Be a Disciple, Make a Disciple Author Interview & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Be a Disciple, Make a Disciple

Author: Ellie M. Littleton

Genre: RELIGION / Christian Ministry / Discipleship

The twenty-first century Church has the same Holy Spirit power and many more modern-day resources than the first century Church, yet the first century Church had greater success in making disciples. Why? They followed the plan Jesus gave them, and He blessed it. But the more worldly progress we’ve made, the more we’ve deviated from Jesus’s plan by choosing programs, entertainment, and socials with only surface-level encounters.  

We neglect to make a connection with the lost, and they see no real commitment from the church. So they come and go as we continue to meet and plan more programs. To end the cycle, we must go and make disciples as Jesus taught—investing our lives in the lives of others.  

Do you long to live the Great Commission and make disciples, but you’re not sure how? In Be a Disciple, Make a Disciple, Ellie Littleton offers biblical examples and concepts that break down the hard work of discipleship into sixteen thought-provoking lessons.  

So go and make disciples. “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (John 15:8 niv). 

 

Click here to get your copy.

 

About the Author

Ellie Littleton has spent most of her adult life teaching both high school and adult Sunday school. She is minister of Vision Teams at her church, and serves as an officer on the planning team of her church’s annual Women of the Word Conference. Her husband of twenty-one years and high school sweetheart, Brad Littleton, serves as minister of music at their church. Their daughter, Hannah Kate, has been active in AcTeens and children’s church. She plans to continue competitive cheer in college. Son, Grayson, is home from a six-month internship at Lifehouse Church in Tokyo, Japan, and is seeking a position as a youth pastor. Ellie and her family love their church, family-and-friend cookouts, volleyball, boat riding, and music. She also enjoys reading, women’s conferences, and sneaking away to occasional girlfriend getaways at the beach. 

 

More from Ellie

Eighteen years ago, I was blessed to be a part of a church plant in the community where I was raised and still call home.  The new church, South Shelby Baptist, gave me the opportunity to dig in and exercise the spiritual gifts given to me by the Holy Spirit.  As I begin to write and teach Bible lessons, a deep passion arose and bloomed within my heart to grow in the grace and knowledge of our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18) and see others grow too.  I am a people-person and find great joy in connecting with people and seeing people connected, especially within the Body of Christ.  In the past five years, God has been and is pulling me out of that comfort zone of lessons into writing Bible studies.  My pastor, David Warren, leads the vision of our church- be a disciple and make a disciple.  He asked me a couple of years ago, to write a Bible study on the topic of discipleship for our folks as a resource to help us grow and activate the call to make disciples.  And that is how Be a Disciple, Make a Disciple Bible study began.  I wrote this Bible study for my church to use as resource to grow in discipleship, because my heart for ministry is in the local church, especially my local church, South Shelby Baptist.  But God.  God began prompting my heart with the dream to have Be a Disciple, Make a Disciple published… and here it is.  God is good and He is faithful; great is your faithfulness, O LORD!  It is my prayer that you can use it as a resource to help you and your local church grow in discipling others too.  To God be the glory and blessings to you in Christ,

Ellie

Q&A with Ellie

1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Writing energizes me mostly; it gets me excited about what the Lord is doing through me, excites me how the Holy Spirit works and excites me to use the gifts he had given me.  There are times when I have exhausted and pressured because life presents many demands, but I have to remember to be patient and trust God to provide the time and the revelation of what to write.

2. How did writing this book grow you spiritually?

In writing this study, God gave me more confidence to use the gifts he has given, reminded me that hard work, time and effort bring satisfaction of accomplishment.  My weakest academic skill in high school was writing. Writing this study and having it published epitomizes for me the verses in 1 Corinthians: 21-29, “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.”  There is no way I could have written this study and had it published without the Holy Spirit. God has shown me with this publishing project that He makes a way there as humans we see no way.  The summer I signed the contract to publish I wrestled with time requirements of this project along with teaching, my full-time job.  That same summer I was offered a new position as an academic interventionist that had far less demands than teaching 3 different history preps.  The position seemed to come out of nowhere, but I knew it was an answer to my prayers.

3. What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I love life and sharing my life with family and friends at cook-outs, boating and water sports.  I enjoy going out to eat; I consider myself a foodie.  I love to eat and I enjoy cooking. I also like to travel; I enjoy the mountains, the beach and most anything historical.

4. When did you start writing?

I started writing Bible lessons 18 years ago and Bible studies 5 years ago.

5. What is the most difficult part about writing for you?

The most difficult part about writing currently is time.  School is back in session and I have less time to just sit and think or study.

Thank you Ellie for you time in letting us get to know you better!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 21

Through the Lens of Scripture, November 22

Mary Hake, November 23

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 24

CarpeDiem, November 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 26

Artistic Nobody, November 27 (Author Interview)

Discipling4Life, November 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 29

Texas Book-aholic, November 30

janicesbookreviews, December 1

A Reader’s Brain, December 2

Inklings and notions, December 3

Simple Harvest Reads, December 4 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Ellie is giving away the grand prize package of a Bible study copy of her book and a $50 Visa Card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/ee20/be-a-disciple-make-a-disciple-celebration-tour-giveaway

Dreaming of the Majors Author Interview and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Dreaming of the Majors

Author: Dick “Lefty” O’Neal

Genre: SPORTS & RECREATION / Baseball / History

Release Date: April 4, 2014

By all counts, Dick “Lefty” O’Neal didn’t have a chance of playing professional baseball. However, today he holds the distinction of being the only white baseball player to pitch for two teams in the Negro Leagues that flourished throughout the twentieth century. “Dreaming of the Majors” is his account of the dream he nurtured from the age of five to play Major League baseball, the people God brought into his life who shaped the dream, and the amazing and unexpected twists and turns Dick experienced along the journey toward fulfilling the dream.

 

Click here to get your copy.

 

About the Author

Lefty is currently an Adjunct Professor in Speech, Motivational Speaker, and MLB Scout. He is also a consultant for a possible movie, “Dreaming of the Majors,” which would be based on Dreaming of the Majors – Living in the Bush. He has two grown children, Amy and Adam. He and his wife Harriett have been married forty-plus years and live in Universal City, Texas.”

 

More from Lefty

“I wrote my story in order to pass on to my son and daughter what their father experienced in his walk through life as a Christian. I wanted them to understand that  if you have the right purpose, surrounded by the right people, you can make a difference if you listen to His guidance. Using a sports platform was perfect for me to share that whatever your dream is as you are growing as a ballplayer and a Christian helps you stand as an example for all who dreamed of playing a sport.

I had no idea the book would relate so well to anyone who dreams their dreams,  but more importantly, if it doesn’t turn out the way you thought it would they realize it was God’s plan to put them where they are. People have found that blooming  where they you are planted is right where God wants you to make a difference.

My story is one of hope, persistence, never give up attitude, and it encourages all of us to pursue our dreams regardless of the obstacles that stand in our path. But to remember that our Heavenly Father’s spirit has always been with us throughout the journey, wherever it takes us”.

Q&A with Dick “Lefty” O’Neal

1. How did writing this book grow you spiritually?

It helped me realize that everything I went through was all planned by my Heavenly Father and I realized He had a reason for me to experience each event and hurdle. It always helped someone else at the same time. He helped me realize even more so that He is my rock and the only answer to true life in eternity is through Him. By writing the book I became much closer to Him for sure!!!

2. What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I like to deliver speeches telling everyone my journey with Him. I use the Fellowship of Christian Athletes as my platform to change people’s lives. Mine is a story of hope.

3. Share something your readers wouldn’t know about you?

I stuttered in my child hood and I was labeled a slow learner. I married my wife of 47 years who just happened to be studying to be a Speech Language Pathologist. And the rest is history. Now the Lord is using this to have me tell my story to everyone. And by the way I also am an Adjunct Professor in Speech communications. God has a since of humor. He will use you one way or the other.

4. What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

Anything Mac Lacado writes. I also love sports autobiographies with a never give up theme. I have also enjoyed going through the Bible again with the help of Gene Getz’s video presentations. He has brought the Bible alive even more for me and my wife.

5. What is the most difficult part about writing for you?

Learning how to stay on one theme. I get carried away with writing so much but still being specific to my purpose of the book I am trying to write.

Thank you for taking the time to let us get to know you!

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 18

Jacquelyn Lynn, November 19

Connie’s History Classroom, November 20

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 21

She Lives to Read, November 22

For the Love of Literature, November 23

Artistic Nobody, November 24 (Author Interview)

deb’s book review, November 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 26

Texas Book-aholic, November 27

A Reader’s Brain, November 28

janicesbookreviews, November 29

Inklings and notions, November 30

Simple Harvest Reads, December 1 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Dick is giving away the grand prize package of an autographed Dreaming of the Majors book along with two autographed baseball cards and 1 autographed baseball!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/ee19/dreaming-of-the-majors-celebration-tour-giveaway

Reclaimed Book Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Reclaimed

Author: Stephanie Broersma

Genre: RELIGION / Christian Ministry / Counseling & Recovery

Release Date: August 21, 2019

Stephanie Broersma lived a charmed life . . . until the day she discovered a deleted online conversation between her husband and another woman. When confronted, he confessed to a ten-year addiction to pornography and multiple affairs. Yet even as her world crumbled, Stephanie refused to allow Satan to turn her marriage into another dismal statistic.  

Reclaimed: Finding Your Identity after Marital Betrayal is Stephanie’s story—from revelation to reconciliation and all the pain and confusion in between. But it’s also a guide for those whose lives have turned upside down—a raw and honest look at the emotions, decisions, and difficulties women face in marital betrayal. It’s a collection of stories shared by real women, a journal with leading questions to help put words to feelings, and an encouraging compilation of Scripture verses to give strength to the weary. 

Stephanie’s goal in sharing her story is that you will realize that you are not alone. That you are not without hope despite the chaos and pain around you. That you will find healing from the shame, anger, and brokenness that overwhelms you. That you will gain confidence as you rebuild trust and self-worth. And that you will walk out of this fire with your head held high, giving God the glory for the amazing, reclaimed story of your life. 

 

Click here to get your copy.

 

My Thoughts

I’ve always found books that give you something to read every day for a month to be extremely helpful for me. Between work and school it’s often hard to find time to read a lot, so having a small amount each day makes is easy for even those of us who are really busy to make it through a book like this. I think books like this are extremely important because it’s hard to know how to respond when situations like this arise. Now, I’m not married, but this book has given me a good insight on how to help others who are struggling with this in their marriage. I loved how open and honest the author was. I think one of the best things about this book was that the author said, “All I had was my faith in Christ—and as I looked to Him to me, I had no idea what the next steps toward healing would be . . .” What a wonderful testimony. While we may not know the next step in our own struggles, we can always lean on Christ.

I received a copy of this book from Redemption Press via Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Stephanie Broersma is a living example of how God brings beauty from ashes in the lives of His children. Married since 2002, she and her husband, Tim, have walked through the valley of marital betrayal and come out the other side stronger, more in love, and fully devoted to Christ. She now heads Reclaimed Ministry, an organization that seeks to help other broken brides recover from the pain and devastation of marital infidelity. For more information or to find help, visit reclaimedministry.com. 

 

More from Stephanie

FUN FACTS about the book and Stephanie:

– In keeping identities private, Stephanie had to come up with a system to replace names when sharing stories from other women. She replaced the names with cast members from her favorite TV series, The Office.

– Stephanie has walked in two Susan G. Women 3 Day breast cancer walks and has ran in races with distances from 5k-50k.

– Her goal is to run a race in every state by the age of 50. She’s welcome to invitations and races with causes.

“Reclaimed is here to walk you through your season of brokenness. To support you with authentic tools and scripture based guidance that supports you and meets you exactly where you are. My name is Stephanie and I also have come from a place of dark despair. I created these materials to guide you on the path to wholeness and living a redeemed identity.

If your husband has had an affair… if pornography or sexual addiction has hurt your marriage… if you have discovered an emotional affair… then this message is for you.

Here’s why…

The problem is most women don’t know where to go for help when they discover an affair. Many will get counseling. Some will talk to close friends and family. Many will hide and pretend everything is fine. But none of that brings about the healing we need.

  • We need to connect with a community that understands what we are going through.
  • We need to discover the healing available through Jesus Christ.
  • We need a life that doesn’t feel out of control.

What happens if you don’t find healing? If you just keep doing what you have been doing? You remain stuck in brokenness and shame and may even continue enabling the same patterns of abuse.

My heart is for you to

  • Find your true identity
  • Develop confidence
  • Learn to love again”

Blog Stops

CarpeDiem, November 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 20

Book Love, November 21 (Spotlight)

Artistic Nobody, November 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 23

A Baker’s Perspective, November 24 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, November 25

janicesbookreviews, November 26

SusanK. Beatty, Author, November 27 (Author Interview)

A Reader’s Brain, November 28

Inklings and notions, November 29

Andrea Christenson, November 30 (Author Interview)

Quiet Quilter, December 1

Simple Harvest Reads, December 2 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Stephanie is giving away a $250 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/ee1b/reclaimed-celebration-tour-giveaway

Considering Others Author Interview and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Considering Others

Author: Jungu Olobia

Genre: RELIGION / Christian Living / Personal Growth

Release Date: March 4, 2019

Good manners and etiquette begin in the home, or wherever a child is taught or mentored. From an early age, children learn how to behave, and as they grow, how to interact in their relationships at school, church, and in their communities. Though etiquette varies between cultures, practicing good manners is a kindness that extends across cultures, because the way we treat one another matters. 

We want to raise and train our children in safe, healthy environments, but the daily encounters of a fallen world make it challenging. Much has been written on good etiquette, but this practical, captivating book points readers to Jesus Christ as the Lord and the Holy Spirit as the Teacher of good manners, clearly illustrating that the Bible is the Life Manual for good behavior that comes from God’s heart. 

From biblical examples to personal examples, reflection verses and practical steps, and prayers and Scriptures to pray over children, Considering Others: Good Manners to Glorify God will help parents, teachers, and mentors shape and develop godly character and good manners in children so they may lead healthy, successful adult lives in their sphere of influence around the world. And there’s plenty of takeaways for adults too! 

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Jungu Olobia is a wife and mother, with two degrees in business and informational technology. A Sunday school teacher for over sixteen years, she teaches children ages three to twelve. She enjoys volunteering in her children’s school and in her community. She and her pediatrician husband live with their two sons in Keller, Texas.  

 

More from Jungu

As parents and guardians, we want to raise and train our children in safe, healthy environments, but the daily encounters of a fallen world make it very challenging. Much has been written on good etiquette, but how many books point to Jesus Christ as the Lord and the Holy Spirit as the Teacher of good manners? After almost two decades serving and teaching as a Sunday school teacher, about a decade working in an IT position at a College, and with much encouragement from my beloved pastors and family, I wrote Considering Others: Good Manners to Glorify God.  Thank you so much for joining me today! It has been such a privilege and honor to be with you. We all love and care for our children very much, so thank you for allowing me to talk about my book, Considering Others: Good Manners to Glorify God. Writing my first book has been a walk of faith that has been both painful and joyous as I found out a lot more about my family history and how much I needed to pray!  Thank God, however, for His love and gift of His son, our Lord Jesus.

 Here is a question for us: What legacy do we want to leave our children?  Proverbs 13:22 tells us that good people leave an inheritance to their descendants. That scripture speaks to more than a financial or natural inheritance. It also speaks to passing on virtues that build character.

Q&A with Jungu Olobia

  1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Writing energizes me. When I write I’m like a child in a candy store; everything is a sweet world of new revelation and great adventure.

  1. How did writing this book grow you spiritually?

I did a lot of biblical research including using the Bible concordance and studying the original biblical languages in Hebrew and Greek. All that research has given me a greater understanding of God’s Word and His great love for us.

  1. What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I love to cook for family and friends.

  1. What is the most difficult part about writing for you?

Remembering and researching family history took a lot of prayer because some of the material was very disturbing, painful and difficult to write about. Nevertheless, I was able to bring the shock and the trauma to God in prayer, plus, I understand better why, for example, I struggled with insecurity issues for so long. It has also been a great opportunity to pray for my unsaved family members in an even more focused and intent way, and, at the same time extend love, grace and mercy to them. In addition, I’m a better, more mature Christian for writing this book.

  1. How do you do research for your books?

    • Various Bible versions to get a better or deeper understanding of a story, a character or topic.
    • Online Christian resources such as the biblegateway.com
    • The Bible Concordance.
    • Other authors’ books and works such us by Derek Prince, my personal favorite.
    • Medical studies and journals by the American College of Pediatrics. I also leaned on my husband’s pediatric experience and knowledge.
    • Family and national history.
    • Other studies and journals on education, family, by respected study-groups, colleges, etc.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 14

Mary Hake, November 15

Vicky Sluiter, November 16 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 17

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 18

Creating Relationship, November 19

Artistic Nobody, November 20 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 21

Texas Book-aholic, November 22

By The Book, November 23 (Author Interview)

janicesbookreviews, November 24

A Reader’s Brain, November 25

All 4 and About Books, November 26 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, November 27

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jungu is giving away a copy of Considering Others to two winners!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/edec/considering-others-celebration-tour-giveaway

A Precious Loss Author Interview & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: A Precious Loss

Author:Sharon Fox

Genre: RELIGION / Christian Living / Death, Grief, Bereavement

Release Date: July 8, 2016

Losing a child is the worst tragedy a parent can experience. And yet it happens to many from various causes, including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), death from illness, stillborn birth, or miscarriage. A Precious Loss offers those who have experienced such a death a window into the grief process. It presents the biblical grief model and the emotions to expect after a loss, and it includes the steps to move forward toward peace and contentment. 

While each parent’s experience is unique, this book is written with deep insight and strong compassion. It provides grieving parents with: 

·         Concrete steps to coping and recovery, including how to care for your health and your relationships and how to cope with emotions and behaviors you can expect to experience 

·         Biblical support for finding comfort and hope in your darkest hours

Recognition of the hard questions you may have, such as these: 

·                     Why me? 

·                     Was this my fault? 

·                     Is someone to blame? 

·                     Is this some sort of punishment for things I did or did not do? 

·                     Is there a purpose for my child’s death? 

·                     Can I trust God? 

If you or a loved one is grappling with the devastating loss of a child, this book will provide hope and encouragement to press on, knowing that God will sustain you through this painful experience. 

 

Click here to get your copy.

 

About the Author

Sharon Fox is a wife, author, speaker and co-founder of Brave Penny (non-profit). Her heart for those who mourn and struggle with loss has led her to write and teach about God’s model of grieving the death of his son, Jesus.  

 A Precious Loss, was written for families who have experienced miscarriage, SIDS, infant death and stillbirths. (Spanish – Una Perdida Preciosa) 

Sharon published Reframing Adoption, (also in Spanish) and a children’s Christmas book, The Stone Carver’s Son. 

She has led a grief recovery ministry for over twenty years. Sharon is a certified grief facilitator and has been a speaker at the National Conference on Adoption and the Anglicans For Life Summit. 

 

More from Sharon

Precious Loss (Una Perdida Preciosa– Spanish) was written to present a Christian perspective on the survival of families when a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death (SIDS) have occurred. A miscarriage or infant death is strikingly harsh and so many times unknown by others, which leaves the mother and family without support or understanding.  The statistics tell the story.  One in four conceptions end in miscarriage.  Seventy Five Percent of the marriages end in divorce when a child under three dies.

How do families survive the death of a child, a miscarriage, or tragic illness or accident that is such a sacred, personal and bewildering lossevent?  A Precious Loss is packed with sage advice, coping skills, presentation of God’s Model of Grieving, the Gospel, helpful, authentic recognition of the emotional overload of loss.  The book presents the blueprint from chaos, sadness, upheaval, questioning, new and strong emotions to contentment. It presents the pathway to the reach contentment and live abundantly again.

Q&A with Sharon Fox

1. How did writing this book grow you spiritually?

A Precious Loss was written to help those who have experienced miscarriage or infant death.   My first book, Reframing Adoption, was written for birthmothers who had chosen to gift their child through adoption to another family.

The foundation of both books and the entire ministry of Brave Penny Non-Profit (I am the founder of Brave Penny) is God’s Model of Grieving.  What happened when Jesus died?  How do the events on Friday afternoon through Sunday morning blueprint the pathway to contentment for those who have had significant losses in their life? These questions are answered in God’s Model of Grieving.

Reaching beyond the normal type of losses that are common topics for books, (death of a parent, spouse, sibling), A Precious Loss was written to support the very personal and often private death of a baby.  It was my honor to offer to those who struggle a Christian perspective on the death of a child, understanding of God’s compassion for those who grieve and helpful and healthy tips on how to cope.

My spiritual life changed radically about twenty-five years ago.  My sister, Penny Scaggs, was murdered by her husband in 1996.  Four television programs were produced about her murder. Clint Richmond wrote a book about the murder and trial titled: The Good Wife. Her death and the impact of the shocking circumstances revealed in a three-week trial, was the beginning of a personal search for understanding of what had happened in my life as I grieved. I began a search for information about grief.  I joined the American Academy of Bereavement and became a Certified Grief Facilitator.  I also wanted to find biblical truth about how to move from the chaos of loss into contentment.  But as I studied scripture, I found the secular materials and the biblical patterns matched in many ways. The pathway to contentment was described in Matthew which I describe as God’s Model of Grieving.   I then began to create a program on grief recovery for general losses (Shadowlands), such as death of a parent, sibling, adult child, pet, adoption, abortion, loss of home due to fire or flood, suicide and forced retirement. I realized that very few people understand the emotional impact of loss.  A few years later, I compiled another program for families who had experienced the death of a child from miscarriage or infant death (Precious Losses) and that program was the starting point for the book.

I took the first book Reframing Adoption to a pregnancy center in Frisco Texas.  The director said they did not see very many women after they chose adoptions for their child.  However, she asked me if I could provide any Christian materials for those who had had a miscarriage.  At the time all they had to offer their clients was a pamphlet on physical recovery post miscarriage. It did not meet the mark, she said, for emotional comfort and biblical truth about their loss.  I knew instantly that I could write a book to help those grieving families.  Within a few months A Precious Loss was written and published.

2. What do you like to do when you are not writing?

My husband and I love to travel.  We have been to Italy, Russia, Scotland and Greece.  I enjoy reading light-hearted mysteries and I crochet prayer blankets which are taken to nursing homes and hospitals.

3. Share something your readers wouldn’t know about you.

  • I am a pie baker – peanut butter pie is my specialty.
  • I have flown twice at an indoor sky diving venue.
  • I have kissed the Blarney stone, stood in Red Square in Moscow and walked the same path that Jesus walked on his way to His crucifixion.
  • I was born on St Patrick’s Day
  • My Anniversary is July 4th! I have been married 51 years.

4. Favorite quote?

Because I have been doing Grief Recovery for over twenty years, I always want to offer encouragement and hope that, even in the midst of a tragic grief event – God can be glorified.  Here are two of my favorites:

Jesus said when Lazarus died –

 John 11:41  “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

The Apostle Paul wrote in the book of Romans about taking courage in the face of disappointment –

  Romans 8:28  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

In my own personal loss and in the lives of those who grieve, I see over and over God’s comfort and healing. His mercy and compassion ultimately reflect His glory. God has been glorified in my life as the grief programs and the books would not have been written if my sister, Penny, was still alive.  Her death although tragic, has provided a ministry which has helped thousands.

5. What is the most difficult part about writing for you? 

I want those who read A Precious Loss or the other books I have written to come to understand that God loves them.  I wanted to ensure that the presentation of God’s Model and how it applied to this very private loss was clearly presented.  I wanted to base the understanding of the loss on a biblical truth that God knows what grief feels like and wants to comfort and walk with us during the journey from loss to contentment.  If the reader does not know about Jesus, or the Holy Spirit’s comfort, I want them to know about those concepts when they finish the book.   Ensuring that the words I used to explain the Holy Trinity were clear and could be used to process the loss they had experienced was very important to me.  I wanted the reader to know they are God’s child and they can not only survive but thrive after a loss.

I want to make clear that I did not write this book on my own.  It is my sincerest explanation that God wrote the book – He dictated it.  I sat at the keyboard and transcribed His words and thoughts.

 I did include advice on how to manage strong emotional and physical reactions as well as helpful steps to reach contentment, which I learned about through the vast secular research on grief which has been conducted in the last thirty years.  I also wanted to make clear the biblical truth, that the essence of God’s love is His compassion for each of us.

One in four conceptions end in miscarriage.  Seventy-five percent of the marriages end in divorce when a child dies under three years of age. If married couples know about those statistics, the risk of an additional loss – that of their marriage can be avoided. There is a chapter devoted to sex after a miscarriage to encourage couples to communicate openly about their relationship and hope for more children.

I recognize that miscarriages and infant death cross all nationalities, cultures, religious and geographic spectrums.   I chose to publish the book in Spanish (Una Perdida PRECIOSA) to reach one of the populations of non-English speaking grievers.

Thank you Sharon for your time in letting us get to know you better!

Blog Stops

Quietworkings, November 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 17

Artistic Nobody, November 18 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, November 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 20

Simple Harvest Reads, November 21 (Author Interview)

As He Leads is Joy, November 22

Texas Book-aholic, November 23

For the Love of Literature, November 24 (Author Interview)

janicesbookreviews, November 25

A Reader’s Brain, November 26

My Devotional Thoughts, November 27 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, November 28

Just the Write Escape, November 29

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sharon is giving away the grand prize of a $100 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/ee18/a-precious-loss-celebration-tour-giveaway

Are You in the Game or in the Way Author Interview

About the Book

Book: Are You in the Game or in the Way?

Author: Ross Holtz

Genre: RELIGION / Christian Ministry / Pastoral Resources

Release Date: March 10, 2017

Are You in the Game or in the Way?

A men’s ministry reality check: What is standing in the way of a vital men’s ministry in your church? 

The guy who should be at the forefront is often in the way of the program getting off the ground. 

·         Are you, as pastor, the main obstacle to the growth of a vital men’s ministry? 

·         Are you the guy who wants to start a men’s ministry in your church but don’t know how? 

·         Is fear or a sense of inadequacy keeping you from starting such a ministry? 

Pastor Ross Holtz tells his personal story of how he became a catalyst for growth, instead of an impediment will inspire pastors and men’s ministry leaders. 

What works, what doesn’t, and what is required in forming a vital men’s ministry. Practical and honest teaching filled with relevant and tested examples from recognizing the problem to finding the fix.  

Pastor Ross Holtz is a man who has earned the right to speak on ministering to and through men . . . One man’s journey from being a sceptic to a fully-engaged pastor who sees the power of a clear ministry to and through men . . . Pastor Ross bares his heart, and is, at times, brutally honest in a way that will resonate.  

—Chuck Stecker, president, A Chosen Generation

 

Click here to get your copy.

 

About the Author

Geoffrey Ross Holtz, DD, is founding and senior pastor of The Summit (ECFA) in Enumclaw. He was awarded “Pastor of the Year” in 2014 by the National Coalition of Ministries for Men. Ross and his wife, Athena, the founder and publisher of Redemption Press, have a blended family of eight adult children and seventeen grandchildren and enjoy time spent sailing.  

 

More from Ross

I’ve been asked to tell something about myself or tell a personal story. I’m not adverse to talking about myself, but I’d rather tell you a very personal story.

There was a show on television, maybe still is I guess, called Overhaulin’. The plot of the show was that each week they would sneak a person’s car away from them, with family help, and overhaul it to make it really cool. It was every car-guy’s dream; to have someone restore a vehicle for you, that was special to you. And to restore it at their expense; Wow, doesn’t get cooler than that.

I never was on that show, but I have a story that I want to tell you. It was late summer in 2014. I had just remarried after having lost my wife of 49 years awhile before. The church that I pastor was having a car show as a community outreach on this particular Sunday. The day had started out rather weird. Several people seemed to be inordinately interested in my movements and where I was going to be as we set up the show.

“Oh, Ross, you need to go into the church, someone is looking for you.” Or, “Hey Ross, would you run get this for us across town?” Yeah, weird things. But I obliged and made myself scarce for the time leading up to the church service before the car show officially started.

So, we do the obligatory service; it ends, and my new wife and I start walking through the grassy field looking at the custom and restored vehicles that had come to the show. I, as is my style, was meandering along the cars talking to people I knew and folks with their fancy cars. Athena, my wife, seemed to be hurrying me along which was not like her at all. And, which was like me, I was just strolling along enjoying the cars.

Then, down the row a few cars, I spot the open hood of a 1961 Chev pickup. That year had a very distinct hood which was used only one year. “Oh, look at that. I had a truck like that years ago. Wow, and look at that, it’s yellow. Isn’t that gorgeous.” Funny, I failed to see the horde of people and cameras set up in front of that vehicle, all looking towards me.

Anyway, I hurriedly moved towards it and recognized it as a limited addition of that year’s Chevy truck. I said, “Hey look at that. It’s the same model that I had. That’s not your normal ’61.” I wondered if someone had restored my old truck.

I must give a bit of back story on my old truck. It had been purchased new in Los Gatos, California by my dad. He had needed someone to drive it home so he pulled my out of school to do that. I was 14. My father was not a stickler for legal technicalities. So I was the first to drive his new truck. It was new, but it was ugly. It was painted an ugly shade of puce. I mean it was really an awful color. My mother called it “Rosebud” because it reminded her of some kind of flower.

In 1975 my dad gave me the truck because he had no further use for it. So I drove it until about 1988 when it was totally worn out. So I sold Rosebud to a friend named Randy who had plans to restore it eventually. I sold it with the understanding that if he should he ever sell it, I’d get first right of refusal.

Fast forward Twenty-five years. A bunch of guys were sitting around a campfire talking and Randy announces that he’s moving to another state and getting rid of everything he owns.

“What about my truck? Are you taking it with you?” “Oh,” he said, “I gave that truck away a while back.” Those who were there said I looked disappointed, or something. I don’t remember feeling that, but it was said.

Now, back to the story. I was looking at this beautiful truck, wondering if it was the same truck, when I saw Randy on the other side of it. “Randy, you son of a gun, you restored my truck.” He said, “It’s your truck.” “Yes, I can see that. You’ve done a beautiful job with her. But why didn’t you tell me?” He said once more with strong emphasis, “It is your truck.” “Are we playing games?” I wondered out loud. And, to make it more cruel, someone had entered the truck in the show under my name. That wasn’t nice.

I was not very situationally aware at that moment. I didn’t see all the cameras and people that were focused on me. People were laughing and cheering. I didn’t notice. I was focused on the pickup that had been my dad’s. It took them four or five time to finally get across to me that this beautiful bright yellow, completely restored truck was a gift from the men of the church to me. Randy had given it to the men’s ministry of The Summit with the request that they make it new for me as a gift for nearly 30 years of ministry to the church. Dozens of men had spent 18 months completely disassembling and rebuilding it from the ground up. It now had a fresh corvette motor, disc brakes, power steering, and a custom paint job. I had been Overhauled. Not by Chip Fouse, but by a group of men, and boys, who cared enough for me to invest months of blood sweat and tears. Not to mention the thousands of dollars it took. I wept. I still weep when I think about it.

One final part of the story that needs telling. I remarried after Cathy died, as her instructions (another story). I guess I didn’t wait long enough for some people, or something. People, about 100 people, abandoned me and left the church. They might not call it abandonment, but I do. I asked some of the more prominent people, “Is there a sin issue here?” “No,” They said, “We just don’t think it’s good for the church for you to remarry.” As you might imagine, it was an extremely painful time for this 67-year-old guy. I had found another person to finish off my life with, which I didn’t think possible, and some people considered it wrong for me to do. They didn’t consider my feelings, and needs, only thinking of  theirs. Or so it seemed.

But all the while this tragedy was taking place, a whole bunch of good and committed friends, were investing their time and efforts, in secret, to rebuild my dad’s old Chevy truck. All the time I was in such pain, these good men were giving up evenings and weekends to do this wonderful thing for me. Isn’t that like God? Sometimes while we are in the dregs of misery, He is working, unseen, to bless us, to encourage us, and to show His love for us.

Q&A with Ross Holtz

Who would you say inspired you the most in your life?

I have been inspired by many, many people in my life. Two stand out in my mind. Billy Graham comes to mind first. He lived and served in the eyes of millions of people and was able to keep his reputation and his humility. He was flawed, he’d be the first to state that, but he knew how to let The Holy Spirit have the freedom to work in his life.

The second, I think, would be Francis Schaeffer. He was one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century. He had a way of addressing the issues with clarity and humility. But, he didn’t equivocate when faced with the sins of our culture and times. He truly demonstrated the idea of “telling it like it is.”

If you could spend the day with anyone (living or dead) who would it be? Why?

That is a very interesting question. I don’t think I’ve ever been asked that before. Who would I want to spend a day with? I guess it would be Charles Hadden Spurgeon, one of the great preachers and writes of the 19th century.

Why? Well Mr. Spurgeon was about the most innovative and creative pastors the church has ever known. He wrote prolifically. One of his favorite audiences was young pastors. He wrote in detail about the issues common to the Christian church. Interesting to me, is that the problems are very much the same almost 200 years later. He was brilliant but  a most humble and gentle man.

I would like to just walk with him through a normal day in his life and observe how he was able to stay in touch with The Holy Spirit as he faced the demands of pastoring an extremely large church.

Do you have a special writing area?

I do have a special writing area. While I sometimes move around, I like best to write in my upstairs study. It is a familiar area with lots of natural light and a view of the old neighborhood I live in. I like the connection with the outside world while I’m writing. I also like to have familiar things around me.

How do you balance writing time with the demands of life/family?

Balancing life’s demands has always been a problem. But, since my children have all grown and my wife has a demanding career, it is not as much a problem to find time to write that it used to be. I am a pastor so my schedule is pretty flexible. It can be demanding, but flexible.

Sometimes the problem isn’t the conflicting demands on my time, it is just the self-discipline to sit and write. I find that deadlines are helpful for that.

What kind of research do you do?

So far, I’ve written on topics that I have pretty extensive knowledge about. I am an older guy and have been in pastoral ministry for more than 45 years. I have experienced nearly every kind of problem or issue in ministry over those years. I haven’t had to research the topic, I have experienced everything I’ve written about.

I do search for quotes and examples. I seek out good lyrics or lines from poems to help make my points, and to make them more interesting and dynamic.

How long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

To date, I’ve not had to spend any time researching before I begin writing. I do read as much as I can find about the topic during the writing process. I do spend a considerable time thinking about and jotting down ideas before I start the official process.

The last book, after I knew what I was going to write about, I spent about nine months thinking and planning. Gathering illustrations and stories that made my point before I typed the first chapter.

Was there anything you found interesting while researching the topic?

I didn’t really find anything that I didn’t know in the writing process. I did find it interesting actually putting my thoughts into words. A couple of times I was surprised by how strong my feeling were about a particular issue. I didn’t know I felt quite that way a few times.

Do you have any writing quirks?

I don’t think I have any writing quirks, I don’t think. I kind of wish I did, as it would make me a more interesting writer I guess.

Do you read much?

I read as much as I can. I am an avid but eclectic reader. I enjoy classical theological and ecclesiastical writers and I like murder mysteries and novels from decades past. Reading is nutrition for my brain. I have never had an original thought, I don’t think, everything I know I learned from books.

What is different about writing non-fiction vs fiction? Would you say one is easier than the other?

I have not written much fiction over the years, only a few short stories, so I can’t speak eloquently to the difference. I am, however, planning to write a novel as my next book. I don’t know if one is easier. I am looking forward to the challenge of using my imagination rather than my life experience as the basis for writing. I guess you’ll have to ask me in a year or so after I’ve actually invested the time

Anything else you’d like to share?

Ha, I’m a preacher, I always have something to share. But, I can’t think of anything that might be of interest today. Thanks for the questions and the interest in my writing.

Thank you Ross for your time in letting us get to know you better!

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 11

Vicky Sluiter, November 12

Artistic Nobody, November 13 (Author Interview)

Just the Write Escape, November 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 15

A Baker’s Perspective, November 16 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, November 17

janicesbookreviews, November 18

Christian Bookshelf Reviews, November 19 (Author Interview)

A Reader’s Brain, November 20

Inklings and notions, November 21

My Devotional Thoughts, November 22 (Author Interview)

Simple Harvest Reads, November 23 (Guest Review from James Barela)

Lukewarm Tea, November 24 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Ross if giving away a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of his book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f0bb/are-you-in-the-game-or-in-the-way-celebration-tour-giveaway

Glimpses of God, A Winter Devotion for Women Book Spotlight and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Glimpses of God, A Winter Devotional for Women

Author: Shirley Crowder & Harried Michael

Genre: Non-fiction, Christian devotional

Release Date: November 6, 2019

As Christ-followers we also experience spiritual seasons. These seasons do not come in order like seasons in nature, which come regularly without fail. Each spiritual season we experience is defined by certain features also. In spiritual winter we think of the coldness of our relationship with God; in spring, new growth; in summer, warmth and heat; in fall, shedding the old and preparing for difficult days ahead.

This book is focused on winter—both calendar and spiritual. During our spiritual winters, when it feels as though God is far away or we feel stuck or dormant, we must rest in the truth of God’s sovereign mercy, grace, love, and care for His children. It is the first in the Glimpses of God” series.

 

Click here to get your copy.

 

About the Authors

Shirley is passionate about disciple-making, which is conducted in and through a myriad of ministry opportunities that include biblical counseling, teaching Bible studies, and writing. She is Biblical counselor commissioned by, and serving on the national Advisory Team for, The Addiction Connection. She is co-host of “Think on These Things,” a Birmingham AL radio/TV program for women; and a freelance writer.

Harriet is a wife and mother to four grown children and grandmother to two precious grandchildren. She has authored a growing number of books, including “Prayer: It’s Not About You”, a finalist in the 2011 “Women of Faith” manuscript contest. She is also a freelance writer with numerous published pieces, including more than a hundred devotions in various magazines.

 

More from Shirley and Harriet

From Africa to America, Life Long Friends

March 14, many years ago …

In the heart of the African jungle in the Niger River delta of eastern Nigeria, the first cry of a newborn baby echoes from a small jungle hospital. The baby is a girl, Harriet Clarice, the third child of medical missionaries, Alice and Keith Edwards.

Harriet and her family stayed in this remote part of Nigeria for a year until the other family returned from furlough. At that time, they went for another year to Oyo, Nigeria to language school and then on to Ogbomoso in central Nigeria, where they stayed the next ten years. Keith practiced medicine at the hospital in Ogbomoso, and Alice worked with him as a nurse.

 

October 24 of the same year Harriet was born …

Deep in the Yoruba country of southwestern Nigeria, some 260 miles away from Joinkrama, piercing through the tropical night sounds, the first cry of another newborn baby cries out at a guesthouse in Ogbomoso. This baby is also a girl, Shirley Jeanne, the fourth child of missionaries Jeannie and Ray Crowder.

In 1962 the Crowders moved to Ogbomoso. Ray served as administrator of the 96-bed hospital, and Jeannie taught kindergarten and ministered to the Nigerian women with home visits and Bible studies. Harriet’s parents worked at the Ogbomoso hospital with Ray.

 

Lifelong friends

Harriet ended up living just up the dirt road from Shirley. They played together nearly every day and formed a friendship that remained, even after years and distance separated them.

Harriet and Shirley, and the others in this unique group of individuals, who shared a common childhood in Nigeria in our beloved tropical homeland half a world away from where most of us live now, grew up calling each other’s parents aunt and uncle. Even as adults, we still feel a kinship as though we are family—cousins perhaps.

Some years ago, at a mission reunion, Shirley handed Harriet a book to which she had contributed. That was the first time Harriet knew she was a writer. Shirley had discovered a few years earlier that Harriet was a writer, too.

Several years ago, Shirley suggested that they prayerfully consider writing a devotional book together. Through that experience, they learned that they work well together. Their similar understanding and views on scripture is a good foundation for the different strengths each of us bring when it comes to writing.

Since that first book, we have worked and continue to work together on other projects. Glimpses of God: a winter devotional for women is the first of a 4-book devotional series. Through our devotionals we want people to see Glimpses of God all around them. Creator God made the world and the seasons throughout the year. By using the seasons in nature, we help readers see correlations to the spiritual seasons Christ-followers experience and to get “Glimpses of God” in and through everything that happens.

So, we guess it could be said that we are once again “playing” with our childhood friend in spite of several decades having passed since they played together happily beneath the shade of mango trees.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader,  November 9

The Power of Words, November 10

Artistic Nobody, November 11 (Author Interview)

Jacquelyn Lynn, November 11

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 12

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 13

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 15

For the Love of Literature, November 16

CarpeDiem, November 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 18

Texas Book-aholic, November 19

janicesbookreviews, November 20

A Reader’s Brain, November 21

Inklings and notions , November 22

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, Harriet and Shirley are giving away the grand prize package of a copy of the book and a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/ee16/glimpses-of-god-a-winter-devotional-for-women-celebration-tour-giveaway