Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Introducing the Latest Gospel-Centered Life in the Bible Studies


The Gospel-Centered Life in the Bible series is published by New Growth Press in partnership with Serge. Each book in this new series examines how the gospel story is revealed throughout both the Old and New Testaments.

Next month, we will be releasing three new studies in the series.

Previous releases in the series include Ruth: Redemption for the Broken by Jared Wilson and Jonah: Grace for Sinners and Saints by Iain Duguid. The Gospel-Centered Life for Students series includes studies of Exodus and Mark.


Am I loved? The central question of every human heart is answered with a resounding yes through this study of the Ephesians. Through an easily accessible, self-contained small group study each participant will grow in their understanding of the love of Christ, and the riches of his grace and how that love shapes every relationship and every interaction with others.
Through twelve in-depth lessons, Ephesians: The Love We Long For by Scotty Smith offers Scripture-based, theologically rich content with an easy-to-follow structure to engage readers. Smith invites men and women to reflect of the God of the Bible by reading the book of Ephesians slowly. 
He shares how the New Testament letter presents the love we all deeply long for-God's great love for us in Jesus. 
In this guide, discover the implications of God's love for every aspect of your life and relationships. With rich discussion questions, practical application exercises and Scripture-based teaching, Smith helps readers see Jesus more clearly in the themes found in the book of Ephesians. 


When the difficulties of life suggest that evil and chaos reign, we need to see that God occupies the throne in heaven and rules this world. Revelation: Hope in the Darkness by Scotty Smith reminds us that in troubled times our hope is in our champion Savior who is with us and will one day make all things right. 
This fourteen-week study in the Gospel-Centered Life in the Bible series provides in-depth lessons for one-on-one discipleship, small group, or large group settings. In this guide, author Scotty Smith give us a unique perspective on the end times that maps onto modern-day issues and problems. There is a battle raging against Jesus and his people, but be assured: Jesus wins. Though the world’s kingdoms entice and persecute us, the gospel still advances. The Lamb is on the throne, and he alone is worthy of our worship. We can anticipate with great joy the final victory of Jesus and the wedding of the Lamb. Our destiny is renewal and new life, rejoicing with our Savior in the New Jerusalem. 

About the author:

Scotty Smith graduated from The University of North Carolina, Westminster Theological Seminary, and Covenant Theological Seminary (DMin). Smith planted and pastored Christ Community Church in Franklin, TN, for twenty-six years. He worked on pastoral staff of West End Community Church as teacher in residence and also served as adjunct faculty for Covenant Seminary, Westminster (Philadelphia), RTS, Orlando, and Western Seminary in Portland, OR. He authored Unveiled HopeObjects of His AffectionRestoring Broken ThingsEveryday PrayersEvery Season Prayers, Revelation: Hope in the Darkness, and Ephesians: The Love We Long For. Scotty and his wife of over forty-five years, Darlene, live in Franklin, TN.


Can the truth really change how we live? And how do we know what is true in a world of so many falsehoods? In this timely study, Jeff Dodge explores how Christians are called to share the gospel message with the world—free of do-good, moralistic, try-harder religion, while also boldly calling those who believe to a gospel-centered, radical new life of love. 
Titus: Life-Changing Truth in a World of Lies  is a study resource in the Gospel-Centered Life in the Bible series that provides seven in-depth lessons for one-on-one discipleship, small group, or large group settings. 
In this guide, Dodge draws insight from Paul’s letter to Titus to point men and women to God’s blueprint for what he wants the church to look like. He invites readers to see how the gospel disrupts people and culture, turning the world upside-down—or right side-up.  
Explore this resource and find life-changing truths about the gospel and the heart of God, who desires for the truth to set us free. 

About the author:

Jeff Dodge, MDiv, DMin, PhD, is the teaching pastor at Veritas Church in Iowa City, Iowa. He also directs The Salt Network School of Theology as part of The Salt Network, a church-planting movement focused on establishing multi-generational churches in major university communities. Jeff and his wife, Teresa, have four children and several grandchildren. He is the author of Gospel 101: Learning, Living, and Sharing the Gospel and Titus: Live-Changing Truth in a World of Lies.

Would you like to write a review?

Click here or use the form below to request a review copy.

PLEASE NOTE: At this time, we are sending digital copies for review.
If you are unable to review digital copies, you may request
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You may do so via the form at the link above. 

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If you have any questions or concerns, please email Audra Jennings at audra@newgrowthpress.com


Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Win a copy of The Gentleman Spy

Scroll down to the end of the post to enter!
 
It's release day for Erica Vetsch's The Gentleman Spy!

I have a lot of bloggers on my team excited to share their reviews in the next few weeks, and I've got a great prize pack to giveaway. Scroll down to the end of the post to enter to win: 

- A copy of Erica Vetsch's The Lost Lieutenant and The Gentleman Spy
- A library card tote bag
- A bookshelf pouch bag
- A book mug
- A Willow Tree book angel

- A book page holder

I'll be sharing more about the book over the coming weeks, including an interview with Erica.


About the book:


He only wanted a duchess for a day--but she's determined to make it a marriage for life

When his father and older brother suddenly pass away, the new Duke of Haverly is saddled with a title he never expected to bear. To thwart the plans of his scheming family, the duke impulsively marries a wallflower. After all, she's meek and mild; it should be easy to sequester her in the country and get on with his life--as a secret agent for the Crown.

But his bride has other ideas. She's determined to take her place not only as his duchess but as his wife. As a duchess, she can use her position to help the lowest of society--the women forced into prostitution because they have no skills or hope. Her endeavors are not met favorably in society, nor by her husband who wishes she'd remain in the background as he ordered.

Can the duke succeed in relegating her to the sidelines of his life? When his secrets are threatened with exposure, will his new wife be an asset or a liability?




About the author:


Erica Vetsch is a New York Times best-selling and ACFW Carol Award–winning author. She is a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota with her husband, who she claims is both her total opposite and soul mate. 

Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks.

A self-described history geek, she has been planning her first research trip to England.

Learn more about Erica Vetsch and her books at www.ericavetsch.com. She can also be found on Facebook (@EricaVetschAuthor), Instagram (@EricaVetsch) and Pinterest (Erica Vetsch).





Sunday, July 26, 2020

Step by Step

When we get back to having class, I'll have another group of kids because I'm going to bump up a couple of grades. It doesn't seem like I had these kids very long... because I really didn't. About six months. 


Step by Step

Oh God, you are my God,
and I will ever praise you.
Oh God, you are my God,
and I will ever praise you.

I will seek you in the morning,
and I will learn to walk in your ways.
And step by step you'll lead me,
and I will follow you all of my days.

And I will follow you all of my days.
And I will follow you all of my days.
And step by step you'll lead me,
and I will follow you all of my days.



Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Sign-up to review DoubtLess by Shelby Abbott





 
Is God good? Can I trust him with my life? Is the Bible true? These are just some of the questions that can plague young adults as they stand at the crossroads of life, when new responsibilities loom large and the world around them treats God as a small or irrelevant part of life. 
In DoubtLess, author and Cru campus minister Shelby Abbott comes alongside young adults to help them honestly face their doubt and turn to God for the gift of faith. He reminds readers that Scripture recounts the stories of many men and women who have also faced deep misgivings and uncertainty in their walk of faith. Using both Scripture and personal illustrations, Abbot shows us how to “feed our faith” in seasons of doubt through authentic relationships with other Christians, hearing from God in the Bible, and practicing thankfulness. Doubt should not scare us, nor should it become our obsession. He urges readers to see the difference between doubt and unbelief, assuring us that big questions can press us deeper into the heart and character of God rather than push us away from him. 
Used for biblical reflection, group discussion, devotional reading, DoubtLess is full of gospel hope for those grappling with the mysteries of faith.
 
DoubtLess: Because Faith is Hard
by Shelby Abbott
August 17, 2020 / Paperback / Retail Price: $15.99


About the author

Shelby Abbott is an author, campus minister, and conference speaker on staff with the ministry of Cru. His passion for university students has led him to speak at college campuses all over the United States.

Abbott is the author of Jacked, I Am a Tool (To Help with Your Dating Life), and Pressure Points: A Guide to Navigating Student Stress. His latest release is DoubtLess: Because Faith is Hard. He and his wife, Rachael, have two daughters and live in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.

Readers can find Abbott online at www.shelbyabbott.com, on Facebook (shelby.abbott.98)Twitter (@shelbyabbott) and Instagram (@shelbyabbott).

Would you like to write a review?

You can sign-up for a copy using the form below.

PLEASE NOTE: At this time, we are only offering the digital copy for review.
If you are unable to review digital copies, you may request an exception
to be considered by our team via the form at the link above. 

By signing up to receive this book, you are agreeing to:

1. Post a review on your blog or website within 30 days of receiving the eBook.
2. Post your review on the New Growth Press website as well as other consumer websites (Amazon, GoodReads, etc.)
3. Share your review via your social media accounts.
4. Email your review link to audra@newgrowthpress.com so that we can share your review via our social media accounts as well. You can also submit your reviews via the link submission form.
5. Since we do keep track reviews that are and are not posted, a failure to post a review on a requested title means you may not be eligible to review future releases.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email Audra Jennings at audra@newgrowthpress.com

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Win a copy of The Beautiful Ashes of Gomez Gomez


Introducing a book that the author describes it as a bit funky, sometimes over the top, and rarely going where you’re expecting it to go. 

Quirky would be a good word for it too! Read more about The Beautiful Ashes of Gomez Gomez by Buck Storm and enter below to win a copy of your own. 

I'll be sharing more about the book in the coming weeks.


About the book:

Literary Americana fiction filled with humor and heart

When his wife, Angel, is killed in a head-on collision, Gomez Gomez feels he can't go on--so he doesn't. He spends his days in the bushes next to the crash site drinking Thunderbird wine, and his nights cradling a coffee can full of Angel's ashes. Slow, sure suicide, with no one for company but the snakes, Elvis's ghost, and a strange kid named Bones.

Across town, Father Jake Morales plays it safe, haunted by memories of the woman he left behind, hiding his guilt, loss, and love behind a thick wall of cassock and ritual. Then a shady business deal threatens the town--and his good friend Gomez Gomez--and Father Jake can't just stand by and watch. But what happens when the rescuer is the one in need of saving?

The Beautiful Ashes of Gomez Gomez is quirky, heartfelt, and deeply human. Lives and hopes collide in the town of Paradise, stretching across decades and continents in this epic story of forgiveness, redemption, and love.

Read an excerpt from Kregel by clicking here.


About the author:

Buck Storm is a critically acclaimed author and musician whose stories have found friends around the world. His nonfiction work includes Finding Jesus in Israel and Through the Holy Land on the Road Less Traveled. Storm’s novels include The List, The Light, Truck Stop Jesus, and The Miracle Man. The latest, The Beautiful Ashes of Gomez Gomez, launches his new series, Ballads of Paradise.

Storm and his wife, Michelle, make their home in North Idaho and have two married children.





Sunday, July 19, 2020

Rise and Shine

One time I found another verse about the animals coming out in threesies. 
First of all, the Bible doesn't say they came out with babies. 
Secondly, it's not my job to explain about the birds and beezies, beezies.


Rise and Shine

The Lord said to Noah: there’s gonna be a floody, floody
The Lord said to Noah:  there’s gonna be a floody, floody
Get those children out of the muddy, muddy, 
children of the Lord

Chorus:
So, rise and shine, and give God the glory, glory
Rise and shine, and give God the glory, glory
Rise and shine, and give God the glory, glory
children of the Lord

The Lord told Noah to build him an arky, arky
The Lord told Noah to build him an arky, arky
Build it out of gopher barky, barky, 
children of the Lord

Chorus

The animals, they came in, they came in by twosie, twosies
The animals, they came in, they came in by twosie, twosies
Elephants and kangaroosie, roosies,
children of the Lord

Chorus

It rained and poured for forty long daysies, daysies
It rained and poured for forty long daysies, daysies
Almost drove those animals crazies, crazies, 
children of the Lord

Chorus

Then Noah he sent out, he sent out a dovey, dovey
Noah he sent out, he sent out a dovey, dovey
Dovey said there’s clear skies abovey-bovey, 
children of the Lord

Chorus

The sun came out and dried up the landy, landy
The sun came out and dried up the landy, landy
Everything was fine and dandy, dandy, 
children of the Lord

Chorus

Now, this is the end of, the end of my story, story
This is the end of, the end of my story, story
Everything is hunky dory, dory, 
children of the Lord

Chorus



Sunday, July 12, 2020

The Books of the Old Testament

There are a couple of different songs for the books of the Old Testament, but I find them to be hard. I'd even tried my own tune once upon a time. Look up YouTube videos. One poor guy, oh, it's bad.

This group of kids had a knack for singing. and a couple of the girls already knew this version.


Books of the Old Testament

To the tune of “Did You Ever See a Lassie”

Let us sing the books of Moses, of Moses, of Moses,
Let us sing the books of Moses for he wrote the Law.
First, Genesis; second Exodus; third, Leviticus; forth, Numbers;
And fifth is Deuteronomy, the last of the Law.

Let us sing the books of history, of history, of history;
Let us sing the books of history which tells of the Jews.
There’s Joshua and Judges and the story of Ruth,
And First and Second Samuel, and First and Second Kings.
Then First and Second Chronicles which give us the records;
Then Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther the Queen.

Let us sing the books of poetry, of poetry, of poetry;
Let us sing the books of poetry, the songs the Jews sang.
Job the patient, Psalms of David and the Proverbs or a wise one;
And then Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon.

Let us sing the major prophets, major prophets, major prophets;
Let us sing the major prophets, they wrote five books in all.
Isaiah, Jeremiah, who wrote Lamentations;
Then Ezekiel and Daniel, who were true to their God.

Let us sing the minor prophets, minor prophets, minor prophets;
Let is sing the minor prophets, there were twelve of them all.
Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk,
Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Action and Adventure + Faith and Forgiveness = A Great Summer Read


Part 2 of an Interview with Andrew Huff,
Author of Cross Shadow

Looking for a fast-paced, action-packed summer read? Look no further than Andrew Huff’s Cross Shadow, the follow-up to the A Cross to Kill, a nominee for ACFW’s Carol Award in the Debut category.

The Shepherd Suspense series features John Cross, a former CIA assassin turned small town pastor who keeps finding himself in precarious situations. As much as he wanted to leave his old life behind, he comes to the realization that you can never really leave the Central Intelligence Agency. Is he really where God wants him to be?

Huff’s characters wrestle with faith, forgiveness, and redemption in middle of a plot packed with danger. He wants his series to take the Bible and the church seriously while offering the same kind of jaw-dropping action some of his favorite novels and films such as Mission: Impossible, Jason Bourne, and James Bond excel at.

Q: How did John and Christine, the leading lady of Cross Shadow, meet?

On occasion, John would accept the call from the CIA to participate in rescue missions during his off time from serving the church. He was dropped into Amman, Jordan, on one such mission only to discover that the person he’d been sent to exfiltrate was Christine Lewis, a beautiful American journalist about to be executed by her captors. Using only a stun gun and his hand-to-hand combat skills, John stayed the execution and escaped with Christine. After he disappeared and all knowledge of his existence was denied, Christine made it her mission upon returning home to locate the man who saved her life.

Through a contact in Washington with mysterious ties to the intelligence community, Christine was given a hint to John’s true identity in the form of an address. She’s instructed to go there on Sunday, and when she arrived, she found John preaching a sermon in the small country church. John’s instinct was to run, but something caused him to trust her and reveal his story. Christine wanted to protect his secret, but forces beyond her control appeared, and she was caught in the middle as a choice from John’s past came back to haunt him.

Q: Trying to protect Christine from danger puts John in the middle of some moral quandaries. How does he handle himself mentally and spiritually in those situations?


The battle waging in John from the beginning is the tension between who he is now and who he was trained to be. His focus has been singularly placed on the act of killing. But what he’s suddenly faced with as he pursues a relationship with Christine and continues to serve as the pastor of his church is that the instincts drilled into him carry other moral prices as well. The more the situation in Dallas unravels, the more out of control John begins to feel with his own mental and spiritual status.

At the same time, he’s committed to protecting the innocent and preserving life, so he works to redirect his instincts to achieve those two goals. That’s what complicates his relationship with truth. If he’s convinced that what he’s doing is for the greater good, he’s quick to compromise on deception and manipulation. This is a struggle I have and have seen in others. By lying to ourselves about our intentions, we can sometimes make choices that are inconsistent with what we say we believe.

Q: Does John’s prior profession and the choices he made ever come back to haunt him?

Oh, all the time. The truth about the Central Intelligence Agency is that you never truly leave the Central Intelligence Agency. So, John keeps getting pulled back in, even when he says he doesn’t want to. The only problem is that he was really good at what he did. And not just the assassination part. Which begs the question: Should he go back? Was he only running from guilt when he decided to leave?

In Cross Shadow, we also examine his choice to accept the pastorate at his church despite being young in his faith and untrained for the ministry. From the outside looking in, he doesn’t seem like the best candidate to truly lead the church toward growth. Those were real questions that not only were present when I was writing the first book but have also been asked by readers afterward. I can’t wait for you to see how the story continues for him.

Q: What kind of research goes into writing about a CIA agent?

It does get tricky, especially when writing about members of the Special Activities Center (the CIA’s division for covert operations). The most important thing for me about writing these characters is to never make it feel like they’re learning any of it for the first time. Since we’re often in their perspective, there are certain actions they might take or things they might say that need to be second nature to them. That needs to be balanced with making sure the reader can follow along. This means I need to know my stuff!

A lot of my research comes from scouring the internet. (I’m sure the CIA knows how many times I visit their website.) But I also research movies and books too; other writers before me have done their homework, so I love to learn and be inspired by how someone else might have crafted the world of the United States Intelligence Community. A great book specifically on the CIA’s targeted killing programs is called Surprise, Kill, Vanish by Annie Jacobsen. It didn’t come out until 2019, so I didn’t have it as a resource for the first book, but I surprised myself with how accurately I was able to write some things with the then more limited knowledge about this particular aspect of the CIA.

Q: How long have you been working on the Shepherd Suspense series, and have you always wanted to write?

I worked on A Cross to Kill for several years beginning in 2014. The series didn’t start to take shape until two years ago after I signed with Kregel Publications for the book to be published. I originally wrote A Cross to Kill as a stand-alone novel, though I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t already thought about what I might do to continue the story with the characters. What I found most helpful in planning out the series was asking myself what lingering questions I had from the first story, and there were enough that the plots for the second and third books came relatively easy.

While I didn’t start attempting to write until I was an older teen, my passion for storytelling has been a part of my life from an early age. One of my favorite pastimes growing up was to tell stories using action figures (mainly to myself, but often with my brothers). I was also into art and would occasionally adapt those stories into drawings. I even made some short films based on stories I would write. In some ways, novels feel like a more recent addition to my repertoire of formats to tell stories in.

Q: What can readers expect from the final installment of the Shepherd Suspense trilogy, Right Cross?

A Cross to Kill featured a small-town setting with international intrigue. In Cross Shadow, I flip the script, and we get to go with John and Christine to a bigger city to solve a personal mystery. With Right Cross, both the locations and plot go big. I like to try and write the thrills of a Mission: Impossible movie onto the page with my novels, and the final book in the Shepherd Suspense series is the most M:I of them all.

At the same time, the characters have grown. They’re no longer wrestling with questions of identity and purpose. With a newfound confidence in their standing before God, they get a chance to be who they were ultimately created to be. And I’ve had so much watching that unfold. I can’t wait for readers to do the same!

Learn more about Andrew Huff and the Shepherd Suspense novels at www.andrewhuffbooks.com. He can also be found on Facebook (@huffwrites), Twitter (@andrewjohnhuff) and Instagram (@andyhuff).