jim enjoys writing and continues to work with individuals, couples and businesses to assist them in understanding and addressing the unseen elements that are at the root of many of the challenges they face. Once a person understands what is happening, it is only then that they are truly in a position to make real and lasting changes in their life. Unlike others who address only the symptoms that can be seen, Jim looks beyond the symptoms and guides people to the root of their challenge.

Here is the trailer on this intriguing book – with the even more intriguing title!:

You can order this book here.

This book was published by Jim Wysong, and was generously provided by the author. Thanks, Jim, for your kindness and patience!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Meet Stephanie Shott!

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One of the lovely ladies with whom I have become acquainted on Facebook is Stephanie Shott. She has recently released a Bible study entitled 'Ecclesiastes: Understanding What Matters (Following God Through the Bible Series).

Here is her rather unconventional autobiography from her website:


I know this is where you generally find the typical bio, but I thought it would be fun to share the 4-1-1 on the “personal” me...

Me - Often goofy, never perfect, love to laugh (especially at myself). Passionate about Jesus, passionate about being passionate. Not a girly girl, but secretly want to be. Just learning to accessorize, don’t know my colors, hate to shop, have a love/hate relationship with menopause, love missions, hate to fly, trying to find someone to nominate me for “What Not to Wear.”

Family - I’m married to my best friend who thinks he’s funnier than I am. More talented, yes...funnier, no way. He’s a drummer, a surfer and a man of God who is absolutely passionate about reaching this generation for Christ. I’m blessed to be “mom” to two young men who are as different as night and day. Karl (my oldest) is Mr. Sports. He loves every kind of sport on planet earth. He is married to a sweet and godly young woman and they are parents to my first grandgirl. Oh my, life as an abuela (grandma) is so sweet! DJ (my youngest) is Mr. Talent. Singer, songwriter, musician, graphic designer, etc… He’s my go-to guy for all things computer. 

Tidbits - Here’s a little-known tidbit of information about yours truly. I was adopted. My birth mom was raped - I was the result. I met her when I was 27 and was elated to find out she was a believer. God has blessed me beyond measure with two wonderful moms. One that loved me past the pain of rape and chose life for me instead and one who would love me and raise me as her own.

Here she is telling us a little more about herself (perhaps in a more conventional manner!):

Tell us about your new Bible study and what you hope readers will get out of doing this study.

We all want to know our lives count. And in our Christian conversations we talk a lot about living for eternity and having an eternal perspective, yet if we are honest, we often live as if this life is all there is.

Eternity is real and it awaits each one of us. There are no escape clauses.

Understanding What Matters Most is a six week study through the book of Ecclesiastes. It’s a journey that gives the reader an opportunity to personally sift the gamut of real life experiences and define their lives by what matters most. There are questions designed to examine the heart and inspire application.

Although many avoid Ecclesiastes, it is chock-full of wisdom - not only for Solomon, but for each of us. However, there are three overriding lessons I pray that each reader will walk away with. 

1. We all long to define our existence with significance, yet the only way to truly do that is to make our eternity intentional. It’s a minute by minute choice of the will to filter the way we respond to life through the lens of eternity. I pray that Understanding What Matters Most will equip each reader with the necessary tools to do just that. We're all looking for answers, and Ecclesiastes really helps us understand how to make decisions and deal with our circumstances based on what is and what is not important in light of eternity. 

2. The study of Ecclesiastes is certainly not for sissies! It deals with real issues and real life circumstances. I hope that readers will grasp the concept of eternity and the reality of our ultimate day of reckoning; I pray the truth of that reality will help them live each day in light of THAT day. 

3. A more subtle but profound lesson we can learn from this study is to see the grace of God at work in Solomon's life and understand that same grace is available to us. Solomon was the wisest man to walk the planet, yet he blew it big time! Solomon’s life is proof that wisdom doesn’t always equal perfection! The beautiful truth is that God still used Solomon, even after he failed. I hope readers never forget that God is so much bigger than our failure - that His love for us transcends our ability to mess things up - that as long as we have breath, He still has a plan for our lives and the days we are given under the sun.

How did God lay this book on your heart to write?

When I began writing Understanding What MattersMost, I didn't begin in hopes of publishing a book. Understanding What Matters Most was birthed from my own place of need. It was during a time when God had called us to the mission field and my 19 year old son didn't feel led to go. My maternal heart began to wrestle with the details of the call. I didn’t have a problem with the was the leaving that gripped my heart and clouded my view. Who was going to take care of him if something went wrong? What if he got hurt? What about our parents? I was trying desperately to make sense of that which didn't make sense at all. 

That's when the Lord gently led me to Ecclesiastes and gave me a bird's-eye view of Solomon's own attempts to make sense of the details of his life. After he ran the gamut of life experiences, he understood what matters most. I knew I needed that kind of clarity. Not only for the circumstances surrounding our call to the mission field, but to help me walk through life with the imprint of eternity on my heart. My study of Ecclesiastes gave me the tools I needed to filter the essential from the non-essential in light of eternity. When God put it on my heart to send it to a publisher and they said yes, that’s when I knew He wanted to use it for more than just notes for a conference.

Who would you say would benefit from your book?

It’s primarily a Bible study for women. However, since I’m a veteran home school mom who remembers how hard it was to find a good Bible study for my children, I would also like to encourage home school moms to use it as a study for their high school students. What a great opportunity to walk through Ecclesiastes as they sit at Solomon’s feet and get a clear picture of how empty the pursuits of this life can be and how important it to live each day with eternity in view!

Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about you or how they can book you to speak at their next event? 

Thanks, Stephanie, for letting us get to know you and your book a little better! It sounds like a wonderful study, and I look forward to working through it soon!

You can order this book here.

Stephanie has generously offered to provide a personally autographed copy of this wonderful study to one blessed person!

There are several ways to gain entry:

1) Leave a comment here on the blog, telling me one thing you know about the book of Ecclesiates, and why studying it appeals to you. Please make sure to leave your email address in this format – sample[at]gmail[dot]com.

2) Follow Stephanie on Twitter. Please leave a separate comment stating that you are now following her, along with your email address in the sample[at]gmail[dot]com format.

3) Follow me on Twitter.  If you are already a Twitter follower, that counts, too!  Please leave a new comment to that effect, along with your email address in the sample[at]gmail[dot]com format.

4) Visit Stephanie’s website and leave a comment here telling me one thing you learned about her; please make sure to include your email address in the sample[at]gmail[dot]com format.

5) Follow me as a Google Friend on this blog; if you are already a Friend, that counts, too!  Please leave a new comment to that effect, along with your email address in the sample[at]gmail[dot]com format.

So there are LOTS of chances to enter!  Please limit one entry per option except for the Twitter tweet option (which can be done once per day), along with your email address in the sample[at]gmail[dot]com format.

This give away is for U.S. residents only. The deadline for entry is Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. EST. A winner will be chosen via the Random Number Generator on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 and will be contacted via email. The best to all of you!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Christian Publishing University Launched!

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For those of you who are interested in being published, there is a new tool for you! Please take a peek at this information, as provided by the B and B Media Group:

September 1 marked a giant step forward in the Christian publishing industry as a team of highly experienced industry professionals have launched a major new Web site— Organized as an online university campus, the site is intended to become a one-stop clearinghouse of trainings, resources, and networking for both newcomers and veterans of the industry. It pulls together a wealth of valuable information that has never been assembled in one place before. Its purpose is to serve Christian publishers, editors, proofreaders, authors, composers, artists, photographers, retailers, pastors, church leaders, and many others.

A two-year project, the 150-page Christian Publishing University (CPU) site includes dozens of impressive features, such as numerous recorded classes and courses on publishing topics, links to several hundred publishers of Christian materials, 60+ Christian literary agents, a Christian store locator service, 780,000+ quotations, various bestseller lists, all the public and national libraries in America, and hundreds of affiliate organizations, websites, and blogs.

CPU also offers an extensive publishing dictionary, a huge library of downloadable documents and helps, a campus store of publishing-related books and products, an interactive social media student center, an industry master calendar of events, a blog that discusses current publishing issues, and much more.

Top Christian author, Max Lucado, who is often called “America’s Pastor,” praised CPU by saying, “The Christian Publishing University is a timely response to an increasing need. Christian writing needs to set the standard in published literature. CPU takes us in that direction. Aspiring writers now have a resource for guidance and instruction. I can envision this ministry as a blessing to so many people.”

CPU is supported by an advisory board of well-known Christian publishing industry leaders, such as Dr. Paul Brownlow (CEO of Brownlow Gifts), Dr. Thelma Wells (CEO of A Women of God Ministry and former speaker for Women of Faith), Mark Sweeney (president of Mark Sweeney and Associates literary agency), Dr. Jim Underwood (professor at Dallas Baptist University and New York Times bestselling author), Dr. Terry Johnson (former president of Oklahoma Christian University), Dr. Helen Young (former professor, Pepperdine University), June Hunt (Hope for the Heart), Dr. Sheila Bailey (Sheila B. Ministry), and others.

Please check out this preview video:

CPU director of communications, Mary Hollingsworth, bestselling author of more than one hundred Christian books and a 27-year veteran of the industry, said, “Christian Publishing University is a dream come true for our industry’s seasoned professionals, as well as for gifted Christians who want to participate in God’s mission of spreading His Word through the avenue of publishing. For the first time ever, an enormous storehouse of resources, trainings, networking connections, social interactions, and other valuable features can be found in one place.”

 “So far, we’ve only scratched the surface. We’ll be constantly adding new resources, classes, and opportunities as we go forward. We have some really exciting expansion plans for the future,” Hollingsworth said.

“Christian publishing is as old as the Bible itself,” she continued, “and God’s wise man, Solomon, said, ‘Of making books there is no end,’ so we’re here to stay. Until now, though, it’s been a difficult industry to navigate for newcomers, because the information they needed to get started was scattered all over the Web, in a multitude of books, in hundreds of magazine articles, and in a myriad of professionals’ minds. It was incredibly hard to assimilate.
“At long last, by compiling so many resources in one place, CPU gives them a chance to learn much of what they need to know to join this great ministry of the Word. It gives them hope. And it gives publishing professionals a place to refer newcomers who want to join us. We’re excited about the service it can provide both to those in house at our publishing companies, retailers, and to up-and-coming industry participants.”

Unlike printed books which, by the very nature of printed materials, are somewhat out of date by the time they hit the bookstore shelves, the CPU website can be constantly updated and, as the Bible says, “new every morning.”

CPU is a membership site and is open to anyone who wishes to participate in its ministry. The annual membership fee is $39.99. As Hollingsworth noted, “It’s less than the price of one Starbucks latte a month and far more valuable in the long run.”
For more information and to enroll, visit
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