Five Things About Daphne Self of “The Case of the Missing Firehouse Dog”

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Learn more about your favorite Ambassador authors with our “Five Things” series. Author Daphne Self wrote entertaining The Case of the Missing Firehouse Dog, which has subtle hints of important life lessons to be learned for young children. Here are Daphne’s “five things”:

The Case of the Missing Firehouse DogThroughout my childhood I wanted to be an astronaut. When I was about 3 or 4, my father took me to the theater to see Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Perched on his shoulder I was swept into my first movie theater experience. From that time forward I watched anything space related. I read Disney’s The Black Hole in second grade. That led to more books about space. When the Challenger exploded, in 1986 I wrote NASA inquiring about o-rings and asked for a space shuttle schematic. I didn’t receive a schematic, but they sent me a detailed diagram (and apparently they wondered how a 12 year old knew about the o-rings). I learned and studied the universe . . . until that fateful day I learned I was terrified of flying and petrified of the cold vacuum of space.

Instead of pursuing an astronaut career, I decided that I would become my other dream—an author. And yes, I still keep up to date on all things space related.

Years ago I drove for the first time down the side of a mountain. After my children and I experienced personal trauma, I thought a road trip was in order. We needed an adventure, time together, and time to heal. What better way than to see new places? Idaho was our destination. After 3 days of travel, we arrived at Pocatello, ID. The next day took us to the mountains outside of St. Regis, Montana on our roundabout way to Coeur d’Alene, ID. We’ve never seen snow like that before. White and shades of gray colored everything as I drove our Tahoe down a steep decline on a mountain road. Snow had begun to blow to almost white-out conditions. I passed vehicle after vehicle in a SUV that wasn’t a 4×4. I clung to curves and be-bopped along the road wondering why people were white knuckling the steering wheel. I didn’t realize until later how serious the weather condition was. Never again will I drive down a mountain in a blizzard.

Deep water and high cliffs scare me. I may not show it. I probably never hint at it; but I cannot stand on a cliff. It is a sad thing to say, but I swoon. I have no head for heights. The idea of standing on the walkway at the Grand Canyon terrifies me! I cannot ever peer out a full length window in a high-rise without being on the verge of collapse. As for deep water, I am talking about ocean deep or Kentucky Lake deep. After witnessing a gargantuan arise from the depths of Kentucky Lake, I’ve determined that I truly don’t know what is beneath me—ready to bite my legs off. Some monster lies in the deep and sees me as a plump, chewy morsel to feast upon.

I’m a Star Trek fan aka Trekkie and a sci-fi geek. As I mentioned above, the first movie I can remember was Star Trek. This led to Star Wars, and not just the movies, but the books in both franchises. Not to mention when I was little each afternoon my sister and I would race to the TV to watch Tom Baker portray Dr. Who. By the way, he’s my favorite Doctor, with Peter Capaldi my second favorite, and David Tennant rounds out my third. Soon Firefly, Halo, Gears of War, and a host of others joined in my obsession. Sci-fi movies and books filled my mind with wonder. As for my favorite Star Trek captain: Jean-Luc Picard. My favorite series: Star Trek Voyager. My favorite Star Trek character: Data. I do admit that I enjoyed Star Trek’s alternate reality reboot, although it seemed too cinematically fast-paced. The Case of the Missing Firehouse Dog

I’ve never traveled outside the USA. I’ve seen many authors share photos and memories of their travels to other countries. I have to admit that it caused envy to rise within me (of course through God’s grace that envy was short-lived). It’s been a dream to see more of the world, to experience more beyond the borders of the USA. Since I’ve never had the means to do so, I live my travels through books: travel guides, history books, books from the countries, photos, etc. If I have to choose, I only have a small list: Scotland, the land of my ancestors; Japan, a fascinating culture; Australia, I have a friend who lives there; and Paris, France, because I want to see if the city of romance lives up to its name. I may also throw Northern Ireland in there, too. And then there is the ultimate adventure: Antarctica, which is definitely more of a dream.

Learn more about Daphne Self and The Case of the Missing Firehouse Dog by visiting www.authordaphneself.blogspot.com.

Boldly Walking in the Miraculous

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Matthew J. Romano

Devotional from Matthew J. Romano, author of The Call: An Invitation to Revival and Transformation and complementary study guide, The Call: A Study Guide to Revival and Transformation

Have you ever had a miraculous encounter that changed your life? Each of us will have divine appointments in God’s presence that can potentially catapult us into a glorious destiny. Like crossroads along the journey of life they invite us down a path less traveled. They take us from the ordinary to the extraordinary, the commonplace to the miraculous. They beckon us to take action into God’s purpose and shape who we would become.
These divine appointments can come to us through many different ways and forms. To Moses, it came by a burning bush. To the apostle Paul, it came by an open vision of the risen Lord Jesus Christ. One such appointment that God had ordained for me was to speak to Smith Wigglesworth in a dream. Even though I was aware that we spoke the entirety of the night, I was only permitted by the Lord to recall the end of our discussion. I remember complimenting him for being such an awesome man of faith just as the early apostles were. But what he said in reply shocked me. He said, “Not even I lived up to my full potential in the Lord.” In other words, the Lord had greater power and authority available for him to walk in.  The message that God was giving me is that we haven’t even begun to see what God could do through us if we only believed. “…the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action” (Daniel 11:32b) ESV.
The apostle Paul prayed for the Ephesian believers that they would comprehend “the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe” (Eph 1:19) ESV. That power resides in us by the Holy Spirit but it can only be released through action! Faith is confidence in God’s promises and goodness. It acts in agreement with His written word, the Bible. Faith takes risks to accept the challenge of our divine appointments to walk boldly in the miraculous.
One way the Lord has challenged me to answer this call is to believe in Him to bring healing to others. One of the signs that accompanies the believer is that they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover (Mark 16:17-18). Often, I’ve been paralyzed by such thoughts as, “What if nothing happens? I may look foolish and discredit the name of the Lord.” What I’ve discovered is that the Lord is looking for those who will act according to His word. Jesus himself made the promise. My only responsibility is to trust in Him enough to place my hands on the sick and pray for their complete healing. He is responsible for the results. But if I don’t act, I will never see the power of the miraculous.
As I’m learning to step out in faith, I’ve seen God heal instantly, and at other times slowly, until months later the person has made a full recovery. Perhaps not all will be healed, but some will be. Let’s not allow thoughts of potential failure deter us from taking action. Wouldn’t it be foolish if we never told anyone the good news that Jesus saves because they may not believe? The fact is many will not, but some will. The gospel is still the power of God to save (Ro 1:16).
God gives miraculous power only to those who boldly act in faith.

Consider this week, how can you walk boldly in the miraculous?

To learn more about Matthew J. Romano and his books, visit HERE.

The Race Parallels Christian Faith and Running

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The Race by Sammy Tippit The Race is Written by Sammy Tippit with Foreword by Gov. Mike Huckabee

For immediate release: Sammy Tippit started out his ministry walking across America, handing out Bibles from a wheelbarrow. Forty years later he found himself running his first marathon, collapsing at the finish line. Paramedics rushed him to the hospital where he learned he was the second man that day to have the same thing happen—only the other man died. “If I had called the shots, I would have said run when I was young and walk when I was old. But God’s ways are not our ways,” says Tippit, a resident of San Antonio.

The 60-something cancer survivor is not your typical runner. Once 60 pounds overweight, Tippit decided to share his story of transformation in a new book along with the stories of Ryan Hall, American record-holder for the half marathon, Charles Austin, the Olympic and American record-holder for the high jump and others. Tippit’s book The Race: Run Like a Champion, chronicles his journey into a healthy lifestyle, using God’s word as his source of inspiration. The Race highlights metaphors and wisdom for athletes from the Bible including:

  • The endurance metaphor isn’t in the Bible to say you need more hardships– it shows us how to live by God’s grace and power in the midst of adversities.
  • When you run according to your gifting, you may encounter problems along the way, but you feel a sense of joy and peace in the midst of the race.
  • A runner doesn’t become a champion overnight, and neither does a Christian become a spiritual giant instantly. We begin weak and grow strong. We start slow and develop speed.
  • Hills display God’s glory at a distance. But for a runner, those same hills produce a need for God.
  • God wants us to finish life’s race as winners, not losers. He longs to award us the crown of victory at the end of our lives.

 

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee wrote the foreword for The Race. As longtime friends, Tippit watched Huckabee lose nearly 100 pounds and was inspired by his commitment to get in shape through running and healthy living. “It showed me the roadmap of how I could do the same thing,” explains Tippit. “So when it came time to write a book I knew there was no one better than Governor Huckabee to write the foreword.”

To learn more about Tippit and The Race, visit HERE.

Five Things About Heather Norman Smith of “Grace & Lavender”

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Learn more about your favorite Ambassador authors with our “Five Things” series. Author Heather Norman Smith wrote heartwarming Grace & Lavender, her debut southern fiction which encourages fostering and adoption, a cause near to her heart. Here are Heather’s “five things”:

Heather Norman SmithAlong with writing, I love music. I’ve sung in church most of my life—as a soloist, with the choir, and with different groups—and I love music that honors God, especially the old hymns. And I enjoy writing songs. Also, I own the same alto saxophone that I first learned to play in the sixth grade, but now I only play it every once-in-a-while.

I’ve attended the same church since I was two years old. My father started pastoring there. He’s still the pastor and now my husband is the youth pastor. I’m thankful for a foundation of faith in my life and for a loving church family.

Throughout my teens and into early adulthood, I was obsessed with Gone With The Wind and collected lots of movie-related items. I read the book in eighth grade, then saw the movie for the first time when I was probably fifteen. My husband and I honeymooned in Atlanta back in 2006, where we visited the Margaret Mitchell House & Museum.

One of the greatest dreams of my life was fulfilled when I became a mother. I am blessed with two daughters and a son, and my husband and I hope to expand our family through foster care/adoption in the future.Heather Norman Smith

As a child I dreamed about traveling the world but, so far, I haven’t made it west of the Mississippi. I believe there’s still time for grand adventures down the road, but I’ve decided I’m content and that my home state of North Carolina is the best place in the world to be. I enjoy writing stories set in different parts of the state, to showcase the beauty of the region and its people.

Learn more about Heather Norman Smith and Grace & Lavender by visiting www.heathernormansmith.com.

Resolving to Make the Minutes Count by Sowing God’s Word

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The Sower

This picture, called The Sower,  has hung on the publisher’s office wall throughout Ambassador International’s 40-year history.  It is taken from the Parable of Jesus where the man sows the seed of Salvation and it falls on different types of soil. Dr. Lowry, Ambassador’s founder and publisher, has always felt that this is the calling and heart behind Ambassador: to sow God’s Word and reach the world through the books that are published. Derick Bingham says it best in his book North of Shadowlands, “The potent power of the seed of the Word of God is actually, when you muse on it, eternal in its influence. So, sow it, Christian, sow it. Don’t go through your day without scattering some of it in the corners only you can reach” (Pg. 41-42).

Dr. Lowry chose this excerpt from Minutes Matter because the focus of this book is on time and what we do with it. This book helps us see how important it is to use our time here on earth to bring glory to God. Let us muse on these words as we begin this new year:

“525,600 minutes in a year. 36,792,000 minutes if you are given 70 years, and 72,048,000 minutes if you’re blessed with 80! ‘The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.’ -Psalm 90:10
Could you imagine at the beginning of our lives if we had the opportunity to check how many minutes we were going to live?

26,280,000 – 50 years
31,536,000 – 60 years
36,792,000 – 70 years
42,048,000 – 80 years

May I ask who wouldn’t check the 42,048,000 minute box? I mean, would anyone check less? But when you look at it as minutes, don’t all these choices seem like so many?
We must remember, however, the more days we are given, the more we will have to be accountable for over time. We all know this fact to be true, that none of us are guaranteed another minute. So why not strive to make each minute matter and every beat of our heart count? I wholeheartedly believe that as we begin to be good stewards of our days, we will be able to accomplish so much for the Lord because we are honoring Him with one of the most precious gifts we’ve all been given, time. So where do we begin?
Our days are busy, and without a plan, we will collapse at the end of each day and ask, ‘What just hit me?’
Ever been there?
I’m going to open a window to myself so that you can get a little glimpse of how I’m wired. I’ve been an organized person for most of my life, at least as long as I can remember. Being disorganized can drive me crazy. I’ve learned to live by to-do lists, and when I check something off, it makes me feel really good!
I know, kind of weird, huh? But how many of you can relate? Actually, when I do something that wasn’t on my list, I’ll sometimes write it on my list so that I can receive the pleasure of checking if off my list.
Some of you are laughing and some are relating to this. There are many benefits of being an organized person by your very nature, but the danger of needing organization in your life at every turn is that it can be hard to relax.
That is why the smartest man who ever lived, Solomon, wrote this as well:

‘Do not be overly righteous, Nor be overly wise: Why should you destroy yourself?
Do not be overly wicked, Nor be foolish: Why should you die before your time?
It is good that you grasp this, And also not remove your hand from the other;
For he who fears God will escape them all.’ Ecclesiastes 7:16-18

In another version, it says the man who ‘fears God will avoid all extremes’ (NIV).

Minutes Matter

We must keep a balance in our lives as we use our time wisely in all that we do. We must begin our days asking the Lord to help us in all areas of our lives. In the following chapters, we will look at some practical ways to stay healthy within our personal lives, our families, and our place of work, in worship, in serving, and in play. There are various areas of our lives that we will explore to make sure we are making our minutes matter in this crazy pace we try and keep called life.
In whatever we do, my prayer is that we make our lives count for something or someone.”

Excerpt taken from Minutes Matter: Making Every Beat Count by K. R. Mele, Chapter 1, Pg. 13-15. To learn more about Minutes Matter, visit HERE.

As we carry on in 2019, may we use our minutes in ways that matter!

Five Things about LeAnne Blackmore of “God’s Name is a Tower”

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Learn more about your favorite Ambassador authors with our “Five Things” series. Author LeAnne Blackmore wrote the adorable “God’s Name is a Tower” which parents can use to teach their child about the gospel and who God is. Here are LeAnne’s Five Things:

 

God's Name is a TowerI grew up on an island in the Detroit River in Michigan. We could stand at the end our driveway and see Canada. When out-of-town guests would come to visit, a standard outing involved taking them over the Ambassador Bridge to Windsor, Canada, where we’d eat at McDonald’s. After eating our fancy fare, we’d head back to Michigan via the Windsor Tunnel—a route which takes you under the river.

My husband and I were both raised in strong Christian families. Each set of parents were married more than 60 years. My siblings and their spouses share a similar godly heritage. In fact, over 240 years of marriage are accounted for among all four sets of parents.

I’ve traveled to 24 different countries. Some trips were more missions oriented, while others were just for fun. I’d be hard-pressed to pick a favorite because each place exhibited its own charm, but the grandeur of the Swiss Alps literally brought me to tears.

I’m frequently stopped and told I have “epic” hair. While traveling in Brazil, people stopped me in the street to take their picture with me—because of my hair. I was like a rockstar! (An old one, but a rockstar nonetheless!)

I make great cookies—chocolate chip, snickerdoodles, oatmeal, sugar, peanut butter! I’m not much of a cook, but if you want some fantastic baked goods, I’m your girl. Truth be told, cookie dough is my favorite food.

 

LeAnne Blackmore

LeAnne’s whimsically-illustrated children’s book is now available for preorder!

Learn more about God’s Name is a Tower by visiting HERE and LeAnne by visiting www.leanneblackmore.com.

2019 Reading Challenge

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Do you love to read but have a hard time figuring out what book to read next? Don’t worry, we’re a publishing house and sometimes we do, too!

Ambassador International has teamed up with our authors to put together this 2019 Reading Challenge List. When looking for a book, use this list to find your next one. We’ve based this list on reading one book a month, but have thrown in a few extras for those who have more time to read!

Get ready . . .

Get set . . .

Go!

2019 Reading Challenge

And let us know in the comments below which book(s) you picked!

 

Happy New Year and Our Special Gift to You

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With some personnel changes, new exciting industry partnerships, and updated in-house production systems, 2018 has been a super exciting year for Ambassador, and we thank you for being a part of this incredible year.

We wouldn’t be where we are without your support. In gratitude, please enjoy a $5 discount on our retail store using code 2018ROCKED.

Shop now – code expires on January 10th!

See you in 2019!
The Team at Ambassador