Thursday, April 27, 2017

Why are questions better than answers?


Randy Newman encourages Christians to
engage non-Christians by asking questions

When it comes to evangelism, do you feel pressured to know all the answers? What if you didn’t have to worry about having all the right answers but instead knew the right questions to ask in return? In Questioning Evangelism: Engaging People’s Hearts the Way Jesus Did (Second Edition) (Kregel Publications), author Randy Newman asks readers to look at evangelism in a different way. After all, Jesus asked questions; why don’t we?

A Senior Fellow at The C. S. Lewis Institute, Newman has been using a questioning style of evangelism for years. In this provocative book, he provides practical insights to help Christians engage others in meaningful spiritual conversations. Asking questions, Newman suggests, doesn’t tell unbelievers what to think but instead challenges how we think about people, their questions and our message. He asserts that sometimes the best answer is a question. It’s the way Jesus often talked with people as He led them into discussions about the issues that mattered most.

The author admits he started using the questioning method of outreach out of frustration. “Just answering questions wasn’t working. I needed to try engaging with people instead of just preaching at them. I saw enough success to keep going, develop the technique and experiment with new questions,” he explains. “It also prompted me to study how Jesus answered questions with questions.”

A perennial best-seller, Questioning Evangelism has been updated in its second edition and includes a chapter in which Newman reflects on the success of the book and what the book’s popularity has taught him. Also included is a new foreword by Lee Strobel, author of The Case for Christ. However, the biggest change involves revisions to a chapter addressing a major hot topic that arises in opposition to Christianity in today’s world. “Fourteen years ago when I wrote a chapter on how we witness to homosexuals, readers may have found it odd. Back then, few people brought up the issue of homosexuality in the context of an evangelistic conversation,” muses Newman. “Today, however, people raise the question often, and it’s absolutely essential to address it.”

Questioning Evangelism offers sample conversations and suggested follow-up questions on a variety of topics that arise in evangelistic conversations, including:
  • Why are Christians so intolerant (or homophobic)?
  • Why does a good God allow evil and suffering such as terrorist attacks and AIDS?
  • Why should we believe an ancient book written by dead Jewish males?
  • If Jesus is so great, why are some of His followers such jerks?


While the book can be read for individual study, the book contains a study guide for small-group discussion and application. Newman hopes readers will discuss the book together, then share their successes and failures with one another as encouragement and to become more effective in future conversations.

Learn more about Questioning Evangelism at www.connectionpoints.us. Randy Newman is also on Twitter (@RandyDNewman). 

Advance Praise

“Let Randy Newman teach you how to be a more effective ambassador for Jesus in the twenty-first century by doing more listening than talking, by validating the other person as being made in the image of God, and
by respecting their spiritual journey.”
~ Lee Strobel, author of The Case for Christ and Professor of Christian Thought Houston Baptist University

“Distilled out of 20 years of personal evangelism, this book reflects both a deep grasp of biblical theology and a penetrating compassion for people — and finds a way forward in wise, probing questions. How very much like the Master Himself!”
~ D. A. Carson, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Questioning Evangelism steps outside the boundaries of evangelism as usual and tackles the tougher issues of our modern day.”
~ Mitch Glaser, President of Chosen People Ministries


About the Author

Randy Newman is the Senior Fellow for Evangelism and Apologetics at The C. S. Lewis Institute in the Washington, DC area. He is also an adjunct faculty at Talbot School of Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary and Patrick Henry College.

After serving for more than 30 years with Campus Crusade for Christ, he established Connection Points, a ministry to help Christians engage people’s hearts the way Jesus did. He has written four books and numerous articles about evangelism and other ways our lives intertwine with God’s creation. He is a frequent conference speaker and specializes in helping people of different backgrounds dialogue about issues of faith.


He and his wife, Pam, live in Annandale, VA and have three grown sons, one delightful daughter-in-law and a stunningly adorable granddaughter. Randy blogs at www.connectionpoints.us

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

This often backfires

You know what happens when I stay up late working on projects? I either sell the last thing I made at the next event that goes well, or I made tons of stuff for no reason at all.



We've been looking forward to the coming weekend because one of our two events for the weekend was good for us last year. Derrick Days is a local outdoor event. The forecast is for thunderstorms all day Saturday. If it's like that, people aren't going to get out to go to the indoor event either. I really need to catch a break.

Let's pray the rain holds off until Sunday.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Think Again

Did you know there’s a dark side to introspection? If you’re feeling weighed down and exhausted by your own self-analysis, Jared Mellinger’s new book, Think Again, is for you. Think Again includes practical instructions for self-examination, fighting false guilt, breaking free from hyper-introspection, and more. Ultimately, Think Again demonstrates that the solution to thinking too much about ourselves is to look to Christ, and it gives readers the tools to begin to turn from the mirror. Keep up with the blog tour (4/18–5/2) and new reviews being posted daily here.

{MORE ABOUT THINK AGAIN}


Think Again: Relief from the Burden of Introspection (New Growth Press, April 2017)
Evaluating yourself—being mindful of who you are and what you are doing—is necessary and can lead to positive change.
But what about the dark side of introspection? Do you ever feel weighed down and exhausted by your own self-analysis? Perhaps you made a mistake, said a careless word, or even messed up big time. Your self-examination spirals into a full-blown cross-examination. You keep revisiting what happened. Your mind circles around the event, fruitlessly trying to somehow make the outcome different so you don’t feel the embarrassment, shame, and regret.
The modern self-esteem movement has left us empty and self-focused. We exhaust our healthy introspection and pervert it into constant self-evaluation, wrong views of ourselves, self-accusation, and false guilt. Introspection was never meant to bear such weight.
Think Again offers real relief from the burden of introspection that so many of us carry each day. Pastor Jared Mellinger, who tends to overdose on self-analysis himself, shows us how the hope of the gospel can rescue us from the bad fruit of unsound introspection. Mellinger’s short, story-filled chapters help readers identify and turn away from unhealthy introspection.
There is an outward-focused God who delights to rescue an inward-focused people and lead them into a better way to live. When we truly understand it, we’ll see that the gospel actually sets us free from thinking about ourselves too much. We can seek after and pray for the peace and joy—the sanity—that comes from thinking about ourselves less often. Think Again includes practical instructions for self-examination, fighting false guilt, breaking free from hyper-introspection, and more. Ultimately, Think Again demonstrates that the solution to thinking too much about ourselves is to look to Christ, and it gives readers the tools to begin to turn from the mirror.

Jared Mellinger{MORE ABOUT JARED MELLINGER}


Jared Mellinger joined the Covenant Fellowship Church pastoral team in 2006, upon graduating from Pastors College of Sovereign Grace Churches. He became senior pastor in 2008. Jared graduated from Kutztown University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education. He enjoys reading, rollerblading, poetry, drinking coffee, building fires, and listening to Josh Garrels. Jared is the author of Think Again: Relief from the Burden of Introspection. He resides in Glen Mills, PA with his wife Meghan and their six children.

Monday, April 24, 2017

I've Been Redeemed

The next Sunday and Wednesday I teach, I don't care how much whining ensues, I'm getting some new videos so I don't have to go back to the archives. Let's hope that goes well!



I’ve Been Redeemed

I’ve been redeemed. (girls echo)
By the blood of the Lamb. (echo)
I’ve been redeemed, (echo)
By the blood of the Lamb.
I’ve been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb,
Filled with the Holy Ghost I am!
All my sins are washed away, I’ve been redeemed.

Well, I went down, to the river to pray…
Felt so good that I stayed all day…

And that’s not all, there’s more beside…
I’ve been to the river and I’ve been baptized…
           
My God and I, we both agree…
That I love Him and He loves me…

The devil and I, we both agree…
That I hate him and he hates me…

The Joy of Letting Go

Did you know parents let go of their children every day, often in ways they don’t realize? Whether your kids are in kindergarten or college, learn how to prepare your hearts for your kids’ independence with Vicki Caruana’s The Joy of Letting Go. The 52 devotional readings within shine a light on all the times readers have loosened their grip on their children and encourages them to continue to let go in life-giving ways. Written by a parenting and education expert, The Joy of Letting Go will comfort and inspire parents in all seasons of parenting.

{MORE ABOUT THE JOY OF LETTING GO}


The Joy of Letting Go: Releasing Your Teen into Real Life in the Big World (David C. Cook, April 2017)
With readings of encouragement and inspirational quotes, this devotional helps parents prepare their hearts for their children’s independence, whether their kids are just starting kindergarten or graduating from college.
Parents let go of their children every day, even in ways they don’t realize. The 52 devotional readings within shine a light on all the times readers have loosened their grip on their children and encourages them to continue to let go in life-giving ways. Written by a parenting and education expert, The Joy of Letting Go will comfort and inspire parents in all seasons of parenting.

{MORE ABOUT VICKI CARUANA}

Vicki Caruana
Dr. Vicki Caruana is the author of 20 books and the blog Apples & Chalkdust—named after her bestselling book that has touched the lives of a million educators around the world. Caruana is one of four parenting experts on “Starting Points,” Focus on the Family’s parenting DVD series. Formerly a public school teacher and a homeschooling mom, Vicki is now an assistant professor of education at Mount Saint Mary College in New York. She lives with her station wagon loving husband, Chip, in Newburgh, New York and has two grown sons in Colorado Springs.
Find out more about Vicki at http://vickicaruana.blogspot.com.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The anti-unicorn

When I actually got a chance to go to Starbucks on the way to see Peyton barrel race, one thing is for sure. There was no way I was getting one of those hyped up Unicorn Frappuccinos that have been flooding the internet this week. I love frappuccinos, but not mango laced with sour syrup non-sense. No, I got a caramel lite and apologize to no one. I was the rare creature that said, "NO!"


Relay for Life is coming up soon, and I had requests for more plaques to include in fundraisers. These are what I worked on Thursday night. These are my projects for the week.



Friday, April 21, 2017

Becky Wade’s ‘True to You’ Author Chat Party

 

Raise your hand if you're ready
for Becky Wade's new series! 

Celebrate the release of book one, True to You, with Becky and other readers on Facebook on May 4th during a fun author chat party at 8:00 PM EDT (that's 7:00 Central, 6:00 Mountain, & 5:00 Pacific)! Becky will be chatting about the book and answering your questions about the new series, and of course, there will be plenty of fun giveaways too!

Pre-order your copy of True to You so you're ready for a fun book discussion. Find out more about the book here.

Hope to see you on May 4 for Becky's


{MORE ABOUT TRUE TO YOU}


(Bethany House, May 2017)
It’s the exciting start of a brand-new series by a contemporary romance fan favorite!
After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.
Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he’s diagnosed with an inherited condition, he’s forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother.
The more time they spend together, the more this pair of opposites suspects they just might be a perfect match. However, John’s already dating someone and Nora’s not sure she’s ready to trade her crushes on fictional heroes for the risks of a real relationship. Finding the answers they’re seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.

Becky Wade

{MORE ABOUT BECKY WADE}


Becky Wade is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and moved to Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market, took time off to raise her children, then felt God nudging her to pursue contemporary Christian fiction. Becky is the Carol Award-, INSPY Award-, and International Reader’s Choice Award-winning author of the Porter Family Novels.
Find out more about Becky at http://beckywade.com.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Tracie Miles’ ‘Unsinkable Faith’ Prize Pack Giveaway

Have negative thought patterns overtaken your life and shaken your faith? Learn how to anchor your heart in God despite what storms roll in in Tracie Miles’ new book, Unsinkable Faith. Each chapter explores Tracie’s and other women’s personal stories, showing how they rose above their circumstances by transforming and renewing their minds. Unsinkable Faith is a breath of fresh air for anyone longing for a heart full of joy, an unbreakable smile, and a new, more optimistic perspective on life.

Join Tracie and other readers on April 25th for a fun Facebook Live event and the Anchored in Faith Prize Pack Giveaway (details below)!

 

One grand prize winner will receive:
 

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 25. The winner will be announced at the Unsinkable Faith Facebook Live event. RSVP for a chance to connect with Tracie and others searching for unsinkable faith, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via social media and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 25th!


{MORE ABOUT UNSINKABLE FAITH}
Unsinkable Faith: God-Filled Strategies to Transform the Way You Think, Feel, and Live (David C. Cook, April 2017)

For many people, remaining optimistic and feeling positive about themselves and their lives is a constant battle — especially when circumstances are difficult and life is hard.
For others, negativity is something that only sneaks up from time to time, yet still wreaks havoc in their hearts. Regardless of the root causes, once pessimistic thoughts permeate our minds, our feelings and emotions begin to control us instead of us controlling them. Eventually it doesn’t seem possible to stay positive, happy, and full of joy, and negative thought patterns shake our faith, causing us to sink emotionally, mentally, and spiritually over time. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Despite what storms roll in, hearts anchored in God don’t sink. When we change the way we think, we can change the way we feel and live, even if our circumstances remain the same. Intentionally embracing the opportunity to experience a transformed heart and a renewed mind opens the door for a changed life, because a positive mind will always lead to a more positive life.
In Unsinkable Faith, author and Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker Tracie Miles offers hope for women who struggle with negativity. Each chapter explores Tracie’s and other women’s personal stories, showing how they rose above their circumstances by transforming and renewing their minds. Unsinkable Faith is a breath of fresh air for anyone longing for a heart full of joy, an unbreakable smile, and a new, more optimistic perspective on life. This book will equip you to:
—Replace pessimism with positive thinking by becoming the captain of your thoughts;
—Learn how true joy and happiness are based on choice, not circumstances;
—Overcome unhealthy habits of negative thinking by intentionally implementing three easy mind-renewing steps;
—Stop feeling hopeless and pitiful, and start feeling hope-filled and powerful instead; and
—Discover that when you change the way you think, you change the way feel, and in turn you can change your life completely.
Tracie Miles

{MORE ABOUT TRACIE MILES}


Tracie Miles is a national speaker with Proverbs 31 Ministries and a bestselling author who’s spent the last twelve years inspiring women to become who God called them to be. She’s the author of Your Life Still Counts and Stressed-Less Living, and a contributor to Proverbs 31 Ministries daily devotions.
Find out more about Tracie at http://traciemiles.com.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Cynthia Ruchti’s ‘A Fragile Hope’ Blog Tour and Giveaway

When your life's work revolves around repairing other people’s marriages, what happens when your own marriage begins to fall apart? Find out what happens to Josiah Chamberlain in Cynthia Ruchti's new book, A Fragile Hope. Feeling betrayed, confused, and ill-equipped for a crisis this crippling, he reexamines everything he knows about the fragility of hope and the strength of his faith and love. Love seems to have failed him. Will what’s left of his faith fail him, too? Or will it be the one thing that holds him together and sears through the impenetrable wall that separates them?

Celebrate the release of A Fragile Hope by entering to win Cynthia's Sign of Hope Giveaway!

 

One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on May 3. The winner will be announced May 4 on the Litfuse blog.




{MORE ABOUT A FRAGILE HOPE}


(Abingdon Press, April 2017)
Hope grows when seeds are planted—even in the muddy middle of life.
Josiah Chamberlain’s life’s work revolves around repairing other people’s marriages. When his own is threatened by his wife’s unexplained distance, and then threatened further when she’s unexpectedly plunged into an unending fog, Josiah finds his expertise, quick wit and clever quips are no match for a relationship that is clearly broken.
Feeling betrayed, confused, and ill-equipped for a crisis this crippling, he reexamines everything he knows about the fragility of hope and the strength of his faith and love. Love seems to have failed him. Will what’s left of his faith fail him, too? Or will it be the one thing that holds him together and sears through the impenetrable wall that separates them?

Cynthia Ruchti

{MORE ABOUT CYNTHIA RUCHTI}


Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed in hope. She’s the award-winning author of 17 books and a frequent speaker for women’s ministry events. She serves as the Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers, where she helps retailers, libraries, and book clubs connect with the authors and books they love. She lives with her husband in Central Wisconsin.
Find out more about Cynthia at www.cynthiaruchti.com.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Lisa Lloyd’s ‘Chasing Famous’ Prize Pack Giveaway

Did you know you're constantly, often unconsciously, auditioning for a part? Learn how to master these issues and turn the spotlight on God with the help of Lisa Lloyd's new book, Chasing Famous. Chasing Famous is a redemptive book that teaches us how to take the focus off ourselves and shift it back on to the glory of God. Written by a professional actress who readily admits that she is the most self-centered person she knows, Chasing Famous provides practical and sometimes humorous examples of scriptural truth that will help you master the natural self-centered tendencies of life.

Discover what life really means when the focus is on God and enter to win Lisa's Spotlight on God Prize Pack!

 

One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on April 28. The winner will be announced May 1 on the Litfuse blog.




{MORE ABOUT CHASING FAMOUS}


(New Hope, April 2017)
Have you ever considered your life as an audition?
Regardless of who or where we are, we are constantly, often unconsciously, auditioning for a part. Loving wife. Amazing employee. Crafting queen. Socialite. All we really want is to be loved, affirmed, and accepted. What if we could learn to live the life we have always been auditioning for without all the stress?
Chasing Famous is a redemptive book that teaches us how to take the focus off ourselves and shift it back on to the glory of God. Written by a professional actress who readily admits that she is the most self-centered person she knows, Chasing Famous provides practical and sometimes humorous examples of scriptural truth that will help you master the natural self-centered tendencies of life. Once you’ve mastered these issues, and you can, your story will turn the spotlight on God where, you’ll soon discover, what it means to truly live.

Lisa Lloyd{MORE ABOUT LISA LLOYD}


Lisa is a speaker, emcee, actor, and writer. Since receiving her bachelor of fine arts in theater from Southern Methodist University, Lisa has been featured in many major performance mediums. Her television credits include What Would You Do?, Prison Break, The Young and the Restless, and The Bold and the Beautiful. You may see her on television commercials, highway billboards, or TV screens at the local airport. She has performed with many theaters, including the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Montana Shakespeare, the Dallas Theater Center, and Casa MaƱana Theater. She is a highly sought-after speaker at women s retreats, conferences, and events across the country. She and her husband Markus live in McKinney, Texas, and have two boys.
Find out more about Lisa at www.lisalloyd.org.