Sunday, August 19, 2018

Awesome God

The new quarter/school year starts soon, and when it does, I'm going to re-institute the different song for a video every week of the year! We are doing exactly what I started doing videos to keep from doing--the same songs all the time!


Awesome God

By Rich Mullins
Used by permission. CCLI # 1132191

Our God is an awesome God;
He reigns from Heaven above
With wisdom, pow’r, and love.
Our God is an awesome God!

Our God is an awesome God;
He reigns from Heaven above
With wisdom, pow’r, and love.
Our God is an awesome God!

Our God is an awesome God!
Our God is an awesome God!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

How much information is too much information?


Author of Hope After Betrayal


Meg Wilson watched her world fall apart when her husband confessed to years of sexual addiction. She has intimate knowledge of the devastation that follows--and she has come through the other side.

In her groundbreaking Hope After Betrayal, Meg provides reassuring counsel, compassionate insight, and wise direction. By sharing her story, talking to other women who've been in a similar situation, and turning to Scripture, Wilson has helped countless readers through the steps to recovery--and shows how you can follow that same path out of the darkness.

This newly revised and expanded edition includes new lessons Meg has learned over the last decade. A compelling final chapter by Meg's husband sheds further light on the difficult road to healing from sexual addiction, and a thoughtful new appendix addresses the effect sexual addiction has on children in the home.

Q: Hope After Betrayal originally released more than 10 years ago. What has been updated and revised in this new edition?

In the original book lessons and tools were written through three fictional characters. Readers walked with Tammy, Stephanie, and Renee and watched their various reactions and choices play out. In the new edition, I have added a Fourth voice, Dee Dee, with an ethnic feel so more women find themselves in the pages. She was added after I lead a group primarily of women of color. I realized although the pain is the same, and the tools still apply, there was a cultural element missing. These precious women helped me get Dee Dee’s voice right, and she enters in chapter one when she discovers her husband’s sexual betrayal. A woman shows up at her door carrying her baby, fathered by Dee Dee’s husband. 

In addition, I have continued to walk with women while committing to be a lifelong learner. Over ten years ministering, reading, and connecting to experts and counselors in this area I have gleaned a lot of new information. I wanted to pass this new perspective on to the next generation of women seeking help.

Q: How long was it after your husband’s disclosure of his betrayal that you first wrote Hope After Betrayal? Now, ten years down the road, what do you know now about the process of healing that you didn’t know then?

Writing the book began about two years after my husband’s final disclosure. He had opened the door a couple of years prior with a partial confession, but I glossed over it with denial and an unhealthy outlook. The actual process of writing the book, editing, and re-writing turned out to be in important part of my own healing journey. Writing the book took three years, but the healing process would take much longer. Ten years later, I now see healing is an ongoing life time process. After at least 5 years, Dave and I moved away from sexual addiction (SA) issues, but there are plenty of lies to uncover and lessons from the Lord in general to keep us busy for the rest of our lives.

Q: What was your first step towards healing?

I’m trying to think, “What is the first step when your whole world blows up?” Literally, you would be unconscious, then wake up in some hospital. Then you would follow the doctor’s orders until you regained some strength. The same is true when it is an emotional explosion. I was in shock for weeks, then I reached out for any and every resource I could find. Dave and I each had a counselor, were in respective groups, read lots of books, and set up a spiritual care team based on the book, Restoring the Fallen by Earl and Sandy Wilson (no relation). All those choices would then lead us to the first steps once we had the strength to take them. 

Q: Why is there such great power in transparency? When is the right time to air our dirty laundry?


Caution also applies to information shared as everyone doesn’t deserve to know every detail. Dirty laundry needs to be aired, but only in the right environment. There is far too much “sharing” online in a public forum with too many tentacles to manage. Safe people keep private information private and save important discussions for face-to-face or one-to-one forums. Social media offers a false sense of connection that leaves most people feeling isolated and injured. Better to have one close safe friend than 10 million likes.

Q: How important is it to find a support group to help you on your journey to healing? How can churches better provide a support system for their members?

There is a reason God warns about not giving up meeting together. We are injured in community, and we heal in community. Support groups are a great place to air your dirty laundry with others who understand and have the same issues.

Since as Christians we are the church, we need to value and model vulnerability and transparency. When our flaws are made known, it gives other permission to allow their flaws to be in the light. Only then can God address the sin that brought us to Him in the first place. Christ is the standard of perfection, not because we can attain it, but to show us each day how much we need Him. We make far better examples when we are honest about who we were when God found us. We should point others to the Christ who changes everything, instead our pointing out our successes. Every good thing in my life is because of Christ, and anything still needing work is evidence of my humanity yet under grace.

Q: What responsibilities does a wife have in her husband’s recovery?

A wife has zero responsibility for her husband’s choices, healing, or recovery. However, she is 100% responsible for her own choices and responses. After an explosion occurs the rubble must be sorted and removed. In the beginning, both parties are seeking the Lord on their own, leaving the other to do the same. Once the debris is removed and it’s clear that both parties want to re-build, then they can begin working together. However, to start trying to re-build before the rubble is removed is futile. When the responsibilities of each individual get blurred, it slows down and complicates the healing process. In the beginning, they should be accountable to wise counselors, not each other. They should check in, but neither one has the strength to help the other.

Q: What do you mean by learning to live in freedom rather than fear?

Freedom comes when we can hold two opposites at the same time. The world is broken and scary, and God is good and faithful to use everything for good. The first half alone is true, but it brings only fear. The second half by itself is also true but without the first part is simply denial. Holding both in faith brings freedom. We must fight to stay in this place for there are always forces picking on us one way or the other. It’s about staying as close to the Lord and the truth as possible.

Learn more about Meg Wilson at hopeafterbetrayal.com. You can also find her on Facebook (@habministries) and Twitter (@HopeAfterBetray).

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

So glad I'm not blogging on Bachelor in Paradise

Have you caught Bachelor in Paradise this week? 

I'm so glad I decided not to blog about it. I've been watching, but it is the most nutty mess of an attempt at relationship building. 

First of all, the men and women both are the most outlandish, overacting group of cast-offs, amped up and cued up to be even more over the top. It's all the people I never liked in the first place. Why do I want to cheer them on now? There are a few that I barely remember, but it's mostly Arie and Becca's seasons. 

Secondly, most of the women are so desperate for love, they believe this is the one and only way to happiness. If they aren't overacting, they need a therapist in the worst way. They are so pathetic.

Then, it's fruit basket turnover about every thirty minutes as they switch from one person to another. I can't keep up watching it, much less trying to keep up in a way anyone reading could understand it. 

So, I'm watching, but watching to see everyone cry themselves silly and escape from long work days. Even with all drama, I'm doing the drowsy nods in my chair counting down time until I can call it a night and go to sleep.

Monday, August 13, 2018

The History of the Bible and How it Came to Us



The History of the Bible
and How it Came to Us
 Award-winning historian produces a captivating
history of the world’s most popular book

>Recent polling data reports that a copy of the Bible can be found today in 90 percent of American homes. Although much has changed in the world around us, the Bible remains the most popular book in all the world. Throughout eons of human history, men and women have sought to live according to the Bible, and countless numbers have given their lives for it,” award-winning author and historian Rod Gragg observes. “Why has the Bible been so revered? How did it come to us? And why have billions of believers through the ages considered it to be inspired by God?” These are a few of the questions explored in his latest book, The Word: The History of The Bible and How it Came to Us (WND Books/$25.95/ISBN: 9781944229818).

The Word offers a fresh and intriguing history of the Bible, written with the same compelling narrative writing and in-depth research that has earned Gragg acclaim for his works on the Holocaust, the Civil War, the faith of America’s founders, and other historical topics. He now focuses on the history of the Bible with the practiced craft of a historian and the respect of a believer who adheres to the inspiration of Scripture.

The Word provides a sweeping panorama of biblical revelation, preservation and transmission as well as the background story of those who devoted their lives to translate and spread the Word of God.  Written in a style that is engaging and approachable for all readers, not just historians and Biblical scholars, The Word follows the history of Christianity, and unfolds its unforgettable story from ancient cuneiform to contemporary English-language translations. The Word is also enhanced by more than 75 relevant illustrations and photographs. Through study of the book, readers will:

  • Learn how the Bible was faithfully preserved, canonized, and transmitted through ages.
  • Marvel at the amazing survival of the Bible, even as its supporters suffered persecution and death.
  • Discover the story behind ancient biblical manuscripts such as the Dead Sea Scrolls and Codex Sinaiticus.
  • Examine how the Greek language, Roman roads and invention of the Gutenberg press helped spread the Gospel.
  • Meet a legion of Bible scholars and translators such as the Masoretes, Jerome, Desiderius Erasmus, John Wycliffe, Martin Luther, William Tyndale and others.
  • Learn how the Bible survived through the ages to faithfully transmit its unique, life-changing message.
  • Discover how the Biblical worldview became the driving force of Western civilization, and shaped the culture, law and government of Colonial America.
As for contemporary attacks on the Bible and Bible-readers throughout the world, Gragg reveals such attacks are nothing new. The Word, reveals that the Bible has survived countless attacks through the ages to preserve its matchless story of the love of God.

The history of the Bible is a captivating and inspirational story that reveals how the Bible is unlike any human work. A thorough history of the Bible rather than a work of apologetics, Gragg shares compelling evidence that the Bible is the word of God. He explains, “Over the course of thousands of years (at least 3,500), sixty-six books compiled by scribes, priests, kings, poets, scholars, fishermen and others have survived through the ages. More than five-thousand partial or complete New Testament manuscripts exist today bearing the harmony of the Bible’s message. All are unified by a single theme that culminates in a single verse: ‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.’”

Learn more about The Word at http://wndbooks.wnd.com/the-word/.  


Praise for The Word

“I love Rod Gragg’s historical works – the Civil War, the founding of the nation, the American Revolution, Lewis and Clark.  So well-written and so thoroughly researched – they’re great! And now he’s turned that talent to the Book of books.  The Word – The History of the Bible and How It Came to Us is both fascinating and faith-building!”
Pat Williams, co-founder and senior vice president of the Orlando Magic, and author of How to Be Like Jesus
       
“Rod Gragg makes history come to life. In The Word, he profoundly uses his skills to give us an inspiring and accurate account of God’s providence in the framing and forming of His inerrant Word.”
Harry L. Reeder III, senior pastor, Briarwood Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, Alabama

The Word is highly readable, exacting in it scholarship, confessionally orthodox, yet is very appealing to a broad audience as a history of the single most important piece of literature that exists.”
— Dr. Michael A. Milton, founding director, C.S. Lewis Institute (Charlotte, N.C.)


About the Author

Rod Gragg is an award-winning author and historian. A former news journalist, he is the author of more than twenty books on a variety of historical topics. His work on the Battle of Gettysburg, Covered with Glory, won the James I. Robertson Award as the best Civil War history of the year. Another work, Confederate Goliath: The Battle of Fort Fisher, earned the Fletcher Pratt Award from the New York City Civil War Roundtable and was the basis of a PBS documentary, and his recent book, My Brother’s Keeper: Christians Who Risked All to Protect Jewish Targets of the Holocaust, was named as a finalist for the 2017 Christian Book Award. Gragg’s latest release is The Word: The History of The Bible and How it Came to Us.

Gragg is director of the CresCom Bank Center for Military & Veterans Studies at Coastal Carolina University, where he also serves as an adjunct professor of history. He is a popular public speaker and has appeared on numerous national broadcast programs, including CBN News, Daystar TV, “Fox and Friends” on the Fox News Channel, and “Morning Joe” on MSNBC. He and his wife live near Myrtle Beach, S.C., and are the parents of seven grown children.


To request a review copy of The Word, to schedule an interview with Rod Gragg or for more information, please contact Audra Jennings, ajenningspr@gmail.com.


Sunday, August 12, 2018

We Will Glorify

The new quarter/school year starts soon, and when it does, I'm going to re-institute the different song for a video every week of the year! We are doing exactly what I started doing videos to keep from doing--the same songs all the time!

 

We Will Glorify

By Twila Paris
Used by permission. CCLI # 1132191

We will glorify the King of kings,
We will glorify the Lamb;
We will glorify the Lord of lords,
Who is the great I Am.

Lord Jehovah reigns in majesty,
We will bow before His throne;
We will worship Him in righteousness,
We will worship Him alone.

He is Lord of Heaven, Lord of earth,
He is Lord of all who live;
He is Lord of all the universe,
All praise to Him we give.

Hallelujah to the King of kings,
Hallelujah to the Lamb;
Hallelujah to the Lord of lords,
Who is the great I Am.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

I've finally gotten into the craft room again

Well, more accurately, last weekend I got back in the craft room. I'm back in the office today. I also made a hat one night. That's some kind of progress on the craft front. 

By the way, the cactus is for my sister-in-law. I most assuredly am not going back into teaching.








Friday, August 10, 2018

New releases for parents and youth leaders - now available for review

The authors of these books are available for interviews. Contact audra@newgrowthpress.com.

For bloggers interested in reviewing these books, scroll to the bottom of the post to sign-up!


NOW AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW
FROM NEW GROWTH PRESS!

CLICK HERE TO REQUEST REVIEW COPIES.

Alongside: Loving Teenagers with the Gospel
By Drew Hill
August 20, 2018 / Retail Price: $17.99
Print ISBN 978-1-945270-89-5
RELIGION/Christian Ministry/Youth
The Gospel-Centered Life in Exodus for Students: Study Guide with Leader’s Notes
By Kristen Hatton
July 23, 2018 / Retail Price: $15.99
ISBN 978-1-948130-06-6
Teens and Young Adults/Religion, Christianity and Youth
About the book:

Alongside is a much-needed resource for both parents and those in youth ministry. In this transformative book, Drew Hill unpacks the challenges teenagers face and how youth leaders and parents can share the gospel with them at this crucial age. Full of practical insight and biblical knowledge, Alongside is an invitation to love teenagers well with the hope of the gospel.
Our teenage friends are full of questions and longings. They’re trying to figure out who they are, where they belong, and if they matter during this pivotal time of development—all while facing new realities of loneliness and isolation, despite their social media followers.
Teenagers want to be chased, and Alongside brings scripture to life and helps parents and those in youth ministry practically connect the life of Jesus to the lives of their adolescent children and friends.
Through Scripture and captivating personal stories from years of experience working in youth ministry, Hill pulls back the curtain and invites readers to step into the unfiltered world of teenagers.
How do we start meaningful conversations with our teenage friends? How do we build trust across the dining room table? What would it look like to prayerfully cultivate a group of leaders or parents with a shared goal of seeing Christ transform the lives of teenagers in our communities? What does Jesus have to say about caring for our middle or high school friends and how can he use us in his plan to rescue them?
Alongside offers practical application and biblical truths to highlight the complexities of relational youth ministry, address the needs real teenagers encounter in their daily lives and engage their hearts rather than just their behavior. Hill explores what it looks like to not only share the love of Jesus with our teenage friends but to share our very lives with them as well.

About the author:
Drew Hill is a pastor and author in Greensboro, NC. He is also on staff with the national Young Life office and provides resources for thousands of youth leaders around the world through his blog at YoungLifeLeaders.org. Hill graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received his Master of Divinity from Denver Seminary in Colorado.

Hill writes, consults, and regularly speaks to teenagers, parents, and youth workers. Alongside: Loving Teenagers with the Gospel is his first book.

Drew and his wife, Natalie, have three children: Honey, Hutch and Macy Heart.

Learn more about Drew Hill at www.drewhillspeaks.com. He can also be found on Twitter (@DrewHillNC).
About the book:
The first in a series of small group studies for teens and young adults that traces God’s story of redemption through the whole Bible, The Gospel-Centered Life in Exodus for Students is a twelve-lesson resource written by Kristen Hatton to teach students how to study God’s Word and connect it to their lives.
As students come together to read and discuss they will discover that, just like the ancient Israelites, we all need a Redeemer. As the Israelites grumble, complain, disobey, worship false gods, and try to be their own Savior, teens and young adults will see that they too do those same things. But they will also see how God gives grace to the guilty and over and over again comes to the rescue, pointing to the deliverance of God’s people that is later fulfilled in Christ and the gospel.
With each easy-to-use, self-contained lesson that requires no outside work and can be completed in just one hour, teens and young adults will find and meet Jesus in unexpected places and see the pattern of redemption present even in the Old Testament. As they learn that the entire Bible is one unfolding story about Jesus, and that the same God who spoke to Moses also sent his Son to redeem us from our sins, study participants will better learn how to read Scripture and view it as the “manna” needed for their daily life.

About the author:

Kristen Hatton is a native Texan now putting roots down in Edmond, OK, with her church-planter/pastor husband and their three teenagers. With a public relations background from Southern Methodist University, Hatton has a wide array of professional experiences, none of which she counts as important as the job of being a “present” mom.
Through leading a small group Bible study of teenagers, she has discovered her passion for teaching and writing about God’s grace. In addition to her own blog, she is a frequent contributor to The Rooted Ministry blog and enCourage women’s blog.
In addition to The Gospel-Centered Life in Exodus for Students, she is the author of Face Time: Your Identity in a Selfie World and Get Your Story Straight: A Teen Guide to Learning and Living the Gospel.


Thursday, August 9, 2018

Gospel 101: Learning, Living and Sharing the Gospel

Growing in Gospel Fluency
Learning to understand and live the
gospel so we can share it with others

Christians are familiar with the call to share their faith with others. However, in an effort to make the gospel accessible and simple to unbelievers, many have reduced the message of the gospel to a formula: understanding certain verses in the Bible, praying a certain prayer, and so on. Just as some oversimplify the rich truths of the gospel, others make the gospel message convoluted. Rather than overwhelming unbelieving friends with an “information overload” approach to the gospel—or a watered-down approach, reducing the gospel to quick soundbites making it seem shallow or trivial—Jeff Dodge presents a third way: communicating the gospel in a way that acknowledges profound depth while also making the message clear, understandable, and compelling.

Gospel 101: Learning, Living and Sharing the Gospel (New Growth Press/August 6, 2018), a small group resource on biblically based gospel theology, equips Christians toward biblical literacy to confidently share the gospel, inviting readers to grow in gospel fluency, gospel community, and gospel action. The flexible study group layout encourages readers to put on the mind of Christ, to think on and consider a deeper understanding of the content of the gospel rather than a one-size-fits-all approach to evangelism. Dodge outlines the language of the gospel by exploring the gospel, God, humankind, Christ, justification, our response, and the implications of the gospel—first defining the gospel and explaining why it matters.

To pursue gospel-centered conversations, Dodge is quick to note that it requires simplicity and complexity—knowledge and action. “To put it bluntly, evangelical churches are full of people who nod along to a Sunday message, but remain biblically illiterate,” Dodge says. “They may have good morals and put money in the offering plate, but they aren’t allowing the transforming power of the gospel to overflow into their everyday lives. While for some this is intentional, I think most people would shift course if given the right opportunity.”

Dodge set out to build a resource that would provide a basic foundation for this kind of change. As a pastor in a multigenerational church within a university community, Dodge is familiar with this need to spread the gospel message by being in Scripture, in gospel discussions with other believers, and in gospel conversations with people who don’t know Jesus. “In my experience, reaching people for Christ within these contexts requires a grasp of how to particularly engage the ‘marketplace of ideas,’” he says. He continues to share the importance of finding common ground among others’ latent beliefs and redirecting misguided notions toward the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

“This has been my posture as a pastor for the last twenty-five years—or at least that which I am shooting for. As believers, we can best spread the gospel by deriving our understanding of the gospel from Scripture, learning and listening to the culture and individual people around us, and connecting the gospel to those anchor points.”

The goal of Gospel 101 is to provide a “thicker,” more complete understanding of the eternal gospel, which will lead to a boldness and confidence in telling others the good news they have found in Jesus. This goal is uniquely personal to Dodge because he first heard the gospel—at least, coherently—as a university student. “I was raised as a cultural Christian, but gospel-less,” he said. “The first time I heard the good news, I repented and believed. What I soon discovered was that the gospel was simple enough to understand and respond to in a moment while also being rich enough and full enough to be pondered for a lifetime.” However, Dodge is keenly aware that too often, as we grow to understand more and more about the gospel, we begin to lose our ability to clearly and succinctly communicate the compelling message of the gospel to unbelievers.

Seeing a need, Dodge wrote Gospel 101 with the intention of conveying gospel truth rooted in Scripture. “Other books on the ‘gospel’ focus only on the content of the gospel. Not as much space is devoted to the implications of the gospel or giving opportunity to share the gospel and ask gospel-oriented questions to people who do not follow Christ.” Through his biblically based book, Dodge aims to encourage Christian leaders to know their Bibles, believe in these truths, and be fluent enough to enter into conversations and see what God is already doing in shaping people’s minds toward him


About the author:

Jeff Dodge, MDiv, DMin, PhD, is the teaching pastor and director of theological formation at Cornerstone Church in Ames, Iowa. He also directs the Cornerstone School of Theology as part of The Salt Network, a church-planting movement focused on establishing multigenerational churches in major university communities. Jeff and his wife, Teresa, have four children and several grandchildren.

New Growth Press publishes gospel-centered Christian books, small group, and children’s Bible resources for discipleship, biblical counseling, and missional ministry. For more information about Gospel 101: Learning, Living, and Sharing the Gospel and other releases from New Growth Press, visit www.newgrowthpress.com.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Story makes the world go ‘round



Story makes the world go ‘round
The stories of Amish and Mennonite women in their own words

Behind Amish romance novels, tourist spots and “reality” TV shows stand real people, with longings and loves just like the rest of us. Every Amish and Mennonite woman has a story. What would it be like to be welcomed into their homes and share those stories over a cup of coffee?

In the pages of Homespun: Amish and Mennonite Women in Their Own Words (Herald Press/ August 7, 2018/ISBN: 978-1-5138-0316-6/$15.99), Amish and Plain Mennonite women swap stories and spin yarns while the reader sits in. The book’s editor, Lorilee Craker, bestselling author of Money Secrets of the Amish, collected these personal writings and authentic perspectives on life, hospitality, home, grief, joy, and walks with God from Anabaptist women’s periodicals. Among the stories shared are essays penned by well-loved Amish and Mennonite writers such as Sherry Gore, Linda Byler, Lovina Eicher, Dorcas Smucker, and Sheila Petre.

Craker, who describes herself as a simple Mennonite girl from the prairies, grew up in Manitoba where the Mennonite community was large. Her mother’s family came from Ukraine in the 1870’s and were pioneers who homesteaded on the prairies. Her father’s family arrived in Canada after World War II when they fled Stalin and his holocaust. She knew from early on there were lots of different kinds of Mennonite stories, but she never realized there was anything “different” about the way she grew up until she arrived in Chicago for college. “Everyone seemed to think that being Amish or Old Order Mennonite and being my kind of Mennonite were one and the same. This assumption led to lots of explanations on my part about the difference between my modern Mennonite upbringing (‘like Baptist, with a German accent and special foods’) and those other related subcultures.”

Explaining the differences would eventually lead to Craker to writing her first book on the Amish where she learned for all the differences, there were many more similarities than she expected there to be. While visiting the Amish, she found a peace and gentleness that reminded her of home. As she compiled the stories for Homespun, those same feelings and many more came to the surface. “These narratives stirred different emotions in me. My heart ached for Ervina Yoder as she described what it was like for her to be the mother of a longed-for but stillborn baby. I was inspired and encouraged by Danielle Beiler’s trust in God as her provider, and I giggled at Mary Yoder’s secondhand testimony of an Amish man whose pants were just too stretchy. Other essays enthused my soul, and I came away feeling as if I had just been to church. My cup had been filled.”

As Craker searched for stories to include, several themes revealed themselves. She organized the book into sections delving into the themes and introduces each section with some of the lessons she took away from the women who wrote the stories.

Welcome. A deep sense of hospitality is fundamental to these women. Yet it’s not hospitality in the HGTV, your-house-needs-to-be-perfect kind of way.

Abide. They want to abide in an abode, if you will, that nurtures them and feeds their spirit. The writers here expound beautifully on what home means to them.

Testimony. Story makes the world go ’round. When we hear the stories—the testimonies—of others, we are better able to understand our own story and our place in the world.

Wonder. The blazing faith of early Anabaptists is evident in the openness of these writers to all things wondrous. These are true stories of miracles, phenomenal happenings that don’t make sense from a human perspective.

Kindred. A core value of both Mennonites and Amish is the preeminence of family—kinfolk, whether they be kindred or not. Our kin shape us in ways both known and unknown, good and bad.

Beloved. There is something wonderfully elemental and childlike about the devotion expressed here, devotion even in doubt. These pieces drew me closer to the One who calls all his daughters “beloved.”

Craker hopes that readers will enjoy the stories as much as she did. “You don’t have to be a simple Mennonite girl from the prairies to do so. All you need to do is open your heart and let the homespun words of these women enlarge your worldview, extend your heart, and increase your friendship with the Creator of all good and gut things.”




About the Editor

Lorilee Craker is the editor of Homespun:  Amish and Mennonite Women in Their Own Words. She describes herself as a simple Mennonite girl from the prairies and didn’t know there was anything “peculiar” about being Mennonite until she moved from Winnipeg, Manitoba to Chicago, Illinois for college. It was then that she realized most people outside of Mennonite communities assumed she had come from buggy-driving, bonnet-wearing, butter-churning folk. Everyone seemed to think that being Amish or Old Order Mennonite and being her kind of Mennonite were one and the same. The experience of explaining the differences led her to writing the book, Money Secrets of the Amish (an Audie Awards finalist which she also narrated).

A freelance journalist, blogger and speaker, Craker was an entertainment writer for The Grand Rapids Press for seventeen years.  She has been featured in many media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Time and People. She is the author of fifteen books, including Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter, and Me, My Journey to Heaven with Marv Besteman, and the New York Times bestseller Through the Story with Lynne Spears.

The proud founder of a writing day camp for middle schoolers, Craker lives in Grand Rapids, MI with her husband and their three children.

Learn more about Lorilee Craker online at lorileecraker.com. You can also find her on Facebook (@LorileeCraker), Twitter (@lorileecraker) and Instagram (@thebooksellersdaughter).


Advance Praise

“A revealing and wide ranging resource. . . . This eclectic book will interest any reader who’s curious about the plain lifestyle."
~ Publishers Weekly

Homespun reads like a leisurely visit with an old friend. It starts off with light, chatty topics before settling into the-deep-part-of-the-heart experiences, such as a young mom recovering from the stillborn birth of her little boy. At times charming and humorous, at other times profound and heavy, this collection of true stories will linger in your mind long after you close the book.”
~ Suzanne Woods Fisher, bestselling author of Amish Peace



Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Grace for an Addicted World


Grace for an Addicted World
New small group study for addiction support and recovery groups
helps show God’s grace as the path to freedom.

You don’t have to look hard to see that our world is more addicted than ever. The opioid crisis is growing worse day by day, with more and more people turning to drugs and alcohol to escape life’s problems. In 2017, the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimated that abuse of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs costs the United States more than $740 billion annually, as it relates to crime, lost work productivity and health care.

In our increasingly-addicted world, a new small group study, Grace-Based Recovery: A Safe Place to Heal and Grow (New Growth Press/August 6, 2018), seeks to help people suffering from addiction and those close to them understand God’s grace and why it is the only path to true freedom. Written by Jonathan Daugherty, the nine-lesson study carries the timely message of the grace, self-worth, and confidence found in Jesus Christ, bringing them to bear and tear down the strongholds of addiction in our lives.
Grace-Based Recovery helps addicted individuals and those who help them to understand God’s grace as the foundation and power for true recovery,” says Daugherty. “It walks them through the key components of grace so they can experience real freedom from addictive patterns, rather than simply managing bad behavior.”

Through short and simple lessons, Grace-Based Recovery highlights the significant differences between a performance-based approach to recovery and a grace-based approach and establishes a safe environment where addicts can learn from their mistakes rather than be punished for them.

Readers will learn the principles of grace and how to apply those truths to the false beliefs that have held them captive through practical exercises. Participants will be encouraged to see freedom from addiction as a lifelong process and to live without shame and fear as they grow, stumble, grow again, and, by God’s grace, change.

Daugherty, the founder of BeBroken Ministries and the popular podcast and radio show Pure Sex, himself has nearly twenty years of personal recovery experience and over fifteen years of professional recovery experience. Nearly five years into his own recovery journey, he realized that simply behaving well could never truly liberate him, and that only God’s grace could cause that kind of transformation.


About the author:

Jonathan Daugherty is the founder of Be Broken Ministries, and founder of Gateway to Freedom workshop for men. He also hosts the weekly radio broadcast, Pure Sex Radio, and is in demand nationally as a speaker on sexual purity and men’s issues. He has appeared on multiple radio and television media, both local and national.

He is the author of Grace-Based Recovery, The 4 Pillars of Purity, and other works. Jonathan lives with his wife and three children in San Antonio, Texas.


New Growth Press publishes gospel-centered Christian books, small group, and kids Bible resources for discipleship, biblical counseling, and missional ministry. For more information about Grace-Based Recovery and other releases from New Growth Press, visit www.newgrowthpress.com.