Category Archives: Christian Books

The Distribution of Digital Bibles More Than Doubled Across the World in 2016

SWINDON, UK, July 3, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ — For the third year running, Bible Societies have distributed more than 400 million Scripture items around the world — including more than 34 million Bibles. That’s enough for more than 5% of the world’s population. And since the beginning of the decade, the United Bible Societies fellowship (UBS) has distributed Scripture material for two out of every five people on the planet. The overall 2016 total — almost 401.4 million — includes Bibles, Testaments, Gospels and smaller Scripture items like booklets for people learning to read. It’s slightly lower than 2015’s total, but is up on the 2010 total by more than 34 million items.
Digital Scriptures
The distribution of non-print Bibles such as digital downloads, CDs, Scripture texts and DVDs has more than doubled across the world in 2016, driven by the growing demand for Bibles on our phones and devices. More than three million non-print Bibles were distributed in 2016, up from less than 1.3 million in 2015. There’s been an even sharper increase since 2010, when the Fellowship distributed less than 200,000 non-print Bibles in a year. The trend mirrors growing internet use around the world. Around 45% of the world’s population now have access to the internet, and by 2020 seven out of every 10 people on the planet will own a smartphone. We spend more time on our phones than any other media.
Top five countries for the local distribution of full Bibles in 2016
• Brazil 6,773,421
• China 3,514,286
• USA 2,981,407
• Nigeria 1,965,001
• India 1,897,995
Milestone for Brazil
At the end of 2016, Bible Society of Brazil reached the milestone of 150 million Bibles and New Testaments produced at its Bible Press since 1995. It’s one of the largest printing plants in the world primarily for the production of Scriptures. Executive Director Rudi Zimmer said, “In recent decades, more than in any other period, Brazilian churches have been involved in spreading the Word, making Brazil the largest field of Holy Scripture distribution around the world today.”
Full report
The full report, with comments on numerous countries seeing a sudden spike in Bible distribution in 2016 can be found here: www.unitedbiblesocieties.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Bible-distribution-in-2016.pdf
United Bible Societies:
United Bible Societies is a global network of Bible Societies working in over 200 countries and territories across the world. Together, they are the world’s biggest translator, publisher and distributor of the Bible. Bible Societies are also active in areas such as HIV/AIDS prevention, trauma healing and literacy. Bible Societies work with all Christian Churches and many international non-governmental organisations. Read more: www.unitedbiblesocieties.org.

BOOK REVIEW:The Firefighter’s Refrain

If I count correctly this is Loree’s 107th published book. Her books have sold a total of over 6 million copies. So as you can imagine there was great excitement as May 1st, and her newest effort for Harlequin grew near.

The book is described as follows,

He’s a man who wants it all…if only he could have it….

Dreams of stardom took musician and firefighter Sam Marshall far from his Colorado roots. Starting fresh in Nashville hasn’t been easy, especially after an injury on the job, but he’s working his way to the Grand Ole Opry one open mike at a time, teaching at the fire station to make ends meet. Yet Sam’s intentions are shaken when he meets the lovely owner of a local café. Suddenly, Sam’s dreams are filled with her. Too bad that as the daughter of country-music wannabes, Finn Leary’s been there, done that. She’ll never choose a musician. So how can Sam possibly get the girl and keep the guitar?“

Fans of Lough’s work will not be disappointed in this book. If this is the first of her books a reader has come across, I  doubt it will be their last. Lough is known for putting a lot of research into her books, and developing her characters. Sam and Finn are no exception. By the time you finish this book you won’t think of them and their supporting cast as fictional characters, but as friends.

It what has also become familiar to her readers Firefighter’s Refrain is far from predictable. The plot of the story is very full, and contains a great amount of detail. Whenever I read one of her books ( and I have read several others)  I invariably end up later at night than planned because I can’t help but read “just one more chapter.” Those who remember From Ashes to Honor, and the other two books of her First Responders Series, will definitely want to check out this book as well. Loree has a great love and respect for all first responders, and it shows in the stories she creates about them. She works to make them each a tribute to the real life heroes they are based on.

She is also familiar with the music side of this plot. Years ago, before becoming an author she was a touring musician. She sang and played the guitar. So her fellow musicians, and other music lovers are also likely to find an air of authenticity in this book that they don’t see in a lot of others. Here too she describes a world she knows well !

It takes a talented story teller to be able to fill 368 pages like this book does. However Lough fans have nothing to fear from her, or this book ! The Firefighters Refrain is now available from your favorite online or brick and mortar book merchant.

Book Review: Redeemed Like David: How to Overcome Sexual Temptation

By Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield, Founder and Editor Faithinspires.Org

Sitting down with Mark Ballenger’s book is like sitting down with a caring mentor. The sort that desperately wants to see you succeed, but at the same time isn’t willing to bend the rules to see you get there. Two themes run through this book, Ballenger’s love of Christ, and his love of people. This book oozes compassion. Yet the author is very clear about the dangers of sexual sin to both our earthly, and eternal lives.

If you are looking for a book that dives into every detail of what is or is not sexual sin, you will be disappointed in this book. If however you find yourself or someone you care about convicted of sexual sin, and are looking for the biblical way forward this book has much to offer you !

In fact what gives much of the weight to what this book has to say is much of what it teaches about recovery from sexual sin, is true of recovery from sin in general. This is a book of hope grounded in scripture, not one of condemnation. Perhaps its most important lesson is that God has a way forward for every sinner, and through that way forward, a way back to him.

I found this book to have a very readable almost conversational style. Throughout the book you feel as if Ballenger is talking to you instead of writing to you. This is much rarer than you would think. The discussion questions are unusually well thought out. The leader’s guide includes Ballenger’s answers to each question as a starting point for discussion. These two aspects make this an excellent book for small group or classroom study. This book is very balanced, and well documented with scripture. If you are looking to better understand the issue of sexual sin in our sex crazed popular culture and modern world, this is a great book to start with.

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez Releases ‘Be Light’ for Dark Political, Cultural Times

SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 31, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — In “Be Light: Shining God’s Beauty, Truth, and Hope into a Darkened World” (WaterBrook, ISBN: 987-1-60142-816-5), Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, lead pastor of New Season and President/CEO of one of the world’s largest evangelical organizations, acknowledges that today’s world is troubled and in many ways dark. Yet, in these times when religious liberties are being attacked and there is great pressure for political correctness instead of biblical truths, the Church needs to rise up in all of life’s arenas and become “the bright city on a hill.”

“We cannot deny we live in dark times…sin, immorality, moral relativism, infanticide, racism, false prophets, watered-down preaching, religious extremism, terror, violence intolerance and disbelief,” said Rodriguez.  “But, when light stands next to darkness, light always wins.”

In “Be Light,” readers will be inspired and given the blueprint to confront and overcome spiritual, emotional, relational, family and financial darkness and live as light. The book can be read as a 30-day journey, with each chapter portraying a spiritual analogy to light with real-life examples and testimonies, scripture and a reflection to lead the reader to action. The foreword to the book was written by Roma Downey, producer, celebrated actress and president and chief content officer at LightWorkers Media (a division of MGM Studios).

“Be Light” is a biblical mandate. The word “light” is mentioned more than 200 times in the Bible. Light is an important part of the Christian narrative beginning in Genesis, when God said, “Let there be light.” In this new book, Rodriguez offers clarity to this important Christian metaphor and how it relates to individuals of faith living in current times.

Rodriguez uses the laws of light – including reflection, refraction and the bending of light; destructive light and lightening; and celestial light – to challenge followers of Jesus to take up its responsibility to stand up and be something inherently different from society.

“Like a prism when light passes through it, we reveal the full color spectrum,” writes Rodriguez. “We are called to be the light of the world, but that does not mean that we, people of faith, are uniform, monochromatic or one dimensional. The light of God may appear to be single beam of white light, but when it passes through the prisms of His people, its full complexity and beauty are revealed.”

“Be Light” will release May 3, 2016 from WaterBrook, an imprint of Crown at Penguin Random House, LLC. The book has been endorsed by a number of leaders including: Dr. Ronnie Floyd, president, Southern Baptist Convention and senior pastor of Cross Church, Robert Morrison, founding senior pastor at Gateway Church, and James Robison, founder and president of LIFE Outreach International.

Sammy Rodriguez is a dynamic leader,” said Dr. Alton Garrison, assistant general superintendent of the Assemblies of God USA, “His influence impacts other leaders, both spiritually and politically. Yet his compassion touches the hurting, the marginalized, and the underrepresented. His message is compelling. He does not just articulate problems; he also gives solutions. His book, ‘Be Light,’ is a must-read if you are tired of the darkness. Share it with your friends and help turn on the light.”

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the world’s largest Hispanic Christian organization, which serves as a representative voice for the more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals assembled in over 40,000 U.S. churches and another 500,000 congregations spread throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora. He has been named by CNN and Fox News as “the leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement” and Newsmax included him in the “Top 100 Christian Leaders in America.” For more information, visit http://pastorsam.com/.

New Xulon Book Is A Clever 52-Week Bible Study For All Christians

Billy W. Gardner pens a straightforward and practical study guide examining the nature of the Bible in an easy-to-read weekly format.

MAITLAND, FL— Billy W. Gardner’s new book, Bible-in-a-Year: Mission Possible – A Systematic Approach to a Deeper Understanding of the Bible, ($16.99, paperback, 9781498446068; $8.99, e-book, 9781498446075) is a faith-building read examining verses – from Genesis to Revelation – useful to stimulate a thoughtful discussion. His biblical interpretations of themes and events reflect his connection to Christ and attentiveness to God. He enables readers to explore how to conduct small group meetings and motivate groups to study the Bible, incorporating the scriptures in every aspect of one’s daily practice. Gardner prompts each person to hone in on valuable verses as each practices his or her commitment. The author stresses that this is the first guide, that he is aware of, that leads the reader through the Bible using a small group discussion format. His results show that the majority of participants in his Bible study have been successful in completing the Bible in one year and have experienced spiritual growth in the process. This book is ideal for all ages, and those too busy to enhance their spiritual depth, but yearn to increase their knowledge of the Bible.

“In order to complete the Bible, it is necessary to determine its relevance to your life,” states the author. “This book will help you dive deeper into your personal interpretation of the Bible. The Bible speaks to each of us differently based on our personal experiences. In the small group, you will hear how God is speaking to other people through the same passages that you read.”

Billy W. Gardner grew up attending church and has led multiple ministries and small groups for over 20 years. This study guide utilizes Gardner’s vast biblical knowledge as he shares his own inspiring spiritual evolution.

Xulon Press, a division of Salem Media Group, is the world’s largest Christian self-publisher, with more than 15,000 titles published to date. Retailers may order Bible-in-a-Year: Mission Possible – A Systematic Approach to a Deeper Understanding of the Bible through Ingram Book Company and/or Spring Arbor Book Distributors. The book is available online through xulonpress.com/bookstore, amazon.com, and barnesandnoble.com.

Phil Dayvault Presents Major New Evidence from Early Christianity

NEW YORK, Feb. 16, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — Morgan James’s new release, The Keramion, Lost and Found: A Journey to the Face of God by Philip E. Dayvault chronicles an epic exploration and reveals a revolutionary discovery.

For millennia the world has debated over the story of Jesus Christ. His deity, resurrection, and even existence have been brought into question, and believers and nonbelievers alike have endlessly searched for definitive proof that Christ walked the earth. After years of investigation and research, former FBI Special Agent and longtime Shroud investigator Phil Dayvault has compiled his studies and findings into his revealing narrative, The Keramion, Lost and Found: A Journey to the Face of God.

Having been long accepted among Christians as the greatest physical evidence for Christ’s life, passion and death, many still question the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, the traditional burial cloth of Jesus. But now, after a quest to find ancient oil lamps in Turkey, Phil Dayvault has discovered what he believes to be the truth about the Shroud of Turin. With a compilation of vivid historical writing, photographs of ancient sites and sacred arts, and the discovery of a small mosaic which actually depicts an image of Jesus Christ, The Keramion, Lost and Found: A Journey to the Face of God ties together a fascinating and factual defense for the authenticity of the famous Shroud.

In this new nonfiction, readers are ushered in to join Dayvault and his guide and translator Hafize on his exciting adventure and to experience illuminating new discoveries right along with him. The Keramion, Lost and Found brings history to life and leaves readers feeling enlightened and satisfied. This real life journey leaves no stone unturned, and no questions hanging in the balance. The truth is out there, and The Keramion, Lost and Found: A Journey to the Face of God has found it!

If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Phil Dayvault, please call Nickcole Watkins at 516.900.5674 or contact Dayvault directly via his website.

About the Author:
Phil Dayvault currently lives in North Carolina. He is a UNC-CH graduate and has held professional positions with the US government and numerous international companies. Since 1973, he has studied the Shroud of Turin, the traditional burial cloth of Jesus Christ. In 2000, he began independently investigating various aspects of the Shroud, related relics, and sacred art. Phil continues his Shroud studies and writing about other “new, unique, historical, and never-before-seen” discoveries…stay tuned! For additional information, please see:
www.keramion502.com.

More About This Title:
The Keramion, Lost and Found: A Journey to the Face of God by Phil Dayvault will be released by Morgan James Publishing on February 16, 2016. The Keramion, Lost and Found—ISBN 978-1630476427—has 322 pages and is being sold as a trade paperback for $34.99. It is available from finer booksellers everywhere.

About Morgan James Publishing: Morgan James Publishing (www.MorganJamesPublishing.com) provides entrepreneurs with the vital information, inspiration, and guidance they need to be successful. Morgan James Publishing, The Entrepreneurial Publisher™, has been recognized by Publisher’s Weekly for four years on their fast growing press list and is reported as being the future of publishing.

CLI Accepting Self Published Christian Books

Author published books to be sent to prisons
RALEIGH, N.C., Feb. 15, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — The mission of Christian Library International is to advance Christ’s light in prisons. Since its founding in 1996, CLI has helped thousands of incarcerated men and women find new hope in the healing powers of Jesus Christ. We do this by serving 1,400 prisons in all 50 states with Christian materials. All materials are donated and sent to prison chaplains free of charge.
“Our primary source of donated books is Church wide book drives. To date, we have sent over one million wonderful Christian books and Bibles to the prisons and jails we serve,” said Anders Skaar, Director of Communications.
Beginning in 2016, CLI will accept author-published Christian books and send them to the 1,400 CLI prisons and jails. This is an opportunity for new Christian authors to distribute their book far and wide. Christian books change lives in the prisons.
CLI has two requirements:  (1) The book must be Christian and the theology must agree with the Bible and (2) There should be a clear gospel message. Authors should send a single copy to CLI first for approval.
“So many Christian authors have a wonderful story to share. This program will give them the opportunity to share it all over the country with those who are most receptive to life changing gospel of Jesus Christ” Mr. Skaar noted.
To see the scope of this ministry and the prisons we serve, please see the CLI website at www.cli.world.

New Xulon Autobiography: Finding Miracles Through God’s Word

CRETE, Ill., Dec. 3, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — Within the pages of Janice Rae Sanders’ new book, Going Through the Door and Finding Miracles: A Warts and All Testimony, ($18.99, paperback, 9781498454070; $9.99, e-book, 9781498454087) readers will be hear the author’s life story from times of struggle to finally having all the pieces falling into place – including the miracles she witnessed. As a child whose mother committed suicide, and later suffered abuse from a relative, Sanders was rescued by a woman she now calls Mom. She ignored God, though she knew he was always there somewhere. While living a reckless and selfish life, the Lord kept putting miracles in front of her. Through his grace, she survived drugs, and several misfortunes that made her think she was a cat with nine lives. God put doors in front of her, and her mother provided her the courage to walk through them.

“My hope is that readers will seek our Lord, and be baptized in Jesus name,” states the author. “I want readers to know that God puts doors in front of us, and we can open them and go through or slam them shut. Miracles await us on the other side. We all have a past, and God forgives us for that past.”

Janice Rae Sanders wants to help reach those that are in despair, and help them to believe that God is real. She hopes others will follow Gods word and find redemption through Jesus. She believes that miracles happen every day and that everyone is here for a purpose. The book shows what plan God had in store for her. Like many others, she lived a life that she would not have chosen and so many times she almost threw it all away. God reached out to her and she reached back. She hopes her readers do the same.

Xulon Press, a division of Salem Media Group, is the world’s largest Christian self-publisher, with more than 15,000 titles published to date. Retailers may order Going Through the Door and Finding Miracles: A Warts and All Testimony through Ingram Book Company and/or Spring Arbor Book Distributors. The book is available online through xulonpress.com/bookstore, amazon.com, and barnesandnoble.com.

An Insider’s Look: Guardians of the Heart by Loree Lough

By Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield, Editor FaithInspires.Org

I couldn’t really call this a review since having one of the characters in the book modeled after me leaves me naturally predisposed to liking the book. Fortunately though Loree’s talent leaves no need for any such predisposition. Even so I though potential readers might benefit from my unique perspective on the book, so here we go !

Guardians of the Heart is book #2 of the Secrets on Sterling Street Series. Even though it shares common characters, and plot elements with book one “Guardians” stands well on it own so you might as well dig in right here ! In it we meet Nell, who grew up watching every man she cared about killed in the gold mine her family operated outside Denver. She found herself years later needing a job, and a home. She answers a help wanted ad for a housekeeper from Asa, who is remodeling the Inn left to him by his grandparents. Asa was hauled off to the Civil War by his father. Still a boy he witnessed things that make the toughest grown man crumble. So by the time they meet, they have both spent years with buried secrets, that just don’t seem to stay buried. They grow closer as they work together, but Asa’ past in particular always seems to interrupt things.

Its hard to put down Loree Lough book without feeling like you have made some new friends. Her characters are that real, and Guardians of the Heart is no exception. Its spooky to read where my character is introduced. For someone who has never seen me preach live, she has me and my preaching style pegged pretty close !

“Guardians” is also a prime example of Loree’s talent for imagery. With exceptional detail she involves all five senses in transporting the reader to 1880’s Denver. Having been on “the inside” of this and several of her books, I can tell you this talent is the result of unbelievable hard work. Loree understand the value of thorough research to great fiction. She spends many hours examining the sites, sounds, smells, culture etc. where each novel is set. Readers of “Guardians” will grow to appreciate this as they make their way through this story.  Rommance

As both a reader, and someone who had a tiny role in its creation I could not be happier with this book, and I have no doubt that large numbers of other readers will enjoy it every bit as I did.

Best Selling Author Turns FaithInspires.Org Founder into Storybook Character.

By Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield, Editor FaithInspires.Org

Guardians of the Heart Cover

Best selling Christian Author Loree Lough celebrates the release of her latest book, “ Guardians of the Heart.” With this release Internationally known minister, and Founder of FaithInspires.Org makes his second appearance as a character in one of her novels. Previously he was the inspiration behind Bob Crutchfield a 911 dispatcher in the novel “ A Man of Honor.” In this latest novel he is a minister in 1880’s Denver. Crutchfield’s “The First Responders Prayer” was also featured in all three of Lough’s “First Responders Series” of novels.

Guardians of the Heart is described at Amazon.com and other places as follows,

“Nell Holstrom wanted no part of her grandfather’s barren gold mine that had taken the lives of her mother, father, and younger brother; even if there may still be hidden wealth inside. Instead, she went to Denver and took a job as housekeeper at the old Stone Hill Inn. Asa Stone was barely more than a boy when his father dragged him and his brothers to fight with Colonel John Chivington. But Asa refused to participate in the raid on the peaceful Cheyenne and Arapahoe; and when the smoke cleared, his father and brother lay among the slaughtered. Besieged by guilt, Asa wandered the West for years before returning to Denver to rebuild the old inn he’d inherited. Together, Nell and Asa work hard to restore Stone Hill. But when disaster hits the inn, Asa retreats into despair and Nell is forced to return to her family’s mine. Asa faces the hard fact: He’ll never be the man Nell deserves. Can he overcome the dark secrets of his past? And will Nell still love him when she learns the truth?”

Rachel Muller herself the best selling author of Letters From Grace, had this to say about Guardians of the heart, “ Engaging and suspenseful, with an unforgettable cast of characters and a plot that keeps pages turning, Loree Lough’s latest novel, Guardians of the heart is a masterful, collaboration of history, romance, redemption, and forgiveness. A must-read for every historical romance fan !”

Crutchfield is Pastor of Compassion Church of Katy. He is also Founder and Editor of Faith That Inspires Action also known as FaithInspires.Org. Faith Inspires is a Christian News and Information blog reaching about 1,500 visitors per day, from as many as 15 countries. He is a former Chaplain of the Katy Fire and EMS Department. He is also the Chaplain General of the Order of St. Isidore of Seville, making him that groups third highest ranking member.

Loree Lough is a former professional musician turned writer. She is the author of over 105 published novels many for major publishers. Her books have sold a total of over 5 million copies. She has taught for Writer’s Digest Schools and at writer’s conferences in many parts of the country.

Talking about the release of the book Crutchfield said, “ Loree is a great talent, and a pleasure to work with. The publicity our ministry will get from this will expose us to people we would never otherwise reach. For an author of Loree’s caliber to include small fragments of my work in her own is an honor that blesses me a great deal.”

Guardians of the Heart is available now at Amazon.com, and other leading online and brick and mortar booksellers.